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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

3,724 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,724
Reviews: 1,309
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 17.99%
Wants: 263
Gots: 573 | 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:
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: 3,724 | Reviews: 1,309 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jeffo
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bomber into a snifter.

Note: An imperial milk stout brewed with vanilla beans.

APPEARANCE: An aggressive pour makes a 1 ½ finger medium bubbly tan head with decent retention. Black and opaque with lower end carbonation. Head slowly fades to a thin film with a bubbly ring around the edges, which stays until the end and leaves a bit of lace down the sides of the glass.

SMELL: A huge nose right off the bat; hits you right on the pour. Smells exactly what you'd expect from a "crème brulee." Big vanilla all over the place, and sugar as well, like your vanilla birthday cake with white vanilla icing when you were a kid. Vanilla sugar cake is all that comes to mind. Either you love it or hate it.

TASTE: Exactly what the nose advertised; vanilla icing on vanilla sugar cake. Faint roasted qualities and touches of smokiness try to push through, but vanilla is the name of the game. Quite sweet the whole way with a nice touch of bitterness and some faint spicy elements as an attempt to add some balance to the brew. Sweet vanilla and somewhat bitter aftertaste is strong and long lasting. Very bold flavors and does exactly what it advertises.

PALATE: Full body and creamy smooth on the palate. Very nice here. Goes down thick and creamy and finishes with a bit of an alcohol bite at the end. Very mouth-coating, somewhat cloying on the finish. A little too cloying, but that wasn't surprising given the taste profile.

OVERALL: This was a really fun beer and I really enjoyed it. I must admit, however, that while the first glass was great, the full bomber was a little much and it got a little tiring by the end. This is one I'd have to share, and since I don't have anyone to share with, I probably won't be buying it very often. Another one I wish was sold in 12oz bottles; I'd probably pick it up regularly as a treat. Regardless, this beer tastes exactly as it's advertised, and it doesn't beat around the bush either. Bold, flavorful, and very interesting. Either you love it or you hate it I think, and I certainly found it very enjoyable.

Jeffo, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of DawnL
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep, dark color with lots of sticky lacing.

Vanilla bean first on the nose - then a real milky, creamy aroma that really does make me think of creme brulee. Okay, more pots de creme - but still delicious.

Vanilla definitely comes across on the palate very strongly.

For the dessert beers - it's all about the mouthfeel. Silky, smooth, like drinking a milk shake. Rich and unctuous. Drinks like a dessert - like melted ice cream.

Absolutely lives up to its name - this is like drinking creme brulee. Also, not all that easy to imbibe due to high abv and the sweetness that can be cloying at times.

DawnL, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of Jdog66
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's called Creme Brulee. It's sweet. Guess what it tastes like? You'll never guess. OK, I'll tell ya. It tastes like Creme Brulee. If you like Creme Brulee, you will likely dig this beer. Pay attention to serving temperature as, with most good beers, the flavors really come out in the low to mid forties.

Jdog66, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of wingedeel
1.85/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This is another of those beers that I am shocked anybody likes, but different strokes I guess.

Wont bore you with the appearance or even the smell. The taste however I will certainly touch on.

Frankly the best I can say about this beer is that it is slightly better than taking a swig of pure vanilla extract. Wow. The flavor is not enhanced with a nice, subdued Creme Brulee flavor, but rather an in your face, sweet, overpowering taste of cheap vanilla extract. Honestly this was one of only 3 or 4 drain pours in my 54 years of roaming this planet. To me this was undrinkable.

A novelty beer for sure.Tread lightly my friends, unless you are a huge fan of vanilla flavoring, and have your dentist on retainer.

wingedeel, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of nkersten
2.05/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Dark brown and slightly opaque. Would expect a slightly darker beer for an imperial stout.

S- Lots of vanilla, not much in the way of roasted malts that I would expect in an imperial stout. And it is an extract vanilla smell, not something you would get from whole beans.

T - Good freakin' god, this might be the sweetest beer I have ever had. Vanilla and more vanilla, sugar and some alcohol heat. I can feel my teeth rotting. There is nearly no malt or hop presence in the taste.

M - Despite looking a little on the thin side, the mouthfeel is pretty good. Right where an imperial stout should be in my opinion, if not a little bit light.

D - This would be a much more drinkable beer if the vanilla wasnt so overpowering. While not quite a drain pour, I don't think I will be getting this one again.

nkersten, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of nate4g63
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a snifter, very dark, barely any head that went away fairly quick.

Smells really really good! Like the soft caramel candies. A little hint of alcohol in there as well.

Tastes just like it smells. Reminds me of a much more potent version of Saranacs Caramel Porter.

Mouthfeel is pretty light, not creamy like I expected ,and wanted, it to be.

Not sure if I would want to drink much more than this bomber, I would prefer it as a 12 oz. I can't say it would be my first pick if other stouts are availaible.

Overall it's nothing I would hunt down, but nothing I would turn down either. Solid brew from a solid brewery.

nate4g63, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

So this beer is great in the main sensory aspects (taste, smell) but not really in all the finesse things. It's opaque black, but there isn't much head, retention, or lacing. It smells like pure butterscotch. Delicious... it tastes like it too. Like butterscotch candy sandwiching a fleeting bit of dark malt/coffee taste. This is a beer hidden within candy. Good stuff. The mouthfeel is thin, however, and it's over-carbonated. I could still drink it for most of the night, though. Another robust offering from Southern Tier.

LordAdmNelson, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of amccormi
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I loved this beer, and it is the first stout I can say that about.

It pours a deep opaaque black with a tan head. The aroma is of vanilla and burnt caramel, with a touch of pungent hop coming through. It tastes very rich, with roasted chocolate flavors and hop bitterness mixing with sweet caramel and vanilla. It tastes like creme brulee, it tastes like a stout, it is fantastically layered. It feels oily and finishes smooth.

I will buy this again.

amccormi, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of Beejay
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Off to a good start, deep black with some brown at the edges.. a nice tan head, that turns into bubbles fairly quickly.

S:Wow. Now that is something different. Very sweet smelling, like sugar, and maybe some fruit. Also has a 'dairy' scent about it, almost like yogurt. Perhaps it is more custard like..

T: That is like nothing else I have tried.. sweet, decadent, and rich, with just the nicest little roasted/burnt flavor at the end. This is pretty good.

M: Fairly thin for what I was expecting... the carbonation is nice though

D: Very nice, sweet. This is a beer that will take some time to get through. But would be totally great in a small snifter with a slice of cheesecake. I give this 2 thumbs up.

Beejay, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of kenpo23
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow, they went for it and they nailed it!

A - Poured dark ebony with a temporary head.

S - Smells just like creme brulee. I defy you to differ!

T - Now come on, its called creme brulee...if you dont expect it to be very sweet than dont even bother. The caramel flavor is amazing with a great aftertaste of vanilla and alcohol.

D - drinkablity was as good as you can get for a drink that tastes like dessert. If you love dessert than you're going to think this is a great addition to any meal or a good substitute when a pint of ben & jerrys just wont do.

kenpo23, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of youbrewidrink
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We brought a bottle to dinner party of non-beer drinkers. They were a little apprehensive.

The color was a nice chocolate brown with a lasting light brown head.

The aroma was dead on, rich slightly burnt sugar.

The taste was as close as you could be to eating the dssert and yet still be considered a beer. Not for everyone but a pretty fun concoction.

The mouth feel and drinkability were pretty much in line with any good milk stout.

youbrewidrink, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of alpinebryant
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Who said you couldnt turn many peoples favorite dessert into a beer? This "beer" hits creme brulee on the head.

Pours a Hershey Chocolate Brown with mocha bubbles lacing down the glass.
Smells extremely sweet of vanilla, toasted marshmellow, sugar and toasted malts. Everything to be desired in Creme Brulee.
Tastes extremely sweet, toasted chocolate, burnt sugar, Vanilla been overdose, and malty goodness. Malt is really an aftertaste with so much sweetness off the front. I would describe this as a Starbucks"ized" beer. Everything has been added to this beer to sweeten, enhance and uplift. A delicious beer that would make a great after dinner drink with company over. Looking forward to finishing the rest of this beer.

alpinebryant, Oct 04, 2009
Photo of vacax
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours quite black with a moderately sized tan head. Impressive retention considering the strength of the beer, and appropriate lacing. The nose of this beer immediately says that it is no common stout, nay, this is an imperial milk stout, the likes of which I have ne'er had before. Immense aroma of milk sugar, burnt sugar, vanilla cream. This is not hyperbole, this is hugely sweet.

Tastes of sweet vanilla, burnt sugar, milk and cookies, lots of roast behind it all, but this is a decadent sugary explosion. Too sweet? For some, but what is to be expected from a Creme Brulee? Like the other specialties from Southern Tier, this goes after a specific flavor and nails it. This beer would be a failure if they called it Creme Brulee and it wasn't very sweet. A dessert beer, to be shared with friends. Uniquely delicious. Medium bodied with a smooth medium carbonation that does not distract from the decadence.

Another hit in Southern Tier's BlackWater series. Is it shockingly sweet? Yes. Is it decadent in both aroma and flavor? Yes. I submit that this beer well achieves the essence of its namesake.

vacax, Oct 04, 2009
Photo of calsbeek
1.95/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I love creme brulle and I love beer so this should be great.
The beer is nice and dark and pours with a thick full head that has nice retention. The nose is extremely close to creme caramel not really creme brulle, but it smells incredibly interesting.

Everything is down hill from there. The beer is disgustingly sweet (cloying is not even close to accurate...this beer is thick with sugar and just over the top nasty). Vanilla so overpowering on the front that there isn't much left to taste. The beer finished even worse with an overly bitter kick and nothing even close to a stout's character. I rinsed my mouth out with water after the first sip.

As the beer warms, things go from bad to worse. This is a novelty act in the extreme and I would NEVER buy the beer again.

totally disgusting.

calsbeek, Oct 03, 2009
Photo of BostonBrewins
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a dark black. Head dissipated quickly.

S - Smells just like creme brulee.

T - Tastes just like creme bruleee. This beer truly does come as advertised. Sweet vanilla, sugary, caramel flavor, this is creme bruleee in a bottle. The alcohol comes through in the finish.

M - A bit watery for a stout. Moderate carbonation.

D - Very drinkable for such a highly alcoholic brew. I'm very impressed in how this brewery replicated such a complex dessert as creme brulee so faithfully. Bottom line: if you like creme brulee, you will enjoy this offering. If your not a fan, you might find this to be too sweet.

BostonBrewins, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of Anthony1
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep and opaque black, although some reddish highlights are in the corners, very thick light tan head forms, slowly settles down to a thick ring and thin layer, lace streaks on the glass, looks good. Smell is great, very rich, butterscotch, big vanilla, caramel corn, raisin, more toffee, cream, lactose sweetness, very malty, a hint of roast but basically big vanilla and caramel notes. Taste is similar, milk chocolate, hazelnut, vanilla, caramel and butterscotch, more vanilla, more caramel, just insanely rich, like dessert. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, alcohol is hidden very well. I love this beer, never really experienced the caramelized and vanilla flavours as rich as this in any other beer

Anthony1, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of zeff80
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small, light brown color. It left little to no lace.

S - It smelled of tons of vanilla, some chocolate and sweet, sweet caramel.

T - It tasted of vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. It really tasted like creme brulee. Caramel, vanilla and touches of toffee.

M - It was soft and smooth with a sticky mouthfeel. A medium to full bodied beer.

D - This is an amazing beer, however, it is a lot to drink at once. I shared it was some family but it was still very heavy.

zeff80, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of GregSVT
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured in a pint glass.

A: An agressive pour yields a 2-3 inch head that fades to a small ring with a good deal of lacing.

S: Smell is exactly like I expected and wonderful. It smells like creme brulee. Sweet and sugary vanilla, milk chocolate/mocha, and caramel/toffee.

T: The taste is toasted sugar, vanilla, cappuccino, and a slight burnt coffee on the finish.

M: The feel is a bit thin but it has good carbonation. The only low point of this beer.

D: The ABV is extremly well hidden so it creeps up on you. The sweetness of this would get a bit cloying after a while but I would definitely have this again. Now where to find it when it's released again.

After reading some reviews I expected this to not taste like creme brulee but it did. A definite must try.

GregSVT, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of BetterDarker
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I finally decided to:

1: try an imperial stout and
2: try a Southern Tier

Appearance - Black with chocolate milk creamy head, big bubbles, head retention is not long but some lacing

Smell - Chocolate, malt, slight coffee, no hops though bottle states horizon aroma hops

Taste - Sweet, slight burnt flavor in the back of the mouth, some caramel (hence the name). Slight acidic bite at the end, no alcohol, though the bite seems to dwindle as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel - Well carbonated, not too heavy

Drinkability - One and done, glad I tried it, but I'm not sure I'd have another, though the beer is improving as it warms up, perhaps I started this with it being too cold though the recommendation is 42 degrees.

BetterDarker, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Rgtravers for this brew. Hopefully this hits the market in Florida sooner rather than later.

The beer pours a very happy shade of black with a chocolate creme head that sticks around. Very nice lacing. Garnish with mint and berries?

The vanilla is apparent in the nose, followed by creamy milk and, I know I was hallucinating here, a raspberry. I sat for a few minutes sniffing the bottle. If Southern Tier made air fresheners I would totally buy this for my car.

The vanilla, cream, and a hint of the ABV dominate the mouth. This is a great dessert or before bed beer. Very sweet and very tasty.

Creme Brulee is creamy. This beer is like a carbonated creme brulee. Yea, a little exaggerated, but ou get the idea.

This is scary drinkable. That said, it is a bit sweet to session. I will, however, find another bottle to enjoy.

RomaniIteDomum, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into an oversized wine glass.

A: Midnight black off the pour, stellar caramel colored head that looked alive for some time. Killer legs.

S: Oh boy! Right off the cap, it is in your face with the aromatics. With a nose half down the glass: caramelized sugar, vanilla, coffee bean. It smells 100% like creme brulee and that's no joke. The unanimous winner of this brew.

M: Full in body, very sticky, minimal carbonation, ABV noticeable, but plays well.

D: For dessert beers this is right on. One sick sipper. The sweetness is just too barring to do anything else with it. Best shared with others, comes recommended for special occasions or if your craving burn cream and beer at the same time.


BuffaloTapHugger, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of jdg204
2.93/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I felt like I needed something special for brew review #200, so I searched through the fridge. I've been a big Southern Tier fan for a while now and despite the big miss on Chokolat, I was excited to try this brew.

A: Dark brown color with a small tan head that fades quickly but leaves plenty of lace.

S: Creme brulee aroma comes through strong and hard, the name doesn't lie.

T: SWEET vanilla and creme up front, with a bit of a nasty cola flavor on the undertone. A really hoppy bitterness come through at the end and it does not jive well at all with the SWEETNESS up front. This tries to be a well balanced brew but really comes across as a freaking mess that can't make up it's mind (too sweet and too bitter).

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation and a sickeningly sweet aftertaste.

D: Well after a strong start to our relationship that's two awful brews in a row from ST (Chokolate being the other). As I said earlier, this was just a complete mess, it tried to a beer a dessert beer and a stout at the same time and ended up accomplishing neither. I'm starting to think I need to stay away from dessert flavored beers, they just don't seem to work for me. Try this at your own risk.

jdg204, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of sweemzander
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter glass. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours pretty thick and pitch black that produced a 2 finger light brown to gray head that is staying around for awhile. Diminished, but is still present after a few minutes.

(S)- Wow! Sweet and creamy milk chocolate malted shake with cinnamon, vanilla, and essences of coffee. Amazing smell that I cant get enough of! Has an interesting french vanilla creamer aroma to it.

(T)- Ample roasted malts that are lightly bittering that is followed by dusty cocoa and sweet creamy vanilla on the finish. Some bits of butterscotch within.

(M)- Very creamy sweet with plenty of roasted malts to supplement it. Good balance, but very sweet overall. Very much a dessert beverage; not your normal imperial stout. Great carbonation level. The high 10%abv is integrated very well.

(D)- A unique stout with the addition of being brewed with vanilla beans. Very sweet, but is somewhat balanced by the roasted malts. Share the 22oz. with a friend; almost too rich and sweet to drink by yourself.

sweemzander, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of Brad007
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a motor-oil black color with a brown one-finger head into my fluted glass. Pretty much the proper color.

Aroma is full of vanilla, caramel and cream in the nose. Very interesting. Only a whiff of chocolate.

Taste is sweet with caramel, vanilla and cream flavors mingling in the mouth, followed by a roasted coffee and chocolate feel in the middle. Somewhat subdued, never overpowering.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering flavors mentioned above. Carbonation is a bit high and only a bit of alcohol warmth shows up. Otherwise, pretty easy-drinking for the flavors in it.

I was expecting something creamier but this stout has an interesting mix of flavors. It tends to get better as it warms up though. Worth a try at least once but ST makes better boundary-pushing imperial beers (Choklat for example).

Brad007, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of r0nyn
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a snifter.

Pours super dark, murky brown that is completely opaque, which is expected of stouts. Minimal caramel colored head that all but dissipates into nothingness. The smell is super, super sweet. Vanilla is the most obvious scent, but after a few more sniffs, I can make out coffee, chocolate and the tiniest malty backside. It's like sniffing a milkshake made with Kahlua. Wow.

Sweetness is definitely the order of the day here. I tasted the coffee, cream and vanilla on the front end, which was definitely a unique experience. It was sweet, but not a saccharine sweetness since that would have been a little too much even for someone like me who prefers his beers not too bitter. Speaking of bitterness, the hops assert themselves after the first few seconds, reminding you that you're drinking beer and not a milkshake. It finishes off with both sweetness and bitterness, the hoppy zip and the creamy lushness combining to provide a back end that is quite pleasant. For a brew that has 10% ABV, I certainly didn't taste it at all, as it was masked behind all the other flavors that came out to play. The beer's full body and minimum carbonation allow for the stoutness to really shine through. Nice and thick, which is how a stout should be.

For someone like me who enjoys beers that aren't too hoppy, this is a great drink. Thanks to the wonderful smell and balanced taste (with very well-hidden alcohol content), this is something I would most certainly drink again. Definitely have to check out the other Southern Tier offerings after this.

r0nyn, Sep 14, 2009
Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 3,724 ratings.