1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Black Tot - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black TotBlack Tot

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

162 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 162
Reviews: 115
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 21.27%
Wants: 42
Gots: 27 | FT: 1
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 162 | Reviews: 115 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2/5  rDev -44.8%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of MYJELLOMISFIT
4/5  rDev +10.5%

MYJELLOMISFIT, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of kkrez
4.58/5  rDev +26.5%

Pre-soured black tot, from notes:

For the 3rd release they created a thick and chewy oatmeal stout and threw it into Gosling’s Rum barrels to age.

This beer pours an inky black with a tan head.

Aroma is of roasted malt, anise, vanilla, rum and alcohol.

Taste is of roasted malt, coffee, vanilla, bourbon/rum flavors, black licorice, and dark chocolate.

The mouthfeel is the epitome of “chewiness.”

Shame this one soured. It was heavenly. Soured version still nice, just not intentional

kkrez, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of claytong
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%

appearance - black rum in color. pretty much no head. not much retention or lacing.

smell - booze that i might be able to get some rum off of, oak, vanilla, dark malts

taste - follows the nose, with less booze and more dark malts and oak. also getting a bit of spice and grainyness.

mouthfeel - medium body (was hoping for more), light carbonation but not bad compared to what the appearance. no cloying, minor burn (rather nice).

claytong, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.2/5  rDev -39.2%

Thanks to shrek086 for sending me this one!

Bottled 1/13/10.

Pours an opaque black with a 1/2 inch dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on the top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, dark fruits, vanilla, rum, and wood. Taste is super sour at first with dark roasted malt, sour dark fruits, vanilla, rum, and wood on the aftertaste. The sourness is quite puckering and I think there is some sort of infection. The beer is not completely undrinkable, as more normal flavors come about after the sourness but it's definitely a drainpour. This beer has a crisp level of carbonation but paired with the taste it's pretty bad. Overall, this is a pretty bad beer only because of the infection issue that ruins the taste. The rest of the aspects on this one are pretty good. Oh well.

UCLABrewN84, Oct 21, 2011
Photo of brew3crew
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%

Part of an epic tasting at jackie o's with brad and Co.

A-black in color with a tan head that retains for a few seconds
S-a little off. Funky smelling with a little bit of liqur
T-very smooth with a little sour aftertast. Can't really taste the barrel aging at all
M-medium body and a smooth aftertaste.
O-decent but may be infected

brew3crew, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of nrbw23
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%

A- Pours a dark brown color with a very little tan head. Head doesn't have much retention and not to much lacing.

A- Smell is rum barrels, oak, vanilla, roasted malts and a bit of booze.

T- Pretty much follows the nose. Very roasted oats, boozy and a touch of chocolate.

M- Medium in body and on the lower side of medium in carbonation.

D- I found this ok to drink. I didn't pick up any of the sour notes that others have stated.

nrbw23, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of zeff80
4.13/5  rDev +14.1%

A - Poured out a dark black color with a small, tan head of foam. It left some sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt, chocolate and some light rum notes.

T - Good chocolate flavor with some burnt molasses flavors. Rum flavor is very muted.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A full bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a really good and really interesting Imperial Stout. Certainly worth a try.

zeff80, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of GatheringBrews
4.35/5  rDev +20.2%

Pours a deep, rich brown. Not a ton of head, but with some aggressive pouring, a decent half finger head is there that releases to a thin layer and nice lacing.

Aroma is definitely rum barrel, dark malts, dark sugars and subtle sweetness.

Tastes excellent. Slightly sweet and malty with great characters of the barrel... touch of smoke, rum, molasses.

Finishes without any real aftertaste, just a bit of sweetness.

Overall, excellent beer and no issues.

GatheringBrews, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of corby112
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%

Pours a deep dark chocolate brown/eggplant color that is almost pitch black and completely opaque. Even when held to a light source there is no semblance of lighter color. Thin coffee colored head that very quickly fades into a minimal ring.

Complex aroma with lots of roasty malt notes balanced by the earthy oak tones and sweet rum/liquor presence. Hints of chocolate malt, toffee, molasses, oatmeal, roasted coffee bean, licorice and toast. I'm really surprised how the stout element of the base beer have held up in the nose. Slightly vinous with subtle oak and vanilla notes. Hopefully the flavor holds up t the aroma and is not a complete rum bomb.

I have heard that this beer might be infected but I guess got lucky because I'm not picking that up at all. Maybe some slight oxidation but nothing too noticeable. Much to my pleasant surprise the balance noticed in the aroma comes through in the flavor. Complex and well balanced with the rum barrel aging complimenting the oatmeal stout flavor rather than completely overpowering it. Plenty of roasty malt notes with hints of chocolate, oatmeal, toffee, nut and licorice. Only slight tannis but still vinous with hints of grape and other dark berries. Also, there is a nice sweet rum presence as well as some slight vanilla. Slightly dry finish with some nice alcohol warmth.

I was very excited about this beer because it was complex, well balanced and most of all not infected.

corby112, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of GilGarp
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%

Bottled Jan 13, 2010, just like all the rest.

12oz. bottle served cool into a goblet.

Even with a pour straight down the middle, Black Tot is a beer completely lacking in head. The beer is basically black but nothing much to look at.

Aroma is rich and roasty with a definate influence from the rum barrels. It has a nice sweet booziness that seems like it will work well with the imperial stout.

Unfortunately, the rumors are true: this beer is badly infected. Upon first sip, I get initial sweetness followed by a strong sour/tart cherry flavor that is definately off. It's really a shame because it would probably a pretty strong beer if it weren't for that sour getting in the way.

Mouthfeel is pretty full in body and low in carbonation which is just how I like my imperial stouts.

Overall a disappointment, not only because of the infection but also because of the high price. I'm willing to let it slide though because Avery rarely gets anything wrong.

GilGarp, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.13/5  rDev +14.1%

12oz bottle purchased in Columbus a few months ago. I've put it off because I heard it was infected, which is obviously a bad tactic as it's not gonna get better. But anyway it's open now. The beer pours a dark murky brown with a few fingers of gorgeous mocha colored foam.

I don't get any off aromas, just strong roasted malts and a little rum. Maybe some smoke in there too, this smells solid to me. It's not until I taste it that I get some odd acidic notes, but they're really not too objectionable. Not as off-tasting as BA Imperial Stout Trooper was, at least there's a lot of the base beer coming through flavor-wise. Rich roasted malts, a little mocha, maybe a little more coffee, and some light ethanol. With a slightly twangy bite in the aftertaste, which is the only possible detractor.

Heavier bodied than your usual RIS, not too thick but decently coating and creamy feeling. Better than expected.

TurdFurgison, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of drumrboy22
2.28/5  rDev -37%

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Lost Abbey tulip. Beer was black in color, with a one-finger, dark brown head that quickly fades away. Very light carbonation and thin streaks of lacing around the glass.

Aroma was coffee, oats, malt, cocoa, some souring present, but not bad.

Taste was tart. The tartness overpowers everything else in the beer. Sour cherries. I thought there was some hope for this beer, but I'm out. This is a big letdown for me. The infection has taken over and it's a shame.

drumrboy22, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%

Got this a while back from Celeriac... Thanks Max.. shared with the peeps... and if there was an infection, it was very very minor.

Pours with a thin tan head.. no real lacing... ehhh.... okay... not great.

Roasty nose with hints of wood and cinnamon.. I get "rum", but have a hard time describing it other than "rum".

Flavor has some great dry cocoa and a pretty pronounced toasted malt presence... the traditional stout components are pretty minor really... descent dark dry dark malt and that is pretty much it... the rest of this beer is balanced nicely on the barrel and the background booze... there is a minor sour cherry presence, but I may be making it up.. Body is a tad light for the style, but the carbonation seemed to still be in play.

Nice... Glad we caught this before the bugs took hold... I would love to see this again with no hints of infection.

Thanks again Max... this was a surprising hit.

3/3.5/3.5/3.5/4

JohnGalt1, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%

Reviewed from notes taken after a noninfected bottle right around release--so maybe there hadn't been time.

Pours black with a thin, lastig mocha head. Nose brigs dark rum, spice, toasted malt, chocate, and a bit of coffee. Taste brings a bit of booze with those characteristics and isn't as complex as I would have hoped from the nose. Feel is nice and he rum flavors work a bit better to hide the alcohol. Drinks quite well and i am glad that I cracked my bottle early.

Thorpe429, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of Stigs
2.95/5  rDev -18.5%

why not? 12oz bottle, served in a small tulip

A - solid two fingers of frothy, dark khaki foam sits on top of a near-black beer. just a faint dark ruby twinge of light fights through. spotty yet sticky lacing already.

S - roasted malts, some dark chocolate and coffee...plus a definite sourness/infection thing going on. not completely off-putting here, like an intentionally soured porter.

T - immediately, a distinct lactic tartness - overtones by dark roasted malts take over the mouth. though not entirely disgusting, its obvious this isnt what the brewer intended. fighting through this all is some bourbon sour-mash, and milk chocolate.

M - thin bodied, obviously cut into by whatever bug has gotten into these bottles. sticky, hairy mouthfeel with bits of bitter roastyness struggling to get through the bug.

D - not completely spoiled, though I would give a lot to sample this beer in its intended state. still, one of those amazingly awkward examples of an infected beer gone (not completely) bad. i have no problem drinking at least half of this bottle.

Stigs, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of SpeedwayJim
1.65/5  rDev -54.4%

Been holding onto this one for a while amidst reports of the entire batch being infected... I guess we'll see. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Blue Point Snifter.

A: Pours a viscous, heavy .25 finger mocha head that dissipates as quickly as it rises. No retention. Beer is an appropriate, motor oil-black. Lacing is patchy and with good stick.

S: Barrel's are detectable amidst a strong, metallic prune and raisin. Subtle chocolate in the back along with the slightest bit of tartness that tickles the nose and warns of what's to come.

T: As soon as this brew hits my tongue, there's an overwhelming wave of tartness so sour I can barely pick out anything. This one is definitely infected. Alcohol is super abrasive but not boozy and all I really get is sour cherries from beginning to end. Finish has just a slightest bit of roastiness but I can't focus on as I just wanna get this one down and out of my mouth. Aftertaste is tart and bitter.

M: Medium bodied, much more carbonated than it lets on, and abrasive and coarse in the mouth. Finish is sticky and resiny and aftertaste lingers on and on.

D: The most god awful, atrocious, beer that I've had to date. Every sip... and there were only 3 of them before this one hit the drain... was a struggle to get down. Incredibly hard to review because I so scared to have another taste! Couldn't pay me enough to try this one again. Avoid at all costs!!!

SpeedwayJim, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of Jwale73
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%

12oz. bottle courtesy of hoppymcgee. Bottled January 13, 2010. Served in my Old Stock tulip. Pours pitch black with zero light penetration. Head was half an inch, loose and khaki-colored and quickly dispersed from the center out the shoulders, forming a thick frothy band around the edges. Spots and strands of delciate lacing formed on the tilt side of the glass during the tasting. Nose reveals, tart, slightly acidic fruit (maybe cherries), caramel, followed by booze, on a malty backbone. Taste follows nose - barrel aging is well hidden, and missing some of the flaked oat quality usually present in an oatmeal stout. Finish leaves a pleasant, light, lingering buttery flavor between quaffs. Mouthfeel is medium-light, perhaps a little thin, with a carbonation that lightly asserts itself towards the back of the tongue. Very little alcohol heat, despite the 10% abv. I know there has been talk of infection with this brew, and the tart fruit is probably an indicator; however, I have to say that I found this beer to be a pleasant sipper with a fair amount of complexity.

Jwale73, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of Hepneck
4.58/5  rDev +26.5%

This is a beer that is made to be savored slowly as it rewards the drinker with new dimensions as it warms and opens up. Aroma- Equal parts toasted malt and coffee, with a hint of rum sweetness. Appearance-This beer pours as dark as the pitch that would have been used on the label's ship! Pours slightly thick with a small amount of dark tan head, and very fine-sized carbonation bubbles. Pours a dark mahogany color. The beer has a very similar taste to rom cremat (a great Spanish rum drink), though the coffee flavor is much more subdued and there is no lemon in the flavor). There is the slight sweetness that you would expect from an imperial stout. Hints of raisin turn to plum as the beer warms. There is no hint of vanilla other than that that is carried in the rum. There is also a very pleasant, slight alcohol burn at the end. Palate-Full-bodied does not even begin to explain this beer. It is thick, but not sticky, with a slight oiliness. The carbonation is slightly flat, so the carbonation does not interfere with being able to taste the depths of this beer. The beer has a long finish with a slight alcohol burn that is very pleasant. Black Tot exceeded my expectations (which were very high) and is a standout experimental imperial stout. I have recommend this beer to anyone that can get their hands on it. Indeed, my only complaint is that this is a one-off from Avery. This is a mistake that should be rectified as this would make a great seasonal release.

Hepneck, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of billshmeinke
1.5/5  rDev -58.6%

Poured into a Bruery tulip.

Pitch black body with a dark beige half finger head that dies down to a ring of foam and wispy layers of foam on top. Some lacing left behind.

Smells of chocolate and rum spices. Then a touch of lactic sourness. Uh oh, not a good sign.

The taste confirms the smell plenty of lactic sourness bordering champagne like sour grapes which may sound tasty, but no that's definitely not how I would describe this brew. An unintentional sour mess. If you own one drink it ASAP. I'm not sure if it will help though, because it is already gone very south.

Chalky and sour. Thin. Clearly infected. Pretty gross.

Drain pour. Come on Avery you guys are big enough to stop these kind of quality control issues. Big fail.

billshmeinke, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of Jeffo
1.7/5  rDev -53%

Recieved this as a very generous extra from belgbeerdrinker. Cheers!

From a bottle into a snifter

Note: There are reports that the recent batch is infected. Here's hoping for the best.

APPEARANCE: Pours a dark brown and sits almost black in the glass. Could be a little darker perhaps. Easy to see through the body of this brew. Pour yields a one finger, light brown head that quickly fades to a wisp and a ring. A ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: A nice, bold nose on this one. Some roasted malts, but more rum, vanilla from the barrels, and some dark cherries. Perhaps some wood in there, but the rum and vanilla are more dominant. A nice nose with a noticeable barrel presence, though the dark cherries makes me a little worried.

TASTE: And there you have it. Flavors of rum and a very sour tartness. Obviously off. Sour tart cherries dominate this brew. Too bad. Not horrible, but simply way off. I drank about half the glass until it just wasn't worth it any more.

PALATE: Thin body and way over carbonated. Sticky and sour. Pretty nasty really.

OVERALL: It was a shot in the dark. I was looking forward to trying this ever since it arrived at my parents' house, but you win some and lose some I guess. Some people might take issue with leaving a review of an infected beer stand, but I'm reviewing what the brewery produced, not what they meant to produce. Let's hope next year's batch turns out better, and I'll be glad to have some of what the brewers intended and edit the review accordingly. Thanks again for the awesome trade belgebeerdrinker!

Jeffo, Aug 26, 2010
Photo of Pencible
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

A: This poured a nearly opaque dark mahogany with a bit of light tan head.
S: It smelled like toasted oats and rum raisin and rich coffee, with a little oak and dark chocolate and alcohol.
T: It tasted like burnt coffee and toasted oats and licorice, with oak and dark chocolate, and a bit of rum and vanilla. The aftertaste was dominated by alcohol, with a little bitterness.
M: It was slightly oily with a little carbonation - thinner than I expected.
D: This was a very complex beer with tons of flavor elements. But it seemed like it needed more time to integrate better, since this was fairly rough around the edges. The body was a little weak too, and the alcohol was pretty noticeable, so this was definitely a sipping beer. Lots of potential, but not great fresh.

Pencible, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of uturn
4.47/5  rDev +23.5%

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.

uturn, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

Sammy, Aug 06, 2010
Photo of KAP1356
2.83/5  rDev -21.8%

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.

KAP1356, Jul 20, 2010
Black Tot from Avery Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.