Black Cauldron Imperial Stout
Grand Teton Brewing Co.

Black Cauldron Imperial StoutBlack Cauldron Imperial Stout
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Style:
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #736
ABV:
9.5%
Score:
89
Ranked #9,500
Avg:
3.95 | pDev: 10.89%
Reviews:
331
Ratings:
625
From:
Grand Teton Brewing Co.
 
Idaho, United States
Avail:
Fall
Wants
  39
Gots
  66
SCORE
89
Very Good
Black Cauldron Imperial StoutBlack Cauldron Imperial Stout
Notes: There are few styles of beer more flavorful than Imperial Stout. Our thick, rich version is brewed with plenty of caramel and roasted malts and subtly spiced with Cascade and Super Galena hops. We accentuate the natural smokiness of the brew by adding a small amount of beechwood-smoked malt. At 22.5 degrees starting gravity and 9.5% alcohol by volume, this beer boasts flavors of chocolate and coffee, along with raisins and dried fruit soaked in sherry.

Black Cauldron is a strong ale best enjoyed in moderation. Try pairing it with full-flavored grilled or roasted meats. Rich desserts like chocolate cake, truffles, fruit tarts, caramel flan or crème brûlée are all excellent matches.

We brew our Black Cauldron Imperial Stout to recognize and honor the women in the history of brewing. Brewing has been women's work since the dawn of civilization. In all ancient cultures, beer was a gift from a goddess, and women maintained status and power through their skills as brewsters. This remains true today in indigenous cultures from Asia to Latin America, Africa to remote villages in Scandinavia. Around the world, women bake bread and brew their own beer.

In Europe, the rise of cities brought commercial brewing, as governments realized the potential tax revenue to be had from large breweries. By 1445, the first all-male brewers' guild was established, the campaign against witchcraft burst forth across Europe, and the purge of women from brewing had begun. Beer historian Alan Eames has written that, when an occupation was listed, most of the women burned for witchcraft in Europe were brewsters or alewives.

Most of the imagery we associate with witchcraft today originated with the brewster. The large black cauldron bubbling over with foam? A brew kettle, of course. The black cat? Necessary to keep rats out of the grain store. The tall pointed hat? It allowed the brewster to be seen over the heads of taller men in the marketplace. A broom? The symbol of household domesticity, it is still associated with brewing all over the world.

Without the work of these women through the ages, it's entirely possible beer would not exist today. To learn more about the role of women in today's brewing industry, visit www.pinkbootssociety.org. For more on the history of brewing, www.grandtetonbrewing.com.

With its dark malts, alcohol and unfermented sugars Black Cauldron is ideal for prolonged cellaring. We’ve enjoyed samples aged as long as nine years.

Original Gravity (Plato): 22.5º
International Bitterness Units: 54
Color (Lovibond): 40.0º
Reviews: 331 | Ratings: 625 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by mechamifune:
Photo of mechamifune
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage

Pours a not quite pitch black with very slight brown head that dissapears pretty quickly. Lacing evident, carbonation about right.

Smell is sweetness, roastiness and dark chocolate. Not overly strong. Nothing wrong per se, just doesn't really hit me that much.

Taste is very strong, great chocolate flavors upfront that give way to a great roasted character. Slightly bitter on the finish, but in a good way.

Moutfeel is very creamy and smooth. I remember drinking this fresh last year and thinking that the body seemed a bit thin, but for whatever reason that seems to have evened out with a year of aging.

Overall this is a great example of an IS. I enjoyed it just as much if not more so than some of the more heralded examples of the style.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another solid effort of an imperial stout. Good and black, not super thick.

Aroma, not my favorite aspect. A little more alcohol whiff than I wanted.

Taste is quite nice, the alcohol is missing thankfully, a little bit of licorice maybe, nuance.

Good mouthfeel, appreciate it more and more throughout, quite drinkable and affordable, especially for an imperial stout.

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Photo of NilocRellim
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer came on tap in a pint glass, exhibiting a low, tan head and a black body. Smelled of sweet malts and chocolate. In addition to the chocolatey-coffee taste, there was a malty smokiness as well which lingered on the tongue, along with a slight earthiness.

Would I buy this beer again? Yes.

 298 characters

Photo of cokes
4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours absolute black. No glints around the edges. Just jet fucking ink black. A mocha rise spews upwards for a minute or two then slides down the sides of glass leaving rings of laces.
The nose is every bit as dark. Equal parts liquorice, prune, campfire smoke, barbequed meat, cigar ash, and baker's chocolate. Then add a strong winey alcohol presence and bits of vanilla.
The mouth delivers oily smokiness, both via burned leaves and pork fat. The drippings soak in espresso. Cocoa and caramel and buttery bread pop up for sweetness, then it migrates- still full of ember and ash- toward prune. It gathers a vinous bit of alcoholic temper. And a offsetting green clorophyll hoppiness. The smoke lingers long after the sip, with wavering, shimmering colors, not simply burnt black.
Clingy and dripping medium full bodied. Carbonation is minimal, but adds a bit of levity. This almost begs to drink like tar, and when it doesn't, it seems a bit thin.
I absolutely love this. A big truly rauchy stout. This is for smoked beer fans first and Imperial Stout fans second. As a fan of both (in that order), I'm in love.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

(Insert seemingly necessary MacBeth quote here.) This brew pours a deep pitch topped by a minor bit o' light tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, light peat smoke, chocolate, and molasses. The taste follows closely, with the roast really dominating something fierce. A hint of oaky whiskey weaves its way in as well. The body is a firmly hefty medium, with a slightly biting light moderate carbonation and a lightly chewy feel. Overall, were it not for the unexpected carbonation bite, which sends a small shockwave of bitter roastedness across the tongue, this would be a damn fine stout.

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Photo of ACarrell
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Excellent find by a friend.

Smell was a bit hoppier than I'd like, but the taste compensated for that quite well. Surprisingly it didn't have any overwhelming hops despite the first impression upon opening.

Really builds into a more and more solid beer as you drink more of it.

Would definitely buy again!

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Photo of BeerManDan
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a thick, very dark brown, with a tan head that dispated in seconds. The smell of coffee and roasted malts was evident. The taste was of deep roasted malts, dark roasted coffee and semi-sweet chocolate. And, don't forget the alcohol either. Nicley balanced, another winner from Grand Teton Brewing!

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Photo of chumba526
4.53/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

It pours like coffee: pitch black with a thin hardly noticeable ring of brown foam and no sign of carbonation. The smell has hues of Carmel, smokiness, toffee. The taste is smooth; it has a nice but not overbearing Smokey presence, a slight sweetness and even a slight presence of hop bitterness. The flavor combination is amazing, the flavors blend so well with each other. It's well balanced, but still exciting to the taste buds. The low carbonation of the stout lets the flavors of the beer blend particularly nicely. An excellent Imperial stout one of the best I have had.

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Photo of Zonian1
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of yemenmocha
4.04/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Disappointing appearance - virtually no head whatsoever, just a thin tan rim layer. Nose is fantastic though with coffee, roasted malts, and a hint of vanilla or perhaps coconut. On the palate those very flavors come through, especially the coffee and roasty flavors. Body seems a bit thin though for an Imperial stout, though this does enhance the drinkability.

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Photo of dbossman
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black and velvety with a huge, frothy sizzling head--good retention; lacing is good considering the style

S: Lots of chocolate, coffee, and roasted--almost charred--malts; some pine, floral, and citrus hops dance around the edges of the aroma; there is also a faint smokey quality; this really is a damn good smelling beer

T: Roasted malts up front with a nice balance of sweet chocolates and dark fruits and bitter coffee; there is still a subtle pine and citrus hop presence; this is grainy yet malty; sweet yet bitter; creamy yet dry--such a delicious paradox; but some of the dark fruits and charred malts win out in the end hurting the balance just a bit

F: Perfect thickness with a pleasant creamy quality and yet the beer still manages to be sticky with just the right amount of texture clinging to the mouth

O: This is a damn good Imperial stout; I am continually impressed with the folks at Grand Teton--a really, really nice stout, guys!

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Photo of RochefortChris
4.67/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of edchicma
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, dark chocolate, bordering on black. Smell is sweet malt...great roasted notes...espresso presence. Taste mirrors the smell, especially the great roasted qualities. Mouthfeel is great..initial creaminess, with a dry roasty finish. This is a very, very drinkable beer for such a high abv. Could be dangerously easy on quaffability!

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Photo of Juggernaut929
3.56/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was quite good, I bought a few extra bottles a put them away for a year or so, This is the 2nd beer I've drank of this, and the one I'm reviewing.

Appearance - Black, completely dark, with a thin line of head that disappears after a few minutes. Carbonation seems low but appropriate to the style IMO.

Smell - My bad sense of smell says that this is an imperial stout. ;P Which smells good.

Taste/Drinkability - This beer slides down your throat as a thick sauce of awesomeness. It has some darker fruit notes, maybe raisin or cherry, with a nice chocolate flavor coming across. I was rather pleased by this. I found it to be lighter than some imperial stouts, kind of a middle ground, where its still drinkable, I feel i could drink a few of them. Very light hop flavor coming across, and a nice finish and after flavor, begging another sip.

Finish/Overall Impression- I was impressed by this, like I said put a few bottles away for aging, I found the alcohol bite was a bit high, but I think a little waiting will cure that, not that its a bad thing. The price for this was very reasonable too, i think I spent a little under $3 per bottle, and I really like the label. Overall nice work to the brewers on this one.

Cheers

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Photo of ZenBiscuits
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of WanderingFool
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of WOTO97
3.3/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: a deep, rich mahogany with a quickly dissolving head and fine speckled lacing

S: big roasted malt with faint menthol, bold (slightly burned) coffee note, slight vanilla and alcohol as well, a nut character emerges as beer warms

T: roasted malt is extremely pronounced here (not so much overpowering as the other flavor profiles are so nominally present), slight pepper from alcohol, crusty bread finish, very nominal coffee, slight sweet black licorice

M: thick finish with relatively creamy texture throughout

D: improves as it approaches room temp but all-too-close to a one-note impy stout--roasted malt is very much in the forefront

 643 characters

Photo of DreamsOfMarshallWharf
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Bitterbill
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz sampler bottle a pitch black with a small tannish head of foam that quickly shrunk to a very fine layer.

The smell has notes of roasted malt and chocolate.

The taste is roasted malt with plenty of chocolate, coffee and some vanilla and I sense a wee bit of anise along with a bit of smokiness.. and it has good hop bitterness in there as well to make for a pretty smooth and balanced, all be it, complex RIS. In fact, it's a pretty easy drinking sample of the style and I look forward to further samples. ;^)

Bottom line: If you see this one around, by all means try it! Good stuff!

Edit:

The 2007 vintage just hit the shelf(only 1 store here carries it at the moment) and tastewise, it's very similar to what I described above with the exception of, this time around, I can taste some notes of sherry...just like they say on their attached card but...I can't detect any roasted malt at all. It's still yummy. The foam also seems to be lasting longer, all the way to the final sip, in fact. The mouthfeel *is* a bit thin for the style but it's so darn drinkable that I can't fault it too much. With my edit, I've adjusted my numbers just a tad. Appearance went from 4.0 to 4.5 and taste went from 4.5 to 4 because I *really* like that roasted malt flavour in samples of this style.

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours minimal head on a black body.
The aroma is all the good things: coffee, milk, chocolate, licorice and a touch of smoke.
The taste is pleasantly easy. Roasted malt and caramel sweetness, a little coffee bitter.
The texture is thicker and silky.
Really enjoyable.

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Photo of jklecko2
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of far333
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brownish black and opaque with a low light brown head that rises up very minimally, and then settles out right away.

Aroma of roasty malt and floral hops, some subtle cocoa. Flavors of darkly roasted malt, assertive bitter espresso notes, dark chocolate, notes of floral hops. A bit ashy and acrid. Some winey port notes.

Mouthfeel is a bit slick and watery, would like more body. Not very full. Finishes tingly and a bit warming, a bit dry. Overall not a bad beer, fairly tasty, but could use more depth and body.

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Photo of Zebus0
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Average really. I was a bit worried because it poured BLACK with little to no head. Bit of a dark tan head. Leaves a bit of ring as you drink it.

S- Very roasted aroma, a lot of coffee/dark roast notes. Very pleasing.

T- Interesting. Doesn't even taste like most Imperials I've had, course it is more of an American one. Smooth start, dark roasted finish, on the bottom end you can really taste the alcohol with a bit of bite. I'm impressed.Hearty malt aftertaste.

M- Pretty smooth for an imperial stout, not the grainy feel they usually have. Interesting mix.

D- Excellent as a stand alone stout. Great for those days you just want to stay inside because of how cold it is. Very drinkable.

 698 characters

Photo of olliegaff
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Black Cauldron Imperial Stout from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 625 ratings