Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Silva Stout - Green Flash Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Silva StoutSilva Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

250 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 250
Hads: 1,048
Avg: 4.3
pDev: 12.09%
Wants: 897
Gots: 155 | FT: 8
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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bourbon barrel aged
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 250 | Hads: 1,048
Photo of beenitty
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Blind Tiger NYC, Sunday Brunch, had this one with flapjacks and bourbon aged vermont maple syrup.

A: Pours pitch black with tan mocha head, that stays and stays, looks great

S: Chocolate, Molasses and bourbon. Not overpowering, but you know its there

T: Very nice. Chocolatey, malty, goes down smooth with the bourbon kick. Tastes more like Porter than a stout which is good for me, either way, taste great.

M: Creamy Smooth. Nice age on this one as some bourbon beers have a bigger kick but you deal with it, this is one super smooth. One of the smoothest barrel aged beers I've had.

Wish I had more access to this one, very solid across the board.

 665 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a deep pitch black in the glass, topped with a thick finger of frothy dark mocha head. This retains with a tight and creamy ½ finger, which leaves back a rich cascade of foamy lacing that slowly descends down, coating the sides with sticky swathes of lace and brown gooey oils. The aroma is rich with bourbon flavoring right off bat, as notes of burnt molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, and charred oak meld seamlessly into a thick mix of sugary smelling chocolate fudge, earthy citric fruit, and roasted coffee character. This feels very full and a bit intense, yet this still has a smoothness to it that soothes out the rough edges in the nose.

The taste mirrors this with a smooth blending of barrel and base, as notes of molasses, chocolate, caramel, roast, dark fruit, vanilla, and then a finish of brown sugar and dry charred oak all combine to give this a fantastic silky complexity. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a soft chewiness that intertwines with a woody slickness from the barrel. This definitely has a warming strength to it but never comes off as being overly hot, as I think that the balance and depth of flavor here is more than enough to keep that 10% ABV in check.

As far as Barrel-Aged Stouts go, this one is a beaut! The complexity and integration of flavors here was fantastic, helping keep this immensely smooth and approachable for such a big beer. Green Flash impressed me very much with this one. I quite enjoyed it.

 1,487 characters

Photo of KYGunner
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured deep black in a snifter there was a nice light brown froth the layered the outside edges of the glass.

The scent was a little chocolatey, a little vanilla and some molasses and espresso.

Tastes of chocolate, vanilla, coconut, malt, bourbon-essence and grains come out in a smooth well blended array. Well crafted and well balanced this drinks very easy. Only complaint is the ever so slight alcohol tinge in the finish.

Overall this is a wonderful example of the barrel aged stouts and one that comes highly recommended.

 533 characters

Photo of wasco
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle from wethorseblanket! Thanks Greg!!! Nose is chocolate, oak with light vanilla, hints of bourbon, and a little mocha. Black with a nice big cinnamon tan head that laces nicely. Flavor is vanilla, bourbon, and dark chocolate. Finishes with hints of bourbon and alcohol warmth.

 288 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: black body of ale, shiny obsidian; slim finger of tan foam atop left some scarce lace motes down the glass

S: chocolate malts and bourbon whiskey barrels - suggestions of molasses and vanilla

T: sweet roasty chocolaty goodness underscores a suffusion of bourbon; dark espresso notes with molasses sweetness; hints of vanilla, oak, and whiskey caramels...

M: medium-weight, subdued carbonation, drying vaporous finish; dark chocolaty bittersweetness lingers with faint bourbon traces...

O: an excellent BBA stout - currently marketed as Cellar 3 Silva Stout - hits all the marks you'd want in a BBA stout, leans toward the medium density-type, with a smooth and classy drink and finish. Highly recommended.

 713 characters

Photo of wcudwight
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely beautiful thick black with a nice chocolate head that slowly fades to a ring of lace.
Smells like chocolate icecream with Jim Beam. Hints of vanilla. Taste like a bourbon flavored chocolate cake. This is one damn fine beer. They perfected barrell aging. Very smooth and slick. Man I hate that I only have one bottle.

 327 characters

Photo of transbeman
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black. Very light in the mouth. Strong boozey smell--might not want to light a match around this one. Strong taste of coffee, chocolate and booze. Too expensive for a ten ounce pour but I bet that blame for that goes to the bar not the brewery.

 250 characters

Photo of AgentZero
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Black pour with a tan head. Some bits of lacing, fade to a partial cap.

S - Great roasty and chocolate smelling impy stout. Little bit of barrel age influence there as well, no hint of big-beer alchohol.

T - Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. Smooth, buttery, creamy, quite roasty with the appropriate chocolate sweetness. Barrel aging is not overpowering, this beer is awesome.

M - Lighter side of full bodied, moderate carbonation.

D - This beer tastes fantastic and I want more. Easy to drink, would like a bomber of it.

 536 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Bobby for splitting a bottle of this with me.

A: The pour is thick and black with a dense brown head that sticks to the glass.

S: A rich chocolate aroma (almost like a chocolate milkshake) fills the nose along with some subtle cherry notes. Quite a bit of barrel, but the bourbon itself is more restrained. Some nice hints of vanilla as well.

T: More intense chocolatey goodness as you take the first sip. Really rich milk chocolate flavor along with some sweet vanilla. The oak is again present and the bourbon provides just a bit of warmth.

M: The body is medium to full and very smooth. The carbonation is subtle and provides for an excellent mouthfeel.

D: I was leery of this beer with all the initially high reviews, so I drank this beer with my skeptics hat on (and judgmental glass in hand). However, the more of it I drank, the more I realized that Green Flash has done another very solid job.

 916 characters

Photo of GabrielM
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another amazing bottle from BA Tieman. Cheers!

A - dark as a black hole with a nice .5 inch of coffee-colored head on top.

S - bourbon dominates, followed by chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts, dark fruits. Very nice.

T - a ton of bourbon, some alcohol burn, espresso and chocolate with a hint of vanilla to close it out.

M - very pleasant, but a little hot and thin at the moment.

O - a damn fine bba stout, worthy of its A rating. I'll definitely search out a few more bottles to see how they develop with some time.

 524 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad!

A: Black body with a thick, beige head that generates a healthy dosage of lacing. Very nice appearance.

S: Roasted malt, followed by bourbon and chocolate.

T: I enjoyed this brew very much. I appreciated the fact that the beer retained a great deal of the roasted malt character, and was not overwhelmed by the bourbon barrel. Notes of chocolates add a nice touch of complexity to the beer that really round out the taste quite well.

M: The beer has a nice thick feel, and definitely feels like a 10% imperial stout. Well done. The beer finishes with a warming sensation, reminding me that this is one to sip and savor.

D: Another awesome imperial stout. I'm so glad to have tried it, as this beer is not in my market. Recommended.

 776 characters

Photo of THECPJ
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown black with a 1 finger mocha head

smell: chocolate, roast, malts, vanilla, bourbon,

taste: bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, roast

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, full body,

overall: this beer is delicious. Can't believe how easy it is to drink would not of guessed it to 10%. hope to get a few more bottles.


 365 characters

Photo of yourefragile
4.49/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark chocolate brown, opaque and viscous. Light carbonation produces a thin mocha head with some legs and fades to a thin crown. Aroma is my favorite part of this beer; rich bourbon, vanilla, oak, cookie dough, etc. Balance and subtlety of the aroma is remarkable. Flavor is complex balance of chocolate, vanilla, oak, bourbon, and mild dark fruit. Blending of the fresh stout with the barrel aged component takes most of the sharpness off the finish. Only drawback is the slightly thin body with light carbonation. Otherwise this is an incredible stout from Green Flash.

 616 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Silva proves all of what's right in the world can manifest in a single glass- albeit a brandy snifter. Its pursuit of succulence, power, and grace ends in a highly robust taste of chocolate, coffee, and bourbon; but don't they all?

Its pure black color is the first indicator of what's to come, just as the beer lifts its creamy structure underneath. What rises is a mocha-stained honeycomb of bubbles that for its long-lasting head and attributes to its broken rings of lace later. This is one gentlemanly looking stout!

Bold roast aromas fill the nose with elements of espresso, chocolate, walnuts, heavy cream, and dark fruit. As the bourbon-tilted scent rises, so comes notes of cherries, berries, and sherry wine. Its a fully appetizing aroma that causes me to dive into the beer far sooner than I needed.

But it's exactly those flavors that manifests froom scent that makes Silva so great. Its chocked full of bittersweet chocolates, espresso-type roast, and marshmallow sweetness that makes the taste like alcoholic milkshake. Caramel, vanilla, and sweet alcohols accompany the beer's taste 'til the end. But finishing with the hop taste and bitterness of burnt wood signals the beer's closing impressions, yet the roast and chocolate lingers indefinitely.

Where the beer really shines is in its texture where the early billowing creaminess accompanies textures of vanilla bean ice cream, marshmallow, and bourbony heat. Its full and robust body holds true for the entire session without quivering. A late bitter wood note and slight vinous alcohol fruits allow for any compromise in finish. If not, we feel the beer for ever!

Where some imperial stouts favor "roast" and others prefer "sweet", Silva prefers a marshmallow character that's present in its heavy vanilla nose, it's cream flavored taste, and its creamy texture. All does so with the roastiness of stout and pleasant wood hop notes to finisnh.

 1,918 characters

Photo of ehammond1
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2010)

Green Flash Brewing Co.
Mira Mesa, CA

(Aged for 1+ year)

Black and thick in body with very little visible carbonation and only a small film of a dark brown head. This leaves irregular, splotchy lines of lace down the glass. Appropriate, especially for a barrel-aged stout of this age.

This smells like freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, with nice amounts of bourbon, oak, and vanilla complementing the delicious aroma of fresh baked goods. There's just a hint of roast, but it's very mild. No alcohol presence in the aroma whatsoever.

If the aroma was freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, this is double chocolate chip cookies with fresh bourbon whipped cream on top and a glass of espresso. Of course this is hyperbole, but this is an incredibly rich dessert consisting of chocolate, cookie dough, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and a hint of coffee. If the flavors were just a bit more expressive, this would score perfectly. That being said, it's damn near perfect, as is.

Medium to full in body with low carbonation. Marvelously drinkable. Coating.

Sublimely good, though I don't think it has anywhere left to go in the cellar. Drink up!

 1,159 characters

Photo of basica
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Craftheads in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan http://craftheads.jp

A - Tapped a jet black color into a snifter glass with a thin, tan head eventually reducing to a fairly thick clingy ring around the glass (4)

S - Strong chocolate goodness on the nose with pleasant notes of wood and bourbon (4.5)

T - Upfront flavors of chocolate milk blended with roasted malts with with the roasted notes becoming more pronounced in the middle; some coffee and bourbon flavors as well as dashes of dark fruits were present as well (4.5)

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied thickness with moderate carbonation and a milky smooth texture (4.5)

D - Pleasant chocolate flavors, a smooth mouthfeel and definitely very easy and pleasant drinking for the 10.1% ABV (4.5)

Very good imperial stout; together with the Swan Lake Imperial stout, these are the two best Imperial Stouts I've had on my Japan trip

 904 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a solid black with a frothy mocha head which fades slowly. Nose is bourbon, rum- soaked oak, toasted malt, sweet fruits, and a lovely pure vanilla essence. Taste is superb in balance with all the elements of the nose plus a bit of mellow booze on the finish. Mouthfeel is silky smooth, rich and thick. I could almost spoon this out of the glass. Overall, just overwhelmed. Fantastic - a must have. Well done indeed.

 421 characters

Photo of Bennettrox
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pitch black with a tan 2 finger had

S - Bittersweet chocolate, toasted malts, milk chocolate, bourbon, smores

T - More milk chocolate, bourbon , roasted malts, marshmallows, very tasty!

M - So easy to drink, at 10.10% this is deceiving! Full body and medium carbonation.

O - Damn I love this beer. I could see myself putting down a 6 pack no problem but I would be in trouble for sure. Great chocolate and oak notes - I want more!

 438 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a 1/2 inch puffy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film. Chunky rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, wood, and bourbon. Taste is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, vanilla, oaky wood, and bourbon. There is a nice roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a very nice mouthfeel with a great level of carbonation and a slightly drying quality. Overall, this is a great barrel aged stout that has a wonderful integration of the bourbon barrel with the stout flavors. Very well balanced.

 642 characters

Photo of dgugliuzza
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter

A- Pours black with a thick, brooding mocha head. Nice sticky lacing. Appears to be moderately carbonated.

S- Smells of bourbon and vanilla. Hints of toffee and alcohol soaked raisins. My mouth is watering just smelling all the wonderful aromas. Rich bourbon resonates in the nostrils.

T- Tastes of smooth bourbon with a distinct vanilla oakiness. Can also taste some raisins. Awesome bitter finish that rests perfectly on the palate. Not to overpowering or overly sweet. Seamless infusion of a bourbon aged beer.

M- Creamy and melt in your mouth smooth. Medium body with medium carbonation.

D- This is easy drinking for a barrel aged beer. Not too biting. It has a great warmth. Think bourbon county stout without the thick, syrupy mouthfeel. Not sure if it's as tasty, but it's definitely easier to drink.

 858 characters

Photo of jhimstedt
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice light tan head that hung around a bit to turn into nice film and lacing. On the nose a lot of old fruit, dates and prunes, molasses and some chocolate. Palate of roasted malt, slight red fruit, molasses and hint of fennel. Silky creamy mouthfeel.

Great beer. So good now, not sure aging will help. Very balanced and complete.

 331 characters

Photo of mentor
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle provided by jshufelt, thanks for the opportunity. Pours a solid finger of dark brown head over a pitch liquid. Smells wonderful. Rich vanilla, bourbon, char, chocolate brownie, raspy oak, cedar, rich espresso, anise, grassy hops, light-colored caramel, lightly of mint and pineapple, and with a clean alcohol sting. Balanced, blended, and smooth.

Tastes delicious. Sweet with balancing bitter characters and a lightly cleansing alcohol. Bourbon barrel, chocolate, roast, burnt marshmallow, potent vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, candied prunes, vanilla wafer. Finish cleans away the wet with a rough alcohol/carbonation combination. The aftertaste is brittled sugar (like peanut brittle without the peanuts), drying oak, and fading vanilla. This a beer with flavors that border on big, but that play well together with great finesse. Well done.

 857 characters

Photo of billab914
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into my Bruery tulip. It poured black in color with a thin, sticky, tan colored head to it. Nice lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma has a rich dark chocolate and bourbon flavor to it. I get some brown sugar and vanilla sweetness mixing with some bitter, roasty, coffee flavors. Very nice range of flavors to it.

The taste starts out with some of the sweeter, malty, vanilla flavors. Towards the finish more of the bitter-sweet chocolate and roasty flavors mix with some of the dry, woody oak. The bourbon really compliments the beer well and gives it some great depth.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being on the lower side. Overall it was a great beer to sip on this evening. Everything really comes together in it nicely. The bourbon barrel flavors really integrated nicely into the beer. Great beer overall.

 860 characters

Photo of tmoneyba
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear dark brown color with an average frothy brown head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate to heavy toasted semi sweet chocolate, wood and bourbon aroma. Medium to heavy sweet malt flavor with a medium to heavy sweet and small alcohol bite finish of long duration. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. This is a standout beer.

 374 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle (2011) into tulip glass. Pours black with a beautiful tan and lasting one-finger head. Aroma of sweet caramel, oak, and roasted nuts. Immediately picks up coffee flavors at the first sip which was a temporary disappointment as the aromatics suggested differently. Bit boozy - the alcohol is clearly not well-hidden. Thin to medium mouthfeel with good carbonation throughout. There is a somewhat bitter back finish. Although, the beer improves with taste as it warmed up a bit. In any case, I did enjoy the beer especially halfway through the end.

 570 characters

Silva Stout from Green Flash Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 250 ratings.