San Quentin Breakout Stout - Marin Brewing Company

Not Rated.
San Quentin Breakout StoutSan Quentin Breakout Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

182 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 182
Reviews: 120
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 9
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Marin Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 01-10-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 182 | Reviews: 120
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass jet black,I mean no light showing thru here,a thinner rather fizzy mocha colored head atop.Aromas are big and earthy,some wood,and light char as well,not much sweetness,slight molasses is all.Feel is way to prickly and fizzy for the style,for any beer really.Flavors are pretty good,earthy and dry,quite raw with little sweetness,the problem is that fizzy feel,it takes away to much from the beer.Not one of the better export style stouts I have had,to fizzy,the flavors are good but its overshadowed.

Photo of RoyalT
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Black in the body with a tanned, stubborn head that didn’t get too big but wouldn’t go away.

Smell – Big coffee and cocoa powder highlight the aroma. This one has some good malt and a tinge of hop balance.

Taste – The hop balance is a little bigger at the tongue. Otherwise, the taste meets the expectations of the nose. There’s a lot of coffee in this one along with some good chocolate “Milk Dud” kind of malt.

Mouthfeel – Nearly full-bodied and very refreshing. This is a nice effort at the style without a hint of alcohol.

Drinkability – This goes down well with a bag of Oreos (munch, munch). I’m beginning to like this brewery.

Comments – A special thanks to my BA bro mickeymac for sending me this gem. If there’s such a thing as a “session stout” this is it.

Update – I had a chance to partake of this wonderful stout again about three years after my initial review. It really hasn’t changed one bit, and that cocoa powder and light coffee bean mix to me is the highlight of the beer.

The head though came on a lot nicer. It’s a beautiful chocolaty brown in color and left cool-looking pits. I’m upping the Appearance rating a notch and signing off to enjoy this beauty shop.

Photo of magictrokini
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Much better than the Dipsea. Pours opaque black with a tiny brown head. Aroma dominated by chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. The flavor is bold. Malty, roasty, with the coffee and chocolate brining up the rear. Creamy mouthfeel. A great beer all around.

Photo of ironlung
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black. Little head that settled very quickly into nothing. Speaking of nothing, Nothing at MBC is n2. Shame in this beer's case me thinks.

S: Chocolate, coffee just plenty of deep roasted malt.

T: A little les complex than their porter (suprise to me). Just not as much going on flavor wise with this beer.

M: Crisp. Nothing overbaring. In fact nothing really stands out.

D: Its only 6.1% I like when these beers are used to hide 10% or above. If you are a stout guy or gal have this one for breakfest.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Huge massive tan moccha head thick bodied resilience in all it's glory. Body is deep black dark when held up to the light all you get are ruby highlights peeking through lacing is thick and sprawled upon the entire pint glass watchout this one's a rough pour beer forms a head like you wouldn't believe it. Lacing sticks together like a colloidal suspension it's crazy. Aroma: Deep layers of chocolate from deep German dark chocolate tones to milky smooth cocoa this beer is wide on the range of tones that it produces, hopping is definitely evident floral hops here in one of the darkest stouts I've ever seen. Deep roasted malts blend so nicely in the scent of this fine crafted brew I am loving it. Taste: Slight fruit tones trail and combine with spritzy deep chocolate notes wow what an interesting brew we have here, bittering hops bititng at the palate a complex brew hard to compile all of this description with my senses. Mouthfeel: Is chewy complex everything from the full body to the viscous head that pours here. Drinkability: Wow, considering all of the complexities here this beer is going down a little too smoothly, but wow is it tasty.

Photo of OStrungT
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a very dark brown. The head is tan and creamy. It has pretty good retention. It leaves a thin lacing on the glass. It smells like roasted malts. It also smells like coffee. It had a slightly nutty aroma to it. It tastes coffee like. Also sweet malt flavor is very strong. The hops are present, but quite subtle. This is a pretty good tasting stout. It is full bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. It leaves a slightly sweet aftertaste. This beer is a good session beer because the alsohol content in to too high, and the flavor is not that aggressive. I would drink this beer again if I had the chance.

Photo of watermelonman
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured with a good color and tone but with a disappointing head and lace.

The smell is strong and tasty. The taste is good but a little bit plain, it's full of coffee-style malts and minor hops but not much else. The alcoholic content is fairly well-blended but still somewhat apparent up front in the taste. It does go down easily as well.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, black with amber tones around the edges.
Tan head is does eventually melt to a respectable ring of tan lacing, but doesn't seem to stick to the glass.
Aroma is cold coffee, malted unsweetened chocolate, and a faint whiff of hops. As it warms a little black licorice comes to the nose as well.
Taste is very balanced but hard to find due to the extraordinary amount of carbonation. Mouthfeel is TOO big. As the beer finally settles, tastes of roasted toasted malts, malted chocolate, and faint coffee barely fight their way through the carbonation to the tongue. A slight hop dryness and bite follows. After it settles and warms, the mouthfeel subsides a bit but never becomes in the least bit watery. Mouthfeel is incredibly full and creamy. This is definitely not a dry Irish stout, nor is it a sweet and strong American Stout...English stout, possibly.
Let this one warm almost to room temp...and let it take the time to settle. You will be pleasantly impressed with the results.

Photo of McD0uche
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass:

A: Really dark brown, almost black, with hints of brownish red around the edges. Light mocha bubbles appear initially. Not too much in the way of head or lacing.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate, some sort of unidentifiable fruit (maybe figs?), appealing roasted coffee, a hint of sweetness.

T: Fairly close to the smell, with roasted malts and chocolate coming through as well as coffee and a bittersweet finish. The alcohol is present but not overpowering.

M: Definitely dry, lingering, and smooth overall. Medium carbonation that adds to the overall effect.

O: I found this appealing overall, and would definitely pick one up again in the future if I saw it. This experience has encouraged me to try out other Marin brews.

Photo of Magpie14
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: the dense and foamy mocha colored head sat perched for some time on the fused mahogany brown blackish body. The pour looked a bit on the light side as far as overall body weight is considered. A heavy ring of filmy lace kept me company at the rim of the glass

S: explosive roasted malts and barley, I think the barley outweighs the malts in the nose. Either way, the smells are mildly dark and rich with bitter cocoa notes dusted with vanilla

T: deeply roasted grains with a slice of sweet cream butter. Chocolate notes are mixed with vanilla beans and have a subdued presence overall. This stout also houses a slight tangy bitterness, from a combination of things I would imagine? However, I think it is mostly from a few crusty and grassy hops.

Everything seems well mannered and straightforward, nothing really blows your socks off. It also houses a slightly dry finish and slices through the roasted flavors more than I would care for

M: for the flavors (which are nice) the body is incredibly light! even for an average stout. Plenty of bubbles to go around and body is slick and glassy at best

D: overall the drinkability is not bad, not bad at all. I was in the mood for a sweeter stout and found this one to be evenly balanced across the board (session beer). If any thing, this guy needs a kick in the thick rear, I like'em chewy

Photo of darkmaven
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice, dark brown to black color.Have you ever stood in a barn where they cure country ham? That was, and I kid you not, the FIRST thing that rang in my memory when I smelled this beer. That glorious, genuine, real life smell of wood, smoked meat and the earth beneath your dirt-caked boots. Add to that notes of scrub brush, black malt and an aroma somewhere between charred wood and a firewood stack, and you've got this nose. As Mark, a fellow beer enthusiast, who has also tasted the Breakout, remarked, it's "like a Northwest U.S. farmland on fire." I love it!

The woody notes follow through on the palate, along with coffee, and a roasted maltiness. In fact, while I was drinking this, I REALLY wanted to be sitting by a fire.

Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Uncomplicated roasted barley, simple stout. Easy mouthfeel and drink, a changeup from all the thicker chewier stouts I have been regimented to.Black, some tan head, nice one. From Liquid Solutions. Judging from the bottle's label, it's been brewed the same way for about 15 years, a lifetime in craft brewery.

Photo of augustgarage
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse. Served in a generic wide-mouth tulip.

Seal brown body (very subtle shades of brownish red highlights) with two fingers of chocolate/tan head. Wooly blankets of lacing are chased down in slow-motion by thin tears.

Light fruit notes (dates? figs?), cocoa, and coffee aromatics with mild roast malt. It seems to vacillate between the dry and tropical variants without ever really committing to either.

Toasted malt, chocolate ganache, coffee, and a lingering hop bitterness on the palate. The finish evolves very slowly: toasty, dry, and cocoa-dusted. Again, lacks both burnt dry notes and rum-laded sweet notes - a very middle of the road export stout.

Creamy, rich , medium-bodied - nicely warming.

Overall, a careful and tasty effort from Marin.

Photo of ElGordo
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a pint glass. This is a bottle I purchased some months ago and laid down, and it may be a little past its prime.
Body is a deep dark brown with dark red highlights, topped by a huge tan head that doesn't stick around for very long. Nice creamy lacing left on the glass. Aroma of rich roasted malt, lactose sweetness, milk chocolate, and mocha. Very nice and sweet, almost like a mocha latte.
Palate is mostly roasted malt up front, with the lactose sweetness quickly emerging mid-palate. A mildly sour tropical fruit flavor indicates that this beer might be a little too old, but it doesn't last long and isn't particularly off-putting. Finish is again sweet, with notes of mocha and vanilla bean.
This beer is actually a little thin in the mouth, especially for one that clocks in at 7% ABV. A little more robustness would help carry the flavor, but it's not a big detriment. On the whole, an enjoyable stout, and one that's even better if you can get it fresh.

Photo of Fatehunter
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a finger of tan head on a black body.
The aroma is rich roasted malt, toast, burnt wood and milk chocolate.
The taste is rich malt with good balance, a touch of pine and coffee bitterness.
The texture is silky smooth and light. Wonderful.
An exceptional brew.

Photo of russpowell
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first from this brewery

Pours mahogany with 3+ fingers of fluffed-up/chunked up mocha with brown tinges, colored head. Very good lacing & above average head retention

S: Bits of coffee, then toasted grain & fruittyness

T: Dry, grainy & loads of toasted malt/charred grains up front. Fruittyness, licorice, more dryness & a bit of cocoa as this warms. Finishes dry as hell, with coffee grounds, plus a bit of licorice

MF: Fairly chewy with low carbonation, dryness is a bit too much for me

Drinks okay, but the dryness is a bit too OTT for me. Coffee stout lovers will probably dig this, will certainly give other beers from this brewery a go

Photo of Troyone
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black and can not see any hue or carb action. Light brown head that, for the most part, does not last.

Has a roasted caramel malt smell with a pine and citrus hops aroma.

Lightly sweet, moderately acidic, and lightly bitter roasted caramel malt with molasses, milk chocolate, and coffee. Has a pine, grapefruit, and lime hop flavor.

Medium to full bodied, dry almost syrupy texture, soft and lively carbonation, and a metallic and lightly astringent/alcoholic finish.

A pretty good Stout and better in the bottle then there at the brewpub (maybe the glasses). Other than the unbalanced acidic flavor this is a flavorfull Stout.

Photo of mkotsayfan
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter. Pours a dark black with one finger of light mocha-colored head. The aroma has a lot of chocolate and coffee, and some nice roasted malts. The taste has similar characteristics, with coffee and chocolate in the flavor, along with a decent kick of vanilla. The mouthfeel is medium-light bodied with decent carbonation, a lighter and thinner feel than most stouts, but makes it quite drinkable.

This is a solid, easy going stout. Pretty straight-forward, but not too simple to make it boring or forgettable. A nice choice when you don't want the heaviness of a 10%+ ABV stout, but want some of the same characteristics.

Photo of akorsak
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 650 mL bomber from Liquid Solutions.

A: The stout is a dark black color. The head is an off-white, tan color that is near 1/2 a finger in size.

S: The nose is a very strong milk chocolate. The aroma is a little tart, sour almost, as though the beer has a stale/old component.

T: The chocolate from the nose continues into the mouth. The flavor is sweet but with an underlying sourness. That sourness is augmented by a hoppy presence that is bitter but not over-the-top. There are some other spices in the body that add a kick.

M: The bitterness and sourness of the body make for a very enjoyable mouthfeel, with a number of flavors popping up throughout the glass.

D: The sourness of the body is drying, making one instinctively reach for another sip. The strong profile makes for a good drink.

Photo of Jredner
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of my wife for lugging this back from San Fran. Pleasant aroma offers vanilla, chocolate, dark roasted malt and mild chocolate in a excellent concentration and progression. Body is flat black and holds a creamy, thumb thick, mocha head that diminishes slowly leaving tree ring like lacing. First sip is creamy and holds a vanilla twinged flavor that gives way to coffee and bitter roasted notes. Finish is quite bitter and balances the sweet middle flavors of the beer well. Tasty. Get yourself a bottle!

Photo of ocelot2500
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color with a tight, tan head that leaves a little layer lacing.

Smells of solid roasted notes, I am picking up a funny burnt type note though.

Tastes of the roasted malts with some decent sweetness. Malts come through with chocolate and coffee. Has a bit of a creamy note to it as well. Touches of roasted bitterness are countered with a brown sugar sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, nothing special, but is still quite a solid beer that you shouldn't ignore.

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An oil black body hosts a three finger carmel brown head that turns cavernes as it slowly fades. Nose has tones of zesty spice, coco, tootsie rolls and meaty smoke. Enters the mouth with a hollow smokey and slightly sour feel. Zesty as it bounces of the tongue carried by good carbonation. A hint of bitter coco arrives on the back of the tongue. Flavor profile was not quite what nose had previewed. Maybe a hint of rye bitterness. Mouthfeel is on the dry dark bitter side. Mellows as it warms for decent drinkability.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one as an extra in a recent trade and could not wait to give it a try. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 02/24/2009.

The pour was very good. Deep dark brown in color, essentially black with no light shining through on this one at all. This was one damn big looking beer. As it settles a two inch head of tan rose up and then settled back down into a thin half in layer that stayed forever dropping lots of lace down the sides. Lots of chocolate and coffee in the aroma here. Rich with hints of molasses and burnt caramel, really big aroma here. The flavor was full, rich taste of roasted malts and hints of cocoa and coffee, nice sweetness and a dry finish here with almost all the alcohol completely hidden. Nice feel, rich with a full body and a nice subtle finish to it. I was really impressed with this one, as close to a sessionable big stout as you are going to get. This is a must seek out.

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich black with barely a hint of orange garnet around the edges. A billowy ruddy brown head grows at the top, threatening to continue in it's upward quest. After taking eons to dissipate, the head leaves a thin collar that deposits some ample gummy lacing down the glass.

Aroma is rich and stout, with some heavy roasted malt, burnt toast, dark bread, dutch cocoa powder and maybe a smidgen of over-roasted coffee. As it warms, the bittersweet chocolate and a musty burnt firewood aroma strengthens.

Tastes of roasted malt, burnt malt, burnt cocoa and firewood. It has an earthy richness that plays interestingly with the cocoa and coffee notes. Sweetness is kept to a minimum as the roasted malt and toasted dark bread flavors are allowed to intermingle with the earthy, almost smoke-like characters. Tar and tobacco emerge on warming, along with an smoked alder chip flavor that augments the roasted coffee. Interesting. Although I'm not sold.

Maybe my bottle is slightly off, as carbonation seems a bit high for the style. A three-plus finger head erupted on the initial pour, and the head-yielding carbonation is definitely apparent in the mouthfeel. The high carbonation is the only thing that saves a somewhat acrid and watery hotel-coffee consistency. There's a pleasant bitterness and a bit of a nutty astringency that fits nicely with the flavor profiles.

Not bad on the whole, but nothing out of this world. It's an interesting flavor profile that I could see being loved, but it didn't do a ton for me. And the mouthfeel was just a bit off. I'll have to hunt out another bottle and see if it's significantly different. But other than that, I don't plan on getting this one any time soon.

Photo of StevieW
4.92/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This could be one of my new all time favorites. Pours a nice deep black with a tan head, settled fast, and looked a little oily. Nice subtle chocolate smell with some roasted barley.This is the stout worth looking for. Blows away the other American brewed stouts. Very balanced, some hops, the chocolate taste is perfect. Not to bitter, very smooth and enjoyable. Unbelivable taste ! Cool bottle too. Won too many medals to list here. Go get a bottle now.

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San Quentin Breakout Stout from Marin Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 182 ratings.