Top 492 Stouts | Craft Beer & Brewing

492 of the Best Stouts, Blind-Tasted and Ranked

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The Bruery Black Tuesday Port (2017) (75)

Tart dark fruit, not much stout/roast character. The musty character carries through from the nose. Very sweet and very boozy, but the booze helps balance the sweetness. Finish is tannic.

Urban Chestnut Brewing Company Cherry Thrale's (75)

The cherries are dark, tart, and rich, but still have that slightly overripe muddiness to them. The base beer feels like it has the right body and roast level but is hard to find under the cherries. Some bubblegum and fruity esters, with mild phenols and chlorophenols. Thin-bodied, chalky mouthfeel.

Boulevard Brewing Company Dark Truth Stout (79)

Sweet dark malt character. Lots of esters: plums, raisin, prunes. Chocolate character is there, and the roast sits behind the fruit sweetness. Some bitterness helps to cut the sweetness toward the finish with some warming character. Much less sour than I expected from the nose. Malty sweetness with dried fruit esters hit first, followed by caramel coffee and alcoholic warmth.

Mikkeller Black (80)

Sweet mocha malt character with a smoked pork–like note. Moderate roast with a touch of astringency. Slight lactose consistency. Alcohol is over the top and extends into the aftertaste. Big roasty flavors, bitter and a bit burnt. Hops flavor is resinous, sticky, and catty—not exactly complimentary to the strong malt notes.

21st Amendment Brewery El Camino (Un)Real (80)

Tastes like more of a brown ale than a stout, although the alcohol is too big for a brown ale. Roasty dark chocolate, caramel malt, mild roast, and light bitterness. Strongly phenolic, with smoke and pepper, and maybe a touch of chlorophenol. It’s sweet and strong, and the spicy alcohol is quite warming, which carries through the finish. Moderate hops flavors, with vanilla, spruce, and herb. Herbal spruce lingers for a long time.

Saint Arnold Brewing Company Winter Stout (81)

This comes across like a Belgian dubbel. High cherry note up front with a medium sweetness that slowly fades into a low bitterness with slight acidity. A light roast in the middle of the sip. The bitterness toward the end of the sip transitions into the aftertaste. Thin-to-medium body that is cut by the carbonation. Same esters as on the nose with some dark roast chocolate and toasted bread notes. Finishes with an interesting combination of the sweetness from the esters and a low-medium carbonic acid dryness. This beer has a flavor of vanilla cola.

Guinness Guinness Draught (82)

Light bodied with some slight creaminess and sweetness giving way to fairly aggressive bittering hops. Roasty, sharp astringent character. Some estery fruit characteristics. Creaminess carries through in the finish. Finishes dry with slightly oxidized notes.”

HaandBryggeriet Odin’s Tipple (82)

Rich roast and chocolate up front that is moderately dry. Moderate astringency throughout the sip that emphasizes the alcohol at the end and into the aftertaste. Smooth and strong, roast is medium. Alcohol warmth gets your attention without being harsh. Hop flavors medium strong, resinous, spicy. Some tart notes in the aftertaste. Thin bodied.

Captain Lawrence Brewing Company Barrel-Aged Frost Monster (82)

Roasty with hints of dry chocolate, sweet chocolate, and cherry. Vanilla. Some oak and bourbon notes are present. Nice warmth in the end. Some dark toffee and even black licorice notes. Some prominent fruitiness and tannin character emerges as it warms. The barrel character isn’t overly pronounced.

Southern Tier Brewing Company 2Xpresso (82)

Strong coffee flavor and the citrus overtones are somewhat sharp. Moderate hops flavors tend toward spicy. Hoppier than expected up front. Aftertaste has some mocha character.

Boulder Beer The Dude’s D’Spare (82)

Relatively smooth blend of strong roast and vanilla. Chocolate resides underneath, along with some tannic character to tie things together. Nice malt richness. Some oak character. Dark toffee flavors and some iron minerality as it warms.

The Bruery Share This: Mole (82)

Sweet malt and chocolate up front, but that quickly gives way to the spice from the cinnamon and cayenne. A quick prick of chile heat doesn’t linger overly long. The hops bitterness is moderate. Some vanilla notes and roast, with malt, toffee, and chocolate malt. The carbonation is a bit high, accenting the spice notes, and some more body on the beer would help round things out. Chocolate, cinnamon, and warming alcohol linger into the aftertaste.

Wichita Brewing Co. Catherine III Russian Imperial Stout (82)

Strong oak presence—almost sawdust—with tannin and vanilla, and a huge smoky, roasty backbone. Some of the chocolate notes help to round things out, making it taste like a chocolate-dipped campfire. There is a medium spiciness toward the end of the sip that could be rye, and a light sourness mixes with a bit of alcohol in the finish. Light cherries linger after the sip.

pFriem Family Brewers Cinnamon Maple Stout (83)

A strong cinnamon note with a bit of sweetness and an almost minty clarity drives the bright nose, while a thin-but-not-too-thin body offers a more economic and deliberately confident sip. Not overly sweet, but satis-fying.

Breckenridge Brewery Oatmeal Stout (83)

Intense hops flavors carry over from the aroma: pine, spice, pepper, catty. There’s a perceivable oat smoothness and depth that works well with the atypical hops flavors. Some bitter, burnt coffee notes. Hops bitterness is quite extreme for an oatmeal stout. There is some roast there, though, and the coffee smoothness is perhaps due to the oatmeal.

Upslope Brewing Company Oatmeal Stout (83)

Medium sweet with slightly tart finish. Sharp chocolate up front with a rich roastiness that takes over quickly after. Characteristic silkiness of oatmeal stout. Medium smoke note that extends into the aftertaste. A sharp bitterness from the roast character reminds me of an iced coffee. Some nutty notes, some dry chocolate sweetness and bitterness. Thin bodied. Earthy hops come through near the end as well as dark roasted malt. Finish is quite dry.

Thirsty Dog Brewing Company Barrel-Aged Siberian Night (83)

Moderately sweet cherry chocolate with a touch of roast and some vanilla underneath. A nice chocolaty flavor, but it has a hard time rising over the roast. Some barrel character, but overall the roast dominates.

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers Barrel-Aged Scarface (83)

Nice blend of flavors. Some bold roasty notes, nice dark and sweet chocolate notes, and some sweet dark cherry notes. The oak character adds nice complexity to the beer, hitting in the middle and carrying through the finish. The warmth also adds to the taste and cuts some of the sweetness. Some tannins couple with the roast and alcohol to add to the dry finish.

Coronado Brewing Company Barrel-Aged Stupid Stout (83)

The flavor starts with a dry chocolate sweetness and carries through with some bitterness that leaves a slight astringent finish. Lots of roast character in the flavor. Rich sweet milk chocolate and almond throughout with vanilla supporting. The butterscotch continues into the flavor, but with an increase in complexity, from intense chocolate and roast. The warmth hits in the finish. And the beer finishes with some chewiness left on the tongue.

Prairie Artisan Ales Pirate Noir (83)

A blend of dark cherry and rich sweet dark malt. Some nice chocolate and toffee notes. The rum sugar sweetness adds to this beer. Vanilla and coconut also add to the sweet character. The warmth is present through the finish. Rich brown sugar and vanilla overwhelm the base beer. Some roast and chocolate under the barrel character.

Great Divide Yeti (2017) (83)

Herbs from the nose, along with a light onion flavor. Definite alcohol strength, even a bit hot. Cocoa powder–dusted dark truffle with a healthy level of cherry ester. Hops flavor is citrusy, mainly lemon and grapefruit.

Cigar City Brewing Co. Double Barrel Hunahpu B2 (83)

Strong caramel malt and alcohol sweetness with a strong vegetal note, maybe from the peppers. Significant chile heat, some cherry cola notes along with cinnamon and soy sauce.”

Brasserie Dupont Monk's Stout Dupont (83)

An interesting combination of plum, cherry, heavy roast, and effervescent herbal qualities that give an almost menthol, numbing note. The roast turns into a burned incense, with smoke at the back end. Very interesting yeasty character in the middle of the palate, with some slight barnyard and farmhouse characters.

AleSmith Brewing Company Speedway Stout (Vietnamese Coffee) (83)

Notes of soy sauce and solvent. The beauty of this beer is the lack of things sticking out—the base has some nice roast and chocolate character that are complemented by the dark roast coffee. Sherry, cinnamon, and dark fruits appear as well, with some floral hops in the background.

Salty Nut Brewery Make Stout Great Again (83)

Burned roast hits up front, and the roasty malt character carries through the sip. Some milk and chocolate sweetness sit behind the roast, with notes of licorice, cherries, plum, and other dark fruits. It’s a very earthy beer with fruity esters potentially from the hops, but for sure from the roast. Notes of oak, pine, and the big hops bitterness leads to a dry finish. The body is a bit thin.

Evil Twin Brewing Yin (84)

Light chocolate and coffee with slight roast notes toward the end of the sip. As it warms, more flavors start to come out with light fruity esters. Alcohol is present but is slightly more than warming. The rich malt, warming alcohol, and fine toffee notes all make this a wonderful drink. There is a bit of black malt and roast in the finish, but more as an afterthought. Hops bitterness and flavor are strong, and there is some tartness in the finish.

Urban Chestnut Brewing Company Chouuteau Joe (84)

Roasty and earthy, with some burnt roast that carries throughout the taste. Coffee and chocolate up front, with coffee astringency in the middle of the sip. A lighter coffee would bring more coffee flavor without the roast and coffee astringency. Some slight sweetness hits as well, but not as dominant as the roast. Light milk chocolate and caramel. The body is thin, and there are some moderately strong vegetal notes and medium hops bitterness. The coffee and chocolate linger after the finish.

Kannah Creek Brewing Company The Demise of Ivan 2016 (84)

Starts with some chocolate and sweet malt notes, with a little roast and hints of vanilla. Notes of bourbon, leather, and oak, and some light sourness that plays with a low alcohol warming at the end of the sip. Some sweetness from dark fruits, cherry, raisin, and plum. The body of this beer might be a little too light to hold up to the barrel.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Stout (85)

Medium roast and light malt sweetness with light-moderate earthy hops bitterness. Finish is a touch grainy and slightly astringent. Some dark malt but more like a brown ale than a stout. Bitterness in the finish is clearly from hops, not roast, and though appropriate, is a little out of balance with a low perceived sweetness. A bit musky.

TRVE Brewing Company Stout O))) (85)

A whiff of campfire and charred oak subtly weave through the nose, while the sip shocks with the sharp bite of bitter hops and tannic malt before quickly fading.

Tallgrass Brewing Company Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat (85)

Toasty and nutty malt with lots of vanilla and chocolate in the background. Moderately bitter throughout, with a moderate-to-strong sweetness in the finish. Medium body is a bit thin for the vanilla notes. A medium sweetness helps support the vanilla. There is a smoothness in this beer. Initial dry roast flavors are quickly replaced by the intense sweetness of the vanilla bean, which lingers to the end. Finishes medium-dry in terms of body, but the lingering vanilla makes it seem very sweet.

Avery Brewing Company The Czar (85)

Moderate chocolate, moderate toast, moderate base malt, moderate earthy hops bitterness, full body, good carbonation. Aftertaste: dark chocolate, light hops, touch of sweetness, light toasty, moderate starchy malt, touch of ethanol. Some sour notes. Sweetness comes off as candy—Hershey’s syrup in sweetened coffee.

Rogue Ales & Spirits Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout (85)

Roasty malt, toast, and creamy oatmeal. Slight sweetness up front transitions into assertive bitterness that lingers. Lots of American hops flavor, and hops bitterness carries through to help cut the sweetness and add complexity. Rich blend of milk and dark chocolate with some bready toasted notes. Ester profile is quite subdued with some dark cherry peeking through. There is a sweetness that carries through with chocolate and coffee. Very bitter for this style with hops bitterness of pine.

Lagunitas Brewing Company Imperial Stout (85)

Malt flavors are excellent—dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee, slightly caramelized sweet finish. Moderate smoke. Hint of piney hops bitterness. Light body. Sweetened black coffee with a boozy shot added. Dark fruit reminiscent of abbey styles. I’m not sure what they’re attempting with this one.

Left Hand Brewing Company Wake Up Dead Nitro (85)

Sweet chocolate and dark fruit. Rich and thick caramel-oat combo. Some earthiness and some spice character. Silky mouthfeel with low-medium carbonation. Chewy and medium body. Balance is definitely toward the malt, but not cloying at all. Finishes a little roasty chocolate with some earthy spice notes and slightly bitter and slightly sweet making you want another sip. A slight warmth in the finish as well. Still and sweet, but with a good balancing bitterness that keeps it from being cloying. The malt profile is fairly simplistic, not offering many details besides caramel sweetness and roast finish. Alcoholic warmth is smooth.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Narwhal (85)

Roast character is blended and balanced with dark fruit esters. Caramel, chocolate, and slight hints of toffee come in later. Very low hops character. Nice sweet dark malt character. Dark fruit sweetness, cherry, raisin, and prune.Finishes slightly sweet and creamy with no lingering bitterness but a slight warmth.

River North Coconut Mr. Sandman (85)

Medium coconut with chocolate and light coffee spiciness. Coconut and light chocolate, roast and light alcohol. Lighter body for the alcohol level with moderate carbonation that presents itself at the end. Medium roast character mixed with a light spiciness.

3 Floyds Dark Lord (2017) (85)

Like eating an alcoholic gingerbread house. Heavy sweetness, molasses, gingerbread spiciness that extends into the aftertaste. Cloying sweetness covers everything but the gingerbread. Finishes with light bread, chocolate, and coffee.

Terrapin Moo-Tella (2017) (85)

Rich, creamy hazelnut tones with supporting chocolate. Mouthfeel is thick throughout, but it finishes with enough roast and dryness to make you want to take another sip. The finish has a lingering touch of sour.

Full Sail Brewing Co. Bourbon Barrel Stout (85)

Moderate oak with cherries, chocolate, light smoke, and light vanilla mixed with some bitterness. The sweetness is nicely balanced by the roast, and it slowly fades. Notes of light coconut and almond are present, as well as lots of barrel character—but the vanilla and oak lead the charge. The medium body doesn’t quite stand up to the barrel treatment, and the roast bitterness lingers a little too long.

River Rat Brewery My Morning Stout (85)

The flavor comes through as chocolate milk, with some plum esters and flavor. The milky creaminess is evident and provides an interesting contrast. There are hints of coffee, sweet chocolate, cacao nibs, and toffee, as well as burnt roast notes and artificial sweetener. The body is on the thin side, yet the malt lingers into the finish.

The Pike Brewing Company XXXXX Stout (85)

Rich dark burnt malt flavor dominates the palate, with dark coffee and espresso that lend bitterness throughout the taste. Molasses adds sweetness in the middle. Notes of black licorice, raisin, plum, prune, raisin, dates, sherry, and dark cherry are present throughout. Some hardwood characters in the flavor—maple and hickory.

Great Divide Brewing Company Oak Aged Y (85)

A very rich blend of dark chocolate and a significant amount of dark roasted malt—likely roasted barley and black patent. There’s a touch of vanilla and tannin that help to smooth all the roast. A touch of dark fruit ester notes, with some woodiness and a bit of astringency, followed by a significant hops bitterness and big hops flavor. The body is medium, and on the sweet side of neutral, but the roast helps to dry out the finish, which helps it avoid being cloying. The finish is a bit harsh, with lots of roast malt and hops bitterness, and a bit of solventy nasal burn from the rough alcohol.

Highland Brewing Black Mocha Stout (86)

Light coffee in the nose feels more accessible than foreboding, with mild chocolate. Flavor-wise, it’s clean and straightforward with no pieces out of place—pleasantly light and drinkable.

pFriem Family Brewers Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout (86)

Understated but rich cocoa on the nose feels sophisticated and confident. The sip offers a subtly barreled, semi-dry, dark cacao chocolate flavor that’s on the spare and spartan side—a touch thin and sharp.

Brink Brewing Co. Moozie Milk Stout (86)

A hint of smoked-malt aroma on the nose lends a bacon-for-breakfast feel without overwhelming it, while the sip offers just a touch of sweetness in a rather loose and unfocused body. More structure would benefit it greatly.

Odell Brewing Company Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout (86)

Sweet malt and chocolate prevail, with just a bit of roasted malt coming through as coffee. Balanced with a slightly sweet finish. Intense sweetness has some fruitiness that comes off a little bubble-gummy. Cherry and fig, dark fruit malt sweetness. Slight warming helps in the finish, and the fruitiness adds complexity.

Brouwerij De Molen Cease & Desist (86)

Sweet and malty. Toffee, chocolate, and caramel. Still get Sugar Babies candy, but more malt complexity. Moderate sweetness with fruity cherry and plum notes. Roast malt is restrained, but present. Tastes more like an old ale than a stout. Slight alcohol warming, just enough to let you know it’s there. Light hops toward the end of the sip.

Copper Kettle Brewing Company Mexican Chocolate Stout (86)

Chile flavor starts out high with moderate cherry notes and starts to burn slightly as it sits in my mouth toward the aftertaste. The hotness continues to grow well after the taste—a bit like hot cherry juice. A bit of caramel sweetness is there to balance, but the body is still svelte. The spices from the nose are here, too, but the chile heat presses them down into mere accents to the warmth.

MadTree Brewing Barrel-Aged Axis Mundi (86)

High vanilla and moderate spiciness that extends into the aftertaste with medium roast notes. Light earthy hops and some light chocolate with a mildly roasted coffee in the background that becomes more prominent as I sample more. A nice alcohol warming at the end of the sip.

Kannah Creek Brewing Company Demise of Ivan (86)

The ester fruitiness dominates this beer and a subtle smoky phenolic character works okay with the roasted malt. Relatively tart malt profile, maybe even cranberry tart. The earthiness and wood tannins support the tartness once your palate acclimates. A slight vanilla sweetness shows up mid-palate and lingers. Some roast and chocolate in the back. Nice sweetness with a good finish and slight warmth.

Rogue Ales & Spirits Chocolate Stout (86)

With the aroma, I expected a higher sweetness from the flavor. The first hit is a rich-dark-chocolate-bar bitterness. As it sits on the tongue, the sweetness of the chocolate comes out but fades into an assertive bitterness with citrus and pine American hops. Finished dry with bitterness that lingers.

Burial and J. Wakefield The Cosmic and Divine (86)

The chocolate and caramel are pleasant, while the salt is just perceptable enough to add some jangle. A rounded caramel sweetness backed by chocolate, the finish has some spicy cinnamon and pepper notes that keep it from being cloying. Definitely balanced towards the sweet side, has a lingering alcoholic warmth.”

Boise Brewing Black Cliffs (86)

Piney/citrusy hops, roast malt, dark Caramalt, and full body. Medium bitterness leads to a drying finish. Going deeper, it tastes like a raw hops tea with light malt sweetness, but strong bitterness holds it.

Exhibit 'A' Sunday Paper (86)

Dark roast malt and a medium dark roast coffee. Medium light body. Very tasty coffee. There’s some boozy alcohol in the finish. Nice balance. Finishes roasty and slightly bitter.

Schlafly Beer Toasted Coconut Stout (86)

Lots of flavor up front, with rich chocolate and coconut blending together nicely. There is a smoothness about this beer that carries from the start and all the way through the finish. The earthy roast notes sit in the back of the sip, letting the sweet chocolate and coconut shine. The coconut gives a really intense tropical flavor, with slight tropical fruit (pineapple) that provides a slight sweetness with a little acid. Some notes of toffee and nut in the malt provide some balance but didn’t quite hold up to the fruit—this beer isn’t in your face with the roast.

Four Peaks Brewing Company Sirius Black (86)

The chewy woody oak is a bit overpowering. Low to medium vanilla presences reminds me of French oak, and it blends with the peach and cherry notes coming from the coffee and the beer. Some sweet cherry, sherry, dates, and marzipan. Very thin-bodied, more like an old ale than an imperial stout. Great caramel and toast malt character, and the roast and chocolate notes help to blend the flavors. Some fusel alcohols and whiskey, with tobacco and vanilla, as well as a mild hops flavor and bitterness.

Stone Brewing Co. Milk Coffee Stout (86)

Starts with a cream-like sweetness, but the coffee flavor quickly ushers in with some roast that cuts the sweetness a bit. There are some extremely earthy and herbal notes that come across as tobacco, and the roasty malt dominates. Some hints of vanilla and a touch of chocolate. The body is medium, and the finish is toasty and dry, with slight bitterness.

Switchback Brewing Company SOS (87)

Warm umami vanilla roast notes suggest significant age and maturity. The sip is similarly rich and confi-dent—a touch thin, but awash in low-key roast and bourbon notes that aren’t too sweet and aren’t too bit-ter—just right.

Main & Mill Brewing Co. Barrel-Aged Imperial Chocolate Peanut Butter Jifforia (87)

The wall of peanut nose attacks you with an irresistible aroma of deep roasted nuts. The sip buffers the nut-ty roast with a healthy but economical dose of sweetness, keeping all in check. Rich, sweet, warming, delight-ful.

Telegraph Brewing Big Bad Baer (87)

Coffee-forward nose offers a glimpse of orange and bourbon barrel, but they play smaller roles to the cof-fee’s lead. The sip is thinner than expected but nuanced in its expression with a confident roasty bitterness complementing the restrained sweetness.

Springdale Beer Brigadeiro (87)

A light milk chocolaty nose with a light touch of roast and smoke, it’s balanced toward the easy-drinking side with a bantamweight body and a quick finish with flashes of chocolate and mild bitterness.

Brink Brewing Co. Street Corner Thieves (87)

Compelling berry chocolate vanilla nose is richly natural in its expression. On the sip, those berry notes push too far forward, offering an acidic fruity note that slightly overpowers the roast and barrel.

Jackie O’s Brewery Oil of Aphrodite (87)

Subtly sharp acrid notes give the nose an edge that would otherwise be lost to the slightly buttery and rich umami notes. The sip is more straightforward and porter-like, with faint roast and a light nutty sweetness that quickly dissipates.

Stone Brewing Company Stone Coffee Milk Stout (87)

Strong notes of roasted malt and coffee with a touch of caramel malt sweetness. Coffee comes through a bit too bitter and lingering in the finish, but not unpleasant. Tastes of a sweet iced coffee. Light lactose sweetness with light roast and low-moderate hops bitterness—surprisingly high for the style. Finish is spicy, crisp, and lightly bitter.

Alaskan Brewing Oatmeal Stout (87)

Dark roasted notes with a great nutty flavor of almonds comes through on the first sip, along with chocolate and mint. Raisin, licorice, molasses, dark fruits, earthy hops, and toast are also present. The beer is creamy throughout, but the carbonation is a little high and offsets some creaminess. Slight roast astringency on the finish.

Founders Brewing Company Lizard of Koz (87)

Creamy chocolate notes blend with the vanilla from the barrel. Very sweet, fruity, and estery, and the berry flavor lingers long into the aftertaste. It’s like sweet chocolate-covered tart cherries. Faint roast malt is buried under the berry cream soda.

Lervig Aktiebryggeri Konrad’s Stout (87)

Rich creamy consistency with molasses or dark burnt honey and medium chocolate notes. Medium sweetness transitions into roast at the end of the sip. Sweet caramel malt backbone and licorice flavor in mid-palate. Hops flavor is medium strong, spicy, and herbal. Roast notes expected in a stout are subtle. Aftertaste is mostly cocoa or bittersweet chocolate.

Amager Bryghus Hr. Frederiksen (87)

Sweet chocolate and roast up front with a medium alcohol note. Roast toward the end of the sip with a slight cocoa nip popping out at the very end. Some tartness in the finish. Medium sweetness that lingers throughout. Flavor has the cocoa and coconut, but the proportions are different now. The alcohol that seemed friendly on the nose is a bit boozy now that it’s in my mouth.

Two Brothers Brewing Company Northwind Imperial Stout (87)

Moderate plum and cherry, mouthfilling carbonation, light hops, chocolate, light roast aftertaste. Toasted malt, light caramel, moderate bitterness, long linger of chocolate and caramel. Medium body, a bit light for the complexity of flavors. Sweet chocolate flavors linger into the aftertaste. Hops flavors add interest. Nice roast bitterness in the finish. Wow, the balance among sweet, roasted, and bitter is incredible. Literally nothing jumps out and scrambles to scream ‘ME! first.’ It’s lighter than what you think you’re getting into with the smell, but a lot of the same flavors carry through and some nuttiness joins the party that was thoughtfully decorated in flower petals.

Elysian Brewing Company Omen Belgian-Style Raspberry Stout (87)

Big raspberries supported by dark chocolate malt. Medium to light sweetness and bitterness throughout with a firm acidity from the fruit. Finishes medium dry. Not a lot of roast in the initial impression, but the aftertaste is coffee and black malt. Still, the stout flavor is quite understated.

The Pike Brewing Company 2015 Pike Entire Wood-Aged Stout (87)

Strong dark roast throughout blends with dark coffee and dark chocolate. Vanilla underneath rounds out things at the end with a touch of sweetness. The mushroom notes from the nose are more pronounced here. The oak blends well with the malt and adds to the complexity. The cherry character adds a nice brightness and sweetness. The beer finishes with a slight bitterness, almost that of a dark chocolate bar.

FiftyFifty Brewing Co. Eclipse Vanilla (87)

High vanilla up front, similar to a cream soda, but a quick transition with high molasses that creates a drying effect mixed with a moderate alcohol spike. High caramel and toffee notes as well with a bit of chocolate. Oak adds a sharp tannin edge.

Coronado Brewing Company Stupid Stout (87)

On the sweeter side for an imperial stout. Lots of milk chocolate, latte-esque coffee notes. Fairly light body for the style, but since the flavors are a bit more subdued, it isn’t overwhelmed. Hops add a grassy note. Tobacco and smoke are here, too.

Central Waters Peruvian Morning (87)

Chocolate, slight vanilla, slight caramel, boozy warmth. Slight coffee. The finish comes across a bit thin, which leaves a lingering tannic astringency.”

Sprecher Czar Brew (87)

Chocolate and caramel malt up front, with some fruity complexity that has hints of dried cherries. Fairly sweet on the finish—could use a little more bitterness to balance, though this lets the spicy oak/whiskey character come out more. A little chalky mouthfeel on the finish paired with a nice warming alcohol note.”

The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company Mexican Coffee (87)

Smooth cold-pressed coffee or mocha, with a roasted malt flavor that doesn’t fight with the black coffee. It’s well integrated. There is an ashy undertone, with stale coffee, and a touch of acidity that isn’t supported by the base beer. The body is medium but not overly thick—the carbonation is a bit overdone, leaving a slight carbonic bite. Some fruity esters join the malt to assert the beer-ness. Finishes with some tobacco notes and very sweet.

Urban Chestnut Brewing Company Kinsale Stout (87)

This beer is so creamy and sweet up front, and it carries through to the finish. Lots of molasses, with burned roasty notes, toasted bread, and milk and baker’s chocolate. Dark fruit flavors of raisin, plum, prunes, and cherry are present, and a vinous character carries into the back and finish. It’s somewhat one-dimensional because the fruit esters dominate.

Stone Brewing Company Bitter Chocolate Oakmeal (87)

Moderate chocolate, with a touch of cinnamon and vanilla plus moderate piney hops bitterness. Light oak tannins give some bite, with lingering acidity and a moderate alcohol burn. Some chile spiciness with a vegetal type of flavor as well.

Stone Brewing Xocoveza Winter Spice (87)

The roast and chocolate malt hit first, with a nice mocha hug, then the mulled cider spices sidle in. Pepper, cocoa, bitter chocolate, with cinnamon and ginger. The heat is very mild, but pleasantly noticeable, and the alcohol is evident and lingers into the aftertaste with a soft, extended burn—perhaps a bit of a clash with the chile heat.

River North Brewery Mr. Sandman (87)

Spiciness up front, with licorice, mixed with moderate roast. It’s very fruit-forward, with prune and raisin, and had an underlying sweetness. Some chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and roasty notes like burned coffee, and some hops bitterness. Lots of oak and oak tannins. There’s a smoked-wood note, kind of like roasted or smoked meat—it’s fatty, and not a dry smoke.

Stone Brewing Mint Coffee Milk Stout (87)

So much mint in this. It starts up front with some light sweetness and carries through to the finish, leaving a lingering aftertaste. The bitterness is strong, with some burnt notes, then transitions into a roast character, and finally, light coffee with some nice astringency on the finish.

Southern Tier Brewing Company Creme Brulee (87)

Lots of strawberry and cherry with a bit of honeydew, but the vanilla takes center stage, pushing any reasonable limit. It’s like Neapolitan ice cream. Chocolate and roast surface in the aftertaste. The body is sweet and creamy but isn’t cloying, and it finishes dry with a bit of astringency.

Bell’s Brewery Kalamazoo Stout (88)

“Kalamazoo Stout offers a blend of dark chocolate and coffee flavors with just a hint of brewer’s licorice. One of our oldest recipes, it balances a significant hops presence against a roast-malt body.”

Fifty West Brewing Saturday Morning Cartoons (88)

Buttery baked brownie nose. The body comes across a touch thin, both in viscosity and flavor intensity as the roast adds a sharpness and slight acidity.

Odd Side Ales Rye Hipster Brunch Stout (88)

Bacon and maple syrup offer a brief hit on the aroma before it settles into a slightly thin sip of smoked meat, spicy bourbon, and soothing dark chocolate. Strange but engaging, it’s out of the norm but deliciously appetizing.

Chapman Crafted Ballad of the Barrels (88)

A present nose eschews intrigue and plays all its cards up front—bourbon, brown sugar, leather. The sip of-fers a few more layers, with a bright bite that immediately flows into a subtle woody and chocolate barrel note.

High Water Brewing Campfire Stout with Coffee (88)

Rich coffee, golden toast, light caramel, and a brief glimpse of sweetness on the nose give way to a thin, but roasty, sip that evokes slightly burnt coffee with a touch of balancing sweet.

Pinthouse Pizza The Big Lebarrelski (2019) (88)

Strong and sharp coffee roast rules the nose with faint hints of coconut and vanilla. The sip evokes more chocolate—sweet milk as well as dark—with that strong coffee roast backbone that tempers the sweetness. A touch young and simple, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Left Hand Brewing Company Wake Up Dead (88)

Chocolate with some nice roasted malt character and caramel notes balanced with a bit of lemony sweetness. Carbonic bite but full bodied. Well-blended dark roast and caramel with slight vanilla and biscuit. No hops character in flavor, but bitterness balances malt sweetness nicely. Finishes medium sweet and not bitter.”

Ska Brewing Company Steel Toe Milk Stout (88)

Caramel malt sweetness with just a touch of roasted malts to balance. Subtle raisin dark fruit esters. Finish is mostly sweet with no real hops bitterness to speak of. Malty sweetness with less perceived round sweetness from lactose. Some coffee, chocolate, and roast notes, but not enough bitterness to balance the sweetness.

Smuttynose Brewing Company Rocky Road (88)

Bitter roast malt and coffee followed by soothing sweet chocolate. Full bodied and filling. Bitter coffee flavors linger in the aftertaste (not a bad thing). Lots of oaky tannins in the finish. Finishes quite dry for how sweet this starts. Slightly sweet (caramel swirl), some chocolate but it’s cut with some tart grainy acidity.

Elysian Brewing Company Dragonstooth (88)

Nice caramel malt sweetness. Hops bitterness balances sweetness. Fruity esters with raisins up front and chocolate toward the end of the sip extending into the aftertaste. Medium alcohol warming that becomes more apparent as the taste continues.

Drake's Brewing Company Drakonic Imperial Stout (88)

Roast character is very nice with some cocoa, chocolate, and coffee. Some burnt-coffee type notes add to this roasted quality. Sweetness of some dark fruits along with malt sweetness add sweetness to this beer. Some earthiness and bitterness finish in the end with warmth. Sweetness hits your tongue but the swallow amplifies the roast and hops bitterness. Hops last into the finish. Warming alcohol.

Maine Beer Co. Mean Old Tom (88)

Dark chocolate with a very roasty, almost astringent finish accentuated by the hops. The vanilla adds nice underlying spice but isn’t particularly strong. Finish is smooth and creamy, with lingering dry coffee and hops bitterness.

Great Notion Peanut Brother (88)

Similar to the aroma. The peanut character leaves a slightly dusty coating impression on the finish. Fairly creamy with good carbonation despite the nut addition, which is nice.

Great Notion Double Stack (88)

Very strong maple-syrup character, though maybe not as intense as in the aroma. Milk chocolate sweetness throughout, with a lingering creamy finish. The roast from the stout tries oh so hard to peek through and brighten things up, but it doesn’t really have a chance. The coffee adds some dryness on the finish, but it’s still quite sweet overall.

Against the Grain Brewery 35K (88)

Rich, creamy, and full-bodied. Nice sharp roast complemented by mild hops. Both fade in the mid-palate but grow again in the finish.

Maplewood Fat Pug (88)

Rich and smooth mouthfeel until the finish, which is fairly acidic and sharp. The cherry and raspberry esters play nicely with the roast and chocolate.

New Holland The Poet (88)

Fairly chewy mouthfeel accentuated by the high level of fine-bubbled carbonation. The roast and cocoa cut the silkiness leading to a roasted acidity and dry finish. The esters on the nose are also on the palate but are more subtle.

Iron Hill Russian Imperial Stout (88)

Sweeter and less burnt than some Russian imperial stouts. Lingering semisweet chocolate flavor in the aftertaste. Alcohol hides until you swallow, then reveals itself. Flavors of dried raisins, chocolate, and coffee. Some pleasant oxidation character, and a warming finish. A bit of roast astringency sticks out on the swallow giving it a husky character.

Elevation Beer Company Oil Man (88)

A healthy mix of sweet chocolate and roast, with a sooty smokiness that seems a bit out of place. The roast dominates, with an underlying cocoa note. Wet oak and vanilla, with light syrup and molasses. Rich, silky mouthfeel, but the overall body is a bit light for the style.

Reuben's Brews Barrel Aged Stout (88)

A mix of chocolate sweetness and sweet dark fruit (plum/prune) carries through. Moderate vanilla, caramel, leather, and smoke. Strong bourbon carries through the finish, along with some molasses sweetness and medium alcohol. Thick, chewy body, and a sweetness that lingers. A bit of umami/soy sauce in the aftertaste, with bitter hops and alcohol warmth.

Moksa Brewing Co. Exorbitance (89)

A lower key roasted nutty note anchors the rich nose, supporting a spicy and herbal vanilla with just a touch of bright coffee. The sip is molasses and dark Karo sweet with a luxurious cocoa and almond streak through. Durably exquisite in the quality of flavors.

Pure Project Brewing Hazelsaurus Rex (89)

Nutty and decadent gelato notes on the nose play with roast coffee for an almost Italian take on imperial stout. The sip is curiously thin for a beer of this weight, and the sweet hazelnut notes supplant the more deli-cate roast notes.

Cape May Brewing Bourbon Barrel-Aged Concrete Ship (89)

A flaky chocolate croissant nose offers a nice dive into the generally sweeter body. The barrel character is less pronounced, and the bitter raisin flavor is not quite as clean as the best in the category, but it finishes with a cleansing bitter kick.

Jackie O’s Brewery Coconut & Vanilla Rum Barrel Oil of Aphrodite (89)

A captivating umami note grounds the strong, sweet rum overtones in the nose, while a bit of Thai-style spice (sweet yet savory) layers over more round dark-fruit notes giving the very rum-forward sip an almost tiki feel.

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery Oyster Stout (89)

Rich chocolate notes lay over a hint of salty seawater and a bit of almost saison-like fermentation ester. The sip carries that ester forward with soft chocolate notes throughout.

Oskar Blues Barrel-Aged Ten FIDY 2018 (89)

A quintessentially barrel-aged stout nose touches on oak and spirits with an underlying richness. The sip is clean and crisp with a rich and slightly sweet mid palate braced by a cleansing tannin. Rich, but not too rich. Sweet, but not too sweet. Expertly balanced and engaging.

Amalgam Brewing Other Realms (89)

Bourbon notes on the nose highlight an imprecise and mildly vegetal nose that transitions to dark fruit–infused chocolate in the sip. The net effect is more estery than exact.

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery Sidamo Coffee Stout (89)

Dark roast coffee and dark chocolate backed by a slight toasted malt. Some nice roast. Dry finish. Moderate alcoholic warmth. Thick and sweet, but the sweetness slowly fades with a bit of acrid bitterness in the finish.

Southern Tier Brewing Company MOKAH (89)

Huge chocolate flavors, mostly reminiscent of a sweet chocolate bar or a chocolate factory. Coffee and roasted malts are subtle and help to balance, but finish is sweet and chocolaty with some slightly minty flavors. Tastes exactly like a mocha frappuccino. Very faint hops bitterness and some alcohol warmth that provides a nice accent.

Left Hand Bittersweet Nitro (89)

Chocolate, licorice, and dark fruit. The coffee adds a nice dry, roasted background, and the vegetal note from the aroma isn’t as pronounced. Finish has a milk-chocolate sweetness.

Burial Beer Seasoned Skillet (89)

Semisweet bitter chocolate is the dominant character. An ashy roast note from the nose is still present and leaves a lingering tongue-smacking chalky feel. The finish is rich and not overly sweet, and the bourbon and wood character add a nice underlying warmth.

Melvin Barrel-aged Ruckus (89)

Baking chocolate, tons of roast, and a bit of smoke. Nice lingering dark-fruit sweetness, accentuated with hints of port character from the barrel. Nice body, but it still finishes moderately dry with a pleasant fortified wine booziness.

The Bruery Vindictive (89)

The flavor of this beer dances between roast character with some malt sweetness and fruit sweetness. The roast is a bit of coffee, leather, and chocolate. Fruits are plum and prune with some sweet grapes coming through, grappa-like. Stout character gets a bit lost in the mix.”

High Water BA Campfire Stout (89)

The molasses and the unique malt sweetness dominate, but are coupled with this dark umami richness that approaches soy sauce, but still stays a healthy distance from that fate. The bourbon barrel contributes to the heat, but also rounds all the flavors together while adding a nice toasted almond and vanilla note that helps compliment the molassess.

Fremont Brewing Barrel Aged Dark Star Spice Wars (89)

The sweetness from the base beer helps to balance the spice characters of potpourri and cinnamon spice. The cherry and orange esters dominate, with some vanilla to smooth things out. Roasted barley and caramel, with some chocolate and Tootsie Rolls. There’s quite a bit of alcoholic and chile heat that detracts and helps to accentuate the phenolic and floral characters, putting them a bit over the top. The hops bitterness and roasted malt flavors add a drying finish to an otherwise sweet beer.

Evil Twin Brewing Imperial Biscotti Break (89)

The nutty character dominates up front, similar to a cherry pit with some raisiny tannic flavor. This gives way to light vanilla and almond, but quickly fades to a medium-high roast character of caramel and bread crust. In the middle, coffee notes support. The sweetness was pronounced and enhanced the dark-fruit esters.

Alvarado Street Brewery Motor Oil No. 5 (90)

Bright orange and rich chocolate on the nose lead into a stunningly gorgeous sip where swirling vanilla, or-ange, and chocolate are highlighted by a strong residual sweetness that perfectly sells the combination’s al-chemy.

Seventh Son Brewing Sextus (90)

A confounding beer that tastes nothing like anything else we’ve reviewed. The nose evokes mint chocolate chip ice cream. The flavor is light on spirits barrels, but the bright and soft herbal-meets-dark-chocolate bit-terness is intriguing and singular.

Verboten Brewing Barrel-Aged Cake or Death (90)

Dark roast cacao nose dives deep into the chocolate pool. The sip is moderated by the vanilla and coconut bourbon character, but still pushes a hard cacao line to cut through the sweetish body.

Hoppin’ Frog BA T.O.R.I.S. the Tyrant Triple Oatmeal-Imperial Stout (90)

The nose is umami rich, with an almost Turkish coffee cardamom character, and follows through on that rich, sweet expectation but maintains tight control with a strong espresso roast backbone through the sip. Co-hesive and thoughtfully considered.

Jackie O’s Brewery Vanilla & Coffee Bean Bourbon Barrel Dark Apparition 2019 (90)

Sweet latte and Werther’s notes on the nose, backed by a refined espresso roast, while the sip offers less than expected, which becomes more. The sweetness is not overwhelming, the body isn’t thick, but offers enough support for the various flavors, and the vanilla offers a softening note that increases perceived sweet-ness. Well-considered and thoroughly enjoyable.

Ecliptic Brewing Oort Imperial Stout (90)

A rather intensely hoppy nose speaks to its American-ness, with subtle C-hop citrus notes and a bit of pine. Bitterness seizes the sip from the outset, with a dual-pronged roast and hops aggressive bitterness.

Mother’s Brewing Native Oak Version 2 (90)

Rich umami with a soy angle and a touch of orange citrus zest on the nose. The flavor is intensely rich and layered, like a smoky jazz club deep in the morning hours—a heady mix of bourbon, char, and deep, confident cool.

Oskar Blues JAHvanilla Ten FIDY 2019 (90)

Nutty, almond, and roast notes dominate the nose with a strong vanilla undercurrent. The sip is on the thin-ner side, but woody tannic sharpness helps cut through the rich vanilla and coconut sweetness. Bold, clean, and rich. Walks a properly tensioned slackline between decadent and disciplined.

Stone Brewing Company Imperial Russian Stout (90)

“This massive and aromatic beer abounds with notes of anise, black currants, coffee, and roastiness, and its heavy palate is nothing to be trifled with!”

North Coast Brewing Company Old Rasputin (90)

“Produced in the tradition of eighteenth century English brewers who supplied the court of Russia’s Catherine the Great, Old Rasputin seems to develop a cult following wherever it goes. It’s a rich, intense brew with big complex flavors and a warming finish.”

Founders Brewing Company Imperial Stout (90)

Chocolate sweetness carries from the start to finish. The roast builds and adds great complexity. The body is full and sits on your tongue. Some mild fruity esters of cherry and raisin with coffee roast in the finish. Clean, lingering bitterness. Slight chocolate and caramel notes.

The Saint Louis Brewery Schlafly Oatmeal Stout (90)

A bit estery, but not far out of style. A bit of heat as it warms, and more roast develops. What an interesting blend! Roast malt, moderate coffee, and then a strong hit of fruit. Then it’s followed by a wash of hops flavor and bitterness. The fruitiness is the wild card—it’s more real fruit than esters.

Terrapin Beer Company Cinnamon Roll’d Wake-n-Bake (90)

Big dark roast coffee blends with roasted malt. Moderate sweetness quickly fades into a bracing bitterness that lingers. Cinnamon gives a dryness that lingers and adds depth and complexity. A sip puts you in that neighbor’s place, sipping your own Mexican hot chocolate, maybe with a shot of espresso. The spice is nicely balanced. The roasty finish tingles with just a little heat that alludes to the slight alcoholic warmth that creeps in.

Rogue Ales & Spirits Double Chocolate Stout (90)

The chocolate bar flavor hits first but then reveals that it’s bittersweet chocolate in disguise. The big, oily roast malt and assertive bitterness belie the sweetness of the aroma. There is a fair amount of sweetness, but it’s almost subliminal. Nice coffee notes. Hint of burnt sugar/toasted marshmallow. Sweetness fades into a moderate bitterness with a bit of acidity. A dry roasty astringency lingers in the finish keeping it from being cloying.

Port Brewing Company Santa’s Little Helper (90)

Classic imperial stout flavors—moderate hops bitterness, dark roast coffee (but not overly bitter), bittersweet chocolate. Licorice, slight smoke, plum. Burnt figs and Turkish coffee. Strong roast paired with strong alcohol. Plenty of hops bitterness to extend the coffee flavor, and lots of coconut and cocoa extend the malt profile.

The Bruery Black Tuesday (2017) (90)

Alcohol is the dominant flavor, followed by a rich melanoidin sweetness with dark fruit, chocolate, and hints of tomato juice. Finish is sweet and boozy, not particularly bitter.”

High Water Campfire Stout (90)

Rich and complex dark malt flavors—chocolate, raisins, roast with a soft mellow mouthfeel. The finish has a lot of roast bitterness and astringency, but I’m not finding it off-putting, it lets the dark malt complexity and sweetness linger and cuts the alcoholic heat a bit.

EPIC Triple Barrel Big Bad Baptist (90)

Tastes like a piece of coffee cake with rum poured over it. Finish is pretty dry, possibly due to oak tannins and/or the coffee. Coconut and cocoa nibs round things out without sticking out.

Judaculla Nantahala Brewing Company (90)

Rich and slightly sweet cocoa powder, with something approaching the perceived tartness of cherries. Lots of chocolate, with a bit of vanilla and oak. The medium dark roast helps to dry things out, but the sweetness carries through and fades at the end of the sip, making way for a bit of bitterness and alcohol on the finish. The velvety body drives this beer, heightening the chocolaty base, and accentuating the vanilla barrel character. Well balanced.

EPIC Brewing Imperial Stout (90)

Heavy roast and chocolate up front quickly transition into a bitter roast and alcohol harshness that grows as it warms. Intensely sweet, with dark stone fruit esters, malt, and vanilla. An earthy, almost herbal-like character adds a nice level of depth and somehow complements the other flavors perfectly. Some heat, but it works with the overall smooth body. The mouthfeel is fairly chewy with smooth carbonation, and the alcoholic heat finishes with a slight numbing effect. Overall, it’s a very intense beer.

Moylan's Brewing Company Dragoons Dry Irish Stout (91)

Nice roast profile with some acidic bitterness. Coffee, chocolate, and cocoa. A little light bodied compared to the nose and missing a touch of mouthfeel, though otherwise balanced. Dry finish is a little surprising after the big chocolate nose, and roasty bitterness lingers. A little tart in the finish, which is refreshing.

Ska Brewing Co. Steel Toe Milk Stout (91)

A sharp Tootsie Roll nose with deeper undertones leads into a warm chocolate sip with a balanced sweet-ness and just enough body to keep it interesting. Clean, crisp, and crushable.

Side Project Derivation Blend 11 (91)

A dark, rich marshmallow nose is enveloping and deeply engaging with a solid bourbon-oak character in the background for depth. The sip is similarly decadent but refined, with a thoroughly sophisticated mix of dark chocolate, bourbon sweetness, and rich vanilla. The economy belies its sophistication, with a confidence that’s undeniable. It pushes the bass notes to excellent effect.