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Left Hand Imperial Stout - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Left Hand Imperial StoutLeft Hand Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

498 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 498
Reviews: 429
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 26
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.40% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 01-27-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 498 | Reviews: 429 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by AlCaponeJunior:
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
AlCaponeJunior

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Black as the ace of spades with dark brown overtones when held up to the light. Fairly good head that left about an eight of an inch or so on the top till I was about halfway finished. Clumpy lacking. Pretty nice looking.

Smells of molasses, coffee, chocolate, fruits (probably prunes), anise, slightly alcoholic, and a distinct overtone of the Frio river in Texas (I know that's a strange quality to mention, but that's what the smell reminds me of, and keeps reminding me of each time I smell it again).

Taste... first thing I said was "WOW." Powerful and strong on the flavors. Not too much alcohol flavor for such a strong brew, but still detectable. Chocolate, roasted, sweet malts, toffee, a smidge of smoke, some coffee, prune, and medium hoppiness barrage the tongue with intense flavors.

In both the smell and taste I can detect something strangely plastic which is slightly off-putting. I basically deducted a half point in each of those categories because of this.

Mouthfeel is very thick and rich, smooth but tangy with ample carbonation, bitter at the end but not overly so. A truly thick brew that doesn't disappoint in this category.

Drinkability is low. It's heavy on the nose, tongue, and stomach, and I certainly couldn't drink more than one at a time. In addition, at $10 a four-pack, there are better values out there, and I'll likely not buy this one very often. In fact, the two bottles I have left will probably remain in the fridge for at least a week apiece.

Might make an interesting black and tan tho.

ETA: On my second go-round I mixed half of an imperial stout with half a sam adams noble pils. Now that's an interesting black and tan... I'll rate it a 4.2 (arbitrary rating based on hasty generalizations).

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2010 17:18:15 | More by AlCaponeJunior
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look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The beer comes in a black/dark brown color.

The aroma has roasty stout character, some chocolate, a bit of umami.

The flavor has that roasty malt in the front, a bit of bitter chocolate, a dark fruitiness, then it moves onto tons of bitterness on the end. Almost like molasses, but with tons of herbal, licorice. Quite bitter.

A good mouthfeel and not much booze, but the bitterness is not really something I'm looking for.

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Massachusetts

3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. No date anywhere on this, but I've had it cellared for at least three years. At 10.4% abv, I would expect it to be able to handle some age.

A: Dark red-brown color. Tan colored head does not retain well, but this can be forgiven somewhat due to the strength. A thin, broken ring of lacing traces the glass.

S: Fruity esters of raisin, fig, and blackberry. Concord grape. Vinous. Jab of alcohol. Traces of sherry and cardboard. Plenty of cocoa. Oatmeal raisin cookies.

T: Cocoa and milk chocolate build on the attack. Lots of bakers chocolate and chocolate truffles. Drizzle of caramel. Fruity esters of raisin and concord grape. Alcohol really flexes some muscle. Some oxidation is present in the form of cardboard-like flavors, but this is normal with the age on the bottle. Spicy sherry too. Long lingering finish of cocoa and bakers chocolate.

M: Medium-thick body. Very full on the palate, and silky smooth. Low carbonation. Very high attenuation takes the sludgy, weighty feel out of the equation and creates a whipped, airy texture. Big alcohol warmth all the way through, though it never feels hot.

O: This is a beast of a beer, but time in the cellar has helped to tame it and round it out. The alcohol character is not off-putting, but it does make this one a slow sipper. The thorough fermentation and dryness of the beer has turned it into something a little more elegant than the sludgy, fudgy monsters that tend to dominate the Imperial Russian Stout landscape. Good stuff.

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I don't see a date but this has been hanging around the cellar for a while. At least 3 years old, maybe 4.

A: Pours a dark, dark brown, not really black though. Big fizzy light/medium brown head. Head fades out slowly with great retention. Surprisingly halfway decent lacing too.

S: Big roasty character. Smoke, umami and lots of creamy chocolate.

T: Lots of smoke and umami up front. Bitter char in the middle with hints of chocolate. Finish is all bittersweet chocolate with more hints of smoke and umami. Get some hints of old hops maybe?

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Left Hand Imperial Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 498 ratings.