Black Strap Stout | East End Brewing Company

86 Reviews
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Brewed by:
East End Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by WVbeergeek on 04-13-2005

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Reviews: 86 | Ratings: 178
Photo of MDDMD
3.94/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-dark brown black color with a decent tan head and little lacing

S-dark malt, coffee, chocolate, molasses, little char

T-dark bitter chocolate, espresso, molasses, dark roasted malt, char, little vanilla

F-medium body with light to moderate carbonation, smooth

O-decent stout, little heavy on the char/roasted features

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Photo of mdfb79
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From 02/20/13 notes. Had this on tap at Pony Bar in NYC on the UES. 14 oz. pour in a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with a reddish tint, one inch of off white/light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of coffee, roasted malts, nuts, caramel malts, toasted malts, espresso, vanilla, and light bitter chocolate. Nice nose with a lot of coffee to it.

t - Tastes of coffee, roasted malts, earthy notes, burnt malts, toasted malts, bread, and some light roasted malts. A step down from the nose for me; just not as complex and not as strong in any of the flavors as it was in the nose.

m - Light to medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Easy to drink beer, but the body was a tiny bit thinner than I was hoping for.

o - Overall a nice coffee stout. I liked the nose a lot, though I thought the taste was a bit weaker and the body was a tiny bit thin. A nice beer I'd have again.

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Photo of thecheapies
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown-black and thick. Short crown of khaki foam. Looks dark and rich.

Huge black char and burnt coffee flavors with a caramelly molasses sweetness and cocoa notes.

Huge roast flavors. Peaty, charred, and a little smoky. Huge coffee notes with malt bitterness attached. Cocoa, pine earthiness, and a minerally flavor of beef blood. Awesome local stout.

Medium-thick, but lacking enough carbonation to scuff up the palate a bit. Smooth and coating.

All anyone would ever ask for in an American Stout.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a black beer with a nice one finger brown head. The head faded relatively fast giving way to a very light amount of lacing.

Smell – The aromas were of a bitter sweet chocolate with some roasted coffee and nut.

Taste – While the chocolate was heavy in the nose, it was not as heavily present in the taste. The taste was largely dominated by the roasted malt and coffee flavors giving a somewhat bitter-sweet taste to the brew.

Mouthfeel – A slightly above average thickness in body and a more mild level of carbonation lend to on very easy drinking smooth stout which complements the flavors and style quite well.

Overall - It is a easy to drink stout with a very nice taste, smell, and feel.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - As expected I get a deep dark black stout with a 1/2 inch of dark mocha head. Bubbly carbonation throughout and OK lacing.

S - To me it's really mild but I do get good roast, coffee, and molasses. Mild but good.

T - Not sure how everyone is getting so much coffee or chocolate but I am getting mouth rapped by molasses and anise. It's really not like its terrible since I do get some coffee roasts and chocolate in the finish but this beer is all about molasses. Eh...

M - Medium bodied for sure it did drink well as I plowed through the pint.

Overall I felt like I was taken and really would have enjoyed a sample size (4oz.) more. Not to say it was terrible but I have more balanced stouts with less molasses and (ew) anise.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-black with a tan head. good lacing

S-chocolate covered coffee beans. actually almost a perfect scent. so rich and strong. so much chocolate and coffee.

T-comes in with a really rich taste of coffee beans and cocoa beans. its a really good and strong taste. great matching after-taste. everything is just so bold and great. very thorough and clean.

M-medium carbonation with a dry finish

O-i'm always excited to find this on tap. i'm excited to see a small local brewery such as East End make a stout that leaves such an impression. this is truly a world class beer at a small price and a very drinkable level. i could have this all night long.

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Photo of soulfly1492
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Bold malt sweetness, chocolate, coffee, marshmallows (that's a first).

Appearance: Pitch black, a thin layer of dark brown head. Decent retention.

Taste: Just a bit milder than expected. Roasty coffee. Aftertaste is strong black cold coffee and roasty malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. No carbonation. A bit chalky from the coffee bitterness and perhaps the alcohol. Slightly drying.

Overall: Nice balance of sweet and bitter. Nice roasty aftertaste.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Poured into a pint glass, an opaque, obsidian black with a rich, chocolate brown head that left behind some nice heavy lacing. Big aroma of roasted coffee and dark malts. Smell followed through into the taste, with roasted coffee, roasty dark malts, dark chocolate, and molasses, with a nice earthy finish. A little bit lighter in body than you'd expect, but still very good all around, and very drinkable, either for a single session, or for the whole night.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip pint: Black. Period. Not getting any highlights. Two-and-a-half fingers of dark mocha head that's almost a turnip purple, dropping to a thin coating & leaving some spidery lacing.

Awesome, deeply roasted malt in the smell, like a cross between coffee beans & slightly burnt cookie, that mix of sweet & carbon. Very good. A little nutty, with a subtle dark fruit character toward the end. I've had this plenty of times before, & never remember it smelling this good!

Sweet & malty, a little cola-like at first, & then I get hit by a big, husky, tannic bitterness that really hangs around. That bitterness recedes a bit after a few sips, making way for a nice roasty, coffee malt aftertaste. Bitterness recedes but doesn't completely subside, not a dealbreaker but definitely the nadir in an otherwise good flavor profile. Aaaaand, that bitterness is back again, like a mouthfull of coffee grounds.

Medium-full-bodied, bordering on chewy but thins out a little bit. Tannic, husky character kind of weighs on the palate.

Very good in moderation. That astringent roast, burnt character has always been this beer's Achilles heel for me, & it's not even consistent enough for me to write it off completely - one sip it's there, another it's not & those nice coffee flavors come through. Still a good beer, with an imperfection that's kind of endearing in a way.

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Photo of orangesol
3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours jet black with a small half finger tall khaki colored head, dissipating down to almost nothing at all, leaving light lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of dark roasted malt, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and black strap molasses. Not as sweet as I was expecting for a molasses stout, mostly just dark roast. Nothing really mind blowing here.

T - Starts off with some mild burnt molasses sweetness quickly giving way to a mix of dark roasted malt, coffee, and light chocolate sweetness. I really wish this one wasn't so thin and watery, it really brings it down. The finish is lots of dark roast, lingering for some time. I enjoyed it but I have had much better.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. This one has a pretty thin, almost watery, feel with tons of dark roast lingering in the finish for some time.

O - I enjoyed this one but it really didn't blow me away. The flavors, while tasting perfectly fine, left me wanting a bit more and the overall thin feel didn't help matters much.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Back in Johnstown, PA and sitting at the Boulevard Bar and Grill and first beer for the night was the East End Blackstrap Stout. The color was a dark chocolate and creamy with a nice tan head. The aroma was dominated by espresso and malt. The taste tho was a bit water...not as full bodied as I would like. The flavor was certainly espresso with hints of sweetness and malt. Mouthfeel for me was low due to the overpowering espresso/coffee taste.

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Photo of stakem
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Als of Hampden served in a nonic. Appears black in color with the faintest amount of brown clarity around the edges of the glass. A very dark cap for a head leaves leggy fingers of lacework across the top of the brew and on the glass.

The smell is very dark, heavily kilned grain that borders char with a musty scent mixed with coffee and chocolate. There is some citrus hops and a bit of a fruity aspect that breaks up the roastiness of the smell and a touch of minerals across the back.

The taste is bitter dark malt that is very roasty to the point of being charred. There is a mixup of fruity and citrus hops and tangy alcohol that contrasts the extreme roastiness of this brew. Long lasting roastiness covers the inside of the mouth with a taste of coffee and must.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is easy drinking and one of the more roasted stouts I've come across. It flirts with being almost chalky on the tongue but it doesn't quite get to that level and it isn't distracting. Overall not bad.

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Photo of quine
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler from the East End Brewery.

A: Pours a deep black, with a rich brown at the edges. Head is brown with decent retention. Lacing is quite nice.

S: Aromas of dark chocolate and roasted malts. A little sweetness in there, too. Inviting smell.

T: Lots of roastiness here, with bitter dark chocolate, molasses, and a little black coffee. Some sweetness combined a lingering bitterness. A fantastic and very well balanced combination of tastes.

M: Mouthfeel is one of the weaker points of this brew. While it's smooth with a nice, moderate carbonation, it's also a little thin and lacks the richness of other stouts somewhat. Actually looks thicker than it is.

D: This is definitely one of my favorite stouts. It's absolutely bursting with flavor and drinks extremely well. While the body is a little lacking, the flavors are incredible and absolutely make up for whatever it's missing.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler from Jwiss22. Like A Boss!

Appearance -- Pours a deep dark brown with slim rosewood highlights and one finger of sturdy brown head. Lots of lace.

Smell -- Roast malt, cocoa, blacktrap molasses, and faint smokiness. Overall, roasty and gently sweet. I like.

Taste -- Well-roasted malt, black coffee, dark chocolate, licorice, woodsmoke, and molasses. Moderate earthy hops detectable in the finish, along with mild roast aciditiy. Like the nose suggested, there is lots of roastiness -- flirting with burnt-tasting -- melding with mild molasses and chocolatey malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full, slightly chewy with moderate carbonation. Really nice, actually.

Drinkability -- This is a really exceptional stout. Loads of depth, good balance, and is very roasty without becoming ashy or acrid. It's a tough dance, but East End seem to know the steps.

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Photo of thain709
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - The body was pitch black as a good stout should be...the head stood about 1.5 fingers and was a darker brown in color...decent retention lead to a thin and wispy layer...decent lacing

S - Coffee and chocolate lead the way mixed in with roasted malts...there is also some molasses, given the name

T - The beer starts off with a bitter blast from the coffee and dark chocolate...that is quickly cut and mellows out to a roasted flavor from the malts...there is a dash of cream that also helps sweeten things up...the bitterness comes back in the form of hops but you also pick up the coffee and dark chocolate again

M - Medium bodied...I thought this one would be fuller...there is a touch of creaminess but I wanted more

D - I enjoyed this stout...I wanted more mouthfeel and I could have done without the added molasses...but otherwise an enjoyable and easy drinking stout

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Photo of StormKing47
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Al's of Hampden, my sanctuary and holiest of all places! Let's bow our heads...

A- A very rich and deep black color that allows no light to pass through. Looks like another great stout for this ice cold weather. Accompanied with a dark brown head and a moderate carb that allows a few bubbles to show, but the nitro pour allows it to appear more creamier and rich.

S- Right away a very nice coffee aroma greets me with some nice smokiness that enriches this one. Loving the smokey goodness and the nice aroma of sweet, sugary malts in between the coffee and smoke. Loving the smell. Simply astonishing and well balanced can't wait for the taste.

T- A very nice bitter coffee up front that is making me drool and it's followed up with a great sweetness from the molasses or licorice. Very, nice and complex. The bitterness of the coffee followed by the sweetness of the licorice/molasses is divine and a great experience. Especially with the nitro to smooth all of the flavors together into a complex and delicious beer.

M- This is where I knock the beer a little. It's relatively thin and kind of watery. The nitro pour helps by making it creamier than usual, but the slight chalkiness and lack of chewiness does not work well for me.

D- The low abv makes this one a lock for an all nighter. The watery moutfeel can be gotten over and the smell and taste are just too good to pass. It's a very nice stout bordering on sessionable, not to mention it's extremely well balanced.

Keep them coming Scott!

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Growler

Appearance - Black as oil, killer 3 inch tan creamy head

Smell - Coffee, malts, smoked barley, some hops and spices also noticed

Taste - Very nice and smooth coffee influenced stout. The smoked flavor really works well with the hops and sugars. Has a mild bitter bite mixed with some malts and chocolate. Really nice drink

Mouthfeel - Its thick but not a killer. Will coat whole mouth with that stout coffee flavor.You will taste this for awhile. Pallete gets the bitter stout, and then gets some sweetness.

Drinkabilty - With no effort i drank 3 glasses. Its fantastic, this is what guiness wishes it tasted like. No doudt this would be a top ranked stout if it was bottled. If you ever have the chance, get a growler of this and enjoy a nice, regular stout. Fantastic.

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Photo of ScreamForMe
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to beer4otto for this growler! My first East End brew:

Appears black - step away from some of the darker stouts I've had. Smell brings coffee and chocolate - not necessarily in that order. Taste is chocolate with the coffee again. Mouthfeel is on the thin side for me but decent. Finished the growler - I'd say drinkability is pretty darn good.

Next review!

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Photo of bigfnjoe
4.26/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler filled by nitro into a perfect pint.

A- pours absolutely pitch black with a 2 finger dark brown head. Lacing is near perfect, all the way up the glass. Looks gorgeous

S- strong coffee, with slight hints of chocolate in there as well. But mostly coffee...would like to see more of a profile, but what I'm getting is nice

T- first hit is coffee. Getting a little sweetness from chocolate in there. Also, there is a little bit of a taste of licorice in there too...really complex flavors. Very nice

M- this is what I don't like...the body is REALLY thin. I expected a little more thickness out of it, to be honest with you, based on how strong the flavors are. Big letdown

D- very drinkable. Really good stout...ABV is hidden very well. If only the body were a little better, this would be a home run

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Photo of gator0877
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler that was on a nitro tap.

A Poured black as midnight with a very dark brown 2 inch head. The head stayed with me for awhile and I liked that.

S First big sniff gives big roasted malts, hints of chocolate and a faint hint of coffee. I also get a little hint of burnt toast.

T This is pretty much what I expected, roasted malt and chocolate are upfront. Coffee is in there but hidden. It was a tad sweet but not so much that it distracts from the roast malt which is what we came for.

M This smooth and rich but a little thinner than I was expecting....still very good.

D Well the alcohol is not too high so rock on, this was very good. I could (and did) drink this all day. It made for a perfect beer for a long day of watching college football on my couch. I will pick this up any time I have the chance.

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Photo of rudylaw
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Surprise growler by the wonderous ericwo!

Pours extremely black with a monster dark tan to light brown head.

Smells of roast coffee, blackstrap molasses, dark chocolate. This is going to be some treat if it tastes half as good as it smells.

And it does! Taste pretty much mirrors the smell.

Perfect carbonation but that thin, light mouthfeel is where this beer falls a little flat. The low ABV is very much appreciated but for a stout, I'd like a more viscous sensation.

Overall, this was what I wanted. I can deal with a light feel in comparison to all of the other aspects East End got right with this one. Thanks Eric!

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Photo of corby112
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Growler purchased at Capone's.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with no hint of lighter color when held to a light source with a two finger dark mocha head. Good retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring. Sporadic chunks of lacing left behind.

Deep roasted aroma with hints of toasty burnt malt, bitter dark chocolate, toffee, roasted coffee bean, lactic cream, milk chocolate, espresso and burnt toast. Slightly smokey with a prominent chocolate presence in the nose.

Chewy full body with lots of deep roasted malts. Slightly acrid from the intense smokiness with hints of bitter dark chocolate, earthy hops, burnt toast, roasted coffee and espresso bean. Luscious dark chocolate flavor with subtle lactic cream. There is slight heat but the alcohol is very well masked. Very roasty and bitter throughout with a long dry finish.

This beer is pretty complex but overall the feel is a bit thin and the flavor a bit too roasty for my preference. Could use a bit more balance.

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Photo of philbe311
3.86/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's...

A - A sleek opaque dense black color... One fingers worth of frothy medium brown color heady settles rather directly leaving a full lacing, loads of which sheet the sides of the glass as the session proceeds... No noticeable carbonation...

S - A muted sweetness... Milk chocolate... Molasses... Roasted malts... Just a vague whiff of coffee... Perhaps a touch of dark fruits...

T - A quick mildly sweet of molasses hits the tongue first and is quickly replaced by the usual flavor suspects of roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee... A touch of licorice... The flavors work well together, but lead to an overall bitterness that lingers...

M - Medium bodied... Smooth... Ever so slightly on the thinner side of the spectrum... Subtle carbonation... Goes down easy, but without either the fullness or richness that I expect from a stout...

D - A solid all around American Stout... Another find job by East End... I have no complaints and would gladly welcome this one in my glass again...

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Photo of Stigs
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a growler filled last weekend, 12oz serving in a Stone Levitation glass...

A - very thin layer of dark, dark khaki foam which fell quickly to a ring and floating island. sits atop a beer that is about pitch black.

S - big and bold...strongly roasted malts, strong black coffee, bits of toffee, molasses (hence the name), charcoal, slightly burnt toast. very nice stout with the nose of an RIS.

T - again, strong roasted and burnt malts...joined in by some coffee-like bitterness. sweetness comes through as some dark chocolate and molasses. very nice but a touch more sweetness to cut into the strong bitterness would take this a step further.

M - the beer has a medium to thinnish body, and nice subtle "underneath" carbonation as with most East End beers. quite sticky/chewy towards the end, leaves a strong lasting bitterness that lingers for quite a bit.

D - solid American Stout...not shy by any means, has the massive roastyness of some bigger beers. just missing a touch more sweetness for balance. drinkability is on the higher side before bitterness takes over. nicely done Scott.

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Photo of biglite351
3.21/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - very nice and dark with a thick dark head. No lacing though.

S - nice deep and rich, but some bitterness that I didn't care for.

T - full and malty but there is some bitterness. It kind of ruins it for me. Well, not ruins it, but it is a strike. Lingering after taste that let's you know that someone took their time brewing it.

M - a little thin with slight tingle at first growing in the after taste.

D - I bought a growler and I have no issues finishing it, but I probably want get another. One glass is fine in the future.

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Black Strap Stout from East End Brewing Company
4.07 out of 5 based on 178 ratings.
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