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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.
very good

499 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 499
Reviews: 428
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 28
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: 499 | Reviews: 428 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BitteBier


4.38/5  rDev +15%

Pours a clear but very dark brown color with red highlights. Minimal but persistent head with a decent cling down the side of the glass. Rich, caramel/chocolate malts dominate the formidable nose, complemented by lighter scents of hops and alcohol. The mouthfeel is interesting--atypically clean for a stout but at the same time rich, with a powdery texture like instant hot cocoa that isn't fully dissolved. Rich, creamy malts dominate the taste, though hops and alcohol warmth show up in the long-lingering finish.

01-21-2004 01:54:02 | More by BitteBier
Photo of rkhaze


4.38/5  rDev +15%

Poured a dark, dark murky brown just this side of black. Tan head that barely formed before becoming one with the body. Minimal lace. Heavy aroma of a dark chocolate malt with some coffee, cherries and alcohol.
Taste followed the aroma. A rich, creamy chocolate malt with hints of coffee, red fruit, licorice and alcohol. Nice spicy/tangy hop balance. Scrumptious!
Really creamy viscous mouthfeel. Definitly a dessert beer.

12-20-2003 01:57:44 | More by rkhaze
Photo of CRJMellor


3.68/5  rDev -3.4%

Poured black with red highlights, a thin white head is produced with staying power. Aroma of coffee, wheat bread and maybe some dark fruits (raisins or prunes ?). Feels great in the mouth, very chewy. Starts very sweet with some milk chocolate flavors and the switches to a real roasted, burnt coffee taste then finishes with a touch of bitterness and some more sweetness. I would almost classify as a sweet stout.

12-15-2003 02:01:15 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of Darkale


3.85/5  rDev +1%

Aroma is sweet milk chocolate with a whiff of hops. Black body and a fat-bubbled, cappucino-colored head.

Nice and thick and chewy in the mouth. Very full -- seems to blossom as it is chewed. Ends slick with a coat over the tongue and teeth.

Taste is sweet with burn around the edges. Slick, chocolatey, with a hint of cherries.

The aftertaste is more sour than I would like. It seems to leave something in the mouth that is not entirely pleasant.

11-12-2003 14:34:46 | More by Darkale
Photo of UncleJimbo


4.1/5  rDev +7.6%

25 oz brown bottle, capped, no date.

This imperial stout poured a very dark, red-brown (almost black) color with bubbly, brown foam (with coaxing). The smell was a strong, sweet, dark-malty aroma with chicory-like, piney, resinous hops, and some hazelnut, and a hint of sherry. The taste was on the sweet side with dark malt, caramel, coffee, resinous hops, nuts (hazelnut), and some alcohol. The taste mellowed and improved as the glass warmed. The mouthfeel was smooth, and sweet on the tongue with medium-full body and modest carbonation. The flavors lingered on the tongue. It was slightly warming. This was a good imperial stout to be enjoyed slowly.

10-20-2003 05:36:50 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of beerguy101


4.1/5  rDev +7.6%

Dark black eclipse color. Small head. Aroma is very choclately, dark fruits and a touch of vanilla. A full bodied Imperial Stout. Malts are chocolate, with touches of dark fruit, rum, vanilla and smoke. Hops are mild and spicy. A very complex imperial stout. Nice and smooth taste, creamy and nearly silky. Hides the 10% alcohol very well. This is a very nice Imperial Stout. This beer get much better as it get near 55-60 degrees, more of the complex flavors come out at that temperature. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and very smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter with a touch of coffee and chocolate.

10-10-2003 02:45:48 | More by beerguy101
Photo of StevieW


4.18/5  rDev +9.7%

22 oz bomber bottles, oddly showing up in Florida now.
Dark as you would expect from an Imperial Stout. Lacked the purple to brown hues that ting the edges of some others. That's not a big deal, though. Medium color, thick, bubbly khaki colored head. Roasted bitter smells, just whiffs of epsresso, dark chocolate. Not a lot of roasted fruits etc. But it was roasted enough to keep you happy. Taste was very rich, smooth and balanced. Stiking roasted bitterness. Lots of coffee, and chocolate with just a hint of alcohol at the ends. Hops presence is clear. Nicely done, Full bodied, but not glug, glug, glug mode. A meal in a glass. I agree with BierRiese a very good find in Florida.

10-08-2003 01:40:47 | More by StevieW
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.4/5  rDev +15.5%

Appearance: Deep black opaque almost incandescent but when held up to the light I was greeted by the darkest of dark amber brown tones. Head is tan a bit thin but I suppose this is due to the alcohol notes Full even ring of lacing and continues this way until the end. Aroma: Deep aromatic tones that send chocolate and coffee sensations due to the roasts used in these beers for certain there are fruit tones here meant to shock and awe. Simply amazing and wonderful the beers in Denver were amazing last summer and I expected this to be no different for the Imperial Stout style as labeled. Taste: Yep this one is treating me well with creamy alcohol infused vinous tones what an amazing beer very complex and oh so good. Thank you Left Hand for bringing it to the table tonight I really needed a flavorful stout. I get plum over ripened simmer in moonshine this is wonderful what a great beer. I need to find more beer like this again and again. Mouthfeel: Is full and viscous just the way I like it what a great beer, my god why can't this be a local brew in this area, certainly a fine ale that's lets every flavor speak it's peace. Drinkability: I wish I could force myself to drink another but something tells me it's one strong ass beer with mucho flavor awesome representation fo the style brings fullness in body and flavor ein prosit!

10-05-2003 01:05:48 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Dogbrick


4.43/5  rDev +16.3%

22oz Bottle: Pours a nearly black color that kind of reminded me of a Porter the way a little light was let in. Thick beige head that did not last too long. Thin lacing. The aroma consists of sweet malt and caramel but with a strong roasted coffee presence as well. Full-bodied with a nice blend of coffee, chocolate, toffee and malt flavors. Alcohol is not very evident in the flavor. The finish is rich and satisfying and has some hops to it. This is a solid Imperial.

09-19-2003 14:44:59 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of BierReise


4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

22oz bomber. Give me another one. Please?? This was a great find here in Florida. Fantastic Imperial stout. Mahogany colored with a frothy head which settled down but completely laced the glass. Aroma was like bitter sweet chocolate and reminded me of Kahlua. Also showing notes of espresso coffee and an overall excellent aroma. Mouthfeel is super smooth, soft and extremely easy to drink. Flavor also excellent, coffee, chocolate, roasted barley and again flavors similar to Kahlua. I'm extremely pleased with this imperial and recommend it highly.

09-02-2003 20:44:56 | More by BierReise
Photo of jcalabre


2.88/5  rDev -24.4%

Appearance: For an Imperial Stout, this is extrememly light bodied. It's almost translucent with some red bricking.
Aroma: The nose has some notes of coffee and chocolate
Flavor: I would characterize this as a beginner's Imperial Stout. It's pretty easy drinking, but certainly lacks the depth & richness of other imperials, like Stone, Alesmith, Avery & Bell's.

08-18-2003 00:25:30 | More by jcalabre
Photo of aracauna


3.65/5  rDev -4.2%

Surprisingly pale color. You can actually see through a good bit of the edges. Nice light khaki head. Light aroma where the hops actually stand over the malt. Pretty standard stout flavors leaning on the roasty side. The lingering hop bitterness has an oddness to it that I can't seem to place. The flavor is light for the style. It's a bit syrupy. Only the fruitiness suggests that this truly is an imperial stout instead of just a normal strenght sweet stout. It's sort of an Imperial Stout light. The sturdy, creamy body is a bit of a surprise after the color and and flavor. This is a surprisingly easy-drinking imperial stout despite the sweetness.

08-08-2003 07:15:53 | More by aracauna
Photo of JohnnyDuvel


3.63/5  rDev -4.7%

This stout reminded me of the Bell's java stout. The same "burnt popcorn" taste, like coffee grounds were dumped in. Not as strong or dry as the Bell's, and I did enjoy the overall effect. Ultimately too bitter for me to really recommend this, but unique amongst most of the competition. You'll feel good when your done, but you may not enjoy getting there!

06-17-2003 21:50:41 | More by JohnnyDuvel
Photo of philipt

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +7.1%

I had a decision to make today -- faithfully good beers or a new beer (Left Hand Imp Stout). I was close to going with a beer that I've had before and enjoyed, but then I suddenly stopped and said, "NO! Do some thing new and different." So I did, and am rather happy with the result -- Left Hand Imperial Stout.

A very dark red-amber in color with a small or large head, depending on pouring style and preference. This beer would have gained substantial appearance points if it was abysmally black. Maly aroma, with some expresso and chocolate hints but not easily distinguishable. The taste is initially sweet followed quickly by a roasted malt/coffee flavor. The alcohol is present but not prominent. This beer is quite drinkable.

05-31-2003 15:02:14 | More by philipt
Photo of Wildman


4.13/5  rDev +8.4%

This beer poured a dark ruby red color and formed a light tan foamy head that left circular lace as it subsided. Some carbonation was present. An aroma of malt, coffee and chocolate. A flavor of malt, coffee and chocolate. A bit of burnt chocolate is present in the finish with warm aspect of the alcohol present. A bit lighter than other imperials, but a good stout, nonetheless.

05-17-2003 10:10:10 | More by Wildman
Photo of marc77


3.98/5  rDev +4.5%

A shade shy of black, with brilliantly clear deep crimson when held to light. Initially thick beige head settles into a thin, dense layer that manages sparse lace. Deeply roasted, slightly burnt, unmalted barley and bittersweet dark chocolate malt dominate the aroma, with secondary notes of buttery diacetyl and raisiny dark caramel. Fruitiness in aroma is mild, consisting of understated notes of fermenting, alcoholic prunes. Solvent like fusels thankfully diminish as the beer breathes. Rich, milk chocolate sweetness hits the palate upfront, then is ensued by a brief surge of roasted grain bitterness, which in turn is superceded by notes of heaty alcohol and buttery caramel. Impression of bourbon soaked raisins and prunes emerges mid palate. Mild hop bitterness is overrun by malt sweetness, lending a sweet overall balance. Moderate in body, with a lightly dextrinous mouthfeel that could use a touch more viscosity to support the malt character. Finishes long, with hints of floral hops and toffeeish sweetness, but otherwise with lingering roasted grain bitterness and spicy, peppery ethanol on the tip of the tongue and lips. Ethanol spice widens into a throat enveloping warmth after a short deliberation. A delicious and rich brew, with a pronounced alcohol character. This imperial could use cellaring to smooth out the light, but perceptible harshness. Regardless it's highly enjoyable and a fine bellywarmer for this frigid plains winter night. Big thanks to Jaybeerman for the bomber!

02-24-2003 19:22:28 | More by marc77
Photo of comat0se


4.18/5  rDev +9.7%

Malts: 2-Row, Chocolate, Crystal, Flaked Oats, Munich, Roasted & Black Barley
Hops: East Kent Goldings & Magnum
Original Gravity: 22 Plato ( 1.092 )
IBU's: 65
ABV: 10%

Based on last weekend's tasting at the brewery, I'd be remiss not to re-review this. I had the chance to have this on tap on CO2 as well as Nitro. I'll have to say that I liked the CO2 version better, but it also almost seemed overcarbonated. The beer there was nice, rich, and smooth, not harsh at all, and in fact, you couldn't hardly detect the alcohol. Much different than the bottle I had earlier. I think this beer will definitely benefit from aging given my two experiences. I have readjusted the scores based on the beer I had on tap.

22 oz bottle

Very dark beer with red highlights, pours with a tan creamy head. Mild, unsweetened chocolate aroma. Thick, full mouthfeel, with roasted malt (needs a bit more I think), chocolate, and dark fruit, malt flavors with a fairly harsh alcohol finish. Reading others that say that they feel the alcohol is well hidden is definitely surprising to me. Perhaps since I live rather close to the brewery, I got a very fresh bottle that simply needed to mellow out some. I deducted the taste and drinkability scores here because the alcohol was so harsh in the finish and each sip becoming more and more sharp and harsh. I should get another bottle to age...

02-03-2003 22:34:22 | More by comat0se
Photo of maxpower


4/5  rDev +5%

Dark ruby-black color,has a small tightly bubbled off-white head. Sweet roasted chocolate, coffee and fruity aroma, sweet fruity plum-chocolate flavors. Nice hoppy burnt bitterness in the finish. Medium-full body with creamy smooth thick and silky mouthfeel, alcohol is very well hidden very smooth.

01-17-2003 07:21:38 | More by maxpower
Photo of Murph


4.8/5  rDev +26%

Pours black with a nice big brown head with some ruby hints around the edge. Huge roasted aromas mixed in with some nice chocolate tones. Nice big chocolatey tones start you off on this one Super sweet dark chocolate carries you through until the roasted maltiness takes over towards the end. Big roasted maltiness finishes the brew off with a touch of bitter roastedness and a lot of sweet maltiness. Big chocolate tastes make this brew a chocoholic's dream and defintiely worth me buying again for $3.95 a bomber. Very smooth and a nice heavy body make this extremely enjoyable. Highly recommended to those who can get it.

11-19-2002 20:27:24 | More by Murph
Photo of cokes


4.2/5  rDev +10.2%

Pours out a very dark ruby-brown. Nice little tan head that sticks around.
Roasted and hoppy aroma. Very appealing, but seems too slight for an imperial.
Starts with a huge roasted expresso burst. Segues directly in to a more mellow, fruity taste. Plums and raisins. Bakers chocolate provides a backdrop to this all. Some vinous qualities towards the middle, but small compared to other Imperials. A hefty, leafy-raw hop load balances this nicely in the finish.
Body is quite smooth and creamy, but a bit on the thin side for the style. Still, very nice
I doubt there are too many 10% brews that are more easily consumed.
Not a classic imperial, but a very solid one nonetheless.

09-18-2002 23:28:33 | More by cokes
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +5%

Extremely dark brown color, with some garnet shimmering through. Poured with a fine, thin head, but minimal lace. Lots of roasty, coffee aromas present. Mouthfeel was good, but could be fuller/smoother IMO for this style. Some malty sweetness off the bat, with plenty of roasty coffee and chocolate flavors. A barely-present bitterness lurks around at the finish. Pretty good bier, but right on the heels of the Moylans Imperial, not quite up there.... Thanks, again, to Murph for this one!

overall: 4
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


07-11-2002 11:32:02 | More by Bierman9
Photo of Bighuge


4/5  rDev +5%

This beer is dark ruby. (I personally prefer my imperial stouts to be black.) A nice bubbly beige head laces nicely as I drink. Sweet malt, chocolate and yeast are the aromas that I detect. This is one of the few imperial stouts that I can actually taste significant alcohol. There are no BIG tastes in this brew. There are good qualities, they just aren't as big as they should be in an imperial stout. I get some roasted tones as well as chocolate malt. Java and bittersweet chocolate also make a brief appearance. The body is medium to full. Easy drinking Imperial.

An Imperial Stout can be exceptional if done correctly. This is a good beer, just not an exceptional Imperial Stout.

06-15-2002 21:13:06 | More by Bighuge
Photo of ZAP


4.33/5  rDev +13.6%

Wow...10% for this bad boy huh? I believe...alcohol on the nose and the buds..midnight black in color with a fizzy head that is gone pretty much in seconds rather than minutes..dark cocoa/licorice/alcohol on the nose..licorice/dark cocoa/and alcohol(like bourban in a wood barrel) on the buds...warming effect on the stomach..very good overall..hearty and rich but drinkable..creamy and chewy but not overdone....Bell's Expedition is the bench mark still in my eyes but I'd rather drink four beers of this than that....this is more drinkable...very solid overall and a nice surprise as I know little about "Left Hand"

03-27-2002 02:14:40 | More by ZAP
Photo of Todd


3.8/5  rDev -0.3%

Presentation: 1pint, 6oz brown bomber bottle. No freshness date. This is an unfiltered offering.

Appearance: Pours a black beer with ruby red edges. Head is a pillowy, creamy, tan head with excellent head retention.

Smell: Sherri, wet paper (oxidation), esters, rich malts in the nose and soft floral hop aromas.

Taste: Massive full-bodied brew with a smooth and ultra-creamy mouthfeel. Malt is the dominant character of this beer with a robust combination of chocolate, syrupy sweetness, burnt/roasted flavours, touch of caramel, juicy fruit / grape, raisin and more sherri and wet paper (oxidation). Hop bitterness is not really perceived, however their are tea-like hop flavours present. Actually as the beer warms a leafy hop character also pulls thru, maybe a touch of citrus too. Alcohol is very warming and imparts a spicy, near peppery, character. Finish is surprisingly clean, with just a touch of grain dryness.

Notes: Even though my sample appears to be a bit oxidized, this is still a superb example of the style and an excellent brew.

01-27-2002 17:37:12 | More by Todd
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Left Hand Imperial Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 499 ratings.