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

4,160 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,160
Reviews: 1,426
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 17.65%
Wants: 353
Gots: 847 | FT: 34
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ph2001 on 07-12-2008

The brewer suggests a serving temperature of 42 °F for this beer.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,160 | Reviews: 1,426
Photo of Damian
4.54/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Drank from a 650 ml./1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Downtown Wine and Spirits, Somerville, MA

The beer poured a thick, near black with a small, frothy, cocoa-colored head that quickly faded to a creamy ring of lace. Spotty drops of lacing trickled down the glass.

The aroma was simply mind blowing. As far as dessert beers go, I have never smelled a better one than this. Ultra sweet and rich with incredible vanilla and caramel notes. Lactose sugar was noticeable as well. The beer did indeed smell very much like creme brulee, or possibly a sweet custard.

The taste was similar to the aroma yet somewhat darker and (thankfully) not as sweet. Deep roasted malts melded with intense caramel and vanilla notes up front. Sweet lactose sugar came through as well. Dark and roasty in the center. A bit of alcohol warmth appeared on the semi-hoppy and roasty finish. This provided a nice balance to an otherwise overly sweet brew. Notes of caramel again appeared in the semi-sweet aftertaste.

The mouthfeel was ultra creamy and supple. Palate coating. Near full-bodied and viscous with a fine, smooth, carbonation. The residual liquid was sweet and sticky on my lips.

At 10% ABV, this beer masked its alcohol content quite well. It was also quite drinkable for a sweeter-style beer.

Creme Brulee was so extreme that it more closely resembled a beer-milkshake hybrid than simply a beer. The folks at Southern Tier are not at all subtle about the use of adjuncts in their products (in this case, that means vanilla and lactose sugar). They consistently deliver exactly what the label states, and they do it quite well.

Photo of techdiver
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep, dark brown pour with some transparency and a decent head that dissipates slowly leaving much lacing behind.

Strong caramel and vanilla nose over the malt base.

Taste echoes the nose, very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Alcohol is not well hidden.

A drinkable and very enjoyable brew, though a bit on the sweet side

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown to black body with a small tan head. Almost no retention. A little bit of thin lacing is left behind on the glass.

Smells nice, mostly of vanilla. A little bit of sweetness like maple syrup.

Taste is also dominated by vanilla bean and some roasted malts. The vanilla combined with roasted malts actually does taste a lot like creme brulee (excuse my lack of accents). Once again, there is a slight syrupy taste here, but still an interesting and good beer. Burnt sugar is definitely a component, increasing the likeness between this beer and the actual dessert. Very sweet.

Pretty thin mouthfeel with very little booziness in it.

This beer tastes a lot like the dessert that is its namesake, but it is just too sweet to be something I really want to drink more than a few sips of.

Photo of alexgash
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle.

Pours a dark cola brown. Garnet edges. Small, wispy, dirty khaki head. Some lacing. Huge nose of vanilla, chocolate, cocoa powder, caramel, butter rum, and, uh, creme brulee! Wow. Smells like liquid dessert. Some notes of roasted malts and vinous fruits lay almost hidden underneath.

The taste expounds upon the aroma with sweet, rich, intense creme brulee flavors. Caramel and butter rum mix with milk chocolate, dark chocolate, sweet cream, and roasted coffee. Sweetness peaks near the finish, where it is almost cloying. Luckily some roasted malt, coffee, and dark chocolate bitterness cut in a little bit. Still, a very intense, sweet sipper. Full-bodied with a thick, creamy feel. Going to be tough to finish a whole bomber by myself! Southern Tier keeps pushing the envelope and delivering!

Photo of mentor
2.51/5  rDev -35.8%
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.

Photo of BMoney575
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Photo of MiScusi
4.52/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

Photo of gford217
3.22/5  rDev -17.6%
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...

Photo of bbothen
2.61/5  rDev -33.2%
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.

Photo of tayner
2.64/5  rDev -32.5%
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.

Photo of Kraken
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

Photo of stace
4.9/5  rDev +25.3%
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.

Photo of soccerman7
3.95/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
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

Photo of vtfan77
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
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...

Photo of IBUlover
1.18/5  rDev -69.8%
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.

Photo of Flyer
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
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?

Photo of esch
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Photo of lpayette
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

Photo of dirtylou
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
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

Photo of seaoflament
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of jwinship83
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
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

Photo of jmalex
3.95/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of happygnome
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
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

Photo of Cakanator
4.95/5  rDev +26.6%
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.

Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 4,160 ratings.