Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada StoutSierra Nevada Stout
3,413 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: 3,413 |  Reviews: 1,447
Photo of donniecuffs
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a thin beige head that laced very well. Roasted malt, coffee, cocoa, and even a little pine/citrus come through in the nose. The flavor is initially dominated by roasted malt, which gives way to some pine and cocoa, and then finishes with cocoa and coffee. Thinner body than expected, but still velvety and greatly satisfying, and very sessionable. Not much carbonation, as expected, given the cask, but man was this stout drinkable.

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Photo of cbutova
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black oil color with a tan half finger head that doesn't fizz out right away but doesn't retain very well either. Leaves great lacing as I drink this one away. Smell is roasted malts, chocolate, coffee and pine hops, a pretty strong smell at that, good for a change. Tastes of roasted malts up front with some chocolate and coffee. Pine hops strongly follow and some citrus hops come into play too. Pine hops and dark malts coat the mouth following the swallow. I definitely sense a bit of alcohol in this one, but a pretty good taste nonetheless. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good carbonation bite to it. Pretty creamy beer here. Not too heavy for a stout but I feel like the pine hops and alcohol flavors may take this one over with time. The price is fine and I probably would buy this one as a session stout if I don't find a cheap stout to outdo this one (probably Ipswich Oatmeal Stout).

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

Pint glass pour.

Pours a dark black with blood red hues at the thinnest end of the glass when held to light. Creamy tan head, good retention.

Smells slightly crisp for a stout, and looks to have fair carbonation. Roasted malts come through heavily. Slight sweetness and very robust.

The sweetness turns slightly bitter-sweet upon taste with a roasted expresso finish. I don't drink coffee, but I love hints of it in my beer. This is great.

It's a little thin in the mouth to me, but I prefer an Imperial above anything else so I think I may be a bit biased. The appearence of carbonation bubbles don't really show up, which is a plus for me.

Excellent drinkability. As the Bros have said, this brew would be good morning, noon, and night. Id be so lucky to be able to do such a thing!

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

Served on tap at the Westport Blues Views BBQ Festival. Very fresh, in a biodegradable platsic cup.

Pours jet black with some dabbles of white foam. Completely blocks out the light.

Smell is roasted malts. Toasty.

Taste is delicious. Smooth creamy, rich, hints of coffee/chocolate. The roasted taste comes through load and clear. Creamy, less carbonated in the mouthfeel, but holds its body and taste very well. Slightly bitter aftertaste as the hop sticks around.

A drinkable stout to say the least. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of eallured
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into BSB wine glass. Very dark brown, just not quite black. Tan head with large bubbles in it, settles moderately quickly. When pouring this beer appeared bright but is opaque in the glass.
Aroma is quite chocolatey and faintly sweet. Fruity, more like hops than yeast, but not exactly citrusy, maybe sweet cherry or strawberry or artificial "red" flavor.
The most dominant flavor is bitterness, but this is well balanced with toasty, very slightly smoky, chocolate. A fruity, light roasted coffee presence comes through as well. Sweetness is relatively low, finishing somewhat dry and lightly bitter. The sweetness begins to come through as it warms, eventually leaving A coating on the tongue of sticky dark caramel. This is only a moderate sensation however.
Carbonation is relatively high and breaks on the tongue before any flavor sensations are perceived. This rounds off revealing a medium-full body, just flirting with chewiness. Slightly astringent from the hops. Alcohol is noticeably warming but blends in nicely.
This is a very nice, balanced American stout. Hop bitterness is very present but balanced with a nice toasty sweetness. I would take this over many other stouts and would be able to handle one or two more, which gives a fairly high drinkability score in my book.

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

I picked this bottle up in a mixed six at Outlet Liquors in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Poured chilled from the stubby 12oz into my Guinness tulip pint.

A - A dark opaque walnut brown w/ 3 fingers of ecru cap w/ a rocky topography. Average sized bead on the head w/ root beer float type lacing-frothy and clings in a sheet like swiss cheese

S - A rich mocha nose w/ pine hop accent, mild woody notes w/ light yeast esters and dark toast odors

M - A mild roasted texture, moderately high carbonation in the feel w/ moderate sweetness and very mild bitterness in the semi-sweet finish

T - Dark malts give this a toffee-like flavor w/ a mild hop tastewhich has a slight pine flavor leading into a sweet bread and caramel flavored middle. The yeast is high in the flavor from midway on w/ a hint of coffee-like roasted tast in the background. A mellow caramel and chocolate malt flavor lingers into the finish w/ sweet effect

D - A very drinkable ale, not my first choice when it comes to stbuts, but well brewed and quaffable.

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Photo of CptAubrey
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: With a solid black with a creamy beige head, this beer looks the part. (And for what it's worth, the new burnt red labels are a big aesthetic improvement over the yellow ones.)

S: Smells like roasted malt and citrusy hops with a touch of chocolate. Very appetizing smell.

T: Toasty, chocolatey malt up front gives way to roasted flavor and citrusy-floral hoppiness. Moderately high hop bitterness and roasted malt both linger in the aftertaste. The combination of hoppiness and the lingering roasted flavors makes this beer.

M: Medium body, fine carbonation, and oily mouthfeel. Actually feels kind of thin.

D: This is one of my favorite stouts and one of the most drinkable.

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

Pours a medium/thick bodied black with an inch or so of medium brown head.
Smell is heavy of coffee grounds and roasted malt.
Taste is very roasted on the front and back end of the flavor. Nice malted barely through the middle of the body.
Finish is clean with a solid coffee/roasted after-taste.
Drinks pretty well, but a little too low powered to be a great drinking stout.

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Photo of mgabrielayersu
4.34/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

drinking it now, with five more to go.
Looks like a stout should, dark and opaque, not quite black, with a slight tan head
smells like burned caramel cookies
tastes like coffee with the forementioned cookies
great mouthfeel, not too chewy
i could drink a couple of these

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

Sierra Nevada hasn't let us down yet...

Appearance: Opaque brown with minimal tan head

Smell: Toasted malt, light coffee

Taste: Very toasty with coffee undertone; rich flavor

Mouthfeel: Flavor kick in the beginning, smooth lingering finish

Drinkability: Balanced and bold flavors but not overpowering; very drinkable

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Tons of medium brown colored head, almost three inches worth. The body is dark brown and thick.

S - The aroma of chocolate and malt fill the air. I can't wait to take a pull.

T - Whoa. The flavors of chocolate and coffee are potent in this stout. There's a hop finish that gives it that Sierra Nevada Brewing Company signature that I've always appreciated.

M - The texture is coarse but I think the abrasiveness really brings out the fullness of the flavors.

~ This is a good beer. I certainly recommend anyone inexperienced with it (or any other Sierra Nevada brew for that matter) give it a try. It is certainly a good move.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nearly black color with some brown highlights around the edges. Towering tan head sits around for a long time and leaves some pretty nice lacing on the glass. It is a very good looking stout.

This is pretty much what you look for on the nose for this style. Lots of roasty malts with just enough chocolate and toffee aroma. A hint of lactose-like sweetness, powdered cocoa and a touch of piney hops.

Tate mirrors the nose well, lots of roasty malt flavors accentuated by a pine sap hoppiness. A few flashes of sweetness here and there, but finishes soft and fairly dry. It's a very drinkable stout where in a world of imperial and double stouts, sometimes this one is just what the doctor ordered.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada stout pours black into the glass with a two-finger, rocky tan head on top. The foam dissolves quickly to a sheet on the beer leaving behind patches and nets of lace on the sides of the glass.

The aroma has nice chocolate notes, along with roasted malt, nuts and coffee. Each sip of this medium bodied beer is somewhat dry with an effervescent fizz that covers the palate. The flavor is much like the aroma. It's mainly malty with chocolate and nutty flavors. Hints of coffee mixed in. Towards the end some floral/grassy hops appear that help balance out the malt. Finishes slightly bitter. Once gone the chocolate malt flavor lingers on the palate.

This is an easy drinking, tasty stout that's pretty well balanced. Body seems a bit thin. Overall, a decent beer.

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Photo of PatronWizard
2.96/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Finally grabbed this puppy. Been looking at it in the store for awhile but I generally like my stouts to be friggin huge with 10+% ABV. At 5.8, this little guy should still be worth a try.

Pours out a coffee/cola shade of brown but looks quite black in the glass. Generous light mocha head. Very inviting.

Smell is mostly a light roasted coffee malt kinda thing with a subtle hop undertone. Again with the inviting.

Tastes seems a bit off to me. Starts with some bitter coffee, then continues with some bitter coffee. Burnt malt, burnt coffee, toasted, roasted whatever. The hop backing seems to conflict instead of balance. Then again I'm just some podunk drunk trying to have a beer here.

Fairly full bodied, carbonation is generous and pleasing, but I'm not getting very excited.

I'm a fan of Sierra Nevada for sure but this one is a miss for me.

Overall: won't be purchasing again.

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Photo of kegger22
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a modest head that quickly fades to a collar. A little coffee aroma. The taste was a bit watery for a stout, more like a porter. I got some coffee and as it warmed up some chocolate too, but mild for a stout. Too thin for a stout, carbonation nothing special either. Drinkability better than most stouts due mostly to the watery, thinness. OK beer, this is just a very tough category.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a New Belgium globe. (It was either that, or a Chimay goblet. I live in a box)

Appearance: Pours out dark brown, but the body is totally black once settled. No light shines through this bad boy. A cute, half-inch, foamy, brown head forms on top and shows decent retention. Spotty lacing.

Smell: Sweet (caramel?) and roasted malts are the two big aromas I'm getting. Maybe some molasses and chocolate liqueur as well. Oily hops appear on the back end. Pleasant, but a little too basic.

Taste: Dark chocolate, caramel, and roasted malt stand out immediately. Oily hops and acidic black coffee come together toward the finish to provide just the right amount of... let's call it "sting". I'm getting molasses as well - it seems to be mixed in throughout. Great balance in this one. This is what a great stout should taste like.

Mouthfeel: The body is absolutely perfect: not too heavy or filling; not too light or watery. This one is a little bit creamy, a little bit crisp, and a little bit dry and bitter. The carbonation is low and the feel is velvety. This beer has a great stout flavor, but it has the perfect stout feel.

Drinkability: What a delightful stout! I loved the tap version I had a few weeks back at the brewery, so I was curious to see if the bottled version was just as good. Well, it is. I'll definitely be buying more of this. Sierra Nevada Stout is a fantastic example of the "American Stout" style.

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

Pours a not-quite opaque black. Head is wonderful, creamy and sticky, with a solid layer hanging around. Aroma is pretty clean, but hoppy.

Flavor is very well-balanced. Big roasted barley character. Surprisingly hoppy for a stout as well, with an almost IPA like bitter aftertaste. A hint of sweet malt and lots of roasted, coffee-like malt balance things out. Mouthfeel is medium. Nicely coats the tongue without overwhelming the palate. This is an excellent stout, and one I'd definitely have again. Another solid one from SN.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a coca cola looking heading that disapates to a nice covering. Lacing rings all throughout the tasting.

Smell is ridiculous with roasted malts and a hell of a chocolate aroma to back it up. A slight hop presence as well.

Taste is very alive with maltiness.Again a heavy chocolate taste.Nice coffee aroma pulls through with I believe is fuggle hops on the backend.Some caramel taste is also coming through.

Mouth is full bodied with decent carbonation.Very alive feeling on the tongue for a stout does have a slight bitterness of hops and coffee.

Drinkability is good. A little to heavy for when I am drinking it but definetley a good one on those chilly night's. Easy to have few of these outside on a nice winter's day.

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Photo of ATSJer
3.13/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Room Temp (glass)

Appearance: The Sierra Nevada pours oily black and builds a huge head, by my count three fingers and that was on a regular pour. The brew itself is black and opaque, with some light showing through on the edges which reveals a rich dark clear amber. The medium density almond colored head is a monster and holds fairly well lacing the glass evenly. The head indicates to me that this may well be a heavily carbonated brew.

Smell: The spice of the whole hops hits my nose first followed up with a mild sweetness and rounded out by the malts which are more subdued. This is a nice smelling brew, not to complex and what one would expect from a stout, although some more malts might increase the pleasure of the aroma. Also in keeping with the style there was no discernable alcohol aroma even with the 5.8% abv.

Taste: Just as the aroma started with the spicy hops so does the taste, this is followed by a dark malt taste with an espresso type quality, it finishes hard though bitter and a lingering bitterness on the palate which for me was uncomfortable and decreased my enjoyment. I was hoping this full bodied brew would be more along the lines of a Bison Chocolate Stout or a Guinness Draught with the malty richness but without the harsh bitterness, instead this brew reminds me very much of the Guinness Extra Stout, as such I think if it were presented as an extra stout it would be more fitting but since it is only a stout I find it harsher than it should be. There was however no alcohol taste although once I did feel the burn in my chest.

Mouthfeel: This is a thick full bodied brew with medium carbonation which results in a nice creaminess, the fizz is present but it is not harsh like with the Dogfish Head Chicory Stout. I actually enjoyed the way this rolled in my mouth.

Drinkability: With this stout being akin to the Guinness Extra Stout I found its drinkability on the low end as this is a sipping brew for a certain group of hopheads that enjoy the bitterness and the lingering bitter after-taste, as for me I found myself just wanting to be done with my glass which is a shame. Rename this as an Extra Stout and I think it would be more fitting of the experience in with this particular offering by Sierra Nevada.

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

Serving type- 12 ounce bottle with no freshness date poured into a pint glass.

This beer pours a black with a hint of brown hues. There is a small finger worth of tan lace that dissolves rather quickly. There is little to no cling to speak of and some carbonation presence at the bottom of the glass after the pour. There are notes coffee in the smell but I didn't find anything overpowering. My sniffer might be off tonite because I really did not get any other smells than the coffee tones. The taste is an extension of the coffee that I smelled. There is a malty backbone and a somewhat bitter finish to the beer. Overall a good SN offering but not my favorite beer out of Chico. This is a good stout however I have other choices at my disposal and would probably grab one of those before getting this again. I am slowly making my way through Sierra Nevada and I have yet to have a bad beer from them.

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Photo of donmonkey1
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Really dark brown or possibly black. The head could have been a little bigger, but is a nice tan head that recedes a little too fast. Decent lacing though.

Smell: Molasses,nutty,toasted.

Taste: Not too sweet. A little tree barkish but in a good way. A little toasted, nutty, burnt toast. But it's good.

Mouthfeel: Thick with a nice astringent bite.

Drinkability: Really good. It has a great flavor without being overpowering. This is a really enjoyable beer.

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

Generously received through Papollo's gateway into trading. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

The appearance is really nice for a stout. Pours a dark brown body with some translucency around the bottom and edges. The head yield is magnificent, a creamy light tan that yields about 2 fingers high. Lacing is plentiful.

Very nice roasted chocolate and caramel malts. Slightly subdued, but some sweetness rises as the glass nears room temperature. My nose picks up traces of licorice, thought this could be confusion caused by the sweet scent that I was having trouble putting my finger on. The flavor is a reiteration of the scent. The flavors are big and robust, but are a little bit too straight-forward and one dimensional. Still a surprise given the style.

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Photo of froghop
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a black with a small red tint when held up to the light, large foamy brown head, and very good lacing.

smell of cocoa, cream, vanilla, whiff of toasted nuts, sweet malt, and a little bit of nuts.

taste is thick with a lively carbonation, chocolate, touch of coffee, touch of vanilla, and a little caramel, somewhat dry ending, with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of diamondc
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Fluffy brown head that stays around for a while, leaving some moderate lacing. Held up to the light reveals a ruby brown tint.

S: Has a nice floral aroma, definitely some chocolate in there, and hints of espresso.

T: Just a tad too sweet when it's chilled. Could almost past a milk stout at first. The espresso, chocolate flavors come out when it gets in the 50-60 degree range. Leaves a slightly burnt coffee / tobacco aftertaste.

M/D: The burnt aftertaste becomes a bit grating towards the end. The mouthfeel is smooth, well-carbonated, yet I wish it was a bit more thicker with some more complexity to warrant buying another.

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

A - Pitch black with huge, stiff khaki head that hangs out the entire time

S - Dark roasted malts, hints of floral hops

T - Dark roasted malts shine through with faint hints of sweetness and spicyness.

M - Only complaint is the super-stiff and thick head gets in the way of some of the sips. Otherwise smooth, no stickyness or thickness.

D - The most drinkable stout in terms of quality and drinkability.

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Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 3,413 ratings
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