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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.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 705 | Ratings: 960
Photo of stakem
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber marked July 2008 poured into a stone pint glass. It's overdue that I finally take the time to dust a bottle of this off and give it a review.

As this brew sits in my pint glass, it appears a pitch black color with hardly any light showing through even the edges. When held to the light, it displays some decent clarity around the outer most edges which gives way to some lighter brown hues and redness. The cap appears a dark tan to brown color, a finger strong that quickly recedes to a thin film across the top of the brew. A light swirl hardly revives the cap's strength, it just pushes the bubble formation closer to the edges of the glassware. Faint spotty lacework clings to the glass.

The aroma of this brew is all over the place. For a label that reads bitter chocolate stout, the first things I pick up on are that of dark fruits, raisin, plum, figs that give way to licorice, chocolate, fresh grains and a slight indication of oxidation. There is a light burnt to charcoal aroma that leads into a scent that is minorly reminiscent of soy sauce. The soy in this case is not dominating or overpowering, it provides a pleasant depth to the aroma of this brew without going over the top and being distracting. The backend of this brew's scent finishes with the chocolate notes that are edging towards smelling burnt.

The taste of this brew is dark and roasty, it leaves a taste of heavily kilned grains inside the mouth that last with every sip which taste like semi-sweet chocolate. Fruity flavors of raisins and prunes accent the fruity aspect of the bold alcohol that is still evident in this brew. There is a sweet grainy flavor that meshes well with the fruity alcohol flavors of this brew before turning burnt on the tongue with a light musty character. More sips of this brew reveal a light amount of oxidation in the form of soy.

This is a medium to full bodied brew that seemingly coats the inside of the mouth with a silky smoothness. The carbonation is moderate which is peculiar because it appears visually as being inadequate but as the brew rests inside the mouth it is prickly and lively. At 3 years old I would say this brew is holding up pretty well. The alcohol is still readily evident with both flavor and warming factor down the throat. However, the soy notes elude to possible packaging fatigue at this point. I would love to be able to sit here and taste this brew fresh verse what it is now but that obviously isnt possible with a one-time brew. If you haven't had this yet, get out there and get it before it's too late.

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Photo of jwc215
3.35/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a thin brown head that immediately disappears.

The smell is of baker's chocolate, something rubbery and slightly burnt. Aroma improves a bit with progress.

The taste is of bitter chocolate with boozy alcohol. Bitter with restrained sweetness, though some chocolate chip oatmeal cookie does come to mind in the aftertaste, at first. As it progresses, it takes on more of a burnt coffee taste. Then, oddly switches back and forth. Acidity pretty high on a whole.

Almost full bodied, with a bit of thinness showing through at times.

Despite booziness/high abv, and some characteristics that seem to pop through throwing it off, it does have a certain "sipping" drinkability. I do have mixed feelings about this one, with some smells and sips better than others. As a whole, though, the burnt edges and small other "detractors" (i.e. some aroma that is rubbery/overly tar-like) make this stand in the way of what it could be.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown/black with a decent sized tan head that impales itself to the inside of the glass as I drink in its chocolaty goodness. Smells of roasted malts, and bitter chocolate. Hints of citrus hops hide in the background. Taste is bitter roast and chocolate, a little bit of alcohol, more as it warms. Mouthfeel is silky smooth and very creamy. Thick body with light carbonation. Another fantastic brew from Stone, I'm going to try to put a bottle away to see how this one ages.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Discount Liquor a while back. Served in a Bell's tulip.

A - A finger of tan foam settles to a thin collar, some wisps, and a bit of spotty lace. Black body with a glint of brown at the edges of the glass.

S - Definitely lots of bitter chocolate. Lightly roasted grains, caramel, and perhaps a faint bit of oxidation creeping in. Needs to warm up a bit, but otherwise fairly enjoyable.

T - Taste is also heavy on the mildly bitter baker's chocolate, with some notes of vanilla, anise, and caramel. Unfortunately it seems a bit hollow mid-palate and perhaps is showing its age here.

M - Medium body, velvety melted chocolate bar texture, lower carbonation, and a lightly dry finish. None of the listed 9.2% shows up after 3+ years of aging.

D - While this is was still pretty decent I feeling this one is on the decline, although mileage may vary based on cellar conditions. Still, an enjoyable tick.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

July 2008 bottle, shared in May 2011

A – Deep black with mahogany / brown highlights. Dark khaki head builds and settles quickly. Ok lace.

S – Plums, raisins, molasses, bitter chocolate and porage.

T – Tingly booze and raisin into a juicy molasses. The center is a huge, dark, 70% cocoa chocolate, which is greeted by a smooth coffee flavor a step later in the profile, and cradled by a soft alcohol note.

M – Full bodied. Surprisingly well carbonated. Smooth and creamy throughout without being syrupy.

O - Held up great with age. There's a lace of booze in the profile, but imho it does a nice job of supporting the flavor profile so I wouldn't give this much more time in the cellar.

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Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A new Stone offering to savor and appreciate, ahhh, Life is good! This bottle cam straight from Grover himself, thanks G. Pours dark mahogany/near black, dark tan head, initially quite solid then slowly fading to a ringed film and leaves better then average lace.
Nose is the expected chocolate, burnt malt and espresso grains. Full flavor brew (surprise) plenty of coffee grain, dark chocolate, dark grains, yum, stout lovers rejoice...try it mixed with some sort of cherry beer and go nuts...thanks Stone for putting more fine brew on the market and in my hands/belly

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

Served in a Stone 15th Anniversary snifter, this is a really nice beer. Beer is black with a one finger dark brown head of small bubbles, good retention, nice lacing, looks great.

Aroma is strong and chocolaty, with a mild roast.

Beer is medium in body and sweet with a nice late bitterness from the roast of the grains, the finish is clean and the midpalate is sweet with a nice chocolate flavor and a medium body. I really like it. I'd have it again.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

06/26/09- Purchased at Bevmo in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2008 12th Annv release. Poured into my Stone RIS tulip.

Appearance- Larger one inch plus forming head on the pour. Deep brown colored head with some small patches of lace and a few streaks left in the wake.

Smell- Textbook Stone with the pungent pine and grapefruit hops mixed in with a malt ball chocolate powder scent.

Taste- Malt is very dark here...almost cigarette ash-like. Not really smokey...just burnt ash flavor malt...which is a pretty good thing with this beer. Hops are here and pretty hefty. But, it doesn't overpower the semi sweet and lightly bitter chocolate flavor...mixes well together.

Mouthfeel- Pretty smooth with a mid to lower carbonation level. Somewhat silky, but wouldn't go as far as saying creamy...it is very nice though.

Drinkability- Quite a nice brew...finally got to try this one with almost a year in the fridge. Worth a buy if you can still find any.

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

I forgot that I had this bottle and haven't had it fresh, so unfortunately I can't comment on how well this has or has not held up over the past couple of years.

Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Poured a thick, dark inky black colour with 1/4" of bubbly light brown head that quickly reduced to a few bubbles.

S - Bitter dark roasted chocolate, licorice and sweet molasses with a touch of coffee and vanilla. A very robust nose and not overly sweet.

T - Roasted malts, dark chocolate, sweet molasses and a very good bitterness that has somehow survived the past couple of years as it sat in my cellar. The background adds hints of licorice and coffee. The finish is dry and bitter with a touch of alcohol noticeable.

M - A little thin, especially after the thick inky pour. Medium body that is somewhat watery and thin at times yet also somewhat sludgy and viscous at other times. Light to moderate carbonation.

O - Didn't have this fresh to compare this 3 year old bottle to, but this seemed to hold up pretty well.

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Photo of tempest
2.94/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Split a bomber with a friend after dinner. Pour pitch black with a tan head.

I'm not feeling this beer. It reminds me of Hoppin' Frog's B.O.R.I.S., another big oatmeal stout I wasn't crazy about. At first the aroma smells like pure vodka, but eventually roasted grains come out. The flavor isn't much better for me as it tastes like a mess. I can tell there are black malt, chocolate, and oats, but the flavors tend to clash instead of working together. I should add that it's not like this beer tastes bad, it's just that for all that's going on, it could be better. I seem to be out of the norm here, but I'd still say this beer is worth a try for something different.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very black liquid, which I love for the most part. The glossy brown, semi-dense head looks like cocoa powder sprinkled on top. Looks good, would like to see better head (Hey-Ooo)

Anyway, aroma isn't quite there. Some roasted malt, hints of coffee and the faint lingering of chocolate (perhaps just because the name suggests it).
Good roasted flavor. A good stout. Again, faint coffee and chocolate characteristics. Bitter? Just a bit. Chocolate? Just a bit. This is a good drinking beer, not quite a great beer. Hopefully it will age well.

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Photo of WesWes
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
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 Gavage
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: black in color with a 2" head that slowly falls. Some spotty lace develops.

Smell: bitter chocolate, light alcohol, and roasted malts are bold and provides an enjoyable aroma.

Taste: roasted malts, bitter chocolates, alcohol, prunes, molasses, and oats. Bitterness is hearty and creates a balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: smooth and silky throughout. Very long roasted malt and bitter chocolate aftertaste. Heavy bodied beer.

Drinkability: very tasty brew but alcohol levels leave this as a slow sipper and no more than one bottle per session. Nice tasty beer.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What will one year of age do to this beer? On to the beer:

Pours thick into my Guinness pint glass. Super tanned espresso head sits on top this invincible black bodied beer. The aroma beings up good sweet flavors. Chcocolate syrup anyone? There is a hoppy character in its background, as is roasted coffee.

Semi-sweet chocolatey! There's a bit of roastiness hitting and sticking to palate midway. It has a very dominating chocolate flavor working in its favor, hardly anything bitter about it. I don't really taste the oatmeal, but it could explain the "lighter" than imperial feel, not that its a bad thing in this case. Somewhat charred. There is some fusel alcohol felt as the beer closes to a finish, but it is washed away by faint coffee and heavier sweet chocolate.

If you have this beer in your possession, it will be good right now. Drinkable without weighing you down, and plenty to satisfy that sweetooth without becoming cloying. Okay....what I'm trying to say is...bring this back for another round!

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Photo of Mora2000
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kaiser81 for trading this one to me.

Pours black with a brown head. Aroma is sweet roasted malt with a strong bitter chocolate component. The flavor is lots of coffee. Chocolate is present as well with it beginning as a darker almost milk chocolate and ending with a bitter finish. Very creamy thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I love stouts that include oatmeal and this is one of the best ones I have had.

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

I was lucky enough to find this bottle at a local shoppe, sitting next to the 13th, 14th, and the 15th as it had just arrived. Funny thing to see.

This one pours a jet black in color, medium in body, with a slight beige lacing. It smells of roasted malts, sweet chocolates, and light bitter coffee. It's held up pretty well so far. It drinks medium in body and features flavors of bitter chocolates, sweet chocolates, faded coffee, and sweet malts. It still has the flavor that I loved a couple years ago. It drinks very well and has held up well. It's very drinkable due to the array of appealing flavors. Very nice beer, still. I feel bad giving it a 4.0.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A healthy pour produces a cresting, initially four-finger thick, richly browned, frothy head. As the head slowly collapses it leaves quite a bit of lacing on the sides of my 25cl tulip glass. The beer is quite simply black and remains opaque no matter how close I hold it up to the light. Bitter burnt grain aroma and substantially toasted malt aromas are easily noticeable. At times a rich chocolate note is noticed, but at others it is drowned out by the roast character. The burnt malt notes at times can be overwhelmingly sharp, acrid and acidic and that once noticed chocolate note seems to be a faint memory. Hot alcohol notes are noticeable as the beer gets near room temperature.

Thick and creamy feeling up front and not any where near as sweet as the body would suggest. Lots of bitter burnt malt notes linger from beginning to end and in fact really lingers on in the palate after the beer has gone down my throat. Some thin, bitter, dark chocolate notes are found in the middle of this beer and the finish has a lingering note of dusty, dark cocoa powder. Even as the beer gets substantially warmer it does not lose its aggressive, acrid burnt flavors. They become perhaps a touch more tempered, but still overly influence the finish and make this excessively bitter. On the plus side, while it is quite burnt in character, the flavor does note get overly acidic from the burnt notes.

This beer is going to need some time before I can really get into it. The question remains though if it will mellow before it becomes overly oxidized. A great beer for those who like aggressively roasted flavors, I can't quite get into this though as it makes me think I am chewing on charcoal.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 picked up today at the Coop for about $6.80... poured into my shaped Sam Adams glass.

The pour was beautiful with a pretty reverse cascade thing going on.. 2 finger head is very dark brown.. even for a big stout... brew is very very dark... no light escapes... nice lacing.. dries leaving crusty bubbles.

Aroma is deep.. coffee and chocolate... smell improves immensely as it warms.. melted dark chocolate and cocoa nibs... yummy... even smells smooth and creamy... somewhat more stout characteristics appear than the expected chocolate.

Flavor is huge... I honestly was not expecting something this rich... The bitterness is also huge.. but it's not a hop bitterness.. more of an astringent (not in a bad way) cocoa presence... like a strong espresso with a couple squares of Hershey's dark melted and mixed in. Yeasty fruitiness raises its head slightly above water as it warms up a bit.. a little bit of dried cherry but still subdued and buried by the roasty/chocolate characteristics... a little bit black licorice note is barely distinguishable... mouthfeel is fairly thick but not chewy.. I like it.. very very smooth and coating... Despite reservations, I am leaving the drinkability fairly high not because I want another glass, but because I want another sip and I want "this" glass to last.

I don't know how this will age.. but I am going to pick up my share for the cellar and then drink these often until they're gone... really a very very good brew.. that said, I really hope the hop shortage is gone by next spring/summer.... I hope Stone comes out swinging with a massive triple IPA.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
2.78/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A. Poured at cellar temperature from a bomber into a pint glass. Dark brown syrup with a light brown head. No lace.

S. Alcohol, Oats, slight bakers chocolate, light expresso.

T. There is a small hop bitterness followed by a strong boozy note accented by chocolate. Its not very good actually. Way too young.

M. Leaves a strong bitter alcohal lingering taste, like after drinking liqour.

D. This is average drinking at best. It only scores points for giving me a buzz, which I did in fact desire after this disappointment.

Age the hell out of this one!

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Photo of biegaman
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Charred steak dressed with a most thorough and unbending tone of black. There may be just the slightest glint of crimson when held directly into the light but it's quite hard to produce. This is the physical definition of the word 'opaque'. A bold, ebony trim delineates the beer's contour and with any agitation will wash over the surface with a thickset bed of foam.

This smells an awfully lot like a good, homemade Mexican mole dish; I can't seem to shake this scent of cocoa beans and spicy chillies (part of that may just be the alcohol giving you fair warning!) Although I also detect notes of coffee, black licorice, browned sugar and tiramisu, more than anything this resembles a mole recipe that combines cocoa and dark chocolate, peanuts and blanched almonds, caramelized shallots, chipotle, ancho and mulato chillies.

The oatmeal has made for an oily slick and creamy full mouthfeel. It's amazing the level of elegance this can have considering it's also a high alcohol and heavy roasted stout. The alcohol is never tasted but is omnipotent nevertheless. In aroma and taste - especially reaching room temperature - the warming sensation can sometimes reach a scathing level.

The flavour isn't nearly as dominated by bitter chocolate as the beer's name and bottle might have you believe - I would have pegged tiramisu before that. This foremost tastes like an Imperial Stout. It has a prominent foreground of roasted malts with the backdrop of dark caramel, creme brulee, toffee biscuits, flat coffee and over-ripe black currants. Come to think, with a cast of flavours like that it's no surprise the chocolate isn't more pronounced.

Despite this gracefully silky smooth texture I don't think drinking a whole bomber to one's self is feasible. Granted, the beer is as elegant as it is dark but it's also a little more strong than it is flavorful. Pairing this alongside some rich desserts not only sounds decadent, it's starting to seem necessary. Listening to my own advice, I've now paired this with some dark chocolate truffles and you can read my lips: Y-U-M!

Stone's Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout is certainly deserving of it's special anniversary ale merit. There is a certain "je ne sais quoi" about it that you know you're drinking something special. If you're planning to serve something decadent for after dinner than including this would probably double the decadence. I know that the people at Stone realize pairing drink with food is important and so I'm glad they've decided not to skip out on dessert!

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber picked up today,

A: Pours black, with a medium dark brown head, giving it an extra .5 since it's probably the darkest beer I have ever seen.

S: Chocolate of course, some espresso, malted milk balls.

T: Lots of bitter dark chocolate bombards the taste buds on the first sip, heavy cacao. No real coffee note, except for some light espresso note in the middle. Sweetness of the oatmeal comes afterwards and mellows the flavour. I might have expected a little more complexity, but it's still damn tasty brew.

M: Carbonation is very light and fluffy, body feels to light for a 9.2% brew, but quite drinkable for its heft.

D: This is a good big stout from Stone, probably the most drinkable of the anniversaries that I have had, though 9th would be close. Definitely will pick up some more bottles while it is out.

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

Pours and looks like used 10-40W motor oil, promising.

Light proof black beer with a small brown head, oh yeah it's not a porter.

Bittersweet scent that you can smell from a distance. Getting up close this is a boozy bittersweet chocolate beer with a hint of vanilla, berries and wood. Strongly scented with chocolate almost a dark chocolate bar in beer form.

Taste starts out sweet and chocolate with a silky mouth feel a lot like melted chocolate. A little sweet and a little bitter with a trace of coffee and malt char in the flavor. Big vanilla flavor so I suspect white oak or Bourbon was involved somehow. British Ale fruity flavors show as the beer warms up quite a bit. Alcohol completely hidden.

Mouthfeel is silk.

Don't give many 5s but this beer deserves it for drinkability. At room temperature and this just keeps getting tastier! Smooth as sin, really close to drinking expensive chocolate instead of eating it. Think best chocolate beer ever.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a very short head that fades to almost nothing. The beer itself, though, is glossy and beautiful. A little alcohol heat in the aroma, which is the only place that any alcohol is noticeable. Dark chocolate, vanilla, and some light roastiness round it out. The taste is incredibly smooth and qquite delicious. Nice bitter dark chocolate combines with a more pronounced roastiness than evident in the aroma. Long, and rich and not sweet at all. The mouthfeel is silky and smooth and this beer is surprisingly subtle and very tasty. Extremely easy to drink, the alcohol is especially well hidden.

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Photo of John_M
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another impressive beer from Stone, reminding me very much of the RIS, but with (predictably) more of a chocolate overtone.

On tap at Mahaffey's the other day.

The beer pours a solid black color with persistent, chocolate/coffee colored head. Head retention is pretty good and there is good sticky lacing. The nose on this beer is pretty complex, with coffee, cherry, vanilla, chocolate, some roastiness and licorise. The flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, except the licorise is even more pronounced. The beer has a sizable presence on the palate and tastes like a big beer (which of course, it is). While moderately sweet initially, the hops come on strong at the end, giving the beer almost a grainy mouthfeel. The beer finishes fairly dry, and frankly is a bit heavy and tiring. I think the finish hurts this beers drinkability just a bit, though it's certainly an impressive effort from Stone. I get the impression that this one may improve considerably with age, not unlike the Stone RIS. Still a solid beer.

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Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout from Stone Brewing
4.1 out of 5 based on 960 ratings.
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