Secret Stache Stout - Finch's Beer Co.

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Secret Stache StoutSecret Stache Stout

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very good

117 Reviews
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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
View: Beers (11) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 117 | Hads: 611
Photo of bigfnjoe
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a tallboy can into a Dogfish snifter

A- pours jet black with a half finger dark brown head. Looks about typical for a stout, but I'd like a bigger the color of it, though

S- lots of chocolate coming through in the nose, with some nice hints of vanilla as well. Solid

T- big chocolate in the first taste, with a blast of vanilla seeping in. Very slight bitterness from the chocolate. Huge flavors, reminds me a lot of a great milk stout, with vanilla being used instead of the lactase. Awesom

M- medium bodied....odd, because at times, I get a lot of thickness and a lot of thinness from the body. So, split the difference I guess

O- this is great, especially at 6.49 a four pack (which has to be a misprice in PA, considering the other Finch's offerings are 9.99 per four). Very easy drinking stout from a tallboy, with tons of great flavors coming through big time (895 characters)

Photo of brewcrew76
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black with a foamy tan head and nice spotty wisps of lace.

S - Roasted malt, dark chocolate, vanilla, fudge brownie. Smells sweet but also has a roasty bitterness. Hint of creme brulee.

T - Big dose of vanilla, roasted malt, milk chocolate. On the sweet side but enough roast and dark chocolate flavor to balance it.

M - Light and creamy mouthfeel. Smooth.

D - Makes a great dessert beer. Sweet but not cloying. (421 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 TheSleepyMonkey
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can poured into a snifter. Pours jet black with very little tan colored head. Head dissipates quickly.

Smell is mild coffee, chocolate, hint of alcohol. A little smoke and leather.

Tastes like liquid chocolate. Not much booze in flavor, just chocolate, very sweet. Hints of vanilla as it warms

Nice creamy mouthfeel. Can't believe this is only 5%. Really tasty.

Nice job on a very sessionable stout. As easy a drinker as there is in the category, and it comes it cans :). We'll done. (493 characters)

Photo of Etan
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This just showed up on shelves, which I'm happy about because I missed it when it was in bottles a few months back. Will I finally find a Finch's beer that I like?

Pint can into a tulip.

A: Pours a very dark brown body with a thick tan head. Looks nice.

S: Light roasted malt, coffee, some lactose-like sweetness, chocolate.

T: Light coffee, sweet vanilla, milk chocolate, slightly bitter roasted grain, charred bread.

M: Between medium and thick-bodied with light carbonation. Very creamy.

O: This did not disappoint. The taste and mouthfeel are pretty much spot-on. Now if they could work on getting the rest of their beers to this level of quality... (659 characters)

Photo of DIM
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black body and a dark tan head; looks like a stout. Smells of lightly roast chocolate cake primarily. Maybe a trace of vanilla.

Sweet tasting for sure but obnoxiously so. Lots of chocolately malts with a well incorporated hint of vanilla. No layers of complexity, but this is a very satisfying drink. (301 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 GbVDave
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Nice looking pour. Viscous and black. Capping this is a sticky, dark mocha colored head that retains for ages and leaves a small amount of ropey lace stuck to the glass.

S: Whoa, very nice. Bitter roasty chocolate, toasted grains, vanilla bean, cocoa nibs, fudge brownie, and a hint of marshmallow.

T: Very close to the aroma with an interesting smokey/woody flavor as well as milk sugar and a hint of earthy hops.

M: Smooth and full with fantastic balance and depth from the cream, lighty buzzy hops, dry/roasty malt, semi-sweet chocolate, and kiss of vanilla.

O: If only they'd opened their portfolio with this one first. This needs to be in cans or in regular rotation in bottles. It's that good. (753 characters)

Photo of msquared36
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a thin light brown head.

Smells of vanilla milk shake and roasted malt.

Strong taste of vanilla, especially as it warms. In addition to the vanilla, red raspberry up front with a lingering aftertaste of cigar smoke.

Little carbonation but very smooth.

Just enough sweetness to balance out the smokiness, without being sticky or overpowering. Doesn't assault your taste buds. (395 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
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 estlinska
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
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 brureview
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a dark chocolate opaque color in a stein with a 4F head which slowly resolves.

The intial aroma is chocolate and dark roasted malt. The aroma lingers for most of the tasting- at the end of tasting the aroma is mostly dark roast.

The mouth feel is smooth- very little carbonation.

The taste is chocolate, vanilla, and a hint of sweetness.

The finish is slightly hoppy and smooth.

Overall, an excellent, easy drinking stout. I am a big fan of Finch beers- easy drinking, not overdone, and lots of flavor. (514 characters)

Photo of andrewjraab
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
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 MCain04
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz can courtesy of the guys at Finch's, thanks! Poured into my DFH oversized snifter.

Pours an almost black body with a tan creamy head of good retention and lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee. Maybe a little tobacco. Great aroma overall.

Taste is subdued compared to the aroma. A little watery. Still getting the roast character and a little bit of chocolate, maybe vanilla, not much coffee, drinkable but too bland.

Mouthfeel is crisp with a light to medium body. Moderate carbonation. A little thin. Slightly sticky and dry finish.

Overall, very drinkable, but suffers in that it is thin and diluted in the taste. Fantastic aroma though, and a great stout for those wary of a heavy mouthfeel. (724 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Half Acre tulip.

A- pours pitch black with a 1 finger dark brown head. Thick blotches of lacing cover the glass.

S- chocolate, dark fruits, roast, a hint of vanilla.

T- dark chocolate, roasted malts, bitter coffee, again very little vanilla and some bitterness.

M- medium body and carbonation. Nice smooth, slightly chalky feel.

O- nice stout. Big roast and chocolate, but vanilla may have faded over the past 8 months or so. (464 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

$3.19 for a 16oz can at Siciliano's. Brewed with vanilla and lactose. 5.3% ABV.

Pours out to a clear deep black. Pretty thick and dark for a 5.3% beer. Forms a nice creamy dark tan head with excellent retention and lacing. Carbonation is mild-moderate, ~2.0 carbs or so. The aroma opens with vanilla, some carob, a little black walnut, roasted grains, and distant hops. Mouthfeel is smooth with a viscosity bigger than the 5.3% would have you believe, partly due to it's lower carbonation. The taste is a recap of the aroma. Bitterness is mild, but there is still some late addition hop flavor rounding out the roasted grain notes. Burnt marshmallows and burnt sugar in the finish, but not sweet, per say (despite the lactose). There is a weird combination of flavors going on between the hops and the roast malt. It's not bad, but a touch acidic. Otherwise, cleanly fermented.

This is an interesting beer. I think most stout lovers are going to enjoy it, and like I said, it has an impressive mouthfeel despite the 5.3%, however the acidity of the hops and the roast hurts it a bit and doesn't lend to me drinking more than one of these at any given time. (1,158 characters)

Photo of SerialTicker
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
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 tigg924
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Robust coffee and coffee grounds, molasses, nice sugary middle with vanilla and cream compose the flavor profile. Nice and sweet with a crisp finish. My first beer from Finch's and I was pleasantly impressed. I will hunt this down and get it again. (251 characters)

Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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 emerge077
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (685 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 TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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... (703 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 scruffwhor
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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 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)

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