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 UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

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

Purchased at Colorado Liquor Mart in Denver, CO.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a 1 inch tan head that fades to an oily film. Nice latticework of lacing forms around the glass on the drink down. Smells of dark fruits (raisins/plums), roasted dark malt, and slight chocolate syrup. Taste is of dark roasted malt, chocolate syrup, slight coffee, and even slighter black licorice. Very mild roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. A nice carbonation level makes for a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good stout from Left Hand. I am glad I picked this up in CO.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 04:31:48 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2011 21:28:37 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Riding on the heels of the "Fade to Black" series, this barrel aged imperial stout exemplifies all things that are both dark and beer. It embraces the dark deadness and revels in its depths. Wake Up Dead is aptly named.

Its inky, jet black and opaque pour is absolutely absent of light and sucks the like into a depth of dense oily ale. Riding just above is a rather lively dense blanket of foam- tan in its color that's in stark contrast to the beer buried beneath. As the beer recedes, left behind is pocketed lace for a rich and robust display. A swirl of the glass reveals brandy-like legging with a tawny stain that draws in the eye.

The strong presence of espresso, cocoa, and toffee reach the nose well before the snifter closes to the nose. High roast scents of burnt wood- just shy of smoke, burnt fruit, and a general earthy soil scent offers light wood spices and the mild scent of ash to rise from time to time.

A malty-sweet collage of slightly burnt toffee, rich earthy espresso, bittersweet chocolate, and roasty campfire flavors mingle on the tongue with a savory underlay of creamy starch that coats the mouth evenly and firmly. Complementing fruit compounds of black cherry, aniseed, raisins, and currants all seem charred by open fire, giving only a glimpse of smoke and ash to the roast underpinnings. Firmly bitter by both coffee-like roast and woodish hops, the beer balances beautifully to finish.

And with its certain full body, the beer isn't overly chewy or thick- instead the rich taste of malt and protruding alcohol wrap around the tongue with a lush velvety, silky, and sultry feel. It's truly the closes your tongue will ever get to a massage. An extended finish of roast, caramel, bold alcohol warmth, and wood-derived astringency accompany the balance in taste that gives the beer a fortified dessert-like effect.

Dead in its demeanor, the beer is certainly alive with taste and texture. It's "awake" attributes are inviting, invigorating, and highly satisfying. Its a delicious imperial stout that begs for the accompaniment of walnuts and fruited cheese.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2013 05:29:07 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short tan head that quickly died down, leaving only bits of bubbles on the surface and a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Initially, there are moderate aromas of licorice and raisins in the nose. These die down a bit and notes of dark roasted malts become apparent as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but also has some notes of roasted malts and a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. Hints of warmth from the alcohol are detectable.
O: I thought this was an average beer compared to other Russian Imperial Stouts and could have used more roasted flavors and bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2013 04:41:52 | More by metter98
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Could've swore I reviewed this...

Pours mahogany with 3+ fingers of mocha colored head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Carob, slight smokeyness, charred grain a touch of salt water taffy & boozeyness

T: Dark fruit, carob & boozeyness up front, along with some charred grain & licorice up front. Some woody hops, raisins, prunes, black currant & more carob as this warms, some leafy hops as well & molasses & more charred grain in minute doses along with a little dark chocolate. Finishes dry, slightly smokey, along with pruneyness, & woody hops

MF: Very chewy, slight carbonation

This isn't bad, but there are beter ones out there for less money to be sure. Drinks fairly easy for the ABV & style

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2013 05:07:30 | More by russpowell
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

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

I am pretty sure this is the same beer as the regular Imperial Stout, only rebranded. But I will review it under this listing.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the roasted malt and dark fruit with quite a bit of anise mixed in. The flavor is mainly made up of roasted malt and chocolate, although there is some anise in there as well. The alcohol is well hidden but becomes more apparent as the beer warms up. Medium to thick mouthfeel and low to medium carbonation. A nice imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 02:51:38 | More by Mora2000
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black out of a 22 ounce bomber, from Longmont CO, I literally like every beer I've had from Left Hand. Thick tan head forms nicely with a pitch black body glancing back at me. Aroma has dark fruit, coffee roasts, with vanilla bean creaminess. Flavor is great big roast, big dark malt character with more vanilla slipping in to the fun...That's when things get out of control with big alcohol and chocolate notes burping up a booze background at 10.2% abv I see why? Mouthfeel is full bodied with mellow carbonation slick oily texture that lasts throughout each sip, kind of hard to get through. Overall A beer that is worth it's credibility as a big stout in the bottle from Left Hand, I'm not sorry I tried it.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2012 02:10:11 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a black color with a 1" head that falls quickly to a spotty surface foam.

Smell: chocolate, roasted malts, and some hop bitterness comes through to the nose.

Taste: roasted malts, dark chocolate, prunes, and some coffee are the main flavors. Some floral hops arrive softly in the background. Alcohol is soft in the flavor too.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Light crispness to start, smoother and velvety at the finish. Long lasting aftertaste.

Overall: a very tasty imperial stout that is a slow sipper but nicely satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 22:53:23 | More by Gavage
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

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

Decent starting head, but settles to a single layer of bubbles. It leaves a blanket of lace after each sip. The color is near black--no light passes.

I smelled dark cherry initially. There's also a milk chocolate aroma. Here's an odd addition, but it's entirely pleasant, there's a touch of olive oil to the nose. There's no coffee or alcohol present, which is equally surprising.

The taste is altogether different. First, I noticed a strong alcohol presence. Second, there is a coffee with cream flavor. There's also stone fruit in the background, but the swallow features a hop, not malt, bitterness. The swallow and aftertaste is all alcohol warmth. The body is thin like most stouts, but the low carbonation makes it seem creamy.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2012 00:03:01 | More by smcolw
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Doesn't really taste like a stout. Eventually there is a black burnt malt taste, but it's more of a really big Old Ale. A raisiny tang, more than a touch of sweet Vermouth flavor.

Dark brown in the glass with a modest head. Big malt with more tart than sweet in the profile. Some hop bitterness comes along in the aftertaste. Nicely carbonated on the tongue with a rich but not syrupy mouthfeel. Aroma of fruitcake and sherry. Kind of murky and a touch medicinal. Not so user-friendly as many other big alcohol beers. I would skip the second glass but it's a 22 oz bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2011 07:22:07 | More by mactrail
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

whoa! pours thick syrupy black with a minimal tan head. smells really intense, smokey with notes of licorice and bourbon. flavor is absolutely massive. im picking up tobacco, candied sugar, molasses, raisins (post review ive been informed the bottle says raisins!), and that funny birch syrup characteristic that sierra nevada's life and limb has, really really unique. full bodied as can be, sticky residue left over. plenty of bubbles too, but maybe a bit thick, not too too sweet. overall this stout is something different. theres nothing like it out there as far as im concerned, and this has to be one of lefthands best beers. wow this is great, definitely worth a try!

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 01:23:53 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 12/16/12 notes. Thought I had had this but apparently only had the BA version. 8 oz. pour on nitro-pour at Pony Bar in NYC on the UES.

a - Pours a very dark brown color, almost black, with one inch of light tan head, and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty nice, like a nice stout.

s - Smells of sweet chocolate, roasted malts, sweet dark fruits, vanilla, cream, light coffee, and toasted malts. Nice and sweet, I like it a lot.

t - Tastes of sweet chocolate, sweet dark fruits, roasted malts, swete coffee, sweet cream, and vanilla. Taste is good but very sweet, a little bit too sweet for me. Slight step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, with a super smooth and creamy body. Awesome mouthfeel; the nitro-pour really lends well to this one.

o - Overall a pretty good milk/American stout. Very sweet but that is nice in the nose especially, and the mouthfeel was great. I think I like the BA version a bit better but would still have this one again.

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-17-2012 18:57:57 | More by mdfb79
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer pours an opaque deep brown body with a thick head that is a mass of microbubbles that takes on a milkshake quality. There is a microcarbonation that fights its way to the surface. The head leaves rings with each sip.

S- The faint smoky note to the full char of black malt has a soft bacon note that grows and some nice roasted raw grain notes aswell.

T- The leather and vinous flavors to the black roasted malt has some dark raisin to it and a slightly dry finish. There is a bacon smoke and leather hint that lingers and becomes a bit inky as it opens up. The bitterness in the finish turns to a green wood note as it warms.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a nice alcohol warmth to it.

O- Big complex dry beer with a unique character to the black malt. Leather and smoke hints and some dark dried fruit really make this a great sipper.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2013 21:12:43 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA.

Poured into a CCB pub glass, formed a 1/4" dark brown head over the almost opaque dark brown brew. Head is quickly down to a swirly layer of small bubbles, with average sheeting lace. Aroma is sweet, dark fruits and booze.

Taste follows the nose, dark sweetness to start, some peeks of fruit in the middle, and an alcoholic close. Mouthfeel is slickery smooth, and drinkability is good as well. Not bad.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2012 01:30:09 | More by ppoitras
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

3.21/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

Very light nearly white head presented, and very small barely manages a pencil thickness while settling to a simple thin collar. Body is a dark brown walnut with some large red hues to it.

Bouquet is a bit sweet with a large hint of lactose and milky character. Powdered malt and whoppers like candy smelling chocolate, with hints of soda cola character, and some cherry warmth.

Palate improves with a large roast bitterness and some pine like matching flavor. Quite fizzy mouthfeel on this which has an almost mineral water carbonation. Matches a very minerally and dry finish to go with the palate. Cola mouthfeel and wet, with some fruity quality but also comes with a sweet lactose like palate.

Overall this just feels and tastes like an over-amped milk stout and I am not really getting into this at all.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2013 22:37:24 | More by smakawhat
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 superspak
superspak

Michigan

3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled 6/30/2011(1 year from today). Pours crystal clear very dark brown color with a small khaki head with good retention that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some decent spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of cocoa, caramel, biscuit, toast, roasted malt, molasses, nuttiness, coffee, herbal, pine, and light dark fruits. Some pretty nice and balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of chocolate, caramel, toast, toffee, roasted malt, coffee, biscuit, nuttiness, herbal, and pine. Fair amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, toast, herbal, and pine on the finish for a good bit. Decent balance of flavors; but it is not as roasty as most in the style, and is slightly cloying. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a pretty good imperial stout. Fairly balanced flavors with decent complexity; and quite smooth to sip on.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2012 04:26:45 | More by superspak
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

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

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with light amounts of gentle carbonation and some dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a two finger tall creamy tan head that quickly reduces to a couple of small to medium sized thin patch of medium sized bubbles with a small amount of very thin film mottling the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of dark roasted (almost charred) malts with some slightly lighter notes of dark fruit (raisin) and anise/licorice.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of dark roasted, almost charred malts that give the beer a fairly strong amount of bitterness. There are faint notes of dark fruit (raisin) and anise licorice but without the normally associated sweetness. Slight hints of ash.

M: Medium to full bodied with slightly more than moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of alcohol warming in the finish.

O: With the abundance of great beers in the Russian Imperial Stout style, I find this beer to be fairly pedestrian and not really doing anything interesting (compared with others). A little too much char and ash for my preference.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2013 00:43:06 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2011 03:09:56 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed this imperial stout for 7 bucks. Love the cover art!

A - A nice deep shade of pitch black even at the base. Head is a nice creamy 1/2 inch of mocha froth. Sticky lacing throughout the glass while sipping is also great!

S - First thing I get is a nice dose of premium coffee that reminds me of "Victory at sea" Under this I mostly smell sweet Hershey's chocolate telling me this is going to be a tasty sweet stout.

T - Bitter yet balanced with a hefty dose of burnt sugar, coffee, and sweet balancing chocolate in the finish. I actually kind of enjoy the bitterness in this one it hides the ABV well.

M - Medium to heavy with a slightly oily slick base.

Overall again nothing to run out and get again and I have better options I can think of but this Imperial stout has a taste of its own. Worth picking up for 7 bucks.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2012 03:26:13 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Color is black and the two+ finger head is a medium brown. Great film of foam and nice lace stickage.

Coffee aroma with some mocha, dark chocolates and maybe some herbal black licorice.

Thin palate, but has some good flavor. Coffee, chocolate, super roasted malts, maybe some black licorice. A nice warm finish. Good sipper, but a palate that's on the thinner side.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2012 00:48:07 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of drpimento
drpimento

Wisconsin

3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lovely. Poured with a large tan, foamy, head that settled down after a bit and some lace. Color is an opaque brown black. Aroma is roast, malt, yeast, cocoa, espresso. Flavor's much the same as nose and drinkable. Body and carbonation are perfect. Finish is of good length, enticing. and that's it. Oh and a little boozy.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2011 03:36:38 | More by drpimento
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on January 9, 2012. It pours a very dark brown to almost black with a moderate, tan head and clinging lacing. Aromas envelope a wide array of dark malts, coffee grinds, and bitter hops but little in the way of sweetness or dark fruits. The body is around medium. The taste is also a combination of dark malts, bitterness, and coffee. No chocolate of note. There are better Imperial Stouts out there but this has its attributes.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2012 23:11:21 | More by puboflyons
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 8/8/11. I know I reviewed this beer before. Hmph...So this was meant to be drank on the Mayan Apocalypse but never got cracked. Sooo....

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a deep dark brown almost black hue with a one finger mocha head that faded to leave a thin thin blanket and light side lacing.

S - Sweet roast, almost light licorice aromas hints of chocolate.

T - A bit on the sweet side for me. Perhaps thats what the aging has done here. Sweeter malts, older coffee and chocolate. Faint, faint metallic note along with some darker fruits (raisins/figs). That dark fruit kind of gets in the way for me a little.

M - Mouthfeel is nice. Good carbonation here.

O - Overall this wasnt a bad beer. Don't think age has done this well. Glad I got to rereview it, but I know my original review was 4's across the board. Oh well.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2013 00:56:41 | More by rudzud
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

4.5 A: Black color. Two fingers of light brown frothy/creamy head. Retention is better than average with the last 1/4 inch being particularly stubborn. Plentiful, mountainscape lacing is left.

3.5 S: Moderate roastiness. Chocolate cake batter, molasses, a good bit of caramel, and coffee underneath. Booze is exceedingly well hidden. I can't detect a thing. Well balanced with well integrated flavors, but it's just not impressing me like I thought it would.

3.5 T: Like the nose, this is full of chocolate, cake batter, and caramel. Molasses right behind along with light coffee and a minor dark fruitiness.

4.5 M: Heavier medium body with a silky, slickness to it. Good moderate carbonation. Nice here.

4.0 D: Solid imperial. Good, complementary flavors with a great mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2012 01:16:35 | More by DavoleBomb
« 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.