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Secret Stache Stout - Finch's Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Secret Stache StoutSecret Stache Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

124 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 124
Hads: 645
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 22.68%
Wants: 14
Gots: 91 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Finch's Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: aasher on 02-26-2012

Vanilla Bean Stout
View: Beers (20) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 124 | Hads: 645
Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

From a can, pours a dark chocolate brown, a little bit of head, but not much.

Nose is toasty, roasted malts, a little vanilla, cocoa and espresso and resin pine hops. The flavor is roast, dark chocolate, resin, earthy notes, a little bit of vanilla an cocoa.

This is good, but no where near the top for the type of beer it is.

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Photo of metter98
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can at Boston's Bistro & Pub, Dayton, OH

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a half finger high dense tan head that died down and left lacing on the surface and a thick collar around the edge of the glass and a thick collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of lactose are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has lots of flavors of milk chocolate along with a bit of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied, creamy and smooth on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O:This beer is almost like a liquid Tootsie Roll. It is also very easy to drink.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a solid milk type stout, with a higher degree of residual sugar than a basic american stout usually has, but without the body added by the lactose. its lighter than others texturally, but the flavors are real robust. dark specialty grain keeps the roast high and the bitterness lower than usual from unmalted roasted barley. caramel and toffee flavors are in the middle of this, and a vanilla pudding flavor too, very desserty, but drinkable since its not to huge in body. its been awhile since i had a beer from these guys, but all have been quite good if i remember correctly. this is one of those stouts you probably go back to again and again if its for sale in your market. its distinct, its drinkable, and its just rich enough. i like the way the grain leads the way, and builds up so much depth. lots of character in this beer, very well made. was a pleasure to have it on tap.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Really lovin' what Finch Beer Co. has in mind, their Milk Stout takes on a sturdy roast character that's buffered with vanilla and cream for a savory desert-like effect.

The lush ale pours with a deep and dark brown color that hinges on black- seeming near clear, its onyx-like sheen is deep and ominous. Even with a turbulent pour, the head is short with tan coloration and its lace is slight as the oils of vanilla and cream make their presence known.

Lovin' its aroma, the scent of bittersweet chocolate, roasted nuts, deep roast coffee, burnt sugar and malted milkshakes offer up first impressions. But as the taste settles in. the ale favors and malty-rich middle palate of brown sugar, toffee and molasses before it surpasses sweetness and favors burnt toast, espresso, and heavy whipping cream even late in taste- its vanilla thread is eventide with each and every sip but never commands the overall flavor.

Its easy to be seduced into bigger and more robust texture, but the ale is remarkably even and balanced. Even after the early carbonation subsides, its late structure is smooth, light, and pleasantly pillowy even as the slight herbal hops, alcohol warmth, and receding malts suggest otherwise.

Delicious in its taste, Finch's Beer Co. is upping the game of Stout yet keeping them drinkable, smooth, and ever so lavish. It's clear that Finch Beer Co is upping their game in the dark ale arena.

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Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, served in a stemmed tulip glass.

Black body with dark tan foam, head recedes after a few minutes, leaving a spotty halo of lacing around the edges of the glass. A delicate wisp floats on the surface.

Roasty bitterness, earthy grain husks and slightly lactic, unsweetened dark chocolate in the aroma.

Creamy light feel, light earthy chocolate bitterness. Not much vanilla, but plenty of dark chocolate and some earthy hop bitterness. Dry roasty aftertaste, light bitterness and lingering chocolate traces. Not overly sweet, balanced with just the right amount of chocolate and mellow hops. A rich and flavorful stout, better than most/all of Finch's output thus far.

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Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours black as an oil slick with a creamy deep beige head atop.Aromas of bitter chocolate,vanilla,dark fruit,and mild char,it's pretty sweet.Flavors start out with a big hefty sweetness but a nice drying earthiness keeps it in check,alot of vanilla and dark fruit flavors to go along with bitter chocolate at the onset.One of the better milk stouts I have had in awhile,it's sweet but it's also got a big earthy/roasted finish.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11 ounce pour - $6.75 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Black, rich-looking body, with a deep, tan-hued head, about one-third of an inch high.

Smell: Sizable roasty, coffee notes, brownie mix, molasses. Then, some softer cream, vanilla scents. Dark fruitiness. A hint of smoke and spice.

Taste: Roasted malts sprinkled with pipe tobacco ash and full of flavors tasting of espresso, vanilla cream, prunes, brownies. Very small snippet of licorice. Ample sweetness, but it's not overly sweet. Minimal hop character and bitterness showing beyond the robust malts. The light ashen tone is sustained until the smooth, roasty, drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Good stuff. For me, the best of the Finch bunch to date.

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Photo of jlindros
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Yay tall boy can... but hard to read the label to know what beer it is.

An aggressive pour yields a small but very dark creamy head that fades at a med pace with nice lacing, over pitch black beer, no light getting through.

Nose brings roast and coffee, fresh roasted coffee beans, roasted malt, a little char and touch acrid, and maybe a hint of black malt, then into the caramel like an almost burnt caramel, and some vanilla a mild but nice vanilla, a very dark creamy malt.

Taste brings plenty of dark chocolate, cocoa, and a nice vanilla melting around all that, a creamy melting chocolate and vanilla base, as well as a roasty character, roasted malt, some roasted coffee beans with a little coffee, mild acrid burnt roast as well. A mild earthy hint spicy like hop in the background brings some bitterness that blends with the bitter roast from the malts. It gets a little yeasty too unfortunately. A hint of a creamy oat in there too. Finish is drier, bit more bitterness too light spicy hops, light cocoa and dark chocolate, little melting choc, and vanilla lingering.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, semi creamy and a little heavy, decent carb.

Overall not bad, a light but decent vanilla, nice dark malt characters that get just a touch acrid, a little yeasty character takes away from it a bit, but otherwise nice tasty and drinkable.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Local Option cervoise.

Gonna see if my pre-wedding Friar Tuck's run pays off here: This stuff pours a stark matte black topped by a finger (at most) of tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, mild vanilla, and a touch of dark chocolate powder. The taste brings in more of the same, though the dark chocolate comes across as sweeter, and the vanilla comes through stronger, bolder, with more of a bean character than before. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, this turned out to be a solid stout, easily the best thing I've had from Finch's. If only they could replicate the success, bring it over to their other brews...

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Photo of Rifugium
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Served in a tulip, opaque black pour, with a full, frothy tan head that retained well and left sheets of lacing on the glass. (Keg was close to kicking, and this actually might have been the last pour from it.) Roasty malts in the nose, chocolate milk mix. This didn't exactly "drink like a Yoohoo" like the description said, but it was still pretty tasty. Dark malt sweetness and chocolate syrup, mildly hinting at vanilla, with a slight vegetal bitterness. Fairly smooth and creamy, but still not quite full-bodied. Enjoyable.

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Photo of russpowell
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours ebony with a pinky of mocha colored head. Decent lacing & scant head retention

S: Coffee & cocoa

T: Follows the nose, very dry, a touch of woody hops up front. More cocoa with lactic sourness, more dryness as this warms, plus a bit more woody hops. Finishes dry with a touch charcoal, carob & chicory, almost pulled a 4.25

MF: Medium bodied, smooth carbonation, thinned out a bit as this warmed

A pretty nice stout that faded out a bit as it warmed, not a good as Buffalo Sweat, but not bad. Bet this would be great on nitro

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Very dark beer on the pour. Vanilla tones are clearly evident, though they seem to be cloying somewhat, which turns me off. Almost as if the volume is just a bit too high. I suppose it comes down to me wanting things to be more rounded on the overall. Still a decent beer, but when you are adding something to a beer such as vanilla, I think you need to make sure you don't overdo it and that there is some balance.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce can into pint glass, no canning date. Pours dense pitch black color with a 2 finger fairly dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, light char, coffee, toast, vanilla, toffee, cream, light floral, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roasted malt notes with moderate creamy vanilla; with good strength. Taste of huge dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, light char, toast, vanilla, toffee, cream, and roasted earthiness. Slight coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, light char, toast, vanilla, cream, and toffee on the finish for a while. Really great balance and complexity of roasted malt flavors with moderate creamy vanilla; with huge robustness and no cloying flavors present after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy and slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent vanilla cream stout! Great flavor complexity and balance with big robustness; and very smooth to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,313 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appears a pitch black hue with a tan colored head, creamy fine lacing. Aroma hints of anise, vanilla, toasted oak with dark malts roasted coffee/dark chocolate notes. Flavor has creamy dark chocolate notes with herbal hops, creamy iced coffee with candy like sugar qualities not overly sweet balanced by dark roasts nearly burnt. Mouthfeel medium bodied slightly creamy textures nice easy going carbonation. Overall it has easy drinking qualities with a solid stout base and vanilla additions light years better than their flagship IPA.

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Photo of chinchill
4.19/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pint can poured like motor oil, but with a durable brown head.

Aroma: coffee, milk and dark chocolate. Less roasted malt than expected.

T: dark roasted malts; no burnt quality; lots of dark chocolate, light vanilla and a trace of coffee, Rather sweet but not cloying.

M: Full-bodied; appropriately low carbonation; Very creamy.

O: A rich and satisfying sweet stout with a wallop of chocolate malts.

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Photo of smcolw
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Small, beige head. Leaves some webs and some spots on the glass. The liquid is deep, dark brown. No light passes, even on the edge.

Chalky, unsweetened cocoa aromas.

This stout leans heavily to the chocolate malt and less so to the black patent malt burnt flavors. Think rich porter. The body makes this a very smooth beer. Low carbonation. The aftertaste features just a bit of bitterness. Overall, a tasty beer that may be best described as a stout-porter hybrid.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque thick and viscous jet black in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass at the surface of the beer and a hint of very dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a finger tall creamy dark mocha head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of sweet milk chocolate with some lighter notes of lactose.

T: Upfront there is a light flavor of dark and lightly roasted malts with moderate to strong flavors of milk chocolate. There are light to moderate flavors of vanilla towards the finish. There is definitely a presence of lactose in this brew. Very light hints of bitterness which fades quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable, if a touch sweet for my tastes. Definitely one that I would grab again as it was a hit with my wife and mother-in-law who both thought it was quite tasty. Would be a really nice beer with dessert.

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Photo of Lare453
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A black, small light brown head. Light lacing, very small ring left over.

S very light, sweet, chocolate, light vanilla.

T light, sweet, creamy vanilla beginning, the middle is a Light ice cream, the end has a light cocoa powder. Very light chocolate aftertaste.

M sweet, thick, creamy, soft

O very good beer, I recommend trying it once.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I bought a couple of these CANs on a recent scouting expedition to The Foodery (N. Liberties) and I CANnot believe that reviewers STILL have a bias against CANned beers! Apparently, The CANQuest (TM) has CANtinued not to make believers out of everyone within earshot. I could understand it even up to a few years ago, but now ... ? Beer, and especially craft beer, in CANs is the way to go! End of CANrant.

From the CAN: "Ale brewed with Vanilla".

The Crack reveled yet another brimful craft CAN and as a previous reviewer mentioned, not only are you definitely NOT getting gypped, it is like a Baker's Dozen. The only drawback in this instance is that it is a very dark beer and if it splashed on white or colorful clothing, it might be an issue. I recommend opening it away from the CANsumer's body as a result. The tallboy nature of the CAN made it a little more difficult to perform an inverted Glug, but as a professional, I was able to pull it off. I was faced with a finger of dense, deep-tan/light-brown head with decent retention. Color was a deep, dark, cola-brown which allowed for zero light penetration. I even took a wee dram in a fest tasting glass outside to see if I could get any traction and even then, only at the edges. The SRM on this one must be extremely high. Nose smelled like French Vanilla coffee, reminding me to pick up some of Giant Eagle's brand the next time I am near one. To quantify, there were roasty notes of coffee and chocolate but with vanilla added to the equation. I have never made (or drank) a full pot of French Vanilla coffee as it tends to be too sweet, but I am pressing on with this one. Mouthfeel was medium with an oily slickness on the tongue that I had not expected. Previous reviewers had led me to expect a fullness which was not present, but neither was there anything wrong with that slick feeling. The taste was definitely French Vanilla coffee and I recommend a name change to "Finch Vanilla Stout", but I will understand if the brewers disregard my suggestion. Finish had a dryness that left a powdery feeling in the back of my throat, like dehydrated beer, just add water. This was a very different stout than what I was used to or even expected. I would probably stop at one as a self-avowed hophead, but that is just me. The fact that it is available in CANs makes it a bonus.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the can into a nonic pint glass.

A real nice dark pour, walnut black body and a giant three finger foamy dark mocha brown head. Fluffy and foamy retention with lots of staying power. Thick one finger cap when settled. Looks rich and luscious.

Great nose. Wonderful roasted grains, light hints of coffee and chocolate milk. Good hint of vanilla and cream, we are hitting the notes nicely so far.

Palate hits nicely. Hinting at a light body, but wonderful roast coffee flavors on first sip. Slowly hints at some bitterness then washes with a milky light lactose sweetness. Creamy yet light palate which makes the malts full and rich coating everywhere. The sweetness is almost milk stout territory but for myself it doesn't quite get there which is a plus.

Overall real nice drinking, and light and full of body and rich qualities.

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Photo of Billolick
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can.

Looks like a stout, nice lazy, fluffy dark tan head, stays nicely.

Dark malts and some vanilla on the nose.

Smooth, mellow and tasty brew. More vanilla, milk chocolate, mild darker and roasty malts.

Another quality brew from Finch

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Photo of johnnnniee
2.95/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

16oz can from Sully's
Pours a solid dark brown bordering on black with a smallish tan head that dissipates almost instantly. Aromas of chocolate, roast and vanilla dominate with hints of dark fruit, charred sugar and light earth. The flavor is sweet with big chocolate and vanilla countered with a sharp molasses char kind of flavor happening. Little to no hop flavor or bitterness that I could find. Thick body with an oily sugary mouthfeel and a faint level of carbonation. 5.3 % abv but it drinks like its 9% and thick inky oily as shit. Not something I enjoyed much.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.34/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

LOOK: Ontap, pours a very dark brown with a tan head. Leaves plenty of lace down the pint glass.

SMELL: A sweet smelling stout with copious amounts of raw vanilla and hints of both dark and milk chocolate. Mostly vanilla and a bit of charred malt.

TASTE/FEEL: Full bodied and very, very smooth. Delicious vanilla cream coffee like brew. There is a small woody, earthy hop presence. Big time vanilla, always a good compliment to a firm, roasted malt base. Well carbonated, easy to drink.

OVERALL: This vanilla laced stout is the bomb. BOOM!

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.47/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ Farmhouse.

A - Black with a thin layer of medium brown head

S - Very smoky with some sweet chocolate notes.

T - Very smoky, which was unexpected as this was not advertised in the name or the descrption of the beer. Some roast and chocolate notes present in the background. As the beer starts to warm up, the smoke beomes a little subdued (but still dominant) and the vanilla, which was undetectable previously, starts to show up.

M - Medium body. Silky and creamy. Light carbonation.

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Photo of AlexFields
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark black, looks very thick, decent head. Looks like a higher abv beer than it is.

Nose is fairly average--some cloying malt, some roast, maybe some mild chocolate. Nothing special.

Taste is considerably better--very chocolate forward, some smoke, hints of vanilla.

Mouthfeel is very thick for a low abv stout. Very nice.

Overall a very good stout, better in the mouth than the nose.


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Secret Stache Stout from Finch's Beer Co.
87 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.