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 HochFliegen
3.02/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a rich brown and tan frothy head.
Smell is chocolate with some burnt coffee tones and burnt bread crust smell as well.
Taste was rather basic and watery. Has a Light sweetness to it that fades quickly to a bitter aftertaste and slight dryness.
Compared to the smell the taste didnt stand up to what I thought it should. Nor did that mouthfeel.

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Photo of rastaman
3.04/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It looks like a stout, but doesn't really taste like one. I was expecting a roasted malt/choc aroma, but it ended up being more hoppy. The palate was the same. Slight roasted malt at the start, but it grapefruits out too much (hops), particularly for a stout. I guess it kind of worked, but the ingredients (roasted malt and grapefruity hops) didn't quite blend together. Not really a good example of a stout, but tasty all the same.

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Photo of jeranbrews
3.04/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

A - pours a pretty ruddy red-beige head one finger high and moderately dense. Color is nearly opaque mahogany brown.clarity seems high.

S - sweety brown sugar cyrstal forest with roasted barley and a touch of leathery hop. Pleasant.

T - harsh minty spruce and rye.

M - loose watery and astringent gin burn.

D - not bad. Color and smell good. Taste not so much

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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 Mitchster
3.05/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Brewed with Two-row Pale, Munich, Caramel & Black patent malts. Hopped with Magnum for bittering, finishing with Cascade/Willamette. 5.8% ABV, OG=15.4p, FG=5.0p, 50 IBU.

Nearly black, with ruby highlights forming a firm, whipped-egg consistency, light-tan head with nice head retention, perched atop small to medium-sized bubbles and moderate carbonation. Lacing is just adequate. Aroma is rich with sharply fruity cascade hops, dark coffee, and deeply roasted grains. Mouthfeel is initially medium-soft with a medium-dense body and then a harsh finish. Taste starts out with dark coffee, then gives way to a ton of Cascade flavor hops, a brief, subtle alcoholic note, some more Cascade, and then finishing with a long, dry, and harsh black patent/roasted barley character with mildly astringent, yet potently bitter hops. The hops become more pronounced with subsequent sips, and the malts become a tad sweeter as it warms. Completely out-of-balance with itself...the potential for complementary flavors is high, but instead succumbs to cacophony. Acrid, over-hopped, and over-roasted to be pleasant. Next beer, please.

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Photo of Chris_Burton
3.06/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark mahogany to black in appearance, with hints of Ruby red on the edges when held to the light. Only a little head. Smells of milky oats with a hint of dark chocolate, although I've no idea if oats are used in the recipe. Taste has hints of dark chocolate and coffee but honestly, they are subdued. There's a dry, bitterness in the finish.

Overall I have to admit this is a somewhat
disappointing stout from Sierra Nevada; I've had plenty of much nicer stouts. It isn't unpleasant, simply underwhelming.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.06/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a black body, with a large, ivory-colored head. Splotchy lacing on the way down.

Smell: Smoky, burnt maltiness with lesser notes of unsweetened chocolate, caramel, and citrus.

Taste: Black malts with tastes of scorched grain, baker's chocolate, and dark caramel. As with their porter, there's not much sweetness to go around. Hint of licorice. Earthy, citrusy hop character with a medium bitterness. Finishes just as dry and roasty as one would expect.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not all too dissimilar from the porter, really, it's just got a dialed up roast component. So, if you dug the porter, you should dig the stout. If you didn't dig the porter, well...

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Photo of Pahn
3.08/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Free pour yields a two inch offwhite head that dissipates slowly leaving a large ring of lacing. Pours an almost black redbrown, and leaves spots of lacing.

Smell: Lots of c-hops from bottle and in the glass. Mild roasted malt comes out with more warmth, and strikes an okay balance with the persistent hops.

Taste: Nutty roasted malt up front that quickly becomes heavy characterless bitterness, I'm assuming from both the malt and the hops. Some hops fade in and out of the flavor, and there's a creamy coffee aftertaste. More roasted malt flavors emerge, but the hop flavor is getting in the way rather than marrying with them. Hops seem to be imparting a real soapiness that is not pleasant.

The overall impression is that the beer is too bitter without flavor to back it up (it feels like the flavor is drained somehow, the impression of which is only exacerbated by the watery mouthfeel), with a soapiness that has no business being in a stout.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Watery. Decent carbonation.

Overall: I don't mind a bitter stout, from hops, malt, chocolate, or whatever. I don't mind a hoppy stout. However, this beer seemed to be a strange combination of flavors that just don't work together. I finished it, but I wouldn't want another.

This beer is a headscratcher for me. Sierra Nevada is world class, and I love a lot of what they do. It's rated higher than I'd expect from tasting it, but more importantly it tastes worse than I'd expect from who made it. There's a slim possibility I'll pick up another bottle sometime to rereview on the strength of their other beers, but as is I was very unimpressed.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.1/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

I drank a fair amount of craft beer in the mid-1990's...then (like a lot of people) I stopped drinking it for a few years, and then started again in the early 2000s. And between these two periods of craft beer growth, there seems to be a marked difference in the types of beers that are popular. This beer strikes me as one that would've been exotic in the first craft beer explosion, but seems downright boring to me in the second (and current) expansion.

Pours a thin dark brown. Aroma is very faint, with a hint of smoke and a touch of roastiness. Flavor offers a bit of roastiness, but is also extremely mild. Mouthfeel is a bit thin and watery. This is not a beer to get real worked up about.

I would weakly recommend this beer.

I bought this bottle at Discount Liquor in Milwaukee.

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Photo of AdmiralOzone
3.1/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Center poured from the bottle into an imperial pint glass. Had to stop mid pour or the head would have spilled out over the counter. Dark brown with a massive light tan head.

Smells pretty good, however the hops are too prominent. Nice taste with the same feeling about the amount of hops present in a stout.

This beer is a little too watery for the style.

Not a bad beer, I wouldn't turn it down but I won't buy it again, too many others taste better.

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Photo of LieutenantD
3.1/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Without all the technicallity, this beer tasted like Sierra's Pale Ale revisited. The only difference was added depth of character through the heavy use of malts. Otherwise, the same hop profile pulls through. When looking objectively at the style, I'd say they were confused as to what they were producing. Stouts and Porters are my favorites (I know, Hop Heads are scoffing now), and as such, I was expecting less hop character (again, for the style). If I wanted a Pale Ale, or IPA, then I'd go get one.

Overall, I give it a "C:" there is a "Chance" I'll buy this again.

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Photo of RobertColianni
3.11/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into Hoegaarden Glass/Tumbler.

A: Thin, oily head. No head in center; just around the rim. Cola colored with cherry tones under light.

S: Smooth, malted scent with mildly roasted notes and settled coffee back-end. Smells like wet dog once warmed up to room temperature.

T: Roasted coffee beans and strong hop presence. Not very complex.

M: Fresh, grainy, dry-hopped tingle, dryness.

OVERALL: With some freshly ground, roasted coffee bean under-tones, I'm really digging it. It's textbook as hell, though, without that stout punch. Style points are high, but Sierra Nevada just didn't own up to this recipe as it has nothing very special or unorthodox to offer. Just another cow waiting to get slaughtered.

NOTE: Live review.

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

S- poured into pint glass from 12 oz bottle

A-almost no head, looks jet black, nice lacing

S-surprisingly very little aroma, smelled carbonation, not much else

T- carbonated dark chocolate, with a little coffee, hop finish at the end

M- nothing great, taste actually improved as beer got warmer, let second glass sit for ten minutes and taste got a little better

O- would try another brand if i was in mood for a stout

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Photo of ATSJer
3.13/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Room Temp (glass)

Appearance: The Sierra Nevada pours oily black and builds a huge head, by my count three fingers and that was on a regular pour. The brew itself is black and opaque, with some light showing through on the edges which reveals a rich dark clear amber. The medium density almond colored head is a monster and holds fairly well lacing the glass evenly. The head indicates to me that this may well be a heavily carbonated brew.

Smell: The spice of the whole hops hits my nose first followed up with a mild sweetness and rounded out by the malts which are more subdued. This is a nice smelling brew, not to complex and what one would expect from a stout, although some more malts might increase the pleasure of the aroma. Also in keeping with the style there was no discernable alcohol aroma even with the 5.8% abv.

Taste: Just as the aroma started with the spicy hops so does the taste, this is followed by a dark malt taste with an espresso type quality, it finishes hard though bitter and a lingering bitterness on the palate which for me was uncomfortable and decreased my enjoyment. I was hoping this full bodied brew would be more along the lines of a Bison Chocolate Stout or a Guinness Draught with the malty richness but without the harsh bitterness, instead this brew reminds me very much of the Guinness Extra Stout, as such I think if it were presented as an extra stout it would be more fitting but since it is only a stout I find it harsher than it should be. There was however no alcohol taste although once I did feel the burn in my chest.

Mouthfeel: This is a thick full bodied brew with medium carbonation which results in a nice creaminess, the fizz is present but it is not harsh like with the Dogfish Head Chicory Stout. I actually enjoyed the way this rolled in my mouth.

Drinkability: With this stout being akin to the Guinness Extra Stout I found its drinkability on the low end as this is a sipping brew for a certain group of hopheads that enjoy the bitterness and the lingering bitter after-taste, as for me I found myself just wanting to be done with my glass which is a shame. Rename this as an Extra Stout and I think it would be more fitting of the experience in with this particular offering by Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of bpbieste
3.13/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Dark beer, nothing out of the ordinary.

Smell: Caramel, malty aroma, sweet

Taste: Too bitter for a stout in my opinion. Not Impressed with the taste.

Mouthfeel: strong, bitter

Drinkability: Not enjoyable

There are other stouts that are more my liking.

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Photo of drmeto
3.16/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

-pours the darkest of brown with no light coming through and a medium to big,frothy,sand-coloured head
-chocolate,earthy,herbal,spicy,faint smoke,slight citrus (Cascade Hops perhaps?)
-spicy,herbal,pumpernickel,brown sugar,grainy,astringent,licorice
-medium to high,lingering bitterniss for the style
-low to medium carbonation
-medium body
Not the Type of Stout i usually enjoy.
It's decent.

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Photo of rustymoore
3.16/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This stout pours a dark black with large head and good lacing. The smell is very strong with hops and also has a good amount of chocolate and coffee scents as well. Taste is something that is better left to the imagination. I was disappointed in this as I expected it to be a very above average stout. The aftertaste is not pleasent either...overall I could drink this in a pinch but would not prefer it.

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Photo of BierReise
3.16/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I don't know, I just didn't get that much from this beer. Do they need to put cascade in everything they brew? Maybe it's their trademark, I don't know. Looks good, dark with a decent head. Aroma is predominantly cascade and roasted malt. Mouthfeel is ok, but the overall flavor is really lacking in my opinion. Nothing really grabbed me with this one.

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Photo of doerickson
3.16/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

As black as the last banana; looks like a Coca-Cola but with a longer-lasting head, which by the way held up admirably under my incessant swirlings while I tried to put a finger on what the fruity smells were. Roasted flavors are up front and hold on throughout. Malt and hops battle to a draw. While this is a nicely balanced stout, I personally find that the intense roasted flavors keep it from being very drinkable.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.18/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a large tan lasting head.
Nose shows plenty of crystal malt in amongst lots of cocoa, truffles and spicy, piney hops. Perhaps too much hops but otherwise very nice.
Flavours are instead dominated by roasted malt with little of the cocoa and chocolate found in the aroma. The roasty character and hops create quite a formidable bitterness.
Carbonation is too high, the mouthfeel should be slicker.
Too much hops, not enough complexity. Somewhat disappointing after their lovely porter.

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Photo of miketyree24
3.2/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into pint glass. coded date

Dark beer. Beautiful brown when held up to light. Head is light brown and sits well.

Smell of malts malts and more malts. Little hints of coffee hear and there.

Taste is like it smells. Malty in a very good way. Coffee comes through next. A little to carbonated for me. Feel like if coca cola made a beer this would be it. Thats the best way for me to describe the carbonation.

Mouthfeel is nice. Kind of tingly from the carbonation but it drinks like a soda which is kind of scary.

I drank a 6 pack of these without even realizing it. Almsot too drinkable if there is such a thing.

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Photo of TheSarge
3.21/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Once poured SN Stout promotes a beautiful sticky kakhi head with a primarily opaque black body, with reddish hues on the outskirts.

This stout gives off the malty aroma, primarily a coffee/biscuity fragrance. It tastes a little like caramel and biscuits mixed together. Not as tart as Guinness Extra Stout. This brew is a little chewy, and finishes a bit dry.

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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 palffyfan
3.21/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - Dark brown stout, very opaque, little head formation, head laciness is beautiful. Looks rich.

Smell - Roasted malt flavors, with some hops. Well-above average.

Taste - REALLY roasty! Average maltiness, average bitterness, tastes a lot like coffee. Pretty dry, there are better stouts (SA, for example).

Drinkability - Interesting flavor, but I don't find these stouts too drinkable. Its worth an occasional try, but its too bitter, and the taste is too flat for my liking. If you want a style to enjoy casually with friends, you should try a Brown Ale or an Oktoberfest..

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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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