Mean Old Tom - Maine Beer Company

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Mean Old TomMean Old Tom

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very good

394 Reviews
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Reviews: 394
Hads: 2,048
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 117
Gots: 345 | 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: 394 | Hads: 2,048
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)

Photo of Rifugium
3.28/5  rDev -16.8%
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. (841 characters)

Photo of beerbiatchMD
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (779 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (646 characters)

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
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! (784 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
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. (1,689 characters)

Photo of Seakyden
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
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. (406 characters)

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

16.9oz bottle served in a pint glass.
bottled date: 11/10/11

pours a deep mahogany / cola-like brown while yielding a healthy 2" head (w an aggressive pour); very respectable retention and lacing.

nose is likewise very nice, headlined by coffee, some chocolate, and roasted malt.

flavor delivers more of the same, with the coffee and chocolate in particular being well-represented. i also get some secondary notes of vanilla and a hint of char. medium bodied mouthfeel, a touch thin, with average carbonation.

overall a very nice, easy-drinking stout. no wow factor necessarily but no worse than a B+ range brew. (618 characters)

Photo of gfreed
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another line drawing on a well-designed label means another good beer from Maine Brewing. Nice color, dense head, waffley aroma with molasses and tobacco throughout; a good cloud of almost Swisher-Sweets smoke that does not repel (unlike the cigars...). The body is a tad thin and the bubbles are a tad brittle. Although MBC says this beer is aged over vanilla beans, I didn't smell or taste any more or less vanilla than any other porter. That might change with aging, which means buying a few bottles and hiding them for a year. Dang. (536 characters)

Photo of Jayli
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from svosie so a big THANK YOU goes out to her!
Consumed 11/29
Poured in to my Portsmouth snifter

A: This beer pours an opaque black with a one finger of light brown foamy head. Head recedes quickly and leaves nice sheets of lacing.

S: Nose is charred malts, roastiness, and nice dark chocolate.

T: Taste starts with a strong charred flavoring. It eases in to more of a roasted character. Dark bitter chocolate comes in mingled with lighter espresso notes. Vanilla bean holds the whole way through the chocolate and espresso flavoring, with just a touch of oak as well.

M: Lighter side of medium body, low carbonation, there's a very light, thin, somewhat flat feel.

O: Goes down easy, tasty, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style. My one beef with this offering is the lack of body to it. The lower carbonation is the only real knock. That being said, another fine offering from Maine Beer. (927 characters)

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

Deep pour, nearly black with a two finger tan head. Nose is roast, coffee beans, some faint chocolate. pretty dry and subtle. Fairly thin mouth with lots of bubbles. Flavors focus on dry roasted malt, coffee beans through the palate and long on the finish, with a touch of unsweetened dark chocolate, faint vanilla. Dry and restrained, balanced. Nothing that will blow away the BIG BAL beer nerd, but this is super refined, balanced, and drinkable. (448 characters)

Photo of meatyard
3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11/10/11 bottling

Pours black with a short, tan head that recedes quickly to a partial cover without lacing.

The smell is slightly roasted malt and some chocolate with a little vanilla in the end.

The taste is chocolate, a more darkly roasted malt that tastes a bit like burnt coffee. The vanilla doesn't show up for me here.

Mouthfeel is medium tending to full and a little creamy with moderate carbonation.

Overall: This is better than many American stouts but nothing exceptional. I still recommend it, more so if the price were lower. There are a lot of better stouts that I can buy for less (per ounce). (613 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of McGrupp612. Served in a mug.

Pours a deep near-black color with a very nice tan head and some good lacing on the way down. The nose brings forward quite a bit of chocolate and vanilla along with a touch of roast. Flavor goes quite a bit down from there with far too much roast. Simply an average stout profile. Medium body with good carbonation and a slight vanilla finish. Decent enough, but not something I'd go back to really. (450 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11/10/11 bottling date. Purchased in PA at Pinocchio's in Media. Didn't see Lunch, but Peeper and this there. 16.9oz bottle.

A: Pours a pretty deep brownish - black. Not a lot of head on the pour. Faint tan layer. On a swirl you can conger up a little something. Some lacing and alcohol feet.

S: I will admit I am drinking this far too cold initially. On the nose, it get mostly mild coffee and milk chocolate. Nothing to aggressive. Maybe some mild vanilla, but it's very faint.

T: It's very subtle. Really easy drinking stout (more porter like). I get some mild coffee bitterness. Maybe some faint milk chocolate hints. Again, too cold. I don't get really any vanilla. I was expecting a good amount. Even as it warmed it wasn't there in your face.

M: Medium bodied. It's smooth but mostly because it's watery. Like other BAs mentioned, I guess drinking thicker RIS has scarred me.

O: Love Maine's other products, but this one missed the mark. By no means a BAD beer, it just was a little lacking. I'll go B- for the overall. (1,031 characters)

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

So Maine Beer Co is now in PA? Nice, I've been wanting to try these beers for some time now and I hope soon to find a bottle of Lunch to try. Anyway, got this one to try so let's get to it. Poured from bottle into a snifter glass.

A: A light blackish color that lets some light filter through. A half finger off white lead disappears quickly.

S: Wow, tons of chocolate smells leaning mostly on sweeter mild chocolate. Roasted malts are strong on the smell too. Some slight herbal notes from the hops. Not much vanilla.

T: Getting mostly sweet milk chocolate flavors mixed with a nice roasted malt flavor. Cocoa, some toffee and caramel come from the sweetness, still not getting a ton of vanilla. I guess the lighter chocolate notes give off a slight vanilla tone to them. There is some bitterness that rides through the flavor with some wood and floral notes from the hops. That slight bitterness lingers on the finish but does not take over the roasted lingering flavors. Nice.

M: This is maybe my one knock. The mouthfeel seems a bit thin for this abv. No alcohol at all.

O: A real nice stout that is very easy drinking and very enjoyable. I think I tend to get used to Impy Stouts and regular stouts sometime feel a bit thin, but still this is how I feel about this beer.

Another nice addition to beers available in PA. I can't wait to try the Peeper and Lunch which I have heard great things about. (1,409 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Close to black. Dark brown at edges when held to direct light. Head is light tan and slightly creamy. Dwindles to a thing ring at the edges of the beer. Pours on the heavier side and just sits there.

Smell: Chocolate malts and chocolate. I'm talking cocoa fused with some sweeter milk chocolate notes. Vanilla rounds out the back and smells real. Nice roasted malt compliment. Some sweetness. Oak lingers in the back and adds a nice earthiness to everything. Loads of roasted malts. Nice and subtle across the board.

Taste: Roasted malts for days. Big roasty bready compliment. Chocolate malts provide a nice depth. Vanilla across the back hits nice and clean and hints at barrel aging that obviously didn't happen. Who needs bourbon barrels when you can mimic the taste without the burn? Slight spiciness that might come from the hops.

Mouthfeel: A touch dry. Carbonation is on par, rounding out the low side of moderate. Creamy and smooth with a slightly rough edge when warmed. Easy drinking.

Overall: Nice balance and the vanilla adds a nice touch. Great depth of flavor without pushing too hard. Another solid take from Maine Beer Co. (1,155 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finger plus of thick creamy beige head sits atop a dark brown beer with just a touch of light getting through at the bottom of the glass. The head slowly settles to a thin cap. Not a great deal of lace.

Aroma is less vanilla focused than I thought. After re-reading the bottle, I notice it specifically indicates vanilla bean which makes a little more sense. A light sense of dark roasted malt and touch of charcoal.

On the drier side of stouts. Again with the specific use of the bean, this makes some sense. Sometimes when we hear “vanilla” we think sweet and that’s just not necessarily the case with the bean. Vanilla bean hits first and immediately becomes dark roasted malt. This then melds to a moment of ash. Back to vanilla for a moment and then finishes a little dry with a nice mix of vanilla bean and deep roasted malt flavor.

Medium body, a light grit on the tongue. Mild and appropriate carbonation.

A good beer, but one that would benefit from the slightest increase in sweetness. Having said that, I realize this isn’t an Imperial Stout and I am not asking that it try to be one. (1,107 characters)

Photo of ShanePB
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16.9 oz bottle with a bottling date of 11/10/11. Very fresh, poured into a tulip glass.

A: Deep black body with slightly dark brown hues around the lower edge of the head. Creamy, bubbly light brown head almost a chocolate milk color. Retention cap is nice and thick, along with outstanding lacing down the glass. Beautiful appearance.

S: Roasted chocolate malts, bitter dark chocolate, faint "green" bitterness moving to the back of the aroma. Finishes off with a milky note and some vanilla beans. The focus certainly isn't the vanilla but it adds a nice touch to round things out.

T: A bitter hoppy bite is up front, quickly followed by some dark bitter chocolate and vanilla. Mid-palate has an almost coffee bean flavor with some spicy yeast notes. The finish has just a touch of what seems like an alcohol element.

M: Well carbonated but not overly so. Still creamy on the palate while having a nice amount of bubbles to deliver flavors. A bit dry and sticky in the finish.

Mean Old Tom is a rich, robust and bitter chocolatey American Stout. It's not overboard on any one aspect though I did expect a lot more vanilla beans than I got. Although, it seems unless you go crazy on vanilla bean aging it never imparts a big punch, unlike extract would. Still, this is a really nice take on a lower-ABV stout. (1,315 characters)

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16oz bottle into a Bruery snifter. Bottled 11/10/11

Pours pitch black with a frothy off white head. Left a watery lacing.

Smells of light vanilla and some chocolate.

Taste is kinda bland. Faint vanilla, cocoa and a hint of hops.

Light carbonation and mouthfeel.

Reminds me of a lighter version of Ballast Point's Victory at Sea. (336 characters)

Photo of Daktyls
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark mahogany color with a one finger mocha colored head that dissipates to a fine lacing around the outside edge of the glass.

S: Smells of vanilla beans and some sweetness accompanied by a light amount of cocoa (somewhat contrasting with the vanilla) and a hint of coffee.

T: Just like the nose, typical roasted malt flavors common to stouts with a hint of vanilla and coffee.

M: Mild amount of carbonation with a fairly medium body that slides off the tongue with a nice creaminess.

O: Overall, quite delicious. I'd definitely buy this one again. (564 characters)

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

Appearance: An opaque black pour. Lasting creamy head. Leaves behind some nice lacing. Not bad but nothing to write home about.

Smell: Roasted malts and coco with vanilla undertones.

Taste: A predominately roasted and coffee taste with vanilla undertones.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, silky almost.

Overall: A very nice stout worth drinking at least once in a while. The price certainly makes it a worthwhile drink.

Taste: The vanilla beans are much more stronger this time. (477 characters)

Photo of portia99
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle (bottled 11/10/11) poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Pours an almost totally opaque black color with a finger of dense whipped creamy tan foam with good staying power and a near uniform sheet of lacing around the glass.

S - Interesting aroma...bit of booze, lots of coffee, vanilla, dark chocolate, mild touch of dark fruit, perfumey floral hops, and a bit of molasses.

T - Quite bitter with strong contribution of burnt malt, dark chocolate and coffee. A floral hop flavor, and some dark fruits. The acrid bitterness dominates and probably pushes out some of the potential complexities here. Can't say I'm really getting much of any vanilla in here, which is a disappointment.

M - Body is fairly thin...a bit too thin for my liking. Carbonation is at a lower level too and gives a mostly creamy feel but still manages to give a bit of a tingle as well.

O - A decent example of an American stout. Body is a bit thin however. It is a fairly easy drinker. Smokey, acrid, burnt malt flavors take the lead with other typical stout flavors mixing in behind. Sadly not enough of the vanilla bean came thru for me. (1,127 characters)

Photo of dasenebler
3.17/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

17oz, packaged on 11/10/11. American Stout aged on natural vanilla bean.

Pours inky black with a nice light tan head. Decent retention and lacing.

The aroma has some good roasted character, no hints of vanilla really. Nice chocolatey thing going on.

The flavor is oddly weak. Some bitterness and lightly tangy roasted malt. Again, no real vanilla character. Dry and watery, kind of like an Irish Stout. It's smooth, I'll give it that, but the mouthfeel is really thin, with low, almost non-existent carbonation. The pint I had on-tap was much better than this bottle, though still not great.

So I guess not everything Maine Beer Co. touches turns to gold (or Peeper, Zoe or Lunch). Womp, womp. (699 characters)

Photo of silentjay
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours jet black and opaque with a decent sized mocha colored head that settles to a finger or two in height and stays there for minutes leaving tremendous lacing.

vanilla is definitely there, as is tons of bittersweet chocolate. roasted malts and a slight woodiness as well, but I am drooling in anticipation from the vanilla/chocolate combo.

somewhat more of a subdued flavor than I expected. chocolate, roasted malts, less vanilla than anticipated, a touch of char on the finish with some bitterness that lingers. pretty tasty, but subtle, which isnt a bad thing.

kind of Irish Dry Stout in the mouth feel, creamy but not full bodied with velvety carbonation.

very easy drinking stout. Not as mind-blowing as Zoe or Lunch, but another very quality brew from Maine Beer. (775 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Maine Beer Co. My favorite east coast brewery.

A-Pours with decent viscosity, but its not overly dark for the style. When held up to the light the beer is fairly transparent. Head forms and dies off to a patchy film but does leave decent lacing.

S-Notes of chocolate and vanilla bean. Some alcohol presence in the nose. Sweet but also has some nice coffee roast as well. Vanilla comes out quite well in the nose.

T- Vanilla bean is oh so noticeable on the palate. Chocolate is milky and sweet and lightly bitter. Coffee roastiness. Alcohol is better hidden on the palate. Subtle but definitely tasty.

M-I enjoy the feel. It feels like a mix between a Stout and a porter. Carbonation is extremely soft. A bit slick.

O/D-Maine Beer Co. is one of my favorite breweries. Lunch, Zoe, and Peeper are among my favorites of their respective styles. Mean Old Tom is pretty damn good, but a slight step below the perfection of their other brews. I still really enjoyed this. Its drinkability is very, very high. Very happy to have a bottle. Nothing to complain about here, and dare I say its a tad bit underrated. (1,109 characters)

Mean Old Tom from Maine Beer Company
88 out of 100 based on 394 ratings.