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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

602 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 602
Reviews: 259
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.51%
Wants: 770
Gots: 196 | FT: 11
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: 602 | Reviews: 259 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jvillefan
jvillefan

California

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

01-20-2013 16:24:08 | More by jvillefan
Photo of bauermj
bauermj

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

01-18-2014 04:30:57 | More by bauermj
Photo of grittybrews
grittybrews

Washington

4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle (2272 of 3000) opened 05/2011. Poured a deep cola black into a tulip with a finger of extremely dark mocha head. Sweet, roasty aroma of cocoa, oaky vanilla, and molasses.

Moderate carbonation and a thick, slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Sweet molasses up front followed by vanilla bourbon notes and slightly bitter dark cocoa and licorice on the finish. Reminded me quite a bit of The Abyss from Deschutes (which is not a bad thing!) with just a little more sweetness. Maybe not as complex as some other imperial stouts, but really enjoyable nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2011 01:44:27 | More by grittybrews
Photo of DovaliHops
DovaliHops

California

4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage Bottle 1767 of 3800. Thanks to my buddy Phil for sharing this. Pours a lovely black color with hints of dark brown when held up to light. Medium sized tannish brown had that disappears quickly. Scent is heavy with dark fruits, bourbon, and chocolate. Smells absolutely amazing. Taste is just like the nose would lead me to believe. I was not disappointed in the slightest bit. Lovely complex blend of dark fruit, chocolate, oak, vanilla, and bourbon flavors. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth...creamy. Drinkability is high on this one. I have one in my cellar, and not sure if I should age it much longer considering how well it's drinking right now.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2011 06:39:11 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of jjanega08
jjanega08

Minnesota

3.08/5  rDev -28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A= thick black color with a small tan head that leaves some sticky lacing behind
S= whew! Alcohol up front hard! There's the obvious burbon smell following with chocolate and coffee... mostly the burbon alcohol
T= deep coffee taste with a lot of chocolate. The alcohol burned my throat before the sip hit my mouth as I inhaled. Very little but some hop bitterness is detected
M= heavy and sticky
D= maybe the style isn't for me but it's a sipper for sure. Good representation of a barrel aged beer though. Unique
Bottle number 929

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2008 04:14:16 | More by jjanega08
Photo of Damian
Damian

Massachusetts

4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 1 pint 9.3 fl. oz. (750ml) corked and caged bottle
2010
Limited edition 1916 of 3800
Served in a snifter

Big thanks to Fclfcs for sharing this bottle.

The beer poured dark brown and slightly thin for the style. An inch-tall crown of tan colored foam topped the liquid and faded to a lasting collar. Odd shaped patches of lacing trickled down the glass.

The nose was solid. Strong roasted malt and powdered cocoa notes were apparent. Noticeable boozy, bourbon-like presence. Semi-sweet with indications of brown sugar and raisins. Overall, not super complex but smooth and well balanced.

Boozy, bourbon notes came through strong in the flavor profile. Initially, the beer seemed a bit hot, but it settled down with time. Roasted malts appeared on the front end. Dark fruit notes came through in the center. Raisins were most noticeable. Moderately sweet. Lots of brown sugar and dark chocolate as well. Good amount of whiskey/bourbon. Hint of vanilla. The finish was boozy, woody and slightly tannic with a noticeable ashy flavor.

For the style, the beer was surprisingly effervescent and felt quite thin on the palate. Almost champagne-like. Once the liquid settled, it turned creamy and smooth.

With its balanced flavor profile and lighter bodied mouthfeel, this 2010 vintage of Ivan the Terrible may not have been one of the more extreme imperial stouts I have ever sampled, but it was tasty, drinkable and quite enjoyable nonetheless. I would love to see how the more recent vintages with higher ABVs compare to this.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 19:30:48 | More by Damian
Photo of thinwhiteduke
thinwhiteduke

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +11%

06-13-2014 20:16:30 | More by thinwhiteduke
Photo of callmemickey
callmemickey

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 release

A: Pitch black body. Large, frothy dark khaki colored head. Good retention and nice lacing left behind after each sip. A damn good looking beer.

S: A light, smooth, refined bourbon highlights the malty base. Light vanilla, molasses, chocolate, and warmed caramel.

T: Delicious. Bourbon, oak and vanilla are present from the barrels. Not hot, abrasive or overwhelming. Well integrated with the roasty sweet malt backbone. Caramel, molasses, chocolate, and a general roasted vibe.

M: Medium-full bodied. Good even carbonation throughout. No excessive heat. Lingering roasted sweetness in the finish.

D: A very nice beer that epitomizes subtlety in bourbon barrel treatment. A real find that people should try to seek out.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2010 03:14:04 | More by callmemickey
Photo of DarthGuitarHero
DarthGuitarHero

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

06-04-2013 02:31:39 | More by DarthGuitarHero
Photo of Brabander
Brabander

Netherlands

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

09-20-2013 20:25:14 | More by Brabander
Photo of herman77
herman77

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

12-05-2012 22:02:21 | More by herman77
Photo of draheim
draheim

Washington

4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL (2010, #0871 of 3800) into a tulip. Pours a deep chocolate brown/black w/ a thick 3-finger mocha had that leaves a web of lace on the inside of the glass.

Aroma is strong bourbon, oak, chocolate, dark fruit, and booze. Pretty classic bourbon barrel stout aroma.

Taste is rich and chocolatey. Bourbon, molasses, oak, licorice, nuts & prunes, boozy heat. A roasty bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, slick, slightly sticky. Neither thick nor chewy. Bourbon and roasted malt leave a lingering aftertaste.

Overall a good bourbon barrel stout, perfect for a rainy Seattle evening. Maybe a little uneven, unbalanced. The strong bourbon taste could have used the counterbalance of an even darker, roastier malt. Still, very tasty, definitely a sipper. Think I'll age my other bottle for a while, see what develops.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2012 05:04:44 | More by draheim
Photo of Etan
Etan

Wisconsin

4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage on tap at Binny's South Loop.

A: Rich black with a small light tan head. Nice lacing.

S: Dry, roasty black malt, chocolate, a bit of booze.

T: Roasted grain, dark chocolate, small dose of hop bitterness, sweet alcohol, oak. Rich and somewhat dry.

M: Thick, small tingly carbonation.

O: Really nice, but I wish the barrel character gave a little more bourbon/vanilla rather than just solid oak.

Serving type: on-tap

07-13-2012 02:47:49 | More by Etan
Photo of vkv822
vkv822

Oregon

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into snifter.
2010 vintage.

Pours black with a giant foamy tan head that leaves spotty lacing.

The aroma is dominated by oaky bourbon upfront, and that's about all I'm getting in the nose.

Thankfully the taste lends more than bourbon. Along with the bourbon, I am getting very sweet vanilla from the oak with a touch of caramel and roasted malt. There is only a faint boozy heat from the ABV, and that is after it has warmed significantly.

The mouthfeel is thick and smooth, with just enough carbonation to keep it from being too heavy.

I was very impressed with this beer, and wish I had grabbed another bottle or two. The ABV stays very well hidden throughout the life of the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2011 07:21:57 | More by vkv822
Photo of Tilley4
Tilley4

Tennessee

5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle 678 of 1152...

I've been wanting to delve into this one for a while and in celebtation of Ivan's recent birthday, I decided to pull this one out of the cellar and enjoy it... I'm glad I did...

Absolutely completely pitch black with a thick creamy cocoa foamy head... The perfect looking RIS...

Lovely delicious aromas of dark bitter chocolate, raisins, bourbon, vanilla, oak, and loads of sweet dark roasted malts... The aromas coming off of this are unbelievable... I had hyped this brew up and its meeting my expectations thus far...

I only wish that every RIS could match this one in this dept... The complexity and depth of this brew are almost overwhelming... Chocolate covered raisins that have been soaked in bourbon is the first thing that comes to mind...and that's a wonderful thing in my book... Its delicious all the way around. Each sip seems to get better and better and more complex... A true classic..

Without a doubt, one of the best RIS that I've ever had the privilege to have... Nothing but awesome things to say

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2009 01:18:12 | More by Tilley4
Photo of thebouch01
thebouch01

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +16.8%

11-15-2011 02:33:02 | More by thebouch01
Photo of Dactrius
Dactrius

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -6.5%

12-21-2013 05:18:43 | More by Dactrius
Photo of FtownThrowDown
FtownThrowDown

Ohio

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2010 18:37:05 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of Treebs
Treebs

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 ml C&C bottle served in a Westbrook tulip. Bottle # 1088/4200

A: Pours an opaque black color with a dark khaki head forming on the pour. It recedes slowly to a thin ring that leaves some splotchy lace down the glass.

S: Light bourbon, some dark fruit and a little oak. Sweet chocolate, a little toffee and some roasted malts.

T: Light bourbon, milk chocolate and some nice roasted malts. Incredibly smooth with some caramel, oak and dark fruits also popping up in the flavor. There's barely any heat on the finish.

M: Highly drinkable. Light barrel flavors give way to a medium low carbonation level and a heavier mouthfeel. Creamy and smooth with an almost velvet like texture. Not overly chewy or viscous.

O: This drank like it was 8%. So incredibly smooth and velvety with just the right amount of carbonation. The barrel flavors were definitely on the light side which added to the drinkability obviously. I'd like to know how many months this spent in the barrel, but either way it was a flavorful and had just enough restraint in the booze department to make it very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 13:56:17 | More by Treebs
Photo of gratefulbeerhead
gratefulbeerhead

Indiana

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

01-22-2014 02:15:39 | More by gratefulbeerhead
Photo of robwestcott
robwestcott

Indiana

3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

cold from the bottle black as night to a plastic cup with a 1/2 finger head at the FFF XV party.

dark fruit, subtle coffee and cocoa.

dark fruit forward. cocoa and roared malts.

medium bodied, big carbonation, smooth and sweet.

overall: way above par.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 21:42:57 | More by robwestcott
Photo of nrs207
nrs207

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -6.5%

03-16-2014 21:24:59 | More by nrs207
Photo of phishbone23
phishbone23

New York

3/5  rDev -29.9%

01-25-2013 14:09:14 | More by phishbone23
Photo of paco1029384756
paco1029384756

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a short creamy tan head.

Scent of sweet bourbon, dark fruit, wet oak, molasses, and some spice. Very good, balanced very well, and not overbearing.

Taste of bourbon, vanilla, oak, caramel, dark fruit, molasses and the faintest hint of alcohol. One of the most balanced Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, and definitely worth the price.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy bodied, smooth and oily with a touch of carbonation, wonderful.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2010 01:38:25 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of KickInTheChalice
KickInTheChalice

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 release. Bottle 2569/3800. 750 mL bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks to readbaron for sharing this.

Appearance: This pours almost black, with walnut brown edges. Thick and viscous, with a small mocha head that recedes

Smell: Bourbon, raisins, and figs, roasted malt, and a little bit of toffee, molasses, and peat.

Taste: The malt flavor is definitely heavy here, with a surprisingly strong and noticeable peat flavor. Bourbon soaked raisins and figs combine with smooth toffee to provide a nice sweetness. A little bit of smoke and tobacco step in on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with medium carbonation. A sticky residue is left after each sip, and it has a sort of buttery smoothness to it.

Drinkability: A very enjoyable beer, it is a shame this is only released in small quantities.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2011 18:26:56 | More by KickInTheChalice
Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout from Big Sky Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 602 ratings.