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

Not Rated.
Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal StoutStone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

851 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 851
Reviews: 699
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 81
Gots: 77 | FT: 3
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: 851 | Reviews: 699 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A great stout, thanks Radek Kliber. Good black opaque looks and lacey. Good aroma, a little ourness and hops. Rich, there is Balance in the taste, a sipper, a good bitterness.Cocoa integrated with dark malts Lightly roasted malts.An appex of fruitiness.Second bottle, 7 months later, bitter but good good chocolate taste.

Sammy, Aug 15, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -2.9%

t0rin0, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

July 2008 vintage. Almost 3 years old at this point.

Pours a pitch black color with a 1 inch dark khaki head that fades to nothing. Random tiny spots of lacing dot the glass here and there on the drink down. Smells of bittersweet chocolate, toasted oats, and dark roasted malts. There is a hint of soy sauce in the smell. Taste is of some smoky malt, toasted oats, with a dark cocoa powder finish. There is a bit of fruitiness that comes out as the beer warms. Very little bitterness on the palate after each sip. There is a good level of carbonation which makes for a medium bodied and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer after approximately 3 years but I bet it was better when it first came out. I am glad I found a bottle to try but I wouldn't get another one at this point.

UCLABrewN84, May 28, 2011
Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -27.2%

djrn2, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -2.9%

zestar, Jul 19, 2014
Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

spycow, May 02, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Thorpe429, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -15%

acurtis, May 05, 2012
Photo of nmann08
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

nmann08, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of brentk56
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with a rocky mocha head; a fair amount of lace, too

Smell: Bitter chocolate and lots of roasted malt

Taste: Opens with a black bread and chocolate flavor that gets increasingly fruity and bitter by mid-palate; after the swallow, the bitter hops kick it up a notch and provide a lingering, burnt charcoal finish

Mouthfeel: Full body with creamy oatmeal character; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: The flavor profile is interesting but a bit of a battle on the palate

brentk56, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.18/5  rDev -22.8%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 27, 2009
Photo of BEERchitect
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12/16/08
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.

7/22/08
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.

BEERchitect, Jul 22, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a dark brown color head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma is totally dominated by some bitter chocolate note (not at all surprising when you consider the label) with not much discernable hops. Taste is also dominated by bitter roasted malt with some distinctive chocolate notes. I was expecting more hops considering the brewer reputation but this one is really dominated by chocolate. Full body with a creamy texture and good carbonation and also nom discernable alcohol were noted. I think I preferred the Southern Tier Choklat a bit more then this one but this is still a winner.

Phyl21ca, Oct 03, 2008
Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

GRG1313, Sep 06, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had the pleasure of getting to try this one on tap at Barleys the other day. I didnt make it to the release, but was thrilled when I saw it was still around the next day. Served in a Duvel glass straight from the tap, this one was consumed on 09/19/2008.

The pour was straight up friggin nice. Rich dark brown, competlely opaque. There was a gorgeous looking head on top, maybe two and a half inches in height that just literally would not fade away. Huge sticky and gooey side glass lace just would not quit and really gave this one of the better looking stouts I have seen recently.

The aroma was just as I would have expected. Lots of chocolate here, tons of it, with a good amount of bitter hoppiness coming through as well. Some notes of a bourbon like alcohol and a bit of a sweet molasses touch to it as well. Really very well done. The flavor almost made me fall out of my seat, as it was just that damn good. Intense notes of sweet chocolate folded over themselves and dived into a rich molasses filled bourbon like alcohol. Super sweet in the front before turning intenesly bitter and hoppy on the finish. I had the mouth dry out soo bad when i was done I almost reached for some water. This was almost remiscent of Darkness in the hoppiness of the finish. Super creamy and smooth, this was definitly a full bodied stout with an excellent amount of carbonation that gave it a velvet like smoothness. I could not believe the alcohol was as high as it was, as I was just sipping away on this one with no regard, really well masked and very welll hidden.

Overall I was very, very impressed with this one. One of the best chocolate stouts i have ever had, nevermind for an anniversary ale. They really hit a homerun with this one and I would love to try it again.

mikesgroove, Sep 21, 2008
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev -2.9%

jaydoc, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of womencantsail
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been drinking these for the past year, but I finally decided to review it...

A: Pours black as night with great viscosity. A nice tan head about a finger and a half tall.

S: Smells like...dark chocolate (crazy, I know). The roasted malt really comes through on this as well as the booze (especially as it comes up to temperature).

T: I find this to be really boozy at first, but with each sip, it calms down and the other flavors come out. When I say other flavors I mean the roasted malt, the bitter taste that I perceive to be the chocolate, and some sweetness from the oatmeal.

M: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation which lends the beer a wonderful creamy smoothness.

D: This is still a bit "hot", but keeps on getting better. I'm glad I have several more to hold on to.

womencantsail, Jul 16, 2009
Photo of Knapp85
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Damn good brew, The color of this one pours out as a thick black oil like goop. The head slowly lifts to the top of the glass where it forms a dark brown thick foamy head. The smell of the beer had a lot of the dark chocolate aromas along with plenty of roasted malts. The taste of the beer was dry, rich, and chocolaty. There was a good bitterness in there too, could be the dark chocolate or the hops, not really sure. The mouthfeel of this beer was great, super thick and coats the mouth really well. Overall a stunning brew and very glad I got to try it.

Knapp85, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an inky black body with a tall, though collapsing, dark tan head.

Smell: Malty aroma smelling of freshly pulled espresso and dark chocolate sauce, with accompanying notes of prune skins, soot, and rubbing alcohol.

Taste: Thick, luscious maltiness with a sharp taste of espresso and burnt cocoa nibs. Light trace of fruitiness midway. Coarse, roasty tar component, maybe a touch of creosote. Very minor yeastiness. A bit hot on the roasty, creme da cacao finish.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Medium carbonation. Rather chewy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Paired well enough with the movie "Ben-Hur". An epic brew for an epic film. A little harsh and rough around the edges at this present stage, but hopefully some time spent mellowing in the cellar will do wonders for it.

ChainGangGuy, Aug 29, 2008
Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

JAHMUR, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of largadeer
3.33/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a ridiculously dark black; even the pour is black and opaque. Possibly the darkest beer I've ever seen. Not much carbonation here, and the head suffers a bit for it, receding to a ring quickly and leaving no lace.

Smell: Loaded with dark chocolate goodness, molasses, charred grains and a hint of dark fruit.

Taste & mouthfeel: Dark chocolate, like a 100% cacao chocolate bar; as the name implies, there isn't much sweetness here. Instead, it's all about the charred grain, cacao and burnt whole grain bread. The body is medium-full, not quite as full as I was hoping for an imperial oatmeal stout however. There's some heat in the finish, more than I was expecting from a beer of 9%, along with a slightly acrid bitterness. Hopefully this mellows in time, because with a bit more smoothness this would be a great beer.

largadeer, Aug 23, 2008
Photo of TMoney2591
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Thanks to the Central PA group of the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

Loved this stuff following my last days at Purdue, so I was excited to have another shot at it in this BIF. It pours a straight onyx topped by a finger of relatively short-lived brown foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, chocolate, molasses, vanilla, and blackened pretzels. The taste brings in more of the same, with more roasted malts and chocolate thrown in, along with a bit of coffee. The body is a stolid medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a fairly chewy feel. Overall, this stuff hasn't gone downhill at all yet. Still as tasty and enjoyable as I remember it being (for once my nostalgic memory didn't let me down).

TMoney2591, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -2.9%

SocalKicks, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 version.

This beer pours a dense black, with a thin meniscus of soapy beige head, which leaves no lace in its wake. It smells of light roasted malt, licorice, dry chocolate, and a boozy edginess. The taste is caramel malt, more dry powdery chocolate and licorice, bitter toffee, treacle, mild pine hops, and an overarching alcohol warmth. The carbonation is fairly soft, the body smooth, silky, and full, and it finishes sweet, the grainy oatmeal predominating, but the drying of the hops and booze can be detected after a short time.

A tasty, smooth concoction.

biboergosum, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

How odd that I'm tasting a 12th Anniversary beer and the "8" Vertical Epic just a week or so before I take my first trip to San Diego...

The S.12.A.B.C.O.S. pours a pitch black body beneath a finger-thick head of brown froth. Well, it's not actually brown, but it's close. It's kind of the color of wet sand right after a wave has receeded. Let's just say 'very dark tan'. Head retention and lacing, however, could be better even given a 9.2% abv.

The nose is sweeter than might be expected given the color, but I guess that's the oatmeal at work (along with lots of malt). And the chocolate. It definitely has a cocoa note, and then some soft caramel. It's even sweetly bready - and the dark, very acidic coffee notes that the black body suggested to me are nowhere to be found. It is roasty, but it's a very soft roastiness. Supple. Surprisingly pleasant. And that carries over into the flavor...

... this dark beer is actually more of a teddy bear than a giant with sharp gnashing teeth. Oh - don't forget the strength, it's there for sure, but the alcohol never really shows itself, and the rich but somehow lower-key malts leave it remarkably smooth. I find distinct notes of caramel malt, a hint of cocoa, and and almost honey-glazed grainy/bready character. It's rich but it doesn't really appear rich. Or maybe I mean that it's not as 'hit you over the head' rich as you might expect. It's very drinkable.

The chocolate makes it's presence known mainly in the finish, followed by a bit of raspy bitterness, not surprisingly unlike bittersweet chocolate! Very well done! There's also a bit of hops that appear just after first sip, and carry through, making their biggest hit in the end. A touch of swirling dark licorice then appears and lingers for seemingly forever.

As for the mouthfeel, well a silky mouthfeel is commonly attributed to the use of oats, and it certainly has a silky mouthfeel. Medium-full bodied and SMOOTH.

Overall, I found it to be surprisingly drinkable despite its strenght, with a balance of softly sweet flavors and smoothness. Certainly worth checking out!

NeroFiddled, Aug 26, 2008
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Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 851 ratings.