Black Cauldron Imperial Stout | Grand Teton Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
88
very good
325 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:
325
Ratings:
600
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
15.05%
 
 
Wants:
36
Gots:
61
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 325 | Ratings: 600
Photo of cokes
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

 1,119 characters

Photo of Zebus0
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of BigDank
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 12oz poured into a Matilda glass.

Pours black into the glass with a medium brown, large head that has a short stay and leaves minor lacing. Smell is not too intense with hints of roasted malt and chocolate. Taste follows along with the smell with a bit of bitterness in the mouth. Slight alchohol which is surprising for only being 8%. Carbonation is medium and the beer drinks pretty easily. Not the best but not a bad stout I have to say. I would definitely drink this one again but not sure that it would be a regular. Drinkibility is good with a medium abv and easy drinking brew all around. First beer I've had by this brewery and it will not sway me from trying another one.

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Photo of ATGHomebrewer
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours very, very dark brown. Think head.
S: Strong smell of roasted malts.
T: Initial taste is very sweet, transitions into a roasted, almost bitter taste. A bit of alcohol heat.
M: a nice, full mouthfeel.
D: very drinkable beer, within reason. Approporiate that they sell it in a 4 pack instead of a 6 pack.

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Photo of bret27
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

local bottle, 8% av

S: Very smokey/roasty, roasted coffee dominates

A: Very black w/dark full brown head, thick w/good retention

T: Very smokey and fairly thick, w/the same roasted coffee kind of overpowering

M: Fairly thick, but a little grainy and not too full

D: Pretty good except for smokey flavor

Overall: I would put this as a touch lower than Old Rasputin. Good but not super good, or great as with the big boy IS's. Certainly much better than their DIPA. The foil wasn't wasted on this one.

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Photo of rayjay
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought at Ray's in Paradise, bottles in Nov 09. Poured into a shaker pint. Rich, thick, oily, and chewy. Lots of dark fruity esters, especially plum-like notes. Mildly carbonated with a bid mouthfeel, but drinkability remains high and it's even refreshing. Sweet and sticky with lots of carmel malt, but also lots of deep black malts galore. Alcohol is very well hidden, and I tend to like my RIS's in this alcohol range instead of stratospheric heights. Probably not much aging potential, I'm loving it fresh. A great stout that I'll be sure to go back and buy more of. Cheers!

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up after a beer tasting at Bevmo during a beer tasting.

Appearance- black color

Smell- chocolate, bit of caramel

Taste- chocolate

Mouthfeel- full bodied

Drinkability- very nice, I like it, very good stout, I will definitely drink it again.

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Photo of zeff80
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with almost no head. There were tiny light brown tinted bubbles around the edges of the glass that left behind some sudsy residue.

S - It smelled of coffee, chocolate and strong roasted malts. There was a touch of fruity sweetness in the nose, too.

T - Strong flavors of roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate and touches of molasses. It has just enough sweet to balance out the strong bitter qualities.

M - It was crisp and smooth with a dry finish. A medium bodied beer that hides its imperial ABV very well.

D - This beer really got better each time I tried one. I got a four-pack and was not impressed with the first one but really started to like it each time I went back to it. (My taste buds must've been off on that first one).

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Black body, cocoa head. The aroma is milk chocolate covered espresso bean. Roasted malt provides chocolate that never gets too bitter, brown sugar, molasses, this is a rich, delicious stout that never gets too heavy. A light prickle of carbonation prevents it from reaching motor oil levels. A rare balance is attained in this beer, it has luscious dark malt flavors and yet it is nuanced and more drinkable than most of its Imperial peers. None of the dark stone fruit flavors or sticky syrup consistency of Russian Imperial Stouts, this is American Imperial all the way. Best Grand Teton beer I have tasted, if only I was sipping this in front of Mt. Moran...

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Photo of shadow1961
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grand Teton Black Cauldron Imperial Stout pours a finger of creamy brown foam over an inky black brew. The nose is mocha with notes of mollasses, earth, and rum. The flavor is sweetish mocha and notes of dark toast balanced with a pretty assertive grassy/herbal hop flavor off the back. Mouthfeel is round, drying a bit because of those sharp herbal hops- I'm tasting a little grass in the aftertaste. The alcohol I got a whiff of in the nose only makes itself felt as a feeling of well being. It comes in at 8% abv so plan on drinking slow- the hops settle down as things warm a bit anyway. A pretty decent Americanized Imperial Stout- hoppier than in the old country, but a little aging will probably do wonders smoothing that out. Decent, plus cute anime witch girls on the label. Worth a try!

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

4pk. Gonna drink 2 this year then hide the rest.
Pours a very dark brown, almost black. Edge has some caramel appearance. A semi-puffed out head, brown, touch soapy. Lacing isn't all that great, a bit filmy.
Chocolate and toffee aromas overpower any coffee. Some dark plums and alcohol. Something doesn't seem right in the nose.
Taste follows the aroma. Bitter chocolate, dry. Some piney hops in the back. Burnt caramel and alcohol again. There's a sweetness to it that just doesn't fit right now. Perhaps some aging will tone that down. It's a bit sour I think. Not sure about it.
Drank fairly well. Alcohol is noticeable and medium hot.

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Photo of RedBrewer83
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip from 12oz bottle...

A: Pours a pitch black body with a two finger chocolately mocha head that fades fairly quickly to leave pretty good lacing and a thin foam on top of the beer.

S: Roasted malts with bittersweet chocolate and hints of coffee and cola. A few piney hops come through in the finish as well. Seems like this should be pretty well balanced.

T: Huge bittersweet chocolate and coffee flavors upfront. A little burnt caramel comes in mid palate along with a unique cola flavor that I have not tasted in many stouts before, very nice. The finish is crisp with a faint hint of piney hops and bready nutty yeast that lingers long on the finish as the chocolate comes through again.

M: Heavy body that is exactly what I would expect from 8% and the carbonation is near perfect...just enough to wake up the taste buds. Nice.

D: Very smooth and drinkable, the flavors are very inviting and the abv is completely hidden. Very nice all around, will be revisiting this one again soon, especially at the price point!

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Photo of cope0021
2.35/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This beer had a lot of promise out of the bottle. It poured a rich, thick black pour of promise. This was little head formed. Then came the let-down that began with the first smell. It smelled like Robitussin. I took several smells to hope my nose was not being decieved by one too many Robotrips. Alas, it was not. The smell persisted.

The disappointment continued on to the first taste. It actually seemed to have a small bit of flavor of Robitussin. Other than that, I could not discern much in the way of flavor. There is an off-bitter after taste.

For the price and the hoopla from my local beer shop, this was a huge disappointment.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black brew with a huge mocha colored frothy, dense head. Really the head is beautiful. There is copious lacing all down the glass as well. Not a single thing to complain about here.

S - Faint roasted hazelnuts, mild grapefruit pith. When it is warmer, I also get chocolate malt, cola and alcohol. Over the smell is lacking in potency. Something an intense aroma can ruin a strong beer, here it failed to do the beer justice.

T - A bit of cola and charred malt dominate the flavor. The 500L+ roasted barley really makes its presence known. There are fainter flavors of white pepper, alcohol maybe a hint of chocolate. The aftertaste is a lingering bitter of scorched barley and a bit of subtle citrus pith.

M - Very smooth, thick, actually very refreshing too.

D - I have to hand it to this brew. Coffee and chocolate are the first flavors that usually come to mind when I think stout, but this one has cola an char. An interesting twist - and frankly, it works. I am pleased with this one. I drank the bottle quickly and enjoyed it profusely. Make no mistake, this isn't an iconic stout and certainly not the best that I've had, but I wouldn't hesitate to have it again.

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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.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a snifter. Poured a deep brown/black with a quickly dissipating tan head. Roasted barley and some piney hops in the aroma. Medium bodied and smooth. Fair amount of roasted barley and chocolate. Not a lot of hop bitterness. Nice long finish of chocolate malt. Could use a little more body for an Imperial Stout, but pretty drinkable.

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Photo of dougofthefuture
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh bottle taken from the beer fridge. Warmed slowly while reviewing.

A - Motor oil black, no head, and very little lacing.

S - Boozy and sweet. It's hard for me to pick up much more than that.

T & M - Kind of hot for 8%, and lots of black licorice flavor. Initially there wasn't much for much to enjoy here, but as it gets closer to room temp, the roasted malt nuances start to come through. There's still too much licorice and booze here though. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but not to the point of distraction.

D - It's been 30 minutes and I'm half way though. I'm ready for something else. I'm glad I bought 1 instead of 4.

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Photo of mp2mp
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark. Pours with a slight but lacey head. Little or no residue for a bottle aged beer. Nice caramelly aroma with elderberry overtones. Very smooth on the tongue at first taste developing into full, rich stout. No pansy fruity flavors. One starts to enjoy the hops in a pleasant lingering aftertaste. Very well balanced.

We served with a espresso cheesecake with acclaim from all guests. But it holds it's own as an after-a-hard-days-work as well for a pleasant buzz.

The carton is good reading and the graphics are cool.

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Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Single for $2.49 at Ray's in Wauwatosa, WI.

Pours into a mug with a few fingers of cascading chocolate syrup stained foam. This settles quickly, forming a solid crown of lace from the surface to the wall of the glass, very sticky. Very plummy aroma, fruity, sweet and roasty. Fairly light for an RIS, but full flavored. Some mild char, not too bitter, sweet molasses cookies, and plums. Perceptible alcohol as it warms.

Very easy drinking for an 8% RIS, i'm glad to have tried it. For my money though, Viking Big Swede is similar and a few bucks cheaper.

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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.

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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 rye726
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours near black with shades of brown and a thin mocha head.

Nose has roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits, oak, molasses and coffee.

More rich malts, cocoa, wood, espresso and ripe fruits in the taste.

Medium to full body is well carbonated. Tasty, nicely balance imperial stout.

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Photo of tpd975
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Joey Redner for this one.

A: Pours a dark black hue with a nice 1/4 finger solid head. Good retention and some lace noted.

S: Aromas of burnt malt, coffee, chocolate, and light smoke.

T: Tasty brew. Nice chocolate up front with a bit of bitter coffee. Hints of smoke and tobacco come through in the middle with light hops in the finish.

M: Medium in body, smooth with great carbonation.

D: Good, what a nice rare tasty treat.

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Photo of badbeer
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with a tan head and decent retention. Roasty aromas, as well as licorice, tar, and also a fair amount of earthy hops. Taste was roasty, with almonds, caramel, dark chocolate, and a touch of smoke. Body was medium and so was the carbonation. I'd drink this again if it were available to me. Thanks to pepsican for the sample.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this bad boy way back in the day from younger35. Ah yes, memories...thanks Dan!

1 liter black wax swing top bottled poured into a snifter. NOV 01 2007.

Pours a deep onyx black with a quick one finger dark mocha colored head that disappears almost instantly. Thin spotty lacing holds on to the sides of the glass. Smell is pretty smokey with roasted almonds, coffee grinds, and bbq meat. Underneath all that smokey goodness is dark chocolate and rich caramel malts in the nose. Overall though, this beast really is about the toasted aromas, I just wish it had more UMPH! Taste is a bit more sweet than the nose which is nice surprise but still a good amount of smoke. Milk chocolate, leather, and fig with smokey bbq flavors. Aftertaste is somewhat fruity with dark berries and tobacco. Medium to full body with a slick feel from the soft carbonation. A bit thin for the style, but it seems to help with the drinkability. Probably one of the more drinkable RIS's that I've had. A very fitting beer for a bitter cold night in Syracuse. Thanks again Dan-O for the opportunity.

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Black Cauldron Imperial Stout from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
3.92 out of 5 based on 600 ratings.
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