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Chocolate Rain - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Chocolate RainChocolate Rain

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,943 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,943
Reviews: 265
rAvg: 4.54
pDev: 10.35%
Wants: 2,218
Gots: 681 | FT: 81
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Black Tuesday with Vanilla Bean & Cocoa Nibs.

2011: 18.5% ABV
2012: 19.5% ABV
2013: 18.0% ABV
2014: 18.5% ABV

(Beer added by: mikedashg on 10-28-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,943 | Reviews: 265 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by nhindian:
Photo of nhindian
4.8/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Bruery tulip. Split with russwbeck and tasted side-by-side with Chocolate Rain. Epic.

A - Depending on the light, the body looks anywhere from a glossy black, similar to Black Tuesday, to a ruddy, rustic brown. It builds a bigger head than Black Tuesday initially, eclipsing a 1.5-fingers of tawny head, but settles into a similar, foamy cap as Black Tuesday. Looking at the cap, a steady stream of carbonation cuts through the foam.

S - The initial aroma is hugely robust and bold, bursting with a sweet booziness that is almost unprecedented compared to anything I've had previously. Anise and roast are abundant as well, but it's easy to discern the vanilla beans and chocolate. The whiskey is strong as well, but even combined with the inherent alcohol aroma, it doesn't exactly come across as hot.

T - The first few seconds of the taste are offensive, abrasive, brash. But good things come to those who wait, and the roughness gives way to an amazingly smooth flavor that encompasses all that it was described as. Even with the addition of vanilla and chocolate, it somehow comes across as less diabetic sweet than Black Tuesday, and the transformation from harsh to silk is awe-inspiring. It forsakes the anise and char of Black Tuesday for a more friendly cocoa and french vanilla finish, and even though it is more sweet than your average double stout, it is many rungs lower than Black Tuesday and similar company. The back-end delivers a decent amount of whiskey, probably more-so than Black Tuesday, and make no mistake that it finishes hot, but every other flavor tries its hardest to mask it, and it doesn't even appear to approach the over 18.50% it actually is.

M - The mouthfeel is moderately heavy with nice carbonation. Definitely thick and bold, but not as syrupy or heavy as I was expecting. Really full-bodied though, and the flavors and sweetness last for a very long time afterward.

D/O - Drinkability is moderately high. As much as I was surprised at the flavors in this, the fact of the matter is that this is to epitome of a sipper. The alcohol isn't offensively hot, but it really creeps up on you (especially when you are drinking it side-by-side with Black Tuesday and drinking it during a large tasting) and the flavors are special, robust, and long-lasting enough that several sips are enough to last you a good amount of time before reaching that glass again. It certainly lives up to the hype and is one of the most unique and flavorful stout's I've ever had, but you need to split this since it is too much for one mere mortal to drink alone.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Brew_Bear
4.99/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

APPEARANCE

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

AROMA

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.

TASTE

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.

MOUTHFEEL

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?

OVERALL

Lots of surprises with 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.

Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of steenkampa
5/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Photo of tectactoe
4.16/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Chocolate Rain from The Bruery
100 out of 100 based on 1,943 ratings.