Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,409 Reviews
Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout

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

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,409 | Ratings: 3,316
Photo of hyuga
3.66/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nearly pitch black with a beige head which retains exceptionally. Pleasant aroma of dark fruit, prune to be exact, combined with a nice fresh hoppy aroma. Roasted grain and hops combine in a coffee and rind-like bitterness on the palate. Dark chocolate is underneath rounding out the flavor well. Creamy yet tingly mouthfeel. Finish is a bit on the dry side. A good stout with good balance.

 396 characters

Photo of wheatyweiss
3.66/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice.

Huge meringue head that does not recede, it refuses! Dark cola coffee color. Sticky lace all around the glass.

Aroma is a little weak, but I get caramel and coffee, with dark chocolate.

Dark roasted malts with a dry flavor that belies the sweetness.Dates and raisins with a hint of cinnamon alcohol. Dry roasted grains and a nice hop bitterness that balances well.

A little thin on he tongue. Gives more flavor than body.

A great tasting beer, just not a great stout.

 495 characters

Photo of cratez
3.66/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355ml bottle purchased by my girlfriend at Beer World in Largo, FL. Pours an impermeable black with an off-white head and generous amounts of lace. Smell and taste are light roasted malt, coffee, and burnt grains. Port-like, red wine aromas develop as the beer warms. Herbal, citrusy hops produce a spicy bite on the palate. Chocolatey mouthfeel mid-body with a dry, bitter and somewhat leafy finish. Not as bold as I anticipated. Pretty straightforward, but still a good beer. Hop character reminds me of St. Ambroise Stout, without the oatmeal of course.

 556 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada Stout

Appearance- dark brown almost black with a thick frothy head.
Smell- nice roasted coffee bean with chocolate. Chared oak as well.
Taste- roasted coffee with cocoa powder tossed in. Alcohol isn't masked that well.
Mouthfeel- a little harsh. Alcohol is too present.

Overall- a decent stout but aslighty harsh around the edges. If the alcohol could be masked better and tone down the carbonation this would be excellent.

 446 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smooth, creamy and full-bodied - not a summer beer but good anyway. Very dark (not black) with a roasted flavor. Good head that stays and good carbonation.

 156 characters

Photo of currysage1
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Honestly this one was good but for some reason just didn't enjoy it, seemed underwhelming to me. I love Sierra normally too, which is odd. I will have to re-review this again sometime.

Smell was of cold coffee and bitter chocolate.

Taste was of the the same but with a bitter twist.

Mouthfeel was nice and creamy yet dry to the tongue.

 338 characters

Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A highly contagious beer!
The appearance is what you'd expect - dark brown/black with a cap of head on top.

The smell is very mild - subtle...all malts. But there is something that is really inviting in the smell that is difficult to place.

The taste is very smooth - both in flavor and texture. There are many dark malts at work in here. The body is great for having a drinking session - it is heavy but not creamy, so it won't make you feel bloated (as quickly).

 472 characters

Photo of Beastdog75
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This particular brew from Sierra Nevada doesn't seem as "accomplished" as some of their other brews and at times seems to go unnoticed. If you're one of those folks who pass this one by, you are missing a pretty good beer. This is a true to the style dry stout with some of that Sierra Nevada kick to it that will satisfy fans of both stouts and hoppy beers.

This beer pours a very dark brown/near black color that isn't translucent in any way. A large, expansive, cocoa colored head forms and retains quite well, leaving some splotchy lace. The smell is a bit surprising, seeing as how the first aroma that I picked up was some spicy hops. This was followed by some lighter, cocoa-like aromas. The mouthfeel is smooth with very little carbonation. As mentioned, the hops do play a big part in this stout. A citric, hoppy twang that is reminicent of most SN beers is the first flavor I detected here, but it was quickly followed up with some very dark roasted malt flavors. Notes of burntness and dark chocolate were picked up, along with a very slight alcohol flavor. The finish is on the bitter side, with more roasted bitterness and some hop twang making its presence known. Quite a drying experience, I must say. The dry, roasted flavors linger for a bit carrying some dark, burnt coffee and licorice notes, and some of that hop bitterness continues as well. The beer concludes with a bit of alcoholic warmth.

This is definitely a good stout, but I would choose Sierra Nevada's Porter over this for its sheer drinkability. This one is certainly hoppier, less sweet, and maybe even a bit more "in your face" than the porter. A good winter beer.

 1,653 characters

Photo of clvand0
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a dark brown color with a small head that doesn't have much retention and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma has a very light coffee and malt character and is dominated by a hoppiness that is mostly citrus. The flavor is much the same. Some coffee tones, but there is an overbearing hop presence that I think is way out of place for the style. Easy to drink and it has a nice mouthfeel, but I like more malts in my stouts.

 451 characters

Photo of custardcb
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice rich black body and not a hint of light creeping through. A foamy light brown and tan head nestles on the top. Into my stout drinking mug it went with 5 inches of beer and an inch and a half of froth resting on the top. It hung around the entire time I was sipping away

Smell: Malty and nutty with the usual stout aromas. Cold espresso and coffee scents remind me of the tiramisu we made earlier today.

Taste: A mild bitterness and the sharp taste of a stout greet me. More bitter chocolate and a decent amount of hops come running into my mouth.

Mouthfeel: A slight creaminess but overall pretty smooth. Some poor quality stouts almost feel slick and oily this doesn't have it at all.

Drinkability: I can easily put down 2 or 3 of these with out feeling too full or ready to kill over. This is a good alternative if I don't feel like going for the big brother imperial stouts.

 908 characters

Photo of Tucquan
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2012-10-08 in Normal, IL

A - Tawny brown with a 2- finger light tan head and nice lacing.

S - Medium roasted malt with chocolate, a touch of coffee and light char. Pleasingly rich.

T - Citric tart and leafy hops upfront subsume a bit into a moderate hazelnut malt, charred grain, dried plum (witout the sweetness) mild earthy spice, milk chalk and a touch of sour. Finishes with hop and roasted grain bitterness and not much sweetness for balance. Plenty of flavor(s) but not the most appealing ones for my taste.

M - Light-medium body and carbonation. More watery than I like or expected.

O - Meh. Decent but reminds me more of a moderate porter with some zest and char. Not as good as the Founder Breakfast Stout or Porter. I like my stouts to have a thicker mouthfeel and a bigger and richer malt bill.

 826 characters

Photo of colts9016
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very dark brown almost black. There is some clarity in the bottom of the glass. There is a one finger head that is billowy and foamy. The head is dark tan. There was a very little lacing on the glass, not much.

Nose: Roasted Caramelized malt, burnt sugar, esters, chocolate, and coffee. Hints of citrus, phenols, and molasses.

Taste: Roasted malt, burnt sugar, coffee, chocolate, and hops. There are notes of citrus, molasses, phenols, and esters.

Overall: A thin stout with an astringent mouthfeel. I found this stout very plain and boring on the palate. There was not much balance to this beer. I was hoping for more of a malt backbone to stand up to the hops. It was just and okay beer and nothing special, kinda disappointed.

 746 characters

Photo of kflorence
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark, opaque black with thick, tan head that dissipates rather quickly. Looks like a stout shoot, dark and thick.

S: The aroma is of blackberry, molasses, chocolate and roasted malts. There are some hops present but they aren't dominating.

T: This beer offers some complexity: dark chocolate and roasted malts are probably the most prominent, but there is also some fruitiness, some bitterness, caramel, and alcohol present. The lingering flavor is roasted malts and dark chocolate. There's a little hop presence and roasted coffee flavor in there, but it's very subtle.

M: This is a pretty heavy beer. The general mouthfeel is probably more on the watery side than the syrupy side, but its rather on the filling side. I think I could use a little more substance... seems to be a little thin for a stout.

D: Although this beer is pretty tasty, it's also rather filling. The first one will be drinkable, albiet in small sips, but I don't think I'd drink more than one. While the beer is pretty tasty, I think it's a little to heavy to grab a second from the fridge.

 1,079 characters

Photo of Naes
3.64/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one is another jet black beer with a frothy tan head.

Its aroma consists of roasted malt and a bit of chocolate and coffee. It is also a bit burnt to the nose.

The flavor is a nice compliment to its aroma. It starts out with a malt sweetness then progresses to a burnt bready flavor and finishes a little bitter with hops. There is also a bit of alcohol flavor hidden in there as well.

The mouth feel is medium bodied and the carbonation dances on the tongue.

This is a fine example of a stout and is quite consumable. I have had many in the past and will definitely have another some day.

 606 characters

Photo of kelticblood
3.64/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour yielded a tall brown and extremely thick head.The color was an opaque black.Head took forever to reduce so i could take a sip.Left tons of sticky and thick lace.Appearance was exceptional.Aroma's of molasses and sweet chocolate with a hint of hops.A very easy and creamy mouthfeel.Leaves a long lasting bitterness in the back of the throat.Full bodied with a sweet finish.Hints of coffee and smoke flavors.I taste the hops I didnt taste at first now.Overall not bad.A little less bitterness and maybe a higer ABV.Needs a distinct flavor.

 542 characters

Photo of malthead
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great appearance - really black, with nice big grey head that dies gracefully. Smells of chocolate and coffee, with maybe a few other hints here and there. Taste is dominated by coffee, bittersweet chocolate... I do like a good roasted flavor, but this one seems a little too burnt to me, and I'm not entirely sure the hop presence works as well as it could. Strong coffee aftertaste. Very nice mouthfeel, dry with good carbonation to keep it interesting. Good drinkability, if it had slightly less of a bitter, burnt taste, this could be my perfect session beer.

 563 characters

Photo of Turbohio
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours into a dark, nearly opaque appearance with tan head that quickly rises to a solid two fingers. Smell is mild, noticeable but not overwhelming. Nutty aroma complimented with the roast coffee typical with most stouts. Unfortunately there is a slight hint of acetone, that unforgettable acidic smell that is found in some of the cheaper stouts. Taste is roasted malt, lots of hops, coffee, chocolate, and maybe a little caramel (not carmel). Mouthfeel is okay. Lots of carbonation and effervescence for a stout, not very smooth. Drinkability is not really a word but in the case of this beer, where it is easy to quickly consume several in one sitting, that doesn’t seem to matter much.

Two of the best aspects of this beer is it’s price and availability. I’ve seen it compared to Rogue Shakespeare Stout, sold in this part of the world for $3+ per 22oz bomber. At $6.99 per six pack, which can be found in most major grocery stores year round, Sierra Nevada Stout earns it’s way into becoming a great micro-brew.

 1,023 characters

Photo of SamN
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Big soft foamy head of billowy tans and whites. Less rocky than lumpy. Big near-three finger head slowly fades, but leaves only a little lacing. Very black, some strained light visible through glass. A few suspended particles from yeast cake being disturbed, but nothing outrageous.

S- Subdued malt and hops balance. No real chocolate aromas, mostly roasted tow row, some metallic edge. A little bland.

T- Again, a little subdued. Roasted malt present, obviously, and a twangy finish of whole cone hops, but surprisingly little of that big bold stout flavor. Hoppier finish, lingering bitter stickiness. Sucking air through the beer brings out bittersweet chocolate and coffee. Should I really need to work extra to taste a stout?

M- Medium bodied, less than I expected. Too much carbonation comes through it's thinner body. Still, it flows well enough on the palette.

D- Decent. Not what I expected from thesame company that brought the best damn American Porter. Still, it is a sessionable beer in the dead of winter. Perhaps food pairing would benefit this beer...

 1,075 characters

Photo of THECPJ
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 3/5/2011

Appearance: dark brownish black with a 2 finger mocha colored head.

Smell: Roasted / Toasted Barley, Malts,

Taste: Toasted Barley, Sweet Malts,

Mouthfeel: Mild Carbonation, medium body,

Drinkability: This is an all around great stout. What stouts used to be. Before they started adding all these flavors to the beer.


the CPJ

 360 characters

Photo of PaleAlien2
3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Smells bready and malty. Better go get a knife and fork for this bad boy.

A good dry stout. It's very crisp and finished quite bitter. Has a smoky flavor almost like a porter. The mouthfeel is surprisingly thin though for a stout.

Not one of my favorites but decent.

 270 characters

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

12 ounce bottle served cold in frosted pint glass

A) Very dark, even black with short mahogany head that settlesfast

S) Cooked dark fruit, chocolate, mild spice

T) Smooth and drinkable. This is a mild stout with a hint of espresso, burnt chocolate and molasses

M) A bit thinner than it's famous Irish cousins. Ample carbonation and mild esthers. Mild bitter aftertaste

O) A good example of classic stout

 408 characters

Photo of nasty15108
3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Poured dark brown/black with slight reddish hues. The pour produced a foamy tan head with plenty of sticky lacing throughout.

S - Roasted malts with hints of bitter chocolate.

T - Slightly sweet at first with hints of smokey burnt espresso. Finished very bitter with some hints of alcohol.

MF&D - I found it to be fairly thin for a stout. Coats the mouth decently but leaves a very bitter aftertaste. Worth a try.

 466 characters

Photo of bobhits
3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours fairly light brown for a stout, but turns black as expected. A watery brown light shows around the edges. Not much head to speak of here. Less than 30 seconds it is more or less gone.

Sweet vanilla, a slight dark chocolate,

Burnt, sweet, then bitter hops. A bready and dark fruity finish that's pretty darn nice. I think part of this sweet flavor is perhaps an odd sweet coffee like flavor and then enhanced with some earthy hops. All this while being sweetened by the malt. I have to say this is a darn good stout. After having been fully unimpressed with Samuel Smith, I'm glad Sierra is here to make things right!

Just carbonated enough in the mouth, just enough body, damn well made stout. Most stouts are either imperial sippers or they lack the sipper qualities needed to enjoy and savor a stout. Unless you find stouts refreshing summer beers...well this is just ideal.

 886 characters

Photo of CortexBomb
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out nearly pitch into a pint, but you can still see light through it if you hold it up. Surprisingly large amount of head for a stout.

Scent is mainly dominated by a nutty aroma while the flavour is a strong burnt yet creamy malt taste with a goodly amount of bitterness that comes on late and then lasts for quite some time.

Mouthfeel is decent, lighter than I'd like, and very carbonated, yet it still has a bit of thickness to it. Drinkability is high though because the creamy flavour manages to tone the intense stouty-ness down a tad.

Overall a decent stout, and slightly unique because of the creamy factor.

 630 characters

Photo of alcstradamus
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A--Pours a very dark brown that highlights red when held up to the light. You can get pretty much as much of the tan head as you want with this depending on the pour. Good lacing

S--Smells sweeter than most stouts, but it is a very pleasant hoppy sweetness...unfortunately its pretty much the only scent I get

T--Creamy malts and a nicely balanced hoppy bitterness. No bold flavors present but that is not what this beer is trying to be

M--Coats the mouth in oily goodness

D--This would be a great session stout but not much else. So it scores high for "volume" but low for "desire"

Good overall stout, probably a great introductory stout to get people used to the style but its not something I want to come back to after exploring the rest of what the world has to offer. Still, this is fairly widespread distribution and is definitely worth trying for those who have not done so.

 886 characters

Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,409 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.