Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

698 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 698
Hads: 854
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 8.85%
Wants: 84
Gots: 74 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 698 | Hads: 854
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber bottle into my Adnams Imperial tumbler. The stout appears a deep brown color with about an inch of creamy dark ecru colored foam. Nose and flavors consist of smashed green peas (when first poured and quite cold), bakers chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, cocoa, rich coffee, roasted grain, vanilla, still a good amount of alcohol burn and a warming down the throat, earthy, grassy hops, licorice, mild smoke. Approaching full bodied with adequate carbonation. Could probably use at least another year in the cellar to smooth out a bit more. (569 characters)

Photo of clvand0
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very dark color with a medium head that hung around for a while. The aroma is fairly sweet and has some chocolate/cocoa notes, but not much roast. Smells pretty good. The flavor has coffee upfront as well as a touch of chocolate and some sweetness. The alcohol is fairly evident also. The body is nice and thick and creamy. The drinkability is pretty good on this one. I'd have this one again. (412 characters)

Photo of bruachan
3.06/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

well...it's dark. and so is the head above it.

and well...it smells bitter and chocolate. smoky, almost grilled,

bitter malts and smoky flavor. the brew itself is fairly smooth but malt and hop bitterness offer a bit of texture. truth is, i'm not sure how flavorful this beer is

boozy and hot, with plenty of roasting astringency. i must say sufficient sweetness establishes some balance though i can't decide if it's adequate. truth be told the bitterness is on the precipice of too robust and i'm not sure it can be warranted simply because it says so on the bottle (cyanide oatmeal stout would be accurate advertising but would most likely not score well). (664 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 JasonA
4.92/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This has been aging for about a year.

Pours a deep dark, very little head brew. Thick lacing present for the little carb there. Did I mnetion it was dark.

Sugar sweet malt. Quite strange, like unmalted light malt. Very nice as long as it doesnt taste like unfermented beer! ;). All kidding aside, very orignal smell, I like the direction.

Wow, what a representation of chocolate. I have nothing to compare it to. Not sure I would call it bitter sweet, but if that was the ingredient, I need to buy stock for my homebrewing process. I dont taste dark malt, but there is roasted med malt. Not sure where the color comes from, no biscuit or bitter present.

Sits extremely well considering the ABV. Typically this ABV and sweet will be headache-ville, population 1. The sweetness, come before the malt, and ends with the chocolate. Awesome.

I want more. I only have 1 more from last season. I obviously need to get some more. There isnt 1 thing I can really find wrong with this brew. (985 characters)

Photo of guinness310
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
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! (983 characters)

Photo of Lerxst
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Was lucky enough to find a couple of these in Tallahassee recently.

They've already been aged over a year, so I thought I'd crack one see whats what.

A-Beautiful pitch black goodness with a nice two finger head that faded quickly, but left some nice lacing.

S-Coffee, chocolate, malt and bit of alcohol in the nose, but it smells really good.

T-I'm getting hit first with coffee, followed by a quiet, lingering dark chocolate flavor in the background with roasted malt and a bit of alcohol finishing.

M-A bit thinner that I was expecting, but still medium body. The finish is a bit astringent, but not too badly.

D-For a Double/Imperial Stout this is surprisingly drinkable. (680 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Of the six boxes that have arrived on my doorstep over the past couple of years from the prolific beerisheaven, only five beers remain. OK, now four. It never gets old sayings thanks for more great brews, Brian.

Pours black with a tame, muddy head that quickly retreats. Flat & quiet. Smells very good. The bitter, assumedly from the chocolate, is a different bitter than the regular hop-bitter I've become accustomed too. Along with some good, dark malts.

This XII has some great uniqueness swirling around. The bitter chocolate is up front & intimately intertwined with the sweetness of the chocolate, too. What an odd pairing doing the completely opposite thing to my palate. Standing behind this coolness is a deep maltiness that's silky, warming, rich, & all those big stout superlatives in spades, so to speak. Lush.

Not being a big fan of oatmeal stouts, this is a cut above the rest. Excellent beer. I didn't like the Stone RIS when we first tried it, now I'm wondering if the year-old bottle is worth another run. Something to ponder. (1,049 characters)

Photo of wl0307
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased from a very good Britain-based beer shop, "Beers of Europe", through on-line order. Coming in a light brown, 1 Pt. 6Fl. Oz. bomber bottle, bottled in July 2008, served cool in Hapkin's branded bulb-shaped sniffer.

A: pours the darkest (blackest) colour I've seen for any stout, topped with a dark brown creamy froth that retains the body elegantly, with uneven lacing behind.
S: aromatic without being imposing, the nose is full of vanilla-scented chocolates, sweet black dates, "breezy" fragrant US hops, licorice, sweet ground nuts, and faint alc. In some ways tis not as complex as Stone IRS, and slightly sweeter as well due to the chocolates I'm sure, but overall still promising and pleasant.
T: the lubricating-ly smooth foretaste of semi-sweet chocolate-milk-like maltiness expands with a lovely aromatic undertone mixed of roasted walnuts, black dates, oily-flowery hops, then the impact of bitter chocolates and hops deepens with a lively bitter, semi-chewy and herbal mouthfeel in the end, as well as a residual vanilla scent, roastiness and a key tinge of sourness as of truly bitter chocolates (90%?) rather than coffee beans. Unlike one's usual American hoppy ales, the bitter finish here is attributed more to chocolates than to hops, and this has already been anticipated since I had a glance of the beer's name.
M&D: lubricating on the mouthfeel with only mild carbonation, the palate is absolutely spot'on for such a potent stout to be enjoyed. Full-bodied, richly-flavoured, showing a light hint of alc., while on the whole a delicate balance is still retained b/w the heavy maltiness and lighter hoppiness thanks to the intervention of chocolate aroma and its indispensable sour tinge. Using bitter chocolates is a good idea, I think, to render a different type of bitter and sour elements on top of the overall decent performance of a quality dark ale. (1,884 characters)

Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.57/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was lucky to find some of these in Palmdale already aged a year form me. Pours a jet black with a light brown head which left some decent lacing.

Smells like chocolate, coffee, malts & some alcohol.

Taste is bitter chocolate, some coffee, malt sweetness with a little alcohol warming at the end.

Has a nice silky mouthfeel, very smooth

Very drinkable as far as taste goes. However, 9.2 ABV does not a session beer this make.

A very nice Imperial Stout, one of the best. (476 characters)

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

A - Very dark Black liquid. Thick tan 2 finger head. Laces well.

S - Very good roasted coffee and chocolate aroma. Deep dark malty sweetness. Slight Alcohol smell to the finish.

T - The Bitter chocolate come through up from with astringent roasted malts rounding out the rest of the character. Again the Roasted coffee and bitter chocolate comes through at the end with a touch of bitterness from the hops.

M - Medium full body. Fills the palette but finishes clean with a good amount of carbonation.

O - Awesome Chocolate stout. The most recent tasting at a year or so is quite nice the alcohol warmth has become more subdued. I'll try to keep a few around a bit longer. But its drinking quite nicely. (710 characters)

Photo of Plenum
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Can't believe I waited so long to try this one. I've had a half dozen bottles sitting in my cellar for going on a year now, and just opened the first one last night. Wow!!! This is an incredible stout.

Can definitely taste the maltiness coming through on this one, with the bitter chocolate as the follow-on taste.

Pours nice and black, very little carbonation, which actually helped the mouthfeel on this one. Very little lacing on the glass, no head, great smell.

I'm going to have to track down every place that still has this sitting on their shelves...

Big fan of this one. I know Stone has one of the best RIS' on the planet, but this would make a great permanent addition to their line. (699 characters)

Photo of dankbrew21
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 7/31/09

A- Pours a thick motor oil black body with a chocolaty brown head that gained rising speed as I poured, overflowing the sides of the glass. Fair lacing.

S- Awesome aroma. Dark chocolate, some coffee. Some sour characteristics. I think I can sense a hint of oatmeal...

T- Silky mouthfeel. Not as rich as I expected, and a reoccuring coppery taste that I keep running into recently...hope it's not my taste buds. I taste a lot of cherry and a medium fluffy chocolate taste, not much bitterness though. Complex flavors and lots of them, good carbonation, kind of light. Flovor sticks with you for a while. Great beer besides that weird copper taste.

D- Very drinkable. (690 characters)

Photo of gameface23
3.52/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed on 9/29/08 on another beer rating website.

Pours jet black with small, dark tan head. There's not a lot of carbonation, but the mouthfeel is still decent. The aroma wasn't what I expected: some chocolate, alcohol, roasted malts, and slight coffee, but nothing spectacular. Taste was similar. Black coffee finish. (333 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from Capone's

A - Rich, dark as night and oily in appearance. Thin brown head disapears quickly and leaves a little bit of lacing.

S - Dark chcocolate, dark roasted malts and hops. A little astringent alcohol note. Maybe some dark fruits.

T - Bitter unsweetened cocoa. A little astringent alcohol bite at the end. The bitterness and the astringent taste get in the way of a very good initial sip. A little dark fruit perhaps.

M - Smooth, rich and creamy.

D - Between the bitterness and the booziness, this beer is a special occasion sipper. Maybe sitting a year didnt help this one, but the amazing initial taste keeps this still a beer worth trying. (667 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in 16oz goblet. Poured black, no light shows through, with a thick, medium brown head that dissipated quickly and left lots of sticky lacing.

A pleasant blend of aromas on the nose, coffee, roasted malt and certain earthiness I couldn't quite place being most noticeable. The flavors followed the aromas closely, with the coffee being most upfront, then the rest of tastes rolling across the tongue. No noticeable chocolate flavors remain, and there is just a minimum of hoppiness.

The body and drinkability were average for a big stout. Full body that coats the tongue and lingers. Nicely drinkable for a big beer, I can't see having more than one at a sitting though, worth trying now that it's sat a year. If I remember correctly, I liked this beer better when it was fresh. Certainly worth trying again if you see it. (830 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
1.27/5  rDev -68.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass, shared by alfrantzell. Thanks Arne.

A: Pours like an imperial stout: pitch black in the glass, touches of brown, a mocha-colored head. Retention is on the longer side for an imperial stout, with the cap sticking around for a few minutes before lapsing into a thick donut around the brew. Lacing doesn't stick much, but it does leave nice sheets on the glass during a swig.

S: Roasted coffee, grains, bitter dark chocolate, and solvent. Blegh.

T: Dark chocolate with roasted grains -- initially suggests this is going to be a fairly balanced stout. Then the grains fall out and you get a very strong, astringent chocolate bitterness that pulls into the end taste, where ethanol takes over with a gusto. In the finish it feels like I'm drinking pure solvent. What a trainwreck.

M: Medium to full bodied, velvety smooth on the tongue. Carbonation was picked just right for this one. Of course the ABV is really harsh (almost inexplicably so -- 9% is hard to manage?), so points off...

D: Please don't make me drink this again. So bad. (1,070 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Flavor might have been damaged from sitting on a shelf for 1 year but here we go. Glad I could find this one over a year after its release. Poured pitch black into my pint glass with a 3 finger head after a pretty vigorous pour. Head is coffee colored and reduces to a thin layer on the beer after a few minutes, leaves good medium lacing on the glass. Smells of roasted malts and chocolate, maybe some smoke/burnt notes too. Tastes of chocolate, roasted malts, a tiny bit of alcohol(expected in imperials), and a bit of hops. Has a slight metallic aftertaste. Mouthfeel is heavy, which is nice for an imperial, good carbonation and pretty smooth, coats the tongue pretty well. This beer is definitely drinkable, didn't feel too heavy on the stomach, good spin off of imperial stout. Didn't really get the oatmeal. (814 characters)

Photo of hdofu
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Really dark rich beer with a tan head. Smell is nothing but chocolate. Taste is alot of malt and dark chocolate and finishes with molasses, really noticeable. This beer is yet another reason I like the imperial stouts. Has a nice thick mouthfeel. This is a beer I could drink all night long. (291 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 DoubleJ
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What will one year of age do to this beer? On to the beer:

Pours thick into my Guinness pint glass. Super tanned espresso head sits on top this invincible black bodied beer. The aroma beings up good sweet flavors. Chcocolate syrup anyone? There is a hoppy character in its background, as is roasted coffee.

Semi-sweet chocolatey! There's a bit of roastiness hitting and sticking to palate midway. It has a very dominating chocolate flavor working in its favor, hardly anything bitter about it. I don't really taste the oatmeal, but it could explain the "lighter" than imperial feel, not that its a bad thing in this case. Somewhat charred. There is some fusel alcohol felt as the beer closes to a finish, but it is washed away by faint coffee and heavier sweet chocolate.

If you have this beer in your possession, it will be good right now. Drinkable without weighing you down, and plenty to satisfy that sweetooth without becoming cloying. Okay....what I'm trying to say is...bring this back for another round! (1,016 characters)

Photo of david131
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
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. (774 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
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. (793 characters)

Photo of TheViolator666
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The second time I've had this beer thus far. This is about a year old now, as their 13th Anniversary has just been released and the bottle says July 2008.

I've been meaning to purchase this one again as I had this beer just before truly appreciating stouts, and the fact that I had just purchased the commemorative 12th anniversary BCOS glass at Rozi's in Lakewood not too long ago, haha.

22 oz. Bomber poured into said 12th Anniversary BCOS stout glass.

A: Pours a deep dark color with a very nice dark tan head that eventually simmers to form a half inch cap. Light lacing lasts down the glass.

S: Smells of dark bitter chocolate. Go figure. Deep roasted malt come through, as well as the alcohol. Even more alcohol comes through in the smell as it warms. Mmmm.

T: Sooo smooth, definitely characteristic of an oatmeal stout. Immediately hit with deep roasted malt as well and the bitter chocolate. Silky smooth, I'm positive this would go genuinely great with a nice chocolate pie or brownie or something similar. That being said, the alcohol surely comes through strong towards the end, but I am a fan, especially when this gets a bit warmer.

M/D: As I've noted, this goes down exceptionally silky smooth. Very low carbonation and a nice full bodied feel. Couldn't see drinking more than a bomber, but I'm sure that's plenty for many. (1,344 characters)

Photo of ExtraStout
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Color: Pours a pitch black color with a thin brown head with the consistency of cocoa.

Aroma: Creamy with the aromas of cocoa powder, mild coffee and dark fruits. Not too bitter.

Taste: Creamy and bitter upfront with a decent helping of cocoa, dark fruit, decent hop bitterness and very mild roastiness. Smooth.

Mouthfeel: Silky and creamy due to the oatmeal. The perfect amount of roastiness. Very nice cocoa flavor lingers.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable and feels more like a regular stout than an imperial stout due to the ABV. With some aging, the cocoa will show through once the bitterness subsides. Try to get at least two bottles if you pick this up. I can't wait to see how well it mellows over time. A very worthy purchase. (739 characters)

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