Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout | Stone Brewing

970 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal StoutStone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ThreeWiseMen on 07-02-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 970 |  Reviews: 705
Photo of peabody
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out really dark and malty looking with one finger of brown suds. Some big bubbles but more smaller ones line the tulip glass.
Smell is coffee and bitter dark chocolate with some fruityness like a date or raisin. Can't smell the alcohol here.
Taste is very malty and bitter. The chocolate and coffee come through but rather mild compared to the smell. The alcohol is detectable though in the back of the throat.
Great mix of flavors make this one something special from our friends at Stone.
Mouthfeel is really nice and clean with just a tad of coffee bitterness left on the back of the tounge.
This one is good now but will prolly get better with some age.

 663 characters

Photo of kmo1030
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

pours motor oil black with a brown head that fades to a film.
the smell is of bakers chocolate with some caramel maltiness and a little bit of roasted coffee. vague dark fruitiness beneath the chocolate.
the taste is dominated by a little bit of a maltball tinged bakers chocolate followed up with some raisin and balck cherry, and then finished off with an almost moderate bitterness partially coffee-like, partially dark chocolate, partially herbal hop. not overly complex, but the flavors shine with clarity and purpose. quite sweet without ever being cloying.
the mouthfeel is full creamy and smooth, a pleasure to drink. low dilicate carbonation (but not verging on flat).
drinkability is good and honestly the alcochol is fairly well hidden only lending more drinkability. it's smooth as hell and worth a drink if only for the texture. a very nice change of pace from stone.

 880 characters

Photo of ndekke39
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a bomber of this and drank it. Decanted into a small tulip glass. It's absolutely opaque. Very little carbonation - it leaves a thin, tan lace around the edge of the glass.

Not a strong nose on it. A touch of the dark chocolate and some coffee. Even a little bit of smoke.

The dark chocolate is definitely the forward taste. Decent bitterness with it. Notes of coffee and cocoa, too.

Little bit of bright fizz on the tongue. Dissipates quickly. Pretty smooth - gotta be the oats at play there.

Pretty interesting beer - really a cool use of the dark chocolate, off-set by the mild smoothness of the oats. Maybe a bit bitter to be easily drinkable, but the bomber went down pretty easily.

 698 characters

Photo of tangentrider
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black beer with a disappearing brown head.

S: Dark chocolate and a touch of dried fruit.

T: Bitter chocolate, touch of sweetness, coffee bitterness on the back of the tongue. Finishes with a fading light sweetness and a clear coffee bitterness.

MF: Smooth feel with light carbonation. A bit chewy.

D: Good oatmeal stout and a very good chocolate stout. This one is worth a sit-down savoring.

 398 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to cstrack for this brew.

Poured into a Stone glass a nice black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, which leaves some sticky lacing behind. The nose is slightly sweet, malty, dark chocolate. The taste is slightly sweet, big malts, lots of bitter chocolate. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty brew. Thanks Casey.

 361 characters

Photo of prsguitarsr4me
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the better beers I've had recently. Recommended. It pours dark, but actually doesn't taste or feel as dark as it looks. Taste is very good, easy to drink. Definitely lots of chocolate - and I like that. This beer is quite good, but not like some other Stones. I also prefer a Samuel Smith or an Old Rasputin - a little more interesting to me, but this is very good.

Purchased at Kokoman in New Mexico.

 409 characters

Photo of ljbrisson
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, viscous, motor oil black into my Guinness pint glass, tinges of red around the edges when held up to light like a glass of cola. A thin brown head dissipates quickly. Aroma is blueberries, roasted malt, chocolate, with a hint of wood. Mouthfeel is slick, thick, and smooth, with subdued carbonation. Taste is chocolate, burnt wood, roasted malt, roasted coffee with a warming alcohol finish and slight bitter hop finish. Started drinking straight out of the fridge, but this vastly improves as it warms. Overall this is a great beer, one of my favorite so far. I may pick up another one on my next beer run.

 622 characters

Photo of atsprings
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a Duvel snifter. Pours a nice opaque black with a thin lasting tan head. Aroma is nice roasted barley and bitter cocoa, hints of espresso linger in the back. The taste is rich bitter chocolate, just as promised, the beer is smooth and easy drinking, even in summer. I will be saving by other bottle for the winter, but I'm truly enjoying this one now. This is a truly wonderful stout, clearly worthy of an anniversary.

 435 characters

Photo of kbnooshay
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a very very VERY dark black color with absolutely no red highlights let in when held up to light. This is solid black. The one finger thick head is as brown as heads get but only hung around for a minute or so. Aroma is very bittersweet as expected with a strong vanilla scent. You can smell the alcohol in this one but its nice! The oatmeal flavor isn't that huge but its there. The light hint of coffee is perfect. The feel is wonderfully smooth and silky. This is very drinkable. The brew gets better as it warms and the alcohol isn't as detectable in teh flavor as it was in the nose. Not like other oatmeal stouts i have had. Bittersweet indeed.

 657 characters

Photo of Magpie14
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: darkness, huge deep tan colored head and sizable retention. This beer boasts a great vibe and looks like silk in a glass. Also has blobs of thick lace

S: oatmeal, malts, chocolate, and coffee. Sweetness pushes through mostly of burnt caramel

T: cooked grains/malts, dark chocolates, heavy bitterness consisting of oily burnt coffee. Flavors of dry roasted oats shine through with a hint of creamed-sour milk. I also notice some bread-like characteristics and the grains and coffee give away to dry smokey/roasted like flavors.
Flavors are switching back and forth and make things actively interesting

M: incredibly smooth, absolute bliss on the tongue. Heavy body that has a touch of oiliness to it. Chocolate pops through in the finish as a bit bitter....but is not over powering, this pattern holds true with the alcohol notes as it warms, not overpowering but you know it lingers. Real smooth overall!

D: I can sip on this sucker all night. Exceptionally nice on a fall or winter night. This brew is big and strong in some respects...a mighty bold brew

 1,062 characters

Photo of PhiloPsych
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This might be the darkest beer I've ever had. It lets no light through whatever--not even any highlights around the edges of the glass! Just a little head and the head is super dark brown. The smell is roasted malt and alcohol. Not much alcohol in the taste, though (none at first, more as the beer warms). I also had Oak Aged Yeti this week and it was much "hotter" with alcohol. I only get chocolate in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is very nicely dry, the way I like my stouts. Not quite as creamy as some oatmeal stouts, but definitely in the creamy direction. The oatmeal flavor comes out more as the beer warms.

I'm also nibbling on a dry, sharp cheddar cheese, some potato chips, a bit of chicken that I grilled earlier in the day, and a couple of squares of dark chocolate. I'm a bit surprised at how the beer gets overpowered by each of these things--none of them are super strongly flavored. This isn't really a knock on the beer; rather it's a recommendation that you might want to enjoy the beer on its own. The flipside of this, is that the beer is very drinkable. Normally a big, bold stout would drain away more slowly for me, but this one is going too quickly!

Overall this is nearly, but maybe not quite, on par with some of my favorite stouts--AleSmith Speedway and Bear Republic Big Bear Black Stout.

 1,321 characters

Photo of UA8
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

S- Pours a jet black that seems to draw in light with its sheer darkness. Rich and deep darkest brown thick foamy head that I've yet to see on a stout.

S- Scents of super dark chocolate, like 85% plus dark chocolate and charcoal.

T- Starts with lightly sweet dark roasted caramel malts that have a slight burnt taste. Mid palate is bright with warming alcohol. Finishes late with the taste of nearly pure bitter cocoa the taste sticks with you for quite some time.

M- Rich and robust very mouth coating. Really sticks in your mouth for quite some time.

D- Very tasty but not something you could do more than one of at a time due to high alcohol content and super rich flavor.

 679 characters

Photo of Gosox8787
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: July 2008 bomber bottle poured into my Smuttynose snifter glass in two parts.

Appearance: Deep dark brown, borderline black with a deep brown, one finger head. Very little retention. No light whatsoever comes through the brew.

Aroma: Bitter cocoa beans and some nice dark fruit and molasses sweetness are strong upfront and throughout. Alcohol is noticable here and hits pretty hard. Some burnt sugar notes also make an appearance.

Taste: Bitter cocoa beans upfront recede nicely into a sweeter milk chocolate flavor. The oatmeal really shines here lending sweetness and adding complexity. Some subtle char and dark fruit balance out the flavors and make this a complex brew indeed. The overall flavor profile works well and is nciely balanced.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and chewy. Not much carbonation. Feels right for a stout of this strength.

Drinkability: Even with a high ABV and strong flavors, this brew is dangerously drinkable. The nice balanced flavor is the reason for this. Strong enough to be complex, but still manages to be drinkable.

Overall, a complex, balanced oatmeal stout. Wonderfully big while still maintaining the characteristics of an oatmeal stout. Especially good with a couple years on it. Highly recommended.

 1,256 characters

Photo of walshclimb
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours thick, almost oily dark brown/black with about 1" medium brown head after a relatively aggressive pour. Leaves good continuous lace around the glass. Intriguing chocolately malt aroma that is a little subtle but interesting nonetheless. The initial flavor is warm, rich roasted malt and chocolate with a pleasant bitterness but not overly so. Complex and evolving roasted malt and chocolate aftertaste that is long lived with a tip of the tongue bitterness that is nicely balanced. Very full bodied, creamy mouthfeel that coats your tongue and keeps the flavors around. Another successful anniversary beer from Stone. I am glad I managed to pick some up. It seems that I almost missed it.

 694 characters

Photo of Biggness
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours dark/opaque with a beautiful 2 finger brown head. The smeel is nice of chocolate toasted malts and coffee. I was suprised to see this was listed as a Stout and not an imperial stout, so that upped my taste rating a little it would have been a 4 if it was an imperial. The taste is very smooth with chocolate and coffee flavors and no taste of alcohol @ all which is nice for a 9 % beer. The mouthfeel is very nice and I could see myself drinking 2-3 of these in a night but no more.

 498 characters

Photo of Dogfishipas
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've tried two of these now. Both in 22 oz bottle. 1 cold and 1 after it sat out for an hour.

I prefer this beer after sitting out versus straight out of the fridge. The flavor seems to come out more and also I find it a lot better to drink as if it's a dessert. Because it's so rich I don't think more then 1 in a sitting is doable.

I've stashed a 3rd bottle away to save for a future date.

 394 characters

Photo of hdofu
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Really dark rich beer with a tan head. Smell is nothing but chocolate. Taste is alot of malt and dark chocolate and finishes with molasses, really noticeable. This beer is yet another reason I like the imperial stouts. Has a nice thick mouthfeel. This is a beer I could drink all night long.

 291 characters

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, poured into am imperial pint glass. Thanks go to MtGoat for hooking me up with this one.

A: Pours a thick, oily black, topped with a one inch thick, solid, mocha colored head that fades into a quarter inch ring in about a minute. Less lacing and head retention that I could care to see, good viscosity though.

S: Sort of muted chocolate and coffee, but I will let it sit and breath for a bit before going any further with the review. Given some time to warm the smell does not change too much, the chocolate aspects become stronger and sweeter, perhaps balanced by the oatmeal used in this beer.

T/MF: I was expecting something far hoppier, more ravishing on the tongue, especially considering this beer is from Stone, but instead it is far smoother, silkier, and creamier than I ever could have anticipated. Oatmeal really smooths out most of the bittness in this bitter chocolate stout. Given extra sips the interplay between the chocolate and oatmeal really makes for a wonderful combination. The bitterness is detecable but not so much so that the oatmeal aspect of the beer is clouded over, there is a wonderful balance in taste demonstrated in this beer. Good strong mouthfeel, carbonation right on target for a stout, bitterness is only detectable in the finish and the beer just feels like silk on the tongue otherwise. Long, long, long, finish lets you rexperience the beer even after its gone.

D: Just a fun beer to drink, dangerously easy going down, alcohol is hidden very well, unless you really exhale hard on that reverse olfaction thing, this beer is about as smooth as it comes for a 9% plus ABV beer. Would love to drink this all year long and is an excellent companion for the Russian Imperial that Stone puts out as well.

 1,758 characters

Photo of sethmeister
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Bottle marked July 2008

An opaque black with dark fizzy foamy brown head and plenty of lace.

Scent is bitter dark chocolate (derrr) and fresh baked yeasty bread with a hint of strong coffee.

Taste follows the nose. Dark baker's chocolate and fresh homemade bread served with a cup of espresso. A hint of dark fruit, figs. That old familiar and well loved oat flavor. There's a long sweet finish with a touch of molasses and a kiss of hop spice.

Drinkabiility is very high. The alcohol is hidden well.

Mouth, although nicely coating, is thinner than i would have preferred.

A delicious and easy to drink stout.

 615 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown/black with a decent sized tan head that impales itself to the inside of the glass as I drink in its chocolaty goodness. Smells of roasted malts, and bitter chocolate. Hints of citrus hops hide in the background. Taste is bitter roast and chocolate, a little bit of alcohol, more as it warms. Mouthfeel is silky smooth and very creamy. Thick body with light carbonation. Another fantastic brew from Stone, I'm going to try to put a bottle away to see how this one ages.

 487 characters

Photo of PintOHops
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears a thick motor oil looking black, thin brown sudsy ring of head that basically stays the same throughout consumption. Low carbonation, and no lacing. Smells of tart pungent grape and alcoholic notes. Along with some raisins, and small hints of oatmeal and dark chocolate. Very sharp alcoholic aroma as it warms, but not offensive.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes of pungent raisins and grapes, with a sweet dark chocolate finish. Hop bitterness lingers, small hints of oatmeal, and alcohol is definitely present. As it warms, alcohol becomes a little more present, otherwise well hidden. Rich dark chocolate is more present as it warms as well. Mouthfeel is velvety, creamy, silky, smooth, rich, chewy, and full bodied. Wonderful!

Drinkability/Final thoughts - Well if it wasn't for the very high ABV, this beer would be allot more drinkable. If not for the ABV, i could enjoy about 3 of these delicious brews. I absolutely loved the mouthfeel! So rich, thick, silky and velvety! You must try this, definitely recommended, don't pass this one up! Cheers!

Please be aware of the high ABV though! When i was done sampling this fine beverage, the alcohol sort of hit me strong.

 1,242 characters

Photo of Foxman
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours an absolutely dark and photon-impassable onyx, like looking into the abyss. Maybe it's brown, but I can't tell that. Two fingers of frothy tannish brown head swell and then settle slowly to a finger's worth of pillowy froth. Fuzzy ropes of lacing tie along the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, charred roasted malt is prevalent and joins with a deep, dark dried fruit presence of dates, or maybe prunes, and as well burnt sugar. The bitter chocolate personality is notable, ready to be peeled out of the wrapper and dropped into the mole sauce. The oatmeal is earthy and fresh from the Quaker Oats carton, or so it seems. A spicy bitterness exposes the presence of hops. A more distant coffee note comes just before the alcohol which is mild but lightly glowing.

Upon sipping, with all due respect and emphasis on the act of sipping, the malt is dark roasted, singed suitably, and is resplendent with burnt sugar and just-burnt caramel, not to mention dark, strong coffee. There's a homey bitterness that is rounded and mellowed by the mitigation of the milled oats, leaving a feathery effect in play. Dark fruit is apparent once again, this time paired with a muted vinous quality that lends a slight acidic bite. The bitter chocolate actually comes off a bit as black coffee gently fades to a more chocolate character as it flows through. Alcohol is certainly present but also well incorporated. Residual grain presence is more bitter than anything, but softly so, and a credible spiciness ably crisps all else as it moves into a dry, bitter, and mellow finish. Especially notable, besides the artful blending and impressive complexity, is the overall soft feel of the profile.

Full bodied, it does flow, but not like syrup, but like a low viscosity oil with a great deal of crisp, bitter glow floating within it.

After experiencing so many big Stone beers, anniversary and otherwise, that tend to benefit from some serious aging, it was a pleasant surprise to try this and find no sharp edges to speak of. Rather, it's very rounded and mellow, as though the boundaries were blurred and softened. The elements blend quite nicely, and the result is a very pleasant and reasonably unique stout. The advertised components are certainly present, but the chocolate and oats seem content to play supporting roles rather than try to steal the show and tip the balance. Because of its nature, this one sips well now and might even lose some character if left to age for too long. Despite what's just short of a double-digit ABV, it drinks nicely, though it's heavy enough to self-limit. According to the fine-type chapter on the back of the bottle, it's not hop-centric due to a soft hop market. Let's hope Stone finds cause to go this route again in the future, because the result is big and bold, less a punch than an affectionate tap, something that they pull off quite capably.

 2,894 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What will one year of age do to this beer? On to the beer:

Pours thick into my Guinness pint glass. Super tanned espresso head sits on top this invincible black bodied beer. The aroma beings up good sweet flavors. Chcocolate syrup anyone? There is a hoppy character in its background, as is roasted coffee.

Semi-sweet chocolatey! There's a bit of roastiness hitting and sticking to palate midway. It has a very dominating chocolate flavor working in its favor, hardly anything bitter about it. I don't really taste the oatmeal, but it could explain the "lighter" than imperial feel, not that its a bad thing in this case. Somewhat charred. There is some fusel alcohol felt as the beer closes to a finish, but it is washed away by faint coffee and heavier sweet chocolate.

If you have this beer in your possession, it will be good right now. Drinkable without weighing you down, and plenty to satisfy that sweetooth without becoming cloying. Okay....what I'm trying to say is...bring this back for another round!

 1,016 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Original review 8/21/08:

Pours opaque black with a dark brown head that struggled to get out of solution. A stretch pour allowed a half inch head to set up before slowly retreating to a placid surface with sporatic remnants of spongy foam.
Webbed lacework remained throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with dark chocolate, espresso, oily oats, and caramel. Hints of smoke, nougat, molasses, and Kahlua follow through.

Full bodied and chewy mouthfeel. Oily, slick, and velvety.

Dark chocolate, coffee grounds, and Kahlua are up front on the pallet. Warming alcohol, brownie batter,and drizzeled chocolate follow through.

Finishes with rich, dark chocoalte, warming alcohol, and an oily viscocity.

A big, chocolaty brew and definately cellar-worthy.

Revisit 9/22/15:

This beer has held up very nicely. All the above still apply but the beer has turned to crushed velvet. Zero oxidation. Chocolaty and oily. Delish.

 924 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this as a dessert after a nice steak dinner (thanks Dad). A dark brown/blackish body with a thickish look; a two-finger burnt toast facade that loitered around. A great malt taste with some smoothness in the aroma from the oat malt and the rough smell coming from some chocolate, coffee and maybe some roasted malt (or a heavy coffee malt presence). Heavy and full-bodied yet smooth and creamy, a great tasting stout that has a prevalent bitter chocolate taste and some definite roasted malt. Even with the oatmeal texture there is a very bitter, drying sensation on the backbite. To be honest, this is a sipper and the longer you drink this the more the bitterness of the cocoa subsides for a smoother, creamier drink. This is a great drink that is not for the weak palettes out there, but call me a puss; I just wish it was a little sweeter on the chocolate because I have a real sweet tooth. If you like chocolate/oatmeal stouts with that bitter twinge, then this is a MUST.

 983 characters

Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Stone Brewing
4.1 out of 5 based on 970 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.