Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout
BA SCORE
4.07/5
Exceptional
3,402 Ratings
Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
sierranevada.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,416
Reviews:
1,444
Ratings:
3,402
pDev:
10.81%
Bros Score:
4.58
 
 
Wants:
327
Gots:
486
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,402 |  Reviews: 1,444
Photo of Pahn
3.08/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Free pour yields a two inch offwhite head that dissipates slowly leaving a large ring of lacing. Pours an almost black redbrown, and leaves spots of lacing.

Smell: Lots of c-hops from bottle and in the glass. Mild roasted malt comes out with more warmth, and strikes an okay balance with the persistent hops.

Taste: Nutty roasted malt up front that quickly becomes heavy characterless bitterness, I'm assuming from both the malt and the hops. Some hops fade in and out of the flavor, and there's a creamy coffee aftertaste. More roasted malt flavors emerge, but the hop flavor is getting in the way rather than marrying with them. Hops seem to be imparting a real soapiness that is not pleasant.

The overall impression is that the beer is too bitter without flavor to back it up (it feels like the flavor is drained somehow, the impression of which is only exacerbated by the watery mouthfeel), with a soapiness that has no business being in a stout.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Watery. Decent carbonation.

Overall: I don't mind a bitter stout, from hops, malt, chocolate, or whatever. I don't mind a hoppy stout. However, this beer seemed to be a strange combination of flavors that just don't work together. I finished it, but I wouldn't want another.

This beer is a headscratcher for me. Sierra Nevada is world class, and I love a lot of what they do. It's rated higher than I'd expect from tasting it, but more importantly it tastes worse than I'd expect from who made it. There's a slim possibility I'll pick up another bottle sometime to rereview on the strength of their other beers, but as is I was very unimpressed.

 1,676 characters

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

Sierra Nevada Stout has a very thick, creamy, beige head, and a dark brown (red, under light), clear appearance, with substantial lacing down the glass. The aroma is of dark-roasted barley malt and coffee, with a whiff of chocolate. The hop smell shows up as the beer warms. Taste is likewise of dark-roasted malt and coffee, with pleasant bitterness and a smooth aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium to thick, and Sierra Nevada Stout finishes surprisingly crisp and quite delicious. I highly recommend you give this a try!

RJT

 523 characters

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

I've had this beer often, poker night sipping sometimes. Usually drink from bottle on poker night but for review, poured into snifter at 55 degrees. This is a readily available brew that is quite good.

Pours dark with a little light coming thru. good one inch creamy tan head with good lacing thruout.

Smeel is roasted malts at first, some coffee, then slighty sweet dark fruit. Maybe some hoppiness at the end

Taste is about the smell only not as sweet and more roasty and a little smoke.

a little thin, I like em a little thicker and silky

overall a good beer, and for $8 a six pack a good go to. A good representation of an american stout.

 647 characters

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

A: Dark enough brown to essentially be black, with a huge fluffy light tan head that slowly fades to a half finger, leaving an insane amount of lacing.

S: Sweet roasty malt with brown sugar, toffee and caramel.

T: Refreshingly bitter without being dry. The nose gives you the impression of sweetness, but this is bitter and hoppy throughout. There isn't much development through the mid-palate, but there is a nice chocolate kick in the finish.

M: Full, creamy body. No real warmth (nor is it expected).

O: This is a textbook American stout.

 545 characters

Photo of danmcg62
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a deep black color with a generous head. This is exactly what a quality stout should look like. Looks like a cylindrical bar of chocolate.

S-A real sweet smell at first sniff. Dark chocolate comes to mind. Butter cream frosting comes to mind for some reason as well.

T-Super chocolatey. Dark coffee and malt flavors come around as well. Super tasty beer.

M-A thick, creamy feel in the mouth. Almost like a chocolate milkshake.

D-Not super drinkable. Definitely taking my time with this one (and I'm not complaining about it one bit).

What a beer! Excellent stuff per usual from Sierra Nevada.

 605 characters

Photo of ntatum
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brownish black (I definitely wouldn't say it's jet black) with a creamy tan head that seems to last.

Smells of toasted malts and bitter sweet chocolate with a hint of spicy hops. It smells like if you made toast out of pumpernickel bread and spread some chocolate on it.

Taste is great! You get that characteristic toasty malts with that chocolate and a touch of coffee. There's also a nice bitterness that lingers even after the swallow. There was a flavor that I couldn't pin down and I went back and read some other reviews and earthy is what I'm getting; in a good way of course.

The mouthfeel is slightly more carbonated than I expected with a mouth coating creaminess. It's not a super heavy stout by any means, which definitely makes it drinkable.

 770 characters

Photo of codsmith
3.99/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Jet black in color with a very nice one finger light tan head that lingers while drinking. Perfect for keeping in the flavor and smell of the beer

Smell - very light on the malt smell, but somewhat heavy on the bitter hops. Its only slightly less bitter in smell than most Sierra Nevada beers. Very clean smelling

Taste - Dark malt taste at the beginning, but gets a little astringent chocolate (VERY MILD) and coffee (VERY MILD) and then the bitter hops take over to finish it out, leaving a bitter hops taste on your palate. If the coffee and the chocolate were more predominate it would make for a better beer

Mouthfeel - Has a heavy mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation

Drinkability - Not one of my favorite stouts, but for you bitter hop lovers out there that drink the occasional stout, this one is perfect for you.

 855 characters

Photo of Anthony1
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a black hue with a creamy, thick tan head that manages to last throughout the drink. chocolate syrupy, bitter-sweet roasted malts and vanilla come on a par with a considerable level of Cascade-like hop fragrance. decent level of balance in the glass. a refreshing but also lubricating mouthful of bitter roast malts with a sound touch of sourness is soon overtaken by the fragrant hop+malt swallow, leaving an aromatic finish hinting at cocoa powder, toasted walnuts+almonds, and date-cake laced with raisins. Complex finish, with nutty and root-herbal undertones lingering with a good level of sour fruitiness and chewy bitterness

 637 characters

Photo of wolfinthemirror
4.01/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

fairly dark, but i can see through it when held to the light. a nice cream colored head resutls from the pour, an inch worth of suds. leaves some lacing on the glass.

in the smell I detect some grassy hops and toasted malts.

The taste is very good toasted malts, some chocolate and maybe a hint of coffee that lingers on the tongue. A nice roasty brew.

Medium bodied and creamy, typical carbonation, a little bit acidic.

Highly drinkable beer, low abv and medium body make for easy drinking. Tasty.

 502 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 LittleDon
3.24/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark with light barely visible around the edges when backlit. Very good head retention with lots of lace.

A: Lightly roasted malt and grassy hops. Aroma is much lighter than one would expect give the color.

T: Some carbonation at the onset. Balance of mild roasted malt with bittersweet hops. Bittersweet finish. As with aroma, the taste is not in keeping with the color or style.

M: Thin body. Some acidity in the middle. Dry.

D: Don't know what to say here. Very approachable, but not what I'd typically expect for a stout.

Given the high overall review, I'll assume that I got a bad bottle. I'll have to try again at a later date.

 641 characters

Photo of projectflam86
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep dark brown color with a thick toffee colord head. Decent lacing left behind.

S- Definitely some black malt and caramel aromas. Some dark chocolate and smoke.

T- Very rich full roasted flavor. The aftertaste leaves a lingering burnt flavor behind. Definitely some chocolate and coffee with a decent amount of bitterness.

M- Feels more full bodied than a typical 5.8% beer. Smooth carbonation.

D- Very drinkable and full flavored. IMO Sierra Nevada has a stranglehold on well priced, easily accessible, highly flavorful brews. Cheers!

 552 characters

Photo of THECPJ
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 3/5/2011

Appearance: dark brownish black with a 2 finger mocha colored head.

Smell: Roasted / Toasted Barley, Malts,

Taste: Toasted Barley, Sweet Malts,

Mouthfeel: Mild Carbonation, medium body,

Drinkability: This is an all around great stout. What stouts used to be. Before they started adding all these flavors to the beer.

Cheers,

the CPJ

 360 characters

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

Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 3,402 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.