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Ivan The Terrible - Big Sky Brewing Company

Ivan The Terrible

Overall: 9.2/10 by 4 dudes

Dudes: 9.2/10

Trend: 9.2/10 over past 5 reviews

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 8.75%

IBU: 65

Season: Winter

Have Another: 100%

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352 beers rated with a 7.9 average
  • 9.2/10 have another
  • A: 10 | T: 9 | L: 9 | M: 9 | O: 9
  • Color: Deep Brown
  • A: Dark brown or black, I always struggle on distinction between the two. Dark tan foam made up of small bubbles.

    S: Gorgeous is a word I seldom use to describe the aroma of beer. But this brew is a superb mix of prunes or apricots, dark chocolate, and high end bourbon. There's a ton of other great flavors like molasses, Belgian sugars, and expresso.

    T: First gate is passed, in that the taste flavors match up with the aromas. My initial taste notes are dried dark fruits, a bit of cherry, chocolate, and molasses. Not a thick mouthfeel, which is a surprise for the big flavors that make up this brew. There's a bite of bourbon fire at the end, but I'm not complaining.

    O: A really solid BBA Imperial Stout from a brewer not known for high end stuff. That's a same as I really liked the flavor through this beer. Defiantly should be considered among the best F this country's Imperial Stouts. I am not sure this still being made by the brewer, this was a 2009 vintage. If it's not being made, it's our loss.
  • Reviewed: Thursday, December 01, 2011 at 21:45:42
  • Tasted: December 01, 2011 by rich
  • $9.95 for 750 ml bottle
113 beers rated with a 8.2 average
  • 8.9/10 have another
  • A: 9 | T: 9 | L: 8 | M: 9 | O: 9
  • Color: 28
  • How much aroma should a stout have? Style suggests a subtle aroma, but this is America and we like to bend things. Aroma is great. Not over powering, but it hints at a lot of things. I think in this order- prune, chocolate, and a bourbon finish. All blended well. As it warms up, the spicy burn of the bourbon becomes more apparent. All an introduction to something great???

    Near black center with ruby brown edge- about and 1/8th" of translucence. Clean lace on edge that clings to edge. Another beer that suggests a thickness/alcohol to it.

    The prune, or dried fruit is surprisingly sweet and pleasant. The chocolate is on the finish, the bourbon lends a bite at the end. As it warms, the bourbon comes out making it slightly harsher- but in a good way. It slows you down, and this beer should be drank slowly.

    As this warms, it moves from better to great. However it's a sipper. You can't have a lot of this. It's meant to be shared, or drank by one over a long time. It's great, but to enjoy it you need to go slow.

    Oh yeah, and at it's price of $10. It's a massive steal- if you can get it.
  • Reviewed: Thursday, December 01, 2011 at 21:31:46
  • Tasted: December 01, 2011 by Retrofit
  • $9.99 for 750 ml bottle
1,116 beers rated with a 7.8 average
  • 9.1/10 have another
  • A: 9 | T: 9 | L: 10 | M: 9 | O: 9
  • Color: Black
  • From a 2009 bottle - 278 of 3000.

    Pours opaque with about an inch of thick, deep tan foam. Retention is about right with a thick, 100% coating lacing that meanders back to level.

    Aroma of roasted malt that sits squarely on top of milk chocolate. Dark fruits, most likely a prune, and deep back you can pick up bourbon and vanilla. Nice.

    Taste is big and fantastic. Roasted malt and sugars are at the beginning, the middle transitions to bourbon, prune, and molasses with bourbon reaching its pinnacle late. The end into the finish brings oak and vanilla to blend with the bourbon.

    Big end of medium body with a nice carbonation for a two year old stout. Dries the palate and keeps you coming back.

    This beer was really nice. A lot of complexity packed into a non-filling imperial stout. The bourbon is present but doesn't overwhelm the underlying stout. Enjoy!
  • Reviewed: Thursday, December 01, 2011 at 21:29:09
  • Tasted: December 01, 2011 by scot
  • $9.99 for 750 ml bottle
310 beers rated with a 8.3 average
  • 9.6/10 have another
  • A: 10 | T: 10 | L: 9 | M: 9 | O: 9
  • Color: Black
  • Pours a pitch black color with a nice yellow tan head. Head disappears quickly leaving a thin ring of yellow tan foam around the edges of the glass. Very little if any lacing.

    Aroma is rich, creamy and complex. I am getting a nice roasted malt with a sweet milk chocolate with a dark fruit finishing and a bit of a bourbon aroma.

    Taste follows the aroma very closely. Very complex. Starts with some nice dark fruits, maybe prunes. This works into a sweet milk chocolate and roasted malts and finishes with a warm bourbon flavor. As the beer warms the warm from the higher abv comes out even stronger.

    Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy and smooth with a dry finish on the palate.

    Overall a really nice beer. Lots of great bold flavors that are well balanced and inviting. The bourbon flavors blend perfectly with dark fruits and chocolates.
  • Reviewed: Thursday, December 01, 2011 at 21:26:16
  • Tasted: December 01, 2011 by tikibeer
  • $9.99 for 750 ml bottle