Riley's Stout | Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.

very good
61 Ratings
Riley's StoutRiley's Stout

Brewed by:
Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Irish Dry Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by taez555 on 07-16-2001

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 61 |  Reviews: 51
Photo of OldSock
2.69/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance – 12 oz bottle from Luke's. The best before date is unreadable. Dark brown opaque beer with a thin tan head. Poor head retention but decent spotty lacing.

Smell – A bit of oxidation at first wiff, cardboard ick. The smell eventually turns to chocolate and biscuits. Similar to Mother's Milk, but with much less sweetness.

Taste – A touch of charcoal to start, fading into smooth chocolate. Well balanced beer, hops are slightly earthy with just enough bitterness to balance the malts. The stale flavor carries over from the smell, its not foul just not what you expect from a local brewery.

Mouthfeel – Medium body with nice low carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – Hopefully I just got a bad bottle, maybe I can find a fresher sample.

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Photo of yankeeheel
2.8/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark black with a rather active espresso colored head. Head settles down to form a nice fluffy covering with excellent lacing.

Smells a little gingery and quite malty. Very pleasent.

The taste is a little underwhelming. Very thin with a weak malt presence. Slightly sweet and then dry. Flavors are non-descript.

Mouthfeel is very soda like. Lots of fizz and very little bang.

Sorry to be the party wrecker but this is not my bag.

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Photo of cooter
2.8/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Poor head retention, uneven. Very dark brown, pretty much completely opaque, even up to a light, which seems unusual. Its pre-imbibation character is unimpressive, given the head and pungent odor of orange peel, bitter bitter BITTER bitters, and sourness. It's like an almost-rotting, overripe ...something. If that's phenols, which I can't determine, then something's wrong with 'em.

There's a very distinctive taste of overly sharp almost-citrus. It feels thin, somehow both over- and under-carbonated, without body. What IS likable in the taste? The bitters at the very front are pleasantly sharp for a moment, before something sinister happens to it. It's unique, I'll grant, but not for me. Tastes more like a poor porter than any irish stout I know.

Looking at others' reviews, I could recognize vanilla, lime seltzer, scent of chocolate, a lot of the trademark dryness, and I think I can see ginger--plus the fairly excellent drinkability.

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Photo of BeefyMee
3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Such a promising beer. It looks fantastic with it's thick brown head atop a body of pure black. The deep chocolate aroma is even better, and there's a slight whiff of alcohol. Something goes awry between this point and the taste. It maintains a certain level of chocolate character with a little vanilla flavor as well, but a tartness follows in the aftertaste that is unpleasing. There is also a watery consistency, which is probably the first thing that I would change about this beer.

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Photo of gfreed
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Quite dark; not much of a head; what was there was airy and bubbly. Lightly roasted aroma with some vanilla and apricots, and even a little bubble gum. More roastiness in the taste, but it was swept aside by the hops which came on a bit stronger than I expected. Rather thin in the body, but that's what made this pleasant to drink on a nearly-spring day in New England: not too thick but still heavy enough for a chilly afternoon winter. Pleasant enough when you're seeking a lighter stout.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Named after the first settling family of Holyoke.
I think this stout is a “wanna be’-- in that it doesn’t quite make it as a notable stout. It has a start that queued my expectations given the beer’s dark chocolate color and luscious creamy head,
but didn’t deliver as I expected. It’s flavor was light and fleeting, finish was fast, mouthfeel was pleasant, but flavor diminished with a watery note, which left me wondering where the rest of the stout was.

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Photo of MTMugs
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

"M" had been raving about this since she had it on-tap a few weeks back. Got a bottle at lunch the other day and shared it - good chocolate tastes. But the same taste just didn't carry over to the bottle. Stick with the draught if you can get it - far superior.

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Photo of akahn
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark brown cola color. Disappointingly, very little head. I'll try a more vigorous pour next time.

Smells sweet, malty dark, vinous.

Tastes wet and it is to the point about roasted malt. Unfortunately, that's about all that's going on. Burnt flavors go along with some slight carbonation. Definitely some of the vinous & plum flavors in this brewery's Winter Palace Wee Heavy, but this beer isn't nearly as complex or fun as that beer.

Pretty thin, pretty simple, somewhat disappointing. But this would definitely be a quaff-able brew, which I think is the goal for "traditional irish stout".

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Photo of UnionMade
3.44/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black, with a vigorous tan head. Good lacing, leaving some clumpy head sticking to the glass.
Aroma is clean and roasty, with a bit of coffee. Sort of weak aroma, without much complexity. Slight hoppiness, with a vague english quality.
Flavor is powerful, which is a nice change. Heavy roastiness, with bittersweet chocolate and coffee flavors. A touch of estery currant esters. Body feels a bit more than your average stout. My only complaint is that the carbonation was too much and I feel like it killed some of the beer's subtleties. Solid dry finish, with a perceptable hoppiness. Altogether, I was really impressed. Great stuff. One of Paper City's better brews.

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Photo of masterbruewer
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown/black with tinges of amber.

The smell was malty sweet with a little flowery scent.

The taste was solid stout. Chocolate, coffee and burnt roast flavors are all present and accounted for, little noticeable hops. Nice malty sweetness.

There was a little bit of a spoiled fruit off-flavor to this. More prevalent in the smell than the taste. It may have been due to the two-days of travel in a brown bag in the back of the minivan. It was noticeable but didn't ruin the flavor.

Mouthfeel was smooth with solid carbonation and a slightly tart aftertaste.

Nice drinkability. A good example of the style, but not too strong.

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Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of ms11781
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of Ecxeeder616
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of iohann
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of schroederm
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In a pint glass:

One finger of sudsy head which is off white in color. Ruby/brown body with good lacing and retention. Nose has soy and roasty aromas. Kindof salty. Overall somewhat muted. Taste isn't very malty, with hints of coffee and a touch sour. -Finishes very dry and roasty. Good body and very good carbonation level. Very drinkable, in line with the style. Helped by a subtle bitter and lightness.

Overall: Good brew, but its just not very exciting. I would buy it again.

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Photo of bjohnson
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown almost black color with a smallish head that quickly evaporates. No lace on my glass as it was going down. Smells of coffee, chocolate, malt, and a something sweet filled my nose. Tastes of coffee, chocolate and smoke. Left a dry taste in my mouth--Overall drinkability is good, sucked this guy down and could have a few more.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ppoitras and BIF 11 for another fine brew

Appearance: Pours black as night with a brown head that's gone as quickly as a soda. Lost points on the appearance for me because the head disappeared so quickly.

Smell: pretty dried fruit (maybe raisins). Some hop bitterness in the background.

Taste: Smoky, crisp, and dry. No hints of alcohol and it wasn't necessarily bitter just very dry. It was almost too dry and as a result, tasted a little on the thin side to me.

Mouthfeel: very light. Medium carbonation, dry, and smooth.

Drinkability: I have in my notes, "I could drink a lot of these". It wasn't a big stout but a very drinkable one. Not very complex but a very good representation of the style. Definitely worth it to sample once.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a

A: Black with reddish brown highlights and a massive, three-finger head of creamy tan foam. Nice carbonation levels leave a clingy lace and well-retaining head.

S: Dark roasted coffee and black malts with an herbal, mineral and bittersweet cocoa essence melded in.

T: Sweet, roasted, bitter and dry up front. A thin, slightly fruity, weak coffee and salty mineral flavor prevails with a hint of a nutty, cocoa-like taste. Hops are light, dry and herbal, but the taste stays slick and somewhat sweet nonetheless. The finish is roasty, with a hint of licorice and smoke left on the palate.

M: Sweet, slick and somewhat viscous, it wasn't the thin, yet creamy, herbal and dry mouthfeel I was kinda hoping for.

O: A fairly good American stout, but it doesn't match my perception of a dry Irish. The herbal fruitiness and slicker mouthfeel combined with the 5.5% ABV made me feel more like I was drinking a thinner U.S. version of a standard stout. It's not bad, and the bottle may be past-prime (can't make out markings) but I couldn't see what all the fuss was about.

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Photo of cbutova
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black into my pint glass with a three finger creamy light tan head, which ends up retaining at about one finger for a decent amount of time. Pretty thick lacing is left behind by this one. A good looking Irish Stout. Instantly as I smell this one I think of a Guinness. Lots of roasted malts, some chocolate, vanilla, a coffee like smell that could come from a grain of some sort. The smell dies down pretty quickly and I have a hard time picking it up again. Taste is also that of roasted malts, chocolate/mocha and some hops, earthy ones. Part way into the beer the roastyness I enjoyed seems to disappear and allow the hops and sweetness to come through a bit too much. I wish the initial taste stayed there. Mouthfeel is decent for an Irish Dry but still a bit watery to me personally. The carbonation feels appropriate for the body and taste. No warming whatsoever going on here. Drinkability is good, the taste is not bad, the price is good, there are no huge off flavors to take over the beer and ruin it totally, it was certainly worth trying as I enjoy stouts very much but I'm not sure if I will get this one again.

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Photo of tigg924
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown in color, 1/3 inch head, opaque, high carbonation

Smell: roasted malt, earth, and baker's chocolate

Taste: roasted malt, earth, baker's chocolate, slight tobacco, and creaminess at the end

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy bodied, medium-high carbonation, sweet with earthy bitterness

Overall: A pleasant above average Irish stout. If I were in the mood for an Irish stout I could see myself having a six of this. That said, I will not be in a rush to get it again any time soon.

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Photo of currysage1
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had at Stoney's Pub South Hadley,Ma.

Upon first smell I got typical Stout coffee, and chocolate. Also I got a slight barn (hay and horses) sort of smell, definately a good one though.

The first sip proved to be huge in the coffee section, with a little chocolate mixed in. Some nice acidity in this brew as well.

Overall a sessionable brew with good attributes.

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Photo of alexwag
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very dark but penetrable by light without too much trouble. Head is thick, mocha-colored and enduring. Leaves very nice, consistent lacing. Impressive.

Smell: Roasted/burnt malts very up front, alcohol is noticeable. Potent.

Taste: Those malts are still right there up front, along with the alcohol. Carbonation is mild at first but becomes more evident and sticks with you. Mid-sip it becomes more bitter, which endures until the end, mingling with the roasted coffee malts. Creamy near the end.

Mouthfeel: Pretty good, perhaps too much carbonation. Still, fairly smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: Good! Overall pretty tasty and easygoing.

Still, I've had better Irish stouts. But this one was good for the money ($5.99 at Town & County in W. Springfield).

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Photo of 57md
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown, almost black with about a finger of tan head. The nose has some roast in it, but it is not super strong. This offering is a classic example of an Irish dry stout with hints of roasted malts present throughout and mild bitterness on the finish.

I love big, amped-up stouts with coffee and chocolate notes, but occasionally I just want a straight forward "black beer" (as John Wayne calls it in the Quiet Man). The folks at Paper City have managed to produce a perfect example of a simple, yet elegant stout.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The last one to review from the Paper City mixed 12 pack.. so far this brewery has really let me down to be honest with the first 3 beers.

Pours a deep mahogany color with a tannish head and lots of lacing. Aroma is very roasty smelling.. nice touch to it. Taste it of roasted nuts, very malty but smooth. Nice mouthfeel and body to it and finishes dry. I haven't had much from this style but I find it smoother than Guinness. While it isn't spectacular, its by the best in their mixed 12 pack (other 3 are below average for sure) and was glad I saved this one for last. Give it a try if you're into Irish stouts.

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Photo of alexgash
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tar black body with a huge (three fingers) of dense, light cocoa brown head. Nice lacing. Smells of baking chocolate, rich, sweetish malts, with plenty of bitter roastedness. Taste starts off with a dry, sharp, roasted bitterness. Almost has a metallic edge to it. Lightly sweet, dark chocolate malt finds its way in mid-palate. Bitterness remains and takes us into a rich, chocolatey, bittersweeet finish. Not bad. Medium bodied plus, with a dry, creamy feel. Not my favorite style, but a good representative of it.

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Riley's Stout from Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.
3.89 out of 5 based on 61 ratings.
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