Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout
3,423 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: 3,423 |  Reviews: 1,448
Photo of BranfordBound
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a snifter, coded bottle date.

Nice super dark brown color to this. Foamy two finger head of light tan bubbles forms from an aggressive pour. Very nice lacing.

Coffee aromas dominate, slight chocolate and hops linger in the back. Not an aromatic beer.

Nice flavor to this, not too strong. There's a mingling of coffee and milk chocolate which make it seem like mocha. Also just a touch of leafy and bitter hops at the end. Roasted malt sneaks in at the end, as well. Very balanced.

Fairly light, unexpectedly watery, though.

Very drinkable stout, will buy again if other substitutes aren't available.

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Photo of abrethanson
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearnce - dark coffee with creamy one finger head. Toffee/ cola color at edges when held to the light. excellent lacing that appears as art trailing down the glass.

Smell- malty, coffee, & toffee notes

Taste - the burnt / coffee hits you abruptly, followed by chocolate, ending with a hoppiness that lingers long enough to entice another enjoyable mouthful.

Drinkability - even with the bold flavors and strong body I could sit around and drink this stout all night. Would complement a grilled sandwich and then provide the perfect topping for a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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

Poured into a CCB Pint Glass at 50ºF.

Pours a thick chocolatey brown with hints of copper when held up to the light. Creates a beautiful creamy natural colored head with fantastic lacing down the entire side of the glass. The way it settles ontop of the glass strongly resembles a beer bubblebath.

The smell isn't too strong, but from what I can gather, I get hints of hops, cream, and mocha.

Oh my God! I wasn't expecting something to taste this good; has a full body feel, very mild hint of hops, chocolate undertones and slightly bitter coffee aftertaste. The lacing is still reaching to the tops of the glass as I'm halfway through this badboy; totally impressive.

The mouthful is very thick, but not the thickest I've had. This is one of the most drinkable stouts that I've had to date, and it's extremely deserving of a spot in my regular stock. I'd have no problem drinking these one after another on a nightly basis.

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

A - Pours a black color with deep copper highlights when held up to the light. There is a one finger, mocha head that has amazing retention. The head leaves a substantial amount of lacing. Amazing looking.

S - I get some roasted malts along with some bitter chocolate and coffee. There is a slight hop aroma detected also.

T - This is hands down the hoppiest stout I've ever had. The taste starts off creamy but then there is a huge hop profile that gives way to a very bitter, chocolate, chalky, aftertaste that lingers on for quite a while. Not bad, just not what I was expecting.

M - The excellent head retention gives this stout a creamy characteristic that helps keep the hoppy flavors where they should be. There is a good amount of carbonation, but the mouthfeel could be a wee bit heavier.

D - This tastes good, looks amazing but nothing really sticks out. It's a good Stout to have once, and is great for it's style, but I probably wont get it again.

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

12oz bottle. Pours a basically black color with a big, frothy brown head. Decent lacing. Aromas of roasted malts and light coffee. Taste has a dark chocolate character to it along with roasted malts. Some coffee flavor. Another great beer by Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of jbphoto88
3.4/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with minimal burnt sienna highlights. Not much light passes through and only does so when it catches the thinnest faceted part of the glass. The head is thick, tan and sticky. It lays like a khaki blanket on top of the beer, protecting it and keeping it snug.

The nose is sweet and all malts. Nice roasted grains that have both a coffee and chocolate characteristic but more in the ball park of the later. Smells like a hearty brew.

Hmmm... what happened here? The taste kind of flops compared to the nose. It still has a strong grain presence but it's vey dull. The nose hints towards fresh cracked roasted malts but the taste is more like a stale old chocolate malt ball. A touch of nuttiness is nice. Still tasty but not as good as it smells and really not what I was expecting.

Mouthfeel is good but not exceptional. I find the carbonation to be a little too fizzy and that co2 acidity takes away from the flavors of the brew. It does have a decent chewiness that I like but not enough to save it from the slip its had. S.N. Stout starts out rocking the house and then quickly slips into mediocrity. Worth a try but there are better ones out there.

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

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Darkest of browns with a khaki colored head. Nice lace work going down the glass. Smell is nice and roasty. In the taste, roasted black malt, hint of piney hops. Some nice char flavors going around. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, adequate carbonation. A solid, spot on for style effort from Sierra Nevada. Impressive.

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Photo of AdamBear
2.89/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Even for a semi-sessionable stout, this just isn't all that great

A-dark brown, with a decent cream colored head

S-some mocha but fairly hoppy, creamy but mild

T-hits with a good amount of dark roasted coffee beans that are quite creamy. not as bitter as i expected. leaves with dark roasted malts.

M-medium carbonation that is a bit tangy. dry finish

D-develops a creamy tanginess that i find undesirable. alcohol, of course, doesn't come in to play which is nice for a stout, but still...i couldn't drink a lot of this.

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Photo of Natural510
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, dated 0-181.

Pours a dark brown-black, with small amount of tan foam which leaves a slight ring of lace around the glass.
Scent of dark chocolate and roasted malt.
Flavor forward with a sweet, roasted malt and backed by an understated hop bite, with notes of cocoa, hazelnut and cherry in the finish.
Body is full and pleasingly hoppy in the mouth.

I hadn't had this one in ages, but it remains complex and full in flavor. Lower-ABV (by American standards) and smooth, balanced flavor allow for a stout which can be enjoyed in quantity.

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Photo of sprucetip
3.71/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes.

Basically black with hints of highlights when backlit. Active, with thick mocha head and good retention.

Plenty warm but all I get is some faint roast and mild booze. ...Later some lightly vanilla like malty sweetness. Takes work and patience to find.

Slightly acrid and burnt coffee coffee accent on top of medium roast, with malty sweetness balancing. Roasty/hoppy bitterness on the back end. Vaguely fruity in the middle.

Stings briefly then a kind of benign medium body. Finishes with roasty bitterness and drying.

It's a good stout that I'd be proud to have made, but it doesn't knock my socks off. In competition against similarly priced sixers of this style, it's not my first choice. But I'm sure I'll have it again.

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Photo of RedSpecial1
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours out a dark brown with a thick off white head that lingers, looking like a layer of clouds on top of the beer. The smell is of roast barley and a light hoppiness. The taste is sweet on the front of the taste with a slight bitterness at the end due to the combination of the roast barley and hops. The mouthfeel is quite smooth and creamy, very tasty. This is a very drinkable stout, definitely a session beer.

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Photo of KidsDoc
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz fresh bottle pured into snifter

A: dark brown, near black with minimal, thin light brown head. Sticky lacing down the glass. small amount of brown sediment in glass

S: a very crisp, sweet smell. Chocolate notes, earthy hops blend, roasted malt

T: wonderfully balanced dark, roated malt with chocolate/sweet undertones. A pleasant slightly bitter coffee aftertaste The hops gives a slight drying finish

M: overall very clean; medium-full bodied. Very smooth drinking stout

D: one of the more drinkable stouts that isn't too heavy or to filling. This could be a good cool weather session stout

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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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Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 3,423 ratings