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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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855 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 855
Reviews: 699
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.46%
Wants: 85
Gots: 78 | FT: 5
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 855 | Reviews: 699 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kk73
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber poured into my glass. Thanks to iowahawk for this one.

A - Pours black and thick, very little little mocha colored head that almost disappears.

S - Smells mainly of dark chocolate and roasted malts. Also a little sweet and creamy from the oats.

T - Taste was right on for me. Not to sweet like other chocolate stouts Ive had. Taste of sweet yet slightly bitter chocolate up front, moving into roasted malts and coffee. The bitterness hangs around throughout.

M - Silky smooth and creamy. Just perfect.

D - Thought the alcohol when I had it was well hidden in the beer, well masked with very little hotness if any at all. Awesome beer and worth seeking out, just trying to fiqure out how I could get more bottles.

Photo of jeffmonarch
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 Pint 6 oz bottle in a pint glass.

A - One of the most beautiful pour i've ever seen. This is a rich dark black brown color with a dark tan head.

S - Rich bitter chocolate smell. Malt smells also.

T - Rich and creamy. It has an intense malty chocolate flavor with a hint of bitterness.

M - Full bodied with good carbonation.

D - Great beer, I think I'm in love!

Photo of BEERchitect
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at the Chase Taproom. This beer impresses even more from the tap. Creamier, better emphasis on the oat silkiness, and stronger chocolate flavors. Lightly carbonated like most English ales, the beer weighs a little heavier to the mouth, but fuller, rounder, richer and without the carbonic bite found in the bottle.

After reading all the hype about this beer, I couldn't wait to get my paws on a bomber. Finally, the beer arrives in Lexington and I had the pleasure to share it with family and friends. The very thick beer slowly flows into the glass with a velvety appearance and a marshmellow-y head formation that lasted til the last sip, adding a lot of lacing and legging on the glass. Aromas were subdued, but offered a rich milky, chocolate, coffee scent that balanced well, pure, and clean. Low esters, fruits, alcohols, and phenols to the nose makes the beer purely inviting. Flavors favor the chocolates giving a brownie-cocoa rich taste with complimentary notes of near espresso / nutty columbian notes. The oates (and I suspect light milk sugars) gives the beer the needed sweetness and full flavor that tempers the cocoa-coffee aggression. Again the fruits and spices are very moderate allowing the true choco-java-milkshake character to dominate. Even the bitterness of hops balance well with the coffee bitterness and sourness to offset the remarkable malt backbone. Finishes with a round chocolate flavor and coffee bitterness. This is one pheonominal beer and I suspect that 6-9 months of age will bring the flavors together even better.

Photo of gmcfarre
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into imperial pint glass

A - Pours a pitch black opaque nothingness with a nice 3/4 inch dark tan head that lasts nicely. Lacing is very nice.

S - Crisp and biting bitter chocolate dominates, but doesn't overpower. Sweet dextrous malt scent contributes to the chocolate flavor. A hint of spicy alcohol.

T - Starts with a chewy chocolate sweetness that quickly shows its bitter teeth. Oatmeal doesn't make this quite as smooth as I might have thought, but I'm sure it tempers the aggressive chocolate bitterness a little. A bit boozy at times. Very bitter and rich at the finish, with some residual sweetness hanging around the palate.

M - Full bodied with a rich, dominant mouthfeel. Smooth and oily with a very bitter (chocolate, not hops) finish.

D - The strong bitterness of the chocolate makes this very different and unique among chocolate stouts. Very interesting and certainly worth buying (several). Alcohol is a bit severe for a 9% beer, but its very forgivable. Flavor is interesting enough to facilitate finishing an entire bomber yourself.

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber.

A. This is one of the best anniversary ales I have tried by any brewery. It pours dark brown, almost black, with a thin tan crown. Carbonation is slight, as it should be.

S. The smell is of roasted oats, bittwersweet chocolate, and cream. Though faint, the ingredients of this beer are definitely present in the aroma.

T. The taste is coffee and chocolate right from the get-go, and is followed by a sweet toffee presence. It finishes clean with a slight bitterness reminiscent of quality espresso.

M. Full-bodied and rich with flavor, the beer begins big and finishes big. The flavors last for minutes after each sip.

D. Stone has done it again. This is a very unique beer and very easy to drink. One of the most enjoyable stouts I have tasted in some time. I just wish I had more of it.

Photo of opwog
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
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 Richardberg
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: poured from a bomber into a beer stein. Solid black liquid; medium head was nearly as black. Just what I want from a strong beer.

S: strong chocolate. not definably milk or dark; had sweetness and bitterness in equal degree. background of caramel malt and coffee.

T: big chocolate flavor. The bitter side of it definitely wins out here -- I'm not a hop-head by any stretch, often preferring sweeter beers, but the bitterness really won me over.

M: smooth and creamy. A lot of big stouts fail on this point; adding oatmeal to an otherwise chocolate/imperial brew was a master stroke.

D: little sign of the ABV. And even if I could detect it, I wouldn't care. More please.

Photo of dwalters
4.39/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours Black! Aroma is slight coffee, not much chocolate slight hop aroma, smokey. The head is light brown and creamy, mostly diminishing with a little lacing. The initial flavor is bitter chocolate lasting on the back of the tongue, a little alcohol burn in the stomach. The body is medium, the texture creamy. I loved the 11th anniversary and this is right up there, I have a few in the cellar but I'll be getting more of these to drink now.

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
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 jneiswender
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of bottle into a pint glass.

A--light brown head with a dark chocolate body

S-very light coco smell

T-suprisingly good. Very evident stout flavor, dry grain taste with a nice dark chocolate bitter finish.

m-silky, slick, full body

D--very representative of the the style. Its hard to make a beer like this that would satisfy both beer lovers and choco-holics. This is very well balanced. You know its a beer and not just some alcoholic chocolate milk you are drinking.

Photo of lightindarkness
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one in the fridge and wanted it to warm up. The sappy reflective narrative on the back is a perfect length to read while the beer warms in your hands, assuming you can read print that small.

Pours black and sticky, with a beautiful soft tan head. Clings nicely to the sides of my snifter.

The nose is everything I could have expected, with full roasted maltiness and oatmeal, deepened with rich dusty cocoa. Somewhat clean smelling, a nice balance for a deep dark black-hole of a beer.

Again, the taste is all that I could expect it to be. A very nicely crafted oatmeal stout, with a smooth full oatmeal flavor and toasty dark malts. Chocolate is not sweet at all, but also not anywhere near as offensive as purely unsweetened cocoa. It's well tempered with smooth creamy balance that seems to bring out nice chocolate flavor from within an otherwise true-to-form stout taste.

Smooth and creamy, with just a touch of dryness. Carbonation is filling, but not sharp or interfering.

Not one of the biggest or most outrageous beers I've had in a while, but I think I'm really appreciating the approach to this year's anniversary ale. Detail and balance seem to take precedent over intensity, and perhaps a lack of hops is a good thing. I'm finding it really easy to sip, and today is one of the hottest of the year so far; so here's to January dreaming in the middle of the Summer!

Photo of Buschyfor3
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into my Duvel tulip (Stone's website shows pictures of both the 12th Anniversary and the IRS in tulip glasses, so I thought this was the route to go).

A: Pour is fairly thick, somewhat sluggish and produces the deepest brown body with a thin, bubbly, dark khaki head. This beer is completely opaque to light and it looks like its leaving a thin film along the edge of the glass. Patches of khaki lacing cling to the side of the tulip. A thin head is restored with a couple swirls of the tulip.

S: Hints of dark baking chocolate, powdered cocoa, toasted oats and fresh coffee dominate. I also pick up some hoppy notes on the back end and a faint suggestion of a sugary, vanilla sweetness. However, the chocolate and the roasted aromas dominate as I expected.

T: A lot of roasted flavors hit the palate from the start - coffee beans, espresso, oats and an earthy, smoky flavor. But just as soon as these roasted flavors peak, they coolly mellow out as wave of bitter, dark chocolate, dark fruits (cherries, dates), brown sugar and vanilla begin their ascendancy. A tinge of hop bitterness appears in the finish and plays nicely with the lingering roasted coffee and bitter notes from the chocolate. Aftertaste is dominated by a smoother, sweeter milk chocolate note. Very pleasant in its complexity and in the blending and transition between flavors.

M: Fairly thick (like the pour suggests) with a bit of chewiness to the body. Minimal carbonation - just enough there to make its presence known on your tongue, but nothing to get in the way of this beer sliding down the throat, coating it with chocolately, oatmeal and coffee goodness.

D: 9.2% ABV according to the bottle, and I begin to notice a bit of alcohol burn at the end of each sip as this beer warms to room temp; otherwise a good part of the alcohol punch is masked by the huge roasted notes and bitter chocolate profile. Even then, this beer is still a sipper (much like the Espresso OAY) because the alcohol creeps up on you and this is a bigger, thicker and fairly sweet stout.

I am thoroughly impressed with the 12th Anniversary offering from Stone. In my opinion, this beer compares a lot with the Espresso OAY, both in aroma and flavor profiles, although the roasted coffee and oatmeal notes don't overpower the taste buds as much in this beer as they did in the EOAY. I'm glad I had the chance to try this limited release brew, and hopefully I'll be able to pick up another bottle before they're all gone so that I can cellar it and see how the flavors blend with some more age on them.

Note: I bought this beer two weeks ago from my local beer-liquor store, and the employee in the craft aisle informed me that the bottle I had in my hands came from a case which was opened just a week and a half prior to my purchase and was one of the last two cases this store had out of five; before then, the case had been stored in this store's dark, cool "dry room" where it had been since the distributor had delivered it a week after its official release date. Therefore, given that this beer was release July 7th, 2008, and knowing what I do from the distributor, I assume that this beer has effectively been cellared (since it was stored dark, cool and dry) for roughly 9 ½, almost 10 months.

Photo of corby112
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a 2 finger frothy chocolate/coffee-colored head that slowly settles into a lasting cap that leaves chunks of lacing behind.

Bitter dark chocolate aroma with lots of roasted/toasted malt notes, oatmeal, roasted coffee bean and candy sugar. There is a lot going on here and hopefully the flavor lives up to the aroma.

Deep roasted full body with lots of sweet bitter dark chocolate, roasted coffee bean, oatmeal, burnt toast and toffee. All of this dark roasty character is nicely balanced by the sweetness of the dark chocolate and a bit of candy sugar. There is also a slight dark fruit presence and a subtle nut character. Very well balanced with well masked alcohol make this complex beer pretty drinkable. Recommended!

Photo of STEG
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Last bottle from rattle n hum. Poured room temp into a small chalice looking glass. Looks as a stout should dark deep brown with a 1 finger tan head for a solid 30 seconds while the head dissipates to nothing. Smell is comprised of dark chocolate, plum, brown sugar and alcohol. Taste is much closer to the description oatmeal stout with a definite presence of unsweetened chocolate. Mouthfeel has some definite pluses silky, mild carbonation and a slight alcohol heat. Overall I would buy this again given the oppurtunity.

Photo of cvfish
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep black color that created a brown head that retained and laced the glass nicely

S - Burnt malts, coffee beans and chocolate

T - Burnt chocolate malts, ground coffee beans, dark chocolate, brown sugar, and warm oatmeal

M - Thick, creamy, full bodied, light carbonation

D - A great oatmeal stout, amazing offering from Stone, and a stable for the dark beer lovers

Photo of eRoc
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We just got a keg of this on tap where I work and man it is good. I haven't had many stouts but I think this will turn my taste. Strong alcohol and chocolate smell. Very smooth with a great after warming feel. Hints of cherry with the chocolate and a gritty cocoa aftertaste. Goes great with our beef brisket. :)

Photo of MarsMoose
4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this brew into my tulip glass (my favorite for trying new beers) but was somewhat sad to find it produced little head, even when poured not-so-gently. The beer itself was opaque and shined like black leather through my glass. The color of the head interested me: it was a chocolate brown. The smell was somewhat subtle, but the taste was far from it. Immediately I was hit with the characteristic Stone bitterness, but it was surprisingly quenched by the full body of the beer, which was itself subsequently replaced by a lingering, put pleasant, bitterness. I'll admit that the oatmeal didn't seem to come through for me, but the balance between the full body of a stout and the bitterness characteristic of this brew made this a spectacular beer.

Photo of sevopie
4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Black, with only the slightest hint of brown at the very very edges. Brown head.

Smell - Chocolate, alcohol, sugar, a touch of coffee, vanilla, and a bitter fruit of some sort.

Taste - Very roasty malts (on the edge of burnt) take the fore, with a good dose of chocolate. Alcohol makes its presence known without being overbearing. This has a bit of a sweet finish as well, with some caramel and nut flavors.

Mouthfeel - The burnt flavors are deceiving here, as they disguise the fact that this isn't as thick as you might expect. It also has a large amount of carbonation for an imperial stout.

Drinkability - The bitter and sweet meld rather well here, resulting in a pleasurable experience. The taste changes multiple times throughout the experience, revealing all kinds of complexity. If it was a little thicker and lighter carbonated, it would have been even easier to drink.

Photo of FliryVorru
4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

NOTE: This bottle was purchased in January 2009 and cellared until June 2010

Appearance - The beer pours jet black. Even during the pour there's very little light able to penetrate it. Very little carbonation and barely any head develops.

Smell - The smell is not smooth, but occasionally leaves me wanting more. Chocolate dominates the nose with hints of coffee, vanilla, and hazelnut.

Taste - Dark chocolate and espresso are ever present, but allow for a touch of clove and chai to emerge every once in a while

Mouthfeel - The beer has very low carbonation but the level it has is very appropriate and proportional. It almost seems to warm slower than other beers since the taste changes very little as the temperature rises.

Drinkability - I wish I hadn't cellared the 2nd bottle I bought for only 9 months! The beer is great when purchased and great after 9 months, but 18 months later it has blossomed into a complex and immensely drinkable beer.

Other comments
I'm so pleased with how this beer cellared. I'd rate this as one of my greatest successes in cellaring and my favorite Stone beer overall. I know some feel it has it's shortcomings in certain areas, but the beer isn't overpowering, drinks very easily, and only gets better with age. Well done Stone!

Serving type: bottle

Photo of Lepley
4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours thick black with dark brown head. I drank this beer outside in the mid-day sun and no light was able to penetrate it.

S: Its aroma is not very strong. Smelled of alcohol and slightly of chocolate.

T: Very complex taste. Alcohol, smokiness, deep chocolate with bitterness that lingered. It was very bitter but not hoppy. It was different. I've never had unsweetened chocolate, but the back of the bottle tells that this is what its bitterness comes from.

M: Heavy and thick.

D: This beer is delicious and an interesting style.

Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A new Stone offering to savor and appreciate, ahhh, Life is good! This bottle cam straight from Grover himself, thanks G. Pours dark mahogany/near black, dark tan head, initially quite solid then slowly fading to a ringed film and leaves better then average lace.
Nose is the expected chocolate, burnt malt and espresso grains. Full flavor brew (surprise) plenty of coffee grain, dark chocolate, dark grains, yum, stout lovers rejoice...try it mixed with some sort of cherry beer and go nuts...thanks Stone for putting more fine brew on the market and in my hands/belly

Photo of cjacobsen
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip snifter from a 22 oz bottle.

Thanks to sweenzander for sharing this one. Awesome.

It poured a opaque, black brew with a brown, chocolate head on it.

Smelled of heavy chocolate, some coffee and toffee notes.

The bitter chocolate hits way up front. Its quite flavorful with the chocolate that gives way to roasted malt and then a coffee aftertaste. It is as if you had a nice robust coffee and a dark chocolate bar all at the same time. It was very nice.

It was easy on the tongue. It aged well and had plenty to dance around in your mouth. Smooth but bold. It was filling and went down great.

This is a beer I would love to have on hand for quite some time. The couple years did magnificently to add to the blending of the flavors and it was just outright awesome. Yet another fantastic brew from my favorite brewery.

Photo of bum732
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a syrupy jet black. Very little head, chocolate color. Smells of wonderful chocolate, real chocolate, not the fake kind in some beers. Also smells sweet, hints of coffee, hops and alcohol. Tastes of chocolate up front, malty roastness throughout. Nice balanced bitterness towards the end where it finishes sweet. Not much carbonation, but great creamy mouthfeel.

A fantastic beer, my favorite "chocolate" beer. Has a real authentic chocolate taste different from other beers which i find have a hershey syrup taste. Great dessert beer and i can't wait to try this again.

Photo of mgbickel
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Generously brought to a recent tasting by noslenwerd. Poured a 3oz. taste into a Perfect Pint glass. A small but thick tan head formed on top of the dark brown/black body. The head receded down to a thin layer rather quickly, leaving little lace behind.

The nose has lots of roasted malts, freshly ground coffee beans, and cocoa up front. You can detect a nut, almost cookie like aroma in the background.

The flavor is similar to the nose, but with a lot more oomph! Starts off on the sweet side, but fades to the roasted characters toward the finish. Surprisingly complex and flavorful...

Medium bodied, creamy but oily at the finish; moderate carbonation.

This is a very drinkable beer. I had low expectations and this one exceeded them all. Try it if you can find it!

Photo of Onenote81
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Big thanks go out to enelson (Ed) for this awesome beer! Took care of one of my 'wants.'

22oz bottle consumed on 10/30/10. Reviewed from notes. Poured into a goblet-style glass. Pours a dirty, muddy deep brown/black with about a half-inch of dark mocha head. Some lace left behind. The nose is full of creamy chocolate, roasted malts, fresh coffee. Everything is still bold and pronounced. Great smell.

The mouth is perfectly silky and smooth. Decent amount of carbonation backing, even after 2 years. Excellent finish. The flavors meld well with notes of milk chocolate, coffee, and a bit of a vinous twang on the back end. The oatmeal really adds a smooth creamy dimension that fits this beer wonderfully. I'm glad I was able to try this. Great beer!

Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 855 ratings.