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Black Cauldron Imperial Stout - Grand Teton Brewing Co.

Black Cauldron Imperial StoutBlack Cauldron Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
88
very good

503 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 503
Reviews: 309
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%


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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Cauldron Imperial Stout Alström Bros
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Ratings: 503 | Reviews: 309 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Bendurgin
Bendurgin

Maine

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2010 00:52:35 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of Philousa
Philousa

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 04:49:19 | More by Philousa
Photo of cope0021
cope0021

Minnesota

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2009 23:50:43 | More by cope0021
Photo of yeahnatenelson
yeahnatenelson

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2010 01:48:55 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of Auracom
Auracom

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2011 03:29:04 | More by Auracom
Photo of ILessThan3Brett
ILessThan3Brett

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2011 12:17:26 | More by ILessThan3Brett
Photo of bishopdc0
bishopdc0

Maine

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

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2011 03:18:55 | More by bishopdc0
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 04:59:05 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of benito
benito

Oregon

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2006 17:31:32 | More by benito
Photo of rmalinowski4
rmalinowski4

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2011 03:33:50 | More by rmalinowski4
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2011 02:19:44 | More by maximum12
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2010 22:15:37 | More by tigg924
Photo of PDXHops
PDXHops

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 11:45:38 | More by PDXHops
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a dark brown/black with a soft tan head, nice notes of lace.

S: On the first smell I got a lot of what smelled like isoproponal, but I'm sure it was the ethanol. Some black malt and charcoal, but very light. Very boozy on the nose, like a spirit not a beer.

T: Here we go. Nice dark baker's chocolate and roasted malt. Very light coffee flavours. Solid taste.

M: Very thin for the style, this is an RIS, felt like a regular stout.

D: This beer is OK, but with all the classic great RIS's out there, this is going to get lost in the shuffle, it's from another time.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2009 02:47:41 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of JoeAmerican77
JoeAmerican77

Colorado

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

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2011 01:17:27 | More by JoeAmerican77
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

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

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2011 16:19:50 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
SanDiegoBeerLove

California

3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours very dark with a very light tan head thats gone instantly.

S - Smell of chocolate, coffee, bourbon, soy sauce, and a little dark cherry.

T - Tastes of bitter chocolate, roasted coffee, and soy. Has a metally finish(very negative) and some tannins.

M - Thin and watery yet heavy because of the tatses with very little carbonation.

D -Very smooth and drinkable but too much coffee for multiple bottles. Glad this is bottled in 12oz'ers.

I think this beer would benefit from aging in barrels. Rum barrel aging would a great change of pace.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2010 05:22:18 | More by SanDiegoBeerLove
Photo of MbpBugeye
MbpBugeye

Ohio

3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Another from Boatshoes. I've never had any Grand Teton, Idaho eh?

A- Nice, urgent head that fades slowly. The first ring of lace is like a sponge painting on the side of my glass. The proceeding stickiness is reduced to only a few splotches.

S- Plenty of charred malts with some over caramelized sugar. There is a grainy, pumpernickel bread aroma that builds the bulk of the smell.

T- Bitter dark chocolate, roasted malts, pumpernickel crust and a flash of blackberry.

M- Light bodied for the style with a very dry finish.

D- 8% is down right low in ABV for the style so this one drinks pretty smoothly.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 20:53:16 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of emmasdad
emmasdad

Colorado

3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the foiled covered 12 ounce bottle into a nice tulip glass. Pitch black, with a little bit of medium tan head. Aromas of roasted malt, raisins, plums and maybe a hint of liquid smoke. Flavors of dark chocolate, raisins and coffee. A very affordable imperial stout, but not necessarily a very good one.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2010 03:07:14 | More by emmasdad
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lovely sudsy appearance with beige head. Spritzy on the tongue. Surprisingly thin body. A sort of cloud of carbonation in the mouth. There just seems to be not much real flavor beneath the black stoutness.

Quite pleasant as a stout, but suspiciously overstrong. Fairly sweet taste with some milk chocolate, but dries quickly to a flattened flavor of soupy darkness. Hops seem to have evaded me in taking notes.

As a regular stout this would be pretty good. But with the apparent addition of EverClear, it's good for a bedtime tipple but not much for savoring.

05-15-2012 - Another tasting, apparently I forgot I had this before. I would not rate it so high this time. such a huge flavor of both raw and burnt grain. Seems stronger than 8%. Burnt pumpernickel toast.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2012 06:04:10 | More by mactrail
Photo of woemad
woemad

Washington

3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle purchased at Enoteca in Post Falls about a year ago and forgotten about until now. According to the stamp on the label, this was bottled on October 14, 2010. Hopefully, with an abv of 8%, things will still be tasty.

Poured a viscousy dark brown, almost black color. Decent sized dark tan head hung around for a few minutes before receding to leave spotty lace on the sides of my glass.

The ol’ factory rewards of this beer are sweet, as in mollasses, and a bit boozy. There’s also some bitter, coffeeish notes in the background that are harder to detect.

Modest, sweet mollasses flavor starts off the taste, to soon be joined by some bitter coffee notes to balanced things. This is not a flavor bomb of an Impy stout by any means. There’s a mild, bitter zap to the palate at the swallow. Not nearly as boozy, taste-wise, as I expected from the aroma. Weird.

Somewhat thick, oily and coating in the mouthfeel department, which I suppose is what’s expected.

Meh. This is an okay beer for it’s style, nothing spectacular. However, it is possible it’s a little too old, so at some point, if and when a fresher one becomes available again, I’ll try it again and if neccesary, I’ll re-review it. But for now, it seems to be nothing terribly special in a style that generally is supposed to hold up for the long haul.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2012 23:17:47 | More by woemad
Photo of steve8robin
steve8robin

Massachusetts

3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought at my local beer store. I love stouts, so, let's see...

A: Deep liquidy black that has no light shining through. Kind of like a cola. Small mocha head that quickly fades to a small lace atop the brew. Decent.

S: Smells super roasty blended with hints of deep dark chocolate. Slight hints of coffee and oatmeal. Decent.

T: Super watery coffee upfront with heavy roast blended in the middle and some bitter earthiness on the backend. I wish this brew had more sweetness blended in to balance the flavors. Just very roasty and bitter, not much else going on. Nothing special.

M: Thicker than I would have liked. Decent.

D: Goes down ok. A little too roasty for my liking. Decent.

All in all, this brew is nothing special. Don't worry about it. If you like super roasty brews, then this is for you, otherwise, avoid.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2010 07:53:11 | More by steve8robin
Photo of WOTO97
WOTO97

California

3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: a deep, rich mahogany with a quickly dissolving head and fine speckled lacing

S: big roasted malt with faint menthol, bold (slightly burned) coffee note, slight vanilla and alcohol as well, a nut character emerges as beer warms

T: roasted malt is extremely pronounced here (not so much overpowering as the other flavor profiles are so nominally present), slight pepper from alcohol, crusty bread finish, very nominal coffee, slight sweet black licorice

M: thick finish with relatively creamy texture throughout

D: improves as it approaches room temp but all-too-close to a one-note impy stout--roasted malt is very much in the forefront

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2010 20:04:02 | More by WOTO97
Photo of bigreduw64
bigreduw64

Wisconsin

3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of the bottle with a hard pour that produced almost no head, just what I like to see out of an Imperial Stout. It should mean some body to this beer. Taking a whiff from the oversized wine glass I poured it into gives me a smell of dark roast coffee and a little booziness. The taste is something of a mix that I can best describe as white sugar topping a 90% bittersweet chocolate. It has an odd sweetness that tastes thin in the mouth. The body is somewhat thin for an imperial stout, but that helps it in drinkability. If you are looking for an imperial stout to have a couple of in a night this one would work. However, I like a stout that is thick and viscous when I am drinking an imperial stout and this just doesn't live up to that billing.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2009 03:35:07 | More by bigreduw64
Photo of Zymurgo
Zymurgo

Idaho

3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Brewer's Haven in Boise.

A - Dark, black, and thick being impenetrable to light. Head was an attractive and rocky dark brown. Color was so dark and thick the brew lingered on the sides of the glass for some time.

S - The weakest part of the brew was the smell. The dark malts and some roasted coffee notes came through. However the pleasant aromas were secondary to a fairly pronounced sour note.

T - Completely inverse to the aroma of the brew, this was a delicious beer. The dark malts matched well with the alcohol content allowing the alcohol bite to only show up at the finish. It portrayed a coffee nuttiness and slightly piney hops flavors. Could of used a little stronger hop profile for the style.

M - Silky and smooth texture with a thickness to the brew that is true to it's hearty appearance.

D - A good beer, I don't think I would pick this one out in a line up of others in it's class. Still, if offered this one I would defiantly take it. Don't look for anything spectacular here and you will be happy.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2010 18:11:14 | More by Zymurgo
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Black Cauldron Imperial Stout from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 503 ratings.