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: 968
Photo of chinabeergeek
3.14/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into tulip

opaque black. brown head fades to wisps and thin ring. minimal lacing.

VERY weak nose. forceful inhales will give only a hint of coffee or chocolate. almost came to room temperature, and still very little.

relatively standard, almost bland, stout flavors. hint of roasted and charred malts, trace of coffee and cocoa. some sweetness with alcoholic backend. mild bitterness that really isn't reminiscent of chocolate.

thick, almost syrupy. gentle carbonation.

certainly drinkable, but very unimpressive, especially coming out of one of my favorite breweries. might get a bottle to age, since it's not that expensive, but only out of "loyalty" to stone. and even then, probably not... seriously, what happened here?!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of cooncat
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving from a 22 oz. bomber, decanted into Stone RIS tulip glasses for myself and a friend.

On the pour, you get a totally opaque beer, with a beautiful mocha/cocoa colored head. The head reduces to a thin cap, which lasts to the bottom. Lacing is evident on the swirl, but the high abv prevent much stickage.

The nose is surprisingly light, and contains dark chocolate, dark fruits (prunes and currants), cherries, tobacco and some alcohol esters. Very inviting. The nose increases in depth as the beer warms. (I finished mine at 72+ deg. F.)

Taste is similar to the nose, with dark chocolate, coffee, roasted barley and licorice coming to the fore. Hops are no where to be found. The 9.2% abv is slightly noticeable in the taste, as well as the nose, and is pleasantly warming. The mouthfeel is incredible. It is full, but very smooth and silky, from the oatmeal. The finish is dry, with bitter chocolate tastes dominating. The smooth mouthfeel never fades.

This is a huge beer, and I drank this one to give me a benchmark for later tastings (I bought a case .. plenty for cellaring). I think I will let the rest sit until December, for about 6 months. I think that this beer will be incredible at that time, allowing for flavors to meld, and alcohol burn to cool a bit.

Reviews on this beer seem to vary wildly. Some love it, some are not enthusiastic (to say the least). This is a beer that will impress the educated palate, and will continue to improve with age. I hope to be able to try this every 6 months over the next few years to see how it improves with age. You can enjoy it now, as a young beer, but I feel it's strength will show with time. Recommended for serious BAs.

Na Zdravja!

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

Had this one in the fridge and wanted it to warm up. The sappy reflective narrative on the back is a perfect length to read while the beer warms in your hands, assuming you can read print that small.

Pours black and sticky, with a beautiful soft tan head. Clings nicely to the sides of my snifter.

The nose is everything I could have expected, with full roasted maltiness and oatmeal, deepened with rich dusty cocoa. Somewhat clean smelling, a nice balance for a deep dark black-hole of a beer.

Again, the taste is all that I could expect it to be. A very nicely crafted oatmeal stout, with a smooth full oatmeal flavor and toasty dark malts. Chocolate is not sweet at all, but also not anywhere near as offensive as purely unsweetened cocoa. It's well tempered with smooth creamy balance that seems to bring out nice chocolate flavor from within an otherwise true-to-form stout taste.

Smooth and creamy, with just a touch of dryness. Carbonation is filling, but not sharp or interfering.

Not one of the biggest or most outrageous beers I've had in a while, but I think I'm really appreciating the approach to this year's anniversary ale. Detail and balance seem to take precedent over intensity, and perhaps a lack of hops is a good thing. I'm finding it really easy to sip, and today is one of the hottest of the year so far; so here's to January dreaming in the middle of the Summer!

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

Picked up a 22oz bottle from New Beer.

Poured into a snifter...pours motor oil black, a vigorous pour gives a small amout of mocha head, that quickly fades away.

The smell is great, it smells like fudge brownies, oatmeal, some vanilla and roasted malts.

The taste is also interesting...tastes like a 70% cacao bar, but not the crappy one you buy at you local food store. The cacao flavor is on par with a Michel Cluize chocolate. There are also flavors of toasted oats, vanilla and the finish and aftertaste are similiar to chewing on a pure cacao nib.

Great offering from Stone, this one will age nicely.

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Photo of opwog
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I first had a goblet from a bottle, followed by a goblet from tap.

I am not a fan of big chocolate, so I was nervous of what an extreme brewery like Stone could do with this. But I was very happy with the results.

Common to both bottle and tap:

Syrupy darkness

It is nice to see what Stone can do when hops are not the focus.


Dark head that diminished slowly.

Probably served too cold initially, but this had an unusually sweet smell like bazooka joe bubble gum. After it came down in temperature, chocolate became obvious


Almost no head at all, but carbonation in mouth was fine.

Very well balanced start to finish

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Photo of jamesm7485
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For something called bitter chocolate ... i was expecting alot more chocolate bitterness i mean rogues chocolate stout has more upfront chocolate than this.

It pours damn near like Hershey syrup and is pitch black

To be honest i dont really smell alot at all

the taste is good the chocolate isnt nearly as upfront as the rogue but its still there

mouthfeel is good not as smooth or creamy as id expect from a oatmeal stout

drinkability is good despite the abv

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Photo of d0ggnate
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got my hands on a growler of 12th anniversary brew this weekend and can't wait to drink my fair share of this rich brew treat this summer.

A: Pours black with a dense brown-foamed head. This froth is very bubbly and laces my glass heavily.
S: Immediate bitter dark chocolate aroma. Very strong with notes of coffee beans.
T: Continued bitter chocolate with flavors of strongly-brewed black coffee. A bit of sweet malt is apparent, as well.
M: Coates the palate with a warm alcohol characteristic. Long lasting flavors don't give way to high(er) ABV.
D: A nice transition from more recent anniversary brews. Conversational. Intriguing. Tastefully chuggable. This beer would go great in my coffee mug at work. Deliciously brewed.

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Photo of iconoklaztor
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a strong black with a dark brown head that quickly fades and turns a light brown!!!

The smell is that of booze and bitter chocolate, duh. The taste is a mix of booze, chocolate, and coffee. Yes, it has a bitter taste too. This is a good beer, but a little thin. I was hoping for a richer, thicker stout.

The mouth is thin and bitter. Its lasts on the tongue for a while then a metal, "bitter" taste prevails.

Overall, another great stone product, a little thin, but still great! Wonder what a little age would do to this?

Get it!!!

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Photo of corey0212
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark dark brown, nearly black, great-looking frothy tan head rises, but fades really fast, little lacing left on the glass. Smell is all bitter chocolate, some sweetness creeps in, but mostly I'm getting dark bitter chocolate. Taste is chocolatey madness, beer is just laced with bitter black chocolate, some sweet malt. I love the mouthfeel on my experience with Oatmeal Stouts, this is right on the money here....silky smooth, not too thick. There's plenty of lingering bitterness from the chocolate, and the alcohol shows up a bit towards the end of this one. It's actually really accessible and drinkable. I'm digging it.

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Photo of russpowell
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours mahogany to black with much effervescence & 4+ fingers of dark brown head. Average head retention & good lacing

S: Roasted malt, coffee grinds & a touch of iron

T: Baker's chocolate, iron, & dryness up front. Dryness & boozeyness comes through as this warms, plus cocoa & roasted malt. Finishes with charred grain & chocolate

MF: Smooth, oily with minimal carbonation, some booze heat detracts a bit

Drinks good for the ABV, but this was semi-letdown. Good, not great effort from Stone, but worthy of a few pints before moving on, ABV was semi-detractor for the style & ABV, pretty good bang for the buck at $7 a bomber IMO. Sit on this a few months to a year & maybe much better???

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

A- Poured into my Dogfish Head snifter, this beer appears jet black with a large brown head that dissipates quickly, settling to a thin layer that leaves a few sheets of lacing on the glass after each sip.

S- The aroma is full of robust dark chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruits, and hearty oats. The alcohol becomes fairly noticeable as the beer warms.

T- Rich dark chocolate hits the palate first, giving way to an earthy flavor of toasted oats, which is then overtaken by a delicious, but rather hard, bitterness from the unsweetened dark chocolate. The bitter, chocolaty finish is accompanied by a kick in the mouth from the alcohol.

M- The mouthfeel is good for this beer. It's smooth, silky, and slightly syrupy with very mild carbonation.

D- The 9.2% ABV is not exactly well-hidden in both the smell and the flavor profile of this beer. However, the taste left me wanting more after every sip, which allowed me to finish an entire bottle of this over the course of about two hours. Still, this might be one to split with a friend. This beer could greatly benefit from a few years in the cellar.

I know it's been said by others reviewers, but I too am glad to see Stone brew a beer like this. It's a nice change of pace from their usual highly-hopped offerings. Highly recommended.

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

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

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

Appearance: This pours a deep black, as others have described, with no light getting through. The head was weak though and was gone almost immediately.

Smell: The smell was delicious, sweet, chocolatey, but it weakened when the head disappeared.

Taste: The taste was very reminiscent of the rogue chocolate stout, but perhaps a little sweeter from the oatmeal. Bitter? yes the hops play their role but things seem to be well balanced, a solid stout, very tasty but not mind blowing. I paired this with a hot link with Sweet Baby Rays bbq sauce, what do you boys know about that. Southside Chicago!!! It was damn good.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and delish.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, only reason I wouldn't give this a five is the alcohol.

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

This one pours a dark dark brown with a chocolatey tan head. Smells of chocolate and a bit of oatmeal. Tastes of bitter chocolate and a hint of oatmeal, no sweet molasses flavors in there like Abyss or Dark Lord. A more intriguing flavor than their regular RIS. Hard to say anything negative about this, the name says it all. Not one you'll want more than one of, but that's not a bad thing in this case.

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

A: A pitch black dark color, no rays of light at all coming through. Appears really thick. Gives a decent size, 1 finger, brown foam head.

S: Lots of chocolate, dark fruits and with traces of alcohol. I let the beer warm up a bit, as it warmed, the smells became more potent, especially the alcohol. However, it was very well balanced.

T: Ok, so it is called a bitter chocolate oatmeal stout and that is exactly what you get. Lots of burnt and roasted malts. Very apparent due to the warming affect.

M: Creamy and smooth, leaves lots of chocolate flavors on the palate.

D: This was a great stout, one of the better ones out there. High ABV, which I love, makes this a great dessert beer, enjoyed in smaller quantities.

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

Thanks to Tom at the union for this one. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a shaker pint. Pours Jet black. Not a touch of light can even get through when held up to the window. Minimal tan head. Aromas of chocolate and roasted, smokey malts. Tastes wonderful- lots of chocolate and it is pretty creamy, but then you get the bitter chocolate kick. Great way to give this beer some bite! Great take on a chocolate stout.

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Photo of bobhits
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A. Pitch black, thin brown head. Pretty much what you'd expect.

S. Chocolate, some roasted smell. A hit of oats.

T. First off server this at around 60. The flavor is almost non existent until it is fairly warm. Anyway bitter chocolate is the dominate flavor here. It is pretty much what you'd expect from a big stout beyond that. I couldn't taste any oat flavor. That said the bitterness was impressive and unlike some big stouts that hit me as being hoppy this was bitter from the chocolate

M. Way too thin for a beer with this much flavor and abv. For the most part this beer reminded me of their RIS only a bit more tame. This is where they really are different. This one is watery where as their RIS has a much better thick and creamy mouth feel. I guess this could just be looked at as a style difference, but I want my big beers to be thicker.

D. The alcohol even as fresh as this is goes down without much bite. It's smooth and tasty. No problems here.

I this this beer has much more aging potential than most. I think with time this might be better than the RIS (then again I don't think the RIS improves with age.)

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Photo of m1ked
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler after a dusty round of disc golf across the way at Monteal Park. Sat outside and enjoyed a beautiful relaxing SD day.

A- Poured into my 11th anni pint glass. Pours a pitch black with dark brown edges. Fine sticky mocha colored head about an inch thick with sticky, sticky lacing. I love stouts, and I love this one.

S- I can only appreciate a couple things here. The sweetness of dark chocolate is undeniably on the nose. There is some woody smoky notes in there. A little alcohol in there too.

T- Dark chocolate and then some dark chocolate and then some more dark chocolate after that. Some woody coffee flavors. Ends with some alcohol notes.

M- Smooth creamy mingled with some alcohol heat. Light on the carbonation, moderate body.

D- Wow what a curveball from Stone. This is an excellant offering and so different. I could easily drink this whole growler. I love stouts and dark chocolate. I look forward to drinking more of this throughout the year.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another anniversary offering from Stone which I expected to be good and it was. Obviously black, minimum brown head. It smelled like chocolate, tasted like dark bitter chocolate, fruit, and a strong alcohol component which was a little strong (and the reason I didn;t give a higher score for taste). It seems like most oatmeal stouts feel silky and this one does as well.

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Photo of rye726
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured a near black color with a creamy espresso head.

The nose had some nice roasted malts, chocolate, sweet oats and bitter molasses.

The taste also had a nice bitter chocolate presence with faint oats, light hops and a solid malt structure.

Thought the body was a little thin, but this drank very nicely.

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Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my imperial pint glass.

This stout pours absolutely jet black with no light penetration. A small dirty brown head sits on top of the beer. This is a gorgeous looking stout. I served just below cellar temp to give this a chance to warm up a bit. The nose is really nice on this offering with plenty of roasted grain, bitter and rich chocolate notes, coffee, and black licorice. Once the beer warmed past cellar temp though plenty of hot alcohol notes quickly came on and overtook everything smelling like fingernail polish. The flavor profile starts out with plenty of bitter chocolate notes, light espresso, dark fruit, oats, and roasted grain. The alcohol I smelled in the nose comes across in flavor profile in the finish. The mouthfeel is velvety smooth from the oat addition with very low carbonation. It isn't nearly as viscous as some other stouts, but I like that actually. I do start feeling the warming alcohol though as I get near the bottom of this bomber. The drinkability is quite nice with how easy to drink this was both in the flavor profile and on the mouthfeel.

Bottom line I think in six months this is a huge winner, but it tasted a bit hot to me.

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

I really wanted to save this one for a cold autumn night but temptation took over and I've enjoying it at the end of a hot July day.

Poured from a beatifully painted 22oz. bottle - one of the nicest I've seen - truly black with thick brown head. It doesn't stick around for long but leaves a nice bit of lacing on the glass.

Aroma is immediately recognizable as chocolate. Bitter dark chocolate with just a touch of sweetness.

Taste, at least at first, is that of an imperial stout. It's heavy on roasted malt, creamy and bitter. Then, rather subtle at first, the flavor of dark chocolate comes foward, especially in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy from the oatmeal. Nice viscosity and a feeling of coating the throat.

Drinkability is good for a beer of this ABV but it should be taken slowly and appreciated for its complexity.

It's really well done and one I plan to age so I can break it out in the Winter months.

Additional note: This is really a slow burner. It can, and deserves to be, enjoyed over time. As the beer warms, particular nuances come out that make this a special treat. I broke out some chocolate and pretzels and savored it even more.

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Photo of mikejk305
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours as black as any beer I've ever seen. About one finger of brown head that faded with little lacing.

Smells like roasted malt with an amazing chocolate smell. I don't really detect much alcohol.

The chocolate is prevelant throughout without taking over. Has a smoky taste. This is a damn fine stout. Has a warm finish, I have no experience with aging, but from what I've read the bottle I have stashed now should mellow out a bit.

The mouthfeel is about what I expected, perfect for a stout.

22 ounces will be enough for a sitting, and above 9 abv more than the 22oz might take me from sitting to laying down.

I have one extra bottle stashed, I'm giving strong consideration to going back to the stor to pick up a few more. They will make a fantastic gift for the holidays (keep a few for myself as a special gift to myself).

Stone has yet to let me down and this is no exception, they may have raised the bar a bit further.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very dark jet black beer, very thin tan head. Looks very thick and chewy.

S- The smell is almost like a burnt brownie. I can smell the bitter chocolate, along with some coffee smells. The alcohol is also very apparent.

T- Roasted/burnt malts are very overpowering. There is a huge smoky taste that goes with this beer as well. The chocolate isn't quite as heavy as I would have thought. It is very subtle and faint. This beer is very young, and I bet the flavors will mellow with some age on it.

M- Feels good, the alcohol stings the tongue a bit, but is expected of a bigger beer.

D- I think the beer would be better with age.

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Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Stone Brewing
4.1 out of 5 based on 968 ratings.
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