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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

546 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 546
Reviews: 312
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 25
Gots: 50 | 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: 546 | Reviews: 312 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bret27
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

bret27, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of rayjay
4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
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!

rayjay, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of jeffjeff1
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

jeffjeff1, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of zeff80
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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).

zeff80, Dec 18, 2009
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...

BradLikesBrew, Dec 15, 2009
Photo of shadow1961
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
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!

shadow1961, Dec 14, 2009
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.

Mebuzzard, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of RedBrewer83
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
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!

RedBrewer83, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of cope0021
2.33/5  rDev -40.6%
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.

cope0021, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

mrasskicktastic, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of ArrogantB
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

ArrogantB, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of homebrewhawk
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

homebrewhawk, Dec 07, 2009
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.

dougofthefuture, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of mp2mp
4.78/5  rDev +21.9%
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.

mp2mp, Dec 05, 2009
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.

emerge077, Dec 04, 2009
Photo of bigreduw64
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

bigreduw64, Nov 18, 2009
Photo of Halcyondays
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
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.

Halcyondays, Nov 11, 2009
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.

rye726, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of tpd975
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Joey Redner for this one.

A: Pours a dark black hue with a nice 1/4 finger solid head. Good retention and some lace noted.

S: Aromas of burnt malt, coffee, chocolate, and light smoke.

T: Tasty brew. Nice chocolate up front with a bit of bitter coffee. Hints of smoke and tobacco come through in the middle with light hops in the finish.

M: Medium in body, smooth with great carbonation.

D: Good, what a nice rare tasty treat.

tpd975, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of badbeer
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with a tan head and decent retention. Roasty aromas, as well as licorice, tar, and also a fair amount of earthy hops. Taste was roasty, with almonds, caramel, dark chocolate, and a touch of smoke. Body was medium and so was the carbonation. I'd drink this again if it were available to me. Thanks to pepsican for the sample.

badbeer, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of BeerTruth
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this bad boy way back in the day from younger35. Ah yes, memories...thanks Dan!

1 liter black wax swing top bottled poured into a snifter. NOV 01 2007.

Pours a deep onyx black with a quick one finger dark mocha colored head that disappears almost instantly. Thin spotty lacing holds on to the sides of the glass. Smell is pretty smokey with roasted almonds, coffee grinds, and bbq meat. Underneath all that smokey goodness is dark chocolate and rich caramel malts in the nose. Overall though, this beast really is about the toasted aromas, I just wish it had more UMPH! Taste is a bit more sweet than the nose which is nice surprise but still a good amount of smoke. Milk chocolate, leather, and fig with smokey bbq flavors. Aftertaste is somewhat fruity with dark berries and tobacco. Medium to full body with a slick feel from the soft carbonation. A bit thin for the style, but it seems to help with the drinkability. Probably one of the more drinkable RIS's that I've had. A very fitting beer for a bitter cold night in Syracuse. Thanks again Dan-O for the opportunity.

BeerTruth, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of brdc
4.72/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks johngalt1 for this beer; been sitting on it for a long time. Should have waited longer, cut my finger bad trying to open through all this wax. Swivel top very large bottle.

Poured into a snifter, produces a beautiful pitch black brew with a dense, creamy, voluminous coffee colored head that lasts forever, and coats the sides of the glass as you swing it around. Just beautiful.
Not a lot of hops on the aroma of this properly aged beer, just a faint hint of grassy hops; mostly dominated by chocolate notes, a bit on the sweeter side, caramel, roasted malts, dark fruits, a hint of spices.
Creamy on the palate, very close to full bodied, and it tastes better than a lot of beers around 10%; I cannot believe this is around 7%.
A little closer to an oatmeal/milk/sweet stout as the perceived IBUS are quite low, but a delicious beer. Wish I had more.

brdc, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of sholland119
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bailey's Taproom in Portland.

Pours a deeply opaque jet black. A solid mocha colored head and some nice lacing.

Roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate dominate the nose. Very nice.

Taste follows the nose. Bittersweet chocolate on the front end, finishing with a roasted coffee and a modest hop bite. Very nice.

Rich, oily mouthfeel, just the way I like my RIS.

For my money, the only thing better than a flavorful beer is a flavorful beer that is low in ABV for its style. I am still rather stunned that this is only a 7.5% ABV as it tastes much bigger.


sholland119, Oct 31, 2008
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks goes out to JohnGalt1 for this big bad bold bottle of beer. Alliteration is Amazingly Awesome.

Gigantic 1 quart, 1.8oz bottle with a wax capped flip top pours a deep black with a nice tan head that leaves good lacing and retains pretty well.

Nose is alot of roasted malt, a significant dark fruit presence, some light smoke, and a bit of peat.

Taste follows with big roastiness, some dark fruit, but not as much as indicated in the nose. A slight "Belgian Royal stoutishness" if you will. haha. The peat does show up in the taste, but it is very subtle. Some defenite chocolate here, but coffee flavors are light. A slight wine like dryness is present towards the finish, which comes with a nice subtle display of hop character. Alcohol presence is relatively low, but that was somewhat expected by the lower abv on this one.

Mouthfeel is suprisingly viscous for the abv, bold, slick like an Impy oatmeal stout, and very easily carbonated. Very palateable.

Drinkability is quite good here, The abv has a bit to do with that, but nowhere near as much as you would expect. The mouthfeel is almost perfect here, and that combined with the balanced yet complex taste makes for a very easy drinking imperial stout.

Overall a suprising and good experience from GT. A very elaborate bottle presence represents some hard work that was done to craft this beer. A unique, balanced, and very enjoyable offering from the Cellar Reserve series. I will certainly be turning my head in the direction of Grand Teton more often due to this beer. Not to be scoffed at. I may just finish this 1L on my own. (In fact i planned on it all along) Thanks again to Toby for hookin me up with this one. Great beer.

AKBelgianBeast, Oct 13, 2008
Photo of aluskungs
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wax sealed bottle bought from the brewery in 2005. Cracked it open on my birthday okt. of 08.

Pours nice and heavy, not thick like oil. Good dark lacing on the sides of my rapscallion cognac glass. The beer is pretty much black.

Strong date smell with some alcohol and coffee thrown in there.

The taste is smooth (3 years old) and very drinkable. Dates, licorice, tobacco flavors, like a port wine. Excellent!

A great beer that doesn't need to be 18 percent alcohol! A well balanced beer that shows that you don't need a lot of alcohol to make a great "extreme" beer. Really great job. I should have bought more. My loss.

aluskungs, Oct 11, 2008
Black Cauldron Imperial Stout from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 546 ratings.