Big Gruesome
Spring House Brewing Company

Big GruesomeBig Gruesome
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,327
Ranked #3,049
4.11 | pDev: 10.46%
Spring House Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Big GruesomeBig Gruesome
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 144 | Ratings: 791
Photo of larryarms847
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Pours a very dark brown, thick, and very rich with a nice caramel tinged one finger head.

Very strong wafts of chocolaty peanut butter all day! Very sweet and inviting.

Tastes like a peanut butter cup! Rich milk chocolate, peanut butter, and booze to cut through the sweet goes down easy.

Mouthfeel is silky and lush, a very smooth dessert brew.

Overall this is a fantastic Imperial Stout with a very balance. Delicious!

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yum! Poured out a ruddy browning color. Differing bits of Chocolate flavors, coaoa, milk & dark and peanuts. Medium bodied. Nice balanced sweetness. Delicious.

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Photo of pjkelley82
4.26/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this along with Lil Gruesome with two buddies.

Poured from the bottle into snifters.

A - Dark Black nice Mocha colored head, about a healthy inch. Head stayed for a good bit and left a thin skin with a good amount of lacing. Not much legs but small glimmers of them as you swirl the beer.

S - Dominated by strong chocolate, with a touch of sweet peanut butter. Other stouty qualities but overall the thing your looking for is there. It does not smell like a liquefied reeces peanut butter cup, but more of a stout with hints of the label.

T - As in the above, the taste was subdued but you could definitely tell this was a stout that had good chocolate and peanut butter presence rather than an overpowering/over tasting one. Nothing really off putting and really solid tasting

M- Smooth and creamy. Light carbonation not sticky or cloying but for the sake of sounding redundant a good quality mouthfeel stout.

O- Very solid. There are way better stouts out there but this one is no chump. Good solid base and the peanut butter plays a good role. Definitely present in the smell and the taste. Good solid brew I'd drink again.

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Photo of Suds
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting in color with a thick dark brown head. The smell is intense, chocolate, malt, highly roasted grain, and an espresso-like scent. The peanut butter is definitely comes out after the first sips, mainly in the aroma. It adds to the richness of the stout. The taste is drier than expected...not at all oily. Slight bitterness in the aftertaste and a very creamy body. Nice.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Curran at his tasting.

Pours a very dark black, with a mocha tan colored head, about one inch, with a lot of lacing in the glass.

Smells like rich, not too sweet peanut butter, dark bitter chocolate, and roasted malt.

This blows Sweet Baby Jesus out of the water. Thick, nutty, rich peanut butter character, with some intense roasted bitterness- roasty nuts and roasty malts. Huge chocolate character as well. At times really has the feeling of drinking liquefied alcoholic peanut butter. This is a good thing!

Thick bodied, rich, smooth, creamy mouthfeel. This one has a pretty low level of carbonation. Very drinkable, ran through 5 oz or so really quick.

This one is great, probably the best peanut butter based beer I've ever had.

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Photo of punxsybob
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
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 EvoRich
4.44/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Spring House is such a fun brewery. I love their art work and creativity. Local to me, I've only visited their TapRoom once, but plan on going again. Big Gruesome is one of my favorites they have to offer.

Appearance: Pour with a nice thick, foamy tan head. very nice looking in a snifter.

Smell: Reeses Peanut butter puff's. Peanut butter egg. Easter candy. Sweet. Obviously chocolate and peanut butter

Taste: Not much different from the smell. Like Easter candy. Very sweet, chocolate and peanut butter.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, creamy and thick.

Overall: My favorite Choc/PB stout. Great for dessert, not so much with the main course. Also the first Spring House beer I've tried and what got me interested in their beers in the first place.

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Photo of pinyin
4.7/5  rDev +14.4%
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 kerry4porters
4.87/5  rDev +18.5%
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 MDDMD
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark brown black color with a nice light brown head and decent lacing

S-roasted malt, peanut butter, chocolate, light coffee

T-chocolate, dark roasted malt, peanut butter, light coffee, hint of sweetness, mild bitterness and char in the finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-Enjoyed this stout, nice chocolate and pb flavors

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Photo of RVigz
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
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 Omnium
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
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 Alieniloquium
2.95/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with some transparency. Not much of a head. Very thin khaki head.

Smell - Very peanut buttery. I like it. Chocolate is nice too.

Taste - And it's almost a disaster. Green peppers. Some chocolate. Lost the nuttiness.

Mouthfeel - Rather thin. High carbonation.

Overall - Smells great, doesn't taste great.

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Photo of jaltland
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- A brown so dark it borders black. Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass with a finger of tan head that dissipates and leaves little lacing behind.

S- Holy chocolate peanut butter. Peanut butter blast up front with chocolate fast behind it. The cocoa aroma is genuine and certainly not artificial. Malt backbone is there after the Reese's PB Cup.

T- Coffee bitter with the semi-sweet chocolate and nut flavors. Mimics a brown ale at times but certainly stays true to its stoutness. Amazing example of a chocolate stout infused with peanuts. I would love to see this being brewed. EDIT: Figured out a distinct flavor I hadn't picked up on... vanilla. It really hit me up front but then fleetingly disappeared into the chocolate. Awesome profile.

M- Medium-thick mouthfeel that gets heavier as you swish it around (probably carbonation). The coffee bitters attack the palate but allow the profile of the beer to present itself.

Overall I love this beer. I've had a decent amount of chocolate stouts and this stands out among the rest. Plenty bold but balanced as a whole. I never got a chance to check the ABV but if it's high, the alcohol is masked very well. Recommend.

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Photo of DMXLOX22
3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single of this brew at my local establishment, Civera's in Drexel Hill, PA. I've seen this bottle sitting on the shelf for sometime now, with not many people picking it up. I guess you can call this a pity purchase. Let's see how this matches up.

Appearance: Pours a black, pure cloudy and murky coloring. Leaves behind a tan, somewhat frothy head. About just under an inch of foam. Lacing is not too bad on the way down, better than some beers.

Smell: Strong, almost over-bearing aromas of not exactly peanut butter, but a nut-infused, dark roast malt. Some cocoa scents settle to the undertone, but actually give the aroma a somewhat sweet aroma. Almost a reese's peanut butter cup now that I mention it. Not too bad. DIfferent, but something I'm not 100 percent into. Oh well, at least I gave it a try.

Taste: The first few sips give off a strong overtone of roasted malts and nutty flavors, like I said before, not exactly peanut butter, but it becomes more apparent as I continue to taste. By halfway through, other subtle flavors come into play like a tiny hint of hop character. Not exactly noticeable since a flow of cocoa seem to take over. Not the best, but different and somewhat good.

Mouthfeel: low on the carbonation end, somewhat full bodied. Not too bad. Finishes sweet to the last drop. Good stuff.

Overall: Well coming into this brew, I was a bit bewildered by the entire concept, but small-time breweries are notorious for experimenting with different flavors and ingredients. I perticually sort-of liked this beer, but not enough to warrant another try. The lack of hops towards the end didn't interest me too much. I wouldn't try again, but would recommend to a friend to check something new out. Well, always next time. Cheers!

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.91/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle – NYC bottle share with mdfb79 Thanks Dan!
12/12/13 – Served in a Duvel tulip glass

A: Motor oil black with a glazed look and slight coffee brown edge. Evident carbonation produces about a half finger of fading dark khaki foam. Low amount of stick remains really just some oily alcohol legs left behind.

S: Smells like peanut butter chocolate pie for real. Has a great dessert like quality to it with equal parts peanut butter to chocolate coming through. Most of the malt character is hidden behind the two dominant characters. Semi sweet overall with light hints of coffee and caramel latte on the backend. Surprisingly spot on for the nose.

T: Tastes like effin’ Reese’s cups man. Creamy roast peanuts meld with some bitter chocolate truffles. Really nice in the beginning. There is a faint hint of coffee in the mix which is nice but the beer takes a slight turn from there. Has a touch of Tootsie Roll or Dr. Pepper and a big ashy char at the finish. Dry and somewhat acrid but with a low to moderate bitterness. The alcohol is completely masked throughout so there is some decent balance. But the chocolate and peanut butter tend to get powdery here which is a bit of a turn off for me. Slight step down from the nose.

M: Moderate to lighter body for a stout. A touch thin if you will. Still has a nice creaminess to the texture with some mild slickness. Very dry and chalky at the finish though.

D: A good dessert beer that definitely delivers on the PB and chocolate. Nice because it is not terribly thick or loaded with syrupy sweets. I do think the base beer has some minor flaws and in the end it struggles to stand up to the adjuncts. My biggest gripe was the chalky mouth feel and ashy finish. Otherwise a really fun beer to try and worth checking out.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 10.24.13

A - Pours a dark brown with a dark tan head that fades very slowly to the edges.

S - Very strong coffee and some slight chocolate sweetness.

T - Chocolate, peanut butter and coffee finish.

D - Good carbonation and a heavy body.

O - Stronge coffee with the advertised peanuts and chocolate.

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Photo of FlakyBiscuit
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked up this bomber bottle about 4 months ago and cracked it open looking for a liquid dessert. Gruesome did not disappoint. Poured thick black into a wide tulip glass with half inch of light caramel colored head. Wonderful smell of vanilla and peanut butter. These "novelty" beers scare me as they often tend to be overly sweet or lack the flavor it promotes ( like peanut butter). This one however, succeeded on both notes. The flavor is slightly sweet with vanilla notes hitting first followed by peanut butter and then a cocoa roasty finish. The mouthfeel is thick but as I expected for a beer of this abv and depth.

Seek this out. It is not an everyday beer but a perfect accompaniment for dessert or dessert on its own. Great complexity and a beer that delivers peanut butter flavor with vanilla notes yet offset by a nice hop balance. A real treat.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.12/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Consumed 12/10/13

Appearance: Deep, dark brown - some clarity around the edges - pours with a small, frothy light tan head - keeps some hints of a cap, leaves some nice lacing

Smell: Yes, there be peanuts - I don't think it's a stretch to claim this smells like peanut butter - less of an emphasis on the chocolate, but it's definitely there - some baker's chocolate and dark chocolate - not much else in terms of malts - mostly chocolate malts, some toasted and roasty notes

Taste: Definitely interesting, not what I would describe as gruesome - bitter, dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, cocoa, straight-up chocolate malts - burnt and roasty notes - by far the most interesting flavor here is the peanut - lightly roasted peanuts, flavor seems to build over time - touch of vanilla as well - finishes with some burnt bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body, seems unreasonably thin, nicely smooth, kind of strange overall

Overall: Moderately gruesome?

The peanut butter is nicely integrated here, but the base stout leaves something to be desired. If there were some more complexity and depth to the malts, maybe I would be giving this a higher score. Some bonus points given for the nice use of peanut butter.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.64/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Thanks to Houser for the bottle.

Appearance: Close to straight black with some deeper richer browns at the edges. Couple cm dark brown head. Initially creamy. Drops to a small cap in short order. Pretty standard stuff. Slightly above average carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Milk chocolate sweetness up front coupled with a hint of almost lactoose. A push of slightly darker chocolate and raw nib as well. Some lingering hints of vanilla and hyper creamy peanut butter. A touch of roasted malt sweetness as well. Nice balance of nutty, sweet, and chocolate. Warming pushes a bit more of the almost artificial peanut butter up a bit. A slight candied chocolate thing.

Taste: Deeply roasted with a nutty finish. Bitter chocolate for days. Straight up baker's cocoa and unsweetened chocolate. Some roasted sweetness coupled some almost milky sweetness as well. Milk chocolate thrown in for good measure. Peanut butter is minimal and barely coasts through the back as a vague sort of nuttiness. A touch of vanilla, actually a stronger flavor than the peanut butter. A touch of something burnt on the back of it all.

Mouthfeel: Starts creamy. A medium body with a moderate to high carbonation for the style. Dry and a bit bubbly.

Overall: Merely a paper cut.

I wants me some peanut butter. Where's my peanut butter? An ok stout at the base, but it loses more and more as it warms.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was the best smelling beer ever had with a possible exception of KBS as far as stouts and porters.
It came out looking like your prototypical stout. Dark black with an easy inch head the color of light mocha beige.
After that I then took a sniff, hello. It was awesome baby, rich chocolate and fresh coffee with cream. The peanut butter was subtle and really complimented the other aromas quite well.
The peanut butter was complimentory in the taste too staying in the background and balancing well with the rich roasted malts and chocolate. There was a fresh roasted coffee taste too that blended well in thee nose too.
I shied away from this beer but being that I'm getting close to a thousand reviews I gave it a shot for number purposes you see. A good move on my part.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. Purchased the beer on a recent trip to PA.

The beer pours a deep dark chocolate hue with brown frothy head of 2-3 cm foaming up. The head is tightly packed and fades to an edge layer with 1 large wispy island in the center of the beer.
Aroma is dry cocoa and dark chocolate, with a little sweet malt mixed in and with dry roasted peanut notes in the background. Not so much peanut butter as the whole nut.

The first sip reveals a fairly thick body with soft rolling carbonation. Texture is silky smooth and the beer drinks very easy.

Flavor is roasted malt and chocolate bar with hints of brown sugar and a little peanut butter. Generally a malt forward beer with a little roasted dryness on the finish. I dont get any booze or hops in the drinking.

An interesting beer and the peanut butter isnt as strong as I feared upon buying the bottle. The nose is pleasant and nutty aromas are nice. Not too much on the flavor and an enjoyable beer overall.

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Photo of tone77
3.56/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of chocolate, roasted malts, a touch of peanut butter. Taste is roasted malts, chocolate, a bit of smokiness, some peanut butter but not a lot. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall was a different and enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

bomber split between tulips. acquired at their Lancaster, PA taphouse. no bottled on date.

A: pours a very dark brown. pretty opaque. head is brownish/white and is frothy. good retention and clumpy lacing.

S: definitely smells like peanut butter, which is certainly not a usual aroma in beer. bitter chocolate. dry.

T: there is a lot going on here. a rich oat/toast flavor backs the more intense flavors that include chocolate, coffee, peanut butter, even some vanilla. bitter, but not too much. not getting a hint of heat or any hop character, however im sure that was not their intention.

M: a slightly subtle carb on a full body.

D: pretty enjoyable brew. lives up to the name/description on the label. a lot of peanut butter and a lot of chocolate. if you are a fan of the unconventional when it comes to beer, this is definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. no date, but bought recently.

opaque black, tan head. great head retention and lacing. aroma is pretty spot on. sweet chocolate and sugary peanut butter aroma. taste keeps the flavor, but isn't as sweet. more of a dry aftertaste. on the thicker side. silky smooth body and carbonation.
overall - a good beer, better than just a gimmick.

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Big Gruesome from Spring House Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 791 ratings