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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

272 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 272
Hads: 782
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 10.51%
Wants: 803
Gots: 261 | FT: 22
Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States | website

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout | 10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bitterbill on 11-10-2008

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
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 272 | Hads: 782
Photo of rlee1390
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got in a beertrade, bottle number 2906/3800 from 2010
Update-Had '12 and '10 side by side

A-Jet black, one finger of creamy brown head that leaves some lacing.

S-Bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts.

T-Chocolate, bourbon, coffee, roasted malts with some bitterness, great balance. In the '10 there was perfect balance and some vanilla as well

M-Smooth, medium bodied, some carbonation.

O-Another great barrel aged beer. Glad I got the chance to try this one. Fresh it was a tad hot bourbon did not dominate but was stronger, the '10 had mellowed out and thus had perfect balance.

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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 woosterbill
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
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!

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
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

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of birchstick
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage, bottle 37 of 3800

A - pours a deep, dark black color with a minimal head that forms a light taupe color around the glass

S - nose is lots of nice vanilla, some molasses, cola, milk to dark chocolates

T - taste starts off with milk chocolates that moves to a nice vanilla flavor imparted from the barrel aging. Moves on to a nice spicy bourbon flavor with some more vanilla in the mix. Ends spicy and a little hot.

M - mouth is medium to light bodied with a nice amount of carbonation - goes down really nicely

D - overall, this is a pretty nice barrel aged RIS. Personally, I think this is a nice example of barrel aged beer, however due to the bottle count being low I think this demands a little more than its worth. That being sad, I am glad I landed a bottle and would try to get again off the shelf if the opportunity presents itself in the future.

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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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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
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...

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Photo of jsh420
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 #389/3000

pours dark dark brown with a 2 finger tan head that had good retention and left spotted lacing

smell is sweet bourbon vanilla dark fruits

taste much like nose sweet bourbon dark fruits vanilla then roasted malts chocolate some booze - no flavors overpower the others which make this a very enjoyable beer

mouthfeel is medium/heavy good carbonation very smooth and creamy with a very dry finish

drinkability is great this 750ml bottle went down prety fast

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Photo of hopdog
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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).

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Photo of Jeffo
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The first trade I ever made. Thanks for hooking up a newbie NewGeneric.

From a 750 into a snifter
Vintage: 2009
Bottle 2624 of 3000

APPEARANCE: Pours out black and a small cascading effect produces a one finger, medium-looking, beige head with decent retention. Jet black body and a bit of carbonation evident. Head fades to a good wisp and ring. A slight wisp and ring remain but leave no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Roasted malts and a good dose of molasses in there as well. Some dark chocolate as well, and a subtle but well measured barrel. Oak, bourbon and vanilla notes accompany the molasses and dark chocolate. Bold and very well put together.

TASTE: Roasted malts and a bigger barrel presence, like the nose had suggested. Definite oak and bourbon with vanilla as well. Sweet molasses comes through with some dark, bitter chocolate at the swallow. Bold flavors, and a bold, lingering aftertaste of bourbon, sweet molasses, and bitter chocolate, with a bit of heat lingering on the palate. Definitely tasty and sweeter than some other barrel aged stouts, meaning the barrel, though very present, doesn't dominate the malt profile. Well put together; a real treat.

PALATE: Fuller body, heavy on the palate, but not quite as creamy or smooth as it could be. Goes down fine with a bit of a burn on the swallow and heat at the finish. A little mouth-coating, though not cloying. Could be a little creamier, but fits the bill otherwise.

OVERALL: Definitely good, and worth the effort to get a bottle. The barrel works well without dominating the base beer, letting the molasses and dark chocolate flavors play a role in the fun. A little hot still perhaps, which could be helped by a little more cellaring, and the thick, heavy palate could be a little creamier, but otherwise this is a real treat of a beer. Worth tracking down, and I definitely hope to see this one again. Thanks again NewGeneric.

EDIT: Just had the 2010 batch, bottle 3494 of 3800. Flavor and aroma were milder than I remembered, carbonation much higher, and, consequently, the body far too light for the style. Not nearly as solid as the 2009 batch. Disappointing for sure.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Everything about this calls out as a classic barrel aged stout. The pour is thick and viscous and the nose is full of barrel, vanilla, coconut, chocolate and bourbon.

The barrel properties are prominent at first with woodsy oak and bourbon. The middle palate serves that barrel sweetness of coconut and vanilla while it ends with chocolate, caramel and toffee. This is truly decadent and absolutely delicious.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, Chris! 2009 vintage poured into Narke tulip.

A - Pours black, nice mocha-colored head, spotty lace, thin collar.

S - Smooth booze, chocolate brownies, toffee, light roast. Really smooth and extremely dessert-like, which is how I like my Stouts. The chocolate is excellent and with two years of age, the booze is just about perfect.

T - Similar the nose. Smooth bourbon, light oak, chocolate, burnt caramel notes, and roast. Everything is right on target for me, as the booze works perfectly with the chocolate and light roast. Hard to find anything bad to say here, in fact, there isn't.

M - Full, rich and smooth, viscous, creamy finish.

O - An excellent RIS that is drinking perfectly with two years of age on it. I'm glad I waited to review this one until now, because this one surpassed my expectations. Recommend!

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Photo of homebrew311
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip, served at Binnys south loop. Apperance is inky black with dark brown head. Opaque. The nose is full of rich chocolate and delicate vanilla. The bourbon is much tamer than the bottled version, mellow vanilla with sturdy oak coming through. Taste is full of rich dark chocolate and mellow vanilla. The mouthfeel is hefty with mild carbonation. Overall, the tap version is a step down from the bottled version, the barrel character is tough to pick up. Great stout nonetheless.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle

Pour It Black
Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

Nearly black with a thin brown head that eventually leaves spiderwebs of sticky lace down the glass. This beer looks thick, intimidating, shiny, and aggressive. Awesome.

Wonderful aroma consisting of roasted malts, rich chocolate, and lovely vanilla/earth bourbon notes. The chocolate and bourbon battle for dominance, and it's an awesome fight to witness.

The bourbon is more subuded in the flavor compared to the aroma, letting the rich roast character and dark chocolate elements shine through. A mild vanilla and earthy bourbon note present, especially as the beer warms. That being said, the beer gets better and better as it reaches warmer and warmer temperatures.

Medium to thick bodied with low to moderate carbonation.

A truly wonderful example, and nearly perfect within style. This was the only beer I sought out multiple times during the Stone Pour It Black event. If I had known better, I would have had less Mikkeller and more Ivan the Terrible, that's for sure!

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottle 426/1152. Thanks Chris for sharing!

A- Body is a dark brown, nearly black. Pours with a 2 finger creme brulee colored head. Some lacing is left behind in the glass-retention is good at 1/2 finger.

S-Classic RIS nose. Plum, anise, raisin, ripened dark fruit, licorice. Balance leans toward sweet and fruity-but there is a slight alcohol presence as well as mild cocoa and very mild dark chocolate.

T- Taste is completely different than nose. Lots of dark chocolate, raisin, complex-but slightly over ripe. A touch of bourbon and oak come through for the finish as the fruit flavors intensify and the chocolate fades. Dark fruit and a slight alcohol warmth linger.

M-Very well done-thick, creamy, and full body. Soft carbonation but slightly chalky.

D- This is a good RIS overall. Doesn't compare to my favorites of the style thought. Was very happy to have the opportunity to try this!

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Photo of arizcards
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up the 2013 edition bottle # 2313 of 3000 from Total Wine in early December for $13.99.

Beer poured black with very little head.

Nose is booze, vanilla, roasted malts.

Taste is light bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits, some cocoa.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall for a brew that is nearly 14% this is one of the easiest drinking high octane BBS that i have experienced. This is my first time trying it as i was never able to find it in the past. Glad i picked up two of them!

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Photo of n2185
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle

A: pours black with three fingers of dark tan head that recedes into a thin cap with decent lacing.

S: roasted malts up front with some coffe notes. Vanilla, oak, and bourbon aromas bring up the finish, but aren't overwhelming.

T: again, roasted malts up front with some light robust coffee flavors. Creamy vanilla flavors follow along with oak and sweet bourbon. It's surprsingly smooth with no real alcohol presence. The finish has some more roasted malt characters with a light bitterness.

M: thick body with a good amount of carbonation. It manages to be creamy at first with a nice bit of carbonation that goes surprisingly well with all of the flavors.

O: a very good beer. This beer was better than I expected. The bourbon is present, but not overwhelming. It still tastes like a stout after the barrel treatment. I love the body of this beer, too. It's creamy, but has a surprising amount of carbonation that somehow works very well with everything else. Definitely one of the better bbal beers out there.

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Photo of harrymel
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2010

A: pours a dark maduro brown. Nice, two finger latte head loosely disspates and leaves a thick sheet of the same. Beer has excellent clarity around edges, otherwise SRM's prevent this. minimal lacing.

S: The bourbon is both the hilight and beautifully subdued. Never experienced appropriately blended BBA like this. Malty, anise, bourbon, sweetness, molasses. Very nice. Very pleasing.

T: This beer is fantastic fresh - I've had many BBA's that need aging, and then peak out. I'm not so sure this beer should be aged. It's great now, and struggle to see the Bourbon getting better. I think I prefer this to The Abyss.

M: Velvet, with moderate carbonation. I do, however, tend to stir my glass so frequently, that the carbonation dies out quite a bit. Leaves the the mouth slick and appreciating the bourbon barrels even longer.

D: This beer is outstanding. I can't see the beer having better presence beyond being fresh. I have about a case sitting around the house - I've already traded too much of it away. This beer is outstanding.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into two pint glasses. Thanks to pops for the assist!

2009 Limited Edition
1221 of 3000

A: Pours a pure, evil black. Sitting on top is a about four fingers of dark mocha foam that features a lovely cascading effect. Those four fingers slowly settled down to about a fingers' worth of head that left a little bit of lace lingering on the glass.

S: Excellent balance in the nose. Equal parts bourbon, vanilla, dark fruit, charred barrel, booze, and tangy chocolate covered cherries.

T: Bourbon, dark fruit, and dark chocolate are the main players with ample supporting assistance from charred barrel, espresso, chocolate covered tangy orchard fruit, and dark rum.

M: I was expecting this to be really hot and messy, but instead I was rewarded with a smooth, full, and fully realized barrel aged beer. Sweet, sticky, and thick but in no way syrupy. Fantastic.

D: I'm accustomed to nose hair curling booziness that seems to go hand in hand with this style. This, however, was an exercise in restraint and layers. I can't wait to try this again...

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Photo of Floydster
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
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

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

I've had this one twice now, and when harrymel came out to visit, he layed one of these on me. Thanks Harry!

Vintage 2010; bottle # 2580 of 3800.

A: Almost pitch, abysmally black, with a beige, sawdust-like head that retained itself throughout the session. Nice looking, and looks bubbly and delectable!

S: Nice woody, bourbon character, with a delectable milk chocolate and coconut flair that frankly smelled like a liquified "Almond Joy" candy bar.

T: I think I was the only one at my tasting group to get this quality, but I got a HUGE coconut wallop out of this.... jeez. Seriously, there wasn't any sort of soy sauce-esque or intense bourbon-bomb character on this at all. Very oaky, classical, faint dark fruit notes, vanilla, Nestle's Quick, and once again.... raw, organic coconut. This goes down very easily... dangerous!

M: Very highly carbonated... the highest I've ever tried in this style even. Despite this fact, the excess bubble count worked wonders in cutting through the alcohol (which was undetectable), and the "Imperial" elements of this beer. I got kind of a semi-sweet, oaky, chocolate lingering on the palate that was fantastic!

O: I don't say this too much about a brew of this style and octane, but given the rather light and fluffy nature of this one, I could honestly drink an entire bottle of this stuff. I will most certainly have Ivan again....

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Photo of emmasdad
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one at a tasting a while back at schmittymack's and never got around to entering it. Poured this one with a few other imperial stouts, including Darkness, Dark Lord and Black Tuesday. Even still, it more than held its own. Poured a deep, dark black color, with a bit of mocha colored foam. Big aromas of roasted malt, espresso, dark chocolate, toffee and vanilla. On the the palate, more roast, along with more of the bourbon character, vanilla and oak. A very good stout.

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Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-Aged from Big Sky Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.