Mean Old Tom - Maine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Mean Old TomMean Old Tom

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BA SCORE
88
very good

393 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 393
Hads: 2,048
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 116
Gots: 344 | 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
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Reviews: 393 | Hads: 2,048
Photo of xnicknj
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at devils den in philly

Pours an opaque almost black color with a thin coating of tanned head, cloudy retention, coating sticky lacing all along the glass while drinking.

Nice robust nose with toasty malts, vanilla bean, coffee and dark chocolate. The vanilla is definitely present but not overboard.

Roasted malt up front with plenty of caramel and nuttiness. Vanilla bean is pretty prominent, slightly sweet, but still pretty balanced. Decent backbone, faint syrup note. Finishes with soft hops and vanilla.

Fuller medium body, somewhat higher carbonation, a bit creamy yet prickly on the tongue. If the mouthfeel was better this could be really good...still a nice milder stout. (694 characters)

Photo of koopa
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at the Hunger Mountain Co-op in VT

Appearance: Pours an attractive opaque black with a 2 finger khaki crown that shows decent retention and lace.

Smell: Dark roast that comes off like a moderate coffee like note with a faint vanilla bean note rounded off with a hint of vanilla.

Taste: Same as the nose with the vanilla and caramel taking center stage and the roast coming in at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and starts off feeling like it is medium bodied but finishes much thinner by comparison.

Overall: A decent brew that I would have again, but nothing special really. (597 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.9/5  rDev -1%
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. (1,380 characters)

Photo of ms11781
3.07/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled on 01/05/2012. 16.9oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep brown, near black, color with dark brown hues around the edges and bottom of the glass. The head is perhaps the lightest, color-wise, that I have seen on a stout. It's a light tan color, nearing off-white. The light head sitting atop the dark body is quite striking. The foam sticks to glass nicely.

The nose is just ok. It's quite subdued and it takes a bit to discern some of the aromas. It's a bit roasty with some lighter chocolate notes. As it warms a bit there is a sweetness to it as well. There is an even more subtle hint of vanilla.

The taste is a step up from the nose, but still not a ton of complexity. It's pretty sweet all the way through. Starts off with a substantial sweetness that is balanced out with some light roasty notes. There is a nice dose of some vanilla that comes in smoothly towards the finish and saves the beer from being bland.

The body is on the heavier side of medium with light carbonation. Combined they give the beer a smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

This beer was just ok for me. It looks fantastic and feels right on for the style but the flavors and aromas are just too muted. I'm all for being subtle and straightforward with simple flavors but this one might seems to need a bit more. (1,309 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at Capone's

Mean Old Tom sports a very dark look with a black color in the liquid and a dark brown foam up top that left minor splotches. Good retention on the head. Smell is fairly balanced with vanilla beans, light espresso, roast, a light chocolate and malt. No real hops to speak of. Taste is heavily favored on the roasty side giving Tom a porter vibe over stout IMO. Cocco, vanilla, roast, slight coffee/chocolate. All of these tastes are light though and mix very well. This is not a in your face type of beer as well Feel was in between light and medium, Very smooth off of the tap. This is some good stuff, no alcohol to be found and the tap just smoothes things out. Drinkable for two (maybe three) (716 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle dated 11/10/11. Poured into a British pint glass.

Appearance - Black with a nice khaki head. Not much transparency. No real lacing and no real retention.

Smell - I don't get why other reviews say either there's no vanilla or just a hint of vanilla. The smell is loaded with vanilla. Some chocolate roast and a fair dose of caramel malt. Not too aromatic, but what's there is nice.

Taste - Vanilla flavor immediately. Not overwhelming, but it's sustained throughout the drink. Chocolate roasted malts and a healthy dose of hops in the finish. Nice, but simple.

Mouthfeel - Medium to medium light bodied. I enjoy this style of stout. Not imposing and I can drink it without investing 3 hours and a hangover. I had difficulty not draining my glass, really.

Overall - Nice stout, if perhaps the least exciting beer from MBC. I enjoy the vanilla, but the stout itself could use another dimension. (910 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16.9 oz bottle was poured into a tulip

Appearance: The beer poured a two finger mocha head that has reduced to a thin layer after a few minutes and left some nice lacing on the glass. Pitch black with no signs of clarity.

Smell: Vanilla, malty sweetness, and some coffee.

Taste: subtle vanilla, mocha, earthy and smokey notes.

Mouthfeel: very smooth, feels light for a dark beer, low carbonation

Overall: I had this on draft months ago at Jimmy the Greek's in OOB and the beer seemed more vanilla sweet. I liked it more on draft than in a bottle, but still a good easy drinking stout that does not leave you full. Would be interesting to see on nitro. (656 characters)

Photo of tempest
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a glass at Liberty St Tavern. Overall, a tasty and classic American stout. At least it's what a classic American stout should be. There's a big, but not too thick, roasted mocha flavor up front and a pleasant balance of citrus hops in the finish. I reminds me of Bear Republic's Black Bear Stout, but toned done a bit for greater drinkability. Excellent beer. (363 characters)

Photo of Duff27
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Short head on a dark brown body. Good lacing and alcohol legs for the amount of alcohol.

S- Sweet chocolate notes, hints of vanilla.

T- Nice chocolate flavor with just a touch of vanilla. Drinks its ABV. Perhaps a little coffee and smokiness?

M- Medium to medium-thin mouthfeel for the style. Good carbonation.

D/O- Nice stout offering from Maine Beer Company. A little different than regularly available stouts around these parts. Would like to try more from MBC. Thanks 4DAloveofSTOUT! (494 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle purchased as a single at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a dense 3/4" tan head over the barely translucent dark brown brew. Frothy head recedes ever-so slowly, with leaving coating lace in its wake. Aroma is roasted dark grains.

Taste starts sweet, full of grain husks, continues rich in the middle, and closes with a wisp of vanilla and some light bitterness. Mouthfeel is extra smooth, and drinkability is easier than you'd expect. Nice brew, wish there was a bit more vanilla. (539 characters)

Photo of larryi86
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thank you DrewShal9 for this!
500 mL bottle, dated 11/10/11, poured into a snifter

A- Black with a two finger tan head.

S- Roasted malts, hint of coffee and chocolate.

T- Like the nose with a touch of vanilla and sweetness, nice roasted coffee and chocolate.

M- Smooth, light to medium body.

O- A nice tasty stout that I would seek out again. Was hoping it was thicker and had more vanilla. Overall good. (410 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review adapted from notes 1/2/12

Appearance: Very black, perhaps some brown when held up to the light - nice beige head to start, but fades quickly, leaves a lot of lacing

Smell: Dry, roasted, and burnt - definitely burnt, but in moderation, not charred - basically smells like fresh chocolate malts - some real chocolate in here, too - dark chocolate, coffee, and a little sweetness

Taste: Chocolate malts - burnt, dry, some dark chocolate - nicely roasted - vanilla beans are consistently in the background - not so much about the vanilla, but rather about the roasted beans - nice burnt bitterness - the dryness balances well with some sweetness, leaves a coffee-like aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Smooth, great carbonation, medium body - surprisingly light considering the flavors

Overall: Very good, but not exceptional

This is a very good American Stout, but it is not entirely up to the extremely high standards of its pedigree. But while it's not as exceptional as Maine Beer Co.'s Lunch or Peeper, it's still a very good beer. I will definitely be drinking this again. (1,075 characters)

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

On tap at the Beer Table, Brooklyn, NY.
Poured into 8oz nonic.
Pours a deep brown almost black color. Smells of coffee and roasted malts.
Taste is similar...adding a bit of vanilla and spice. Nice carbonation and smooth.
This is a very tastey and pleasant beer, but its more like a porter than a stout.
I just wish it was served in a bigger glass. (347 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.44/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz bottle into the Duvel Tulip it goes.

A - Pours a dark brown with a large light brown head. Good retention and lacing.

S - Mostly old coffee.

T - Old bitter coffee with a hing of vanilla. Maybe I am just hopin for it.

D - Lower carbonation but still fizzy somehow. Thinner body.

O - Where's the vanilla bean? It would have been perfect here. (352 characters)

Photo of robwestcott
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big thanks to wisconsinality for this one.

poured cold from the bottle cola black with ruby highlights to a surly darkness 10oz snifter with a full finger, big bubbled, foamy and long lasting dark tan head leaving a sheet of lace after each sip.

great big creamy chocolate aroma with espresso roast in the wayback.

semi sweet baker's chocolate and subtle bitter espresso roast up front with a bit of smoke and a tiny bit of vanilla in the rear.

light bodied, creamy smooth, a nice rounded stout.

overall: very good, though was expecting / hoping for a bit more vanilla. i'd give it another go. (598 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle sent by SneezyAchew. Thanks, Michael! Bottled 11.10.11.

A: Pours black with a very thin light brown head that faded into a wispy film that left decent lacing after each sip.
S: Smells strongly of coffee and toasted malts. I get a bit of wood smoke as well. What I don’t get any of is vanilla which I find strange given their role in the making of this beer.
T: Good roasted flavor with the same notes of smoke and coffee from the nose. The coffee isn’t as potent, but I’m still not getting any vanilla. Flavors are light and almost porter-like. A very nice roasted aftertaste lingers after the swallow.
M: Medium body, medium-light mouthfeel that is very smooth and easy to drink. It’s not too watery or too heavy. Carbonation is tingly and even.
O: No vanilla. None. Weird. Anyway this is a nice light stout. Flavors are roasted and a bit one dimensional but this is crazy easy to drink. I’ve had porters that taste just like this. Thanks again, Michael. (981 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
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. (912 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown/black with a small tan head leaving good lacing down the glass.

Predominant smells are cocoa and vanilla. A little bit of roasted coffee and some oak as well.

Starts out with a nice roasted malt profile. A little bit of cocoa, but not as much as the nose and the vanilla is a lot less prevalent in the flavor. Finishes with a little bit of a sweet brown sugar flavor.

Fairly good mouthfeel although close to falling on the thin side. Lowish carbonation.

An ok beer. I'm not a huge fan of the sweetness in the aftertaste and I wish a bit more vanilla came through on the flavor, but still glad I tried it. (627 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted blind courtesy of Retail1LO, thanks again.

Pours a dark brown, almost black with a pretty nice tan head.

Aromas are of dark roasted coffee, cocoa, cream, and brown sugar.

Taste is kind of thin up front. Notes of cola, brewed coffee, dark chocolate, and some creamy sweetness. Finish is a bit dry, with some mineral hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is too thin for me, but it is smooth though.

Overall, this is a pretty good beer, just wish is had a bit more flavor and body. (482 characters)

Photo of match1112
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured out a dark brown with a half finger of mocha colored head that fizzled out quickly and didn't bother to leave much lacing behind. nose picks up on roasted malts, a little coffee and some vanilla. taste is likewise, big roasty presence with some vanilla and a bitter coffee finish. mouthfeel could be fuller and the carbonation could be more, but this is still a good stout with a creamy feel to it. (405 characters)

Photo of Dope
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark brown pour with some red highlights at the edges. Big, thick frothy chocolate milk head. Great retention and lacing.

S: Mainly a nice roasted malt with a touch of vanilla. There is some roast coffee in there too.

T:A touch of creamy vanilla up front that turns into a nice roasted malt flavor. A bit of coffee bitterness carries through in the aftertaste.

M: A bit watery. Low carbonation. Pretty smooth.

O: Not bad, a pretty simple stout with just a tiny touch of vanilla. A little too thin and watery though, detracts from it quite a bit. I've had porters that had better mouthfeel. (598 characters)

Photo of Brad007
4.88/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I like the name and I like the description. I had thought that it would be an imperial stout but I'm actually glad it isn't because I've never seen a non-imperial stout aged on vanilla beans.

Pours a pitch black with a small, brownish head. Looks menacing enough to drink.

Cocoa, cream, vanilla bean and coffee aromas unfold as it warms up to room temperature. Very inviting.

Wow. Vanilla bean, cream and roasted coffee mingle together, finishing in an orgasm of all three flavors. Very palatable.

Vanilla lingers the longest on my palate, followed by cream. A light, but memorable finish to an excellent beer.

I don't know about the others, but I really like this beer. It's an interesting thing to do with a regular stout and in this case, the aging compliments this stout. Check it out!!! (798 characters)

Photo of WanderingFool
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mean Old Tom pours black into the glass with a moderate, creamy light tan head on top. The foam dissolves slowly to a thin sheet on the surface and leaves behind clumps of lace on the glass.

The aroma is a rich mixture of coffee, vanilla and roast malt. Some milk chocolate is in there too.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is smooth, creamy with mild carbonation. Almost reminds me of a cask ale. The flavor is sweet and loaded with vanilla, coffee and roast malt. Hints of chocolate and nuts are also present. It finishes dry with a lingering taste of vanilla and coffee.

This is a very tasty, easy drinking beer. I wish it was easier to find. (651 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Pistolas in a tulip.

A: The stout is nice and black, set off nicely against the ligher tan head resting above it. Mild lacing.

S: The vanilla and cocoa nibs are a nice touch, tingly sweet before the roasted stout comes in. The vanilla, as it is wont to do, tends to overpower the other aspects.

T: Roasted, dark malts paired with sweet additions. The cocoa stands out a bit more than in the nose, giving the vanilla beans a run for their money. The roasted base has chocolate and mild bitterness that is soothed by the vanilla. The lightness, the ale isn't heavy in the least, is a big factor.

M: The ale goes down very easily, very quickly. Ten minutes max, I'm talking. I went in looking for Sucks and was more than happy to see this in its place. (763 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Don't see this one in these her parts too often. Opaque black with a Georgia clay colored head. Snowy lace left by fair retention.

Roast malt, vanilla and dark chocolate aroma. Some barrel char in there, not sure if it's malt character or when Tom was aged on vanilla beans was it aged in a barrel mayhaps?

Roast malt and vanilla blend very well with each other. Woody. Flavors come through dull and flat though due to a thin body and lack of carbonation. Every other Maine Beer killed it in the mouthfeel department which is curious that Tom is so unappealing. Maybe that's why he's so mean. (595 characters)

Mean Old Tom from Maine Beer Company
88 out of 100 based on 393 ratings.