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Chocolate Rain - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Chocolate RainChocolate Rain

Educational use only; do not reuse.

303 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 303
Hads: 2,345
Avg: 4.42
pDev: 10.41%
Wants: 2,513
Gots: 910 | FT: 118
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  18.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mikedashg on 10-28-2009

Black Tuesday with Vanilla Bean & Cocoa Nibs.

2011: 18.5% ABV
2012: 19.5% ABV
2013: 18.0% ABV
2014: 18.5% ABV
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 303 | Hads: 2,345
Reviews by ChayDudeBrew:
Photo of ChayDudeBrew
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Brew_Bear
4.99/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Chocolate Rain, 2013 vintage. Tasted July 5th, 2014.


Pours opaque black with tones of deep red. Initially there is almost no head, and the little there is disappears quickly. No lacing.


It is baffling how complex the aroma is. At first I'm sucked into a whirlpool of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and vanilla. Holy cow.

Once I recover, sweet ripe dates as well as red raisin greet my nose. I can also definitely smell the alcohol. There is a hint of wood somewhere in the back, and I perceive sweet bourbon somewhere in the distance. I'm overwhelmed with sweetness, sweetness, and more sweetness. Brown sugar, and sugar pie (a French Canadian specialty: brown sugar, cream, butter).

It doesn't take too long for fortified wine, port wine, madera and sherry to make their presence known, in no uncertain way. They are supported by a malty back bone.

As if it was not sweet enough, other desserts come to me after it warms up: chocolate cake, some sweet carrot cake, notes of cola, truffle, and caramel.


It tastes almost as complex as the aroma. My first impression is all dark chocolate and vanilla, with a touch of espresso, truffle, and caramel. It is almost unbearable how good this is.

Sugar pie returns (caramelized cream and brown sugar) - you really have to try this one day to know what I'm talking about. I feel like I'm drinking fancy Swiss chocolate candies. A little note of cinnamon remains after the sip is gone.

I can actually taste the alcohol. However, it doesn't overpowers anything, it balances well with the other components. Eventually I spot a few extras that do their thing quietly in the background: amaretto, a touch of hazelnut, and almond.

Finally, I taste what's going on in the background: tobacco, leather, and a hint of fig.

I was a little surprised to find very little bourbon, wood, molasses and licorice, which are typically found abundantly in this type of beer. I suspect those qualities couldn't find a spotlight on this crowded stage. Btw this is not a flaw, just something unusual. The beer is already outstanding.


The carbonation is pretty low, and I stand in a world of warmth from the alcohol (not burning though). Curiously, it leaves in my mouth a prickly sensation, that faintly numbs my tongue and even the inside of my cheeks. I suspect the vanilla to be responsible.

I was expecting a very thick and oily beer, but no, surprisingly, its body leans on the light to medium side. Viscosity is average, and it is not very chewy. It is extremely pleasant, to be honest, it elevates the drinkability. Even more surprising, the finish is rather crisp for that style of beer. Perhaps aging it for a year and half has thinned it just right?


Lots of surprises with this beer, especially with the mouth feel. The only flaw I found was the lack of head, which is a fairly minor one. For me this beer is nearly perfect, mature, and -excuse the language- fucking EPIC.

 2,962 characters

Photo of rand
4.77/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2014 batch

750 mL bottle to snifter

A: Cola-brown in color, not as oily-viscous as Black Tuesday - not sure if its the added ingredients or something with the process, but the viscosity is clearly reduced. A wispy, soda-like head dissipates and leaves almost no trace of lacing.

S: The added cocoa is prominent - smells like opening a box of chocolate truffles laced in booze. The molasses undertone that anchored Black Tuesday is replaced by sugary vanilla. Chocolate pie meets beer.

T: The flavors are less a confectionery treat and more beer-like, although it's a still a decadent sip. Easily parsed notes of vanilla and chocolate are balanced by oak, lots of booze and a touch of a leafy hops. Finishes long and sweet.

M: Rich and creamy, but not as oily and sticky as its Black Tuesday progenitor.

Just as decadent and delicious as Black Tuesday, but with the added ingredients slightly more drinkable.

 925 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.82/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to RipRap for this bottle; yet another beer I felt compelled to track down after mouthing it at a tasting. Big 750ML bottle, vintage 2014, with the trademark Bruery label & gold wax, split with my wife.

The pour is as expected: minimally carbed, and black as the soul of Adrian Peterson with a maple branch in his hand (or a Twitter account). Smells like chocolate milk that’s been doctored with 268 proof something or other: boozy. Not complex or great, but lovely.

Chocolate Rain is something I’d never carry an umbrella for. The first thing I notice is how toasty I am after taking my first sip, as the alcohol burns a warm track all the way down. I hope it doesn’t feel like that coming out. Massive chocolate notes & enough bourbon to sanitize a moderately dangerous wound leap out of the morass. Big-ass vanilla that would have dominated any other beer doesn’t show up until the mid-palate: damn, I’m drunk already. Fudge, oak, gold star maple syrup. The end is all booze & chocolate. Thicker than my…well, thick. Ridiculously drinkable. I’m not sure I would survive taking an entire bottle myself, but damn, I’d like to try. Then try again.

If ever a beer deserved to have the word ‘decadent’ tattooed into its foamy head, it would be C Rain. This is a boozy, chocolate, bourbony, TNT of a beer. It’s also fantastic & fully deserving of… what was I saying? My wife is now speaking tongues. That’s a good sign. Without question a top-shelf beer.

 1,494 characters

Photo of Austin32
4.87/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Words cannot describe.... Incredible chocolate smell, Tastes like bcbs big brother... 18%...you'd never know...props to BarrelAgedG for opening.

144 characters

Photo of nomomentwasted
4.92/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow. Wow wow wow.

All I can say after every sip was simply "wow."

This beer was incredible. Changed my whole perspective on what is possible with a beer. Overlord said it well when paired with ice cream, you'd make millions. Seriously, this is a beer of epic proportions, and one I'd trade two Black Tuesdays to have one bottle of this.

Appearance: Brown-black and flat as can be. I know it's cask and that's how it's supposed to be, but still thick and creamy as can be. No head whatsoever, but of little concern here.

Smell: Sweet Jesus. Bourbon, vanilla, milk chocolate, almost cookie-like sweetness on the back end, and just the slightest soy sauce, but not in a bad way. Probably from the bourbon. The senses have you brace for some huge bourbon notes, that's for sure.

Taste: Like a slap to the face and the only thing I can think of to compare it to is what it was like the first time I had a sour. My senses were so fooled. Bourbon is so, so mellow and accents the flavor perfectly, not too dominant in the least. Heavy vanilla and chocolate hit 1-2 punches like a dream. Finishes sweet and creamy, and all I can muster is a "wow."

Mouthfeel: The best beer I've ever had as far as creamy texture goes. Almost syrupy it's so silky. Oh my God I get shivers just thinking about how much I loved this beer. Carbonation might change this beer just a tad in both the good and bad direction, but it's of little matter here. Like drinking a liquid dream.

Drinkability: I have never had a beer like this. Never. A thing of beauty, a work of art, and a beast through and through. Would I want 22oz of it? Yes, yes I would. Just maybe not all at once. But at almost 20%, 22oz is like 11oz of Vodka.

Bravo. What a beer. My heart breaks a little every time I've thought of the fact that I may never have this beer again. Makes me want to buy cocoa nibs and vanilla beans and try and make my own out of my Black Tuesday. It's THAT good.

 1,939 characters

Photo of smb
4.73/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2015 vintage. 6oz pour in a Bruery snifter at The Bruery.

L: Pours with a light swirly mocha head. Oily blackness.

S: Intense aroma of milk and dark chocolate, dark fruit, figs, vanilla, oak, freshly baked cookies and smores. An exciting beer to whiff over and over.

T: Wow. Vanilla, brownies, chocolate and cookie dough hit at the front of the tongue, with oak and an almost white chocolate character at the back. There's some slight bitter stout roastiness and bourbon flavor in the mix, but it's barely detectable and it works well to balance out and dial down the sweetness.

F: 18.4% ABV... I don't understand how Bruery does it. Vanilla, brownie fudge and oak coat the tongue, and while you can feel a good amount of heat as it goes down... it's by no means harsh and finishes really clean for how big of a beer it is.

Overall: A well-rounded, stunningly delicious and decadent world-class barrel aged imperial stout.

 932 characters

Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Smokesnotes
4.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of steenkampa
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely amazing.

Got as part of a trade for a Sede Vacante from a local friend.

Very dark, almost no carbonation, super smooth. HUGE amounts of chocolate.

Not for everyone though, if you're not a fan of sweet heavy chocolates you won't like this one. Barely 'beer' at this point, but still amazing.

 305 characters

Photo of tectactoe
4.16/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Boom - Chocolate Rain. Huge shoutout to whomever decided to bring this to our tasting. I keep forgetting who brought what, dammit. Anyway, this was a big want of mine, and I'm grateful for not having to search the country for it. Pours a very deep brown color, not quite deep enough to be called black. Even an aggressive, straight down pour produced almost no head - a slight ring that fades to naught rather quickly. Possibly an effect of such a high alcohol content?

The aroma is one of the strongest and most poignant I've ever come across. It fills your nasal cavities long before you finish bringing the beer to your nose. Deep, deep vanilla aromas; dense and syrupy. A bourbon-like alcohol character is strong and robust up front, almost burning the insides of my nose. The bourbon is settled down a bit and held in check by a delicate chocolate that emerges; sweet, milky, and creamy through and through. All of these aromas only intensify as the beer warms up. The bourbon burns more, the malts get sweeter, the vanilla gets more dense. The harshness, the sweetness, the sheer dominance of the nose is quite intimidating - but hey, I would expect nothing less from a 19.5% ABV stout that was this highly acclaimed, right?

The first thing that my taste receptors send to my brain from the moment this beer touches my tongue is, "holy fucking sweet!" The sweetness is very high on this one, right out of the gate - honestly, just a tad overboard. The flavors, however, are very, very nice; baked brown sugar, bourbon soaked licorice and mild dark fruit, heavy vanilla beans, and lots of light, cocoa undertones. There is a solid oak and wood characteristic, front to back as well. As anyone would expect, this one gets much boozier as it warms up - starting off as a bourbon heat, it turns into a hotter bourbon heat accompanied by a slightly phenol or rubbing alcohol kind of heat.

The more and more I drink this, the more and more the vanilla-bourbon flavors stand out to me as the most dominant. The aftertaste is controlled by some light cocoa flavors that are sadly overshadowed by heavy booze. The sweetness also lasts long into the aftertaste, like a boulder rolling down a hill that is very hard to stop. Near the tail end of this beer, the alcohol is much more dominant and it actually helps keep the sweetness more in check. Slick, sticky, slightly thick mouth feel with super low carbonation.

Super glad I got to try this one - my 6 oz. pour was perfect - I would imagine that any more than this would be too much. The flavors were awesome, but there were two main things holding this one back from being a top 10 beer for me: it was a bit too sweet, and it was a touch too boozy and hot, especially as the beer warmed up. I guess that's to be expected from a 19.5% ABV beer, right? So maybe I'm being too harsh. But the beer was still damn good and the flavors were on point. Overall, if this were taken down on the ABV level and the sweetness was controlled a little better, it would easily be a top 10 contender.

 3,038 characters

Photo of t2grogan
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of OhioBobcat
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of jono0101
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of abeerdude
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Schlais
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of cjn40277
4.54/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Spaten454
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Dabeel
3.75/5  rDev -15.2%

Photo of SanFranJake
4.88/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of delaced21
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SkiBum22
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Ben7773
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of jeagleton
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

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Chocolate Rain from The Bruery
98 out of 100 based on 303 ratings.