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Sierra Nevada Stout - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout

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3,020 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,020
Reviews: 1,371
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 227
Gots: 276 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2000

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,020 | Reviews: 1,371 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pt glass. This is a fine looking brew. Nice and dark almost black with a big thick dark tan head. It fades slowly re reveal a most perfect lace upon the sides of the glass, much like a spider's web.

The smell is faint but of dark chocolate and coffee flavored malt. Nice with an ever so slight alcohol aroma rising through.

The taste in strong and rich, coffee and chocolate notes mix with the dark roasted malt. Hop lend a nice bitterness to the mix but fail to mask a strong stale alcohol laden finish. Something I have found to be unpleasant in many dark ales, some have it some don't. I am not exactly sure what it is.

Mouth feel is good but does not do enough to over come the bad finish causing you not to want the beer to linger.

Drink ability is hampered only by the bad finish quite possibly the most important part of the beer experience. I have had much better. MK

Photo of jpkoch1962
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite ales from SN.

Served from a 12oz bottle at 40 deg F (perhaps a bit too cool) right from the package store. A nice, thick, opaque black brew filled my pint glass.Almost immediatly, a thick, brown rocky head forms from a multitude of tiny bubbles. The foam was long lasting, and formed a complex matrix of lacing on the sides of the glass.

A very nice, not overpowering aroma of coffee and toasted malts can be picked up easily. This stout begins with an elegant, smooth coffee texture, followed by a complex taste of roasted and caramel. Don't get me wrong, roasted malts dominated this ale, but there is a note of complexity in this brand not tasted in other stouts. This beer finishes with a clean bitterness that doesn't linger.

This is one of the better stouts I've had. The clean finish makes this stout a good session beer.

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

After seeing it for years and bypassing it for some reason, I decided to pick up a 6'er of the SN Stout.
Pours a thick brown/black color. A little light makes it through, but not much. With a somewhat aggressive pour I got a nice 1/2 inch tan head that lasted for the whole glass.
Smell is immediately of coffee and roasted malt. I didn't pick up a lot of chocolate like I expected. There was a definite hop presence in the finish.
Flavor reminded me a lot of roasted coffee and baker's chocolate. The hops definitely stand out, too. Compared to most stouts, this is actually VERY hoppy. Reminded me a little of the Avery New World Porter.
This beer is the perfect level of "thickness" for a stout. It goes down easy, but doesn't feel watery like some stouts and porters might.
I'd say this would make a good session brew if stouts are your thing. It's under 6%, and the alcohol is completely masked, too.
This is a wonderful beer and you can find it at almost any store that sells craft beer of any kind. This stuff is a steal at any price, but because of SN's distribution it's typically under $7-8 for a 6-pack.
Another winner from Sierra Nevada!

Photo of IntriqKen
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico Ca.
Poured a deep amber brown...almost black with a thick tan head that melted to sticky lacing.
Aroma was toasted malt, carmel candy, deep black bitter coffee, and bittersweet chocolate.
Taste much like the aroma, only a little sweeter. Toasted malt, carmels, bitter black coffee, chocolate, then a finish to a light citrus hops.
The mouthfeel is full and creamy...almost buttery and then the citrus hops on the backend leaves your mouth clean and dry.
A really nice American stout.

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at Woodman's West here in Madison.

Pours a midnight black under a thick, rocky oatmeal head that fades to a long-lasting skim. Nose is quite hoppy for a stout, almost minty with a heavy dose of cocoa powder. Taste is bitter roasted malt up front with the minty hops, coffee grounds and cocoa powder. Mouthfeel is creamy but not too rich. This is VERY similar to their porter which was also heavy on the minty hops and cocoa. Just a very well put-together stout. For what it is, it's almost flawless. I'm a sucker for hoppy dark beers. Parallels to Alpha Klaus as well, without the ridiculous overpricing.

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

12 oz. - no best by date
A: Poured black with 1/2 inch tan head that sticks around for a while and leaves sticky lacing down the side of the glass.

S: The nose is dark chocolate, hint of hops, roasted malt, and a sweeter malt

T: Taste start with roasted malt, a faint sweetness on the tip of the tongue, a bit of hops hit the tongue, and finishes bitter. The flavor stick around for a bit then slowly fades away with a clean ending.

M: Medium thickness to the mouthfeel.

D: Usually one or two stouts would be enough for me, but I believe I could drink a few of these bad boys over an evening.

I've enjoyed SNPA and their porter. Their stout is just as good as both their porter and pale ale.

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

a - pretty black, no light getting through this one, nice tan head with decent retention, lots of beautiful lacing

s - aroma is not very strong, roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate dominate

t - once again, roasted malt and chocolate are the upfront flavors, sweetness on the finish with a very interesting raspberry note, well-rounded, complex stout

m - a little carbonation in the mouth, medium-bodied, coats the mouth pretty well

d - I had two last night and could have kept going, think I'll have another couple tonight, so yes, it's quite drinkable

I haven't had this beer in over a year and now I'm wondering why the hell I haven't. Being in the beer desert that is Iowa for the next few months, I'm sure I'll be drinking quite a bit of this. This is a very complex beer for the relatively low abv. Makes me wish SN would try their hand at an RIS. All around, a very solid beer that is certainly now a regular for me. Right up there with Bigfoot and Celebration in my book.

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

Pours a dark dark brown, almost black, with a rich ruby color when you put some light to it. Develops a couple fingers of head that die down a bit, but remain for most of the drink.

Smells rich as well, some woody notes, raspberry, ethers, coffee, and cake. Intriguing.

The taste is phenomenol. Fruits, coffee, chocolate, earth, buttery toffee, some hoppy bitterness noted, but very well balanced with the malts. Citrus notes on the sides of the tongue and a grapefruit-rind like astringency in the back of the mouth. Even a slight grapefruit taste is detectable after the swallow. This is really a feast of flavor,very complex and with many lingering subtleties. A pleasure to drink.

The mouthfeel is also quite excellent. Not overly thick, though it has some body to it. It foams up over the middle of the tongue and cleans the back and roof of your mouth with an astringent finish reminiscent of an imperial stout. Goes down smooth and leaves your mouth feeling slightly dry, refreshed, and not coated or dirty.

Overall, this is an excellent brew, and an excellent stout as well. Very sessionable, very smooth, very tasty. I will certainly buy this again, and probably even again and again. Another top-notch offering from Sierra Nevada. Seriously...those guys are on the ball.

Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a black color with mild red edges. A small off white cap that fades into a mild film and a mild collar. Tiny spots of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of dark fruit, chocolate, roasty malt, sweet cocoa, and mild caramel and a quaint hop aroma.
Taste is of the same aromas with a nice hoppiness to it.
Mouthfeel is full bodied with a sweetness that lingers around caramel and bitter chocolate with a mild piney hop buried in the background.

Photo of Fish113d
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black in color with a billowy brown foaming head (about 1"), and slowly settles to a slight surface layer.

Lots of chocolate and mochachinno aromas; slight caramel along with some slightly bittering hops aroma and a bit of roastiness. However, much of the aroma was choco and coffee.

Some slight roast up front but a sweet caramel malt crosses my palate leading to a slightly bitter hops flavor on the swallow. Jaw clenching bitterness hits after the swallow. Not much choco or coffee flavors = a bit disappointing; I didn't get exactly what I was hoping for.

Outstanding mouthfeel really...well balanced with little carbonation taking flavors away. A slight bit of warming feeling and a creamy, full body.

Overall, I enjoyed this one, but without the chocolate or coffee, i found it lacking just a bit. Due to the low ABV, it'd make a great sharing brew.

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

Actually pretty tasty, and a little bit different then you'd expect. A nice dark brown color with a light tan head on top. Some chocolate malt on the aroma, but a little more subtle than some other stouts.

The taste has a good amount of coffee roasted flavors to it, but that's secondary to a bundle of hops more forward than you find in many other stouts. This does, to a certain extent, cuts back a little on the drinkability. As wonderfully tasty and complex as this one is, I can't imagine having more than a single bottle of it at a time.

Still, a very good beer, and one to definately try.

Photo of tonistruth
4.82/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- dark, dark brown, with a big ol' tan head. great retent on that, with lace on the glass.

S- roasted malts is dominant, some hop scent is faint, chocolate scent as well.

T- hops are present but they just fit into the brew, slighty bitter, roasted malt flavor, leaves a sweet chocolate aftertaste.

M- creamy, full bodied and smooth....what more could you ask for.

D- amazing flavors in there, wonderful mouthfeel, i think i found a favorite. I could dream about htis stout. Amazing

Photo of plaid75
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice black hue with a two finger caramel head. Decent retention and lacing.

The smell was very subtle, with hints of coffee and toasted barley.

The taste is rich in coffee flavor with a nice hop finish. The taste is clean and dry, which is a welcomed change from other American stouts. I also prefer the absence of the alcohol burn.

The mouthfeel is average. Much thinner and drier than with most stouts - which was good for me.

Very drinkable. A nice down to earth ABV.

Photo of ommegangpbr
3.76/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fine choice of stout for those that want big stout flavor without big stout alcohol. Reminds me of some double stouts in flavor profile without being 8+% strong. The only place where this was lacking was in odor; I had this quite warm and still didn't get much out of it. Roasted, sweet malt smells.
Plenty of roasted coffee and dark chocolate flavor to be found. Some dark cherry flavor hides in there.
A solid hoppy stout.

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

Pours absolutely black hearted still a bit rubied around the edges, with a thick creamy, two-finger milky-coffee colored head. Smells of American-origin hops though more 'English' in amount, with a roasted malt note peeking through. Taste is dark and roasty, with a slight sourish note. Fuller, maltier, less watery than Guinness, with a far more noticeable, flavorful, distinctly American hop finish. This is not really a 'smooth' stout thought it's not like a 'gritty' porter, either. This is rough around the edges in a good way. If I wanted something smoother I'd grab an anchor porter or an Irish stout. This may also seem jagged in comparison to something like Storm King, but the hop profile is obviously far more muted here, so the burnt finish of the roasted malts cuts through more. Fresher bottles are edgy and cutting, great as companions to foods. This is the last bottle of a sixer I've been storing for a few months, and while still not categorized as smooth, the finish is far smoother as it ages... Feels medium bodied on the tongue like a good stout, but at benefits from a full pour in terms of carbonation. Tastes smoother and less intense hop 'twang' with a bit of the carbonation dissipated, as per my preference.

At first I didn't like Guinness, so for a while I believed I disliked stouts in general. After I tried Storm King and was disproved, and this beer is delicious, the next stout I tried that I enjoy. While I now enjoy Guinness/Irish Dry Stouts as well, this is *the* American stout for the masses, in a good way.

Aged one year: Aroma decreases to mostly just roasted malts, less intense, still slight sour note. Taste is the smoothest, almost all malt comparatively, still the slightest harsh roasted note way at the end where the hops were, so it's a bit more porter-like now, also yeasty in a good way. Mouthfeel is creamy, velvety smooth, perfect weight on the tongue, neither heavy nor watery, hence exceptionally drinkable, I conclude that I prefer it fresh but ages pretty well, and a few months at cellar (even slightly warmer) tempts was exceptional, when the hops tame a bit without disappearing as much as like they have here, but is a tad smoother than totally fresh.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - this stout pours the typical stout black with a darker than usual head, like a dark orange, like a pumpkin color, but darker, light carbonation streams up the side

S - smells sweet, hints of vanilla at first, then theres the bitterness of the coffee/dark chocolate aromas, very inviting, smells great

T - the taste is much more balanced than the aroma, the sweetness is toned down and replaced by a stronger bitter coffee flavor, with a roasted nutty flavor at the end of the taste

M - smooth, mouth coating and easy down

D - moderate to high, high for those who enjoy a good stout, toherwise it may be too bitter

Photo of Folderol
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I pretty much knew what I was getting into with this brew: a solid stout with a bit more hop kick than normal. So it goes without saying that it's a proper stout black color. I didn't pour all that well so I can't knock it for head, but when I swirled the glass I got a nice foam out of it which settled to a decent sheet. Smell is a comforting, familiar malt/black malt roastiness, reminds me of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout without the winey aromas. Great mouthfeel, smooth and medium-bodied with just the right about of carbonation. Taste starts with sweet malts, then turns to black malt/molasses, but just when I should be catching some roasted malt astringency the west coast hops kick it to the curb. That hop bitterness sticks all over my palate for a long time afterward, making me hesitant to take another sip. I must admit I'm a malt fan, not a hop fan. I wouldn't buy this again, but if a hoppy stout is your thing, go for it.

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

Appearance: Though it is dark as heck, you can tilt the glass to the side to see that it is really a pretty clear dark ruby color. There was about a half-inch head of small tan bubbles at first pour. The head stuck around for a minute or so to recede to just a small tan layer across the top of the beer. I can't tell if there are many bubbles rising to maintain the head, or if it is just thick. There is quite a bit of sparsely placed lace left on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: Sweet chocolaty aroma along with some fresh floral hops. There is a bit of a dry roast component, but for the most part the aroma is clean and pretty straight forward. As the beer warms a bit, there is much more of a caramel presence noticeable.

Taste: The flavor is much richer and has more roast than I ever would have guessed from the aroma. The roast gives it an assertive dry and acidic balance at first that is almost astringent, but this doesn't last all that long as the hops and sweet residual malts take over. This is a little different than what I am used to. The beer is mostly balanced toward the malt with the bitter dark malts leading the way into the finish. The hops are a big player in here, but they let the malt do all of the work. The finish is pretty dry with some defined acidic bitterness. The hops play here as well, but the dark malts call the shots.

Opinion: I think that this is a pretty darn good stout. I have gotten a little spoiled by all of the imperial stouts around lately, so I started to compare it to them...that would not be right. This is just an American version of a dry stout and a good one at that. I will be drinking this beer again, I'm sure.

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

Deeply scorched brown pour, almost black with a persistant khaki head that leaves intricate trails of lace as it slowly fades.

Aroma is charred malts. bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and citrus infused caramel.

Flavor is quite big, with plenty of toasty, chocolatey malt character and a generous helping of citrus and light evergreen hops in the dry finish.

Body is barely medium, but creamy and slick nontheless with ample carbonation. The big flavor makes you think this is a bigger beer, but actually this is very sessionable stout.

Photo of Phatz
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The only thing that made reviewing this beer challenging is that is disappeared so quickly. It is light weight and quite easy to drink for a stout fan. I wish I had more.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown mahogany with a thick creamy chocolaty colored head that had good retention. Very heavy lacing.

Smell: Dark roasted caramel, hints of molasses and a bit of burnt chocolate.

Taste: Dark roasted malts and espresso hit the taste buds first. Followed by a bit of a caramel, molasses flavor and a mild, balancing, grassy hop bite that keeps the flavor bittersweet. The flavor did not seem to be overly complex but it was very easy to accept and put down quickly. The aftertaste is pleasantly tart.

Mouthfeel: This beer sits light in the belly making is a great session beer; but the mouthfeel seems big and creamy smooth, fluffy and malty. The finish and the after taste are a bit bitter dry. Very nice.

Drinkability: The winning aspect of Sierra Nevada Stout is its exceptional drinkability. I like dry stouts and this is a new regular for me.

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of Crosling
2.53/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours brown but appears black in the glass. Bountiful foam above the black body. Caramel and black malt aroma, providing caramel, cocoa and coffee hints, along with a huge burst of aromatic cascade, which hints of citrus and grapefruit. Flavor, though roasty and coffee laden, is suprisingly hop accented, with a citrusy and extremely bitter blend. I prefer decadent malt in stouts, not hop madness.

Photo of dfried
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Yep, that's right, I gave this beer 5's across the board, and I don't even have a second thought about it. This is a top tier beer. Other stouts can be as good as this, but I couldn't bring myself to say one is better. I am a big time Sierra Nevada fan, but I live in Minnesota and the only thing I can get on tap is the Pale Ale, I don't understand why more places wouldn't have this beer. Never have I had a stout that used hops so masterfully, they don't mask the roasted malt flavor at all, and they are not citrusy or over bitter. There are just enough to make the beer especially refreshing.

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

330ml bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast...

Poured almost completely black - only slightest hint of red / brown when held up to the light... Creamy tan head poured quite thick and faded to a thin layer...

Aroma - Strong coffee, roast chocolate malts, slight smokiness, dark fruit (raisins, dates), some burnt orange notes, biscuity, nice bitterness, treacle hints...

Taste – Strong bitter chocolate, pronounced dark fruits, oaky, slight aniseed notes, light malty sweetness...

Feel - Quite smooth with a slight tingly sharpness underneath... medium / full bodied. Pretty drinkable...

Overall - An excellent stout.... recommended !!

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

Pours a very deep dark brown, almost black with a tan head leaving trace amounts of lacing around the glass. Roasty aroma's of coffee and toffee, with only a small hoppiness perceived in the aroma. Very nice taste, composed of some dark chocolate and a strong coffee taste, paired with a bitter hop kick and right back to another coffee taste that lingers in the mouth for an extended period of time. Medium bodied with a little above average carbonation, dry in the finish. Really a pretty drinkable beer and more than one can easily be consumed in a sitting. A solid beer that I will most likely keep around often.

Photo of chrisms86
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a thick creamy head characteristic of this style. Strong black color which is bareely opaque, also expected with any stout. The mouthfeel is thick but not as much as I would like.. a world class stout should leave a film on your tongue and this one doesn't. What the beer gains by being a tad thinner is that it is very drinkable. Nothing stands out about the taste, this beer is basically the foundation of any stout. While others have coffee, chocolate, or sour flavors to compliment the dark taste, Sierra Nevada's stout is a great introduction to what the style is about at its core.

A great brew, not in spite of the fact that nothing stands out about it, but because nothing stands out about it. If you've got a craving for stout this will not disappoint.

Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 3,020 ratings.