Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Stout - American
Ranked #39
Ranked #4,393
4.08 | pDev: 10.78%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Notes: Sierra Nevada Stout s a full-bodied American version of the traditional black ale. It is perfectly balanced with big roasted malt flavors and earthy, whole-cone hops.

In 1980, when we were building our fledging brewery, we needed a beer with bold flavors to test the new, hand-built brewhouse. That first brew was a stout rich with roasted malts and earthy, whole-cone American hops. We liked that original stout so much that we've kept it as we've grown. Decades later it still reminds us of that early pioneering spirit.
Reviews: 1,471 | Ratings: 3,508 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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StJamesGate from New York

3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Viscous jet flecked with garnet with a rimming finger of taupe froth; prune, ash + black grape on the nose; sticky toffee, Lyle’s treacle, raisin, dark roast coffee, slight wood smoke + an assertive pine tar ending; medium, smooth, bitter.

4 4 4 3.75 4

Jan 21, ‘21 bottling date - 5 months old.
Very much not a modern stout: doesn’t club you with roast, instead giving something far layered (after all, the malt bill is Caramel, Munich, Chocolate, Carafa, Black, Roasted Barley.) What it lacks in punch, it makes up for in depth. The body lets it down a bit, though I had to constantly remind myself that this was only 5.8%. And age might be a factor here, but I was wishing for a bit more Cascade oomph on the finish.

A classic for what it is, but a bit out of step with current tastes.

More full-bodied, lower carb, more bitter, fruitier, roastier, hoppier, chewier, and smoother than Sierra Nevada Porter.

Aug 04, 2021
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Sigmund from Norway

3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

350 ml bottle, at Café Luna, Aalborg. ABV was 5.8%. Served in a "Trappistes Rochefort" (!) glass. Black colour, low beige head. Nice moderately roasty aroma and flavour, notes of mild coffee and dark chocolate, well balanced hops in the finish. Smooth and pleasant to drink - would buy again.

May 09, 2021
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jjamadorphd from Florida

3.74/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This stout is definitely another offering from SN that does not disappoint. Beautifully dark in appearance, malty to the nose and slightly so to the tongue, the mouthfeel was more watery than I prefer but the carbonation was about right. Overall, a delicious stout, simply named to the style...

Feb 07, 2021
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teromous from Virginia

3.87/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the back label: "PKGD 08/20/20 14:20"

Appearance: Black body with a short off-white to lightly tan head. The head has a creamy texture with some large bubbles. Not much retention as it fades rather quickly to a fat ring with some rafts of large bubbles. There is some spotty retention.

Aroma: There is a medium strength pine and burnt wood aroma. It smells charred.

Taste: There is a pine presence with soft notes of lemon. It tastes like burnt sugar and a light bit of burnt coffee. The flavor is mild and pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a dry finish. The beer is easy to drink and has a nice roasted bitterness.

Overall: It's a fantastic beer if you like a decent hop presence in the beer and aren't afraid of a rich char flavor. The beer is very easy to drink and it tastes excellent. I would buy it again and I would recommend it.

Dec 03, 2020
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CTHomer from Connecticut

3.72/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: opaque; very dark brown in color; 1 finger medium brown head that receded to a skim cap; OK lacing;

S: deeply roasted grain;

T: deeply roasted grain; a little black licorice; mild to moderate bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: I liked the hint of licorice;

May 01, 2020
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joaopmgoncalves from Portugal

4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured to a BrewDog snifter.
Bought at CoolaBoola CoLab Coimbra.

A: Body is dark and not very clean and low density as expected. This is rich, shows medium to high body and creates a beautiful dark beige head with 2 inches thick. This looks good.
S: The aroma is very to the point with very forward notes of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and small hint of hops.
T: The taste starts off with a small sweetness coming from the chocolate-y notes and from the malts, then moving on to where the party. is, the bitterness section of the tongue where the dark chocolate notes meets the coffee bitterness and comes together with a revolving and yet smooth hoppy tone. Brilliantly executed.
M: Body is medium to high. Carbonation is good. Alcohol is unnoticed.
O: This is a very good classical Stout. I like this one.

Apr 03, 2020
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JJKBeerLvr from Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into pint glass in March 2020. There is a bottled on date of 23Dec2019 on the bottle. I drank this about 2 weeks after purchase.

Appearance: Deep black color with thin tan head. Head lasted a short time, and left a very thin head. There was a nice amount of lacing on the glass, especially for a stout.

Smell: Subtle aroma in the room while the beer was being poured. Strong aroma of smoked malt and some coffee. Also some pine aroms. Overall the malt and coffee aromas dominates the others.

Taste: Strong taste with a slight bitter hops edge. There is a typical smoky malt flavor but with some hops bite. This is a strong edge, and it has a very nice after taste that lasts a long time. Overall a nice balance and very drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, which makes this very drinkable. It is smooter than an imperial stout, but not as smooth as a milk stout or another stout like Guiness. Medium alcohol which matches the 5.8% listed.

This is a very good and interesting American Stout. It has a nice mix of smoked malts, coffee, hops, and other flavors, which makes it enjoyable. I like the overall balance, and none of the flavors dominate the others too much. It has more of a hop edge than many other stouts with medium alcohol do.

Mar 31, 2020
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unlikelyspiderperson from California

4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Lovely deep walnut wood color with an absolutely towering cafe con leche colored head of perfect stable foam. Looks good enough to eat with a spoon. Lovely.
Smell is lightly sweet and roasty, reminiscent of a nice cup of coffee or even of Dandiblend for anyone who's tried that particular coffee substitute.
Taste features that trademark SN C hop flavor with pine, rose, and light citrus laid over a nice smooth dark chocolate malt scene. Super nice
Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, a super welcome break from the heavyweight stouts that are common today. Not watery at all but light enough that drinking a few isn't daunting.
Overall this is a wonderful beer and another reminder of why SN is absolute OG in the american beer scene. Another classic hit whose simple elegance makes a lot of this everything-but-the-kitchen-sink, wine strength, hyper limited, $50 stouts look like a big ol waste of time. Drink this beer if you like stouts

Mar 20, 2020
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TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz single from Bine and Vine in San Diego.
Pours a solid black (?very dark brown) with 2 fingers of creamy tan head.
Aroma is slightly nutty, roasty, chocolate malt, espresso, with a clear mildly piney hop presence.
Taste is smooth and roasty, espresso, dark chocolate, burnt caramel, nutty - mildly bitter and earthy, with that touch of pine.
Medium mouthfeel - deliciously smooth with crisp bittersweet finish.

Feb 20, 2020
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From old, undated notes. Poured from the bottle.

Pitch black liquid.

Khaki head; thick lace.

Hops & chocolate nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Slight pickle juice mix; this is more like a hearty black IPA than a stout. Decent but unremarkable.

Oct 13, 2019
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DFred from California

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown with a dense head about one finger thick. Nice balance between toasted malt and hops--strikes the right balance--great mouthfeel. Very good beer!

Jul 08, 2019
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Beer_Right_Back from Arizona

3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A really good balance between a sweet syrupy milk stout and a more intensely flavored, bitter stout. Sierra Nevada has found perfect middle with this one, even if there are some hollow notes that we could go without.

Jun 15, 2019
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rapayn01 from Kentucky

3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had a bottle of this in January, though the bottle said it was packaged in September. It had a quite bitter taste, with hints of coffee and dark cocoa. I'd need to try it again to form a stronger opinion.

Apr 26, 2019
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penguinsgoboom from California

4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a thick multi finger head. Almost completely opaque. Dark dark dark nutty brown. Impressive retention and lacing.

S: Chocolate, nutty, coffee. Classic stout

T: Simple and clean. Starts off with a decent roasted bitterness, then coffee, chocolate, nutty, and rich maltiness enters the picture. After a beat, everyone bows out. Slightly sour and bready.

O: The blueprint stout. Not over the top, no off notes. Simple and well done.

Nov 28, 2018
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SmokySignals from North Carolina

4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very dark brew with orangey brown highlights against white screen . Easily pours a nice foam head that lingers and emits earthy aromas of heavily roasted grains and a "woodsiness" character that I find in repeatedly in Sierra brews.

Tastes follow the nose, with a quick richness that fades into bitter-roast, then faint grains and a nice thin watery ending that makes you reach for the glass again. Rich, chocolate roasty bitter and enough body to balance it out.

If you like great dark beer in general, try a Sierra Nevada Stout.

Nov 26, 2018
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SB2017 from Iowa

3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer looks beautiful, almost black, mostly opaque, with a lovely and long lasting head of light brown foam. Impressive lace after. Plenty of hops on the nose, with good wheat notes in with the darker, roastier ones. A little too bright and sour overall. At first, the beer tastes very little like a stout. It's overly sour, with very little chocolate in there. After a while the flavor peters out into a dark, mild IPA. The full body of this beer, however, rounds it out well and makes for a serviceable brew.

Aug 11, 2018
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jkblr from Indiana

4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottled 5/15/18 (58 days ago) poured into a tulip pint glass at fridge temp 5.8% ABV. The beer pours nearly black with ruby highlights and sticky chocolate tan colored head. The head recedes to a cap and leaves some lacing. The aroma is pleasant with roasted malt and dark chocolate. The taste is roasty and a little hoppy. The ending bitterness is noticeable and seems to be half hops & half dark roasted malt. The mouthfeel is medium to thin bodied, adequately carbonated and mostly dry in the finish. Overall, delicious and the quintessential American stout.

Jul 12, 2018
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rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a goblet.

L---Darkest brown color. Thick tan head faded to a cap almost immediately. Left very good lacing.

S---Roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Malts are dominant.

T---Taste follows the nose, but is more powerful. Coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malts. Excellent.

F---Thick & chewy, just like i want a stout to be.

O---Excellent beer. It's hard to believe I've never had this until now. I'll be looking for it in the future.

Jul 04, 2018
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jamesroses from Argentina

3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Goid head of small bubbles dissapears rather quickly.

Roasted malts, some coffee and herbal hops both in aroma and taste.

Mouthfeel is a bit watery and a light coffee/ herbal aftertaste.

Good stout.

Jun 27, 2018
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stevoj from Idaho

3.44/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark and smoky, but not as thick and chewy as a Guinness. Small creamy head on an almost black body. Small bite at the finish. Solid stout, but just better than average.

Jun 20, 2018
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EMH73 from New York

3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a half inch, well retained head that left a lot of lacing. Smells and tastes of roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, molasses and a hint of hops on the finish. Medium bodied for the style, medium carbonation, creamy mouth feel.

May 26, 2018
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cyclonece09 from Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours pitch black with a fluffy light brown head. Smells of coffee and chocolate, nice combination, but a tad weak. Tastes of coffee and chocolate, a lot fuller than the smell. Beer is full bodied and very easy drinking, good carbonation. Overall, a very good beer.

May 17, 2018
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Harrison8 from Missouri

4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a finger of khaki foam that retains well with a thick blanket of lacing left behind. Aroma is roasted, toasted, caramel, and toffee malts. Flavor profile ushers in loads of flavor, hitting notes of roasted, toasted, and caramel malts along the way. Splendid simplicity and yet wonderful depth. Mouth feel is medium in thickness with a velvety smoothness. Overall, a great, simple stout. Good malt notes through and through without any flavor additives or barrels.

Served in a 12oz snifter from a 12oz bottle.

Apr 27, 2018
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KennyDerenbecker from Louisiana

4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A classic American stout with chocolate and coffee aromas that is very pleasing! If you’re not used to drinking stouts at all, this is a great beginner beer that will show you what a stout truly is. Easy drinking and smooth. Can’t go wrong with this one!

Mar 24, 2018
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jkrich from Florida

4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a freshness dated 12 oz. bottle: nearly jet-black with a nice, sustained, beige head.

Hints of molasses, chocolate and licorice in the aroma.

The flavor begins with a surprisingly tangy hop profile that is followed by traditional stout flavors of highly roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate and caramel. Not a bit cloying, this stout is very quaffable

The perfectly balanced stout with just enough body to keep it interesting but not enough to overwhelm the palate. After the slightly smoky and roast-like flavors settle on the palate, some faintly bitter hops linger on the back of the tongue.

It has been a few years since I have enjoyed a stout; indeed, I have not seen Sierra Nevada's stout in several years at least. Glad to see it has returned to northern Florida. According to the new label, this is a "West Coast Style" stout. Regardless of name or style, this is excellent and highly recommended.

Jan 21, 2018
Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 3508 ratings