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Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout brewed by Left Hand Brewing

Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout brewed by Left Hand Brewing - Longmont, Colorado

It only happens once every two years… After hibernating in the Left Hand warehouse for 12 months, the brewery has emptied its cellar and released Barrel Aged Wake Up Dead for the winter season. This dark and complex beer begins with the brewery’s infamous Russian Imperial Stout and ages in whiskey barrels before blending it to woody perfection.

Bottle-conditioned for an authentic old-world experience, patience is required for this black full bodied stout. Wake Up Dead begins with Left Hand’s time tested Russian Imperial Stout recipe, representing 15 years of brewing experience. But unlike its year round predecessor, Barrel Aged Wake Up Dead is transferred to Colorado whiskey barrels, where the beer develops its dark complexities for months to come. A smooth and warming stout, Wake Up Dead teases with hints of raisins, licorice, and toffee followed by earthy, herbal notes.
LeftHandBeers.jpg (350×250)Glass of Wake Up Dead Russian Imperial Stout
Beer Review by Beer Advocte
Appearance: Absolutely dark as night. Not a single ray of light of any color will penetrate this beer. A surprisingly large head (about a finger and a half) foams up as I pour fresh from the growler (picked it up two hours ago at Left Hand in Longmont). The head doesn't stick around too long, however, and quickly collapses into just a thin, foamy cap over the sea of black. Some mild lacing sticks to the glass momentarily after each sip, but fades quickly.

Aroma: Roasty and woody malt greet the nose with a hint of chocolate lurking behind. A swirl of the glass kicks up an Earthy and grassy aroma as well, but the aroma could be stronger.

Taste: Intensely sweet (almost to a fault) and chocolatey up front. Milk chocolate, not the same dark chocolate that I have experienced in a lot of other Left Hand brews. Very pleasant. Anyhow, the latter half of the sip does a 180 and reverses course finishing with a much more bitter and coffee-tinged taste. As it warms a hint of vanilla and a touch of oak creep in throughout the sip.

Mouthfeel: Silky and smooth with a fairly light body considering that this is an Imperial Stout. A light, tickling carbonation washes it all down.

Overall: Good stuff. Will drink again. Saying that this is just another dark beer brewed by Left Hand might sound like an insult, but when the boys in Longmont go for a dark beer they usually nail it and this is no exception.

Left Hand Brewery Longmont ColoradoLeft Hand Brewing Company

History of Left Hand Brewing
Left Hand began in December 1990 with a homebrewing kit founder Dick Doore received from his brother. According to Dick, "it was all downhill from there." By 1993, Dick had teamed up with college buddy Eric Wallace and they resolved to start a brewery.
In September 1993, they incorporated as Indian Peaks Brewing Company, and purchased a former meat-packing plant next to the St. Vrain River outside downtown Longmont, Colorado. A few weeks after beginning production, it was discovered that the name Indian Peaks was already in use by another Brewery, so the name was changed to Left Hand, in honor of Chief Niwot (the Arapahoe word for "left hand") whose tribe wintered in the local area.

Left Hand's doors opened for business on January 22, 1994. Their first batch of beer was Sawtooth Ale, which has since become their most popular brew. In October of that year, Left Hand took home two medals at the Great American Beer Festival, a Gold Medal in the bitter category for Sawtooth Ale, and a Bronze Medal in the Robust Porter category for Black Jack Porter.

1998 was a big year for the still young brewing company. In April, Left Hand merged with Tabernash Brewing, and doubled the size of their brewery. In June, they began packaging 12 oz. bottles for 6 packs (up to that point they had been bottling 22 oz. bottles and kegs exclusively). In November, they started their own distribution business, Indian Peaks Distribution Company.

By 2009, the Tabernash line has been phased out, and Indian Peaks Distribution Company sold. In their thirteen years, they have accumulated fifteen medals and one honorable mention at the Great American Beer Festival, eight medals at the World Beer Cup, a Gold Medal at the International Stockholm Beer & Whiskey Festival.

Left Hand produces approximately 35,000 barrels a year, and they currently distribute their beer in over twenty-seven states.




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