1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Wake Up Dead - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wake Up DeadWake Up Dead

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

778 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 778
Reviews: 173
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 41
Gots: 105 | FT: 4
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 778 | Reviews: 173 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bens0n
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

bens0n, Sep 11, 2011
Photo of tjkinate
3.7/5  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.

tjkinate, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of coldriver
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

coldriver, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of Bung
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Bung, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of GilGarp
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

GilGarp, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

ZenAgnostic, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of jale
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

jale, Aug 09, 2011
Photo of zachary80
2.38/5  rDev -38.2%
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.

zachary80, Aug 03, 2011
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

SkeeterHawk, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of BDTyre
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%
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.

BDTyre, Jul 26, 2011
Photo of twiggamortis420
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.

twiggamortis420, Jul 26, 2011
Photo of RickS95
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

RickS95, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of fatmcb1
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

fatmcb1, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of biggred1
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

biggred1, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of GregSVT
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
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

GregSVT, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of claytong
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance - medium head poured into a snifter from left hand, dark, a bit of brown/crimson but otherwise black dominates. opaque, small head with decent lacing.

smell - super sweet smelling, brown sugar, coffee, nut shells, minor hops

taste - coffee and brown sugar dominate with a nice nut touch. hops end it but not really bitter

mouthfeel - creamy, sugary, minor cloying, oily in the mouth. too much carbonation.

overall - for price and what not this is an exceptional brew.

claytong, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
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.

mikesgroove, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of JayS2629
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

JayS2629, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
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.

UCLABrewN84, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of beerprovedwright
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

beerprovedwright, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of crusian
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle from a local bottle shop.
After this pour, I can tell I am not going to give it anything near the A- it is currently getting. I review by style and this poured a dark brown and looked really thin. The head crept up on me... so much that I actually thought this was flat at first, then when i was done pouring, the head erupted out into about a finger. Interesting. Once in the glass it looks good. Lacing is all but absent.
Lots of roast and chocolate in the initial nose, with a hint of raisin coming in on the finish. a second wiff confirms that the roastedness is most prevalent, then some chocolate and coffee come out and finish with the raisin/fruitiness.
wow, the taste is actually MUCH better than I thought it was going to be. And it is actually thicker than I was expecting as well. Heavy on the roasted malt, flows into the chocolate and ends with a sweet fruitiness which takes me by surprise. There is a booziness on the finish, but it is not overpowering and is quite nice. It helps remind you that it is a 10.2% beer... and dont drink it too fast, because this is pretty easy drinking.
Mouthfeel is medium, as I was expecting it to be very thin.
You know, i admit when I am wrong... this is pretty good.

crusian, Jun 24, 2011
Photo of genitempo
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation - One of the few Left Hand labels I can tolerate. Not really a fan of the new label design work of Left Hand.

Pour - Into a frozen pint glass. Above average thickness and dark. About a quarter-inch of head.

Scent - Not really good at deciphering smell from a beer, but somewhat bitter, fairly weak but not malodorous.

Taste - initially, brown sugar and a hint of coffee. however, the coffee flavor lingered and elements of dark chocolate presented itself. However, I felt like the coffee flavor lingered a little too long, almost as if I had coffee grounds in my glass.

Aftertaste - This beer lingers. A bit too long. But the initial taste has such a strong presence when it hits your palate, making it almost worth it.

Overview- Solid beer. Although I tried it in the dead heat of a Texas summer, I felt like it would be well-suited for colder weather.

genitempo, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
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.

Mora2000, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of ManiacalBilby
4.8/5  rDev +24.7%
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.

ManiacalBilby, Jun 13, 2011
Photo of sbl556
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 3 month old bomber into pint glass.

A- Pours as dark as you would could only expect an imperial stout to be. I had to pour pretty aggressively to get a nice light tan head, but when developed it was pretty inviting. Very little head retention however, which was a bit dissapointing.

S - a pronounced and inviting aroma. Licorice and espresso are the most defined for me with rich spices following.

T- Dark fruits splash on the front of your tongue and linger till they are overcome by a rich and fulfilling flavor of dark spices.

m- very refreshing mouthfeel, similar to drinking your favorite double expresso.

D- I thoroughly enjoyed the bomber of this imperial stout, but I don't think this is a beer I could drink a sixer of, and at 10%, I don't think I would want to. But when you are drinking an imperial stout it is not intended to be a sessionable beer, and I believe this beer is a great representation of the style

sbl556, Jun 06, 2011
Wake Up Dead from Left Hand Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 778 ratings.