Chocolate Rain | The Bruery

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world-class
334 Reviews
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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

Added by mikedashg on 10-28-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
334
Ratings:
2,626
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
10.16%
 
 
Wants:
2,598
Gots:
981
For Trade:
129
User Reviews
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Reviews: 334 | Ratings: 2,626
Photo of wulfie85
5/5  rDev +12.9%

One of the best beers I have ever had. Poured black and smelled like bourbon with a little chocolate. The flavor was like taking a drink of bourbon but with a milk chocolate finish. So chocolately it was almost like I had a piece of chocolate in my mouth.

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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.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.24/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle from yesterday's share.

Talk about a beer that looks like a booze! Pouring this beer is like pouring a whiskey, just like Mocha Wednesday, Black Tuesday, and Grey Monday were. There was almost no head to speak of after the beer was poured and the only lacing was just the legs from the alcohol content. In the glass, the beer is almost black. On the nose, there is an assault of big, sweet, and boozy characteristics. There was a ton of brown sugar sweetness and little bit of chocolate, both of which were mostly dominated by a strong alcohol scent of whiskey and barrel. When the first sip hits the tongue, the alcohol is instantly noticeable burn. The rest of the drink is a sweet combination of vanilla, oak, chocolate, and just a touch of marshmallow. At the back end of the drink, the chocolate kicks in again a little stronger and is quickly accompanied by the alcohol flavor and burn that is the lingering characteristic. Mouthfeel on this one is more like a liqueur than a beer, with hardly any carbonation and a sticky, boozy, warming sensation as it goes down.

Overall, this was in line with its brethren in the days of the week series; big, boozy, sweet, and a little overrated. The beer itself it more of a novelty than a normal beer, and it drinks like a sweet, strong liqueur. Take this down with a few friends, otherwise, you'll be lucky to remember anything about this beer.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Bruery snifter. Acquired in a trade with vitese, thank you as always kind sir.

The pour is a transluscent medium brown, becoming opaque once in the glass, nearly black. The head is unique for a stout of this magnitude.. light mocha brown and 3 fingers in height, but fizzy and effervescent, dissapating quickly to nothing, leaving no retention or lacing.

Aromas a big and upfront, slightly boozy with rich deep vanilla, bourbon, sweet caramel being predominant, milk chocolate syrup is in the background. Very inviting.

First sip and... woah! That's sweet. Liquid diabetes sweet. Sugar coated dark fruits, sweet chocolate syrup, maple candy upfront. The follow through has some roastyness and coffee, but the sweet syrupy nature dominates from start to finish. Aftertaste is slight vanilla and milk chocolate. Slight burn on the way down.

Mouthfeel is rich, but not super thick like you'd expect. It's actually quite drinkable for 18% and has medium carbonation, more than you'd expect.

This is one of those beers that I've been waiting years to try, and I'm glad I got to try it. Not an everyday beer, definitely a dessert beer and definitely a beer to split. Not for those who don't like sweet beers.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.56/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in a great trade with Mike! 2013 vintage. Pitch black pour with a quickly fading one finger caramel-colored head with minimal lacing. The nose is huge chocolate fudge and booze, along with hints of vanilla, dark fruit, dark chocolate, and did I mention booze. The taste is bold and super rich with once again, lots of booze. Hints of vanilla, oak, dark fruit, maple, molasses, espresso, caramel, leather, tobacco, and milk chocolate. The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with low carbonation and a great warming finish. It approaches cloying, and it's definitely a sipper, but still incredibly drinkable for such a big beer. Overall, yes, it's hot and boozey, but it's so good! Much more upside than down. Highly recommended!

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Photo of Catracho5
4.68/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750 ml bottle poured into a tulip. This is a review of the 2013 vintage bottled on 3/04/13

A: Pours pitch black with no head retention, no lacing, average amount of carbonation streaming up the sides, looks a little more carbonated that other barrel aged stouts, looks pretty oily.

A: Lots of bourbon, toasted coconut, getting a hint of oak, not getting any chocolate, just tons of bourbon, toasted coconuts and some alcohol coming through on the nose, has a lot of aroma.

T: Big hit of bourbon, toasted coconut, hint of oak, some brown sugar sweetness, some heat from the alcohol and bourbon, touch of chocolate sweetness in the aftertaste, incredibly smooth for the ABV but there is some heat on the aftertaste. Chocolate is the prevailing note in the aftertaste. Lots of flavors, big flavors.

M: Big oily mouthfeel, heavy bodied, perhaps the heaviest bodied beer I may have ever tasted.

O: A huge beer, with huge flavors, huge mouthfeel, it's amazingly drinkable for 18 % ABV but it does creep up on you. This bottle is almost three years old and probably could have been cellared longer, it has held up pretty good, but I think the chocolate has faded a bit as it's not as prevalent as I was expecting. Overall a world class.

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Photo of rand
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2014 batch

750 mL bottle to snifter

A: Cola-brown in color, not as oily-viscous as Black Tuesday - not sure if its the added ingredients or something with the process, but the viscosity is clearly reduced. A wispy, soda-like head dissipates and leaves almost no trace of lacing.

S: The added cocoa is prominent - smells like opening a box of chocolate truffles laced in booze. The molasses undertone that anchored Black Tuesday is replaced by sugary vanilla. Chocolate pie meets beer.

T: The flavors are less a confectionery treat and more beer-like, although it's a still a decadent sip. Easily parsed notes of vanilla and chocolate are balanced by oak, lots of booze and a touch of a leafy hops. Finishes long and sweet.

M: Rich and creamy, but not as oily and sticky as its Black Tuesday progenitor.

Just as decadent and delicious as Black Tuesday, but with the added ingredients slightly more drinkable.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.94/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Massive thanks to Richard (Khazadum) for sharing this with all of us. There aren't enough high-fives in the world to cover that check...

Appearance -- Pours a dark chocolate hue with absolutely no head. Looks thick and menacing...I like it.

Smell -- In a word: indulgence. The glass exudes with decadent milk chocolate and vanilla bean, sweet Kentucky bourbon, roast malt, and a hint of dark fruits. it's incredibly aromatic, and considering the name, this is spot-on to what their intentions were. Good luck to any brewer thinking of trumping the nose on this.

Taste -- Again, lots of chocolate and vanilla sweetness, sweet bourbon, some roast and coffee-like character, and a modicum of dark fruit. It really doesn't live up to the aroma, but the flavors are still quite nice. The 19.?? abv is definitely apparent - as the beer is still cold the alcohol burn is not horribly perceptible, but that's all out the window after about 10 minutes of the glass held in hand.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with milder carbonation and a heaping helping of booze bite. Meh.

Overall -- Incredible aroma, but everything else about this beer falls short of Black Tuesday. The extra percent or so of ABV is so incredibly apparent. In the case of BT, letting the bottle sit a year or so will significantly diminish the booziness, as can be seen in the first batch. With the introduction of the cocoa and vanilla, these two will fade over time and I can't imagine there being a sweet spot in this beer's lifespan where there will be that incredible chocolate/vanilla flavor but with less booziness.

As it stands, I would definitely take a year-old bottle of Black Tuesday over Chocolate Rain. However, I'm curious to see what future batches of Rain will be like.

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Photo of dbc5
4.81/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage. 750 ml bottle poured into 10 ounce Kentucky Bourbon Stout snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with a cream colored head that fights to just cover the top of the beer before quickly dissipating into a nearly non-existent ring around the edge of the glass. Minimal head is to be expected from a beer of this size. Obvious alcohol legs with each swirl and sip.

S: Booze soaked dark fruits. A definite port-like character. Dark chocolate and brown sugar. Some vanilla-bourbon presence, but well integrated with the other aromatic complexities.

T: First impression, "this is better than Black Tuesday." The cocoa nib additions cut some of the intense sweetness; not to say this isn't a sweet beer (obviously given the ABV), but less so than the base beer. Picking up more roast in the back end than with normal BT. The cocoa addition is apparent with a nice bittersweet baker's chocolate presence. Over the course of this tasting, I've picked up flavors of plums, chocolate, caramel, burnt chocolate, coffee, and vanilla throughout. Ends milk chocolate and espresso, followed by alcohol warmth.

M: This beer is about as thick as it gets; borderline syrupy. Minimal carbonation and slick on the tongue. An appropriate mouthfeel for supporting the massive flavors and complexity of this one.

O: Excellent beer, one I prefer over the 10 and 11 vintages of Black Tuesday (the only vintages I've had).

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Photo of 2ellas
3.51/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look is a deep black with a very minimal dark head. Though not as dark or as opaque as expected.
Smell is of chocolate and not much else
taste is overpowering chocolate. To much chocolate and to sweet for me. I didn't get any other flavors or alcohol burn over the chocolate
mouthfeel is fairly thick given the high abv
overall I would not seek this out again. Simply too much chocolate for me. Like an alcoholic chocolate milk or something

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Nick for this, very generous of you

Short review because I am more concerned with drinking than reviewing.

Black pour with little head but fine for the ABV. Aroma is a tad boozy with lots of chocolate and vanilla. Taste is amazing. Waayyy more vanilla than expected. Smooth as hell considering the ABV. I wish I could be more descriptive but honestly it is hard to put into words. The body is medium/full and carbonation is a bit too high. Some alcohol burn in the finish. Overall this is definitely a top shelf imperial stout.

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Photo of yamar68
4.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Massive thanks to Morgan in socal for sharing this one with myself, mnphish, amyhran, icecoldphatty and others - 2012 vintage:

As you'd expect, it pours pretty much identically to the base beer... edges if copper clarity, a thin khaki head and loads of oily alcohol aftermath that coats the cup.

Surprisingly mellow bourbon quality - takes a back seat to a variety of figs and dates, milk chocolate, vanilla oak, fresh coffee beans, some sweet dessert notes... caramel or toffee. More chocolate goodness.

Wonderful. Sweet assertive bourbon layered with caramel, fudge cake, brown sugar, molasses, chocolate liqueur, just as big and bad as BT with chocolate addition that somehow draws everything together instead of pushing the diabetic envelope.

Incredible stuff. I remain in search of...

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Photo of kirok1999
4.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Well lookie, they aged Black Tuesday with cacao and vanilla! What a great idea. This totally improves Black Tuesday in every way. The vanilla is very natural tasting, and the chocolate plays well. If I ran The Bruery I would find a way to make this a regular...at an astounding price. If only they could find a way to can it. Love that April Fools joke.

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Photo of kkleu357
4.63/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

From notes on 6/27/15

Opened this bottle with 3 other people. Probably a good thing since it is so big. Pour a thick black body with pretty much no head. Huge sweet cocoa aroma. Almost overwhelming taste. Just a ton of cocoa and vanilla with lots of bourbon. It has a pretty strong bite on the tongue. You can tell there is a lot of alcohol. Still, I very much so enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Par of the epic tasting at jackie o's with brad and crew

A-nice brown body with a tan head that quickly disapates
S-nice chocolate smell. Very inviting
T-great coco and vanilla taste. Hint of the booze towards the end but it hides the alcohol very well.
M-full bodied and oh so smooth
O- great beer. Lives up to the hype

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Photo of MrVonzipper
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Rtaps for sharing this 2012 bottle
Pitch black. Viscous and pretty oily looking. Short dark khaki head. Pretty low retention and spotty lacing.

Nose is nice but obviously young. A bit boozy but I like a bit of booziness. Rich chocolate and vanilla with a touch of bourbon.

Flavor IMO is fantastic. Huge and rich. Vanilla and chocolate are nice although it needs to age to perfection. Very deep dark sweet but not overly sweet.

Mouth is very full bodied. Low carbonation.

Overall this beer is fantastic and will be amazing with about two years age IMO. Can't wait to revisit.

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

Had some time to think this guy over for a bit(but not to long to forget our encounter), had it at the Reserve Society Initiation party pourd into a taster.

Had low expectations going into this guy because of all the hype.

A- This is the tough part given the circumstances, very rushed pour(within the madness) into a taster, it becomes a bit tricky to rate appearance. After the pour I get away from the chaos and this guy looks great. didn't get a huge head, but it dissipates quickly to a nice brown ring around the glass.

s- if i could give this a 6 it would be well deserved, this guy smells amazing. i must have sat there smelling this guy for several minutes, could have sat there all day. strong smell of chocolate (ofcourse), a lot of bourbon goodness, and vanilla

t- cant describe this, its absolutle amazing. are you kidding me, the hype is real? tons of chocolate, vanilla and very low alcohol burn considering the abv.

m- perfect, exactly how i like my stouts, thick, full mouth feel. the flavor is everywhere!

d- done already! extremely drinkable, could have easily drank this all day. careful with this guy its so drinkable it will creep on you quick.

some say the alcohol taste is high in this guy, i didn't get it at all. in fact i cant believe just how drinkable this beast is.

You want a beer that has a good chance to RUIN a style for you this is as close as it gets. to me this is perfection in a glass and ill tell you it infuriates me to say that because i didn't want it to be so. must try this again! hype well deserved.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.65/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at NWI Tasting group Black Tuesday 09-12 and Variants tasting

A - Chocolate brown with a thin looking body. There was a very small chocolate head that faded quickly

S - Milk and dark chocolate, light vanilla, caramel and bourbon. Not as boozy in the nose as Grey Monday

T - This is a delicious beer. There is sweet vanilla, light oak, caramel, sweet bourbon. This sweetness is balanced perfectly with the bitterness of the dark chocolate cacao nibs. Finish has slight cinnamon spice, heat from the bourbon and light oak

MF - This is a super thick and velvety smooth beer. It is really thick and coats the tongue. The finish is slightly astringent

O - This is really a good beer that I liked more than BT and Grey Monday. It has such a great flavor profile that is balanced between the dark chocolate and the sweetness of BT. Plus, it was super creamy and smooth when drinking. This one was definitely worth the hype

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Photo of mjpolzin
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

What a fantastic beer that I was able to try after Thanksgiving dinner. I have had Black Tuesday and although I can't say for sure since I didn't have them side by side, I think I like this one better. I think the addition of cacoa nibs and vanilla beans actually adds a nice element to the beer. This probably borders on being more of a liqueur than a beer but all I know is it was a damn fine experience.

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Photo of -Rick
4.81/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

this is desert in a bottle. Huge amounts of chocolate, vanilla, and a bit of coffee. The booze is well hidden in this one. Truly a great stout. Bottled in 2013

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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.

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Photo of tewaris
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chocolate Rain
Dang!
Thanks Andrew!!

Dark brown, clear, not much head yada yada. I thought Black Tuesday was liqueur like, Chocolate Rain is liquor like. Thin, boozy and hot, in the best way. Chocolate, vanilla, toffee... it tastes like one of those fancier candies.

It is so damn good, I would consider killing an entire bottle myself. Definitely. Now I said that it was thin... it's not thin in the sense of final gravity I guess, but because alcohol is such an excellent solvent, this beer “flows”. Just a great beer with marvelous complexity and deliciousness. Believe.

4.5, 4.5, 4.5, 4.5, 4.5

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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.

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Photo of GregSVT
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a snifter - 2012 Vintage

A: Pours a dark brown (not as black as I expected) with a tiny off-brown head that fades to a ring and leaves no lacing.

S: The nose is so similar to BT I probably couldn't tell the difference if they were side by side. There are nice notes of vanilla, chocolate, molasses, and bourbon. I'm not getting much cocoa or vanilla which is surprising.

T: The taste is simply amazing! Unlike the nose this is leaps and bounds above BT. There were massive flavors of chocolate, vanilla cream, fudge brownies, molasses, and bourbon.

M: The feel is medium bodied and thick like syrup on the finish. The beer does get kind of cloying the longer you drink it.

O: I was not as impressed with BT when I had it as I thought I would but this definitely lived up to the hype. I could drink this all the time in small quantities. It does get cloyingly sweet as you get to the end of your glass but it's so tasty.

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Photo of SteveB24
4.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look-color is a surprisingly clear, lightish brown, not unlike milk chocolate, no head at all save for a few stray bubbles.
Smell-TONS of sweet chocolate, booze, and vanilla.
Taste-Loads of milky chocolate upfront, faint notes of caramel, vanilla, some coconut in there as well, and a slight touch of alcohol but nowhere near the level you might except from a beer this big.
Feel-Very thick and creamy, very faint carbonation.
Overall-This beer is a wonderful treat, hopefully i'll be lucky enough to try it again sometime.

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Chocolate Rain from The Bruery
4.43 out of 5 based on 2,626 ratings.
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