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Sierra Nevada Stout - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,719 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,719
Reviews: 1,323
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 192
Gots: 143 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,719 | Reviews: 1,323 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of witster18


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

I like the Porter and the Pale Ale is a flat out staple in my fridge so I went in with high expectations.
Pours near black with brownish red highlights and a 3/4" head that holds very nicely.
Smells like a stout with heavy sweet cocoa aroma.
Taste is the 'shazbot'....which was a term we used in HS for AWESOME.... dark chocolate and coffee with cream and sugar / ample Carb which slaps your lips and a late delivery of some detectable(slightly over-powering), quality hops. A roasty/herbal aftertaste... a bit off style. the taste up front is truly exceptional and the finished product is one of the most drinkable and accessible stouts on the market. I'm sold on this brewery since it seems they can do no wrong.
the flavor is just great-the only thing that would make it better is if it were a bit more chewy/smooth and little less hops... but that flavor right when it hits your tongue is pretty darn special.
Santa...put this on my Christmas list!
my only complaint... A bit sharp with the herbal hops... perhaps could be toned down just a notch... as could the carb... but that's nitpicking for an accessible and affordable stout offering. Good beer! ANy time of day... great one a day beer... I love the earthiness... you can tell these ingredients came from mother earth. That menthol quality is toned down a bit if you let it warm up(highly suggest drinking this at about 50f).

Late edit... I was really nit-picking here as this to me is the standard affordable american stout.... It's GREAT... the earthiness and the quality hops, added to the chocolate/coffee flavor is exceptional, and this is one of those beers for those transitioning into darker beers and craft beers for the first time. It's hard not to like this beer... ESPECIALLY when craft beer stores charge 3-4 more dollars a sixer for inferior American stouts... a staple in my fridge....

other staples in my fridge for reference:
Stouts - Sierra, Bell's Double Cream, Out of Bounds, Irish 37.

Pale Ale's - Sierra, Magnum IPA, Commodore Perry

Porters - Edmund Fitzgerald, St. Peter's, Fuller's London

Hefe's - Schneider-Weiss, Yazoo(best american), Paulaner, Hacker

American Lager - Dortmunder Gold, Brooklyn

Hellas - Stoudt's Gold, Lowenbrau

Amber - Retro Red, Eliot Ness, Sam Adams(on tap only)

Brown Ale - Columbus Nut Brown, Sammy Smith's Brown

12-18-2008 22:58:48 | More by witster18
Photo of angrybabboon

New Hampshire

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

Review adapted from notes taken 12/23/10

Appearance: Nearly black dark brown with a light brown head that sticks around for a while

Smell: Roasted, burnt malts with some hints of sweetness - well-balanced and not overly complicated

Taste: Flavorful and surprisingly complex - roasted and burnt flavors, hints of chocolate, vanilla, and coffee - some dry flavors, some sweet flavors, kind of earthy - some hops, too - ultimately, very balanced and not crazy

Mouthfeel: Smooth and medium bodied, nicely carbonated

Overall: If this isn't the benchmark for (non-imperial) American stouts, then I don't know what it

This beer is excellently balanced and manages to be simultaneously complex and simple. American stouts that are not extreme in any way almost seem hard to find these days. For the record, this works well in a batch of chili.

06-14-2011 18:51:20 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of StevieW


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

Overall I like this beer, it pours to deep dark black with a nice full tan head, however I thought the head settled rather quickly for a stout. The smell seemed a little stronger and harsher than I anticipated. The first taste however more than made up for that. I found strong burnt malt, coffee taste and really nice strong finish. The feel is about right, maybe a little thinner than I expected, but the taste makes up for that again.This one seemed to start strong but fade toward the bottom of the glass. Still a winner, it's my 2nd of 6 I'll probably try a different stout when I restock my supply.

03-23-2002 22:17:40 | More by StevieW
Photo of Zorro


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

Pours a clear dark brown ale with a fairly strong tan head.

Smell is fruity with an acid edge. Scents of chocolate and vanilla, coffee scent is mysteriously missing.

Taste is on the sweet side for a stout. Mildly fruity and with restrained bitterness for a stout. Faint chocolate and coffee flavor but this is very mild.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is very good. This is a mild mannered stout that you could drink all the time. Not my favorite style but I could see buying this again.

07-13-2005 03:05:22 | More by Zorro
Photo of TheEclecticGent


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

I tried this beer on tap at Summits in Sandy Springs, GA. It pours into a barrel mug a deep brown color with a dark brown colored ¼ “ head that is steady with some lacing. The smell is of a roasted malty sweetness. The beer has a good bold flavor. It has a creamy robust flavor that tastes of roasted malt, sweet chocolate with a light hoppy finish. The mouthfeel is medium/heavy and full. This is a good solid stout and I would buy more and drink it anytime. I like it more than I do the Sierra Nevada Porter but both are very good beers.

02-20-2006 02:47:01 | More by TheEclecticGent
Photo of MaltyGoodness


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

12oz. bottle

Pours a rich black color with a tan head that thins. Nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma of dark rosated grains with some coffee and chocolate tones. A slight citrusy hop smell is also woven in.

Nice dark rosated malt taste upfront with a bit of chocolate and coffee present. A citrusy hop taste and a bitterness show up midway and strike a great balance. It finishes roasty, slightly bready, and dry.

Rich body, solid carbonation.

This is a fantastic stout, full of flavor and very well balanced.

02-27-2006 03:22:02 | More by MaltyGoodness
Photo of samie85


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

A-Pours a pitch black color with a finger and a half of off-white head; leaves behind beautiful, sticky lacing.

S-Roasted and dark chocolate notes with an earthiness to it.

T-Roasted and a bit of light orange notes with some chocolate on the finish.

M-Rich yet light body body with low carbonation punctuated by a slight dry feel towards the finish.

D-Insanely drinkable, and a slightly different spin on the style which I thoroughly enjoy.

09-19-2011 02:41:30 | More by samie85
Photo of smcolw


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

Great off white head that leaves ring lace after every sip. Nearly black in color.

Perhaps my only complaint would come from the surprisingly mild aroma. The classic smells are there but faint.

Lots of black patent malt flavors. Burnt coffee and bitter chocolate complete the profile. The only distraction is the body which is far thinner than most stouts.

One of the more falvorful stouts; I'd love to try this against its Irish brethren.

04-13-2008 02:48:16 | More by smcolw
Photo of CaptYellow

New York

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

A: Cream coloured head on jet black. Whispy till the end. Leaves lacing rings around the glass.

T: Tastes of coffee and chocolate.

M: Medium.

D: High. Tasty. Great stout. Balanced. Not overly sweet or bitter.

O: Yum! A buy again; a recommend; a search out.

06-21-2010 13:09:38 | More by CaptYellow
Photo of kdales77


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

I never used to into the Sierra line of beers but they have really been growing on me the last few years. As with all my brew I poured into a glass and let it warm a little before tasting.

A: Poured a very dark brown, almos black, with a thin tan head that turned into a film.

S: Chocolate, roasted malts, a little bit of hops (like all Sierra Brews)

T: Malty sweetness, nice chocolate, coffee, and malt blend. Sweet tastes are more prevalent than the bitterness. A very well balanced taste.

M: Feels like a stout, very thick and smooth, nicely carbonated.

D: This is a highly drinkable stout and fine beer.

06-30-2008 04:51:29 | More by kdales77
Photo of bamadog


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

Review is from notes taken on 2/19/2011 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep and dark coffee brown and shows some mahogany/ruby highlights near the bottom on the sides; starts with a big 2 finger, tan/brownish head with decent retention; head becomes rocky and pockmarked as it slowly dwindles and leaves a curtain of dry and sticky looking lacing on the sides of the glass; body is as it should be -- dark and opaque with only faint highlights.

Smell: Smell is good -- earthy and roasty coffee malts; definite nutty presence; lastly slight hints of a barely perceptible smokiness and molasses.

Taste: I can definitely understand why this beer can have an A- average with over 1000 reviews -- it's a very solid and drinkable American style stout; plenty of the earthy and roasty coffee malts like in the nose, but a bit more subdued under the strong and slightly bitter nuttiness; again I feel that there is a bit of smokey woodiness and something sweet, but not chocolatey, so I'm sticking molasses as well.

Mouthfeel: Like I find most American stouts, the body is just shy of medium weight and I'm always left wishing it was just a bit thicker and chewier, but it is what it is; a moderately thick and sticky coating is left all over the roof of the mouth, and it holds the bitter nuttiness quite long into the aftertaste; carbonation is bright at first, but calms quickly and doesn't become much of a factor beyond just being present.

Drinkability: Easily drinkable -- nice set of scents and flavors with nothing overwhelming to the palate and the body isn't so thick that it's like chewing used motor oil or anything, so it certainly doesn't sit heavy at all; lastly, the ABV is under 6%, so it's more than manageable.

02-20-2011 03:06:09 | More by bamadog
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

tall head. voluminous and tan. excellent lacing. very dark; essentially opaque

rich malt aromas and floral, evergreen pacific hops. sweet roastiness. molasses

it's a somewhat lively brew, though the effervescence that inflated the head doesn't translate fully to each sip (early on they do, but it seems to go flat quickly). a grainy, bitter finish from the dark grains. appropriately sweet and with a good amount of IBUs at the end. smooth. and a touch of chocolate velvet right before the bitterness

enjoyable brew

01-09-2008 02:10:15 | More by bruachan
Photo of treque


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

A a very deep brown colour with some amber hues semi traslucent. A nice off white head something between sand and capuccino colour it last for a while never disappears at all.

S a hop presence and roasted is persistence.

A medium to high body. Some roast from beginning until the end and there is the bitter explosion for a long final nice combination

04-25-2011 05:12:51 | More by treque
Photo of greybeardloon

Rhode Island

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

Bottle into a nonic. Bottled on January 26, 2011.

A: A not timid pour resulted in a substantial, very light brown head that sticks around for a good while. Lots and lots of lacing. The beer is surprisingly translucent when held up to the light.

S: Initially, milk chocolate and not much else. Later, the hops come through.

T: Mostly chocolate and earthy hops, with some hop bitterness at the back. Not as much roastiness as I expect from a stout.

M: This is surprisingly thin for a stout. Based on the mouthfeel, I wouldn't think I'm drinking a stout. It's also more heavily carbonated than I would expect.

O: I'm really not sure what to make of this stout. It doesn't fit what I expect from an American stout. I certainly like it, though: the earthy and bitter hops complement nicely, it's incredibly drinkable, and it works much better with food than most other stouts. Maybe I'll think of it as a dark, chocolatey American brown ale.

04-16-2011 02:15:28 | More by greybeardloon
Photo of EPseja

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

Got this bottle from Yelterdow (thank you). Served at just below cellar temperature in a pint glass.

A - Pours a thick, dark, chocolatey brown with little carbonation bravado. The head slowly rises from almost nothing to about 1/2" with a breathing-type motion. It slowly diminishes, looking stagnant like a pond thick with duckweed, leaving an uneven large bubbled mat and the beginnings of a ring of lace that eventually drips down the sides of the glass; sticky and thick. Very nice!

S - Rich, toasted malts laced with dark chocolately notes, coffee and mild alcohol. An enticing sweetness pervades the entire nose, adding a dessert-like character to the individual characteristics.

T - Starts off with a bright, sweet maltiness that is the embodiment of all of the scents in the nose. Spiked coffee, dark fruits and roasted malts make up the middle of the mouthful. A hit of dark chocolate residue coats the back of the tongue and throat on the way down, leaving a pleasant bitterness that calls for another sip. Deep and complex without overstatement.

M - Enters the mouth with a surprisingly light character and an effervescence that is tingly without being numbing or overcarbonated. Thckens considerably in the mouth adding to the perceived dessert-like qualities noted above. The swallow is pillowy and throat-coating.

D - This is one well crafted stout that I otherwise would have passed over, since Sierra Nevada has traditionally meant "Pale Ale" to me. Very well crafted and a pleasant surprise to boot! Very drinkable thanks to the sweetness being a *perceived* trait rather than an actual cloying one.

10-28-2005 00:10:51 | More by EPseja
Photo of Goblinmunkey7


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

Appearance: Dark brown/black. When held to light lets through a deep garnet read. Head is dirty white, fluffy, huge, and sticky. It’s lovely.

Smell: Nose is full of roasted malts, coffee, cocoa. Hops are faintly citrusy, leaning on some rind, with grass sneaking in as well. Serious cocoa and roasted notes. T

Taste: Almost a spot on match for the nose. Tons of cocoa lead to a faint bitterness and a touch of dryness. Coffee and roasted malt bring up the back. A little acrid on the back, lending a slightly smoky flavor to the whole thing. Earthy.

Mouthfeel: Nice full body. Hops are there and linger on the back of the taste.

Overall: Sierra Nevada pulls it off again. A great standard for a style. Drinkable and then some. I'd love to see a coffee-infused version.

05-08-2012 01:35:10 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of Mebuzzard


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

A bit of an aged bottle, about 4 months. I've had it before, but reviewing this one.

Dark brown, ruby pour. Black at first and semi-close glance. Nice creamy head, sticky. Lacing is great. Contrast between body and head is subtle, otherwise very nice looking brew.

Chocolate aroma. Sharp chocolate. Molasses, leather, caramel. Hops are piney and balanced. Sweet yet sharp

Chocolate taste. Caramel comes in to give the dark, sharp cocoa a break and provides sweetness. Seems complex, but really it's just a straight up stout. Take their porter and put more choc. malt and hops in it. That's what it seems like to me. I"m having it in mid-summer. Gonna have it again later in the year. Not the best, but good and damn solid

08-10-2011 03:15:24 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of MrDanno96


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

A: Pours virtually pitch black, barely a hint of copper when held directly to my lamp. The foamy two fingers of head that resulted from a fairly vigorous pour dissipated relatively quickly to a thin ring around the glass. a little tan foam remains on top of the brew. Lots of sticky lacing.

S: A pleasing mixture of roasted coffee and dark chocolate meet the nose. Some citrusy hops are also detectable.

T/M: A nice medium body that leans just a little towards full. Lots of strong roasted coffee in the flavor, mixed with a little chocolate. Dark malts and a little hop bitterness round out a nice flavor profile. There's just a little too much carbonation initially IMO. I had to let this sit for a bit to let the bubbles settle down before I could get an good feel for the taste.

After finishing my review, I paired this with a few pieces of milk chocolate and I began to notice some more hop citrus in the flavor.

D: Overall, it's a nice traditional stout. I was a bit more impressed by the aroma than the actual flavor, but it's still good nonetheless. And at <6% abv, this brew is a great session option when you're looking for a dark beer to throwback.

02-17-2010 04:07:10 | More by MrDanno96
Photo of Beerzebub


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

Attractive creamy tan head.

Smells like roasty chocolaty dark malt, herbal/grassy hops, some orange rind and a mineral note like salty sea air. Nice.

Smooth dark chocolaty malt with clean citrus and grassy hop flavor and bitterness. Some pleasant restrained sweetness. Very well balanced. Dries out for a long, clean, roasted, bitter finish.

Smooth and highly drinkable. Tasty distinctly west coast stout.

11-27-2007 08:35:24 | More by Beerzebub
Photo of RedBaron


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

Another tasty brew from Sierra Nevada.

The stout poured nicely, evenly distributed in the head. The colour was a very dark brown. The taste was balanced between Cascade hops and a wonderful malt flavour.

Afficianados have to try this beer at about 55F--it really brings on the best qualities of a West Coast hoppy stout at this temperature.

Way ta go, SN!

11-05-2003 04:09:32 | More by RedBaron
Photo of cpetrone84


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

A-pours a ton of thick dark java colored head and a dark cola colored liquid that lets red hues of light pass through. the head is lingering for quite some time and leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

S-the nose is lighter and brings a grainy roasted barley, a hint of chocolate, and some sweet dark fruits at the back, some dark berry and fig.

T/M-it is super smooth with a fuller medium body with the taste of light roasted barley, some nice dark chocolate, sweet dark berries and fig with a light bitter finish

D-this is quite a tasty and smooth stout. it is quite light in body and so easily drinkable! definitely a recommendation for a sessionable type stout.

01-30-2010 23:59:36 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of dwilson01


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

poured from a 12 oz bottle into an indian wells brewing co pint glass. The head is a solid finger and a half of mocha tan color, dissipates evenly and fairly rapidly to a thin film at the top. the body is dark brown to black, not pitch but basically like the bottle it came in just thicker.

The smell is a great balance between malt and hop, I get a roasted coffee scent with a bit of chocolate hinted at combined with a lighter hoppy end to it which leaves the nostrils a tiny bitterness.

The flavors here follow from the smell, a malt forward coffee roast which has that sweet flavor off-setting it a bit, but mosre roasted than anything else. The hops provide a nice refreshing citrus and pine bitterness to the malt and keeps you wanting more.

The mouthfeel reminds me somewhat of an irish dry stout but it's definitely not as dry feeling as one which helps me to enjoy it a lot.

Seems to me that this could be a session stout but it's still a sipping beer not because of it's body thickness and alcohol content but because of it's flavor. Another great offereing from Sierra nevada if you ask me.

09-02-2010 06:37:58 | More by dwilson01
Photo of sholland119


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

Pours an opaque black with a thin tan head and very little lacing.

Roasted coffee is the predominant aroma with a whiff of bittersweet chocolate and some faint hops.

A smooth bittersweet chocolate in the front followed by a solid roasted coffee bitterness in the finish. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is very solid for the style, maybe a little thin but no more so than is typical for this type of stout.

A delicious brew that is very sessionable. Does not get the juices flowing like a chewy RIS but a very interesting beer to drink for a while.


08-18-2008 19:17:47 | More by sholland119
Photo of curasowa

New York

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

Pours a dark mahogany/almost black color with 1 finger of tan head that fades slowly to a ring. Smells of rich, roasted malt, slightly sweet with hints of brown sugar and faint medicinal notes. Taste is classic stout - nice, roasted malt flavor up front and then a really interesting finish. Some bitterness makes itself known and then becomes drying before being left with a mild chalky taste with hints of hop oil. Body is medium and drinkability is great - this is one of the easiest drinking stouts I've had.

03-27-2010 18:47:04 | More by curasowa
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

12oz bottle, served in a pint glass.

A - almost black color with a tan head that thinned to a ring as it warmed, no lace.

S - strong roasted aromas of malt and coffee.

T - a stout with a very pronounced hop bite, it's different, it's good.

M - medium bodied, carbonation is good for this particular variation of a stout.

D - very easy drinking brew, not too heavy and it tastes good.

09-17-2007 00:07:55 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,719 ratings.