Oak Aged Imperial Stout - Left Hand Brewing Company
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Ratings: 220 | Reviews: 196 | Display Reviews Only:
2.13/5 rDev -47.3%
Rather thin looking stout on the pour, builds a nice head that vanishes in no time. A touch watery looking even as black as it is.
Sweet vanilla, fruity wine like notes but more red wine like notes, but cold so I’ll wait for it to warm to finish this part. A bit smoother around the edges as it warms, but it isn’t making this better.
I think there are a lot of hops here, but the oak aging is pulling out the hops and creating an amazingly smooth finish. Then the alcohol starts to kick in. At around 4 years old I wouldn’t expect that. The problem is there isn’t anything great here. A lot of nuance but nuance needs to be built on something that is inviting and well good. Stout lovers will enjoy this and won’t complain, but this beer fails to be inviting to anyone who is on the fence Room temp this is starting to take on a buttery note which is greatly enhancing the beer. That said just not pushing far enough.
I could come up with things I enjoy in most parts of this beer, but the mouth is awful. Still a lot of alcohol, thin (for style), and after a few sips the carbonation vanishes and it just feels awful.
It’s not dark enough, not carbonated enough (age here is a factor), not creamy enough, not viscous enough, doesn’t bring out deep dark chocolate, no real coffee flavors, plenty of oak….really I’m at a loss here.
05-18-2011 01:43:26 | More by bobhits
2.42/5 rDev -40.1%
22oz bottle poured into a goblet. 2009 vintage.
A: Dark brown body with reddish tints. No head or lacing.
S: Unpleasantly dominated by oak notes that throw everything out of whack and create an aroma reminiscent of overcooked vegetables.
T: Again, the oak ruins everything. Roasty and chocolatey flavors buried deep underneath make it barely tolerable.
M: Medium-bodied, not too thick.
D: This was a bit of an ordeal to try to get through. The oak is just too overpowering. Drain pour.
11-28-2009 07:42:08 | More by BarrelO
2.88/5 rDev -28.7%
For an imperial stout, a style full of great beers, I thought this beer was a bit of a disappointment.
This beer poured an opaque black with a finely formed head. Aroma was chocolate-y, but tasted very stale, by which I don't mean stale beer (oxidized), but I mean the chocolate seemed stale. Flavor was chocolate-y, but the dominating taste was day old coffee. Mouthfeel was full & good.
I can't say I'd really recommend this beer.
01-11-2008 03:25:10 | More by BeerBelcher
3.08/5 rDev -23.8%
Appears a dark red color under light, black without. Minimal head, lacing brings this a step above average.
Nose is unusually light, but what is detectable is good. Wood, smoke, chocolate are all present in varying degrees.
Taste is oddly a little on the weak side other than a big hitnof wood at the end. The aftertaste and resulting warmth is nice, but there doesn't seem to be much after this, a light nutty bitterness and hints of chocolate are present.
Mouth is medium bodies and light on carbonation.
Overall I hate to come down on any oaked beer, but I need a stout to have depth, or if not, have the flavor be more than wood.
04-14-2009 23:40:09 | More by sonicdescent
3.15/5 rDev -22%
Looks like a RIS with a big, white big bubbling head with some balls dangling. Looks thin with root beer edges.
Smells of vanilla and sweet caramel. Big nose.
Light bodied, vanilla and thin bodied. Not a whole lot going on beyond sweetness.
Ok, but I wouldn't run out to try it again.
03-06-2009 16:07:00 | More by beachbum1975
3.15/5 rDev -22%
A - dark as night, welling up a one and a half finger of dark tan/light brown head, too dark to note any carbonation
S - a milky sweetness atop a deep coffee/chocolate/mocha aroma
T - can taste the tarty sweetness of oats, it slowly melds into a coffee/mocha flavor, kind of one sided, any balance/layering hops have faded over almost two years.
M&D - a bit tannic since it was aged too long, but smooth, couldnt finish the whole bottle, the tartness was a bit too much for me, need to try one fresher
09-17-2009 01:02:42 | More by sinstaineddemon
3.23/5 rDev -20%
This is a 2009 bottle.
Poured from a brown bomber into a pub glass. Bringing forth a 2 inch off white head, which leaves me wondering how this is going to be with a white head and watered consistancy off the pour.
Black in color.
Retention is decent, but the cap is white and the head is so cola like. The appearance so far is dismal. However the lace stickage is terrific all the way down the glass. I just cant give a good score though on appearance for an ris with a white head, thats crazy talk lol
Very light aroma of tosted wood and some very mild chocolate. The slightest bit of alcahol at the knose. Coffee and chocolate grain aroma, bordering husky.
The mouthfeel is super bodaciously awsome! Creamy as all getout with some carbonation, its so creamy it leaves an almost cream fatty slickness across the tounge in a milk fat sort of way. Just a touch of carbonation zing at the swallow. Moutfeel is bordering slimey and leaving me to not enjoy it.
The taste is bitter with roasted grains and dark unsweetend chocolate. Overall though, this beer really respresents all that you should not do to an RIS. Its pretty awkward, like kissing your sister and seeing her boobs at the same time or somthing. I just dont know what to think, and that slimey mouthfeel is really starting to irritate my gag reflex.
04-01-2009 02:02:47 | More by Buebie
3.23/5 rDev -20%
Consumed at BA Cincinnati RIS tasting on 3/5/2009, hosted by Yetiman420
A: Pours an ebony w/ tan highlights. 1/8 inch white head with light, sudsy lacing, no grit on the lacing.
S: Cherries with a hop back and alcohol nose.
M/T: A lighter, medium syrupy body. Bitter hop blast, followed by malts then a coffee backer. Finishes clean but with a sweet malt flavor.
D: Finishes semi clean , but with a sweet malt flavor left behind. The malts kind of repeat on me though.
03-07-2009 03:17:37 | More by DrewOSU
3.25/5 rDev -19.6%
The newest in Left Hand's Big Mo' series. Not a big fan of Left Hand but looking forward to this RIS. I let this one get closer to room temp so that's how this review will go.
Pours nice and dark with a nice tan head that disapates quickly leaving a ring around the top. The aroma is sweet. A dash of oak is in there with some coffee and sweet malt. Taste is pretty on par with other Imperial Stouts. Nice mouthfeel, not too thick for the style. Finishes nice and crisp. You get the coffee and some chocolate in there.
In the end, very drinkable given the ABV. One of the better Left Hand offerings and would like to put one away to have another round with later.
06-13-2007 00:48:58 | More by lonestar4lunch
3.38/5 rDev -16.3%
pours a black with a ruby tint when held up to the light, medium size khaki head that dissipates quickly, and some lacing.
smell is faint, cocoa, malt, and some vanilla.
taste is dry, bakers and dark chocolate, some walnuts in the back, and a touch of licorice, ends dry with a slight bitter finish.
04-11-2009 21:46:12 | More by froghop
3.4/5 rDev -15.8%
Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with a dense, pillowy head.
Smell: Boozey aroma of chocolate and roasted grains. Strong notes of oak.
Taste: Flavor of dark roasted barley, with some chocolate, maybe even some anise. It's got quite a sour, vinous quality to it. A fair amount of warming alcohol is evident on the oaken, roasty finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Very warming.
Drinkability: The heck is this? It's a decent stout, sure, but it's no where near as lush and inviting as that 10th Anniversary version.
09-10-2007 22:31:24 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.43/5 rDev -15.1%
I poured this Imperial Stout into a goblet at about 52 degrees. The brewe poured a lighter then anticipated dark brown with very little head that did not stick around and no lacing wahtsoever.
The nose is of roasted malts and a note of cocoa.
The taste is all chocolate. Almost overpowering so. There is a sweetness that is similar to a milk stout that slowly receds with a cocoa finish.
The mouthfeel is less then expected. This brew is much thinner then I expect in an imperial stout. In addition this brew is more carbonated then I expected.
OVerall it is a nice oak aged imperial stout that I would be glad to order if I saw it on tap somewhere, but I won't be hunting it down anytome soon. Enjoy!!!
05-02-2011 00:14:55 | More by AnPiobaire
3.43/5 rDev -15.1%
first beer of the EXCURSION :
Pours a dark brown colour .-.
the head is elite, the lacing even more so! .-.
smell is lacking for
1.an imperial stout and 2. an oak aged brew .-.
Mouthfeel is light light and non overpowering ( or thin, depending on who you are) but I would basically call it smooth .-.
Taste ... first thing that really hits you is the (as fore mentioned) lightness to this brew-- fore one, the alcohol is amazingly hidden (one of the most in any brew i have ever come by) The oak flavour is also very subtle, good for some, but not really for me.
Overall, A very nice beer that is quite people friendly but for the price ($12) i can get a sixer of storm king and have some left over... .-.
08-18-2007 00:32:15 | More by Onslow
3.43/5 rDev -15.1%
*liked it ok would not buy*
app: dark almost cant see through but hints of garnet shimmer here and there. not much of any intresting head to mention.. its there but just kinda.
smell: nice normal big stout type smell, but not on the luxury side, has some water and sour in the smell, aside from being weak not rich and a touch of sour, it is more on the sweet chocolate side that the coffee earthy. good, but ..
taste: nice flavor of normal down the middle big stout, followed though by an almost to big booze flavor, the booze sits hi and sharp in the taste the more you drink, like a wine type boozeness, its not blended or apart of the flavor. again aside from the booze part of the mix, the stout flavors are good and normal and not much to mention. the booze is over powering and unbalanced. not a bad beer, but not special at all.
mf: oily not to thick, not to zingy.. maybe at the end it is.. its good i guess.
drinkable?: yeah, not way but yeah. nothing to bitter or to thick. but not so rich you wanna bath in it.
09-02-2007 02:03:07 | More by AndoBrew
3.45/5 rDev -14.6%
Had this on tap at The Stable in St. Louis.
This is a BIG beer. It poured with a deep, rich color with just the right amount of head. I definitely got a whiskey smell as I brought the glass to my mouth. There was a nice malty sweetness that was balanced out with some hoppiness. I would say this is probably a tick sweeter than I prefer, but I could see myself ordering again. It is a bit heavy so one per session is enough.
04-19-2009 11:47:38 | More by Wheelinb
3.5/5 rDev -13.4%
Clear dark ruby. Foamy tan head leaves good amounts of lace. Aroma is milky sweet, chocolatey and caramelly. The nose is absent of roasted, bitter, alcholic tones, which is a little curious for this style. Palate is fruity first. Passion fruits. Melons soaked in rum. Also some figs and dates notes. Some whiskey heat is noted. Oak notes are very, very subtle. An alcoholic bitterness remains on the aftertaste. Not exactly what I look for in an Imperial Stout, but it's not bad. Mouthfeel is easy going, laid back, low on CO2. This one is kind of a letdown for what I was expecting, but maybe that's 'cuz I've been drinking Town Hall barrel beers all week. Not many can compare to those. So my frame of reference (perspective) may have taken a "shift" this week.
11-02-2005 04:53:02 | More by Bighuge
3.5/5 rDev -13.4%
2009 bottle. Been sitting on it since July or so, I think.
Super-dark opaque brown with hints of red and minimal tan head. Decent lacing.
Smells oaky! Surprise. Vanilla, coffee. No real booze on the nose.
I'd never be one to call something over-oaked, but this is a little too sweet and vanilla-tasting. It's very smooth and I really don't detect the alcohol at all, but honestly, I like my big beers to at least drop a hint about the amount of alcohol in them. This actually is hitting my palate the same way Avery Kaiser (I *think*) did the first time I had it ... there's a sweetness that tastes like the core of an Everlasting Gobstopper. It's a weird description, but there you have it. Maybe this is one that shouldn't be aged.
Feel is great: Nice slick and thick body, with enough carbonation to keep it from being a dead weight on the tongue.
Drinkability is pretty good; I like this beer, I just want it to kick my ass a little more. I think I ought to have consumed it younger.
01-10-2010 09:02:31 | More by thryn
3.5/5 rDev -13.4%
Bomber poured into a snifter.
A-Pours a very dark brown and appears almost black within the glass. Opaque. Light-tan bubbles are minimal on the surface.
S-Surprisingly bight aromas. Fruity and slightly hoppy, with a mildly detectable oak character.
T-Slight oakiness emerges, but really nicely in line with the large malty flavors. Minimal vanilla, slightly earthy in nature with a firm hop bitterness to counter. A misture of raisin and toffee comes forward near the end, with a definite alcohol flavor, almost sharp.
M-A pleasant glowing warmth. Moderate full body is paired with a moderate carbonation.
D-Rather drinkable. Enjoyable in its complex interplay of flavors, while being a quite enjoyable brew. Still, not my favorite brew and perhaps just a little off to me.
06-24-2009 16:33:01 | More by CHSLBrew
3.53/5 rDev -12.6%
2009, poured into a snifter to reveal pitch black body with coffee cream head. Smells a little roasty, touch of earthy, and chocolaty with fruity ester undertones. Noticeable alcohol presence here. I'm also getting a little rubber scent. Just washed the glass, so am not sure if that's normal.
Tastes pretty good. Bittersweet and smooth with frothy carbonation. Well-roasted. I'm still getting the rubbery aftertaste, but otherwise no complaints here. Finding this one's mouthfeel on the heavier end of imperial stouts, I might have mistaken it for a RIS. The rubber smell disappears as it warms, though bits of it come through in aftertaste. An astringency emerges over time as well.
Overall, a different sort of imperial stout than I'm used to. Except for the singular off flavor, it's quite enjoyable.
09-21-2009 01:52:06 | More by abuliarose
3.53/5 rDev -12.6%
one finger of off white foam, black but not totally opaque, pretty average looking with decent legs due to the ABV, nothing special to report overall.
the oak is pronounced right away, this was surprising only because only 25% of the brew was aged on oak, powdered cocoa notes, definite sweetness and a touch of rye, interesting.
good thickness, the carbonation is very subtle, hints of ash sort of wind up in the mix here also, this is borderline on the sweetness but it just catches itself before you think it is too much, overall this doesn't pack quite the flavor punch of the top RIS.. and honestly at this price it should be better.
if you like your RIS a little sweeter and are willing to pay a premium.. go for it. the oak does make this one slightly different than others but overall this is just a decent brew.
05-07-2007 02:17:55 | More by Ego
3.53/5 rDev -12.6%
Reviewed on 05/23/2009. Bottle. Pours black with a thick light tan head. Aroma of roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and piney hops. Flavor of sharp roasted and sweet malt, some sweet brandy notes, roasted nuts. Slightly boozy. Chill, nothing too great.
07-11-2009 14:32:25 | More by LilBeerDoctor
3.55/5 rDev -12.1%
Pours a dark brown and maroon hue with a light off-white head that slowly disappears and leaves little rivets of lace on the snifter.
Aroma has a sort of malt, coffee and yeasty amalgamation with very little of the advertsied oak-aging.
Flavor has a very subtle almost imperceptible hint of wood. Dark malts, molasses and a hint of darker citrus with some chocolate notes.
Mouthfeel is lighter than anticipated, call it medium-bodied and light for style. Almost no bitterness present save for a hint of coffee or cocoa bittering.
Drinkability is good but body is too light for style and oak-aging didn't really appear and seem to add anything to the brew.
12-01-2004 18:28:37 | More by CRJMellor
3.55/5 rDev -12.1%
2009. An imperial stout with 25% aged in brandy barrels. Pours a semi-clear brown color but is dark brown in the glass with crimson highlights all around the glass, no head and no lacing. This is not as dark viscous looking as I like my RIS's. Decent aroma of roasted malts, wood, a bit of chocolate and raisins. Taste is pretty much the same. Sweet up front, dark chocolate, a bit of raisin, a touch of coffee and a hint of woodiness in the dry finish. Mouthfeel is a bit light and a little low on the carbonation. Not sure if this bottle is too fresh and needs to be aged some more, but I could have gotten a 4 pack of Old Rasputin for cheaper than this and would have enjoyed it more.
05-01-2009 00:09:52 | More by KeefD
Oak Aged Imperial Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 220 ratings.