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Old Growth Imperial Stout - Caldera Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old Growth Imperial StoutOld Growth Imperial Stout

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

140 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 140
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 29
Gots: 28 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: freed on 03-01-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 140 | Reviews: 63 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BARFLYB
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bottle split with oglmcdgl.

Old Growth in the Duvel tulip appears black in color with a firm inch of tan/khaki colored foam that is dense and leaves some spots, great retention.

Smell is ridiculous in the malt category, roasted malt on top of char, some faint dark fruits and some aroma hops. Licorice and anise make up the rest of the smell.

Not so over the top, a very well balanced stout with a mix of roast on top of a bed of dark fruit, chocolate chips, anise and of course licorice. Faint vanilla bean and just good beer here.

Feel is semi sticky full and not hot. It's not the biggest stout out there at almost 9% and I like that, to many 13 percenters that go overboard. Carb is there and not so intruding. Chewy.

This is a kick ass stout. I wanted to see what Caldera could do on their dark offerings as their light ones are top notch and this did not dissapoint.

BARFLYB, May 19, 2011
Photo of oglmcdgl
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A bottle split with onix1agr and poured into duvel tulips.

A- a firm pour yields almost three fingers of coffee and cream colored head holds for a good bit then settles slowly leaving behind a big swath of chunky sticky lace and a big seam foam ring on top with a big island of suds. Down right black body with just the faintest of brown glows at the edges when held to bright light.

S- big bold dark roasted malts and a deep molasses sweetness. There some anise and coffee going on that reminds me of new orleans chicory coffee.

T- yup that a big ole stout. Opens up with a powerful punch of super dark roasted malts that give you a lot of dark bakers chocolate, coffee, blackstrap molasses and dark breads. The roast and sweet are well balanced and a solid earthy hopping blend smoothly in with the rest. Finish is long and roasty but not heavy or overbearing in any way.

M- full bodied with a bit of chew to it but not sticky or cloying and the carb while staring out light builds just enough to clear the palate and get you going back for more quickly. Touches of heat but its a welcomed heat.

O- this is a great ris and one that is cruzing well under the radar. Better then a lot of those hyped up beasties and super easy to enjoy. I'd like to get a few of these and lay them down for a bit.

oglmcdgl, May 19, 2011
Photo of youradhere
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, with amber edges; light tan head that quickly falls to leave decent lacing. Smell is faint chocolate and stale coffee, smokiness. Taste is better, slight sweet chocolate, slight coffee, and minimal smoky oak, almost salty at times. Mouthfeel is medium, carbonation is medium high, overall drinkability is good for a light stout. Not something I'd seek out again, certainly wouldn't refuse it if offered.

youradhere, May 09, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is indeed quite tasty. The jet black color is very nice not very much light getting through this beer. The head is sticky and light brown. The hops are prominent along with a ton of roasted chocolate flavors and wood in the aroma and taste. The mouthfeel is semi thick, a little oily. The beer overall is really nice.

Knapp85, Mar 29, 2011
Photo of kitty66
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Delicious full bodied stout with all the trimmings. Leather, wood, tobacco, sugary fruit.

The nice thing about Old Growth is that you can savor the "mature" end of the taste spectrum without having to be knocked out by a 12%+ abv.

Caldera's move into the richer end of the spectrum is exciting, looking forward to their future beers !

This beer is a great seasonal, not trying to dethrone abyss, but a great addition to the fall/winter lineup.

kitty66, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of lowendfrequency
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

lowendfrequency, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of harrymel
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Vintage 2010.

A: Quarter finger light mocha fades to translucent of the same. Beer is dark, dark brown. No lacing to speak of.

S: Extra roasty. Coffee, graham, cocoa, malt, licorice. I can say, however, the hops are still quite present. Piney, resiny. Malt dominant, but still hoppy.

T: Roast, cocoa, coffee, lighter hops with earthy feel. Good beer. Not spending much time here, but this is really good.

M: thick and syrupy. Like a good beer should be in this genre.

D: this is a really good beer. I hate to be a slave to price point, but at nearly $13 for a bomber, I want to be wowed. The beer is good, really really good. If under $9/bomber, I would be all about this one.

harrymel, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of Vdubb86
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass

This beer pours a blackness with a beige foam head. The smell while not greatly profound does carry notes of blackened malts and bitter coffee. There is a touch of licorice in the nose as well. The taste mostly reminds of a bad cup of coffee. There is a distinct coffee flavor but mostly it's backed up by a burnt char flavor that lasts into the aftertaste. There is a nice medium sticky mouthfeel to the beer as well. It's drinkable, but only as it warms to room temperature. The only bitterness that I really can't get past is a burnt bitterness and it's pretty palatable in this beer and is really the only reason I was not too fond of it.

Vdubb86, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

TMoney2591, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of vkv822
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

vkv822, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark black with good carbonation and nice brown cap

S: Loads of cocoa powder, coffee, dark chcolate and hints of funk/sour

T: Dark chocolate upfront with a booze sting, bakers powder cocoa, coffee beans, light funk going on

M: Bitter chocolate at the end, booze, big body, well carbonated

D: Good

barleywinefiend, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of ccrida
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draught at Bailey's, the 2009 Old Growth Imperial Stout is black with a tan collar that leaves light, scattered lace.

Smell is big on the caramel, honey, sweeter for a stout, but clearly one nevertheless. The lavender creeps out a bit as it warms, although this was so delicious, I didn't give it much chance to do so!

Taste is big, loads of complexity of this one, all the adjuncts combine with the chocolate and roast flavors of the malt to remind me of a really fancy truffle. I particularly enjoyed the lingering taste of the pink peppercorns. For so much complexity from the adjuncts, none of them are over done. Smooth, clean,well executed and exceptionally good.

Mouthfeel is slick, medium-light bodied, surprisingly, but not in a thin way, just not thick and heavy.

Drinkability is good, this is a really nice RIS, super unique. Crazy flavorful, yet smooth and dangerously drinkable. I'm really digging the lavender the most, I can picture myself in Brussels's Grand Plaza eating fancy chocolate, awestruck. Probably not their intention, but a nicely played invocation nevertheless!

ccrida, Mar 04, 2010
Photo of msubulldog25
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Snagged a 12 oz. snifter of this elusive brew at Bailey's Taproom; this is the 2008 edition.

A: Crude oil blackness topped with a thin nutmeg orange head. Any head fades away to the thinnest circling ring, lace droops in slim bands and scattered speckles.

S: Malty sweet nose of fudgy chocolate, mild vanilla, candied fruit and a vague woodiness. Intriguing floral aroma, perfumed with lavender.

T: Big chocolate and an astringent coffee roast hit right upfront; sweeter notes of vanilla, even maple syrup, follow. Lots of grain, mild fruit (say, earthy blackberries?), and a fair amount of piney woodiness. LOVE the spiced honey flavor!

M: Lots of grit and grain fill the mouth, stick on the teeth. Imagine a cup of French Press coffee, how it sticks... That's the Old Growth way. Otherwise, a smooth carbonation and velvety mouthfeel. Long-lasting bittersweetness.

D: A hefty mouthful of darkness with each sip. Enjoyable, certainly a beer I'll have again. The guys at the Taproom were saying the 08 is great but that the 07 was incredible; note to Caldera: can this beer. Please.

msubulldog25, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of bitterthebetter
4.88/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2004 VINTAGE

found this delicious glory at Bailey's Taproom.

pours an absolute opaque oil black with tannish head. it just looked so enticing with its murkiness and darkness. by the color i knew i was in for a treat

rich rich malty aroma with caramel, roasty notes, chocolate, slight pepper, interesting floral notes, and i think licorice, slight dried figs or raisins, and candied sugars

BOOYA! on the palate. rich rich rich plethora of flavors begin the symphony of beer and endure for minutes. a rich coating of more bittersweet chocolate upfront, followed by semi-dry roasted notes, coffeish notes, hints of hot pepper, faint raisins, mildly floral notes which i couldnt place but are definetly there, and slight candied sugar notes on the finish.

super smooth and balanced with a medium weight, the beer just absolutely coats the mouth with layers of goodness. its hard to get all the nuances at once but man is there a lot to enjoy. balanced all the way through, not too sugary or dry, and the flavors just meld seamlessly together with every sip tasting different than the last, and no trace of the alcohol

amazing stuff, truly, one of the more memorable stouts I've had in a long time, with layers of flavor mixing together to create a textured, balanced, nuanced, and super smooth stout. i wish i had had the patience to drink it room temp. cause I'm sure even more goodness could be discovered, but alas, i enjoyed every second of the beer and if you see it on tap, order it

bitterthebetter, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of RedDiamond
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's helpful to know something of what you're drinking in advance of drinking it. I knew Old Growth was an imperial stout, but I wasn't aware it was brewed with licorice, honey, chocolate, lavender, and pink pepper corns. So when I drew the snifter to my nose and inhaled its essence, I was caught off guard by its peculiar tapestry of fragrances. I kept wondering if the beer wanted to smell and taste as it did, or if bad luck was conspiring against it. I concluded that Old Growth suffered from no unintended intrusions, but I was still perplexed by its uncommon design.

I found Old Growth on tap at the Fort George Public House in Astoria where it was featured among other notables as part of Stout Month. Fort George was serving it in 12-oz. snifters where its panoply of sharp aromas was ably focused. Chocolate flavor was featured abundantly, yet the fragrance was also enhanced by a spice mix suggesting mint. The taste worked parallel to this and I was convinced I was drinking a chocolate mint elixir - pure girl scout cookie.

Old Growth's body is oily black with sepia froth. Its complexity makes it an anomaly in a snifter but a year of aging at least tempers this with some smoother contours. I came to enjoy it, but it's clearly not for everyone. 10.3% ABV.

RedDiamond, Feb 10, 2008
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Old Growth Imperial Stout from Caldera Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.