12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout | Stone Brewing

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12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout
975 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: 975 |  Reviews: 706
Photo of Rainintheface
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark black with an espresso head of 1". I just love the look of a frothy coffee like head

S: mocha, roasted malts and chocolate. The chocolate is there but by no means prominent

T: chocolate, espresso, oats and cocoa powder which coats the mouth

M: med-full in body. smooth and fairly creamy. Has a slight bitterness

D: I loved it. A nice sipper. Will have again.

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Photo of dwalters
4.39/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours Black! Aroma is slight coffee, not much chocolate slight hop aroma, smokey. The head is light brown and creamy, mostly diminishing with a little lacing. The initial flavor is bitter chocolate lasting on the back of the tongue, a little alcohol burn in the stomach. The body is medium, the texture creamy. I loved the 11th anniversary and this is right up there, I have a few in the cellar but I'll be getting more of these to drink now.

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Photo of ccrida
3.15/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into my Hommel snifter, the Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout is a pitch brownish black with a large cocoa colored head that is pretty quick to settle to but leaves decent foamy lace.

Smell is dusty chocolate and nougat, a bit like a Three Musketeers bar. As it warms, the rubbing alcohol aroma is so strong that it literally singes my nostrils if I bury them to deep in the snifter!

Taste is sweeter then I was expecting, caramel and chocolate, with lots of alcohol on the very bitter, lingering finish.

Mouthfeel is very silky, thank you oatmeal, with a heavier body that is thinned by the booze. The best part of this brew by far.

Drinkability is ok, this is an intense beer that is made for slow sipping. The astringency of the bitter chocolate (think baker's, not candy bar) is pretty harsh and quickly tires the palate. Not sure how the flavors will round out with time, but right now it's really boozy. I assume the bitterness from the chocolate will only amplify. I'll probably buy 2 more to see, but that's it!

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.69/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Black brew with an enormous, frothy, long-lived, dark brown head that leaves a thick ring of lacing.

S - Dark charred malt and cocoa. Plain yet potent.

T - Bitter upfront, charred malt, cocoa and some bitter grassy hops. Aftertaste is bitter char and chocolate.

M - Quite a viscous feel to this brew, although it has a harsh, acrid presence and shrivels the tongue. A little refreshing otherwise.

D - Alright. This is one of those beers that is obviously (and blatantly) too intense for the average individual. I think they went over the top and made a mediocre beer. I might have again if found on tap. It is enjoyable in a way, but a bit too intense in burnt flavor.

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I considered aging this one based upon what I've heard from others, but I couldn't help myself. Also, I've only one bottle.

The beer pours a serious inky black. It looks as if it would permanently stain my skin if I were to touch it. Not much of anything in the way of a head as there's only a thin collar of tan.

Smells of rich dark chocolates, but doesn't have the immense bitterness I had anticipated. There is a presence of brown sugar and a faint scent of plums.

Taste is somewhat muted in comparison to the smell. There's a roasted bitter chocolate. The bitterness balances out any residual sweetness. There's a slightly grainy cocoa, but beyond this there isn't much.

Mouthfeel is creepily smooth, but not as thick and viscous as it looked when pouring. The feel comes off as a bit of paradox in my mind. There's an interesting rich fullness that builds on the palate. Pretty damn drinkable as the alcohol doesn't come off as intrusive even during the later days of August.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this as a dessert after a nice steak dinner (thanks Dad). A dark brown/blackish body with a thickish look; a two-finger burnt toast facade that loitered around. A great malt taste with some smoothness in the aroma from the oat malt and the rough smell coming from some chocolate, coffee and maybe some roasted malt (or a heavy coffee malt presence). Heavy and full-bodied yet smooth and creamy, a great tasting stout that has a prevalent bitter chocolate taste and some definite roasted malt. Even with the oatmeal texture there is a very bitter, drying sensation on the backbite. To be honest, this is a sipper and the longer you drink this the more the bitterness of the cocoa subsides for a smoother, creamier drink. This is a great drink that is not for the weak palettes out there, but call me a puss; I just wish it was a little sweeter on the chocolate because I have a real sweet tooth. If you like chocolate/oatmeal stouts with that bitter twinge, then this is a MUST.

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

The 12th Anniversary poured a black as night color with an awesome 2-3 finger foam head. It had solid lacing and good retention.

The smell was of bitter chocolate and roasted malts. The taste started off with a noticeable high alcohol resonance and a slight oak taste and vanilla. Good solid malt in the background with the hints of the bitter chocolate.

It was real smooth and left the tingling sensation around the mouth probably due to the high abv. I found this anniversary brew to be a wonderful tasty, relaxing brew that was incredibly smooth.

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Photo of younger35
3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a couple bottles of this recently from the Coop while I was in Boise. Drank from my Ithaca tulip while watching a movie.

Appearance- Pours a super dark black except around the edges where it fades to a dark brown. Forms about a half finger dark tan creamy head that dissipates super fast. No cap is left and probably the smallest collar I've ever seen with zilch on the lacing.
Smell- Wowsers, more bold roasted coffee than anything else. Bitter bakers chocolate is present but fairly subdued. Plenty of roasted character throughout the beer and a semi dirty fruitiness.
Taste- Definitely more chocolate in the taste than in the nose. Its bitters bakers chocolate through and through with almost the same grainy chalky texture. Very roasted and toasted with a really bitter coco-ness. Basically tastes like an unsweetened tootsie roll. More bitter dark fruitiness on the finish with a lingering chocolate mocha finish.
Mouthfeel- Dirty graininess that stems from the ridiculous roasty goodness with just a bit of that smooth slippery oatmeal that I was expecting. The carbonation is fairly light as well, helping to give it that bit of extra creaminess.
Drinkability- Overall definitely a pretty tasty ol' stout. I wish it was a bit more chocolaty on the milk chocolate side but I understand what Stone was going after here. It's very raw and un-artificial (if I can use yet another made up word). I can't put my finger on it but this brew seems to be missing just a little something. All in all though, good stuff.

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Photo of techdiver
4.67/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dense black. An agressive pour delivers a two finger head that dissipates leaving a thin film and some clingy lace.

Roasted chocolate malt nose, very inviting.

Taste echoes the nose with the "Bitter Chocolate" very much in evidence. Alcohol content noticed to a moderate degree.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy with little minimal carbonation noted.

A very drinkable brew, highly recommended.

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Photo of largadeer
3.33/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a ridiculously dark black; even the pour is black and opaque. Possibly the darkest beer I've ever seen. Not much carbonation here, and the head suffers a bit for it, receding to a ring quickly and leaving no lace.

Smell: Loaded with dark chocolate goodness, molasses, charred grains and a hint of dark fruit.

Taste & mouthfeel: Dark chocolate, like a 100% cacao chocolate bar; as the name implies, there isn't much sweetness here. Instead, it's all about the charred grain, cacao and burnt whole grain bread. The body is medium-full, not quite as full as I was hoping for an imperial oatmeal stout however. There's some heat in the finish, more than I was expecting from a beer of 9%, along with a slightly acrid bitterness. Hopefully this mellows in time, because with a bit more smoothness this would be a great beer.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch and a half frothy brown head. Head retention is good, lacing is excellent. The aroma is impressive, it smells like roasted malt, semi-sweet chocolate, coffee, oats, caramel and some dark fruit. The taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like semi-sweet chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, oats, caramel and molasses. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's creamy, a bit oily and very, very smooth. Drinkability is very good too, it goes down very easy and the alcohol isn't very noticable at all. Overall I think this is a very good beer. I'll definitely have to pick up some more of this!

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P- Grape and Gourmet in Va Beach!

A 22 oz poured into a Weizen glass.

A- pours a thick dark chocolate color. Maybe closerto motor oil. A tan lacing rises about half a finger. Very opaque and cant see any light come through.

S- a dark roast coffee type of smell. alcohol but very little. I cant smell the chocolate like others have been saying. Some toffee as well.

T- a bitter dark coffee flavor. I like my coffee with a lil bit of creamer but this is perfect if you like it black. i get some hints of alcohol and blackened malt. hints of dark chocolate.

M- thick and full bodied. feels like i am drinking coffee with some chocolate espresso mixed in.

D- This bad boy is bitter and a nice sipper. This is no chug-a-lug. A nice beer for the winter months but not so much the summer.

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Photo of engisch
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with little head that disappears rather quickly. Black beer with a chocolatey brown head (the little amount that is there) Smell of roasted grains with a hint of chocolate. Heavy flavor with the first sip. Bitter chocolate accurately describes the initial impression of the flavors. Mmm-Mmm... Bitter sweet chocolate in a heavy oatmeal stout form.

I'm enjoying this as a sit back and relax. I only wish it had more of a head to improve it's appearance, as after the initial head disipated it looks as if I'm drinking motor oil.

Good job Stone! Another delicious brew in the standard Stone's get-the-job-done-with-one 22oz bottle.

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Photo of benito
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the best beers I've had from Stone--a perfectly balanced (imperial) oatmeal stout. And it makes for a hell of a pairing with a Mississippi mud cake!

A: Visually stunning; it's as dark as their imperial stout with a lasting ring of tan foam and low carbonation.

S: Coffee, tobacco, bourbon, chocolate (of course), toffee, and alcohol in a nicely melded hodgepodge of aroma. Even the bouquet has the heft and complexity of a great RIS.

T: Lots of sweetness up front and across the middle of the tongue with a long, warming finish. The chocolate is present without being overwhelming, and the hops are restrained enough to allow the sweetness to really pull through and shine toward the end of each swig. There's also a delicious fruitness throughout, probably from black patent malt. The balance of flavors is spot on.

M: Nice smoothness imparted from the oats. Boozy and warming at the end of each sip, but this is also done in moderation. The strength is well hidden.

D: "Sneaky sneaky. This beer will get me lit up." Or so they said.

Overall, this is an excellent strong stout with almost no flaws. IMO, it's one of Stone's best beers, probably because of the restraint in hopping. Help them celebrate and buy one ASAP: Happy 12th Anniversary Stone!

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Photo of jeremyd365
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured completely opaque dark with a medium brown colored head. Smells of coffee, oatmeal, and alcohol. The taste is a good mix of coffee and chocolate and the alcohol is definitely apparent. The aftertaste is a bitter chocolate/coffee flavored. It's heavy but definitely drinkable although the high alcohol will sure keep me sipping it. This is my first experience with a limited-release by stone (besides the Double-Bastard), and I look forward to see what they come up with in the future!

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two pint glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours an evil, "darker than the pits of hell" black. Covering this is a pillowy, two-finger, dark tan colored head that features a beautiful looking cascade. The head sports excellent retention and leaves globs, sheets, and ropes of lace in the glass.

S: Heavenly aromas of bitter dark roast coffee, bitter dark chocolate, blackened malt, toasted oats, carmelized dark fruit, cherry, caramel reduction, rum raisin bread pudding, maple sugar candy, and a kiss of piney hops.

T: Starts off with a big bitter whack of espresso and dark chocolate, followed by pan seared caramel, raisin, blackened malt, black cherry, pine tar hops, milk chocolate, plum, toasty oats, dates, rum, and a touch of tart citrus.

M: Very oily and viscous. When swirled, this sticks to the glass like whisky or scotch. Alternates between bitter and silky, and sweet and dry. Fantastic!

D: The alcohol is there primarily in flavor alone. We didn't think it was boozy or hot. This drinks like a stout with half the abv. Dangerous.!

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Photo of WesWes
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick frothy brown head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, earthy black malt scent along with a slight chocolate aroma. It's warming with a dry oatmeal presence. The taste is quite bitter. It goes down smooth with a bittersweet chocolate finish. It's got a stiff black malt feel with just enough chocolate malt and real chocolate to balance the flavor. The mouthfeel is good as well. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is another great brew from Stone. It's well brewed and full of great flavor. I'm glad chocolate is being used more in brewing. I'm a big fan.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Original review 8/21/08:

Pours opaque black with a dark brown head that struggled to get out of solution. A stretch pour allowed a half inch head to set up before slowly retreating to a placid surface with sporatic remnants of spongy foam.
Webbed lacework remained throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with dark chocolate, espresso, oily oats, and caramel. Hints of smoke, nougat, molasses, and Kahlua follow through.

Full bodied and chewy mouthfeel. Oily, slick, and velvety.

Dark chocolate, coffee grounds, and Kahlua are up front on the pallet. Warming alcohol, brownie batter,and drizzeled chocolate follow through.

Finishes with rich, dark chocoalte, warming alcohol, and an oily viscocity.

A big, chocolaty brew and definately cellar-worthy.

Revisit 9/22/15:

This beer has held up very nicely. All the above still apply but the beer has turned to crushed velvet. Zero oxidation. Chocolaty and oily. Delish.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a nonic. Poured an inky black with a tight, half inch mocha-colored head embedded with tiny ringlets that eventually disperses into a thin ring around the shoulders; lacing adherence is somewhat poor. Scent of malt, cocoa and espresso with a hint of alcohol detectable at the back. Taste follows nose. Bitterness is exposed, but seems to come more from coffee char than chocolate. Medium-bodied and lively with a creamy, warming quality throughout the mouth and a dry, bitter finish. Excellent drinkability; characteristics are well-balanced and brew is immediately drinkable. No need to cellar this one.

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Photo of Foxman
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours an absolutely dark and photon-impassable onyx, like looking into the abyss. Maybe it's brown, but I can't tell that. Two fingers of frothy tannish brown head swell and then settle slowly to a finger's worth of pillowy froth. Fuzzy ropes of lacing tie along the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, charred roasted malt is prevalent and joins with a deep, dark dried fruit presence of dates, or maybe prunes, and as well burnt sugar. The bitter chocolate personality is notable, ready to be peeled out of the wrapper and dropped into the mole sauce. The oatmeal is earthy and fresh from the Quaker Oats carton, or so it seems. A spicy bitterness exposes the presence of hops. A more distant coffee note comes just before the alcohol which is mild but lightly glowing.

Upon sipping, with all due respect and emphasis on the act of sipping, the malt is dark roasted, singed suitably, and is resplendent with burnt sugar and just-burnt caramel, not to mention dark, strong coffee. There's a homey bitterness that is rounded and mellowed by the mitigation of the milled oats, leaving a feathery effect in play. Dark fruit is apparent once again, this time paired with a muted vinous quality that lends a slight acidic bite. The bitter chocolate actually comes off a bit as black coffee gently fades to a more chocolate character as it flows through. Alcohol is certainly present but also well incorporated. Residual grain presence is more bitter than anything, but softly so, and a credible spiciness ably crisps all else as it moves into a dry, bitter, and mellow finish. Especially notable, besides the artful blending and impressive complexity, is the overall soft feel of the profile.

Full bodied, it does flow, but not like syrup, but like a low viscosity oil with a great deal of crisp, bitter glow floating within it.

After experiencing so many big Stone beers, anniversary and otherwise, that tend to benefit from some serious aging, it was a pleasant surprise to try this and find no sharp edges to speak of. Rather, it's very rounded and mellow, as though the boundaries were blurred and softened. The elements blend quite nicely, and the result is a very pleasant and reasonably unique stout. The advertised components are certainly present, but the chocolate and oats seem content to play supporting roles rather than try to steal the show and tip the balance. Because of its nature, this one sips well now and might even lose some character if left to age for too long. Despite what's just short of a double-digit ABV, it drinks nicely, though it's heavy enough to self-limit. According to the fine-type chapter on the back of the bottle, it's not hop-centric due to a soft hop market. Let's hope Stone finds cause to go this route again in the future, because the result is big and bold, less a punch than an affectionate tap, something that they pull off quite capably.

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

poured from a 22oz bommer into an imperial pint glass

A-- BLACK!! 1 1/2 finger head of mocha and nice lacing
S-- Chocolate bitterness and espresso/strong coffee
T-- Cocoa bitterness roasted malts and coffee. Wonderful balance of everything here
M-- SILKY SMOOTH dense and chewy
D-- Not so much in the summer but durnig the colder days I can sit with a few of this ...see how it is a room temp


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Photo of slayer3604
3.96/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- A medium strength pour turned my glass into a fury of chocolate rain and a beer body that sucked the light out of the room. The head eventually settled down to create one inch of solid muffin texture.

S- I cheated a little on this one, I went on stone's website hours before the release and read up on what the nose was like for the brewmaster that created this demon so my nose is bias towards the authentic oaxican cocoa used in the mix...I could definitely smell a tad of ovaltine, and wisps of coffee and a tad of smoked grain.

T- Lots of body on this fella. So very complicated and extravagant! i should be complimenting on how MANLY this beer made me feel but i know deep down inside its just the fat amounts of oatmeal thrown into the mix. Whatever, this beer warms you up at 9.2% and keeps you guessing with an array of dimensions to unwrap and classify.

M- Very chunky, and did anyone mention to you that this has bitter chocolate thrown in it? Man! this is by far the best chocolate stout out there. Such an impressive profile that you have to sift through in order to get it all. Two bottles into this and the complexity is still boggling my mind.

D- I would definitely use this beer as a pairing tool for deserts and as an example of how beer can be as/more complex as wine and will keep coming back to BCOS in the future to turn friends and family towards dark beer!

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

Complete black-out pour with a nice mocha colored head. Good lacing that seems to stay well on the glass. Bitter is a good description, it'll be interesting to see if that mellows out as it ages. Alcohol is very hidden until you make it through the bottle. Overall it's mighty tastey and well worth picking up several bottles.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a tulip glass.

L - black color with a thick creamy light brown head that thinned to a layer, leaving globs of lacing.

S - bittersweet chocolate, espresso coffee aroma.

T - bitter chocolate taste upfront is met with slight alcohol taste before finishing dry and bitter.

F - medium/full bodied with a smooth, creamy feel.

D - smooth, easy drinking brew.

Final Note: Happy 12th Anniversary Stone!

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

Pours a thick, lightless black with 2 fingers of tight and creamy foamy mocha head. Good retention leaves a good ring of lacing and an oily residue. Smells of chocolate syrup, roasted malt, raisins, alcohol, smoke, and some light coffee with a hint of pine as it warms. Tastes of baking chocolate up front with some caramel and a nice dose of roasted malt. Rum and raisins follow as well as some oat and bread. Finishes with a nice bitterness of coffee and pine. Medium full in body with low carbonation. Smooth and chocolaty with a nice bitterness. Great flavor with a nice feel. More of a dessert beer, but definitely enjoyable.

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12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 975 ratings