Barrel-Aged Wake Up Dead - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Barrel-Aged Wake Up DeadBarrel-Aged Wake Up Dead

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269 Ratings
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Ratings: 269
Reviews: 132
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 21.7%
Wants: 22
Gots: 41 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: mcallister on 08-02-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 269 | Reviews: 132 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Knapp85
3.23/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours out as a really dark brown... For an imperial stout I was thinking more like pitch black. The head is tan and it goes away after a little while. The smell is sweet and earthy, it's also roasted and boozy. The taste is decent or average to say the least... I really thought this was going to be much more impressive. The mouthfeel was too light for an Imperial. This was pretty much a disappointment right from the beginning.

Photo of ChugginOil
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Barrel-Aged Wake Up Dead

Poured from a bomber into Delirium snifter. Bottled on 10-26-10

Pours a dark nut-brown color and settles pitch black. The pour leaves two fingers of dark cream colored head. This fluffy mound seems to hold up well, boasting thick walls of lace.

The nose is hard to distinguish but through the collision of aromas I sense a lot of oak, raisins, a touch of cocoa and booze. It's not too balanced because its hard to decipher.

The taste is luckily quite different. I sense a lot of roasty malts up front that follow a charred oak taste that lingers for some time. The more I indulge, the more I begin to noticed some cherry and fig like characteristics and a bit of dark chocolate. In the background lies some spent coffee grounds that linger well after each sip. The alcohol is there but not bothersome.

The mouthfeel is a bit thick but still on the medium-bodied side. Minimal carbonations conteibutes and offers a silky wave accross my palate.

Overall, this stout takes a pretty bad wrap but it shouldnt be overlooked or shunned. Give it a try if you come across it.

Photo of Agold
2.9/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours with a medium tan head which starts big and recedes fairly quickly to a thin layer. Maybe hoping that it would be black instead of the dark brown it was. It is mildly roasty and pretty fruity with almost a barleywine level of esters. There is a bit of an alcohol aroma, and very little of the -bal character. The flavor is a bit out of character for an imperial stout. There is some of the roasted malt and chocolate, but not much. The woodiness is a good complement as well. There are just a lot of dark fruits in this beer. Not unpleasant but not the greatest either. There is also a pretty big alcohol presence. Mouthfeel is about medium, not big enough. Overall pretty nice beer.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.15/5  rDev -37%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22 ounce bottle - $5.99 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a dark brown, near black body with a finger high level of beige-toned foam. Head recedes fairly fast.

Smell: Middling roastiness, spirit-soaked wood, and cheap, sugary chocolate in the aroma, though there's a faint, peculiar stink lingering in the background as well as some nostril and eye-stinging fusel wafts. A disheartening scent.

Taste: Woodsy, roasty and delivering a fair degree of sugar with a cloying sweetness to it. Very, very minor tastes of chocolate and light brown sugar follow by a spicy kick of anise oil and an odd, off-putting hint of baked rubber furniture feet. Sad fruits. Takes on a chalky tongue-coating quality and develops some boozy off-off-brand Baileys-like flavors. There's some astringency on the swallow and for the heated, bitter, drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus. Medium-low carbonation.

Overall: Maybe not exactly the peddled poison I see touted on here, but it's certainly not good or satisfactory. Okay, scratch that, as it grows rather grating as you work your way through the bottle, which I never saw as it ended up a drain pour. I wonder if there was any nervous hand-wringing or nail-biting at all as this stinker drove off in the delivery trucks. My opinion of Left Hand has taken a bit of a hit today.

Photo of gamwich
2.78/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

On nitro 5-9-11 at the Buckeye Beer Engine.

Thick dark tan head. Very dark in color, but still brown on the edges. Not much happening on the nose, faintly I detect roasted malt and figs. Flavors of raisins, roasted malt, and alcohol. Really not a lot to taste overall, but a very smooth beer. Creamy and soft on the palate. One expects more flavor from a barrel aged stout.

Photo of misfit1034
4.58/5  rDev +34.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nitro-Tap into tulip... amazingly creamy tan hed that lasted through the entire session on this (30+ minutes of savoring from cool to room temp) and left some amazing lacing that followed the deep, thick black/brown nectar to the bottom of the glass... Smell was everything you would want in a creamy stout with the perfect balance from the barrel aging and taste was nothing less than amazing... Mouthfeel was creamy and warm and overall one of the best of the best I have had and an amazing first nitro-tap experience...

Photo of Lerxst
3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The past two nights I've enjoyed my first Night Stalker and Big John (those courtesy of LockeSD-thanks again!) so I'm continuing my stout journey tonight with this. I've really enjoyed the past two nights, lets see how this one goes.

A-Pours a medium brown with a one half finger khaki head that has fair retention and leaves some spotty lace. Pour seems very thin for the style.

S-All the usual suspects-dark fruit, roasted malt, hints of coffee and chocolate. It is pleasant, just nothing real special.

T-Roasted malt, chocolate, a slightly astringent flavor, a bit of dark fruit, hints of earthy hops. Its not unpleasant, just kind of average. Nothing stands out and impresses me.

M-Thin for the style and highly carbonated. This really feels more like a porter. Certainly doesn't have the mouthfeel of an Imperial Stout.

O-Its not a bad beer, its just not memorable in any way.

Photo of b3shine
4.18/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nitro to pint. Looks good (but I don't consume for the looks). Smell is forgettable; fortunately, the taste isn't. It's delicious and the nitro accentuates the barrel-aged flavors. The NO2 doze the same form the mouthfeel. Overall, excellent, but I bet that has something to do with the nitrogen.

Photo of JayS2629
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Super dark black with a huge craggy white head that faded slowly and left descent lace. The smell is of raisins, figs, dark chocolate and a hint of coffee. Oak and hints of vanilla in the taste with an earthy, herbal, spicy hop profile that creeps up at the end. Dark chocolate with lots of dark fruit like cherry, grape, fig and raisin. Very complex and interesting. Thinner than most imperial stouts. A little muddled to finish.

Photo of Retsinis
3.23/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this bottle up at a Whole Foods in Arizona while visiting family in laws, since left hand does not distribute to California. Never had it before, so I brought it to the Clusterfork # 2 tasting to share. Got a decent pour before passing it off to share as everyone saw fit. 22 oz bomber bottle

A: The beer pours a murky mahogony brown, with a small, quarter inch of dark tan head rose, with just light lacing.

S: Pick up whiffs of raisins, molasses, caramel, coffee, and mild oak.

T: Mild chochlate, roasted sweet malt, rasins, but the alcohol comes off a bit harsh, and there is slight astringency in the flavor, maybe from the barrels.

M: A bit thin in the mouth, with light to medium carbonation. Slightly oily.

O: above average, but given the option of barrel aged stouts, not something I plan to seek out again. I was hoping for more, but it was generally liked and appreciate by most at the tasting, so that's a success.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with some highlighting - a little disappointing given the name...head is a tanned foam with decent stick and the lacing is solid enough. Updated: the retention is weak.

Nose is fairly sweet with some roasted bitterness. I get nothing from barrel-aging like woodiness or vanillin. Mostly caramel with the roasted barley edge.

Flavor is par for the course. Not bad but not very exciting either. One-dimensional in terms of black, roasted malts. Chocolate, fig, coffee, licorice. Hops are present for sure, but contribute some spiciness and blend in with the espresso bitterness.

Didn't realize it was barrel-aged until i looked at the profile on BA and subsequently read the bottle. Not an endorsement.

Moderate body, as the thickness doesn't keep up with the color and flavor. I do like how the bitter, aggressive flavor is couched within this silky sort of creamy body, but for a big-ass waking-up-dead kind of stout I'm looking for a bit more heft.

Photo of n2185
2.8/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a dark brown with a finger of beige head. The head leaves a pretty nice layer, though no lacing to speak of.

S: Some caramel notes along with lots of woody and nutty aromas. Like candied pecans. It smells pretty good, but almost nothing like an imperial stout.

T: Similar to the aroma, there are some caramel and lightly roasted malt flavors up front. Wood flavors follow along with a nuttiness. The finish is slightly bitter and warming from the alcohol.

M: Medium-thick body with medium carbonation, this beer has a bit of an oily slick feel to it, but doesn't feel like much of an imperial stout.

O: Overall, a decent beer, but definitely NOT an imperial stout. I'd call it more of an imperial brown ale, if anything. I'd say as a brown ale, I'd probably give it a B, but rating it as an imperial stout it doesn't do so well. It doesn't look, smell, taste, or feel like any imperial stout I've ever had.

Photo of PhineasGage
3.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottled 10-20-10 drank 4-6-11
poured into new belgium globe glass

a - pretty darn dark, traps the light. 1 finger head, pretty dense, no lacing.

s - nothing really there. little bit of malt, little bit of oak, nothing too impressive.

t - malty, tangy choclate. oaky vanilla

m - agressive carbonation. oak grips the mouth a little.

o - more of a winter warmer than anything. probaboly won't drink this one again.

Photo of Centennial
2/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz bomber with nice wake up dead graphics

Smell- burnt chocolate and molassas

Taste- not much here, but alcohol at 10% is well hidden, i will give it that, but it tastes like a porter

Mouthfeel- thin, no body, minimum carbonation

Overall- a disgrace to be called a barrel aged stout. This does not fit the style, the artwork, or the marketing paragraph written on the side of the bottle.

Photo of mwilbur
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22 oz bottle into snifter. Bottle on 10 26 10 per bottle stamp.
A: Pours a very dark murky brown with almost no head. Decent lacing.
S: Raisin and other dark dried fruit, caramel malt, sweet bourbon, vanilla, fresh yeast, alcohol, and some hops.
T: Tries to follow aroma, but doesn't quite stack up. Wood, sweet bourbon, thick caramel malt, bitter alcohol bite, and dark dried fruit (fig, raisin).
M: Medium-heavy feel. Light and smooth at first, then turning heavier with a bitter burn at the finish.
D: There are times I wish we could review a beer without getting a peek at the overall score or recent reviews...and this is one of those times. Were my expectations too low...and thereby my review better than it would have been? Or perhaps I am drawn toward the crowd and reviewing this worse than I would had this been a blind review. I'll stop my philosophical rant now.
This is by no means a bad beer. It is also by no means a great beer. Don't avoid this one just 'cause you heard bad things...decide for yourself.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at 1702; February 2011
The beer arrives with a frothy, quarter-finger thick, lightly browned, dark tan colored head; this is very light for an Imperial Stout. The beer is a dark, burnt amber hue that shows a clear, full, slightly concentrated amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of light, toasted coconut, and vanillin up front, some bourbon like spice as well as a dark fruit character that becomes a bit more noticeable with some time (notes of raisin seem the most noticeable, but a touch of concentrated plum is also here). The nose is definitely dominated by the barrel notes, but it is actually fairly balanced for a barrel aged beer.

Medium bodied (or even more so) this viscously clings to the palate with a definite heft. The beer has some deeply caramelized malt sweetness to it up front, but finishes with a combination of spicy barrel character, some slightly bitter roasted grain character and a slight, but clean hop bitterness. Big flavors of vanillin, toasted sweet coconut and a definite spiciness contribute a barrel signature that reminds me of Bourbon. Fruity notes of raisins, prunes and perhaps some dried fig notes contribute a rich middle to this beer and help to balance out the barrel character. The lingering finish on this beer makes me think of a toasted wood plank (slightly caramelized, a hint of char, and just a spicy woodiness that has some earthy overtones). The combination of ingredients / techniques in this beer make me think of tobacco, some cedar notes, a touch of menthol laden wood, perhaps a touch herbal hoppiness.

This is not a bad beer, it is definitely a pale interpretation of an Imperial stout (both in color and in the light touch of roast here), and I am actually enjoying this quite a bit more than I would have expected.

Photo of csbinva
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this beer into a 16 ounce draft glass. Decent head, smell the barrel, not sure what type of barrel but in this instance, it's Left Hand, so I really don't care what type of barrel it is, i love their beer. Taste is really good, but i dont' believe it's a stout, more like a dark ale with a kick! Left Hand, I love you and what you have to offer but please don't do promise a bourbon stout without adding the bourbon.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
2.48/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

Barrel-aged Wake Up Dead, bomber bought at New Beer Distributors in Manhattan, New York, for $8.25.

Appearance: Served in a Sierra snifter (what did you expect?), pours thin, with a chestnut color as it comes out pretty atypical of an Imperial Stout. Some glug and gurgle, and a classic one-finger head with a ton of big bubbles on top. Head dies quickly, though, leaving only a white rim around the glass and some of those impressive bubbles. Beyond the chestnut color, this is a very dark, almost black beer.

Smell: Glue, wood, spice, booze, gasoline, bourbon (I assume? Don't know what the barrel they aged this in contained). Weird and not very inviting.

Mouthfeel: Extremely thin and disappointing. Low carbonation, body, flavor and overall profile. Sad, sad. Thinner than many single stouts!

Taste: Very woodsy and dry, makes me think of being in the hold of a boat traveling from London to Calcutta circa 1836. Again that glue/chemical taste, as in the nose. Some vanilla notes, very faint, and sweetness. Not much else. Very unimpressive.

Drinkability: OK. The alcohol really is not noticeable, and I could pound this. But it is so thin and underwhelming... I wouldn't want to drink again.

I agree with most reviewers that this is not an Imperial Stout. Old Ale? Maybe... but whatever the case, a sad beer. Truly sad.

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cast in full-on ebony, sizable tan head drifts down soon enough.

Rich aromatics, cocoa and coffee, with sweet bourbon notes just below, gets bigger and fuller as we go in. Vanilla and oak notes peeping up.

Tasting it: A full blast on the palate, all those flavors promised in the nose board together. There's licorice bumping up against molasses, vanilla hints and oakiness meet chocolate and caramel.
There is a nice imperial stout under here, hiding under a cloak of bourbon. Sweet stuff, probably too sweet for some, and potent, for sure. Cloying? Just a little. But for bourbon barrel lovers, like me, there's a lot to like. And maybe love.

It's easy drinking for an imperial stout, never gets near chewy, stays clear of viscous. Goes down smooth and brimming with stout-y and barrel-y flavors.

Here's one that's been unjustly maligned, I think. Maybe it needed a bit more time, or perhaps it's better in the keg?

Photo of Phelps
3.05/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Enjoyed on tap at Papago in a snifter.

The beer looks deadly black, dark and absorbing. A minuscule, creamy head of light tan becomes medium ring.

The nose: bubble gum, powdered cocoa and a soft sweetness. It's hard to pick up any aroma at all, really.

This was barrel-aged? Molasses and lightly sweet black patent show themselves in the flavor, but there's no bourbon, no oak, no nothing. It's smooth and lightly sweet at the finish, but not as flavorful as expected.

Smooth, creamy medium body. Very lightly fizzy. Some alcohol in flavor and more in throat. Very light, prickly carbonation.

I need more flavor! This is weak even for a stout, let alone a barrel-aged one.

Photo of yemenmocha
2.63/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hmmm, starts alright with a decent b lack body and smallish head. Nose is quite a curve ball with band-aid plastic notes, touch of perfume, and a boozy vanilla oak like quality. Palate has a much lighter flavor than anticipated, almost as if it is not really an imperial stout at all. Some heat on the finish. Moderate roasty flavors here, maybe some wet coffee grounds.

Photo of daledeee
3.08/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 22 oz bottle that's been in the "warm" frig for a while.

Poured a very dark brown with tan head. No lacing.

Nose is vanilla and booze.

Taste is just not as thick and heavy as I am used to. There are notes of chocolate, vanilla and some bitterness.

Mouth feel is also not quite up to greatness. Not a lot of carbonation.

Drinkability suffers. Not the most balanced flavor and the alcohol is very warming.

Photo of nickfl
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with two fingers of light brown foam, resting on a black body with ruby highlights showing through. The foam settles slowly and leaves thick lace.

S - Lots of molasses, brown sugar, and caramel. There is some dark fruity as well, cherry and red apple mostly as well as a bit of rum.

T - Dark, sugary malt up front. Lots of plum and brown sugar and a deep molasses note. Some spicy sugar in the middle with notes of chicory and clove. The beer finishes with moderate bitterness and lots of sweet brown sugar soaked with rum.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - This beer was a bit of a disappointment. It is cloyingly sweet with molasses and brown sugar serving as the primary flavor characteristics. The barrel aging seems to have had minimal effect with just a light note of rum that is heavily influence by the sugary malt. The beer is almost completely lacking in roasted malt character or chocolate notes, it is really all about molasses. Whatever the intention, this seems to be more of an imperial brown ale than anything else and it just doesn't work for me. A rare miss from lefthand.

Photo of Allpe45
2.23/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

bottled 10-26-10
Appears reddish dark brown with very little rosy white head despite being poured aggressively. Doesn't look like a stout

Very unpleasant smell. Rotten fruits and medicinal booziness. Cherry cough syrup? The smell is offputting, makes me scared to drink this.

The taste isn't nearly as bad as the smell, but that's not saying much. Typical chocolate maltiness. No roast flavors. Barrel aging is not noticeable.

Disappointing mouthfeel for a stout. Way too thin

Tough to drink because of the smell. Nothing special in the taste to make up for it.

I hope this is just a one-off gone wrong, and not the product they were expecting to end up with.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
2.78/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

decided to try this beer since i had the fade to black Volume 2 smoked baltic porter and really enjoyed that beer.

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: light black color with redish glow when held up to light. Nice lacing that stick well to glass, but head dissapates quickly.

Smell: Mellow smell of roasted malts and very faint oak. Tough to find the smell in the beer. Not much here.

Taste: sweet malts and a alcohol almost cough syrup taste with the cough syrup flavor dominating the aftertaste. Not at all what i expected.

Mouthfeel: I bit over carbonated and a thin body from this beer. Does not match up with what a stout that is barrel aged should be like.

Drinkability: not easy to drink because the beer does not taste right to me.

Barrel-Aged Wake Up Dead from Left Hand Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 269 ratings.