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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,654 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,654
Reviews: 1,302
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 17.99%
Wants: 256
Gots: 548 | FT: 29
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:
The brewer suggests a serving temperature of 42 °F for this beer.

(Beer added by: ph2001 on 07-12-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,654 | Reviews: 1,302 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.85/5  rDev -1%

A buddy of mine picked up one of the 750ml bottles of this and offered to split it with me; a good thing, because I probably couldn't have done the whole bottle on my own!

Pours a deep brown, leaving a thin white head that sticks around as a ring. A little bit of sheet lacing.

The nose is really quite something. Strong vanilla, with a bit of caramel and chocolate in the back. Very potent; even the bottlecap had a strong nose to it!

The taste was very unique and enjoyable. It did indeed taste like a creme brulee, but the main taste I detected was the caramelized sugar on top. Lots of vanilla, cocoa, milk and caramel, with a little bit of dark chocolate bitterness to the finish.

The mouthfeel was a bit syrupy for my taste - probably could have done with a bit more carbonation as well.

An interesting brew, certainly well worth a go. A good dessert beer for sure; a good one to share with friends, because downing a whole bottle is a tough task. Not sure I'd get this one again, but chock up another for Southern Tier!

JohnnyBarman, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of BierFan
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. ABV of 10.0%.

Appearance: Thin tan/light brown head. Obviously, the body is black. Head retention is unimpressive and there's no lacing.

Smell: Loads of caramel, butterscotch, and vanilla. Especially heavy on the butterscotch. A little alcohol aroma manages to make it past the overpowering sweet aromas. I think this smells too sweet.

Taste: Once again, heavy on the butterscotch caramel and vanilla. A little bit of hop bitterness reminds me that this is indeed a beer.

This is, perhaps, the sweetest beer I've ever had. While drinking it all I could think of is how this will instantly rot my teeth and the classic Simpson's line, "SO LONG DENTAL PLAN!"

BierFan, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of ritzkiss
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%

22oz from the LCBO, different labels for us Ontario-ians. Pours a dark dark color with the thinnest of brown rings around the top. A finger of mocha head flairs up on an aggressive pour and then quickly moves to placid. Meh.

The nose is ridiculous. Sweet sweet caramel, loads of vanilla - this doesn't even smell like beer, it smells like creme brulee! If there's any hint of the stout they are cowering in fear.

I had heard the stories about this beer, how it's too sweet to finish a bottle. I was pleasantly surprised, however. The sweet caramel and vanilla are certainly present but backed by a nice roasty malt and dark baker's chocolate. Not balanced but present at least. My wife took a sip and all she said was, it tastes burnt. No doubt it's a sweet concotion but a 22oz was nice in an evening - wouldn't do more. Creamy smooth, pretty much non-existent carbonation. Dessert in a glass.

I'm not jumping to have it again, it's too sweet for a common beer and next time would probably go half-sies. Still, I enjoyed it as a creative, tasty dessert beer. Worth trying, Southern Tier does some neat things with this series.

ritzkiss, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of Metalmonk
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%

Small sizzling head dissipates quickly leaving a thin crown only. Color is a ridiculously dark brown which might as well be called black. It's utterly opaque too.

Whoa! Vanilla comes on strong in the aroma, and paired with a milky sweetness (probably the lactose sugar) and the hefty alcohol level, this has the smell of a fine $15-per-small-plate dessert item. Even crosses over to smelling like an egg tart/custard...craziness. Certainly unlike any other beer aroma I've come across. Gotta give it a half-point boost for originality.

The flavor is something that could have been so terribly awful in the wrong hands, but it seems Southern Tier knows what they're doing by now and can try something unusual like this and make it work. Pure vanilla bean flavor rides out front. If you don't like vanilla you won't like this--but it's also not the only thing happening here. The vanilla is balanced with a liqueur-like warming, a burnt-sugar kind of sweetness, a little more burnt flavor that brings coffee to mind, a sort of milky vibe, suggestions of dark chocolate, something that's somewhere between root beer and Dr. Pepper, even a ghost of coconut (something BA Snorkapotamus located in S.T.'s Jahva stout) and what's really incredible is there's a grassy bit of hops in the mire too. The mouthfeel is appropriately creamy--kind of slippery and not all that thick--with just the right amount of carbonation tingle; with all those flavors happening, it makes you think of custard. This is completely unreal, and one of the most unique/memorable beers I've ever had.

I love when you hear craft-beer newbies take a taste of something rather different and exclaim "This is beer?" or "This isn't beer!" Although I'm far from an expert and have a long way to go before receiving by Beer PhD, I'm long past all that "is this beer?" stuff...yet even with Creme Brulee Stout I found myself wondering "is this beer?" The beauty of it is that, yes, this is beer! Chalk another one up for Southern Tier--it's at the very least one of their most unique offerings. Everybody should try this at least once.

Metalmonk, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of tehchunk
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

A - This beer pours black with a nice, thick, very inviting beige head. Great head retention & lacing from start to finish.

S - Wow, VERY strong smell of vanilla, butterscotch, sweet caramel, sugar, etc. This is literally a dessert in a 22 oz. bottle. Very intriguing!

T - Initial slap-in-the-face with strong vanilla & butterscotch. Some secondary flavors that come through also include some toffee, sweet caramel, and some roasted malt. Very sweet & bitter towards the end that leaves the palate with a dry feeling. Alcohol is noticeable, especially towards the end when it's accompanied by a nice, warming sensation.

M - Not overly carbonated, which is to be expected for an imperial milk stout. Not as thick/syrupy as other imperial stouts; full-bodied. The sweet vanilla & caramel rest well on the tongue, which is then followed nicely by the bitterness of the alcohol.

D - Great beer for a 22 oz. bottle, but that's all I could drink in a night. This could easily be shared with a friend as it is a very sweet beer. I could see this being a great beer for dessert, or even to cook with.

Overall, this beer is one-of-a-kind. It is truly a dessert sealed up in a 22 oz. bottle. Highly recommended for the curious beer drinker.

tehchunk, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of jampics2
4.2/5  rDev +8%

Ah, perhaps the most polarizing beer I've noticed on Beer Advocate. A true 'Love it or Hate it' kinda deal.

Well, I love it. I disagree with those who believe Southern Tier isn't putting out innovative and highly delicious beers in their Imperial and Blackwater series.

A pitch black beer with a nice creamy head sits in my tulip. The head eventually fades to a ring, but this beer is beautiful.

Smelling this beer is truly an experience anyone who likes vanilla or butterscotch should be lucky enough to have. It literally makes the room smell sweet. A gorgeous butter-creme sweetness makes my mouth water.

Taste is great. There's a nice roast under the blanket of flavors that needs to be mentioned. The butterscotch/vanilla/caramel taste is amazing. It fades into a fresh creme sweetness that lingers. Nice amount of alcohol warmth makes this truly an experience to taste. Some people think it peaks and finishes with a fake, extract taste, but disagree; more than anything, I like the way Southern Tier is able to present such a pronounced group of flavors and break new grounds in originality and execution of concept.

Mouthfeel is good. This could stand to be even a touch thicker, but it's almost there. I like the finish and feel during the whole flavor progression.

Drinkability is good. You can't expect to judge a beer like this based on how much you could drink (my limit is 24oz) but it's a joy while in my glass, which isn't that long!

I get why some here don't love this beer. But I think Southern Tier has presented something truly enjoyable.

jampics2, Dec 10, 2009
Photo of NCSUdo
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%

22 oz bottle

A: Dark black under a small tan head. Very little lace or retention.

S: Big caramel and vanilla, very pleasing. Some roasted malt in the background. Very good.

T: Caramel not quite as prominent, but there. Vanilla there as well, roasted malt is a little bigger. Hops are surprisingly apparent as some pine character. Bitter finish is that of both hops and roasted malt, hint of alcohol. A lot going on and a bit out of balance at times, but still tasty.

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation is a bit prickly. Drinkability is pretty good, a very tasty beer, especially if you like caramel. Good beer.

NCSUdo, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of ludachris
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Pours a rich and deep nut brown with magnificent ruby red highlights and a one finger, quickly dissipating tan head that leaves no lace.

Huuuge milk chocolate drenched in butter, vanilla beans saturated in liquid sugar, buttery pecan, caramel, light roasted malts and a hint of alchohol. This is literally creme brulee in liquid form and that's why I rated it a 5; it delivers what's said on the bottle.

Big dose of vanilla, buttery milk chocolate, caramel, dry roasted malts, and a nice kick of alcohol, which succeeds in making the sweetness a bit less pronounced.

Mouthfeel is thick and silky smooth, but is not overwhelming and doesn't coat the mouth. This beer is definitely meant to be a sipper, but it's to the point where it's hard to finish the bottle in one sitting.

Overall, this by far the sweetest beer I've had to date. It is the epitome of a dessert beer, and I couldn't imagine this being drunk on any other occasion. The high price tag and extreme sweetness make this a beer for me to buy only on special occasions. For those with a sweet tooth and love of beer, this brew is a must.

ludachris, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of CRichardsMN
4.65/5  rDev +19.5%

Black with red highlights, creamy tan head of about 1/4 inch that falls to a ring and minimal lacing.

Sweet milk caramel, vanilla and a mild background of deep roasted malts and hints of alcohol. Candy in a glass.

This is definitely an imperial. Huge sweet caramel and vanilla front with a bit of roasted malts, has quite the kick of alcohol and finishes with the slightest hint of bitterness from something perhaps referred to as "hops". WoW.

Thick and smooth, slight carbonation and fills the mouth. Heavy bodied but does not coat the mouth.

Buy one of these to split as it is intensely strong but wow, there's a lot of beer in that beer. I'll be done (and happy) after one of these.

Impulse buy by my wife. We have tried other Southern Tier brews. Nice pick.

CRichardsMN, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of ecoastman
3.85/5  rDev -1%

I am smelling a creme brulee desert right now... I don't think I could tell the difference from the real thing. Exceptional.

It pours black like coffee and is virtually opague when held against the light. The head is a dense tan colour and recedes to a thin layer with a little spotty lacing and thick bubbles on the edges of the glass.

It's smooth, creamy and slightly syrupy. A bit watery and would be better if it was a bit more creamy. There is a touch of courseness in the back of the throat from the abv and bitterness.

The start is sweet with ...what else - creme brulee and transitions to bitter burnt coffee (and lots of it). There's also some caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, milk chocolate and alcohol marinated dark fruits. Facinating stuff but a little over the top with the bitter burnt coffee for my taste. However, the bitterness is clean and not sour or too acidic so it balances the sweetness in the finish. Maybe overbalances...

This is a great beer for sharing and would go well with desert (duh)... but I don't know if I'll finish the 650 mL bottle by myself tonight. I think that any big bitter coffee beers can do a number on my stomach. Good thing I re-corked it.

ecoastman, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of SShelly
3.58/5  rDev -8%

Poured at a big group tasting, interesting concept.

Aroma is butterscotch and candy, very sweet smell with vanilla and a little bit o spice.

Flavor is initally all butterscotch, smooths out to a kinda creme brule flavor, flavors are way over the top.

kinda gimmicky and I wouldnt want more than my 4 oz's but all in all it is what it says it is and is well made.

SShelly, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of scottyb88
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%

A-poured smooth and kinda thick with little head, plenty of lacing, very black with nice tan head

S-smells pretty good, vanilla, butter pecan ice cream

T-typical stout but with a nice sweetness that has a bit of spice at the end, butter pecan flavor is present

M-silky and a little thick, little to no carbonation

D-at 10% alcohol its very well balanced, its a very rich beer that I couldn't see myself having a second

scottyb88, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of WeedKing4
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%

22oz bomber pours a dark black with a little carbination forming around the glass. The smell is very sweet and reminds you of desserts you have over the holidays. The taste follows suit and is incredibly sweet for a stout. Its almost too sweet really. The abv% is well hidden, but its drinkability is difficult since its so damn sweet. Going to be a struggle to finish this bomber by myself. Won't go out of my way to see this out again. That being said, i'm glad I got to try it.

WeedKing4, Dec 05, 2009
Photo of mintjellie
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%

The black body shows highlights of deep ruby when held to light. A quarter inch of tan head makes a hasty exit as soon as I finish pouring, leaving no trace behind. The beer has a rich caramel candy and vanilla aroma. Caramel chews, vanilla pudding, and butterscotch syrup are all brought to mind. Sweetened condensed milk. Alcohol is noticeable in the scent. There's a faint note that could be raisin or over-ripe plum buried beneath everything else. It tastes as advertised, like vanilla custard and caramelized sugar. I'm also reminded of butterscotch ripple ice cream. It shows some stout character in the flavour as well, with some black coffee managing to pull through all the sweet dessert flavours. The alcohol makes it warm and boozy.

Somewhat full bodied with low carbonation, it feels smooth and luxurious. The intense sweetness and 10% ABV put a limit on how much you can have at once, unless you have a really sweet tooth. Despite how delicious it tastes, I could only drink half the 650mL bottle in one sitting. Share it with a friend or significant other, or invest in a decent wine bottle stopper and save the rest for the next day. It's a really interesting beer, but I don't know if I would want this more than once a year.

I'm going to go brush my teeth and take my insulin now.

mintjellie, Dec 04, 2009
Photo of taigor
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%

On-tap poured into 8oz glass.

A - Poured coffee black, non-transparent color with minimal head that dissipates very quickly leaving some lacing around glass.

S - Vanilla right away with milk chocolate and caramel. Also detected slight hint of coffee.

T - Very, very sweet and creamy that gradually becomes bitter.

M - Full-bodied with medium carbonation and very smooth.

D - This is a dessert beer that has to be sipped so drinkability is ok. Also, due to it being extremely sweet one glass should be enough.

taigor, Dec 03, 2009
Photo of bonsreeb85
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%

First off I must thank projectflam86 for this brew.
Cheers Kyle!

THis beer is black as a cold and starless night in downtown Denver as I pour this elixer into my DFH glass on such an evening. The head is minimal and the beer looks thick and smooth.

The smell is like a caramel frappacino, no joke! Aromas include: Sweet melty milk chocolate, Kaluha, vanilla beans, heavy caramel sauce, burnt cream and too a lesser extent, coffee beans. Can we say Starbucks??

Tooth rottingly sweet with tons of caramel and vanilla. Very syrupy with a fair helping of milk, heavy cream and burnt sugar all play integrel roles in the flavor department. There is also some coconut flavor going on too, wierd(but good). The flavor dries a tad on the finish with lingering coffee and hints of chocolate.

The feel on this puppy is exceptional to say the least. Full creamy and velvety smooth.

For what it is this beer achieved perfection:liquid dessert. If you have a sweet tooth or are in the mood for something out of the ordinary this 'beer' is right up your alley. That said, purests or those who dispise sweet, stay far away! I am from the former and loved this brew. More of a novelty though, 22oz was plenty.

bonsreeb85, Dec 03, 2009
Photo of brian252
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%

An amazing beer. It's better to have a Souther Tier Creme Brulee instead of desert after dinner.

(A) It's jet black with a frothy head which is light brown.

(S) It smells like burnt sugar and caramel.

(T) It's taste is very sweet.

(M) It's thick.

(D) I had to take my time with wtih beer. It's pretty strong. After having, i would not suggest you get another one (until the next day)

brian252, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of Ralphus
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

I've got to give the brewer credit for even trying something like this. Creme Brulee and beer doesn't seem like a natural match.

This one poured jet back. The head I forced on it was a dark tan and it soon receded to nothing.

The smell was better though. Coffee and vanilla.. lots of vanilla. I found it inviting. The taste was more so. Lots of candy sweetness, burnt caramel coffee, a huge dose of vanilla with a touch of bitterness at the end. Quite simply it's an amazing concoction of tastes. The balance is definitely towards the sweet side.

Mouthfeel is smooth if not a touch thick. There was little to no carbonation present in my beer. I found drinkability to be ok.. it went down fast but having more than one in a session could induce diabetes!

Ralphus, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of jbonapar
3.58/5  rDev -8%

Large 650ml bottle purchased in Ottawa. Cows on the label, fun.

SMell - Creamy creamy. So creamy. Vanilla with a slight cafe mocha overtone. Almost like a vanilla caramel late from a nice coffee shop.

Taste - Smooth Stout, very smooth. Starts creamy with strong vanilla flavor, as the vanilla sweetness dissipates, a smooth stout comes into play, but quickly a sharp bitterness like a strong extremely dark espresso rears its head and lingers around. I think the bittnerness is a bit much at the end, but overall, a beautiful, a nice sipping beer for sure.

Certainly different.

jbonapar, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of GodOfBeer
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%

Pours a pitch black with a thin brown head, no lacing.

The first thing I smell is butterscotch. Some vanilla, caramel and alcohol as it warms up.

This is a very sweet milk stout, butterscotch, vanilla cream, coffee, alcohol with a nice surprising hoppy finish. Doesn't taste much like beer, but still good nonetheless.

Very thick, smooth mouthfeel and pretty drinkable considering how sweet and strong it is. Expensive but still definitely worth a try, certainly the best milk stout I've ever had.

GodOfBeer, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of capra12
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%

Reviewed solo at rnh on turkey day.

Appearance: jet black with little head and spotty lacing

Smell: butter scotch is the first thing that comes to mind and a slight creaminess with a huge malt punch.

Taste: opens creamy and malty with a definite creme brulee as hints of alcohol spike through in the middle to end leaving a malty aftertaste but not like belgian strong dark ales.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with little carbonation and very very smooth. Yum.

Drinkability: I would definitely have this again and recommend this to those who seek an intense milk stout with a creme brulee/ butter scotch kick that is incredibly smooth.Like all southern tier stuff intense and rich in flavor profiles, never let's up.

capra12, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of MrDanno96
3.1/5  rDev -20.3%

A: Looks like a typical stout in appearance (this is where the similarities end, lol). Dark black, no light gets in. Thin ring of off-white head and some sticky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Vanilla, sweet sugar, coffee creamer, caramel, creme brulee. Smells nice, but based on the smell I bet this is going to be too sweet...

T: Tastes like French Vanilla flavored coffee. The roasted malts that are typically found in stouts are also there, but in the background. I think this flavor accomplishes what the brewers wanted (a creme brulee flavored beer). That being said, I don't really thing creme brulee and beer go very well together. I don't mind vanilla flavored stouts, but this is just a little too sweet. The balance between sweet and malt/hops is not achieved here.

M: Pretty full bodied. Thick and chewy with a smooth finish.

D: Meh. As I mentioned above, I think this is exactly what the brewers intended - very sweet, creme brulee flavored beer. It's an interesting concept, but in the end I don't think creme brulee and beer have a good future with each other.

MrDanno96, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of brewmyster
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%

A-Very dark,oil-like, very little light passed through. However, the head was thinner then I expected thus the lower mark.
S-Very unique,vanilla,coffee, and believe or not a hint of prune, very eclectic smell, but, surprisingly quite good.
T-Vanilla,coffee,condensed milk,molasses-tiramisu 1st comes to mind NOT creme brulee. At 10% abv the alcohol is very well hidden.Hops comes in at the back of the tongue.
M-Good,but not as creamy as I would expect,but smooth enough.
D-This is a great "single drink" beer (ie, great for an occasional taste but not one I could drink continuously all night. Falls into the Dogfish Head 120min IPA realm)
All-in-all a pretty tasty beer, to me a quit unique taste. I would recommend this beer for a holiday treat.

brewmyster, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of oberon
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%

One of the few ST beers I havent had the chance to try,(it came out after I moved away from western NY)if you like creme brulee you will like this beer.Poured a jet black with a frothy one finger light mocha colored head,minimal lace was left as it settled rather quickly.Wow it cant get much more spot on in the aroma,burnt sugar and hefty vanilla/caramel aromas, with slight roast as well.Dessert in a bottle,the only problem is it gets cloyingly sweet in a hurry,big vanilla/caramel flavors with some mollasses as well,only a hint of dry roastiness comes through.My wife loves it and is finishing mine,I respect the job ST did in making this beer,its just to sweet for me.

oberon, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of BeerNinja007
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%

22oz bomber poured into my trusty chilled O'Douls pint glass. Paid $8.50 at a "package store" in CT. Absolutely worth it. Unique tasting experience.

Dark dark brown, thick 1-finger beige head. Very faint cherry red highlights shine through when held to a bright light. Virtually nothing gets through.

Aroma is loads of caramel, toffee, dark sugars. Sweet and smooth. A really unique and intense aroma. Not overwhelming. Smells more like ice cream than a beer. Actually doesn't smell much like beer at all. More like a scented candle.

Taste is like intense cream soda. Caramel, toffee, vanilla. Thick dark malts. Slight hop bitterness gives coffee and bitter chocolate tones to the finish.

Mouthfeel is extremely smooth. Thick but easy drinking, goes down very easily. ABV hidden very well. Carbonation is on the weak side.

BeerNinja007, Nov 23, 2009
Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,654 ratings.