Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout
3,437 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: 3,437 |  Reviews: 1,452
Photo of RossCain
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an undated 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a deep garnet, borderline black with a frothy cappuccino colored head. Good, full webbing sticks to the sides of the glass leaving evident rings of each sip.

S: Very roasty with lighter hints of dark chocolate and cacao bean. Beneath the web of roasted malts you can also pick up on a well blended, slightly earthy and bitter hop profile meshing well with the over all aroma. The aroma finishes with a light, beckoning sweetness.

T: Robust flavors immediately hit the palate upfront with a dominant roast coffee bean profile married well with lightly sweet, dark malts and milk chocolate. Finishes remarkably well with a smooth and sweet character (with just a kiss of earthy complexity from a undertone of hops) that is not cloying but just delicately tapers off, leaving the palate feeling tantalized, not assaulted as some roastier beers tend to do. A very well rounded and flavorful stout.

M: Medium/Full bodied, moderately creamy, remarkably smooth, and palate coating with well done carbonation (light side). Leaves an ever so slight bitter calling card on the roof of the mouth.

D: Overall Sierra Nevada's stout stands as a well crafted example of its style. Roasty, sweet, smooth, but at the same time not overpowering on the palate, I could easily drink multiples without batting an eyelash. Definitely a recommended beer for either a gateway stout or just an all around well rounded (and affordable) staple.

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Photo of dhowe
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark tan head, good retention. Beer is black as night in the country. You could get lost staring into the heart of this one.

S - "Roasty" pleasant aroma.

T - Hints of coffee, dark chocolate, balanced with hop bitterness only - not much if any aroma detected - as is to style.

M - Good aftertaste feel, wants to take another sip.

D - Very drinkable, especially for a stout.

Probably partial, being a Sierra Nevada fan (IPA)

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Photo of nukem5
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a pitch black with great tan head.
great lacing down glass.

S: Aroma is of a warm roasty malt with a hint of floralk hops in there to show its a SN product.

T: Coffee and dark Chocolate comes in thru the buds here.

M: Medium bodied and great carb level with a light antiseptic wash in he back, not a bad thing but there none the less.

D: Very drinkable and nice and toasty on a cold night.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Out of the bottle comes a dark mahogany, somewhat viscous liquid. Looking at the edges of the glass, I find quite a fair bit of ruby tint. A nice tan head demonstrates reasonable retention and leaves lots of lace sticking to the glass.

Smell: Roasted malt, dark chocolate, a little bit of coffee, and a nice full earthy hop aroma.

Taste: The starts is obvious dark roasted malt, some dark chocolate, and then a coffee bitterness that builds with each sip, leading into the earthy hop flavor. The flavor finishes with a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Fairly sooth, with some bubbly carbonation. A little bit of hop oil stays on the tongue after each sip.

Drinkability: Simple, but there is great balance, and the flavors flow smoothly together.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Strange - in all the years I've been sipping on SN, I don't think I've had this. A shame, because it's purrrrdy good!

Damn - it's gotta huge head (like most of their brews?) - foamy. Actually, it may be too much, too generous, too much like a champagne considering de stijl. Sticky stuck lacing. At first, it looks pitch black but, from afar, appears an extreme dark brown.

Smells "quintessentially" (and I use this word for SN and only a few other breweries) like a SN brew - with the hoppy and citrus. But this also surely packs a potent roasty/bitter, dark coffee punch, maybe some chocolate in there as well, but quite burnt/husky/toasty on top.

Ooh, hoppy! In the taste, the chocolate comes out more, the bitter roast bites, and it's malty through and through. The coffee tones are excellent - burnt, roasty aftertaste, and it finishes a little nutty, too.

Whoa - this drinks too easily! I mean, I drink some of it, and I can't wait to swallow more. A smooth-ish, rolly feel - not at all syrupesque. For all the carb, the smooth cuts through (I'm writing from notes, you see). Light weight. A tiny prick on the center of the tongue.

Yes, this is real good. The bitter/acrid bent puts you at full attention. Reminds me much of a strong, dark, bitter roast coffee. Very American in its stoutiness. Very SN. Very drinkable.

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Photo of climax
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sierra Nevada Balloon. The color was a deep deep brown, almost black. The head was massive and had an excellent clumpy rocky effect as it was slowly swallowed by the black abyss.

The deep smokey nose had good complexity. The roasted coffee and dark unsweetened chocolate were at the helm. Dark sugars, raisins, and cola all play a part.

The taste adds just a hint of astringency to roasted milk chocolate and coffee flavors. Sweetness is overshadowed by dryness at the beginning, then ripe fruit and earthy bitterness begin to surface.

The feel is sharp initially from the carbonation, it lingers like a phantom through the finish. It is dry from beginning to end. The body is a rung above medium, but not overly syrupy or viscous.

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Photo of Kanyon22
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouring this baby into my Murphy's Irish Stout Tulip Glass.

A: Pours black with nice brownish ruby highlights with a tan brown fluffy head on it.

S: I'm getting sweet malts, fruit, dark chocolate, roasted malts. Smelling nice right now, loving how the dark chocolate seems to sneak up on your sense of smell.

T: You get the roasted malts up front with a dash of dark chocolate, sweet malts then finishes bitter with a smooth hop twang. Liking this one alot. Extremely balance here.

M: I would say medium, dead on medium not full not light just medium mouthfeel here with a nice roasted drying in the mouth as well.

D: Very drinkable goes down, and goes down easy. This is a style of beer I think is getting pasted up by the bigger badder Russian imperials. More brewers should take note here a good bit of balance can go along way.

Can't believe I've been passing on this one all these years. Note to self everything sierra Nevada does is world class.

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Photo of gford217
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle.

Pours close to black in the glass with a big tan head that shows excellent retention and lacing. Not the darkest stout I've seen but a solid pour.

Aroma is pretty subdued with roasted chocolate malts the most prevalent component. hints of coffee and toasted grains with faint hops. Not an impressive nose for me.

The taste is far better than the nose with a much more robust chocolaty sweetness coming through on top of the heavily roasted malts and coffee. Lots of green hops in there too. Hints of lactose as well though the finish is pretty dry and roasty.

The mouthfeel is light to medium with the high carbonation probably adding to the light feel.

Outside of the completely nondescript aroma, this is a very solid stout and one that I would buy again.

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Photo of Rschis16
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Opaque, dark ruby color with a fluffy off white head.

S: Smells creamy and enticing

T: That's what a stout is supposed to taste like. Nice balance between the creaminess and the bitterness. Results in a great tasting stout. Sierra Nevada doesn't mess around

M: Not too creamy, like Guinness is. Crisper and nicely carbonated creating a nice frefreshing stout.

D: I don't go out of my way for stouts, but this one I would have no problem buying again. Good beer.

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Photo of Sweetmambyjamby
3.36/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Light black in color, not much head no retention for me either.

S- I just get an overload of barley in this brew. My nose was off or something, I know there is more to it, but I am not getting it.

T- Some malts are there, I do get the hops in the taste too so that is good. But the barley is on overload.

M- slick and oily. ehh just an odd feeling.

D- one and done for me. There are too many other brews out there of this style and not to waste more time on this one.

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Photo of FrozenJoe
4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is my favorite Sierra Nevada beer. An outstanding brew.

Appearance: A light black body capped with an abundant, frothy, light brown head. Beautiful lacing.

Smell: Light, sweet, malty aroma. Light hop freshness is detectable.

Taste: Assertive, strong stout flavor. Bitter hops. Roasted malt flavor.

Mouthfeel: Thick, foamy mouthfeel. Rich and satisfying.

Drinkability: An excellent beer. But the flavors and alcohol level are too strong for me to drink a bunch of these.

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Photo of bboelens
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A-A thick deep black, opaque, with a thin khaki head that dissipated rather quickly and left minimal lacing.

S-Roast malts, and overpowering chocolate.

T-Similar to the nose but with a slight hop and coffee twang added. This is a bit weaker in the taste than I prefer but it's still a fantastic flavor.

M-Lighter than most stouts and more carbonated, soda-esque feel to it.

D-Very drinkable and overall a very good brew. An accessible stout for all people.

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Photo of miketyree24
3.2/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into pint glass. coded date

Dark beer. Beautiful brown when held up to light. Head is light brown and sits well.

Smell of malts malts and more malts. Little hints of coffee hear and there.

Taste is like it smells. Malty in a very good way. Coffee comes through next. A little to carbonated for me. Feel like if coca cola made a beer this would be it. Thats the best way for me to describe the carbonation.

Mouthfeel is nice. Kind of tingly from the carbonation but it drinks like a soda which is kind of scary.

I drank a 6 pack of these without even realizing it. Almsot too drinkable if there is such a thing.

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Photo of DoktorZee
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drunk from a bottle in a pint glass, near the source! Some type of date on the bottle, but not entirely clear

A - little light passing thought a delightful dark brew; moderate head that sticks around for a couple minutes with a fair amount of lacing.

S - slightly wet grass with nice caramel malts.

T - wonderfully balanced: hoppy initial attack with very nice lip-smacking dry tones.

M - satisfying with only mild carbonated; very smooth.

D - shockingly so - could drink it all night.

Really nicely balanced - truly a great beer.

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Photo of BranfordBound
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
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 +5.4%
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 +7.9%
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%
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 +3.4%
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 -16.3%
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 -0.7%
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 -28.8%
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 +5.9%
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 -8.6%
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 +8.4%
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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Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 3,437 ratings