Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout
Liked This Beer
4.07 w/ 3,389 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,389 |  Reviews: 1,437
Photo of noel2977
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.
A - At least an inch of foam. Opaque. Dark, like night. For a stout, I am looking forward to it.
S - Chocolately malt aroma. Earthy/slightly musty, but not offensive.
T-Chocolate flavor nicely cascades into mint and then a hint of coffee on the finish. A little bitter (but nothing that'll make your mouth pucker) and a little soapy. The finish sails on...
F- not mouthcoating or overbearing. Nice carbonation, perhaps somewhat more than expected.
Balanced - and not overwhelmingly alcoholic.

Get some.

 550 characters

Photo of JayS2629
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I think people should be careful reviewing this as a stout and not an imperial stout. For its style it is very easy drinking, mellow, smooth, and creamy. Its nice and dark black. The head is a bit thin and fizzy and quickly recedes. Sea foam lacing. The smell is of chocolate and roasted malts. The taste follows with the chocolate, roasted malts, a hint of coffee and a dash of earthy notes. Nicely balanced, medium bodied beer with a nice rounded carbonation, slight creaminess and a lingering of roasted taste. An overall, nicely balanced, easy drinking beer.

 562 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.26/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass. Reviewed January 2011.

A: Darkest brown with a thin head. Reddish in direct lighting and only then translucent. Heavyish lacing.

S: Neutral. Some malts, more chocolate than roast.

T: Not great. Abundant chocolate malts. Some hops on the aftertaste. Overall, disappointing.

M: Waterish, but moderately substantial. Meh.

D: Far and away the worst Sierra Nevada I've encountered. Decent, but not recommended. Looking at other reviews, I wonder if I just tried a dud bottle. I'll give it a go some other time and see if my opinion has changed.

 596 characters

Photo of bishopdc0
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color in glass it is black. The head forms and hugs the glasses edge. The middle of the head dissipates but the lace and side remains.

The smell is a nice chocolate malt upfront. The roasted notes come in and linger.

I love the taste of this beer. The roasted flavor is upfront. It is a fresh tasting roasted barley. The carbonation is upfront only on the tongue. It leaves behind a dry roasted flavor on the tongue

 446 characters

Photo of Brianjames16
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours pitch black with a very slight brown tint. Beautiful creamy light brown two finger head on top. Delicious looking stout. Good lacing sticks to the glass and stays.

S- Aroma is big with hints of chocolate, molasses, some sugars and roasted malts. I also smell some dark fruity notes in the backround.

T- Beautifully balanced stout! I taste the characters found in the aroma plus a subtle hop bitterness. Smooth and rich tasting beer.

M- This one has a medium/full body but has a velvety smooth feel in the mouth. Very easy with each sip.

D- I could sit with a couple of these. Very easy drinking stout with interesting flavors and aromas. I'm verry happy about this one. I love Stouts. I love Sierra Nevada.

 721 characters

Photo of JoeAmerican77
2.83/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a charcoal mud water with one inch of multi bubble head with a custard color...

Mild roasted malts and a hint of juniper kind of weak in smell.

Toasted cereal grains and roasted malts, a pinch of hops, light cocoa powder, and its quite the expected taste, in a agreeable way.

light bodied, stringent and soapy, small carbonation.

It is drinkable, however I expect a lot larger and more prominent palate out of my Stouts. Just too uncomplicated.

 458 characters

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

On draft ~ into a shaker pint

Appearance- Pours dark, near black, with a one finger tan head. Pretty good retention, a little lace left behind.

Smell- Light chocolate and roast. A nuttiness as well. Fairly muted.

Taste- Smooth and balanced, not to sweet nor bitter; light roasted malts, a bit of chocolate, still picking up a nutty sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and carbonation.

Overall- A nice serviceable stout, no complaints. Strictly to style probably a solid A beer, but to personal tastes, I just can't score it that high.

 538 characters

Photo of sjverla
4.66/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nose: Sweet and biscuity. Thick molasses. Subtle hop aroma dances around through semisweet chocolate. Almost chocolate cake, but more bready.

Appearance: Nearly opaque black. Light only gets through the edges that glow garnet red. A frothy beige head pillows up and sticks around. Looks like a non-nitro stout ought to. And it laces well.

Taste: Sweet and rich. Bittersweet chocolate and burnt caramel take front and center over a mild bready base. It's a brownie with extra dark chocolate chips and caramel chunks melted in. A nice touch of earthy bitterness from hops, but the malt is clearly driving this train. Smooth and rich. Great dessert.

Overall: It's not my favorite style, but this is damn good.

 709 characters

Photo of RickS95
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very, very dark, a black hole, with just a slight bit of really dark brown on the edges. A full finger of brown bubbles rests on tops for a couple minutes before shrinking leaving the glass with a dirty look.

Smells of coffee, chocolate and smoke fill the nose. I'm not a coffee drinker and I don't smoke, but it really works for this beer.

It tastes like it smells. Again, I don't like coffee or smoke, but everything blends together very well.

Despite the good sticky head, there isn't much carbonation so you're left with the essence of this beer. It starts off pleasantly enough with a nanosecond of sweet. Then the smoke and bittersweet chocolate start working before the bitterness of the coffee finishes. It's medium to full-bodied and just right for the style.

I find no faults with this beer. Another stellar selection from Sierra Nevada. With the reasonably low alcohol, you can easily drink nothing but this all night long.

 944 characters

Photo of sixstring821
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a rich, opaque black with dark red highlights, tough to add too much on top of what others have said. Nice caramel colored head with decent lacing.

S- Smells like a good stout should - roasty, chocolaty, slightly smoky.

T- Impressive. Heavy roasted malt and a bit of smoke. Bitterness isn't overpowering at all. Very enjoyable. Sweetness overtakes bitterness during the aftertaste.

M- Not overly viscous, bitterness hits you in the back of the tongue. Perfectly carbonated.

D- Very drinkable for a stout. Bought it as a single, but will definitely be keeping this one in the rotation. This is the perfect "sitting in front of the fire" beer.

 654 characters

Photo of Oldscramch
3.74/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours almost black with very deep red highlights. Very little tan head with good lacing on the glass.

Smell: Smell is faint. Hoppy with small notes of coffee.

Taste: Not as hoppy as the nose, but still hoppier than most stouts. Some coffee.

Mouthfeel: A little watery.

Drinkability: Simply drinkable, like others I've tried from Sierra Nevada.

 359 characters

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

Review is from notes taken on 2/19/2011 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep and dark coffee brown and shows some mahogany/ruby highlights near the bottom on the sides; starts with a big 2 finger, tan/brownish head with decent retention; head becomes rocky and pockmarked as it slowly dwindles and leaves a curtain of dry and sticky looking lacing on the sides of the glass; body is as it should be -- dark and opaque with only faint highlights.

Smell: Smell is good -- earthy and roasty coffee malts; definite nutty presence; lastly slight hints of a barely perceptible smokiness and molasses.

Taste: I can definitely understand why this beer can have an A- average with over 1000 reviews -- it's a very solid and drinkable American style stout; plenty of the earthy and roasty coffee malts like in the nose, but a bit more subdued under the strong and slightly bitter nuttiness; again I feel that there is a bit of smokey woodiness and something sweet, but not chocolatey, so I'm sticking molasses as well.

Mouthfeel: Like I find most American stouts, the body is just shy of medium weight and I'm always left wishing it was just a bit thicker and chewier, but it is what it is; a moderately thick and sticky coating is left all over the roof of the mouth, and it holds the bitter nuttiness quite long into the aftertaste; carbonation is bright at first, but calms quickly and doesn't become much of a factor beyond just being present.

Drinkability: Easily drinkable -- nice set of scents and flavors with nothing overwhelming to the palate and the body isn't so thick that it's like chewing used motor oil or anything, so it certainly doesn't sit heavy at all; lastly, the ABV is under 6%, so it's more than manageable.

 1,759 characters

Photo of morebeergood
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at Trader Joe's for under $2. Poured into a stemmed glass. Dark brown color with blood red highlights. Great head forms atop the body. Smell was like a fresh cup of coffee. Flavor was very potent, like a double shot of espresso. Very luscious mouthfeel on this beer also. The one negative I have against the beer is the bitterness that comes from the roasted malt. I found it a bit harsh on the palate, where it hurt the beer's overall drinkability. A nice stout though, and priced quite well at your local TJ's.

 531 characters

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

Pours a near black opaque colour with a lingering finger of tan head. The smell is of roasted malts, with dark semisweet chocolate, and hints of date or raisin. The flavour profile follows the nose, with excellent development over the palate. The generous carbonation carries the tastes well, although it is not quite as creamy as I like my stouts to be. Another high quality beer from Sierra Nevada, if you have not had this beer I recommend picking it up the next time your in the mood for a stout.

Prost - Matt

 515 characters

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

Pours a bible black with a tight knit enduring head that laces the glass.

Presents a very wonderful bouquet of hops, toasted malt and alcohol.

The flavor is full bodied and up front and center on my taste buds. The bitter hops make this beer an unquestionable ale and along with the toasted malt flavor round out the definition of a "stout" beer.

The mouthfeel produces a cordial long finish and there is enough effervescence to add vitality to the flavor as it sets on the flavor horizon.

Drinkability is superior mainly due to its lower ABV. The flavor is such that I kept reaching for my glass and to my surprise I finished the bottle in due haste- glad I have more of this in stock!

 691 characters

Photo of Allpe45
4.31/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

After my first one, I decided to always keep a few of these in the fridge for whenever I want a solid stout with relatively low abv.

Creamy light brown head about 2 fingers thick from a semi aggressive pour. Thin trails of lacing left behind with each sip.

Roasted malts in the nose along with muted coffee and chocolate.

Intense coffee flavors. The aroma was deceiving, the taste of coffee is very strong in this beer. Roasted malts and semi sweet chocolate as the coffee subsides. This would be a great beer at breakfast time.

Carbonation level feels a bit high but this is medium-full bodied and quite enjoyable.

Alcohol is not noticeable and the taste of it invites me to keep drinking more, extremely drinkable, solid overall.

 737 characters

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A big frothy off-white head tops this translucent dark brown beer that shows a bit of red through the edges.

S - Some bittering hops, some rawhide, some sweet chocolate. A good smell.

T - Dry smoked meats, a touch of bitter hops, some coffee on the finish, all intermingled with some sweet chocolate. A nicely complex beer. A little bit out of balance. Too sweet, I should say.

M - Smooth, but not creamy, and fairly thin. A bit drying.

D - Fairly drinkable, but with this strong a flavor and this much dryness, it lacks a bit.

 535 characters

Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served into my crystal mug this Stout appears a dark almost black color with red tones when held into the light.
The head is a beige color and leaves nice lacing.
You can smell the roasted malts with coffee and caramel.
Tasting the beer, I was surprised how light in body it was. The creamy beer lets you enjoy the roasted malts up front, being followed by coffee, caramel,prune and plum in the middle. At the end mild hops keep everything in check.
A very drinkable Stout, very simple , but complex. Great job, and I definitely will buy it again.

 547 characters

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

Aroma of dark roasted malt. Dark brown/black color with ruby hilites when viewed before halogen. Vigorous tan head that quickly vanished. Body is a bit thin. The roasted malt is dark enough, but it has a hint of sour aspect. Creamy it is. The finish is a little of some very dark roasted malt. Quite dry. Arguably a standard for the style, but it lacks bling.

 359 characters

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

Black colored beer with a slowly fading creamy head.Aroma is is mainly chocolate malts.Tatse is cocoa,sweet cream and toasted malts.A decent beer with decent flavor.Unfortunately nothing separates this stout from other stouts on the market.I would recommend to try at least once.I most likely would buy again.

 309 characters

Photo of jsh420
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours dark brown with a 2 finger tan head that had good retention and left lacing all down the glass

smells of dark roasted malts chocolate and hops

taste is rather hoppy for a stout - dark fruit roasted malts a little chocolate and coffee

mouthfeel is full bodied with tons of carbonation that gives it both a crisp and creamy finish

drinkability - while not a mind blowing stout it has great flavor is reasonably priced and is easy drinking at only 5.8%

 459 characters

Photo of rlee1390
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Jet black, about a one finger foam head. Perfect lacing. I mean perfect lacing.

S-Coffee, chocolate and roasted malts.

T-Extremely well balanced. The flavors in the nose are apparent in the taste, but the balance between them is great. Some hops in the finish but not overly bitter.

M-Medium with some creamyness

D-Well balanced makes for an easy drinking stout.

 368 characters

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

Poured into a etched imperial pint glass. Not quite black, showed some mahogany edges, head is pillowy and lasts forever. Smells more of hops and burnt sugars than anything else. Got some dark fruits in the scent as well. Flavor is really deep and layered of burnt sugars and roasted malt, burned malt even. Could be described as robust. Definitely bitter chocolate/coffee comes in late. Smooth mouthfeel and is really drinkable. Bravo Sierra Nevada.

 450 characters

Photo of tito42
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle to an imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Deep and dark, light barely seems to penetrate the glass when held up to a light. A dark cherry cola color around the edges of the glass. Thick, tan head with great retention and lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt with a sweet, chocolate smell like chocolate-covered donuts. A earthy hops smell cuts through as well.

Taste: The label claims this stout is perfectly balanced, and I have to agree. Roasted malt, chocolate, hops, and sweet are all present without one overpowering the other. More of a coffee flavor comes through later in the tasting. Very well done.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate creaminess, very smooth. Light-medium carbonation and a slightly dry hops finish, and just slightly bitter.

Drinkability: Outstanding. I have a new favorite stout in Sierra Nevada Stout. Super smooth without being too thick, and a complex taste. Everything is superbly balanced in this brew. A little bit of chocolate but not too much and not too sweet. The hops and roasted malt balance each other out perfectly. I picked up a sixer figuring this would be a quality stout, and I was impressed. This will be in my year-round rotation from now on.

 1,211 characters

Photo of Landfill21
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beer into my guinness pint glass. Pours into a dark black color with a hint of mahogany under the light. Has a smell of roasted nuts malts and a hint of toffee.

Has a nice taste and a light mouthfeel and great aftertaste that leaves you wanting to drink more. This is a great beer, highly recommend.

 312 characters

Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 85.1% out of 100 with 3,389 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.