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Old Growth Imperial Stout - Caldera Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old Growth Imperial StoutOld Growth Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

160 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 160
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 8.62%
Wants: 29
Gots: 31 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Caldera Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: freed on 03-01-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 160 | Reviews: 68
Reviews by julian:
Photo of julian
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Mud black with a thick & frothy tan leather colored head. Retention is pretty good. It dwindles after a few minutes and leaves a beautiful bright tan ring of foam around the edges with some loose bubbles.

S: Smell is dark fruit, brown sugar, light roast, mild chocolate, and some light neutral hop bittering.

T: Taste follows the aroma. Roast and bittering up front, some dark fruit to wrap it all together with a bit of brown sugar malt sweetness. Medium body, clean finish.

O: Good overall, RIS. Well crafted. Awesome appearance, good all around taste. Would purchase again.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a thinner well retained deep mocha colored head,even when held to the light there isnt much to be seen thru the glass.Molasses and dark fruit dominate the nose along with dark coffee roast.Heavy roast and molasses flavors at the onset when the dark fruit comes into play,a big earthy almost raw finish.This is a nice American impy stout,a little raw with full flavor packed in.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Imperial stout = dark beer, no different here, its black. Foam about 3/4" deep, tan, light brown colored, hits the bricks right quick sucka.

Coffee absent in the aroma, otherwise, chocolate malt, light boozy in a good way, warming, hides abv relatively well, no coffee to it still on the mouthfeel. Sticky, bitter, low carbonation. About 1/100th of the smoke they put in rauch ur bock. Plenty chewy. Maybe some licorice.

Pretty good stuff. What a bummer mine followed a Mogli. Tough act to follow, but would not heitate to recommend this beer, just like 99% of the rest of Caldera's stuff.

Photo of dc55110
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in trade with ArchEnemyBrew.

Pours a deep black, with a quickly fading mahogany head.

The aroma is full of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, hits of dark fruit and just a bit of alcohol.

The flavors delivered are lockstep with the nose. Full of roasted malts, almost a slight smokiness. Bitter dark chocolate, with out being off-putting. All rounded out with the slight sweetness of dark fruits, raisin, plum, fig.

The mouth is a little thinner that every other part of this brew would lead you to believe. It's not watery, but just slightly lacking. I prefer a RIS to coat a bit.

This is really good RIS. I didn't have any idea of what to expect when I opened this one up. I was pleasantly surprised with what this brew delivered. Other than being slightly thin, the look, aroma and flavors are all what you want in a solid RIS!

Photo of joeseppy
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
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!

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes.

A: Pours an oily black with a small tan colored head on top. Decent retention, slowly reducing to a ring around the top. Sporadic lacing.

S: Earthy with some chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt. There is a little bit of wood and a vanilla.

T: The flavor profile starts off with some roasted dark malt, then some mocha, a combination of chocolate and coffee.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Rather smooth and easy drinking. Slightly bitter finish.

O: Was skeptical at first, since I didn't even know that Caldera bottled their beer, but this was a solid RIS. Would be awesome if they canned it.

Photo of tdm168
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with 1/2" of foamy, brown head. Great retention. Smells of roasted malts, a little coffee, and a little chocolate. Taste is similar to the nose in some respects but far more complex. Deep roasted malts and hint of coffee up front followed by a rich chocolatiness in the finish; just a hint of alcohol esters in there as well. A few more sips reveals a little toffee and some dark fruits; alcohol becomes more prevalent as the beer warms but doesn't detract from the flavor or drinkability. Mouthfeel is smooth, rich, and surprisingly, dangerously drinkable.

Photo of Fatehunter
4/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Photo of russpowell
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from the Nashvillian, cheers John!

Pours ebony with less than a pinky of mocha colored head.Near zero head retention & lacing

S: Chocolate, dark fruit, vanilla, & a touch of Bourbon once warm

T: Follows the nose, plus some herbal & woody hop notes, charred grain & dryness up front. More charred grain & Baker's chocolate as this warms. Finishes with a nice chocolate sweetness, herbal hops, a bit vanilla & more charred grain

MF: Chewy, oily, subtle carbonation

A nice Imp Stout, didn't quite come together for perfection, but a solid offering

Photo of morimech
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Photo of suncrust
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured to a snifter.

A- Pours like a thick motor oil. Ebony tint with a tiny ring of mahogany soap on the brim, otherwise virtually no head. Zero lacing.

S- Dark licorice aromas with a little tobacco, smokey char, and a slight bit of alcohol on the tail. Strong undertones of molasses and sticky dark fruit round out the nose.

T- A bursting blend of licorice, dark baker's chocolate, burnt sugar (almost creme brulee crust...) with a dominate raw tobacco character. Followed shortly by an intricate smokey char that is kindly humble and not overpowering as it goes down. Balances well with the moderate roasted coffee tones and woody cedar characters that hit mid-palette. It got more aggressive in flavor as it warmed, but for the most part I found the taste to be balanced and smooth.

MF- Smooth, velvety and soft. Lower on the carbonation with a slightly soapy feeling in the throat and a lighter dry coffee astringency on the tongue.

Overall a nicely crafted, smooth stout. The char and tobacco characters really highlighted the complexity of this beer for me. Pretty good.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big black. Nice medium brown head. Nice lace. Big roast, coffee and chocolate hints. BIG roast, BIG chocolate and a hint of coffee. Slight alcohol, but barely noticeable. Creamy feel, full bodied. I don’t really get any licorice, but this is a great stout nonetheless.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.27/5  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.

Photo of angrybabboon
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Purchased in VT a few months ago, split with Goblinmunkey7

Consumed 5/20/14

Appearance: Dark, dark brown - pours with a medium sized, tan head, leaves some nice spots of lacing

Smell: Rich chocolate - dark chocolate, semisweet chocolate, milk chocolate, cocoa, dark chocolate cookies, brownies - light sweetness, with some nice caramel, toasty - roasty with some light burnt - nice chocolate malts - decadent but not overwhelmingly beastly

Taste: Brownies and fudge in a blender - dark chocolate, milk chocolate, semisweet chocolate, fudge, brownies, chocolate cookies - dark caramel, sweet caramel, with a touch of molasses - some nice roasty coffee notes as well - kind of sweet overall, but it works

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium, smooth, adequate carbonation, roasty finish

Overall: Old... sensibilities

This is a no-frills RIS; no barrel aging, no coffee added, no weird stuff, nothing other than a straight-up RIS. And it's solid. There are some solid chocolate, lightly burnt, lightly roasty notes. I would definitely buy this again. I bet it would only get better with aging.

Photo of metter98
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high dark tan head that took a long time to die down, consistently leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of licorice are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of licorice along with notes of dark malts and hints of roast. There is a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite heavy on the licorice in both the smell and the taste, so if you don't like licorice you probably wouldn’t like this beer. It's rather drinkable as it manages to hide any traces of its alcohol rather well.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of ThickNStout
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
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. 

Photo of nsabo
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is not a heavy or chewy imperial stout (which is what I usually look for in a RIS), but the mouthfeel still feels hearty. It’s quite roasted, not burnt, just a damn smooth, no booze heat, well done roast. Reminds me a lot of Grand Teton’s Black Cauldron (which happens to have nearly the same under 9% ABV). The nose is coffee and graham crackers. Despite the label's indication of licorice, I'm not picking up on it much at all.

Photo of lowendfrequency
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz of 2010, poured the whole thing into a massive snifter. Pours dark, deep and inky black. Small 1/4" of light beige head, infinitely replenished by a steady stream of healthy carbonation.

The aroma is a complex blend of coffee, toasted wood, dark cocoa, burnt sugars and something like raisins and rum. Exactly how a beer called "Old Growth" should smell.

Bold. This is a big bold beer and yet is incredibly balanced. Flavor is of chocolate, licorice, burnt marshmallows, coffee and Dr. Pepper (I mean that in the best way possible). None of these are subtle but they all compliment each other without any one stealing the show. Appropriately bitter, solid booze with a syrupy finish.

This was a great beer and totally unexpected. Big and balanced, a great nightcap or cigar beer (blasphemy!). Enjoyable now or ready to cellar. Highly recommended.

Photo of beerdrifter
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
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!

Photo of vkv822
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into snifter.
2011 vintage.
from notes.

Pours black with a thick mocha colored head that dissipates fairly quickly.

The aroma is of cocoa, with roasty malts. I can just barely pick up notes of the licorice.

The taste follows the nose fairly well. Cocoa mixed with astringent coffee, though the licorice is more pronounced then in the aroma.

The mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with subtle carbonation.

This was quite drinkable, and left me a very good impression of the brewery.

Photo of jeff1973
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip.

A - Opaque black. Nothing getting thru, not even on the edges. Dark biege head, good lacing.

S - Roasted malt. A slight smokiness. A little bit of dark chocolate and a little licorice.

T - Bitter chocolate upfront turns to slightly smokey. Leaves a bit of licorice flavor for the end. Not an overpowering licorice flavor, just a hint to make you want more.

M - Medium carbonation produces a not quite smooth feel. Is almost smooth a description? It works either way. Leaves a slight tingle afterwards that works with the licorice aftertaste.

D - Definitely a sipper. Has a thicker mouthfeel that doesn't allow gulping. With the 8.8%ABV, really tastes almost no alcohol.

Great beer. Period.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a glass mug.

Thanks to VDubb86 for sharing this bottle!

With a name like "Old Growth" it has to be good, right? It pours a straight onyx topped by a finger of light-ish tan foam. The nose comprises blackened pretzels, light char, mild coffee, light anise and roasted malts. Things seem a bit too roasted, a bit too char-y for their own good. The taste holds notes of bitter dark chocolate, roasted malts, light molasses, coffee, licorice and a dash of chocolate syrup. A touch of what could be very light smoke flickers in the distance. The body is a solid, hefty-leaning medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a fairly chewy feel. Overall, a pretty nice Oregonian stout, though it may be too much for its (or my) own good.

Photo of Derek
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

8.8% abv.

A: Black with a tan head, ring of retention leaves a little lace.

S: Light licorice, black strap molasses, black berry and hints of biscuit & nuts.

T: Pleasant licorice flavour that's not overdone, allowing some other flavours to come through: black strap molasses, woody/oak, cocoa, light pepper, caramalized raisins, hints of coffee and rum. There's some underlying cola and sasparilla flavour as well. Alcohol is subtle.

M: Moderate to full body has a light residual sweetness with a slightly drying finish.

D/O: It drinks well, and I wouldn't have guessed it was that strong. Well crafted and an all around good brew. The flavours really compliment one-another... the more I drink it, the more I dig it... which says a lot for a big brew!

Photo of dar482
4.02/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Old Growth Imperial Stout from Caldera Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 160 ratings.