Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,424 Reviews
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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Reviews: 1,424 | Ratings: 3,358
Photo of doktorhops
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The original Sierra Nevada! As the label states this is the drop that began the now monolithic SN, it’s hard to imagine what the beer world was like without Sierra Nevada... a hell of a lot blander for one... but there was a time not so long ago when beer meant something shit like Foster’s or VB. Like waking up from a bad dream the world has progressed to our current state of beer nirvana: Beervana - now you really can get almost any crazy combination of ingredients ready-fermented in a glass bottle for your enjoyment. So what does this 30 year old recipe have to offer us today? Something easy and agreeable one would hope.

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Sierra Nevada US pint glass.

A: Dark - but not imposing - like a big cuddly brown bear with razor sharp claws and teeth bared... err, not sure that analogy works, but whatever: deep brown body with a wispy tan foam half centimetre head. Leaves decent lacing: Check! 9/10.

S: Roasted toasty grains and chocolate notes along with hints of dark fruits and light smoky aromas. Quite a moreish nose here - though it could, for 5.8% ABV, use a little more heft - not complaining, just noting. 7/10.

T: Classic Sierra Nevada - it doesn’t jump out and shout “Look at me! I’m a beer!” in some sort of weird stein-related costume that gets the wearer arrested for public indecency “Is that a small tap handle coming out of the stein? No, wait!” - it just quietly turns up the dial, not to 11 (this is beer not Spinal Tap) but to something like 8. Compared to the last American Stout I reviewed (Newstead The Outpost) this seminal American Stout is hardly hop-happy, it focuses primarily on roasted malts and the above noted flavours - it doesn’t veer off course. Tasty, tasty malts! 8/10.

M: Medium bodied with a nice light but dense carbonation. 9/10.

D: As stated in my preamble what can Sierra Nevada Stout offer todays’ drinkers? Something easy and agreeable. This brew is exactly that: Easy and agreeable. I’m sure back in the day of bland tastes (30 years ago) drinking this would have been akin to releasing a firestorm on your tastebuds, however today we have so many bolder beers out there. What Sierra Nevada does again is create a respectable base-line standard of a brew in this American Stout that we can all drink after our tongues have been lashed by hearty Russian Imperial Stouts and the like - here’s my cheers to Sierra Nevada for giving us a damn fine regular American Stout on which we can rest our weary taste-buds, cheers! 9/10.

Food match: Hearty Russian Imperial Stouts... or beef stew, whatevs.

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Photo of Jelitikasez
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A little more tangy/crisp than I've had in a stout, hints of something almost licorice like in there. Beautiful onyx color. I poured a little too fast and got an explosion of creamy-tan colored foam, which it was my undignified pleasure to slurp down before it could escape over the edge of the glass.

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Photo of gandres
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured to wine glass
Appearance: Black dark small tan foam, some lacing
Aroma: Nose: hint of chocolate, coffee, roasted grains
Taste: medium bitterness;
Feel Palate: lively carbonation, creamy, good follow through, long finish, alcohol aftertaste
Overall Very good beer, ok to repeat but not look for
Drank 7/24/2016

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz. bottle dated 02/12/16

Pours dark brown black with a creamy tan foam head. Smells like dark roast espresso coffee, dark baker's chocolate, burnt toast, black cherry, dark plum, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, with mild earthy grass and herbal pine. Tastes like dark roast espresso coffee, baker's chocolate, dark plum, black cherry, dark caramel, burnt toast, molasses, charred brown sugar, with herbal pine and woody earthy grass. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a really nice stout.

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Photo of matcris
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: Black with just some ruby around the edges up to the light. Nice finger + of bubbly, tan head that stays around and leaves a very nice looking lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Lots of dark roasted malt, almost to the burnt stage, but not quite. Some coffee and chocolate notes, as well.
TASTE: Nice, rich, dark roasted quality, some earthy notes, mild chocolate and coffee.
FEEL: Medium thin to medium body, adequately carbed, quite dry throughout the swig.
OVERALL: Nice single stout, maybe the body is slightly lacking a little, but, good flavors overall.

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Photo of tone77
3.56/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, chocolate. Taste is roasted malts, coffee, some hops are present, hints of chocolate. Feels medium/full bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

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Photo of Alan_Bats
4.26/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

L- Completely opaque almost black
S-Roasty aroma with chocolate coming through adding sweetness, a slight hint of dried fruit
T - Wonderful dark roasted malt flavor, just what a stout should have. Flavors of tasted bread and grain come forth. Sweetness comes through right after malt with a chocolate base. Finish has coffee and roasted bitterness and a hint of raisin or dried fruit
F-Not the fullest of bodies but more than medium bodied for sure
O- The roasted character is about as good as I've had in a stout. Other flavors still come through though. Great stout.

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Photo of bbtkd
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sierra Nevada Stout, 5.8% ABV, 50 IBU. Pours thick, got lots of fine head that lasted, good lacing, nose is malt, chocolate, and coffee. Taste follows, with slight coffee bitter in the middle. Carbonation is just right. My bad, but I rarely check the born on date, this one I happened to and note the date was December 2014 - though I just bought it. Not sure why they don't sell, I like it and will get it again.

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Maybe a bit out of date : bottled on 03/18/15. Roasted. Dark chocolate mostly, herbal in the smell. Overly carbonated for my taste, it doesn't give the taste any favor. Better and better as it warms up.

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

Black in color and impenetrable to light. There's an inch of densely packed beige head resting on top. Moderate lacing. Aroma is a gentle dose of dark roasted barley and dark malt. I taste that same dark roasted barley and dark malt and while there is a light bitter finish, this is meant to be pretty sessionable. There's a light flourish of a plum note in the finish. The mouth is lightly oily and chewy.

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Photo of drtth
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a nice looking black with a 1" dark tan head that begins to visibly recede and while doing so leaves rings and legs of lacing around the glass and a foamy island surrounded by a thin layer of foam. Sipping creates lots of small scattered speckles of lacing.

The aromas include dark roasted malt, some coffee and dark chocolate. The flavors are much as expected from the nose with the dark roasted malt, the coffee and some dark chocolate. There's a touch of sweetness and in the background there's a touch of bitterness that seems to be both from the hops and the roasted malt.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and has some light prickliness from the persistent moderate carbonation. The finish begins about mid-way through as the sweetness fades allowing the bitterness to come forward while the other flavors begin to disappear. Towards the end the bitterness recedes to the back of the palate and begins fades to leave dryness.

As expected from Sierra Nevada this is a well made stout and one I'll be having again in the future. Overall it got all the right stuff coming together here. Particulary nice about this Stout is that all of the flavors present in a well integrated package which is not easy to tease apart to identify individual components. So it is a nicely complex beer as well as a tasty one.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
3.52/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

L: pours dark brown with a finger of tan head
S: chocolate, fairly sweet.
T: chocolate start, then the hops take over. Starts sweet then turns bitter.
F: the carbonation tingles my mouth like soda. Not a fan at all.
One and done for this beer.

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Photo of microbrewlover
4.51/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a solid black with mocha colored sediment suspended in and lying on the bottom of the glass. There is a two finger head which dissipates into a nice collar and heavy lacing.

The smell is full of hops, chocolate, roasted malts and bitter coffee.

The taste follows the nose with the hops forward, backed up quickly by the roasted malts, bitter coffee, chocolate then finishing with more hops. The hop finish is only slightly dry. Some booze leaks through but not much. The feel is thick and bready. This is an American Stout that smells and tastes like an Imperial. Let this one warm up a bit before drinking and you will be rewarded with a better range of smells and flavors.

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Photo of Drinkzumbeer
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This stout pours an almost black color with a tan white head that dissipated quickly and leaves a nice lacing. The nose was slightly underwhelming, but what it lacks on the nose it completely makes up on the taste. This stout is chalk full of burnt darkly roasted malts that smoothly transitions to a chocolate and espresso bean finish. There is noticeably a good amount of bitter hops present in every sip. A medium bodied brew with good carbonation. Slightly creamy with a smooth finish. This is a nice stout that I would definitely pick up again. Cheers!

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Photo of chrishiker1409
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Black with a tan white finger of head. It lingers and leaves some lacing.

S: Dark Chocolate, coffee, burnt notes. Some floral from the hops.

T: Follows the nose. Fairly dry finish.

F: Quite smooth. Full bodied.

O: Really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of JonnyGee
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

An interesting beer. It looks and smells like a dry stout, nothing special there. However the first sip was a big surprise: the coffee notes of the stout were present but there was a much heavier taste of hops on the back end than I would have ever expected from this beer. If you are looking for an interesting twist on stouts then pick this up. However, if you're longing for a more traditional or sweeter style then I would stray away.

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Photo of lastmango
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours brown-black with a beautiful three finger head that looks like a chocolate malt shake. The lacing is gorgeous and heavy. Very mild chocolate malt nose. Taste is of bittersweet chocolate, malt, piney hops, and black licorice. This is very hoppy for a stout and I wish it were toned down a bit. On the other hand, as I continue to sip, it is growing on me. :) This stout has moderate-heavy carbonation and a medium body. This is a unique stout and those who like more pronounced hops should really enjoy it.

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Photo of jimdalton
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, nearly non-translucent with 1 finger tan head. Moderate lacing.
Smell: Espresso, roasted grain, molasses
Taste: Front end is espresso, caramel, and roasted grains which fades into a floral hoppy flavor towards the back end.
Feel: Light-Medium body with little carbonation. Smooth.
Overall: This stout is a wonderfully smooth beer with a lot of complexity and enjoyable flavors.

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Photo of RockRuler
3.51/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Looks like a standard stout. Not a strong smell and a little watered down. Tastes a bit of chocolate and after taste of coffee. It's a standard stout. Much better ones at market now. Not bad but not outstanding. Cheers!

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Photo of Kubishark
3.99/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown to black pour, smells like roasted malts, coffee and chocolate, and tastes like all of those plus a moderate serving of hops. Hoppier than most stouts I've had, and very good. The bitterness is very enjoyable. Feels moderately heavy, but the ABV is pretty low and it goes down very smooth.

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

Pretty solid stout. Not the most complex, but easy drinking. "West Coast Style" on the label; figured it would mean hop forward, but didn't really taste that.

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

Very dark brown to black, can barely see any light through it, even in parts of glass you might expect to be able to. Head of medium shade of brown, medium-higher retention, with moderate lacing. Licorice and cocoa aromas, a little burnt toast, not much else, but good. Taste is more complex, distinct smoke/roastiness throughout, and even a bit spicy/piney, with substantial notes of licorice, soil, leaf matter, cocoa, faint peppercorn. Root-like aftertaste, with lingering notes already mentioned. Overall, much more sweet than smokey. Missing on the palate were toffee/molasses, tobacco, toast, and roasted meat, in particular. Lighter end of full-bodied, fairly smooth in spite of highly reactive suds and tingles from carbonation, less astringent than a number of other stouts.

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Photo of johnnyd10vt
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really nice stout. Slightly more bitter/hoppy than many stouts, but not overwhelmingly so. Much more complex than the standard Irish style stouts like Guinness, but not as in your face as some of the newer high gravity stout styles either (this one is 5.5%).

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Photo of richj1970
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle dated 5/25/2015 into nonic pint

A: Pitch black with one finger light tan head with decent retention and leaving moderate lacing

S: Roasted malts, espresso, and chocolate.

T: Rich roasted malts combined with coffee and chocolate. An almost smoky quality to the finish.

M: Full bodied by not thick. Somewhat creamy texture.

O: Solid stout. Very well crafted and tasty beer.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Black body, rocky tan head, good webs of lace. Smell is faint but has floral overtones and undercurrents of milk chocolate, roasty malt, and wood. Metal (bad) comes through now and again. The taste is more on point, with those dark notes taking the lead. Balanced between sweet on the front palate and bitter on the finish, with some mint and earthy pine flavors as well. Rich, soft mouthfeel, low carbonation but not flat.
This is great. It deviated slightly from traditional/boring stouts with a touch of extra hops while still being within the style. Perfect choice for a non-palate bomb and quaffable stout.

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Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 3,358 ratings.
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