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Grandfather Raven - Black Raven Brewing Co.

Grandfather Raven
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51 Ratings
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Ratings: 51
Reviews: 11
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 8.37%

Brewed by:
Black Raven Brewing Co. visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: barleywinefiend on 12-11-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 11 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of JohnParadee


4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into chilled pint glass. Deep, dark, opaque black color. Nice (albeit thin) tan/beige head, which dissipated quickly. Very even and persistently sticky lacing throughout the experience. Nose reveals chocolate and dark coffee roast, with hints of vanilla and cinnamon. On the palate, the flavor profile replicates the nose, although spicy roasted coffee is more pronounced and dominates over the chocolate and other flavors, which are more subdued, while a bourbon barrel aged character emerges. Interestingly, however, there is little evidence of heavy alcohol here, which helps the flavor profile sustain throughout the finish. I tend to like my stouts a little less roasty and a little more chocolate/bourbon like in flavor, but this is one roasted coffee bomb that I really enjoyed. Definitely worth your time and attention.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2014 04:46:13 | More by JohnParadee
Photo of writerLJBerg


3.38/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from FalconA. Thanks! Reviewed from notes.

A: Thick, oily black with a foaming mocha head. Suprising lack of legs.

N: Roasted coffee, licorice, cocoa, and hints of molasses. Fudge, some moss, caramel, vanilla, and some cinnamon.

T: Very roasty with a heart of bitterness and a roundness of malt sweetness. Very similar to a mocha with licorice flavors. However, the bitterness has bite, and this can get somewhat harsh.

M: Thick and robust. Alcohol is very pronounced.

O: Nice beer, but the overwhelming bitterness is a big detractor for me. A little bit of aeration seems to help, but I'd place this in the middle tier of RISes.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2013 03:29:09 | More by writerLJBerg
Photo of tectactoe


3.85/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of Kevin - thanks for splitting this one with us. It pours an extremely deep brown color, might as well call it black. The light tan cap is somewhat slow to build up and only sits at a quarter inch for about thirty seconds before mellowing out into a trace of the beer's circumference against the glass. No lacing and minimal legging when the glass is tilted or swirled.

Pretty hearty is the aroma on this one, chock-full of mild cocoa and a decent amount of roasted malt. It doesn't smell like any external coffee was added, but the malts are roasted and dark enough to give off a slight "coffee bean"-esque aroma at times. Roasted malts, cocoa, and coffee are pretty standard aromas in imperial stouts, so I'm not surprised to see them here. But there's nothing about this aroma that's jumping out at me or discerning itself amongst other RIS's, so I'm a bit disappointed to say the least.

After the first sip, it becomes evident that the roasted malts will pretty much lead the way through the flavor profile. Soft bouts of roast, light char, and some dark chocolate rummage through and hit all corners of the palate. There's a very faint, yet still very apparent dark fruit sweetness in the background, hinting at figs or dates that have been soaked in a reasonable amount of booze. This beer isn't what I'd call extremely boozy, but it's warming, and simply calling it a "slow-sipper" might even be a slight understatement.

Unfortunately there seems to be a slight oxidation that has taken over some of the beer. I'm not exactly sure how old this bottle is/was, but a small, wet cardboard flavor haunts the final moments of the sip and sits on my tongue a bit after the beer is gone. Aside from that, the finish includes a bit of cocoa dust and some dying char and roast. Bitterness is medium for the style, and ever bit of it seems to come from the roast rather than any hops. Medium-thick bodied and mildly creamy with pretty low carbonation.

Pretty good RIS, but based on the reviews/scores that were currently listed for this brew, I was expecting utter greatness. Goes to show you that you can't always trust everyone else's palate to speak for yours. Still a nice beer to sit back and sip, but I think it's just a bit overrated, mainly because it doesn't really stand out over other RIS's for me.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2013 11:34:10 | More by tectactoe
Photo of jvillefan


3.35/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: A very dark brown almost black body with a chocolate brown head with disappears very quickly.

S: Not good. It smells of stale malts and sweaty leather. There is some chocolate but that is about it.

T: There is a rich chocolate flavor with some bitterness.

M: Great body that is silky smooth. There is great carbonation present.

O: Good not great stout. If you see it laying around it might be worth picking up.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2013 23:59:28 | More by jvillefan
Photo of mdaschaf


4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. Had on tap at Black Raven.

A: Pours a dark black with a one finger tan head on top. Great head retention, slowly reducing to a cap on top. Some sticky laving down the sides.

T: Lots of deep roasted malt mixed with chocolate, both milk and some dark. There is a bit of a mocha aroma/coffee, but subtle. Really inviting.

T: Very similar to the aroma, lots of chocolate and roast with some faint coffee/espresso. Really nice, one of the better imperial stouts I have had, without any barrel aging.

M: Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Very smooth and easy drinking.

O: Really nice RIS, easy drinking for a big beer that has a great flavor profile.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2013 00:26:26 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of Treebs


4.58/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Review #700

12 oz. bottle served in a Black Raven curved pint. Thanks to OakedCanuck for the brew.

A: Pours an opaque jet black color with a dark khaki head forming on the pour. It recedes very slowly to a thick film that leaves some splotchy, soapy lace down the glass.

S: This smells amazing. Dark cocoa, tootsie roll and milk chocolate come across in wafts. Sweet malts with a little roast. Espresso sweetness with a hint of vanilla and some ground coffee beans. Smells absolutely delicious.

T: Smooth milk chocolate. Mild roasted malts, slightly drying in nature, with a rolled oat sweetness as well. Slightly bitter coffee grounds with some light dark fruit flavors in the background.

M: Medium to heavy bodied with a medium low carbonation. Silky smooth across the palate, a little oily as well. Sweet and roasted finish.

O: One of the best Russian Imperial stouts I've ever had. Perfectly balanced across the board with well hidden booze. I wish this wasn't so limited and rare because I could drink this stuff every single day.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 23:21:35 | More by Treebs
Photo of dirtylou


4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

Served in oversized snifter - really decadent looking beer - a beautiful contrast of a rich ebony body and a huge creamy mocha head with sticky webbed lacing. Dry roasty nice - lots of rich chocolate, dry cocoa in the finish, licorice, espresso. One of the better non-barrel aged stouts i've had in a while. Gorgeous with a wonderful creamy feel.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 21:49:41 | More by dirtylou
Photo of HuskyinPDX


4.04/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle opened on 2.26.13

A - Pours a dark brown with a one inch active dark tan head that fades pretty fast leaving rings of lacing.

S - Coffee, mild chocolate, a little nutty.

T - Malty, bitter chocolate, dry nuttiness, slight coffee in the finish.

D - Decent carbonation with a heavier body.

O - Pretty solid stout, but nothing really stands out to me.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2013 04:54:06 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of TheEarl


4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this in a snifter at Brouwer’s “Back in Black” Stout Festival on May 11, 2012. I believe it was poured from a keg of the 2011 vintage Brouwer’s had been saving for the event.

Appearance: Very dark brown or black with a dark tan head and lots of lacing.

Smell: The initial aroma is of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and grain but, as the beer opens up, I get a bit more complexity and earthiness. There is not as much booziness as I’d expected.

Taste: The taste is less saccharine than the style tends to be. There is certainly a ton of dark chocolate and coffee in the taste and the roasted malt flavors manage to be very rich without the burnt taste.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is as thick as you’d expect but it is so smooth that it doesn’t feel like you’re drinking mud and the stickiness adds a pleasant complexity.

Overall: Grandfather Raven is great. It is a nearly perfect example of the style at its best and, of the group I was with at Brouwer’s, many of whom were sampling Parabola, Abyss, Yeti, and other more famous stouts, it was easily the crowd favorite.

Serving type: on-tap

05-18-2012 02:58:57 | More by TheEarl
Photo of ScreamForMe


4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the expanded tasting room:

The beer arrived with a thick head on it - less than an inch. Mixture of dark brown/blackness.

Smells of chocolate, cocoa, and roasted malts.

Tastes nice and smooth but big. I didn't notice the alcohol much at all.

Mouthfeel is chewy and perfect for the style.

Abv: 9.5%

This is another great example of why Black Raven is the best new(er) brewery in WA!

Next review!

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2011 03:35:42 | More by ScreamForMe
Photo of barleywinefiend


4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a jet black with good carbonation and a nice brownish head

S: Chocolate, roasted malts, booze, hints at coffee

T: Has a very nice cocoa, roasted malt mix, hints at coffee in there, pretty dry and clean as well. Lots of taste from beginning to end

M: Big body, hearty, lots of taste on the palate, nice amount of booze

D: Oh yeah. A splendid easy to drink beer up there the best of them.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2010 23:36:28 | More by barleywinefiend
Grandfather Raven from Black Raven Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.