Terrapin Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout - Terrapin Beer Company

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Terrapin Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial StoutTerrapin Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout

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246 Ratings
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Ratings: 246
Reviews: 148
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 39
Gots: 61 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.25% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jsanford on 11-05-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Side Project #13
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 246 | Reviews: 148
Reviews by bigfnjoe:
Photo of bigfnjoe
2.71/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A- pours black with a one finger brown head that fades pretty quickly. Standard, with a lacking head. Disappointing

S- chocolate, and a ton of booze. Lots of dark fruits. Licorice. Pretty much all the things I don't like in an imperial stout

T- extremely bitter chocolate. Slight roast. Alcohol burns at the end. Ugh

M- paper thin body. No bueno

O- not a fan of this at all. I aged this for maybe a year, and it's still dripping with booziness. The body destroys a lot of the "mystique" for me as well, as there is absolutely no thickness to this whatsoever. Stick with Wake & Bake and MooHoo, stay far away from this

More User Reviews:
Photo of ExtraStout
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-pours black. What a surprise. Has a rocky foamy tan head and leaves thick sheets of tattered foamy lace. As it goes down the lace almost completely coats the glass.

S-Black bitter chocolate dominates with a very small amount of sweetness. Roastedness comes through a bit but it does seem to be sort of one dimensional. Although it is fairly powerful.

T-Quite bitter. Mainly bitter chocolate and bitter coffee. Not as much roasted as the nose. Finish sweetens up a little bit but still fairly un-complex

M-Carbonation is flawless but the mouthfeel is too far on the thin side for this style.(I have had normal stouts that can give this guy a run)

D-Overall, this one is a pass for me from now on. One of the more lacking side projects for sure. Not a bad beer by any means. But there is also a lot of good competition out there.

Photo of TKEbeerman
3.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into my pint glass, this brew pours almost pitch black with a 1inch head that fades to a small ring, but leaves some of the best lacing I've seen in an RIS.

S: The aroma is very single ended black strap molasses and roasted malt. Medium level of hopiness in this brew, which leads towards notes of dark fruit.

T: The flavor is a little on the sweet side, with roasted and slight fruit notes. Alcohol is medium light. Molasses and chocolate take over as the beer warms.

MF: The mouth feel of this brew is extremely disappointing. The lack of viscosity and backbone prevent the flavors of this brew from holding up.

D: Drinkability is pretty good at 10%

Overall, Terrapin's Side Project's this year have been hit or miss. This brew is almost a hit. With a little more body, this would have been the perfect brew to follow up Hopzilla, which, IMO, is the best IPA on the east coast.

Photo of mondegreen
3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz into a Duck Rabbit mini snifter. There is a stern lookin lg comrade on the label in front of a giant, regal hop. Perhaps this should tell me something about this beer?

Pours pitch black with minimal tan head. Very little lacing. Slight dark brown highlights at the edges.

Nose is pretty hot. I'm getting strong roasted notes, light molasses sweetness, and a big dose of hops - all with a shot of alcohol on the nose.

Flavor is toasty and bitter, with a touch of residual sweetness in the finish. Alcohol heat is apparent. Tastes like it might be a tad over attenuated. The big dose of hops helps balance things out, making this pretty tasty.

Mouth is pretty thin for an impy stout. Would like it to be a bit thicker.

Drinkability suffers a bit from the heat, but this is still an enjoyable brew. Get one for now and one for later - this one should be interesting down the road.

Photo of WVbeergeek
1.66/5  rDev -55.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I love the label with the hammer and sickle in the Big Daddy Vlady's hand in comparison to the actual label. I also like the word's of wisdom, "feel free to serve in shot glasses". Pours completely pitch black this beer consumes all visible light spectrums emitted, large tan head viable forming a robust carbonation and honorable smell. Aroma has hints of dark fruit/herbal/grassy/citric hops which would be a bit different than your average beer from this style. Flavor wise is hotter than the devil's asshole, alcohol shouldn't flood my senses I feel I could breathe a bit of fire after each sip, it may be funny to the folks down in Athens, GA to deliver a beer in 22 ounce format that you feel should be drank by the shot. This is the worst version/beer/idea for a Russian Imperial stout I've ever had. Sorry guys get too extreme and lose your base audience go to extreme and seek the folks willing to drink a thimbleful of beer per each pour. I'm not willing to say, well I drank the whole bottle I should have only had a thimbleful. This beer feels like your shooting concentrated alcohol, why the fuck is it out there. No quality control? Terrapin makes it's flaws their perfections? or they know they can "Get away with this style of brewing"? You be the judge. Fuckin' horrible shit please beer gods let the creator have their sentence for this disgrace of a beer.

Photo of glid02
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours black with a half-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of robust roasted malts and sweet black malts. Also present are moderate amounts of unsweetened chocolate and lighter amounts of dark molasses.

Tastes good. Equal amounts of sweet dark malts and roasted flavors kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are solid amounts of semi-sweet chocolate and mild pine hop flavors. Midway throuugh the sip the hops fade and the flavor profile sweetens with the addition of molasses that carries through to a mildly bitter ending. The alcohol is hidden fairly well.

Mouthfeel is OK. It's a bit on the thin side for a beer this big but with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I disagree with some of the other reviews here as I thought it was a solid RIS with a good deal of complexity. The problems I had were the overbearing sweetness and the way all the different flavors interacted. Far from the top tier of the style but still worth a shot.

Photo of BennyL1
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a globe glass. Doing a little cellar cleaning - this one looks good!

Big Daddy Vlady's pours a dark-as-night jet black color with a slim mocha colored head that doesn't stick around for very long. Solid looking RIS.

Lots of roasted malt upfront as one would expect. Hints of dark chocolate and coffee. Dark fruits like raisins as well. Nothing overly dominating, decent aromas.

Tastes of bakers chocolate and burnt espresso up front. Plenty of roasted malt at the back end with no real bitterness. What you would expect from the style but nothing that sets it apart from other options. Body is full with carbonation on the lower end. Some definite alcohol warmth at the end.

Overall a good RIS. There are better options out there, but not a bad brew to try out.

Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks good but doesn't deliver RIS. Chooclate, smoke in aromas. A chocolate and coffee story, great lace. Medium mouthfeel. Nothing to write home about for the style. Radek's bottle.Not greatly drinkable, brewery did not execute on this one, I did not care for the taste.

Photo of Mavajo
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with a brown head. Aroma is loaded with roasty notes and, unless I'm mistaken, a healthy dose of hops. Taste brings much of the same as the nose: strong notes of roastiness with a healthy backbone of hops, and a sort of licorice/molasses character. There's not a ton of variation here. Primarily bitter notes. Either way, this is, first and foremost, a roasty, robust stout with a decent hop backbone.

Mouthfeel is good. Appropriate thickness and carbonation. Nothing special though.

All in all, this is a very good imperial stout. Alcohol is extremely well hidden - nigh undetectable, even. I'd compare it to Yeti probably. To me, it feels like this is a great base beer that's just begging for an infusion of some other flavor or perhaps bourbon barrel aging.

As it is, this is a great example of a straight-forward RIS, with a subtle dose of complexity. I just wish it had that extra something to take it to the next level. But that tends to be the thing with Terrapin - teease you with almost-greatness, but never quite crossing that threshold. They always seem to come just shy of greatness.

Definitely worth trying, but not sure it's special.

Photo of Kegatron
2.64/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz foil topped bomber into an oversized tulip glass.

Pours a pitch black in the glass, with 2 fingers of stiff dark mocha colored foamy head. This shrinks down quickly but holds fast with about ¾ of a finger, hanging tough with a nice monstrous richness to the retention that leaves back heavy spotty lacing which readily sticks to the sides of the glass. I think that the look was definitely the best part of this beer. The aroma is very forward with fresh and bright citric hops that then give way to a HEAVY does of sweetness in the nose, consisting of notes of chocolate, molasses, brown sugars, and a touch of darker fruit. There is some dark malt character present (I'm really getting a good bit of coffee) but the beefy sweetness just seems to crowd out the other flavors at times. Some stiff alcohol piles warmth and even more sweetness on top.

The taste is once again chewy and sweet up front, with a combo of chocolate cake, gooey caramel, and some ripe dark fruit, which then immediately run into a WALL of green citric hop character. This is just a complete clash of flavors here. Coffee and burnt roast flesh out the back of the profile but even then, the hops run over things a bit. Espresso lingers in the back, along with some dry bitterness and some leftover sweet twang. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a mostly thick creaminess that expands out into the mouth and some oily slickness that seems to mostly come from all of the hops that are present. There is a beefy warmth here that really accentuates the strong bitterness but I wouldn't call the overall alcohol presence boozy.

You know a big hoppy Imperial Stout can be great when done right but unfortunately this attempt at the style from Terrapin just never got things on track, leaving this in the end to be a mildly drinkable and way too intense blend of hops, roast, and alcohol flavors. The hop profile here just seemed very raw and unrefined and both covered and clashed with the more sweet malt and fruit flavors that could have been this beers saving grace. This just wasn't a very well made Imperial Stout. A disappointment from Terrapin.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.19/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown, borderline black in color with a 1/2" of cinnamon head.

The smell has the normal chocolate and roast scents, but it also has a strong off-putting odor of burnt plastic like when you burn a lego guy.

The taste is a little better. The roasted malt and chocolate come through but are subdued by the extremely high astringency of the alcohol. It's one of the hottest stouts I've had, for sure.

Mouthfeel is boozy, but otherwise thick as it should be.

Overall, this beer is kind of all over the place. It has some decent taste at times, but has some detracting qualities about it that solidifies the fact I'll never try it again, nor would I suggest it.

Photo of thagr81us
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a sampler shaker. Poured pitch black with a one finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, caramel, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, cream, roasted malt, dark chocolate, caramel, and subtle alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this wasn't a bad brew at all. A lot of people have been ripping it a new one though it seems. To each their own I suppose... But me personally, I found this one to be pretty tasty and well balanced in the flavors. The aroma was lacking a little bit in intensity, but you can't win them all. I would personally suggest this to any of my friends who like RISs and would do the same for you as well if you have not had it so you can judge for yourself.

Photo of BigBlacke
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BDV pours a jet black with a reddish tan head that quickly dissipates to a small ring. Smells of malts, dark fruit, and alcohol. Taste and mouthfeel is where this beer lacks IMO. Not much roastyness, more sweet and boozey. Thin mouthfeel for a RIS, no velvety feeling as with the Zuchov's. Drinkability for me is low because honestly I dont think its that great of a RIS.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle at 45 degrees into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: It pours pitch black with a finger of dark khaki head that does not last very long.

S: Roasty espresso, dark chocolate, anise, dates, nuttiness, and some faint buttery diacetyl.

T: Sweet dark fruits, chocolate, espresso, a strong hop profile, some tangyness, and lightly buttery finish.

M: This is a touch lighter than most imperial stouts. It is palate-sticking and mildly creamy with a sticky finish.

D: This beer evolves from a coffee-heavy mess to a delicious and complex brew by warming 5 to 10 degrees; excellent.

Photo of Bung
3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. A dark brown/black pour, not much head, some whitish bubbles. Hmmm.

Aroma is pretty roasty, coffee and burnt malt. Some anise and bakers chocolate.

Taste is very acrid. Old coffee, more anise and some booze. More alcohol warmth later. A very bitter chocolate. Just not much going on here. Finishes with said bitterness, just not in a real pleasant way, ashy.

Thin and warm, not the best combo. Was able to finish this one by mixing it with some New Holland Poet oatmeal stout.

Not sure what happened here, not the best from Terrapin. Maybe better on draft?

Photo of CooperEllis
3.37/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz into 6oz tasting glass.

Straight black pour, with minimal lacing. Within minutes the head s gone and there is almost no lacing/bubbles.

Smells of malt/roasted malt. There are strong coffee note at the top.

Full flavor, in as much as you expect a full roast and a full malt flavor this is more notable for the dark fruit flavor and the slight notes of honeydew rind at the end.

Heavy on carbonation, light on body but full with extra carb.

This was an enjoyable glass of brew. I typically state basic like/dislike but in this case I think folks might like it more than I do because of a particular set of characteristics I look for with an IRS.


Photo of jsh420
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours dark dark brown almost black with a 1+ finger tan head that left some spotted lacing

smells of chocolate and not much else

taste - lots of roasted malts and chocolate but there are some off flavors that make this stout good not great

mouthfeel is full bodied with low carbonation - very smooth

drinkability is so so - the whole bomber is just too much for one person

Photo of n2185
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: So the first pour I did somewhat roughly and only got a half-finger of dark tan head, which receded into nothing with no lacing. On the second pour, though, I agitated the beer a bit more and managed to get 3 fingers of head with a solid sheet of lacing that receded into a thin cap--much nicer.

S: Roasted malts at first followed by lots of sweet, creamy chocolate and coffee. There are some dark fruit aromas in there as well along with notes of molasses and cocoa powder.

T: Similar to the aroma, lots of roasted malt flavors with sweet, creamy chocolate and coffee. There are some definite dark fruit and molasses notes in there as well. Slight bitterness and alcohol burn on the finish.

M: Thick body with low carbonation, this smooth and creamy without too much bitterness from hops or roasted malts or too much of an alcohol presence.

O: Overall, a pretty good RIS. On the sweeter side of the spectrum, but nowhere near too sweet like some other big stouts.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.29/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
10.25% ABV,

Thanks to Chaney for this want!

A - Inky black in color, this dark stout pours with a fleeting tan head that leaves random groupings of bubbles on the surface and dots of lace on the snifter.

S - Cold like the air of mother Russia, this Russian imperial stout screams dark chocolate, feet away from the pour. Mocha, dry cocoa, and black coffee add a bit of harshness to the smooth chocolatey nose. Notes of smoke waft out from behind the mild alcohol which increases with a vigorous swirl.

T - Heavy chocolate roast really drops the hammer with a powerful blow of dark chocolate bar dusted with hot chocolate mix and dirty cocoa. Aggressive and rich, cold French-pressed coffee and alcohol-soaked raisin come in to play as it warms.

M - Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout has a smooth, rich entry that becomes more balanced with grittiness and a dry, bitter roasted malt finish. This full-bodied beer is warming with a touch of alcohol on the finish that is suitable for sustaining a Siberian native.

O - Terrapin nails the style with brutal finesse as this beer captures layers of dark malt complexity while including heavy roast for a smooth-yet-gritty finish that balances almost flawlessly. I'm not sure of the age on it, but it's damn fine right now.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.66/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Bennettrox for this!

I tried this shortly after it's initial release, and it was a hot mess at that point. Let's see how age has developed this.

A - Pours thick and black as night. Small finger of mocha colored head adorns, dissipating to a film.

S - Roasted aroma, a bit of alcohol, coffee and some cocoa.

T - Dry cocoa nibs, chocolate, slight coffee notes, big roast character, and a bit of warming alcohol.

M - Full bodied, and thick. Right consistency, and slightly coating.

O - Age has definitely mellowed this out. The alcohol is there, but it doesn't steal the show. The flavor profile is also bolder, with a much better balance. Overall, quite the enjoyable stout. It's not on WnB level though...but it's solid.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

jet black, motor oil like with a small tan head that had a quick fade, and had a nice lace down sides for the duration of the glass.

The smell was light but very sweet. Caramel and sugar being the predominant flavors. A very light hint at chocolate and a modest amount of alcohol were present as well, though this did diminish as it warmed.The first obviuos shock for me was a bitter hoppy finish that seemed to come out of no where on this black liquid. Lots of caramel flavors mixed in with black licorice made this one yummy drink indeed. The feel feel was thick, creamy almost chewey in consistency.

Overall this was very very excellent, and definatly a winner in my book. The alcohol is soo well hidden that this is actually dangerous and could rightfully catch up to you at any moment.

Photo of ThickNStout
4.7/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first review on BA (but far from my first brew...) so bear with me. I apparently don't have the refined taste & smell of all you experts out there but hopefully the act of writing these reviews will help.

22oz bottle purchased from Bruisin Ales in Asheville last weekend for 9.99.

A-Deep dark brown/black w/ quickly fading bubbly mocha head. No lacing to speak of but a nice thin clear film on the glass as I sip.

S- Big sweet dark fruit nose.

T- Nice sweet robust dark fruits. Malty. A little bitter coffee and a tad of sweet chocolate. Quite complex. It gets even better as it warms but I just can't stop drinking it!

M-Oily medium thick. Faint carbonation. I really don't notice the over 10% abv. It apparently was meant to age a bit.

O- not the best RIS I've ever had but I'm really diggin this 1-yr aged. Very smooth, very flavorful. I sure hope I can find more on my next trip to Asheville or that they re-release!

Photo of redneckchugger
1.46/5  rDev -60.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Served in a tulip glass, black body think tan head.
Next to no aroma, some hints of dark chocolate, but not a lot of that.
Taste is boozy very very boozy. Its like cheap dark hot cocoa with everclear. in it.
Mouthfeel is way to thin. I like my big stouts to be thick and this disappoints in a big way.
Not drinkable at all, this is far and away the worst stout i have had in my life. Terrapin is one of my go to breweries but they dropped the ball on this one.

Photo of ShanePB
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce gold foil covered bottle. I've had this one sitting in the cellar since the beginning of this year, and after hearing of the alcohol heat, I'm hoping some has settled out. Split with Matt and poured into two tulip glasses.

A: Deep dark brown body on the pour, essentially black sitting in the glass with a creamy, bubbly tan head. The dissipation was somewhat slow, eventually settling into a thin film across the surface with a rather bubbly ring. The lacing is minor and patchy, not too bad for something with a higher ABV.

S: Bakers dark cocoa nibs, milk chocolate, coffee beans, caramel coffee creamer and some touches of vanilla. It has an overall roasted quality that doesn't seem to impart itself into any particular flavor, but nonetheless this is all a bit disorientated in terms of solidity.

T: Slightly roasted mild coffee beans, bittersweet chocolate bar, caramel malts, toasted vanilla beans and a dash of toasted coconut, as well. The finish is dry, more so than I would like but doesn't leave any off lingers or flavors. Bitter coffee grounds still coat the palate long after swallow. It's not the most flavorful or diverse Russian Imperial Stout I've ever had but certainly not the worst.

M: Lower carbonation but it doesn't feel full-bodied and chewy like I'd like a beer of this caliber and style to be. Somewhat smooth and slightly prickly, creamy? Not so much which is too bad. However, it's still a nice feeling beer.

I can't say I really had any expectations for this beer but I think it delivered quite well. While overall this is certainly not as polished as other beers in the style, it's a novel attempt at a critical style. In the plethora of other RIS we see on the market, this one unfortunately falls a bit short.

Photo of jpmclaug
3.39/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into my Stone IRS snifter

A - Black as can be with a nice sized light brown head and a lot of sticky lacing.

S - A light roastiness but not too much more than that going on with this

T - Some roastiness mingles with dark fruit notes. Some hints of alcohol are present as well. Fairly sweet. Not much coffee/chocolate present

M - medium to heavy bodied with a light carbonation

D - It goes down pretty easy. Doesn't really challenge me the way a good RIS should. Not a drain pour but not all that great. I really expected more from Terrapin.

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Terrapin Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout from Terrapin Beer Company
84 out of 100 based on 246 ratings.