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Old Growth Imperial Stout - Caldera Brewing Company

Old Growth Imperial StoutOld Growth Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

121 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 121
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 9.09%


Brewed by:
Caldera Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: freed on 03-01-2005)
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Ratings: 121 | Reviews: 60 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of muffiewolf
muffiewolf

Vermont

4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

If this was judged by looks alone it is a 5. Huge head and black as night. Considering this is 8.8% abv it is absolutely outstanding. Heavy chocolate but very smooth. These guys know what they are doing. If I hit the west coast I'm going to check their establishment out. These guys are on to something. Outstanding!!

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2014 01:59:06 | More by muffiewolf
Photo of beerdrifter
beerdrifter

Germany

4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up from a great trade with Mike! Thick pitch black pour with a two finger caramel-colored head with nice retention and crazy lacing. One of the most eye appealing stouts I've had in a while. Big roasty nose with hints of chocolate fudge, coffee, black licorice, molasses, leather, toffee, cocoa, and nuts. The taste is rich and roasty with lots of chocolate fudge and fresh coffee up front along with hints of black licorice, dark chocolate, roasted nuts, cocoa, subtle pine, tobacco, caramel, and a touch of peat and smoke. The mouthfeel is incredibly thick, creamy, and mouth-coating with a subtle sweetness that balances the bitter hops nicely. Velvety smooth, dry finish. Overall, a hugely surprising beer. Beautiful to look at, rich and flavorful, and incredibly drinkable. Highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 16:28:47 | More by beerdrifter
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore

Wisconsin

3.79/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

650ml bottle, thanks Anthony. Poured into a Surly goblet today, 1/22/2014 as part of our cellar/extras cleaning tasting.

App- Pitch black body, viscous, 1cm tan head that recedes quite slowly. Not much lacing.

Smell- Coffee, milk chocolate, roast, toffee. Smells delicious

Flavour- Dark chocolate, black coffee, roast malts, lactose, no licorice but a strong earthy bitterness on the back end that could be attributed to licorice

Mouthfeel- Thick viscous body, creamy mouthfeel, well-done. Bitterness is almost unbearable though and makes it difficult to drink, definitely a sipper.

Overall- Very good beer that is hard to drink because it is too bitter on the backend. Otherwise it has a great body and aroma.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2014 06:58:49 | More by Stevedore
Photo of vfgccp
vfgccp

New York

3.89/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Great looking stout. Ebony body with cola highlights. Firm, pillowy dark khaki head. Great retention and nice lace.

S - Soft chocolate, anise, pine sap, caramel, and Tootsie Roll.

T - Touch of anise up front before building into a deep roast grain center. Smooth chocolate, cream, and gingerbread on the back end.

M - Creamy, smooth, medium frame. Shade light on the finish.

O - Not a bad stout. Exceptionally creamy. If it had a little more body it would be a lot higher.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2014 03:20:58 | More by vfgccp
Photo of joeseppy
joeseppy

Illinois

4.51/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick pour with an awesome shimmering deep black walnut with whipped cream density mocha head. This stuff has the propensity to stain your lips and glass.

Smell is deliciously inviting. Chocolate fudge, frosting, dark fruits, coffee and a hint of black licorice.

Tastes of light roast, coffee, chocolate licorice, anise and whipping cream.

This has Russian imperial written all over it. Full bodied, complex and voluptuous. Like letting a Hershey Kiss melt away in your mouth.

I don't say this to often but this double mash imperial is really underrated. Absolutely no bitterness or alcohol detected. On par with ten-fidy. If this were mainstream-fuggetaboutit! Bought this on a whim while passing thru Albany NY so I doubt I would see this again for a loooong time. Damn fine Imperial Stout that even Peter the Great would approve of!

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2013 03:53:29 | More by joeseppy
Photo of dar482
dar482

New York

4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a black color with a brown head.

The aroma has dark chocolate, roasty malt, a bit of licorice.

The flavor follows with those notes, but with coffee and a sweeter chocolate. The licorice gently shines through, but does not overpower the beer. A really good beer that shows off how a gentle licorice can compliment an imperial stout.

A very good example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2013 23:35:55 | More by dar482
Photo of BVukelich
BVukelich

Washington

4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'm not a fan of licorice so when I brought it home and noticed "brewed with licorice" on the label I was a bit disappointed that I missed it. Surprise! This stout was pretty good. I wasn't overwhelmed with licorice at all.

Poured a decent head, lace was average upon drinking. Appearance was like pitch black, liquid gold. Aroma, taste and mouthfeel were all very decent. Not going to be my go-to imperial stout but highly likely to have again. Lesson be learned all...try new things! I would have never given this purchase a serious look if I would have noticed licorice.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2013 03:27:38 | More by BVukelich
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
BlurryVisi0n

New York

4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Thin opaque body, comes off very opaque black-brown looks like a glass if ink with an average tan head that rises to roughly 1/3".

Smell: Deep coffee bean scent, it's smells ridiculously well by disappears quickly. Comes and goes.

Taste: Bitter coffee with a shot of mocha. It's delicious taste simple and addicting.

Mouth: Medium bodied brew, feels a little lighter on the carbonation side. A body the has is a bit dry.

Overall: Not a bad beer but there is much better out there. I love imperial stout and have a particular liking to Russian imperial stouts, this one is good but not on the level of greatness as some other easier to find beers are.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2013 05:34:22 | More by BlurryVisi0n
Photo of russwbeck
russwbeck

Virginia

3.2/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer pours out of the bottle very dark in color and yields a large brown head. The head hangs out for a long time, receding down to less than an inch of a cap on the beer, lacing minimally as it goes. 4

S: The aroma is roasty with some underlying chocolate. The roast is full bodied and the licorice tries to balance it out with sweetness I worry this is going to be a one-trick poney, however. 3.5

T: The taste, sadly, is the one-trick poney I feared. It's both roasty and sweet, with the sweetness well needed, but all of the flavors sort of exist together, without playing well together. I don't really get much more than a normal stout with some licorice thrown in and typically, I'm not a big licorice in beer fan. It's a good stout, just didn't stand out. 3

MF: The beer is thick and syrupy, but it's a little under carbonated for my preferences. The finish is the highlight of the beer for me, mouth-wateringly roasty. 3.5

O: This beer just didn't do anything special for me. Just an average imperial stout. 3

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 22:44:28 | More by russwbeck
Photo of cattersley
cattersley

Ontario (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Blacker than black! Thick, creamy head.

S - Burnt coffee, chocolate, coal.

T - Fantastic, malt bomb! Chocolate, coffee, low hops, creamy taste!

M - Very light on the palate.

O - Would love to have this again... hint hint! LOL!

Thanks to me pal Evan! My father and I loved this!

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 19:27:23 | More by cattersley
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle thanks to EgadsBananas, appreciate it. Typical color for an imperial stout but the head was really nice looking, chocolate brown and huge in the snifter. Aroma was good, roasty imperial stout, a little oily with hints of chocolate and malt. The flavor was pretty typical for the style and solid. Alcohol was well hidden and my only complaint was that it seemed just a tad bit thin but that also made it go down fast! I liked it, this was probably the best Caldera beer I've had.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 15:10:16 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of Fatehunter
Fatehunter

Oregon

4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the tap house in Ashland. It came in a quart jar filled from the tap. I drank it the next day.
Minimal head on a clearer brown body. It's a light color for a stout.
It smells like oak and caramel. Rich.
The taste is oaky and sweet with a touch of bitterness at the end.
Smooth texture with minimal carbonation and a medium body.
Pretty good and very drinkable for an imperial stout.

Serving type: growler

01-10-2013 02:14:56 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of notchucknorris
notchucknorris

California

4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a rich black color with a one finger khaki colored head. Tons of spotty lace down the glass.

S: Roasted malt, dark chocolate, anise and a touch of smoke. A touch of powdered cocoa as well.

T: Tons and tons of roasted malt, charred malt and unsweetened chocolate. A touch of smooth chocolate malt on the finish and some faint earthy hops. A super dark, bitter and roasts RIS. Pretty good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 04:39:25 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big ups to ATLCarl for this bottle, a beer that's been languishing on my wants list for many months. After receiving the IPA as an extra in a trade (& being blown away) I wanted more Caldera. Now, finally. 22 oz. bomber split with my wife.

Pour is a shadow of its former self, literally. Peppy for a big stout, plenty of froth washing off the rocks. Nasal is classic RIS: a bit roasty, sweet malts, chocolatey. Lovely way to kick things off.

Old Growth is creamier than a melting Fudgesicle. There's a lovely roasted edge to this that slip-carves right into the stunningly creamy mouthfeel to create a stellar combination. The depths are subtle & not really necessary, but plenty welcome: licorice, mocha, roast slips right onto the line of coffee before fading back. But the cream really lights this one up, & everything else plays off it like Mel Gibson in Hamlet. Wait, no, actually, the exact opposite of that.

If this brewery was local to me, they'd be in my fridge. All. The. Damn. Time. I haven't had a sip of Caldera in a long time, & now I'm wondering why. Four beers, four excellent beers, hands down; this one borders on the elite. Straight-up excellent.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2012 04:03:38 | More by maximum12
Photo of ColForbinBC
ColForbinBC

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, poured into a tasting glass

Thanks to KeanLacrosse for the share

The body sits a midnight black with a small mocha colored cap. Some rings of lace inside the glass. Viscous body. Leaves a little bit of an oil slick when swirled.

The nose is big and bold. Molasses, licorice, dark (almost charred roast), dark cherries, bitter dark chocolate and some burnt caramel. The sweeter elements seem to emerge more as the beer warms.

Robust dark roast just pummels the palate. Molasses, licorice, and burnt caramel poke through mid-palate, before a finishing rush of coffee grounds, bitter chocolate, and some smoke/char.

Full body, rich and lush. However, there was this chalky feel/flavor that emerged in the finish. It was a little off-putting.

Overall, this is a damn fine Imperial Stout. I would definitely drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2012 21:33:43 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of morimech
morimech

Minnesota

3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Viscous fluid that is pitch black in color. An attractive 2+ fingers of mocha colored head forms and had excellant retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass. This beer is a real looker.

The aroma is great too. Roasted malt with notes of chocolate, smoke, coffee, dark fruit, and some herbal qualities. Alcohol is not detected.

The flavor was a bit of a letdown compared to what I had previously expected. A little astringent and rough. There is a biting bitterness that is not very pleasant. I can still pick out some chocolate and coffee notes. Finishes a little chalky. Alcohol is well disguised with just a light warming affect.

Big bodied and nicely carbonated. Smooth, silky texture. The only fault is that is falls off the palate a little quick.

This beer was not successful where it counts the most. Otherwise an impressive RIS.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2012 18:39:02 | More by morimech
Photo of Pahn
Pahn

New York

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle split 3 ways in wine glasses. Big thanks to generous BA libbey for including this as an extra in a trade a few months ago!

Appearance: Poured slowly; no head but leaves an offwhite foam around the surface. Pours black with no lacing.

Smell: Pale malt, sweet coffee liqueur, some prune-like dark fruit aromas and roasted malt. Malty and inviting.

Taste: Very creamy. Lots of sweetness, but lots of roasted malt and high hop bitterness to balance it. Roasted character dominates most of each sip until the sweet finish. Some dark fruit and coffee liqueur-like highlights.

Some boozy heat comes out as the beer warms up, along with a nice molasses flavor. All in all, this beer has a really excellent balance. Tastes like they used a lot of high quality pale malt, and really got the sweetness / bitterness / roasted malt balance just right. Also, while it's full of nutty roasted malt flavor, it's not ashy or charred tasting at all.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and creamy. Low to moderate carbonation, semi-dry finish. Could be fuller, but love the creaminess.

Overall: Great beer. Love how smooth it feels, and while the taste isn't too complex, the notes it hits are just right.

Pairing addendum: started eating some salty fries with rosemary and a soy BLT after I'd drank some of this, and the beer only got better (I'm not usually a big pairing guy).

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2012 03:46:30 | More by Pahn
Photo of Bung
Bung

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. Nice viscous looking black pour. Has that light tan fading to dark tan layer of head.

Aroma, roast malt, dark chocolate, some anise and herbal notes.

Taste, roast malt, some bitter pine and anise. Dark chocolate, a woody/peaty quality. Cocoa and some piney bitter finish.

Nearly full body, a smooth carbonation. A little warming, but on par with the style. Rock solid and worth while.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2012 03:50:57 | More by Bung
Photo of kawilliams81
kawilliams81

Yukon (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Alesmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- pours pitch black with a huge 3" dark mocha head. Some trails and blotches of lacing on the glass.

S- chocolate, coffee, some vanilla and faint sweetness.

T- sweet roasted malts, chocolate, coffee and bitter almost some tartness to this beer.

M- medium body and carbonation. Slightl creaminess and dryness but also drinks very easily.

O- very good RIS. Has nice aroma and tastes. Very well balanced with the roast, chocolate, coffee and slight bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2012 03:20:24 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of ThickNStout
ThickNStout

Georgia

3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from Bruisin Ales (Asheville, NC). 12.00. No bottling info noted. Served in a large snifter. 

Pours flat black with almost 2 fingers of dense deep tan head. Decent amounts of lacing left behind. 

Smells of roasted malts, smoke and cocoa.

Taste is all about those roasty malts. Burnt wood, smoke, toasted malts, licorice, burnt coffee, bitter dark chocolate & a bit of alcohol. A nice blend that favors the dark roasted malts. 

Medium full body with moderate carbonation. Long lasting bitter finish. 

A darn good stout overall. Pretty unique profile with lots of complimentary flavors. I'd certainly have it again were I to find it under ten bucks for a bomber. 

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2012 03:16:30 | More by ThickNStout
Photo of trxxpaxxs
trxxpaxxs

New York

4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big ups to libbey for this bottle...

A: Pours straight black, completely opaque, with just a thin vale of mocha head along the edges of the glass. For very little foam, there is a good amount of lacing to this beer.

S: I get notes of chocolate, caramel, burnt toast, peated malt, slight raisin, and booze. There is a really strong peat note that I just can't get out of my head. It's bonkers.

T: Upfront I get a huge blast of sweet mixed with peat. It's almost like a licorice, but not quite. I can't place it. The chocolate and caramel come through in the middle, but that funk is still there. It's not bad, just hard to place and strangely familiar. The finish is bitter and burnt.

M: Full bodied beer. It starts out strong and coating, totally enveloping the palate. The flavors linger for-ever!

O: This is a hit or miss beer. If you like stouts are syrupy, bitter, a bit burnt, and coat (like I do), than you will love this beer. If you're into dark fruits and candied sugar, this beer is not for you. I still can;t figure out this funk, but I like it.

Side note: Just read the label... that flavor was licorice. I don't think I've ever had a beer with quite that black strap flavor (even compared with Unita's Labyrinth). Solid brew!

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2012 03:44:18 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a small but dense light brown head. Retention is good, despite the tiny head. Leaves nice lines of lacing all over the glass.

S: Lots of roasted malt char. A bit of coffee and chocolate as well. Black licorice is fairly prominent. Touch of caramel?

T: Up front, nice roasted malt and chocolate. Lots of licorice in there, through the middle. Coffee kicks in the aftertaste and carries into the lingering bitter finish.

M: Medium-heavy body, fairly smooth and enjoyable.

O: A nice tasty RIS for sure. This one is quite heavy on the licorice. Not overpowering but it's a prominent flavor unlike any other big stout I've had. Unique and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2012 03:00:10 | More by Dope
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 1/2011 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a very dark red brown, appearing black in the glass. Thin dark tan head and some light lacing. Sweet and roasted malt, honey and slight floral notes to aroma. Taste follows with sweet and roasted malts, a mellow sweetness followed by coffee and chocolate notes, finishes with a mixure of dry and sweet, hop bitterness, light woody finish. Nicely integrated.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2012 03:18:29 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of nickfromsacto
nickfromsacto

California

4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had Pliny the younger, elder, Parabola and old growth in one night. Younger lived up to the hype. Parabola and elder are staple favorites (always good). Amongst these behemoths Old growth not only surpassed my expectations but set a bar for (none Deschutes, Hair of the dog & Rogue) Oregon beers. Thanks random beershop dude in Seattle. 

The head is nothing worth bragging about nor is the typical black body of most imperial stouts. The head lingers for a while as you smell some chocolate and roastyness. A few hints of cocoa and fig are mixed with smooth alcohol tones. The mouthfeel is incredible, a nice full body that does not overwhelm the other senses. Perhaps the best beer find durring my trip. Worth the ten bucks for this rare aged beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2012 22:22:01 | More by nickfromsacto
Photo of TheBeerologist
TheBeerologist

Rhode Island

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe glass

Pours a translucent black with a thin tan/light brown head - seems a little light for an RIS but looks nice. Smelled of roasted malts and slightly of chocolate. The aroma though was nicely balanced and left me excited to have a sip. This beer tastes perfectly roasted and not to sweet (which is great to me). Well balanced vanilla up front with chocolate notes to finish. It was lightly carbonated and a little dry. Overall this was a light and pleasant RIS to sip on with very well balanced flavors - I will definitely be looking to get more next time I pick this one up.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2012 00:26:49 | More by TheBeerologist
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Old Growth Imperial Stout from Caldera Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 121 ratings.