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Oak-Aged Imperial Stout | Left Hand Brewing Company

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Oak-Aged Imperial StoutOak-Aged Imperial Stout
225 Ratings
Oak-Aged Imperial StoutOak-Aged Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 225 |  Reviews: 195
Reviews by Douglas14:
Photo of Douglas14
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very black color,obviously, with an incredible tan head. It doesn't leave much lace or have much head retention...probably due to the pour at the bar. In the nose there is lots of dark malt, chocolate, bourbon (not sure why...makes me think what kind of oak barrels this was in), and alcohol. The taste has similar characteristics. It's a super rich beer. 12oz is probably too much. I know it's sold in bombers, which would be nice to split. Anyway, ibthink the carbonation level is perfect. Silky mouthfeel. This beer is awesome now...I would love to try it in a couple of years

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More User Reviews:
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm pretty sure I picked this one up at Oaktree in NJ. A corked 750ml bottle, 2007 vintage. Poured into my nonic Imperial pint glass. The stout appears a dark brown color with at least an inch of dense ecru colored foam. The head lingers for a bit before settling to a half inch thick ring, leaving a thin layer of lace on the inside of the nonic. Aromas and flavors are of dark chocolate, milk chocolate covered raisins, licorice, some winy tannins, alcohol is very well hidden at this point, some oak, coffee and mocha notes.Carbonation is leaning towards the lighter side with a medium to full body.

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Photo of nickfl
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers of creamy, light brown head on a deep, black body with clear, ruby highlights. It has good head retention and leaves behind excellent lace.

S - Deep rich aroma of hops and dark malt. Velvety citrus hop aroma along with mild notes of chocolate and coffee. Leather and a bit of vanilla along with some higher alcohols.

T - Lots of caramel malt flavors up front followed by bitterness from both hops and malt. The leather note from the aroma is distinctly present here as well along with a bit of tobacco. The finish is peppery and alcoholic with a lingering coffee note.

M - Moderate carbonation with a smooth, slightly chewy body.

D - This goes down pretty easy, despite the fact that you can easily detect the 10.5% alcohol. It kind of reminds me of the milk stout, if they dialed it way up and let it make friends with some oak barrels. There is a good bit of complexity to this beer, but no one element is overwhelming. The aroma is a little flat, but the flavor is excellent and remains enjoyable long after the beer is gone. The only real flaw is the alcohol presence but I have a feeling that would fade with age (in fact, this beer practically begs to be cellared).

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.18/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2007 vintage

A - dark as night, welling up a one and a half finger of dark tan/light brown head, too dark to note any carbonation

S - a milky sweetness atop a deep coffee/chocolate/mocha aroma

T - can taste the tarty sweetness of oats, it slowly melds into a coffee/mocha flavor, kind of one sided, any balance/layering hops have faded over almost two years.

M&D - a bit tannic since it was aged too long, but smooth, couldnt finish the whole bottle, the tartness was a bit too much for me, need to try one fresher

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Photo of mdvatab
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage. Received in mid-2011 as an extra in a trade.
Poured from 22oz bottle into Bordeaux glass.

A: Dark, rich caramel, molasses, powdered hot cocoa mix, chocolate milk, and some grape-like fruitiness.

A: Dark brown (Pours a bit thinner than I'd expected for the style.) 1 finger, light tan head sticks around for much longer than anticipated.

F: Very sweet up front. Carmelized sugar, milk chocolate, and some booze on the end (but it's not hot). Overall, I'm getting caramel more than chocolate in this one. Not what was expected, but a pleasant surprise.

M: Thinner than anticipated. Medium-full body. And this one's well-carbonated. Possibly a bit crisp for the style, but it lent itself to a dense, creamy head.

O: A true-to-style Imperial Stout? Not really. I enjoyed this one enough, though, so I'll give Left Hand some leeway. If you can find this one, I definitely recommend it!

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Photo of mountdew1
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a dark brown/black that was mostly opaque. It has a small mocha brown head that lasted a long time. The aroma was slightly sweet, strongly reminded me of milk chocolate. Taste was milky, akin to a creamy milk chocolate. Slight bitterness at the end of the sip coated the inside of the mouth. Felt great in the mouth. Coated very well, clung nicely, just a bit of carbonation to spice it up. This beer didn't hide the ABV at all. It hit very fast, and was noticeable before half a glass was gone. That was the only detractor from the drinkability.

2009 Label

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Photo of JuddRogers
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The aging seems to have turned this stout into barlywine!

Pours very dark, very pretty. Nice head once you let it warm up from the 'fridge. Lots of lacing.

Smell is mild. Malt and Oak. Or at least some suggestion of wood. But not strong. Very refined.

Rather sweet. Nice balance of bitter and sweet. Great mouth feel. Round. There are lots of subtle flavors in this once it warms.

Compares well to Oaked Yeti.

Worth aging in the bottle to see what it will do.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color with some good highlighting. Head is tall, tan, and very sticky. Aromas of roasted malt, lots of cocoa and coffee. Charred wood and some fusel alcohols.

The flavor is good, not great. Some oakiness, with apparent alcohol. Roasted barley, sweetness from crystal malt, and a little smoothness from the oats. The hops are present, with pine and a little citrics.

Good beer overall, but not my favorite Left Hand. Solid Imperial Stout.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Black with a light white head in a standard pint glass. Smells good like chocolate. Tastes very good, more chocolate, different than all other RIS in my opinion just like the regular version (but way better, like comparing tootsie rolls and gourmet chocolate), excellent flavor. Drinkability is crazy despite the 10.4%, which was pretty much undetectable to the tongue. I really expected this beer to fall far short of expectations due to the price but it is very good and I got it on sale for $9 so...yes it was worth it and I am going to try and get some more. This beer was impressive and by far the best Left Hand beer I have ever had.


This is about a year old at this point and the wood has really started to show up. There is an astringent mouthfeel and a decent amount of carbonation. I think I liked this beer a lot more about 8 months ago.


The wood seems to have faded back in this beer. There is a hard-candy flavor and for a moment I tasted malted milk balls. Still, the alcohol has not been tamed much. Honestly I think this beer was better fresh and should not have been aged. Oh, well.

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

2009 vintage. This poured a nearly black ruby color with lots of tan head. It smelled like milk chocolate and roasted barley, with oak and some coffee and copper hops. It tasted like milk chocolate with burnt coffee and roasted barley, licorice, and oak. It was slightly thick with moderate carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste with a bit of alcohol warming. Overall this smelled great but the taste wasn't quite as good. It had good body, but some alcohol was present, so it was a better sipping beer. Some age might help bring out the sweeter malt notes and dull the alcohol a bit. The oak wasn't as strong as I hoped, so maybe age could help that too? Fresh, this beer is good not great.

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Photo of timbro81
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a standard inky black and is topped by a nice light tan head. Nice hints of oak, vanilla, mocha, burnt bitter malts, alcohol, and a smidge of dark candied fruits. Right away I notice the velvetinees of the mouthfeel, nice. Really tight tastes, everything is really compacted together, takes a while to understand what I'm tasting. Mocha and burnt malts dominate throughout. Aftertaste is very generous and oaky, leaves my tongue tingling. I enjoy this beer very much.

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

Many, many thanks to csmiley for the bottle.

Oak Aged Imperial Stout is a dark chocolate brown color. It's nowhere close to opaque. Burgundy highlights are apparent with backlighting. It's capped with a light tan head that stands about two fingers tall. It recedes quickly, and leaves a moderate trail of lace in its wake.

The nose is a just a little weak, but is good overall. It features a nice base of roasted and chocolate malts. The chocolate variety smell bittersweet and a little cocoa-ish. Roasted coffee is easily noted, and is a perfect complement the malts. I'm not getting much, if any, oak. Apparently, only 25% was aged in oak barrels, so there's not much to work with. Alcohol is blended well. I'm not smelling anywhere near 10% level.

The flavor is very good. I like it quite a bit. The blend of roasted and chocolate malts is very nicely done. It is a little bittersweet and cocoa-like. Roasted coffee really drives the flavor up a notch, as well. Having said that, it's not a very strong coffee flavor. With each passing sip, it becomes more and more apparent that cocoa is the primary flavor. There are some light black licorice and anise flavors at the secondary level. They add some nice depth. There's a hint of oak, but not much. No big surprise at this point. Alcohol is masked almost completely. Oak Aged Imperial Stout is impressive stuff. I'm convinced at this point, it's worthy of a 4.5 for flavor.

The body is light-medium and feels too thin. For a stout this big, it really needs a bigger body. Carbonation feels light, and it is smooth. More body would really help though. Drinkability is good. This is one easy drinking, big stout. I'm mindful of the 10% abv, so a 750 is enough. Probably more than enough, but it's too good not to finish.

Left Hand has a big time winner with Oak Aged Imperial Stout. I'm really impressed. It's not perfect. The nose could use some strength, and a bigger body would really help. But, the flavor is definitely impressive. I think it would benefit from a stronger oak presence. But, it's very good as is. Do yourself a favor and grab a bottle if you see it.

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Photo of DavidEddie
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from Binny’s in Naperville back in June. Finally got around to this one.

Pours dark brown, black in appearance with a creamy off white head that hangs around awhile. Smells of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, some dark fruits and booze. Tastes of dark chocolate, roasted malts, mild coffee, and a bit of oak. Kinda sweet. Mouth feel is thick and creamy. Lots of carbonation. Drinkability is easy for 10% ABV. Alcohol was hidden enough. Flavors aren’t too bold but still very enjoyable and tasty. Cheers!

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

750ml bottle into 8oz snifter. Features jagged chain-linked art with a fierce red dragon in the middle. Mixed with 25% oak aged RIS.

Pitch black hue with a light brown one finger head that slowly settles to a thin cap. A thin rim of lacing is left from the head. As the beer lowers it leaves behind rings of webby lacing.

Deep roasted malt is met by a dark coffee aroma with hints of chocolate. The alcohol quietly makes itself known.

Ultra smooth and roasted malt flavors with a sweet chocolate note. A touch of raisin and vanilla (from the oak) comes in as well. Full bodied with medium carbonation. The feel is sticky and smooth, and coats your mouth with each sip. The alcohol makes its way out as the beer warms.

This is a very smooth RIS. Be careful, the alcohol can sneak up on you. Recommended.

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Photo of peabody
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a dark black with a little reddish hue when held to the light. Lots of brown suds that are retained through most of this tasting. Lacing occurs after some of the suds have left.
Smell is perfect for this RIS with lots of coffee/chocolate malts and pungent yeast leaving a fruity fig/raisin aroma.
Taste is sweet and bitter at the same time with an alcohol tinge. This might need to rest for a year or so. Still the flavors are right up there with Stone's RIS. The oak aging doesn't come through as it does with the Stone but it is still a good brew.
Mouthfeel is pretty nice here too. Just a hint of oilyness after the bitter oak then the sugary sweet alcohol warms up the throat as well as the chest. Pretty warm brew for a 10%+/
Put this on Tap and have a bed handy and this would be a great session brew.

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Photo of tpd975
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big thanks to SeaBass for the share.

A: Pours a black hue with a creamy tan colored head. Very little retention and only a small spotting of lace.

S: Aroma is sweet with coffee notes up front. Light barrel notes as well come out mostly as oak with subtle hints of vanilla.

T: Nice tones of rich chocolate, roasted coffee, and some vanilla notes up front. Sweet molasses, light dark fruit and a touch of barrel goodness in the finish.

M: Thin for the style.

D: Not bad overall.

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Photo of beachbum1975
3.2/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Looks like a RIS with a big, white big bubbling head with some balls dangling. Looks thin with root beer edges.

Smells of vanilla and sweet caramel. Big nose.

Light bodied, vanilla and thin bodied. Not a whole lot going on beyond sweetness.

Ok, but I wouldn't run out to try it again.

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Photo of Lunch
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 22oz. bottle (2009) purchased at City Beverage in Winston-Salem, North Carolina into my Brooklyn Brewery snifter at the appropriate temperature (02/14/10).

A: Pours an extremely dark shade of brown with some slight ruby hues capped with a slightly off-white head of about a finger. Some faint lacing is left on the inside of the glass.

S: Quite Interesting. Lots of dark fruits, chocolate, coffee, and vanilla surrounded in a robust blanket of oak and brandy.

T: Dark fruits and chocolate are swallowed in a river of vanilla, oak, brandy and booze. Still rather young and a bit hot, but very unique and flavorful.

M: Medium to fuller-bodied with some creaminess, but felt a bit thin at times.

D: I must say that this bottle took a couple hours to consume which is quite rare for me. The 10% is certainly in play.

Overall this quite an interesting take on an Imperial Stout and certainly one that has many features that make it stand out, but is a bit rough around the edges.

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Photo of Jmamay22
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured dark as night from a beautifully silk screen 750mL bottle featuring a red dragon. Pour a thin creamy head that refuses to disappear.

S: Smells of alcohol licorice and chocolate. A typical stout smell, but very much inviting.

T: Raisins and chocolatey malts dominate and it finishes dry tasting of alcohol. Somehow the alcohol finish is very enjoyable and well placed. Rolls over my tongue feeling creamy smooth. Hints of vanilla blend in well throughout, but does well hiding in the background. Definetly benifits from the barrel aging that perfects the smooth moutfeel and taste.

D/Notes: Very enjoyable and drinkable even on this summer evening. The quarter blend suits the beer well. Unfortunately, it is very much overpriced and while I don't expect to get it again it was very enjoyable, but cost a bit much.

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Photo of CharlieMopps
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a menacing pitch black color that's impenetrable to light. A massive amount of head forms from an easy pour, and there is immaculate retention and lacing. The head is like one big, dense, khaki cloud.

S: Chocolate and oaky aromas waft up from a brief swirl of the glass, and there is a roasted malt scent underneath. The chocolate is much like a dark cocoa, and there is a sweetness that blends well with the oak.

T: Roasted malts are heavy up front and toward the middle, with a bit of alcohol also on the tongue washing back to an oaky finish. The oak accent is delicate, and complements the RIS well, rather than being overpowering and parching. This is how it should be, with the heavier malt feeling sticking around into the aftertaste.

M: Very well done on carbonation, and the heavier body is done justice from the mouthfeel.

D: For as much of a fan as I am of RIS's, this one accented with oak is quite a treat. While any high abv beer can be difficult to imbibe in a large quantity, this one is tasty enough to keep you sipping without care. Good stuff.

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

Thanks go to MrEd137 for sharing this bottle.

A: Super deep reddish brown. Mimimal amount of white head.

S: You really pick up a lot of the oak in the nose on this beer. Malt is there as well but I would say the oak dominates.

T:Sweet malt. Then the wood comes in. A hint of chocolate in the finish.

M: Very good carbonation for the style.

D: The wood begings to dominate more as it warms up. Despite that I found this to be a fairly drinkable beer especially considering the style and the barrel aging. This beer was aged from Dec 2006 and from what I have heard it really helped it out. Cellar this one for a while before drinking it. You will be rewarded.

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Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of ffejherb
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber into DFH specialty glass on 5/20/09. Thanks to FooFaa for sharing.

A - Poured a dark brown body with reddish tint and a thin tan head that diminished to a patchy veil and left a bit of spoty lace.

S - Sweet toffee and caramel malt with mild woody notes and a quite a bit of alcohol. Pretty astringent aroma overall, reminiscent of glass cleaner, for some odd reason. Some chocolate notes emerged as the liquid warmed up a bit.

T - Vanilla sweetness and earthy, woody notes with a prevalent alcohol presence reminiscent of brandy and oak. Chocolate and licorice notes appear in the finish with an astringent character.

M - Smooth, slick, oily texture with soft carbonation and a warm, alcoholic mouthfeel. Finish is astringent with a subtle earthy, woody hop bitterness.

D - Pretty nice Imperial Stout, especially after it warmed up, but doesn't measure up to the big boys, in my opinion. A bit too astringent for my personal tastes.

Brewslut's Quote of the Day:
"Gaseous Windex."

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this bottle up at Brawley's late last year and have had it sitting in my cellar ever since. I decided to open it up for a tasting the other night. Served in a snifter. Consumed on 08/23/2008.

The pour was very nice with a rich dark chocolate color coming forward immediately. Nice smallish tan colored head of foam quickly folded into a crown, but left behind copious amounts of side glass lace that more then made up for it.

The aroma was decadent, rich notes of cocoa and bourbon, with hints of vanilla and molasses swirling around in here as well. Lots of subtle smells in here, maybe a touch of smoke? Hard to say, but very nicely done. The flavor was less evident of barrel aging then I would have hoped, but then again only 25% of it was actually done. Still though it was decent, with more of a big Impy stout feel to it then anything else. Nice touches of coffee and cocoa, slight bourbon flavor on the finish and a vanilla flavor that lasted long after the others had faded. Nice full bodied feel, not as big as I would have liked, but still nicely done. Good carbonation and no dullness or slickness to it at all. A smooth sipper, the big ABV was covered up very well, in fact I could barely find any at all.

Overall this was a solid entry from them, nothing mind blowing, but still very nice. I would have no issues with try thing this one again any day.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured into tumbler at 50 degrees. Beer was light colored for a Stout, kind more brown than black. I really could not smell anything outstanding through the creamy head that went away fast. I was impressed with the creamy smooth tast, very drinkable and though this is a high % beer, it did not burn. Still, I most likely will not purchase again.

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Oak-Aged Imperial Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 225 ratings