Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout | Stone Brewing

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Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal StoutStone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout
975 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 975 |  Reviews: 706
Photo of PintOHops
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of Foxman
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
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!

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage Twelfth Anniversary Ale

Had this out of a snifter at Holiday Wine Cellar's special event for San Diego Beer Week 2010: "Stone Vintage Archives & Decadent Chocolate Pairings" hosted by Dr. Bill Sysack of Stone Brewing. Paired with North Park's Eclipse Chocolat - Peanut Butter Toffee Truffle (my least favorite pairing of the night).

A: Black as hell with a thin head but a ton of lace.

S: Roasted malts, grain, earthy leather notes with a boozy finish - very unique and pleasant.

T: Aged woodiness, sweet booze (bourbon), tobacco, black liquorish, with a yeasty biscuit finish.

M: Medium/full-bodied ale with mellow carbonation - very smooth an creamy.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Stone's 15th anniversary party

Look: Black and totally opaque. 1 inch tan head with good retention and lacing

Smell: Oatmeal coffee and a trace of chocolate and vanilla

Taste: Awesome bitter chocolate upfront with the middle carrying the oatmeal and coffee and finishes with a nice smokiness

Mouthfeel: Full body with medium carbonation

Overall: Great Beer.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into an imperial pint glass, pours a dark brown color, almost oily out of the bottle, but inch plus head of brown head, settles to a thin film, and has a lot of lacing. Nice.

The aroma is pretty nice. Chocolate? Check. Oatmeal? Check. Coffee, roasted malt, caramels? Yes. Quite nice. A little laid back, more sumptuous than ravenous, which works well here. Taste follows suit. Actually pretty mellow and nuanced, the various chocolates, roasted malts, etc, play off each other respectfully, but still has a bitter bite, some ABV power to be respected. The body is thick enough, subtle carbonation, a bit warm. Its interesting, as it comes off as both strong and gentle.

In retrospect, an interesting brew, one I would've paid attention more had I not been 'talking with' the wife so much. Oh well, it was definitely catchy, thoroughly drinkable for its strength and weight, but doesn't quite break that barrier of must-try stouts.

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Photo of jayfarley3
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass from tap. Appearance was pitch black with a thick tan head that dissipated quickly. Smells of sweet bitter chocolate and roasted malts. Tastes of dark chocolate, roasted coffee with a slightly bitter finish. Mouthfeel is full bodied and a very smooth drinking beer for such a high ABV.

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Photo of mnj21655
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber poured into a pint glass

Pours pitch black in color (I'm pretty sure that it actually sucked all the light out of the room) with a full finger of dark brown head that had pretty good retention and left some decent lacing. Pleasant aroma although it is a bit subdued. Some nice roasted notes, bitter chocolate that seems to become more prominent once the head subsides and some nice caramel sweetness. Taste is pretty darn good. There is a strong, somewhat sweet caramel malty flavor that absolutely dominates at first. A combination of roasted malts and bitter chocolate overwhelm the sweet malt and linger into the finish. There are some occasional hints of alcohol in the finish. Mouthfeel is pretty good. Full body with low-moderate carbonation yields a smooth, silky, almost velvety feel. Drinkability on this beer is very good, exceedingly smooth (excepting the occasional flash of alcohol) and well crafted. This is a great beer.

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Photo of Heeenrik
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cswhitehorse
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The 12th Anniversary poured a black as night color with an awesome 2-3 finger foam head. It had solid lacing and good retention.

The smell was of bitter chocolate and roasted malts. The taste started off with a noticeable high alcohol resonance and a slight oak taste and vanilla. Good solid malt in the background with the hints of the bitter chocolate.

It was real smooth and left the tingling sensation around the mouth probably due to the high abv. I found this anniversary brew to be a wonderful tasty, relaxing brew that was incredibly smooth.

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Photo of sweetbrew82
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 oz. into a snifter/ July 2008

P: Syrupy black tar from the bottle, and sits completely opaque in the glass. Walnut brown head looks nice and healthy. It's thick and creamy with good retention, finally settling to a thin cap on top while leaving webs of lace behind.

A: Deeply roasted malts, baker's chocolate, oatmeal sweetness, anise, and a sizeable amount of ethanol. I hope it's not as boozy as it smells...

T:...and it is not, thankfully. This is delicious beer! Deep roasted malts that taste like they're burnt around the edges set the stage for the bitter chocolate flavors that seem quite powdery, almost like cake batter. The oatmeal sweetness that I detected in the nose is translated nicely to the palate, along with some anise, licorice, and caramel that stays underneath the chocolate to play off of the bitterness. The already acrid edge is only added to by the black coffee that makes its way to the forefront, keeping the whole thing firmly entrenched on the bitter side. I also seem to pick up some nice nutty flavors mid-palate that works great with the oats. Alcohol is noticeable not so much in the flavor as in warmth. But, not intrusive in the least.

M & D: Full-bodied, thick, chewy, syrupy, rich & smooth. Everything I wanted from this Imperial Stout. Drinkability is great, but the ABV has me foggy-headed enough to know that another bottle might have me walking sideways.

Notes: I actually had this when it first came out, but wasn't really feeling it. Not sure if I was in a bad mood, got a bad bottle, or ate something I shouldn't have beforehand. Whatever the case was, I'm glad as hell I decided to revisit this one, cause now I love it! Having said that, this is not for the faint of heart or for the immature palate, that's for damn sure. Yet another angry Stone beer that has made me oh-so happy! Highly recommended

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque darkness with a two finger foamy dark brown head that resists fading. Sheets of Belgian lacing in it's wake. The sticky residue on the bottle's neck has an aggressive malty chocolate character. Some alcohol in the form of a cherry-vanilla barrel aged treatment. Adequately carbonated, the mouth feel is medium-full bodied with a tang from the 9.2% ABV. Full flavored, the special dark chocolate and oak aged cherry-vanilla aspects linger appropriately as the coating texture and warming qualities are revealed. Ton's of quality ingredients in this one!! Highly recommended. This is not your standard 'American Stout'. Great effort from the folks at Stone! Happy 12th and many happy returns!!

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bomber into a pint glass, shared with a friend.

Pours a majorly opaque, pitch black body beneath a thick pillow of dark brown head. Leaves behind sticky trails of tan lace along the inside of the glass. The aroma is awash in espresso, pungent earthy notes, oatmeal, and rich dark chocolate. Lots of hoppiness, too.

Stone always seems to be able to pack a punch into their beers that pleases, but doesn't overwhelm; their 12th Anniversary is no exception. Huge notes of bitter chocolate immediately greet the palate, followed by ground coffee beans and roasted malt. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, with a spot-on carbonation level that spices up the palate and brings out a gentle boozy warmth. Complex notes of bitter hops and dark chocolate liquor on the finish. Excellent job, Stone, and here's to another 12 years!

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Photo of jbdpsu82
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kylehayworth
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Jason for the treat.

A: Pours rich black, forms a nice dark tan head.

S: Chocolate and Vanilla, you get alittle of the boozy tingling smell, you'd expect that though.

T: Bitter chocolate, mild oat, the finish has hints of vanilla and mild alcohol.

M/D: Creamy and thick. Although I didn't try a fresh one, I'm not dissappointed having got to try this instead.

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Photo of Pencible
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Stone's 12th anniversary ale. This poured pitch black with a bit of dark tan head. It smelled like mild bitter chocolate, roasted malt, and alcohol. It tasted like very bitter chocolate with resinous pine hops, with a bit of earthy oatmeal malt, and had noticeable alcohol taste. It was thick with no carbonation, and had a strong bitter aftertaste with alcohol warming. Overall this was not as sweet or delicious as I hoped (similar to Young's). This still had a very bold, clean flavor that nice to sip, but also able to drink regularly. Solid but not spectacular.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I picked up my 22 oz. bottle from Yankee Spirits a couple months ago and decided to pop it this weekend.

The bottle features the updated gargoyle logo, some hand-crafted type and royal blue borders screened right on the bottle. A long drown-out explanation of this years anniversary beer being a "bitter Chocolate" instead of a mega hop bomb due to the hop debacle.

The brew pours jet black with a foamy, dark tan head that fades pretty quick, not much lacing.

In the aroma department I get hints of licorice, espresso, and what else? Dark chocolate!

The brew is full-bodied with a creamy texture.

There is the faintest caramel sweetness up front, if you blink you'll miss it. A hint of licorice that fades as the beer warms. The beer tastes of pure unsweetened dark chocolate. Very faint roasted/espresso bean taste.

The brew finishes smooth, the bitterness digs into the palate and camps out exactly like dark chocolate does .

I really enjoyed this beer, it tastes exactly how is is described, Bitter Chocolate Stout!


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Photo of JKasten988
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black as night with a mocha head that kept
pace with my sippin'.

S: Smells like a chocolate shop with a hint of some guy drinking a cup of coffee in the back.

M: Thick and rich, just like I like my ... I'm an idiot.

D: Very drinkable for such a heavy beer, I could have definately drank the 22 myself but I had made a committment to share with a guy much larger than me.

Great beer with a lot more character than many chocolates stouts that I've had.

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Photo of Stonebreaker
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This pours a deep black, as others have described, with no light getting through. The head was weak though and was gone almost immediately.

Smell: The smell was delicious, sweet, chocolatey, but it weakened when the head disappeared.

Taste: The taste was very reminiscent of the rogue chocolate stout, but perhaps a little sweeter from the oatmeal. Bitter? yes the hops play their role but things seem to be well balanced, a solid stout, very tasty but not mind blowing. I paired this with a hot link with Sweet Baby Rays bbq sauce, what do you boys know about that. Southside Chicago!!! It was damn good.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and delish.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, only reason I wouldn't give this a five is the alcohol.

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Photo of scottg
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a black color that turns dark brown in the light with a one finger tan head that dissipates quickly leaving spotty lacing. Alcohol, cherry, and dark chocolate aromas. Up front flavors of chocolate, cherry, and oatmeal with a mild lemony hop middle and a bitter dark chocolate finish. Full body, medium carbonation this is a mouth coating beer that sticks to your palate. Drinkability is great, the progression of chocolate flavors is excellent.

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Photo of LittleBreeze
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks bwyker.

This this a rather nice stout.
Poured into a tulip. Mocha colored two finger head. Aroma is sweet, a bit of roast and rich chocolate.
The complexity makes for an interesting sipper. Smooth. Sweet. A little dark/bitterness in the finish. Chocolate and coffee flavors enhance as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy.

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Photo of bamadog
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great beer that I was told by the server that was poured way too cold, and that I needed to cup it with my hands for a while to allow it to warm to bring out the malts. A fairly typical necessity for a lot of beers, especially stouts, but this one changed dramatically as it went. More on that later.

Appearance: Poured into a snifter glass, it came to me black with a fairly short, dark tan head. The head lingered briefly and quickly faded to a thin lacing that didn't stick around for the entire glass.

Smell: At first, when cold, the smell was not really overly distinguished. A little malty, a little semi-sweet hanging around and just a little bit of roast. However, as it sat and warmed, the alcohol really became a strong presence in the nose and took over the beer. I love it when it a beer changes like that, but this was so dramatic.

Taste: The first sip was bitter up front and a little roasty afterwards - not much unlike when you get a cup of coffee that wasn't filtered quite properly and there's still some grounds -- a very nice touch to the beer though because I love a strong roasty flavor. As it warmed though, as to be expected with the way the smell changed, the alcohol really started to take over and was followed by a bittersweet chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Early on it was chewy and I thought it would be a pretty easy beer to get through, but the longer it sat it really started to leave the mouth extra dry due to the alcohol and I had to slow down on it.

Drinkability: A great, complex beer. There's a lot going on with it and even though I was told it was served too cold, I really feel that experiencing how it changed was part of the intensity of this beer. The alcohol content is pretty high with it, so it's definitely a "once-a-night" kind of drink for me.

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Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 975 ratings
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