1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Chocolate Rain - The Bruery

Not Rated.
Chocolate RainChocolate Rain

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

1,737 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,737
Reviews: 256
rAvg: 4.54
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 2,113
Gots: 651 | FT: 78
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,737 | Reviews: 256 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BMMillsy
4.01/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from dak. Thanks! 2013 bottle (I think) shared with beastmaster. Pours dark brown (thin looking) with no head whatsoever. Big vanilla chocolate nose with huge sweet bourbon and a bit of licorice and woody oak. Big thick mouthfeel, velvety, with low carbonation but not flat. Big burnt sugar and molasses up front, with sweet chocolate syrup on the back end. Bourbon booze burns on the time. Packs quite a flavor punch. Serious sipper with a lingering sweetness that is rather pleasant. Starts great, harsh going down and waaaay sweet, then the linger is fantastic after dinner treat. Age might do this well for that middle portion which makes it tough to deal with more than a small pour (5 oz here). Only two of us, so recapping the rest for tomorrow.

BMMillsy, Jun 21, 2013
Photo of rlee1390
4.48/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

rlee1390, Apr 11, 2014
Photo of jrenihan
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

jrenihan, Aug 26, 2014
Photo of RedneckBeerz
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

RedneckBeerz, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of Davepoolesque
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

Davepoolesque, Jun 05, 2014
Photo of egrace84
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

egrace84, May 23, 2013
Photo of 2dogbrew
3.5/5  rDev -22.9%

2dogbrew, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of VeganUndead
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

VeganUndead, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of Jeffo
3.43/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Lucky to get some of this stuff from a couple regular trading buddies of mine. Cheers to jbeatty and hotpipes for the bottles.

From a 750ml bottle into a snifter
Second bottling

Note: We drank this right after the 2011 batch of Black Tuesday, so much of this review applies there as well.

APPEARANCE: Luckily this one didn't gush like BT'11 did. Both beers pour very similar though. A very transparent, thin, and relatively light brown pour yields a thin, loose, bubbly, off-white head with lousy retention. Head quickly fades to a thin ring, which eventually vanishes as well. Looks flat by the end and absolutely no lacing at all. Much too thin and transparent for the style as well. Very disappointing; clearly worse than older vintages of the Black Tuesday.

SMELL: Quite a bold nose on this one. Chocolate notes for sure with a good dose of bourbon barrel. Oak and a touch of vanilla in there as well. Still boozy with lots of bourbon barrel, though the cocoa mellows it out a bit and it's not as harsh as Black Tuesday. Lots of chocolate and barrel, though not much stout per se.

TASTE: Lots of cocoa up front, accompanied by plenty of bourbon, oak and vanilla from the barrel. Booze and a touch of roasted malt through the middle, then a big, boozy burst at the swallow with some vanilla and chocolate following through. Big, bold and boozy aftertaste of bourbon, oak, vanilla and enough cocoa linger and linger on the palate. This is very much Black Tuesday plus cocoa and vanilla. A boozy, flavorful desert beer. Boozier than the '10 and '09 vintages of Black Tuesday for sure.

PALATE: Medium-light body with medium levels of carbonation. A little lighter than the base beer, and definitely lighter than older vintages of Black Tuesday. Goes down with a decent burn after the swallow and finishes rather sticky on the palate. Lots of heat lingers. Too light and harsh really. A little challenging here.

OVERALL: This is a huge beer for sure. The nose and flavor are quite decadent, thought it suffers from being wholly too hot right now. This and the '11 Black Tuesday were way hotter than I remember the 2010 and 2009 vintages of the base beer. Moreover, the look was sad and the feel simply too light and harsh to really be an enjoyable drink. While the appearance is a lost cause I'm afraid, some time will hopefully let the booze mellow and the feel smoothen out a bit, which will move this in the right direction. There is a lot of potential here, but there's too much "big" in the way. Thanks again for the bottles boys. I look forward to seeing how this one develops with a couple years on it.

Jeffo, Jun 23, 2012
Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

Kurmaraja, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of seeswo
4.66/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of Mark (Rempo) at DLD. Thanks man!

Pours a sugar-shimmering black with a small ring of whitish-tan head. This is obviously a big one and it looks great. The nose is big vanilla, fudgy brownie chocolate, a touch of oak and booze, maybe a hint of coffee. Really, what stands out is the vanilla and the fudge. Could probably sit and sniff this for days. The taste is outstanding - big dessert fudge, chocolate, vanilla, some present booziness, a bit of bitterness like baker's chocolate. Really decadent and quite good. Rich, but in a totally different way than Bourbon County Rare. That flavor was deeper and smoother. This is a bit rough around the edges. The mouthfeel is fantastic, big, sticky with low carbonation. Overall, this is quite the fantastic beer. There is a touch too much heat and cocoa bitterness in the taste to give that a 5, but regardless, this is a fantastic beer and totally worth the hype.

seeswo, May 05, 2011
Photo of Morey
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Morey, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of Sparky44
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Sparky44, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of JamLand
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

JamLand, Apr 21, 2014
Photo of Smarty_Pints
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Smarty_Pints, May 28, 2014
Photo of twenty5
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

twenty5, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of ThePorterSorter
4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Tom for sharing Batch#2 and Merc for sharing Batch#1

The beer pours a deep black with no visible head. The nose is cloyingly sweet with a touch of chocolate and way too much booziness. The taste is just as sweet and the immensely overpowering alcohol makes this beer less than enjoyable. I literally feel my palate burning with each sip...and none of the beers rich, chocolaty body comes to my rescue. I assumed the beer would have a velvety smoothness that masked the alcohol, but this is not the case. (Batch #1 is significantly better with far less high octane ethanol and much more chocolaty smoothness). I just don't understand the hype...but I'd recommend getting a Batch#1 over a #2 in any case.

2013 batch shared side-by-side with mocha wednesday and BT
Pours a bit darker than Black Tuesday, very dark brown, some sediment, razor thin head around the perimeter. The nose had a potently aromatic vanilla, some deeper chocolate notes, prune as it warms, caramel sweetness, hints of alcohol. The taste has a big chocolatey sweetness and burning ethanol in the finish. The mouthfeel is sweet, but has a vanilla and chocolate presence that cuts through the ethanol (especially compared to Black Tuesday). It's not as thick and full bodied as expected, but the alcohol is well masked, even when it warms. This beer is noticeably better than the base, really drinkable considering the abv and heavy flavors

ThePorterSorter, Aug 04, 2012
Photo of markgugs
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

markgugs, Apr 20, 2014
Photo of Arbitrator
4.1/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

Arbitrator, Oct 19, 2012
Photo of Brew33
3.6/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Chocolate Rain Batch 2

Pours a jet black beer with a few bubbles breaking the surface. Syrupy and heavy in the glass, looks like I expected. Menacing....

The aroma is downright bad. Booze. The strongest alcohol aroma I've ever encountered in a beer. I thought I may just have the beer too cold (around 42 degrees) so I let it sit for 15 minutes and revisted, re-sniffing throughout the 90 minute session. Harsh alcohol, solvents, chemical aromas. As it warms, more of the beer and bourbon show up but it's REALLY boozy. Nothing like any of the BT vintages I've had.

The flavor is rich, sweet, and hot. Bourbon is light but there. Vanilla and Chocolate are more forward. The alcohol is very present but works into the whole package. Sweet, decadent, boozy, syrupy, bourbon, vanilla, char, roast, sweet dark fruits. Tasty but way over the top.

The mouthfeel is perfect for the style, perfect. Heavy, thick, syrupy. No way to complain about it!

Overall, meh? Good. I'd happily drink it but I prefer regular Black Tuesday. And while it's a cool beer and it has a ton going on it's just not worth the price and effort for a non RS member to obtain. Glad I got to try it and it was a perfect beer for Christmas.

Brew33, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of notchucknorris
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

notchucknorris, Apr 02, 2014
Photo of Satchboogie
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Satchboogie, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of beergorrilla
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

beergorrilla, Dec 10, 2012
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.8/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to heyohhh and mcdiddypop for sharing many fantastic brews. The elusive Chocolate Rain pours with a fairly standard appearance: near-black, with a very slight collar of deep umber froth; the only surpise is that it has relatively thinner viscosity. The nose is pure chocolate deliciousness with a surprisingly lowbrow reference: it is highly evocative of Nestle Quik powder. There is almost no booze to be found in either aroma or flavor, which is truly a feat, given the ABV. And it is quite delicious, flavor-wise, with chocolate-coffee-candy-liqueur notes akin to Black Russians or Espresso Martinis. The body is fairly light for a Stout, and in this case, it serves the brew very well. I am not sure if I prefer this to Black Tuesday, but I am sure that they are both phenomenal.

ktrillionaire, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of vonnegut21
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

vonnegut21, Aug 05, 2013
Chocolate Rain from The Bruery
100 out of 100 based on 1,737 ratings.