Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout
3,411 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

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Ratings: 3,411 |  Reviews: 1,446
Photo of brewdub17
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark opaque brown with a tan head atop. Leaves a light amount of light tan lacing.

Smell: A great blend of a slight freshness from the light hops and a strong sweetness from the malts. Pleasant amount of caramel notes are present.

Taste: Similar to that of the aroma, it is a good blend of slight fresh, bitterness and that malty, roasted sweetness that is found in every stout. This american stout however, does not have an overpowering amount of roastness and is pleasantly fresh.

Mouthfeel: The above mentioned combination of flavors make for a great covering of the mouth with a slight amount of dryness. Sweet and coating, yet slightly fresh and clean.

Drinkability: Very nice subtle amount of presumably strong flavors mixed with hints of unexpected pleasantries, may make it a staple amongst the american stout style.

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

12oz bottled April 22 2010.

Pours thin dark brown with a big active tan head, very foamy, leaves clumpy lacing and holds a good cap.

Aroma is some chocolate and sweet malts, roasted malt, nuts, caramel, moderate strength.

Flavor features chocolate, roasted malts, some dark fruits underneath, fair bit of sweetness but far from cloying, a touch of citrus hops.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy and foamy, medium carbonation.

Pretty good Stout, definitely liked this better than their Porter.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Pours black with a nice head that retains. Most of the head stick around and laces well.

S-Roasty, chocolatey. Pleasant. A bit of booze. Some bitterness as well.

T-Lighter than expected. Also more bitter tahn expected. You get the standard roasty chocolatey taste, but there is some bitter hoppiness here as well. Booze makes a very faint appearence.

M-A bit watery. Not exceptional for the style. At 5.8% its definately on the lower abv side for the style but still, the beer does not convery the appropriate mouthfeel.

D-Easy to drink. But unspectacular and you could probably find another stout to take thios one'e place.

Not bad by any means but as far as Sierra Nevada is concerned, I'll take the a few of their offerings before this.

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Photo of midwestbrewers
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours pretty much black with a small thin head. Looks like decent carbonation.

S: I smelled this beer as soon as I started pouring. Dark and sweet smelling. Very balanced. Nice hint of hops in the background.

T: Very smooth beer from start to finish. The taste is very subtle at the front but the finish is a blast of flavor. On the back of the palette there is a plethora of roasted malts flavor. The beer is a bit more hoppy at the front and roasted in the back.

Overall this beer is amazing. Kind of a curve ball for me since the hops were out front and the roasted was in the back but A+. The beer is smooth and tasty; great body as well as a finish worthy of angels. GREAT BEER SIERRA NEVADA BREWING!!!

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Photo of mikeg67
3.79/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours dark brown with a thick, tan head. The aroma is bready and toasted malt. Full, smooth body. The flavor is coffee, toasted malt with notes of dark fruit, faint of chocolate and citrus. Finish is long and bitter. It is good, drinkable stout.

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Photo of LieutenantD
3.1/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Without all the technicallity, this beer tasted like Sierra's Pale Ale revisited. The only difference was added depth of character through the heavy use of malts. Otherwise, the same hop profile pulls through. When looking objectively at the style, I'd say they were confused as to what they were producing. Stouts and Porters are my favorites (I know, Hop Heads are scoffing now), and as such, I was expecting less hop character (again, for the style). If I wanted a Pale Ale, or IPA, then I'd go get one.

Overall, I give it a "C:" there is a "Chance" I'll buy this again.

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

Appearance: Very dark and pours perfect. Tight foam head of an ivory color.

Smell: A dark roasted smell was there but not over powering. I do wish it had a bit more of sent to it. I like to smell the beer and feel it serves as a preview of whats to come.

Taste: A good representation of a stout. Not overly sweet, heavy,or thin.

Mouthfeel: Mild body. I wish it had a slight larger end feel but mostly it was good.

Drinkablity: Easy to drink. Heavy enough to feel like you are drinking something with substance but light enough to have a few in a row.

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

Light tan, 1" head; thick, medium density. Roasted malt well balanced with a big hoppy biterrness to aroma, would have expected that for Sierra. Sort of a bright aroma for a stout. Medium thickness to mouthfeel with a mild to moderate carbonation. Coffee and roasted malt seem to be the biggest player in flavor again well accompanied with a big hop flavor. Nice dry hop finish, almost has a slight fruitness to finish. Expected and enjoyed the bigger hoppy presence in the beer. Not over done though, well balanced.

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Photo of scelesti
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour from bottle into glass mug.

A - Rich dark black, nearly opaque. It has a very healthy two-and-a-half finger head.

S - The nose is rich and malty, with caramel and roasted notes, mingling with piney hops.

T - Sweet maltiness up front, giving way to zesty hops. Caramel, coffee, and dark chocolate on the finish. Fantastic! I'm also picking up on some smokiness as it warms.

M - Not overly thick or heavy for a stout. Very creamy.

D - Wow... we've got great drinkability here. Thank you sir, may I have another?

I was a bit afraid this stout would be overwhelmed by the judicious use of hops. But Sierra Nevada has pulled it off beautifully. This is a wonderfully balanced brew. The hop presence adds a lot to this beer, and takes nothing away from it. Think it'll be making a regular appearance in my fridge.

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Photo of TheSupremeAJ
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Very nice pour from a 12oz bottle with good head- indicative of Sierra Nevada's style. Left a nice lacing down the glass. Poured into a standard plain pint glass a dark, ruby black color with a creamy tan head.

S- Sweet and dark roasted scent. Hints of a vanilla bean like quality. Molasses and fragrant hops.

T- Awesome. My favorite stout. Ive drank through a whole case by myself (not in one sitting...) and I've enjoyed every bottle. I dont like to share these. A very well balanced stout with nice dark barley, evident hops, smooth flavors.

M- A little more carbonated than I prefer however very good. not too tick like some stouts

D- Highly drinkable. I consider this a world class beer,

Bought in 2010 in a case from Shangy's in Emmaus, PA.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.07/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic. Thanks to beerwolf77 for this one!

(A)- Pours a near pitch black color that produced a huge fluffy tan heat with superb retention. Plenty of lacing left behind, not wanting to disappear.

(S)- Dry, with a very subtle/mellow roastedness. Some raisins and a minimal nutty background.

(T)- Also dry like the smell, but with an overwhelmingly bitter nutty profile. Hints at a roasted profile, but not really.

(M)- A good carbonation level. Extremely bitter. So bitter that it becomes an acrid burnt flavor for me.

(D)- The ridiculous burnt flavor really puts me off and causes me to not even want to finish this. I am surprised by this one coming from Sierra Nevada.

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours a slightly red muddy brown with a small, fine, creamy head. Smell is roasty and mild. Little hint of piney hops.

Roasty nutty flavor with (again) a nice little hint of hops, slightly chocolatey flavor with a nice burnt bitterness aftertaste. I like it.

Mouthfeel is thinnish for a stout, but not too thin, not sticky...relatively light overall, but pleasant. Very drinkable stout. I like this -- I wish I hadn't taken so long to finally try it.

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Photo of Beerbluesbiology
4.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours an opaque black body with ~1 inch head and some lacing on glass. Head dwindles to light dusting of froth on the body. Smells of smokey molasses, some hoppy notes similar to SN's pale ale with faint whiff of alcolol. Tastes of smokey dark chocolate with hints of coffee. I really like how SN kept their hoppy presence in this beer. Feels smooth, but with nice bubbly carbonation on the tongue. Overall, an EXCELLENT stout with more of a hoppy kick than most.

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

Small, red 12 oz bottle. Pretty much the same as all the other Sierra Nevada brews.

A - Thick ass head that sticks around forever. Finally it settles to a pretty thick cap of creamy foam, with some nice lacing. Super dark brown, almost black. Awesome.

S - Earthy and roasted. I can pick out a very slight molasses scent in there somewhere. It smells great.

T - Charred and quite bitter. Definitely earthy and hearty. Think of this as steak in beer form. Some definite cocoa and coffee also. Leaves a long lasting hoppy-bitter aftertaste. Pretty much how a beer should taste. Its fantastic.

M & D - Smoooth. Bitterness stings the pallet a little, kind of like dark chocolate. Carbonation is light to medium. Not as thick as most stouts. I could drink this stuff all day.

After reading about this brew, I decided to try it out. I love stouts and just bitter food/drinks in general (especially DARK chocolate!). This is right up my alley, and it is an exceptional stout that is easy to find. I love this stuff.

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

Nearly black body with an off white head.

Mmmm...that smells good. Rich chocolate with a hint of smoke.

Toffee, caramel, bitter chocolate, smoky roasted malt, and dark coffee bitterness. Plenty of bitterness balances it all out before a dry finish.

Creamy, smooth, spot on.

Sierra Nevada Stout is an excellent everyday Stout. Its uber-drinkable, well balanced and pretty affordable. Between this and Obsidian, you can enjoy great Stouts all Winter long without breaking the bank.

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Photo of r0nyn
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my Otter Creek nonic.

Pours a deep, dark brown that fills the glass with opaque blackness, with ruby edges peeking from the sides. Big tan head that recedes slowly, leaving some serious sticky lacing. Smell is full of roasted malts along with some milk chocolate and bitter coffee. Hops and alcohol are not detectable.

Big malty kick at the start, with a definite roasted character. Gives way to the coffee and chocolate from the nose, the latter taking on quite a bit of bitterness as the beer permeates the palate. The bitter quality lingers long into the aftertaste along with some astringency. There don't seem to be any hops. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and crisp, with some decent carbonation. Finishes dry.

Drinkability is fairly good. The taste balance is a little skewed to the bitter chocolate side, with malts taking a backseat, but that's not a gamebreaker. Could easily have put away a few more. Another solid brew from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Black at its center, but ruby hues dance around the perimeter of the glass. A khaki-colored one inch head crowns the beer. Retention is good, and plenty of sticky lacing is left clinging to the glass.

S: Earthy and citric hops jump out first, with underlying smells of sweet and roasted malts. Molasses, a bit of coffee and dark chocolate, and very subtle hints of darkfruit. Not the most assertive nose.

T: Molasses opens but quickly gives way as citric hops punch through. Slightly bitter coffee and dark chocolate follow. Finishes slightly dry with a deep charcoal roastiness.

M: Medium bodied, creamy, and smooth. Lively carbonation keeps the tongue entertained.

D: Tasty and easily sessionable.

Notes: I used to live off of this beer when I was in college. Literally. I would drink one almost every day for lunch with a reuben sandwich. I ate the same exact meal for about four months straight before I decided to switch it up. Why mess with a good thing? This is a very enjoyable and easy to drink stout. It packs a bit of a hop punch, but that should be expected from Sierra Nevada. Big taste for a low price. In that regard, it's hard to beat. This is a regular in my fridge.

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Photo of machostacos
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours rich dark brown, practically black, with lovely ruby highlights. Two-finger puffy tan head quickly dissipates leaving about a quarter-inch that sticks around leaving a bit of lacing.

S: Lots of chocolaty malt with a cola-like sweetness, a bit of coffee roastiness, earthy, piney hop freshness finishing with a dark chocolate/coffee bitterness and some dark sticky fruits. The hop presence is dominant at first, slowly unveiling the delicious malts as the beer warms. Smells pretty wonderful with the great hop character that isn't so common for this style.

T: Tastes much the same as the aroma, although the coffee notes are much more forward on the palette than on the nose. Nice full flavor that isn't overpowering and doesn't linger too long.

M: By far the weakest part of this beer. While not "watery" per se, it's much too thin for a stout. I've had IPAs and porters with much more body than this beer, so the thin mouthfeel leaves a lot to be desired.

D: With a reasonable ABV and flavor that is full and delicious while being far from overpowering, this is a very drinkable beer. Ultimately it could be much better with a slightly higher gravity and more viscosity.

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown colour, bordering on black, with surprisingly pale beige head. What's also surprising is its proportions, but pleasantly so, with nice froth producing 3 fingers of thickness. Sinks steadily and leaves only minimal traces of beige lacing behind. A bit... renegade? in places, but a good-looking beer.

Smells very tasty. Lots of dark, roasty characters that are also nicely sweet, with nothing intense or charred to them. I think it's because there's a really distinct West Coast hoppiness to it as well, which just adds a delicious layer of 'fresh' to the toasty bitterness. But lots of chocolate and caramel malts and some cola sweetness, plus a touch of pine wood and citrus. Very appealing nose, American aromatics at their best.

Taste is enjoyable similar. Malty for large parts, with a significant nod to the dark. Chocolatey, with rich cocoa on the front that descends into more bitter territory with hints of espresso coffee and licorice. Pleasant hop character comes through on the finish, doesn't quite 'clean up' but provides an interesting contrast to the dark bitterness, which wins superiority in the fight for finishing flavours. This is decidedly American in character, providing a big "fuck you" to mediocrity and a unique twist on conventional stout flavours. Damn tasty.

Good texture, all the way down. Lots of body but nothing too heavy. Has a slight residual dryness that almost feels viscous, but apart from that niggle, damn close to perfection.

I've learnt in the past couple of weeks that this bottle is a "grey market" import to Australia. Worrying as this could be, I think the folks at SN needn't be overly concerned in this case because this beer I'm drinking is damned delicious. I can only imagine how good this would be fresh and, God willing, I'll be re-reviewing this in California some day.

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Photo of BeerEndevour14
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good generic tasting stout accompanied by a bold cocoa/sugar flavor. This beer is backed by strong hop character and pours nice with a thick dark head. I personally think the malt character is perfect but could see another tasters dissatisfaction with the roasted malt backbone. Also prefer it served at a lower temperature (approximately 44F) than other stout beers, perhaps because of the low-moderate alcohol content.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark black with a large two finger tan head, lasted a long time. The head dissipated slowly leaving a small layer of foam on top. Very nice lacing down the sides.

S: Very rich, lots of dark chocolate and some coffee. A nice roasted/burnt aroma as well. I also get some dark fruits and molasses as well.

T: Creamy, but not overly thick. Starts off with a roasted barley flavor which transitions to the dark chocolate, molasses, and a bit of caramel. There is also a slight hop bitterness mixed in as well.

M/D: Medium bodied, but seemed a little thin and very easy to drink. Overall a great example of the style. Glad it is readily available.

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Photo of beertunes
3.31/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a translucent black, a lot of light showed through this beer, with a tall, fluffy, tan head that had very good retention and decent lacing.

A very good roast aroma greets the nose, strong, solid and full the roastiness is outstanding. Not much else shows through, little grain, and surprisingly for SN, not a ton of hops either. On the tongue there are is a bit more of a hop presence than in the scent. The roast notes are solidly present as well, but nothing else really jumps out at you.

The body was far too thin for a stout, I've had Pale Ales that were more mouthfilling. Drinkability was decent, but if your in the mood for a stout, this is just a touch off.

Overall, a decent enough brew, just not quite up to SN's usual high standards. An OK beer, worth trying, but not special.

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Photo of Keffa
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a stubby bottle into a small tumbler. Why this place (Tootles in Circleville) doesn't have plain pint glasses that aren't cold, I will never know.

A: Pitch Black, head is small, but stays around for a good bit, and leaves lacing at each sip though.

S: Chocolate, small bit of coffee, a little bit of a floral hop. Not a bad aroma.

T: Nice sweet coffee, chocolate and a small bit of bitterness. Licorice as well as a slightly herbal, flowery hop.

M: Kinda thin for a stout, smooth finish though.

D: Very easy drinker here. The bitterness keeps the sweet malt from overpowering. Amazingly smooth finish for a stout.

This one is a very good plain stout, something that could be a staple of a beer fridge. Alcohol is hidden and the finish is so smooth. I like this one. A lot. Surprised it took me this long to try it.

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

Forget the Pale Ale, give me a Sierra Nevada Stout! Poured the medium bodied stout from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip. Very dark brown in color with a tan head. Tastes of dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, and the malts and hops give a slight bitterness. Possibly the D-trains favorite Sierra Nevada brew!

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

Poured deep black in color with thick off-white head that reduced to a thick cap. Lots of wet lacings on the glass. Roasted malt aroma with a hints of sweet malt and coffee. Medium bodied with light carbonation and smooth, velvety feel. Rich roasted malt flavor in the beginning that leads to a burst of coffee flavors in the middle and mild bitter hop finish. A light bitter pine aftertaste that slowly fades. I thoroughly enjoyed this stout. Sierra Nevada nefer disappoints. Very drinkable.

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Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 3,411 ratings
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