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Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout
3,402 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: 3,402 |  Reviews: 1,444
Photo of shredsofautumn
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12 oz. stubby bottle purchased in a six pack on 9/29/2010 in Easthampton, MA.

Appearance- As viewed from a standard pint glass, the stout has the dark opaque color you could find if you glanced out your winow during a new england winter around midnight. About as dark as used motor that hasn't been changed in 9,000 miles or so. Can't see through the glass. To stop the rant, it's black- Just like a good stout should be. Poured slow at first into an aggressive finish where a 2 finger head rises from the brew.

Smell- Dark chocolate, sherry, and the smell of all the mighty hops that have made Sierra Nevada's brews famous.

Taste: The dark chocolate I found in the nose shines through, lots of deep cocoa followed by a hint of leather & roasted malts with a generous hop hit at the finish. This brew definitely benefits from taking a sip while exercising the "kentucky chew", as if sampling a good bourbon.

Mouthfeel- Sticks to the mouth and leaves its taste with you. Ghostly presence, you still sense it after the initial hit, but ever so slightly.

Drinkability- Definitely a great stout. the hops at the end provide a refreshing feel, while still giving you the wholesome characteristics of a good malty brew. This is one of the stars of the Stout style. Definitely preferred over Guiness Extra Stout. Will be purchasing this more often in the future!

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Photo of grittybrews
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep cola black into a Duvel tulip with two fingers of creamy, light tan head. Nice but not overly powerful aroma of dark chocolate, coffee, and malt (hop presence also emerged as the beer warmed).

Moderate carbonation (perhaps a little higher than expected for a stout) and a light, creamy mouthfeel. Some toast, licorice, and chocolate flavors followed by a finish that integrates both roasty coffee bitterness and a lingering sweetness with just a hint of hops.

Light and drinkable for a stout, due in part to the slightly thin mouthfeel. I found this brew to be a bit on the sweet side, though the balance of roasty malts and a slight hop kick on the finish helped to balance things out.

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Photo of shambeano
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark black, which lets the tiniest bit through when held up to the light. A somewhat miscalculated pour leaves about an inch and a half of head which slowly dissipates leaving some lacing. Looks good

S- initially a little bit of licorice, a tiny bit of sweetness, and a bit of roasty malts. again pretty good.

T- First sip is just a great wave of roasted malt, bitter roasted coffee to begin, followed by a bready maltiness, and that aromatic licorice. This one just keeps on lingering, tasting the same roastiness at the top of my mouth for ages after each sip.

M-very very velvety smooth in the mouth, just the tiniest bit of carbonation prickling the front of the tongue to begin with, then it coats the entire thing, and again with that massive finish at the top of the mouth. awesome.

D- i could see myself having a few of these for sure and it is very drinkable for the style.

The feel of this one is superb, it really took me aback and would be worth trying for that alone, as it is, it happens to taste damn great as well. If only it were a tad cheaper over these parts it would be a colder weather staple.

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Photo of optimistictour
3.59/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having always associated Sierra Nevada with their famous IPA offering I was pleasantly surprised to find both this and their porter on sale in individual bottles and eagerly snagged 'em.

A mention of bias: I love stouts. Porters too but that's not what we're talking about here. I love my stouts big and dark and complex, and usually strong - not for the getting-drunk factor but because a truly great strong beer is usually exceptionally nuanced in its flavor and always worth tackling. This one has a low-average abv yet achieves a swim with the big boys because of one thing: balance.

So this looks really damn good. Jet black, billowy dense head, it practically dances in the glass as it pours. This looks exactly how a stout should aspire to.

It smells like a stout should too, albeit a tad weakly. I really had to shove my nose into the glass to get a feel for this one which is unfortunate because the actual aroma is pleasant as you'd like.

Tastes smokey with less coffee or chocolate or any of the familiar notes stouts often hit. It's almost touching that upright porter feel while firmly in stout territory. This thing plants itself in a safe zone while tentatively hinting at larger issues. It's good but could certainly use some personality, some balls to stand out. I'd imagine this makes it more palatable to a wider audience though...

In the mouth Sierra Nevada really comes through. (I did not intend any double entendre here) Full bodied yet with the larger carbonation feel that a lesser abv affords, it's rich and hearty without any lingering alcohol taste or too-chewy texture.

Which of course means that it's easy to down this one. Drinkability matches the mouthfeel step for step. I'd easily offer this to, say, my girlfriend, who shies away from some of the massive stouts which often warm the cockles of my heart.

It's inviting and simple and probably makes a great gateway drug to the stout world. It surely beats the pants off Guinness by any measure.

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Photo of keith712
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle poured into my favorite pint glass. Woohoo! San Antonio Marathon 2009 (I earned it the hard way)...anyways...more about the beer.

Appearance: Poured aggressively into a nice thick head as you can see in the photo. Head fell in just over a minute leaving some light lacing. Very dark, typical for a solid stout, with some nice dark maroon around the edges of the glass where lights filters through.

Nose: Strong chocolate, hops, roasted malts. More hops smell than I expected for a stout? Not overly strong, kind of mild.

Taste: There's that chocolate, followed by a certain hoppiness blended nicely into the malts. Again, like the nose, the hops show themselves enough to give this a crisp flavor character that ends with enough malts to smooth it out. Nice! Tastes far better than the nose indicated.

Mouthfeel: Looks thicker than it feels. Not heavy really at all, call it "low medium". Plenty of body though to let you know this isn't a cheap piss beer. Leaves a nice crisp bite on the palate.

Drinkability: Super! Give me more! I would say this is a great session beer, plenty of flavor but at 5.8% abv it won't make you pass out after a few. Still stronger than typical piss beers though, a six pack of this at a BBQ would get you nice and toasty. This just might be my "go to" stout to keep in the fridge for the occasional late evening drink.

Overall, this is a solid stout with character, flavor, and "social interaction". This is my first Sierra Nevada beer and I look forward to trying some others from this company. I give it 8 pints out of 10.

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Photo of velosuds
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date apparent - at least not easily deciphered. Single purchased for $1.59 from John's Market.

A-Pours an almost black hue with a two+ finger, creamy tan head that lingers into an ample, sticky lace.

S-I find the aroma far too subdued for style. What's there is as expected, just not robust enough.

T-Taste is surprisingly good despite the lacking aroma. The dark roasted malts provide a very pleasing, bold coffee and dark chocolate flavor.

M-Just a tad too light and thin.

D-This is not a bad beer, but when my favorite Obsidian Stout is available in six packs for $8.99 (often as low as $5.99 on sale) there really is no place in my fridge for this beer.

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

appearance - pours rich and dark, tan head, excellent retention, prominent lacing

smell - chocolate, marshmallow, roasted malt, coffee

taste - marshmallow followed by chocolate with a malty finish and a coffee aftertaste...follows the nose almost identically, slight bitterness in the finish

mouthfeel - creamy, smooth, dry finish, medium carbonation, medium body, lightly viscous

drinkability - smooth drinking, good complexity, rich flavor

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

Aroma is mostly of bittersweet chocolate...a little bit of hops...and coffee.

Mouthfeel is fairly thick, as to be expected. Taste is thick and malty...dark, roasted chocolate malts mixed with some coffee. Hops are pretty subdued here, which kind of surprised me coming from SN...but the malts are definitely front and center here. There's a smattering of hops at the finish, and a little hangs around after the swallow with the roasted chocolate.

As far as stouts go, I think this is pretty good on a technical level. Thick, malty, and straight forward. I can't fault it for anything.

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Photo of silentjay
3.42/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours an opaque black with a big-bubbled coffee ice cream colored head that recedes to half a finger, but leaves chunks on the glass.

aroma is surprisingly hoppy. coffee and unsweetened chocolate are the usual suspects, but some nice earthy and piney hops come in to balance that and make it quite interesting and pleasant.

dark roasted coffee and dark chocolate follow into the flavor, but the hops seem to work against them instead of alongside them. some tobacco and minty flavors clash a bit with the roasted malts. I'm kind of perplexed here. I love hoppy beers, I love dark roasted malty beers, and I love the "Black IPAs" that are flooding the market now, and I loved the hoppy yet roasty aroma, but something about the flavor just doesnt work for me. As it warms, the roastiness and even a tiny bit of char come out a bit more and its more enjoyable, but only fractionally. Not bad, but not terribly good either.

a bit light and a bit too much prickly carbonation, and with some lingering overly burnt coffee bitterness mixed with some ashtray flavors and hop resin left on the palate.

goes down average for me. I went into this thinking that I would love this beer. I kept passing up buying it for years for some strange reason. The odd combination of flavors just does not work for me and the aftertaste is even worse. I guess not every beer is meant for everyone. I would like to try this one again in the future to see if this experience is just an aberration.

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Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice black coffee like look.

S- Coffee and hint of chocolate. Mild hop aroma as well.

T- Coffee and bittersweet chocolate from the malts.Mild citrus from the hops.

M- Not to dry very creamy and smooth.Bitterness from the hops at the end of the sip.

D- My first SN stout and loving it. Between the coffee and chocolate aromas and flavors and the mild hops come out. This beer has it all in term of flavors.Getting some more.


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Photo of dwilson01
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from a 12 oz bottle into an indian wells brewing co pint glass. The head is a solid finger and a half of mocha tan color, dissipates evenly and fairly rapidly to a thin film at the top. the body is dark brown to black, not pitch but basically like the bottle it came in just thicker.

The smell is a great balance between malt and hop, I get a roasted coffee scent with a bit of chocolate hinted at combined with a lighter hoppy end to it which leaves the nostrils a tiny bitterness.

The flavors here follow from the smell, a malt forward coffee roast which has that sweet flavor off-setting it a bit, but mosre roasted than anything else. The hops provide a nice refreshing citrus and pine bitterness to the malt and keeps you wanting more.

The mouthfeel reminds me somewhat of an irish dry stout but it's definitely not as dry feeling as one which helps me to enjoy it a lot.

Seems to me that this could be a session stout but it's still a sipping beer not because of it's body thickness and alcohol content but because of it's flavor. Another great offereing from Sierra nevada if you ask me.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours pretty black but not completely since a slight brown haze lingers on the glass. No head to speak of with lacing on the side. Might be a bit old since I got some sediment.

S - Roasted coffee with a mild hint of dark chocolates, bitter on the nose. Dominant and pretty big for a small ABV.

T - Starts off a bit bitter with hops but then mellows to bittersweet chocolate and finishes wet but bitter again with coffee rounding the flavor. Pretty nice.

M - Not light but medium bodied and full. Very drinkable.

D - A few places around here stock sixers at a reasonable price so the only way to get this on the cheap is in a case. Where is the variety case for such a common brew? This one should be included BTW.

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Photo of larryi86
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter

A- Black with a three finger light tan head.

S- Roasted malts with a hint of hops, dark chocolate, and coffee.

T- Close to the smell, hops do come out much I much as I was hoping. Very well balanced, the chocolate and coffee flavors come to together very well.

M- Medium body, smooth, some silky creaminess.

D- Easy of drink and very enjoyable. Could be bigger and bolder, but still a very nice Stout to have around.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.18/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a large tan lasting head.
Nose shows plenty of crystal malt in amongst lots of cocoa, truffles and spicy, piney hops. Perhaps too much hops but otherwise very nice.
Flavours are instead dominated by roasted malt with little of the cocoa and chocolate found in the aroma. The roasty character and hops create quite a formidable bitterness.
Carbonation is too high, the mouthfeel should be slicker.
Too much hops, not enough complexity. Somewhat disappointing after their lovely porter.

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

Appearance-Pours black into the glass with only the faintest tinges of brown highlight and topped by an impressive light milky-brown head, as it recedes it leaves light dabs of lacing and settles into a thin cap laying underneath a fairly solid lacing ring.

Aroma-Blackened, dark and roasty malts up front, a bit of a chocolate aroma but nothing too intense. Some light hopping in the background, and I do mean 'waaay' in the background, but they're there, just kind of hanging out and being unobtrusive.

Taste-Follows the aroma too a T again with a very dark, almost blackened, malty roastiness followed by some lightly sweetened chocolate. The hops are there too, but just faintly, which is perfect for this brew; the hops would really just make a mess of things.

Mouthfeel-Medium-thick body with ample carbonation.

Drinkability-Quite drinkable with a rather long finish.

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

This is my go to stout! I heart SN

A: Poured into a Surly pint glass, dark brown, really nice looking. Good tan head receds to average lacing 4

S: Chocolate/Coffee malts dominate this brew. Good strong scent. 4

T: Chocolate sweetness up front which fades to a bittersweet or dark chocolate flavour. Coffee is present and there is a good hoppy bite at the end. The beer is also quite spicy. Great. 4.5

M/D: Nice thick mouthfeel, but the carbonation makes it go down smooth. I would have no problem drinking a 6er or more of this brew :) 4

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Photo of Sam21
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance - Seemingly black, but with brown tinges at the edge. Great head and lacing.

Smell - Dark roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Some nice floral hop aromas linger in the background.

Taste - Matches the nose with dark chocolate bitterness and a good roasted flavor. Some dark malt metallic twang. Big American hop bitterness in the finish that lingers with some of the roasted flavors.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied without being filling. Really slick and smooth carbonation.

Drinkability - This is a great solid stout with big American hops. A perfect stout for the summer months when you need to change things up. Roasty and hoppy.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice looking deep chocolate color with a decent head and lots of lacing.

Smells great! Chocolate and coffee with malts and hops in the background.

Tastes very nice, quite similar to the smell. Dark chocolate and coffee dominate, but don't overpower the hops or roasted malt characters. There's some subtle spices in there too. Ample but light bitterness.

Feels thick and rich, smooth and slightly tangy. Lightly coffee and slightly bitter on the aftertaste, quite nice.

For the style and price, it's an excellent offering. Anytime I want a stout less than imperial, this would be a fine offering.

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Photo of AEK
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle poured into a Young's pint pot.

A. Deep brown with a heavily tanned head.

S. Lot's going on in this one! Strong coffee, bitter chocolate, molasses, treacle.

T. Coffee essence, dark chocolate, treacle toffee, liquorice, peppery spiciness and some nutiness.

M. Full bodied.

D. I have felt let down by other SN beers I have had in the past but this beer really rekindled my optimism in Sierra Nevada. WHAT a lovely, complex stout. A great session beer to have at hand. Will definitely be getting more of this.

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

Note: 3 months past expiry

Appearance - 4.5
Pours two fingers of creamy beige head that gradually reduced to a 5mm layer over a jet black body that is completely opaque, even when held to direct light. Leaves rings of lace right down to the bottom of the glass.

Smell - 4.0
Typical stout aromas of chocolate and coffee (though mostly chocolate), then gains complexity with increased temperature with earthy and floral hops.

Taste - 4.5
This is one tasty-ass stout! Less hops character than one expects from an American beer, but personally I don't like a lot of hops in my stout, so a plus for me. Lots of rich sweet chocolate and cocoa flavour, moving onto bitter coffee and roastiness in the finish, with a nice earthy, fruity American hop character in the background.

Mouthfeel - 4.5
Low to moderate carbonation and medium bodied, goes down very easily, perhaps a little too easily.

Drinkability - 4.0
Despite the strength, this for me is definitely a sessionable beer. If only it were cheaper it would be a regular winter drink.

A superb beer, and actually a little underrated in my opinion. Though I haven't had many of the style, I now see this as the definite American Stout. If the hops are somewhat subdued with age, I think this is probably a positive, because the beer I just drank was beautifully balanced.

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Photo of WOTO97
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Definitely one all-time favorite stand-bys. Nice rich coffee color with off-white head. The aroma presents nice roasted qualities balanced by hints of caramel and a kiss of earthy hops. Flavors are equally balanced: great roasted malt that never over extends its welcome, hints of chocolate and caramel (especially as the it lingers on the palate), and a nice earthy pine quality that builds in the background from the hops. A very easy drinking stout that is spot on for style and addictive. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Blitzen15
4.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Ultra dark amber with a lot of head, enough to the point that it even overflowed my glass with a slow "perfect pour"

S - Sweet and inviting, I wanted it before I could write my comments down.

T - Rich with dark chocolate flavor, strong but extremely palatable.

M - Like a thin maple syrup but without the sticky. It coats the mouth and lingers long after the drink has been had.

D - Smooth and solid, certainly one of my favorites in a great while. This beer has turned the tides for me to favor stouts above all else.

Purchased at: Ladd's & Co.

served on: 2JUL2010

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

350ml bottle into pint glass

A: Looks great. Very dark color, jet black even held up to light. Up to the sun, a red shines through. Nice head that lasts nicely for a stout.

S: Dark chocolate with nutty aromas. Coffee mixed in as well. You can definitely smell a deep roast.

T: As expected, dark chocolate flavors with coffee mixed in. The malts come through more than expected, though, for a strong flavor. Not quite overpowering, but great.

M: Very nice, what one would expect from a good stout. Medium carbonation and feel. Sweet, lasting feel.

D: A very good beer, overall. Probably the best porter I've tried. Quite drinkable with a not-too-heavy feel, which could happen with the strong taste.

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Photo of rwf08
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a American pint glass.

A: Nice dark brown to light black with ruby hues around the edges. Faint ring of head around the glass with good sticky firm lacing. Looks beautiful.

S: Coffee and dark chocolate. So good. All I need in a stout.

T: Same as smell but on the end I get a slight twang. Reminds me of chewing tobacco, that is a good thing.

M: Medium bodies with good viscosity. Coats the tongue in a silky fashion.

D: Some say sessionable, some say quaffable, I say poundable, like Jennifer Love Hewitt. If that is too brash then I'll just say it is good and I can drink it all day.

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Photo of uustal
3.76/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light black with a light brown, impressive head. Faint roasted aroma. Bittersweet chocolate and roasted notes start the flavor profile. Hops come through to balance out the stout. A hint of citrus hops lead to a semi-bitter taste, but well rounded. Medium carbonation and mouthfeel and a bit of creaminess.

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