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 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.

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Photo of Ungertaker
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a New Belgium snifter.

A- Poured jet black with a  cola-like head that quickly dissipated to a 1/16" foamy tan top. Very little lacing was left by the dissipating head, but the foam left a lacing after each sip. There was little to no light penetration allowed.

S- Dark chocolate, raisins, vanilla

T- espresso, cherry, dark chocolate, tobacco, licorice

M- medium-bodied with a medium amount of carbonation throughout. It thickened as it warmed, but still retained the same carbonation level.

O- I poured this at about fifty degrees. It was probably about sixty by the time I finished. I cannot say for sure whether it was adjustment to the beer or the warming, but it got much better as it went. Overall, this is a very good brew.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Bennettrox for this!

I tried this shortly after it's initial release, and it was a hot mess at that point. Let's see how age has developed this.

A - Pours thick and black as night. Small finger of mocha colored head adorns, dissipating to a film.

S - Roasted aroma, a bit of alcohol, coffee and some cocoa.

T - Dry cocoa nibs, chocolate, slight coffee notes, big roast character, and a bit of warming alcohol.

M - Full bodied, and thick. Right consistency, and slightly coating.

O - Age has definitely mellowed this out. The alcohol is there, but it doesn't steal the show. The flavor profile is also bolder, with a much better balance. Overall, quite the enjoyable stout. It's not on WnB level though...but it's solid.

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

22 ounce gold foil covered bottle. I've had this one sitting in the cellar since the beginning of this year, and after hearing of the alcohol heat, I'm hoping some has settled out. Split with Matt and poured into two tulip glasses.

A: Deep dark brown body on the pour, essentially black sitting in the glass with a creamy, bubbly tan head. The dissipation was somewhat slow, eventually settling into a thin film across the surface with a rather bubbly ring. The lacing is minor and patchy, not too bad for something with a higher ABV.

S: Bakers dark cocoa nibs, milk chocolate, coffee beans, caramel coffee creamer and some touches of vanilla. It has an overall roasted quality that doesn't seem to impart itself into any particular flavor, but nonetheless this is all a bit disorientated in terms of solidity.

T: Slightly roasted mild coffee beans, bittersweet chocolate bar, caramel malts, toasted vanilla beans and a dash of toasted coconut, as well. The finish is dry, more so than I would like but doesn't leave any off lingers or flavors. Bitter coffee grounds still coat the palate long after swallow. It's not the most flavorful or diverse Russian Imperial Stout I've ever had but certainly not the worst.

M: Lower carbonation but it doesn't feel full-bodied and chewy like I'd like a beer of this caliber and style to be. Somewhat smooth and slightly prickly, creamy? Not so much which is too bad. However, it's still a nice feeling beer.

I can't say I really had any expectations for this beer but I think it delivered quite well. While overall this is certainly not as polished as other beers in the style, it's a novel attempt at a critical style. In the plethora of other RIS we see on the market, this one unfortunately falls a bit short.

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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.

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Photo of Pencible
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured an opaque black with some thick tan head.
S: It smelled like lots of roasted coffee and bitter dark chocolate, with some licorice and molasses, and a little cream and alcohol.
T: It tasted like roasted coffee and burnt dark chocolate, with some licorice and molasses and cream. It had a ton of alcohol in the aftertaste.
M: It was very thick and chewy with some carbonation. Huge viscous body.
D: This was a giant stout with nice scent and taste, and excellent body. But wow was it hot! The bottle's text doesn't lie when it says you could drink this in shots. So it wasn't the smoothest or easiest beer to drink, but it was fun to try. It may mellow after a long time in the cellar, but it was a bit of a hot mess fresh.

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

appearance: deep dark baclk, good head retention

smell: lots of coffee chocolate, typical ipy stout aromas

taste: good bitterness, drinks easy for a 10 plus stout, heavy on chocolate

mouthfeel: medium bodied but a little thin for style, not bad though

drinkability: had this paired with chocolate and went nicely.

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

A: Pours completely black with a small mocha colored head that has moderate retention and leaves moderate lacing on the edges of the glass. 

S: Dark chocolate, roasted malt, and coffee beans comprise the majority of the aroma.  A pretty good bit of alcohol lingers in the background as well.  Pretty standard, plus some heat. 

T: Starts out somewhat sweet with chocolate and hints of dark fruit, but then moves quickly to a roasty and slightly bitter middle and end.  Roasted barley, roasted coffee beans, and a touch of hops linger through the finish.  A good amount of heat on the finish as well.

M: Thinner than I had expected.  Medium-bodied with a decent amount of carbonation providing a smooth creaminess.  Drying finish with a bit of a booze burn.

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Photo of Retsinis
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a chance to try this at a recent tasting. Review from notes.

A: Poured from a bomber into a Bruery tulip glass, the beer pours a coffee black, with about an inch of head, that quickly settled to just a ring of bubbles, leaving mild lacing on the glass.

S: I got scents of dark choclate, roasted barley, touch of cappucino.

T: Mostly mirroed the nose, dark choclate, roasted malt, espresso, and a touch of molasses, some dark fruit as well. Alcohol a bit prounounced, but not terribly off putting.

M: Medium mouth, lightly carbonation. Not as viscous as I like, but smooth.

O: Glad I got to try this, but it was just okay for me. It needs a bit more tweaking to balance it out a little. It hits all the right marks, but for the alcohol, it's not the best sipper. coffee notes are sublte, as is the choclate and roasted malt. Love the bottle art though.

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Photo of ridglens
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into bruery snifter, dark brown with some light brown creamy head. The head dies and leaves lacing. Looks good.

S- coffee hits first, smells like some cold bitter chocolate. definitely some sweets, maybe some brown sugar or molasses, but not the main focus. smells pretty good, but not life changing....

T- Roasty bitter coffee malts right away. this hits hard, with some sweetness backing up the bitterness. tastes good, but not overly complex, just a good, roasty coffee flavor. Alcohol heat and flavor is definitely there.

M- The best feature of this beer in my opinion. This is a thick beer, and not because of syrupy sweetness, but it's just thick. This is what i like to feel in a stout, and the little bit of carbonation that comes out with a drink adds to the thick feeling.

O- this beer has potential, especially with the great mouthfeel. if the flavor was a little more complex, this might be a world class gem, but it remains a decent beer with one standout characteristic. i would definitely drink it again, but not sure if i would put a ton of effort in seeking it out.

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Photo of GJ40
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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Photo of 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.

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Photo of Yesac
3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

M- medium body

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

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

Thanks to Optimator13 for this.

Light creamy head pitch black no light.

Nose bitter dark roasty malts, cocoa powder, creamy choc, nice coffee fresh roasted, light booze, light oats, some earthy and light spicy hops, caramel, touch of vanilla.

Taste smoked malts to start, cocoa powder, light creamy choc, light smoked meat, bit of roast, fresh coffee, chewy oats, earthy and light spicy hops, light booze, sweet little syrupy, syrupy but dry finish with lingering choc, caramel, roast, semi bitter, little smoke.

Mouth is heavier bodied, little syrupy, light warming booze, lower but decent carb.

Overall good, nice malts, good coffee and choc, drier finish, interesting smoked malts, decent hops, nothing too powering, but nothing special.

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Photo of ExtraStout
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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 from now on. One of the more lacking side projects for sure. Not a bad beer by any means. But there is also a lot of good competition out there.

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Photo of billab914
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

jet black, motor oil like with a small tan head that had a quick fade, and had a nice lace down sides for the duration of the glass.

The smell was light but very sweet. Caramel and sugar being the predominant flavors. A very light hint at chocolate and a modest amount of alcohol were present as well, though this did diminish as it warmed.The first obviuos shock for me was a bitter hoppy finish that seemed to come out of no where on this black liquid. Lots of caramel flavors mixed in with black licorice made this one yummy drink indeed. The feel feel was thick, creamy almost chewey in consistency.

Overall this was very very excellent, and definatly a winner in my book. The alcohol is soo well hidden that this is actually dangerous and could rightfully catch up to you at any moment.

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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

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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.

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Photo of sidetracked
3.36/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a thin medium brown head that lingers around the edges. No lacing.

Smell is sweet molasses, brown sugar, some dark fruitiness, moderate roasted malts, and light chocolate. Overall fairly sweet.

Taste upfront is sweet molasses and brown sugar mixed with a light roastyness. Little less sweet in the middle--more roasty. Finish is dominated by brown sugar/molasses sweetness with faint hints of bitter chocolate. Lingering sweetness with a little raisins/dates mixing with the molasses.

Full bodied and smooth. Low to medium carbonation. Sticky. Finish seems slightly watery at times.

This is a pretty damn sweet stout. I feel like a little more bitterness and more substantial body would round it out nicely. Kind of comes across as a beefed up Moo-Hoo. Wake'N'Bake is a much better Imperial Stout offering from Terrapin.


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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.

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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 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.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to bulletburke for this one...

Poured from a bomber into a North Coast Brewery pint glass...

A - Pours black with a one finger light brown head on a fairly aggressive pour. Good amount of head retention, and sticky lacing to be had...

S - Chocolate, coffee, sweet caramel, and some licorice...

T - Coffee, dark roasted malts, a good dose of chocolate, and licorice. Ends on a bitter roasted coffee note with some lingering licorice kicking around. A little bit of heat comes through in the finish, but nothing that distracts from the taste. Just enough to let you know that it is there...

M - Nice and creamy with a moderate amount of carbonation. Really smooth. Not as viscous as I was hoping for.

O - A solid RIS. Probably wouldn't go out of my way to obtain one, but I could see myself drinking one of these again if I happen to stumble across it...


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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.

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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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