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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: 587
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: 587
Photo of br3wmeister
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Extremely dark beer, held up to a light only the very edges of the glass let light through showing that this beer has some dark brown hues. The beer had a small dark tan head that diminishes quickly leaving no lacing.

Smell - Fairly light aroma for an imperial stout. Swirling in a wind glass and sticking my face in the glass I can pick out dark roasted barley, chocolate, some dark ripe fruit, figs and charcoal. The alcohol also comes through in the end.

Taste - Very roast, and pretty dry. Charcoal, dark chocolate, and and some burn toast notes up front, hints of dark fruit and some sweetness comes through as well.

Mouthfeel - Pretty light on the palate very light carbonation finishes dry, with some lingering bitterness.

Over all I would say this is a pretty good imperial stout, it is a nice change from some of the overly sweet imperial stouts, and had a nice mouth feel that is not common among this style.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. Bottled on 10/23/2012.

Appearance: Pours a dark oily black with a moderate amount of bubbles. About two fingers of deep tan head that fade into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A very rich and robust dark stout aroma. Dark roasted malts with big hints of dark chocolate, coffee, dark toasted bread, biscuit, caramel, toffee, and cream. Good hints of smoked malt. Big presence of sweet molasses and some anise spicing. Good hints of dark cherry, raisin, fig, and plum. Also some solid hints of earthy and herbal hops coming out from the background. A really nice full imperial stout aroma.

Taste: As rich, roasty, and complex as the aroma hints at. Big taste of dark roasted malts with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, burnt caramel, toffee, burnt toast, biscuit, and a little milk cream. A nice taste of smoked malts are tasted along with a big taste of molasses sweetness and some licorice anise spice. Strong dark fruit undertones with notes of raisins, dark cherry, fig, prune, and plum. A decent backing of herbal and earthy malts round things out. A very good full on stout taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Rich, creamy, and somewhat slick. Fairly sweet and has a drying finish. Alcohol is hidden pretty well.

Overall: A great imperial stout. Very rich and complex with some nice fruit and hop notes under all the dark malts.

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Photo of tito42
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 mL bomber to a tulip. Bottled on 8/23/2012.

A: Very opaque. Some cola color is barely visible on the extreme bottom of the tulip glass when held to light. Creamy-looking, hot cocoa colored head.

S: Rich blend of roasted malt, vanilla, cocoa nibs, tobacco, and plum. Wonderful.

T: Vanilla, chocolate milk, tobacco, plum, and roasted malt.

M: Medium bodied. The 8.0% ABV is definitely noticeable. There is definitely an alcohol presence that is hidden better in other RISs. A moderately dry finish.

O: A very nice RIS. Found this on the clearance rack at my beer supplier, and it was well worth the $6 for the bomber. Not the best RIS I've had, but it has its strengths.

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

Bottle dated 8/23/12

A: Pours inky black. Big, dense medium brown head. Fades slowly, leaving thin splotches of lacework behind.

S: Lots of dark fruit. Raisin and cherry most prominent. Smoky, quite smoky. A bit of sharp booze.

T: Again, dark fruit up front. Raisin, cherry, plums are the most discernible. Smokiness follows into the middle. Some chocolate and char joins it. Lots of anise kicks in in the finish, mingling with the smoke. Finish is bitter char and smoke mainly. Lingering smoke in the aftertaste. Overall fairly sweet, which helps dampen the smokiness.

M: Quite heavy and thick. Lower carbonation. Smooth and a little drying from the smoke/char, particularly in the finish.

O: Not a bad RIS. Definitely heavy on the dark fruits and smoke. Lacks some roasted malt character like chocolate and coffee though (which is usually what i prefer, if I'm honest). Good complexity and flavor balance, having said that. Very full bodied, leading to a nice drinkability.

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Photo of yamar68
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage:

Very dark... darker than most of its kind. A finger of dark tan head recedes quickly, leaving a neat collar that laces, beads... all that good shit.

I notice a bit of dark fruit right away combined with some brown sugar and coffee grounds. Fairly mellow, approachable, not too sweet and not too hot. I can dig it.

More of that bitter coffee with a slight suggestion of brownie sweetness. Chocolate syrup and cooked sugar make the shift towards a bitter dry dessert character. Nice.

I like this one.

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Photo of NilocRellim
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer came on tap in a pint glass, exhibiting a low, tan head and a black body. Smelled of sweet malts and chocolate. In addition to the chocolatey-coffee taste, there was a malty smokiness as well which lingered on the tongue, along with a slight earthiness.

Would I buy this beer again? Yes.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
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.

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Photo of denver10
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours black with a nice deep mocha head. Aroma is roasty with some chocolate and earthy hops. Flavor is bitter chocolate, roasted malt, leather, and bitter earthy hops in the finish, Fuller mouthfeel, somewhat creamy. Overall, a good beer though not really my favorite take on the style.

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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 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 PrivateEquity
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark black color letting through little light. Nice tan lacing. Very appealing look.

S - Chocolate and coffe malts are very nice and enticing.

T - Chocolate, fruity strong malt base. Very nice and roasted. Maybe just a little less chocolate and this would be subperb.

M - Nice roasted thickness and creaminess.

O - Solid Imperial Stout that is consistent all around. Very nice drink.

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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.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce foil-capped bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice. Bottle 10 December 2009.

A: Thin, mocha head forms atop a stolid, viciously, viscously black beer.

S: Bone-dry and bitter, with a more than a touch of coffee and of smoke. Molasses or burnt sugar.

T/M: Tasty, but not overwhelming. A solid imperial stout, a bit thin (perhaps from age) and dry (from the touch of smoked malts). Bitter and lingering, there are berries (mostly sweet, lightly sour) and chocolate amidst the still-extant hops and heavy roasted malts.

O: Really nice imperial stout. Recommended! I wouldn't dig around for it like I did to find this one, but it's good.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 9/10/10. Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a AleSmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- Pours black with a 2" cola colored head. Small bubbles of lacing speckle the glass.

S- Roasted malts, dark chocolate, dark fruits, and faint pine.

T- Sweet dark fruits, roasted malts, dark chocolate and slight pine bitterness.

M- Medium body and carbonation. Lower abv for the style but drinks amazingly well and easy.

O- Good RIS. Not very complex, but has nice sweet and roasted malt flavors.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a balloon glass.

The beer is as black as an oily black cauldron, naturally. A mocha colored head recedes to chunky bubbles with a thick ring of foam around the edges. Wispy, sticky lacing coats the glass.

The aroma is oily and of black licorice up front. Also bitter coffee and sweet vanilla comes out.

The taste starts out with a dark-roasted assault in the memory of Oreo cookies. It's a rick, dark, almost chalky fudge-like note. Underneath this, and really hidden comes faint sweet vanilla bean. Does this sound like a dessert beer sipper so far? The finish presents the sharper, bitter hops with bitter coffee grinds coming to mind.

The mouthfeel is maybe chewy, due to the extremely rich nature of this brew.

Overall, a good dessert beer, or a nice sipper on a breezy, chilly Autumn night.

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

Pours out black with a sand colored single finger of foam that lasts for about a minute and a half, leaving behind some mediocre lacing. Rich full smooth body, lightly carbonated.

Smells and tastes of a combination of blackberries and prunes, black coffee, and charred malt with a fair dollop of smokiness, aniseed and licorice on the side. The aroma is a little bit less intense than the richness of the flavor is, but the ABV is hidden very well. The finish has a hint of chalky mineral character. It's a somewhat better than average RIS to be sure!

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

Poured from their foil wraped 12oz bottle...

Appearance - Poured 2 fingers of mocha brown head that comes down to a solid creamy cap in a few minutes, body is opaque and nearly black, very nice lacing left after each quaff.

Smell - Dark fruits, molasses, roasted malts, and a little soy sauce.

Taste - Dark fruits, tart fruitskins of plums, grapes and cherries, nice roasted malts, some molasses sweetness, nice roasted malts, and a touch of pumpernickel crust and licorice can be found long into the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel, nice smoothness that is almost creamy, medium carb has some gentle edges and cleanses just enough to transition from sweetness to roastiness to dryness. In my opinion this is a bit on the thin side for an imperial - i would classify this as a really good, full bodied stout

Overall - This is really a nicely balanced and complex stout, really nice full flavors, great appearance, not quite an imperial, but a very good stout that I would recommend.

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Photo of TheRealBigC
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one was surprising to me in how thin it felt. For an imperial stout, this one had a more noticeable hop character (though not dominant by any means) and there was a slightly smoky profile. Not too strong on the nose, which was a little disappointing as it is one of my favorite components of the imperial stouts. I appreciate that it tastes unlike the other stours I've had, but I don't think it's particularly great, especially when I can only get it in a 750mL bottle.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Black color. One and a half fingers of frothy light brown head. Retention is about average and a short ring of lacing is left.

4.0 S: This smells absolutely wonderful. Deep roastiness with plenty of sweetness to make this a rich, decadent treat for the nose. Chocolate, caramel, and hints of molasses.

3.5 T: Smells better than it tastes, but it's not bad. Lots of roast, but not as sweet as I thought it would be. Less chocolate and caramel too. Moderate roasty bitterness.

3.0 M: Heavier medium body. A bit too much carbonation, but okay. Lacking creaminess.

3.5 D: Decent beer. I just wish it tasted like it smells.

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Photo of beergoot
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing aroma: roasted grains, coffee, a spicy bitterness of sorts, charred malts. Burnt and richly roasted grains dominate the malt side, a near-piercing bitterness gently slaps your eyes open before smoothing out nicely at the finish. Mouthfeel comes across surprisingly on the light, clean and dry side of things.

Sweet and bitter. Well-balanced with excellent complexity to detect while putting away your drink. No high-powered alcohol notes; it's nicely folded into the other flavors. Well-done imperial stout!

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Photo of drpimento
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured this at a good temperature, with a smallish, dark tan, foamy head that soon subsided to a ring and no lace. Color is (apparently) a clear, very dark, almost black, ruby red. Aroma is roast malt, licorice, fruit, toffee. Flavor's like nose; fairly mellow, good balance between sweet and bitter and slight carbonic tang. Body is good, full, round with tiny peaks, but carbonation is a touch soft. Finish is like flavor, long, and a little boozy. Was expecting more out of this.

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

Black color with a towering espresso colored head.

There's a nice hoppy presence for an RIS. Dark berries, fudge, and root beer smells.

There's a hint of smoke that compliments the berries and fudge in the taste. Pine and earthy hops splash the char flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation.

It's a pretty solid and fairly complex RIS. The price point on it ($6.50 a bottle at a local grocery store) only adds to my admiration. I'd defitely buy this again.

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Photo of Hex92
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened a bottle dated Nov 2 2007. Its May 2012 so it has been sitting for a while. I never tried it "fresh" so I can't determine if it has changed over the last 4+ years.

A-black no lacing head disappeared quickly.
S-roasted malts
T- big malt, hardly any hops....just the way I like it. The malts are roasted perfectly. I don't like when they cross the line to burnt. These are perfect.
M- nice. Light on carbonation, but maybe that is due o being over 4 years old.

O- great representation of the style. If I see this again I will pick up a bottle and drink it a bit sooner.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of woemad
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

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