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 Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 02-15-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 225 |  Reviews: 196
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 nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of bigdaddypolite
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of richbrew
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Jspriest
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of Mscarpen
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried the 2009 variant of this just the other day. Good stuff, although it was hard for me to rectify its designation as a malt beverage and as an imperial stout. Not sure how that works, but either way... It was yummy.

Appearance: dark amber with a thin very dark tan head. Pours kind of thin.

Smell: Sweet, candy aromas.

Taste: sweet from the get-go with cherry/fruit labors on the back end. Slight bitter with moderate chocolate notes.

Mouthfeel: medium viscosity, light syrup, and medium carbonation.

Overall: a decent oak aged beer, but still feeling a little wierd about the malt beverage designation.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz poured into snifter. 2009 vintage.

A - Pours a light black with dark brown edging. Single finger off-white to light tan head. Lacing hung on for a while before giving up.

S - Lots of oak, raisins, chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla

T - Smooth brandy flavour integrating well with the oak, vanilla and cocoa powder. There is a roast chocolate component to it and a hint of anise. Great brandy treatment

M - Super smooth. Medium/heavy and just right. A bit tacky

O - A great 2 year old Imperial stout. I really liked the brandy flavour coming through. Excellent beer.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber of the 2009 vintage. Pours a deep brown color with a fluffed dark head. Displays average retention but leaves some really nice, sticky lace.

Nose has some obvious wood character along with lots of chocolate and a decent amount of dark fruit.

Taste has smoothed out considerably! I am not sure if this is the same recipe as the regular LH imperial stout, but WOW...what a difference. Alcohol is well hidden and has a brandy-esque influence and lots of chocolate. Like one of those Pepperidge Farm Pirouette sticks swirled around in some oak juice. Some vanilla adds to the mix as it warms a bit...everything is well integrated yet individual characteristics can still be picked out. I am surprised at how nice this beer is, quite a treat. I would definitely buy some more of this if I found it.

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Photo of bobhits
2.08/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Rather thin looking stout on the pour, builds a nice head that vanishes in no time. A touch watery looking even as black as it is.

Sweet vanilla, fruity wine like notes but more red wine like notes, but cold so I’ll wait for it to warm to finish this part. A bit smoother around the edges as it warms, but it isn’t making this better.

I think there are a lot of hops here, but the oak aging is pulling out the hops and creating an amazingly smooth finish. Then the alcohol starts to kick in. At around 4 years old I wouldn’t expect that. The problem is there isn’t anything great here. A lot of nuance but nuance needs to be built on something that is inviting and well good. Stout lovers will enjoy this and won’t complain, but this beer fails to be inviting to anyone who is on the fence Room temp this is starting to take on a buttery note which is greatly enhancing the beer. That said just not pushing far enough.

I could come up with things I enjoy in most parts of this beer, but the mouth is awful. Still a lot of alcohol, thin (for style), and after a few sips the carbonation vanishes and it just feels awful.

It’s not dark enough, not carbonated enough (age here is a factor), not creamy enough, not viscous enough, doesn’t bring out deep dark chocolate, no real coffee flavors, plenty of oak….really I’m at a loss here.

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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 Gushue3
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been really broke lately so havent been buying too much crazy stuff so was PUMPED to see this for 6.99 sown the street. Havent had a BA brew in a little bit. lacing looks good

A- pours darker brown and can see through and sits black in thr glass. very large head that turns foamy and has serious retention.

S- Big sweetness off the bat. caramel and darker fruits dominate with some vanilla in there. Theres a nice malt backbone and chocolate hints are thrown through out.

T- Malty. Darker fruit and brown sugar are prominent with a slight alcohol burn in the middle. The light burn continues to the finish that turns to a very sweet/lightly bitter lingering.

M- heavier mouthfeel that suits this big beer nicely. Lots of carbonation but doesnt feel like too much. turns creamy after each pull.

O- Very nice beer. nice taste that isnt too much of one thing. well balanced and full of flavor.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.62/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle poured into a Tulip. Very light tan head that was quickly just at the edges.

Smell of cocoa, roasted malts, booze, roasted malts, toffee, caramel.

Mostly cocoa flavor on this one, but it is slightly fizzy and too thin for my taste. There is the toasted marshmallow flavor that is very nice with oak and some cocoa, but a bit of booze in here takes it down a few notches in my book. Plenty of caramel and cocoa nib flavors to go around. I like that there is no ashy charred flavors to this one at all, it just comes across as slightly thin.

A solid stout, just have recently had a few others that had more complexity / more body.

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

Poured out of a bomber into my Duvel. Dated 2009.

A - Pours pitch black out of the bottle with a tan 2 inch head. Head receded quickly.

S - Mocha and chocolate. Some raisin as well. Just a hint of the alcohol comes right through at the end.

T - Chocolate and toffee tastes like the smell. Very rich and creamy. Some of those dark fruits roll through. Makes me think of tasting a nice rum cake. Has a sneaky alcohol burn at the end. Slow to come but warming.

M - Medium bodied and thinner then I expected. Leaves the palate with a creamy slick.

D - Have a couple but the ABV would stop you in your tracks fairly quickly. Overall a solid stout.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured into a snifter.

Body is very dark with a slight tan-mocha head and a small amount of lacing as it goes down the curved edges of the glass. The nose brings a really nice combination of oak, vanilla, light coffee, chocolate, and some roast. The taste brings some strong oak and chocolate with vanilla lingering in the background. The feel has a bit too much oak and has a bit of alcohol. Drinks quite well and might be the best beer I've had from Left Hand.

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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 cpetrone84
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Kevin for sharing this one!

A-pours a dark black liquid with a a light thin tan colored head.

S-hints of dry oak hit the nose first with loads of milk chocolate up front, some molasses, hints of anise as sweet dark fruits come into play in the back.

T-the taste is quite big and rich, loads of chocolate cake, a good bit of anise and a touch of molasses, there is some slightly dry ashy oak with a faint bit of sweetness in the back.

M-good full body, soft and creamy on the palate, well carbonated for a smooth finish with just a hint of crisp bitterness.

D-well balanced stout, the barrel aging seems light and hasn't imparted very much to my palate. nice inviting feel with plenty of malt richness.

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Photo of doubleipa
4.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was bottled in 2006 and has been properly cellard since then.
Creamy, light brown head - fully dimished.
Aroma: heavy on the malt and dark bread, heavy smoke (yum), clove, and pepper. Even though it's four years old there isn't any of the raisin, port aroma that's so typical of cellared beers. Even after four years this beer has really gottenbetter. One of my best cellaring experiences. So many of the beers I've cellard have proven to be dissapointments. This goes down really smooth. Can't feel or taste the 10.5 ABV

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Photo of nrbw23
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a black color with a nice frothy brown head. Head has pretty good retention, and left just a bit of spotty lacing here and there.

S- Smells of chocolate malt with a very faint oak touch.

T- Taste is chocolate and roasted malts, hoppy finish, touches of toffee, and oak/vanilla. Let this one warm up quite a bit and then it becomes really solid. Alcohol is well hidden.

M- Fuller side of medium in body and fairly light carbonation. Just maybe a touch on the thin side.

D- A little disappointed in this brew. A sipper and fairly easy to drink. Just not my favorite.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into Sprecher snifter.
2007 vintage.

A- Pours a very deep brown. No transparency whatsoever. A half finger worth of head that gathers around the rim of the glass and decent lacing left.

S- Big doses of toasted malts, caramel and some smooth oak. A little bit of molasses and the alcohol creeps in there just a bit. Very faint black licorice rounds it out.

T- At first sip, nice amounts of malt, oak and some caramel. A little dark chocolate creeps in there and just a little sugary sweetness. The age this has really mellowed this one out.

M- Right away I could tell this was a little thin for the style. Medium bodied with decent carbonation. With the 2 and some odds years on it, this has become quite smooth.

D- Lots of flavor and the alcohol never makes itself know except for a small amount in the nose. For as high as the ABV is, this is a good as you are going to find for a double stout.

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

This is a 2007 bottle; a 2009 bottle to follow. Bottle had a nice "pop" when cork removed. Poured a thick foamy frothy fine light tan head and some lace. Color is opaque black brown. Aroma is fresh pumpernickel, dark ripe fruit, yeast , malt cocoa. Flavor is like aroma and quite sweet. Sweeter than I'd anticipatedd. A little too sweet for me. Excellent round soft body and perfect carbonation. Very rich. Sipping beer. Don't really pick up any oak except at the very end there's a note.

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

2009 version: Porter brown pour to end as a black liquid, not viscous or thick in any manner, but dark and gloomy with a 1/2 inch foam to be found grown from the pour as it slides off quickly to micro thin strings of lacing flinged about the glass.

Aroma is a bit soft but welcome of dark tangy oak brazed chocolate, blackened bread crusts, smokey fig, prune, pale purple grapes, and bits of molasses and vanilla.

Taste is smooth and softly tendered into a unique tang of mild chocolate bitterness and tame smoked bacon oakyness with bits of cooked bready sugars, more dark tang of muted dark fruits that bring out dates, prunes, and dark cherry. A very nice and easy going melange of flavors create a smooth, soft tang thats both darkly fruited and mild chocolate centered with a smoked, oaky tone always floating to the surface making it interesting. Finishes slightly warm and urged with dark fruit tangy leftovers puffed with oak wood smoke.

Body is about medium, big on malt, but allured with a tang in a smooth,soothing tone of dark fruity malt; semi thick in the middle and gaining agirthy groundedness as it shifts towards the finish where oaky smokey tones mix with the dark fruity tang and behind it all is a mild bittering chocolateyness that simmers into a warming, smokey, puffy tang that's cheek grabbing and makes the tongue shrink.

Overall a pretty solid brew that seems more like a porter then a stout, but that may be splitting some fine hairs there as it burdens itself with a soft simple tang of oaky, smokey character of darkly set tang. Mild, soft, with a nice touch of chocolate underneath and a drinkability that starts well but then the 10% and warmth sets in quickly making for a fun sipper.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The label reads Oak Aged 2009/25% aged in Brandy barrels. Pours a medium black color, with beautiful ruby red highlights and a minimal amount of light brown head. Aromas of roasted malt, cherries, dark fruits and chocolate. The oak is more noticeable in the flavor here, along with roasted malts and espresso. A pretty decent beer, but I'm not sure it's as good as the regular imperial stout.

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