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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
973 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:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 973 |  Reviews: 706
Photo of MusicaleMike
3.82/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An essay on the back of the bottle...just talks about how the hop shortage affected the 12th anniversary beer in that they were somewhat forced to brew a more malt forward beer and utilize something else for "bitterness."

Poured into a large tulip glass. A very long and viscous pour developed a dense, creamy, tight brown head on top of an extremely dark brown body, verging on black.

This serious looking beer has a bold aroma. Many of the usual suspects: dark chocolate, coffee, raisins, Bailey's Irish cream and some sweet booze.

A dynamic beer to say the least. When it was chilled, I got more of the roast barley malt and a wonderful, rich chocolate aftertaste. As it has warmed, more aromas and flavors start to pop, and as the beer approaches room temperature, the booziness becomes enhanced, though never becomes "hot." Just does end up with an almost solvent character. Bitter chocolate, coffee, creamy...

Flavors were similar to aroma. Now at room temperature (just below) it actually becomes slightly unpleasant, though I wonder if that was because I poured in the "chunks" at the bottom of the bottle...should have left that out.

The body of the beer is medium heavy with a very smooth texture and plenty of carbonation for the style.

This was an enjoyable beer. I am glad I aged it for four years, because apparently it used to be "hot" and that's never good. I think the age mellowed the beer's alcohol burn, added a layer of complexity with maybe a touch of oxidation, and allowed the chocolate to come through better. Definitely though it needs to be chilled before consumption.

I would suggest this with any dense, rich, chocolate dessert, like lava cake or flourless chocolate torte.

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Photo of ToddT
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Black topped with a thin tan head, even a hard pour failed to produce much of a head. The head fades quickly to a ring but leaves some nice wispy lace on the glass.

S- Roasted malt, caramel, molasses, oak, and a hint of coffee and chocolate. As it warms the aroma becomes even more complex with a hint of hops making an appearance.

T- Sweet chocolate and roasted malt at first that soon turns to a semi-sweet bitter coffee/chocolate note. There is a hint of hops at the finish and more than enough complexity in the middle to make this a very interesting brew. A little warmth brings out some molasses and oak, as well as some heat from alcohol. The finish is bone dry and with a lingering note of coffee/bitter chocolate.

M- Feels a little thin for the style but not too thin to detract from the enjoyment of this one. A little bit more than medium with almost no carbonation. For all of the bold notes in it the palate is left pretty clean.

O- Great beer, three years in the cellar have only made this one more enjoyable. The heat of the alcohol, 9.2%ABV, has tamed down and even more complex and subtle characters have come out in it. If you can find it buy it.

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Photo of lightindarkness
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one in the fridge and wanted it to warm up. The sappy reflective narrative on the back is a perfect length to read while the beer warms in your hands, assuming you can read print that small.

Pours black and sticky, with a beautiful soft tan head. Clings nicely to the sides of my snifter.

The nose is everything I could have expected, with full roasted maltiness and oatmeal, deepened with rich dusty cocoa. Somewhat clean smelling, a nice balance for a deep dark black-hole of a beer.

Again, the taste is all that I could expect it to be. A very nicely crafted oatmeal stout, with a smooth full oatmeal flavor and toasty dark malts. Chocolate is not sweet at all, but also not anywhere near as offensive as purely unsweetened cocoa. It's well tempered with smooth creamy balance that seems to bring out nice chocolate flavor from within an otherwise true-to-form stout taste.

Smooth and creamy, with just a touch of dryness. Carbonation is filling, but not sharp or interfering.

Not one of the biggest or most outrageous beers I've had in a while, but I think I'm really appreciating the approach to this year's anniversary ale. Detail and balance seem to take precedent over intensity, and perhaps a lack of hops is a good thing. I'm finding it really easy to sip, and today is one of the hottest of the year so far; so here's to January dreaming in the middle of the Summer!

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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 krisandajt
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle for myself and two friends to sample and enjoy....it's a shame only one friend showed up.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark black with a slight amount of tan colored head. Head fades pretty quickly, but leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet malts and chocolate with the slight smell of potency from the alcohol.

Taste: Bitter chocolate dominates. Reminds me of baking chocolate. Starts off sweet with the bitterness from the chocolate, ends with a somewhat strong alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat heavy (it is an Imperial Stout after all), but smooth. Full bodied flavor with good carbonation that goes down nicely.

Drinkability: This was the last beer of our tasting session (started off with IPA's). A great beer to finish off with. Hell, it's a great beer to start with. We took our time with this one, and were rewarded with every sip. Very drinkable, though the high ABV may limit your intake...it did for us.

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Photo of bosco7
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black. No light can penetrate this liquid. The head is brown and doesn't last long.

Chocolate chip cookie, bitter cocoa powder, cherries, coffee, and some blackberry in the nose.

Starts sweet with a ton of dark chocolate. In the middle there is a lot of fruit like cherries and black berries...maybe some cola. Finish is bitter, dry, and roasty.

Mouthfeel is chewy and most excellent. My only criticism is it does have a fair amount of carbonation. Easily remedied though.

This is a helluva beer. My favorite Anniversary ale since 10. Very drinkable for its complexity. Highly recommended.

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Photo of yossarian14
4.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served at Bukowski's in Cambrige in a 12oz tumbler.

A - Black with a nice foamy cafe con leche colored head that slowly faded.

S - Dark bitter chocolate, coffee, and alcohol

T - Tastes like it smells, heavy chocolate and alcohol, but not overwhelming. The alcohol hits you early but fades in the aftertaste.

M - Smooth and creamy. mmmm

D - Too heavy to drink very many too smooth to not have another sip. Think about boozy milkshakes.

Serve and savor on cool rainy Sundays

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Photo of kw_pip
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bitter. Chocolate. Bitter Raisin finish.

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Photo of MispeledStalion
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SpecialK088
4.55/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had it out of a bottle for the 1st time

Poured black as night with a small lace around the outside of the glass, when you hold this directly to the light the head and edges nearly look blue.

Smell is bitter chocolate, sweet oatmeal, like a cookie, with very sweet and roasted malts both.

Beer does not taste any better than this it has all that you want from a stout the nice alcohol undertones with the bittersweet chocolate and rich malts but then has an amazing sweetness that makes you feel like you are drinking an oatmeal creame pie.

Mouth is rich and thich very creamy which coats the inside out your mouth, heavy body

This is the kind of beer i wish was available and I could get more of, but on the other hand would feel incrediblly spoiled if I could. High ABVbrings it down a few points here as I cant imagine someone sitting down and having much more than 1.

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Photo of jdklks
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a gorgeous thick, nearly impenetrable black with a milk chocolate colored head that THICKLY laces the glass.

S- chocolate and coffeee.

T- Tastes also of chocolate and coffee. little to no hops here. very dry and very bitter. the alcohol is definitely present, but i feel like it could even be more pronounced and it would add to the beer. almost no sweetness from the chocolate (hence "bitter chocolate") except at the end. the aftertaste is that of after eating a truffle. outstanding.

M- thick, full-bodied, as expected. a little more carbonation might help. not as smooth as one hopes from an imperial stout, which may be a result of it being slightly less "full" than expected or wanted.

D- dont get me wrong, i love everything about this beer, even its drinkability. however, i would only want to have one bomber in a night, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. on tap, when im not keeping track, who knows how much would go down.

once again, a great [anniversary] beer from stone. they dont know how to do it any differently. damn they are amazing.

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Photo of UA8
4.31/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of hiikeeba
3.87/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a trade. Gorgeous graphics! Looked forward to opening it.

A - Jet black and inky. Thick and opaque. Thin brown head fades quickly. Beer clings to the glass like a thin syrup.

S - Oats and roasted grain dominate with a hint of chocolate and a hint of alcohol. Reminds me of bourbon.

T - There's a metallic tang along the edges of my tongue, but not bad. Leaves a slight roast bitterness with some astringency. Alcohol rises from my throat just like a bourbon.

M - Silky smooth, with slightly low carbonation. Very creamy.

D - Not bad, but I don't think I want another one. It might be good cellared and aged. It would rock with some vanilla ice cream, like a float.

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Photo of PartyBear
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Heavy, black and oily in the glass with a creamy light/medium brown head, and vyer light carbonation. Lots of dark roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, and a slightly winey alcohol aroma. It is powerfully bitter from the start with the bitterest dark chocolate, over-roast charred coffee beans, and a slight raisin sweetness. The feel is smooth and silky, with a massively full body. Really good beer with a superb feel. I'd love to taste what happens with aging, to see whether the bitterness mellows at all.

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Photo of ptykozoon
3.37/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Black with a coffee bean colored head. Ring with strong lacing.

Molasses, tobacco, bitter dark chocolate, caramel.

Light chocolate, burnt coffee. Not getting any oatmeal.

Dry bitter mouthfeel. Hot for being 7 years old. Light mouthfeeel for the ABV.

Not bad, but ultimately an abrasive beer with low complexity this year.

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Photo of m1ked
4.36/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler after a dusty round of disc golf across the way at Monteal Park. Sat outside and enjoyed a beautiful relaxing SD day.

A- Poured into my 11th anni pint glass. Pours a pitch black with dark brown edges. Fine sticky mocha colored head about an inch thick with sticky, sticky lacing. I love stouts, and I love this one.

S- I can only appreciate a couple things here. The sweetness of dark chocolate is undeniably on the nose. There is some woody smoky notes in there. A little alcohol in there too.

T- Dark chocolate and then some dark chocolate and then some more dark chocolate after that. Some woody coffee flavors. Ends with some alcohol notes.

M- Smooth creamy mingled with some alcohol heat. Light on the carbonation, moderate body.

D- Wow what a curveball from Stone. This is an excellant offering and so different. I could easily drink this whole growler. I love stouts and dark chocolate. I look forward to drinking more of this throughout the year.

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Photo of infi
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, courtesy of BA r0nyn.

Poured into a nonic pint.

Appearance is jet black in color and very much opaque. No light shining through whatsoever. A steady overhead pour towards the middle of the glass creates an incredibly fat and thick brown head that becomes stationary for about 2-4 minutes, before slowly dying down. Looks like the top of a milkshake with all the frothiness and could seriously be eaten with a spoon. Multiple tiny spots of lacing can be found in and around the glass once the head starts to dissipate. Not as much as I thought it would have been, given the substantial size of its initial head. On the nose, there's a sort of sourness that hits at first.. definitely from the barley. Reminiscent of the Southern Tier Jahva to me. But under all the barley, the chocolate is next to be known along with a slight malt undertone. Deep whiffs help find the alcohol.

Taste is full of roasted qualities from the barley and oatmeal; also has a subtle sweet characteristic from the chocolate and malt. Towards the end in the aftertaste, there are more barley tones with a sort of astringency and bitterness from the bittersweet chocolate and ultimately ends on the alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium bodied - not as thick or chewy as I thought it would be. The tongue can't detect much of a carbonated feel, as it goes down quite smooth and semi-creamily. Drinkability is decently moderate. Not a guzzler for sure as it exudes a bit of complexity, but more of a slow drinker. Still very good in its own respect and definitely worth a try.

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Photo of crusian
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle from awesome girlfriend...

pours perfectly. appearance is a 5... easily. black viscous, small head... perfect. exactly what I wanted and expected.

smell... not so much... pretty poor to be honest. small notes of chocolate and roasty..., but thats about it.

tastes pretty good. I was expecting more, and to be honest, I tried a 2009 brooklyn black chocolate next to it, as this is VERY similar... and I think the brooklyn is better. This has a LOT of bitterness from the chocolate, and i think the brooklyn is balanced better... it offsets the chocolate bitterness. Dont get me wrong, if stone made this, at their price points, I would buy the hell out of it. but as something that is 2 years old, i expect a bit more out of it.

edit: this is getting much better as it warms... passing the brooklyn black chocolate now. Dont drink this cold... this is MUCH better warm... which is expected, but wow, this has really changed. Chocolate on the front, not overwhelmingly so, but just in a nice balance. Great mouthfeel. nice. I wish they made this again.

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Photo of DrDogbeer
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tom at the union for this one. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a shaker pint. Pours Jet black. Not a touch of light can even get through when held up to the window. Minimal tan head. Aromas of chocolate and roasted, smokey malts. Tastes wonderful- lots of chocolate and it is pretty creamy, but then you get the bitter chocolate kick. Great way to give this beer some bite! Great take on a chocolate stout.

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Photo of output01x
3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle (Bottled On July 2008) into a snifter glass.

A vigorous pour yields a 1-finger mocha-colored head that slowly recedes to a thin, clumpy dusting and thick foam ring. The body is a nearly perfect black with no traces of color when held to light. Light lacing is noticed throughout consumption.

Dark bittersweet chocolate and creamy milk chocolate aromas blend nicely with dark, roasted malts. Notes of burnt coffee beans and dark fruits can also be detected.

Smooth and creamy milk chocolate and dark fruit notes begin each sip but are quickly overtaken by dark, bitter chocolate flavors. A dry coffee bean and sweet dark fruit aftertaste finishes each sip.

Medium bodied with great carbonation, this beer has a nearly creamy mouthfeel. The carbonation allows the beer to coat your mouth fully without being too sticky.

While the appearance and nose are great, the flavor and mouthfeel are not as spectacular. The flavor is too sweet in my opinion which detracts from the coffee and chocolate flavors that should be center stage. The mouthfeel, which allows for great drinkability, is too carbonated in my opinion, as it does not allow the darker flavors to develop properly on your tongue.

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Photo of gmcfarre
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into imperial pint glass

A - Pours a pitch black opaque nothingness with a nice 3/4 inch dark tan head that lasts nicely. Lacing is very nice.

S - Crisp and biting bitter chocolate dominates, but doesn't overpower. Sweet dextrous malt scent contributes to the chocolate flavor. A hint of spicy alcohol.

T - Starts with a chewy chocolate sweetness that quickly shows its bitter teeth. Oatmeal doesn't make this quite as smooth as I might have thought, but I'm sure it tempers the aggressive chocolate bitterness a little. A bit boozy at times. Very bitter and rich at the finish, with some residual sweetness hanging around the palate.

M - Full bodied with a rich, dominant mouthfeel. Smooth and oily with a very bitter (chocolate, not hops) finish.

D - The strong bitterness of the chocolate makes this very different and unique among chocolate stouts. Very interesting and certainly worth buying (several). Alcohol is a bit severe for a 9% beer, but its very forgivable. Flavor is interesting enough to facilitate finishing an entire bomber yourself.

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Photo of r0nyn
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass.

Spitting this with fellow BA infi. Pours a crazy jet black color with a super fat caramel brown head that takes its sweet damn time in receding. Not a lot of lacing. Looks like motor oil coming out of the bottle, viscosity and everything. Cannot see through it at all. Ridiculous. Bitter chocolate is readily apparent in the smell, with some sweetness too. I almost want to say a mocha smell. Smells very nice, I quite like it.

Taste has the chocolate up front. Not the milky chocolate of some other choco-flavored stouts, but the dark, dark bittersweet stuff. Definitely lives up to the name on the bottle in that department. Has a very nice roasted quality that couples well with the chocolate. Hops are only slightly present, there isn't too much bitterness from them. The finish has a bit of a sour kick, which I'm assuming is from the barley. It's crisp, and brings along with it the alcohol, which is by no means overpowering despite the relatively high ABV. Mouthfeel is not as thick as I was expecting, especially given the appearance and smell. Still has a nice medium feel with minimal carbonation, giving the brew a pleasing smoothness.

Drinkability is fairly good. It's a stout, so you're not going to be chugging it anyway, but the flavor and crispness lends itself to sipping. Overall, a very nice stout, something I definitely enjoyed drinking.

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Photo of naterock
4.49/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a glass with an incredibly dark and thick pour. Medium to dark brown head with resilience. a slight ring of burnt orange around the sides where light penetrates.

Smells of rich chocolate malts and burnt currants, a tinge of alcohol in the back but overall well hidden.

Thick chocolate with a heavy cream smoothness currants and some vine fruits are evident in the background. Oat malts, Chocolate, Wow!

Mouth is very viscous and silky with a body like heavy cream. Drinks well but this is definitely a sipper. Such a treat to finally get to try this one.

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Photo of sethmeister
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of julian
2.89/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: pours jet black. no light getting through this one. minimal frothy chocolate brown head that disappears quickly. sticky brown lacing.

S: roasty and burnt notes prevalent, followed by hints of coffee, bitter chocolate. noticeable boozy aroma follows.

T: As the name implies, there is a very prevalent bitterness to this beer mixed with a warm alcoholic feel. As it warms there are more noticeable burnt and roasted tastes along with coffee flavors. It's hard to put my finger on it, but there's an unusual aftertaste that lingers. It's kind of clingy and phenolic, like the smell of wood varnish caught in your throat...that's the best way I can describe it. As the beer warms, more flavors are released.

M: bitter, and medium carbonation mixed with a warming alcoholic presence. I think the bitterness overwhelms most everything else.

D: relatively high ABV and pervasive bitterness make this hard to keep drinking.

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Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 973 ratings
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