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Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Big Sky Brewing Company

Ivan The Terrible Imperial StoutIvan The Terrible Imperial Stout

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

575 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 575
Reviews: 259
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.05%


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: 575 | Reviews: 259 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of CooperEllis
CooperEllis

New York

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

I had the 2009, 2010 and 2012. This is the review from the 2012: Bottle # 1472/4200

I genuinely love this beer in every incarnation that I've been able to sample - and I've had several bottles of each of the above listed years. I haven't noticed any bottle variation, this is great fresh and it ages (for at least 3 years) very well when properly cellared.

Nose has a good amount of wood and booze when fresh and more of the malt comes to the front the longer it sits. The pour looks thin going into the glass, but there is a full tan head and robust lacing. The mouthfeel also does not reflect a 'thin' feel at all.

Taste and mouthfeel compliment each other perfectly, a well-balanced stout that benefits from the barrel treatment and is in no way overpowered by the bourbon notes. A smooth, velvety entrance with no bitterness or booze at the end. This reminds me more of a Kate, subtle complexity and lighter, than a big in-your face -bal STOUT that is ever so popular. Perhaps one for the less-is-more file.

A damn fine glass of beer. Big thanks to azaaron for the hook-up. I hope you enjoy your end of the trade as much.

5/5 across the board.

(199th)

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2013 22:59:17 | More by CooperEllis
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

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!

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 17:15:30 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of cnbrown313
cnbrown313

Illinois

3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2012 Cork and cage 750ml bottle poured into a snifter glass

A - Pours almost totally black, but with a nice amount of carbonation and a beautiful chocolate colored head (maybe 1.5 fingers worth)

S - Smells of dark fruit, chocolate, and oak.

T - Initially you get a touch of bitter dark chocolate, but that is well balanced by some sweet, dark fruit flavors. It is surprisingly easy to drink for a big imperial stout. Being a bourbon fan though, I was let down by the fact that there just wasn't a lot of bourbon flavor or bourbon barrel characteristics. There is definitely a strong oaky taste and finish to the beer, but I feel like it's lacking the bourbon.

M - This was actually my favorite part of the beer. The mouth feel was silky and smooth - it glides down easily. And why don't more big RIS's have awesome bubbles like this? They really mastered the fine carbonation on the 2012 batch.

O - If I had to chose between this and say a BCS or a KBS, I would take those every time. But, this was a unique barrel aged imperial stout with a nice mouth feel and nose, so if you're a fan of the style and you see one, I would check it out.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2013 16:22:40 | More by cnbrown313
Photo of kawilliams81
kawilliams81

Yukon (Canada)

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

2012 vintage. Poured from a 750 ml cork n cage bottle into a Pipeworks snifter.

A- pours black with a 2 finger cola head. Big blotches and trails of lacing remain on the glass.

S- dark fruits, chocolate, light bourbon and vanilla.

T- chocolate, dark fruits, vanilla, bourbon, and some roast.

M- full body and medium carbonation. Drinks very well fresh for a 12% beer.

O- good RIS. Not a ton of barrel characteristics which is why I didn't rate it higher, but nice dark fruit notes that add some complexity to this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 05:02:12 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage from Daniel, thanks!

A: Not-quite-pitch black pour with an enormous and dense medium brown head. Fades extremely slowly. Top notch head retention as the head never seems to disappear fully, and revives easily. Moderate splashes of lacing here and there.

S: Big bold bourbon aroma. Burnt sugars including brown sugar along with some toffee and oaky vanilla. Some dark fruits. Notable stinging alcohol. Very fresh indeed. A little roasted malt character, mainly chocolate. Mostly covered by the boozy bourbon.

T: Lots of bourbon up front but not as overpowering as the aroma. Loaded with caramel, brown sugar, toffee and vanilla. A boatload of chocolate mingles in, making for a great combination. Get a little char and anise in the middle, but mainly chocolate. Finish is a little bit chalky with some charred wood, bitter chocolate and burnt sugar. Decently boozy too. Lingering oak and alcohol sting between sips.

M: Pretty heavy and boozy. Not as thick as you'd expect some big ABV RISes to be, the bourbon seems to cut it a bit.

O: Awesome RIS. Huge variety of flavors making this one very complex. Surprisingly good balance of flavors though the bourbon and chocolate dominate overall - which I don't mind. Quite fresh and boozy, bordering on harsh but what do you expect from a just-bottled 12.2% bourbon barreled RIS? I bet this would be amazing if it mellowed for a few years in the basement. Not to say that it's not already amazing, it's just the nature of the beast.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2013 03:45:33 | More by Dope
Photo of Gobzilla
Gobzilla

California

4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark as night black in color with a thin dark brown bubbly head that left some good creamy frothy lacing sticking to the glass.

S: definitely had some a lovely chocolatey aroma with a bit of roast, tobacco blunt wrap notes, signs of bourbon barrel booze with hints of dark fruits, molasses, toffee, and brown sugar sweetness.

T: It had a nice dark chocolatey base with good roastiness, good bourbon barrel character but well balanced booze heat, a touch of dark fruitiness, tobacco blunt wrap accents alongside toffee, molasses and vanilla sweetness.

M: the brew was full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a roasty, mild dark fruity, slightly boozy, bourbon wood barrel, sweet, rich and creamy finish.

O: definitely good as I thought it was going to be, a bit surprised on the tobacco character in it but it was still very good. Finally conquered this elusive beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 05:32:33 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of yamar68
yamar68

Minnesota

4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2012 vintage (12.2% abv):

Gorgeous looking stuff... motor oil body with edges of copper clarity, a dense pale khaki head retains well, producing smears of oily lacing and beading beneath. It looks alive and quite scary. A second pour provides a darker shade of brown, making a yin yang in the glass.

The nose is even more impressive... smooth bourbon and chocolate layered with mushy cherries, vanilla, fudge, molasses... all the tasty things you would hope to find in a big barreled stout like this. No individual aspect steals the show, everything is totally in sync which is remarkable to me given the size of the beer.

Delicious. Booze soaked dark fruits that fall just short of "hot." It's very hard to believe that this one packs the 12 percent alcohol that it claims to. Sweet bourbon with chocolate, creamy vanilla flavors, cocoa beans, faint bitter coffee presence surfaces at the finish. I've heard people say that 2010 was better... if that's the case, 2010 Ivan must be the best beer on earth because this stuff can hang with the best of 'em.

Hot damn. Fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 01:19:28 | More by yamar68
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.98/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with light lactose and deep creamy black chocolate note is pretty much perfect. Light bourbon and vanilla notes are also perceptible. Taste is pretty much a perfect mix between some bourbon with creamy black chocolate notes, light lactose and light dry roasted malt notes. Body is full with perfect nice creamy texture and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Wow, what a surprise this one was with perfect balance and not too much barrel-aging.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 04:02:10 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of Scotchboy
Scotchboy

Idaho

4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Re-review, 2012 corked & caged bottle (#2873 of 4200) poured into a Darkness snifter...

A: Opaque body with tan head and good retention for a big bba beer.

S: Sweet bourbon aromas without being boozy. Caramel and chocolate and some oak...bourbon is prominent but not overpowering.

T: Lots of chocolate...cocoa and dark chocolate. Some bourbony caramel and vanilla, with a flash of coconut on the finish/aftertaste. Really light booziness, with some oakiness apparent. Good sweetness, lacking in roast a bit (maybe) but finishing with some notes of burnt sugar and deeply roasted malt.

MF: Big improvement over the on-tap 2010 version, here the body is full and creamy with good carbonation.

O: Very nicely done bba stout. Not overpowering in any sense yet with strong, clear bourbon and stout notes.

Old on-tap review (Score: 4/4/4.5/3.75/4)

2010 version on-tap @ Brewforia Beer Market Meridian ID. Served in a goblet...

A: Opaque brown with a ring of transparent tan along the edges...almost no head or lacing but there is a good amount of alcohol legs.

S: Roast and stout character are subdued...sweeter alcohol and whiskey notes slide more to the front here...lots of caramel, and some chocolate too. Fairly straightforward for a barrel-aged stout.

T: The palate mimics the nose but with more depth and diversity...bourbon shows up here as well, along with a good dose of dark caramel...hints of dried dark fruit in a slightly vinous body. Suggestions of chocolate and espresso, with a flash of toffee and vanilla. Moderately bitter finish.

MF: Thinner medium body...there is a bit of the bite here though its apparent this beer has mellowed and the alcohol is quite buried. Lower carbonation and body than I'd prefer.

O: Overall just not as impressive as I remember this 2010 version being. Still a solid BA stout but nothing earth-shattering here now.

Serving type: on-tap

12-26-2012 21:51:37 | More by Scotchboy
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 tewaris
tewaris

Minnesota

4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Stub & Herb's. Served in a pint, woo hoo.

Dark, charred, ashy all around. The barrels take a backseat which is somewhat disappointing. Some vanilla, yeah; but not nearly as creamy and sweet as I hoped/wanted it to be. Medium to high carbonation on a medium body. Good but definitely not great in my humble opinion.

Serving type: on-tap

11-07-2012 09:12:54 | More by tewaris
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle opened for as part of a birthday celebration.

Inky black. Light sucking. Small, creamy, dark tan head. Good head retention.

Very rich aroma. Lots of nuts and alcohol. Caramel and toffee. Vanilla. Oak. Bourbon. A little earthy in the background. Sweet chocolate. Very nice.

Medium-sweet malt with some very light fruitiness. Lots of toffee. Bourbon oak and chocolate. Excellent.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Nice and very creamy.

An excellent stout. Wonderfully creamy and complex. Nice chocolate and malt flavours. Well integrated oak. It has been a while since I've had a nice Bourbon Barrelled Stout and I'm loving it.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2012 12:07:51 | More by dgilks
Photo of spicelab
spicelab

Australia

4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 2010. Props to Mr Kennedy for sharing. Reviewed from notes.

Dark molasses with a beige head of mostly fine bubbles. Leaves decent lacing as it gradually falls in on itself.

Lifted and refined aromas of raspberry, dark fruits, cocoa, vinuous oak and molasses.

Taste articulates the same blend of mildness and satisfying complexity. The dry woody character from the barrel continues to cut through the sweeter, richer cherry-ripe and coconut flavours.

Amazingly clean and uncannily light for a RIS. Buzzy carbonation dusts the palate and transitions into a dry finish.

Excellent RIS. Impressively approachable, in contrast with the more hulking RISs (not that I'm at all averse to them). Feels a little ironic to rate this highly for being unlike what I expect from a RIS, but whatever. A great beer, only lacks the high-end wow-factor.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2012 02:18:44 | More by spicelab
Photo of dfillius
dfillius

Michigan

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

On tap at Beggar's Banquet in E. Lansing for a "Meet the Brewer night". Served in a snifter

A: Mocha colored head with good retention. Opaque dark brown liquid.
S: Slight bourbon, rich vanilla, some molasses. Can a person smell oak? If so, I do. Maybe lactose? Slight booze aroma increases later on.
T: Very dark bittersweet chocolate (around 90% cocoa), french roast coffee, molasses, sugar cane, vanilla. Bourbon is very subdued thankfully! Complex and cohesive. A decent amount of hops (PNW citrus?) in the finish. Thanks to warnerry for pointing out the hops - I always miss those in RIS. Slight licorice in the finish.
M: Full feeling but not syrupy. Dry oaky and hoppy finish
O: Very good. Another superior BBA RIS. I enjoyed a second one! Dangerously drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2012 22:02:10 | More by dfillius
Photo of bamadog
bamadog

Kentucky

4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one back in 2009 in one of my earliest trades that I can remember. Pretty pumped and I'm celebrating tonight -- my first night off this month with a full weekend to come. Review is from notes taken on 8/24/2012 and poured from the bottle (176/3000) into a snifter.

Appearance: Pour looks pretty decent, comes out a dark and deep brown like fresh coffee and settles into the glass with a near black hue to it; starts with a decent 1 and 1/2 finger tan head with solid retention -- eventually dwindles down to a full, slightly uneven, cap; I'm kind of surprised that the carbonation looks this strong still after spending a few years in the bottle, as well as being a big RIS; decent swaths and splotches of lacing are left behind -- looks like a good stout should, but it doesn't quite "glug" out

Smell: Smell is really good -- nice, rich and bittersweet chocolates with a strong vanilla/oaky/bourbon presence that seems creamy and smooth; bit of an earthy, burnt coffee/espresso roastiness to it as well; the only thing it's lacking is potency -- it could be a bit more robust like a lot of big stouts are, and now I kind of have to compare everything to Hunahpu as it's really set the bar high.

Taste: Wow, tastes like a mudslide with some bourbon splashed into it -- creamy, almost milky smooth chocolate with a bit of a bittersweet, dark aspect; earthy bitterness, like chocolate covered espresso beans; definitely alcohol presence; in all that sweetness is also a chocolate covered cherry, complete with sweet syrup; very nice stout.

Mouthfeel: Body is medium/heavy in terms of weight, and in all honesty, I wish it were just a touch thicker, but I've gotta be honest, I don't know if I've had a creamier, smoother stout, so the body despite being a touch thin (and I'm being very picky here), is fantastic; a semi-dry, sticky coating is left on the roof of the mouth and a grittiness is left on the teeth; gums and belly are left quite tingly from the ABV.

Overall: I wish I could get a hold of this, as I would love to start a vertical. Great smell, better tastes, solid, super solid, body makes for a great drinking experience; would be an excellent dessert accompaniment or as a dessert on its own; the ABV and weight make it a sipper, but with as much as it has going for it, I'll sip it all night long and into the morning.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2012 01:38:41 | More by bamadog
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Lucifer snifter. Pours a dark, dark black with a chocolate colored head and nice lacing. Delicious bourbon and toasted malt aroma with a hint of chocolate. Intense oak and bourbon and dark and toasted malts. Vanilla, coffee and more oak middle and finish. Kinda boozy, which which lowers the score and should improve with aging. Medium bodied with some creaminess. On second taste, the alcohol is so firey and overwhelming, I down graded this one by a point. I hope it mellows with age. The positive elements are excellent, but it's covered with a pure alcohol burn. 2012 update: I was lucky enough to stumble on a fresh bottle of the current Ivan. The aroma and taste is similar, but the booziness noted in the earlier review is well covered by the flavor in this version. A nicely balanced and well made RIS, that I will revisit whenever it's made; score for taste adjusted upward.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2012 22:37:56 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of birchstick
birchstick

Colorado

4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage, bottle 37 of 3800

A - pours a deep, dark black color with a minimal head that forms a light taupe color around the glass

S - nose is lots of nice vanilla, some molasses, cola, milk to dark chocolates

T - taste starts off with milk chocolates that moves to a nice vanilla flavor imparted from the barrel aging. Moves on to a nice spicy bourbon flavor with some more vanilla in the mix. Ends spicy and a little hot.

M - mouth is medium to light bodied with a nice amount of carbonation - goes down really nicely

D - overall, this is a pretty nice barrel aged RIS. Personally, I think this is a nice example of barrel aged beer, however due to the bottle count being low I think this demands a little more than its worth. That being sad, I am glad I landed a bottle and would try to get again off the shelf if the opportunity presents itself in the future.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2012 04:16:16 | More by birchstick
Photo of homebrew311
homebrew311

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip, served at Binnys south loop. Apperance is inky black with dark brown head. Opaque. The nose is full of rich chocolate and delicate vanilla. The bourbon is much tamer than the bottled version, mellow vanilla with sturdy oak coming through. Taste is full of rich dark chocolate and mellow vanilla. The mouthfeel is hefty with mild carbonation. Overall, the tap version is a step down from the bottled version, the barrel character is tough to pick up. Great stout nonetheless.

Serving type: on-tap

07-13-2012 20:37:39 | More by homebrew311
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 dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap, brouwers

appearance: served in a 12oz nonic, rich dark chocolate body, very light mocha cream

smell: rich dark chocolate, sweet booze soaked dark fruit, bourbon, molasses

taste: Perhaps leftover from back-in-black, or maybe a new arrival - regardless, figured I would go ahead and tick this one off the list. This is a really big stout with a heavy sweetness - molasses, dark fruit, bourbon, oak, coffee, coconut, undertones of orange peel and citrus hops

mouthfeel: heavy, hot and sweet

overall: solid stuff - but not something to shell out high dollar for a 750

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2012 21:57:43 | More by dirtylou
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 cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had again, drank the 09.

pour has very little head, a few bubble tan in color, jet black beer. The nose is rich, dark chocolate, light olive, notes of roast, and light sweetness in back. The taste is a bit sweeter, similar to Adam but sweeter, light roast and vanilla note, nice rich chocolate, smooth body, a bit thin, decent carbonation especially for 3 years old.
***
Shared at our recent tasting, either an 06 or 07, 8.75% ABV with an 1152 bottle count.

A-pours a jet black liquid with a nice dense tan head with good retention.

S-strong notes of oak and vanilla up front, anise comes in behind, lightly roasted malts, dark rich chocolate in the back.

T-the oak and vanilla are right up front, notes of bourbon behind. light anise, lots of roasted malts and rich decatant dark chocolate. the back has a hint of sweetness, dark fruits of plums and cherries. there is some heat throughout and in the back but very light and just let you know its a big beer.

M-good full body with lots of carbonation still and a good crisp finish. smooth and velvety on the palate with a good creamy feel.

D-this is a delicious RIS with a good complexity. the oak is done well, present but not dominant. tons of roasted malty goodness with a nice light sweetness in the back. great feel and good carb, not too heavy but definitely big.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2012 16:53:16 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of warnerry
warnerry

Michigan

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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2012 23:57:40 | More by warnerry
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours an inpenetrable black with a soft finger of mocha head. Good lace left behind.

S: Heavy dark chocolate and coffee grinds. Fragrant classic RIS nose.

T: As with the nose, heavy on dark chocolate and coffee. Some sweet brown sugar as well. Hops are there, but this is really dominated by the strong malt profile.

M: Rich, full-bodied, creamy, soft carboanation.

O: This is classic American RIS to a T. Very well made, not mind-blowing, but I can see why it's highly regarded.

Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2012 20:14:09 | More by Halcyondays
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dlello2

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ivan The Terrible
A – Creamy, cloudy black with maybe even a hint of grey? Interesting. Few fingers of creamy, micro-bubble head fade slowly. 5.0

S – Bittersweet chocolate dominates. A suggestion of hops follows. As it warms the smell develops into a rich chocolate roastiness. 4.5

T – Immediately reminds me of Surly Darkness (which I haven’t had or thought about in a while… interesting). I’ll start by saying this is very good. Not super complicated (much like darkness) but what it’s got is freaking spot on. Perfect amount of roasty bitterness. 10% alcohol, but super drinkable. 5.0

M – Great full bodied mouthfeel. Good carbonation. Not as thick as a Ten Fidy or FIS. Goes down easy. Again, if it weren’t for feeling the alcohol I wouldn’t know it was there. 4.5

O – This was a great beer. As it warmed up it got even better. I can’t believe it but I can confidently say my first 10oz pour of this beer catapulted it into my top 10. Will definitely be seeking it out to try in the future. 4.5

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2012 17:44:50 | More by dlello2
Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout from Big Sky Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 575 ratings.