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

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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.

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Reviews: 148 | Ratings: 248
Photo of redneckchugger
1.46/5  rDev -60.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Served in a tulip glass, black body think tan head.
Next to no aroma, some hints of dark chocolate, but not a lot of that.
Taste is boozy very very boozy. Its like cheap dark hot cocoa with everclear. in it.
Mouthfeel is way to thin. I like my big stouts to be thick and this disappoints in a big way.
Not drinkable at all, this is far and away the worst stout i have had in my life. Terrapin is one of my go to breweries but they dropped the ball on this one.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
1.66/5  rDev -54.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I love the label with the hammer and sickle in the Big Daddy Vlady's hand in comparison to the actual label. I also like the word's of wisdom, "feel free to serve in shot glasses". Pours completely pitch black this beer consumes all visible light spectrums emitted, large tan head viable forming a robust carbonation and honorable smell. Aroma has hints of dark fruit/herbal/grassy/citric hops which would be a bit different than your average beer from this style. Flavor wise is hotter than the devil's asshole, alcohol shouldn't flood my senses I feel I could breathe a bit of fire after each sip, it may be funny to the folks down in Athens, GA to deliver a beer in 22 ounce format that you feel should be drank by the shot. This is the worst version/beer/idea for a Russian Imperial stout I've ever had. Sorry guys get too extreme and lose your base audience go to extreme and seek the folks willing to drink a thimbleful of beer per each pour. I'm not willing to say, well I drank the whole bottle I should have only had a thimbleful. This beer feels like your shooting concentrated alcohol, why the fuck is it out there. No quality control? Terrapin makes it's flaws their perfections? or they know they can "Get away with this style of brewing"? You be the judge. Fuckin' horrible shit please beer gods let the creator have their sentence for this disgrace of a beer.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.32/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 1/5/11

Thanks to PDXHops

After pouring a cola brown color, it basically settles black. Two fingers of tan foam took time dissipating; the head held out well considering the abv. Thin retention; good lace. Looks quite nice.

The aroma appropriately potent for the style, but it seems clustered & messy. Earthy hop overtones drift amid layers of various malts & such: scorched chocolate, burnt sugars, hints of roasted coffee, bread, musty yeast. Swirling congers soapy & medicinal notions. Yeah, not so great after the swirl.

A trifecta of great fun & good times is given the palate, progressing as follows: hops, malts, booze. The first taste of each sip is simultaneously dull & slightly agitated by earthy, herbal, solvent-like hops. Next up is a disorganized slew of malt: sweet chocolate, burnt sugars & dry, roasted coffee further back still. The burnt & sweet aspects clash; there is too much of each. Not particularly complex; more could be done with less. Picking up along side the malts & carrying into the finish is a poignant, raw booziness; perhaps that's why Terrapin mentions serving this in a shot glass.

The feel is plenty viscous & heavy. I'm not sure but what the aforementioned dullness might have more to do with the feel than the taste. Eh, I'll presume it's a combination of both. Smooth upfront with modest, prickly carbonation in the latter half. Some grittiness as well. Notions of aspirin manifest on the finish.

I'm not digging this much at all. It looks nice, but that's about it. Far, far too messy for its own good. It isn't entirely undrinkable; no, it's not nearly a drain pour. The bottle will be finished. That said, I can't recommend this one.

Follow-up from the last part of the bottle: it's somewhat improved after it opened up & warmed. I would suggest serving close to room temperature. However, this isn't enough to save the experience.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
2.34/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

I always like getting Terrapin but recently these side projects are lacking.

A- A decently oily black beer with a small tan head. The head sticks in the form of small beads on my snifter.

S- big spicey alcohol is the first thing I notice. Indeed there is some roasted malts and vinous dark fruits but its pretty trampled under solvent alcohol and permanent markers.

T- There are some good qualities but there are also many bad qualities, unfortunately its the bad ones that take over. The chocolate malts appear for a flash before being stamped out by solvent alcohol, melted plastic and rubber. The plasticy stuff is what really lingers becoming quite gross.

M- Nothing wrong with the feel aside from a but too much solvent booze.

D- Drinkability is very low because of the lingering burnt plastic flavors. Its not bad enough to pour but I'm not rushing through this bottle.

Yes folks, there is such a thing as a below B- imperial stout.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.36/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bomber poured into a Duvel tulip. Body is appropriately deep and dark, but the wispy head is gone nearly as quick as it appeared, leaving only a thin collar of foam and a small island of bubbles. Occasional swirls coax out a second wind of foam and some scattered flurries of lace, although the glass stains impressively.

The chief aromas are dark fruit, pineapple(?) and molasses, with chocolate and roasted notes relegated to background duty. Really could use a dose of dark roasted flavor; the tangy raisin, dates, cherries and citrus and brown sugar (not really chocolatey) sweetness wear on the palate after a bit. Or perhaps the roast is just fine, and it's that fruitiness and sweetness that needs to be toned down. Something just doesn't quite click with me here. A steady dose of citric bitterness and touch of roast in the finish somewhat save things. Thickish coating mouthfeel with an alcoholic finish that's somewhat warming, yet somewhat boozy as well. Markedly less enjoyable as it warms up.

Overall impression: Some time in the cellar might do this one some good, but I doubt I'll be the one providing updates on it.

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Photo of Reagan1984
2.48/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Picked this up while in Atlanta for Christmas.

Pours with a very creamy tan head that is thick and shows excellent retention. I can see from the start that there is clinging lacing everywhere. Opaque deep brown to black in color. Almost a dull finish.

Aroma is thick and sweet. Either molasses or burnt caramel. Certainly some dark fruits like date here. Some slight char behind the sweetness.

Wow, sweet with the taste of alcohol.... I am struck by a lack of flavor in the middle of the flavor here. Starts sweet, sits in your mouth with little flavor then alcohol hits your tongue. The aftertaste is more of alcohol than either dark roasted malt or hops. Where are the classic Imp Stout dark roasted malt, charcoal flavors? Too sweet, not roasted enough. Too Bad.

Becomes too sweet.

Um, not too good on the drinkability scale.

Sorry, this is a total miss.

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Photo of Kegatron
2.64/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz foil topped bomber into an oversized tulip glass.

Pours a pitch black in the glass, with 2 fingers of stiff dark mocha colored foamy head. This shrinks down quickly but holds fast with about ¾ of a finger, hanging tough with a nice monstrous richness to the retention that leaves back heavy spotty lacing which readily sticks to the sides of the glass. I think that the look was definitely the best part of this beer. The aroma is very forward with fresh and bright citric hops that then give way to a HEAVY does of sweetness in the nose, consisting of notes of chocolate, molasses, brown sugars, and a touch of darker fruit. There is some dark malt character present (I'm really getting a good bit of coffee) but the beefy sweetness just seems to crowd out the other flavors at times. Some stiff alcohol piles warmth and even more sweetness on top.

The taste is once again chewy and sweet up front, with a combo of chocolate cake, gooey caramel, and some ripe dark fruit, which then immediately run into a WALL of green citric hop character. This is just a complete clash of flavors here. Coffee and burnt roast flesh out the back of the profile but even then, the hops run over things a bit. Espresso lingers in the back, along with some dry bitterness and some leftover sweet twang. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a mostly thick creaminess that expands out into the mouth and some oily slickness that seems to mostly come from all of the hops that are present. There is a beefy warmth here that really accentuates the strong bitterness but I wouldn't call the overall alcohol presence boozy.

You know a big hoppy Imperial Stout can be great when done right but unfortunately this attempt at the style from Terrapin just never got things on track, leaving this in the end to be a mildly drinkable and way too intense blend of hops, roast, and alcohol flavors. The hop profile here just seemed very raw and unrefined and both covered and clashed with the more sweet malt and fruit flavors that could have been this beers saving grace. This just wasn't a very well made Imperial Stout. A disappointment from Terrapin.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
2.71/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A- pours black with a one finger brown head that fades pretty quickly. Standard, with a lacking head. Disappointing

S- chocolate, and a ton of booze. Lots of dark fruits. Licorice. Pretty much all the things I don't like in an imperial stout

T- extremely bitter chocolate. Slight roast. Alcohol burns at the end. Ugh

M- paper thin body. No bueno

O- not a fan of this at all. I aged this for maybe a year, and it's still dripping with booziness. The body destroys a lot of the "mystique" for me as well, as there is absolutely no thickness to this whatsoever. Stick with Wake & Bake and MooHoo, stay far away from this

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.71/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22 ounce bottle - Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a thick-looking, black body with an equally dense-looking, toasted khaki-colored head.

Smell: Tar-scented roastiness, softened dark chocolate, licorice, and burnt herbs mixed with a heavy dose of a low-grade, solventy raisin liqueur (as if there were a 99 Raisins on the market).

Taste: Maltiness landing back and forth between a sweet heavy roastiness and a taste of bittersweet chocolate squares, eventually joining in with some molasses and snippets of black licorice. Raisin-based dark fruitiness. Flecks of char from an oven cleaning. Green, leafy hop character with a moderate degree of bitterness. Well, that initial gulp is pretty tasty, but then a lacquery alcoholic hotness pushes its way into the mix, leaving with you a longly heated, roasty finish. Maybe the vodka-hinting alcohol quality on the back-half is all part of the Russian theme present.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. There's a heavy slickness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Sub-par, for me, and a bit tough to finish off. The coarse booziness is disappointing, sinking what could have been a far better, far more enjoyable brew.

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Photo of timobkg
2.76/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Had this on tap, and I'm surprised with how different what I drank seems from the other reviews.

The aroma was strong alcohol, overwhelming all the other scents. It fades a little as it warms, letting chocolate eek through.

Taste follows the smell, with a big hit of alcohol. It's very hot, very boozy, with some chocolate bitterness coming through in the aftertaste. Again, the alcohol overwhelms the other flavors.

I'm used to drinking big, strong beers, and this one doesn't hide the alcohol at all. It shoves it in your face, unapologetic about it. It tastes more like a 20% beer than a 10%. This is a mandatory sipper. This needs a year or two in the cellar to mellow it out.

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Photo of afksports
2.8/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This overly boozy monster was given to me by Nick as a very generous add-in on a trade of unicorns. Thanks, Nick!

But this one has two horns. It's a foursquare check-in from a hot girl to a lame place. She's getting her nails done and shared it with you. But truthfully besides the appearance - which is an awesome black stout with a nice head - the smell is a malty chocolate coffee bomb, there isn't much else.

It's not very drinkable. The taste is plain booze and water - the elements aren't well-composed. And the mouthfeel is near full, but not really redrinkable. Mostly because it's just not that special for the style.

Eagles won though. So... go Birds!

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Photo of womencantsail
2.81/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Mike for providing another tick from the Side Project series.

A: Vlady pours a dark brown color with a finger or so of tan head.

S: Starts off with the familiar intense roasted malt of an imperial stout. Burnt/charred malts and ash follow with lots of coffee, licorice, and burnt sugar. Some definite rubber notes are there as well.

T: Just a really bad coffee flavor to this beer. Bitter roasted/charred malts and sugar along with a strong astringency. Earthy hops and licorice are also present.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: Overall, this is just a really harsh beer.

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Photo of JRoweMDN
2.84/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very dark with a great tan head 1/2 to 3/4" thick. Nice lacing.

Beer strts off with nice chocolatey overtones and a good mouth feel. As the beer goes down the hops kick in and the bitterness becomes more pronounced. By the bottom of the pint the high ABV starts to show through in both the aroma which becomes very strongly alcoholic smell and the nice warm buzz it imparts at the bottom of a bomber.

This is a good beer but is better colder than warmer. Usually I like my stouts to warm but this releases too strong of an odor from the high alcohol.

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Photo of gdoublerb
2.88/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Can't place the off flavor in this imperial stout. It's got strong burnt/roasted flavor that bites on the finish. Looked forward to it after trying Moo Hoo and Wake N' Bake. I'm no expert on the style, but I prefer Catherine the Great or Rogue if I'm drink an IRS

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Photo of KidsDoc
3.01/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

750mL bottle shared with (Shelton/Howard)

A: great pour, nearly black with some dark brown/amber hues, soft one finger tan/latte head that settles into a nice rim

S: dark roast malt, chocolate - minimal, not much alcohol in the nose.

T: this was the let down. Not very well balanced. Sweet and heavy burnt malt up front, middle was smooth with subtle blend of chocolate/coffee/roast; finish was a mess with heavy alcohol presence taking over and the flavor profile seemd to fall apart.

M: overall pretty good. Medium at best compared to other RIS, but very smooth. Carbonation was appropriate or at least not distracting

D: For the high ABV and the taste profile losing its way this is a beer I could tolerate, but would not look forward to in the future. The second bottle may sit for a while and that may be the best thing for it....

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Photo of prg1976
3.02/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black, with a thin beige head. Head dissipates quickly, leaving just a slight ring around the side of the glass.

There's barely any aroma. Slight coffee/chocolate smell, but not much at all.

Taste is chocolate malt. Very thin, with a hint of alcohol.

Not much carbonation, feels a little flat.

Kindof disappointed in this one. I was expecting a bigger, bolder version of what it actually is. It's not bad, just not up to my expectations.

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Photo of Deuane
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A-Deep, dark black with a thick dark tan head. head slowly reduced to a thin cap and left heavy swaths of lace.

S-Bright, popping citrus hops lying on top of a massive amount of malt sweetness.

T-WHOA! This is a big mass of sweetness with brown sugar,molasses, chocolate coming in with just a touch of coffee and hop bitterness in the background. Then the hefty dose of citrus hops kick in and totally waylays the flavour profile. At first I like it and then I think WTF?

M-Full bodied with a thick, oily feel that feels good at first until the sweet, oddly bitter finish takes hold and ruins it all.

D-A true disappointment here. I was expecting something much different than what I got. Too sweet and too bitter in the same beer....ugh, not good! This one was less than one and done! Glad I got just a small size first to test it out! Epic fail!

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Photo of AlexFields
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into Founders snifter.

APPEARANCE: Nothing special, very dark color with very low carbonation. Looks pretty thin too.

SMELL: A little weak but still pretty nice. Roasty and sweet.

TASTE: Very much on the sweet side for a stout. Tastes like sugary candy--maple candy maybe? A little roastiness comes through too but the sweetness is dominant. Pretty tasty, a little boozy and not quite balanced though so I think a year or two of age would benefit this beer greatly.

MOUTHFEEL: A little thin and carbonation is way too low. This is the real weak point for this beer, a little more carbonation would go a long way. I wonder if other bottles were as bad as this one.

OVERALL: A tasty beer, but the mouthfeel is off and it needs some more age to mellow out. I need to grab another bottle to sit on for a year or two.


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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
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 birchstick
3.05/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Big Daddy Vlady pours black with a big head on it.

S - The nose contains sweet chocolate malts mixed in with some dark fruits.

T - The taste plays out in a similar fashion as the nose. Starts off a little fruity (dark fruits) that fade to milk chocolate. It finished with some milk chocolates and a little bit of a vinous character. It sounds better than it is - for reason this one fell a little short of what I was hoping it was going to be. Nice flavor profile but nothing that really grabbed me.

M - This has a medium, silky body and finishes dry.

D - This isn't the best RIS I have ever had, but it is tasty in its own right. I found it way sweeter and fruitier than other RIS's I have put down and to be honest prefer a little more burnt malt to balance out the sweetness in the style.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle courtesy of bulbman, thanks! I split this with a couple friends and they seemed to enjoy it more than I did. Not much point describing the appearance, it's black and has a minimal head.it smelled like alcohol at first but as it warmed up it was a nice rich, toasty smell. The taste really had a charred meat flavor to it that was just too much for me. I won't be seeking this out again.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle poured into my new Hill Farmstead glass... The body is good looking black, even dark on the edges. A medium mocha head rises a quick few fingers, but even quicker I'm left with only a thing ring. Ok lacing... A weak boring aroma, a hint of sweet chocolate, a little creamy but that's it. The front whiff is actually nice, just not enough... The taste is pretty bad. Dull flavors, bitter chalk coffee. The finish is even worse, very stale coffee... The mouthfeel is light, with a bad finish.

I'd wouldn't drink again maybe.

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Photo of mechamifune
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
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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Photo of ChristianBlack
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a jet black color with small tan head and moderate carbonation. Very little lacing and no retention.

Smells a little like coffee, roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits, caramel malts, and vanilla. Pretty good nose.

Tastes of bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, dark fruits, toasted malts, and well of course the alcohol.

Slightly thin body and moderate carbonation.

Overall OK. Too much in the alcohol department and bitter chocolate.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
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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Terrapin Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout from Terrapin Beer Company
3.66 out of 5 based on 248 ratings.
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