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Black Cauldron Imperial Stout - Grand Teton Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black Cauldron Imperial StoutBlack Cauldron Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

541 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 541
Reviews: 312
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 25
Gots: 49 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Cauldron Imperial Stout Alström Bros
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Ratings: 541 | Reviews: 312 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Happy_Camper
1/5  rDev -74.5%

Happy_Camper, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of Bendurgin
1.2/5  rDev -69.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

So normally I don't read the reviews before I review it but this one made go back and so such. I'm wondering if I have a bad bottle. Has anyone else?

Moving on. Bottled on 01/21/10

I popped this open and it gushed out. I thought that was a bit peculiar. Anyhow, it doesn't smell very appealing, from the bottle at least. So, I poured this into my tulip. This is what made read some other reviews. I've got a giant head on this. Seriously, four fingers and this Bad Larry won't settle. I've poured maybe about a third of this. I'm disappointed already, That being said, a big giant mocha colored head on a stout never looks bad, but this can't be right. Right now I wonder what I paid for this. I only bought a single. Not the four pack. Geesh, and I'm still feeling upset.
This smells sour. I'm not sure that it should. Sour alcohol with a bit of smoke. This is just vile. Taste like is smells almost but add charcoal. Sour charcoal soaked in alcohol.
I can't drink this, I'm not trying to crap on this beer by any means, I was actually excited for and I'll buy another. But I'm putting this up because maybe there are some bad bottles of this. I only think this because none of the other reviews show anything that I have experienced with this one.

Bendurgin, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of Philousa
1.9/5  rDev -51.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer is black. Like black hole black. With a tan head that settles from an inch to a whisp. Smokey, chocolate, and caramel aromas. Taste is overwhelmingly licorice and anise up front with dark chocolate notes. Warm alcohol flavor fades to bitter roasted barley flavor that lingers. This feels just like a stout should. A bit heavy, very full bodied with a dry finish.

I guess I'm not a fan of Black Cauldron. I quite like imperial versions of most styles, but imperial stouts just aren't my favorite to begin with, so you totally have to knock my socks off with your RIS. This beer just needed something to give it character. Hops, Belgian yeast, something to make it stand out from the crowd. In the end, it was just another heavy, bitter, one dimensional beer for me.

Philousa, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of Spicer
2/5  rDev -49%

Spicer, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of dheldman
2.25/5  rDev -42.6%

dheldman, Oct 13, 2014
Photo of cope0021
2.33/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This beer had a lot of promise out of the bottle. It poured a rich, thick black pour of promise. This was little head formed. Then came the let-down that began with the first smell. It smelled like Robitussin. I took several smells to hope my nose was not being decieved by one too many Robotrips. Alas, it was not. The smell persisted.

The disappointment continued on to the first taste. It actually seemed to have a small bit of flavor of Robitussin. Other than that, I could not discern much in the way of flavor. There is an off-bitter after taste.

For the price and the hoopla from my local beer shop, this was a huge disappointment.

cope0021, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of rderedin
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

rderedin, Aug 16, 2012
Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.65/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance -- Pours an inky black with a slim sudsy tan head that soon dissipates into a thin haze and dirty halo.

Smell -- Woodsmoke, char, chocolate, dark fruit, and what seems to be a hint of vanilla.

Taste -- Woodsmoke and char are dominant, along with subtle notes of dark chocolate, dark fruit, and vanilla. Earthy hop flavor toward the finish. Lingering flavors of smoke and acrid char.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full with moderate prickly carbonation. Slightly better than average.

Drinkability -- This tastes tastes like it could be a suitable Liquid Smoke substitute: burnt and unbalanced. Too much of a heavy hand with the beechwood-smoked malt; it really drowns out what the rest of the grist is bringing to the table. If you love smokey stouts, this is for your consideration.

yeahnatenelson, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of Auracom
2.68/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Checked this one out in attempt to prepare myself for a stout tasting the following day. Bottle conditioned, regional brewery, seemed interesting. 12 oz. into snifter on October 21st, 2011.

A – More a dark brown than black. Retention of head amounts to khaki bubbles. Average lacing.

S – Strong roasted note, spice, a tad bit of espresso bean and rye bread. Twinge of leather or smoke on the end.

T - Front is a quick dark chocolate bitterness. Middle of the tongue is completely and utterly dominated by that thick roasted character. Beyond that sits alcohol both in taste and warming. That’s pretty much it.

M – Medium body, truly unmemorable carbonation despite the second fermentation in the bottle.

D – Meh. The taste is entirely uncomplex and needs some revamping.

Auracom, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of ILessThan3Brett
2.73/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I found this one disappointing. Potential for pleasant maltiness and drinkability masked by excessive bitterness, alcohol content, and, especially unpleasant, readily discernible acetone. Not awful beer, and it is fun to see how inky black it pours, but not enough fun to drink, either.

ILessThan3Brett, May 10, 2011
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

bishopdc0, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of Arbitrator
2.88/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. 2009 vintage. Purchased at Monument in Concord.

A: Pours a pitch black body with no light penetration in my snifter. A dense, fine-bubbled dark mocha head rises to a finger in length, sitting shortly before vanishing into a moderate collar and thin, scattered film on top.

S: Smoke, coffee, dark chocolate, and a hint of dark fruit. Not altogether pungent or easy to pick out.

T: More complex than the nose indicated. Again, it starts off smoky and coffee-like. It segues into caramel and dark chocolate. The finish has hints of dark fruit that I liken to raisin, with a light sherry quality to it. The finish is also lightly spicy, almost like cinnamon.

M: Full-bodied, with low, creamy carbonation.

D: This is a perfect serviceable imperial stout. Unfortunately, that also makes it a fairly average one. For an affordable imperial stout in this price class I'd probably stick with Old Rasputin instead.

Arbitrator, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of rmalinowski4
2.93/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a jet black with a two finger coffee colored head. A little to aggressive on the pour, yeast sediment poured into glass. Did not expect this.

Smell is of dark malt, roast, and some chocolate bitterness.

Taste is dark roasted malt and roasted bitterness. The bitter taste is a little too strong. It is not a hop bitter, it is an acidic bitterness from the roasted malt.

The mouthfeel is thin for a stout. Almost feels watery. I like my stouts thick like oil, this is too thin. Carbonation is a little high for the style also.

Overall this is a below average stout. There are just too many little things off for this to be really enjoyable.

rmalinowski4, May 13, 2011
Photo of benito
2.93/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

I bought one of the few remaining bottles of the '05 batch at the brewery last week and was advised to drink it soon as the brewer feels that this is peaking right about now. I don't know if I was too late or too early, but I was disappointed by what I had heard was a solid RIS.

It pours a deep mahogany with a light tan head. The bouquet is heavy on alcohol and licorice with almost no hop presence that I could detect (was this hoppier earlier and now mellowed with age?). Given the complexity of bouquets I've seen with this style, Black Cauldron seemed fairly straightforward--you know, it's not offensive, but it's not particularly enticing or interesting either.

The same could be said about the taste which is heavy on fruity sweetness and alcohol warming but lacks a lot of the roastiness, bitterness, or other deep flavors that I would have hoped for. The flavor actually comes across as pretty thin which makes it more drinkable and light bodied, but I'm not sure that that's a good thing.

As impy stouts go, Black Cauldron is pretty lightweight. No roast. No chewiness. Almost too easy to drink. Again, it's enjoyable, but probably for the wrong reasons. Maybe the folks at the brewery were wrong, and this was past its peak. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and see what happens when the '06 batch comes out.

benito, Jul 27, 2006
Photo of djaeon
3/5  rDev -23.5%

djaeon, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of Whiskeydeez
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Whiskeydeez, May 18, 2013
Photo of beernads
3/5  rDev -23.5%

beernads, Oct 21, 2014
Photo of Mscarpen
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Mscarpen, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of RuckusDu
3/5  rDev -23.5%

RuckusDu, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of KAF
3/5  rDev -23.5%

KAF, Jan 25, 2012
Photo of maximum12
3.03/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Been seeing this around for a while & it was always next on my list of things to try. Finally picked up a single to see if this as good as it looks. About to watch my Twins beat the Yankees - whom I hate with the fire of an infinite number of suns - in the 10th inning. Go Twins!

Like the witches on the label. Pours dead black. Slight head. Smell is standard malts & bit of chocolate. Nothing special here.

Black Cauldron tastes better than it smells. Malts dominate here, of course, & they're sweet, roasty, minimalistic chocolate. In the middle there's a nice bittering hop presence. A touch of lactose sneaks into the room near the end of the movie & muddles things up a bit. Thin for a bigger stout, allowing the roast to tower over the malts rather than vice versa.

A truly average imperial stout. Nothing wrong with it, but it's just...fine.

maximum12, Apr 06, 2011
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.

tigg924, May 13, 2010
Photo of PDXHops
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle dated 1/4/11, poured into a Duvel tulip. A thin but fairly dense and creamy dark tan head tops the dark body. Scattered patches of sticky lacing.

Plenty of roast and chocolate in the nose, plus a bit of cherry fruitiness. Smooth blend of roast and chocolate flavors. Quite a bit of chocolate, actually. Lots of berry and cherry fruitiness. The lingering bit of smoke is a nice touch. Could perhaps use some more burnt malt or bitterness, but it's a tasty and approachable big stout.

PDXHops, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out pitch black with a two finger deep head resembling light milk chocolate with intricate array of head bubbles big and small a lacing of cream is painted on...

Mollasses and caramel meet the nose, coffee and roasted malts very present as well

Creamy vanilla and bitter cocoa are first to appear, hops are present and a slight alcohol burn is as well even though I let it warm to practically room temp, it is still not very flavorful... sad because I have three more left

Mouthfeel is silken with a medium to heavy body and a slight chewiness

Overall it is a better than average beer, one I'd recommend, but would not buy again personally

JoeAmerican77, Mar 30, 2011
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured a dark brown, nearly black with good carbonation

S: Big roastiness, notes of light espresso and cocoa

T: A mild chocolate upfront,creaminess a weird mix of smokae and roastiness, little alcohol burn and hints of espresso throughout

M: Big body, no carbonation issues but the taste falls a little flat on the palate

O: This beer missed the mark on the style. The feel and flavor leaned more toward an Imperial Porter than Imperial Stout

barleywinefiend, Nov 04, 2011
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Black Cauldron Imperial Stout from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 541 ratings.