Alexander the Blessed Recipe | Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine

Alexander the Blessed Recipe

This Russian imperial stout forms the basis of Neil Fisher’s bourbon-barrel-aged stout.

Neil Fisher February 06, 2016

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As a follow up to “Barrel Aging for Homebrewers,” Neil Fisher has shared the recipes for some of the base beers that he uses for barrel aging. Named for Alexander I, Tsar of Russia (1801-1825), this massive imperial stout was designed for barrel aging. The high alcohol aids in extracting the full flavor from the barrel, while the high IBUs help balance the boozy sweetness contributed by the bourbon barrel and high final gravity of the beer. This beer took Gold in the Specialty Category at the Sweetheart’s Revenge 2014 homebrew competition, went on to place third overall Best of Show, and was selected by High Hops Brewery in Windsor, Colorado, as their Pro Am winner.


Boil size: About 10 gallons (37.8 liters)
End of boil volume: 6.5 gallons (24.6 liters)
Batch size: 6 gallons (22.7 liters)
Efficiency: 65%

OG: 1.105
FG: 1.024
IBUs: 79
ABV: 10.8%


20 lb (9.72 kg) pale malt, Maris Otter
3 lb (1.4 kg) Munich malt
1¼ lb (567 g) chocolate malt
1¼ lb (567 g) chocolate rye malt
1 lb (454 g) oats, flaked
8 oz (227 g) Crystal 150
8 oz (227 g) roasted barley


2 oz (57 g) Columbus (Tomahawk) at 60 minutes


Mash for 75 minutes at 146°F (63°C). Boil for 90 minutes following the hops schedule.


3 packages California Ale (White Labs #WLP001)


Age for 30 days at 65°F (18°C).

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