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 imagineiii
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A stout over 9%, do I get run out of BA if I give this beer anything less than an A? Poured in my trusty dfh snifter.

A: I dont remember where this saying came from but its black as hell at night. The head quickly diminishes again, Im doing something wrong Im sure of it.

S: The most prominent smell is the bitter chocolate. there must be a ton of unsweetened chocolate per barrel in this beer. Hops are there, booze is there.

T: This beer changes more in the mouth than most Ive had. Its hops immediately slap the front of the palate, followed by oatmeal smooth sweetness over the middle and chocolate bitterness is all over the back corners of the palate. The chocolate bitterness sticks around to dominate the aftertaste but it keeps changing: it takes on more acidity, combined with the fact that its a stone beer, has to be attributed to hops. Can a beer with this much booze be too dry? i think it is.

M: Great at first, dryness and bitterness at the end is too much. Typical for a stone beer tho, and I usually sit on it for 6 months and its awesome (see double bastard and 11th anniv.) until then, im detracting some points.

D: No. Im half way done with a bomber and Im almost done with this beer for right now. Its smooth but bitter aftertaste doesnt leave me wanting more.

Ill sit on this guy and review it again later. If its anything like most stone beers itll be an A in 6 months or a year but its not for me right now.

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

A great beer that I was told by the server that was poured way too cold, and that I needed to cup it with my hands for a while to allow it to warm to bring out the malts. A fairly typical necessity for a lot of beers, especially stouts, but this one changed dramatically as it went. More on that later.

Appearance: Poured into a snifter glass, it came to me black with a fairly short, dark tan head. The head lingered briefly and quickly faded to a thin lacing that didn't stick around for the entire glass.

Smell: At first, when cold, the smell was not really overly distinguished. A little malty, a little semi-sweet hanging around and just a little bit of roast. However, as it sat and warmed, the alcohol really became a strong presence in the nose and took over the beer. I love it when it a beer changes like that, but this was so dramatic.

Taste: The first sip was bitter up front and a little roasty afterwards - not much unlike when you get a cup of coffee that wasn't filtered quite properly and there's still some grounds -- a very nice touch to the beer though because I love a strong roasty flavor. As it warmed though, as to be expected with the way the smell changed, the alcohol really started to take over and was followed by a bittersweet chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Early on it was chewy and I thought it would be a pretty easy beer to get through, but the longer it sat it really started to leave the mouth extra dry due to the alcohol and I had to slow down on it.

Drinkability: A great, complex beer. There's a lot going on with it and even though I was told it was served too cold, I really feel that experiencing how it changed was part of the intensity of this beer. The alcohol content is pretty high with it, so it's definitely a "once-a-night" kind of drink for me.

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Photo of cindiwindi1025
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black, black, black in appearance. No head to speak of, there was a little spray of dark brown of fizz at pour that dissipated right away and left little to no lacing.

S: Can't get a good smell on this one, nothing distguishable other a roasted smell.

T: Bitter chocolate, coffee, there is a smoky burnt taste here but has a tinge of sweetness that balances out the bitter, alcohol left on the palate with some bitter roasted malt.

M: Little carbonation but the bitterness and alcohol taste is quite dancy on the tongue. Bit of an oily feel.

D: This is very smooth for a bitter stout, however, it is quite heavy. A big beer, that's for sure, not overly complex or layered in flavoring just thick and potent. Tastes good but personally I cannot finish an entire glass.

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a very very VERY dark black color with absolutely no red highlights let in when held up to light. This is solid black. The one finger thick head is as brown as heads get but only hung around for a minute or so. Aroma is very bittersweet as expected with a strong vanilla scent. You can smell the alcohol in this one but its nice! The oatmeal flavor isn't that huge but its there. The light hint of coffee is perfect. The feel is wonderfully smooth and silky. This is very drinkable. The brew gets better as it warms and the alcohol isn't as detectable in teh flavor as it was in the nose. Not like other oatmeal stouts i have had. Bittersweet indeed.

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

A: Looks like 30 weight motor oil. Thick,Dark and nasty! No Head. Nice lacing.

S: Choclate&Booze. Some hints of fig?

T: Really smooth! I was expecting something gnarley and bitter. ( I was also heated they diden't do an IPA again)

M: Bitter Chocolate on the tounge. Finishes clean. Alcohol comes through heavy after you swollow.

D: A 2 bomber beer for me. I was pleasntly suprised with this one. Wonder how it'll age?

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Photo of GPHarris
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - poured a one finger thick creamy coffee-colored head into a goblet. it left light sheeting and lace that was gone halfway through. the body was dark black. one thing i noticed was how clean the sides of the glass were after each sip. not a hint of stickiness.
s - strong chocolate aroma with hints of coffee, oats and alcohol.
t - bitter chocolate with a dash of hops. slight alcohol finish.
m - creamy and smooth.
d - delicious beer but one that would do better with a little age. i'll revisit this time next year since i have two bottles left.

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Photo of fisherman34
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled sample via oakbluff. Jet black in colour with low to moderate carbonation. Aromas of dark chocolate, dry red wine , dark toffee, and a bit of oatmeal. Very dry in the mouth, with more dark chocolate and vineous notes. Additional elements of minerals (flint and chalk), light molasses, medium roast coffee, and caramel are also present. Heavy in the mouth, in spite of how dry it is. Good, but not great overall.

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Photo of Kraken
3.46/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a standard issue 22oz bomber into a a 20oz pint glass. Firm pour evokes a quarter inch head with dramatic staying power, and an picturesque coco hued head. Color is black as night, absolute motor-oil black.

Nose- Not much, coco, peat, slightly smoky, hints of booze.

Palate- Bakers chocolate, peat, some smoke. Mild bitterness but no where near as much as I was expecting from the reviews of others. Guiness-esque on some levels. Very smooth and creamy mildy hot.

Mouthfeel- slightly cloying, creamy smooth.

Drinkability- A bit strong at 9.2% and slightly cloying. A nice stout, but I think more then one is too many.

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Photo of oakbluff
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours inky black, cream coloured decent head. Nose- dark chocolate, slight roast. Taste- no question there's some good bitterness from the chocolate here, but moreso a ton of chalk which causes drinkability to suffer somewhat. Chocolate flavour is at forefront, but not cloying at all. Body is thinner than expected, oatmeal didn't add as much body as I thought it might. A tad hot. Interesting effort, wouldn't want a whole bomber by myself though.

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

Big-ass 22oz bomber purchased about 6 weeks ago at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $6.98. According to the silk-screening on the bottle, this was bottled in July. Interesting notes on the bottle where it is claimed Stone was forced to create a low-hopped anniversary beer because of the hop shortage.

Poured a super black color into a UK-style pintglass. How much more black could it be, Nigel? "None more black." Not much of a head, initially, but we'll let it slide since the abv is relatively high. What thin head there was had a dark, mocha look to it. Agitating the glass managed to increase it a bit. Surprising amount of lace on the sides of the glass, given the aforementioned head's minisculity (Yes, I do believe I made this word up).

The nose is first and foremost made up of the scent of bitter, dark chocolate. I happen to dig dark chocolate, so this smelled like it was right up my alley. There's also a caramel-ish sweetness, but it's very restrained when compared with the dark chocolate notes.

For a beer that is low on hops and is essentially described by the brewery as a dark chocolate bomb (albeit with fairly primo dark chocolate), this is a fairly complex tasting beer. Initially, dark, bitter chocolate and sweet caramel hit the tastebud beachhead simultaneoously, but the dark, bitter aspects overwhelm the sweetness after that. There are also some notes that remind me of pipe tobacco flavor. Ass it warms up it gets a little boozy as well. There's a mild dryness at the swallow. Yummy!

Exactly the kind of mouthfeel I was expecting. This is a fairly full-bodied beer with a very coating, thick mouthfeel.

After a hectic and truly bizarre day at work, on a day I wasn't supposed to work at all, this is really hitting the spot. I would buy this again in a heartbeat, but next time I do, I'll wait until after dinner to drink it. Not only would this make a great dessert beer, but it'd also be much easier to make dinner! Stone can feel free to conserve hops and crank this Mutha out anytime.

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Photo of mnj21655
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber poured into a pint glass

Pours pitch black in color (I'm pretty sure that it actually sucked all the light out of the room) with a full finger of dark brown head that had pretty good retention and left some decent lacing. Pleasant aroma although it is a bit subdued. Some nice roasted notes, bitter chocolate that seems to become more prominent once the head subsides and some nice caramel sweetness. Taste is pretty darn good. There is a strong, somewhat sweet caramel malty flavor that absolutely dominates at first. A combination of roasted malts and bitter chocolate overwhelm the sweet malt and linger into the finish. There are some occasional hints of alcohol in the finish. Mouthfeel is pretty good. Full body with low-moderate carbonation yields a smooth, silky, almost velvety feel. Drinkability on this beer is very good, exceedingly smooth (excepting the occasional flash of alcohol) and well crafted. This is a great beer.

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Photo of hobbes2112
4.55/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle.

Pours a very deep brown with light brown thin head. Lots of lacing. Smell is roasty with dark cocoa, coffee and alcohol. Taste backs the label up very well...bitter, chocolate and oatmeal in a big way. The beer is slightly astringent and tangy, in a good balance to the sweet notes. Mouth feel is good, but it is a tad too carbonated for the beer in my opinion. This is also a big beer in terms of alcohol, so it probably can't be had all night. If you like oatmeal stouts this should be on your list, very good.

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Photo of electricfields
4.68/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours like I like my metal. BLACK! (I'm sorry for that last sentence. So incredibly sorry.) Looks syrupy coming out of the bottle. The head is thick and dark-ish tan but dissipates quickly. Overall, this beer is beautiful. Truly a sight to behold.

S: Sweet chocolate with a little bit of caramel and coffee.

T: I have absolutely no problem whatsoever rating this a 5. This is a nice and complex beer with a good robust roasted dark chocolate flavor coming out in front of everything with a few subtle toffee, caramel, and coffee tones coming out in the back of it. A substantial bit of well-balanced alcohol comes out in the aftertaste.

M: Thick, syrupy, and delicious.

D: A good beer to take your time with. A high alcohol content and a very substantial and complex flavor reward more involved drinking.

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Photo of Mazeraski
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
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 stawn
4.36/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick BLACK with a dark cocoa cap.
Smells of chocolate, alcohol and slight wood chips. Smooth warming alcohol with an aftertaste of dark chocolate. A small amount of bitterness lingers on the back of the tongue. The oatmeal comes through and gives a great thick silky mouthfeel. Alcohol isn't hidden in this, but its very balanced. Lacing sticks nicely down the glass. Tasty!

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Photo of Douglas88
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber thanks to footbalm, bought at Lee's Liquors. Pours a pure black color with a medium tan, almost light brown-reddish head. The aroma is tons of oatmeal, roasted notes, and a strong bourbon aspect. The taste is excellent; lots of roasted malt flavors, some bitter and milk chocolates, a large oat presence, and a lesser dark fruit aspect. Very good and a bit different than I'm used to, in a good way. A lot of alcohol warmth, and a slight bitterness in the finish. Quite milky and full flavored. Just damn good.

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

22 oz bottle poured into imperial pint glass

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of erikm25
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Aggressive pour into goblet. Minimal dark caramel and almond head with subtle crimson hues that were left sitting on top of this devilishly dark chocolate liquid. Enough retention to keep this looking nice all the way to the end. Light and particles have about as much of a chance getting through this one as they do a black hole.

S: Delicate balance between chocolate, barley, and oatmeal. Roasted malt nose sprinkled with cocoa and clove. There is a slight alcohol tinge but it adds to the warm and inviting aromas of the nose.

T: Lives up to the bitter and chocolate monikers. Oat, mocha, and licorice tastes add to the complexity. Thick rich malt taste with a slight hoppy pine tar tang. The finish is dark cherry candies, spiced raisin, and fresh plum. Cocoa and alcohol are both tongue and mind altering. My fridge is probably a little too cold so once this one warms up a bit all these fantastic tastes are even more defined and noticeable.

M: This one is thick, rich, and creamy.

D: This is a beast of a beer. Plus Stone always reminds me how I need to take ten minutes and read through the back of their bottle. I want to say this is one to be savored but then again once you taste it you'll find it hard not to drink away.

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Photo of dfillius
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: Moderate pour yields 1 finger of thick dark brown head that sticks around. Opaque black liquid - that's a stout alright

S: Chocolate, sweet oats, toasted peat, wood.

T: Chocolate, coffee (a slight bit), bittersweet cocoa, smoked malt, alcohol (I'd like less). It all comes together and plays off each other well.

M: Smooth and slightly bitter. Some heat from alcohol - alight astringent feel.

D: Tasty but strong at 9.2% Doesn't seem like it's that strong though, so positive points for that.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours near opaque black. Dark brown head. Sexy beer.

Nose is dark roasted coffee-ish with dark chocolate, chocolate cakebox.

Palate is deceived when it comes to alcohol - this ale delivers nougat-chocolate up front, rather dark chocolatey in fact, and a slight hop tang to round it out at the finish.

This is a very "sweet" flavored beer, dark chocolatey, and deceptively easy to drink. An amazing offering from Stone!

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

Pours slowly by its nature, which is thick. Black. The carbonation has to be coaxed out of it, but when it is it creates a nice, seemingly red-tinted tan, creamy head. Pretty good retention and lacing.

Some creaminess, an undergirding of oats, bittering, with a hint of a chocolate character. Less alcohol than expected on the nose, but there is a kick.

Oats and a hint of other grains follows a taste of semi-sweet chocolate chips. A bittering finish of roasted coffee grains (screw brewing coffee, eat the beans!) and chocolate. Alcohol warming and spice.

Heavy side of medium, light carbonation, and creamy feel.

Way too drinkable, given the ABV. Goodness, this is very tasty.

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

Pours an oily black with a reddish/brown head that settled into a sparse cap. The aroma is of roasted malt and red wine grapes, perhaps a touch of chocolate. The taste is of big roasted malt and big bakers chocolate, a slight metallic twang, and a wine like characteristic. The oatmeal doesn't really stand out with the other big flavors but adds to a smoother stout. The feel is thick and chewy, enough carbonation to have a tingly feel; finishes with a roasted bitterness and alcohol belly burn. A big stout for sure. Big roasted and bitter chocolate flavors.

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

Poured out of bottle into a pint glass.

A--light brown head with a dark chocolate body

S-very light coco smell

T-suprisingly good. Very evident stout flavor, dry grain taste with a nice dark chocolate bitter finish.

m-silky, slick, full body

D--very representative of the the style. Its hard to make a beer like this that would satisfy both beer lovers and choco-holics. This is very well balanced. You know its a beer and not just some alcoholic chocolate milk you are drinking.

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Photo of Sigmund
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask, gravity dispense, at the Great British Beer Festival 2008. ABV was said to be 9.5%. Pitch black colour, minimal head. Complex roasted aroma with notes of oak, dark chocolate, liquorice and tar. Intense flavour of cocoa / chocolate, figs(?) and coffee(?) - I have some difficulties reading my own handwriting here .... Warming mouthfeel, oaky and alcoholic notes. A great sipping beer."

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