1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

605 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 605
Reviews: 259
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.51%
Wants: 769
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 605 | Reviews: 259 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of inkdemention
inkdemention

Nevada

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

01-12-2014 03:37:03 | More by inkdemention
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up the 2013 edition bottle # 2313 of 3000 from Total Wine in early December for $13.99.

Beer poured black with very little head.

Nose is booze, vanilla, roasted malts.

Taste is light bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits, some cocoa.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall for a brew that is nearly 14% this is one of the easiest drinking high octane BBS that i have experienced. This is my first time trying it as i was never able to find it in the past. Glad i picked up two of them!

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2014 22:59:49 | More by arizcards
Photo of ONovoMexicano
ONovoMexicano

New Mexico

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 22:35:49 | More by ONovoMexicano
Photo of DNICE555
DNICE555

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

01-06-2014 03:06:45 | More by DNICE555
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 RMoeNay
RMoeNay

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

01-05-2014 03:00:45 | More by RMoeNay
Photo of GilGarp
GilGarp

Colorado

4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2010 vintage. Corked and caged 750ml green glass bottle. #2263 of 3800.

Served slightly cooler than cellar temperature in a tulip glass.

Ivan the terrible is a deep brown color, black in the glass, with thick off white head. It has good retention for an aged strong ale.

Aroma is evident from a distance. It is a combination of dark malts, bourbon, vanilla, and red wine.

Flavor is bold too with a balanced combination of the elements mentioned above. The stout is actually the most forward flavor which is unusal for a barrel aged beer. Many times the bourbon overwhelms.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and nicely carbonated.

It may be slightly oxidized but is still enjoyable. A well made barrel aged stout from a small Montana brewery. An unexpected surprise.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 02:24:57 | More by GilGarp
Photo of outoffocus
outoffocus

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

12-31-2013 13:58:18 | More by outoffocus
Photo of shawlaqua
shawlaqua

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

12-30-2013 22:26:08 | More by shawlaqua
Photo of bonez05404
bonez05404

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

12-29-2013 16:34:15 | More by bonez05404
Photo of calcnerd
calcnerd

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

12-29-2013 16:33:45 | More by calcnerd
Photo of supa0525
supa0525

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

12-24-2013 04:03:29 | More by supa0525
Photo of deschutes_fan
deschutes_fan

Idaho

4/5  rDev -6.5%

12-23-2013 16:53:05 | More by deschutes_fan
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2010 vintage poured into snifter.

A: Pours black with an unexpected huge foamy light brown head that really frothed up despite an easy pour.
S: Very smooth and integrated notes of bourbon, rich dark chocolate, light vanilla and light oak. I get mild caramel and brown sugar in there as well.
T: Richer than the nose. Definitely a potent sipper. Rich chocolate and fudge dominate with smooth flavors of bourbon, caramel, and slight vanilla and oak tannins in the finish.
M: Mellow flavors but the mouth still has a rough edge to it. Sharp kick of bourbon. Fluffy carbonation, tingly alcohol (but not hot). Thick body.
O: Very very solid. One of the richest and most potent out there. Very good.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2013 03:46:24 | More by scottfrie
Photo of Dactrius
Dactrius

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -6.5%

12-21-2013 05:18:43 | More by Dactrius
Photo of ant880
ant880

New York

4/5  rDev -6.5%

12-16-2013 23:21:38 | More by ant880
Photo of stealth
stealth

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

12-16-2013 00:41:57 | More by stealth
Photo of Highgrade
Highgrade

Arizona

4.75/5  rDev +11%

12-14-2013 05:15:38 | More by Highgrade
Photo of DanGeo
DanGeo

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

12-12-2013 19:08:15 | More by DanGeo
Photo of LSMroz
LSMroz

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

12-07-2013 15:30:06 | More by LSMroz
Photo of mfield14
mfield14

Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

12-07-2013 01:31:19 | More by mfield14
Photo of beerdrifter
beerdrifter

Germany

4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A friend picked this up from the brewery for me! An aggressive pour yields a pitch black body with a nice one finger caramel-colored head with decent retention and lacing. The nose is really nice with loads of cocoa and dark chocolate initially, and big bourbon notes as it warms. Also getting some wood, leather, and dark fruit. The taste follows the nose with tons of mocha and chocolate, perfectly complemented by some really nice roasty malt and oaky bourbon notes. As it warms the dark fruit emerges along with hints of brown bread, vanilla, espresso, leather, and tobacco. The mouthfeel is absolutely smooth as silk with minimal carbonation and a velvet finish. The 13.8% ABV is nowhere to be found. It's not boozey at all and there's almost no heat for such a big beer. The bourbon character is as close to perfect as I can remember in an Imperial Stout. Overall, this is a huge and pleasant surprise. This beer is every bit as good as any of the big names in this category. My first beer from Big Sky, but not my last! A really impressive offering!!!

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2013 19:56:11 | More by beerdrifter
Photo of Eighty
Eighty

Washington

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

12-05-2013 18:22:37 | More by Eighty
Photo of badboy7113
badboy7113

Florida

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

11-28-2013 15:15:54 | More by badboy7113
Photo of beergil
beergil

Montana

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

11-27-2013 01:08:41 | More by beergil
Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout from Big Sky Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 605 ratings.