Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Big Sky Ivan The Terrible Review

Name: Big Sky Ivan The Terrible
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 9.5%
IBUs: 65

It may be the start of summer, but there's always time for a good Imperial Stout regardless of the seasons; At least in my opinion. Today I've got Big Sky Brewing's Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout, based out of Missoula, Montana. On the front of the label is someone who looks like a Russian Strongman, whose name just so happens to be Ivan. As to what exactly makes him so terrible is beyond me.

Although they could be alluding to Ivan The Terrible, who was the czar of Russia during the 16th century. Ivan is known for expanding Russia's influence as a whole into that of an empire & conquering areas of land that became modern-day Russia....but he was also known for his paranoia and mental illnesses, which were probably the reasons why he needlessly killed his heir to the throne, took land from his people and even massacring a whole village.

You know what? I take that back, I don't think they would actually name it after that guy.....

The bottle is also spray painted black for reasons I'm not quite sure of. Though if I had to venture an educated guess, I would say it's an extra precaution to prevent light from getting in when you consider that the brown bottle is meant to filter out light but I guess you can't be too careful.

Appearance - Pitch black color with a moderately tan colored head that is fairly foamy. Lacing is also quite abundant but there isn't a whole lot in terms of visible carbonation.

Aroma - Strong chocolate malts and moderate roastiness to start things off followed by some light vanilla notes and a bit of cherry sweetness. Pretty standard nose by Imperial Stout standards.

Taste - Chocolate malts and cherry sweetness dominate the front of the palate. There is some light oakiness in here as well as some vanilla sweetness. I'm picking up on getting some mild earthiness in here too along with some bitter hoppiness, both of which come to light in the back end of the flavor. Speaking of which, the aftertaste is a mixture of oak notes and bitter hoppiness. There is also some smokiness in here too, which lingers throughout the flavor, which is a nice surprise.

What I enjoyed about this beer is that it's flavor is a lot more complex than the nose leads you to believe. To me those are the surprises that I always enjoy. If you so happen to come across this, I would highly recommend checking this out.

Big Sky Ivan The Terrible - 9/10

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