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

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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 | 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:
280
Ratings:
814
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.28%
 
 
Wants:
801
Gots:
277
For Trade:
22
User Reviews
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Reviews: 280 | Ratings: 814
Photo of youradhere
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3024 of 3800 2010 Vintage

Let's see if this one isn't suspect. Bottle cork pops and then a brown gush of foam, fluffy light head with deep mahogany body. Chunks of yeast sediment seen floating about the bottom. Smell is bourbon and licorice, slight chocolate. Chocolate and licorice, bourbon vanilla, some coffee char. Mouthfeel is creamy with prickly carbonation, carbonation is a bit high yet less that the one bottle which leads me to believe #1119 was just off. Very drinkable brew, will do nice for tonight!

1119 of 3800 2010 Vintage

Pours thick black with lost of tan head with deep red edges lots of apparent carbonation. Smells of bourbon, vinous notes, oak, grapes, licorice. Taste is coffee, licorice, bourbon booze, vanilla, cola. Mouthfeel is thin, carbonation high, really high, almost champagne like. A bit on the acidic side, I think the carbonation isn't helping this bottle. I'll have to crack another to make sure this isn't batch wide, oh darn ;). Still good, just not quite like last year.

1811 of 3000 2009 Vintage; 4-27-2010. 4.5/ 5/ 4 /4.5 /5

A- Impenetrably black, with a thick, chunky like tan head which falls to leave nice thick lacing up the sides of the glass. This beer also has noticable legs up the glass.

S- Sweet vanilla bourbon notes overpower an underlying theme of chocolate, and dare I say that I am picking up the faintest hint of Play-doh? Its not bad at all and in every way pleasing.

T- A light bready sweetness cloaks an assault of bourbon and chocolate, with a hot vanilla alcohol burn that does not overwhelm. Light char, and barely noticable hop bitters do not make this an overpowering drink. As it sits on my palate longer I am picking up dark breads and dates. I like this beer.

M- Not as heavy as some RIS I've had; it is thick without being cloyingly so. Very well balanced.

D- Cliche: dangerously drinkable. Not too thick as to slow you down while enjoying a bottle to yourself, this is something that I could drink several bottles of throughout a dark winter night!

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL corked and caged bottle - hand-numbered 517 of 3000, 2009 edition - courtesy of a very generous trader up in Idaho. Many thanks! Poured in to a snifter for review #1100.

Appearance: This one was split between two snifters to accommodate the volume (and the other glass was given to a fellow BA). My snifter - the larger of the two, naturally - initially showcased a brilliant finger-tall crown, perfectly cocoa-hued, and with perfectly poor retention. On the other hand, my fellow merrymaker's snifter showcased a similarly constituted head that remained so constituted on in to the evening. A magnificent tall, dark, and creamy mass, the cap was consistently and quickly replenished by bullets of effervescence zipping upwards en masse up the sides of the snifter. My snifter showcased similar carbonation, but I suppose the quality of my pour (or the aperture of my vessel) was different enough to alter the retention pretty profoundly. Regardless, my snifter still showcased a thick, sudsy collar and a nearly uniform surface dusting. Lacing on the sides of the glass is what one would expect from a barrel aged beer of this style and abv%. We'll split the baby and call it a 4.5. Very nice.

Aroma: Waves of dark malts are absolutely decadent, but nonetheless heavily toasted. The malts are deep, showcasing flame-kissed toffee, toast, full roast coffee, bittersweet cocoa, and hints and kisses of char and smoke. The fruity notes are quintessential English RIS - cherries (both sweet and slightly tart), dates, and raisins, as well as a few spicy hop notes that mingle well with the slight but earthy bourbon notes here. The aroma reminds me of a slightly less fudgy (and less intense - duh) Black Tuesday. Splendid.

Taste: Intense and varied, but not without its drawbacks. Toast, caramel, bittersweet cocoa, and blackstrap molasses intermingle with a slew of dark fruits, as well as a few lighter and tarter notes, ranging from raisins on the heavy end to nectarines on the light end, and everything (cherries, peaches, grapes, a faint figgy tartness, and even a soupcon of berry). Hints of vanilla and leather emerge to meld with an ever-increasingly pungent bourbon presence. The bourbon is surprisingly mellow at the outset, and this beer isn't really about the bourbon - it merely adds a few spicy, rye-like, earthy, and lighter caramelized sugar notes.

Mouthfeel: Slight disagreement between my fellow imbiber and I here. Her snifter contained a rather flat, creamy beer, and mind a zippy, thinned-out beer. I can't split the baby here, unfortunately, as neither is the ideal, though - having tasted both - I liked mine a little more, even if it is lacking somewhat. A barrel aged beer will already be thinned out somewhat by aging and spirit additions, and an overcarbonated mouth can make it feel even lighter and less creamy - not what you want in a beer that's supposed to be showcasing flavor notes that are traditionally associated with adjectives like "creamy," "velvety," and "sleek." I'll revisit it as the carbonation dies down. And it does get a little better, but not terribly much. This beer's weakest component.

Drinkability: A pretty excellent beer, though not without its flaws. This tastes like a small craft brewery beer, though, and you gotta love that - an authentic RIS, made with American toasty malts and English hops, with a not-too-overpowering barrel presence ... what's not to like? This one's definitely a treat though (not that you could, Big Sky, but don't put it in 6-packs!) - it made a good #1100, and I'd be happy to have it again from time to time ... maybe paired with some robust, creamy cheese or some dark Belgian chocolate ... but not too often. I think this would be a true world class beer if it were tweaked ever so slightly, particularly the carbonation.

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Photo of Powderhornphil
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage.

Pours black. Several fingers head with great retention.

Bourbon booze and vanilla. Barrel notes.

Taste is great. Bourbon, dark fruit, chocolates. Taste is more dynamic than the nose.

Full mouthfeel but a bit stickier on the finish than I would prefer but nice.

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Photo of caresville
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

big thanks to tytoanderso for this beauty a few months back, been waiting to crack it for a while!! bottle #307 of 3000.

a- totally jet black with a little brown head that dissipates fast. decent lacing.

s- bourbon, chocolate, coffee, raisins, prunes, cocoa powder and butter?

t&m- surprisingly im not getting much on the bourbon taste as i expected, lots of woody and oaky notes followed by lots of bitter hersheys dark chocolate. faint hops and faint brown sugar. the swallow is easy on the throat and doesnt burn like most beers that bourbon barreled. good stuff.

d- this one is a sipper for sure, but definitely a real treat. not overpowering and not boring, very complex and interesting.

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Photo of fredmugs
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 bottle poured into a snifter. I traded for this when it was on the old Beers of Fame list and now I don't know if I waited to long to drink it. The aroma is amazing and reminds me of a FW offering. The moth feel, however, is incredibly lacking. Very thin. Prior to this I drink a non BA version and it was better.

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Photo of nickd717
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 bottle shared at a BeerAdvocate gathering a few months back. Reviewing this from notes I took back then now that it's cracked the top 100.

Very dark brown in color, not quite pitch black but pretty near it, with a small tan head, leaving swirls on the beer.

Aroma is roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and strong bourbon. -Bal aged, this was, and you can tell.

Flavor is roast, chocolate, caramel, and coffee - a well balanced imperial stout - with Jim Beam really evident on the finish. Some oak and vanilla from the barrel also.

Smooth palate with a medium-full body. Just a tiny bit boozy.

This is a very solid -bal aged RIS. I'm trying not to pump this style (which is my favorite) up too much these days though, and while this was a very good example, it wasn't quite an outstanding one, so an A- sounds about right.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had during a recent Goose Island Bourbon County Tasting in Charlotte with marine1975, boodingo, CarolinaKevin, HopDiggityDawg, and GehenHerzog at Mike Brawley's house with Budweiser sign blazing! Big thanks to GehenHerzog for sharing this one with the group as a supplement to the Bourbon County series! Served from bottle into a Southern Tier tulip. Poured pitch black with a half finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, wood, dark chocolate, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, wood, and sweet alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice RIS. Seemed to fit right in with the Bourbon Counties we were sampling that night. Big alcohol up-front but mellowed out upon warming slightly. I wouldn't call this one easy drinking due to this but still quite enjoyable. This one had a bottle number and I didn't write it down!?!? Ahhh!!! Maybe that's why I couldn't tasty any rarity in this one. Oh well, maybe next time... This one is a definite must try if you haven't had it and worth seeking out. Glad I got to tick this one.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer #7 of the drink down the cellar tasting. thank you to tpd975 for swapping this one my way a while ago. 2010 vintage #1562 of 3800.

a - opened the bottle and had my pour in a cbs snifter. poured a deep black (seems to be a theme for the night) with a thin off white head.

s - has somewhat sweet smell, but still roasted. milk like...

t - very nice flavor. spiciness is great. hot sauce kidk.

m - thinner and easy to drink. medium bodied.

o - overall, very solid imperial stout. this is a tough night for this beer to be a standout, but on another night with a clear palette i might have felt more highly about this one. don't get me wrong, great beer, but in an evening of kate, bt, hunah, cbs, etc this beer was towards the bottom of the list of favs.

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Photo of Yagman3000
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a .750 bottle (2010 vintage #1562 of 3800) into a snifter. Part of the very generous Pre-Thanksgiving Tasting Session offered by fellow BA CosmicEvan.

It appears a super dark brown. There is a noticeable film, not a head, that remains across the top of the beer.

I smell a bunch of coffee and a touch of licorice here too. The anise odor is pleasing and natural smelling.

The taste if this beer is rather woody - specifically oaky. There's a hint of coffee in the flavor profile here to.

In terms of the mouthfeel, there's a noticeable effervescence. It goes from bubbly to a thin exit. There could be more in the middle here.

Overall a good beer but it did not rock my world. I was actually expecting a little more flavor from this beer. At the same time, it does a decent job of hiding its 10% status... no easy feet!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting courtesy of mrbubbler himself.

2009 vintage. Bottle # 336/3000.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, wood, vanilla, and bourbon. Taste with the same with a woody finish and a slight alcohol kick with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good barrel aged stout but I like the way it smells more than the taste.

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Photo of birchstick
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage, bottle 37 of 3800

A - pours a deep, dark black color with a minimal head that forms a light taupe color around the glass

S - nose is lots of nice vanilla, some molasses, cola, milk to dark chocolates

T - taste starts off with milk chocolates that moves to a nice vanilla flavor imparted from the barrel aging. Moves on to a nice spicy bourbon flavor with some more vanilla in the mix. Ends spicy and a little hot.

M - mouth is medium to light bodied with a nice amount of carbonation - goes down really nicely

D - overall, this is a pretty nice barrel aged RIS. Personally, I think this is a nice example of barrel aged beer, however due to the bottle count being low I think this demands a little more than its worth. That being sad, I am glad I landed a bottle and would try to get again off the shelf if the opportunity presents itself in the future.

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Photo of rypkr
4.11/5  rDev -4%
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 -4%
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 -4%
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 hopfacebrew
4.11/5  rDev -4%
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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Photo of airohead2001
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
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 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.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
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 -4.7%
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 -4.7%
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 mcallister
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
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 daveytheformer
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
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 Etan
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
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 -5.4%
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 -5.4%
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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Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-Aged from Big Sky Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 280 ratings.
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