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Chocolate Rain - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Chocolate RainChocolate Rain

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

296 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 296
Hads: 2,275
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 2,480
Gots: 863 | FT: 114
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mikedashg on 10-28-2009

Black Tuesday with Vanilla Bean & Cocoa Nibs.

2011: 18.5% ABV
2012: 19.5% ABV
2013: 18.0% ABV
2014: 18.5% ABV
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 296 | Hads: 2,275
Photo of JayPeso
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
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. (566 characters)

Photo of kirok1999
4.71/5  rDev +8.3%
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. (353 characters)

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

2014 Vintage acquired in a trade. Thanks, breaks808!

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of JulioH
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
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. (334 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.61/5  rDev +6%
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. (1,098 characters)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of GJ40
3.87/5  rDev -11%
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. (505 characters)

Photo of RachelZ
4.71/5  rDev +8.3%
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! (253 characters)

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

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

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

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

M-Heavy to medium in body, nice carbonation.

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

Photo of mlhyatt
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
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. (552 characters)

Photo of unclekeith
4.66/5  rDev +7.1%
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 (311 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
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... (696 characters)

Photo of SadMachine
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
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! (858 characters)

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

Much thanks to Lee for sharing this bottle.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of timc100
4.76/5  rDev +9.4%
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. (670 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.02/5  rDev -7.6%
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. (2,479 characters)

Photo of paper_tiger
1.42/5  rDev -67.4%
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. (646 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
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. (297 characters)

Photo of Ri0
4.86/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

poured about 6oz from a bottle.

A - Deep space black with brown highlights and a thin brown head, no lacing.

S - Boozy with massive dark chocolate notes. Molasses, vanilla, and dark fruit also contribute to the aroma.

T - Rather copious amount of sweet milk chocolate and vanilla with toffee and dark fruit. The alcohol is there, but it doesn't seem like the 18.5% ABV. It is just so chocolatey, but not overly sweet.

M - Medium with lighter carbonation and an alcohol burn at the end.

O - This was excellent to try and I highly recommend it. I'm not sure I would buy it, but it was awesome! (600 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The beer is black as motor oil.

The aroma has sweet vanilla, some alcohol, bourbon, sweet toffee and molasses, a familiar Black Tuesday aroma, but with punches of dark chocolate come through.

The flavor follows upfront of sweet chocolate and vanilla. Onto hints of bourbon. Toffee sweetness, dark fruits, and then a hit of alcohol on the finish.

Having had multiple vintages, '10 dulls the alcohol very well. '11 is still a bit hot. '13 was obviously the most hot, but the chocolate and vanilla shined through so well. Drink this fresh.

Definitely better than Black Tuesday and its variants. Lovely beer. (608 characters)

Photo of ThePaleRider
4.99/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful brown ale poured into a Firestone taster. The smell is intoxicating. Lots of dark chocolate. Lots of booze. Loads of oak. This is a whiskey lovers desert. The taste is like a whiskey white russian. Very amazing chocolate, whiskey, coffee flavors in there. The best stout I have ever tasted. Lots of boozy bite on the tongue and very warming, but very smooth for 18.5%. Bravo Bruery, bravo! Can't wait to age on of these bad boys. 2013 series. (452 characters)

Photo of BeerXKing
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A; pours a dark brown colored body with some amber tints to it. created an off-white thin head that quickly dissipated.

S: big alcohol soaked dark fruits right up front, with an awesome sweet dark chocolate toffee/molasses and vanilla bean blats. this beer doesn't smell like its 18.5%..

T: i pick up on an immense sweetness but its not overly sweet. big chocolate, toffee, alcohol soaked figs/raisins, and a bit of heat to it that's actually quite inviting. for 18.5% this is extremely smooth and the finish is an awesome creamy vanilla that helps cut out the alcohol.

M: on the lighter side of full bodied. chocolate, vanilla and touch of alcohol is left on the palate. this is really enjoyable.

O: An outstanding brew. extremely well balanced, and has just the right amount of sweetness to cut out the big ABV. (818 characters)

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.41/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (673 characters)

Photo of Nugganooch
4.14/5  rDev -4.8%
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. (1,939 characters)

Photo of magictacosinus
4.07/5  rDev -6.4%
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! (2,558 characters)

Chocolate Rain from The Bruery
96 out of 100 based on 296 ratings.