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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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

698 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
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 alexgash
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle.

Inky dark, used oil brown body. Thick. Solid finger of dense, creamy, chocolate-milk brown head. Nose of dark chocolate (as advertised), with some bitter notes. Roasted mocha coffee mixes with chocolate syrup. Very nice, very chocolaty.

Starts off with charred, roasted bitterness. Thick, creamy, velvety, oaty-smooth mouthfeel leads to semi-sweet chocolate, raisins, and more charred roasted bitterness. Gets a little more fruity and alcoholic toward the finish. A tad hot. Dark chocolate syrup and roasted bitterness in the finish proper. Lives up to its name, but a little too hot. (602 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 7/22/08. Bottle. Pours black with a small dark tan head that dissipates quickly. Aroma of bitter hops. lots of bitter chocolate, vanilla, and rich roasted malt. Flavor is rather bitter! (as advertised). Sweet, rich oatmeal malt, alcohol, slight slight bitter chocolate. I was really excited about this beer but it proved to be a disappointment. Much too heavy and alcoholic for my liking. This needs a bit of age I think. Not as much chocolate as I'd prefer and the sweetness/alcohol richness does obliterate some of the other flavors. Fun to try, but I don't think I'll purchase again (unless it's aged perhaps).
7/4/8/3/14 (3.6/5) (644 characters)

Photo of RedDiamond
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Four days after their Big Wood festival, Stone's 12th Anniversary Oatmeal Stout was still available at Brouwer's Cafe. I sat down to a regal but overpriced 8-oz. draught served in a snifter. The beer was ebony black with an exceptionally dark rim of dirt-brown suds. The aroma and taste were a rich and complex array of chocolate and bourbon with a particularly strong bourbon flavor. The chocolate qualities seemed exotic - not your Hershey's drugstore variety - and lent an air of refinement.

I sensed some heat from the alcohol that was underscored by the edgier bourbon notes. Though this ale is already a year old, I'd still be inclined to cellar it further. Not that it isn't ready for consumption now. The mouthfeel is big and glossy and the beer is a pleasure to consume. But it's still a bit boozy. And while it made me think of The Abyss, it falls far short of that benchmark. (889 characters)

Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The manger at the store where I purchased this assured me that it was cellaring well. It would be interesting to know what this was like fresh, as the chocolate had a muted character. The chocolate note married well with the oatmeal (I'm surprised more brewers don't take on this combination). Moderate bittering ran behind, and this, too, was pleasantly mellowed. (364 characters)

Photo of Florida9
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black. Flat dark black, with a minimal dark tan head that barely forms a ring around the edges. No lacing.

S: Aroma is mostly baking chocolate and cocoa. Some vanilla and a little alcohol in the background.

T: More baking chocolate with an appreciable bitterness. Lots of dark chocolate and a light sweetness. Roasted malts in the background.

M: Full bodied with lower carbonation.

O: A nice beer. Lots of chocolate flavor, but not much else. (453 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a tulip glass.

L - black color with a thick creamy light brown head that thinned to a layer, leaving globs of lacing.

S - bittersweet chocolate, espresso coffee aroma.

T - bitter chocolate taste upfront is met with slight alcohol taste before finishing dry and bitter.

F - medium/full bodied with a smooth, creamy feel.

D - smooth, easy drinking brew.

Final Note: Happy 12th Anniversary Stone! (421 characters)

Photo of prototypic
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Wow! Great looking beer here. It's nearly jet black in color. No light getting through. The head is extremely impressive. It's a very dark, mocha colored beauty. It stands about two fingers tall. Retention was on the average side and lacing was light. Very impressive all around.

Smell: Roasted malts are easily the dominant characteristic here. It's very rich smelling. There is a chocolate aroma there, but it's somewhat subdued. The roasted malts simply overpower it. It is a little grainy. Alcohol is readily apparent. It opens up a little as it warms, but the roasted character of the beer just seems to get stronger. It's a nice smelling beer, but not exactly diverse or complex.

Taste: Again, the roasted malts dominate the flavor profile. It's a nice flavor, but very strong in terms of overshadowing other elements. No doubt it is bitter. The chocolate flavor is flavorful without the usual sweetness. The bitter flavor lingers throughout. There's a bit of a fruity flavor that emerges as it warms. Tastes mostly like raisin. But, it's clearly a secondary flavor that plays its complementary role nicely. Alcohol is only faintly noticeable although the nose suggested otherwise. It finishes a little acidic and bitter.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: One of this beer's strongest points is the feel. It's medium bodied and extremely smooth and creamy. Stone nailed that aspect. Carbonation is low, but well done. Drinkability is good. Clearly it's not a session beer, but it's going down smooth and easy. At 9.2% abv, I'd probably limit myself to a bomber in one sitting.

Stone released a very nice and intriguing beer with this one. Personally, I think it could be improved by dialing down the roasted malt and bitter flavors and adding a little more sweetness. In most other respects, it's a very solid and impressive beer with quite a bit of character.

I continue to be impressed with Stone's trailblazing attitude in crafting beer. They take their hits (the hop shortage) and keep rolling with something different and unique. That's probably why they'll continue to be one of my favorites for years to come. (2,131 characters)

Photo of argock
3.46/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear glass snifter. July 2008 vintage date. Single purchased at Market Street Wine Shop (Charlottesville, VA) for $6.99.

A: Pitch black with 1-2 finger beige head with good retention and scattered lacing.

S: Unfortunately, the nose is not complex and basically bitter cocoa powder with some slighltys weet toasted dark malts.

T: Bitter dark chocolate dominates with a substantial dark malt contribution. There isn't a lot more here, but it is bold and pretty intense.

M: Medium-full body with low carbonation and bitter chocolate aftertaste.

D: A sweeter chocolate stout would have been more enjoyable but this is high-quality Stone brewing nonetheless. (696 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 Dope
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

July 2008 bottling date. Approaching six years old.

A: Pours pitch, pitch black. Very large and dense medium brown head. Head fade slowly with great retention. Decent lacing still.

S: Aroma is quite mellow. Baker's chocolate. Grainy oatmeal. Light dark fruit, might be a hint of sherry-like oxidation.

T: Super smooth bittersweet chocolate. Lots of grainy oatmeal in the middle and in the finish. Oatmeal really calms down the bitterness I think. Some mild fruitiness that might be the start of oxidation in the aftertaste but it's not bad at all. No sign of alcohol but it does warm the belly. Lingering light sherry and chocolate between sips.

M: Surprisingly thin but given the age it makes sense.

O: Interestingly enough I just found this beer on the shelves today so I had to pick it up. It has fared quite well. Flavors are very well integrated and mellowed out. It might say "bitter chocolate" but it's not bad at all. Perhaps age has smoothed it out or the oatmeal has calmed it down. Body is surprisingly light so the drinkability is off the charts for a 9.2% stout. (1,082 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
3.79/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Shady McGrady's in Harrisburg, PA on 7/25/08.

A - Dark chocolate brown body with more than a finger's width of frothy mocha-colored head that left decent lacing around the glass. This puppy reminded me of a milkshake!

S - Surprisingly muted nose with faint notes of dark chocolate and a bit of coffee. Some roasted malt as well, but overall the aroma is quite subdued.

T - Chocolate and roasted malt up front that quickly seques into more of a bitter coffee aspect with a dash of earthy hops for good measure.

M - Smooth, creamy texture with a bit of oily slickness and a slightly chewy mouthfeel. Finishes moderately bitter on the palate.

D - Not as chocolately as, say, Suthern Tier Choklat, but still highly drinkable for such a big beer (9.2% ABV). Nice bitterness all around with this one. (812 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle pours black. Very black. Opaque and syrupy looking in the glass, with a tall, dark khaki head that retains well and leaves abundant patchy lacing.

Aroma has lots of chocolate. Bars of chocolate and some powdered cocoa, as well. Hints of raisins and booze underneath.

Excellent mouthfeel. Prickly carbonation leads into a caressing velveteen smoothness. Nice!

Taste has a bitter chocolate dominance. Hops and dark roast add additional dimensions of bitterness. Dried dark fruits add some sweetness. Silky oatmeal fits right in.

Still a bit young given the alcohol punch. Just fine to drink now but should be better in a few months, or longer. (653 characters)

Photo of Deuane
4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Shady McGrady's in Harrisburg.

A-Beautiful! Black with no highlights....with a BIG, thick, creamy looking mocha head. Left mucho lacing behind.

S-Faint....gets a bit better as it warmed though. Light smokiness, bitter chocolate and a bit of espresso.

T-What it lacks in aroma is made up in tatse! Mmmmm...rich, full flavoured bitter chocolate meld with blasts of espresso and dark roasted malt. A tiny twinge of smoke creeps in late.

M-Medium-heavy body with a full, smooth richness. Long lingering bitterness.

D-This is like a dessert beer. Smooth, rich and flavourful. Even at 9%+ this is one to grab a snifter of a relax with by a fire! (654 characters)

Photo of Boto
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber: This one pours an inky, very opaque dark brown. There was just a wisp of a brown head on it, and that was gone almost immediately. Complex aroma. Chocolate stands out, but not overpowering. Some roastiness and woodiness in there. Hint of some fruits, possibly cherries. Somewhat heavy, slick feel on your tongue. A complex taste also. Chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, bitterness. This is very nice. (412 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into DFH snifter.

A - Black as night with a small tan head. Some tan bubbles remain along the side of the snifter and some lacing shows up very so slightly when tilted from side to side.

S - I could smell this one right after I poured it into the glass and it's about 1 1/2 feet away. Pretty awesome. Nice boozy, smoked/roasted, and chocolate on the nose, very rich.

T - Very smooth and rich (but not overly so). A nice roasted coffee flavor mixed in with chocolate and some alcohol all melded together well. I'm really digging this one.

M - Medium bodied, nice and smooth. Perfect carbonation. Each sip coats the mouth fully and really allows me to enjoy every single sip.

D - So easy to drink for being almost 10%, I'm impressed. I'm going to easily finish this bomber and I'm going to have this one again in a year or so to see how things have changed. Right now, it's pretty damn good...can't wait for another year or so. (954 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.56/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - quite the glug glug oily pour. Once again into the Beer & Sweat glass, lots of thick dark mocha foam spring up, planting a thick coating of lace-paint on the glass.

Aroma - very earthy soy-like grains, a bit of cola sweetness, soapy at times. Background roastiness, some more roast would be nice, but it smells good.

Taste - there is no mistaking the bitterness of the chocolate with the deep roast of the grain. The combo is perhaps put together to accomodate a lesser hop bill? It's bitter, that's for sure. A side effect flavor of licorice. The chocolate is not quite as strong as the basic bitter flavor, but it's there. The charred grain is actually a little more visible, at least fresh. Bittersweet chocolate on the swallow is about 75/25 bitter to sweet, but it's tasty. Several years ago, I was sampling chocolates with increasing percentages of cocoa, up to 75 and 80 per cent. They begin to take on a serious chocolate taste that becomes increasingly un-candylike. You get accustomed to that, two things happen: 1) to hell with Hershey's and 2) nobody likes your chocolate so you get more! Bogartski in reverse, sort of. That's what this beer makes me think of, anyway. A good, pure cocoa flavor that Crackle and M&M fans may not care for. It doesn't take long before the warming alcohol adds to the mix. The lack of sweetness makes for a rather intense beer, and while I dig the method, at least a breath of sweetness would really help balance the cocoa. I may try a glass with a shot of Kahlua in it just to see what a touch of sugar does. The long finish is very warm with abv, unsweetened chocolate, and charred grain.

Mouthfeel - dreamy smooth, I'm dreaming of winter in late July. Heavy, thick and coating.

Drinkability - while this will be a most enjoyable study to see how cellaring affects the profile, I'm sure to have one or two more this year. (1,883 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 22 oz. bottle that I've been holding since its summertime release (July 2008); poured to a small snifter. Happy XIIth Anniversary, Stone!

A: Glugs from the bottle an impenetrable ebony, crowned with a 1/2-finger of tight, sienna-colored cream. Held to light, miniscule streams of carbonation can be seen creeping up the glass on all sides, but nothing can pierce this darkness. Head drops to a star-shaped film, stretching outward to a thin ring.

S: Yep, bitter chocolate. Sweet, treacle and molasses.

T: Very dark chocolate, we're talking 70%+ cacao stuff. Top notch bittersweet depth, dark roasted coffee and a thin sweetness, not the syrupy stickiness I sometimes find in Stone's big beers. A sort of powdery, slightly chalky, mineral bittering in the finish.

M: Surprisingly busy carbonation, not the velvety/mellow stout experience I expected. Lasting bitterness, medium-heavy body. Just a little boozy/warm on the tongue.

D: A good sipper, warming; a 'dessert' beer if there ever was one. Perfect on a chilly, rain-soaked evening. The title of the lengthy diatribe on the back of bottle is titled "Summer dreaming in late January..."; too early to dream of summer in early December? (1,196 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark, fairly opaque, small mocha head leaves fast to ring.

S - Predominately bittered chocolate and cocoa.

T - Taste matches smell, bigger flavor and more bitter, but along the same lines.

M - Great balance, very creamy, well carb and good coating.

D - Nice offer. Not 'out of this world'. But good. (307 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
3.79/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

(Aged 2 years at the brewery)

A menacingly thick and black pour with a thin brown, persistent head. Thick and oily in the glass and leaves plenty of lacing. Looks mean and menacing but beautiful.

Roasted malts, caramel malts, and plenty of dark chocolate in the nose. Unlike most stouts that smell of melted, bittersweet chocolate, this chocolate seems roasted or burnt. It's a bit sharp and not easily accessible nor obviously pleasant, but it contributes to this beer's menacing profile. It's certainly unique.

This beer tastes better than it smells. The dark chocolate works better on the palette than it does in the nose, as it loses some of that burnt and astringent profile. No alcohol presence at all, little hop presence, but mainly just a thick, menacing, chocolatey, big stout...which is never a bad thing!

Creamy, thick, chewy in the mouth, which is appropriate and expected for this style, but not quite as velvety and full as the standard Stone RIS.

I think this beer has aged particularly well. There's no obvious presence of alcohol, the chocolate may have mellowed a bit; an enjoyable sipper I'm glad I got the opportunity to experience at the brewery/bistro. (1,218 characters)

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into my snifter.

A- Deep brown-almost black nearly opaque body that pours with a 1 finger cafe brown colored head. Head fizzes away quickly and no lacing is left behind in the glass.

S-Roasted bitter chocolate malt and a hint oh phenols.

T- Roasted chocolate malt upfront with some oatmeal flavoring. A bit more bitterness comes through for the finish along with a hint of alcohol.

M- Low to medium carbonation and somewhat heavy body. Alcohol more present than oatmeal in mouthfeel.

D- This is a good imperial oatmeal stout. Not very complex but tasty. All the flavors are contained in the name. Not as thick of an oatmeal presence as I would like and certainly not as good as stone RIS but still a very good beer. (740 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pour is opaque and dark, brown head, quickly dissipates, not much retention or lacing

S: the front features a smokey and bitter quality, smells to be oxidizing a touch, a little bit of a metallic twang. The chocolate and roast is faint.

T: well what the nose was lacking in roasted qualities, the taste makes up for. So much so that the grains become a little astringent at the end.

MF: big body, mellow carbonation

O: I have a feeling that this beer is not in its optimal state, for what it is- it pretty tasty, but I'm sure the flavors popped a little more when it was a little fresher (594 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber courtesy of DaveHS in a summertime trade. Thanks man!

From a bomber into a snifter.
Brewed in July 2008

APPEARANCE: A very dark black pour, and relatively thick as well. A one finger, medium-thin, noisy, tan head with lousy retention forms and quickly crackles down to a slight wisp and ring. Jet black body, opaque, with no carbonation evident. Only a slight ring remains leaving no lacing down the sides, and it looks a little flat by the end. Thick, dark pour and body, but lousy head.

SMELL: Milder nose of roasted malts, dark chocolate and light caramel notes. Faint oats in there as well, but the chocolate is still the more dominating part of the nose. Nice, but needs to be a little bigger.

TASTE: Milder flavors up front again. Some roasted and light caramel perhaps, but the flavors come out much more after the swallow. Roasted and burnt malts, oats are there, and some definite and obvious dark, pure chocolate. Chocolate is very nice and goes really well with the base beer. Perhaps the age has helped the flavors come together so nicely. A touch of alcohol is still there at the swallow. Aftertaste is medium but lingers nicely with notes of roasted and caramel malts, bitter chocolate and some nice sweet molasses. Good balanced finish.

PALATE: Very nice here. Medium body and medium carbonation. Very creamy and smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes mouth-coating. Good weight for sure, and no bite. Very smooth stuff.

OVERALL: This was really good; definitely better than their normal Imperial Stout. The chocolate flavors worked really well in this, meshing really nicely with the roasted base beer. Though I’d never had the beer fresh, it seems like the three years in the bottle have done this beer well. The taste profile was well integrated and mellow, and the feel very creamy and smooth for the style. Good stuff and I’m glad I had the chance to try it. Thanks again DaveHS. (1,936 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours near opaque black. Dark brown head. Sexy beer.

Nose is dark roasted coffee-ish with dark chocolate, chocolate cakebox.

Palate is deceived when it comes to alcohol - this ale delivers nougat-chocolate up front, rather dark chocolatey in fact, and a slight hop tang to round it out at the finish.

This is a very "sweet" flavored beer, dark chocolatey, and deceptively easy to drink. An amazing offering from Stone! (421 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally found this beer! Ended up having to buy it at the Billy Goat Tavern in Mt. Shasta. Nothing wrong with that though...

Pours a dark flat black color, with a nice thick tan head.

Aromas are fainter than I thought they would be, but still are nice. Some chocolates, sweet cream, and dark roasted malts.

Taste is quite bitter. Mineral like, dark bakers chocolates, and strong bitter hops on the finish. Interesting stout, really bitter chocolate flavors at first, and then finishes with strong bitter hops. There is also a touch of sweetness, creamy malts that peek their head up to help balance this one out.

Mouthfeel is great, very thick and full with nice carbonation, and a long finish.

Drinkability is good. Mainly because of the uniqueness of this beer. This is a very bitter stout, that is a bit much at times, but it's so interesting, and very tasty. (868 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
4.16/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

First: Happy Anniversary Stone. Long may you brew! Second: Great label, perhaps their best. Third: Look at that name! What about "stone" "bitter," "chocolate," "oatmeal" and "stout" could make this anything less than awesome? With as much objectivity as I can muster, I can't wait to pour this. Starting...now.

Pours oil-black into the snifter, head is fluffy and eventually, after a good while, leaves a crown browner than UPS.

Aroma offers the expected chocolate, but it's subdued. Interesting sweetness of tobacco leaves comes into it, as does graham cracker. A little bit of coffee roast and a mildly vinous quality too. Perhaps a little too much alcohol as it warms. Nose doesn't blow me away, although it's still very nice.

Bit chocolate brownie goodness in the flavor. Around the edges is dark roast coffee, big purple grape flavor through the middle, and a murmur of bite and warmth from the alcohol. Graham cracker starts opening up with warming and repeated sips. In-check bitterness in the finish, while the chocolaty goodness and grape-i-ness keeps pushing through.

More carbonated than expected, although the accompanying slickness is very, very slick. Slides around in the mouth wonderfully, I just wish it was thicker or chewier or creamier or something.

It's a grower, and something about it doesn't totally blow my mind (damn those expectations), but in the end its the lovely flavor that pulls it through--anyone with a little patience could probably stretch this bomber out 60 or even 90 minutes. Or share it...but as I've got no one else within a quarter-mile of me right now, guess I'll have to go it alone. Poor me. (1,644 characters)

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