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Wake Up Dead | Left Hand Brewing Company

very good
199 Reviews
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Wake Up DeadWake Up Dead

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by elgiacomo on 05-04-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 199 | Ratings: 991
Photo of SawDog505
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a 16 oz snifter at near room temperature bottled on 1/14/16. Pours a very dark mahogany with a 2 finger lite tan head that leaves behind some lines of lace.

Smell is very tame cocoa, lite coffee, biscuit, and toffee.

Taste is much more pronounced roasty coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, biscuit, and toffee, very nice.

Mouthfeel is medium, very creamy, moderate carbonation as it should be, slightly dry, and excellent drinkability.

Overall I can't figure out how a beer with so much flavor could smell so mild. I really like this beer.

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Photo of larryarms847
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a silky smooth black with dark brown on the edges and a thin quarter finger of dark brown foam.

Nice roastiness, sweet chocolate and light vanilla aroma, some mild spice.

Hmm, flavor seems to be lacking in comparison to aroma, there is a nice roasted malt character, but the chocolate and spice I was getting in aroma is hidden.

Heavy-bodied, low carbonation, silky smooth.

Overall, needs to be amped up in the flavor department but a smooth and easy drinking RIS.

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Photo of SuomiHobbit
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pleasant surprise at Still Hill. On tap. Smooth, almost nitro smooth. Delicious; nothing overwhelms but rather combines for a great concert of flavor.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a near pitch black color with 2 fingers of head that slowly fades down to a nice cap that leaves some good lacing

S: Moderate roast and some malt sweetness up front, with some dark fruit and anise in the back. Dark bakers chocolate quite prevalent as well

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with some decent roastiness and moderate sweetness and goes into dark fruits and dark bakers chocolate with a hint of anise. Finishes with light bitterness and lingering anise

M: Medium-full bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Smooth

O: A very good RIS with a good deal of complexity. A nice sipper and one that could age very well. Certainly worth a purchase

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Photo of whitetale
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a nonic glass at about 55 degrees.
Color is dark, almost black with a tan head. Both the head and lacing hold up very well.
Aroma is dark roasted malt with maybe a touch of dark chocolate and anise.
Taste is malty almost bread like. Very rich. Alcohol is well hidden. Flavor gets better as the beer warms.
Mouthfeel is very smooth with good, medium carbonation. Definitely full bodied.
Overall (and I must admit to preferring stouts) a very good imperial stout. Good job Left Hand.

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Photo of ivehadthatbrew
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Drinking from a sifter glass around 50-55°F

Look (3.75): Dark brown with minor carbonation. A small but creamy light tan head. Beer and carbonation doesn't cling to the class as much as you'd expect.

Smell (4): Licorice and roasted malt and toasted bready notes. There's some chocolate and coffee in there as well. Dried darker fruit notes hidden in there.

Taste (4): Chocolate, raisons or dried cherry flavors. Molasses and roasted coffee there. I may be making a coffee connection when it's actually more of floral bitter notes. Perhaps some cinnamon spice at the end.

Mouthfeel (3.75): Definitely full bodied brew. Middle of the road to dry at the end. A long lingering bitter aftertaste that lasts for about half a minute.

Overall (4.25): I'm a suckered for stouts and this is one that strikes my fancy just right. I may be being a little biased for the overall, but it's just sooo good!

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Photo of hophugger
3.42/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big tan head. Aroma is somewhat subdued but I get chocolate, coffee and malt. Taste is decent, slightly watery as far as flavor, yet slick and coating in the mouth. Overall, bittersweet and milk chocolate, roasted coffee are the key players. Finished slightly above average.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2016-02-11 in Columbia, PA from a 12oz bottle

A - Opaque dark brown with an initial foaming nitro head that finishes with a 1-finger light brown head and good lace.

S - Molasses, chocolate, medium roasted grain, dried cherries and dried plums. Not real strong but inviting.

T - Lots of bitter-sweet chocolate, mild coffee, roasted / lightly charred grain. Lactose sweetness. Some alcohol heat. Finish is well-balanced reflecting all these flavors.

M - Medium-heavy body and light carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

O - Quite nice. This is an older bottle; more than a year and it still tastes good with little-to-no oxidation and very little umami flavor.

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Photo of colingaiser
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber bottled in 2014, poured into a snifter...

L: Dark brown-to-black, with a thick tan head that leaves gorgeous, bubbly lacing

S: The aroma is fantastic and complex ... licorice, caramel, dates, raisins, and a little dark-roast coffee

T: Unfortunately I don't think the taste measures up to the beautiful aroma ... up front are notes of baking chocolate, raisins, and alcohol with a hit of sweet molasses, and the finish is bitter black coffee ... very typical flavor profile for an imperial stout

F: The mouthfeel is thick and chewy with a creamy finish, and very little carbonation to speak of

Overall, this beer is decent -- and definitely a bargain (the bomber was $5.49) -- but it does nothing distinguish itself from the crowded market of Colorado imperial stouts. I'm sticking with the Nitro Milk Stout.

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Photo of LloydDobler
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Vintage 2013

Very dark, but a bit of light shines through at the thinner points of the glass. Almost zero head. Minimal aroma. Just a bit of sweetness. None of that comes through in the taste. Lots of tobacco and HEAT! Reminds me of the morning after a night of straight booze at the bar, and then waking up with a bad cup of coffee and bumming one of your roommates cigs. Yep, that's exactly it!

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Photo of MTLDOG
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured hard, jet black with a khaki 1 finger head. Good lacing. Smells of wood, prunes and bakers chocolate. Great mouthfeel, creamy and smooth. Thick and pleasant. Tastes of chocolate covered raisins and roasted malt. A little dry tartness which was surprising with how creamy the feel was. Just enough bitterness and dangerously drinkable. Hint of chocolate, hint of whole grain wheat, and small touch of booze. Surprisingly really good.

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Photo of scotorum
4.39/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 22 oz. bomber into a Samuel Smith English tulip.

a: Opaque black with plenty of clear ruby highlights at the bottom. Inch thick tan head receded to moderate even surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Strong of chocolate, ripe dark fruit and alcohol.

t: Follows the nose, fpollowed by a pretty powerful hop bite. Alcohol is in the otherwise dry and slightly bitter aftertaste, but not objectionably so. Some throat burn follows as well.

m: Wickedly smooth "oily" texture, medium density with very good body and obvious carbonation tingle.

o: An excellent Imperial stout, highly sippable and tasty. Given the high ABV and drinkability, after a bomber of this one might indeed believe they woke up dead the next morning. But it would be worth it.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Mostly opaque, black-brown, with translucent edges, and a tan head, mild lacing.

S - Dark fruit, roasted malts. Strong alcohol note, burning the nostrils.

T - Plum and raisins mingles with bittersweet chocolate, roasted malts, tobacco and leather, a touch of soy savoriness, a bitter close of hop.

M - Slick and full, with a drying close.

O - Solid. A big, bold bitter hit, and a nice brisk close.

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Photo of coltonbrimhall
4.48/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

-black with thick light brown head
-mellow with a imperial oak loaded scent
-great oak and alcohol warmth
-thick not to carbonated but a flavorful thickness
-one of the best imperial stouts i have had hands down

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Photo of mchegash
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - 4/5
Very dark red-brown, black for all intensive purposes. A thin half-finger layer of medium tan head.

Smell - 4/5
Vanilla, chocolate, bourbon,

Taste - 4.25/5
Sweet chocolate, vanilla, raisins, coffee, and a strong alcohol flavor (mixed with the various other flavors in the beer, it has a bourbon-esque taste). I really like the taste of this beer.

Mouthfeel - 4.25/5
Medium-full in body, smooth and creamy. There is a light amount of medium-light intensity carbonation. A good feel.

Overall - 4.25/5

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a motor oil black with soapy, tan head (poured inverted as directed with plenty of agitation. Copious lacing that clings to the glass throughout. Don’t allow this beer to be too cold, as you really can’t appreciate the bouquet – the aroma of Nitro beers to be a bit muted, even more so when serve too cold. Smells of roasted malts, cocoa, fresh expresso, some dark fruits (fig?). Tastes sweet malty throughout, hint of cocoa, licorice, little bitter twang to even out the sweetness and clean finish. Alcohol hardly discernible. Mouthfeel is creamy, full bodied without any carbonation. Sweet yet not syrupy – faint bittersweet finish – quite pleasant.
Hands down, one of the best RIS (American) I’ve had – comparable to Oskar Blues Ten Fidy in taste and complexity. Thoroughly enjoyable sipper/winter warmer. Must buy and I’ll be stocking up on this tasty concoction!

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Photo of ColoradoPhil
4.11/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I am an IPA person. I love IPA's. this stuff is good, I think it is kind of great. Having it with a cheese pizza, and it is a perfect compliment. It tastes robust, refreshing, chocolate, with a nice not too carbonated mouth feel. I didn't look at the alcohol %, not a supermarket lager for sure, but the alcohol taste can't taste it for the rich flavor. This is yummy. I will stick with IPA's, but this is a wonderful change of pace.

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Photo of mjwellman
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Wonderful dark color, but not much of head. The aroma is very muted. Hint of coffee. Taste is smooth and silky. Definetly a coffee flavor but I don't get much else out of it. This has been in my fridge for about year so maybe that is the problem. Its good, but not as complex of aroma or taste than I would expect.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.71/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a half of a finger of chocolate –colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Lots of rich, earthy, bready, roasted malt aromas, imparting notes of freshly, dark-toased bread, freshly ground espresso beans, dark molasses, brown sugar, dark cholocate and a touch of licorice.

Taste: Very similar to the aroma, with flavors of bready, roasted malt, up front, imparting notes of freshly, dark-toased bread and freshly ground espresso beans, followed by dark molasses and brown sugar-like sweetness, and some hints of dried stone fruit such as raisins, dates and figs.

Mouthfeel: Slightly chewy in body and very, very smooth and creamy as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 10.2%, I’m, surprise at how little alcohol there is on the palate. The alcohol is really, really well masked.

Overall: This is a delicious beer, one of the best non-barrel-aged Imperial Stouts I’ve had in fact. Definitely up there with Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout, Founders’ Imperial Stout, Great Lakes’ Blackout Stout and Oskar Blues Ten Fidy. I’m definitely getting some more of this! Highly recommended!

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Photo of Spipenger
4.62/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Excellent head. Deceptively mild, yet rich aroma. Beautiful color. High abv but doesn't knock you out. Excellent taste, look and aroma. Surprisingly good from a brand that has almost become a cliche.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%

Poured a black body iwith no head or lace to really speak of.
A mostly dark fruit aroma, not what I was expecting, along with roasted malts and hint of sweetness.
A dark fruit taste pervades, like plums, raisins, a little figgy, also some black cherry and there is a light chocolate malt taste in this beer.
Slight roasted malt edge gives beer balance and more of a java than coffee edge in the beer.
Not the most well-crafted stout but it hit the spot.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 2/28/2013. Pours pitch black color with a 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toffee, biscuit, nuttiness, brown sugar, toasted oats, raisin, light licorice, light smoke/char, and herbal/roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt and light-moderate dark fruit notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toffee, biscuit, nuttiness, brown sugar, toasted oats, raisin, light licorice, light smoke/char, and herbal/roasted earthiness. Fair amount of herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toffee, biscuit, nuttiness, brown sugar, toasted oats, raisin, light licorice, light smoke/char, and herbal/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light-moderate dark fruit flavors; with a great roasted malt bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Russian imperial stout. All around great complexity and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light-moderate dark fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of SamN
3.13/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Coal black, thick pour, sort of a frothy looking head, not quite as thcik or pillowly as I like.Smell is surprinsgly faint and distant; very heavily roasted malts, spiciness, anise, raisins., alcohol. More dried, dark fruits than chocolate and coffee. Taste is similarily unorthodox for the style; sweeter, more dark fruits, port, figs? Sort of simplistic RIS, not what I was expecting.

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Photo of pat61
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%

Opens with chocolate and light roast on the nose. Pours bright, deep chestnut under a ½” lightly tan tinted foam cap. A big palate starts with dark, bitter chocolate spiced with espresso with some fresh grain notes swimming through. Has a slight warming but the alcohol is smooth and not hot. Very creamy and chewy with medium low carbonation.

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Photo of AdrianAltine
1.5/5  rDev -61.2%

First drink of this beer is very good until the bitter ending. I have gotten use to the milk stouts or even some of Guinness products have less of a bitter finish. Having said that I'm still going to finish the beer so it can't be that bad

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Wake Up Dead from Left Hand Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 199 ratings.