Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout
3,424 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: 3,424 |  Reviews: 1,449
Photo of beerdrinker123
3.94/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a dark brown, not quite opaque, very minimal amount of head.

It has a roasted coffee-like aroma with a hint of chocolate.

There are very nice roasted qualities, coffee and chocolate plus roasted malts are prevalent. There is some amount of nuttiness in the aftertaste. Very minimal carbonation and a nice thickness.

Nothing amazing, but a good stout worthy of checking out.

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

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

pours an opaque, deep mahogany/borderline black tone with nearly two fingers of a foamy tan head.... excellent rentention and lacing. great looking stout.

roasted malts spearhead the nose. i also get some coffee and a little dark chocolate. hops are more subdued but noticeable.

flavor profile breaks down around the nose; bold roasted malts out in front followed by the coffee, chocolate, and some hops coming in the finish. tasty beer... my one criticism is that this particular offering isn't especially complex, sort of... i don't want to say run-of-the-mill because it's not, but there's nothing unique about it, nothing that might catapult it into the 4.5/5.0 realm. that said, it's an enjoyable quaff.

medium-bodied, creamy mouthfeel, carbonation on the low side. a touch watery, but nothing egregious. pretty drinkable, i would welcome another.

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

A - Pours an obsidian black hue, with a two finger tan head that gives way to a creamy, bubbly lacing.

S - Smell is of roasted coffee, bakers chocolate, and lightly floral hops

T - Taste is a superbly well balanced blend of the aforementioned smells. Roasted coffee bitterness, dark chocolate sweetness, and just a hint of hop finish at the end.

M - Mouthfeel is on the heavier side of medium, with low carbonation, and a creamy character going down.

D - A hearty, but drinkable beer, this makes for an excellent session stout.

Overall - Another tasty beer from Sierra Nevada, I've been wanting to try this one for a while but it seems somewhat limited in availability around here. Overall, it makes for a great session stout that's worth picking up if you see it.

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Photo of bcm119
4.26/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nearly opaque mahogany with a tan head that stays around forever. Wonderful toasty, smoky aroma with earthy hop undertones. A very hoppy stout, the leafy green bitterness hits early, but the midsection of this beer is very roasty. Never sticky or sweet, the malt has a great roasted, fireside flavor while keeping the mouthfeel lean and drinkable. The finish is dominated by hops-- long, bitter and clean. One of the all time greats, a stout that sets the bar for flavor, drinkability, and price.

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

Poured into regular pint glass.

A - Poured black non-transparent color with huge head that quickly dissipated leaving average lacing around the glass.

S - Dark roasted malts with chocolate and coffee.

T - Sweet maltness upfront followed by dark chocolate and coffee bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with almost no carbonation (almost flat) which makes it even better.

D - Fairly easy to drink and very enjoyable. Would definitely recommend it.

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Photo of BigB415
3/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

There's not much I can say about this beer other than it's average. Nothing really stood out for me while drinking it. It poured a nice color and had a nice foamy head, the retention was also very high when I swirled it around in my glass to bring out more flavor but the thing is, to me, there is not a lot of flavor. I had higher hopes for this beer but it fell a little short. It wasn't that complex. I also did taste some hops which is not common for stouts so that kind of turned me off a little. Stouts are my favorite kind of beer and I would recommend this one for a beginner just getting into stouts since most stouts can be overpowering with their taste and character but not for a regular stout drinker like myself.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can never find this in Virginia. It's a good thing I grabbed some the last time I was back in Michigan. Reviewed from notes.

Pours near black with a good tan head and a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose brings some really nice chocolate notes with a bit of roast and slight coffee. The taste is really nice and great for an American Stout not of the imperial variety. Great chocolate, coffee, and roast. Great feel with a very nice body and carbonation levels. Drinks quite well; I wish I had a non-stop supply of this throughout the colder months.

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Photo of CHickman
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours opaque black in color with a massive 2 finger foamy tan head that looked like styrofoam it was so thick, and lasted almost 2 minutes while it dissipated very slowly; it looks like a Guinness head on steroids, leaving very good lacing sticking to the sides and a ring around the top of the beer.

Smells like chocolate, cocoa, roasted coffee, burnt grains or charred wood, citrus hops, molasses or syrup, caramel and some dark fruits; man, there were a lot of "C" words used to describe the aroma, so here is a "D" word: delicious. This stout smells intense and inviting, and comes off like it's going to be quite complex.

Tastes better than it smells, with the coffee, citrus hops, molasses and caramel hitting the taste buds first, followed by chocolate, vanilla, cocoa, burnt wood, grass or hay which almost tastes like faint yeast, toasted grains, an almost rum like sweetness and then a bitterness that is dry with the grains lingering in a good way. Very complicated beer that is rich and chocolatey one second and then hoppy the next; I enjoy the combination and complexities involved and found this quite pleasing to sip and savor as well as throwing it back. The roasted flavor negates any of the fruit in the nose, but that doesn't take away from how tasty this beer is.

Mouthfeel is creamy and silky smooth, with very little carbonation and a nice coffee aftertaste; medium body that actually feels lighter than it is because this goes down so damn easy.

Very high drinkability, this is an outstanding American Stout; go by a six pack if you are a fan of stouts and especially American Stouts as this is the top of the class.

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

Pours a think dark brown, almost black. Creamy, light brown head that lingers with a bit of lacing.

Smells of dark, rich chocolate and coffee. Also get a woodsy, nutty aspect as well.

Taste is outstanding. Multiple flavors coming out; chocolate, vanilla bean, coffee, almonds. The best part is that they all balance each other out; one doesn't overpower the other. Taste lingers on the palate long after the first sip.

Thick and creamy mouthfeel, just like a stout should be.

Drinikability is most impressive to me with this one. Most stouts are so rich that there's no way I could drink more than one at a time. However, the tastes are so well balancedthat I don't get that feeling with this one.

Overall, this is one of the best stout's that I've had. Highly reccomended!

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4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from tasting notes from May '10

Beautiful dark dark brown with ruby highlights around the edge. Nice big beautiful creamy head. I love the look of this beer. The aroma was fairly weak to me. Faint dark chocolate and some coffee beans. No booziness or funk, so that's good. The flavor is a very nice blend of dark and amber flavors. Dark chocolate comes through very strong. Not picking up much of that coffee from the smell, but there's a fair amount of caramel malt and toastiness, giving a nice and fairly unique sweet stout taste. Nice and thick, it goes down nicely. A great stout for the price, I recommend it highly

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Photo of irishevans
3.59/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a- pours with a mighty frothy 2.5 finger pale tan head that dissolves slowly leaving behind a good thick lace and some foam around the edges. it appears black but when held to the light you can see it is an extremely dark dark red color

N- molasses and some other malty bready notes, not much of a roasted malt(barley) smell as one would expect from a stout. very faint bit of herbal/floral hop smell in there. still just not happy without the roasted smell

T- Also lost of molasses and bready notes, but now one can detect some coffee and a bit of a roasted flavor, and just a touch if floral hops that add a nice slight bite to the finish. generally over sweet, but I do like the floral hop flavor, not something one often sees in a stout.

M- thin for a stout, but definitely thicker than a porter. little ity bit under carbonated, but that is countered by the bit of hop flavor and bite in there

D- as sessionable as a stout gets. nice tasty, not over filling, and drinks down quick and easy.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours black as night with some faint mahoghany highlights around the edges with a light brown head and some lacing.

In the nose is caramel malt and spicy, piney hops. Smells full of flavor not too sweet or bitter.

Tastes full like a savory meal - a bready fullness - then the bitter hops pop in the back of your mouth followed by caramel sweetness towards the front. The sweetness doesn't come through - it mainly tames the bitterness for a delightful mouthfeel and excellent taste. Ends with a nice chocolate coating a little on the bitter side = very nice.

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

Poured into a tulip.

A - damn near perfect! Thick pitch-black body with beautiful, thick white head.

S - roasted malts up front, coffee, bitter chocolate, maybe a hint of vanilla on the back.

T - as the smell indicated, a ton of sweet roasted hops, coffee, a bit of chocolate, and even some hop dryness at the end. Not bitter, but not sweet. Finishes the beer off nicely.

M - perfect carbonation, smooth, extremely well balanced.

D - perfection in this category. An ABV % that makes it (almost) sessionable, smooth enough to enjoy all day but with enough robust flavors and body to remind you that you're drinking a real beer. Fantastic brew!

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Photo of HuppMJH
4.66/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Look - Dark, almost black, with a creamy tan head. The bubbles in the head are very small and fine. A beautiful beer.

Smell - I can almost feel the malt smell as passes through my nasal cavity; unmistakeable. Slightly fruity, but I mostly notice malt.

Taste - The flavor of hops compliments a strong malt taste, which leads to a smooth fruity finish. I can almost taste cranberry and grape hints.

This is Stout. Easily the best Stout beer I've had, and easily ranks among my favorite beers of all time. An offering that I'm proud to call American.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
2.74/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Deep, deep red that forms a blackish beer. Small, yet dense light tan head. Good retention, even in a shaker pint.

S- Very hoppy nose but I've come to expect nothing less from Sierra. It smells more like a black IPA.

T- Still very hoppy. Some roast anf vinous dark fruits come to try to help, but nothing can be done to over throw the hops.

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Photo of bobhits
3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours fairly light brown for a stout, but turns black as expected. A watery brown light shows around the edges. Not much head to speak of here. Less than 30 seconds it is more or less gone.

Sweet vanilla, a slight dark chocolate,

Burnt, sweet, then bitter hops. A bready and dark fruity finish that's pretty darn nice. I think part of this sweet flavor is perhaps an odd sweet coffee like flavor and then enhanced with some earthy hops. All this while being sweetened by the malt. I have to say this is a darn good stout. After having been fully unimpressed with Samuel Smith, I'm glad Sierra is here to make things right!

Just carbonated enough in the mouth, just enough body, damn well made stout. Most stouts are either imperial sippers or they lack the sipper qualities needed to enjoy and savor a stout. Unless you find stouts refreshing summer beers...well this is just ideal.

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Photo of thecarster1
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a tasting glass, very dark, wispy head, ring around the glass.

s- nice bit of chocolate, smooth roasted malt, very nice stout nose.

t- nice bite right off the bat, bitter, dark chocolate, roasty malts, maybe a kiss of hops in the backend.

m- full, smooth, creamy.

d- really great, a great underrated sierra nevada brew, i would drink this again for sure, thought it would be priced higher than the pale ale, but no - a value at that.

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark black color with some cherry walnut hues on the edge. About an average sized, foamy, creamy, fairly dense, toasted-marshmallow colored head. Pretty good retention with a nice foamy layer of lace.

S - Plenty of dark and milk chocolate malt scents. Some dark roasted coffee and barley aromas. Decent amount of hop aroma with some earthy, spicy and herbal hops. Also some nutty aroma. Very enjoyable, nice, robust aroma.

T - Very nice stout flavors. Plenty of dark and milk chocolate along with nice robust dark coffee and slightly burnt barley and malt. Also plenty of earthy and nutty flavors that come out stronger toward the end. Hops come out in the background with some earthy and herbal hops, but they aren't too strong.

M - Medium body with plenty of carbonation. Very smooth and creamy feel.

D - Very drinkable stout with plenty of stout flavors with some bitterness but nothing to strong. A lot of enjoyable chocolate flavor. Creaminess of the body also helps a lot.

Notes: A really enjoyable stout. Pretty typical stout flavors that are executed very well and balanced well. The body is very good as well with great creaminess. A very well executed stout, not a world class one, but a very good one. Excellent value for the price, definitely recommend it.

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Photo of SamN
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Big soft foamy head of billowy tans and whites. Less rocky than lumpy. Big near-three finger head slowly fades, but leaves only a little lacing. Very black, some strained light visible through glass. A few suspended particles from yeast cake being disturbed, but nothing outrageous.

S- Subdued malt and hops balance. No real chocolate aromas, mostly roasted tow row, some metallic edge. A little bland.

T- Again, a little subdued. Roasted malt present, obviously, and a twangy finish of whole cone hops, but surprisingly little of that big bold stout flavor. Hoppier finish, lingering bitter stickiness. Sucking air through the beer brings out bittersweet chocolate and coffee. Should I really need to work extra to taste a stout?

M- Medium bodied, less than I expected. Too much carbonation comes through it's thinner body. Still, it flows well enough on the palette.

D- Decent. Not what I expected from thesame company that brought the best damn American Porter. Still, it is a sessionable beer in the dead of winter. Perhaps food pairing would benefit this beer...

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Photo of beergod1
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been awhile since I had this one. But It's as good as I remembered. Poured into new DFH glass. Black with a frothy tan head, some lasted the whole way through. Rich roasted malt/chocolate aroma. Tasted as it smelled, but with a nice balance of hops.This is a creamy and full-bodied example of this traditional style ale. Very dark and very rich.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a deep brown/black, with an attractive 2" tan head.

Smells starts with sweet malt, rounds out with dark chocolate, coffee bitter, and ends with a bit of hop.

Taste initially presents with a fair amount of bitter coffee, smoother dark chocolate malt hits you mid-tongue, ending with hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is thinner than I'd like for a stout, and that's with this having been allowed to warm a good while before drinking.

Fairly easy drinking stout; I guess I've spoiled myself on too many imperial stouts and excellent porters, and perhaps am expecting more of this stout than I should. Nonetheless, I'd definitely have this again, and it was easily my best beer of the night.

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Photo of acurtis
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Samuel Smith Tulip Pint glass for breakfast this morning.
Gorgeous 2 finger tan head that lingers. Great carbination with less than average body. Strong aroma of sweet carmel and chocolate. Strong roasted malt taste. Very drinkable as long as your not full. One of my go-to beers if I don't see anything else exciting.

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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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Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 3,424 ratings