12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout | Stone Brewing

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12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout
977 Ratings
12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout12th 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: 977 |  Reviews: 707
Photo of Aenema
3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a deep black with a slight, foamy brown head. Nice lacing, though it disappears quickly. No visible carbonation.

Smell - Sweet, chocolate aroma.

Taste - Syrupy chocolate and coffee notes with a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, coating mouthfeel with light carbonation.

Drinkability - One 22oz'er of this was plenty for me. It was too sweet for me, some more bitterness/pure chocolate flavor instead of a sugary sweet taste would have been great.

Overall quite enjoyable, though I would definitely split any future bottles of this.

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Photo of FenwaySquid
4.7/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz. bomber bottle, bottling date of July 2008 printed on the bottle, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours completely opaque and black. Perfect. The head formed small, one finger thick of tan brown bubbles and had decent retention.

Aroma: Appropriately enough, bitter chocolate.

Taste: Chocolate, coffee, and caramel up front. The chocolate takes over in the middle and dominates through the finish, lingering for quite a while.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, very smooth and creamy. The carbonation was subdued and fit nicely.

Overall: Excellent. I'm going to have to buy a few more of these for my cellar.

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Photo of Boto
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber: This one pours an inky, very opaque dark brown. There was just a wisp of a brown head on it, and that was gone almost immediately. Complex aroma. Chocolate stands out, but not overpowering. Some roastiness and woodiness in there. Hint of some fruits, possibly cherries. Somewhat heavy, slick feel on your tongue. A complex taste also. Chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, bitterness. This is very nice.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Oversized Wine Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

Man, it sure does look just right, colorwise. Totally jet-black, no light can pierce it, liquid.
Quite minimal head with minimal retention and minimal lacing, to match. This hurts it, scorewise.

Smell of big dark chocolate and big roasted malts. Hints of smoke, leather and vanilla. Big espresso presence. Light dark fruit notes.

Huge roasted malts and toasted oatmeal. Dark, dark chocolate, like 80 or 85% dark. Hints of vanilla and dark cherries. Notes of espresso flavor mixed with brown sugar/molasses.

Medium to full body. Nice and thick, though I think it could stand to be a little bit thicker. Verging on being oily, though, and that's good. The 9.2% abv gives a very pleasant warming effect.

As much as I love this one, it would probably be abit overwelming to drink on a regular basis. As an anniversary beer, though, it serves it's purpose excellently. Just tasty enough to leave you wanting more, but knowing that you probably couldn't handle too much more, even if it were still around.

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

We just got a keg of this on tap where I work and man it is good. I haven't had many stouts but I think this will turn my taste. Strong alcohol and chocolate smell. Very smooth with a great after warming feel. Hints of cherry with the chocolate and a gritty cocoa aftertaste. Goes great with our beef brisket. :)

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

750ml poured into a tulip glass.

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

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

Pours dark brown with a ring of tan bubbles. Bitter espresso nose with cocoa, anise, granola, and molasses. Lives up to its bitter chocolate oatmeal name. Nice blend with roasted malt and brown sugar/oatmeal cookie flavors. Big, earthy flavor that is very, very bitter for a beer without many hops. Loved it.

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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 Bung
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured black with brown around the edges, light brown head. Smell some mocha and toasted malts, slight alcohol. Had some coffee and roasted malt, more baker's chocolate/dark chocolate. The alcohol is not real well hidden, but I don't really expect that in a RIS. Warm finish of alcohol, coffee, some bitter chocolate lingers. A little astringent. Could have had a little more sweet malt, dark red fruits, but still pretty good.

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Photo of adamks
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%
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 bum732
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a syrupy jet black. Very little head, chocolate color. Smells of wonderful chocolate, real chocolate, not the fake kind in some beers. Also smells sweet, hints of coffee, hops and alcohol. Tastes of chocolate up front, malty roastness throughout. Nice balanced bitterness towards the end where it finishes sweet. Not much carbonation, but great creamy mouthfeel.

A fantastic beer, my favorite "chocolate" beer. Has a real authentic chocolate taste different from other beers which i find have a hershey syrup taste. Great dessert beer and i can't wait to try this again.

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Photo of LoRezDave
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A hard pour produces only 1.5 fingers of head that slowly dissipates to only a thin layer...and barely any lacing. But that's okay since the lack of head better shows off the delicious mud lurking underneath.

This beer is black - black like a black hole. No light can escape. Inky. Viscous.

The first sip is sweet dark cherries and chocolate - distinct cocoa on the finish. Some spiciness underneath (cloves?) and delicious burnt toffee.

The nose is interesting - in that it's not as sweet as expected but a bit bready and yeasty.

Mouthfeel has a distinct alcohol boozyburn - which frankly balances the sweetness nicely.

Great stuff on a cold evening.

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Photo of bowersdm
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - black, no light shines through. It had a weak mocha colored head that dissipated quickly.

S - dark chocolate, roasted barley, and fruit. maybe some oats

T - nice bittersweet/dark chocolate flavor followed by some bitterness from the hops

M - very, very thin. I was expecting more for a heavy beer.

D - eh, a 12 oz bottle would have been better. The first 12 oz of this brew went down like normal, but I was pretty full after that. The next 10 took another 40 minutes to get down.

It was fair. A small bottle and thicker texture would have made this an excellent brew.

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

Appearance: I don't usually note the bottle in my reviews, but I thought the description on this one was interesting. Stone says they were forced to create this particular Anniversary beer due to the hop shortage. The beer itself is pure black as you would expect. There is a bit of carbonation streaming up, but nothing on the order of a Guinness, for example. There is a nice tan head that recedes quickly leaving just a touch of lacing.

Aroma: Definitely smells of bitter chocolate! There is a bit of alcohol present in the nose, but it's not overwhelming. But it makes me think perhaps I've cracked this one a bit too soon.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is prickly, but full-bodied beer coats the mouth nicely.

Taste: Well there's that dark, bitter chocolate. This is one definitely appropriately named. I tend to like the bitter chocolate stouts more than the sweeter versions, so this is right up my alley. There is some sweetness that provides balance, but it isn't cloying. It is definitely a bit boozy and warms the belly. It's not TOO much though a bit longer in the cellar might have done it some good. There is more bitterness in the finish.

Overall impression: Well, as I said, it may have done me good to wait a bit longer before cracking this, but it is still a fine, complex and well-balanced stout. If you like your chocolate of the bitter variety, you owe it to yourself to seek this out. I am a hophead, but I kind of wish the hops shortage had lasted longer to force Stone to produce other "hop alternative" brews. Well done, Stone! I'll definitely grab another bottle of this and keep it cellared a bit longer in hopes that the alcohol mellows a bit. In my opinion, that could make this an A or an A+ beer.

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

Almost completely black in color (there is just a hint of color holding the beer right against a bright light). Minimal carbonation, so a big head never builds up. A moderate head is dark (I almost want to say "light chocolate" in color, but that's probably just because of the name).

Aroma is chocolate and roasted, slightly burned malt. Beautiful smooth mouthfeel. And smoothness makes it highly drinkable. There is a slight burn of alcohol, but despite of high ABV this beer is quite lightto drink. There is chocolate bitterness, but it's not overly pronounced. I think this beer exhibits nice balance between sweetness and dryness. It's quite sweet as you drink it, but dryness lingers in the aftertaste.

I am not blown away by this stourt. I wanted to open a full-flavor stout, and I am NOT disappointed. Writing the review, I keep coming back over and over for a sip. For some reason, I also have an urge to buy another bottle and age it.

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Photo of malty
3.22/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This one's (bomber) been in the cellar for at least 6 months.

Pours pretty thick and black as night. A loose 2" head quickly dissipates to a mere 1/4". The still dark khaki head looks very ominous. Not much lacing to speak of.

Smells very similar to a Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout - which is a very good thing. Sweet oat malts and a big blossoming aroma of freshly shaved 70% chocolate (cocoa). A few swirls of my Whitbread Extra Stout stemmed tulip chalice (LOVE this glass) evoke an even deeper yet softer dimension of the chocolaty goodness.

Man, the label tells the truth...'Bitter' is the initial flavor when tied to the generous dark chocolate notes that really engulf the entire pallet at first. There is a strong hit of fusel alcohol right out of the gate as well. I'm trying to get more flavor components out of this beer, but the rigid fusel alcohol is all up in my grill. I'm trying to detect more redeeming qualities from the flavor, aside from the generous and heavy bitter dark chocolate, but I really cannot. I'm getting a little iodine/salty flavor way at the back.

Mouthfeel is great. Fine gentle carbonation is well placed making the soft oatmeal body glide. Just a tad shy of heavy bodied for me.

Drinkability for me is really low, due to the fusel alcohol. Just can't shake this.

Overall a great execution of using chocolate as a main ingredient in a big beer. I sure hope this bottle isn't infected as the carbonation is fine and there were no signs of funk around the cap, etc... It's a shame I don't have someone here to share this bomber as I'm going to move on to something else quickly. The first less-than-great beer I've had from Stone to date. I feel sad this beer didn't keep the excellent Stone streak alive. Glad I tried it though.

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Photo of mtstatebeer
3.81/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber. Pours a black color with a nice creamy, light-brown head, good lacing. Very good looking pour. Aroma is mainly roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and a touch of fruit. Flavor is similar, maybe plum, chocolate, a bit boozy as it warms. Bitter chocolaty finish. Decent body, a bit watery. Pretty rich, and a little too alcoholic as it warms. Very good beer nonetheless.

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

Presentation: 22 oz bomber, nice looking silver and blue label. Date of July 2008, as well as cellaring instructions.

Appearance: Pours completely black, with a thick head that is the color of chocolate milk.

Smell: Coffee and bakers chocolate. Smells like a very strong dark chocolate covered espresso bean. As it warms there is just a bit of a roasted flavor too.

Taste: Silky mouthfeel, definitely has some of the same coffee and chocolate flavors here - but instead of dark it almost comes across as a milk chocolate flavor.

Overall impression: Very complex, highly drinkable. Hides the ABV dangerously well. If this were available year round I would definitely pick one up occasionally. Stone - if you are reading .. put it in six packs!

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 22 oz. bottle that I've been holding since its summertime release (July 2008); poured to a small snifter. Happy XIIth Anniversary, Stone!

A: Glugs from the bottle an impenetrable ebony, crowned with a 1/2-finger of tight, sienna-colored cream. Held to light, miniscule streams of carbonation can be seen creeping up the glass on all sides, but nothing can pierce this darkness. Head drops to a star-shaped film, stretching outward to a thin ring.

S: Yep, bitter chocolate. Sweet, treacle and molasses.

T: Very dark chocolate, we're talking 70%+ cacao stuff. Top notch bittersweet depth, dark roasted coffee and a thin sweetness, not the syrupy stickiness I sometimes find in Stone's big beers. A sort of powdery, slightly chalky, mineral bittering in the finish.

M: Surprisingly busy carbonation, not the velvety/mellow stout experience I expected. Lasting bitterness, medium-heavy body. Just a little boozy/warm on the tongue.

D: A good sipper, warming; a 'dessert' beer if there ever was one. Perfect on a chilly, rain-soaked evening. The title of the lengthy diatribe on the back of bottle is titled "Summer dreaming in late January..."; too early to dream of summer in early December?

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Photo of jbsmth
4.58/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've been looking for a chocolate stout for years that's bitter. This one doesn't disappoint, but it could use a little more hoppiness to balance out the malt and the chocolate.

It's not overly sticky-sweet however, like some chocolate stouts I have tried.

Being an oatmeal stout gives it the telltale rocky head and velvety mouthfeel that add to it's character.

If you like stouts, and can get ahold of this one, it's definitely worth a try.

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Photo of joeysmokedporter
3.81/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter.

A: pours like viscous motor oil from the bottle, dark oily black, no highlights, opaque, with a brown head. The head dissipates but leaves lacing, and a brown oily sheen is visible on the glass when I tip it for a taste.

S: chocolate, caramel, coffee, bread pudding. alcohol also present in the aroma.

T: starts with lots of chocolate, followed by roast, coffee, toffee, caramel, and finishes with alcohol that also contributes bitterness. the roast and coffee flavors linger in the aftertaste.

M: thick, chewy, viscous but oily, slightly gritty to go along with the roast. heavy on the tongue.

D: while high in alcohol this beer is fairly drinkable. Lots of flavor and character; pair with a bold dessert that complements it (I chose pumpkin roll and vanilla ice cream, which worked well).

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Photo of nsmartell
3.61/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my folks' living room after a nice T-day dinner. From the 22oz bottle to a mug glass.

Appearance: Pours dark black with a real nice brown foamy head that disappears quickly.

Smell: Oats and sweet chocolate with a hint of alcohol.

Taste: Sweet chocolate, but not overpowering. Bitter and tastes of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and thick-bodied. Goes down nicely.

Drinkability: Too bitter for my tastes without enough sweet chocolate to balance it out. Would try again, but wouldn't buy again.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.53/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Body perfectly black. The head a wonderfully dark tan/light brown froth.

Enticing aroma is powerful with roasted coffee, which is a surprise because while this is an imperial/chocolate/oatmeal stout, its not a coffee stout. Smells great though.

The chocolate certainly show up in the taste. Thick and rich from the first sip. Followed by some roast coffee notes. Sneaky hop bite rides out of the coffee at the swallow. Chocolate returns to carry into the aftertaste.

Silky smooth slick mouthfeel. Oatmeal does a good job.

Yes its a BA cliche, but its dangerously drinkable.

One of Stone's best efforts, wich is saying something.

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Photo of akorsak
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 650 mL bottle purchased at Joseph's Beverage in Toledo, OH.

A: The stout is rather viscous, thick and oily as it pours into my snifter. A coffee-and-cream colored head, darkened a bit by milk chocolate brown, rises up on pour and quickly dissapates.

S: The nose is very chocolatey, thick with a strong burnt presence. A deep nutty aroma mixes with alcohol and syrupy chocolate to create a rich complexity.

T: At room temperature, the stout is a mouthfull. Dark roasted notes go head-to-head with dark chocolate. Cocoa powder and fuller baker's chocolate round out the flavor. Dark espresso, think Starbucks-level bitterness, coats the back of the mouth, full, dark and delicious. The oatmeal creates a smoothness just before the espresso turns bitter. Coffee and baker's chocolate are the finish.

M: The ale is complex, hot and boozy with a coffee/chocolate punch. The beer is a mouthfull, a challenge to get through.

D: One bomber at a time, the strength and intrigue of the beer won't allow any more.

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

Pours an opaque black with a coffee brown head. Reteniton was decent with lacing to match.

Aroma of dark chocolate roasted malt and mild coffee. Slight bit of smoke in the nose.

Definite chocolate flavor. Very little sweet mostly raw cocoa powder and bakers chocolate flavors. Bitter chocolate is quite appropriate. Light coffee flavor, oatmeal give good depth of flavor.

Medium to full bodied and very creamy. Soft carbonation.

Very enjoyable, fairly easy to drink.

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12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 977 ratings