Vanilla Stout - Big Muddy Brewing

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Vanilla StoutVanilla Stout

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BA SCORE
83
good

136 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 136
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 7
Gots: 26 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Big Muddy Brewing visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cdrogers on 12-05-2011

A traditional Milk Stout infused with pure Madagascar vanilla. Subtle vanilla flavor throughout with roasted notes and a slightly sweet, smooth finish.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 35
Reviews by Ryan_Graham:
Photo of Ryan_Graham
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with a one finger head. Faint smell. The taste is one of the smoothest I've ever had. This beer tastes like cream soda-- I don't know if I like that or not yet. On one hand, there's no bitterness and I love the flavor. On the other hand, it doesn't really taste like beer, per say. It tastes like they just took vanilla abstract and poured it into a stout. The taste lacks depth and I don't feel good about liking this beer.. but I do.

I would certainly recommend this to a friend.

More User Reviews:
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a nonic
A- This beer pours a nice jet black body with a light tan film that soon fades to a ring and a gentle carbonation trails up the side of the glass

S- The soft note of coffee roasted malt leads to a vanilla nougat aroma that has a hint of bourbon in the depth. The aroma is pretty clean otherwise

T- The coffee roasted malt has no bitterness and finishes with a watery taste. There is a slight tartness that is a bit to big for the other flavors and a slight roasted hint lingers. Some vanilla grows into the flavor as it warms.

M- The light mouthfeel has a thin texture to it with no alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer is a bit thin and watery with some nice vanilla character, just no malt to support it. The tartness grows over top the malt flavor and there just isn't any depth to the malt.

Photo of seedsofchaos
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this infamous local at Kindling this afternoon after a great black and bleu steak sandwich. Big Muddy hasn't quite made its way to bottling this beer yet and the only way to get it is at one of a few local bars/bistros.

Big Muddy Vanilla is formidable in appearance. It's deceivingly formidable though. Although it never claims to be an Imperial anything, one does get the sense that they are about to drink a big double stout or the likes from the jet-black appearance and skimming of a head. What one does get is a great silky mouthfeel. It's milk-stout-esque if I had to sum it up quickly.

Smell is fairly simple, but good. Vanilla comes out swinging followed by milk chocolate. Aromas are of fresh baked goods. Think oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and milk. Yum. I have to say that this beer, along with Big Muddy Monster, are the best beers from Big Muddy Brewing to date. Flavors follow the bouquet with just the slightest roast and just enough hop bitterness to round the beer out. This definitely is malt forward with tons of vanilla, but balance is there.

A great offering from a local brewery. Nice job, Big Muddy.

Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark chestnut color and about two fingers of tan head. Good clarity. Sweet chocolate and vanilla on the nose, faint hints of charcoal and roasted malts. Touch of caramel.

Nice smooth mouthful. Nice sweetness but not overly sweet. Creamy. Lots of vanilla and caramel flavor. Faintly woody finish Lends balance to the beer adding a bit of dryness. A few astringencies but other wise a nice easy drinking milk stout.

Photo of Samp01
3.44/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark cloudy cola brown with a small quickly fading tan head. Aroma is of sweet vanilla beans, dark malt with some roasted notes. Taste is same as taste, has some mild bitterness. Palate is medium body, smooth, sweet. The finish is of sweet mild herbal vanilla bean flavor, a bit of dark roasted malts with light bitterness. Sweet and mildly pleasant. Overall a good after dinner.

Photo of emerge077
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time seeing the bottles locally, revisiting this as i've only tried it on tap before. Bomber was $8 which seemed a little high, but on par with similarly packaged beers.

Black with brownish edges, lots of drippy lace in the glass, a bit of a contrast from the draft version. One finger of tan foam rises and sticks to the sides of the glass, thin skim of tan foam across the surface.

Sweet vanilla bean aroma, definitely authentic and very aromatic. Probably the best aspect of this beer, it has a nice trace of underlying cocoa. Similar flavors of cocoa and vanilla, blending more seamlessly and smoothly than the draft version. Light roast, dry finish, not overly sweet at all. Fairly straightforward. Body is a touch light, but it's very drinkable.

Photo of Muldoon
4/5  rDev +9%

A very light stout with a sweet vanilla finish and a mildly nutty vanilla aftertaste. Very drinkable after-dinner instead of coffee.

Photo of ToddL
4.52/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

This a nice dark colored beer that smells as good as any beer i've ever had. It taste and smells like a malty vanilla chocolate stout beer. The blend of flavors and smoothness of this beer is outstanding, No bitterness, a pleasant, slightly sweet and vanilla after taste. From a small brewery in Southern Illinois. Don't pass this beer up if you every get a chance to try one

Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a short beige head that quickly died down, leaving some lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of vanilla extract are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the beer tastes likes someone poured a bunch of vanilla extract into a stout, although not necessarily in a bad way.
M: It feels a bit shy of being medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This isn't a bad beer if you like vanilla, but the taste doesn't seem to be very balanced and is just dominated by vanilla extract flavors. It could use complexity in the form of some other flavors.

Photo of cdrogers
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Kindling in Carterville, IL.

It was as dark as a cola with a nice off-white and dark-tan head with a nice head retention while drinking.

Nice balanced vanilla aroma with a little sweetness and malted notes.

I really enjoyed this one. It got the vanilla for sure, but it was very balanced with the hops and the sweetness in the aroma came through with the taste.

Nice carbonation and well-balanced. Was not heavy at all, quite smooth.

Overall, this is a great stout and I really enjoyed the nice vanilla flavor and aroma. Highly recommend as a regular cold-weather beer.

Photo of FreshHawk
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark cola brown, almost black. Medium sized, light, bubbly, light tan head. Average retention leaving very little lace.

S - Loads of vainilla. Some chocolate, cola and anise aroma. Reminds me of root beer really.

T - Tastes even more like root beer. Also has a slight cream soda sweetness to it. Hints of chocolate and a touch of licorice, but it's more or less like drinking slightly flat root beer with a bit of cream soda added.

M - Medium body with lower than average carbonation. Slick and wet feeling.

D - Easy to drink stout. Alcohol is non-existent. Fairly sweet but not cloying. Slick and just goes down the throat easily.

Notes: Very much like drinking root beer without the carbonation. Doesn't exactly taste or feel like I'm drinking a beer. It's not bad, but it's different, although I think it could work well for certain situations.

Photo of rfgetz
3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown - near black in color, with minimal cap of bone white head, moderate lacing. Scent is strong with vanilla... Smells more natural than artificial, malts are dark and toasty, light creamy sweetness. Taste hits with vanilla, bitter on the tongue, helped along by light cream and sugar, roasted grain with notes of chocolate and coffee, faint stone fruit. Medium bodied, biggest issue is the lack of smoothness, creaminess or heft, would have upped the score a touch. Another nice, comfortable and approachable brew from the Midwest.

Photo of unibrew
4.45/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this beer to be very drinkable. The vanilla IS strong up front, but, with balance..not too sweet. Sweet enough though. I would like it to be a little thicker, but, it's not imperial, so, mouth feel is a little on the thin side for my tastes. What it is though, is a very drinkable stout, heavy on the vanilla. Don't expect anything more. It's not complex. Just a straightforward vanilla stout. Sound good to you? Tastes great to me! Very enjoyable. I'd buy it again.

Photo of LCB_Hostage
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: black. little to no head or lacing
S: Vanilla
T: Vanilla
M: Actually the best part of the beer. Smooth and creamy without being overly syrupy. Could have use a bit of carbonation, thogh.
O: Vanilla.

Seriously. I like vanilla. I never would have purchased this beer if I didn't like vanilla. But c'mon guys. Have you never heard of subtlety??? This has to be the most one-dimensional beer I've had in a long time. Thing is, that wasn't too bad at first. But this was a classic "diminishing returns" brew. By 1/3 - 1/2 way through I was so over the vanilla milkshake novelty and desperately wanted something even vaguely beer-like to punch through the smothering vanillaness. Alas, twas not to be. I'll probably drink the rest of the six, but I'm really going to pick and choose my moments carefully.

Photo of Neorebel
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Vanilla Stout pours a translucent dark brown color, with a thin soda-like head. Minimal lacing, but there is definitely some carbonation present. Not bad for the appearance. The smell is very interesting - the first thing that comes to mind is candy - like toffee and caramels. Vanilla taffy. Roasted malt aroma is also big. The flavor is a lot like the aroma - a bit one-dimensional. My first impression was that the vanilla tasted a little artificial or perhaps that it was a little too much. However, after allowing the beer to sit a little while, it grew on me. Basically, this is a decent milk stout with a dose of vanilla ice cream, if you can imagine that. The flavor lingers a while in the finish, which is nice. Light mouth feel and body. Overall - worth a try, if you like light, sweet stouts.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

The final bottle left from my Friar Tuck's run prior to my buddy's wedding. It pours a deep black-brown topped by a short half-finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises cocoa powder, vanilla bean, light roasted malts, and a drop or two of molasses. The taste holds notes of dark cola, light roasted malts, vanilla bean, and a dusting of dark chocolate powder. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, an alright stout, but one that comes in too thin, both in terms of body and in terms of robustness of flavor. Not bad, but not quite good, either.

Photo of Gavage
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a dark brown almost black color with a short one finger head.

Smell: vanilla and some roasted tones come through to the nose.

Taste: roasted malt, big vanilla flavor, some softer molasses tones, and prunes are balanced with some floral hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Light crispness to start, smooth at the finish. Aftertaste is laced with continuing vanilla flavor.

Overall: this stout is a bit sweet and full of vanilla flavors, so don't expect a hearty stout here. Slow sipping but not a bad beer at all.

Photo of Tone
4.06/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. 1/2 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of vanilla, cream, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, and a hint of hops. Fits the style of a Milk / Sweet Stout. Mouth feel is smooth and creamy, with a cleanness and low carbonation level. Tastes of vanilla, cream, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, and a hint of hops. Overall, good appearance, great feel, but the blend too strongly favorites vanilla.

Photo of WestHam973
5/5  rDev +36.2%

Great Stout! The Vanilla really shines through, this beer is pretty thin for a stout but I think it suits this beer well and makes it very drinkable. My favorite beer from this brewery.

Photo of FosterJM
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

1753rd Review on BA
Bottle to Woodshop Snifter
12oz

Purchased at Binnys Forest Park, IL

App- Out of the gate, I thought this was a RIS w/vanilla. It wasnt. The label of the milk stout is right. A bit lighter in browns and tans with a semi deep center. Once compacted on itself. Its a bit darker than pouring would suggest. A small 1/2" fizzy head was there and then gone.

Smell- A bit sweet on the nose. The vanilla is a bit light for me, but blended well with a bit of a brown ale note and lends itself to a nice healthy malt base. A bit lactose and lacking a big punch. However, at 6% was not expecting to be overpowered either.

Taste- This was pretty good. A bit light on the vanilla again for me, but still flavorful and well balanced. A bit sweet and dessert forward. A bit roasty and malty with some sugary milk flavors.

Mouth- A lighter medium body with a smooth medium carbonation. The residual flavors are of malts, vanilla and a little bit of a grainular sugar flavor.

Drink- Pretty good. Was part of a mix 6 at Binnys and I like Vanilla in my beers. Couldve been a touch better, but thats just my opinion. Would probably add more vanilla to this if I was at home.

Photo of champ103
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Kindling in Carterville, IL

A: Pours a dark black color. Almost opaque. A two finger tan head forms with excellent retention. Plenty of sticky lace is left behind.
S: Sweet vanilla up front and dominate. Light roasted malt with some chocolate. While the vanilla is not over barring, it is pretty much the only thing going on.
T: Much more balanced flavors here. Plenty of sweet vanilla is up front as it should be. Though more roasted malt to balance out the cloying character of the vanilla. Along with some chocolate in the finish.
M/D: A medium to full body. Smooth carbonation. Very nice body. So easy to drink. A great winter beer, something to sip on during a cold night, but without the high alcohol of most winter warmers.

This is a very nice stout, and a big step up for Big Muddy. Hands down the best they have done, and something I would recommend.

Photo of Suds
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a very dark, nearly black beer with a tan head. The aroma is overwhelmingly vanilla. It borders on over-done vanilla bean. Some chocolate and a bit of espresso underneath. The taste is slightly sweet, with some bitterness. The vanilla carried over in the mid taste. Moderately creamy mouthfeel, but it lacked depth. Overall, it was pretty good.

Photo of Carrier4
4.16/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A great smell, but vanilla is personally not my favorite stout flavoring. However as vanilla stouts come, this is a good one in my opinion for the vanilla is pretty faint and not dominating the classic stout flavor.

Photo of Lemke10
4.06/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a dark brown color with a foamy, light brown head. The scent is mildly malty with hints of vanilla. The texture is thin yet a little creamy. You can definitely taste the vanilla in the flavor. It’s kind of like a vanilla cream soda with deeper robust flavors. Fairly decent as it’s better than some vanilla beers on the market but I’ve had at least one other beer that was better with its use of vanilla. An easy find for me, but I guess they are a smaller operation.

Photo of jimmah120
3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle with no date

look is a dark amber, silky mocha head with minimal lacing and poor retention. smell is mocha, coffee beans, and vanilla. taste is heavy on the vanilla, with cream coffee chocolate and English hops. feel is creamy and smooth.

good beer but the vanilla is sort of overpowering

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Vanilla Stout from Big Muddy Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.