About Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

About Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
The category of barrel-aged beer represents a diverse range of ale and lager styles that have been aged in non-neutral wood. These beers commonly range between 7.5-10% in alcohol with further variations depending on the interpretation of the style. These beers are characterized by both wood-influenced flavors (vanillia, caramel, toast, coconut) and secondary flavors of the alcohol previously aged in the wood (bourbon, scotch whisky, sherry). The overall character of the final beer may also included acetic, lactic or Brettanomyces flavors and aromas resultant of the barrel.

A wide variety of base beer styles may be barrel-aged for an additional level of complexity, although barrel-aged versions of darker or more alcoholic styles are among the more common examples. Noteworthy examples of this style include: Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Alltech Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale and Grand Rapids The Mound Maker.

Top Picks for Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

Hoppin’ Frog Brewery Barrel Aged BORIS Royale Imperial Stout
95 points
Ebony color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate coconut macaroon, brown butter, and dried berries with a silky, bright, finely carbonated, off-dry medium-to-full body and a tingling, appealing, long finish that presents impressions of chocolate mousse, roasted nuts, latte, and peppered greens finish. A solid imperial stout with fun chocolate, fruit, and coffee flavors.
Awards: 2017 Best Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
New Holland Brewing Co. Dragons Milk Stout
94 points
Dark brown color. Aromas of vanilla fondant, praline, almond croissant, and bit-o-honey with a velvety, crisp, spritzy, sweet full body and a warming, subtle, medium-long cherry flesh and stone, toasted banana bread, sweet corn cakes with black pepper, and bourbon finish. A mellow, creamy Barrel Aged Imperial Stout that is super drinkable; an excellent winter warmer.
Gaslight Brewery Buffalo Trace Bourbon Barrel Aged Colossus Imperial Stout
94 points
Brown black color. Inviting aromas and flavors of caramelized fruits and nuts, vanilla tapioca with maple, chocolate molasses cake, and sherry-fig vinaigrette with a chewy, soft, petillant, off-dry full body and a warming, layered, long finish with suggestions of creme brulee, orange spice cake, and pink pepper on arugula finish. A wonderfully rich and warming Imperial stout with fine balance and flavor; will be great with desserts.
Full Sail Brewing Co. Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
92 points
Brown black color. Complex, meaty aromas of chocolate soft-serve, spiced nuts, marinated roasted meat, chocolate covered tropical fruits and coconut, and raspberry vinaigrette with a full body and a warming, medium-long spumoni gelato, sarsaparilla, anisette cookie, and pepper finish. A warming nutty imperial stout with nice roasted and fruit flavors.
North Coast Brewing Co. Barrel-Aged XX Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
92 points
Dark brown color. Toasty aromas and flavors of peanut brittle, carob coconut health bar, and creme brulee with a satiny, bright, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, layered, long finish with notes of dark roasted nuts, cappuccino, brandied dried fruits, and sprouts finish. A remarkably smooth and balanced imperial stout with great finesse and complexity.
Boyne Brewhouse Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
89 points
Ebony color. Aromas of chocolate biscuits, molasses, shortbread, and vanilla cola with a satiny, bright, petillant, dryish medium-full body and a tingling, delightful, medium-long leather, toffee-coated peanuts, gingerbread, dark toasted croissant, and salty espresso finish. A dry and nutty Imperial stout best served with robust beef dishes.
Birds Fly South Wolves in the Piano Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
87 points
Medium brown color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate graham crackers, dark berry preserves, caramel buttercream, and clay with a medium body and a medium finish revealing suggestions of coffee with cream, roasted nuts, berries in chocolate mousse, and pepper finish. A thick and chewy imperial stout to warm a cold winter night.
Potosi Brewing Company Slugger Barrel Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
87 points
Nearly opaque brown color. Attractive, creamy, spicy aromas and flavors of caramel brownies a la mode, honeyed fruit cake, and coconut creme brulee with a velvety, bright, finely carbonated, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, involved, very long finish conveying elements of delicate spices, mocha toffee, and pepper finish. A fantastically flavorful and delicious barrel aged stout that hits all the high notes.