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 hoppymcgee
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Gorefiendus for this extra! Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Trois Pistoles chalice.

A: Dark brown, basically black with a copper head. The head dissipates into nothing.

S: Nice blend of roasted coffee beans, bittersweet chocolate (surprisingly enough), and a stale/musty smell?

T: No dust in the beer, phew. I get some muted coffee, chocolate, and some booze still present.

M: Very smooth from the oats. The beer actually leaves a film that looks like bits of oatmeal. Perfect amount of carbonation - this held up with age so far.

D: A little hot still and very filling. Makes for a great dessert beer.

Overall, I'm never bashful to try anything by Stone, but I think I liked their 13th Anniversary beer better.

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

Looks: like a coffee. Impenetrable black with one of the darkest heads I've ever seen -- a super-dark cinnamon color that seems tightly packed, tough and resilient, but quickly runs away. Still, it's sticky and leaves some nice spatters of lace.

Smells: like sweet cocoa powder. There's some bitter dark chocolate, sugar cookies and steel-cut oatmeal in there as well. Sweet.

Tastes: while there are four descriptors in the name bitter chocolate oatmeal stout, it's obvious toward which this beer leans: bitter. Super dark and tangy chocolate mingle with acrid charred grains and sweet oatmeal. As it warms, notes of espresso and very subtle dark fruit flavors emerge. Still, the drink finishes dry and bitter.

Feels: exquisite. The oatmeal adds so much fullness to this beer. Creamy, lightly effervescent and tongue-numbing.

Drinks: While I'm sure the years this beer has spent on the shelf have done some damage to it, Stone 12th Anniversary is a quality stout. Would've loved to have tried it fresh.

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Photo of FliryVorru
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

NOTE: This bottle was purchased in January 2009 and cellared until June 2010

Appearance - The beer pours jet black. Even during the pour there's very little light able to penetrate it. Very little carbonation and barely any head develops.

Smell - The smell is not smooth, but occasionally leaves me wanting more. Chocolate dominates the nose with hints of coffee, vanilla, and hazelnut.

Taste - Dark chocolate and espresso are ever present, but allow for a touch of clove and chai to emerge every once in a while

Mouthfeel - The beer has very low carbonation but the level it has is very appropriate and proportional. It almost seems to warm slower than other beers since the taste changes very little as the temperature rises.

Drinkability - I wish I hadn't cellared the 2nd bottle I bought for only 9 months! The beer is great when purchased and great after 9 months, but 18 months later it has blossomed into a complex and immensely drinkable beer.

Other comments
I'm so pleased with how this beer cellared. I'd rate this as one of my greatest successes in cellaring and my favorite Stone beer overall. I know some feel it has it's shortcomings in certain areas, but the beer isn't overpowering, drinks very easily, and only gets better with age. Well done Stone!

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of elricorico
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From notes: Happened upon a bottle during a Vegas trip and couldn't resist.

Thick and dark, appears black in the glass and nearly black while flowing from the bottle. Thin mocha coloured head faded to a ring.

As advertised, it smells of bitter chocolate. Roasted malt and a liquor heat. Roasted coffee beans. The usual suspects for a big stout.

Tastes of creamy coffee and semi-sweet chocolate right up front. Smoothly moves on to roasted flavour that remains slightly sweet. Alcohol heat at the end isn't over-powering. Slight bitterness lingers. Altogether smooth flavoured and pleasant.

Creamy mouthfeel, full bodied, just enough carbonation to be notable. Doesn't get much better than this in the mouthfeel department.

I like my big stouts to be a little sweeter, and despite having "bitter" in the name, this on fits the bill. It reminds me of Expedition quite a bit. I'm glad I checked this out.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my DFH signature glass. This beer pours pitch black, with a nice 1 finger crown that's halfway between caramel and chocolate. A little more lacing would really have elevated the presentation though. The nose is almost entirely made up of rich dark chocolate, with a faint presence of oatmeal lurking in the background.. The taste mirrors the nose, and thus is fairly one dimensional. A quick blast of bitterness is followed by a big dark chocolaty finish. I know the purpose of this beer was to brew something bitter without relying on hops, but I find myself wishing there was some more hop flavor interacting with the chocolate. On the plus side, any roasted or shy notes from all the dark malts has faded away. I really do love stouts that incorporate oatmeal, and this is just another example of why. The beer is impossibly creamy and smooth, and the carbonation is pretty much exactly where it should be. In addition, whatever booziness might have been present fresh (and I imagine there was some) has basically vanished, leaving behind almost a a not altogether unpleasant ghost of its former self. The well hidden alcohol and superb mouthfeel make this beer eminently drinkable, I'm glad I have a few more bottles on hand and look forward to seeing what this turns into over the next couple of years.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into pint glass.

Pitch black with a big bubbly finger and a half dark khaki head which resides to a nice layer of foam on top that has good staying power. Some nice lacing down the sides of the glass.

In the nose I get anise, black licorice, dark chocolate, some oatmeal. Also, a hint of soy sauce, which is a bit off putting, but that dies down a bit as it warms. Caramel and vanilla bean become apparent as this warms as well.

Dark chocolate gives way to creamy oatmeal flavors then anise and black licorice come in with some roasted coffee notes and a hint of buttery toffee. Bitter and roasted finish with a slight herbal hop presence.

Mouthfeel is heavy, slightly viscous, pretty low carbonation, and super smooth.

Kind of a sipper, but nice drinkability.

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Photo of dwilson01
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 22oz bomber into my arrogant bastard pint glass (half at a time of course). Right off the bat I was impressed, the pour is thick as hell, looks like molasses and is the definition of blackness. The head is barely there to start, just a thin layer on top but it too is as dark as they come, a rich deep brown color like cured oak.

The initial smell is bitter, not the bittering from hops like ipa's get but a whole new kind that is much more relaxed, a smooth bitterness that pleases my nose, almost reminds me of tart berries. I also get a little alcohol smell, not much though and it's paired with a vanilla bean (so basically vanilla extract, and not the cheap knockoff either).

After tasting this brew, it really just names itself. Each flavor in its title is represented in the stone fashion in perfect succession. The bitterness in the nose hits you first and adds an enticing spiciness which prepares you for the chocolate sweetness coming your way. Chocolate next, but with that spice there it's tones down from the extremely bittersweet kinds I like. Oppositely, the choc is a great way to tone down the spice and cleanse the palate for the smooth oatmeal finish, no spice in the end but the oats are definitely prominent with a bit of dryness in the last.

It's a stout! Actually, it's not even as thick as it looks because of that spicy addition to the body of the brew but the added oatmeal does give it a solid feel. Just an all around balance between that uber thick sweet stout and a spicy ipa in the body count.

9.2%...what?? You have to like bitter to like this beer, but seriously it's that exact flavor that completely cancels out any alcohol esters that would lay in the flavor to hinder the drinkability (or aid it depending on who you are). When I think about it, it's very revolutionary how they did that b/c the stout style usually uses a huge body and an ultra sweet choc and coffee combo to shoo away the estery alcohol flavors but this utilizes a whole new quality of chocolate. Seriously its good, I dig it.

Bottom line this brew is a great new take on bitterness, I mean hops are awesome, I love em to death, but I also like the boldness of style in this brew and it definitely paid off. This is probably something you haven't experienced before and they aren't brewin em again so get em while they're around!

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

22 oz bottle poured split and poured into a Maudite tulip. 12th Anniversary, 9.2% ABV, Age at cellar temp. 55 degrees F or below, July 2008, ingredients.

Thanks again to Sweemzander for sharing this bottle!

A - Even with a tall pour there is almost no head created. Spotty clumps of dark tan bubbles float on top and slowly join into the ring around the glass. No light gets through this black beer.

S - Bittersweet chocolate kicks the aroma off to a good start with a heavily roasted and thick nose. Mocha and oatmeal fall behind with a gentle subtlety. A small hint of cold refrigerator comes out in the nose too.

T - Fairly bitter roasted malts and bittersweet chocolate really make up all of the flavor. Nuances of coffee, mocha, and molasses pull though with a hint of oatmeal.

M - Full-bodied and rich with a round, smooth feel and a soft finish that leads into a moderately dry, bitter finish.

D - The bitterness has smoothed out with age I'm sure. The mouthfeel helps this out but it's not enchanting. Good but not amazing.

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Photo of cwps48
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 3-31-10. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Pitch black with a nice two finger, brown head (somewhat of a vigorous pour though). Very slight lacing (limited at the top only).

S: Lots of chocolate, quite malty. Has a smooth creaminess to it (from the oatmeal).

T: Malty, bitter, and creamy. Alcohol is a bit noticeable. I would have thought it would have mellowed out a bit more by now... And of course there's chocolate. Not hugely chocolate, but subtle and nice. Good roasty aftertaste.

M: Smooth, nice wet finish. Maybe a little low on the carbonation.

D: A bit too hot for me. This one will take me a while. Definitely a sipper.

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Photo of kylehayworth
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Jason for the treat.

A: Pours rich black, forms a nice dark tan head.

S: Chocolate and Vanilla, you get alittle of the boozy tingling smell, you'd expect that though.

T: Bitter chocolate, mild oat, the finish has hints of vanilla and mild alcohol.

M/D: Creamy and thick. Although I didn't try a fresh one, I'm not dissappointed having got to try this instead.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-pours a motor oil looking pitch black and opaque viscous liquid. The head is a dark brown, mocha color that is tight and creamy with a lot of bubbles sitting on top. The retention is good and the lace is quite thick covering the entire side of the glass

S-the nose is very solid, roasted malts abound and hit the nose first. Dark bitter chocolate is huge in this but the oatmeal aroma definitely lies underneath. Some chocolate brownie up front, hints of vanilla, with the more bitter dark chocolate coming in towards the back.

T-this is extremely tasty! Near perfect tasting stout. Roasted malts up front all dark, tons of bitter bakers chocolate with a touch of anise in the middle. Light malty dark fruit sweetness comes in at the back, plums and raisins.

M-full bodied, thick, creamy, chewy, and smooth on the palate. There is still some carbonation in there, actually just enough to hold the body and help hold the feel. The finish is somewhat dry.

D-this beer is awesome. The complexity is great, roasted malts and lots of them, tons of dark chocolate, and a great fruity sweetness. Big and creamy on the palate. Wow, fantastic job!

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Photo of AgentZero
3.66/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Nicely dark dark brown, almost black, with a big tan head which stuck around with some moderate lacing Nice looking.

S - Ton of chocolate, not as roasty as I would have thought, with an oat backbone and a touch of hops. Beer seems appropriately named.

T - Almost a chocolate bomb. Not quite along the lines of Chokolat, which I think is overkill, but this is very chocolatey. Oatmeal stout profile is in there, but chocolate dominates.

M - Full bodied, slightly flatish, I think this is how most beers this style tend to be, but it leaves it finishing somewhat empty and simple.

D - Pretty easy to drink, especially with how sweet it is, I'd like something with a little more bite though. Not sure I'd consider this an "Imperial Stout", high alcohol but taste just not big enough for me.

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

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. July 2008 release.

(A)- Pours incredibly thick and black as the darkest night. Produced a sienna, almost dark brown head that reduced down to bubbles.

(S)- Mountains of nutty roastedness with vanilla. Lots of brown sugar in this guy. Hints of creamy oatmeal & dark cocoa. Breakfast, yet dessert smells galore. Very much like burnt french toast(with cinnamon) with melted dark chocolate & sprinkled brown sugar on top with a cup of coffee on the side!

(T)- Velvet-like roasted malts of molasses, cocoa, coffee, & toast. Definitely more subtle yet more profound than the aroma led me to believe. Creamy oatmeal rolls off your tongue into dense roasted coffee with molasses & dark, almost bitter cocoa. I still taste it minutes after each sip.

(M)- Smooth as a baby's bottom! Has enough carbonation in it yet. Creamy & so damn smooth that it just rolls of the tongue & down the throat. Has just a tiny bit of heat from the 9.2%abv, but barely noticeable behind the silky malts & light sweetness. If I could give the mouthfeel a higher score I would. One of the smoothest stouts I have ever experienced, but I am sure the age helped in that regard.

(D)- An awesome beer that has obviously aged to near perfection in a glass. It has everything that makes a good stout. Awesome roasted malts with a light sweetness rolled into perhaps the smoothest drinking stout I have ever had. If you have this in your cellar, now is the time to open & enjoy it!

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Photo of jrallen34
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I drank this on tap into a tulip glass at the Map Room.

The beer pours black with a medium tan head. There is about once inch of dark tan head. The first half inch fades quickly, but the second half actually stays for ahilw. Good lacing.

The aroma is medium, and full of lots of sweet chocoalte. At the end there is light hint of hops.

The taste ia also super sweet, bordering on too sweet, but doesn't cross it. There is TONS of sweet chocolate, but that's about all I get. A little to simple.

The feel is on the lighter side without much of a finish.

Overall, it was decent for a chocolate beer, but nothing special.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: July 2008 bomber bottle poured into my Smuttynose snifter glass in two parts.

Appearance: Deep dark brown, borderline black with a deep brown, one finger head. Very little retention. No light whatsoever comes through the brew.

Aroma: Bitter cocoa beans and some nice dark fruit and molasses sweetness are strong upfront and throughout. Alcohol is noticable here and hits pretty hard. Some burnt sugar notes also make an appearance.

Taste: Bitter cocoa beans upfront recede nicely into a sweeter milk chocolate flavor. The oatmeal really shines here lending sweetness and adding complexity. Some subtle char and dark fruit balance out the flavors and make this a complex brew indeed. The overall flavor profile works well and is nciely balanced.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and chewy. Not much carbonation. Feels right for a stout of this strength.

Drinkability: Even with a high ABV and strong flavors, this brew is dangerously drinkable. The nice balanced flavor is the reason for this. Strong enough to be complex, but still manages to be drinkable.

Overall, a complex, balanced oatmeal stout. Wonderfully big while still maintaining the characteristics of an oatmeal stout. Especially good with a couple years on it. Highly recommended.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to atsprings for sharing a 22 oz. bottle

Pours an opaque black body under a creamy tan head that reduces to a film and leaves some lacing.

Aromas of dark chocolate predominate the nose with some charred bread notes as well.

The flavor is what you would expect: bitter chocolate from the malt and use of actual chocolate in the beer. With warmth the bitter aspect dies down a bit and it mellows to a nice full stout with some more sweetness.
A slightly shy of full mouthfeel with ample carbonation is also a plus. I found myself enjoying this one from first sip to last. The bitter chocolate thing I like, so this stout was right up my alley.

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Photo of checkfeet
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a lovely opaque black, like it is so dense it sucks in the light from neighboring stars. Low carbonation, little head or lacing.

Chocolate and alcohol on the nose.

The bittersweet part of the title rings true - unlike most chocolate stouts it isn't particularly creamy. Lovely chewiness.

My only complaint is that the alcohol seems to dominate the aftertaste. This is aged over 20 months, so we're a little surprised that the alcohol isn't well masked. Still really enjoyable though.

Warming on a chilly night.

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Photo of soco7tyx7
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

July 08' Poured from 22oz bomber to snifter

A - Black as the depths, dark tan almost brown 1/2" head, "falling" lace, mild amount of sediment towards the end
S - Dark chocolate, vanilla/molasses, light hints of bourbon and alcohol
T - Similar to the nose with the chocolate, vanilla/molasses, hint of bourbon, heavy cream, oats for sure giving it a mellow sweet flavor. Finishes with the bitterness of chocolate covered espresso beans
M - Medium, sticky body
D - Takes a minute to finish and should not be drunk too fast. One might miss some of the flavor if drinking too cold too fast

Notes: A great brew from Stone...will definitely develop for a few more years

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

1 1/2 year old vintage...

A - pours black as hell with a half-finger of dark tan head that leaves little bits of lacing. this beer absorbs all light.
S - big dark chocolate aromas, molasses, oats, a touch of vanilla, and alcohol peeking through ever so slightly
T - like the bottle says, bitter dark chocolate dominates the taste, followed by a subtle sweet oat flavor, alcohol, and a strictly bitter finish...whiskey or bourbon flavors come out as it warms.
M - medium bodied and sticky, goes down pretty easy. definitely not as heavy as I expected (neither a good nor a bad thing)
D - drinkability is a little above average for the style but definitely a sipping beer, especially as it warms to room temp.

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Photo of digita7693
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A what youd expect of an imperial, extremely dark, slight brownish tan head

S chocolate, coffee, some molases

T I was quite happy that the chocolate did not over power this, it is there for sure, but doesnt overwhelm you. some coffee as well

D this beer is very smooth and the fact that the chocolate is not overpowering makes this a very very drinkable beer. mouthfeel is similar to a regular stout. this stuff just slides down.

not my favorite IS, BUT this is rather excellent and I would never ever be upset if offered one of these;)
The carbonation in this is perfect too! Ive noticed that many IS have an underwhelming amount of carbonation.

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Photo of Hershdawg
4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler that I got at the end of winter storm into a pint glass

A: Dark, Black viscous pour. A small tan head from the cocoa powder. Little lacing but not much.

S: Chocolate, coffee, molasses, toffee...

T: Suprisingly good. The cocoa powder doesn't dominate the flavor and rather complements the oatmeal stout. The malt flavors dominate. Over all a well balance oatmeal stout. It aged well.

M: Silky. Almost like milk chocolate but closer to Guinness.

D: As much as I could drink this all day I know some can't. It takes me a while to go through but that enhances the experience.

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Photo of themedievalist
4.74/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up for dessert and split a bomber.

A-The color is very deep, almost black. There's a slight creamy brown head which quickly disappears, leaving very little lacing in its wake.

S-Let me start by saying - I REALLY like chocolate. And this had an amazing bittersweet chocolate smell. So much chocolate. So good.

T-At first I tasted mostly the bitter chocolate, but a few sips in I started to also get a sense of the smooth oatmeal flavor. Seriously: this is a delicious beer.

M-Very thick, with very little carbonation.

D-This was awesome. I would have this for dessert every night. It's like a really dark chocolate bar, but its a beer. I mean, what could be better?

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

I've never had an oatmeal imperial before. Who better than Stone to break me in? I mean, it won't be gentle, but I'll never forget it. The beer pours a midnight black into the pint glass. There's a wispy tan head that doesn't stick around and leaves no trace of lacing.

The smell is a big hit of bitter baking chocolate, with a strong compliment of toasted malt. Smells like somebody's getting ready to bake something good.

The taste is absolutely wonderful. Bitter, bitter, bitter dark chocolate rules the day. I've been looking for a beer to take advantage of the bittering aspect of chocolate, and does this baby ever deliver. Like a kick in the teeth. The bitterness is complimented by the toasted malt, as in the smell. There's a slight doughy flavor, along with perhaps some raisins.

The taste goes down with a ludicrously smooth mouthfeel. I'm told that's the oatmeal doing its thing. Very thick and sticky. Low carbonation. The booze becomes more detectable as it warms. Another great beer from Stone, and a nice change of pace from their usual offerings. As bitter, but in a different way.

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

Poured at Stone as part of Stone Winter Storm. Just promise you won't eat the food here, good god!

A - Dark, dark beer with a wonderfully coloured head. Douche next to me was shocked as he drank his IPA - its a stout after all! Still, exceptional looking very opaque with creamy head - doesn't last that long but its 2 years old after all

S - Dark chocolaty bitterness comes thru first with an ample helping of the specialty grains too. Smells thick and dark

T - Wow, unlike anything I've had before. Stout flavour is bolstered by the chocolate and amped up by the oatmeal. This is 2 years old by now so a little more boozy then at first (I imagine) But very drinkable. The g/f kept screaming to let it warm - it was 45 mins in the glass and still changing. Incredible taste.

M - Thick but not crazy thick. Nitro would be an interesting option here. I thought it was very nice, smooth and chewy hadn't thinned much during aging.

D - This is great. Some folks have complained its gross - I disagree. Wonderful paring beer and a welcome respite from the SD hop head beers. Well done Stone!

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

2008 version.

This beer pours a dense black, with a thin meniscus of soapy beige head, which leaves no lace in its wake. It smells of light roasted malt, licorice, dry chocolate, and a boozy edginess. The taste is caramel malt, more dry powdery chocolate and licorice, bitter toffee, treacle, mild pine hops, and an overarching alcohol warmth. The carbonation is fairly soft, the body smooth, silky, and full, and it finishes sweet, the grainy oatmeal predominating, but the drying of the hops and booze can be detected after a short time.

A tasty, smooth concoction.

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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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