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Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout
3,397 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: 3,397 |  Reviews: 1,442
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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Photo of aepb1
4.56/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Dark brown opaque. Cream head that cascades into the beer.

S- Grain and hoppy, molasses

T- Barley/grain/hop bitterness, very full and earthy

M- Again, very full! Creamy like a stout should be!

D- If I could find this regularly, I would drink it every day!

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Photo of joeldp144
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle and developed a nice big 3" head that stuck around and remained at 1/2" for at least 10 minutes while I let it warm to the proper temperature.

A - Nice dark color with a thick beige head. Somewhat brown around the edges of the glass, so not totally opaque.

S - Some chocolate but mostly roasted barley.

T - Roasted barley all up in my grill. Very smooth. A little hoppy on the back end, but well balanced.

M - Very thin mouthfeel. Carbonation nice and bright. Maybe even a little more bright than the typical stout style. At least on the high end.

D - Very good basic stout. Nothing to write home about because of the basic nature of the beer (regular old stout), but an exceptional beer none-the-less. Great session beer. I could drink at least 4...if I hadn't had 4 before drinking this one.


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Photo of bebbcorp
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Bought from nates Liqour. Was fridge cold when bought, has been out of fridge for several hours now and is cool. Upon opening smells from the bottle are dark caramel and a faint hint of hops. Pours dark black with no chance of light coming through and a three finger head that recedes very slowly. Taste is very smooth and light for it's darkness with a bitter chocolate note in the back ground. Mouthfeel is ok and does not seem to stick to the palate. Overall a pretty crisp and easy to drink stout.

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

Poured from the bottle into a Westmalle chalice - for whatever reason I love the stouts out of a chalice.

This is how a stout should look - dark brown, opaque, and just a shade south of black. Finger of head dissipates quickly, but lingers with nice patching. Nose is strong in coffee to me, with a bit of earthiness to it, and significant roasted malts.

Taste is strong chocolate/coffee, roasted malt, and a subtle hoppiness to it. Excellent balance, I may have had a better stout, but this one is impressive in its diversity and balance. Medium full body, smooth, a just a subtle bit of bitterness on the exit. Overall this a very attainable stout, and worth a shot for any occasion.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pleasing and mild mannered stout.

Presentation: 12 oz bottle. Dark green Sierra Nevada seal label, with brewing vegetation and a mountain-brewing scenery around beer ingredients. Brief neck label describing the composition, and intent of the brew. Lacks date of bottling, and notes Alc. by Vol. (5.8%) Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Black pour with brown edges, nice frothy head, fair retention, surface memory and lacing.

S - Roasted malt, with touches of chocolate and caramel.

T - Nice roasted malt presence, coffee and chocolate touches with a bitter sweet feel, a bit of a hoppy touch.

M - Medium-full body with medium carbonation and a somewhat dry finish.

D - Quality drink, nothing memorable but quality.

Notes: Yes, indeed, this feels like a notched up version of the Porter and in that context slightly better.

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Photo of jt31914
3.84/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black or very very dark brown in color; small amount of head. Looks very much like a coffee beer with carbonation.

S: Smell is strong in coffee, roasted aromas and chocolate. Fuller than I expected; maybe a hint of vanilla as well. great smell.

T: Lots of roasted and dark malt, not as much chocolate, but still good. Tastes more beer like than I expected as well. Pretty good and surprisingly full-flavored. A little too much sweetness on the palate, but not bad. Worst part of the beer is an odd after-taste.

M/D: Not too bubbly and pretty smooth.

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Photo of dfillius
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass

A: 1 finger of pillowy tan head with good to great retention. Near pitch black liquid has some transparent clarity at the top. I love the head.

S: Pleasant hoppiness, Cascadey, maybe Centennial. Nice roast to it as well. Great aroma with good complexity.

T: Bitter hops and roast dominate the flavor. Grapefruit rind remains long after the first sip. Some coffee and chocolate with lactose elements. Tasty, but a tad too hoppy (gasp!). A tad of estery booziness.

M: Bitter and grapefruit rindy. Smooth otherwise. Very pleasant.

D: Very good. Not the best stout, but good. I'd buy a sixer and probably order a second. Sierra Nevada strikes again with a solid beer that is more or less true to style.

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Photo of NefariousR
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

A - Very dark brown, with just a bit of light shining through at the edges; the light reflecting off the bottom of the glass is a dark ruby color. Medium-thick foamy tan head.

S - Roasted coffee, malty sweetness, dark chocolate, maybe just a bit of citrus.

T - Roast coffee and a bit of dark chocolate, also a fairly noticeable hop flavor, a bit unusual for a stout.

M - Medium-thick, with a slight carbonated bite.

D - Very nice, thick and complex flavor and refreshing enough to keep going back for more. I generally prefer my stouts with a greater emphasis on the roasted malt flavor, but this is still great.

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Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black with a thin layer of mocha-colored bubbles covering the surface.
S: There's an aroma of dark roasted malts with some chocolate- or coffee-like notes in the background.
T: Like the smell, the flavors are dominated by dark malts.
M: There doesn't seem to be that much carbonation (granted it came from a cask) and it feels a bit thin on the palate, although it is still comes across as being relatively smooth.
D: It is relatively easy to drink.

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Photo of IrishJava
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark black with a great off white colored head

S- Chocolaty and nutty, with almost undetectable hops.

T- Wonderful stout, with that same bitter chocolate taste permeating it. Caramel is also present.

M- Excellent robust taste with a very smooth finish.

D- Could drink this literally all day. My new favorite stout.

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Photo of skullsplitter
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle

Appearance: Pretty dark appearance. I was surprised. Everyone talks about the head on this guy. I barely had one and it dissipated pretty fast. Light Lacing

Smell: Typical roasted stout smell. Not too strong, not too light.

Taste: Pretty hoppy. Strong roasted and chocolate flavor. Slight fruit taste to it. Obvious coffee overtones. It reminded me more of an extra stout than a stout. Aftertaste lingered.

Mouthfeel: Medium

Drinkability: Great stout. Up there in the favorites category.

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Photo of voraciousalky
2.96/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This particular stout is acceptable, but it's not THAT good. I'm a little amazed to see so many "A" reviews. It's tolerable, and I'll drink the entire six-pack I bought, but I won't be buying it again. In my opinion, they went a little overboard with the hops. This has been the case with every Sierra Nevada brew I've tried, irrespective of style. I don't think of stouts as being this "hoppy," so it was not what I expected, to say the least.

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Photo of fattire513
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark, I had to double pour this one due to the amount of head it gave off. Lace lasted the entire glass and the head never dissipated. Gorgeous looking chocolate color.

S: Not too much stood out for me on the smell. Definitely a roasted smell to it

T: Very well balanced again nothing stood out but the roasted malt and coffee flavor I would say balanced each other out. For the first stout I have had in a while this one would be one for future drinking.

M: Very smooth, not too much hopiness to it. The malts balanced this one out. I feel this one served a little one is better than cold considering it's coffee and roasted character. I love Sierra Nevada and could see myself getting this one again. Maybe not a sixer in a night but could throw a few back for sure. Reminds me of their Porter to an extent.

D: Could use another one that's for sure. One just doesn't cut it. The flavor is too hard to get over. It really stays with you for a while.

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

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top; looks like what might be a freshness code of some sort...this may be a bit old; I forgot I had the remainder of this sixer in my fridge.

Appearance: Dark brown beer, nice garnet highlights when held up to the light. Medium-tan colored head, shows good retention.

Smell: Tons of caramel malt, lots of dark toasty malts, and some earthy hops. Nice and rich.

Taste: Tons of rich, roasty, dark malt, dark chocolate, and some caramel as well. Medium-high levels of burnt bitterness and some citrusy hops as well. Nice rich flavor profile. Definitely a bit on the dry and bitter side, though there are hints of milk chocolate that peek through as well. Lightly astringent. Long finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied

Drinkability: High

Conclusion: A ballsy little stout; pretty tasty.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a plain pint glass during an evening at the compound. Another beer I already shoulda tried but never got around to it.

Inkspot faded black out the bottle, SN Stout has a bold look and a slightly sryupy look from the pour. Black in the glass, tan almost mocha colored head above, about an inch in height, fluffy marshmellow looking, rings around the glass.

Smells like a good ol american stout. After being scared stiff from the nose on SN porter, their stout is a bit more within style and a pleasure to sniff. Nothing major, just a melting pot of chocolate, cocco, roasted malts, vanilla beans, and some hop bitterness in the back.

This is a good stout but it's not without it's flaws. The good outweighs the bad though. Well it's not that bad, just a small musty, dirty, haylike taste in the middle of a well balanced stout with chocolate sweetness and roast without a big coffee taste. Vanilla beans and some brown sugar. Some grapefruit comes in afterwards. Simple and well executed.

The feel is a below medium with a malt slickness going into a small hop bite once this goes down the chimney. Carbonation keeps it together, but is tame as well. This easy going stout makes for super easy drinakability. Im finished my glass and want another. I take my sweet time drinking stouts, but not this one, down the hatch.

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Photo of biglite351
2.93/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - the foam is nice and large and long lasting, but the brew looked Luke a cherry cola.

S - the scent is rather strong and different than I expected.

T - it is a little to bitter for me. The flavor seems to only hit the front of the mouth. It seems to vanish by the time it get to the back of the mouth.

M - while the flavor leaves a little yo be desired, the brew nicely coats the whole mouth.

D - while it feels nice, the flavor would keep my hand moving down the shelf.

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Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 3,397 ratings
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