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 r0nyn
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
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 vacax
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black as night with a charred oak head which starts at about half a finger in height. Good retention, as the head slowly dwindles it forms swirls and a ring of microbubbles on the glass, which coat the sides as I drink and sparkle.

Smells of raisin, sugar, dark chocolate, light floral notes. Tastes of raisins, dark fruits, sugars, little hints of chocolate. Increasing amount of roast on the finish. Some alcohol, but gentle and inviting.

Totally full bodied, and no fooling around. Low, but perfectly present and smooth carbonation. Creamy, excellent feel.

This beer has matured wonderfully since bottling. Definitely recommended to drink now. Twice the beer it was back when it was released.

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

Serving type- 22 ounce bomber poured into a snifter glass.

A- Pours black in color with enough subtle head to tell that it is tan in color. The head disipates rather quickly. There is no cling to the glass after pour.

S- There are subtle chocolate and alcohol notes in the smell. I am also getting a roasted malt smell as well. Overall nothing to prominent or particularly appealing.

T- There are flavor combinations of roasted malt, chocolate, cocco and an alcohol finish. I am not really getting any tastes of the oatmeal portion but I have been hanging on to tihs for awhile so that might be a reason.

This has been sitting in my cellar for 8-9 months and I finally decided to pull it out and give it a try. I must say I am not overly impressed with this beer, especially since all the other beers that I have had from Stone have been top notch. Probably won't get this again.

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Photo of infi
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
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 spartanfan
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an opaque dark brown with a nice brown head that is sticking around nicely

S: Smell is a mix of bitter chocolate, smokiness, and a touch of alcohol

T: Taste is a slap in the face of bitter chocolate, there are roasty flavors, and the after taste is of coffee.
M: The mouthfeel of this beer is not quite as thick as I was expecting, With the oatmeal it has a nice velvety smooth mouthfeel which I enjoy.

D: This beer is quite smooth and drinkable, but the alcohol, which is only slightly apparent in scent and taste, will catch up with you.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap into a 12oz pint-style glass at Prime 16s CT kickoff for Stone.

A: Blakc body with ruby highlights topped by a quarter-inch of dense, fine, dark brown head. Spectacular retention and decent lacing.

S: Dark chocolate, dark chocolate, and dark chocolate; overall, one-dimensional but inviting.

T: Breathtaking: Dark chocolate, sweet fruit, and just a hint of spice on the finish. Complex, balanced, and simply delicious.

M: Smooth and full-bodied.

D: For such a dark, strong beer, this goes down quite easily.

Notes: This is a great-tasting beer, plain and simple. I feel lucky to have gotten a chance to have this on tap.


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Photo of far333
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black black motor oil with a dark brown but low head that doesn't rise up much and settles out quickly.

Low aroma of roasted malt and licorice.

Rich flavor of milk/dark chocolate and espresso upfront, moves to molasses and licorice, some smokey notes. Good bitterness, chocolate becomes more sharp in the finish. No hop flavors. Finishes very roasty and bitter. Bitter chocolate lingers.

Moderate mouthfeel, tending toward thin, finishes tannic and dry.

Very drinkable, good sipper. ABV remains undercover.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber bottle into my Adnams Imperial tumbler. The stout appears a deep brown color with about an inch of creamy dark ecru colored foam. Nose and flavors consist of smashed green peas (when first poured and quite cold), bakers chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, cocoa, rich coffee, roasted grain, vanilla, still a good amount of alcohol burn and a warming down the throat, earthy, grassy hops, licorice, mild smoke. Approaching full bodied with adequate carbonation. Could probably use at least another year in the cellar to smooth out a bit more.

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Photo of clvand0
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very dark color with a medium head that hung around for a while. The aroma is fairly sweet and has some chocolate/cocoa notes, but not much roast. Smells pretty good. The flavor has coffee upfront as well as a touch of chocolate and some sweetness. The alcohol is fairly evident also. The body is nice and thick and creamy. The drinkability is pretty good on this one. I'd have this one again.

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Photo of bruachan
3.06/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5's dark. and so is the head above it.

and smells bitter and chocolate. smoky, almost grilled,

bitter malts and smoky flavor. the brew itself is fairly smooth but malt and hop bitterness offer a bit of texture. truth is, i'm not sure how flavorful this beer is

boozy and hot, with plenty of roasting astringency. i must say sufficient sweetness establishes some balance though i can't decide if it's adequate. truth be told the bitterness is on the precipice of too robust and i'm not sure it can be warranted simply because it says so on the bottle (cyanide oatmeal stout would be accurate advertising but would most likely not score well).

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Photo of argock
3.46/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear glass snifter. July 2008 vintage date. Single purchased at Market Street Wine Shop (Charlottesville, VA) for $6.99.

A: Pitch black with 1-2 finger beige head with good retention and scattered lacing.

S: Unfortunately, the nose is not complex and basically bitter cocoa powder with some slighltys weet toasted dark malts.

T: Bitter dark chocolate dominates with a substantial dark malt contribution. There isn't a lot more here, but it is bold and pretty intense.

M: Medium-full body with low carbonation and bitter chocolate aftertaste.

D: A sweeter chocolate stout would have been more enjoyable but this is high-quality Stone brewing nonetheless.

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Photo of JasonA
4.92/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This has been aging for about a year.

Pours a deep dark, very little head brew. Thick lacing present for the little carb there. Did I mnetion it was dark.

Sugar sweet malt. Quite strange, like unmalted light malt. Very nice as long as it doesnt taste like unfermented beer! ;). All kidding aside, very orignal smell, I like the direction.

Wow, what a representation of chocolate. I have nothing to compare it to. Not sure I would call it bitter sweet, but if that was the ingredient, I need to buy stock for my homebrewing process. I dont taste dark malt, but there is roasted med malt. Not sure where the color comes from, no biscuit or bitter present.

Sits extremely well considering the ABV. Typically this ABV and sweet will be headache-ville, population 1. The sweetness, come before the malt, and ends with the chocolate. Awesome.

I want more. I only have 1 more from last season. I obviously need to get some more. There isnt 1 thing I can really find wrong with this brew.

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Photo of guinness310
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into an oversized wine glass....

A: poured like liquid molases into my glass. A blacker than black opaque body supports a small yellowish-tan head with mild retention,(a sign that this might not be too carbonated)

S:a good swirl agitates the beer and releases a coffee dark caramel and chocolate nose. pretty true to its style.

T: Wow! the alcohol is truly evident in this drink. a black licorice like flavor sits on top of the tounge, while and the bitterness of the chocolate plays at the tip.(no pun intended). definitely "imperial" worthy. mild lacing. after the bitterness has gone, your left with a nice sweet after-taste from the oatmeal.

M: full bodied; a very silky feel(just as the pour). Very light carbonation. Sometimes can be a bit overwheming with the whole mouth taste of ethanol.

D: the strong ethanol alcohol may not give it much drikability in comparison with other imperial stouts, but this beer definitely lives up to its name and style...Beautiful!

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

Was lucky enough to find a couple of these in Tallahassee recently.

They've already been aged over a year, so I thought I'd crack one see whats what.

A-Beautiful pitch black goodness with a nice two finger head that faded quickly, but left some nice lacing.

S-Coffee, chocolate, malt and bit of alcohol in the nose, but it smells really good.

T-I'm getting hit first with coffee, followed by a quiet, lingering dark chocolate flavor in the background with roasted malt and a bit of alcohol finishing.

M-A bit thinner that I was expecting, but still medium body. The finish is a bit astringent, but not too badly.

D-For a Double/Imperial Stout this is surprisingly drinkable.

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Photo of maximum12
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Of the six boxes that have arrived on my doorstep over the past couple of years from the prolific beerisheaven, only five beers remain. OK, now four. It never gets old sayings thanks for more great brews, Brian.

Pours black with a tame, muddy head that quickly retreats. Flat & quiet. Smells very good. The bitter, assumedly from the chocolate, is a different bitter than the regular hop-bitter I've become accustomed too. Along with some good, dark malts.

This XII has some great uniqueness swirling around. The bitter chocolate is up front & intimately intertwined with the sweetness of the chocolate, too. What an odd pairing doing the completely opposite thing to my palate. Standing behind this coolness is a deep maltiness that's silky, warming, rich, & all those big stout superlatives in spades, so to speak. Lush.

Not being a big fan of oatmeal stouts, this is a cut above the rest. Excellent beer. I didn't like the Stone RIS when we first tried it, now I'm wondering if the year-old bottle is worth another run. Something to ponder.

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Photo of wl0307
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased from a very good Britain-based beer shop, "Beers of Europe", through on-line order. Coming in a light brown, 1 Pt. 6Fl. Oz. bomber bottle, bottled in July 2008, served cool in Hapkin's branded bulb-shaped sniffer.

A: pours the darkest (blackest) colour I've seen for any stout, topped with a dark brown creamy froth that retains the body elegantly, with uneven lacing behind.
S: aromatic without being imposing, the nose is full of vanilla-scented chocolates, sweet black dates, "breezy" fragrant US hops, licorice, sweet ground nuts, and faint alc. In some ways tis not as complex as Stone IRS, and slightly sweeter as well due to the chocolates I'm sure, but overall still promising and pleasant.
T: the lubricating-ly smooth foretaste of semi-sweet chocolate-milk-like maltiness expands with a lovely aromatic undertone mixed of roasted walnuts, black dates, oily-flowery hops, then the impact of bitter chocolates and hops deepens with a lively bitter, semi-chewy and herbal mouthfeel in the end, as well as a residual vanilla scent, roastiness and a key tinge of sourness as of truly bitter chocolates (90%?) rather than coffee beans. Unlike one's usual American hoppy ales, the bitter finish here is attributed more to chocolates than to hops, and this has already been anticipated since I had a glance of the beer's name.
M&D: lubricating on the mouthfeel with only mild carbonation, the palate is absolutely spot'on for such a potent stout to be enjoyed. Full-bodied, richly-flavoured, showing a light hint of alc., while on the whole a delicate balance is still retained b/w the heavy maltiness and lighter hoppiness thanks to the intervention of chocolate aroma and its indispensable sour tinge. Using bitter chocolates is a good idea, I think, to render a different type of bitter and sour elements on top of the overall decent performance of a quality dark ale.

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Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.57/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was lucky to find some of these in Palmdale already aged a year form me. Pours a jet black with a light brown head which left some decent lacing.

Smells like chocolate, coffee, malts & some alcohol.

Taste is bitter chocolate, some coffee, malt sweetness with a little alcohol warming at the end.

Has a nice silky mouthfeel, very smooth

Very drinkable as far as taste goes. However, 9.2 ABV does not a session beer this make.

A very nice Imperial Stout, one of the best.

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

A - Very dark Black liquid. Thick tan 2 finger head. Laces well.

S - Very good roasted coffee and chocolate aroma. Deep dark malty sweetness. Slight Alcohol smell to the finish.

T - The Bitter chocolate come through up from with astringent roasted malts rounding out the rest of the character. Again the Roasted coffee and bitter chocolate comes through at the end with a touch of bitterness from the hops.

M - Medium full body. Fills the palette but finishes clean with a good amount of carbonation.

O - Awesome Chocolate stout. The most recent tasting at a year or so is quite nice the alcohol warmth has become more subdued. I'll try to keep a few around a bit longer. But its drinking quite nicely.

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

Can't believe I waited so long to try this one. I've had a half dozen bottles sitting in my cellar for going on a year now, and just opened the first one last night. Wow!!! This is an incredible stout.

Can definitely taste the maltiness coming through on this one, with the bitter chocolate as the follow-on taste.

Pours nice and black, very little carbonation, which actually helped the mouthfeel on this one. Very little lacing on the glass, no head, great smell.

I'm going to have to track down every place that still has this sitting on their shelves...

Big fan of this one. I know Stone has one of the best RIS' on the planet, but this would make a great permanent addition to their line.

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Photo of dankbrew21
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 7/31/09

A- Pours a thick motor oil black body with a chocolaty brown head that gained rising speed as I poured, overflowing the sides of the glass. Fair lacing.

S- Awesome aroma. Dark chocolate, some coffee. Some sour characteristics. I think I can sense a hint of oatmeal...

T- Silky mouthfeel. Not as rich as I expected, and a reoccuring coppery taste that I keep running into recently...hope it's not my taste buds. I taste a lot of cherry and a medium fluffy chocolate taste, not much bitterness though. Complex flavors and lots of them, good carbonation, kind of light. Flovor sticks with you for a while. Great beer besides that weird copper taste.

D- Very drinkable.

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Photo of gameface23
3.52/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed on 9/29/08 on another beer rating website.

Pours jet black with small, dark tan head. There's not a lot of carbonation, but the mouthfeel is still decent. The aroma wasn't what I expected: some chocolate, alcohol, roasted malts, and slight coffee, but nothing spectacular. Taste was similar. Black coffee finish.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from Capone's

A - Rich, dark as night and oily in appearance. Thin brown head disapears quickly and leaves a little bit of lacing.

S - Dark chcocolate, dark roasted malts and hops. A little astringent alcohol note. Maybe some dark fruits.

T - Bitter unsweetened cocoa. A little astringent alcohol bite at the end. The bitterness and the astringent taste get in the way of a very good initial sip. A little dark fruit perhaps.

M - Smooth, rich and creamy.

D - Between the bitterness and the booziness, this beer is a special occasion sipper. Maybe sitting a year didnt help this one, but the amazing initial taste keeps this still a beer worth trying.

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

Served in 16oz goblet. Poured black, no light shows through, with a thick, medium brown head that dissipated quickly and left lots of sticky lacing.

A pleasant blend of aromas on the nose, coffee, roasted malt and certain earthiness I couldn't quite place being most noticeable. The flavors followed the aromas closely, with the coffee being most upfront, then the rest of tastes rolling across the tongue. No noticeable chocolate flavors remain, and there is just a minimum of hoppiness.

The body and drinkability were average for a big stout. Full body that coats the tongue and lingers. Nicely drinkable for a big beer, I can't see having more than one at a sitting though, worth trying now that it's sat a year. If I remember correctly, I liked this beer better when it was fresh. Certainly worth trying again if you see it.

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Photo of Arbitrator
1.27/5  rDev -69%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass, shared by alfrantzell. Thanks Arne.

A: Pours like an imperial stout: pitch black in the glass, touches of brown, a mocha-colored head. Retention is on the longer side for an imperial stout, with the cap sticking around for a few minutes before lapsing into a thick donut around the brew. Lacing doesn't stick much, but it does leave nice sheets on the glass during a swig.

S: Roasted coffee, grains, bitter dark chocolate, and solvent. Blegh.

T: Dark chocolate with roasted grains -- initially suggests this is going to be a fairly balanced stout. Then the grains fall out and you get a very strong, astringent chocolate bitterness that pulls into the end taste, where ethanol takes over with a gusto. In the finish it feels like I'm drinking pure solvent. What a trainwreck.

M: Medium to full bodied, velvety smooth on the tongue. Carbonation was picked just right for this one. Of course the ABV is really harsh (almost inexplicably so -- 9% is hard to manage?), so points off...

D: Please don't make me drink this again. So bad.

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Photo of cbutova
3.91/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Flavor might have been damaged from sitting on a shelf for 1 year but here we go. Glad I could find this one over a year after its release. Poured pitch black into my pint glass with a 3 finger head after a pretty vigorous pour. Head is coffee colored and reduces to a thin layer on the beer after a few minutes, leaves good medium lacing on the glass. Smells of roasted malts and chocolate, maybe some smoke/burnt notes too. Tastes of chocolate, roasted malts, a tiny bit of alcohol(expected in imperials), and a bit of hops. Has a slight metallic aftertaste. Mouthfeel is heavy, which is nice for an imperial, good carbonation and pretty smooth, coats the tongue pretty well. This beer is definitely drinkable, didn't feel too heavy on the stomach, good spin off of imperial stout. Didn't really get the oatmeal.

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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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