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
249 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 249 |  Reviews: 149
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.6/5  rDev -3%
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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Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a black color with a 1" milk chocolate color head. Moderate lace develops.

Smell: roasted malt, light alcohol, nice bitterness, and some fruit sweetness comes through to the nose.

Taste: roasted malt, bitter chocolate, prunes, raisins, mild alcohol tones, and a moderate bitterness creates a flavorful beer.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, smoother to finish. Aftertaste is long as the flavors last in the mouth.

Drinkability: slow sipping beer, but nicely flavorful. Worth a try.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, poured into my Duvel tulip.

BDV pours total black, with an impressive pile of creamy, very dark caramel foam sitting on top of it. The head starts at four fingers, and it's progress down the sides of my glass is *slow*. The lacing is also good, but is the sole factor keeping it from a perfect appearance score. The nose is disappointingly muted. What I do pick up is some general roasted grains, chocolate, alcohol, and licorice, in that order. The alcohol is still somewhat prominent (disappointingly), but the licorice is just barely there (which is how I prefer licorice). I'm finding the same things in Big Daddy Vlady's flavor profile, though I'd say a rich milk chocolate overtakes the mildly acrid roasted flavor. When I first poured BDV it had warmed a little, and the alcohol was way too hot and harsh. It mellowed greatly as it crept up to room temperature, without ever disappearing entirely.Body is a bit too thin for a big imperial stout, I'd really like a little more heft to it. Carbonation is slightly higher than what I usually encounter for the style, or maybe it's a normal carbonation level that jumps out more with a thinner body, but either way I feel like it works well. Big Daddy Vlady's carbonation still is understated enough that it avoids being at all fizzy or bubbly. I enjoyed my bottle of this brew, but I do feel it's a little bit young. It's got potential though, so I'll probably pick up another bottle or two to sit on for a while.

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.39/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into my Stone IRS snifter

A - Black as can be with a nice sized light brown head and a lot of sticky lacing.

S - A light roastiness but not too much more than that going on with this

T - Some roastiness mingles with dark fruit notes. Some hints of alcohol are present as well. Fairly sweet. Not much coffee/chocolate present

M - medium to heavy bodied with a light carbonation

D - It goes down pretty easy. Doesn't really challenge me the way a good RIS should. Not a drain pour but not all that great. I really expected more from Terrapin.

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Photo of Avagadro
4.16/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

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Photo of gford217
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber.

Pours pretty close to black with a small, short-lived tan head that leaves some spotty lacing and some boozy legs.

Aroma is sweet and dominated by mocha and dark fruits. There are hints of coffee and booze as well. Just very sweet overall.

The taste is very sweet as well and features more alcohol and plenty of dark chocolate malts, roasted grains and licorice. More coffee than the aroma but very boozy. Lots of heavy sugar and molasses.

The mouthfeel is thinnish with strong carbonation. Very sweet and boozy for the style.

This is a solid beer but not even in the same ballpark as Wake N Bake. Much more boozy than I was expecting.

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Photo of nickfl
3.54/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Black body with an light brown head of foam that stands less then one finger tall. The head fades away quickly and leaves little lace.

S - An alcoholic aroma of dark fruit and spiced coffee. Plums, espresso, clove, and licorice all compete for dominance.

T - Lots of dark sugar and fruit up front, plums and molars with a hint of burnt caramel. The character begins to come out in the middle with a rich, turkish coffee character. The beer finishes with lots of peppery alcohol and silvery clove as well as lingering warmth almost on the level of a distilled spirit.

M - Medium thick body, moderate carbonation, a slightly sweet finish, and hot alcohol that lingers on the palate.

D - This beer had a lot of potential, but it hasn't matured yet. It isn't quite as much of a mess as some others that I have tried before they were ready. The around us quite nice and the flavor shows promise until it falls apart in the finish. I plan on getting a boyle of this as it will be great in six months it a year, but it just isn't there yet.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.73/5  rDev +27.5%
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!

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Photo of redneckchugger
1.46/5  rDev -60.6%
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 atsprings
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a DFH Signature glass pours a deep opaque black with a decent light tan head that shows the shape of the etching at the bottom of the glass. The head lasts as a thin layer and leaves nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is a nice amount of roasted malts, espresso, and dark chocolate. The taste is a nice amount of smooth roasted malts in front of espresso, molasses, licorice and dried fruits, nice complexity. The beer is a bit on the heavy side, but it is an enjoyable sipper for a cold December night. This is a very enjoyable Imperial Stout, one I'd certainly have again.

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Photo of Lerxst
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a tulip

A-Pours black with a one finger mocha colored head that has fair retention and leaves wisps and some rings of lace.

S-Dark chocolate, roasted malt, dark fruit, coffee, a touch boozy. Smells good.

T-Follows the nose with the booze a bit more noticeable here. Still the flavors mingle well together.

M-Thin for the style. Carbonation is a touch prickly.

D-Mouthfeel definitely detracts from the overall experience.

Not a bad beer at all, it just isn't "world class." If I'm in the mood for an RIS, there are many others I'd seek out first.

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Photo of djmichaelk
3.26/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

22oz bottle with gold foil around the top, into a CCB snifter.

A - Motor oil black, with a nice finger of coffee-colored head that eventually drops down to a thin, patchy cap. Awesome lacing on the glass, leaving rings and sheets.

S - I have to work to get it, but what I get is very nice. Brownies and chocolate bar, dark toast, and maybe some hints of dark roasted coffee.

T - Hmmm. It doesn't quite live up to the nose. Plenty of roast and dark bittersweet chocolate. Molasses and brown sugar in the back. Alcohol is definitely present. Long dry finish. The flavors aren't bad, but it severely lacks subtlety.

M - Strangely, for a RIS, this is pretty thin. Too much carbonation. It doesn't have the creaminess that the top RIS's will exhibit. Disappointing.

D - High abv and abrasive flavors contribute to this being a one-and-done beer. The first half was pretty good, but the second half of the bomber was almost a struggle. I'd like to see this in 12oz bottles.

O - Another in a long line of experimental beers from Terrapin. It's good but not great. Glad I got to try it but I probably will only grab one or two more to lay down to see what some time does to it.

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Photo of afksports
2.8/5  rDev -24.5%
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 CooperEllis
3.37/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz into 6oz tasting glass.

Straight black pour, with minimal lacing. Within minutes the head s gone and there is almost no lacing/bubbles.

Smells of malt/roasted malt. There are strong coffee note at the top.

Full flavor, in as much as you expect a full roast and a full malt flavor this is more notable for the dark fruit flavor and the slight notes of honeydew rind at the end.

Heavy on carbonation, light on body but full with extra carb.

This was an enjoyable glass of brew. I typically state basic like/dislike but in this case I think folks might like it more than I do because of a particular set of characteristics I look for with an IRS.


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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.47/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - A dark/black beer. Tan head, leaves some lace on the glass.

S - Roasted and burnt malts. Alcohol is very prevlant.

T - Coffee and chocolate are prevalent. Sweet at the beginning, and burnt malts at the end.

M - Very thick, high carbonation.

D - Low. One is enough.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.27/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into snifter glass

Pours completely black with a very thin head which fades out quickly. Literally no retention with some small spots of lacing on the glass.

Heavy malt nose with bitter chocolate, a little smoke, anise, and some boozy heat.

Plenty of roasted malts up front with molasses sweetness. Higher hop bitterness followed by dark chocolate and syrupy richness. Some charred (almost charcoal) roastiness with anise and licorice flavor. Finishes bitter and warm with plenty of booze.

Medium bodied, higher carbonation, not creamy or soft on the tongue, almost abrasive at times. Drinks okay but the booze isn't masked well at all and I really wasn't into the mouthfeel.

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Photo of Fieldzy27
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber split between friends

A-pours black. What a surprise. Has a rocky foamy tan head and leaves thick sheets of tattered foamy lace. As it goes down the lace almost completely coats the glass.

S-Black bitter chocolate dominates with a very small amount of sweetness. Roastedness comes through a bit but it does seem to be sort of one dimensional. Although it is fairly powerful.

T-Quite bitter. Mainly bitter chocolate and bitter coffee. Not as much roasted as the nose. Finish sweetens up a little bit but still fairly un-complex

M-Carbonation is flawless but the mouthfeel is too far on the thin side for this style.(I have had normal stouts that can give this guy a run)

D-Overall this one is a pass for me. One of the more lacking side projects for sure. Not a bad beer by any means. But there is also a lot of competition in the terrapin side project ranks. Glad I didn't buy this bottle though.

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Photo of babaracas
3.32/5  rDev -10.5%
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 PDXHops
2.36/5  rDev -36.4%
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 TKEbeerman
3.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into my pint glass, this brew pours almost pitch black with a 1inch head that fades to a small ring, but leaves some of the best lacing I've seen in an RIS.

S: The aroma is very single ended black strap molasses and roasted malt. Medium level of hopiness in this brew, which leads towards notes of dark fruit.

T: The flavor is a little on the sweet side, with roasted and slight fruit notes. Alcohol is medium light. Molasses and chocolate take over as the beer warms.

MF: The mouth feel of this brew is extremely disappointing. The lack of viscosity and backbone prevent the flavors of this brew from holding up.

D: Drinkability is pretty good at 10%

Overall, Terrapin's Side Project's this year have been hit or miss. This brew is almost a hit. With a little more body, this would have been the perfect brew to follow up Hopzilla, which, IMO, is the best IPA on the east coast.

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Photo of elgiacomo
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

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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.

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Photo of mondegreen
3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz into a Duck Rabbit mini snifter. There is a stern lookin lg comrade on the label in front of a giant, regal hop. Perhaps this should tell me something about this beer?

Pours pitch black with minimal tan head. Very little lacing. Slight dark brown highlights at the edges.

Nose is pretty hot. I'm getting strong roasted notes, light molasses sweetness, and a big dose of hops - all with a shot of alcohol on the nose.

Flavor is toasty and bitter, with a touch of residual sweetness in the finish. Alcohol heat is apparent. Tastes like it might be a tad over attenuated. The big dose of hops helps balance things out, making this pretty tasty.

Mouth is pretty thin for an impy stout. Would like it to be a bit thicker.

Drinkability suffers a bit from the heat, but this is still an enjoyable brew. Get one for now and one for later - this one should be interesting down the road.

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Photo of Mavajo
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with a brown head. Aroma is loaded with roasty notes and, unless I'm mistaken, a healthy dose of hops. Taste brings much of the same as the nose: strong notes of roastiness with a healthy backbone of hops, and a sort of licorice/molasses character. There's not a ton of variation here. Primarily bitter notes. Either way, this is, first and foremost, a roasty, robust stout with a decent hop backbone.

Mouthfeel is good. Appropriate thickness and carbonation. Nothing special though.

All in all, this is a very good imperial stout. Alcohol is extremely well hidden - nigh undetectable, even. I'd compare it to Yeti probably. To me, it feels like this is a great base beer that's just begging for an infusion of some other flavor or perhaps bourbon barrel aging.

As it is, this is a great example of a straight-forward RIS, with a subtle dose of complexity. I just wish it had that extra something to take it to the next level. But that tends to be the thing with Terrapin - teease you with almost-greatness, but never quite crossing that threshold. They always seem to come just shy of greatness.

Definitely worth trying, but not sure it's special.

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Photo of chefmikeanderson
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
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%.

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Terrapin Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout from Terrapin Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 249 ratings