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Sierra Nevada Stout - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Stout
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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,757 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,757
Reviews: 1,329
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 192
Gots: 160 | FT: 2
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,757 | Reviews: 1,329 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JEdmund
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance
Jet black, dense tan head that lasts the duration, leaving rings of strata down the glass

Smell
Faint minerals, dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, plumb, a bit woodsy and smokey

Taste & Body
Solid from start to finish. Profile begins with bready, slightly sweet malts, followed by roasted coffee and a good dose of bitterness, ending dryly. There's a slight lingering fruitiness as well. Body is firm and full but doesn't settle heavy in my stomach.

Overall
A top choice for an American stout. Nothing fancy or attention-grabbing, just rock solid craftsmanship. Great stuff.

JEdmund, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of therica
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

IBU's 50.

A bit more bitter than I would prefer in a Stout but about what I expected from hops-heavy Sierra Nevada.

A= dark chestnut, typical head for a stout, medium brown with nice lacing.

S= very rich and inviting, lots of roasted malts and hops florals, maybe some nuttiness.

T= rich in roasted malts flavor, grassy hops, some mild balanced sweetness and dryness from the roasted malts with dark chocolate and coffee notes. Light sweetness. Some Cascade hops grapefruit-rind bitters in the finish.

M= a little dry, crisp and grassy for a Stout, losing some of the roasted malts in the balance, with some slight syrupy sweetness to offset it.

D= rather nice, sessionable if you like a slightly dry stout.

therica, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of scottfrie
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass.

A: Finger width dense cappachino colored head. Liquid is a very very dark brown-red that is almost black. Good lacing.
S: Chocolate malt, sweet dark fruits, dry grains, and earthy hops.
T: Malty and grainy. It's got a nice roasted flavor almost like roasted coffee. Hops come through in the finish a leave a bit of a citrus sour in your mouth.
M: Creamy and carbonated with a slightly bitter finish. Not too heavy or too watery.
D: This is a crisp refreshing American stout. This beer is highly drinkable and delicious, but seemed a little heavy on the hops. Definitely will buy again though.

scottfrie, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of rapidsequence
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Nice. Opaque with a light brown head. Short retention, but leaves good lacing.

Smell: Roasted chocolatey malts with a hint of coffee grounds, and grassy, earthy hops. Smells like a big beer.

Taste: Big roasty flavors from the front all the way to the finish. Bitter chocolate and coffee again. Hops really involved here too. Again, grassy/earthy. Nice balance.

Mouthfeel: For a 5.8% stout, this is pretty full bodied. Not the this silkiness of an RIS, but thats not what this is. Nice.

Drinkability: A stout this good at 5.8% is one of the biggest tasting session beers around. Delicious, cheap, available.

rapidsequence, Dec 19, 2009
Photo of birchstick
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours black with a nice head to it. It looks really good.

S - smells of chocolate malts, almost milk chocolate, with a very subtle hint of pine

T - The taste follows the nose - this has mainly chocolate malt, with a little bit of toasted/roastiness to the finish. There is also a noticeable amount of piney hops in this stout. This is an excellent stout.

M - Damn smooth, with a medium body. I wish it were a tad more full.

D - This is a solid go-to stout. Nothing flashy, but very well constructed. I have purchased this a couple times without reviewing it - I am glad I finally got to put my thoughts down for it. I would definitely recommend this one if you are looking for a long night of drinking...

birchstick, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of CBlack85
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a New Belgium globe glass

I have been looking forward to trying this beer for a while now, so here goes...

pours very dark will a hint of ruby here and there. A small tan foamy head is slowly subsiding. It looks very appetizing, I can hardly wait to taste it

Smells kinda chocolaty with a hint of coffee, the hop aroma is stronger than I had expected, not too much, but definately making the hop presence known.

As much chocolate in the taste as in the smell, nice balance of sweetness and bitterness. The hop flavor is not overdone but is definately present. Good stuff. As the beer warms an earthy taste starts to emerge. I think that the flavor improves (if that is possible) as the beer approaches room temp.

Medium bodied, not as thick as I usually like in a stout, but still very pleasant

All in all a good example of the style.

I don't think that I have ever had a SN beer that I haven't enjoyed

CBlack85, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of alleykatking
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle. Another one I thought I had reviewed but had not.

A- Pours a nice deep black coal color. When held to the light I see some brown tints to this on the sides of the glass. Big 2 finger mocha colored head which stays for a good while. Lacing on this beer is nice and thicker than I have had in awhile. This beer looks like it is well made.

S- There is a light hop (both piney and citrus) to this in the end of the nose which makes it feel complete. Light roasted smell (I expected as little more) through the entire nose. Hints of coffee and chocolate come and go along with a light bready scent. My only complaint is I wish this had a little more zing to it with the aroma.

T- This tastes a little different than the aroma would suggest. Roasted malts and light chocolate flavors come out a lot more in the front. There is a light sweetness to this beer which almost has a sugary taste. The hops come in at the last half of the beer with a light grapefruit taste which brings the beer back to a more balanced approach.

M- Heavier mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Roasted malts are all over the palate after a sip. Aftertaste is both light hops and roasted malts. Little bit of a slick feel as well.

D- This is a very drinkable stout that I will buy when I just want a well made stout. There is nothing over the top with this stout but it is just balanced and smooth. Good stout for people to try who don't like stouts.

alleykatking, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of boldcity2008
3.2/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not sure if its just me but this tastes like a hoppy pale ale with burnt malt as a base. Ok I got started in good beer 35 years ago with a good English stout this is of course the WC version of a stout, not that good IMHO.

Appearance: It poured into a mug I like to drink stouts in. Nice thick head and a deep brown color as you would expect.

Smell: Strong on hops, some burnt chocolate malt, but the hops over power it. I never understood why a Stout would be so heavy on hops. Unbalanced for a stout IMHO

Taste: burnt chocolate malt back end and bitter, piney hops overload it and its as unbalanced in taste as it is in smell.

Mouth feel: Smooth with a little bite on the back of the tongue.

Drinkability: Its easy to drink as long as I get over its a stout with PA hops in it.

I love SNPA and most SN stuff and yea I know they are west coasters hop heads but they screwed the pooch with this one IMHO, its funny the Bros said its world class. I remember years ago and it was Not this hoppy a beer in my mind. oh well maybe my mind and taste buds are fooling me in my over 50 mind.

boldcity2008, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of mjw2808
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick black color with a small tan head that leavs some lacing. Smells strong of chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt. The taste is the same, but stronger on the coffee than chocolate. Nce mouthfeel and good drinkability. This is a very good stout and im not suprised at all by this sierra nevada brew. Not the best stout ive had, but its up there.

mjw2808, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of kaseydad
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint glass pour and am met with a huge three finger beige foamy head and a dark black colored beverage. Reminds me of a root beer float without the ice cream...which gives me an idea.

Roasted malt aroma with dark chocolate whiffs and some coffee hints as well.

Huge bitter, coffee taste. Black coffee, earthy and malty. There is some major bitterness after the swallow. Not in a bad way though.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

This went down almost too easy for a stout. The lower ABV allows for multiples. Well done from the SN crew.

kaseydad, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of Riccymon
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Honestly, I could drink no other American stouts than Sierra Nevada's and be quite happy. Pours from the bottle at just a bit below room temperature with two fingers of gorgeous cappuccino head. Not much lacing, but it looks better than many with the amount of head you can expect from a SN beer. Smells a little earthy with notes of coffee, but also a good hop presence.

Flavor includes loads of bready malt with just a touch of grapefruit hop flavor and coffee in the finish. Body is very creamy and soft, with the smoothest of finishes; just terrific.

Let this beer warm up a great deal, and it's one of the best American stouts you'll taste and worthy of drinking year round. What an underrated gem.

Riccymon, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of PretzelsNBeer
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Classic American style stout poured into an american pint glass.

Appearance is black as coal. Yup..it's a stout. When poured into the glass there was a nice tan colored head that formed nicely giving way to a lace-like head after a couple of minutes. The initial pour is something you could take a picture of; nice dark body with a solid tan head.
Smell is slightly roasted with hints of coffee thrown in there. There's also a touch of sweet, bready aroma to it too.
Taste is initially slightly sweet with the roasted notes coming into play then the taste fades to a little bit of a bitter twang.
Mouthfeel is slightly heavier than medium bodied with adequate carbonation.
Drinkability is very good on a cold rainy/snowy afternoon. All the ingredients are in balance which makes this beer a great standard american stout to enjoy.

PretzelsNBeer, Dec 05, 2009
Photo of Magpie14
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: the pour was interesting as it displayed a few reddish shades such as crimson, scarlet, and cinnamon. When in the glass the body takes on a deep and rich walnut brown, looks heavy. A good slab of brown sugar fluff formed and fizzled away leaving gluey traces of lace around and about

S: good heartily roasted malts, dry grains, and sugary cocoa tickled with fruity whiffs. All in all, nothing much in the way of hops as you usually expect with SN. However, I find myself reaching out to the fruit whiffs and they enhance a possible earthy herbaceous smell

T: this is just a downright tight stout. I find the simplicity of the flavors and its favorable dimensions just great. The malted barley character has plenty of roast to it and melds nicely with the caramel chocolate java notes. What bitterness that is present takes on an raw earthy force that is no doubt an amalgamation of coffee and dry roasted (slightly blackened) malts. It is possible that some green cones might persist in helping define the pungent vibe, they are present mostly in the finish and just help provide balance overall, it just saunters about the tongue...wow!
What is probably most important about this beer is its balance factor...off the charts

M: carbonation is soft and in good order. I find that the body might gain a little more with a stronger chew factor? I would call this in the heavy to medium feel, with plenty of bottom end. It is pretty glassy in feel and when in motion

D: the simplest things can be the most rewarding (especially when done right) and this one does it. Pretty much packed with flavor and drinkability

Magpie14, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of blackearth
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Purchased from Trader Joe's. Pours a black body with a thick tan head. Aroma is of earthy, roasted malts. Full bodied with medium carbonation and a chewy mouthfeel. Flavors are roasted malts, coffee and bitter chocolate. Still one of the best stouts out there.

blackearth, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of skrib09
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured a rich black with hints of brown. plenty of tan head up top with a lot of lacing on the glass.

smells roasty, sweet, earthy, and sugary. no hops detected but a nice smooth roasty aroma. hints of chocolate and coffee on the nose.

sweet taste with coffee and coffee-like bitterness on the palate. chocolate is detectable. everything is rounded out with a sweetness and a roasty flavor.

dry on the palate but not bad. overall a drinkable stout at 5.8%.

skrib09, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada stout has a body that is very dark brown to black, and opaque except for the edges. The brown head is large and fluffy, with a tower of foam in the center. Retention is pretty good, and the lacing is great: thick, sticky, and covering most of the glass.

Big roasted aromas mix with a good punch of coffee and some malt sweetness.

The flavor is finely balanced, exhibiting all of the elements from the aroma. Coffee, roasted malt and a bit of sweetness. The coffee and roasted flavors are equally strong, with the sweetness being a little less so.

Mouthfeel is nice and full. A bit creamy.

Drinkability is good; overall a good beer.

Hojaminbag, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of electricfields
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque brown-tinged black with a creamy tan head that dissipates quickly.

S: Smells like hops and chocolate. It's very faint, though.

T: Roasted coffee with a tiny bit of brown sugar or caramel sweetness. There's a nicely balanced fresh hop bite to it.

M: Good and thick with carbonation that foams up as it hits your tongue.

D: It definitely tastes good enough, and for a stout, it goes down very easy.

electricfields, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of Hoagie1973
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque black in color with a medium tan head. Retention is above average and lacing is outstanding; leaves nice even rings around the glass.

First thing that hits the nose is hops (not a surprise from this brewery), under that is a nice chocolatey malt roastiness.

Flavor has the same roasted malt character as the aroma. Bitter bakers chocolate and roasted coffee. Hops are overly assertive and actually get in the way a bit. Piney and woodsy; they taste great, but are overdone for a stout in my opinion. Stout should focus more on the complexities of the malts, and unfortunately the strong hop character detracts somewhat from what are clearly good quality malts.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with good carbonation levels and a nice full body.

I read several reviews and was surprised to see that many people regard this beer as "perfectly balanced." I'm afraid I don't agree at all. Well crafted? Yes. Is the flavor of the final product what the brewer set out to achieve? I believe so. Balanced? I'm afraid not.
That being said, I did enjoy this beer and will definitely buy it again, it's just one that I need to be in the mood for.

Hoagie1973, Nov 17, 2009
Photo of natelocc787
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful pour, great big cocoa colored head. The smell was pretty muted at first, this aroma was unique because it improved as the head disappeared instead of being most pungent while foaming. Milk chocolate in the nose with some roasted coffee beans and vanilla cookie. The taste improves as it warms but is delicious right out of the cooler. It has a big hop character for a stout and a nice creamy mouthfeel. Cocoa nibs, mild booze, graham and roasted malt in the taste.

natelocc787, Nov 15, 2009
Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured it into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. It's almost black in color and dark brown when you hold it up to the light. It has a huge tan head that produces generous amounts of lacing, it sticks all over the glass. The smell is dominated by chocolate. I'd actually say more like chocolate malts, not as strong as a chocolate stout, but the chocolate is still the dominant feature followed by some floral hop aroma. The taste picks up where the smell left off but everything is a bit stronger. Kind of a sweet chocolate malty taste and a dry hop to it. The mouthfeel is good, but it's one of the most carbonated stouts I've ever had, it doesn't take anything away. This is a very drinkable stout, a great beer by a great brewery.

AndyAvalanche, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of Evocatus
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Nice dark color, strong roast smell. Pours a nice dark color. Tastes like roasted barley and some hops with hints of coffee and dark chocolate. Goes down real smooth, would not have trouble drinking a couple of these in one sitting. Definitely one of the better stouts out there.

Evocatus, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of ibbjamin
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A friend brought a 6pack of this stuff over to my house. I've always wanted to try this beer but for some reason never picked a pack of it up. Don't know the exact price, but I believe it is in the $8 range per 6pack. I pour into a pint glass to review on the last beer of the pack.

Leaves a nice tan head of about an inch. Frothy up top and relatively large bubbles towards the bottom of the head. A nice layer of head retention and very sticky lacing. Beer is opaque and the darkest shade of brown possible before being black.

Sweet roasted malts and coffee blend together is this simple, yet well crafted American Stout. Purest ingredients, finest quality.

Taste is clean and robust. Sweet roasted malts and fine coffee.

Medium body; definitely on the lighter side for a stout. Smooth and drinkable. A long finish of coffee and roasted malt.

A great everyday stout for when you are looking for something a step up from a porter yet nowhere near 'big beer' status.

ibbjamin, Nov 10, 2009
Photo of bum732
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black, some ruby tints when put up to the light. Nice creamy bubbly head, great retention and lacing. Smells of chocolate, roasted coffee, vanilla, brown sugar, some cinnamon, some clove, touch of citrus. Tastes of roasted coffee and chocolate followed by some citrus sweetness. Fairly pronounced bitterness, finishing very dry and extremely roasty. Nice full and creamy mouthfeel, decent carbonation.

A very solid stout, lots of layers that work well together. My only knock being i would love to have a touch more sweetness in the finish. Other than that, one of the best available stouts out there.

bum732, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Surprised to see this at the COOP.. picked this up over the weekend and sorta forgot about it...

Poured into my Delirium goblet.. tan head has great retention and some pretty nice lacing.. The brew is very clear.. yet very dark dark brown... not quite black.

It's still a bit cold.. but the nose shows some very nice promise.. lite French Roast and some background cocoa.. Hops are fairly traditionally SN profile.. pretty citric.. tooo much for my liking.

Flavor is much better.. good/great bitter grain bitterness combines with some pithy hoppiness that melds into the dark malts and minor chocolate.. coffee (I know it's not coffee) astringency comes in toward the finish that moves into the citric hops that come with the SN territory... the yeast is pretty clean.. not really getting anything that can come from Chico.

Edit: looking at older notes, I never appreciated the American hops in the stout category... but seriously, this is where its at... Good body without ever verging on filling.. and still somehow remains very drinkable for a style that I never really like too much.

Edit #2: I've had this a bunch of times over the years, but the new brown label caught my eye.... I can't believe I've never reviewed it... Thanks to Matt for getting this SN staple into town.

4/4/4.5/4/4.5

JohnGalt1, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of enfield249
3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep, deep red black. Thick tan head that lasts.

S - Smells of grain, Dark Malts.

T - Nice grain, coffee, slightly bitter.

M - Full, but not overly so. Lots of CO2, maybe too much for the style.

D - Not a great stout, but a good one. Especially for the price.

enfield249, Oct 30, 2009
Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,757 ratings.