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Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal StoutStone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

847 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 847
Reviews: 699
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 81
Gots: 77 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ThreeWiseMen on 07-02-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 847 | Reviews: 699 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scottoale
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

From the 22oz. standard Stone bomber, poured aggressively into a large tulip comes a black-ass brown liquid with a dingy brown, two-finger head.

The smell is of roast, somewhat burnt dark malts, coffee, chocolate, black currants and some fusal alcohol.

The flavor is sweet initially, comprised of all the elements that come to the nose. The finish winds down to a bittering end with a notable lash from alcohol. Taste is good now, but will improve with some age no doubt.

Good healthy body with ample carbonation that bites just a bit from the creaminess that should come with some melding after time (ageing).

Nice interpretation for the style and fairly easy to consume for it's 9.2% ABV... Happy Anniversary Stone!

scottoale, Oct 12, 2008
Photo of Keith238
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

Chocolate brown color and dark head that you would expect from a chocolate stout. Very little popped out at me with the smell, just the oh-so-slight scent of chocolate. Pretty much the same with the taste, slight chocolate flavor. I would have preferred more of the bitter flavor I was expecting from the 'bitter chocolate'. The chocolate flavor does, however, linger long enough to savor. Mouthfeel was very good and just what I expected from an oatmeal stout, silky smooth and very drinkable. At 9.2% ABV I expected a bit more astringency and thankfully, it wasn't there.

All in all, a terrific beer. I'm glad I bought 2 bottles. I may even hit the store and grab 1 or 2 more before they're all gone. I suggest you do the same.

Keith238, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

Pours a nice 2 finger head with some good lacing. There is a nice dark brown color as well.

The smell is a tiny bit faint at first, but I smell bitter chocolate and dark malts. As the beer warms, the smell becomes a bit more pronounced and an undertone of mint is detectable. Caramel malts seem to come out as well as the beer warms.

Wow. Bitter dark chocolate was definetly in abundance with this brew. As the beer wamrs the complexities come out a bit more. Some caramel malts come out and provide a nice sweetness. Then dark malts and bittersweet chocolate come out. Dark chocolate comes out in abundance as well. There is a bit of mint undertone and the booziness is just noticeable. It's not too bad at all.

The mouthfeel isn't bad, but it is a little thin. The chocolateyness clings decently to the palate like melted chocolate. However, I think some thicker malting could benefit the palate.

This a solid offering from stone. I didn't expect a hop monster this year with the hop shortage and I'm happy that they still delivered.

jasonjlewis, Aug 29, 2008
Photo of scbrew
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

Original tasting date: August 2008 (From old notes). Beautiful, nearly black pour with creamy beige head. First aroma was mild roast, followed by subtle chocolate. Silky mouthfeel with a bit of sweetness. Roasted grain bitterness with toasted flavors. Nice alcohol warming. Wish I had another.

scbrew, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of BigJTrucker
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

Pours a deep brown with a thin cocoa brown colored head that settles fairly quickly. Smell has a unique bready aroma to it, maybe even some figs or plums. Chocolate and oak as well. Taste has a nice smoky flavor to it, and a bit of bakers chocolate flavor that comes out more in the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, dry finish, low effervescence, maybe even a bit of powdery texture. Hmm. A nice tasty brew, different than what i expected. Solid.

BigJTrucker, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of Bitzy
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

Drank this 22oz bomber at Gaslight brewery and restaurant. Since it's 9.2% ABV and the fact that I was in the mood for a good stout I drank the whole bottle on my own (was the only beer I drank that night). I enjoyed this brews drinkability, bitter chocolate, coffee flavors, and roasted malts. However, I couldn't really taste much oatmeal. In the end I settled with thinking that the oatmeal was hidden by the alcohol and revealed by adding creaminess and some sweetness.

Bitzy, Oct 12, 2008
Photo of Goliath
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

Pours black and completely opaque with a large inch and a half mocha colored head. Good retention and some weak lacing.

The aroma is pretty nice. A good bit of dark chocolate in the nose with a bit of coffee to round it out. The malting is slightly roasty as well.

The taste is fine. A good bit of dark chocolate with a slight roasty coffee tone as well. Malts give a bit of a burnt feel and the beer finishes slightly bitter. They've certainly accomplished what they had hoped to.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and really creamy. This one is lightly carbonated and pretty smooth.

Drinkability is fairly high. It's a solid beer all around and I think aging would actually do it wonders. I had it a few months back and was unimpressed but am really enjoying revisiting it at the moment.

Goliath, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of athensbeermaster
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

This is the stone's 12th anniversary batch I think the btl. reads? Just came out today. This badd boy pours a big thick creamy looking head with very good lacing for a stout. The nose has mocha and some burnt coffee smell or real strong expresso. The taste is more of what the nose reveals and also some spicy hops with a earthiness and I get some some back licorice and some sandalwood. The mouthfeel is creamy just a little thin for such a big beer. The drinkabilty is very good for being 9.2% I like the fact they used two recipes combined to get this brew!!

athensbeermaster, Jul 10, 2008
Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

Pours a beautiful dark black with a small tan/caramel head. Smells of coffee and chocolate dominate followed by the aroma of roasted malts. Fairly light bodied for a 9.2% ABV. The chocolate is yummy and not as bitter as the name would indicate. This is quite tasty and a real pleasure.

ATLbeerDog, Aug 07, 2008
Photo of aforbes10
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

Pours black, with a dense brown head. Smells like cold chocolate syrup. Flavor is a bold dark chocolate, not sweet, with mild a cherry and nutty essence. Slight rummy quality. Nice roasted malt in the mix too that grows considerably and dominates the finish, along with some residual fruity alcohol. Oatmeal gives it a great soft body that cushions the chocolate nicely. Drinks a bit heavy for these summer months, and the chocolate is a bit too rich to really enjoy a 22oz bottle of.

aforbes10, Jul 25, 2008
Photo of PartyBear
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

Heavy, black and oily in the glass with a creamy light/medium brown head, and vyer light carbonation. Lots of dark roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, and a slightly winey alcohol aroma. It is powerfully bitter from the start with the bitterest dark chocolate, over-roast charred coffee beans, and a slight raisin sweetness. The feel is smooth and silky, with a massively full body. Really good beer with a superb feel. I'd love to taste what happens with aging, to see whether the bitterness mellows at all.

PartyBear, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of Gyle41386
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

Pour is deep, dark, opaque black. No highlights, no nothing. Mocha colored foam reaches two fingers and retains pretty well. It eventually drops to a thin line, but never completely disappears. Initially, it looks like there will be some fantastic lacing stuck to the glass. By the end, just a little remains. Still, an impressive looking beer.

The nose isn't especially powerful, which surprised me a bit. I had to dig a little bit, but I found equal parts bittersweet chocolate, roasted malts, and alcohol. There also seems to be a sweetness that I want to say is cream or vanilla or something like that, but it's very, very faint.

As I take my first few sips, I think, "Oh, yeah...oatmeal." Not sure how I missed that in the nose. There's a lot of bitterness in this beer, from the bittersweet chocolate, from the roasted malts, possibly from the oats, but it's not overly bitter. It comes close, though. I feel like this beer is some coffee flavor (instead of just roast) away from being really, really tasty.

If the body isn't full, it's close. The beer has a nice texture, a little slick and oily, with some inconsistently noticeable alcohol. Some sips brought hot alcohol, but less often than they didn't. Low carbonation. I can certainly see how this beer would be off-putting to some, but I'm enjoying it, likely more so than Stone IRS. While it would have been nice for the sake of comparison to have drank this fresh when it was released, I'm glad I got to try it at all.

Gyle41386, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of MexicanSkittel
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

Pours a deep black, a very thin rusted dark brown head dissipated very very fast. Leaving a rim of the dark brown ring around top of the beer.

Some roared sweet oats on the nose, barley. A bit of smokey camp fire, there was a small amount of bitter chocolate in the nose but on the back end.

There was more chocolate on the pallet along with a hint of coffee. The oats are still present. The sweetness certainly takes over the alc.

Very light carbonation, and surprisingly thin in texture for how dark the beer poured. Great finish which lingered for a decent amount of time. Started sweet but leans to a dryer bitter cocoa finish.

I'm really liking the beer, and wish the stone aniversary ales would head back this direction.

MexicanSkittel, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of ThaBobfather
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

This beer pours perfect. I mean, the color, the head, the consistency, it is all perfect. The smell here has good notes of chocolate and oatmeal. The taste is thick and interesting. Its just a tad lacking, leaving this beer to taste like eating Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate powder. This beer coats the tongue well, but the taste is over-powering. I'm really impressed with the idea here and think this is a good beer. I did expect a lot more from it though.

ThaBobfather, Apr 13, 2009
Photo of Jerzdevil1116
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

22oz bomber purchased at Circle Liquors in Somers Point, NJ. Drank from a pint glass.

A: Very dark brown/black, opaque body. Tall dark tan head. Some lacing left on the sides of the glass.

S: Roasted malt. Dark chocolate and coffee very prevalent. As the beer warmed I picked up subtle hints of molasses and dark fruits.

T: Taste is full of roasted malt, but never got sweet. A pleasant bitter dark chocolate taste throughout. Alcohol is also slightly noticible.

M: Very smoothe. Medium to full bodied.

D: I really liked this beer. It was flavorful without being overbearing as some big stouts can be. No problem finishing this bomber by myself. It went down very smoothe. Never really noticed the 9% alcohol, although I'm sure it will hit any minute now.

Jerzdevil1116, Aug 29, 2008
Photo of jkendrick
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%

Appearance: I don't usually note the bottle in my reviews, but I thought the description on this one was interesting. Stone says they were forced to create this particular Anniversary beer due to the hop shortage. The beer itself is pure black as you would expect. There is a bit of carbonation streaming up, but nothing on the order of a Guinness, for example. There is a nice tan head that recedes quickly leaving just a touch of lacing.

Aroma: Definitely smells of bitter chocolate! There is a bit of alcohol present in the nose, but it's not overwhelming. But it makes me think perhaps I've cracked this one a bit too soon.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is prickly, but full-bodied beer coats the mouth nicely.

Taste: Well there's that dark, bitter chocolate. This is one definitely appropriately named. I tend to like the bitter chocolate stouts more than the sweeter versions, so this is right up my alley. There is some sweetness that provides balance, but it isn't cloying. It is definitely a bit boozy and warms the belly. It's not TOO much though a bit longer in the cellar might have done it some good. There is more bitterness in the finish.

Overall impression: Well, as I said, it may have done me good to wait a bit longer before cracking this, but it is still a fine, complex and well-balanced stout. If you like your chocolate of the bitter variety, you owe it to yourself to seek this out. I am a hophead, but I kind of wish the hops shortage had lasted longer to force Stone to produce other "hop alternative" brews. Well done, Stone! I'll definitely grab another bottle of this and keep it cellared a bit longer in hopes that the alcohol mellows a bit. In my opinion, that could make this an A or an A+ beer.

jkendrick, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of cbutova
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%

Flavor might have been damaged from sitting on a shelf for 1 year but here we go. Glad I could find this one over a year after its release. Poured pitch black into my pint glass with a 3 finger head after a pretty vigorous pour. Head is coffee colored and reduces to a thin layer on the beer after a few minutes, leaves good medium lacing on the glass. Smells of roasted malts and chocolate, maybe some smoke/burnt notes too. Tastes of chocolate, roasted malts, a tiny bit of alcohol(expected in imperials), and a bit of hops. Has a slight metallic aftertaste. Mouthfeel is heavy, which is nice for an imperial, good carbonation and pretty smooth, coats the tongue pretty well. This beer is definitely drinkable, didn't feel too heavy on the stomach, good spin off of imperial stout. Didn't really get the oatmeal.

cbutova, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of toweringpoo
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%

This beer is black as death. Light does not penetrate this thing. Minimal head that immediately disappears. Super thick and syrupy looking.

Smell starts off the complexity of this beer; chocolate, coffee, dirt, soap, and alcohol come through clearly to me.

Taste is superb. Vanilla, chocolate, coconut, come through strong. After that the bitterness of the hops takes over there's some burned popcorn, almost peanut buttery finish. Really complex. It feels as thick as it looks. Thick, malty and bitter. A great sipper for a cold winter night. This is what I want when I drink a stout.

Highly recommended.

toweringpoo, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of brentk56
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with a rocky mocha head; a fair amount of lace, too

Smell: Bitter chocolate and lots of roasted malt

Taste: Opens with a black bread and chocolate flavor that gets increasingly fruity and bitter by mid-palate; after the swallow, the bitter hops kick it up a notch and provide a lingering, burnt charcoal finish

Mouthfeel: Full body with creamy oatmeal character; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: The flavor profile is interesting but a bit of a battle on the palate

brentk56, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%

July 2008 vintage. Almost 3 years old at this point.

Pours a pitch black color with a 1 inch dark khaki head that fades to nothing. Random tiny spots of lacing dot the glass here and there on the drink down. Smells of bittersweet chocolate, toasted oats, and dark roasted malts. There is a hint of soy sauce in the smell. Taste is of some smoky malt, toasted oats, with a dark cocoa powder finish. There is a bit of fruitiness that comes out as the beer warms. Very little bitterness on the palate after each sip. There is a good level of carbonation which makes for a medium bodied and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer after approximately 3 years but I bet it was better when it first came out. I am glad I found a bottle to try but I wouldn't get another one at this point.

UCLABrewN84, May 28, 2011
Photo of nectar14
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%

From 22 oz purchased at brewery:

A- Dark and viscous coming out of the bottle, collecting a tan bubbly head of 1-2 fingers and settling into a modest 1/2 inch head with slight lacing.

S- Yes, some chocolate and grains on the nose, but not showing as much as I'd hoped. Pretty tame on the hops, which is a good change of pace for Stone.

T- Not great, but clearly good. Rich and dark, with chocolatey notes, coffee, and some nuts.

M- Again, good though not great. Goes down pretty easy, but doesn't necessarily hide the 9.2%.

D- Good in this area, too. Pleasant enough, and worth a try, but not amazing.

Overall, glad I tried it. I find it better than their Smoked Porter, but not near their IRS.

nectar14, Jun 27, 2009
Photo of AltBock
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%

22 oz. bomber bottle with a silk screened label of the Stone gargoyle with his wings out in battle mode raising a mug of beer high in the air. Off to the right is the cellar temperature and the month and year this batch was made, July 2008. Then to the right of that is the usual excessive 5,000+ word novel explaing how this beer came to mind. Don't waste your time reading it because it mostly just gibberish. If you got an hour to waste, then yeah, go ahead and read it.

Appearance: I decided to pour this chocolate oatmeal Stout into my Brooklyn Brewery Imperial pint glass. This Stone beer really looks like they melted down a big 95% to 100% cocoa chocolate bar and then bottled it. The color was great, but surprisingly there was barely a head of foam on top of this beer. At first there was a small skim of dark mocha foam, but that quickly dissipated into oblivion. There was almost no sign of rings and absolutely no trace of mocha spots or streaks of lace around the glass. I loved the color this beer had, but the lack of head on this beer was sad to see.

Smell: The smell of this beer was slightly bitter, sweet, dark, and roasted. It wasn't overly bitter or sweet with a huge amount of bitter dark chocolate, a few black cherries, a bit of oatmeal, plenty of dark roasted malts, a hint of roasted coffee beans, and a very subtle touch of roasted hops. It had every aroma I look for in a pitch black colored beer, but it was lacking the kick that this aroma needed. The aromas were there, but they were just lacking the strength. It smelled like something was holding them back, but there wasn't anything there to do that.

Taste: Now this is more like it! The taste was dry, bitter, and it was also lightly sweet like the aroma was, but better of course. With this beer, I could really taste the bitter dark chocolate. Not so much the oatmeal, but that's fine. I can do without that. Hiding behind the bitter dark chocolate was dark roasted malts, a splash of roasted coffee beans, a hint of black cherry, a subtle touch of charred oak, and then this chocolate based taste finishes up on the bitter side with dry and bitter roasted hops. The kick that was missing in the aroma was found here in the taste. It's too bad that kick couldn't have been found in both places.

Mouthfeel: This is another of those beers that boarded on the medium to full bodied line. It was hard to tell which line it was on. Whatever line it was on or over, it featured a chewy roasted aftertaste of bitter dark chocolate, dark roasted malts, black cherries, and a hint of roasted coffee beans. Even though this beer was thick, chewy, and heavily roasted, I still thought it masked its high ABV of 9.2%.

Drinkability: Was it bitter? A little bit. Did it have the taste of chocolate in it? Hell yes! Was there any oatmeal in here? Just a subtle touch. Was it a Stout? Of course it was! At least this beer was true to the name it was given. Was it good? It sure was! It was lacking in the aroma and head of foam department, but this is one of those beers that put most of its efforts into where it matters most, the taste. Not my favorite from Stone Brewery, but I could see myself opening another one of these up or cellar one to see how it would come out with an extra couple more months on it.

AltBock, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of macktbone
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%

Got this bottle from Worm...thanks for this and others.
Enjoyed just over years after it was brewed (Nov 2010) in the Stone XII anniversary glass.

A- real black with a great milk chocolate colored thick head that climbs the side of the glass.

S- Lots of molasses and cocoa. Bitterness with a little "green" aroma.

T- Tons of Bitter, Bitter chocolate that is great for melted hot chocolate but a little overpowering for a beer. Tastes like cold "hot chocolate".

M- Awesomely thick and perfect for an anniversary style oatmeal stout. Rivals some of the best stouts in the world.

D- I would love to have about one of these every two years to see how it ages, but more than that is a bit much unless you are looking to drink a candy bar.

Cool for an anniversary treat but deffinately not a daily drinker.

macktbone, Nov 12, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%

I drank this on tap into a tulip glass at the Map Room.

The beer pours black with a medium tan head. There is about once inch of dark tan head. The first half inch fades quickly, but the second half actually stays for ahilw. Good lacing.

The aroma is medium, and full of lots of sweet chocoalte. At the end there is light hint of hops.

The taste ia also super sweet, bordering on too sweet, but doesn't cross it. There is TONS of sweet chocolate, but that's about all I get. A little to simple.

The feel is on the lighter side without much of a finish.

Overall, it was decent for a chocolate beer, but nothing special.

jrallen34, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of Beernoisseur
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%

What an interesting concept. Replacing the hoppy bitterness with a different variety entirely. I like Stone's style. They're willing to do whatever the hell they want, in or outside the box.

A - One of the darkest beers I have ever seen. Like a shadow poured from under the cloak of death. The thickish head is the color of gourmet hot chocolate. There is little lacing.

S - Surprisingly muted aroma. Probably because the scent-giving qualities of the hops are absent. The toastiness of the malt is there- Bordering on burnt.

T - Less of a distinct chocolate flavor than I was anticipating, but still quite pleasant. I enjoy this. It's a different flavor, but quite true to many of the stout qualities that I have come to love. There is a tart/fruity element, with coffee, carmel and toasted nuts. Good bitterness throughout. Interesting application of chocolate. I would like to know how much was used.

M/D - The moutfeel is very soft and rich, medium-full bodied, somewhat light on carbonation. This certainly isn't a session beer, but it's one worth trying. It's an interesting interpretation for sure. check it out!

Beernoisseur, Apr 20, 2009
Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 847 ratings.