Oak-Aged Imperial Stout | Left Hand Brewing Company

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Oak-Aged Imperial StoutOak-Aged Imperial Stout
226 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: 226 |  Reviews: 196
Reviews by coldmeat23:
Photo of coldmeat23
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Pours super dark brown. Practically black. One-finger head of creamy light brown foam. Dissipates to a thin filmy layer. Lacing is spotty, and somewhat minimal, but what is there is sufficently sticky.

Smells delicious. Nice presence of sweet roasted malts. Almost cherry-like. Good hints of oak and brandy. Dark fruits with a light touch of brown sugar. Mild earthy notes. Very light traces af vanilla.

Man, that is nice. Sweet roasted dark malts. Hints of cocoa powder. Smooth sweet touch of vanilla. Dark fruits drizzeled in a light brown sugar glaze. Hints of butterey oak with a light touch of smoke. Light booziness of brandy with a slight warming charachteristic. Mild hints of caramel.
Being fresh this one is begging for some cellaring time, despite that it's delicious, already. I can't wait to see how this one opens up in a year or two.

This truly is representative of what I, personally, want my beer to feel like, in my mouth. It's so smooth and creamy. Like caressing your tongue with some weird liquid velvet and silk hybrid thing. This is absolutely wonderful in the mouth.

According to Left Hand Brewing's website, I'm going to assume that this brew has 10.2% ABV. Damned if I can taste it, though. This is truly a hit out of the park for Laft Hand. Super tasty and super drinkable. This one is a total keeper.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine July 2007.

Oak aging is still hot. Here, Left Hand has produced a blend, with 25 percent of the beer being oak-aged and blended back in. This beer combines French Oak flaked oats in the beer--so we know to expect a certain level of smoothness.

Black as night, impervious to light. Nice thick tan lace drapes some stickage on the glass just to show off a bit. Whiffs of licorice root, chicory, carob and green figs permeate the nostrils. The smoothness is godly--soft yet active as it rolls off the tongue. Creamy full body shows a good amount of girth. Flavors of burnt raisins, dark chocolaty malt, mild roast coffee, licorice root and (most notably) oak bring layers of complexity to the game early. Ghostly vanilla flavor from the oak. Modest hopping and a slow alcohol at first, but after several sips, it makes up for lost time as the palate quickly warms. Finishes with a slight burnt tone as it dries up a bit.

They were right on target with the 25 percent oaked blend, which has produced a good balance between drinkability and complexity. It's a sipper that never goes overboard. Pair it with chocolate-covered cherries.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle aged in French oak wine barrels. Pours from the bottle into my glass a nice black with a dark brown/red tint to it as well. A small light tan head appears and falls quickly with some spotty lacing. Aromas begin with dark roasty malts, light coffee tones and cocoa syrup. Some caramel is there as well with a nice mix of oak and vanilla tones as well. Quite nice.

First sip brings a smooth dark malty flavor accentuated by chocolate and a touch of coffee. There's a nice mellow oak presence in there along with some vanilla flavors as well. Goes down easily and is actually quite mellow while still having a nice full flavor. Finishes with lingering dark chocolate and vanilla....good brew!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a nice mellow carbonation. Has a big body without getting to be too much. Fairly easy to drink considering the abv. I could see myself drinkin a decent amout of this, but I think the 750ml bottle is best shared with friends. A solid brew from the folks over at Left Hand...here's to 10 more years of brewing!

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Photo of Beaver13
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Aged about 1 year since bought.

Pours a dark brown with a big light tan head that has great retention and leaves some lacing. Some yeasty floaties are present towards the bottom.

The aroma is a little subdued. There is some vinous, sherry alcohol. Also notes of chocolate, figs and woodiness.

This brew has a smorgasbord of flavors! There is anise, some light sweetness, roasted chocolate, well hidden alcohol, figs, wood notes, and smokiness. It has a light bitter roasted finish. Very well balanced and quite the treat! The mouthfeel is excellent as well. Full bodied and very smooth and creamy.

Overall, an excellent brew! Makes for a wonderful Thanksgiving treat!

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Photo of shapudding
4.87/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I got the end of this bottle at a tasting party, so my glass had tonnsss of oaky chunks a-floating in it. Deep brown in color, can't see through it. Small bubbles with a good head covering it with a khaki brown head. Amazing scents of oakiness, chocolate and coffee. I let the oak chunks settle so I could sip and enjoy this wonderful flavor. I love the oak flavors in this! They are not overwhelming at all, just perfect. Coffee and toffe in there also... Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, easy drinking for us stout lovers! sooo yummy!

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

22 ouncer, $9.99 @ DeCiccio's Market, Ardsley, NY. Pours darkest shades of brown/near black. Dark tan frothy head, long lasting, then disolving to a film and leaving strands of fine lace. Nose of lite smoke, ripe fruit and lite chocolate. NOse follows thru into the flavor profile, more smoke/wood, ripe fruits, dark chocolate, and moderate drying hops later on. Nice stuff, seems a bit lite on the dark malt notes for the style, but I am not complaining, this stuff is mighty tasty and well worth a try.

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Photo of tigg924
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, dark brown in color, clear

Smell: oak and toasted malt jump out

Taste: oak, chocolate, vanilla, and rich coffee

Mouthfeel: heavy bodied, light carbonation, sweet

Drinkability: Very drinkable despite the high ABV. I do want this again. Here the oak is present and adds to the overall enjoyment. It mixes well with the sweetness. Very good for the style.

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Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Grafter
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened from a 750ml bottle this pours a dark black light does not pass though, it is topped with a thin whit head. The smell is immediate oak with a backing of coffee. Taste is a sweet coffee with some vanilla on the back of the tongue this is an excellent stout. Mouthfeel is a very smooth creamy texture you cannot feel the alcohol in this at all. Drinkability is the only issue here and only because it is 10.4% this stuff goes down smooth. i will definitely be heading to the store to pick up the few bottles that are still on the shelf.

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Photo of dwvarner77
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep deep brown, nearly black, with a huge mocha-colored head that meanders its way down to about a quarter inch.
The aroma is that of roasted malt with hints of oak, and something light and sweet behind that, maybe some chocolate. Not a huge impression on the nose.
The flavor is much bigger than the aroma would indicate. Lots of dark roasted malt, with some chocolate and coffee, and woody hints. Exceptional flavor, not too strong or overpowering. Great balance. A hint of alcohol is picked up in the aftertaste.
The mouth feels thick with a slight carbonation. Maybe a little less full or chewy than would match the flavor, but pretty good nonetheless.
Easily drinkable for a double stout. Be careful, the 10% alcohol is well camouflaged. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of ADR
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

For all intents and purposes, completely black and opaque. Head is very attractive, a bright tan color with tiny carbonation bubbles. Thick but widely-spaced laces. Aroma of roasted nuts and rich jam, musty wood tones. Mouthfeel is solid, thick but backed by better carbonation than some of the "motor oil" Imperial Stouts. Nice taste, senses of oak (its nice that the wine barrels really do come through, imparting vinous and vanilla character), turns slightly mocha mid mouth and hops are felt. Sherry-like fluidity, tannins, and alcohol are notable. Starts off with a slightly fuzzy sense on the tongue early, along with a lot of sweetness, a little strange and without a balancing point. A nice and well-done beer overall -- still seems a bit overpriced and the twist-off for the cage is too small and the cork is an absolute bear to wrestle out.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage seems to be coming around a bit better than when it was released earlier this year, I had one then and I wasn't impressed enough to even write a review. Appears pitch black, abolishes all visible light spectrums, does form with a very nice sized tan head with excellent retention. Lacing definitely sticks to the sides and with the 10 percent alcohol by volume and oak brandy barrel aging I'm surprised that the head holds up so well. Aromatics offer up awesome complex fruit layers hidden amongst teh dark chocolate and roasted coffee edges from the loads of dark malts added into this brew. Hops in the nose range from mild pine to deep herbal tones, but you can tell there's a good amount of hops to stand up to the alcohol and the malts to equate to some balance. A nice even creamy dark chocolate tone really stands out, with maybe just a touch of charred vanilla the oaked aging effects are pretty minimal thanks to the blending of oak with non oaked imperial stout I believe the ratio is 25/75. Flavor brings on a collision of alcohol deep fruit, ripened fruit soaked in alcohol sherry notes with charred oak vanilla, a touch of soy sauce and deep anise notes as well. Dark roasted coffee with bitter dark chocolate, and bring on the earthy/pine hoppiness in there as well. Pure poetry I'm glad I snagged one of the surviving bottles from this past winter it's really making a mark on me, not a huge fan of oak aged beers this one is excellent. Mouhfeel glides and leaves you warm with hope that someday not all Oak aged beers will suck and be so overhyped, because my friends this one is the shit. Full bodied yet creamy textured all the way, simply rolls across the palate...not many other beer experiences to compare this to. Carbonation is dead on just barely makes an imprint on it slow moving bubbles that are sturdy enough to back up the big lucious malt profile. Drinkability, I'm enamored by the fact that I have come across an oak aged brew that is fanfuckin'tastic, forget sharing with friends enjoy or horde by yourself. Kidding break this one out with fellow beer enthusiasts and blow people away, another knockout beer from Left Hand.

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

Appearance: The body is dark black with some mild brown highlights. A thick mocha head with mild lacing.

Smell: There is a bunch of roasted malt in the foreground. There are also minor notes of vanilla, chocolate, oak, and some bourbon.

Taste: The roasted malt and an unsweetened chocolate bitterness are the driving forces here. The vanilla and oak add a nice balance. The bourbon comes through a little.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied for a RIS. Light carbonation. Creamy on the tongue.

Drinkability: A good imperial stout. The oak adds a nice lingering flavor.

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Photo of glid02
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Porter Beer Bar in Atlanta.

Pours black with dark brown highlights when held up to light. The head is one-finger of brown foam that recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of roasted malts with hints of vanilla and oak. As it warms slight amounts of unsweetened chocolate waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though more robust. Equal parts roasted malt and vanilla flavors kick things off and give way to woody flavors midway through the sip. The ending is solidly bitter with hints of unsweetened chocolate, though the majority of the bitterness is attributed to the roasted malts.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing a 12 oz. glass of this and could go for another.

Overall I was impressed with this beer, especially as I've been underwhelmed by Left Hand's other big beers. Definitely worth a shot.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an snifter)

A- This beer has a black body but not really dense just opaque enough to block the light. There is a creamy light tan head that has a layer of big bubbles sitting on top. The head last for a good bit and makes rings on the glass after each sip. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles that can be seen as they bump into the side of the glass and slide up to the top.

S- This beer has a smell of dark roasted malt with a brown malt and dates note to it. There is some hints of cream and milk chocolate that become stronger as the beer warms.

T- The taste of dark roasted malt has a hint of burnt taste with a chocolate nougat filling along with it. The flavor of prunes has a slight tang that hangs on to the finish. There is a light hint of wood that comes through as the beer warms but it is pretty faint.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with clean finish but no real alcohol heat.

D- This beer is smooth but doesn’t have much depth. The malt flavors are nice for a porter but it was pretty creamy and sweet for an Imperial Stout. The wood was also very subtle and a little more flavor could have helped this beer.

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

2009 version, 25% aged in oak brandy barrels.

Pours a deep impenetrable black with a light tan head that lingers for a moderate amount of time and leaves ok lacing.

Nose has hints of almost a belgian style stout, alot of chocolate. Some good oaky brandy notes, but they take a back seat to roasted malt and chocolate.

Wow. This is quite a bit more complex than the nose indicated. Lots of roasted malt and deep chocolate notes. Some slight coffee flavors, but the first two dominate early. As the finish approaches there is a little bit of a hop crispness, but i wouldn't call this a hoppy stout by any means. There is a slight plastic quality in the aftertaste im not terribly fond of, that also made itself known in the nose, but it really isn't significant enough to be particularly offputting. The brandy does make itself known, especially in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Nice and viscous without being soup. I would like just a tiny touch more carbonation here, but not a huge deal.

Drinkability is pretty good, especially for an oak aged brew. There is a tiny bit of heat, but this one is still quite young. The abv is fairly well hidden.

Overall a very nice imperial stout. Not the greatest impy stout out there, but a good example of the style, and a fairly unique take on it. I like that the oak aging isn't overdone, and the chocolate profile is very nice, makes it seem almost belgian stouty. We'll see how this one does with some age. I like it how it is, but i do think it will improve some with a little time. Give it a shot!

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Photo of cokes
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep, dark mahogany, Blackish by most lighting, but translucent ruby under a powerful beam. The head is a steadfast greying tan, and endures for a long, long time.
Nose is lightly vinous, with jellied prune. Backed with 3/4th complete bourbon. That is to say, that there are boozy, woody, vanilla-and-caramel traits here. But it's not really the completed deal. Traces of roasted, smoked malts, and an ebbing grainy astringency rounds-out the olifactory experience.
Enters the mouth with a medium roast coffee and grilled white meats. Toasty caramel ventures in next. Oak barrels provides structured wood, tannins, and vanilla, but are not altogether explict. Except, maybe, for the tannic contributions. Pipe smoke lingers throughout. It is manifest from the get-go, and endures post-swallow. Plummy hues enter after the midway mark, and it gains some oxidized cardboard hues. Bourbon is hinted at, but never developed in full, it's mostly just brown sugar. Ends with a compacted wintergreen hop notation.
Medium bodied, at best. Steadily carbonation throughout.
The malt foundation seems lacking and the barrel fails to contribute much intrigue. This is a solid, and easily downed big stout. But in relation to others, it lacks significantly.
I think that their nonbarreled Imperial Stout is (was) better...and much more practical, cost-wise.

Underwhelming, but fairly decent.

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Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very good tasting beer. Dark and nice head. Rich and yet still somewhat watery mouthfeel. Vanilla, roast, whiff of smoke, licorice, coffee, chocolate.
Barrel took edge off strength of imperial stout strength and colour. Yet still complex and nicely drinkable. Recommended.

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

Left Hand Oak Aged Imperial Stout
2007 750 ml corked bottle

A: poured into a tulip glass translucent black with a red highlights and a 1in head that left a nice oily film on the glass.

S: Strongly oak. Coco and coffee aroma. Also dark fruit and vanilla.

T: Chocolate and coffee with some oak in there. Alcohol was not hidden but slight vanilla sweetness helped cut through it. mmm smooth and creamy

M: Sticky and creamy, coats mouth but doesn't linger on the palate. Makes you want more

D: This was very drinkable and gone pretty fast. Though it was slightly thick and chewy there wasn't much aftertaste.

This was an awesome IS ... with 3 years age I am only guessing it only helped especially with the alcohol bite. I enjoyed this and will be looking for more!

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Photo of AnPiobaire
3.42/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured this Imperial Stout into a goblet at about 52 degrees. The brewe poured a lighter then anticipated dark brown with very little head that did not stick around and no lacing wahtsoever.

The nose is of roasted malts and a note of cocoa.

The taste is all chocolate. Almost overpowering so. There is a sweetness that is similar to a milk stout that slowly receds with a cocoa finish.

The mouthfeel is less then expected. This brew is much thinner then I expect in an imperial stout. In addition this brew is more carbonated then I expected.

OVerall it is a nice oak aged imperial stout that I would be glad to order if I saw it on tap somewhere, but I won't be hunting it down anytome soon. Enjoy!!!

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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 russpowell
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Corked & caged 07 offering purchased in Tulsa (either at Mid town or ranch ). Opened with a resounding pop!

Pours mahogany with a finger of mocha head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Vanilla & oak, plus some leafy hops, & semi-sour bourbon notes chime in as this warms

T: Roasty malt, vanilla & slight oaky sourness up front & a touch of mocha as well. Vanilla & oakyness lead as this warms, along with toffee & touch more bourbon sourness& dark fruits. Finishes dry with caramel, vanilla & semi-lactic sourness. Almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Medium bodied, semi-smooth carbonation & pretty good balance

Drinks very easy, none of the roughness I saw in the old non oak-aged version. ABV is well hidden. Not an upper tier Imp Stout, but worthy of your consideration on a cold Winter's night..

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

Pretty much black, but some light does get through when you hold it up to it. Decent brown head with good lacing.

Smells of chocolate, coffee and raisin.

Immediate impression is of "creamy" bitter sweet cocoa, some coffee and slightly vinous.

Almost feels as if IM swallowing a wine at times, full tannic mouthfeel and soft carbonation.

High alcohol beers just keep getting better and better.
(But this ain't no Malt Liquor, Texas!)

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

A: Pours a dark coffee color with a thin tan head.

S: 10.4% abv is hiddenly nicely on nose and flavor. Some dried cherries, oak hints with just a boatload of cold sweetened coffee for flavor that is very rich and dark.

T: Flavor is very light roasted malt, rich chocolate, and black licorice which is then overpowered by the massive coffee flavor. dry pine with some earthy hop bitterness. This beer starts out with some good woody character and dried fruit but doesn't last long as the massive coffee palate soon drowns out all the other flavors.

M: Big mouthful with only a slight alcohol detection upon warming of the tongue.

D: A good hearty stout maybe a little over the top coffee wise which hurts the complexity of this brew. A good brew for those hearty stout and coffee lovers.

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Oak-Aged Imperial Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 226 ratings