Wake Up Dead - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wake Up DeadWake Up Dead

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BA SCORE
87
very good

188 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 188
Hads: 933
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 57
Gots: 165 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: elgiacomo on 05-04-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 188 | Hads: 933
Photo of challenja
4.96/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

22 oz Bottle bought at Arrowine in Arlington Va.props to Nick for selecting this beer.
Poured into Dogfishhead pint glass.
A: a delictable sinful black and red hued sacloth. Excellent slight sticky swiss milk chocolate froth head that turns into a lovely white lace that really coats the glass after finished. My glass looks like a Jackson Pollock painting.
S: gorgeous dark chocolate nose. Sweet bready malts. Molasses vanilla bean maple syrup. Medium roast costa rican nose. This is one Sweet smelling delicious russian imperial stout.
T: WOW! That is my first impression. What a delicious beer! An amazing imperial stout that will be bought again and again..I will store some of this bad boys for the keep. Taste profile is straight off the bat dark 85% cocoa. African in origin. Rich cream and sweet molasses. Medium expresso roast. Vanilla bean extract slight pomegranate but definately a bright red fruit. Sweet malty breads that tater on waffle cone.
M: A delicious full smooth body. Lushious and chocolate coffee biscuits. The froth kicks in at the back end of things. Tingly and inviting to the gums.
O: this is an amazing and richly complex russian imperial that is not a one trick pony. This beer just entered my top 5 all time Russian imperials joining Epic Big Bad Baptist Surly the Darkness ,Firestone Parabola ,Founders Imperial and now this baby. (1,362 characters)

Photo of ManiacalBilby
4.77/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First review on BA. Poured entire contents into a large snifter.

Appearance- Pours blacks as night with maybe a quarter inch of head. Spotty lacing that stuck till the end.

Smell- Black cherries, roasted malts, brown sugar/molasses.

Taste- That brown sugar sweetness hit first followed by some dark fruit flavors. Finishes with dark chocolate and some coffee bitterness. Alcohol burn that comes through as it should for the ABV. Dry finish that left my mouth feeling like I had just spit out gum.

Mouthfeel- Smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation.

Overall-I think this was a very solid beer that I would definItely pick up again. (646 characters)

Photo of BDTyre
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is actually quite a tasty Imperial stout. Dark, almost black with a thin, dense brown head.

Rich, creamy mocha scent. A bit of raisin and anise in the nose.

The taste is dark chocolate, plums, light citrus, coffee, wine and a very distinct coffee bean aftertaste. Rich, creamy and well-blended flavour. Definite coffee profile to it. Very, very low alcohol burn.

Nice, thick mouthfeel. Carbonation eases off quite nicely. About the only thing stopping me from having another is the ABV. (495 characters)

Photo of Earpe
4.72/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This Imperial stout should be rated higher than reflected here.

Very much a dark color
Very much a sweet drink-ability
Very much a blast of flavor
Not sure how else to describe a stout that delivers it all, taste and ABV....this thing is an awesome stout. I guess the reason for it not rating in the mid 90's is individual taste, but i see this stout as something special.

Congrats to Left Hand...you hit the nail on the head (429 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.71/5  rDev +21.4%
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! (1,293 characters)

Photo of BeerNinja007
4.68/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22oz bomber from Provisions in Northampton, MA. I forget how much I paid but it was reasonable... $6-7? "Vintage 12/21/12 356:16:18 153-54" stamped on the bottle. FINALLY, a code that makes sense!!!! So this is only a couple months old.

Served cold in a tulip, but I intend to make it last well long enough for it to warm up significantly.

A: Pitch black brew puts up 1/2" of thick creamy taupe head from a vigorous pour. The foam condenses into ever-larger bubbles before settling to a whispy layer across the surface. Large bubbles cling to the glass. When held to a bright light, the brew reveals minimal very dark cherry red highlights. Some nice thick creamy lace, but not a ton.

S: Super thick biscuity malt and warm dutch chocolate backbone. As it warms some bright candied cherry aroma develops, along with dried figs or prunes, a little charred malt, and a good clean dose of black licorice. The licorice note is very true and distinct, no mistaking it. Warming further develops a really unexpected note of cantaloupe . This stuff is awfully dynamic, that's for sure.

T/M: First impression is very well balanced: it has a lot of everything, but not too much of any one thing. Thick enough to have a great viscosity, but not too thick to be syrupy or overly filling. Black but not acrid. Sweet but not cloying. Just enough hops, just enough carbo, and just enough EtOH burn to let you know that it's there without being overpowering. This is a supremely well balanced brew.

I have a hard time holding this in my mouth long enough to analyze it without letting it slide down and reaching for another sip. Taste starts with rich cocoa and biscuit, bready sweetness on the tip of the tongue. Then a nice dose of bitter charred malt and bitter chocolate mid-palate, mixing with a bit of dried fruits (prunes, figs?), then generic hoppiness, licorice, cola, and some welcomed EtOH heat on the back end. The charred malt kind of lays under everything from the mid-palate backward. Licorice and EtOH blend in toward the very back and it all lingers very long into the finish. As it warms a bit of melon and menthol develop in the mid-palate and finish as well.

O: Superb, stunning, superfluous. So well balanced, goes down so smoothly, that it's hard to just sip this even though it should be a slow sipping brew. A good dose of black charred malt and licorice lingers long into the finish with a healthy portion of slow burning EtOH. I find it appealing, but those with more sensitive palates might feel overwhelmed.

Update: the LH website informs me that this brew is aged on site for at least 12 months before bottling. Nice! (2,637 characters)

Photo of ahijevyc
4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was pleasantly surprised. I don't think of Left Hand when I think of big Imperial stouts, but this made me sit up and take notice. Will definitely be going back for more. I thought Lost Abbey's Serpent's Stout was a steal for $10. But this is $4 less and just as enjoyable. I knew it would be good because I tried it at the tasting room last week. But this is better than I remember. (383 characters)

Photo of Spipenger
4.62/5  rDev +19.1%
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. (199 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
4.62/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

$5.99 for a 22oz bomber @ BevCo.
Brewed with Pale 2-row, Munich, Crystal, Chocolate, Roasted Barley, Black Barley and Flaked Oats. Hopped with Magnum and US Goldings
55 SRM, 10.2% ABV, 45 IBU, OG=22P

Pours out black with some dark brown accents, forming a creamy tan head with superior retention and beautiful solid sheets of lacing. Carbonation is moderate, ~2.5 carbs or so. The nose opens with notes of dark fruit (prunes, dates) and vinous qualities, carob, a hint of black walnut, not a ton of roast, vanilla, and very cleanly fermented. The mouthfeel is enveloping, smooth and very soft, dense thick body. The taste is wonderful. Rich in chocolate and cocoa, balanced perfectly with the dark fruit, subtle flavor hops, but the bitterness is perfectly balanced, making this super easy to drink. Soft notes of black currants and distant espresso. Does not taste like it's 10.2%! The mouthfeel finishes just slightly astringent from the hops, alcohol and roast, but it's not tart or acidity. A touch of marshmallow and leather in the aftertaste.

Wow. This is one of the best imperial stouts I've had in a long, long time. This is the way I like them. Absolutely fantastic. I will be going to the store to pick up more of these for sure. Well worth the $6/bottle. Highly, highly recommended! (1,296 characters)

Photo of Kuaff
4.57/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wake Up Dead from bottle into... small sort of pint glass-shaped glass. Around cellar temperature. Love that label art.

This is a black and shady beer, with a billowy three-finger cloud of mocha foam.

It smells like sweet cocoa, earth, coffee, and perhaps booze-soaked raisins. There's also some intense chocolate and dark fruits in here. And... I almost think I detect a hint of cinnamon!

In the flavor I first get a bit of tart dark fruits like cherries and prunes, followed by a flood of chocolate. It's almost like chocolate milk! A moderate roastiness rounds out the finish.

The feel is appropriately thick and full for an imperial stout. Sticky sweet, too.

Nothing to dread about waking up dead. (706 characters)

Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into pint glass. Another one of my favorite breweries. Nice beer overall. Dark color not much head. Taste ok and chocolatey went down pretty smooth but not the best. Very strong beer not to be taken lightly. Serious beer drinkers will love this imperial stout (266 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

black as night. No light escaping this beast. A full two inches of tan foam rose up from the bottom of the glass, capping off the top very nicely and then settling down to a thin layer across the top with some nice side glass lacing.

The aroma was rich with roasted malts and chocolate. Some light hints of bournon and oak and a touch of dark fruits. As it warmed a very nice burnt carmale like note coming through as it starts to warm. The flavor was more of the same, though it took on a much coffee like bitterness that was very welcome. Rich and dark, forboding, this was a really intense stout. Led by bitter chocolate and coffee and a touch of an alcohol note, it was everything I had hoped it would be. Smooth, delicate profile with nice carbonation. For 10% it was remarkably drinkable and that was really a testament to how good this beer was. (853 characters)

Photo of coltonbrimhall
4.48/5  rDev +15.5%
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 (213 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber pours a deep brown color with a dense, dark tan head. Ok retention and very nice lacing.

Nose is equal parts licorice, chocolate and dark fruit. Little bit of malted milk and light roast round things out nicely. Simplistic, yet very enjoyable.

Taste is just as fun, chocolaty as all hell and roast just right. Powdery, fluffy and light on the palate. Hops are subtle yet firm on the finish, although the flavoring lupulin is not to be ignored. It is on the sweeter side as far as RIS's are concerned, which I like. I am regretting buying only 1 bottle right now, I will have to see if there is more available, I think a year (at max) might help things integrate further. Wake up Dead Has a smoothness usually reserved for barrel-aged beers that is nice, even a hint of coconut as it warms.I can see where the name comes from, it would be all too easy to drink a couple bombers in a sitting. I am very impressed, quite a delicious treat. Love the label art too. Left Hand is a more than capable brewery that I am happy to be in the distro range of. (1,062 characters)

Photo of beerprovedwright
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour is a one head wonder of loose foam, but clinging lace. Head went south in less than a minute, but the lace just keeps hanging around. The color is a 39-40, with no light shining through. Smell is sweet with aromas of molasses, brown sugar, toffee, caramel, coco, malt, and hops. Taste is well balanced with flavors of chocolate, toffee, molasses, vanilla, spices, green apple, raisins, coffee, and grapefruit. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, with a feeling of cream and zing in my mouth. Just a little bitter on the sides of my tongue. Great desert beer, and the price is good. Yes this is on my buy again list. (614 characters)

Photo of YoDude
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black and poured with a short deep brown head. Head is slightly retained with a dark brown ring and about half inch of loose lacing.

Smell: The nose is dark roasted coffee with a hint of dried fruit, very pleasant and welcoming.

Taste: Rich roasted malt and coffee up front with lingering flavors of black licorice and dark chocolate. There is also a spicy finish that I accredit to the malt as the hops have long faded.

Mouth feel: It has a full body and light carbonation, with a nice finish of alcohol warmth and dark chocolate flavor. The use of oatmeal gives a smooth mouth feel that has you anticipating your next sip.

Overall: This is a wonderful version of an American Imperial Stout. Left Hand Brewing rarely disappoints. The hops have faded with age, but the combination of malts and other grains have married nicely to make this a wonderful beverage. I will definitely purchase again. Next time I will not age so long to make sure I include hop flavors.

Serving type: 22 oz. bottle aged 18 months in my beer cellar and poured into a Hamm's goblet (1,077 characters)

Photo of Wheelzie
4.41/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

straight from the bomber into an oversized wine glass,

wow the appearance is all that it should be, i was suprised by the khaki 1 finger head....in fact it made me giggle a little bit....yes sir i am a beer nerd that got my jollys kicked liked a school girl,

but this is not a school girl beer, in fact it is manly as hell! its toasty and roasty and even gives me hints of some of those barrel stouts!!.. probably because the bottle says that it lurks in their cellars for 4 months! love this beer at the moment!

it is very filling be careful with this hairy beast (567 characters)

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Bomber into 34oz mug. Black with a thick tan head. Smell is malty, a bit of yeast, and coffee. Taste is big, smooth coffee and chocolate at first, bittering out at the end and finishing relatively cleanly. Mouthfeel is full, could be a little smoother though. Still a great RIS, very drinkable for 10.2%. Love it! (313 characters)

Photo of scotorum
4.39/5  rDev +13.1%
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. (767 characters)

Photo of biggred1
4.37/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark brown with ruby highlights when backlit and a creamy mocha head that leaves fine lace on the glass. Coffee, cookie dough and anise in the aroma with faint floral hop notes. I'll say this..Wake Up Dead is a tasty brew, if not really true to the style. Rich brown sugar and caramel cube sweetness with roasted malty flavors with a coffee like bitterness and fruity hop flavor to balance. Medium light bodied and creamy with a slightly dry, chalky finish. A fine ale indeed but I don't think the "black ale" description on the label is close and this is not really an Imperial Stout but is good beer anyway. (609 characters)

Photo of JayS2629
4.37/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, dark black a creamy tan head that fades fast but leaves nice creamy walls of lace.

The aroma is of roasted malt, coffee, rich dark chocolate, dark fruit, plums, raisin and figs. Hints of vanilla, a touch of cocoa and some pine and citrus in the back.

The taste follows the nose with loads of dark fruit piercing through some bitter cocoa, dark chocolate, and roasted barley. Coffee notes with hints of vanilla and a finish of pine and citrus. Earthy notes ride throughout the background.

Overall, a very complex and tasty sipper. (546 characters)

Photo of Moose90
4.37/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz Bomber
Dated 12/21/12
Tasted 2/19/13

A – Dark dark brown liquid that forms a very thin coffee colored head that leaves similarly thin lacing down the inside of the glass.

S – Big on the roasted malts. Chocolates and vanilla abound as well. Some light sweet fruit notes, figs, dates. But my favorite part is the strong black licorice tone, awesome.

T – Quite complex, but well balanced. Notes of rich dark cocoa and charred malts, as well as sweet fresh licorice and dark fruits. Some light hoppiness to keep things from being too heavy.

M – Moderate-to-low carbonation level, good sticky sweetness to this one, but not heavy like some others of the style. Leaves a nice long and lingering finish that allows the flavor complexities to develop. Quite smooth.

O – Just awesome, has an unmatched balance and is quite easy to drink considering it's imperial nature. Best part of this one is all the licorice, chocolate, and roasted notes. (955 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%

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. (346 characters)

Photo of Dave1999
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a solid black with a small tan coloured head.

The smell is roasted malts and dark fruits such as plum and raisins.

The taste is much the same as the smell but stronger,there's the plum and raisin with some roasted coffee and alcohol.

The mouth feel is quite heavy and syrupy with low to medium carbonation.

Overall a good beer, you can taste some alcohol but for its abv it's not much. This is a very good imperial stout with a big kick but is very reasonably priced. (477 characters)

Photo of ThaneMcC
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
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! (889 characters)

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Wake Up Dead from Left Hand Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.