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22nd Anniversary Vanilla Imperial Stout - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
22nd Anniversary Vanilla Imperial Stout22nd Anniversary Vanilla Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

97 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 97
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 16
Gots: 29 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: HopHead84 on 02-03-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 97 | Reviews: 63 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by HalfFull:
Photo of HalfFull
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Carlsbad location. Pours a deep and dark brown with ruby highlights. A thin cap of tan foam settles to a light ring after a few minutes, leaving light watery lacing.

Nose of chocolate, vanilla and some roasted malts and earthen hops. Hints of oak and bourbon in the background are light initially, expanding a bit with warming. Smoked malt and some cherry accompanying the chocolate notes throughout. Not overly rich yet with a nice balance.

Tastes of vanilla chocolate and roasted malts, again with a light smack of bourbon and oak. Vanilla doesn't overpower the flavor for me but it is present from start to finish and in fact softens the sweetness of the delivery a bit. Feel is smooth and unobtrusive with no alcohol sense to speak of and accompanied with a pleasing carbonation. Body and texture are relatively light but balanced for delivery overall. Smooth drink, moderate across the board. Bottled version will likely be more robust though I don't sense much benefit to putting some age on it.

HalfFull, Feb 14, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of abeerdude
4/5  rDev +4.4%

abeerdude, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of Jason
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber with a vintage date on the label.

LOOK: Big head, stout black.

SMELL: Vanilla, charcoal, ripe dark fruit, faint oak, burnt sugar, alcohol.

TASTE: Silky smooth, roasted grain, soft charcoal, mellow vanilla, hint of oak, modest hopping, burnt bread.

9% where art thou? Yeah, it is there but super mellow. Beer is playful with some interested flavors thrown at the palate. Perhaps the earth does not shake but the palate wants another sip. Great job guys!

Jason, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev +4.4%

acurtis, May 12, 2012
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very black, decent head retention, not much lacing to speak of but good overall here

S - Chocolate, Vanilla - Chocolate chip cookie, some roast if you look for it.

T - See nose, vanilla is in check but still dominates. Becomes overly sweet towards the end but I was impressed nevertheless - felt this a better version of Victory at Sea from Ballast Point. Yeah...I said it. And Yes, I understand one is a Porter and One is a Stout beeeitchez.

M - Velvety, slick and smooth. Already feels like it has a year of age on it. This needs to be revisited in a year!!

O - Again, call it blastphemy but this is a much better done Victory at Sea. Very good beer here.

RBassSFHOPit2ME, Oct 01, 2011
Photo of MrVonzipper
4/5  rDev +4.4%

MrVonzipper, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A smooth drinking beer with good mouthfeel. Coconut and vanilla, the latter strong in the finish. Good looks, black with white bubbly head and inviting aromas of vanilla and roasted chocolate malt.
Stephen Rich brought this back from the Brewers' conference.

Sammy, Apr 08, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
3.05/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours black with a short off white head.

Lightly assertive sweet chocolate, plummy nose. No vanilla to speak of, certainly no more than most barrel aged brews.

Medium full mouth and body with nice balance.

Flavors are all simple medium to full bitter coffee and espresso. Pleasant flavors although it really tastes like cold, carbonated espresso with little more.

Finish is medium full bitter coffee.

Not bad; just nothing special. Vanilla character noticeably absent.

GRG1313, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of trappistlover
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

(22oz bottle shared at Dak's final four tasting). Pours a cola color with khaki head. Aroma has plenty of spice, vanilla, caramel, and some booze. Taste is sweet with lots of vanilla. Medium bodied with an oily texture. This is a pretty good beer that is big on vanilla.

trappistlover, Apr 04, 2011
Photo of ocelot2500
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown, almost black with a tight, mocha head that leaves a solid ring of lacing.

Smells of big vanilla and chocolate notes.

Tastes of a big dose of vanilla followed by more standard stout characteristics. Vanilla is definitely the focus with a gigantic wave of it right up front. Some brown sugar sweetness, chocolate and light coffee notes back it up. Has a bit of an adult milk chocolate feel to it. Not much bitterness to speak of, but sweetness is pleasant.

Mouthfeel is medium-fulll with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, nothing groundbreaking, but if you want to try a good vanilla aged stout, this is worth a shot.

ocelot2500, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of Armand
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have had this couple times. The first it was bland and flat. Not too much going on. It is Karl, so I can expect something like this from them. I think the best thing since their Oatmeal Stout.
A: Dark brown with red light that shines through.
S: Small, very little hint of vanillal
T: Kind sweet, with a little dampness to it
M: Not too much. Very light-medim bodied.
O: The first time I've had this it wasn't mature yet. Few months lagter it had some boldness too it. Not much, but again...cheers.

Armand, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of badboyrsl84
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look - jet black with a white head

Smell - vanilla with really nothing else

Taste - some chocolate and tons of vanilla beans. Light finish of vanilla. Too much carbonation for my liking.

Overall - good beer not a great imperial stout, no hint of alcohol at all. I still think the 21st is my favorite from Karl

badboyrsl84, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of gregshead
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

tasted on 3/24/11. Review from notes:

A: pours black w/ a nice finger of light tan colored head.

S: I smell oak dancing with some extra vanilla. Some light bourbon with good roasted grains peeps in their as well.

T: Lots of smooth/sweet vanilla up front. Some oak taste. Trails with roasted grain.

M: Light carbonation. Lighter feel for an imp stout. not that much ligher just a tad.

O: Very good but not quite the outstanding. A little on the light side for a partially -bal aged stout.

gregshead, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of jdmandel
4.75/5  rDev +24%

jdmandel, Dec 04, 2012
Photo of femmebiere
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a smooth stout that I thoroughly enjoyed. The pour was a semi see-through stout with a malty head. The smell didn't have too much to note - just an earthy sweet smell. The taste was my favorite part (specifically the aftertaste that made the beer have a high rating in my opinion). I may be partial because I like vanilla, but it was a delicious aftertaste for a stout that never became overpowering.

femmebiere, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of jmarsh123
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Waaay too much wax. I thought I was going to sever a finger trying to get it off. I understand it's special and everything, but consumers actually need to be able to access the product inside.

Pours a deep brown almost black with a big 3 finger off-white head fading into a ring after a minute or so. Spotty lacing down the glass.

Smells of sweet malts with a heavy dose of vanilla obviously and some bourbon characteristics but they are muted. Chocolate and cream also. This one smells sweet.

Flavor starts out with a rich chocolate creaminess. Vanilla is present, but not overpowering. A little bit of roasted malt, but then a touch of bourbon pulls at the back end with just a subtle hint of booze.

Fairly creamy mouthfeel although it is a bit too carbonated for the style.

I have a lot of issues with this beer. Taste is absolutely not one of them though. I really dig the flavors and thought the bourbon was well done. Had it not been for the slight overcarbonation, this one would've probably been a 4.5. Very drinkable and enjoyable.

jmarsh123, Feb 28, 2012
Photo of camil1mj
2.83/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Received as an extra in a a trade with Thome.

Poured at room temperature into a pint glass.

A: Just like Coca Cola. Deep brown with some transparency. Lots of fizzy head.

S: Bourbon, vanilla and chocolate malts.

T: This is one if the worst examples I have had of a barrel aged stout. The carbonation interferes with the taste. Once you get past that it tastes like cream soda mixed with Russian Imperial Stout.

M: Over carbonated, fizzy and way to thin for the style.

O: I was excited to get this as an extra, but it can't hold a candle to most other stouts I have had.

camil1mj, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of Jparkanzky
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Jparkanzky, Mar 04, 2012
Photo of danwho
4.25/5  rDev +11%

danwho, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of MrHirschybar
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

MrHirschybar, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of Zaphog
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Zaphog, May 27, 2012
Photo of DarthKostrizer
4/5  rDev +4.4%

DarthKostrizer, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of jpmclaug
4/5  rDev +4.4%

jpmclaug, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of liamt07
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Steve, shared with Sammy and Steve. 22oz into a tulip.

Pours black with a beige head, dark mahogany highlights in the body. Thin layer of retention, some bubbles form the collar. Nose is full of vanilla, milk chocolate and coconut. Sweet yet not overwhelmingly so. Taste has oak, vanilla, dark fruits, coconut, roasted notes and more lingering oak in the finish. An 'imperial sweet stout' I'd call it. Mouthfeel is pretty full and sweet in the finish. A nice stout overall. Thanks again Steve.

liamt07, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of SeaOfShells
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

SeaOfShells, Jan 15, 2013
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22nd Anniversary Vanilla Imperial Stout from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.