Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout
Terrapin Beer Company

Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial StoutBig Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout
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Russian Imperial Stout
3.74 | pDev: 14.17%
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial StoutBig Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout
Notes: Side Project #13
Reviews: 149 | Ratings: 249 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by mechamifune:
Photo of mechamifune
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured on draft into a sifter at the Busy Bee.

Been wanting to try this one for a little bit, but after the lukewarm reviews I opted to not buy a bomber and instead ended up giving a 10 oz pour on draft a shot.

Appearance is pitch black but not quite moror oil consistancy (i.e. 10-50). Looks like a good enough stout.... a small dark brown head emerges with some slight lacing. Looks nice enough, but nothing really grabs you.

Smell is a whole lot of dark malt and booze.... some slight bitter coffee/chocolate notes come out but only very slightly. Smells like a very straight forward RIS.

Taste is a little uneven. Very boozy and no real strong taste otherwise to get past that. The malt sweetness eventually takes over but not in a particularly pleasant way. No real hop profile to make note of (i've been drinking happy ending and storm king lately, so maybe this made the lack of hops seem more evident). I know it sounds like i'm more or less bashing the taste profile, but in the end the issue is more that it just feels uneven rather than the flavors being off or unpleasant (save for the booziness, which I can have some issues with).

Moutfeel is probably the best part, pretty creamy and smooth... not on par with top level RIS's, but still good.

Drinkability is not very good, I had a 10oz pour and had no desire to have any more. Too hot for me and with no truly pleasant notes in the flavor profile to offset the booziness. Perhaps it will age well, but I doubt I will ever find out.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by Lunch. Thanks Paul!

This beer appears nearly black, with a thick beige head that leaves some decent lacing in its wake. The aroma is primarily of roasted malt and alcohol. The flavor brings a lot of heat, with the typical stout characteristics a bit out of balance. It's quite roasty with a formidable alcohol presence throughout. The feel is medium to full bodied. A small sample was plenty. There are many better examples of this style available.

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Photo of Bung
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. A dark brown/black pour, not much head, some whitish bubbles. Hmmm.

Aroma is pretty roasty, coffee and burnt malt. Some anise and bakers chocolate.

Taste is very acrid. Old coffee, more anise and some booze. More alcohol warmth later. A very bitter chocolate. Just not much going on here. Finishes with said bitterness, just not in a real pleasant way, ashy.

Thin and warm, not the best combo. Was able to finish this one by mixing it with some New Holland Poet oatmeal stout.

Not sure what happened here, not the best from Terrapin. Maybe better on draft?

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Photo of Tilley4
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally procured a bottle of this while on a recent trip to Nashville. I figured this was long gone but I saw a couple of bottles and picked one up.

The aromas coming off of this are undeniably RIS with the chocolate and dark fruits but I'm getting quite a bit of smokiness as well that surprises me a bit...almost mesquite or hickory-like in it's aromas...Interesting...

Smooth as silk over the palate with a splendid blend of dark bitter chocolate, splashes of booze, raisins and a long smoky finish that keeps on giving long after the sip is gone...I'm actually surprised at how much I'm liking this...I like Terrapin's stuff but some of their Side Projects have missed the mark with me...Not this one...I'm digging on this...

Enjoyed the hell out of this one while watching the season's first fireflies and listening to the crickets on my front porch...a sublime experience

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Photo of Asgeirr
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Terrapin Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout pours a pitch black colour, we're talking total f****n' darkness along a cream toned crown with ashen intervals (ash grey-to-light brown). Very stable, thick, and dense.

S: Soy, some toffee, hints of charcoal, maybe molasses, somewhat sour backdrop.

T: Honey, cream, a gentle sourness (reminiscent of ripe granny smith-apples), some raisins. Chocolate mousse, comes to mind, yet it's mild in sweetness. Hints of charcoal, burnt malt and
bitter cocoa linger in the threads that is the aftertaste.

M: Creamy, full, smooth, rich (what'd you expect?).

O: Stable, strong, pleasant. Very balanced. GREAT!

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Photo of glid02
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours black with a half-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of robust roasted malts and sweet black malts. Also present are moderate amounts of unsweetened chocolate and lighter amounts of dark molasses.

Tastes good. Equal amounts of sweet dark malts and roasted flavors kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are solid amounts of semi-sweet chocolate and mild pine hop flavors. Midway throuugh the sip the hops fade and the flavor profile sweetens with the addition of molasses that carries through to a mildly bitter ending. The alcohol is hidden fairly well.

Mouthfeel is OK. It's a bit on the thin side for a beer this big but with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I disagree with some of the other reviews here as I thought it was a solid RIS with a good deal of complexity. The problems I had were the overbearing sweetness and the way all the different flavors interacted. Far from the top tier of the style but still worth a shot.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured thick black with a moderate cap of brown bubbles followed by light lacing

S: Big roastiness here with coffee, bakers powder cocoa and perhaps some dark fruits and black liquorice

T: Starts off as blended milk chocolate and cheap bakers cocoa powder with a pungent booze sting. There is a moderate amount of coffee and roasted malt to keep it interesting, a light hint of black liquorice on the end

M: Medium to big bodied, perhaps a tad overly carbonated, bitter chocolate, roasted malts persist

O: No major complaints but not one I would go for again

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle received in two separate trades. Believe this bottle came from Alex. Thanks!

Stouty looking stout that appears stout-like. No head retention and minimal lacing.

Smell swings hard towards the sweet side of roasty, which always smacks me as grape-tastic. Some coffee and hops show as well, creating a lightly orange/grape/coffee amalgamation. A blast of vaporous booze heat rides atop.

Hops are all over this, which is surprisingly a bit of a downer here as I have an unfortunate relationship with Terrapin's hoppy creations. While loving Wake and Bake, their hoppy beers often fail to deliver. Here, the two worlds collide with mixed results. The stout base is repelled too much, leaving fruity coffee stout more than the expected Russian Imperial. Not bad, but not an elite delivery in the category.

Mouthfeel is creamy but light with low but appropriate carbonation.

Drinkabilty is fine, but decreases as the bottle dwindles.

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Photo of avalon07
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was an inch and a half of foamy/creamy, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: Aroma was dominated by chocolate and malt, with some hints of coffee.

T: Tasted of bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt up front, with some coffee in the finish. Not as sharp as some RISs in terms of focus. A decent flavor.

M: A solid amount of carbonation with a predictably slick finish. full-bodied.

D: On the whole, a solidly drinkable beer, in spite of some deficiencies.

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Photo of GJ40
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 22oz bottle purchased at The Charleston Beer Exchange.

Black with a moderate tan head that doesn't last too long. Decent lacing. Aroma is coffee, cocoa, brown sugar, citrusy hops and a touch of booze. Flavor is cocoa and hoppy bitterness with minimal roasted flavors. It's fairly tame at first but expands as it warms. The 10+% ABV is well hidden. The mouthfeel is creamy and silky, not thick but not thin.

I enjoyed this beer but it's not one I'd chase down.

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Photo of Yesac
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark brown/black with a medium sized tan colored head.

S- Not much going on here.. faint overall and not complex. roasted malt, black licorice-raisin.

T- Sweet chocolate malt, black licorice, some faint coffee bean. Some sharp earthy tones on the finish with a cheap alcohol presence.

M- medium body

O- Nothing special over all. The rasin and alcohol is to dominating and this brew lacks complexity.

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Photo of jsh420
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours dark dark brown almost black with a 1+ finger tan head that left some spotted lacing

smells of chocolate and not much else

taste - lots of roasted malts and chocolate but there are some off flavors that make this stout good not great

mouthfeel is full bodied with low carbonation - very smooth

drinkability is so so - the whole bomber is just too much for one person

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Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of maximum12
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my public brew-provider #1 beerisheaven for this extra in the second-to-last installment of our ongoing exchanges. Although calling these "exchanges" is like calling World War I an "exchange" of gunfire.

Split up & poured into a couple of pretty little goblets. Black-on-black. Smell is on the rich side, chocolate, egregious malts, roast, perhaps even a couple of Black Vines.

Big Daddy Vlady (I love the shot at the Russian Prime Minister, by the way, ha!) almost tails into milk stout territory. My first impression is of decadent milk chocolate & creamer, cut with a gorgeous amount of roast that borders on turning this into a coffee-light brew. Light nuttiness too. Amazed that this is over ten percent, it drinks more like a standard stout, no alcohol heat at all nor the heaviness that lesser-built stouts bring along. I find myself able to swig this at will.

Not terribly complex but absolutely nails all my favorite characteristics in a big stout. Excellent beer, & one of the best I've had from Terrapin.

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Photo of jcone17
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of babaracas
3.32/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a translucent really dark brown with a half inch medium brown head which faded instantly. Smell: molasses, roasted and a little smoky, a whiff of booze and slightly buttery. Taste: roasty, charred, molasses, a little anise mid sip. Pretty sweet and without much depth of flavor. Medium bodied with the right amount of carbonation, but ends up feeling a little thin for an RIS. There's nothing much wrong with this, but it's not interesting in the least.

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Photo of crashoveride
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of beer2day
4.47/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark as coal, with a short coffee colored head. Retains what little head there is and laces thin, but all over the glass.

Thick chocolate malt and dark roast coffee nose, but alcohol climbs over both of those. Very boozy. Bit of vanilla underneath, too.

Dark, dark roast coffee and dark, bitter chocolate hit hard on the tongue. Fairly active carbonation. Bitter, almost sour, finish with touches of grapefruit sliding under all the rich malt flavors. Alcohol contributes to the hop burn in the finish.

Rich, thick feel. Slightly oily. Very, very dark.

Overall, a very nice RIS. Thick feel makes sharing the bottle something to think about, but the flavor may make that hard to do.

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Photo of popery
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of tclapper
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of Kelp
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Terrapin Big Daddy Vladdy

Poured into a snifter, a midnight black with light brown head that fades to some wispy lacing. Aroma is of dark, roasted malts. In the flavor, much of the same. Black/charred malts giving it a real heavy feel and deep roasted flavor. Coffee, dark chocolate and alcohol all dial in, along with some earthy hops in the mix. Not as boozy as it could have been, but nice overall stout flavors. At 10.25%abv, it is a big one, and worth spending some time in the cellar.

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Photo of BarrelO
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a snifter.

A: Black body, thin head with no lacing.

S: Some chocolate, roastiness, and fruits.

T: Some roasty notes, some fruity notes. Noticeable bitterness and alcohol, but neither is overwhelming. All of the flavors kind of cancel each other out, so the overall profile is pretty neutral. Feels to me like a half-assed Belgian stout.

M: A bit light, but not gratuitously so.

D: Just a boring beer. Pretty disappointing. This is the same brewery that did Wake-n-Bake and Moo Hoo, so it's not like they're clueless when it comes to stouts. Step your game up, Terrapin.

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Photo of BirdsandHops
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: So the first pour I did somewhat roughly and only got a half-finger of dark tan head, which receded into nothing with no lacing. On the second pour, though, I agitated the beer a bit more and managed to get 3 fingers of head with a solid sheet of lacing that receded into a thin cap--much nicer.

S: Roasted malts at first followed by lots of sweet, creamy chocolate and coffee. There are some dark fruit aromas in there as well along with notes of molasses and cocoa powder.

T: Similar to the aroma, lots of roasted malt flavors with sweet, creamy chocolate and coffee. There are some definite dark fruit and molasses notes in there as well. Slight bitterness and alcohol burn on the finish.

M: Thick body with low carbonation, this smooth and creamy without too much bitterness from hops or roasted malts or too much of an alcohol presence.

O: Overall, a pretty good RIS. On the sweeter side of the spectrum, but nowhere near too sweet like some other big stouts.

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Photo of billab914
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Bruery tulip glass. It poured black in color with a thick, dark tan colored head to it. The head faded and clung to the edges of the glass, where it left a bit of lacing.

The aroma leans more on the sweet side with molasses, caramel and some dark fruits being the most prominent. I get a little bit of a milky chocolate to it as well. It's a little light on the roasty flavors for the style. Not bad at all, but a little too sweet compared to the top beers of the style.

The taste shows more of a caramel and dark fruit profile to it. I get some sweeter, chocolate flavors to it up front and just a hint of bitter roasty flavors in the finish. Like the aroma suggested, it was a little light on the roasty, stout characters for the style and leaned a little too far to the sweet side. Pretty decent flavors overall, but not exceptional in the style.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, but probably a little light for the style. Carbonation is average. Overall it had some decent flavors to it but wasn't outstanding in the style. Could have used a little more roasty, bitter flavors to balance it out some. I still really enjoyed sipping on it tonight though as it was very flavorful and easy drinking. Decent beer overall.

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Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout from Terrapin Beer Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 249 ratings