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Black Tot - Avery Brewing Company

Black TotBlack Tot

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

157 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 157
Reviews: 115
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 21.61%

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.08% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Oxymoron on 09-10-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 157 | Reviews: 115 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of uturn


4.47/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz foiled capped bottle poured into a Maredsous glass.

A: This one poured a very dark brown with a dark tan 1 finger head.

B: The nose was a mix of chocolate, raisins, rum and roasted malts.

T: The taste matched the nose, with rum the primary flavor, followed by chocolate, coffee, sweet malts, raisins and some vanilla.

M: The mouthfeel was smooth and silky. I have heard rumors that some of the bottles have been infected and had a "sour" taste. This bottle was not infected and no such sourness was noted.

D: Very drinkable, but sip it.

I hope I had more than one bottle in my beer stocked fridge. If not, I hope Avery will consider making this brew again in the future. This was one great after dinner beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2010 20:29:08 | More by uturn
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a great soapy white foamy head. Some roast aroma. A blend of the sour and the sweet, through Rum flavours. Rum is not overally sweet, therefore you are getting mostly the sourish. I appreciate that I am gettting, it is more than average mouthfeel, oatmeal.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2010 03:38:57 | More by Sammy
Photo of KAP1356


2.83/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz bottle dated 1/13/2010 into a snifter. Hoping for no infection...

A - Pours a nice deep pitch black with a nice tan head that very quickly subsides to some tan lacing around the edges of the glass.

S - Smell is very full ofroasted malt, some chocolate and a nice hint of rum which adds nicely to the aroma. I am definitely getting some dark fruits in there as well.

T - Well, my greatest fears have been realized, I think this one is infected. It starts with some nice rum flavored chocolate and almost as soon as I taste that, the sourness kicks in; dark tart cherries really. There is some sweetness which I am attributing to the rum. To be honest, the infection doesn't completely dtract from the flavor, although it doesn't help it either.

M - The mouthfeel is a little too thin for this style. Still slightly chewy though, but not enough.

D - Well, considering this is infected and I have yet to hear ofanyone who had an uninfected batch, I probably will not be seekign this one out anymore. It was great to at least try it. Really really a shame considering this sounded like it had the potential to be a tremendous beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2010 22:51:45 | More by KAP1356
Photo of paco1029384756


3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to OlieIPA.

Pours black with a tiny dark tan head.

Scent of dark fruit, sugar, biscuits and strong alcohol. I like the subtle characters in the scent, but the alcohol is pretty potent.

Taste of sweet dark fruit, dry biscuits, juicy oak, and some ash. Similar to the scent, this beer is very subtle, which is surprising considering the strength. There is some alcohol on the finish, but it is not nearly as strong as it is in the scent.

Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied and somewhat oily with low carbonation.

Pretty damn drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2010 01:18:44 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of DovaliHops


2.3/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours an obsidian dark black with a lovely light brown head that diminishes very slowly. Please dont be infected...Please dont be infected...Bottled 1/13/2010...Smell is lovely with some alcohol scents and some great maltiness and chocolate...But the taste...DAMMIT! It's infected! Initially get some lovely chocolate, then I expect some alcohol/rum flavors...but no...I get SOUR. Not overwhelmingly sour, but I doubt this is what Avery was going for when they did this beer. I think the infection made the mouthfeel not nearly as full bodied as they were hoping for. I'm wanting to still finish this beer...but it may have to be a drain poor! That really makes me sad.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2010 05:22:29 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of mroberts1204


3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a creamy tan head that subsides to a ring around the glass. Nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet rum barrel, charred oak, and chocolately goodness. Nice roastiness and caramel that is not dominant in any way. Yum.

Taste: Wow. Heres a problem. Tartness that does not belong. I heard rumors of bottles being infected. No bitterness at all. Theres some chocolate evident and a very slight roasty character. At this point there isn't much else I can pick up on because the sourness is quite overwhelming. Some sweetness from the rum barrel comes through.

Mouthfeel: Nice and slick and viscous with little carbonation.

Drinkability: Due to the sourness its hard to get through a 12oz bottle.

I bet this could've been a really good beer but I'm pretty sure its infected.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2010 04:53:23 | More by mroberts1204
Photo of gford217


3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Vince for this bottle, poured into a tulip.

Pours black in the glass with very little light coming through the edges. There's a big bubbly tan head that recedes slowly leaving solid lacing.

The aroma is big, sweet and malty and with tons of oatmeal. There is some chocolate as well as the sweet rum barrel. Very impressed actually, especially given some of the other reviews.

Well, the taste is a bit of a different story, but not totally. The initial taste is of tart cherries, which I didn't really pick up in the nose. Maybe a sign of infection though it didn't really detract too much for me. The rest of the taste mirrors the nose with oatmeal, chocolate malts and rum barrel. The finish is a bit oaky with some tartness and alcohol burn.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation and has an oaky boozy finish.

This is a very good stout that has an interesting tart thing going on in the taste. Maybe an infection, but luckily nothing that took away severely from the beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2010 02:52:22 | More by gford217
Photo of Ryan011235


2.95/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter on 5/17/10

Bottled Jan 13 2010

Pours a dark crimson brown; settles black. One finger of hot chocolate-colored head is reduced, after a few moments, to a small patch of bubbles that doesn't even cover the surface of the beer. Ok lacing so far. Swirling revives a thin layer of foam. Splotchy lacing by the end.

The nose is decidedly oatmeal stout: smooth swaths of oats, roasted dark malts & sugars. Seems to have a spot of licorice & caramel. Hints of dark chocolate. Overtones of oak are apparent but the rum, while appreciable, isn't exactly bold. Undercurrents of doughy yeast; meh. At times something smells tart; possibly an infected bottle? It certainly doesn't smell like a 10.08% beer.

I'm thinking infection city - there are definitely some seemingly out-of-place tart & sour flavors that are at the foreground. Beyond that, the stout portion of the beer seems decent, if a bit timid compared to the sourness. Oak, chocolate & dark malts in a similar fashion to the nose. Earthy notes of wood. Seems like it could have been rather sweet. The tartness likely has offset said sweetness. I'll give it credit for that. Conversely, I think the rum notes really suffer from all that tart & sour jazz.

Full bodied with reasonable carbonation. Fairly dense & chewy, though the infection suggests the beer is more likely that it really is. Sourness & dark malts linger on the finish. Again, 10.08% abv; where is the alcohol heat? It's very well-hidden. It isn't until the last third of the glass that I get even a slight numbing sensation on the tongue.

While the tart & sour flavors seem way out of place, they didn't bother me too much. For instance, I like Bell's Cherry Stout which is tart, so I don't mind that quality in a stout. That said, for a beer of such described depth & complexity (based on the bottle's description), it's disappointing to find it infected. Ah well...

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2010 00:31:25 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of htomsirveaux


3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 7 May 2010.

Served this in a 512 One snifter. Medium brown head, medium carbonation. Pitch black color, opaque. Aromas of alcohol, dark dried fruit, cocoa. Lots of ethanol, raisins and fruity sour to start. Very boozy. Balsalmic like flavors, not the vinegar that others report but can see this turning that direction fairly soon. Lots of figs too. Touch of dark chocolate throughout. Finish is sweet and ethanol hot. Lingering fruitines in aftertaste.

Not sure if this could be counted among the infected bottles but would not take the chance, drink em if you got em.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2010 05:24:30 | More by htomsirveaux
Photo of Tdizzle


3.25/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to OlieIPA for hooking me up with this bottle. Bottled on January 13th, 2010. Poured into a Bruery tulip glass.

A- Black Tot pours a deep brownish-black with clear molasses-brown hues at the bottom of the glass. A tan head of foam sinks to a thin, silky layer that swirls around for a good while. Nice retention overall.

S- Strong, sweet notes of spirit dominate the smell, though there is a nice roasty undercurrent along with aromas of rich dark fruits. Very sweet and boozy all around.

T- Too much brandy character. It overpowers the stout. Flavors of roast, dark chocolate, and dark fruits are evident more on the finish, which is lightly dry and very sweet. A taste of burnt sugar is left lingering on the palate as the "dark" flavors converge with the brandy notes. This tastes more like a port wine than an imperial stout.

M- The feel is on the medium side of full-bodied but it's generally a little thin. Plus, the carbonation is too fizzy.

D- It took me a long time to finish a full glass of this beer. The brandy character is too pronounced and detracts from the drinkability. Half a glass would have been plenty. It's tasty, but it became tiresome.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2010 02:12:40 | More by Tdizzle
Photo of womencantsail


3.2/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is nearly black with a solid mocha colored head on top. A few spots of lacing on the glass.

S: A nice combination of oak, rum, and vanilla. Plenty of roast, chocolate, coffee, and a bit of oatmeal as well.

T: Plenty of roasted malt, perhaps too much of it. A hint of booze and dark fruits. The talk of infection has made me a bit worried about this one, and perhaps this one is beginning. A bit of acidity and olives.

M: The body is medium with a moderate carbonation. Something is a bit off with the finish.

D: It's too bad this one has gone down hill. I would imagine this would be a really nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2010 05:08:21 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brownbeer


3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this a few times and really enjoyed it. In the wake of all the infection talk I decided to open another.

I poured it pretty hard into a snifter and eventually a creamy brown head emerges from the blackness. Though, it was short lived.

The nose is pretty much as I remember it. It's filled with chocolate chip cookies, roast, and oats. Nice.

But yeah, as soon as it hits my tongue I can tell that somethin' just ain't right. It's brought on an awkward, sort of cherry flavored, acidity that takes over until the finish. When it still ends with chocolate and roasty goodness. The rum and vanilla flavors come out as it warms.

I'm not sure where it's going, but at least when I drank it, it tasted weird but not all bad. That's a shame... Sort of.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2010 02:52:04 | More by brownbeer
Photo of jampics2


1.98/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

12oz bottle into a snifter, consumed on 5/8/10. Had this a few months ago and forgot to rate it. I remember the rum barrel lending some interesting tastes to the mix, but now I hear of an infection so I had to put this bottle down.

Dark black, opaque with a small tan head that fades away into an oatmeal colored ring. No real lace, just a ring. Looks like a great stout!

Smell is dark malt with a hint of rum and a touch of sourness. Roasted malt and some dark fruit as well.

So, this was an audio review on my iphone's voice memo, and at this point I say "Oh dude, taste is fucked". Burned malt, vinegar, and some weird wild stuff. Almost metallic.

Body is OK but carb is distracting and metallic sensation seems to have something to do with the feel.

If drinkability was drainpourability, this would be a 5 because that's where it went. But, since it is drinkability, it's a 1. Walk the plank matie.

OK, so this was a good beer before I reviewed it, now it isn't so great. In fact, it's undrinkable IMO. But, what's really cool is Adam Avery's offer to make this right. He's a great guy, perhaps the best in beer on a personal level, but also just a kick-ass business man who stands behind his products. Cheers to you Mr. Avery for doing the right thing. And hopefully this beer, or something along the same lines, comes back w/o the infective agent. Because it was really quite good before it went really bad!!

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 12:45:09 | More by jampics2
Photo of brdc


1.68/5  rDev -53.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Thanks cosmohophead for this one. From notes.

Small capped bottle, poured into a snifter.
I read a lot about infection, and sure some bottles might be, but this one was not. I actually think some infections might have had a different cause for the taste.
Dark brown beer, dark tan head, average to slightly above average retention.
The aroma shows an excessive amount of rum. There are notes of roasted malts, chocolate, some dark fruits, but the rum is overwhelming. I actually got myself a small pour of rum (which I do not like) to compare, as initially I could not identify the things I did not like.
Nearly full bodied, on the palate, the rum is rampant again. Too hot, too boozy, and all other stout like notes are just buried under the rum unpleasantness, which did not blend well at all.
I tried, as I usually like Avery, but this one was a drainpour. Really bad.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2010 17:44:42 | More by brdc
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I really had some high hopes for this one as I have had for the entire series. Was really looking for something good to come out of here. Served chilled and dumped into a large goblet. This one was consumed on 05/16/2010.

Very nice pour, one of the best of the night if I am being honest with a deep, black as night look to it and a nice three finger head of dark chocolate that hung around long enough to make its presence felt.

Aroma starts of very dark, rich espresso, dark oak notes, hints of rum or bourbon. Very nice. Warming though brings about trouble as I start to pick up notes of a bittering agent. A touch of vinegar and I knew the stories were true. Still I trudged on, hoping for the best. Each sip was sadly soured of what should have been a superbly done barrel aged beer. The dark chocolate, espresso and roasted malts were all still clearly discernable but the problem was that a sour, acidic, vingear flavor has now tainted it all. It pained me to drink it not because it was horrible, but it really had the backbone to be excellent, you could taste it, it was almost there.

Overall really a could of, would of, should of, situation. This could have been excellent but sadly is barely average.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2010 00:56:03 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of coldmeat23


3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees
BOTTLED: JAN 13 2010 (315 Cases)

It appears to be black. It does give up a surface ring of very dark brown with a bit of light, though. The small head of brown foam recedes to a spotty surface covering rather quickly. The lacing is moderate, but very sticky.

As expected, this smells like a very nice oatmeal stout, with some notes of oak and rum. Nice notes of dark roasted malts. Hints of chocolate and coffee. Mild dark fruit sweetness. Nice hint of sweet oats. Very nice (light) level of rum presence with a healthy dose of oak. Light hint of vanilla.

The oak presence is very large. Along with some nice notes of vanilla. Good roastiness. Hints of sweet, dark, fruits. Mild touches of espresso grounds. Nice and mild touch of rum on the back side of it.

This has an almost full body and a medium level of carbonation. It is nicely smooth with a mild touch of creaminess.
Just slightly weak for a stout, especially an Imperial stout.

Is it an everyday drinker? No, not at all. But it's a wonderful 'occasion' bottle. It's quite tasty, just not for all of the time.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2010 05:03:58 | More by coldmeat23
Photo of Beaver13


3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, bottle 1/15/10. Pours a dark black with a smallish creamy brown head that quickly diminishes to a thin collar that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is bitter chocolate malts, grains and some rum. As it warms more dark fruits and sweet chocolate and rum cake come out.

The flavor is sweet milky chocolate with some decent bitterness in the finish to balance. The alcohol is well hidden. I do get the odd rum notes in the aftertaste. As it warms, the sweetness starts to dominate. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with creamy carbonation.

Overall, a solid imperial stout. It's well balanced and the rum is definitely interesting (and not at all overwhelming coming from a non rum lover). I was very relieved to notice no sourness in my bottle. It's been kept in a cold refrigerator since purchase.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2010 04:36:05 | More by Beaver13
Photo of portia99


2.88/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle received from jlindros (with a warning of probable infection - but I have to give it a shot regardless). Poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Pours an inky and oily near black color with deep caramelly brown highlights around the edges. No head to speak of, just a few small islands on the surface and a cappuccino colored ring around the edge of the glass.

S - I'm getting coffee, some rich milk chocolate, some dark fruits and a nice rum character. Some hints of vanilla in the background. Get a small hit of alcohol, some caramel and some sugary sweetness. On a bright note, no sign of infection in the nose...so far so good.

T - Well, sadly the infection shows up in the flavor. An acetic vinegar twang sits square in the middle of everything. It's not entirely unenjoyable, but it seems to coverup and mask the flavors that are supposed to be there. I do still pick up a good amount of coffee, a nice smokiness, rum and some oak and chocolate. Really too bad about the infection...I think this one had some real potential.

M - Has the obvious vinegary twang. Also gives a lip numbing effect, no doubt from the high alcohol level. Body is quite full with a light and creamy carbonation. A fair amount of alcoholic heat in the background.

D - If it weren't for the infection, this would be a pretty nice imperial stout with a lot of character. Even with the infection this isn't a drain pour for me, but it is definitely slow going. I won't be looking for more of this in the future though.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2010 23:58:09 | More by portia99
Photo of phishisphunk


2.1/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

First and foremost, the concept behind this beer really appeals to me and I was very excited to acquire a bottle. However, as some previous reviewers stated, due to recent discussion related to possible infection, I pulled this one out to try.

Served at cellar temp into a snifter.

A: A vigorous pour reveals a dark ale with a tan bubbly head with some nice sticky lacing around the glass. A closer inspection shows a lot of little bubbles receding towards the top.

S: Initially I got a small vibe of rum in the nose, no sour notes initially detected...smells of a lightly roasted and malty stout.

T: Oh boy....this thing is a hot mess. As the beer approaches the back of the palate a big sour flavor bursts through that completely destroys any stout flavoring. Lot of vinegar sourness dominates the taste. And this is certainly not a pleasant sour taste, it's by no means horrible, it's just out of place. The beer at this point really lacks any balance.

M: The beer feels kind of flat and I get a sensation similar to that of mouth puckering, not a lively tart feeling that sour ales tend to leave.

D: I'm definitely not going to finish this. My stomach is starting to turn a little. But such is life. You win some, you lose some. Obviously not all the reviews reflect this experience, and I certainly hope if you have a bottle, yours fares more favorably.

On the bright side, The Czar is drinking incredibly well right now...I think I will have that instead. Keep up the adventurous spirit Avery!

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2010 01:43:23 | More by phishisphunk
Photo of cpetrone84


3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a dark black color with a dark tan colored head that is tight and creamy. there is little retention and virtually no lace left behind.

S-the nose is quite big, a cream based musk with lots of toffee up front, almost like creme brulee. a good bit of wood and rum come in next with hints of vanilla.

T-the taste brings an earthy musk right up front. dark chocolate and burnt coffee next. notes of dry oak and a touch of vanilla come in at the middle. the finish adds some sweet dark fruits of plum and raisin that seem to bring notes of being soaked in rum.

M-this is very full bodied, it is thick and chewy. it is extremely smooth with a good bit of carbonation and a crisp finish.

D-this is a different beer all together. there is this musk in the nose that translates slightly in the taste that I can't describe. Very strange and I've seen a lot of reports of infection so potentially it was the start of mine.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2010 14:30:15 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of boothbeer


4.15/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled Jan 13, 2010. 10.08%. 315 cases. rum barrel-aged Imperial oatmeal stout.

A: Pitch black. Super dark brown head. Maybe the darkest I have ever seen. Reduces to a thin film that disappears as I drink.

S: Very malty. Lots of oak and rum. Coffee and dark chocolate notes are prevalent.

T: Lots of great flavors here. Very good oatmeal stout. Lots of roasted malts up front with vanilla and chocolate. The rum in the finish is my favorite part. Some heat is present as well. Coffee/ roastiness is in the finish.

M: Nice and oily. Very viscous. Carbonation present but not overpowering.

D: Delicious beer, but not sure how much I could drink. Also, this beer was way too pricey.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2010 02:42:29 | More by boothbeer
Photo of hckyfn9999


4.08/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled Jan 15, 2010. Pours pitch black with a sizeable, creamed coffee colored head. Aroma is of chocolate, slightly boozey rum, roasted malt, and oak.

Taste is full of roasted malt. Lots of sweet chocolate and some great rum flavors are present. The booze is only slightly noticeable. Mouthfeel is full bodied. A very good stout from Avery.

I know there have been problems with infected bottles turning sour, but it seems I have dodged the bullet. Perhaps the constant refridgeration since purchase have kept the infection away or slowed. No matter what the reason, I am happy the infection has kept away, as I dont care for the sours.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2010 03:14:06 | More by hckyfn9999
Photo of wchesak

South Carolina

3.15/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

all this infected talk has me bring out one to taste
bottle Jan 15 2010
poured into a Spiegelau tulip glass

A - very black, decent tan head, leave nice thick ring around glass, short strands of lace already

S - stale coffee, dry oatmeal, sour cherries, bit of booze and oak (may be on brink of shitting the bed)

T - chocolate malt backbone, with some sour cherry undertones, bit of caramelly rumness to it, stale coffee in the very back that lingers with the sour cherry (think i caught this early)

M - thick, not syrupy, medium carbonated, bit prickly but rather smooth

D - this on the border of infection, even so its a good beer, wish i had at its peak level, still have one more bottle in cellar, hate the fact I might have 9 dollars of wasted beer there

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2010 04:26:49 | More by wchesak
Photo of woosterbill


3.15/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle courtesy of Phoenix2443, bottled 1/13/10, into a Duvel tulip.

A: Jet black body with an inch of dense brown foam. Average retention and some decent lace. Good looking stout.

S: Big barrel character (sweet booze and dry oak), as well as some roasted malt (mainly coffee), followed by some creamy chocolate. There may be a hint of acidity on the tail end, but I don't think this one has succumbed to infection - at least not completely. Pretty nice.

T: Quite sweet at first, with molasses from the rum meshing well with some big roasted malt character. It's delicious right up until the finish, where things definitely take a turn for the acetic side. Acidic funk and astringent oak combine to produce a rather unpleasant aftertaste. It's too bad, as I was really finding the rum component to be a fascinating change from the more usual bourbon.

M: Medium body with good carbonation. Solid.

D: The further I get into it, and the more it warms up, the more prominent the infected aspects become. This one's going to be a struggle to finish the whole bottle.

Notes: It's too bad this beer has issues, as it has amazing potential. I'd really like to see more rum barrel aged offerings in the future, as I think it could bring a welcome change of pace. I think I got lucky with this one by keeping it the fridge from the day I received it as an extra (thanks Phoenix2443!). I can definitely see how this one could go far downhill in a hurry.


Serving type: bottle

05-07-2010 02:18:16 | More by woosterbill
Photo of prototypic


2.73/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Black Tot pours a dark, onyx color. Black, indeed. No light's getting through as far as I can tell. A soft, modest head sits on top. It's mocha colored, and rises to just under a finger in depth. Retention was very short, and lacing was thin.

The nose is not good. I've heard the rumors of bottles being infected recently. The nose is consistent with that. It smells acidic, tart, and a little vinegar like. Not a good thing for a barrel-aged imperial oatmeal stout. Not good at all. There are some decent chocolate and roasted malt notes. Coffee certainly cuts through, as well. I suspect this stuff smelled nice right out of the gate. It just smells a little tainted, if you will.

The flavor is not very good. It's far from horrendous, but it's not good. It does have an acidic, tart flavor that strongly suggests infection. Frankly, it's kind of interesting. Not great, but definitely interesting. There are some chocolate and roasted malt undertones. I am getting a little roasted coffee, as well. I can't say that all the flavors work very well together, but it's not disgusting by any stretch. Ultimately, the tart/sour flavor carries the day, and is a little too much. But, for a beer that's likely infected, it somehow manages to be a little better than I expected.

Black Tot has a medium body. Carbonation is light, and it does have a smooth feel. This is easily the strongest feature at this point. Drinkability is not very good. Eh, it's interesting for a bit. But it gets old relatively quick. I'm debating on whether or not I'll finish the bottle.

The present state of Black Tot is a shame. For what it's worth, I believe this bottle is infected. It has all the bells and whistles. It's too bad. I bet this was pretty good stuff before it started degrading. I feel pretty confident suggesting that you skip any bottles you see out there. Yeah, some may not be infected, but at $9.00 per 12 oz. bottle, that's a big risk to take. Too big, if you ask me.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2010 01:35:34 | More by prototypic
Black Tot from Avery Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.