Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
279 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-AgedIvan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States | website

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
Reviews:
279
Ratings:
812
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.28%
 
 
Wants:
803
Gots:
277
For Trade:
22
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 279 | Ratings: 812
Photo of wagenvolks
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle shared by midaszero at a tasting.

Ivan pours with a Terrible pitch black body, opaque as limousine windows. A fluffy cookie dough-colored head rests comfortably atop the blackness, superbly retained and mottled with large bubbles. Viscous brown liquid cascades downward through the foam with each sip. The aroma brings a spicy hop profile balanced by milk chocolate candies, caramel toffee, and a slight hint of peppery, oaken funk.

On the first taste, the palate is coated with dark Baker's chocolate and vinous, port-like tannins. Lots of fudge and vanilla bean with a hint of heat from the barrel-aging. Incredibly smooth and subtle for a 10% Russian Imperial Stout. Mouthfeel is creamy and chewy, with a viscously thick finish. Never syrupy, and packs just the right amount of roast and bitterness from earthy hops to keep it drinkable. An overall fantastic beer. After being completely "wow-ed" by Ivan two times straight, my mission is clear: I need more!

 977 characters

Photo of aerozeppl
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to dmeadows for the share on this 2008 bottle a little while ago.

A: Mostly jet black with a touch of cola around the edges of the glass. About a inger and a half of mocha colored head with some lacing.

S: Nice bourbon note. Big oak component. Vanilla and chocolate. Really quite nice. Not so much roasty but a little bit.

T: The bourbon and vanilla/oak are really done well in this beer. The chocolate is a nice touch but always stays in the background. The bourbon is so clean. Really well done. Curious as to how much time this had in the barrels because it got everything good without the heat and booziness.

M: Creamy. Little bit on the heavier side without ever becomming overbearing.

D: I really enjoyed my nip of this. Would have this again in a heartbeat. One of the best examples of a bourbon aged stout I have ever had hands down.

 853 characters

Photo of Freethyhops
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

about 12oz of the 750 into a chalice. bottle # 2249/3000

A- pours completely black with minimal brown head that leaves a spotty film and color of head. decent lacing but great legs.

S- not extremely robust but a nice blend of chocolate and oak barrel with light roasted notes. little to no bourbon on the nose, surprisingly. some of my favorite IRS aromas but I'm expecting everything to come out a little more clear in the taste.

T- this thing really opens up here. the mass of 2-row malt and chocolate malts mix with a heavy dose of vanilla oak and stays on the sweet side almost the whole time. some light roasted character and bitterness mixes in but it's definitely more in the backround. the bourbon finally shows its face in the finish but it's not too heavy. it's plays in well though and manages not to be too hot.

M- full in body but not quite as thick as some of the big RIS's. nice subtle carbonation. nothing standout but it drinks very well.

D- the bottle was shared between three and it didn't take anybody especially long to finish their glass. I say a great $15 dollars well spent. a great beer from one of my favorite places to do some snowboarding. I'd jump at any bottles I see again, either to drink or spread the love.

 1,245 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle 1054 of 1152 from the first batch, 2008. Picked up a bottle at a local shop & they vanished in a heartbeat. The current version is now in stores, so I wanted to finally break this one open to see if it's worth another investment.

Pours black & vigorous. Smell is in the 'wow' stratosphere, with the promise of nutty chocolate & deep, real vanilla. This is a beer to hand to non-craft beer drinkers & say "take a whiff of this". If they don't want a drink after that, they're probably hopeless.

Ivan the Terrible comes out with a robe full of bourbon, but also with an armful of malts that keep it from reaching BCS territory & overwhelming the base brew. Bourbon, sweet malts, & vanilla pour into the palate. Chocolate runs to show, & there's an almost sherry, port-like fruit flavor that kicks into high gear as the liquid vanishes down my throat.

Paired up with the bourbon, it's an intriguing, delicious mess of a beer, & I mean that as a compliment. It's a sipper, but a rapid one, as I try to figure out what the hell is in my glass, & why.

Excellent beer that takes the notion of a barrel-aged RIS & does some cool things with it. Guess I'll be getting at least one more of the 2009 version, I'd like to try this fresh now!

 1,242 characters

Photo of jsh420
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 #389/3000

pours dark dark brown with a 2 finger tan head that had good retention and left spotted lacing

smell is sweet bourbon vanilla dark fruits

taste much like nose sweet bourbon dark fruits vanilla then roasted malts chocolate some booze - no flavors overpower the others which make this a very enjoyable beer

mouthfeel is medium/heavy good carbonation very smooth and creamy with a very dry finish

drinkability is great this 750ml bottle went down prety fast

 474 characters

Photo of kels
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

 991 characters

Photo of paco1029384756
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a short creamy tan head.

Scent of sweet bourbon, dark fruit, wet oak, molasses, and some spice. Very good, balanced very well, and not overbearing.

Taste of bourbon, vanilla, oak, caramel, dark fruit, molasses and the faintest hint of alcohol. One of the most balanced Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, and definitely worth the price.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy bodied, smooth and oily with a touch of carbonation, wonderful.

 438 characters

Photo of Pigwings6
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into DFH Signature Glass. 2009 Vintage 1033 out of 3000

A- Pours pitch black with a beautiful tan head, leaves beautiful lacing all around the glass. Looks like a globe haha.

S- Superb smell, a lot of bourbon barrel tones of vanilla and light booze. Very sweet, very much like a lighter BCS.

T- Follows the nose very closely. Vanilla bourbon barrel on the front with mild booze following. Then bitter dark chocolate and the end with a mild carbonation tingle. Very smooth. Again, to me it's like a much lighter, less hot version of BCS.

M- Here's the only downfall in my opinion, it's very thin for a russian imperial stout. Not to say it's like water, but more like a middle mouthfeel between water and heavy RIS. The mild carbonation seems to be perfect for the style.

D- Polished of a 750ml to myself without any hesitation. This thing is very smooth tasty brew. It's very balanced with enough bourbon to get the flavors, but not too much that it's like licking a barrel.

All in all this is my favorite Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout, I have other stouts that I think are better, but this in my opinion is the epitome of balance between the aging in the barrel, and the stout itself.

 1,203 characters

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle very generously shared by Unclejedi. Always a pleasure!

Pours a very dark brown in color. This is as near to black as you can get. No light gets through, especially around the edges.
Smell is nice dark cocoa, some light coffee. The bourbon is very well integrated into the beer. Very balanced and complimentary, not too dominant.
This beer is pretty damn viscous as well. And that's the way I prefer them, so that's good. A touch of prickly carbonation to liven up the mouthfeel as well.
Pretty nice beer.

 513 characters

Photo of joepais
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Santa for this one.
Bottle # 177 split three ways amongst friends into tulip glasses it had a two finger tan head that went off to nothing but with a swirl of he glass would reappear. The body of the brew was a typical black stout with brown highlights.

Initially I got a huge hit of alcohol from the nose but then it turned wonderfully to bourbon and vanilla. The flavor was sweet bourbon and vanilla, with a touch of roasted malts at the end. It had a great feel in my mouth with proper carbonation for the style.

This is a great beer, easy to sit back and relax with. The flavors were perfect for savoring with some great conversation I would grab a bottle of this If I saw it again without thinking

 715 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Bitterbill for this one!

Pours an effervescent mahogany with a finger of cocoa colored head. A bit of booze & head retention

S: Bourbon & dark fruit, a bit of booze as this warms, plus pralines

T: Rich bourbon & vanilla notes up front, plus oaky dryness, leafy hops & raisins.
Sourmash & vanilla dominate as this warms, some figgyness, plus a bit of booze on the edges. Finishes dry with much bourbon, cherry, vanilla & figs

MF: Medium bodied with smooth carbonation, a bit of stickyness & some warming

Drinks very easy for the style & ABV. Ivan isn't terrible at all, but needs to grow some more depth to achieve greatness

 639 characters

Photo of boothbeer
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle. 2009 Limited Edition. #190 of 3000.

A- pours dark black with a dark brown color around the edges. Dark Tan colored head. Good head retention. Very little lacing.

S-Tons of Vanilla, chocolate, and lots of Bourbon!

T- Tastes like it smells. Vanilla and Bourbon with some Roasty malts and oak flavors. Some sweetness and chocolate come through as well.

M-Very smooth and viscous. Nice oily texture. Medium carbonation. Very nice mouthfeel on this barrel aged RIS.

D- at 10%, this tasty beer went down very easily!

 564 characters

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 750 ml. bottle. 2009 release, bottle #13 of 3000.

A: Pours black, with a cream colored head that settles rather quickly. Boozy as it is, the lacing is minimal, but retains a good head, given proper treatment.

S: Aroma is of chocolate, toast, vanilla, and oak, also with fig, prune, and coffee.

T: At first, vanilla and coconut show, followed by toasty oak, chocolate, espresso, and dried dark fruits. Hops linger in the backround, drying out the finish of the brew. The alcohol is there upon swallowing, giving it a warming feeling.

M: Mouthfeel is good, and full bodied. At the same time, for this style, it is a bit lighter than other barrel aged beers of this style.

D: This beer is very good, but one bottle is enough. Have it with dessert, as it is sweet and will accompany just about anything after dinner.

 833 characters

Photo of rudylaw
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2009, corked & caged 750cl, poured into a snifter.

Pours a soul-sucking black with a lucious head. As pretty looking an RIS as there is.

Lots of vanilla in the nose. A little heat but this is very inviting!

Vanilla, chocolate pudding, bourbon, heat, dark fruit... oh man. This is a great example of a barrel aged stout. Not trying to kill you with complexity... just giving you what you want.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy... velvety and silky. Perfect. Good on you Big Sky... you made an affordable, delicious and near perfect BA RIS!

 538 characters

Photo of Impfan
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my new favorite RIS. The color is pitch black, and there's a lasting thick mousse of a tan head.

The texture is wonderfully creamy which adds the sensation of more fullness to a body that's just a smidge on the light side, and makes it ideal.

The taste is incredibly rich and layered with esters of dark chocolate, marzipan, pecan praline, coffee, toasted coconut, macadamia, port, bourbon, amaretto, hazelnut, Kahlua and Cream, plum pudding, dates, figs, and mandarin oranges.

The palate is on the sweet side, overall, but never crosses over into the cloying, and the finish definitely dries out the overall experience with some aromatic English hops, of which I suspect the delightful fuggles, and East Kent Goldings play a role.

I just ordered a case through my local Terra Organica, and I really hope they come through for me, because not having a few of these to cellar would be very sad, indeed.

 915 characters

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

cork and caged bottle into a snifter

nice dark pour with a half inch head that sits gallantly upon the surface

pleasant nose of powdered cocoa, vanilla and bourbon

kapow....what a harmonious beer. Vanilla, milk chocolate, vaporous bourbon that lingers throughout but never over powers, and a touch of licorice slapped with a sweet malty finish. Really an enjoyable experience; well blended without the bruising experience that some Impy/bourbon stouts impart.
Barrel lays major tannins along the back.

Carbonation is quite high. While surprising, it works well. Great body: a bit oily and thick.

Each sip begs for another. Ten percent hidden well in the taste. This is an extremely well executed bourbon stout, and one that encourages drinking rather than limits with overpowering alcohol content.

 802 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle number 320 of 3000. This beer pours a thick used motor oil black color. The head is one inch of dark tan colored foam that recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is of is very strong. Roasted malt, alcohol, bitter chocolate, burnt malt, graham cracker, wood, and licorice. It is a very interesting aroma. The taste is full of all the things the aroma is, but everything is magnified a bit. The mouthfeel is full bodied with appropriately low carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is one of the best RIS I have had I a long while. I will certainly go out of my way to drink this beer again.

 612 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Oily black, constant skim of tan foam. On par for a barrel-aged RIS, even better that it has good head retention.

Huge vanilla and toasted coconut notes in the aroma. Sweet and chocolatey. Very sweet and rich, but not to a cloying degree. Light bodied yet rich with a long lingering aftertaste. Sweetish vanilla & chocolate, perfectly blended with a mellow bourbon. Never a harsh alcohol element, very smooth and integrated. Woody tobacco, mellow bourbon finish. The best part is the long aftertaste that has savory elements of bourbon and RIS. Super creamy feel, one to savor over a long time.

 596 characters

Photo of pwoods
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to unclejedi for sharing.

A: Pitch black and thick. Good head on the pour with some decent retention. Some good lacing.

S: Deep molasses and dark fruits. Some good mellowed roastiness. Nice vanilla sweetness. Nice barrel and light bourbon.

T/M: Very nicebourbon and some dank, woody barrel. Very nice dark fruits and light but nice roastiness. Very good alcohol light. Body is full and very smooth.

D: Lower ABV and reasonably easy drinking.

 452 characters

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from my local Binny's, thanks to George for the advance taste before I bought. Bottle number 196/3000.

Poured into a snifter, leaving a large tan head that dissipates quickly, leaving a slight shimmer of a head. Black as night, even up to a light bulb, nothing gets through.

Aromas of candied, chocolate-covered fruit, and vanilla. Slight roast aroams as well.

First sip is bourbon (vanilla and alcohol). Some roast and chocolate at the back of the sip. Good balance of beer and barrel aging.

Mouthfeel is medium to full, but not heavy or filling. Bourbon richness fills your mouth with vanilla and a nice warm alcohol bite.

Drinkability is very good. I'm going to enjoy this over the next hour or so as it warms.

I wouldn't categorize this as a RIS, belongs in the barrel aged group. Not a lot of RIS coming through in this, but excellent none the less. I'm going to have to pick up a few bottles to age, if I can make it through the winter without opening another one.

 986 characters

Photo of Parrotbeak
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black into a snifter, with a thin, tan head that dissipates almost completely, leaving some remnants on the surface. No light passes through this one, even when held up to direct light.
Nose is chocolate, butterscotch, bourbon, and slight alcohol. Delicious.
As is the taste. Slight chocolately bitterness is up front, followed by a nice bourbon/alcohol heat. Aftertaste is warm and complex; butterscotch definitely noticeable. Very well-balanced imperial stout--the bourbon is not overwhelming by any means.
Mouthfeel is just as thick as I'd want an imperial stout to be. Heavy and slightly oily, but with just enough crisp bitterness to balance it out.
This one is very drinkable. I finished this bottle with no problem, and while I doubt I could polish off another full bottle, another snifter of this one would be a perfect way to finish off the evening.
This is an excellent, well-balanced imperial stout- one of my favorites so far, and a great beer for my first review.

 986 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Money is a bottomless sea, in which honor, conscience, and truth may be drowned."

--Ivan Kozlof

Bottle #342 of 1152. Chimney soot black with slivers of reddish copper along the borders. The chocolate milkshake-like crown is a reverse cascading monster that filled most of the pint glass on the pour. It looks fantastic as it melts and is beginning to lay down better than decent lace.

The nose is everything that I look for in a bourbon barrel-aged Russian Imperial stout. The label doesn't say, but I've read that Jim Beam barrels were used. The roasted maltiness is perfectly complemented by vanilla-soaked whiskey and even a little dark fruitiness. Hopes are now (Big) Sky high.

Ivan The Terrible may not be the biggest baddest bully on the style block, but it's definitely delicious beer if you're a fan of malty stouts and bourbon whiskey. Forget the words 'slight bourbon presence' on the label. It's much more than slight, though far from boozy.

I'm glad the brewers didn't jack the ABV up to 12.0% or so. Especially since this is a 750 ml bottle. There's no heat or rawness whatsover, just a throat and belly warming that is one of the pleasures of drinking both big beer and spirits. In the end, three months in oak was pretty much perfect as far as flavor transfer is concerned.

Specifics include melted bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee beans, a surprising amount of black licorice, vanilla, coconut shavings and a stave (or two) of American oak. English hops provide some bitterness, but what flavor they might have added is obliterated by everything else that's going on. Fine by me.

A mouthfeel that was sufficient early on is becoming much more impressive as the ounces pass and the temperature rises. This isn't a viscous or chewy RIS, but it's so softly creamy that it deserves the above score with no questions asked.

Big Sky Brewing doesn't get enough love. Their IPA is all kinds of delicious and is the single best beer available locally. Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout is outstanding as well and is one of the best (and most drinkable) bourbon barrel stouts to have crossed my path.

 2,119 characters

Photo of ffejherb
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to akorsak for breaking out this hard-to-find 750ml bottle at a recent tasting on 11/15/09.

A - Poured a deep-brown-bordering-black body with reddish and copper highlights and about a finger's worth of burnt tan head that settled into a patchy retention.

S - Quite an aromatic and complex nose combining milky lactic sweetness, roasted malt, toasted coconut and plenty of chocolate notes. Malt takes on an almost crisp, rice-like character reminiscent of a candy bar. There is also plenty of vanilla sweetness present.

T - Vanilla sweetness paired with a bourbon tang up front, followed by hints of chocolate and coffee, as well as some woody notes. A dried, dark fruit character emerges in the backend, giving the flavor an almost leathery aspect.

M - Full bodied with a slick, oily texture and soft carbonation, resulting in a very smooth mouthfeel. Finishes with slight alcohol warmth and moderate dryness on the palate.

D - Woosh! Ivan the Terrible is anything but. I found this to be an amazing RIS full of complex flavors and aromas while simultaneously retaining its drinkability.

 1,105 characters

Photo of akorsak
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A foil-wrapped 750 mL capped bottle. Number 332 of 1,152 from the 2008 release.

A: The stout is a dark one (seems like a broken record for JD Blackbeerd, Blackbeerd and now this) that generates a rather thick, craggy tan head that laces extensively. The lace is rather surprising for a beer of this strength.

S: The nose starts off (cold) with an average combination of bourbon and stout. As it warms though, it really takes off. Vanilla and caramel appear, accentuating the sweetness. A lactic streak runs through the middle of, adding a creamy aroma. Stout elements are bold, strong with dark chocolate and roasted malts.

T: The stout is a wonder. The bourbon barrel has imparted a solid vanilla flavor, strong but not boozy or fusel. Behind it, the body of the stout offers up caramel, cocoa powder, chocolate, coffee and burnt toast. Oak has really taken the edge off of the stout, allowing the bourbon to leave a mark without knocking me out. As in the nose, a lactic flavor, milky and smooth, runs through the body, cutting into both the barrel and the stout. This beer is the winner of the evening, with a long finish that is silky smooth.

M: The mouthfeel combines the best of a barrel and a stout without the overloaded malts or boozy heat. A well done stout.

D: I knew that I should have purchased two bottles. Deuane's reaction to seeing the bottle made it worth the while though. A great barrel aged stout.

 1,423 characters

Photo of gford217
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle, #263 of 1152, poured into a tulip.

Pours an opaque black with an enormous creamy tan head, at least 3 inches tall, that goes nowhere and leaves massive lacing.

The aroma is dominated by dark roasted malts and cocoa with the bourbon coming in very faintly. The oak and vanilla are present as well.

The taste has a bit more bourbon character and there is a sweet bourbon kick up front before the dark chocolate malts take over in the middle. There is actually a hint of citrus hops in the finish along with a powdered cocoa finish which comes off a little dry.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a ton of carbonation, maybe a little too much, but it's still a solid feel overall.

This is a very good impy stout and extremely drinkable. It's definitely on the sweeter side of things with the chocolate playing a major role and the bourbon staying largely out of te way. Very drinkable for the style and recommended overall.

 940 characters

Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-Aged from Big Sky Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 279 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe