Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout
Liked This Beer
4.07 w/ 3,388 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,388 |  Reviews: 1,436
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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Photo of DovaliHops
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is very dark black with a nice light brown head. Smell is lightly roasted, but not burnt. Very strong chocolate smell. Very sweet scent. No hop smell, which is surprising for a Sierra Nevada ale. Taste is delicious! Very strong chocolatey taste with light hops. Nice coffee backbone . Mouthfeel is very delightful, not watery at all (even for someone who has drank a lot of imperial stouts lately). I would say this beer lies between your average watered-down stout and an imperial stout. Amazing drinkability...wish I had a whole sixer of this. Sierra Nevada fails to disappoint once again.

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Photo of CaptYellow
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Cream coloured head on jet black. Whispy till the end. Leaves lacing rings around the glass.

T: Tastes of coffee and chocolate.

M: Medium.

D: High. Tasty. Great stout. Balanced. Not overly sweet or bitter.

O: Yum! A buy again; a recommend; a search out.

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Photo of chickenflea
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle. Dark brown pour. Mild roasty aroma. Rocky tan head. Very roasty flavor. Semi-sweet chocolate flavor blending into coffee bean. Mild hoppiness. Medium body. Good flavor without being too heavy or too sweet. Alcohol taste is well controlled. A good stout from a brewer that continues to impress me with quality beers despite their growing size.

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

Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Poured dark brown with a finger of bubbly light brown head. Some good lacing.

S - Dark roasted malts and coffee. Some toasted hazelnut in the background.

T - Chocolate, coffee, dark roasted malts. Some nutty flavours in the background. An excellent overall palate.

M - Medium body, lightly carbonated.

D - An outstanding stout. Another great Sierra Nevada beer.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: solid dark (are stouts anything but?); very good head, carbonation
S: whiffs of chocolate
T: the flavor is immense and far-reaching, with the chocolate notes you expect in a stout, extending and filling the palate
M: the very good carbonation makes for great mouthfeel
D: very drinkable; the abundant taste is not so overpowering that you do not want another

I can think of fewer better stouts in the six-pack, highly circulated varieties

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Photo of berley31
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black and opaque. Large, tan head that persists, very creamy looking. Clumps of lace left on the sides of the glass.

S: Moderate roasted aroma, lots of dark chocolate pre-dominates. Slight hints of light citrus.

T: The chocolate continues into the flavor, with the roasted flavors quite high... medium bitterness in the finish. Medium sweetness from the chocolate.

M: Medium carbonation. Medium bodied, and slightly creamy.

D: An awesome example of an American Stout... very tasty, easy to drink... and excellent stout to have around at all times.

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Photo of Jbelokur
2.88/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I was completely disappointed with this beer. Having tasted the Sierra Nevada Porter I had high expectations for this beer, and was frustrated by what I got.

Appearance: Very dark color, no light passed through at all. The head was a solid three fingers, tan in color, and very bubbly as apposed to the creamy head one would expect from a stout.

Smell: Intense hop smell, citrus was over powering for a stout.

Taste: The first thing that hits you is the intense hop flavor, followed by a distant second of roasted malt. Other flavors are masked by the hoppiness of the beer.

Mouth Feel: This beer was far thinner than I had expected. It has less mouth-feel than their porter.

Drinkability: As a stout it is something to have once and a while but is not a session beer (for me).

Again completely disappointed. I love their porter, but his was completely over hopped for the style. The reason people drink stouts and porters are for the maltiness of them not the hops. If I wanted and IPA I would have drank one.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect pint. Thanks to JBowers 56 for the bottle and the trade as can not get in Sydney.

A-- Poured a reddish black color, settling on black with tints of red at the bottom of the glass. No visible carbonation and a a brown sugar colored head. One finger in height. Holds its structure well and does leave lacing. Good head retention

S-- Roasted malts, not heavily roasted though, slight amount of coffee, dark chocolate, licorice and molasses.

T-- Roasted malts, bigger in the taste than in the smell. The coffee and dark chocolate are still there but on the soft side. There is little more licorice than I first thought. Also a bit of pine/spicy feel from the hops. Overall a little thin but acceptable due to drinking a lot of RIS's and high ABV beers of late.

M-- Good amount of bitterness from the coffee. Hops really come out in the feel and add a nice amount of earthiness, to this. Just touches of sweetness. Medium carbonation and medium feel to this. Finishes a bit clean, sweet and citrus like. In the front very bitter and earthy.

D-- Easy to drink and very enjoyable beer. Can knock back 4-5 in a sitting and be able to function well. A lot of flavor and well balanced. Still I think it is the cone hops that make this stand out with the earthiness and touches of pine and citrus that mellow out the coffee, malts, and chocolate in this.

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Photo of VTaler
3.81/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown with nice tan head that stays around for about a minute. Leaves nice lacing
S - Molasses and caramel followed by a hint of chocolate.
T - Smooth roasted flavor. Hops are present put do not overwhelm. Not as much flavor as I would have thought. Slight chocolate and coffee flavor. The hops are actually the best part of the beer. They are somewhat spicy and very flavorful. Not as malty as I would expect for a stout and much hoppier.
S - medium and low carbonation
D - slightly drinkable

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

Poured into a tulip glass, gave off a one to two finger tan head. The body is nearly black with only the tiniest tint of red showing when held to light. Lacing looks to be good. As of now, the head is creamy and has some splashing on the sides of the glass.

My first impression of the aroma right after pouring is that there is a lot of sweet malt, molasses and licorice. As it rests, i get chocolate, maybe even milk chocolate along with candied sugar. flowery hops are present throughout the aroma but in the background.

Taste is noticeably hoppy but not to the point that it takes away from the style. Chocolate is a flavor that seems to dominate, falling into molasses or reduced brown sugar. Finishing with a dough-like taste along with just a little bite from the hops. Bitterness is low but i feel the majority of it comes from the hops.

Mouthfeel is light with medium carbonation. The front end is smooth, light and silky. The median to back-end is kicked up with carbonation and a slight dryness which keeps me sipping.

I could have 2-3 of these with no problem. The light body and relatively low ABV makes this drinkable yet without sacrificing flavor.

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

Glass - Tulip

A - Pretty much pitch black with a 1-2 finger tan head, it held decently but not great. It left some spotty/splashy lace here & there.

S - Upon swirling I got a bit of hops, it's slightly earthy, followed buy lots of malt sweetness. Licorice, some fig, soft charcoal note with a touch of dryness to it. A bit of mocha as well, very nice.

T - Upfront is a wonderful burst of earthy & citric hop flavors, rich chocolate & semi robust roasted notes follow. Finishes with some mocha/coffee notes and a citric hop character, which lends a wonderful hop flavor as well as a soft, somewhat lingering bitterness.

M - Unexpected really, not full or chewy, just crisp with moderate Co2 and a medium body. Very Porter like, after the carbonation settled, it felt a little creamy.

D - The crisp feel of this beer makes it one of the easiest drinking Stouts Ive had, I could easily quaff 2-3 pints. Very drinkable for the style, and I loved the earthy hop character of this stout. I'd definitely buy this one again. Cheers!

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Photo of beer2day
3.99/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

SN knows how to make a good looking beer. Dark black pour with rich dark 2-finger head. Very nice retention and thick cascades of lace.

Nose is disappointing. Faintly sweet and milky but not much else. Very weak chocolate as the glass warms.

A lot more bitter than the nose suggests. Starts creamy, chocolate kicks in midway through, and bitter roast sets in with the finish. Finishes drier than expected, but with a bit of milk sweetness.

Feel is just slightly south of what I would like in a basic stout. Needs a tad more malt body.

Overall, a very nice stout. Something you can drink year round.

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

a: This was black bodied and poured with a creamy light tan colored head that faded to small clumps of lace.

s: Pretty mild overall. I found faint, sweet chocolate with very little roast. It was vaguely milky overall.

t: Big improvement over the smell. Not much in the way of coffee flavor, plenty of sweet milky chocolate though. There was fair amount of bitter, roasty char at the finish. Drinks a bit like a porter.

m: Creamy enough for a smaller stout.

d: Very good but not my favorite from SN.

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Photo of dgilks
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big, rich, well rounded chocolate aroma. Light caramel and a touch of hop but not much.

Very dark black with a smooth, creamy, foamy, tan head.

Good roast flavour, coffee, hint of chocolate, there are bits of caramel in there too and a touch of citrus. Tasty but something doesn't gel for me.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. It's okay.

A decent stout but lacking something for me. The flavour balance isn't quite there.

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Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 85.1% out of 100 with 3,388 ratings
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