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

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.

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Reviews: 705 | Ratings: 966
Photo of toweringpoo
3.91/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is black as death. Light does not penetrate this thing. Minimal head that immediately disappears. Super thick and syrupy looking.

Smell starts off the complexity of this beer; chocolate, coffee, dirt, soap, and alcohol come through clearly to me.

Taste is superb. Vanilla, chocolate, coconut, come through strong. After that the bitterness of the hops takes over there's some burned popcorn, almost peanut buttery finish. Really complex. It feels as thick as it looks. Thick, malty and bitter. A great sipper for a cold winter night. This is what I want when I drink a stout.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of Mazeraski
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. bomber printed with "July 2008" into a Middle Ages imperial pint glass.

A - Pitch black with thick and foamy half inch dark tan head reminiscent of chocolate milk that dissipates early into the tasting. Nice sticky lacing coats the imperial pint.

S - A wash of chocolate and malty goodness swirling with caramel and sweet oatmeal. Hints of roasted coffee and bourbon mixed with the slightest aroma of alcohol follow.

T - The oatmeal brings it all together here. The chocolate and sticky caramel with the malt hit the palate first creating more of a chewy character. Followed by a barely noticeable alcohol presence awash with a small twinge of bourbon, leaving a hit of bitterness caused by the chocolate which is quickly replaced with a lingering sweetness. The oatmeal is ever present in the background giving the entire sip a smooth and rich creaminess unlike almost any stout (oatmeal included or not) I've ever tasted, which only gets better as it warms.

MF - Full-bodied with a creamy medium amount of carbonation accompanied with a warming feeling from the alcohol.

D - This has to be one of the smoothest and richest brews I've had in a while, which I attribute to the oatmeal character. Watch out if you have a small stomach because it will fill up quickly (like mine). The bitterness of the chocolate factors into it only during part of the tasting. Things holding back the drinkability for this are the higher ABV and just how damn rich it is. Otherwise, I would definitely have another one.

Notes: This was one of the brews of this season I've been anxiously awaiting (along with Anchor Our Special Ale) and it definitely lived up to my expectations. I'm going to have to pick up a few more before they're all gone. I suggest you do the same.

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Photo of sanha926
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Pours almost black with dark brown frothy head. Nose of candy, hope and alcohol. Well balance flavour of coffee and chocolate. Not nearly as bitter as the name would suggest. Very tasty.

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Photo of SMADMS
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 22oz bommer into an imperial pint glass

A-- BLACK!! 1 1/2 finger head of mocha and nice lacing
S-- Chocolate bitterness and espresso/strong coffee
T-- Cocoa bitterness roasted malts and coffee. Wonderful balance of everything here
M-- SILKY SMOOTH dense and chewy
D-- Not so much in the summer but durnig the colder days I can sit with a few of this ...see how it is a room temp


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Photo of checkfeet
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a lovely opaque black, like it is so dense it sucks in the light from neighboring stars. Low carbonation, little head or lacing.

Chocolate and alcohol on the nose.

The bittersweet part of the title rings true - unlike most chocolate stouts it isn't particularly creamy. Lovely chewiness.

My only complaint is that the alcohol seems to dominate the aftertaste. This is aged over 20 months, so we're a little surprised that the alcohol isn't well masked. Still really enjoyable though.

Warming on a chilly night.

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Photo of scbrew
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Original tasting date: August 2008 (From old notes). Beautiful, nearly black pour with creamy beige head. First aroma was mild roast, followed by subtle chocolate. Silky mouthfeel with a bit of sweetness. Roasted grain bitterness with toasted flavors. Nice alcohol warming. Wish I had another.

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Photo of friendofthedevil
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now, fully realizing that I've still rated this Stone release with rather high marks, I'd like to initially say that this is definitely not my favorite of their beers. If it's possible to say that a beer weighing in at 9% with the color of jet black coal is "watery," then well frankly, I'd say that this is the case. Maybe it's just that the hops "weren't there." I don't know if this is really true, as it says on the back of the bottle, or if this is just a joke, but while true, it wasn't so sweet as the usual chocolate stout, I really just wanted more hops! Still, it was a great beer, and interesting at that though I think I'd like another bottle of their Russian Imperial over this one.

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Photo of WeeObese
3.74/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a nice Chocolate Oatmeal RIS.
Appearance: The beer poured dark brown-black with a small dark brown head.
Smell: dark chocolate, roasted malt and slight alcohol at the end.
Taste: warm alcohol, roasted malts and finishes like a 70% Cacao chocolate bar.
Mouthfeel: full bodied and silky from the oatmeal.
Drinkability: I would recommend this beer to chocolate lovers and RIS drinkers, Very enjoyable, not a beer I will stock up on but I will cellar at least one for later enjoyment.

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Photo of fbinla
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark dark brown, close to black with a thick brown colored head. Chocolate roasty bitterness with slight lingering aftertaste broken up by carbonation. Mouth feel is solid but not as sweet as expected probably combated by the bitterness. Coffee aroma, with slight hints of brown sugar.

Awesome beer, need to buy more..

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Photo of beermebeerman
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is one amazing stout.

Pours dark brown to black with a coffee/cream head. Good retention.
Smell is chocolate, bittering hops, and chocolate malt.
Taste is amazing, bitter up front but not overpowering, followed by chocolate, with hops following after. Long finish but sooo enjoyable. Little to no alcohol taste or wamth detected.
Mouthfeel is also incredible. I don't know how they did it but this beer is so smooth it's like "wiping your [tongue] with silk." Must have copius amounts of oatmeal in the mash. Very full bodied!
Drinkability is very high for such a large beer. I found myself drinking this way too fast. This is the best chocolate stout I have had to date.

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Photo of JamesMcPolin
4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. Cellared since near the release date (first I could get my hands on anyway) about 2 ½ years I would think (I forget when the 'anniversaries' come out).

Infinitely black, like the night sky absent moon and stars. Mocha-colored, full-of-flavor-looking head. Mellow/subtle but still great lacing.

Pretty surprised at the alcohol evident in the smell considering it's only 9.2% and the amount of aging on it. Can't find the word I'm looking for exactly to describe the unique part of the nose that's coming from the oatmeal. Rest of the nose is more typical/what you'd expect.

Delicious. I know the name begins with the words bitter chocolate, but the taste begins with unmistakable bitter coffee notes. I find this interesting and unique. Usually we're use to stouts having these notes in the middle or end, so pretty cool. Of course, chocolaty throughout. And not as bitter as the title might have you believe.

Full-bodied. Just like a world-class oatmeal stout should be.

Bitter in the best way! If you're a stout and porter lover, I really hope you were able to get your hands on this brew. Straight up, can't say I've ever had a better oatmeal stout. I knew I loved it from the moment I tasted it in 2008 and feel proud of myself for the patience it took to cellar one for this long. Worth every month it took. Sad the journey is over. Happy I live in Southern California and there's always the hope of Stone holding a special event where they might break out some archived bottles or aged kegs.


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Photo of ODBRIP
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another fine effort from Stone. I've tried a bunch of "chocolate stouts" from various brewers. This is probably my favorite one. As the name says, it is "bitter," apparently made from bitter chocolate. I usually dislike the added sweetness in other chocolate stouts, but this one is not sweet and has a complex bitterness. There is a pretty pronounced alcohol taste. The color is pitch black with a very dark brown head....looks like a good imperial stout.

Excellent beer, definitely worth a try.

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Photo of chefnash51
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I let this one sit out of the fridge for about 30 minutes. I was going to read the lengthy story on the back.. but by the time I got to it, I was a bit to distracted.

A- Black and think coming out of the bottle, I lick my lips in anticipation as I see the caramel brown head form.

I was going to drink this out of my Chimay chalice, but opted for my Duvel tulip.

S- Smell was great, I picked up on cocoa and I could smell the roasted malt goodness.

T- the taste didn't fail to deliver. It was everything I was hopping it would be. Nothing overpowered in this, complex, rich, yet very smooth. It wasn't too bitter, the chocolate was in perfect check, and the oat was right in line.

M - Thick and savory. The oat was very appreciated in this, gave it a creamy mouth feel

D- This was over 9% abv? Wow, never would have guessed. This beer could make me happy as a sipper, or as a more aggressively consumed drink.

This wasn't a crazy hopped up, out of whack beer. And I love it for that. If the hop shortage leads to more of these, then I would be happy.
I picked up 6 and I am looking to make the 100 mile round trip to find more.

I enjoyed some aged cheddar with this. Went very well. The wife hated the smell of this and kept complaining that she could smell it across the room.

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Photo of Bitzy
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank this 22oz bomber at Gaslight brewery and restaurant. Since it's 9.2% ABV and the fact that I was in the mood for a good stout I drank the whole bottle on my own (was the only beer I drank that night). I enjoyed this brews drinkability, bitter chocolate, coffee flavors, and roasted malts. However, I couldn't really taste much oatmeal. In the end I settled with thinking that the oatmeal was hidden by the alcohol and revealed by adding creaminess and some sweetness.

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Photo of gamwich
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap 2-14-11 at the Brew Kettle.

The pour yields a thick brownish-black head that sticks around. The nose is strong with chocolate, coffee, and roasty goodness. The flavors are sweet roasted malts, dark chocolate, and raisins. The finish is a tad bitter, but not unpleasantly so. Velvety smooth on the tongue. The moderate boozyness keeps me from chugging it. Nummy.

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Photo of WaXHeLL
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1/10/2010: - 4.75
22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottle cellar aged for 15 months.

Been a while since I cracked one of these open.

Appearance: - 5.0
A little bit more head than last time, but still really lightly carbonated for its style. Lacing is even better than before -- sticking very well to the glass.

Smell: - 4.0
Significantly sweeter than before, flavors don't seem to jump out as much, but are much more blended. Nowhere as roasty as I remember. Dark / Bittersweet Chocolate dominates the nose now, with lightly roasted malts and nutty coffee flavors. Oddly, the oatmeal is completely missing now. Not as complex as before.

Taste: - 5.0
This beer has changed significantly -- with the bitter chocolate flavors dominating this beer. The oatmeal is very distinctively present in the finish (and the texture). The alcohol is readily apparent in the finish also. Still extremely complex -- with the nutty and malty flavors coming out to complement the bitter chocolate. The toffee notes have disappeared, and the coffee flavors are very muted, only coming out near the end. Still very tasty, but significantly different. I love how it has developed, although for some people, it might be a little more of an "acquired" taste than before.

Mouthfeel: - 4.5
Still sticks to your mouth like I remembered. Almost mimics the grainyness texture of oatmeal. That bitter chocolate taste definitely lingers afterwards (and the bitter chocolate has gotten more bitter). The feel definitely has gotten stronger, but it is still very excellent -- chewy and tasty.

Drinkability: - 4.0
The ABV before was very hidden -- now it is very apparent. I can feel this beer after just half a pint, and the alcohol is very apparent. Nowhere as drinkable, and it feels like it's gotten much thicker. Despite that, it still doesn't seem like a sipping beer.

6/7/2009: - 4.65
22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottle cellar aged for 9 months. I've had this beer on draft as well as bottle several times, and it has been one of my favorites of stone's anniversary ales.

Appearance: - 4.5
Pours pitch black with a minimal, coffee colored head. The head is extremely brown. Head dissipates very quickly. Head laces the glass pretty nicely, with a fine foam.

Smell: - 5.0
Aroma has very heavily roasted flavors, with malts, oatmeal, and coffee all coming out. There are significant bittersweet chocolate flavors. The nose also has a slight nutty hint to it. Overall very nicely done, and very different from most stouts.

As the beer warms a bit, the burnt flavors start coming out a little bit more, and overpower some of the more subtle flavors.

Taste: - 4.5
The roasted malt and oatmeal flavors dominate this beer, with a strong tone of bitter chocolate and coffee. There is a good amount of hoppiness and bitterness. There is definitely a earthyness that comes out of the flavor. Finishes with a very tasty bitter and smoky flavor. Molasses and toffee notes comes out near the end. Very complex, and very tasty.

From the initial tasting as well as well as 3 months ago, this beer has definitely sweetened up a good amount. However, it is not overly sweet, and has a good balance. Some of the previous, bolder flavors have been muted a bit. The complexity is still there, but seems a little better blended, and a little more subtle. Still wish there was more bitter chocolate in the taste, although that flavor seems to have come out a little bit more with the age.

Mouthfeel: - 4.5
Thick, heavy, with a very distinct coffee like feel. Sticks to your mouth afterwards. Minimal carbonation, but just enough to remind you that it's a beer. Full bodied and very chewy.

Drinkability: - 5.0
ABV is very well hidden. Very drinkable for this type of beer. Tasty, and well worth it.

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Photo of soco7tyx7
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

July 08' Poured from 22oz bomber to snifter

A - Black as the depths, dark tan almost brown 1/2" head, "falling" lace, mild amount of sediment towards the end
S - Dark chocolate, vanilla/molasses, light hints of bourbon and alcohol
T - Similar to the nose with the chocolate, vanilla/molasses, hint of bourbon, heavy cream, oats for sure giving it a mellow sweet flavor. Finishes with the bitterness of chocolate covered espresso beans
M - Medium, sticky body
D - Takes a minute to finish and should not be drunk too fast. One might miss some of the flavor if drinking too cold too fast

Notes: A great brew from Stone...will definitely develop for a few more years

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Photo of adamks
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a: pours black with medium dark brown head that quickly fades

s: chocolate, coffee, slightly earthy

t: cocoa, malt with bitter hints of coffee

m: thick but medium carbonation, doesn't linger too long

d: perfect balance of bitter/sweet, no burn despite 9% abv, though i didn't review it, this is much smoother than one when it first was released. it's just about the perfect stout.

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Photo of brewjones
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. Bomber

This beer comes out black as oil with a low tan head that has little retention. The aroma is very pleasant with chocolate, hops, and cream. At first sip you realize this is a Stone creation as they still love their hops for sure. The taste is full of chocolate and whipped cream. A creamy mouthfeel makes this surprisingly smooth and easy to drink. The only thing that keep you from drinking a lot is the residual bitterness imparted by the cocoa. Overall, a very tasty beer. Another great one from an outstanding brewery.

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Photo of JBuff41413
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first stout from Stone, I was curious and excited to see what it had to offer.

A- Oil slick black with a 1 inch mocha head that faded to leave a smooth glaze on the surface of the beer. This beer gives a very attractive pour, looks like pure black syrup cascading into the glass, you could write your name in the head as you poured if you really wanted to.

S- Out of the fridge you don't get the full effect, you HAVE to let this stout warm a bit. When it is at cellar temp you get dark chocolate, espresso, dried fruit, and alcohol.

T- As the name implies you get lots of bitter chocolate. You get the alcohol up front but it fades into a smooth bitter chocolate finish. You get small hints of dried figs and coffee all the way through, but the dark chocolate shines. This beer is beautifully bitter all the way through. With a few years in a cellar I think the alcohol would calm a little bit and the flavors would be be even more complex. I can't wait!!

M- Thick, Creamy, Smooth...what more could you ask for?

D- Pretty good drinkability. The alcohol can be a little harsh up front at times, but that doesn't affect the overall appeal. A pairing of a sharp creamy blue cheese, or goats cheese would be great.

Overall I really liked this beer. This would be a perfect beer after dinner on a cool fall night. i Will cellar a few bottles and might drink another fresh. Give this one a try.

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Photo of ajayma
2.76/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

LOOK. Black opal with a reddish tinged lacing. Head dissipates quickly into a red-tinged ring of lace.

AROMA. Damp wood chips. Dark chocolate and just a bit of alcohol.

BODY & TASE. Roasted coffee bitterness mixed with notes of bitter chocolate and tobacco jump out immediately. A slight woodiness is also noticeable upfront. Booze dominates the mid-palate while leading into an burnt-tasting finish--more like used coffee grounds than coffee. Full-bodied and quite dry.

AFTERMATH. I drank this one at about one-year old. Smooth and luscious, but too much booze and little else to balance it out.

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Photo of mzrebiec
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

This was poured from a bomber that had been aged for 2 years.
The pour was black as night with a rich tan head. The smell of delicious roasted malt, chocolate, and some oaty notes. Then came the best part....taste. It had a chewy mouthfeel that was followed by mellowed out chocolate flavors, mixed with some hearty roasted notes and finished clean. I wish I could try this beer again.

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Photo of thejewthatbrews
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

Pours a deep, dark black, with a small, quickly dissipating medium brown head. No light shing through this one. It's as dark as it gets.

Rich, roasty smell, with a bit of dark, dried fruit aroma.

Heavy, thick mouthfeel, with a slight, but not unwelcome, tinge of alcohol at the end.

Drier than originally expected, and very pleasantly bitter. Chocolate is hard to find, but it hits right when it enters your mouth, with a dark, roasty finish. Surprisingly little aftertaste.

Highly drinkable, despite the full bodied feel. The bitterness helps keep you coming back for more.

Overall, excellent. Very interesting, and not too scary of a deviation from a basic stout. As mentioned earlier, very pleasantly bitter; combine that with the dryness of the beer and you get something almost addicting. Not enough aftertaste to keep you content for more than a minute, which can be good or bad, depending on how much you drink. Obviously not a great hot-weather beer, but great for anything 70 degrees and cooler. I could drink this and find the courage to go rake the leaves on a cool autumn day, or, just drink a second one and forget about the leaves.

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Photo of quinlin
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - black, thin brown head with good retention.

S - bitter chocolate, roasty, toasty, a bit nutty

T - much the same as the nose, cocoa powder, hints of oat nuttiness, alcohol on the finish.

M - nice mouthfeel. heavy and full bodied. Also creamy and smooth

D - this beer was surprisingly easy to drink. Great job by Stone, i wish i had another bottle.

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Photo of RichardWalter
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Cato's poured into a 10 oz. glass.

The beer pours a solid black color with a small head due to the small size of the glass.
The taste is strong and sweet. There are hints of chocolate taste. The alcohol level is also apparaent. Small sips are what to take as it provides almost a dessert feel to the end of the meal.

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Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Stone Brewing
4.1 out of 5 based on 966 ratings.
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