Mean Old Tom - Maine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Mean Old TomMean Old Tom

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

396 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 396
Hads: 2,053
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 117
Gots: 347 | 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: 396 | Hads: 2,053
Photo of ThePaintedGrey
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured into large mug.

A: Pours mildly syrupy and opaque black with no light shining through, other than some garnet highlights towards the bottom of the mug. Dark beige head starts out at two-fingers and frothy, but eventually settles at a creamy cap leaving a small section of the mug painted with lace.

S: A darkly roasted coffee profile dominates completely, delicately complemented by natural vanilla and a decadent dark chocolate. Not much in the way of hops here, but this is aromatic enough without them.

T: Enormous amounts of coffee up front. Darkly roasted and bitter as hell, but it's quickly offset by a velvety wave of smooth semi-sweet chocolate. The finish is an absolutely divine medley of vanilla bean, dark roasted malts, and a smoky wood-like flavor. The lingering aftertaste is reminiscent of a Black n' Mild cigar, strangely enough.

M: We've definitely found a weak point here, however. A satin-smooth texture and reserved carbonation is pleasant on the palate, but the body itself is weighing in on the weak side. It certainly leaves this quaffable, but it would benefit from a bigger mouth presence overall.

O: Honestly, the weak mouthfeel is the only thing keeping Mean Old Tom from being a world class stout. The flavors are bombastic and incredible, and the addition of organic vanilla bean flavoring keeps this dark roasted behemoth balanced and smooth. Truly delicious, but not without flaws. (1,426 characters)

Photo of MDHopster
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Excellent taste with dark chocolate flavor blending perfectly with the vanilla. Very drinkable with silky mouth feel. Dark black appearance with strong, lingering tan head. Smell of chocolate and vanilla is dessert like. Paired with ribeye steak and jalapeño mash ended potatoes (279 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
4.36/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pouring a cellar temp bottle into a snifter. The beer pours a dark brown hue with large fluffy tan head of 4 cm even with an extremely gentle pour.
Leaves tightly packed dense latticework after each sip.
Aroma is deep roasted malt with an almost burnt quality to the nose. Cocoa powder comes through as well, with just a small sweet note of vanilla, but that is a little buried behind the roast and cocoa powder.
First sip reveals a velvety smooth body with gentle rolling texture, that gives just the faintest tingle as I swallow.
Flavor is roasted malt and some sweet cocoa with hints of vanilla on the finish, very similar flavor profile as the nose. A long lingering dark chocolate note at the end of each sip. The beer is very rich but isnt cloying. No hint of any booze from start to finish and not really any hops that I can detect anywhere.
A well crafted, rich not boozy interesting, yet not complex beer. I should have bought a second bottle. (953 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a black body with two finger khaki head and minor lace patches with a coffee/roasted malt aroma that has more than just traces of both vanilla and chocolate (more vanilla than chocolate). Smooth, creamy, the roasted coffee edge is there for flavor and balance, as well as making the beer a little more fuller bodied and have a slightly dry finish, but it's the vanilla/espresso like sweetness (with some chocolate as well) that livened up my sweet tooth and led me to really like this beer. (497 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a black color with a one finger head of a thick creamy head of an off tan colored foam which cascades up through the brew as it is poured. The head has a decent level of retention, fading over time to leave a moderate level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is heaviest of a sweeter roasted malt and vanilla smells with lots of notes of a coffee smell. Along with these smells comes some smells of a more caramel sweet and chocolate smell, which produce a very inviting and dark aroma overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a nice creamy roasted malt flavor with tons of caramel and some vanilla. As the taste advances the vanilla gets stronger and stronger with a chocolate flavor working its way onto the tongue. The chocolate and vanilla grow stronger to the end with a little bit of a oaky flavor working its way onto the tongue as well. Along with the oak, so too comes some espresso and a bit of a smoke flavor, which with the vanilla and chocolate leave a slightly bitter but still sweet and smooth roasted flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the slightly lower side. Both are nice for the big roasted and vanilla flavors of the brew and allow for a nice soothing mouth coating feel.

Overall – A quite enjoyable stout with lots of flavor all at a more modest (at least in big flavored stout terms) abv of only 6.5 %. This was a rather nice roastey and sweet treat. (1,591 characters)

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

Appearance - Pours a dark cola brown with three fingers of creamy mocha head.

Smell - roasted malts, semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla, hint of coffee, slight hint of dark fruit.

Taste - Mellow flavours of roasted malts, semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla, hint of coffee and dark fruit.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Milky (not to be confused with creamy) texture.

Overall - An American stout that is more subdued than I am used to for the style. There are good flavours in here but I wish they were more pronounced. (544 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle poured into tulip 28/6/14

A not quite black, very deep cola edge, massive three fingers of mocha foam quickly falls to a thick film then stays, partial rings deep down the glass

S charred wood and coco come at me first, burnt coffees strong, sweet cereal, some vanilla, herbal and earthy hops, just a hint of booze

T more burnt coffee, dark chocolate, sweet grains I can't place, I was expecting more vanilla, roasty as all hell, hops are noticeable but in the background and some raisins

M silky, just on the creamy side of foam, slick on the palate and burnt roast lingering on the finish

O solid stout but a little below what I was expecting after so many hits out of the park from Maine, not the levels of vanilla I was expecting and a little burnt here and there

Well worth a try but unlike the other beers I've had from these guys I don't think I'd drop 10$ on another half litre bottle. (914 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
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. (1,734 characters)

Photo of papat444
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 500ml bottle, bottled 031114.

Pours a dark brown with a thick, 4 finger brown head and great retention. Aroma is coca, and chocolate shavings. Taste has a nice semi-sweet chocolate base but not getting much vanilla. Medium body at best, lacks a little but a good pick i think. (291 characters)

Photo of paulytasker
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-Serving Type: Poured from a 1 Pint .9FL.oz. bottle into mug.
-Bottled on date of 051114

A) Dark, dark brown, bordering black. Just a sliver of light tries to penetrate the edges but struggles to do so. An inch or so of frothy tan head tops of the brew and hangs out for a couple of minutes before dwindling to a sparse thin blanket of bubbles. Very small amounts of lacing patched around the sides as I sip away.

S) Smell is pretty damn amazing. Roasty charred bitterness that is accompanied by a semi-sweet, milk chocolatey delight, is swirling with fine hints of French vanilla. Very intriguing.

T) The roastyness is exactly what I look for in my American Stouts, very pronounced, but not overwhelming. The use of Vanilla is nicely applied also, as it is apparent from start to finish but doesn't completely take over the palate. Traces of coa coa and a slight hop bitterness round things off pretty damn well. Delicious!

M) One smooth and incredibly creamy mouthfeel to this stout. Very drinkable indeed.

O) This is my first sampling from Maine Beer Co., and after this tasty treat, will surely not be my last. Being readily available in my area, this could become my new go to American Stout. Excellent Brew. (1,218 characters)

Photo of cbutova
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled: 040814. I have tried this a few times now and remember it being good. Time for the official notes.

A- Poured from a 500ml bottle to a snifter with a black body akin to medium thick stouts, not quite motor oil. A crown forms on the beer to about two fingers with a thick, creamy texture and a color that reminds me of milk chocolate. Good retention and lacing is plentiful in the form of webs and spots.

S- Deeply roasted grain aromatics pop out of the glass. Notes of milk chocolate, heavily roast barley, toasted oats, coffee grounds and a light vanilla sweetness towards the back end but very subtle.

T- Chocolate and then roast are the main players of this stout base. Deep and decadent dark bitter chocolate bars coat the palate with roast barley, brown sugar, heavily roast coffee grounds and super subtle creamy vanilla sweetness. Certainly a hint of hops on the back end, earthy.

MF- Medium thickness with an amazingly silky, foamy texture that must come in part from the oats. Carbonation is moderately high for the style but works with the flavors presented. Dark cocoa bitterness fills the palate.

The vanilla beans add a nice creamy sweetness that for all purposes is subtle. However, the roasty stout base beer is a great combination of roast barley and deep dark chocolate. (1,300 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter from the 16.9 ounce bottle.

Pour produces a chewy and creamy cocoa-colored head two and a half fingers thick. Midnight black body. Beautiful contrast of body and head. 5

Robust coffee and dark chocolate aromas. Faint caramel sweetness. Touch of floral hops. 4

Dark roast malt and coffee with a touch of caramel and vanilla. There's a roasted quality that shines in this beer. Vanilla becomes more apparent with some time and warmth. 4

Heavier carbonation than I'd expect, but enough creamy malt body to achieve a drinkable balance. From the hop presence and roasted malt/coffee quality this has a dry finish. 3.75

After having this on nitro, the bottled version is a tad underwhelming, but this is still a great beer. (742 characters)

Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a snifter. Darkish brown with a light tan head, about a finger.

Smell is absolutely wonderful, like a French vanilla coffee.

Taste is kind of a letdown after getting a whiff of that delicious vanilla. It's also a little thin. I prefer a thicker stout.

Overall, it's pretty good. Not great. The first Maine beer I've had that I'm not too interested in having again. (397 characters)

Photo of jjboesen
3.72/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a bottle conditioned vanilla bean stout that opens with extenive frothing; it settles into chunky lacing atop a dark ruby body. There is a subtle nose of cocoa nibs that supplements a pleasant hop-malt blend - no hint of vanilla bean, however.

The mouthfeel is rather light with a tad chalky bite that makes for a rather dry finish. A nice quaff from a great Maine brewer. (381 characters)

Photo of CowsandBeer
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled on 03/11/14. Bottle poured into a Blind Tiger Brewery snifter.
A:Pours a finger of khaki head. Black body with lots carbonation bubbles.
S: Bitter hops,lots do roasted malts, licorice, dark roasted coffee beans, cream, milk chocolate, and vanilla.
T: Roasted black malts, black licorice, green hops, coffee beans, and a bit of creamy vanilla at the end. Lingering taste of burnt toast.
M: Thin but smooth. Low carb.
O: An enjoyable hop forward stout with strong notes of coffee with some nice vanilla creamyness. Body is thinner than expected but it is quite easy to drink. Recommend if you like hoppy/roasty stouts. (626 characters)

Photo of Sandbarunner
3.64/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As far as stouts go this a fairly good one. Not as heavy as some can be. Not as smooth as others.

Not trying to say it is not good. For a low ABV this stout is excellent. For what is has in it, it shines well.

I prefer stouts that are a little more robust and higher ABV. This could be a summer time stout, if you will.

Found them when I was in NJ on business. Wish I could get them in SC. Would be a nice dark beer to drink at sunset in the lowcountry heat. (461 characters)

Photo of dpgoblejr
4.8/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

First Maine Beer Co. that I have tried. Very nice dark stout with a decent foam head. Smells of strong roast with slight hints of vanilla. The taste was more of roasted coffee than chocolate for me and the vanilla is there too. Hop bitterness to boot at the finish. The mouthfeel was where this beer worked for me. Medium bodied, smooth, soft like maybe velvet, clean, and so well-balanced. To conclude: I've rated this low abv stout quite high even though I prefer my stouts super strong in taste, thickness, and alcohol. Overall there was nothing I did not like about this brew and it actually took me by surprise. Very well done Maine Beer Company! (651 characters)

Photo of mynie
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

First off, it's really nice to see a vanilla aged stout that hasn't been needlessly aged in whiskey barrels. Seriously.

Poured perhaps a bit too cold into a Lawson's tulip glass. Deep, dark ruby with a chocolate-colored head.

Smells strongly of roasted barley with just a light wisp of dry hops--a regular old American stout, no need for bourbon burn!

Gentle carbonation lends a smoothnes to the front end that is quickly, nicely washed away by burnt barley roughness. This segues into a semi-sweet finish of bakers chocolate, coffee, and fresh vanilla bean. (563 characters)

Photo of DrunkenSwine88
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Stout style creates an obviously dark appearance with nice head retention. Little to no aroma. The bitterness is rather subdued for a stout. Though the beer was brewed with vanilla beans, I also picked up on an almost salty chocolatey note. The mouth feel was velvety and incredibly smooth. Overall a great choice for the stout category, of which I am not the biggest fan. (372 characters)

Photo of dank203
4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours very dark with extremely dark head. lots of coffee vanilla on the nose, very roasty. flavor matches with some dark chocolate, and hops. light to medium bodied, creamy fluffy feel. very nice brew indeed. bit of brown sugar and milky sweetness. very drinkable (263 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour is a dark brown with a tan head and a fair bit of bubbles. Nose is moderate roasted malt, notes of cooked coffee bean with a decent touch of vanilla and notes of dark chocolate. Taste is not sweet but does have a good bit of the vanilla. Light roasted malts, rich chocolate and vanilla, a marshmallow quality, well balanced and not sugary. Pretty well done! Medium body and incredibly smooth feel with gentle carbonation. Very easy to drink. (446 characters)

Photo of SLeffler27
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mean Old Tom pours very dark brown and is almost black in a Cisco fisheye pint glass. Slight red highlights reveal themselves beneath three fingers of a dense, creamy, light chestnut head that lasts an eternity. After the head turns to a pancake batter consistency, it leaves a thick webbing of lace. Maine Beer Company also has nice, simple, label art.

Chocolate latte fills the nose with roasted back notes. Cashew and bittersweet chocolate give way to vanilla and lactose as it warms.

The flavor, while more roasted, generally follows the nose. This beer has a decent balance as baker’s chocolate overtakes coffee and vanilla. A modest finish brings one back while warmth brings out black coffee.

A full, creamy body with alcohol as expected and modest, fine, prickly carbonation.

This bottle was originally purchased to honor a friend who recently joined the ranks of the elderly. While I’m not sure if he enjoyed the homage, the beer was enjoyed with lengthy, nonsensical conversation. A second bottle was aged about ten months, which mellowed out the alcohol and the vanilla. Aged or not, this is an enjoyable beer that works as well on a warm day as a cold, windy, November evening. (1,198 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

17 oz bottle.

Pours jet black, thin tan film dissipates to a lacing.

Smells of rich milk chocolate and roasted coffee, some brown sugar and vanilla in there as well. Perhaps a bit of hazelnut.

Flavor is of chocolate, hazelnut, fig, toffee, vanilla, brown sugar, and dry biscuit.

Medium body with tingly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

A pretty good stout with nice flavor and aroma in a lower-abv package. Very enjoyable and worth trying. (451 characters)

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

A: Pours a very dark brown, nearly black. Medium mocha colored creamy head. Edges are medium brown/reddish when held to the light

S: Roasty malt, chocolate, vanilla and coffee

T: A nice dose of maltiness. The malt and chocolate dominate. Vanilla provides good balance to the malt

M: Medium bodied, maybe a touch to much carbonation, wish I was a tad creamier (361 characters)

Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Reasonably full dark tan head over an opaque brown-black beer, with lacing.

S - Roasted malt notes over all, with hints of chocolate and coffee. I got very little vanilla.

T - Again, very little vanilla, but a full roasty toasty taste, and more than a little bite as the beer winds down. Maybe this is how Tom is mean?

M - Clean, very smooth. Not much drying.

O - My first MBC. It was a good beer, delicious. Not a revelation, but well executed. I might have been a bit disappointed by the lack of vanilla notes if it weren't for the fact that it is so easy for those to become overpowering, and this was such a decent brew that I didn't miss them. (656 characters)

Mean Old Tom from Maine Beer Company
88 out of 100 based on 396 ratings.