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Cabernet Barrel-Aged Laika Stout - Straight To Ale

Not Rated.
Cabernet Barrel-Aged Laika StoutCabernet Barrel-Aged Laika Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

22 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 22
Hads: 131
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 28.01%
Wants: 46
Gots: 27 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Straight To Ale visit their website
Alabama, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: richj1970 on 10-30-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 22 | Hads: 131
Photo of FBGordon
4.89/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured on draft into an Irish pint glass. NOTE: This was the 2014 Cab BA Laika consumed in November 2015.

A: Pours a rich, thick black with a thick chocolate milk head that never dissipates and laces perfectly.

S: Strong notes of dark fruits. Raisins, plums. Wine notes and booze.

T: Lots and lots of dark, bittersweet chocolate, Cabernet grapes, dark fruits and roast. The Cabernet barrel aging smooths out the bitterness from the roasted malts. There are not-so-subtle notes of alcohol.

M: Big, smooth and creamy with tight carbonation. The beer coats the palate pleasantly and is slightly warming.

O: A huge, flavorful, outstanding beer that shouldn't be underestimated in any capacity. The Cabernet barrel aging smooths out this RIS pefectly. It's like drinking a glass of Cabernet while popping chocolates in your mouth. Drink all you can. Hoard it. Covet it. But do drink it!

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

Trade from Matt in Alabama back in 2014. Been holding on to this as I wasn't feeling the wine aspect but time to try it.

A:Black with very minimal head.

A: Initial rush of wine fades pretty fast after a few minutes. Sweet and malty aroma remains.

T/M: Dark fruits and chocolate. Catch a nice jolt of booze as well. Truly tastes like it smells. Mouthfeel is a little sticky but doesn't linger long.

Well crafted and hides the 11.70% well. It's a sipper but I found myself drinking it a bit faster than I should. This was damn good and I don't find myself enjoying wine w/ my stouts. I realized I rated their BA version very high as well so this seems to be a consistent thing with STA (didn't love Unobtanium as much---different style I know).

This was unexpected and ranks with one of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated bomber at 41 degrees into tulip, drank through 62 degrees.
Aroma initially fruity and vinous, rapidly disappearing and becoming sweet and roasted malty
Head none; small layer of fizz which disappears almost immediately, leaving a 3 mm island of tiny bubbles
Lacing poor – rare small island of tiny bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor predominantly of vanillin and roasted malt, sweet; no hops, no alcohol in taste but burn starts immediately upon swallowing, no diacetyl
Palate full, creamy, lively carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 4

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.66/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Inky black. Medium mocha head. Medium collar.

Smell - Roasted malt. Some red wine. Kinda nice.

Taste - Sweet. Roasted malt. Red wine is nice. Intense roasted malt flavor. Very sweet.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Boozy. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - Boozy, but the cabernet flavor is nice.

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4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wonderful chocolate brown head that sits on the jet black body. Nose definitely shows the alcohol content of this beer. Out if this world dynamic flavor from this beer. Zesty and bold without being to heavy on the mouthfeel. Rich and chocolate like on the mouthfeel. This one could age a bot more, but it is wonderful now.

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Photo of redskull
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Not your every day Imperial stout but when that time comes and you feel deserving of something special.... Cab Laika. Credit where credit is due, the guys at Straight to Ale really outdid themselves with this beer!

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Photo of Ohiovania
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After having the regular version of Laika and being a little disappointing I'm pleasantly surprised by this one.

The cabernet, and dryness that accompanies it, pairs perfectly with the chocolatey sweetness of the Laika. Dark ripe fruits, slight bitterness, and a slight alcohol burn make this one a delightful treat.

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Photo of dar482
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The aroma hits of the base with chocolate, caramel sweetness, and hops. Then a big punch of dark fruit, grape skin, tannic red wine.

The beer moves on with big milk chocolate, caramel, woody hops, umami, a burst of alcohol. Then onto red wine character, some sweetness from dark fruits, cherry, red grape, tannic Cabernet drying and oak in the back.

A medium plus mouthfeel.

One of the better red wine barrel aged brews I've tried.

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Photo of Jacurdy60
4.09/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a motor oil black with a thin, dark brown colored head

S-Sweet chocolate, chocolate syrup, cherries, other dark fruits, currants, oak, vanilla, and booze comes in fairly strong as well.

T-Booze hits hard at first and finishes with a bite. Between is a layered chocolate, dark fruit and oaky taste that balances well and is complemented by the booze nicely. Well balanced.

MF-Thick, full bodied. Finishes crisp because of the booze which is not well hidden.

O-Damn good beer. All the flavors come through well but the booze is a bit too much on the finish. Other than that, it's everything a stout should be.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Wowcoolman for sharing this one at Oneinchaway's tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, dark fruit, red wine, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, cinnamon, red wine, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with great red wine barrel aged characteristics that are slightly better in the smell to me.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of chinchill
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Large shared bottle pours near black with a decent head.
Very smooth, full body.

The aroma is quite woody with a dark malt base and red wine notes.
The flavor largely follows.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottled Shop (Marietta, GA). 13.99. No bottling date. Served in a Barrel and Barley teku.

Rests in the glass pitch black with two and a half fingers of dense mocha brown head. That deep froth fades within a couple minutes to a thin halo, leaving no lace.

Smells of cocoa, dark fruit, mild vanilla and a little wine. The dark fruit and oak character shines through quite nicely as it warms.

Flavors are rich and roasty. Pure dark chocolate, cabernet, licorice, oaky barrel char, fruit skins, mild coffee, burnt caramel and a hefty booze whallop. Cocoa, anise and roast malts blend beautifully with the vineous, earthy, oaken barrel goodness. That noticeable alcohol doesn't detract from the enjoyment in the least. Delicious.

Medium full, creamy body with moderate carbonation. Dark cocoa, heavily kilned malts and boozey cabernet linger in the finish.

Cabernet Barrel Aged Laika is a terrific elevation of the base. The interplay of Russian imperial stout and wine is excellent. Yet another example of the outstanding work coming from Straight To Ale. Definitely try it if you can.

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Photo of zookerman182
4.59/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black color with a thin mocha head.
Aroma is dark chocolate and roast.
Flavor is loads of dark decadent chocolate. Bittersweet chocolate and red wine.
This beer is rich and robust. Not complex but it just hits the dark chocolate and dry red wine notes on he head. Extremely satisfying beer.
Extremely well Balanced.
Mouthfeel is full but not chewy.
I aurally prefer this to the bourbon Laika which was also outstanding.

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Photo of Resuin
4.72/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bomber into an enlarged snifter.

Appearance: Pours pitch black, soo black and gives a finger of dark, dark brown head which dissipates quickly and leaves just a tan rim around the glass.

Smell: Right off the bat, it's a combination of Cabernet and fudgy, coffee stout. Berries, toasted malts, char, dark chocolate, licorice, port, fudge, cherries. Really well balanced decadent flavors in here.

Taste: Big dark chocolate fudge, berries, coffee, toasted malts, cherry, oak, licorice. Pretty breathtaking. Super well balanced with just fantastic flavors all melding well with each other. Terrific balance between sweet and bitter. The alcohol is well hidden.

Mouth-feel: Thickest, creamiest body I've ever encountered with a low to medium carbonation. Astounding. So creamy and full.

Overall: This is an absolutely fantastic wine barrel aged stout. Big fudgey flavor profile along with wonderful cabernet aspects mixed in flawlessly. One of the best beers I've ever had. The thick, creamy body is unparalleled.

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Photo of Dope
4.11/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

No bottling date that I can see.

A: Wow. Pitch, pitch, pitch black pour. Huge, frothy head. The head is equally dark, it actually looks very strange for a few moments when the head and the body are virtually indistinguishable other than the fizziness of the head. No lacing at all but good head retention nonetheless.

S: Berries and lots of bitter coffee with semisweet chocolate. When swirled I get an even stronger tart berry aroma with some grape now.

T: Up front there is a lightly tart berry and cherry flavor up front. Briefly reminds me of cherry cough drops. Strong bitter chocolate with coffee undertones kicks in and melds nicely. Fruitiness fades into the finish, leaving mostly the bitter baker's chocolate to stand alone. Even get a little bit of char in there. Finish includes some of the light wine flavors to meld with the roasted malt.

M: Heavy, viscous, smooth.

O: A very well done wine-barreled stout. Probably the finest I've had. Most just don't work right, this one got the balance right. Fruity flavors compliment the strong, bitter roasted malt character of the base beer. I'm not a huge fan of Cabernets, myself, but the expertise to put this one together correctly is plenty apparent. Nice complexity, nice balance and the big body pulls everything together.

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Photo of dhartogs
4.84/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just a fantastic beer, pours very dark black, and leaves great lacing. Aroma is a nice combination of roasted malts and dark plum from the barrels. Nice thick mouth feel, and makes for a true sipper of a beer. Taste is a well balanced blend of malt, barrel aging and just an ice overall stout. This beer is incredible well made, I'd love to try the bbl variety.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter

A: Brownish black with a half finger tan head that quickly dissipates. Foamy lacing.

S: Cabernet comes on strong, followed by chocolate and caramel malts. Dark fruits (raisins, dates, plums) mingle.

T: Rich, robust, sweet/tart with that wonderful cabernet presence. Chocolate and caramel collide with the cabernet to create a fantastic taste that rivals the Bourbon Barrel Laika.

M: Medium with dry, medium carbonation.

O: A wonderful after dinner sipper with some chocolate on the side. Recommended.

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Photo of Justinbshelton
4.83/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pitch black with a thin mahogany head. Smells of red wine, dark fruits, licorice, coffee, and booze. Taste follows and then throw in some wood, and a little molasses. Thick and chewy with a dry finish. Home run.

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Photo of TrappistJohnMD
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown to black with tan head that dissipates quickly.

Smell is sweet malts, raisins and plums. Maybe a hint of wine early. The wine comes out in the nose more as it warms a bit.

Taste is sweet and chocolatey. Lots of sweet malt with a tang of acidity reminicient of a red wine. Minimal bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall this was excellent. Worth a try.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a Rochefort chalice.

A: Pitch black. Very little head. Viscous.

S: Funky-sour. Winey with licorice root. Hint of dark chocolate and plums.

T/M: Damn. Sticky-thick and ensorcelling. Light, bright, and fruity meets dark, roasted malts and black licorice. Interesting and incredible.

O: I really, really like this. Highly recommended.

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Photo of sommersb
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tasted On: 11-18-2013
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Tulip
Purchased: Single from Frugal MacDoogal, Nashville

This beer is black in color and opaque. The head is small and a dark tan color, with little retention and trace amounts of lacing.

Aromas include chocolate, oak, red wine, and fruitiness of dark cherries.

The taste is complex and rich, with chocolate malts, woodiness, the acidity of red wine, and fruits of cherry and grapes.

The body is thick but smooth, with a medium amount of carbonation. Aftertastes are of red wine and chocolate - a pleasing combination.

Overall a powerful and delightful twist on a great RIS. Recommended

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Photo of richj1970
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 32 oz growler into tulip glass.

A: Pours absolutely black with small one finger chocolate colored head. No lacing to be found.

S: Red wine, cherry, chocolate, and booze.

T: Follows the nose fairly closely. Big alcohol presence with nice chocolate and cherry tones.

M: Fairly thick with minimal carbonation. Coats the tongue completely.

O: A very nice Imperial Stout. I would love to have one of these in a bottle with some age on it.

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Cabernet Barrel-Aged Laika Stout from Straight To Ale
92 out of 100 based on 22 ratings.