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Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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1,416 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,416 | Ratings: 3,337
Photo of Xadoor
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured the usual dark black of a stout with a dark reddish hue when held up to the light. A tan, creamy head formed on top and stayed around for a while. Slight chocolate and coffee aromas. Taste is slighly sweet, but is certainly dominated by coffee flavours. Mouthfeel is very smooth. Definitely a good, easy-drinking stout.

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Photo of Fugazme
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Excellent example.

Absolutely black. I held it up to the light just to see if anything got through. It didn't. Opaque.

1/4 inch caramel colored head that stayed for nearly the whole beer.

Coffee, toffee, chocolate and a touch of hops on the nose.

Excellent mouthfeel.

Roasted grains and coffee flavor. Good chocolate and a bit of molasses.

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Photo of Brian700
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours black with a very small mocha colored head that quickly fizzles down to a ring around my glass. There is some lacing but it is pretty minimal.

The aroma is of roasted malt and mild hops.

The taste is of roasted malt, coffee, and a good amount of hop bitterness. Some of this bitterness might be from some of the darker malts. Can't tell.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium/moderate carbonation.

I think this is a decent drinkable stout. Not bad.

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Photo of bashiba
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice black with a touch of brown and a creamy tan head, decent lacing, but little retention.

Smell was light, but what was detectable was dominated by burnt malts.

Taste was a very burnt chocolate and coffee flavors with a very nice strong earthy hop finish.

Mouthfeel had a nice fullness to it with a touch of creaminess.

Drinkability is good on this solid stout.

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Photo of TongoRad
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sample was taken from a six-pack taken from a case dated May/05 (I don't recall the exact date).

It pours an opaque brownish/black color with a tall, finely bubbled long lasting tan dense head. The head eventually settles down to 1/4" and won't go any further, leaving a ton of lacing in its wake. Just by looking at this you can tell that this will be a bold take on the style.

The aroma takes no prisoners- it is quite forceful and gives the impression of many strong elements combining into a cohesive unit. A mocha-like espresso quality dominates but there is also caramel, citrusy hops, malt, alcohol and some blueberries. It is a wonderful bouquet and it is almost miraculous that it can remain so potent throughout the glass while staying on the good side of overbearing.

Not only does the palate not disappoint- it picks up other elements as well. The body is pleasingly full and there is a heck of a kick of hop bitterness. The carbonation is at a high enough level to give it all an almost ethereal quality (if that is even possible). The finish is long riding that espresso with lemon peel wave.

The best thing about this beer is how it maintains its character even after two or three in a row. Note that this beer is meant to be consumed as fresh as possible- after 4 or 5 months it starts to lose a step in the hop department though it still is a heck of a beer.

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

This brew pours a decadent deep mahogany, with very faint ruby highlights. A medium pour produces a nice one finger chocolate milk colored head and lace clings quite nicely all over the glass. Smell is light and fluffy, with floral hints, biscuit, and dark chocolate. The mouthfeel is heavy and thick like a good stout should be. Taste is quite robust and all bitter chocolate and black coffee. Only if your seriously looking for it can you find any semblance of sweetness in this bad boy. Hops are mild but very pleasant on the tongue after the all that roasted coffee flavor.

Overall, it's just very well balanced, strong, and quite complex in the best way. Very flavorful and doesn't have that stale alcohol taste that alot of stouts have. To me that's a good thing. I definitely recommend this beer as an excellent first stout for anybody that's curious about the style, and a good solid session beer as well. One of my very favorite stouts so far. Clearly a very underrated brew.

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Photo of soper2000
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer mysteriously dissapeared from the shelves of my local stores in Indiana about 2 weeks after I bought my first six pack of it. Fast forward two years and now it can be found at almost any mediocre store in Houston and I am thankful for it.

It pours a ruby tinged black with a creamy looking three fingered tan head which has some serious staying power. Smell is dominated by chocolate and coffee aromas with just a slight bit of earthiness creeping around the outsides. Taste is very rich. Coffee dominates the palate when the beer is cold but as it starts to warm, a wonderful chocolate flavor begins to come out in full force. This beer is definitely better as it approaches room temperature. The slight roasty bitterness provide an excellent balance to the chocolatey sweetness. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy. This is a highly underated stout and one of my personal favorites. I'm glad I have such easy access to it now.

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

;round these part's snpa flows like budwieser. It's everywhere. every store, bait shop, diviest of dive bars.i have always liked the other sierra Nevada offerings. on to the review.

Appearance: uhh it's really black. that's good for stouts right. Even better is a head that doesn't quit and Belgium like lacing. awesome.

smell: coffee and chocolate. smells like it's gonna taste really good. roasted malts. not much hops. pleasant

taste: it's smooth and good. there is some hop bitterness in the taste but it is in the background. more prominate are the malts. just a touch of sweetness. again those roasted malts.

mouth feel: thick and full, exactly what you expect for a stout.

drinkablitly: a bit lower here. here's the thing after one you feel like you've had plenty. i would never have more than two in a night. That's ok, this isn't that type of beer, but i'm rating as i see it. by the end of the glass i've really slowed down.

Notes: for me this is the standard bearer for american stouts. ground zero so to speak. for a while i though i didn't like stouts. This i realized that guiness is just terrible, horrible hogwash. just putrid stuff. This is what a stout should taste like. It's not my favorite style by far but the beer world would be missing something with stouts and porters. For the few times a year I feel like getting stout (isn't often) This one will do you right.

Highly recommended for newbies; pros will have a hard time coming up with negatives.

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

I always have considered SN mainstream craft when in reality they are pioneers like Anchor. Shame on me. This stout poured deep and dark with a nice retaining and lacing tan head. Aroma was of slightly roasted malts and a good dose of aromatic hops. Good roasted flavor with a bit more hopping than one noramlly see's in a stout. Quite aggressive. Slilky mouthfeel and i found this stout very drinkable, even on the miserable hot evening I choose to drink it on. Very good stout and one I will not ignore in the future.

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

Pours a very dark brown; the only light that gets through is a pretty ruby color when the glass is held up to a light. There's not much head, but what is there stays awhile. Smells of burnt coffee. Tastes sweetly malty upfront, which quickly morphs into a burnt coffee taste that echoes the nose. There's also some chocolate here. Mouthfeel is nice, seems thicker than their Porter, to which the Stout is superior. They're similar, but I think the Stout is just a little fuller and more chocolatey. A nice, tasty stout.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.57/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up after the recent hype about how SN Stout is supposedly "hard to find" and "under-rated." I have never had any troubles finding this beer in either Omaha or Iowa City, but I can now testify to its under-ratedness.

The beer pours black, only showing through with a tinted ruby hue when held to the brightest of light. Has a small and fine tan head that recedes quickly to a film but leaves a decent spotty lacing.

The smell is quite complex. Has a hints of roasty chocolate malt, mocha, and even a bit of a vinuous hop. Smells like a stout should, unlike the mockery of a stout I had earlier at the local brewpub in rural South West Iowa.

The taste is sublime. Just as complex as the nose, yet amplified by the tastebuds. Sweet and malty with a little cocoa, mocha roastiness. Has a light and herbal spicy hop in the finish for the attentive palate. On of the tastier "regular" stouts I've had.

Has a very moderately dry finish and a fully body. Very pleasing to the tongue. Very drinkable for a stout. This isn't just a sipper.

edit: I just realized this is the big 200, and what a great beer to drink for a BA milestone.

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Photo of Px2GrafX
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

presentation: 12oz. bottle with the typical sierra nevada graphics. yellow and orange label with blue and green borders. sierra nevada's interpretation of their stout is printed on the top of the bottle, and the ABV is displayed at 5.8%.

appearance: pours dark brown to black with brown highlights into a stein mug. thick 3-finger pillowy light tan head that dropped to about 1/2 inch all the way down. tight pancake-like bubbles layered over slightly larger caviar like bubbles. very sticky head. bubbles escape the bottom up the sides of the glass. pretty stout.

smell: sweet chocolate brownie. some coffee. light molasses and fruit with some floral hop notes.

taste: roasted barley, chocolate and caramel. very complex. good bitters in the finish to balance out the sweet start. tingles the front and back of the tongue at the same time. i notice very little alcohol.

mouthfeel: a little thin for a stout. i would prefer it to be a little creamier. smooth though with good carbonation and acidity.

drinkability: very drinkable. lighter mouthfeel ads to the drinkability. alcohol is barely noticable.

overall: one of my favorite stouts for the money and the availability. excellent complexity especially with food. i've had this with steak and with a chicken and cheese quesadilla (not during this review). very different foods, but both times, the food brought out a variety of different flavors. highly recommended.

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Photo of Naes
3.64/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one is another jet black beer with a frothy tan head.

Its aroma consists of roasted malt and a bit of chocolate and coffee. It is also a bit burnt to the nose.

The flavor is a nice compliment to its aroma. It starts out with a malt sweetness then progresses to a burnt bready flavor and finishes a little bitter with hops. There is also a bit of alcohol flavor hidden in there as well.

The mouth feel is medium bodied and the carbonation dances on the tongue.

This is a fine example of a stout and is quite consumable. I have had many in the past and will definitely have another some day.

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Photo of carln26
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured a deep brown with some subtle copper highlights. It was topped by a decent sized tan head that receded after about 3 minutes, but did leave a nice sheet of lace on the side of the glass. The aroma is dominated by roast malt in the form of espresso and a light chocolate. The taste is more subtle than I expected, a bit of bitterness and astringency. It has more of a coffee character and less chocolate than I detected in the nose. The citrusy bitterness from the hops comes across immediately. Very dry, with a mildly slick mouth feel. Decent drinakbility.

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

Pours nearly black with a brown rocky head with excellent retention. Yeast ( from bottle conditioning ) remains at the bottom of the bottle. Roasted barley and citrusy Cascade hops dominate the aroma. Taste similar with some dark chocolate. A creamy mouthfeel from a medium body and help from a relatively high carbonation for a stout. Bittersweet-- the dark crystal malt, roasted barley combines with hop bitterness in the dry satisfying finish. A very drinkable stout.

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Photo of karengarys
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Pours brownish black, but not hazy. Leaves a carmel colored foam ring with adheres to the inside of the glass as it is drunk.

Smells stout-like. Coffee and chocolate. A hint of a hop note appears.

Tastes very very laid back and balanced. You get coffee, chocolate, malts, and a slight pine hop bite which does not detract from the taste.

Mouthfeel is extra creamy rich.

The finish has a cleansing thing going on - that dry hop I love in the summer beers is apparent here a bit, giving it a refreshing finish.

This is one nicely balanced stout - refreshing, rich, but not overly coffee/bitter. I think this may become a favorite of mine! For those who feel Sierra Nevada is a bit too big to produce a good microbrewed beer, give this a try and rethink your position!

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

Pours a clear dark brown ale with a fairly strong tan head.

Smell is fruity with an acid edge. Scents of chocolate and vanilla, coffee scent is mysteriously missing.

Taste is on the sweet side for a stout. Mildly fruity and with restrained bitterness for a stout. Faint chocolate and coffee flavor but this is very mild.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is very good. This is a mild mannered stout that you could drink all the time. Not my favorite style but I could see buying this again.

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Photo of fisherman34
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost black with the slightest hint of red. Aromas of hops and roasted malts. The flavors are well balanced between the hops and the grainy coffee and chocolate. It also has a really nice caramel undertone to it, which gives it a slightly sweet quality. A straightforward example of what a stout should be.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.41/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours an opaque black with a deep tan thick creamy head.

S- This beer smells pretty clean with hints of chocolate and deep roasted malt.

T- This beer has nice roasted barley notes and a gentle bitter hop finish. The hops are a nice pine note with some earthiness perhaps from the malt and a bit of sourness in the finish.

M-medium body but a bit water. No astringency or alcohol warmth.

D-This has a nice hop flavor but doesn’t really have the stout characters under it. It is missing a good malt profile or sweetness that I would expect from a good stout.

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Photo of DrJay
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very, very dark brown, very close to opaque, with ruby/mahogany highlights. Generous, rocky, light brown head with good retention and lacing. Roasted malts, licorice, chocolate, and earthy hops combine very well in the aroma. That all carries over into the flavour, but there's more. Moderate bitterness provides some balance to the malts, roasted barley adds some dryness towards the finish, and milk chocolate is more prominent. Super creamy, almost chewy texture is an absolute joy and melds with the light dryness at the end. Full body with medium/light carbonation. Certainly one of the most enjoyable stouts I've had from the U.S.

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Photo of stcules
3.4/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beautiful black color. Scarce head, brownish, not persistent.
The smell is definitely more bitter than a classic stout, with grapefruit notes. The back is roasted, but the hop hides the stout-ness of this beer.
The taste is maybe more classic, but the hop, even if a bit less strong, deosn't left room to the perception of the other stout aromas.
Probably the grapefruity hops doesn't fit with the stout characteristic, in my opinion.
Bitternes in the aftertaste too. But the chocolate? The coffe?
That said, it is a good beer anyway, quite drinkable, but far from a stout style.

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Photo of whartontallboy
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out black with a thin brown head. Leaves quite a bit of lace in a pint glass as it goes down.

Smell is smoky roasted malt, quite a bit of hoppiness, and a nice balance.

Taste is roasted malt with a good dose of hoppiness that keeps it interesting. It's not hopped as heavily as something like Storm King, but the bitterness comes through very nicely. There's a very faint chocolate flavor in there as well.

Only complaint is that the mouthfeel was a bit thin for me. Other than that, a nice readily available stout with a great roasty flavor.

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Photo of kingjames1
4.01/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured jet black from a bottle - no head to speak of, but nice brown lacing the whole way down. This is blacker than a moonless, starless night. Held it up to the light - dark ruby lights up around the 'core' of the beer.

Smell - I can't smell much at all! But then, it could be allegeries...not sure. What I do smell faintly is what I'll call a hoppy AND coffee bitterness, with some sweetness - chocolate perhaps.

Taste - great! This is definitely a Sierra stout. Though it has the classic stout/porter roasted malts and coffee flavors, it also has a unique, strong citrusy bitterness - grapefruit, I think. This, IMHO, is a rather complex stout. I don't know what else to call it but 'Sierra Nevada hops'. I taste the same thing in their Pale Ale, Bigfoot, and Celebration Ale (all of which I really like).

The carbonation is perfect for a stout - not too high, but not so low as to be too heavy and syrupy. Very nice.

This is one of the more unique stouts I've had. Very different than the creamier if less flavorful Guinness. And I really enjoy it. Generally, I do not find stouts to be the most drinkable beers (Guinness may be the exception)...and this is definitely a sipping beer that improves as it warms. But, as such, it is very drinkable. I think I like it better than the Sierra porter.

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

12 oz. brown bottle.

Black in color with a clingy dark tan head.

Dark roasted coffee and a faint caramel sweetness in the nose, with a grace note of pungent hops.

Rich and creamy with a mellow roasted malt taste not unlike mocha. Caramel tastes as well. Carbonation level is perfect, providing a refreshing lightness and a great bite in the back that leaves me wanting more. Hops become more assertive with warming; a nice sharpness in the finish.

A damn solid stout that would rank pretty high for the style in my book.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice jet black opaque body, with a nice large head, even when poured into a chalice. Smell is very chocolaty, like frosting, with coffee tones also present, and a little acidity. Taste is full and sharp, acidic coffee tones, dark chocolate and pleasantly bitter hops. A beer that demands to be sipped, and will reward you with even more flavor the warmer it gets. A great stout, which I expected from one of the most consistent micro brewers in the world.

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Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 3,337 ratings.
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