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Black Cauldron - Bourbon Barrel Aged | Grand Teton Brewing Co.

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Black Cauldron - Bourbon Barrel AgedBlack Cauldron - Bourbon Barrel Aged

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mwilbur on 12-19-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 54
Photo of BarrytheBear
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thoughtful extra courtesy of Ed...thank you for this opportunity.

Inky black with some heady perseverance.

Smells of black cherry, milked coffee, lightly woody, and a kiss of vanilla.

Woody barrel envelops the flavors from the smells. Light alcohol burn at the finish. Dark fruits intermingle.

Body is on the lighter end but fluffed by the carbonation.

Not a sludgy monstrous RIS, but by no means a slouch either. Plenty of character, light but present barrel, and complex enough to keep subsequent sips interesting. ABVkeeps this accessible and I appreciate that as well.

A fun try and a beer I knew nothing about prior to receiving. Cheers and thanks again Ed.

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Photo of Cody
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap at World of Beer Cherry Creek into a 10oz snifter.

Dark and opaque with a thin head that lingered.

Aroma is dominated by bourbon with vanilla, cocoa, and caramel malts

Flavor maintains strong bourbon notes with a more pronounced chocolate taste. The beer is fairly straight forward and did not offer too many other flavors. I don't necessarily think of that as a negative though. Carbonation is low as expected.

Mouthfeel is a lot lighter than I would have anticipated from the aroma. On second observance its only 8% and maintains that level of drinkability.

Overall it is a very enjoyable beer. Was it the best Imperial Stout I have ever had? No. But I am quite happy I got to try it as I've never seen it before and it was quite satisfying.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mini-Growler fill tonight from Whole Foods for ~$12.... Pours with a long lasting brown head.... nice lacing.... the brew is the expected black.

Let this warm up significantly for the full effect.. Fridge temperatures really mute the aroma... The nose shows as almost tootsie roll... fudgy and vanilla... bigger roasty char than I was expecting.

Not as much barrel presence on the palate as I hoped for, but it is still there... good standard RIS flavors with a light smack of vanilla/oak.. plenty of dark fruits.

Body is lighter than many of the big boys but is appropriate for a lower ABV... Carbonation is light and lends to a more creamy mouthfeel.

Pretty good... Glad I got the chance to try this one.


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Photo of Daemose
3.04/5  rDev -21%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Bottle art is awesome.

Okay. I've had two different bottles of this, and neither impressed me.

I hate do this, but I'm reviewing this simply because I didn't see any other reviews that mentioned the issues I had.

The first bottle I had when I received my Beer Club shipment had good flavor. I did not notice any barrel though, and it was pretty much flat. I emailed the brewery about this and they offered to send me a replacement bottle, which was totally awesome of them. I declined however because I did not think it merited all that ruckus, I just wanted to make them aware.

The second bottle I had today was way different. I've had enough barrel aged beers now to know what happened to this bottle. I don't think this was intentional, but as I poured it into my glass, I got excited; "Alright! A good head on this one."

That was where my excitement stopped. I couldn't smell much of an aroma and I took my first sip, I knew what was going on. It was really fizzy, and metallic tasting, sour.

Looks like the bugs got this one. Oops.

I'll open another bottle soon and see if it's present throughout all of the bottles or just this.

I really wish this beer was a bourbon and vanilla bomb, because I think the witches are cute.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a treat as usual form my rare beer club. been hanging onto this one for some time, but the time finally came. its a nice step up from the regular black cauldron, which I admire for its dry feel, lack of sweetness, and overall drinkability. this pours about the same shade of flatter black with creamy mocha head about an inch tall with fine retention. a lovely specimen really. the nose is changed a lot by the barrel, not more oaky and alcohol forward, with some vanilla in there too. it also takes on a sort of peaty smoked aroma, which goes well with the special dark malts. the taste is still bold but not sweet, which I just love in this style. cocoa powder taste and feel, and there is even a slight bitterness towards the end, as well as a toasted coconut presence. complex and balanced. good feel, well carbonated but maybe a little less than the barrel. medium to full body, still drinkable though. overall a nice addition to the normal version, they should release this to the masses.

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Photo of beagle75
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A: Opaque, dark brown color with one finger of diminishing mocha-tinted foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Unctuous and earthy, yet defined by a persistent spirituous--even boozy--quality that extends beyond the effect of the wood.

T: Begins off-dry, with refined dark malt, anise, and somewhat aggressive acidity. Flavors turn genuinely soft as acidity fades, with a diminishing combined effect of vanilla and toasted coconut. Alcohol is not detected.

M: Medium viscosity, slightly acidic but otherwise smooth on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This easy-drinking stout is ultimately a little too docile, unable to compare to other beers in its barrel-aged peer group. Tasted acidity counters traditional qualities, making the beer seem bright and lively.

 828 characters

Photo of inlimbo77
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml. Bottled 11/19/12
Riedel tulip

A: Pours a deep dark brown. Got a nice full finger of medium tan head. Faded into a layer. Leaves sticky lacing.

S: Lots of roast coffee on the nose. Not getting tons of barrel. Maybe some soft vanilla. Really mild though. Some chocolate is there.

T: Tip of tongue is chicory and roast. The barrel isn't really there for me. Missing the vanilla and oak character I was expecting. Thin too. Finish lingers.

M: Big medium. Good carbonation. Thinner than expected.

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Photo of Dope
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark brown, just about black. Huge dense medium brown head. Fades slowly. Great retention but mild lacework, sorta spotty at best.

S: Sharp and boozy bourbon. A lot of caramel primarily with some nice vanilla. A bit of chocolate from the roasted malt pokes through along with a touch of smoke.

T: Caramel and smoked meat up front with just a hint of dark fruits. Sweet chocolate in the middle. Finish turns a little bitter as the sweetness fades from the chocolate. A little bit of char and smoke joins the party too. Hints of oak and char in the finish.

M: Medium bodied, smooth. Slightly chalky in the finish. Just slightly.

O: Overall quite a big improvement over the original. The smokiness is much less pronounced in this version and the bourbon is well integrated and adds quite a bit of character and complexity. One of the lightest bourbon barrel stouts I've seen or heard of (not even 8%), combined with a nice smooth mouthfeel makes for quite a drinkable brew.

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Photo of Hex92
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beers like this are why I like being in the beer club. I love the regular version of this and the bourbon version is a nice treat. Nice roasted malt flavor with this beer. You smell and taste the bourbnon, but its of overpowering. It just complements the great flavor of the beer.

The only real drawback of this beer...needs more alcohol.

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Photo of MasterCraft
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 750ml bottle in a tulip..never heard of Grand Teton Brewing, but I love me some barrel aged stouts

Pours a pitch black tulip with a nice mocha head, all is right so far.

Smells of char, bitter chocolate, oak, coffee, vanilla, more bourbon as it warms, slight booziness

Tastes nice, highly drinkable. Robust coffee and chocolate flavors mixed with oak and smoke, and a little bourbon. I quite like it, as I have something of prejudice against overly sweet RIS's. Drinks slightly higher than the ABV, though this is not a bad thing considering the style

Mouthfeel is again indicative of a higher ABV. Quite smooth, borderline-velvety. Evident tannins, probably from the oak and possibly from hops.

Very nice BA stout, am glad to have another bottle.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Mundelein Craft Beer Festival shaker pint glass.

What better time to open a beer-of-the-month-club-exclusive bottle than at a holiday party amongst close (and beer-loving) friends, eh? This stuff pours a straight onyx topped by a finger of dark brown foam. The nose comprises darkly-roasted malts, coffee, charred bourbon barrel, and light buttercream. The taste brings in more of the same, creating the distinct flavor of roasty bourbon on my tongue. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a lightly chewy feel. Overall, a very nice stout, one that has taken to the barrel very well.

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Photo of DaveAnderson
2.46/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This looks like a regular bottle of Black Cauldron, but with a sticker that amends the ABV and states that it was aged in bourbon barrels.

Poured vigorously into a Darkness tulip, I can barely get this to form a small, dense brown head, which dissipates very rapidly. The beer is very dark, but not particularly viscous.

I don't really smell bourbon on this one. It's an oak monster, though. It smells like oak and burnt oak and burnt chocolate aged in oak and smoked oak and maybe a little oak. I'm not sure what they were trying to accomplish with this one, because the oak leaves very little room for anything else.

It doesn't get a whole lot better in the mouth. It tastes like charred wood. It's as if every ingredient were smoked or burned before brewing. I feel like I should pay a carbon tax after drinking this one.

I don't have any idea what regular Black Cauldron is like, but I presume it is more enjoyable than this. I don't have the patience or determination to claw my way through this.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter. Bottled on 11/19/12.
A: Pours a fairly thick blackish brown...opaque with no light emerging with backlighting. Faint dark mocha head quickly recedes. Looks like motoroil.
S: Dark semi-bitter chocolate, roasted caramel malt, wood smoke, uber dark fruit, molasses, and a faint hint of sweet bourbon. Simply intoxicating.
T: Dark roast coffee, raisins, bready yeast, notes of wood and bourbon, cinnamon and extra-dark baker's chocolate. Beechwood-smoked malt and sweet cherries. Phenomenal.
M: Medium body, but feels lighter since you are expecting a heavy ass beer. Smooth and creamy up front, turning slightly bitter with a mild alcohol burn, then finishing sweet and wood smoky with a good dose of light dry hops. Very pleasant and lingers wonderfully on the palate.
D: Thanks to the relatively low ABV for style, this one is extremely drinkable. Honestly if they had pumped the ABV up to 10-12% this one could get out of control (and for complete disclosure I love high ABV beers)...it is a big beer as is. Aging this one in bourbon barrels added a nice extra layer of complexity...and not just as a big wallop of boozy bourbon. The bourbon note is actually quite muted but it brings along some cherry and vanilla notes too. Very limited release...seek it out if you can! Thanks RBC!

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Black Cauldron - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
3.85 out of 5 based on 54 ratings.
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