Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-Aged
Big Sky Brewing Company

Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-AgedIvan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-Aged
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Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #140
Ranked #1,968
4.25 | pDev: 10.35%
Apr 23, 2021
Nov 10, 2008
Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-AgedIvan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-Aged
Notes: 2006 - 8.75% (draft only)
2007 - 8.75% (500ml flip top bottles ~ very limited)
2008 - 9.5% (750ml - capped - 1152 bottles)
2009 - 10% (750ml cork and cage)
2010 - 10% (750ml - cork and cage)
2011 - not brewed
2012 - 12.2% (750ml cork and cage)
2013 - 13.8%
2014 - 11.5% (750ml cork and cage)
2015 - 11.9% (750ml cork and cage - 3000 bottles)
2017 - 11.6%

Imperial stout aged 4 months in freshly dumped American oak Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels.

65 IBU
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4 by Dicers from Colorado

Apr 23, 2021
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Reviewed by Stevedore from Oregon

4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
2012 edition. Actually not bad. Not oxidized at all. Smooth roast, chocolate, touch of espresso and mild warming heat. Medium bodied, lighter in carbonation.
Jul 31, 2020
Rated: 4.25 by paulish from New York

Jun 03, 2020
Rated: 4.13 by Gemini6 from Michigan

Apr 20, 2020
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Reviewed by Treyliff from West Virginia

4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
2014 Vintage
750ml cork and cage bottle poured into a snifter

A- big pop of the cork, pours black in color with a one-finger foamy khaki head that quickly reduces to a ring around the edge

S- surprisingly plenty of barrel notes on the nose, given that it states that it's only aged for at least 3 months. Peppery wet oak, bourbon, caramel and vanilla up front, followed by molasses, brown sugar, chocolate, fudge brownies & walnuts

T- sharp oaky note up front, followed by barrel juice, caramel, vanilla and cracked pepper. Mid-palate gives notes of molasses, prunes, raisins and chocolate. The finish gives more barrel character and lingers of oak and bourbon

M- medium-heavy body with moderate-low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that turns into a creamy warming finish

O- a solid, straight up BA RIS, no fancy extra adjuncts needed
Mar 13, 2020
Rated: 3.82 by Commandophile from Illinois

Feb 06, 2020
Rated: 4.25 by cbcrunch from Wyoming

Jan 08, 2020
Rated: 4.26 by paresis from Massachusetts

Nov 16, 2019
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Reviewed by Darkmagus82 from Texas

4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Served on tap in a snifter glass
Appearance- The beer is served a pitch black tar like color with a one finger head of brown foam. The head has a great level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a ton of spider web lacing on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is massive of a roasted malt small that is matched by copious amount of bourbon and sweet cocoa. Along with these smells comes other notes of dark fruit of cherry and plum as well as a little bit of a molasses and light oaky aroma. The alcohol can be sensed as well leaving one with a dark and rich warming smell.
Taste – The taste begins as the nose would suggest with a huge roasted malt flavor that was backed by a large amount of sweeter cocoa. Right from the start there is a rather strong showing of bourbon with some nice oaky notes. The bourbon grows stronger and stronger as the taste advances, being joined by some light vanilla and molasses flavors. Toward the end the booziness starts creeping its way in, with it matching the increase in the bourbon rather nicely. Some flavors of char and smoke develop at the very end, and with the dark, sweet, and boozy tastes, one is left with a very satisfyingly warming flavor to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is thick and robust with a lower carbonation level. For the big dark, sweet, and boozy tastes the feel is fantastic coating the mouth in all the rich flavors and making this one slow sipping warmer.
Overall – A very tasty and bourbon barrel flavored ale. Quite robust and warming!!
Nov 14, 2019
Rated: 4.73 by jordanginsberg from Louisiana

Sep 17, 2019
Rated: 4.33 by NolaHopHead from Louisiana

Jul 04, 2019
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Reviewed by superspak from North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
8500th review! 750 ml bottle into snifter, 2015 vintage. Bottle #2566/3000. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and rocky khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice dense foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, oak char, roasted nuts, toasted biscuit, and dark bread/crust; with lighter notes of molasses, licorice, raisin, prune, cherry, fig, date, smoke, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, peppercorn, pine, and yeast/roast/toast/oak earthiness. Slight booze in the aromas as it warms, but not overwhelming. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/black/roast/bready malts, bourbon barrels, and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, oak char, roasted nuts, toasted biscuit, and dark bread/crust; with lighter notes of molasses, licorice, raisin, prune, cherry, fig, date, smoke, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, peppercorn, pine, and yeast/roast/toast/oak earthiness. Light-moderate pine, herbal, grassy, peppery, roast, charred bitterness; and bourbon/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, oak char, roasted nuts, toasted biscuit, dark bread/crust, molasses, licorice, dark fruit, smoke, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, peppercorn, pine, and yeast/roast/toast/oak earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/black/roast/bready malts, bourbon barrels, and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; with a great roast/hop bitter/sweet and bourbon/oak spiciness balance; with no cloying, acrid, astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate increasing dryness from lingering hop/char bitterness and bourbon/oak tannin spiciness. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky/bready, and fairly sticky/chalky/tannic mouthfeel that is great. Mild increasing warmth of 11.9%, with minimal lingering barrel booze after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic barrel aged Russian imperial stout. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/black/roast/bready malts, bourbon barrels, and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the big ABV, with the mellowly bitter/tannic/drying finish. Fantastic balance between rich malt complexity and bourbon barrel presence/integration; with balancing earthy hops and restrained fruity yeast. Light residual sweetness with lingering bitter/tannic dryness. A highly enjoyable offering, and spot on style example. A lot more charred/tannic barrel presence than I expected, but it doesn't get overly boozy/drying.
May 26, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by Kolb from Montana

Apr 30, 2019
Rated: 4.23 by Nunya from Ohio

Mar 31, 2019
Rated: 3.79 by chitownfanatic21 from Wyoming

Mar 31, 2019
Rated: 4.21 by Monkeyknife from Missouri

Mar 05, 2019
Rated: 4 by BdM from Netherlands

Dec 22, 2018
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Reviewed by Ri0 from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured 750 bottle into chalice. vintage 2017. Color is obsidian black with a thin 1 finger tan hear. Quick retention that leaves a collar and a few spots of lacing. The aroma is sensational with very soft bourbon, coffee roast, vanilla, dark chocolate, cocoa, marshmallow and thick caramel. The flavor begins with a hints of bitter coffee, rich caramel and moves into some chocolate. It evolves with a faint vanilla and bourbon with a bit of oak or wood. Medium body with creamy, smooth feel. Carbonation is spot on. Really enjoyed this bottle and found it similar to some local offerings.
Dec 13, 2018
Rated: 3.81 by cmurphy7 from Massachusetts

Oct 17, 2018
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Reviewed by csmrx7 from Canada (AB)

4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
This is an incredible BA Stout that really sticks to the basics (no adjuncts). Great rich nose that has a hotter smell than come out in the beer. When cold there is a unique nuttiness from the malt that I quite enjoyed. As it cools the boosy bourbon character really comes out and does not disappoint.
Sep 24, 2018
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Reviewed by hman43 from North Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Look: This is the 2017 addition which comes in at 11.6%. It pours dark brown with a brown head. Head retention is moderately good.

Smell: It has a fair amount of fruity esters with the rich malts. As it begins to warm a bit, the malts become more pronounced. It has roasted malt aromas with a touch of coffee. The fruit aromas are fairly strong with plums and raisins. There is a slight herbal quality in the background.

Taste: It has aggressive bitterness and deep roast flavors with a slight burnt element. The herbal flavors are still low, but more evident in the flavors than in the aroma. The raisins and plums are moderate. The bourbon flavoring is subtle as it enhances all the flavors without overwhelming them.

Feel: It is full bodied with a velvet like texture. The alcohol warming is smooth without any harsh edges. The carbonation is moderately low.

Overall, this is a very well done imperial stout with an excellent mix of malt and esters working with the hops. The bourbon enhances the flavors along with the smooth finish.
Jun 01, 2018
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Reviewed by Franziskaner from Missouri

3.72/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75
Black in color with no light seeping through whatsoever. There's a wisp of brown in the the center about the size of a half dollar. The aroma is comprised of sweet bourbon and bitter, dark roasted barley. I'm tasting a very bourbon forward beer with the roasted barley showing in the back of the palate. The mouth is thick, chewy, and lightly sticky.
May 27, 2018
Rated: 3.25 by Jangoon24 from Illinois

May 14, 2018
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Reviewed by SomethingClever from Ohio

3.74/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
2017 corked and caged 750ml bottle poured into snifter.

A: Nice slightly off white chunky head that settles to a film. Body is your ubiquitous black.

S: Light whiskey a little licorice some roasted malts, oak, a little alcohol.

T: Lots of whiskey, oak, and some nice roasted malts nice bit of sweetness. Alcohol is fairly well hidden.

M: Medium bodied to fuller a little thin from the barrel aging.

O: It’s not a bad beer but it’s not amazing either. It’s a well put together BA beer, but not something I would look out for.
May 01, 2018
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Reviewed by sulldaddy from Connecticut

4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Sampling a cellar temp 750ml bottle poured into a snifter. This is a 2017 vintage bottle 11.6%.
Beer was part of a trade for mt_griz99.
The beer pours a dark chocolate brown color with a creamy beige head of 2 cm foaming up even with a gentle pour. The foam fades slowly but leaves a dense edge layer and a large sturdy island in the center of my glass.
The beer gives a sweet bourbon and vanilla aroma with some caramel and brown sugar too. A bit of a molasses note too on the nose. Hops dont really make a presence here.
First sip reveals an average body with average carbonation. Texture is very smooth and this beer is easy to drink.
Flavor is similar to nose with malt forward and booze. I get dark chocolate and bourbon mixing with brown sugar. There is some black licorice on the finish here that I didnt get on the nose. Again the hops dont really make an appearance and the booze is only a faint warming on the finish.
I enjoy this beer and find the flavors to be appropriate for an Imp Stout and I enjoy it, even though I dont like black licorice / anice flavor in my beers.
Worth a shot if you are in able to procure this beer. I dont find it to be amazing but it is good.
Apr 28, 2018
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Reviewed by mactrail from Washington

3.46/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
I'm tasting the 2017 Barrel Aged edition, 11.6% ABV. It certainly tastes powerful enough, and leaves you with a hot rush of alcohol when you exhale. whoof! Bourbon is the aroma, carried on waves of alcohol. Some sweetness in the initial mouthful of malt, but there's a dry edge to it.

Quite bitter and overwhelmingly licorice tasting. There is something like booze but it's not much of a Bourbon flavor. Seems mostly bitter and hot with some oakey astringency and a woody after-feel. From the 750 ml bottle purchased at Haggen Market.
Mar 25, 2018
Rated: 3.86 by atone315 from Wisconsin

Mar 04, 2018
Rated: 4.39 by GClarkage from California

Feb 26, 2018
Rated: 2.86 by CraftFan5 from New Jersey

Feb 12, 2018
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Reviewed by Beersnake1 from California

4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Poured from fridge temp. Pours jet black with nice tan head. Nose is full of roasted malts, caramel, licorice, and some coffee. Only a hint of bourbon. Taste is really good. Sweet bourbon upfront, but not too heavy. Lots of licorice to me, and I like my stouts with a lot of licorice. A good amount of smoky notes, coffee grinds, and molasses. Really nicely done, and a nice compliment to the base stout (which I also really like). Mouthfeel is medium to thick with a nice creamy texture. Overall, not my favorite BA stout, but certainly good.
Jan 11, 2018
Rated: 3.77 by mattsander from Canada (AB)

Jan 09, 2018
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Reviewed by ZebulonXZogg from Illinois

3.19/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
750 ml bottle from 2016, bottle 1885 of 4250.
L: Pours an almost black with a big frothy khaki head with excellent lacing.
S: Barely noticeable barrel, licorice and tart cherries.
T: Cherries.
F: Too thin for the style, overcarbonated.
O: I didn't think much of this last year and as a BA stout I thought it would improve with a year on it. I love the base beer for this, it's similar to Ol' Raspy', but something went wrong here, reminds me of BCBS from 2015. Disappointing.
Jan 07, 2018
Rated: 3.72 by wordemupg from Canada (AB)

Jan 07, 2018
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Reviewed by bbtkd from South Dakota

4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Big Sky 2017 Barrel Aged Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout, 11.6% ABV. Pours black with a two finger tan head, which left real nice foamy lacing. Aroma is bourbon, roast malt, and chocolate. Taste is roast malt, licorice, strong cocoa/chocolate, roast malt, slight bourbon, oak, slightly sweet, with a slight bitter close. Excellent mouthfeel, overall outstanding. I've wanted to try this for two years, since trying and liking the regular Ivan, and I'm not disappointed.
Jan 07, 2018
Rated: 4.35 by luke12345 from Pennsylvania

Dec 25, 2017
Rated: 4.56 by Burkhalterjh from Wisconsin

Dec 21, 2017
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Reviewed by brenn79 from Idaho

4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
750 ml corked and caged bottle, 2016 vintage- Pours black with a medium tan head that reduces leaving a collar and some islands. Aroma is toffee, chocolate, caramel, dark roasted malts, malt balls, licorice. The taste is caramel, roasted malts, milk duds, licorice and tobacco, the oak is minimal in this variety, and the alcohol is well hidden, thinking that's from the year age on it. Very good world class BA stout.
Nov 26, 2017
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Reviewed by larryarms847 from Illinois

4.04/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Pours a rich dark brown and sits black in the glass with a very fizzy head of light tan carbonation that deteriorates to a thin lacy ring.

Deeply roasted malt with notes of oak, bourbon, and chocolate.

Strong woody oak character, with notes of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, and heavily roasted malt.

Way too carbonated for a BA stout.

Overall, this was quite the let down, smells nice but overcarbed and underwhelming in every manner.
Nov 21, 2017
Rated: 4.24 by deereless from Colorado

Nov 10, 2017
Rated: 4.5 by Narthax from Texas

Oct 28, 2017
Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-Aged from Big Sky Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 895 ratings