Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,422 Reviews
Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout

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

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2000

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Reviews: 1,422 | Ratings: 3,356
Photo of corywalston
4.89/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A. Aggressive poor 1 ¾ inch tan head that dissipates to ½ inch. Good carbonation. Color is brownish/black, very little light getting through.
S. Roasted malt, coffee, cola.
T. Smooth creamy, chocolate, coffee, figs, raisins, sweet. After taste is a little soy sauce and coffee.
M. Light syrup.
O. One of the best stouts I’ve ever had. I didn’t believe the hype at first but yes it is that good. Get some NOW. Taste like a RIS little brother. Light buzz for 5.8%. If you want to drink a beer that taste of an imperial stout but you don’t want to get drunk. This is for you.

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Photo of JCRGraphix
4.86/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz bottle to snifter

Appearance-5/5 Beautiful dark beer, pitch black, half a finger of pale beige head, dense lacing on glass, what at stout should look like.

Smell-4.5/5 Nice blend of coffee, chocolate, roasted barley, sweetness, and molasses.

Taste-5/5 Surprisingly good for such a readily available beer. Easy drinking stout, very well balanced with hops and malts, earthy hops evens out the mocha and chocolate flavors. Also, there's a caramel/molasses sweetness that balances out any bitter roastiness. In one (hyphenated) word, this beer is "well-balanced".

Feel-4.75/5 Complex feel with light carbonation. Very smooth without being oily like some other stouts. Pleasant dry finish. Overall a fantastic drinking experience.

Overall-5/5 Fantastic stout and sold year-round. I'm quickly becoming a bigger fan of Sierra Nevada, although I've always been a local supporter (shoutouts to Yellowhammer, Blue Pants, Straight to Ale, and Rocket Republic, woop woop!) I will definitely be drinking this again!

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Photo of acevenom
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours black with a two-finger length tan head. The head dissipates slowly, leaving lacing on the side of the glass. There are strong aromas of dark roasted malts, bitter chocolate, and coffee. I can detect some faint hop aroma as well. The taste is of dark roasted barley malt, bitter chocolate, and coffee. It tastes like it smells, but the flavors are full and bold. There is some bitterness in the flavor as well and the hops provide some of that bitterness as well as extra flavor to go with the traditional stout flavors. This is a medium bodied beer with some carbonation. The mouthfeel is creamy and the beer coats the mouth very well. Overall, this is a most excellent stout and one I'd recommend.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.84/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
5.8% ABV

A - Dense lace is left on the glass after the thick Swiss cheese-looking tan head reduces to chunks floating on the clear, deep, dark mahogany brown brew!

S - An almost perfect balance of chocolate and black patent roasted malts, lactose sweetness and cocoa dryness converge on mocha and bitter molasses for a dark aroma that works wonderfully with it's earthy hop back end.

T - The back end of earthy hops perfectly balances the rich profile of mocha, chocolate-covered coffee bean, and bitter dark chocolate on the finish. Gooey caramel undertones incorporate minor sweetness to keep it's roasted attributes in check.

M - Heavily roasted but well balanced, a touch of acrid bitter dryness on the finish really book-ends the incredibly smooth, subtly carbonated, and soft, full body of this stout for a stellar drinking experience.

O - A style-defining beer, Sierra Nevada's Stout is a classic in every sense of the word. From the bold roasted profile to the smooth chocolate notes, this beer is wonderfully balanced from front to back and, despite it's intimidating nature, is quite easy to drink!

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Photo of Ellbert
4.84/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A beautiful black color with a nice tan head and very nice lacing however, the head does not last very long.

The smell is very good. A lot of hops come through. Very sweet smelling at the same time. A little toffee comes through.

The taste is wonderful. It reminds me of Shakspeare Stout. Very flavorful with pleanty of roasted malts and hops to balance it out. Aftertaste is long lasting which is great. The end of the drink almost taste like some alcohol showing through. Beautiful.

Mouthfeel is good however a little much on the carbonation. The bubbles are a little harsh on the tongue.

A beautiful brew. This now my favorite session beer. The price and the taste is right. I raise my glass to Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of SAxDRC5
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: pitch black with a thick head

S: smells like chocolate and coffee.

T: bitter-sweet chocolate. perfect balance between malty and hoppy. very good. one of the best stouts I've had

M: smooth and creamy. a bit more carbonation than i would prefer in a stout.

D: Perfect. I could have quite a few of these

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Photo of TheSupremeAJ
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Very nice pour from a 12oz bottle with good head- indicative of Sierra Nevada's style. Left a nice lacing down the glass. Poured into a standard plain pint glass a dark, ruby black color with a creamy tan head.

S- Sweet and dark roasted scent. Hints of a vanilla bean like quality. Molasses and fragrant hops.

T- Awesome. My favorite stout. Ive drank through a whole case by myself (not in one sitting...) and I've enjoyed every bottle. I dont like to share these. A very well balanced stout with nice dark barley, evident hops, smooth flavors.

M- A little more carbonated than I prefer however very good. not too tick like some stouts

D- Highly drinkable. I consider this a world class beer,

Bought in 2010 in a case from Shangy's in Emmaus, PA.

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Photo of hotstuff
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This stout poured a large tan head of fine-small bubbles. It left a fair amount of lacing on the sides of my glass. The body was black in color. It had a good coffee aroma to it and a smooth coffee taste as well. All in all, a very fine stout in my opinion.

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Photo of TongoRad
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sample was taken from a six-pack taken from a case dated May/05 (I don't recall the exact date).

It pours an opaque brownish/black color with a tall, finely bubbled long lasting tan dense head. The head eventually settles down to 1/4" and won't go any further, leaving a ton of lacing in its wake. Just by looking at this you can tell that this will be a bold take on the style.

The aroma takes no prisoners- it is quite forceful and gives the impression of many strong elements combining into a cohesive unit. A mocha-like espresso quality dominates but there is also caramel, citrusy hops, malt, alcohol and some blueberries. It is a wonderful bouquet and it is almost miraculous that it can remain so potent throughout the glass while staying on the good side of overbearing.

Not only does the palate not disappoint- it picks up other elements as well. The body is pleasingly full and there is a heck of a kick of hop bitterness. The carbonation is at a high enough level to give it all an almost ethereal quality (if that is even possible). The finish is long riding that espresso with lemon peel wave.

The best thing about this beer is how it maintains its character even after two or three in a row. Note that this beer is meant to be consumed as fresh as possible- after 4 or 5 months it starts to lose a step in the hop department though it still is a heck of a beer.

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Photo of djbreezy
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance - pours rich and dark, tan head, excellent retention, prominent lacing

smell - chocolate, marshmallow, roasted malt, coffee

taste - marshmallow followed by chocolate with a malty finish and a coffee aftertaste...follows the nose almost identically, slight bitterness in the finish

mouthfeel - creamy, smooth, dry finish, medium carbonation, medium body, lightly viscous

drinkability - smooth drinking, good complexity, rich flavor

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

From a nine month old bottle (I'm not even worried).

Look: Pours a mahogany brown hue with a soft, frothy, two finger, burnt cream colored head. Excellent lacing with good head retention.

Aroma: Toasted malt, grapes, chocolate and sugar cookies.

Taste: Balanced, but leaning towards the bittersweet side with moderate notes of milky black chocolate, coffee and italian praline cookies with dry, resinous, charred and woody undertones. Notes of caramel and dried raisins in the background. Really straightforward, but so delicious.

Feel: Full bodied with low effervescence. Decadent and rich, yet crisp and balanced. Bittersweet.

Overall Comments: Pretty damn tasty. Rich bittersweet chocolate flavors with a dry, woody, fruity and hoppy aftertaste. Dark, full bodied, malty, bitter flavorful, thirst quenching... Really excellent stuff. Ages extremely well, even this far out into the beer's shelf life, the malt bill still hasn't overpowered the hops.

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Photo of tonistruth
4.82/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- dark, dark brown, with a big ol' tan head. great retent on that, with lace on the glass.

S- roasted malts is dominant, some hop scent is faint, chocolate scent as well.

T- hops are present but they just fit into the brew, slighty bitter, roasted malt flavor, leaves a sweet chocolate aftertaste.

M- creamy, full bodied and smooth....what more could you ask for.

D- amazing flavors in there, wonderful mouthfeel, i think i found a favorite. I could dream about htis stout. Amazing

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.81/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a half of a finger of caramel-colored head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic, with lots of bready, roasted malt, imparting notes of toasted dark bread, freshly ground coffee beans, dark molasses, a touch of dark chocolate, brown sugar and a touch of subtle smoke.

Taste: Exactly like the aroma, with lots of bready, roasted malt, imparting notes of toasted dark bread, freshly ground coffee beans, dark molasses, a touch of dark chocolate, brown sugar and a touch of subtle smoke.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, creamy and smooth, as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 5.8%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a delicious stout! Great flavors of roasted malt, subtle coffee and smoke, brown sugar-like sweetness and dark chocolate. Delicious!

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Photo of MattyG85
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Pours dark and black with a little brownish ruby red at the bottom edges. Lots of bubbles and a huge six finger deep tan head with great retention. Lots of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Very roasty and bready. Lots of roasted caramel malts with good hints of chocolate, coffee, and nuts. Also some piney hops and a hint of oats. Pretty hoppy smell for a stout. Smells great.

Taste: Great blend of roasty and hoppy flavors. Dark roasted caramel malts with notes of chocolate, coffee, oats, nuts, and toffee. Big presence of piney hops adding some spicy bitterness. An amazing beer. Tastes like a cross between an oatmeal stout and a hoppy black ale.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick body with a moderate level of carbonation. Very creamy. Starts moderately sweet and finishes dry from the hops.

Overall: A really great take on a smaller stout. Great blend of dark malts and hops. One of the better bargains out there.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
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 ironbike1
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is something I have been meaning to review and just got around to it now.

Appearance is typical of American black ales or stouts.
The smell on this stout is incredible, very strong chocolate and caramel scents coming through along with a roasted nutty/oaty scent.
Taste is clean and full of flavor. First thing to hit me is the strong chocolate, then comes the caramel and finally the roasted oats hits with the hoppyness brought in to. I can also taste a bit of coffee flavor although to me it is not present in the scent. Very nice drinking stout that is well balanced, more balanced then some "high" end stouts that you can pay $10 a bottle for. At $8 a six pack this is a great deal and well worth every penny.
Overall I would highly reccomend this stout to anyone interested in trying it. Sierra nevada is a big name but puts out small brewery taste at an affordable price.


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Photo of KarlHungus
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This brew pours a solid black color. The head is two fingers in height, and off white. It is really weird (in a good way) to see a stout with a head this white, it really gives it character. The aroma is of chocolate and roasted malts. It is very relaxing and calming. The taste of chocolate with some coffee in the finish. Coffee, where the hell did that come from? The aroma certainly didn't hint at it, but I sure do like it. The mouthfeel is full bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is one of the most unpredictable beers I have ever had. The appearance is odd, the aroma doesn't disclose the taste, and I love it.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an Ommegang tulip.

A - Poured a watery black with a generous head that built slowly upon pour and sticky lacing. Had an amber glow when held to the light.

S - Caramel, roasted malts, vanilla, cream.

T - Taste follows the nose, but has way more of a chocolate vibe going on. Deliscious.

M - Nice clean after feel. Even carbonation and balanced flavors. Very silky and creamy. Almost milkshake like, but not as thick. Really easy brew.

D - Extremely drinkable stout. I'll definitely be having this again and again and agin.

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Photo of mambiso1123
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Of all places, my local Winn-Dixie had a supply of this on sale, as well as a variety of other SN products. I chose this, and I chose well.

I thoroughly enjoyed this. The taste overall had a nice roasted flavor that all stouts should aim for. Usually I prefer stronger stouts, but at 5.8 ABV this was just nice.

Overall, this is my favorite SN brew at the moment. This will warrant another buy on my part in the future.

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Photo of usmittymc
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured froma bottle into standard pub glass.

A: Almost completey opaque dark molasses brown with a foamy tan white head that disappears slowly and leabes ring after ring of lace around the glass.

S: Malty chocolate and coffee notes. Slight hoppiness to the nose that is not present in other stouts that I have tried

T: Well balanced. Chocolate and coffee flavors are offset nicely by a subtle hop tang.

M: Medium-bodied. A bit slick on the mouth, but not so much that it takes away from the beer.

D: ABV, flavor and body all make this a very drinkable stout. Definitely worth a try. A new standby for me.

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Photo of klintok21
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A dark stout poured into a pub glass from a bottle. Great smell, a coffee type aroma. Seemed bitter at first, but after that, very smooth with the back taste of a bold coffee. Light carbonation leads this to be a great beer. I like this better than Guinness personally.

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Photo of Luigi
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a pitch black color with some brown highlights. Has a large light brown sticky head. The smell is semi-sweet. It has hints of coffee, dark chocolate, and plums. The flavor is pretty much the same. A really smooth full body. Creamy mouthfeel and a dry hoppy aftertaste. I must say this is one of my favorite stouts. It has an awsome balance and perfect drinkability. I am in love!

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Photo of TripelJ
4.78/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle

Perfection. Pours a deep dark chocolate brown with a tremendously huge, sticky, tan head. Nearly 5 minutes have passed since the pour and the head holds steady at 2 inches with nice clumps sticking to the side of the glass.

Initial aroma is dominated by roasted barley, but as the head settled a bit it, the barley balances out with some nice hops.

This stout is a symphony of flavors that begins with sweet chocolate malts, then moves to some mellow roasted barley notes and concludes with equally impressive hops for a bitter and slightly dry finish to balance out the whole beer.

The head is frothy and remains such giving a nice smooth creamy feel to every sip. The body is not as thick as some stouts, but that does not detract from the beer in anyway, but rather enhances its drinkability.

WOW! I am kicking myself for not trying this sooner, especially since it is very easily accesible in my area. A GREAT value as well, this is what a great american stout should be!

Note: I am finishing this night with this beer and drinking it very slowly. As this beer warms up, all the flavors smooth out really bringing them all together. I know this is common for the style, but as this beer is so full of character when cold, it is a worthy mention.

Praise to Sierra Nevada!

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Photo of HappyBivouac
4.78/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a mug from a 12 oz. bottle.

a- Pours an absolutely beautiful dark brown with mahogany notes up to the light. Very solid 2-3 finger head that is wonderfully smooth and creamy and retains well.

s- Well balanced hops and malts here, and an underlying bitterness from roasted coffee/malt and maybe some chocolate, giving the scent a deep and hearty feeling. Fruity notes hit the nose hinting at raisin, apple, cherries, pears with plenty of fruity sweetness. Enticing.

t- Wow. At first drink it's a bit overwhelming. Take a step back and try to figure this out again, slowly. This is not your ordinary stout flavor. Malts are dominant but not overhwhelmingly so. The hops make themselves known and fit in perfectly. At first it's all malts and hops and a bitter chocolate that stays. Then the fuity notes hit. As from the scent, at the very least raisins apples and tangy cherries, maybe even a slight citrus. Leaves behind bisuit malts and chocolate covered cherries, slightly sweet, mostly bitter and tangy. Very well balanced flavor with a fullness and complexity to it.

m- thick and chewy but not overhwhelminly so, and goes down real smooth after you let it linger for a few seconds (which you will do with every drink you take). Carbonation is light to medium. It should be also noted that the head has a very nice creamy feel.

d- Like pretty much any stout this is thick and hearty, but it doesn't have a dominant single flavor that I'd get sick of. I could have several of these and completely mellow out for the evening.

This turned out to be just about the most delicious and interesting stout I've had to date. I've always been a stouts and porters guy, but I think I've just found my new go-to stout, especially at the incredibly reasonable price of $8.50 a 6 pack. Overall completely awesome and worth a try to anyone and everyone.

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Photo of mondegreen
4.77/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Guiness Tulip Pint Glass.

A: Black with dark brown notes on the edges when held up to the light. 2 finger head with decent retention.

S: Roasted barley! Perfect smell for the style.

T: Taste is dead on. Hints of chocolate, coffe, and all the things a stout ought to taste like.

M: Silky smooth. Right where it should be.

D: Could down several of these, which is exceptional given that it is a somewhat thick beer.

Overall, an exceptional example of an American Stout. Sierra Nevada continues to do the basics very very well. Highly Recommended.

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Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 3,356 ratings.
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