Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout
3,414 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:
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Ratings: 3,414 |  Reviews: 1,447
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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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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Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 3,414 ratings