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Wreck Alley Imperial Stout - Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wreck Alley Imperial StoutWreck Alley Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

170 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 170
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.37%
Wants: 7
Gots: 23 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: mactrail on 04-01-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Wreck Alley Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 170 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of steve8robin
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

steve8robin, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of frozenjogurt
3.5/5  rDev -10%

frozenjogurt, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of portia99
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Pours a touch thin in appearance, but of a near black color with deep brown touches around the edges. A small and somewhat fizzy off white head dies quickly and leaves only a thin collar.

S - Lots of chocolate up front with some licorice to spice things up. Black coffee, brown sugar, traces of vanilla. Nice and roasty with some mild sweetness...gives a really smooth and creamy impression.

T - Lots of roast up front, quite black coffee-ish. A fair amount of alcohol presence is noticable. Chocolate, cocoa, some vanilla...almost has a bit of a bourbony flavor to it with the booze and the vanilla even though this wasn't barrelled. A little bit of brown sugary sweetness really smoothes this out towards the finish. Faint citrusy/fruity hops noticeable more into the aftertaste.

M - Body is a touch thin for the style and falls short of medium bodied overall. Carbonation is mid-level and lively. A bit boozy but smoothes out nicely on the finish with the mix of milky chocolate and creamy vanilla sweetness. Wish there was a bit more body to this...would really add something to this.

O - This was a pleasant surprise. I've had mixed experiences with Karl Strauss beers...this one falls on the positive side of the spectrum. Fairly complex, nicely blended and integrated flavors. Super smooth overall...starts a bit boozy but evens out and ends silky and creamy on the finish. Quite enjoyable.

portia99, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of yoitsarch
2.75/5  rDev -29.3%

yoitsarch, Jan 11, 2013
Photo of Ryanbenjamin
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Ryanbenjamin, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of kojevergas
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired at a SoCal beer store for $6.99 and served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; I've never been big on this brewery but I do like well executed versions of the style.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food; consumed on a full stomach (lentils).

A: Pours a one finger khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and above average retention (~2.5 minutes) for the high ABV. Body colour is a very dark brown-black; not quite a jet black. Nontransparent and opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Generally appealing and typical for the style, but it lacks the rich tan colour or jet black body of a great example of the style.

Sm: Chocolate malt, some light roast, pleasant coffee/java notes, cream, milk, and cacao. The coffee is very enjoyable and fresh; it doesn't come off cold-pressed or stale. A well balanced, inviting aroma. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Love the cream. A splash of pleasant coffee with hints of roasted java in the body. Light chocolate malt fuses well with the other assorted dark malts, but sadly it lacks sufficient roasted barley character to really give it presence. I get a bit of toffee on the climax when I look for it. Maybe a fleeting creeping hint of creme brulee/muted vanilla just after the climax, but it's buried. Sweetness is near ideal, but goes a bit overboard as you near the finish. Not a horribly complex imperial stout, but decently balanced until the third act. No yeast or alcohol comes through, which is favorable here. A bit of bitterness in the third act; maybe some floral hop notes coming through in addition to the coffee. I get more cacao as it warms, but the chocolate itself is clearly malt-derived rather than evocative of actual chocolate. The creaminess is its best attribute, and one I'd like to see in more imperial stouts - though it does hold it back from attaining a rich malty roasty backbone. Overall, it's surpassed my expectations.

Mf: Delightfully creamy. Smooth and wet throughout. Good if overdone carbonation. Adequate thickness and body. Pretty good palate presence.

Dr: Admittedly, I doubted Karl Strauss but they delivered a very drinkable imperial stout at a decent price. The ABV is well hidden. I like the direction they took this, but it does need more complexity and subtlety to really shine. In the world of imperial stouts, you have to bring more to the table than this to stand out. As a result, I won't be having this again - but I will be giving Karl Strauss more attention when I see their products on shelves. Maybe they're not as forgettable as I thought after all.

High B-

A goblet was actually an inferior choice for this beer. I'd recommend a snifter or even highball.

An okay choice for aging. I imagine the coffee will fade, but the cream should remain.

kojevergas, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of SanFranJake
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

SanFranJake, Dec 23, 2012
Photo of KhangGarrett
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

KhangGarrett, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of gleemonger
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

gleemonger, Dec 04, 2012
Photo of tjfinkle
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

tjfinkle, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of hickmancase
3.5/5  rDev -10%

hickmancase, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of brotherloco
4/5  rDev +2.8%

brotherloco, Nov 16, 2012
Photo of gshak
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

gshak, Nov 13, 2012
Photo of FosterJM
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1609th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
22oz

Purchased from Holiday Wine Cellar, Escondido, CA

App- It was a dark brown pour with a semi dark center and then just a little bit of a mocha looking 1/2" head formed. It faded quickly and left only a couple dots of cling down the side. Wasnt the deepest color for an RIS, but looked okay.

Smell- It was a nice stout. Good aromatics of a little bit of everything you would expect from a full bodied stout. A good thick malt aroma, paired with some vanilla and chocolate. It was a bit lush on the nose and you did get a bit of the booze.

Taste- On the first sip this is a bit of a dark chocolate and a touch of anise to me. Not sure it was intended but does have a lot of vanilla and some dark roast coffee behind it. It was fairly smooth and a bit creamy and at other times a bit grainy.

Mouth- A fuller medium body with a medium carbonation level. The residual flavors are of dark chocolate and some roasted malts.

Drink- I think since I was too excited for this one, I did overpay a little bit. Its good but not for the price I paid in SD. Ive seen it a bit cheaper in the Inland Empire of CA, and would probably grab another one if I were inclined to.

FosterJM, Nov 12, 2012
Photo of jdougherty
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

jdougherty, Nov 10, 2012
Photo of ChanChan
4/5  rDev +2.8%

ChanChan, Nov 06, 2012
Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +28.5%

CEDAMA, Nov 05, 2012
Photo of Pelican5
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
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 ~

Pelican5, Oct 25, 2012
Photo of Nightrain87
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Nightrain87, Oct 23, 2012
Photo of tbeq00
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

tbeq00, Oct 19, 2012
Photo of sdpaul
5/5  rDev +28.5%

sdpaul, Sep 26, 2012
Photo of jasewaaang
3.5/5  rDev -10%

jasewaaang, Sep 16, 2012
Photo of bh123
3.5/5  rDev -10%

bh123, Sep 04, 2012
Photo of rawfish
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours 2 shades above pitch black with a dark mocha head. One finger high foam cap that has average retention and leaves no lacing.

Chocolate with a fair amount of roasted aroma. Licorice, dates and some cinnamon spice here adds depth.

Fudge brownies and light roast with some cinnamon, ginger bread, dark fruit and licorice root. Very interesting and assorted. Hop character comes in very vegetative and herbal, knocks the flavor back and it starts becoming messy towards the end of the bomber.

Alcohol is mildly hidden but still there. Sticky finish and a medium body for a stout.

Flavor profile and aroma are on point with a great variety and perfect sweetness but the drink and after taste are rather sloppy. Good value for the price.

rawfish, Aug 31, 2012
Photo of brentk56
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color with a modest tan head; spots of lace linger

Smell: Chocolate with hints of caramel, coffee and licorice

Taste: Chocolate, with a fudgy character developing by mid-palate, adding some caramel, coffee and licorice into the mix; there is a subtle hint of heat as well as a plastic flavor that develops in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Very enjoyable; lots of chocolate and a bit of coffee, the finish is a bit all over the map but only a minor distraction

brentk56, Aug 16, 2012
Wreck Alley Imperial Stout from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 170 ratings.