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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
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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 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 Fux
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Pixieskid to ruin our palates after an awesome sour tasting! Bottle from batch #3.
A: Very dark, black pour, with creamy mocha head, which falls into a thin collar around the glass.
S: Nose is on chocolate, vanilla, molasses, also toffee and wood. Not too much alcohol given the ABV.
T: Palate is rich and very expressive, on chocolate, vanilla and bourbon. There are also underlying notes of toffee, some sweetness, and some fruitiness with figs and plums in the background. The finish is quite alcoholic, really warming in the back of the throat, a bit disturbing actually.
M: Velvety, oily, a little bit sticky, and also warming mouthfeel.
O: The flavor profile of this beer is great, rich and dense. There is however a bit too much alcohol in this to be truly perfect. Thanks for sharing Brandon! (817 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a bit of brown around the edges and a touch of khaki-chocolate colored head. Fades very quickly.

S - Roasted chocolate and dark caramel malts, cocoa nibs, Bourbon, oak, lots of vanilla, black licorice, coffee, dark fruits, and some booze.

T - Roasted chocolate and dark caramel malts, cocoa nibs, Bourbon, lots of vanilla, oak, black licorice, molasses, dark fruits, coffee, and booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a warming and sweet finish.

D - Super bold and complex, and the vanilla beans and cocoa nibs add some more great flavor. (585 characters)

Photo of jradams76
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (502 characters)

Photo of Beejay
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to Lee for sharing this bottle.

A: Tootsie roll brown. Not much head, but that is rather expected.

S: Dark chocoalte and high alcohol. Malty with a huge hit of molasses.

T: Chocolate and oak, with high alcohol coming in after. Finish is huge with vanilla and oak with another stinger of chocolate.

M: Smooth and creamy, though the carbonation is lively.

O: Fantastic. Creamy and delicious. (410 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Black in the glass, one finger slightly off white head.

S-Chocolate, vanilla, roasted malt, nice bourbon, slight coffee.

T-Lots of chocolate and vanilla. Great balance, mild bourbon, roasted malt and coffee is there.

M-Heavy to medium in body, nice carbonation.

O-The addition of chocolate and vanilla take BT to another level. (333 characters)

Photo of john0721
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (436 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Bruery Reserve Initiation party 2011. Pours a dark black/brown non see through color with a slight dark tan head that collars around the glass. HUGE aromas wafting out of this one with notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, cream, barrel, and a slight warming booze aroma. The first sip yields a nice medium/heavy mouthfeel. The flavors are well blended but the chocolate is very noticeable and pleasant. Other flavors include vanilla, roast, and booze. For being 18.5% this beer drinks very well albeit still a sipper. Probably would be best as a dessert beer. This one was great! (590 characters)

Photo of landhoney
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this last Monday, thank you Eric!

Appearance: Black, smallest wisp of tan head

Smell: Bourbon! That was the first impression, then the roast, sweetness, toffee/caramel/vanilla/chocolate, and alcohol.

Taste: The first sip was amazing, or rather the finish, just went on forever. You definitely get the bourbon up front (boozy?), then vanilla/chocolate notes, fairly sweet, no hop flavor, very nice!

Mouthfeel: Very lightly carbonated, not overly sweet/malty, the bourbon seems to make for a thinner beer than I was expecting. Excellent mouthfeel though, very nice drinking it.

Overall: Special beer, huge complexity and long finish even after our normal Monday 10+ beer tasting, great bourbon/vanilla/chocolate stout, and not cloying/sweet/too malty. ABV is high, and it's there in the glass, but not a hot mess for sure, I really enjoyed it. (855 characters)

Photo of KVNBGRY
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Kyle

Cccchhhooocccooolllaaattteee, rrraaaiiisssiiinnnsss, aaalllcccooohhhoollll, whooollleee vannniiilllaa beeaannns, bourbon sweetness.

Real good. Nothing spectacular. Would be better paired with a dessert in a nice setting. Would like to age a bottle for a few years to see how it mellows... (303 characters)

Photo of Zach136
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage, reviewed from notes written 5/2/14. Poured into a Bruery glass.

A - Pitch black, little to no head. To be expected with the alcohol content.

S - Huge bouquet of bourbony-booze, vanila, semi-sweet chocolate and caramel.

T - Giant bakers and semi-sweet chocolate notes. Insanely chocolatey and not that artificial tootsie-roll chocolate. Super boozy. Bourbon, vanilla, and more chocolate in the background.

M - Surprisingly well carbed, full bodied, rich and velvety.

O - In a class all its own. Hard to even compare to other imperial stouts. (560 characters)

Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage acquired in a trade. Thanks, breaks808!

A - Not completely pitch black. Very dark brown with ruby red when tilted and held up to the light. I gave it an aggressive pour and got a finger's worth of khaki head which disappeared quickly. Decent amount of carbonation bubbles and good alcohol legs.

S - Definitely reminds you of Black Tuesday. The cocoa nibs are more present than the vanilla. Bourbon is obviously in your face, but definitely not a pure alcohol presence. Vanilla is there, but muted.

T - First off, you can't taste the 18.5%...at all. Bourbon sweetness which isn't cloying and the cocoa is a smack of sweetness. Vanilla again is muted, but it does give a kick in the aftertaste which is nice. Sweetness does a great job of masking any alcohol presence.

M - More carbonation than I thought there would be. Not sticky and finishes smooth.

O - One of the better "big beers" out there. Huge bourbon notes and the cocoa nibs give this a sweeter smell and taste over Black Tuesday. I wish the vanilla was more present, but overall this is one worth seeking out and sharing with friends. (1,112 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle stored in my cellar for over a year. Poured into 18oz Funky Buddha snifter, bottle split three ways. Reviewed live.

A- Pours a dark black that has some translucency, actually slightly lighter then I was expecting. Pretty much no head, very still top, minimal carbonation, just some alcohol legs along the sides of the glass.

S- Rich chocolate, vanilla beans, lightly bourbon, extremely well balanced booze. Can tell it's got a high abv, but fits very nicely for how high it is and integrates well with the other aromas. Fairly aromatic.

T- This is where the beer gets really interesting: flavors of dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, bourbon, vanilla, hints of booze on this finish but nowhere near what you would expect at almost 20%, extremely well balanced. Aftertaste that lingers with chocolate and balanced vanilla.

M- Very smooth especially for 19.5%, a beer definitely should not be this smooth with an abv this high- feels more like 9%, fairly minimal carbonation but nice for the style. Can't believe how easy this is to drink.

O- This was a fantastic high abv stout that was incredibly easy to drink and extremely flavorful. I was expecting this to be overly boozey but the abv was well hidden and was surprisingly easy to drink with all the flavors coming out very nicely. I highly recommend seeking this out, just be careful with how dangerously smooth it is. (1,383 characters)

Photo of Etan
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml into a snifter. 2012, batch 2.

A: Reddish black body with a small tan head.

S: Huge vanilla aroma, lightly astringent booze, milky chocolate, oaky bourbon. This is going to be a sweet beer.

T: Sweet raisins and chocolate hit the palate first. Cream, marshmallow, drying and buttery bourbon, a bit nutty, boozy warmth on the end.

M: Surprisingly light body, with a quick flash of carbonation.

O: An incredible dessert beer, with the vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon melding together seemlessly. Stay away if you don't like sweet beers. (544 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml, 2012 vintage
5oz mini tasting snifter

A: Pours out a deep reddish brown. I see others describe this as pitch black, and doing a side by side with BT '11 that is not what we got. Definitely some reddish hints in there and not a thick black at all. I got a layer of off white, light tan head. I was actually surprised to get any head on this high ABV. Tons of alcohol feet.

S: Well, it smells like chocolate that is for sure. Lots of dark and milk chocolate character on the nose. It's masking the vanilla and oak character a little bit that I was pulling more from the BT, but you can still get some coming through. There is a little alcohol booziness coming through, but it's to be expected.

T: Up front, dark super high cocao chocolate. As it progresses, you get more vanilla meshing in to give it sort of a milk chocolate like feeling. I wish there was more roast and/or coffee, but what is there is still delicious. We had this bottle open for a while between us, as it's certainly a sipper. I think I prefer the BT to this, that year did BT well. This is still fabulous beer though. Warming brings out more flavor but also some more booze.

M: Full as full could be. (1,181 characters)

Photo of claspada
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2 - Sampled 1/6/13. Too sweet and boozy compared to Batch 1, so I have to ding this a little on taste. Both were aged about the same amount of time, hopefully batch 3 turns out a little more drier and less hot.

Batch 1 - Pours a silky, menacing, near black color with a small dark tan head. Some solid lacing on the sides of the snifter, especially after a few swirls.

The aromas are out of this world. My first impression is liquid brownie batter; a huge mix of dark and milk chocolate/cocoa powder, equally large vanilla and caramelized sugars. As it warms you get the base beer's presence coming through with a light dosing of bourbon plus some mild roasted maltiness. Booze is extremely subtle at this point and I can only detect because this is at cellar temp (if not warmer). There's a mild coffee presence, but that is more of an undertone to sweeter chocolaty smells.

The tastes begin almost equally as intense as the nose. The chocolate is the dominant character. Melted milk chocolate malt balls, melted dark chocolate baker's cocoa bars and vanilla extract all come to mind initially. This is diabetes in a glass. Next you get lesser amounts of light bourbon and hints of oak plus lesser notes of roast coffee.

The mouthfeel is really thick and full bodied with, thankfully, some medium to low carbonation. Finish is velvety smooth and sweet, and yet thanks to the base beer being barrel aged, it avoids being cloying.

Overall this was stupendous and a great treat to sample. There is no feasible way I could finish this by myself or probably even with another person just because of its luscious flavor profile. Highly recommended for all beer geeks and absolutely a must try; definitely one to trade for and share with a couple beer geek buddies. (1,773 characters)

Photo of dgilks
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Somewhat hazy and very dark brown colour. Creamy tan head. Nice.

The aroma is intense. Bourbon. Chocolate. Alcohol. Fruit. Vanilla. Bloody crazy.

This is SWEET! Great chocolate flavour and nice oak character. The bourbon is here and there is lots of vanilla too. Really good and complex flavours.

Full bodied and quite oily. Moderate carbonation. Very good.

An excellent beer. Sure there is some big beer syndrome here but it is really nice and complex. (457 characters)

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

Batch 2

Appearance: Very dark brown with a fairly small beige head which dissipated fairly quickly. Considerable legs on this one.

Smell: Upfront Bourbon, raisins, brown sugar, vanilla, chocolate/cocoa, and a bit of coffee/roasted malt aroma. Also a bit of ethanol in the nose.

Taste: Bourbon, raisins, vanilla, brown sugar, chocolate, and some coffee/roast malts appearing in the finish. There is an alcohol presence but no way is a beer that's 40 proof not going to have an alcohol presence. Nice barrel presence and flavor complexity.

Mouth-feel: Medium to full bodied. Some heat but good for it's alcohol level.

Overall: Good beer, which is quite a bit better closer to room temperature. My memory may not be accurate but I feel the cask version I had in 2010 and Batch 1 were a bit better than the batch 2 bottle being reviewed. Nonetheless, it's a big beer that's a stellar sipper. (894 characters)

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

75 cl bottel poured into my tasting glass @ a tasting with some awesome BA's -:)
The beer pours a dark brown to black color with no real head. There are a few dark brown bubbles. A very nice looking stout. The aroma is awesome. I get a lot of chocolate, bourbon and oak notes, as well as vanilla and maple from the barrel aging. The mix of bourbon and chocolate in the aroma works perfectly. The beer smells about like I expected it to and it is very nice.
The flavor is more of the same and is also great. I get a lot of boozy chocolate as well as a lot of bourbon, oak, vanilla and maple. Even though the beer is pretty boozy, it is still very easy to drink. The barrel aging has done great things to the base stout, imparting several different flavors that all meld very well together. Low carbonation and thick, creamy mouthfeel. (834 characters)

Photo of aasher
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (629 characters)

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

Love the Cacao nibs and vanilla presence! The one downfall for me was the body. Relatively light body vs what I was expecting for a 18%er. Great beer, big thanks to Dave Treat for sending this to me! (199 characters)

Photo of Sideswipe
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
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! (821 characters)

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

Bottle shared at Woodshop 7 at Beachwood BBQ in Long Beach. Thanks to whoever busted this one out. Pours dark brown with a filmy tan head. Heavy sweet boozy and creamy throughout, chocolate liqueur and See’s caramels. Rich and luxurious, ultra-sweet but quite delicious. (272 characters)

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

On cask at The Bruery 10-26-2010

A - Murky dark brown with a small thinly formed head, basically a ring around the glass. Little lacing.

S- Huge cocoa, bitter chocolate, vanilla, maple syrup-like notes. Bourbon and pleasant boozy alcohol.

F/M - Again, bitter chocolate, cocoa, roast, vanilla, bourbon. Very nice alcohol warmth and sligh alcoholic bitterness helps this beer finish very smoothly. Sweet, rich, full bodied, oily and slick. Moderately low carbonation. Lingering chocolate flavor.

D- This is such a delicious beer but its so rich and at 18+% it is one heady beer. I could drink a lot of this though. Oh so good. (629 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very dark brown with maroon brown highlights when held up to the light that had a half finger of brown head and left some good frothy lacing sticking to the glass. Very nice bourbon vanilla and chocolate aromas pop out on the nose with cocoa, caramel, and toffee notes but with some booziness as well. The taste was also very chocolatey like the name says with bourbon, vanilla, and cocoa accents roasty character but did have a touch of caramel toffee plus there was definitely lots of booze but it didn't overpower the overall flavor. The brew was medium in body with a nice amount of carbonation which had a roasty, chocolatey, bourbon, sweet, creamy, and chewy finish. Definitely an amazing tasting black Tuesday hybrid that will knock everyone socks off. I'm glad I got to try it and was a sipper faux show. (821 characters)

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