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

853 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 853
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: 853 | Reviews: 699 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Arbitrator
1.23/5  rDev -70.1%
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.

Photo of Overlord
2.23/5  rDev -45.9%
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.

Photo of BDeibs
2.5/5  rDev -39.3%

Photo of k3punk
2.63/5  rDev -36.2%
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.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.68/5  rDev -35%
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.

Photo of Stinkypuss
2.7/5  rDev -34.5%
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!

Photo of ajayma
2.73/5  rDev -33.7%
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.

Photo of quasimoto
2.78/5  rDev -32.5%
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.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
2.8/5  rDev -32%
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?

Photo of FrognutUnl
2.83/5  rDev -31.3%
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.

Photo of Floydster
2.85/5  rDev -30.8%
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

Photo of julian
2.85/5  rDev -30.8%
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.

Photo of Cresant
2.9/5  rDev -29.6%
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.

Photo of tempest
2.95/5  rDev -28.4%
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.

Photo of mentor
2.98/5  rDev -27.7%
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.

Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of Crosling
3/5  rDev -27.2%
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.

Photo of BeerTruth
3/5  rDev -27.2%
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...

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of david18
3.03/5  rDev -26.5%
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.

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.03/5  rDev -26.5%
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.

Photo of bruachan
3.05/5  rDev -26%
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).

Photo of jdaelhousen
3.1/5  rDev -24.8%
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.

Photo of charlzm
3.13/5  rDev -24%
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

Photo of malty
3.13/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This one's (bomber) been in the cellar for at least 6 months.

Pours pretty thick and black as night. A loose 2" head quickly dissipates to a mere 1/4". The still dark khaki head looks very ominous. Not much lacing to speak of.

Smells very similar to a Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout - which is a very good thing. Sweet oat malts and a big blossoming aroma of freshly shaved 70% chocolate (cocoa). A few swirls of my Whitbread Extra Stout stemmed tulip chalice (LOVE this glass) evoke an even deeper yet softer dimension of the chocolaty goodness.

Man, the label tells the truth...'Bitter' is the initial flavor when tied to the generous dark chocolate notes that really engulf the entire pallet at first. There is a strong hit of fusel alcohol right out of the gate as well. I'm trying to get more flavor components out of this beer, but the rigid fusel alcohol is all up in my grill. I'm trying to detect more redeeming qualities from the flavor, aside from the generous and heavy bitter dark chocolate, but I really cannot. I'm getting a little iodine/salty flavor way at the back.

Mouthfeel is great. Fine gentle carbonation is well placed making the soft oatmeal body glide. Just a tad shy of heavy bodied for me.

Drinkability for me is really low, due to the fusel alcohol. Just can't shake this.

Overall a great execution of using chocolate as a main ingredient in a big beer. I sure hope this bottle isn't infected as the carbonation is fine and there were no signs of funk around the cap, etc... It's a shame I don't have someone here to share this bomber as I'm going to move on to something else quickly. The first less-than-great beer I've had from Stone to date. I feel sad this beer didn't keep the excellent Stone streak alive. Glad I tried it though.

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Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 853 ratings.