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Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout | Stone Brewing

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outstanding
705 Reviews
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Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal StoutStone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

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.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
705
Ratings:
960
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
11.71%
 
 
Wants:
91
Gots:
131
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 705 | Ratings: 960
Photo of gory4d
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is opaque, reddish around the edges, with a minuscule tan head and no lacing. Smell is coffee, chocolate, malt, pan drippings. Taste is sweet brown sugar, rich grain, long gritty bitter finish. Thick, but not syrupy. A sipper: glad to have it aged.

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Photo of PartyBear
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
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 Trizzle
3.29/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A sexy, sexy beer. An Exotic and impenetrably opaque obsidian. Aggresive pour rewards a fading finger of firm foam with only moderate lacing.

What aroma there is smells mostly of very toasted malt. A hint of something sweet, hiding in there as well. No hops to speak of.

It is quite bitter, almost solely from the dark malt. I do detect some minor hopping, a touch more wouldn't go astray. A pleasant sweetness is evident in the middle, quickly followed by more coffee bean espresso. As my girlfiend pointed out, some miso soup in the mix as well. The alcohol is a touch prickly. There's not a lot really going on. A dark chocolate coated arabica bean.

Body is robust enough with good carbonation encouraged by a good sloosh between the teeth.

One was fun.

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Photo of bobsy
3.21/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This is a beautifully viscous stout as it pours from the bottle and forms a pitch black body with a large mocha head. Sheets of lace adorn the glass as the foam slowly dies down to a wispy film. Certainly a looker, regardless of the style.

An oddly subdued aroma reveals little more than dark roast. I'm really getting my nose in there to try an pick up other flavours, and perhaps there are ghosts of chocolate, fruit and oatmeal but they're very faint. Stone decided not to make this one as highly hopped as their other offerings, and they seem a bit lost without it in this instance.

The taste is undeniably bitter, and while I applaud the brewer's attempt to find a good alternative to hops, I'm not sure chocolate is the answer. The bitterness is astringent, acrid, and occasionally inky, seemingly lacking everything I love about hops. Its too bad, really, because it detracts from an otherwise attractive beer. There's a strong roastiness, verging on burnt, which is tames somewhat by a prominent and rich dark fruitiness. Mild notes of oat add some depth and do wonders for the body, which is full and chewy. There's no getting away from the bitterness, though, and its lingering presence in the aftertaste isn't doing anything for this lover of uber-hopped brews.

Even with 18 months on it, this beer is still too unbalanced for my liking, and while some flavours have obviously rounded out, the bitter nature of the chocolate remains overpowering. Thankfully business reverted to normal with Stone 13th, but I'll have to chalk this one up as a rare Stone miss for me.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark black with a creamy head that falls down without leaving too much lacing. Strong smell of bittersweet chocolate along with some dark fruits. Taste is composed mostly of dark chocolate, roasted malt, and a tad bit of fruit. A bit alcoholic, but other than that it's fairly smooth and drinks well, although not in large quantities.

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

poured into a pint glass. dated July 2008

A: pours deep black, no light transmission when held up directly to the bulb. little to no head, what is there is dark brown.
S: dark roasted malt, chocolate, oats, cookie like. light alcohol as well.
T: dark roasted malt, coffee, bitter chocolate, and oats, alcohol is noticeable but not powerful.
M: it poured like thick syrup, mouth feel is similar but not as thick
D: complex yet easy to drink.

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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 charlzm
3.14/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

UPDATE: 2010/01/06

Haven't had any of this in over 15 months. Let's see how it's doing...

Pours thickly at 50 degrees F into the trusty Triple Petrus tulip/snifter. One finger head of very deep tan bubbles settles down to a thin sheet of lacing in a couple of minutes.

Aroma is rich, slightly musty baking chocolate.

Mouthfeel is slightly thick but not syrupy by any means. Creamy.

Flavor is slightly sour and slightly metallic on first blush. Chocolate is mellow and subtle and there's a hint of Kahlua-like burn at the end. Hops are not evident.

As the beer warms, something is off in the flavor and aroma and I can't quite put my finger on it. Perhaps it's a touch of solvent creeping in, especially in the nose. Alcohol content is very noticeable as temp increases.

Didn't age as well as I had hoped, though I don't know how this beer was cellared - I found it on the shelf at a beer store for $14.99 in late 2009.

___

UPDATE: 09/26/08

Beer is drinking much better now; flavor is smoother, more chocolate and alcohol burn is greatly diminished.

___

Consumed 07/28/08.

Pours an opaque brown so deep it might as well be black. A good sized dark tan head develops, subsiding to a sticky foam that coats the sides of the glass quite nicely, thank you.

Aromas are oatmeal and alcohol with some chocolate notes.

Texture as the beer enters the mouth is smooth, baby, smooth. Velvety, even.

Flavor is hot, with brash young alcohol pushing to the fore. Chocolate is evident, though not as strong as expected. Dark malts on the verge of burnt and whatever hops Stone added, provide an experience much like drinking a dark, bitter, high-quality chocolate beershake.

This having been said, the beer will almost certainly benefit from aging. Oddly, the draft version of this beer is far superior at this point.

APP - 4.5
SMELL - 4
TASTE - 4
MOUTH - 4.5
DRINK - 4

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Photo of Mora2000
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kaiser81 for trading this one to me.

Pours black with a brown head. Aroma is sweet roasted malt with a strong bitter chocolate component. The flavor is lots of coffee. Chocolate is present as well with it beginning as a darker almost milk chocolate and ending with a bitter finish. Very creamy thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I love stouts that include oatmeal and this is one of the best ones I have had.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A full, thick two fingers of really dark brown head with excellent retention. Nose was absolute bittersweet, or better, cooking chocolate. Color was a stygian-dark black. Mouthfeel was somewhat hot with a definite chocolate taste in the mouth. By chocolate, I mean melting a bittersweet bar and pouring it down your throat. You just get that slight burn. Finish was really smoky, chocolately, and definitely tasty.

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this is about a 1.5 years old.

pour was motor oil black with very little head

lots of chocolate and molasses with hints of booze

bitterness all around, which you can pin point to the chocolate. this is interesting however there is s booze sting that kills the mood. a bit of a charcoal flavor here and there. overall, too boozy.

the body was far lighter than i had expected or would have liked.

this was too hot, which i found to be a tad odd. i am curious what another year or two can do to this. as for right now, im not that impressed.

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Photo of CHSLBrew
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Shared with my brother over Thanksgiving.

A-Black motor-oil-esque beer. Brown, creamy frothy head rose nicely, then dissipated quickly to a smattering of a layre.

S-Chocolate aroma is strong initially, then it allows some fruit, dark berry and dried dark fruits.

T-Bitter chocolate flavor is prominent (NOT a milk chocolate), along with some plum and dark fruit. Bitterness seems to come from the roasty malts, some from the bitter chocolate, but may be some hoppy character, too (though this may not be the case, as the info on the bottle states that this is a low-hopped brew, relying more on the chocolate for bitterness).

M-A fair amount of smooth alcohol warming, maximize the smoothness. Moderate-full body, a bit past moderate. Carbonation is medium-level, feels fine though maybe just a bit high.

D-Surprisingly easy to drink, considering the over 9% ABV. A very enjoyable brew.

Thanks to my girlfriend for stowing this one back to MN from her trip to LA.

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Photo of Goldfish19
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

~ Purchased this 22 oz bomber from New Beer Distributors in Manhattan, NY. This stout pours black with a dark tan head that vanishes into oblivion. It smells of bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and a touch of alcohol. The taste is amazing! It's smooth, silky, and highly drinkable. At 9.2% ABV, this went down effortlessly.

A must try. Highly recommended! ~

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

Four days after their Big Wood festival, Stone's 12th Anniversary Oatmeal Stout was still available at Brouwer's Cafe. I sat down to a regal but overpriced 8-oz. draught served in a snifter. The beer was ebony black with an exceptionally dark rim of dirt-brown suds. The aroma and taste were a rich and complex array of chocolate and bourbon with a particularly strong bourbon flavor. The chocolate qualities seemed exotic - not your Hershey's drugstore variety - and lent an air of refinement.

I sensed some heat from the alcohol that was underscored by the edgier bourbon notes. Though this ale is already a year old, I'd still be inclined to cellar it further. Not that it isn't ready for consumption now. The mouthfeel is big and glossy and the beer is a pleasure to consume. But it's still a bit boozy. And while it made me think of The Abyss, it falls far short of that benchmark.

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Single bottle I was lucky to pick up two weeks ago from a local store's cellar clearance. Served in a tumbler.

Appearance: Black and completely opaque beer - no light comes through at all. Dark brown foam that dissipated over 10 minutes leaving no lacing and only some foam at the edges of the glass. Swirling makes the foam only come back for a few seconds.

Smell: It's chocolate all right, but not overpowering nor too subtle. There is an alcohol smell at the end after the chocolate, almost like a chocolate liquor.

Taste: Bittersweet chocolate up front, a hint of malt, then bitter with a subtle alcohol finish. The alcohol is there, you can't miss it, but it's not overpowering. It's an "Ahhhh" type of finish that leaves you licking your lips just a bit. Wait a little bit between sips and the bittersweet chocolate comes back to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Lightly carbonated and very very smooth. There is a thickness to this beer, but it glides down the throat nicely.

Drinkability: Something with this strength I can't see having more of by itself in an evening, but splitting the bottle with a friend (in this case the Mrs.) over a nice meal is an outstanding use of this beer. It went very well with a pork BBQ in this case. I enjoyed the whole experience.

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Photo of Casey10
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow had one of these in the cellar, found this when was down in Burlington, MA, place had about 5 more. Was willing to review because I could keep the cellared one for a later date.

A - Pours a nice head quickly goes down to a thin head has a thick body which no light is going through.

S - chocolate slight oatmeal, nice not overpowering nice balance.

T - roasted coffee, chocolate, a bit bitter but time has given this one some smoothness.

M - Leaves kind of a light after feel, some chocolate feel no much bittering the in feel, very nice though warming.

D - Well I have 1 more of this so can't wait to let it sit and have it again, hope stone considers making this a regular !!

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a Duvel glass appears dark black with one finger foam lacing the edge of the glass. The taste is packing a lot of bitter dark malts flavour with a hint of coffee too. Alc% is hidden quite well and this is quite delicious. Thick mouthfeel and goes down quite smooth. Man, so much flavour in this stout. Glad I picked one of these up.

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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 mentor
3.01/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2008 bottling, aged ~18 months in my cellar. Pours a finger of dark brown head over a pitch liquid. Smell is mild overall. Bitter and dry cocoa powder. Clean alcohol and mild dark fruits. Anise is very low, as is a nutty and wet chocolate.

Tastes dry from carbonation, baker's chocolate powder, and edgy alcohol. Malt is chocolate and almond. Dark fruits of prune and raisin. Hops are grassy drying with a bit of blackberry flavor. Hard to tell about hop bitterness as the other drying and rough flavors are rather strong and could cover it up. Honestly, the alcohol is rather piercing and unpleasant. After a while it really dominates the experience.

Light in the mouth and too strong of carbonation. Not very drinkable.

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Photo of k3punk
2.64/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought from a no name liquor store in Ridgecrest, California. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a chilled tulip glass. Before I give my review I have to clarify that this is the second time I have tried this particular craft, the first time I bought it right from the brewery and it was great. This is a review of the second bottle, not nearly as good, please keep that in mind.

A - Black like motor oil. Barely any head, what is there is slightly brown in color. There is vitually no lacing. Looks like a good stout.

S - Coffee. Chocolate. A little bit chemical like.... ethonol or acetone. Very earthy. After it sat for a bit the chemical smell went away and everthing else settled down quite a bit.

T - This should just be called Bitter-Stout, I initially got no chocolate or oatmeal. Again with the coffee. After a few sips the chocolate starts to come through.

M/D - Overall a bit of a let down. Like I said, I remember this being much better the first time, so I may have gotten a bad bottle. But the review is for this bottle and this bottle was sub-par.

I would say, if you are a fan of stouts then try this for yourself, otherwise pass it up and get what you love.

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Photo of Mistofminn
4.77/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this bottle as en extra in a trade with iconoklaztor. Thanks a bunch Don!

Poured into a tulip glass. This brew is as black as motor oil, and about as thick. About a half finger of dark brown head is produced on the pour, but it doesn't stay long. Only small spots of lacing appear here and there. The lack of head and lacing are ok though, because this brew doesn't need it to look good. A good swirl leaves a visable brown film on the glass.

The nose is sweet and lightly toasted malts. There is also a semi-sweet chocolate smell, which threw me off because the bottle says "bitter chocolate" not "milk chocolate" but alas, I write what I sense. Maybe the year and a half has done away with the bitterness leaving an evolved sweet character. All I know is that it's good. Slight warming alcohol right in the finish.

The taste is spectacular. Chocolate and roasted malts, molasses and coffee. Creamy smooth, this is some really tasty stuff. Everything I said in the nose hold true here.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, thick and heavy bodied. This stuff coats the inside of your mouth much like it coats the glass.

Drinkability is amazing. I wonder what this was like fresh, but I can only assume that the year and half has made this even better. This is extremly tasty and easy drinking, I'll easily finish the bomber myself.

Overall, a very good offering from Stone. I haven't had a big stout this drinkable in a long time. So much flavor and complexity, all jam packed into a small bottle. It's a shame this was a one time thing, as I would definitely buy more of this if I could. Thanks Don for the chance!

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Photo of Bajasith
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opened this bad boy during a family gathering this weekend.
Apperance: Wow, very dark as it should as name says it all, bitter chocolate. Poured in a snifter glass and right away you get the chocolate brown head. Very nice.
Smell/Taste: Smell was very appealing to me because my love for cocoa, that thick creamy aroma. This brew comes the closest to a real flavor of roasted cocoa/caramel flavor at the end.
Mouthfeel: Just what I expected, rich creamy feel as the choco roasted flavor hits the palate along with that smooth malt/caramel tinge while the 9.2%abv balances it all as it goes down.
Definitely a special brew for special occasions for all to enjoy over and over again.

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Photo of RustyDiamond
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stone IRS stem. Purchased somewhere in Nashvegas last year. Really black pour with espresso colored finger of froth. Aroma of bitter chocolate, Kit Kats.

Pretty bitter...dark chocolate meets cocoa nibs. Easy drinking, but all bitter chocolate. Well, bitter hops too, but a big roasty chocolate stout with a mostly chocolate taste.

Drinkability is good and I certainly appreciate Stone's efforts here.

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Photo of corby112
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a 2 finger frothy chocolate/coffee-colored head that slowly settles into a lasting cap that leaves chunks of lacing behind.

Bitter dark chocolate aroma with lots of roasted/toasted malt notes, oatmeal, roasted coffee bean and candy sugar. There is a lot going on here and hopefully the flavor lives up to the aroma.

Deep roasted full body with lots of sweet bitter dark chocolate, roasted coffee bean, oatmeal, burnt toast and toffee. All of this dark roasty character is nicely balanced by the sweetness of the dark chocolate and a bit of candy sugar. There is also a slight dark fruit presence and a subtle nut character. Very well balanced with well masked alcohol make this complex beer pretty drinkable. Recommended!

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.49/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Ink black with a very thick dark brown head. Head reduces down to about a 1/4 inch thick foam cap and leaves spotty lacing on the glass.

S - Bitter chocolate laced with pure alcohol. Surprisingly strong alcohol aroma. Little bits of roasted malt mixed in. Takes on a fiant aroma of rubbing alcohol as it warms.

T - Bitter roasted malts up front with hints of unsweetened chocolate. A big mouth full of roasted grain. Very simple taste profile.

M/D - Medium bodied and very smooth. Alcohol burn is very noticeable which is a little surprising given the age. Not very complex tastes make it a little on the dull side.

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Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Stone Brewing
4.1 out of 5 based on 960 ratings.
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