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Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ivan The Terrible Imperial StoutIvan The Terrible Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

619 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 619
Reviews: 259
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.51%
Wants: 765
Gots: 198 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company visit their website
Montana, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
2006 - 8.75% (draft only)
2007 - 8.75% (500ml flip top bottles ~ very limited)
2008 - 9.5% (750ml - capped - 1152 bottles)
2009 - 10% (750ml cork and cage)
2010 - 10% (750ml - cork and cage)
2011 - not brewed
2012 - 12.2% (750ml cork and cage)
2013 - 13.8%

65 IBU

(Beer added by: Bitterbill on 11-10-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 619 | Reviews: 259 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by FtownThrowDown:
Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle very generously shared by Unclejedi. Always a pleasure!

Pours a very dark brown in color. This is as near to black as you can get. No light gets through, especially around the edges.
Smell is nice dark cocoa, some light coffee. The bourbon is very well integrated into the beer. Very balanced and complimentary, not too dominant.
This beer is pretty damn viscous as well. And that's the way I prefer them, so that's good. A touch of prickly carbonation to liven up the mouthfeel as well.
Pretty nice beer.

FtownThrowDown, Jan 24, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 edition,bottle #945 of 3800
10%ABvV.

Poured into an imperial nonic near jet black,you had to hold it up to bright light to get a little ruddy hue at the bottom of the glass to get thru the pitch blackness.Toasted bourbon barrel hits upfront in the nose than some vanilla and alcohol dipped dark fruit,the roast is a bit subdued but its rich in the nose.Toasty with big bourbon notes on the palate but it doesnt overpower,lingering dark fruit and dark roast coffee does show thru.A little sharp in the mouthfeel,this beer would be off the charts with a fuller feel.A really good if not great imperial stout,so close...so close.

oberon, May 16, 2011
Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

DanGeo, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of abeerdude
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

abeerdude, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of Schlais
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Schlais, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of SanFranJake
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

SanFranJake, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of supa0525
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

supa0525, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of warnerry
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours black with one finger of light brown head. Head has nice retention and leaves sheets of lacing.

S - Chocolate and coffee are prominent initially, along with roasted malts. Vanilla and bourbon are present but pretty subtle.

T - The biggest difference between the aroma and taste is a nice hop bitterness. While it is a big component of the taste, the bitterness is nicely balanced by the coffee and roasted malt. Also some anise in the taste. Vanilla and bourbon are well integrated. Lots of oak on the finish. Almost no heat. Very nice.

M - Medium mouthfeel with a dry oak finish. Definitely on the lighter side for the style but I think it works well here.

O - Very enjoyable. This doesn't hit you over the head with anything, but is a well integrated bourbon barrel aged stout. Glad I got to try this.

warnerry, Jun 13, 2012
Photo of Svejk
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have had this beer several times over the last few years, and each time it has amazed me. My most recent experience was a 2009 bottle at a tasting.

A: Just what you'd expect - super dark with a tannish head.

S: The right roasty stout smell accented by vanilla and bourbon from the barrel, along with toffee and caramel. Among the most delicious beers I've ever smelled.

T: The taste is right in line with the smell, the right balance of all of the vanilla, roast, caramel, toffee and bourbon. Simply amazing.

M: Silky smooth, and surprisingly drinkable for such a big beer. Sometimes these big barrel aged stouts go overboard with a beer that seems like it needs to be chewed, but I think Big Sky hit just the right balance with this one. Most likely the carbonation level is the reason this beer seems just perfect.

O: This is really a top-tier example of the style.

Svejk, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of Callmecoon
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Callmecoon, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mar for sharing this bottle.

Bottle 1,173 of 3,000. The beer pours black with a brown head. The aroma is great and very complex. I get notes of dark fruit, alcohol, vanilla, chocolate and some light whiskey notes. The flavor is brown sugar, caramel, toffee, vanilla, chocolate and coffee. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. This is an excellent beer.

Mora2000, Apr 20, 2010
Photo of fo1ksguitar
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

fo1ksguitar, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of Prospero
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Prospero, Apr 12, 2013
Photo of jaminjohnson
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

jaminjohnson, Oct 02, 2012
Photo of ehammond1
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle

Pour It Black
Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

Nearly black with a thin brown head that eventually leaves spiderwebs of sticky lace down the glass. This beer looks thick, intimidating, shiny, and aggressive. Awesome.

Wonderful aroma consisting of roasted malts, rich chocolate, and lovely vanilla/earth bourbon notes. The chocolate and bourbon battle for dominance, and it's an awesome fight to witness.

The bourbon is more subuded in the flavor compared to the aroma, letting the rich roast character and dark chocolate elements shine through. A mild vanilla and earthy bourbon note present, especially as the beer warms. That being said, the beer gets better and better as it reaches warmer and warmer temperatures.

Medium to thick bodied with low to moderate carbonation.

A truly wonderful example, and nearly perfect within style. This was the only beer I sought out multiple times during the Stone Pour It Black event. If I had known better, I would have had less Mikkeller and more Ivan the Terrible, that's for sure!

ehammond1, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2010 bottle, drank at the 2012 poker game between xmas and nye. Shockingly pours out black! Ok, this looks like your standard well built imperial stout aged in a bourbon barrel, it is deep, rich, thick and black, but leaves little in the way of head, lacing or retention. Aroma was dark bittersweet chocolate up front, some mildly boozy bourbon notes lying in wait underneath it.

Taste, here's where it really excels, reminds me of a stronger Central Waters bourbon barrel beer. You get the light bourbon toasted notes, coconut coming through stronger than your average bourbon barrel beer. Plenty of vanilla in their too, tastes like it could be Jim Beam, but far from certain.

Its mouthfeel is full bodied, its never hot, and relatively silky smooth. Slightest aged or old school british hops provide some nice balance to this. The oak is there, just in the right proportion to the other flavor components. Carbonation is low, but perfectly matched to allow everything to delicately envelope your palate. Maybe a dash of brown sugar to help keep any booziness from becoming a detraction.

This is a top notch bourbon barrel beer. Big Sky, with their ipa, trout slayer, slow elk, cowboy coffee and Ivan are all underappreciated beers. Now their kriek, ugh, that's an abomination, but you gotta like those odds!

Beerandraiderfan, Feb 04, 2013
Photo of rudylaw
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2009, corked & caged 750cl, poured into a snifter.

Pours a soul-sucking black with a lucious head. As pretty looking an RIS as there is.

Lots of vanilla in the nose. A little heat but this is very inviting!

Vanilla, chocolate pudding, bourbon, heat, dark fruit... oh man. This is a great example of a barrel aged stout. Not trying to kill you with complexity... just giving you what you want.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy... velvety and silky. Perfect. Good on you Big Sky... you made an affordable, delicious and near perfect BA RIS!

rudylaw, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

stereosforgeeks, Jan 30, 2014
Photo of elliot23
5/5  rDev +16.8%

elliot23, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of daveytheformer
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into a snifter.
brewed in 2010 bottle number 2777 of 3800

Pours a beautiful pitch black with a thin tan head.

Smells like sweet malt, chocolate, vanilla, and I can pick up the oak and bourbon a little at the end.

Taste is of a light silky sweetness with the alcohol dancing around a little in there. The bourbon is there but seems real subdued compared to some other barrel aged stouts.

Mouthfeel is pretty smooth and carbonated with a mild alcohol burn that fades as the beer goes down.

Overall is a really good beer that only gets better as it warms up. Would do well with some aging or trying on older vintage of this for sure. Not the best in the world but still damn good!

daveytheformer, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of dc55110
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

dc55110, Nov 29, 2012
Photo of kevwcamp
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

kevwcamp, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of pwoods
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to unclejedi for sharing.

A: Pitch black and thick. Good head on the pour with some decent retention. Some good lacing.

S: Deep molasses and dark fruits. Some good mellowed roastiness. Nice vanilla sweetness. Nice barrel and light bourbon.

T/M: Very nicebourbon and some dank, woody barrel. Very nice dark fruits and light but nice roastiness. Very good alcohol light. Body is full and very smooth.

D: Lower ABV and reasonably easy drinking.

pwoods, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -6.5%

acurtis, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into nonic pint glass. This beer followed a 2012 Bourbon County Stout which made for a tough act to follow, but it held its own, despite not being quite as good.

The pour produces a cream-colored head that quickly dissipates into a thin lace atop the liquid. Below is an opaque, pitch black liquid that looks like a winter walk in a deep forest. It's almost intimidating.

I was expecting more from the smell, especially after the BCBS, so I had to ding some points here. The bourbon notes aren't nearly as potent, nor is the oak, although I detect both.

I was pleasantly surprised by the taste on this brew, as I found a lot of the good notes that I had enjoyed in the BCBS. The bourbon and oak remained, but the beer's sweet malts showed up, as did vanilla, toffee and coffee. I enjoyed it.

The drinkability was there too, as this was really smooth and creamy. The body was much lighter than BCBS, but like that beer, there was no booze presence.

I would certainly drink this again, although we followed this beer with the Oak-Aged Yeti which costs about six bucks less and is a bit better, so for the price, this beer may not make the cut despite being damn good.

ONovoMexicano, Jan 06, 2014
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Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout from Big Sky Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 619 ratings.