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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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of 22nd Anniversary Vanilla Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 97 | Reviews: 63 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrHirschybar
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

MrHirschybar, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of nanobrew
4/5  rDev +4.4%

nanobrew, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of jpmclaug
4/5  rDev +4.4%

jpmclaug, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of Mscarpen
5/5  rDev +30.5%

Mscarpen, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of heyta
4/5  rDev +4.4%

heyta, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of peacehammer
5/5  rDev +30.5%

peacehammer, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of TicoCali
4/5  rDev +4.4%

TicoCali, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of DoctorB2B
4/5  rDev +4.4%

DoctorB2B, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of ineva
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

ineva, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of wattershed
4/5  rDev +4.4%

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

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

MrVonzipper, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Retsinis
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Retsinis, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of pmarlowe
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tulip glass.

So... this beer is hard to open. Too much wax. It's like that old Bear Bryant saying about endzone celebrations, "Act like you've been there before."

A: Pours dark copper brown/black with two fingers of whispy cream colored head. Some lacing and good retention.

S: Vanilla and cream layered over roasted malt, some oak and spice, but also cheap bourbon. Smells slightly oxidized. Plum and dark chocolate as it warms.

T: Creamy vanilla ice cream and some alcohol, dose of espresso, finishing slightly bitter. On the boozy side.

M: Medium carbonation and medium-full body. Not particularly smooth.

O: This is a pretty good effort, and definitely a step in the right direction for Karl Strauss. There are some nice elements here and some not so nice. Lots of flavors but not that well integrated.

pmarlowe, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of Treebs
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 written in Sharpie on the bottle, thanks to danielnovak3 for sharing this guy. Served in a Founders snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown with darkened ruby edges. Small tan head. Looks very light and thin for an Imperial stout.

S: Nice oak and some subtle bourbon with nice chocolate and vanilla.

T: More oak and sweet vanilla. Caramelized sugars and some chocolate.

M: Very thin. Drinks almost like a brown ale. It is drinkable though, but I want my imperial stouts on the thicker side.

O: Definitely super thin for an imperial stout so it got docked some points, but it was pretty tasty overall.

Treebs, Oct 30, 2011
Photo of axeman9182
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle thanks to JRSD. This one was allowed to warm for a little bit before being poured into my Bruery tulip.

Karl Strauss's 22nd Anniversary Stout pours not quite entirely black, there's a pinprick of ruby highlight coming through at the bottom of the glass. There's just over three fingers of caramel foam serving as a crown to the beer. Head retention is jut alright, and lacing is very spotty. The nose is heavy on vanilla-sweetened chocolate. Bourbon is barely there, but toasted oak is much more prominent. The flavor follows along a similar path. Sweet milk chocolate leads things off, and there's just a touch of bourbon where I'd normally expect it to come in big, and instead there's a fairly sizable toasted oak finish. It's something that I don't find in a ton of barrel aged beers, but I dig it in this one. The body isn't near full or rich enough for an imperial stout. The carbonation is perfectly leveled for the body though, it's present without ever coming to the foreground. This is my first Karl Strauss brew, and it's a pretty solid one. Coming on the heels of drinking Black Tuesday last night though, its shortcomings are especially apparent.

axeman9182, Oct 01, 2011
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 MasterSki
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Shane (HopHead84) for sending this one my way - finally got around to opening it. Served in a Bruery tulip. This one is about 6 months old.

A - Big tan foam settles to a thin cap, leaving patches of spotty lace behind. Dark brown body with some reddish transparency to it when held to the light.

S - Lots of vanilla, mild oak, cocoa, milled lightly roasted grains, touch of spirit alcohol and oxidation present.

T - Tons of vanilla, a bit of chocolate, light oak and roasted malt character, touch of caramel and brown sugar, and moderate bitterness in the finish. Alcohol could stand to be a bit better hidden.

M - Roasty, dry, medium body, with pleasant carbonation. Seems undersized for 9% - would be quite nice for a 5-7% American Stout. Since only a portion was -bal aged I'm guessing the base beer is to blame, and not the barrel-aging process.

D - A solid beer with some small flaws. Easy to drink even with the intense vanilla sweetness. I'd have it again, but I don't think this will benefit from additional aging and suspect it could decline rapdily.

MasterSki, Sep 23, 2011
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 billshmeinke
2.9/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter.

Dark brown with ruby highlights. Looks pretty thin as it's poured. Head retention and lacing are nice though.

Smells of tootsie rolls, vanilla, and brown sugar. Perhaps some fruity esters. Damn this beer is sweet smelling.

Taste follows smell only less sweet. Tootsie rolls, vanilla, brown sugar, with some oaky tannins that help balance things out. Slightly smokey finish. Definitely better than the smell, but not good.

Super thin. Well carbonated. Is this root beer?

Yikes. Poor showing Mr. Strauss.

billshmeinke, Sep 09, 2011
Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: keeps a foam for several minutes, it also pours a light chocolate color.

S: It has a sweet vanilla, graham cracker, and chocolate

T: It has a sweet chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, and graham cracker

M: A good mouthfeel, with a nice carbonation

O: Overall, it has a very nice aroma and taste. It is very easy drinking, it is something I could drink one after another. It has a light oak, but not a lot of bourbon at all.

PaulStoneAnchor, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of DrinkThemAll
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass...

A-Poured a very deep ruby or cola like color and had a massive frothy 3 finger cream head that dissipates to half a finger with nice lacing...

S-Smells like chocolate milk and sweet vanilla, slight espresso and very sweet malts. Maple syrup as well...

T-Sweet malty vanilla with syrup and milk chocolate, very sweet beer but very subtle on taste. Has a slight oaky or bourbon finish...Nothing pops out at all on these flavors at all but it is smooth and balanced...

M-Light body and high carbonation, very artificial vanilla flavors here and quite foamy...some chocolate and oak. didn't like this mouth one bit...

O-Nothing special here, just a decent dessert like beer thats ok.
Wasn't expecting to much from Karl strauss on this stout...It wasn't
horrible by any means, I mean I enjoyed drinking this but it was just lacking a lot from what it said it was going to be and for its style .

DrinkThemAll, Aug 04, 2011
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 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 Klym
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an oversize wine glass. Night cap in tonight's session with Cavery.

A: Surprisingly brown in appearance-- light brown on the edges and progressively dark toward the middle, which is a very dark brown/black ball. The head also seemed to be off-color, being surprisingly white in appearance. The color of the head was, strangely, the color of cheddar cheese melted with sauteed onions.

S: The description is right, oak and vanilla in the nose with a little dark fruit and spice hovering in the background. Smells a little low quality though compared to other brews I've had with the same ingredients/process.

T: Taste again is on the description-money, heavily vanilla with oak aging. The quality of both flavors seems to be a little low quality; like the difference between vanilla extract and vanilla beans. Another problem with the taste is that the vanilla and bourbon dominate, and the underlying stout is hard to find.

M: Mouthfeel is alright, though I would say it is a little overcarbonated and could use more thickness.

O: I would say to age this one but I'm not sure what benefit it would have. I think that this is a good stepping stone beer if you're introducing someone to microbrew stouts. Tasting the 'barrel age' or 'vanilla' in this would probably familiarize someone with the general flavor/sense of both, and also give them a foundation for appreciating the superiority of better barrel aged/vanilla infused beers. Otherwise, worth picking up if you're curious but not if you're looking to be impressed.

Klym, Jun 18, 2011
22nd Anniversary Vanilla Imperial Stout from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.