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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: 2,300
Avg: 4.42
pDev: 29.19%
Wants: 2,492
Gots: 887 | FT: 118
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: 2,300
Photo of maximum12
4.82/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to RipRap for this bottle; yet another beer I felt compelled to track down after mouthing it at a tasting. Big 750ML bottle, vintage 2014, with the trademark Bruery label & gold wax, split with my wife.

The pour is as expected: minimally carbed, and black as the soul of Adrian Peterson with a maple branch in his hand (or a Twitter account). Smells like chocolate milk that’s been doctored with 268 proof something or other: boozy. Not complex or great, but lovely.

Chocolate Rain is something I’d never carry an umbrella for. The first thing I notice is how toasty I am after taking my first sip, as the alcohol burns a warm track all the way down. I hope it doesn’t feel like that coming out. Massive chocolate notes & enough bourbon to sanitize a moderately dangerous wound leap out of the morass. Big-ass vanilla that would have dominated any other beer doesn’t show up until the mid-palate: damn, I’m drunk already. Fudge, oak, gold star maple syrup. The end is all booze & chocolate. Thicker than my…well, thick. Ridiculously drinkable. I’m not sure I would survive taking an entire bottle myself, but damn, I’d like to try. Then try again.

If ever a beer deserved to have the word ‘decadent’ tattooed into its foamy head, it would be C Rain. This is a boozy, chocolate, bourbony, TNT of a beer. It’s also fantastic & fully deserving of… what was I saying? My wife is now speaking tongues. That’s a good sign. Without question a top-shelf beer.

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Photo of williamjbauer
4.81/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage bottled, served in fff teku at the abs ballers meeting.

Obsidian with ruby tint, no lasting head or lacing, strong alcohol legs.

Strongest vanilla I have gotten off a beer on the nose, boozy, chocolate. The vanilla hit quickly and bites hard but lets go long enough to enjoy the roasted coco, oak, sweet molasses notes. Very sweet, pretty boozy, but very pleasant bourbon heat.

Full body, low carbonation, chewy, warm etoh.

Amazing beer but still needs a year or two longer on that vintage for the vanilla to mellow, I was bummed the coco nibs didnt shine through as much, but still, this is liquid gold, eould love to try older years!

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.81/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Notes from a tasting on 8/15. not sure who brought this one, but i can tell you that it was far and away the highlight of the tasting. i had a batch 2 recently (review still needs to be added), and i can tell you it is a different beer entirely from batch 1. batch 2 is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but batch 1 is simply magic in a bottle.

Batch #1!!!

a - poured a watery black with no head at all, looks kind of sludgy, but has that darkness of the devil's soul.

s - a hint of rubbing alcohol with a salm in the face of amazing gourmet chocolate and the perfect dosage of vanilla glazed on top. some toasted coconut in the background to round out the nose. really just marvellous, my mouth is watering.

t - HOLY MOLY!!! Huge vanilla with rich decadent chocolate. Still pretty hot, but beautiful. everything is in it's right place. the vanilla is divine. not a vanilla bomb, but a dessert.

m - a bit hot, but silky smooth. for a beer this huge, it blows you away how great it drinks.

o - FAR superior to batch 2. FAR FAR FAR superior. this beer is unreal. the entire group was floored by it and i don't think one of us didn't peg this as the top beer of the evening (and it was in good company with rare, black note, pappy eclipse, and other big guns). we even gave some sips to a table of ladies next to us and they too were blown away that "a dark beer" could taste so good. when we told them the ABV, they thought we were lying.

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Photo of -Rick
4.81/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

this is desert in a bottle. Huge amounts of chocolate, vanilla, and a bit of coffee. The booze is well hidden in this one. Truly a great stout. Bottled in 2013

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Photo of dbc5
4.81/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage. 750 ml bottle poured into 10 ounce Kentucky Bourbon Stout snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with a cream colored head that fights to just cover the top of the beer before quickly dissipating into a nearly non-existent ring around the edge of the glass. Minimal head is to be expected from a beer of this size. Obvious alcohol legs with each swirl and sip.

S: Booze soaked dark fruits. A definite port-like character. Dark chocolate and brown sugar. Some vanilla-bourbon presence, but well integrated with the other aromatic complexities.

T: First impression, "this is better than Black Tuesday." The cocoa nib additions cut some of the intense sweetness; not to say this isn't a sweet beer (obviously given the ABV), but less so than the base beer. Picking up more roast in the back end than with normal BT. The cocoa addition is apparent with a nice bittersweet baker's chocolate presence. Over the course of this tasting, I've picked up flavors of plums, chocolate, caramel, burnt chocolate, coffee, and vanilla throughout. Ends milk chocolate and espresso, followed by alcohol warmth.

M: This beer is about as thick as it gets; borderline syrupy. Minimal carbonation and slick on the tongue. An appropriate mouthfeel for supporting the massive flavors and complexity of this one.

O: Excellent beer, one I prefer over the 10 and 11 vintages of Black Tuesday (the only vintages I've had).

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Photo of HookemHoos
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served out of a 750 ml bottle into a snifter. It was really an amazing beer. It poured extremely dark with very limited carbonation. The smell was full of chocolate. The taste was an abundance of chocolate with a big boozy alcohol taste.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of ehammond1
4.79/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2009)

The Bruery
Orange, CA

(Aged for 2+ years)

The body of the beer is near black throughout, with very dark brown edges, and a very thin dark brown head. The beer leaves thin, wispy, specks of stick to the glass.

The aroma of the rich, dark chocolates is simply divine. Roasted malt, bourbon, and a hint of coffee complement the chocolate as well, but this is a chocolate lover's dream in a glass. There's also perhaps a bit of earthy vanilla and sweet cream. The aroma is rich, decadent, and incredible. It doesn't get much better, if at all.

The flavor is rich and transformed--a much different beer than Black Tuesday. The rich, earthy, bittersweet flavors of chocolate come through first and foremost, alongside barrel/bourbon character, vanilla, and whipped cream. There's a presence of alcohol warmth but it's not at all distracting and small in accordance with the beer's ABV.

Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation. A wonderful dessert sipper. Decadent.

Incredible, though I prefer Black Tuesday.

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Photo of nhindian
4.79/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Bruery tulip. Split with russwbeck and tasted side-by-side with Chocolate Rain. Epic.

A - Depending on the light, the body looks anywhere from a glossy black, similar to Black Tuesday, to a ruddy, rustic brown. It builds a bigger head than Black Tuesday initially, eclipsing a 1.5-fingers of tawny head, but settles into a similar, foamy cap as Black Tuesday. Looking at the cap, a steady stream of carbonation cuts through the foam.

S - The initial aroma is hugely robust and bold, bursting with a sweet booziness that is almost unprecedented compared to anything I've had previously. Anise and roast are abundant as well, but it's easy to discern the vanilla beans and chocolate. The whiskey is strong as well, but even combined with the inherent alcohol aroma, it doesn't exactly come across as hot.

T - The first few seconds of the taste are offensive, abrasive, brash. But good things come to those who wait, and the roughness gives way to an amazingly smooth flavor that encompasses all that it was described as. Even with the addition of vanilla and chocolate, it somehow comes across as less diabetic sweet than Black Tuesday, and the transformation from harsh to silk is awe-inspiring. It forsakes the anise and char of Black Tuesday for a more friendly cocoa and french vanilla finish, and even though it is more sweet than your average double stout, it is many rungs lower than Black Tuesday and similar company. The back-end delivers a decent amount of whiskey, probably more-so than Black Tuesday, and make no mistake that it finishes hot, but every other flavor tries its hardest to mask it, and it doesn't even appear to approach the over 18.50% it actually is.

M - The mouthfeel is moderately heavy with nice carbonation. Definitely thick and bold, but not as syrupy or heavy as I was expecting. Really full-bodied though, and the flavors and sweetness last for a very long time afterward.

D/O - Drinkability is moderately high. As much as I was surprised at the flavors in this, the fact of the matter is that this is to epitome of a sipper. The alcohol isn't offensively hot, but it really creeps up on you (especially when you are drinking it side-by-side with Black Tuesday and drinking it during a large tasting) and the flavors are special, robust, and long-lasting enough that several sips are enough to last you a good amount of time before reaching that glass again. It certainly lives up to the hype and is one of the most unique and flavorful stout's I've ever had, but you need to split this since it is too much for one mere mortal to drink alone.

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Photo of brystmar
4.79/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

HUGE thanks to blatantdream for gifting me one of my whales! Shared this 2010 bottle at a tasting last month, reviewed from notes. Opened alongside Black Tuesday '10 for comparison.

Looks about the same as BT, not quite as much head, but who cares? Time to subtract arbitrary beer geek points for something that in no way detracted from my enjoyment.

Massive aroma emanates from my glass upon first pouring and remained potent for hours afterwards as I savored my pour. So incredibly much going on here, but the overwhelming scent is heavily vanilla and reminds me of vanilla cake frosting. Specifically, red frosting. Caramel, booze, cocoa, some roasted malts too. But yeah, cake batter & frosting out the wazoo!

Loved this aroma so much -- I kept about 1oz in my glass for the rest of the night and took a whiff every few minutes. On par with the best aromas I've ever experienced (Morning Wood & Passionfruit Berliner from FB, Cable Car Kriek). Where are the Chocolate Rain scented candles?

Taste is decadent; layers of flavor with strong vanilla leading the charge again. Deeply roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, toffee, dark fruits, and plenty of booze. The alcohol doesn't bite at all; rather, it blends in with the other flavors exceptionally well and warms nicely as it descends too. Again: vanilla cake frosting. *Red* cake frosting.

Flavor profile was shockingly different from its base beer (Black Tuesday) -- to the extent that I never would have known they shared the same base just from tasting them both. Also, the huge, creamy body from BT'10 was somehow absent in Chocolate Rain. Needs a LOT more body to carry this much flavor. No idea how it disappeared either, but its return is needed! :)

Overall, this is one of the best beers I've ever consumed. Glad I got to share it with a great group of BAs too! Met or exceeded all of my expectations, minus the body. Cannot wait to sample it on draft this weekend at the Bruery Reserve Society event, and I'm excited about the bottles I'm getting from this year's batch!

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Photo of Knapp85
4.79/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Major thanks to F2brewers for sending me this one. This beer poured out as a big black color with a light brown head that quickly fades. The smell is huge, loads of chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, booze and roasted malts. The taste is just as big as the nose. Huge chocolate flavors and lots of vanilla too and a boozy finish. The mouthfeel is slick moderately carbonated and smooth. Oily texture very nice brew. Overall what a powerful brew. Really glad I finally got to take try this. Very rich and very enjoyable.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.77/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of d3brewing
4.77/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer lives up to the hype. 2015 taster @ the tasting room on 6/13/15. Pours jet black with no head. Nose is big burbon, chocolate, black malt, sweet base malt. Taste is huge and complex, big burbon, alcohol warmth, dark chocolate, sweet grain. So deep and so complex it's amazing. Mouthfeel was considerably lighter than expected, sitting on a bottle for a year or 2 is recommended to thicken, sweeten, and blend the body and tastes.
Reservation society here I come.

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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 ktrillionaire
4.77/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to heyohhh and mcdiddypop for sharing many fantastic brews. The elusive Chocolate Rain pours with a fairly standard appearance: near-black, with a very slight collar of deep umber froth; the only surpise is that it has relatively thinner viscosity. The nose is pure chocolate deliciousness with a surprisingly lowbrow reference: it is highly evocative of Nestle Quik powder. There is almost no booze to be found in either aroma or flavor, which is truly a feat, given the ABV. And it is quite delicious, flavor-wise, with chocolate-coffee-candy-liqueur notes akin to Black Russians or Espresso Martinis. The body is fairly light for a Stout, and in this case, it serves the brew very well. I am not sure if I prefer this to Black Tuesday, but I am sure that they are both phenomenal.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.77/5  rDev +7.9%
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

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Photo of timc100
4.76/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Re-review of fresh 2015 vintage.

Thought 2014 was fantastic, but this was on another level - one of the greatest stouts I've had.

Tons of fresh vanilla bean, marshmallow, and chocolate - but it is not too sweet, a lot of booze and whiskey. Has an old ale quality I think is in all the huge bruery stouts - toffee, caramel, oak barrel. Follows suit on the palate - explosive strong flavor, rich boozy sweetness, tons of vanilla bean, chocolate and whiskey.

Phenomenal beer, the adjuncts add flavor and some sweetness but do not cover up the base whiskey stout. The vanilla and marshmallow integrate naturally with the existing bourbon sweetness. Best BT variation.

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Photo of jimmy82063
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2013 Version, poured into a Bruery Tulip.

A) - Jet black with a head that quickly dissipates. Small amount of foam rings the glass.

S) - Chocolate, vanilla, bourbon and Oak.

T) Really digging this the chocolate is semi sweet and it is complimented by the vanilla. The bourbon is very pronounced. This does not drink like an 18% beer. The alcohol heat is well muted and only shows up a bit at the end. Still though this is a sipper as you want to keep the experience going.

M) Velvety smooth.

O) An experience I was glad to have had!

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Photo of mlhyatt
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- very dark brown with no little head. Its a little light for a stout. Kinda looks more like a quad.

S- so much chocolate. Delicious. Some heat from the alcohol. Lots of vanilla as well.

T- just like the nose. Chocolate with a lot of vanilla. The heat is actually not as bad as i thought it would be. But there is still a lot there.

M- pretty smooth for it. The sweetness is very strong though. Little heat from alcohol. Silky sticky deliciousness.

Such a great beer. Don't have time to do the whole review right now but this is an amazing beer.

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Photo of JayPeso
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 bottle poured into snifter. Chocolate brown in appearance. Was expecting black motor oil I guess. Huge bourbon barrel characteristics with some some slight chocolate on the nose. Medium mouthfeel with more bourbon and some sweetness in the taste and aftertaste which helps cut the alcohol content. Not an overwhelming 18.5% abv at all and believe the cacao nibs and subtle sweetness help. Very little vanilla present if at all. Outstanding brew. Hoping I can move from PS to RS to stock up even more. Curious to see how this would taste with a bit of age on it.

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Photo of largadeer
4.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On cask at Black Tuesday. Chocolate Rain rests a near lifeless opaque brown in my glass, only a few wispy bubbles floating on top show signs of carbonation. It smells like chocolate cake and booze-soaked vanilla beans - the complexity of Black Tuesday's aroma has largely been stripped away and replaced by layers of chocolate, bourbon and vanilla. The palate is equally decadent, and offers a touch more complexity in the form of subtle oak and roast buried beneath the rich dark chocolate and vanilla. This ended up being every bit as enjoyable as I was expecting, hopefully more of it is made next year.

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Photo of Resuin
4.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750 mL bottle , bottled on 03/04/2013.

Appearance: Pours a dark, deep oak brown with a hint of cherry coloring. Leaves behind a solid finger of off-white head.

Smell: Sweet bourbon, strong vanilla, dark chocolate, toffee, caramel. Really delicious combination of aromas. The vanilla really stands out, maybe more than in any other beer I've had.

Taste: Bourbon and vanilla come out right away, front and center, along with milk and dark chocolate, toffee, more vanilla. The layers of strong, sweet flavors mask the alcohol expertly. Some heat is definitely there but it only adds to this beer. Very sweet, but not overly so - really well done.

Mouth-feel: Silky texture with low to medium carbonation. Medium to heavy body. Very smooth and creamy.

Overall: This is a terrific monster of a stout for chocolate lovers. Definitely sweet, and the alcohol is masked brilliantly. This one packs a whole lot of flavor and the smell and taste match each other very well, in a good way. Definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of the_trystero
4.73/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip, 2013, 18%.

A: Brownish black with very slight head, some lacing as I roll it around the glass..

S: Smells like a root beer float.

T: Melt some quality vanilla ice cream in chocolate liqueur, add a touch of Bourbon. Shit, this is an amazing dessert beer.

M: Slightly syrupy, light carbonation.

O: Yikes, I cracked a bottle tonight solo, and I can't stop drinking it. I'm glad the weather has cooled down some here otherwise I'd wouldn't be cracking this open until next fall. Sweet, chocolate/vanilla lusciousness.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.73/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge huge thanks to drabmuh for sharing this one; thanks Matt! Big want of mine. Served in an Alvinne taster tulip. 2011 vintage.

a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black color, with one inch of very dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty good.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits, cocoa, cream, and toffee. Very nice nose, a wonderful mix of the bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla. Loving it.

t - Tastes of of sweet milk chocolate, roasted malts, bourbon, oak, vanilla, sweet dark fruits, raisins, cocoa, cream, caramel malts, and tofee. Again, a really great mix; tons of sweet chocolate again. The chocolate and vanilla really comes through; a step up from the nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, very smooth and creamy. Near perfect mouthfeel; a tiny bit more carbonation and it would be perfect. Hard to believe this one is in the 18.5%-20% ABV range.

o - Overall I thought this is a fantastic beer; I think I actually like it a bit better than the normal BT as it had more sweet chocolate, especially in the taste. I love chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon in beers, and this blends all three in a great way. A top notch RIS; very glad I'll get another bottle in the Reserve Society next year.

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Photo of alaimoa
4.73/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 Rain review side by side with BCBS 2013 and Black Tues 2012
BCBS best appearance of the group, not too impressive on appearance with no real lace but jet black but better on second pour nice lace. Smell bourbon chocolate. Taste really good a bit better than pirate.. upfront, chocolate bars dance on the tongue.. could really use some vanilla ice cream and chocolate cake to make a shake with.
Feel is thick and sweet but not disgusting like DL

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