Soft Serv
South Street Brewery

Soft ServSoft Serv
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Porter - Imperial
Ranked #115
ABV:
9.05%
Score:
91
Ranked #6,382
Avg:
4.11 | pDev: 8.27%
Reviews:
21
Ratings:
67
From:
South Street Brewery
 
Virginia, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  6
Gots
  12
SCORE
91
Outstanding
Soft ServSoft Serv
Notes:
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 67 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by ThaneMcC:
Photo of ThaneMcC
ThaneMcC from Germany

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was rather surprised by how much I enjoyed this beer.

Pours a deep brown, almost black. Minimal head, scant effervescence. Smells strongly of vanilla, caramel, chocolate - but subdued compared to other novelty beers with this profile. Taste is sweet malts forward, vanilla, chocolate, no hop notes or bitter counterpoint - literally tastes like a chocolate soft serve ice cream. Sweet, but rather clean finish, medium to full bodied, minimal effervescence.
Overall, an excellent desert beer - ABV well hidden. Goes well with a sharp cheddar.
I was truly surprised by how good this beer was . . . a truly tasty beer and easily one of the best of this genre.

Jul 13, 2016
More User Reviews:
Photo of obywan59
obywan59 from Virginia

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

Nearly pitch black, but when held up to my brightest light, I get some ruby highlights in the bottom inch of the glass towards the side. Initial 4 finger tan head reminds me of a root beer float as it settles leaving a bit of clingy lacing.

Definite smell of vanilla ice cream and coffee,especially from the bottle. Or Neopolitan ice cream as the last reviewer said. From the glass, I get vanilla, dark chocolate, and a whiff of alcohol.

Vanilla predominates in the taste, but it's accented by acidic dark chocolate and sweet dark fruit. Borderline cloying in my opinion.

The feel is milky, with the bite of carbonation and the heat of alcohol. Sticky and retentive.

This beer has just a bit of cloy, but I liked it, especially the aroma. It really smelled like soft serve ice cream.

Apr 05, 2017
Photo of cjgiant
cjgiant from District of Columbia

3.86/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle:
Beer pours from the bottle near black. There was a little head initially, but nothing after it settles. I think this affects the feel as well; there's a light tingle of carbonation but I think it's helped by char and maybe some alcohol.

Nose reminded me of Neapolitan ice cream as I poured it. In the glass, it's a more straightforward chocolate malt stout. There's a little sweetness to the nose, as well as accents of char and berry (some smells are like fruit loops, even).

Taste opens chocolatey and a little sweet. Roasted malt char breaks it up a little, but then comes sine strawberry and light vanilla notes. A little heat leans the taste towards a light liqueur near the end.

Interesting. Some sips I really dug it, and others I felt it needed some tightening up. I think a better look and maybe a little less heat and this goes up a notch.

Mar 26, 2017
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Riff from Virginia

4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, solid, black with less than a finger of tan head which dissipates fairly quickly. Smells of milk chocolate, vanilla, and some malts. Scents are pretty muted, the flavor certainly isn't. Rich chocolate and vanilla flavors blend with a creamy flavor. Certainly lives up to the name, it tastes like melted ice cream. Flavors finish quickly and cleanly, no bitterness. Perhaps a tad on the thin side, but that does lend to being an easy drinker. Very nice beer and certainly fits the season.

Mar 19, 2017
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EnderFett11 from Virginia

4.46/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured hard from a bottle into a snifter glass, forming barely a finger of foamy off-white head. Head soon faded to a heavy ring on top of a translucent brown. Smell is gentle and sweet bourbon with some chocolate. Taste is a bit of bourbon forward quickly followed by what really tastes like a soft serve swirl of chocolate and vanilla. I was seriously surprised. It's not an intense flavor or too sweet, but that's definitely what it tastes like. Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Definitely glad I got a four pack.

Jun 10, 2020
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark chocolate brown color with creamy brown lacing.

S - Cocoa and vanilla aroma with a little cream.

T - Cocoa and vanilla up front, mild sweet chocolate bitterness on the back end and a long lingering roasted cocoa finish.

M - Big medium body that's a little viscous.

O - This is a really nice dessert porter. Recommended.

May 26, 2019
Photo of oberon
oberon from North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a snifter nearly jet black except for some deep reddish hue when held to the light,a creamy beige head atop.Milk chocolate really stands out in the nose with underlying vanilla and caramel.A full slick feel wich makes for dessert in the bottle no annoying carbonation to make you full or take away from the full body.Deep chocolate flavors without being overly sweet,vanilla bean and waffle cone notes make for a great effect,some caramel plays a role in the finish and the alcohol is kept in check well.This is no gimicky beer it's actually fantastic!

Mar 21, 2016
Photo of RBorsato
RBorsato from Virginia

4.39/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Apr 25, 2016
Photo of abcsofbeer
abcsofbeer from Virginia

4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Mar 31, 2017
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avisong from Virginia

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

May 05, 2019
Photo of Pencible
Pencible from Virginia

3.51/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured an opaque cola with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like rusty copper hops and artificial chocolate, with some earthy malt.
T: It tasted like sweet milk chocolate, with some earthy malt and vanilla. It had a clean sweet and dry aftertaste.
M: It was thick with a little carbonation. Great chewy body.
D: This was a strange brew with astringent scent, and sweet but one dimensional taste. The body was great but not right for a porter. The finish was smooth with well hidden alcohol, so it was easy to drink. Not for aging. Interesting to try once but never again.

Dec 27, 2017
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81 from Florida

4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a black body with minimal head and lace. Aroma has both chocolate and vanilla sweetness with of lactic qualities. Smooth, medium body, beer has a lactic sweetness to it and balances chocolate and vanilla flavors. Bit of roasted malt and dryness on finish that complements a mild, not cloying, sweetness that is enjoyable every sip.

Apr 04, 2016
Photo of avalon07
avalon07 from South Carolina

3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown / black color and an opaque consistency. There was an inch of foamy, tan-colored, fairly long-lasting head. Below average lacing.

S: A decent aroma of chocolate, malt, cream, and vanilla as well.

T: Tasted of a bit of roasted malt, light creamy / milky notes, a bunch of chocolate, some vanilla notes, a tinge of coffee, and a little tinge of caramel in the finish. A sweet, chocolatey flavor that's a bit more muted than it should be. Nonetheless, it's an oddly enjoyable taste.

F: A solid amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: An interesting, yet flawed kind of beer. Certainly worth a try, especially if you have a sweet tooth.

Apr 12, 2017
Photo of Proteus93
Proteus93 from Virginia

4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up at a Kroger, seeing the price marked at $7.99 and curiosity got the better of me.

A: It isn't an incredibly viscous brew, so pours with a definite brownish hue rather than inky black. The head was showing signs of being pretty strong, though I was pouring a little aggressively. Nonetheless, once it was poured, I had maybe a finger width topping and it receded to little more than a ring of lace.

S: The nose is on the lighter side, considering what I might be expecting. Both chocolate and vanilla are noted, along with a touch of maltiness, though nothing extreme. This is a pretty pleasant part of this experience.

T + F: The taste was a pleasant surprise. Again, the chocolate and vanilla are both there, though neither brings a cloying taste to the beer. It is certainly sweet, but well balanced. The body to it is medium to full with a creaminess that makes for a nicer (and presumably, intentional) brew. I find that the mouthfeel is probably one of the driving points to this beer. As it breathes some, there is a tiny bit of curious bitterness toward the finish--presumably the hops making their presence known. The touch of spicy alcohol also starts to come out a little more.

O: This is nice. The price seems fair, the beer itself is good, and it is something that I would suggest to others or speak of with positive feelings. Far too often, I will pick something up based solely on curiosity only to drink it once and think little of repeating it. In this case, I will be going back for more. I think South Street did a pretty good job on this one.

Mar 30, 2016
Photo of challenja
challenja from Virginia

4.73/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Served on tap in snifter at South Street Brewery
A: Dark pitch burgundy, watered down apperance for a sweet porter/ milk stout. The rim holds a light water lace with no residual foam to be seen.
S: sweet milk chocolate, malts vanilla bean, sweet soda jerk cola,light whip cream, some residual warming alcohol esters.
T: follows the nose to a Tee. Its a Sweet milk stout/ porter with a great body and slick mouth feel.
M: slick, light to medium full body with a fantastic vanilla ice cream soda jerk lingering finish. Truly amazing!! Its just sticks on your palate and makes your tongue tingle with light carbonation.
O: what a fantastic sweet milk stout/ porter!

Nov 27, 2015
Photo of Taeryn
Taeryn from Virginia

3.56/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Apr 10, 2016
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wisrarebeer from Wisconsin

3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mar 03, 2019
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montman from Virginia

4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Apr 05, 2016
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mmcurran from North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jul 21, 2016
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teromous from Virginia

3.82/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the Label: 20 IBU's, 27.23 SRM, 24.01 Plato OG, 8.09 Plato FG, "Enjoy by 10/26/16"
The label also lists the following ingredients: Pilsner Malt, Mild Ale Malt, Flaked Oats, Cara 8 Malt, Carafa Spezial II Malt, Lactose, Simcoe Hops, Scottish Ale Yeast, Madagascan Vanilla Beans, Ghanian Cacao Nibs, Description Cred Six 3

Appearance: It's a black beer that holds a short light khaki colored head. Not much head retention or lacing.

Aroma: It has a bit of a coffee aroma and there is a bit of chocolate as well. There is a light bit of roasted scent. The aroma overall is very light.

Taste: It has quite a lot of chocolate flavor right up front. It really does remind me of the flavor in a soft served ice cream cone that you'd get at a fast food place. They were spot-on with the name. It has a bit of a rich chocolate character in the middle. The end of the drink is pretty empty and the aftertaste leaves almost nothing. No bitterness at all, even from the chocolate. It is very much a sweet beer but not something sickeningly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation and a very light body with a very sticky finish. It has the consistency of a soda that has been left out for too long. It seems to work well for this beer but it could be a bit smoother.

Overall: It's a really great beer and it is one I would recommend and I would buy it again. I do wish it had a smoother body and a bit more presence in the aftertaste but as it stands I would call it outstanding.

Apr 01, 2016
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bubseymour from Maryland

4.49/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the finest tasting milk stouts I've had to date. The balance of chocolate and vanilla and coffee notes is right where I like them. The body is a tad thin for 9% beer but its still quite an outstanding beer.

Aug 15, 2016
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GarthDanielson from Virginia

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

Poured on tap in a snifter, the beer is jet black, with a dense, creamy, light tan head. Aromas of rich milk chocolate and vanilla, sugary sweet with creamy highlights. Flavors are rich milk chocolate forward, creamy and sugary, with a subtle roasted backbone. Literally like drinking melted ice cream. Smooth, creamy body, with a chocolaty sweet aftertaste. Smooth, creamy finish, with a chocolate sweet linger. Tasty brew.

Aug 10, 2016
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bmjivi221 from Virginia

4.44/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jul 15, 2016
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MDDMD from Pennsylvania

4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

May 28, 2016
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fountainofyouth from District of Columbia

3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Sep 02, 2018
Soft Serv from South Street Brewery
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 67 ratings