Chocolate Rain | The Bruery

BA SCORE
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 aaronyoung01
4.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of THECPJ
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of BAsbill
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of Lucoli
4.63/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.02/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 ml wax-dipped bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.
18.5% ABV, 2014, Best stored and cellared around 55°F

A - Pouring thick and rich, this (surprisingly) dark brown beer's high alcohol content drives the tan foam to a thin halo almost immediately but, give this boozy beer a swirl and legs will drip down the glass for what seems like forever.

S - Thick soy sauce cakes grain alcohol-soaked raisins while molasses seeps through faint charred oak barrels that once held bourbon. Until the beer sits and really warms up, chocolate isn't even part of the picture but, it's milky nose peeks through with whole vanilla beans for a more pleasant olfactory experience.

T - A trail mix of dark chocolate morsels, booze-soaked raisins, creamy vanilla yogurt bites, and caramel-draped charred oak cubes fill the mouth with potency, almost completely overlapping the bourbon barrel character, save for the whole booze-soaked raisin part. It's damn tasty - much tastier than the outrageous nose lets on, but it's comes across more like straight grain alcohol was added to the beer once inside a charred oak barrel.

M - If it weren't for the onslaught of alcohol, Chocolate Rain might otherwise come across as a thick, throat-coating imperial stout. The truth of the matter is, there's so much freakin' alcohol in this beer that it cuts the full-bodied feel with thinning solvent heat that carries from mid gulp down the throat where it perpetually warms the stomach. It's creamy smoothness makes for a nice sipping beer when the potent alcohol is cast aside, though!

O - Here I sit, reviewing The Bruery's Chocolate Rain in my Bruery hat, feeling kind of silly about that. ...And the fact that I just absently dropped a rhyme. Moving right along... Chocolate Rain shows some serious promise but like Bourbon County Stout, I couldn't possibly see myself truly enjoying this beer fresh ever again. If I crave hard alcohol (which I almost never do) I'll pour myself hard alcohol. Chocolate Rain's Tripel Bock-like soy sauce nose is immediately off-putting but slowly opens up to richer nuances, transitioning into a fuller, more rich flavor of chocolate, vanilla tannins, and some trace of actual beer instead of solvent alcohol. I never age a beer I haven't had fresh but I'll count this as a learning experience; The Bruery's Chocolate Rain will probably be exceptional with 2-3 years of sitting in a cool, dark room on it which is the only way I'll have a bottle of my own next time.

 2,479 characters

Photo of mattreitz49
4.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 2dogbrew
3.5/5  rDev -21%

Photo of Lucnifter
4.56/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage. Pours dark brown, verging on black with a small tan head that dissipates very quickly. The aroma is vanilla, bourbon, Belgian yeast esters, chocolate, alcohol and oak. Taste is extremely sweet with chocolate and bourbon leading the charge and leaving little space for anything else to play on the stage. Mouthfeel is thin for a big beer. Very good overall. A fantastic desert beer.

 395 characters

Photo of atone315
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Photo of papat444
3.5/5  rDev -21%

***2014 Vintage***

Thanks to F2brewers for this rarity.

Pours thick and viscous, decent head actually which dissipates rapidly. Aroma of fudge predominantly; flavor is bourbon soaked chocolate cake and alcoholic chocolate syrup.

The issue i have is this brew is quite hot and boozy and it's felt in the flavor which overshadows the complexities that are surely there but are lost due to the booziness.

Definitely let this one sit a few years to mellow out. Would be curious to taste an older vintage to see the difference, not likely to happen though :)

 558 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
2/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

pour is dark chestnut brown with very little thin light tan head. The nose is huge, faint notes of chocolate, cloying sweetness, light ash note, tons of booze and a complete mess. The taste is almost as bad. The booze is overpowering, the sweetness is insanely high, it is completely unintegrated, the faint notes of actual malt body are completely blanketed by the huge abv and under attenuation. The body is thick and heavy, high carbonation. The burn and finish are similar to straight liquor mixed with pure sugar.

 518 characters

Photo of 2beerdogs
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of madelf66
4.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of warnerry
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of tectactoe
4.16/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Boom - Chocolate Rain. Huge shoutout to whomever decided to bring this to our tasting. I keep forgetting who brought what, dammit. Anyway, this was a big want of mine, and I'm grateful for not having to search the country for it. Pours a very deep brown color, not quite deep enough to be called black. Even an aggressive, straight down pour produced almost no head - a slight ring that fades to naught rather quickly. Possibly an effect of such a high alcohol content?

The aroma is one of the strongest and most poignant I've ever come across. It fills your nasal cavities long before you finish bringing the beer to your nose. Deep, deep vanilla aromas; dense and syrupy. A bourbon-like alcohol character is strong and robust up front, almost burning the insides of my nose. The bourbon is settled down a bit and held in check by a delicate chocolate that emerges; sweet, milky, and creamy through and through. All of these aromas only intensify as the beer warms up. The bourbon burns more, the malts get sweeter, the vanilla gets more dense. The harshness, the sweetness, the sheer dominance of the nose is quite intimidating - but hey, I would expect nothing less from a 19.5% ABV stout that was this highly acclaimed, right?

The first thing that my taste receptors send to my brain from the moment this beer touches my tongue is, "holy fucking sweet!" The sweetness is very high on this one, right out of the gate - honestly, just a tad overboard. The flavors, however, are very, very nice; baked brown sugar, bourbon soaked licorice and mild dark fruit, heavy vanilla beans, and lots of light, cocoa undertones. There is a solid oak and wood characteristic, front to back as well. As anyone would expect, this one gets much boozier as it warms up - starting off as a bourbon heat, it turns into a hotter bourbon heat accompanied by a slightly phenol or rubbing alcohol kind of heat.

The more and more I drink this, the more and more the vanilla-bourbon flavors stand out to me as the most dominant. The aftertaste is controlled by some light cocoa flavors that are sadly overshadowed by heavy booze. The sweetness also lasts long into the aftertaste, like a boulder rolling down a hill that is very hard to stop. Near the tail end of this beer, the alcohol is much more dominant and it actually helps keep the sweetness more in check. Slick, sticky, slightly thick mouth feel with super low carbonation.

Super glad I got to try this one - my 6 oz. pour was perfect - I would imagine that any more than this would be too much. The flavors were awesome, but there were two main things holding this one back from being a top 10 beer for me: it was a bit too sweet, and it was a touch too boozy and hot, especially as the beer warmed up. I guess that's to be expected from a 19.5% ABV beer, right? So maybe I'm being too harsh. But the beer was still damn good and the flavors were on point. Overall, if this were taken down on the ABV level and the sweetness was controlled a little better, it would easily be a top 10 contender.

 3,038 characters

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

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

Jeff, you’re the man. Bottle into snifter. Reviewed from notes.

A: A very slow pour yielded a very dark brown almost black color with no head to speak of.
S: Rich and sweet notes of bourbon, marshmallows, vanilla, chocolate and caramel. Bit of roast as well.
T: Big smooth bourbon flavors, sweet caramel, thick chocolate and a touch of vanilla. Flavors are very creamy, smooth and integrated. The finish is full of caramel, and the aftertaste is warm with spicy bourbon and a bit of dark fruit.
M: Super thick body, smooth mouthfeel, slight alcohol warmth but tame. Overall a smooth, rich, creamy, and mellow drinking beer.
O: This is crazy good for a beer so bold and with such a high ABV as this one. Very rich and flavorful, yet wonderfully smooth and integrated. Thanks for the ounces, Jeff.

 802 characters

Photo of KevinGordon
5/5  rDev +12.9%

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

2012 vintage bottled, served in fff teku at the abs ballers meeting.

Obsidian with ruby tint, no lasting head or lacing, strong alcohol legs.

Strongest vanilla I have gotten off a beer on the nose, boozy, chocolate. The vanilla hit quickly and bites hard but lets go long enough to enjoy the roasted coco, oak, sweet molasses notes. Very sweet, pretty boozy, but very pleasant bourbon heat.

Full body, low carbonation, chewy, warm etoh.

Amazing beer but still needs a year or two longer on that vintage for the vanilla to mellow, I was bummed the coco nibs didnt shine through as much, but still, this is liquid gold, eould love to try older years!

 653 characters

Photo of CTJman
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of ShemRahBoo
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of mig100
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage. 6oz pour in a Bruery snifter at The Bruery.

L: Pours with a light swirly mocha head. Oily blackness.

S: Intense aroma of milk and dark chocolate, dark fruit, figs, vanilla, oak, freshly baked cookies and smores. An exciting beer to whiff over and over.

T: Wow. Vanilla, brownies, chocolate and cookie dough hit at the front of the tongue, with oak and an almost white chocolate character at the back. There's some slight bitter stout roastiness and bourbon flavor in the mix, but it's barely detectable and it works well to balance out and dial down the sweetness.

F: 18.4% ABV... I don't understand how Bruery does it. Vanilla, brownie fudge and oak coat the tongue, and while you can feel a good amount of heat as it goes down... it's by no means harsh and finishes really clean for how big of a beer it is.

Overall: A well-rounded, stunningly delicious and decadent world-class barrel aged imperial stout.

 932 characters

Photo of mportnoy
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.92/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I first had Chocolate Rain on tap at Barcade Philadelphia's 3rd Anniversary party in October 2014. I was floored and stunned and rated it a 4.75. That was a Chocolate Rain 2013 on tap.

1.5 years later, I'm having a bottle of 2013 Chocolate Rain and I am loving the heck out of it. Upon cracking it, it looks menacing and awesome. It smells so complex and intense, I thought I would pass out. Smoke, cigar ash, country ham from the boonies of Appalachia, bacon, chocolate, vanilla, alcohol, burnt sugar and dirty porn. Truly heavenly, and then some. Nice carbonated mocha-colored head that vanishes in about as long as it takes to say "The Bruery Chocolate Rain 2013 Vintage"

The taste follows the nose, with a big hit of sweetness that never gets out of control. This is similar to Bourbon County, but way better at the same time; the big sweet boozy beer for those not afraid of big boozy sweet beers. Chocolate all around, nice smoky finish.

Mouthfeel is perfect for the style, big and thick and creamy and bold. Heavy and outrageous.

Overall, this is my one of my favorite beers ever and I am so tempted to flat-out rate it a perfect "5" overall. I paid $65 for this bottle and I would do it again. And again. And again... Oh You Chocolate Rain!!!!

 1,258 characters

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