Oak Aged Imperial Stout | Left Hand Brewing Company

196 Reviews
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 196 | Ratings: 225
Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.18/5  rDev -21.3%
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 bluejacket74
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage, 750 ml caged and corked bottle, 10.4% ABV. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with about a half inch tan head that went away pretty quickly. Not much lacing at all. Aroma is nice, it smells like roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, raisins, coffee and a bit of oak and licorice. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of some smoke in the taste. Also, the oak and licorice flavors are stronger tasting than the aroma would indicate. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating and has good carbonation, however I think it's also on the thin side for a stout. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and easy to drink, and the alcohol is hidden well. Overall I enjoyed this brew, I thought it was decent enough.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served at the Left Hand tasting room in a tulip glass, 12 oz pour. Jet black with a rich tan colored head. Malty bourbon aroma. Coffee and dark toast taste with a bit of bourbon in the finish. A bit of the alcohol pokes through on this as well as some bite from the carbonation, otherwise it would have been great. Too bad it was served on CO2, and not nitro.

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Photo of Scriba
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Vintage 2009 (25% malt beverage aged in oak brandy barrels)

A: Pitch black with a rich, light brown head. Looks fantastic! The head leaves plenty of lace after a couple of minutes.

S: Chocolate, roasted malt, flowers and candy, vanilla, alcohol.

T: Follows the smell very much, but there is also a hint of salty liquorice (salmiac) and a nice bitterness from the hops. The taste of alcohol is a little too much.

M: Full bodied with medium CO2. The alcohol stings the tongue.

D: A nice brew, but the taste of alcohol makes this bomber quite hard to finish. For some beers, alcohol isn't a problem, but this is a little too much.

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Photo of russpowell
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
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 ClockworkOrange
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
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 Sean9689
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml corked and caged bottle into DFH snifter.

A - Pours black with a tan head on an aggressive pour. The head settles down and leaves some lacing along the sides of the glass. A very thin layer of bubbles remain on this beer even after the head is nearly gone.

S - A fairly big nose on this one, impressive. Huge sweet molasses, chocolate, and oak notes with an alcohol kick to it as well.

T - Very woody, chocolate, not as much alcohol on the palate as the nose suggests. I'm pretty overwhelmed by the oak notes here, which overpowers the chocolate flavors. Now that the first few sips have gone down, I'm getting an alcohol burn in my chest. A bitter coffee bean/dark chocolate finish.

M - Medium to full bodied, good carbonation for the style, covers the palate well.

D - An okay Imperial Stout, but nothing crazy. Just average for me.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
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 Pencible
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
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 damienblack
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours kind of thick, but not quite syrupy dark brown. Decent head, but doesn't have the greatest retention. Smells solid of cocoa, powdery dark malt. Just right. Has a solid oaky base, but without being overpowering. Not too dark and roasty, more on the chocolatey side. Plenty of gravitas to it, though. Still pretty rich and flavorful. Appropriately carbonated, maybe a little on the high side for the style, but still within acceptible parameters. An extraordinarily drinkable big stout. Will have to look for this again!

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 05/23/2009. Bottle. Pours black with a thick light tan head. Aroma of roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and piney hops. Flavor of sharp roasted and sweet malt, some sweet brandy notes, roasted nuts. Slightly boozy. Chill, nothing too great.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4/5  rDev -1%
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 CrellMoset
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oak Aged Imperial Stout Left Hand, on tap at Capital Ale House, Innsbrook location, Glen Allen, VA.

Appearance: Arrives a deep, dull brown, capped by a bubbly brown head of obviously slightly-alcohol retarded but still impressive retention. The lacing is delicate and streaky, blotchy, and a little runny, leaving little streaks and whirligigs all over the sides of the ... what sort of glass is this anyway? A chalice? It's sort of like a port snifter. I'm gonna go with port snifter.

Aroma: Very toasty, with notes of cocoa and earthy, sweet coffee. Slight tannins, slighter vanilla, and a few green elements halfway between belie the barrel aging and are complimented by a handful of fruity notes. Nice.

Taste: Sweet and mild, more mild than I'd expect. Very woody and earthy, with toast notes coming across strongly. It's almost latte-like in places, slightly milky, and contains a strong red wine element, fruity, particularly in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and mildly carbonated. It's not too thick ... in fact, it's really sort of like chocolate milk. And that comparison makes me think it could use a little more carbonation.

Drinkability: An above-average brew, as most Left Hands are, but also not earthshattering. The wine barrel aging adds a nice element lacking in many barrel aged brews, notably, well, the wine, and the lack of char gives the earthiness a much lighter and greener element that compliments the toasty malts well. It's solid, it's drinkable, and the 10% is well-hidden, so I guess it's solid, but I just didn't find myself blown away by it.

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Photo of CHSLBrew
3.45/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a snifter.

A-Pours a very dark brown and appears almost black within the glass. Opaque. Light-tan bubbles are minimal on the surface.

S-Surprisingly bight aromas. Fruity and slightly hoppy, with a mildly detectable oak character.

T-Slight oakiness emerges, but really nicely in line with the large malty flavors. Minimal vanilla, slightly earthy in nature with a firm hop bitterness to counter. A misture of raisin and toffee comes forward near the end, with a definite alcohol flavor, almost sharp.

M-A pleasant glowing warmth. Moderate full body is paired with a moderate carbonation.

D-Rather drinkable. Enjoyable in its complex interplay of flavors, while being a quite enjoyable brew. Still, not my favorite brew and perhaps just a little off to me.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.62/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- This looks kinda thin, the head is very limited. The beer itself is a dark brown.

S- This has a great chocolate, coffee and vanilla smell. As well as a nice oak smell. A very hearty smelling brew.

T- The coffee is very strong, with a sweet chocolaty malt presence. This reminds me of Iron Horse's Quilters Irish Death, only thinner and a bit warmer.

M- Surprisingly thicker then the look, but still kinda thin.

D- Easy to drink.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: While I was not so impressed with the appearance in a previous review of the 'regular' imperial stout, it did better here, so take it with a grain of salt. Poured black as they will, and the head on this one was creamier than I remember... almost like a toasted marshmallow, and hanging on forever.

S + T: Aroma and flavour have not changed a great deal. Dark roasted malts dominate, with a little bit of a sweetness to it. For whatever reason, I'm not picking up on a very strong note of oak. There's a bit of woodiness there, yes, but it's not all that massive... that could very well be what they were shooting for, but it leaves my feelings about both to be about the same as the regular offering.

M + D: Again, similar to the regular release... a richer medium body, not completely 'full.' Reasonably smooth drinking, though. A little more of the woody notes come out as it warms up a bit, ad it makes for a really nice beer. Good stuff, and worth a try, at the very least.

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Photo of Drew966
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Oak Aged Imperial Stout pours a very dark brown with a thick tan head from a brown corked and caged 750 ml bottle. The aroma is malty, leaning toward cocoa or chocolate. The flavor also leans toward cocoa. The alcohol is well hidden, however there is some warming. The mouthfeel is on the thin side for this style, but it's not a deal killer. Overall, I rather enjoyed this beer, I'd recommend it.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. 22oz bottle served in a snifter. Poured a deep brown with a finger of tan head. Chocolate and cocoa in the aroma also some hops. Medium bodied with a smooth mouthfeel. Toffee dominated the flavor, also chocolate malt in there. Decent amount of hop bitterness. A bit of dark fruit. Maybe a little thin for the style. I really didn't get much wood character. Alcohol was not evident at all making this a very easy drinking beer at 10% abv.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
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 stonequarrywest
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had been looking for this one....Found 6 at The Party Source, newport, Ky.

Poured a dark brown black with a nice caramel colored head with minimal retention/lacing.
Smells of caramel/chocolate and coffee and a bit of oaky vanilla.
Taste is sweet..almost like rock candy melted in with some burnt malt and some light roasted coffee.
Mellow and a tad thin for my normal liking but it grew on me as the bottle emptied.
Damn smooth and yes nicely drinkable.

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Photo of Douglas14
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
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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Photo of zeff80
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Edition

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a three-finger, thick, rocky, bubbly, caramel-colored head head. It left sheets of sticky lace.

S - It smelled of dark chocolate and some bourbon.

T - It was roasty with sweet caramel and chocolate. Mild vanilla and oak flavors.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium to full bodied beer.

D - This is a good imperial stout. The oak aging made it smooth and mellow.

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Photo of dudecandle
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rattle n' Hum, NYC, into a 12oz snifter:

A: Dark dark brown nearing on black with a dark coffee-colored head which lasted a couple of minutes and had some modest lacing.

S/T: Robust. Dark chocolate malts with a bit of coffee. Smoked oak. A slight bite of dark fruit balances it out interestingly, but it's a mere sidenote to the smoked-to-burnt wood. A touch boozy.

M/D: This is one heavy beer. It's thick on the mouthfeel, and with each taste I just wanted to sit back and appreciate it for a couple of minutes before going on. Everything about this beer is just Robust.

Edit: After having quite a few other Imperial Stouts since, I have come to learn how amazing this beer really is. Wow.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Batch

A--Pours a very dark brown that has a bit of dark red hue when held up to the light. Standard pour yields two fingers of tan head in my pint glass and leaves a some decent lacing down the glass

S--Caramel malts, faint floral hops, the oak just barely peeks through if you really hunt for it. Fairly subdued scent overall.

T--Wow, the oak really smacks you in the face once it hits the tongue. A bit of brandy also with some dark fruits on the finish. Vanilla, caramel, maybe even some dark chocolate. Impressive brew.

M--Medium bodied with a small amount of sting from the carbonation. Leaves lots of oak in the aftertaste.

D--A great brew from Left Hand, very drinkable and enough flavor to make you want more.

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Photo of mikecharley
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Coldmeat23 for this in a trade at DLD this year. Got this one for drinkin, and one more for the cellar.

Pours a nice dark brownish color with a tan cap. Not to much head to speak of after like 2 seconds, it completely fades. This beer coats the glass nicely when swirled.

The nose is of oakey goodness, with some roasted barley, and some subtle brandy due to the barrel aging. The brandy really comes through as a little obnoxious once this warms near the end of the bottle.

The taste is of brandy, and oak, with the usual suspects found in an imperial stout. Roasted barley, burnt malts, with some bitter hops in the finish. As stated in regards to the nose, the brandy gets a little overbearing once this one warms up.

The mouth is a little lite on this one, but overall, an enjoyable brew if you like brandy barrel stuff.

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Oak Aged Imperial Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 225 ratings.
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