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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

1,717 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,717
Reviews: 256
rAvg: 4.54
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 2,104
Gots: 645 | FT: 78
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: 1,717 | Reviews: 256 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dunlap926
4/5  rDev -11.9%

dunlap926, Mar 22, 2014
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4/5  rDev -11.9%

hannydawg, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of Alpar
4/5  rDev -11.9%

Alpar, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of HighLowJack
4/5  rDev -11.9%

HighLowJack, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of THATGUY_BIGMIKE
4/5  rDev -11.9%

THATGUY_BIGMIKE, Jul 01, 2013
Photo of Respirologist
4/5  rDev -11.9%

Respirologist, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of Kelton
4/5  rDev -11.9%

Kelton, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of nedvalton
4.01/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- very black with little to no head at all. Very viscous leaving noticeable lacing.

S- sweet roasty with definite vanilla and cocoa undertones.

T-very sweet. Not overly hot especially for the alcohol level. Mild vanilla with faint hint of cocoa in the very distant background.

M- thick almost like oil but very nice. Coats the inside of your mouth with the first sip

O- a solid beer especially for the high alcohol. Its worth trying for sure.

nedvalton, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of BMMillsy
4.01/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from dak. Thanks! 2013 bottle (I think) shared with beastmaster. Pours dark brown (thin looking) with no head whatsoever. Big vanilla chocolate nose with huge sweet bourbon and a bit of licorice and woody oak. Big thick mouthfeel, velvety, with low carbonation but not flat. Big burnt sugar and molasses up front, with sweet chocolate syrup on the back end. Bourbon booze burns on the time. Packs quite a flavor punch. Serious sipper with a lingering sweetness that is rather pleasant. Starts great, harsh going down and waaaay sweet, then the linger is fantastic after dinner treat. Age might do this well for that middle portion which makes it tough to deal with more than a small pour (5 oz here). Only two of us, so recapping the rest for tomorrow.

BMMillsy, Jun 21, 2013
Photo of Phelps
4.03/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into a wine glass.

Burnt umber, milky and opaque in the middle and clearer at the edges. A hard pour results in nearly no head, which is expected -- this thing is like liqueur.

Huge bourbon nose, packed with alcohol. Vanilla bean, buttered toffee, acrid charred oak, and dark chocolate sauce. Lots and lots of chocolate sauce.

Wow, is this rich. Vodka-soaked heath bars, bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, oak. It's a delicious blend, but so sugary I'm worried I'll get a headache.

The word of the day is: rich. Thick, syrupy medium-full body. Alcohol heat is high, like pepper spice on the tongue. It numbs the tongue a little as well. Carbonation is light and prickly. Heavy stuff.

Like drinking chocolate frosting. Thick, rich, highly inebriating. It is, however, a one-trick pony. There's not a ton of complexity, but you don't really need it. Chocolate? Good. Stout? Good. Bourbon? Gooood.

Phelps, May 25, 2013
Photo of billab914
4.03/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Siege06nd for breaking out a bottle of this the other night. 2012 vintage poured from a 750ml bottle. It poured dark brown in color with a spotty tan lacing scattered across the top. It appeared a little lighter in color and more still then I would have liked.

In the aroma the vanilla immediately stands out to me, but the chocolate isn't far behind. I get a little roasted malts to it, but the sweeter chocolate and vanilla steal the show. It's got a bit of a nice dark fruit presence as well. The bourbon was a little more reserved, but did come out more as it warmed. It's definitely sweet and boozy, but the aroma was good enough to overcome that for the most part.

Lots of chocolate and cocoa come out in the taste. The vanilla really starts to shine more towards the finish. I get a little bit of a roasted malt presence, helping it from becoming too over the top sweet. The bourbon is in the finish as well, but adds more of a boozy, alcohol heat and doesn't really compliment or integrate into the beer flavors all that well.

The mouthfeel is a little oily with low carbonation. The mouthfeel is a little thin for the style, but I like the low carbonation. Overall, very good but short of great. It's very rich, with some great flavors but the boozy alcohol heat hurts it for me. The bourbon barrel flavors just doesn't seem as complimenting, integrated and smooth as they could have been.

billab914, May 31, 2012
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.05/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 ml wax-dipped bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.
18.5% ABV, 2014, Best stored and cellared around 55°F

A - Pouring thick and rich, this (surprisingly) dark brown beer's high alcohol content drives the tan foam to a thin halo almost immediately but, give this boozy beer a swirl and legs will drip down the glass for what seems like forever.

S - Thick soy sauce cakes grain alcohol-soaked raisins while molasses seeps through faint charred oak barrels that once held bourbon. Until the beer sits and really warms up, chocolate isn't even part of the picture but, it's milky nose peeks through with whole vanilla beans for a more pleasant olfactory experience.

T - A trail mix of dark chocolate morsels, booze-soaked raisins, creamy vanilla yogurt bites, and caramel-draped charred oak cubes fill the mouth with potency, almost completely overlapping the bourbon barrel character, save for the whole booze-soaked raisin part. It's damn tasty - much tastier than the outrageous nose lets on, but it's comes across more like straight grain alcohol was added to the beer once inside a charred oak barrel.

M - If it weren't for the onslaught of alcohol, Chocolate Rain might otherwise come across as a thick, throat-coating imperial stout. The truth of the matter is, there's so much freakin' alcohol in this beer that it cuts the full-bodied feel with thinning solvent heat that carries from mid gulp down the throat where it perpetually warms the stomach. It's creamy smoothness makes for a nice sipping beer when the potent alcohol is cast aside, though!

O - Here I sit, reviewing The Bruery's Chocolate Rain in my Bruery hat, feeling kind of silly about that. ...And the fact that I just absently dropped a rhyme. Moving right along... Chocolate Rain shows some serious promise but like Bourbon County Stout, I couldn't possibly see myself truly enjoying this beer fresh ever again. If I crave hard alcohol (which I almost never do) I'll pour myself hard alcohol. Chocolate Rain's Tripel Bock-like soy sauce nose is immediately off-putting but slowly opens up to richer nuances, transitioning into a fuller, more rich flavor of chocolate, vanilla tannins, and some trace of actual beer instead of solvent alcohol. I never age a beer I haven't had fresh but I'll count this as a learning experience; The Bruery's Chocolate Rain will probably be exceptional with 2-3 years of sitting in a cool, dark room on it which is the only way I'll have a bottle of my own next time.

BeerFMAndy, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of oline73
4.05/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was able to try this at a tasting this past weekend. Poured from a bottle into a Colossus snifter.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with a mild amount of tan head that leaves a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Chocolate and roasted malt with some cocoa and dark chocolate. There is a lot of really hot liquor in the finish.

Taste: Cocoa and roast hit the tongue right away. The chocolate flavors are mildly sweet, but the roast seems to dominate. There is a heat from the alcohol that shows up immediately and builds throughout the sip.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side of medium with smooth carbonation and a finish that is a bit dry.

Overall: This is a good beer, but didn't quite live up to the hype for me. I would love to try it again with some age on it, but we'll have to see if that happens.

oline73, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.05/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the RS membership party

Look: Black and totally opaque thin tan head and some spotty lace

Smell: Chocolate and a touch of alcohol

Taste: This beer is pretty straight forward in terms of flavor. Quite a bit of chocolate and quite a bit of harsh alcohol which create a bit of a rubbing alcohol finish. Definitely needs to mellow out

Mouthfeel: Full body and low carbonation a bit warm from the alcohol and slightly sticky

Overall: This beer is what you expect it to be. Lots of chocolate and alcohol. Sadly the alcohol is not well hidden like the it is in black tuesday but you get what you think you will

DarthKostrizer, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of Urbancaver
4.05/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown with a reddish hue. No real head on this one. Smells chocolate heavy and incredibly boozy. Tastes sweet and harsh. The booziness is overpowering. Needs more time i think. Lots of sweet maltiness but the booziness kills it. Overall interesting but too much!

Urbancaver, May 21, 2011
Photo of gory4d
4.05/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a few bubbles - no head to speak of. It's pretty clear, not as opaque as I'd expected. The smell is heavy on the bourbon, with some sweet notes of cocoa and vanilla. The taste is big sweet chocolate upfront, some notes of oak and vanilla in the middle, with big bourbon burn at the end. The vanilla became more prominent as it warmed. It's fairly thin, moderately carbonated, easy on the tongue. A nice beer.

gory4d, Jan 31, 2012
Photo of Halcyondays
4.05/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally, a year late, I got to have this on cask,

A: Pours a dark brown with a mild cask head. Some lace, very nice colour.

S: Lots of chocolate, bourbon, the cacao really comes out and differentiates it from BT. A soothing but complex smell.

T: Direct bitter cacao nib flavours. Sweet residual sugar throughout with a hint of acidity in the finish.

M: Full-bodied, but thins out a bit with the acidity towards the end. A big beer though for sure.

D: A very nice stout. I was a bit underwhelmed as I missed it last year and have been waiting for this moment. Not as good as regular Black Tuesday for me, but in the whole scheme of things it is well made in its style.

Halcyondays, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.08/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, courtesy of daryk77 - cheers man, as always. Shared as we watched the end of the presidential election festivities.

Poured into a goblet. Black as pitch, slightly chestnut when held to the light, with a thin off white head that recedes into a thick, but substantial ring.

Nose is very sweet: coffee, cream, booze, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, light burnt sugar. You can smell the weight on this.

Very tasty indeed, "rich" is an understatement. Boozy? At a hair under 20% of course it will be. However, I did find the sweetness and the booze more pronounced than the Tuesday. Vanilla and sugar quite prominent, though the other flavors are certainly there. Don't get me wrong, this is a damned tasty beer, but I give the edge to the Tuesday. Syrupy, velvety feel, with enough carbonation to keep the sweetness at bay.

Very enjoyable beer, definitely worth a second look if I ever come across it again.

JohnnyBarman, Nov 17, 2012
Photo of Alieniloquium
4.08/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a taster. Batch 2. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Dark brown, not quite black. Ruby flecks in the light. Mocha head that's gone pretty quickly.

Smell - Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Nice, until the booze. Wow is it boozy.

Taste - Sugar. Sugar again. Bourbon. Chocolate, then sugar and sugar again. Alcohol rounds it out, I guess. I get the chocolate, but there's no other evidence of a stout in there. Still, it tastes pretty damn good.

Mouthfeel - Sugary sweet. Diabetes in a bottle. 3 or 4 oz. is the most I could drink of this. Excruciatingly boozy.

Overall - It's so over the top. Better than BT, but only because of the chocolate flavor. There's barely a stout back there behind the barrel and chocolate.

Alieniloquium, Jul 17, 2012
Photo of DaveJanssen
4.08/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split a 750 mL bottle 3 ways, poured into red wine glasses. Reviewed night of 3/19/11

Ar: Heavy sweet, decadent, mild soy/meat, chocolate syrup, vanilla, rich dark chocolate cake, light coffee, roast/burn, maple, alcohol

Ap: Low head, dark tan/light black, legs

T: Rich and sweet, heavy chocolate, roast, very mild burn, dark chocolate, reminds me of KBS in some ways, rich and full, molasses, licorice, light tobacco, heavy dark caramel with dark chocolate, bourbon and wood, strong maple (lingering), strong vanilla, alcohol, baking chocolate

M: Heavy, mild carbonation, sweet and full, roast and alcohol end, mild alcohol character for abv

O: Very good, stronger coffee quality than i expected/remember in Black Tuesday, strong complex and rich, reminds me of KBS and to some extent BCBCS.

DaveJanssen, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of treyrab
4.08/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An every so generous Dyan brought Chocolate Rain featuring Tay Zonday to our Philly Tasting Part Deux tasting. Thank you, Dyan! Here is a video of the Chocolate Rain pour, in which Tay made a surprise appearance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLWGA4FeTsI&feature=related

A: Chocolate rain opens up with a nice melody of tunes. Further, the hiss evidences nice carbonation, which is not expected for a beer of this size. Pours into the glasses a pitch black, oil, with surprisingly lively carbonation. A tad thinner than I was expecting for such a large beer.

S: When smelling the rim of the bottle, it smells identical to a sweet vanilla bean. Literally on other flavours at all besides vanilla. It was pretty awesome. However, that scent did not carry through to the actual beer. The beer itself was also very nice, with sweet vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon. The vanilla really kicks the shit out of all other scents, and it smells extremely sweet. Smells like a very, very solid dessert beer.

T: Having this side by side with Black Tuesday, this one was a tad thinner and not as complex. Definitely more of a dessert beer than an Imperial Stout. Sweet, complex vanilla blends with nice bourbon and chocolate. Super sweet all around.

M: For a beer this big, it was a tad thin. Expected a tad more viscosity, but it is still very nice.

Overall, I am glad I tried this one. A little too sweet for me (and I am a big fan of sweeter beers), and not as complex as Black Tuesday. Still, very, very solid!

treyrab, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of magictacosinus
4.09/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Managed to try this the other night thanks to a surprise bottle opening at a bar I go to. Thanks to everyone who was generous enough to share! One of my top wants for a while. 2013 vintage. Poured into a wine taster glass from a 750ml bottle. Keep in mind that I *haven't* had Black Tuesday yet as of this review, so I have nothing to compare it to.

This actually was a gusher. Are you joking?! Nevertheless, pours pitch black (as expected), with some brownish, tanned streaks, which mostly manifests itself in the head. The alcohol legs are monstrous, but lacing is actually far better than I thought it would be, leaving behind granite looking droplets against the wall of the glass after every swirl and sip. Looks like a chocolate liqueur melded with port wine, plain and simple.

An immediate blast of malty, chocolate and oak laden sweetness reaches the nose, but it's a little more complex than other imperial stouts within the category. The first flavors that hit the nostrils (albeit a brief sting from the alcohol) consist of fudge, caramel, and vanilla, and soon meld into a far more unique profile at the finish - with roasted cashews (seriously, not joking, this is very nutty), tobacco, prunes, dark cherries, and molasses. Quite a complex offering, and while it fails to hide the alcohol as well as I'd want, it's still extremely diverse for a mere chocolate-forward bourbon barrel aged offering.

The flavor is exactly what you'd expect it to be based off of the aroma - an enormous cascade of chocolate and fudge, combined with a brief sweetness of burnt toffee, vanilla, and caramel. Very, very sweet, but luckily other flavors make themselves noticeable at the finish, ranging from dark fruit (blackcurrant, prunes), spices (cinnamon, tobacco), and a brief tannic consistency from the oak barrels. While there's some carbonation, this is extremely syrupy, but luckily it's not overbearingly sweet so it doesn't bother me as much in the long run. As a port wine lover, it's pretty impressive how this tastes very similar to drinking a high quality Tawny with some dark chocolate alongside. Very enjoyable, but 4oz was more than enough.

Very good, but most certainly not worth the $40 price tag they're asking for on this. TCHO is one of my favorites and their chocolate really accentuates the base beer overall. Perhaps improves it, but I will only find that out as soon as I get to crack open my first BT. I'll be honest, though - it's going to be hard to find a beer of this type again that is as decadent and as complex as this one is!

magictacosinus, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of CenCalMario
4.1/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap from a beautiful barrel @ the 2011 Black Tuesday release. This my 4th or 5th time trying Chocolate Rain and I wanted to put down a review. It never disappoints.

Appearance: Black, brown chocolatey colored on the edges. Slight head for this beast.

Smell: Chocolate, bourbon, boozy aroma - you know your gonna get hit with the alcohol when it hits your lips.

Taste: Chocolate, some oak coming though, vanilla bean for sure... so good, so strong, so balanced... Like a roller coaster of flavors and tastes.

Mouthfeel: Big beer, full bodied, light carb, very smooth, silky, tad boozy but not over the top.

Overall: A great beer. I probably prefer more Black Tuesday for longer drinks or bigger pours, but it's a stellar beer that must be tried!

CenCalMario, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of Arbitrator
4.1/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by largadeer. Thanks, Beer Jesus. From notes.

A: Pours a pitch black with no edge translucence. Very viscous, leggy (nice!). It has a small mocha-colored head.

S: Rich, burnt caramel, chocolate, vanilla, molasses, raisins, bourbon. Some coffee, and of course, booze. As with many other Bruery beers, this is dessert in a bottle. Extremely rich.

T: The taste is rich, as well, but it's not cloying. It comes off as a liqueur; the heavy body delivers burnt caramel, bourbon-soaked raisins, molasses, vanilla, coffee. It's tannic in the finish, which probably helps it feel a little drier than it actually is.

M: I'm not sure who these people are that claim the beer isn't boozy. Of course it's boozy. But it's not quite as hot as I would expect (see some 120 Minute IPA for how to do it wrong). Even the sugar burn I typically get off Bruery beers is muted here. I don't know if that's from the oak suppressing it, but I'm impressed.

O: I like this beer more than Black Tuesday; but I liked the small handbottle of Cherry Chocolate Rain (from cask) even more. I hope that comes around again. I don't think this is really worth $35 or whatever the cost was, but it's a tasty beer.

Arbitrator, Oct 19, 2012
Photo of mgp2675
4.1/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decided to open this one with a few friends during our annual trip to Maine. Batch #2.

A- No carbonation at all really. Pour was slightly thin, similar to BT. Dark brown in color, not as dark as most stouts.

S- Right up front the chocolate hit me, followed by oak, bourbon, vanilla, dark fruit, toffee, and some burnt notes as well. There is a lot of alcohol on the nose as well. The aroma is extremely sweet, but I expected this.

T- A lot of the same notes in the aroma come through in the taste as well. Dark chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla are the main flavors that come out. The aftertaste is all dark chocolate. Chocolate Rain is definitely not as smooth as BT. There is a huge alcohol presence and although it doesn't taste like it's 19.5%, it's still very obvious that it's high. The taste is extremely sweet, maybe even more than BT.

M- Thinner, definitely not creamy at all. No carbonation.

O- This is good, but not great. It's on par with Black Tuesday if you enjoyed that, but it's different. I feel like both of them are constantly rated high because they're great for having such a high ABV, but that doesn't impress me. I'd rather drink a stout that's 12% and tastes better, but that's just me. There are some exceptionally complex flavors in this that made me happy that I tried it, but I wouldn't seek it out again. It's not very smooth at all and just too sweet for my taste.

mgp2675, Aug 19, 2012
Chocolate Rain from The Bruery
100 out of 100 based on 1,717 ratings.