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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

119 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 119
Hads: 623
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 8.95%
Wants: 14
Gots: 86 | 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
View: Beers (14) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 119 | Hads: 623
Photo of russpowell
3.87/5  rDev -1%
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 +9.7%
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)

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
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 Monalenard
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

when i cracked the can i thought this beer had gone completely flat. there was no trace of carbonation until almost half way through the pour. we have a sleeper.

as soon as i started to pour this into my tulip i began to wonder if this might be better served over pancakes. this is one thick beer. i really cant think of anything ive had that was thicker; bourbon county thick. the carbonation finally showed up about 1/3 through pouring. it has a cool kind of guiness rising carbonation effect (the only cool thing about that garbage) only more subdued. you're left with a pint of beer so thick it might as well have been made by ben and jerry with a chewy looking thin but dense cap of dark mocha head.

smells like a pretty typical stout, maybe a little coffee, char, vanilla maybe; i'm trying. It's all pretty faint.

the taste is like that moment when you're blasted out of an acid trip where you're dreaming that you're drinking a beer but you're actually licking an uncleaned BBQ. what the hell? this is liquid char? little tip. let this one breathe a little longer than you would an american stout, normally. it sucks right out of the fridge and NO, i do not keep my beer fridge too cold.

this one just takes a bit longer to warm to a point where you can really taste this beer. after a while its actually quite nice. the vanilla i thought i smelled comes up and there's this off-ish sweet flavor unlike anything else i've tasted in beer before. almost like coffee mate. gotta say, i dont hate it.

The mouthfeel and texture with the carbonation is what i really love about this beer. its so creamy. i love a good thick beer with a nice persistent but small, tingly carbonation. this would do well with a few alterations as an imperial. good beer, kinda weird. let it warm. patience is a virtue. (1,810 characters)

Photo of estlinska
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap into a standard shaker pint at The Saucer on 4/15/13. Pours a very dense and ebony black with just the barest of chocolate hues at the edges of the glass. It has a thick, medium-roast coffee colored head that erupts quickly from the pour and then settles down rather quickly. No light penetration at all. The smell was quite aromatic. It was a nice compliment of roasted malt and milky sweetnes. There was a nice subtle, not overly dramatic vanilla edge to the smell as well. It was equal parts roasted coffee beans and milk chocolate on the nose. No real hops on the nose. If lactose can have a smell, it was in this beer. The taste was rather good. It was quite swet and very smooth with the very mildest of a bittering hop to keep it reined in. For the most part though, it had all the nice flavor of a glass of chocolate milk. It was quite sweet with a nice roasted quality to it. The vanilla seemed to work synergistically with the lactose to create a strong sweetness. The mouthfeel, therefore came off as a little bit cloying. No alcohol on the tongue, good full body, but that sweetness just ended up lingering longer than I would have liked. (1,164 characters)

Photo of rangerred
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16oz can into a pint glass.

Pours pitch plack with a thin quarter inch dark tan head that fades away within a minute to some swirling on top of the beer. A few splotches of lacing on the sides of the glass but not much else. A little bit of a let-down.

The aroma, however, more than makes up for the unimpressive aroma as it really blows me away. Tons of milk chocolate leaping out as well as coffee and a healthy dose of vanilla. There is a moderate roast tying it all together but a really mouthwatering and delicious aroma throughout.

The flavor is even better. The vanilla really stands out married nicely with milk chocolate. Almost reminds me of chocolate milk or a Hershey's bar. Coffee is there but remains in the background lending just enough roastiness to keep things from getting too sweet. Some swirls of caramel also come through with a very smooth and creamy mouthfeel finish with just a little stickyness and lingering roast.

Overall, this is possibly one of the best lower strength American Stouts I have had. The vanilla is perfectly done as it is all too often overwhelming in beers. All flavors balance perfectly and the body is awesome. Definitely a beer you should pick up if you get the chance. (1,221 characters)

Photo of tone77
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A big thanks to the creator of the can quest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is chocolatey, a touch of coffee as well. Taste is very good. Lots of chocolate, some vanilla and coffee, tasty and enjoyable. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall this is a quality beer worth seeking out. (359 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Well it looks like a great stout, deep mocha head with decent lacing and a dense dark body with pitch black hue.
S - Smells of lactose sugars yet not much burnt roast which is appreciated. The sweet chocolate smell does have a sort of vanilla tone to it.
T - Served a bit warmed up the hops smack my palate with an abrasive roast. After a few sips it does become quite a balanced stout sort of like great lakes Blackout lighter. Cocoa nibs and sweet chocolate malts highlight with maybe the slightest twang of vanilla. I for one appreciate a balanced vanilla profile considering too much make beer a tad too sweet. By no means chocolate milk of beers but a very tasty stout.
M - The ABV is on par making this pounder a real treat. Very complex and tasty stout that never gets too sweet.

Overall the only other milk stout I can think of that is close to this awesome-ness is "left hands milk stout" but seeing as this has a thicker body and more ABV (meaning more flavor) this one is next level awesome. (1,007 characters)

Photo of RWLawman
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Jet black. Pours like motor oil. Thin khaki head, with very little scattered lacing left behind.

S - Vanilla, roasted malts, sweet chocolate, and coffee.

T - Mostly sweet milk chocolate, followed by a noticeable roasted malt presence, and coffee. There's the slightest hint of vanilla for me, not nearly as dominating as others have reported in past reviews. Not sure if this is the result of pouring from a can, or not.

M - Full-bodied, with moderate-to light carbonation, and a smooth, silky texture. It coats the mouth nicely, leaving you wanting more. I think out of draft, nitro-tap, or nitro-can/bottle, this would be a competitor with Left Hand Milk Stout or Young's Double Chocolate Stout. Very impressed, as I've never heard of this brewery previously.

O - Outstanding! Highly recommended for chocolate stout fans. Give this a shot. It's the chocolate milk of stouts. (884 characters)

Photo of andrewjraab
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black and thick as hell. Almost has a cherry cola hue to it.

S: Vanilla jumps out, coffee beans, coco.

T: Follows the lead of the nose and it is like drinking chocolate milk. It is silky smooth....chocolate silk.

O: So glad I got to try this (thanks DLP) - as stated above - like drinking chocolate milk, but with alcohol - a definite try. (348 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (406 characters)

Photo of SerialTicker
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$3 16oz "tall boy" can poured into a Samuel Adams "Perfect Pint" glass.

Appearance: Pitch black... car oil kind of black. There's a tiny head, but it goes away almost instantly, with just a thin, brown layer of foam on top. Lacing, at least initially, is sexy.

Smell: Super dark, roasted malts is the most notable thing here. However, there's plenty of chocolate-like notes as well, with some vanilla. The vanilla definitely comes out more in the aroma than it does in the flavor, which MAY be a good thing. (The vanilla is the main thing that drew me to this beer).

Taste/feel: What a stout. Forget the fact that it comes from a can. What. A. Stout. Balanced very, very well. It's never too sweet, or too bitter. Front of the sip is a bit of dark fruits (?) for sweetness, but then there's pretty much nothing but malty, chocolate goodness until the end. As the beer warms up, the beer seems to get a tad bit more bitter, and the vanilla comes out a LITTLE more, but I notice a lot of people complaining about the vanilla in it. To be honest, I don't really get much at all (at least when it's cold)... and that disappoints me. It's there in a subtle way, but I actually wanted a little bit more. Regardless of that, this is still a slick-in-the-mouth, quality stout: an absolute delight. (1,292 characters)

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

16oz can picked up here in Charlotte NC of all places. Slightly overfilled as there was no room to crack the top without splashing a little out. At least I know I didn't get jipped. Dark nearly black pour with some brown around the edges. Thin layer of dark tan head. Didn't retain too terribly long.

Aroma, chocolates and vanilla mostly, some toasted malt in there.

Taste, some dark chocolate and cocoa almost with the vanilla. Some light roast in there, malt and coffee.

Medium body, nicely coating. Good level of carbonation, not quite creamy feeling.

Kind of like a Youngs Double Chocolate but with vanilla as well. Very drinkable almost sessionable stout. Maybe just a tad thick to drink a bunch of. One of the better done vanilla beers I've had, most overdo the vanilla. (780 characters)

Photo of dheacck11
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pour from the can.

Super thick blackness with nice mocha head. Lots of lace.

Nose is pretty soft with vanilla being most prominent. Some hints of booze as well.

Taste is strongly vanilla throughout. Almost too much. Some hints of cocoa with burst of malt.

Mouth feel is almost syrupy. Super thick.

Wish I had read the can first and saw it was a vanilla stout. Kinda don't really like vanilla beer, but was an interesting try. Grew on me with time. Not bad, but not my thing. (480 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours like used oil, deep black with a half inch frothy chocolate head that slowly dissipates, leaving modest lacing.

Vanilla, roasted malt, booze, burnt rubber, chocolate, and tar form the aroma. There's a hint of earthy hop character.

Chocolate dominates the flavor initially, with slightly acrid roast malt weaving into the flavor throughout, finishing slightly dry with lots of vanilla. There's a hint of char in the aftertaste. Dark fruit notes add complexity to the fairly sweet backbone.

Body is moderate to a little light, with minimal carbonation and slight alcohol warmth.

Sweeter than I'd prefer, I think, and I'm not huge on vanilla, but the best finch's offering I've had so far. (696 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.87/5  rDev -1%
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. (415 characters)

Photo of AlexFields
3.64/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

7.6/10 (409 characters)

Photo of peabody
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a really dark black with very little suds which are tan and very small. Very little lacing
but there are some legs.
Aroma is toasted cinnamon raisin bread with sugar icing. The yeast is pungent through the charred malt.
Taste is sweet charred malt and coffee with the slight hint of dates. A little one sided but for a 5%er this is pretty nice.
Mouthfeel is sticky as all get out.. And just spill some on your hand or face. Sticky sticky sticky.
Overall this is a very nice cold weather daytime drink. You don't have to worry about high abv and this has a big darkness not usually found in 5% beers. (609 characters)

Photo of elgiacomo
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

16oz Can, pretty fresh. Served at around 55F.

Pours black with a two finger rich brown head, leaves beautiful drippy rings and sheets of lacing and holds a good cap. Purty.

Aroma is vanilla, chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, chocolate, roasted malts...that’s pretty much it, but that’s all there needs to be. Good to very good strength.

Flavor is more of the same, vanilla, rich creamy chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, fairly sweet, minimal bitterness, minimal alcohol. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, very creamy, gotta figure there’s some oatmeal at work here, soft to moderate carbonation. Smooth and easy drinking.

Man this stuff is good. A real nice rich dessert, but not too big, so it’s soooo easy to drink. Tons of body and flavor for a 5.3% ABV Stout. Nailed it! (794 characters)

Photo of Lare453
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
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. (341 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a can of Finch's Secret Stache Stout a couple weeks ago for $2.99 at The Lager Mill. This can caught my eye when I was looking for some new beers to try, I have never heard of Finch's before, but I decided to take a chance on them, so lets see how it goes. No visible canning date. Poured from a 16oz Tallboy into an imperial pint glass.

A- The can is really good looking and eye catching, it's got this street art vibe that is nicely done and it really sticks out on the shelf, great design. It poured a dark black color that didn't let any light come through with a fingers worth of light mocha colored head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left a little bit of spotty lacing. This is a nice looking Stout but it could have used a little more head.

S- The aroma starts off with nice and sharp dark chocolate aroma followed by some nice espresso like aromas. Up next comes a medium amount of sweetness followed by some nice and rich roasted aromas along with some good vanilla aromas towards the end. This beer had a great aroma, it was fairly complex with lots of rich and roasted aromas, I really like it.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma, it starts off with a higher amount of sweetness followed by lots of dark roasted malts that impart some nice bitter dark chocolate, lightly charred, and a light coffee flavors. Up next comes some creamy flavors followed by some vanilla that isn't overpowering and it goes nicely with the other flavors. Towards the end there's a medium amount of bitterness followed by a little more sweetness with a sweet and roasty aftertaste. This was a good tasting beer, it was a little too much on the sweet side, but that's how this beer is intended to be, so it's not that big of deal.

M- Fairly smooth, rich, very creamy, sticky, full bodied and it had a nice amount of medium carbonation. This beer had a nice mouthfeel but it was a little too sticky.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and a good example of the style, but I think the brewery was going for more of a Sweet/Milk Stout and this seems to fit that style perfectly with lots of sweet and roasted flavors and aromas. This beer had ok drinkability, it went down fairly smooth and the flavors held my attention, but the high amount of sweetness would prevent me from wanting another one, one pint is the right amount for me. What I liked the most about this beer was the aroma, it was pretty awesome with tons of nice chocolate and roasted aromas that mixed perfectly with the vanilla, I was impressed. What I liked the least about this beer was the high amount of sweetness, I think if it was toned down just a little bit it was help the roast balance it out better. I would buy this beer again, I would like to take a couple cans on my next ski trip, I think this would be the perfect beer to have in the warming hut and share with friends after a morning full of skiing, and the fact that it comes in cans makes it that much better, I recommend this to anyone who loves stouts, especially Sweet and Milk Stouts. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer, I didn't know what to expect from this brewery but this turned out to be a good beer and they made a pretty good first impression on me, they crammed a lot of flavor into a beer that is fairly light on the alcohol, I will for sure be on the look for more beers from them, good job guys. (3,410 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black liquid nearly overtops the lip of the glass only allowing for a thin cappuccino ring of foam to form. Looks thick and sultry. Some micro-lace left behind.

Semi-sweet aromas of dark chocolate, peat, and black coffee. Almost has a smoky character to it. Nice and roasty and not without a slight sting of alcohol.

Gruff roast kicks you with malt bitterness, vanilla bean, dark coffee flavors, chocolate, and molasses. Only semi-sweet, but greatly dark and rich. Except for the opening intro... pretty mild and sneaky in the start before the kilned grains really start to tickle the buds on the back of the tongue. Finishes with smoke-clearing sweetness and more decadence with some caramel, sweetened coffee, and light blue- and blackberry. Light hops noted, as well.

Medium-full body with a glugginess. Carbonation is appropriately soft, but peaks with a bristle in the middle.

Decently drinkable stout with some great sweet flavors. Would enjoy again. (966 characters)

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

The beer pours an opaque, oil slick black color. The head is about one finger and medium brown. There's an ok film of foam that seems to stick a little bit to my glass. The film remains fro almost all sixteen ounces.

Roasted coffee, dark toffee, black chocolate with vanilla cream undertones make up this beers aroma.

Creamy smooth palate with a bitter chocolate and coffee finish. The front is creamy chocolate and a little coffee. Roasted and maybe burnt tasting malts come round in the middle and finish. Those mlats add a dark chocolate bitter finish to round out the sweetness from the start of this beer.

Well rounded and tasty stout. Great for a session in IMHO. (674 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
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. (575 characters)

Photo of HawkD
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I tried this on a whim. I've been pretty happy with most of their offerings up to this point. Poured from 16 oz can into tulip. Pours dark as a moonless night. Nice aroma, chocolate, light coffee and roasted malt no real vanilla. Taste is fair. Not what I was hoping for, kinda blah. Lacking focus. Mouthfeel is slick. Carbonation is too light. Left my upper lip really sticky as if yeast did half the job. Overall, I'm disappointed but like I said these guys generally do a good job. (484 characters)

Secret Stache Stout from Finch's Beer Co.
88 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.