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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,369 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,369
Hads: 4,233
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 30.53%
Wants: 364
Gots: 879 | FT: 30
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: 1,369 | Hads: 4,233
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 9/4/08 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub, in Pawtucket, RI, served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of strong creamy chocolate and vanilla along with roasted malts.

T: The taste is very malty and sweet up front as you would expect from an "imperial milk stout" with strong milky flavors of chocolate and vanilla. There's a mild but complimentary hops presence that brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: Tasty and flavorful, goes down dangerously easily, slightly filling, deceptively strong kick, very good representation of style, since this beer is so heavy, it's a good sipper to sit down and relax with and also works well as a desert beer.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Alright; I've heard just about all there is to hear about this beer. I'm walking into it open-minded; I think this is my first beer from Southern Tier. Expectations are high; I like the sound of it. Acquired at a local beer store for $15.00 (this shit's hard to come by in Los Angeles). 9.60% ABV confirmed. I don't have a snifter on-hand, so I'm serving the 650ml brown glass bottle with a standard pressure cap into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in Los Feliz. Reviewed live.

Served after a period of rest from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of its consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger tan colour head of good cream and thickness, and great retention considering the high ABV. Body colour is a nontransparent opaque solid black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Pretty appealing for the style.

Sm: Sweet Jesus, that is one hell of an aroma. Overpowering creme brulee: custard, vanilla, sweet sugar, and luxurious dessert. Staggeringly appealing. I can't wait to try it. Buttery as all hell. I'm wary of the sweetness, but I'll bite. It's exactly as it should be considering the aims of the beer.

T: Heavy vanilla sweetness with custard and buttery qualities abound. Yes, that definitely tastes like creme brulee. And it's not as artificial as some have noted. Cream, custard, sugar, whipped cream, sinful vanilla dessert notes. Wow. Maltiness is hidden actually; I couldn't tell you if the malts were dark or light based on the taste alone. I assume they're dark. No roast at all. No real chocolate. Just creme brulee throughout, like a tasteful dessert wine. Definitely meets its aims, but the sweetness is quite over the top. I don't know if I want to finisht his whole bottle. No yeast or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Smooth, wet, creamy, clean, sinful. As buttery and sugary as they come. Suits the flavour profile near perfectly. Good thickness and carbonation.

Dr: Wow. This really does taste like creme brulee. It's right up there in the best specialty beers, for sure. The drinkability, however, is quite limited. Frankly, they bottled it in too large a bottle. No one in their right mind would want to consume the entirety of this bottle alone. I of course will do so because I'm not a pretentious twat who drainpours everything that isn't good enough for my posh lips. It hides its ABV remarkably well and would pair brilliantly with actual creme brulee, but the drinkability is very limited. This is one hell of a beer and it's certainly unique. I don't think anyone denies that. For that reason alone, every beer fanatic needs to try it at least once. Preferably in a small pour, though. This is a dentist's nightmare.


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Photo of Rifugium
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

On tap: major improvement from when I had it in a bottle. Again, poured a thick, chocolate brown with a nice tan head that retained for a little while, but almost disappeared mid-drink. Caramel and toffee in the nose, cream, and dark malts. Unlike the bottle, the taste matched the aroma more and was more enjoyable with almost no aftertaste. It tasted sweet and creamy, and well, like creme brulee, as the name would imply. Finishes dry and a bit bitter. Smooth, rich mouthfeel, and nicely drinkable.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty dark black with a very thin tan head. Nose is so heavy with vanilla that it reminds me of Coffeemate Vanilla Whatever-It-May-Be. Highly sugared, very sweet. Flavor is sweet as well. It really almost hijacks the experience. But there is a slight roasted edge that kind of adds a slightly different dimension to it that helps keep it interesting. Overall though, it is very sweet. And knowing how big the bottle is ahead of me, I'm not really sure how I am going to drink it all. Feel is smooth on the liquid, and I mean rrrreeeal smooth. Carbonation is low, but as it should be. This is very drinkable, yes. I think the problem is that the bottle is a bomber. 22 ounces? I mean come on. You need to share this with a party of six people to keep it pleasureable. As a side note to all brewers: The first person to brew this kind of thing and bottle it in say a 6 or 7 ounce bottle might have something interesting on their hands. Bottom line is that this is yet another well made and interesting beer from Southern Tier. I don't know what happened to their brains over there, but hey...keep it up.

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Photo of russpowell
4.71/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Props to Jw347, cheers Jonathan!

Pours mahogany with a pinky of tan head. Above average head retention & average lacing

S: Rich caramel & coffee, & a touch of coconut; & a touch of cinnamon as this warms; yummy

T: Yummy caramel & a touch of coffee, some leafy hops hiding in the background up front. Coffee grounds do battle with chocolate & more caramel as this warms. Finishes much caramel & creamy chocolate notes. This is pulled off nicely

MF: Medium bodied, some stickyness, semi-creamy & low carbonation

Drinks pretty good, I could pound a few with dessert, a cheese tray or even a red curry. Will ding it a bit, because it would grown old after about 2 pints as a stand alone session beer. The ABV is artfully hidden

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Fathead's sampler glass from the Steel City Big Pour fest...I'm sharing with family and friends. Pours pitch blacdk with a tan mocha head, fine even lacing scattered on the sides of the sampler glass. Aroma is full of creamy milk chocolate, caramelized nearly burn sugars, a touch of alcohol. This beer smells sweeter than dessert and tastes like cream filled cocolate/burnt marshmellow crusted in caramel. A dessert beer that I wouldn't drink a 22 ounce bottle of unless I wanted to pay for it. Mouthfeel is creamy syrupy but so worth it, I don't think it's designed forme but it's delicious. Drinkability overall agan it's way to sweet and cloying to drink in number or volume but if you taste it your amazed with what Southern Tier is doing with beer.

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Photo of smcolw
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Modest beige head. The liquid is near black--no light passes through the glass. Slippery lace that slides back into the head.

This truly smells like creme brulee: very sweet vanilla with caramelized table sugar.

Lots of burnt sugar flavor--too burnt for a good creme brulee. There's an element of coffee/mocha to the bitterness. The body is rich, almost oily. Light hop in the background.

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Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 1/9/2014. Pours dense pitch black color with a 2 finger fairly dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of huge caramel, toffee, vanilla, butterscotch, cream, custard, brown sugar, toast, light coffee, and light herbal hops. Fantastic aromas with very authentic creme brulee character with light-moderate hop presence; with big strength. Taste of big caramel, toffee, vanilla, butterscotch, custard, cream, brown sugar, toast, light coffee, and light herbal/pine hops. Slight earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, vanilla, cream, butterscotch, brown sugar, custard, toast, light coffee, and slight herbal/pine hops on the finish for a while. Incredible robustness and complexity of dark malt, lactose, and vanilla flavors; with just enough hop bitterness to cut out any cloying sweetness on the finish. Medium carbonation and full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and slightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding imperial milk stout! All around awesome balance of dark malt, vanilla, and lactose flavors with moderate hop balance; and extremely smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown color, with reddish edges...thinnish, roasted tan head. It's undulating now, actually, not sure why, it's pretty stable sitting on my desk.

And I can smell the vanilla from here at my chair. Let's bring it in...Yup, all vanilla, with cocoa close behind. Swet and lovely.

Mmm. Smooth, sweet, creamy, fluffy, but yet still solid. Delicious. Yum. Dark and light. Sweet and substance. Rich and airy. Candy, and caramel malt, and ...yumminess.
The ten percent alcohol level boasted on the label is not felt in the slightest.

Why the cows on the label, though? They make cream, maybe, but not vanilla. Whatever.
Good stuff, here. Great dessert brew.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass. A 2009 bottle that says the ABV is 10.0%.

a - Pours a dark brown with a little bit of carbonation and 1.5 fingers of tan head that has great retention and lacing.

s - This is one amazing smelling beer. Very sweet with lots of caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, and malts. Maybe a little chocolate.

t - Follows the nose. Lots of butterscotch and very sweet. Some vanilla and malts as well. Aftertaste is more caramel and butterscotch with hints of booze.

m - Medium to full body with light carbonation. Very thick and creamy.

d - Thought this was a great stout. If you like sweet smells and tastes, you'd probably like this; if you like butterscotch or caramel, you'd probably love it. The only knock I can see against it is a 22 oz. bottle being too much to drink by yourself due to the sweetness. Personally this isn't a problem for me as I enjoy sweet caramel/butterscotch, but I know some people who can't. Either way, this could be a great stout to share with some friends with dessert.

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Photo of chinchill
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle

A - opaque, but clear, dark red-brown body with great reddish highlights under light. Smallish but durable tan head.

S - smells like a superb liqueur; vanilla and caramel dominate, but has good depth and complexity. I'd give it a 5 were it not for the alcohol, even though it is partially hidden.

T - like the smell, this is rather weet, but well-crafted with the flavors and aromas blending very nicely but in your mouth. Smooth, tiny bitter kick, liquid vanilla creme cake. Very sweet but I like it.

M - light carbonation; creamy smooth; medium+ body; some obvious warming from the high ABV.

O - A bit too sweet, but after all, it is a "creme brulee". Exceptionally smooth; unique flavor. Great dessert beer.

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Photo of jwc215
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a tan head that thins and stays, leaving lacing. Great retention for abv.

The smell is of creme brulee. Incredible how they replicated it - custard and vanilla very strong - It's not "like" or "reminiscent of" it IS...

Tastes like a creme brulee too, though there is a roasted and bitterish undertone to let you know that this is a beer with creme brulee flavor. There is a touch of roast - some burnt sugar - and bitterness to keep it sweet enough, but not sticky or cloying. Chocolate notes appear as it progresses, adding to the complexity.

It has a rich, full, creamy body.

Incredible how they did this - a creme brulee beer, for sure. An awesome dessert beer. They replicated a creme brulee while keeping balance to the sweetness. Alcohol covered reasonably well. A nice, smooth, sipper!

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Photo of drabmuh
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer served in a shaker pint. Beer is black / dark brown with a wispy lazy head of small bubbles, no lacing, low carbonation, looks fine.

Aroma is super sweet, strong with vanilla, some roast and coffee in there too.

Congratulations, this beer tastes like creme brulee with a lot of vanilla. Very creamy, medium mouthfeel and body, no carbonation, sweet up front, sweet on the middle, sweet fnish. It is not cloying but it is pushing it, I've had this beer twice now and finally bothered to write a review. If you like diabetes inducing sweetness, check this out.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some dark brown highlights and light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall tan head that quickly reduces to a small patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Strong aromas of butterscotch, vanilla, and caramel.

T: Strong flavors of caramel, brown sugar, heavy cream/whipped cream, and vanilla. The overall flavor is quite sweet but not cloying and very tasty. Very much reminds me of the flavors of creme brulee.

M: Just a touch heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Silky smooth.

O: This beer is quite easy to drink with the fairly high ABV extremely well hidden. Super enjoyable, I think of this beer as dessert with the sweetness and it delivers on the name/description. I have enjoyed this one since the first time I tried it and many of my family have grown to enjoy it as well after having me suggest they try it.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes.

A: Pours a deep black color with a mocha colored head on top, decent head retention. Some foamy lacing forms on the sides that reduces to a very thin layer by the end.

S: Wow, incredibly aromatic. Lots of sugar, vanilla, caramel, and a little bit of spice. Really does not smell like any beer I have had before. In a word, rich.

T: More of the same form the aroma. Extremely sweet, with vanilla, caramel, and toasted sugar. Rich and cloying.

M: Medium to full bodied, and filling. Rather creamy, but still has some nice carbonation.

O: Liked it more than I was expecting actually. No way I could drink a whole 22, let alone a pint, but with a rich dessert, this could be really good.

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Photo of mothman
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Just shared this with some new friends. Poured into a pint glass.

Color is a dark dark brown. Has 1 finger of head, decent retention leaving some lace.

Aroma was good, but very sweet. Milk and chocolate. Very creamy. This is an interesting aroma.

Taste: Here is the problem, this beer is so damn sweet. Milk, chocolate, and very creamy. I could maybe have 4 ounces of this, but the taste is so sweet.

Mouthfeel: Silky and creamy. Full bodied. Decent amount of retention. Ends with a sweet chocolate aftertaste.

Overall, this beer is simply to sweet. I couldn't drink a lot of it. It is good, but I wouldn't want a lot. I can see this being good on ice cream or chocolate cake.

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Photo of ShanePB
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, 2011 release poured into multiple tulip glasses.

A: Deep dark brown, borderline black body with a bubbly light beige head. Nice retention cap helped leave behind some sticky lace on the walls. An Imperial Milk Stout? Yeah, this pretty much looks dead on for what it is.

S: Sweet vanilla, caramel, toasted sugar, custard, chocolate morsels and touches of cinnamon. It's a phenomenal and decadent smelling beer. Really, nothing of a beer at all. Take the dessert and put it into liquid form. Rich, robust and intoxicating this, although sweet smelling, is just what it's billed to be.

T: More sweet and sugary flavors, vanilla, caramel, chocolate, custard pie and caramelized sugar. It's very sweet, very cloying but still tastes great. After a while this does become to be too much, but splitting the bottle and sipping this one over the course of the evening remedies this. I mean honestly, if you want creme brulee in a glass, this is it.

M: Bubbly, creamy though fairly active on the carbonation. It's easily medium-bodied but the milkiness texture of it keeps it from being a full-bodied, robust stout. Not bad at all though, very enjoyable.

The fact of the matter is, this beer is exactly what it was intended to be. Yes, it's sweet and yes, it's extremely overboard in flavor. But that's what makes this beer so accurate to being creme brulee in beer form. If that's not what you want, don't look here. For what it is, this is just wonderful.

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Photo of stakem
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber that I had in the fridge and pretty much forgot about until asked to bring some brews to the family get together on Thanksgiving. I decided dessert was the best time to open this up and share with the family.

Poured into several small wine glasses, this brew appears a dark brown color with decent clarity. When held to the light, it displays some ruby coloring. The head is creamy tan that retains fairly well and as it recedes leaves some spots of lace on the glass.

The smell of this brew absolutely reeks of butterscotch. Nothing but butterscotch is all I smell for most of the duration with small hints of vanilla and an indication of fruity alcohol in the background. If you enjoy werthers originals, this might be a beer for you.

The taste of this brew is dark fruity alcohol tasting somewhat of plum but man is the alcohol right out front greeting you with each sip. A dark grain flavor is present which is somewhat bitter that resides inside the mouth almost with a taste of coffee and dark bitter chocolate. Citrus hops are in the background with a faint vanilla flavoring.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. The flavors are certainly in line with what I have come to expect from Southern Tier's "Blackwater series." These stouts are stouts that are highly flavored that push the limits of what I am comfortable with enjoying but are fairly decent intro beers for people to try that might not necessarily enjoy dark beers.

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Photo of WesWes
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep dark black color with a 1/2" brown head that fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has a kick ass caramel and vanilla scent. It smells like a fine after dinner snack. What a treat! The taste is good. It has a strong black and chocolate malt base along with lactose for sweetness and a very nice vanilla bean finish. This beer is outstanding; a real easy drinker. It's sweet, but I like it. The flavor is right on with the name. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. I can't say enough about this beer. Southern Tier has become a premiere brewering powerhouse. Everything they brew is top notch. A road trip is in the works.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Capone's in Philadelphia.

The beer is dark brown with light crimson highlights, and a thin, wispy, tan head. Spotty, random lacing left on the sides of the snifter. The aroma...wow. One can detect this beer from several feet away. Huge aroma of coconut, flan, maple syrup, brown sugar. The label speaks truth...this is creme brulee. Good flavor, though less enjoyable than the aroma. Booze is prevalent throughout. Sweet and rich, this brew is akin to a gourmet dessert. A small portion is perfect. Honestly, this is an intriguing and creative beer. Well worth trying.

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Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, deep brownish black with a 1” of brown, chocolaty head with great retention. Nose is intense vanilla, a hint of roasted malt, and very mild alcohol esters. Taste is rich vanilla and caramel with just a hint of a coffee like malt flavor. Mouthfeel is rich, smooth, bold, and full bodied.

Dessert in a bottle. This is an amazing beer!

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Photo of Mora2000
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy thirdeye11.

Pours black with a tan head. The aroma is strong butterscotch with a lot of sweetness and some vanilla. Definitely a different aroma. The flavor is butterscotch, praline and vanilla. Medium mouthfeel, low carbonation and very drinkable, but I can't see myself drinking more than six ounces at a time since it is so sweet. This beer would serve as a great stand alone dessert.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

05/15/09- Purchased at Chucks Wines in Chargin Falls, OH.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance- Brown colored pour. About a 1/2 inch head which turns into small bubbles. Leaves some light spotting of lace behind.

Smell- Smells dead on like a mix of creme brulee and kalhua. Very nice and potent scent.

Taste- Extremely rich and almost sickeningly sweet. I then looked at the label and it said to drink at 42 degrees rather than 55+. So, I put it back in the fridge for 30 minutes and drank the rest. A bit better but quite sweet still. The malt comes through a bit more with a roasted flavor.

Mouthfeel- A bit overcarbonated. I would think this would be much better on a hand pump possibly. Lots of caramel and vanilla aftertaste.

Drinkability- Not really my cup of tea. I would have downgraded, but I know it's because I just don't really care for creme brulee and the sweetness this beer imparted. I know it probably is a well crafted beer though.

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Photo of billab914
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier glass. Pours black with a tan head that settled to a thin covering that clung to the sides. A little lacing on the glass as I drank it.

Aroma has a very strong vanilla and butterscotch presence, maybe a little chocolate but it's tough to get anything else over the Creme Brulee flavors. Smells pretty much like a Creme Brulee in beer form.

Taste has vanilla with some chocolate and some roasted grains in the bitter finish. The butterscotch isn't as pronounced as in the nose but it's still there. Has a sweetness to it as well which was expected. Pretty much tastes like Creme Brulee.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is not great, it's a very strong flavor and pretty sweet. 22 oz is definitely too much for one person, splitting it with several people would be good.

Overall this is pretty much exactly like Creme Brulee in a bottle. It is good in moderate amounts but gets overwhelming after a bit. A 4 oz sample for desert would be great. It seems like they hit their target of Creme Brulee pretty well though.

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Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: black in color with a 2" head that lingers around a while.

Smell: loads of vanilla, roasted malts, and some coffee aroma are most notable.

Taste: big malt profile with loads of vanilla, dark bitter chocolates, brown sugar, and espresso. Bitterness helps cut into the big sweetness here.

Mouthfeel: heavier in body. Smooth from start to finish. Aftertaste is very long as the flavors stick to your tongue.

Drinkability: after completing the bomber bottle, I kind of lost interest in having any more. This is a one or two glass beer at best.

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Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,369 ratings.