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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.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

852 Ratings
THE BROS
-
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 DovaliHops
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep, dark black with a very small tan head. Smell is roasty with lots of chocolate. There is also a malt sweetness to the nose that makes this aroma quite pleasant. The taste is immediately chocolatey with great roasted malt flavors. I never had this beer fresh, but 2 years later, it's tasting mighty fine. The mouthfeel is nice and thick (which I was hoping for). Drinkability is pretty high.

DovaliHops, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of pfelon
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Pure Luck this week. I was surprised to see it there.

It looks very dark and, honestly, a bit imposing for someone who may shy away from darker beers. Smell is distinctly alcoholic and gives a resin-y sensation, which nicely sets you up for a beer that isn't saturated by a searing alcholic taste, but rather a roasty, dark chocolate sort of flavor. I found it difficult to drink this at first- the burst of cocoa was a bit overpowering. But as my mouth adjusted, the subtle underlying elements came to surface. I think this is a fine effort by Stone, though their last two Anniversary ales were more my preference.

pfelon, Jul 10, 2008
Photo of AnPiobaire
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a goblet at about 54 degrees.

The Stone Chocolate Oatmeal Stout poured a very dark and rich black/brown with thin caramel colored head and very little retension

The nose is very nice with chocolate, coffee, cherries and dark fruits.

The taste is nice but less then anticipated with such a nice nose. It is roasted malt, chocolate, and a bitter coffe-like finish.

The mouthfeel again was a little thinner then anticipated but still very nice. More carbonated then I prefer in an Imperial Stout.

Although this isn't one of my favorite Imperial Stouts it certainly is a very nice example of one, and one I will surely partake in again when I get the chance. If you see one, get one, then drink one. You won't regret it. Enjoy!!!

AnPiobaire, May 11, 2011
Photo of russpowell
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours mahogany to black with much effervescence & 4+ fingers of dark brown head. Average head retention & good lacing

S: Roasted malt, coffee grinds & a touch of iron

T: Baker's chocolate, iron, & dryness up front. Dryness & boozeyness comes through as this warms, plus cocoa & roasted malt. Finishes with charred grain & chocolate

MF: Smooth, oily with minimal carbonation, some booze heat detracts a bit

Drinks good for the ABV, but this was semi-letdown. Good, not great effort from Stone, but worthy of a few pints before moving on, ABV was semi-detractor for the style & ABV, pretty good bang for the buck at $7 a bomber IMO. Sit on this a few months to a year & maybe much better???

russpowell, Jul 15, 2008
Photo of akorsak
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 650 mL bottle purchased at Joseph's Beverage in Toledo, OH.

A: The stout is rather viscous, thick and oily as it pours into my snifter. A coffee-and-cream colored head, darkened a bit by milk chocolate brown, rises up on pour and quickly dissapates.

S: The nose is very chocolatey, thick with a strong burnt presence. A deep nutty aroma mixes with alcohol and syrupy chocolate to create a rich complexity.

T: At room temperature, the stout is a mouthfull. Dark roasted notes go head-to-head with dark chocolate. Cocoa powder and fuller baker's chocolate round out the flavor. Dark espresso, think Starbucks-level bitterness, coats the back of the mouth, full, dark and delicious. The oatmeal creates a smoothness just before the espresso turns bitter. Coffee and baker's chocolate are the finish.

M: The ale is complex, hot and boozy with a coffee/chocolate punch. The beer is a mouthfull, a challenge to get through.

D: One bomber at a time, the strength and intrigue of the beer won't allow any more.

akorsak, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of Packforever1976
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temp in my oversized snifter.

A: Pours jet black, leaving a thick and creamy dark tan head. Head recedes fairly quickly, leaving a small layer on top. Decent lacing.

S: A nice blend of sweet/bitter dark chocolate in the nose. Some sweet malts and oats. A slight hint of bourbon as well. There is some alcohol smell in there as well.

T: Big punch of bitter dark chocolate in the front. Some dark roast coffee in the back. There is a faint citrus taste in the back as well.

M: Proper carbonation level. This is a little on the thin side, I wish it was more viscous/chewy. Even with the heat from the alcohol, it is still fairly smooth.

D: The heat makes it tough to give this one high drinkability marks. It's good, but not great. I'm glad I have a couple more in the cellar. I'm hoping that this one improves with age. I'll have to give another one a shot in a year or so.

Packforever1976, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of Aenema
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a deep black with a slight, foamy brown head. Nice lacing, though it disappears quickly. No visible carbonation.

Smell - Sweet, chocolate aroma.

Taste - Syrupy chocolate and coffee notes with a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, coating mouthfeel with light carbonation.

Drinkability - One 22oz'er of this was plenty for me. It was too sweet for me, some more bitterness/pure chocolate flavor instead of a sugary sweet taste would have been great.

Overall quite enjoyable, though I would definitely split any future bottles of this.

Aenema, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of cnally
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Holy light-capturing-liquid, Batman! This beer is black. Pure darkness. It is a spectacle to look at because the head contrasts so mightily with the beer. The head, by the way is menacing and thick. The scent is not as appealing as I would have thought, much like a mix between walnut cookies and paint varnish. Oh wait, I can't smell anything but the alcohol. Whoa. On the taste, obviously there is a load of bitter chololate. The bitterness resonates long after the drink is swallowed, but it is such a nutty bitterness that it actually tastes fine. This is not like chewing almonds or walnuts...more like chewing on unprocessed cocoa beans. And my oh my, there is a whallop of malt and alcohol. Thick, deep malty notes drown out everything else BUT the alcohol. What an intense beer. It taps into the primal, without making you an animal. You really trade alcohol for taste here.

cnally, Aug 02, 2008
Photo of biegaman
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Charred steak dressed with a most thorough and unbending tone of black. There may be just the slightest glint of crimson when held directly into the light but it's quite hard to produce. This is the physical definition of the word 'opaque'. A bold, ebony trim delineates the beer's contour and with any agitation will wash over the surface with a thickset bed of foam.

This smells an awfully lot like a good, homemade Mexican mole dish; I can't seem to shake this scent of cocoa beans and spicy chillies (part of that may just be the alcohol giving you fair warning!) Although I also detect notes of coffee, black licorice, browned sugar and tiramisu, more than anything this resembles a mole recipe that combines cocoa and dark chocolate, peanuts and blanched almonds, caramelized shallots, chipotle, ancho and mulato chillies.

The oatmeal has made for an oily slick and creamy full mouthfeel. It's amazing the level of elegance this can have considering it's also a high alcohol and heavy roasted stout. The alcohol is never tasted but is omnipotent nevertheless. In aroma and taste - especially reaching room temperature - the warming sensation can sometimes reach a scathing level.

The flavour isn't nearly as dominated by bitter chocolate as the beer's name and bottle might have you believe - I would have pegged tiramisu before that. This foremost tastes like an Imperial Stout. It has a prominent foreground of roasted malts with the backdrop of dark caramel, creme brulee, toffee biscuits, flat coffee and over-ripe black currants. Come to think, with a cast of flavours like that it's no surprise the chocolate isn't more pronounced.

Despite this gracefully silky smooth texture I don't think drinking a whole bomber to one's self is feasible. Granted, the beer is as elegant as it is dark but it's also a little more strong than it is flavorful. Pairing this alongside some rich desserts not only sounds decadent, it's starting to seem necessary. Listening to my own advice, I've now paired this with some dark chocolate truffles and you can read my lips: Y-U-M!

Stone's Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout is certainly deserving of it's special anniversary ale merit. There is a certain "je ne sais quoi" about it that you know you're drinking something special. If you're planning to serve something decadent for after dinner than including this would probably double the decadence. I know that the people at Stone realize pairing drink with food is important and so I'm glad they've decided not to skip out on dessert!

biegaman, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of MasterSki
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Discount Liquor a while back. Served in a Bell's tulip.

A - A finger of tan foam settles to a thin collar, some wisps, and a bit of spotty lace. Black body with a glint of brown at the edges of the glass.

S - Definitely lots of bitter chocolate. Lightly roasted grains, caramel, and perhaps a faint bit of oxidation creeping in. Needs to warm up a bit, but otherwise fairly enjoyable.

T - Taste is also heavy on the mildly bitter baker's chocolate, with some notes of vanilla, anise, and caramel. Unfortunately it seems a bit hollow mid-palate and perhaps is showing its age here.

M - Medium body, velvety melted chocolate bar texture, lower carbonation, and a lightly dry finish. None of the listed 9.2% shows up after 3+ years of aging.

D - While this is was still pretty decent I feeling this one is on the decline, although mileage may vary based on cellar conditions. Still, an enjoyable tick.

MasterSki, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of johnnieoz
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Just picked up a couple at Wally's Wine in Westwood. Bottled, and now consumed, in July 2008. The 12th was brewed as a non-hoppy beer due to current hops shortages. Instead we have a bitter chocolate malt bomb on our hands.

A: One of the most beautiful beers I have ever poured. A jet black motor oil of a stream cascades into the wine goblet. A large coffee-colored head that recedes ever so slowly. No light gets through this one.

S: Licorice and dark chocolate aromas. A touch of alcohol as it warms up.

T: This is rather uniquely bitter stout, i.e. you can tell that the bitterness is not necessarily from the hops. So it must be from...the Oaxacan chocolate? A bit rough on the palate - a little cellaring is in order here to achieve the desired balance. But there are nice tones of licorice, some sweeter malts and a chocolate taste as well. As it warms up, it's quite tasty.

M: For a beer of this power, this is a bit of a lightweight. Again, I assume some cellaring will help. It has a dry, crisp aftertaste.

D: One bomber will do for the evening, but with the help of others, I'm sure I could manage at least one and half in a session. Other than the roughness on the palate, this goes down smoothly. The alcohol is barely noticeable in the taste, it is creeping up on me....

The first Stone Anniversary beer I've had and it's a great one. Hit the jackpot since I'm more of dark beer/malt lover than a Hophead. There's craft in this one, and I look forward to trying this in some six month to a year.This is an A-class brew in the making...

johnnieoz, Jul 12, 2008
Photo of jlb307
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter.

A: Very good looking brew. Poured black, with a nice thick dark brown head. Pretty good lacing, which actually took on a reddish hue as it clung to the glass.

S: Pretty consistent with other imperials. Smacked of malts and dark mocha. Semi-sweet.

T: Pretty bitter on the first few sips. Kind of mellowed as it warmed, which only left a slightly bitter aftertaste. Tasted more of a hop-type flavor rather than a bitter chocolate.

M: Very smooth. Clinged to the gums and roof of the mouth rather pleasantly.

D: If served slightly warmer than normal, it's pretty good. I might have this again.

jlb307, Mar 12, 2009
Photo of jamesm7485
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For something called bitter chocolate ... i was expecting alot more chocolate bitterness i mean rogues chocolate stout has more upfront chocolate than this.

It pours damn near like Hershey syrup and is pitch black

To be honest i dont really smell alot at all

the taste is good the chocolate isnt nearly as upfront as the rogue but its still there

mouthfeel is good not as smooth or creamy as id expect from a oatmeal stout

drinkability is good despite the abv

jamesm7485, Jul 16, 2008
Photo of ehammond1
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

(Aged 2 years at the brewery)

A menacingly thick and black pour with a thin brown, persistent head. Thick and oily in the glass and leaves plenty of lacing. Looks mean and menacing but beautiful.

Roasted malts, caramel malts, and plenty of dark chocolate in the nose. Unlike most stouts that smell of melted, bittersweet chocolate, this chocolate seems roasted or burnt. It's a bit sharp and not easily accessible nor obviously pleasant, but it contributes to this beer's menacing profile. It's certainly unique.

This beer tastes better than it smells. The dark chocolate works better on the palette than it does in the nose, as it loses some of that burnt and astringent profile. No alcohol presence at all, little hop presence, but mainly just a thick, menacing, chocolatey, big stout...which is never a bad thing!

Creamy, thick, chewy in the mouth, which is appropriate and expected for this style, but not quite as velvety and full as the standard Stone RIS.

I think this beer has aged particularly well. There's no obvious presence of alcohol, the chocolate may have mellowed a bit; an enjoyable sipper I'm glad I got the opportunity to experience at the brewery/bistro.

ehammond1, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of racer2k
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2+ year old bomber poured into my favorite snifter glass

A: Beer pours a very dark used motor oil like black that does not yield much head. A slight off white sheen of head quickly dissolves in my snifter glass. Limited lacing but very sticky

S: Very boozy, malty, chocolate aroma to this beer. A complex theme of flavors that seems to center around a dark malt chocolate flavor.

T: Nice dark chocolate, liquorice, roasted malt taste with a hint of bitter hops. There is a distinct bitter chocolate malt finish to this beer which also revels a very strong alcohol presence.

M: Medium body with a very light carbonation to this beer. There is a medium thickness to this beer but the taste is quite smooth.

D: - Very drinkable beer given the thickness and high ABV content. This is a delicious beer that has aged quite well over the last several years. The interplay between dark chocolate, hops and malt backbone is most excellent!

racer2k, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of BeerSox
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into 8oz snifter.

Pitch black with a brown one finger head that slowly settles to a thin rim.

Very light bitter malt aromas, which is very surprising. The alcohol comes through a bit as the beer warms. Some light molasses aromas emerge as the beer warms.

The bitter malts are repeated along with a little bit of dark fruit and caramel. Some hop bitterness is in there toward the end. Only a little chocolate is in there. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The finish is lingering bitter malts and a bit of molasses.

An okay American Stout, it seems to lack the smoothness of your typical Oatmeal Stout. That's where the bitter comes in though. Slight complexity, although I feel like the flavor wasn't as full as I would have liked. Decent, try it for yourself.

BeerSox, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of joeysmokedporter
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter.

A: pours like viscous motor oil from the bottle, dark oily black, no highlights, opaque, with a brown head. The head dissipates but leaves lacing, and a brown oily sheen is visible on the glass when I tip it for a taste.

S: chocolate, caramel, coffee, bread pudding. alcohol also present in the aroma.

T: starts with lots of chocolate, followed by roast, coffee, toffee, caramel, and finishes with alcohol that also contributes bitterness. the roast and coffee flavors linger in the aftertaste.

M: thick, chewy, viscous but oily, slightly gritty to go along with the roast. heavy on the tongue.

D: while high in alcohol this beer is fairly drinkable. Lots of flavor and character; pair with a bold dessert that complements it (I chose pumpkin roll and vanilla ice cream, which worked well).

joeysmokedporter, Nov 29, 2008
Photo of hiikeeba
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a trade. Gorgeous graphics! Looked forward to opening it.

A - Jet black and inky. Thick and opaque. Thin brown head fades quickly. Beer clings to the glass like a thin syrup.

S - Oats and roasted grain dominate with a hint of chocolate and a hint of alcohol. Reminds me of bourbon.

T - There's a metallic tang along the edges of my tongue, but not bad. Leaves a slight roast bitterness with some astringency. Alcohol rises from my throat just like a bourbon.

M - Silky smooth, with slightly low carbonation. Very creamy.

D - Not bad, but I don't think I want another one. It might be good cellared and aged. It would rock with some vanilla ice cream, like a float.

hiikeeba, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of rfgetz
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from Capone's

A - Rich, dark as night and oily in appearance. Thin brown head disapears quickly and leaves a little bit of lacing.

S - Dark chcocolate, dark roasted malts and hops. A little astringent alcohol note. Maybe some dark fruits.

T - Bitter unsweetened cocoa. A little astringent alcohol bite at the end. The bitterness and the astringent taste get in the way of a very good initial sip. A little dark fruit perhaps.

M - Smooth, rich and creamy.

D - Between the bitterness and the booziness, this beer is a special occasion sipper. Maybe sitting a year didnt help this one, but the amazing initial taste keeps this still a beer worth trying.

rfgetz, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of Thorpe429
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark black with a creamy head that falls down without leaving too much lacing. Strong smell of bittersweet chocolate along with some dark fruits. Taste is composed mostly of dark chocolate, roasted malt, and a tad bit of fruit. A bit alcoholic, but other than that it's fairly smooth and drinks well, although not in large quantities.

Thorpe429, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of brdc
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Large capped bottle, poured into a pint.

Pitch black, dark brown head, little to no retention, some lacing.
Aroma includes a noticeable chocolate, some burnt (not roasted) malts, and it is all quite faint.
Medium bodied, a bit thinner than I would have liked, it has a quite plesant taste, if not overly complex. Bittersweet chocolate, roasted (not burnt) malts, coffee, and maybe some oatmeal, but I could be just looking too hard for the oatmeal.
A pleasant brew, quite good actually, but below the very high standards I look for in a Stone stout.

brdc, Sep 30, 2008
Photo of ArrogantB
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another anniversary offering from Stone which I expected to be good and it was. Obviously black, minimum brown head. It smelled like chocolate, tasted like dark bitter chocolate, fruit, and a strong alcohol component which was a little strong (and the reason I didn;t give a higher score for taste). It seems like most oatmeal stouts feel silky and this one does as well.

ArrogantB, Jul 14, 2008
Photo of ffejherb
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Shady McGrady's in Harrisburg, PA on 7/25/08.

A - Dark chocolate brown body with more than a finger's width of frothy mocha-colored head that left decent lacing around the glass. This puppy reminded me of a milkshake!

S - Surprisingly muted nose with faint notes of dark chocolate and a bit of coffee. Some roasted malt as well, but overall the aroma is quite subdued.

T - Chocolate and roasted malt up front that quickly seques into more of a bitter coffee aspect with a dash of earthy hops for good measure.

M - Smooth, creamy texture with a bit of oily slickness and a slightly chewy mouthfeel. Finishes moderately bitter on the palate.

D - Not as chocolately as, say, Suthern Tier Choklat, but still highly drinkable for such a big beer (9.2% ABV). Nice bitterness all around with this one.

ffejherb, Jul 26, 2008
Photo of erosier
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

L: Pours a deep jet black color with a small and thin brown colored head that sticks around for a bit.
S: Smells of alcohol, deep chocolate malts, and some roasted coffee aroma at the end.
T: Tastes alot like it smells. Deep chocolate malts, roasted malts, some coffee flavoring perhaps from the roastyness of it, then a big alcohol finish and then a nice really really bitter dark chocolate aftertaste.
M: Very thick, smooth, and very warming.
D: OK drinkability. Possibly too much alcohol in this one, but a very good beer nonetheless.

erosier, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

125 reviews as of this writting. I'll skip the usual review and free form this one. On the plus side I thought this was the dullest darkest brown heads I've seen on a black beer in some time. I liked the oat smoothness and chocolate aspects. On the ok but a bit much side, the heavy roast and battle between bitter bakers chocolate and hops left me thinking one was nice.

My hats off for their adventure.

barleywinebrewer, Jul 28, 2008
Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 852 ratings.