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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Ratings: 248 |  Reviews: 148
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.22/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black as the ace of spades. Not a lot of head or lacing. Very thick looking stuff.

Smells of sweet chocolate malts, with a little coffee and fruity aromas.

Strong tasting and flavorful. Stronger tasting hops than expected. Roasted malts and chocolate coffee also strong. A bit overblown on the alcohol, perhaps needs aging.

Heavy mouthfeel with lingering bitterness and dark roasted flavors.

Average for the style on drink. Not that impressed, but it's not bad either.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.19/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Have had very mixed opinions of Terrapin thus far leading me to believe that they are a very inconsistent brewery. Their year round brews I've had were not at all good and their specialty brews seem to be the highlight. Here's another specialty brew. 22oz bottle...

A: Dark with copper highlights around the brew. Small 1/2 inch off white head that fades quickly to a lace atop the brew. Ok.

S: I get some bitter coffee upfront with molasses and roasty chocolate in the middle. Hints of vanilla, black licorice, and booze on the backend. Good.

T: I get roasty licorice upfront with some bitter chocolate and sweet candied sugars in the middle. A warming alcohol burn on the backend. Ok.

M: Medium body with a super heavy carbonation. A dry, cloying finish. Decent.

D: Goes down a little rougher due to the alcohol being very present. Eh.

All in all, this one definitely did disappoint. Terrapin continues to be a fair weather brewery. Never know what you will get with their brews. Hopzilla was one of the best I have had yet. Many better stouts with better availability, don't bother hunting this.

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Photo of BigBlacke
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BDV pours a jet black with a reddish tan head that quickly dissipates to a small ring. Smells of malts, dark fruit, and alcohol. Taste and mouthfeel is where this beer lacks IMO. Not much roastyness, more sweet and boozey. Thin mouthfeel for a RIS, no velvety feeling as with the Zuchov's. Drinkability for me is low because honestly I dont think its that great of a RIS.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.36/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pitch black with a creamy light brown head. Retention is quite nice, leaving some lacing on its way down.

S: Not finding a lot of robust roast character here, more sweet and malty. Some dark fruits and alcohol come through towards the end. Definitely a lot of chocolate aroma, but just lacks ample roast character.

T: Some bitterness from the dark malts followed by some sweet alcohol notes. A bit one-dimensional with nothing that sticks out to make this an RIS. Alcohol is pretty upfront as well. Maybe some cellar time would do this one well, if the alcohol could mellow out. Not finding delicate flavors that would come forward more though. Has that signature Terrapin almost artificial chocolate flavor though.

M: Thin and slippery, doesn't remain on the palate for long and leaves it with alcohol heat. Only thing saving this one for me is the chocolate tones that linger.

D: Drinks far too easy, which is not a good thing in this case. I think the only thing keeping my mind from thinking I'm drinking a sweet stout is the alcohol that attacks the palate. Think this one just got a bit out of hand.

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Photo of trecker
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 into a tulip.

poured about a 1/2 inch of tan head that faded to lacing.

A pretty strong chocolate smell and definitely a little astringency from the alcohol.

There's definitely a pretty good amount of alcohol in the taste, perhaps more so than other RIS's. However, I don't fault them for that. Definitely a little warmth that's great for this so-called blizzard we're in right now. Some chocolate.

Overall, not the best RIS I've had this winter, but not as terrible as other reviewers have said.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.26/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks Chad for sharing this one. Served in a New Belgium tulip.

A - Pours with a nice finger of tan foam that settles to a thin cap, leaving behind spotty lace. Body is pretty much pitch black. It's a very attractive RIS.

S - Rye bread, cocoa, molasses, booze-soaked cake, some figs and dates. Smells stronger than the listed 10.25%.

T - Taste is less pleasant. Lots of char, tar, and stale burnt espresso mingle with the dark bread and fruit flavors. The finish is astringent and features plenty of fusel alcohol.

M - Chewy, viscous, medium-full body. Finishes very sticky and with some obvious alcohol warmth.

D - I eventually finished my ~7-8oz but it took a while. Not something I'd really want to revisit, with so many better (cheaper, and easier to acquire) options out there.

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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 saintwarrick
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Darkest brown pour with a tan head. Nice aroma of dark cocoa and sweet coffee. Taste is not as big as expected. Starts off with dark coffee notes before some bitter chocolate takes over. A pretty good RIS that finishes off sweet then bitter. Overall a good brew, but a little thin in the body, malts never fully take over and the alcohol is inconsistent.

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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 BarrelO
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
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 ztaylor1
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- opaque black body with a tight chocolate/mocha head that sticks around.

Smell- sweet chocolate and roasted malts dominate. Slight alcohol and light hops in the finish.

Taste- very chocolatey brew. Sweet milk chocolate up front with ripe fruit with an alcoholic, bitter dark chocolate finish. Fairly dry finish.

Mouthfeel- medium to heavy body with an amazing creaminess. Carbonation is light and prickly. Fantastic.

Drinkability- fantastic brew, but too rich and too much alcohol.

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Photo of scifan
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a light brown head into a tulip glass. Head settles down quickly leaving minimal lacing along the glass.
First thing I smell is chocolate, kinda like powered cocoa. Also some roasty malts and coffee, and just a tinge of vannila. There's also quite a bit of alcohol making itself known.
The first sip reveals more of the powered cocoa again. Then some nice roasty coffee bitterness in the middle, along with some earthy herbal hops. Then the warming alcohol at the end. This one is still a little hot and I think aging a few bottles would be a great idea.
I thought the mouthfeel was good for the style though it could have a been slightly heftier.
Very drinkable although the alcohol is noticable it was never overbearing and I won't have a problem with this 22. A good attempt at this style from Terrapin.

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Photo of mattgreger
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Recently reviewed On Tap, however also enjoyed in a bottle about a week later. Pour, Aroma, Taste, Mouthful very much the same, but some change for the drinkablility. See below.

This brew poured a very dark black, with a nice thick, brown colored head. It has pretty good retention. This brew really didn't have very much lacing, just a few beads as you drink it.

The aroma has strong from the pour. The first punch is a bit of an alcohol smell, not bad, but strong. It followed with a presense of chocolate, caramel, and roasted coffee aromas. There is a bit of a sweet molasses flavor in the finish.

The taste really follows this brew pretty well . The alcohol hits you first. It gives a nice warming feeling as you take the first few sips. its not too overpowering though, becauase as you drink on you get the sweet caramel and molasses flavors. These flavors are followed up with a bit of spices and finishes with a nice bitter chocolate taste.

The mouthful was quite creamy and enjoyable. A saw a lot of reviews, saying this brew was a bit thin. I had thsi brew on tap and by the bottle, and its very full bodied and delicious.

This is one of the better Russian Imperial Stouts I have had. Not teh best, but pretty good. This brew is a great representation of the style, but with a little bit of flare. Great brew by Terripan. Great on draft or bottle. I do have to say, I think the bottle might loose a point or so for drinkability, due to booziness. The bottle, which was very fresh, was a bit harder to drink. The brew from the bottle, was a bit harder to finish because of a strong alcohol flavor at the finish. Still a decent brew.

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Photo of benlloninho
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Alright! Welcome to my first review on BA! I probably should have picked a less complex style, but oh well. I picked up a 22 oz bottle of Big Daddy Vlady's this evening on the way home from work. I went to school at UGA, so Athens, GA will always be a special place to me, which is where Terrapin is located. I dig most of the Terrapin brews, and am glad that they're doing well for themselves (as far as I can tell).

Appearance: A thick, frothy cappuccino foam sits upon a blackness matched only by the cold, dry place in Martha Stewart's chest. You've seen this before; a fine looking beer.

Smell: It's January, so my ability to smell isn't at its peak. I can discern a bit of coffee, nuts and chocolate. Very pleasant, but not terribly distinct from any of the other Imperial Russian Stouts that I've enjoyed. Here we go...

Taste: ... and here's where I feel out of my league. My initial inclination is to write, 'A yummy stout ale', and let that be that, but that's not what I'm here for. So here's an attempt to analyze the vague hints and subtleties my tongue is trying to relay to my brain: A nice bitterness on the front of the tongue is balanced by a malty, nutty sweetness flooding in mid-taste. There's some sort of dry (and almost spicy by comparison) flavor between the middle-of-the-tongue smoky maltiness and the aftertaste. 10.5% is apparent on the backend. I'll also suggest that this seems to have more hop action than other Imperial Russian Stouts that I've had.

Mouthfeel: Very thick, almost chewy. Could you use it for syrup on your pancakes? Yes, yes you could. I like the amount of carbonation which, in my mind, is more than other beers in this style.

Drinkability: What a fantastic beer for a January evening! That said, it's a little bit thick for more than a couple pints.

Overall, I am very pleased with this. Keep up the good work dudes!

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Photo of titosupertramp
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pretty typical for the style. Black, mocha head. Splotchy lacing.

S: The smell caught me off guard a little. Fruity sweet? Huh, ok. It's good, but not what I expected. The usual suspects of chocolate and roasted barley are there, but you have to search a little. Some alcohol when it starts to get warm. Weird, but I like it.

T: Very nice. The hops really burst in the flavor. Good balance with licorice, chocolate, dark fruit. Really like the bitter/sweet playing against one another. The alcohol is present enough to keep this from being rated higher.

M: Pretty thick. Alcohol sting. Dry finish.

D: High ABV shows itself when this warms so I can't rate the drinkability as high as the other metrics.

I like this beer a good bit and glad I bought two so I can cellar one and revist it in a year or so when it mellows a little. Would recommend this to any stout fan.

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Photo of glid02
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
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 avalon07
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
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 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 thagr81us
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a sampler shaker. Poured pitch black with a one finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, caramel, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, cream, roasted malt, dark chocolate, caramel, and subtle alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this wasn't a bad brew at all. A lot of people have been ripping it a new one though it seems. To each their own I suppose... But me personally, I found this one to be pretty tasty and well balanced in the flavors. The aroma was lacking a little bit in intensity, but you can't win them all. I would personally suggest this to any of my friends who like RISs and would do the same for you as well if you have not had it so you can judge for yourself.

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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 brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has got that great RIS look, with a huge head that develops atop the obsidian liquid; the retention was great as was the lacing

Smell: Roasty chocolate, with plenty of "C" hops and a hint of licorice

Taste: The roast and chocolate make a brief appearance, up front, but the fusel alcohol and citrusy hops kick in rather quickly; after the swallow, the sweeter chocolate malts add a further dimension. though the finish has a lot of alcohol in the back

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: This beer has some elements of a RIS but also is arguably an imperial black IPA; I like it better than many other reviewers but I may be viewing it through a different lens

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Photo of mdfb79
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 12/25/10 notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a jet black color with one finger of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Very little lacing and no retention.

s - Smells of coffee, roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits, caramel malts, and vanilla. Pretty nice nose.

t - Tastes of bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, dark fruits, toasted malts, and alcohol. A step down from the nose.

m - Fuller body and moderate carbonation, thick and chewy, smooth.

d - Good, just a little too much alcohol and bitter chocolate in the taste. Would try again but probably wouldn't seek out buying another bottle.

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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 Georgiabeer
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm going to have to disagree with some of the reviews here. This is certainly boozy, but that doesn't bother me too much- should age fairly well. I don't think this is all that sweet, though. I get bitter chocolate, a small amount of brown sugar, and some vinous notes long with some pine notes. It is a bit thinner than it should be, and would definitely benefit from some body. I thought it was decent, but far from a homerun.

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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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