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

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
278 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
278
Ratings:
806
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
17.52%
 
 
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Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-AgedIvan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

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%
2014 - 11.5% (750ml cork and cage)

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

65 IBU

Added by Bitterbill on 11-10-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 278 | Ratings: 806
Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.28/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Damian
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.

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Photo of GilGarp
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.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
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!!!

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

one of the most unique Russian imperials out there, worth the hype. this one has the feel of a light and delicate porter, the most well hidden abv ive seen in years. dark and creamy pour, Hershey brown with all kinds of lacey cream head. lots of appeal and character. smoky smell a little bit, plenty of cocoa and dark malt, but a lightness to it that defies the style. semisweet taste, like the tollhouse chips, less bitter, but equally mild. complexity is not lacking, but neither is drinkability, which I think is what makes this stout special. how can a beer seem so light, so easy down, and so basic, but yet so decadent and rich and impressive. its a balancing act here between huge beer and every day drink, in a way that nobody else has really achieved. a special brew to say the least. the lightness of this will blow your mind, and when you realize its 10% abv plus, you will simply be floored. I was, and it takes a lot to do that to me these days. on tap at hops and pie for a very fair price too.

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Photo of spoony
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the West End in Boulder during the November Big Sky tap takeover into a pint glass.

A-My glass arrived with a half-finger of dense mocha-colored foam. Retention was good as the foam lasted for quite a while. The head left some good lacing, too, which is surprising given the ABV. The brew was nearly black and opaque in the glass.

S-The aroma was rich with lots of heavily roasted malts, light char, some dark chocolate flavor, and a good bit of milk chocolate-y sweetness. It is not mind-blowing or terribly complex, but the balance is impressive here with all of the right stout flavors in the right amounts.

T-The taste follows the smell pretty closely with lots of heavily roasted malt flavors (some caramel peeks through), and a balancing dose of sweetness. Again, the balance is nice.

M-The feel is moderate for the style with bit of chewiness and average to below average carbonation.

O-This is a well-balanced and drinkable RIS. The alcohol is integrated nicely and the balance of flavors is pretty impressive. In a world of barrel-aged this and coffee-infused that, it is nice to drink a beer like this every now and again to remind you that an RIS that is put together correctly can be a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.36/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750ml, 2012 2536 of 4200
Lost Abbey TEKU

A: Dark brown. Seems like a lot of carbonation. Tight bubbled light tan head. Sticky lacing.

S: Tartness is there. Smells fishy. Don't know if it's full on infected, but not getting the normal vanilla and bourbon hints that I was expecting. Dark fruit. Some minimal roast character.

T: This is possibility infected.

M: Full bodied.

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Photo of tut2528
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First and foremost a huge thanks to Match1112 for this one!

A: the body resembles a black hole with no light penetration whatsoever. It creates a fingers worth of s tan colored head formation that has moderate density and thus moderate lacing. Nice carbonation as it takes very little to re-create the head.

S: oh wow. A huge oaky/barrel character, grassy hops, alcohol soaked dark fruits, big bourbon, leather, lactose/vanilla. Decently balanced, but not a huge fan of the hoppy presence.

T: again, big oaky, bourbon barrel character right at the front of this one. Slight chocolate and raisin presence. There is more of a smoked wood, presence here that was detectable in the nose. The hops are still present but definitely tamed back and actually adds a nice touch of complexity (really didn’t care for its presence in the nose). the finish consists of a quick blast of alcohol heat and a slight tough of vanilla sweetness that tries to tone the alcohol down but there simply not enough to do so.

M: on the heavier side of medium body. Has a higher carbonation that I’m used to in a barrel aged stout. Alcohol tends to linger on the palate with a slight touch of bourbon and oak.

O: solid bourbon barrel aged stout and thoroughly enjoyable. Cannot thank Match1112 enough for this one. truly a terrific BA.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Thanks for the bottle share, Cliff.

A: Ink black with a cherry hue. Not much head to speak of. Light lacing.

S: Chocolate, caramel, licorice, vaninlla, dark fruits.

T: Follows nose with dark chocolate and raisins settling in. Malty. Smooth, rich, robust. Sweet.

M: Medium to heavy with heavy carbonation. Thick, chewy.

O: Everything a stout should be and more. This one rang the bell. Got even better as it warmed. Sip slowly and be awed. Terribly good.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a pitch black with one full finger of khaki colored head. The foam fades fairly quickly Nice puffy top on the beer, really nice lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is raisin, dark chocolate, caramel, bread, and yeast. I get a touch of soy, but the other scents dominate. Mostly raisin and chocolate.

T: It starts of sweet with raisin, bred, and mild caramel. The middle is dark chocolate, yeast, and malt. This beer is legit solid. Milky sweet, chocolaty, nice flavors.

M: Full bodied beer. It's velvety smooth from start to finish. The flavor transitions are nice, and it's a bit chewy in the finish.

O: Really nice beer. I'd drink this again if given the opportunity.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at Binny's South Loop.

Finally getting to try some Ivan the Terrible, and, surprise to me, it's at South Loop's little in-house bar. Gotta love having days off during the week, right? This stuff pours a deep black-brown topped by a small finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises chocolate powder, roasted malts, a hint of molasses, and a kiss of coffee. Straight impy stout fumes here, people. The taste brings in more of the same, with the chocolate taking more of a syrup character and some very mild bourbon peeking in at times. The body is a straight medium, with a rather light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, though a touch thin (we're not talking Eclipse-style thinness, but it definitely ain't chewy), this is a solid impy stout. It's not quite as great as it's been advertised over the years, but I'd glady have more if given the opportunity.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Served on-draught into a chalice at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, California in May 2012. Cost was $8.00. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of khaki-tan colour, great creaminess, good thickness, and good retention for the ABV. Body colour is a solid nontransparent black. Good lacing. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Chocolate, vanilla, roasted barley, dark malts, cream, and chocolate malt. A mild to moderate strength aroma.

T: Dark malts provide the foundation. Some underlying cream. Chocolate, hints of vanilla, and caramel. Nicely built and balanced, though quite simple for the style. There's nothing unique or special here (especially considering the demands of the style), though I do like it.

Mf: Smooth and wet; should be coarse and dry. Thick enough. Adequately carbonated. Bad execution for the style; it feels more like a porter or oatmeal stout.

Dr: Drinkable but relatively simple - quite a crime for an imperial stout. I'd get it again at a better price, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it. It's probably this brewery's best offering, but that isn't saying much. Hides its ABV well.

High C+

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Photo of dbossman
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a 2010 bottle.

A: Black hue with a large and steady, chocolate colored hue and really nice lacing

S: Lots of bourbon up front; followed by oak; there is a caramel and vanilla undertone; lots of booze up front but it calms down and smells pretty darn good

T: Roasty, chocolate and coffee malts; this beer is still surprisingly hot (it's nearly 3 years old) but not as much bourbon as I expected but lots of oak--especially in the finish

F: Creamy and viscous and pretty chewy in the finish but also pretty dry from the wood

O: A nice beer but still pretty hot for a '10

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Photo of sukwonee
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2012 bottle - 3151 of 4200

A: looks just like cola except the bubbles are a bit frothier

S: wow. this smells amazing. Huge Huge bourbon upfront, dark chocolate, dark fruits, booziness, vanilla, coconut. wow.

T: alright.... so it's a bit of a let down after smelling this beer. I know this has more to do with the mouthfeel but it's too carbonated. It starts with huge with bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla, coconut, and then... the flavor stops a bit (a bit like carbonated water) then picked up by some faint hops and dark chocolate finish. I almost wish this beer was sweeter so it hides the sharp coronation a bit. I think this beer could use some more aging.

M: carbonation is a bit too sharp and the body feels thin. Alcohol heat also is quite detectable as well.

O: very good BA stout but I think that this could use some more aging. Not in the same league as Parabola, Abyss, BCBS, etc. but still quite good.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: blackest black, 1/2" creamy cocoa/tan head.

Aroma: Grassy/hoppy nose, bourbon & molasses below (hadn't realized it was barrel-aged when I had it), charcoal & chocolate.

Taste: big, fat malt attack, hops riding high above. Nice bitter blast, fading into a deep morass of caramel, char, toast & roast. Great balance in this, an even ride between bitterness & sweet malt (sweetness cut to nil), alcohol strength stays sly, but roars in, eventually. Not terribly full-bodied for an RIS, but over-flowing with flavor. Long, bittersweet finish.

All in all, this one deserves entry into the pantheon. Forgive me for underestimating you, Ivan. I hope to make your acquantaince again

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Photo of gumballhead1
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from 2012, bottle 1344 of 4200
Poured into a snifter, really smooth chocolate, rich oak, and plenty of bourbon boozy taste. I love this beer from big sky its hard to find bombers of stuff in Illinois. My first review so sorry if its unorganized. Overall a good bourbon imperial stout I would definitely recommend to others. I would say its comparable to our goose island bcs.

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Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle, #300 out of 4,200. Poured into a snifter glass

A: Pours a deep chocolate color with minimal head, which isn't all that surprising for a BA 12% beer. Some noticeable alcohol legs on this one.

S: Getting some wood from the barrel, almost a red wine smell from the tannins. Not sure what type of barrel they used for this, but if they used red wine barrel I wouldn't be shocked. Slight coffee and chocolate aromas waffling out as well.

T: Oak, chocolate, coffee with some slight red wine tannins characteristics. Creamy as hell. Fantastic stuff and exactly what I want from an Imp Stout. Though I am a bit surprised by the wine similarities.

M: Creamy, thick full bodied minimal carbonation with a very faint slight booze burn. Such a smooth beer.

O: Excellent fantastic RIS. Creamy and smooth that's not over powering on the wood or the Bourbon. Overall one of the best RIS on the market and nice random find for me in the store. Going back to see if I can snag another bottle!

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Photo of eric5bellies
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bug thanks to Nicks6217 for this one. 2010 vintage.

Reviewed from notes and drank with my buddy Darren

A - Pours the classic impy stout, deep black not much head that doesn't retain.

S - Plenty of chocolate, and mild bourbon, with a little wood.

T - Plenty of vanilla, and drenched bourbon wood with some really nice chocolate after flavours. This is a high quality stout.

M - Sliky smooth, thick viscous and minimal carbonation

O - A great bourbon stout, and one of the best I have tried so far.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750mL bottle split 2 ways. 2010 vintage.

A: Rambunctious head, a full inch of fluffy cappuccino foam, after a glugging pour. Nice legs. Absence worthy black.

N: Bourbon, oak, prunes, chocolate. Slight roast and moderate licorice. Some soy sauce. Caramel and fudge - more of the wood and bourbon.

T: Oak, prune, raisin, fudge. Honey and low levels of roastiness. Espresso sweetened with two lumps of sugar in the grind. Very sweet, but it's not cloying as some of its competitors are wont to be. Hints of soy sauce. Hops are here with some earthy bite, but they mostly add balance.

M: Creamy mouthfeel which is on the lighter side of the spectrum. Lots of booze still.

O: A really well balanced and fairly delicate beer. Very enjoyable, and worth recommending.

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Photo of CooperEllis
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)

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
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!

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Photo of cnbrown313
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

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Photo of kawilliams81
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.

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Photo of Dope
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.

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Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-Aged from Big Sky Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 278 ratings.