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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

3,871 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,871
Reviews: 1,334
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 17.69%
Wants: 300
Gots: 643 | 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
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Ratings: 3,871 | Reviews: 1,334 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jondeelee
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the first whiff, this beer lets you know that you're in for something different, as it smells nothing like a stout, and everything like a sugary creme brulee. Huge caramel and vanilla bean notes don't so much enter the nose as assault it, and a combination of toffee and flambeed marshmallow provides a backup force of only marginally less-powerful strength. In all, the brew comes across smelling much like a toffee-and-vanilla-bean ice cream bar.

On the tongue, all of the flavors noted in the nose are present in great strength, but are joined by a torrential onslaught of toffee and milk chocolate, with strong currents of tobacco and chocolate malt. The vanilla beans are especially strong on the tastebuds as well, as are the flambeed marshmallows. I can neither fathom nor adequately describe the amount of sugar in the brew, nor can I stress enough that this tastes nothing like beer. I've tried dozens of beers-that-taste-like-something-else, but none have been so complete and delicious as this. No doubt some will criticize this stout for not tasting like beer, but I think it's marvelous. But beware: this brew is so sugary that you might not be able to finish it in one sitting--and at 10% ABV, you might not want to try anyway. Instead, split it with a loved one over dessert.

Photo of smakawhat
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass.

A simple light cocoa head with some tight froth-iness as well, sitting upon a simple dark black/brown walnut body. Pretty basic, looks like a stout, a good sized collar is left while drinking, seems good.

Bouquet is a giant sticky caramel, toffee, big sweetness with sweetened condensed milk. I suppose that's what it should be since it is called creme brulee after all, so it works. Vanilla doesn't seem obvious on the nose.

The on thing that comes off on the taste that seems to be an exception is the bitterness. Bitter almost hoppy in the finish, but not leaving as strong notes from the smell in the palate. Does bring a sweetened condensed milk taste primarily, but also a real fizziness too, along with of course caramel sweets.

Overall on taste this was not what I was expecting, it was also in taste not as sweet I thought it would be and didn't come out as a big sugar blast. However, there is an unpleasant almost acrid and strange hop bitter to this that doesn't make the drink particularly enjoyable.

Photo of McNealc31
4.9/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The intoxicating and inviting aromas of South Tier Creme Brulee Stout draw you in the second you pop the top. Tons of toffee, butterscotch, and milk in the nose and a gorgeous dark tan head floating on a sea of black. Sweet sugar with a little bit of char to go along with the butterscotch and warm milk and a very creamy texture. There’s also a hop bite at the back end to remind you it’s a beer. Never having had creme brulee (I know, how bourgeois of me) I can’t say how close it is to Creme Brulee in a bottle, but gosh is it tasty. Might be too sweet for some, but I think it’s delicious. The burnt flavor lingers more than anything, but it goes very well with the sweetness. Not even a hint of the whopping 9.6% ABV

Photo of jgreenearrow
3.19/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep brown, nearly black color with a 1/2' thick creamy brown head appearing at the top of the pour. No lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: First impression is that the beer smells very sweet. Brown sugar, vanilla, and toffee are all present in the nose. I would prefer it to smell at least a little like beer, roasted malts or something.

T: The first sip was overwhelming. Strong sweetness of vanilla mixed with some roasty bitterness. Alcohol burn in the finish. The sweetness is a little less powerful of subsequent sips mixing with some astringent and bitterness. The balance of this beer is off.

M: This beer is medium to full bodied. It is thinner than I would have thought, but syrupy. Carbonation is lacking.

Overall, this is an okay beer. That is the best I can say for it. It is blended too sweet, even for a desert type beer. The balance is off in all aspects other than appearance.

Photo of Kromes
3.56/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pitch black with a thick tan colored head. Good lacing down snifter glass.

S: There is a very sweet smelling vanilla and butterscotch aroma coming off of the beer. Overpowers everything. There is a slight coffee aroma in there also.

T: Almost more of the same, the vanilla, butterscotch taste is very, very strong. There are coffee flavors and a slight bitterness that I'm guessing is from the roasted malt. Not bad.

M: Heavier mouth feel. Dry and bitter finish.

O: It's different. Very strong vanilla and butterscotch aroma and flavors.

Photo of Jammies
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- a thin layer of foam. No retention and minimal lacing

S- very sweet. Smells like dessert. no booze present and can smell the milkiness

T- tastes like dessert as well. Very slight hotness, and slightly dank aftertaste. The more I drink, the less I like it.

M- creamy yet light, pretty smooth

O- The smell is intoxicating. The first sip is delicious, it's just too much dessert in a glass.

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

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black. Light, tan, mochachino kind of head, but it dissipates quickly, leaves scarce lacing.

S: Holy sugar. Caramel, toffee, burnt sugar up front. Crazy amount of vanilla. Faint chocolate and coffee lurking way in the background. I can practically smell the blowtorch crisping the sugar. Incredible dessert like smell.

T: Diabetes in a bottle. Insanely sweet, but that's the point. Matches the nose almost identically. It's like drinking caramel and toffee. It's a dessert beer, and the vanilla is souped up, grabs your taste buds, and won't let go. Faint alcohol taste, but this bottle is about 2 weeks old.

M: Rather lacking in the body, medium, but not that heavy. Carbonation is underwhelming. Alcohol burn, although not bad, is welcomed.

O/D: I am a big fan of this beer, and love the sweetness. That being said, you can only do half a bottle to yourself. Have a bite to eat, and split this big beer for dessert with someone you like.

Photo of bradcochran1234
4.77/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Are you kidding?
This beer has
The Appearance: Nice glossy black coat
The Smell: Holy CRAP!!! AMAZING!
The Taste: OMFG!!! I wanna make sweet love to this beer! It just took the creme brulee I split with my fiance after my bday steak and made a beer child out of it. That's right it F@C& my creme brulee and made some weird/awesome F@(K trophy. This is the most excited my tongue has ever been. Even more excited than prom night!!!
Mouthfeel: I'm busy, stop asking questions!
The Overall: GO BUY A CASE!!!

Photo of inlimbo77
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber bottle poured into DFH Signature glass. 2011 version that just came into DE last week.

A: Dark as night. One finger tight bubbled creamy light tan head. Some alcohol feet and lacing. Just a really nice looking brew.

S: Smells amazing. Literally bottled creme brûlée. Tons of burnt sugar and vanilla. Tons! Actually over powers all the malts and other flavors. Maybe some chocolate behind the vanilla? Coffee?

T: Wow is that delicious! Not a huge fan of the dessert, but the beer....I enjoy this. Second sip changes some things. Still get a good mouth coating of vanilla and burnt sugar, but got some hints of coffee and mild milk chocolate. It's truly delicious, especially as it warms (sitting out for a while). Really don't taste the ABV at all....but upon finishing bomber you know!

M: It's definitely a full bodied brew. But creamy goodness. Lactose sugar might have helped it with that.

O: I must say, never been a fan of Southern Tier but all the Black Water Series are/have been delicious! Two thumbs up. Saving another for winter!

Photo of Pete27lax
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled this on 8/1/11 fresh.

Creme Brulee poured a very dark almost opaque black with a thin head. Moderate retention and not too much lacing on this beer.

Smell was enjoyable here. VERY strong vanilla bean in the smell along with alcohol. Very sweet but not much else to take note of in the nose.

Taste was slightly disappointing for me. Alcohol was very upfront in the taste, this was expected due to the alcohol in the smell. Vanilla is once again a dominate future here. Sweet flavors are more pronounced as the beer warms and leave an enjoyable after taste.

Mouthfeel was not too impressive. A little lighter and thinner than I would have liked. Slightly overcarbonated and the alcohol is noticeable.

Overall this is a decently drinkable beer. The sweetness really saves this beer for me. Would probably purchase another one.

Side notes: Probably will be much better with age. Going to buy one or two more to age.

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

Served at fridge temp into a pint glass on 8/1/11.

A: Black body with a light brown head. Mediocre lacing and some alcohol legs, with a quickly dissipating head.

S: Strong, over the top vanilla, some alcohol, light coffe and caramel. Nothing overly complex.

T: Obviously there is a stong, concentrated vanilla extract-like quality, but theres also an underlying vanilla that lingers and is quite pleasant and not overbearing; it's more like actual vanilla-bean coffee than vanilla extract. Followed by the vanilla is strong, super sweet toffee and caramel. This is a very sweet beer. Alcohol extinguishes all of the flavor towards the end, but the light vanilla lingers that I previously mentioned. Its kind of like a heavy cream soda with alcohol.

M- High carbonation that almost stings my tounge. The alcohol provides a nice warming that may be pleasant in the winter time but is a little too much for me right now. There is also a slight bitterness from the hops that is coupled with the alcohol.

O- This brew definitely has potential with some age, it is descently drinkable but like I said, its a little hot right now. I'd prefer the Javah from ST. Im going to come back and review this again in a few months to a year to see how it improves with age because I feel like it would improve greatly.

Photo of Preismj
3.56/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a: nice dark color black. Think looking on a swirl. minimal white/cream head with a very small amount of lacing. considering the color, the head is quite weak.

s: wowza! Vanilla bean, custard, sweet egg/milk scents slip from the rim. dark rich malts and the small hint of booze is present. smells super sweet. I can't even emphasize how sweet this really is on the nose.

t: follows the nose very well. tastes just like the flavors of creme brulee: Custard, milk, egg, nutmeg, and strong strong presence of vanilla on this. this is delicious. there is enough of a booze profile here to remind you this certainly is a beer...but the framework is quite nice. i'd imagine this would work even better with a drop to the ABV, though.

m: slick, thin. this is weak in the mouth, but necessarily so. If this was any thicker, I wouldn't be able to take it down with the strong sweetness. The thin body works for it given the flavor and when you'd want to drink this beer. As this warms, the flavors in this really get all mixed up and muddled. Too much heat with the sweetness and it doesn't work well together.

o: this really truly is the definition of a dessert beer/sweet stout. The flavors are tremendous, the booziness brings you back to the fact it is alcohol and not really dessert. It's quite good, but the sweetness would get to you after a while. considering the name, there is no misleading marketing here...this is creme brulee with alcohol. Hard to drink a lot of this...as it warms the alcohol really comes through and crosses up with the flavors quite a bit.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Capone's in Philadelphia.

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

Photo of vandemonian
4.29/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Southern Tier Creme Brulee is an amazing brew. Smells like Creme Brulee.

A: Black colour and a 4 mm head that fades to some lacing. 4

S: Very strong burned sugar smell with a hint of coffee. 5

T: Caramel coffee flavour into charcoal and very bitter finish. 4

M: This was a little flat, but it had been open for a day. 3.5

O: Yum Yum. 4.5

Photo of evanlarkin
4.64/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark like a dark chocolate. Not quite opaque, but difficult to get an eye through. A bit of foamy head which leaves a pleasant lacing.

Whoa! Creme brulee all the way! This was definitely made to smell like dessert. Vanilla, chocolate, caramel... I don't even know what else to say. This is beer, right?


Vanilla and coffee beans, with a chocolatey sweetness. It's kind of milky too, certainly more so than a lot of milk stouts I've had. A bit of heat comes in as I swallow, but it isn't upsetting. There's a bitterness, but it reminds me way more of a strong coffee than hops. Not to say there isn't a hops presence though. It's just in the background, and has more of a grassy quality.

Thick like milk, and medium/low in carbonation. You can definitely taste it for a while.

Well, I have no reason to lie. I love this beer. I'm a big vanilla bean fan though, so if you're not a vanilla person you should skip this. I for one wish this was available all the time, as I have a hard enough time finding the vanilla beers I lust after. This is well made, and makes a delicious desert or sweet snack beer. Just look out for the ABV.

Photo of Agold
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to jtingue for the chance to try this gem.

This beer is dark brown and has almost no head at all, but what it lacks in appearance it more than makes up for in flavor. What an outstanding beer. The aroma is a surprisingly accurate facsimile of creme brulee with caramel and vanilla and creme and a mild coco and roastiness underneath. Maybe a bit of butterscotch as well. This is trying to be a desert beer and it hit the nail right on the head. Most of the aromas are replicated on the palate with caramel vanilla cream with more roast and less sweet than the aroma. The mouthfeel, while pretty heavy, might have been a little bit better if it were more so. I don't know if it would have gotten cloying if it were thicker, but I suspect not. There is a mild neutral bitter bite that keeps it from being over the top sweet.

Next time I get a bottle of this, beer floats are definitely happening. I can't think of a better beer for it than this one.

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

Poured out of a bomber dated 7/16/11 into my Duvel tulip.

A – Deep cola brown with a tiny bit of tan head produced. Spotty lacing.

S – Wow huge cream soda smell. Has almost a burnt caramel aroma and definitely sweet in the nose.

T – Umm…like the smell has a huge creamy taste. Remember those little caramel squares you had as a kid well this tastes just like that. Just a huge caramel flavor. It also has the taste of the burn top layer on a real crème brulee. Just a bit of the alcohol shows through at the end. Not much but you do feel it.

M – Creamy baby. Wooo…

O – First try of this and I am extremely impressed. This is a clone of a real crème brulee. It is just a rich and creamy brew but not too sweet. Glad I bought a few.

Photo of jeremy2027
4.57/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into tunic glass

Black as night one finger tan head that dissipates quick.

WOW as the name implies its straight up Creme Brulee straight to the point.

Amazing, great beer just think a five star Creme Brulee with Booze!!!

Not as you would expect with this rich of a beer, it is mouth coating but not really chewy.

Amazing beer I need to get some more.

Photo of Rifugium
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

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

Photo of Marty30
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to imperialking for this bottle.Poured into a Duvel tulip at fridge temp.

A. Pours a dark brown the turns to black once in the glass.Looks like lots of carbonation.Leaves about A inch and a half tan head.Very little lacing left on the glass.

S. Lots of vanilla hits the nose first.Smells like french vanilla cappichino and Boston creme.Also getting some chocolate and coffee as well.

T. Very much like the smell lots of vanilla and coffee some caramel,chocolatemin there.Very sweet as expected.

M. Nice coating medium mouth.Lots of carbonation.Leaves a nice aftertaste.

Overall I really liked this beer.Taste is damn good.Nice switch from you normal American double,It's like a dessert.Great for after dinner.I would reccommend splitting with a buddy.

Photo of Knapp85
4.62/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has got to be my absolute favorite Southern Tier release. This beer pours out as a very thick black goop that lets off a thick creamy brown head on it. The smell is unreal, the burnt sugar aroma mixed to perfect with the sweet vanilla extract smell. My nose could stay in the glass all day on this one. The taste is sweet and slightly roasted, one of the best tasting beers I've had that is supposed to resemble another food of somekind. The mouthfeel is a slippery and thick, worth while for a long night of sipping from a snifter glass. Overall I love this beer. I know a ton of people don't but I find it to be a gem. Really want to get this one on-tap someday.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mjtiernan for sending me this one!

Pours an opaque black with a small 1/2 inch khaki head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. Small amounts of lacing slide back down into the rest of the beer on the drink down. Smells exactly like creme brulee. Very sweet milk, vanilla, and caramelized sugar aromas. Taste is a bit different than I was expecting. Up front there is a pretty bitter roasted malt taste that develops into a sweet cream, vanilla, and caramelized sugar aftertaste. The bitterness fades after each sip leaving the creme brulee flavors on the palate. This beer is definitely less sweet than it smells. Mouthfeel is very rich and creamy with a lower level of carbonation. Overall, this is a good beer that smells and tastes very similar to the creme brulee dessert. I split this one with my wife and she absolutely loved it. This and the Choklat are the best ST Black Water Series beers that I have tried.

Photo of hamilton23
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle.

A: Pours dark brown with some tan head.

Aroma hits you like a ton of bricks...WOW that is creme brulee...you get the burnt sugar and vanilla in a big way.

Taste follows the nose...it is REALLY sweet. This is an after dinner beer. Not one to drink on a hot summer afternoon. Sip it and enjoy the dessert.

Photo of ChrisCage
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

A- The coloring of this one is midnight black with no other hues present around the rim, and provides a very thick, dense head that sticks around, eventually settling down to a half inch thick layer of fluff, and the coloration is of cappuccino. Lots of lacing clings to the glass right off the bat! Overall this is very much a perfect looking stout!

S- This is dead on for creme brulee/and or flan/and or any cream/sugar based desert! Great aromas of vanilla and milk chocolate...Simply wonderful! Nothing else to say about the aroma other than it smells just like something delectable came out of the oven.

T- Again, simply wonderful! There's so much going on here....vanilla beans, milk chocolate, fresh coffee grounds, caramel and dairy cream. The great thing about this, is that there is an underlying earthiness and hop bitterness on the finish to balance this out and remind me that I'm enjoying a great craft brew! The aftertaste remains a little bitter on the palate however for my liking and considering everything else going on in this beer, so just a slight notch below the aroma.

M- Full bodied, and creamy carbonation round this out really well. Very rich and filling for sure, the alcohol is slightly noticeable but considering it's sitting at a whopping 10%, the sweetness of the lactose hides it nicely! Just like having a rich, creme brulee desert!

O- This is nearly a perfect beer to enjoy and even though this is true, the large format would limit me to enjoying one bottle every now and then. It's so rich and sweet that it's something that needs to be shared really, and really fills me up. However, from a creative standpoint, this is IMO one of the best products to be found anywhere and I absolutely love it!

Photo of Yagman3000
5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tall bottle poured into a snifter so I could put on my trunks and take a dip into this beer.
Black as night appearance with a peek of the darkest brown. Head dissipates to an oil slick (that "me likey").
Smells heavenly and exactly line dessert... Blindfold me and I'm st a great restaurant ordering mg last course.
Tastes just like it. I get the strongest flavor of butterscotch which beats the common vanilla one might find in sn imperial breakfast stout.
Mouthfeel is younvolicious. You don't get involved with this if you're not hunting down viscosity.
Perfect dessert beer. Southern tier rocks and this is best in genre.

Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 3,871 ratings.