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Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout | Big Sky Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
95 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
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Ivan The Terrible Imperial StoutIvan The Terrible Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jegross2 on 05-23-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
95
Ratings:
490
Avg:
4
pDev:
19.5%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
106
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
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Reviews: 95 | Ratings: 490
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, 2014 edition - nice to see another of this brewery's stronger offerings make it across the border.

This beer pours a solid, light-absorbing black, with rather spare basal cola edges, and two fingers of wanly puffy, tightly foamy, and duly creamy chocolate milk brown head, which leaves some crumbling ski hill snow mass lace around the glass as it slowly abates.

It smells of bready, meaty caramel malt, bittersweet cocoa powder, syrupy dark sugar, muddled black dried fruit, Nordic liquorice, sugary root beer, and a stultifying whiff of aggressive alcohol. The taste is semi-sweet, gritty chocolate, bready caramel malt, a bit of dank and fleshy ash, still indistinct, but surely present black fruit, subtle dry coffee grounds, Zellers-quality black liquorice, tame earthy, weedy hops, and a well-restrained (for now) metallic booziness.

The bubbles are fairly understated in their tempered frothiness, the body an adequate medium-heavy weight for the style, and more or less smooth, a trite, kind of pithy creaminess straining to be noticed. It finishes surprisingly dry, the cocoa turning as such, while the malt maintains its disaffected posture, and the other sundry characters play out their guest fees.

A generally engaging, but not particularly world-beating version of the style - lots going on, but a certain dissociative nature starts to become evident early on, and that clamminess just carries on and on, once it sticks to your palate. Yeah, ok, but not something I care to immediately revisit, well-integrated ABV considerations aside.

 1,570 characters

Photo of Mehinaman
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This might not be the best stout I've ever had, but it's still pretty damn good. Tastes or chocolate and coffee. Pours pitch black and is not too thin at all which gives it a good mouthfeel. I will buy again

 207 characters

Photo of woemad
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz ceramic(?) bottle of the 2014 vintage purchased at Huckleberry’s in Spokane for $2.99. I’ve been meaning to try this for years, but always wound up walking out with something else – probably because they used to be in 22oz bottles for high prices and I’ve sometimes found Big Sky to be a bit inconsistent.

Poured the color of my mood at the end of the Seahawk game. Big, bubbly tan head. Spotty lace.

Boozy nose to this, along with some sweet chocolate, bitter coffee and brown sugar. There was also a lactic acidity present.

More bitter in the taste than in the nose. Roasty dark malt flavor, a lactic sourness, some subordinate brown sugary sweetness. Ends on a dry note.

Velvety, coating mouthfeel.

A little too one dimensional tasting. Seems like it’s close to being an enjoyable RIS, but doesn’t seem to quite go the distance. THe elements are there, but they don't meld together.

 907 characters

Photo of ManBearPat
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Great RIS. The comparisons to old Rasputin are legit. Only points off for a lack of proper carbonation... Otherwise, a well above average example of the style.

 159 characters

Photo of IPAGeorge
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured form a bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint

A. Pours a beautiful black as espresso impenetrable by light with a 2 finger cappuccino colored head with very nice lacing. Looks great.

S. Aromas of dark chocolate and dark roasted malt make up the character here. A slight aroma of a dark dried fruit like prunes or raisins.

T. At first I get a chocolate flavor suddenly followed by a fig like dark fruity sweetness then a finish with a little bitterness and a pleasant baby spinach note. A bit of complexity here hitting different notes at different times. Each flavor blending into the next with ease. I'm liking it.

M. Not motor oil but still thick. Chewy but also with a little carbonation. A tad warming going down. The carbonation is a nice counter balance to the chewiness.

O. A very drinkable stout. A little thick but it fools you with the carbonation so the finish is more like a black ipa. Beautiful to look at. Very solid complexity of flavors here and the aroma basically backs that up. Nicely done.

 1,033 characters

Photo of DanGeo
3.56/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Tiernan
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tbryan5
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bulldogg915
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of freshflesh
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of SD-Alefan
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Beaver13
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours dark brown with a medium creamy brown head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is roast chocolate malts and anise.

The flavor is sweet chocolate malts, some dark fruit, anise and a lot of roast in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a solid roasty chocolate imperial stout.

 360 characters

Photo of otoolman221
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of alarmclock314
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 2014. Pours black with a small tan head on a hard pour. Smells of roasted malts, oak, and cocoa. Taste follows with cocoa, roasted malts, and some oak on the end. Some pleasing dryness in the finish. No alcohol warming. Surprisingly low carbonation, even for the style. Medium body. Overall, it has a good balance of favor and the lower carbonation works well.

 379 characters

Photo of ryancl
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Prospero
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Jackalope1977
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Franziskaner
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black as night with no possibility of light getting through this behemoth. A fingernail of khaki colored head covers the majority of the beer. Light Brussels lacing. Aroma is fairly hard to detect,but there's definitely bitter dark malt and chocolate notes there. The taste is much more flavor packed than the nose would suggest. It starts sweet with toffee and chocolate and then bitter dark malt and hops subdue the sweetness. The mouth oily and chewy.

 460 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice. 2014 bottle.

Appearance: Pours midnight black with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of tan head which settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A rich, roasty, and sweet dark malt forward aroma with hints of chocolate, coffee, and biscuit. Dark roasted barley malt with upfront hints of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, biscuit, toast, caramel, smoke, and yeast. Hints of molasses and some anise licorice. Dark fruit hints of fig, raisin, and plum. Subtle earthy hops. A pretty good smell.

Taste: Like it smells, a roasty, rich, and sweet dark malt forward taste with good notes of dark chocolate, baker’s cocoa, biscuit, burnt toast, coffee, cream, caramel, smoke, and yeast. Sweet notes of molasses. Subtle notes of anise licorice. Dark fruit undertones with notes of raisin, fig, and plum. Light note of earthy hops. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, rich, and somewhat slick. Alcohol heat is minimal.

Overall: A very good take on a Russian Imperial Stout. Good dark malt flavors with a good balance of roasty bitterness and sweetness.

 1,160 characters

Photo of sourdog
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of valkyre65
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of timontheroad
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very dark brown, nearly black, opaque. Half inch dark brown head that quickly faded to a thin film. Minimal lacing, but that's not surprising when you consider it's 9.5% ABV.
Smell: Dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, dark roasted malts and just a hint of alcohol.
Taste: Espresso, dark chocolate, and some nice malty sweetness. The alcohol really stands out on the back end as well.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, somewhat astringent from the alcohol, good carbonation.
Overall: This was a pretty nice Imp stout, now I want to find the barrel aged version of this one.

 573 characters

Photo of samtrillo
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The nose features roasted malts and toasted nuts with some burnt coffee and cocoa.

The taste and feel comes off as a smoked porter. Lots of burnt coffee bean and roasted dark dark chocolate. The after taste is great with the lingering smokiness. They could have called this a smoked stout and gotten away with it, IMO. Some roasted almond and hazelnut in there, but overall a charred mocha thing. Mouthfeel is very smooth and drinkable for nearly . Try it!

 458 characters

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Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout from Big Sky Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.
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