Sunday, February 10, 2008

Left Hand Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout review

Left Hand Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout 2011I've become smitten with joy over Imperial Stouts and Porters these days. I've picked up on several of the imperials over the last weekend. This time I bought a Left Hand Imperial Stout (2008) (now called - Left Hand Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout). I've recently tasted several of the Left Hand's sampler pack beers but that didn't include any of their premium beers. This brew came in a big 22oz bomber bottle for around $6. Not a bad deal for an imperial stout.

Appearance: Left Hand's imperial stout poured extremely dark with just a bit of light able to peek through all of it's malty and hoppy goodness. My glass held a nice 1 inch medium tan head on it that stuck around for a long time.

Aroma: The 1st aroma shortly after pouring was a bit hoppier than most stouts I've tried. I even could smell the 10.4% alcohol as well. This beer had a healthy 65 IBU rating and I could definitely pick out the Magnum and US Goldings hops. There was an abundance of roasted malt and a hint of chocolate in the air.

Taste: The first taste was roasty and very smooth. It went down well with no real after taste or burn. After drinking through half a glass of this special brew, I could definitely feel the ABVs. This beer was giving me a nice "glow" after the first 12 oz. This has got to be one of my most favorite styles of dark brew. Whether it be an imperial stout or even an imperial porter, my taste buds have been thoroughly biased by the great taste of the darker brews. This one went down slow and coated the tongue well.

Left Hand used a wide variety of malts in this beer including: Premium 2-row, Munich, Crystal, Chocolate, Roasted Barley, Black Barley and Flaked Oaks. Wow, that's quite a line up and it came out very nicely with a great balance with the hops. After finishing the full 22oz bottle I was really feeling it. Any beer over 10% alcohol is going to hit you - so tread lightly. Glad I was home that day and didn't have to drive anywhere because this one 22oz bottle probably put me over the limit.

Left Hand Imperial Stout 2008The major review sites liked this beer. Ratebeer gave this beer a 93 percentile with a 3.7 out of 5 rating. BeerAdvocate gave this brew a B+ and a 3.84/5 rating. As for me, this is going to be added to my recommended list. It's a good beer indeed. I'll give this a 3.7 out of 5 rating. Love the label too - a green dragon covered with a silvery shield. Kudos go out to Left Hand. This is one of their best beers for sure.

Update 2011: This beer was renamed "Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout" and has a slightly different recipe and a whole new look. The recipe is mostly the same but they've dropped the IBUs down to 45 and dropped the ABV a bit to 10.2% ABV. Same hops - different label. This new look imperial stout still holds up even better than the original. Rich, creamy feel. Powerful nose and flavor. Simply wonderful.

Related articles:
- Left Hand releases Smokejumper Imperial Porter.
- Left Hand Milk Stout review.
- Left Hand Snowbound Winter Ale review.
- Goose Island Bourbon County Stout review.
- Left Hand Oak Aged Imperial Stout review.

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