Silva Stout - Green Flash Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Silva StoutSilva Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

965 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 965
Reviews: 252
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 913
Gots: 160 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Green Flash Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-02-2010

Bourbon barrel aged
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 965 | Reviews: 252
Photo of champ103
4.07/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another thanks to tjmodica for sharing a bottle with me.

A: Pours very dark black with some ruby red around the edges. A minimal beige head forms, and recedes to nothing. No lace to speak of.
S: Big and potent alcohol punch up front. After that some toasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and some dark fruits. The initial shock of the alcohol fades to leave a very nice aroma.
T: This is great. Big toasted malt and milk chocolate up front. Some light coffee. Vanilla, oak, and some dark fruits linger. The alcohol is present, but not near as prevalent as the nose.
M/D: A full body that is lightly syrupy, creamy, and smooth. A good beer to sip on, but a hole bottle would be a chore to finish by myself. An excellent beer to share, which I am glad I did.

This is a very good barrel aged stout. Maybe a bit to much heat at the moment, but still very enjoyable. I am really glad I got a chance to try this. Something I would recommend.

Photo of juhl31
4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-very black body with a tall, fluffy brown head with a nitro look to it. good lacing as well

-at first it is mostly bourbon...as it warms, chocolate comes through as well as some roast, vanilla and some warmth

-milk chocolate throughout the taste. not too big on the booze taste. there is also a weird aftertaste to it...dont know what to name it

-not too hot and pretty light bodied for the style and ABV

-this is a session BA stout if you will. doesnt feel like a meal when you drink it, which in my book is kind of a bummer

Photo of ptykozoon
4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark wood brown with a small caramel head, not too much lacing or retention.

Rich caramel, chocolate, burnt coffee, fudge, black licorice, vanilla, sweet raisin and bourbon heat. Wow.

Thick bourbon and aforementioned flavors, mostly caramel.

Dense mouthfeel, hot. Active carbonation always gets in the way of this style, takes away the nuances of the flavors.

Lovely beer, quite exceptional.

Photo of oline73
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours almost black with no light coming through. There is a finger of fluffy tan head that fades quickly to a ring around the edge of the pour.

Smell: Roasted malt with a strong, sweet chocolate presence. I'm picking up some warm alcohol and bourbon, but the grain is definitely the dominant smell.

Taste: This is a really smooth and well done BA stout, but I feel like it's lacking that wow factor that some of the big boys have. Smooth bourbon and roast. The barrels and roast fill the taste with nice chocolate notes. The finish is sweet and roasty. Quite good.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side with lots of tingly carbonation and a very dry finish.

Overall: Quite good but not out of this world. I'd definitely have another, but I don't know that I would go out of my way to trade for it.

Photo of brentk56
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with a rather modest tan head that fades away quickly though it left a web of lace in the chalice

Smell: Dark chocolate, black licorice and oak; the Bourbon element is very subtle

Taste: Oddly, the beer is very dry and woody, up front, and it takes a while for the chocolate, bourbon, mint and vanilla elements to arrive; when they do, however, the flavors blossom into a nicely balanced finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy, with moderate carbonation

Overall: Based on the other reviews I have read, I am guessing that this beer is past its prime, though I would have thought that it would have held up for longer; still, a very nice beer with subtle balance

Thanks, mrmiles, for the opportunity

Photo of callmemickey
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown body, verging on solid black. Thin khaki cap. Spotty lacing. Bubbly collar.

S: Bourbon, warmed chocolate, roasted malts, and a hint of oak.

T: Bourbon dominates the taste upfront as roasted malts, a little coffee, and chocolate round out the flavor profile.

M: A nice even weight throughout. Gentle, but adequate carbonation. Light bitterness in the finish.

O: A decent bourbon barrel aged stout -- nice to see it in the more friendly 12oz format.

Photo of WeisGuy
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle shared by sarro - thanks, Kyle!

Pours jet black with a two-finger, dark mocha head. Head retention is really good, as is lacing. The smell is a nice mix of toasty oak, dark chocolate, charred malt and bourbon heat. The taste is much the same with a nice balance of charred malt and dark chocolate mixing with the oak barrel and bourbon components. I think GFB made a good choice by blending -bal aged Double Stout with freshly brewed, as it results in a more balanced flavor that isn't dominated by bourbon -bal flavors, and the base beer is still distinguishable. The mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate carbonation and a substantial alcohol warming effect. A bit more drinkable than many -bal aged stouts, but splitting the 12 oz bottle two ways was a good serving size. Kudos to GFB for bottling this in 12 oz bottles rather than bombers. It may be heresy, but I actually like the regular Double Stout a bit better. That said this is a very good -bal stout well worth seeking out.

Photo of camil1mj
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Romulux. Reviewed from notes. Served chilled.

A: Deep, dark black. Minimal head.

S: Lots of bourbon dominates the smell on this one.

T: This is very similar to the BCBS. Great chocolate and bourbon flavors. This is very bourbon forward, just how I liked my -bals.

M: A little on this thin side for the style in my opinion.

O: A great BA beer. Glad I got to try. Would not mind trading for some of this one and putting it in the cellar.

Photo of DaveHS
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours charcoal black with mahogany highlights and a 1/2 inch of bubbly, chocolate milk colored head. Leaves moderate, soapy lacing.

S-Bourbon, roasted malts, toffee, brown sugar.

T/M-One of the most well balanced bourbon barrel imperial stouts I've had. The bourbon complements the stout, rather than overwhelming it. Full bodied, but not too rich or sweet. There is a moderate roastiness, which plays nicely against the bourbon. The finish is a little drier than I expected. Very low carbonation.

D-I was very happy with this one, would seek it out again.

Photo of brystmar
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #400! Long time want of mine -- thanks to sleepyhead for the trade. Shared with two great BAs.

Great head & lace retention. Very roasty, caramely aroma; no coconut as other reviews have suggested. Flavor profile is quite dark and roasty. Lots of chocolate and bourbon, yet it feels somewhat one-dimensional and almost boring. Ethan said the last bottle he had was more complex & coconut-y; this is a little disappointing though.

Still glad to finally tick one of my longest-standing wants. Wish I'd gotten to try it fresh.

Photo of airohead2001
4.01/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pulled this one straight out of the Whale's Vagina after visiting an old college buddy and attending a conference in San Diego.

A - Pretty typical for a bourbon barrel imperial stout. Black as night with a one finger head that quickly fades to just about nothing. Decent lacing on the walls of the snifter.

S - Really a lot going on here. Outstanding. Vanilla, chocolate, coffee, bourbon and burnt roasts.

T - Vanilla and sugars up front and in the finish, with bitter coffee and chocolate in the finish. Really tasty. Bitter roasts linger on the tongue long after the drink is consumed.

M - Good. A little thin for such a rich tasting brew, but good.

D - Very high. In fact, higher than most bourbon stouts, including KBS and GI BCS. Really no alcohol burn at all. I can easily drink a bottle, or maybe even two, by myself.

Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is black with dark caramel colored head. Nose is bourbon and strong wood, lightly chalky with a chocolate cake batter behind and notes of caramel. Taste is woody and some bourbon, less of the cake batter, more along the dry bakers chocolate line, still a touch chalky, full body, well carbonated, and semi dry finish.

Photo of shivtim
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Konrad in Cali... Thanks Konrad!
Pours out deep oily brown/black. Nice foamy mocha brown head.
Nose is intense roasty sweet chocolate, with charcoal maltiness.
Taste is syrupy sweet malt, lingering brown sugar cocoa. A little bit of alcohol, especially after warming.
Solid mouthfeel and drinkability.
Very nice stout!

Photo of alcstradamus
3.98/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a beautiful thick mocha head and webby lacing

The aroma is a wonderful blend of chocolatey vanilla bourbon goodness. Dry oak and booze present as well.

The flavor is charred oak up front with a caramel toffee sweetness. A bit of floral hops and cocoa. Great balance of bitterness and sweetness.

The body is medium and carbonation is appropriate. A tad more thickness would be beneficial but I think the barrels may have thinned it out a bit.

Overall this is a very flavorful beer. A bit boozy but not really hot. Not sure this is better than the regular Green Flash Double Stout though.

Photo of artoolemomo
3.98/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance- Received with almost two finger's worth of head which has okay retention. The head is a medium beige while the body is an opaque, dark chocolate black. Lacing is basically non-existent but there are some spots here and there.

Nose- Huge chocolate notes that almost prevent me from smelling much else. Some cherry notes, some cocoa. A hit of alcohol and slight notes of bourbon. I did get a little bit of coconut at beginning. Light notes of oak, vanilla, and toffee. But more chocolate than anything else.

Taste- Very reflective of the nose with huge amounts of chocolate (close to fudge brownie or truffles) and cocoa. Some cherries. A little thinner than I expected. Some chalkiness on the finish. Some notes of cola. A bit of oak, some woodiness. Not as much bourbon on the palate as on the nose. Pretty solid but certainly does not meet my expectations. Nice sweetness does give it some complexity but not the complexity one would expect from barrel aging. A little bit of the coconut starts to come out as it opens up more. Some creaminess or milkiness to the chocolate.

Mouthfeel- Just about medium bodied with mild carbonation that has a slight zing that doesn't really disrupt the overall mouthfeel. A little thin for the style but this also isn't too much of a negative.

Drinkability- Pretty easygoing as it's a little bit boozier on the nose than it is on the palate. Fairly reasonable at 5 bucks a glass but the Block 15 Super Nebula is certainly a better deal.

Overall- Solid, good beer that has some tendencies toward being a really good beer. I would say it's in between good and really good. Definitely worth a try as it is a pretty solid imperial stout. But in Belmont's Bigger Badder Lineup, it's rather average.

Photo of mikey711
3.96/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big Thanks to Joe for this

A: Deep black with a mocha colored head. Great lacing and head retention as well.

S: Heavy chocolate and marshmellow notes. lots of vanilla and some wood followed by a burning bourbon char in the end. The sweetness was a bit more powerful then i like though.

T: Sweet with a hint of bourbon up front. a touch of smokiness and vanilla to follow. Some toasted marshmellow notes and a bit of wood.

M: Very creamy and smooth. the alcohol is not very detectable either. really not much to fault here

O: A solid offering all around but a little bit unbalanced towards the sweet side. I think a bit more a roasted bitterness would have help quite a bit. that being said, i am glad i have another bottle

Photo of kawilliams81
3.92/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a nice black with a huge 3" tan head. Big pockets of lacing clump to the glass.

S- Nice chocolate and vanilla notes, some dark fruits, bourbon not very noticeable on the nose.

T- Sweet chocolate, dark fruits, coffee, some vanilla and bourbon linger at the finish.

M- Full body, medium carbonation. Creamy feel hides the abv very well.

O- Good BA stout but doesn't stand out compared to other really good BA stouts. Wish the taste followed the great aromas of this beer.

Photo of thedindaniel
3.92/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a four pack from the brewery with some friends and even got to try some on tap. This tastes much better from the bottle though, which is where this review comes in...

A - Pitch black, like motor oil or even paint. The head looks like chocolate milk and there is a great amount of lacing, head.

S - This is where the beers lacks the most. I got very little scent from this. It smells mostly like sweet malts and only a bit of the barrel comes through here.

T - Initial taste is of sweet malts and molasses, that start tasting almost like an earthy dark chocolate and the bourbon barrel is the lingering after taste that I really get here.

M - Might be the strong suit of the beer... great carbonation, present but not overly carbonated. Thick and creamy, while not syrupy thick. Drinks warm, perhaps hot to some, but I actually like that in my RIS's and bal-aged stouts.

D - This is a real sipper. Took me about an hour to drink the twelve ounces. Great beer, but not sure you can drink a lot of it in one sitting.

Highly recommend this beer. Didn't get much publicity but seek it out if you like the style, as it's a strong representation. Good job Green Flash! Hopefully this will be made again, as I would really look forward to getting more in the future.

Photo of kscaldef
3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours aggressively black with a 1" mocha head with good retention. No lacing, but lots of legs

S: Bourbon, coffee, vanilla. Toast and mild gingerbread.

T: Presents a surprising amount of roast initially, with the bourbon & barrel notes taking a distinct second. Buttery toffee, finishing more caramel. Starts to develop a little sourness and bitter coffee with a mild alcohol bite as it warms from cellar to room temperature.

M: medium body and carbonation on the tongue, but finishes thick with a long linger.

O: Good, but short of outstanding.

Photo of CrellMoset
3.88/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle - though an oddly shaped 12 oz. bottle, one more reminiscent of a hybrid between your traditional SNPA stubby and your traditional 12 oz. longneck, without overtly looking like either, and indeed, I originally assumed the volume was probably something like 500 mL - courtesy of the ever generous Alexander, a great midwestern trader and testament to BA generosity. Poured in to an oversized snifter.

Appearance: Pours an oily, viscous brownie batter brown, dark and deep, but translucent enough around the periphery that it's not like staring in to a hellish vortex of soulcrushing despair. What with being poured in to an oversized snifter (22 oz.), the head on this one didn't have a real chance to shine, though from the looks of it it certainly could have - an initial half-plus finger of creamy but bubbly cocoa brick fired head fades relatively quickly, but leaves an amazing amount of retention for a barrel-aged brew of this magnitude. Lacy tendrils and globular entrails and whimsically writhing willow wisps dance and dither lazily around the sphere of the snifter. Just a fantastic amount of

Aroma: As this one warms (and it's warmed by the time I get to the aroma, which I always review last because I have such a weak nose), bourbon begins to singularly dominate the olfactory portion of this one. Largely smooth with flourishes of spice, it melds fairly well with strong vanilla and a few other oaky notes, and these in turn run roughshod over an afterthought of a malt foundation which - if it had to be characterized by anything - would be characterized by brownie batter and molasses, though it does occasionally reveal hints of black cherry and anise.

Taste: Very fudgy, but also instantly and immediately lacking up front in something I'm not able to instantly put my finger on. Maybe it's that it's not a fat fudge. That is, the right notes are here - rich chocolate, plenty of toast, some dark toffee and caramel, and hints of earth, smoke, and dirt, all mingled in with dark cherries and chocolate - but it's a little on the weak end of the spectrum, dryer and more toasty than I'd like. Instead of a bracingly bold and chewy brew, this one manages to suggest all the right notes, but only crank them up to about five or so. A shame, I think, because of how well everything is really put together. The barrel aging is also fortunately fairly subdued, relative to what is could be (slash what I may perhaps prefer it to be) - coconut and vanilla add a perfume-like fragrance to the mouth, and the bourbon note here is more spicy and less sweet than I'd perhaps like. To its credit, it's not hot by any means, and the bourbon notes are smooth and mellow.

Mouthfeel: Eruptive wouldn't be an overstatement here. There's plenty of carbonation to spare in Silva stout, and if this one was a little sweeter, I'd probably give it a five - I'm such a sucker for that aerated, frothy, foamy milkshake sort of mouth on fat stouts. As it stands, it's still pretty darn good, though with the flavor profile being what it is, it does manage to augment both the good and the dryer, toasty, astringencies here. Definitely more good than bad, but I'm the sort that's inclined to point out flaws (read: asshole).

Drinkability: I feel like I was ragging on this beer a little, and perhaps being a little unnecessarily harsh at times. That being said, I hold my barrel aged stouts to a fairly high standard, because the company of the elite here is truly elite - truly excellent barrel aged stouts are sublime things, and if you want to bat with the big boys, you need to bring your game. Right now, however, Silva Stout is stuck in AAA ball. But that's ok, because, hell, I hadn't even heard of it two months ago - talk about a meteoric rise from 42nd round draft pick to dark horse potential-next-year fifth starter. To its credit, he has a plus curve, a plus-plus slider, and ... err, I mean, this beer showcases no hints at all of alcohol burn or sizzle or even twinge, impressive given its origin and its supra-10% abv%. On the flip side of the coin, I need more body, more heft, more weight before I really can fall in love with a barrel aged stout, and this one was lacking a little in that department. Worst case scenario, Silva Stout settles in to a bottom of the rotation starter for the winter refrigerators and evening sojourns of west coast craft beer fans, never quite posting numbers as impressive as, say, Abyss, Black Tuesday, or -bal Alesmith, but competent enough to hold its own against most major league talent. Best case scenario? The recipe is tweaked slightly, and Silva Stout becomes the Greg Maddux of west coast -bal aged stouts (I'll let you all figure out who Smoltz, Glavine, and Avery/Milwood correspond to in the above list - I have my guesses), becoming a perennial favorite of fans and insiders/experts everywhere. Tune in.

Photo of chinchill
3.85/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Near black in color; hazy and opaque. The dark tan head has moderate retention.
Smells of a bourbon barrel and dark malts, but too little in the malt dept. for the level of bourbon barrel.

T: dark malt; cherries; burnt wood; licorice and oak. Complex and rich, but eventually only the bourbon barrel lingers on.

M: very smooth, with the feel of beer at about 6% ABV

O: wood flavor and aroma from the barrel aging is a bit over the top. Just way too woody.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.81/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to GrumpyOldTroll for this one. 12oz. bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours pitch black with a 1.5 finger rich and creamy dark mocha head with good retention. Lacing is stringy, spotty and sticky with oily, thick legs. A real nice looking beer.

Nose is bourbon, molasses, honey, chocolate and cocoa. Some brownie too. Very sweet and plenty rich but not too aromatic.

Opens sweet chocolate, honey and molasses. Middle is roasted malt, cocoa, fudge, vanilla, a touch of smoke and booze. End is more sweet alcohol with a bit of heat. Finishes hot with a big malt body. Molasses on the aftertaste. Pretty simple. The flavors work well together though.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Oily and hot in the mouth. Some nice heat going down. A touch thin at times. Messy aftertaste with a slightly lingering finish.

A solid beer overall but there's parts of it that I'm not too impressed with. The body is a touch thin and while the flavors work very well together, there's a certain depth that's missing. Worth a try but don't go out of your way for this one.

Photo of CooperEllis
3.77/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz from marisatheyounger - thanks very much!

into dfh snifter. first 6oz at room temp, second 6oz at 50f.

Pours black, oversized tan head with a great volume of soapy bubbles that reduce quickly to a tight layer of tan lacing stretching over the top of the pour.

Amazing aroma of roasted malt with a well balanced bourbon and dark fruit. If the brew had tasted as good as it smelled I would have been exceptionally happy.

Good flavor, malts with a bourbon note throughout. There isn't much here beyond that. I would have liked there to be a good layering of the stout flavors. I don't know that this stout would have held up on it's own without the bourbon notes.

A bit watery on the mouthfeel. While I enjoy the lighter mouthfeel I believe this is still a little light for the style.

For a stout, I would likely reach for this over some others, but for a bourbon aged stout, I can think of a number of annual releases that I would reach for over this.

(60th)

Photo of N17shelfside
3.77/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Overall good bourbon ages stout. With a stern pour easy to get a nice tan head that dissipates quickly. Color is jet black that eats up all light. Bourbon is not overbearing at first, but builds the longer it sits on the palate. All of the expected bourbony notes come through as the beer sits. The first hit is sweet vanilla that melds into roasty chocolate bitterness. Maybe a bit of coconut.

Photo of tarheels86
3.74/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355mL pours ink black with a large mocha head. Sheety brown lace remains. Nose is chocolate malt balls, dark fruits, raisins. Taste is silky, mild bourbon, feeling sweeter and more date/raisin heavy than something similar like Parabola. A good dose of bitter chocolate. Softer mouthfeel. Very nice.

Silva Stout from Green Flash Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 965 ratings.