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Chocolate Rain - The Bruery

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Chocolate RainChocolate Rain

Educational use only; do not reuse.

298 Reviews
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Reviews: 298
Hads: 2,300
Avg: 4.42
pDev: 29.19%
Wants: 2,491
Gots: 887 | FT: 118
Brewed by:
The Bruery visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Rotating

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

Black Tuesday with Vanilla Bean & Cocoa Nibs.

2011: 18.5% ABV
2012: 19.5% ABV
2013: 18.0% ABV
2014: 18.5% ABV
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 298 | Hads: 2,300
Photo of skiking70
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have looked forward to trying this beer for some time and it sure didn't disappoint me. The smell is amazing, the chocolate is the first thing that hits your nose, followed by the bourbon. The taste follows the smell, with the chocolate up front along with bourbon and finishes with a subtle vanilla finish. I'm not sure how they hid the 19 percent, you will need help, because it is sweet.

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Photo of Samuel906
4.14/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very rich and sweet. Smell is absolutely amazing, one if the best smelling beers I've had. Chocolate, rum, graham crackers, cherries. Taste is good but not extraordinary. Like I said, super sweet. Tons of rich dark chocolate. Figs. Port wine. Feel is heavy but not syrupy, fantastic warming from the impressive abv. Overall very good, but not one of bruerys greats.

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Photo of john0721
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Bruery tulip glass.

Poured black with a light brown head which quickly diminished.

Nose had bourbon, oak, and chocolate.

Flavor started with caramel, chocolate and bourbon initialy. Chocolate increased as it warmed and oxidized. Vanilla, dark fruit and brown sugar also increased as it warmed.

Chocolate is the dominant flavor, but its balanced enough to allow other aspects of the beer to be appreciated.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I tried this 2013 vintage chilled in a nonic from the 750ml. Enjoyed at the looking forward to spring stout tasting.

The color is dark brown with ruby hues when held to the light with light beige head with fine bead. The smell has a dark sugar and cocoa/fig-like earthy and raisiny aroma with slight alcohol odor. The feel is intense, big bold with rich viscous texture and more alcohol than average yet not over the top for the abv.

The taste is like a raisinette -mostly raisin with some chocolate in the taste which is more on the dark cocoa side with a slight yeast flavor and sweet dark sugar and vinous elements with a slight alcohol flavor that lasts after the swallow with so much residual sugar it leaves my lips sweet and I can taste the intensity as I lick them. This is one of the most intensely rich beers I have ever had -so much sweet qualities with strong alcohol in the taste which is the only drawback for me.

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Photo of 31Sam13
4.69/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just sublime...the alcohol character is well-presented and it tastes like a fudge brownie and the way your Granny made them, with just enough vanilla and wow, it just is almost indescribable...a challenge to hold this much flavor in a bottle with this much alcohol and to have it be so balanced without residual sweetness or booziness...a triumph...

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage

It poured surprisingly thin compared to what I've been accustomed to with Briery releases. It's still thick, but not motor oil thick. There's also a little light that passes through it, giving it a dark brown appearance.

Aroma is dessert in a glass. Fudge brownies and vanilla bean.

This one met my high expectations. It's sweet and chocolatey. Boozey, but at 18% not as bad as I'd expect. I'm thrilled that it's not cloyingly sweet like a lot of these Bruery releases are. It seriously tastes like a fudge brownie a la mode. So good.

It's thicker than it appears. Soft, good carbonation. Boozey and a sipper. Sweet through and through.

I'm glad this also lived up to the hype. I've been dying to try this one for years and was not disappointed.

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Photo of Shon4star
4.99/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer had big expectations for me. Then it blew every single one of them away. I had the 2013 vintage. It instantly became a favorite of mine. Strong chocolate and slight vanilla give this brew the taste of a chocolate bar. The 18% abv(2013) wasn't that noticeable. This is serious perfection in a bottle!

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Photo of ironchefmiyagi13
4.61/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had the 2012 vintage the other night. A friend had opened it the night before and couldn't finish it, so he re-capped it.

Looks still and black as oil.

Smell is out of this world. Sweet chocolate, potent bourbon and a tannic barrel presence. Truly amazing.

Flavor was great, as well. I think being open all night helped burn off some of the alcohol and open it up into something truly decadent.

Mouthfeel was nice. There was just enough carbonation left to scrub the palate and keep the sweetness from being cloying.

Overall, I liked this beer a lot. Mocha Wednesday still edged it slightly, but it just goes to show how proper aging can vault a beer up in quality.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.09/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark brown/black color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention and some light lacing. Aroma of black chocolates with quite a bit of residual sugar notes. Taste is also dominated by black chocolate notes with loads of residual sugar and a spicy finish. Vanilla notes are more subtle but kind of help smooth some of the rough edges of this beer. Body is about average for style with medium carbonation and warming alcohol can be detected. Big beer or sure that need to be split up between a couple of people, but very enjoyable beer nonetheless.

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Photo of JamesStreet
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of Enochase04
3.39/5  rDev -23.3%
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.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.56/5  rDev +3.2%
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!

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Photo of gcamparone
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Kevinpitts
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
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!

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Photo of wulfie85
5/5  rDev +13.1%

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.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.64/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.2/5  rDev -5%

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

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Photo of papat444
3.5/5  rDev -20.8%

***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 :)

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