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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 jmz62565
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice dark brown color with a big two finger head.A coffee,chocolate, and malt aroma fills your nose.Very nice.The taste is very good.This is a very malty stout,but it has other flavors also.Their are hints of coffee and chocolate,but this is a malt dominating stout.This has a medium mouthfeel and is very drinkable.I will give this a very high mark.

jmz62565, Oct 18, 2005
Photo of BrewMaven
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another first time style for me. Since I'm a porter fan I thought this would be comparable and I was right. It poured a nearly opague ruby and sported a nice tan head that amost went over the top. Lacing was always presenthad a similar smell to the Baltic porters I've had. Sort of a roasty coffee aroma and taste was more of the same. I noticed this Stout has less viscosity than, say, a Black Boss but might be slightly thicker than Guinness. Finished with a mild bite. Not alot of carbonation. Enjoyable brew.

BrewMaven, Oct 17, 2005
Photo of charlatan
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark peaty colour with a rather thin head for a stout. Slight roasted coffee smell with an accompanying sweet dairy element.

Feel is unusual for a stout. This is far from the big frothy, creamy beer as meal paradigm. As its carbonation fades in the mouth one is left with a pleasant hop bitterness and a smoky malt flavour battling it out. The combination is not entirely dissimilar to drinking a top quality black tea, but with an additional smoky element.

Not as interesting (or epic) as Rogue's Shakespeare Stout (to name but one obvious example), but unusually refreshing for a stout. This is eminently drinkable, and avoids the coffee trap so I'm happy to recommend it as a session stout above blander stouts like Guinness.

charlatan, Oct 09, 2005
Photo of SurgeonGeneral
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving temp: 45F Glassware: Pint Glass

Presentation: Stout little brown 12 oz bottle with the Sierra Nevada scroll logo across the front. Yellow label and nice, picturesque mountain lake scene. No freshness date.

Appearance: Dark chestnut, bits of ruby on edges. Beautiful thick head on pour- light tan, little bit of yellow highlites in there. Lasted through entire drink at ~ 1/4", with great lacing up and down the glass.

Smell: Cocoa, roasted malts, some grain, slightly fruity aromas & floral hop smells.

Taste: Sweet malts & roasted flavors balanced very well with moderate bitterness & citrusy hop flavors. I get the impression that the majority of the up front biterness comes from the roasted malts, & the finishing bitterness along with the citrusy tastes are coming from the hops.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, low-medium carbonation, thick but not weighted down. Coats the mouth very well and stays with you for a good 10-15 seconds after swallowing- not at all unpleasent, a rather nice roasty/cocoa aftertaste actually.

Drinkability: So well balanced & very tasty, it is very easy to quaff a few pints without realizing it. A real gem, Sierra Nevada's finest regular brew, IMO.

SurgeonGeneral, Oct 01, 2005
Photo of DogFood11
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


I don't know if the appearance can get better but until I know for sure this is a 5. Big thick dark brown head that coats the glass with every pull. you could use this as sun protection as light does not penetrate without a ton of effort.

This one lays off the chocolate which is nice and focuses more on the toasted/burnt flavors. Roasted coffee beans, toasted white bread and just a hint of sweet chocolate blend together perfectly. Easy to drink. Nothing offensive at all.

Notes: I have to think sierra uses the finest ingredients. The offerings i've tried have all tasted great and well brewed. Don't be shy about paying for this brew as its well worth it. Truly a great stout.

DogFood11, Oct 01, 2005
Photo of MDekker
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark inky black on the pour, forming a nice creamy tan head which lingered throughout. Nothing really standout in the aroma - mostly that somewhat woody, dark roasted malt smell. Tasted good, but again, nothing stood out to me other than a quality dark stout flavor. A little fizzy in the mouth, more than a creamy feel. Decently easy to drink for a stout, but alas, nothing special enough to make me buy it again.

MDekker, Sep 28, 2005
Photo of Darkale
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I stumbled upon this beer while gathering some singles from the local store, and like others who have reviewed it, I find myself wondering why I have never had this beer before.

This is such a gracious, interesting, warming, lovely little stout. Beautiful lacing, faint aroma, and a roasty malted taste that stays with you like an old friend. Like all great beers, it improves with warmth. And, it exposes as a lie the thought that only a high alcohol beer can be grand or subtle or worthy of veneration.

Really, one of my favorite beers. Brisk enough for summer, deep enough for winter, why on earth would one not have a six-pack of this in their refrigerator at all times?

Darkale, Sep 25, 2005
Photo of EStreet20
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle pured into a nonic pint glass

A - Completely opaque with nice, frothy, thick head in a nice oatmeal color. Over the drink the head stayed, caking a little in the middle and leaving some nice lacing on the glass.

S - Gorgeous coffe, sweet chocolate aroma.

T - A beautiful sweet chocolatey/mocha coffee taste and much to my pleasant surprise a bit of a hoppy punch at the end. Excellent.

M - Nicely carbonated, a bit more than most stouts, which I definitely consider a plus.

D - Goes down nice and smooth and gets better with each sip.

One interesting note on this one is how dramatically the taste changes and improves as it warms. I know many beers I've tried many that do improve as they warm but I don't know if I've ever had one that really changed and improved so much as it warms. The chocolate taste especially becomes much more pronounced as it warms. ALl in all a delicious beer.

EStreet20, Sep 15, 2005
Photo of JasonCoop
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a nice dark brown, some dark ruby colors only in the bottom of the mug. nice creamy beige head that sticks around

smells chocolatey and a little roasty as stouts should. probably more chocolatey than average

tastes like nice bitter chocolate, very smooth. mouthfeel is very creamy and pleasant, very easy to drink. i don't find it that filling for a stout either, could easily put down quite a few. there seems to be a little more hoppiness to this taste than some of my other favorites in this style. this makes for a unique stout taste in my experience, and has a lightening effect on the thickness of this brew.

all in all, excellent!

JasonCoop, Sep 13, 2005
Photo of ski271
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very dark brown, almost black, with a medium, foamy, tan head with good retention. Good lacing.

Smell: Big roasted malts. Chocolate, coffee, nuts… all the things you should find in a good stout. A little herb and dark fruit in there as well.

Taste: Thick, bitter chocolate, light berry, very light vanilla and of course robust toasted malts. Almost a little burnt tasting, but in a good way. Very lightly medicinal, again in a good way, and a nice medium-long bitter coffee finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body, creamy texture, soft carbonation.

Drinkability: Yet another fine brew from Sierra Nevada. Mostly it’s a textbook stout, but it has a few quirks that make it just unique enough. A good, solid, very drinkable brew.

ski271, Sep 09, 2005
Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.28/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Espresso brown with a one finger cream/tan head with impressive retention and a nice amount of lacing.

S - Burnt espresso beans, citric acid, not that pleasant of an odor.

T - Burnt espresso, powerfully coffee bitter aftertaste, a slight acidity in the flavor. It's okay, not a taste I'd seek out though.

M - Incredible! Among the creamiest beers I've ever had. Thick and very, very refreshing, which is impressive considering the powerful bitterness.

D - A lot of stouts are pretty terrible in this category. They may be absolutely delicious, yet somehow difficult to finish. This one is an exception. It is probably due to it's outstanding creaminess, but I find the bottom of my glass very easily.

mrasskicktastic, Sep 08, 2005
Photo of Troyone
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an off black color with an amber hue and has a tannish head and some lacing along with some carb action.

Has a roasted caramel malt smell with hints of dark chocolate and there is the possiblity of a citrus hops aroma.

Moderately sweet, acidic, and bitter dark chocolate malt taste with hints of coffee and a pine/grapefruit hops flavor.

Medium to full bodied, dry texture, soft and lively carbonation, and a lightly metallic and astringent finish.

02/08/09 update, I believe the last time I reviewed this they had the twist off tops so I thought this was worthy of another try.

Troyone, Sep 05, 2005
Photo of Xadoor
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured the usual dark black of a stout with a dark reddish hue when held up to the light. A tan, creamy head formed on top and stayed around for a while. Slight chocolate and coffee aromas. Taste is slighly sweet, but is certainly dominated by coffee flavours. Mouthfeel is very smooth. Definitely a good, easy-drinking stout.

Xadoor, Aug 31, 2005
Photo of Fugazme
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Excellent example.

Absolutely black. I held it up to the light just to see if anything got through. It didn't. Opaque.

1/4 inch caramel colored head that stayed for nearly the whole beer.

Coffee, toffee, chocolate and a touch of hops on the nose.

Excellent mouthfeel.

Roasted grains and coffee flavor. Good chocolate and a bit of molasses.

Fugazme, Aug 30, 2005
Photo of Brian700
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours black with a very small mocha colored head that quickly fizzles down to a ring around my glass. There is some lacing but it is pretty minimal.

The aroma is of roasted malt and mild hops.

The taste is of roasted malt, coffee, and a good amount of hop bitterness. Some of this bitterness might be from some of the darker malts. Can't tell.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium/moderate carbonation.

I think this is a decent drinkable stout. Not bad.

Brian700, Aug 28, 2005
Photo of bashiba
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice black with a touch of brown and a creamy tan head, decent lacing, but little retention.

Smell was light, but what was detectable was dominated by burnt malts.

Taste was a very burnt chocolate and coffee flavors with a very nice strong earthy hop finish.

Mouthfeel had a nice fullness to it with a touch of creaminess.

Drinkability is good on this solid stout.

bashiba, Aug 20, 2005
Photo of TongoRad
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sample was taken from a six-pack taken from a case dated May/05 (I don't recall the exact date).

It pours an opaque brownish/black color with a tall, finely bubbled long lasting tan dense head. The head eventually settles down to 1/4" and won't go any further, leaving a ton of lacing in its wake. Just by looking at this you can tell that this will be a bold take on the style.

The aroma takes no prisoners- it is quite forceful and gives the impression of many strong elements combining into a cohesive unit. A mocha-like espresso quality dominates but there is also caramel, citrusy hops, malt, alcohol and some blueberries. It is a wonderful bouquet and it is almost miraculous that it can remain so potent throughout the glass while staying on the good side of overbearing.

Not only does the palate not disappoint- it picks up other elements as well. The body is pleasingly full and there is a heck of a kick of hop bitterness. The carbonation is at a high enough level to give it all an almost ethereal quality (if that is even possible). The finish is long riding that espresso with lemon peel wave.

The best thing about this beer is how it maintains its character even after two or three in a row. Note that this beer is meant to be consumed as fresh as possible- after 4 or 5 months it starts to lose a step in the hop department though it still is a heck of a beer.

TongoRad, Aug 18, 2005
Photo of Bleedingshrimp
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a decadent deep mahogany, with very faint ruby highlights. A medium pour produces a nice one finger chocolate milk colored head and lace clings quite nicely all over the glass. Smell is light and fluffy, with floral hints, biscuit, and dark chocolate. The mouthfeel is heavy and thick like a good stout should be. Taste is quite robust and all bitter chocolate and black coffee. Only if your seriously looking for it can you find any semblance of sweetness in this bad boy. Hops are mild but very pleasant on the tongue after the all that roasted coffee flavor.

Overall, it's just very well balanced, strong, and quite complex in the best way. Very flavorful and doesn't have that stale alcohol taste that alot of stouts have. To me that's a good thing. I definitely recommend this beer as an excellent first stout for anybody that's curious about the style, and a good solid session beer as well. One of my very favorite stouts so far. Clearly a very underrated brew.

Bleedingshrimp, Aug 08, 2005
Photo of soper2000
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer mysteriously dissapeared from the shelves of my local stores in Indiana about 2 weeks after I bought my first six pack of it. Fast forward two years and now it can be found at almost any mediocre store in Houston and I am thankful for it.

It pours a ruby tinged black with a creamy looking three fingered tan head which has some serious staying power. Smell is dominated by chocolate and coffee aromas with just a slight bit of earthiness creeping around the outsides. Taste is very rich. Coffee dominates the palate when the beer is cold but as it starts to warm, a wonderful chocolate flavor begins to come out in full force. This beer is definitely better as it approaches room temperature. The slight roasty bitterness provide an excellent balance to the chocolatey sweetness. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy. This is a highly underated stout and one of my personal favorites. I'm glad I have such easy access to it now.

soper2000, Aug 06, 2005
Photo of pjwilson
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

;round these part's snpa flows like budwieser. It's everywhere. every store, bait shop, diviest of dive bars.i have always liked the other sierra Nevada offerings. on to the review.

Appearance: uhh it's really black. that's good for stouts right. Even better is a head that doesn't quit and Belgium like lacing. awesome.

smell: coffee and chocolate. smells like it's gonna taste really good. roasted malts. not much hops. pleasant

taste: it's smooth and good. there is some hop bitterness in the taste but it is in the background. more prominate are the malts. just a touch of sweetness. again those roasted malts.

mouth feel: thick and full, exactly what you expect for a stout.

drinkablitly: a bit lower here. here's the thing after one you feel like you've had plenty. i would never have more than two in a night. That's ok, this isn't that type of beer, but i'm rating as i see it. by the end of the glass i've really slowed down.

Notes: for me this is the standard bearer for american stouts. ground zero so to speak. for a while i though i didn't like stouts. This i realized that guiness is just terrible, horrible hogwash. just putrid stuff. This is what a stout should taste like. It's not my favorite style by far but the beer world would be missing something with stouts and porters. For the few times a year I feel like getting stout (isn't often) This one will do you right.

Highly recommended for newbies; pros will have a hard time coming up with negatives.

pjwilson, Aug 06, 2005
Photo of Mark
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I always have considered SN mainstream craft when in reality they are pioneers like Anchor. Shame on me. This stout poured deep and dark with a nice retaining and lacing tan head. Aroma was of slightly roasted malts and a good dose of aromatic hops. Good roasted flavor with a bit more hopping than one noramlly see's in a stout. Quite aggressive. Slilky mouthfeel and i found this stout very drinkable, even on the miserable hot evening I choose to drink it on. Very good stout and one I will not ignore in the future.

Mark, Aug 05, 2005
Photo of battlekow
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown; the only light that gets through is a pretty ruby color when the glass is held up to a light. There's not much head, but what is there stays awhile. Smells of burnt coffee. Tastes sweetly malty upfront, which quickly morphs into a burnt coffee taste that echoes the nose. There's also some chocolate here. Mouthfeel is nice, seems thicker than their Porter, to which the Stout is superior. They're similar, but I think the Stout is just a little fuller and more chocolatey. A nice, tasty stout.

battlekow, Aug 04, 2005
Photo of neonbrown82
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up after the recent hype about how SN Stout is supposedly "hard to find" and "under-rated." I have never had any troubles finding this beer in either Omaha or Iowa City, but I can now testify to its under-ratedness.

The beer pours black, only showing through with a tinted ruby hue when held to the brightest of light. Has a small and fine tan head that recedes quickly to a film but leaves a decent spotty lacing.

The smell is quite complex. Has a hints of roasty chocolate malt, mocha, and even a bit of a vinuous hop. Smells like a stout should, unlike the mockery of a stout I had earlier at the local brewpub in rural South West Iowa.

The taste is sublime. Just as complex as the nose, yet amplified by the tastebuds. Sweet and malty with a little cocoa, mocha roastiness. Has a light and herbal spicy hop in the finish for the attentive palate. On of the tastier "regular" stouts I've had.

Has a very moderately dry finish and a fully body. Very pleasing to the tongue. Very drinkable for a stout. This isn't just a sipper.

edit: I just realized this is the big 200, and what a great beer to drink for a BA milestone.

neonbrown82, Aug 03, 2005
Photo of Px2GrafX
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

presentation: 12oz. bottle with the typical sierra nevada graphics. yellow and orange label with blue and green borders. sierra nevada's interpretation of their stout is printed on the top of the bottle, and the ABV is displayed at 5.8%.

appearance: pours dark brown to black with brown highlights into a stein mug. thick 3-finger pillowy light tan head that dropped to about 1/2 inch all the way down. tight pancake-like bubbles layered over slightly larger caviar like bubbles. very sticky head. bubbles escape the bottom up the sides of the glass. pretty stout.

smell: sweet chocolate brownie. some coffee. light molasses and fruit with some floral hop notes.

taste: roasted barley, chocolate and caramel. very complex. good bitters in the finish to balance out the sweet start. tingles the front and back of the tongue at the same time. i notice very little alcohol.

mouthfeel: a little thin for a stout. i would prefer it to be a little creamier. smooth though with good carbonation and acidity.

drinkability: very drinkable. lighter mouthfeel ads to the drinkability. alcohol is barely noticable.

overall: one of my favorite stouts for the money and the availability. excellent complexity especially with food. i've had this with steak and with a chicken and cheese quesadilla (not during this review). very different foods, but both times, the food brought out a variety of different flavors. highly recommended.

Px2GrafX, Jul 29, 2005
Photo of Naes
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one is another jet black beer with a frothy tan head.

Its aroma consists of roasted malt and a bit of chocolate and coffee. It is also a bit burnt to the nose.

The flavor is a nice compliment to its aroma. It starts out with a malt sweetness then progresses to a burnt bready flavor and finishes a little bitter with hops. There is also a bit of alcohol flavor hidden in there as well.

The mouth feel is medium bodied and the carbonation dances on the tongue.

This is a fine example of a stout and is quite consumable. I have had many in the past and will definitely have another some day.

Naes, Jul 29, 2005
Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,754 ratings.