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Black Cauldron Imperial Stout | Grand Teton Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
88
very good
324 Reviews
Black Cauldron Imperial StoutBlack Cauldron Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

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

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:
324
Ratings:
598
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
15.05%
 
 
Wants:
36
Gots:
59
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 324 | Ratings: 598
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 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 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.

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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 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 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 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 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 MPLS
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Impulse buy, saw "imperial stout" and had to try despite being unfamiliar with the brewery. Single 12 oz serving.

A: Pours with a dark dark colored body and a head that grows to 1.5 cm in height. The peanut skins colored head retains itself, hints of lacing.

S: Roasted malts with a pinch of smoke is the most prominent scent. Sweetness, not dark fruit like, but more like a shot bittersweet chocolate in coffee.

T: The flavor of this beer it bitter coffee beans with an sweetness that fades into a pleasant roast. The roast is very short-lived and there is an unpleasant alcohol in the finish, unexpected with an 8.0% beer. Odd sweetness that's not totally to my liking.

M: The mouthfeel is medium bodied, could have been creamier and smoothe, mild acidity, not much heat in the alcohol finish.

D: Good to try another RIS, but there is so many other offerings that I'd choose over this. Didn't impress my palate with it's odd sweetness and mild astringency.

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Photo of mjyoung
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Split w/ bbb099

A: Pours the color of stained chocolate, with a brown film on the periphery and an off-white center. It leaves a thick film on the sides.

S: "It stings the nostrils." Thick roasted malt and caramel with strong chocolate notes. Definitely some dark, fruity notes lurking underneath it all.

T: The taste of roasted malt is overpowering, but you can get a hint of chocolate, cocoa, and the same dark fruit. Not the order in which I'd have preferred the flavors.

M: Very highly carbonated. It comes out feeling pretty light, which isn't what I expected.

D: Smooth, and it tastes reasonably good. It's a solid brew but not something especially memorable, and I probably won't buy another one.

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

2011 vintage 12 oz bottle

A_ pours a thick black solid color with a small tan head and small collar

S- roasted malts,coffee,chocolate,cocoa

T-roasted malts and bread with loads of coffee and semi sweet chocolate with a good dose of hops ,alcohol is present in the background

M- is low carbonation with a boozy taste more bitter than smooth

O- just an average double to me it alright tasty but not the one i will reach for only bought a single of this.. ill buy one more and give it another try

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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.

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

12 fl oz brown bottle, wrapped in foil.
Bottled on 1/21/10; served in a snifter.

Pours an inky opaque black in color beneath a delicate, hazlenut-colored head that moves to the snifter's sides almost upon impact. Stippling lace around half of the snifter.

Warming, acidic alcohol nose that pushes past the espresso and bitter dark chocolate notes. Notes of semi-sweet toffee and vanilla.

Bitter dark chocolate and chewy, roasted malt flavors attack the palate. A dry alomond and peanut flavor cut the bitter chocolate; however, the lack of any sweetness makes this stout rather one-dimensional.

Full bodied; chewy, dry, and rough on the palate. This offering misses the syrupy smoothness that I love in an Imperial Stout.

Not one of my favorites stylistically, but not an unflattering ale. I wouldn't mind having another, but I wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in my Old Stock snifter. Bottled on 01/21/10 indicated on the bottle. Poured two shades shy of black with a half-inch, loose, mocha-colored head that quickly disperses into a thin band around the edges. Only a few spots of lacing exposed during the tasting. Not a big nose, but mocha is the most prominent, followed by a slightly metallic quality and perhaps a hint of dark fruit - not quite sour, but a bit off in character. Taste consistent with nose; however, some lactose and a a slight hops presence also comes out. Mouthfeel is medium-light, a bit thin for the style, with a light background carbonation. I've been anxious to try this beer for a while and I have to say that I was somewhat disappointed. Alcohol is well-hidden, but all and all, this beer is bit lackluster for an American Double.

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Photo of jakecattleco
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from August Release into a tulip glass. Nothing about this beer is dynamic. While the attributes are pleasurable, they are all fairly mute. Won't buy again, but an enjoyable though nondescript favorable attribute beer nonetheless.

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Photo of Rizalini
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass...

A - Pours black. No light shines through this one. Minimal 1 finger chocolate brown head.

S - Great smell as soon as popped this one open. Big roasty aroma. Dark chocolates, hints of licorice and smoke.

T - More of a dry, smokey flavor. Slightly bitter. Not really picking up the chocolate like I smelled.

M - Has a light-medium mouthfeel. I was expecting a little heavier.

O - I personally think this is too light for an imperial stout, and the smell didn't match the aroma.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

What color are most cauldrons? Pours a midnight black color with a light red hue around the edges. Good viscosity and a soft tan head that does seem to dissipate pretty quick.

The nose has a lot of esters and penolics going on. There is some malt presence with a light roast and some light smoke aromas. But this is light as the plums, licorice, raisin bubblegum and slight clove aromas come out. Some noticeable butyric and a off mineral note that is a deterrent.

The taste is a bit more balanced. The malt comes out a bit more with a good roast flavor. Some chocolate and a bit of coffee as well. Some lactic notes gives it a more latte-esk flavor. A light smoke and an almost peaty flavor that doesn't blend well with a off butyric note. Some noticeable plums and licorice notes. The bubblegum backs off. Noticeable diactyl. Some minor yeasty notes but not overly off.

The body is a bit sweet. Not really under attenuated but some lingering sweet notes on the back end. Cabonation is low but that is ok. Overall there is a lot of off notes that really distract from the beer.

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

2010 bottle poured into a Stone Brewery flute. Pours very dark brown, appearing black. Half finger dark brown head dissipates slowly to a thick ring, light lacing. Muted aroma of dark and roasted malt and light chocolate. Flavor of roasted and slightly charred malt melds into a thinner, slightly sour fruit, roasted malt and coffee middle and finish. Body is light to medium. A satisfactory stout, but the finish is thin and not a good flavor progression. I bought this almost two year old bottle from a cooler room at the store, but can't be sure of its storage history. Good enough that I'll try a fresh one if the opportunity arises.

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Photo of weeare138
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Much thanks to hopdog for sharing this 1 Liter, wax tipped, flip top. November, 2007 vintage.
Appears a near black with a small tan cap that fades into a mild collar. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of coffee, mocha, cocoa, caramel, plums, raisins, and grainy astringency.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with some roasted coffee beans standing out among the varietal of flavors.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, roasty, grainy, acidic, and slightly thin in the swallow.

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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 kawilliams81
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 9/10/10. Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a AleSmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- Pours black with a 2" cola colored head. Small bubbles of lacing speckle the glass.

S- Roasted malts, dark chocolate, dark fruits, and faint pine.

T- Sweet dark fruits, roasted malts, dark chocolate and slight pine bitterness.

M- Medium body and carbonation. Lower abv for the style but drinks amazingly well and easy.

O- Good RIS. Not very complex, but has nice sweet and roasted malt flavors.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Liquors 44, Northampton, MA. Bottled on 01/04/11. 12oz pry-top brown glass bottle with foil.

Pours a medium-thick black with some thin tan head that has poor retention. Nose is kind of like roasting meats, coffee and a little tire rubber notes. Palate is medium-full bodied and slick with alcohol and a faint suggestion of acidity (not infected though, maybe just from the hops). Flavors of coffee, tar, char, BBQ, etc. Fairly long finish. Good mouthfeel.

Solid.

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Black Cauldron Imperial Stout from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.
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