Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout
Liked This Beer
4.07 w/ 3,388 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:
Sierra Nevada Stout s a full-bodied American version of the traditional black ale. It is perfectly balanced with big roasted malt flavors and earthy, whole-cone hops.

In 1980, when we were building our fledging brewery, we needed a beer with bold flavors to test the new, hand-built brewhouse. That first brew was a stout rich with roasted malts and earthy, whole-cone American hops. We liked that original stout so much that we've kept it as we've grown. Decades later it still reminds us of that early pioneering spirit.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2000

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,388 |  Reviews: 1,436
Photo of thegodfather1076
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was served out of a 12oz. bottle dispensed into a glass....

Presentation - Classic SN style label. The artwork is always nice.

Appearance - Poured a dark brown with a 2 finger tan foam head that dissipated nice and slow into a thick foam covering. Very nice lacing left behind.

Smell - Smells of dark chocolate roasted malts as well as roasted coffee. Not an overwhelming smell profile.

Taste - Tastes of rich dark chocolate and a dark roasted coffee. Not much on the hop front but a slight hoppyness is present. Bitterness comes more from the coffee malts. A hint of sweetness to start. Very well balanced.

Mouthfeel - Decent carbonation led to a medium bodied feel on a beer that seems much thicker.

Drinkability - Rich and somewhat thick but still light enough to be highly drinkable.

Probably one of the best all around stouts that I've ever had. Readily available at any major grocery store I would highly recommend picking this up and trying it.

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Photo of vandemonian
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Stout ism a nice stout.

A: Black colour and a 1 cm head that fades to good lacing. 4

S: Roasty malt smell with some chocolate and slight sourness. 3.5

T: Mild roasty malt flavour with a hint of charcoal. There is slight herbiness in the aftertaste that I assume is due to some kind of hop that I'm not familiar with. 4

M: Nice and foamy. 4.5

O: This is a decent stout. 4

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This stout pours out almost solid black with just a hint of light that shines through. The head is pretty decent with a light lacing. The smell of the beer has a good roasted malt aroma going on with some light hops in the back end. The taste of the beer is pretty good also, it's well roasted and has just a touch of burnt toast flavors in it. The mouthfeel is medium and leaves a dry aftertaste in your mouth. Overall it's a good stout, not really my favorite but I'd totally drink it if it were available.

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Photo of funkel81
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

definitely my favorite stout readily available in 6 packs.

extremely smooth, well balanced, nice apres taste...

sierra neveda does it again with this bad boy. they are definitely one of my top 5 favorite breweries. they dont know how to make a bad beer

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

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Very dark, borderline opaque black. It has a tan head that isn’t all that thick, but is still omnipresent.

S: Rife with chocolate maltiness and possibly even a hint of cherry.

T/M: Medium amount of carbonation, medium body, some nuttiness, unsweetened chocolate and a slightly bitter aftertaste. Nice but not unexpected.

It’s not as explorative or adventurous as a lot of other stouts, but if you’re looking for something more traditional, this should do the trick.

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

Review adapted from notes taken 12/23/10

Appearance: Nearly black dark brown with a light brown head that sticks around for a while

Smell: Roasted, burnt malts with some hints of sweetness - well-balanced and not overly complicated

Taste: Flavorful and surprisingly complex - roasted and burnt flavors, hints of chocolate, vanilla, and coffee - some dry flavors, some sweet flavors, kind of earthy - some hops, too - ultimately, very balanced and not crazy

Mouthfeel: Smooth and medium bodied, nicely carbonated

Overall: If this isn't the benchmark for (non-imperial) American stouts, then I don't know what it

This beer is excellently balanced and manages to be simultaneously complex and simple. American stouts that are not extreme in any way almost seem hard to find these days. For the record, this works well in a batch of chili.

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Photo of imbibehour
4.16/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonick pint glass.

Giant light brown head off the pour with a nice foamy complete cap. Falls slowly and gives wicked retention. Body color is super dark, borderline inky, with perhaps a hint of red on the edges. Looks great, dark body seems to make the head appear lighter on top as it grows. Head makes caps like mountains, this is impressive.

Smell is kind of muted, slight hint of husky fresh ripped grain. A very faint chocolate but I am not getting much of a nose off of this. After a few quaffs, a chocolate malt roast comes out stronger.

Real interesting taste profile. Chocolate roast malt goodness in the middle, finishes with a bitter almost citrus grapefruit on the aftertaste but so very very slight, still keeping the stout feel. Husky quality comes through of grain and a very pleasant mouthfeel with some touching carbonation pricklyness that adds some fun.

This beer was quite a surprise. From the nose I was expecting a very weak stout but it was anything but and has lots to offer. Real interesting beer.

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

Really this is quite a very good beer, exceptionally well made and to be honest, one I haven't had for years until I bought a six pack recently after noticing it on the classic beer list here on BA. I'd honestly forgotten how good and satisfying this beer could be. What I particularly like about it is that as far as the experience of drinking it goes, it sort of straddles the line between a dry stout and a cream stout. Nice roasty dryness up front with some clean, bitter, roasty notes, but without the coffee or chocolate notes you often can get with a stout. The backend is very creamy while the tight bitterness still echoes in the background. Dry throughout, but just a haunting hint of sweetness on the finish. Wonderfully satisfying- I'm going to make it a point to addd this back into the rotation.

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Photo of ckollias
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed this 12 oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Dark black ale that is near opaque with a thick frothy tan 5-finger head after a violent pour. The head last for a while and leaves a glorious trail all the way down the glass and finally ending in wispy lace.

S: Strong roasted malts fill the nose followed by a sturdy hoppy aroma. Hints of chocolate and coffee are present in the background.

T: Dark rich stout with a generous sweetness with a roasted malt bitterness. Strong chocolate and coffee overtones, with a nice malt background. Very hoppy and smooth.

M: Very smoooth. Medium body and carbonation

O: I was overly impressed with stout – everything from appearance to smell to taste was dead on. Remarkable balance between the malt and the hops.

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

Appearance – Pours into a tulip with a nice dark opaque color. About a finger of tan head is achieved with a moderate pour that dissipates quickly but leaves great looking lacing.

Smell – Lots of toasted malts, coffee, oats, cocoa, and slight dark fruits.

Taste – Similar to the nose but more charred/toasted malts. Slight hoppy flavors come through, but is overtaken by the cocoa and again, roasted malts.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, decent carbonation, dry finish.

Overall – Great quaffable stout. For the price, it can’t be beat.

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Photo of Illtryit
3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black as night with a one finger tan head. Thin ring left with average lacing.

Smell - complex mix of burnt toast, sweetness, and some kind of mellow flavoring....possibly anise...I cant tell for sure though.

Taste - this one has a mild flavor. A little sweetness from either licorice or anise. Nice roasty follow up. Bitters towards aftertaste.

MF - pretty normal stout feel to this. Rich and smooth. Silky.

Overall this is a great value. At $7.50 per sixer, I 'll drink this again, but I think i'll wait til winter.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2010)

Port Bottle Shop
Carlsbad, CA

A deep and nearly black, thick, cantankerous yet gorgeous liquid. A huge, frothing, thick chocolate-milk head that lasts and lasts. Gobs of lacing down the glass. Specks of sediment swirl around the beer and eventually settle at the base of the glass.

Roasted malts and huge amounts of chocolate in the nose with a touch of coffee. Overall, a very earthy aroma.

A delicious, earthy, chocolatey stout. This beer leans toward sweet as opposed to bitter, with a heavy emphasis on chocolate and roasted malts; this makes for one delicious stout. A complete, and balanced, flavor profile.

Medium mouthfeel. Thick and substantial enough, but thin enough to be incredibly drinkable.

An absolutely delicious American stout. So much flavor, so easy to drink, and low enough in ABV to enjoy more than a few over the course of a night. Phenomenal!

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Photo of jera1350
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark chocolate brown color with a creamy head of tan that leaves some lovely sticky lace around the glass.

A nice mix of chocolate and cocoa powder with piney hops. The only problem is that it is pretty light.

Lots of chocolate and dusty cocoa powder with a fair and noticeable amount of hopping. Very flavorful and satisfying.

Very smooth with an outstanding soft/creamy feel from the carbonation.

Wow, really have to give it up for this one. A beer so flavorful that drinks so easily. That's a winning combo in my book. This is a really great beer and needs to be tried if you haven't already.

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Photo of shand
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours black, with some ruby highlights. The aroma is a bit muted, with mostly coffee and roasted malts coming through, but not very strongly. The taste, however, is very nice, it's a perfectly balanced stout. The coffee and roasted malts are nicely bittered by some nice, very earthy hops. A very dry stout. The finish has a nice touch of smoothness along with a bit of chocolate. The mouthfeel is nice, it's a ride in itself, going from prickly carbonation, to smoothness, to a dry finish. The drinkability is exceptional. Overall, this is just a really good drinking stout available for great prices.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.34/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Delirium tulip as for some unknown god forsaken reason I do not own a Sierra Nevada snifter. God damn.

Beer is black with a decent tan head of small and medium bubbles, lots of lacing but low to moderate carbonation.

Aroma is mild, sweet mildly roast.

Medium to full in body, the roast / bitterness in the back just isn't there, I'm worried that this isn't teh stout at all but some black pale ale. Mildly sweet up front the body carries this mild sweetness throughout and then it ends....I'm bored, moving on. Again I'd have this again if I were in a really shitty bar.

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Photo of titosupertramp
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown, almost cola colored. Aggressive pour yields 3 fingers of mocha/tan head that's very slow to recede. Leaves behind a faily thick cap and rings of lacing.

S: For me, there's a lot of bitter chocolate here. Maybe a little coffee thrown in. Some hints of hops are hanging out as well. Smells like a Sierra Nevada.

T: More chocolate, oat, coffee, roasted malts. There is a pine hoppy flavor at the finish that's nice.

M: Full and creamy. Fairly dry in the finish.

O: This is a really tasty beer. I'm sure I'll have it again at some point in the future.

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

Pours like you hope a stout would- dark with a half inch of mocha foam. The head dissipates too quickly and the nose is malty without sweetness and contains faint hops. The taste has lots of roasted malts and finishes dry thanks to a subtle hoppiness that makes this easy to drink. The mouth feel is a fuller body, but not quite the creaminess of a Guinness. A good take on the style with definite character from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of abraxel
3.84/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours very dark brown with slight ruby-red highlights and a few fingers of soft, pillowy head. Lots of carbonation visible on the sides of the glass. The head collapsed by the time I finished typing this, though.

S - Smooth roastiness... nice, slightly sweet, roasted malt, and coffee and chocolate aromas but no bitterness.

T - A nice, sweet malt backbone under a good amount of dry roasted malt -- plenty of dark chocolate bitterness. Maybe the slightest bit of hop flavor, but it's mostly hidden. Pretty well balanced.

M - Relatively smooth and full, but I think the carbonation distracts a little too much.

Overall, this is a very good, standard, American stout. Certainly above average, but doesn't stand out much.

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Photo of gdrydenc
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours black, with dark mahogany highlights in the edges. Less than a finger of dark tan head subsides slowly and remains as a thin disk of cover.

S - Bitter coffee is on the forefront. Lots of roasted malts, quite delicious smelling.

T - Much like the smell. The coffee flavors of the roasted malt are most present. A much more fresh taste than is usual in a stout, but that may be because of the obvious freshness of this beer.

M - Slightly more carbonated than I would expect. The bubbles are a little more aggressive than I would like and the bitterness lingers for a little too long.

Overall, this is a great stout. At its price, and at only 5.8%, this is easily a repeat brew.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Still getting into stouts, but this is good.

Pours black with a small tan head. Lacing is real good.

Good aromas of chocolate and coffee but not overpowering. Not too smoky.

Balanced, easy drinking taste, but not bland. Medium bodied. Balanced bitterness. Maybe this is exactly the difference between an American Stout and Irish. Not too 'chewy'...

Worth a go - but you knew that anyway!

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Photo of scotvega18
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

poured from bottle into a 12oz snifter

A - Pours mostly back with highlights of brown. The head is a good finger and a half off tan color. Looks nice with a strong contrast between the head and body.

S - Mostly coffee. Kind of bitter on the nose, which is nice but is slightly imbalanced. Some bitter dark chocolate as it warms up.

T - Some bitter dark chocolate, coffee and then finishes with a blast of the coffee bitterness. Very bitter stout, but not at all unpleasant.

M - Smooth as can be.

Notes - For a bitter stout, this is great. Very drinkable and sessionable. Will buy again next time I want to have a "stout-night"

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Photo of harrymel
3.41/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled: 103912143; Feb 8, 2011

A: Pours a deep brown ale with good clarity which reveals hues of cherry red. Three fingers of latte head falls slowly to a hilly surface of the same. cobweb lacing.

S: biscuits, oats, cocoa, more oats and granola. Nice nose. A hint of sweetness on the nose. No evident hops.

T: Toasted and charred malts. Biscuit and some raisins. Very nice. Simple and elegant. Dark chocolate in the background.

M: Medium body and moderate carb for the style. Resonates in a dance between dry and nada.

O: Good brew. Well done for the style. Not among my favorites for the style, but good.

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Photo of Sudsy89
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle, chilled.

Pours almost black in color, has a thick tan head that lasts a while. Very much what a stout should look like, nice. Aroma is inviting, has roasted coffee/chocolate hints, typical of stouts.
This seems noticeably more bitter than SA Porter, yet is still well-balanced for a stout, it isn't too burnt or smoky-tasting like some stouts I've tried. The use of nice whole-cone hops puts another flavor in the mix. For a stout at 5.8% abv, I find it filling and satisfying, has a nice thick mouthfeel and medium level of carbonation.

Overall, for $8 a six-pack, this is a great choice, and is easily found in most liquor stores and supermarkets near me. Highly recommended.

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Photo of UTCengOwl
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle #4 from a six pack I got at Central Market for 25% off a sale price of $6. 75 cent bottle of tasty stout? Heck yes! Served in a Great Divide balloon glass.

The beer is pretty darned black... though that might just be the lighting. Tan head with good density. Leaves some lacing, but not quite as long lasting as I desire.

The nose is mainly a rough, roasted malt. However, the roughness is balanced by some of the other elements. Occasional caramelly sweetness and smoke come through, too.

The taste is solid. The roastiness comes across as a drying element, but is fairly clean and doesn't harm the drinkability. It finished wi a bitter chocolate that's fairly pleasing. This beer is just solid, but I can't help but think it's unspectacular. I'd take a sixer of this for 4.50 any day... but I wouldn't go out of my way to make sure I stock it.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown when held to light. Nice foamy brown head that lasts the entire beer and great lacing.

S: Very light smells coming off this one. Roasted malt and some floral hops. A slight earthiness as the beer warms.

T: This isn't one of those in your face stouts, but it's well done. Lots of roasted malts upfront to the point they almost taste burnt and then some bitter hop flavors towards the finish. Slight hint of coffee grounds as well. Mouthfeel was a bit too light for me but this is insanely drinkable.

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Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 85.1% out of 100 with 3,388 ratings
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