Stir Stick Stout | Half Pints Brewing Company

Stir Stick StoutStir Stick Stout
95 Ratings
Stir Stick StoutStir Stick Stout

Brewed by:
Half Pints Brewing Company
Manitoba, Canada

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Stir Stick Stout is robust with ruby highlights and a generous addition of locally roasted fair trade, organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee.The beans lend a distinct chocolate aroma and flavour that blends well with the roasted barley and malty sweetness.A woody bitterness rounds out this ale and makes it the perfect match for barbequed buffalo burgers, sweet desserts like chocolate lava cake or with vanilla ice cream as a decadent beer float.

35 IBU

Added by fisherman34 on 08-19-2006

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 95 |  Reviews: 59
Photo of kjyost
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3rd Time Lucky: re-re-review on Feb 10, 2011
Much better this time around! Hopefully I never have to triple review a beer again.

Light lacing from a tan head. Light chocolate and coffee along with mild roasted barley on the nose. Similar body, with enjoyable sweetness and a bitterness that lingers over time. Fairly thick mouthfeel. I would drink this again.

Reviewed 03-12-10
I am not sure if Half Pints has rejigged their recipe, but I had another bottle of this beer and it seems vastly different to me than what I recalled. I have another bottle from another batch lying around so I will soon be able to compare. I felt the need to re-review after having it though.

A decent appearance with a light head and moderate to light lacing. Light notes of coffee, with a bit of chocolate on the nose, but not nearly as strong as I expected. The beer itself was thin, with a light body and barely a hint of the coffee. Low carbonation. I would reach for other beers first.

Looking at other reviews, it looks like I may have got a bad batch or something, but I am gravely disappointed in this beer.

Reviewed 05-07-08
A: 4.5, S: 4.5, T:4.0, M:3.5, D:4.0
Pours a nice opaque brown, just as a stout should. On this pour it had a weak head, but I have had some in the past that have had fuller heads.

The aroma is one of my favorite things about this beer. It is dominated by chocolate and coffee. The smell makes this beer.

A strong coffee flavor comes through in the beer and bitterness lingers.

It feels almost like water in the mouth. For some reason the carbonation is almost non-existent in this bottle.

This is not a 'drink 6' beer, rather should be enjoyed a couple at a time with foods that have strong matching flavors.

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Photo of marty21
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours pitch black with a very nice deep ruby red around the bottom when held to light. Has a nice two finger tan head. Settles to a very thick cap and leaves decent lacing.

S: Strong roasted coffee bean aroma. I also get a very faint smell of hops. The hops blend right in with the coffee aroma to which the point that you hardly notice them unless you look for them.

T: Roasted coffee dominates the palate with faint hints of chocolate.

M: It has a medium body with medium carbonation. Very creamy with a bit of a dry finish.

D: Probably my favorite offering from Half Pints so far. I never drink coffee but this beer makes me love the taste. Stouts are probably my favorite style and this one is right up there near the top of my list. I could drink many of these in one sitting.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to kjyost for this beer.
Poured in to tulip glass

A - Dark black with one finger of bubbly light brown head and a lot of visible carbonation.

S - Dark roasted malts with a lot of sweetness. Some coffee and chocolate notes.

T - Dark roasted malts with some coffee and chocolate notes and a significant sweetness. A slightly dry finish.

M - Light body for a stout; somewhat watery at times. Moderate carbonation - a little too much for my liking.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very, very, very dark brown chocolate hue, with mahogany edges, and two fingers of foamy beige head, which leaves a few specks of random lace around the glass as it recedes. It smells of bitter cappuccino, and some sweet roasted caramel malt. The taste is coffee grounds, bittersweet chocolate, and caramel malt. The carbonation is on the low side, the body close to full, smooth, and creamy. It finishes still quite in the coffee/chocolate vein, with a drying bitter earthy hoppiness.

Wow, what a tasty stout, like chocolate milk, good coffee, and beer all rolled up in a freakishly stellar hybrid. I know that I keep saying this, but I do not drink any manner of coffee, but when done up like this, it is very enjoyable.

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Photo of papat444
2.74/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to kjyost for this one. Had it on the night of Oct. 13, 2010.

Poured from a 341ml. bottle.

Appearance: Way too much foam again. Second HP that does that though this one isn't as bad. Dark brown head with an opaque nearly black body.

Smell: Cocoa powder and chocolate. Sweet but not cloying so. Really digging the aroma.

Taste: Where's the sweetness? Harsh and bitter chocolate with no balance. Not quite pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is abrasive and hinders the taste and feel of the beer though it is partially perceptible.

Drinkability: Not particularly. One third was enough for me.

Overall: Very odd contrast between the aroma and taste. Night and day almost. Not a memorable stout at all.

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Photo of chickenm
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

341mL waxed bottle. Pours almost opaque dark brown with some sediment floating around and a thin light brown head that leaves some lacing. Really nice aroma of strong coffee, and some dark chocolate and hops as well. Great taste, lots of coffee and chocolate, and a nice bitter finish. Weakest aspect of this beer is the body, which is a bit on the thin side, with light carbonation. Still this is very drinkable, and one of the best Canadian coffee stouts I've tried!

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Photo of andrenaline
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was quite excited to try this one from Half Pints. Big thanks to my neighbor for hooking me up with a couple bottles from his recent trip home to Winnipeg.

A - Pours pitch black, finger of mocha coloured head with decent retention (2-3 minutes) and no real lacing.

S - Delicious. Quite sweet with milk chocolate and caramelized sugar coming off the top, and finishing with a mild espresso scent. Quite pleasant on the nose, almost mouthwatering.

T - Sweet chocolate at first, with subsequent sips becoming more bitter, but not offensive. Chocolate is still dominant on the finish, but espresso undertones complement it and linger on the tongue. The sweetness on the nose doesn't come through quite as strong in the taste, however, it is still a delectable stout!

M - Perfect carbonation, not overly syropy, nice smooth feel on the tongue, and goes down just as smooth. A lighter stout offering, but I much prefer that feel to a thick chewy stout.

D - Yet another winner from Half Pints. A lovely go-to offering for any stout fan and highly recommended. Mind blowing? Not really. Delicious? Absolutely! Do yourself a favour and grab a 6-er of this stuff, because you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - jet black, a very short chocolaty head dissipated quickly to a few islands, leaving a light ring of lacing
S - milk chocolate, caramel malts, coffee, and roasted marshmallow, this is very enticing
T - coffee and burnt roasty malt much more pronounced, semi sweet chocolate, and that burnt sugar taste reminiscent of roasted marshmallows
M - more carbonation than I was expecting, slightly chewy, and a coffee like bitterness
D - the nose was amazing but the taste didn't quite meet it although still good, a little more carbonation than I like in a stout but the bitterness is great, overall a nice effort

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Photo of Noxious26
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341ml brown bottle with twist-off cap poured in a pint glass. Part of a 12-pack sampler.

Absolutely black. When you hold it up to the light you get a touch of cola appearance around the edges, but no light is getting through the center. Big, rocky, dark beige/light brown head foams over the top of the glass. Settles down to a solid cap with lots of sticky lacing.

Not surprisingly, coffee is the dominant aroma. Hints of chocolate, burnt malt, and brown sugar.

Dark roast coffee, dark chocolate and dark malts of the start. After the carbonation rush we're left to a long finish of burnt malts and coffee.

Full bodied with mild carbonation. Tiny little bubbles tickling your palate.

This is one of my regular go to beers in the winter time. I still remember when I first tried it with some friends at FestivAle here in Regina a few years ago. By the end of the night, we just stayed by the Half Pints booth and drink Stir Stick.

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Photo of kwjd
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with thick tan head. Head dissipates really slowly and is there most of the way down the glass. Some lacing down the sides. Smell is first of roasted coffee beans with the roasted malt and a hint of chocolate. Lots of bitterness, possibly from the coffee, with some sweet chocolate too. This tastes like a much bigger stout than it is, which is nice for sipping, but I wouldn't want to have several of these in a row.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.59/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the brewery in a trade with Dave. Thanks!

A - Cap of beige goes away pretty quick. Not opaque but extremely dark brown/ruby.

S - Lot's of dark roast coffee, some chocolate as well but the majority of the aroma is coffee.

T - Coffee! Some sweet matls as well after the initial coffee flavours. Tastes a little like cola to me.

M - Light to medium body. Smooth in the mouth. Feels really nice.

D - Nice and drinkable. Rich enough to keep my attention.

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Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like a giant glass of molasses, the beer sits lifeless, opaque and without any real foam atop it. Its marble-like complexion and stark contrast between the black body and eggshell lace gives it a distinctly sleek look. Swirling produces a thick, frothy trim that has a rusty tone to it; it is this that transforms the beer's appearance from handsome to downright wicked.

What struck me first was not the coffee but the malts, and that sits well with me. Cookie dough, dark caramel and chocolate chips, even a pinch of dark fruit, all amalgamate well into the smokey, rich aura of the coffee. Most importantly, they aren't drowned out by it! It has a ton of roasty mocha character that it isn't shy about either. Yum.

If I wanted coffee I'd just as well drink coffee, no? It always frustrates me when brewers are too heavy-handed with the beans and not heavy-handed enough with the grains; if you're going to add coffee to your beer make sure you've provided enough malt so that the flavours can counterbalance one another. That's exactly what this brewer has done...

Its flavours are intense but harmonize well and come across the palate with balance and good collation. I remember finding the first few batches of this beer to be overly liberal with the coffee - my notes state that it was "like drinking cold, flat espresso" - but by now they've figured out to be more diligent with the coffee and more generous with malts.

And it doesn't end with flavour, either. I've had many coffee beers that are plagued with the astringent, acrid texture of coffee grinds. Generally speaking, I don't want the smoky bitterness of the coffee to override the sweet, toastiness of the malts. With this one, however, we appreciate roasted coffee and sweet, doughie maltiness all in one.

I wish this beer also came in solid-form; 'Stir Stick cake' or 'Stir Stick cookies' would make heavenly desserts and I'm hardly kidding when I say that I'd kill for the recipes. Hell, this has flavours of cookie dough, espresso, pecans and macadamia nuts, tiramisu, creme brulee, chocolate chips and toffee brittle... come to think of it, it is a dessert already! Maybe I'll just buy more of the beer and save myself the trouble of baking ;)

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Photo of pootz
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle:

Pours a hazed dark chestnut with ruby highlights. Decent off white cap lasts and laces.

Aroma is very starbucks dark roast with a malty undertone and some wet grass.

Moderate body for a stout, coffee like character with a robust mouth feel.

Roasted malts in the front provide a rush of coffee tones, hop affinity adds balance to this semi-sweet London styled stout. Finish is clean and lightly dry.

A good coffeeish medium bodied stout with a mellow character...very approachable as good or better than Old Yale's.

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Photo of ZorPrime
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A private import, got 24 bottles of this one! Nice!

A: Black color, not very dark. The head is brown but disappear very quickly. Some red color notes on the edges.
S: Coffee... but not espresso... more like... yeah mocha coffee notes. A first for me in beers! Some milk chocolate too.
T: Mainly it is mocha coffee. The bitterness is very light.
M: Thin bodied for a stout.
D: So drinkable it is scary!

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Photo of Hornet2003
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black with small head. Quite a cloudy beer too. There are some floatie particles at the bottom of the glass. MAybe from the coffee?

Smell: Rich coffee and black chocolately malt.

Taste: Yup there's coffee in here! Good, solid, dry stout flavours. A touch of molasses as well.

Mouthfeel: Quite a bitter beer. The coffee leaves a slightly chalky dryness that lingers. The initial sip is sweet though. Odd combination of mouthfeels.

Drinkability: I could have a couple in a sitting, but it's more of a nice sipper. Maybe on a dark cold night, this would be great.

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Photo of eat
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown-black, almost opaque with reddish-brown coming through with the light. Nice milky beige head fades to a thin covering. Retention is not so good but traces do stick around for a while and there is a bit of lacing.

Lots of coffee grounds, smokey roasted malt and some hops in the background. I've tried quite a few coffee stouts but none quite like this. This one is unique, very nice.

Again, lots of coffee. This is no espresso stout; this is coffee-coffee, as in from a drip machine. Roasted malt and dark chocolate round it out. A little bitter and nice and smokey on the finish. I wish the flavour was a little more pronounced, but it's still solid. No alcohol presence.

Good feel. A little thin for my liking, but most stouts are. Medium body and moderate carbonation.

It's all good! This is a really nice stout, very drinkable. Light enough to session but still full of flavour, especially at only 5.6%. I can't wait to try the $ellout, I'm sure it's going to be awesome.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Pours inky black topped by a creamy tan head, nice, intricate webs of lacing and good head retention.

This has just a wonderfully dry, roasty, woodsy, smoky, cedary aroma of wet coffee grinds.

And the taste follows that exactly. It has wonderfully dry roasted malt with hints of fireplace, and like I took a scoop of cold spent coffee grinds out of my coffee maker and sucked on them. (I love coffee. This is a good thing, believe me). This is played against restrained caramel notes.

It's a little lighter bodied than I would prefer.

Overall this is a great tasting stout full off nice black coffee goodness. I found it moreish and sucked it back a little too quickly. I want more.

Another great beer from a great brewery.

Thanks to stagger for this one.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tall tight spongy beige head that leaves thick gashes of lacing in its wake. Dense, dark brown, yet still slightly translucent when held to direct light, at least it reveals rick oaky highlights.

Robust coffee-like notes are prominant on the nose, a creamy sweetness, roasted and burnt malt, grainy malt.

Coffee is prominent in the flavour too, held up by a decent backbone of roasted and burnt malt, some smokey and woody aspects, astringent bitterness on the finish from the grains, yet a creamy mocha character develops in the aftertaste.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, light and slick at times, fullness returns on the finish.

An overall great drinker for a stout, the addition of coffee isn't an excessive ingredient or a burden, but blends right in with the malt bill. Would even make a decent stout for a session ale.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle poured into Creemore glass nov9 2009

A not quite jet black but quite dark with a two finger head that sticks around for a few minuets and leaves a few patches of lace

S this is beer right? It smells very strong of fresh coffee grind and that's about it. I keep bringing it back to my nose and I'm wondering if I'm going to catch a buzz (a caffeine buzz of course)

T coffee is fully in charge here but it's friend cocoa is playing a small part

M not as thick as I would hope for and it's a little flat but still above average

D add it all up and you get a pretty nice beer drinking experience. I will be drinking this again and you should too

I am truly impressed by this brewery, I have yet too have anything by Half Pints that disappointed me in any way.
keep it up guys (and girls)

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Photo of GregH
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm an oddity in that I don't drink coffee but I still love this beer. I get the coffee flavour right off the first sip and it carries throughout. Maybe a hint of dark chocolate but mostly dark roasted malt. Thin to no head. could be served a bit warmer than mine and the taste improved and became more complex as my glass warmed. Very yummy on a cold day. Wish Tim Horton's sold this.

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Photo of BigBry
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341 ml brown bottle, allowed to warm slightly, poured into my large dimpled mug.
Poured basically black, some reddish highlights around the edges. Large, solid head of tan foam. Nice retention, sticky lace. Lots of espresso coffee aromas. Also sense some dark chocolate with the roasted malts. Great flavors, dark roast coffee and dark chocolate. There is some bitterness, but balanced out with enough malt sweetness, almost like an espresso with cream. Also find some nuttiness, slightly smoky finish. Earthy hops keep it from being too sweet or sticky. Creamy mouthfeel, medium body, rich balanced flavors. A tasty and very drinkable stout. Great balance of coffee and stout. I could sip this one all night. Definatley one I need to get again.

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Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Thanks go to Deuane for hooking me up with a 4-pack of these Half Pint brews from a recent trip.

Pours a very deep brown/almost black, with nearly 2 fingers of mocha colored foamy head. Creamy looking thin layer of retention fires up magnificantly, leaving back a great looking cascade of lace that hangs in thick swathes. Espresso and roast just dominate the aroma, with chocolate and toffee mixing in to create a sharp roasty and bready tang in the nose. Just a solid pop in the nostrils here.

The taste is black roast and coffee darkness up front, which just levels a pleasant crunchy bitterness on the profile. This is balanced by a chewy underlayer of chocolate and toffee, which leaves just about as big of an impact as the darker flavors did. The finish is actually a bit cleaner than I would have thought, with a bit of dry lingering bitterness and that's it. The mouthfeel is medium-fuller bodied overall, but has an overall mellower (and slicker from the espresso) feel to it. Some pricklier carbonation comes out towards the back of the swallow, giving this some extra presence.

Another well done Half Pints beer here. Nice intermingling of roast, coffee, and sticky malt flavors makes for a great fix that any Stout lover would enjoy.

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Photo of Shadman
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

now available in Medicine Hat...who wudda thunk it?

Nice looking stout...dark like used oil. Creamy head receeds fast, but lacing puts up a good fight to stay noticed.

Ah almost good enough to be a morning drink..if I wanted a short morning.( 5.6% abv) lot's of rich coffee with some bready chocolate maltiness. Hint of floral hop as well.

Smooth and balanced...first things that come to me as i taste it. Rich smooth coffee infused with some dark chocolate. Some hop present to make it interesting and not so 1 dimensional.

Goes down very easy...carbonation is almost spot on. Actually quite creamy.

Glad it's available here as I will be drinking A LOT of this beer in the future.

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Photo of CoolJosh
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Carolyn and Deuane for sharing this one. I wasn't sure if I was going to be deemed worthy of this, haha ;-)

Poured into a small snifter, this beer pours a heavy dark brown, with some clarity around the edges. No head, and lots of carbonation bubbles stream through the glass.

The first scent that hits my nose is a biscuit/bread scent, most likely extracted through the use of biscuit malts. A nice compliment to the bread scent is a nice roasted coffee smell. Smells like an Italian roast. Some bitter chocolate, but not much to speak of.

The taste is spot on, with a nice amount of coffee roasts, some roasted chocolate malt flavors, and the bread taste that was apparent in the smell. It tastes mostly like a piece of toast dipped into a cup of coffee. The mouthfeel is smoother then I anticipated, and the carbonation seems more subdued. There is a really nice sweet chocolate finish on the end, and the beer is creamy almost all of the way through. A nice roasted malt taste really does well with the coffee.

Really enjoyed this one, and could easily drink a six pack of this without thought or hesitation.

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Photo of treyrab
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Whoa whoa, big thanks to Deuane and Carolyn for picking this up for my buddy and I on their latest excavation for fine beer across the country. Much appreciated!

A: Pours a cola brown with a rather spritzy light khaki head. Carbonation sticks like glue to the side of the glass as the head lasts for a few minutes and fades slowly away. The colour (hey, it is a Canadian beer) is clear and dark brown as the glass gets consumed.

S: Fresh as can be roasted coffee (none of that Folgers stuff), nice espresso, and some Bakers chocolate. Very, very robust and enticing.

T: Very nice flavours (there I go again) of roasted coffee and nice espresso. The espresso really comes to the forefront and makes it appearance big time. The dry, roasted coffee and chocolate creep in at the end.

Thanks again guys, this was a real surprise! (No rhyme intended)

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Stir Stick Stout from Half Pints Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 95 ratings
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