1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Wake Up Dead - Left Hand Brewing Company

Wake Up DeadWake Up Dead

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

679 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 679
Reviews: 165
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.25%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: elgiacomo on 05-04-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 679 | Reviews: 165 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of fountainofyouth
fountainofyouth

District of Columbia

3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is one of their nitro-bottles. I poured it into a pint glass.

Appearance: Sure as day, the nitro-technology works. I dumped this thing into the glass, and yet no head materialized at first. Slowly, the cascading happened and a small, persistent, foamy head appeared. The body is black and opaque.

Smell: Sweet fruits dominate, with some toasty grains and maybe a kiss of flowery hops. Pleasant.

Taste: Bourbon vanilla, some hops, a bit of alcohol. The rest of the malt is there but a little hard to define. I'm personally a little biased against beers that taste like a bourbon barrel, but I think a 3 grade is fair.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth, as the nitrogen is supposed to be. Still a bit of carb. Medium bodied. Dry in the back.

Overall: Hey, nitro imperial is worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2014 03:42:07 | More by fountainofyouth
Photo of Flounder57
Flounder57

Massachusetts

3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle was poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: This beer poured one finger mocha head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no vision of anything. Pretty standard.

Smell: Roasted coffee, chocolate, smoke, toasted malts, warm booze, and caramel.

Taste: Moderate amounts of milk chocolate, ash, caramel, alcohol, bready malts, roasted coffee, and a little bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, chewy, medium bodied, low to medium carbonation, and some booze.

Overall: Not the best AIS, but a good one. Vintage 2013 bottle can be revisited again.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2014 03:40:34 | More by Flounder57
Photo of brureview
brureview

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured straight down as recommended by the brewer in an imperial pint glass.
Served at 45F.

Color: very dark chocolate brown. No head.

Aroma: faint chocolate.

Mouth Feel:quite good, and one of the better mouth feels I have tasted in an RIS. Very smooth and malty.

Taste: The highlight of the beer. Cocoa, Licorice, and roasted malts. The taste is more pronounced with warming. I don't agree with the brewer's recommendation of 40-45F serving temp. The cocoa, malt, licorice, and malt begin to stand out with warming.

Finish: roasted malt, and light bitterness: excellent for an RIS.

Overall: an excellent RIS. However, the aroma could be a bit stronger. I wasn't able to identify the dried fruits, and the tastes were predominantly cocoa, malt, and licorice. The latter enhances the flavor and makes this beer a bit unusual for the style.

Serving type: nitro-bottle

03-17-2014 00:42:39 | More by brureview
Photo of thezach
thezach

Maryland

3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The Wake Up Dead on nitro is pretty cool, no widget and everything! Pours with the cascading bubbles, which pretty much makes me want to keep cracking them open and pouring, just for the hell of it. Seriously, it's just fun to turn that bottle upside down and dump the sucker into your glass, mesmerized when it stops just shy of the lip and doesn't foam over. The beer itself is super creamy, but not too rich. Not rich at all actually - outside of the creaminess from the nitrogen, it's actually lighter for the style. It is a bit boozy, but I suppose at over 10%, that should be expected. Still, it is noticeable and serves as a good reminder to have some water handy before bed.

Serving type: nitro-bottle

03-15-2014 05:26:03 | More by thezach
Photo of arlingtonjoe
arlingtonjoe

Illinois

3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured hard as label suggests, mahogany color, bubbly tan head, decent cascade in glass and good lacing.

S: Nose has a little chocolate and some breadyness.

T: Roasted malts, bitter chocolate, licorice, prune, fig and a slightly dry finish with a hint of pepper, oak and some booziness.

M: Very smooth with a good body

All around good drinking stout.

Serving type: nitro-bottle

03-03-2014 04:31:12 | More by arlingtonjoe
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster

Michigan

4.64/5  rDev +20.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2014 03:57:18 | More by Mitchster
Photo of morimech
morimech

Minnesota

3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not the most viscous RIS. Pours dark brown but appears dense black in the glass. One finger of head forms and quickly settles to a thin skim of suds. Appearance is saved by the level of lacing left down the glass during consumption.

Not the most complex or assertive aroma. Notes of roast and chocolate to go along with some fruity hints, possibly of raisins and figs.

Good flavor but falls short of the elite level of imperial stouts. Flavor of licorice and roasted malt. Hints of cocoa and raisins. Not heavy on alcohol heat and bitterness is at most moderate. I would call it balanced.

Does not really feel like a big stout. Nice carbonation however.

The bottle says it can be cellared for up to 7 years. I do not feel there would be any point. I do not think age will add anything and it is not too hot fresh. I would call this a second tier RIS.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2014 18:36:03 | More by morimech
Photo of Earpe
Earpe

North Carolina

4.71/5  rDev +22.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2014 15:08:43 | More by Earpe
Photo of Badger6
Badger6

Virginia

3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass (about 5 oz left in bottle after initial pour).

A: Pours an opaque black body with a small, spongy cocoa-colored head that recedes fast. Some lacing.

S: Many aromas abound, but not in a complex way. Roasty malt, chocolate, vanilla, and oak. Rounds out with the smell of plums and other dark fruits and a hint of booziness.

T: Boozy flavor. Roasted flavors of vanilla, caramel, dark fruit with a nice oakiness. in the middle Finishes dry and slightly bitter. I expected more maltiness. The alcohol is present and noticeable throughout.

M: Medium body, with minimal carbonation. Drinks down smoothly, especially as it warms up. Distinct warmth from the alcohol. Feels thinner than you'd expect.

O: The balance between the roasted flavors and the alcohol was interesting. Seems like it should be more malty. The beer seemed to be too young; thinking about getting another bottle to store for 6-12 months, then try this again.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 00:12:18 | More by Badger6
Photo of thierrynantes
thierrynantes

France

4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (65 cl.) purchased from Le Souffleur de Bières (Nantes) and tasted in january 2014 with Australian friends.

Appearance : reddish brown color with tan foamy head.
Smell : chocolate & coffee aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : roasted malt flavors with dark chocolate and hints of coffee.
Drinkability : a very nice beer in the style Imperial Stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2014 17:56:20 | More by thierrynantes
Photo of vickersspitfire
vickersspitfire

Texas

3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This stout is pitch black and covered with a thin light tan head, which quickly dissipates into a thin layer surrounding the stout. Fine bubbles make up the lacing, which is dense and covers nearly the entire glass area void of stout.
The aroma is light, but dark roasted malts and chocolate are present. I’m not picking up much else at the moment.
The roasted malts make up most of the flavor; mild hops and chocolate come through. Over all the flavor is sweet and this stout is really smooth, the alcohol content is well hidden.
This is a medium bodied stout and it really warms up your taste buds.


Serving type: bottle

01-21-2014 04:58:58 | More by vickersspitfire
Photo of pBRale
pBRale

Iowa

4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours black with mahogany hints. Very little brownish head that dissipates quickly.
S-Smells of deep roasted malts, coffee, slight licorice, hint of booze, a hint of dark fruit.
T-Taste is excellent, with the roasted flavors giving way and melding nicely with a significant raisin flavor in the finish. The raisin flavor lingers afterward, and is very pleasant.
M-Full bodied, thick, medium-low carbonation, smooth and delicious.
O-overall an excellent beer. Reasonably priced and glad I found this little gem.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 16:14:42 | More by pBRale
Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew

Illinois

3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Wake Up Dead is a decent Imperial Stout....but not my favorite....there is a weird twang on the back end. The beer poured an opaque dark with thin slightly off white head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent carries some light roast. The taste is has touches of chocolate, roast and maybe a hint of espresso backed by an alcohol push. The mouthfeel is full in body with smooth carbonation. Overall this is a decent stout and should be tried with delight.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2014 01:44:28 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of korguy123
korguy123

Ontario (Canada)

3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into tulip.

A- Pitch black, totally inky, oily pour. Two finger creamy dense beige head. Lacing is chunky.

S- Burnt coffee and some sweet dark chocolate. Sugar in the raw with a small amount of vanilla. There is a slight earthiness also.

T- Metallic taste hiding under some bitter dark chocolate and the burnt coffee and toast. Bitter aftertaste with a bit of black licorice. Sweeter than the nose leads on.

M- Medium body, creamy on the tongue, slight prickle afterwords.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 23:57:26 | More by korguy123
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
cindyjeffsmith

Georgia

4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: about as dark and opaque as you can get. Some cola highlights around the edges when held to light. A slight tan head on the pour that recedes to mere wisps.
Smell: more to the dark fruit nose of an ris vs the raspy coffee dark chocolate type, though those hints are there too. Full and robust nose.
Taste: starts much like the nose, rich dark fruit. The finish is slightly bitter, a pleasant dry offset to the slightly sweet dark fruitiness.
Overall: nice ris. Not a wow experience IMO but a solid brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2013 22:48:15 | More by cindyjeffsmith
Photo of blindtiger24
blindtiger24

Colorado

3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured vigorously into a pint glass.

A: They aren't kidding when they say pour hard. I love watching that "quicksand" affect that occurs with nitros. Opaque with a creamy, lacy head that clings to the sides of the glass.

S: Cocoa nibs, raspberries, and some spice on the nose.

T: Chocolate and malt right off the bat, followed by some anise and pepper that dissipate, but still lingers at the finish.

M: Creamy, creamy, creamy, and it's suppose to be. Really impressed with the nitro in a bottle.

O: A well balanced stout. The chocolate and spice characters don't get in each other's way, though the flavors don't explode on your tongue like other competitors in this category. That said, this is a very drinkable beer and at 10% it's rare to take something like this down and not feel dried out or like your mouth has been rampaged.

Serving type: nitro-bottle

11-28-2013 00:19:05 | More by blindtiger24
Photo of Radome
Radome

Texas

3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 22 oz bomber into a goblet.

A - Color is an extremely dark brown, but not quite black; it lets no light through. The head is light tan and not thick, even on initial pour. It consists mainly of a thick ring along the glass but only the thinnest layer on the beer's surface. Good lacing.

S - Great bready malt aromas. Molasses, plums, prunes. Spices, wet tobacco and alcohol in the finish. Moderately complex aromas.

T - Spicy, bready malt, like a good rye loaf. Strong earthy hops; chocolate, plums, prunes, molasses. Tobacco, slight smoke, rum. Complex.

M - Thick body. High hops bitterness. Slight alcohol burn. Low carbonation.

O - This is a big, assertive imperial stout, but it is not overly complex. A good sipping beer, but not among the best.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2013 06:18:27 | More by Radome
Photo of mntlover
mntlover

Tennessee

3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black dark ruby notes around the bottom when held to the light. Head is dark tan thumb sized falls slow to scum some pretty decent lace left behind.

Aroma is roasted malts big chocolate notes light dark fruit hints. Pretty one sided nose not bad but not overly complex.

Taste is big chocolate coming out of the roasted malts. Stays chocolate for quite a while then finish adds some dark fruit notes, anise hints, light alcohol burn that all mingles with some smokey earth notes.

Mouthfeel is big and smooth with fairly smooth carbonation levels.

Overall not a bad big stout, pretty one sided but worth a try and not overly pricey.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2013 02:43:26 | More by mntlover
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque onyx with modest cocoa head that dissipates somewhat quickly.

Chocolate malt, light roast, and bourbon form the initial aroma. Oak and boozy vanilla round things out, along with plums and muted dark berries.

Flavor reveals boozy, rummy vanilla, and caramelly sweet malt, along with dark fruit (bruised cherries, prunes, raisins), finishing fairly dry, bitter, and roasty. Oak becomes more prevalent in subsequent sips. The balance is toward roast bitterness, though booze is no slouch.

Body is velvety, but on the thin side of full, with minimal carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

Good balance of extremes between roast bitterness and booze. Lacks a bit in malt body. This may age really well. A little hot and harsh right now.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2013 20:52:35 | More by barczar
Photo of boilermakerbrew
boilermakerbrew

Missouri

4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours black as night and appears fairly thick during the pour. No light escapes this black beauty in the glass. A medium sized, tan colored head forms and retains very well, leaving s sticky latticework down the side of the glass.

S- Big chocolate malts are the feature here. More creamy and chocolatey than most stouts that tout chocolate as their main feature. Dark malts are also in there, balancing out some of the chocolate sweetness with a hint of burnt bitterness.

T- Starts with a semisweet chocolate flavor that quickly moves toward a classic, dry, dark malt flavor. Remains here until towards the end if the drink, when the burnt bitterness returns a little stronger. Low to medium in overall bitterness, the burnt flavor lingers on the tongue, but still leaves you wanting more.

M- Thick and creamy and smooth as she goes down. No detectable alcohol heat or flavor until well after the drink. About a minute after a drink, you will find a slight warming in the throat.

Overall, a very good imperial stout with which to compare other impy stouts too. Good feel, standard, but very well done, dark malt flavors, and a slight warming from the booze.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2013 01:17:21 | More by boilermakerbrew
Photo of ksimons
ksimons

New York

4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-almost back with a thin layer of tan head that leaves a ring of lace around the top

S-roasted malt, dark chocolate, roasted coffee, light molasses, and licorice

T-Dark chocolate with roasted malt and dark roasted coffee give this beer a big roasted profile. Alcohol is well balanced.

M-medium to full body, good carbonation, smooth, dry roasted mouthfeel

Overall a very good, and affordable RIS. Worth a revisit for sure.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2013 21:51:24 | More by ksimons
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.44/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On cask at grumpys

Tan head. Color is black.

Flavors of roasted malts and coffee. Chocolate and cocoa. Lots of alcohol. Dark fruits and molasses. Raisins.

Mouthfeel: thin feel with a lot of heat.

Overall, too much booze showing in this one. It'd be a lot better otherwise. Also a bit thin for an imp stout.

Serving type: cask

09-28-2013 01:59:26 | More by mothman
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

22 oz bottle into a pint glass. 2011 vintage, I think.

A: Pours a dark ruby red color. Surprisingly, it's not completely opaque. The head is a one finger mocha shade with excellent retention for the style. Lacing is damn good, too. Apart from the minor "oh it's not pitch black" complaint, this looks damn good in a glass.

S: This is really sweet, and loaded with licorice - not my cup of tea. There are also some notes of brown sugar and dark fruits, which is more preferable to me. I also get some vanilla extract, which isn't. Also needs more roast. Not bad, though: I'm of the belief it's hard to screw up an imperial stout, and this certainly isn't screwed up. Just not great.

T: No bones about it, this one's sweet...and boozy. It opens up with a tart fruit flavor, augmented with licorice (yikes) and vanilla. The finish also has some notes of smoke and vanilla, and a kick of booze. Every once in a while, I get a wisp of chocolate which I really enjoy. There's also a taste of oatmeal here. It's pretty good, and better than the aroma...but imagine how good it would be if it had a roasted edge to it. This needs roast like Keira Knightley needs a sandwich or three. That, and some more complexity wouldn't hurt...

M: Nice and creamy with minimal carbonation. But, there could be some more body to help cover up the alcohol better. That, and it feels kind of boozy, thanks to the combination of oats and good attenuation. Still, I'll always take a minor alcohol bite over a flabby, bloated feel devoid of booze (see: Stone IRS) any day. This would make an excellent winter warmer due to the way it warms the orifices up.

O: I think this is two and a half years old...and at this age, it's just 'pretty good'. Not amazing, just pretty good. That could mean it was a mediocre RIS that improved marginally, or was a great stout that kind of deteriorated. Since the brewers say it has a 7 year life, and that the general flavor profile doesn't agree with me, I'll assume the former is true. Decent, but I probably won't buy again.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2013 22:23:00 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of PicoPapa
PicoPapa

Connecticut

3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle with a Best By date of 02/28/2018. Pours a pitch black color with a thin layer of dark brown head. Some lacing. Aroma has lots of dark fruits along with caramel malts, earth, and hints of vanilla. The taste is more of the dark fruit flavors along with caramel malts, vanilla, licorice and even some marshmallows. Lots of raisin and figs. Booze with some bitter dark chocolate at the end. Creamy mouthfeel. This one's got a bit too much dark fruit flavor for me. Its not quite as balanced as I'd like it to be. Overall, mildly disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 02:24:57 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of SeanDonahue
SeanDonahue

New Jersey

3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Whenever I pour a stout, I just admire everything about it. How it looks, how it smells, and the amazing flavors that come out of it. The appearance on this beer is as black as night. In fact, I didn't get any head on this beer when poured. With this beer being at 10.2% ABV, you're going to see alcohol legs on the side and get big boozey quality to it, which leads to the aroma.

The aroma is interesting on this stout. There are big chocolate and caramel qualities to it. In the middle you do get an alcohol kick as well.I also get some toffee notes in it as well.

The taste is very thick, which is exactly how an imperial stout should be. RIght in the front, I get a hint of chocolate mixed with a bitter coffee bean quality. Middle of the mouth is when the alcohol starts to settle on your tongue. This beer has some interesting qualities but the alcohol takes over the other important flavors somewhat, which I am not a big fan of.

Overall, this beer is perfect for a cold winter night. I like to recommend beers and what time of the year they remind me of and all stouts would remind me of the winter. My only complaint is that there is too much of a boozey quality. If you're into that, then this is the beer for you.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2013 03:10:36 | More by SeanDonahue
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Wake Up Dead from Left Hand Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 679 ratings.