Wake Up Dead | Left Hand Brewing Company

very good
1,021 Ratings
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Wake Up DeadWake Up Dead

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by elgiacomo on 05-04-2011

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,021 |  Reviews: 207
Photo of cwreay90
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of twelveinches
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of RuEXP1
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours dark brown with a minor amount of coffee colored foam. Decent/slightly thin lacing.

S: Has a sweet and roasted malt smell. Also pick up on some chocolate/vanilla tones. Does not smell overly strong.

T: Not overly heavy. Strongest flavors are roasted malts and chocolate. Nothing is overpowering, but does taste more alcoholic than expected upon smell. Well balanced and smooth throughout sip.

M: Low to moderate carbonation. On the thin side of stouts, but still a very pleasurable feel in the mouth.

O: Overall a very solid stout. Well balanced flavor that is pleasurable throughout each sip. Light enough to enjoy at all times of the year, where a lot of stouts can be overwhelming (especially on hot days). Only real downside (for my preference) was the lack of head when pouring. Though this could be different on tap. Definitely recommended if you haven't had a chance yet.

 894 characters

Photo of rkmcdonal23
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Michaeldmanley
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of pathman
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of match1112
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of jsteele
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of RedneckBeerz
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of gordavidson
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of pogoowner
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Punisher
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.34/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours dark reddish brown with a medium tall brown, very compact head. Decent lacings.

S: Tart; dark dried fruits, sweet. Some faint vanilla and smoky notes. A bit alcholic. Vineous and salty.

T: Loads of dark dried fruits, very sweet. Smoke and vanilla from the smell is still present. Some coffe and faint licorice.

M: Aftertaste fades quickly, mainly sweet. Chewy full body and very low carbonation.

O: Not bad, but not one of the better in this style. I lack a better balance; the sweetness dominates.

 513 characters

Photo of ldhughes3
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Metalaero
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of RudnicsMEB
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Moose90
4.37/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz Bomber
Dated 12/21/12
Tasted 2/19/13

A – Dark dark brown liquid that forms a very thin coffee colored head that leaves similarly thin lacing down the inside of the glass.

S – Big on the roasted malts. Chocolates and vanilla abound as well. Some light sweet fruit notes, figs, dates. But my favorite part is the strong black licorice tone, awesome.

T – Quite complex, but well balanced. Notes of rich dark cocoa and charred malts, as well as sweet fresh licorice and dark fruits. Some light hoppiness to keep things from being too heavy.

M – Moderate-to-low carbonation level, good sticky sweetness to this one, but not heavy like some others of the style. Leaves a nice long and lingering finish that allows the flavor complexities to develop. Quite smooth.

O – Just awesome, has an unmatched balance and is quite easy to drink considering it's imperial nature. Best part of this one is all the licorice, chocolate, and roasted notes.

 955 characters

Photo of Blanco
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of BeerNinja007
4.68/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22oz bomber from Provisions in Northampton, MA. I forget how much I paid but it was reasonable... $6-7? "Vintage 12/21/12 356:16:18 153-54" stamped on the bottle. FINALLY, a code that makes sense!!!! So this is only a couple months old.

Served cold in a tulip, but I intend to make it last well long enough for it to warm up significantly.

A: Pitch black brew puts up 1/2" of thick creamy taupe head from a vigorous pour. The foam condenses into ever-larger bubbles before settling to a whispy layer across the surface. Large bubbles cling to the glass. When held to a bright light, the brew reveals minimal very dark cherry red highlights. Some nice thick creamy lace, but not a ton.

S: Super thick biscuity malt and warm dutch chocolate backbone. As it warms some bright candied cherry aroma develops, along with dried figs or prunes, a little charred malt, and a good clean dose of black licorice. The licorice note is very true and distinct, no mistaking it. Warming further develops a really unexpected note of cantaloupe . This stuff is awfully dynamic, that's for sure.

T/M: First impression is very well balanced: it has a lot of everything, but not too much of any one thing. Thick enough to have a great viscosity, but not too thick to be syrupy or overly filling. Black but not acrid. Sweet but not cloying. Just enough hops, just enough carbo, and just enough EtOH burn to let you know that it's there without being overpowering. This is a supremely well balanced brew.

I have a hard time holding this in my mouth long enough to analyze it without letting it slide down and reaching for another sip. Taste starts with rich cocoa and biscuit, bready sweetness on the tip of the tongue. Then a nice dose of bitter charred malt and bitter chocolate mid-palate, mixing with a bit of dried fruits (prunes, figs?), then generic hoppiness, licorice, cola, and some welcomed EtOH heat on the back end. The charred malt kind of lays under everything from the mid-palate backward. Licorice and EtOH blend in toward the very back and it all lingers very long into the finish. As it warms a bit of melon and menthol develop in the mid-palate and finish as well.

O: Superb, stunning, superfluous. So well balanced, goes down so smoothly, that it's hard to just sip this even though it should be a slow sipping brew. A good dose of black charred malt and licorice lingers long into the finish with a healthy portion of slow burning EtOH. I find it appealing, but those with more sensitive palates might feel overwhelmed.

Update: the LH website informs me that this brew is aged on site for at least 12 months before bottling. Nice!

 2,637 characters

Photo of imbuckeye
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of stoppertb18
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of ThomasAWilson2
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Left Hand caught my attention strangely with a cider, not a beer. After gobbling up bottles of Original Sin hard cider on a dinner date one evening, finding their imperial stout was high on the priority list. IS’s are my favorite style of beer so Wake Up Dead got the proper treatment, poured into a goblet at the prescribed 55 degrees. This left a firm 2 1/2 finger head that slowly dissipated without too much lacing. As for the rest of the appearance, this is one dark stout. Black, opaque and very difficult to find light through even as my glass emptied.

Wake Up Dead has a pretty standard imperial stout nose; you can’t miss the charred grains, dark fruits (mainly raisin) and deep, woodsy hops. Don’t get suckered into being a label reader though. This stout may have the expected dark chocolate and dark fruit smells and tastes but the real surprise is in the black licorice which doesn’t hide. You won’t get the wormwood hints one expects with most black licorice flavored food and drink or the popular liquor absinthe, but the taste is recognizable and a welcome break from the imperial stout pack.

As the brew warms, Wake Up Dead’s earthy hops, charred grains and the alcoholic burn of 10.20% ABV bully their way to the front and meld the other flavors together properly underfoot. Carbonation keeps things lively in the mouth and helps to create a thick and chewy mouthfeel. Overall, I am pleased with this one. What WUD lacks in strong flavors, it makes up in balancing the flavors it does have very well without the watered down characteristics of many a brewery’s attempt at this style of beer. Not overly expensive and pretty available in my experience, coughing up a few bucks for a bomber won’t hurt.

 1,736 characters

Photo of aztraz
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of craftbrew502
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of LambicKing
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Wake Up Dead from Left Hand Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 1,021 ratings.
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