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Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ivan The Terrible Imperial StoutIvan The Terrible Imperial Stout

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

613 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 613
Reviews: 259
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.51%
Wants: 768
Gots: 196 | FT: 13
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: 613 | Reviews: 259 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DmanGTR
DmanGTR

Florida

4.83/5  rDev +12.9%

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

04-26-2010 17:56:44 | More by DmanGTR
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +4%

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.

03-22-2011 17:32:14 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Axnjxn
Axnjxn

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

07-15-2014 14:31:05 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of enelson
enelson

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +11%

01-30-2013 21:29:15 | More by enelson
Photo of whartontallboy
whartontallboy

New York

4/5  rDev -6.5%

01-14-2012 06:17:05 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Kentucky

4.47/5  rDev +4.4%

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!

11-08-2010 01:15:44 | More by woosterbill
Photo of KevinGordon
KevinGordon

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

07-13-2014 13:33:00 | More by KevinGordon
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

3.8/5  rDev -11.2%

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.

08-31-2011 19:11:31 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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.

09-23-2011 16:09:05 | More by FosterJM
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

4.47/5  rDev +4.4%

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!

02-06-2010 03:50:47 | More by maximum12
Photo of BGsWo22
BGsWo22

New York

3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

06-27-2014 01:14:11 | More by BGsWo22
Photo of KarlHungus
KarlHungus

Minnesota

4.93/5  rDev +15.2%

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.

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

New York

3.03/5  rDev -29.2%

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...

07-11-2009 17:07:37 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -13.6%

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.

06-18-2012 16:53:16 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of eawolff99
eawolff99

Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

06-23-2012 01:37:36 | More by eawolff99
Photo of jophish17
jophish17

Georgia

4/5  rDev -6.5%

12-24-2011 12:15:53 | More by jophish17
Photo of hopdog
hopdog

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +3.5%

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).

03-19-2009 00:51:37 | More by hopdog
Photo of Holland
Holland

Illinois

4/5  rDev -6.5%

03-02-2013 00:55:54 | More by Holland
Photo of outoffocus
outoffocus

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev 0%

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.

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

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

11-02-2013 05:57:38 | More by twelveinches
Photo of kscaldef
kscaldef

Oregon

4/5  rDev -6.5%

02-12-2013 02:33:15 | More by kscaldef
Photo of BMart
BMart

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

08-09-2013 15:17:13 | More by BMart
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev -5.8%

Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to piclee for this one. 2009 edition, bottled 2237 of 3000.

4.5 A: Pitch black color. One and a half fingers of creamy light brown head. Pretty good retention and plenty of lacing.

4.0 S: Bourbon is the strongest aroma, but it isn't all out dominating, rather more along the lines of overtime tiebreaking. Leather, oak, vanilla, and a touch of hay and melon from the bourbon. Underneath there is a chocolate, molasses, and roasty maltiness. As it warms, a raisin fruitiness emerges.

4.0 T: Unlike the nose, the bourbon dominates the taste. Fortunately, whatever this bourbon is, it is pretty good. Vanilla, leather, oak, melon, citrus, and perhaps even some banana coming from the bourbon and barrel. The stout itself gives some chocolate, caramel, and molasses, but it needs to be more aggressive to give the bourbon a run. A bit boozy.

4.0 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonably creamy and smooth. Warming throughout and especially on finish and lasts well into aftertaste.

4.0 D: Definitely a decent brew for stout fans and an excellent brew if you really like bourbon. This is, indeed, the best tasting bourbon has ever been in a beer for me. However, I prefer a big powerful stout that the bourbon just can't keep up with (GI BCS comes to mind). If I ever want a good bourbon fix though, I'll seek out this beer.

08-29-2010 23:12:58 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of strongaf
strongaf

Washington

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

12-30-2012 09:01:17 | More by strongaf
Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout from Big Sky Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 613 ratings.