Caldera Brewing Company

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Porter - Imperial
Ranked #24
Ranked #1,100
4.28 | pDev: 8.88%
Caldera Brewing Company
Oregon, United States
Notes: 'Oak Aged Imperial Porter Brewed with Chocolate'
Caldera Kettle Series
June 2011 - first release in waxed 22 oz. bottles
Reviews: 160 | Ratings: 817 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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DMillerTampa from Florida

4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This might be the best porter I have ever had. It poured out thick and dark with a strong chocolate smell. The taste was full of chocolate as well. Overall it was outstanding.

May 02, 2021
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the_awesometeer from California

4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer is a dark brown with a thick tan head. This beer smells like chocolate and then more chocolate. It tastes like chocolate wait... am I just drinking chocolate? Actually there is some roasted and oak flavors that do come in at the end. The beer The beer is creamy and smooth.

Aug 03, 2019
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VashonGuy from Washington

4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I've had this often over the years, and I'm surprised I never reviewed it. On tap at the Ashland taproom.

The beer is very dark, with a very small head and light lacing. The smell is surprisingly mild for a big beer like this. The taste is a bit like a fudgesicle. It's very chocolatey. There's some oak, and just a little tang. It's sweet, but not as sweet as some "dessert" beers. The body is light.

Overall, it's a very good beer. If you are looking for a chocolate ale, give this a try.

Apr 19, 2019
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz capped & Waxed bottle into a tulip. No freshness dating that I could find. Waxing is bloody annoying to get off.

Looks damn fine in the glass. Jet black body with a nice tan head leaving good lacing. nice streams of small carbonation.

Nothing much comes through on the nose except a very faint musty aroma, which, oddly, is not an unpleasant one.

Tasty brew. Chocolate, a decent but not too heavy roast on the malt. Smoky and even a little pepper. Sweet, but not cloying. nicely balanced. Only knock on the taste is that as it warms, it seems to lose some flavor.

Mouth is between medium and full, finish slightly sweet & peppery.

Overall, a nice beer. I'll even forgive them for the wax, lol.

Nov 16, 2018
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farrago from New Jersey

4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two fingers of dark tan to brown foam, fairly even surface, with more residual turbulence at the pour point, nice retention, takes some time to get down to a thinner surface dusting, the lacing forms broad solid sheets which slowly drop down into the glass. The liquid looks black from a distance but up close you see that it’s really a deep, deep brown, fully opaque until a yellow aura develops at the edges where you can also see scattered bubbles break the surface. The nose is overloaded with sweet milk chocolate scents, behind this juggernaut is a pleasingly smoky roastiness, ginger, vanilla bean and pie crust, not especially fruity, some plum or fig, manages the booziness quite well and the bourbon/oak element woven in so as not to distract. Full-bodied while managing a steady clip across the palate, in no way too heavy nor cloyingly sweet and sticky. Here the chocolate much roastier with as much of a cocoa powder feel as milk chocolate bar. Still, not quite coffee bean level, softened by caramel, vanilla accents. More grainy than doughy, adds to prickly texture. In the same vein the carbonation offers substantial churn and works to stem excess sweetness. In the end, for all of the chocolate and oak influence tastes more like a porter than a stout, which was in doubt at the outset.

Jul 24, 2018
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Dewsby from Kentucky

3.67/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L) Pours a coffee brown, a wee bit translucent, with a lovely khaki, creamy head. Decent retention.

S) The nose is loaded with bakers chocolate, and some roasted flour notes. It is pleasant and inviting, almost like some nobake cookies, but a bit grainy.

T) The taste is quite pleasant. Again, it is very cocoa forward with lovely roastiness, but there is a bit of a breadiness/graininess that makes me think the bottle may be a bit old. Almost seems like slight oxidation.

F) Brew has a medium carbonation with a full body. Pleasant to sip.

O) This is a solid chocolate porter, I'd be interested in trying a fresher bottle and seeing if that improves my experience.

May 10, 2018
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TX-Badger from Texas

4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle shared with friends. Pours a very dark brown color with khaki colored head. Vanilla, chocolate, roasted malt, some oak, and coffee on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with more chocolate, roast, and a little oak.

Aug 19, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was poured into a snifter. The appearance was a dark brown close to black color with a one finger slim finger’s worth of tan head. The head must have stuck around for a good minute before gently dieing. Light lacing ran here and there nicely. The smell started off with a sweet to roasty cocoa beans with an eloquent blend of the coffee to come in and balance. As it warms, some vanilla comes out to balance. The taste was mainly sweet with the vanilla coming across with more of a marshmallow flavor and developing into the roasty and sweetness of the beer. A light sweet cocoa to coffee to vanilla aftertaste runs into the aftertaste and finish. The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a nice sipping quality to it. Carbonation ran fairly light allowing the roast and sweetness to hit my tongue in all of the right spots. Overall, I’d say this was a really nice imperialized porter.

Jun 28, 2017
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cosmicevan from New York

4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is one of those beers you see on the shelf all over the place and walk right by it...this one came my way via a trade extra or a BIF or something. Classic porter looks if not a bit more pale khaki on the head. Nose is pretty great with a nice milk chocolate...taste, very impressive. Great flavor and easy drinker. I wonder why you don't hear people talk about this one more. It's a really nice beer

Apr 23, 2017
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IvoryFoxhole from Virginia

4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, undated, poured into Belgian ale glass. Black with brown on edges, big light tan head with good lacing and cap and ring. Vanilla nose mostly dominates this batch with coffee, cocoa, and roasted malts. Taste follows except for bitterness on finish I'm beginning to think is a trademark of this brewery. Light to medium body and carbonation, bitterness throws the balance a bit off but this is quite drinkable and tasty.

Mar 07, 2017
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ccg from Virginia

3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

White-waxed bottle opened 2017-02-25. I don't remember the vintage, but it has been in the cellar for at least six months, maybe a year.

Mogli is a great-looking porter. It's a dark, opaque brown, but clearly brown and not black. It looks heavy and rich, but there's no mistaking it for a stout. The foam is fluffy and creamy looking, and I like seeing all the lacing.

The smell is dominated by the chocolate, closely followed by sweet malted grains. There is a faint whiff of cinnamon in the background, and the alcohol is noticeable, but it does not burn.

The flavor is similarly dominated by milky chocolate and plenty of malt, but it's less sweet than the smell. There is a bitter component to the flavor that was not present in the smell, but it doesn't seem like it's coming from hops. It's kind of like a bitter, acidic form of chocolate.

It has a medium body with a little bit of carbonation fizziness if you chew it.

I think I was expecting something a little bit richer, and there is a slight metallic astringency in the background, but overall, Mogli is very nice chocolate porter. And let's be honest, that label is adorable.

Feb 25, 2017
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MaltsOfGlory from Oregon

4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle

I’m guessing this beer is about 6 months old, I figure it should age fine, we’ll see though.

A somewhat aggressive pour yields a nice two finger, tan head into my Willi Becher glass. Very frothy and creamy looking. Body is completely black in color, with maybe just a tad bit of brown when held up to the light. Head retention is very good. After 3-4 minutes I still have almost everything I started with. I can hear it slowly fizzing, but I guess it’s going reaaally slowly. After 10 minutes, half of the head is still here, a whole finger. Overall a good looking beer so far.

All the aromas really hit immediately, in your face. Chocolate, a little oak, vanilla. Just a hair of bourbon. Very sweet, but not gross, it smells authentic. Very simple, but very good. It’s a total desert beer, my only complaint is that it’s hard to think of it as an actual beer, and not a glass of chocolate. I suppose there is enough bourbon and booze to remind me it’s a beer. Overall great aroma either way.

Flavor is very similar to the aroma. Chocolate comes through first, very sweet, a tad bitter, with maybe a tiny bit of lingering hops at the end. Bourbon, oak, and vanilla seem to hit all at once, very briefly, but noticeably. Nice to have such a correlation to the nose. Very creamy. Maybe a hair astringent, not in a boozy burn way though. You can taste some booze I suppose, but you definitely don’t feel it. Tastes just a tiiiny bit grainy/extract, but it has been sitting for 6 months, with possibly too much light. It’s not quite as sweet as the nose was, but still very sweet. Really a great beer, nothing to complain about here.

Mouthfeel is creamy, slightly sticky/syrupy. Carbonation is very light. I can never give desert beers a slam dunk for everything because they are almost impossible to perfect, one example being that with sweetness comes a sticky mouth. Overall this is a nice mouthfeel, it’s darn creamy, but it’s a little sticky and syrupy too.

The drinkability is scary. I finished half of the pint in 5 minutes, in a review! As mentioned, there is really no alcohol burn here at all, and it tastes great.

Definitely one of the better looking beers I have had in quite a while. The head stood out as very creamy, and I miss that in beers. The head retention was far above average. The head started dissipating once I started drinking the beer, but I still got a nice layer of film the entire way down the glass. The lacing was thick and wonderful all the way down the glass as well. Overall a really great looking beer.

Overall a really great beer. My only complaints are that it might be just a hair to desert-y, and that it has a sticky mouth because of that sweetness. Really minor things, and things that are more than common among beers in this category. Not terribly complex, I suppose I could have hoped for a tiny bit more bourbon, but it is definitely there. A great beer non the less, with clean, tasty flavors.

Feb 21, 2017
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Radcpa from Washington

3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark clear appearance with mild pleasant aroma and taste that is a little disappointing. No alcohol taste so aging will not help. This beer was not as good as expected

Jan 30, 2017
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Skrumpy from Oregon

4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep, dark brown in color with a tan head. Streak lacing. The aroma is chocolate and toasted malt. The flavor is quite rich, chocolate and caramel. A hint of oak in the finish. An excellent dessert beer!

Jan 04, 2017
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biegaman from Canada (ON)

4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Mogli was a chocolate lab and the beer that bears its name is also brown (and no more transparent either, it's pretty opaque stuff). The foamy, off-white ring of head and splatters of lace remind me of the kind of slobber you'd expect from a big dog. Maybe that cute picture on the label is to blame, but I just want to cuddle up to this thing...

And the aroma makes it even more tempting. The huge block of bakers chocolate is complimented by bourbon-soaked oak chips which contribute nuances of vanilla, toast, caramel, and pantry spice. Usually where there's chocolate there's coffee but not here - there's not a trace of astringency or roast. It's superlatively satiny and sweet.

Mogli is very much a chocolate beer, as advertised. Each sip reveals an abundance of light brown, milky, silky-sweet fine chocolate taste and a few big, fluffy marshmallows on the side. For all this we have to thank "added flavor". I'm not a fan of this tactic and view it as cheating but, hey, you can't argue with the results. The flavours is truly delicious.

I love dark chocolate flavours in beer. The bitter or bittersweet, chalky, roasty, earthy tones it provides are natural fits in things like porters and stouts. Milk chocolate, however, not so much. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule and Mogli, with its Cadbury candy bar-like flavours, is definitely an outlier. 8.5% porters aren't normally so approachable.

I'm a dog guy - not a cat person - but would have great things to say about Mogli whatever the name or label. It is luscious, balanced, and deliciously dessert-like. Sure, it tastes a lot like Ovaltine and Hershey's powder (such are the effects of "added flavor") but it maintains enough malty depth and body to still qualify as a serious, substantial porter.

Nov 20, 2016
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rodmanfor3 from Vermont

4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

White wax bottle from 2014.

The flavors are sweet chocolate and bourbon raisins with a touch of heat to finish. Very nice.

This beer was passed over three times at local tastings because it was not rare enough so I decided to finish the bottle myself. It was a nice pickup for a beer that is regularly available on the shelves.

Oct 22, 2016
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stevoj from Idaho

4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

What can you say? A truly superlative beer. Chocolate comes right up front in both aroma and taste, slight tingle of alcohol warmth at the finish. Sweet and smooth, chocolate lingers on the tongue. This is one to savor.

Sep 20, 2016
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Ruger_44-Redhawk from Idaho

4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Caldera hit it out of the park with this. One of the best imperial Porter's my wife and I have tried. Although I'm more of a stout fan, this is as flavorful as any stout I've had. The ABV is masked well as it wants to be a stout with that 8.5%. I get a lot of vanilla up front and chocolate and nuttiness on the back side, and a tad bit of coffee bean and oak are present. This is on par with another Oregon favorite of ours, the Rogue Double Chocolate Stout. A little pricey because of it's limited release, but damn this would be great after a fat rib eye steak. Cheers and great job Caldera.

Sep 18, 2016
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sulldaddy from Connecticut

4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampling a cellar temp 22 oz wax sealed bottle that I poured into a chalice.
The beer pours a rich cocoa brown color with a minimal fizzy brown head that fades rapidly to a wispy island and the thinnest of edge layers. The aroma is some sweet chocolate milk and a bit of brown sugar. I dont really get any hops or alcohol on the nose, and only the faintest of vanilla shows up from the oak spirals.
The first sip reveals a velvety smooth body with very fine yet tingly carbonation. Flavor is sweet and malty with chocolate candy, hints of vanilla and brown sugar. I dont get any hops or booze presence anywhere on the beer. It is a sweet chocolate beer from start to finish and doesnt show any alcohol as I work through the bottle. This beer could be great with dessert and is a nice night cap for today.
I enjoy the beer and think the booze is well hidden. Its a good beer at a decent price point that I would try again.

Jun 25, 2016
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ryannosaurus from Arizona

3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown with one finger dark tan head, which settles down to a light lace.

Pretty much sour chocolate milk aroma, with a hint of wet dog when cold. ugh. Picks up a classic chocolate malt note as it warms.

Flavor exceeds the nose, lots of sweet dark chocolate, vanilla, a hint of oak, and something vegetal lurking )(green pepper, grass) lurking at the back.

Mouthfeel is creamy but lighter bodied than expected for such a sweet brew.

Overall: I've heard great things about this beer, but managed to miss it when I lived in SoOre. Was hoping to give it a real homer review, but not today. It hits the chocolate note hard and well, with a big load of vanilla in the flavor as well. Beyond that, the rest of the elements are flirting with the edge of perception. It's an interesting beer, and not to be missed by chocobeerholics, but fairly one dimensional and out of it's element at the price point I found it at.

May 03, 2016
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GuitarIPA from Connecticut

4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reminds me of Samuel Smith's Organic Chocolate stout - not quite as much dark chocolate, but a little more booze and hint of bourbon.
L - Black with quickly dissipating tan head
A - Dark chocolate, sugar and booze
T - Booze, chocolate, hints of bourbon
F - Medium body, sweet finish

Mar 05, 2016
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Bowers-Brew from Illinois

4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served @ 55deg in snifter. Not sure of bottle date.

Really interesting smell, chocolate for sure, but other smells harder to describe. Don't get much oak or alcohol in scent or taste.

Really enjoyed this creamy chocolaty porter. Wish I had access to this in Illinois... I'd make it a regular. Prost!

Feb 06, 2016
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jason3125 from Vermont

3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer is a chocolate bomb, no barrel whatsover. Thin mouthful as well. If you are looking for a very sweet chocolate imperial porter this is for you

Jan 31, 2016
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von_kaiser from Connecticut

4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

All over the place. Chocolate bomb however. Look is phenomenal but the scent is a chocolate char. Taste is the same. No overly bitter. No barrel character what so ever. Woof. Maybe I was expecting a stout..idk.

Jan 10, 2016
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crob3888 from California

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with a coffee colored head. Smell and flavors are of chocolate, roasted malt, oak, and more chocolate. Overall a balanced and creamy Porter.

Jan 08, 2016
Mogli from Caldera Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 817 ratings