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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

701 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 701
Hads: 880
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 10.24%
Wants: 87
Gots: 89 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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: 701 | Hads: 880
Photo of Crosling
2.99/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours very dark, nearly opaque and appear inky black in the glass. Light tan heads fades into a collar around the glass. Very light aromas of dark fruits, roast and chocolate. Lots of taste, but not the greatest balance. Very heavily roasty and burnt, some dark fruit notes, with a light hint of chocolate. Hops as well, especially towards the finish. A bit brash and overly bitter for my taste, but I suppose it has decent aging potential. Towards the end of the bottle, I was liking it less and less.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black, with a dense brown head. Smells like cold chocolate syrup. Flavor is a bold dark chocolate, not sweet, with mild a cherry and nutty essence. Slight rummy quality. Nice roasted malt in the mix too that grows considerably and dominates the finish, along with some residual fruity alcohol. Oatmeal gives it a great soft body that cushions the chocolate nicely. Drinks a bit heavy for these summer months, and the chocolate is a bit too rich to really enjoy a 22oz bottle of.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Body appears pitch black absolutely opaque no light passing through at the edges. Nice sized mocha tan head forms thick and leaves behind fine lacing as it dwindles down, by the way I poured this into my Piraat chalice since I recently broke my Stone Imperial Stout chalice, pretty similar shape. This year's release seems to be keeping with the black beer theme, hoppy black IPA definitely wasn't my favorite new concept beer let's see if bitter dark chocolate infused oatmeal stouts work as well as it sounds.

Aroma upfront with bitter dark cocoa nibs, deep fruity ripened fruit notes including ripe plum and fig notes, touch of metallic mineral character blended with herbal hop blends just barely coming through in the nose.

Flavor is complex starts off with a tart twang seems out of place in something this dark, I was assuming there would be more roasted malt character off the bat. Somewhat lactic creamy notes with oatmeal softness coming into play. Definitely finishes with big luscious dark bitter chocolate notes and welcome hop burps arise after your first few sips even thought not much hop action is going on in the actual flavor or aroma. As it warms alcohol becomes a welcome flavor component that seems to offset some of the sweet and tart fruit notes from the pure bitterness of the dark chocolate added. Oatmeal also plays as a buffer between the chocolate and sweet fruit undertones.

Carbonation level is mellow, dark dry bitterness is definitely left on the palate after each sip. An overall medium to full body with creamy edges to it the entire 22 ounce portion. By the way, I would recommend to split this large portion with friends and let the beer warm up a bit to let all of the flavors and textures come out.

This Stone 12th offering serves up some surprises, keeping it original and unique as usual I would definitely recommend the experience. Is it something that I will be chasing down like the Stone 10th no way but was it tasty and complex...of course. I see what the folks at Stone were trying to pull off and guess I like the blurb on the label about hop shortages and turning to the bitterness of dark chocolate versus hops, so I see the vision but taste for yourself whether or not it works.

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Photo of MarsMoose
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of matty
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black colored stout with a light brown foamy head that fades in about two minutes.Aroma is chocolate and alcohol.Taste is chocolate,alcohol and a touch of sweet coffee.This stout leaves a nice warm feeling from mouth to stomach.I recommend and will buy again!!

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber $5.49

A-Motor oil consistency and color. A deep mocha head emerges from the bottom of the glass to form a nice half inch layer. The head disappates but leaves a nice ring. No light gets through the pitch black body. Exactly the appearance a big stout should uphold; textbook.

S-Definitely notice a strong chocolate and cold coffee aroma. Slight traces of burnt cookies. Hop presence is there, but it is hidden well in the backgroung.

T-Big shot of roasted sweetness up front. As it moves back in the mouth, the flavors emerge and heavy chocolate and dark sugar ensue. The finish is quite bitter with the hops coming out of nowhere. Tons of depth and complexity.

M-The cocoa is easily picked up on as it leaves a slick and oily mouthfeel. The bitterness of espresso hangs quite a bit but I dont mind it. Others may think this needs to age a bit.

D-Huge beer with flavors to match. Definitely a winner for stone, but quite rich to drink much of. This reminds me of a chocolate baltic porter. Worthy of seeking out and trying. Probably best to cellar until the colder months though.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber bottle just purchased from Gary's in Madison...
Pours a jet-black, deep ebony, engine-oil hue with a minimal tan, frothy head that quickly dissipated and left a copious amount of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Attractive, bittersweet, roasted malt and chocolate aroma permeating from the glass...
Thick, full-bodied flavor with strong bitter chocolate notes... The taste definitely lives up to the name of the beer, with an "in-your-face" serving of roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, dark cocoa, deep espresso, slight caramel, with only a minor hint of alcohol...
Drinkability was decent for a heavy beer of this stature and ABV...
Good depiction of the style...

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Photo of theopholis
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Wow. This stuff is dark. Opaque. Blacker than Pete Roses heart. Extremely dark squid ink black. No ruby highlights. Just black. Despite an aggressive pour, the head is still somewhat small. Head is a fairly tight, dark brown color that settles quickly and leaves very little lacing.

Smell- Smell was somewhat subdued. What aroma there was had roasted oatmeal and sweet vanilla ice cream. Some cocoa in there to.

Taste- Wow. Despite the subdued aroma, this beer is long on taste. Lots of smooth, dark chocolate with just enough sweetness to keep the edge off. Some toasted and roasted oats, very subtle hints of dark fruits. Nicely complex, with a wonderful creaminess through-out. Well done!!!!.

Mouthfeel- Body is thick rich and extraordinarily creamy. Sticky all over the lips and coating my throat. Fairly low level of carbonation, which suits this style beautifully.

Drinkability- Wow. If you're tired of fizzy yellow stuff, give this one a whirl. Like Tony the Tiger says, "It's great!!!"

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Photo of JRed
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Welcome to the Dark Ages, grab your armor and your Stone Bitter Chocolate and Oatmeal Stout. The darkest shade of black fills my pint glass with a chocolate espresso scent. A sweet malt icing over dark chocolate rests on the palate, accompanied by a late bitterness that zaps the tongue. A very complex but well balanced brew. The initial dark chocolate taste is a far different experience than the bitter/sour that concludes the drink. And a 9.2% alcoholic kick is well disguised behind the smooth, rich taste. This Gargoyle is a specialty indeed meant for the adventurous and foolhardy.

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Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of genog
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a muted somewhat mahogany color with some rich black tones but not as deep and dark as a stout. Aroma is strong on roasted malty, and coffee beans. There is a faint cocoa scent as well. Taste is chocolate and a lil boozy feeling comes through. Finish is roasted with a very limited amount of carbonation. A very nice oatmeal stout, but not living up to what I was expecting from stone.

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Photo of brewjones
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. Bomber

This beer comes out black as oil with a low tan head that has little retention. The aroma is very pleasant with chocolate, hops, and cream. At first sip you realize this is a Stone creation as they still love their hops for sure. The taste is full of chocolate and whipped cream. A creamy mouthfeel makes this surprisingly smooth and easy to drink. The only thing that keep you from drinking a lot is the residual bitterness imparted by the cocoa. Overall, a very tasty beer. Another great one from an outstanding brewery.

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Photo of sholland119
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a murky black with a motor oil sheen. Nice tan head that dissipates quickly.

S-The bittersweet chocolate predominates, with roasted malts behind it and a hint of hops.

T-Delicious. Again the bittersweet chocolate is most prominent, with some dark fruits and roasted malts also present. Has the nice smoothness of the oatmeal in there too.

M-Very oily and viscous. Coats the tongue and lingers.

D-Very smooth and drinkable. I did not notice the alcohol at all.


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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a kick-ass, almost black colour with a big, bubbly yet slightly creamy dark tan head that just looks awesome before settling in to a thin lace. Patches of residue are left on the glass.

The aroma is equally impressive: chocolate, roasted, burnt malt, a bit of wood and a slight sense of alcohol.

The flavour is heavy on the bitter chocolate, which turns a bit smoother and sweeter at the end of each sip. The sweeter chocolate blends with a healthy dose of burnt malt (it's less so roasted here than it was in the aroma). There's a bit of molasses in here as well, along with, again, a small but noticeable amount of alcohol as well. Mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy, but perhaps a bit too harsh/hot at times from the combo of the bitter chocolate and the alcohol.

This is a great oatmeal stout overall. The bitter chocolate brings a slight bit of a twist to make for a nice "Stone" take on the style. I suspect I'll be drinking my fair share of this one in the coming months. Easily recommended.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Super thick and viscous ale that appears to flow sluggishly into the glass, opening up a one inch head that's much closer to brown than tan. Sticky, this lace lasts in a velvety film on top and in extensive legs down the side of the glass. Oh, and it's black. Very black.

Strong aromas of burnt grain, heavy on the roast and lighter on the richness of the chocolate. Alcoholic fumes do appear later on. Other flavors readily apparent from a deep sniff include dark, sweet fruits, sour apple, molasses, esters, and a slightly clove-like phenolic edge.

Smooth and full mouthfeel is wonderful, pretty creamy for such a strong beverage. Up front it's mainly burnt bitter malt, with pleasantly strong doses of chocolate middle and late. Finish leaves a trail of cacao beans down the throat, made noticeable by a mild prick of alcohol. The flavor and finish are indeed bitter, somewhat mitigated by the noticeable effect of the oatmeal, which adds its distinctive smooth and easy character.

The bitter and burnt far outweighs the sweet, and in this unusual instance - especially for Stone - we're not talking hops bitter. This is a strong, acrid brew, with overtones of extreme roasting bordering on acrid elan. Highly recommended. I would also advise putting a couple away for a few months, see what emerges.

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Photo of FrognutUnl
2.86/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours pretty much like used motor oil with a scant chocolate brown head that dissipates rather quickly to a swirling film on top. Smells strongly of chocolate and roasted oats after warming to near room temperature. Tastes of alcohol and bitter-sweet chocolate are the main flavors with a good bit of woodiness to the finish. The mouth feel is wonderfully thick and creamy. Overall I found it to be a little harsher than expected. The alcohol was way too present and finish didn't really fit my expectations either.

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Photo of oelergud
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tall brown 1 pint 6oz glass bottle with a pry-off cap. A gargoyle is silk screened on the front raising a mug.
Opaque black body with a dark brown creamy dimpled head. Great retention and lace.
Strong alcoholic scent, warning the explorer of this brew as a rattle snake warning a wilderness traveler. Sweet anise and strong bitter cocoa bean.
Amazing flavor. Sweet malts quickly followed by strong rough hops which then give way to mellow semisweet chocolate. Plenty of intense flavor, dark earthy mulch, black cocoa bean, anise and a kick of nut skin and almond. The aftertaste is a long lived bitter chocolate hoppy experience.
Full and thick body with lots of residual sugars, very delicious.
Highly drinkable, the alcohol has a warming effect but is not apparent in the flavor.


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Photo of jletts
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a stone IRS glass with a quickly fading mocha tan head floating over peat black. Smelled of boozy sweet chocolate with a touch of black pepper and oak. The alcohol burns the nostrils slightly. Tasted of dark cocoa powder, burnt oak, and peppery alcohol, with some sour notes come through at the back end. A pleasant aftertaste of bakers chocolate permeates every taste bud. The mouthfeel was silky, but powdery on the back end, and slightly viscous. A great concept for a stout. The alcohol was a little strong in the flavor profile and nose. Give this one some time and it will mellow out and improve greatly.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bitter Choclolate Oatmeal Stout is Stone's answer to the following question, "What if we wanted to brew a new, uber hopped beer, but couldn't because the hops weren't available?" Stone's 12th Anniversary offering isn't just an example of how the hop shortage effects brewers, it is a testament to the power of roasted malt and pure cocoa. This stout entices you with the aroma of sweet roasted malt and chocolate, but its the flavor that will really hook you. The rich chocolate is anything but subtle with licorice and coffee notes coming through from the malt. Heavily roasted malts provide a charred, bitter finish while the addition of oats creates a smooth and creamy texture. This an excellent choice for a cigar on the porch, a barbecue in the back yard, or a chocoholic looking for their fix.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at a tasting w/ dkachur and proteus93, courtesy of dkachur. Thanks!

Appearance: A deep brown, though not quite black - looks like dark chocolate, heh - with a rocky, tan-colored head that sticks around for the party.

Aroma: Tons of bitter, powdery chocolate - that slightly cakey dutch process odor, makes me nostalgic for my days as a Boy Scout - and a definite whiff high up of wholesome oats. Very impressive that the former doesn't overwhelm the latter here. There're a few other notes - light, estery alcohol and a few fruits - but those aforementioned two are the stars of this show.

Taste: Much of the same as the nose - bitter baking chocolate and a few grainy oat notes - but some nice sweetness that wasn't present in the nose. Molasses and a few sweeter fruits. Pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Big but evenly split between that fluffy head feel and the beer body itself. Even, with medium bubbles. Finish has that warming alcohol "feel."

Drinkability: A little high in alcohol, but it's hidden admirably, and everything else is fairly inviting. I had no difficulty with my glass.

This is one that would likely age very well - there are a lot of flavors going on, some perhaps more distinct than would be preferable, so lay one or two down and check it out in 6 months or a year. I plan to.

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Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.02/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served cool from 22 oz silkscreened brown bottle into a snifter.

Pours almost jet black, with crystal clear dark brown at the edges, forms a nice meringue like 1/8" head of very fine dark tan bubbles.

Aroma is very subtle, meaty and boozy. Didn't pick up any chocolate note until it was warmed to room temperature.

Flavor is mostly dry cocoa, with burnt flavors, not much in the way of clean roastiness. Woody, lingering aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is slick and flat, notably low carbonation and low bitterness, and with a bit of alcohol burn.

Drinkability is really disappointing. This is the least enjoyable Stone beer I've ever tried. After two amazing beers for their 10th and 11th Anniversaries, this one is a big let down. Oatmeal stouts don't lend themselves well to being amped up, I think.

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Photo of Beaver13
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours an inky black with a smallish fine brown head that quickly diminishes to a collar that laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet lactic fudgy chocolate, some oats and a little anise.

The flavor is lots of sweet chocolate and some tangy dark fruits, and some harsh anise and bitter roast balances it out. The mouthfeel is pretty full, velvety and sticky with low carbonation.

Overall, the bitter roast and anise tended to dominate too much for my taste initially, but it mellowed out nicely as I drank it.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of asabreed
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: Beautifully opaque, as expected, with an indefatigable and indomitable head, silky as hell, with sheets of lacing that take a while to start sliding down the glass, finally leaving big drops of mocha ringing the top.

Smell: Rich roasted chocolate, bitter coffee, smoke, woodiness, a bit of charcoal, dark berries, a whiff of nice booze, and some sourness and earthiness. It's great but could be rounded off and balanced a bit more. I like the more gritty amalgam of aromas now, but I have a feeling with some age it'll be even better and more rounded.

Taste: Big-bodied with huge burnt and roasted malt flavors at first, hints of bitter chocolate and mild coffee, oats, woodiness, smoke, chocolate cream, dark berries, and major bitterness at the lingering finish (before a flash of sweet maraschino cherries) with some citrus and sourness and woody earthiness that compliments the initial sweetness very well. A wild ride, and one that seems to be awesome fresh to me right now. I'm do wonder what laying it down will do, because the smoothness is very nice and has a visceral edge. Without the bitterness from the hops and chocolate, is there a chance it could become maybe a bit too sweet? Then again, that's probably not a bad thing.

Mouthfeel: Smooth as hell from the oats, with creamy carbonation and an extremely chewy body. It's heavy, but done as great is can be. Be prepared.

Drinkability: Trying to drink this slow is tough, and I should've done what I planned originally by using a snifter, but alas. That said, this is a beautiful brew. I'm glad the bitter chocolate was used; otherwise this thing would be too much of a malt bomb. I wonder how sweet this is going to get as the hops and bitterness dissipates. My advice would be to drink it fresh. Loved it and hope to get some more bottles, because why not lay at least one down and see what happens in a year?

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Photo of Lepley
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 701 ratings.