Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout)Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout)

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BA SCORE
88
very good

4,158 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,158
Reviews: 1,426
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 17.65%
Wants: 353
Gots: 844 | FT: 34
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: 4,158 | Reviews: 1,426
Photo of brentk56
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark chocolate brown with a tan cap that fades with rapidity but leaves plenty of foamy dots around the chalice

Smell: Creme brulee from a mile away; hard to imagine it is a beer

Taste: Vanilla, butterscotch and creme up front, with a building sweet intensity through mid-palate and beyond; unlike the draft version, the bottled sample seems all about the sweetness, right through the lingering finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; a bit cloying

Drinkability: Loved this on draft, but in the bottle, it becomes a bit tiresome; still quite an accomplishment to make a beer taste like dessert

Photo of DrinkinBuddy
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours complete darkness of night with no moon in sight. Nice brown head that leaves minimal lacing throughout session. Smell is in your face vanilla beans with alcohol lurking far behind. Tastes like sweet, sweet vanilla and caramel. Extremely sweet. Mouthfeel is thick and smooth. Little carbonation makes it seem thicker. Drinkability: because it's so sweet isn't the best. I downed a bomber, but I don't think I'd go further than that. Very tasty though, a desert all in itself.

Photo of PDXHops
1.3/5  rDev -66.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thanks to Yamar18 for this bomber, poured into an oversized snifter.

An aggressive pour directly into the middle of the glass coaxes a little skim of tan foam that covers 1/3 of the surface of the beer and disappears quickly. Very dark cola brown body. No lacing to speak of. Disappointing visually.

STRONG butterscotch and caramel aromas jump out of the glass. I can easily smell this beer from a foot+ above the glass. Once my nose adjusts a bit, I can pick out some cocoa, Irish cream liqueur, and a hint of vanilla. I can't detect any malt at all. Certainly no bold roasty flavors like you'd expect in a big stout. Sweet and boozy, with heavy emphasis on the sweet.

For the most part, this beer tastes like it smells. Weird, that is. Thankfully there's actually a hint of coffeeish dark malt and a hint of bitterness, but hints are it, and they seem to be in conflict with all that sweetness. The dominant sweet flavor is Irish cream- it's artificial and unpleasant to my palate. I hate it a little more with each sip. I'm pretty sure my dog is laughing at me as I try to choke this stuff down (I should give him some, too; misery loves company).

Mouthfeel's somewhat disappointing. Medium-full bodied, lowish carbonation. The lingering artificial sweetness all the way into my throat is quite unpleasant.

Overall impression: Strange beer. I'm pretty much morally opposed to drainpours, but in the case of Creme Brulee, this rule was meant to be broken.

Photo of alexgrahamlv
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought this for my wife who is an Creme Brulee nut.

The beer pours dark dark brown to black. I can already smell the vanilla pouring out. Not much head or retention is sticking. The aromas are prominent with vanilla and caramel. This reminds me of a vanilla cream soda for sure. On the taste, very sweet vanilla with hints of coffee and caramel. Full body with a lasting finish. The taste of vanilla lingers on my lips. Good beer but a bit too sweet. My wife gave me her half as she found it too sweet

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Happy opening day! Opaque black when poured into my Red Sox glass. Large, cocao colored head that never really diminishes or goes away. Monstrous lacing.

Smells and tastes the same: sugary vanilla and Good N' Plenty candy. I've never actually had creme brulee but if it tastes like this stuff I like it. Aftertaste of butterscotch and booze. Extremely smooth, full mouthfeel.

I finished the bottle over a three hour period but I think it would be even better when split with a friend as it's a very strong, distinct taste that gets old after a glass.

Photo of sonicdescent
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Southern Tier and what I will call their Sweet Series hits another triple with this one. Very good, if maybe a touch too sweet.

Appearance is the weakest aspect, not much in the way of head and a near black pour with minimal lacing.

Smell is exactly as advertised, heavy caramel, sweetness, sweetness, and sweetness.

Taste is, according to my wife, Creme Brulee to a T. I have never had it, but what I can say is that this is an ultra sweet drink, with a cream taste, toffee, and caramel background. No hop or alcohol presence.

Mouth is medium/big in feel and carbonation.

Pretty easy to drink at first, gets a bit tougher because of how sweet it is.

Photo of mwilbur
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 650 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a very dark garnet color (very little light gets through with backlighting). Essentially no head forms.
S: Wow! A definite boozy creme brulee aroma. Very nice.
T: Unfortunately, the taste doesn't quite live up to the high expectations brought on by the wonderful aroma. Vanilla bean up front with a hint of caramel malt in the background. Alcohol esters.
M: Fairly smooth and creamy with a mild alcohol bite.
D: Decently drinkable. The high ABV is well hidden. Creme brulee is best served in small amounts, not tubs...so this brew has its limitations in drinkability. Would go well as a dessert accompaniment.

Photo of blakesell
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz bottle into my newly obtained Dogfish Goblet.

Appearance- Beer pours thick and black with a mere finger of creamy off white head with specks of tan intermingled. Lacing clings to the sides of the glass and there appears to be a bit of the good old legs present on the sides as well.

Smell- Wow, simply put, wow, caramelized sugars, pure creme brulee, I don't even catch beer on the initial sniff, or even on the follow up sniff. Just pure desert, I kind of regret that I'm drinking this and not pouring it over ice cream. So sweet with caramel and brown sugar, It may not be up to snuff on style guidelines for a double stout, but for what they claim this to be, it hits the ball out of the park.

Taste- More of that sweet delicious creme brulee, how in the world does Southern tier do it? Burnt roasted malts, no hops to be found, a bit alcoholic and could stand to be scaled down a notch on gravity, but outside of that, a perfect desert beer rivaling even the almighty Young's Double Chocolate, and yet different from it at the same time. Creme brulee, plain and simple, first Chocolat, now this. Amazing Southern Tier.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, rich, sweet, candylike, warming, medium in carbonation, and full bodied.

Drinkability- Amazingly drinkable, but I won't be drinking this in too much of a hurry. This is one to be savored and enjoyed for as long as the resistance to gulp it down holds out. What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall during a Southern Tier brew session.

Photo of BravoTwo
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep black / brown, very minimal head and carbonation. Looks thick.

S - Smeels of vanilla, cream, and burnt sugar. Smells like a beer called Creme Brulee should very aromatic.

T - Sweet burnt sugar taste. Creamy, sugary, dark.

M - Viscous mouthfeel, very minimal carbonation, thick and rich.

D - If you want a sweet beer with a lot of character, then this would be an excellent choice. Definitely a desert beer, and a good choice for an after dinner drink.

Photo of currysage1
2.99/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Had a large sample of this at the Sierra Grille after work.

Full frothy tan head, very sticky, not enough of a sample to see lacing, dark stained mahogany color, slight rust colored edges.

Smell is strongly of vanilla frosting, not quite the store crap, but certainly no buttercream. I have to say it was overpowering and set me up negatively towards the taste.

Taste made up for the smell, vanilla is certainly in play here as well, but is less aggressive, letting the roastiness out to play. I think that ST has done a good job making a beer/creme brulee hybrid. While not to my taste it is still very high quality. Feel was great for a Double milk stout, not as thin as a normal MS and a little slick.

My advice is to get the half pint if possible unless you want diabetes.

Photo of julian
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark cola color with minimal carbonation. An aggressive pour did however yield a satisfactory tan colored head that disappeared fairly quickly.

Smell: One word describes the smell of this beer. INTENSE! Well maybe 2 words, INTENSE & SWEET! This literally smells like liquid Werther's Original candy.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Taste is smooth and sweet. Lots of caramel and sugary sweetness that rolls off your tongue like gooey taffy. It's like a Werther's Original candy and Creme Brulee in liquid form. It's actually quite tasty and delicious. People either hate it or love and I love it. Carbonation is medium, aftertaste is sweet and leaves you wanting more!

Drinkability: Awesome. I could probably drink another few of these. There is a lot of flavor to the sweetness which makes it very enjoyable. It's not just an overly alcoholic and malty beer (say like an eisbock) there's a lot of character in this. Southern Tier has done a great job at beer-a-fying a desert. I haven't yet been disappointed by their Blackwater Series. Keep it up ST and thanks for the recent distribution to WA!

Photo of indiapaleale
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark black with a nice off white head. Pretty viscous coming from the tap, man this stuff is pretty potent looking.

Smell is ridiculous. It smells like dessert. Lots of buttery, toffee flavors dominating along with rich chocolate and cake. I hardly smell anything else except maybe a hint of the alcohol.

Taste is sweet, very sweet. Its like melted ice cream in a glass with an alcohol back. All the tastes of creme brulee are evident so you can fault ST for anything. They have achieved what they wanted to and they did a damn good job of it.

This is a beer best enjoyed in small glasses with a dessert. Its actually pretty much a dessert unto itself.

Photo of kels
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer #2 in a blind tasting last week. I'd like to think I was spoiling my friends with this one:)

Appearance: Looks like diet coke, seriously. Very little bubbly head and very little lacing, with immense carbonation running throughout. Big viscosity and tons of alcohol - can actually see layering in the liquid.

Smell: Enormous aroma - slight metallic note, big time toffee, caramel and butterscotch.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Really great flavors of sweet butterscotch, cream, caramel, and coffee grounds meet with a pretty serious viscous mouthfeel. Good carbonation gives way to sticky aftertaste.

Drinkability: Moderate to high for such a big beer.

Photo of bamadog
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle 2 of the blind test test that several us underwent to put our minds to the test, this one kind of took the cake for me. Truly an amazing beer, and probably the best Southern Tier that I've had yet.

Appearance: Dark dark cola brown, no light was coming through but when I held it up it showed just a flicker of a deep amber as well. Thin ring of head at the top, but not much really to speak of.

Smell: Strong sweet caramel/butterscotch. Wow. malty and a little bit of chocolate/cocoa in there. The smell made me a little nervous because sometimes things are a little too sweet...

Taste: The caramel/butterscotch is S-U-P-E-R present and it dominates - I thought I was eating some fancy desert as opposed to indulging in a beer. When I drank it, I also noticed a slight coffee taste to it as well, with a hint of bitterness in the back, but the sweetness really stood up front and took over this beer. Also a strong presence of alcohol in the back, but with the kind of ABV, you've gotta expect that.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth, coats the entire mouth and leaves it a little sticky. Also, the carbonation was much more present that I thought it would be based upon the thick viscosity of this bad boy.

Drinkability: While this is an amazing beer and something to truly behold, I would have to put this a little lower because of the high ABV and strong sweetness to it. This is strictly an opinion though because the sweetness is a bit much for my personal palate. But still, you've gotta appreciate this one.

Photo of madtowndmb1
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: This beer poured a very deep brown if not black, with no head. Very good looking pour

S: I loved it! Sweet like burnt sugar, chocolate, cream, and maybe some caramel

T: Way too sweet for me but very good. It tasted just like it smelled, which was sweet.

M: Smooth, malty, sweet it was what I expected.

D: I actually recapped this beer because my wife and I couldn't handle it all in one sitting. We went back to it 2 days later and it tasted the same so the recapping saved it. I would need to have like 6 people over to have a whole bottle.

Photo of abents
2.48/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

22oz bomber with cows on the label (down with that!)
Pours out a beautiful black color. Even with pretty vigarous pour, not much head, but it is light tan in color and laces sporadically. Smell is like candy, burnt sugary sweetness, coffee, caramel malts, and i swear butterscotch. Taste is disgusting. Way way way too sweet. Sticky caramel, butterscotch, chocolate and coffee lead to an incredibley hard to drink beer. I must say I do not really like sweet eats very much, but on occasion I'll have one. This beer however is ungodly sweet. Very hard to drink this. Lots of candy, sweet malty flavors, but i need some bitterness or some sort of balance, this is just way too far in the sickly sweet catagorey. Definitely one to share, preferably with someone who doesn't like beer, because this tastes nothing like one. The label says I should drink this at 42 degrees, maybe because this is at 43 degrees that it is this bad, but I doubt it. Ugh, this is gross, if I want dessert I'll get one; if I want a beer, I won't be drinking this.

Photo of southsiderookie
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer I opened it and thought I was six years old in a candy shop. Literally the smell was so great I wanted it for my cologne. Very light head that you would expect from a stout. Left a light lacing in the snifter I used. Had a very sweet taste that was similar to its aroma. But while I was drinking it I was wishing I had someone to share it with. I guess the main downfall it has is that its too sweet for its own good. I highly recommend splitting a bomber with someone.

Photo of SirSketch
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - 1/2 finger of beige to light brown head. Beer is primarily black with faint shades of dark red and mahogany when glass is tilted. Very engaging!

S - The aroma in this beer was so good it was shocking at first! Big vanilla, butterscotch, milk chocolate, dark cocoa, and the kick of a high ABV beer. Has some very earthy qualities to it, also. I didn't want to lower the glass from my nose!

T - Heavy chocolate, whipped cream, caramel, and roasted barley. Less vanilla taste than the aroma led on, but just the perfect amount. Hop bitterness gives slight relief from the immense sweetness of the beer. Really well balanced and just fantastic.

M/D - These are the only categories where I gave a slightly lower score, mainly due to the fact that, even though it is a great tasting beer, I didn't find myself wanting to drink much of it. Overwhelming a bit, maybe? Either way, I highly recommend this beer!

Photo of woodske1
1.36/5  rDev -65.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Everything is ok until you take a sip of this beer. The smell and the look are pretty nice but that's where the party ends.

The sweet flavor of the beer just tastes very fake and processed. It doesn't taste like Creme Brulee, it tastes like a non-fat yogurt or something. If you are new to southern tier don't let this one scare you away.

Photo of colts9016
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to donkeyrunner for the bottle

Poured into a pint glass at 50 degrees.

Appearance: A jet black color with touch of highlight on the bottom of the glass. There was no head and when I tried to force it nothing appeared. There is a tan ring around the glass.

Nose: A heavy sweet cream, caramel, and vanilla for the initial aroma. To be honest it smells just like a custard. In the background of the beer you can smell the malt.

Taste: Caramel malt, sweet cream, vanilla is the dominate flavor. There is a subtle hops buried deep in this overtly sweet stout.

Overall: The mouth feel is full body and creamy. The finish is sweet and linger. No lie, this beer taste just like the dessert, except it is heavier with caramel. The beer is very sweet and definitely a sipper. I just didn't know what to expect from this beer. I have read they either love or hate, a love hate relationship. I love it, because it is an extreme beer and something many are not willing to try. Is it drinkable, yes and no. The beer is difficult to drink, but easy to sip.

Photo of AlexJ
2.96/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Viscous tar black with a thin but dense mocha head that leaves scant trails of lace.

Aroma has notes of chocolate, dark malt, and minimal roasty char and is absolutely dominated by overpowering sweet caramel and butterscotch notes. The vanilla is there, but simply adds to the intensely sweet hard candy aroma.

Unfortunately the flavor follows the same path. Nice chocolate and dark malt flavors are quickly brutalized by unrelenting butterscotch caramel. No subtleties here and the base stout struggles to be tasted. The bottle only discloses malt, hops, vanilla bean, and lactose as the ingredients. As someone who has brewed numerous vanilla beers I must add that there is a suspiciously artificial taste going on here. Either that or just an insane amount. A fresher sample may have more hop to counter the dessert sweetness.

Thick, creamy slick body and lighter carbonation make for a pleasant mouthfeel. Too bad the cloying butterscotch renders this almost undrinkable after half a glass.

Extremely difficult to finish half the bottle althouth I can appreciate what they were going for. A little over the top and I'm pretty over the top!

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tarantula brownish black with blood red highlights. The beer is anything but a black hole and appears barely opaque when backlit with afternoon sunshine. Atop the liquid sits a golden brown sugar colored crown that gets the job done, including leaving attractive sheets of tattered lace on the upper reaches of the glass.

My nostrils don't have to get anywhere near the glass to appreciate the aroma. The beer smells like a flavored coffee drink that's dominated by caramel. I suppose it also smells like creme brulee, but I've only had that dessert once and that was more than 20 years ago. Do I smell coconut as well? Odd.

I can see how Creme Brulee is a polarizer. It's both different and delicious, but it's starting to wear out its welcome as the ounces cruise by. It doesn't seem possible that the brewers created this flavor profile with nothing more than dark caramel malt, vanilla beans and lactose. Then again, why not?

Creme Brulee is billed as an Imperial Milk Stout, but it doesn't really taste like it. That whole burnt sugar/creme caramel/vanilla vibe takes it in an entirely new direction. For my money, Southern Tier's Imperial chocolate stout (Choklat), Imperial coffee stout (Jahva) and Imperial oatmeal stout (Oat) are much, much better. Those first two are outstanding.

It's weird how I still taste coconut. That's in addition to the flavors described above, plus vanilla and melted milk chocolate. The Columbus and Horizon hops provide a background bitterness that keeps the beer from being overly sweet. In the end, it doesn't all come together as well as I'd like.

Considering the style and the ABV, the mouthfeel fails to close the deal. It's a fraction thin and isn't as creamy as it should be. The carbonation wouldn't be as noticeable in a plusher, more velvety brew.

The Black Water Series from Southern Tier contains some of the best beer on planet Earth. Unfortunately, Creme Brulee misses the mark (although not by much) because it pushes the envelope too far in one direction. Some love it, some hate it. I can take it or leave it.

Photo of robbyc1
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours deep black, opaque, with a small tan head, it even looks creamy, very inviting.

The disappointment here is that I can only really smell the vanilla added, with a bit of deep malt, but it doesn't reveal much.

The flavor is wow, creamy with lactose, vanilla, deep chocolate malts that balance the vanilla, no coffee noted here although it may round it out to perfection. I was sipping this thinking it's a prefect marriage of milk stout with the creme brulee flavors, have it as dessert or with chocolate desserts.

Really creamy mouthfeel with slickness and sweetness, just right. The drinkability is a bit lower than expected for the flavor as it's so heavy this is a one off sipper. The wife didn't like it, but if I'm stuck on an island a need a dessert beer this would be the one, along with New Glarus' Belgian Red.

Photo of Richardberg
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter. Very dark with a bit of brown head.

S: tons of vanilla bean, caramel malts, and alcohol

T: super sweet from start to finish. There is some interesting bitterness in the middle, a bit of acidity, and a nice alcoholic bite...but the sugar blows them all away. I like some sweet stouts but this one is just too much for me.

M: moderate body - not too thick or thin. Velvety but without any bubbles to speak of.

D: I probably wouldn't have been able to finish the bottle myself. Fun, enjoyable beer but only on rare occasion + with people to share (and can handle the omgsweet).

Photo of blatherbeard
4.59/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh where to start. First off, ive never really had creme brulee and i hate custard.

I pour this brew and im kind of surprised at how dark it is. I expected it to be lighter because it was supposed to have a vanillasih taste.

Well, the smell is fan-freaking-tastic, if you like vanilla. Im more of a chocolate guy but man if this doesnt smell like a vanilla hot cocoa or a vanilla bean cappucino.

A taste of coffee, chocolate and a ton of vanilla assaults your taste buds like john wayne attacking Iwo Jima!

The mouth is smooth, thick, but not rich, and tasty.

Very drinkable. Where the choklat is overpowering later in the beer, and kind of bitter, the creme brulee is sweet, thick and not overpowering at all. A perfect balance of all the flavors. I could drink a few of these they are so good. (will revise if i wake up at night burping vanilla like i did the choklat)

Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 4,158 ratings.