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Black Cauldron Imperial Stout - Grand Teton Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black Cauldron Imperial StoutBlack Cauldron Imperial Stout

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

540 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 540
Reviews: 312
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 25
Gots: 49 | FT: 3
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: 540 | Reviews: 312 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brewerburgundy
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

10oz served in a tulip at The Monk's Kettle on new year's eve. Review from notes.

Pure black with a gorgeous dark brown fine, foamy head that's sticky too. A good looking beer.

Nose is dominated by rich espresso, some darker berry comes through but it's subordinated. Dark chocolate is requisite but also weaker than the robust espresso emanating from the glass.

Darker berry and dark caramel come to the front, espresso rides the wave of dark, bubbly liquid. Raspberry and cherry mingle with dark chocolate. A little woodiness mixed in; very concentrated on classic Imperial Stout flavors, but very well executed.

Round, soft, and pretty much the standard for Imperial Stouts.

Better than decent drinkability and not even over the top in abv. As far as the style goes, quite drinkable.

brewerburgundy, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #35 (Dec 2009):

Dense rocky mountain of a head, soot black color; can't get much darker than this beer. Hint of molasses taffy, higher alcohols, ripe blackberries and a kiss of smoke make for a varied and semi-complex nose. Bittersweet chocolate, blackberries, ripe figs and a mild chicory flavor show the bold side of this brew. Light smoke and hops jump to add to that. Some char and herb middle to end. Bitter roasted flavors take over the finish yet never go astringent.

Great to experience an Impy Stout that thinks outside of the mash tun. The extra smoke component without the beer being big, bad and syrupy-sweet works very well. A sipper that begs to be paired with stinky blue cheese. Try it, you'll like it.

BeerAdvocate, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of joepais
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Well thanks to the awesome person who shipped me my first brew from Idaho.
I poured it into my golden monkey tulip glass and for a split second I saw a small tan head that trailed off to nothing. Now the body of the brew is black as night but after seeing the label what else it could be. The aromas of roasted malts filled my head I got a slight oxidation but better than a year on it I expect it. The flavors of chocolate and coffee are right up front with a nice sweetness coming from the malts. I drink a ton of IMP Stouts so I will say that this one can keep up with the big boys but ... they do need to work on the mouthfeel it was a tad light for me and needs a bit more carbonation for the appearance and your mouth as well. The bottle went down mighty easy and I could have had another. It was a first brew from a state I hadn't ticked off yet.

joepais, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of BeerLover99
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black motor oil color, tan/oatmeal brown head, excellent lacing

S: licorice, vanilla, chocolate, roasted malts.

T/M: sweet vanilla, chocolate, hint of licorice, faint bitter finish, smooth quality with hint of tackiness.

D: Excellent Winter sipper. Worth a try; I'm a big fan of this time of year for the big, heavy complex beers, especially Imperial Stouts. My 1st sample of Grand Teton, well done and look forward to further brew samples.

BeerLover99, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of brewandbbq
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from 2009.

Pours opaque black with a light brown head of a half inch. A partial skim coat remained for the duration with a few dots of lacing.

Aromatics lead off with chocolate fudge, espresso, Kahlua, and char. Quite roasty and lush.

Full bodied with a velvety, lush mouthfeel. Very soft.

Bakers chocolate, rich malt, dark roast coffee, and Kahlua start the palate. A hint of vineousity follows through as well as some boozy heat and brownie batter.

Finishes with dark chocolate, Kahlua, and fudge.

Not the biggest, baddest RIS but damn tasty and I think this one is peaking. Nice.

brewandbbq, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 12 oz bottle.

A - Pours a gorgeous viscous and oily black beer with a nice thin .25 inch head that is quite tan almost pure brown. The beer is quite dark and no light gets through. (4.5)

S - Aroma starts off with roasted coffee notes. Some slight espresso as well as fresh earthy beans. There are some nice chocolaty malt notes and some nice bread and grain notes mixed in there. It has some slight caramel sweetness to it but the nose is more roasted and slightly bitter. (4.0)

T & M - This beer starts off with roasted coffee notes that are quite intense. There is some nice cocoa powder sweetness as well as some good chocolate cake notes. There are nice smoky and peat notes to the flavor as well. There is some slight sweetness from caramel and brown sugar to some slight cinnamon and vanilla notes. There are some nice bitter notes to the beer as well, especially on the back end and mixed in with the sweet chocolate. Nice full flavored beer with great viscosity and nice carbonation. (4.5) (4.0)

D - Really good brew with an ABV that is well hidden even though on a higher side. Nice full body. This should be rated a bit higher. (4.0)

JoEBoBpr, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of codewarrior
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 from a 4-pack Poured into a Snifter

Couldn't resist picking this up at Argonaut on sale. Grand Teton's seasonal beers never disappoint.

L: Pitch black and decently thick. Lots and lots of frothy (thin) effervescence on top. Touch reflective to the light even. This is a high-gloss stout.

S: Cutting bitterness throughout, underscored by a decent amount of mealiness. Alcohol is quite present, especially in the back.

T: An up front booziness resolves nicely into a bold mealy stout. Not nearly on par with Rabid Duck in the nasty, mealy stout world, but surprisingly good. Fades off into a boozy-sweetness with a welcome lingering bitterness.

F: A touch light, but not unwelcomely so. Great carbonation, if a touch on the watery side.

D: Pretty good, definitely drinkable, especially at the price point.

For the price, this is an everyday winter beer for sure. Well executed, and quite drinkable for the genre. The only bang-for-buck Double I can think of to surpass this brew is Green Flash's Double Stout.

codewarrior, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of Birchgrove77
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
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.


Birchgrove77, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of augustgarage
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Brian @ Blue Palms for splitting one of these with me many months ago - the sample under review was one I purchased on my own. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bruery tulip.

Opaque seal brown body with a deep camel layer of foam which recedes by half. A tall bubbling collar gropes the sides of the glass and a creamy head persists. The viscous thick nature of the liquid is evident as you pour - it seems to be the consistency of champurrado at first glance.

Deep roast malt with toasty chocolate overtones in the nose. River rocks, minerals, chalk, and wheat are suggested as well (this character really distinguished this beer the last time I tried it as well - it may come from the touch of smoked malt Grand Teton adds to the kettle).

Faintly peppery/spicy palate entry with some low dark fruit notes as well. Cocoa, and a diverse malt bill are in evidence. The "stone" like flavors come through mid-palate along with a delicate hop bitterness to offset the sweetness. Finishes medium-dry and rich. The esters become more discernable as the beer warms suggesting peach pits and cherry stones.

Full velvety well carbonated mouthfeel. Warming but not hot.

A unique version of the style, with an interesting back-story (celebrating the history of women in brewing, not to mentino their persecution as witches!) - worth a try.

augustgarage, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of u2carew
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz longneck.
A) Pours with a very thin, brown head. Settles quickly leaving hardly any lacing. Opaque body.
S) Chocolate. Bready. Roasted grains.
T) Bitter sweet chocolate. Coffee, roasted grains. Alcohol shines through in the finish with a grainy aftertaste.
M) Full body. Thick, syrup-like.... actually feels more like a port. A bit of an alcohol "burn" in the finish.
D) A decent stout. A bit too sweet upfront along with a syrupy body feel.

u2carew, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of abrand
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass

Pours a deep black color with no visibility through the pour. A small tan head leaves good lacing on the glass. Aromas are bourbon, coffee, and chocolate. A nice malt backbone rounds out the smell. Taste is pretty amazing. Not a huge stout but plenty of flavor with espresso beans, raisins, and still some bourbon. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Drinkability is pretty good for a stout. Not a huge ABV brew which makes it sessionable.

abrand, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.65/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance -- Pours an inky black with a slim sudsy tan head that soon dissipates into a thin haze and dirty halo.

Smell -- Woodsmoke, char, chocolate, dark fruit, and what seems to be a hint of vanilla.

Taste -- Woodsmoke and char are dominant, along with subtle notes of dark chocolate, dark fruit, and vanilla. Earthy hop flavor toward the finish. Lingering flavors of smoke and acrid char.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full with moderate prickly carbonation. Slightly better than average.

Drinkability -- This tastes tastes like it could be a suitable Liquid Smoke substitute: burnt and unbalanced. Too much of a heavy hand with the beechwood-smoked malt; it really drowns out what the rest of the grist is bringing to the table. If you love smokey stouts, this is for your consideration.

yeahnatenelson, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of RootedFool
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ruby-tinged black color, minimal head (barely any to speak of). The nose is much more impressive: candied raisins, dark chocolate, some faint citrus zest, spicy and multi-layered. Taste opens with a mildly sweet fruit and milk chocolate complex of notes, followed by a really surprising and interesting soft hop kick at the end. Mouthfeel is perhaps a little too thin for the style. Definitely worth a try, even several tries.

RootedFool, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of CliffBrake
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is nearly opaque with a minimal head and no lacing.

The aroma is dominated by roasted malts. It is fairly simple but very pleasant. The flavor balances roasted malts, with a touch of coffee and leather, with bitterness and sweetness competing for the finish.

The mouthfeel is very smooth; the bitterness cleans up the sweetness and invites another sip. Overall, a very drinkable beer, if not too complex.

CliffBrake, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of Hibernator
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black Cauldron Imperial Stout
12 oz brown bottle
Bottled 01/21/10
Served in a Smuttynose tulip glass

Pours a jet black and opaque. Looks like pen ink. Very minimal head on top with little spots of lace.

"Roasty" aroma with whiffs of coffee beans and malts.

The Black Cauldron Imperial Stout is a robust and complex brew. Espresso, brown sugar and dark chocolate flavors. Dark roasted malt flavors with a sugary sweetness. I also detect some dark fruit flavors like prunes.

The ABV % is very well hidden with a baby hop snap on the finish. Very smooth and flavorful. Held up quite well for the past 10 months. Worth checking out.

Hibernator, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of EgadBananas
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage.

Deep dark blackness on the pour, thick, with a dark tan 2 finger of head. Laces beautifully.

Smells is sweet, slight molasses, and chocolate. Fair amount of roastyness.

Lots of malts, some coffee, bitter chocolate and loads of roastedness.

Nice and thick, full bodied, creamy, and no carbonation.

Lower abv, and this thing is tasty!!

EgadBananas, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of thetomG
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oily black color and viscosity - silky smooth with a nice dense layer of tan head - very little lacing.

Nice coffee aspect to the aroma in addition to the other typical stout smells.

Flavor is more complex with some cocoa and a bit of warmth from the alcohol coming through.

Overall - a solid beer, but not necessarily good enough to oust my standard everyday stout (Old Rasputin), that being said its a nice option to have for variety and I'm glad they're distributed here in Chicago now.

thetomG, Dec 02, 2010
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.

TMoney2591, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of Rayek
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 10/29/09 vintage bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Jet black with no light penetrating through. A dense tan head starts strong, but falls too quickly to a patchwork film. Leaves bits of lace.

S: The aroma of Cocoa dominates. Hot chocolate is the first thought that came to mind. Letting the nose linger reveals espresso and vanilla.

T: The hot cocoa theme from the nose carries straight into the flavor. Bittersweet baking chocolate is at the forefront. Balance is created with a nice coffee bite. Hop flavors are minimal and a bit earthy. A vanilla sweetness comes in late. Chocolate and a light acidity linger into the finish. The flavor of alcohol is completely masked, but there is a nice warmth as the beer hits the system.

M: The medium-heavy body has fine carbonation and is a little syrupy.

D: For me, this is a very nice Imperial Stout. It doesn't have the over-the-top bitterness that so many of these beers can have. Instead, it comes across as a Sweet Stout with the volume turned way up. I'm really glad I picked this one up.

Rayek, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of jdense
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Red Feather/Bittercreek 11.10.10, $5 12 oz. poured into big ass wine glass.

1/2 finger brown head, slow dissipation with minimal lacing. Dark brown almost black body, no visible carbonation. Significant chocolate nose, some roast, cocoa, vanilla, coffee, pretty complex aroma, though it faded significantly as the beer warmed. Taste mirrors nose, chocolate is the dominant taste, leading to a slightly bitter finish. Mouthfeel was actually a bit on the light side for the style, a bit thin and watery, this is no meal replacement. ABV pretty noticeable, a bit hot. This isn't Old Rasputin, but other than mouthfeel and fainting aroma, certainly worth a try for fans of the style.

jdense, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of KarlHungus
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours an opaque black color. The head is a quarter inch of tan foam that recedes within seconds into a mere ring of lacing around the edges of the glass. The aroma is of roasted malt, chocolate, hints of burnt malt, and faint toffee. The taste is similar to the aroma. It is very malt driven with tons of roasted and chocolate malt. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a smooth texture and low carbonation. Overall, this is a good imperial stout, but it is far from being great. I would happily drink it again though when in the mood for a maltier big stout.

KarlHungus, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of ninetofive
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from wades wines in westlake, CA.
poured into a lengthwise pint glass.

a- black with a big brown head. good lacing through out.

s- bitter and roasty malt, bitter chocolate.

t- boozy, and roasty. chocolate and bitter hoppyness. coffee on the finish.

m- full bodied, with big carbonation. slight silky feel.

d- pretty big stout. nice to sip, my glass got better as it warmed up a bit. nice cold weather brew.

ninetofive, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of dragonWhale
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

looks like it was bottled 10/29/09 sounds about right. black with a bit of tawny edge, tan head. smells like raisins, chocolate, alcohol, and coffee. something sweet too, syrupy.
rich and sweet, chocolate is very heavy with the sweet malt flavor blending brilliantly, thick bodied, finishing creamy but with a slight coffee astringency. little bit of alcohol sting.
very nice with a year on it. thick mouthfeel even though the body isn't overly thick itself. Coats your throat with delights.

Tried this again and found it very similar but with more smokiness. I believe this was from the same batch, a bit surprised I was unable to pick this out the first time. The smokiness really adds to the rest of the beer. Enjoyed it even more this time.

dragonWhale, Nov 14, 2010
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.

drabmuh, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of nickd717
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from Whole Foods Los Altos.

The appearance of this beer is black and thick with a small but thick tan head.

The aroma of this one is intense. Lots of molasses, roast, coffee, dark chocolate, and dark fruits. Really a punch in the face.

The flavor is also very intense. Feels bigger than its 8% with roasted malt, molasses, chocolate, prunes and raisins, oak, and whiskey.

The body on this one is very full and the carbonation is on the lower side. Pretty syrupy stuff.

This is a big beer, and a pretty nice imperial stout overall. Sort of a sledgehammer, but your friend tickd717 is a guy who enjoys beers like that quite a bit.

nickd717, Nov 10, 2010
Black Cauldron Imperial Stout from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 540 ratings.