Black Cauldron Imperial Stout - Grand Teton Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black Cauldron Imperial StoutBlack Cauldron Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
88
very good

549 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 549
Reviews: 312
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 25
Gots: 50 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Grand Teton Brewing Co. visit their website
Idaho, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
There are few styles of beer more flavorful than Imperial Stout. Our thick, rich version was brewed with plenty of caramel and roasted malts and subtly spiced with Nugget and Cascade hops. We’ve accentuated the natural smokiness of the brew by adding a small amount of beechwood-smoked malt. At 22 degrees starting gravity and 8.0% alcohol by volume, this beer boasts flavors of chocolate and coffee, along with raisins and dried fruit soaked in sherry.

43 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-23-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 549 | Reviews: 312 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Hopswagger:
Photo of Hopswagger
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Robust heavy roasted malts, coffee, bitter sweet chocolate and baking cocoa. Lots of barley and hints of smoked hay and subtle presence of cigar smoke. Nice prickly carbonation but the body was on the thin side. Overall stellar RIS. Lots of bitter coffee and cocoa on the dry finish.

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - This poured a dark, dark brown with a nice, brownish-white head that came up beautifully and showed great retention.

Smell - The aroma here was kind of flat even after the beer warmed. There's a nice, chocolaty malt base here with some light coffee notes but everything is muted and doesn't really open up like I was hoping.

Taste - The roasted malts have a nice, crisp, sugary flavor to them but again they are muted and aren't really opening up. Also, untrue to the style, I'm not finding that structured hop base.

Mouthfeel - This is bigger than medium-bodied but not quite full. There is some mild but pleasant carbonation and a reserved bitterness that kept things interesting.

Drinkability - This was a smooth drinker but underwhelmed.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #35 (Dec 2009):

Dense rocky mountain of a head, soot black color; can't get much darker than this beer. Hint of molasses taffy, higher alcohols, ripe blackberries and a kiss of smoke make for a varied and semi-complex nose. Bittersweet chocolate, blackberries, ripe figs and a mild chicory flavor show the bold side of this brew. Light smoke and hops jump to add to that. Some char and herb middle to end. Bitter roasted flavors take over the finish yet never go astringent.

Great to experience an Impy Stout that thinks outside of the mash tun. The extra smoke component without the beer being big, bad and syrupy-sweet works very well. A sipper that begs to be paired with stinky blue cheese. Try it, you'll like it.

Photo of Ben7773
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of bulldogg915
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of warnerry
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Beaver13
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 liter waxed swing-top -bottle (a bit of a pain!) dated 2005. Pours a dark brown with a very thin light brown head (even after a vigorous pour), that quickly dissipates to a tin collar that leaves a bit of lacing.

The aroma is sweet earthy lactic chocolate, toffee, some bitterness, coffee, and a touch of astringent alcohol. Anise and smoke come out as it warms.

The flavor is sweet malty chocolate leading to a slightly burnt bitterness. Some smokiness and lots of anise comes out as it warms. The mouthfeel is medium to full and a little watery.

Overall a nice imperial stout. I was kind of surprised since I haven't been too impressed with their other beers. It starts off very sweet and chocolaty when colder. As it warms it more anise and bitterness come out.

Photo of bishopdc0
2.8/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a red wine glass black with a fluffy tan head the dissipates to the glasses edge.

The nose is sweet and malty but the alcohol is harsh, needs some age. There is slight almost leather nose at the end

The taste is flat to much alcohol hints of choc at the end but I expected more. There are more hops then u might expect spiced seems like a home brew experiment that goes nowhere

Photo of Beerswag
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of tigg924
3.08/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: black in color, minimal head, clear, moderate carbonation

Smell: chocolate and roasted malt

Taste: roasted malt, sugar, and chocolate

Mouthfeel: sweet, medium bodied, light carbonation

Drinkability: An above average imperial stout where the alcohol is well hidden. Not a bad beer, but nothing I will rush out for.

Photo of badbeer
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with a tan head and decent retention. Roasty aromas, as well as licorice, tar, and also a fair amount of earthy hops. Taste was roasty, with almonds, caramel, dark chocolate, and a touch of smoke. Body was medium and so was the carbonation. I'd drink this again if it were available to me. Thanks to pepsican for the sample.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours black with a brown head. The aroma is meaty smoke with some chocolate and roasted malt. The flavor is very similar with roasted and burnt malts, chocolate and some smoke. The smoke is more present in the aroma than in the flavor. Medium-thick mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Photo of bsp77
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Jet black with thin tan head and light lacing.

Smell: Chocolate and molasses is predominate with nice nuances of coffee and smoke.

Taste: Very chocolaty, with nice layers of molasses, coffee, and a general smokiness. A slight level of English hop bitterness rounds out the flavor.

Feel: Low carbonation, smooth and full body, nice dry finish.

Drinkability: More than solid Russian Imperial Stout with an emphasis on chocolate and simple balance. Pleasantly surprised by this.

Photo of Happy_Camper
1/5  rDev -74.5%

Photo of NilocRellim
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer came on tap in a pint glass, exhibiting a low, tan head and a black body. Smelled of sweet malts and chocolate. In addition to the chocolatey-coffee taste, there was a malty smokiness as well which lingered on the tongue, along with a slight earthiness.

Would I buy this beer again? Yes.

Photo of jondeelee
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black Cauldron opens to a dark, fruity aroma, the initial notes being almost exclusively dark fruit esters, including fig, date, raisin, prune, plum, and black cherry. These mix with touches of milk chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla, and whipping cream to form a dessert-sweet overtone, held in check by a light counter of ash, tobacco, and chocolate malt. Thick brown breads, yeasty rising whole wheat dough, and toast crust form an earthy base. As a whole, the sugars in here are very nice, and complex enough to be quite interesting. For an Imperial Stout, however, the dark, ashy notes are extremely light, and this beer could pass for a darkly-fruited Barleywine. The 8% ABV does add a bit of bourbon overtone, though this is not the barrel-aged version of this beer, which helps add hints of smoke and char. What comes across most, however, is a series of dark fruit esters that seem more likely to be found in a young port, or an extremely fruity cognac.

On the tongue, the beer turns out to have a darker, more ashy base than the nose let on, which comes as a relief. The strong dark fruit esters – fig, date, prune, plum, raisin, and black cherry – are still very large and would not be surprising in a young port, but there are pleasant bits of tobacco, ash, and coffee that bring a nice balance. Milk chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream blend well with the fruits and ashy bits, and the beer rests on a base of thick brown bread, yeasty rising whole wheat dough, and burnt toast crust. In the latter half of the mouthful the ashy, tobacco-laden notes become stronger as the sugars die off, until the aftertaste is pleasantly dominated by ash, with just enough heavy cream, vanilla, and brown sugar left to please. Mouthfeel is a smooth medium, and carbonation is medium-light.

Overall, while the nose elicited somewhat nervous responses with its emphasis on sugars, the beer turned out to be very nice on the tongue, with an excellent sugar-ash combo that nicely suits the style. There’s still perhaps a slightly-too-large sugary base here, and the beer could have used a bit more char in the first half of the mouthful, but the result as-is proves dangerously drinkable.

Photo of hiphopipa
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of MattyG85
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. Bottled on 10/23/2012.

Appearance: Pours a dark oily black with a moderate amount of bubbles. About two fingers of deep tan head that fade into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A very rich and robust dark stout aroma. Dark roasted malts with big hints of dark chocolate, coffee, dark toasted bread, biscuit, caramel, toffee, and cream. Good hints of smoked malt. Big presence of sweet molasses and some anise spicing. Good hints of dark cherry, raisin, fig, and plum. Also some solid hints of earthy and herbal hops coming out from the background. A really nice full imperial stout aroma.

Taste: As rich, roasty, and complex as the aroma hints at. Big taste of dark roasted malts with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, burnt caramel, toffee, burnt toast, biscuit, and a little milk cream. A nice taste of smoked malts are tasted along with a big taste of molasses sweetness and some licorice anise spice. Strong dark fruit undertones with notes of raisins, dark cherry, fig, prune, and plum. A decent backing of herbal and earthy malts round things out. A very good full on stout taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Rich, creamy, and somewhat slick. Fairly sweet and has a drying finish. Alcohol is hidden pretty well.

Overall: A great imperial stout. Very rich and complex with some nice fruit and hop notes under all the dark malts.

Photo of far333
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brownish black and opaque with a low light brown head that rises up very minimally, and then settles out right away.

Aroma of roasty malt and floral hops, some subtle cocoa. Flavors of darkly roasted malt, assertive bitter espresso notes, dark chocolate, notes of floral hops. A bit ashy and acrid. Some winey port notes.

Mouthfeel is a bit slick and watery, would like more body. Not very full. Finishes tingly and a bit warming, a bit dry. Overall not a bad beer, fairly tasty, but could use more depth and body.

Photo of doremite
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another solid effort of an imperial stout. Good and black, not super thick.

Aroma, not my favorite aspect. A little more alcohol whiff than I wanted.

Taste is quite nice, the alcohol is missing thankfully, a little bit of licorice maybe, nuance.

Good mouthfeel, appreciate it more and more throughout, quite drinkable and affordable, especially for an imperial stout.

Photo of Zonian1
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of InfernoBoss
4/5  rDev +2%

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Black Cauldron Imperial Stout from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 549 ratings.