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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

1,373 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,373
Hads: 4,248
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 30.53%
Wants: 370
Gots: 890 | FT: 30
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,373 | Hads: 4,248
Photo of dav2080
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%

This was wonderful! Great head.
Tasted like chocolate cake. I will buy this again. It has been awhile since I had this and have not found it locally again.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a tap into a 16oz standard pint.

A: [3.25] Dark black with no light penetration. This was a tap pour and produced no head and no lacing at all.

S: [4.00] Rich butterscotch. You can smell it when the glass gets near you.

T: [3.75] The taste is butterscotch, maple syrup and a hint a vanilla. The alcohol is not overpowering but it is detectable.

M: [3.00] A little thin - not bad but not as chewy as I was expecting. Carbonation seems rights.

O: [3.50] This is an unorthodox brew. I can see why this would be polarizing with some people loving it and some hating it. It is really sweet and candy-like and that might not be your thing. I thought it was a nice offering to mix things up a bit. I could not drink more than 2 of these in a sitting.

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Photo of MarkQ617
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Picked up a growler of this, pretty damn good. It pours a deep black. There is a strong sweet taste of vanilla and caramel. The nose is strong, you could basically have this thing for dessert (I don't know how great it would be with normal foods. Heavy alcohol content, heavy stout.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Pours dark black with almost no head. The smell is full of sweet cream and vanilla. The taste changes when drank from the bottle starting off soft and sweet and then getting more boozy as you drink through the bottle. Thick mouthfeel which is always good for a sweet stout, thought it was very good.

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Photo of SteveB24
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Poured black as night, almost no head to speak of, texture was full bodied, very thick, nit as much creamy as oily, taste is dominated by the vanilla, though other malt flavors such as coffee and molasses linger there as well. Very sweet. Was interesting to try but would not buy it again.

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Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured int Teku glass

A- Jet black with thin, swirly-tan head. Leaving a bit of lacing
S- Vanilla! Boom! Like smelling vanilla extract. A bit of carmel too.
T- Very sweet vanilla from front to back. A bit of bitterness and malts up front. Almost goes to a boozy place, but the sweetness keeps that from happening.
M- Middle of the road stout. Not chewy or thin. Leaves your mouth sticky with saliva.

O- I like a glass or two of this. Couldn't drink a ton of it because of the sweetness. I can understand that it isn't everyones cup of tea given the almost single note of vanilla and being so sweet.

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Photo of CraigTravor
2/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer was highly recommended by my waitress at Flying Saucer. It came out in a 22 oz bottle.

I poured it into a tulip glass.

A: at first glance it looks great. good color.
S. the aggressive aroma made me immediately think this beer was loaded with some kind of fake extracts. I checked the bottle and found it was all natural ingredients.
T: I took a swig, and I could barely swallow. I would almost rather consume a BMC beer. I nearly left the rest of it there and walked out. But it was way to pricey to waste.
M: the mouthfeel was astringent almost. It felt chemically.
O: No. don't drink this beer

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Photo of Roguer
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, 1 finger tan head after a vigorous pour. Retention is fine, and lacing is excellent. Brew is imperfectly black, almost cola color.

Smell is potent; you can pick it up from across the room while pouring. Tons of sweet notes: vanilla, caramelized and burnt brown sugar dominate. Definitely smells like a dessert. Careful appreciation also lends notes of cream, and just bare hints of chocolate and roasted barley.

Flavor is similar to what you'd expect from the nose, featuring coffee, cocoa, barley, and cream up front, with a caramelized brown sugar sweetness that starts off burnt and bitter, and builds to a sweet and dominating finish. Not quite as sweet as the nose suggests, but still certainly a dessert beer. Roastily bitter throughout.

Thick and creamy smooth mouthfeel. The dessert flavor lingers for ever. Wet, sticky, oily finish.

This may not be anyone's favorite stout, but you know what you're getting into when you buy this, and it absolutely delivers. Pretty darned sweet to tackle a bomber in one tasting.

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Photo of seedyone
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 - On tap. Part of a flight which included So. Tier Creme Brulee, Java Head, Imperial OAT & Founders Breakfast Stout.

Uber flavors here. Doubt there's any vanilla left in Madagascar after they made this. Chocolate, some coffee & just enough sweet to hit the spot. Not just for the freak effect, this is an excercise in what can be done. Well crafted and well dangerous at 9.6%.

12/20/11 After tasting this from a bottle some time ago (Thanks, Steve) I was so glad to see it untethered. This is one of those rewards for those who venture beyond their comfort zone.

Captured in my glass are a classic, though light stout with high caramel and vanilla notes. Nothing slaps your face except the uniqueness and, as Martha Stewart used to say, 'that's a good thing'.

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.72/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Local Taphouse, way back in October 2012 I think. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark brown colour, lovely nitro head; yellowish beige nice and dense, retaining beautifully. Looks beautiful.

Fuck. Me. Holy shit that smells as good as God's favourite fried chicken restaurant kitchen. But completely unlike a fried chicken restaurant kitchen, more like caramel, toasty and sweet and vanilla custard. Notwithstanding it just smells amazingly different for a beer, it just smells fucking delicious. Holy shit.

Taste is similar. Bit of roasty malt around the edges, but loads more of that milky, custardy goodness. Yeah, caramel with slight nutty edge and some slight darker edge which needn't be there but still makes you feel like it's keeping it more grounded. Retains a bitterness on the back but for the most part, amazingly sweet desserty beer, so smooth and creamy. It's becoming a cliché in my tasting this beer but holy shit.

Smooth, velvety. Just a whisper of booze on the back. Lovely feel.

About as miraculous a dessert beer as you could dream of. Sweet, delicious, yet without being bogged down in its own self satisfaction. Slight edge to keep you drinking, as if more enticements were needed.

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Photo of T6PP
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great beer for after dinner. The one draw back is that the 24 oz bottle of this stuff is a little too much, you pretty much have to split it with someone. If it is available in a 12 oz bottle I would get that to start. Other than that it has a very sweet taste with caramel and vanilla being prominent.

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Photo of Admbmb92
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Bruery snifter.
A-pours inky black with a little bit of brown hues on top. One finger head that disappears quickly. Lots of alcohol legs
S-vanilla, caramel, sweet chocolate, milk, custard. Smells like a caramel macchiato.
T- intensely sweet! Very similar to the smells. Slight bit of bitterness but overwhelming amount of creamy sweet caramel and vanilla.
M- medium light carbonation. Creamy milk stout goodness.
O- very good dessert beer but too sweet for my taste. More on the lines of a mix drink than a beer. Very unique though

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Photo of FFreak
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a unique beer. It's a sweet stout that smells and tastes like you're dining on an actual crème brulee. The aroma is overwhelming with vanilla and caramel. The taste follows the nose and the mouthfeel is silky smooth and slightly viscous with low carbonation. You can skip ordering dessert and just have some of this instead. I wouldn't drink this beer after mowing the lawn, but after a fine meal, it would perfectly hit the spot.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a large tulip.
Pours dark molasses with minimal caramel head.
Smell is insane. Sweet vanilla, caramelized sugar, roasty malts. Perfection for what ST was going for with this beer. This smells more like a creme brulee than the real thing.
Taste is amazing as well. Maybe a touch muted from the nose, but totally delicious.
Mouthfeel was a touch thin for a stout. I would have enjoyed a touch more body.
Overall, this beer is amazing. A real eye opener.

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Photo of slym
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was an impulse buy for me, as I really wanted more of ST's 2X Rye, but my local bottle shop (LBS) was out. At $9 for a 22-oz. bottle, the Creme Brulee isn't cheap, but sometimes you have to live a little, right?

After cracking the top and pouring out a glass, I was beginning to wonder if I was going to like this. The vanilla is NOT a background taste, you can smell it while pouring. But, I figured there is enough "coffee" and "chocolate" in stouts, so how bad can vanilla be?

Turns out, pretty dang good. You won't be pounding this brew, as both the heavy creamyness as well as the high ABV content make that a bad idea, but as an evening sipper, I found it quite enjoyable.

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Photo of JPowell712
4.96/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is a desert in a glass! This is almost too sweet, but glorious at the same time. Definitely a desert or after dinner drink, not something you will drink fast or plenty of. The pour is nice and dark, plenty of sweet aromas coming out of the glass. The taste is phenomenal! The sweetness and warmth of the alcohol go really well together. Not much more I can say about this beer other than the fact that they nailed it! Perfect for what it is.

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Photo of blackcompg
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I purchased 2 bottles of this 2 years ago... the first I had immediately, and could not even finish half the bomber... it was insanely sweet, overly so, and I had to force myself to finish it. Don't get me wrong, the first 2 sips were unbelievable, but the sweetness builds - and as it warms the syrup-like sweetness goes up exponentially... This beer has been the subject of many posts in the past, and falls in one of 2 camps. Well, now over 2 years later, let's see what some age does - I'm also drinking this at 42 degrees, as is recommended on the label.
Which camp will I choose, here goes...

Appearance - Pours 2 solid fingers of light mocha tan foam, holding this to a light reveals a translucent body that is an ultra deep garnet, without the light the body appears a dark brown, with deep red maroon edges. Sporadic webbed lacing is left behind as you work your way through the glass.

Smell - Intensely rich sweet vanilla custard, butterscotch, thick gooey vanilla carmels, sticky toffee, carmel macchiato, and warm moist rum cake.

Taste - Truly, you get the creme brulee flavor - the flavors of cooked vanilla custard with the burnt sugar coating... so if I break this down a bit, the flavors are vanilla custard, charred sugar, roasted carmel, vanilla extract, and well done rum cake that had been soaked in too much rum - a good amount of alcohol in the finish, and long into the finish I get some charred malts, burnt toffee, dried vanilla bean and a little alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel - Extremely smooth and silky, nearly creamy, carb is on the lower side, but not enough to provide any scrub, allowing the flavors to really assert themselves. There is some alcohol heat with this one. Like eating a creme brulee that is still hot...

Overall - Okay, so which camp do I fall into? Well, I do find the flavors interesting, and I definitely pick up the creme brulee flavors, but I will not be purchasing this one again. This gets a 3.71 from me, as I understand and appreciate the brewers intentions, but this is something to have as a desert beer during the holidays, with 3-4 guests getting about a 6oz pour. I will finish this bomber myself, but I will also return my glass to the freezer a few times to keep the temp down. It is still a fiercely sweet stout, there are some nice roasted and charred sugar flavors here, but the sweetness seems to intensify with each sip, and becomes a bit of a chore after half the bomber - and the alcohol becomes hot, making the roast and char flavors become almost astringent. I love a subtle sweetness that just balances, but this is the opposite - I find my palate desperately searching out and clinging to the roasted flavors, and the dried vanilla bean, but the next sip just coats everything with another layer of sweet vanilla custard. So while my grade is generous and understanding of the flavors, I will now officially join the camp that will never purchase this beer again - but I will not bash it as some members of "this camp" are apt to do. Try this if you must, but I strongly recommend Oat and Choklat, they are excellent.

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Photo of bens0n
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Was really looking forward to this beer, had a bottle I've been sitting on for about 8-9 months.

Beer pours jet black with a small amount of foamy tan head, not getting much lacing, looks decent though.

On the nose it smells sweet and syrupy. Almost like maple syrup and vanilla, but much more on the vanilla side. Its definitely a rich smelling one, little bit of caramel, toffee notes too. Not boozy at all.

Flavor wise, alot more of the same but its got a little bit of a bitter finish, not hoppy or anything though, no boozy bite either. Milk stout backbone is there just like you would expect, sweet with a nice syrupy texture that leaves it kind of on the thin side for a milk stout, not exceptionally thick as you would expect, but still stout. Definitely better when its on the warmer side, carb bite is harsh when its cold.

Vanilla bean character dominates this beer both in smell and taste. Its got more on the nose than it does on the flavor pallet though.

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Photo of BeerLovinBuckwildUnicorn
4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first time I had this deliciousness was out of the tap back in 2010. The fragrant aroma poured from the glass as three of us just stood over the pint drooling in disbelief. Over the years the Creme Brulee has some times shown to be a bit artifical and chalky tasting. The mouthfeel has also varied from delightfully medium to syrupy heavy. I dont think nothing will ever compare to that first meeting.. but all in all its a delighful beer.

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Photo of don1481
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a super-dark brown, almost pitch-black. Very slight head disappears rapidly. No bubbles to speak of.

Smell: The smell alone is its namesake in a bottle. This smells just like I was sniffing creme brulee. The burnt sugar? Check. The vanilla sweetness? Check. That delicate hint of cream? Oh yes. This is a 5 on the smell factor.

Taste: Definitely has the stout base of note, but man does the creme brulee taste come through here as well. The coffee, chocolate notes of the base blend so well with the burnt sugar and the vanilla. While not quite the perfection that the nose brings to the table, this is really good. I would definitely consider this a dessert stout, but it's not so sweet that it makes you sick. Very nice. A slight bit of booziness kicks in as you drink through this.

Mouthfeel: Kind of a boozy aftertaste with a little bit of stickiness. Pretty much standard fare for this genre of beer at this ABV.

Overall: Definitely a nice once-in-awhile dessert treat. Not something to be had every day, but like with a delicious, rich, sweet dessert, something to savor every now and then.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't know what to make of this beer.
At first it's a bit like an iced carmel coffee with cream-- then after a while it's a bit like a cross between the heavily creamed coffee and a stout-- then the vanilla powers through with hops bitterness. I'm trying to come to a conclusion.

It looks nice and pale dark brown black. A small tightly knit head but short lived.
A diminutive nose radiating hints of vanilla, caramel and hops.

The flavor is where the question marks bubble up.
Bitter hops, then the vanilla commingled with caramel all wrapped up in a sweet toasted malt wrapper.

The mouthfeel is curious-- if I was blindfolded-- yes, I'd identify it as some sort of alcoholic beverage but I might not claim it's a beer. It feels like a thin syrup not a beer.

At first I declared too much effervescence-- but now as the bottle's about to be drained the bubbles have gone down and the beer has settled some. So the "light syrup" is the more obvious.

An interesting brew. Now the question is: would I come back for another bottle (of it)?

Worth trying but don't walk a mile for it.

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Photo of halo3one
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - dark dark brown, caramel head

S - rich with caramel and vanilla, sweet

T - sweet, vanilla, coffee

M - too much carbonation

O - too fizzy to start, I actually let it open up in the refrigerator for a couple hours and it was much better but definitely on the sweet side.

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Photo of angelmonster
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a black body with dark chocolate highlights. Head is very thin, eighth of an inch. Lacing and head retention were average.

Smell is of sweet vanilla tootsie rolls. Little bit of burnt caramel also comes through. Some alcohol is present but this beer is pretty much a sugar bomb.

Taste is full of creme brûlée, especially vanilla. Bits of burnt malt and alcohol compliment the sweetness, could swear theres some run or bourbon in here. Hops are non existent.

Mouthfeel is full of carbonation, body is a bit on the lighter side. Head faded unfortunately, wish beer was fuller.

Overall this was a pretty good dessert beer. It was pretty sweet but not anywhere near as bad as people on this site make it seem. This stout drinks well for being almost 10 percent but it needs more malts or alcohol to cut the sweetness. Not my favorite of the Southern Tier Stouts

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured the stout into a snifter glass and an off-white tan colored head did form but quickly retreated to a slight layer along the top. First aroma and most pronounced is the vanilla. If there is any others I'm not getting them. Well, I guess the milk/cream aspect is quite prevalent too. Tastes like a very sweet, vanilla, creme brulee; as it should. The carbonation is quite decent for a stout and the smooth, creamy texture is pleasant as it finishes. Warming from the alcohol is a yes and the alcohol content is hidden considering all you taste is sugar sweetness. In the end, this was a delight to drink though I only could do half the 22oz cause it was so rich. I really enjoyed this stout but the high-level sweetness is probably not for everyone.

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Photo of utfiero
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Color- near black with mahogany hint. Medium head tinted mocha foam.

Aroma- coffee cup with splash of coffee topped off with vanilla liqueur.

Taste- Wow! Starts sweet dominated by vanilla like the first vanilla float, then gets a bit roasty, finishing with a dry lingering hint of hop. This would be a perfect brew to add vanilla ice cream to for desert or make a beer float!

Poured from 650 ml bomber into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted on 7/20/2013.

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Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,373 ratings.