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Great Lakes Brewing 25th Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout

Formerly brewed at Great Lakes Brewing (Ontario)
Style: Imperial Stout
Etobicoke, Canada
Serve in Snifter


on tap

Local Distribution

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RATINGS: 42   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.89/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
In the 1950’s, the Bulut family of Great Lakes Brewery came to Canada from Europe across the Atlantic. For our 25th Anniversay, we’ve decided to cross back over in search of traditional beer styles and, of course, we are adding our own professive touch that we’ve become known for. We look forward to bringing you worldly beer styles throughout this hear and hope you’ll join us on the journey as we celebrate our 25th anniversay

Russian Imperial stouts were originall brewed in England for the Russian Imperial Court for Czarina Catherine the Great in the 18th century. For the final release in our 25th Anniversay series we’ve been inspired by the south to add a contemporary touch to our stout. We’ve amassed a number of freshly emptied Kentucky Bourban barrels in which we’ve aged the beer for 3 months. This has enhanced the flavour profile of roasted malts, rich dark chocolate and coffee with a finish of sweet Bourban. This release is best suited to aging and can be cellared for up to 3 years.

hangunder's rating

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
hangunder (305) - Ontario, - FEB 23, 2013
Beautiful smelling, the bourbon barrel comes through very strong on the nose. A bit of chocolatey malt to back up the bourbon. Completely black, with a quickly dissipating thin dark head. On sipping this beer, get bourbon upfront, chocolatey malts in the middle and more of the bourbon/vanilla with some alcohol heat in the finish. Finish is quite long. Carbonation not too extreme and mouthfeel a bit thin-- my biggest complaint about this one. Otherwise very good and assertive BA imp stout.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
AleRider78 (330) - - OCT 10, 2015
Thanks to Metalchopz for the share! Pours a good size frothy brownish head and has a dark murky brown appearance. Weak lacing. Aromas are mostly chocolate, coffee, hints of vanilla and a little bit of the bourbon. Flavours are mostly of the malt variety, very much chocolatey, caramel, coffee, vanilla. The alcohol is actually pretty noticeable in this one, has a nice warming sensation going down. Bourbon is a bit more apparent in taste than scent. Very strong brew at 11% and it shows. Quite enjoyable.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Metalchopz (2730) - Cantley, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 4, 2015
Cellared this one for a while. Pours a real dark colour, almost black with a mocha head, good retention and some decent creamy lacing. Lots of dark fruits in the aromas with some nutty notes. Even some molasses. The taste is more on the roasted malts with a sharp edge of alcohol, which is well-balanced in the brew. Hints of coffee and molasses. A little bourbon in the aftertaste, and a little more in the nose, but overall not as apparent as some would like. I’m cool with it. Pretty nice overall.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Minderbinder (2808) - Québec, Quebec, CANADA - APR 7, 2015
Bottle 750ml. Pours black with low beige head. Some lacing. Aroma is of bourbon, chocolate, coffee, roasted malt. Taste is of bourbon, roasted malt, coffee, fruits. Palate: Full bodied. Soft carbonation. Overall: Quite nice. Heavy weight. Good roasted malt features.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
tom10101 (4245) - Quebec, CANADA - APR 5, 2015
Bottle (750 ml). From enoland, thanks! Split 3-ways.

Appearance: Black with a medium tan head and some lacing.

Aroma: Bourbon, vanilla coconut, roasted malt, chocolate and light fruitiness. Everything you expect from a bourbon barrel-aged RIS, but nothing is really shining.

Taste: Moderately sweet and a bit acidic. Bourbon, roasted malt, oak and light fruitiness. A tad boozy too. Again, nothing bad (the acidity is a bit too much for the style though), but nothing is really impressive. Not super rich or anything like that.

Palate: Medium body. Medium carbonation. Oaky mouthfeel. Light fruity and chocolate-y finish.

Overall: The vanilla version we had earlier the same day was much better. This one is was ok. Decent balance.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
JulienHuxley (4649) - Trois-Rivières, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 28, 2015
Bottle. Black pour with thin ring of off white head. Aroma is rich vanilla, bourbon, chocolate caramel. Taste is a bit bland, caramel, light chocolate, boozy. Palate is med-full bodied with med carbonation. Good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Frothmeister (661) - Ontario, CANADA - MAR 1, 2015
750ml. In the cellar for over two years, time to dust it off as winter seems to want to move on to another hemisphere. Glugs a pitch black with a dark cocoa coloured head, and some serious lacing. Aromas of molasses, leather, butterscotch, oaky notes, sponge toffee, with some very apparent booziness. Full bodied, and sweet with molasses, espresso, dark rum notes, some alcohol burn on the tongue, and light buttery oak notes that turn into some seriously heavy dark coffee, lots of roasty malt, a whole bunch of bourbon and big bitter coffee notes in the finish with just a bit of a smoke, and light citrus. Wow. I’m not sure I’ve had an Ontario imperial quite like this. Well done Great Lakes, you nailed it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
neongolden (882) - Linköping, Sweden/Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 18, 2014
(On tap at A Night with GLB and Amsterdam Brewery @ Bar Hop, Sept 19 2014, cellared since late 2012) Pours black with a moderate dark tan head and lace. Aroma sweet milk chocolate, toffee, light char, some bourbon and just a bit of dark roast coffee. Palate is sweet dark malts, toffee, bittersweet chocolate, toasted oak, drying towards the finish with some alcohol heat, bourbon, cacao beans and lingering light roast. Medium full, silky, soft carb, really smooth. Not the most heavily concentrated and sweet of the style, beautifully balanced, deft use of barrel, incredibly drinkable - lovely stuff. Alongside Full City Double Tempest from similar barrels, much sweeter on the nose but much drier on the palate. Cracked a bottle a week later and found it drank similarly well with a bit more carbonation, but needed air for flavours to pop. Wish I had another bottle!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jkwood04 (4963) - Connecticut, USA - OCT 9, 2014
750ml bottle (red wax) thanks to Glouglouburp in a tulip. Pours black with a lacy, tan head. Aroma of roasted malts, some bourbon and oak and vanilla, some coffee and chocolate notes, some sweetness but not overpowering, a little bitterness, and some dough. Flavor the same with a great blend of everything, especially as it warms up. Smooth, thick texture. A solid imperial stout.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Sammy (10019) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 24, 2014
Another solid offering from the series. A little ageing helped, the hop flavour was substantive still but not overwhelming. Thick black. Less coconut after room temperature, and more complex flavour.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
markas101 (2088) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - MAR 5, 2014
Big bottle, wax top. Deep black-brwon, dark brown head. Rum-oak-prune aroma. Very smooth, sweet with dark chocolate bitterness. Long rum finish with cocoa and cloves. Very good.

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