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Big Gruesome Peanut Butter Chocolate Stout | Spring House Brewing Company

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Big Gruesome Peanut Butter Chocolate StoutBig Gruesome Peanut Butter Chocolate Stout

Brewed by:
Spring House Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Creamy, malty, and full-bodied, the Big Gruesome Stout is scary good. The intense, roasty flavor comes from two types of chocolate malt and raw cocoa nibs. The stout is then aged on whole vanilla beans and more raw cocoa nibs to enhance the chocolate flavors. Rich peanut butter is introduced throughout the entire brewing process to make this stout even more Gruesome.

Added by llllDrGONZOllll on 05-06-2011

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Reviews: 128 | Ratings: 737
Photo of hollyisaway
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bomber from Tommy's Pizza into a Flying Dog Goblet. No bottling date, but store owner informed me this was a fresh batch and brand new to the store.

A quick note: The fives above are not an exaggeration. This is possibly my "specialty" beer, with the peanut butter being a pretty rare ingredient in something approaching an imperial stout. I have also had this on tap at varying times and freshness, and it has never let me down.

Appearance: This is what I want in a stout. Thin but tan heading, quickly dissipating at that. Pitch black, even when held to a light to analyze the sides. Something about Springhouse's malt just seems to have a distinctive character that imparts that darkness to nearly any stout they make.

Smell: Peanut butter and chocolate, with peanut butter overtaking the chocolate. A more traditional, seemingly roasted malt, lingers at the back.

Taste: My favorite part. Everything said about the smell applies here, along with a better dose of malt. Hop bitterness eventually hits, but it does take a few moments of the swallow. Thankfully, the bitterness compels you to keep drinking for the thickness and sweetness. Nothing against the bitterness, but I love the effect of it. I can't imagine it being planned, and there is less of this effect when on drat.

Mouthfeel: See above for my comments on the bitterness. Otherwise, smooth drinking with no alcohol burn. Roasted malt and some hop burn linger near the gums, but oddly not the throat. No alcohol burn to speak of, which is pretty amazing at 8% and the sweetness involved.

Overall: I have driven 3 hours for this beer. I enjoy it more than almost any East Coast rarity. Just absolutely beautiful and totally worth it, considering a growler runs $11-13 and a bomber $6 at any reasonably priced store.

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Photo of HannahMarieGrey
4.99/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark almost black appearance. Large frothy tan head. Smooth velvet going down on the tongue. The aroma was present as soon as I started pouring it and smells amazing. Nutty toasted smells with hint of coffee. pleasantly surprised that peanut butter taste is in finish. Dark cocoa nib after the peanut butter taste. Some espresso after taste when swallowing. All over excellent flavored beer. I would definitely buy this again

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Photo of kerry4porters
4.87/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Incredibly tasty beer with fantastic practically written on. Superb roasty flavor like a peanut butter coffee dark chocolate black coffee touch of cream and the peanut butter it's got a good full moth feel smooth going down with just enough bitter to balance all of the sweet

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Photo of JStampler
4.77/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Thin black base with a fluffy tan head.
Smell: Peanut better comes out strong followed by chocolate.
Taste: The opposite of the smell, the chocolate takes the front seat and the peanut butter comes out in the finish.
Feel: Thin but creamy which is to be expected for the style. Moderate carbonation. This ones leaves you wanting more.
Overall: This is easily one of the beast peanut butter beers I've had.

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Photo of ajilllau
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Wow this is a great beer. When poured you can really smell the chocolate & the peanut butter. There is so much going on with the taste and it would be a perfect beer to drink with a rich dessert. Both mentioned flavours can be noticed when drinking and it has a great pntbtr finish. I will definitely be drinking this again.

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Photo of Hellabeerguzzler
4.74/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pitch blach, thin head (generally looks like a serious Imperial should)

S - Exceptional - mmm... roasted pb with chocolate and coffee notes and a tiny *sniff* subdued hint of hoppage

T - Exceptional - again, does not dissappoint. Don't like boozy beers and this one disguises the alcohol all but totally. The rest is just chocolaty, toasted malty bread w/ a touch of peanut butter... well you just have to try it.

M - Creamy, no grittiness, buttery smooth and finishes nicely without any chemical or strange flavoring. Very good.

O - What else can I say? Read above and then go try some (if you can).

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Photo of pinyin
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Barring barrel aged stouts and porters, this is hands down the best tasting dark beer I have ever had in the US.

Just an all around flavor explosion.

This tastes exactly like a Godiva Chocolate Peanut Butter Confection, or as someone mentioned before like a Reese's Holiday Peanut Butter Egg. Closer to the egg version, not the actual year round Peanutbutter Cups.

Texture and lacing are perfect, and it's not as heavy as the name would imply. It has a nice light carbonation, and a lighter black almost brownish color. Not too sweet either. They have the sugar balance just right on this one.

It's highly addictive.

The only issue with this offering from Spring House is that I cannot buy it anywhere, except for the local pub. When I went to my local pubs distributor in Pen Argyl, PA they did not have any left in stock in either 22 ounce 12 packs or quarter barrels, so distribution of this stout is very limited and scarce.

Don't even bother with the Spring House's Little Gruesome Peanutbutter and Jelly Stout. It's not even in the same league.

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Photo of chefhatt
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes.
On-tap at Paradise by the slice
It has a nice dark black body to it with no head but just a thin tan lace around the edge of the glass. The smell was right away of nice cocoa, and peanut butter. The taste was a little sweet but not overpowering. The chocolate and peanut butter is well balanced and even had a hint of roasted flavor in there also. It is defently a peanut butter cup in a glass. The mouth feel is great was nice and smooth and Overall this beer is great.

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4.67/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler to stemless wine glass. Sampled 11/27/11.

A: The pour produces a finger and a half of dark tan head, bubbly, foamy, semi-compacted and rather long lasting. While the head sticks to the glass fairly well, the jet black body adds only an average amount of lacing.

S: As advertised. The nose on this beer is fantastic. A peanut buttery nuttiness is the most prominent aroma, or at least it stands out the most. Dark, bitter chocolate wafts in and blends perfectly. The combination of the two is as good as they've ever been.

T: The flavor is nutty, but not as convincingly "peanut butter" as the nose suggested. Incredible nonetheless. The chocolate comes across more milky sweet on the palate than it does on the nose. Coffee flavor lingers in the background. Bitterness is adequate and keeps the sweetness at bay. Fantastic flavor and the drinkability is off of the charts. I'm not entirely convinced there is any alcohol in this beer...

M: Rich and decadent with a creamy texture. The level of effervescence is spot on. Desperate for a complaint, I might say that the mouthfeel is a touch thin. Then again, for an 8% ABV, nothing is out of line.

O: I've had most of the beers from Spring House's roster and the Big Gruesome is, by far, the most complete and most impressive beer Matt has made to date. Keep up the good work!

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Photo of Oakenator
4.66/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours a dark black with a full tan head. Head disappates relatively quickly. Leaves some good streaked lacing on the glass.

S: Reese's peanut butter cup. Strong peanut butter aroma and chocolate.

T: Lots of malting up front and quickly turns to a peanut butter cup. This is a great re-creation via beer. Strong peanut butter on the finish - lingers nicely for a while.

M: Heavy brew - lots of body. Dessert.

O: Awesome.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.65/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ffejherb for the grolwer in this month's installment of Growlin' At The Moon.

Pours black with a thin off-white head fading nearly immediately and a bit of lacing.

Strong peanut butter aroma. Pretty fantastic as it doesn't smell artificial at all.

The taste delivers what is promised as well. A little bit of roasted malt up front and then the peanut butter takes over. Finishes grainy with a distinct nuttiness. Slightly sweet at times, but not cloying.

Mouthfeel is a tad lighter than I'd prefer, but not bad with medium carbonation levels.

Most "gimmick" beers tend to disappoint, but this one comes close to living up to it. It really does taste like eating a piece of peanut butter chocolate candy.

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Photo of Deuane
4.64/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My initial reaction---Sweet Mother of Pearl!

A-A thick tan, dense nitro head lies a top a black body of goodness. Head slowly reduces to a thin cap and leaves nice ringing lace.

S-Freshly ground Zimmerman's peanut butter up front with crushed, earthy cacao beans with just a hint of astringency---AMAZING!

T-A healthy dose of chocoalte and earthy bitterness up front with just a touch of peanut butter sweetness to mellow things out. Certainly very good but not quite not as awesome as the aroma.

M-Medium bodied with the smooth nitro delivery one would expect. Nice lingering chocolate and hop bitterness with a subtle peanut butter sweetness sneaking in on the backside.

O-Simply put--An absolute masterpiece! This is, without question, one of the finest "speciality" stouts I have ever had! Amazingly delicious and insanely drinkable!

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Photo of deg
4.63/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The beer poured dark. Not quite opaque black, but close. Head was a dark coffee color. I picked up the smell of chocolate. I took a taste. Very nice, though not quite what I expected. I picked up a chocolate cherry flavor, which I did not expect but was pleasant. The peanut butter taste was light, I almost missed it. I heard from long time fans of the beer that last year's batch had a heavier peanut butter taste than this year, so that would explain what I tasted. I noticed a nice roastiness and a little alcohol warmth.

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Photo of llllDrGONZOllll
4.62/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Spring House Taproom, nitro pour and the outstanding reccomendation of Bethany the punk ASSed bartender.

The apperance is that of black velvet excellence, creamy off white head and the body of night herself. The aromas of fresh roasted nuts and toast come through first. The initial taste is nothing but stout, while the middle of the tongue produces chocolate and peanut butter on toasted wheat bread. The proclaimed 8% ABV sneaks by undetected while your pallet revels in the peanut butter goodness. I am praying this stout comes my way again and becomes more than a memory to brag of.

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Photo of AJ721
4.61/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Black as night, no light coming thru on this one
Aroma: Roasted Peanuts and Sweet Malts
Taste: Does not follow the aroma,lacks in the taste, I'm getting a watered down roasted coffee taste with no chocolate or peanut butter to speak of.
Feel: Lacks Body, very watered down. I was hoping for a thick mouth feel on this stout.
Overall: I appreciate the attempt, but I've seen this style fail too many times.
April 2015 Review

February 2016
Appearance: Same as April 2015, No Light on this one.
Aroma: Much better than last time, Fresh Roasted peanuts, Sweet Honey, as soon as I cracked the bottle I was hit. Dark Chocolate aroma just absolutely inviting.
Taste: Followed the nose with the addition of the smoothness and taste of milk chocolate.
Feel: Great Full Bodied Stout, exactly want I was looking for.
Overall: I received a second bottle as an extra in a trade from my beer brother in PA, and I am very glad I got to try this again. It was nice to see that they worked out the tweaks and this beer changed to be probably one of my favorite Choco PB Stouts. Maybe I got a bad bottle originally but after trying it again, I was so impressed I had to edit my original rating. Cheers !

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Photo of troegaarden
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this from a bomber into a Dogfish Head Signature glass.

A: The beer pours an oily black with a nice, one inch tan head. It's a pretty stout for sure.

S: Definitely big notes of peanut butter in the nose. Not so much chocolate, but hey.

T: Big notes of peanut butter with a solid backbone on this brew. I get some chocolate, but peanut definitely dominates this beer. This beer finishes relatively dry.

M: The mouthfeel is pretty smooth as a stout like this should be. Dig it.

O: Overall, I like this beer a good bit. This is definitely comparable to Sweet Baby Jesus and is very tasty. Cheers!

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Photo of boralyl
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours pitch black with a nice creamy dark tan head that has nice retention and laces well.

S - Smells just like peanut butter and nuts.

M - Full in body with light carbonation. The nitro pour gives it a very smooth creamy feel.

T - The beer begins with some light sweetness followed by honest to goodness peanut butter. Dark chocolate rounds out the beer leaving a little bit of chocolate bitterness in the aftertaste.

This was an unexpected surprise. The beer tastes exactly as it's described, a chocolate peanut butter stout, definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.54/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On nitro-tap at Spring House Taproom on 5/17/11.

A - Menacing midnight black body with a finger's width of dense burnt tan foam on top, which reduced to form lacing reminiscent of cake batter all around the glass.

S - Once the head dissipated, I was greeted by an amazing peanut butter cup candy bar aroma chock full of bitter dark chocolate, semi-sweet cocoa and sweet peanut butter. A hint of alcohol also emerged as the liquid warmed up.

T - Surprisingly, the flavor is not as sweet as I was anticipating, which is something I really liked about this stout. The bitterness of the chocolate works really well with its sweeter peanut butter counterpart, giving amazing balance to the flavor. Finishes rather bitter with a slight herbal tinge in the backend, although the peanut butter character gives a final push just to give the finish a bit more balance.

M - Medium bodied with a really smooth, creamy texture, although not too thick. Mouthfeel is velvety and soft. Finishes bittersweet on the palate, although a tad heavier on the bitter versus the sweet.

D - Who put their chocolate in my peanut butter?! OK, it is official... Matt's forte is definitely brewing stouts! Planet Bean, Kerplunk, and now this masterpiece!

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Photo of StrongRepublican
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours inky black with a thin, dark brown head that leaves a slight foamy collar. Aroma is mainly milk chocolate/cocoa with a noticeable sweet vanilla bean presence and some nuttiness. Flavor is everything the aroma suggests, with a slightly more distinct peanut butter finish. Lots of chocolate malt, a very subtle roasted character, big fresh vanilla flavors and pronounced sweetness. Mouth feel is creamy and smooth, feels like a milk stout. This is a great beer that doesn’t disappoint. The name alone is bold and thankfully the beer lives up to it.

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Photo of punxsybob
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The reviews I read were on point, tastes like a chocolate peanut butter cup. This IS a desert beer and well worth the effort to seek out. I am going to the tap house soon to seek out more. I even convinced a friend to try this one and he is an IPA fan slowly converting to an IPA and Stout fan!

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Photo of luvND
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P: draft in the basement pub
A: black, nice white/tan head
S: as advertised, chocolate and pbutter, really nicely blended, a little roasty as well
T: all chocolate up front but not too sweet or thick, peanut butter comes mostly after the swallow and is really nice, aftertaste is a slightly bitter with a nice gently hop character
M: great, not too thick and heavy

Overall: Was very skeptical until my distributor got a growler to share, liked it so much I got a sixtel hooked up in the basement pub. This beer has been extremely popular with friends I've had over. Really tasty brew, great in cold weather and they nailed the mouthfeel by keeping it not too heavy/thick which keeps it drinkable for a few pints. Excellent stuff

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Photo of RVigz
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Extremely dark brown with very little dark amber head.

Smell: The closest thing i can describe the smell to is a reeses peanut butter cup.

Taste: The initial is of a nutty but sweet peanut butter that follows with a malty dark chocolate that is bitter but has a great creamy peanut aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Although this beer is bitter, is has a very smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: It tastes exactly the way you think it will, very delicious and i would recommend it to anyone!

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Photo of maximum12
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to stormking47 for a growler of this delicious-sounding beer from a brewery that makes one of my favorite coffee stouts of all time. Popped open at a truly astounding tasting in Lake City on 1/13/12.

Small pour is dark on dark, nice carbonation despite having put on some frequent flier miles & sitting in my fridge for a month. Nose is simple & stellar: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Given that I could eat this candy until I puked, this is a promising turn of events.

A review of Big Gruesome could really end right there: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. The taste is eerily similar, with hefty peanut butter & chocolate notes crushing the palate. Only spare notes of roast interfere with the candied fun. Thick & creamy, this is a big stout that I could drink all night. And I did. Samples got progressively bigger as I wandered back to the growler repeatedly.

In a night where all sorts of ridiculously good stouts were popped & poured, Big Gruesome didn't hold it's own - it stood out like a good show on HGTV. Just a magnificent stout that really delivered. Excellent.

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Photo of Omnium
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at House of 1000 Beers from December 13 I think.

A - Total pitch black with two fingers of rich tan head, thick with foamy lacing.
S - Smells like someone opened up some Reese's, big roasted peanut and malt smell, some dark chocolates.
T - This thing tastes like liquid peanut butter cups, some toasted malt, nutty, wonderful blend of dark and milk chocolate.
M - Super rich, velvety, creamy smooth.
O - This beer is by far the best one of any chocolate peanut butter beers out there. Perfect desert beer.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.46/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was poured into a snifter.
The appearance was a black color with a one finger white to off white foamy head that dissipated at a nice pace. Light stringy lacing sticks to around the glass.
The smell takes in the peanut butter and combines nicely with the roasty cocoa beans. Light coffee runs in slightly. Dark chocolate plays a part underneath.
The taste had a stellar amount of sweet to roasty qualities of the cocoa beans with the peanut butter. Coffee beans once again come in for the balance. The aftertaste was exceptionally sweet and roasty pulling the peanut butter and cocoa beans in to combine wonderfully.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with more of a sipping quality to it. Carbonation felt nice and low key creating an exceptional smooth to creamy feel laying down on my tongue.
Overall, Terrapin's is nice, Foolproof's is nice and yes, I know they're both porters and this is a Double/Imperial Stout, but when comparing the "porter/stout" ales with the "peanut butter" thrown in. I'd have to go with this. Might not be "apples to apples" but maybe "Granny Smith apples to Cortland apples." I think you get what I'm saying.

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Big Gruesome Peanut Butter Chocolate Stout from Spring House Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.
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