Chocolate Rain | The Bruery

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98
world-class
2,666 Ratings
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Chocolate RainChocolate Rain
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Bruery
California, United States
thebruery.com

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
2015: 18.4% ABV
2016: 19.7% ABV
2017: 19.6% ABV

Added by mikedashg on 10-28-2009

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,666
Reviews:
339
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
10.16%
 
 
Wants:
2,594
Gots:
993
For Trade:
130
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,666 |  Reviews: 339
Photo of drummermattie02
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review #1000. Thought long and hard since October, the first time I had this, as to whether I could really give this kind of review after only having 4oz of it. So I drank it again at the RS party, bumping my total up to about a grand total of 10oz through roughly five different tastings.

Anyways, jeez, not pitch black, the brown chocolate current running through it, not a big head to it, its not supposed to. Why everyone thinks a beer can't have a perfect appearance unless it has massive carbonation leading to a 2" head and tons of lace clinging to the glass. . . (well actually this did cling decently). If it makes you feel better to get some visual stimulation, swirl it a little, it'll do what you want. Massive chocolate aroma, bourbon, vanilla.

Taste, I picture a crack fiend with a lighter and spoon, melting dark chocolate in the spoon and dropping it into the beer. Lots of vanilla come out with this one, everything is huge, except ironically, the alcohol. Bourbon, vanilla and chocolate pretty much bigger than an any other example I can think of. Wood tannin meld, very under the radar. Viscosity is not through the roof, just right. Such a warming feel to the alcohol, soaked up with the chocolate. Had many beers 1/3 the abv that come across with more heat and less enjoyable because of it.

I would guess there might be multiple sources of high end chocolate going into a high end beer here (cocoa, dark chocolate, white chocolate etc. . . ). Can't think of any beer that is bottled that rivals it. Really, I've come to the conclusion that the greatest beers in the world are just all the different varieties of Pliny and Black Tuesday.

 1,660 characters

Photo of crobinso
4/5  rDev -9.7%

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

Photo of champ103
2.96/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours not completely opaque, but dark black with some ruby brown around the edges. A tiny bubbly head forms and recedes to nothing in a second. Looks really still.
S: Very boozy up front. Some bakers chocolate, vanilla and roast comes through. Huge barrel aromas that overpower everything.
T: Like the nose, all barrel and not much else comes through. Some bakers chocolate and vanilla. Light roast. Mostly boozy ethanol and barrel flavors.
M/D: Still carbonation with a thick, gloppy, resinous body. Oh, the alcohol here is rough. Crass and over barring in almost every way. Really hard for me to enjoy this.

Oh man, I just don't get this. Beers like Bourbon County are so much more well rounded and incorporated to me. This is the newest release, so hopefully this mellows with time. Though as is, just over barring and not something I really enjoyed.

 857 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.92/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to Mike for a perfect beer to end the night with... pours a medium brown, shocked how much lighter than black tuesday this is, medium tan head is gone right away... smells like a chocolate brownie, super decadent, no alcohol or vanilla... tastes just like it smells, tons of chocolate, cocoa nibs all over this, no vanilla again, a bit rich to drink a ton of but still enjoyable and very drinkable for the abv

 416 characters

Photo of n2185
4.22/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of cosmicevan
4.81/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Notes from a tasting on 8/15. not sure who brought this one, but i can tell you that it was far and away the highlight of the tasting. i had a batch 2 recently (review still needs to be added), and i can tell you it is a different beer entirely from batch 1. batch 2 is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but batch 1 is simply magic in a bottle.

Batch #1!!!

a - poured a watery black with no head at all, looks kind of sludgy, but has that darkness of the devil's soul.

s - a hint of rubbing alcohol with a salm in the face of amazing gourmet chocolate and the perfect dosage of vanilla glazed on top. some toasted coconut in the background to round out the nose. really just marvellous, my mouth is watering.

t - HOLY MOLY!!! Huge vanilla with rich decadent chocolate. Still pretty hot, but beautiful. everything is in it's right place. the vanilla is divine. not a vanilla bomb, but a dessert.

m - a bit hot, but silky smooth. for a beer this huge, it blows you away how great it drinks.

o - FAR superior to batch 2. FAR FAR FAR superior. this beer is unreal. the entire group was floored by it and i don't think one of us didn't peg this as the top beer of the evening (and it was in good company with rare, black note, pappy eclipse, and other big guns). we even gave some sips to a table of ladies next to us and they too were blown away that "a dark beer" could taste so good. when we told them the ABV, they thought we were lying.

 1,451 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

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.

 1,773 characters

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 Resuin
4.64/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750 mL bottle , bottled on 03/04/2013.

Appearance: Pours a dark, deep oak brown with a hint of cherry coloring. Leaves behind a solid finger of off-white head.

Smell: Sweet bourbon, strong vanilla, dark chocolate, toffee, caramel. Really delicious combination of aromas. The vanilla really stands out, maybe more than in any other beer I've had.

Taste: Bourbon and vanilla come out right away, front and center, along with milk and dark chocolate, toffee, more vanilla. The layers of strong, sweet flavors mask the alcohol expertly. Some heat is definitely there but it only adds to this beer. Very sweet, but not overly so - really well done.

Mouth-feel: Silky texture with low to medium carbonation. Medium to heavy body. Very smooth and creamy.

Overall: This is a terrific monster of a stout for chocolate lovers. Definitely sweet, and the alcohol is masked brilliantly. This one packs a whole lot of flavor and the smell and taste match each other very well, in a good way. Definitely worth seeking out.

 1,012 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.92/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Had this at a Jackie O's tasting in May, provided by brew3crew (thanks Jason!). Huge ABV of 18.5%, biggest and baddest beer of the day.

This looked initially opaque, but it's a little transparent at the edges. Dark copper brown color (not as dark as expected).

This smells boozy, the alcohol is definitely apparent behind the cocoa. Maybe hints of bourbon too, mostly chocolate, ethanol, and some vanilla.

It tastes very hot, sweet and chocolaty, with massive malt character. Overwhelming might be too much of an adjective, but this is definitely a big beer and it feels like it. Sweet aftertaste of brown sugar.

Carbonation is on the low side, still adequate though. This was a treat, and was the beer I was looking forward to most at the tasting. I'd definitely try it again any time it might be offered.

 833 characters

Photo of rlee1390
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Black in the glass, one finger slightly off white head.

S-Chocolate, vanilla, roasted malt, nice bourbon, slight coffee.

T-Lots of chocolate and vanilla. Great balance, mild bourbon, roasted malt and coffee is there.

M-Heavy to medium in body, nice carbonation.

O-The addition of chocolate and vanilla take BT to another level.

 333 characters

Photo of threedaggers
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of zekeman17
4/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of GraduatedCashew
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of akang
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Dactrius
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of BMMillsy
4.02/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from dak. Thanks! 2013 bottle (I think) shared with beastmaster. Pours dark brown (thin looking) with no head whatsoever. Big vanilla chocolate nose with huge sweet bourbon and a bit of licorice and woody oak. Big thick mouthfeel, velvety, with low carbonation but not flat. Big burnt sugar and molasses up front, with sweet chocolate syrup on the back end. Bourbon booze burns on the time. Packs quite a flavor punch. Serious sipper with a lingering sweetness that is rather pleasant. Starts great, harsh going down and waaaay sweet, then the linger is fantastic after dinner treat. Age might do this well for that middle portion which makes it tough to deal with more than a small pour (5 oz here). Only two of us, so recapping the rest for tomorrow.

 759 characters

Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.5/5  rDev -21%

Photo of Sparky44
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of kmanjohnson
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Photo of rspauldi
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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.

 560 characters

Chocolate Rain from The Bruery
4.43 out of 5 based on 2,666 ratings.
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