The Dread
Elysian Brewing Company

The DreadThe Dread
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,993
Ranked #16,675
3.9 | pDev: 9.74%
Elysian Brewing Company
Washington, United States
Very Good
The DreadThe Dread
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 86 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours nearly jet black except for some ruddy brown when held to the light,a thinner deep beige head atop.Mocha and caramel aromas with a bit of char,maybe a hint of licorice,no oak to be found though.Slightly thin but not something that would be a problem for most.Mocha coffee and roast flavors up front with some caramel in the back end to go along with a tinge of alcohol sweetness.It's oak aged wich I don't really pick up but it's a solid impy stout on it's own.

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Photo of OsoRojo
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had one for the first time in 6 months, 2015 release. Not as well impressed with the oak aging as before. Dont know how many times a year they release it? Quite nice overall. One of the best labels of the year for certain.

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Photo of Zorro
3.34/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Coal black colored beer with a tall brown colored head.

Smells strongly of chocolate and patent malt. Smells a little sweet. fainter scents of cardamom and lime. Faint coffee scent.

Starts out mild and neutral with slightly sweet flavor. Char of patent malt but it stays remarkably mild in flavor. Mild chocolate and coffee with mild bitterness. Alcohol not tasted and this is a 9.5% beer.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall looks incredible and tastes OK. Super mild flavor that could really surprise you when that 9.5% hits you blood stream

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Photo of ClavisAurea
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2015 bottle served in a snifter.

Dark cocoa color with a beautiful and creamy brown head. Coffee, chocolate, fruity hops, and raisins are the nose. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy with the dark fruits, chocolate, coffee, and a nice snap of bitterness to counterbalance the heavy malt profile. Delicious but Yeti is a notch better. I didn't get any oak character from the "oak aging".

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Photo of JackieKu
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

22 fl.oz. bottle. 2015 batch. Poured into tulip.
ABV: 9.2%

A: Black. Poured without foam.
S: Coffee. Mildly oak: (sweet) herbs.
T: Coffee. Elegant woody. Slightly sweet. Dry finish.
M: Creamy. Full bodied.
O: I actually like most beers from Elysian, but this bottle is not so impressive given the price is a bit high.

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Photo of mabermud
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Dark body. Very fine head that appears creamy, and is very persistent. The legs and lacing are attractive, super fine, broad, and sticky.
Smell: Roast, dark malts, oak...bourbon, alcohol. The smell seems to be a mishmash.
Taste: Roast, smoke, ash, dark malts, some chocolate, oak, bourbon...Easy and tame. A small amount of booze. Bourbon sour finish.
Feel: Low carbonation. Soft in the mouth. Nice ending lather.

Overall - Not bad.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big chocolaty malt and oak impressions up-front on the nose and tongue; starts a bit sweet, finish dries somewhat; a little sticky, some sweetness like molasses; a little woody tang lingers behind. Full-bodied and smooth, bittersweet; leaves some coating behind with a hint of char. A well wrought ale. Perhaps not ground-breaking but recommended nonetheless.

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Photo of stevoj
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Albertsons. Pours out an inky black with a ruby-tinged beige airy head. Initial aroma is pure stout, some chocolate, some burnt toast. Taste is relatively smooth, oak aging apparent towards the finish. More chocolate in the taste, mild, dry bitterness.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

oak chips from what i understand, not barrels, and sometimes, i think they are better. in this case, its definitely true. the oak is so real and natural, and quite heavy, not like a used barrel muddled by the spirit that it held, but real in the woodiness. its a cool contrast to how light the grain bill is on this compared to the style norm. i was surprised by the brown ale style, maybe porter at the most, compared to what i am used to in an imperial stout. the roasted malt part is almost missing, it even lets a little light in when looking at it, and there is no bitter at all. maybe the oak mellows some of that, but in my mind, this is like an imperial brown ale, loaded with raisin and chocolate and cake flavors, not with the density and roast of imperial stout that i know, and i like it like that. the not whiskey oak is nice too, makes it potent and distinct, really something pretty special here. the abv is well hidden, and the oak is strong, the feel is mellow, and i drank this way too fast. maybe one of the best beers i have had from these guys, and to be honest, i never knew it existed until i saw it on tap at lucky pie on tap yesterday. super yummy and original, who cares its a bid product now...

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2015 vintage. 9.2% ABV per the label.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, cookie dough, vanilla, char, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, burnt coffee, char, earth, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly and dry crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a solid wood aging that comes through slightly better in the smell to me.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of hreb
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Elysian The Dread 2015. 22oz bottle served in a Libbey stout glass. Beer pours dark, turbid, brown, nearly black. Moderate brown head that quickly falls. Big, though mellow, bourbon aroma, combined with molasses. Smells pretty delicious, though at 9.2% ABV I'm a little worried the taste is going to be much harsher. The flavor definitely has a bit more edge to it. Oak and hop bitterness play off each other, and surround a very neutral middle. Malt flavors are roasted to the point of being burnt. Balances out quite nicely, with a clean finish, and only a smidge of ethanol burn. Better than it could have been, though I think an Imperial stout really needs more malt complexity and some sweetness to really shine.

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Photo of Bobloblawlawblog11
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours black witha small tan head. Smell is coffee and chocolate. Taste is the same. Not much super exciting going on here, decently smooth beer but is a bit thin compared to others in the style

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Photo of snaotheus
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle split between a pair of large snifters. 2015 bottle, 188 D-1 0003 is stamped on the bottom of the bottle.

Pours black, with a very small light brown head, very little carbonation. Smell is roasty, chocolatey, coffee, toasty malt.

Taste is straight up Russian imperial stout with a slight woody streak and accent on the coffee. Lots of anise, roasty bitterness.

Mouthfeel is a little thin and pretty still. Overall, it's pretty good.

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Photo of mactrail
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The very dark brown brew is topped by the darkest foam I think I've ever seen-- it's beyond beige! Tangy and sudsy on the tongue. Not much smell, but the oaky, vanilla notes come through in the nose as you sip.

This is not very sweet, and the rye spiciness comes through distinctly. Dry and bitter, but then the winey. It's just that sharp, spicy edge that returns for the aftertaste that makes this so interesting. Deep and dark malt with mellow roast followed by bitter char. Some hoppy bitterness but not much hop aromatics.

There is a touch of vanilla at the finish, which adds to the pleasure. I like this less-sweet version of a big stout and the rye makes this well worth tasting. It's a different kind of bitterness. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Chuck's 85th St. Market

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Photo of Moose90
3.09/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served On-Tap

A — Pours a rich and nearly black, dark brown color. There is little light shown through when held up to the light. Cappuccino colored head forms and leaves behind somewhat spotty lacing.

S — Smells of rich cocoa and bitter coffee, little sweet, little bit of a malt presence, but not much.

T — Tastes of cocoa, coffee, bitter charred malts, little bit of vanilla sweetness, good bit of flavor, but not overly complex. Little to no barrel character.

M — Medium-Full bodied, a bit thin for the style.

O — OK, not much better, seems a bit of a sham to call this an "Oak-Aged Imperial Stout" this is incredibly thin and lacks any real barrel character.

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Photo of 2beerdogs
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap.
Burnished leather. Foam quickly abandons. Smell is toasty and a little oat mealy. Taste comes through with some nice roast, caramel, dark fruit, and a hint (ever so slight) of licorice. Finishes with a gentle roasty caramel and dates. Quite good.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
2.86/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

22 picked up at the COOP for an okay $10ish.. Poured into my small Teku and a 1" dark brown head rises up and drops back pretty quickly, black brew is expected and looks a little thin. Roasty with big oak.. Dry with too much char that blows out most any other RIS elements, could really use some sweetness or residual maltiness to bring things back into more drinkable realm... Waaay too dry. The bones of a decent stout are there, but this is not good by any stretch.


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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours pitch black, opaque in the glass with a fine half finger light brown head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of sweet dark toasted malt, vanilla, licorice and milk chocolate. Flavor is dark toasted malt with a hint of char, dark chocolate, vanilla, light bourbon, licorice, a hint of tart dark fruit (probably the rye). Finishes with rich dark charred malt, dark chocolate, cocoa, and nice burst of grassy hop bitterness and charred coffee. Pleasant medium body with good creaminess. A quite richly flavored and satisfying dark stout. Good depth of flavor throughout, particularly in the finish. Hopping and barreling characters are clear, but balanced. Dragonstooth was my go-to stout for a long time, but there have been so many new stouts to try that I can't even remember exactly how its flavors compare to this new one. I recall that it was rich and flavorful and this follows in its footsteps, but enhanced as expected from barreling. Balanced, flavorful and consistently interesting throughout the taste, this is one excellent stout. I'm impressed. I'm sad about the sale of this great formerly independent local brewery to a large corporation, and have been buying very little from them recently. This one may well be an exception. Dread indeed.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.44/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Burgundian in Seattle. Brought out in a snifter.

It has a ring of brown froth around the perimeter of the glass, and otherwise looks quite black and imposing.

I smell raisins, molasses, chocolate, a hint of bourbon, and some kind of berries. It actually makes me think of blueberries and raspberries, curiously.

The taste follows the aroma, with the raisins, molasses, berries, bourbon, and some milk chocolate all coming through.

A typically substantial viscosity.

Though it may induce dread in those who fear dark beer, in me it inspires only glee.

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Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.34/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Really solid looking. Dark, thick and imposing.

S - Coffee, semi-sweet dark chocolate, bourbon and vanilla. Aromas could be fuller.

T - Burned chocolate, french-press coffee, complimented by vanilla bean mellowness. The bourbon comes through powerfully which mostly works but does render the beer a little hot when coupled with the abv.

M - Lovely and thick. Full-bodied, velvety, creamy and substantial.

O - A cracking beer which was a very pleasant surprise as I approached it not knowing anything about it. This a very well-rounded beer, the main area for improvement would be a little less alcohol heat.

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Photo of John_M
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is impressive, and I'm getting a considerable amount of bourbon on the nose. Otherwise, there's dark chocolate, coffeee and vanilla. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, but there is also some noticeable licorice that is a nice touch, and helps to counter the moderate sweetness in this beer. The amount of flavor this beer delivers is impressive. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a long, slightly boozy finish. Alcohol is noticeable, but seems to be pretty well integrated into the flavor profile.

Pretty tasty beer. Reminds me a bit of a bourbon barrel aged version of the dragonstooth stout from these guys.

Edit from 8/10/15. Just tried this beer on tap again the other day, and looking over my review, it's hard to believe I was trying the same beer. The version I sampled was thin on the palate, and very light on flavor as well. I got absolutely none of the oak aging character (did a double take just now when I saw that the beer was oak aged), and no bourbon notes whatsoever. The beer was actually pretty dry, reminding me more of a dry Irish stout than a RIS.

Could Ab-Inbev's involvement make that big a difference in the quality of this beer?

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The Dread from Elysian Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 86 ratings