Brew Review

Beer Review – Karl Strauss Brewing Company Wreck Alley Imperial Stout


Karl Strauss Nov 2014

While away in LA for Jersey Week, my better half, the urchins and I ventured over to Universal Studios. After conquering the park, the urchins were their ravenous selves and in need of feeding. After reviewing a few menus, we chose the Karl Strauss Brewing Company on the Universal CityWalk. We had been to the Karl Strauss in San Diego in 2011; so, we were familiar with the fare and more importantly, I knew that I could squeeze in a quick tasting.  The first thing I noticed about the sampler was that it has been cut back from six to four. I suppose that was a good idea as four 4oz samples of varying high test brews is a better idea than six. I also noticed that I could pick any four. In the prior sample, I received four of the “regular” line-up and then two “wild card” picks. For my four samples, I picked the Pintail Pale Ale, the Blackball Belgian IPA, the Peanut Butter Cup Porter (more for my better half than me) and the Wreck Alley Imperial Stout. This is a review of the Wreck Alley Imperial Stout. The Wreck Alley is an award winning Russian Imperial Stout that uses chocolate, caramel 80 and black malts.

What they say…

Beneath the tides off Mission Beach rests Wreck Alley – a dark and mysterious seascape of forgotten ships. Amidst the rusted wreckage is a marine ecosystem, an artificial reef teeming with life. Our Wreck Alley is as dark as the depths of its namesake, an Imperial Stout of uncharted complexity. Brewed with darkly kilned malts, cocoa nibs, and Ethiopian coffee beans, Wreck Alley boasts rich layers of dark chocolate, toffee, and espresso-like roast. Save a bottle. This one has a stout shelf-life.

I found the Wreck Alley Imperial Stout to have the following characteristics…

  • Appearance: Midnight black with good, tan foam.
  • Aroma: Lightly roasted with a blast of cocoa syrup and a hint of coffee.
  • Taste: A little flat but with a lot going on between the chocolate, the toffee and the coffee.
  • ABV: 9.5%

I really liked this one. I tend to gravitate to stout and the imperial stouts, in particular. The Wreck Alley was so well balanced and so full of flavor. The only negative comment (if this can be construed as negative) is the ABV; at 9.5%, the Wreck Alley was a little boozy. I’ll take it and say well done!

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