1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
87
very good

164 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 164
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 13.4%
Wants: 7
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

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: 164 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cbutova
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Back in SD, 22oz bomber purchased at a deli in Point Loma. Live review, already have notes for 8 more.

A- Pitch black pour to two small taster glasses. No light makes it through the beer and a small light mocha head forms to a finger. Decent cap retention as it falls to a small creamy white ring. Lacing deposits are spotty on the glass.

S- Coffee off the top, not super dark roast but still the beans nonetheless. Cocoa also comes in rich with some roast grain, nutty, caramel and raisins.

T- Coffee and dark yeasty fruit notes are big here and lead in the flavor. Roast grains and cocoa come next and compliment the aforementioned things. Nutty, toffee, caramel, toasted, apple, malty and some sweetness, like lactose somehow.

MF- Moderately thick bodied with a somewhat silky texture but not as thick as most great Imperials. Carbonation on the medium high side which helps support the dark big flavors. Finishes roasty bitter.

Enjoyable big stout with a hefty yeast and coffee forward profile complimented by cocoa and roast grains. Body could be a bit bigger but overall it's enjoyable.

cbutova, Nov 05, 2013
Photo of ehammond1
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Very dark brown in color, though clearly not black, with dark ruby highlights near the edges and a thing dark brown head. This leaves regular lines of lace down the glass.

Earthy aroma with ground coffee accompaniment. There's roast and a hint of vanilla as well.

The flavor is similar, with ground coffee flavors dominating, along with a hint of alcohol, roast, a little bit of vanilla, and something, unfortunately, metallic.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a hint of a metallic mouthfeel.

Good enough, though I was hoping for more.

ehammond1, Jun 27, 2012
Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Bung, Oct 07, 2014
Photo of Exiled
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Exiled, Jul 14, 2012
Photo of Davepoolesque
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Davepoolesque, Oct 30, 2013
Photo of Kmlund
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Kmlund, Oct 30, 2013
Photo of JamLand
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

JamLand, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of 2beerdogs
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

2beerdogs, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of Zbeetleman
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Zbeetleman, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of brotherloco
4/5  rDev +3.1%

brotherloco, Nov 16, 2012
Photo of portia99
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
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 djaeon
4/5  rDev +3.1%

djaeon, May 06, 2013
Photo of tbone1384
4/5  rDev +3.1%

tbone1384, Aug 02, 2014
Photo of tbeq00
4.5/5  rDev +16%

tbeq00, Oct 19, 2012
Photo of Soto
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Soto, Sep 06, 2013
Photo of funkel81
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

funkel81, Aug 11, 2013
Photo of kristougher
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

kristougher, Nov 05, 2013
Photo of SoCalBeerIdiot
4/5  rDev +3.1%

SoCalBeerIdiot, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of BeerOps
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

BeerOps, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of BucannonXC5
4.46/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Type: 22-oz. bomber
Glass: Oversized wine glass
From: VONS in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $11.49
Purchased: July 20, 2013
Consumed: Aug. 16, 2013
Misc.: N/A

Poured an almost pitch black color with two fingers of bubbly tan head. Average spots of sporadic lacing on the sides of the glass. Good amount of lacing all the way down.

Smelled pretty much black coffee, fudge and dark chocolate. Also cocoa, espresso, toffee and caramel. I’ve never had coffee, but this is it.

Tasted not quite as strong as the smell, but still similar. Got coffee, coffee beans, espresso, dark chocolate, smoky fire, dark chocolate fudge, toffee, cocoa and dark caramel. Very smooth.

Medium body. Surprisingly thinner texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth finish.

Just a fantastic beer. Everything was just so good. Can’t wait to try it again.

BucannonXC5, Aug 17, 2013
Photo of ralphw56
4/5  rDev +3.1%

ralphw56, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of beagle75
3.1/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a growler into a shaker pint glass.

A: Opaque black color with no foam head. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Compelling chocolate syrup is featured. Dark fruit peeks from the edges, as does a volatile spirituous quality.

T: Begins off-dry, with cakey chocolate malt in ample supply at first. Acidity is fairly mild into the middle where dark fruit is subdued before flavors become a bit muddied. The finish drops off quickly, leaving a trace of bitter chocolate to linger. No alcohol is detected.

M: Medium viscosity, watery yet sluggish on the palate, with very low carbonation.

D/O: Drinkable for the style, but flawed. While the smell is nearly laser-focused, the flavors spiral out in unnecessary directions. The texture is inconsistent with the style, making the beer as a whole harder to take seriously. Karl Strauss keeps trying to land a real imperial stout, but they can't seem to get everything right.

beagle75, Jul 23, 2012
Photo of pin
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

pin, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of rawfish
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
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 CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +28.9%

CEDAMA, Nov 05, 2012
Wreck Alley Imperial Stout from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.