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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: 2,344
Avg: 4.42
pDev: 28.96%
Wants: 2,515
Gots: 910 | FT: 119
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 303 | Hads: 2,344
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

just a ludicrous beverage here, i mean come on guys, this is taking it pretty far, and its truly epic. maybe the final evolution of the huge stout. i was amazed by this on so many levels, although i also have to say that doing anything to black tuesday seems a bit ridiculous, like improving on perfection is pretty tough right? and im definitely not sure this improves on it any at all, but it does create a whole new landscape, and a delicious one. the chocolate is really dominant, aptly named obviously, its a mix of sort of sweet milk chocolate and really bitter dark chocolate. for some reason it only tastes like the nibs a little bit, with a much stronger actual chocolate flavor than the bitter earthiness and espresso roast. must be all the sweetness going on, this is sweet because black tuesday is sweet, its sweet because the vanilla is sweet, and its sweet because the bourbon barrel here is very sweet. its all a good sugar, but its hard to ignore, and it slows down the rate of drinking just as quickly as the alcohol here, which is strong, but not quite as strong as i expected it to be given the insane strength. not as thick as the others for some reason, its viscous no doubt, but its just not quite as coating and filling. this is a very special rarity, and i am very grateful to have gotten to share it with close friends.

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

wow beer. great chocolate, molasses boozy sweetness. the only bad part was i only had 1 bottle. Love what the Bruery is doing with beer!!!!!!! wishing i loved closer to LA #bruerybeer

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

This is one insane ba stout..easily of of the 5 best I've had..might be the best..the bourbon barrel and vanilla are mixed perfectly here..and the booze is fairly well hidden for such a high ABV beer.

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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.

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Photo of MissSmisje
4.68/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: opaque blackish brown with mocha lacing. S: vanilla, cacao nibs, roasted malts, fruity coffee. T: vanilla and cacao dominate, fruity and bright coffee; implied sweetness from the vanilla and cacao; vanilla and oaky bourbon finish. F: on the lighter side of heavy. Not syrupy or oily. Warm finish from the bourbon barrels and alcohol; not otherwise hot. Excellent! Big fan of vanilla and cacao blend.

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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.

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Photo of skiking70
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have looked forward to trying this beer for some time and it sure didn't disappoint me. The smell is amazing, the chocolate is the first thing that hits your nose, followed by the bourbon. The taste follows the smell, with the chocolate up front along with bourbon and finishes with a subtle vanilla finish. I'm not sure how they hid the 19 percent, you will need help, because it is sweet.

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Photo of Samuel906
4.14/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very rich and sweet. Smell is absolutely amazing, one if the best smelling beers I've had. Chocolate, rum, graham crackers, cherries. Taste is good but not extraordinary. Like I said, super sweet. Tons of rich dark chocolate. Figs. Port wine. Feel is heavy but not syrupy, fantastic warming from the impressive abv. Overall very good, but not one of bruerys greats.

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Photo of john0721
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Bruery tulip glass.

Poured black with a light brown head which quickly diminished.

Nose had bourbon, oak, and chocolate.

Flavor started with caramel, chocolate and bourbon initialy. Chocolate increased as it warmed and oxidized. Vanilla, dark fruit and brown sugar also increased as it warmed.

Chocolate is the dominant flavor, but its balanced enough to allow other aspects of the beer to be appreciated.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I tried this 2013 vintage chilled in a nonic from the 750ml. Enjoyed at the looking forward to spring stout tasting.

The color is dark brown with ruby hues when held to the light with light beige head with fine bead. The smell has a dark sugar and cocoa/fig-like earthy and raisiny aroma with slight alcohol odor. The feel is intense, big bold with rich viscous texture and more alcohol than average yet not over the top for the abv.

The taste is like a raisinette -mostly raisin with some chocolate in the taste which is more on the dark cocoa side with a slight yeast flavor and sweet dark sugar and vinous elements with a slight alcohol flavor that lasts after the swallow with so much residual sugar it leaves my lips sweet and I can taste the intensity as I lick them. This is one of the most intensely rich beers I have ever had -so much sweet qualities with strong alcohol in the taste which is the only drawback for me.

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Photo of 31Sam13
4.69/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just sublime...the alcohol character is well-presented and it tastes like a fudge brownie and the way your Granny made them, with just enough vanilla and wow, it just is almost indescribable...a challenge to hold this much flavor in a bottle with this much alcohol and to have it be so balanced without residual sweetness or booziness...a triumph...

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage

It poured surprisingly thin compared to what I've been accustomed to with Briery releases. It's still thick, but not motor oil thick. There's also a little light that passes through it, giving it a dark brown appearance.

Aroma is dessert in a glass. Fudge brownies and vanilla bean.

This one met my high expectations. It's sweet and chocolatey. Boozey, but at 18% not as bad as I'd expect. I'm thrilled that it's not cloyingly sweet like a lot of these Bruery releases are. It seriously tastes like a fudge brownie a la mode. So good.

It's thicker than it appears. Soft, good carbonation. Boozey and a sipper. Sweet through and through.

I'm glad this also lived up to the hype. I've been dying to try this one for years and was not disappointed.

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Photo of Shon4star
4.99/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer had big expectations for me. Then it blew every single one of them away. I had the 2013 vintage. It instantly became a favorite of mine. Strong chocolate and slight vanilla give this brew the taste of a chocolate bar. The 18% abv(2013) wasn't that noticeable. This is serious perfection in a bottle!

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Photo of ironchefmiyagi13
4.61/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had the 2012 vintage the other night. A friend had opened it the night before and couldn't finish it, so he re-capped it.

Looks still and black as oil.

Smell is out of this world. Sweet chocolate, potent bourbon and a tannic barrel presence. Truly amazing.

Flavor was great, as well. I think being open all night helped burn off some of the alcohol and open it up into something truly decadent.

Mouthfeel was nice. There was just enough carbonation left to scrub the palate and keep the sweetness from being cloying.

Overall, I liked this beer a lot. Mocha Wednesday still edged it slightly, but it just goes to show how proper aging can vault a beer up in quality.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.09/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark brown/black color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention and some light lacing. Aroma of black chocolates with quite a bit of residual sugar notes. Taste is also dominated by black chocolate notes with loads of residual sugar and a spicy finish. Vanilla notes are more subtle but kind of help smooth some of the rough edges of this beer. Body is about average for style with medium carbonation and warming alcohol can be detected. Big beer or sure that need to be split up between a couple of people, but very enjoyable beer nonetheless.

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Photo of JamesStreet
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage acquired from Pdmoore (thanks)!
A- pours a not quite, black with a mahogany shimmer in the light. Not much head and it fades off pretty quickly
S- booze, caramel, chocolate, toffee, some dark fruit. Really nice
T- Wow! Incredibly complex. You get some sweet acidity from fruits on the first part of the sip before the booze and toffee comes in followed by caramel and chocolate and more booze. Really sweet.
M- A bit pricklier than I would of thought. Rounds out into a medium, creamy feel. Not quite cloyingly sweet, but very close.
O- this beer was well worth the wait. Definite sipper and oh so tasty.

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Photo of Enochase04
3.39/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pour seemed thin for such a big stout. Smell was boozy straight bourbon. Taste was same and chocolate while present seemed lacking. Nice beer for ba lovers but too overwhelming for my taste.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in a great trade with Mike! 2013 vintage. Pitch black pour with a quickly fading one finger caramel-colored head with minimal lacing. The nose is huge chocolate fudge and booze, along with hints of vanilla, dark fruit, dark chocolate, and did I mention booze. The taste is bold and super rich with once again, lots of booze. Hints of vanilla, oak, dark fruit, maple, molasses, espresso, caramel, leather, tobacco, and milk chocolate. The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with low carbonation and a great warming finish. It approaches cloying, and it's definitely a sipper, but still incredibly drinkable for such a big beer. Overall, yes, it's hot and boozey, but it's so good! Much more upside than down. Highly recommended!

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Photo of gcamparone
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Bruery snifter. Acquired in a trade with vitese, thank you as always kind sir.

The pour is a transluscent medium brown, becoming opaque once in the glass, nearly black. The head is unique for a stout of this magnitude.. light mocha brown and 3 fingers in height, but fizzy and effervescent, dissapating quickly to nothing, leaving no retention or lacing.

Aromas a big and upfront, slightly boozy with rich deep vanilla, bourbon, sweet caramel being predominant, milk chocolate syrup is in the background. Very inviting.

First sip and... woah! That's sweet. Liquid diabetes sweet. Sugar coated dark fruits, sweet chocolate syrup, maple candy upfront. The follow through has some roastyness and coffee, but the sweet syrupy nature dominates from start to finish. Aftertaste is slight vanilla and milk chocolate. Slight burn on the way down.

Mouthfeel is rich, but not super thick like you'd expect. It's actually quite drinkable for 18% and has medium carbonation, more than you'd expect.

This is one of those beers that I've been waiting years to try, and I'm glad I got to try it. Not an everyday beer, definitely a dessert beer and definitely a beer to split. Not for those who don't like sweet beers.

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Photo of Kevinpitts
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to 2beerdogs for this beer! You rock!
Chocolate and vanilla blend together well in this beer. Definitely improves as beer warms. Smooth taste with some mild sweetness. Delicious!

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Photo of wulfie85
5/5  rDev +13.1%

One of the best beers I have ever had. Poured black and smelled like bourbon with a little chocolate. The flavor was like taking a drink of bourbon but with a milk chocolate finish. So chocolately it was almost like I had a piece of chocolate in my mouth.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottles shared by two different people today at the Plan Bee Savage release.

Pours a dark amber-brown, a lot lighter than I'd expected. There's no head or lacing at all.

Smells like chocolate milk on steroids. Smells creamy, vanilla and chocolate all over the place, plus bracing alcohol.

And, unsurprisingly, this also tastes like chocolate milk on steroids. It tastes like chocolate liqueur more than beer. Amplified chocolate flavor all over. It tastes like chocolate milk, with about 50 additional Hershey's bars melted into it. There's some sweet marshmallow vanilla flavors. This is so sweet and cloying, the smaller pours definitely helped this stay relevant for me. Much more than 4 oz or so and this would be tiring. The alcohol burn is noticeable, but not quite as prominent as I would've expected.

This is surprisingly and weirdly thin bodied, I thought it would've been fudgy. The mouthfeel is incredibly syrupy and sweet, though, with basically no carbonation.

Quite an extreme beer. Tastes great, but not without its problems.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.64/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Holy diabetes batman, but tasty tasty diabetes. Very good beer with a lot of smooth, chocolate taste. Hard to enjoy more than 6 ounces, but very enjoyable none the less.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.2/5  rDev -5%

A - Cola body with ruby highlights. Light tan pours a quarter finger high and settles quickly into a loose halo with no lace.

S - Thick, dark chocolate liquor, pumpernickel, dark chocolate truffle, caramelized barley, and warm bourbon.

T - Wow. Creamy thick dark chocolate. Kahlua liquor, dark chocolate covered salted pretzel, warm oaky bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and raisins.

M - Medium-light body, but outstandingly creamy and silky smooth.

O - The chocolate character is incredible. A perfect beer for a fat snifter on a cold winter day.

4.27 Chocolate Rain
-- -Jay- -Jon- -Ath- -Vin- -Pt- -Grg- -Avg- Weight Adj
A - 4.00 3.50 3.60 3.25 3.75 4.00 3.68 10% 0.37
S - 4.10 4.15 4.00 4.50 4.33 4.50 4.26 20% 0.85
T - 4.50 4.00 4.25 4.80 4.24 4.50 4.38 40% 1.75
M - 4.50 4.25 3.60 4.50 4.50 4.25 4.27 10% 0.43
O - 4.70 3.80 4.40 4.75 4.25 4.30 4.37 20% 0.87

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Photo of papat444
3.5/5  rDev -20.8%

***2014 Vintage***

Thanks to F2brewers for this rarity.

Pours thick and viscous, decent head actually which dissipates rapidly. Aroma of fudge predominantly; flavor is bourbon soaked chocolate cake and alcoholic chocolate syrup.

The issue i have is this brew is quite hot and boozy and it's felt in the flavor which overshadows the complexities that are surely there but are lost due to the booziness.

Definitely let this one sit a few years to mellow out. Would be curious to taste an older vintage to see the difference, not likely to happen though :)

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