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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Ratings: 4,158
Reviews: 1,426
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 17.65%
Wants: 353
Gots: 845 | 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 ShanePB
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, 2011 release poured into multiple tulip glasses.

A: Deep dark brown, borderline black body with a bubbly light beige head. Nice retention cap helped leave behind some sticky lace on the walls. An Imperial Milk Stout? Yeah, this pretty much looks dead on for what it is.

S: Sweet vanilla, caramel, toasted sugar, custard, chocolate morsels and touches of cinnamon. It's a phenomenal and decadent smelling beer. Really, nothing of a beer at all. Take the dessert and put it into liquid form. Rich, robust and intoxicating this, although sweet smelling, is just what it's billed to be.

T: More sweet and sugary flavors, vanilla, caramel, chocolate, custard pie and caramelized sugar. It's very sweet, very cloying but still tastes great. After a while this does become to be too much, but splitting the bottle and sipping this one over the course of the evening remedies this. I mean honestly, if you want creme brulee in a glass, this is it.

M: Bubbly, creamy though fairly active on the carbonation. It's easily medium-bodied but the milkiness texture of it keeps it from being a full-bodied, robust stout. Not bad at all though, very enjoyable.

The fact of the matter is, this beer is exactly what it was intended to be. Yes, it's sweet and yes, it's extremely overboard in flavor. But that's what makes this beer so accurate to being creme brulee in beer form. If that's not what you want, don't look here. For what it is, this is just wonderful.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A massive wall of vanilla cream hits my nose just after I vigorously pour this beer; smells more like desert than just about anything, it is actually more concentrated than an actual crème brûlèe. The head form an initially three-finger thick, frothy, lightly browned, tan colored head in my 25cl tulip glass. The vanilla is just so overwhelming and loud, you really can't smell much else; luckily the vanilla note itself is not overly one dimensional, it is full enough that I am sure the brewer used actual vanilla beans (and a ton of them at that). If you like sweet and vanilla then this aroma is good, luckily I was ready for desert so this beer is fulfilling that urge so far. After warming up a bit the aroma takes on a touch of nuttiness and a butterscotch note becomes a bit more prominent.

Thick and rich up front with enough of a viscous body to make this a sipping brew; to be honest though it is not quite as rich and full as the aroma led me to believe. The vanilla notes are definitely far and away the dominant note here in the flavor as well, but some other flavors manage to assert themselves just enough to be noticeable. This finishes with a touch of hot alcohol, that in combination with the vanilla makes me think of Bourbon. Sweet, in fact incredibly sweet, though again not quite as much as the aroma might have suggested. The vanilla flavors contribute or bring out notes of butterscotch, Bourbon, . Not overly roasted, but some roast malt flavors seem to add a touch to the finish with a bit of bitterness. As this beer warms there is a slight nuttiness to the flavor that is a bit like browned butter and the flavors definitely lean towards burnt as the beer rolls across the palate.

I knew this beer was going to be a sweet, sticky, incredibly vanilla laden beer coming into this. For that reason I waited until I was really wanting dessert to have it. The aroma definitely satisfied any dessert fix that I might have wanted, but "strangely" I find the flavors not quite rich enough as this could use more roast malt flavors and a thicker, more complex malt base. That strangely in that last sentence is important, because if I was not ready for the overbearing vanilla and sweetness here I likely would have found this beer a sickly sweet, train wreck of an Imperial Stout; properly forewarned & with the right occasion, this beer, while overly simplistic, is not quite half bad and is even enjoyable if had in small doses.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Capone's in Philadelphia.

The beer is dark brown with light crimson highlights, and a thin, wispy, tan head. Spotty, random lacing left on the sides of the snifter. The aroma...wow. One can detect this beer from several feet away. Huge aroma of coconut, flan, maple syrup, brown sugar. The label speaks truth...this is creme brulee. Good flavor, though less enjoyable than the aroma. Booze is prevalent throughout. Sweet and rich, this brew is akin to a gourmet dessert. A small portion is perfect. Honestly, this is an intriguing and creative beer. Well worth trying.

Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: black in color with a 2" head that lingers around a while.

Smell: loads of vanilla, roasted malts, and some coffee aroma are most notable.

Taste: big malt profile with loads of vanilla, dark bitter chocolates, brown sugar, and espresso. Bitterness helps cut into the big sweetness here.

Mouthfeel: heavier in body. Smooth from start to finish. Aftertaste is very long as the flavors stick to your tongue.

Drinkability: after completing the bomber bottle, I kind of lost interest in having any more. This is a one or two glass beer at best.

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, deep brownish black with a 1” of brown, chocolaty head with great retention. Nose is intense vanilla, a hint of roasted malt, and very mild alcohol esters. Taste is rich vanilla and caramel with just a hint of a coffee like malt flavor. Mouthfeel is rich, smooth, bold, and full bodied.

Dessert in a bottle. This is an amazing beer!

Photo of Halcyondays
4.52/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, served at approximately 55 degrees,

A: Pours a very dark brown when held up to the light. Into a snifter it went, with a long-lasting off-white/light tan head and a smattering of lacing.

S: This is the best part. Upon opening the bottle, I was greeted with this heavenly decadent butterscotch aroma, like smelling the most delicious dessert in the world. A beautiful smell, in the top 3 best smells in a beer ever along with another Southern Tier product - Choklat, and a vintage Bell's Old Ale.

T: Taste is delicious and decadent as well. Espresso coffee with cream comes out first, a little more bitter than I expected from the roasted grains, but it was quite tasty nonetheless. Molasses and vanilla are lighter than they were in the nose, but they still offer up outstanding secondary flavours, I would have liked a little more vanilla, as I'm a huge fan of the flavour, but this was quite nice, it's more balanced with all the flavours this way than if I had my way. The flavour profile ends with a distinct hop bite, which shocked me a little going in, as I expected it to be all malt, vanilla and spice flavours. I was taken aback at first, but as the brew continued to disappear from my glass and as it warmed up, I found the grassy hop notes melded really well with the coffee flavours. The ultimate dessert in a glass beer, I'm not giving it a 5, although it's close, I still would have liked a little less hop character, but this is still outstanding.

M: The carbonation is very soft, the brew is rather light-bodied for a big stout which I liked because the mouthfeel does not weigh the beer down, it's quite drinkable in it's style, which would make it a great dessert pairing.

D: I had this beer by itself, and I loved it, but it begs to be paired with an after dinner dessert. Wow, Southern Tier makes good beer. I envy all you East Coasters for having easy access to this stuff. In the top 5 of new beers I've had this year for sure. This is a sipper to sit back and enjoy, I would love to get another bottle of this.

Photo of BARFLYB
2.8/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

22oz bottle poured into small glass. Shared with family and friends over the weekend. The label shows some cows grazing on a farm.

A- As expected Creme Brulee comes out a dark brown to black color. While in the glass this stout is as black as anything else in the Blackwater series. A 1/2 finger loose head creeps up and actually has some staying power before it vanishes. Moderate lacing.

S- OMG this is one sweet smelling brew and quite over powering with you guessed it creme brulee and vanilla beans with some butterscotch. The malts are present and welcomed by me. I smelled more of a hop presence in a fresh bottle but those hops are former shells of themselves now.

T- Guess what? This tastes like creme brulee so this is ST offering is not false advertisement. If you expect something else, well, i don't know what to do for you. This also tastes like peeling off the top creamy layer of a dozen plus butterscotch tasty cakes and stuffing them in your mouth. I'm sure there is a generous amount of hops and malts in this but they are not helping center this brew. There is an additional sweetness to creme brulee with distinct burnt sugar extract.

M- A pretty medium mouth feel that feels thicker then it is with the over abundance of sweetness coming from all angles. The sweet creme brulee taste lingers around forever, too long perhaps.

D- There is no way i could ever finish a bottle of this even 1/2. The most i can take at a time at most is a 5% and prefer less at a sitting. I have extra bottles of this so i love taking it to parties and watching unsuspecting people cringe drinking it even though i warn em before. I love desert beers but this one is way to much.

I love southern tier brewing and all the offerings i've had from them, but i don't see myself buying this again, unless a hot chick that loves sweets is looking for a brew.

Photo of Billolick
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ouncer, pours pretty much black, under a mocha frothy head, that leaves tons of fine sheeting. Nose is loaded w/vanilla and sweet/sugary milk shake notes. Yummy, smooth, easy drinking and most undeniably SWEET. Vanilla, honey, more vanilla, toasted sugar, candi sugar, sweet sweet coffee. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Pleasant desert stout, I'd like to try it with a chocolaty concoction.

Photo of billab914
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier glass. Pours black with a tan head that settled to a thin covering that clung to the sides. A little lacing on the glass as I drank it.

Aroma has a very strong vanilla and butterscotch presence, maybe a little chocolate but it's tough to get anything else over the Creme Brulee flavors. Smells pretty much like a Creme Brulee in beer form.

Taste has vanilla with some chocolate and some roasted grains in the bitter finish. The butterscotch isn't as pronounced as in the nose but it's still there. Has a sweetness to it as well which was expected. Pretty much tastes like Creme Brulee.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is not great, it's a very strong flavor and pretty sweet. 22 oz is definitely too much for one person, splitting it with several people would be good.

Overall this is pretty much exactly like Creme Brulee in a bottle. It is good in moderate amounts but gets overwhelming after a bit. A 4 oz sample for desert would be great. It seems like they hit their target of Creme Brulee pretty well though.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A. Poured into a snifter. Nice inch of light brown head, that became a fine lace.

S. Vanilla cream in the nose. Its Creme Brulee afterall.

T. Follows the nose in a very sweet vanilla chocolate stout. A robust roasted malt feature is complimentary to the lovely sweet lactose.

M. Creamy and smooth. Milky. Great.

D. Very drinkable, though tends to ruin the palate to other beers. Good night cap, change of pace beer.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.56/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yes, this is one of the more famous "love or hate" beers that one can find. The opportunity showed itself and I was there. On to the beer:

Dark as expected, but it does have some red colored hues. The lacing that it gives off is decent. The nose is a wallop of caramel and a shot of coffee. One thing is easy to decide, I love it!

Upon tasting it, I wasn't sure how sweet the taste would be despite already smelling it. It is sweet, but not SWEET! This is about as sweet as one could go without being cloying. Fully loaded with caramel and a shot of espresso and roast that lingers in the background. The alcohol hides itself well. It's medium heavy, and surprisingly it is easy enough to drink.

I'm a fan of Southern Tier Crème Brûlée, and proud to admit it. Don't like it because you think it's too sweet? Good. More for the rest of us. Afraid to buy a bomber in fear that it may give you diabeetus? Good. More for the rest of us.

Photo of tempest
4.56/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a bomber at Abe's and shared it with some friends on a Friday afternoon. The general first taste response was something along the lines of, "holy sh-t!"

It smells pretty spot on like vanilla custard and creme brulee. Damn. There's a slight bite to this beer that hints at the 10% strength and the flavor pales a bit compared to the deep and rich aroma. Still, more custard comes out on the palate with a mocha edge. The flavors here so vividly recall cream and vanilla desserts that it's easy to forget this is a stout. The balanced body and relatively thin (for a 10% stout) body also make this as drinkable as any sessionable stout.

This beer is, simply put, nuts. It's a great example of extreme beer and American brewers pushing the boundaries of what beer can beer. Bravo Southern Tier.

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

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass.

A simple light cocoa head with some tight froth-iness as well, sitting upon a simple dark black/brown walnut body. Pretty basic, looks like a stout, a good sized collar is left while drinking, seems good.

Bouquet is a giant sticky caramel, toffee, big sweetness with sweetened condensed milk. I suppose that's what it should be since it is called creme brulee after all, so it works. Vanilla doesn't seem obvious on the nose.

The on thing that comes off on the taste that seems to be an exception is the bitterness. Bitter almost hoppy in the finish, but not leaving as strong notes from the smell in the palate. Does bring a sweetened condensed milk taste primarily, but also a real fizziness too, along with of course caramel sweets.

Overall on taste this was not what I was expecting, it was also in taste not as sweet I thought it would be and didn't come out as a big sugar blast. However, there is an unpleasant almost acrid and strange hop bitter to this that doesn't make the drink particularly enjoyable.

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

Boy, is this ever a love it or hate it kind of beer. I happen to really like it, but it is way over the top and very sweet, very much a dessert beer- I could see how people would hate it it as well. It pours inky black with a thin head. Smells quite sweet and exactly like creme brulee, with burnt caramel and thick, sweet milk with an eggy richness. The taste is similar, with an even more burnt aftertaste, and big, rich vanilla and cream flavors. Very sweet, but an uncanny replica of creme brulee in a glass- with a shot of brandy. Thick and viscous in the mouth. Its a bit too rich and thick to have much of this, but quite a pleasure as a sipper.

Photo of corby112
3.1/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours pitch black with foamy coffee colored head. Aroma of vanilla bean, custard, chocolate and roasted coffee maltiness. Tastes like a sweet desert. Very creamy custard with lots of vanilla and roasted caramel maltiness and some butterscotch. Sweet and roasty with a dry bitter hop finish.

Photo of Kelp
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to BeerisHeaven for this one.

Dark brown in color pour a finger/finger and a half head, no real lacing left behind by the beer.

This is hands down the best part of this beer. I smell caramel mostly. Along with milk and vanilla. It does smell a bit like creme brulee. A bit of chocolate and coffee on the end.

Like a creme brulee. A first taste of caramel followed by milkiness and vanilla. Ends in a slight chocolate and caramel flavor.

It is sweet,sweet, and more sweet. Creaminess to it and little carbonation.

This would have been great if i had only like 6 oz. total. 22 oz. was way way to much for me. I could enjoy this beer but only in slight moderation. This would be a great desert beer in small doses. Southern Tier is a company that is just so over the top that they make great beer, that taste pretty much like they say it does.

Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's...
Appears an opaque black with a small, tan head that quickly fizzles into a mild collar. Scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of cocoa, caramel, cream, sugar, tons of vanilla, and butterscotch.
Taste is of the same with butterscotch and roasted nuts standing out.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy, rich, smooth in the finish.
I liked this one but I could see how many would not like this. The caramel, and vanilla, along with the lactose come across as being butterscotch, which isn't usually a likable trait in beer, as it is taken as the usually unlikable diacetyl(which I happen to enjoy in Sam Smith's Imp Stout).

Photo of Lare453
1.48/5  rDev -62.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured a black into my glass with a small cocoa brown head.

The smell of vanilla extract was overpowering. It smelled of fake vanilla, like vanilla vodka.

The taste was awful with the flavor of overpowering vanilla extract.

The mouthfeel was pleasant, smooth and velvety with a light soft carbonation.

I would never recommend this beer. Stout and imperial stout are my favorite styles of beer but this was disgusting. I've never reviewed a beer before but after opening this one and the southern tier chokolat, which is equally awful, I had to review them.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is something of a white whale among the Australian beer community, and I'd managed to go some time without trying it—I finally managed it at the Local Taphouse in Sydney during Sydney Craft Beer Week 2013. Served on nitro through a sparkler.

Pours a stupid, thick black-brown colour but with definite clarity noticeable when held to the light—I can see red right through it. Head is stupidly creamy off the nitro. Pale beige, fine and rich leaving ridiculous lace. It's a ridiculously creamy looking beer, there's no denying that.

And did someone mention ridiculous? The nose is extreme. Intense vanilla, burnt sugar crème brûlée all over. It's so creamy and thick that it's silly. Some sultanas come through as well, perhaps with a slight hint of spice like ginger. But mostly it's just about pretending to be crème brûlée, which it does exceptionally well. It's insane. You're an idiot, beer.

Once this translates into flavour though, it's too much—too sweet. So much creamy, thick vanilla ridiculousness. It curdles with the booze (which is definitely noticeable), giving an offputting character of Irish cream. Stacks of vanilla toffee without much to counter it. It's thick, smooth and creamy and too much. I loved those flavours on the nose, but here, I admit I'm struggling with it.

Feel is lovely in its way, were it not for the bombastic quagmire of flavours that it supports.

Overall, it's too sweet, without darkness or... anything, to balance it. It makes me feel bloated and a little bit nauseated drinking so much of it. It does a great job of mimicking a brûlée, but I don't think I'd want to puree such a dessert and quaff it. Such thickness and sweetness—I found it difficult to finish despite its many fine attributes.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a deep,deep brown with a nice tan head.

S: Nose was milk, creme, coffee and vanilla beans.

T; It was exceptional! It had lots of vanilla to it with an espresso kick and creme feel that was very sweet

M: The mouthfeel was ok at first but the constatnt creme, vanilla is to much for me after a while.

D: Drinkability was low because while it good on taste and mouthfeel it was just hard for me to finish.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a black body that is dense with only a faint brown glow at the very base of the beer. There is a thin ring of bubbles on the top that form the head. A few random tiny bubbles sticking to the glass is the only carbonation visible.

S- The huge smell of milk and vanilla come through during the pour. There are big caramel notes that fade to butterscotch aromas as the beer warms. The smell of white sugar comes through aswell.

T- The full taste of sweet caramel is very sugary and has a big full vanilla flavor and a honey note. There is a nice roasted coffee malt bitterness in the finish that turns vinous as the beer warms.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no real alcohol heat until it gets pretty warm.

D- This would land a perfect 10 if "tasting like the food it describes on the label" were a category. The flavor was huge and intense but a bit to much for a full bomber of beer. I think I will try this again but with an espresso stout chaser.

Photo of John_M
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

On tap at Frisco's in Columbia the other day.

The beer pours a very dark brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose on this beer is it's best feature by far, consisting of an exotic smorgasbord of vanilla, caramel toffee, chocolate, cherry and coffee. The beer smells as if it will be pretty sweet, and it certainly is. The flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, though the sweet vanilla and toffee flavors tend to overwhelm everything else. The beer is a bit heavy and tiring on the palate, and as it sits in the glass, the alcohol becomes more and more apparent. Towards the end the beer becomes cloyingly sweet, hot from the alcohol and very, very tiring. Drinkability is not one of this beers better features, and frankly I could barely finish my 10 ounce goblet.

This is an interesting beer, but the combination of sweet vanilla/toffee flavor, coupled with the noticeable alcohol, make this one beer I'm unlikely to order again any time again soon.

Photo of johnnnniee
4.61/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black with a very minimal head that disappears almost instantly. Aroma is burnt sugar, caramel, vanilla, a little chocolate, and bit of alcohol as it warms. Smells exactly as advertised, like a sugary desert. Taste follows the smell to a tee. I had to look at the bottle twice to see if this was artificially flavored, and it appears not to be. Tastes like dessert, gets a bit sweet towards the end of the glass. Thick sticky mouthfeel, maybe a bit grainy as in grains of sugar. Full body and ample carbonation. Certainly a different beer. I enjoyed it immensely, but is not something I would drink often. I would call this a dessert beer, one to be sipped and enjoyed. Another one outside the box from Southern Tier, Great Job!

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

Pours a three finger pillowy, light tan head that fades very slowly leaving some lace. Black color, no highlights. Nose is very sweet crème brûlée. Good carbonation and heavy bodied. Flavor is crème brûlée and some coffee, very balanced. Thought it would be cloying, it isn't. Would go good with chocolate. $9.00 for a 22oz bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, ME.

Photo of akorsak
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 650 mL bottle purchased at Sam the Beer Man's in Binghamton, NY.

A: The stout is oily black, a singularity that absorbs all light shone into it. The ale lacks an appreciable head, what lingers is thin and white in color.

S: The nose is syrupy sweet with caramel, vanilla, and butter rum mixing with booze. The aroma is very interesting.

T: The stout is incredibly sweet, thick and full of flavor. More butter rum, vanilla and caramel mix with burnt grains and coffee. The ale is very boozy, reeking of alcohol with each sip. Butter rum flavors last.

M: The mouthfeel is sweet but abrasive. The flavor profile is cloyingly sweet at times, while the alcohol burns. An interesting ale that I was happy to share with ksak.

D: One half of a bomber is enough for me.

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