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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

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847 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 847
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: 847 | Reviews: 699 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Buschyfor3
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%

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.

Buschyfor3, May 12, 2009
Photo of sfoley333
3.6/5  rDev -12.6%

Poured from 22oz bomber purchased from Texas Liquor. Poured into a Duvel snifter, pours a jet black with big foamy brown head with nice lacing for such high alcohol content. Smell is roasted malt with plenty of chocolate and coffee aromas a touch of acetone on the finish. Taste was a little messy with such a strong hot alcohol flavor that got even stronger as my beer warmed, the strong bitterness seemed less from the chocolate and more from the burnt roasted malt finish. However the oatmeal did leave a nice creaminess to both the flavor and mouthfeel. The mouthfeel is full body with a nice for mentioned creaminess and light carbonation level. The chocolate and oatmeal really addd to the beer but the unability to mask the alcohol really detracts from it. I think that a little aging will do wonders for this beer but still a worthy beer right now.

sfoley333, Jul 26, 2008
Photo of walshclimb
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%

Pours thick, almost oily dark brown/black with about 1" medium brown head after a relatively aggressive pour. Leaves good continuous lace around the glass. Intriguing chocolately malt aroma that is a little subtle but interesting nonetheless. The initial flavor is warm, rich roasted malt and chocolate with a pleasant bitterness but not overly so. Complex and evolving roasted malt and chocolate aftertaste that is long lived with a tip of the tongue bitterness that is nicely balanced. Very full bodied, creamy mouthfeel that coats your tongue and keeps the flavors around. Another successful anniversary beer from Stone. I am glad I managed to pick some up. It seems that I almost missed it.

walshclimb, Oct 09, 2008
Photo of SeanRedd
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%

Who's the man with the master plan, a gargolyle with a badass motherfucking brew. The epicurian's review has just come in; magnafique! No coffee present yet it begs to be paired with an expresso; so mucho impresso. Smore's anyone? I got just the milk!...The rusty trumbone of stouts; dark, dirty, tasty, naughty. The gargolyole has done it again with black water, beautiful inside as well as out. Raw cocoa bean transformed into the beverage of gods...Myans would be shittin their thongs. The name and name only...simple, delicious.

SeanRedd, Jul 21, 2008
Photo of davexisxrabid
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%

Poured a thick almost black color with a half inch brown head. Little retention and lacing during the drinking period.

Dark chocolate aroma with a bitter citrus hop twang.

First impression was a glass of milk chocolate! The bitter dark chocolate mixed with the oatmeal smoothed it out a bit and made it a bit sweeter, producing a mellow flavor with a slight dark chocolate bitterness at the end.

Thick mouthfeel, the flvaors stick around on the palate only for a little bit after each drink, reminiscent of a raisin oatmeal taste with a hoppy bite.

Very good drinkability if it weren't for the 9.2% abv. Not too rich or sweet and I polished off a bottle and wanted a second one but I didn't want to be stumbling around after choking down 2 bombers back to back.

davexisxrabid, Apr 13, 2009
Photo of msolar
4.88/5  rDev +18.4%

Pours extremely dark with a very minimal, yet thick brown head.

Smells very sweet, definite chocolate notes with a hint of caramel and brown sugar.

Tastes amazing. It has a great sweet foretaste of chocolate, with a slight bitter and roasted aftertaste. The chocolate is not overwhelming, like Young's Double Chocolate can be.

Mouthfeel - It feels like a full bodied oatmeal stout - comparable to Sam Smith's Oatmeal or Southern Tier's "Oat" - both A/A+ beers, in my opinion. (Again, the chocolate is not overwhelming at all)

Drinkability - I'm impartial to oatmeal stouts and chocolate stouts, so for me, this is heaven. You'll probably get full pretty quick, however.

Overall, I like this beer a lot - I'm going to look into putting it on tap at home later this winter. Maybe a holiday present to myself.

msolar, Oct 15, 2008
Photo of mugglesandhops
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%

22 oz. bottle received in trade.

Pours a jet black with a moderate sized light brown head, great lacing here also. Smells somewhat surprised me, I thought it would smell stronger of the chocolate and oatmeal. Still smells good though. Taste was great also but still not what I was expecting. The alcohol didn't really come out in it like others are describing, pretty mellow for %9.2.

mugglesandhops, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of TeamUgly
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

TeamUgly, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of PhiloPsych
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%

This might be the darkest beer I've ever had. It lets no light through whatever--not even any highlights around the edges of the glass! Just a little head and the head is super dark brown. The smell is roasted malt and alcohol. Not much alcohol in the taste, though (none at first, more as the beer warms). I also had Oak Aged Yeti this week and it was much "hotter" with alcohol. I only get chocolate in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is very nicely dry, the way I like my stouts. Not quite as creamy as some oatmeal stouts, but definitely in the creamy direction. The oatmeal flavor comes out more as the beer warms.

I'm also nibbling on a dry, sharp cheddar cheese, some potato chips, a bit of chicken that I grilled earlier in the day, and a couple of squares of dark chocolate. I'm a bit surprised at how the beer gets overpowered by each of these things--none of them are super strongly flavored. This isn't really a knock on the beer; rather it's a recommendation that you might want to enjoy the beer on its own. The flipside of this, is that the beer is very drinkable. Normally a big, bold stout would drain away more slowly for me, but this one is going too quickly!

Overall this is nearly, but maybe not quite, on par with some of my favorite stouts--AleSmith Speedway and Bear Republic Big Bear Black Stout.

PhiloPsych, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%

Had that back when it first came out at Daily Pint, but finally getting around to reviewing it in bottle form. Poured into my Stone IRS tulip.

A: Pitch black and thick, but not much head. Head is almost reddish brown but leaves very little retention although it appears solid lacing.

S: Nose it dominated by chocolate, as you might expect, as well as a rich roasted malt.

T: Very subtle opening with hints of chocolate quickly blossoms to full blown bitter chocolate and dark fruit. Then the malt takes over, huge and toasty with even a bit of sweetness at the end.

MF: Medium bodied with a solid bit of carbonation. Surprisingly light, really, considering what the beer looks like. The bitterness of the chocolate and the strong toastiness gives the finish a biting and somewhat dry feel. Alcohol is pretty well masked and doesn't really feel like 9.2%.

D: I feel like this was a bit more chocolaty on tap. Still, the flavor is very good and unique. Certainly not the hop bomb you'd expect from a Stone anniversary beer, but this is extremely good for the style. The alcohol is not overstrong, so drinking a bomber is not out of the question, but I couldn't drink this all night long, either. Personally I like their imperial stout more, but this is a very nice brew and I'm glad I had the chance to enjoy it.

rxdrewthejew, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of Beernoisseur
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%

What an interesting concept. Replacing the hoppy bitterness with a different variety entirely. I like Stone's style. They're willing to do whatever the hell they want, in or outside the box.

A - One of the darkest beers I have ever seen. Like a shadow poured from under the cloak of death. The thickish head is the color of gourmet hot chocolate. There is little lacing.

S - Surprisingly muted aroma. Probably because the scent-giving qualities of the hops are absent. The toastiness of the malt is there- Bordering on burnt.

T - Less of a distinct chocolate flavor than I was anticipating, but still quite pleasant. I enjoy this. It's a different flavor, but quite true to many of the stout qualities that I have come to love. There is a tart/fruity element, with coffee, carmel and toasted nuts. Good bitterness throughout. Interesting application of chocolate. I would like to know how much was used.

M/D - The moutfeel is very soft and rich, medium-full bodied, somewhat light on carbonation. This certainly isn't a session beer, but it's one worth trying. It's an interesting interpretation for sure. check it out!

Beernoisseur, Apr 20, 2009
Photo of d0ggnate
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%

Got my hands on a growler of 12th anniversary brew this weekend and can't wait to drink my fair share of this rich brew treat this summer.

A: Pours black with a dense brown-foamed head. This froth is very bubbly and laces my glass heavily.
S: Immediate bitter dark chocolate aroma. Very strong with notes of coffee beans.
T: Continued bitter chocolate with flavors of strongly-brewed black coffee. A bit of sweet malt is apparent, as well.
M: Coates the palate with a warm alcohol characteristic. Long lasting flavors don't give way to high(er) ABV.
D: A nice transition from more recent anniversary brews. Conversational. Intriguing. Tastefully chuggable. This beer would go great in my coffee mug at work. Deliciously brewed.

d0ggnate, Jul 16, 2008
Photo of RunDWP
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%

First thing I need to tell you about this beer is give it 5-6 months in the fridge. I had a fresh one and it was all right, but got a bit harsh and bitter towards the end. Everyone was raving about it, but I couldn't see what all the fuss was about. Having polished another one off last night dated "July 2008", now I know what everyone was talking about.

It poured jet black with a chunky brown head into my tulip glass, with lots of sheeting action on the glass. Not much in the aroma department. I have a weak nose, but could only barely detect some chocolate in the aroma. Lots of big, yet mellow flavors in there, with plenty of roasted malt, chocolate bitterness, a touch of molasses sweetness, and a little detectable alcohol. At 9.2%, the alcohol is well hidden, but not totally. This brew also got a little grainy as it warmed.

Stone often succeeds not by hitting you over the head with big flavors, but doing a great job blending and balancing big flavors, and this is another example of well blended, balanced, and moderately complex brew of theirs.

Pretty creamy mouth feel, and the brew resembles motor oil visually, what was all right with me. Very drinkable for all the big stuff going on, with a slight subtraction for the alcohol note.

Just make sure you age this puppy at least 5-6 months, OK?

RunDWP, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of johnd513
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%

This beer pours dark black like motor oil but not quite as think, with a medium offwhite head. Smells of chocolate flavors and some coffee. Tastes of dark chocolate, burnt coffee and oats. The taste is in fact quite bitter upfront but it also has a nice sweetness that balances out nicely. Like others have said, the mouthfeel is much more carbonated than I expected. That is not a bad thing, this one goes down quite smoothly. Drinkablity is good. i had no trouble finishing the bomber.

johnd513, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of nomomentwasted
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%

Had this out of a 22oz Bomber from the brewery itself, poured into a pint glass for tasting.

Appearance: Beautiful Stout color with brownish head with nice lacing. Poured thick, brown-black, and head receded a few seconds after pour to leave a one-finger brown head.

Smell: Coffee, bitters, hops, chocolate, and malty undertones. There is a bit of pine and cirtus here, but it's dwarfed by the chocolate stout. Low hops here, but Stone was going for something different here.

Taste: A sipper of a stout with the chocolate, malts, and alcohol all coming quickly and coating the tongue. Bitter alcohol is laced throughout, and the drink is heavy and filling like a dark coffee. Thick, dark, and stouty through and through.

Mouthfeel: Thick and tongue-coating, much like a heavy porter or stout should feel in my opinion. The coffee like bitterness is all over the mouth, and the carbonation is both smooth and efficient. A very nice feel and not too bad aftertaste either.

Drinkability: It's every bit of it's 9.2% ABV. Slow drinker for sure. I had the 13 Anniversary from Stone recently too, and the 13th drinks much quicker as a bigger beer. Stouts fill and slow, but overall, a really interesting and different beer from what I'm used to, but enjoyable through and through. My roommate who is not a beer connoisseur type thought it amazing, so take that for what you will too.

nomomentwasted, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of ikantspel
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%

22oz bottle served into a pint glass

pours a hellish black with a reddish tan head.. bubbles are staying put

slight alcohol in the nose. chocolate,malty toastyness, belgian yeast in the nose

heavy chocolate, espresso hits right away, toasted malts soon follow it up, finished up clean

kinda acidic in the mouthfeel but pretty heavy.

i was kinda scared at first pouring this, got it at a pretty seedy liquor store for about 6 bucks. well worth it. broke my oatmeal stout cherry

ikantspel, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of JamesZ
4/5  rDev -2.9%

JamesZ, Aug 08, 2013
Photo of pershan
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%

The beer poured a viscous, thick black crude, with a dirty brown head into a pint glass. A strong burnt toast/roasted malt smell. The taste was of bitter black malt (maybe a touch of the un-sweetened chocolate as well) and burnt toast, which got more and more pronounced with each sip. The alcoholic phenols were quite evident as well, making this taste exactly like the big-time, high gravity beer that Stone is known for, especially with its anniversary brews. Not something to be chugged, but savored slowly.

pershan, Aug 06, 2008
Photo of bowersdm
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%

A - black, no light shines through. It had a weak mocha colored head that dissipated quickly.

S - dark chocolate, roasted barley, and fruit. maybe some oats

T - nice bittersweet/dark chocolate flavor followed by some bitterness from the hops

M - very, very thin. I was expecting more for a heavy beer.

D - eh, a 12 oz bottle would have been better. The first 12 oz of this brew went down like normal, but I was pretty full after that. The next 10 took another 40 minutes to get down.

It was fair. A small bottle and thicker texture would have made this an excellent brew.

bowersdm, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of rpaul2012
3.5/5  rDev -15%

rpaul2012, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of Hokies
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%

Pours a deep black with deep red outlines on the exterior, with a nice one inch brown head and leaves a nice lace on the glass.

At first you can smell the coffee followed by the malt and then the bitter dark chocolate smell makes its way through. Their is also a light smokiness to it.

The taste is like the bitterness from dark chocolate with an alcohol kick to it. As this one warms up the oatmeal smoothness comes through with hop bitterness at the end.

This is one smooth beer with low carbonation and goes down quite easily. It is a sipper but I could drink this one like a session beer.

Hokies, Sep 12, 2008
Photo of Jparkanzky
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%

Poured from bottle into stemless wine glass:

A) poured the deepest black with a fairly thick mocha head.

S) The one glaring flaw with this beer for me was the smell. I could smell what I can only describe as "Vodka" it was distinct, despite the age on the bottle. I have a few more of these I'll give more time on to try to rectify this, but none of that mattered once I got to the taste.

T) Wonderful chocolate and caramel notes, and not sweet at all... just perfect harmony of chocolate and beer.

M) Velvety and smooth, wonderful light carbonation.

O) This is a fantastic beer! Again, the smell was "off" but all was forgotten when tasting. This is yet another example of a "flavored" stout that doesn't go overboard with sweetness, making it a very enjoyable beer without making you feel like you should have a straw.

Highly recommended.

Jparkanzky, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of bigbubba
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%

The chocolate brown head itself is darker than most beers are, the beer is black and opaque. It smells sweet with chocolate and a whiff of alcohol, almost like some kind of coffee drink. The taste is great! It is not as sweet as the aroma suggests. Well balanced. The mouthfeel is smooth and full. Drinkability is great for the first glass, but it will kick your ass in the long run.

bigbubba, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of guitarmage
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%

Appearance: Just about pitch black, I can't get any light to pass through my tulip glass. Cocoa colored foam leaves a thin ring around the glass.

Smell: Unsweetened chocolate, a little espresso like acidity and a tight piney hoppiness.

Taste: Much more prominent taste than aroma, bitter chocolate, a vicious espresso acidity on the tongue, molasses, bready finish.

Mouthfeel: This full-bodied and heavy, very light carbonation, I will only drink one of these.

Drinkability: Tasty cold weather beer, a subtle, yet huge chocolate stout. Reminds me of The Abyss in mouthfeel and overall character.

guitarmage, Oct 21, 2008
Photo of MurphyMacManus
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%

22oz. bomber into a big whiskey glass (not all at once) because the shape seemed appropriate.

Appearance: color and viscosity of dirty motor oil, with a dark coffee-colored head. Head didn't have much stick, but that could have been my choice of glassware.

Smell: high-quality bitter chocolate, alcohol as it warms, and coffee? (roasted barley?)

Taste: unsweetened chocolate...actually, more like unrefined cacao nibs. Slight sweetness, but not much typical stout astringency. Faint spicy note. Alcohol present in aroma is not overtly present in taste.

Mouthfeel: halfway between whole milk and cream, probably from the oatmeal.

Drinkability: not really a session beer simply because of thickness and alcohol content. Also, the aggressive bitterness from the chocolate makes it tough to down a lot quickly. It took me almost 3 hours to finish a bomber.

MurphyMacManus, Aug 31, 2008
Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 847 ratings.