Black Cauldron Imperial Stout | Grand Teton Brewing Co.

very good
609 Ratings
Black Cauldron Imperial StoutBlack Cauldron Imperial Stout

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

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 For more on the history of brewing,

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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 609 |  Reviews: 327
Photo of Hibernator
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black Cauldron Imperial Stout
12 oz brown bottle
Bottled 01/21/10
Served in a Smuttynose tulip glass

Pours a jet black and opaque. Looks like pen ink. Very minimal head on top with little spots of lace.

"Roasty" aroma with whiffs of coffee beans and malts.

The Black Cauldron Imperial Stout is a robust and complex brew. Espresso, brown sugar and dark chocolate flavors. Dark roasted malt flavors with a sugary sweetness. I also detect some dark fruit flavors like prunes.

The ABV % is very well hidden with a baby hop snap on the finish. Very smooth and flavorful. Held up quite well for the past 10 months. Worth checking out.

 634 characters

Photo of sludgegnome
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of AdmiralOzone
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of sansho
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of claytong
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

the price is right on these guys. everything in colorado seems damn expensive but imp stout four pack for 8 bucks, not too shabby especially the way this tastes.

Appearance - controlled pour gives one inch of tan head. opaque, oily, black.

Smell - leather, dark malts, cherry, coffee, smoke, oak or applewood

Taste - repeats, no bitterness, not very sweet either though, a little caramel comes in

Mouthfeel - medium thickness on the verge of being thick

 457 characters

Photo of Eric908
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of taez555
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a pitch black body with a small tan head.

Nose has a fruity choclate and dark malt sort of smell.

Taste is full bodied with an immediate big dark roasted bitter espresso flavor. Dark unsweetened chocolate and an everpresent sour fruit sort of bitter roasted flavor. There's some earth and even licorise sort of hop touches and a good subtle balance of overall bitterness to balance the malt.

Overall a pretty good beer, nothing crazy or in your face, just a good solid IS.

 493 characters

Photo of beer2day
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged one year in the beer fridge.

Dark black pour with 2 full fingers of rich, dark, thick, creamy head. Laces wel.l

Nice mix of dark roast malt, dark roast coffee, rich chocolate malt, and citrus hops. All the flavors are there, just not quite enough of them.

Creamy smooth texture with muted roast coffee and light chocolate flavors. Touches of vanilla under the chocolate. Good hop presence in the finish, even after a year under wraps.

Appropriate body for the style. Creamy.

Overall, very easy to drink. Hides the abv extremely well.

 543 characters

Photo of nuebs
3.08/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of linnymtu
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of hiphopj5
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Blakaeris
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown, almost black with a creamy tan head that leaves sheets of lacing.

Aroma is smokey charred dark grain and espresso.

Taste is similar to the nose. More of the charred dark grain. Espresso and chocolate makes an appearance. Subtle dark fruit sweetness - plum and date. Tobacco hop character comes on surprisingly strong. Finishes with a dry oak and vanilla quality.

Mouthfeel is medium-full.

Overall, a decent stout. No off flavor here. Certainly worth a try.

 485 characters

Photo of carteravebrew
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of doucmehu
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of TonyTalon
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of younger35
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Grabbed a pint of this on tap at Chili’s. I couldn’t believe it either. 5 taps of macros and then this. Awesome! Drank from a 16oz mug.

Appearance- Pours a really dark brown/black with hints of dark amber. Forms a nice one finger dark tan head that runs down the side of the mug. The head stays for almost the whole beer and it leaves plenty of lacing.
Smell- Loads of black licorice is the first smell that greats my nostrils. A bit of bitter chocolate and coffee with plenty of cream. There is a bit of sweetness from all the malt that is a bit more powerful that in previous RIS’s I’ve had. Plenty of alcohol shows as well.
Taste- The first thing that I notice about this bad boy is how sweet it is. I know the bottle says to age at least a year and I’m sure some of this sweetness would mellow a bit. Lots of milk chocolate comes through with a bit of licorice. There is quite of bit of fruitiness in the background as well. Chocolate covered raisins and dried apricots come to mind. The alcohol isn’t as evident in the mouth as it is on the nose.
Mouthfeel- Fairly thin body with fairly aggressive carbonation.
Drinkability- There are bottles of this stuff all over town right now and I’m debating on whether or not I should grab a couple for storage. It just sucks spending $10.99 per bottle. This was a fairly solid brew that I enjoyed. The sweetness could be toned down a bit but for the most part it’s not too bad.

 1,432 characters

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque, very dark brown with a medium tan head.
The aroma is quite nice with chocolate, roast coffee, dark fruit and a hint of char.
A tasty stout! Lots of dark chocolate up front with some roast coffee notes. Some dark fruit in the middle with a lingering bitter and drying finish that includes a bit of char. There's even a bit of sweet chocolate as it warms.
Medium mouthfeel that's slightly creamy.
Really good.

 424 characters

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.

 825 characters

Photo of Brolo75
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours black with ruby colored edges when held up to the light, head is full and tan colored, head did not retain long, good amount of carbonation streaming up the sides, lots of lacing.

A: Very subtle aromas of roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, needs more punch in the aroma, not getting any alcohol.

T: Roasted malts, char, smoke, dark chocolate and dark fruits, hint of coffee, very smooth and drinkable, alcohol is not noticeable on the taste, solid beer.

M: Medium bodied with a semi-dry finish, good amount of carbonation on the mouthfeel, smooth, creamy.

O: A solid RIS, could use some more punch on the aroma and flavor, has a nice mouthfeel, leans more on the smokey side of a RIS, glad to try it but there are better out there.

 780 characters

Photo of BeerManDan
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
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!

 304 characters

Photo of russwbeck
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Lovely black pour with about a pinky of brown head. Bubbles rise up the sides of the glass for a long time after the pour, keeping a small film of head resting atop.

S: Roasted malts really dominate the smell, chocolate and coffee rest below, lending subtly to the nose. Smokey, but balanced, the smell seems to start this beer off favorably.

T: The roasted malts start off big in the smell. Chocolate and molasses really take it over until it ends. Not a big coffee or roasty aftertaste, however.

MF: A little light. Nicely carbonated.

O: Nothing wrong with this beer. But nothing spectacular. Went down easily while watching TV after dinner.

 650 characters

3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of sonofliberty2
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of DrAnnaNemis
3.22/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Black Cauldron Imperial Stout from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
3.92 out of 5 based on 609 ratings.
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