Review: Stone Bourbon Barrel Imperial Russian Stout 2008

In Beer Reviews by Ryan

Stone Imperial Russian Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels
Russian Imperial Stout, 11.5% ABV

I had this on draft at the Twisted Spoke April 1st.  I don’t know what I was more excited about, the fact that this was a ’08 Imperial Russian Stout or that it was aged in bourbon barrels.  Probably a little of both. 


As you can see in the picture this beer is gorgeous.  Once you get over the fact that it was served in a clear, plastic cup, that is.  Just look at the thick khaki, tan head on this beer.  So Awesome.

OK, enough with the staring.  A generous sniff opens with a big shot of bourbon, oak, vanilla and cocoa.  The flavor coincides with the taste.  Lots of bourbon and generous amounts of vanilla.  It’s very smooth but, boy, does this beer burn on the way down.  And I mean ALL the way down.  After that subsides you’re left with a lingering taste of oak and vanilla on your palate.  As it warms cocoa joins the party making for a spectacular beer.

This is easily one of my favorite barrel aged beers.  It’s right up there with the likes of Founders KBS and Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout.

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Equal parts beer nerd and policy geek, Ryan is now the curator of the Guys Drinking Beer cellar. The skills he once used to dig through the annals of state government as a political reporter are now put to use offering unique takes on barrel-aged stouts, years-old barleywines and 10 + year verticals.