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Chocolate Rain - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Chocolate RainChocolate Rain

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,545 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,545
Reviews: 248
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 10.38%
Wants: 2,007
Gots: 621 | FT: 79
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  18.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Black Tuesday with Vanilla Bean & Cocoa Nibs.

2011: 18.5% ABV
2012: 19.5% ABV
2013: 18.0% ABV
2014: 18.5% ABV

(Beer added by: mikedashg on 10-28-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,545 | Reviews: 248 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gory4d
gory4d

New York

4.05/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a few bubbles - no head to speak of. It's pretty clear, not as opaque as I'd expected. The smell is heavy on the bourbon, with some sweet notes of cocoa and vanilla. The taste is big sweet chocolate upfront, some notes of oak and vanilla in the middle, with big bourbon burn at the end. The vanilla became more prominent as it warmed. It's fairly thin, moderately carbonated, easy on the tongue. A nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2012 03:20:06 | More by gory4d
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.05/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally, a year late, I got to have this on cask,

A: Pours a dark brown with a mild cask head. Some lace, very nice colour.

S: Lots of chocolate, bourbon, the cacao really comes out and differentiates it from BT. A soothing but complex smell.

T: Direct bitter cacao nib flavours. Sweet residual sugar throughout with a hint of acidity in the finish.

M: Full-bodied, but thins out a bit with the acidity towards the end. A big beer though for sure.

D: A very nice stout. I was a bit underwhelmed as I missed it last year and have been waiting for this moment. Not as good as regular Black Tuesday for me, but in the whole scheme of things it is well made in its style.

Serving type: cask

10-27-2010 03:31:33 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of JohnnyBarman
JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, courtesy of daryk77 - cheers man, as always. Shared as we watched the end of the presidential election festivities.

Poured into a goblet. Black as pitch, slightly chestnut when held to the light, with a thin off white head that recedes into a thick, but substantial ring.

Nose is very sweet: coffee, cream, booze, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, light burnt sugar. You can smell the weight on this.

Very tasty indeed, "rich" is an understatement. Boozy? At a hair under 20% of course it will be. However, I did find the sweetness and the booze more pronounced than the Tuesday. Vanilla and sugar quite prominent, though the other flavors are certainly there. Don't get me wrong, this is a damned tasty beer, but I give the edge to the Tuesday. Syrupy, velvety feel, with enough carbonation to keep the sweetness at bay.

Very enjoyable beer, definitely worth a second look if I ever come across it again.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2012 04:26:27 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

4.08/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a taster. Batch 2. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Dark brown, not quite black. Ruby flecks in the light. Mocha head that's gone pretty quickly.

Smell - Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Nice, until the booze. Wow is it boozy.

Taste - Sugar. Sugar again. Bourbon. Chocolate, then sugar and sugar again. Alcohol rounds it out, I guess. I get the chocolate, but there's no other evidence of a stout in there. Still, it tastes pretty damn good.

Mouthfeel - Sugary sweet. Diabetes in a bottle. 3 or 4 oz. is the most I could drink of this. Excruciatingly boozy.

Overall - It's so over the top. Better than BT, but only because of the chocolate flavor. There's barely a stout back there behind the barrel and chocolate.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2012 22:50:56 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of DaveJanssen
DaveJanssen

Germany

4.08/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split a 750 mL bottle 3 ways, poured into red wine glasses. Reviewed night of 3/19/11

Ar: Heavy sweet, decadent, mild soy/meat, chocolate syrup, vanilla, rich dark chocolate cake, light coffee, roast/burn, maple, alcohol

Ap: Low head, dark tan/light black, legs

T: Rich and sweet, heavy chocolate, roast, very mild burn, dark chocolate, reminds me of KBS in some ways, rich and full, molasses, licorice, light tobacco, heavy dark caramel with dark chocolate, bourbon and wood, strong maple (lingering), strong vanilla, alcohol, baking chocolate

M: Heavy, mild carbonation, sweet and full, roast and alcohol end, mild alcohol character for abv

O: Very good, stronger coffee quality than i expected/remember in Black Tuesday, strong complex and rich, reminds me of KBS and to some extent BCBCS.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2011 02:18:36 | More by DaveJanssen
Photo of treyrab
treyrab

California

4.08/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An every so generous Dyan brought Chocolate Rain featuring Tay Zonday to our Philly Tasting Part Deux tasting. Thank you, Dyan! Here is a video of the Chocolate Rain pour, in which Tay made a surprise appearance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLWGA4FeTsI&feature=related

A: Chocolate rain opens up with a nice melody of tunes. Further, the hiss evidences nice carbonation, which is not expected for a beer of this size. Pours into the glasses a pitch black, oil, with surprisingly lively carbonation. A tad thinner than I was expecting for such a large beer.

S: When smelling the rim of the bottle, it smells identical to a sweet vanilla bean. Literally on other flavours at all besides vanilla. It was pretty awesome. However, that scent did not carry through to the actual beer. The beer itself was also very nice, with sweet vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon. The vanilla really kicks the shit out of all other scents, and it smells extremely sweet. Smells like a very, very solid dessert beer.

T: Having this side by side with Black Tuesday, this one was a tad thinner and not as complex. Definitely more of a dessert beer than an Imperial Stout. Sweet, complex vanilla blends with nice bourbon and chocolate. Super sweet all around.

M: For a beer this big, it was a tad thin. Expected a tad more viscosity, but it is still very nice.

Overall, I am glad I tried this one. A little too sweet for me (and I am a big fan of sweeter beers), and not as complex as Black Tuesday. Still, very, very solid!

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2011 14:27:46 | More by treyrab
Photo of magictacosinus
magictacosinus

California

4.09/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Managed to try this the other night thanks to a surprise bottle opening at a bar I go to. Thanks to everyone who was generous enough to share! One of my top wants for a while. 2013 vintage. Poured into a wine taster glass from a 750ml bottle. Keep in mind that I *haven't* had Black Tuesday yet as of this review, so I have nothing to compare it to.

This actually was a gusher. Are you joking?! Nevertheless, pours pitch black (as expected), with some brownish, tanned streaks, which mostly manifests itself in the head. The alcohol legs are monstrous, but lacing is actually far better than I thought it would be, leaving behind granite looking droplets against the wall of the glass after every swirl and sip. Looks like a chocolate liqueur melded with port wine, plain and simple.

An immediate blast of malty, chocolate and oak laden sweetness reaches the nose, but it's a little more complex than other imperial stouts within the category. The first flavors that hit the nostrils (albeit a brief sting from the alcohol) consist of fudge, caramel, and vanilla, and soon meld into a far more unique profile at the finish - with roasted cashews (seriously, not joking, this is very nutty), tobacco, prunes, dark cherries, and molasses. Quite a complex offering, and while it fails to hide the alcohol as well as I'd want, it's still extremely diverse for a mere chocolate-forward bourbon barrel aged offering.

The flavor is exactly what you'd expect it to be based off of the aroma - an enormous cascade of chocolate and fudge, combined with a brief sweetness of burnt toffee, vanilla, and caramel. Very, very sweet, but luckily other flavors make themselves noticeable at the finish, ranging from dark fruit (blackcurrant, prunes), spices (cinnamon, tobacco), and a brief tannic consistency from the oak barrels. While there's some carbonation, this is extremely syrupy, but luckily it's not overbearingly sweet so it doesn't bother me as much in the long run. As a port wine lover, it's pretty impressive how this tastes very similar to drinking a high quality Tawny with some dark chocolate alongside. Very enjoyable, but 4oz was more than enough.

Very good, but most certainly not worth the $40 price tag they're asking for on this. TCHO is one of my favorites and their chocolate really accentuates the base beer overall. Perhaps improves it, but I will only find that out as soon as I get to crack open my first BT. I'll be honest, though - it's going to be hard to find a beer of this type again that is as decadent and as complex as this one is!

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 19:32:33 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of CenCalMario
CenCalMario

California

4.1/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap from a beautiful barrel @ the 2011 Black Tuesday release. This my 4th or 5th time trying Chocolate Rain and I wanted to put down a review. It never disappoints.

Appearance: Black, brown chocolatey colored on the edges. Slight head for this beast.

Smell: Chocolate, bourbon, boozy aroma - you know your gonna get hit with the alcohol when it hits your lips.

Taste: Chocolate, some oak coming though, vanilla bean for sure... so good, so strong, so balanced... Like a roller coaster of flavors and tastes.

Mouthfeel: Big beer, full bodied, light carb, very smooth, silky, tad boozy but not over the top.

Overall: A great beer. I probably prefer more Black Tuesday for longer drinks or bigger pours, but it's a stellar beer that must be tried!

Serving type: cask

10-27-2011 21:32:56 | More by CenCalMario
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

4.1/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by largadeer. Thanks, Beer Jesus. From notes.

A: Pours a pitch black with no edge translucence. Very viscous, leggy (nice!). It has a small mocha-colored head.

S: Rich, burnt caramel, chocolate, vanilla, molasses, raisins, bourbon. Some coffee, and of course, booze. As with many other Bruery beers, this is dessert in a bottle. Extremely rich.

T: The taste is rich, as well, but it's not cloying. It comes off as a liqueur; the heavy body delivers burnt caramel, bourbon-soaked raisins, molasses, vanilla, coffee. It's tannic in the finish, which probably helps it feel a little drier than it actually is.

M: I'm not sure who these people are that claim the beer isn't boozy. Of course it's boozy. But it's not quite as hot as I would expect (see some 120 Minute IPA for how to do it wrong). Even the sugar burn I typically get off Bruery beers is muted here. I don't know if that's from the oak suppressing it, but I'm impressed.

O: I like this beer more than Black Tuesday; but I liked the small handbottle of Cherry Chocolate Rain (from cask) even more. I hope that comes around again. I don't think this is really worth $35 or whatever the cost was, but it's a tasty beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2012 20:34:42 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of mgp2675
mgp2675

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decided to open this one with a few friends during our annual trip to Maine. Batch #2.

A- No carbonation at all really. Pour was slightly thin, similar to BT. Dark brown in color, not as dark as most stouts.

S- Right up front the chocolate hit me, followed by oak, bourbon, vanilla, dark fruit, toffee, and some burnt notes as well. There is a lot of alcohol on the nose as well. The aroma is extremely sweet, but I expected this.

T- A lot of the same notes in the aroma come through in the taste as well. Dark chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla are the main flavors that come out. The aftertaste is all dark chocolate. Chocolate Rain is definitely not as smooth as BT. There is a huge alcohol presence and although it doesn't taste like it's 19.5%, it's still very obvious that it's high. The taste is extremely sweet, maybe even more than BT.

M- Thinner, definitely not creamy at all. No carbonation.

O- This is good, but not great. It's on par with Black Tuesday if you enjoyed that, but it's different. I feel like both of them are constantly rated high because they're great for having such a high ABV, but that doesn't impress me. I'd rather drink a stout that's 12% and tastes better, but that's just me. There are some exceptionally complex flavors in this that made me happy that I tried it, but I wouldn't seek it out again. It's not very smooth at all and just too sweet for my taste.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2012 16:51:57 | More by mgp2675
Photo of craytonic
craytonic

District of Columbia

4.1/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pour is a near jet black, smallish head that quickly disappears. No real lacing but it does have some legs

Smell: Smell is decadent; probably one of the best smelling non-sour beers I have encountered. Pure fudge brownies with molasses, caramel, toffee, vanilla and oak. It is like being in a bakery or chocolate ship. 5.0

Taste: Very hot, which I suppose it to be expected at 18%. As opposed to the smell, the taste is a bit more rough and edgy. The fudge brownies, caramel, toffee, vanilla and oak are all there but the alcohol burn/edge makes it harder to enjoy and detracts.

Mouthfeel: Extremely rich and tick; you need to take half-sips, especially given the heat. Almost syrupy and a bit too sweet.

Overall/Drinkability: One of the best-smelling non-sour beers I have encountered, but the high ABV and hugeness of it really detracts. We split this five ways next to a Black Tuesday (which tasted not so good next to the chocolate rain) and we ended up having to take "break" beers (two times actually) before we could finish this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2011 15:45:19 | More by craytonic
Photo of bashiba
bashiba

Iowa

4.11/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Chocolate Rain mean 48 Jersey is dark brown with almost no head to speak.

this smell is so loaded with alcohol burns my nose hairsthere's a bit of saleI'm heading dark chocolate

its so rich its like drinking chocolate boobsvery sweet desert lifethe heavy bourbon vanilla flavormeeting with alcohol add more chocolate and then even more time chocolate a little more vanilla

mouthfeel is tremendously sickvery warm and very on Boise.

highly recommend this second Street.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2013 04:26:37 | More by bashiba
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

4.11/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A-EBF sample pour. Looks just like Black Tuesday. Dark brown, syrupy and oily. Leaves legs, even in the plastic sample cup.

S-Very fudgy. Like a chocolate liqueur. You can tell it's going to be very sweet. The smell of bourbon slowly rises out of the glass as well. Some dark fruits.

T-Chocolate liqueur. Bourbon infused fudge. Dark fruits. Brownie batter. Vanilla. Whiskey and wood. Very sweet but complex in its sweetness.

M-Oily with a unique feel. Slick. Hot. Sticky and boozy. Lower carbonation.

O/D-As I felt with Black Tuesday, I wasn't totally in love with it but I know it is well worth a try. Not many beers are quite like Chocolate Rain. Some stay dry while others feel the pain...

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 20:04:22 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of 1Adam12
1Adam12

Indiana

4.13/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had 2 bottles. Finally just couldn't wait anymore and had to crack one open. Pours dark black, with zero head, zero bubbles at all. The smell is way too hot. Loads of alcohol, as well as chocolate, roasts, vanilla, and a bit of bourbon. Taste is sweet from the vanilla. Not as much chocolate flavor as Black Tuesday, and also extremely hot. Just too much booze. However, once you get pass the booziness, it is blended nicely. Mellow chocolate, sweet vanilla, and balanced bourbon make the flavor have a lot to look forward to. Mouthfeel, once again, just overrun with booziness. Full, and creamy, but the booze is just too much. Overall, I gave this a 4.5 based on how I think this will develop. I'm going to wait at least 2 years to open my 2nd bottle, and I think this will be amazing once the booziness fades. At the moment, I prefer Black Tuesday over Chocolate Rain, but that could change with some age.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2012 01:21:13 | More by 1Adam12
Photo of MarkIntihar
MarkIntihar

Michigan

4.13/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2011 04:09:40 | More by MarkIntihar
Photo of UNCCTDawg
UNCCTDawg

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2 poured into a Cigar City snifter

Appearance ~ Deep Black/Brown with a small amount of Tan head.

Smell ~ BOURBON, Chocolate, BOURBON, vanilla, BOURBON and some nice almond notes. In case you didn't catch the bourbon, I thought my nose was going to catch on fire it smelled so strong.

Taste ~ This baby is hot, really hot. Chocolate and sugar are really nice, its a good sweet, and not too sweet. Only problem I have with the taste is the overwhelming booze. Great taste after you get past the alcohol.

Mouthfeel ~ Nice, still a little hot, but the aroma hangs around nicely.

Overall ~ This is a quality brew. I think if I have another, i'll hang on to it for a minimum of 3 years before I drink the next one so the hardcore booze calms down. CR is Black Tuesday with cocoa nibs. It's good, but I would have just saved the cocoa and put out more Black Tuesday, BT is much better at hiding the heat. BT is just much better period.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2012 00:38:47 | More by UNCCTDawg
Photo of Brabander
Brabander

Netherlands

4.13/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

Thanks again Wim, a real treat...

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2011 13:51:26 | More by Brabander
Photo of ptykozoon
ptykozoon

California

4.13/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with a red hue, a ring of lacing on the glass.

So sweet, mostly chocolate followed by hot, abrasive, candy-coated alcohol reminiscent of bourbon. Some maple in there too. Lots of dessert.

Wow. This is quite an extraordinary beer, hugely decadent and dense with chocolate, cherries, caramelized sugar and straight up bourbon. Unique and well balanced for the 20% This beer is dangerous.

Can you taste carbonation at this level of ABV? I want to say lightly carbonated, full bodied, and surprisingly non-cloyingly sweet.

Chocolate Rain is not just a novelty, it really is an exceptional example of an upcoming style.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2011 17:05:08 | More by ptykozoon
Photo of Rhettroactive
Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

4.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From 750mL gold wax dipped bottle to Portsmouth glass on 5/24/12
*From notes

-- Big, big thanks go out to siege06nd for opening his CHOCOLATE RRAAAIIINNNN!!! Thanks buddy. --

A: Not the best of introductions. This looks kinda like a cherry cola, as it's a pretty clean, fair brown. A forceful pour yields no head, no collar, no lacing. Really not off to a good start here.

S: I don't even have to put this to my nose to smell it, as this is as aromatic as any beer I've come across. Costco sized quantities of ruby port wine overwhelm my nostrils. Lots and lots and lots of red vine fruit. Letting this open a bit, the vanilla really begins to show itself. It's quite candied and really damn expressive.

T: Creamy, luscious vanilla, mounds of warm dark chocolate, intense red vine fruit and a boatload of booze. The bourbon and 19% ABV attack the finish. Jesus is this hot. It really sticks to the jowls and burns long after the beer's gone down my gullet. This is most certainly a dessert beer to be sure, as it's extremely cloying and pretty damn sweet. It's also divisive: most of the group felt this to be too much, where I really enjoyed it for what it is.

M: Lackluster is a good way of putting it. The feel for such a big beer like this should be dense and thick. I should need a knife and fork to get through this one. Instead, it's lacking any semblance of complexity and proper weight. I really think that a bigger body would make for a more balanced and enjoyable beer.

O: Certainly a good beer, but it's an aquired taste, I suspect. I found more pleasure in this then the rest of my tasting group, yet I do firmly believe that this never reaches the upper echelon of the ADIS style. I'm not quite sure how this got to the lofty status it currently holds, as I assume the hype train just got a rollin' and never let go. Do yourself a favor and hold onto your cellar's best bottles, as 'll bet they're better then this.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 15:52:28 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Portion of a bottle consumed at the Rosso release. Bottle wrapped hobo style. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours near black with the thinnest of tan heads. Some light legs on the sides of the snifter, especially after a few swirls. Completely opaque. The nose is quite pungent, but nothing that jumps out too much. My first impression is that I like Black Tuesday more. There's a pretty strong chocolate presence intermingled with a light dosing of bourbon plus some mild roast. Booze is fairly prevalent, but doesn't stand out too much. There's a mild coffee presence, but that is more of an undertone to sweet creamer.

The flavor mixes the flavors pretty well, though nothing really pops all that much. From the start, I'm thinking that some age will definitely do this well. Some flavors could probably be blended a bit better. The chocolate is the dominant character. Beyond that, there's light bourbon and hints of oak plus a bit of roast and creamy, milked-up coffee. Mouthfeel is really thick and there's some residual sweetness. Along with that, there is a bit of booze in the finish. Nicely done. I look forward to revisiting this one in the future, hopefully after the flavors integrate together just a bit more.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 15:15:10 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of Nugganooch
Nugganooch

California

4.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage 750ML - NYC bottle share with mdfb79. Thanks Dan – Whalez Bro!
12/12/13 – Served in a Duvel tulip glass

A: Viscous looking body collects a dark black pearl in the glass with a light edging of more translucent brown. Thin wisp of quick going khaki cream settles out to a partial ring. Minor alcohol runners and a couple dots of stick are left behind.

S: Cocoa nib and booze at the forefront. Loads of dark roast character with more fudgy chocolate, molasses, and dark fruits. The barrel aging is there with a touch of woodsy earth, crème brulee, and vanilla bourbon spice. Light undertones of toasted coconut and coffee. I get a touch of soy sauce/umami thing going on in the background as well. Overall nice with good chocolate aromas but a touch boozy and rather restrained bourbon notes.

T: Chocolate mousse cake with toasted caramels, cherry cordial, and plum. Not the most chocolaty beer I have had but with good complementing layers of dark roasted grain, vanilla bean, molasses, and toasted coconut. Boozy alcohol but it is tolerable here. The beers dessert like sweetness is cut by the intense alcohol sting and a higher amount of hop bitterness. Earthy with some mild spice. The vanilla, charred oak, and bourbon really start to perk as the beer warms up which takes some effort. A great beer but not quite up to my expectations. Hits you like a chocolate liqueur majority of the time.

M: Heavy and slick from the seemingly lower amount of carbonation. Has a fairly viscous quality that is relatively balanced by a nice bitter bite and light drying finish. Warming alcohol coats the palate.

D: A nice sipper and definitely a great feat in craft beer but didn’t quite meet expectations. It is chocolate and booze with some timid barrel character. I feel there are just other beers with more developed chocolate and better bourbon character. Would really like to spend some more time with this one though.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2014 00:39:06 | More by Nugganooch
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml poured into a matching Bruery snifter. The brew streams a dark brown that settles in the glass more toward black. An initial 3/4 finger of tan froth dissolves to a fine ring around the edge of the glass. Some spotting of lace sticks to the glass that is minimal. There is a greater amount of alcohol legs that sticks to the glass than lace. A swirl agitates bubbles from solution that again creates a quick dissolving film. When held to the light, the brew looks more of a clouded brown with some yellowish/orange highlights around the edges.

The aroma is fairly strong with notes of cocoa and vanilla. These 2 characteristics are also present in the base beer but it is really exaggerated here in Chocolate Rain. The overall nose is quite sweet smelling and inviting with character that is reminiscent of brownie batter. As the brew warms up, the alcohol starts to come through with some solvent burning to the nostrils and a faint amount of dark fruity character.

The taste is sticky and sweet with an immediate rush of chocolate and strong vanilla flavoring. There is no hiding that 19.5% abv though. It comes surging out with bold fusels and a solvent kick that strips the sweetness from the inside of the mouth and burns all the way down the gullet. There is a bit of bitterness here towards the back that seems like unsweetened chocolate and a bit of fruity hop accent. Black licorice is evident in the aftertaste.

This is a full bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is thick and chewy yet a smooth sipper. This is an impressively bold brew with a shocking amount of cocoa and vanilla inclusion (moreso than I expected.) As far as drinkability goes, this one is a brute and is not something to be drank glass after glass of. It is rich and inviting and something I would like to be able to take in small samples on multiple occasions, not try and tackle an entire 750ml of. Fans of Black Tuesday will love this but in my opinion this is really hot right now. I wish I would have waited a year or more to open this.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2012 01:44:29 | More by stakem
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

4.16/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Boom - Chocolate Rain. Huge shoutout to whomever decided to bring this to our tasting. I keep forgetting who brought what, dammit. Anyway, this was a big want of mine, and I'm grateful for not having to search the country for it. Pours a very deep brown color, not quite deep enough to be called black. Even an aggressive, straight down pour produced almost no head - a slight ring that fades to naught rather quickly. Possibly an effect of such a high alcohol content?

The aroma is one of the strongest and most poignant I've ever come across. It fills your nasal cavities long before you finish bringing the beer to your nose. Deep, deep vanilla aromas; dense and syrupy. A bourbon-like alcohol character is strong and robust up front, almost burning the insides of my nose. The bourbon is settled down a bit and held in check by a delicate chocolate that emerges; sweet, milky, and creamy through and through. All of these aromas only intensify as the beer warms up. The bourbon burns more, the malts get sweeter, the vanilla gets more dense. The harshness, the sweetness, the sheer dominance of the nose is quite intimidating - but hey, I would expect nothing less from a 19.5% ABV stout that was this highly acclaimed, right?

The first thing that my taste receptors send to my brain from the moment this beer touches my tongue is, "holy fucking sweet!" The sweetness is very high on this one, right out of the gate - honestly, just a tad overboard. The flavors, however, are very, very nice; baked brown sugar, bourbon soaked licorice and mild dark fruit, heavy vanilla beans, and lots of light, cocoa undertones. There is a solid oak and wood characteristic, front to back as well. As anyone would expect, this one gets much boozier as it warms up - starting off as a bourbon heat, it turns into a hotter bourbon heat accompanied by a slightly phenol or rubbing alcohol kind of heat.

The more and more I drink this, the more and more the vanilla-bourbon flavors stand out to me as the most dominant. The aftertaste is controlled by some light cocoa flavors that are sadly overshadowed by heavy booze. The sweetness also lasts long into the aftertaste, like a boulder rolling down a hill that is very hard to stop. Near the tail end of this beer, the alcohol is much more dominant and it actually helps keep the sweetness more in check. Slick, sticky, slightly thick mouth feel with super low carbonation.

Super glad I got to try this one - my 6 oz. pour was perfect - I would imagine that any more than this would be too much. The flavors were awesome, but there were two main things holding this one back from being a top 10 beer for me: it was a bit too sweet, and it was a touch too boozy and hot, especially as the beer warmed up. I guess that's to be expected from a 19.5% ABV beer, right? So maybe I'm being too harsh. But the beer was still damn good and the flavors were on point. Overall, if this were taken down on the ABV level and the sweetness was controlled a little better, it would easily be a top 10 contender.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2013 18:05:37 | More by tectactoe
Photo of errantnight
errantnight

California

4.18/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thick, viscous deep deep mahogany towards black into a Bruery tulip. A quick swirl reveals outstanding legs... and since this is closer to a liqueur than it is a beer, that's alright.

The aroma is where this truly shines... huge chocolate notes with a bit of plum, fruity with bursting esters and hint of background alcohol (distinctly bourbon) and a hint of roast coffee. Deep and complex.

This drinks like a chocolate liqueur with a bit more complexity (and dryness, although as beer goes this is very sweet). Full flavored is an understatement, although the roastiness takes a back seat, playing more as a milk chocolate and sherry combination. The vanilla really is barely present, really working well instead to compliment the barrel aged flavors and chocolate. That said, this sits sweet and heavy on the tongue, and despite its viscosity is a bit thin on the back palate. Even a volume and a half or so of carbonation would do wonders... or, conversely, a bit more alcohol. Utopias manages to pull off the flatness by having a bit more heat which this masks beautifully, but leaves this a bit cloying.

Delicious to sip, but I wouldn't want more than the 4oz I consumed on any given evening. A bit blended with Black Tuesday produced a spectacular brew... returning some carbonation and just a touch more roast balanced the sweetness and deepened the mouthfeel to produce something truly sublime.

Serving type: cask

11-02-2009 01:09:27 | More by errantnight
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CuriousMonk

Virginia

4.18/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 2012 bomber into snifter glass. Poured dark brown with a mild mannered khaki head; the retention was light, with a non-existant lacing. The nose picked up some cocoa, vanilla, molasses, caramel, and paramount bourbon. The flavor profile was really impressive out of the gate. It wasn’t initially boozy, but it was very heavy on the cocoa nibs and vanilla. However, the booze hit quite hard in the back finish which pretty much dominated the rest of my drinking session. The malt profile was dominant throughout – more caramel, molasses, cocoa nibs, vanilla, dark fruits, biscuits, and some more booziness. Sticky mouthfeel with a thin to medium presence. Unfortunately, the booze took over the pleasant aromas and flavors which were much appreciated initially.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2012 03:37:45 | More by CuriousMonk
Chocolate Rain from The Bruery
100 out of 100 based on 1,545 ratings.