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

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Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal StoutStone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout

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853 Ratings
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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 Pencible
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Stone's 12th anniversary ale. This poured pitch black with a bit of dark tan head. It smelled like mild bitter chocolate, roasted malt, and alcohol. It tasted like very bitter chocolate with resinous pine hops, with a bit of earthy oatmeal malt, and had noticeable alcohol taste. It was thick with no carbonation, and had a strong bitter aftertaste with alcohol warming. Overall this was not as sweet or delicious as I hoped (similar to Young's). This still had a very bold, clean flavor that nice to sip, but also able to drink regularly. Solid but not spectacular.

Photo of Stonebreaker
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This pours a deep black, as others have described, with no light getting through. The head was weak though and was gone almost immediately.

Smell: The smell was delicious, sweet, chocolatey, but it weakened when the head disappeared.

Taste: The taste was very reminiscent of the rogue chocolate stout, but perhaps a little sweeter from the oatmeal. Bitter? yes the hops play their role but things seem to be well balanced, a solid stout, very tasty but not mind blowing. I paired this with a hot link with Sweet Baby Rays bbq sauce, what do you boys know about that. Southside Chicago!!! It was damn good.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and delish.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, only reason I wouldn't give this a five is the alcohol.

Photo of scottg
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a black color that turns dark brown in the light with a one finger tan head that dissipates quickly leaving spotty lacing. Alcohol, cherry, and dark chocolate aromas. Up front flavors of chocolate, cherry, and oatmeal with a mild lemony hop middle and a bitter dark chocolate finish. Full body, medium carbonation this is a mouth coating beer that sticks to your palate. Drinkability is great, the progression of chocolate flavors is excellent.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Solomon420 for sending this want extra my way :)

Pours a dark black color with a great sized dark tan head, fades slowly to leave some patchy lacing.

Smell is a good mix of chocolate and coffee, coffee being the more controlling aroma.

Taste is a rush of chocolate and coffee with a surprisingly strong dark fruit presence, viscosity is a bit thinner than I thought it would be, nice warming sensation which hints at the alcohol content but is still decently hidden.

Photo of LittleBreeze
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks bwyker.

This this a rather nice stout.
Poured into a tulip. Mocha colored two finger head. Aroma is sweet, a bit of roast and rich chocolate.
The complexity makes for an interesting sipper. Smooth. Sweet. A little dark/bitterness in the finish. Chocolate and coffee flavors enhance as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy.

Photo of david131
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Absolutely pitch black, with an orange head that settles to some splotches. This looks mean.

S- This has taken on quite a nice aged quality over the year it has sat. I get some dark fruits, dark chocolate, and a hint of cinnamon. The alcohol is somewhat apparent, but it is not distracting.

T- Same as the aroma with an emphasis on the chocolate. There is a definite alcohol edge to it, but it is only warming. I also pick up a distinct nuttiness that is different, but not bad. There is a bit of a coffee breath effect at the end.

M- Pretty thick for a beer from Stone and the alcohol makes this a tad numbing. This is a beast.

D- A tasty beer that has aged nicely and will likely do so for quite some time. It is a bit of a sipper, but every bit of it is enjoyable.

Photo of Chico1985
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another shared by cbutova. Reviewed on his front porch at 1 a.m. in the pitch blackness. My notes are chicken scratch.

Pours black with a nice brown head. Retained pretty well and left some lacing.

Great smell. Chocolate, dark fruit, hops and roasted malt. Quite aromatic.

Taste matched the smell. A great mixture of chocolate, espresso, raisins/figs, hops and roastiness. There is some booze present but it works as a highlight much like Stone IRS. Flavors are still pretty strong, very nice.

Mouthfeel has a great creaminess, well carbonated.

At 2 years old or so this is drinking great.

Photo of SteveO1231
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I picked up my 22 oz. bottle from Yankee Spirits a couple months ago and decided to pop it this weekend.

The bottle features the updated gargoyle logo, some hand-crafted type and royal blue borders screened right on the bottle. A long drown-out explanation of this years anniversary beer being a "bitter Chocolate" instead of a mega hop bomb due to the hop debacle.

The brew pours jet black with a foamy, dark tan head that fades pretty quick, not much lacing.

In the aroma department I get hints of licorice, espresso, and what else? Dark chocolate!

The brew is full-bodied with a creamy texture.

There is the faintest caramel sweetness up front, if you blink you'll miss it. A hint of licorice that fades as the beer warms. The beer tastes of pure unsweetened dark chocolate. Very faint roasted/espresso bean taste.

The brew finishes smooth, the bitterness digs into the palate and camps out exactly like dark chocolate does .

I really enjoyed this beer, it tastes exactly how is is described, Bitter Chocolate Stout!


Photo of m1ked
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler after a dusty round of disc golf across the way at Monteal Park. Sat outside and enjoyed a beautiful relaxing SD day.

A- Poured into my 11th anni pint glass. Pours a pitch black with dark brown edges. Fine sticky mocha colored head about an inch thick with sticky, sticky lacing. I love stouts, and I love this one.

S- I can only appreciate a couple things here. The sweetness of dark chocolate is undeniably on the nose. There is some woody smoky notes in there. A little alcohol in there too.

T- Dark chocolate and then some dark chocolate and then some more dark chocolate after that. Some woody coffee flavors. Ends with some alcohol notes.

M- Smooth creamy mingled with some alcohol heat. Light on the carbonation, moderate body.

D- Wow what a curveball from Stone. This is an excellant offering and so different. I could easily drink this whole growler. I love stouts and dark chocolate. I look forward to drinking more of this throughout the year.

Photo of engisch
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with little head that disappears rather quickly. Black beer with a chocolatey brown head (the little amount that is there) Smell of roasted grains with a hint of chocolate. Heavy flavor with the first sip. Bitter chocolate accurately describes the initial impression of the flavors. Mmm-Mmm... Bitter sweet chocolate in a heavy oatmeal stout form.

I'm enjoying this as a sit back and relax. I only wish it had more of a head to improve it's appearance, as after the initial head disipated it looks as if I'm drinking motor oil.

Good job Stone! Another delicious brew in the standard Stone's get-the-job-done-with-one 22oz bottle.

Photo of Gushue3
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours black as night and has a large head with almost nice lacing and smaller lacing. Looks very nice

S- sweet chocolate and malt. Smells nice

T- nice bitter chocolate that has a hop presence. Nice combo of flavors that drinks well.

M- feels lighter for a stout but a medium mouthfeel. Slight alcohol burn

O- awesome beer ive been looking for for a while.

Photo of IronCitySteve
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A pitch black dark color, no rays of light at all coming through. Appears really thick. Gives a decent size, 1 finger, brown foam head.

S: Lots of chocolate, dark fruits and with traces of alcohol. I let the beer warm up a bit, as it warmed, the smells became more potent, especially the alcohol. However, it was very well balanced.

T: Ok, so it is called a bitter chocolate oatmeal stout and that is exactly what you get. Lots of burnt and roasted malts. Very apparent due to the warming affect.

M: Creamy and smooth, leaves lots of chocolate flavors on the palate.

D: This was a great stout, one of the better ones out there. High ABV, which I love, makes this a great dessert beer, enjoyed in smaller quantities.

Photo of stawn
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick BLACK with a dark cocoa cap.
Smells of chocolate, alcohol and slight wood chips. Smooth warming alcohol with an aftertaste of dark chocolate. A small amount of bitterness lingers on the back of the tongue. The oatmeal comes through and gives a great thick silky mouthfeel. Alcohol isn't hidden in this, but its very balanced. Lacing sticks nicely down the glass. Tasty!

Photo of skee1080
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-dark oily brown to almost black; zero head retention (probably affected by the use of oats)
S-roasted malt character; coffee; dark chocolate; no hop aroma
T-they say bitter chocolate and you can definitely taste it! definite coffee and chocolate flavors, with emphasis on the bitter roastiness rather than the sweetness; little to no hop flavor, though hop bitterness is detectable
M-the oats provide a delectable body to this beer; the liquid feels thick and hearty in your mouth; mild carbonation
D-this was a very drinkable beer--i had a split a bomber with my brother while on vacation in vermont, and i was a little irate after i tasted it that i had to share half of it with him (i clearly took the bigger half--he's more of a wine guy). it was great winter beer to warm us up as we're expecting the temps to drop to 5 F tonight!

Photo of ToddT
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Black topped with a thin tan head, even a hard pour failed to produce much of a head. The head fades quickly to a ring but leaves some nice wispy lace on the glass.

S- Roasted malt, caramel, molasses, oak, and a hint of coffee and chocolate. As it warms the aroma becomes even more complex with a hint of hops making an appearance.

T- Sweet chocolate and roasted malt at first that soon turns to a semi-sweet bitter coffee/chocolate note. There is a hint of hops at the finish and more than enough complexity in the middle to make this a very interesting brew. A little warmth brings out some molasses and oak, as well as some heat from alcohol. The finish is bone dry and with a lingering note of coffee/bitter chocolate.

M- Feels a little thin for the style but not too thin to detract from the enjoyment of this one. A little bit more than medium with almost no carbonation. For all of the bold notes in it the palate is left pretty clean.

O- Great beer, three years in the cellar have only made this one more enjoyable. The heat of the alcohol, 9.2%ABV, has tamed down and even more complex and subtle characters have come out in it. If you can find it buy it.

Photo of guinness310
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into an oversized wine glass....

A: poured like liquid molases into my glass. A blacker than black opaque body supports a small yellowish-tan head with mild retention,(a sign that this might not be too carbonated)

S:a good swirl agitates the beer and releases a coffee dark caramel and chocolate nose. pretty true to its style.

T: Wow! the alcohol is truly evident in this drink. a black licorice like flavor sits on top of the tounge, while and the bitterness of the chocolate plays at the tip.(no pun intended). definitely "imperial" worthy. mild lacing. after the bitterness has gone, your left with a nice sweet after-taste from the oatmeal.

M: full bodied; a very silky feel(just as the pour). Very light carbonation. Sometimes can be a bit overwheming with the whole mouth taste of ethanol.

D: the strong ethanol alcohol may not give it much drikability in comparison with other imperial stouts, but this beer definitely lives up to its name and style...Beautiful!

Photo of opwog
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I first had a goblet from a bottle, followed by a goblet from tap.

I am not a fan of big chocolate, so I was nervous of what an extreme brewery like Stone could do with this. But I was very happy with the results.

Common to both bottle and tap:

Syrupy darkness

It is nice to see what Stone can do when hops are not the focus.


Dark head that diminished slowly.

Probably served too cold initially, but this had an unusually sweet smell like bazooka joe bubble gum. After it came down in temperature, chocolate became obvious


Almost no head at all, but carbonation in mouth was fine.

Very well balanced start to finish

Photo of rowew
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz bomber, nice looking silver and blue label. Date of July 2008, as well as cellaring instructions.

Appearance: Pours completely black, with a thick head that is the color of chocolate milk.

Smell: Coffee and bakers chocolate. Smells like a very strong dark chocolate covered espresso bean. As it warms there is just a bit of a roasted flavor too.

Taste: Silky mouthfeel, definitely has some of the same coffee and chocolate flavors here - but instead of dark it almost comes across as a milk chocolate flavor.

Overall impression: Very complex, highly drinkable. Hides the ABV dangerously well. If this were available year round I would definitely pick one up occasionally. Stone - if you are reading .. put it in six packs!

Photo of woemad
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big-ass 22oz bomber purchased about 6 weeks ago at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $6.98. According to the silk-screening on the bottle, this was bottled in July. Interesting notes on the bottle where it is claimed Stone was forced to create a low-hopped anniversary beer because of the hop shortage.

Poured a super black color into a UK-style pintglass. How much more black could it be, Nigel? "None more black." Not much of a head, initially, but we'll let it slide since the abv is relatively high. What thin head there was had a dark, mocha look to it. Agitating the glass managed to increase it a bit. Surprising amount of lace on the sides of the glass, given the aforementioned head's minisculity (Yes, I do believe I made this word up).

The nose is first and foremost made up of the scent of bitter, dark chocolate. I happen to dig dark chocolate, so this smelled like it was right up my alley. There's also a caramel-ish sweetness, but it's very restrained when compared with the dark chocolate notes.

For a beer that is low on hops and is essentially described by the brewery as a dark chocolate bomb (albeit with fairly primo dark chocolate), this is a fairly complex tasting beer. Initially, dark, bitter chocolate and sweet caramel hit the tastebud beachhead simultaneoously, but the dark, bitter aspects overwhelm the sweetness after that. There are also some notes that remind me of pipe tobacco flavor. Ass it warms up it gets a little boozy as well. There's a mild dryness at the swallow. Yummy!

Exactly the kind of mouthfeel I was expecting. This is a fairly full-bodied beer with a very coating, thick mouthfeel.

After a hectic and truly bizarre day at work, on a day I wasn't supposed to work at all, this is really hitting the spot. I would buy this again in a heartbeat, but next time I do, I'll wait until after dinner to drink it. Not only would this make a great dessert beer, but it'd also be much easier to make dinner! Stone can feel free to conserve hops and crank this Mutha out anytime.

Photo of HopDerek
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, lightless black with 2 fingers of tight and creamy foamy mocha head. Good retention leaves a good ring of lacing and an oily residue. Smells of chocolate syrup, roasted malt, raisins, alcohol, smoke, and some light coffee with a hint of pine as it warms. Tastes of baking chocolate up front with some caramel and a nice dose of roasted malt. Rum and raisins follow as well as some oat and bread. Finishes with a nice bitterness of coffee and pine. Medium full in body with low carbonation. Smooth and chocolaty with a nice bitterness. Great flavor with a nice feel. More of a dessert beer, but definitely enjoyable.

Photo of Goldfish19
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

~ Purchased this 22 oz bomber from New Beer Distributors in Manhattan, NY. This stout pours black with a dark tan head that vanishes into oblivion. It smells of bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and a touch of alcohol. The taste is amazing! It's smooth, silky, and highly drinkable. At 9.2% ABV, this went down effortlessly.

A must try. Highly recommended! ~

Photo of 1759Girl
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A> Black as night. Far too dark to gauge the liveliness... The head was cafe latte colored with big bubbles, and it seemed to shimmer with gold flecks. Good lacing, also.
S>BIG BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE nose, slightly smoky, and slightly alcoholic.
T>Bitter start, full drystout middle, then an interesting transition from bitter to chocolate and back to a bitter&smoky hang. Gotta give it to Stone for being such stars at Complexity.
M> Thick silk, Gorgeous. I remarked on this to a friend before I even started to pay attention to the tasting.
D> I couldn't drink too much of it, but the pint I poured was lovely. It's a darn good beer.

Photo of Kegatron
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a dense black (that doesn't look unlike motor oil) with a finger of charred looking burnt mocha colored head. This fizzles down to just the thinnest ring with some thin wisps across the center that leaves behind a small smattering of lace and brown oily residues down the sides of the glass. The aroma is thick with dark bittersweet chocolate and dry oatmeal notes that are followed by some prominent coffee and dark roasted quality. There is also a stiff waft of heat that flows in and out of the other aromas.

The taste is more bittersweet chocolate and burnt toast character that is balanced out by some softer malty notes of caramel and maybe even a bit of dark fruits. There is also a nice smoky aspect that appears to rear its head once in a while as well as dry oatmeal notes that hangs on the palette with some lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a thick and chewy (even almost viscous as it warms) feel at times but still moves effortlessly across the palette thanks to that oatmeal character. Some heat is definitely present but thanks to the big flavors and overall smooth body of this, it never becomes distracting.

A new beer from Stone that tastes like a burnt chocolate chip cookie and drinks like a champ? Sign me up for more please! I can't wait to see what a little age on this will do, as it really does feel like it will smooth out even more over time.

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber- finished in a sitting, quite easily actually. What a pleasure this one was.

A- Extremely dark squid ink black. Deep brown tan head, some lacing.

S- Smell was of roasted oatmeal and sweet vanilla ice cream. Some hop and alcohol in there as well.

T- Dark chocolate, sweet chocolate, white chocolate, hops, toasted and roasted oats, cream, fruits, all in one. This bad boy was quite sweet but insanely bitter on the back end. Surprised by the complexity on this one and definitely sweeter than expected.

M- Thick rich and creamy. Sticky all over the lips and coating my throat.

D- Insanely drinkable for 9.2%. Enjoyed this one after dinner and actually wanted another bottle.

Pick this one up if you ever see it. GREATTT beer. I loved it.

Photo of elricorico
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From notes: Happened upon a bottle during a Vegas trip and couldn't resist.

Thick and dark, appears black in the glass and nearly black while flowing from the bottle. Thin mocha coloured head faded to a ring.

As advertised, it smells of bitter chocolate. Roasted malt and a liquor heat. Roasted coffee beans. The usual suspects for a big stout.

Tastes of creamy coffee and semi-sweet chocolate right up front. Smoothly moves on to roasted flavour that remains slightly sweet. Alcohol heat at the end isn't over-powering. Slight bitterness lingers. Altogether smooth flavoured and pleasant.

Creamy mouthfeel, full bodied, just enough carbonation to be notable. Doesn't get much better than this in the mouthfeel department.

I like my big stouts to be a little sweeter, and despite having "bitter" in the name, this on fits the bill. It reminds me of Expedition quite a bit. I'm glad I checked this out.

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