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Chocolate Rain | The Bruery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
98
world-class
325 Reviews
THE BROS
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Chocolate RainChocolate Rain
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 18.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Black Tuesday with Vanilla Bean & Cocoa Nibs.

2011: 18.5% ABV
2012: 19.5% ABV
2013: 18.0% ABV
2014: 18.5% ABV

Added by mikedashg on 10-28-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
325
Ratings:
2,530
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
10.16%
 
 
Wants:
2,601
Gots:
957
For Trade:
114
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 325 | Ratings: 2,530
Photo of jzeilinger
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pitch black with light toffee colored lacing ring, very viscous, syrupy, and alot of legs on the glass.

S - Molasses, chocolate, bourbon, toffee, caramel, vanilla, oak. Complex aroma.

T - Oak, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, vanilla, molasses, dark fruit, and alcohol effervescence.

M - Thick, full bodied, viscous, slick, moderate warming on the way down.

O - The legend is somewhat over-hyped but this is a pretty impressive beer.!.

 440 characters

Photo of kbutler1
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Bruery Reserve Initiation party 2011. Pours a dark black/brown non see through color with a slight dark tan head that collars around the glass. HUGE aromas wafting out of this one with notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, cream, barrel, and a slight warming booze aroma. The first sip yields a nice medium/heavy mouthfeel. The flavors are well blended but the chocolate is very noticeable and pleasant. Other flavors include vanilla, roast, and booze. For being 18.5% this beer drinks very well albeit still a sipper. Probably would be best as a dessert beer. This one was great!

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Photo of landhoney
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this last Monday, thank you Eric!

Appearance: Black, smallest wisp of tan head

Smell: Bourbon! That was the first impression, then the roast, sweetness, toffee/caramel/vanilla/chocolate, and alcohol.

Taste: The first sip was amazing, or rather the finish, just went on forever. You definitely get the bourbon up front (boozy?), then vanilla/chocolate notes, fairly sweet, no hop flavor, very nice!

Mouthfeel: Very lightly carbonated, not overly sweet/malty, the bourbon seems to make for a thinner beer than I was expecting. Excellent mouthfeel though, very nice drinking it.

Overall: Special beer, huge complexity and long finish even after our normal Monday 10+ beer tasting, great bourbon/vanilla/chocolate stout, and not cloying/sweet/too malty. ABV is high, and it's there in the glass, but not a hot mess for sure, I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of KVNBGRY
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Kyle

Cccchhhooocccooolllaaattteee, rrraaaiiisssiiinnnsss, aaalllcccooohhhoollll, whooollleee vannniiilllaa beeaannns, bourbon sweetness.

Real good. Nothing spectacular. Would be better paired with a dessert in a nice setting. Would like to age a bottle for a few years to see how it mellows...

 303 characters

Photo of Zach136
4.46/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage, reviewed from notes written 5/2/14. Poured into a Bruery glass.

A - Pitch black, little to no head. To be expected with the alcohol content.

S - Huge bouquet of bourbony-booze, vanila, semi-sweet chocolate and caramel.

T - Giant bakers and semi-sweet chocolate notes. Insanely chocolatey and not that artificial tootsie-roll chocolate. Super boozy. Bourbon, vanilla, and more chocolate in the background.

M - Surprisingly well carbed, full bodied, rich and velvety.

O - In a class all its own. Hard to even compare to other imperial stouts.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.46/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle stored in my cellar for over a year. Poured into 18oz Funky Buddha snifter, bottle split three ways. Reviewed live.

A- Pours a dark black that has some translucency, actually slightly lighter then I was expecting. Pretty much no head, very still top, minimal carbonation, just some alcohol legs along the sides of the glass.

S- Rich chocolate, vanilla beans, lightly bourbon, extremely well balanced booze. Can tell it's got a high abv, but fits very nicely for how high it is and integrates well with the other aromas. Fairly aromatic.

T- This is where the beer gets really interesting: flavors of dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, bourbon, vanilla, hints of booze on this finish but nowhere near what you would expect at almost 20%, extremely well balanced. Aftertaste that lingers with chocolate and balanced vanilla.

M- Very smooth especially for 19.5%, a beer definitely should not be this smooth with an abv this high- feels more like 9%, fairly minimal carbonation but nice for the style. Can't believe how easy this is to drink.

O- This was a fantastic high abv stout that was incredibly easy to drink and extremely flavorful. I was expecting this to be overly boozey but the abv was well hidden and was surprisingly easy to drink with all the flavors coming out very nicely. I highly recommend seeking this out, just be careful with how dangerously smooth it is.

 1,383 characters

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L: pours light brown, but looks black in the glass
S: huge sweetness no bourbon. Slight vanilla and chocolate
T: there is the vanilla, big time! Also the heat, a huge beer. Very sweet, which hides the alcohol a bit. But again, very nice vanilla.
F: warming for sure, the true definition of a sipper.

 301 characters

Photo of Etan
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml into a snifter. 2012, batch 2.

A: Reddish black body with a small tan head.

S: Huge vanilla aroma, lightly astringent booze, milky chocolate, oaky bourbon. This is going to be a sweet beer.

T: Sweet raisins and chocolate hit the palate first. Cream, marshmallow, drying and buttery bourbon, a bit nutty, boozy warmth on the end.

M: Surprisingly light body, with a quick flash of carbonation.

O: An incredible dessert beer, with the vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon melding together seemlessly. Stay away if you don't like sweet beers.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml, 2012 vintage
5oz mini tasting snifter

A: Pours out a deep reddish brown. I see others describe this as pitch black, and doing a side by side with BT '11 that is not what we got. Definitely some reddish hints in there and not a thick black at all. I got a layer of off white, light tan head. I was actually surprised to get any head on this high ABV. Tons of alcohol feet.

S: Well, it smells like chocolate that is for sure. Lots of dark and milk chocolate character on the nose. It's masking the vanilla and oak character a little bit that I was pulling more from the BT, but you can still get some coming through. There is a little alcohol booziness coming through, but it's to be expected.

T: Up front, dark super high cocao chocolate. As it progresses, you get more vanilla meshing in to give it sort of a milk chocolate like feeling. I wish there was more roast and/or coffee, but what is there is still delicious. We had this bottle open for a while between us, as it's certainly a sipper. I think I prefer the BT to this, that year did BT well. This is still fabulous beer though. Warming brings out more flavor but also some more booze.

M: Full as full could be.

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Photo of claspada
4.44/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2 - Sampled 1/6/13. Too sweet and boozy compared to Batch 1, so I have to ding this a little on taste. Both were aged about the same amount of time, hopefully batch 3 turns out a little more drier and less hot.

Batch 1 - Pours a silky, menacing, near black color with a small dark tan head. Some solid lacing on the sides of the snifter, especially after a few swirls.

The aromas are out of this world. My first impression is liquid brownie batter; a huge mix of dark and milk chocolate/cocoa powder, equally large vanilla and caramelized sugars. As it warms you get the base beer's presence coming through with a light dosing of bourbon plus some mild roasted maltiness. Booze is extremely subtle at this point and I can only detect because this is at cellar temp (if not warmer). There's a mild coffee presence, but that is more of an undertone to sweeter chocolaty smells.

The tastes begin almost equally as intense as the nose. The chocolate is the dominant character. Melted milk chocolate malt balls, melted dark chocolate baker's cocoa bars and vanilla extract all come to mind initially. This is diabetes in a glass. Next you get lesser amounts of light bourbon and hints of oak plus lesser notes of roast coffee.

The mouthfeel is really thick and full bodied with, thankfully, some medium to low carbonation. Finish is velvety smooth and sweet, and yet thanks to the base beer being barrel aged, it avoids being cloying.

Overall this was stupendous and a great treat to sample. There is no feasible way I could finish this by myself or probably even with another person just because of its luscious flavor profile. Highly recommended for all beer geeks and absolutely a must try; definitely one to trade for and share with a couple beer geek buddies.

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Photo of dgilks
4.44/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Somewhat hazy and very dark brown colour. Creamy tan head. Nice.

The aroma is intense. Bourbon. Chocolate. Alcohol. Fruit. Vanilla. Bloody crazy.

This is SWEET! Great chocolate flavour and nice oak character. The bourbon is here and there is lots of vanilla too. Really good and complex flavours.

Full bodied and quite oily. Moderate carbonation. Very good.

An excellent beer. Sure there is some big beer syndrome here but it is really nice and complex.

 457 characters

Photo of IKR
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2

Appearance: Very dark brown with a fairly small beige head which dissipated fairly quickly. Considerable legs on this one.

Smell: Upfront Bourbon, raisins, brown sugar, vanilla, chocolate/cocoa, and a bit of coffee/roasted malt aroma. Also a bit of ethanol in the nose.

Taste: Bourbon, raisins, vanilla, brown sugar, chocolate, and some coffee/roast malts appearing in the finish. There is an alcohol presence but no way is a beer that's 40 proof not going to have an alcohol presence. Nice barrel presence and flavor complexity.

Mouth-feel: Medium to full bodied. Some heat but good for it's alcohol level.

Overall: Good beer, which is quite a bit better closer to room temperature. My memory may not be accurate but I feel the cask version I had in 2010 and Batch 1 were a bit better than the batch 2 bottle being reviewed. Nonetheless, it's a big beer that's a stellar sipper.

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Photo of beerpirates
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

75 cl bottel poured into my tasting glass @ a tasting with some awesome BA's -:)
The beer pours a dark brown to black color with no real head. There are a few dark brown bubbles. A very nice looking stout. The aroma is awesome. I get a lot of chocolate, bourbon and oak notes, as well as vanilla and maple from the barrel aging. The mix of bourbon and chocolate in the aroma works perfectly. The beer smells about like I expected it to and it is very nice.
The flavor is more of the same and is also great. I get a lot of boozy chocolate as well as a lot of bourbon, oak, vanilla and maple. Even though the beer is pretty boozy, it is still very easy to drink. The barrel aging has done great things to the base stout, imparting several different flavors that all meld very well together. Low carbonation and thick, creamy mouthfeel.

 834 characters

Photo of aasher
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 1. First off, oh my god. Eternal thanks to Bob for this one. It pours a dark molasses esque brown in color and poured very thick and syrupy. It smells like sweet chocolate syrup with a touch of roasted malts. It's awesome and very well integrated. It tastes of sweet yet not cloyingly sweet milky chocolate with a touch of coffee. The bitterness at the end is light and compliments the sweetness quite well. It drinkable thick and syrupy but drinks well for the size of this monster. Great beer. I almost hate when beers live up to the hype like this one does. Phenomenal beer, and actually a nice upgrade of Black Tuesday.

 629 characters

Photo of Hoptimus-Prime
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Love the Cacao nibs and vanilla presence! The one downfall for me was the body. Relatively light body vs what I was expecting for a 18%er. Great beer, big thanks to Dave Treat for sending this to me!

 199 characters

Photo of Sideswipe
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle at Clusterfork 6

A- Deep mahogany brown color with a quarter inch of light tan foam. Great lacing.

S- Big chocolate notes backed up by roasted malt and booze.

T- Chocolate brownie up front transitions into caramel and roasty malt flavors. There is a hefty alcohol presence, but it's not off putting. It integrates like a very well done chocolate bourbon cake. Very tasty. Finishes with lingering chocolate and bourbon notes.

M- Feel is sticky and viscous. Lower carbonation level accentuates the interplay of decadent flavors present in the beer.

O- Incredible. Given the hefty ABV this is a masterpiece of a beer. Extremely well integrated flavors make for an exceptional chocolate/ bourbon experience. A sipper for sure, but as big, chocolate Impy stouts go, this has no equal. Highly recommended!

 821 characters

Photo of illidurit
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at Woodshop 7 at Beachwood BBQ in Long Beach. Thanks to whoever busted this one out. Pours dark brown with a filmy tan head. Heavy sweet boozy and creamy throughout, chocolate liqueur and See’s caramels. Rich and luxurious, ultra-sweet but quite delicious.

 272 characters

Photo of domtronzero
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On cask at The Bruery 10-26-2010

A - Murky dark brown with a small thinly formed head, basically a ring around the glass. Little lacing.

S- Huge cocoa, bitter chocolate, vanilla, maple syrup-like notes. Bourbon and pleasant boozy alcohol.

F/M - Again, bitter chocolate, cocoa, roast, vanilla, bourbon. Very nice alcohol warmth and sligh alcoholic bitterness helps this beer finish very smoothly. Sweet, rich, full bodied, oily and slick. Moderately low carbonation. Lingering chocolate flavor.

D- This is such a delicious beer but its so rich and at 18+% it is one heady beer. I could drink a lot of this though. Oh so good.

 629 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very dark brown with maroon brown highlights when held up to the light that had a half finger of brown head and left some good frothy lacing sticking to the glass. Very nice bourbon vanilla and chocolate aromas pop out on the nose with cocoa, caramel, and toffee notes but with some booziness as well. The taste was also very chocolatey like the name says with bourbon, vanilla, and cocoa accents roasty character but did have a touch of caramel toffee plus there was definitely lots of booze but it didn't overpower the overall flavor. The brew was medium in body with a nice amount of carbonation which had a roasty, chocolatey, bourbon, sweet, creamy, and chewy finish. Definitely an amazing tasting black Tuesday hybrid that will knock everyone socks off. I'm glad I got to try it and was a sipper faux show.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes from The Bruery tasting I hosted Saturday night. 2012 vintage

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Alesmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- Pours pitch black with 1 finger light tan head. Almost no lacing and head resides nearly immediately.

S- Tons of chocolate and vanilla! Big bourbon nose as well.

T- Beer follows nose almost to a T. Big bourbon burn at the finish.

M- Full body, medium carbonation. Huge sipper with a fairly predominate alcohol burn at the finish.

O- Crazy beer! The vanilla is amazing and the chocolate ain't to bad either.

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Photo of lestat314
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had several tasters at bruery 3rd anniversary party.

A- Poured deep black with little carbonation, displays legs and coats glass nicely.

S- dark fudgy coffee vanilla deliciousness, can smell the booze a little but i would say primary note is fudge.

T- Similar to smell very rich and chocolaty up front, more on the tail end i got coffee and vanilla, maybe a little caramel too.

M- Coats mouth similarly to glass, thick, heavy and warmth from the alcohol. to be expected from a stout this big.

O- very pleased with it, i love chocolate tho, if you don't you'll hate this beer.. chocolate is very present in smell and taste.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a La Chouffe tulip. Huge thanks to the generous soul who deigned to give me a taste of this at the Batch 3 Rosso release - I never thought I'd get to try this beer.

A: Not as dark as I expected, but still nice: dark brown with reddish-brown highlights and a thin ring of tan bubbles. Almost still.

S: Rich, intense chocolate and alcohol. Sweet, simple, and amazing.

T: Chocolate, coffee, caramel, toffee, sugar, and general sweetness. Less booze than promised by the aroma, surprisingly.

M: Thick and sticky. Just what I expected.

O: This beer delivered precisely what I expected it too: a massive explosion of chocolate sweetness and warming alcohol. It wasn't anything life-changing, but I thought the purpose of the chocolate made its intense sweetness more enjoyable than that of the base Black Tuesday. I would never trade my cellar for a bottle, but I'd love to try another sample of this some day. Tasty beer.

Cheers!

 948 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.41/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a oversized wine glass, 2015 edition

A- pours dark brown, almost black on color with a small foamy off-white head that eventually disappears completely

S- dark chocolate and cocoa nibs up front mix with marshmallow cream, vanilla, bourbon, melted toffee, fudge brownies & a hint of tobacco

T- big blast of sweetness hits the palate with tons of dark chocolate, cocoa, melted marshmallow, vanilla cream, bourbon barrel, toasted oak, caramel, melted toffee, chocolate cake. Boozy finish with notes of port wine on then linger

M- medium-heavy body with low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel and a warming boozy finish

O- definitely a simpler, loaded with chocolate and vanilla at drinks like a fine port wine or sherry

 765 characters

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.41/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Swimsum brought this over to our place as part of an epic tasting on Saturday. Thanks Brent! Following review based on notes taken at that time.

4oz. sample poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Very little head off the pour. The murky body sits calmly in my snifter, showing off brown edges and brash viscosity when held to light. White bubbles meander around the surface, but that's it in terms of head; looks flat. Surprisingly weak glass-coating as well.

Smell: Booze, chocolate creme, and vanilla are easily discernible from the get-go. As it warms, the booze component actually fades, giving way to more vanilla, and dark berries (cherry schnapps-like). Very enjoyable.

Taste: Chocolate and vanilla dominate, while cream, macadamia nut, and booze play lesser roles. Not as complex as Black Tuesday in my opinion, but likely smoother.

Mouthfeel: Warm and dry, but also heavy, creamy, and surprisingly smooth given the ABV. Very lightly carbonated. A great sipper.

Overall: Of the stouts we had on this night, this ranked third in my book behind BA Speedway and Hunaphu's. However, all three of those beers were close, and the fact that this one outweighs each of those by ~7% really says something: given the ABV, this is unbelievably tasty and drinkable. As good as Black Tuesday? I don't think so. But it's certainly close.

 1,333 characters

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.41/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 bottle crushed druing Sugar Bowl hope solo

A- Rather transparent for a BA stout, especially with this amount of ABV. Little to no head. Thin lacing around the bottle.

S- Big bourbon upfront. Chocolate malty in back. Dates perhaps raisin thin in back.

T- Rich chocolate bourbon. Very smooth. This is for the sweet beer lovers. Probably wouldn't work if you are a die hard strict RIS fan.

M- Pretty smooth, with some carbonation going down the throat. Kinda thin. Surprised by that. I have had this many times, and I don't remember it being this thin.

O- I think?? a well crafted beer by The Bruery. It seems their most popular beers have to have a sweet factor.

 673 characters

Chocolate Rain from The Bruery
98 out of 100 based on 325 ratings.
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