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22nd Anniversary Vanilla Imperial Stout - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

63 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 63
Hads: 102
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 12.17%
Wants: 15
Gots: 28 | 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:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 02-03-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (88) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 63 | Hads: 102
Reviews by xnicknj:
Photo of xnicknj
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into tulip - thanks pat

Pours a viscous, opaque blacked out color with a layering of tanned head. Slowly fades into a coating of filmy retention with some spotty lacing left behind on the glass.

A nice marriage of chocolate and vanilla in the nose, followed by undertones of oak, bourbon and warmth. Roasted malts, leather and sweetness with cocoa.

Plenty of vanilla right up front, matched with dark chocolate and cocoa. Sweet, but not cloying, riding a wave of roasted malts with a hint of roasted coffee beans. Continuing layers of dark malt with vanilla, oak and soft bourbon notes. Finishes a bit sweet and warm.

Fuller body, slightly lower carbonation, creamy and slick on the tongue. Drinks pretty nice considering the age, and the 25% barrel aged portion of the blend adds a decent depth of flavor.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of abeerdude
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Jason
3.93/5  rDev +4%
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!

 474 characters

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

 664 characters

Photo of MrVonzipper
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.05/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

 478 characters

Photo of trappistlover
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

 270 characters

Photo of ocelot2500
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of Armand
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of badboyrsl84
3.32/5  rDev -12.2%
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

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Photo of gregshead
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of jdmandel
4.75/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of femmebiere
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

 1,045 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of camil1mj
2.87/5  rDev -24.1%
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.

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Photo of Jparkanzky
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of danwho
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of MrHirschybar
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of oline73
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Zaphog
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

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22nd Anniversary Vanilla Imperial Stout from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.