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:
796
Gots:
280
For Trade:
22
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 850 |  Reviews: 292
Photo of DavoleBomb
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to piclee for this one. 2009 edition, bottled 2237 of 3000.

4.5 A: Pitch black color. One and a half fingers of creamy light brown head. Pretty good retention and plenty of lacing.

4.0 S: Bourbon is the strongest aroma, but it isn't all out dominating, rather more along the lines of overtime tiebreaking. Leather, oak, vanilla, and a touch of hay and melon from the bourbon. Underneath there is a chocolate, molasses, and roasty maltiness. As it warms, a raisin fruitiness emerges.

4.0 T: Unlike the nose, the bourbon dominates the taste. Fortunately, whatever this bourbon is, it is pretty good. Vanilla, leather, oak, melon, citrus, and perhaps even some banana coming from the bourbon and barrel. The stout itself gives some chocolate, caramel, and molasses, but it needs to be more aggressive to give the bourbon a run. A bit boozy.

4.0 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonably creamy and smooth. Warming throughout and especially on finish and lasts well into aftertaste.

4.0 D: Definitely a decent brew for stout fans and an excellent brew if you really like bourbon. This is, indeed, the best tasting bourbon has ever been in a beer for me. However, I prefer a big powerful stout that the bourbon just can't keep up with (GI BCS comes to mind). If I ever want a good bourbon fix though, I'll seek out this beer.

 1,379 characters

Photo of jophish17
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of jsh420
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
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 ArkyVaughan
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 edition purchased in Seattle. My first beer from Montana and it is pretty solid. Nothing incredible here, but very well done. I liked that the barrel character was a bit subdued.

 183 characters

Photo of Jeffo
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The first trade I ever made. Thanks for hooking up a newbie NewGeneric.

From a 750 into a snifter
Vintage: 2009
Bottle 2624 of 3000

APPEARANCE: Pours out black and a small cascading effect produces a one finger, medium-looking, beige head with decent retention. Jet black body and a bit of carbonation evident. Head fades to a good wisp and ring. A slight wisp and ring remain but leave no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Roasted malts and a good dose of molasses in there as well. Some dark chocolate as well, and a subtle but well measured barrel. Oak, bourbon and vanilla notes accompany the molasses and dark chocolate. Bold and very well put together.

TASTE: Roasted malts and a bigger barrel presence, like the nose had suggested. Definite oak and bourbon with vanilla as well. Sweet molasses comes through with some dark, bitter chocolate at the swallow. Bold flavors, and a bold, lingering aftertaste of bourbon, sweet molasses, and bitter chocolate, with a bit of heat lingering on the palate. Definitely tasty and sweeter than some other barrel aged stouts, meaning the barrel, though very present, doesn't dominate the malt profile. Well put together; a real treat.

PALATE: Fuller body, heavy on the palate, but not quite as creamy or smooth as it could be. Goes down fine with a bit of a burn on the swallow and heat at the finish. A little mouth-coating, though not cloying. Could be a little creamier, but fits the bill otherwise.

OVERALL: Definitely good, and worth the effort to get a bottle. The barrel works well without dominating the base beer, letting the molasses and dark chocolate flavors play a role in the fun. A little hot still perhaps, which could be helped by a little more cellaring, and the thick, heavy palate could be a little creamier, but otherwise this is a real treat of a beer. Worth tracking down, and I definitely hope to see this one again. Thanks again NewGeneric.

EDIT: Just had the 2010 batch, bottle 3494 of 3800. Flavor and aroma were milder than I remembered, carbonation much higher, and, consequently, the body far too light for the style. Not nearly as solid as the 2009 batch. Disappointing for sure.

 2,166 characters

Photo of birchstick
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

 873 characters

Photo of Satchboogie
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of woosterbill
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into a Weyerbacher tulip. Sampled at a tasting.

A: Fully black body with a finger of dense brown foam. Solid retention and light lace. Great.

S: Holy. Shit. This is amazing. Bourbon, molasses, brown sugar, and roast. So rich, so deep, so amazing. One of the best-smelling beers I've ever encountered.

T: Super sweet, with all the molasses and brown sugar from the nose, plus some oaky vanilla and bourbon. Amazing, but maybe a trifle too sweet.

M: Full body with moderate, fine carbonation. Lovely.

D: The sweetness borders on cloyingness, but it...is...delicious.

Notes: Gigantic thanks to my new pal Warren for sharing this gem of a stout. I'd heard nothing but good things about Vlad, but I wasn't prepared for this. Even in a tasting that included Darkness '10, Abyss '06, IST '06, BA IST, and more, Ivan stood out as being the most delicious and memorable stout of the night. Now that's saying something.

Cheers!

 931 characters

Photo of Casey3236
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 whartontallboy
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of tommyguz
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Holland
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Wowcoolman
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of FosterJM
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

823rd Review on BA
Bottle to Tulip
750ml C/C

2010 Bottle
#703/3800

Served a touch above cellar temp.

This was a mini gusher, A very loud pop when the cork was popped and a slow rolling foam came out the top.

App- Ivan had a lot of head behind it when first poured. It took a while to recede and when it did it settled to a two finger, very open and aerated head. A lot of bubbles. The color was a touch above inky black. Very dark, very dense. A lot of scattered cling and lacing. Very nice looking beer.

Smell- Opens very rich and full on the nose. Big bourbon notes followed by a medium level of vanilla and oak. A little bit but not much of say a chocolate covered cherries. Well blended with all aromatics not being overly dominant just complimentary to each other.

Taste- A very good stout. I traded for this one early this year and had been sitting on it. I had very high expectations for this one and this stout didn’t disappoint. This beer had a very mellow bourbon note with more of a vanilla character and roast stouts then most. GuruDel and I both commented on how this was smooth like BCBVS but more drinkable as its smoother with the vanilla. A touch of roast and fruit round out the flavor profile.

Mouth- Medium-full bodied beer with a paired carbonation level. Very vanilla on the palate with a touch of chocolate and roast.

Drink- Overall, Ivan crushed it. This was a very good beer with well rounded flavors and a great bourbon/oak touch. I waited a while to have this one and it didn't disappoint at all. Would love to get another bottle.

 1,567 characters

Photo of KYGunner
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Everything about this calls out as a classic barrel aged stout. The pour is thick and viscous and the nose is full of barrel, vanilla, coconut, chocolate and bourbon.

The barrel properties are prominent at first with woodsy oak and bourbon. The middle palate serves that barrel sweetness of coconut and vanilla while it ends with chocolate, caramel and toffee. This is truly decadent and absolutely delicious.

 410 characters

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 VABA
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of PassMeAZima
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.03/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 06/05/2009. Bottle at PPRBSG09. This beer pours brown with a tan head. The aroma is of burnt malt and pretzels. Flavor is overwhelmingly bourbon and sweet malt. Basically it's just a big mess of bourbon and malt. Yeah, it is pretty terrible...

 255 characters

Photo of Morey
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of strongaf
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of hopdog
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Bottle # 242 of 1152.

Aromas of vanilla, bourbon, woody, roasty, and some chocolate. Tastes of vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar, dark fruits, chocolate, and ligher wood. Definitely bourbon in both aromas and tastes (for me that's not necessarily bad).

 264 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into nonic pint glass. This beer followed a 2012 Bourbon County Stout which made for a tough act to follow, but it held its own, despite not being quite as good.

The pour produces a cream-colored head that quickly dissipates into a thin lace atop the liquid. Below is an opaque, pitch black liquid that looks like a winter walk in a deep forest. It's almost intimidating.

I was expecting more from the smell, especially after the BCBS, so I had to ding some points here. The bourbon notes aren't nearly as potent, nor is the oak, although I detect both.

I was pleasantly surprised by the taste on this brew, as I found a lot of the good notes that I had enjoyed in the BCBS. The bourbon and oak remained, but the beer's sweet malts showed up, as did vanilla, toffee and coffee. I enjoyed it.

The drinkability was there too, as this was really smooth and creamy. The body was much lighter than BCBS, but like that beer, there was no booze presence.

I would certainly drink this again, although we followed this beer with the Oak-Aged Yeti which costs about six bucks less and is a bit better, so for the price, this beer may not make the cut despite being damn good.

 1,195 characters

Photo of baybum
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

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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