Wreck Alley Imperial Stout | Karl Strauss Brewing Company

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Wreck Alley Imperial StoutWreck Alley Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
3.91/5
Very Good
247 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:
#8,595
Reviews:
50
Ratings:
247
pDev:
12.02%
Bros Score:
3.92
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
55
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 247 |  Reviews: 50
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 Kmlund
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of tourdot
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of MikalMick
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of pin
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of sjmad23
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of cbutova
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Back in SD, 22oz bomber purchased at a deli in Point Loma. Live review, already have notes for 8 more.

A- Pitch black pour to two small taster glasses. No light makes it through the beer and a small light mocha head forms to a finger. Decent cap retention as it falls to a small creamy white ring. Lacing deposits are spotty on the glass.

S- Coffee off the top, not super dark roast but still the beans nonetheless. Cocoa also comes in rich with some roast grain, nutty, caramel and raisins.

T- Coffee and dark yeasty fruit notes are big here and lead in the flavor. Roast grains and cocoa come next and compliment the aforementioned things. Nutty, toffee, caramel, toasted, apple, malty and some sweetness, like lactose somehow.

MF- Moderately thick bodied with a somewhat silky texture but not as thick as most great Imperials. Carbonation on the medium high side which helps support the dark big flavors. Finishes roasty bitter.

Enjoyable big stout with a hefty yeast and coffee forward profile complimented by cocoa and roast grains. Body could be a bit bigger but overall it's enjoyable.

 1,097 characters

Photo of krl2112
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of blguillen
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Jtrigonis
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Raziel313
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of bh123
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of MjBrewhouse
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of hickmancase
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of JSuperman
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Soto
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of jasewaaang
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of beernads
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of frozenjogurt
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of BMart
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of anthony23cippy
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.51/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out pitch black with about an inch of tan head. All this is great, but the head disappears very fast and leaves zero lace behind.

Chocolate, toffee and a hint of brown sugar make up the smell.

Chocolate and dark fruit start off the taste, though they are both pretty light. Vanilla and earth come in a bit in the middle. Chocolate dominates the finish. No booze from what I can taste. Very light bodied and high in carbonation for an imperial anything.

There isn't anything offensive, or not good about this imperial stout. It's just a bit bland and uncreative. It would be a nice, easy introductory beer for anyone new to the style, but not great for someone looking for an interesting stout.

 702 characters

Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
3.51/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2012 bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours black/deep dark brown with nice 2 finger khaki brown head. slight lacing on the glass.

S: Some chocolatey and big coffee notes. Sweetness about it along with a hint of some charcoal.

T: Roasty, coffee notes, and chocolate sweetness. slight vanilla and a bit of alcohol warming effect.

M: On thin side for an imperial stout. Not creamy which I would normally expect. Not as thin as say Drakonic, but closer to that than a thick creamy stout. Carbonation is noticable on the palate and bit harsh. Slight bit of booze after taste.

O: Alright offering, found the mouthfeel to be disappointing and carbonation levels off. Not as pathetic of an offering as drakonic, but not one I will buy multiple of. I'd be curious to try the BA version, should note for the price ~$8 its not a terrible deal.

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Photo of PatrickSwayze
3.51/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice black with a head that stays lingering thin around the edges.  

S: The huge nose on this is a majority of coffee and chocolate with a struggle of roast on the side

T: A deep grainy wheat bread characteristic that is quite thin up front and mid tongue, and tries to amp up the flavor as it rolls down the tongue revealing a very subtle coco characteristic with low level if heat. Nothing really jumping out at you

M: Pretty thin for an imperial stout. Little too dry IMO for the style.

O: It's a decent I Stout, not mind blowing like i had hoped it would be. But still a decent offering

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Wreck Alley Imperial Stout from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 247 ratings