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Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout)Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

3,720 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,720
Reviews: 1,309
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 18.04%
Wants: 263
Gots: 571 | FT: 27
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
The brewer suggests a serving temperature of 42 °F for this beer.

(Beer added by: ph2001 on 07-12-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,720 | Reviews: 1,309 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MbpBugeye
1.55/5  rDev -60.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Well, I had this on tap last year. I hated it then, I didnt finish my pint. I also hated Pumpking about this time last year as well, but I have that another shot and now I love it. I grabbed a bottle of this in hopes that it would turn out like Pumpking.

A- Not nice and thick looking like the other Black Water Series beers. Its a clear rootbeer color on the pour and condenses in the glass as a black beer with cola edges. No head retains so there is no lacing.

S- The smell is what I remembered most about this beer. It will stick with you. I cant decide if it is good or not. Its a nice smell, but it is not a smell I can associate with beer. It smells like some sort of scented candle found in a tacky living room all decorated with "rustic country" things that are actually just cheap trinkets made to look old. It smells like Worther's Originals and vodka. There is barely any beer smells coming through.

T- It is how I remembered it. Wildly sweet with a spike of astringent alcohol, like vanilla extract with vodka. Its like someone took the extract used to make Vanilla Coke and fermented it to 10% abv. Its not so bad until the finish and the aftertaste. Thats when the nasty alcohol hits you and things get messed up. It stings the back of the throat with every swallow. The aftertaste is like vanilla vodka with Splenda.

M- Not full enough and too carbonated.

D- I am really fighting this bottle.

MbpBugeye, Oct 23, 2010
Photo of Chinon01
1.58/5  rDev -59.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer was an utter disaster. In my opinion it could have been something nice if they would have cranked down the vanilla extract, cake batter taste about 7/8th. It's that outta wack. It looks like a stout without the bishop's collar. Smell is again vanilla extract only. The taste is equally non-complex with thankfully some bitter roastedness in the finish. Mouthfeel and Drinkability are irrelevant as it is too cloying to swirl in the mouth and have more than a few sips before leaving at the bar. Again other than appearance this beer was an utter disaster.

Chinon01, Sep 19, 2008
Photo of kimbo33
1.6/5  rDev -58.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This is a beer I cannot get into, I was so pumped when it came out, I drove to the brewery and found that it was the worst tasting beer at Soutern Tier. It tasted so fake, like they used some real cheap off flacoring to give it that sweet taste. And it was more vanilla tasting than I thought it should be. It does look nice and smell pretty good but it end there.

kimbo33, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of sidetracked
1.63/5  rDev -58%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Pours black with a thin light brown head that only lingers around the edges.

Smell is super sweet and resembles cake batter with too much vanilla more so than beer.

Taste upfront is roasted malts but quickly becomes overpowered by really sweet vanilla extract.

Full bodied, smooth, and velvety with low carbonation. Not bad if you can get past the aroma and flavor.

Kind of tastes like someone ruined a good stout by pouring a bottle of vanilla extract in it. Terrible balance of flavors--the sweetness isn't that bad but the vanilla needs to be desperately toned down. I hate wasting beer, but I couldn't even drink half a glass before drain pouring this.

8/6/2010

sidetracked, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of waltonc
1.65/5  rDev -57.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Appearance: very dark brown with minimal head

Smell: All I smell is overwhelming butterscotch.

Taste: Smooth, creamy vanilla and butterscotch. But cloyingly sweet.

Mouthfeel: creamy and thick, not much carbonation.

Drinkability: I really want to like this beer, and in small doses it's not bad. I give Southern Tier credit for brewing outside of the box. However, this is just too sweet and cloying for a 22 oz bottle. Customers should have the option to purchase this in 12 oz or smaller bottles. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to pour out more than half of my bomber because this just isn't very drinkable in large doses.

waltonc, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of Dennoman
1.65/5  rDev -57.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

22 oz bomber, poured into a snifter.

Before reading this review, please understand this is an extreme beer that *will* divide the crowd. I decided to write down notes and review it later, as I might have been too emotional on the night itself. I wanted to give it a more honest chance than just a 1.0 in every category and say it's the worst beer I've ever had. It's not, but boy is it close.

A: Okay, I suppose. Quite thin-looking with obvious reddish notes. Foamy, bubbly, soapy head.

S: WHOA-HOA-HOA! Absolutely horrendous. I think the best way to describe it, is the vanilla-scented candle from Hell. Huge waft of artificial vanilla essence with a vague hint of hops are all I get from this. For being so artificial, it's also surprisingly stale. It smells like the butterscotch and vanilla sweets your grandparents used to keep in the TV cabinet where temperatures would reach the upper eighties, together with their collection of rubber bands and potpourri. Sickening.

T: I suppose you could live with the smell if the taste was up to scratch, but sadly I was equally disappointed. The stench of rotten and chemical vanilla in your nose contradicts with the mostly hoppy flavors you get in your mouth at first, which is then washed away by booze to lead to a sandy dry finish. I don't know what this is supposed to be, but I sure as heck don't like it. Absolutely lip-curlingly vile.

M: I suppose this isn't over-carbonated and therefore has an okay mouthfeel, but this is sadly one of these numbers I have to fiddle around with to give it the low score I feel it deserves.

O: Knowing that a lot of people aren't big fans of Southern Tier's emulation style of brewing, I did rather like their Oat, Choklat and Mokah when I tried them. This however is just a swing and a miss for me. A big swing, I'll grant them that, and this is one of those beers that probably go well with people that have either an immense sweet tooth, or just... well... sorry, I can't begin to imagine how anyone could like this. That is - however - just my opinion, and I like the fact that Southern Tier either goes big or goes home. Big kudos on that!

Dennoman, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of emmasdad
1.7/5  rDev -56.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Thanks Dan, for the opportunity to try something new, something I would definitely not want a whole bottle of for myself. Pours an intriguing dark brown/black color, with the bare minimum of tan head. Aromas of vanilla, roasted malt, burnt caramel and cream. On the palate, this one was sickly sweet, with rootbeer schnapps, imitation vanilla extract and milk chocolate. Undrinkable, even in moderation. I was told this is a love it or hate it kind of beer, and I believe it. Unfortunately for me, I hated it. Probably one of the worst beers I've ever had.

emmasdad, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of Calico
1.73/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A: Extremely dark brown, near black, with very little head. Some lacing.

S: Like vanilla extract and butterscotch.

T: Like flavor concentrates: butterscotch, vanilla, and maybe some of that chocolate cheesecake flavor from Nature's Flavors that I ruined more than one dessert with. Everything over the top, much too intense. Like trying to drink an overly-flavored dessert made by a very heavy-handed chef. The butterscotch, above all, stood out - and that's a flavor I really detest. This didn't seem to be a diacetyl-induced butterscotch, but something added - from a bottle - in the secondary. (I know that's not what they did; it says on the bottle they used real vanilla beans, for one - but it tastes like flavor extracts.) Aftertaste is of saccharin.

M: Sort of slippery. Coats the tongue and will not let it go. Almost puckers the tongue with the intensity of the flavors.

D: I could not finish it. The sink, I'm afraid, got part of it. I would have gladly given it to someone who could appreciate it properly if they'd been there.

I am definitely not part of the target market for this beer. First off, I should have read on the label the part about it being a milk stout. Oops. No wonder it upset my stomach. I can't have any milk product that hasn't been turned into hard cheese or yogurt without my innards complaining. Second, I had a big sweet tooth about 15 years ago; I would even have dessert with lunch sometimes. These days, however, given the option of a sugary dessert or an IPA, I'll pick the IPA every time. It just doesn't occur to me to eat sweets.

Southern Tier has been one of my favorite regional brewing companies. For now I'll stick to their IPA and Phin and Matt's, and hope their next big beer is more to my liking.

Calico, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of NODAK
1.73/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Aroma here is the sweetest I've ever smelled....by far. Nothing really can approach it. Strong aroma of candied butterscotch with a ridiculous amount of sugar. Wow.

The taste follows through, with a load of butterscotch, vanilla, and candied sugar. The mouthfeel isn't particularly thick, but it's certainly very sweet. Somewhat surprisingly (at least for me), there's a prickly, persistent bitterness that hangs around at the finish and creates at least some semblance of balance (though really, it didn't stand a chance).

Southern Tier is a brewery that either hits or misses. This is the biggest miss in their lineup. In fact, it might be the biggest miss I've ever had. The first time I had it, I wasted over half the bottle. The second time, I had a sample pour given to me at the bar and had to immediately drink water to get the disgusting taste out of my mouth. Complete failure, in my opinion.

NODAK, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of mctizzz
1.75/5  rDev -54.9%

mctizzz, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of TheBigBoy
1.75/5  rDev -54.9%

TheBigBoy, Jul 15, 2014
Photo of pburland23
1.75/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

22 ounce bottled poured into a snifter.

Pours a thick, viscous black color with a slightly medium brown head which receded into about 20 seconds.

This beer smells pretty darn inviting. It's overwhelmingly vanilla with touches of burnt sugar and booze on the edge. Sadly, the smell was to be the highlight of this one.

The problems begin with the first sip. This beer is teeth rattlingly sweet. Way too much vanilla. To call the taste cloying would be a dramatic understatement. I've never had a beer as sweet as this stout. The vanilla masks every other quality of the beer except for a little boozy burn on the back end of the sip. The worst part about the taste was that it made me start to dislike the smell of the beer. After one sip, the beer smelled much sweeter than it had pre-sip. Ugh. So damned sweet. What a disappointment.

The mouthfeel was again overwhelmed by the taste. It's like I went into vanilla shock and the only think I could pick up on was vanilla and maybe a little more vanilla.

As for drinkability? Forget it. I couldn't finish more than a few sips let alone an entire glass or god forbid the whole bottle. I've never poured a craft beer down the drain before until this one. I figured I have a fridge full of beers that taste good, why bother drinking one that doesn't?

Creme Brulee Stout was a major disappointment. I've liked everything else I've tried from Southern Tier, but they missed the boat on this one. It could be a winner if they toned down the over the top amount of vanilla.

pburland23, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of HopFace
1.75/5  rDev -54.9%

HopFace, Tuesday at 02:09 PM
Photo of Gaddabble
1.75/5  rDev -54.9%

Gaddabble, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of HellAwaits
1.75/5  rDev -54.9%

HellAwaits, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
1.75/5  rDev -54.9%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of MNBeer1017
1.75/5  rDev -54.9%

MNBeer1017, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of fellowrs
1.75/5  rDev -54.9%

fellowrs, Jul 18, 2013
Photo of AnthonySkatz
1.75/5  rDev -54.9%

AnthonySkatz, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of wspscott
1.76/5  rDev -54.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 1

growler pour into a pint glass
courtesy of JC

A: pours completely black, topped with a cappuccino colored head that drops to a thin film and leaves a little bit of lace.
S: Butterscotch, vanilla, smells sweet
T: tastes very sweet, cloying, lots of vanilla and caramel, kristine thinks of butterscotch, a little bit of dark roasted malt in the background along with a hint of alcohol heat.
M: Creamy and mouthcoating with a little astringency.
O: Reviews had made me think this was a very polarizing beer and now that I have tasted it, I can see why. If they dialed back the sweetness/vanilla/creme brulee flavor by half and made it more of a sweet stout with some of those flavors, then I think it would be a much better beer. As it is, this comes across as a horrible mess. I can't imagine drinking even a 6 or 8 ounce pour, it is just too sweet/overwhelming. This is a drain pour for me.

wspscott, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of mrasskicktastic
1.8/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A - Very dark brown brew pour with almost no head and no lacing.

S - Smells like vanilla custard and burnt sugar. They deliver on this creme brûlée thing for sure... The vanilla is very pungent. Placing your nose near the beer is almost nauseating. It's a struggle, but underneath the vanilla, I detect faint hints of blueberries. It is . . . unique.

T - Immediately, it presents with a very acrid bitterness. The flavor is of extremely intense vanilla, custard and caramelized sugar. Underneath this, there is charred malt. Aftertaste is really, really bitter, but it is a caustic, medicinal sort of bitterness - not at all pleasant. Along with the bitterness is lingering vanilla. Unlike a lot of beers, the sweetness and bitterness don't play nice. They make for a startlingly unpleasant brew. I really just hate the taste of this.

M - Smooth, but with high carbonation, medium bodied, a little refreshing, but the bitterness prevents that from shining.

D - Ugh. My tongue feels like it was just beaten with a vanilla bat. I commend Southern Tier for brewing this, it delivers enough creme brûlée that one feels the beer has delivered true to its name. However, I don't like it. It is just narrowly above drain pour for me. With a lot less vanilla and a lot less of that gross medicinal bitterness, this could be a tasty brew, but it is too over-the-top to enjoy.

Edit: I almost ended up pouring this down the drain, but I found that it meshes strangely well with peanut butter. As long as you don't accidentally smell it, drinking this while eating peanut butter is kind of pleasant.

mrasskicktastic, Jun 24, 2012
Photo of golden1
1.83/5  rDev -52.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I tried this beer twice within a seven month span. Both attempts were out of 22oz bombers and both attempts arrived at the same conclusion: interesting idea on paper, murder in real life.

Pours a dark brown/black, normal-to-thinner consistency, about a finger or two of tan head that dissipated in short order. No real lacing down the sides of the glass at all.

This beer could be on the moon and you'd still be able to smell it. Vanilla sugars are present in massive quantity. In the aroma department, at the very least, they nailed what they were going for. The nose is the best thing this has going for it.

Which is good, because the taste is one part Vanilla/Cake-Frosting and one part alcohol with both parts trying to dominate the hell out of things. Woof. You are hard pressed to get anything else out of this chaos. Letting the beer warm up a bit DOES dial things down a notch - the problem is that it just drops it from 10+ intensity to like 9. It's still gallons of sweet on top of gallons of booziness with very little blending of the two. You might get some toasted malt notes in there every sip or two, but with the massive sugar bomb involved, it ends up tasting like burnt marshmallow. I don't think using a milk stout as the backbone was a good call - oatmeal might have been better. But, hey, if you like near-sickeningly sweet monster imperials, this may work for you.

Feel is your typical milk stout - it's going to be on the thinner side of things. The reduction in carbonation didn't do this beer any favors.

Pair it with something and you might get out alive. But this is not a stand-alone beer and nothing I can conceive of spending money on. Slight bummer since I think Southern Tier has winners on their roster - this, however, is not one of them.

golden1, Aug 19, 2010
Photo of wingedeel
1.85/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This is another of those beers that I am shocked anybody likes, but different strokes I guess.

Wont bore you with the appearance or even the smell. The taste however I will certainly touch on.

Frankly the best I can say about this beer is that it is slightly better than taking a swig of pure vanilla extract. Wow. The flavor is not enhanced with a nice, subdued Creme Brulee flavor, but rather an in your face, sweet, overpowering taste of cheap vanilla extract. Honestly this was one of only 3 or 4 drain pours in my 54 years of roaming this planet. To me this was undrinkable.

A novelty beer for sure.Tread lightly my friends, unless you are a huge fan of vanilla flavoring, and have your dentist on retainer.

wingedeel, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of snargles
1.88/5  rDev -51.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

yikes! very robust beer, packed with flavor, although unfortunately all the flavor tastes very artificial. Vanilla, and butterscotch, butterscotch, butterscotch, also quite bitter at the end. smells like it tastes. I tried to make a butterscotch beer once and just dumped a lot of extract in it, of course I had no idea what I was doing and it was lousy. This beer is VERY similar to that abomination I brewed. can't say much other than it's strictly a love/hate brew. If you want a novelty beer that tastes like really cheap & bitter candy, you'll love it

snargles, Aug 14, 2013
Photo of whendeathsleeps
1.88/5  rDev -51.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A- Pours black with ruby highlights, a one finger tan head.

S- Would smell great, if it were a candle, not what I want to smell from a beer, Vanilla, burnt sugar, not much else in the nose.

T- Like eating a Yankee brand vanilla candle with butterscotch icing. Such an artificial sickly sweet taste, makes me almost gag. I detect nearly no hops, just sugar on top of you guessed it...more sugar.

M- Thick, full bodied, oily slick, moderate carbonation.

O- I would avoid at all cost, maybe this is for some people though. Glad I at least tried it so I could experience it for myself. It was so hard to get through even splitting the bottle with a friend. Skip this milk stout and go for Left Hand's Nitro Milk Stout, which is perfectly balanced.

In closing, try it if you must. It was one of those pure curiosity things for me. Will never buy again.

whendeathsleeps, Dec 09, 2012
Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,720 ratings.