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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.
very good

553 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 553
Reviews: 314
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 28
Gots: 47 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-23-2006

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 553 | Reviews: 314 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bendurgin
1.22/5  rDev -68.9%
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.

Photo of mavbrew
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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.


Photo of puboflyons
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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!

Photo of portia99
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Photo of yemenmocha
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of Juggernaut929
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
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.


Photo of Brez07
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
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

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.

Photo of xraided81
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of Ghenna
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of laituegonflable
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark colour, dark mahogany up to the light. Beige head levels out slowly, leaving a film of headness on the top. Lace is thin but has that great "look at me, I'm a dark beer" bronze curtain look to it. Yeah, decent beer, but not amazing.

Nose is very roasty, lots of coffee on that. Yeah, toasted grain and just general carbon matter. Slight ashiness with smokey coffee grounds. Nuttiness on the back like roasted almond. Yeah, pleasant nose but again not mind-blowing.

Taste is actually a bit weak on the front. Has nice dark roasty notes at first, then gets just a bit subdued, the roastiness trails off. It creeps back into the palate with pleasant nutty notes and mega cocoa. A hint of cola character at the back, just slightly sour and not as 'meaty' as the imperial stouts I've come to love. Finish is a strong point though with nice palatable roastiness, a lot of sweetness as well though. If anything a little too sweet, has a brown sugar tinge to it and I do quite like my stouts to roast my bollocks off at the end. Decent palate overall though, just feel it's a bit mild and timid compared to what I expected.

Does swill really nicely in the mouth, smooth and velvety with a bit of a dry bite at the end that just adds a little "oomph!" to it.

I often say in my reviews that when flavour feels diminished, it makes it more drinkable. That is definitely true here because for an imperial stout it is remarkably easy-drinking and mild. The alcohol is virtually undetectable.

Photo of bsp77
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Jet black with thin tan head and light lacing.

Smell: Chocolate and molasses is predominate with nice nuances of coffee and smoke.

Taste: Very chocolaty, with nice layers of molasses, coffee, and a general smokiness. A slight level of English hop bitterness rounds out the flavor.

Feel: Low carbonation, smooth and full body, nice dry finish.

Drinkability: More than solid Russian Imperial Stout with an emphasis on chocolate and simple balance. Pleasantly surprised by this.

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.

Photo of WOTO97
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: a deep, rich mahogany with a quickly dissolving head and fine speckled lacing

S: big roasted malt with faint menthol, bold (slightly burned) coffee note, slight vanilla and alcohol as well, a nut character emerges as beer warms

T: roasted malt is extremely pronounced here (not so much overpowering as the other flavor profiles are so nominally present), slight pepper from alcohol, crusty bread finish, very nominal coffee, slight sweet black licorice

M: thick finish with relatively creamy texture throughout

D: improves as it approaches room temp but all-too-close to a one-note impy stout--roasted malt is very much in the forefront

Photo of dpnelson1978
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.
Original tasting: 12/20/2009

12 oz. bottle into tulip.

$10.99 / 4 pk.

S: Strong coffee, sweet molasses, and dark roasted barley. Slight alcohol aroma on back end.

A: Opaque dark brown to black body with a small creamy head that quickly dissipates leaving slight lacing and a creamy cover. Would appreciate a bigger head and better lacing.

T: Slight sweetness, and significant coffee notes. No upfront alcohol, but some hotness at the end. Dark roasted barley bitterness, and minimal chocolate character.

M: Medium body, and low carbonation. Creamy with low bitterness.

D: Good drinkability for an 8.0 abv. Goes down easy and doesn't leave a strong aftertaste. Taste gets a bit old over time. Two is my limit.

o: Solid overall, but nothing that blows me away.

Photo of steve8robin
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought at my local beer store. I love stouts, so, let's see...

A: Deep liquidy black that has no light shining through. Kind of like a cola. Small mocha head that quickly fades to a small lace atop the brew. Decent.

S: Smells super roasty blended with hints of deep dark chocolate. Slight hints of coffee and oatmeal. Decent.

T: Super watery coffee upfront with heavy roast blended in the middle and some bitter earthiness on the backend. I wish this brew had more sweetness blended in to balance the flavors. Just very roasty and bitter, not much else going on. Nothing special.

M: Thicker than I would have liked. Decent.

D: Goes down ok. A little too roasty for my liking. Decent.

All in all, this brew is nothing special. Don't worry about it. If you like super roasty brews, then this is for you, otherwise, avoid.

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

A - Dark dark brown to black. Cannot see through it at all. Head is minimal.

S - Roasted malts, milk chocolate, butter, nutty aroma.

T - Fruitier than most imperials. It tastes like there are some dates or perhaps black cherries. Roasted malt, chocolate in addition, but these flavors are a bit dull in comparison to the other flavors and compared to other imperials. This beer is a bit too sweet. Tastes like it has evaporated milk in it.

M - Very smooth, low carbonation. Could probably benefit from a bit more carbonation actually. Tastes pretty flat.

D - Moderately drinkable. A pretty good brew overall. I wish it wasn't as sweet.

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

This beer "glugs" with some viscosity into my glass. Inky black appearance. Thin and bubbly brown head. Looks great. Nice aroma of anise, thick roasted malts, black licorice and baker's chocolate. Oily texture to this beer. It coats the palate nicely. Body is medium-full and the carbonation is quite low key. Flavors resemble aromas....anise oil, licorice, roasted bitterness, chocolate, dark fruits, prunes, black cherries, etc.... Very enjoyable.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a solid black color with a nice thick dark tan head. Eventually turns to a heavy film.

Smell: Nice roasted malt aroma, with hints of some sweet cream and caramel. Perhaps a bit of alcohol in the aroma, but not much.

Taste: Roasted malt flavor, but not overly roasted. There's some blueberries in there too, along with some coffee. Aftertaste has a bit of a smokiness to it.

Mouthfeel: Medium- to heavy-bodied. Feels just a tad watered-down, but it is still good and quite smooth. Very minimal soft carbonation.

Drinkability: Good drinkability for this IPA and style. No real alcohol in the flavor, and not too strong.

It is a nice imperial stout - a bit lighter than most and not quite as tasty as some, but still an enjoyable beer.

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

Pours nice and black with a thin tan head. Aromas of roasted malt,
coffee bean, vanilla, and dark fruit. Initial flavors of burnt toast and
raisin chocolate covered espresso bean and vanilla. Light smoky
flavors play well off light anise and the mild hoppy backbone. The
body is full, lush, and smooth.

Photo of sitarist
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received from whitebricke in a BIF.

Pours almost black, opaque with a slight hint of brown around the edge. Minimal head falls quick to barely a ring and minimal spots of lacing.

Smells sweet with hints of coco, powdered sugar, and apples. The aroma is mellow and pleasant.

The flavors are mellow like the nose with a smokey/bourbon note up front, with a sweet/coco finish.

The mouthfeel is wet with a medium body, and nice low carbonation. Not bad it just doesn't stick to my tongue.

A great beer that's very drinkable; its just a little weak for the style. Id love to try again but this beer doesn't make its way into my area.

Black Cauldron Imperial Stout from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 553 ratings.