Chocolate Rain - The Bruery

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Chocolate RainChocolate Rain

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

288 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 288
Hads: 2,241
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 5.07%
Wants: 2,466
Gots: 846 | 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
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Reviews: 288 | Hads: 2,241
Photo of JamesStreet
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage acquired from Pdmoore (thanks)!
A- pours a not quite, black with a mahogany shimmer in the light. Not much head and it fades off pretty quickly
S- booze, caramel, chocolate, toffee, some dark fruit. Really nice
T- Wow! Incredibly complex. You get some sweet acidity from fruits on the first part of the sip before the booze and toffee comes in followed by caramel and chocolate and more booze. Really sweet.
M- A bit pricklier than I would of thought. Rounds out into a medium, creamy feel. Not quite cloyingly sweet, but very close.
O- this beer was well worth the wait. Definite sipper and oh so tasty. (619 characters)

Photo of Enochase04
3.39/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pour seemed thin for such a big stout. Smell was boozy straight bourbon. Taste was same and chocolate while present seemed lacking. Nice beer for ba lovers but too overwhelming for my taste. (190 characters)

Photo of beerdrifter
4.56/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in a great trade with Mike! 2013 vintage. Pitch black pour with a quickly fading one finger caramel-colored head with minimal lacing. The nose is huge chocolate fudge and booze, along with hints of vanilla, dark fruit, dark chocolate, and did I mention booze. The taste is bold and super rich with once again, lots of booze. Hints of vanilla, oak, dark fruit, maple, molasses, espresso, caramel, leather, tobacco, and milk chocolate. The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with low carbonation and a great warming finish. It approaches cloying, and it's definitely a sipper, but still incredibly drinkable for such a big beer. Overall, yes, it's hot and boozey, but it's so good! Much more upside than down. Highly recommended! (747 characters)

Photo of gcamparone
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Bruery snifter. Acquired in a trade with vitese, thank you as always kind sir.

The pour is a transluscent medium brown, becoming opaque once in the glass, nearly black. The head is unique for a stout of this magnitude.. light mocha brown and 3 fingers in height, but fizzy and effervescent, dissapating quickly to nothing, leaving no retention or lacing.

Aromas a big and upfront, slightly boozy with rich deep vanilla, bourbon, sweet caramel being predominant, milk chocolate syrup is in the background. Very inviting.

First sip and... woah! That's sweet. Liquid diabetes sweet. Sugar coated dark fruits, sweet chocolate syrup, maple candy upfront. The follow through has some roastyness and coffee, but the sweet syrupy nature dominates from start to finish. Aftertaste is slight vanilla and milk chocolate. Slight burn on the way down.

Mouthfeel is rich, but not super thick like you'd expect. It's actually quite drinkable for 18% and has medium carbonation, more than you'd expect.

This is one of those beers that I've been waiting years to try, and I'm glad I got to try it. Not an everyday beer, definitely a dessert beer and definitely a beer to split. Not for those who don't like sweet beers. (1,259 characters)

Photo of Kevinpitts
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to 2beerdogs for this beer! You rock!
Chocolate and vanilla blend together well in this beer. Definitely improves as beer warms. Smooth taste with some mild sweetness. Delicious! (185 characters)

Photo of wulfie85
5/5  rDev +15.2%

One of the best beers I have ever had. Poured black and smelled like bourbon with a little chocolate. The flavor was like taking a drink of bourbon but with a milk chocolate finish. So chocolately it was almost like I had a piece of chocolate in my mouth. (255 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottles shared by two different people today at the Plan Bee Savage release.

Pours a dark amber-brown, a lot lighter than I'd expected. There's no head or lacing at all.

Smells like chocolate milk on steroids. Smells creamy, vanilla and chocolate all over the place, plus bracing alcohol.

And, unsurprisingly, this also tastes like chocolate milk on steroids. It tastes like chocolate liqueur more than beer. Amplified chocolate flavor all over. It tastes like chocolate milk, with about 50 additional Hershey's bars melted into it. There's some sweet marshmallow vanilla flavors. This is so sweet and cloying, the smaller pours definitely helped this stay relevant for me. Much more than 4 oz or so and this would be tiring. The alcohol burn is noticeable, but not quite as prominent as I would've expected.

This is surprisingly and weirdly thin bodied, I thought it would've been fudgy. The mouthfeel is incredibly syrupy and sweet, though, with basically no carbonation.

Quite an extreme beer. Tastes great, but not without its problems. (1,045 characters)

Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.64/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Holy diabetes batman, but tasty tasty diabetes. Very good beer with a lot of smooth, chocolate taste. Hard to enjoy more than 6 ounces, but very enjoyable none the less. (171 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%

A - Cola body with ruby highlights. Light tan pours a quarter finger high and settles quickly into a loose halo with no lace.

S - Thick, dark chocolate liquor, pumpernickel, dark chocolate truffle, caramelized barley, and warm bourbon.

T - Wow. Creamy thick dark chocolate. Kahlua liquor, dark chocolate covered salted pretzel, warm oaky bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and raisins.

M - Medium-light body, but outstandingly creamy and silky smooth.

O - The chocolate character is incredible. A perfect beer for a fat snifter on a cold winter day.


------------------------------------------------------------------------
4.27 Chocolate Rain
-- -Jay- -Jon- -Ath- -Vin- -Pt- -Grg- -Avg- Weight Adj
A - 4.00 3.50 3.60 3.25 3.75 4.00 3.68 10% 0.37
S - 4.10 4.15 4.00 4.50 4.33 4.50 4.26 20% 0.85
T - 4.50 4.00 4.25 4.80 4.24 4.50 4.38 40% 1.75
M - 4.50 4.25 3.60 4.50 4.50 4.25 4.27 10% 0.43
O - 4.70 3.80 4.40 4.75 4.25 4.30 4.37 20% 0.87 (966 characters)

Photo of papat444
3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

***2014 Vintage***

Thanks to F2brewers for this rarity.

Pours thick and viscous, decent head actually which dissipates rapidly. Aroma of fudge predominantly; flavor is bourbon soaked chocolate cake and alcoholic chocolate syrup.

The issue i have is this brew is quite hot and boozy and it's felt in the flavor which overshadows the complexities that are surely there but are lost due to the booziness.

Definitely let this one sit a few years to mellow out. Would be curious to taste an older vintage to see the difference, not likely to happen though :) (558 characters)

Photo of peensteen
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%

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. (605 characters)

Photo of TWStandley
4.16/5  rDev -4.1%

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. (859 characters)

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.56/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (521 characters)

Photo of lovethebelgians
4.91/5  rDev +13.1%
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. (416 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
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. (1,528 characters)

Photo of Brew_Bear
4.99/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

APPEARANCE

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

AROMA

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.

TASTE

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.

MOUTHFEEL

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?

OVERALL

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. (2,962 characters)

Photo of Furlinator
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
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. (489 characters)

Photo of champ103
2.96/5  rDev -31.8%
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. (857 characters)

Photo of JayPeso
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
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 +8.5%
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 +2.8%
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 -3.2%
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 +6.2%
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 +2.8%
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 -10.8%
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)

Chocolate Rain from The Bruery
96 out of 100 based on 288 ratings.