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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

319 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 319
Hads: 574
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 14.83%
Wants: 33
Gots: 56 | FT: 5
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: 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: 319 | Hads: 574
Photo of Etan
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Spiegelau tulip.

A: Pours a rich, absolutely opaque black with a small dark tan head. Head recedes to a ring around the glass on some whispy carbonation on top. Some lacing.

S: Chocolate-forward with a bit of spicy alcohol lingering behind. Slight roasted coffee beans, a little smokiness, and milky vanilla. Hint of hop resin. Sweet and smooth.

T: In front, milk and bittersweet chocolate with roasted coffee and a hint of fruity sweetness from the hops and alcohol. Smoked malts are definitely doing their job here, with a hefty dose of smoky bitterness lingering well-after the beer leaves the tongue.

M: Soft and tingly carbonation. Good body.

O: The smoked malts are certainly there, but aren't overpowering. ABV is on the low end for an American RIS, which lets the malts come into focus. I really liked this one.

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Photo of beagle75
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tasting glass.

A: Opaque black color with no head save for a loose ramp of light beige bubbles that tries to climb up the side of the glass. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Mild but roasty, with a fine thread of molasses that adds minor interest. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins off-dry, with soft roasted malt, herbaceous qualities, and a brief hit of smoky and fermented yeast. Acidity is mild into the middle where coffee emerges before a savory quality, also suggestive of smoke, marks the transition into the mild roasty finish. No alcohol is detected.

M: medium to thick viscosity, slightly acidic but balanced on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This stout barely qualifies as imperial at 8% abv, and it shows in how it drinks. It has a slightly apologetic feel to it, which is unexpected from Grand Teton. It is an acceptable stout and does not offend, but it lacks the inspirational flair featured in most of their other recipes.

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown, almost black with a creamy tan head that leaves sheets of lacing.

Aroma is smokey charred dark grain and espresso.

Taste is similar to the nose. More of the charred dark grain. Espresso and chocolate makes an appearance. Subtle dark fruit sweetness - plum and date. Tobacco hop character comes on surprisingly strong. Finishes with a dry oak and vanilla quality.

Mouthfeel is medium-full.

Overall, a decent stout. No off flavor here. Certainly worth a try.

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Photo of bashiba
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a thick dark black with clear mahogany highlights, the head was a nice creamy dark tan that quickly turned into just a light ring.

The smell is dominated by the smokiness and roasted barley.

Has a heavy black burnt grain and smokey flavor with some touches of molasses sweetness coming through, just a bit of herbal hops keep it almost in balance. Some nice notes of chocolate and brown sugar, a bit of vanilla pokes through as well.

The mouthfeel is thick and oily, a bit chewy.

A good Imperial Stout, but nothing groundbreaking here. A bit on the mild side of imperial stouts.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml (1 pint, 9oz) bottle. Date reads, 9/21/11. Split between two into a Victory snifter

A: Pours a dark black color. There are some faint reddish hues at the bottom of the glass. Three fingers dark tan head. Tight tiny bubbles. Alcohol feet. Beautiful head. Two tones and sticks around forever.

S: I got lots of roast and coffee and mild chocolate. It's very pleasant.

T: Really nice chocolate bitterness on the tip of the tongue. Lots of dark chocolate but also milk and there is some coffee too. As it warms the chocolate really mellows into a smooth flavor blending milk and dark.

M: Medium to full bodied. Not overly thick.

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Photo of rawfish
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle pours into a tulip glass. Pitch with mahogany glints along the glass. Pretty good lacing forms from a tiny mocha head of half a finger.

Aroma highlights fruit and complexities in the malt, molasses, char, licorice with plum, raisins and currants in the mix. Slight hoppiness of citrus mixed in there. Low on chocolate or coffee depth. That's um, different.

Charred roasted malts with a sweetness that comes from molasses and candied fig. Slight mild chocolate finally appears as the hops come in with flavors of muted grapefruit. Finishes with roasted malt and lactic acid. Not your typical RIS but delightfully complex.

Suffers from a really stick mouthcoating that doesn't clear the palate for the next sip. Decently carbed and body otherwise. Lactic acid finish is accentuated by the roasted malt finish that draws on.

Rushed through this one a bit so I could avoid the aftertaste and biting finish but the flavors here are welcome change from most stouts I have tried. Malts are pleasant and complex with a brighter hop finish than expected. Not my favorite but worth trying.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Brien's

A: Black with a thin tan head and pretty good retention.

S: Tons of roasted malt with a bit of molasses, black licorice, rye bread and some faint smoke. Pretty nice.

T: Lots of roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, molasses, rye bread and a touch of black licorice. Velvety mouthfeel made it a joy to drink.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottled 9/20/2011, pours a syrupy black with a thin, tan head that leaves some lacing on the glass. Aromas are mainly some roasted malt and anise, not too boozy, but as it warms booze and dark chocolate seem to come out. Tastes are bitter with anise and pine dominating the forefront followed by roasted/charred malt, burnt brown sugar, somewhat boozy, with some white pepper that finishes with a prickle on the tongue. Mouth-feel is medium bodied with appropriate carbonation. Overall, pretty good complexity here, but at times I found it wasn't going down so smoothly. Good example of the style, just not a favorite.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottle poured into a Stone Brewery flute. Pours very dark brown, appearing black. Half finger dark brown head dissipates slowly to a thick ring, light lacing. Muted aroma of dark and roasted malt and light chocolate. Flavor of roasted and slightly charred malt melds into a thinner, slightly sour fruit, roasted malt and coffee middle and finish. Body is light to medium. A satisfactory stout, but the finish is thin and not a good flavor progression. I bought this almost two year old bottle from a cooler room at the store, but can't be sure of its storage history. Good enough that I'll try a fresh one if the opportunity arises.

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Photo of intensify
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter and reviewed.
First off, this was recommended by a good friend of mine who knows his booze so i was curious to try it.
Pour- poured a dark brown with a nice 2 finger head.. excellent retention. As a matter of fact, retention is nearly flawless.
Smell- dark malt characters and a bitter chocolate aroma. A kiss of coffee and no alcohol.
Taste- pretty damn tasty. Almost pin point to the smell. Bitter but sweet chcolate, coffee and a sweetness that balances out very nicely. Overall a bit bitter finish.
Mouthfeel- creamy, creamy, and creamy. Low carbonation which suits this style nicely.
overall its a tasty stout. The creamyness lives up to its style and its one i will enjoy in the future. If you like strong coffee character stouta.. try this one.

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Photo of eclipse54
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A bottle from November 2010 that I opened as part of a small stout tasting on 01/03/2012. Poured into a 5 oz. snifter, and reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark brown, near black with faint ruby hues. A thin tan/brown head develops with good retention but minimal lacing.

The aroma is of roasted malt, smoke, cocoa, a touch of milk chocolate, and faint coffee grounds. A bit of a "charred" impression is gained.

Taste is rather unassuming, with roasted/smoked malts, caramel, cocoa nibs, ground coffee, and a certain earthy dirt flavor. Seems a bit muddled and unintegrated, but not wholly offputting.

Mouthfeel is relatively smooth, though there is a slightly bitter characteristic from the cacao (it seems). It finishes with a creamy texture and dry aftertaste.

Overall, a good stout. Not mind-blowing, but affordable and easy to drink.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from bottle to a NBB globe glass. Bottled on 12/8/2010.

A - The beer pours a deep bitch opaque black color. Black edges, dark. A nice 1.5 finger mocha colored head. Good retention and lacing.

S - There is roasted barley and chocolate immediately but a citrus sweetness from the hops comes in afterwards. Its a nice blend of sweet and roast. No sense of alcohol.

T - Just like the nose the beer starts with a bitter roasted barley and chocolate malt flavor. It's not so much that it's unbearable but rather a smooth roasty character. The hop sweetness and citrus character comes in the middle. It's a very balanced brew. I am not used to such hop character in an imperial stout. I really like it!

M - Good carbonation and medium bodied. Finishes smooth and creamy. Good.

D - Very

Overall, this is a very good beer. I had the opportunity to get a 4-pack or a bomber. I went with a bomber. I will immediately get more. Recommended.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 03-13-2011 01:50:08

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Photo of ghostwalker
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown body. Solid finger of tan head. A little thin for the style.

Aroma is solid malt, dark fruits and a hint of sour. Is that sourness intentional?

Smooth and rich maltiness. Dark fruits jump out at me. No real coffee or chocolate contribution, or other things that one often encounters in Imperial Stouts. Almost Belgian in style, but without the Belgian yeast character. Kind of reminds me of Black Albert, but without the hoppiness. Different, but good.

Thin for the style. Slight creaminess, slick and coating.

Overall is good. I like it, but it lacks a certain intensity. Bet it's better with a little sidecar of good bourbon. Think I'll find out!

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Photo of Crass3000
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
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 stealth
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is real black - only slight dark brown edging at the bottom of the tulip glass I used. Dark tan foamy head, but not super thick. The alcohol comes through in the nose a bit, with molasses, fruits, and chocolate. Has a dark fruit flavor/sweetness with some hops and dark chocolate. Roasted finish, but not strong. There's an essence of smokiness in there too that makes this brew pretty unique.

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Photo of budgood1
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours out ann opaque ink black colour with a cherry red tinged dark tan head. receding foam leaves a good deal of clinging lace. choco covered cherry aroma...hints of java, nougat, yeast, and coconut. the taste lends itself towards coffee and cocoa notes...then veers heavily toward the yeasty, fruity esthers reminiscent of plums and chokecherries. some brandy like alcohol rears its head, making this seem more RIS than ADS. definitley more fruit centric than dark roasted malt centric. add in some lactic aspects and this big stout provides a unique, boozy goodness that is welcome in its balance of flavours. nice full body with a smooth mouthfeel only interrupted by a slight alcohol sting. drinkability is real nice...a well constructed DIS.

overall, i was impressed. this had some baltic porter characteristics, and a surprisingly boozy kick for only 8.00% ABV. worth trying, and worth laying down.

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Photo of TenHornsProud
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a tan head.

Smells of roast, sweetness, coffee, chocolate, and grapefruit.

Taste is chocolate up front with coffee, a general caramel sweetness, and a fruity and roasted malt finish that is quite nice actually.

Full body with medium carbonation.

I was quite pleased with this beer. It is sweet yet drinkable and complex with a difference in its more fruity/hoppy finish.

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Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin tan head that died down and left a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are strong aromas of sweet malts, raisins and sherry in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the overall taste has lots of flavors of raisins and sherry.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a low amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very flavorful and the taste of sherry makes this an interesting beer to sip.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Trying my first Idaho beer and it is very nice. The Black Cauldron Stout is great. The beer pours an opaque color with tan thin head. The smell is roasted molassis, vanilla, black licorice. The taste follows the smell. The mouthfeel is a medium to full body with decent carbonation. Overall it is a very good stout.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, bottled on 11/18/10. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a quarter inch tan head that fizzled away quickly. There is a good amount of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like roasted and charred/burnt malt, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and some dark fruit. The taste is pretty much just like the aroma, with the roasty/charred and bitter coffee flavors being the strongest, and some light sweet dark fruit flavors also noticeable (which do get stronger as the beer warms up more). Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and slick with low/moderate carbonation. I think this is a good overall brew, and it's certainly worth a try.

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Photo of Cru
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this on tap, along with most of their other beers in the brewery.

Pitch black with dark lacy head, nicely carbonated.

Aroma is coffee, roasty, bready and the alcohol comes through in the aroma.

Chocolate and caramel dominate this flavor profile with a coffee background / aftertaste. The alcohol does not come through nearly as much in the flavor as the aroma.

Well done for an Imperial Stout. Many I've had seem to sacrifice the smooth, drinkable characteristic of the stout entirely for the bump in alcohol content. You know its there in this one, but much milder than most in the 9% range.

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Photo of sweemzander
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. 09/21/11 date.

(A)- Pours a thick pitch black color. Some tan froth and lace.

(S)- Some roasty bread, cocoa, and raisin. Some dusty chalk and roasted caramel.

(T)- A sweet profile overall. Raisin, molasses, and raisin with some rich; almost burnt caramel.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Some very sweet notes and bready caramel bits. Smooth, but very sweet.

(D)- A solid stout with some nicely balanced flavors. Sweet, but rich too.

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Photo of LaCoursiere
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottled on 10/14/10, poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours completely black with no light getting through, not even around the edges. It formed a 1/2-finger tan head that dissipated quickly. Little head remains and there is a tiny bit of lacing.

S - Smell is interesting, a bit funky with a whiff of alcohol and roasted malt and in the background. The most prominent odor seems to be a bit like wine. It smells like it has a very mild case of infection.

T - A bit of tang and astringent fruit comes along with molasses, coffee and roasted (slightly smokey) malts. There is a surprising amount of hop bitterness in the finish.

M - This has medium body, is smooth on the way in with light carbonation and a dry finish.

O/D - I threw this in the cellar to see what would happen to it in a year. The beer definitely change from the predominantly roasty stout that I experienced a year ago. I enjoyed tasting it a year later and have one more to see what it's like next winter.

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Photo of Philousa
1.93/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer is black. Like black hole black. With a tan head that settles from an inch to a whisp. Smokey, chocolate, and caramel aromas. Taste is overwhelmingly licorice and anise up front with dark chocolate notes. Warm alcohol flavor fades to bitter roasted barley flavor that lingers. This feels just like a stout should. A bit heavy, very full bodied with a dry finish.

I guess I'm not a fan of Black Cauldron. I quite like imperial versions of most styles, but imperial stouts just aren't my favorite to begin with, so you totally have to knock my socks off with your RIS. This beer just needed something to give it character. Hops, Belgian yeast, something to make it stand out from the crowd. In the end, it was just another heavy, bitter, one dimensional beer for me.

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Photo of DCon
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 4-pack (4-12oz bottles) from The Wine & Cheese Place in Ballwin, MO for $9.99. Poured one of the 12oz bottles w/ the Top Wrapped in Silver Foil, Blue/Silver labeled w/ 2 Witches on the front into my 16oz HotShots Pint Glass. Has BOTTLED ON 09/20/11 in the "designated" area on the side.

Aroma- A nice cocoa and rich malty aroma starts this one off. Has tons of coffee and roast in here too. The chocolate/cocoa aroma is the most dominate and adds to the complexity! Great!

Appearance- Pours a Dark Brown, 1 Finger head that has great retention! The body color is the darkest brown you can get before black and opaque. Leaves thick, dark lacing behind.

Flavor- Tons of brown attributes (malty, rich, roastiness, burnt) that make up this flavor. Has a bit of coffee but not much, more in the background. The bitterness level is medium in here and the hops are hidden a bit behind the rest of the brew.

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, Smooth, Bit of warming feeling on the palate, and then has a nice, viscous coffee flavor that goes down smooth and the tongue is unharmed.

Overall Impression- I am going to be aging one of these bottles and will re-review once a year passes. This was a tremendous stout with nice cocoa, coffee attributes all within. I would suggest picking up a 4-pack, enjoying two of them and then aging the other two. Once again, good brews from Grand Teton! Cheers!

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Black Cauldron Imperial Stout from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 319 ratings.