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Chocolate Rain - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Chocolate RainChocolate Rain

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

295 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 295
Hads: 2,268
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 5.06%
Wants: 2,480
Gots: 858 | FT: 114
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: 295 | Hads: 2,268
Photo of ThePorterSorter
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Tom for sharing Batch#2 and Merc for sharing Batch#1

The beer pours a deep black with no visible head. The nose is cloyingly sweet with a touch of chocolate and way too much booziness. The taste is just as sweet and the immensely overpowering alcohol makes this beer less than enjoyable. I literally feel my palate burning with each sip...and none of the beers rich, chocolaty body comes to my rescue. I assumed the beer would have a velvety smoothness that masked the alcohol, but this is not the case. (Batch #1 is significantly better with far less high octane ethanol and much more chocolaty smoothness). I just don't understand the hype...but I'd recommend getting a Batch#1 over a #2 in any case.

2013 batch shared side-by-side with mocha wednesday and BT
Pours a bit darker than Black Tuesday, very dark brown, some sediment, razor thin head around the perimeter. The nose had a potently aromatic vanilla, some deeper chocolate notes, prune as it warms, caramel sweetness, hints of alcohol. The taste has a big chocolatey sweetness and burning ethanol in the finish. The mouthfeel is sweet, but has a vanilla and chocolate presence that cuts through the ethanol (especially compared to Black Tuesday). It's not as thick and full bodied as expected, but the alcohol is well masked, even when it warms. This beer is noticeably better than the base, really drinkable considering the abv and heavy flavors (1,417 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, 19.5% abv. Very dark brown, approaching black. No head to really speak of, but a very faint tan ring around the edge.

Big whiff of alcohol, even from across the room. Dark chocolate, bourbon and wood.

A bit of sweeter chocolate up front. Heavy notes of bourbon and wood. Perhaps a bit of vanilla comes through to round things out. Chocolate and booze linger on the palate for quite a long time.

A bit light in the body, with an almost oily feel. Alcohol is quite warming, but not overwhelming. Quite the experience. (534 characters)

Photo of mcallister
4.61/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours brownish red. Thin looking and unimpressive for a stout of this stature.

Big fusle alcohol aromas almost burns my nose hairs. Thick chocolate, vanilla and toasty oak with a nice layer of bourbon. Some dark fruit lies underneath.

Just a killer tasting beer. Layers of sweet melted chocolate, fudge, vanilla bean, bourbon, dried fruits, burnt caramel, toasted oak, very light coffee. Date, black fig, quince and black licorice. Some cherry and currant as well.

Mouth isn't big and thick but oily and slick with alcohol. But fits the beer well and doesn't interfere.

Mmmmm! (581 characters)

Photo of 1Adam12
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had 2 bottles. Finally just couldn't wait anymore and had to crack one open. Pours dark black, with zero head, zero bubbles at all. The smell is way too hot. Loads of alcohol, as well as chocolate, roasts, vanilla, and a bit of bourbon. Taste is sweet from the vanilla. Not as much chocolate flavor as Black Tuesday, and also extremely hot. Just too much booze. However, once you get pass the booziness, it is blended nicely. Mellow chocolate, sweet vanilla, and balanced bourbon make the flavor have a lot to look forward to. Mouthfeel, once again, just overrun with booziness. Full, and creamy, but the booze is just too much. Overall, I gave this a 4.5 based on how I think this will develop. I'm going to wait at least 2 years to open my 2nd bottle, and I think this will be amazing once the booziness fades. At the moment, I prefer Black Tuesday over Chocolate Rain, but that could change with some age. (908 characters)

Photo of DovaliHops
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared this bottle with the girlfriend and some friends at Eureka! Burger last night. Pours a thick black color with little to no head. Some tiny brown bubbles. Scent is very sweet and boozy. The booze is very up front in the nose, which quickly switches to sweet chocolate and vanilla. Subtle sweet bourbon aroma with more intensified vanilla. Taste is not nearly as boozy as the nose made it seem. Very sweet though. Intense sweet chocolate and vanilla flavors...like literally eating some rich chocolate cake. I feel like there could have been more barrel flavor to this beer...and possibly a little overly sweet. Mouthfeel is full bodied and syrupy. Drinkability is fair, as long as you are sharing it with a good amount of people. Overall, I enjoyed Black Tuesday a bit more. This is a well-crafted beer that most breweries could not pull off (a 19.5 ABV stout that is drinkable!)...just good in small doses. Glad I tried it. I have one more bottle and need to decide whether to age it longer or trade it. (1,010 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
2.94/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter, about 6-7 oz. 2011 vintage (Batch 2).

3.0 A: Deep brown/black color. Head fell just about as soon as it was made.

4.0 S: Surprisingly, the booze is fairly well hidden, in the the nose at least. Big roastiness, lots of sweetness, but reasonable. Chocolate, vanilla, molasses, and leathery bourbon. Coffee underneath. It's intense, but it doesn't have much of the subtlety or complexity that I like to discover in the style.

2.5 T: Big roast, lots of chocolate, caramel, and molasses. Vanilla with oak underneath. Big leathery bourbon. Uncontrolled sweetness and booze, but not quite as bad as BT '11 was.

3.0 M: Heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Too thick and chewy though otherwise okay.

2.5 D: This is undoubtably tough to drink and no one in my 'burgh tasting group cared for it. (814 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.04/5  rDev -7.1%
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. (751 characters)

Photo of Mavajo
4.51/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Do I even need to bother describing the appearance? Pitch black with a very minimal cream head.

This thing reeks of booze and vanilla bean, with chocolate back behind it -- I love it! Taste is the same. Actually reminds me a good bit of World Wide Stout. Big chocolate, licorice, vanilla, "bourbon" (and all that entails) and booze. I keep saying "booze" -- but don't let that fool you. Also, there's some roast on the palate, which I'm extremely sensitive too -- but it's minimal and quickly overwhelmed by the rest of the beer. This is imminently drinkable and smooth, with a nice warming burn as it goes down. Mouthfeel is syrupy, but not overly thick.

I love it, but I think I loved Black Tuesday even more. And quite frankly, I feel like World Wide Stout scratches the same itch pretty well...and WWS is way more readily available. (838 characters)

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.31/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle split a few ways

A: Very light for an imperial stout with minimal head. Not very good, but I guess it could be worse.

S: Tons of milk chocolate and vanilla sweetness with caramel and bourbon and tons of booze.

T: Very strong milk chocolate and vanilla again. Booze is a bit overpowering, but doesn't make the beer undrinkable. Bourbon is again strong, but a bit in the background. Very sweet and not very refined or complex.

M: Fairly thick mouthfeel with low carbonation. A bit too low on the carb.

O: This is a sweet boozy unrefined milk chocolate bomb. It's certainly not bad, but it's certainly not world class. (633 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2012 vintage. A huge thanks to my Reserve Society trustee Brewtifulmind for getting this bottle to me. Thanks Chad! Poured in to Bruery tulip.

A - Poured very dark brown and looked unexpectedly thin during the pour. Settled black with next to no head.

S - Big bourbon and vanilla notes up front with oak, cocoa nibs and a big sweetness. Very robust and inviting nose.

T - A big hit of bourbon up front with loads of sweet vanilla and oak. There is also intense cocoa and lighter licorice and roast flavours present. The vanilla really takes centre stage here with the added vanilla beans accentuating the natural vanilla from the barrels. There is a fairly big alcohol presence, but considering the 19.5% ABV, it isn't harsh at all. In fact, the ABV is just enough to balance out the sweet vanilla and cocoa. Very decadent.

M - Medium body with some viscosity at times. Light carbonation.

O - A truly decadent beer. I haven't had an imperial stout over 14% ABV that was as drinkable as this one. Remarkable. (1,017 characters)

Photo of GregSVT
4.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a snifter - 2012 Vintage

A: Pours a dark brown (not as black as I expected) with a tiny off-brown head that fades to a ring and leaves no lacing.

S: The nose is so similar to BT I probably couldn't tell the difference if they were side by side. There are nice notes of vanilla, chocolate, molasses, and bourbon. I'm not getting much cocoa or vanilla which is surprising.

T: The taste is simply amazing! Unlike the nose this is leaps and bounds above BT. There were massive flavors of chocolate, vanilla cream, fudge brownies, molasses, and bourbon.

M: The feel is medium bodied and thick like syrup on the finish. The beer does get kind of cloying the longer you drink it.

O: I was not as impressed with BT when I had it as I thought I would but this definitely lived up to the hype. I could drink this all the time in small quantities. It does get cloyingly sweet as you get to the end of your glass but it's so tasty. (942 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
3.38/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Lucky to get some of this stuff from a couple regular trading buddies of mine. Cheers to jbeatty and hotpipes for the bottles.

From a 750ml bottle into a snifter
Second bottling

Note: We drank this right after the 2011 batch of Black Tuesday, so much of this review applies there as well.

APPEARANCE: Luckily this one didn't gush like BT'11 did. Both beers pour very similar though. A very transparent, thin, and relatively light brown pour yields a thin, loose, bubbly, off-white head with lousy retention. Head quickly fades to a thin ring, which eventually vanishes as well. Looks flat by the end and absolutely no lacing at all. Much too thin and transparent for the style as well. Very disappointing; clearly worse than older vintages of the Black Tuesday.

SMELL: Quite a bold nose on this one. Chocolate notes for sure with a good dose of bourbon barrel. Oak and a touch of vanilla in there as well. Still boozy with lots of bourbon barrel, though the cocoa mellows it out a bit and it's not as harsh as Black Tuesday. Lots of chocolate and barrel, though not much stout per se.

TASTE: Lots of cocoa up front, accompanied by plenty of bourbon, oak and vanilla from the barrel. Booze and a touch of roasted malt through the middle, then a big, boozy burst at the swallow with some vanilla and chocolate following through. Big, bold and boozy aftertaste of bourbon, oak, vanilla and enough cocoa linger and linger on the palate. This is very much Black Tuesday plus cocoa and vanilla. A boozy, flavorful desert beer. Boozier than the '10 and '09 vintages of Black Tuesday for sure.

PALATE: Medium-light body with medium levels of carbonation. A little lighter than the base beer, and definitely lighter than older vintages of Black Tuesday. Goes down with a decent burn after the swallow and finishes rather sticky on the palate. Lots of heat lingers. Too light and harsh really. A little challenging here.

OVERALL: This is a huge beer for sure. The nose and flavor are quite decadent, thought it suffers from being wholly too hot right now. This and the '11 Black Tuesday were way hotter than I remember the 2010 and 2009 vintages of the base beer. Moreover, the look was sad and the feel simply too light and harsh to really be an enjoyable drink. While the appearance is a lost cause I'm afraid, some time will hopefully let the booze mellow and the feel smoothen out a bit, which will move this in the right direction. There is a lot of potential here, but there's too much "big" in the way. Thanks again for the bottles boys. I look forward to seeing how this one develops with a couple years on it. (2,621 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml poured into a matching Bruery snifter. The brew streams a dark brown that settles in the glass more toward black. An initial 3/4 finger of tan froth dissolves to a fine ring around the edge of the glass. Some spotting of lace sticks to the glass that is minimal. There is a greater amount of alcohol legs that sticks to the glass than lace. A swirl agitates bubbles from solution that again creates a quick dissolving film. When held to the light, the brew looks more of a clouded brown with some yellowish/orange highlights around the edges.

The aroma is fairly strong with notes of cocoa and vanilla. These 2 characteristics are also present in the base beer but it is really exaggerated here in Chocolate Rain. The overall nose is quite sweet smelling and inviting with character that is reminiscent of brownie batter. As the brew warms up, the alcohol starts to come through with some solvent burning to the nostrils and a faint amount of dark fruity character.

The taste is sticky and sweet with an immediate rush of chocolate and strong vanilla flavoring. There is no hiding that 19.5% abv though. It comes surging out with bold fusels and a solvent kick that strips the sweetness from the inside of the mouth and burns all the way down the gullet. There is a bit of bitterness here towards the back that seems like unsweetened chocolate and a bit of fruity hop accent. Black licorice is evident in the aftertaste.

This is a full bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is thick and chewy yet a smooth sipper. This is an impressively bold brew with a shocking amount of cocoa and vanilla inclusion (moreso than I expected.) As far as drinkability goes, this one is a brute and is not something to be drank glass after glass of. It is rich and inviting and something I would like to be able to take in small samples on multiple occasions, not try and tackle an entire 750ml of. Fans of Black Tuesday will love this but in my opinion this is really hot right now. I wish I would have waited a year or more to open this. (2,044 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes from The Bruery tasting I hosted Saturday night. 2012 vintage

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Alesmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- Pours pitch black with 1 finger light tan head. Almost no lacing and head resides nearly immediately.

S- Tons of chocolate and vanilla! Big bourbon nose as well.

T- Beer follows nose almost to a T. Big bourbon burn at the finish.

M- Full body, medium carbonation. Huge sipper with a fairly predominate alcohol burn at the finish.

O- Crazy beer! The vanilla is amazing and the chocolate ain't to bad either. (562 characters)

Photo of Duff27
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark brown body with brown highlights around the edges collar left.

S- Vanilla pops out immediately. Sweet, minty smelling. World class aroma.

T- I'd say vanilla in the forefront, not an aggressive vanilla though...very mellow. Bourbon heat mellow as well.

M- Low end of carbonation. Chewy thick mouthfeel.

D/O- Coco Rain, a real pleasure to sip. only BCBVS competes on the vanilla scale. Thanks 4DAloveofSTOUT! (418 characters)

Photo of TATURBO
4.87/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black. No head or lacing to be seen. Pure Stout here!

S: Amazing! Wow! Lots of Vanilla, Bourbon, Chocolate, Alcohol. A Seriously intoxicating smell that you could enjoy for a long time.

T: Chocolatey, Vanilla, Bourbon Barrel then the heat. Simply Amazing, again WOW! Great tasting beer.

M: Thick and full bodied but still very smooth. No carbonation.

O: I loved this beer and would love to seek out some again. It's Amazingly smooth, Tastes incredible. Chocolate/Vanilla/Bourbon Barrel Perfection! For it's 19.5% it's even more amazing to be so well integrated. Sip and enjoy this one! Thanks to 4DaLoveOfSTOUT for sharing this with us. (643 characters)

Photo of brotherloco
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Bottled 02/09/12. ABV 19.5%. Served in a snifter.

Pours dark root beer brown, slightly translucent. No head, just a tiny ring of bubbles. No lacing.

Aroma of dry chocolate, coffee, vanilla, bourbon, wood, dark fruits and a significant amount of alcohol. Chocolate is the strongest note.

Flavor starts with rich sweet chocolate. Some roast, but sweetness takes the forefront. Vanilla and dark fruit flavors are there, but sit behind the chocolate. Bourbon barrel notes emerge through the finish. Not tasting much of the copious alcohol, but heat comes on quickly. Chocolate lingers on in the aftertaste. Stunning and powerful flavor.

On the fuller side of medium bodied with low carbonation. Fairly silky and smooth.

A fantastic beer, especially for chocolate lovers. (785 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle dated 020912, Lot 30.

A: Pours jet black with only a tiny light brown head that fades almost immediately. Just little specks of lacing.

S: Huge boozy bourbon aroma. Loads of toffee, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, raisins and vanilla. Very similar to BT but with more vanilla and chocolate (but not much).

T: Up front, big toffee, caramel, brown sugar and molasses hit with a punch of alcohol burn to boot. Turns into a bunch of vanilla and bitter cocoa. Smooths out a bit into the finish with a sweeter milk chocolate. Stinging booze. Very sweet, especially in the chocolate and vanilla that stick around for a long time in the aftertaste.

M: Big, thick, heavy, syrupy mouth-coating stout.

O: Well, I had a BT last week and I wanted to compare to CR within a reasonable time frame. They are 90% alike. The biggest difference I noted was the lesser molasses and fruit element in this compared to BT, and the much larger chocolate and vanilla factor in this as well. This tastes more like a stout whereas BT tastes like a barleywine/stout blend aged in bourbon barrels. Regardless of the differences, this is one big, complex and sweet beast of a beer. It's extremely rare to get a beer that is almost 20% that comes out this well. This might be the only one, in fact. Hence the 5. (1,294 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
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. (1,414 characters)

Photo of siege06nd
3.68/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Excited to try this...

A. Disappointing, big time. Faint, loose head that quickly disappears. Looks like flat coke.

S. Really nice. Vanilla, chocolate, brownie batter, caramel, and ripe dark fruit. The fruit qualities here are amazing. But it also comes with an undercurrent of booze, which I fear will bleed into the taste...

T. And there it is. Boozy as all get out. Tastes pretty damn nice besides that, with chocolate, vanilla, caramel, fruit, and barrel. But man is it sweet. Uber-sweet. Disgustingly sweet. Fat kid finishing his whole bag of Halloween candy in one night sweet. Gahhh.

M. Flat-ish. Low on carb, high on booze, and mega-high on sugar. There is some very enjoyable complexity here, including chocolate, fruit, vanilla but it gets totally bombed out by the sweetness and the lack of carb.

O. Well, what a disappointment. Goodness gracious the hype train has gone off the rails on this one. If you gave me 4 more of these, I would trade very single one for some freakin' KBS. Just massively overrated, and quite literally diabetes in a bottle. One (maybe two) note and lacking in imagination, Chocolate Rain is admirably mediocre, but mediocre all the same. (1,180 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From 750mL gold wax dipped bottle to Portsmouth glass on 5/24/12
*From notes

-- Big, big thanks go out to siege06nd for opening his CHOCOLATE RRAAAIIINNNN!!! Thanks buddy. --

A: Not the best of introductions. This looks kinda like a cherry cola, as it's a pretty clean, fair brown. A forceful pour yields no head, no collar, no lacing. Really not off to a good start here.

S: I don't even have to put this to my nose to smell it, as this is as aromatic as any beer I've come across. Costco sized quantities of ruby port wine overwhelm my nostrils. Lots and lots and lots of red vine fruit. Letting this open a bit, the vanilla really begins to show itself. It's quite candied and really damn expressive.

T: Creamy, luscious vanilla, mounds of warm dark chocolate, intense red vine fruit and a boatload of booze. The bourbon and 19% ABV attack the finish. Jesus is this hot. It really sticks to the jowls and burns long after the beer's gone down my gullet. This is most certainly a dessert beer to be sure, as it's extremely cloying and pretty damn sweet. It's also divisive: most of the group felt this to be too much, where I really enjoyed it for what it is.

M: Lackluster is a good way of putting it. The feel for such a big beer like this should be dense and thick. I should need a knife and fork to get through this one. Instead, it's lacking any semblance of complexity and proper weight. I really think that a bigger body would make for a more balanced and enjoyable beer.

O: Certainly a good beer, but it's an aquired taste, I suspect. I found more pleasure in this then the rest of my tasting group, yet I do firmly believe that this never reaches the upper echelon of the ADIS style. I'm not quite sure how this got to the lofty status it currently holds, as I assume the hype train just got a rollin' and never let go. Do yourself a favor and hold onto your cellar's best bottles, as 'll bet they're better then this. (1,935 characters)

Photo of jegross2
4.87/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Reviewing the Chocolate Rain from The Bruery.
Score: 98

2012 vintage bottle (batch 2) served in my brand new Kate The Great balloon glass and enjoyed on 05/12/12.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color. This looks like motor oil. Completely opaque. A thin layer of brown/milk chocolate head quickly and completely settles. Minimal, oily lacing and minimal retention. This nearly 20% ABV beer is intimidatingly heavy on appearance. 4.5/5

Smell: Rich milk chocolate, vanilla beans and lots of modestly sweet raisin/dark fruit. Smooth molasses. Sweet on the nose, but not Dark Lord sweet. There is a little alcohol heat, but not nearly as much as you'd expect from a 19.5% ABV beer. 5/5

Taste: Sweeter taste than the aroma, but this beer is still far from cloying, "diabetes-inducing" sweetness (or even Dark Lord-like sweetness). Sweet and creamy vanilla and milk chocolate throughout. Ample warming alcohol heat on the midpalate, but no "booziness" flavor in conjunction with this palate sensation. Plenty of bitter cocoa, bourbon and molasses flavors to boot. As the beer layers, I detect a little sweet dark cherry flavor akin to the Black Albert. Just a little bit of oaky/wood flavor.

Mouthfeel: A little short of full bodied. Minimal carbonation. Has a slick mouthfeel that falls between syrupy and oily. Sweet and warming finish. 4.25/5

Overall: Sweet, rich and decadent. This beer is incredibly/surprisingly smooth and drinkable for the ABV. In my opinion, Chocolate Rain absolutely lives up to its hype. I can see why some think it's too sweet of a stout, but I did not think it was. I personally prefer this brew to Bell's Black Note. I doubt I could drink a whole bottle of Chocolate Rain -- be it because of the ABV or the layering sweetness -- but I probably could and would regularly knock this one back during the winter months if it was readily available in 12 oz bottles.

Recommendation: Everyone should seek a bottle of this stuff out to share with a small group of friends.

Pairings: A cocoa-nib rubbed filet.

Cost: $40 for a 750 ml bottle. (2,063 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to ArchEnemyBrew for trading me this beer! Thanks Hollis!

Chocolate Rain Batch 2 in a waxed 750 format bottle split 3 ways. An 8-9oz pour served in a snifter at cellar temp.

reviewed from notes taken on 5/18/12.

Appearance: black bodied beer with a thin brown head that drops quickly to no head or ring.

Smell: Perhaps my favorite part of this beer is the nose. Massive gourmet dark chocolates, bitter cocoa, and vanilla notes. Smells like a rich dessert. Hints of oak and bourbon are a bit more subtle. When this beer is at cellar temperature is has no booze in the nose, but as it warms the begins to become noticable. It just smells amazing, I could smell this beer all night.

Taste: Its taste is a little contridictory, but not in a bad way...it both a massive beer yet its mellow too. It pretty sweet, but not quite cloying to my palate because I enjoy sweeter stout over a hoppy stout. The beer opens up with notes of dark bitter chocolates, bourbon, cocoa and they mix with big vanilla notes. You can get a hint of the booze when this beer hits room temperature, but you gotta expect that when a beer is 19.50%.

Mouthfeel: This aspect of the beer also impressed me. Its full bodied beer with low carbonation. Its big, its favorful, mellow, and smooth. The alcohol is warming and has a mild boozey burn to it when at room temp. I think it drinks at an ABV of 12-13% which is impressive when it 19.50%. A sipper for sure. It also surprised me that the beer was not as thick as i expected it to be, but it does have an oily and slick quality to it.

Overall: Really crazy what brewers can do these days to push the envolope of truly big beer while still making it pleasant and palatable. I was impressed by this offering by the Bruery! Honestly, I dont think I would age this beer, I would drink it fresh.

Had this side by side with 2011 Black Tuesday! Gotta say that Chocolate Rain is much smoother and more mellow than Black Tuesday. (1,960 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.57/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First had: bottle as a "gift"
2012 bottle labeled as 19.5%ABV

Refrigerated for about a half hour, and allowed to slowly warm while drinking. Decanted into a Bruery snifter, dark cola brown color, translucent around the edges, with a thin, wispy tan head. No real lacing, but a streaky, oily film is left on the glass. Nose is pretty much straight up bourbon and dark chocolate. Taste is pretty hot with booze (my throat is burning as we speak), bourbon is the first thing to hit the palate, followed by dark chocolate, sweet vanilla extract, with notes of oak and cocoa powder. Chocolate definitely comes out more as the beer warms. It's sweet and boozy, basically, with some chocolate in it. A bit chalky in the finish. Body is on the heavier side of medium, but not at all full. The booze cuts back on the drinkability a bit, and I'd like to taste it after a year or two of aging, but that probably won't happen. Pretty good overall, but there are plenty of other chocolate beers out there that are better, made better, and of course much easier to obtain.

Tasty enough. Worth a try? Sure. Worth the hype? No. And I'm not going to give a super-high rating just because it's rarity. Easily the best Bruery beer I've had so far, but just further convinced me that all Bruery beers are overrated. I have other Bruery beers in the cellar, but I'm pretty much done going out of my way for them. (1,393 characters)

Photo of TroopScoop
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Epic thanks to BackFat for letting me get a healthy pour of this beer on DLD 2012.

A: Like many of the release-day RIS beers of current day, it is a deep dark brown with a thin coffee head. It still manages to retain a small head, unlike Dark Lord.

S: Dark chocolate. A quick bit of sweetness at first, but its just like a raw chocolate candle in front of your face. I really go for sweet beers, like Curmudgeon's Better Half, so I immediately got excited.

T: You remember the first time you went and bought a young's double chocolate stout, rogue chocolate stout, or anything else that said "chocolate"? A little part of you was really hoping it would be like the real thing. All the beers until now fell short. It is literally like eating a vanilla dipped chocolate bar. Sweetness is just perfect. The vanilla was present but did not take away too much from the chocolate in my opinion. It's just amazing all around.

M: So creamy. The conditioning all around leaves a mouthfeel i'll never forget. The chocolate lingers, as it should - it's the star of this beer.

O: This is one of the beers that have made it into my personally acclaimed "best things i have ever put into my mouth" list. I took one sip of this beer, looked at BackFat and said, "I feel like I just cheated on my girlfriend" Others have reviewed this beer and said it has too much chocolate, but thats why this is a forum - lots of this goes on personal taste and preference. Chocolate Rain hits just about every thing I want in a beer. Cheers! (1,518 characters)

Chocolate Rain from The Bruery
96 out of 100 based on 295 ratings.