Secret Stache Stout - Finch's Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Secret Stache StoutSecret Stache Stout

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BA SCORE
87
very good

117 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 117
Hads: 611
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 14
Gots: 85 | FT: 1
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
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 117 | Hads: 611
Photo of joebeerdude
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Saw this about a year ago and picked up the last four pack at my local beverage store. I really liked it. I was hoping to get some more later on but the store said it didn't sell that well and they didn't plan on ordering anymore. Bummer. Well today was a good day as it just happened to show up again on the shelf! Apparently the distributor made a deal the store could not refuse. For such a low alcohol content this beer is a really really big beer. I disagree that with another reviewer who thought it was 'thin'. It truly is motor oil. I'm thinking this stuff is darker than any of the imperial stouts I've tried (and I've tried more than a few). It's characteristics are pretty simple -- chocolate and vanilla -- and I'm OK with that. Tastes yummy. Not allot of crazy things going on like a high alcohol imperial stout but no mini-hangover the next day either from having two of these. Nothing else like this out there (as far as I know). A truly unique beer but more of a niche taste not for everyone. (1,008 characters)

Photo of IPAdams
3.45/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a dark motor oil color with a mall tan head that receded quickly.

Smell- Roasted coffee, char, vanilla and some oakiness. Also pick up some caramel and toffee.

Taste- Strong burnt roast flavor with some sweet vanilla to help balance it. Moderate bitterness. The vanilla has some extract flavor to it. Picks up a bit of tart flavor as it warms.

Mouthfeel- Fairly thin body for a stout, pretty dry. Carbonation is good though.

Overall- Not a bad beer but not very complex. Mainly burnt roast and vanilla in both the nose and the head. I'd like the body to be thicker too. (591 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.94/5  rDev +1%
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. (607 characters)

Photo of mlichens
3.29/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a tall boy can into a glass beer mug. Almost no head but some slight tan laces. Smell is notably almost absent, but some sweet vanilla and molasses notes.

Taste is rather sweet, though compared to other vanilla beers it is not at all overwhelming. Also, not nearly as sweet as a typical American stout. No hops. Odd, given the many other Chicago/midwestern beers.

The mouthfeel is creamy, to be sure, but more compared to an American ale than a traditional Irish or English stout. Tasty, goes down smooth.

Overall: I'd drink it again with joy if someone bought me a pint but it's not a stout I'd seek out again. (629 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (1,347 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.19/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Close to straight black with some dark brown at the edges when held to light. No head, no carbonation. Smooth and slightly viscous pour. Took me a bit by surprise.

Smell: Roasted. Very soft vanilla. Touches of old coffee with a solid, but not assertive, cocoa and dark chocolate element. Nutty and slightly sweet. Slight push of something almost like oats and lactose. Some darker sugars headed toward molasses, but never quite there. Vanilla comes out a bit more as the beer warms, as does the roasted character.

Taste: More of that roasted malt coupled with some nice hints of creamy vanilla. A nice compliment of roasted coffee beans and a slight touch of burnt malt. Malt sweetness is there, but not too aggressive, allowing some of the bitter roasted elements to shine through. Very minor hop influence, mostly herbal. Not particularly exciting, but solid. Coffee flavor lingers on the back. Slightly ashy with some small hints of licorice.

Mouthfeel: Nice and slick medium body with very minimal carbonation. Clean on the tongue.

Overall: Properly endorsed by Mustachio Furioso.

A decent canned stout. The vanilla adds enough to save it from being average, but doesn't bump it too far either. (1,215 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (767 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.61/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another new Finch's can I have seen around MA. Love seeing these new cans and some nice styles in them

A- Poured from the can for the review into a giant snifter. Leaves the bottle with a thick, oily consistency and a pitch black body. Small light mocha head raises up to about a finger high and has decent retention. Creamy ring leaves just a few spots of lace.

S- Dark roast malts dominate the aroma but you can tell it is a lower ABV stout right away. Cocoa powder, black grains, coffee beans and toffee notes come to mind. Hints of vanilla and dark fruits in the background.

T- Rich roast malt notes carry over from the aroma with flavors of big cocoa powder, coffee, burnt grains and dark sugars. Vanilla and dark fruit is stronger here as compared to the aroma and the former is quite nice with the other flavors present.

MF- Lactose lends some nice texture but overall it feels a bit thin or watery. Carbonation near the lower end of what I would want for a stout at this ABV. Finishes with some roasty bitterness.

Solid stout with a large cocoa powder flavor and some vanilla. Leaves a bit to be desired in the flavor and body but nothing comes off as bad. (1,169 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can poured into a pint glass.

A: Jet black pour. Seems to have good clarity.Brown head settles rather quickly. Thin, broken ring of lacing.

S: Roast and dark fudge sauce. Strong waft of vanilla brings a milk chocolate impression. Roasted coffee beans. Malted milk balls. Tight berry darkfruit deep in the background.

T: Dark chocolate fudge, woody and roasty, slightly acrid and acidic. Black coffee. Tight berry. All of this is tempered by the vanilla and lactose, which add enough sweetness to take the rougher edges away. Malted milk balls. Roasty, sooty, and smokey finish lasts a long time.

M: Moderately thick. Luxuriously creamy and silky. Modest sense of weight. Low carbonation.

O: A very easy beer to drink. The bolder and harsher flavors are brought into balance nicely by the lactose and vanilla sweetness, and the body and texture go a long way to increasing drinkability as well. (906 characters)

Photo of mountdew1
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can into a oversize wine glass. Color was a very dark brown, but not quite black. Had a mocha brown 2 finger head, only lasted a few minutes before leaving just a thin layer. Primary aroma was chocolate, very much like a Hershey's bar. Vanilla with a small hint of pepper in the back. Flavor was very slightly sweet, like watery chocolate milk, but also had sour notes. Coated very well, needed perhaps a touch of carbonation, seemed pretty flat. Overall not bad, but not very flavorful or with any must have qualities. (535 characters)

Photo of bubbadorse
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Tried this beer at a backyard cookout. NOT a session beer, though the alcohol level is manageable. This a very malty, sweet stout with a heavy mouthfeel. The beer I had was fairly flat, which I like in this style. It was far too sweet and heavy for a Labor Day cookout, but as a desert beer this would be wonderful. (315 characters)

Photo of JayQue
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A really solid stout. Very drinkable, good flavor. Pours a completely dense dark brown color with a dark tan head. Good lacing on the glass. Nice sized head but retention is a bit lacking.

Aroma of roasted malts, vanilla and bittersweet chocolate. Mild, but still pleasant.

Solid stout taste. Rich and malty with a strong chocolate presence and a hint of vanilla.

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth like a milk stout or oatmeal stout.

Overall a very good stout. (459 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (846 characters)

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

16 fl oz. can, with no apparent canned on or freshness date present. My second beer from the local Finch's Beer Co., excited to try it since I love vanilla and I was impressed by their first offering that I tried, Finch's Beer Co. Threadless IPA.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Aggressive pour straight down the center yields about one and a half fingers of creamy dark brown / mocha colored froth on top of a rich dark opaque black colored body. No light shows through. No lacing. Looks very nice.

S - Smell is more subdued than I would expect: dark roasted toasted malt presence, iced black coffee, cream, smooth chocolate & sweet natural vanilla.

T - Taste follows the nose, only better: creamy milk chocolate, lactose, dark roasted coffee beans, toasted malt, faint smoke, & of course beautiful natural vanilla extract.

M - Silky smooth & creamy, hardly any carbonation or coarseness to be found at all. A bit of roasted coffee bean bitterness leftover on the palate.

Overall, an incredibly smooth and easy drinking stout. Wonderfully flavorful, considering the lower 5.30% abv this beer carries. Definitely a nice beer, the vanilla flavors deliver the goods. Definitely a stout I would drink again and again. If you get this beer in your area, drink it.

Finch's Beer Co. Secret Stache Stout ---4/5. (1,327 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.34/5  rDev +11.3%
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! (544 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a light brown head. In the aroma, caramel and roasty coffee. In the taste, sweet coffee, notes of caramel and a sweeter vanilla note. A small bite, but mainly smooth with a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dryer vanilla coffee like aftertaste. A really nice vanilla presence, a bit sweet, but quite sessionable. (331 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.47/5  rDev -11%
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. (503 characters)

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a pitch black color with almost no head to speak of

S: Roasted malts with a hint of vanilla and lactose. Not much to the aroma

T: Roasted malts followed by a little vanilla and some sweetness to balance the roastiness. Again, not much to it but it's pretty much spot-on for what it's supposed to be

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: At 5.3%, this is a nice vanilla milk stout with a good roasty character and a little sweetness. Should definitely be characterized under milk/sweet stout because it's brewed with lactose and it definitely comes through, providing some sweetness along with the vanilla. Not a bad value at $10.59 for a 4-pack of 16 oz cans (684 characters)

Photo of Brad007
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

One of the most impressive can pours I've seen. Pours dark, thick with a milkshake-like head into my glass.

Good mix of roasted coffee with a touch of vanilla in the nose. Smells a lot stronger than something at this ABV should.

Now I see why. Creamy with tons of roasted malt, cocoa and vanilla flavors. Bursting with flavor.

Leaves a bit of a singe going down, mainly due to carbonation. Dial it down a bit and you're golden there.

A very flavorful stout in a can. I would like to try their other stout offerings soon because this is the most flavorful stout I've had in a while. (586 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.26/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

16 oz can into a pint glass.

A: Pours a nearly pitch black color. Not much head is on this one, which is disappointing - it isn't even a fingers high, but it has a nice khaki shade. The only thing noteworthy about it is the slight lacing it leaves on the glass.

S: There's plenty of roasted malt, which I always love in a stout. Beyond that lies notes of cream, chocolate, and vanilla. The advertised vanilla is evident...but not quite as much as I want it to be. Oh well.

T: However, it does make a decent showing on the palate. Vanilla notes blend fairly well with the cream flavors, before finishing with touches of roasted malt. Decently enjoyable if simplistic and sweet.

M: It doesn't have the finishing dryness I like out of my favorite stouts, nor the body. What it does do well, though, is showcase the vanilla flavors decently through a soft, creamy finish. Carbonation is good, but could aid drinkability a little more.

O: Not bad. It's a bit too sweet for me, though, so I doubt I'll buy this again. Well worth a try if you like vanilla or cream soda. (1,068 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (427 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (2,342 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (1,411 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
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 (534 characters)

Photo of RickS95
4.29/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16 ounce can

Quite attractive from the pour. You can see the thickness as it leaves the can. It's extremely dark, pitch black. The head has a slight cascading effect and is slow forming with light brown bubbles. Somewhat creamy head that retains fairly well, leaving a nice lace.

Roasted barley in the nose mixed with caramel and other dark malts. I get none of the vanilla mentioned on the can, but lots of char.

Taste matches the nose. Roasted grains and dark malts, charred goodies, but still no vanilla. Possibly some ground coffee hiding in there.

It's the creamiest beer I've ever had. It can't get any smoother. You can feel the thickness of the beer. Touch of sweet ultimately chased by the bitter char. Smoky feel follows deep into the finish.

I enjoyed this. Very easy to drink. More ABV would be welcomed. Overall, one of my favorite stouts. (858 characters)

Secret Stache Stout from Finch's Beer Co.
87 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.