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

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

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

656 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 656
Reviews: 260
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 780
Gots: 207 | FT: 15
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: 656 | Reviews: 260 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KevinGordon
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

KevinGordon, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of eawolff99
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

eawolff99, Jun 23, 2012
Photo of enelson
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

enelson, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of gford217
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

gford217, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of sweemzander
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL corked and caged bottle into a snifter. One of my contributions to the weekend. Bottle # 1290 of 3800.

(A)- Pours a fairly thick pitch black color. Produced a nice frothy tan head and decent retention with lots of lacing.

(S)- A nice oaky vanilla bourbon profile. Some roasted components. Raisin and molasses.

(T)- Lots of run raisin and oaky bourbon. Very sweet and rich with some dark fruits and subtle charred oak at the end.

(M)- A nice carbonation level and balance. Surprisingly smooth and mellow despite its bourbon barrel aging. Rich too.

(D)- A very easy drinking and enjoyable stout. Rich and sweet, but carries a nice smoothness as well. Good stuff. Will look forward to see what time will do to this.

sweemzander, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of BGsWo22
3.25/5  rDev -23.9%

BGsWo22, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of Jwale73
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to jedwards for breaking this one out. 750ml bottle. 2009 vintage, bottle 2264 of 3000. Pours an inky black with a quarter inch, khaki-colored head embedded with ringlets. Head eventually settles into a creamy cap; arcs and spots of lacing are exposed during the tasting. Great nose - dark malt dominates; however, buttery bourbon notes are revealed as the brew warms. The flavor profile really opens up as the glass warmed between my hands - milk chocolate, a little wood, brown sugar and a slight roasted/charred character. Mouthfeel is medium-light, albeit a bit thin, with an easy, even carbonation. There's also a slight acidic tang as well as some residual heat. Overall, this is an exceptional RIS with a great balance. I actually think this beer might be better with a little less time on it, but age didn't really negatively impact it as whole.

Jwale73, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of drpimento
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

HUGE. Smackdown. Poured a nice tan foamy fothy head with lots of lace. Color is an opaque brownish black. Aroma is a volatile mix of fermented malt, tar, grapes, oak, walnut, acorns, treacle. Flavor's the same but much more full. Body is luscious with perfect carbonation. Very sweet finish with a little dark malt bitterness and hop. Not a session.

drpimento, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of popery
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

popery, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of ArrogantB
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010 bottle courtesy of Harrymel, thanks man! Ink black with a super foamy head. Smells like wood and booze. The flavor at first like drinking a whiskey or bourbon, very strong but then I got roasted malts and a very odd tartness. Given the tartness and super foam I wonder if this was showing early signs of infection? Overall not bad but a bit of a let down after the olde bluehair was so surprising.

Update 2013 bottle

Aroma is a pretty awesome chocolate and bourbon mash up. Flavor is also a nicely bourbon barrel influenced stout. Much better than the last incarnation I had and for $12.99 this is kind of a deal given the way pricing has gone.

ArrogantB, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of outoffocus
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

outoffocus, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of DmanGTR
4.83/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to unclejedi for a generous pour at DLD. From notes on 4/24/10

A - poured extremely dark brown, pretty much black. Deep garnet hues in the edges. Light tan head that retained nicely and lent a creamy look in the light. 4.5

S - A lovely explosion of vanilla, charred oak, smoke, and roastiness. Wonderfully balanced. 4.5

T - Very similar to the aroma but less smoky flavor. The chocolate and expresso are prominent but mellowed by some vanilla in the finish. A wonderful beer, the taste is nearly flawless. I wish I could get this near me. 5.0

M - Rich, thick, and coats the palate. Subtle carbonation. Not too chewy. 4.5

D - For a 10% beer, this went down so smooth and so velvety. I could not taste any alcoholic warmth at all. 5.0

DmanGTR, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of cpetrone84
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

cpetrone84, Jun 18, 2012
Photo of BMart
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

BMart, Aug 09, 2013
Photo of whartontallboy
4/5  rDev -6.3%

whartontallboy, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of AlexFields
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

AlexFields, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of maximum12
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle 1054 of 1152 from the first batch, 2008. Picked up a bottle at a local shop & they vanished in a heartbeat. The current version is now in stores, so I wanted to finally break this one open to see if it's worth another investment.

Pours black & vigorous. Smell is in the 'wow' stratosphere, with the promise of nutty chocolate & deep, real vanilla. This is a beer to hand to non-craft beer drinkers & say "take a whiff of this". If they don't want a drink after that, they're probably hopeless.

Ivan the Terrible comes out with a robe full of bourbon, but also with an armful of malts that keep it from reaching BCS territory & overwhelming the base brew. Bourbon, sweet malts, & vanilla pour into the palate. Chocolate runs to show, & there's an almost sherry, port-like fruit flavor that kicks into high gear as the liquid vanishes down my throat.

Paired up with the bourbon, it's an intriguing, delicious mess of a beer, & I mean that as a compliment. It's a sipper, but a rapid one, as I try to figure out what the hell is in my glass, & why.

Excellent beer that takes the notion of a barrel-aged RIS & does some cool things with it. Guess I'll be getting at least one more of the 2009 version, I'd like to try this fresh now!

maximum12, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of woosterbill
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into a Weyerbacher tulip. Sampled at a tasting.

A: Fully black body with a finger of dense brown foam. Solid retention and light lace. Great.

S: Holy. Shit. This is amazing. Bourbon, molasses, brown sugar, and roast. So rich, so deep, so amazing. One of the best-smelling beers I've ever encountered.

T: Super sweet, with all the molasses and brown sugar from the nose, plus some oaky vanilla and bourbon. Amazing, but maybe a trifle too sweet.

M: Full body with moderate, fine carbonation. Lovely.

D: The sweetness borders on cloyingness, but it...is...delicious.

Notes: Gigantic thanks to my new pal Warren for sharing this gem of a stout. I'd heard nothing but good things about Vlad, but I wasn't prepared for this. Even in a tasting that included Darkness '10, Abyss '06, IST '06, BA IST, and more, Ivan stood out as being the most delicious and memorable stout of the night. Now that's saying something.

Cheers!

woosterbill, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of FosterJM
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

823rd Review on BA
Bottle to Tulip
750ml C/C

2010 Bottle
#703/3800

Served a touch above cellar temp.

This was a mini gusher, A very loud pop when the cork was popped and a slow rolling foam came out the top.

App- Ivan had a lot of head behind it when first poured. It took a while to recede and when it did it settled to a two finger, very open and aerated head. A lot of bubbles. The color was a touch above inky black. Very dark, very dense. A lot of scattered cling and lacing. Very nice looking beer.

Smell- Opens very rich and full on the nose. Big bourbon notes followed by a medium level of vanilla and oak. A little bit but not much of say a chocolate covered cherries. Well blended with all aromatics not being overly dominant just complimentary to each other.

Taste- A very good stout. I traded for this one early this year and had been sitting on it. I had very high expectations for this one and this stout didn’t disappoint. This beer had a very mellow bourbon note with more of a vanilla character and roast stouts then most. GuruDel and I both commented on how this was smooth like BCBVS but more drinkable as its smoother with the vanilla. A touch of roast and fruit round out the flavor profile.

Mouth- Medium-full bodied beer with a paired carbonation level. Very vanilla on the palate with a touch of chocolate and roast.

Drink- Overall, Ivan crushed it. This was a very good beer with well rounded flavors and a great bourbon/oak touch. I waited a while to have this one and it didn't disappoint at all. Would love to get another bottle.

FosterJM, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of KarlHungus
4.93/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

KarlHungus, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of jophish17
4/5  rDev -6.3%

jophish17, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of Holland
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Holland, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.03/5  rDev -29%
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...

LilBeerDoctor, Jul 11, 2009
Photo of twelveinches
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

twelveinches, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of hopdog
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Bottle # 242 of 1152.

Aromas of vanilla, bourbon, woody, roasty, and some chocolate. Tastes of vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar, dark fruits, chocolate, and ligher wood. Definitely bourbon in both aromas and tastes (for me that's not necessarily bad).

hopdog, Mar 19, 2009
Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-Aged from Big Sky Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 656 ratings.