[Brew Review] COOP Ale Works – Oak Aged Imperial Stout – A

Finally, after patiently waiting for over 5 months now, the day has arrived! The day I can finally try COOP Ale Works latest seasonal beer. An Oak Aged Imperial Stout, available on draft only, and in limited quantities. Now for the review…

Territorial Reserve – Oak Aged Imperial Stout – on draft at Coach’s in Norman. About 14 oz Served in a Stella Artois glass. $6.50. 9% ABV. Rating = A

First off all, this beer is, as you would expect, just as black as black can be, you really have to work hard to get any kind of sliver of brown around the top edge. The head was tan, and just barely there.

The aroma was a big roasted barley smell at first, but as it warmed up a bit, there was a slight, alcohol smell to it, I really expected more for the high ABV though.

The flavor, again, was the roasted barley upfront. Finishes on the sweeter side of dry, but its not cloyingly sweet by any means. Coffee flavor also, like a dark espresso. This Impy Stout is not a hoppy beer, but it does have a bitterness to it, more like you get from dark chocolates or coffee. I know this was aged on oak, and you know its in there when you drink it, but it doesn’t make a huge appearance, which is good, I was worried with it being pretty young still, it might be overly oaked, but not so, there is just enough to smooth this puppy out. This beer does not have a long harsh or bitter aftertaste, but the roasted barley hangs around for a while. Again, I did expect this might be a little hot with it being such a high alcohol beer and being really fresh, but no, it’s extremely well balanced, not easy to do with a beer like this. The alcohol did seem to come through more in the last 1/4 of the glass however, but overall the 9% abv is hidden very well. It was more on the thicker side of medium for mouthfeel, not a huge thick, sticky stout.

Overall, I would rate this a solid ‘A’, great offering from the guys at COOP, this is a home run for the Oklahoma Beer scene. But seriously, bottle this gold, or at least let me bring in a few growlers and fill them up! 🙂 Already can’t wait for the next edition of this beer, when they will be aging it for a year, instead of the only 4-5 months this one had.

Be sure to go out and try this beer ASAP, before its all gone…..On second thought, take some friends and split a glass – and leave more for me!

You can check out the interview I did with Head Brewer Chase Healey about this beer here.


~ by OkieBrewReview on December 3, 2009.

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