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

Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-AgedIvan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-Aged
BA SCORE
93.6%
Liked This Beer
4.26 w/ 854 ratings
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
Ranking:
#787
Reviews:
292
Ratings:
854
Liked:
799
Avg:
4.26/5
pDev:
10.33%
Alströms:
-
 
 
Wants:
795
Gots:
282
Trade:
22
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 854 |  Reviews: 292
Photo of wagenvolks
4.92/5  rDev +15.5%
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 MCMASTERSANCHEZ
4.91/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of zachthelaxer93
4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Pigwings6
4.9/5  rDev +15%
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 mikesgroove
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to say this was really a tremendous RIS. I really did not think this one was really going to be as good as it was. Rich, and served chilled into an oversixed pint glass, this one was consumed on 01/06/2009. Bottle 216/1125

The pour was perfect. Rich dark black in color, no light coming through on this one at all. Lots of tan colored foam on top that just would not fade at all. Lots of side glass lacing here, really intense i have to say, this could not have looked better and I was psyched to get started.]

The aroma was loaded down with coffee, chocolate malts, hints of oak and whiskey, and a really nice touch of roasted touches. As I reach in for the first sip, ahh, this is what it is all about. Smooth, subtle, full bodied profile. Wonderful flavor of coffee and chocolate, dark prune like fruit notes and a very nicely balanced sweetness that was reminiscent of molasses really provided a very solid flavor here. I went back and forth with a score here, but ultimitaly I could not think of what i would do to improve the taste of this, so seriously this was that good ofr me.

Overall really, go find this one. One of the best RIS I have had ever, let alone lately. I would say you have to find this one.

 1,224 characters

Photo of snarygare
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

this was 2013. also had 2014. 13 was smoother. 2014 more burbony

64 characters

Photo of Flathead_Monster
4.84/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by mdfb79. Thanks Dan! I've wanted to try this beer for a long time.

2009 Vintage
Bottle 2223 of 3000.

A: Ivan the Terrible has an opaque black body. When held to the light, the beer is dark brown at the apex. There is about an inch of tan head that leaves a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

S: This aroma is world class. Roasted malt and bourbon, hints of chocolate and coffee. Incredibly inviting.

T: Though not as amazing as the aroma, this beer is a pleasure to drink. It's extremely well-balanced, and the flavor is outstanding. The bourbon component is very present, but doesn't overpower the roasted malt or any of the other more subtle flavors.

M: Nice, thick feel. The 10% is not entirely disguised per se, but I certainly would not describe the beer as hot.

D: A pleasure to drink. I'm thankful for the opportunity to try it for the first time. I hope to have it again.

 902 characters

Photo of DmanGTR
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to unclejedi for a generous pour at DLD. From notes on 4/24/10

A - poured extremely dark brown, pretty much black. Deep garnet hues in the edges. Light tan head that retained nicely and lent a creamy look in the light. 4.5

S - A lovely explosion of vanilla, charred oak, smoke, and roastiness. Wonderfully balanced. 4.5

T - Very similar to the aroma but less smoky flavor. The chocolate and expresso are prominent but mellowed by some vanilla in the finish. A wonderful beer, the taste is nearly flawless. I wish I could get this near me. 5.0

M - Rich, thick, and coats the palate. Subtle carbonation. Not too chewy. 4.5

D - For a 10% beer, this went down so smooth and so velvety. I could not taste any alcoholic warmth at all. 5.0

 748 characters

Photo of canuckns
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured int a duvel tulip glass

A: Oily black. Head poured thick and about 3 fingers. lacing all the way down the glass

Aroma: Malty, bourbon, caramel, molasses.

Taste: Rich, sweet. Caramel & molasses. Bourbon on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, little syrupy, more carbonated than you might expect, but it works.

Overall: Very very good. Smooth, easy, tasty. Bit of a kick with the alcohol, but it works. Nice.

Serving type: bottle

 440 characters

Photo of Highgrade
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of enelson
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of elkinbrown
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of Jimmeekrek
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
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 cosmonick
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of Jameswoody
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of KeefD
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 - Bottle 167 of 3000. Pours a dark brown which becomes absolutely black in the glass, small tan head that was gone quickly but kept a nice cap for some time. Great aroma wafting up from the glass! Chocolate dominates the nose, followed by some dark fruits (raisins), charred grains, and just a hint of woody barrel and bourbon. Wow! This beer tastes amazing. Chocolaty deliciousness through and through, hints of coffee in the background, and wonderfully sweet, but nowhere near cloying, inviting dark caramel/burnt sugar middle, rounded out by barrel-aged vanilla goodness. Bourbon is there, but not in huge amounts. So perfectly balanced between the sweetness and the roast, and the alcohol is barely noticeable. Silky, smooth, low carbonation. I just can't get enough of this beer. I don't know how long this sat in the barrels, but Big Sky somehow found the sweet spot when aging this delectable brew for us. I'm very impressed as Big Sky typically doesn't do it for me. But this beer just blew me away. The balance is incredible, and I can't believe how easy it is to drink at 10%. Well done, Big Sky. Well done indeed.

 1,129 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of jkane101
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of parrotsnest
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of 00chris
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of SheboyganJake
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of codynevels
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of EF4
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-Aged from Big Sky Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93.6% out of 100 with 854 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.