Wreck Alley Imperial Stout | Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Wreck Alley Imperial StoutWreck Alley Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
3.91/5
242 Ratings
Wreck Alley Imperial StoutWreck Alley Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company
California, United States
karlstrauss.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mactrail on 04-01-2012

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#7,401
Reviews:
48
Ratings:
242
pDev:
12.02%
Bros Score:
3.92
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
53
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 242 |  Reviews: 48
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Surly Goat in West Hollywood, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cinnamon, cocoa, and coffee. Taste is the same with some vanilla and an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and somewhat thin mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a better taste than smell but it's a bit thin for the style.

 610 characters

Photo of spycow
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of kojevergas
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired at a SoCal beer store for $6.99 and served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; I've never been big on this brewery but I do like well executed versions of the style.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food; consumed on a full stomach (lentils).

A: Pours a one finger khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and above average retention (~2.5 minutes) for the high ABV. Body colour is a very dark brown-black; not quite a jet black. Nontransparent and opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Generally appealing and typical for the style, but it lacks the rich tan colour or jet black body of a great example of the style.

Sm: Chocolate malt, some light roast, pleasant coffee/java notes, cream, milk, and cacao. The coffee is very enjoyable and fresh; it doesn't come off cold-pressed or stale. A well balanced, inviting aroma. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Love the cream. A splash of pleasant coffee with hints of roasted java in the body. Light chocolate malt fuses well with the other assorted dark malts, but sadly it lacks sufficient roasted barley character to really give it presence. I get a bit of toffee on the climax when I look for it. Maybe a fleeting creeping hint of creme brulee/muted vanilla just after the climax, but it's buried. Sweetness is near ideal, but goes a bit overboard as you near the finish. Not a horribly complex imperial stout, but decently balanced until the third act. No yeast or alcohol comes through, which is favorable here. A bit of bitterness in the third act; maybe some floral hop notes coming through in addition to the coffee. I get more cacao as it warms, but the chocolate itself is clearly malt-derived rather than evocative of actual chocolate. The creaminess is its best attribute, and one I'd like to see in more imperial stouts - though it does hold it back from attaining a rich malty roasty backbone. Overall, it's surpassed my expectations.

Mf: Delightfully creamy. Smooth and wet throughout. Good if overdone carbonation. Adequate thickness and body. Pretty good palate presence.

Dr: Admittedly, I doubted Karl Strauss but they delivered a very drinkable imperial stout at a decent price. The ABV is well hidden. I like the direction they took this, but it does need more complexity and subtlety to really shine. In the world of imperial stouts, you have to bring more to the table than this to stand out. As a result, I won't be having this again - but I will be giving Karl Strauss more attention when I see their products on shelves. Maybe they're not as forgettable as I thought after all.

High B-

A goblet was actually an inferior choice for this beer. I'd recommend a snifter or even highball.

An okay choice for aging. I imagine the coffee will fade, but the cream should remain.

 3,116 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color with a modest tan head; spots of lace linger

Smell: Chocolate with hints of caramel, coffee and licorice

Taste: Chocolate, with a fudgy character developing by mid-palate, adding some caramel, coffee and licorice into the mix; there is a subtle hint of heat as well as a plastic flavor that develops in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Very enjoyable; lots of chocolate and a bit of coffee, the finish is a bit all over the map but only a minor distraction

 542 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of chinchill
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub.

Appearance: dark brown-black color; opaque with a very durable tan head that leaves attractive lacing.

Aroma: appealing mix of coffee and baked dark bread.

Flavor: mildly sweet despite a strong coffee presence. High quality coffee component.

Feel: medium-full body with soft, light carbonation. A bit syrupy.

O: a very tasty coffee stout. Improved with warming. Reommended!

 405 characters

Photo of mactrail
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich and warming big stout. Aroma of chocolate and the percolator. Great taste of dark roasted coffee beans. Served in a chilled pint glass, which turns out to be ideal for the un-chilled beer. Nice foam and lacing, but the creamy mouthfeel is outstanding.

This is a powerful, but less syrupy variety of RIS. It has the grainy, dark roast flavor of a good stout, but a velvety mouthfeel to accommodate the higher alcohol. A touch of vanilla.

I'm really pleased to taste a big stout in this restrained and highly drinkable style. I have been impressed that Karl Strauss does such a good job with their cask beers. I think more craft beer enthusiasts should put them on the list of places to visit once in a while.

 714 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of vfgccp
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Jason
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 brown bomber with no freshness date.

LOOK: Black, opaque, sudsy tan froth, sticky lacing

SMELL: Espresso, chicory, cocoa nibs, molasses, burnt raisins, floral alcohol, black toast, licorice root

TASTE: Smooth, creamy, full bodied, sweet, milky, cocoa, burnt sugar, treacle, coffee, Nutella, soft charcoal, burnt drying finish

A lot of fun drinking this bomber, quickly reminded me how much I like coffee / chocolate-ish stouts and big ones at that.

 455 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour is black in color with a tan head. Nice roasted malt, a hint of cocoa, and some good coffee aromas. A hint of vanilla, some burnt sugar and licorice, as well as some molasses. The flavor is a touch sweet with nice licorice, sugar, and molasses notes. Plenty of coffee and roast, good chocolate flavors, and some toffee as it warms. Really nice body to this beer as well.

 379 characters

Photo of BMart
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of liamt07
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BeerOps
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of beernads
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of LoveStout
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of StoutSnob40
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

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Wreck Alley Imperial Stout from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 242 ratings
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