Home > Imperial Stout, Stout > Wake Up Dead Nitro

Wake Up Dead Nitro

Rating: 4.1

This one is a beer that I received as a birthday gift at the end of October and opted to hold off drinking it until the very start of this year, over the holiday season. The beer is my second from the Left Hand brewery based in Colorado and will actually be my second stout from them as well, this one being an imperial stout and the last being a sweet one but they’re technically both stouts. This one follows on from the bottle of Left Hand Milk Stout that I reviewed at the start of 2015 with that one being a beer that also featured on the 1001 beers list. This one is a strong offering from the brewery that comes in at over 10% abv. and is stored in cellars by Left Hand for over 4 months before being released to the public. It should be noted that this review is of the Nitro version of the beer, a version that I believe was only introduced in 2014 but hopefully I’ll get an opportunity to try the regular version at some point and see how they compare.

Wake Up Dead Nitro

Appearance (5/5): The beer is a really dark mahogany colour with an opaque body that boarders on black and is topped with a one and a half centimetre tall head that’s creamy looking and a medium tan colour. Head retention is quite good with the beer showing very little initial movement and leaving a thick layer of lacing on the sides of the glass too; great stuff, especially given the strength of this beer.
Aroma (8/10): This one starts quite strong on the nose with a lot of dark fruits coming through initially, prunes and raisins being the most pronounced of the bunch though. There was some roasted malt flavours and a touch of barley following on behind and towards the middle I got some touches of alcohol sneaking in alongside some smoky notes and hints of vanilla sweetness. There was some faint chocolate smells and a hint of coffee towards the end of the nose with the aroma holding a nice balance throughout.
Taste (8/10): Kicking off with a smokey taste, there is some raisins and plumbs from the nose coming through early with this one and they’re backed up by some dates and figs too but the beer doesn’t seem quite as smooth this time round really. There was some creamy touches and a few dark malts before the roasted flavours started to appear around the middle along with a touch of alcohol grain. Towards the end some chocolate flavours and a little bit of sugar added to the sweetness with touches of espresso featuring as well. The beer was an enjoyable one without it seeming overly complex in truth but I won’t complain too much as it was a nice beer.
Palate (4/5): Quite a smooth and creamy beer from Left Hand here, this one was perhaps a touch thinner than I expected from such a strong beer though; it sat around medium bodied. There was some warming alcohol on the palate and soft carbonation levels with some sweetness from the vanilla and sugars as well as the chocolate that appeared towards the end but overall the beer had a nice balance.

Overall (14/20): This one was quite a strong beer with a lot of flavour coming through in its 10.2% abv., although it was a touch thinner than I’d have expected and perhaps not quite as complex tasting as some of the stronger Belgian beers I’ve sampled recently. There was some nice roasted malts coming through but the dark fruits coupled with the vanilla sweetness were what came out on top. The beer was definitely a nice one from Left Hand with a good balance but it’s probably not quite on par with some of the better imperial stouts out there if I’m honest and for that reason I’m not sure I’d pick this one up again in future; it was still a good beer though and I wonder if the regular version would be any different from this nitro one.

Brewed In: Longmont, Colorado, United States of America
Brewery: Left Hand Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2014 (Nitro version)
Type: Imperial Stout
Abv: 10.2%
Serving: Bottle (355ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: Gift

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