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Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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3,467 Ratings

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,467 |  Reviews: 1,459
Reviews by avylover:
Photo of avylover
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Stout in a 12oz bottle. I always overlooked this, and not sure why really, as this is a great beer.

Pours out like a stout should. It's black with a big creamy uneven head..impressive. Aroma of roasted malt, malted milkshake, and a minor floral hop presence. Taste starts off with a roasted coffee and chocalate flavor, then a decent dose of hops hits you, making for a great combination. Niether is too overpowering. The mouthfeel is perfect here - there is just enough carbonation yet the mouthfeel is still slick & creamy. Nice residual taste. The drinkability on this is nice, as it doesn't set too heavy, and it just begs to be drank.
Top notch stout

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
4.66/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of my all time favourite stouts, I could drink this morning, noon or night. Yet it is a perfect lunch time beer to pair up with a hearty corned beef on rye sandwich.

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Photo of doktorhops
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The original Sierra Nevada! As the label states this is the drop that began the now monolithic SN, it’s hard to imagine what the beer world was like without Sierra Nevada... a hell of a lot blander for one... but there was a time not so long ago when beer meant something shit like Foster’s or VB. Like waking up from a bad dream the world has progressed to our current state of beer nirvana: Beervana - now you really can get almost any crazy combination of ingredients ready-fermented in a glass bottle for your enjoyment. So what does this 30 year old recipe have to offer us today? Something easy and agreeable one would hope.

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Sierra Nevada US pint glass.

A: Dark - but not imposing - like a big cuddly brown bear with razor sharp claws and teeth bared... err, not sure that analogy works, but whatever: deep brown body with a wispy tan foam half centimetre head. Leaves decent lacing: Check! 9/10.

S: Roasted toasty grains and chocolate notes along with hints of dark fruits and light smoky aromas. Quite a moreish nose here - though it could, for 5.8% ABV, use a little more heft - not complaining, just noting. 7/10.

T: Classic Sierra Nevada - it doesn’t jump out and shout “Look at me! I’m a beer!” in some sort of weird stein-related costume that gets the wearer arrested for public indecency “Is that a small tap handle coming out of the stein? No, wait!” - it just quietly turns up the dial, not to 11 (this is beer not Spinal Tap) but to something like 8. Compared to the last American Stout I reviewed (Newstead The Outpost) this seminal American Stout is hardly hop-happy, it focuses primarily on roasted malts and the above noted flavours - it doesn’t veer off course. Tasty, tasty malts! 8/10.

M: Medium bodied with a nice light but dense carbonation. 9/10.

D: As stated in my preamble what can Sierra Nevada Stout offer todays’ drinkers? Something easy and agreeable. This brew is exactly that: Easy and agreeable. I’m sure back in the day of bland tastes (30 years ago) drinking this would have been akin to releasing a firestorm on your tastebuds, however today we have so many bolder beers out there. What Sierra Nevada does again is create a respectable base-line standard of a brew in this American Stout that we can all drink after our tongues have been lashed by hearty Russian Imperial Stouts and the like - here’s my cheers to Sierra Nevada for giving us a damn fine regular American Stout on which we can rest our weary taste-buds, cheers! 9/10.

Food match: Hearty Russian Imperial Stouts... or beef stew, whatevs.

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Photo of Dentist666
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown beer with nice tan head, good retention.
All attributes of stout are here, some salinity, good hopping.
Medium body, soft carbonation.
Classics of classics.

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Photo of microbrewlover
4.51/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a solid black with mocha colored sediment suspended in and lying on the bottom of the glass. There is a two finger head which dissipates into a nice collar and heavy lacing.

The smell is full of hops, chocolate, roasted malts and bitter coffee.

The taste follows the nose with the hops forward, backed up quickly by the roasted malts, bitter coffee, chocolate then finishing with more hops. The hop finish is only slightly dry. Some booze leaks through but not much. The feel is thick and bready. This is an American Stout that smells and tastes like an Imperial. Let this one warm up a bit before drinking and you will be rewarded with a better range of smells and flavors.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a medium to dark brown yielding a jet black body with a two inch foamy tan head. The body is too dark for any carbonation to be seen. The head must last at least a good three and a half minutes even after I took several sips. There is some nice foamy rings left. The smell has a nice combination between chocolate and coffee with some added hops. The taste is robust and bold with the previously mentioned smells coming through with an added maltiness. The palate is about a medium and there is nothing harsh on the tongue. It has a decent drinkability. Overall, I would say this is a solid American Stout that I would have again.

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Photo of jkblr
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A : Deep chocolate brown, 100% opaque, with a giant and porous head, beige in color. Leaves lacing in beautiful rings all the way down as it recedes.

S : Lacking. Very weak. At least until the head recedes. A bit of cocoa powder in the aroma, chocolate shavings, maybe some roast malts. A chocolate covered cone of hop comes out too.

T : Very traditional in its take on a black ale, rather than an Americanized stout...it’s less robust, instead choosing to be more subtle with its flavor profile. On it is ground mild coffee, some hop leaf, and burnt malts. It’s not chocolatey, it’s not big, it’s not packed. It’s easy drinking though, and is made up of roast coffee and hop flavors. On the finish is a charred coney hop flavor.

F : Very dense and creamy, first thing I noticed. The carbonation is mild but capable, and ends with a slight dry bite.

O : It’s okay. Many better stouts out there, but this is a no-frills, easy drinking, by-the-book black ale.

edit : this was bottled on 11/20/14.

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Photo of drmeto
3.16/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

-pours the darkest of brown with no light coming through and a medium to big,frothy,sand-coloured head
-chocolate,earthy,herbal,spicy,faint smoke,slight citrus (Cascade Hops perhaps?)
-spicy,herbal,pumpernickel,brown sugar,grainy,astringent,licorice
-medium to high,lingering bitterniss for the style
-low to medium carbonation
-medium body
Not the Type of Stout i usually enjoy.
It's decent.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black with ruby highlights, capped by a light milk chocolate brown crown. The foam is softly pitting and eventually deflates to a thick disk, leaving rings of lace. The aroma is of charred black malt (with more chocolate than coffee) and a snippet of hops.

Wow, is this a chocolate stout? It's more chocolate-like than many chocolate stouts that I've had. It tastes like melted Hershey's kisses were added before bottling. That's a good thing. SNS favors the sweeter side of its personality, which only makes the chocolate comparison that much more vivid.

Hops are present in the background, but don't intrude. The family resemblance to Sierra Nevada Porter is obvious. The finish is long, nicely roasty, chocolate-like and hoppy. The mouthfeel isn't quite as full as I'd like, but it's pretty good all the same.

Sierra Nevada Stout is another solid effort from this brewery. It really should be labeled as a chocolate stout since it most certainly tastes like one. I'm thrilled that it's available locally.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a narrow pint glass: color is solid black, head is light tan with fine bubbles, head presents at least 1 inch thick then dissipates to a solid top with some lacing on the glass.

Smell is light roast, some cocoa, some coffee beans.

Taste is simple but well constructed with moderate roast, cocoa, light coffee notes, light sweetness and grassy hops.

Mouthfeel is crisp, carbonated with pleasant bitterness.

Overall a good solid stout, simple construction with nothing to out off place, maybe some lighter roastiness than anticipated.

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Photo of matcris
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: Black with just some ruby around the edges up to the light. Nice finger + of bubbly, tan head that stays around and leaves a very nice looking lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Lots of dark roasted malt, almost to the burnt stage, but not quite. Some coffee and chocolate notes, as well.
TASTE: Nice, rich, dark roasted quality, some earthy notes, mild chocolate and coffee.
FEEL: Medium thin to medium body, adequately carbed, quite dry throughout the swig.
OVERALL: Nice single stout, maybe the body is slightly lacking a little, but, good flavors overall.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice jet black opaque body, with a nice large head, even when poured into a chalice. Smell is very chocolaty, like frosting, with coffee tones also present, and a little acidity. Taste is full and sharp, acidic coffee tones, dark chocolate and pleasantly bitter hops. A beer that demands to be sipped, and will reward you with even more flavor the warmer it gets. A great stout, which I expected from one of the most consistent micro brewers in the world.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Undated twist off stubbie served in a pint glass.

Black with one finger of creamy light tan that leaves thick and globby lace, and the retention is strong. It settles to a couple cm and holds its ground. Beautiful beer.

Nice roasty malts with chocolate milk, cocoa powder and a little hop bitterness for balance. Nice!

Full dark, roasted malt flavors upfront. A bit of dark chocolate followed by a solid shot of bitter hops. The roasted flavors remain throughout and pair perfectly with the hops with both lasting through the finish. I get the impression that a lot of thought was put into how long the malts should roast in relation to the strain and amount of hops used, or vice-versa. No astringent flavors, no residual hop oil. A rare five for this one.

The mouth is full with the right amount of carbonation and as mentioned above, no unpleasant residuals. A stout this tasty can be nothing but drinkable.

A lot of thought went into this beer, and I can taste it.

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Photo of assmasterson
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black as night. Absolutely no light passes through this one. Frothy foam covers the glass and sticks.

S: Light aroma of hops, dark chocolate with a hint of fruit in the background.

T: As dark as it looks. Hoppy, bitter chocolate up front with a touch of citrus.

M: Nice and thick, coats the mouth and leaves a strong aftertaste.

D: A knockout. A highly drinkable stout that will leave you wanting more.

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Photo of Bung
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Dark brown pour, slight cream foam. Roast malt chocolate aromas. Tastes quite similarly, good amount of miniscule carbonation creates a creamy mouthfeel. Good finish, just a bit of coffee bitterness and very drinkable. This might actually be my favorite SN mass beer.

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Photo of DrJones
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of elglueckert
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of HuppMJH
4.66/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Look - Dark, almost black, with a creamy tan head. The bubbles in the head are very small and fine. A beautiful beer.

Smell - I can almost feel the malt smell as passes through my nasal cavity; unmistakeable. Slightly fruity, but I mostly notice malt.

Taste - The flavor of hops compliments a strong malt taste, which leads to a smooth fruity finish. I can almost taste cranberry and grape hints.

This is Stout. Easily the best Stout beer I've had, and easily ranks among my favorite beers of all time. An offering that I'm proud to call American.

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Photo of Etan
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Spiegelau tulip.

A: Deep black body with brownish hues. Light brown head. Nice retention with lacing.

S: Thick chocolate nose. Milk and baker's chocolate, some notes of milk and coffee, a little smokiness and a good amount of piney hops.

T: Follows the nose with smooth chocolate, some roasty bitterness and coffee notes, and a noticeable presence of piney hops. Sweet vanilla with a spike of dank bitter hoppiness serving as a counterpoint. Hops also lend a bit of fruitiness to the mix. A bit of smokiness in the finish. Complex, smooth, and tasty.

M: Nice carbonation level - creamy. Could be a little thicker.

O: Hopped up without sacrificing balance. Pretty damn delicious.

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Photo of Turbo
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Rizzy17
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Kuaff
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I had my first Sierra Nevada Stout in a mug at cellar temperature.

There's a three-finger, billowy, light-beige head atop a body that's black with brownish-ruby highlights.

Smells like malty milk chocolate, coffee, and earth. Just how a scrumptious stout should smell.

The taste delivers the same delicious chocolate, coffee, and earth of the aroma, in that order. I think there's a little bit of pleasant smokiness and toasted bread in the finish, even. It's excellently balanced between sweet and bitter, and very full-flavored for being an average ABV, standard stout.

It has medium to low carbonation and just drinks real smooth.

One of the earliest craft stouts to be brewed, and a terrific one at that.

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Photo of ToddGingerich
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Photo of ContentmentDIPA
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

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Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 3,467 ratings