Terrapin Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout | Terrapin Beer Company

148 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Terrapin Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial StoutTerrapin Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.25%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Side Project #13

Added by jsanford on 11-05-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 148 | Ratings: 248
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.73/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is rich and smoky with undertones of quality coffee, unsweet chocolate and molasses, like a fine mocha with just a bit of an alcohol nip. It pours an opaque sable with a thick, fine-bubbled light tan head that leaves some good lacing. Flavor has firm tones of semi-sweet chocolate, fine coffee, molasses and toffee, as well as a good alcohol nip that gets your attention but it not overpowering or too fierce. Texture is smooth and quite fizzy, leaving behind a fairly persistent tingle, a not-quite-subtle alcohol bite, and a dollop of sweetness. Heartily recommended!

 575 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
4.7/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first review on BA (but far from my first brew...) so bear with me. I apparently don't have the refined taste & smell of all you experts out there but hopefully the act of writing these reviews will help.

22oz bottle purchased from Bruisin Ales in Asheville last weekend for 9.99.

A-Deep dark brown/black w/ quickly fading bubbly mocha head. No lacing to speak of but a nice thin clear film on the glass as I sip.

S- Big sweet dark fruit nose.

T- Nice sweet robust dark fruits. Malty. A little bitter coffee and a tad of sweet chocolate. Quite complex. It gets even better as it warms but I just can't stop drinking it!

M-Oily medium thick. Faint carbonation. I really don't notice the over 10% abv. It apparently was meant to age a bit.

O- not the best RIS I've ever had but I'm really diggin this 1-yr aged. Very smooth, very flavorful. I sure hope I can find more on my next trip to Asheville or that they re-release!

 933 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.48/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: No light getting through, black color. two finger milk chocolate colored frothy head with a lot of lacing.

S: So many imperials seem to have a dominating either coffee or roasted aroma. This one seems to be chocolate first and roast/coffee in the background with vanilla notes.

T: Roast malt with a strong espresso flavor and lingering bitter espresso after taste. The brown sugar and vanilla notes are just the right amount of sweetness.

M: Very smooth. Thick bodied and moderate carbonation.

D: As most imperial stouts go, drinkability is low. If you like espresso like I do, this is a good beer to try.

 612 characters

Photo of beer2day
4.47/5  rDev +22.1%
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.

 692 characters

Photo of MADhombrewer
4.45/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Based on the reviews this came out in Dec of 2010. This was a 22oz bottled poured into an oversized snifter. Thanks to Cbros for sending this to me.

Appearance-Pitch black with a dark brown sugar head that ends in a ring around the edges of the glass. Little lacing.

Smell- Lots of milk chocolate aroma. Some vanilla, tobacco, and a little alcohol.

Taste- Alcohol is first then the chocolate. The chocolate is a dark chocolate flavor in the taste. Tobacco and vanilla. Pretty sweet this one is.

Mouthfeel- This is nice and chewy, but I can't help thinking it could be a little thicker. Lip- licking sweetness after each sip.

Overall- I like this beer. I don't know if they will make it again, but I would get one if they did.

 735 characters

Photo of rarbring
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A black beer, hints of red, a tan/almost brown head, good lacing and good curtains.

Smelling of dried dark fruits, chocolate and a whiff of licorice.

Tasting brown bread crust, dates, coffee, soy sauce and some bourbon.

Little carbonation, small soft bubbles, thick, smooth and oily, a huge body and light dry finish.

Very well balanced, a real treat and the perfect finish of an evening.

 392 characters

Photo of elgiacomo
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cracked open a bottle tonight, May 30, 2012, about 1.5 years old now. Doing very well with some time in the cellar. Hoppiness has faded away, alcohol is mellowing a bit but still there. Definite improvement in the aroma over fresh, body a bit thinner than I noted in initial review. Excellent stuff! Will sit on my last bottle for at least another year.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

22oz bottle, just released, very fresh. Served @ cellar temp.

Pours thick black with a one finger brown head that leaves nice sheets of lacing but holds only the faintest of caps and a small ring.

Aroma is heavily roasted if not burnt malts, quite smoky, chocolate, coffee, a bit of dark fruit, floral, herbal hop notes and a strong alcohol presence. Good overall strength.

Flavor is the real star with chocolate and coffee, roasted malts, smoke/char, figs, raisins, and plums, moderate sweetness, lingering roasted malt/chocolate finish. Some alcohol but well hidden for over 10% ABV.

Mouthfeel is relatively thick, creamy but with moderate carbonation.

Very good Imperial Stout, very enjoyable. Aroma leaves a bit to be desired but the flavor makes up for it in a big way. Really like what Terrapin puts out in the stout category (see Wake-n-Bake, Moo-Hoo, etc). Definitely gonna hafta get a couple of bottles of this to age as I feel this will really benefit from a year or so in the cellar.

 1,393 characters

Photo of Tilley4
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
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

 880 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.29/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
10.25% ABV,

Thanks to Chaney for this want!

A - Inky black in color, this dark stout pours with a fleeting tan head that leaves random groupings of bubbles on the surface and dots of lace on the snifter.

S - Cold like the air of mother Russia, this Russian imperial stout screams dark chocolate, feet away from the pour. Mocha, dry cocoa, and black coffee add a bit of harshness to the smooth chocolatey nose. Notes of smoke waft out from behind the mild alcohol which increases with a vigorous swirl.

T - Heavy chocolate roast really drops the hammer with a powerful blow of dark chocolate bar dusted with hot chocolate mix and dirty cocoa. Aggressive and rich, cold French-pressed coffee and alcohol-soaked raisin come in to play as it warms.

M - Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout has a smooth, rich entry that becomes more balanced with grittiness and a dry, bitter roasted malt finish. This full-bodied beer is warming with a touch of alcohol on the finish that is suitable for sustaining a Siberian native.

O - Terrapin nails the style with brutal finesse as this beer captures layers of dark malt complexity while including heavy roast for a smooth-yet-gritty finish that balances almost flawlessly. I'm not sure of the age on it, but it's damn fine right now.

 1,315 characters

Photo of Treebs
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split a bomber of this with fellow BA danielnovak3 in the hotel room before the CBS release. Poured into a Deschutes snifter.

A: Pours a jet black with a khaki head. Bubbly and has some nice lace down the glass.

S: Black licorice, roasted malts, and sweet chocolate are all present. Finishes with a sweet vanilla and some faint dark fruits.

T: Man, the taste hid some great flavors. There is the big chocolate and roasted malts from the nose with a just a little bit of leather mixed in. But there is also a smokey oak smell that was completely hidden in the nose. It's almost overwhelming, but there's just enough to make it work and it is really integrated. The alcohol is well hidden.

M: Very heavy, close to syrup. Surprisingly drinkable though.

O: Some age as done some wonders to this bad boy. Pop it open now if you still have it.

 842 characters

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

My pour is a very thick and creamy looking black color, with a full-sized mocha head.

The aroma is smooth, balanced, and relatively chocolate forward. Milk chocolate more than dark chocolate, with smooth lightly roasted dark malts, and a bit of coffee and cream.

In my opinion, this beer has improved nicely with the age it has on it at the moment. The front of the beer has a nice milky sweetness, some dark chocolate, roasted malt character, some vanilla, a bit of espresso, and there are a bit of resiny hop bitterness toward the end.

Even from the appearance, I could tell this would be a chewy, viscous beer, and the prophecy was fulfilled with each sip. The carbonation is light, gentle, and smooth. There is a sweet stickiness that is left on the lips after each sip.

This is a nice offering from Terrapin overall.

 885 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

 1,030 characters

Photo of Bennettrox
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Jet black head, khaki one finger head.

S - Chocolate, caramel, and roasted malts.

T - Very much the same. Nothing extremely special but a solid tasting stout all around.

M - Medium carbonation and mouthful

O - I'm a huge fan of the side project from Terrapin. This one was good, but not great. I think about 6 months will actually improve this beer.

 357 characters

Photo of chefmikeanderson
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a deep dark brown with a thin cappacino color head. Head quickly fades into a thin layer with the lacing holding on the glass.

S: big boy dark roasty notes with a background alcohol soaked dark fruit. Light chocolate and coffee with a touch of copper penny after you rub it

T: interesting .... first flavor is big roast chocolate on the tip of my tongue then as soon as it gets to the middle it fades and almost disappears then attacks the sides and back with roast. I don't get much fruit like I did in the nose. There still is a very slight metallic copper to it in the background but I think its the roast bitterness confusing me.

M: the body is medium to light for this big of a beer. Carbonation might be just a tad bit to high but is not a problem. It feels like a 7 or 8% beer.

D: surprisingly its a really easy drinker. This really isn't sweet at all. The roast bitterness is drying my mouth out so its urging me to take another sip. The alcohol is hidden really well its more of the roast giving me" hot" breath. Once again its surprising this is over 10%.

 1,078 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – Served a thick black brew with a two finger tan head. The head faded over about a 1 minutes time to give a nice level of lacing.

Smell – The nose was heavy of coffee and roasted notes. With this was a good strong chocolate and sweet molasses and vanilla smell. Quite nice.

Taste – The taste begins with sweet molasses, roasted malt, and chocolate notes. As it advances more the sweetness shifts more towards a vanilla flavored sweetness. Toward the middle the level of sweetness fades slightly as well and notes of some coffee and espresso meeting the tongue. The chocolate and roasted flavors then intensify at the very end and mix with a not overpowering alcohol flavor to level a nice pleasant flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – A nice thick and turbid body with a lower level of carbonation. Great for the style of brew as all the roasty and boozy flavors can really soak into the tongue.

Overall – One tasty, thick, and warming brew with great flavors. Go for it if you have a chance.

 1,047 characters

Photo of LiquidBread219
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= Poured dark black with a nice tan head. Head disappeared and left behind nice film on top of the beer some lacing.

S= From the nose you get the Dark chocolate and coffee flavor in the front and vanilla in the background. Also picked up on some raisins in the nose.

T= I thought the taste was nicely done with the chocolate and coffee flavor being really strong up front and the vanilla and raisins where nice in the background.

M= Medium bodied, Medium Carbonation it seemed to become a little bit thicker as it warmed up a little.

O= Overall, I thought this was a really good RIS stout it was different than others that I have had but it was nicely done.

 662 characters

Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.17/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle at 45 degrees into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: It pours pitch black with a finger of dark khaki head that does not last very long.

S: Roasty espresso, dark chocolate, anise, dates, nuttiness, and some faint buttery diacetyl.

T: Sweet dark fruits, chocolate, espresso, a strong hop profile, some tangyness, and lightly buttery finish.

M: This is a touch lighter than most imperial stouts. It is palate-sticking and mildly creamy with a sticky finish.

D: This beer evolves from a coffee-heavy mess to a delicious and complex brew by warming 5 to 10 degrees; excellent.

 578 characters

Photo of Avagadro
4.16/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours jet black with a mocha colored head. Retention is great, maintaining a frothy blanket atop the brew throughout the experience. Body is opaque, and no lacing is observable through the heavy body.

S: Bouquet is potent, with a noticeable amount of alcohol. When I am reviewing whiskey, rum, or cognac, I rarely mention the alcohol aroma. But, since many beer drinkers do not appreciate the aroma or flavor of alcohol, I am mentioning it as a warning. Molasses, caramel, and clove are perceived in the nose.

T: Again, noticeable alcohol, but this is not a bad thing. Sweet caramel macchiato blends with ginger and spice, along with a touch of chocolate, to form a throughly enjoyable experience.

M: Full bodied, regardless of what anyone else proclaims.

D: This is a great RIS. It has all of the characteristics I was hoping for, it had some that I wasn't expecting, and all while not falling into the RIS cliche. This was truly enjoyable all while achieving originality. Definitely a stout worth recommending to customers.

 1,032 characters

Photo of Asgeirr
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
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!

 656 characters

Photo of JayS2629
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich, thick black with a creamy tan head that recedes quickly but leaves nice rings of lace.

The aroma is of dark chocolate, licorice, coffee, and earthy elements.

The taste is a bit hot, but loads of cocoa, rich toffee, licorice, and black coffee. Earthy hops balance in the finish.

Medium bodied and creamy, a bit hot. Nice sipper.

 337 characters

Photo of Captainren
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anytime I go to another state, I always try to find something I can't get in Michigan. Last week, this was the beers and I'm very glad I found it! I think seeing that it's a B let me approach it with my guard down, but I thought I was a great beer!

Pour - Like most well crafted beers, it looks delicious and what I'd expect from a good beer. Dark, little foam, etc...

Smell - Rich, but slightly sweet notes of chocolate, caramel, roasted malts, and even some vanilla. It wasn't mind blowing, but I found myself smelling it more than normal.

Taste - Nice robust flavors of coffee, chocolate, roasted together with the overall flavor of a good stout base.

Mouth - Smooth, and not as boosey as it could have been. Each sip left me wanting another.

Overall - A fantastic beer from a brewery that keeps putting out more and more great beers. I'd love to get some more and taste it in a year.

 893 characters

Photo of beerdown77
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured black with tan head. The smell and taste was chocolaty and sweet. There was Strong alcohol flavor that didn't try to hide, but it's presence was pleasant ant expected from a Russian Imperial. I am really starting to like this genre of beer, and I'm blaming this for that new found interest. It was a solid imperial stout that had surprising carbonation and a body that was drinkable.

 395 characters

Photo of chalsk
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a soapy caramel colored head. Has an aroma of chocolate, citrus, and perhaps some cherry and caramel. Alcohol comes through. Complex nose that matches the flavor. Sweet molasses start with a hop hit and lots of chocolate and citrus notes on the finish. Some cherry notes mixed in. A bit hot (alcohol wise), but hot doesn't bother me. Nice creamy mouthfeel.

 386 characters

Photo of n2185
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

 971 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Psyxhed to see this on the bottle list in key west at the porch. Poured into a pint glass, jet black. Gorgeous. Thick, oaty almost with a dark roasted chocolatey fullness. Only problem is the richness and thickness. Strong, bold, and,beautiful. Some traces of figs or darker fruits, a bit of cherry. Mostly roasted chocolate.

 325 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Terrapin Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout from Terrapin Beer Company
3.66 out of 5 based on 248 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.