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

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

698 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 698
Hads: 854
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 9.83%
Wants: 84
Gots: 75 | 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:
Beer added by: ThreeWiseMen on 07-02-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 698 | Hads: 854
Photo of Arbitrator
1.27/5  rDev -68.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass, shared by alfrantzell. Thanks Arne.

A: Pours like an imperial stout: pitch black in the glass, touches of brown, a mocha-colored head. Retention is on the longer side for an imperial stout, with the cap sticking around for a few minutes before lapsing into a thick donut around the brew. Lacing doesn't stick much, but it does leave nice sheets on the glass during a swig.

S: Roasted coffee, grains, bitter dark chocolate, and solvent. Blegh.

T: Dark chocolate with roasted grains -- initially suggests this is going to be a fairly balanced stout. Then the grains fall out and you get a very strong, astringent chocolate bitterness that pulls into the end taste, where ethanol takes over with a gusto. In the finish it feels like I'm drinking pure solvent. What a trainwreck.

M: Medium to full bodied, velvety smooth on the tongue. Carbonation was picked just right for this one. Of course the ABV is really harsh (almost inexplicably so -- 9% is hard to manage?), so points off...

D: Please don't make me drink this again. So bad. (1,070 characters)

Photo of Overlord
2.27/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Finally had a chance to sample this.

Pours jet black with a luscious black head. Thick, clingy, and viscuous.

Smells like roasted malt and chocolate. Actually not that strong of an aroma, which was surprising. The taste is, again, roasted malt with chocolate (but, again, it's not THAT strongly flavored) with a hint of oatmeal. It's perhaps a decent beer, but a bit too acrid, and it's way, way, way too hot. In a distracting, choco mixed with ethanol sort of way.

**Age hasn't done as much for the beer as I thought it would. It's still got that astringent, hot choco-alcohol overload. Just ... not that good, unfortunately. (631 characters)

Photo of k3punk
2.64/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought from a no name liquor store in Ridgecrest, California. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a chilled tulip glass. Before I give my review I have to clarify that this is the second time I have tried this particular craft, the first time I bought it right from the brewery and it was great. This is a review of the second bottle, not nearly as good, please keep that in mind.

A - Black like motor oil. Barely any head, what is there is slightly brown in color. There is vitually no lacing. Looks like a good stout.

S - Coffee. Chocolate. A little bit chemical like.... ethonol or acetone. Very earthy. After it sat for a bit the chemical smell went away and everthing else settled down quite a bit.

T - This should just be called Bitter-Stout, I initially got no chocolate or oatmeal. Again with the coffee. After a few sips the chocolate starts to come through.

M/D - Overall a bit of a let down. Like I said, I remember this being much better the first time, so I may have gotten a bad bottle. But the review is for this bottle and this bottle was sub-par.

I would say, if you are a fan of stouts then try this for yourself, otherwise pass it up and get what you love. (1,179 characters)

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.69/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Black brew with an enormous, frothy, long-lived, dark brown head that leaves a thick ring of lacing.

S - Dark charred malt and cocoa. Plain yet potent.

T - Bitter upfront, charred malt, cocoa and some bitter grassy hops. Aftertaste is bitter char and chocolate.

M - Quite a viscous feel to this brew, although it has a harsh, acrid presence and shrivels the tongue. A little refreshing otherwise.

D - Alright. This is one of those beers that is obviously (and blatantly) too intense for the average individual. I think they went over the top and made a mediocre beer. I might have again if found on tap. It is enjoyable in a way, but a bit too intense in burnt flavor. (676 characters)

Photo of ajayma
2.76/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

LOOK. Black opal with a reddish tinged lacing. Head dissipates quickly into a red-tinged ring of lace.

AROMA. Damp wood chips. Dark chocolate and just a bit of alcohol.

BODY & TASE. Roasted coffee bitterness mixed with notes of bitter chocolate and tobacco jump out immediately. A slight woodiness is also noticeable upfront. Booze dominates the mid-palate while leading into an burnt-tasting finish--more like used coffee grounds than coffee. Full-bodied and quite dry.

AFTERMATH. I drank this one at about one-year old. Smooth and luscious, but too much booze and little else to balance it out. (599 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
2.78/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A. Poured at cellar temperature from a bomber into a pint glass. Dark brown syrup with a light brown head. No lace.

S. Alcohol, Oats, slight bakers chocolate, light expresso.

T. There is a small hop bitterness followed by a strong boozy note accented by chocolate. Its not very good actually. Way too young.

M. Leaves a strong bitter alcohal lingering taste, like after drinking liqour.

D. This is average drinking at best. It only scores points for giving me a buzz, which I did in fact desire after this disappointment.

Age the hell out of this one! (558 characters)

Photo of quasimoto
2.79/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I liked this beer, or will like this beer in a year. It had a nice balance of aromas. Chocolate, espresso, some piney wood aromas, and caramel malts. All of this was well balanced under a wide heavy wet wool blanket of alcohol. Solventy/ rubbing alcohol engrossed the above flavors in the mouth too on the finish. Overall a good winter beer. So buy and age this bad boy. (370 characters)

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
2.85/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a deep dark brown with no head at all. Little bubbles work their way to the surface and just pop. Reminds me of a tar pit for some reason.

Smells of coffee, dry cocoa and dry sour fruits. An astringent boozy sting creeps through a bit too that accents the dryness of the cocoa.

Tastes initially of cocoa, but a sour grainy sting comes through causing me to grimace. My mouth is left with a putrid grainy flavor that seems laced with baking chocolate and a medicinal boozy sting.

Feels exceptionally heavy and sticky that traps in the negativity.

This didn't get finished. What happened here? (612 characters)

Photo of FrognutUnl
2.86/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours pretty much like used motor oil with a scant chocolate brown head that dissipates rather quickly to a swirling film on top. Smells strongly of chocolate and roasted oats after warming to near room temperature. Tastes of alcohol and bitter-sweet chocolate are the main flavors with a good bit of woodiness to the finish. The mouth feel is wonderfully thick and creamy. Overall I found it to be a little harsher than expected. The alcohol was way too present and finish didn't really fit my expectations either. (515 characters)

Photo of Cresant
2.88/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a becker glass. The body was opaque and seriously black with a muddy frothy head. The head seemed to be ever generating and looked like a double dark chocolate milkshake.

The smell was nearly absent. Alcohol and peeper were the primary properties.

Taste was of roasted grain bitterness. Coffee. Raw cocoa. Lingering bright bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was silky smooth but not as viscous as I had anticipated. (452 characters)

Photo of julian
2.89/5  rDev -29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: pours jet black. no light getting through this one. minimal frothy chocolate brown head that disappears quickly. sticky brown lacing.

S: roasty and burnt notes prevalent, followed by hints of coffee, bitter chocolate. noticeable boozy aroma follows.

T: As the name implies, there is a very prevalent bitterness to this beer mixed with a warm alcoholic feel. As it warms there are more noticeable burnt and roasted tastes along with coffee flavors. It's hard to put my finger on it, but there's an unusual aftertaste that lingers. It's kind of clingy and phenolic, like the smell of wood varnish caught in your throat...that's the best way I can describe it. As the beer warms, more flavors are released.

M: bitter, and medium carbonation mixed with a warming alcoholic presence. I think the bitterness overwhelms most everything else.

D: relatively high ABV and pervasive bitterness make this hard to keep drinking. (922 characters)

Photo of Floydster
2.91/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 ounce bottle purchased for $6 at Hollymain Liquor in El Segundo, drank yesterday, reviewed from notes, poured into New Belgium snifter

A-Almost fully black, thin frothy head, some retention, nice lacing
S-Dark chocolate, mild hops, roasted malt, grains, butter, burned toffee, and faint coffee
T-Dark chocolate dominates everything, can barely taste the oatmeal even, lacks complexity, overwhelmingly rich, weird dry finish, aftertaste got repulsive after a while
M-Bitter and dry, full bodied, too much carbonation, very long lingering taste
D-Could not even drink ten ounces, made me so full, hot alcohol not hidden, high ABV

One of my least favorite Stone anniversary brews yet, just did not do it for me and very hard to get down, wish they would have kept up with the IPA trend but do not blame them with the current hop situation, would not drink again, still worth trying for yourself (896 characters)

Photo of tempest
2.94/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Split a bomber with a friend after dinner. Pour pitch black with a tan head.

I'm not feeling this beer. It reminds me of Hoppin' Frog's B.O.R.I.S., another big oatmeal stout I wasn't crazy about. At first the aroma smells like pure vodka, but eventually roasted grains come out. The flavor isn't much better for me as it tastes like a mess. I can tell there are black malt, chocolate, and oats, but the flavors tend to clash instead of working together. I should add that it's not like this beer tastes bad, it's just that for all that's going on, it could be better. I seem to be out of the norm here, but I'd still say this beer is worth a try for something different. (671 characters)

Photo of Crosling
2.99/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours very dark, nearly opaque and appear inky black in the glass. Light tan heads fades into a collar around the glass. Very light aromas of dark fruits, roast and chocolate. Lots of taste, but not the greatest balance. Very heavily roasty and burnt, some dark fruit notes, with a light hint of chocolate. Hops as well, especially towards the finish. A bit brash and overly bitter for my taste, but I suppose it has decent aging potential. Towards the end of the bottle, I was liking it less and less. (502 characters)

Photo of mentor
3.01/5  rDev -26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2008 bottling, aged ~18 months in my cellar. Pours a finger of dark brown head over a pitch liquid. Smell is mild overall. Bitter and dry cocoa powder. Clean alcohol and mild dark fruits. Anise is very low, as is a nutty and wet chocolate.

Tastes dry from carbonation, baker's chocolate powder, and edgy alcohol. Malt is chocolate and almond. Dark fruits of prune and raisin. Hops are grassy drying with a bit of blackberry flavor. Hard to tell about hop bitterness as the other drying and rough flavors are rather strong and could cover it up. Honestly, the alcohol is rather piercing and unpleasant. After a while it really dominates the experience.

Light in the mouth and too strong of carbonation. Not very drinkable. (723 characters)

Photo of BeerTruth
3.01/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bomber poured into a standard pint glass.

I love my oatmeal stouts, but imperializing the style seems to defeat the purpose. Let's see what Stone can do with this one.

Pours a complete midnight black with a full two finger dark brown head that reamains for quite some time. A thick layer of webbing is left on the sides covering just about everything. Smell consists of wet cardboard, charred wood, and smokey malts. Not much chocolate or oatmeal in the nose, hmmm. Taste starts off with bitter hops and cocoa powder with dry wood. Spent coffee grinds midway with a cough syrup burn and dark fruits. Where's the oatmeal? Aftertaste is dry and smokey and lasts much too long. Body is full and chewy with a subtle but stinging carbonation. Way too much going on with this beer, it seems to be all over the place. The burning alcohol and powerful bitterness really kill the drinkability. I'm hoping some age will smooth this out and bring about some sweetness, I guess we'll have to wait and see. Oatmeal stouts are supposed to be smooth and drinkable, not harsh and boozy. I'll pass... (1,093 characters)

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.02/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served cool from 22 oz silkscreened brown bottle into a snifter.

Pours almost jet black, with crystal clear dark brown at the edges, forms a nice meringue like 1/8" head of very fine dark tan bubbles.

Aroma is very subtle, meaty and boozy. Didn't pick up any chocolate note until it was warmed to room temperature.

Flavor is mostly dry cocoa, with burnt flavors, not much in the way of clean roastiness. Woody, lingering aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is slick and flat, notably low carbonation and low bitterness, and with a bit of alcohol burn.

Drinkability is really disappointing. This is the least enjoyable Stone beer I've ever tried. After two amazing beers for their 10th and 11th Anniversaries, this one is a big let down. Oatmeal stouts don't lend themselves well to being amped up, I think. (798 characters)

Photo of david18
3.03/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not crazy about this beer which i think is collateral damage from the hop shortage. I applaud breweries finding innovative ways to work around hops but what about just making beers that aren't as bitter. Using other bittering agents just doesn't work. I like the chocolate smell but that's about it. (299 characters)

Photo of bruachan
3.06/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

well...it's dark. and so is the head above it.

and well...it smells bitter and chocolate. smoky, almost grilled,

bitter malts and smoky flavor. the brew itself is fairly smooth but malt and hop bitterness offer a bit of texture. truth is, i'm not sure how flavorful this beer is

boozy and hot, with plenty of roasting astringency. i must say sufficient sweetness establishes some balance though i can't decide if it's adequate. truth be told the bitterness is on the precipice of too robust and i'm not sure it can be warranted simply because it says so on the bottle (cyanide oatmeal stout would be accurate advertising but would most likely not score well). (664 characters)

Photo of charlzm
3.14/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

UPDATE: 2010/01/06

Haven't had any of this in over 15 months. Let's see how it's doing...

Pours thickly at 50 degrees F into the trusty Triple Petrus tulip/snifter. One finger head of very deep tan bubbles settles down to a thin sheet of lacing in a couple of minutes.

Aroma is rich, slightly musty baking chocolate.

Mouthfeel is slightly thick but not syrupy by any means. Creamy.

Flavor is slightly sour and slightly metallic on first blush. Chocolate is mellow and subtle and there's a hint of Kahlua-like burn at the end. Hops are not evident.

As the beer warms, something is off in the flavor and aroma and I can't quite put my finger on it. Perhaps it's a touch of solvent creeping in, especially in the nose. Alcohol content is very noticeable as temp increases.

Didn't age as well as I had hoped, though I don't know how this beer was cellared - I found it on the shelf at a beer store for $14.99 in late 2009.

___

UPDATE: 09/26/08

Beer is drinking much better now; flavor is smoother, more chocolate and alcohol burn is greatly diminished.

___

Consumed 07/28/08.

Pours an opaque brown so deep it might as well be black. A good sized dark tan head develops, subsiding to a sticky foam that coats the sides of the glass quite nicely, thank you.

Aromas are oatmeal and alcohol with some chocolate notes.

Texture as the beer enters the mouth is smooth, baby, smooth. Velvety, even.

Flavor is hot, with brash young alcohol pushing to the fore. Chocolate is evident, though not as strong as expected. Dark malts on the verge of burnt and whatever hops Stone added, provide an experience much like drinking a dark, bitter, high-quality chocolate beershake.

This having been said, the beer will almost certainly benefit from aging. Oddly, the draft version of this beer is far superior at this point.

APP - 4.5
SMELL - 4
TASTE - 4
MOUTH - 4.5
DRINK - 4 (1,871 characters)

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.14/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into tulip

opaque black. brown head fades to wisps and thin ring. minimal lacing.

VERY weak nose. forceful inhales will give only a hint of coffee or chocolate. almost came to room temperature, and still very little.

relatively standard, almost bland, stout flavors. hint of roasted and charred malts, trace of coffee and cocoa. some sweetness with alcoholic backend. mild bitterness that really isn't reminiscent of chocolate.

thick, almost syrupy. gentle carbonation.

certainly drinkable, but very unimpressive, especially coming out of one of my favorite breweries. might get a bottle to age, since it's not that expensive, but only out of "loyalty" to stone. and even then, probably not... seriously, what happened here?! (737 characters)

Photo of jdaelhousen
3.15/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pitch black colored body, small amount of head that disapates quickly, however the brown colored head just looks like chocolate milk suds.

Aroma contains strong hints of cocoa combined with roasted espresso, oats and a hop bitterness of earth & pine. Alcohol percentage is also very noticeable from the initial smells.

Taste contains an up front mark of roasted espresso/coffee notes and chocolate. The high ABV is immediately noticeable and produces a very smokey flavor at the center. At that point, the flavor of hop kicks in to give off a counter kick of bitterness.

Aftertaste leaves a roasty, malty, coffee and chocolate flavor on the palate, as the alcohol warms the back of the throat. The bitterness is too much however, and does not blend well whatsoever with the sweetness of the chocolate.

Overall, a disappointment after quality anniversary ales the last couple of years. (889 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.15/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into my Hommel snifter, the Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout is a pitch brownish black with a large cocoa colored head that is pretty quick to settle to but leaves decent foamy lace.

Smell is dusty chocolate and nougat, a bit like a Three Musketeers bar. As it warms, the rubbing alcohol aroma is so strong that it literally singes my nostrils if I bury them to deep in the snifter!

Taste is sweeter then I was expecting, caramel and chocolate, with lots of alcohol on the very bitter, lingering finish.

Mouthfeel is very silky, thank you oatmeal, with a heavier body that is thinned by the booze. The best part of this brew by far.

Drinkability is ok, this is an intense beer that is made for slow sipping. The astringency of the bitter chocolate (think baker's, not candy bar) is pretty harsh and quickly tires the palate. Not sure how the flavors will round out with time, but right now it's really boozy. I assume the bitterness from the chocolate will only amplify. I'll probably buy 2 more to see, but that's it! (1,037 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.19/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Motor oil black with no accents at the edges... not even with bright sunshine behind the glass. An outstanding looking cap of coffee-with-cream colored foam sits atop the beer. The foam looks milkshake creamy and is beginning to leave tattered sheets of lace that look great as well. Easy call.

For a double stout to which 'artisanal chocolate' has been added, the nose is disappointing. There's almost no chocolatiness and there isn't much roastiness either. Since the idea was to brew a beer with few hops... ditto on that score too. BCOS does smell 'black' malty, and there's a bit of alcohol, but that's about it.

12th Anniversary Ale might have sounded good on paper. Too bad it doesn't work very well in liquid. I'm not sure why Stone didn't brew a big, sweetish, chocolate stout in the manner of Southern Tier Choklat. They might not have been able to top that legendary brew, but the result would almost certainly have been preferable to this. Dark chocolate works. Burnt chocolate doesn't.

The problem, I think, was in trying to replace hop bitterness with chocolate bitterness. It gives the beer a sharp, astringent, almost medicinal flavor, that isn't helped by too much unmasked alcohol. For whatever reason, the malts don't provide much flavor or complexity and whole thing sinks under its own weight. Too harsh? Maybe, but Stone set the bar high by virtue of the rest of their deliciously drinkable lineup.

The mouthfeel came through unscathed, as I knew it would. Brewers this talented don't suddenly forget how to design beer that is a joy to drink from a sensory standpoint, no matter what questionable decisions they make with respect to ingredients. Cliff Notes version: medium-full and velvety smooth.

Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout is not a beer for beginners and it isn't even a beer for connoisseurs (yes, in my humble opinion). It's too unforgiving and it isn't that easy to drink as a result. I'm confident that 13th Anniversary Ale (whatever it is) will get this train back on the tracks... where it belongs. (2,063 characters)

Photo of Doomcifer
3.21/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours an inky black, used motor oil, with a gigantic, dark caramel colored, frothy head. Tons of lacing left along the glass. Smells very roasty, very malty, some cocoa. Taste is more extreme roastiness, some rolled oats, dark unsweetened baking cocoa/chocolate which tends to be pretty bitter is highly distinguishable. Im noticing most of the bitterness coming from the raw chocoalte taste than any type of hops used. Very tasty but their is a certain off flavor in the finish. Kind of metallic, which makes the beer a lot less enjoyable. Mouthfeel is very heavy and oily, good carbonation, dry finish. One of these bombers is definitely enough for me. I would prefer a single 12oz'er actually. (696 characters)

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Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 698 ratings.