The Wake Up Dead Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company in Longmont, Colorado pours out pitch black in color with no light getting through and is topped with just over two fingers of finely bubbled, mocha colored head that slowly reduces down to a thin film with a moderate sized collar. On the nose, very mellow for a big Russian Imperial Stout with melded aromas. Raisin, wood, vanilla, licorice and hints of chocolate. In the mouth, warming with good balance and intertwined layers of flavor. Flavors of roast grain, oak, licorice, coffee, chocolate, raisin with mild molasses, earth and a hint of alcohol warmth. Full bodied. Fine carbonation. Some lacing on the glass. Nice chew in a fairly viscous mouthfeel. The finish is long with the flavors riding along together right to the end.
A big stout with good woody flavors that have developed over the 12 months Left Hand held this in the cellar. While it is good now I'd recommend aging this for at least a few years. The label says to cellar for up to 7 years. I can see this brew coming into its prime in 4 or 5 years. Very drinkable now but will get better with age. Recommended.
22 ounce bottle, 10.2% ABV, 50 IBU, Vintage 12/08/12
Beer 347 of 366 for 2012