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

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850 Ratings
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Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-AgedIvan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States
bigskybrew.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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)

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

65 IBU

Added by Bitterbill on 11-10-2008

BEER STATS
Ratings:
850
Reviews:
292
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
10.33%
 
 
Wants:
797
Gots:
280
For Trade:
22
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 850 |  Reviews: 292
Photo of Etan
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage on tap at Binny's South Loop.

A: Rich black with a small light tan head. Nice lacing.

S: Dry, roasty black malt, chocolate, a bit of booze.

T: Roasted grain, dark chocolate, small dose of hop bitterness, sweet alcohol, oak. Rich and somewhat dry.

M: Thick, small tingly carbonation.

O: Really nice, but I wish the barrel character gave a little more bourbon/vanilla rather than just solid oak.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 vintage. Poured from a 750 ml cork n cage bottle into a Pipeworks snifter.

A- pours black with a 2 finger cola head. Big blotches and trails of lacing remain on the glass.

S- dark fruits, chocolate, light bourbon and vanilla.

T- chocolate, dark fruits, vanilla, bourbon, and some roast.

M- full body and medium carbonation. Drinks very well fresh for a 12% beer.

O- good RIS. Not a ton of barrel characteristics which is why I didn't rate it higher, but nice dark fruit notes that add some complexity to this beer.

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What did he do that was so terrible? Oh. Pours a milky midnight black color with a light tan colored head. Thick head and good retention and lacing through the full tasting. Some good legs on this one with a good viscosity.

The nose is rich and malty. To start there is a sweet caramel note that mixes with a coffee and toffee mixture. Some noticeable oak and whiskey notes that blend in well. Limited to no astringency, there is more of a milk stout thing going on. A light lactic note that emphasizes this. Some molasses notes with a minerally note that I usually associate with black strap. Also some darker fruit esters, specifically prunes and some stone fruit notes. The yeast is very clean with some light alcohol notes.

The taste is similar but the whiskey note really come out and hinder the beer. The malt is there with a more super sweet caramel taste coming through. This is really emphasized by the body and milkiness of the beer. The oak notes really come out as well, with stronger vanilla notes (almost like Mexican vanilla). Very strong caramel notes. Again the astringency is really lacking and would like some bite. Some fruit notes, mostly plums but some raisins and figs as well. The molasses isn't as noticeable as the nose and no real off ie mineral. Very clean yeast as well but some booze notes on the back end and as it warms.

The body is very creamy. This really makes the caramel notes really come out. Carbonation is light but almost like a nitro feel in the body. Overall I think the whiskey notes are a bit over the top and would have liked to see more astringency. But this should age very very nicely.

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Photo of BurdockBoy
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of daveytheformer
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into a snifter.
brewed in 2010 bottle number 2777 of 3800

Pours a beautiful pitch black with a thin tan head.

Smells like sweet malt, chocolate, vanilla, and I can pick up the oak and bourbon a little at the end.

Taste is of a light silky sweetness with the alcohol dancing around a little in there. The bourbon is there but seems real subdued compared to some other barrel aged stouts.

Mouthfeel is pretty smooth and carbonated with a mild alcohol burn that fades as the beer goes down.

Overall is a really good beer that only gets better as it warms up. Would do well with some aging or trying on older vintage of this for sure. Not the best in the world but still damn good!

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Photo of mattsmith413
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of 5EKF
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mcallister
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nearly black in color not completely opaque. Large mocha head fades quickly leaving little lace.

Great nose with thick toasty oak and vanilla riddle with light traces of bourbon. Black fuits and roasted malts with hints of milk chocolate and cocoa powder.

Nice bourbon and oak flavors. Vanilla woodiness really comes through. Wood tannins linger on the finish. Cocoa, slightly roasty quality, hints of leather and blackberry. Mouth is a little thin for my liking which actually helps drinkability. A very nice beer.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle 281/1152

Pours a beautiful brownish red with simply gorgeous one finger quickly receding tan head. Smells of licorice and rum cake dominate the roasted malts. First sip is yeasty and bitter, very fruity with pears and raisins leading the way. The bottle conditioning leads to a wonderful creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

one of the most unique Russian imperials out there, worth the hype. this one has the feel of a light and delicate porter, the most well hidden abv ive seen in years. dark and creamy pour, Hershey brown with all kinds of lacey cream head. lots of appeal and character. smoky smell a little bit, plenty of cocoa and dark malt, but a lightness to it that defies the style. semisweet taste, like the tollhouse chips, less bitter, but equally mild. complexity is not lacking, but neither is drinkability, which I think is what makes this stout special. how can a beer seem so light, so easy down, and so basic, but yet so decadent and rich and impressive. its a balancing act here between huge beer and every day drink, in a way that nobody else has really achieved. a special brew to say the least. the lightness of this will blow your mind, and when you realize its 10% abv plus, you will simply be floored. I was, and it takes a lot to do that to me these days. on tap at hops and pie for a very fair price too.

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Photo of zhanson88
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Finally getting around to drinking and reviewing this bad boy. 2010 version, bottle 1404/3800.

Appearance: Ivan pours a dark brown color that appears pitch black once in the glass. About 2" of tan head forms, which has great retention and decent lacing. Legs are okay. Almost a perfect looking RIS, but it does look a bit thin on the pour. That's my only beef with it.

Smell: Interesting. Very dark fruit heavy.... lots of fig, raisin and date. Lighter amounts of chocolate and coffee. The barrel treatment shows very nicely as well. Nice amounts of woodiness and vanilla, with lighter bourbon scents.

Taste: Once again, lots of dark fruits. Figs and dates especially have a strong showing. Coffee and bitter dark chocolate are present, but very lightly. There is a shitload of vanilla presence in this beer, which is awesome. Also some woody notes as well as bourbon. The finish is woody with a lot of dark fruits, and even some cherry-like notes. The cherry seems off-key which is disappointing....slight knock on that.

Mouthfeel/Overall: The body really disappoints me. Pretty light....high carbonation. A far cry from creamy and full. It does improve somewhat as it warms, but it's still below average. Overall this beer is on the cusp of something great, but not quite there. I really liked the barrel treatment, and the dark fruit notes were quite different and refreshing. Definitely a must try, but not quite world class. I wish I had access to previous versions, but I guess I'll have another shot at it next year.

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Photo of drinkin-beeers
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of airohead2001
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Huge thanks to glazeman for landing this monster - what a great beer!

A - Dark brown drink with a nice one finger head that resembles foamy, fluffy cappuccino topping. Looks very appetizing.

S - Just great. Vanilla, bourbon, melted butter, roasted almonds, booze, plums, and more booze. Mmmm.

T - Bourbon and dark chocolate covered oranges and lemons up front, with a nice, sugary malty finish.

M - Very smooth, especially considering the high ABV. Nice and thick as well.

D - This was a very fun beer to drink. I distinctly remember just having a good time with it, more than focusing on good descriptors and writing notes. The time of the evening, as well as my EtOH consumption, both truly shine through in any review when I start talking about dark chocolate covered lemons (wtf)...

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Photo of Braz
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of pisano
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kels
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not sure who brought this to the Holiday Inn, but thanks:) Cheers, unclejedi, Joan, ftownthrowdown, RoyMunson and pwoods. Next time remind me to write this stuff down.

Pours a nice, super-dark brown, totally opaque. There's a little skim of brown bubbles with a bit of swirly brown skim on the top of the beer. There's really no lace to speak of.

The smell is full of nice, cracked coffee beans with a hint of bittersweet chocolate. A bit of the alcohol creeps through in the nose.

Taste is full of sweet chocolatiness and a little dry coffee grounds. The alcohol has a huge presence, but isn't overwhelming in a distracting or disappointing kind of way. The sweetness is added to by flavors of vanilla and sweet cream. The feel is moderately full and creamy, and the aftertaste is exceptionally dry for the style. The alcohol is present in the taste, and it adds a nicely warming dimension.

Drinkability is moderate at best. It is quite tasty, but the alcohol is also quite notable.

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Photo of Devman171
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of johnnyboy76
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of stevoj
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle from Albertsons. 2015 vintage. Big, sticky black pour, small beige head. Boozy aroma, lots of wood barrel character. Maybe because I hadn't had one in awhile, but this was extremely tasty. Really hit all of the marks.

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Photo of Seattle_Suds
4.11/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rypkr
4.11/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2015 vintage #1986 of 3000.

A - poured into a snifter, looks a little watery. Super looking fizzy head however.

S - bourbon forward. Lots of sugar also, almost smells more like a quad or an old ale than it does a stout.

T - wow there's a lot of bourbon. It almost takes more like whisky than it does beer. Tons of oak and vanilla and an absurd amount of alcohol is present. I love beers that pick up this much barrel. However as this warms there is too much hip presence for my liking in a bb stout. I dropped my original 4.25 for taste and overall to 4's because of this.

M - tremendous mouthfeel despite its watery look. Carbonation is through the roof also.

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Photo of abuliarose
4.11/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter, revealing a syrupy black body under four fingers of thick tanned head. Some lacing. Can't imagine a beer looking any better than this. Smells like chocolaty, molasses-y dried and poached fig with roasted malt. Pretty good smells.

Tastes sweet and warm with lots of milk chocolate and a slight roastiness. Possibly some dried fig in the flavor as well. Flavors are surprisingly light and more reminiscent of a high end milkshake than a heavy syrupy stout. Mouthfeel is heavy bodied but the carbonation starts small and expands so drastically that it flows smooth as a cream soda on the tongue. Very drinkable for the heaviness. Alcohol not at all noticeable in this brew.

I wish I had more of this. So much more.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.11/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer I remember being awesome at GABF! Finally crack a bottle from a tasting.

A: Black with bubbly tan head and good lacing! Nice.

S: Nice Bourbon and malt base, roasty stout, and then theres a butterscotch smell at the end! Infection I'd say, not sure what it is, Diacytl? Some soy sauce. Uh oh...

T: Thank goodness the taste is still very good. Refined vanilla oak pairs nicely with the sweet bourbon tinged chocolate and roast stout. A little licorice and soy sauce as well. Very nice.

M: A little overcarbonated for me but still pretty thick and good.

D: Hmm, wasnt all I hoped for but not terrible. Did anyone else seem to get a infected bottle? Everyone at the small tasting I had agreed that it was infected in the nose especially, though it didnt seem to affect the taste.

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Photo of laketang
4.11/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

25 oz bottle 2016 version

poured like hot motor oil
tan head reduces to a rim
bourbon chocolate and licorice
definite bourbon on the nose
more of a chocolate edge tastewise
medium mouthfeel,barrel did this well.
overall an enjoyable stout.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.11/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Poured from 2010 bottle 2266 of 3800 that my man kiddwhiz hooked up to a globe glass. Thanks again.

A - The beer pours a pitch black color with huge 3 finger brown head! No matter how I poured the beer I got huge head which had unreal retention and nice lacing. At the bottom of each glass I still have a 1/2 finger head, unreal.

S - A fair bourbon aroma mixed with hints of roasted cocoa, chocolate, and a hint of dried fruit.

T - The beer starts with a bit of oak flavor on the front with a woody sweetness. Pale and Crystal malt character becomes prevalent in the middle with mild bitterness and a nice bourbon flavor. The beer finishes smooth with a druid fruit taste mixed with a little bourbon and roasted grains.

M - Full bodied with good carbonation. Very thick and tasty.

D - It goes down real easy for a stronger beer with such complex character.

Overall, I found the beer to be a bit much at the beginning but towards the middle that changed and the final glass I was really yearning for more. It was a pleasure to try and I wish I had another to cellar!

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 02-10-2011 14:03:38

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Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-Aged from Big Sky Brewing Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 850 ratings.
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