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Chocolate Rain - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Chocolate RainChocolate Rain

Educational use only; do not reuse.

303 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 303
Hads: 2,341
Avg: 4.42
pDev: 10.41%
Wants: 2,512
Gots: 910 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 303 | Hads: 2,341
Photo of peensteen
4.58/5  rDev +3.6%

Thanks a bunch to Jeffo for the longtime want! 2014 bottle.

Jet black with just a ring of tan head and no lace. Smell is full of chocolate and bourbon, rich roast, vanilla and a bit of liquorice, this beer smells absolutely incredible. Taste follows the nose and is even more of a treat than suggested, chocolate and roast, bourbon and vanilla, sweet but not near cloying, just a bit of alcohol heat but the 18% goes largely unnoticed. Lightly carbonated, full substantial body. Outstanding, I enjoyed this more than Black Tuesday by quite a bit and I really enjoyed BT, would welcome this again anytime.

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Photo of TWStandley
4.16/5  rDev -5.9%

Poured from the bottle into a taster. 2012 vintage.

Appeared a dark brown color - very thin in appearance which was quite shocking. Could have to do with the high ABV. Minimal light brown head disappeared quickly.

Smell was amazingly complex. Vanilla, chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, dark fruits, marshmallow, cream.....ALCOHOL. Just a ton going on.

Taste followed the smell. Alcohol is definitely present...quite hot still even after a few years in the cellar. Very complex, very sweet. Can only drink a few ounces of this one.

Mouth-feel is where this one lacks. I am assuming it is cause of the high abv, but for a beer that is this complex I'd prefer a better feel to it. This is far too light in the mouth.

Overall not going to lie, a bit disappointed by this one. Mouth-feel is just not correct for a beer packing so much complexity.

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

Reviewed from notes. On-tap for the Third Anniversary Party at the Phoenix Club. 5/29/11.

A: Pours an oily, deep black with a faint dark tan head which leaves a couple of spots.

N: Dark cocoa powder, milk chocolate, roast, vanilla, dark fruits, boozy, molasses, warm caramel and maple.

T: Complex. Dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel, bourbon, brown sugar, aged wood, charred leather. Amazing.

M: Full body and light carbonation. Rich, oily, creamy, sweet, syrupy, bourbon soaked chocolate cake.

O: Stunning and in awe.

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Photo of lovethebelgians
4.91/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pouring it I was expecting it to have a thin mouthfeel, because that's the way it appeared as I poured. the smell was of vanilla and chocolate, and when tasted the mouthfeel was actually thicker than I had expected. right away tastes of chocolate and vanilla oak so good, and then a peculiar mapley finish as the liquid fades. This was truly a treat last night love this stuff would drink it all the time if I could.

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Photo of superspak
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 12/4/2013. Pours nearly opaque dark brown color with a small foamy tan head with poor retention, that reduces to a thin ring of lace. Some slight spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big milk chocolate, fudge, vanilla, caramel, toffee, toast, coconut, bourbon, oak, and oak/toasted earthiness. Incredible aromas with fantastic balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt, vanilla/cocoa spice, and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of huge milk chocolate, fudge, cocoa, vanilla, caramel, toast, toffee, coconut, bourbon, oak, and oak/toasted earthiness. Slight roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, fudge, cocoa, vanilla, caramel, toast, toffee, coconut, bourbon, oak, and oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Absolutely insane complexity and robustness of dark/roasted malt, bourbon barrel, and vanilla/cocoa flavors; with perfect balance of malt/barrel/spice flavors with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and slightly syrupy mouthfeel that is incredible. Alcohol is insanely well hidden with only a light-moderate warming present after the finish. Overall this is a world class imperial stout. Perfect balance and incredible complexity of dark/roasted malt, bourbon barrel, and vanilla/cocoa spice flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the huge ABV. An absolutely stunning beer all around.

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

Chocolate Rain, 2013 vintage. Tasted July 5th, 2014.


Pours opaque black with tones of deep red. Initially there is almost no head, and the little there is disappears quickly. No lacing.


It is baffling how complex the aroma is. At first I'm sucked into a whirlpool of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and vanilla. Holy cow.

Once I recover, sweet ripe dates as well as red raisin greet my nose. I can also definitely smell the alcohol. There is a hint of wood somewhere in the back, and I perceive sweet bourbon somewhere in the distance. I'm overwhelmed with sweetness, sweetness, and more sweetness. Brown sugar, and sugar pie (a French Canadian specialty: brown sugar, cream, butter).

It doesn't take too long for fortified wine, port wine, madera and sherry to make their presence known, in no uncertain way. They are supported by a malty back bone.

As if it was not sweet enough, other desserts come to me after it warms up: chocolate cake, some sweet carrot cake, notes of cola, truffle, and caramel.


It tastes almost as complex as the aroma. My first impression is all dark chocolate and vanilla, with a touch of espresso, truffle, and caramel. It is almost unbearable how good this is.

Sugar pie returns (caramelized cream and brown sugar) - you really have to try this one day to know what I'm talking about. I feel like I'm drinking fancy Swiss chocolate candies. A little note of cinnamon remains after the sip is gone.

I can actually taste the alcohol. However, it doesn't overpowers anything, it balances well with the other components. Eventually I spot a few extras that do their thing quietly in the background: amaretto, a touch of hazelnut, and almond.

Finally, I taste what's going on in the background: tobacco, leather, and a hint of fig.

I was a little surprised to find very little bourbon, wood, molasses and licorice, which are typically found abundantly in this type of beer. I suspect those qualities couldn't find a spotlight on this crowded stage. Btw this is not a flaw, just something unusual. The beer is already outstanding.


The carbonation is pretty low, and I stand in a world of warmth from the alcohol (not burning though). Curiously, it leaves in my mouth a prickly sensation, that faintly numbs my tongue and even the inside of my cheeks. I suspect the vanilla to be responsible.

I was expecting a very thick and oily beer, but no, surprisingly, its body leans on the light to medium side. Viscosity is average, and it is not very chewy. It is extremely pleasant, to be honest, it elevates the drinkability. Even more surprising, the finish is rather crisp for that style of beer. Perhaps aging it for a year and half has thinned it just right?


Lots of surprises with this beer, especially with the mouth feel. The only flaw I found was the lack of head, which is a fairly minor one. For me this beer is nearly perfect, mature, and -excuse the language- fucking EPIC.

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Photo of Furlinator
4.19/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage.

Pours opaque black. The 1/4 inch khaki head quickly disappears completely and leaves no lace.

The smell is of bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla, pipe tobacco and maple syrup.

The taste is of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, dark malt, vanilla, molasses and bourbon.

The texture is heavy bodied, thick and slightly oily with low carbonation.

An 18.5% ABV sweet bourbon bomb. The chocolate, vanilla and molasses accents are pushing this one toward the 'too sweet' realm.

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Photo of champ103
2.96/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours not completely opaque, but dark black with some ruby brown around the edges. A tiny bubbly head forms and recedes to nothing in a second. Looks really still.
S: Very boozy up front. Some bakers chocolate, vanilla and roast comes through. Huge barrel aromas that overpower everything.
T: Like the nose, all barrel and not much else comes through. Some bakers chocolate and vanilla. Light roast. Mostly boozy ethanol and barrel flavors.
M/D: Still carbonation with a thick, gloppy, resinous body. Oh, the alcohol here is rough. Crass and over barring in almost every way. Really hard for me to enjoy this.

Oh man, I just don't get this. Beers like Bourbon County are so much more well rounded and incorporated to me. This is the newest release, so hopefully this mellows with time. Though as is, just over barring and not something I really enjoyed.

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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 kirok1999
4.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Well lookie, they aged Black Tuesday with cacao and vanilla! What a great idea. This totally improves Black Tuesday in every way. The vanilla is very natural tasting, and the chocolate plays well. If I ran The Bruery I would find a way to make this a regular...at an astounding price. If only they could find a way to can it. Love that April Fools joke.

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Photo of JulioH
4.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I was looking for keys (odor and taste) to try to identify this beer. I couldn't find anything.

Pours a dark brown beer. Some bubbles form at the top. Smells like ale, chocolate, porter, coffee, cognac. Tastes like an old ale too, mixed with imp. stout. It is somewhat heady, and it will go to your head quickly. Body is a bit thick.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.61/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Type: 750-ml bottle (25.4 oz.)
Glass: Sea Smoke oversized wine glass
From: Chris (heresy22 on Beer Advocate)
Price: N/A
Purchased: N/A, but received it on May 20, 2014
Consumed: May 31, 2014
Misc.: 2014 edition (18.5% ABV); wax bottleneck

Poured a black color with 1-to-2 fingers of frothy tan head, which quickly gave way to a serene setting on the top. Below average-to-minimal lacing on the sides of the glass. Average retention.

Smelled a potent mix of boozy bourbon and chocolate right away. Also got cocoa, fudge, toffee, caramel, Hershey syrup and Rolos candy. Definitely no hiding the 18.5 percent alcohol as it keeps coming in strong.

Initial taste was flat out fantastic. Got cocoa, chocolate, chocolate syrup, cocoa nibs, fudge, toffee, caramel and the Rolos candy. That gave way to a long, warming finish. After the first sip, I could feel it warming down my throat for almost a minute. Not as boozy as the smell for sure. Just so good.

Medium-to-full body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth, warming finish.

This beer was so good. I would love to have this again.

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Photo of Zach136
4.46/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of GJ40
3.87/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled from a 750ml bottle. 2014 edition.

A - Black with a limited head of large bubbles that struggle to group together. It seems a little thin as it pours.

S - Big bourbon and vanilla!

T - Intense! It took a while for my palate to calibrate. Big bourbon with dark chocolate, molasses and roasted marshmallow. The alcohol is intense and there's a moderate sweetness.

M - Thin with a low carbonation.

O - Too intense for me. I may as well have had a bourbon. But I can see what others love about it.

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Photo of RachelZ
4.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

LOVE THIS BEER! It has a very dark brown/black pour with a brown head. Aromas are very rich including hints of vanilla and chocolate. This beer is highly carbonated with a thick texture. The taste follows the aromas with a sugary and caramel aftertaste!

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Photo of rlee1390
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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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 unclekeith
4.66/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2014 in aTeku

L: Dark siege head with an aggressive pour, bubbles appear and continue to build over the dark brown thick liquid
A: Bourbon, wood, alcohol, vanilla, the vapors sting my eyes
T: Sweet, Bourbon with chocolate in the back
M: chewy, hot, syrupy
O: Overpowering in a delicious sort of way - seek tout

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
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...

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Photo of SadMachine
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes

A- Pours mostly black with dark brown hues around the edges. A small off-white head dissipates quickly, leaving no lacing.

S- The aroma is very in your face. Tons of whiskey, thick chewy fudge, vanilla, and oak. Alcohol soaked dark fruits, namely prunes, dates, and figs are also prevalent.

T- The flavor is sweet as expected. The most prominent flavors are actually the dark fruits previously mentioned. Roasted malts and a bit of bitter baker's chocolate make an appearance. The fudge and vanilla play supporting roles. There's big bourbon alcohol in the finish.

M- The mouth feel is super thick, smooth, and velvety. Just the right amount of carbonation. A significant, but not overwhelming amount of warming booze.

O- This is basically like drinking bourbon-soaked dark fruits with vanilla and fudge. A very tasty imperial stout!

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Photo of Beejay
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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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 BeerFMAndy
4.02/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 ml wax-dipped bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.
18.5% ABV, 2014, Best stored and cellared around 55°F

A - Pouring thick and rich, this (surprisingly) dark brown beer's high alcohol content drives the tan foam to a thin halo almost immediately but, give this boozy beer a swirl and legs will drip down the glass for what seems like forever.

S - Thick soy sauce cakes grain alcohol-soaked raisins while molasses seeps through faint charred oak barrels that once held bourbon. Until the beer sits and really warms up, chocolate isn't even part of the picture but, it's milky nose peeks through with whole vanilla beans for a more pleasant olfactory experience.

T - A trail mix of dark chocolate morsels, booze-soaked raisins, creamy vanilla yogurt bites, and caramel-draped charred oak cubes fill the mouth with potency, almost completely overlapping the bourbon barrel character, save for the whole booze-soaked raisin part. It's damn tasty - much tastier than the outrageous nose lets on, but it's comes across more like straight grain alcohol was added to the beer once inside a charred oak barrel.

M - If it weren't for the onslaught of alcohol, Chocolate Rain might otherwise come across as a thick, throat-coating imperial stout. The truth of the matter is, there's so much freakin' alcohol in this beer that it cuts the full-bodied feel with thinning solvent heat that carries from mid gulp down the throat where it perpetually warms the stomach. It's creamy smoothness makes for a nice sipping beer when the potent alcohol is cast aside, though!

O - Here I sit, reviewing The Bruery's Chocolate Rain in my Bruery hat, feeling kind of silly about that. ...And the fact that I just absently dropped a rhyme. Moving right along... Chocolate Rain shows some serious promise but like Bourbon County Stout, I couldn't possibly see myself truly enjoying this beer fresh ever again. If I crave hard alcohol (which I almost never do) I'll pour myself hard alcohol. Chocolate Rain's Tripel Bock-like soy sauce nose is immediately off-putting but slowly opens up to richer nuances, transitioning into a fuller, more rich flavor of chocolate, vanilla tannins, and some trace of actual beer instead of solvent alcohol. I never age a beer I haven't had fresh but I'll count this as a learning experience; The Bruery's Chocolate Rain will probably be exceptional with 2-3 years of sitting in a cool, dark room on it which is the only way I'll have a bottle of my own next time.

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Photo of paper_tiger
1.42/5  rDev -67.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I was very excited to try this beer last summer at a tasting event, and there was a ton of buzz among the patrons about it. I unfortunately bought into the hype.

The flavors were poorly blended, with the general consensus among my group that the flavors were akin to cheap malt liquor with chocolate syrup added in. This also describes the mouthfeel, which was quite thick, almost silty, like chocolate milk made with Hershey's syrup.

I normally love a stout with deep chocolate flavors, but this just did not do it for me, and seemed more like a gimmick than a true attempt at crafting a quality product.

If nothing else, the name is cute.

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