Mean Old Tom - Maine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Mean Old TomMean Old Tom

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BA SCORE
89
very good

2,031 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 2,031
Reviews: 405
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 9.32%
Wants: 115
Gots: 334 | FT: 14
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,031 | Reviews: 405
Photo of kojevergas
3.74/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First impression: 3.54

***
02.10.15: full review.

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Unbranded pry-off silver pressure cap. Classy understated label art. 1 pint .9 fl oz. "012715 49."

6.5% ABV. Purchased at Alphabet City Beer Co. in NYC. Cost was $8.99 USD. Reviewed live as a vanilla bean stout per the label. Served cold into a tulip and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

Expectations are high; I had this before and liked it.

HEAD: 2 fingers wide. Khaki-tan colour head. Creamy, full, thick, and luscious, with a soft appearance and smooth, even consistency. Nice complexion. Retention is quite good - about 7-8 minutes. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Opaque solid black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it looks quite good for the style, but features no stand-out characteristics.

AROMA: Authentic genuine vanilla bean. Dark malts. Milk chocolate. Chocolate malts. Cream. Could use a roasted barley presence.

Admittedly, it's quite straightforward for a stout - even plain - but that vanilla bean is incredible. I can't wait to try it.

Aromatic intensity is moderate.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: Rich genuine vanilla bean is the star of the show - just as it should be. Dark malts and chocolate malts provide the aptly sweet backbone, but it's never cloying. I like that it emphasizes the vanilla bean. Cream fills it out nicely.

Schlimenhaumer notes that it's on the earthier side of the style, and I'm inclined to agree.

Sure, it's simple. Sure, it's plain. But there's an elegance to its mastery of fundamental basics, and damn if it isn't balanced. Sure, more complexity and subtlety would be nice, and a roasted barley presence would be nice. Good depth of flavour.

Nice duration and intensity of flavour.

TEXTURE: Creamy, smooth, wet, medium-bodied, and beautifully soft. Thickness is near perfect. The creaminess, silkiness, and softness are great, but it does lean a bit hard into porter territory. Well-carbonated.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

OVERALL: Highly drinkable. It's one hell of an enjoyable stout, and will please the discerning drinker. Some newcomers to craft beer will crave the unnecessary - coffee, bourbon aging, etc. But the fundamentals are here, and it's damn well executed.I'd absolutely get it again, even at its high price point, and this is proof Maine Beer Co. isn't a one trick pony; they can executed styles that aren't hoppy. A great go-to vanilla stout that crushes widely available offerings like Breckenridge Vanilla Stout or Stone Vanilla Bean Smoked Porter.

High B

Photo of reebtaerG
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Had on draft at Lures that was nitro.

A-Pours black with a finger of tan head. Okay lacing.

S-Aroma of vanilla, chocolate, and some coffee.

T-Taste is balanced chocolate and vanilla sweet with hints of coffee.

M-Mouthfeel has a medium body. Smooth and silky on the tongue.

O-Overall a great stout could use more lacing.

Photo of JRed
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Pours black in body with khaki head that melts down the side of the glass. Aroma of cocoa, mild ash, tobacco, dirt, and burnt ends. Tastes of cocoa, burnt bread, tobacco comes through toward the finish and then cocoa And vanilla come back again. Surprising how smooth this beer is. Glad to see it isn't a booze bomb either. Very refreshing despite the dry tone of the flavors. Very good stuff.

Photo of gonzo000
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%

Very, very good stout. Vanilla on the very back is light. Coffee dominates. A bit less body than anticipated. Good flavor. Cannot go wrong with Maine Beer Company.

Photo of patre_tim
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

A: Dark brown to black with a ruby tinge of a half mm only when held to the light. Topped with 4 fingers of deep beige head, chunky milkshake like lacing.


S: Dark chocolate, smoke, coffee, dark toasted notes.


T: Dark chocolate, coffee, light smokiness, hint of tar and burnt rubber. Solid sweetness to balance. The vanilla beans are present, but hard detect until you look for them. They come in as a light background floral aroma right near the end.


M: Thick, lightly syrupy body, medium low carbonation.


O: Was glad to find another brew by this Maine brewery in Chicago at Whole Foods. Drinking it Aug 25th, 2014 in New Hamburg, ON. Not really a fan of stouts, but this is a solid offering.

Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Very dark chocolate brown brew, nearly black, with little in the way of colored highlights and a large amount of creamy light brown head (for a stout). Aroma is assertive dark roast coffee and chocolate, slight floral vanilla and grassy hops (!). On the palate one gets more of the same, dark coffee and chocolate milk, faint butterscotch and red licorice. Starts quite sweet but dries out quickly, an interesting contrast. I am noticing a nice nutty malt character as well, a unique element for this style that is amplified over the course of multiple sips. Very smooth creamy mouthfeel, moderately thick with low to medium carbonation. Finishes roasted and very dry, peanut shells coming to mind. Very light citrus hops wink in and out (they use Centennial in this). The vanilla beans add a tinge of floral perfume and do not dominate the proceedings. Debates about price points notwithstanding (I think the ingredients these guys use and their entire approach justifies the cost, not to mention how freaking good the beers are), Maine Beer Company proves here that they aren't just hop wizards, although I imagine I will always prefer the hoppy stuff from these guys.

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%

Bottle dated 7/15/14 poured into coffee cup (all I have in hotel)

A- Dark brown/black with thin tan head
S- Huge coffee notes. The faintest hint of vanilla or something sweet
T- Creamy, roasted maltiness, maybe a bit of bitter coffee notes, but where is the vanilla??? None in my bottle
M- Dryish finish. Creamy up front. Nice full and light mouth feel

O- Mouthfeel is there, but taste is of an average dry irish style stout. I get no vanilla.

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.36/5  rDev +9.8%

Appearance is very dark brown with a light brown head. The smell has a lot of malt to it giving off some very sweet aromas. The taste is full of dark chocolate and a little bit of espresso. Also the vanilla bean makes for a semi-sweet, very delicious finish. The mouthfeel was also nice consistency for a stout, not overly thick but with a very defined body. Overall I really liked it. I'll definitely pick up another one soon.

Photo of Scrapss
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a MBC ale glass

A: Black as night. Nice edges that resonate light brown/tan. Lacing is minimal. A swirl bring some carbo back to brew. No legs to speak of.

S: Deep black chocolate notes with that vanilla that is touted. Huge roasted notes. Surprisingly, there's some neo-hop notes coming though on the back of this.

T: very balanced for how sweet and hoppy this is trying to be, I have another, I may age it a year and see if the hoppy notes secede. Yeast is mild and some toffee presents, may be yeast notes trying to push it out.

M: Smooth. Roasty like coffee. Not overly full, but not thin. Middle on feel. Malts definitely dominate ultimate out breath.

O: Me likey. May be my favorite flavored stout due to mouthfeel and not overtly chewy malty notes.

Photo of ThePaintedGrey
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of MDHopster
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
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

Photo of sulldaddy
4.36/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Photo of clayrock81
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Photo of leaddog
3.89/5  rDev -2%
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.

Photo of wordemupg
3.77/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of biboergosum
3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

Photo of papat444
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of paulytasker
4.09/5  rDev +3%
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.

Photo of cbutova
4.09/5  rDev +3%
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.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of jjboesen
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Photo of CowsandBeer
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of Sandbarunner
3.64/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

Mean Old Tom from Maine Beer Company
89 out of 100 based on 2,031 ratings.