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Chocolate Rain - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Chocolate RainChocolate Rain

Educational use only; do not reuse.

298 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 298
Hads: 2,303
Avg: 4.42
pDev: 10.41%
Wants: 2,494
Gots: 890 | FT: 120
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: 298 | Hads: 2,303
Photo of kawilliams81
4.42/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of lestat314
4.42/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a La Chouffe tulip. Huge thanks to the generous soul who deigned to give me a taste of this at the Batch 3 Rosso release - I never thought I'd get to try this beer.

A: Not as dark as I expected, but still nice: dark brown with reddish-brown highlights and a thin ring of tan bubbles. Almost still.

S: Rich, intense chocolate and alcohol. Sweet, simple, and amazing.

T: Chocolate, coffee, caramel, toffee, sugar, and general sweetness. Less booze than promised by the aroma, surprisingly.

M: Thick and sticky. Just what I expected.

O: This beer delivered precisely what I expected it too: a massive explosion of chocolate sweetness and warming alcohol. It wasn't anything life-changing, but I thought the purpose of the chocolate made its intense sweetness more enjoyable than that of the base Black Tuesday. I would never trade my cellar for a bottle, but I'd love to try another sample of this some day. Tasty beer.


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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.41/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.41/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 bottle crushed druing Sugar Bowl hope solo

A- Rather transparent for a BA stout, especially with this amount of ABV. Little to no head. Thin lacing around the bottle.

S- Big bourbon upfront. Chocolate malty in back. Dates perhaps raisin thin in back.

T- Rich chocolate bourbon. Very smooth. This is for the sweet beer lovers. Probably wouldn't work if you are a die hard strict RIS fan.

M- Pretty smooth, with some carbonation going down the throat. Kinda thin. Surprised by that. I have had this many times, and I don't remember it being this thin.

O- I think?? a well crafted beer by The Bruery. It seems their most popular beers have to have a sweet factor.

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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 srandycarter
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Black. No head no lace. Nada.

S - Soy sauce, booze, hoppy , very very HOT.

T - Backed goods, sweet malts, soy sauce and a little hoppy bite.

M - Heavy body, fair carb and balance considering how huge.

D - This was my last taster of the night and it kicked my butt.

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Photo of islandboi8204
4.39/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2 (2010) 750mL split 2 ways.

Pours with a dark foam that settles quickly with no lacing. Body is black, touch of brown at the fringes.

Smell is incredible, once I opened the bottle it filled the room. Chocolate fudge cake, vanilla, caramel, booze, banana.

Tastes of fudge, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon and oak. Less sweet than I remember Black Tuesday 11 being, so maybe the cocoa, vanilla and some roast character helps balance this one out. A little alcohol heat present, but well masked for 18.5%. Very drinkable.

Mouthfeel is super smooth, full-bodied, with mild alcohol warmth. Sticky, viscous, and carbonation is bit too low. Not as thick as I was hoping for.

Overall, a delicious improvement from BT 11, I guess it has to do with the cocoa, vanilla, and aging. A decadent dessert beer that isn't overly sweet. Looking forward to trying my 2012 vintages.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.39/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared tonight with several friends.
Pours an inky black without much of a head that musters but dissipates quickly. The aroma from this glass is heavenly. Deep rich caramel and chocolate with hints of brownie batter, roast, vanilla and a fair amount of alcohol. You can tell this is high in abv from the aroma, but it never seems harsh. The flavor follows the aroma but the alcohol is a bit more evident but it really never harsh. Rich chocolate, vanilla, roast, caramel, and molasses flavors melded into a high abv sipper. This would be an excellent brew to sip with a few friends on a cold night with some cigars or brownies. Thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. I/we enjoyed the hell out of this beer tonight, too bad I may never see another bottle of this!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.39/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Bruery Reserve Society initiation party at The Phoenix Club in Anaheim, CA.

2012 vintage.

Pours a murky dark brown with a khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, wood, and bourbon. Taste is of dark roasted malt, cocoa nibs, vanilla, bourbon, and wood flavors on the aftertaste. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good stout with some excellent barrel aging going on. I am thrilled I was finally able to try this one.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.39/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a mini brandy snifter, shared with many BA's at the Darkness Eve Tasting. Thanks Lenny1203 for brining this beer.

A- Thin bubbly brown head, dissipates to nothing, no apparent carbonation, dark black opaque color.
S- Big alcohol aroma, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, toffee, sweet, really hot in the aroma, definitely some chocolate, cocoa.
T- Wow this is a big beer, a lot of heat as it goes down, big vanilla taste, huge bourbon flavor, toffee, slight chocolate, the vanilla really takes over.
M- Big mouth feel, coasts the palate, smooth drinking, big alcohol feel, dry finish.
O- Wow huge beer, not the greatest BA stout, but very satisfying, not really balanced, really hot as it goes down, still a great experience and very grateful to Lenny for bringing this beer.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.39/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A -pours near black with half a finger if rich chocolate head, OK retention, weak lacing. Doesn't look especially viscous

S - huge woody boozyness, a bit of bold rich chocolate. Dry stale vanilla

T-Initially a great mix of big booze and chocolate sweetness. Transitions to monster chcolaye booze, incredibly sweet. Definite vanilla

M - medium/full bodied OK arb, super super smooth

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Photo of RAlmeida77
4.37/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage poured into a Bruery Reserve tulip.

L - Dark brown with minimal tan head that dissipates quickly

S - Very heavy bourbon with a bit of chocolate/vanilla sweetness

T - Bourbon up front followed by delicious sweet chocolate, a bit of vanilla, and some faint coffee. Good amount of booze burn.

F - A little thinner than I would've liked. Med/high carbonation.

O - Another very good Bruery stout. Some booze burn here but still drinkable as well. Very decadent and sweet beer.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.37/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml 2013 poured into short highball glass 11/10/13, big props to Adam for opening this monster

A dark cola, no head or lace as expected, long legs, like Tuesday its not as dark as expected, no too worried though, looks aren't everything

S holy fudge batman, milk chocolate, vanilla, bourbons there, chocolate liqueur, there's booze but not the massive amount there should be, I don't get much of the barrel that should come with the bourbon but this smells awesome either way

T a little more wood then the nose but still not all that much, not the extreme chocolate fudge on the nose but still strong, vanilla and booze still play a big part, tastes great but the nose was a hard act to follow

M thick and syrupy, a little heat but there should be much more, my lips are stuck together, bourbon and I get a hint of smoke on the finish

O half chocolate liqueur, half bourbon, half big fuck off stout, yes I realize that's three 1/2s but I'd say this is easily a beer and a half

I could have sat there smelling this all night but I kept drinking it and before I knew it my glass was empty. I was expecting much more heat from this 2013 bottle, I'd love another crack at this one with a few years on it.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.37/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.37/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Bruery for 2011 Black Tuesday release.

A: Pours an opaque very dark brown, no head.

S: Like smelling a bar of dark chocolate. That's the gist of it. Also, some malt and cocoa, and a hint of vanilla and bourbon, but mostly chocolate.

T: Like biting into a bar of chocolate. A little bourbon/heat come through at the end, but the alcohol is mostly hidden. Leaves behind a cocoa residue on the tongue, like when you make hot cocoa from scratch.

M: Full body and a little creamy, coating the mouth, but almost no carbonation.

O: The chocolate amazingly hides all the alcohol and makes this very drinkable. Really delicious, but loses points for being a little one dimensional; I wouldn't mind seeing the malt, vanilla, and bourbon in a little more balance.

I liked this better than Black Tuesday but less than S'More Tuesday.

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Photo of Auracom
4.36/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 bomber. Highly anticipated, no doubt. 9-10 oz. poured over the course of two hours into my CBS snifter on March 31st, 2012.

A - I felt that Black Tuesday poured just a touch too thin, and this pours even thinner. Dark-brown center coloring softly fades to lighter toffee-colored hues at the edges. This also has less carbonation than bottled BT. No lacing or retention, but I must note a shitload of alcohol legs on this one, more so than I've seen on most red wine.

S - The Bruery's lovely oak barrel aroma blended with the freshest rich chocolate. Periphery is vanilla, baker's chocolate, bourbon, roast, raisins, and toffee. Faint alcohol traces. Really need a 4.75 here.

T - Front-palate roasted malts, bourbon, and deep oak and wood. Mid-palate dark cocoa quickly pours into the best backened vanilla bean and chocolate blend. This isn't just an average chocolate. It's bitter, it's sweet, it's decadent in every sense of the word. As the bitterness and milk-like sweetness meld together I sense this rich note of buttery toffee that fills out the finish. Very tolerable backend heat with less warming than I would have guessed.

M - The feel is a bit heftier than the look suggested. Medium-heavy body, very velvety. Appropriate level of moderate carbonation and moderately-dry finish despite the backend sweetness in the taste.

D - Pure indulgence in liquid form. CR better serves as a dessert beer. BT seems more fitting for individual beer exploration - I think it has a bit more complexity. CR blows your mind off in flavor robustness and depth.

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.36/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage

L - Pitch black. Slight dark brown on the edges. No head at all.

S - Massive sweet bourbon and chocolate with marshmallow and a touch of alcohol.

T - Very sweet with that bourbon barrel which is overpowering everything else. I've had Black Tuesday and I will say that this has some more candy-like, sugary flavors. There's definitely a chocolate presence. but I wouldn't say there is a vanilla bean flavor as I interpret it as more of a sugary vanilla extract which just adds to the overkill of sweetness from the bourbon.

F - I mean, it's an 18.00% BBA stout and it feels as such. The sweetness can get cloying, but I don't care that much. It's very sticky with some alcohol presence, but I expect that with such a gargantuan beer.

O - This is, as expected, a giant BA Bruery beer. It has the roasted notes and alcohol of Black Tuesday, but the chocolate and vanilla flavors are most definitely there to add complexity and even a dessert-like component to this. I think the alcohol taste can be a bit much, but it still is subdued for 18.00%. This is a sipper for sure with enough confectionery notes to add complexity to the base Black Tuesday and make Chocolate Rain its own being.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Rtaps for sharing this 2012 bottle
Pitch black. Viscous and pretty oily looking. Short dark khaki head. Pretty low retention and spotty lacing.

Nose is nice but obviously young. A bit boozy but I like a bit of booziness. Rich chocolate and vanilla with a touch of bourbon.

Flavor IMO is fantastic. Huge and rich. Vanilla and chocolate are nice although it needs to age to perfection. Very deep dark sweet but not overly sweet.

Mouth is very full bodied. Low carbonation.

Overall this beer is fantastic and will be amazing with about two years age IMO. Can't wait to revisit.

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Photo of antioch
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at The Bruery's Black Tuesday Release Party, Session 1.

A: Dark dark brown, no light exits, little to no head.

S: Dark chocolate, vanilla, molasses, booze, bourbon.

T: Far more complex than the Cherry version. Dark chocolate, roast, cocoa, molasses, bourbon burn. The alcohol comes through a lot more than the Cherry, but it's very welcomed. The sweetness is very nicely balanced with the booze

M: Nice light carbonation and viscous, but the carbonation makes it very pleasing. Silky, smooth and coats the palate very well.

D: Enjoyable drink in small amounts, especially on a cold night. I wish I could have a few bottles of this and let it sit for a bit, opening it every winter and seeing how it changes.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jeff, you’re the man. Bottle into snifter. Reviewed from notes.

A: A very slow pour yielded a very dark brown almost black color with no head to speak of.
S: Rich and sweet notes of bourbon, marshmallows, vanilla, chocolate and caramel. Bit of roast as well.
T: Big smooth bourbon flavors, sweet caramel, thick chocolate and a touch of vanilla. Flavors are very creamy, smooth and integrated. The finish is full of caramel, and the aftertaste is warm with spicy bourbon and a bit of dark fruit.
M: Super thick body, smooth mouthfeel, slight alcohol warmth but tame. Overall a smooth, rich, creamy, and mellow drinking beer.
O: This is crazy good for a beer so bold and with such a high ABV as this one. Very rich and flavorful, yet wonderfully smooth and integrated. Thanks for the ounces, Jeff.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a snifter. 3/4/13 bottling date

pitch black with not much of a head. smell is quite big on the chocolate but also the alcohol. taste is quite sweet but expected...big chocolate..big bitter finish. ABV definitely apparent. full bodied with low carbonation.

overall impressive.

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Photo of phisigben
4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of claaark13
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure who got me this particular bottle, but thanks! Served at 52 degrees in a HF tulip. Bottled b1 at 18.5%.

A - More of a dark-brown than black pour with a tan head that doesn't wait long to turn into lacing....thin lacing. Seems thick, sticks well. It looks great with the exception of the color....which I suppose is more like chocolate than a deep black. Maybe that was the intention?

S - Fudge, booze and hints of vanilla. Booze is not scared at all here to show itself. Actually, it turns more into a delightful chocolate/cocoa aroma after it sits for a moment and the booze subsides.

T - Lots of chocolate upfront that has a booziness trying to fight through. First sip is a little confusing until the vanilla and chocolate linger in the finish. On second sip, the chocolate comes out first again and then there is a nose-clearing sensation. Some vanilla and charred oak from the barrel emerge, then booze, then a heated but tasty finish of cocoa. The cocoa notes really stick around in the finish. I think the vanilla gives it more of a milk chocolate flavor. There is, however, the heat.

M - Thick, yet on the lighter side of thick....or thicker side of medium? I like it a lot but it leaves me wondering what could be.

O - I love the aroma, I love the flavor, but it is still too hot. I'm not sure how long this needs to mellow out, but I'd say at least another 6 months. The only reason my score is so high on the flavor is because there is a lot of great stuff going on. However, the underlying heat brings the beer down overall.

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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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Chocolate Rain from The Bruery
98 out of 100 based on 298 ratings.