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Mean Old Tom - Maine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Mean Old TomMean Old Tom

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

412 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 412
Hads: 2,123
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 21.27%
Wants: 118
Gots: 380 | 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
Reviews: 412 | Hads: 2,123
Photo of Flounder57
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of tempest
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of Duff27
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
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!

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Photo of ppoitras
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of larryi86
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.03/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.44/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

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Photo of robwestcott
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.91/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of flexabull
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of match1112
3.95/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Dope
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of Brad007
4.88/5  rDev +23.5%
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!!!

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of akorsak
3.95/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.28/5  rDev -17%
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.

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Photo of beerbiatchMD
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

50 cL bottle poured into a wine glass. Bottle dated: 11/10/11

a: Dark dark brown, almost black in color. No light passes through even when held up. There is a light brown head--about one finger's worth--that has reasonable retention and leaves good lacing.

s: Coffee and vanilla predominate. I also get some smoke/roastiness. Some chocolaty sweetness is also there.

t: Black coffee hits me first while mild undertones of vanilla are apparent as well. Finishes earthy, roasty, and smoky.

m: Decent mouthfeel. Full body, smooth, minimal carbonation.

o: A very good stout. Not my favorite style in general, but this is very drinkable and is great on a cold winter's night like this one. I would highly recommend Tom, but it's probably not a case purchase like the Lunch IPA is.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this while shopping for my secret Santa target, merry Christmas to me.
Pours a solid black color with a huge fluffy tan head that exudes great retention and lace. Smells of roasted grain, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, a bit of caramel. Smells nice like a stout with vanilla beans, but not to heavy on the vanilla. Taste is just what I expected from the aroma. A solid roasted grain presence with hints of vanilla and caramel. Medium body and level of carbonation, sweet slick mouthfeel. This is a great simple easy drinking stout. If these weren't 7 dollars for 500ml and available only once a century I might actually drink it more often.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle into tulip. 11/10/11 bottle date.

Pours with a healthy 2F of tan head over a deep, opaque black body. Really nice lacing.

Aromas carry cocoa nibs, vanilla bean, light coffee grinds, and light charcoal.

Very creamy on the palate, wielding flavors of soft bittersweet chocolate, Dunkin Donuts iced coffee with half-and-half, and other assorted roasted deliciousness.

Mouthfeel is soft and creamy, with just a touch of carbonation...would be insane on nitro.

Usually it takes me 2-3 tries of something new before I really fall in love with it, but this one was love at first sip. Tremendously elegant and smooth... Must, find, sixtel, immediately ...

edit: WTF is with the reviews below? This is an American Stout, not a RIS or ADIS. C'mon people, review to Style!

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

really wanted to try this beer for a long time now. Just got this beer a few days ago via trade with ICCULIS! Thanks Jim!

poured into snifter.

Appearance: This stout looks beautiful! pitch black bodied beer with almost 2 fingers of a tanish head. The head is thick and dense with frothy bubbles on top of the beer. It slowly fades to a cap that stays on top of the beer for most of the drink. Lots of sticky lacing noted from this beer transfering into glass.

Smell: This beer smells primarily of roasty malts and has a bit of a coffee note going on. The vanilla is hard to find, but its in there. Its got a little bit of a smokey note that is also stronger than the vanilla smells.

Taste: Mild bitterness that tastes of coffee and smoke. Not a whole lot of malty sweetness here. The vanilla is not a huge player in the taste of this beer, just as the nose had suggested. The beer finishes just like what a dry irish stout would taste like. It reminds me of a guiness aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Low end of medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. The beer is smooth and a little creamy too. Its also easy drinking, but I wish it was a little bit thicker. Its also overcarbonated.

Overall: Not dissapointed by this beer, but mildly underwhelmed. This is the part where I sound like a demanding little kid... I want MORE vanilla put into this beer, lots more vanilla! Its a sessionable stout that has some nice flavors, but they are fairly mild. Kick this beer up a notch and bring in more rich stout flavors. Mean Old Tom was not as mean as I was hoping for... In summary: its like guiness has a more shophisticated big brother from the state of Maine and his name is Mean Old Tom.

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Photo of Seakyden
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

opened the bottle and poured into a tulip. smell was awesome. nice rich coffee and vanilla aroma. took my first sip and found it thinner than i was expecting. at first it felt and tasted similar to Bell's Porter. thought it was good, but not great. let it sit for a while to lose a little of the chill and found i enjoyed it more and more as it warmed up. a good stout, easy to drink, but not mind blowing.

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Mean Old Tom from Maine Beer Company
88 out of 100 based on 412 ratings.