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Black Cauldron Imperial Stout - Grand Teton Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black Cauldron Imperial StoutBlack Cauldron Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

321 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 321
Hads: 586
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 15.05%
Wants: 33
Gots: 56 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Grand Teton Brewing Co.
Idaho, United States | website

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout | 9.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-23-2006

There are few styles of beer more flavorful than Imperial Stout. Our thick, rich version is brewed with plenty of caramel and roasted malts and subtly spiced with Cascade and Super Galena hops. We accentuate the natural smokiness of the brew by adding a small amount of beechwood-smoked malt. At 22.5 degrees starting gravity and 9.5% alcohol by volume, this beer boasts flavors of chocolate and coffee, along with raisins and dried fruit soaked in sherry.

Black Cauldron is a strong ale best enjoyed in moderation. Try pairing it with full-flavored grilled or roasted meats. Rich desserts like chocolate cake, truffles, fruit tarts, caramel flan or crème brûlée are all excellent matches.

We brew our Black Cauldron Imperial Stout to recognize and honor the women in the history of brewing. Brewing has been women's work since the dawn of civilization. In all ancient cultures, beer was a gift from a goddess, and women maintained status and power through their skills as brewsters. This remains true today in indigenous cultures from Asia to Latin America, Africa to remote villages in Scandinavia. Around the world, women bake bread and brew their own beer.

In Europe, the rise of cities brought commercial brewing, as governments realized the potential tax revenue to be had from large breweries. By 1445, the first all-male brewers' guild was established, the campaign against witchcraft burst forth across Europe, and the purge of women from brewing had begun. Beer historian Alan Eames has written that, when an occupation was listed, most of the women burned for witchcraft in Europe were brewsters or alewives.

Most of the imagery we associate with witchcraft today originated with the brewster. The large black cauldron bubbling over with foam? A brew kettle, of course. The black cat? Necessary to keep rats out of the grain store. The tall pointed hat? It allowed the brewster to be seen over the heads of taller men in the marketplace. A broom? The symbol of household domesticity, it is still associated with brewing all over the world.

Without the work of these women through the ages, it's entirely possible beer would not exist today. To learn more about the role of women in today's brewing industry, visit www.pinkbootssociety.org. For more on the history of brewing, www.grandtetonbrewing.com.

With its dark malts, alcohol and unfermented sugars Black Cauldron is ideal for prolonged cellaring. We’ve enjoyed samples aged as long as nine years.

Original Gravity (Plato): 22.5º
International Bitterness Units: 54
Color (Lovibond): 40.0º
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Cauldron Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 321 | Hads: 586
Photo of Birchgrove77
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into nonic pint glass from a bottle purchased at the beginning of November. Bottled date date 10/14/2010.

A- Pours a nice deep, opaque brown. Vigourous pour starts with a thin head that cascades to about two inches. Head is a nice deep tan that lingers through session.

S- Initial aroma is quite smoky, but as the beer warms a nice bittersweet chocolate becomes present.

T- Like the smell the taste starts a touch smoky, but transitions to a nice bittersweet chocolate. A touch of yeasty breadiness exists, and to me complements the chocolate flavor creating a marshmallow-like flavor. A touch of cola syrup exists as beer warms. Also a touch of alcohol does slightly warm the back of mouth.

M- A touch syrupy, but compliments the flavor of the brew.

Great variation, but drinks more like a cross between a Foreign Export and a Sweet Stout, but would definitely seek out. Would be great with or in some brownies.


M-

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Photo of BigDank
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 12oz poured into a Matilda glass.

Pours black into the glass with a medium brown, large head that has a short stay and leaves minor lacing. Smell is not too intense with hints of roasted malt and chocolate. Taste follows along with the smell with a bit of bitterness in the mouth. Slight alchohol which is surprising for only being 8%. Carbonation is medium and the beer drinks pretty easily. Not the best but not a bad stout I have to say. I would definitely drink this one again but not sure that it would be a regular. Drinkibility is good with a medium abv and easy drinking brew all around. First beer I've had by this brewery and it will not sway me from trying another one.

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Photo of Crass3000
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes on 12/29/2011

5/5 Pours out dark as used motor oil with a huge four-finger, dark brown head with great retention.

4.5/5 Smell is dark malts, dark fruits, mollasses, and a tiny bit of chocolate.

4/5 Taste is nice roasted malts, dark fruits, mollasses, and a tiny bit of bitter coffee.

4/5 Mouthfeel is nice and thick as expected for an imperial stout. Really a great beer. The best of the night although they are all recaps.

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Photo of jdskinns
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours black with a brown fizzy head with good lacing. Smell is roasty and somewhat sweet. Taste is roasted malts and very good, nothing mindblowing but very enjoyable. Something I wouldn't mind trying again but won't go out of my way for.

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Photo of EORS
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up on a recommendation from my local store. Poured into a standard pint glass and served at room temperature

Appearance: Dark, dark, close to jet black with a moderate brown head. Low carbonation. Good amount of sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Chocolate/caramel malt, with a hint of salty smoke in the middle, lovely aroma from the hops at the end.

Taste: Good body of roasty malt, chocolate and coffee, warming alcohol (bit boozy), with a nice bitterness from the hops to balance it out.

Mouthfeel: rich, not syrupy or medicinal. Very smooth and balanced.

Overall: True to recommendation - a solid imperial stout at a great price (4pk on sale for $7.50). Really impressed by the balance between malt and hop - neither overpowering the other - in the taste and smell and the smoky, almost salty aroma when the beer is poured. The brewers have even tried to push the style a bit by adding the smoked barley, which doesn't do much for the taste, but adds a nice touch if you're looking for it. Would buy it again.

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Photo of kiddwhiz
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Poured a 12 0z bottle dated 10/29/2009 in to a nbb globe. Jet black with two fingers of tan head. Dissipates over a couple minutes to leave a dusting of sandy head resembling a espresso.

s: Smells of roasted malts with a touch of earthy sweetness.

t: Roasted dark chocolate malts with raisins, licorice, and lighter coffee. Smooth with a touch of sweetness and slight bitterness. Smooth. Makes the mouth water. Tasty goodness.

m: Good mouthfeel of slightly viscous, tiny bubble carbonation.

o: With 18 months of cellar this Black Cauldron is an excellent beer! I really enjoy the drinkability of as compared to an all out Imperial Stout like Abyss. Meets all the marks of a quality crafted, drinkable Imperial Stout. Cheers!

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Photo of BobCS
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: opaque, nearly black, with a dark brown head and lasting lace

S: lots of dark malt in the nose, rounded out by some fruit and smoky spicy notes

T: big start with plenty of malt and roast coffee and chocolate flavors, molasses, some smoke, and a long chewy bitter-sweet finish with just a bit of a tang

M: full bodied, creamy, warm

O: that first bit of roast coffee I tasted after pouring this seemed too burnt and bitter and even a bit chaulky, but as the beer has warmed a little the sweeter side of this big malty brew is coming out. The beer is much better balanced as it warms a bit, and much more enjoyable. It has been raining all day today, and it's that first rain towards the end of summer that seems cold as well as wet, making you feel like fall is just around the corner. This beer is a nice fit and warm enough to drive away the chill.

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Photo of bigreduw64
3.34/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

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Photo of blammasterj
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a regular pint glass, bottled on 1/21/10.

A: Poured as thick as ink and as black as sin. The light brown head settled quickly, but left a pleasant ring of lacing around the glass as it was imbibed.

S: Had an aroma of roasted malts, dark fruits, tobacco and a faint hint of leather. I didn't pick up coffee in the nose that would later follow in the taste.

T: At first the taste followed the nose rather closely: roasted malts, bitter chocolate and a little heat from the alcohol on the finish. As I allowed it to warm it opened up with sweet, dark fruits, coffee and milk chocolate. Very narrow hop profile that kind of snuck in some pine through the backdoor.

MF: This beer is as thick as it looks and as creamy as a melted milkshake.

D: Overall a good offering from Grand Teton and a beer that I will continue to purchase. However, I had this on tap about a week ago and was much more impressed then as I seem to remember the flavor profile being much more complex.

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Photo of tiffanya
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

May 6, 2008 ...thanks to BH for the sample!

I'm looking forward to this beer becoming available in Washington State...someday!

A little sweeter than your average Imperial Stout, which means it is more toward my liking.

Coffee and bittersweet chocolate with notes of sour dark fruit. Semi-dry and ashy-chalky. Notes of spice. Went down really easy.

Wax-coated flip-top is a bit of a bear to open; be careful with your knives! ;-)

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Photo of Zebus0
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Average really. I was a bit worried because it poured BLACK with little to no head. Bit of a dark tan head. Leaves a bit of ring as you drink it.

S- Very roasted aroma, a lot of coffee/dark roast notes. Very pleasing.

T- Interesting. Doesn't even taste like most Imperials I've had, course it is more of an American one. Smooth start, dark roasted finish, on the bottom end you can really taste the alcohol with a bit of bite. I'm impressed.Hearty malt aftertaste.

M- Pretty smooth for an imperial stout, not the grainy feel they usually have. Interesting mix.

D- Excellent as a stand alone stout. Great for those days you just want to stay inside because of how cold it is. Very drinkable.

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Photo of ATGHomebrewer
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours very, very dark brown. Think head.
S: Strong smell of roasted malts.
T: Initial taste is very sweet, transitions into a roasted, almost bitter taste. A bit of alcohol heat.
M: a nice, full mouthfeel.
D: very drinkable beer, within reason. Approporiate that they sell it in a 4 pack instead of a 6 pack.

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Photo of MisterNic
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, bottled on 10/23/2012

A - Pours dark, opaque black with a 1 finger dark brown head that dissipates quickly.

S - Nice roasted coffee and sweet milk chocolate aroma.

T - Starts roasty, moves on to sweet chocolate, and finishes with a big dry roasty bitter coffee taste. After a couple of sips I noticed a little bit of an alcohol burn in the back of my throat that stuck around for a while.

M - Full bodied, thick and creamy mouthfeel. Finishes dry.

Overall, I would consider this an average Imperial Stout. It's good, but I've had a few other Imperial Stouts that I consider to be much better. It would interesting to see how much better this beer is with a year of age on it to mellow out the alcohol.

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Photo of Pipmeister
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of cope0021
2.35/5  rDev -40.1%
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.

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Photo of ACarrell
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Excellent find by a friend.

Smell was a bit hoppier than I'd like, but the taste compensated for that quite well. Surprisingly it didn't have any overwhelming hops despite the first impression upon opening.

Really builds into a more and more solid beer as you drink more of it.

Would definitely buy again!

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Photo of ArsenicDrone
4.83/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap in a goblet at Boulders on Broadway in Tempe, AZ. Wanted to have Odell's Bourbon Barrel Stout, but this was a nice substitute when they were out.

A: Opaque, nearly black, arrived with no head at all, and a small rim of bubbles that left a little bit of lace. Excellent sign of what's to come.

S: Rather subtle for the style. A bit of the fruity esters, and the only thing that stood out as different was a hint of soy sauce smell.

T: Excellent. Quite smooth, and solid but not overbearing. Malty, sweet, and with only a little bit of roasted flavor - just right, I thought. Definitely chocolate, but not your standard bitter dark chocolate flavor - almost a chocolate Twizzler. If that sounds weird, don't worry, it's good. A very nice balance with the fruit, which was there when you wanted to pay attention to it, but not in the way.

M: Slightly thin by comparison to others, but little to complain about. Works just fine.

D: Would be dangerous if I didn't like taking my time with a beer like this. Goes down easy. Alcohol content just about right and pretty well hidden.

Recommended for those who like smooth imperial stouts. I bet I wouldn't have liked the Odell's as well. Will have to try this in a bottle.

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Photo of Detlef90
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first beer from this brewery and definitely made me intrigued about their other beers. I thought this was a smooth and creamy stout. Not too bitter (which was nice as many of the stouts I have been drinking recently have been quite hoppy). I recommend it for it's body and for it's easy drinkability.

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Photo of The_Mancannon_of_Slothrop
4.81/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had the privilege of grabbing a 4-pack of these while working in Casper. Poured into a pint glass

A - Leaves very little to be desired. A rich dark, dark brown body with a respectable light brown to an almost reddish head that diminishes to just residual head within a minute, and a decent amount of pretty lacing.

S - Vanilla bean and cocoa. A simple and nice smell, but not a very powerful one.

T - Whoa. Follows the nose to some degree but with exponentially more power. Chocolate is a major player, to be sure, but not a bitter, dark, unsweetened chocolate. There is quite a brown sugary, vanilla-y sweetness to it. Has a hint of fruity undertones, primarily figs and very ripe bananas, but the fruit is really only terribly noticeable if you're looking for it.

M - Extraordinarily smooth. Not the driest of all mouthfeels, in fact, quite the opposite. But that proves to be a virtue, as it enhances the complexity of the brew and makes for an orgasmic finish.

O - Masterful regional entry to the stout canon. Easy to go overboard with its imperial ABV and its drinkability.

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Photo of AronVietti
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into an Imperial Pint glass at 51 degrees.

A - Dark tan head that collapsed quickly with moderate lacing. This beer is an opaque dark, dark brown, no light is getting through even the edges.

S - Chocolate and dark maltiness with a hint of dark stone fruits and the slightest bit of alcohol and hops. The aromas are subdued and I expected it to be a little stronger at this serving temperature.

T - Dark Chocolate, as in 80% Cacoa, heavy toasted notes with some maltiness and a slight bit of bitter herbs that quickly fades.

M - Medium bodied, the finish is long but only consists of bitterness and hops after about a second of sweetnes

D - Not the most drinkable beer I've had. The lingering bitterness on the finish makes a glass about as much as I want at a single sitting. But I would drink it with a group of friends around the fire in small glasses.

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

Tops Liquor , Phoenix, AZ

a - dark, like car oil sludge dark from my old toyota 4runner. the head is even brown.

s - slight sweeetness to the smell

t - damn it's dark, if you like smooth dark, it's nice. starts smooth, subtle sweet then a hanging bitterness...

m - nice and dark, not too heavy.

d - i like dark, and I like this... one of the darkness i've had in a while. It's hard to find super dark.

enjoy

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Photo of jjjeremy
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a chalice
Appearance-BLACK! Black with a coffee colored head.
Smell-Hints of coco and molasses
Taste- Delicious,bitter chocolate,slight raisan taste,touch of coffee flavor
Mouthfeel-Thick and chewy!!
Overall-Great!!! I really enjoyed this brew.

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Photo of HoppyHachey
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: It poured out a great looking dark black liquid. The consistency seemed thick as i poured. It had a average sized head with a nice chocolatey looking color. Looks delicious.

S: Great smell of chocolate and a small sweetness from the raisins. I want to smell this smell for the rest of my day.

T: Definitely a chocolate after taste. I like the way it lingers in my mouth, the prefect amount of chocolate. I didn't notice any sweetness in the taste that I got from the smell but probably better anyway.

MF: Seems thicker than most of the stouts I've had recently. Drinks really easy for an Imperial too. Doesn't leave you with anything but wanting more.

O: Definitely like it, probably get some more from the store just to hang on too. Grab some.

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Photo of ILessThan3Brett
2.71/5  rDev -30.9%
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.

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Photo of Zymurgo
3.27/5  rDev -16.6%
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.

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Black Cauldron Imperial Stout from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 321 ratings.