Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

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

very good
1,422 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout)Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout)

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States | website

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

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

Added by ph2001 on 07-12-2008

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,422 | Ratings: 4,443
Photo of mentor
2.51/5  rDev -36.1%
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 BMoney575
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Sampled on 8-24-08

Pours a thick black, with a little red just peeking around the edges. A bubbly head quickly fades,leaving super thin lacing.

Smell is all vanilla, sweet, but not overwhelming. Very roasty, with a little bit of coffee in there. Phenomenal complexity.

Taste is just like the smell, tons of vanilla, tons of coffee. Very strong, and super sweet, but the flavors are unbelievable. The alcohol adds a mild warming, but is otherwise nonexistent.

Mouthfeel is good, maybe a little thin, but the carbonation is very pleasant.

Drinkability is terrible, the flavors are insane and the sweetness starts to really kick your ass.

Overall, a gigantic beer and a nice surprise from oft-disappointing Southern Tier. Worth picking one up.

 746 characters

Photo of MiScusi
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Dyan for getting me some of these!

A- A nice dark black (or dark brown when you look closely as tilted), the light tan head builds up fairly nicely and sits above but fades away pretty fast. If you look at it closely, the dark liquid is actually pretty clear.

S- Butterscotch. Period. I've read a lot about this beer and was expecting a huge amount of Vanilla. Maybe I dont know my vanilla enough, because all I can get out of this is a huge amount of butterscotch. But I like it. It's like butterscotch mocha coffee. Oh yeah and the 10% abv comes through a bit as it jumps out and stings the nostrils.

T- Again, massive butterscotch. Alcohol too, just barely noticeable. Behind all that butterscotch it tastes like there is a little sweet milk chocolate, not sure if they added lactose to this beer but it seems like it.

M- It's actually not THAT thick. I think they nailed it. If it were too thick (like their Jah-Va) it would be really hard to drink with these flavors but they kept it medium-heavy in mouthful.... almost the consistency of a big Belgian quad.

D- I'm really enjoying this, but the flavor is somewhat one dimensional with butterscotch. I'm not sure if this should have more of a stout-like quality to it with more roastiness, or if this sweet butterscotch is the way to go. I really think as it is aiming to be a one-of-a-kind sorta thing it's better off this way. So in the end, I think this is a great dessert beer. But for drinkabilities score, I loved this one glass, and it went fast, but I didn't even want to touch the rest of the bottle.

 1,580 characters

Photo of gford217
3.22/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of jw347 poured into a snifter.

Pours dark, dark brown that settles black in the glass with a dense tan one-finger head that dissipated to a ring fairly quickly leaving a little lacing. The aroma has an intense butterscotch smell with a little vanilla, caramel and milk as well. It's crazy sweet smelling, like a dessert. The taste continues the sweetness and is pretty one-dimensional in that respect. There is the milk and malt background but it's really about the huge caramel, butterscotch and vanilla tastes which overpower all else. The mouthfeel is very sticky, chewy even, with the sweetness just sticking to the mouth. This is an OK stout but I'd put it near the bottom of the Southern Tier Impy Series. Just a little too sweet for me, making drinkability very low. Damn near impossible to finish the entire bottle. Definitely dessert in a bottle...

 875 characters

Photo of bbothen
2.61/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours dark brown/almost black with a small tan colored bubbly head.

Big overwhelming caramel syrup, butterscotch & vanilla extract scent. Seems to overpower any other aromas going on. You can literally smell this a few feet away. The powerfulness of the aroma is huge, I just don't enjoy the overly sweet smell.

Like the nose there is a huge sweet vanilla, caramel, butterscotch....creme brulee taste. Not much roasted/toasted or coffee flavors to be noticed. Tastes like melted creme brulee ice cream.

Thick, rich, smooth, feels nice actually.

Glad I had the opportunity to try this one, but it doesn't work for me. Too sweet & candy like. The beer is as advertised though, so no complaints.

 696 characters

Photo of tayner
2.64/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

22 oz bomber split between me and two friends as an after dinner drink.

Poured realtively rough into a glass, and it settled a bit "Guinness'esque" with the cool setting of the head. very nice. The head did not last long, though, as the high abv made it disappear quickly.

Smell was, well, almost sickening. It smelled like a simple syrup (sugar and water boiled together) with too much vanilla extract in it, and them simmered down thick and made dark. It was overwhelmingly sweet sugar/vanilla smells.

The taste was not quite as sweet as the smell was, but it tasted like it smelled nonetheless. They were trying for creme brulee, and they probably got as close as humanly possible, but man, it just didnt work for me, and I like creme brulee. As hard as I tried, I couldnt find any "beer" flavor in it... it was almost like it was one of those syrups you would see vendors putting on shaved ice and making a snow cone out of, it was that sweet.

The mouthfeel was good, thick, syrup-y, heavy, and coating like an Imperial/Double stout should be.

Drinkability is low. It was all the three of us combined could do to drink one bomber. I cant see myself ever having the desire to crack open another one either... but maybe it is just not my thing.

 1,256 characters

Photo of Kraken
3.47/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from 22oz bomber into an oversized 20oz pint glass. Heavy handed pour yields minimal 1 finger lite tan head that falls at terminal velocity, mild lacing. Beverage pours midnight black, slight ruby near the edges.

Smell- Intoxicating, caramelized/burnt sugar, vanilla. Is it possible to smell syrupy? Slight booziness.

Taste- Wow very interesting. Vanilla, Caramelized sugar, faint coco, Tons more caramelized sugar. Overly sweet. It really does taste like creme brulee. Slight hop bitters in the finish. On a how I really feel note, this is way too sweet for me. After half a glass the novelty wears off.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and Creamy, yet also thick viscous, heavy and cloying. This would be nice poured over ice cream or served along side a hot double espresso.

Drinkability- Marked down because it is IMO too sweet, and at 10% how many can one have.

 862 characters

Photo of stace
4.9/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours opaque dark brown with a dark beige head.

Smell: Smells of coffee and vanilla, aroma is quite pervasive.

Taste: Very sweet tasting, still with heavy coffee and vanilla tones. The coffee taste almost completely masks the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Not too thick, just right.

Drinkability: This is a sipping beer, a dessert beer. That being said, I was quite happy to enjoy two after dinner.

 404 characters

Photo of soccerman7
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Holy Smoke

Appearance - Beautifully pitch black.
Nose - pure vanilla period.
Taste - Vanilla dominated, sweetness was upfront. An excellent dessert beer, but not a food beer.
Mouth - smooth but very coating. lingers for a long time.
Drinkability - Very sweet but easy. It most certainly is a different style of beer, and worth trying, but needs to be drank last.

It is worth noting that after it started to warm up, the vanilla disapated and some nice roasted flavors came in.

 499 characters

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber to a pint glass the liquid is dark and has ok carbonation. The had is very small brown and leaves little lace.

The smell is good very desert like, lots of vanilla.

The taste follows, the vanilla and alcohol make it quite good something you would pour on ice cream. Chocolate notes are also present but maybe too sweet and deserty.

The mouthfeel is good nice thick body but little carbonation.

The drinkability is off for me as it is just too sweet.

Prosit MK

 484 characters

Photo of vtfan77
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- Very dark brown, not approaching black, but dark. A small beige head forms upon pouring and dissipates quickly.

S- Wow, this is... um... different. Big butterscotch and vanilla aroma, and little else. Seriously, if you blindfolded me and held this up to my nose, I would never guess that it was beer. I would think that it was some kind of butterscotch pudding. Of course, knowing that it is a beer, I can pick out some hints of roasted malt if I really try. I have to say, though, I really, really like it. It's one of the nicest aromas I've come across in a beer. Only its lack of beery characteristics keeps me from awarding it a 5.

T- This is a very, very sweet beer. I'd say it's almost too sweet, nearly to the point of being cloying. The roasted malt presence is much more evident in the taste than it was in the smell and helps to balance the sweetness somewhat. Still, the huge vanilla and butterscotch flavors are what dominate. The overall impression is of iced coffee with lots of vanilla flavor added. It's good, but needs to be taken in small doses.

M- Very smooth and creamy with soft carbonation. The mouthfeel fits the beer perfectly.

D- Although the alcohol is hidden fairly well (although it does come through more as the beer warms), this beer is simply too sweet to be very drinkable. I would suggest sharing the bomber with someone.

I have to say, this was a very interesting beer. The flavors were nice, but the vanilla aspect nearly overpowered everything else. If that were toned down a little and the malt allowed to come through a little more, then I imagine this would be much more drinkable and, overall, better. I still enjoyed it and it's definitely worth a try; just know that subtlety is not this beer's strong suit. I wonder what some aging would do to it...

 1,800 characters

Photo of IBUlover
1.18/5  rDev -70%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

My first review, unfortunately, is spurred by my feeling responsible for warning people to save their money.

Smells like cake batter that tried to drown itself in vanilla extract after downing a pint of vodka. Boozy and sickly sweet aroma can be smelled from across the bar, I actually said 'ugh" as the bottle passed by me on it's way to the poor person who actually had 22 oz of this to drink.

I generally agree that a beer can't be properly reviewed based on 1 sip, but that's literally all you need. Unless you posses a 5 year old's sweet tooth and an alcoholic's liver I'd suggest avoiding this beer.

* Would be interested to try this beer with 1-2 years of aging, but I won't go near it again in the interim.

 718 characters

Photo of Flyer
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

In the context of beer, the rating for this would be questionable. In the context of dessert, this is amazingly good. Crack open the bottle and butterscotch aromas are already leaping at your nose. It pours deep brown black with almost no head. Delicious flavors of butterscotch, caramel, and burnt vanilla. Lingering boozy warmth. Sitting at the bar, I'd say maybe, maybe not. After a meal, why not have a dessert with 10% alcohol?

 432 characters

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

A: Pours a deep brown, not quite black. Almost like motor oil. Very clear. I tried to coax some head out of this but I couldn't get more than a few mm of "creme brulee" colored bubbles that quickly retreated. Swirling the glass leaves huge legs.

S: Good lord. I hate to say it, but this beer smells almost exactly like creme brulee. Intense aroma of charred sugar. You can smell this beer from across the room. Bring it up to your nose and things change into vanilla and molasses. Incredible sweetness. No hop aroma. Faint alcohol tingle in the nose.

T: Amazing taste of caramel and vanilla mixed with high levels of malt sweetness are the first things you'll notice. Sweetness is quickly met by a bitterness that almost seems out of place, I'm not sure if it's the hops or the malt roast. Things finish a touch to the bitter side with some hints of bourbon, but I'm not convinced it's a bad thing. You need something to help cut the initial flavors. No hop flavors.

M: Medium high body, medium carbonation. Alcohol warmth is present and lingering.

D: This is certainly an outstanding beer. It seems ST achieved exactly what they set out to do. That being said, I feel like this should be packaged in 12oz bottles. 22oz is way too much sweetness for me to handle. Creme Brulee Stout is a bottle to share, for sure.

 1,318 characters

Photo of lpayette
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Received in trade as an extra from the generous Lofgrep.

The appearance isn't all that impressive with little carbonation to show off The color is very near pitch black. The little bit of head that is present does produce some lacing however.

Smell is apparent from the start, as opening produces TONS of creme brulee notes. Strong coffee aroma as well.

Taste- A little too burnt on top I think this creme brulee is. From the smell I expected this to be super sweet and delicious. The extra roasted characteristic however was a bit much for me.

A sipper for sure, and a desert beer at that. If this were just a little bit sweeter, I'd be all over this beer.

 661 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, purchased at barriques on PD, shared at a BBQ after dinner

appearance: pours a cola-mahogany tone into a pint glass, big mocha head with little retention

smell: the aroma certainly comes out to bite you. This beer was described to me as similar to a gas-station capuccino by a shop-keep at a highly rated chicago shop. The aroma certainly seems to support that - vanilla bean is potent, along with sweet white chocolate, butterscotch, bourbon?, and milk

taste: it's certainly interesting and one person in the room proclaimed it the best stout he had ever had (not dealing with a robust population with this guy though). It's overly sweet in my opinion and really does kind of remind me of overly sweetened gas-station coffee. But, i will digress and step back to realize i am drinking a beer, and the flavors captured are unique and fascinating. Smooth swirls of vanilla, white chocolate, milk chocolate, butterscotch, molasses, light bourbon, and toasted sugar tease the palate making this an ideal after-dinnner beer.

mouthfeel: sweet and creamy

drinkability: not something i could drink a lot of, probably not even a 22oz bottle

 1,151 characters

Photo of seaoflament
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dyan for this beer, I'm a sucker for sweet stouts ;o) Shared this bomber with a friend since I had trouble finishing the last Imperial beer from Southern Tier (Choklat) because of the sweetness.

Poured uh, dark, with about two inches of foam, good retention.

The aroma was pure bliss, loads of vanilla. The first thing that came to my mind was vanilla wafers and cookies. Then the beer opens up to coffee, roasted malts, lactose, French vanilla crème and coffee beans. A decadent dessert beer! I wish I had some Häagen-Dazs ice-cream right now!!!

The taste is a rush of vanilla beans, lactose sugar, sweet milk chocolate, crème, roasted malts, and lightly roasted coffee. I also get some crusty, sugary, bread flavor and cookies with café au lait. Finishes with some French vanilla coffee beans.

Not too syrupy, very sweet but a pint can easily be finished. Hardly any alcohol detected, shocking that this is 10% It could use a tad more carbonation.

I need some more.

 986 characters

Photo of jwinship83
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- big black body with with a very small coffee colored head.

S- strong butterscotch with some chocolate.

T- about what i can smell with a hoppy finish and a touch of coffee

M- very thick and chewy. just the way it should be.

D- this was very good, but the odd and intense flavors made it hard to think about having more than one. another solid offering from Southern Tier

 379 characters

Photo of jmalex
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

In celebration of my first anniversary, I'm opening my first bottle of this and sharing with my wife. She's obsessed with it already.

APPEARANCE: Pours pitch black into my Unibroue tulip. A small latte brown head forms but immediately drops to a small collar with a small hazy patch. The small head isn't surprising given the hugeness of this beer.

SMELL: Yep, this is a Blackwater Series beer. Southern Tier's signature of MASSIVE aromas shine on this one. Vanilla, caramel, coffee all assault the nose leaving no room for anything else. Oh, except a very significant alcohol bite. Almost spirit-like.

TASTE: The alcohol is harsh up front, but it smooths out nicely after that. Vanilla and caramel are big as a significant roasted quality comes on toward the finish. The finish itself is a dessert-like sweetness, letting you know exactly what part of the meal this should be paired with.

MOUTHFEEL: Very smooth, especially for the size. The body actually doesn't seem as full as it could be but is still quite thick. Carbonation is low as it should be.

DRINKABILITY: Well, the alcohol gets in the way. But it's too delicious to knock down any more. Age should help this beer considerably.

Well done again, Southern Tier. Another seasonal, another rousing success. Perhaps I'll have one left from my stash for next anniversary.

 1,334 characters

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

a: pours a dark opaque black color with about a half inch of head that doesnt disspear too fast but when it does it leaves a thin layer of lacing across the entire brew
s: strong vanilla aroma, hints of coffee and chocolate in the background very sweet also in the background is a caramely aroma, very desserty, no hints of the alcohol even though it weighs in at 10%
t: strong vanilla in the beginning followed by coffee and chocolate with notes of sweet sweet caramel
M: medium to full bodied beer with good carbonation

overall, this is a fantastic brew

 556 characters

Photo of Cakanator
4.95/5  rDev +26%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Sierra

Pours dark as night with a great brown/mocha head. Aroma is dead on carmel vanilla, pretty much think I'm smelling creme brulee. Pallet is heavy but is the sweetest thing ive even had. Rich flavors present this as the desert beers of all desert beers.

As a side note I have had this from bottle many times already from Table & Vine northampton. It is a tad bit sweeter in bottle than on draft, but not overpowering. Poured it on some vanilla ice cream... amazing.

 483 characters

Photo of ckeegan04
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Black as night with a thick frothy brown head. Fades slowly leaving a thin solid layer of foam on the beer with excellent lacing.

S - Sweet vanilla goodness. Truly does smell like a dessert. Very sweet with hints of caramle and chocolate in addition to the strong vanilla nose.

T - Sweet vanilla flavor up front. Followed by a somehwhat burned chocolate/coffee taste. A spicy hop flavor quickly emerges and fades away. A somewhat off bitter taste lingers after the drink.

M/D - Full bodied and incredibly rich. A very interesting take on the stout but the finish of the beer leaves a somewhat unpleasant taste. Not a bad beer by any means (and one I would certainly recommend trying at least once), just not a great beer. A very slow sipper to cap the evening.

 767 characters

Photo of pwoods
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to RoyMunson for the trade.

22oz. brown bomber poured into a tulip.

A: Pours deep brown, nearly black, opaque. A 1 finger worth of cream colored head forms and holds for a minute or two. Decent lacing.

S: My first thought was cream cheese based icing... like my grandma made for her famous Red Cake, and similar to my Moms Carrot Cake. Added to this is a great milky chocolate with a few hints of high cocoa added in the back. Some freshly brewed coffee compliments the icing and chocolate character making me feel like I'm eating dessert just by smelling this. A nice thick whole milk character, like that of Creme Brulee(duh), rounds things out.

T/M: More of the same from the nose. The icing is toned down a bit, making way for the fresh black coffee followed by stronger milky chocolate and then back for some more of the icing. Body is silky smooth and not too heavy. Alcohol does sneak through just a bit at the end and actually dries thinks upon. Sweetness gets ridiculous about halfway through.

D: Retardedly drinkable for the first few ounces... then it's hard to get it down.

 1,097 characters

Photo of tpd975
4.64/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Capone's

A: Pours a dark black hue with an average size yet solid head. Good retention and spotty lace.

S: Aroma is out of this world. Tons of sweet creme, chocolate, and caramel up front. Hints of Butterscotch candy push thru along with a big blast of vanilla.

T: Wow taste almost as good in the bottle as it does on draft. Tons of real vanilla bean and butterscotch. Hits of chocolate and coffee push thru. This is a well crafter brew that many brewers would love to duplicate.

M: Medium in body creamy as hell.

D: Nice. Somewhat sweet so it is not one you would pound, but I would take it over the real thing as a dessert any day.

 653 characters

Photo of Doomcifer
2.64/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Been sitting on this one for a while. Finally got a chance to crack it open. Poured an inky jet black with not much head at all. Very thick and viscous like motor oil. Smells of LOADS of caramel, vanilla, sugar, lactose. Basically like dessert. Taste is overly sweet. Tons of caramel, vanilla, cream, lactose, sugar, flan. It's not that it's bad, and the aftertaste is very enjoyable. It's just that it is WAY over the top sweet. Mouthfeel is very thick and oily, not too much carbonation, very slick. Coats the mouth. This is the first beer that Southern Tier have tripped up on, in my opinion. I couldn't get through a pint of it. Far too sweet. I do wish that I had some vanilla ice cream though to pour this over. That would probably be very tasty and enjoyable.

 766 characters

Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,422 ratings.