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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.

2,922 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,922
Reviews: 1,345
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.3%
Wants: 213
Gots: 210 | 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: 2,922 | Reviews: 1,345 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DrinkinBoy
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada Stout pours pitch black, even when held up to light it is still as dark as it gets. The head is a fluffy creamed coffee color with average retention.

On the nose the beer smells of roasted coffee, roasted nuts, toffee, tootsie roll, dark chocolate, and a slight hint of hops.

The taste starts with roasted nuts with a slight malt sweetness. It then goes to hoppy bitterness on the mid palate, and finishes with a strong coffee taste.

Its body is full with slight carbonation, which goes really well with the taste.

Overall I would say that Sierra Nevada Stout is a great version of the American Stout style. Its complexity would definitely challenge a Guinness drinker, while its smoothness makes it much more drinkable compared to most American craft beer stouts.

Photo of CityBoy1986
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle. The beer was bottled in December 2008.

The pour is a deep brown with ruby undertones. A finger's tan head stays for a while and leaves decent lacing.

The nose is of roasted malts, some coffee and chocolate. I get a hint of alcohol as well. The taste contains the same roasted flavours as well as the coffee and chocolate. Toward the end of the sip a mild bitterness takes over.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation, making this one on the smooth side of things. Drinkability is decent, but I wouldn't want more than a few.

This is a nice brew that I am surprised I haven't seen in Mississippi. I will make sure to buy this again when I travel out of state.

Photo of ricke
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the last available Sierra Nevada beers I had yet to try... great beer to save for last too. Pours a nice dark brown, big fluffy head and tons of lacing. Nice roasted smell to it, taste is very well balanced.. malty, yet the hops are present (it's Sierra Nevada, what else do you expect?) nice and creamy mouthfeel that just goes down smooth. Way too easy to drink and another great session beer from an awesome brewery.

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

Poured this bottle into a pint glass. Pours a black brew with a nice thick tan head. Nice head nice retention and lacing.

The smell is of burnt malts, coffee and hops.

The taste is a nice creamy, roasted malts very balanced mouth feel and finish.

This beer is very drinkable, a very nice take on a stout. I wanted to try it for years and it lived up to the hype. I could get a case of this and drink the night away. Very nice.

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

I've wanted to try this for months now, mostly because I have an American Stout in the homebrew queue, but also because this is one of the top benchmarks for the style.

A -- Black. Beige two finger foamy (not fizzy) head, slowly diminishes over time. Lacing is very much present. Hard to beat for a carbonated stout.

S -- I'm getting a hybrid of roast and hop right out there in front. A hint of alcohol. Roastiness rounds out to chocolate at the very end of the sniff. Some "dark fruit" aromas. A good smell for sure, but perhaps a bit confused/muddled.

T -- Roastiness, followed swiftly by coffee/chocolate, intermingling with (then finishing with) hop bitterness. Dark crystal definitely in the mix. Very interesting. The interplay between roasty astringency and hop bitterness is about perfect.

M -- Perfect. Very smooth. Heavy, but not too heavy. Can't fault this brew, in this regard.

D -- Drinkable? Of course. Very drinkable? Perhaps. Fuller's ESB drinkable? Certainly not. This is a stout, after all.

At the end of the day a very good brew, verging on excellent. If mine comes out anything like this, I'll be quite happy indeed.

As an aside, this beer is very much similar to the Oatmeal Milk Stout by River Horse (a local micro). Indeed, the similarity is uncanny. Given that the River Horse example is a seasonal/limited edition brew, I'll have to keep the Sierra Nevada in mind when I can't get the Oatmeal Milk.

Photo of joshuadlight
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Deep dark brown beer that is just a perfect representation of the style. This is not an imperial, but is just as tasty without the powerful alcoholic punch.
Chocolaty smoothness in the nose and taste. Bitterness on the back end is absolutely sublime as it balances out the whole beer. Silky smooth and goes down wonderfully.
I cannot go without having this beer in my fridge.
Anytime I feel like a Stout, this is where my mind goes.

Photo of thartman
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle black with some hints of brown and red when held up to light. One finger tan head, some sticky lacings remaining on the glass. Faint smell of caramel, roast malt, and molasses. Taste of roasted malts, bitter coffee balanced with hops. Medium body, with a long finish. Well balanced, decent brew.

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Opaque black. Two fingers of head developed (mostly because I messed up the pour) and dissipated quickly.

Smell: Roasted coffee malts up front with a slight hint of dark chocolate and caramel. I also got a little plumb.

Taste: Whoa. Very balanced. It's creamy smooth at first. Roasted coffee malts dominate and leave a bitter mouthfeel when it goes down. It was a shock after the impressive beginning.

Drinkability: A little too bitter for me, but it would make a great dessert drink.

Photo of Blakaeris
3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours opaque black with a crisp beige head that leaves thick sheets of lacing.

Aroma is sweet milk chocolate, smokey dark grain. Hints of coffee.

Taste is smokey dark grain. Chocolate and coffee with an underlying milk sugar sweetness. Hints of plum. Hops are earthy with a touch of fennel in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

I found this to be a very mild, rather sweet stout. This makes it easy to drink, but not very impressive or memorable. I would much rather have something more full flavored...

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

2" beige head that has excellent retention. Thick, fresh rings of lace left behind in its wake. Black, with only hints of dark brown down at the edges. Bold roasted malts and a very noticable dose of hops behind it. Roasted malts, coffee with a splash of cream and a good bit of leafy hops in the finish. Tasty. Full bodied with a smooth, round mouthfeel and low carbonation. One hell of a beer from Sierra as usual.

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep dark brown with a pillowy tan head and tons of lace rings.

Dark roasted malt aromas, some coffee notes, some caramel sweetness.

Dynamite flavors. Rich deep roasted malt, smooth creamy coffee flavors, some bitterness at the end. Just lovely balance and flavor.

Seems on the thinner side than the flavor depicts. Makes this extremely drinkable and enjoyable. Once again, one of those beers that makes you ask -- why don't I drink this more often. One of my favorite standard stouts.

Photo of xhcadamx
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Jet black with a puffy tan head. Significant amounts of lacing. Looks beautiful.

S - Roasted malts, coffee, and I think noble hops.

T - WOW. Flavor galore lots of roasted malt and coffee perfectly balanced with the right amount of bitterness.

M - thin but somehow the flavor of this beer just coats your mouth.

D - I went to Chico recently and I drank a metric shit ton of these. A wonderful beer.

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

Pours opaque black, 1/2" thick caramel colored head that fades quickly. leaves some lacing.
Sweet,very malty smell, like chocolate malt. this stuff smells really good!
Rich, roasted flavor..spicy...slightly nutty...slightly sweet, slightly bitter..well balanced. sweet coffee aftertaste.
creamy, coating mouthfeel. medium carbonation level. sort of chewy consistency.
I like this stout. its nice & malty, but still very well balanced. very drinkable

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

If you want a good brew that resembles the definition of an American stout, this would be it. First of all, it's dark. It's so dark that I had to hold it up to the sunlight to see any translucence at all. The perfectly sized head has a light toffee color to it. The scent of roasted malts comes through easily, as well as a hint of dark chocolate. As far as taste goes, the roasted and chocolate malts are pretty evenly balanced. The one surprise with this beer is the relatively high hoppieness at the finish, but that's not too strange for American stouts, and it explains the large ammount of lacing around the glass. This beer is medium-high bodied, the perfect viscosity for the standard stout, in my opinion. Drinkability is high, and at a relatively low abv, it makes a great session stout. I would recommend this as a good gateway stout for both the inexperienced BMC drinker and for the average hop-head who wants to branch out to the darker brews. The only thing that really stops me from giving this beer more than four in any category (except appearance) is that it just doesn't do anything to jump out of the crowd outside of its perfect color.

Photo of CHSLBrew
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass.

A-Big, frothy, gorgeous light-brown head. Some lacing forms as it receded, ok retention. Beer was dark brown, quite opaque, with a bit of garnet highlighting.

S-Roasted malts, dry, with a bit of cocoa/chocolate with a hint of caramel.

T-Chocolate followed by a thoroughly strong roasted malt character. Hop bitterness is present, but mostly outdone by the black malt astringency.

M-Carbonation is light, medium-level and compliments the medium body of this stout.

D-A pretty damn decent stout. I like it. Sessionable, but deep enough to enjoy just one, as well.

Photo of tangentrider
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark brown beer with a disappearing tan head; some red highlights when held to the light

S- A touch of coffee and chocolate, with a bit of spice in the background

T- Coffee bitterness combined with some malt sweetness; taste is a bit lighter than expected, but quite good; finish is bitterness with a touch of roast.

MF- moderate feel between smooth and clean

D- Not first on my stout list, but I'll have it again.

Photo of wescj
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours jet black with an inch of light tan head. Head has a moist look to it, though it reduces to just a whispy cap.

Aroma is excellent, featuring roasted malts and some earthy hops. Some particular notes include molasses and cloves.

Taste is even more appealing than the aroma, revealing some great caramelized malts along with some dark chocolate and coffee. There's a good and earthy hop bitterness as well.

Smooth mouthfeel and great aftertaste. This one's a good benchmark for the style.

Photo of ritzkiss
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark, almost impenetrable brown with 2 fingers of foamy cappuccino head. Good lacing down the glass.

Smell is.... hoppy? Wow, don't usually get that in a stout. Medium/strong roasted and burnt malts to balance it out, some nuttiness and dry coffee grounds. Not much coming out at me in the smell.

Taste is also a balancing act between hops and malts, really unusual for a stout but I like it, some added complexity. Lots of burnt malts and behind the hops and malt is some coffee, light sweetness. Pretty high carbonation, dry finish.

A really interesting stout. Lots going on, some hops to add a twist (though not lots of hops ala Bear Republick) and lots of roasted malts. I think they succeed in finding that balance and it makes for an enjoyable drink that, at a reasonable ABV, could be the stout lover's go-to beer for the night.

Photo of seanyfo
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33CL Bottle poured into my delirium tremens chalice.

A - Jet black body, with 3 finger coffee coloured thick creamy head. Fantastic retention and produces wonderful lacing.

S - Lots of burnt nuts, dark bitter chocolate, a faint sweet spice to it such as nutmeg or cinnamon.

T- Roasted malts come through well, with a double cream background, sweet nutty yet bitter flavour remains in the aftertaste.

M- Low carbonation, very creamy.

D- A beautiful example of the complexity of a good stout. Fantastic appearance with sweet and bitter balance. excellent!

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

A: Nearly 2 fingers creamy/bubbly tan head over pitch black with only the slightest traces of brown at the bottom of the glass. The head retains as a good sized film and there's sticky lacing on the sides.
S: Collision and balance of hops and malts; some alcohol notes but they're barely there. Coffee in the deeper parts of the aroma.
T: Roasted, bitter dark chocolate leaves a strong espresso-like flavor and consistency on the palate. The bitter desires all of my attention.
M: Heavy, creamy body slides slick down the throat leaving bitter residues on the palate. The aftertaste sticks around from some time. Even after brushing my teeth, I can taste this beer. That's pretty perfect.
D: Very pleasant and warming. I loved the lingering tastes. I look forward to trying some other brews by Sierra Nevada.

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

Ive yet to review a Sierra Stout, and looking back, I realized I have only tried the Porter,not the Stout, so lets remedy the situation.
Pours a deep brown-black color, nice foamy head to accompany. Tan head leaving nice lacing, looks good.
Aromas of creamy chocolate, milk chocolate in particular, bit of coffee undertones, deep roasted maltiness, somes smoky sweet vanilla, but much more chocolaty than expected.
Flavor is full, but highly drinkable. Its not a super-high powered Imperial cocoa monster(Choklat), but a much lighter, delicate version. Cocoa, milky sweet maltiness, coffees come through, some citus,(think chocolate oranges)nice medium-lighter bodied finish.
The rather mild ABV and delicious cocoa-stout flavor make this a highly drinkable stout. The Hops add in just the appropriate amount of citric lightness and balance. The rather high carbonation is enjoyable as well. I will add this to my regular Sierra rotation.

Photo of BeanBone
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A dark, imposing body that only allows a handful of dull ruby light to pass through. A big, sticky, toffee-colored head endures until the bottom of the glass, leaving terrific lacing on the way.

Aroma: As you'd expect, lots of roasted malt with the usual chocolate and freshly ground coffee notes associated with a good stout. Hops make an appearance, unlike most Stouts.

Taste: As you'd expect in a Stout, the backbone is of sweet, roasty malt. Despite being a plain old American Stout, this puts many Chocolate Stouts to shame in the chocolate department. It's almost like a frothy chocolate malt at times. Somewhat bitter hops are more present than your average Stout, but never really raise their voices all that much. As I've come to expect from Sierra Nevada, this is a well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: Beautifully creamy medium-full body with moderately-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Average for the Stout style. You're probably not going to be chugging these after you mow the lawn, but you won't have to nurse it for hours on end.

Verdict: Maybe it's because I associate Sierra Nevada mainly with the hoppier styles of beer rather than the malty ones, but I was expecting this to be a solid, but generally unexciting Stout. Boy, was I wrong. This is a chocolaty, complex beer very much worth a look.

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

Pours out one shade darker than pitch black with a lot of tan creamy head. Excellent lacing and head retention. Smells are of malts, hints of molasses, and a bitter hoppy edge. Taste is very malty, a bit bitter and roasted. Leaves a burnt aftertaste, Taste is good, but not great. Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied, not too heavy on the carbonation. Overall, pretty drinkable and a good beer.

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

Dark Black Pour, with just a hint of brownish-reddish color around the edges. Big thick creamy head on this one. Smells of coffee/chocolate.

Taste is about the same as the smell, Coffee and some chocolate, but with the added bitterness in it as well, i think the bitterness in this comes from the barley or malt (?) it doesnt seem like a hoppy kind of bitter. Has kind of a twang in the end, and the although the moutfeel is medium, it seems to finish thin to me, weird.

Overall this is a pretty darn nice stout. I would get this again if i was in the mood for an everyday stout.

Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,922 ratings.