Dismiss Notice
Get FREE shipping on all US orders of $25 or more from the BeerAdvocate Store.

No promo code required. Offer valid through 4/30.

Ready to gear up? Start shopping →

Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,404 Reviews
For Trade:
Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2000

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,404 | Ratings: 3,289
Photo of yankeeheel
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a huge tan head that hangs around for almost the whole beer. Nice lacing.

The smell is very malty with a hint of some grape or plum hiding in there too. The taste is spot on. Dark and burnt with a hint of coffee and plum. Maybe a hint of chocolate too. Maybe a hair too hopped at the end, but that's just my hang up. Got to take a little off for the hops. Overall a very nice stout.

 402 characters

Photo of saltydog
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark, with a very resilient tan head, almost opaque, with a few reddish-brown highlights. Aroma is mostly hops, some roastiness in the background. Taste: very strong hop flavors predominate first few sips, as you have more, malty, nutty, roasty flavors become evident. Also some malt sweetness. Bitterness is quite strong, but mostly due to hops rather than roasted malt, which doesn't see quite right. Mouthfeel: thick, creamy. Drinkability: the battle of roastiness and hopiness seems a little overcluttered, but otherwise quite drinkable.

 553 characters

Photo of dedalus
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this bottle of sierra nevada stout poured out black and thick, with a pillowy, caramel-brown head. the lace was abundant and clung tenaciously to the side of the glass in thick, bubbly ringlets.

the famous sierra nevada cascade hops were dominant in the nose, but the bitter, burned malt lurked in the background, smelling faintly coffeeish and roasty.

the beer possessed a good, thick mouthfeel, not syrupy or cloying, but not watery either.

the roasted malt hit the tongue first, just barely sweet, but robust and satisfying. the hops didn't wait too long, though, and the malt was soon overtaken by a flood of grapefruity bitterness that crackled on the back and sides of the tongue. the hops dominated the long finish as well, although exhaling through the nose brought the bitter, burnt malt out once again, and the two flavors mingled nicely. hardly a hint of sweetness in the finish.

this beer was a kind of study in one weak sweetness and two powerful kinds of bitterness. i'm used to smooth irish stouts like guinness and murphy's, whose burnt-malt bitterness is balanced by a layered, complex, chocolatey, caramelly, coffeeish, malty sweetness, so this sierra nevada stout came as a bit of a shock to my taste buds. but it was a welcome, pleasant shock, and exactly what i expected from a hop-worshipping brewery like sn. not a lot of depth to either the malt or the hops, just burnt coffee and grapefruit, but the simplicity worked well.

i never drink more than one of the same kind of beer at a session, but if i did, i don't think i'd recommend this as a session beer. the bitter flavors might become too numbing after two or three bottles. but if bitter mixed with bitter is your thing, go for it. having said that, the beer was incredibly satisfying, and while i was hungry when i got to the pub at one, after one bottle of this stout i was good til dinner, which we had at seven.

all in all, a good, simple, understated american stout that i suspect would be good for anyone who loves good beer.



 2,051 characters

Photo of 86MonteSS
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now there's a stout. I'll come right out and say that the first thing that struck me about this beer was the alcoholic twang. It added an immeasurable amount of depth to this beer. Next are the hops, whose sharp tanginess mingles perfectly with the obligatorily bitter malts. I'm only halfway through the glass but I've already come to the conclusion that this is the best stout I've ever had.

O bitter circumstance, why hath I bought but one bottle? Dammit....

 465 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The stout is deep brown, almost black in color, with a nice head that reminded me of a light colored chocolate mousse. The aroma was a decent balance of roated malt and chocolate. The flavor is big, roasted malts with a coffee and chocolate aftertaste that lingers on the tongue. Bitterness is extremely evident compared to other stouts. Very smooth and has great body. Extremely drinkable.

 390 characters

Photo of oelergud
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Chubby little brown bottle, twist-off cap, golden label.
Pure black with a rocky brown head, good lace and retention.

Smell: Sweet, complex and tempting.

Taste: Very strong roasted flavor, undertones of caramel, robust bitter after taste.

Mouthfeel: Good body though not as full as a stout should be but still good.

Drinkability: You gotta like a bitter stout to drink this beer, if you dont like that this is not for you but if you do like a beer that is bitter in a good way this is a beer you have to try.

 533 characters

Photo of beerguy101
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark Black color, large tannish foamy head. Aroma is chocoloate and coffee. Roasted malts, some hop bite. A full flavored stout. Medium body. Good balance. Smooth taste. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is a touch dry. Aftertaste is roasted malts and slightly bitter.

 270 characters

Photo of BierReise
3.16/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I don't know, I just didn't get that much from this beer. Do they need to put cascade in everything they brew? Maybe it's their trademark, I don't know. Looks good, dark with a decent head. Aroma is predominantly cascade and roasted malt. Mouthfeel is ok, but the overall flavor is really lacking in my opinion. Nothing really grabbed me with this one.

 352 characters

Photo of Nytemare
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very dark red, almost black, with a thick tan head. Held up rather well. Light carbonation throughout.

Smell: Smells of roasted malt, coffeesque, some toffee and chocolate notes, and a light amount of hops.

Taste: Nice roasted malt flavor up front with chocolate and fruit undertones. The hops make for a nice bitter finish, and they linger well into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth. Full bodied brew.

Drinkability: Quite. Very easy to drink. Goes down smooth, nice taste, not overpowering. Just good.

I actually liked this beer quite a bit more than I expected I would. It surprised me. I was told by several people, and had read it on this site, that this was a great beer from a great brewery. However, being in the advertising business, I couldn't get past the ugly lables. Glad I found this as a single, it made it much easier for me to get over my reservations and try it. I also picked up the porter and a few other beers. Very tasty, I would recommend it to anyone.

 1,021 characters

Photo of alexgash
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deliciously dark brown body with a medium sized light brown. Smells of roasted coffee and bitter chocolate show themselves despite a huge hop presence. Taste starts of kinda sweet, roasty and stouty, but this is soon flung aside by a surge of SN hops. Too much for this brew, in my opinion. It's still pretty good, but not really a stout.

 338 characters

Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not much of an aroma, definately get some dark malt or roasted barley scent, but not so strong, some hops and some kind of unpleasant yeastyness. Pretty smooth stout, fairly bitter, an herbally, earthy hop flavor that goes well with the sharp dark grain flavors. A nice head that pours pretty big but after a minute or two settles into a very nice, creamy, quaffable cushion. Very drinkable. Really one of my top three everyday beers.

 434 characters

Photo of ngandhi
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Is this the stout? The initial flavors are sweet, but hoppy (not bitter) to no end. Rich, fruity flavoring and finishing hops combine with roasted malts in this beer to give a quasi-pale ale taste. The Cascades are blooming in my mouth.

The taste is absolutely amazing -- ripe hops eventually giving way to light notes of chocolate and caramel. The bitterness from the hops and the darker malts are kept in check, adding only the slightest dry roasted flavor without ever attacking the tongue. A hell of a unique interpretation on the stout and a beer everyone should try at least six times. It's clever in the way Shakespeare Stout is clever; certainly not as well balanced, though. Sierra Nevada Stout pushes the limits of hop addition in a regular stout (though this is close to the imperial border) the way Black Sun does, but SN is far more refined than the 3Floyd's take. One of the best tasting beers I have ever had; I'm not so sure it's a stout though. For a richer, maltier experience, I recommend the porter.

I would have never guessed the 5.8 abv. A pint of Sierra Nevada Stout? No, thank you. I'll take a gallon.

Relax, relax.

 1,154 characters

Photo of Andreji
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

#1 of my all-american beer spree.

Pours a thick and completely opaque black with no head whatsoever or internal carbonation, only a slight ring forming on the sides of the glass and leaving behind a slight lacing.

The smell ranges on an impressive variety of scents, with a very strong even honey-like presence of malt with a sharp companion of hops and some alcohol. very nicely combined and with a strong smell, a stronger presence.

The taste is very good. Borderline porter and considerably sweet full, creamy body with a nice weak carbonation and fruity feel of the alcohol: a well balanced bitterness reflects the fine hops in it. Excellent mouthfeel, making this a great brew worth having many, many times (not on my budget of course).

 750 characters

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a inky black with deep ruby edges. Had a 1/2" mottled mocha colored head and mild sheets of lace.
Smell is of burnt coffee with hints of ... espresso. Damn, it smells like coffee. Hard to pick out much beyond that.
Taste is of, yep, dark roasted coffee. Hint of dark dried fruits. Light bittering at the finish.
Feel is smooth, lighter than expected.
Overall, a pretty good beer, pretty similar to their Porter. Good %ABV makes this a nice session stout.

 465 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Almost black with a smallish head that went down quickly.

Smell – The aroma is mostly toasted malt, but there’s some dark fruit and maybe some hops for balancing in there as well.

Taste – This one is serious. The depth of the burnt malt is very intense – it reminds me of burnt toast. This flavor carries on to the finish. There’s an unidentified hoppy flavor in there, but the dominant toasted malt flavor is deep and everlasting.

Mouthfeel – The light carbonation and the fact that the stout doesn’t try to do too much gives it a very smooth texture pass the tongue and cheeks.

Drinkability – This went down really well.

Comments – I tasted this alongside the SN porter for comparison purposes. They are both excellent brews. I liked the smooth and creamy texture of this one most and appreciated the depth of the body as well.

 867 characters

Photo of steelreign
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the greatest, commerically available stouts you can get. I have been a long time fan of most all SN brews, but this one just takes the cake. Smooth, creamy chocolate roasted smelling head, dense mouthfeel with good carbonation, and a taste of dark chocolate, roasted black patent and a nice hop finish. What a great beer!!

 329 characters

Photo of Mustard
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz. brown brottle with no "botted on" or "best by" date; $6.25/6 pack from the Wine House in West LA.

Appearance: Pours a dark, dark, ruby brown with a fine, 3/4", cocoa-brown head; moderate, sheet lacing; decent head retention.

Aroma: Dark chocolate and coffee with a touch of grapefruit.

Taste: Lightly sweet malt upfront; heavy notes of dark chocolate and roasted barley (think coffee); rolling finish high in hop-bitterness; hints of Cascade type hops (think grapefruit). Smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

Notes: Brilliant. Cheap, available, session stout.

 580 characters

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I believe I had tried this early in my "beer revolution", but it was likely overshadowed by bolder versions. Nonetheless, it is a damn good stout. Similar to other micro stouts in taste and body, certainly on the bitter side of balance. Nice chocolate notes, quite drinkable. Certainly not a stout to blow your socks off (certainly not compared to the many super-charged stouts and imperials around these days), but would do fine any time.

 439 characters

Photo of granger10
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a tasty beer but I don't know if it was really a stout. There was a definite Sierra Nevada influence here. It was quite hoppy for a stout. The malts come first showing some coffee and toffee with a little dextrin sweetness but then the hops come on really strong with the taste of plums and some sour notes as well. A good beer but not really true to it's style.

 371 characters

Photo of TripelJ
4.78/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle

Perfection. Pours a deep dark chocolate brown with a tremendously huge, sticky, tan head. Nearly 5 minutes have passed since the pour and the head holds steady at 2 inches with nice clumps sticking to the side of the glass.

Initial aroma is dominated by roasted barley, but as the head settled a bit it, the barley balances out with some nice hops.

This stout is a symphony of flavors that begins with sweet chocolate malts, then moves to some mellow roasted barley notes and concludes with equally impressive hops for a bitter and slightly dry finish to balance out the whole beer.

The head is frothy and remains such giving a nice smooth creamy feel to every sip. The body is not as thick as some stouts, but that does not detract from the beer in anyway, but rather enhances its drinkability.

WOW! I am kicking myself for not trying this sooner, especially since it is very easily accesible in my area. A GREAT value as well, this is what a great american stout should be!

Note: I am finishing this night with this beer and drinking it very slowly. As this beer warms up, all the flavors smooth out really bringing them all together. I know this is common for the style, but as this beer is so full of character when cold, it is a worthy mention.

Praise to Sierra Nevada!

 1,374 characters

Photo of far333
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown to black color; light doesn't even get through when held up to a lamp. Light brown frothy head with big bubbles that raise an inch high, and slowly recede, leaving clingy lace. Aroma is of bitter hop, raisin, hints of chocolate and malt, perhaps a little cherry. Rich flavor hits the tongue all at once - burnt malt, coffee, and a bitter chocolate finish. Creamy mouthfeel. Well balanced, very smooth, delicious, and very drinkable for a stout.

 455 characters

Photo of woemad
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown, with huge tan head that stuck around for several minutes. Not a lot of lacing. Initial aroma of coffee, bitter chocolate and hops that faded quickly. Hops are equal to malt in the taste. While it is not unpleasant tasting in general, it seems too hoppy for a stout. I suppose one would expect Sn to produce a hoppy stout though. Mouthfeel is too hoppy and too thin to be as classic stout.
This is not a bad beer. I have enjoyed drinking it. It just doesn't seem like a stout, apart from its appearance.

 520 characters

Photo of rastaman
3.04/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It looks like a stout, but doesn't really taste like one. I was expecting a roasted malt/choc aroma, but it ended up being more hoppy. The palate was the same. Slight roasted malt at the start, but it grapefruits out too much (hops), particularly for a stout. I guess it kind of worked, but the ingredients (roasted malt and grapefruity hops) didn't quite blend together. Not really a good example of a stout, but tasty all the same.

 433 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the better stouts out there. A beautiful opaque black in colour with a huge, tan head. Aromas of chocolate, caramel, earthy cascade hops, malts, and more. Flavors of roasted malts, chocolate, and everything else that you love in a stout. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy and the drinkability is also excellent!


 332 characters

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A licorice color with an amber hue sits beneath a sturdy beige/tan head. Plenty of sticky and trailing lace to admire. The aromas of bitter chocolate and floral fresh whole hops mingle with light fresh coffee smells and dark roasted barley. A sweet heavy malt houses flavors of chocolate, coffee and caramel. Highly hopped with a complex mix of spicy, and citrus bitterness. Bright, sweet, bitter, lightly smoky, complex and highly drinkable.

 442 characters

Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,404 ratings.