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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

601 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 601
Reviews: 259
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.51%
Wants: 770
Gots: 196 | FT: 11
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: 601 | Reviews: 259 | Display Reviews Only:
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 duceswild
duceswild

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

02-19-2013 01:02:02 | More by duceswild
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

Pours 1/4 finger of tan head. Color is near black.

Aroma: Cocoa powder, bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, dates, dried fruits. Warming and rich.

Taste: Big cocoa powder again. Light chocolate. The bourbon is warming, but somewhat subtle. Has molasses flavors. Some other dry fruits as well. It shows some vanilla and caramel.

Mouthfeel: A bit fizzy, creamy, and warming. Medium to full bodied, but a bit higher amount of carbonation is present. Ends a bit dry and boozy.

Overall, a decent beer. It is warming which I like. The barrels are a bit subtle. I dig it, but it could have used less cocoa notes.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2010 22:41:18 | More by mothman
Photo of ejimhof
ejimhof

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

12-30-2012 11:56:21 | More by ejimhof
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

08-27-2013 03:33:27 | More by BillRoth
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by mdfb79. Thanks Dan! I've wanted to try this beer for a long time.

2009 Vintage
Bottle 2223 of 3000.

A: Ivan the Terrible has an opaque black body. When held to the light, the beer is dark brown at the apex. There is about an inch of tan head that leaves a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

S: This aroma is world class. Roasted malt and bourbon, hints of chocolate and coffee. Incredibly inviting.

T: Though not as amazing as the aroma, this beer is a pleasure to drink. It's extremely well-balanced, and the flavor is outstanding. The bourbon component is very present, but doesn't overpower the roasted malt or any of the other more subtle flavors.

M: Nice, thick feel. The 10% is not entirely disguised per se, but I certainly would not describe the beer as hot.

D: A pleasure to drink. I'm thankful for the opportunity to try it for the first time. I hope to have it again.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2010 19:02:40 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

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

Graciously shared by Dyan tonight.

The beer pours a blackish brown with very good head retention and lacing. The nose is pretty incredible, showcasing dark chocolate, licorise, vanilla, light coffee and malt balls. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, but with some licorise and a touch of hoppy bitterness on the finish. Mouthfeel is long, soft and creamy, with almost a cask condtioning softness. Drinkability is pretty good, though you can tell the abv. is up there a bit. Regardless, this is very well made RIS from Big Sky brewing. Impressive.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 02:25:07 | More by John_M
Photo of brandoman63
brandoman63

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

11-28-2011 20:27:35 | More by brandoman63
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

4/5  rDev -6.5%

05-08-2012 03:16:02 | More by drewone
Photo of rab53
rab53

Washington

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

05-26-2014 22:27:21 | More by rab53
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Thanks to ShanePB for bringing this down to share with me. 2009 Vintage.

A: Poured a dark brown/black with a slight reddish tint when held up to the light. A small tan head formed on top with little retention and spotty lacing.

S: Lots of cherry and oak, the oak intensifies as the beer warms. There is a hint of cocoa and vanilla. The strongest aroma reminds me of sherry/port though, I could smell it immediately.

T: Heavy dark fruit flavors with cherry, plum, and some dates. There is a mixture of oak and vanilla, the sherry/port flavors are present. This beer, more than any other I can remember, reminds me of wine. As the beer opens up there is a slight tartness on the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with a nice level of carbonation for a bottle form 2009.

O: A bit of a let down based on the hype. Its good, but the fruit flavor and wine like qualities aren't typically what I am looking for in the style. Would love to try it again to see if there was just something a little off about this bottle.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 21:05:21 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

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

Pitch black beer with a dense, tightly packed brown head. Hefty amounts of lace are dropped down as I drink. This smells really good. Chocolate, java, roast, coffee bean, bourbon, oak, vanilla bean.... Easy 5.0 here. Body is medium to medium-full. Beer is quite smooth and luxurious. Definite alcohol presence and the spiciness associated with it. Flavor is a lot of roast and chocolate and bourbon. Great combo. The alcohol smooths out a little as it warms, but is evident throughout the whole drink. Awesome beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2010 04:53:47 | More by Bighuge
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 JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

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

750 picked up locally for a very reasonable $10.... poured into my New Belgium snifter.. bottle 108 of 1152.

beautiful 3 finger head that has been sticking around for about 5 minutes ... dark tan.. looks like a really thick espresso cap... great lacing and a huge cap..

The nose is thick and very complex... not boozy at all.. big milk chocolate with dark cherry essence and vanilla.. bourbon isn't as pronounced as expected... yet the smell is fantastic.

wow.. this is like a liquid brownie.. big roasty chocolate.. some sweetened coffee notes.. more vanilla.. and the bourbon is more of a component that is throughout and never becoming too large.. complex with a great semi-dry finish that lingers forever.. dried fruit esters lend another layer of complexity.

I had high hopes for this one, but sorta was expecting to be let down... but I am very happy to report, I was wrong.. not as viscous most of it's more famous brothers .. the carbonation may be a touch on the high side.. but it is small bubble carbonation that helps lend a very lush mouthfeel.. This is a great beer... I wish we would have gotten more of it... I have a very good feeling that this is going to age like a real champion.

Huge thanks to Matt and the people at Big Sky who listened to me bitch about not getting this in... and a huge props to jjanega08 for appeasing an over aggressive trader :-) gracias Jozef.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2009 08:05:11 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

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

Well, Ivan the Terrible is far from terrible, unless terrible has become the new "bad".

Dark black, glossy pour. Shines a bit. Dark brown, mellow, sticky head. A touch more density would give it a 5--although I am stubborn on giving 5s

A dark chocolate and light coffee aroma develops around soft vanilla and some caramel. Booze isn't noticed at all. Some smokiness too.

A clamoring of flavors kind of melt into one. Vanilla and caramel seem to make dark, smooth chocolate. The coffee and some hops give it a bit of earthiness. Smoked meat and some woodiness. These are all bold flavors without aggressiveness. Very easy drinking for the size and abv. Would be (is) a great winter beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2010 04:04:57 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

11-25-2013 06:24:53 | More by beertunes
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch-black with a thick and frothy brown head into my glass. Lots of foam, which I beleive is unusual for this style.

Lots of oak upfront followed by just a bit of roasted malt and cream. Not really a big fan of oaked beers but this isn't too strong.

Roasted malt, chocolate and cream mingle with oak flavors. Again, oak flavors are strong but not as strong as if this beer were fresher.

Lingering oak and roasted malt at the back of the throat. Not much else. Not as much of a bite here.

It's a decent example of the style. Received it in a trade and it's been sitting in my fridge for months. Not bad.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 01:55:49 | More by Brad007
Photo of THECPJ
THECPJ

Delaware

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

02-01-2013 01:13:42 | More by THECPJ
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 HopHead84
HopHead84

California

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

4/28/2010

I was on my way home from the gym at 8:45 PM stinking of sweat and iron and about to eat a meal of boneless skinless chicken breast and brown rice when I felt an unmistakable sensation: the call of Advocacy. I quickly checked the web browser on my phone. Sure enough, there was a keg of Ivan the Terrible in distress at Stone. "Someone may already be there Advocating it" I mused, "though...it's best not to leave these things to chance." And so it was, I found myself heeding the call of Beer Advocacy and putting aside all prior obligations.

The beer appears very Stouty, with a dark color and a billowing light brown head. The thing takes forever to recede.

The nose on the tap version is every bit as magical as the bottle I advocated a few months back. The beer reeks of bourbon and dark chocolate. It's like a dark chocolate bourbon brown sugar cookie. A light roasted malt presence is perceivable. Notes of vanilla linger in the background with caramel and a little oak. The flavor is boozy bourbon chocolate with a restrained roast and a light caramel presence. Every bit as awesome as it was from the bottle. The carbonation is at a moderate level and the mouthfeel is thick, sticky, and silky with alcohol warming. This beer is great.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2010 05:07:35 | More by HopHead84
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

01-19-2013 15:15:09 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of afsdan
afsdan

Colorado

4.75/5  rDev +11%

05-21-2014 22:23:59 | More by afsdan
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2008 vintage bottle #636 out of 1152. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tasting glass. It poured a dark brown, pretty close to black in color with very little signs of carbonation or head.

The aroma has a big dark chocolate presence to it. It's very rich with a chocolate brownie like quality to it. I get some lighter bourbon qualities to it with some very nice vanilla notes to it. Some sweeter dark fruits seemed to come out a little more as it warmed. Great aroma, I loved how rich chocolate and vanilla notes came together.

The taste is very smooth with with some nice notes of dark chocolate, vanilla and bourbon all coming out. I get a little more of a woody oak presence in the finish. The bourbon is a little more reserved at this point but it still adds some very good complimenting flavors to it.

The mouthfeel feels thin with very low carbonation. The low carbonation hurts it and makes it feel a little watery and thin. I'm sure this is attributed at least partially to it's age.

Overall I thought it had some really great flavors to it. The bold chocolate was complimented very well with the bourbon and vanilla. The thin mouthfeel and lower carbonation hurts it some, but overall I thought it was a very smooth and flavorful beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2012 19:58:49 | More by billab914
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

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

2009 and 2010 bottles poured into tulip glasses. this review is based on the 2010

Pours an inky blackness with a nice fluff of browned head. Retains nicely, leaving sticky lacing on the glass while drinking, with a dark collar around the edge.

Lovely bouquet of oaky bourbon and vanilla, riddled with brownie and chocolate cake. Roasted malts and warmth infiltrate the senses. Oh boy.

Sticky sweetness up front tempered by a thick roasty malt profile. Dark and assertive with oak and bourbon driving the barrel character. Cocoa powder and booze soaked brownie with some vanilla tones. Finishes very warm and a bit sweet, but not overwhelming.

Full body, decent carbonation, sticky and chewy on the mouth. A damn good barrel aged stout, I hope I get to try this again sometime soon.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2011 22:24:47 | More by xnicknj
Photo of Zaphog
Zaphog

Michigan

4/5  rDev -6.5%

01-14-2013 00:21:09 | More by Zaphog
Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout from Big Sky Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 601 ratings.