1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-Aged - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-AgedIvan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-Aged

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

677 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 677
Reviews: 262
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 780
Gots: 215 | FT: 16
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:
Beer added by: Bitterbill on 11-10-2008

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%

Imperial stout aged 4 months in freshly dumped American oak Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels.

65 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 677 | Reviews: 262 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tjkinate
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage

A: 1+ fingered head formed atop this deep brown brew from a hard pour into a snifter. Head had decent retention settling to a thick foam that left some lacing in its wake.

S: Dark fruits, vanilla, hefty amount of bourbon with a pungent sweet caramel backbone.

T: The beer tastes nothing like it smelled, trust me, that is not a bad thing this time. Big difference is that the beer smelled so sweet, but doesn't taste sweet. I detected hints of light coffee, semi-sweet chocolate, pecans and chestnuts followed by bourbon undertones. Perfect beer for a cold winter night, or a warm spring night like the one during my tasting!

M: Medium bodied for the style, mild carbonation, creamy and smooth.

O: Fantastic brew that I will definitely be seeking again in the future.

Photo of SheboyganJake
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting courtesy of mrbubbler himself.

2009 vintage. Bottle # 336/3000.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, wood, vanilla, and bourbon. Taste with the same with a woody finish and a slight alcohol kick with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good barrel aged stout but I like the way it smells more than the taste.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When talking with folks from Montana about the local craft beer scene, the conversation moves to Moose Drool, Moose Drool, and then Moose Drool some more. Little do they know that one of the more delectable Imperial American Stouts is brewed underneath their nose.

Ivan the Terrible pours with a voluminous and froathy pour that takes several seconds for the liquid to separate from the bubbles. Jet black in color, or dark enough brown to make me think black, the beer shows complete opaqueness. The absolute froathy sandy brown head forms a thick cap on the beer and reduces ever so slowly until it forms a thick blanket on the surface. Moderate lace shows intermittent patterns of foam on the glass.

Incredibly malty and rich aromas awaken the nose with the savory scent of heavy whipping cream, whoppers candies, brown sugar, vanilla, candied almonds, sweet booze, and all of the rich notes of french toast from the kitchen that would wake me as a child. Chocolate, dark roast coffee, and fruity plumbs and cherries all start to define the complex aromas as the beer warms.

Flavors start out much the same- with the succulent and savory taste of vanilla, chocolate, almonds, molasses, and whipped cream sweetness, just before the hops and alcohol remind me that this is indeed a fortified Stout. Grape, plumb, and blackberry fruits come across similarly as port wines and brandies. Grassy flavors, oaken woods, maple, coconut, and bourbon (almost rum-like) alcohols rise midway through and morph into a semi-sharp hop bitterness and intensifying bourbon aggression nearing the finish.

Vast, creamy, and robust in body as the beer opens with strong and expansive carbonation which accents the cream and velvet textures. The mouthfeel actually improves after the distraction of excessive carbonation subsides and leaves the tongue with a silky and smooth texture that recedes at mid palate to usher in the hop bitterness and alcohol warmth that allow the beer to dry toward a malty-dry semi-sweet finish. But the aftertaste of starchy malt and chocolate linger with the taste of whoppers candies and french toast.

The American Stout signatures of dryness and hops are well displayed, but the smooth chocolate and milky taste and textures work wonderfully in this beer. The 65 ibus are kept in check by the wonderfully varying malt flavors for ultimate complexity and roundness.

Photo of orangesol
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to akorsak for bringing this one to Imminent Liquidation II.

A - Pours pitch black with a dense one finger tall tan head leaving light lace down parts of the glass.

S - Smells of charred oak, dark roasted malt, vanilla, caramel, chocolate and plenty of warm bourbon. The booze does grow a little bit as it sits in the glass.

T - Starts off with some chocolaty sweetness and some dark charred wood slowly giving way to hints of dark roasted malt, vanilla and warm bourbon. The booze is pretty consistent from start to finish. Finish has more roast than sweetness, combining with a little booze burn to linger on the pallet long after consumption.

M - Smooth body with plenty of dark roasted flavors and moderate carbonation. Light booze burn at the end of each sip with plenty of lingering roast.

O - All things considered this one is very good. It has plenty of flavor, good overall balance and is pretty easy to drink. One of the better stouts I have had on the day.

Photo of cosmonick
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of hopluva1
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of Nuggethops
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of redblacks75
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of ithinkimasofa
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of Travisnin
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of 1koolspud
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of chilly460
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark black, impenetrable black. Puffy, milk chocolate brown head towers, a full inch high. Sticky lacing lines the glass, amazing looking beer.

S: Quite nice, get the immediate bourbon aroma, warm smelling, not overpowering. Other note I get is just pure chocolate brownie or cake, very sweet and rich. Not much on the roast.

T: Unbelievably good. Immediate flavor is that bourbon tone, warming, soothing. Get plenty of the big vanilla flavor expected to accompany the bourbon, tastes like vanilla creamer. Here's where the huge chocolate comes in, tastes like a thick fudge brownie, very sweet. Think of Godiva truffles. Beer finishes out with more roastiness then picked up in the nose, nice deep roast that lets it finish clean.

M: Right on target for this type beer, big bodied brew with a creamy, small bubbled carbonation. Reminds me of a good chocolate milk.

O: I've had a couple very good BA stouts lately, and this may be the best. Just incredible flavor profile kept hitting with different aspects of it's complex profile. Flavors are well integrated and balanced, wish I could get more.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.71/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

From 750mL bottle to snifter on 2/4/12
*From notes

-- Thanks, Bill --

*I think we determined this was a 2008 vintage, bottle 636 of 1152

A: Not the best looking beer I've ever poured. Hearty brownish, and on a standard pour, I get a meager head that's not even .25 fingers. No lacing and the tiniest damn collar you've ever seen.

S: Chocolate chip cookies, raw cocoa and a touch of charred wood.

T: Solid. Packed from jowel to jowel with warm dark chocolate, mature bourbon, vanilla and a touch of grassiness.

M: Jesus is this thin. It's lacking carbonation in the worst way. In fact it's so thin that it negatively affects the flavor profile, therefore kncoking it down a peg. This is hands down the low point of a fine beer.

O: I don't know what happened with the feel of this beer, but it really took away from the entirety of the experience. If you can look past it's flaws, Ivan's an above average BA RIS. Here's to hoping that the later vintages have better quality control and balance.

Photo of chrispoint
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.35/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle Vintage, #527/1152; Sampled January 2012
A steady pour produces an almost two-finger thick, light brown colored head. The beer is fairly black smelling and it is clear if you look through a thin sliver of it, but is opaque otherwise. The beer smells vaguely of toasted coconuts at first, but this gets quite a bit more pronounced in short order. Notes of Bourbon, touches of alcohol, lots of vanillin and a backdrop of toasted, brown malt, a touch of roasted malt (though not quite as much as I might have expected), lots of brown bread toasted grain character,

Light sweet malt up front, gets sweeter as it rolls across the palate, the beer dries out in the finish with a slightly bitter, burnt, roast-grain character, and some warming, not quite hot alcohol and Bourbon. The roast character is quite prominent here with notes of dark chocolate, sweet coffee liquor, chalky roasted notes, and some bitter burnt character that isn’t really overly sharp. There is a touch too much heat and spicy alcohol in the finish; spicy oak notes also accentuate this, but also provide a touch of astringency. The body, while having a certain heft and viscosity, is a touch on the light side for a rich Imperial stout.

The body of this beer is actually a touch lighter than I would have liked; more malt richness would have supported the Bourbon Barrel notes better (despite the Bourbon character really not being over the top in this beer). Not bad, but I wish it was a touch richer and maltier.

Photo of sharpski
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of billab914
3.99/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2008 vintage bottle #636 out of 1152. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tasting glass. It poured a dark brown, pretty close to black in color with very little signs of carbonation or head.

The aroma has a big dark chocolate presence to it. It's very rich with a chocolate brownie like quality to it. I get some lighter bourbon qualities to it with some very nice vanilla notes to it. Some sweeter dark fruits seemed to come out a little more as it warmed. Great aroma, I loved how rich chocolate and vanilla notes came together.

The taste is very smooth with with some nice notes of dark chocolate, vanilla and bourbon all coming out. I get a little more of a woody oak presence in the finish. The bourbon is a little more reserved at this point but it still adds some very good complimenting flavors to it.

The mouthfeel feels thin with very low carbonation. The low carbonation hurts it and makes it feel a little watery and thin. I'm sure this is attributed at least partially to it's age.

Overall I thought it had some really great flavors to it. The bold chocolate was complimented very well with the bourbon and vanilla. The thin mouthfeel and lower carbonation hurts it some, but overall I thought it was a very smooth and flavorful beer.

Photo of crashoveride
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of happy5930
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of FalconA
3.5/5  rDev -18%

Photo of hopfacebrew
4.11/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Poured from 2010 bottle 2266 of 3800 that my man kiddwhiz hooked up to a globe glass. Thanks again.

A - The beer pours a pitch black color with huge 3 finger brown head! No matter how I poured the beer I got huge head which had unreal retention and nice lacing. At the bottom of each glass I still have a 1/2 finger head, unreal.

S - A fair bourbon aroma mixed with hints of roasted cocoa, chocolate, and a hint of dried fruit.

T - The beer starts with a bit of oak flavor on the front with a woody sweetness. Pale and Crystal malt character becomes prevalent in the middle with mild bitterness and a nice bourbon flavor. The beer finishes smooth with a druid fruit taste mixed with a little bourbon and roasted grains.

M - Full bodied with good carbonation. Very thick and tasty.

D - It goes down real easy for a stronger beer with such complex character.

Overall, I found the beer to be a bit much at the beginning but towards the middle that changed and the final glass I was really yearning for more. It was a pleasure to try and I wish I had another to cellar!

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 02-10-2011 14:03:38

Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -18%

Photo of djaeon
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-Aged from Big Sky Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 677 ratings.