Odin's Raven | Alpine Beer Company

very good
31 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ZX6Chris on 12-20-2010

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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 116
Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.16/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a pitch black with tan head that fades quickly.

The smell is hard to pick up but slight hops and a little coffee.

The taste is overwhelming chocolate. You don't pick up on the high ABV at all but all I really got was chocolate. Also the chocolate wasn't clean and slightly bitter, like bakers chocolate, it was more syrupy and sweet.

Not a bad beer but probably the worst Alpine brew Ive had yet.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.37/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the brewery. Heavy black, short head. Roasty aroma, hint of cocoa powder. Flavor is really roasty, almost smoky. Not bad but I liked the mandarin nectar my girlfriend had even more.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.49/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Kan, drank from a ccb snifter... pours a dark brown body, a touch to light, not much head but the carbonation seems ok... the aroma is roasty, oats, cream, chocolate, peanut butter undertones, not bad... the taste is very roasty, chocolate, creamy, not bad, but just average here

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Photo of pmarlowe
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at O'Brien's. Tall, thin 10oz glass.

A: Pours viscous black, with a half finger of super fluffy head. Nice solid lacing and decent retention.

S: Roasted malt in the forefront, along with sweet milk chocolate.

T: Similar, with a mild coffee bitter aftertaste. There's kind of a sour coffee taste on the finish as well, as if this were a baltic porter. The chocolate and malt don't really integrate, oddly enough.

M: Medium-full body, light carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel, just rolling off your tongue, and a little sticky. Alcohol gives this some body.

O: Pretty good, but not as well integrated as it could be, and a slight off taste as well. I remember enjoying this a lot more last year; it seemed much more chocolatey.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.76/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

64 oz glass growler with twist lid acquired at Alpine four days ago and served into a Samuel Smith's nonical half-pint in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles. Expectations are through the roof given the brewery. Reviewed live.

Served after a substantial warming period following its removal from the refrigerator. The weight of the growler forced me to pour from right above the glass; no side-pouring was possible.

Paired with raclette.

A: Pours a gorgeous four finger head of beautiful rich dark tan colour, fantastic marvelous frothy smooth cream, ideal thickness, and amazing retention given the ABV; the head holds up for at least three minutes. Body colour is a solid jet black; nontransparent and opaque. Lacing isn't great, but it does exist. No bubble show. No visible yeast particles. This is looking damn fine.

Sm: Dark malts, delightfully subtle caramel, cream, subtle coffee with little roast, chocolate malt, and cocoa. A very subtle nuanced aroma, but surprisingly mild in strength. I don't detect any yeast or alcohol. Espresso on the back end. Fleeting hints of dark fruit when I look for it.

T: Coffee throughout, but joined with espresso and a hint of smooth roast in the second half. Chocolatey throughout, but most notably up front - where it's chocolate, chocolate malt, and cocoa powder all at the same time. Not as rich as it could be, but it's certainly well balanced. Great cream up front and on the finish. Caramel undertones. No real dark fruit; if it's there, it's buried - though I might concede that there's a hint of raisin. No alcohol comes through, not at all - an impressive feat at 10%. No yeast notes. Cold pressed coffee is dominant when I first start drinking - and it lends the beer focus without compromising the balance - but as I continue chocolate emerges as the unquestionably dominant note, and the balance starts to fall off somewhat. Subtly executed, but admittedly not quite as complex as other beers in the style. I will say it lacks any heat whatsoever. Drinks like it's about 7% ABV. Dark malts, chocolate malt, and maybe some biscuit malt form the complementary foundation. Has good body. That's tasty.

To be critical, it is a bit too sweet and chocolatey, but it does seem to be mellowing a bit as it warms.

Mf: Surprisingly smooth and wet for the style, aiding the drinkability but perhaps restraining the full potential of the flavours. Near perfect carbonation if slightly low to aid consumption. There's no carbonation sharpness here; it'll glide down nice and easy. Good presence on the palate, if a bit understated. Good thickness. Complements the flavours quite well.

That said, I'd prefer it coarse and dry to really bring out the bold flavours.

Dr: While it's relative lack of complexity prevents it from true greatness, this remains an incredibly solid and drinkable example of the style. ABV is absurdly well hidden. I'll enjoy finishing this growler, and I'd definitely get it again. Another good beer from Alpine. I can't wait to try the bourbon barrel aged version. Fans of the style will enjoy this one, though I don't know that it's worth going out of your way to trade for. One of the most drinkable beers in this style and at this ABV, period.

High B

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.79/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the pub – half pint

Out of retirment...

A: Black coffee look in the frosty glass. Has some burnt brown tones to it but still completely impervious to any light. Thin layer of turbinado sugar on top that settles out rapidly to a small swirl. Light dots of lace are left behind.

S: Aromas bring forth some intense roasted barley notes with lightly toasted coffee bean. There are soft undercurrents of sweetened cocoa accompanied with a mild whiff of alcohol. Smells nice and roasty.

T: Significant roasted barley flavors of charcoal and coffee. It is very roasty and a touch harsh or burnt in that way. There is some nice semi sweet chocolate and brown sugar layered in to balance all the roast with a mild hop bitterness there. Stale pines and some earthy minerals. Alcohol is kept in nice order with only some minor heat sensed. Finish is a bit metallic to me. It’s a solid RIS but far from being special.

M: The body is medium full and slightly on the heavy side with more of a slick feeling overall. Not syrupy. There is a touch of drying in the finish and some mild alcohol heat. Nice smooth and slick feel.

D: A nice RIS with some intense roast barley action but falls short of being something great. Could use a little less roast and some further dimensions of dark fruits and chocolate. Need to revisit. Bottles would be nice.

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Photo of Mic-Lee
3.79/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark brown, but not black. Lacing is rather weak.

S: Nice chocolatey smell. Delicate, earthy and warm.

T: Very chocolatey and sweet. Espresso is extremely pronounced as well. Alcohol is well masked. Hardly taste it at all at 11%. Pretty amazing in that regard.

M: Medium body. Goes well with the flavors.

O: This was a tasty stout, but I felt it lacked complexity. I was hoping for more than just espresso and chocolate, but I didn't really get much else. It goes down easy though and is tasty, and those qualities make it an above average beer but nothing stellar.

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Photo of dmsohyea
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at Alpine Brewpub, served in a taster glass.

A - Pitch black with dark brown head. Not many brews have a head this color. Retention is OK and lacing is moderate.

S - Strong chocolate flavor, with some brown sugar and vanilla. Really quite nice and the flavors are very detectable.

T - burnt malt and brown sugar with a huge chocolate and vanilla finish. Some alcohol lingers on the finish but only in a warming way. Not bad at all with the exception of a little false sweetener taste somewhere in the mid palate.

M - Average for the style. Maybe a little more carb and a bit thinner than expected. Still smooth and drinkable, though.

O - a good RIS, but not world class. I may have this again someday.

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Photo of mabermud
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at Alpine Brewing Restaurant.

Thick, off-white, milky head. Aroma of medium roast, lactose, and chocolate. Taste is the same. A bit thin in the mouth. Milky smooth, if that is even a description...

Overall - I have had this a few times, but it's been a year or two since then. A little bit of a let down. A bit like a milk Stout...

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.89/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at tha Spot - Alpine Beer Company.

Dank and nasty (nasty = "good" to you centurions out there). Not Raul's fav, but it had those nice oatmeal and chocolate textures - kinda like when my baby mama made me Quakers and squirted some Hersey on it - I like the sentiment, girl, but you ain't there yet.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

64 oz. growler poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body. Small khaki head.

Smell - Very roasty. Almost smokey. Dark coffee.

Taste - Extremely roasty again. Smokey and kinda burnt, but it isn't bad. Just a bit of sweetness, but it's mostly dark roast.

Mouthfeel - The roastiness is intense. Medium low carbonation. Doesn't drink that heavy, though.

Overall - I'm really enjoying this. Bravo to Alpine for making an imperial stout this roasty.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My last bottle from the release. Happy New Year!

A - Prune black/brown, barely a ring, very spotty lace.

S - Hershey's syrup, chocolate chip cookies, a tad of soy sauce.

T - Nice big sweet toasty malt, bittered without question.

M - Medium to full, good carb, fair balance.

D - Have to say, good stuff, but without looking at my notes, I have a feeling I liked the growler better.

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Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


On tap at O'Brien's

A:  Looks black, but the lighting is quite dim at my table so I can't be sure. The head was the color of dark toffee before it receded. A ring of lacing sticks to the glass.

S: The is quite robust, Imperial, if you will. Dark chocolate is very pronounced, and blackstrap molasses trails close behind. Some booze is noticeable, and malt is pretty roasted and slightly burnt. Somewhere between sweet and dry, with a restrained brown sugar presence. Caramel becomes apparent as the beer approaches room temperature. Hops are earthy with a little pine bobbing up between the persistent waves of chocolate, molasses, and roast.

T: Upper moderate roasted malt profile with green hops and an upper moderate bitterness. Chocolate is dark and strong. Alcohol is noticeable in the flavor, but at an appropriate level for the style. Molasses is evident. The finish is of bitter chocolate with a dash of coffee and some alcohol. The beer reveals a sweet midpalate, but ultimately dries out and is slightly burnt at the end.

M: Full in body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky and creamy with some astringency and alcohol warming.

Overall: A beast of an Imperial Stout. It actually reminds me a little of the 2010 batch of Dark Lord. Not my style, but well crafted. A small glass was sufficient.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Downtown Johnny Brown's
San Diego, CA

Incredibly dark brown bordering on black with a moderately sized dark brown, thick, stiff head atop. Eventually this leaves lines and sheets of lacing down the glass--plenty of stick.

The aroma is rich and filled with stinging bittersweet chocolate, espresso, roast, and a hint of dark fruit. Complete, though I just wished everything in it was even more bold and expressive.

The flavor is certainly expressive and bold enough: lots of chocolate coming in waves of both bitterness and sweetness, roasted malt, hop bitterness, and a hint of dark fruit.

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.

A delicious big stout.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler thanks to Kan. Fitting to be drinking a beer with a reference to Odin as Thor has just come out. Useless trivia, Odin's ravens were named Thought and Memory.

A - Black beer, tan head, little bit of spotting on the sides and a little bit of lace.

S - Roasted notes, chocolate, little bit of char, and some oak. This has a lot of nice things going on that balance together quite well. More on the roasty side, which I greatly like.

T - Great roasted notes with some chocolate that doesn't get too sweet. Taste is not as complex as the nose, but is quite good.

M - Moderate carbonation, medium bodied.

O - Really good beer that is quite easy to get down at 10%. Would love to drink this regularly.

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Photo of jsanford
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Toronado San Diego.

A - Dark black with a creamy mocha head that leaves tons of lacing as it recedes. Quite pretty.
S - Very dark roasted malt, vanilla, caramel, oak, and bourbon, with a very slight smoky quality to it.
T - Very "roasty", with tons of dark malt, molasses, oak, vanilla, and bourbon with just the faintest soy sauce flavor in the finish. Despite that, a very nice BA Stout.
M - Smooth and creamy, with a medium-full body and medium carbonation.
O - Nice and roasty, the Bourbon aging is well done. Nice to try a non-hoppy Alpine beer, clearly they can do no wrong.

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Photo of MatthewPatthew
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer is jet black with a slim head.

S: Pushes the limit of how much Chocolate and Roasted malt aroma I can enjoy without overdoing it. Has a hint of smokiness too.

T: Lots of roasted malt with a smoky flavor that arrives really late. Delicious.

M: Very smooth, little carbonation. Heavy bodied with no hint of the high alcohol content.

D: Dangerously drinkable, you'd never know if was 10%.

Also, this is mis-marked. They call it a Russian Imperial Stout.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pour a pitch black color with a nice foamy brown head. Head had good retention and leaves some nice layered lacing.

S- Quite a bit of chocolate, coffee, charcoal and darker fruits. A bit of green hops, pine and herbal.

T- Follows the nose really well. A bit of smoke, ton of chocolate, darker fruits and a nice amount of hop bitterness.

M- Fuller side of medium in body and nice carbonation.

O- Very impressive beer for sure.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap the day after Churchill's Renaissance at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt and a very nice chocolate chip cookie dough aroma. Taste is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, and slight coffee beans. There is a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good stout but I think it smells better than it tastes. Still solid all around.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes to Kan for sharing this one, my hero! Poured into Cantillon tulip/snifter thingy.

A - Pours black, tan/mocha-colored head, nice thick collar, slight tan whisps on top, spotty lacing.

S - Huge roast, dark chocolate, oak, vanilla, and a slight char. The roast is really nice and is most of the nose, which I very much enjoy. The oak, vanilla, and dark chocolate follow behind, and add a nice level of complexity.

T - Dark chocolate up front, oak, roast, slight malty sweetness. The dark chocolate overtakes the roast on the palate, but everything is still there that I found on the nose. Perhaps a bit more enjoyable on the nose to me. There's a nice oak/slightly bitter finish.

M - Full, rich and smooth, dry creamy finish.

O - Very enjoyable, very solid. Alpine continue to make beer that range from excellent to outfnstanding, and this one falls right into that range. Overall, one of my favorite breweries with yet another solid beer, and a stout, at that! Recommend.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kan for sharing this growler. Served in a HopCat tulip glass.

A - A finger of light mocha foam settles to a thin cap, leaving behind some tiny spots of lace. Black body with a glint of brown transparency at the fringes.

S - Molasses, dark roasted malts, pumpernickel bread, chocolate, earthy hops, some dark fruits, and cereal grains.

T - Taste has more intense smoke and roast character, with copious amounts of semisweet chocolate, and a nice residual char bitterness.

M - Creamy medium-full body. Nice mild carbonation tingle keeps things from getting too heavy. Alcohol is apparently quite well-hidden.

D - This was pretty easy to drink - was a little surprised to see it clocking in at 10%. I went back for more after sampling other beers, and I'd certainly have it again if offered.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.19/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Type: 64-oz. growler
Glass: Karl Strauss 26th Anniversary snifter glass
From: Alpine Beer Company in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $20.69 (I think)
Purchased: March 6, 2015
Consumed: March 6, 2015
Misc.: Brewery had it at 11 pct. ABV, not 10 pct. Like Beer Advocate; I served this a bit too cold

Poured a pitch black color with 1-to-2 fingers of frothy, tan head, which thinned out pretty quickly. Too dark to see any bubbles. Healthy amount of layered, spiderweb lacing. Below average retention. (Sight - 3.75)

Smelled roasted coffee malts, smoky campfire, roasted nuts, dark chocolate, toffee and light bitter crayon. Not unusual for the style, but still very good on the nose. (Smell - 4.00)

Tasted roasty nuts, dirty dark chocolate, roasty coffee malts, smoky fire, toffee, light molasses, caramel, sticky brown sugar, dark cocoa powder and leftover chocolate syrup of a chocolate milk. Definitely doesn’t taste 11 percent. Scary. Grew on me after a few sips. Better than the smell. Really wanted to drop a 4.38, but couldn’t quite pull the trigger. (Taste - 4.25)

Full body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth, warming finish. Very nice. (Feel - 4.50)

This was a very tasty beer. I didn’t look back, but had to be better than the BBA version I had a couple of months ago. This growler though. (Overall - 4.25)

4.19 | 93 | A-

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Photo of badboyrsl84
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black as night with a cappuccino tan head

Smell - nothing special I really don't get anything other than a carbonation smell

Taste - tons of bitter dark chocolate and surprisingly some almond as well. The alcohol is hidden well and it finished with an aftertaste of thick chocolate. As it warms up I get more and more chocolate to this with a stronger presence of alcohol. The aftertaste of chocolate followed me out the pub.

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Photo of rand
4.31/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From tap to pint...actually did this review at Toronado SD January 20th, 2011

A: Pours jet black, coffee head, 2 inch. Lots of retention and lacing 4.5

S: Huge notes of mocha coffee, touch of spice, lots of alcohol volatiles. Smells like alcohol-infused Mochachino.

T. Coffee and molasses up front, followed by vanilla and toffee. Alcohol spices things up as it rolls in, especially as the beer warms. Toasted bread carries things to the finish. Finishes smooth and balanced.

M: Velvety and creamy. Full-bodies and chewy.

N. One of easiest stouts I've had to drink. Smooth mouthfeel makes this completely satisfying.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.31/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice black pour, almost a full inch of tan head. Aroma was a chocolate lover's jam. Dark and sweet.

Taste really ate up the alcohol, tons of chocolate, syrup on full blast. I would say its low end 1st tier chocolate stout or high 2nd tier. Its not complex, its just a massive chocolate shot in a thick stout viscosity wise. Not overly sweet, just drops massive waves of chocolate all over the place. One trick pony, for the better.

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Odin's Raven from Alpine Beer Company
4.07 out of 5 based on 116 ratings.
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