1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

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

846 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 846
Reviews: 699
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 81
Gots: 76 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 846 | Reviews: 699 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Packforever1976
Packforever1976

Minnesota

3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temp in my oversized snifter.

A: Pours jet black, leaving a thick and creamy dark tan head. Head recedes fairly quickly, leaving a small layer on top. Decent lacing.

S: A nice blend of sweet/bitter dark chocolate in the nose. Some sweet malts and oats. A slight hint of bourbon as well. There is some alcohol smell in there as well.

T: Big punch of bitter dark chocolate in the front. Some dark roast coffee in the back. There is a faint citrus taste in the back as well.

M: Proper carbonation level. This is a little on the thin side, I wish it was more viscous/chewy. Even with the heat from the alcohol, it is still fairly smooth.

D: The heat makes it tough to give this one high drinkability marks. It's good, but not great. I'm glad I have a couple more in the cellar. I'm hoping that this one improves with age. I'll have to give another one a shot in a year or so.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2009 03:22:49 | More by Packforever1976
Photo of Aenema
Aenema

Maryland

3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a deep black with a slight, foamy brown head. Nice lacing, though it disappears quickly. No visible carbonation.

Smell - Sweet, chocolate aroma.

Taste - Syrupy chocolate and coffee notes with a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, coating mouthfeel with light carbonation.

Drinkability - One 22oz'er of this was plenty for me. It was too sweet for me, some more bitterness/pure chocolate flavor instead of a sugary sweet taste would have been great.

Overall quite enjoyable, though I would definitely split any future bottles of this.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 05:31:59 | More by Aenema
Photo of cnally
cnally

Indiana

3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Holy light-capturing-liquid, Batman! This beer is black. Pure darkness. It is a spectacle to look at because the head contrasts so mightily with the beer. The head, by the way is menacing and thick. The scent is not as appealing as I would have thought, much like a mix between walnut cookies and paint varnish. Oh wait, I can't smell anything but the alcohol. Whoa. On the taste, obviously there is a load of bitter chololate. The bitterness resonates long after the drink is swallowed, but it is such a nutty bitterness that it actually tastes fine. This is not like chewing almonds or walnuts...more like chewing on unprocessed cocoa beans. And my oh my, there is a whallop of malt and alcohol. Thick, deep malty notes drown out everything else BUT the alcohol. What an intense beer. It taps into the primal, without making you an animal. You really trade alcohol for taste here.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2008 01:56:25 | More by cnally
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Charred steak dressed with a most thorough and unbending tone of black. There may be just the slightest glint of crimson when held directly into the light but it's quite hard to produce. This is the physical definition of the word 'opaque'. A bold, ebony trim delineates the beer's contour and with any agitation will wash over the surface with a thickset bed of foam.

This smells an awfully lot like a good, homemade Mexican mole dish; I can't seem to shake this scent of cocoa beans and spicy chillies (part of that may just be the alcohol giving you fair warning!) Although I also detect notes of coffee, black licorice, browned sugar and tiramisu, more than anything this resembles a mole recipe that combines cocoa and dark chocolate, peanuts and blanched almonds, caramelized shallots, chipotle, ancho and mulato chillies.

The oatmeal has made for an oily slick and creamy full mouthfeel. It's amazing the level of elegance this can have considering it's also a high alcohol and heavy roasted stout. The alcohol is never tasted but is omnipotent nevertheless. In aroma and taste - especially reaching room temperature - the warming sensation can sometimes reach a scathing level.

The flavour isn't nearly as dominated by bitter chocolate as the beer's name and bottle might have you believe - I would have pegged tiramisu before that. This foremost tastes like an Imperial Stout. It has a prominent foreground of roasted malts with the backdrop of dark caramel, creme brulee, toffee biscuits, flat coffee and over-ripe black currants. Come to think, with a cast of flavours like that it's no surprise the chocolate isn't more pronounced.

Despite this gracefully silky smooth texture I don't think drinking a whole bomber to one's self is feasible. Granted, the beer is as elegant as it is dark but it's also a little more strong than it is flavorful. Pairing this alongside some rich desserts not only sounds decadent, it's starting to seem necessary. Listening to my own advice, I've now paired this with some dark chocolate truffles and you can read my lips: Y-U-M!

Stone's Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout is certainly deserving of it's special anniversary ale merit. There is a certain "je ne sais quoi" about it that you know you're drinking something special. If you're planning to serve something decadent for after dinner than including this would probably double the decadence. I know that the people at Stone realize pairing drink with food is important and so I'm glad they've decided not to skip out on dessert!

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2009 21:25:47 | More by biegaman
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Discount Liquor a while back. Served in a Bell's tulip.

A - A finger of tan foam settles to a thin collar, some wisps, and a bit of spotty lace. Black body with a glint of brown at the edges of the glass.

S - Definitely lots of bitter chocolate. Lightly roasted grains, caramel, and perhaps a faint bit of oxidation creeping in. Needs to warm up a bit, but otherwise fairly enjoyable.

T - Taste is also heavy on the mildly bitter baker's chocolate, with some notes of vanilla, anise, and caramel. Unfortunately it seems a bit hollow mid-palate and perhaps is showing its age here.

M - Medium body, velvety melted chocolate bar texture, lower carbonation, and a lightly dry finish. None of the listed 9.2% shows up after 3+ years of aging.

D - While this is was still pretty decent I feeling this one is on the decline, although mileage may vary based on cellar conditions. Still, an enjoyable tick.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 00:36:26 | More by MasterSki
Photo of johnnieoz
johnnieoz

Texas

3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Just picked up a couple at Wally's Wine in Westwood. Bottled, and now consumed, in July 2008. The 12th was brewed as a non-hoppy beer due to current hops shortages. Instead we have a bitter chocolate malt bomb on our hands.

A: One of the most beautiful beers I have ever poured. A jet black motor oil of a stream cascades into the wine goblet. A large coffee-colored head that recedes ever so slowly. No light gets through this one.

S: Licorice and dark chocolate aromas. A touch of alcohol as it warms up.

T: This is rather uniquely bitter stout, i.e. you can tell that the bitterness is not necessarily from the hops. So it must be from...the Oaxacan chocolate? A bit rough on the palate - a little cellaring is in order here to achieve the desired balance. But there are nice tones of licorice, some sweeter malts and a chocolate taste as well. As it warms up, it's quite tasty.

M: For a beer of this power, this is a bit of a lightweight. Again, I assume some cellaring will help. It has a dry, crisp aftertaste.

D: One bomber will do for the evening, but with the help of others, I'm sure I could manage at least one and half in a session. Other than the roughness on the palate, this goes down smoothly. The alcohol is barely noticeable in the taste, it is creeping up on me....

The first Stone Anniversary beer I've had and it's a great one. Hit the jackpot since I'm more of dark beer/malt lover than a Hophead. There's craft in this one, and I look forward to trying this in some six month to a year.This is an A-class brew in the making...

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2008 04:10:55 | More by johnnieoz
Photo of jlb307
jlb307

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter.

A: Very good looking brew. Poured black, with a nice thick dark brown head. Pretty good lacing, which actually took on a reddish hue as it clung to the glass.

S: Pretty consistent with other imperials. Smacked of malts and dark mocha. Semi-sweet.

T: Pretty bitter on the first few sips. Kind of mellowed as it warmed, which only left a slightly bitter aftertaste. Tasted more of a hop-type flavor rather than a bitter chocolate.

M: Very smooth. Clinged to the gums and roof of the mouth rather pleasantly.

D: If served slightly warmer than normal, it's pretty good. I might have this again.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2009 01:19:48 | More by jlb307
Photo of jamesm7485
jamesm7485

Colorado

3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For something called bitter chocolate ... i was expecting alot more chocolate bitterness i mean rogues chocolate stout has more upfront chocolate than this.

It pours damn near like Hershey syrup and is pitch black

To be honest i dont really smell alot at all

the taste is good the chocolate isnt nearly as upfront as the rogue but its still there

mouthfeel is good not as smooth or creamy as id expect from a oatmeal stout

drinkability is good despite the abv

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2008 04:03:24 | More by jamesm7485
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


3.83/5  rDev -7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2011 15:59:12 | More by ehammond1
Photo of racer2k
racer2k

Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2+ year old bomber poured into my favorite snifter glass

A: Beer pours a very dark used motor oil like black that does not yield much head. A slight off white sheen of head quickly dissolves in my snifter glass. Limited lacing but very sticky

S: Very boozy, malty, chocolate aroma to this beer. A complex theme of flavors that seems to center around a dark malt chocolate flavor.

T: Nice dark chocolate, liquorice, roasted malt taste with a hint of bitter hops. There is a distinct bitter chocolate malt finish to this beer which also revels a very strong alcohol presence.

M: Medium body with a very light carbonation to this beer. There is a medium thickness to this beer but the taste is quite smooth.

D: - Very drinkable beer given the thickness and high ABV content. This is a delicious beer that has aged quite well over the last several years. The interplay between dark chocolate, hops and malt backbone is most excellent!

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2011 00:40:22 | More by racer2k
Photo of BeerSox
BeerSox

Virginia

3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into 8oz snifter.

Pitch black with a brown one finger head that slowly settles to a thin rim.

Very light bitter malt aromas, which is very surprising. The alcohol comes through a bit as the beer warms. Some light molasses aromas emerge as the beer warms.

The bitter malts are repeated along with a little bit of dark fruit and caramel. Some hop bitterness is in there toward the end. Only a little chocolate is in there. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The finish is lingering bitter malts and a bit of molasses.

An okay American Stout, it seems to lack the smoothness of your typical Oatmeal Stout. That's where the bitter comes in though. Slight complexity, although I feel like the flavor wasn't as full as I would have liked. Decent, try it for yourself.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2008 03:53:32 | More by BeerSox
Photo of joeysmokedporter
joeysmokedporter

Maryland

3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter.

A: pours like viscous motor oil from the bottle, dark oily black, no highlights, opaque, with a brown head. The head dissipates but leaves lacing, and a brown oily sheen is visible on the glass when I tip it for a taste.

S: chocolate, caramel, coffee, bread pudding. alcohol also present in the aroma.

T: starts with lots of chocolate, followed by roast, coffee, toffee, caramel, and finishes with alcohol that also contributes bitterness. the roast and coffee flavors linger in the aftertaste.

M: thick, chewy, viscous but oily, slightly gritty to go along with the roast. heavy on the tongue.

D: while high in alcohol this beer is fairly drinkable. Lots of flavor and character; pair with a bold dessert that complements it (I chose pumpkin roll and vanilla ice cream, which worked well).

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 23:25:55 | More by joeysmokedporter
Photo of hiikeeba
hiikeeba

Texas

3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a trade. Gorgeous graphics! Looked forward to opening it.

A - Jet black and inky. Thick and opaque. Thin brown head fades quickly. Beer clings to the glass like a thin syrup.

S - Oats and roasted grain dominate with a hint of chocolate and a hint of alcohol. Reminds me of bourbon.

T - There's a metallic tang along the edges of my tongue, but not bad. Leaves a slight roast bitterness with some astringency. Alcohol rises from my throat just like a bourbon.

M - Silky smooth, with slightly low carbonation. Very creamy.

D - Not bad, but I don't think I want another one. It might be good cellared and aged. It would rock with some vanilla ice cream, like a float.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2008 21:49:19 | More by hiikeeba
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev -7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2009 15:15:29 | More by rfgetz
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2010 20:47:31 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of brdc
brdc

Wisconsin

3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Large capped bottle, poured into a pint.

Pitch black, dark brown head, little to no retention, some lacing.
Aroma includes a noticeable chocolate, some burnt (not roasted) malts, and it is all quite faint.
Medium bodied, a bit thinner than I would have liked, it has a quite plesant taste, if not overly complex. Bittersweet chocolate, roasted (not burnt) malts, coffee, and maybe some oatmeal, but I could be just looking too hard for the oatmeal.
A pleasant brew, quite good actually, but below the very high standards I look for in a Stone stout.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2008 01:57:42 | More by brdc
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another anniversary offering from Stone which I expected to be good and it was. Obviously black, minimum brown head. It smelled like chocolate, tasted like dark bitter chocolate, fruit, and a strong alcohol component which was a little strong (and the reason I didn;t give a higher score for taste). It seems like most oatmeal stouts feel silky and this one does as well.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2008 03:52:32 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of ffejherb
ffejherb

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2008 14:50:40 | More by ffejherb
Photo of erosier
erosier

Connecticut

3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

L: Pours a deep jet black color with a small and thin brown colored head that sticks around for a bit.
S: Smells of alcohol, deep chocolate malts, and some roasted coffee aroma at the end.
T: Tastes alot like it smells. Deep chocolate malts, roasted malts, some coffee flavoring perhaps from the roastyness of it, then a big alcohol finish and then a nice really really bitter dark chocolate aftertaste.
M: Very thick, smooth, and very warming.
D: OK drinkability. Possibly too much alcohol in this one, but a very good beer nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2008 01:39:43 | More by erosier
Photo of barleywinebrewer
barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

125 reviews as of this writting. I'll skip the usual review and free form this one. On the plus side I thought this was the dullest darkest brown heads I've seen on a black beer in some time. I liked the oat smoothness and chocolate aspects. On the ok but a bit much side, the heavy roast and battle between bitter bakers chocolate and hops left me thinking one was nice.

My hats off for their adventure.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2008 17:59:43 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of USCTrojanBrian
USCTrojanBrian

Maryland

3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber, into a nonic pint

The usual roasty malt flavor and aroma. Chocolate takes a while to present itself. A touch watery for a stout, which I appreciate. Alcohol hides itself well, but is present after about a pint or so.

Surprisingly solid head, with warmth gets much more complex and smooth and creamy.

Not a world beater, but solid and different, worth a try or two.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2008 04:09:00 | More by USCTrojanBrian
Photo of pinotboy007
pinotboy007

Virginia

3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Opaque/black with a beautiful deep copper/espresso colored head that leaves moderate lace.

S - Not too much there... a touch of chocolate and hops.

T/M - Splendid espresso, cocoa powder, green olive, leather, and hops all coming together in a silky, creamy stout that's firing on all cylinders. The alcohol is there but it's very supportive in this sophisticated brew.

D - More than drinkable and would be great with BBQ, cigars, on its own - you name it. Wonderful stuff I intend to buy again and even let a couple of them age.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2008 21:19:00 | More by pinotboy007
Photo of nasty15108
nasty15108

New York

3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

A - Poured pitch black with foamy tan head and minimal lacing.

S - Very astringent aroma. Malty aroma of dark chocolate with lots of alcohol mixed in. Slight hint of smoke.

T - Bitter and slightly medicinal. Hints of dark chocolate and smoke.

MF&D - I was actually a little let down with this one at first, but after it warmed it got a lot better. The warmth really brought out the flavors. Still, not as good as the RIP, but definitely worth checking out.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2008 19:50:21 | More by nasty15108
Photo of checkfeet
checkfeet

Korea (South)

3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a lovely opaque black, like it is so dense it sucks in the light from neighboring stars. Low carbonation, little head or lacing.

Chocolate and alcohol on the nose.

The bittersweet part of the title rings true - unlike most chocolate stouts it isn't particularly creamy. Lovely chewiness.

My only complaint is that the alcohol seems to dominate the aftertaste. This is aged over 20 months, so we're a little surprised that the alcohol isn't well masked. Still really enjoyable though.

Warming on a chilly night.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2010 14:00:38 | More by checkfeet
Photo of wknight167
wknight167

California

3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Apearance - Pours black with a one finger brown head that slowly fades and leaves intricate lacing..

Nose- Tobacco, chocolate and roast coffee predominate.

Palate- Roasty coffee mixed with chocolate milk, so... mocha I guess?

Mouthfeel- Full bodied, medium creamy carbonation.

Drinkability- Goes down easy.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2010 05:38:35 | More by wknight167
Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 846 ratings.