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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: 4,231
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 30.53%
Wants: 364
Gots: 877 | 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: 4,231
Photo of Foxman
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

It pours an inky, opaque black that grabs light and hurls it inward, never to escape. Except, that is, for the finest band of mahogany at the most outer edges. A single finger of light tan head is rapid in its re-deployment elsewhere. Wisps of lacing flutter along the inside of the glass.

The aroma is nothing short of a creamy, rich explosion, notably sweet with molasses, candy sugar, maple syrup, and earthen with dark coffee and lactic bite. Still, the biggest wave of the blast is reserved for the mountainous swell of vanilla that tamps down what should be a more obvious wedge of alcohol.

Upon sipping, warily and anxiously, the sweetness is like a sugary broadside from a confectionary warship, firing away with balls of milky custard, toffee, sweet coffee, and singed sugar. Ah, but it's the vanilla that rumbles forth from the beer's Guns of Navarrone, laying waste to all that comes before it, even more so here than in the aroma. And yet, the alcohol is decidedly more poignant and warm here, resisting any real cloaking efforts from other agents. A very slight bitterness comes forth near the close, teasing with a tinge of crispness, no doubt from the roasted malt and burnt sugar, but then the sweetness dominates once again, leaving slowly through a lingering and very cloying finish. This pretty much defines "dessert beer," and in a very good way.

Full bodied, it's incredibly round and creamy, sliding in slow motion like heavy buttermilk across the palate.

I would imagine many will love this, and many will hate it. If you don't want sweetness, you'll likely abhor it. I, on the other hand, while an inveterate hophead, am a soul with a dag-nasty sweet-tooth, and this will capably cater to the most intense sugar Jones. I shared the bottle and still found it hard to finish my share, but that's because of the huge body and enamel-rotting sugar content, as opposed to any real faults. Simply, in the right context, this is nicely drinkable and enjoyable. I'm envisioning actually trying it with its namesake dessert. So, no matter, love it or hate it, I can think of no reason someone would not at least want to try it. I did, and am quite happy I've recovered from the resulting diabetic coma.

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

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured a dark amber with a thin brown head into a chalice. The smell was of butterscotch, with a hint of vanilla. The taste was a big hit of butterscotch and vanilla, plenty of malt sweetness, with a creamy mouthfeel and slightly bitter finish. Not a bad approximation of a Creme Brulle in a glass. The alcohol content is masked quite nicely as well, making this a deceptively potent beer.

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Photo of hwwty4
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 22oz bottle into my Smokestack goblet. This beer pours a slightly opaque brown with just a slight kiss of a beige head, which quickly dissipates into a rim around the outside of the glass. The aroma is this beer is huge. I could smell it living room when I was in my kitchen. I think that this beer has the strongest aroma of any beer I have ever drunk to this point. The aroma is really just like crème brulee. Vanilla is overwhelming. Subtle hints of toffee, custard and a bit of heat from the alcohol. The taste is vanilla custard. Sweet lacto, coffee and a hint of caramelized sugars comes through on the tail of the beer. I found it really interesting that they got the caramelized sugar aspect of crème brulee to come across in the finish of the beer. The mouthfeel is a bit thin and honestly, astringent. The alcohol really comes through on the palette. This is a good beer, but one to be enjoyed on a cold night, in front of a fire when desert is in order. It really needs the right circumstances to be outstanding.

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Photo of SpecialK088
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter

A-Pours near pitch black with a red tint not a real big yet but it stays with the beer well no real lacing

S-Vinilla comes through very big, maple, custard sweet cofee with sugar with small notes of malt.

T&M-Bitter vinilla in the front as well as bitter chocolate, coffee and cinnimon notes in the middle. Very smooth and complex with a warming feeling in the finish, stlye in mind i give it very high marks as it delivers on all the general stout qualities while delevering something completely new and diffrent.

D-Not something i would even want to drink all the time although i would love to have it around, because when the mood struck i don't think anything could replace the want for this one.

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Photo of naterock
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into a dokel
C: not completely opaque but dark brown, with almost no head.
S: sweetness is key to a milk stout and this one hots it right on the nose. this smells exactly like a creme brulee. a strong vanilla and little malt in the background.
T: a little bitterness comes through in the begining but becomes smooth and creamy towards the end.
M: I think if this was a bit less carbonated it would be even more enjoyable.
D: definitely a sipper, but I would enjoy a glass with a nice chocolatey dessert.

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Photo of sholland119
3.2/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A-Pours a deep black with just a little bit of thin white head. Very appealing.

S-Strong scent of vanilla sweetness with some booziness behind. Intriguing.

T-And the taste is intriguing at first too. Not much like beer at all, but an interesting adventure. Nice strong vanilla with a bit of alcohol. But the sweetness quickly becomes cloying and over the top. My wife and I can split a snifter of it but that's all.

M-Creamy and rich.

D-See above. Can't finish one.

I am a big fan of ST big beers, and efforts of brewers to do interesting and new things. This did not work for me though.


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Photo of Proteus93
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Very deep brown, basically becoming black. A lighter, offwhite head puffs up like a puffy marshmallow.

S: Heavy aroma - butterscotch takes it, followed by vanilla extract, with lactose notes like heavy cream (actually rather similar to a vanilla coffee creamer), and a touch of malt roast.

T: Very sweet, and maybe a little too much so. Butterscotch again, vanilla, a bit hot with alcohol, and something medicinal (like... cherry cough syrup???) starts to poke through as it warms.

M: A rich and creamy body, with a shimmering carbonation that works nicely with it.

D: A little on the fence. A small serving would likely go over just fine - but likely nothing much over a 10 oz. snifter of it, at most. It starts off great - scent is appealing (in a candy craving sort of way, I suppose), the flavour starts off quite nice, and body is good. As the end of the glass nears, it becomes more cloying, the flavours overwhelm the palate a bit, and the novelty starts to fade. Well worth the try, and perhaps a good candidate to share with company who like such things, but not one I can easily finish 22 oz. of.

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Photo of klewis
2.64/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a very dark brown with a fizzy and bubbly soda-like head that quickly fizzes away to nothing. No lacing at all with a completely flat surface.

S: A very strong aroma of butterscotch and cheap vanilla capacchino. Slightly medicinal.

T: Sweet on the tongue with burnt roasted malt flavors. A strong sugary and vanilla taste makes this one quite similar to the taste of creme brulee. A slight hop bitterness in the finish gives it a bit of balance.

M: Full-bodied with moderate-high carbonation. Too fizzy for an imperial stout.

D: I am by no means a traditionalist when it comes to beer; I like fruit beers and brews that disregard the Reinheitsgebot. This one, however, has grown tiresome after just a few sips. Worth a try, but for me, not worth splurging on again.

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Photo of thequeen711
3.34/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is an absolute clone of creme brule, whenyou smell it!!! The nose is creme creme creme. The taste to too strong for the brule, which takes away from the nose of the beer. The sweetness of the caramel and vanilla is not a good match for the brew. The mouthfeel is a creme brule taste,the then the high alcohol content hits you like a lead balloon! I am stillmixed on this one, I am a fan of Southern Tier brews, I want to like it...

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Photo of joeren
4.58/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First tried this at Sunset Grill in Allston, MA, Although my wife didn't care for it, my daughter and I thought it was a great desert beer. The color is deep waxy brown and the head is a beautiful dark froth. A 22 oz. bomber is just the right size to share with 3 to 4.

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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 IronCitySteve
2.9/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap, needed to let it warm a bit.

A: A rich dark black. A very thin tan foam head, dissipates quickly.

S: Lots of vanilla, chocolate, cocoa, caramel and some hints of maple.

T: It is a very sweet. Lots of vanilla and chocolate. Definitely tastes like having a creme brule.

M: A thick creamy film is left on the tongue and mouth.

D: While you cannot taste the alochol, it is masked rather well, it does have a high ABV. It is extremely sweet, a decent dessert beer.

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Photo of icemonkey908
3.08/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Picked up a 22 oz bomber of this the other day. Creme brulee stout looked very interesting.

Appearance was jet black with a caramel head. No light came though when held up to the light. The initial smell was exceptionally strong with an overpowering vanilla and caramel taste. The taste was also strong. I think too strong and too sweet. As the beer is consumed the taste becomes too much to handle.

I could see drinking about 4 oz of this as a dessert. The 22 oz I tried to drink proved to be far too much.

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Photo of John_M
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

On tap at Frisco's in Columbia the other day.

The beer pours a very dark brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose on this beer is it's best feature by far, consisting of an exotic smorgasbord of vanilla, caramel toffee, chocolate, cherry and coffee. The beer smells as if it will be pretty sweet, and it certainly is. The flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, though the sweet vanilla and toffee flavors tend to overwhelm everything else. The beer is a bit heavy and tiring on the palate, and as it sits in the glass, the alcohol becomes more and more apparent. Towards the end the beer becomes cloyingly sweet, hot from the alcohol and very, very tiring. Drinkability is not one of this beers better features, and frankly I could barely finish my 10 ounce goblet.

This is an interesting beer, but the combination of sweet vanilla/toffee flavor, coupled with the noticeable alcohol, make this one beer I'm unlikely to order again any time again soon.

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Photo of lbkornlb14
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is THE holy grail of all specialty beers. If you find one, buy it on spot. What does it smell like? Creme brulee. What does it taste like? Creme brulee. I cant believe that a beer like this was made, and made so unbelievably well, at 10% alcohol it still has NO alcohol taste, only sweet vanilla. You could open a creme brulee and it will make your house smell like you have a vanilla air freshener. The best beer Ive ever tasted, hands down. Great job to southern tier for the effort they put into this one.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. Pours into my glass a deep charcoal black with a half inch of creamy light tan head on top. Aromas smack you in the face as you're pouring the beer. Big, sweet dark malts collide with massive vanilla and caramel aromas. Creamy with burnt sugar tones, almost candy-ish. Chocolate flows through as well. Smells like creme brulee! The aroma is bold, interesting and enticing.

First sip brings a sweet, creamy dark malt body upfront. Bold vanilla and caramel swirls move in and out. Burnt candi sugar flows into a rich creaminess. Chocolate notes are there. Finishes off with a candy like sweetness and a touch of bitterness. A bold blend of vanilla, caramel, lactose and chocolate. Creme brulee yuminess!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy with mellow carbonation. Goes down smooth. Quite rich overall and I'm glad I'm splitting the bomber with the girlfriend, even though I could see drinking it all myself. Another bold, crazy flavorful beer from Southern Tier. Ranks up there with Kuhnhenn's example.

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

This beer pours an opaque black color. The head is small, tan, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing (but that is probably due to the vanilla). The aroma is very strong. Vanilla is everywhere, with cream, graham cracker, and hints of milk chocolate. The taste is as big as the aroma. The vanilla is a little tamer, but still prominent. There is more graham cracker, and milk chocolate. There is also the addition of a lingering roasted malt bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied with lively carbonation and a silky texture. Overall, this is one very fine beer. I can easily see myself enjoying this on a regular basis.

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Photo of erosier
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

L: Pours a jet black color with a medium sized and thick tan colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Very sweet smelling of syrupy creme brulee flavoring over a very thick and sweet malty body.
T: Very sweet taste of chocolate and the creme brulee flavoring that really overpowered this beer. I could taste a bit of the malts but not alot, this beer was mostly the creme brulee.
M: Very thick, smooth, and warming with the right amount of carbonation.
D: Pretty drinkable but probably no more than 1 or 2 because of its viscocity and how rich tasting it is. Very good dessert beer and I really like how Southern Tier delivers on bold flavors like this one. Definately worth a try.

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into two pint glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours pitch black with a creamy and bubbly khaki-colored head that left generous rings and a few gobs of lace on the inside of the glass.

S: Huge nose of vanilla bean! Maybe a little caramel and/or butterscotch, as well.

T: Sweet vanilla with fleeting flavors of dark fruit, caramel, black cherry, chocolate, alcohol, roasted malt, hops, and butterscotch.

M: Very sticky, oily, and sweet. Coats like paint-this beer is a palate destroyer.

D: Incredible sweetness is balanced by dry, roasty malt, bitter hops, and a touch of tingly alcohol. Have this one at the very end of your session, just like dessert.

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Photo of medic25
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 22oz bomber in a Delirium Tremens glass. The vanilla aroma hits my nose as soon as I pop the cap; it becomes even more evident as I pour. The color is midnight black, with a thin tan head. The taste is like nothing I've ever had. Strong, sweet vanilla, with a little burnt coffee and roasted malt. The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, with a strong vanilla aftertaste. If I was a big vanilla fan I'd give this beer 5's across the board, but it's a flavor I can only take in small portions. Fantastic offering though.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.59/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown (almost black) with a half inch tan head. The head goes away quickly, not much lacing. The aroma is great, it smells like butterscotch and vanilla, similar to what a creme brulee would smell like. It tastes pretty much like it smells, but with the addition of some roasted/burnt malt and a bit of chocolate. The tastes starts off sweet, but there's some bitterness in the finish. With that being said, it's still a mostly sweet brew by far. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's very creamy, rich and smooth. Alcohol isn't very noticable. Drinkability is pretty good too, but I don't think I could drink more than a bomber of this at a time. I think it's a pretty good dessert beer, I'd definitely buy this again.

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Photo of Jerico
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours dark and thick, with a small but dense tan head. There's a far amount of lacing as well.

S - wow, sweet and dense. It smells strongly of vanilla/caramel/butterscotch.

T/M/D - this is one interesting beer! It's heavy and sweet and malty, and even has a bit of a burnt aftertaste (much like real creme brulee). The stout flavor and the vanilla and caramel are very apparent too. This would make a nice surrogate for dessert, but it is much too heavy to drink much of.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.74/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle just purchased from Super Saver Liquors on Route 22 for $7.49...
Pours a deep, dark, jet-black, ebony hue with hardly any head and very minimal lacing...
As far as aroma is concerned, I challenge you to find any beer that can more accurately replicate the sugar-sweet, milk and malt laden, creme brulee aroma that the name suggests... Absolutely unbelievable, heavenly smell...
Taste, likewise, stood up to the bold aroma, with deep, dark nuances of milk chocolate, roasted malts, sweet cream, and dulce de leche...
Creamy, thick, rich mouthfeel along with an awesome level of drinkability for a 10% brew...
Excellent stuff...

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this bottle in a trade with zapata. Thanks Ben!

It pours a realy dark brown bordering on black. A 1" head of foam with some good lacing.

The smell is wow. I've had a few vanilla brews before but this one takes the cake nosewise. I can't smell anything else.

The taste has the big vanilla there but I also get some butterscotch, chocolate and cream. A dessert brew? You betchya! And as such, I won't be able to finish the bottle at one sitting.

It has a thick syrupy mouthfeel and the carbonation is on the light side. It finishes supremely sweet and full of the vanilla. Great taste but like I said, I can only take it in relatively small portions and I don't really factor the abv much as it's pretty well hidden. It's more of the overall sweetness thing going on here.

Bottom line: This is an extreme beer for sure and though I can't say its drinkability is up there with the best of them, it *is* a treat to drink. I can't do anything but place this one firmly in the highly recommended category.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A massive wall of vanilla cream hits my nose just after I vigorously pour this beer; smells more like desert than just about anything, it is actually more concentrated than an actual crème brûlèe. The head form an initially three-finger thick, frothy, lightly browned, tan colored head in my 25cl tulip glass. The vanilla is just so overwhelming and loud, you really can't smell much else; luckily the vanilla note itself is not overly one dimensional, it is full enough that I am sure the brewer used actual vanilla beans (and a ton of them at that). If you like sweet and vanilla then this aroma is good, luckily I was ready for desert so this beer is fulfilling that urge so far. After warming up a bit the aroma takes on a touch of nuttiness and a butterscotch note becomes a bit more prominent.

Thick and rich up front with enough of a viscous body to make this a sipping brew; to be honest though it is not quite as rich and full as the aroma led me to believe. The vanilla notes are definitely far and away the dominant note here in the flavor as well, but some other flavors manage to assert themselves just enough to be noticeable. This finishes with a touch of hot alcohol, that in combination with the vanilla makes me think of Bourbon. Sweet, in fact incredibly sweet, though again not quite as much as the aroma might have suggested. The vanilla flavors contribute or bring out notes of butterscotch, Bourbon, . Not overly roasted, but some roast malt flavors seem to add a touch to the finish with a bit of bitterness. As this beer warms there is a slight nuttiness to the flavor that is a bit like browned butter and the flavors definitely lean towards burnt as the beer rolls across the palate.

I knew this beer was going to be a sweet, sticky, incredibly vanilla laden beer coming into this. For that reason I waited until I was really wanting dessert to have it. The aroma definitely satisfied any dessert fix that I might have wanted, but "strangely" I find the flavors not quite rich enough as this could use more roast malt flavors and a thicker, more complex malt base. That strangely in that last sentence is important, because if I was not ready for the overbearing vanilla and sweetness here I likely would have found this beer a sickly sweet, train wreck of an Imperial Stout; properly forewarned & with the right occasion, this beer, while overly simplistic, is not quite half bad and is even enjoyable if had in small doses.

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