Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

3,365 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2000

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Ratings: 3,365 |  Reviews: 1,426
Photo of everetends
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle I picked up from Grub Mart in J'ville, AL. Finally ended my boycott of SN brews from the Grub because they finally lowered their prices. A sixer that used to be 10 bucks is a decent $7.19 now. Not bad if you ask me. Served this one up in a standard shaker pint glass.

A: Pours a pretty black (or seemingly) in color. Held to the light, a bit of light gets through, creating a lot more brown coming out. The tops and bottoms of the pour are a dark brown in color. The pour yielded a huge head. Maybe 2.5 fingers in height of tan colored head sitting up here. Pretty good retention and the lacing is all over the glass, notching and coating it easily. Pretty impressive.

S: The smell is actually pretty light to tell the truth, but pleasant all the same. Roasted malts (actually a bit more roast than I was expecting) are the first thing that hit you. Light coffee and chocolatey presence brings the slightly sweet and bitter. A touch of earthy hops aroma in the back end. Overall, nice but its a bit weak on the power of the aroma and you have to strain a bit to get the aromas out.

T: Everything seems to be in order here. Yet again you get that nicely roasted malt that has a touch of burn to it. Semisweet chocolate flavors really come out of that malt as well. Coffee has a nice touch going on, very light and slightly whimsical but nice. There is a pleasant vanilla and lactose coming out as well. Hops are light in the back with some grassy goodness. Touch of astringency but nothing crazy.

M: Medium body that is a bit too light for my liking in a stout. Pretty smooth feel though is created that has a touch of coating to it. ABV is no where to be found, just a light and smooth experience. Aftertaste is mostly just some roasted malt left behind and some astringent qualities.

D: Pretty darned good experience and better than I was expecting. Goes down very easy for a stout and doesn't have the heaviness that is expected from the style. The feel could be a bit heavier and the aroma could produce more, but thats nit picking to tell the truth. A solid and simple stout. Enjoyable and sessionable.

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Photo of stephens101
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decants pitch black with a quickly growing large and rolling dark tan head. Retention is phenomenal and demands patience. Thick fingers of lace are left behind. Smells of sweet and dark chocolates and roasted malts. Some hops linger behind. A quick sweetness hits the palate and is quickly followed by dark chocolates and a good hit of hops. Roasted coffee beans and a hint of vanilla exists. A slight creaminess is overtaken by a sharpness going down. Lies big on the palate, but doesn't weigh too much on the stomach. Grand version of a standard porter.

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

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Darkest brown with red highlights. Creamy tan head that leaves great lacing. Aromas of roasted barley, milk chocolate, and citrus. Lots of coffee, toffee, and chocolate in the flavor, with accents of smoke, fruity hops, and a touch of sour mash. Rich and smooth mouthfeel with mousse-like carbonation. A really solid stout.

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

A - Pours completely black, I can't see any light getting through. Good thick dark tan rocky head and plenty of carbonation can be seen.

S - Dark and roasted malts give a sweet but spicy and robust backbone. Hops are earthy and balance out the malts.

T/M - Carbonation first hits your tongue and a metallic flavor is first noticed. As this fades, the taste is exactly as the aroma, sweet and spicy malts. Very refreshing, though i wish the initial metallic flavor wasn't there.

D - Low alcohol and very tasty. Endlessly Drinkable.

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Photo of Britton
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Looks like a stout. Opaque brown through thee center with a halo of ruddy happiness around the outside. Dense khaki head which diminishes to a translucent sheet. Blotchy lacing.

S: Smells like a stout. Light coffee, slightly astringent roasted malts, and a spot o' chocolate. Inviting.

T: This motherfucker even tastes like one, too. Bitter hop-coffee and chocolate up front, followed by the same roasted astringency in ze nose.

M: Light and bubbly. Slightly thin. A touch of oiliness from the hops.

D: Gimme. More.

A classic!

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Photo of BrewsCrewSA
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had a run of Sierra Nevadas recently, all have been outstanding.

A - Poured from bottle into a pint glass. Poured syrupy and black with not even the slightest notion of light coming through the glass. A tan, foamy, creamy head that retained even throughout the beer. Sipping left plenty of rings spaced evenly about half an inch apart all the way down - only one of a few beers I've seen do this so clear.

S - Like sour milk, which I've always thought was indicative of a good stout. Strong malty aroma.

T - Exceptional. The very first impression that struck me was a lack of that fake/smokey taste some popular stouts carry these days. This is solidly a creamy, bitter stout that allows you to enjoy the true characteristics of the style. Even the aftertaste lingers a sweetness that stays with you.

M - Creamy and smooth. Looks like it has quite a viscosity but it actually feels great. Even friends who weren't fans of great beer noted that it had a good mouthfeel.

D - Same friends noted superior drinkability. Just a great beer overall.

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Photo of Yesac
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle says 01 08 so I'm guessing this is 13 months old.

A- Black but not solid. Large foamy head that settles down to a thin layer.

S- Some roasted malt.. some bitterness. Not much going on here.

T- Bitterness up front.. followed by a smooth roasted malt and small hints of java. Slightly watery which is normal for this style.

M/D- Medium carbonation. Smooth, carbonated and slightly creamy. Easy drinking.

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

Pint Glass

Its a nice dark stout. Pours a nice tan head that stayed the whole drink. Smells like hops and sweet roasted barley. A very smooth stout. Great mouthfeel and light coffee tastes. Creamy. Really the whole time I was drinking this beer I thought, "This is what a stout should be if you were explaining a straight up stout to someone." Nothing way out there and not nasty, just a very nice stout that really shows you that brewing is a finely balanced craft.

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

A - opaque brown/black with a nice thick, fluffy tan head that has some staying power

S - full roasty aroma with notes of dark chocolate and caramel

T - fully bodied roasty flavors combined with a full coffee taste and hints of chocolate

M - very smooth with a medium to full bodied mouthfeel and a moderate amount of carbonation

D - one of my favorite stouts and a great sessionable dark beer; great for black and tans when paired with a nice bitter ale

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Photo of BierBreath305
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a Guinness tulip glass. Poured a little more than a finger of nice khaki head, foamy with beautiful lacing. Once I got to drinking it it was definitely thicker than your typical Murphys or Guinness with a slight burnt coffee taste to it, very malty with a underlying hoppyness to it as well. Nice creamy mouthfeel, a bit bitter and edgy on the tounge, leaves a nice little aftertaste for you to remember it by.

A quality beer for sure but may not be your go-to stout if your a Draught/Nitro Stout drinker (like me). Very drinkable but a bit heavy for 6 in a row. YMMV

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Photo of davexisxrabid
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured a nice one and a quarter inch fluffy tan head on top of a dark brown/almost black body. Excellent lacing during the drinking period.

Aroma was of fresh cut grass, roasted malts, and dark chocolate.

Hoppy bitter taste up front followed by a big dark chocolate taste and a signature SN metallic bitterness at the end.

Thick, full-bodied and with decent carbonation. Flavor lingers slightly on the palate with a touch of bitterness.

Good drinkability due to the flavor, a bit too hoppy for a stout in my opinion. Not too heavy or palate wrecking. I don't see myself going out and buying more of these anytime soon but the flavor is interesting enough I wouldn't by any means turn it down.

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Photo of brianlg
3.23/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured on Easter Sunday with my meal. Pours a deep dark brown with a nice foam tan head. It smells of roasted malts, and a citrusy hop aroma is in there as well. Smells a bit hoppy for a stout. This was my complaint on the taste as well. It tastes too bitter and hoppy for me. I know SN loves their hops, but I feel they over do the bitterness on a lot of their beers. I wasn't a big fan of it here in this stout. Not bad, but definitely not the best. Mouthfeel is fine. Drinkability? I probably won't buy this again. There are way too many better stouts out there.

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

Even though Sierra Nevada is pretty commonplace here in the NW, I don't see their stout on the shelves too often. Too bad, there are too few good dark beers readily available.

Very nice looks from this beer, it pours a very dark black-brown with a big, long lasting tan head that leaves lots of lacing. Classic look.

Good aromas of roasty malts, bittersweet chocolate, and a bit of earth, thanks to the hops. Solid on the nose, but too subtle. I like my beer to assault my nostrils, and I'm having to carefully sniff this one.

Flavors are again solid, but not quite as full as I hoped. Very balanced roast, sweetness and bitterness flavors that are excellent. Mouthfeel is supportive and medium-full. Not quite a chewing beer, but it balances out the flavor levels and overall feel of the beer nicely.

Looking back, it seems like I complain about this beer, even though there is very little to complain about. It's a very solid stout, especially for its price point. Its balanced flavor and subtleties make it a better than average stout for pairing with food, as well. It went great with a bowl of chili on a colder than usual spring evening for me. Price, availability and food compatibility often are big factors for me in beer. Well done, Sierra Nevada!

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Photo of sweetbrew82
3.39/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. into a snifter/ no freshness date

P: Deep brown from the bottle, black as night in the glass. 2 fingered khaki-colored head is ultra-thick, creamy, and pillowy soft with outstanding retention. The super sticky foam caked the glass as it finally sunk to a thick cap on top.

A: Unfortunately, the aroma just can't keep up with the promising appearance. Roasted chocolatey malts, earthy hops, coffee, and some caramel are there, but it lacks the power you would expect from a top-flight American Stout (see Storm King).

T: Deeply roasted chocolate malts with a burnt/acrid edge lay down the foundation for a sweet start. Earthy hop flavors are underneath and contribute a little spice to the mix, while black coffee and caramel flavors round it out. This stout suddenly abandons the path of sweetness on the back end and turns sharply into a very dry, slightly chalky-feeling finish with bittering hops moving to the forefront (from the Magnum hops?) that has my taste buds sending some unfavorable reports back to my brain concerning the flavor. As a result, this keeps it from earning any higher of a flavor score.

M: The body of SN Stout is quite nice. It's not as thick and creamy as the best, but it is full-bodied and slightly chewy. Although, the above-mentioned discrepancy with my taste buds is making the finish a bit harsh.

Notes: I have to be honest, I am underwhelmed by this Sierra Nevada offering. It's well put-together, with some good flavor in the front end. But, the back half of this beer is kind of off-putting for me which really hinders the drinkability. In my opinion, it falls way short of reaching the levels of other top-notch American Stouts. Don't get me wrong, it's not horrible by any means, but not great by any means, either.

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Photo of BeenJammin
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Stout is pitch black with a smallish but long lasing tan head. It smells like roasted coffee beans. It has a pleasantly complex taste. It has roasted coffee, caramel, and some chocolate to it. It has a medium body and just the right amount of carbonation. I am very surprised by this beer. I was not expecting it to be this great! I find it very drinkable.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A--Pours a very dark brown that highlights red when held up to the light. You can get pretty much as much of the tan head as you want with this depending on the pour. Good lacing

S--Smells sweeter than most stouts, but it is a very pleasant hoppy sweetness...unfortunately its pretty much the only scent I get

T--Creamy malts and a nicely balanced hoppy bitterness. No bold flavors present but that is not what this beer is trying to be

M--Coats the mouth in oily goodness

D--This would be a great session stout but not much else. So it scores high for "volume" but low for "desire"

Good overall stout, probably a great introductory stout to get people used to the style but its not something I want to come back to after exploring the rest of what the world has to offer. Still, this is fairly widespread distribution and is definitely worth trying for those who have not done so.

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

Another classic by SN that hits the bullseye!

appearance: deep dark black, nearly ebony, loaded head and creamy froth. Was beautiful

smell: good hops, and slightchocolate aromas

taste: rich and slight chocolate roasted flavors but had a smooth rich taste, Very Dry, not sweet at all.

mouthfeel: thick, creamy, good carbonation and very tasty

drinkability: probably one of the best regular stouts I have ever had.

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Photo of Stunner97
4.77/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- dark brown to black, with very nice thick foam and tan head, not see through what so ever, a very dark thick black stout beer,

Smell- lots of coffee, espresso, and slight dark chocolate notes, really delicious bitter roasted malts, amazing smell,

Taste- lots of chocolate notes on this one, with slight bitter notes of hops you would expect from sierra Nevada, very delicious bitter dark chocolate, very enjoyable good finish, very pleasant surprise

Mouthfeel- full bodied yet light and refreshing as can be, each sip leaves you craving more for sure

Drinkability- Incredible, such nice sweet tones up front with enormous back hops to add tone a bitter to the sweetness, great stout, very impressed, one to really enjoy and have many more times

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Photo of DrinkinBoy
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada Stout pours pitch black, even when held up to light it is still as dark as it gets. The head is a fluffy creamed coffee color with average retention.

On the nose the beer smells of roasted coffee, roasted nuts, toffee, tootsie roll, dark chocolate, and a slight hint of hops.

The taste starts with roasted nuts with a slight malt sweetness. It then goes to hoppy bitterness on the mid palate, and finishes with a strong coffee taste.

Its body is full with slight carbonation, which goes really well with the taste.

Overall I would say that Sierra Nevada Stout is a great version of the American Stout style. Its complexity would definitely challenge a Guinness drinker, while its smoothness makes it much more drinkable compared to most American craft beer stouts.

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Photo of CityBoy1986
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle. The beer was bottled in December 2008.

The pour is a deep brown with ruby undertones. A finger's tan head stays for a while and leaves decent lacing.

The nose is of roasted malts, some coffee and chocolate. I get a hint of alcohol as well. The taste contains the same roasted flavours as well as the coffee and chocolate. Toward the end of the sip a mild bitterness takes over.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation, making this one on the smooth side of things. Drinkability is decent, but I wouldn't want more than a few.

This is a nice brew that I am surprised I haven't seen in Mississippi. I will make sure to buy this again when I travel out of state.

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Photo of ricke
3.71/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving date: 2009-03-23. On-tap att Bishop's Arms, Malmö. Served in pint glass.

A: Very dark brown, almost black. 1 finger tan-colored and rather creamy head.

S: Plenty of dark and roasted malt aromas. Hints of dark fruits. A decent amount of earthy hop aromas as well. Compared to the bottled version it's slightly restrained. It lacks some bigger and fuller aromas.

T: Firm semi-sweet malt body, nice roasted flavors. Some dark fruits, dark bread and earthy wood notes. Very pleasant hop flavors, earthy and gently spicy. Mild bitterness, juicy malts and more hops in the finish.

M: Medium body, off-centered carbonation. Rather smooth, though.

D: A very good low alcohol stout, but inferior to the bottled version. Compared to the bottled version it has less fruity flavors but interestingly a more pronounced hop character. Most importantly, its body is way lighter.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the last available Sierra Nevada beers I had yet to try... great beer to save for last too. Pours a nice dark brown, big fluffy head and tons of lacing. Nice roasted smell to it, taste is very well balanced.. malty, yet the hops are present (it's Sierra Nevada, what else do you expect?) nice and creamy mouthfeel that just goes down smooth. Way too easy to drink and another great session beer from an awesome brewery.

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

Poured this bottle into a pint glass. Pours a black brew with a nice thick tan head. Nice head nice retention and lacing.

The smell is of burnt malts, coffee and hops.

The taste is a nice creamy, roasted malts very balanced mouth feel and finish.

This beer is very drinkable, a very nice take on a stout. I wanted to try it for years and it lived up to the hype. I could get a case of this and drink the night away. Very nice.

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

I've wanted to try this for months now, mostly because I have an American Stout in the homebrew queue, but also because this is one of the top benchmarks for the style.

A -- Black. Beige two finger foamy (not fizzy) head, slowly diminishes over time. Lacing is very much present. Hard to beat for a carbonated stout.

S -- I'm getting a hybrid of roast and hop right out there in front. A hint of alcohol. Roastiness rounds out to chocolate at the very end of the sniff. Some "dark fruit" aromas. A good smell for sure, but perhaps a bit confused/muddled.

T -- Roastiness, followed swiftly by coffee/chocolate, intermingling with (then finishing with) hop bitterness. Dark crystal definitely in the mix. Very interesting. The interplay between roasty astringency and hop bitterness is about perfect.

M -- Perfect. Very smooth. Heavy, but not too heavy. Can't fault this brew, in this regard.

D -- Drinkable? Of course. Very drinkable? Perhaps. Fuller's ESB drinkable? Certainly not. This is a stout, after all.

At the end of the day a very good brew, verging on excellent. If mine comes out anything like this, I'll be quite happy indeed.

As an aside, this beer is very much similar to the Oatmeal Milk Stout by River Horse (a local micro). Indeed, the similarity is uncanny. Given that the River Horse example is a seasonal/limited edition brew, I'll have to keep the Sierra Nevada in mind when I can't get the Oatmeal Milk.

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Photo of joshuadlight
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Deep dark brown beer that is just a perfect representation of the style. This is not an imperial, but is just as tasty without the powerful alcoholic punch.
Chocolaty smoothness in the nose and taste. Bitterness on the back end is absolutely sublime as it balances out the whole beer. Silky smooth and goes down wonderfully.
I cannot go without having this beer in my fridge.
Anytime I feel like a Stout, this is where my mind goes.

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Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 3,365 ratings.
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