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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.

852 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 852
Reviews: 699
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 82
Gots: 76 | FT: 4
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: 852 | Reviews: 699 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AltBock
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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
Photo of dashirey
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber I received in the CA-PA BIF and I also got one in Secret Santa. Decided to drink this one on a very cold evening. If you have read the bottle, it mentions "summer dreaming in late January," and that is exactly what I'm doing tonight and pretty much everyday right now - how about you Hayden?

I poured my wife a taster of this beer and the rest went into my DFH snifter (I believe it was my first use of the glass). I read through the chapter on the back of the bottle as I waited for the beer to warm a bit.

A - Dark as night - black. There was nearly no head to mention, just a very thin layer that did not stay around long either.

S - I really am hit with an alcohol smell from this one. There are other things there as well - chocolate, some sweetness, and dark roasted malts, but above all else the alcohol really hits my nose.

T/M - Dark chocolate and roasted flavors are found from the start and throughout, however there are distinct coffee notes which present themselves after those. It is smooth (from the oatmeal) right up until the swallow where both some bitterness and then alcohol rear their heads (albeit not ugly heads). The beer at first felt very thick but when it warms closer to room temperature that thickness dissipates a bit, but still between medium and full-bodied.

D - While a very good beer, I do not find it extremely easy to drink. Not much to point at for this opinion, just what I think. I guess the high alcohol taste is the main reason. I would have another, just not in the same night. There is a ton of different stuff going on in this beer from Stone - I wonder what aging the second bottle I have would do to it??

dashirey, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of Amalak
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had off the tap at a brooklyn bar, but I can't remember the name of the bar. Black and lacy, it has a nice bite of bitterness. Full bodied, I wouldn't drink a six of these, but for a one off, it's very good, a kind of slow drink that is only good in certain situations.

Amalak, May 22, 2009
Photo of MisterClean
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber bought at Total Wine

A - Dark black, 2 fingered head, dissipates slow and leaves a nice lacing. Can't ask for much better.

S - Chocolate, pepper, pineapple, and oats.

T - Chocolate, pine, pineapple, and pepper. No sense of alcohol yet.

M - Very filling, but slightly thin. Could be more viscousy. Slight alcohol feel too.

D - Good, but could age a couple of years to get better viscous and reduced alcohol.

MisterClean, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very black liquid, which I love for the most part. The glossy brown, semi-dense head looks like cocoa powder sprinkled on top. Looks good, would like to see better head (Hey-Ooo)

Anyway, aroma isn't quite there. Some roasted malt, hints of coffee and the faint lingering of chocolate (perhaps just because the name suggests it).
Good roasted flavor. A good stout. Again, faint coffee and chocolate characteristics. Bitter? Just a bit. Chocolate? Just a bit. This is a good drinking beer, not quite a great beer. Hopefully it will age well.

Mebuzzard, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of srandycarter
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark, fairly opaque, small mocha head leaves fast to ring.

S - Predominately bittered chocolate and cocoa.

T - Taste matches smell, bigger flavor and more bitter, but along the same lines.

M - Great balance, very creamy, well carb and good coating.

D - Nice offer. Not 'out of this world'. But good.

srandycarter, May 13, 2009
Photo of genog
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a muted somewhat mahogany color with some rich black tones but not as deep and dark as a stout. Aroma is strong on roasted malty, and coffee beans. There is a faint cocoa scent as well. Taste is chocolate and a lil boozy feeling comes through. Finish is roasted with a very limited amount of carbonation. A very nice oatmeal stout, but not living up to what I was expecting from stone.

genog, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of Jeffo
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber courtesy of DaveHS in a summertime trade. Thanks man!

From a bomber into a snifter.
Brewed in July 2008

APPEARANCE: A very dark black pour, and relatively thick as well. A one finger, medium-thin, noisy, tan head with lousy retention forms and quickly crackles down to a slight wisp and ring. Jet black body, opaque, with no carbonation evident. Only a slight ring remains leaving no lacing down the sides, and it looks a little flat by the end. Thick, dark pour and body, but lousy head.

SMELL: Milder nose of roasted malts, dark chocolate and light caramel notes. Faint oats in there as well, but the chocolate is still the more dominating part of the nose. Nice, but needs to be a little bigger.

TASTE: Milder flavors up front again. Some roasted and light caramel perhaps, but the flavors come out much more after the swallow. Roasted and burnt malts, oats are there, and some definite and obvious dark, pure chocolate. Chocolate is very nice and goes really well with the base beer. Perhaps the age has helped the flavors come together so nicely. A touch of alcohol is still there at the swallow. Aftertaste is medium but lingers nicely with notes of roasted and caramel malts, bitter chocolate and some nice sweet molasses. Good balanced finish.

PALATE: Very nice here. Medium body and medium carbonation. Very creamy and smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes mouth-coating. Good weight for sure, and no bite. Very smooth stuff.

OVERALL: This was really good; definitely better than their normal Imperial Stout. The chocolate flavors worked really well in this, meshing really nicely with the roasted base beer. Though I’d never had the beer fresh, it seems like the three years in the bottle have done this beer well. The taste profile was well integrated and mellow, and the feel very creamy and smooth for the style. Good stuff and I’m glad I had the chance to try it. Thanks again DaveHS.

Jeffo, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of boralyl
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Had this on draft. It is pitch black with no light coming through it all. It has roughly 1/2 finger of creamy tan head that didn't really leave any lacing.

S - A roasted aroma, chocolate, and a small alcohol smell is emitted from this brew.

M - A full bodied beer that has a nice smoothness to it and a good amount of carbonation.

T - It tastes similar to how it smells. Dark roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and a slight bitterness create a fairly complex flavor. There is also an alcohol taste present, but it is hidden pretty well.

A very good brew, I'd like to try it later after it ages. I could probably only have one of these in a sitting because of the abv and thickness of it.

boralyl, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of jujubeast6000
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 1/22/2009 (bottle Dated July 2008):

Pours an extremely dark black brown colored body with an average brown colored head, diminishing. Chocolate, malty aroma, with some oatmeal too. Smell of somewhat bitter chocolate. Sweet like a milk stout. Sweet creamy mouthfeel. Slightly bitter aftertaste. A little bit of hotness but some sweet stoutiness too. Oatmeal taste. A little alcoholy but pretty good. Maybe airing this one out will do it some good. A little better as it warms up/airs out.

jujubeast6000, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of ommegangpbr
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drinking this I spent a bit of time trying to figure out what it reminded me of and I finally thought of Le Coq Imperial stout as well as sherry and/or sherry vinegar. There is an underlying flavor that has that nearly sour quality to it.
It might have something to do with this being a doubled up oatmeal stout... a style that I have never quite resonated with because of the flavor profile. This is much more of an oatmeal stout than a chocolate stout, though it is a good deal chocolatey.
It is rather nice to see Stone brewing something skillfully without the use of big hops. That being said I do prefer their Russian Imperial stout and their smoked porter to this.

ommegangpbr, Jan 16, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber bottle into my Adnams Imperial tumbler. The stout appears a deep brown color with about an inch of creamy dark ecru colored foam. Nose and flavors consist of smashed green peas (when first poured and quite cold), bakers chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, cocoa, rich coffee, roasted grain, vanilla, still a good amount of alcohol burn and a warming down the throat, earthy, grassy hops, licorice, mild smoke. Approaching full bodied with adequate carbonation. Could probably use at least another year in the cellar to smooth out a bit more.

ClockworkOrange, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of khiasmus
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a black, pitch black, with a bit of nut brown head that lasts as a ring for a while.
smells of sharp roasted grains with a hint of smoked meat in the background... and not too much more, though perhaps a bit of malt sweetness to balance the harsh grains.
initially chocolate malt, giving way to espresso beans and tons of burnt, astringent, harsh grains.
Mouthfeel is thick, smooth... but the finish is TONS of harsh grain astringency.
Not overly drinkable... just a bit too harsh in the grain and smoked meat departments... i love rauchbier but this mixes sweetness with the salty, burnt flvors. Worth a try, but certainly not one I could have often.

khiasmus, Aug 16, 2008
Photo of photomike
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a a very dark brown with the darkest brown head I've ever seen. Head is gone before you can say "darkest head I've ever seen" and almost nothing is left. No lacing to speak of.

Smell is more subtle than I expected. Licorice and black coffee.

Taste is big, harsh and rich. Lots of black coffee and well, bitter chocolate. Alcohol is not very well hidden. This tastes a lot more like an RIS than an oatmeal stout, but I suppose they are close. None of that nice oatmeal taste that I can detect. Definitely not as complex as I had hoped/expected.

Mouthfeel is very rich and velvety. The bitterness paired with the big time alcohol causes a bit of natural tension in the mouth, though. Close to great, but far from perfect.

Drinkability is high. Despite the booziness, this brew is going down surprisingly easy. This bomber is disappearing quickly.

photomike, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of mugglesandhops
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle received in trade.

Pours a jet black with a moderate sized light brown head, great lacing here also. Smells somewhat surprised me, I thought it would smell stronger of the chocolate and oatmeal. Still smells good though. Taste was great also but still not what I was expecting. The alcohol didn't really come out in it like others are describing, pretty mellow for %9.2.

mugglesandhops, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of ikantspel
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle served into a pint glass

pours a hellish black with a reddish tan head.. bubbles are staying put

slight alcohol in the nose. chocolate,malty toastyness, belgian yeast in the nose

heavy chocolate, espresso hits right away, toasted malts soon follow it up, finished up clean

kinda acidic in the mouthfeel but pretty heavy.

i was kinda scared at first pouring this, got it at a pretty seedy liquor store for about 6 bucks. well worth it. broke my oatmeal stout cherry

ikantspel, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of coldmeat23
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Oversized Wine Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

Man, it sure does look just right, colorwise. Totally jet-black, no light can pierce it, liquid.
Quite minimal head with minimal retention and minimal lacing, to match. This hurts it, scorewise.

Smell of big dark chocolate and big roasted malts. Hints of smoke, leather and vanilla. Big espresso presence. Light dark fruit notes.

Huge roasted malts and toasted oatmeal. Dark, dark chocolate, like 80 or 85% dark. Hints of vanilla and dark cherries. Notes of espresso flavor mixed with brown sugar/molasses.

Medium to full body. Nice and thick, though I think it could stand to be a little bit thicker. Verging on being oily, though, and that's good. The 9.2% abv gives a very pleasant warming effect.

As much as I love this one, it would probably be abit overwelming to drink on a regular basis. As an anniversary beer, though, it serves it's purpose excellently. Just tasty enough to leave you wanting more, but knowing that you probably couldn't handle too much more, even if it were still around.

coldmeat23, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of PatronWizard
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bitter chocolate oatmeal stout. A mouthful before you even open the bottle.

Black fluid. Nice brown head.

Big whiffs of bitter chocolate.

The huge scent of bitter chocolate is one half the size of the huge taste of bitter chocolate. Like when you're a kid and you sneak some chocolate outta the kitchen, not realizing it's mom's cooking chocolate, or whatever the hell that stuff was, but it wasn't no hershey bar kinda chocolate.

Don't know what I just said, but this beer reminds me of it. Bitter chocolate with alcohol. Smoky flavors. Alcohol.

Thick. Thick. I actually open my stouts too cold and enjoy the transformation as they warm, usually finishing a bomber at room temp. Anxious to let this one warm as I can still get the carbonation at this point. Warms the old throat hole like a shot of whiskey.

Overall: might be too much for me

PatronWizard, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of kmeves
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opache black with a coarse tan head. Aroma is lightly sweet chocolate, vanilla and a bit earthy. Flavor is smooth chocolate, some roasted and black malt bitterness and acidity with just a hint of alcohol. Finishes nice and bitter chocolate Long. Medium to full bodied, silky smooth texture. This one will no doubt improve with age.

kmeves, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of stewart124
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

July 2008-Opened 02-09-11

Pours pitch black with brown hues and a bit of tan head.

Good amount of bitter chocolate and roast in the nose with a nice coffee character overall.

Really nice oily oatmeal feel. Silky smooth with a great roasted bitter character. Bitter chocolate blends well with a good amount of bitterness from hops. The roasted character shines through everything though and gives this beer a dryness without taking anything away from the overall character of the beer.

Alcohol is hidden and subdued in general. Bitter cocoa with plenty of roasted character. This turns out to be a good blend of roasted character and oatmeal along with hops to give an overall pleasant double stout.

stewart124, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of BretSikkink
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Super thick and viscous ale that appears to flow sluggishly into the glass, opening up a one inch head that's much closer to brown than tan. Sticky, this lace lasts in a velvety film on top and in extensive legs down the side of the glass. Oh, and it's black. Very black.

Strong aromas of burnt grain, heavy on the roast and lighter on the richness of the chocolate. Alcoholic fumes do appear later on. Other flavors readily apparent from a deep sniff include dark, sweet fruits, sour apple, molasses, esters, and a slightly clove-like phenolic edge.

Smooth and full mouthfeel is wonderful, pretty creamy for such a strong beverage. Up front it's mainly burnt bitter malt, with pleasantly strong doses of chocolate middle and late. Finish leaves a trail of cacao beans down the throat, made noticeable by a mild prick of alcohol. The flavor and finish are indeed bitter, somewhat mitigated by the noticeable effect of the oatmeal, which adds its distinctive smooth and easy character.

The bitter and burnt far outweighs the sweet, and in this unusual instance - especially for Stone - we're not talking hops bitter. This is a strong, acrid brew, with overtones of extreme roasting bordering on acrid elan. Highly recommended. I would also advise putting a couple away for a few months, see what emerges.

BretSikkink, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of dedrinker
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fairly opaque black color with a richly colored, though thin, deep tan head. Aromas of roasted malts, coffee, and dark chocolate, though not any more special than a decent Imperial Stout should be. Flavors of bitter chocolate and figs, coffee and almost a bourbon-barrel aged character, but not quite. Medium full body with a sharp attack of acidity and bitterness on the finish - like black coffee. This has some aging potential, but I wouldn't go crazy over it. I've tasted better that cost less, and one of these days all these young beer geeks will grow up and realize that Stone makes really good beer - not really great beer.

dedrinker, Jul 19, 2008
Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 852 ratings.