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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)

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BA SCORE
87
very good

3,654 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,654
Reviews: 1,302
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 17.99%
Wants: 256
Gots: 548 | FT: 29
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: 3,654 | Reviews: 1,302 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

The aroma is pure creme brulee, chocolate coffee liquer. The mouthfeel is above average, and yes it tastes like creme brulee. Coffee and the like are the biggest stomach irritants known to man, and this was no exception. Great job, but not something I will go for again. Dangerously high alchol, disguised of course behind the sugar.
Had this again 1.5 years later and it made a good sweet dessert at the end of a tasting, but just half a glass is enough.

Sammy, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of t0rin0
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%

22 oz bottle from halfP1NT.

Pours almost black, a touch of dark red showing through. Beautiful silky smooth brown head. Moderate retention, good lacing.

Aroma is initially milk and vanilla. Then the roast, alcohol, and a touch of vegatable hop smell comes through. Partly 5.0 and partly 2.0.

Flavor is sweet, vanilla, pretty bitter, somewhat roasty, and a touch of crystal malt. I have never really encountered a beer that had lactose in it in any noticeble dose. Now that I have, I think I like it. Alcohol is noticeable.

Body is medium, maybe even a tad on the light side. Didn't know what to make of it. Should it be heavy like an imperial stout or should it be thin like a milk stout? Nice in any event. Drinkable due to its nice flavors and wonderful aroma but the alcohol is something to watch out for.

t0rin0, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%

Thanks to mjtiernan for sending me this one!

Pours an opaque black with a small 1/2 inch khaki head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. Small amounts of lacing slide back down into the rest of the beer on the drink down. Smells exactly like creme brulee. Very sweet milk, vanilla, and caramelized sugar aromas. Taste is a bit different than I was expecting. Up front there is a pretty bitter roasted malt taste that develops into a sweet cream, vanilla, and caramelized sugar aftertaste. The bitterness fades after each sip leaving the creme brulee flavors on the palate. This beer is definitely less sweet than it smells. Mouthfeel is very rich and creamy with a lower level of carbonation. Overall, this is a good beer that smells and tastes very similar to the creme brulee dessert. I split this one with my wife and she absolutely loved it. This and the Choklat are the best ST Black Water Series beers that I have tried.

UCLABrewN84, May 28, 2011
Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -22.9%

djrn2, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%

Reviewed from notes.

Pours black with a slight mocha head. The nose is really quite extreme--even for this series--as it brings forward loads of sweet cream and vanilla along with burnt sugar. In the back are some roasted malts, coffee, and light chocolate flavors. The taste really brings the sweetness forward and it gets to be quite cloying. The mouthfeel is rather thick and a bit of an alcohol burn sets in toward the end. I would really have a difficult time drinking more than 4oz. or so of this, though the nose is incredible.

Thorpe429, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

nmann08, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

zestar, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

acurtis, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of metter98
4.28/5  rDev +10%

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high tan head that quickly faded away and left lacy patterns of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There is a strong and sweet aroma of butterscotch and vanilla beans in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of caramel, brown sugar, heavy cream and vanilla beans.
M: It feels medium-bodied, smooth and slightly viscous on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: Drinking this beer is practically like having dessert; it goes down very easily and there's not a trace of the alcohol content in the smell and taste.

metter98, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of brentk56
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%

Appearance: Pours a dark chocolate brown with a tan cap that fades with rapidity but leaves plenty of foamy dots around the chalice

Smell: Creme brulee from a mile away; hard to imagine it is a beer

Taste: Vanilla, butterscotch and creme up front, with a building sweet intensity through mid-palate and beyond; unlike the draft version, the bottled sample seems all about the sweetness, right through the lingering finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; a bit cloying

Drinkability: Loved this on draft, but in the bottle, it becomes a bit tiresome; still quite an accomplishment to make a beer taste like dessert

brentk56, Apr 27, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%

Tarantula brownish black with blood red highlights. The beer is anything but a black hole and appears barely opaque when backlit with afternoon sunshine. Atop the liquid sits a golden brown sugar colored crown that gets the job done, including leaving attractive sheets of tattered lace on the upper reaches of the glass.

My nostrils don't have to get anywhere near the glass to appreciate the aroma. The beer smells like a flavored coffee drink that's dominated by caramel. I suppose it also smells like creme brulee, but I've only had that dessert once and that was more than 20 years ago. Do I smell coconut as well? Odd.

I can see how Creme Brulee is a polarizer. It's both different and delicious, but it's starting to wear out its welcome as the ounces cruise by. It doesn't seem possible that the brewers created this flavor profile with nothing more than dark caramel malt, vanilla beans and lactose. Then again, why not?

Creme Brulee is billed as an Imperial Milk Stout, but it doesn't really taste like it. That whole burnt sugar/creme caramel/vanilla vibe takes it in an entirely new direction. For my money, Southern Tier's Imperial chocolate stout (Choklat), Imperial coffee stout (Jahva) and Imperial oatmeal stout (Oat) are much, much better. Those first two are outstanding.

It's weird how I still taste coconut. That's in addition to the flavors described above, plus vanilla and melted milk chocolate. The Columbus and Horizon hops provide a background bitterness that keeps the beer from being overly sweet. In the end, it doesn't all come together as well as I'd like.

Considering the style and the ABV, the mouthfeel fails to close the deal. It's a fraction thin and isn't as creamy as it should be. The carbonation wouldn't be as noticeable in a plusher, more velvety brew.

The Black Water Series from Southern Tier contains some of the best beer on planet Earth. Unfortunately, Creme Brulee misses the mark (although not by much) because it pushes the envelope too far in one direction. Some love it, some hate it. I can take it or leave it.

BuckeyeNation, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%

Bottle: Poured a deep pitch-black color stout with a medium light brown foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma is totally dominated by vanilla and some weird crème brulé-like syrup. Taste is also dominated by the vanilla and whatever syrup they've used and little else is discernable. Full body but could have been creamier with good carbonation and no discernable alcohol. Interesting experiment but a bit over the top and not sure I would want to drink a full bottle by myself.

Phyl21ca, Oct 03, 2008
Photo of BEERchitect
4.53/5  rDev +16.5%

As Southern Tier does with all Black Water beers in the series, this one oozes with creamy goodness of chocolate cream pie, to the point that I forget that this is a 10% Milk Stout.

Very strong aromas of, well... Creme Brulle. Strong vanilla, coffee, chocolate. Very well balanced and mouth watering. A light hint of cola comes in the end.

Flavors of vanilla and powdered sugar start off in as well as any beer imaginable. Soon, strong coffee, chocolate, vanilla, heavy cream, and merange (sp?) engulf the beer and dive heavy into a Khaluha-like alcohol taste and strength. Very nice but that extra sweetness begins to take the form of aspirtame from time to time.

Quite heavy on the palate due to light carbonation, heavy sweetness, and firm maltiness. Bitterness seems to come from a lot of directions; hops, bitter cocoa, coffee, and again that aspirtame bite. Finishes a bit cleaner than expected with a deep chocolate and vanilla linger. I would probably prefer this beer without the disjointed bitterness.

Again, this is not a desert beer- It is the desert!

Thanks JNN4V

BEERchitect, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of mikesgroove
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

Picked this one up in a trade recently. I had been dying to try it as I had heard some mixed things regarding it. Needless to say I just had to get it. Twenty two ounce bomber that was served at cellar temp and poured into an oversized wine glass.

One of the best pours I have seen in a long time. Rich dark brown, essentially opaque with a huge head of off white foam that reached a height of three inches before finally deciding to come down to around two inches and leave it at that. Huge amounts of side glass lacing just ringing the inside of the glass and thoroughly coating everything that was in sight.

The aroma was just insane. I am not even sure what to make of this one here. Rich and bitter vanilla flavor. A touch of light alcohol, but this was very well hidden. Huge aroma here, my wife complained later in the night she could smell it an hour after the bottle was empty. This was the thickest, most bitter vanilla smell you could imagine. The flavor was more of the same. Now I have heard mixed reviews about this and I can really see why. You have to take it for what it is. This is a dessert beer, this bottle should be shared with like four people as by itself, this is way too much for one person. I was really struggling towards the end, as the flavor was soo insanely sweet, maple sugar, vanilla, molasses, hints of caramel, I mean if it was a kind of sugar it was dumped in this in great quantity. There was a smooth, delicate feel on this with more then adequate carbonation making up the majority of the body. But still, even the aftertaste hung with you for what seemed like a day and a half. A sipper for sure, but something that needs to be shared.

Overall not bad at all, not the best thing, but for what the style is, this was actually pretty damn good. It looked and smelled fantastic, it was just the overall volume of this bottle was a bit much for me. Something akin to a KRE would be much better for this as it is needs to be sampled in limited amounts. A must try though for the novelty of it.

mikesgroove, Aug 08, 2008
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Texasfan549, May 02, 2012
Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

kjkinsey, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of womencantsail
1.43/5  rDev -63.2%

A: The pour is a dark brown color with a khaki colored head that settles down to a thin layer.

S: The amount of butterscotch, caramel, vanilla and burnt sugar in the nose is nearly unbearable. I felt like I got a cavity just from smelling it.

T: I thought the nose was bad, but jeeze. This is pure, unadulterated sugar. Butterscotch, burnt sugar, vanilla, caramel, and some sugar on top for good measure. A bit creamy, but who really cares?

M: The body is medium with a low carbonation and a tooth rotting sweetness.

D: I'm pretty sure I am diabetic after having taken a few sips of this beer. So unbearably sweet and sugary without any sort of balance.

womencantsail, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -10%

ygtbsm94, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

spycow, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10%

GRG1313, Mar 13, 2014
Photo of kylehay2004
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%

A: single finger head with very nice lace. Black with no light getting through.

S: smells exactly like creme brulee and caramel.

T: creme brulee and caramel up front which dissipates quickly to a smokey finish.

M: moderate to high carbonation. Thick body.

Overall: a little offensive with the sweetness at first but finishes nicely.

kylehay2004, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of jaydoc
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

jaydoc, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%

Appearance: Dark brown, near black body with a thinnish, short-lived, light beige head.

Smell: Oh-so sweet-smelling aroma crammed with full notes of roast, vanilla beans, charred sugars, caramel, chocolate and burnt cream.

Taste: Strong flavors of dark caramel, chocolate, roast, unbaked cookie dough, honey-soaked oven-toasted nuts, and fresh vanilla. Tons of sweetness throughout. Southern Tier, like the Indians, used every part of the vanilla bean. Creamy milk, fire-licked sugar crust. Touch of roasty bitterness, but, let's be honest, nowhere near the level needed to even begin to temper the dessert-like sweetness. All of the flavors race across the palate on the way to the coffee-ish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-low carbonation. Creamy, velvety, succulent mouthfeel.

Drinkability: All kinds of fantastic. Very yummy, very luscious, very enjoyable. Highly recommended, but beware, as this is a true love it or hate it brew. Hopefully, you'll be in the love it camp.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of Knapp85
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%

This has got to be my absolute favorite Southern Tier release. This beer pours out as a very thick black goop that lets off a thick creamy brown head on it. The smell is unreal, the burnt sugar aroma mixed to perfect with the sweet vanilla extract smell. My nose could stay in the glass all day on this one. The taste is sweet and slightly roasted, one of the best tasting beers I've had that is supposed to resemble another food of somekind. The mouthfeel is a slippery and thick, worth while for a long night of sipping from a snifter glass. Overall I love this beer. I know a ton of people don't but I find it to be a gem. Really want to get this one on-tap someday.

Knapp85, May 31, 2011
Photo of oberon
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%

One of the few ST beers I havent had the chance to try,(it came out after I moved away from western NY)if you like creme brulee you will like this beer.Poured a jet black with a frothy one finger light mocha colored head,minimal lace was left as it settled rather quickly.Wow it cant get much more spot on in the aroma,burnt sugar and hefty vanilla/caramel aromas, with slight roast as well.Dessert in a bottle,the only problem is it gets cloyingly sweet in a hurry,big vanilla/caramel flavors with some mollasses as well,only a hint of dry roastiness comes through.My wife loves it and is finishing mine,I respect the job ST did in making this beer,its just to sweet for me.

oberon, Nov 24, 2009
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Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,654 ratings.