Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Mean Old Tom - Maine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Mean Old TomMean Old Tom

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

398 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 398
Hads: 2,071
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 116
Gots: 354 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Maine Beer Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dciBA on 03-03-2010

Our American-style stout aged on organic vanilla beans. Intense notes of coffee and dark chocolate lead way to subtle notes of natural vanilla. Flaked oats generate a silky mouthfeel.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 398 | Hads: 2,071
Photo of BSiegs
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black pour with a little deep brown around the edges. Ample tan head, lacing is average though. Nose is chocolate, roast notes, a little spice, and a touch of vanilla. Taste is chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts, nothing is overpowering. Medium-full in body, a little higher carb than I'd prefer for a stout. My first non-IPA offering from MBC and overall, it's a really nice beer. (380 characters)

Photo of CHickman
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 5/12/2015: Pours pitch black color with a 1-2 finger foamy brown head that was full of tiny bubbles and faded slowly, leaving really good spotty lacing that stuck to the glass and left rings as it went down.

Smells of toasted grains, charred wood, coffee grinds, molasses, syrup, cocoa powder, vanilla, ash or smoky notes, dark chocolate and hints of caramel; some more burnt grains come in as well as nutty aromas later, and a sweetness like heavy cream or chocolate heavy cream. This borders on being a smoked beer with a lot of char and roasted notes, but the grains, sweet cream and even the vanilla accents level it out and make it very enjoyable – there’s something hard to describe about this combination that makes it work quite well together.

Flavor picks up where the nose left off: rich and tasty, full of char and smoked grains for a nice complex taste which includes cocoa powder, syrup, coffee grinds, molasses, toasted grains, charred wood, vanilla, dark chocolate, toffee, caramel, yeast, peat moss, light herbal spices and heavy cream. The sweetness is almost like a chocolate milkshake or Starbucks Frappuccino with a lot of charred/ashy notes, and a little hint of pepper and dry floral hops. Between the coffee and hoppy notes I expected more bitterness, but this is mildly bitter and not overly sweet or smoky either. Well balanced, as I’ve come to expect from Maine,it hides the ABV completely.

Mouthfeel is slick and almost velvety smooth, some might even say a bit too thin and watery but I found it acceptable; feel is light bodied and similar to a Guinness or milk stout, with very little carbonation and a slightly bitter, ashy finish that’s on the dry side.

Overall it was very tasty and complex. The vanilla influence was not as pronounces as the label advertised, but it was still a damn tasty beer and one I’ll definitely have again. The “Mean Old Tom” face on the label seems constipated, so he should try some of this smooth, hearty brew to help that process. First stout from these guys and it did not disappoint. (2,077 characters)

Photo of markcp
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gorgeous thick tan head. Nose is roasty and nutty. Taste is roasty with just a hint of very dry chocolate. Would benefit from a creamier mouthfeel. Some subtle dark fruit on the finish. Not really getting any vanilla. (222 characters)

Photo of 57md
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown with golden edges and a solid finger of beige head. The nose is distinctly roasty. Both the roasted malt profile and teh body are closer to a double stout than a standard version.

There are hints of chocolate on the finish but I am not really getting the vanilla. (285 characters)

Photo of Domvan
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look - Dark thin pour and thick foamy head
Smell - Sweet roasty malts
Taste - Thin, clean, sweet and roasty
Feel - Very thin mouthfeel, but the sweetness goes perfect with the roasty malts
An awesome beer! (205 characters)

Photo of kemoarps
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Absolutely mondo head, maybe three fingers after a not-particularly vigorous pour. Silken brown head, slowly slowly settling into itself leaving memoirs along the window panes. Body is a deep almost-black with visible streams of carbonation reminiscent of those displays that show off cosmic rays at the science centre.
Nose starts out with burnt malts, almost coffee like, and a softening roasted malt edge all wrapped in a shroud of vanilla bean.
Cleaner than the aroma, and refreshing. Creamy rich cocoa and sweet vanilla give way to acrid coffee with more bitter chocolate. Finish is bitter bakers chocolate and char, but more creamy than ashy, and a touch smokey.
A little more carbonation than I'd look for and the medium body leaves me a little bit wanting. Solid solid solid overall though. (799 characters)

Photo of d3brewing
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Drank this out of a tulip 6/26. Bottled on 5/12/15 and did what the bottle asked "drink fresh" which I won't do again if I come across one of these.
cutting right to the chase this beer was bitter. Not hop bitter which is ok for an American stout this was bad coffee bitter.
This beer was also a little to thin and short on hop flavors for an American stout. Everything else about this beer was good. I enjoyed the coffee, black malt, and hint of vanilla. It's worth a try but don't pay attention to the drink by date, this one should get better with some aging. (564 characters)

Photo of hopsputin
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a: A viscous black color. similar to motor oil, but a bit silkier looking. 1/2 finger tan head that seems to be fading as i type

s: rich toasted malts, vanilla, milk chocolate, a slight creamy smell

t: toasty roasty malts, mild alcohol flavor, creamy lactose, big vanilla notes, slight woody presence, granular sugar (almost cola-like)

m: its a silky, medium mouthfeel. quite a large amount of carbonation for a stout - almost reminds me of a soda

o: its a pretty good beer. its a bit light on the flavors, and i'd lower the carbonation level just a tad. other than that its nice. a stout that goes down easy and has nice vanilla notes. i'd recommend trying (668 characters)

Photo of BranfordBound
4.16/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at Walrus + Carpenter in Bridgeport, CT. Poured a lovely dark brown, but with minimal head. Smells of some roasted malts and a bit of coffee. Now the taste is really where it kicks in. First it starts a bit roasty, but then the malts kick in and it is sweet and medium bodied. It finishes on the tongue with a nice maple syrup flavor and some chocolate. For a regular stout, this one goes straight to the top! (420 characters)

Photo of LaneMeyer
4.39/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

L - Nice dark brown/black, small amount of head.

S - smells sublime, big vanilla bean, roasted malts, brown sugar, touch of alcohol.

T - roasted malt, this reminds me a bit of an Irish dry stout, vanilla comes through thoroughly. It tastes exactly as it is, a big vanilla stout.

F - Nice carbonation, not too thin, a little chewy, can't ask for much more.

O - a very nice stout. A little pricey but very nice. Not too complex but it delivers with the vanilla. (502 characters)

Photo of LXIXME
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A dark color sits below a decent lacing that once was a layer of froth, this beer fills your nose and then your palette with rich tastes leaving a drying raw dark chocolate taste behind. The after taste in itself is worth the drive but then again I have had the pleasure of drinking this beer at the Maine Beer Company, worthy. (327 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: Very rich aromas of vanilla, coffee and chocolate with hints of sherry or port.
S: Pours bright black under a frothy 1” foam cap that recedes to a thick clingy film.
T: Malty rich, complex layered flavors of chocolate, espresso, vanilla, toast, cream soda with malted herbs, some cola to root beer, suggestions of sherry to fruit and nuts.
F: Very smooth, silky and creamy, light sweetness but not cloying, medium full body and very soft carbonation.
O: A big, full flavored beer with an incredible texture that makes it a delight to drink. (550 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.89/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottling date of 04/14/15

Appearance - Pours near black with cola brown edging where light can penetrate and with a 2-finger thick dark khaki colored head. Decent retention, dissipating to a thin, broken layer of surface suds and a fair ring around the edge of the glass. Lacing is mostly spotty with a few streaks here and there that stick well to the glass.

Smell - Classic stout aroma that hits on chocolate, roasted malt and a touch of coffee ground earthiness. Very subtle vanilla bean undertone.

Taste - More roasty than the nose leads on, with bitter coffee grounds leading the charge. Hints of sweeter milk chocolate character pop mid-taste, along with some earth. Vanilla comes in mildly near the finish, but a slightly acrid coffee roast roars back to deliver more bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Near full in body with low carbonation. Slick, smooth texture, make this brew go down stupid easy despite the bitter flavor profile.

Overall - One of the more bitter examples of an American Stout that comes to mind. Despite the label proclaiming that you "enjoy this beer fresh", I can't help but think this could benefit greatly from 6-12 months of age on it to help smooth out those rough edges. From my standpoint, the vanilla plays a very small role. Anyone thinking they'll be getting something like Tanilla or Victory at Sea may be severely disappointed. (1,382 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

300mL bottle from Steve000 (thanks man!). Bottled 4/14/15. Served in a Terrapin snifter.

Pours a dark cola-like near-black brown with a fluffy three fingers of khaki head. The foam is slow to fade down to a thin halo, depositing a few trails of lace.

Aromas of chocolate, roasted malt, vague coffee and just a slight hint of vanilla. Quite inviting.

The taste is a nice blend of roasty and sweet. Smooth, bittersweet chocolate, soft vanilla bean, creamed coffee, faint burnt caramel, cola, brown sugar and just a hint of smoke. The vanilla beans serve to really round out those roasty malts in a wonderful way. This is a delicious and incredibly drinkable stout.

Silky, medium light body with a light, tingly carbonation. Notes of chocolate shake, coffee and brown sugar dance on

Mean Old Tom is my third experience with Maine Brewing Company and so far they have nailed every one I've tried. This delivers flavor and complexity far beyond its 6.5% weight class. (972 characters)

Photo of BigGeorge860
4.49/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

IMHO this beer is underrated here. Maine's offerings are always solid, and Tom is exceptional. If you're gonna fault this beer, I suppose you could base it on the fact that they make vanilla the selling point, but the overwhelming flavor is coffee, coffee, coffee. A little thin on the mouthfeel for this style, but the aroma, flavor and aftertaste pay you back. Excellent. (373 characters)

Photo of tmbgnicu
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Excellent stout, heavy vanilla smell though the vanilla takes a backseat in a way taste wise. I got more coffee than vanilla. Still, a great beer and worth seeking out. (173 characters)

Photo of GrahamDN
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle date "041415"--drunk a month after bottling. Black in the glass with deep ruby-brown edges and a dense, light tan head. The vanilla stands out on the nose, but doesn't overwhelm. Rather, it wraps itself around the typical cocoa and fresh coffee bean scents in an alluring way, and is underscored by a very appetizing aroma of caramelization. The taste is constant but moderate licorice root, brewed light-roasted coffee, and vanilla. This is all brought into focus by a deft application of bittering hops. If aroma hops are at work, they're not adding much but perhaps a subtle woodsy spice. As it warms, a beautiful dark cherry flavor comes through.

In a world enamored of heavy-hitter stouts, Mean Old Tom seems fairly restrained, but in a welcome way. I love a big, bad RIS as much as the next guy does, but it would be a shame to miss out on well-made stouts like this one just because they don't boast the pedal-to-the-metal richness that's now widely available in double/imperial interpretations.

Will buy again. (1,036 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Typical MBC mid sized bottle

Pours very dark, looks like a stout should. Dark mocha head, leaves a very fine bubble film, respectable lacing and thicker collar.

Dark malts and the advertized vanilla on the nose.

Super smooth in the mouth and super tasty on the palate. More vanilla, mellow dark malts. Quite tasty, a very nice treat (337 characters)

Photo of CTpilgrim
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was hoping for a little more from this one. Good look and smell up front. Taste was good with a lot of malt but didn't get a lot of the vanilla bean I was expecting. All in all a good brew but not as great as the pale ales from MBC (233 characters)

Photo of hotpauko
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice, well made dark beer. Flavors work well together. Touches of coffee and chocolate but not much. Front of palate is hit with a sweet, almost cherry taste and the vanilla flavor settles after. Tan 2 finger foam laces the glass. Smooth but clean mouth feel lingers for a time after finishing. (294 characters)

Photo of Ratty74
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful in appearance and texture. The chocolate is there without tasting like a piece of candy and the coffee does not overpower the finish. Great on a cold day. (166 characters)

Photo of CoffeePorter
4.31/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark black with a nice white creamy head.
Smells like vanilla on top of vanilla with a mild note of coffee.
Tastes very creamy with a strong vanilla kick and some roasted malty flavors.
Medium carbonation with a thick mouth feel and mild bitterness. Has a nice dry finish.
A very good stout. (291 characters)

Photo of Lumens66
4.46/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful dark color not dissimilar to coffee, with a nice dark brown head that dissipates quickly unlike an Irish stout. A light hint of vanilla on the nose but mostly toasted malt notes, cocoa, coffee and toffee. The mouth feel in concert with the flavors are almost immediately reminiscent of a classic egg cream soda. It's the carbonation of this beer that really do that. It's uncanny actually. It was the first thing I thought of upon my first sip. Nice long finish and lingering aftertaste. Really a fine stout. (525 characters)

Photo of Big_V
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-dark brown 2 finger head
S-coffee,cocoa,chocolate
T-upfront coffe,bittersweet chocolate and cocoa. The finish was rather dry. Not picking up on any vanilla at all. Still pretty smooth.
M-med carb and med mouthfill
O-good but not great stout. Above average but nothing special. (279 characters)

Photo of spacecake9
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter
A - Pours pitch black with a beautiful tan head that settles quickly leaving some nice lacing.
A - Smells like a medium roast cup of coffee.
T - Flavors of malt and coffee. Other have suggested sweetness that I do not find.
M - Medium mouth feel with low carbonation.
O - A good stout, but more coffee tasting with less vanilla than I was hoping for. Low ABV allows for multiple glasses of this fine beer. (428 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Mean Old Tom from Maine Beer Company
88 out of 100 based on 398 ratings.