Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

3,375 Ratings
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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,375 |  Reviews: 1,431
Photo of wingman14
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours black with brown highlights and a mocha head that sticks around for a bit. Smell is inviting, roasted malt dominates with chocolate and smoky notes. The taste starts with a nice roasted malt, not as sweet as the smell would suggest, the smoky notes come through and it finishes with a bitter malt flavor. The aftertaste has the chocolate and almost coffee notes. The mouthfeel is medium/heavy with bigger carbonation, and nice flavors. The bitter finish calms as you drink, but initially takes away from the mouthfeel, but the flavors are still delicious to make this beer enjoyable. Overall a well done stout with many great flavors.

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

From tasting notes on 8-26-11

Appearance: This beer pours pitch black and has a rich, thick and creamy light mocha colored head that settles very slowly and has thick retention throughout.

Smell: Plenty of roasted malty goodness--dark chocolate, roasted cocoa, and a hint of alcohol also warmly greet the nose.

Taste: Roasted coffee and malts, chocolae, maybe espresso in the finish. A hint of earthy hops is present and balances the malts perfectly. A strong coffee aftertaste lingers pleasantly on the palate. A very delicious beer.

Mouthfeel: The most outstanding aspect of this beer is the rich, velvety texture that thickens as the beer sits in my mouth. My mouth is begging for more. Full-bodied and delicious. An elegant stout, to be sure!

Overall: A delicious stout that has exceptional feel. This beer delivers with lots of flavor and keeps me reaching for another. A truly great beer from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz, bottle, props to the wicked selection at Belmont Station in residential Portland, OR.

This beer pours a clear, very dark reddish brown hue, with two fingers of thin foamy tan head, which settles at an agreeable pace, leaving some limestone swaths of lace around the glass in the process. It smells of powdered chocolate, some lesser day-old coffee, the actual grainy malt barely perceptible, and some leafy, piney hops. The taste is more malty in flavour, the lightly toasted character coming through, before the undeniable chocolate essence re-asserts itself, amongst a mild lactic tanginess, and fruity, forest-like, leafy hops. The carbonation is on the down low, the body medium weight, smooth without question, and with slight creamy tendencies. It finishes still moderately sweet, the chocolate grain still quite reminiscent of childhood breakfast indulgences.

For its quality, style, and general availability, one could barely ask for more. The answer to all that ails the American, nay, global, perception of good, standard beer. One caveat though - one must like robust stouts...

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a beautiful dark brown color with a considerable fluffy and aired beige head. Many lacings left

S: Roasted malts, chocolate and coffee are quite intense. A bit sweet and biscuity. Refreshing perfume of hops in the end

T: Follows the nose: very roasted taste. At same time refreshing with a sting of citrus hop in the end. Intense bitterness: I love it! ;) Absolutely easy to drink

M: Light to medium body. Medium carbonation. Delicious bitterness

O: Great Beer

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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 flagmantho
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: entirely black with just the faintest hints of brown around the edges when held up to the light. Head poured two fingers of creamy, frothy tan foam. Head has good retention and leaves lots of lace on the glass; a great looking beer.

Smell: rich, roasty coffee aroma with a little bit of underlying sweetness in the malt. There's a hint of vegetal hops here which is pretty common in roast-forward stouts like this. Not bad.

Taste: roasty malt flavors with quite a bit of acidic tartness. The end has a huge, raw roast flavor which isn't really coffee and isn't really chocolate but is just a burnt roastiness. It's also much drier in flavor than I would have guessed based on the aroma. Bitterness is good and balanced, although this is definitely not a hop-forward beer, flavor-wise.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a very complementary carbonation yielding a just-right creaminess. It's not a texture bomb, but it's darn tasty for the style.

Overall: this is a very decent stout. It's probably not my favorite, but it is certainly going to become a go-to stout because of its tastiness and availability.

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

Good dark chocolate brown colored body with a smooth creamy texture. Nice bouquet. Not overly sweet. Doesn't have a heavy taste, but has a bold nutty chocolaty taste. Nice feel. No bitter after taste. Nice creamy two finger head. Too bad it doesn't make a Black and Tan.

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Photo of azdback
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Surly pint glass. Black, but not dark black as a stout should be. I was able to see the carbonation bubbles rising. The bubbles do lead to a fantastic, creamy, light brown head. Lace appears quite sticky also.

Smell is mostly of bread yeast. Not at all my cup of stout!! I do also get just the slightest roasted malt smells of coffee and coco.

Taste is dark roasted malts that translate as light blend coffee and maybe some dark chocolate. There is a tartness of sour fruit, cherry or fig.

Mouth is quite alright for the style. Nothing extra ordinary to let you know about. A bit dry from the tart fruit.

Overall I think this stout is better than most of the off the shelf stouts that we consumers have to choose from. Problem is this isn't off the shelf for most of the country. Well your problem not mine. A go to if you can.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass

A: pours a deep black that is fully opaque with a nice finger and a half of hazelnut color head that lingers beautifully and leaves generous lacing
S: smells gently of coffee malts and a slight chocolate finish, zero alcohol bite
T: taste begins small initially with coffee and a taste that is similar to a brown ale but then kicks in with more maltiness and leaves with nice toffee notes
M: slight carbonation but with a velvet like texture that begins and leaves smoothly
O: a phenomenal representation of the style and it is easy to see why this brew is in the top 100 beers of fame here, excellent

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

12oz bottle with no freshness date.

Pours dark brown to almost black in color, but when you hold this to a decent light source, you can actually see through it if you look closely. So I guess it has good clarity for a stout? Beige colored head stood about a half inch tall at first, but has settled to about half that after a few minutes. Decent head retention.

I'm getting some light chocolate, roasted barley, cola, and a touch of grassy hops in the nose.

Taste- Chocolate tones coming through in the taste as well. Bittering hops hit you about mid-sip and then the creamy malt body helps to smooth out the finish. A bit of lingering bitterness on the back end.

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.

A good stout overall. You can't taste any alcohol at all allowing you to hone in on the flavor profile.

Morey's Bottom Line: While this is definitely good, it's a little thin for my liking. I've really grown to love some of the thicker full bodied stouts like Founders Imperial, Ten Fidy, Old Raspy, and even Fritz and Ken's.

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Photo of sureshot08
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black with a two finger off-white head. Good head retention and lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts with coffee and slight dark chocolate.

Taste: Similar to the smell. A little bit of hop presence on swallowing, but overall very roasty and smooth.

Mouthfeel: Rich and smooth.

Overall: A very good stout. I am more familiar with Sierra Nevada's hoppier offerings, but this was a nice change of pace. Would buy this again.

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

Poured from the bottle into a nonic glass

A- Poured a very dark brown, almost black, can see ruby highlights through the glass. Nice two finger creamy head that leaves lots of clumpy lace

S- Chocolate, roasted notes, toffee, and a kind of spicy rye aroma

T- Bitter chocolate, roasty coffee, toffee, spicy rye, and mineral flavors

M- So smooth and creamy, nice chewy body, really great mouthfeel for a stout

O- This is a great stout, creamy, full of flavor, very drinkable, and a very affordable beer. That is a quadruple threat for me. Good job Sierra Nevada! The roastiness and spice is what I will most remember about this beer, lots of it.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Creamy head and taste. Drier than I expected yet not too hoppy; which makes me happy! The color is the dark murky chocolate you expect from a good stout, but lacks the "fall effect" one sees in Guinness for example. Overall a nice drinkable and easy on the palate brew!

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Photo of antlerwrestler19
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured black with a light tan 2 finger head that falls to a nice layer of foam that retains itself on top - thin lacing lines the glass. The smell is a bit smoky, bitter, like dark bittersweet chocolate, burnt sugar - really warming. The taste follows the aroma rather closely - nice cocoa and coffee-like notes, not too sweet and not too bitter, the hops do show through in a very pleasant way. The mouthfeel is smooth and a bit creamy but not what I was hoping for in this beer - little to no carbonation. This is an easy drinking stout - great for a relatively inexpensive year round offering from Sierra Nevada.


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Photo of soulfly1492
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours jet black. Even when held up to a bright light, only a slight trace of brown can be seen. Thick and creamy dark tan head, slightly darker than average for the style. Thick lacing. Impressive retention, it just never quite goes away.

S: Sweet chocolate on the nose, followed by coffee, roasted malts. I detect some alcohol.

T: Very rich. Bittersweet chocolate, mild coffee, not as roasty as I was expecting. The hops add a slightly resiny taste at the end, not too overpowering though.

M: Medium body. A bit watery, ends up a bit on the dry side, almost metallic. Very little carbonation of course.

O: Very drinkable. Great balance. Starts off sweet, and is never quite overpowered by the bitter. Nice selection of hops. Nothing innovative here, just a great, well rounded American Stout.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 07-26-2011 01:49:05

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

Appearance - Very dark, not quite pitch black. Nicely bubbled 2 finger white head.

Smell - malty, smokey and coffee notes. Nothing really pronounced though, but subtle.

Taste - for a standard stout (non-imperial) this is one of the best I've had. Smokey, smooth and crisp to the finish. Moderately complex but not as complex as some world class imperial stouts I've had. Only negative is the bitter finish hangs around a little too long.

Mouthfeel - buttery smooth.

Overall - A superb "standard" stout. Almost on par with the Russian Imperials

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

plenty of attractive red hue around the edges. thick foamy tan head. heaps of stability and lacing. nice

mellow aroma, quite creamy if you can say that about smell. nothing sharp or striking, just a very smooth. cocoa seems to be the most recognisable character.

taste also has quite a mellow way about it. no intruding hop bitterness or drying roast from the malt. very well integrated if not groundbreaking. maybe a good gateway stout?

well, as everything SN it is a very well made and drinkable beer. maybe not as robust as some of the local offerings but makes a good comparison and can easily be used as (another) style benchmark.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bit of an aged bottle, about 4 months. I've had it before, but reviewing this one.

Dark brown, ruby pour. Black at first and semi-close glance. Nice creamy head, sticky. Lacing is great. Contrast between body and head is subtle, otherwise very nice looking brew.

Chocolate aroma. Sharp chocolate. Molasses, leather, caramel. Hops are piney and balanced. Sweet yet sharp

Chocolate taste. Caramel comes in to give the dark, sharp cocoa a break and provides sweetness. Seems complex, but really it's just a straight up stout. Take their porter and put more choc. malt and hops in it. That's what it seems like to me. I"m having it in mid-summer. Gonna have it again later in the year. Not the best, but good and damn solid

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz brown bottle poured into a traditional pint glass my grandfather gave me from London.

A - Very beautiful looking brew. Appears pitch black but has a glowing ruby color when held toward the light. It poured a huge head that was tan in color. Solid retention. The head was extremely thick and while it did subside to a creamy lace it was there throughout the experience.
S - Dark smell as most stouts are. It had a bit of a woodsy or earthy smell to it. Fruit notes were picked up as well as a rich coffee smell.
T - This Sierra Nevada brew tastes amazing. Loads of coffee notes as well as a solid bit of chocolate throughout. Roasted barley with a just right dry bitterness that leaves you wanting more.
M - This full bodied stout from Sierra Nevada is really a world class brew. I found it to be one of the best stouts I've ever had. Very tasty and fulfilling in all test areas. It's great for the Fall and Winter seasons and is a great beer experience for those who love stouts all the time and even the drinker who just wants a change. Top tier brew from a top tier brewer. Exceptional

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

Look: Black with brown ring at the bottom and a 1 inch head with good retention

Smell: Roasted and chocolate malts hit the nose nicely with a trace of coffee in the background

Taste: Almost identical to the nose Roasted/burnt malts are the front runner on this little daddy. Traces of coffee and a touch of licorice

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation and a tad bit bitter

Overall: Good cheap stout that I could drink everyday

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Photo of beerandcycling88
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A pours a dark brown that is almost black with a tan head.

S lots of roast malt and coffee. Also a chocolate note.

T a ton of roast malt flavor. There is also more chocolate but the roast dominates the flavor.

M the mouthfeel is thick almost chewy.

Overall this is a nice drinkable example of an American stout. Quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Rutager
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Pours nearly black with some red-brown light just getting through. Almost a finger of creamy, light tan head that leaves some decent lacing.

Smell. Milk chocolate and dark roasty malt. yum

Taste. Wow. Much roasier than the smell let on. Still plenty of chocolate too, but darker than the smell. Some bitter coffee in the end. Great stuff.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with above medium carbonation.

Overall. Just a fantastic stout. Could drink a bunch of these ...and the next time I cross the border into the USA, you bet your ass I will!!!

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

Bottle into mug and also one in a snifter.

A: Good tasty dark color.

S: Weak, hint of malts.

T: Slight smooth creamy start, coffee middle, finishes with dry slightly bitter malt.

M: Light body, a little heavy on the carbonation, does not do well at above fridge temps like other stouts. Keep this one cold.

O: For the price and availability this is a decent beer, but fails to meet some of my expectations for a stout. For the price and light consistency I'd sooner go for a black ale like 1554 (which I love).

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Photo of avaldivia
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

A: Dark brown to black. Thick chocolate head about an inch thick.

S: Smoke, roasted malts. Nice and strong on the nose.

F: Good roasted flavor. A bit of hops but that is in the background as the roasted chocolate flavors are what this beer is all about.

M: Medium to thick bodied. Good carbonation. Not overly roasted so your mouth does not feel dry or ashy afterwards.

O: Very good sessionable stout. For an affordable stout, this is hard to beat.

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Photo of doughanson78
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Black. Not as black as others and not real thick. One finger mocha colored head with great retention and awesome lacing.

S: Big roastiness. A nice smokiness also. Reminds me of Obsidian Stout from Deschutes. A light burnt/ashy aroma mixing with it all, creating sort of a campfire in your nose. Light chocolate and coffee behind all the roastiness.

T: Sweet malts on the tip of the tongue. A roasted bitterness in the middle. With all the smoke finishing it off. A mild coffee flavor toward the end also.

M: Medium bodied, with medium carbonation. Decent creaminess.

O: So as I figured, Sierra Nevada didn't disappoint. A great stout. My favorite is still Obsidian, but this is right up there.

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Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 3,375 ratings.
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