Wake Up Dead Oak Aged Imperial Stout, Lefthand Brewing Company, Longmont

Style: Imperial stout

ABV: 10.2 percent

Serving Type: 22-ounce bomber

Malty? Hoppy? Malty, especially in the nose.

Reviewed: March 2013

As a new mom, this beer’s title was particularly appealing, because most mornings I feel like the waking dead. But, as a beer reviewer, I know not to judge a brew by its packaging. Fortunately, Wake Up Dead delivered on flavor.

This imperial stout—isn’t “imperial” becoming synonymous for a too-high alcohol content?—is barrel-aged, which lends the brew enough complexity (hints of raisins and licorice) to mask the high ABV. It poured a dark brown that looked almost black, with a toffee-colored head. (One gripe: The head’s lacing is a bit weak, and disappears quickly.) This brew was much smoother than I expected, with lots of cherry notes. Not so many that I felt like I was drinking a pie, but the kind that made me wish that I was also eating dessert.

Would we buy it again? Sure, as long as the winter storms keep holding off spring.

Natasha Gardner
Natasha Gardner
Natasha Gardner is a Denver-based writer and the former Articles Editor for 5280.