Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

3,384 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

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Ratings: 3,384 |  Reviews: 1,436
Photo of hike20
4.01/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle pured into a pint glass. Pours black with a small lingering head. Aroma of sweet chocolate. Nicely balanced with good medium feel. Flavors of chocolate with a coffee finish. Overall pretty tasty and drinkable. Nothing spectacular, but still a better than average stout.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.26/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

had been wanting to try this one for a really long time. I am not really sure why, but something just really wanted me to go out and try this one. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 06/25/2009.
The pour was nice. Rich dark brown in color with a huge head of tan that came up and over the top of the glass, reaching a height of close to two inches and staying there for quite some time. Very impressive side lacing as well let me know this was not one to be taken terribly lightly in any means! Big aroma of chocolate and roasted malts. Lots' going on in here with hints of molasses and smooth, brown sugar notes peaking up through a haze of peat. As I take the first sip, subtle chocolate notes override a definite hoppy presence here. Nice full body with smooth, cascading carbonation that really lets it float across the palate. Nice finish of strong hop notes and a smooth, almost light tobacco like aftertaste mixed in.
Overall this was a very drinkable and very smooth stout. Extremely solid and I would expect nothing else from them. They have mastered the art of brewing and this is no exception. Would go here again any day.

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

I can't believe I have never reviewed this classic.

Pours a deep dark brown color with a huge off white head.

Aromas are of light brown sugar, roasted malts, and cocoa.

Taste is mostly creamy and malty up front. Beer is a little bit sweet, with light chocolate, coffee, and dark roasted flavors. Finish is crisp with a nice pine like hop bite. The hops aren't overwhelming, but they provide a nice balance to the dark malt flavors.

Mouthfeel is nice, very full, with good body, but not too heavy.

Drinkability is quite good. This is a solid, tasty, easy drinking stout. I'm glad I have 5 more in the fridge...

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Photo of jminsc76
3.86/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a large, creamy head atop an almost impenetrable black body. The head doesn't dissipate for awhile, and when it does it does slowly (and I mean slowly), with thick lacing down the side. Excellent visuals.

Aromas of highly-roasted, almost burnt coffee and espresso. Also hints of oatmeal and oak. No sweetness. Hmmm, dare I say I also smell a hint of popcorn? This is a bouquet with plenty of depth.

Powerful and intense flavors of bitter roasts, oak, and coffee. Unlike numerous other stouts, however, this one, like the aromas, is completely devoid of sweetness or fruit. The taste is almost one-dimensional (albeit refined) than some of the others I am used to, and unless you like your coffee purely black, without doctoring, that's exactly what this stout is analogous to drinking.

The mouthfeel is smooth, with a subtle hop profile on the palate. I would probably enjoy this more if paired with a light, sweeter dessert such as chocolate mousse (as opposed to bittersweet truffles) or with a stronger cheese or good barbecue, but for the foreseeable future I can't see myself enjoying this on its own.

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Photo of SeanfromShorts
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black. Decent head, about a 1/2 inch.

S - A little chocolaty.

T - This stout has a lighter taste to it when I compare it to others I've tasted. The flavors hit almost instantly, then dissipate, leaving a little bit of chocolate on the palette.

M - Very nice. Very nice.

I think this bottle may be out of code, but only by a month or two. Figured it's not the biggest deal, but I had to include it.

Great Stout, though.

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

Appearance: 12oz. bottle poured into a tumbler.

Appearance: dirty dishwater couloured head,. A bit thin of a head for a stout. Opaque Black

Smell: chocolate malt, caramel. a surprisingly floral hop smell.

Taste: roasted malt, somewhat floral hops.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, and perfectly carbonated one of the best mouth feels in a stout that I have had.

One of the most drinkable stouts that I have had, even people who are not fans of stouts could get down with this. Different then a lot of stouts I've had because of the hoppy flavor but I think that is highly innovative.

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

12oz bottle. Pours a clear black with red tinges and a substantial, rocky tan head. Smells slightly tangy with dark roasted malts and hints of cocoa and coffee. Tastes quite chocolatey as well; the flavor is all roasty malt with a slightly bitter finish. Medium body with low carbonation. Nicely balanced; an unbeatable stout for the price.

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

Had not had this beer in many years, but when I saw the Drafting Room in Exton with a firkin, I just had to get a glass.

The beer pours the expected blackish brown color with decent head retention and lacing. The beer smells pretty good, though it's a bit one dimensional and simple. Still, I get some nice coffee and chocolate (mostly coffee), with a hint of underlying burnt toast and licorice. The flavors on the palate exactly replicate the nose, although those flavors are a bit thin. On the other hand, the mouthfeel is this beer's best feature, and the beer is mouthfilling, very smooth and long. Drinkability is pretty good, with the alcohol barely noticeable.

A nice enough stout, but not one I would go looking for in the future. There are just too many other excellent offerings out there these days.

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Photo of Jablonski
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours opaque black with an average head; when held to light, there is a ruby glow on the edges.

S: a decently strong roasted malts aroma; not much else to comment on.

T: Very balanced. Has a coffee flavor with the roasted malts. It's not complex, but it fits the style perfectly with no bad aftertastes.

M: Good carbonation, above average thickness.

D: Low ABV and good tasting; I can't ask for a more drinkable beer.

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

Poured in a 10oz tulip from a Firkin at TDR Exton

Pours a deep black with a small off-white an head

Lots of creamy roasted malt in the nose - a great start

The roasted flavor come through nicely, with chocolate and a soft hop note

The flavor deepens throughout the glass, soft and creamy mouthfeel, easy to drink and enjoy. The firkin did not last long, as expected, but I got to have two and could have had several more.

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

Picked up a bottle at Total Wine back in early April for $1.29.

Beer poured jet black with a huge tan head that is sustaining quite well. Nose is roasted malts and hints of chocolate and floral hops. Taste starts with a roasted malt dominance with some cocoa powder, finishing strong with a blast of dry hops. Mouthfeel is fairly full and satisfying. Drinkability is good. This is a very hoppy flavorful stout that will be enjoyed again!

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Photo of HalfFull
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich black with just a tinge of ruby highlights and offers an inch of rocky tan head. Retention and lacing are good, with a surface cap holding throughout.

Lots of grated chocolate and carob on the nose, some light coffee notes and a decent earthy hop backdrop. Taste follows the nose but is a bit too perky on the carbonation at first, cloaking some flavor. As the beer warms to proper temperature and the carbonation settles a bit, the taste is creamier and has a slightly sweet finish. A lingering chocolate close returns after the swallow as well, yielding a good feel. Good drinkability as the beer offers enough flavor to keep thinks interesting, yet is fairly light in body and ABV.

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Photo of jwhawkins81
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma - Roasted malts surprisingly little hops (from a Sierra Nevada beer no less).

Appearance - Darker than the Sierra Nevada Porter (as it should be). A decent tan head.

Taste - Now this is what I think of when I think stout. Not a big complex stout you may be use to, but a stout with coffee and roasted malt flavors.

Notes - The beer had a good mouthfeel too. At 5.8% this is almost a perfect stout.

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Photo of LauraAlberts
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Black - can't see through it.

Smell: Milk Chocolate Innuendo of Bourbon

Taste: Coffee Tobacco dark chocolate roasted vanilla

Mouthfeel: Fullbodied finish

Drinkability: Very drinkable - one of the most palatable stouts for beginners - train on this for four months and then drink a KBS or Breakfast - and enjoy. This is a great all around stout - doesn't try to be what it's not - everything is balanced.

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

Stout pours a very dark mahogany color. It's nearly opaque, but there's a bit of cutting through that reveals burgundy highlights. Capping it off is a tan head that easily stands over two fingers tall. It takes its time receding and leaves thick, chunky lace on the glass. What's not to like here?

The nose features a pretty impressive malt profile. Chocolate is prominent and slightly sweet smelling. Roasted malts are present, but to a lesser degree. Roasted coffee plays a complementary role and adds depth and character. It works nicely with the malts. There's an earthy quality to it that may be attributed to some floral hops. A hop presence is definitely noted. Stout's a nice smelling beer. I'd like it a little more with some added muscle, but it does the job.

Sweet chocolate is the primary flavor. It's not overly sweet, but certainly leans in that direction. Tastes like there are some light roasted malts in the mix. Roasted coffee is more prominent in flavor and adds a lot of character. I like that aspect of it quite a bit. It's not exactly heavy on coffee, but it's easily noted. Hops are stronger than anticipated and provides a nice bitter kick toward the end. Nicely done. The hops taste piney and earthy. Alcohol goes unnoticed in traditional Sierra Nevada fashion. It finishes chocolaty and sweet with a punch of bitterness. I like it...quite a bit. Don't quite love it.

The body is light-medium and feels a little thin. Carbonation is pretty well restrained and it's smooth. A little more body would probably drive it to the next level. Drinkability is quite good. Not quite excellent, but very good. Stout's a nice tasting beer that goes down easy and has a pretty modest abv. Not bad at all.

Stout is simply another impressive beer from the fine folks at Sierra Nevada. It's certainly not their best beer, but it's a far cry from their worst. It's all-around very solid for an American Stout. Surprisingly, I believe it'd be a little better with more malt. That aspect is pretty good, but could be improved and would add more body. Seems like an easy improvement. It's still a classic in their arsenal that's worthy of your attention.

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

Pours an extremely dark brown/border line black with a nice big off white colored head. The head is big and isn't going anywhere anytime soon it looks like. Leaves good lacing down the glass. The smell is really good, smells of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate. Smells nice. Taste, wow, I was sure this one was going to be pretty good because of the reviews and because it's Sierra Nevada but damn this one is tasty. With a good creamy mouthfeel the taste has coffee and chocolate like the aroma. The roasted malt is apparent and it all blends pretty nicely. I don't think this one is extremely complex or anything but I don't think it really has to be. Very drinkable. A great stout for sure, it's definitely up there.

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

12 oz. Dark brown pour, slight cream foam. Roast malt chocolate aromas. Tastes quite similarly, good amount of miniscule carbonation creates a creamy mouthfeel. Good finish, just a bit of coffee bitterness and very drinkable. This might actually be my favorite SN mass beer.

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Photo of cpmau11
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beer into a pint glass. The Body is very dark, close to black. Great foamy creamy head, close to about 1 and half inches. Aroma smells of roasted malts and british chocolate. This stout taste superb. Tons of roast malt character with a hint of chocolate and I think I taste some caramel grains. Nice inviting warm mouthfeel. The head retention is very nice and leaves good foam rings on the glass. Overall this is very good stout, definitely impressed by Sierra Nevadas attempt at this classic style. I only wish it had a higher ABV.

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Photo of photomike
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into my Westmalle chalice. Hey, it was clean.

Dark brown with a short head that dies down to nearly nothing pretty quickly. What little head remains sticks around for the whole beer. Lacing is minimal.

The aroma here approaches nonexistence. I get mild roasty cereal, but really not much.

Taste is probably the best part of this guy. Roasty, almost burnt malts with a prominent, Sierra-Nevaday hop backbone. Some espresso. A hint of cocoa powder. Not really my bag...not a lot of complexity here, but what I've got is nice.

The mouthfeel has a nice full body, but I feel that this beer is somewhat overcarbonated. Just the clean finish I want.

I could definitely drink a huge amount of this. If I saw this in a friends fridge, I wouldn't hesitate to pick one up, but I really don't think this is worthy of its high rating on here. Good, but far from great.

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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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Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 3,384 ratings.
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