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Wreck Alley Imperial Stout | Karl Strauss Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
86
very good
46 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
46
Ratings:
227
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
27.53%
 
 
Wants:
9
Gots:
48
For Trade:
1
Wreck Alley Imperial StoutWreck Alley Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mactrail on 04-01-2012

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 227
Photo of jeffjeff1
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I tried this at the Winter Brews Fest in Concord but couldn't really write notes on it then. I got a few bottles of it later and took some notes.

Appearance- black color, thin tan head, decent lacing

Smell- coffee, chocolate

Taste- coffee, chocolate, very nice!

Mouthfeel- full bodied

Drinkability- I thought this was a very good stout. I really enjoyed it a lot!

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Photo of jjboesen
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a few bombers of this during my recent trip to San Diego. It is a nice rendition of a RIS. The body is like ink, there is little lacing or carbonation about. There is a subtle whiff of plum and licorice; the palate is tickled with a mild malty sweetness that is supplanted with bits of toffee and toast. The body is way to light to compete with breadier brands, such as Storm King or Old Rasputin. Not even close here. Still, it is not bad for a nice and easy quaff. That said, it was better on draft.

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Photo of MadCat
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of mchegash
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Deep brown, essentially black. A very small layer of medium tan head.

S: Deep cocoa notes, roasted malts as well.

T: Chocolate/cocoa is the main flavor. Rick roasted malts. A very very tiny bit of booziness. Extremely delicious. Has a delicious flavor, without any flaws.

F: Medium body. Medium amount of carbonation. Very very smooth. A superb mouthfeel.

O: This is one of the best imperial stouts I've had. It's very deep and chocolatey, but doesn't progress past that. Imperial stouts get a lot of hype just because they are Imperial Stouts. This beer doesn't try to be what is the norm for this category. Instead, they brewed a safe yet delicious chocolately beer. Very high regards.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
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

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Photo of flayedandskinned
3.21/5  rDev -16.6%
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.

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Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

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Photo of SensorySupernova
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Pelican5
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
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 ~

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Photo of Jeffsta1
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Black color, tan head.

Malty, meaty smell. Good.

Flavor of malt, slightly sweet coffee, licorice, chocolate. Mild, really. Nice.

Moderate mouthfeel, slightly rich, wouldn't mind just a hint more weight. Finely carbonated.

Finish is mild, well-integrated, with both bitterness and sweetness.

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Photo of mxchap
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of funjack5150
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

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Photo of PatrickSwayze
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
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

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Photo of jjh19
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of Rob23
3/5  rDev -22.1%
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.

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Photo of rotten77
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
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!

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Photo of Ryanbenjamin
3.58/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of LesleyLooWho
5/5  rDev +29.9%
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.

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Photo of MRGonzalo
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

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.

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Photo of denatured_gin
1.36/5  rDev -64.7%
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!

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Photo of sdnicksmith
4.62/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Just finished this great beer. definite cocoa flavors, not chocolaty, but like cocoa powder. And the integration of a local coffee roaster is what won me over to but this one. Bird Rock coffee is a part of San Diego.... This is a new favorite.

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Wreck Alley Imperial Stout from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.