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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,363 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,363
Hads: 4,180
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 16.75%
Wants: 354
Gots: 860 | FT: 34
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:
Beer added by: ph2001 on 07-12-2008

The brewer suggests a serving temperature of 42 °F for this beer.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,363 | Hads: 4,180
Photo of DelMontiac
2.33/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Purchased this one in MO in July of 2012 and kept in the cellar.

This beer looked pretty nice on the pour into an U.S. Air Force Academy pint glass. Color was murky black/brown with a crowned mocha head that fizzled down rapidly. Scant lace remained.

I love creme brulee, so I was excited to get a whiff of this. The scent of sweet buttery vanilla and slightly burned sugar had me pretty ramped up, but it also seems very...artificial. The dark fruity chocolate tinge was there, but was mostly overwhelmed by the sweet vanilla.

Unfortunately, flavor is where this one goes horribly wrong. So overly sweet it's sickening and it's not a good sweet either - it's a ten spoons of sugar in one oz of corn syrup sweet. It's hummingbird food sweet. It's got a cough syrup phenolic medicine type of flavor that makes me want to spit it out. Yes, the vanilla is big. So big you feel as if you're breathing vanilla extract fire. The bitterness from the brew fights with all this sweetness and they both lose as they turn into one horrible mess. Nearly all chocolate hints are lost in all this. Actually made my stomach sour. I think you get the picture. After struggling through most of one glass...drain pour.

This is a very chewy and sticky brew, but I found so not in a good way. Nearly all the carbonation is eaten up once the pour settles leaving it fairly flat. This combined with a cough syrup consistency...meh...no thanks.

I was excited to see this in the store as I very impressed with Choklat by this brewery. It seems they just simply poured flavoring (or maybe a scent) into this beer and released it without ever trying it for themselves. I see other BAs have given this beer stellar reviews. This makes me wonder about differences in batches at Southern Tier.

Next time, pass. (1,787 characters)

Photo of captj
2.34/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

My first review, so go easy on me!

A: It looks good, looks like a stout. Black, pours a nice tan-ish/light-brown head, with a bit of thickness to it.

S: WOOOAH! As soon as you pop the cap you get knocked five feet backwards by the smell! I have it in a snifter (as the bottle suggests) about a foot and a half away and it is powerful! You really can only taste the creme brulee aspect, there isn't much else nose wise unless you have a good nose and can realllly get through the caramel/vanilla smells. It's nice, but overpowering.

T: This is a super super super sweet and flavor-packed beer. By "flavor-packed" I mean a strong and loud flavor, not a highly complex flavor. It's hard to get much besides the vanilla, caramel, and some slight coffee taste. There is a bit of creaminess to it, and little bit of coffee, but wow is it sweet. The coffee and cream flavors come out on the aftertaste more than the immediate sip. I get a liiittle bit of maltiness, but maybe it's just me, but it's hard to pull much else besides the creme brulee from this beer. Also, even at 10%, the alcohol stands out a little too much for me. I like my high ABV beers, but this one doesn't really mesh well and doesn't feel well balanced.

M: It has a nice, smooth, creamy mouthfeel, and that's all I can really say about that.

D: Veryyy difficult for the flavor reasons I mentioned earlier. Way too sweet, way too much of the "creme brulee" flavor. We can put it like this: This goes over and above on creme brulee flavor than PumKing does on pumpkin flavor.

So there's my review, I don't know what my actual letter rating would be, but I'd say C to D+. Just not my bag. But I would definitely pass on this one again...I don't know if I'll even be able to finish this glass. (1,761 characters)

Photo of Kevin67
2.34/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

A sickeningly sweet, artificial taste that was hard to place and a texture in my mouth like motor oil and lidocaine. The numbness in my mouth from this horrible beer lasted all day, but the taste was still on my tongue the next. Worse than a hangover. The people who rave about this have obviously never had a great Crème Brulee because this doesn't capture the taste or feel of one at all. (391 characters)

Photo of Swettenham_Shire
2.35/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Bomber poured into pilsner glass. Drank with dessert (banana cream pudding)

Appearance: dark brown color with tan foaming head; minimal lacing
Smell: caramel, milk, vanilla, maybe maple syrup? very sweet... too sweet for my liking
Taste: better than it smells; sweet, but not overbearing. The aftertaste is slightly bitter
Mouthfeel: thick; kind of like coffee with too much cream
Overall: goes together well with desserts like pudding and ice cream, but still too sweet for my taste. It's nice to try unusual brews every once and awhile, but I probably won't seek this one out anymore (586 characters)

Photo of jren
2.36/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was shocked how much this reminded me of artificial sugar and fake vanilla. This was the first large format that I didn't continue past half a glass. (152 characters)

Photo of Gosox8787
2.37/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Presentation: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass in two parts.

Appearance is dark black, almost like midnight, with a one finger beige head and almost no retention. The nose on this is HUGE. Big booze and lots of caramel and burnt sugar hit with a vengeance. Slight notes of vanilla and unbalanced, overly sweet roasted malt. Taste is also big. Strong sweet caramel upfront and burnt sugar and bitter chocolate follow. Vanilla notes also there. Overly sweet and just an unbalanced and unappearling flavor profile. It definitely tastes like creme brulee, but overdone. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a little carbonation. Drinkability is awful. The flavors are too big, the booze is not at all hidden and the taste just wears on you. Too sweet, too burnt, too boozy.

Overall, this beer seems like a love it or hate it beer and I happen to not like it. There are huge creme brulee flavors, but I found it unbalanced and, at points, undrinkable. Not something I will have again, but it could be good for some creme brulee lovers. (1,036 characters)

Photo of noser
2.38/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

This beer poured a lovely dark brown, like black coffee. At first, I feared it was nearly still so I poured vigorously, leading to a thin but attractive head.

When I was hit by the aroma, any thoughts of bubbles vanished. This brew smells exactly like cheap, vanilla-flavored coffee. It's not reminiscent; it's an uncanny replica.

Taste-wise, if I could get past the fakey vanilla thing, I think it might be pretty good: a nice bitterness, roasty, malty grains, and a medium-long finish. Unfortunately, the rich mouthfeel, with what turned out to be a lovely, balancing carbonation were not enough to turn things around for me.

For me, the smell of this brew overwhelmed everything else, and not in a good way. This one's going down the drain. (748 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
2.39/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Bottle

Thanks for sharing Sam!

Dark brown throughout with a very, very thin khaki head. Dots of lacing down the glass.

An exceptionally impressive aroma because it smells so much like the dessert this beer takes its name from. It's astounding the aromas Southern Tier produces within their beers. Burnt sugar, caramel, vanilla, and custard all come together just like in the dessert. That being said, the only reason it doesn't score higher is that the aroma is just simply far too sweet--it actually stings my eyes it's so sweet!

While the aroma is particularly impressive, the flavor doesn't match up. The same flavors (caramel, toffee, vanilla, custard) are present, but they clash together into an overly sweet diabetic tornado. I wouldn't want more than 1-2oz. of this. This tastes like a Starbucks Caramel Frappucino with a hot alcohol bite from start to finish. Unpleasant, unless, I guess, you're in to that sort of thing.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and low carbonation--too syrupy.

A dessert beer that is far too much dessert and not at all enough beer. While the concept is applauded and the aroma is rich, the flavor and drinking experience is not at all enjoyable. (1,182 characters)

Photo of json83
2.4/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

9.6% ABV and 288 calories per bottle. I was attracted to tasting something different and surprise how well it smelled after opening the bottle. The taste was extremely off-putting - vanilla and coffee sounds attractive but the blunt caramel/butterscotch favor that kicks in does not match well with the combination. Easily one of the sweetest beers I've ever had. To be fair, you get used to it the more you consume, but it was just a weird taste at first. This is one combination I'll probably never see again and I do not regret trying it, however I would not purchase again. (577 characters)

Photo of BarrytheBear
2.41/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On tap at The Alchemy.

Looks nice, smells Bruleetastic, then everything goes down hill.

Sweet, sweet, sweet, mess. Very difficult to fight through the onslaught of pungent dessertiness. Each sip brings a challenge and the glass refuses to be brought down easily. Certainly my mistake for not sampling first. Will not make that mistake again.

Meh (349 characters)

Photo of number1bum
2.44/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This one pours a very dark brown, a few shades away from black, with some dark reddish mahogany hues at the edges. Only about one finger of light khaki head is on top and it gives way quickly to only a very thin lace, which also eventually disappears completely. No stick at all.

Smell is just crazy, over the top, in your face vanilla. It's boozy vanilla, though, sort of like a liqueur. Beyond the vanilla bean aroma there is some butterscotch sweetness that is also quite strong.

Taste is also a rich combo of vanilla and butterscotch, with an underlying milky/custard like creaminess and smoothness. There seems to be some roasted or deeply caramelized malt trying to peak through and there is also a slight astringency that is somewhat offputting. It's quite sweet, but it sort of tastes like burned butterscotch, like if you took some butterscotch sauce and put it in the microwave and left it there a little too long. I don't love it. In fact, as it warms the alcohol comes out more and makes it even less enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth, as previously mentioned, and is nearly full bodied. But it's hurt by the extreme sweetness and alcohol.

Southern Tier has absolutely mastered the art of taking an ingredient or flavor component and doing it to the extreme. This is just another example of that. Simply put, they are an amazing brewery. Nevertheless, this is not my favorite of their imperial offerings. Not even close. I can appreciate how well crafted this is, but the chosen component to highlight (vanilla) is not one that I care for in this quantity. For me, it just doesn't work terribly well. In fact, I think this is a huge miss. I think I may have to put a stopper in this bomber and revisit later, because there is no way I can finish this in a single evening, if at all. My palate is destroyed; I need to go cleanse it. (1,862 characters)

Photo of goblue3509
2.45/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a dark brown almost black color like a coffee with a thick two finger head. The smell is of overwhelming vanilla and roasted malt, there is a sweet malt smell as well. The taste is overpowering, it is very bitter, but not from hops, like the flavors didn't all match up. There is hints of vanilla as well as roasted malts. The mouthfeel is low carbonation. Overall this is not a very drinkable beer, it is more of a novelty. The taste and smell can be overpowering. (471 characters)

Photo of Pelican5
2.46/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Was looking forward to this one as I had enjoyed the Choklat from ST.

22 oz. bomber in a Duvel glass

A - Look nice in the glass, poured dark brown/black, nice and thick, finger and a half head

S - Nice on the nose, sweeeet vanilla, key word is sweet, which I do like but...

T - Cloying vanilla, sugar syrup. Its got the flavor but no balance at all.

M - Nice and thick but too syrupy.

O - maybe a 4 oz pour with chocolatey dessert but other than that... You've gotta really like sugar.

Will share my other bottle with at least 4 friends. (544 characters)

Photo of ljette
2.46/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Let me preface this by saying I don't often review, despite drinking a lot of beer. I do feel it necessary to review this brew due to my sheer dissapointment.

I have been looking forward to this beer for some time (favorite dessert+beer=heaven?)

It pours a beautiful dark dark brown/black color with great head and good lacing.

The smell was exactly what I was looking for in this beer, vanilla and caramel.

Unfortunately the taste and drinkability are pretty inexcusable in my opinion. It is an unbelievably sweet beer, which also has some hoppy bitterness to it. Unfortunately the bitterness doesn't really balance the sweetness as much as confuse the senses. This beer has a bit of an identity crisis I suppose (I know, I should have seen it coming). The sweetness gave this simply no drinkability, I had to drain pour the majority of this brew. A sad day for stouts.

Having said that. I still commend Southern Tier for trying something different. It was certainly...different. (987 characters)

Photo of Murchmac
2.48/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bought this one and really wanted to like it.

Big tan espresso head that disappears quickly, dark dark, mud dark...

Sweet toffee, caramel, vanilla, alcohol, kinda like grandpa's breath after a werthers original and brandy

Big taste, like drinking a heath bar at first, slowly gives way to vanilla, hot alcohol.

Nothing left but bitter stingy aftertaste. Like a vanilla cognac or something.

Nice effort I just didnt like it... I wanted too. Too alcoholy and vanilla for me. (479 characters)

Photo of abents
2.48/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

22oz bomber with cows on the label (down with that!)
Pours out a beautiful black color. Even with pretty vigarous pour, not much head, but it is light tan in color and laces sporadically. Smell is like candy, burnt sugary sweetness, coffee, caramel malts, and i swear butterscotch. Taste is disgusting. Way way way too sweet. Sticky caramel, butterscotch, chocolate and coffee lead to an incredibley hard to drink beer. I must say I do not really like sweet eats very much, but on occasion I'll have one. This beer however is ungodly sweet. Very hard to drink this. Lots of candy, sweet malty flavors, but i need some bitterness or some sort of balance, this is just way too far in the sickly sweet catagorey. Definitely one to share, preferably with someone who doesn't like beer, because this tastes nothing like one. The label says I should drink this at 42 degrees, maybe because this is at 43 degrees that it is this bad, but I doubt it. Ugh, this is gross, if I want dessert I'll get one; if I want a beer, I won't be drinking this. (1,038 characters)

Photo of Siggy125
2.49/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Nice color, amber brown, not your typical dark stout color. Awesome aroma with caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, maple. But unfortunately, this brew is overwhelmingly sweet. They could've cut the sweetness in half and still have a lot of flavor. If you pour a small puddle in a brandy snifter an share with friends, you'll be ok. Don't pour a pint and expect to drink like a beer. (377 characters)

Photo of shbobdb
2.51/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I shared this beer with my brother and his reaction was, "Well, it tastes like something." I'm glad I split the bottle with my brother. I mean, sure, they accomplished what they set out to achieve: make creme brulee into a beer. I like beer, I like creme brulee, so I should like this beer but some things should be kept separate.

The taste is pleasant at first. The first, maybe, ten minutes of sipping this beer is very pleasant. It is very sweet, with a strong blast of vanilla and caramel. This is followed by a nice carob aftertaste. I mean, it tastes a whole lot like Creme Brulee.

But then you are stuck drinking a whole bottle of it. The sweetness is cloying and the carob and burnt flavors on the end get annoying. Plus, despite the initial onslaught, there isn't much going on with this beer. Big Caramel, Big Vanilla, and Big Carob. That is it.

It paired nicely with tiramisu. Indeed, I got sick of it only after I finished my tiramisu -- but I got sick of it immediately after my tiramisu was finished. It needs something and it needs it badly.

Beer should be able to stand alone. Uhhgggg, just too much. (1,120 characters)

Photo of crayolahalls
2.51/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This one was a real bummer. I expected much more ased on other reviews.

Appearance: Deep brown. Caramel colored head. Mid-sized bubbles. Head fell somewhat quickly from a nice 1" to a thin .125".

Smell: This beer has a nice creamy smell. It is not complex, but you can pick up on the two main flavors - vanilla and espresso.

Taste: Starts with a heavy artificial vanilla extract taste. Finishes heavy on the espresso - almost like taking a shot of espresso with a shot of some cheap vanilla coffee flavoring. Too much of both, not enough of anything else.

Mouthfeel: Light consistency and generally unpleasant afterward from the unsatisfactory burnt espresso-vanilla extract taste left in mouth.

Drinkability: Maybe something that should be sold in 2-4 oz increments as a curiosity. Could never use this as a session beer. (827 characters)

Photo of mentor
2.51/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle provided by Jaeger, thanks for the opportunity. Pours a single finger brown tan head over a dark liquid. Dark brown-red edging when held to light. Aroma of scorch caramel during the pour. To the nose, very much like creme brulee with some alcohol sting. Butterscotch, scorch sugar, vanilla extracty, drying coffee.

Tastes dry chocolate with scorch sugar and burned caramel. Butterscotch and vanilla. Not so much cream in the flavor as needed if it were to taste like the dessert. Aftertaste is pretty accurate. Drying scorch with memories of the dessert hanging on the sides of the tongue. Creamy lushious mouthfeel until the finish, in which everything dries too much. Needs to coat and hang on the tongue, IMO. Leaves the mouth vacant with woody-like grit on the tongue. Gives a perception that the earlier flavors were empty. Burned flavor gets overbearing as I near the bottom of the glass, making the beer not so drinkable. Thankfully I'm sharing this with two friends. (982 characters)

Photo of drcarver
2.53/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - a thick black body with that slowly releases a thin medium brown film to the top. It fades quickly and leaves no lacing.

S - an assertive cream and vanilla aroma that smells of boxed cake mix

T/M - sweet yet a bit of burnt bitterness sits in the back. Vanilla is very much to the forefront and hangs around. Thinner in body than expectted. There is an astringent bitterness that floats over the sweetness.

O - no, good try but no. (437 characters)

Photo of Indybier
2.53/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep cocoa w/little-to-no head. Minimal lacing.

Everything about this beer is sweet. The nose: sweet caramel, vanilla extract, butterscotch.

Taste: Like the nose, it's sweet; cloyingly so. I really couldn't get any beer/malt/stout notes, whatsoever. From an interest standpoint, it lost me after the first 3 sips - after that, I just wanted to finish it and move on.

If this stout was 90% beer/stout flavored and not 90% sweet caramel/vanilla, it could be a totally different ballgame.

Not a re-buy. (512 characters)

Photo of ricke
2.54/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Almost black with a small beige head that leaves some lacings on the glass as it settles.

S: Very strange. It smells more like pasty or cookies than a stout. Burnt sugar, vanilla, toffee - well, it smells like creme brulee. Beneath this massive wall of dessert-like aromas, some muted aromas or roasted malts and a hint of coffee are noticeable.

T: An absolute mess. It's cloyingly sweet with overpowering notes of vanilla, burnt sugar, caramel and toffee. I get the exact same feeling of pastry, cookies or other desserts that I got from the smell. Some stout flavors or roasted malts, dark fruits and chocolate beneath it all. The finish is quite bitter, but the bitterness is off queue and fails to level the sweetness. A hint of wood at the end.

M: Full-bodied and creamy thick texture that makes the beer quite heavy.

D: Too strange and too sweet to ever get interesting. It's definitely one of a kind, I'll give the brewery that. And the fact that it tastes so much like creme brulee is quite impressive. But it still isn't a good beer. It's basically just a cloyingly sweet dessert disguised as a stout, and if I want a dessert, I'll get a dessert, not a beer. (1,175 characters)

Photo of generallee
2.55/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 1pt. 6oz. or 650ml bottle in to a snifter.

Appearance: A big, thick and foamy head sits on top of a very dark brown and opaque body. Its head is dark tan in color and it slowly fades to just a very thin covering. Lacing is rather sparse and slick as it slides down the sides of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is strong and noticeable as soon as the bottle is opened. The big bold sweetness of caramel and vanilla bean hits the nose. Under that there is a hint of roasted malt and sweet boozy alcohol like butterscotch schnapps.

Taste/Mouth feel: The flavor is overwhelmingly sweet!!! A thick, heavy caramel flavor dominates the over some creamy vanilla notes as well as a hint of dark powdery chocolate. Hop flavor is well hidden with just a slight bitterness sliding in near the finish. Also there is a mild warming from its 10% abv. The body is heavy and full with a syrupy slick, sticky texture. Its carbonation was mild which added to the slickness.

Notes: Its thick sticky body and its unchecked, unbalanced sweetness made for a very slow sipping beverage. It's not exactly my cup of tea but cheers to Southern Tier for pushing the boundary with a very interesting beer. (1,217 characters)

Photo of mntlover
2.55/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours black with nice small bar pour head, coco head that leaves plenty of lace down my glass even though it was smaller.

Aroma is sweet and to me 95% caramel sure there is some roasted noted and coffee. But caramel apples come to mind on first whiff and stays that way even wife says caramel big caramel. Not bad but not what I would consider a big stout smell.

Taste is well the same as the nose loads of sweet caramel not into liquors but has to taste more like a caramel liquor then a beer. Way sweet loads of caramel some roasted notes and coffee in the finish. Not happy with this server said it was sweet not big deal have had hundreds of stouts but nothing to prepare me for this. Would not have this again would not recommend this unless you just want to drink cloying caramel with roasted coffee hints.

Mouthfeel is a good point nice smooth full bodied brew.

Overall not my cup of beer but to each his own. (920 characters)

Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,363 ratings.