1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Mean Old Tom - Maine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Mean Old TomMean Old Tom

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,499 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,499
Reviews: 343
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 78
Gots: 194 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Maine Beer Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: dciBA on 03-03-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,499 | Reviews: 343 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of largadeer


3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

05-29-2013 05:48:44 | More by largadeer
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle. The label blurb isn't overly specific, but still screams out allegiance to some kind of typical and familiar American story trope.

This beer pours a pretty solid black, with the merest of basal cola edges, and four ebullient fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and somewhat bubbly milk chocolate brown head, which leaves some decent spooky webbed lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of lightly roasted, and kind of meaty bready pale cereal malt, puffed wheat, sharp espresso, and not much, if anything at all, in the way of vanilla, organic or not. The taste is weirdly dominated by that cereal-heavy dry wheat character (I'm reminded of when my mom made puffed wheat squares, instead of Rice Krispie squares, and that caramelized marshmallow goodness that I craved), mixed dry coffee and cocoa powder notes, hints of the proclaimed vanilla, in more of a boozy baking ingredient guise, and middling leafy, weedy, and earthy hops.

The carbonation is fairly low-key and understated in its basic goings-on, the body an adequate medium weight, and acceptably smooth, the grittiness of the malt seeming culpable at this juncture. It finishes mostly dry, the grain, char, hops, and vanilla, I suppose, colluding as such.

Calling yourself an American Porter may mean, for the most part, employing adjuncts that the English don't allow or particularly care for, and that's the problem here. Maine advertises the vanilla - in the end, a sort of snake-oil salesman move - and fails on the Yankee hopitude front. There is indeed a special vein running through the majority of this brewery's offerings, but methinks this offering took one too many sick days when they were handing out the decoder ring for that.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2014 01:07:41 | More by biboergosum
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr


3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

05-29-2013 05:58:17 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains coffee, chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with creamy flavors of chocolate, coffee and vanilla up front. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in. The hops presence is mild as it should be in this type of beer and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, it’s a very solid beer worth drinking for a long time.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2012 02:17:41 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of MasterSki


3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Reagan1984 for this one. Dated 11/10/11 - better enjoy those symmetrical dates while you can next December (or every month if you're outside the US). Served in a Darkness glass.

A - A finger of tan foam settles toa thin cap and chunky collar, leaving plenty of splotchy lace. Body is an opaque, very dark, brown.

S - At first I was convinced there was coffee in this, but after inspecting the bottle I realized that it was just really roasty. Nice chocolate, caramel, and molasses, and a very well-integrated dose of vanilla. I dig that this smells like vanilla beans and not vanilla extract.

T - Taste doesn't quite live up to the aroma. Somewhat ashy and chalky at first, although it improves as it warms up yielding more in the way of cocoa powder and vanilla beans. Finishes smokey and roasty, with light espresso bitterness that lingers quite a while.

M - Lighter body, with moderate carbonation. A tad watery, but not offensive for only 6.5%. Slightly chewy and sticky finish, and no obvious alcohol.

D - I appreciate that they've packed a lot of flavor into a relatively low ABV beer, but the flavor is a touch too burnt and the body is a bit too flaccid for this to be an unqualified success. Still, it's another quality effort from Maine Beer Company. I like that everything they release is polished and reliably good. Finished the 500ml bottle no problem.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 03:40:36 | More by MasterSki
Photo of drabmuh


3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer provided by Dan, thanks Dan. On my wants list no less. Beer is black with a thin tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet almost vanilla, a little roast.

Beer tastes a little plain, the aroma was the best part, medium bodied, nice finish, a little bitter, dry, good mouthfeel and connectivity and a nice finish. I may have this again.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2012 15:15:02 | More by drabmuh
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

They know dark beer at MBC, I love the King Titus porter, this one is pitch black big tan head forms thick and leaves fine even lacing. Aroma has dark chocolate malts, roasted malt brings out hints of coffee and the beer was aged on vanilla beans so therefore there's a define creaminess on the nose to bring it all together. Dark chocolate bitterness on the palate, creamy vanilla beans with a hint of acidic coffee notes from the dark malts because I'm pretty sure there's no coffee in this brew. No signs of oxidation bottled on 12/10/13, I'm okay with that it's a bottle I bought in Pittsburgh, yet MBC is not distributed here yet! The nose is magnificent the flavor is sufficient and it's a damn solid beer creamy smooth natural carbonation the palate goes down way too easily. Overall a very stand up solid beer that I will continue to enjoy when I have the opportunity to try it.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2014 23:47:33 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Kegatron


3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

07-15-2013 22:53:42 | More by Kegatron
Photo of Slatetank


4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this 'garbage can' beer on tap at Novare Res - They had a special version of Mean Old Tom w/ vanilla bean added to the keg on the bar being served out ofa sixtel in an aluminum garbage can.

Served chilled in a goblet.

A - The appearance is very dark brown w/ garnet highlights at the base w/ 1/2 inch of med tan head. A substantial amount of thick lace sticks, the cap is made up of tiny beading and the cap is rocky surfaced

S - A roasty, creamy nose - coffee, vanilla bean and baker's chocolate in the aroma w/ light pepper/spice notes

M - The texture is both roasty and creamy w/ sweetness minimal overall w/ moderate carbonation and mild spice notes from the hops w/ tinges of sweetness in the finish and dry malt roastiness as it ends

T - I was pleasantly surprised with the flavor since I did not know what to expect not having tried Maine Beer before. The roast is a bit high in the taste but makes up for it w/ mild vanilla usage - very conservative, yet sufficient to taste. The flavor has a light yeast tang and mild bready taste w/ hints of tobacco and leafy hop bitterness. The roasted notes carry over into a creamy dry toasted finish

D - The stout is very good - a great tasting vanilla bean ale w/ low alcohol effect on the palate (relatively) for the style. This was very tasty and was just a good beer anyway you slice it

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2010 23:27:36 | More by Slatetank
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

06-13-2013 11:43:27 | More by WesWes
Photo of jlindros


4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #1.

Pours a creamy 1 finger head that fades semi slowly with a bit of lacing, over very dark brown color with hints of rosy maroon light coming through.

Nose starts with tons of vanilla, light chocolate malts, light roast, some caramel, creamy dark malts, oats?, some light earthy hops, touch of cocoa.

Taste also loads with vanilla, creamy malts, dark malts, some chocolate malt, hint of roast, caramel, some light earthy hops, a bit of a decent bitter taste, light sweetness and some creamy like oats, no booze. Finishes with some more light bitter earthy hops, a slight bitter roast, plenty more vanilla and chocolate, and some oats.

Mouth is medium to slightly heavier bodied, creamy and a bit rich, decent enough carbonation.

Overall pretty good, very drinkable, decent enough hops, lots of vanilla as it promises, nice malts, perhaps a bit more body and chocolate would help, a nice bitter and sweet balance too.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2011 00:39:12 | More by jlindros
Photo of Rifugium


3.25/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: bottle from Whole Foods, Plymouth Meeting, PA

Poured from a bottle into a Pinocchio's stem glass. Opaque black, dark brown around the edges, with a nice cream-colored head that sank down to a ringlet and left some attractive lacing on the glass. Smell of dark roasted malts, coffee and cocoa; nearly typical average stout profile. Taste was quite disappointing actually, relative to what I expected. Pretty average, roasted malts, extremely extremely dry, with coffee bitterness, baker's chocolate, and notably not even a hint of vanilla, which is what I was looking forward to, since the beer is labeled as aged on vanilla beans. A bit weak in the mouthfeel, medium-bodied, and not very rich for a stout. Finished dry and a bit ashy. Not entirely bad, but definitely quite disappointing.

I do like MBC's bottles/artwork though.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2011 02:06:36 | More by Rifugium
Photo of SocalKicks


3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

08-05-2013 02:11:33 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this one in the Secret Santa BIF from joepais; thanks Joe, excited to try this. Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle into my Cigar City tulip, bottled on 11/10/11.

a - Pours a very dark mahogany brown color with one inch of light tan head and light carbonation evident. No real head retention or lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of roasted malts, coffee, light bitter chocolate, and light vanilla. Very roasty and pretty nice.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, and very light bakers chocolate, and that is about it. As it warms up a little coffee. A little bland, a step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Body is a tiny bit on the light side.

o - Overall a decent stout. The nose was nice but the taste was a bit bland and watered down. If the body was a little bit thicker it would near perfect. Worth checking out but falls a little short in the taste department especially.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2011 00:06:12 | More by mdfb79
Photo of oline73


3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours an opaque dark brown color with just a bit of light coming through at the edges. There is just under a finger of light tan head that fades to a small layer on top of the pour.

Smell: The roast dominates right off the bat. The the grain shows up and reminds me of cereal, but burnt cereal with you add the roast. There is a mild sweetness to this beer as well.

Taste: This is a solid stout, but I'm not picking up much vanilla. Roasty and fairly smooth. The grain definitely dominate. No real hop bitterness to speak of. The finish is slightly sweet and roasty.

Mouthfeel: The body is a bit thin given the style. Smooth carbonation with a dry finish.

Overall: Not a bad stout, but not overly exciting either. In the future, I would probably pass on this and just have some of the other Maine beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2012 03:06:28 | More by oline73
Photo of StonedTrippin


4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a fantastic stout, im sure there will be a barrel version of this some day right? wow. it pours a midnight black color with creamy frothy thick off white head with fantastic retention. the nose is a big stout to me, the vanilla doesn't add much aromatically, somewhat surprisingly. big bitter barley malt and a hint of cocoa is all. the flavor is true to style, rich and creamy, not sweet at all, more bitter than anything, and the vanilla is also subtle, but natural. its less vanilla intensive than some others, which is just fine by me, it lets the malts really shine. big sturdy mouthfeel, soft and dry, full body, enough bubbles. this is one of the better beers in the genre ive encountered for some time. a really nice beer, like they all are, from maine beer company.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2013 22:13:57 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +1.5%

11-23-2011 00:59:25 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of smcolw


3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Modest head, but it lasts. Dark, dark brown where no light shines through, even on the sides. Plenty of blanketing lace.

Chalky aroma of a typical mild dry stout. Some alcohol nose.

Dark roasted malts that are borderline burnt. Interestingly, little coffee flavor, but there's a bitter chocolate taste. Smooth mouthfeel with a decent carbonation level. The finish is mostly burnt malt flavors with a touch of hop. No errors here.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2012 22:57:11 | More by smcolw
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a black color with a dark tan colored 2" head that hangs around a while.

Smell: chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malts are most detectable.

Taste: roasted malts, dark chocolate, mild vanilla flavors, and some prune sweetness. Bitterness is nicely balancing here as some hints of citrus tones show up late.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start, smoother at the finish. Aftertaste is long lasting here.

Overall: this was a tasty beer that was nicely refreshing for the style. Easy to drink, and the vanilla is mild enough here. Defintely worthy of a try.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2012 18:06:43 | More by Gavage
Photo of mendvicdog


4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

12-05-2012 20:32:47 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of GClarkage


4/5  rDev +1.5%

07-08-2014 04:52:06 | More by GClarkage
Photo of beernads


3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

05-09-2013 05:55:13 | More by beernads
Photo of corby112


3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown that appears black and completely opaque in the glass with a two finger beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Minimal spots of lace left behind.

Roasted malt aroma with lots of sweet chocolate countered by a strong vanilla presence. Robust with lots of toast, dark chocolate and roasted coffee bean in the nose which keeps the vanilla in check.

Medium bodied with a nice balance of roasted and sweet flavors. Lots of dark malt flavor with hints of roasted gourmet coffee, burnt toast, oatmeal and dark chocolate followed by a creamy lactic and sweet vanilla presence mid-palate. I was nervous that this would be a vanilla overload but there is enough of the flavor there without overpowering the stout characteristics. It actually serves as a nice balance to what would otherwise be an overly roasted stout. a bit tame and light bodied for my liking but enjoyable and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2011 07:45:26 | More by corby112
Photo of imperialking


4/5  rDev +1.5%

10-09-2013 18:46:25 | More by imperialking
Photo of weeare138


3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

12-24-2013 23:01:16 | More by weeare138
Mean Old Tom from Maine Beer Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,499 ratings.