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Thunderhead Cream Stout - Portland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thunderhead Cream StoutThunderhead Cream Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

38 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 38
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Portland Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 02-23-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 38 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Elemental:
Photo of Elemental


3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

not a bad stout. very nice appearance, dark and thick looking with a slight brownish hew. faomed up on poor but dissapates quickly. the smell is typical for a stout, a heavy aroma with a slight hop hint to it. the taste is tart and malty but smooth with a slight hint of chocolate and finishes slightly bitter. overall a good stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2004 03:25:21 | More by Elemental
More User Reviews:
Photo of harpus


3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

10-10-2013 13:44:54 | More by harpus
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice black pour, thin beige head. All the usual suspects in the nose, chocolate and coffee with some burnt malt vibe going on.

Smooth taste, fits the bill of a milk stout, as the smoothness is accompanied by a rather dry lactose presence. Smattering of bitterness. Viscosity isn't huge, but this is a milk stout, meant for more sessionable qualities than braggadocio about its thickness.

More chocolate than anything in the mouthfeel, stays away from the coffee, frequently I'll smell coffee as a olefactory assimilation when theres a deep roast stout like this.

A pleasant beer, suitable for aging up to 3 years I would say, in terms of its premium quality. Sure it would and has survived longer than 5, but I've noticed a dropoff after a few.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2011 20:50:55 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Zorro


3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black beer with a good brown head. I can not pass light through this beer.

Smell is chocolate and smoke with a hint of acid sharpness. Hint of sweetness and vanilla too.

Taste is sweet chocolate milk at first. The tasty chocolate flavor lasts all the way through and a nice bitter finish. Not real complex but a tasty brew anyway.

Mouthfeel is a little light.

Very pleasant draught here that I can see buying again.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2005 03:18:36 | More by Zorro
Photo of Naes

New York

3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is jet black with a large brown head that disappears quickly.

It has a sweet aroma with hints of roasted malt and chocolate and coffee.

Flavor is roasty followed by a burnt coffee taste.

The mouth feel is light for a stout and is generously carbonated. Despite its light body, a small film is left in the mouth.

Easily consumable.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2005 04:41:06 | More by Naes
Photo of maxpower


3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark black in color, huge foamy brown head that leaves some lacing in my glass, roasty chocolate-coffee aromas. Chocolate milk coffee flavors, decent roasted bitterness in the finish. Medium bodied with a full and creamy mouthfeel, a pretty tasty stout.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2004 13:16:35 | More by maxpower
Photo of hero27


2.73/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: The label is cheesy but to each his own, I guess. Anyways, pours much darker than I had anticipated. the sun couldn't shine through this stuff..

Smell: Obvious roasted malt aroma. Overwhelmingly bitter smells of coffee & chocolate.

Taste: I wasn't too crazy about the taste of this one. A little too bitter, and lacking the complexity to be an "above average" stout.

Mouthfeel: Could have been more smooth, in my opinion. It says "cream stout"...and it doesn't seem very creamy to me.

Drinkability: Probably wouldn't be downing to many of these things in the future, but the attractive price tag and the fact that it is a decent stout makes it somewhat appealing.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2004 19:28:13 | More by hero27
Photo of Tballz420


3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Its called Thunderhead Stout, but has similar bottle design and same ABV, so ill assume that tis the same.

Jet black body, some brown hues in the light. Good sized bobbly brown head. Creamy roasted scent. Roast malt taste up front, some light hop in back, pretty standard for this style. A little thinner on the taste than I would hope for. It takes some effort to impress me with a stout, this one isnt bad but doesnt leave me wanting (much)more.
-I always want more beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2004 21:52:23 | More by Tballz420
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer looks great, all back in black with a monster tan head but alas the taste is a letdown. The main body is too thin and the burnt malts are not really an asset. I could drink a pint easy but I had hoped that this beer was more a cold night sipper.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2004 03:34:16 | More by canucklehead
Photo of bashiba


3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is a nice black color with some burgundy hints, with a nice inch of tan head that leaves slowly.

Smell is great, Dark roasted malts, coffee flavors, some butterscotch, with a slight sweetness to it, very impressed with the smell.

The Taste is a very much dominated by the burnt coffee flavors, but with a nice creamy sweetness coming through with some bitterness on the finish. Not to bad

The mouthfeel is very creamy but a little lighter than I would expect. Not to bad though.

The drinkablitlity is good, the creamyness and slight thinness of this stout helps it go down nice an easy. I eagerly went back for a second.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2004 02:35:05 | More by bashiba
Photo of cokes


3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Mostly black, trimmed peripherally with dark maroon.
Cigarette ash nose. And potently so. As it warms, it gains a caramel-oat sweetness, but the butts are still there.
Begins with a slick burnt cola notion. This migrates towards caramel later on. Burnt breads and those cigs again. Still, though, the cola remains. Ends with a meager yet drying, fruited hop burst.
Thin, but drinkable. Flawed, but it has its moments...and that's a good thing, because even as-is, this is average at best.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2004 07:23:01 | More by cokes
Photo of trumick


3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown no head nice lacing.
Smell roasted malts, coffee, nutty.
Taste is a little weak for a stout but roasty, nice dry finish, slight hops.
Mouthfeel medium bodied, but is too lively. Too much carbination for the style nothing I didn't like just something I am not used to from a stout.
Drinkability is ok I could drink more than two at a time.

This is different for the style, but a nice beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2004 02:37:42 | More by trumick
Photo of mattcrill


3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours inky black with a meaty tan head.

Smell: Hops, espresso, burnt coffee, and a hint of chocolate at the end. All those are present but none of them are all that prominent.

Taste: Very dry and smoky with a bread-like finish. The dryness is of an astringent quality. It almost reminds me of a cabarnet.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and thick. Pretty stout-like as far as the mouthfeel is concerned.

Drinkability and overall: A very quaffable stout. Pretty run-of-the-mill though. Just ok and bordering on forgettable. Probably one to try if this isn't your favorite style. But don't go out of your way for it.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2004 01:22:56 | More by mattcrill
Photo of Pegasus


3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Obsidian in color with a small tan head, actually quite large for the style, and thick lacing. The head retains fairly well. Prominent streams of carbonation are visible when tipping the glass.

Aroma: The sweet aroma quite clearly reveals this as milk stout. The lactose adds a cream aroma, which plays off well against the smoky black malt. There is a quite faint hop note as well.

Taste: Begins with a smoky, roasted black malt note and a slight nuttiness, soon followed by a surging coffee and bitter chocolate wave. These carry through to the end of the taste, where mild hop bitterness appears.

Mouth feel: Perhaps a bit thin for the style, but still smooth and quite pleasant. The carbonation seems a touch lively on the tongue.

Drinkability/notes: A very pleasant example of the style, and surely an excellent fall and winter beer. Tasted in a standard pint tap glass.

Presentation: Package reviewed was a 12 ounce brown glass pop top longneck with a label reading "Thunderhead Stout". This variance in labeling may be due to Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission rules.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2004 16:29:15 | More by Pegasus
Photo of TPoling


3.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a dense tan head. Dark coffee malt nose with hops underlying. Dark roasted coffee, ripe fruit and some spicy hop notes. There is a long bitter finish from both the malt and the hops. A smooth and velvety mouthfeel also adds extra character to this beer that often is not present in many American stouts

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2004 10:47:16 | More by TPoling
Photo of Mitchster


3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Just called Thunderhead Stout, not "Cream Stout", and served in a taller 12 oz than the one pictured. 6.0% ABV.

Pours out to a opaque black, forming a small dark tan head with poor retention and good lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Aroma is nice...strong tang of sweet chocolate with black walnut, cocoa, full city roast coffee, and a touch of almonds which I equate with a particular yeast strain (think Anchor). Mouthfeel is quite lively for a stout, akin to cola, with a chalky medium-dense body. The taste reminds me of Oregon for whatever reason. Begins with some herbaceous hops, followed by a darkly roasted malts with mild residual sweetness, a very chalky middle that lingers throughout the finish, medium herbal and somewhat empty bitterness, black patent bitterness, a touch of almonds (Dr.Pepper?), moderate huskiness, and a lightly dry, thinner-bodied finish with residual chalkiness and charcoal. Burps are reminescent of Mt.Hood.

A decent brew which is nostalgic for whatever reason, giving me the impression of many stouts I tasted in the same vein while out west. This is thinner bodied that I prefer, but not quite as thin as something like Grants. A little roasted, a little empty, but hey, it's still not bad.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2004 00:36:38 | More by Mitchster
Photo of kbub6f

New York

3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's thick black. It almost has some dark brown highlights. The head on top is dark brown, bubbly, fizzy and leaves a few spots. Smell is nicely roasty, tangy, sweetish, chocolate, mocha. Add some grapes to the sweetish chocolate up front. It turns somewhat powdery in the middle. Cocoa, a little water. Quite dry in the bitter end: chocolate, some veggies. Funny, the taste is a little disproportionately faint, given the big aroma. Improves with temperature: more fruit.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2004 16:34:21 | More by kbub6f
Photo of HardTarget


2.9/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Aroma: Nice classic stout nose, roasted malt, a touch of vanilla, cream and nuts.
Appearance: Opaque black with a thin head of small tan bubbles. It left some nice traces of lace down my mug.
Flavor: Nutty start, milky sweet middle, but it has an odd watery end that has me concerned. No alcohol noted in the taste. Some coffee and milk chocolate notes, but mild at best.
Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation level, medium body, smooth texture.
Overall Impression: A decent stout, but didn’t knock my socks off. Too heavy for a session, too light to really scratch my beer itch, but the alcohol is hidden and potent. It seems like a good example of a sweet stout, but don’t scour the earth for it.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2004 00:37:14 | More by HardTarget
Photo of Thrasher


3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The name has dropped "cream." I don't know if the recipe has been changed as well, but it is not out of the realm of possibility that this stout could be considered a cream stout. Pours coal black with twinges of tan at the edges. The head forms reasonably well, then drops, leaving ample wisps of lace. The aroma is predominantly chocolate, with some hint of milk. The taste is initially quite large and sweet, with a big herbal bitter finish. Chocolate shines through, as well as a strong twinge of doppel-ish caramel. This is certainly not as sweet as something like Mackeson XXX, but it's in the same general ball park. The beer grows better as it warms, which is not surprising, but it never fully evolves into a truly delectable treat. For me, the herbal hoppiness gets in the way and never fully meshes with the flavors. I like a lot of what is going on here, particularly the sweet molasses attack, but it doesn't quite jel. However, I got this for a very good price and am satisfied with the purchase; it makes for a better session beer than many larger stouts. Like many of MacTarnahan's beers, it's a pleasant and drinkable underacheiver.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2004 04:53:22 | More by Thrasher
Photo of hobbes2112


4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle that is labeled as "Thunderhead Stout" not "Thunderhead Cream Stout"

Pours blacker than black, only holding it up to a bright light lets you see any of the deep red/brown color. Head is a creamy brown that goes down quickly.

Smell is sweet and chocolate malt, hint of roast/smoke.

Taste is bitter roasted malt, woody tartness, and long lasting coffeelike finish.

Mouth feel is decent, though a little bit sharp at some points. Not quite as much body as I would like either, but it is mostly right.

As far as drinkability goes I think this is up there, I found this easy and enjoyable to drink and will likely purchase this in the future.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2004 01:52:37 | More by hobbes2112
Photo of Dogbrick


3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Darkover for the trade. This brew pours nearly black with a thick light brown head that dissipates pretty quickly. Very little lacing. The aroma is rather roasty with a little hops. The body on this Stout is not very rich, but it was one of the smoothest, easiest to drink Stouts I have encountered. I was through the glass in no time. Possibly because it is a little on the carbonated side. Flavors of roasted malt, coffee and hops, but none too abundant. The finish is lightly bitter hops. Overall this isn’t the most flavorful Stout you can find but it scores big points in the drinkability category.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2004 16:09:51 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of bditty187


3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black, basically opaque, only when held to a light did ruby highlights show around the edges. A russet colored head of a finger and a half rested firmly above the black body. The head retention was very good, if not great, as it sat motionless for a few moments before slowly fading away to a tight cap. The subsequent lacing was unorganized but prevalent. This is an ideal looking stout. The nose doesn’t have a very big or bold blast of roasted aromas, there is a sweetness to it, kind of milky but faint, at the back of the bouquet I found a suggestion of dry, coffee beans. The nose is ordinary and small for a Stout. My bottle doesn’t mention the word “Cream” on it but the aromas vaguely suggests that is a Sweet Stout of sorts. The potency is too small for the invitation to be clear. The palate has a fair amount of astringent flavors upfront from the roast, the acidity isn’t too loud but it is very vocal upfront. There is some mild hop bitterness in the middle, this works in harmony with the roast. I don’t find a lot of subtle complexities in this Stout until the finish; this is when notes of caramel, milk, and coffee briefly make an appearance. However by the aftertaste these flavors have faded away and all that is left is a boring roasty flavor. The palate is not bold nor is it complex. This is a Stout with training wheels on. There is a good dry sensation, similar to an Irish Stout, which I believe this beer actually is. But the 6% abv is, IMO, too high for the style. Maybe this is just an ordinary Stout. All right, stop thinking and more drinking. This is a decent Stout, how’s that? It is a bit fuller than medium in body, there is creamy, sugary notion to the mouthfeel, this is pleasant enough, and the carbonation is modest. There is nothing really bad or flawed with this Stout. It is ordinary. Simple as that, I mean there is nothing wrong with being typical. I guess if this was available locally and reasonably priced I’d drink it on occasion. As is, my lone sample purchased in Iowa City will suffice.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2004 16:17:22 | More by bditty187
Photo of Skidz


3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark mahogony and sits nearly opaque in the glass with a fluffy white brown head.

Smells of deep roasted grains, chocolate with a nice hoppy tinge and some wooden/earthy notes.

Tastes bitter up front, a big strong bitter. Goes into a mild sweetness with chocolate and a slightly floral taste. More earthy characteristics show through, and finishes good and bitter, but slightly tangy.

Smooth and creamy in the mouth, big in body. This is a good feeling stout. Easy to drink, good taste, nothing wrong, but nothing great either.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2004 15:21:29 | More by Skidz
Photo of mschofield


3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown/black with a three finger dark chocolate-tan head, leaves bits of lacing.
Roasted malt, cream, coffee, earthy aroma.
Charcoal and herb notes in the taste, slightly sour, sweetened and lightened coffee, a bit of wood tannins, herbal.
Full bodied.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2004 16:27:43 | More by mschofield
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


2.93/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 12 fluid ounce (355ml) brown glass bottle. The front label has a purple & white colored picture of storm clouds, with the word “Thunderhead Stout” in a two-tone colored font, the ‘Thunderhead’ in yellow/red and the ‘Stout’ in blue/white. Listed in the bottom left hand corner as 6.0% ABV. A small purple and white neck label has a picture of very Guinness looking Thunderhead Stout with a large white strike of lightning running through it.

Appearance: Incredibly dark body, it pours with little opacity and not much light gets through the edges never mind the bulk of the beers body. During the pour, the head struggles to form, when it does come out of solution, it is a very thin light brown affair that soon breaks up into a halo like covering. A quick swirl helps the carbonation replenish a decent looking collar like head, but that too does not last too long. A subsequent top-up pour helped to form a much better looking head, more in line with what I would expect, it even left some light lacing.

Nose: Dark roasted malts with a little smidgeon of chocolate and some coffee beans, but it is low in strength.

Taste: Bitter start with roasted malts. Coffee and dark chocolate come through in the latter third, but it soon finishes with a bitter, somewhat dry finish. The flavors are never high profile, or strong, but they are detectable. Pretty average, but the roast flavors are raw, and the bitterness dominates a tad too much for me.

Mouthfeel: A rather thin body that has some medium traits once in a while which allows the roast flavors to reveal themselves too much, and contributes the to strong bitterness I feel.

Drinkability: Thanks to its thin body it is relatively easy to quaff, yet the raw roast flavors and unbalanced bitterness detract from this Stout in the long run. Way too thin with little smoothness, and absolutely no “cream” qualities at all. There are much better examples for the price ($1.60 bottle) out there.

Overall: Not bad, but a little harsh for my liking, it lacks a creamy-smoothness which I typically like in my Stouts, which is ironic given the fact that I never saw the word ‘Cream’ in the title, or even listed anywhere on the bottle, unlike the name listed in the BA Database!!

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2004 06:51:56 | More by TheLongBeachBum
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Thunderhead Cream Stout from Portland Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.