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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

1,369 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 1,369
Hads: 4,234
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 30.53%
Wants: 364
Gots: 879 | 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
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Reviews: 1,369 | Hads: 4,234
Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried earlier tonight and LOVED it! Very rich and sweet, but still paired with a nice carbonation. It has a unique vanilla flavor, not the normal vanilla you'd find in a porter or other beers, but better.

I really enjoyed this. Thinking of getting a growler fill-up of this soon.

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Photo of Jeffsta1
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Frankly sweet, and a huge hit of vanilla on the nose that you can smell from several feet away, this is a unique beer.

Just a shade the wrong way, and this beer could have been a disaster; but Southern Tier pulled it off, and this is really good, though I'm sure it's not for everyone.

Black color, not a ton of head.

Moderately rich mouthfeel, not overly thick.

Definitely sweet, but not cloying like (say) certain barleywines.

Beautiful bitterness on the finish, mixes with the sweetness in a unique and awesome way.

Seems like you could add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and have a fine dessert.

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Photo of Mikus
2.57/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Lots of fans of this beer... just found out that I am not one. Looks great, with a pitch black body and ring of tan head. Served good and cold, as suggested. Nose was exactly like a Werthers' Original candy (which is OK by me). Could barely get past the first sip... hyper-sweet, astringest, horrible. Mouthfeel was basically a guess... can't do it. Wife thinks it is fine. If it wasn't for her, there goes an 8.99 drain pour. Bottom of the barrel for me. I am a stout guy, and this hit way off the mark for me.

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Photo of dutesanch
4.31/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Liquified cookie dough is the best way to describe this beer. Wifey likes it so easy to split a bomber. Thanks to the traders who helped me get both '13 and '14 editions.

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Photo of LouZ
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip glass. Born-on date of 7/12/2013 and tasted 1/11/2015. Pours dark as a good stout should, but almost non-existent head despite aggressive pour. Scent is wonderful; pronounced sweetness of vanilla, caramel, burnt sugars. To be honest, it not only smells but tastes remarkably like Bailey's Irish Cream; just minus the thick, creamy mouthfeel. As with all other flavor-specific beers I've had from Southern Tier, it pretty much nails creme brulee in flavor. I'm really enjoying the finish of caramelized sugar. Feel is not quite full-bodied, nicely carbonated, and not nearly as astringent as you'd expect from an imperial. This is a delicious milk stout that I would highly recommend for dessert. Well done.

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Photo of Phocion
3.57/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber poured into a tulip. 2011 bottling tasted in January 2015. Aggressive pour delivers a lackluster, almost nonexistent head consisting of a handful of big bubbles around the outer edge of the glass. Dark, essentially jet black body with minimal, splotchy lacing.

Aroma is, unsurprisingly, more than a little reminiscent of crème brûlée. A ton of vanilla and heavily caramelized sugar. Lots of lactic sugars, but not as overpoweringly sweet as other reviews would suggest (perhaps this has mellowed with age?). Light touch of sour milk and all the flavors typically present in big stouts; coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and a ton of roast are all noticeable.

Flavor is more subtle than the nose would suggest. Definitely leans to the sweet side, but thick bitter roasted malts balance it out pretty well. Heavy cream, rich vanilla, and burnt sugar. Surprisingly lightly astringent.

Full-bodied with moderate levels of carbonation. Thick mouthfeel. The amount of sweetness makes it a little chewy, but not overwhelmingly so. Dry, slightly bitter finish.

Overall, there's a lot going on with this beer and I'm not totally sure how I feel about it. It's not as cloying as I was expecting and is actually fairly well-balanced. It's been years since I've tasted this fresh, so perhaps the age helps tone it down some. Either way, a unique beer worth a shot, even if not one of my favorites.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a rich and thick dark brown to black. Forms a half finger of thick creamy tan head. Leaves nice whispy lacing on the walls of the glass.
S - I can literally smell this two feet away from the bottle as I pour it. These aromas are not faint, they are STRONG like a scented candle. Vanilla, custard, sweetened cream cheese, heavy cream, caramel and butterscotch. Literally the most rich, decadent and delicious smelling beer I've ever smelled.
T - Thjs actually has an AMAZING balance and isn't over the top cloyingly sweet as the aroma would lead you to believe it is. There's a definite strong bitter chocolate and malt upfront when you first sip, more traditional stout Flavors, but then this lends way to absolutely rich vanilla, caramelized lactose sugar, butterscotch and custard. I cannot believe how true to the creme brûlée name this beer stays in both it's flavor and aroma. It truly is liquid creme brûlée.
O - A truly amazing stout that all stout fans MUST try in their lifetime. Ten out of ten, five stars. Amazing.
V - Bought in a single bomber, worth it at any price is say.

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Photo of fearthebeerd
4.97/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served on tap year round at a bar back home. Not overly sweet on taste in my opinion and the smell always makes me feel good. That's when I know I'm home. First beer I ever had at a bar, so maybe I'm a bit biased, but it will always be my favorite. Very thick and very dark, but doesn't have much of a head which is why I docked a bit on look. Alcohol doesn't overpower the variety of flavors which is impressive for a beer that is almost 10%. Maybe not for everyone, but definitely worth a try if you ever find it.

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Photo of uvachief
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had it aged and fresh. Definitely better aged by a landslide. Fresh is too sweet. Think it needs at least 6m of aging. 22oz bomber. Pours dark black with little tan head that quickly dissipated. Served cold but improves as it warms up. Loads of sweet sugar up front with hints of vanilla and dark roasted malts. Sounds great right? Fresh, the sweetness is over powering to me. Aged it blends into the complexity of the beer much better. No noticeable alcohol burn. More roasted malts and chocolate as it warms. Interesting beer. Milk sweet stout so I'm always leery of aging them outside a refrigerated environment. If this was barrel aged in bourbon barrels, I think it would be the nutz.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Ebony in color. Light mocha head. Quickly fading. Some froth remains around the lip.

S: Hugely sweet. Caramelized sugars, sweetened cream, vanilla.

M: Medium body and viscous. Every sip is actually like you're taking a bite of that custardy dessert. Nice carbonation.

T: It has sweetness, but also bitterness and some earthy roast going on. A lot of vanilla bean on back, so much it has an herbal bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of Premo88
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into tulip
(2/3/14 born-on date)

L: black but looks super dark brown and possibly somewhat clear around edges; not much of a head, about 1/4-inch of dark tan; keeps a slim collar of tan foam, very little lacing

S: vanilla, and not bourbon-wood kind of vanilla like in a barrel-aged brew, but REAL vanilla, like sticking your nose into a vanilla shake or vat of vanilla extract; over time I can detect just a hint of dark roasted malt, maybe a pinch of oak wood, but this is all sugary sweet vanilla

T: much more balanced than the nose, you get plenty of that vanilla but lots of darker malt notes with some bitterness to balance things; very sweet but lots of burnt malt

F: pretty thick and heavy ... lots of carbonation; made for sipping

O: this beer should not come in bombers. it's a load, just a massive onslaught of malt sweetness with tons and tons of vanilla sweetness fortunately balanced by some burnt malt notes and I'm guessing huge amounts of hops to force them to show through all that sugar. the born-on date says this bottle is over 8 months old, and my bet is it would improve with a bit more aging -- there is a slight bit of alcohol heat here. not much, but it's present.

i love the vanilla notes aging in bourbon barrels gives stouts, so I'd be a hypocrite to say I don't like this beer -- I love it! but it *is* awfully sweet. it's for dessert.

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Photo of WunderLlama
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tap poured

Black liquid

Very sweet creme brûlée aroma

Taste of sweetness and then quickly to roast beer

Burnt coffee aftertaste

Interesting beer

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Photo of StoneTSR
4.8/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

APPEARANCE: A half-inch of egg shell colored head sits atop a straight up black beer. It pours like motor oil and almost no light gets through this.

SMELL: Imagine smelling creme brulee and you can pretty much imagine this smell. Spot on, except along with the vanilla and huge caramel smell is a touch of raspberry. This smell amazing.

TASTE: The taste is basically exactly the same as the smell. Intense vanilla along with that same, huge caramel flavor. A hint of berry and a touch of coffee provide some complexity along with just a hint of Columbus hops to provide balance.

MOUTHFEEL: Smooth, silky and creamy. This beer has an enormous body and is thick and mouthcoating, as I would have expected from that motor oil pour.

OVERALL: Exceptional. This has instantly become a favorite, one of the better beers I've had. Perfect as a dessert beer. Yes, it is pretty sweet, but that's what this beer is meant to be. Very well done, Southern Tier.

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

Much better than I was expecting!!!! Nicely done milk stout with big flavor and sweetness kept under control. Pours a dense black color into a pint glass with yellowish/orange light only coming through at the bottom of the glass. Aroma and taste are caramel, vanilla, lactose, toffee and rich malt. Not much bitterness, but not much cloying sweetness either.

Mouthfeel is rich and sweet with a hint of alcohol and a lot of milk stout smoothness. Very drinkable with big flavor.

A very good specialty beer. Good with dessert. I had it with cheese and light fruit and enjoyed it very much.

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Photo of PostRockandCats
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on draught.

Pours a dark, deep brown. Smells of burnt sugar, creamy caramel and fruity malts with some milky hits in the middle!

Tastes sweet and milky with banana and other fruit notes, ending with dark, smoky malts. Definitely sweet, but ends with a dark, bitter note that adds balance.

The mouthfeel is medium to heavy with a creamy, oily feel.

Overall, it's delicious and one of my favorite seasonals, but not the be all end all of milk stouts.

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Photo of jeffsnow1962
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Simply yummy. We had homemade ice cream over the summer, the kids wanted rootbeer floats, so i thought....

This is plenty sweet on its own to stand up to the rigors of home made ice cream...what a great float!

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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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Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,369 ratings.