Bale Breaker Brewing Company

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,187
Ranked #6,735
4.15 | pDev: 7.71%
Bale Breaker Brewing Company
Washington, United States
Notes: Who says Bale Breaker only does hoppy? Boasting notes of freshly-brewed espresso and rich chocolate, Dormancy Imperial Stout was conditioned on locally-roasted coffee beans from Yakima's Lincoln Avenue Coffee Co. As winter settles in to the Pacific Northwest and the hop fields surrounding our brewery lay dormant, this beer was crafted to remind us that good things can still happen in the off-season for hops.

55 IBU
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 42 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

excellent coffee stout here, i love the name and the concept, and indeed this is quite apart from what i know and love bale breaker for, but its killer liquid. deep and dark and matte in the pint glass, a short light brown head from the tap, foamy and with good retention. smells darkly roasted without much sweeter middle malts, so pretty bitter, earthy, wintery, sturdy, and bold. the coffee is just one part of the equation, its obviously there in the nose but not too intense or anything, warming and with some chocolate alongside it. the flavor is awesome, maybe some oats or raw wheat or something in here, its uniquely earthy and round without having any caramelized character. the coffee has a touch of sweet to it, some cocoa, and a nice deep roast as well, but nothing burnt, acrid, or smokey. this is good and dry to finish, slight peppery character with the coffee late, and a nice smoothness in the texture. its very much a cold weather beer for me, and distinct from the crowd. the quality here is as good as anything ive had from them too. turns out bale breaker is much more than a one trick pony with the hoppy stuff, this is lights out!

 1,154 characters

Photo of strohme2
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 ounce can dated Jan2919. Poured into a tulip glass.
I’d say it’s as close to black as you can get. Fluffy latte cap of foam, some lacing.
First whiff is heavy roast coffee, in fact it’s all coffee. Like strong espresso coffee.
Tastes is, you guessed it, Coffee first and foremost, rich chocolate, medium roast. This is a wonderful one dimensional beer. No bitterness or acridity from the coffee. This isn’t diner coffee, definitely a higher level of coffee you’d pay a premium for.
Grainy and on the thinner side, a slight knock from me.
If you’re a coffee fan, this is awesome. I am and I like it a lot.

 625 characters

Photo of MacMalt
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Received from @woemad in a BIF box. Canned on 1/29/2019 and poured into a Bale Brewing ARC shaped beer glass. It pours a deep, rich walnut color approaching black with a full finger of creamy, medium-khaki head and a soapy sheen of lacing inside the glass. On the nose there is roasted malt, brewed coffee, nuts, and a whiff of vanilla. The taste is roasty and bitter with burnt espresso, earthy char, and roasted nuts. As the glass warms I notice a hint of vanilla but it doesn't come close to balancing the bitterness (50 IBU). There is a bit of astringency at the finish. To me it drinks a little thin for an Imperial Stout but the carbonation is pleasant. One nice attribute is that, at 6.8% ABV, it's not too heavy - particularly in the 12 oz. format. Overall, Dormancy is a well-crafted coffee-forward Stout. It's bitter for sure but not distractingly so. It's hearty enough to pair with a burger or steak but lite enough for casual drinking. A very nice offering!

 978 characters

Photo of kemoarps
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can from 1.29.19
Pours a beautiful obsidian with a big ol' chunky pillow top of brown the colour of the name of the beer.

Nose is mostly bitter black coffee. Some nuttiness and roast to it as well.

Roasty body with a faint veneer of fudge over a heart of roasty malts and coffee.

Big roasty body with a creamy sweet element to it that never fully materializes. Good carbonation though a touch thinner than my personal preference, but by no means thin per se. Yadda da? Whatever. It's good. Solid. Nothing groundbreaking, but finely crafted and quite enjoyable.

 566 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Canned 3rd December.

Black with a brown head with good retention and lacing, this looks solid. The nose is nice with lots of coffee, roast and dark grain. Cocoa and a little dried fruit is also present. The coffee is fruity and almost a medium roast with dried berries and a hint of vanilla. The palate opens with a nice creamy coffee note, with a blend of cocoa, dark fruit, a moderate bitterness and a touch of cigarette smoke. The mid palate is creamy with malted milk, coffee, and roasted grain. Medium light in body and softly carbonated, this finishes dry, mildly bitter and with a great coffee note. Very nice.

 622 characters

Photo of rarigney
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is very dark brown with a generous, creamy, tan head that has good retention and lacing. Aroma is coffee forward with some dark chocolate notes. Flavor is dark roasted malt, coffee and dark chocolate. Medium bodied and creamy smooth with moderate bitterness.

 269 characters

Photo of MeanJoe
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured out of a 12oz can into a pint glass. Pours a very dark brown, nearly black with a thin 1 finger head that disapated pretty quickly. Smells of coffee and dark chocolate dominate with some toasty malts. Taste follows the nose, heavily coffee forward. A very good beer, but I think the coffee dominates a little more than I prefer.

 335 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, with little light transmission in the glass and a half finger dark khaki head with great retention and nice lacy lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, coffee, nuts and a little cocoa. Flavor is dark toasted malt with light char, quality coffee, dark chocolate, faintly nutty. Medium bodied with light creaminess. One of the more coffee forward stouts I've had and fortunately, the coffee flavors are bright, high quality and fresh tasting. Light cocoa and nut notes add to the character. I had this in the evening, but it really does taste like a morning wake-me-up. Hope I can sleep tonight. Bale Breaker is known for hoppy beers, but this shows they know their chops for the dark side too.

 761 characters

Photo of CanConPhilly
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - 3-finger dense hazelnut head atop a cola-black body.

S - coffee, chocolate, peanut butter, molasses.

T - well-brewed coffee with a shot of caramel syrup. Semi-sweet baker’s chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla, roast. Moderate-low bitterness. Low sweetness. Low booziness.

F - medium-full, creamy body with average carb.

O - aggressive flavors keep my attention here.

 374 characters

Photo of NickSMpls
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Rich, almost black pour. Opaque. Light head, fading quickly. Aromas of toffe, coffee and caramel. Nice tasting ale, not as heavy as some. Notes of dark rye bread, coffee and a good dose of hops. We've had a number of their IPAs so,this is a nice change for us. A good ale for a rainy night. We differ on the style. Should be just a regular stout. It's good but not anywhere close to a KBS.

 400 characters

Photo of SkylerMcDonald
3.47/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Super dark appearance, even with light it is still pitch black. Smell is super black coffee. Taste is same as smell, huge coffee flavor with a faint chocolate taste. Overall great breakfast stout for coffee lovers.

 214 characters

Photo of Radcpa
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

What a great coffee stout. Very dark appearance with significant tan head that dissipates quickly. Strong coffee aroma. Strong smooth coffee taste that is very pleasant.

 172 characters

Photo of mintzmeet
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smells like a cup of hot coffee with a little chocolate aroma. Tastes just like it smells, which is great. Nice lacing. Great mouthfeel with texture that lingers on the tongue. Man this is good.

 194 characters

Photo of Sound_Explorer
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The draft I had was at 7.7 ABV so rated accordingly. Classic dark brown/black color and very coffee heavy aroma to it. Taste is a little small for and Imperial Stout so I did knock it but still a great classic palate. Finishes very clean with little linger. Very good stout for sure but wouldn't call it an imperial in today's stout realm, maybe an imperial english is more appropriate.

 386 characters

Dormancy from Bale Breaker Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 42 ratings