Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout
3,417 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,417 |  Reviews: 1,447
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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Photo of treque
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A a very deep brown colour with some amber hues semi traslucent. A nice off white head something between sand and capuccino colour it last for a while never disappears at all.

S a hop presence and roasted is persistence.

A medium to high body. Some roast from beginning until the end and there is the bitter explosion for a long final nice combination

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

12oz bottle around fridge temp poured into a bulb style glass.

pours out nearly black, reveals a bit of ruby red when held to the light. big fluffy, rocky light tan colored head with great retention, kept a thick foamy layer the whole glass. lots of sticky lace on the glass.

aromas of fruits, some dark fruits, some roasted malt, hints of coffee and chocolate, and an earthy, leafy hop balances things out nicely.

yumm...perfectly balanced. light roasted malt, burnt grains, some fruits, dark fruits, hints of cocoa and coffee, balanced so nicely by an herbal leafy hop with some decent bitterness at the finish.

a medium body really coats the whole palate. dry finish. carbonation is appropriate for the style.

great drinkability, something you can have a bunch of. overall, this is more or less the perfect example of the style. all i could ask for would maybe be a touch more roast.

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Photo of rundocrun
4.46/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a rich brownish black that glows deep amber when held up to a bright light. The head piles up and almost over the glass and has a light tan color.

S - Roasted, slightly sweet coffee and chocolate. Faint hop aroma. Very standard for a stout.

T - Again, some rich coffee and chocolate notes. Not overly bitter from the roasted grains. Slightly biscuity. Overall, very balanced and smooth example of an American Stout.

M - Only slightly viscous, but very drinkable because of that. Drying, slightly astringent mouthfeel from the black malt/roast barley addition, but that just makes me want to take another sip! ...and another... and another...

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Photo of greybeardloon
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into a nonic. Bottled on January 26, 2011.

A: A not timid pour resulted in a substantial, very light brown head that sticks around for a good while. Lots and lots of lacing. The beer is surprisingly translucent when held up to the light.

S: Initially, milk chocolate and not much else. Later, the hops come through.

T: Mostly chocolate and earthy hops, with some hop bitterness at the back. Not as much roastiness as I expect from a stout.

M: This is surprisingly thin for a stout. Based on the mouthfeel, I wouldn't think I'm drinking a stout. It's also more heavily carbonated than I would expect.

O: I'm really not sure what to make of this stout. It doesn't fit what I expect from an American stout. I certainly like it, though: the earthy and bitter hops complement nicely, it's incredibly drinkable, and it works much better with food than most other stouts. Maybe I'll think of it as a dark, chocolatey American brown ale.

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

Pours opaque and fluidly; head was two-fingers, light tan, and had large bubbles on top of the finely bubbled rest. Lacing was excellent and sheet-like. Head dissipated a bit quicker than I'd have liked.

Pleasant-strength coffee is the first scent out of the gate, with dark chocolate a close second. It has an earthiness which is a nice complement to the malty backbone, and the coffee sort of grows on you the more you smell it. Wish there was something else going on though, as the coffee and chocolate aren't great enough to carry the entire nose by themselves; it's still good though.

Taste starts with a nice blend of chocolate and coffee, with a healthy dose of that earthiness blended in. It's a great combination and all the flavors are well integrated here. A slight sweetness rounds out the bitterness, leaving your mouth with a slight buttery/dry finish. The butter character remains in the aftertaste for a while.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly full for how fluidly the beer poured. It's not viscous, but it definitely isn't watery either. Carbonation is high and I'd prefer it a bit lower, but it isn't ridiculous or anything. Drinkability is aided by the smooth and easy flowing nature of the beer, but hurt a bit by the buttery aftertaste. I like the taste, just not as one that lingers for a while, leaving itself as a souvenir of the beer. It doesn't measure up to the coffee and chocolate, so I'd rather have those to keep tasting before the next sip. This is a really good stout though, and may be on my shortlist of sixers to buy regularly.

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Photo of jsprain1
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Black, and only when held to light does it reveal that it's ruby highlighted. Tanned head disappates down to almost nothing.
S- Chocolatey, with some hops in there. Predominately chocolatey with some roastiness.
T- Mostly chocolate, with some roasted character to it. A definite roasted coffee ground presence in the finish with some kind of C-type hop playing in there as well.
M- Medium bodied, smooth carbonation that meshes well with the flavors. Ever so slightly dry in the finish.
O- A solid stout. In terms of chocolate character and mouthfeel, it bears a resemblence to a number of your better milk/sweet stouts. A definite recommend.

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Photo of jsanford
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass

A - Pours a darkest brown with a fluffy, 2-inch head of khaki-colored foam that settles to a thick haze. Leaves some sticky lacing as it recedes.
S - Dark roasted malt, coffee, and bitter dark chocolate with a bit of copper-penny oxidation. If I'm reading the Bottle Code correctly, this is over a year old, so the oxidation doesn't really surprise me.
T - More dark roasted malt and chocolate with a more pronounced coffee flavor than in the aroma. Very subtle hoppiness in the finish, and just a small twang of oxidation.
M - Creamy and smooth, with a medium body and lowish carbonation.
O - Solid example of the Style, I'd expect nothing less from SN. I don wish they'd get rid of that obtuse Bottling Code, though.

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Photo of bbeerman
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a regular 16oz shaker glass.

A..Nice dark grey/black color. Good head retention.

S..Smelled "roasty" to me which was inviting considering the style of beer.

T..Very good presentation of a classic beer style. Hops were more present than other stouts and that was anticipated come from Sierra Nevada. I think I tasted a little chocolate and hints of coffee. Very pleasing.

M..Good texture; not too light or heavy. Came across as a decent stout though I would have graded this higher had the texture been a bit heavier.

O..A very good stout. Easy to drink, nice unique taste (as always from SN) and a beer I would always go back for.

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

Amber-black appearance at first, with a thick head of tan bubbles. Detailed and ornate lacing on the glass. A beautiful stout!

Nose brings lightly roasty malts -- some chocolate and a hint of coffee. Pleasant, but not too unique.

Taste is delicious -- a well-balanced mix of burnt chocolate malts and a little hops at the finish. Eminently drinkable and session-worthy, this is a definitive representation of a well-done stout.

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Photo of beerinmorning
4.19/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stouts can be heavy. That's just the way it is. But it's a usually a trade off, because with that heaviness usually comes a wonderfully rich flavor.

Sierra Nevada Stout, however, gives that wonderful smell and taste in a stout that is VERY drinkable. The pour is perfect with a good 1/2 inch head. The lacing clings well.

At first, the mouthfeel is a little thin, but mainly because I expected a thicker feel that I get from most stouts. By the second sip, what seemed thin at first came across as very drinkable, with a full flavor in a very smooth sip.

The taste is exceptional. Not too bitter, nor too sweet with hints of caramel lingering in the aftertaste.

In the end, beer doesn't get much more enjoyable than this. Is someone were to ask me which stout they should try first, I would recommend this one without hesitation.

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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.

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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.

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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!


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 3,417 ratings