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Wake Up Dead - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wake Up DeadWake Up Dead

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

785 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 785
Reviews: 174
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 43
Gots: 107 | FT: 5
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
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Ratings: 785 | Reviews: 174 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kawilliams81
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

kawilliams81, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of homebrew311
2/5  rDev -48.2%
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.

homebrew311, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of stonermouse
3.78/5  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.

stonermouse, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of beeragent
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
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!

beeragent, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of WickedSluggy
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

WickedSluggy, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of Monkeyknife
3.9/5  rDev +1%
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.

Monkeyknife, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of shanblur
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

shanblur, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of bens0n
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
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 -4.1%
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 -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 -4.7%
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 +4.4%
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%
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 -2.1%
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 -38.3%
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 -6%
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 +23.1%
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 +15.8%
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 -3.4%
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 -5.4%
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%
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 -0.8%
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 +7.5%
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 +16.6%
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 +12.2%
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
Wake Up Dead from Left Hand Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 785 ratings.