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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
BA SCORE
4.26/5
Outstanding
859 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:
#815
Reviews:
293
Ratings:
859
pDev:
10.33%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
793
Gots:
281
Trade:
22
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 859 |  Reviews: 293
Photo of CoolEthan
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of xraided81
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of Michigan
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of BMart
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of Imacopyouidiot
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of StoneTSR
3.76/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: A large, inch-thick, rocky, off-white head swells up as about six ounces of beer is poured into a tulip glass. Almost zero light gets through the beer itself. Some very subtle shades of reddish brown escape from the edges of the glass when held up to light. With a much larger and longer lasting head than I expected, there was, surprisingly, no lacing to speak of.

SMELL: Sweet, dark fruits dominate the aroma at first, but after a few sniffs big chocolate and vanilla flavors waft in.

TASTE: Cherry, raisins and dates are very strong in this beer while the vanilla, chocolate and oak notes serve to round out the flavor. A little balance comes in the form of some increasingly intense roasty notes as the beer warms along with a touch of hops.

MOUTHFEEL: Sweet start with a pretty dry finish. A subtle sparkle tickle the tongue, just enough to gives this otherwise silky beer a little bite.

OVERALL: The oak does not come through as strongly as I would like, and the fruit on
the nose was a bit of a turn off at first, but as I began taking in the subtleties of this beer it became much more enjoyable.

 1,135 characters

Photo of MRgnar
3.76/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of MCain04
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle from 2013 vintage, bottle 653/3000 poured into a Half Acre snifter at around 50F. Price $16/bottle.

Pours a dark brown body, almost no head to speak of, large beige bubbles quickly dissipate into mild rimming.

Smells of bourbon, sweet molasses, dark fruits, figs, vanilla, and light grape sweetness.

Taste is bourbon-forward with strong notes of molasses and vanilla. Drying alcohol esters. Subdued roast character. Taste is thin. Drying finish.

Feel is thin for as big as the beer is. Low carbonation. Easy drinking.

Overall, for as much as I anticipated this, I'm disappointed. This needs improvement in several areas. My other bottle will be happily donated to a friend who didn't get a bottle from the latest release, and here's hoping that future releases improve.

 787 characters

Photo of AgentZero
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Nice looking, big two finger tan head that dissipated nicely with a little cap on the top. Some sheet/chunk lacing left on the sides throughout the drink.

S - Very sweet, maybe more caramel in a beer than I've ever smelled before. Some roasted malts, pretty big bourbon smell. Pretty nice, one of the sweeter things I've smelled.

T - Caramel and malt comes through, but this is a big bourbon tasting beer. Quite sweet, with a hot bourbon taste, some slight bitterness. Little bit of coffee, but this is really just a huge bourbon. Hot in the stomach.

M - Medium carbonation, medium bodied. Not great feel.

D - Too hot, had Parabola at 13% earlier and it was much easier to drink than this.

 697 characters

Photo of sisuspeed
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to spycow for the bottle!
2010 Vintage
Bottle 343 of 3800

Poured into a Portsmouth tulip. Ivan produces an essentially black body with a thick, light-tan, head on top. Nice lacing.

Lots of oakiness on the nose with well roasted malts and some sweet bourbon. I'm not sure what barrels Big Sky used, but there is some earthy spiciness to bourbon as well. Touch of dark fruit and a hint of coffee. On par with most bourbon barrel aged stouts.

Roasty malts and fig molasses on the tongue with oaky, spicy, bourbon in the background. Quite sweet with some ethanol burn on the finish. I like the flavor up front, but the finish is kind of a sugary, alcoholic, mess. Light chocolate presence throughout.

Mouthfeel is good. Ivan has some nice thickness to it, but the carbonation is a bit too high. Warming alcohol on the finish. I wish the carbonation was knocked down a bit, but swirling the glass a lot helps.

Drinkability is good. Even with the higher than normal carbonation for the style and messy finish, I'm still enjoying the glass in front of me. Gets fairly quaffable as the carbonation drops off and it rises to room temp. Ivan is better than the average BA RIS, but their are others that are still another level or two above this. Worth checking out if you like the style and have easy access to it.

 1,316 characters

Photo of rinsky
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mdaschaf
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Thanks to ShanePB for bringing this down to share with me. 2009 Vintage.

A: Poured a dark brown/black with a slight reddish tint when held up to the light. A small tan head formed on top with little retention and spotty lacing.

S: Lots of cherry and oak, the oak intensifies as the beer warms. There is a hint of cocoa and vanilla. The strongest aroma reminds me of sherry/port though, I could smell it immediately.

T: Heavy dark fruit flavors with cherry, plum, and some dates. There is a mixture of oak and vanilla, the sherry/port flavors are present. This beer, more than any other I can remember, reminds me of wine. As the beer opens up there is a slight tartness on the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with a nice level of carbonation for a bottle form 2009.

O: A bit of a let down based on the hype. Its good, but the fruit flavor and wine like qualities aren't typically what I am looking for in the style. Would love to try it again to see if there was just something a little off about this bottle.

 1,039 characters

Photo of ShanePB
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After Matt aka mdaschaf, my girlfriend and I opened up the Menagerie No. 5, we moved onto my bottle of Ivan. 750 ml corked and caged green bottle, poured into tulip glasses.

Vintage 2009.

A: Deep brown edging to a full black body with some amber hues around the top edges in the light. Atop is a light beige head, along with sporadic lacing and a thin retention ring. Not a bad looking beer though I did expect a darker head.

S: Sherry, port wine, very sweet with obvious fruity undertones. Cherry, plum come through midway and end with cocoa powder and slightly charred oak wood. It's not infected, but the sweeter fruity notes definitely threw me off.

T: Oak dominates up front and even more so as this beer warms. Faint dark baker's chocolate, black cherry and some sweet sugary dates are mid-palate. The finish is quite tart that opens up the longer this sits. The fruity, tartness in the finish wasn't necessarily unpleasant but something unexpected.

M: Well carbonated for being a vintage 2009, maybe a bit too much for the style. Fairly smooth, not as creamy as I wanted and a touch dry in the linger.

In comparison to other Russian Imperial Stouts, this is definitely a good one but it doesn't match up to other breweries. The beer itself had a weird combination of roast, wood and fruit that I think perhaps was unintentional but it definitely came through big.

 1,376 characters

Photo of Brad007
3.81/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch-black with a thick and frothy brown head into my glass. Lots of foam, which I beleive is unusual for this style.

Lots of oak upfront followed by just a bit of roasted malt and cream. Not really a big fan of oaked beers but this isn't too strong.

Roasted malt, chocolate and cream mingle with oak flavors. Again, oak flavors are strong but not as strong as if this beer were fresher.

Lingering oak and roasted malt at the back of the throat. Not much else. Not as much of a bite here.

It's a decent example of the style. Received it in a trade and it's been sitting in my fridge for months. Not bad.

 616 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
3.81/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010 bottle courtesy of Harrymel, thanks man! Ink black with a super foamy head. Smells like wood and booze. The flavor at first like drinking a whiskey or bourbon, very strong but then I got roasted malts and a very odd tartness. Given the tartness and super foam I wonder if this was showing early signs of infection? Overall not bad but a bit of a let down after the olde bluehair was so surprising.

Update 2013 bottle

Aroma is a pretty awesome chocolate and bourbon mash up. Flavor is also a nicely bourbon barrel influenced stout. Much better than the last incarnation I had and for $12.99 this is kind of a deal given the way pricing has gone.

 651 characters

Photo of Sarlacc83
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750mL bottle split 2 ways. 2010 vintage.

A: Rambunctious head, a full inch of fluffy cappuccino foam, after a glugging pour. Nice legs. Absence worthy black.

N: Bourbon, oak, prunes, chocolate. Slight roast and moderate licorice. Some soy sauce. Caramel and fudge - more of the wood and bourbon.

T: Oak, prune, raisin, fudge. Honey and low levels of roastiness. Espresso sweetened with two lumps of sugar in the grind. Very sweet, but it's not cloying as some of its competitors are wont to be. Hints of soy sauce. Hops are here with some earthy bite, but they mostly add balance.

M: Creamy mouthfeel which is on the lighter side of the spectrum. Lots of booze still.

O: A really well balanced and fairly delicate beer. Very enjoyable, and worth recommending.

 766 characters

Photo of Gfunk720
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle, out of my Lost Abbey stemware. Shared with a couple buddies.

A- Pitch black with a crazy foamy tannish head. There is just sooo much head. Pretty typical stout appearance though.

S- A little muted. Notes of coffee, bourbon, and booze. Also some dark fruits and chcolate malt.

T- A rich chocolatey flavor is the first thing that hits my tongue. I also get hints of coffee, bourbon, and oak. It is very nice and smooth. The bourbon isn't over the top, but a nice addition to the base beer.

M- A little fizzy, and could have use a bit more body. I knew it was going to be fizzy based on the foamy head, but it wasn't as bad as I expected.

O- A very nice sipper, that has plenty of flavor and complexity. The mouthfeel was probably the biggest let down here, but this was also a fairly fresh bottle. Would be curious to see what it would be like with some more age.

-GFunk

 889 characters

Photo of drahodo
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of cfrances33
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kdown
3.84/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kylehay2004
3.84/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SamuelMiller
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of yeaprolly
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Shawner
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of greenspointexas
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout - Barrel-Aged from Big Sky Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 859 ratings
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