1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Ivan The Great - Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC

Not Rated.
Ivan The GreatIvan The Great

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

102 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 102
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.56%
Wants: 3
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Ungertaker on 01-31-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 102 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Zachtheporter:
Photo of Zachtheporter
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Zachtheporter, Aug 11, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of DaftPatrick
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

DaftPatrick, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of bsp77
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Jet black with a head that struggles to form, even with an aggressive pour. Slight lacing.

Smell: Mostly just an oddly sweet fruity aroma. Some caramel and hops. Where are the roasted malts?

Taste: Interesting juxtaposition of unusual roasted notes (smoke, tobacco, leather, char and burnt caramel) and that fruitiness from the aroma. Fairly bitter and abrasive as soon as it hits the taste buds, but becomes more nuanced after that. Pretty hoppy, but not much hop taste truly stands out. Surprisingly little coffee or chocolate notes.

Feel: Full bodied with low carbonation. Smooth, but not as creamy or decadent as some Imperial Stouts. Very dry finish.

Overall: This is an interesting take on an Imperial Stout. Not one of my favorites, but would gladly have it again.

bsp77, Feb 03, 2013
Photo of MattyG85
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice.

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a moderate amount of bubbles. About two fingers of deep tan head that slowly fade into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A sweet and roasty stout aroma with lots of molasses and earthy hops. Dark roasted malts with hints of chocolate, burnt toast, coffee, caramel, toffee, cream, nut, yeast, and smoke. Lots of molasses and some pretty big hints of anise licorice spicing. A little tobacco and leather. Bigger hints of hops than usual for a stout. Good hints of earthy hops and grass. Decent aroma.

Taste: Follows the nose, although the roasty chocolate flavors are kind of tame for the style. Dark malts with some notes of burnt toast, chocolate, coffee, cream, caramel, toffee, and yeast. Burnt, smoked malt and some notes of leather and tobacco. Sweet molasses and anise spice giving notes of licorice. Very earthy with some good notes of grass. A decent taste overall.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, slick, and pretty smooth. Kind of thin for an imperial stout.

Overall: A decent stout overall with a nice hop presence, but could of been more roasty.

MattyG85, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of frankiepop
4.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have found good ol' Brau Brothers to be lacking oh a little sweetness generally for my taste, but I am impressed with this stout. Looks good, smells good, and tastes really good in my book. A strong classic RIS flavor of deep strong bitter sweetness that seemed like an amalgamation of heavy strong dark fruits, coffee chocolate flavors resulting in something resembling old fashioned candies and a luscious black licorice. Pretty smooth beer that was not the thickest in history, but no problem here. Strong 4 star plus stout for me. I would like to try this beer again and compare it head to head with Rasputin or Samuel Smith RIS. See how good it is. I think it will compare well.

Drink this stout with a rousing rendition of Larry Coryell's solo guitar "A Rite of Spring."

frankiepop, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of Beerontwowheels
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Beerontwowheels, Apr 16, 2013
Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

UWBadgerFan4Life, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of Chase_Myhran
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Brau Brothers sends us Ivan the Great.... Should I be scared?
Ivan pours our into a thick black and ominous looking brew with a rather thin caramel colored head that stands rather resiliently. The aroma is that of a smooth and slightly boozy caramel. When Ivan first meets your palet there are no surprises for a Russian Imperial Stout. As Ivan moves to the middle a surprise will meet you. He has a thick and highly rich caramel-ly flavor. It finishes in much the same fashion. The mouthfeel is pleasantly creamy.
Not a big believer in Russian Imperial Stouts, but I have to say this is pretty tasty.
Drink on, amigos!

Chase_Myhran, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of stpjames
3/5  rDev -20.2%

stpjames, Jul 24, 2013
Photo of morimech
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Solid black in appearance with a massive tan head that had excellant retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass.

Straight forward imperial stout aroma of roasted malt, coffee, cocoa, and leather. The beer boasts a lot of IBUs but not much for hop aroma. I do get some herbal qualities.

Big roasted malt flavors and hop bitterness. Slightly smokey and leathery. Also get some coffee, tobacco, and bitter chocolate. The hops give this a herbal/earthy quality. Firmly on the bitter, not sweet side of the spectrum.

The body is the weakest part of the beer. Just does not feel full enough for an almost 10% ABV stout. It does have great carbonation however with a smooth texture.

Impressive straight forward stout. Might be worthwhile to keep one around to age and see what happens. I hope they brew this annually.

morimech, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of Bung
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz. A nearly becalmed black pour. Some brown throughout, pretty thick looking, but just a few bubbles of head around the edge. Could have just been my pour I suppose.

Aroma, roast malt, molasses, faint anise. Some chocolates.

Taste, This matches the aroma nearly identically. Straight forward, but pretty nice. More roast, anise and some coffee. Dark chocolate. Light hop bitterness as well.

Heavy side of medium body, a little more carbonation than would appear, but not much. Coats well, drinks well. Abv well hidden.
Solid standard RIS.

Bung, Aug 08, 2013
Photo of emerge077
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Single bottle from Coffee Grounds. Poured in a narrow fluted tumbler glass.

Inky jet black, thin layer of rapidly fading larger bubbles, foundation of tan foam. Some lace left behind, but not much of a head on it. Considering it's approaching 10% abv, that's not out of the ordinary, but it looks a little flaccid. A second and third agitated pour results in nothing on the surface.

Mellow aroma, some sweetness and roasted grains, kind of ho-hum, lacking complexity.

Slightly sweet up front, some graphite, soy, and ashy roast, as it warms this come more to the forefront. Lasting lingering bitterness, slight astringency in the middle. More like a roast malt bitterness than anything hop related, although the label states 90 IBU. Roasted grains, vague honey in the aftertaste. Carob, roast malt, ash. Medium to full bodied. Overall it's alright, but could use a bit more complexity and depth.

emerge077, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of griffeyb
3/5  rDev -20.2%

griffeyb, May 08, 2013
Photo of yamar68
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a near coffee black with an edge of ruby clarity. A minimal amount of khaki carbonation retains for a moment before receding to a stubborn, consistent outer ring.

Burnt coffee grounds, fudge, a bit of that overripe red fruit, some vanilla or caramel, brown sugar and molasses, alcohol character is pretty damn tame. Smooth milk chocolate with a hint of black licorice.

Not quite as balanced on the palate... some bitter chocolate/coffee/candy that gives way to some raisin, cherry flesh, abstract bitterness, dry coffee grounds... nothing to write home about but I think it fits the bill.

I'm not totally sold on this one but it certainly has some potential. Maybe some time in the cellar would show me something special.

yamar68, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of bigbeers84
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

bigbeers84, Feb 23, 2013
Photo of OregonGrown7
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

OregonGrown7, Dec 10, 2013
Photo of MN_Beerticker
4/5  rDev +6.4%

MN_Beerticker, May 29, 2013
Photo of stortore
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

stortore, Jul 30, 2014
Photo of MartyCox
1.6/5  rDev -57.4%

MartyCox, Sunday at 09:11 PM
Photo of StoutHunter
3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Brau Brothers Ivan The Great a couple weeks ago for $2.89 at The Lager Mill. I thought Moo Joos was a pretty good example of the style so I thought I would give their Imperial Stout a try, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an snifter.

A- The label looks ok, but it's a little plain and it isn't that eye catching. It poured a dark black color that didn't really let any light through with half a fingers worth of dark tan head that faded away to nothing and it left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This beer looked nice, but I thought the head and lacing were a little weak.

S- The aroma starts off with a high amount of sweetness followed by lots of dark roasted malts that impart a decent chocolate and coffee like aromas with some sweet malts in the background. Up next comes some dark fruit aromas followed by a noticeable alcohol aroma. this beer had a nice aroma that was fairly true to style.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness followed by a good amount of dark roasted malts that impart some chocolate, charred malts, and light coffee like flavors followed by a slight nutty flavor. Up next comes a light dark fruit flavor with a noticeable alcohol flavor that isn't too warming. On the finish comes some herbal hops with a slightly higher amount of medium bitterness with a roasted malt and nutty aftertaste. This was a pretty nice tasting beer that seemed to be a little complex.

M- Fairly smooth, a little creamy, on the thicker side of being medium bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty nice and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and a solid example of the style, it had some nice complexity to it and it was fairly true to style. This beer had decent drinkability, it was fairly smooth and the taste did a nice job of holding my attention, but I think one would be enough for me, I don't see myself having the urge to drink two of these in a row. What I liked the most about this beer was the complexity I thought it was pretty complex for the style. What I liked the least about this beer was the appearance, I know Imperial stouts usually don't have the best head but this one was a little lacking with the head retention. I might buy this beer again and I think I would like to get another bottle to put in the cellar to see how it changes over time. I would recommend this to most RIS fans. All in all I was happy with this beer it isn't the best RIS i have had, but it certainly isn't the worst. This is is my second beer from Brau Brothers and I think they are pretty solid, they seem to do a good job with darker beers, good job buys this was a pretty solid Imperial Stout and it's nice to have it as an option now.

StoutHunter, Oct 08, 2013
Photo of Zaphog
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Zaphog, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of calcnerd
4/5  rDev +6.4%

calcnerd, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of vidguy17
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

vidguy17, Nov 13, 2013
Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy
4/5  rDev +6.4%

GeorgiaBeerGuy, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of RusImpStoLuv
4.75/5  rDev +26.3%

RusImpStoLuv, Mar 12, 2014
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ivan The Great from Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC
85 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.