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Sierra Nevada Stout - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,513 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2513
Reviews: 1313
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.27%

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: 2,513 | Reviews: 1,313 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Rosanne


4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

taster: easy to drink, tasty, smooth, sweetness not overpowering. Need more to work out rating.
1/2 pint: sweet beginning, bitter linger, no molasses taste, again rated it a 4.5. Too watery to make it a 4.75

Shared a taster on-tap as part of four flights at the brewery; Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, Chico, USA. Then ordered a half pint later. Yum! As part of a six-week West Coast beer tour. I rate to taste, not to style. See my blog for more details: carbeers.wordpress.com

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2013 07:34:37 | More by Rosanne
Photo of TheBrewo


3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beverage was served from the tap at The Old Toad in Rochester, NY. It arrived in a house pint glass glowing the deepest brown that gave up a bit of light around the edges. No real head was noted, and creamy spots of lacing were left here and there as the liquid disappeared. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared to be active. The nose gave milder, toffee sweetness, raw coffee bean roast and metallics, charred malts, light plastics, and black cherry syrup. Our first impression was that the flavoring was warm and roasty, with a nice Cali hop bitterness to cut and balance. As we sipped, roasted coffee and chocolate malts, plastic phenols, and grassy and oily hop bite mixed for the start. The middle peaked with stronger medicinal phenols and charred woodiness to sit against the continued blackened coffee malts. The finish was with smoke, bitter grassy hops, toffees, and molasses salt and sugar. Light lactics came to cut, adding sourness to and already puckered char. The aftertaste breathed of smoke, roasted malts, char, light air of hops, and milk chocolate sweetness. The body was medium, and the carbonation was active, with an initial bubbly tickle. Following nice slurp, smack, cream, and froth, the feel gave way to a light astringency down the hard palate. The abv was fine, and the beer drank easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the flavoring. There was nice and robust smokiness to add to the already rich and deep chocolatey malts. A hop bitterness also permeated each level, adding complexity, balance, and blend. The feel was nicely drying, leaving a pleasant smack and froth to the lip. If anything, the nose was comparably light, but the rest made up for it in this tasty brew.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2012 15:07:15 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of ThaCreep


4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Creamy. Nose bitter with roasted malt used well and nice to smell. The mouth is a good chocolate - so it's not a chocolate stout - in an easy to drink quite impressive.

The mixture of flavors between the slight acidity of the water and the bitterness of chocolate - two characteristics of dry stout - give the beer a pretty nice balance. Finish supported by the bitter dark chocolate.

A very good dry stout, well ahead of jokes, especially the Draught, from Guinness brewery.

Serving type: on-tap

09-25-2011 18:07:32 | More by ThaCreep
Photo of JLeege


3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft ~ into a shaker pint

Appearance- Pours dark, near black, with a one finger tan head. Pretty good retention, a little lace left behind.

Smell- Light chocolate and roast. A nuttiness as well. Fairly muted.

Taste- Smooth and balanced, not to sweet nor bitter; light roasted malts, a bit of chocolate, still picking up a nutty sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and carbonation.

Overall- A nice serviceable stout, no complaints. Strictly to style probably a solid A beer, but to personal tastes, I just can't score it that high.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2011 07:35:37 | More by JLeege
Photo of woosterbill


3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Prime 16 into a shaker pint.

A: Black body with brilliant ruby highlights underneath a perfect inch of creamy tan foam that peeks over the glass's rim before receding ever-so-slowly and leaving spotty lace. Great.

S: The nose is bitter, roasty, and mildly hoppy. There's some bittersweet chocolate, but overall this is pretty straightforward roasted barley. Not bad, but not too compelling.

T: Similar to the nose, but with a more pronounced chocolate malt profile. Nice earthy hops on the bitter finish. Pretty tasty.

M: Medium body with abundant soft carbonation. Quite pleasant.

D: Not bad at all, but pretty standard for a sub-6% stout. Quite bitter for the style.

Notes: Solid stout, and one of the best non-imperials, but I'd take Left Hand Milk Stout over this every time.


Serving type: on-tap

03-22-2010 03:17:14 | More by woosterbill
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


4.44/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Easily the best, most widely available stout in the world. Yeah, you might like some extreme limited edition stouts aged in barrels, from which the limited edition/rare wood came from Noah's Ark or whatnot . . . but I digress.

Deep black appearance, wonderful aroma, blasts of hops, chocolate and coffee to a lesser degree. Amazing hop quality and tempered bitterness to the taste. Equal parts thick stout and ipa. Mouthfeel is good, but there is so much, sometimes a little overwhelming. A great of the greats.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2010 22:41:17 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Westport Blues Views BBQ Festival. Very fresh, in a biodegradable platsic cup.

Pours jet black with some dabbles of white foam. Completely blocks out the light.

Smell is roasted malts. Toasty.

Taste is delicious. Smooth creamy, rich, hints of coffee/chocolate. The roasted taste comes through load and clear. Creamy, less carbonated in the mouthfeel, but holds its body and taste very well. Slightly bitter aftertaste as the hop sticks around.

A drinkable stout to say the least. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2009 23:31:57 | More by KTCamm
Photo of illidurit


3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Darkest brown with red highlights. Creamy tan head that leaves great lacing. Aromas of roasted barley, milk chocolate, and citrus. Lots of coffee, toffee, and chocolate in the flavor, with accents of smoke, fruity hops, and a touch of sour mash. Rich and smooth mouthfeel with mousse-like carbonation. A really solid stout.

Serving type: on-tap

05-14-2009 07:27:03 | More by illidurit
Photo of ricke


3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving date: 2009-03-23. On-tap att Bishop's Arms, Malmö. Served in pint glass.

A: Very dark brown, almost black. 1 finger tan-colored and rather creamy head.

S: Plenty of dark and roasted malt aromas. Hints of dark fruits. A decent amount of earthy hop aromas as well. Compared to the bottled version it's slightly restrained. It lacks some bigger and fuller aromas.

T: Firm semi-sweet malt body, nice roasted flavors. Some dark fruits, dark bread and earthy wood notes. Very pleasant hop flavors, earthy and gently spicy. Mild bitterness, juicy malts and more hops in the finish.

M: Medium body, off-centered carbonation. Rather smooth, though.

D: A very good low alcohol stout, but inferior to the bottled version. Compared to the bottled version it has less fruity flavors but interestingly a more pronounced hop character. Most importantly, its body is way lighter.

Serving type: on-tap

03-25-2009 20:22:39 | More by ricke
Photo of sholland119


4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.


Serving type: on-tap

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


4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hollingshead's in Orange, CA,

A: Pours a dark brown, with a firm tan head, good retentin, mild lacing there as well.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee.

T: Roasted malt, toast, though not entirely burnt, there is a good balance. Nice caramel malt notes as well, with a biting hop bitterness.

M: Smooth, and crisp, full-bodied for an American stout, dry.

T: Very good, I've had this beer before out of the bottle, and it is sort of ho-hum, but on-tap it really shines, very tasty stuff, easily drinkable, I want another one, but I've got to drive home on the 22, and I haven't any money.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2008 03:09:27 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of MisterClean


3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Madison Bear Garden in Chico.

A - Dark brown/black with a tan, slightly, foamy head.

S - Deep roasted malts with a light cream flavor. Malts almost seem over-steeped.

T - Very creamy with a strong roasted malt finish.

M - Maybe too creamy, but very quenching. Very surprised the roasted malts did not dry out the flavor of this beer.

D - Am a bigger fan of imperial stouts, but this one is fairly dirnkable.

Serving type: on-tap

01-27-2008 06:35:33 | More by MisterClean
Photo of MP72


3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

All I can say is this beer is very good , a little thin for a stout but very tasty with more hoppiness than your average dry stout. The drinkability was great. It is not too filling for a stout. The appearance is dark almost black with a brown creamy head.
My wife is even enjoying it and she rarely appreciates dark beer.

One to try for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2007 12:47:04 | More by MP72
Photo of atigerlife


3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap, it poured a nice dark black with amber highlights. Small light brown head with decent retention.

Aroma is of roasted malts and dark chocolate. Coffee with hazelnuts in the background.

Taste is of bitter dark chocolate. Quite hoppy with chocolate and coffee coming through.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and leaves the mouth quite dry.

Overall, an interesting beer of the style. Not something I would go out of my way to have again as I prefer less hoppy stouts. But decent for the style.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2007 19:35:07 | More by atigerlife
Photo of IntriqKen


4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico Ca.
Poured a deep amber brown...almost black with a thick tan head that melted to sticky lacing.
Aroma was toasted malt, carmel candy, deep black bitter coffee, and bittersweet chocolate.
Taste much like the aroma, only a little sweeter. Toasted malt, carmels, bitter black coffee, chocolate, then a finish to a light citrus hops.
The mouthfeel is full and creamy...almost buttery and then the citrus hops on the backend leaves your mouth clean and dry.
A really nice American stout.

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2006 03:40:26 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of TheEclecticGent


4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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

New York

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep black colour with a thick tan, almost brown head. The smell soft with a nice aroma of chocolate. The taste was a smooth and tasted of an easy to get along with chocolate. There were also hints of coffee, but the choclate was much more pronounced. It was very good and easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2004 01:44:50 | More by CBFanWish
Photo of Premo88


3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass
(Sept. 6, 2013 bottled-date)

L: classic black with creamy tan head (1/3- to 1/2-inch) but held up to light you can see it's clear; deep dark red, ruby ... almost purple ... but definitely clear, just super dark

S: coffee and chocolate; some burnt barley , almost woody, burnt oak -- it hits all of my favorite stout notes without crossing over into the dark world of raisins/licorice. sweet enough at times to make you picture chocolate malt or a vanilla shake with hot fudge on top.

T: burnt wood, coffee, dark bitter chocolate; it's a bit "darker" than the nose with definite burnt notes. it still doesn't cross into the licorice/raisin range, but it's dark roasted coffee with a hint of alcohol in the flavor

F: almost slick and lumpy thick like a milk stout at first; the carbonation keeps it very drinkable, but this is surprisingly thick for a lower-ABV stout. it's not water.

O: very solid ... I'd drink this often if I could get it in town, but for some reason, I can find SN Porter but not their Stout. too bad because this is better than the porter -- more coffee, more chocolate, under 6% ABV so it's not an adventure like the imperials: in many ways it's a perfect beer. i wish the taste mimicked the nose 1-to-1, but the bit darker taste is still smooth and enjoyable.

Sierra Nevada doesn't make a bad beer, and it's nice to see this isn't hopped up into a black IPA or some such. a true American malt-bomb.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2014 02:13:33 | More by Premo88
Photo of McStagger


4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Full disclosure, this beer is six months old. I don't think it'll be bad, but who knows...

A: Pours about a finger of mocha head. Very creamy looking. Black as night, which is rare for standard level stouts. Moderate retention, excellent lacing.

S: Roasted barley, slight coffee. Splashes of cinnamon, spice, and cocoa.

T: Big roasty characteristics. Almost to the smoked category. Hops are definitely present, as well. They take on a leafy, woodsy characteristic that works wondefuly with the roastiness. Flavor is fairly deep, mellowing to slight hints of dark chocolate and chicory.

M: Balanced for 5.8%. This one is pretty thick for 5.8%, but the carbonation helps to cut things and keep them balanced.

O: A great example of the style. This one is no frills and straight to the point. That point is an awesome roasty characteristic with enough hoppiness to keep things interesting.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2014 08:26:33 | More by McStagger
Photo of Boggdogg


3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - pours a black color with hints of red around the edges with a frothy cream colored head. Some of the best lacing I've seen so far from any beer.

S - best way to describe this smell is "earthy". I can smell the roasted malts and hops and that's about all.

T - simple tasting but well balanced. Very earthy taste that goes along with the smell. Definite hop taste but not overly bitter.

M - smooth full bodies beer. I love the frothy head feel that goes along with ever drink. Finishes a little dry.

O - very well brewed beer. There is nothing fancy about it just a perfectly brewed stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2014 01:45:01 | More by Boggdogg
Photo of abeeronthebeach


3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Blind tasted alongside Obsidian Stout and Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout.

A - Very much to style, with shades of extremely dark drown. Vanilla cream rather than mocha head.

S - Less charred peat and coffee than obsidian on the nose.

T - A little honey sweetness intermingles with the roasted malt core of the beer. Quite a dry finish.

M - Not as substantial as Obsidian nor as smooth as Barney Flats. Still good but lacking a little power.

O - This is definitely a good beer, but it didn't have such positive and distinct characteristics as the other two. A solid option nonetheless.

Ranked Obsidian the highest, with Barney Flats second, and SN Stout slightly behind in third.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2014 04:28:41 | More by abeeronthebeach
Photo of Alextricity


3.71/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled August 12th 2013 and poured a decade later on March 13th 2014. Into a shaker pint.

Appearance: Ruby black, but mostly black. Some yeast floating around the glass. Sand colored head dies down to a film that lingers. Nice lacing at the start. Looks porter-ish due to it not being pitch black, but whaaaatever. Looks nice.

Smell: Well, it IS an old bottle. A bit of roasted malt, and then some definite earthy hops. Doesn't throw chocolate or coffee at my nose, but again, it's 7 months old. Smells pleasant, but it's not very potent, unfortunately.

Taste/feel: Surprisingly light -- light carbonation with a thin-ish mouthfeel. Really drinks more like a porter than a stout. That's the first thing I notice. As for the flavor, it's like the smell in that I don't find it to be extremely flavorful, but good nonetheless. Light roasted malt with some chocolaty flavor there as well. This would be a bit on the sweeter side, but the earthy hops (that somehow still hold up after seven months) add a touch of hoppy bitterness that I don't tend to see in many stouts out there today. I tend to not love hops in my stouts, but the earthiness works very well in this beer.

Final thoughts? Basically, I need to try this one a bit fresher. This is still a very tasty stout, but the flavors on it seem quite subdued -- almost as if this is watered down/a porter. I will definitely need to revisit this when it's either on-tap or in a fresher, not-so-dusty bottle. At this moment, it's just a very solid stout, but not a great one.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2014 16:30:31 | More by Alextricity
Photo of Paincane


4.11/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Almost black body with a pretty khaki head, nice lace and head retention.
S: Deep roasted malt and coffee aromas.
T: Coffee, bittersweet chocolate & huge malt flavors. Back end has a lightly hoppy presence that serves well to balance it.
M: Smooth and balanced brew that finishes dry.
O: A very nice stout that is quite flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2014 00:12:37 | More by Paincane
Photo of arc3636


4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very dark black beer, with finger of tan head and good lacing that held up throughout. Lots of chocolate in the aroma with a bit of hops. Flavor is typical stout, chocolate, coffee, toffee, etc. Medium body for a stout. Not spectacular, but a solid drinkable stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2014 03:40:37 | More by arc3636
Photo of MarkQ617


3.23/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

My fifth offering from Sierra Nevada, have to admit I was a little underwhelmed. Light body for a stout, easy burnt raisin flavor, not to heavy on the malt. Super smooth, glides down the back of the throat. Very dark brown flavor. It's good, but really just a pretty prototypical stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2014 03:12:50 | More by MarkQ617
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Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,513 ratings.