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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

539 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 539
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Cauldron Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 539 | Reviews: 312 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Greggy
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a pitch black color.. very black. Head is tan in color, thick and 1.5 fingers in height. Decent lacing rings the glass

S- Chocolate, gram cracker, black olives, dark fruits. Nice solid nose on this one.

T- Starts off with a massive chocolate and hopiness. Ample dark fruits, raisins, a bit of sweetened black olive brine. The finish is ample chocolate and bit of dry roastiness. As I sit, a get a very late finish (2 mins past) that is dead on for me, the taste you get in your mouth after having an apple jolly rancher.

M- Low carbonation. Could use just a slight bit more. Overally, a good body.

D- This is a very tasty impy. The very late finish is a little odd but I could see having this again in the future.

Greggy, Oct 31, 2010
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A large two finger, which is a deep tan in color, settles into a small layer, leaving a good bit of sticky lace. The body is deep black, which shows no light through. Great overall appearance.
S: Deep notes of dried fruit on the front, with a mellow chocolate presence, while at the very end it smelled like autumn spice.
T/M: The first thing that hits you is the rich, full and creamy body. Not syrupy, but full and a nice milky creaminess. The roast notes of the body, blend well with I would say tastes like cocoa pepper chocolate. No really lingering spice, but in the body for just a second.
D: I would say this is a very well balanced stout. Not overly powering in ABV, but very nice little kick. Great body and a nice creamy sipper. Great way to start Halloween!

GDBEERMAN, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of kaseydad
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cellared for seven months. Had to get my drink on....

Black as motor oil pour with a huge hot cocoa head with major lacing. Nice chocolate aroma with some hot cocoa whiffs minus the marshmallows. Some caramel also in the mix and roasted malts. Roasted, malty flavor with some dark chocolates in the swallow followed by a roasty black coffee bitterness on the swallow and aftertaste. Lingering bitterness. Full bodied and leaves the mouth working as to what is just partook of. Drinkability is somewhat low based on the number I could take down in one sitting. Not a bad beer at all and once I saw that it comes in a bomber, I had to partake of it and look to add the bomber to my cellar and go beyond seven months. Worth the effort.

kaseydad, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of GilGarp
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 10/29/2009. About one year ago this week.

Served cool into a globe, Black Cauldron is actually a very dark brown but looks black in the glass. The head is a nice crema tan color but it settles quickly.

Aroma is rich and roasty with milk chocolate and coffee. A little bit of black cherry comes through as well.

Flavor is very nice - there is definately a good amount of sweetness to the beer (it isn't one that will knock you over with bitterness and roast) so it has a good balance. The coffee flavors and chocolate are here too but come through stronger. A little bit of cherry coke is in there, which I like.

Mouthfeel is full in body and low in carbonation. You can tell it's thick the way it coats the mouth.

Overall a very solid imperial stout. We're heading into colder months and it's been so long since I've had a big stout like this. It serves as a reminder of the good things to come.

GilGarp, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of NEhophead
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown bottle, wrapped in foil.
Bottled on 1/21/10; served in a snifter.

Pours an inky opaque black in color beneath a delicate, hazlenut-colored head that moves to the snifter's sides almost upon impact. Stippling lace around half of the snifter.

Warming, acidic alcohol nose that pushes past the espresso and bitter dark chocolate notes. Notes of semi-sweet toffee and vanilla.

Bitter dark chocolate and chewy, roasted malt flavors attack the palate. A dry alomond and peanut flavor cut the bitter chocolate; however, the lack of any sweetness makes this stout rather one-dimensional.

Full bodied; chewy, dry, and rough on the palate. This offering misses the syrupy smoothness that I love in an Imperial Stout.

Not one of my favorites stylistically, but not an unflattering ale. I wouldn't mind having another, but I wouldn't seek it out.

NEhophead, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of Pellinore1
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle pours almost black into an imperial pint glass, leaving a finger of brown head, and some lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, with a bit of alcohol and fruity sweetness.

The flavor is all dark, roasted malts at first. This initial impression is followed by coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Not a huge alcohol flavor, but it's definitely there at the end.

Mouthfeel is nice and smooth, creamy with noticeable carbonation.

Drinkability is fine for the style, which is to say, one is enough for me.

Overall, an enjoyable imperial stout, but nothing to write home about.

Pellinore1, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of taez555
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a pitch black body with a small tan head.

Nose has a fruity choclate and dark malt sort of smell.

Taste is full bodied with an immediate big dark roasted bitter espresso flavor. Dark unsweetened chocolate and an everpresent sour fruit sort of bitter roasted flavor. There's some earth and even licorise sort of hop touches and a good subtle balance of overall bitterness to balance the malt.

Overall a pretty good beer, nothing crazy or in your face, just a good solid IS.

taez555, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of Durge
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours a solid black-brown color into the pint glass at room temperature. It has a solid coffee colored head that settles to a thin film and leaves sturdy lacing. The aroma says fruity licorice, with prune and coffee laying the groundwork. Very solid and alluring. The flavor comes on with a touch of chocolate that didn't come out in the aroma. This melds smoothly with raisin/prune sweetness, sharp coffee bitterness and the licorice theme once again. There's a unique floral/herbal quality with a vague nuttiness that swims through the dominant woodsy licorice dominance. It's medium bodied and supremely smooth feeling, a little resinous and silky but not too thick or strong. Quite drinkable for the style and ABV. This is surely a solid choice for an Imperial Stout and Grand Teton again shows me their reliable skill in this variety of beer grandeur. Very much recommended.

Durge, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of drewba
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - opaque black (as a black cauldron). A thin khaki ring of head remains for a few minutes, then is gone forever.

S - Raisin, fig, brown sugar and a touch of maple syrup.

T - Dark fruits, maple syrup and cocoa are all here for the party. A touch of coffee grounds comes out in the finish. I am generally not a fan of dark fruit forward stouts, but this one is isn't overpowered or trying to showcase the dark fruits. Just enough raisin, fig and plum to let me enjoy it instead of ramming it down my throat.

M - thick and satisfying mouthfeel, but does not overwhelm the palate or stick around very long. A little oily, with very little carbonation.

D - incredibly balanced beer here, i could easily drink this all night. The alcohol is hidden wonderfully - impressive at 8% abv.

drewba, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of cbutova
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled January 21, 2010.

A- Pours out like oil, pitch black. A small mocha head builds and has decent retention. A ring leaves very spotty lace.

S- Two big things going on. A bit roasty malt profile mixes with cocoa notes and raisins. The other thing is the hops, I get a surprisingly large hop aroma here. When it comes down to it, this actually smells a lot like a Haggen-Dazs bar, lol. Overall strength isn't amazing for the style.

T- Certainly a big dose of nice roast and caramel malt (a bit stale from age). Cocoa notes are heavy but are also pretty damn sweet(Haggen thing going on still). Definitely more hops than other Imperial Stouts I have had. The roast notes seem burnt/smokey, or even like charcoal. The dark fruit rounds out nice flavor.

MF- Somewhat oily and creamy thick body. Carbonation is on par for a big stout, low-moderate level and easy on the palate. Some bitterness in the finish as well as alcohol warming.

DB- An easy going Imperial Stout, I accredit that to the sweetness. I prefer my big stouts on the harsh side but won't bash this, it is just a bit sweet at points.

cbutova, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of JackieTH
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: black-brown and opaque with a fingernail of thin tan foam that didn't last long.

Smell: Inviting roast malt, chocolate and a dark fruit I can't rightly place. I enjoyed the smell of this one more than the taste.

Taste: Roasted malt, semi-sweet chocolate, subtle lactose and more of the dark fruit that is hard to place, possibly raisins or figs I don't want to say dried cherries..

Mouthfeel: Somewhat creamy, but non-descript.

Drinkability: Yes. It works. It's not the best nor the worst.

JackieTH, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of Bendurgin
1.2/5  rDev -69.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

So normally I don't read the reviews before I review it but this one made go back and so such. I'm wondering if I have a bad bottle. Has anyone else?

Moving on. Bottled on 01/21/10

I popped this open and it gushed out. I thought that was a bit peculiar. Anyhow, it doesn't smell very appealing, from the bottle at least. So, I poured this into my tulip. This is what made read some other reviews. I've got a giant head on this. Seriously, four fingers and this Bad Larry won't settle. I've poured maybe about a third of this. I'm disappointed already, That being said, a big giant mocha colored head on a stout never looks bad, but this can't be right. Right now I wonder what I paid for this. I only bought a single. Not the four pack. Geesh, and I'm still feeling upset.
This smells sour. I'm not sure that it should. Sour alcohol with a bit of smoke. This is just vile. Taste like is smells almost but add charcoal. Sour charcoal soaked in alcohol.
I can't drink this, I'm not trying to crap on this beer by any means, I was actually excited for and I'll buy another. But I'm putting this up because maybe there are some bad bottles of this. I only think this because none of the other reviews show anything that I have experienced with this one.

Bendurgin, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of mavbrew
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 1/21/10, poured into DFH snifter.

A: Pours jet black in color but had minimal head and no lacing at all even with an aggressive pour.

S: I am smelling strong dark chocolate scents with some roasted malts. Maybe some caramel hints and a bit of smokiness is present as well.

T: Very sweet/bittery chocolate flavor is prevalent up front. This is followed with a bit of roasted malts and finishes with a smokey flavor that sticks with the palate well after the initial sip.

M: Medium bodied with little carbonation present. Very smooth going down.

D: This is my first beer from Grand Teton and I am very pleased with this IS. It has more of a chocolatey taste to it, but it works. And there is very little trace of the 8% ABV. A solid beer indeed.

mavbrew, Sep 25, 2010
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.


eggland, Sep 16, 2010
Photo of puboflyons
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 01/21/10. Sampled on September 14, 2010. It pours nearly black but there is virtually no head or lacing of any kind. The aroma is a hodgepodge of smoked, burnt, dark chocolate malts but nothing that makes you think it was fermented in an oak-whiskey barrel. The taste has some raisins, chocolate, and a bit of hops. Cauldrin is right. There is so much going on here it is as if they threw a bunch of things into a culdrin and gave it a stir. Difficult to define but just too versatile for me.

puboflyons, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of edchicma
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, dark chocolate, bordering on black. Smell is sweet malt...great roasted notes...espresso presence. Taste mirrors the smell, especially the great roasted qualities. Mouthfeel is great..initial creaminess, with a dry roasty finish. This is a very, very drinkable beer for such a high abv. Could be dangerously easy on quaffability!

edchicma, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of portia99
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been waiting on this one for a while...time to crack it open. 12oz bottle (bottled 1/21/10) poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - A vigorous pour down the center of the glass could only rise a quickly fading half finger of brown foam that ends up as an uneven collar around the glass. The body is dark as night...seems to be as deep a brown as you can get before becoming black. Inky and doesn't allow any light to pass thru it.

S - Licorice and dark fruit dominate. A strong alcohol component kicks in as well as some bitter chocolate. There is definitely a roasty component here too, but it is hard to place...not coffee and doesn't seem like darkly kilned malt either...unusual - not at all bad, just hard to identify. A different sort of balance to an imperial stout...most of the typical aromas are there, but their concentrations in relationship to each other seem to be a bit jumbled.

T - Roasty up front, focused with bitter chocolate, some cafe au lait, a hint of molasses, burnt sugar, and some dark fruit with a hit of alcohol for good measure. Similar to the aroma...all the flavors are here, but in oddly different combinations than is typically found, although the result is more enjoyable than the aroma for me.

M - Fairly full bodied. Carbonation is dull...makes it somewhat creamy, but more than anything feels a bit lifeless. Thick and somewhat oily. Alcohol is noticeable on the exhale mainly, but no real heat is felt.

D - A solid imperial stout, if not the best I've ever had. Enjoyable but not especially great. I'm having no trouble getting thru the bottle and actually would easily return to this one again, but compared to others in the style, this one falls a bit short.

portia99, Aug 19, 2010
Photo of yemenmocha
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Disappointing appearance - virtually no head whatsoever, just a thin tan rim layer. Nose is fantastic though with coffee, roasted malts, and a hint of vanilla or perhaps coconut. On the palate those very flavors come through, especially the coffee and roasty flavors. Body seems a bit thin though for an Imperial stout, though this does enhance the drinkability.

yemenmocha, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of Juggernaut929
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was quite good, I bought a few extra bottles a put them away for a year or so, This is the 2nd beer I've drank of this, and the one I'm reviewing.

Appearance - Black, completely dark, with a thin line of head that disappears after a few minutes. Carbonation seems low but appropriate to the style IMO.

Smell - My bad sense of smell says that this is an imperial stout. ;P Which smells good.

Taste/Drinkability - This beer slides down your throat as a thick sauce of awesomeness. It has some darker fruit notes, maybe raisin or cherry, with a nice chocolate flavor coming across. I was rather pleased by this. I found it to be lighter than some imperial stouts, kind of a middle ground, where its still drinkable, I feel i could drink a few of them. Very light hop flavor coming across, and a nice finish and after flavor, begging another sip.

Finish/Overall Impression- I was impressed by this, like I said put a few bottles away for aging, I found the alcohol bite was a bit high, but I think a little waiting will cure that, not that its a bad thing. The price for this was very reasonable too, i think I spent a little under $3 per bottle, and I really like the label. Overall nice work to the brewers on this one.


Juggernaut929, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of Brez07
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Opaque black pour that leaves a half finger mocha head. No lacing

S: Mix of dark fruit (raison, cherry) and muted roasted malt/chocolate. Also hints of bourbon (even though to my knowledge it isn't barrel aged) and alcohol

T: Same characters from the smell, but not quite on par. There's a smokey finish added

M: Thick, chewy. High carbonation, maybe a little too much, but not to the beer's detriment. Slight roasted aftertaste

D: Easy drinking stout. Smells great, but flavors don't come out much. Enjoyed trying a new stout, but it's not readily available so I don't see myself having it again

Brez07, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of spoons
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty black body here. Nice mocha head. Looks great at first.

Smell is actually more muted than I expected. Some coffee and chocolate notes, roasted barley and such but no so complex.

The taste also proves she is a quiet one. A little sweetness, but not much. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. however the tastes is one note. Its not that this beer is bad by any means but its a little dry for an imperial and not as complex. Id drink it again but its not A worthy.

spoons, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of xraided81
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep jet black, thick tan head quickly turns into a thin off white ring around the rim of the glass.
S: notes of roasted coffee with a hint of vanilla, and warm alcohol;
T: bitter roasted coffee, very dry finish which is not to common in imperial stout.the mallt is more evident than the hop bitterness in this brew
M: carbonation is still present, rich, velvetty and viscous mouthfeel.
D: It is a good, but not great example of imperial stout, for about $12 for a 4pack, i probably wont buy this again. I would rather get a 4pack of north coast old rasputin for $8, which is by far a better example of imperial stout.

xraided81, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours inky black and viscous, but with just a slight head that fades fairly quickly to a tam knot of bubbles around the rim. Smells somewhat sweet and licoricy, with a slightly dusty finish. The taste is also heavy on the licorice with a touch of bitter hops, bitter chocolate, and a little roastiness. Not too sweet at all, and the licorice has the dry, Swedish licorice flavor. Quite pleasant in the mouth with the smooth, thick viscosity, but no grainy feeling at all. Very nice.

Georgiabeer, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of horshack7
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Into a pint glass is an abyss of darkness with a head of about one and a half fingers. A little bit of lacing is lafet behind upon the head thinning out.

Aroma: Front and center are large dark roasted coffee notes. Chocolate notes wrap themselves around the incredibly dark roasted malts. The hop side of it all is once again dark that's such a wonderful thing.

Taste: It coats the pallte as if it was a dark chocolte ganache yet still very creamy. Coffee chocolate and dark roasted malts and hops are all rolled so very well into one tasty beer.

Notes: This is one very tasty American double stout I am glad I picked this one up. Cheers.

horshack7, Jul 19, 2010
Photo of Ghenna
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an inky black into my pint glass, with ~1fingers worth of chocolate head. Nice lacing. Smells of burnt malt, smoke, chocolate, coffee. Taste is of huge coffee/chocolate bitter up front, hint of caramel in the middle, mild hop/coffee dryness at the end. The beer leaves a medium/heavy coating on the mouth and a bit of sticky on the lips. This is a nice Imperial Stout- one which I would happily buy again if I could find it reasonably priced.

Ghenna, Jul 17, 2010
Black Cauldron Imperial Stout from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 539 ratings.