1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

3,881 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,881
Reviews: 1,335
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 17.69%
Wants: 301
Gots: 656 | FT: 27
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,881 | Reviews: 1,335 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

1 Pint 6 fl oz bottle poured into Trois Pistoles snifter. DOB 07/0(1?)/11 stamped near bottom of bottle.

Appearance - Light-medium brown head. Two fingered with a high pour. Medium low retention. Black body.

Smell - Strong caramel and cream. Very sweet.

Taste - Coffee with heavy cream. Mild boozy, solvent astringency throughout and well into the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and somewhat creamy. After a while, the alcohol will strip paint off the wall. It is required to drink this with as much head as possible.

Overall Drinkability - Good beer, but the astringency ruins it in the long run.

Photo of armock
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to doughanson78 for sending this bottle in the tickers BIF.

A - Poured a black color with a brown head that leaves lacing behind

S - Very sweet dessert like nose of vanilla and butterscotch

T - Well this is about the most straight forward beers that matches its name its like drinking a creme brulee with vanilla and butterscotch dominating the taste with some alcohol in the finish

M - This beer has a full body with lighter carbonation to it

O - A lot of people I know don't like this beer because its so sweet however that why I like this beer I split the bomber with the wife and thats a good serving size of this beer this is a beer that everyone should try at least once

Photo of Portertime
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have been trying the Blackwater Series with fantastic results. Picked this up in a local in a smokey, dirty pool bar, who knew?

Appearance: Poured a syrupy, layered looking chocolate brown with a minimal head. Came chilled in a pint glass.

Smell: This is one of the best smelling beers I have had. I have tried a number of vanilla bean added beers but this one is sophisticated and complex with straight creme brulee notes of toasted butterscotch, sweet cream, and vanilla custard.

Taste: Sweet, freshly dissolved granulated sugar with caramel chewiness and a firm hop presence that cuts off the sweetness in the finish and keeps you begging for more.

Mouthfeel: As it warms up the hop bitterness shines through and the caramel fades leaving the sugary sweetness to battle it out with the hops.

Photo of ATLbeerDog
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour pitch black with a tad of brown peaking thru. A small light tan/brown head dissipates quickly without leaving much lacing. A super strong vanilla aroma hits you before even getting your nose near the glass. Let there be no mistake…this is the most vanilla filled aroma nose I ever whiffed. First sip has all the vanilla the nose had plus some chocolate, caramel, and roasted malts. There’s a touch of coffee bitterness that tries but fails to offset and balance the vanilla sweetness but is welcomed nonetheless. The dominating vanilla tastes pure like Breyers ice-cream. In fact if I had some Breyers I would drop a scoop in without hesitation. Body is a tad thin but still rather creamy and along with proper carbonation, mouthfeel is quite good. ABV is super well hidden. I’m glad I only have a bomber to kill and not a growler or a keg.

Photo of abeerlovr
4.34/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on draft served in what I can only describe at a small Weissen glass, an 11 oz pour was served.

A: very dark stout with a slight coppery head not much lacing on the glass. the head though small lingered for sometime.

S: wow! strong vanilla and caramel scent, sweet smell just like a creme' brulee or vanilla custard, very very heavy vanilla smell.

T: this is a sweet beer with strong vanilla flavor and cocoa/caramel flavors. it had a nice hop bitterness which rounded it out well. as the beer warmed it got a bit hoppier.

M: this felt thick on the tongue, probably due to its incredible sweetness. though thick it did have good effervescence.

Overall: nice dessert stout that I can drink again and again though I would have enjoyed a smaller pour as this is a rich and very sweet beer. you can skip dessert and just drink one of these, have a glass of water on hand to help relive the palate.

Photo of spdyfire83
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16th Review – from notes
On-tap into snifter at House of Beer (Orlando, FL)

L: Opaque black. Minimal head (almost none) with a few residual bubbles.

S: Maple syrup – and a lot of it. Sweet, sweet, sweet. Hint of vanilla, possibly.

T: I want a huge plate of pancakes, bacon, and eggs with this breakfast brew! Hidden vanilla and nutmeg character, but mostly maple syrup.

M: Thick and huge, but not overbearing. Very tasty.

O: I really enjoyed this beer for what they are going for. It didn’t remind me of classic crème brule; however, it had a wonderful balance of vanilla, nutmeg, and maple syrup characteristics. Again, I’d like to have this with a proper breakie to round it out!

Photo of 2ndloveofmylife
5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm really surprised on how much I'm enjoying this beer. The nose is great!! Vanilla, brown sugar, black licorice, some Carmel and toffee...so sweet,sweet,and more sweet. The taste is sweet but not icky sweet! It starts out with vanilla bean/ ice cream like then I get like brown sugar caramelized sugar taste and it ends with black licorice. You must be in a sweet mood and if you are the will not disappoint.

Photo of azdback
4.74/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Dark and pitch black in color. Highlights are just as black, but I get just a sliver of light at the bottom of this. Head was barely one finger and light coco colored. The lace seems to stick now but we'll see. Does stick initially but fades quickly.

This is the sweetest beer that I've ever smelled. Not a bad thing though (at least not to me). In no particular order I get these aromas. Dulce de leche, Brach's soft chewy caramel cubes, those little yellow butterscotch hard candies. There is some coffee and absolutely no alcohol at all. Buried in a pile of sugar I guess?

Taste is at first charred wood or maybe the outer charred skin of a marshmallow that became that way over a campfire. All the smells I got from this, translate directly to the taste. Burnt sugar, caramel, butterscotch and maybe just a bit of vanilla. The ultra roasted malts also give me some coffee and some bitterness. I now know how I will become a billionaire. Make hard candy that tastes just like this. But wait, if you order in the next 15 minutes, we will include the car air freshener that smells the same.

Mouth is rich and luscious. Full and sweet to the end. This isn't your average Double Stout, by any means, but it does have the mouth of one.

Overall, I don't care at all that I am going to rate this beer way higher than the highly experienced raters. I think this beer is very sweet, but in my opinion it is not a weakness at all. This is what the beer is. Um?? Creme Brulee?? Ever eaten one? This is an exceptional brew, if you don't want an extremely sweet beer don't try this one. Thanks to davesway10 for this masterpiece. This one needs it's own style. Imperial Dessert Stout. All 5's there!!

Photo of zhanson88
3.01/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours out a very dark brown color, almost pitch black in the glass, but not quite. About 1 1/2" of tan head forms, which has nice retention, and pretty much non-existent lacing.

Smell: Tons of vanilla beans right off the bat. It's pretty hard to get past that, to be honest. Once I do, there is some toasted caramel in there, as well as perhaps a bit of roastiness. Smells pretty much exactly like crème brûlée.

Taste: Toasted caramel malts and mild roastiness form on the front end. The middle and back end are dominated by vanilla and custard flavors. Very sweet....borderline too much so.

Mouthfeel/Overall: The body starts off thinner and more prickly with carbonation than I was expecting, but as it warms gets extremely creamy and smooth. Overall, this was an interesting beer to say the least. Very true to the name. I had a bomber to myself, but would have been satisfied with one pour. I would say I'm biased towards maltier, sweeter beers most of the time, but this was a bit much. As I neared the end of the bottle, it got exponentially harder to drink. Adjusted my score accordingly.

Photo of kylehay2004
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

S: smells exactly like creme brulee and caramel.

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

M: moderate to high carbonation. Thick body.

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

Photo of TheTot
3.45/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a Raging Bitch tulip

Poured a dark dark brown if not almost black. No head at all when poured with few carbonation bubbles escaping to the top. The smell is overwhelming of sweet vanilla and carmel with a little hint of coffee. Initial taste is strange to me. More sweet than any beer I have ever had with burnt tastes at the end that i generally don't enjoy but balances this beer out with the sweetness. With the burnt tastes comes the bitterness which i do not enjoy the more i drink it. The mouthfeel is very smooth with nothing objectionable about it. I enjoy this beer but not more than a bombers worth. Gets old quickly and has the most simply complex taste i have ever had. By that i mean that there are a lot of flavors but they are the same throughout and never keep you guessing. Overall a good beer. I would not buy again but is enjoyable this one time.

Photo of mwill7287
4.44/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looked for Pumking at my local packie but they were out, so I went with this one instead. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a snifter.

Appearance - Very dark, almost opaque, with just a bit of light breaking through when held up to a lamp. What little head there was even from a fairly vigorous pour evaporates quickly, leaving only thin tan lacing around the head. Carbonation pops through on the surface instead. This thin lacing also dissipates through the course of the drink to leave only an black oily substance behind. Virtually no lacing left behind on the glass. 4.25/5

Smell - Wow! Carmel and butterscotch pound the olfactory nerves. This is exciting. Smells like a very rich candy. Bits of chocolate in there but the carmel, butterscotch and vanilla totally dominate the nose. Sweet! 5/5

Taste - Sweet, sweet, sweet... dare I say, too sweet? I'm getting tons of carmel and butterscotch right off the bat. The latter half of the taste is more balanced, letting in the chocolates and coffees of the dark roast, as well as the added vanilla beans. Mi amigo Michael labeled it right: "vanilla latte." (Though I can't remember the last time I had a vanilla latte...) By the way, is there alcohol in this? The 9.6% of this brew is invisible. A carmel leading aftertaste lingers on the tongue. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel - Sticky and syrupy. The extreme sweetness of the carmel and butterscotch leaves an intense sensation on the tongue. Pure sugar. Midway through, my lips almost stick together, there's so much sweet residue left on them. 4/5

Overall - This is a beer you want to try for fun. And fun it is. Would I pick it up to enjoy on a regular basis? No; in fact, I can't see myself having it again for some time. But when I'm looking for something outside the box, this is the way to go. One will be more than enough, and indeed might be too much. Try splitting this with someone. 4.24/5

N.B., my ratings went down as the beer warmed; surprising, as the opposite usually happens. Keep it at that 42 degrees Southern Tier recommends as long as possible.

Photo of Jules11788
2.8/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a very thin head, light lacing; jet-black in color

S: STRONG smell of vanilla and burnt marshmallows, with a bit of caramel, toffee, and sweet cream

T: Sharp bitter, burnt caramel/marshmallow flavors; finishes with slightly smoky wood notes. The "creme brulee-ish" flavors in here tasted really artificial and gross, and I could barely stomach the small tasting pour that I had. The flavors were really sharp and aggressive on the tongue, not smooth and balanced. For some reason this has the nastiest taste, like Peeps that have been burned on the stove -- really artificial, but like a "burnt" artificial sugar taste if that makes sense.

M: Medium thickness and carbonation; finishes a little sharp and boozy.

O: This was a big disappointment for me, I thought it was gonna taste a lot better. It would probably improve a lot with a few years in the cellar, but I wouldn't waste my money on another bottle just to try and find out.

Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.46/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter

A - Deep black with a thin-laced off white head. Looks flat with not a lot of carbonation. So-so lacing.

S - Huge sweet vanilla flavor, definitely unique and highly aromatic. Sweet cream right up there as well.

T - Very closely resembles the smell with a large vanilla hit up front with a big sweet lactose/cream. Transitions to a butterscotch flavor in the middle before morphing again to a traditional stout at the end. The roasted malt can hardly be detected as the vanilla and sugars take front stage. Finishes with a lightly toasted and caramelized sugar aftertaste.

M - Heavy body but seems light due to the relatively low ABV. Finishes very sweet on the palate and the low levels of carbonation help the flavors come through. Easily drinkable and a dessert beer if there ever was one.

O - I was surprised how pungent and well the flavors popped in this one. Is this one a rich, deep, dark as most Imperial stouts? No. But can it holds its own against the high ABV brews? Yes. Definitely a sipper and fun to drink because of its uniqueness. Very well brewed, an instant favorite.

Photo of antlerwrestler19
4.36/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a small caramel colored head that fades quickly leaving nothing behind - just a menacing looking brew. The smell is ridiculous in the best of ways - vanilla, coffee, cookie dough, roasted marshmellows, chocolate, brown sugar - man this is impressive. The taste follows suit imparting the same delicious and decadent sweetness that plays out in the nose - just a one of a kind beer here. A little on the lighter bodied side from what I was expecting and a decent amount of carbonation - also noted the slight burn from the booze. This is truly a unique beer, I've never had anything quite like it. I'm glad I have a few more bottles of this to set aside and see what happens with a little bit of time.


Photo of noser
2.38/5  rDev -39%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

This beer poured a lovely dark brown, like black coffee. At first, I feared it was nearly still so I poured vigorously, leading to a thin but attractive head.

When I was hit by the aroma, any thoughts of bubbles vanished. This brew smells exactly like cheap, vanilla-flavored coffee. It's not reminiscent; it's an uncanny replica.

Taste-wise, if I could get past the fakey vanilla thing, I think it might be pretty good: a nice bitterness, roasty, malty grains, and a medium-long finish. Unfortunately, the rich mouthfeel, with what turned out to be a lovely, balancing carbonation were not enough to turn things around for me.

For me, the smell of this brew overwhelmed everything else, and not in a good way. This one's going down the drain.

Photo of zaphodchak
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One ifnger foamy tan head from a very high pour. Dark brown body.

Overpowering butterscotch nose with faint coffee.

Incredibly sweet and cake-like, but with a more bitter finish than I recall from tasting it on draft. Like butterscotch candy in coffee. Faintest trace of cherry?

Mouthfeel is almost syrupy, chewy, but with an almost glycerin finish.

Some hops that as I said, I didn't notice the one time I tasted it on draft. More balanced in bottles. Share and sip; a bomber is enough for five people at least.

Photo of atr2605
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-pours black with a tan head with excellent head retention
S-oh my goodness. This beer smells amazing. vanilla, hazelnut, coffee, chocolate, brown sugar, caramel, and creme. Did I mention this smells absolutely fantastic?
T-more caramel, creme, and creme followed by a rich roasted coffee flavor. This is delicious. The hops mesh with the coffee to provide a very nice finish that has a hint of the hazelnut as well
M-full bodied and rich with fairly low carbonation to medium carbonation
O-this beer is delicious. One is more than enough, but I would have this as dessert over any cheesecake or pie. Has excellent flavor and body and is definitely unique.

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4.79/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a very dark brown and settles black like most stouts. I had to force the head into accumulation, but what appeared was a luscious tan creme that quickly settled into large bubbles and then promptly disintegrated. It obviously has no interest in retention.

S: Smell is absolutely incredulous: coffee, vanilla, condensed milk, caramel, toffee, hazelnut, it's like a delicious Yankee Candle. I don't even want to drink it, maybe just freeze it and put a wick in it and light it and fall asleep to it in the bathtub with a warm cloth draped over my eyes and Barry White playing in the background.

T/M: Oh, but I will taste it: low to medium carbonation, thick mouthfeel, coffee beans, cocoa, vanilla bean, toffee, caramel, roasted malts, a sliver of hop bitterness in the finish, just unbefreakinglievable.

This is a dessert beer if there ever was one. Add some corn starch and put this in the oven for 30 minutes at 450° and let's make this into a cake already, that's what I'm going to do. No wait, I'm going to pour this into that bathtub I was sitting in while smelling a candle made out of it listening to Barry White serenade me about how delicious it is while I drink it from a gem encrusted chalice. If it were just a bit thicker, I think it would be perfect, but this is the apex of dessert beers as it were.


Photo of cooncat
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Stone IRS Crystal tulip glasses.

A good pour produces a nearly opaque colored brew, with a nice light brown sugar head. The head isn't long lasting, but does leave some nice lacing behind.

The nose really hits you strongly with notes of butterscotch and vanilla. Butterscotch is the stronger of the 2. Very sweet nose, and unquestionably a desert beer. No hops in the nose.

The taste is similar to the nose. Butterscotch notes predominate, with vanilla a close second. There's chocolate and coconut in there too. Very complex and delicious. This is as rich and filling as any dessert you've ever had.

Mouthfeel is very full, but not quite to chewy. Carbonation is probably below 2 volumes and just right for the style.

Overall impression is just "wow". You deserve to treat yourself and buy a bottle of this, just to be overwhelmed. This is an overwhelming beer, which is best shared with friends. Highly recommended. Definitely seek this one out.

Na Zdravje!

Photo of CS1971
4.62/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow...This is incredible stuff! The smell is superior, makes me think I am about to eat dessert, which I guess is the point :). The taste is not unlike the other beers I have had from Southern Tier, the strong Stout taste bouncing against a very sweet flavor. This is great stuff, you have to give it a try.

Photo of bwiechmann
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep black with a decent mocha colored head which dissipates to a ring after a while. Aroma is complex and alluring with creme brulee coming to the forefront, also noted are aromas of vanilla, coffee, chocolate.

Taste follows the nose and at the suggested serving temp, it is sweet, verging on over sweet but the bite of the alcohol balances it somewhat. As it warms the sweetness is amplified and the beer becomes less desirable.

Mouthfeel and carbonation are both good and what you would expect from and imperial stout with this much lactose.

Overall- a desert beer that isn't afraid of the being what it was intended to be- a overly sweet imperial sweet stout with vanilla notes. It does indeed taste like creme brulee. Not a bad beer at all, I quite enjoyed it. But drink at recommended temps.

Photo of lurpy1
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank a half bomber. At 9.% ABV, a whole one might put me down for the count!

Pours a very standard black, some reddish/brown peaking through. Not much head on pour, a little surprising.

smell is glorious, vanilla, caramel. Yes sir, Creme Brulee, just as advertised. Exceptionally sweet, to the point this runs the risk of no longer smelling like a beer, but no matter. Great, great aroma.

In taste the vanilla now takes a bit of a back seat to the caramel. Some malt in there, and the alcohol definitely comes through. Quite sweet. This is 100% a dessert beer.

Mouthfeel is a little short of where I'd like it to be: Weird combination of flat at times, over carbonated at others, and disingenuously slick from time to time.

Overall, a very tasty beer, but it's so firmly in the dessert beer camp I dinged it's overall score. I can't imagine drinking it before 9. Can't imagine drinking it with a meal, can't imagine drinking it on a hot day. But if you are looking for a Jean Teasdale, four-alarm sweet tooth beer, this is your guy.

Photo of DrinkinBoy
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Southern Tier Creme Brulee pours and almost opaque black with hints for dark mahogany. The head is a creamed coffee color with little retention.

Its aroma is extremely strong and dead on the smell of Creme Brulee. The sweet notes are overwhelming, but small amounts of dark malt can be found.

This beer is super sweet, and that flavor immediately takes over the moment it is sipped. It immediately goes into the finish which starts with roasty malt notes, but the sweetness again builds and last for minutes.

Its mouthfeel is heavy, and the carbonation is relatively low but perfect for the style.

Overall, this beer is definitely different than anything I had ever had. It is named perfectly. The only down side is that it is so sweet, it is hard to finish just a pint of it. But it is a most have.

Photo of ehammond1
2.39/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1


Thanks for sharing Sam!

Dark brown throughout with a very, very thin khaki head. Dots of lacing down the glass.

An exceptionally impressive aroma because it smells so much like the dessert this beer takes its name from. It's astounding the aromas Southern Tier produces within their beers. Burnt sugar, caramel, vanilla, and custard all come together just like in the dessert. That being said, the only reason it doesn't score higher is that the aroma is just simply far too sweet--it actually stings my eyes it's so sweet!

While the aroma is particularly impressive, the flavor doesn't match up. The same flavors (caramel, toffee, vanilla, custard) are present, but they clash together into an overly sweet diabetic tornado. I wouldn't want more than 1-2oz. of this. This tastes like a Starbucks Caramel Frappucino with a hot alcohol bite from start to finish. Unpleasant, unless, I guess, you're in to that sort of thing.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and low carbonation--too syrupy.

A dessert beer that is far too much dessert and not at all enough beer. While the concept is applauded and the aroma is rich, the flavor and drinking experience is not at all enjoyable.

Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 3,881 ratings.