Chocolate Rain | The Bruery

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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:
2,636
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
10.16%
 
 
Wants:
2,598
Gots:
986
For Trade:
130
User Reviews
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Reviews: 334 | Ratings: 2,636
Photo of Phelps
4.02/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into a wine glass.

Burnt umber, milky and opaque in the middle and clearer at the edges. A hard pour results in nearly no head, which is expected -- this thing is like liqueur.

Huge bourbon nose, packed with alcohol. Vanilla bean, buttered toffee, acrid charred oak, and dark chocolate sauce. Lots and lots of chocolate sauce.

Wow, is this rich. Vodka-soaked heath bars, bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, oak. It's a delicious blend, but so sugary I'm worried I'll get a headache.

The word of the day is: rich. Thick, syrupy medium-full body. Alcohol heat is high, like pepper spice on the tongue. It numbs the tongue a little as well. Carbonation is light and prickly. Heavy stuff.

Like drinking chocolate frosting. Thick, rich, highly inebriating. It is, however, a one-trick pony. There's not a ton of complexity, but you don't really need it. Chocolate? Good. Stout? Good. Bourbon? Gooood.

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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.

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Photo of billab914
4.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Siege06nd for breaking out a bottle of this the other night. 2012 vintage poured from a 750ml bottle. It poured dark brown in color with a spotty tan lacing scattered across the top. It appeared a little lighter in color and more still then I would have liked.

In the aroma the vanilla immediately stands out to me, but the chocolate isn't far behind. I get a little roasted malts to it, but the sweeter chocolate and vanilla steal the show. It's got a bit of a nice dark fruit presence as well. The bourbon was a little more reserved, but did come out more as it warmed. It's definitely sweet and boozy, but the aroma was good enough to overcome that for the most part.

Lots of chocolate and cocoa come out in the taste. The vanilla really starts to shine more towards the finish. I get a little bit of a roasted malt presence, helping it from becoming too over the top sweet. The bourbon is in the finish as well, but adds more of a boozy, alcohol heat and doesn't really compliment or integrate into the beer flavors all that well.

The mouthfeel is a little oily with low carbonation. The mouthfeel is a little thin for the style, but I like the low carbonation. Overall, very good but short of great. It's very rich, with some great flavors but the boozy alcohol heat hurts it for me. The bourbon barrel flavors just doesn't seem as complimenting, integrated and smooth as they could have been.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.04/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a taster. Batch 2. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Dark brown, not quite black. Ruby flecks in the light. Mocha head that's gone pretty quickly.

Smell - Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Nice, until the booze. Wow is it boozy.

Taste - Sugar. Sugar again. Bourbon. Chocolate, then sugar and sugar again. Alcohol rounds it out, I guess. I get the chocolate, but there's no other evidence of a stout in there. Still, it tastes pretty damn good.

Mouthfeel - Sugary sweet. Diabetes in a bottle. 3 or 4 oz. is the most I could drink of this. Excruciatingly boozy.

Overall - It's so over the top. Better than BT, but only because of the chocolate flavor. There's barely a stout back there behind the barrel and chocolate.

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Photo of Beer4B
4.04/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014: this one wasn't nearly as chocolatey as others (so I've been told). Chocolate and a ton of booz in our bottle. The booziness was overwhelming and hid most of the chocolate and any other depth. The feel was fantastic and would love to try another vintage.

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Photo of oline73
4.05/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was able to try this at a tasting this past weekend. Poured from a bottle into a Colossus snifter.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with a mild amount of tan head that leaves a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Chocolate and roasted malt with some cocoa and dark chocolate. There is a lot of really hot liquor in the finish.

Taste: Cocoa and roast hit the tongue right away. The chocolate flavors are mildly sweet, but the roast seems to dominate. There is a heat from the alcohol that shows up immediately and builds throughout the sip.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side of medium with smooth carbonation and a finish that is a bit dry.

Overall: This is a good beer, but didn't quite live up to the hype for me. I would love to try it again with some age on it, but we'll have to see if that happens.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.05/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the RS membership party

Look: Black and totally opaque thin tan head and some spotty lace

Smell: Chocolate and a touch of alcohol

Taste: This beer is pretty straight forward in terms of flavor. Quite a bit of chocolate and quite a bit of harsh alcohol which create a bit of a rubbing alcohol finish. Definitely needs to mellow out

Mouthfeel: Full body and low carbonation a bit warm from the alcohol and slightly sticky

Overall: This beer is what you expect it to be. Lots of chocolate and alcohol. Sadly the alcohol is not well hidden like the it is in black tuesday but you get what you think you will

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Photo of nedvalton
4.05/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- very black with little to no head at all. Very viscous leaving noticeable lacing.

S- sweet roasty with definite vanilla and cocoa undertones.

T-very sweet. Not overly hot especially for the alcohol level. Mild vanilla with faint hint of cocoa in the very distant background.

M- thick almost like oil but very nice. Coats the inside of your mouth with the first sip

O- a solid beer especially for the high alcohol. Its worth trying for sure.

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Photo of gory4d
4.05/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a few bubbles - no head to speak of. It's pretty clear, not as opaque as I'd expected. The smell is heavy on the bourbon, with some sweet notes of cocoa and vanilla. The taste is big sweet chocolate upfront, some notes of oak and vanilla in the middle, with big bourbon burn at the end. The vanilla became more prominent as it warmed. It's fairly thin, moderately carbonated, easy on the tongue. A nice beer.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.06/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown with a reddish hue. No real head on this one. Smells chocolate heavy and incredibly boozy. Tastes sweet and harsh. The booziness is overpowering. Needs more time i think. Lots of sweet maltiness but the booziness kills it. Overall interesting but too much!

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.07/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Managed to try this the other night thanks to a surprise bottle opening at a bar I go to. Thanks to everyone who was generous enough to share! One of my top wants for a while. 2013 vintage. Poured into a wine taster glass from a 750ml bottle. Keep in mind that I *haven't* had Black Tuesday yet as of this review, so I have nothing to compare it to.

This actually was a gusher. Are you joking?! Nevertheless, pours pitch black (as expected), with some brownish, tanned streaks, which mostly manifests itself in the head. The alcohol legs are monstrous, but lacing is actually far better than I thought it would be, leaving behind granite looking droplets against the wall of the glass after every swirl and sip. Looks like a chocolate liqueur melded with port wine, plain and simple.

An immediate blast of malty, chocolate and oak laden sweetness reaches the nose, but it's a little more complex than other imperial stouts within the category. The first flavors that hit the nostrils (albeit a brief sting from the alcohol) consist of fudge, caramel, and vanilla, and soon meld into a far more unique profile at the finish - with roasted cashews (seriously, not joking, this is very nutty), tobacco, prunes, dark cherries, and molasses. Quite a complex offering, and while it fails to hide the alcohol as well as I'd want, it's still extremely diverse for a mere chocolate-forward bourbon barrel aged offering.

The flavor is exactly what you'd expect it to be based off of the aroma - an enormous cascade of chocolate and fudge, combined with a brief sweetness of burnt toffee, vanilla, and caramel. Very, very sweet, but luckily other flavors make themselves noticeable at the finish, ranging from dark fruit (blackcurrant, prunes), spices (cinnamon, tobacco), and a brief tannic consistency from the oak barrels. While there's some carbonation, this is extremely syrupy, but luckily it's not overbearingly sweet so it doesn't bother me as much in the long run. As a port wine lover, it's pretty impressive how this tastes very similar to drinking a high quality Tawny with some dark chocolate alongside. Very enjoyable, but 4oz was more than enough.

Very good, but most certainly not worth the $40 price tag they're asking for on this. TCHO is one of my favorites and their chocolate really accentuates the base beer overall. Perhaps improves it, but I will only find that out as soon as I get to crack open my first BT. I'll be honest, though - it's going to be hard to find a beer of this type again that is as decadent and as complex as this one is!

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.07/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally, a year late, I got to have this on cask,

A: Pours a dark brown with a mild cask head. Some lace, very nice colour.

S: Lots of chocolate, bourbon, the cacao really comes out and differentiates it from BT. A soothing but complex smell.

T: Direct bitter cacao nib flavours. Sweet residual sugar throughout with a hint of acidity in the finish.

M: Full-bodied, but thins out a bit with the acidity towards the end. A big beer though for sure.

D: A very nice stout. I was a bit underwhelmed as I missed it last year and have been waiting for this moment. Not as good as regular Black Tuesday for me, but in the whole scheme of things it is well made in its style.

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Photo of DaveJanssen
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split a 750 mL bottle 3 ways, poured into red wine glasses. Reviewed night of 3/19/11

Ar: Heavy sweet, decadent, mild soy/meat, chocolate syrup, vanilla, rich dark chocolate cake, light coffee, roast/burn, maple, alcohol

Ap: Low head, dark tan/light black, legs

T: Rich and sweet, heavy chocolate, roast, very mild burn, dark chocolate, reminds me of KBS in some ways, rich and full, molasses, licorice, light tobacco, heavy dark caramel with dark chocolate, bourbon and wood, strong maple (lingering), strong vanilla, alcohol, baking chocolate

M: Heavy, mild carbonation, sweet and full, roast and alcohol end, mild alcohol character for abv

O: Very good, stronger coffee quality than i expected/remember in Black Tuesday, strong complex and rich, reminds me of KBS and to some extent BCBCS.

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Photo of MarkIntihar
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at ridglens' pre-wedding tasting, graciously shared by the main himself. Poured into hayesez's Portsmouth snifter.

A - Pours very dark, opaque brown, with half a finger of pale tan head. Retention is nice, lingers for the length of the experience. Looks a little bit lighter and thinner than I expected.

S - Chocolate bourbon. And HOT chocolate bourbon at that. Super alcohol burn in the nose, which is a little unpleasant.

T - Starts off very chocolate, with the bourbon burn more in the background. Reminds me almost of Hershey's chocolqte syrup mixed with bourbon. Finish starts super hot, then smoothes out to a fudge-like chocolate. Very unique.

M - Burning. That's the only thing I can focus on. Does have a creamy feeling to it, but too much burn. The lasting feeling does even out though. Saves it a bit.

O - Overall, a crazy experience. I like it more than I probably should, but I don't totally mind burning. Absolutely ecstatic to get to try it!

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.09/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, courtesy of daryk77 - cheers man, as always. Shared as we watched the end of the presidential election festivities.

Poured into a goblet. Black as pitch, slightly chestnut when held to the light, with a thin off white head that recedes into a thick, but substantial ring.

Nose is very sweet: coffee, cream, booze, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, light burnt sugar. You can smell the weight on this.

Very tasty indeed, "rich" is an understatement. Boozy? At a hair under 20% of course it will be. However, I did find the sweetness and the booze more pronounced than the Tuesday. Vanilla and sugar quite prominent, though the other flavors are certainly there. Don't get me wrong, this is a damned tasty beer, but I give the edge to the Tuesday. Syrupy, velvety feel, with enough carbonation to keep the sweetness at bay.

Very enjoyable beer, definitely worth a second look if I ever come across it again.

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Photo of bashiba
4.09/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Chocolate Rain mean 48 Jersey is dark brown with almost no head to speak.

this smell is so loaded with alcohol burns my nose hairsthere's a bit of saleI'm heading dark chocolate

its so rich its like drinking chocolate boobsvery sweet desert lifethe heavy bourbon vanilla flavormeeting with alcohol add more chocolate and then even more time chocolate a little more vanilla

mouthfeel is tremendously sickvery warm and very on Boise.

highly recommend this second Street.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.09/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark brown/black color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention and some light lacing. Aroma of black chocolates with quite a bit of residual sugar notes. Taste is also dominated by black chocolate notes with loads of residual sugar and a spicy finish. Vanilla notes are more subtle but kind of help smooth some of the rough edges of this beer. Body is about average for style with medium carbonation and warming alcohol can be detected. Big beer or sure that need to be split up between a couple of people, but very enjoyable beer nonetheless.

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Photo of Brabander
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

We had a beertasting at Beerpirates place on sunday the 15th of may 2011. Jeffo, Claark13, Bierschenker, beerpirates and i drank a whole bunch of beers. Thanks for your hospitality Wim!

Wim has three bottles of this very rare and overwhealming brew. After the tasting he had only two because he was sooo generous to give us all this treat.

Poured in my Westvleteren tasting glass this beer looks good but not spectacular (like most stouts).

The smell and taste of grapes and (hazel)nuts and above all milkchocolate, tons of it!

Thanks again Wim, a real treat...

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Photo of ptykozoon
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with a red hue, a ring of lacing on the glass.

So sweet, mostly chocolate followed by hot, abrasive, candy-coated alcohol reminiscent of bourbon. Some maple in there too. Lots of dessert.

Wow. This is quite an extraordinary beer, hugely decadent and dense with chocolate, cherries, caramelized sugar and straight up bourbon. Unique and well balanced for the 20%. This beer is dangerous.

Can you taste carbonation at this level of ABV? I want to say lightly carbonated, full bodied, and surprisingly non-cloyingly sweet.

Chocolate Rain is not just a novelty, it really is an exceptional example of an upcoming style.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A-EBF sample pour. Looks just like Black Tuesday. Dark brown, syrupy and oily. Leaves legs, even in the plastic sample cup.

S-Very fudgy. Like a chocolate liqueur. You can tell it's going to be very sweet. The smell of bourbon slowly rises out of the glass as well. Some dark fruits.

T-Chocolate liqueur. Bourbon infused fudge. Dark fruits. Brownie batter. Vanilla. Whiskey and wood. Very sweet but complex in its sweetness.

M-Oily with a unique feel. Slick. Hot. Sticky and boozy. Lower carbonation.

O/D-As I felt with Black Tuesday, I wasn't totally in love with it but I know it is well worth a try. Not many beers are quite like Chocolate Rain. Some stay dry while others feel the pain...

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Photo of treyrab
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An every so generous Dyan brought Chocolate Rain featuring Tay Zonday to our Philly Tasting Part Deux tasting. Thank you, Dyan! Here is a video of the Chocolate Rain pour, in which Tay made a surprise appearance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLWGA4FeTsI&feature=related

A: Chocolate rain opens up with a nice melody of tunes. Further, the hiss evidences nice carbonation, which is not expected for a beer of this size. Pours into the glasses a pitch black, oil, with surprisingly lively carbonation. A tad thinner than I was expecting for such a large beer.

S: When smelling the rim of the bottle, it smells identical to a sweet vanilla bean. Literally on other flavours at all besides vanilla. It was pretty awesome. However, that scent did not carry through to the actual beer. The beer itself was also very nice, with sweet vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon. The vanilla really kicks the shit out of all other scents, and it smells extremely sweet. Smells like a very, very solid dessert beer.

T: Having this side by side with Black Tuesday, this one was a tad thinner and not as complex. Definitely more of a dessert beer than an Imperial Stout. Sweet, complex vanilla blends with nice bourbon and chocolate. Super sweet all around.

M: For a beer this big, it was a tad thin. Expected a tad more viscosity, but it is still very nice.

Overall, I am glad I tried this one. A little too sweet for me (and I am a big fan of sweeter beers), and not as complex as Black Tuesday. Still, very, very solid!

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Photo of Slatetank
4.11/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I tried this 2013 vintage chilled in a nonic from the 750ml. Enjoyed at the looking forward to spring stout tasting.

The color is dark brown with ruby hues when held to the light with light beige head with fine bead. The smell has a dark sugar and cocoa/fig-like earthy and raisiny aroma with slight alcohol odor. The feel is intense, big bold with rich viscous texture and more alcohol than average yet not over the top for the abv.

The taste is like a raisinette -mostly raisin with some chocolate in the taste which is more on the dark cocoa side with a slight yeast flavor and sweet dark sugar and vinous elements with a slight alcohol flavor that lasts after the swallow with so much residual sugar it leaves my lips sweet and I can taste the intensity as I lick them. This is one of the most intensely rich beers I have ever had -so much sweet qualities with strong alcohol in the taste which is the only drawback for me.

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Photo of CenCalMario
4.12/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap from a beautiful barrel @ the 2011 Black Tuesday release. This my 4th or 5th time trying Chocolate Rain and I wanted to put down a review. It never disappoints.

Appearance: Black, brown chocolatey colored on the edges. Slight head for this beast.

Smell: Chocolate, bourbon, boozy aroma - you know your gonna get hit with the alcohol when it hits your lips.

Taste: Chocolate, some oak coming though, vanilla bean for sure... so good, so strong, so balanced... Like a roller coaster of flavors and tastes.

Mouthfeel: Big beer, full bodied, light carb, very smooth, silky, tad boozy but not over the top.

Overall: A great beer. I probably prefer more Black Tuesday for longer drinks or bigger pours, but it's a stellar beer that must be tried!

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.12/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by largadeer. Thanks, Beer Jesus. From notes.

A: Pours a pitch black with no edge translucence. Very viscous, leggy (nice!). It has a small mocha-colored head.

S: Rich, burnt caramel, chocolate, vanilla, molasses, raisins, bourbon. Some coffee, and of course, booze. As with many other Bruery beers, this is dessert in a bottle. Extremely rich.

T: The taste is rich, as well, but it's not cloying. It comes off as a liqueur; the heavy body delivers burnt caramel, bourbon-soaked raisins, molasses, vanilla, coffee. It's tannic in the finish, which probably helps it feel a little drier than it actually is.

M: I'm not sure who these people are that claim the beer isn't boozy. Of course it's boozy. But it's not quite as hot as I would expect (see some 120 Minute IPA for how to do it wrong). Even the sugar burn I typically get off Bruery beers is muted here. I don't know if that's from the oak suppressing it, but I'm impressed.

O: I like this beer more than Black Tuesday; but I liked the small handbottle of Cherry Chocolate Rain (from cask) even more. I hope that comes around again. I don't think this is really worth $35 or whatever the cost was, but it's a tasty beer.

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Photo of mgp2675
4.12/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decided to open this one with a few friends during our annual trip to Maine. Batch #2.

A- No carbonation at all really. Pour was slightly thin, similar to BT. Dark brown in color, not as dark as most stouts.

S- Right up front the chocolate hit me, followed by oak, bourbon, vanilla, dark fruit, toffee, and some burnt notes as well. There is a lot of alcohol on the nose as well. The aroma is extremely sweet, but I expected this.

T- A lot of the same notes in the aroma come through in the taste as well. Dark chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla are the main flavors that come out. The aftertaste is all dark chocolate. Chocolate Rain is definitely not as smooth as BT. There is a huge alcohol presence and although it doesn't taste like it's 19.5%, it's still very obvious that it's high. The taste is extremely sweet, maybe even more than BT.

M- Thinner, definitely not creamy at all. No carbonation.

O- This is good, but not great. It's on par with Black Tuesday if you enjoyed that, but it's different. I feel like both of them are constantly rated high because they're great for having such a high ABV, but that doesn't impress me. I'd rather drink a stout that's 12% and tastes better, but that's just me. There are some exceptionally complex flavors in this that made me happy that I tried it, but I wouldn't seek it out again. It's not very smooth at all and just too sweet for my taste.

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Chocolate Rain from The Bruery
4.43 out of 5 based on 2,636 ratings.
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