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Black Cauldron Imperial Stout | Grand Teton Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
88
very good
326 Reviews
Black Cauldron Imperial StoutBlack Cauldron Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Grand Teton Brewing Co.
Idaho, United States
grandtetonbrewing.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-23-2006

BEER STATS
Reviews:
326
Ratings:
604
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
15.05%
 
 
Wants:
36
Gots:
60
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 326 | Ratings: 604
Photo of samie85
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a very pitch black with dark, mocha-color head.

S-Dark chocolate and roasted notes with earthy hops and licorice.

T-Sweet chocolate and slightly sour, roasted notes with not enough bitterness.

M-Medium bodied with low carbonation and a slick feel.

D-Pretty easy and drinkable stout but not quite complex enough for my taste.

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Photo of MisterNic
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, bottled on 10/23/2012

A - Pours dark, opaque black with a 1 finger dark brown head that dissipates quickly.

S - Nice roasted coffee and sweet milk chocolate aroma.

T - Starts roasty, moves on to sweet chocolate, and finishes with a big dry roasty bitter coffee taste. After a couple of sips I noticed a little bit of an alcohol burn in the back of my throat that stuck around for a while.

M - Full bodied, thick and creamy mouthfeel. Finishes dry.

Overall, I would consider this an average Imperial Stout. It's good, but I've had a few other Imperial Stouts that I consider to be much better. It would interesting to see how much better this beer is with a year of age on it to mellow out the alcohol.

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Photo of TheRealBigC
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one was surprising to me in how thin it felt. For an imperial stout, this one had a more noticeable hop character (though not dominant by any means) and there was a slightly smoky profile. Not too strong on the nose, which was a little disappointing as it is one of my favorite components of the imperial stouts. I appreciate that it tastes unlike the other stours I've had, but I don't think it's particularly great, especially when I can only get it in a 750mL bottle.

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Photo of beagle75
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tasting glass.

A: Opaque black color with no head save for a loose ramp of light beige bubbles that tries to climb up the side of the glass. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Mild but roasty, with a fine thread of molasses that adds minor interest. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins off-dry, with soft roasted malt, herbaceous qualities, and a brief hit of smoky and fermented yeast. Acidity is mild into the middle where coffee emerges before a savory quality, also suggestive of smoke, marks the transition into the mild roasty finish. No alcohol is detected.

M: medium to thick viscosity, slightly acidic but balanced on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This stout barely qualifies as imperial at 8% abv, and it shows in how it drinks. It has a slightly apologetic feel to it, which is unexpected from Grand Teton. It is an acceptable stout and does not offend, but it lacks the inspirational flair featured in most of their other recipes.

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Photo of denver10
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours black with a nice deep mocha head. Aroma is roasty with some chocolate and earthy hops. Flavor is bitter chocolate, roasted malt, leather, and bitter earthy hops in the finish, Fuller mouthfeel, somewhat creamy. Overall, a good beer though not really my favorite take on the style.

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Photo of nickd717
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from Whole Foods Los Altos.

The appearance of this beer is black and thick with a small but thick tan head.

The aroma of this one is intense. Lots of molasses, roast, coffee, dark chocolate, and dark fruits. Really a punch in the face.

The flavor is also very intense. Feels bigger than its 8% with roasted malt, molasses, chocolate, prunes and raisins, oak, and whiskey.

The body on this one is very full and the carbonation is on the lower side. Pretty syrupy stuff.

This is a big beer, and a pretty nice imperial stout overall. Sort of a sledgehammer, but your friend tickd717 is a guy who enjoys beers like that quite a bit.

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Photo of u2carew
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz longneck.
A) Pours with a very thin, brown head. Settles quickly leaving hardly any lacing. Opaque body.
S) Chocolate. Bready. Roasted grains.
T) Bitter sweet chocolate. Coffee, roasted grains. Alcohol shines through in the finish with a grainy aftertaste.
M) Full body. Thick, syrup-like.... actually feels more like a port. A bit of an alcohol "burn" in the finish.
D) A decent stout. A bit too sweet upfront along with a syrupy body feel.

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Photo of birchstick
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A - poured like like oil with a nice one-finger head

S - smells of roasted and caramel malts with some toffee and dark chocolates

T - the taste isn't as rich as the nose. Taste of roasted malt/coffee with some figs. There is a nice milk chocolate on the finish. Not uberly complex, but a pretty decent blend of flavors going on here.

M - this is a pretty thin mouthfeel - a lot thinner than I would like an imperial stout to be.

D - This was a pretty good imperial stout. It has a really nice appearance and nose, however it all kind of goes downhill after that. It is decently sessionable for a stout in this category. Pretty good beer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.39/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 9/10/10.

Pours a rich dark brown/black color with a 3 inch dark khaki head that fades to a small cap. Nice rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smells of roasted coffee beans, bitter chocolate, and alcohol. Taste is of bitter chocolate up front, with some coffee and alcohol tastes towards the end. The smell and taste of the beer is somewhat unbalanced and non-cohesive. Mouthfeel is slightly flat which further spotlights the clash between the taste and smells. Overall, this is a slightly better than average stout that I have been holding onto for a few months. I thought this one would be somewhat better.

 640 characters

Photo of AronVietti
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into an Imperial Pint glass at 51 degrees.

A - Dark tan head that collapsed quickly with moderate lacing. This beer is an opaque dark, dark brown, no light is getting through even the edges.

S - Chocolate and dark maltiness with a hint of dark stone fruits and the slightest bit of alcohol and hops. The aromas are subdued and I expected it to be a little stronger at this serving temperature.

T - Dark Chocolate, as in 80% Cacoa, heavy toasted notes with some maltiness and a slight bit of bitter herbs that quickly fades.

M - Medium bodied, the finish is long but only consists of bitterness and hops after about a second of sweetnes

D - Not the most drinkable beer I've had. The lingering bitterness on the finish makes a glass about as much as I want at a single sitting. But I would drink it with a group of friends around the fire in small glasses.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up mostly because it was new and at ~$9 a four pack it is much cheaper than the 1L bottles I saw a couple years back. It had the standard appearance of an imperial stout, inky black, dark coffee colored head. Smells was mostly roasty malts, average. The flavor was more of the same heavy roasted maltiness and not much else. This was by no means a bad beer just your average imperial stout.

 404 characters

Photo of bigreduw64
3.34/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of the bottle with a hard pour that produced almost no head, just what I like to see out of an Imperial Stout. It should mean some body to this beer. Taking a whiff from the oversized wine glass I poured it into gives me a smell of dark roast coffee and a little booziness. The taste is something of a mix that I can best describe as white sugar topping a 90% bittersweet chocolate. It has an odd sweetness that tastes thin in the mouth. The body is somewhat thin for an imperial stout, but that helps it in drinkability. If you are looking for an imperial stout to have a couple of in a night this one would work. However, I like a stout that is thick and viscous when I am drinking an imperial stout and this just doesn't live up to that billing.

 759 characters

Photo of WOTO97
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
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

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Photo of steve8robin
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought at my local beer store. I love stouts, so, let's see...

A: Deep liquidy black that has no light shining through. Kind of like a cola. Small mocha head that quickly fades to a small lace atop the brew. Decent.

S: Smells super roasty blended with hints of deep dark chocolate. Slight hints of coffee and oatmeal. Decent.

T: Super watery coffee upfront with heavy roast blended in the middle and some bitter earthiness on the backend. I wish this brew had more sweetness blended in to balance the flavors. Just very roasty and bitter, not much else going on. Nothing special.

M: Thicker than I would have liked. Decent.

D: Goes down ok. A little too roasty for my liking. Decent.

All in all, this brew is nothing special. Don't worry about it. If you like super roasty brews, then this is for you, otherwise, avoid.

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Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours very dark with a very light tan head thats gone instantly.

S - Smell of chocolate, coffee, bourbon, soy sauce, and a little dark cherry.

T - Tastes of bitter chocolate, roasted coffee, and soy. Has a metally finish(very negative) and some tannins.

M - Thin and watery yet heavy because of the tatses with very little carbonation.

D -Very smooth and drinkable but too much coffee for multiple bottles. Glad this is bottled in 12oz'ers.

I think this beer would benefit from aging in barrels. Rum barrel aging would a great change of pace.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out pitch black with a two finger deep head resembling light milk chocolate with intricate array of head bubbles big and small a lacing of cream is painted on...

Mollasses and caramel meet the nose, coffee and roasted malts very present as well

Creamy vanilla and bitter cocoa are first to appear, hops are present and a slight alcohol burn is as well even though I let it warm to practically room temp, it is still not very flavorful... sad because I have three more left

Mouthfeel is silken with a medium to heavy body and a slight chewiness

Overall it is a better than average beer, one I'd recommend, but would not buy again personally

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Photo of woemad
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle purchased at Enoteca in Post Falls about a year ago and forgotten about until now. According to the stamp on the label, this was bottled on October 14, 2010. Hopefully, with an abv of 8%, things will still be tasty.

Poured a viscousy dark brown, almost black color. Decent sized dark tan head hung around for a few minutes before receding to leave spotty lace on the sides of my glass.

The ol’ factory rewards of this beer are sweet, as in mollasses, and a bit boozy. There’s also some bitter, coffeeish notes in the background that are harder to detect.

Modest, sweet mollasses flavor starts off the taste, to soon be joined by some bitter coffee notes to balanced things. This is not a flavor bomb of an Impy stout by any means. There’s a mild, bitter zap to the palate at the swallow. Not nearly as boozy, taste-wise, as I expected from the aroma. Weird.

Somewhat thick, oily and coating in the mouthfeel department, which I suppose is what’s expected.

Meh. This is an okay beer for it’s style, nothing spectacular. However, it is possible it’s a little too old, so at some point, if and when a fresher one becomes available again, I’ll try it again and if neccesary, I’ll re-review it. But for now, it seems to be nothing terribly special in a style that generally is supposed to hold up for the long haul.

 1,343 characters

Photo of Zymurgo
3.27/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Brewer's Haven in Boise.

A - Dark, black, and thick being impenetrable to light. Head was an attractive and rocky dark brown. Color was so dark and thick the brew lingered on the sides of the glass for some time.

S - The weakest part of the brew was the smell. The dark malts and some roasted coffee notes came through. However the pleasant aromas were secondary to a fairly pronounced sour note.

T - Completely inverse to the aroma of the brew, this was a delicious beer. The dark malts matched well with the alcohol content allowing the alcohol bite to only show up at the finish. It portrayed a coffee nuttiness and slightly piney hops flavors. Could of used a little stronger hop profile for the style.

M - Silky and smooth texture with a thickness to the brew that is true to it's hearty appearance.

D - A good beer, I don't think I would pick this one out in a line up of others in it's class. Still, if offered this one I would defiantly take it. Don't look for anything spectacular here and you will be happy.

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Photo of mactrail
3.26/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lovely sudsy appearance with beige head. Spritzy on the tongue. Surprisingly thin body. A sort of cloud of carbonation in the mouth. There just seems to be not much real flavor beneath the black stoutness.

Quite pleasant as a stout, but suspiciously overstrong. Fairly sweet taste with some milk chocolate, but dries quickly to a flattened flavor of soupy darkness. Hops seem to have evaded me in taking notes.

As a regular stout this would be pretty good. But with the apparent addition of EverClear, it's good for a bedtime tipple but not much for savoring.

05-15-2012 - Another tasting, apparently I forgot I had this before. I would not rate it so high this time. such a huge flavor of both raw and burnt grain. Seems stronger than 8%. Burnt pumpernickel toast.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.24/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Another from Boatshoes. I've never had any Grand Teton, Idaho eh?

A- Nice, urgent head that fades slowly. The first ring of lace is like a sponge painting on the side of my glass. The proceeding stickiness is reduced to only a few splotches.

S- Plenty of charred malts with some over caramelized sugar. There is a grainy, pumpernickel bread aroma that builds the bulk of the smell.

T- Bitter dark chocolate, roasted malts, pumpernickel crust and a flash of blackberry.

M- Light bodied for the style with a very dry finish.

D- 8% is down right low in ABV for the style so this one drinks pretty smoothly.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the foiled covered 12 ounce bottle into a nice tulip glass. Pitch black, with a little bit of medium tan head. Aromas of roasted malt, raisins, plums and maybe a hint of liquid smoke. Flavors of dark chocolate, raisins and coffee. A very affordable imperial stout, but not necessarily a very good one.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle dated 1/4/11, poured into a Duvel tulip. A thin but fairly dense and creamy dark tan head tops the dark body. Scattered patches of sticky lacing.

Plenty of roast and chocolate in the nose, plus a bit of cherry fruitiness. Smooth blend of roast and chocolate flavors. Quite a bit of chocolate, actually. Lots of berry and cherry fruitiness. The lingering bit of smoke is a nice touch. Could perhaps use some more burnt malt or bitterness, but it's a tasty and approachable big stout.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured a dark brown, nearly black with good carbonation

S: Big roastiness, notes of light espresso and cocoa

T: A mild chocolate upfront,creaminess a weird mix of smokae and roastiness, little alcohol burn and hints of espresso throughout

M: Big body, no carbonation issues but the taste falls a little flat on the palate

O: This beer missed the mark on the style. The feel and flavor leaned more toward an Imperial Porter than Imperial Stout

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.16/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a dark brown/black with a soft tan head, nice notes of lace.

S: On the first smell I got a lot of what smelled like isoproponal, but I'm sure it was the ethanol. Some black malt and charcoal, but very light. Very boozy on the nose, like a spirit not a beer.

T: Here we go. Nice dark baker's chocolate and roasted malt. Very light coffee flavours. Solid taste.

M: Very thin for the style, this is an RIS, felt like a regular stout.

D: This beer is OK, but with all the classic great RIS's out there, this is going to get lost in the shuffle, it's from another time.

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Photo of tigg924
3.08/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: black in color, minimal head, clear, moderate carbonation

Smell: chocolate and roasted malt

Taste: roasted malt, sugar, and chocolate

Mouthfeel: sweet, medium bodied, light carbonation

Drinkability: An above average imperial stout where the alcohol is well hidden. Not a bad beer, but nothing I will rush out for.

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Black Cauldron Imperial Stout from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
3.92 out of 5 based on 604 ratings.
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