Black Cauldron Imperial Stout | Grand Teton Brewing Co.

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Black Cauldron Imperial StoutBlack Cauldron Imperial Stout
Very Good
615 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 615 |  Reviews: 327
Photo of Brad007
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, dark black with a thin brown head into my glass. I'm running out of ways to describe darkness.

Lots of cream that mingles with lightly-roasted malt in the nose. Perhaps a hint of chocolate as well. This seems more up my alley.

Rich roasted malt bursts with cocoa and cream underneath. Very mellow. The only black mark being a caramel essence in the mouth (?).

Lingering roasted malt and cream. Nothing offensive here.

I like this example. It's not the greatest but I've never had anything from this brewery and this bottle was a chance pickup while I was in Boston back in March Worth it though as it's the first beer I've sampled from Idaho. Check it out!

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Photo of dbossman
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
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 OtherShoe2
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep oily brown with a decent tan head that disappears in a flash.

Coffee and molasses in the nose, a combo of dark roasted malt and some sweetness. Nose wasn't as intense as I would have expected.

Big flavor here. Roasted malt, french roast coffee smoky bitterness. You definitely get some malt sweetness, but it is well balanced with a bitter edge. Long bitter and malt finish. Some molasses and licorice. Great. Alcohol is there but pretty well hidden.

Big and chewy. Ok carbonation.

Great beer. Everything you'd want from the style.

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Photo of bs870621345
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Toby, Johngalt1 for this.

Pours black with a tiny bit of head. No lacing.

Smell is nice; roast, coffee, caramel, hint of citrus.

Taste is very straight forward. Caramel opens this up and the roast bitterness cuts through moving into a coffee and caramel finish. Pretty clean and not overly sweet.

Mouthfeel is moderate but velvety.

Overall, its good. Seek this one out if you can.

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Photo of claytong
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
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

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, bottled in October of '10. Poured into a New Belgium Globe.

A: With a vigorous pour this beer yields only about a fingers worth of viscous medium tan head. Opaque and dark, ok lacing, good carbonation. Would have like to have seen more head and better retention.

S: Dark malts, dark sweet fruits, a touch of coffee, a whiff of leathery smoke, some woody characters, and hints of boozyness. Not the best Imperial Stout smell in my opinion, but unique.

T: On the tongue the dark malts yield to the beers sweetness: the dark fruit is prominent but there are chocolate notes as well. I'm not sure I like the dark fruit/sweetness component.

MF: A touch thin but viscous with a good coating mouthfeel. Medium bodied.

O: Equal parts bland and unusual. No bitterness, very little roasted malt character, too much of that odd sweetness for an IS. Really wanted to like this local brew but its just a step above average IMO.

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Photo of Bung
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Solid looking black pour, maybe a finger of light tan head. Retains pretty well.

Light roast and coffee, more chocolate and molasses.

A tad sweet, malty caramel, chocolate and molasses. Almost like lactose sugar was used. This perry's into a bit of metalicness. Finishes slightly dry with some cocoa.

Body feels on the lighter side, but is pretty creamy. A real even, fine carbonation. Limited alcohol and pretty easy to drink.

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Photo of BilbosNuts
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a conical pint glass.

A: Pours very very dark, almost night black. It has a thick, brown and coffee colored head that leaves spotted lacing throughout drinking. Overall, it looks very sexy.

S: The smell is a wonderful blend of dark chocolate, roasted malts and a raspberry-chocolate aroma. There is also a smokey characteristic that comes through.

T: Its taste is similar to its smell. Mostly the roasted malts come through with some subtleties of the dark chocolate and smokey flavor.

M: The body is not as thick as I was expecting. It on the thin side as far as stouts go, but drinks very smoothly.

D: This is a quite drinkable beer. It is a fine example of the style. I would have liked a thicker body, but that's just being picky. Overall, a solid effort.

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Photo of rmalinowski4
2.94/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a jet black with a two finger coffee colored head. A little to aggressive on the pour, yeast sediment poured into glass. Did not expect this.

Smell is of dark malt, roast, and some chocolate bitterness.

Taste is dark roasted malt and roasted bitterness. The bitter taste is a little too strong. It is not a hop bitter, it is an acidic bitterness from the roasted malt.

The mouthfeel is thin for a stout. Almost feels watery. I like my stouts thick like oil, this is too thin. Carbonation is a little high for the style also.

Overall this is a below average stout. There are just too many little things off for this to be really enjoyable.

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Photo of samie85
3.46/5  rDev -12%
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 ILessThan3Brett
2.71/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I found this one disappointing. Potential for pleasant maltiness and drinkability masked by excessive bitterness, alcohol content, and, especially unpleasant, readily discernible acetone. Not awful beer, and it is fun to see how inky black it pours, but not enough fun to drink, either.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.39/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

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Photo of mnbeerdrinker
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark brown into a pint glass. Appears to be some suspended residue that you can see when holding the glass up to the light. Some settles out, but the beer is so thick that most stays in suspension. It doesn't appear to impact the mouthfeel or the taste as far as I can tell.

No head at all. Beer appears thick and somewhat viscous. Not that much carbonization. No lacing.

Aroma is typical for an imperial stout. Sweet, heavy on dark chocolate, and a hint of smoke. Very pleasant.

Mouthfeel is thick, matching the appearance.

Taste is of roasted malt. Some chocolate. There is a very slight bitterness during and after swallowing, but it is more sweet while it is in your mouth.

Stouts are one of my favorite styles. I like this one a lot, and will be buying it again.

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Photo of far333
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
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 angelmonster
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice 1 finger chocolate colored head. Body is pitch black in color. Head retention was above average and lacing was good.

Smell is similar to a milk stout, somewhat sweet with some roasted malts. Hops dont really have a presence and alcohol is slightly detected. Not too impressive smelling for an Imp. Stout

Taste is of bitter sweet chocolate, coats the mouth with a chalky dryness similar to guiness draught. Roasted, burnt malts balance out the sweetness and provide a smoky aftertaste. Hops aren't detected much and the alcohol adds a little kick

Mouthfeel is rather light for an Imperial stout, carbonation levels are balanced well. Unfortunately head wasnt really there to add anything to the body.

Overall, this beer was an above average stout but kinda bland and boring. Dont regret trying this beer but would rather spend my money on some Yeti or Ten Fidy

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Photo of EORS
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up on a recommendation from my local store. Poured into a standard pint glass and served at room temperature

Appearance: Dark, dark, close to jet black with a moderate brown head. Low carbonation. Good amount of sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Chocolate/caramel malt, with a hint of salty smoke in the middle, lovely aroma from the hops at the end.

Taste: Good body of roasty malt, chocolate and coffee, warming alcohol (bit boozy), with a nice bitterness from the hops to balance it out.

Mouthfeel: rich, not syrupy or medicinal. Very smooth and balanced.

Overall: True to recommendation - a solid imperial stout at a great price (4pk on sale for $7.50). Really impressed by the balance between malt and hop - neither overpowering the other - in the taste and smell and the smoky, almost salty aroma when the beer is poured. The brewers have even tried to push the style a bit by adding the smoked barley, which doesn't do much for the taste, but adds a nice touch if you're looking for it. Would buy it again.

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Photo of HoppyHachey
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: It poured out a great looking dark black liquid. The consistency seemed thick as i poured. It had a average sized head with a nice chocolatey looking color. Looks delicious.

S: Great smell of chocolate and a small sweetness from the raisins. I want to smell this smell for the rest of my day.

T: Definitely a chocolate after taste. I like the way it lingers in my mouth, the prefect amount of chocolate. I didn't notice any sweetness in the taste that I got from the smell but probably better anyway.

MF: Seems thicker than most of the stouts I've had recently. Drinks really easy for an Imperial too. Doesn't leave you with anything but wanting more.

O: Definitely like it, probably get some more from the store just to hang on too. Grab some.

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Photo of kiddwhiz
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Poured a 12 0z bottle dated 10/29/2009 in to a nbb globe. Jet black with two fingers of tan head. Dissipates over a couple minutes to leave a dusting of sandy head resembling a espresso.

s: Smells of roasted malts with a touch of earthy sweetness.

t: Roasted dark chocolate malts with raisins, licorice, and lighter coffee. Smooth with a touch of sweetness and slight bitterness. Smooth. Makes the mouth water. Tasty goodness.

m: Good mouthfeel of slightly viscous, tiny bubble carbonation.

o: With 18 months of cellar this Black Cauldron is an excellent beer! I really enjoy the drinkability of as compared to an all out Imperial Stout like Abyss. Meets all the marks of a quality crafted, drinkable Imperial Stout. Cheers!

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Photo of Allpe45
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottled 10/14/10 info a snifter
Opaque brownish black with a creamy mocha brown head that dissipates quickly but leaves some lacing.

Roasty chocolatey malt with some burnt coffee presence. Agitation yields aromas of dark fruit and alcohol.

Sweet dark fruits and chocolate up front, with smoke and roasted malt followed by coffee+hop bitterness

Creamy, medium bodied with low carbonation. Sticky residual mouthfeel

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle at 48 degrees into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: It pours pitch black with a finger and a half of khaki head that looks great with its great retention and sticky, clingy lace.

S: Sweet dark fruits, smoke, with some underlying chocolate and toasted malts.

T: Burnt and smoky char flavors, smooth dark fruitiness, delicious dark chocolate, and some espresso roastiness.

M: It has medium body thickness with lingering flavors and a little stickiness.

O: This is delicious and pretty complex.

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Photo of maximum12
3.03/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Been seeing this around for a while & it was always next on my list of things to try. Finally picked up a single to see if this as good as it looks. About to watch my Twins beat the Yankees - whom I hate with the fire of an infinite number of suns - in the 10th inning. Go Twins!

Like the witches on the label. Pours dead black. Slight head. Smell is standard malts & bit of chocolate. Nothing special here.

Black Cauldron tastes better than it smells. Malts dominate here, of course, & they're sweet, roasty, minimalistic chocolate. In the middle there's a nice bittering hop presence. A touch of lactose sneaks into the room near the end of the movie & muddles things up a bit. Thin for a bigger stout, allowing the roast to tower over the malts rather than vice versa.

A truly average imperial stout. Nothing wrong with it, but it's just...fine.

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Photo of ken2cart1
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

served in m pint sized snifter,

a-opaque with a brown mama coffee milkshake head, about 2 finger head..

s- smells very boozy with some cocoa and burnt malt, my nose sucks but still..

t- in the fore is cocoa chocolate and dark fruits (plums), some roasted malt in there too, finishes with a nice alcohol sting..the thing is every sip is different sometimes more cocoa shines through oher times its the fruits. nice blend.

m- smooth, not creammy sorta disapointed sorta not

d- wait drinkabiity is gone!?!?! oh well what i was goin to say is this is not a filling a beer, mouthfeel is not creamy so u can drink it all day, not filling and masks alc. great or aweful depending how u look at it!

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look - jet black with about half a finger's worth of solid brown foam that dissipates somewhat quickly.

Smell - definite chocolaty tones, probably strong in alcohol due to the sweet smell.

Taste and Mouthfeel - roasted chocolaty flavor as it sits in my mouth at the beginning. Hoppiness noticable in the finish and aftertaste. Texture is a bit syrupy, but lighter than I would have expected.

Overall - not a terribly complex brew, but not bad-tasting at all, and at least a little interesting.

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Photo of baggio
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

[email protected] place.

A: Very, very, dark brown with a brown head and lots of lacing.

S: Soy, Caramel, Burned toffee, Roasted malts.

T: Malt, Licorice, Toffee, Caramel, Hint of soy and chocolate.

M: Nicely balanced but a bit on the heavy side, Hides the alcohol very well.

Nice imperial stout but nothing really memorable.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.28/5  rDev -16.5%
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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Black Cauldron Imperial Stout from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 615 ratings