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Black Cauldron Imperial Stout - Grand Teton Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black Cauldron Imperial StoutBlack Cauldron Imperial Stout

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very good

517 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 517
Reviews: 311
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 26
Gots: 47 | FT: 2
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: 517 | Reviews: 311 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Phoenix2443


4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Always a treat from this one:

Appearance: poured in a Real Ale Tulip: Rich dark brown/black oil slick pour and presents a nice tan head of foam about an inch high.

Smell: Roasted Goodness with a good hop bouquet. I like that in this style. Lots of coffee tones with a little caramel/milk chocolate.

Taste: Roasted notes continue but aren't like the nose, more milk chocolate. As one reviewing compared, cocoa mix like chocolate taste to it. Finishes with a hop bitterness but nothing to pull my bottom lip up and ruin the balance, just a nice hop note.

Mouthfeel: Solid, much better than alot of poorly constructed american double stouts which is quite an accomplishment.

I seek this out once a year and usually pair it with some nice dark chocolate for an after dinner beer and I think it's best that way, try it!

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2011 02:15:12 | More by Phoenix2443
Photo of matttttYCE


3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Stone IRS specialty glass. Bottled on date of 10/14/10

Appearance - Pours with a little more than a 1 finger high, creamy, tan colored head. As I pour, I notice it's nice and viscous and the color of oil. Looks nice, head sticks around for a decent amount of time, leaves minimal lace.

Smell - Lots of deep roasted malt aromas, with dark coffee and coffee bitterness, also some toffee, chocolate, and caramel notes in there. A bit of a coffee creamer/vanilla scent in there and maybe a slight hint of smoke way in the back. As this warms I get some subtle hints at sweet dark cherries in the background.

Taste - Nice roasted malt, some charred and smokey notes to it but not too much, coffee notes are subtler than the nose but still present, bittersweet chocolate almost like an airy powdered cocoa mix, caramel and toffee in there but very light. There's some sweetness and a bit of dark cherry in there also, then more roast and coffee and airy chocolate on the finish. Enjoyable.

Mouthfeel - Consistency is really quite silky and airy smooth, almost like powdery or chalky but not quite that for a lack of a better word to describe it. Definitely not at all what I was expected from an Imperial Stout. Light carbonation, light and fluffy body, with a smooth and relatively short finish. I like the mouthfeel, it makes this Imperial Stout very drinkable, but it's definitely not what I expected.

Overall - I have to say I enjoyed this, but I think it might be a bit better with a bit thicker mouthfeel. Other than that, a nice Imperial Stout. Not quite my favorite, but definitely one I'll have again on many occasions and one that I will probably end up cellaring a few of. If you like Imperial Stouts, this one's definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2011 20:08:57 | More by matttttYCE
Photo of fsvan


3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into New Belgium globe. A sticker says this was bottled 9/10/10, so it's got just under a year on it.

A- Extremely dark brown. Not black but very dark. Two big fingers of foamy brownish red head.

S- A chocolatey sweetness comes through first. Some roasted malts. A tinge of alcohol, but not much.

T- The sweetness in the nose takes a back seat to the roasted malts, with the chocolatey sweetness coming after. A hop bitterness finishes it off, and lingers nicely.

M- This is the only downside of this beer. It is a little too light for the style.

O- Very good Impy stout. Not a world beater, but a damn enjoyable drink. I'm glad there's another glass in the bomber, that's for sure.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2011 01:48:33 | More by fsvan
Photo of iDrinknewglarus


4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 11/18/10--- just over 8 months old.

A: Pours black with a dark, rich, and creamy looking head that fades away to form a mocha cap over the beer.

S: Dark roasted malt; smells sweet, like caramel. Bakers chocolate scent as well. Little bit of alcohol. The aroma is not all that strong, but still smells good.

T: Damn, this beer is smokey/woody! So much so that I went straight to their website and yup, they use "a small amount of beechwood-smoked malt." I also get chocolate and definitely coffee. Slightly sweet. Finishes dry and chalky with perfect bitterness. Oh and if you were wondering, yeah the wood lingers in your mouth like none other, nice! Can't detect any alcohol in the taste.

M: At 8% this is the lightest IS I've had, lacking the super heavy and sticky mouthfeel like some of the other heavyweights, but it sure packs on the flavor heavy. Medium-heavy mouthfeel at best. Creamy, too.

I picked up a single bottle at my local store on sale for 1.49, I think I'm going back today to pick up a few more bottles. This is one nice brew and I would love to try and age one or two for another couple of years... if I can keep my paws off of them for that long. Different, bold, and easy drinking, this is one nice IS.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2011 23:09:15 | More by iDrinknewglarus
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rich dark brown in color, nearly totally black with no light shine through on it what so ever. A huge tan head of foam came up over the top to a height of nearly three inches before settling back down into a thin film that coasted the inside of the glass and never fell to more then an inch in height. The aroma was rich, deep and dark chocolate notes with loads of coffee mixed in. Some light fruit notes are balancing it out now as well, really very well done here. As it warms it became very much sweeter. Such a really well done big stout. Smooth, rich and very creamy feel. Full bodied and loaded with carbonation with a high ABV that was nearly undetectable. Rich chocolate notes are the first things that we find here and they are anything but subtle as they meld into a wonderful coffee infused finish

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 06:17:36 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black with a thin tan cap on top. Great roasted coffee aroma hits me right off the bat. Dark caramel, and licorice with a hint of smoke and a dark tart fruit aroma round out the nose. Taste starts off roasty and chocolaty then segues into a dark tart pitted fruit kind of thing. Thick caramel sweetness finds its way from the back to the foreground shortly before a long lingering caramel, roasted, tart fruity finish. Light carbonation, thick body, oily sticky mouthfeel. This is a nice clean stout that has quite a tart fruity presence. My bottle is blank where the bottled on date is so I have no idea how old this is. I could take this or leave it really. Its good, but didn't wow me.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2011 00:16:16 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of PDXHops

South Carolina

3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
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 BedetheVenerable


4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz bottle, pop top, nice label, foiled neck. Bottled in October 2009. From the cellar, into my New Belgium globe.

Appearance: Black. Black black. Pours with an ample and attractive dark mocha head which, as it recedes, begins to leave some nice lace.

Smell: Rich aromas. Definitely (in my opinion) much more in the British tradition than the American. Some of the could have to do w/the age, of course, but I'm not getting much if anything in the way of hops here. Rather it's all about dark molasses, dark roasty malts, earthiness, and some kind of dark, sugary chocolate. Maybe like dark hot chocolate spiked with creme de cacao? A few swirls brings out a generic dark fruitiness as well.

Taste: I don't know what this is like fresh, but it's pretty tasty at nearly two years in. Very mellow, rich and full roasty notes set the stage here. Dark roast, a hint of dark, slightly juicy fruits, dark, dusty chocolate. Ends with a brief, dry roasty snap. Fair bit of fruity bitterness left over, but this is mostly after the beer's out of your mouth. I just read the brewery's info on this beer and noticed two interesting things. First, it's brewed with Carafa Special (debittered black malt from Germany as the only roasted malt). That explains the smoothness I guess. Even more surprising, however, is that there's a small inclusion of rauchmalt in here. There's the faintest hint of smokiness, but I would certainly not describe this as a 'smoked stout'. Overall, quite nice.

Mouthfeel: Again, I don't know what this was like fresh, but now it's silky smooth. Alcohol? Are you kidding me? It feels at LEAST 2% lower than it actually is.

Conclusion: Honestly, I wasn't expecting much from this brew, esp. considering the decidedly sub-par storage conditions in our last place. Overall, this was a very nice surprise!

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 02:15:53 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of PeprSprYoFace


4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Poured super dark with a thin tan head that dissapated to a ring. Bit of lacing

Aroma is nice and roasty. Bit of English yeast aroma. Kinda woody even though I don't think this one is aged on wood. Kinda cedar ish.

Taste is solid. Nice and roasty but not too much. Bitter in the finish from the roast. Nice caramel in the middle. Pretty tasty.

Smooth mouthfeel. Nice carb.

Overall a decent stout to have when I just want a simple stout. Would have again.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2011 02:42:48 | More by PeprSprYoFace
Photo of Pipmeister


3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a two finger mocha head. No light shines through at all with a brown tint just under the foam.
Smell is roastiness and a little chocolate but what stands out the most is that it smells like a cedar plank. Just like some cut wood, but in a pleasant way.
The taste is toasty with some light chocolate and woodiness coming through. Has good carbonation with a creamy texture. Definitely a solid brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2011 02:41:57 | More by Pipmeister
Photo of scruffwhor


3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a straight black with a quick brown head and no residual foam.

The aroma is full of effervescence and roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, molasses, and just a little cream. The bubbles help disperse the abv. heat.

Very bubbly, coffe that has been sitting on the burner hot plate too long texture. The taste has a more developed coffee and super roasted malt flavor. Some creamy vanilla mixes from middle too finish. The carbonated feeling dies down after awhile, and the finish is a little more oily.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2011 04:08:51 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of russwbeck


3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Lovely black pour with about a pinky of brown head. Bubbles rise up the sides of the glass for a long time after the pour, keeping a small film of head resting atop.

S: Roasted malts really dominate the smell, chocolate and coffee rest below, lending subtly to the nose. Smokey, but balanced, the smell seems to start this beer off favorably.

T: The roasted malts start off big in the smell. Chocolate and molasses really take it over until it ends. Not a big coffee or roasty aftertaste, however.

MF: A little light. Nicely carbonated.

O: Nothing wrong with this beer. But nothing spectacular. Went down easily while watching TV after dinner.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2011 03:25:53 | More by russwbeck
Photo of Brad007


3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, dark black with a thin brown head into my glass. I'm running out of ways to describe darkness.

Lots of cream that mingles with lightly-roasted malt in the nose. Perhaps a hint of chocolate as well. This seems more up my alley.

Rich roasted malt bursts with cocoa and cream underneath. Very mellow. The only black mark being a caramel essence in the mouth (?).

Lingering roasted malt and cream. Nothing offensive here.

I like this example. It's not the greatest but I've never had anything from this brewery and this bottle was a chance pickup while I was in Boston back in March Worth it though as it's the first beer I've sampled from Idaho. Check it out!

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 03:46:19 | More by Brad007
Photo of dbossman


4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black and velvety with a huge, frothy sizzling head--good retention; lacing is good considering the style

S: Lots of chocolate, coffee, and roasted--almost charred--malts; some pine, floral, and citrus hops dance around the edges of the aroma; there is also a faint smokey quality; this really is a damn good smelling beer

T: Roasted malts up front with a nice balance of sweet chocolates and dark fruits and bitter coffee; there is still a subtle pine and citrus hop presence; this is grainy yet malty; sweet yet bitter; creamy yet dry--such a delicious paradox; but some of the dark fruits and charred malts win out in the end hurting the balance just a bit

F: Perfect thickness with a pleasant creamy quality and yet the beer still manages to be sticky with just the right amount of texture clinging to the mouth

O: This is a damn good Imperial stout; I am continually impressed with the folks at Grand Teton--a really, really nice stout, guys!

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2011 17:54:07 | More by dbossman
Photo of OtherShoe2


3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep oily brown with a decent tan head that disappears in a flash.

Coffee and molasses in the nose, a combo of dark roasted malt and some sweetness. Nose wasn't as intense as I would have expected.

Big flavor here. Roasted malt, french roast coffee smoky bitterness. You definitely get some malt sweetness, but it is well balanced with a bitter edge. Long bitter and malt finish. Some molasses and licorice. Great. Alcohol is there but pretty well hidden.

Big and chewy. Ok carbonation.

Great beer. Everything you'd want from the style.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2011 12:24:58 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of bs870621345

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Toby, Johngalt1 for this.

Pours black with a tiny bit of head. No lacing.

Smell is nice; roast, coffee, caramel, hint of citrus.

Taste is very straight forward. Caramel opens this up and the roast bitterness cuts through moving into a coffee and caramel finish. Pretty clean and not overly sweet.

Mouthfeel is moderate but velvety.

Overall, its good. Seek this one out if you can.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2011 02:05:44 | More by bs870621345
Photo of claytong


4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

the price is right on these guys. everything in colorado seems damn expensive but imp stout four pack for 8 bucks, not too shabby especially the way this tastes.

Appearance - controlled pour gives one inch of tan head. opaque, oily, black.

Smell - leather, dark malts, cherry, coffee, smoke, oak or applewood

Taste - repeats, no bitterness, not very sweet either though, a little caramel comes in

Mouthfeel - medium thickness on the verge of being thick

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2011 16:09:14 | More by claytong
Photo of Scotchboy


3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, bottled in October of '10. Poured into a New Belgium Globe.

A: With a vigorous pour this beer yields only about a fingers worth of viscous medium tan head. Opaque and dark, ok lacing, good carbonation. Would have like to have seen more head and better retention.

S: Dark malts, dark sweet fruits, a touch of coffee, a whiff of leathery smoke, some woody characters, and hints of boozyness. Not the best Imperial Stout smell in my opinion, but unique.

T: On the tongue the dark malts yield to the beers sweetness: the dark fruit is prominent but there are chocolate notes as well. I'm not sure I like the dark fruit/sweetness component.

MF: A touch thin but viscous with a good coating mouthfeel. Medium bodied.

O: Equal parts bland and unusual. No bitterness, very little roasted malt character, too much of that odd sweetness for an IS. Really wanted to like this local brew but its just a step above average IMO.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2011 02:11:56 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of Bung


3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Solid looking black pour, maybe a finger of light tan head. Retains pretty well.

Light roast and coffee, more chocolate and molasses.

A tad sweet, malty caramel, chocolate and molasses. Almost like lactose sugar was used. This perry's into a bit of metalicness. Finishes slightly dry with some cocoa.

Body feels on the lighter side, but is pretty creamy. A real even, fine carbonation. Limited alcohol and pretty easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2011 02:23:57 | More by Bung
Photo of BilbosNuts


4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a conical pint glass.

A: Pours very very dark, almost night black. It has a thick, brown and coffee colored head that leaves spotted lacing throughout drinking. Overall, it looks very sexy.

S: The smell is a wonderful blend of dark chocolate, roasted malts and a raspberry-chocolate aroma. There is also a smokey characteristic that comes through.

T: Its taste is similar to its smell. Mostly the roasted malts come through with some subtleties of the dark chocolate and smokey flavor.

M: The body is not as thick as I was expecting. It on the thin side as far as stouts go, but drinks very smoothly.

D: This is a quite drinkable beer. It is a fine example of the style. I would have liked a thicker body, but that's just being picky. Overall, a solid effort.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2011 04:12:20 | More by BilbosNuts
Photo of rmalinowski4


2.93/5  rDev -25.4%
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 samie85


3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a very pitch black with dark, mocha-color head.

S-Dark chocolate and roasted notes with earthy hops and licorice.

T-Sweet chocolate and slightly sour, roasted notes with not enough bitterness.

M-Medium bodied with low carbonation and a slick feel.

D-Pretty easy and drinkable stout but not quite complex enough for my taste.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2011 02:07:39 | More by samie85
Photo of ILessThan3Brett


2.73/5  rDev -30.5%
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 UCLABrewN84


3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 9/10/10.

Pours a rich dark brown/black color with a 3 inch dark khaki head that fades to a small cap. Nice rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smells of roasted coffee beans, bitter chocolate, and alcohol. Taste is of bitter chocolate up front, with some coffee and alcohol tastes towards the end. The smell and taste of the beer is somewhat unbalanced and non-cohesive. Mouthfeel is slightly flat which further spotlights the clash between the taste and smells. Overall, this is a slightly better than average stout that I have been holding onto for a few months. I thought this one would be somewhat better.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 02:15:45 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of mnbeerdrinker


4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark brown into a pint glass. Appears to be some suspended residue that you can see when holding the glass up to the light. Some settles out, but the beer is so thick that most stays in suspension. It doesn't appear to impact the mouthfeel or the taste as far as I can tell.

No head at all. Beer appears thick and somewhat viscous. Not that much carbonization. No lacing.

Aroma is typical for an imperial stout. Sweet, heavy on dark chocolate, and a hint of smoke. Very pleasant.

Mouthfeel is thick, matching the appearance.

Taste is of roasted malt. Some chocolate. There is a very slight bitterness during and after swallowing, but it is more sweet while it is in your mouth.

Stouts are one of my favorite styles. I like this one a lot, and will be buying it again.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 00:14:54 | More by mnbeerdrinker
Black Cauldron Imperial Stout from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 517 ratings.