Imperial Stout
Tenaya Creek Brewery

Imperial StoutImperial Stout
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #2,230
Ranked #18,357
3.91 | pDev: 9.46%
Tenaya Creek Brewery
Nevada, United States
Very Good
Imperial StoutImperial Stout
Notes: Greatness will be remembered. This massive black beer with an off-white head is obtained by brewing Pale, Carmel, Chocolate, Roast, Victory and Black Malts! A thick, stick to your tongue body is balanced with a malty sweet finish and bitterness from Magnum Hops. Long live the King.
Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 86 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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YungAnejo from Nevada

3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Green wax 650ml hard pour into an American pint glass produces a few inches worth of frothy head that settles down after a few minutes, tan brown head, solid black body with zero flashlight escaping past the edges, light delicate lacing

Aroma has hints of roast chocolate and burnt malts, light espresso in the back, alcohol dominates

Taste is bitter hops at first, but settles into roasted dark chocolate, strong bitter sweet caramel coffee

Mouthfeel is thick and heavy, very subtle carbonation, medium-dry finish

Only picked up to try due to being local, that being said I actually enjoyed this one for the feel but the flavor and aroma lack a bit, it’s still fairly fresh though too so will have to check back in when I try the Red Wax vintage

Feb 28, 2018
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98green from Michigan

4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap. Stellar imperial stout. Looks like a BBA with the thin tan head that hangs around and laces the glass. Smell is a bit of a winelike tang. Taste is all roasty malts and a bit of lacto tang. Feel is solid body, moderate carb. Overall quite good

Apr 17, 2017
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flagmantho from Washington

4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip. Split with a couple friends while at the brewery.

Appearance: rich black hue with a layer of creamy tan foam. Beautiful.

Smell: super sweet aroma with elements of malt, smoke and licorice. A nice roasty character rounds out the balance; great.

Taste: roasty, sweet and quite licorice-ey. Rich and delicious.

Mouthfeel: huge body; smooth, creamy and fantastic.

Overall: a wonderful imperial stout. Absolutely worth a try.

Apr 28, 2016
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stevoj from Idaho

3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sampled at Boise’s Imperial Stout get together, over 120 bottles to choose from. Going with the flow on this rating. This was one of my contributions to the event.

Jan 14, 2016
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KFBR392 from Illinois

4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 11/7/13

Appearance: pours with a medium bodied thickness. Sits black in the glass. Halfback finger of off white head nicely poured on the pour then dissipated to the edges of the glass. No active carbonation in glass while drinking.

Smell: black licorice and mossy hops greet the drinker. Light roasted coffee with some sweeter malt notes. Caramel and molasses round out the back end.

Taste: oak and black licorice mesh well on the front. Toffee, molasses, with a lighter yet still roasted malt body. Hop presence is subtle yet adds a rustic earthiness. The finish is a lingering licorice sweetness.

Mouthfeel: sticky sweetness with subtle roasted malt dryness.

Overall: an excellent imperial stout from Tenaya. Wasn't too impressed with their IPA but this made up for it. Buy a few and sit on them!

Jun 24, 2014
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz tarnished gold wax capped bottle. What, no hot chick depicted on this particular label for this brewery?

This beer pours a solid, light-destroying black, with the barest of basal cola highlights, and two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and yet somewhat creamy light brown head, which leaves some awkward Swiss cheese lace around the glass as it slowly and evenly recedes.

It smells of roasted caramel malt, mild toffee notes, bittersweet chocolate, day-old coffee, muddled dark fruit, earthy and leafy hops, and a touch of warming alcohol. The taste is big chocolate and caramel malt, dry toffee, well-creamed coffee, prunes, plums and a fig/date adjacent fruitiness, a hint of black licorice, earthy, weedy hops, and more simmering, generally innocuous booze.

The carbonation is soft and fairly cuddly, the body medium-heavy in weight, generally smooth, with just a tinge of ashy residue, and more or less creamy. It finishes on the sweet side, the chocolate, caramel, and toffee barely tempered by the equally lingering drying coffee, weak hops, and sidling alcohol notes.

A pleasant big-ass Imperial stout, the cocoa and other sweetened components not let free to run rampant, but rather integrated with the multifaceted drying essences. All to the end game of a drinkable, and duly warming sipper, something more than capable of salving the heat and judgement after the fact of spicy Chinese food and in-law get-togethers.

Dec 22, 2013
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wordemupg from Canada (AB)

4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650ml gold waxed bomber poured into tulip 10/12/13

A black right out of the bottle with a solid two finger mocha head that slowly falls leaving partial rings deep down the glass

S loads of plum, heavy on the char, some coffee, bakers chocolate, raisin and prunes, I get some honey with just a hint of citrus

T even more char then the nose, burnt espresso, still lots of dark fruit, some more char and she just tastes dark all-around

M medium full, soft carbonation, bitter, with dark chocolate and char lingering on the finish for ages

O fruity and charred, ultra dark roast and that suits me fine, no booze at any point, I mean zero liquor

at 7$ this ones a bargain, drinks great fresh with very well concealed booze, if you don't mind the burnt malt this one will work well for ya

Dec 11, 2013
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mjohnson17 from Illinois

3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

White Wax: 2012 batch, bottled 12/12/12
Poured into a BCBS snifter

A: Pours a near opaque jet black with a nice finger length of knaki head.

S: A very faint dry roast nose. There really isn't much nose on this beer. A bit of a disappointment after the beautiful appearance on the pour.

T: Dry, roasted malt. Dark chocolate. Lots of bitterness. A hint of caramel. This is exactly what I expect from a stout out of Nevada, super dry and bitter like the desert.

M: Well carbonated for a imperial stout. A nice full mouthfeel washing over the pallet with a dry, sticky coating.

O: A solid stout. Prior to azdback sending this bottle to me I had never heard of Tenaya Creek. So I had no preconceived notions of the brewery and the beer. I was surprised and happy with the result. This beer isn't mind-blowing, but it's a solid beer true to the style and pretty impressive from Las Vegas, an area not particular known for this style. I enjoy this beer because it fits with what I would think would be a Nevada Imperial Stout. Very dry and roasty, like the desert.

May 22, 2013
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mactrail from Washington

4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a big, foamy brew with piles of carbonation. Big head and a sudsy mouthful. Dark brown color in the Duvel glass. Aromas of grainy malt and caramel.

Rich and spicy with a big, deep flavor. What is appealing about this one is the less sweet character with the nutty, edgy taste. Full malt flavor with a dark roasted taste, but more nutty than sweet. This has a grainy flavor that is more like really good bread with a touch of the burnt sugar. Some licorice taste and a hot sensation of alcohol. Not totally dry, but a great balance of malty sweetness with some hoppy bitterness.

The best of the several Tenaya Creek brews I've had and one worth seeking out. A great example of an American-style big stout. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Whole Foods in Chandler. My only criticism: lose the wax dip, dudes.

Apr 19, 2013
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rangerman21 from Nevada

4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber dated 12/12/12

Appearance- Dark, light has a hard time finding its way through the beer. The head is light brown.

Smell- Dark malts and a slight hint of booze.

Taste- Dark malts with a bitter hop finish. Bitter throughout, booze not overpowering

Mouthfeel- Chewy and smooth. Slightly more carbonated than some other Imperial stouts I've tried.

Overall- A robust brew that looks, smells and tastes like I would want an imperial stout to taste. The booze is not overpowering in the flavor, which is nice. I would definitely get this beer again.

Apr 18, 2013
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superspak from Ohio

4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 12/14/2011. Pours pitch black color with a nice 1 finger dense khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, toffee, coffee, biscuit, nuttiness, toast, and light dark fruitiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance, strength, and complexity of roasted flavors. Taste of dark chocolate, espresso, cocoa, roasted malt, caramel, toast, nuttiness, toffee, brown sugar, roasted coffee, and slight dark fruits. Fair amount of coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, espresso, roasted malt, caramel, toffee, toast, nuttiness, coffee, and slight dark fruits on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic flavor balance, complexity, and robustness; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent imperial stout. Excellent balance and robustness of roasted and dark malty flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

Jan 25, 2013
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ONUMello from Ohio

3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I realize wax looks nice, but it made the crown cap quite difficult to remove... anyway...
22oz bottle with a 'bottled on' date of 12/14/11 poured into a pint glass
A: This is almost pitch black in color with a latte-colored one-fingered head
S: Coffee, roasted malt and some cocoa; quite muted
T: Again tons of coffee, roasted malts, some bitter cocoa, and I agree with the burnt toast finish
M: Medium-bodied, fairly smooth, a pleasant bitterness
O: I'm going to have to keep my eye out for more from Tenaya Creek as both of the beers I've had from them have been enjoyable, this is no exception.

Jan 06, 2013
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Panny for sharing this one at Benny’s tasting.

Bottled 12/14/11.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and dark fruits. Taste is much the same with a medium roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and quite smooth.

Sep 11, 2012
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brokensail from California

3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color with a thin tan head. Roasted malts rule the aroma. Coffee, dark chocolate, and mild ash along with some cocoa powder and a hint of molasses to provide some sweetness. The flavor is also heavily roasted. Light ash, plenty of coffee, and a touch of licorice. Lots of bitter dark chocolate, light molasses and toffee sweetness. A touch of burnt toast and bitterness on the finish.

Aug 13, 2012
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tobelerone from New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought back in luggage from a trip to Las Vegas (and Utah). Wax sealed bottle from December 2011. Good looking stout looks black and thick in the pour and the glass; rocky tan head has good retention and the lacing is also strong. Aroma is roasty, almost charred, with lots of black coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and anise.

Taste is quite bitter and roasty, finish is somewhat dry, feels lacking in overall sweetness to counter the bitter charred note a bit. Again there is a black coffee flavor, with the chocolate/cocoa aroma not manifesting itself so much in the taste. Hints of anise, piney hops, boozy warmth.

A little too thin bodied for my taste, with medium carbonation. Again a little dry and overall not bad but not a standout or a beer that I felt had particularly exceptional flavor or richness for an imperial stout.

May 31, 2012
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mattcrill from Ohio

4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Aroma: Lovely dark roasted malt notes up front. Earthy and peppery hop notes that marry well with the dark roasted grain character. A bit smokey but understated.

Appearance: Jet black with a pancake batter-like head. Head retention is good and appears still in the glass.

Flavor: Follows the aroma. Big malt character with lots of dry cocoa powder and burnt creamed coffee notes. Espresso rounds out the flavor and it's balanced off by some earthy firm hop bitterness and lingering caramel notes. Balance is nearly even giving a slight edge to the bitter hop and dark grain flavors. Finish is clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Slightly creamy and a little bit of an acrid bite. Not unpleasant or unexpected. Just gives it a little character.

Overall impression: Wow! I'm impressed. This is a new one for me and I'm glad to see it in Central OH. Nicely done. A nice treat on a hot Memorial Day weekend.

May 27, 2012
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Bung from Michigan

3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. Picked up in Columbus OH. Not a terribly dark black pour, quite a bit of brown. Light tan head, thin layer that lasted well.

Aroma, roast malt anise, dark chocolate. Some pine bitterness.

Taste, Good roast malt and black licorice/anise. More coffee here. The piney herbal hop bitterness kicks in the end. Just needs a little more malt backbone.

Lighter body, maybe a tad thinner, but a nice creamy quality to it. Alcohol is pretty hidden and drinks well. Just a bit more bitter than I prefer.
Reminds me a bit of the Smuttynose RIS, but a tad thinner.

Mar 31, 2012
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scottfrie from California

4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into Portsmouth snifter. Bottled 12/26/2011. Thanks Rizalini!

A: Pours damn near black with a large, thick, and dense light mocha colored head that slowly faded into a great frothy film leaving sticky rings of thin lace down the glass.
S: Very roasted nose with notes of chocolate, peat, roasted wood and a bit of earthy hops and fresh coffee. Smells great!
T: Extremely thick and rich flavors of dark chocolate, earthy peat, roasted malts, and a hint of espresso. The finish has a great dark chocolate bitterness, and the finish is pretty smoky. Strong and bitter.
M: Full body, very thick and heavy mouthfeel, with smooth carbonation. Nice and chewy.
O: A very good and easy to drink stout. Alcohol is hidden well, and the smoky flavors are delicious and interesting enough. Nothing too crazy but extremely delicious all around. Thanks Bryin!

Mar 10, 2012
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schwaeh from Ohio

3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a moderately priced, waxed bottle, dated 12/14/11.

A: Pours dark brown, porter-esque. Presents as black inside my snifter with a dense khaki head. Carbonation looks to be a strong suit. I still say it's kinda light for a stout.

S: This smells pretty nice, not too bold but it has a nice malt profile. Roasted/chocolate/coffee malt are really all that's in the mix, all in a fairly even amount. Smells like it will be a smooth drinker-real mellow and not ashy or burnt. I would liken it to a bigger version of Edmund Fitzgerald in the aroma department.

T: Wow coffee bitterness really shines here, this could have/ could almost be considered a coffee stout. Roasted malt is big along with a forceful amount of chocolate malts. I think this malt ratio is a real winner, especially for a brewery that seems pretty new. Bitterness gets to be a touch high, I get some piney hops and roast that really ride along with the bitter coffee; This hurts drinkability slightly.

M: Creamy and smooth with a higher level of bitterness. Carbonation is moderate.

O: I enjoyed this one, for the price it is a solid contender. This really is a middle of the road beer in a tough category, surely to get lost in the fold. Pretty smooth and flavorful without being over-the-top at all.

Mar 08, 2012
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nrbw23 from Ohio

3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a black color with a nice brown head. Head has pretty good retention and leaves some nice layered lacing.

S- Smell is quite a bit of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee and a touch of dark fruit.

T- Taste follows the nose pretty well. Almost like a bakers chocolate, dry and a touch of bitter. A good amount of char here and fairly light coffee.

M- Medium in body and fairly light in carbonation.

O- Not my favorite by any means, but cheap and easy to drink.

Feb 09, 2012
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bluejacket74 from Ohio

3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce waxed topped bottle, bottled on date of 12/14/11. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a half inch tan head that stays around a while. There's also a good amount of lacing left on the glass. The brew smells like bittersweet and milk chocolate, roasted malt, coffee and a little bit of berries. The taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like bittersweet and milk chocolate, roasted and burnt/charred malt, coffee, and some hops. There's a lingering roasty bitter finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and coating, and it's also well carbonated. It's a decent enough brew, but I don't think it stands out compared to other imperial stouts. With that being said, I still think it's worth trying. $6.99 a bottle.

Jan 21, 2012
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Rizalini from Nevada

3.41/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a blue waxed top bomber into my Deschutes tulip glass...

A - Pours pretty much black with a creamy off-white head. Nice lacing as it slowly fades.

S - Roasty aroma, almost chocolatey.

T/M - Good malty backbone, and a bit of heat. The taste isn't all that complex, but tasty none the less. Tongue-coating mouthfeel, good carbonation.

O - A good example of an imperial stout. No bells and whistles, just a good stout. A little heat from the alcohol, but it was just bottled about a week ago.

Dec 30, 2011
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JDV from Texas

3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Rich black pour with a creamy beige head from the nitro pour. Smell is dark roasty malt. Actually has some body to it! Although it could be richer, it was overly thin, and had a nice roasty coffee flavor to it. Hint of alcohol, however that didn't help, but didn't kill it either. Some bitterness in the finish and all around their best beer that I've tried. Worth a try.

Mar 15, 2008
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charlzm from California

3.22/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed on draft at brewery, 12/30/07.

Very dark brown with a thin ring of foam. Oddly, no aroma I could detect, though it was in a taster glass. Creamy mouthfeel. Bitter, roasted chocolate and smooth coffee. No alcohol burn or taste. Lightly bitter finish.

Not as big as I expected from an imperial stout, but certainly not bad at all.

Mar 06, 2008
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bunnyhustle from Michigan

4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a growler on my initial visit here which including a great tour of the brewery by head brewmaster, Anthony. Decided to take home this beast and give it a shot as the sample impressed me. Pours black and thick, dark brown edging but even when held to light, the beers stops it all, this is a dark beer. Small, mocha colored head with somewhat weak retention. Smell was a little weak at first but as it warms you notice some chocolate, dark fruit, caramel, and alcohol. Taste is good. Its pretty much what you'd expect from an Impy Stout but seemed to be a heavier coffee like taste, dark toasted malt and chocolate present as well. Nice warming effect as it goes down and leaves a plesant dark chocolate after taste. Mouthfeel is full and thick, great example for this style. Overall a very good beer. Its got some kick to it but a great slow-sipper and enjoy at warmer temps to get everything out of this one.

Jan 09, 2008
Imperial Stout from Tenaya Creek Brewery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 86 ratings