My buddy Mike (and his adorable puppy, Arya) stopped by my housewarming party a little over a month ago. Mike brought a few beers as housewarming gifts. Among them was Left Hand’s Wake Up Dead.
From Left Hand:
GOOD MORNING. YOU’VE WOKEN UP DEAD. YOU’RE IN RUINS.
But don’t be discouraged. Here’s a black ale to brighten your day. Wake Up Dead lurks in our cellars for over 4 months before being unleashed. Hints of raisins, black licorice, coffee and dark chocolate are followed by earthy, herbal hop notes. Any apprehensions about the rest of your day are quickly forgotten, for whatever the mind expects, it finds. Sometimes you’re not in the mood for what everyone else is having.
- STYLE – Russian Imperial Stout
COLOR – Black, 55 SRM
BODY – Full
ABV – 10.20%
IBU’S – 45
PLATO – 22°
MALTS – Pale 2-row, Munich, Crystal, Chocolate, Roasted Barley, Black Barley and Flaked Oats
HOPS – Magnum and US Goldings
Appearance: Wake Up Dead pours a very dark brown to black, with a light brown to tan head that is big and billowy. Like a beer milkshake. There’s not a lot of lacing left with this one.
Smell: A big smack of chocolate without even sticking my nose in the glass. You get it right from the pour. Some caramel and roast in there as well. Now real detectable hops.
Taste: This tastes like a melty chocolate milkshake at first. It is smooth and creamy, but it finishes dry with a bit of bitterness. It’s a nice mix. The booze is well-hidden. There is definitely a hint of it in the dry finish.
Mouthfeel: Predominantly creamy but a little cloying. Wake Up Dead finishes dry with a slight bit of teeth coating. Good carbonation, too.
Final Verdict: 4.0 out of 5. Buy it.
This beer is right in my wheelhouse. I love big, boozy, chocolate Imperial stouts. This was my nightcap on Saturday; usually if I’m hanging out by myself I’ll cap off with a finger or two of whiskey before bed, but this bomber more than did the trick. This is not the first time I’ve had this beer, and probably won’t be the last. I really enjoy and recommend it to anyone else who likes this style.