Sierra Nevada Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,422 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: 1,422 | Ratings: 3,356
Photo of blitheringidiot
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Neck label reads "Old world." 5.8% ABV.

Black murky solid tan khaki brown spotty head as light escapes through the sides. This just looks thick.

Heavy scents of toasted caramel and malts. A few swirls opens up a coating and detectable awl-kee-hawl.

First swigs: Black coffee & rosted malts standard front blends into dark chocolate and cocoa. Short quick berry and toasted malt finish.

Full bodied feel that is thick and well carbonated. Hidden 5.8% ABV lends to a well drinkable stout.

Last swigs: Slightly detectable SN house flavors. Chico? Under 6% ABV and good.

*** My 500th review ... With respect to Fritz ***

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled January 2010
A decent pour into my New Belgium Globe glass produces a three-finger thick, lightly brown colored head. The beer is a rich, dark, concentrated, chocolate brown colored beer. The aroma smells quite toasted, with lots of whole grain aromatics to it; it smells like a richly toasted, whole grain bread crust. Underneath the toasted malt there is a soft, lightly sweet, rich chocolate note. As the beer warms more of the roasted notes start to come out; it is a bit like a city roast coffee. The aroma is more savory than sweet or roasted, which wasn't what I was expecting.

Lightly sweet tasting, but not rich feeling, in fact it seems like it is a bit light bodied. The beer finishes with a bit of roast acidity, bitter burnt malt, and some astringency. Some dark chocolate flavors (which comes out more as the beer warms) subtly cut the edge of the roasted malt that dominates the flavor profile. This has quite a bit of hop bitterness to it as well. Up front there is a nice, richly toasted, whole grain character, but this quickly gets drowned out by the sharp finish (that is even a bit acrid at times).

I remember this being a bit of a let down the last time I reviewed this beer, but I was hoping that was just an off night. Unfortunately, this is one offering from Sierra Nevada that I can live without. It is just a bit too acrid, bitter and sharp in the flavor.

Sampled March 2005
4.15 Total
This beer pours a full black color and is topped by a frothy three-finger thick, brown colored head. The aroma is dry and roasty. I gets notes of coffee and smoke, as well as a certain woodiness that I can't quite place. In fact the aroma almost has a certain saltiness to it, but the dry roasted/ burnt grain notes certainly dominate.

This beer is definitely chewy with a full bodied character that coats my tongue. It is quite dry, despite the fullness, because of the roasted character of this brew. There is a certain fresh hop character here that peeks above the roasted notes, I get hints of pine and a certain herbal character. Flavors of coffee and burnt toffee dominate the flavor throughout, and this finishes quite dry with a solid bitterness that begs you to take another sip. The salty character is in the flavor as well, it is quite intriguing and adds a certain extra fullness to this beer.

This beer is most definitely a classic, when I first had it back in the early 90s I could not believe how much flavor was packed into this beer. The only complaint may be that this beer is a little too heavy on the roast malts, or at least the American ones, as it is a bit astringent in the finish. This is a minor complaint though, and it just makes you want to take another sip of this beer.

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

poured a beautiful dark color, great stout taste with a nice hop taste at the end. I have recently become a fan of stouts and this has to be one the best I've tried. Nice deep coffee flavor with hints of burnt chocolate flavor. Hops add character without overpowering

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Photo of BeerFink
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with no visible highlights. A healthy amount of khaki colored head crops up to top off the pint glass. Some nice sticky lacing is left on the glass as this stout is consumed. Smells of coffee, roasted malt, and alcohol, with a slight bitter chocolate note. Also present is that dry, Guinness-like aroma. The taste is a long on the roasted barley and backed by coffee and chocolate. Some burnt black patent taste, which surrenders to an earthy taste. Hops are present, lending the slightest of citrous finishes. The roasted malt then proceeds to kick the hops' ass and dominate the aftertaste, which is pleasantly long-winded. A nice subtle dryness adds to the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is a little more than medium, not heavy or oily but slightly creamy. Too bad no bars around here carry this stout - I wouldn't mind downing pint after pint of this.

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

Appearance: Dark ruby-tinted black, with a very large initial head of tan foam.

Aroma: Bitter, roasted chocolate.

Taste: Lots of roasted barley flavor, almost burnt, together with an earthy bitterness.

Body: Sharp, oily at first, but some chewiness at the end.

A very good dry stout, a bit more bitter than Irish examples but still quite balanced.

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

Pours an all black beer with a real thick chocolatecoloured foam on top that sticks around for quite some time. Some visible carbonation along the edges of the glass, a nice looking brew ;)

Smell comes on malty, bitter and somewhat burned. Some citric hops in there to my surprise. Bitter chocolate lingers in there as well, somewhat faint smell sadly.

Taste comes on bitter and burned. Somewhat sour with harsh and nocely burned flavours. Big malty head with a nice long bitterness thats lifted by sweet and chocolatey flavours. Finishes sweet and smooth, with a roasted bitterness thats enhaced by the dry finish.

Nice "american stout" thats not too sweet and milky, surprisingly malty though. Gets better a little warmer with a bit more round flavour.

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Photo of fretlessman71
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

AROMA: The classic stout “roastiness” comes to the forefront right off the bat. Not a huge aroma, but certainly enough to be unmistakable. Some malt, less hops. As with all of the SN beers, the yeast is unmistakable.

APPEARANCE: Jet black, with only the faintest of ruby coming through at the bottom of the glass. Thick firm tan head which ain’t going away. Lace left at the top of the glass from where the head reached to , then fell away. Perfect.

FLAVOR: An acrid but pleasant bitterness greets the tip of my tongue. Must be the hops! Pretty heavy on the roasty side, but in a very good way. As it warms the malt flavor comes out, albeit with a bit of a burnt toast quality to it. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the malt is there right away, but the bitterness of the black patent shows up long before I get any sweetness at all. OTOH, stouts aren’t really supposed to be sweet… this could be the result of my palate being off since I haven’t had any beer for 3 days before this. :rolleyes: Medium dry finish; there’s a little bit of that “sticky” feeling left over.

MOUTHFEEL: Creamy but fizzy, almost as if I ought to have poured it a little harder and get some of the extra carbonation out. If I “chew” the beer the fizziness comes back even harder (of course).

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This has Sierra Nevada written all over it. A good medium strength stout, pleasingly bitter, pleasure to look at, nothing wrong with it at all. But I have to say I prefer the Deschutes Obsidian to this one.

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

pours a deep brown, with barely discernable red highlights through light. a great tan head puffs up and keeps a cap on the beer the whole way down, as rings of lace descend with each sip.

aroma is deep roasted malts, milk and bitter chocolate, some black cherry like Dr. Brown's when you give it a good swirl. the nose gets sweet and almost bubble-gum like at warmer temperatures and lots of swirling and sniffing.

smooth roasted malt, with a great chocolate backing and just a hint of the black cherry on the sides of the tongue. some coffee comes through at the end with the hops. nicely bitter, with a hint of sweetness in the finish, like the malt doesn't want to let the hops get the last lick in. Very well balanced with a good interplay between roast, hops and sweeter malt.

relatively creamy, but with enough carbonation to really get the hop bitterness going. easy to quaff, tho perhaps a bit strong at 5.8% for a session drink. nice and complex, this stout seems very versatile, and is a good mark for what defines a stout.

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Photo of Litterbean
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a great stout.

Pours extremely black, with an off-white head. Lace clings to the glass.

Smells like roasted malts, with a sweet sugary creamy flavor.

Tastes amazing. Delicious. Hints of chocolate and coffee as it finishes. Very smooth, like a damn cappucino but better. Delicious aftertaste and mouthfeel.

One of the best stouts in the world. Such a great, smooth, drinkable beer.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.05/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark cherrywood color that poured out with a short lived brown head. Flavors of roasted grain, hops and alcohol, with hints of herbs and coffee. Finished with a touch of bitterness and malt. Far more drinkable than the pale ale, which I am not a big fan of. Worth a try.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.13/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black dark stout with medium dark head with pretty good retention. Aroma is a mix between some bitterness and roasted malt. Taste is dominated by the bitterness from the hops and lacks some roastiness. Overall, this is not a bad stout just not too well balanced IMHO.

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

First time I've seen Sierra Nevada Stout so I had to pick one up. I've always enjoyed Sierra Nevada beers, so I know I wouldn't be let down this time. Pours a dark coffee color with a thin head that recedes nicely. The aroma is quite pleasant. It has a chocolate and roasted malt smell. It goes down rather smoothely and has a perfect aftertaste that stays on the palate forever. You can definately taste the roasted malts here and has a hint of coffeee flavor with moderate sweetness. I'm not a big fan of stout but this one is up there on my list.

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

12 oz., bottle conditioned, with no freshness date. Pours into the Chimay chalice as black as can be with a 1 inch creamy tan head that leaves lots of lacing and rings on the glass. Smells sweet with coffee and bittersweet chocolate in the background. The beer leaves a warming sensation and has a slight alcohol taste. Has a roasted chocolate/coffee flavor with hops that contribute citric/floral flavors and a lasting bitterness (60 IBUs). Tastes well balanced and feels very nice. My favorite offering from Sierra Nevada so far, but I just bought a bottle of 2005 Bigfoot so we'll see.

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Photo of mentor
2.49/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz twist off bottle obtained from a local grocery store in Feb 2005. Pours a tan-brown thin layer of head over a very dark liquid that is dark red-mohoganey when held to the light (and is crystal clear). Smells of chocolate with a gentle coffee and that's about it. Tastes gently of roasted grains first, coming stronger in the middle and as the beer passes down the throat. Then, an earthy and unpleasant straw taste arises...perhaps from the hops? This unpleasant taste does have some floral character to it. Whatever it is, I'm not fond of it. A bit of a sour from the roasted grains, but not an overbearing sour like I find in so many other stouts. It's a dry beer, which serves to amplify the characteristics that I haven't enjoyed. Medium mouthfeel with mild carbonation that forms fine bubbles on my tongue. Little lacing inside my glass and the head is just a tiny ring for the last swallow. If I recall, this was just $5 per 6-pack and was not worth it. If you must chose a Sierra Nevade product, I recommend the porter instead.

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Photo of kosmoraios
3.21/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This ale pours a completely opaque black in to my tulip glass, with a deep ruby tint when the light reflects from it. The inch-thick tan head dissipates slowly, leaving lace on the sides of the glass and floating on top until the end. The smell is not as strong as some stouts that I am fond of, but smells of cocoa and coffee, with a bit of maple syrup. The yeast is slightly noticable as the ale warms. The taste is of chocolate and coffee, but slightly sweet, and light tasting for a stout, in my opinion. This ale is not very "stout" for a stout. Mouthfeel is a bit bland, although it is smooth. It's almost watery, like they added coloring to make it look dark, but underneath it is an average ale. I am not terribly impressed by this offering, but Sierra Nevada rarely impresses me. Drinkable, though, mostly because of the watery lightness.

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Photo of Maestro
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The head on this ale is both bubbly and fluffy. A sparse, but intricate lacing clings to the pint glass. The nose is rosty with hints of chocolate and a good waff of American hops. The taste includes chocolate, roasted malts, some nutty characteristics, and a bit grape or raisin. Mouthfeel is quite great. There is a good deal of carbonation but not too much. As you move towards the middle of the beer the hops make themselves known. There is a grape flavor throughout the beer that is probably due to a good dose of caramel malt. All in all, this American Stout is well crafted and very consistent. 2 Thumbs up!

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Photo of NEhophead
3.56/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle.

Creamy, dense coffee-colored head with solid retention. Spotted and condensed lacing with good strength. Murky dark brown with a dullish-red hue.

Moderate roasted maltiness; more of a bitter aroma than sweet. Mild dark chocolate aroma as well. Very subtle aromatics.

Moderate dark chocolate and espresso flavors at first with a pretty hefty roasted malt punch. Moderate hop presence contributes to a fairly dry and bitter finish. Finishes with a dark chocolate-filled aftertaste. Nothing that exciting in terms of flavor, but pretty true to the style.

Full bodied; a bit chewy and dry on the palate.

A bit of a bland tasting stout. Nothing bad, but nothing that'll have me going back for more. A slightly above average offering from the fellas in Chico.

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Photo of clvand0
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a dark brown color with a small head that doesn't have much retention and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma has a very light coffee and malt character and is dominated by a hoppiness that is mostly citrus. The flavor is much the same. Some coffee tones, but there is an overbearing hop presence that I think is way out of place for the style. Easy to drink and it has a nice mouthfeel, but I like more malts in my stouts.

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

from the bottle. poured dark brown with a fuffly tan head, with alot of lacing. aroma roasted malts, bakers chocolate, hops, coffee, dark fruits. flavor, malts, coffee, bitter sweet chocolate, yeast, drark fruits, has a dry chalky mouth feel. a good beer for 6.99 for a 6 er

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quite simply, this one is another stellar brew in the Sierra Nevada lineup. It, like their other brews, is simple at to the point, but is damn tasty at the same time.

It pours a dark, dark, brown to black colour with a big fluffy (but chunky) tan head that is quite sticky overall.

The smell is a nice mix of malt, earth, chocolate and barley. Burnt aromas are noticeable throughout as well. Again, simple but good.

The flavour builds on the smell in that it is a bit bolder all around. This one actually reminds me a bit of an oatmeal stout at times. It starts with a burnt malt flavour and moves into a bit of chocolate that is minimally sweet and has moreso of a burnt quality to it as well. the finish is a bit creamy and has the sweetest taste of each sip, but also has the most bitter flavour as well.

As mentioned above, the mouthfeel is nice and creamy and very smooth overall. If i had any complaint whatsoever about this brew it might be that the body is a tiny, tiny, tiny bit too thin, but its such that I don't even notice it half the time. An excellent, easy drinking stout overall that I unfortunately tend to overlook more often than I should.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This rounds out the Sierra Nevada lateral tasting. This beer pours a brown color that is very close to black. The small head falls to coat the beer lightly. The nose has some citrus hop with some coffee tones as well. The flavor is nice and roasted, with full on coffee flavor. I like it. The feel is nice and thick. Not syrupy but very coating. I do enjoy this beer. Its easy drinking and something I would probably keep around.

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Photo of MobBarley
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours nearly black with an impressive head and good retention. There is an abundance of caramel and chocolate on the nose, and a well rounded creamy/bitter finish. Taste is just great and bears the mark of a Sierra Nevada brew. Hops battle abundant, rich malts for dominance the whole way through. Mouthfeel...a little thin but nice and persistent...coating action. Drinkability is just fine.

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

This beero poured a very dark black - so dark that when held up to my light, I still can't see through it. There is a very luscious firm long lasting head.

The hops jump out at you from the first sniff. Just when I was about to write off any malt aroma, subtle sweetness started creeping in. As the beer warmed in my hand the malt opened up more. Still more balanced to hops than malt.

Int the taste the malts and hops are fighting again. It started sweet and just as I was thinking where is the hops -POW - they blew the sweetness clean off my tongue. There is sweet chocolate to start but the hop bitterness rules. Long after the finish I am still tasting those citrully hops.

I guess there is some mouthfeel or is it just those hops taking charge of my tongue. There is a creaminess and fullness but I must think about it so that I get past the hops.

This is a fine beer and a standard of its style. I think it is just a little too far over the top for me. I recommend it to folks trying to get the feel of the style or trying to figure out the hops/malt mix.

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

Served from a stubby brown bottle with no freshness date.

Pours ink black with a quickly dissipating cream colored head.

Smells of dark chocolate roasted malts with winey notes.

Roasted malts and dark fruits permiate the tastebuds. That signature juicy hop backbone of all the sierra ales is still apparent, though very dialed-down (as it should be) in this traditional no-frills stout.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Airy and moderately carbonated, which makes it a joy to drink. Medium bodied with a woody, slightly dry finish.

Drinkability is high...Not over-the-top in ABV, along with high credentials coming from one of America's best craft brewerys.

Overall a solid, no-nonsense honest to goodness stout. Just drink and enjoy - everything else will fall into place. Truly a great stout.

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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle at slightly-cooler-than room temperature, this beer is a fantastic specimen: Jet black and solid, with a thick, dense tan head. The head is quite long-lived, producing a healthy lace until the end of the glass. Aroma is intense roasted barley malt, with a backdrop of bitter chocolate and dark roast coffee. It’s simply a great smell. Taste is rather dry, with the roasted, almost burnt sensation. It’s mouthcoating, creamy, and quite heavy. This is exactly what I expect when I see the word “Stout”. Finishes with a resonating bitterness, and a satisfying dryness. It just sort of makes you want more.

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Sierra Nevada Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 3,356 ratings.
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