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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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 188
Hads: 932
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: 932
Photo of drpimento
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
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. (321 characters)

Photo of blackcompg
3.37/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from their bomber into my beer glass -

Appearance - Poured about a finger of mocha head, color of the beer is dark cherry cola, somewhat transparent, light just gets through.

Smell - Hmmm, slight amaretto and cherry, dark chocolate, a little molasses.

Taste - Much like the nose, taste is semi-sweet dark cherries, amaretto & cognac, dark chocolate, some black coffee in the background. There is alcohol heat throughout the entire sip.
I get just a touch of bittering hops and a little dryness long into the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel, carb seems too high, adds quite a bit sharp tingle on the sides of the tongue, but I don't want this at all for this style. There is a creaminess and mouth coating that begins...but is suddenly broken up by the higher carb.

Overall - I'm kinda bummed. There are really some great flavors here, but the alcohol gets pretty hot, and the mouthfeel is broken up by the higher carb. I wanted to like this alot more. I'll finish this bomber, but I won't likely purchase it again. (1,034 characters)

Photo of shoky01
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber, served chilled in pint glass, enjoyed with my baby as company.

A: Pours kinda thick, deep brown with little carbonation and tiny tan head. Almost looks like rootbeer, with little bits floating in it. Laura's has a bit of goop or sludge sticking to her glass, hoping it yeast.

S: Malty, with hints of cocoa and coffee. Bit of hops. Smells like a stout.

T: Wow, everything I smelled but with bitterness, a little sour. On second taste its better.

MF, really sticky, stays with you but smooth otherwise.

Oa: not bad, not too special. Worried about the sludgey stuff. (579 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
3.37/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- Pours a thin dark brown, near black. Almost no head, and no lacing at all.

S- Sweet chocolate, dark fruits, and pine hops.

T- Sweet dark malts, some dark fruit, and big pine hop bite.

M- Medium body, pretty thin. Low carbonation.

O- This is not a imperial stout! More of a double black ipa if anything. Not a terrible beer, but had to downgrade it because of the style. (405 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
2.06/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Well I've read mixed reviews about this brew, but I can never pass up an unticked impy stout, especially when its on sale for 6 bucks. Here we go....

A: pours very light for style, deep brown with ruby highlights, 2 finger head on pour, dissipates to a cm, decent retention

S: the nose features notes of grapes, vanilla, musty oak, artificial chocolate. This aroma smells more like an American Strong Ale, nothing like an imperial stout.

T: taste starts out with clashing malt flavors, some dark fruit, huge acrid bitterness, burnt chocolate. There virtually no balance and drinking this brew actually made me scrunch my face. Wow... this is bad

Mf: thin body for style, has a very dry finish

O: this beer is a mess. It misses the mark on style, and also misses the mark on tasting good. Do yourself a favor...pass this one up. Lefthand makes plenty of other tasty brews, this however is not one of them. (910 characters)

Photo of stonermouse
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an oversized mug, cellar temp.

Good-looking brew, chocolate to black flavor, with a decent, steady film of a roasted marshmallow head. Nice.

Smell is a bit hot, with a burnt molasses aroma dominant. Interesting, and not bad.

Taste is potent. Lots of heat here- this one's relatively fresh, so aging may mellow it a bit. The flavor is mostly raisins and pure molasses. I'm wishing it was a touch sweeter, but the flavors are heavy and impressive.

Mouthfeel is sticky, but the booze cleans the palate a bit. Some funk hangs around, but overall it's fairly clean.

I'm glad I bought two bottles of this, because I'm aging the second in the hopes of mellowing and cleaning it up. The flavors are solid, so we'll revisit this when it's mellowed a bit. (762 characters)

Photo of beeragent
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a perfect pint glass from a 22oz bottle.

A - Pours jet black with dark brown highlights when held to the light. Thin mocha head with very light lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of chocolate, brown sugar, and alcohol.

T - Milk chocolate flavor coats the palate with a light roastiness throughout. Alcohol is not as present in the taste as in the smell.

M - Heavy bodied but not thick. Very smooth with low carbonation.

D - The taste is not as typical for an imperial stout. Very smooth flavor with a heavy emphasis on the chocolate malt but lacking the heavy roastiness associated with most Imperial Stouts. Unique flavor that sets it aside from the others. Very enjoyable! (682 characters)

Photo of WickedSluggy
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brown with very little foam. Color is lighter than most stouts.

Aroma has nice coco quality as the beer warms. Coco and fruity alcoholic. Flavor too - nice, almost all chocolate, with perhaps a little fruitiness.

This beer has to warm up if it is pulled cold. My first couple sips were from a beer poured at fridge temperature, and it was plain bad at that temperature. But as it warmed, it truly woke up and became a nice enjoyable beer. I am reviewing the beer after warning to 50+ degrees. (500 characters)

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a dark cola brown with reddish highlights and two fingers of creamy beige head.

Aroma of chocolate, coffee, molasses, light berry and toasted malts.

Tasted fresh berries up front followed by toasted malts, dark chocolate and black coffee. The 10% alcohol is present and adds a touch of warmth to the tongue.

Full-bodied and creamy with just the slightest hint of carbonation.

A solid Impy Stout from the folks at Left Hand. Worthy of a try. (467 characters)

Photo of shanblur
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased locally in Evansville, IN. Bottle date is obscured. Poured from bomber into a snifter.

A - Opaque dark brown to black with minimal head and retention.

S - Caramel and toffee notes with a roasted malt aroma. Some smoke as well.

T - Same as the aroma, with sweet and roasted malts mixing together nicely. A smoky taste as well as a warming alcohol finish.

M - Medium body with a light carbonation.

A nice imperial stout. (433 characters)

Photo of bens0n
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nearly opaque black with some very slight ruby highlights. There is tons of creamy tan head that leaves lacing all over the glass.

This beer has a pretty mild smell, but the alcohol isn't very detectable. Its not exceptionally rich or sweet smelling, just slightly roasty. There is a slight chocolaty element that is present but barely noticeable.

This beer doesn't have any distinct flavors that jump out at me but its got a nice heavy and creamy body that goes down really smooth. It tastes like an imperial stout should, rich in dark malts. Its not very boozy tasting though, which is surprising given the abv. (634 characters)

Photo of tjkinate
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My first beer from left hand brewing and it was very good!

Poured into a Stone RIS snifter which produced a strong 2 finger head. Like most stouts it was dark as night not allowing any light to penetrate, but this one in particular was thick, almost like molasses. Oh yeah, lots of lacing too!

Smells of molasses, malts, roasted barley, grains, and some subtle hops.

Very malty flavor with an unexpected bitter aftertaste. That bitterness wasn't pleasant at first but dissipated after 5 or 6 sips. Great stout to share, little tough by yourself, very thick.

HEAVY in the mouth, like syrup

Very good beer, not one I could drink often due to its thickness. (659 characters)

Photo of coldriver
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber poured into Sam Adams glass. Pours dark, but some translucence shows through, looks a little like root beer. Loose head quickly dissapated but decent lacing. Nose is alcohol, roasted malt, and burnt match. Taste seems dominated by alcohol with subdued coffee and light fruitiness, would like to see a bit more kick from the roasted malt. Mouthfeel fairly creamy with carbonation a bit on the light side. Overall okay for the style, but there are plenty of better options available. (494 characters)

Photo of Bung
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At Serio's World Beers in Louisville.
Blackish brown pour with a Guiness like off white head, due to the nitrogen for sure.

Subdued roast and dark chocolate, all right. Maybe also a bit subdued by the nitro.

Taste, blend of roasty malt and chocolates. Absolute faintest hops. Some dry roast coffee in the finish. It's good but a little one dimensional.

Mouthfilling creaminess created by the nitro tap. An easy drinking imperial stout, would be a good gateway imperial stout. (478 characters)

Photo of GilGarp
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber bottled 3/28/11 served at cellar temp in a pint glass.

Wake Up Dead is a little lighter than most imperial stouts, almost a cola brown. The head is short lived but leaves a little lace behind.

Aroma is sweet and malty with a little roasty black malt. Not much hop aroma but it's a classic double stout.

Flavor is big and robust. A nice dark roasty base with just a hint of smoke. Very bitter too with more than a little of that coming from hops. The alcohol is strong too - not hot but warming on the way down.

Mouthfeel is medium-full body and nice 'n' low with the carbonation. Very bitter and strong.

Overall a very good imperial stout. You know a beer like this is impressive when you can enjoy it without chilling it at all. I'm impressed. (756 characters)

Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a Duvel tulip. Date on neck illegible because it was partially rubbed off.

Appearance - Black body and medium-tan head. Half finger head with moderate stick and good retention.

Smell - Coffee. Chocolate. Alcohol. Some hop.

Taste - Strong alcoholic finish. Hoppy front and body.

Mouthfeel - Slightly creamy medium-full body. Some astringency.

Overall - Good beer. (386 characters)

Photo of jale
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Crunchy's in East Lansing.

A: Pours black with a finger of light brown head.

S: Dark roasted malt, raisins, licorice, roasted coffee and a hint of cherry.

T: Taste is raisins upfront followed by licorice and some oakiness. Mild alcohol heat. Finish is a dry bitter coffee and piney hop bitterness

M: Medium body with average carbonation.

O: A decent Stout. (376 characters)

Photo of zachary80
2.37/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Background: Poured into a Guinness Pint. 6/30/11 on the neck, nothing on the label.

Look: Brown with ruby highlights. Surprisingly not opaque. Looks thin while pouring. Small tan head rears up at the end of the pour. Looks like a lighter porter. Spots of lacing. Would blame my glass but it looked the same in my friend's as well.

Smell: Pretty malty, maybe a hint of alcohol. Not much going on, maybe slight fruitiness.

Taste: Hot from the alcohol, mellows as it approaches room temperature. Mild dark fruits. Not much roastiness even for a normal stout.

Mouthfeel: Thin, not full bodied.

Overall: Not a great beer. Not a good beer. Average would be kind. It just seems watered down.

Value: I thought it would be decent at 6.99 for a bomber, but it is not.

For some reason I fully expected this to be better than the Barrel Aged. I was wrong. Avoid this. (863 characters)

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this beer up at the Atascocita Spec's and it was their last one. I had never seen it before, so I assumed that it would be good. Let's give it a shot and see...

Appearance: Pours very dark with a small 1/8" head of light tan bubbles that are actually bordering on a dark bone color, which is interesting for a beer this dark. The head faded to a small ring within about 30 seconds.

Aroma: The aroma is already complex with some American hops breaking the profile initially with some evident chocolate and toasty notes from the malt. The alcohol is also noticeable now adding spicy complexity that is playing pretty well with the hops.

Taste: The flavor is more alcoholic than I suspected from the aroma, such that it is thinning the lightly carbonated beer giving it a lighter mouthfeel than you would expect. There is also a mild phenolic to the flavor that I didn't get in the aroma at all. The chocolate is the bigger player on the malt side. The hops are there enough to add some flavor in the beginning and some balance to the finish, but the alcohol and malt stays in charge of the finish. There is warming after the sip, but there is more spice noticeable than evident warming.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer, but the flavor fell short of my expectations in a number of ways. I think that there may have been a wild yeast starting to get in here as it is a bit too thin with that mild phenolic, it just seems like this beer might be suffering from a mild infection. It's not bad enough that I am wanting to pitch my beer, but I wouldn't plan to cellar the version bottled on 3/28/2011 if I were you...or keep a close eye on it. (1,652 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 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 RickS95
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep rich brown in the glass, not quite black. The head is thin and white and dissipates quickly.

Almost smells dark. Roasted notes, coffee, some licorice and vanilla in the nose. All of it works well.

All the roasty flavors come through. Coffee and alcohol come through, with the licorice in the finish.

It's a strong beer. For a stout, it's not a smooth or creamy beer. The heat from the alcohol is immediate and unrelenting. None of the other ingredients seem to mask the high ABV.

Just a bit too much bite for me. I don't mind high ABV beers, but I like the alcohol to be a bit more subdued. This was in your face the second you popped the top. (652 characters)

Photo of fatmcb1
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark dark brown beer poured vigorously into a snifter with a 1 finger khaki head. The head fades quickly into a ring. very light lacing remains on the glass.

Sweet caramel malt and brown sugar start strong with roasty dark chocolate. A bit of dark fruit, perhaps fig and raisins.

Much stronger taste than in the nose. Brown sugar, chocolate, and espresso. Slight warm bite on the finish that seems to come more from alcohol than hops.

This is creamy mouthfeel with strong carbonation.

This is an alright imperial stout, but not really a standout in any way. (564 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 GregSVT
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a snifter

A: Pours a thin darkish brown with the smallest off-white head ever that fades to a ring and leaves no lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is cocoa, chocolate malts, dark fruits, and a bit of booze. Maybe a bit of vanilla from the malt. Not bad but not that great...definitely let this one warm up as it's pretty weak when cold.

T: The taste is cocoa, slight chocolate and vanilla flavors, and a slight earthy hop bitterness in the back of the throat. The malty flavors are definitely at the forefront but the hops show up on the finish. Very unique tasting beer.

M: The feel is descent but on the thinner side of medium with a decent creamy feel in the mouth.

O: While this is a decent beer I'm not sure if it should be listed as an Imperial Stout. This is much more like an Imperial Porter. The (826 characters)

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