1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

574 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 574
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 574 | Reviews: 259 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Pigwings6
Pigwings6

Washington

4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into DFH Signature Glass. 2009 Vintage 1033 out of 3000

A- Pours pitch black with a beautiful tan head, leaves beautiful lacing all around the glass. Looks like a globe haha.

S- Superb smell, a lot of bourbon barrel tones of vanilla and light booze. Very sweet, very much like a lighter BCS.

T- Follows the nose very closely. Vanilla bourbon barrel on the front with mild booze following. Then bitter dark chocolate and the end with a mild carbonation tingle. Very smooth. Again, to me it's like a much lighter, less hot version of BCS.

M- Here's the only downfall in my opinion, it's very thin for a russian imperial stout. Not to say it's like water, but more like a middle mouthfeel between water and heavy RIS. The mild carbonation seems to be perfect for the style.

D- Polished of a 750ml to myself without any hesitation. This thing is very smooth tasty brew. It's very balanced with enough bourbon to get the flavors, but not too much that it's like licking a barrel.

All in all this is my favorite Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout, I have other stouts that I think are better, but this in my opinion is the epitome of balance between the aging in the barrel, and the stout itself.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2010 05:39:19 | More by Pigwings6
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 joepais
joepais

Maine

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

Thanks to Santa for this one.
Bottle # 177 split three ways amongst friends into tulip glasses it had a two finger tan head that went off to nothing but with a swirl of he glass would reappear. The body of the brew was a typical black stout with brown highlights.

Initially I got a huge hit of alcohol from the nose but then it turned wonderfully to bourbon and vanilla. The flavor was sweet bourbon and vanilla, with a touch of roasted malts at the end. It had a great feel in my mouth with proper carbonation for the style.

This is a great beer, easy to sit back and relax with. The flavors were perfect for savoring with some great conversation I would grab a bottle of this If I saw it again without thinking

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2010 17:12:26 | More by joepais
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Bitterbill for this one!

Pours an effervescent mahogany with a finger of cocoa colored head. A bit of booze & head retention

S: Bourbon & dark fruit, a bit of booze as this warms, plus pralines

T: Rich bourbon & vanilla notes up front, plus oaky dryness, leafy hops & raisins.
Sourmash & vanilla dominate as this warms, some figgyness, plus a bit of booze on the edges. Finishes dry with much bourbon, cherry, vanilla & figs

MF: Medium bodied with smooth carbonation, a bit of stickyness & some warming

Drinks very easy for the style & ABV. Ivan isn't terrible at all, but needs to grow some more depth to achieve greatness

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2010 05:07:46 | More by russpowell
Photo of boothbeer
boothbeer

Illinois

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

Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle. 2009 Limited Edition. #190 of 3000.

A- pours dark black with a dark brown color around the edges. Dark Tan colored head. Good head retention. Very little lacing.

S-Tons of Vanilla, chocolate, and lots of Bourbon!

T- Tastes like it smells. Vanilla and Bourbon with some Roasty malts and oak flavors. Some sweetness and chocolate come through as well.

M-Very smooth and viscous. Nice oily texture. Medium carbonation. Very nice mouthfeel on this barrel aged RIS.

D- at 10%, this tasty beer went down very easily!

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2010 23:48:00 | More by boothbeer
Photo of WYVYRN527
WYVYRN527

Minnesota

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

Poured from the 750 ml. bottle. 2009 release, bottle #13 of 3000.

A: Pours black, with a cream colored head that settles rather quickly. Boozy as it is, the lacing is minimal, but retains a good head, given proper treatment.

S: Aroma is of chocolate, toast, vanilla, and oak, also with fig, prune, and coffee.

T: At first, vanilla and coconut show, followed by toasty oak, chocolate, espresso, and dried dark fruits. Hops linger in the backround, drying out the finish of the brew. The alcohol is there upon swallowing, giving it a warming feeling.

M: Mouthfeel is good, and full bodied. At the same time, for this style, it is a bit lighter than other barrel aged beers of this style.

D: This beer is very good, but one bottle is enough. Have it with dessert, as it is sweet and will accompany just about anything after dinner.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2010 05:03:52 | More by WYVYRN527
Photo of rudylaw
rudylaw

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2009, corked & caged 750cl, poured into a snifter.

Pours a soul-sucking black with a lucious head. As pretty looking an RIS as there is.

Lots of vanilla in the nose. A little heat but this is very inviting!

Vanilla, chocolate pudding, bourbon, heat, dark fruit... oh man. This is a great example of a barrel aged stout. Not trying to kill you with complexity... just giving you what you want.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy... velvety and silky. Perfect. Good on you Big Sky... you made an affordable, delicious and near perfect BA RIS!

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2010 04:44:58 | More by rudylaw
Photo of Impfan
Impfan

Washington

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

This is my new favorite RIS. The color is pitch black, and there's a lasting thick mousse of a tan head.

The texture is wonderfully creamy which adds the sensation of more fullness to a body that's just a smidge on the light side, and makes it ideal.

The taste is incredibly rich and layered with esters of dark chocolate, marzipan, pecan praline, coffee, toasted coconut, macadamia, port, bourbon, amaretto, hazelnut, Kahlua and Cream, plum pudding, dates, figs, and mandarin oranges.

The palate is on the sweet side, overall, but never crosses over into the cloying, and the finish definitely dries out the overall experience with some aromatic English hops, of which I suspect the delightful fuggles, and East Kent Goldings play a role.

I just ordered a case through my local Terra Organica, and I really hope they come through for me, because not having a few of these to cellar would be very sad, indeed.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2010 01:02:59 | More by Impfan
Photo of BarrytheBear
BarrytheBear

Wisconsin

4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

cork and caged bottle into a snifter

nice dark pour with a half inch head that sits gallantly upon the surface

pleasant nose of powdered cocoa, vanilla and bourbon

kapow....what a harmonious beer. Vanilla, milk chocolate, vaporous bourbon that lingers throughout but never over powers, and a touch of licorice slapped with a sweet malty finish. Really an enjoyable experience; well blended without the bruising experience that some Impy/bourbon stouts impart.
Barrel lays major tannins along the back.

Carbonation is quite high. While surprising, it works well. Great body: a bit oily and thick.

Each sip begs for another. Ten percent hidden well in the taste. This is an extremely well executed bourbon stout, and one that encourages drinking rather than limits with overpowering alcohol content.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2010 00:48:29 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of KarlHungus
KarlHungus

Minnesota

4.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle number 320 of 3000. This beer pours a thick used motor oil black color. The head is one inch of dark tan colored foam that recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is of is very strong. Roasted malt, alcohol, bitter chocolate, burnt malt, graham cracker, wood, and licorice. It is a very interesting aroma. The taste is full of all the things the aroma is, but everything is magnified a bit. The mouthfeel is full bodied with appropriately low carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is one of the best RIS I have had I a long while. I will certainly go out of my way to drink this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2009 22:17:01 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

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

Oily black, constant skim of tan foam. On par for a barrel-aged RIS, even better that it has good head retention.

Huge vanilla and toasted coconut notes in the aroma. Sweet and chocolatey. Very sweet and rich, but not to a cloying degree. Light bodied yet rich with a long lingering aftertaste. Sweetish vanilla & chocolate, perfectly blended with a mellow bourbon. Never a harsh alcohol element, very smooth and integrated. Woody tobacco, mellow bourbon finish. The best part is the long aftertaste that has savory elements of bourbon and RIS. Super creamy feel, one to savor over a long time.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2009 03:31:25 | More by emerge077
Photo of pwoods
pwoods

Ohio

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

Thanks to unclejedi for sharing.

A: Pitch black and thick. Good head on the pour with some decent retention. Some good lacing.

S: Deep molasses and dark fruits. Some good mellowed roastiness. Nice vanilla sweetness. Nice barrel and light bourbon.

T/M: Very nicebourbon and some dank, woody barrel. Very nice dark fruits and light but nice roastiness. Very good alcohol light. Body is full and very smooth.

D: Lower ABV and reasonably easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2009 03:06:15 | More by pwoods
Photo of JamnesCameron
JamnesCameron

Illinois

4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from my local Binny's, thanks to George for the advance taste before I bought. Bottle number 196/3000.

Poured into a snifter, leaving a large tan head that dissipates quickly, leaving a slight shimmer of a head. Black as night, even up to a light bulb, nothing gets through.

Aromas of candied, chocolate-covered fruit, and vanilla. Slight roast aroams as well.

First sip is bourbon (vanilla and alcohol). Some roast and chocolate at the back of the sip. Good balance of beer and barrel aging.

Mouthfeel is medium to full, but not heavy or filling. Bourbon richness fills your mouth with vanilla and a nice warm alcohol bite.

Drinkability is very good. I'm going to enjoy this over the next hour or so as it warms.

I wouldn't categorize this as a RIS, belongs in the barrel aged group. Not a lot of RIS coming through in this, but excellent none the less. I'm going to have to pick up a few bottles to age, if I can make it through the winter without opening another one.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2009 01:27:24 | More by JamnesCameron
Photo of Parrotbeak
Parrotbeak

Minnesota

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

Pours jet black into a snifter, with a thin, tan head that dissipates almost completely, leaving some remnants on the surface. No light passes through this one, even when held up to direct light.
Nose is chocolate, butterscotch, bourbon, and slight alcohol. Delicious.
As is the taste. Slight chocolately bitterness is up front, followed by a nice bourbon/alcohol heat. Aftertaste is warm and complex; butterscotch definitely noticeable. Very well-balanced imperial stout--the bourbon is not overwhelming by any means.
Mouthfeel is just as thick as I'd want an imperial stout to be. Heavy and slightly oily, but with just enough crisp bitterness to balance it out.
This one is very drinkable. I finished this bottle with no problem, and while I doubt I could polish off another full bottle, another snifter of this one would be a perfect way to finish off the evening.
This is an excellent, well-balanced imperial stout- one of my favorites so far, and a great beer for my first review.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2009 03:52:32 | More by Parrotbeak
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Money is a bottomless sea, in which honor, conscience, and truth may be drowned."

--Ivan Kozlof

Bottle #342 of 1152. Chimney soot black with slivers of reddish copper along the borders. The chocolate milkshake-like crown is a reverse cascading monster that filled most of the pint glass on the pour. It looks fantastic as it melts and is beginning to lay down better than decent lace.

The nose is everything that I look for in a bourbon barrel-aged Russian Imperial stout. The label doesn't say, but I've read that Jim Beam barrels were used. The roasted maltiness is perfectly complemented by vanilla-soaked whiskey and even a little dark fruitiness. Hopes are now (Big) Sky high.

Ivan The Terrible may not be the biggest baddest bully on the style block, but it's definitely delicious beer if you're a fan of malty stouts and bourbon whiskey. Forget the words 'slight bourbon presence' on the label. It's much more than slight, though far from boozy.

I'm glad the brewers didn't jack the ABV up to 12.0% or so. Especially since this is a 750 ml bottle. There's no heat or rawness whatsover, just a throat and belly warming that is one of the pleasures of drinking both big beer and spirits. In the end, three months in oak was pretty much perfect as far as flavor transfer is concerned.

Specifics include melted bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee beans, a surprising amount of black licorice, vanilla, coconut shavings and a stave (or two) of American oak. English hops provide some bitterness, but what flavor they might have added is obliterated by everything else that's going on. Fine by me.

A mouthfeel that was sufficient early on is becoming much more impressive as the ounces pass and the temperature rises. This isn't a viscous or chewy RIS, but it's so softly creamy that it deserves the above score with no questions asked.

Big Sky Brewing doesn't get enough love. Their IPA is all kinds of delicious and is the single best beer available locally. Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout is outstanding as well and is one of the best (and most drinkable) bourbon barrel stouts to have crossed my path.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2009 22:15:02 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of ffejherb
ffejherb

Pennsylvania

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

Many thanks to akorsak for breaking out this hard-to-find 750ml bottle at a recent tasting on 11/15/09.

A - Poured a deep-brown-bordering-black body with reddish and copper highlights and about a finger's worth of burnt tan head that settled into a patchy retention.

S - Quite an aromatic and complex nose combining milky lactic sweetness, roasted malt, toasted coconut and plenty of chocolate notes. Malt takes on an almost crisp, rice-like character reminiscent of a candy bar. There is also plenty of vanilla sweetness present.

T - Vanilla sweetness paired with a bourbon tang up front, followed by hints of chocolate and coffee, as well as some woody notes. A dried, dark fruit character emerges in the backend, giving the flavor an almost leathery aspect.

M - Full bodied with a slick, oily texture and soft carbonation, resulting in a very smooth mouthfeel. Finishes with slight alcohol warmth and moderate dryness on the palate.

D - Woosh! Ivan the Terrible is anything but. I found this to be an amazing RIS full of complex flavors and aromas while simultaneously retaining its drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2009 03:16:47 | More by ffejherb
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A foil-wrapped 750 mL capped bottle. Number 332 of 1,152 from the 2008 release.

A: The stout is a dark one (seems like a broken record for JD Blackbeerd, Blackbeerd and now this) that generates a rather thick, craggy tan head that laces extensively. The lace is rather surprising for a beer of this strength.

S: The nose starts off (cold) with an average combination of bourbon and stout. As it warms though, it really takes off. Vanilla and caramel appear, accentuating the sweetness. A lactic streak runs through the middle of, adding a creamy aroma. Stout elements are bold, strong with dark chocolate and roasted malts.

T: The stout is a wonder. The bourbon barrel has imparted a solid vanilla flavor, strong but not boozy or fusel. Behind it, the body of the stout offers up caramel, cocoa powder, chocolate, coffee and burnt toast. Oak has really taken the edge off of the stout, allowing the bourbon to leave a mark without knocking me out. As in the nose, a lactic flavor, milky and smooth, runs through the body, cutting into both the barrel and the stout. This beer is the winner of the evening, with a long finish that is silky smooth.

M: The mouthfeel combines the best of a barrel and a stout without the overloaded malts or boozy heat. A well done stout.

D: I knew that I should have purchased two bottles. Deuane's reaction to seeing the bottle made it worth the while though. A great barrel aged stout.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2009 13:51:05 | More by akorsak
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

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

750mL bottle, #263 of 1152, poured into a tulip.

Pours an opaque black with an enormous creamy tan head, at least 3 inches tall, that goes nowhere and leaves massive lacing.

The aroma is dominated by dark roasted malts and cocoa with the bourbon coming in very faintly. The oak and vanilla are present as well.

The taste has a bit more bourbon character and there is a sweet bourbon kick up front before the dark chocolate malts take over in the middle. There is actually a hint of citrus hops in the finish along with a powdered cocoa finish which comes off a little dry.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a ton of carbonation, maybe a little too much, but it's still a solid feel overall.

This is a very good impy stout and extremely drinkable. It's definitely on the sweeter side of things with the chocolate playing a major role and the bourbon staying largely out of te way. Very drinkable for the style and recommended overall.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2009 02:32:50 | More by gford217
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours thick dark chocolate. Bittersweet chocolate aroma mostly. Above average mouthfeel of course and its chocolate and coffee. On the sweet side, drinkable to a point. Bourbon in the secondary, not slight rather significant.Good though not th best RIS I have had.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2009 00:25:32 | More by Sammy
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 LilBeerDoctor
LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.03/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 06/05/2009. Bottle at PPRBSG09. This beer pours brown with a tan head. The aroma is of burnt malt and pretzels. Flavor is overwhelmingly bourbon and sweet malt. Basically it's just a big mess of bourbon and malt. Yeah, it is pretty terrible...

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2009 17:07:37 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of thekevlarkid
thekevlarkid

Maryland

4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Out of hand-numbered bottle # 356 of 1152 this RIS was an opaque black color. The head was a full three-fingers of dark tan foam that retained excellently as a cap and left lacing in sticky curtains. Impressive looking! The aroma was dry and complex, wood, nuts, roasted malt, chocolate malt. The flavors were equally complex and on-point, a notable sweetness of molasses, lots of chocolate, toffee, brown sugar, dark fruit esters, hints of smoke and a pleasant bitterness on the finish. As it warmed the dark fruit esters became better pronounced and really paired nicely with all the chocolate it presented. I was actually blown away by how enjoyable the palate was; if I'd known what a gem it was I would have mined more out of Santa Fe where I found it! The mouthfeel was rich and silky, the body full and the carbonation delicate. One of the best RISs I've had and a joy to drink one of the first bottles of this ever produced.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2009 21:59:26 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

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

750ml Bottle
Capped/Silver Foil
Bottle 63 of 1152

Poured into a chalice a very nice black color, nice carbonation, very nice one-finger plus tan head, with lots of nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some slight hops, oaky, fruity, nice bourbon notes. The taste is sweet, malty, slight hop note, oaky, very nice touch of bourbon, got alittle figs/raisins/plums going on here. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is one fine tasty RIS, highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2009 00:15:25 | More by Wasatch
Photo of Floydster
Floydster

California

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle purchased from Liquid Solutions for around twelve dollars, bottle #245 of 1152, split with my dad tonight, poured into my Oerbier tulip glass

A-Black, could not find any light going through, one inch creamy light tan head that lasts around ten minutes, some lacing
S-Bourbon, sweetness, milk chocolate, light vanilla, oak, roasted maltiness, hint of coffee beans, and also mild booze
T-Begins with sweet milk chocolate, light vanilla and roasted malts in the middle, finish has more chocolate and also some sweetness mixed with whiskey in the aftertaste, not much oak in this beer like you expect from these big barrel aged stouts, mellows out and becomes more rounded with sweetness as it warms, not as roasty as the aroma leans toward either, nicely balanced with malt character but maybe a little too much sweetness at times, would have gotten a perfect score in this category from me if it was not for that, still enjoyable flavor with a nice cocoa presence
M-Warming, roasty, and slightly sweet mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, on the lighter side for carbonation, taste lingered for a few minutes
D-Could have drank this whole bottle but glad I shared it, it is deceivingly heavy at times because it is so smooth, alcohol is hidden well, only thing really hurting its drinkability is the mild sweet component

This was a great imperial stout, my bottle said 8.75% ABV but that could have been a typo, it took me a while to track this down and after being unsuccessful in trading for it, I found for sale online happily, now I just wish I would have bought more than one bottle, would like to drink again, especially with some age, curious to see how the bottle conditioning alters things, recommended

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2009 06:53:10 | More by Floydster
Photo of scottoale
scottoale

California

4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml. green champagne bottle #728 of 1152 that has silver foil over the cap and neck. Foil underside is gold. A big pop from the cap and out pours a black as pitch brown liquid with a foam three-finger light brown head. Great carbonation eventually lets the head down to 1/8" and some coating of sticky lace.

Sweet and roasty nose with a good backing of bourbony alcohol. Caramel, chocolate, dark fruit, oak, vanilla and booze really come through as it warms.

Big flavor starts out sweet and fruity with plum, pear, fig, raisen and currants. In steps some roasted malt and oak with some notes of chocolate, toffee, vanilla and charcoal. All of these flavors melding with a bourbon infused oakness. Sweet and earthy, balanced completely with a nice warming finish. The taste dept. scores a big "5". Super tasty stuff.

Full bodied with complimenting carbonation, the alcohol stand right out but never dominates the overall expirience. I truly feel a few years age on this brew will make it incredible and put it up high in the top ten for it's class and style. A big bold barrel-aged monster to be reckoned with. Super job Big Sky! And another big thanks to travisd13 for making this trade one to remember...cheers!

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2009 03:54:55 | More by scottoale
Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout from Big Sky Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 574 ratings.