Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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1,413 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

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Reviews: 1,413 | Ratings: 3,324
Photo of laituegonflable
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown colour, bordering on black, with surprisingly pale beige head. What's also surprising is its proportions, but pleasantly so, with nice froth producing 3 fingers of thickness. Sinks steadily and leaves only minimal traces of beige lacing behind. A bit... renegade? in places, but a good-looking beer.

Smells very tasty. Lots of dark, roasty characters that are also nicely sweet, with nothing intense or charred to them. I think it's because there's a really distinct West Coast hoppiness to it as well, which just adds a delicious layer of 'fresh' to the toasty bitterness. But lots of chocolate and caramel malts and some cola sweetness, plus a touch of pine wood and citrus. Very appealing nose, American aromatics at their best.

Taste is enjoyable similar. Malty for large parts, with a significant nod to the dark. Chocolatey, with rich cocoa on the front that descends into more bitter territory with hints of espresso coffee and licorice. Pleasant hop character comes through on the finish, doesn't quite 'clean up' but provides an interesting contrast to the dark bitterness, which wins superiority in the fight for finishing flavours. This is decidedly American in character, providing a big "fuck you" to mediocrity and a unique twist on conventional stout flavours. Damn tasty.

Good texture, all the way down. Lots of body but nothing too heavy. Has a slight residual dryness that almost feels viscous, but apart from that niggle, damn close to perfection.

I've learnt in the past couple of weeks that this bottle is a "grey market" import to Australia. Worrying as this could be, I think the folks at SN needn't be overly concerned in this case because this beer I'm drinking is damned delicious. I can only imagine how good this would be fresh and, God willing, I'll be re-reviewing this in California some day.

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Photo of Rob6852
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been hearing good things about this stout so i gave it a go.
It poured a dark brown/black color with a big tan head that hung
around for the whole beer and left lacing all the way down.
Smell was of burnt malt, hops and coffee.
This was a thick but not overly thick stout, not bad at all.
Taste was bitter but pleasent with the bitterness hitting the back
of the tounge and had a verry good coffee like taste, at least to me,
that went down smooth. The alcohol content of this beer gives this
beer some kick so drink slowly and enjoy.

This is a damn good stout. Of the ones that i have tried i would put
this near the top of them.
Highly recommended if you like this style of beer.
Try it sometime and you will be happy that you did.

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Photo of Denali
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Package: 12-ounce bottle. Unknown vintage (I assume it is 2003).

Appearance: Thick opaque black with small tan head that dissipated quickly.

Smell: Strong roasted malt and alcohol aroma.

Taste: Initial roasted/burnt malt flavor. Alternating chocolate and coffee flavors come next. Nice bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Thick and a bit chewy. Light carbonation.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable.

Comments: Very delicious brew. The chocolate and coffee tastes keep fading in and out and trading places with one another. Wonderful burnt and roasted flavor too. The flavors complement one another extremely well. Thank you Keith (stegmakk) for the bottle.

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Photo of dizknee24
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a Dark but not jet black like some other stouts of note. Head was quite bubbly. Actually this beer was quite carbonated for a stout. Smelled of roast nuts and maybe a hint of dark chocolate. Taste matched the smell to a T. I liked this allot. I like the fact that they didnt care to think of a name so they named it stout. oh well lots of potential to add a great name to this so it gets more recognition maybe. I liked it will be getting more of it.

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Photo of 9InchNails
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice creamy brown head with good retention that fades away into a film. Very dark body with crimson in the middle -- while the glass is held up to the light. Some noticeable bubbles through the dark body. Decent lacing sticking to the glass.

Coffee, caramel, dark chocalate and a nice hop profile that makes it's presense known. One of the best smelling Stouts I have ever laid my nose into.

Chocolate and coffee in the beginning, somewhere in the middle dark fruits and smoke are evident, then bitter hops show up at the end. Very tasty stout!

Medium creamy body that engulfs the mouth. It leaves the lips a little sticky. Noticeable carbonation but more on the lighter side. No alcohol heat. It leaves the mouth feeling a little dry from the bitterness but overall the mouth is left moist.

I'm really glad I decided to go with this stout. One of the best tasting, feeling and smelling stouts around. The balance of the robust roasted flavors blend beautifully with the bitterness -- it really makes this a treat for a cool night.

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Photo of Murph
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours blacker than black with a great two finger tan head that last all the way down and rings the glace. Smells of roasted malts, coffee, slight chocolate, and bitter hops dominate. Taste starts off with some roasted malts which then changes to a coffee flavor with a faint bitterseet chocolate taste in the background. Great bittering hops make this truly an american stout. Nicely creamy and extremely drinkable. This is a great american stout, right up there with Rogue's Shakespeare.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Poured dark brown with a finger of bubbly light brown head. Some good lacing.

S - Dark roasted malts and coffee. Some toasted hazelnut in the background.

T - Chocolate, coffee, dark roasted malts. Some nutty flavours in the background. An excellent overall palate.

M - Medium body, lightly carbonated.

D - An outstanding stout. Another great Sierra Nevada beer.

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Photo of Riccymon
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Honestly, I could drink no other American stouts than Sierra Nevada's and be quite happy. Pours from the bottle at just a bit below room temperature with two fingers of gorgeous cappuccino head. Not much lacing, but it looks better than many with the amount of head you can expect from a SN beer. Smells a little earthy with notes of coffee, but also a good hop presence.

Flavor includes loads of bready malt with just a touch of grapefruit hop flavor and coffee in the finish. Body is very creamy and soft, with the smoothest of finishes; just terrific.

Let this beer warm up a great deal, and it's one of the best American stouts you'll taste and worthy of drinking year round. What an underrated gem.

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Photo of FrothFanatic
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep black with a thick creamy head, get a lot of lacing retention, and a very smooth pour. Feels fantastic on the palet, just real smooth and creamy, almost as if I am drinking a chocolate malt smoothie that isn't too thick, but thick enough. Taste? Delicious. Perfectly bitter and sweet, nothing overpowering just a well balanced stout with good roastiness. Love it, Sierra Nevada never lets me down.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours black as night with some faint mahoghany highlights around the edges with a light brown head and some lacing.

In the nose is caramel malt and spicy, piney hops. Smells full of flavor not too sweet or bitter.

Tastes full like a savory meal - a bready fullness - then the bitter hops pop in the back of your mouth followed by caramel sweetness towards the front. The sweetness doesn't come through - it mainly tames the bitterness for a delightful mouthfeel and excellent taste. Ends with a nice chocolate coating a little on the bitter side = very nice.

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Photo of Randolph96
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a beer mug. Wonderful colour! It was hard for me to smell. Taste, well tastes like roasted grain, nice amount of bitter. Mouthfeel is hearty. A stout well done.

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Photo of steelreign
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the greatest, commerically available stouts you can get. I have been a long time fan of most all SN brews, but this one just takes the cake. Smooth, creamy chocolate roasted smelling head, dense mouthfeel with good carbonation, and a taste of dark chocolate, roasted black patent and a nice hop finish. What a great beer!!

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Photo of Scrapss
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this beer. Great Stout with both depth and drinkability. Initial impression is a complex and deep flavor, lots of traditional stout notes present but Sierra Nevada is known for Hops and there's some in there. Smell is like a chocolate/coffee in the morning, deep and rich. The taste is smooth as butter for such a complex beer. Mouthfeel is full and strong, thick like a stout should be. drinkability, well, I love Guinness Stout and Extra Stout....and I'd "session beer" with this over anything else in the stout family. A winner all around! Try it!

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark, with a nice head the pat retains lighter color. Much lacing.
S- Barley, chocolate
T- roasted barley, chocolate toffee, with. Good chunk of hop for a stout. The hop lingers more than most stouts. Hops slightly enter the nose.
Feel busier than most stouts.
Overall a great stoud with the roasted barley, chocolate notes and the hop really stands out but does not go too far for a stout. I likey.

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Photo of jwc215
4.49/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours ptich black with a very thin head that immediately becomes thin spotted patchiness. Color on target, could use better head retention.

Very nice aroma - Robust, roasted coffee, hints of dark fruits, hints of chocolate - subtle, underlying smokiness. This is one complex and inviting aroma.

The taste of roasted coffee beans gives it a mild smokiness. Sweet dark grains balanced by bitter, roasted character. Nice balance of sweet and bitter. Hints of dark fruits and a suggestion of chocolate round it out in the long finish.

The feel is smooth, full, creamy and rich (without being overly thick). Nice texture, coating.

Alcohol is well-hidden. Easy to drink with a rich, complex body. An American stout with influence from a traditional English stout. This is a wonderful brew.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.49/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a deep black with a reddish tinge appearing in the head. The aroma is complex - I get banana, oats, brown sugar, and apple. The flavor lead with rich brown sugar, folloed by smoked, dark chocolate, and a hint of coffee. The mouthfeel is full but not to rich. This is a seriously impressive stout.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz short brown twist cap bottle. Thin layer of sediment from bottle conditioning.

Appearance: A smooth black with leather hues around the edges and a creamy tan head with great retention.

Smell: Rich dark and on the dry side hints of fruit esters and grain aromas with a full earthy hop leaf nose, notes of ripe plum and light molasses are also detected.

Taste: A creamy full bodied brew with a roasted barley bitterness, notes of chocolate and a touch of caramel. High hop bitterness to balance that begins light, turns sharp and slightly tingly, eventually imparting its earthy flavour in the aftertaste and complementing the dry bitterness left from the roasted barley. The aftertaste stays with you for a very long time.

Notes: One of our favourite stouts; a well balanced brew showing both malt and hop complexities without one being the more dominant.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at Woodman's West here in Madison.

Pours a midnight black under a thick, rocky oatmeal head that fades to a long-lasting skim. Nose is quite hoppy for a stout, almost minty with a heavy dose of cocoa powder. Taste is bitter roasted malt up front with the minty hops, coffee grounds and cocoa powder. Mouthfeel is creamy but not too rich. This is VERY similar to their porter which was also heavy on the minty hops and cocoa. Just a very well put-together stout. For what it is, it's almost flawless. I'm a sucker for hoppy dark beers. Parallels to Alpha Klaus as well, without the ridiculous overpricing.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Soft Cascades greet the nose as soon as the bottle is opened. It pours an opaque black body topped by a foamy light tan head that holds well and leaves nice lace throughout the glass. As it warms, the nose also reveals some chocolatey and roasty malt. The medium body is enhanced by a very fine carbonation from bottle conditioning that tingles the tongue! The flavor is quite intense; loaded with such deep, sharp roasted character (low pH), citrusy hop flavor, and yeasty fruitiness that it almost seems tart at the first sip. But it's decidedly bittersweet with more dark caramel, chocolate, and bold bitterness appearing as it warms. It's surprisingly complex with the Cascades remaining in the nose and making occasional appearances in the flavor. It finishes quite dry with a lingering chocolate/roast maltiness that fades to reveal rising bitterness and an eventual residual shadow of Cascade hop flavor. Well-balanced and complex. This is clearly an overlooked gem in the Sierra Nevada crown.

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Photo of studentofbeer
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep brown, with barely discernable red highlights through light. a great tan head puffs up and keeps a cap on the beer the whole way down, as rings of lace descend with each sip.

aroma is deep roasted malts, milk and bitter chocolate, some black cherry like Dr. Brown's when you give it a good swirl. the nose gets sweet and almost bubble-gum like at warmer temperatures and lots of swirling and sniffing.

smooth roasted malt, with a great chocolate backing and just a hint of the black cherry on the sides of the tongue. some coffee comes through at the end with the hops. nicely bitter, with a hint of sweetness in the finish, like the malt doesn't want to let the hops get the last lick in. Very well balanced with a good interplay between roast, hops and sweeter malt.

relatively creamy, but with enough carbonation to really get the hop bitterness going. easy to quaff, tho perhaps a bit strong at 5.8% for a session drink. nice and complex, this stout seems very versatile, and is a good mark for what defines a stout.

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Photo of Hagbard
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada makes a sublime stout!

A prodigious tan head forms and eventually recedes, leaving a lacing down the sides of the glass. The beer is black, no light penetration so clarity is obviously not an issue. The aroma is full of wonderful smells. The roasted barley imparts hints of coffee, which are joined by bittersweet chocolate, cocoa, and just a hint of hoppiness in the background. The taste is very similar. The bitter coffee flavor imparted by the roasted barley is the major element, but the chocolate is also there in the background. It finishes with just the faintest bit of hop flavor, making it very unique. Extremely smooth and creamy, this beer should be held up as the standard for the style. Just a fantastic beer that goes down so easily. It's a shame I always forget about it, because it always amazes me when I rediscover it.

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4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled 1/31/11. Bottle to pint glass.

A: The huge 4 finger head is light brown, frothy and not going anywhere anytime soon. Mousse-like in texture and deflating as massive pockets of air are created. Stratus layers of sticky, BB shot lace in abundance. The body is extremely dark brown with ruby edges.

S: Heavy chocolate hits the nose first. Then an above average hoppy presence of pine, grass and resin.

T: Long lasting flavors of sweet milk chocolate, cocoa powder and Hershey's syrup is countered by a healthy amount of piney bitterness.

M: Full body with a creamy texture. Perhaps a little chewy too. Swirl or let it breath to release the extra carbonation.

D: No miss-steps here. Sierra Nevada's Stout is a half point from being perfect in every category.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Southern Tier tulip-style glass. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours an almost fully opaque black color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains well before decaying to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and plentiful surface foam. Very good lacing that's slow to collapse.

S- A firm roast nose with hints of coffee and a bit of chocolate. Also quite earthy and herbal.

T- Bold roast notes that immediately latch onto the palate but give in before too long to release the food notes of coffee, chocolate, molasses, etc. Incredibly balanced and rich.

M- Semi-viscous with medium carbonation and a robust body.

O- I've had the porter before which I feel is just OK, so I assumed the stout would be the same. I was sorely mistaken. One of the most enjoyable SN beers I've ever had.

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Photo of Pegasus
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep mahogony brown in color, all but opaque. Massive caramel covered cloudtop head can barely be contained by a pint glass and seems to last forever. Five minutes after pouring it was still one and one-half inches thick with lots of sticky lace.

Aroma: Aroma of dark roasted malts, dark fruits, earthy hops, and a slight note of brown sugar.

Taste: Flavor is wonderfully complex, begins with the dark roasted malt flavors which carry the taste throughout, but there are also bitter cocoa flavors, coffee, and strong, but not overpowering earthy hops.

Mouth feel: Rich and smooth, with a slight tingling on the tip of the tongue.

Finish is dry and a touch bitter with a slight sting of carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: This is a beer whose merits can scarcely be overstated.

Presentation: Packaged in a short twelve ounce bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A gift from Mr. Niles.

Pours dark brown, looks opaque black in the glass. Large head that settles into solid retention. Lace aplenty. At first sniff I immediately thought of chocolate fudge brownies. Roast malt and leafy hops balance the chocolate sweetness. Taste is again, chocolate fudge brownies, esspresso notes and burnt caramel. Leafy hop presence.

Solid all around and balanced in every aspect: a near perfect beer.

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Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,413 ratings.
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