Chocolate Rain | The Bruery

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world-class
2,665 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:
2,665
Reviews:
338
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
10.16%
 
 
Wants:
2,594
Gots:
992
For Trade:
130
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,665 |  Reviews: 338
Photo of superspak
4.72/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 12/4/2013. Pours nearly opaque dark brown color with a small foamy tan head with poor retention, that reduces to a thin ring of lace. Some slight spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big milk chocolate, fudge, vanilla, caramel, toffee, toast, coconut, bourbon, oak, and oak/toasted earthiness. Incredible aromas with fantastic balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt, vanilla/cocoa spice, and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of huge milk chocolate, fudge, cocoa, vanilla, caramel, toast, toffee, coconut, bourbon, oak, and oak/toasted earthiness. Slight roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, fudge, cocoa, vanilla, caramel, toast, toffee, coconut, bourbon, oak, and oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Absolutely insane complexity and robustness of dark/roasted malt, bourbon barrel, and vanilla/cocoa flavors; with perfect balance of malt/barrel/spice flavors with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and slightly syrupy mouthfeel that is incredible. Alcohol is insanely well hidden with only a light-moderate warming present after the finish. Overall this is a world class imperial stout. Perfect balance and incredible complexity of dark/roasted malt, bourbon barrel, and vanilla/cocoa spice flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the huge ABV. An absolutely stunning beer all around.

 1,528 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Portion of a bottle consumed at the Rosso release. Bottle wrapped hobo style. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours near black with the thinnest of tan heads. Some light legs on the sides of the snifter, especially after a few swirls. Completely opaque. The nose is quite pungent, but nothing that jumps out too much. My first impression is that I like Black Tuesday more. There's a pretty strong chocolate presence intermingled with a light dosing of bourbon plus some mild roast. Booze is fairly prevalent, but doesn't stand out too much. There's a mild coffee presence, but that is more of an undertone to sweet creamer.

The flavor mixes the flavors pretty well, though nothing really pops all that much. From the start, I'm thinking that some age will definitely do this well. Some flavors could probably be blended a bit better. The chocolate is the dominant character. Beyond that, there's light bourbon and hints of oak plus a bit of roast and creamy, milked-up coffee. Mouthfeel is really thick and there's some residual sweetness. Along with that, there is a bit of booze in the finish. Nicely done. I look forward to revisiting this one in the future, hopefully after the flavors integrate together just a bit more.

 1,224 characters

Photo of mothman
3.69/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I decided to review the bottled version because I thought it tasted significantly different than the tap version which I really enjoyed.

Pours no head. Same color as regular CR. Dark caramel brown, nearing black.

Aroma: Similar to the tap version. Very nice and warming. Tons of vanilla, oak, and bourbon. A lot of sweetness.

Taste: Way too hot and boozey. This takes a lot away from the beer. Too compared to the tap version. Not nearly as enjoyable. The other flavors are still there, but they are masked by the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: hot and then some. Light to medium bodied for the style and the abv. Lower amount of carbonation. Ends kind of clean.

Overall, not nearly the same as the tap version. I didn't like it as much. Too hot for me. Not overly complex for what it is.

 782 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of jlindros
4.82/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In the Beer 2000 (the rest of this voice should sound like Conan O'brien)... Oh man, never thought I would reach 1000 let alone 2000, holy crap! To do it, one of my long (about 1 year) sought after beers, Chocolate Rain, "Some stay dry and others feel the pain" (Tay Zonday eat your heart out). Shared with rudzud as our shared RS membership dictates.

As it pours, it looks a bit lighter than I expected as it's flowing slowly out of the bottle. A light fizzy head forms, darker colored I think although hard to tell, fades almost instantly, although typical for ridiculous abv beer, over a very dark beer, not quite pitch black, with hints of light sneaking through the edges, and I mean HINTS. It also wants to have legs, but is more like a layered sleen of beer slowly sliding down the sides of the glass instead of legs.

Nose is just pure chocolate! Awesomeness! Tons of chocolate right out, oh and vanilla!. A big cocoa nib profile wafts out of the glass, not too aggressive at first, but then shows me up quickly, with some cocoa nibs, melted milk chocolate, a bit of baker's and some heavy dark chocolate. The fresh soaked vanilla beans, tons of caramel and molasses to add to the richness. A bit of booze, but doesn't seem like 19% yet. It brings that aroma of a brick of almost pure dark chocolate, there's so much chocolate! so many exclamation points!. A hint of cinnamon leads to some brandy and bourbon soaked raisin, vanilla, some oak and bourbon. The vanilla really builds as it warms.

Taste, ooohhh man, knee buckling, luckily I peed before I sipped this. it just erupts with pure chocolate! It reminds me a lot of the huge brick of the super dark chocolate I used to get at Trader Joe's which I would shave slices off, and let them just melt over my tongue, and the result is almost exactly like this experience. Various layers of chocolate melting all over my mouth, bakers', dark, milk, cocoa nibs, etc, etc, and also etc. Then comes vanilla, with all the descriptors I did for chocolate, vanilla is just behind it (well mostly after it warms). Some toasty oak barrel, vanilla, pure vanilla bean and richness. Some bourbon comes through as well, not strong, but enough to let you know, with a light bourbon soaked raisin like flavor. It drinks like 9% not 19%, smooth and rich, and just a light bitterness. A touch of biscuit adds some malted milk ball flavor. Finish is super long, mouth coating, tons of vanilla, chocolate, dark choc, light bourbon, oak, booze, and just a touch of bitterness, linger for what seems like forever, and even burps up flavor of awesomeness hours later.

Mouth... holy shit, this has to be the best mouth feel I've ever had in a beer!!! it doesn't even seem like a beer, more like velvet, velour, essence of pour silk, and everything in between, all having sex with the hottest chic in the world in heaven, wrapped in melted dark chocolate, and served on a naked hot Japanese woman, ala sushi, etc. There really isn't a word to describe the mouth feel. If I could vote for higher than 5, this mouth would go to 11. It even tickles my gums on each subsequent sip, literally tickles!

Overall... gggmmmsssshhhgggguguuuaaahhhgggrrrlllggguuh.

 3,191 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of chinchill
4.02/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Large shared 2013 bottle that went quickly!

Sweet aroma with some alcohol esters precedes an even boozier and markedly sweet flavor.
Near cloying sweet level.
Little chocolate before the aftertaste, and then it's more milk than dark chocolate.

O: didn't quite live up to its reputation.

 288 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

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

Reviewed from notes. On-tap for the Third Anniversary Party at the Phoenix Club. 5/29/11.

A: Pours an oily, deep black with a faint dark tan head which leaves a couple of spots.

N: Dark cocoa powder, milk chocolate, roast, vanilla, dark fruits, boozy, molasses, warm caramel and maple.

T: Complex. Dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel, bourbon, brown sugar, aged wood, charred leather. Amazing.

M: Full body and light carbonation. Rich, oily, creamy, sweet, syrupy, bourbon soaked chocolate cake.

O: Stunning and in awe.

 521 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of Rifugium
3.57/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First had: bottle as a "gift"
2012 bottle labeled as 19.5%ABV

Refrigerated for about a half hour, and allowed to slowly warm while drinking. Decanted into a Bruery snifter, dark cola brown color, translucent around the edges, with a thin, wispy tan head. No real lacing, but a streaky, oily film is left on the glass. Nose is pretty much straight up bourbon and dark chocolate. Taste is pretty hot with booze (my throat is burning as we speak), bourbon is the first thing to hit the palate, followed by dark chocolate, sweet vanilla extract, with notes of oak and cocoa powder. Chocolate definitely comes out more as the beer warms. It's sweet and boozy, basically, with some chocolate in it. A bit chalky in the finish. Body is on the heavier side of medium, but not at all full. The booze cuts back on the drinkability a bit, and I'd like to taste it after a year or two of aging, but that probably won't happen. Pretty good overall, but there are plenty of other chocolate beers out there that are better, made better, and of course much easier to obtain.

Tasty enough. Worth a try? Sure. Worth the hype? No. And I'm not going to give a super-high rating just because it's rarity. Easily the best Bruery beer I've had so far, but just further convinced me that all Bruery beers are overrated. I have other Bruery beers in the cellar, but I'm pretty much done going out of my way for them.

 1,393 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

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.

 1,414 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of duceswild
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

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

opened up last night for my bday because i can, this one put me to sleep, lol. honestly though it took me until almost 2 am to finish this one off. served into a duvel glass and enjoyed on 6/11/2011

Poured a hugely thick and evil looking jet black molasses looking sludge into my pint glass, hitting the bottom of the glass like a thud. Such a rich dark color, there was no chance at all of any light coming through this one at any point what so ever. A huge dark tan colored head rose up from the depths of this one reaching a height of easily three inches which never really did settle down to much, leaving a constant pillow of brown of top that at the most settled down to around an inch and a half.

the first thing I noticed was how sweet it was, tons of sugar here in the aroma, thick chocolate like smells that really sweetened it up. Mixed in were the slightest hints of French roasted coffee and molasses, really giving this that big dark aroma that you look for in the style. as it warmed it started to let off some more bourbon notes along with a noticeable hint of vanilla that again confirmed how sweet it was.

The first flavors I was picking up were rich chocolate and vanilla that were layered upon a coffee like base. This gave it such a rich, complex and sugary profile that I was not even sure what was going on. As it warmed subtle notes of bourbon and licorice started to come though and blended in very well, keeping it sweet, but at the same time confirming its dark nature. The finish had a surprising amount of dry bitterness to it, that really caught me off guard being how sweet this was for the entire session,

overall this had to be the thickest, smoothest and creamiest beer I have ever had. I crave a good stout that has the consistency and feel of a chocolate shake, this almost one upped that,

 1,832 characters

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.

 931 characters

Photo of atrocity
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of mdfb79
4.73/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge huge thanks to drabmuh for sharing this one; thanks Matt! Big want of mine. Served in an Alvinne taster tulip. 2011 vintage.

a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black color, with one inch of very dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty good.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits, cocoa, cream, and toffee. Very nice nose, a wonderful mix of the bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla. Loving it.

t - Tastes of of sweet milk chocolate, roasted malts, bourbon, oak, vanilla, sweet dark fruits, raisins, cocoa, cream, caramel malts, and tofee. Again, a really great mix; tons of sweet chocolate again. The chocolate and vanilla really comes through; a step up from the nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, very smooth and creamy. Near perfect mouthfeel; a tiny bit more carbonation and it would be perfect. Hard to believe this one is in the 18.5%-20% ABV range.

o - Overall I thought this is a fantastic beer; I think I actually like it a bit better than the normal BT as it had more sweet chocolate, especially in the taste. I love chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon in beers, and this blends all three in a great way. A top notch RIS; very glad I'll get another bottle in the Reserve Society next year.

 1,262 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.67/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It might have been the almost 4 hours in line that made this beer so good, but it deserves my (and others') praise anyway. Oh, and this beer deserves bonus points for the name.

A: Chocolate Rain is a devilish jet black elixir which comes from a cask perched atop the Bruery bar. It has no carbonation or head, nor does it need one.

S: Hotdamn! Now, this baby has a nose on it. I nearly experienced a failure of the nasal cavity from all the bourbon, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, brown sugar, roasted malt, and alcohol in this beer.

T: This picks up right where the nose leaves off. Absolutely facemelting flavors of vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, and roasted malt. A bit of booze comes though, but what else would you really expect?

M: As previously mentioned, the beer was served still--cask style. I think a bit of carbonation could have helped here, but I still found it to be very, very enjoyable. It did allow for a certain sensual experience that we don't often get the pleasure of enjoying.

D: As I mentioned in the taste portion of the review, the alcohol component is quite prevalent on the palate, and nobody should be surprised by this at nearly 20% ABV. But, it does detract from the drinkability, despite the awesome flavors and aromas. An amazing concoction.

 1,274 characters

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

Served on-tap at the Bruery Line Party...I mean R.S. initiation party. Reviewed from notes.

A - Pours black as the devils soul with a small tan film of head, dissipating down to almost nothing, leaving light wisps of lacing down the glass.

S - Holy sweet heat batman. Tons of rich chocolate sweetness, vanilla, sweet malt, and bourbon heat. The alcohol is strong but it blends in quite well with all the other strong flavors. Very nice overall balance, all things considered.

T - Lots of chocolaty sweetness up front never really fading throughout consumption. Hints of vanilla, sweet malt, and strong bourbon help round things out. Finish is a mix of sweetness and bourbon, lingering for some time. This stuff is awesome. I can't wait to see what a little bit of time in the bottle will do to it.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Thick, sticky sweet, feel with plenty of lingering sweet heat in the finish.

D - Finally a beer that lives up to its own hype. I made sure I got a pour as soon as I walked into the party and I was glad I did. I enjoyed the overall mix of sweet chocolate and warm bourbon. One of the best stouts I have ever had. Glad I have a bottle of this in my cellar.

 1,210 characters

Chocolate Rain from The Bruery
4.43 out of 5 based on 2,665 ratings.
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