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Black Cauldron Imperial Stout - Grand Teton Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black Cauldron Imperial StoutBlack Cauldron Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
88
very good

553 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(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 MPLS
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Impulse buy, saw "imperial stout" and had to try despite being unfamiliar with the brewery. Single 12 oz serving.

A: Pours with a dark dark colored body and a head that grows to 1.5 cm in height. The peanut skins colored head retains itself, hints of lacing.

S: Roasted malts with a pinch of smoke is the most prominent scent. Sweetness, not dark fruit like, but more like a shot bittersweet chocolate in coffee.

T: The flavor of this beer it bitter coffee beans with an sweetness that fades into a pleasant roast. The roast is very short-lived and there is an unpleasant alcohol in the finish, unexpected with an 8.0% beer. Odd sweetness that's not totally to my liking.

M: The mouthfeel is medium bodied, could have been creamier and smoothe, mild acidity, not much heat in the alcohol finish.

D: Good to try another RIS, but there is so many other offerings that I'd choose over this. Didn't impress my palate with it's odd sweetness and mild astringency.

Photo of homebrew311
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours silky and pitch black, looks like a force to be reckoned with as it sits in the glass. A great looking imperial stout. A little thin layer of tan head forms but disappears quickly

S: burnt malts, roasted barley, chocolate, coffee, and hops... in that order. This one is very heavy on both roasted notes and hops, this excites me!

T: the flavor doesn't directly match the nose as there are some sweet malty flavors I didn't detect. The front has some licorice and molasses, but it is followed by HUGE roasted notes, smoke, and a touch of earthy hops on the end. This stout is incredibly complex and took me by surprise. Very tasty!

MF: thick creamy mouthfeel, chewy thick body, with uncharacteristically high carbonation. Everything is perfect except for the high level of carbonation. Otherwise, this is a damn good imperial stout.

D: If I had to guess, I would say the abv was closer to 10% given its huge body and chewy texture. It is listed as 8%. While there isn't a huge boozy bite, the beer is a meal in a glass which detracts from its drinkability. Overall, this is a very solid Imperial Stout.

Note: I picked this up as part of my Wisconsin and Minnesota beer haul. This one was a surprise purchase as I had not previously heard of Grand Teton. Of all the stouts I snagged on the trip (including Weyerbacher Old Heathen and Central Waters Satin Solstice Imperial Stout), this one impressed me the most. Definitely worth checking out!

D: Well if I had to gues

Photo of birchstick
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A - poured like like oil with a nice one-finger head

S - smells of roasted and caramel malts with some toffee and dark chocolates

T - the taste isn't as rich as the nose. Taste of roasted malt/coffee with some figs. There is a nice milk chocolate on the finish. Not uberly complex, but a pretty decent blend of flavors going on here.

M - this is a pretty thin mouthfeel - a lot thinner than I would like an imperial stout to be.

D - This was a pretty good imperial stout. It has a really nice appearance and nose, however it all kind of goes downhill after that. It is decently sessionable for a stout in this category. Pretty good beer.

Photo of cokes
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours absolute black. No glints around the edges. Just jet fucking ink black. A mocha rise spews upwards for a minute or two then slides down the sides of glass leaving rings of laces.
The nose is every bit as dark. Equal parts liquorice, prune, campfire smoke, barbequed meat, cigar ash, and baker's chocolate. Then add a strong winey alcohol presence and bits of vanilla.
The mouth delivers oily smokiness, both via burned leaves and pork fat. The drippings soak in espresso. Cocoa and caramel and buttery bread pop up for sweetness, then it migrates- still full of ember and ash- toward prune. It gathers a vinous bit of alcoholic temper. And a offsetting green clorophyll hoppiness. The smoke lingers long after the sip, with wavering, shimmering colors, not simply burnt black.
Clingy and dripping medium full bodied. Carbonation is minimal, but adds a bit of levity. This almost begs to drink like tar, and when it doesn't, it seems a bit thin.
I absolutely love this. A big truly rauchy stout. This is for smoked beer fans first and Imperial Stout fans second. As a fan of both (in that order), I'm in love.

Photo of Zebus0
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Average really. I was a bit worried because it poured BLACK with little to no head. Bit of a dark tan head. Leaves a bit of ring as you drink it.

S- Very roasted aroma, a lot of coffee/dark roast notes. Very pleasing.

T- Interesting. Doesn't even taste like most Imperials I've had, course it is more of an American one. Smooth start, dark roasted finish, on the bottom end you can really taste the alcohol with a bit of bite. I'm impressed.Hearty malt aftertaste.

M- Pretty smooth for an imperial stout, not the grainy feel they usually have. Interesting mix.

D- Excellent as a stand alone stout. Great for those days you just want to stay inside because of how cold it is. Very drinkable.

Photo of BigDank
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 12oz poured into a Matilda glass.

Pours black into the glass with a medium brown, large head that has a short stay and leaves minor lacing. Smell is not too intense with hints of roasted malt and chocolate. Taste follows along with the smell with a bit of bitterness in the mouth. Slight alchohol which is surprising for only being 8%. Carbonation is medium and the beer drinks pretty easily. Not the best but not a bad stout I have to say. I would definitely drink this one again but not sure that it would be a regular. Drinkibility is good with a medium abv and easy drinking brew all around. First beer I've had by this brewery and it will not sway me from trying another one.

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

A: Pours very, very dark brown. Think head.
S: Strong smell of roasted malts.
T: Initial taste is very sweet, transitions into a roasted, almost bitter taste. A bit of alcohol heat.
M: a nice, full mouthfeel.
D: very drinkable beer, within reason. Approporiate that they sell it in a 4 pack instead of a 6 pack.

Photo of bret27
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

local bottle, 8% av

S: Very smokey/roasty, roasted coffee dominates

A: Very black w/dark full brown head, thick w/good retention

T: Very smokey and fairly thick, w/the same roasted coffee kind of overpowering

M: Fairly thick, but a little grainy and not too full

D: Pretty good except for smokey flavor

Overall: I would put this as a touch lower than Old Rasputin. Good but not super good, or great as with the big boy IS's. Certainly much better than their DIPA. The foil wasn't wasted on this one.

Photo of rayjay
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought at Ray's in Paradise, bottles in Nov 09. Poured into a shaker pint. Rich, thick, oily, and chewy. Lots of dark fruity esters, especially plum-like notes. Mildly carbonated with a bid mouthfeel, but drinkability remains high and it's even refreshing. Sweet and sticky with lots of carmel malt, but also lots of deep black malts galore. Alcohol is very well hidden, and I tend to like my RIS's in this alcohol range instead of stratospheric heights. Probably not much aging potential, I'm loving it fresh. A great stout that I'll be sure to go back and buy more of. Cheers!

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up after a beer tasting at Bevmo during a beer tasting.

Appearance- black color

Smell- chocolate, bit of caramel

Taste- chocolate

Mouthfeel- full bodied

Drinkability- very nice, I like it, very good stout, I will definitely drink it again.

Photo of zeff80
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with almost no head. There were tiny light brown tinted bubbles around the edges of the glass that left behind some sudsy residue.

S - It smelled of coffee, chocolate and strong roasted malts. There was a touch of fruity sweetness in the nose, too.

T - Strong flavors of roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate and touches of molasses. It has just enough sweet to balance out the strong bitter qualities.

M - It was crisp and smooth with a dry finish. A medium bodied beer that hides its imperial ABV very well.

D - This beer really got better each time I tried one. I got a four-pack and was not impressed with the first one but really started to like it each time I went back to it. (My taste buds must've been off on that first one).

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Black body, cocoa head. The aroma is milk chocolate covered espresso bean. Roasted malt provides chocolate that never gets too bitter, brown sugar, molasses, this is a rich, delicious stout that never gets too heavy. A light prickle of carbonation prevents it from reaching motor oil levels. A rare balance is attained in this beer, it has luscious dark malt flavors and yet it is nuanced and more drinkable than most of its Imperial peers. None of the dark stone fruit flavors or sticky syrup consistency of Russian Imperial Stouts, this is American Imperial all the way. Best Grand Teton beer I have tasted, if only I was sipping this in front of Mt. Moran...

Photo of shadow1961
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grand Teton Black Cauldron Imperial Stout pours a finger of creamy brown foam over an inky black brew. The nose is mocha with notes of mollasses, earth, and rum. The flavor is sweetish mocha and notes of dark toast balanced with a pretty assertive grassy/herbal hop flavor off the back. Mouthfeel is round, drying a bit because of those sharp herbal hops- I'm tasting a little grass in the aftertaste. The alcohol I got a whiff of in the nose only makes itself felt as a feeling of well being. It comes in at 8% abv so plan on drinking slow- the hops settle down as things warm a bit anyway. A pretty decent Americanized Imperial Stout- hoppier than in the old country, but a little aging will probably do wonders smoothing that out. Decent, plus cute anime witch girls on the label. Worth a try!

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

4pk. Gonna drink 2 this year then hide the rest.
Pours a very dark brown, almost black. Edge has some caramel appearance. A semi-puffed out head, brown, touch soapy. Lacing isn't all that great, a bit filmy.
Chocolate and toffee aromas overpower any coffee. Some dark plums and alcohol. Something doesn't seem right in the nose.
Taste follows the aroma. Bitter chocolate, dry. Some piney hops in the back. Burnt caramel and alcohol again. There's a sweetness to it that just doesn't fit right now. Perhaps some aging will tone that down. It's a bit sour I think. Not sure about it.
Drank fairly well. Alcohol is noticeable and medium hot.

Photo of RedBrewer83
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip from 12oz bottle...

A: Pours a pitch black body with a two finger chocolately mocha head that fades fairly quickly to leave pretty good lacing and a thin foam on top of the beer.

S: Roasted malts with bittersweet chocolate and hints of coffee and cola. A few piney hops come through in the finish as well. Seems like this should be pretty well balanced.

T: Huge bittersweet chocolate and coffee flavors upfront. A little burnt caramel comes in mid palate along with a unique cola flavor that I have not tasted in many stouts before, very nice. The finish is crisp with a faint hint of piney hops and bready nutty yeast that lingers long on the finish as the chocolate comes through again.

M: Heavy body that is exactly what I would expect from 8% and the carbonation is near perfect...just enough to wake up the taste buds. Nice.

D: Very smooth and drinkable, the flavors are very inviting and the abv is completely hidden. Very nice all around, will be revisiting this one again soon, especially at the price point!

Photo of cope0021
2.35/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This beer had a lot of promise out of the bottle. It poured a rich, thick black pour of promise. This was little head formed. Then came the let-down that began with the first smell. It smelled like Robitussin. I took several smells to hope my nose was not being decieved by one too many Robotrips. Alas, it was not. The smell persisted.

The disappointment continued on to the first taste. It actually seemed to have a small bit of flavor of Robitussin. Other than that, I could not discern much in the way of flavor. There is an off-bitter after taste.

For the price and the hoopla from my local beer shop, this was a huge disappointment.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black brew with a huge mocha colored frothy, dense head. Really the head is beautiful. There is copious lacing all down the glass as well. Not a single thing to complain about here.

S - Faint roasted hazelnuts, mild grapefruit pith. When it is warmer, I also get chocolate malt, cola and alcohol. Over the smell is lacking in potency. Something an intense aroma can ruin a strong beer, here it failed to do the beer justice.

T - A bit of cola and charred malt dominate the flavor. The 500L+ roasted barley really makes its presence known. There are fainter flavors of white pepper, alcohol maybe a hint of chocolate. The aftertaste is a lingering bitter of scorched barley and a bit of subtle citrus pith.

M - Very smooth, thick, actually very refreshing too.

D - I have to hand it to this brew. Coffee and chocolate are the first flavors that usually come to mind when I think stout, but this one has cola an char. An interesting twist - and frankly, it works. I am pleased with this one. I drank the bottle quickly and enjoyed it profusely. Make no mistake, this isn't an iconic stout and certainly not the best that I've had, but I wouldn't hesitate to have it again.

Photo of ArrogantB
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up mostly because it was new and at ~$9 a four pack it is much cheaper than the 1L bottles I saw a couple years back. It had the standard appearance of an imperial stout, inky black, dark coffee colored head. Smells was mostly roasty malts, average. The flavor was more of the same heavy roasted maltiness and not much else. This was by no means a bad beer just your average imperial stout.

Photo of homebrewhawk
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a snifter. Poured a deep brown/black with a quickly dissipating tan head. Roasted barley and some piney hops in the aroma. Medium bodied and smooth. Fair amount of roasted barley and chocolate. Not a lot of hop bitterness. Nice long finish of chocolate malt. Could use a little more body for an Imperial Stout, but pretty drinkable.

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

Fresh bottle taken from the beer fridge. Warmed slowly while reviewing.

A - Motor oil black, no head, and very little lacing.

S - Boozy and sweet. It's hard for me to pick up much more than that.

T & M - Kind of hot for 8%, and lots of black licorice flavor. Initially there wasn't much for much to enjoy here, but as it gets closer to room temp, the roasted malt nuances start to come through. There's still too much licorice and booze here though. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but not to the point of distraction.

D - It's been 30 minutes and I'm half way though. I'm ready for something else. I'm glad I bought 1 instead of 4.

Photo of mp2mp
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark. Pours with a slight but lacey head. Little or no residue for a bottle aged beer. Nice caramelly aroma with elderberry overtones. Very smooth on the tongue at first taste developing into full, rich stout. No pansy fruity flavors. One starts to enjoy the hops in a pleasant lingering aftertaste. Very well balanced.

We served with a espresso cheesecake with acclaim from all guests. But it holds it's own as an after-a-hard-days-work as well for a pleasant buzz.

The carton is good reading and the graphics are cool.

Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Single for $2.49 at Ray's in Wauwatosa, WI.

Pours into a mug with a few fingers of cascading chocolate syrup stained foam. This settles quickly, forming a solid crown of lace from the surface to the wall of the glass, very sticky. Very plummy aroma, fruity, sweet and roasty. Fairly light for an RIS, but full flavored. Some mild char, not too bitter, sweet molasses cookies, and plums. Perceptible alcohol as it warms.

Very easy drinking for an 8% RIS, i'm glad to have tried it. For my money though, Viking Big Swede is similar and a few bucks cheaper.

Photo of bigreduw64
3.34/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of the bottle with a hard pour that produced almost no head, just what I like to see out of an Imperial Stout. It should mean some body to this beer. Taking a whiff from the oversized wine glass I poured it into gives me a smell of dark roast coffee and a little booziness. The taste is something of a mix that I can best describe as white sugar topping a 90% bittersweet chocolate. It has an odd sweetness that tastes thin in the mouth. The body is somewhat thin for an imperial stout, but that helps it in drinkability. If you are looking for an imperial stout to have a couple of in a night this one would work. However, I like a stout that is thick and viscous when I am drinking an imperial stout and this just doesn't live up to that billing.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.16/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a dark brown/black with a soft tan head, nice notes of lace.

S: On the first smell I got a lot of what smelled like isoproponal, but I'm sure it was the ethanol. Some black malt and charcoal, but very light. Very boozy on the nose, like a spirit not a beer.

T: Here we go. Nice dark baker's chocolate and roasted malt. Very light coffee flavours. Solid taste.

M: Very thin for the style, this is an RIS, felt like a regular stout.

D: This beer is OK, but with all the classic great RIS's out there, this is going to get lost in the shuffle, it's from another time.

Photo of rye726
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours near black with shades of brown and a thin mocha head.

Nose has roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits, oak, molasses and coffee.

More rich malts, cocoa, wood, espresso and ripe fruits in the taste.

Medium to full body is well carbonated. Tasty, nicely balance imperial stout.

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