Mean Old Tom | Maine Beer Company

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Mean Old TomMean Old Tom

Brewed by:
Maine Beer Company
Maine, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our American-style stout aged on organic vanilla beans. Intense notes of coffee and dark chocolate lead way to subtle notes of natural vanilla. Flaked oats generate a silky mouthfeel.

Added by dciBA on 03-03-2010

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Reviews: 458 | Ratings: 2,369
Photo of Fluke828
2.41/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

500ml bottle -> CCB Snifter
Bottled Dated: 01/05(?)/12

A-> Poured cold with a deep brown/black hue with some faintly khaki colored head about .5 fingers worth that leaves some moderate lacing.

S-> Dark, roasted malt, cheap coffee, some light bitter chocolate, no real vanilla detectable...smells almost thin....

T-> some bitter chocolate with cheap or stale coffee notes. Roasty flavors take over but that's about it. Everything seems muted and watered down...

M-> Disappointed here. Way too thin and didn't improve once this beer warmed up. Wasn't creamy or thick by any means. Thin and watery. Zero carbonation.

O-> Significantly disappointed by this one given the pedigree I have become accustomed to with the other MBC offerings. Also for being "a stout aged on natural vanilla beans" I got very little vanilla, if any at all. May revisit this someday from a different batch but not exactly jonesing to do so after this experience...maybe this beer needs more time?

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Photo of Sabtos
2.51/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Fifth in a dinner pairing of five Maine brews, Mean Old Tom pours a thin clean brown with little head.

On the nose, faint hints of brownie, with dry, bitter, roasty malts and maybe a little strawberry. And of course the vanilla is apparent but not prominent.

This is surprisingly light and fizzy on the palate, with light coffee coming on.

I'm not sure what makes this a stout more than a porter, but after the fine showing it had in Paste magazine, my expectations were high, and definitively let down.

I found Mean Old Tom weak, with a watered down feel.

Perhaps I am spoiled living so near to Hoppin' Frog, which delivers enormous, thick, velvetty smooth, super roasty, dark and flavorful stouts, but it seems obvious to me the reviewers contributing to Paste clearly have palates more developed for IPAs and less towards stouts. This is definitely no where near the best stout in the country, it would not even be close to the top ten in the state of Ohio. But, obviously being based out of Maine, that can be forgiven, since we all know what style these East coast breweries specialize in.

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Photo of jtierney89
2.65/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep brown color with a healthy mocha head that dissipates rather quickly. Very strong nose of coffee and cream, bitter cocoa.

Definitely a bit thinner then expected but then again all maine brews have super thin light bodies. What makes this different is that usually maine brews use this thin to body to carry delicious hops to the back of the tongue. Unfortunately this approach to beer doesn't work great for the stout style as their is almost no body. I know some oats are used to try and increase body but if anything it added a bit of syrupyness. Nice sweet creaminess up front, almost woody on the mid-palate, a little chocolaty with some coffee flavor throughout. A nice bitterness on the back end that overwhelms more than it balances. I like it but it would definitely turn some off expecting a sweeter stout.

Compared to Maine's hoppy offerrings this one falls flat in both body and taste. A thinner stout if you could call it that with some good flavors and a touch of alcohol heat.

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Photo of nas5755
2.86/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- Dark black with a thick tan head. Some lacing and a little retention. I was very excited based on the color of the head.

S- Some roast malt flavors and an impression that vanilla was present. Key word-was.

T- A mediocre stout. A slight hint of vanilla is present but not enough to take over the beer or really make it shine. A thin roast flavor goes along with a drier style of stout.

M- The beer is basically flat(something that doesnt really bother me if the stout is thick, heavy and high in abv) and it just killed the flavors. I can tell that vanilla is present but it cant play with the roast flavors without some bubbles. Disappointing.

O- This is a very mediocre beer. I want some carbonation before I decide if vanilla is present or not and regardless of vanillas presence I want alot more of it

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Photo of Number45forever
2.9/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I was in my local store and saw this...a stout aged on natural vanilla beans. Having never head of this beer, I picked it up with high hopes.

Pours jet black with little head and very visible carbonation.

Smells roasty, with a lot of hops. You would have no idea this is supposed to be a vanilla stout. Coffee smells.

Taste is quite plain. Not bad, completely unoffensive. NO VANILLA whatsoever. Coffee is the dominant flavor, a lot of hops for a stout. Some malty sweetness I guess. It's ok.

Moutfeel is way too carbonated for a stout. I prefer a smoother feel.

Overall, this beer is average. I wouldn't seek it out again, but I'll have no problem finishing this 17oz bottle. I cannot believe this is supposed to be vanilla. This should be labelled as a stout, not a stout aged on vanilla.

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Photo of SColl
3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Date Dec. 6, 2012
Type/ Style Porter
Package 22 oz
Location Home
ABV 6.5%

Aroma: Chocolate, Vanilla, Alcohol

Appearance: Black, Brown Head

Body/Texture: Thin Mouthfeel, Slight Alcohol burn

Aftertaste: Coffee, Chocolate, Oak, Wood

Overall: 3/5 Ok beer, I expected more and was a bit underwhelmed, none of the flavors really stood out and the mouthfeel was a little thinner than I would have liked.

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Photo of ms11781
3.07/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled on 01/05/2012. 16.9oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep brown, near black, color with dark brown hues around the edges and bottom of the glass. The head is perhaps the lightest, color-wise, that I have seen on a stout. It's a light tan color, nearing off-white. The light head sitting atop the dark body is quite striking. The foam sticks to glass nicely.

The nose is just ok. It's quite subdued and it takes a bit to discern some of the aromas. It's a bit roasty with some lighter chocolate notes. As it warms a bit there is a sweetness to it as well. There is an even more subtle hint of vanilla.

The taste is a step up from the nose, but still not a ton of complexity. It's pretty sweet all the way through. Starts off with a substantial sweetness that is balanced out with some light roasty notes. There is a nice dose of some vanilla that comes in smoothly towards the finish and saves the beer from being bland.

The body is on the heavier side of medium with light carbonation. Combined they give the beer a smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

This beer was just ok for me. It looks fantastic and feels right on for the style but the flavors and aromas are just too muted. I'm all for being subtle and straightforward with simple flavors but this one might seems to need a bit more.

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Photo of rhong187
3.08/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Served from 16.9 oz bottle. Many thanks to jvst for this extra!

A - Poured into a tulip glass which produced a finger and a half of head. Color wasn't as dark as expected, reminded me of a nice porter.

S - little chocolate, without much vanilla present

T - dark chocolate with a very small amount of vanilla. Tastes very much like the smell, without one flavor being very overpowering.

M - One of the first things that I noticed was how thin this beer was. Unfortunately, this definitely felt watered down.

An average offering from Maine Beer Company. I can't say that I'd pick one up in my journeys, but it won't turn me off to trying any other brews that Maine Beer Company has to offer.

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Photo of maximum12
3.15/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to baconsausage for this brew. There's only one more Maine Brewing beer I haven't had, I feel like I need to go for the trifecta. To cap off a Saturday night with I, Robot in the DVD player (yes, my wife is away!).

Nice packagaing; I always like it when a beer has a story to tell. Pours black, with a deeply buried heart of red when held to the light. Smell is strong, espresso, with a shot of milk & vanilla.

Mean Old Tom is a hard-roasted beer. The roast dominates; very coffee in the mouth. In fact, it's the entirety of the beer. I like roast, more than most, but I like something else in the mix.

Decent enough beer, but not much to it. I like a shot of coffee in my beer, not the reverse, & that's the case here.

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Photo of mdvatab
3.16/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 16.9oz bottle into imperial pint.

A: Powdered cocoa, vanilla, and malted milk. A bit more subdued, though, than I'd been hoping for.

A: Espresso brown-black body. A 2-finger, persistent, light tan collar of foam. Interestingly, the appearance was the highlight of this brew.

F: Dark chocolate, some smoke, mild bitterness, and a very light vanilla note on the finish.

M: Medium mouthfeel and carbonation. A bit thinner than I'd hoped for.

O: Not as much to this one as I would have liked. A stout with vanilla beans brewed by MBC should have been something I'd go crazy about. No real off-flavors--just a bit bland for my liking. See what you think about this one.

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Photo of oline73
3.16/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours an opaque dark brown color with just a bit of light coming through at the edges. There is just under a finger of light tan head that fades to a small layer on top of the pour.

Smell: The roast dominates right off the bat. The the grain shows up and reminds me of cereal, but burnt cereal with you add the roast. There is a mild sweetness to this beer as well.

Taste: This is a solid stout, but I'm not picking up much vanilla. Roasty and fairly smooth. The grain definitely dominate. No real hop bitterness to speak of. The finish is slightly sweet and roasty.

Mouthfeel: The body is a bit thin given the style. Smooth carbonation with a dry finish.

Overall: Not a bad stout, but not overly exciting either. In the future, I would probably pass on this and just have some of the other Maine beers.

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Photo of dasenebler
3.17/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

17oz, packaged on 11/10/11. American Stout aged on natural vanilla bean.

Pours inky black with a nice light tan head. Decent retention and lacing.

The aroma has some good roasted character, no hints of vanilla really. Nice chocolatey thing going on.

The flavor is oddly weak. Some bitterness and lightly tangy roasted malt. Again, no real vanilla character. Dry and watery, kind of like an Irish Stout. It's smooth, I'll give it that, but the mouthfeel is really thin, with low, almost non-existent carbonation. The pint I had on-tap was much better than this bottle, though still not great.

So I guess not everything Maine Beer Co. touches turns to gold (or Peeper, Zoe or Lunch). Womp, womp.

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Photo of PBRmeasap1980
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

Bottle dated 7/15/14 poured into coffee cup (all I have in hotel)

A- Dark brown/black with thin tan head
S- Huge coffee notes. The faintest hint of vanilla or something sweet
T- Creamy, roasted maltiness, maybe a bit of bitter coffee notes, but where is the vanilla??? None in my bottle
M- Dryish finish. Creamy up front. Nice full and light mouth feel

O- Mouthfeel is there, but taste is of an average dry irish style stout. I get no vanilla.

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Photo of PeterIngemi
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

split a bottle with my buddy, poured into a duvel glass

A- pours black, slgitly translucent by the head, dark amber brown, nice 1 finger mocha colored head, looks creamy and delicious

S- roasty, creamy, chocolate, almost reminds me of marshmellow, vanilla, kinda like toasty vanilla.

T- not as nice as the nose, good chocolate notes, vanilla, a bit roasty, but then i swear i taste water on the finish.

M- nice at the beggining until it gets to the finish, then its like water, and not in a good drinkable way, but like water.... the first time i tried this, i thought mabye it was the bottle, this is the second bottle from the second batch ive tried, i keep wanting it to be better, but its not, kinda kills and otherwise good beer for me.

O- do something... fix the watery finish,

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Photo of shangwang
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Stumbled on Mean Old Tom on tap at Ron's Original tonight. Served in a Chimay goblet.

There was a dark black appearance to the body, with a half-finger of frothy tan head that dissipated to a thin layer rather quickly, leaving some soft, foamy lacing behind. It smelled very strongly of coffee, but it wasn't as much a dark roast smell as it was a sweet mocha with hints of vanilla. The taste was more bitter than I expected from the smell, and I got baker's chocolate, medium roast coffee, and a hint of vanilla. The mouthfeel was much waterier than I expected; it was rather light in the mouth with almost no carbonation. In fact, I'd say it was flat, which was disappointing.

Overall, I was let down by the taste after the expectations I had from the smell and appearance. It wasn't a bad beer, but I was hoping the vanilla would be a major contributor to the taste, and it just wasn't. The mouthfeel was extremely disappointing - it had no body, which would have added a lot. I doubt I'll be seeking this one out again with the number of other beers in this style that have great character.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.28/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: bottle from Whole Foods, Plymouth Meeting, PA

Poured from a bottle into a Pinocchio's stem glass. Opaque black, dark brown around the edges, with a nice cream-colored head that sank down to a ringlet and left some attractive lacing on the glass. Smell of dark roasted malts, coffee and cocoa; nearly typical average stout profile. Taste was quite disappointing actually, relative to what I expected. Pretty average, roasted malts, extremely extremely dry, with coffee bitterness, baker's chocolate, and notably not even a hint of vanilla, which is what I was looking forward to, since the beer is labeled as aged on vanilla beans. A bit weak in the mouthfeel, medium-bodied, and not very rich for a stout. Finished dry and a bit ashy. Not entirely bad, but definitely quite disappointing.

I do like MBC's bottles/artwork though.

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Photo of nhindian
3.28/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz bottle poured into a Portsmouth tulip. Bottle sent by 603BeerMe, thanks Clark!

Batch #1

A - Pours a chocolate brown, much lighter than I expected, with a large tan-colored head, about 2.5-fingers in height. Retention is pretty good, lasting for several minutes, leaving long, horizontal trails of foam behind. A milky cap lies in its wake.

S - The nose is full of espresso roast, a bit of cocoa and hints of vanilla. It may be the age, but I can't say the vanilla beans are the focal point of the nose. A touch of grassy hops in the finish.

T - The flavor really echoes the notes coming from the aroma. Mainly some mild coffee roast, chocolate syrup and cocoa powder, and a slight French Vanilla flavor. A splash of spicy and floral hops in the finish. Aftertaste consists of bitterness from both the roast and hops.

M - Mouthfeel is relatively thin with decent carbonation. A bit too thin for my liking, especially for style and purported flavors.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. While the flavors are nice, they are a bit too mild and lacking the vanilla I was looking forward to. The mouthfeel as well does this beer no favors, as it is a bit thin and even watery at times. Cool label, though!

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11/10/11 bottling date. Purchased in PA at Pinocchio's in Media. Didn't see Lunch, but Peeper and this there. 16.9oz bottle.

A: Pours a pretty deep brownish - black. Not a lot of head on the pour. Faint tan layer. On a swirl you can conger up a little something. Some lacing and alcohol feet.

S: I will admit I am drinking this far too cold initially. On the nose, it get mostly mild coffee and milk chocolate. Nothing to aggressive. Maybe some mild vanilla, but it's very faint.

T: It's very subtle. Really easy drinking stout (more porter like). I get some mild coffee bitterness. Maybe some faint milk chocolate hints. Again, too cold. I don't get really any vanilla. I was expecting a good amount. Even as it warmed it wasn't there in your face.

M: Medium bodied. It's smooth but mostly because it's watery. Like other BAs mentioned, I guess drinking thicker RIS has scarred me.

O: Love Maine's other products, but this one missed the mark. By no means a BAD beer, it just was a little lacking. I'll go B- for the overall.

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Photo of IdrinkGas
3.38/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16oz bottle into a Bruery snifter. Bottled 11/10/11

Pours pitch black with a frothy off white head. Left a watery lacing.

Smells of light vanilla and some chocolate.

Taste is kinda bland. Faint vanilla, cocoa and a hint of hops.

Light carbonation and mouthfeel.

Reminds me of a lighter version of Ballast Point's Victory at Sea.

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Photo of Firkin-Bunghole
3.38/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint .9 fl oz bottle 11/10/11 bottle date

Appearance-Black body with medium brown head that recedes in a minute

Smell-Milk chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, not picking up any vanilla sadly

Taste-I picked up this stout due to the natural vanilla beans description-i couldn't discern vanilla in the taste, I picked up alot of milk chocolate, roastiness and slight coffee. The beer was very easy to drink.

Mouthfeel-Pretty light, average on the carbonation.

Overall-Don't know if I waited too long from the 11/10/11 bottle date to pick up on the vanilla beans. With the price $6.49/bottle may pick up a fresh bottle again as this is a stout that could be enjoyed any time of year. Wouldn't repeat trying to age it though

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Photo of drinkmorebeer07
3.42/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Smells better than it tastes. Very Chocolatey taste with a very malty finish. Could use a bit more booze in it. Could have been a great imperial.

Not Bad, but did not blow me away.

For 8$ a bottle, it was worth a try but i prefer others in that price range.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.42/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

16.9 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a very deep purple, almost black. Beige head settles very quickly, lacing is sparse and patchy.

S: Lots of creamy vanilla and vanilla bean. Reminds me of the vanilla bean ice cream I used to make. Roasty and chocolatey scents underneath. Mostly cocoa and chocolate syrup. A bit of french roast and earthy yeast too.

T: Sweet cola-like character up front is quickly punctuated by woody and smokey malt tastes. Vanilla was so prevalent in the nose, but it's hard to place here; just the slightest hint of it within all the roasted malt. The chocolatey presence is also all but silent in the taste, with only a slight flavor of dark cocoa. Semi-dry finish with tastes of woody smoke, black cocoa powder, and a touch of vanilla.

M: Thin and somewhat watery in the mouth. Just enough carbonation to keep it from being totally flat. Very slightly silky. Not much body to it; lacks substance.

O: This beer tastes like a pretty decent home brew, not the product of a production brewery. It smelled great, but the taste just did not follow. The lack of body also contributed to its mediocrity.

Notes: I kept hoping that it would open up a little if I let it warm, but it didn't. This one needs to be revised, I think.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500mL bottle. 111011 is marked on the label. I assume it means bottled on Nov 10, 2011.

appears opaque black, with 1" tan head that fades to a thin covering that stays. some lacing. mild roasted malt aroma, a little sweet.

taste is slightly roasty, a bit acidic. not really picking up the vanilla. it's on the thinner side, I'd like it to be a bit thicker. mild carbonation.

overall - a decent stout, but I don't see the vanilla bean aging.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.44/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz bottle into the Duvel Tulip it goes.

A - Pours a dark brown with a large light brown head. Good retention and lacing.

S - Mostly old coffee.

T - Old bitter coffee with a hing of vanilla. Maybe I am just hopin for it.

D - Lower carbonation but still fizzy somehow. Thinner body.

O - Where's the vanilla bean? It would have been perfect here.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of McGrupp612. Served in a mug.

Pours a deep near-black color with a very nice tan head and some good lacing on the way down. The nose brings forward quite a bit of chocolate and vanilla along with a touch of roast. Flavor goes quite a bit down from there with far too much roast. Simply an average stout profile. Medium body with good carbonation and a slight vanilla finish. Decent enough, but not something I'd go back to really.

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Mean Old Tom from Maine Beer Company
3.96 out of 5 based on 2,369 ratings.
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