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Wreck Alley Imperial Stout - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wreck Alley Imperial StoutWreck Alley Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

42 Reviews
THE BROS
88
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 42
Hads: 207
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 14.21%
Wants: 6
Gots: 36 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mactrail on 04-01-2012

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 42 | Hads: 207
Photo of MadCat
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very dark brown, almost opaque. Short coffee colored head. Not as crazy dark as most Imperial stouts

Smell: Coffee, chocolate, roasted malts

Taste: More coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts. Starts off a little sweet, but has a nice roasty malt finish

Mouthfeel: Thicker than it looks, definitely full bodied, reasonable carbonation

Overall: A worthy stout. Nothing to write home about, but nothing to sneeze at. If you want a stout, and are at Karl Strauss, you can't go wrong. Also, you would never notice it is 9.5% abv until you stand up. (558 characters)

Photo of Drinkerofales
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In the snifter, no light penetrates this black beer. A huge light mocha head dissipated slowly, and is retained well by the constant bubbling.

Smells of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts. Very traditional.

Taste is almost exactly as the smell, however, I get a strange earthy peat taste that isn't as appealing.

Texture is velvety, with upper medium body feel, very smooth. There is a light carbonation sting on the finish, but it's not detracting.

Something about this flavor doesn't do it for me, all the aspects of the beer are fine, just that one thing(the most important thing) isn't to my liking. It's not bad, but a bit off putting.

DOA (647 characters)

Photo of flayedandskinned
3.21/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

No bottle date

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: pours a deep, very dark brown with a finger and a half light tan head that recedes disappointingly fast, leaving no lacing behind.

Aroma: Soft milk chocolate, roasted malts, grassy, herbal hops and some background notes of coffee.

Taste: Creamy baker's chocolate up front, with some herbaceous hops intermingling with some rich, caramel laden roasted malts. There is a nice flourish of robust coffee beans and more chocolate in the lingering, off dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, a quite bit thin for the style with some soft carbonation.

Overall: A decent imperial stout; I definitely wish the mouthfeel was fuller for 9.5% and I wish the coffee notes were more apparent, but the creamy, overt notes of chocolate are quite nice and help the beer seem richer. Karl Strauss hides the 9.5% extraordinarily well. I've allowed this beer to warm up almost to almost room temperature, and still not a single hint of alcohol which is quite impressive. I'd recommend this to someone who wants to try an easy drinking Imperial Stout. (1,095 characters)

Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
3.51/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2012 bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours black/deep dark brown with nice 2 finger khaki brown head. slight lacing on the glass.

S: Some chocolatey and big coffee notes. Sweetness about it along with a hint of some charcoal.

T: Roasty, coffee notes, and chocolate sweetness. slight vanilla and a bit of alcohol warming effect.

M: On thin side for an imperial stout. Not creamy which I would normally expect. Not as thin as say Drakonic, but closer to that than a thick creamy stout. Carbonation is noticable on the palate and bit harsh. Slight bit of booze after taste.

O: Alright offering, found the mouthfeel to be disappointing and carbonation levels off. Not as pathetic of an offering as drakonic, but not one I will buy multiple of. I'd be curious to try the BA version, should note for the price ~$8 its not a terrible deal. (841 characters)

Photo of TBonez477
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours opaque black with a two finger tan head that recedes quickly.

S: Aroma is immediately a blend of coffee and milk chocolate fudge. A second whiff reveals a hint of a dark fruit finish, maybe a touch of alcohol sweetness.

T: Yup, there's the mocha flavors. Nice milk chocolate backed by coffee roast from the malts. Second sip reveals the finish which consists of pitted dark fruits providing a sweetness but then a quick dry close.

M: Feel is not the best, it is pretty thick but carbonation is high and small which is not preferable until it supports the clean finish.

O: A very good, straight forward imperial stout. Not quite FIS but very good nonetheless. (671 characters)

Photo of SensorySupernova
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Jet black with just a little bit of tan head.

Smell: Coffee, roast malts. Standard imperial stout stuff.

Taste: Caramely malts and mild roast coffee up front. Just a little sweetness and bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thick with a low level of carbonation.

Overall: Very standard imperial stout. I can’t complain - I love them. (355 characters)

Photo of Pelican5
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber |

A : clear, black a little thin, foamy finger of head, nice lacing/legs

S : roast coffee, vanilla, cream, bitter chocolate, slight anise

T : creamy vanilla coffee, bitter chocolate finish

Overall : a little thin for the style but very tasty. Roasty creamy coffee. No alcohol. A nice coffee forward stout when you dont want something heavy. Light and sweet and for the price... well, a steal for sure. I would drink this for desert when a heavier stout is too much. Has its time and place. Will drink again no doubt.

Cheers ~ (543 characters)

Photo of mxchap
4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep, dark brown with a slight reddish hue. Thin head and not much lacing
Aroma: Roasted coffee (medium strength), great balance and diversity of esters, and a hint of sweet chocolate.
Taste: So well balanced. The esters blend so nicely with the coffee and chocolate. This beer is incredibly drinkable.
Feel: Pretty well done. Maybe a tad over-carbonated and dry.
Overall: This beer is not earth-shattering, but it is extremely enjoyable and is a reasonable value. Definitely worth a try IMO. (504 characters)

Photo of PatrickSwayze
3.51/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice black with a head that stays lingering thin around the edges.  

S: The huge nose on this is a majority of coffee and chocolate with a struggle of roast on the side

T: A deep grainy wheat bread characteristic that is quite thin up front and mid tongue, and tries to amp up the flavor as it rolls down the tongue revealing a very subtle coco characteristic with low level if heat. Nothing really jumping out at you

M: Pretty thin for an imperial stout. Little too dry IMO for the style.

O: It's a decent I Stout, not mind blowing like i had hoped it would be. But still a decent offering (606 characters)

Photo of jjh19
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black and a nice tannish head. Exactly as I’d expect from an Imperial Stout.

Smell: A good amount of coffee in the nose.

Taste: I got a lot of coffee in the first taste and then some chocolate sweetness came though. Subtle balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied that wish was more full bodied.

Drinkability: Smooth and tasty. (338 characters)

Photo of funjack5150
3.39/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I first smelled this stout and I got nothing but chocolate. And then I took my first sip and not a lot of chocolate. Then after that all I got was raisins and dates and dark fruits. To me this stout is ok...... I won't be running out to get more anytime soon. (259 characters)

Photo of Rob23
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am not going to go overboard with a description.This stout is just OK in my opinion.Most likely will not purchase again.I have had better(Ten Fidy,Stone,Boulevard,Rasputin)and I have had worse(no name to mention)If you do not mind trying new things and have the income to not care then by all means give it a go.Maybe the 2 IPAs I enjoyed before this one ruined the experience for me....but I doubt it. (404 characters)

Photo of rotten77
4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this in a guinness pint glass.
A:This poured out real back the head was dark tan with big bubbles...it looked promising but it didn't stay long...not more than a minute

S: Alot of roasted malts coffee beans coffee beans and more coffee beans...I really cant smell too much else...Not bad in my opinion though

T: taste follows the nose...a little caramel some more chocolate and...a lot of coffee beans...tastes a little bit like someone threw some creamer in her too!!!

M: at some points it can be BIG and CHUNKY but mostly very smooth and easy to drink even with such a high abv.

O: a solid brew...staying between the lines...not much complexity but still good...i would buy this again....just not in the summer! (722 characters)

Photo of Ryanbenjamin
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- dark and rich. A rather small head that seemed a little thin

S- beautiful. Rich chocolate with a hint of coffee. Boozy smell toward the end

T- definitely taste the chocolate and coffee. Toasted malts give it a perfect degree of smokiness. Alcohol is very present towards the end; could definitely benefit from an extended vacation in the cellar.

O- excellent. Very good at the brewery for dessert after a big meal. Bought 4 bombers when I left and can't wait to see how they have aged after a year or two. (513 characters)

Photo of LesleyLooWho
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is still the best beer I've ever tasted. I am actually not sure if it was on nitro-tap, but I wouldn't be surprised with how smooth it was. The aftertaste was like a cool cup of coffee and it wasn't bitter, but velvety smooth and chocolaty - just the way I like 'em. (271 characters)

Photo of denatured_gin
1.36/5  rDev -64.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

All of the positive reviews I've glanced at over the last few minutes of googling this swill confirm the unfortunate phenomenon I'm seeing everywhere: most folks simply refuse to believe that a sufficiently obscure or cutely named or visually pleasantly labeled 'craft' beer can be truly BAD.

In reality, these are beginning to outnumber the good ones. Most are what I call "mineral beers" in that they are nearly as bland as mineral water. But then there are the "stouts" that rely on the taste of urine steeped overnight in McDonald's dumpster coffee grounds to impart the flavor we associate with the recipe.

Wreck Alley's Imperial Stout takes this approach, but turns its offensiveness to initiated palates well past 11 with what I can only guess to be soy sauce. And not even the good, Japanese soy sauce: I'm talking about that cheap, black Chinese stuff in the packets with one clear side that come with fried rice take out. I couldn't even choke down the whole bottle, and not only because of my soul-crushing disappointment after psyching myself up for the deliciousness that is a true North American "Imperial" stout. It was just too gross. A 24oz King Cobra tall boy would've stood a better chance. Blecchh! (1,222 characters)

Photo of MRGonzalo
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Unexpectedly quickly vanishing head. Nice aroma (and aggresive body) of coffee and seasalt. Much more acidic taste than anticipated, with a dark roasted bean aftertaste. (169 characters)

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Wreck Alley Imperial Stout from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.