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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.
very good

78 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 78
Reviews: 5
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 4
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company visit their website
Montana, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jegross2 on 05-23-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 78 | Reviews: 5 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 twelve ounce bottle poured into a mini-snifter.

Pours a deep black, somewhat viscous, and produces a finger thick khaki-colored head. It sits well over the oil-like liquid. Lace forms around the edges of the liquid and streaks across the top. There's much to admire here. 4.5

Dark chocolate is potent as is sweet vanilla and caramel. There's a burly sweet malt thickness apparent on the nose. I'm reminded more of a scotch ale. 4.25

Dark chocolate takes the lead on the palate as well, toffee and vanilla follow-up and then there's a spicy bite of hops. Baker's chocolate lingers on the finish. With some warmth, some dark fruit flavor and even some cherry emerges. There is an excellent number of flavors here. 4.5

Smooth and creamy, but with a rush of carbonation mid-palate and a spicy hop heat that give the beer some bite. There's no alcohol feel or burn, which is impressive for this 9.5% brew. 4.25

This beer deserves more props. It's damn good. All across the board. A 4-pack for around $10 is a steal. I look forward to aging the other three bottles and enjoying them many years from now.

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look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4


12oz picked up at Bier Thirty.. Have seen it around town at all the usual beer shops. Poured into my FW Reserve goblet.. Dark tan head shows nice lacing and good retention.

Nose is ashy and a bit burnt with some milk chocolate.. Pleasant and well rounded.

Flavor has a light fruity element that helps tie the chocolate malt back to the bigger roasted/black malt... light licorice that I don't really appreciate... Still very well rounded and a nice standard RIS.

Medium body with good bubble.

I didn't think I would appreciate this one as much as I did... We forget about the base beer once they are put in some random barrel.. This is a good beer without any accentuation.


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enelson, Oct 19, 2014
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4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the non-barrel aged base beer for Ivan The Terrible from Big Sky Brewing Company out of Montana. I had the pleasure of drinking this beer at the Map Room in Chicago for Chicago craft beer week while chatting with Big Sky's head brewer Matt Long.
Score: 91

Tap pour from the 2012 batch that is currently sitting in barrels for a late October 2012 release. Served in a chalice glass and enjoyed on 05/23/12 with a cup of Intelligensia coffee.

Appearance: Pitch black color. Seems completely opaque in the bar, though the lighting is not the best. Served with a finger of soapy tan head that slowly recedes into a thin layer atop the glass. Amazing lacing and retention. 5/5

Smell: Brown sugar, roasted chocolate, a little black "medium roast" coffee, and some dark fruit. 4/5

Taste: A decent amount of roasted chocolate throughout, but this is not a chocolate-forward beer. Rather, Ivan is a balanced medley of traditional stout flavors. Dry fig and black cherry, with more bittersweet dark fruit flavor growing on the midpalate as the beer warms. There is a little brown sugar flavor in the mix too, but not in a "sweet" way. Some cocoa and raw chocolate. There's a bit of nondescript butteriness. A bit acidic, but not overly so, as the low amount of carbonation keeps it quite drinkable. Unlike the nose, I did not detect much, if any, coffee flavor. The alcohol is completely hidden. The flavors linger a bit, particularly the bitter chocolate, and it helps some of the beer's tastier complexities layer. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, minimal carbonation. Roasty, bitter and a bit acidic. Decently dry finish. 4/5

Overall: Initially I was a bit disappointed to arrive at the Map Room only to find out that the "real" Ivan, the barrel aged stuff, was not what was on tap. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the base beer. This is a real nice and roasty stout, and it is different from most Russian Imperial Stouts (which tend to be sweeter and chocolatier). Ivan's base beer is quite delicious in its own right, and I can't wait to try a bottle of the barrel aged stuff.

Recommendation: If this stuff saw regular 12 oz bottle format treatment, I would likely buy a four/six pack. I'd recommend this all around to people who do not mind roasty stouts.

Pairings: Intelligensia's house blend or diablo roast coffee.

Cost: $5 for a 12 oz pour in a chalice glass.

jegross2, May 23, 2012
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Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout from Big Sky Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.