Wake Up Dead
Left Hand Brewing Company

Wake Up DeadWake Up Dead
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Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #504
Ranked #17,451
3.88 | pDev: 12.37%
May 07, 2022
May 04, 2011
Very Good
Wake Up DeadWake Up Dead
Notes: None
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
4.5 by Ernald_Elbertson from Delaware on Feb 02, 2021
3.86 by jroof1 from Massachusetts on Dec 20, 2020
Photo of StJamesGate
4.36/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by StJamesGate from New York

Viscous black with a steady creamy tan head; licorice, raisin + beef jerky on the nose; black chocolate, rock candy, blackberry jam, dates, espresso, cola hard candy and gentle roasty end; full, chewy, smooth.

4 4.25 4.5 4.5 4.25

Tug of war between dark savoury notes and surprising sweetness. Full + satisfying body without ever being cloying. The Nitro version is smoother and far more chocolaty - “cold Irish coffee” - but nowhere near as good; every sip tastes the same. Deep, complex + compelling.

Nov 13, 2020
3.92 by HopBelT from Belgium on Jun 01, 2020
3.72 by WTBash from Virginia on May 21, 2020
4.07 by JakerLou from New Hampshire on May 02, 2020
Photo of Delmarvabeer
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Delmarvabeer from Maryland

Bottle bought 9/2016, chilled and poured into a tulip glass 3/29/20.

Look: Pitch black, can't see any light through it when holding up to the light. No head. Slight lacing (maybe at peak 1/64th -1/128th inch) around the glass that is a bright white.

Smell: Balsamic, molasses, dried fruit, herbal, Espresso. brown sugar. Syrupy

Taste: Based on the smell you'd expect a syrupy sweet taste - you don't get that at all. Some dried fruit notes, minimal sweetness. More hop forward than I expected as I get a decent amount of bitter. Back end lacks the bite of a hoppier beer. Get notes of coffee and chicory that hangs around. 10.2% is a decent ABV but the beer doesn't taste boozy.

Feel: Much lighter bodied than expecting with a RIS. I would consider this either a medium or light bodied beer. Is very smooth. Possibly the aging played a role. I'd be curious to see how this would be off tap or in a recently bottled bottle. Minimal carbonation. Just enough to make this beer right. Again, I wonder what a fresher version would be carbonation-wise.

Overall: This is a pretty solid RIS. Probably a good introduction RIS for somebody who is more hop forward that would like to try something in the stout family. I personally consider myself a more RIS/Imperial Stout person and this hangs right there with what I consider a traditional RIS (see Old Rasputin, Stone's Imperial Russian etc.). Maybe a little more hop forward and less dried fruit than I like but I would definitely drink again.

Mar 29, 2020
Photo of harrypowers
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by harrypowers from Massachusetts

Pours black with a small short lived tan head.

Smells of coffee, chocolate and alcohol. Tastes of chocolate and coffee with a really bitter finish.

Medium body with light carbonation. Less syrupy and smooth tasting than most imperial stouts.

I found this brew to be more edgy than I would prefer for the type. They say it will age well so I am going to cellar the rest of the 4 pack for a while.

Sept 2020 update - Tried the second bottle. Still has a very bitter finish. Now I wonder if some of the heat I notice comes from something like chili peppers. Needs more mellowing time.

Mar 16, 2020
4.18 by mikerieder from South Dakota on Feb 15, 2020
Photo of Bitterbill
4.34/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Bitterbill from Wyoming

Bottle, best by April 2nd 2024, not a nitro.

Pours a pitch black with a fine layer of tannish foam. Lacing is not lacking.

Smells of black licorice, dark chocolate, coffee, wee bit of alcohol.

Lovely marriage of the aromas in the taste. Black licorice and dark chocolate seem to dominate but the coffee isn't far behind. Little bit of fruit going on which I reckon is raisins. Alcohol is there but not intrusive.

Body is close if not full, carbonation is on the gentle side.

I only picked up a single as part of a mixed 6pack. This is worthy of more than 1 bottle.

Feb 14, 2020
Photo of michaelsmith11
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25
by michaelsmith11 from Illinois

I was looking forward to trying this but I was a little disappointed. This is a nitro beer so it had, as i expected, a nice smooth creamy mouthfeel. My main complaint was when it was cold it had a tinny taste to it and a bit of it int he smell. As it warmed the tinny taste started to dissipate but by that time I had moved on.

Dec 22, 2019
Photo of LarryV
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by LarryV from Massachusetts

Pours an inky black with a shortlived small head. minimal lacing going on. Aroma of roasted malt, enticing. Big and bold flavor, slightly charred malty with a big hint of licorice. Never overly sweet, a bit smoky. Mouthfeel is medium, a little creaminess. ABV is quite well hidden, dangerously drinkable. A nicely done stout by Left Hand, I really enjoyed it and would visit this one again. Paid $11.99 for a 4 pack.

Update - at the one year mark, this beer is delicious. Mellows out and the heat from the alcohol isn't noticeable at all. Quite delicious.

Dec 08, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by GuyFawkes from Illinois

From old, undated notes. Poured from the bottle.

Pitch black liquid.

Khaki head; minimal lace.

Black licorice nose.

Thick, viscous mouthfeel.

Black licorice dominates the flavor profile.

Drinkable, but just too much.

Nov 30, 2019
3.79 by nruhlig from Minnesota on Nov 29, 2019
Photo of Davidpolenz33
4.89/5  rDev +26%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by Davidpolenz33

The best beer I can remember having besides possibly the xocoveza by stone. Smooth silky smooth nose and finish, my favorite nitro by far. So buzzed from two, I could barely drive home.

Nov 19, 2019
Photo of sjdevel
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
by sjdevel from Utah

Looks really dark / black. Low on carbonation. Didn't get much on the aroma - some hops, some charred wood, some chocolate maybe. Taste is pretty bitter upfront and hoppy - almost like a Black IPA here - rich with chocolate and coffee but not much on the caramel and brown sugar like I expected - not as full bodied as expected either. Overall a great beer but just not quite the RIS I was looking for.

Nov 16, 2019
4.25 by eawolff99 from Minnesota on Nov 08, 2019
4.25 by smb71481 from Vermont on Oct 26, 2019
4 by craigbelly from Iowa on Oct 08, 2019
Photo of sjrider
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by sjrider from California

Poured from a bottle -inky black as night with quickly dissipating khaki head leaving minimal bubbly lacing. Nose is roasty malt with a hint of licorice and espresso.Taste follows with a bit of bitterness. Finish starts creamy and ends almost dry. ABV well hidden. Quite tasty.

Sep 14, 2019
Photo of bbtkd
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by bbtkd from South Dakota

Left Hand Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout, 10.2% ABV. Pours black with a slight brown head. Nose is roast malt, licorice, and cocoa. Taste is mainly roast malt and espresso, some dark fruit in the background, with moderate bitterness fading to heavy in the aftertaste. Decent mouthfeel, overall good, but a bit too bitter for me.

Jul 07, 2019
3.81 by Unclevince from West Virginia on Jul 03, 2019
Photo of Mindcrime1000
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by Mindcrime1000 from South Dakota

Poured from a single bottle into a tulip.

Pours jet black with limited head and retention (not unexpected with the ABV) but a nice collar of lacing that endures throughout the drink. Seems a shade thin for the style on the pour.

The aromas are more evocative of a regular stout or milk stout, with cocoa powder, carob, and espresso, but limited toasted grain/malt presence. Somewhat astringent on the aroma. Very little, if any, booze is present on the nose.

The brew hits the tip of the tongue with espresso, chocolate/cocoa power, and char notes, and the ABV is rather well hidden. However, there are some issues after that. The finish has some metallic notes, and the middle of the brew feels a little hollow, lacking some of the toasted malt body that the best of the style provide.

The mouthfeel is medium-full and well carbonated for the style and ABV. Very well done here.

Overall, a decent RIS that hides its ABV well and offers some nice flavors and a very drinkable finish, but lacking the complexity and body of the best of the style.

May 27, 2019
3.5 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania on May 01, 2019
Photo of flipper2gv
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by flipper2gv from Canada (QC)

A: Pours pitch black with a beige colored creamy looking head. Not a lot of retention at all but definitely quite a bit of lacing and alcohol leg.

S: Figs, prunes and raisins dominate the smell. There is a little bit of vanilla and coffee too. Little to no alcohol smell. Rose petal and slightly medicinal.

T: Taste follows the nose with the fruit notes of figs, prunes and raisins. But, the coffee is much stronger than in the smell, same as the vanilla. But, the medicinal notes are still there and the weird rosewater too. It ain't too bad but those two notes don't benefit the beer at all.

M: Heavy and creamy with a medium to low carbonation. Very good for the genre.

O: This is a decent enough beer. I hoped to love it more considering the theme and the name of the brewery. Still, this is worth your time I think.

Mar 31, 2019
3.85 by KMcGrath from Massachusetts on Nov 28, 2018
Photo of animal69
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by animal69 from Louisiana

Poured on nitro at my local pub, beautifully poured, black with a thick creamy tan head and an in-between layer of deep brown; Smell is burning toast and coffee, dark fruits and "azz" in there as well; taste starts with sharp, bitter hops and burnt ends, smokey with some raisiny mineral in the finish; being on N2 it was incredibly creamy, not too thick however, just enough to slick up the tongue; overall a damn good brew

Nov 26, 2018
3.99 by MinerBob from Oklahoma on Sep 29, 2018
Photo of Jeffwildcat
4.99/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by Jeffwildcat from Arizona

This ages beautifully. Just opened a 2016 and is comparable to a barrel aged stout. Fig notes and full body.

Sep 24, 2018
Photo of tp1962
5/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by tp1962 from Illinois

Love this stuff! I certainly appreciate all stouts and this does not disappoint!

Aug 12, 2018
4.16 by QuakeAttack from California on Aug 11, 2018
Photo of Shade1951
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Shade1951 from Pennsylvania

Earthy flavor with elements of cocoa. Good carbonation and creamy texture. It's one of the better Russians I've had, and I will buy it again.

Jul 31, 2018
Photo of DanO1066
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by DanO1066 from Maryland

A brace of draught snifters (8+12=20oz) at Wet City in Baltimore

Jul 28, 2018
4.19 by MizzouBrew from Missouri on Jun 24, 2018
3.73 by BeerInspector from Delaware on Jun 10, 2018
Photo of jdhilt
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by jdhilt from New Hampshire

Pours a two-finger brown head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Black color, no highlights. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Dark frui, chocolate nose and flavor is molasses and baked chocolate. $11.89 for a 4-pak 12oz bottles from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

Jun 07, 2018
4.05 by mothmanscott from Georgia on May 16, 2018
3.63 by Csm5150 from Missouri on May 13, 2018
Photo of porters4life
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by porters4life from Illinois

A: Pours black with some light coming out of the bottom of the tulip glass that I poured it into. The head came and went pretty quickly. A two finger head while it lasted, but was not very long lasting.
S: Actually smells pretty good. I get some cocoa, chocolate, light coffee, with some sweetness that smells like caramel with may be a little bit of vanilla as well. Very good smell to this beer
T: I get a bit of the cocoa and chocolate with a little bit of vanilla. This does not taste as well as I thought it would from the smell. A little disappointing honestly.
F: It was a pretty thin feeling beer sadly. It did have a bit of a creamy finish though that I did like.
O: Not that bad, not that great. A little disappointing I have liked the other beers I have had by these guys and this one just fell short of my expectations.

Apr 30, 2018
Wake Up Dead from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 1078 ratings