Sierra Nevada Stout - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,926 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,926
Reviews: 1,345
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.3%
Wants: 219
Gots: 216 | 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: 2,926 | Reviews: 1,345 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jablonski
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours opaque black with an average head; when held to light, there is a ruby glow on the edges.

S: a decently strong roasted malts aroma; not much else to comment on.

T: Very balanced. Has a coffee flavor with the roasted malts. It's not complex, but it fits the style perfectly with no bad aftertastes.

M: Good carbonation, above average thickness.

D: Low ABV and good tasting; I can't ask for a more drinkable beer.

Photo of mhatters
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a 10oz tulip from a Firkin at TDR Exton

Pours a deep black with a small off-white an head

Lots of creamy roasted malt in the nose - a great start

The roasted flavor come through nicely, with chocolate and a soft hop note

The flavor deepens throughout the glass, soft and creamy mouthfeel, easy to drink and enjoy. The firkin did not last long, as expected, but I got to have two and could have had several more.

Photo of arizcards
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Total Wine back in early April for $1.29.

Beer poured jet black with a huge tan head that is sustaining quite well. Nose is roasted malts and hints of chocolate and floral hops. Taste starts with a roasted malt dominance with some cocoa powder, finishing strong with a blast of dry hops. Mouthfeel is fairly full and satisfying. Drinkability is good. This is a very hoppy flavorful stout that will be enjoyed again!

Photo of HalfFull
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich black with just a tinge of ruby highlights and offers an inch of rocky tan head. Retention and lacing are good, with a surface cap holding throughout.

Lots of grated chocolate and carob on the nose, some light coffee notes and a decent earthy hop backdrop. Taste follows the nose but is a bit too perky on the carbonation at first, cloaking some flavor. As the beer warms to proper temperature and the carbonation settles a bit, the taste is creamier and has a slightly sweet finish. A lingering chocolate close returns after the swallow as well, yielding a good feel. Good drinkability as the beer offers enough flavor to keep thinks interesting, yet is fairly light in body and ABV.

Photo of jwhawkins81
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma - Roasted malts surprisingly little hops (from a Sierra Nevada beer no less).

Appearance - Darker than the Sierra Nevada Porter (as it should be). A decent tan head.

Taste - Now this is what I think of when I think stout. Not a big complex stout you may be use to, but a stout with coffee and roasted malt flavors.

Notes - The beer had a good mouthfeel too. At 5.8% this is almost a perfect stout.

Photo of LauraAlberts
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Black - can't see through it.

Smell: Milk Chocolate Innuendo of Bourbon

Taste: Coffee Tobacco dark chocolate roasted vanilla

Mouthfeel: Fullbodied finish

Drinkability: Very drinkable - one of the most palatable stouts for beginners - train on this for four months and then drink a KBS or Breakfast - and enjoy. This is a great all around stout - doesn't try to be what it's not - everything is balanced.

Photo of prototypic
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stout pours a very dark mahogany color. It's nearly opaque, but there's a bit of cutting through that reveals burgundy highlights. Capping it off is a tan head that easily stands over two fingers tall. It takes its time receding and leaves thick, chunky lace on the glass. What's not to like here?

The nose features a pretty impressive malt profile. Chocolate is prominent and slightly sweet smelling. Roasted malts are present, but to a lesser degree. Roasted coffee plays a complementary role and adds depth and character. It works nicely with the malts. There's an earthy quality to it that may be attributed to some floral hops. A hop presence is definitely noted. Stout's a nice smelling beer. I'd like it a little more with some added muscle, but it does the job.

Sweet chocolate is the primary flavor. It's not overly sweet, but certainly leans in that direction. Tastes like there are some light roasted malts in the mix. Roasted coffee is more prominent in flavor and adds a lot of character. I like that aspect of it quite a bit. It's not exactly heavy on coffee, but it's easily noted. Hops are stronger than anticipated and provides a nice bitter kick toward the end. Nicely done. The hops taste piney and earthy. Alcohol goes unnoticed in traditional Sierra Nevada fashion. It finishes chocolaty and sweet with a punch of bitterness. I like it...quite a bit. Don't quite love it.

The body is light-medium and feels a little thin. Carbonation is pretty well restrained and it's smooth. A little more body would probably drive it to the next level. Drinkability is quite good. Not quite excellent, but very good. Stout's a nice tasting beer that goes down easy and has a pretty modest abv. Not bad at all.

Stout is simply another impressive beer from the fine folks at Sierra Nevada. It's certainly not their best beer, but it's a far cry from their worst. It's all-around very solid for an American Stout. Surprisingly, I believe it'd be a little better with more malt. That aspect is pretty good, but could be improved and would add more body. Seems like an easy improvement. It's still a classic in their arsenal that's worthy of your attention.

Photo of dismal
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an extremely dark brown/border line black with a nice big off white colored head. The head is big and isn't going anywhere anytime soon it looks like. Leaves good lacing down the glass. The smell is really good, smells of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate. Smells nice. Taste, wow, I was sure this one was going to be pretty good because of the reviews and because it's Sierra Nevada but damn this one is tasty. With a good creamy mouthfeel the taste has coffee and chocolate like the aroma. The roasted malt is apparent and it all blends pretty nicely. I don't think this one is extremely complex or anything but I don't think it really has to be. Very drinkable. A great stout for sure, it's definitely up there.

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

12 oz. Dark brown pour, slight cream foam. Roast malt chocolate aromas. Tastes quite similarly, good amount of miniscule carbonation creates a creamy mouthfeel. Good finish, just a bit of coffee bitterness and very drinkable. This might actually be my favorite SN mass beer.

Photo of cpmau11
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beer into a pint glass. The Body is very dark, close to black. Great foamy creamy head, close to about 1 and half inches. Aroma smells of roasted malts and british chocolate. This stout taste superb. Tons of roast malt character with a hint of chocolate and I think I taste some caramel grains. Nice inviting warm mouthfeel. The head retention is very nice and leaves good foam rings on the glass. Overall this is very good stout, definitely impressed by Sierra Nevadas attempt at this classic style. I only wish it had a higher ABV.

Photo of photomike
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into my Westmalle chalice. Hey, it was clean.

Dark brown with a short head that dies down to nearly nothing pretty quickly. What little head remains sticks around for the whole beer. Lacing is minimal.

The aroma here approaches nonexistence. I get mild roasty cereal, but really not much.

Taste is probably the best part of this guy. Roasty, almost burnt malts with a prominent, Sierra-Nevaday hop backbone. Some espresso. A hint of cocoa powder. Not really my bag...not a lot of complexity here, but what I've got is nice.

The mouthfeel has a nice full body, but I feel that this beer is somewhat overcarbonated. Just the clean finish I want.

I could definitely drink a huge amount of this. If I saw this in a friends fridge, I wouldn't hesitate to pick one up, but I really don't think this is worthy of its high rating on here. Good, but far from great.

Photo of everetends
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle I picked up from Grub Mart in J'ville, AL. Finally ended my boycott of SN brews from the Grub because they finally lowered their prices. A sixer that used to be 10 bucks is a decent $7.19 now. Not bad if you ask me. Served this one up in a standard shaker pint glass.

A: Pours a pretty black (or seemingly) in color. Held to the light, a bit of light gets through, creating a lot more brown coming out. The tops and bottoms of the pour are a dark brown in color. The pour yielded a huge head. Maybe 2.5 fingers in height of tan colored head sitting up here. Pretty good retention and the lacing is all over the glass, notching and coating it easily. Pretty impressive.

S: The smell is actually pretty light to tell the truth, but pleasant all the same. Roasted malts (actually a bit more roast than I was expecting) are the first thing that hit you. Light coffee and chocolatey presence brings the slightly sweet and bitter. A touch of earthy hops aroma in the back end. Overall, nice but its a bit weak on the power of the aroma and you have to strain a bit to get the aromas out.

T: Everything seems to be in order here. Yet again you get that nicely roasted malt that has a touch of burn to it. Semisweet chocolate flavors really come out of that malt as well. Coffee has a nice touch going on, very light and slightly whimsical but nice. There is a pleasant vanilla and lactose coming out as well. Hops are light in the back with some grassy goodness. Touch of astringency but nothing crazy.

M: Medium body that is a bit too light for my liking in a stout. Pretty smooth feel though is created that has a touch of coating to it. ABV is no where to be found, just a light and smooth experience. Aftertaste is mostly just some roasted malt left behind and some astringent qualities.

D: Pretty darned good experience and better than I was expecting. Goes down very easy for a stout and doesn't have the heaviness that is expected from the style. The feel could be a bit heavier and the aroma could produce more, but thats nit picking to tell the truth. A solid and simple stout. Enjoyable and sessionable.

Photo of stephens101
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decants pitch black with a quickly growing large and rolling dark tan head. Retention is phenomenal and demands patience. Thick fingers of lace are left behind. Smells of sweet and dark chocolates and roasted malts. Some hops linger behind. A quick sweetness hits the palate and is quickly followed by dark chocolates and a good hit of hops. Roasted coffee beans and a hint of vanilla exists. A slight creaminess is overtaken by a sharpness going down. Lies big on the palate, but doesn't weigh too much on the stomach. Grand version of a standard porter.

Photo of illidurit
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of MunchkinDrinker
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours completely black, I can't see any light getting through. Good thick dark tan rocky head and plenty of carbonation can be seen.

S - Dark and roasted malts give a sweet but spicy and robust backbone. Hops are earthy and balance out the malts.

T/M - Carbonation first hits your tongue and a metallic flavor is first noticed. As this fades, the taste is exactly as the aroma, sweet and spicy malts. Very refreshing, though i wish the initial metallic flavor wasn't there.

D - Low alcohol and very tasty. Endlessly Drinkable.

Photo of Britton
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Looks like a stout. Opaque brown through thee center with a halo of ruddy happiness around the outside. Dense khaki head which diminishes to a translucent sheet. Blotchy lacing.

S: Smells like a stout. Light coffee, slightly astringent roasted malts, and a spot o' chocolate. Inviting.

T: This motherfucker even tastes like one, too. Bitter hop-coffee and chocolate up front, followed by the same roasted astringency in ze nose.

M: Light and bubbly. Slightly thin. A touch of oiliness from the hops.

D: Gimme. More.

A classic!

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

I've had a run of Sierra Nevadas recently, all have been outstanding.

A - Poured from bottle into a pint glass. Poured syrupy and black with not even the slightest notion of light coming through the glass. A tan, foamy, creamy head that retained even throughout the beer. Sipping left plenty of rings spaced evenly about half an inch apart all the way down - only one of a few beers I've seen do this so clear.

S - Like sour milk, which I've always thought was indicative of a good stout. Strong malty aroma.

T - Exceptional. The very first impression that struck me was a lack of that fake/smokey taste some popular stouts carry these days. This is solidly a creamy, bitter stout that allows you to enjoy the true characteristics of the style. Even the aftertaste lingers a sweetness that stays with you.

M - Creamy and smooth. Looks like it has quite a viscosity but it actually feels great. Even friends who weren't fans of great beer noted that it had a good mouthfeel.

D - Same friends noted superior drinkability. Just a great beer overall.

Photo of Yesac
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle says 01 08 so I'm guessing this is 13 months old.

A- Black but not solid. Large foamy head that settles down to a thin layer.

S- Some roasted malt.. some bitterness. Not much going on here.

T- Bitterness up front.. followed by a smooth roasted malt and small hints of java. Slightly watery which is normal for this style.

M/D- Medium carbonation. Smooth, carbonated and slightly creamy. Easy drinking.

Photo of storksonm
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint Glass

Its a nice dark stout. Pours a nice tan head that stayed the whole drink. Smells like hops and sweet roasted barley. A very smooth stout. Great mouthfeel and light coffee tastes. Creamy. Really the whole time I was drinking this beer I thought, "This is what a stout should be if you were explaining a straight up stout to someone." Nothing way out there and not nasty, just a very nice stout that really shows you that brewing is a finely balanced craft.

Photo of jkbusman
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - opaque brown/black with a nice thick, fluffy tan head that has some staying power

S - full roasty aroma with notes of dark chocolate and caramel

T - fully bodied roasty flavors combined with a full coffee taste and hints of chocolate

M - very smooth with a medium to full bodied mouthfeel and a moderate amount of carbonation

D - one of my favorite stouts and a great sessionable dark beer; great for black and tans when paired with a nice bitter ale

Photo of BierBreath305
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a Guinness tulip glass. Poured a little more than a finger of nice khaki head, foamy with beautiful lacing. Once I got to drinking it it was definitely thicker than your typical Murphys or Guinness with a slight burnt coffee taste to it, very malty with a underlying hoppyness to it as well. Nice creamy mouthfeel, a bit bitter and edgy on the tounge, leaves a nice little aftertaste for you to remember it by.

A quality beer for sure but may not be your go-to stout if your a Draught/Nitro Stout drinker (like me). Very drinkable but a bit heavy for 6 in a row. YMMV

Photo of davexisxrabid
3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured a nice one and a quarter inch fluffy tan head on top of a dark brown/almost black body. Excellent lacing during the drinking period.

Aroma was of fresh cut grass, roasted malts, and dark chocolate.

Hoppy bitter taste up front followed by a big dark chocolate taste and a signature SN metallic bitterness at the end.

Thick, full-bodied and with decent carbonation. Flavor lingers slightly on the palate with a touch of bitterness.

Good drinkability due to the flavor, a bit too hoppy for a stout in my opinion. Not too heavy or palate wrecking. I don't see myself going out and buying more of these anytime soon but the flavor is interesting enough I wouldn't by any means turn it down.

Photo of brianlg
3.2/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured on Easter Sunday with my meal. Pours a deep dark brown with a nice foam tan head. It smells of roasted malts, and a citrusy hop aroma is in there as well. Smells a bit hoppy for a stout. This was my complaint on the taste as well. It tastes too bitter and hoppy for me. I know SN loves their hops, but I feel they over do the bitterness on a lot of their beers. I wasn't a big fan of it here in this stout. Not bad, but definitely not the best. Mouthfeel is fine. Drinkability? I probably won't buy this again. There are way too many better stouts out there.

Photo of josiahschlender
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Even though Sierra Nevada is pretty commonplace here in the NW, I don't see their stout on the shelves too often. Too bad, there are too few good dark beers readily available.

Very nice looks from this beer, it pours a very dark black-brown with a big, long lasting tan head that leaves lots of lacing. Classic look.

Good aromas of roasty malts, bittersweet chocolate, and a bit of earth, thanks to the hops. Solid on the nose, but too subtle. I like my beer to assault my nostrils, and I'm having to carefully sniff this one.

Flavors are again solid, but not quite as full as I hoped. Very balanced roast, sweetness and bitterness flavors that are excellent. Mouthfeel is supportive and medium-full. Not quite a chewing beer, but it balances out the flavor levels and overall feel of the beer nicely.

Looking back, it seems like I complain about this beer, even though there is very little to complain about. It's a very solid stout, especially for its price point. Its balanced flavor and subtleties make it a better than average stout for pairing with food, as well. It went great with a bowl of chili on a colder than usual spring evening for me. Price, availability and food compatibility often are big factors for me in beer. Well done, Sierra Nevada!

Photo of sweetbrew82
3.4/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. into a snifter/ no freshness date

P: Deep brown from the bottle, black as night in the glass. 2 fingered khaki-colored head is ultra-thick, creamy, and pillowy soft with outstanding retention. The super sticky foam caked the glass as it finally sunk to a thick cap on top.

A: Unfortunately, the aroma just can't keep up with the promising appearance. Roasted chocolatey malts, earthy hops, coffee, and some caramel are there, but it lacks the power you would expect from a top-flight American Stout (see Storm King).

T: Deeply roasted chocolate malts with a burnt/acrid edge lay down the foundation for a sweet start. Earthy hop flavors are underneath and contribute a little spice to the mix, while black coffee and caramel flavors round it out. This stout suddenly abandons the path of sweetness on the back end and turns sharply into a very dry, slightly chalky-feeling finish with bittering hops moving to the forefront (from the Magnum hops?) that has my taste buds sending some unfavorable reports back to my brain concerning the flavor. As a result, this keeps it from earning any higher of a flavor score.

M: The body of SN Stout is quite nice. It's not as thick and creamy as the best, but it is full-bodied and slightly chewy. Although, the above-mentioned discrepancy with my taste buds is making the finish a bit harsh.

Notes: I have to be honest, I am underwhelmed by this Sierra Nevada offering. It's well put-together, with some good flavor in the front end. But, the back half of this beer is kind of off-putting for me which really hinders the drinkability. In my opinion, it falls way short of reaching the levels of other top-notch American Stouts. Don't get me wrong, it's not horrible by any means, but not great by any means, either.

Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,926 ratings.