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 Beaver13
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours an inky black with a smallish fine brown head that quickly diminishes to a collar that laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet lactic fudgy chocolate, some oats and a little anise.

The flavor is lots of sweet chocolate and some tangy dark fruits, and some harsh anise and bitter roast balances it out. The mouthfeel is pretty full, velvety and sticky with low carbonation.

Overall, the bitter roast and anise tended to dominate too much for my taste initially, but it mellowed out nicely as I drank it.

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

Had on-tap at the Chase Taproom. This beer impresses even more from the tap. Creamier, better emphasis on the oat silkiness, and stronger chocolate flavors. Lightly carbonated like most English ales, the beer weighs a little heavier to the mouth, but fuller, rounder, richer and without the carbonic bite found in the bottle.

After reading all the hype about this beer, I couldn't wait to get my paws on a bomber. Finally, the beer arrives in Lexington and I had the pleasure to share it with family and friends. The very thick beer slowly flows into the glass with a velvety appearance and a marshmellow-y head formation that lasted til the last sip, adding a lot of lacing and legging on the glass. Aromas were subdued, but offered a rich milky, chocolate, coffee scent that balanced well, pure, and clean. Low esters, fruits, alcohols, and phenols to the nose makes the beer purely inviting. Flavors favor the chocolates giving a brownie-cocoa rich taste with complimentary notes of near espresso / nutty columbian notes. The oates (and I suspect light milk sugars) gives the beer the needed sweetness and full flavor that tempers the cocoa-coffee aggression. Again the fruits and spices are very moderate allowing the true choco-java-milkshake character to dominate. Even the bitterness of hops balance well with the coffee bitterness and sourness to offset the remarkable malt backbone. Finishes with a round chocolate flavor and coffee bitterness. This is one pheonominal beer and I suspect that 6-9 months of age will bring the flavors together even better.

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Photo of asabreed
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: Beautifully opaque, as expected, with an indefatigable and indomitable head, silky as hell, with sheets of lacing that take a while to start sliding down the glass, finally leaving big drops of mocha ringing the top.

Smell: Rich roasted chocolate, bitter coffee, smoke, woodiness, a bit of charcoal, dark berries, a whiff of nice booze, and some sourness and earthiness. It's great but could be rounded off and balanced a bit more. I like the more gritty amalgam of aromas now, but I have a feeling with some age it'll be even better and more rounded.

Taste: Big-bodied with huge burnt and roasted malt flavors at first, hints of bitter chocolate and mild coffee, oats, woodiness, smoke, chocolate cream, dark berries, and major bitterness at the lingering finish (before a flash of sweet maraschino cherries) with some citrus and sourness and woody earthiness that compliments the initial sweetness very well. A wild ride, and one that seems to be awesome fresh to me right now. I'm do wonder what laying it down will do, because the smoothness is very nice and has a visceral edge. Without the bitterness from the hops and chocolate, is there a chance it could become maybe a bit too sweet? Then again, that's probably not a bad thing.

Mouthfeel: Smooth as hell from the oats, with creamy carbonation and an extremely chewy body. It's heavy, but done as great is can be. Be prepared.

Drinkability: Trying to drink this slow is tough, and I should've done what I planned originally by using a snifter, but alas. That said, this is a beautiful brew. I'm glad the bitter chocolate was used; otherwise this thing would be too much of a malt bomb. I wonder how sweet this is going to get as the hops and bitterness dissipates. My advice would be to drink it fresh. Loved it and hope to get some more bottles, because why not lay at least one down and see what happens in a year?

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Photo of Lepley
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours thick black with dark brown head. I drank this beer outside in the mid-day sun and no light was able to penetrate it.

S: Its aroma is not very strong. Smelled of alcohol and slightly of chocolate.

T: Very complex taste. Alcohol, smokiness, deep chocolate with bitterness that lingered. It was very bitter but not hoppy. It was different. I've never had unsweetened chocolate, but the back of the bottle tells that this is what its bitterness comes from.

M: Heavy and thick.

D: This beer is delicious and an interesting style.

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Photo of RoBotGod
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was done well and had the typical characteristics of and oatmeal stout with a little stone twist. The nose and pour were spot on. Low carbonation and thick black with a dark tan coffee head. The mouth feel was the best part. It was well balanced instead of over the top in one area like some of stones beers. The alcohol was strong but not over powering. The chocolate part was the best. They used a bitter dark chocolate which gives it a little different taste then what you expect. Its not as smooth and its the difference between chocolate with milk fat in it and real coco use to cook with. An excellent call in ingredients. The beer is great to drink now, and will also lay down for a few years as well.

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Photo of merlin48
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle pours black. Very black. Opaque and syrupy looking in the glass, with a tall, dark khaki head that retains well and leaves abundant patchy lacing.

Aroma has lots of chocolate. Bars of chocolate and some powdered cocoa, as well. Hints of raisins and booze underneath.

Excellent mouthfeel. Prickly carbonation leads into a caressing velveteen smoothness. Nice!

Taste has a bitter chocolate dominance. Hops and dark roast add additional dimensions of bitterness. Dried dark fruits add some sweetness. Silky oatmeal fits right in.

Still a bit young given the alcohol punch. Just fine to drink now but should be better in a few months, or longer.

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Photo of ATPete
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


12 pours out the blackest of the black color, no light is getting through this one. Huge brown head that looks like a chocolate milkshake sitting atop a glass of motor oil, cool! The nose is young, simple as that, young. High in booze, brown sugar, maple syrup, smokey oatmeal and roasted chocolate with a subtle hint of bitterness. Much is the same for the way it tastes, chocolate and toasty malts hit you upfront move directly into oatmeal smoothness and leaves a nice creamy, semi-sweet aftertaste. This brew has amazing texture in the mouth, i found it smooth, silky and extremely drinkable, to the point of i caught myself drinking this 9.2% waaay too quickly and had to slow it down. This beer is hot right now, as soon as this mellows out in the cellar for a while this is going to get even better!

Happy Anniversary!

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Photo of nrbw23
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours jet black with no light coming through at all. A very nice brownish colored head comes up about two inches and leaves very little lacing.

S- Overall much lighter than I'd expect. Could smell some oats, dark roasted malts, chocolate, and tiny bit of a coffee and vanilla.

T- At first rich dark chocolate and then a nice flavour of toasted oats, which is then overtaken by a delicious bitterness from the unsweetened dark chocolate. A very solid brew and pretty much no hops at all here.

M- Medium in body, silky smooth and maybe even a little oily.

D- Very easy to drink. Highly recommended and I got one aging for a bit.

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Photo of cokes
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black bodied with a moderately tall rise of brown froth that stays a good long while.
Nose of roasted grains, dark chocolate, and scalded earth. A small caramel/black cherry sweetness rises, along with a hint of peaty Scotch booziness.
Roasty up front, but not in the acrid double-black-espresso-and-burnt-grill-residue way that some are (though espresso certainly is here in flavor, it is meshed as opposed to jutting out). There's a quelling and tempering creamy mildness that is imparted by the oatmeal. Like haf&half in coffee, it doesn't impart much flavor, but acts as a mellower. A minor sweetness pops up in wake, with vanilla-caramel-cherries and marshmallows. Chocolate arrives late, and delivers a bittersweet coup de grace especially as it warms, with the namesake bitter notion being more pronounced. It mingles with a modest pinetar hoppiness, and a quick flash of alcohol heat on the swallow.
Full bodied, oily, and satiny, and robust, but not obese. Carbonation struggles, but gives it enough perk to usher it through the mouth nearly recklessly.
The chocolate is tactfully done, as it is featured without commandeering the entire taste profile. Thus is a stout first and it is as versatile as it is drinkable. It's no mere grippy sweet, one-note dessert beer. It's subtler than expected, and very well done.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.56/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - quite the glug glug oily pour. Once again into the Beer & Sweat glass, lots of thick dark mocha foam spring up, planting a thick coating of lace-paint on the glass.

Aroma - very earthy soy-like grains, a bit of cola sweetness, soapy at times. Background roastiness, some more roast would be nice, but it smells good.

Taste - there is no mistaking the bitterness of the chocolate with the deep roast of the grain. The combo is perhaps put together to accomodate a lesser hop bill? It's bitter, that's for sure. A side effect flavor of licorice. The chocolate is not quite as strong as the basic bitter flavor, but it's there. The charred grain is actually a little more visible, at least fresh. Bittersweet chocolate on the swallow is about 75/25 bitter to sweet, but it's tasty. Several years ago, I was sampling chocolates with increasing percentages of cocoa, up to 75 and 80 per cent. They begin to take on a serious chocolate taste that becomes increasingly un-candylike. You get accustomed to that, two things happen: 1) to hell with Hershey's and 2) nobody likes your chocolate so you get more! Bogartski in reverse, sort of. That's what this beer makes me think of, anyway. A good, pure cocoa flavor that Crackle and M&M fans may not care for. It doesn't take long before the warming alcohol adds to the mix. The lack of sweetness makes for a rather intense beer, and while I dig the method, at least a breath of sweetness would really help balance the cocoa. I may try a glass with a shot of Kahlua in it just to see what a touch of sugar does. The long finish is very warm with abv, unsweetened chocolate, and charred grain.

Mouthfeel - dreamy smooth, I'm dreaming of winter in late July. Heavy, thick and coating.

Drinkability - while this will be a most enjoyable study to see how cellaring affects the profile, I'm sure to have one or two more this year.

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Photo of joezak5
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured into a Duvel tulip; black as night, thick dark cocao two finger head, excellent retention and glistening lacing.

Smell: Bone dry roasted cocao powder with almost a burnt bitterness, a little creaminess comming in from that oatmeal pillow adverstised.

Mouthfeel: Stone has done it again... smoothest mouthfeel I've enojoyed... it feels like I'm fluffing that oatmeal pillow in my mouth; no carbonation or alcohol feel... just silk

Taste: Nice smooth bitter cocao and coffes notes with the rich dark malt and smooth oats... dark, dark cocoa dust on the finishing exhale... pure and straight forward but oh so nice... can't wait to see how the 5 remaining bottles age.

Drinkability: While I was drinking this there was a four hour blackout... coincidence?... I'm not willing to risk the curse of the gargoyle... 5... another beauty from the good folks at Stone... seek this one out.

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Photo of SeanRedd
4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Who's the man with the master plan, a gargolyle with a badass motherfucking brew. The epicurian's review has just come in; magnafique! No coffee present yet it begs to be paired with an expresso; so mucho impresso. Smore's anyone? I got just the milk!...The rusty trumbone of stouts; dark, dirty, tasty, naughty. The gargolyole has done it again with black water, beautiful inside as well as out. Raw cocoa bean transformed into the beverage of gods...Myans would be shittin their thongs. The name and name only...simple, delicious.

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Photo of jdaelhousen
3.15/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pitch black colored body, small amount of head that disapates quickly, however the brown colored head just looks like chocolate milk suds.

Aroma contains strong hints of cocoa combined with roasted espresso, oats and a hop bitterness of earth & pine. Alcohol percentage is also very noticeable from the initial smells.

Taste contains an up front mark of roasted espresso/coffee notes and chocolate. The high ABV is immediately noticeable and produces a very smokey flavor at the center. At that point, the flavor of hop kicks in to give off a counter kick of bitterness.

Aftertaste leaves a roasty, malty, coffee and chocolate flavor on the palate, as the alcohol warms the back of the throat. The bitterness is too much however, and does not blend well whatsoever with the sweetness of the chocolate.

Overall, a disappointment after quality anniversary ales the last couple of years.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.34/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Like Night time pouring from a bottle into a glass this is a midnight black. Put that baby up to the light and saw some wooly mammoths in there.

Smells of alcohol, some cocoa, roasteyness, bakers chocolate. Not great though. Very faint, mostly alcohol.

Quaker oates, bitter, chocolate, mocha, too hot for the hottub says the quaker oats man. You can feel the alcohol warming you up like hot chocolate on a winter day.

Mouthfeel is sweet which gives me new hope, like Star Wars episode IV, when Lucas didnt suck.

If this beer was meant to be aged it will rock, right now its all thumbs. This is the beer equivalent of ADD, but I think in 6 months or so it will be fantastic. Here's to hoping!

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Photo of Floydster
2.91/5  rDev -29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 ounce bottle purchased for $6 at Hollymain Liquor in El Segundo, drank yesterday, reviewed from notes, poured into New Belgium snifter

A-Almost fully black, thin frothy head, some retention, nice lacing
S-Dark chocolate, mild hops, roasted malt, grains, butter, burned toffee, and faint coffee
T-Dark chocolate dominates everything, can barely taste the oatmeal even, lacks complexity, overwhelmingly rich, weird dry finish, aftertaste got repulsive after a while
M-Bitter and dry, full bodied, too much carbonation, very long lingering taste
D-Could not even drink ten ounces, made me so full, hot alcohol not hidden, high ABV

One of my least favorite Stone anniversary brews yet, just did not do it for me and very hard to get down, wish they would have kept up with the IPA trend but do not blame them with the current hop situation, would not drink again, still worth trying for yourself

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a Stone bomber, $6.99 in OH. The beer is black with an unreal head, chocolate milk colored and thick, loads of lacing. The aroma is strong with chocolate, more than any chocolate-style beer I've had to date. The taste, however, is not as good as I'd hoped. While the chocolate flavor is nice, this is way more bitter than I'd expected. A little acrid perhaps. The body is smooth but not as silky smooth as I'd hope for an oatmeal stout. Overall a disappointment for me, I'd hoped for more. Grade A on appearance and smell though...

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Photo of dedrinker
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fairly opaque black color with a richly colored, though thin, deep tan head. Aromas of roasted malts, coffee, and dark chocolate, though not any more special than a decent Imperial Stout should be. Flavors of bitter chocolate and figs, coffee and almost a bourbon-barrel aged character, but not quite. Medium full body with a sharp attack of acidity and bitterness on the finish - like black coffee. This has some aging potential, but I wouldn't go crazy over it. I've tasted better that cost less, and one of these days all these young beer geeks will grow up and realize that Stone makes really good beer - not really great beer.

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Photo of xgrigorix
3.61/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Twenty-two ounce brown bottle dated July 2008.

Opaque black liquid, topped by a thin tan head. Head holds up okay, no lacing on the glass.

I don't really get chocolate in the nose, beyond what you would normally expect from a big stout. Otherwise inviting, with notes of roasted coffee, subtle bits of fruit, and hints of alcohol.

Not too different from what was hinted at in the nose. Notes of coffee, chocolate & roast. Most of the bitterness comes from the roast flavours. Somewhat smooth, medium-full bodied. Moderate carbonation. Not bad by any stretch, but I for one was expecting more out of this.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
2.85/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a deep dark brown with no head at all. Little bubbles work their way to the surface and just pop. Reminds me of a tar pit for some reason.

Smells of coffee, dry cocoa and dry sour fruits. An astringent boozy sting creeps through a bit too that accents the dryness of the cocoa.

Tastes initially of cocoa, but a sour grainy sting comes through causing me to grimace. My mouth is left with a putrid grainy flavor that seems laced with baking chocolate and a medicinal boozy sting.

Feels exceptionally heavy and sticky that traps in the negativity.

This didn't get finished. What happened here?

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Photo of cxg231
4.97/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving 22oz Bottle

Appearance - dark as pitch! I had it out of the bottle (I was thirsty - sue me!) so I cannot comment on head, but I would not anticipate a lot of head with this beer.

Smell - dark chocolate, roasted malts with a hit of dark roasted coffee and nuts.

Taste - amazing! Dark and heavy at first with the chocolate smacking you in the face. After a few sips the flavor profile mellows and and becomes more complex with notes of oatmeal and roasted coffee. No perceptible alcohol taste for such a big beer.

Mouthfeel - thin for an oatmeal stout, but still has some substance to it.

Drinkablility - exceptional for a big beer. I could really get in trouble with more than one of these around.

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Photo of Donnie2112
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am really tired of describing the appearance of stouts... this one is black, has a coffee colored head and has some nice sporadic lace

notes of oats and chocolate, the aroma is EXACTLY what I would expect from the label

again, dark complicated fruity flavors of dark chocolate sitting on top of the smooth oatmeal malts. Snappy there is everything that is supposed to be in a stout except the usual bit of coffee that this beer doesn't even begin to advertise. Smooth malts, smooth bitterness, good stuff.

its heavy in body, it's creamy and smooth the right ammount of carbonation

very drinkable, lots of flavor, keep wanting another sip.

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Photo of gkatsoris
4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black w/ a thin tan head that disappeared in less than a minute. Man this is black. Lots of lacing left on the glass (Tulip) as well. Leaves that dark syrup on the glass after you tilt it - schwing.

S: Some alcohol, coco/coacoa. Also heavy malts.

T: Very tasty. Bitterly delicious. Starts w/ the malts, and finishes w/ the coco/chocolate. Very similar to dark bitter-sweet Godiva Chocolates. The flavors last for a looong time after you drink it (10-15 min's loooong).

M: Pretty thin for an oatmeal stout, but it really fits.

D: Another exceptional beer by Stone. God I wish I lived in Cali.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black, black, black. Head forms great and sticks around beautifully, leaving a great sticky and full cover of lacing behind of light brown.

S: The bitter / baking chocolate stands out on the nose, followed by the oatmeal, and a rich malt. It's almost cookie like in some ways.

T + M: A pretty big, semi-creamy mouthfeel / flavour. The bitter chocolate is there, as I'd hope. Some espresso notes show, and the oatmeal again mixes in rather cookie like. Similar to oatmeal raisin in some ways. There's a dark fruit essence of sorts in there.

D: A bit of a biggie at 9.2, like they are. Sip away, but enjoy it thoroughly. Very nicely done

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Photo of hoppymeal
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a decent sized, fluffy dark tan to chocolate milk brown head that slowly recedes. Aroma is strongest of roasted coffee beans, cola sweetness and just a hint of dark chocolate and some alcohol strength. Taste follows with a good amount of roastiness that blends well with a bitter baker's chocolate flavor, then a bit of sweet cola blends in and sweetens up the chocolate, before a good bite of bitterness and alcohol in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy in body, the oatmeal softness is evident midway thru, there is a little zing on the tongue up front, then the softy creamy body shows itself, before the bite in the finish. A good beer overall, will like to see some qualities that are biting now, perhaps meld and mellow a little with some age.

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Photo of prototypic
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Wow! Great looking beer here. It's nearly jet black in color. No light getting through. The head is extremely impressive. It's a very dark, mocha colored beauty. It stands about two fingers tall. Retention was on the average side and lacing was light. Very impressive all around.

Smell: Roasted malts are easily the dominant characteristic here. It's very rich smelling. There is a chocolate aroma there, but it's somewhat subdued. The roasted malts simply overpower it. It is a little grainy. Alcohol is readily apparent. It opens up a little as it warms, but the roasted character of the beer just seems to get stronger. It's a nice smelling beer, but not exactly diverse or complex.

Taste: Again, the roasted malts dominate the flavor profile. It's a nice flavor, but very strong in terms of overshadowing other elements. No doubt it is bitter. The chocolate flavor is flavorful without the usual sweetness. The bitter flavor lingers throughout. There's a bit of a fruity flavor that emerges as it warms. Tastes mostly like raisin. But, it's clearly a secondary flavor that plays its complementary role nicely. Alcohol is only faintly noticeable although the nose suggested otherwise. It finishes a little acidic and bitter.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: One of this beer's strongest points is the feel. It's medium bodied and extremely smooth and creamy. Stone nailed that aspect. Carbonation is low, but well done. Drinkability is good. Clearly it's not a session beer, but it's going down smooth and easy. At 9.2% abv, I'd probably limit myself to a bomber in one sitting.

Stone released a very nice and intriguing beer with this one. Personally, I think it could be improved by dialing down the roasted malt and bitter flavors and adding a little more sweetness. In most other respects, it's a very solid and impressive beer with quite a bit of character.

I continue to be impressed with Stone's trailblazing attitude in crafting beer. They take their hits (the hop shortage) and keep rolling with something different and unique. That's probably why they'll continue to be one of my favorites for years to come.

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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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