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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.

2,754 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,754
Reviews: 1,327
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
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Ratings: 2,754 | Reviews: 1,327 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PhiloPsych
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark cola brown as it pours from the bottle; leaves a tan, foamy head. Dark brown in the glass that lets through just a little red highlighting around the edges. The smell is pretty faint--all I detect is roasty malt. The taste is good and true to style (my current favorite style). As the beer warms and the fizz dissipates the mouthfeel seems creamier and the taste richer. As stouts go, this isn't particularly remarkable, but it is a good, solid beer.

PhiloPsych, Jan 11, 2009
Photo of DoubleJ
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Stout is good. That must be why I purchased this bottle. On to the beer:

That head is thick and billowy and stickin up very well. Not even light penerates through this black as midnight body. The nose gets a mix of spicy, herbal hops, and powdery unsweetened chocolate. Sticky burnt sugar is underneath it all. Taste...somewhat astringent, with a modest burnt edge. Hop leaf flavor is moderate. There's the bitter cofee. Yum, I'm having a fun time here. Slighly burnt astringent aftertaste, and very easy and balanced mouthfeel.

If you think Sierra Nevada Brewing is only known for their pale ale, guess again. Their stout, along with their porter, harvest ale, Celebration Ale, and Bigfoot are all additional reasons to love and drink this brewery's beer, regardless of beer knowledge.

DoubleJ, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of beveritt
3.38/5  rDev -17%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured from a stubby 12 oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. Label is classic Sierra Nevada, this one is yellow. I heard they were going to be changing these around soon. No visible freshness date.

Appearance: Pours with a massive amount of head, can't even pour the bottle in one try. The surface tension is such that I can pour so the head is an inch or more over the rim of the glass. The head finally settles down to about 2 fingers of pillowy and dense tan foam. Awesome lacing. The beer itself is black as black can be, without even a hint of any other color around the edges. No sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Not much smell to this one. Slight roastiness from the barley.

Taste: Sharp acidic bite upfront, followed by husky graininess. Medium roasted barley bitterness then finishes with a mild hop bitterness and slight coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is good.

Drinkability: This beer is a beautiful thing to behold, with amazing lacing. Smell and taste were a little bit of a letdown, though. Especially for such a high quality brewery from which I expect a lot.

beveritt, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of erz316
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - the bottle pours a solid dark liquid that is about as clear as mud. the head is a a lighter tan colour. a viscid head also leaves a nice lot of lacing evenly around the glass. there is a good ammount of yeast speckled around the bottom of the glass as well.

S - Very nice. an amazing chocolate smell emanates from my glass upon inspection. Not like a usual stout, however, this one's chocolate is not the bitter baking kind; there is a distinct sweetness to the scent that make it clearly different; though I would not go as far to say there are hints of fruit, the sweetness could be akin to such. there are some roasted cerials to be smelled, but I tend to get too caught up in the prior example, and leave those to be tasted

T - A good taste, but nothing comes out to grab my attention immediately. Probably the most prevalent is those background roasted cerials, malts and barley I suppose. The chocolate smell becomes an obscure taste that is more mixed with a slight bitterness of coffee than something pure and un-compromised.

MF - a bit to watery for my tastes, though the slight hint of carbonation does remedy this after it hit your palate in full, the initial sip into the mouth I find to be a bit to easy flowing. though I cannot say that the wateriness is constant, for it recedes once the beer is agitated in your mouth, if not, then the feel to the beer is less than something recommendable.

D - However! the lack of viscosity to the brew does lend itself to be very easy to drink, and this is a redeemable quality.

erz316, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of golfnbeer13
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle to pint glass. Very dark brown almost black in color. Had a big frothy head with good retention and left alot of lacing. Initial aroma of chocolate, roasted malts and coffee. Maybe my nose is going bad but I don't smell any hops like others have. Tastes almost like it smells. Reminds me of chocolate covered coffee beans. Has a semi bitter after taste that goes away quickly. Was a little thin but overall a very drinkable, great tasting beer.

golfnbeer13, Jan 06, 2009
Photo of animal69
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep reddish-brown w/ a thick tan head which settles into chunks of bubbles and a ring of lace that coats the sides of my nonic quite well ; smell starts off with a citrusy cascade hop aroma turning a bit more coffee-like and fruity as it warms ; a nice hop bitterness and flavor initially turning to a more roasty and citrus with dark fruit notes, finishes quite hoppy ; a semi-dry creamy mouthfeel, a good co2 level as well ; an awesome brew, very drinkable, i'm surprised i haven't tried this one yet, one of the best stouts i've had...

animal69, Jan 02, 2009
Photo of glid02
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at the Liquor Loft in Tallahassee.

Pours a dark brown color with a foamy one-finger light tan head. The head dissipates into a patchy layer of bubbles on top and a medium-sized ring around the glass. Lacing is decent.

Smells of roasted malts with light floral and citrus hop aromas. There's also a very small amount of dark fruits that come out every now and then.

Tastes very good. This is just a plain old tasty stout. Roasted malts with chocolate undertones are joined by a good hoppy presence, culminating in a bitter ending. Nothing flashy, just a very solid and hoppy stout.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very good thickness with good carbonation. If I didn't know any better I'd swear this was way above 5.8%.

Drinkability is very good. None of the flavors are out of place and the low ABV is very nice to see in a stout this good.

Overall I don't know why we can't get this in GA, but I'll be buying more of it next time I'm in FL. Give this one a shot.

glid02, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of hoplover82
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown almost black, but when held to the light, it's not quite black. The tan head is thick and creamy. Leaves great lacing.

Aroma of roasty and toasty malts, with a little floral hops to compliment. Some alcohol.

Flavor is a lot like the smell but with a good amount of bitterness to balance. Very hoppy in the flavor, which is not a bad thing.

Medium to full bodied. Creamy and very smooth.

Ok drinkability.

hoplover82, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of rgrholmes168
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a nice two finger head that did not clear up as quickly as many stouts do. Everywhere the head went, as it disappeared, it let a nice amount of lace down the sides of the glass.
The aroma had a nice deep chocolate smell to it. Unlike some stouts, this was not the smokey smell, but a good dose of chocolate.
The roasted chocolate malt really came through on the first sip of this beer. A great sweet flavor that is better than most stouts that I have had. A slight tinge of bitterness in the aftertaste, reminded me that I was drinking a strong beer. This beer had a heavy flavor to it, but it was slight fairly decent on the palate.

rgrholmes168, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of Foxtrot
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a chilled pint glass.

This brew poured a very dark amber brown with a big and impressive tan head with substantial lacing.

Nothing out of the ordinary. Roasted malts, burnt coffee, and a twang of chocolate and caramel.

Tastes of roasted malts, espresso, with a nice dose of hops in background. Very well balanced taste with good carbonation and mouthfeel.

Wasn't too bad on the tongue. For a stout, I like a thicker mouthfeel but this was just fine without it.

Good drinkability, but is quite filling.

Foxtrot, Dec 24, 2008
Photo of Reaper16
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass

Poured a very, very dark brown with a huge amount of tan head. Lacing was incredible throughout the drink, sticky and spidery.

Not complex in the nose, but good. Roasted malts, chocolate, some nuttiness, caramel/brown sugar, surprising smell of floral hops.

Nice and roasty, but overly so, on the tongue. Plenty of chocolate. Somewhere in the middle of a drink the hops assert themselves. This is fairly hoppy for a stout, but the hops are not unwelcome. They give a contrasting, earthy bitterness to the roasted chocolate malt bitterness. Good stuff.

It feels just about right in the mouth, perhaps a smidge thin of one was inclined to nitpick. Its super-drinkable, though. The contrasting levels of bitterness and relatively sessionable ABV make for an ideal stout candidate to, well, session.

This is another great offering from Sierra Nevada. This beats the pants off of most readily available stouts. At its price for a six pack, this is a tremendous value.

Reaper16, Dec 24, 2008
Photo of colts9016
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very dark brown almost black. There is some clarity in the bottom of the glass. There is a one finger head that is billowy and foamy. The head is dark tan. There was a very little lacing on the glass, not much.

Nose: Roasted Caramelized malt, burnt sugar, esters, chocolate, and coffee. Hints of citrus, phenols, and molasses.

Taste: Roasted malt, burnt sugar, coffee, chocolate, and hops. There are notes of citrus, molasses, phenols, and esters.

Overall: A thin stout with an astringent mouthfeel. I found this stout very plain and boring on the palate. There was not much balance to this beer. I was hoping for more of a malt backbone to stand up to the hops. It was just and okay beer and nothing special, kinda disappointed.

colts9016, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of JDK
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark chocolate with an lite tan 3 finger head.
Lacing was thick in several places but not thru-out
Smells of chocolate and roasted malts
Nice mouthfeel, perfect carbonation and aftertaste for a stout
Very good taste. Nice blend of malts, caramel and hints of dark chocolate and espresso

JDK, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of kflorence
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark, opaque black with thick, tan head that dissipates rather quickly. Looks like a stout shoot, dark and thick.

S: The aroma is of blackberry, molasses, chocolate and roasted malts. There are some hops present but they aren't dominating.

T: This beer offers some complexity: dark chocolate and roasted malts are probably the most prominent, but there is also some fruitiness, some bitterness, caramel, and alcohol present. The lingering flavor is roasted malts and dark chocolate. There's a little hop presence and roasted coffee flavor in there, but it's very subtle.

M: This is a pretty heavy beer. The general mouthfeel is probably more on the watery side than the syrupy side, but its rather on the filling side. I think I could use a little more substance... seems to be a little thin for a stout.

D: Although this beer is pretty tasty, it's also rather filling. The first one will be drinkable, albiet in small sips, but I don't think I'd drink more than one. While the beer is pretty tasty, I think it's a little to heavy to grab a second from the fridge.

kflorence, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of yesyouam
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a very dark brown with a dense, light tan head that provides excellent lacing. The aroma is of sweet malt-- mostly caramel. There is a bit of piny hops in the nose. It has a medium (maybe medium-light) body with a slightly astringent finish. The flavor is well-blended. It goes from toasty malt to a muddled bitterness. The long aftertaste turns to almost char. Good stout-- maybe a tad watery.
(rated Feb 28, 2007)

yesyouam, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of ljbrisson
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark cola color into my goblet with an abundant, fluffy tan head with impressive retention. Aroma is very fruity, roasty and very appetizing with caramel and chocolate hints. Mouthfeel is loose but not watery with medium carbonation, altogether very smoothly balanced. Taste is roasted coffee and bitter chocolate, toffee, caramel and even some raisin. Sweet in the front, then finishes with a nice toasted flavor and a bit of hops in the back. Drinkability is extremely high.

I got this stuff because I had tried the Pale Ale and liked it, and the price was right - can't beat $6.99 for a sixer. I will definitely be revisiting this great beer!

ljbrisson, Dec 19, 2008
Photo of witster18
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

witster18, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of bmwats
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass.

A: Black, or very very dark brown with color hues to speak of. Very little carbonation pours into virtually no head. Scant smattering of bubbles remains on surface, and a ring where the surface meets the sides of the glass; but that's it. Leaves spotty lacing.

S: Dark malt, chocolate, hint of licorice, maybe some raisin.

T: Bitter. Malt, a little hops, bittersweet chocolate, subtle licorice.

M: Bitter chocolaty flavor really takes over the taste buds, and hops remain.

D: Robust, but alcohol is not too overwhelming. Drinks really solid if you enjoy this style (and I do).

Complex aroma and flavor. Good atmosphere, and taste. A real pleasure to slowly sip down this quaff.

bmwats, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of adamette
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle exactly like the one pictured here into my Brewery Ommegang snifter.

A Pours an excellent deep dark brown body with scarlett hues with direct light behind it with sediment visible accumulating near the bottom. The head is a generous light brown with great retention. I purposefully poured down the middle to see if I could create a bigger head and indeed I did, it spilled a little bit over the top. It has been 7 minutes since I poured it and there is still a 1 cm head on it. The appearance could not be better.

S Distant cappucino, dark malt, dark chocolate. None of this is really strong and I am beginning to understand that Stouts are not extremely aromatic.

T Dark, Dark malt taste but not a lot of alcohol taste. I just checked the ABV and so that makes sense. There is a nice balance of hops (not big) and the dark dark malt taste. Really, the malt tastes almost burnt, like burnt paper.

M Some carbonation but mostly wet mouthfeel and a big, big beer. Full mouthfeel like it should be.

D Good for a Stout which I do not think is really supposed to be that "drinkable," you know, one or two.

Notes: I am really impressed. Sierra Nevada is able to create greatness at a wide range of styles.

adamette, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of kimcgolf
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours from the bottle to a dark black coffee color, with thick tan head that lingers well into the glass and leaves good lacing. Aroma is a very pleasant blend of malty chocolate, caramel, toffee and coffee. Mouthfeel is full, creamy and slightly tingly-sweet, with a taste that follows the nose well. Finish long lasting and a tad bittersweet. A darn good stout.

kimcgolf, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of magictrokini
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally, I get to find this in a single. Dark, dark brown pour with a minimal tan head. Roasty, malty, dark chocolate aroma. Creamy mouthfeel with little to no carbonation. Smooth, bittersweet cocoa, toffee, vanilla, and malt up front, with the trademark Sierra Nevada bitter hop bite in the back. Really good beer.

magictrokini, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of blackie
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: pours a big 2" light khaki head over a black colored beer, quality retention and lacing

s: earthy American hops ride a deeply roasty and woody malt aroma, on the dry side, love the balanced structure here

m: the body is a touch on the light side for my preferences, but the delicately full carbonation makes for a very smooth experience

t: simple but good, roasted malts give flavors of charred nutshell and dark cocoa powder, refreshingly dry, flavors linger as a moderate bitterness steps in

d: with ease, I could drink many of these

single from Trader Joe's, Hampton, VA

blackie, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of tronester
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with a nice medium creamy tan head. Smell is of toasted malt. Taste is roasted malt up front, coffee and chocolate, with a malty sweet middle, and earthy hops in the finish. Drier tasting than I would have imagined, but still quite nice. Nice bitterness also. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, nice carbonation. I would definitely drink this again, it is a good example of an American stout.

tronester, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of orangemoustache
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nearly black with some crisp red highlights at the edges. The cap is a sandy brown with good retention and even better lacing,this looks great. The nose has lots of chocolate upfront with some very subtle coffee notes. Some pretty big hop aromas emerge for a Stout. The flavors are made up of light coffee,caramel,light citrus(orange rind),and tons of dark chocolate. This has an underlying nuttiness that adds a nice spin on standard Stout flavors. This is creamy,but more gritty and textured,a little dry. A very drinkable Stout that all malt lovers can appreciate. SN has incredible consistency,the Stout is no exception.

orangemoustache, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 3/24/08. Bottle. Pours a dark brown with a small light tan head. Aroma and taste of coffee (predominantly), chocolate, and roast. Nice creamy mouthfeel. A good stout.
Aroma: 7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 7/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 14/20

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 02, 2008
Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,754 ratings.