Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,413 | Ratings: 3,324
Photo of thetachibro
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - In my Nonic Pint glass it pours a dark brown with a nice tan two finger head that shrinks down to one leaving a fair amount of lacing down the glass.

S - A coffee and chocolate smell with a nice hint of hops

T - the taste is smiliar to a lot of stouts that i have tried. a very nice roasted\chocolaty taste with some slight bitterniss...very pleasing

M - a medium to full bodied mouthfeel however just a little watery but not too much

D - i can see myself sitting down and enjoying a nice six pack of these

 522 characters

Photo of heath1agnew
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance- nice dark brown to black color. i wasn't able to get a very long lasting head out of this but the beer did show signs of lacing.

smell- roasted malts and barley.

taste and mouthfeel- wow. this is the best tasting stout i've had so far. nice roasted flavors with a touch of dark chocolate in the finish. mouthfeel was creamy with a nice balance of carbonation.

drinkability- great easy drinking stout.

 415 characters

Photo of storksonm
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint Glass

Its a nice dark stout. Pours a nice tan head that stayed the whole drink. Smells like hops and sweet roasted barley. A very smooth stout. Great mouthfeel and light coffee tastes. Creamy. Really the whole time I was drinking this beer I thought, "This is what a stout should be if you were explaining a straight up stout to someone." Nothing way out there and not nasty, just a very nice stout that really shows you that brewing is a finely balanced craft.

 467 characters

Photo of AlesRTasty
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - creamy tan head with nice retention. Dark brown colored and fairly opaque.
S - full of roasted malt aromas with some hints of hops
T - delicious coffee and chocolate roasted malt goodness with nice crisp hop flavors (it's my first 5)
M - if it wasn't for the perfect amount of carbonation I would think this was cold coffee.
D - another fine brew from SN. Damn, I need to buy this more often.

 401 characters

Photo of assmasterson
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

 410 characters

Photo of Ochsenblut
3.76/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A jet black body sits beneath a tan head with good head retention/lacing.

The only discernible smell is of bitter-sweet chocolate.

The beer is semi-sweet with chocolate notes, mitigated by a bitter coffee/burnt malt character. Cascade hops(?) punctuate. The carbonation reminds me of root beer and the mouthfeel is slick and buttery. The aftertaste is a chalky and slightly astringent.

This is a very balanced stout and dry enough to be sessionable.

 454 characters

Photo of BrewStoutMagic
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely a great stout unique in its own way. THe color is black.Low carbonation and head.The taste is hoppy pine, chocolate,slightly burnt malt,but is still easy to drink.It has great flavor combination going on. I could drink this anytime of the year or day. haha. Try it!

 276 characters

Photo of Folderol
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I pretty much knew what I was getting into with this brew: a solid stout with a bit more hop kick than normal. So it goes without saying that it's a proper stout black color. I didn't pour all that well so I can't knock it for head, but when I swirled the glass I got a nice foam out of it which settled to a decent sheet. Smell is a comforting, familiar malt/black malt roastiness, reminds me of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout without the winey aromas. Great mouthfeel, smooth and medium-bodied with just the right about of carbonation. Taste starts with sweet malts, then turns to black malt/molasses, but just when I should be catching some roasted malt astringency the west coast hops kick it to the curb. That hop bitterness sticks all over my palate for a long time afterward, making me hesitant to take another sip. I must admit I'm a malt fan, not a hop fan. I wouldn't buy this again, but if a hoppy stout is your thing, go for it.

 940 characters

Photo of AshevilleSippin
3.77/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Short Version:
Tasty stout with off-the chart appearance. Taste was biased toward dry and bitter.

This thing looked about as good as it gets. 5.0 on appearance. They head was off the charts. Deep khaki overflowing with authority. Moon craters speckled the top while large stone quarry off-shapen depressions slowly sunk deep throughout the middle. Like a new neighborhood where only the basements have been dug. This head had serious staying power and strong splotchy lacing.

It was deep black and opaque as tar. Held up to the light this monster reflected blood red highlights around the bottom and edges of the pint glass. A three sided event horizon of horror.

Overall a little mild on the nose. I let it sit for several minutes to warm up some more (thus my notes on the head staying power). Finally I picked up some dull burnt tartness in the smell.

First sip revealed some bitter hops. More in the form of bitter coffee though. A little smoky. Not getting much sweet chocolate. If anything it's more like the dark bitter unsweetened baker's cocoa.

Drinkability is pretty good. Dryer and tarter than I expected. Seems to be missing something in the middle. A little spice or stronger malt presence perhaps. Excellent stout but not off the charts.

Finish was dry and bitter and pleasant.

 1,307 characters

Photo of Young_John
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looking back, I had to bump up my ratings on this one a bit. A very solid stout that fires on all cylinders and washes down most meals very well. At the time of my first rating I think I was measuring it against my own system which inappropriately ranked it against imperial stouts.

 282 characters

4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from tasting notes from May '10

Beautiful dark dark brown with ruby highlights around the edge. Nice big beautiful creamy head. I love the look of this beer. The aroma was fairly weak to me. Faint dark chocolate and some coffee beans. No booziness or funk, so that's good. The flavor is a very nice blend of dark and amber flavors. Dark chocolate comes through very strong. Not picking up much of that coffee from the smell, but there's a fair amount of caramel malt and toastiness, giving a nice and fairly unique sweet stout taste. Nice and thick, it goes down nicely. A great stout for the price, I recommend it highly

 631 characters

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.

 450 characters

Photo of geographie
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

let this one warm to before enjoying. pours a dark caramel brown, with bronze head that dissipates quickly leaving lacing on the side of the glass. Plump raisins, brown sugar, and roasted coffee notes - very sweet, full nose.

Sweet & sour front and roasted the whole way through. Light syrupy texture, great mouthfeel, amply carbonated. Bitterness is only a smooth aftertaste, nothing aggressive.

Awesome drinkability. This is one of those beers that can really encourage a 'newbie' to like good beer. It has real malt flavors, not excessively bitter, and goes down incredibly easily. An overall winner

 608 characters

Photo of BrewsCrewSA
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had a run of Sierra Nevadas recently, all have been outstanding.

A - Poured from bottle into a pint glass. Poured syrupy and black with not even the slightest notion of light coming through the glass. A tan, foamy, creamy head that retained even throughout the beer. Sipping left plenty of rings spaced evenly about half an inch apart all the way down - only one of a few beers I've seen do this so clear.

S - Like sour milk, which I've always thought was indicative of a good stout. Strong malty aroma.

T - Exceptional. The very first impression that struck me was a lack of that fake/smokey taste some popular stouts carry these days. This is solidly a creamy, bitter stout that allows you to enjoy the true characteristics of the style. Even the aftertaste lingers a sweetness that stays with you.

M - Creamy and smooth. Looks like it has quite a viscosity but it actually feels great. Even friends who weren't fans of great beer noted that it had a good mouthfeel.

D - Same friends noted superior drinkability. Just a great beer overall.

 1,052 characters

Photo of optimistictour
3.59/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having always associated Sierra Nevada with their famous IPA offering I was pleasantly surprised to find both this and their porter on sale in individual bottles and eagerly snagged 'em.

A mention of bias: I love stouts. Porters too but that's not what we're talking about here. I love my stouts big and dark and complex, and usually strong - not for the getting-drunk factor but because a truly great strong beer is usually exceptionally nuanced in its flavor and always worth tackling. This one has a low-average abv yet achieves a swim with the big boys because of one thing: balance.

So this looks really damn good. Jet black, billowy dense head, it practically dances in the glass as it pours. This looks exactly how a stout should aspire to.

It smells like a stout should too, albeit a tad weakly. I really had to shove my nose into the glass to get a feel for this one which is unfortunate because the actual aroma is pleasant as you'd like.

Tastes smokey with less coffee or chocolate or any of the familiar notes stouts often hit. It's almost touching that upright porter feel while firmly in stout territory. This thing plants itself in a safe zone while tentatively hinting at larger issues. It's good but could certainly use some personality, some balls to stand out. I'd imagine this makes it more palatable to a wider audience though...

In the mouth Sierra Nevada really comes through. (I did not intend any double entendre here) Full bodied yet with the larger carbonation feel that a lesser abv affords, it's rich and hearty without any lingering alcohol taste or too-chewy texture.

Which of course means that it's easy to down this one. Drinkability matches the mouthfeel step for step. I'd easily offer this to, say, my girlfriend, who shies away from some of the massive stouts which often warm the cockles of my heart.

It's inviting and simple and probably makes a great gateway drug to the stout world. It surely beats the pants off Guinness by any measure.

 1,985 characters

Photo of BikingDutchman
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer appears mostly opaque with some dark brown on the edges. The head was very full and tan colored.

Roasted smells are dominant, but the hops aren't far behind. The hops smell citrusy, almost similar to something I'd expect from an American IPA.

Defenitely an American hop-forward stout. Very well balanced between a nice roasted flavor from the malts and citrus flavors from the hops. Bitterness is also pronounced. There is a lot of flavors here, and they compliment themselves nicely.

Full bodied with a smooth and thick feeling. Definitely compliments the big roasted flavors.

This is one of my favorite stouts to date, and I will no doubt be coming back to revisit it.

 679 characters

Photo of andyo
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice brown/ruby/black color, with a nice tan; frothy head. Tastes of coffee, nuts, and cocoa come through, followed by a roasted and subtle burnt flavor. The malts overpower the hop presence, although the hops are still distinctly present. Very balanced, not over-complex...very tasty. This is a good sipping beer, though after 2 or 3 I'd be done!

 356 characters

Photo of chrisms86
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a thick creamy head characteristic of this style. Strong black color which is bareely opaque, also expected with any stout. The mouthfeel is thick but not as much as I would like.. a world class stout should leave a film on your tongue and this one doesn't. What the beer gains by being a tad thinner is that it is very drinkable. Nothing stands out about the taste, this beer is basically the foundation of any stout. While others have coffee, chocolate, or sour flavors to compliment the dark taste, Sierra Nevada's stout is a great introduction to what the style is about at its core.

A great brew, not in spite of the fact that nothing stands out about it, but because nothing stands out about it. If you've got a craving for stout this will not disappoint.

 775 characters

Photo of DerKaiser
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Stout looks so inviting. Nice black body with a huge creamy tan head that you could stand a fork up in. It simply begs you to drink it.

The taste starts slightly sweet with carmels and burnt sugars. Absolutely thick with roasted chewy barley malts with a nice bitter hop bite in the finish. Slightly acidic like a good espresso. There's simply loads of flavor in this beer. A true stout through and through and one of my favorite beers. Those guys up in Chico really can't some to do anything wrong, as far as I'm concerned.

 534 characters

Photo of SSBrennan
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark cola color with good carbonation and a dense khaki head which falls slowly with good lacing.

The smell faint with promises of bittering hops and chocolate

There is a good roast flavor to the beer with good balance of hops and malt. Distinct chocolate flavors. There is a slightly too strong flavor of alcohol but overall fairly solid.

The mouthfeel is slightly over carbonated and thin but has good smoothness.

 426 characters

Photo of aaron12
3.38/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I love the sierra nevada porter, LOVE IT!, but to me the stout is not as good...

A. looks like a stout

S. sweet, malty, a bit of black cherry, not too heavy.

T. it's too burnt for my taste, i wish this stout was thicker, and less bitter... to me this just tastes like a bitter version of their porter, and i like their porter the way it is.

M. it's okay, ends acidy.

D. if this was just a tad sweeter, it'd be great, cause of the over burnt bitterness, i think i'll take my time with this one, and the warmer it gets, the more bitter... swell.


 558 characters

Photo of jward
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The full, thick head is light brown with some interesting darker spots and edges. And, happily, it sticks around for quite some time. Like all Sierra beers, there is a noticeable (almost spicy) hops presence, both in the nose and on the palate. But the complex roasted malts take center stage, with hints of alcohol, espresso and molasses, and with contrasting elements of sweetness and bitterness at the finish. The mouthfeel is rich and full, but still quite smooth. A unique, well-balanced and challenging stout.

 515 characters

Photo of olegv40
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark color with a huge tan head that retains very well. The aroma is indicative of whats to come, hops hops and more hops. Initially very smooth until the hops hit, then it becomes very bitter with the just the right levels of roasted coffee and chocolate to cut through. Finishes sweet and the aftertaste lasts for a long time. Does a great job of hiding the alcohol.

A fantastic stout, its cold and snowy in Ohio right now, I couldn't think of another beer I'd rather be drinking right now.

 508 characters

Photo of RedBeerHead
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours pretty much black with a very healthy off-white head. Rich Coffee and chocolate smell. Very smooth going done. This stout emphasis the best parts of what a stout should be. Good, rich flavor, smooth texture. Very drinkable. Definitely one of my favorites.

 261 characters

Photo of electricfields
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque brown-tinged black with a creamy tan head that dissipates quickly.

S: Smells like hops and chocolate. It's very faint, though.

T: Roasted coffee with a tiny bit of brown sugar or caramel sweetness. There's a nicely balanced fresh hop bite to it.

M: Good and thick with carbonation that foams up as it hits your tongue.

D: It definitely tastes good enough, and for a stout, it goes down very easy.

 419 characters

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