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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

1,713 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,713
Reviews: 255
rAvg: 4.54
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 2,101
Gots: 645 | FT: 77
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: 1,713 | Reviews: 255 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of phichifiji00
4.65/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

100th review.

Appearance: Black with minimal tan head. Fades almost instantly. No lacing.

Smell: chocolate, vanilla, a bit boozy, but no where near the 18.3% abv.

Taste: chocolate, vanilla, chocolate milk, not boozy at all, a hint of bourbon.

Mouthfeel: full bodied, no carbonation, smooth, creamy, slightly boozy.

Overall: delicious. Very drinkable. Alcoholic chocolate milk.

phichifiji00, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of MarkIntihar
4.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at ridglens' pre-wedding tasting, graciously shared by the main himself. Poured into hayesez's Portsmouth snifter.

A - Pours very dark, opaque brown, with half a finger of pale tan head. Retention is nice, lingers for the length of the experience. Looks a little bit lighter and thinner than I expected.

S - Chocolate bourbon. And HOT chocolate bourbon at that. Super alcohol burn in the nose, which is a little unpleasant.

T - Starts off very chocolate, with the bourbon burn more in the background. Reminds me almost of Hershey's chocolqte syrup mixed with bourbon. Finish starts super hot, then smoothes out to a fudge-like chocolate. Very unique.

M - Burning. That's the only thing I can focus on. Does have a creamy feeling to it, but too much burn. The lasting feeling does even out though. Saves it a bit.

O - Overall, a crazy experience. I like it more than I probably should, but I don't totally mind burning. Absolutely ecstatic to get to try it!

MarkIntihar, Oct 22, 2011
Photo of mtep13
2.63/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Cracked this at a recent Chicago tasting. http://beeradvocate.com/forum/read/4132653

Thanks again Matt (exitmusic00) for hosting.

This beer was poured into a taster glass.

A: Deep dark brown/black. The beer had minimal light transmission, lacing, and head. The pour and swirl demonstrated a thin, low viscosity beer.

S: Chocolate brownie/hot cocoa on the nose. Subtle hints of vanilla

T: Lots of booze up front which quickly fades. Vanilla and brownie batter flavors linger after the booze is gone.

M: Mouth feel is thin with little carbonation.

O: I was excited by the hype of this beer. Unfortunately, the hype left me disappointed. The beer lacked the complexity that I would expect from this particular style. With a name like “Chocolate Rain”, I expected rich complex chocolate flavors that were simply not present in this beer. I am thankful for the opportunity to sample this beer. I would give this beer another try, but would not participate in a trade for this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

mtep13, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of spdyfire83
2.35/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

39th Review
Bottle to snifter.
2009 Vintage

A huge thanks to Mike (mtep13) for sharing this at our DL Variant & Other Ticks Tasting in Chicago. Stoked to finally try this whale.

L: Deep mahogany – almost burnt brown, but not quite black. Thin auburn head that disappears quickly. Does not look as thick as I expected.

S: This smells like a fresh plate of dark chocolate/fudge brownies with a touch of vanilla. Very, very sweet smell with a hint of alcohol coming off the nose.

This is where the beer falls apart. Sad, but true (at least in this review).

T: Hot and un-balanced. From the first sip, this beer was not enjoyable. Hints of chocolate, vanilla, and a little molasses, but all of these flavors are over-powered by the booze. Totally unenjoyable.

M: Thin mouth-feel; not what I was expecting. I had hoped and thought it would be more sludgy and thick, but it’s not. More disappointment.

O: Just awful. I hate to say this, but I was really excited for this beer and it is simply overrated. Too boozy, not thick enough for the style, and a complete disaster start-to-finish. I can’t help but think this beer is overhyped after trying it. I would never trade for it going forward, but it is possible this bottle could have been off. I’m thinking not, but maybe so. I will not go out of my way to try this again in the future, but if it happens to land in front of me, I’d be willing to give it another shot.

spdyfire83, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of Florida9
2.95/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2009 Vintage

A: Very dark brown, almost black, in color. Forms a thin dark tan head that quickly reduces to absolute nothingness. No lacing.

S: Loads of chocolate and cocoa with hints of vanilla and molasses.

T&M: The first thing you notice is how thin this beer feels in the mouth. Almost watery, but then the alcohol kicks it and it becomes thin, watery, and hot. The only flavor is chocolate. Cheap, shitty, chocolate mixed with alcohol. Lower carbonation.

O: This beer tastes as if someone took Nesquick, mixed it with water instead of milk, then dropped in a couple of shots of vodka. There is absolutely no depth or complexity to this beer and it is oddly thin for a Imp Stout as well. Drinkable, but certainly doesn't live up to hype.

Florida9, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of iadler
2.98/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Another bottle at the recent tasting. One beer I never thought I would try. Thanks Mike for bringing this! Poured into a snifter. '09 bottle.

A- Pours a dark brown with some red highlights near the thin mocha head. No lacing is left behind.

S- Uncooked dark chocolate fudge brownie batter, roasted malt, hint of dark fruits, vanilla wafers, and some sweet booze. Very nice.

T- Holy hell, this is hot. The ABV was fairly hidden in the aroma, but it attacks the taste buds with relentless force. The brownie batter is there with some black cherry roasted malt, and a bit of vanilla.

M- Medium carbonation and body. Thinner for what I was expecting from such a big beer. Finishes very boozy.

O- This was a pretty disappointing beer. Really boozy and not too complex. The aroma was the best attribute. Am I glad I got to try it? Absolutely. Would I trade my cellar for it? No.

iadler, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.43/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Swimsum brought this over to our place as part of an epic tasting on Saturday. Thanks Brent! Following review based on notes taken at that time.

4oz. sample poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Very little head off the pour. The murky body sits calmly in my snifter, showing off brown edges and brash viscosity when held to light. White bubbles meander around the surface, but that's it in terms of head; looks flat. Surprisingly weak glass-coating as well.

Smell: Booze, chocolate creme, and vanilla are easily discernible from the get-go. As it warms, the booze component actually fades, giving way to more vanilla, and dark berries (cherry schnapps-like). Very enjoyable.

Taste: Chocolate and vanilla dominate, while cream, macadamia nut, and booze play lesser roles. Not as complex as Black Tuesday in my opinion, but likely smoother.

Mouthfeel: Warm and dry, but also heavy, creamy, and surprisingly smooth given the ABV. Very lightly carbonated. A great sipper.

Overall: Of the stouts we had on this night, this ranked third in my book behind BA Speedway and Hunaphu's. However, all three of those beers were close, and the fact that this one outweighs each of those by ~7% really says something: given the ABV, this is unbelievably tasty and drinkable. As good as Black Tuesday? I don't think so. But it's certainly close.

ThreeWiseMen, Sep 30, 2011
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.36/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

A - Pours a dark dark brown with some nice darkness that does note let any light through. It is less viscous and oily than expected. There is a thin 0.25 inch head that is dense but is removed quickly. The high ABV probably has something to do with that.

S - Sweet milk chocolate is intermingled with some intense molasses and caramel notes. Dark fruits are extremely present some raisins as well as strong sweet caramel. Very very sweet aroma. The Bourbon notes are very apparent. The vanilla is very noticeable as well and is complimented with some slight woody spice that vaguely offsets the sweetness. The molasses is definitely prevailing here with some nice chocolate sweetness. The roast notes are not present.

T & M - Taste starts off very sweet. Tons of vanilla up front that quickly turns into a more caramel and brown sugar sweetness. Then there is some slight alcoholic burn. This is quite a hot beer. There is some chocolate notes on the palette as well that mix in with the sweetness. Tons of Bourbon flavor can be appreciated as well all throughout the brew. There are some dark fruit notes such as raisins and there is even some slight licorice on the middle-back portion of the sip. As the beer starts to warm there is more bourbon notes to the beer. THe vanilla is also more present as well as some nice slight chocolate sweetness and some mild coffee roast. The beer is quite hot with some boozy notes from beginning to end and lingering for a while. Mouthfeel is a bit lighter than I thought it would be but still it has a heavy body.

O - I think I like BT better than CR. This is a lot more boozy than I thought it would be and the chocolate seems to have died down a bit on my bottle. This would probably be better fresh. Still a good beer.

JoEBoBpr, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.88/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Massive thanks to Richard (Khazadum) for sharing this with all of us. There aren't enough high-fives in the world to cover that check...

Appearance -- Pours a dark chocolate hue with absolutely no head. Looks thick and menacing...I like it.

Smell -- In a word: indulgence. The glass exudes with decadent milk chocolate and vanilla bean, sweet Kentucky bourbon, roast malt, and a hint of dark fruits. it's incredibly aromatic, and considering the name, this is spot-on to what their intentions were. Good luck to any brewer thinking of trumping the nose on this.

Taste -- Again, lots of chocolate and vanilla sweetness, sweet bourbon, some roast and coffee-like character, and a modicum of dark fruit. It really doesn't live up to the aroma, but the flavors are still quite nice. The 19.?? abv is definitely apparent - as the beer is still cold the alcohol burn is not horribly perceptible, but that's all out the window after about 10 minutes of the glass held in hand.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with milder carbonation and a heaping helping of booze bite. Meh.

Overall -- Incredible aroma, but everything else about this beer falls short of Black Tuesday. The extra percent or so of ABV is so incredibly apparent. In the case of BT, letting the bottle sit a year or so will significantly diminish the booziness, as can be seen in the first batch. With the introduction of the cocoa and vanilla, these two will fade over time and I can't imagine there being a sweet spot in this beer's lifespan where there will be that incredible chocolate/vanilla flavor but with less booziness.

As it stands, I would definitely take a year-old bottle of Black Tuesday over Chocolate Rain. However, I'm curious to see what future batches of Rain will be like.

yeahnatenelson, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of jrallen34
3.93/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to Mike for a perfect beer to end the night with... pours a medium brown, shocked how much lighter than black tuesday this is, medium tan head is gone right away... smells like a chocolate brownie, super decadent, no alcohol or vanilla... tastes just like it smells, tons of chocolate, cocoa nibs all over this, no vanilla again, a bit rich to drink a ton of but still enjoyable and very drinkable for the abv

jrallen34, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of phisigben
4.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this at the Indiana Microbrewers festival, a huge thanks to Sprinkle and the Crown Liquor guys

Appearance - So black light doesn't get through this beer, zero head.

Smell - Huge chocolate nose with bourbon and hints if vanilla

Taste - Damn this tastes like Hershey's chocolate syrup with bourbon and a hint of vanillia, and I loved it. I like big sweet stouts and this one hits the spot. This was very hot I like beers with a alcohol bite, but this one had a big alcohol taste.

Mouthfeel - It was very oily/slick and very little carbonation. This was the worse part of this beer for me, it seems like with some age it might lose some of the oiliness.

Overall - I think with a year or more on it might calm down the alcohol bite, but with that said I would love to get my hands on a bottle.

phisigben, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of Sideswipe
4.43/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle at Clusterfork 6

A- Deep mahogany brown color with a quarter inch of light tan foam. Great lacing.

S- Big chocolate notes backed up by roasted malt and booze.

T- Chocolate brownie up front transitions into caramel and roasty malt flavors. There is a hefty alcohol presence, but it's not off putting. It integrates like a very well done chocolate bourbon cake. Very tasty. Finishes with lingering chocolate and bourbon notes.

M- Feel is sticky and viscous. Lower carbonation level accentuates the interplay of decadent flavors present in the beer.

O- Incredible. Given the hefty ABV this is a masterpiece of a beer. Extremely well integrated flavors make for an exceptional chocolate/ bourbon experience. A sipper for sure, but as big, chocolate Impy stouts go, this has no equal. Highly recommended!

Sideswipe, Jul 24, 2011
Photo of jradams76
4.47/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the Indy Summer Brewfest HUGE thanks to Bob for letting me try this! This poured black with a light brown head. This smelled of chocoalte heaven. You can smell the chocolate and hints of bourbon with vanilla. The taste matches the smell and hides the alcohol well. You can tell that it is 18% but it does hide it well. Nice and thick chocolatey goodness that coats the mouth well. Overall this beer lived up to the hype and I'm fortunate to have met Bob and was able to try this great beer.

jradams76, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of aasher
4.43/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 1. First off, oh my god. Eternal thanks to Bob for this one. It pours a dark molasses esque brown in color and poured very thick and syrupy. It smells like sweet chocolate syrup with a touch of roasted malts. It's awesome and very well integrated. It tastes of sweet yet not cloyingly sweet milky chocolate with a touch of coffee. The bitterness at the end is light and compliments the sweetness quite well. It drinkable thick and syrupy but drinks well for the size of this monster. Great beer. I almost hate when beers live up to the hype like this one does. Phenomenal beer, and actually a nice upgrade of Black Tuesday.

aasher, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of dboon
4.6/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Dstructo for sharing a cooler full of Bruery gems. Dark brown/black pour with a small brown head. Wonderful chocolate, malt, vanilla, and bourbon aromas. The taste is wild and totally reminds me of Coco Puffs. Very smooth for a 19.5%. Just an outstanding stout from the guys in Placentia..

dboon, Jul 07, 2011
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.93/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Had this at a Jackie O's tasting in May, provided by brew3crew (thanks Jason!). Huge ABV of 18.5%, biggest and baddest beer of the day.

This looked initially opaque, but it's a little transparent at the edges. Dark copper brown color (not as dark as expected).

This smells boozy, the alcohol is definitely apparent behind the cocoa. Maybe hints of bourbon too, mostly chocolate, ethanol, and some vanilla.

It tastes very hot, sweet and chocolaty, with massive malt character. Overwhelming might be too much of an adjective, but this is definitely a big beer and it feels like it. Sweet aftertaste of brown sugar.

Carbonation is on the low side, still adequate though. This was a treat, and was the beer I was looking forward to most at the tasting. I'd definitely try it again any time it might be offered.

TurdFurgison, Jun 19, 2011
Photo of jale
3.75/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of our tasting at Jackie-o's.

A: Pours almost black with just a slight tan head.

S: Big chocolate aroma, oak, vanilla and some booze.

T: Wow! Lots of chocolate and sweetness. This is a real dessert beer. Oak and some vanilla. The alcohol heat is huge. I feel the alcohol in my teeth and travels up into your sinus cavities.

M: Higher side of medium body.

O: This needs some time to mellow out. Maybe a year or longer for the flavors meld.

jale, Jun 14, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

opened up last night for my bday because i can, this one put me to sleep, lol. honestly though it took me until almost 2 am to finish this one off. served into a duvel glass and enjoyed on 6/11/2011

Poured a hugely thick and evil looking jet black molasses looking sludge into my pint glass, hitting the bottom of the glass like a thud. Such a rich dark color, there was no chance at all of any light coming through this one at any point what so ever. A huge dark tan colored head rose up from the depths of this one reaching a height of easily three inches which never really did settle down to much, leaving a constant pillow of brown of top that at the most settled down to around an inch and a half.

the first thing I noticed was how sweet it was, tons of sugar here in the aroma, thick chocolate like smells that really sweetened it up. Mixed in were the slightest hints of French roasted coffee and molasses, really giving this that big dark aroma that you look for in the style. as it warmed it started to let off some more bourbon notes along with a noticeable hint of vanilla that again confirmed how sweet it was.

The first flavors I was picking up were rich chocolate and vanilla that were layered upon a coffee like base. This gave it such a rich, complex and sugary profile that I was not even sure what was going on. As it warmed subtle notes of bourbon and licorice started to come though and blended in very well, keeping it sweet, but at the same time confirming its dark nature. The finish had a surprising amount of dry bitterness to it, that really caught me off guard being how sweet this was for the entire session,

overall this had to be the thickest, smoothest and creamiest beer I have ever had. I crave a good stout that has the consistency and feel of a chocolate shake, this almost one upped that,

mikesgroove, Jun 12, 2011
Photo of lestat314
4.43/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had several tasters at bruery 3rd anniversary party.

A- Poured deep black with little carbonation, displays legs and coats glass nicely.

S- dark fudgy coffee vanilla deliciousness, can smell the booze a little but i would say primary note is fudge.

T- Similar to smell very rich and chocolaty up front, more on the tail end i got coffee and vanilla, maybe a little caramel too.

M- Coats mouth similarly to glass, thick, heavy and warmth from the alcohol. to be expected from a stout this big.

O- very pleased with it, i love chocolate tho, if you don't you'll hate this beer.. chocolate is very present in smell and taste.

lestat314, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of Luvzsurfrz
4.72/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into my 4oz taster glass at The Bruery's 3rd Anniversary party! My 1st VIP pour of the day.

A: Dark brown/black with a hint of deep red, and a small tan head that receeded quickly.

S: Bourbon scent up front, with roasty, caramel, vanilla, chocolate notes intertwined throughout. Very complex smell, indeed.

T: Strong bourbon and chocolate taste up front, but with a swirl of vanilla, caramel, and rich malty flavoring. I had this right before Black Tuesday, so this is MUCH sweeter in taste, and also you feel the boozy heat quite a bit more. The sweet, however balances the boozy heat perfectly.

M: Medium carbonation, not as thick as I had anticipated, however nothing less than what I hoped for.

O: Overall, this beer was simply incredible and lived up to it's name. Definitely felt the abv, but enjoyed every drop of it! Hope to come across another bottle of this in the future.

Luvzsurfrz, May 31, 2011
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.58/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taster at The Bruery Annaversary party. Poured into a 5pz taster glass. Reviewed from notes.

Thin tan head dissipated fast. Left a ring of head. Super dark brown in color.

Aroma is amazing. Sweet malty caramel, dark fruits, figs, raisins, tons of chocolate and a bit of roastyness.

Tastes just as it smells. It's a little boost but expected at 18%. Bourbon, chocolate, dark fruits and caramel. Warming down the throat.

Mouthfeel is not as malty as the above taste discripters would suggest. Smooth but a little high on the carb.

Overall a fantastic beer glad I had it and with their up in production of these beers hopefully I can get some of this next year.

PeprSprYoFace, May 31, 2011
Photo of dmsohyea
2.98/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured at the Bruery 3rd Anny fest. Taster glass.

A: Dark brown to black with almost no light penetration. Very small brown head and no lacing or retention. Very viscus.

S: Smell is exceptional. Tons of chocolate and brown sugar. A strong vanilla extract scent as well. Booze is very detectable.

T: Tastes like chocolate liquor. So much alcohol taste it ruined the rest of the flavors for me. I was able to gather some brown sugar, lots of bitter chocolate, and a hint of vanilla. But it mostly tastes like a vodka soaked chocolate bar.

M: Mouth feel is mostly burning and harsh. Oily consistency with almost zero carbonation.

O: A great smelling beer that just has too much alcohol taste for my palate. I prefer smooth beers, and this is far from smooth.

dmsohyea, May 30, 2011
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 brew3crew
4.8/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Par of the epic tasting at jackie o's with brad and crew

A-nice brown body with a tan head that quickly disapates
S-nice chocolate smell. Very inviting
T-great coco and vanilla taste. Hint of the booze towards the end but it hides the alcohol very well.
M-full bodied and oh so smooth
O- great beer. Lives up to the hype

brew3crew, May 21, 2011
Photo of Brabander
4.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

We had a beertasting at Beerpirates place on sunday the 15th of may 2011. Jeffo, Claark13, Bierschenker, beerpirates and i drank a whole bunch of beers. Thanks for your hospitality Wim!

Wim has three bottles of this very rare and overwhealming brew. After the tasting he had only two because he was sooo generous to give us all this treat.

Poured in my Westvleteren tasting glass this beer looks good but not spectacular (like most stouts).

The smell and taste of grapes and (hazel)nuts and above all milkchocolate, tons of it!

Thanks again Wim, a real treat...

Brabander, May 20, 2011
Chocolate Rain from The Bruery
100 out of 100 based on 1,713 ratings.