12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout | Stone Brewing

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout
977 Ratings
12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American 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.

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 977 |  Reviews: 707
Photo of Bitterbill
3.48/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I got this bottle in a trade with russpowell. Thanks Russ!

This pours a pitch black with a 1 finger head of tan foam. Head retention is so-so and there's very little lacing.

The smell has a good bitter chocolate nose...surprise! Oh, I also get some notes of coffee, roasted malt, and a slight citrus hop smell and quite a bit of alcohol.

The taste has a big dark chocolate bitterness up front followed by some roasted malt, coffee, good dark fruit, and some hop bitterness. Some alcohol peeks its way through as well giving me some warming.

It has a fullish mouthfeel making it silky smooth, the carbonation is on the light side of medium, and it finishes with a nice oatmeal taste that brings some dryness...pretty drinkable and tasty but...I don't think I'd seek it out again. Like they said in the "old" days, it just doesn't turn my crank. Try some and see what you think,

 880 characters

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

Poured from the 22oz bomber into my favourite Belgian style glass.

Appearance- Beer pours a solid obsidian with no traces of light escaping through the beer. There is a finger of creamy coffee coloured tan head that gradually dies down to a darker brown over the top of the grog. Lacing clings and sticks to the sides of the glass fairly thickly.

Smell- Smells like it is, chocolate and oatmeal with nice roasty dark malts, light hops, the oatmeal really comes through as does the chocolate making this ale smell extra exceptional. There is a bit of alcohol present that gets to the nose hairs as well.

Taste- This is one fine tasting stout and will be getting quite a high rating from me. Roast malts are balanced with the oatmeal and chocolate, there may be a bit more chocolate than the other flavours, but it is very welcome and I would love to give this a try with some ice cream. There is a light boozy flavor, but it doesn't detract from the beer overall.

Mouthfeel- Warming, creamy, roasty, full bodied, and medium in carbonation.

Drinkability- This is one beer that I will be putting more back for cellaring. I have one for the cave, but I'll be grabbing some more if possible.

 1,191 characters

Photo of pwoods
4.01/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. brown bomber, purchased at Jungle Jim's, poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours pitch black, opaque. 1 finger worth of tight dark khaki head forms and holds nicely. Good lacing.

S: High cocoa, very bitter Russian style chocolate and thick, potent coffee grinds. A bit of sweetness.

T/M: Nice bitterness from the chocolate. Very high cocoa % chocolate. The coffee isn't as potent but still strong fresh coffee comes to mind. An underlying fruity sweetness comes out in the middle.. maybe plums? Alcohol is present but not offensive. Adds a nice depth but I think it could use a bit of age to round it out. Body is full but not quite heavy(maybe a touch heavy for a single American Stout) and carbonation gives it a nice smooth feel.

D: ABV is quite high for a single American Stout but the brew is tasty and beckoning. The bomber will definitely be plenty.

 865 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a mug

Appears just about pitch black with a brown two finger head that had good staying power and decent lacing.

Smell is of bittersweet dark chocolate, oats, roasted malts, and mild espresso.

Taste mimics the smell in almost a perfect balance. Bitter chocolate and burnt/roasted malts.

Full body, rich and velvety. Silky smooth.

Very easy to drink. This guy was great to hang out with and break in the college football season.

 456 characters

Photo of SteveO1231
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I picked up my 22 oz. bottle from Yankee Spirits a couple months ago and decided to pop it this weekend.

The bottle features the updated gargoyle logo, some hand-crafted type and royal blue borders screened right on the bottle. A long drown-out explanation of this years anniversary beer being a "bitter Chocolate" instead of a mega hop bomb due to the hop debacle.

The brew pours jet black with a foamy, dark tan head that fades pretty quick, not much lacing.

In the aroma department I get hints of licorice, espresso, and what else? Dark chocolate!

The brew is full-bodied with a creamy texture.

There is the faintest caramel sweetness up front, if you blink you'll miss it. A hint of licorice that fades as the beer warms. The beer tastes of pure unsweetened dark chocolate. Very faint roasted/espresso bean taste.

The brew finishes smooth, the bitterness digs into the palate and camps out exactly like dark chocolate does .

I really enjoyed this beer, it tastes exactly how is is described, Bitter Chocolate Stout!


 1,038 characters

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

Enjoyed right now (08/31/08 at 12:30am) from a 22oz Bomber bought at Whole Foods 1000 Oaks.

Drank from a UK-style pint glass.

A: Very dark brown body. Tall dark tan head. Head dissipated rather quickly. Good lacing left on the sides of the glass.

S: Roasted malt. Dark chocolate and coffee very prevalent. As the beer warmed I picked up espresso (keep in mind I am NOT a coffee/espresso/cappuccino drinker).

T: Taste is full of roasted malt, but not too sweet. A decent bitter dark chocolate taste throughout. Hops are there (at 9.2% ABV, that's a silly comment).

M: Pretty smooth, especially without nitro.

D: Honestly, the chocolate peanut butter w/wheat crackers I'm enjoying with it right now is very helpful, but I believe I'd be a fan regardless. I only wish I started an Anniversary collection along with a Vert Epic collection, becuase I think Stone has a secret vetical in the works here...

 905 characters

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber.

A. This is one of the best anniversary ales I have tried by any brewery. It pours dark brown, almost black, with a thin tan crown. Carbonation is slight, as it should be.

S. The smell is of roasted oats, bittwersweet chocolate, and cream. Though faint, the ingredients of this beer are definitely present in the aroma.

T. The taste is coffee and chocolate right from the get-go, and is followed by a sweet toffee presence. It finishes clean with a slight bitterness reminiscent of quality espresso.

M. Full-bodied and rich with flavor, the beer begins big and finishes big. The flavors last for minutes after each sip.

D. Stone has done it again. This is a very unique beer and very easy to drink. One of the most enjoyable stouts I have tasted in some time. I just wish I had more of it.

 830 characters

Photo of MurphyMacManus
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz. bomber into a big whiskey glass (not all at once) because the shape seemed appropriate.

Appearance: color and viscosity of dirty motor oil, with a dark coffee-colored head. Head didn't have much stick, but that could have been my choice of glassware.

Smell: high-quality bitter chocolate, alcohol as it warms, and coffee? (roasted barley?)

Taste: unsweetened chocolate...actually, more like unrefined cacao nibs. Slight sweetness, but not much typical stout astringency. Faint spicy note. Alcohol present in aroma is not overtly present in taste.

Mouthfeel: halfway between whole milk and cream, probably from the oatmeal.

Drinkability: not really a session beer simply because of thickness and alcohol content. Also, the aggressive bitterness from the chocolate makes it tough to down a lot quickly. It took me almost 3 hours to finish a bomber.

 859 characters

Photo of BeerSox
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into 8oz snifter.

Pitch black with a brown one finger head that slowly settles to a thin rim.

Very light bitter malt aromas, which is very surprising. The alcohol comes through a bit as the beer warms. Some light molasses aromas emerge as the beer warms.

The bitter malts are repeated along with a little bit of dark fruit and caramel. Some hop bitterness is in there toward the end. Only a little chocolate is in there. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The finish is lingering bitter malts and a bit of molasses.

An okay American Stout, it seems to lack the smoothness of your typical Oatmeal Stout. That's where the bitter comes in though. Slight complexity, although I feel like the flavor wasn't as full as I would have liked. Decent, try it for yourself.

 792 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
3.23/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

That's a lot of words for just one bottle. Pours a black hue with lighter darker brown hues. Mostly hazy when held to the light. Some lighter tan colored head with good retention and lacing.

The nose has a nice malty aroma with some lacto/milky notes. The malt to start has a rich smell with noticeable chocolate and coffee notes. Some milky notes are there but some what subtle. Noticeable solvent and fusel note but not over whelming. A earthiness that isn't all hops on the back end as well.

The taste has more of a malty backing and less of the chocolate and lacto. To start there is some astringency from the malt. There is more of a roast characteristic than chocolate. Some minor coffee notes as well. There are some hints of oats on the back end but very limited overall. Would like more chocolate and milky flavors. There are some yeast notes but nothing over the top. Noticeable fusel notes. Some minor mint and rose esters as well. There is a noticeable hop flavor on the back end which is odd for style.

The body is moderate to full. Some astringency from malt and hops. Would have liked more of a milky/silky feel. Overall a interesting beer. I think it will age nicely but for now, eh.

 1,202 characters

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice 2 finger head with some good lacing. There is a nice dark brown color as well.

The smell is a tiny bit faint at first, but I smell bitter chocolate and dark malts. As the beer warms, the smell becomes a bit more pronounced and an undertone of mint is detectable. Caramel malts seem to come out as well as the beer warms.

Wow. Bitter dark chocolate was definetly in abundance with this brew. As the beer wamrs the complexities come out a bit more. Some caramel malts come out and provide a nice sweetness. Then dark malts and bittersweet chocolate come out. Dark chocolate comes out in abundance as well. There is a bit of mint undertone and the booziness is just noticeable. It's not too bad at all.

The mouthfeel isn't bad, but it is a little thin. The chocolateyness clings decently to the palate like melted chocolate. However, I think some thicker malting could benefit the palate.

This a solid offering from stone. I didn't expect a hop monster this year with the hop shortage and I'm happy that they still delivered.

 1,039 characters

Photo of Jerzdevil1116
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber purchased at Circle Liquors in Somers Point, NJ. Drank from a pint glass.

A: Very dark brown/black, opaque body. Tall dark tan head. Some lacing left on the sides of the glass.

S: Roasted malt. Dark chocolate and coffee very prevalent. As the beer warmed I picked up subtle hints of molasses and dark fruits.

T: Taste is full of roasted malt, but never got sweet. A pleasant bitter dark chocolate taste throughout. Alcohol is also slightly noticible.

M: Very smoothe. Medium to full bodied.

D: I really liked this beer. It was flavorful without being overbearing as some big stouts can be. No problem finishing this bomber by myself. It went down very smoothe. Never really noticed the 9% alcohol, although I'm sure it will hit any minute now.

 760 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.66/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an inky black body with a tall, though collapsing, dark tan head.

Smell: Malty aroma smelling of freshly pulled espresso and dark chocolate sauce, with accompanying notes of prune skins, soot, and rubbing alcohol.

Taste: Thick, luscious maltiness with a sharp taste of espresso and burnt cocoa nibs. Light trace of fruitiness midway. Coarse, roasty tar component, maybe a touch of creosote. Very minor yeastiness. A bit hot on the roasty, creme da cacao finish.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Medium carbonation. Rather chewy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Paired well enough with the movie "Ben-Hur". An epic brew for an epic film. A little harsh and rough around the edges at this present stage, but hopefully some time spent mellowing in the cellar will do wonders for it.

 784 characters

Photo of Keith238
3.91/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chocolate brown color and dark head that you would expect from a chocolate stout. Very little popped out at me with the smell, just the oh-so-slight scent of chocolate. Pretty much the same with the taste, slight chocolate flavor. I would have preferred more of the bitter flavor I was expecting from the 'bitter chocolate'. The chocolate flavor does, however, linger long enough to savor. Mouthfeel was very good and just what I expected from an oatmeal stout, silky smooth and very drinkable. At 9.2% ABV I expected a bit more astringency and thankfully, it wasn't there.

All in all, a terrific beer. I'm glad I bought 2 bottles. I may even hit the store and grab 1 or 2 more before they're all gone. I suggest you do the same.

 730 characters

Photo of awall422
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

black pour with a two-finger light brown head that faded fairly quickly but left nice lacing. smell is subtle, not overpowering chocolate, a bit of alcohol and the usual imperial stout roasty etc etc. taste is mildly bitter, again balanced chololate, but nothing unusual. Mouthfeel was nice and rich, the oatmeal doing it's job nicely. pretty easy to drink for an imperial stout. overall i'd call this an above average version of the style, but not an "oh my god this is amazing" beer.

 485 characters

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

Now, fully realizing that I've still rated this Stone release with rather high marks, I'd like to initially say that this is definitely not my favorite of their beers. If it's possible to say that a beer weighing in at 9% with the color of jet black coal is "watery," then well frankly, I'd say that this is the case. Maybe it's just that the hops "weren't there." I don't know if this is really true, as it says on the back of the bottle, or if this is just a joke, but while true, it wasn't so sweet as the usual chocolate stout, I really just wanted more hops! Still, it was a great beer, and interesting at that though I think I'd like another bottle of their Russian Imperial over this one.

 695 characters

Photo of kmeves
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opache black with a coarse tan head. Aroma is lightly sweet chocolate, vanilla and a bit earthy. Flavor is smooth chocolate, some roasted and black malt bitterness and acidity with just a hint of alcohol. Finishes nice and bitter chocolate Long. Medium to full bodied, silky smooth texture. This one will no doubt improve with age.

 340 characters

Photo of ODBRIP
4.72/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another fine effort from Stone. I've tried a bunch of "chocolate stouts" from various brewers. This is probably my favorite one. As the name says, it is "bitter," apparently made from bitter chocolate. I usually dislike the added sweetness in other chocolate stouts, but this one is not sweet and has a complex bitterness. There is a pretty pronounced alcohol taste. The color is pitch black with a very dark brown head....looks like a good imperial stout.

Excellent beer, definitely worth a try.

 497 characters

Photo of flannelman808
3.62/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Im not impressed with this years anniversary beer. The 10th is my favorite beer all time maybe. this was a huge let down.

comes in a large bottle with the patented gargoyle on the front of course, but there is no promotion for the beer being an anniversary beer... strange. Maybe even stone doesn't think it to be worthy. In fact I sent the beer back thinking it was a mistake and then was shown the tiny little 12 on the back of the bottle.

that said...

smells like an oatmeal stout which some wood, and dark chocolate

Tastes sort of like their russian imperial but a little more bitter. Sweet and dark chocolate notes overwhelm the palate.

I didn't even finish my bottle... I didn't even finish a glass... I split the bottle with a friend and he didn't finish either. Maybe stone 12th anniversary bitter chocolate oatmeal stout is just not for me. Maybe that title is a mouthful just like the beer.

 906 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

How odd that I'm tasting a 12th Anniversary beer and the "8" Vertical Epic just a week or so before I take my first trip to San Diego...

The S.12.A.B.C.O.S. pours a pitch black body beneath a finger-thick head of brown froth. Well, it's not actually brown, but it's close. It's kind of the color of wet sand right after a wave has receeded. Let's just say 'very dark tan'. Head retention and lacing, however, could be better even given a 9.2% abv.

The nose is sweeter than might be expected given the color, but I guess that's the oatmeal at work (along with lots of malt). And the chocolate. It definitely has a cocoa note, and then some soft caramel. It's even sweetly bready - and the dark, very acidic coffee notes that the black body suggested to me are nowhere to be found. It is roasty, but it's a very soft roastiness. Supple. Surprisingly pleasant. And that carries over into the flavor...

... this dark beer is actually more of a teddy bear than a giant with sharp gnashing teeth. Oh - don't forget the strength, it's there for sure, but the alcohol never really shows itself, and the rich but somehow lower-key malts leave it remarkably smooth. I find distinct notes of caramel malt, a hint of cocoa, and and almost honey-glazed grainy/bready character. It's rich but it doesn't really appear rich. Or maybe I mean that it's not as 'hit you over the head' rich as you might expect. It's very drinkable.

The chocolate makes it's presence known mainly in the finish, followed by a bit of raspy bitterness, not surprisingly unlike bittersweet chocolate! Very well done! There's also a bit of hops that appear just after first sip, and carry through, making their biggest hit in the end. A touch of swirling dark licorice then appears and lingers for seemingly forever.

As for the mouthfeel, well a silky mouthfeel is commonly attributed to the use of oats, and it certainly has a silky mouthfeel. Medium-full bodied and SMOOTH.

Overall, I found it to be surprisingly drinkable despite its strenght, with a balance of softly sweet flavors and smoothness. Certainly worth checking out!

 2,099 characters

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

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head is promptly down to a thin layer of tiny bubbles, with slow-falling sticky lace. Aroma is rich dark oatmeal sweetness. Taste is sweet chocolate to start, but quickly overpowered by burnt oats, which give way to bitterness and alcohol at the close. Mouthfeel is a bit harsh, and drinkability is limited for me by same. Just a little too brash for me, even if it lives up to its name, and is just what the brewers wanted. Guess this time, I'm not as worthy as I could be...

 653 characters

Photo of number1bum
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black, no light through whatsoever, with a rich and creamy dark tan head that measures probably two inches. Head recedes to a thin but full lace, but doesn't leave a whole lot of stick.

Smell has dark chocolate for sure, but a nice milk chocolate sweetness, as well, along with some mocha. Bit of citrus hops going on there, too, and some booze.

Taste starts off with some lactose and milk chocolaty sweetness rather than dark chocolate, along with some mocha/coffee flavor. There is some fruity flavor going on here, too, a bit of citrusy hops I think. The dark, bitter chocolate really starts to come through into the finish, along with some roasted malt and a bit of hop bitterness. Finishes quite roasty and bitter, but it's not a charcoal-like unpleasant bitterness. I'd compare it to a subsantially hopped IPA with ample bitterness. I think that tolerance for hop bitterness is why I like this so much, but I can certainly see why this is too much for some people.

Mouthfeel is quite creamy, a rich full/medium body. Very nice.

This is a great brew. Awesome depth of chocolate flavor, and the bitterness really works for me. I like this a lot. I think I'm going to pick up a few more to put in the cellar. Happy 12 Stone. Congrats on another winner.

 1,271 characters

Photo of philbe311
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - SOlid high gloss black... Completely opaque... Thin dark brown caramel color head... Head fades quick leaving a minimal thin lacing... Coats glass fully...

S - Dark chocolate... Hops... Coffee... Burnt sugars.... Roasted malts...

T - Wow, that's a potent BIG beer... Alcohol first and foremost... Malts... Espresso...

M - Warming... Bitter... Dry... Full bodied... Tingly carbonation on the tongue...

D - Big beer... Serious sipper... Potent, but enjoyable...

 469 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to cstrack for this brew.

Poured into a Stone glass a nice black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, which leaves some sticky lacing behind. The nose is slightly sweet, malty, dark chocolate. The taste is slightly sweet, big malts, lots of bitter chocolate. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty brew. Thanks Casey.

 361 characters

Photo of brushtachio
3.49/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had this on two separate occasions. Once I drank it a little colder than I would normally drink a stout. The second time I had it closer to 50-55 deg. and surprisingly I found that I liked it better very cold.

Pours nice and black and produces a nice chocolate head with a little coaxing

Cold, it's smell was subdued but enjoyable with chocolate, roasted malt and a little smoke. Warmer, all these smells were pushed out by a really dominant booziness.

With the taste, again, unless extremely cold, the rubbing alcohol burn is overpowering and detracts from the chocolate and malt. When the booze taste subsides, you still get the lingering hops and chocolate bitterness

Mouthfeel is silky but thinner than expected.

The heavy booze presence keeps the drinkability low unless you like ice cold stouts

 813 characters

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