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Black Cauldron Imperial Stout - Grand Teton Brewing Co.

Black Cauldron Imperial StoutBlack Cauldron Imperial Stout

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

503 Ratings

(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
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Ratings: 503 | Reviews: 309 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
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 mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
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 brentk56

North Carolina

4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2005 bottling; tasted 7/30/08
2007 bottling; tasted 1/4/09
2010 bottling; tasted 8/17/10
2012 bottling; tasted 8/4/12

Appearance: Pours a dark dark brown color with a modest tan head that turns into a ringlet rather quickly and only dots the glass (the 2007 and 2010 had better head retention so I have bumped up the score by .5; the 2012 retention was not as good but the lacing was better)

Smell: Roasty, with tons of dark fruit (blackberries and dried plums), licorice, coffee and cocoa; the 2012 smells almost burnt, however, and has a hoppy aspect

Taste: The fruit and coffee make themselves apparent up front, with a roasty bitterness taking control by mid-palate; after the swallow, the coffee and chocolate elements move to prominence but the dark fruit remains to accompany those flavors to the finish; somehow a bit of orange is in there all along though that only becomes discernable halfway through the bottle (the 2012 version is much hoppier, with a burnt character that overwhelms the other elements)

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; almost creamy

Drinkability: A first rate RIS that has stood the test of time

I think I got the 2005 a while back from Bitterbill. Thanks for the opportunity. Can't remember who shared the 2007, but thanks as well. The 2010 was provided by FlandersNed and I purchased the 2012 in South Carolina when the brewery started to distribute to that state

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2008 00:15:37 | More by brentk56
Photo of metter98

New York

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin tan head that died down and left a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are strong aromas of sweet malts, raisins and sherry in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the overall taste has lots of flavors of raisins and sherry.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a low amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very flavorful and the taste of sherry makes this an interesting beer to sip.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2012 15:53:08 | More by metter98
Photo of TMoney2591


3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

(Insert seemingly necessary MacBeth quote here.) This brew pours a deep pitch topped by a minor bit o' light tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, light peat smoke, chocolate, and molasses. The taste follows closely, with the roast really dominating something fierce. A hint of oaky whiskey weaves its way in as well. The body is a firmly hefty medium, with a slightly biting light moderate carbonation and a lightly chewy feel. Overall, were it not for the unexpected carbonation bite, which sends a small shockwave of bitter roastedness across the tongue, this would be a damn fine stout.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2010 06:35:04 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of MasterSki


3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Dennis Brothers I think, before it showed up in Chicago. Served in a Darkness snifter. 12oz bottle, dated January 21st, 2010.

A - Pours with a half-finger of mocha foam that settles to thick collar and a wisp of tiny bubbles. The sides of the glass are also coated with some of the tiniest bubbles I'eve ever encountered in a beer. Body is actually a very dark brown color in opposition to the name of the brew.

S - Molasses, dark fruits, figs and dates, raisin bread, caramel, a touch of sweet oxidation, and a bit of roasted malt that keeps things from getting overly cloying. Still, this is very far onto the sweet side of the dial. Potent aroma, and only a faint hint of alcohol.

T - Taste is less sweet, with what AgentZero would describe as an olive note - slightly briny. Also more roasted malt, char, and light smoke, all of which mingle with cocoa and licorice. Finish has very light coffee bitterness, but is surprisingly clean. A touch bland and understated, particularly compared to the nose, even after it warmed up.

M - Very dry and tannic finish for a beer that isn't barrel-aged, with only some light residual stickiness. Body is medium, with some light carbonation tingle to it. Drinks like an 8% imperial which is appropriate. A bit of warmth after 6-8oz.

D - This is quite easy to drink, with the light body, lower alcohol, and surprisingly understated taste. I'd have this one again if the price was right.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2011 01:19:24 | More by MasterSki
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a very thin beige head that fades quickly and leaves a very thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, chocolate, molasses and licorice with a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors chocolate, coffee, molasses and licorice. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in. The hops presence is very mild as you would expect and there’s a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, a bit viscous, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, it’s a decent beer but there are several others in the style that I would choose first.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2012 04:24:30 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of emerge077


4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Single for $2.49 at Ray's in Wauwatosa, WI.

Pours into a mug with a few fingers of cascading chocolate syrup stained foam. This settles quickly, forming a solid crown of lace from the surface to the wall of the glass, very sticky. Very plummy aroma, fruity, sweet and roasty. Fairly light for an RIS, but full flavored. Some mild char, not too bitter, sweet molasses cookies, and plums. Perceptible alcohol as it warms.

Very easy drinking for an 8% RIS, i'm glad to have tried it. For my money though, Viking Big Swede is similar and a few bucks cheaper.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2009 01:52:41 | More by emerge077
Photo of russpowell


4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

07 batch; Got this one in trade with Bitterbill, cheers Bill! Curses to Grand Teton & their insipid over waxing of the flip tops! Cut myself with a butter knife getting this baby open.

Pours ebony/black with 2 fingers of brown head. Great lacing & good head retention

S: Dark fruit, & rich chocolate, brown sugar a touch of vanilla & some smokeyness as this warms way up.

T: Dark fruit, dryness, baker's & semi-sweet chocolate up front. Leafy hops, dryness & more chocolate, & a touch of oaky booze are on the scene as this warms. Finishes with a bit of booze, almost pulled a 5.0

MF: Slick, oily, medium bodied with just enough carbonation smooth this out. Pretty warming

Drinks pretty easy despite the complexity/ A really good take on the style that uses finesse to win the day. So far; I'm fairly impressed with these Grand Teton cellar reserves

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2008 05:08:56 | More by russpowell
Photo of drabmuh


3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An old extra found at the back of the beer fridge, poured into a tulip. Beer is black with nearly no head, low carbonation and no lacing.

Aroma is mildly sweet and a little ashy.

Beer is medium in body and light in flavor. There is some late bitterness and a little forward sweetness. No alcohol, no midpalate presence, its an average stout. Nothing special here.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2010 20:31:08 | More by drabmuh
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2010 01:44:22 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80


4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with almost no head. There were tiny light brown tinted bubbles around the edges of the glass that left behind some sudsy residue.

S - It smelled of coffee, chocolate and strong roasted malts. There was a touch of fruity sweetness in the nose, too.

T - Strong flavors of roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate and touches of molasses. It has just enough sweet to balance out the strong bitter qualities.

M - It was crisp and smooth with a dry finish. A medium bodied beer that hides its imperial ABV very well.

D - This beer really got better each time I tried one. I got a four-pack and was not impressed with the first one but really started to like it each time I went back to it. (My taste buds must've been off on that first one).

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2009 21:42:12 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros


3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grand Teton finally made it to MA. Here comes the first of a few reviews later to come.

A: An aggressive pour yields a small 1/2 finger dark fluffy head over dark pretty much pitch black color.

N: Lots of dark malts, some black patent malt, tons of roast, some coffee, little luscious dark fruit, some earthy bitterness from charred malts and hints of hops. A little smoke too. Overall not as prevelant on the nose as I thought it would be.

T: Tons of smoke. Overwhelmed with smoked malts, some smoked and cured meats, roasted malts, a little coffee... if they added oatmeal it would be breakfast in a bottle. Chewy malts, dark crystal, luscious chocolate, black patent malt, bitter earthy charred bitter malt flavors with some earthy hops to go along. A slight minerality as well. Semi sweet with heavy feel and no real booze to detect, so it hides the 8% pretty well.

M: Thick, pretty creamy and smooth, but no real carbonation.

F: More bitterness, a strong earthy bitterness mostly from charred roasted malts, but some from hops. Lots of lingering minerals, some soy sauce taste. A lot of roasted flavors as well and some coffee.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2010 02:49:16 | More by jlindros
Photo of jwc215


4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours almost black with no head - just a few brown bubbles along the side.

The smell is of whiskey (JD?) and oak. Dark coffee and chocolate with dark fruits emerge robustly. Whiffs of alcohol come through.

The taste is of whiskey/oak with dark chocolate and coffee. Dark fruitiness underneath. Finishes with a warm sweetness.

Not quite as full-bodied as expected, but flavors hang on nicely. It's under-carbonated, as reflected in the appearance and feel, making me wonder if there was a bottling issue with this one. Still, it has a wonderful aroma and taste, and is quite easy to drink.

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing this back from a recent trip to Idaho!

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2007 15:43:51 | More by jwc215
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice ris. A really excellent nose with a consistently thick body and a consistent delivery of flavor. It carries a lot of the characteristics I like to see in the style (though admittedly, not as intense as others, but who cares) and does it well. Oddly, this seems like an easier drinking ris. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 03:29:05 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of smcolw


3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One-finger, beige head. Leaves good ring lace. Near black color where no light shines through (even on the edge).

Cafe du lait is the first smell I get. Slightly chalky. Very true to expectations.

More mellow in taste initially than most stouts. The darker (and more bitter) malts take over in the swallow. Lots of chocolate and creamy milk in the flavor. There's some bitterness in the swallow. I'm not sure if it's from hop or black patent malt. The aftertaste is pleasant: chocolaty and somewhat bitter.

Not as harsh as some regular stouts, but I consider that to be a positive. Potent and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2010 23:31:59 | More by smcolw
Photo of Halcyondays


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 mactrail


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 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

Serving type: bottle

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


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

not your run of the mill imperial stout. it pours dense and black, midnight dark, with no light at all breaking through. a stunning three inch coffee colored head rests patiently on top. the nose is a complex dark malt profile, english sweetness, american robustness, not smokey, but roasty and deep. not sure if there is oatmeal in this, but the massive body would indicate yes. its also got a velvety smoothness, and the thickness of it doesnt make it any less drinkable. more hops than i am used to in an imperial stout, and i appreciate it here. the only sweetness in the taste is a touch of vanilla. id like a barrel aged version of this! just enough carbonation, great as it warms up, this is a steal at 7 bucks a bomber.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2012 18:52:08 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of tempest


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

Had a bottle brewed in Fall '09. I always prefer sub-10% ABV stouts for what you gain in drinkability and this met my expectations nicely. It had candy chocolate flavors up front followed by a dry, roasted, and cocoa powder character that followed and led the aftertaste. The lack of esters that so many double stouts present makes me think of this beer as a double Irish stout (if such a style existed). The beer is true to heavy roast and coffee flavors, without mucking about with anything fruity. I'd recommend that fans of North Coast's Old Rasputin check this stout out.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2010 18:53:42 | More by tempest
Photo of mdfb79

New York

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - A very dark brown with about an inch of light brown foam with little intention. No light getting through and little carbonation evident.

s - Smells a nice balance of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts. The coffee is not overpowering so I'm hoping the taste is as balanced as the smell.

t - The first taste that hit me was coffee, but it was not overpowering. The coffee taste is really mellow, and there is almost a cream flavor to it as well. Also tastes of roasted malts and a little chocolate.

m - Medium to full body with little carbonation, it is smooth and creamy.

d - Overall, I thought this was a pretty good stout. I liked that the coffee taste had mellowed out and was not too overpowering, and liked the creamy taste it had as well. Would definitely try it again.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2010 01:11:39 | More by mdfb79
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

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

Pours a three finger khaki head that fades slowly leaving a very good lace. Black color, no highlights. Light-medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Nose is baked chocolate, flavor is same with almost a burnt chocolate finish. Bottled Sep 2010. $8.99 for a 750ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2011 22:23:14 | More by jdhilt
Photo of lacqueredmouse


4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Monument Wines & Spirits, Concord and carted back in my luggage to Sydney and cracked open with @LaitueGonflable.

Pours a reasonably heavy, but definitely opaque black with a rocky head of chocolate shavings foam. Little lacing, and the body could perhaps be a little heavier, but it looks pretty decent. Very suitable for an Imperial Stout.

Big stout nose, with some sweetness that to me implies the American variety rather than the RIS variety. Slight smokiness and a hint of oak. Light notes of chocolate, but the more I smell, the more the smoke character comes through. Very interesting.

Taste is round, and the forefront has hints of the smokiness, but there's something oddly acidic running around as well - almost a coppery blood character, and I say that not in a disparaging way. Later, oak notes come through a little, some vinous characters and a roasted bitter finish that almost feels as though it's there for show. I mean, it's a stout, so it has to taste black and roasted at some point.

Very smooth in the mouth. It's not incredibly thick, but it certainly has a satiny texture.

Yeah, this is a very nice Imperial Stout. I've had better - ones which accentuate the sweet, fragrant and vinous characters of the style more - but this is very drinkable, very smooth and quite flavoursome.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2010 07:01:21 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of Zorro


4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black colored beer with a small brown colored head.

Smells of chocolate and berries with some raisin scent. Slightly earthy and smoky with a plum wine aroma like the Japanese wine. Not really getting the coffee aroma is is more of a mocha scent.

Starts out thick and quite restrained, like the first mouthful of a milkshake. Chocolate and berries with a smoky aftertaste, really hard to shake the sensation that this is actually a gourmet milkshake of some sort. Truly mild flavored, this isn't a RIS that knocks out your taste buds with two sips. Alcohol completely hidden. Could be a little more complex but it sure is good.

Perfect mouthfeel, any thicker and you would need to eat this with a spoon.

Overall this is pretty damn good. I would NEVER refuse another one of these.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2013 03:04:35 | More by Zorro
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Black Cauldron Imperial Stout from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 503 ratings.