Mean Old Tom | Maine Beer Company

BA SCORE
89
very good
2,394 Ratings
THE BROS
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Mean Old TomMean Old Tom
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Maine Beer Company
Maine, United States
mainebeercompany.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,394
Reviews:
466
Avg:
3.96
pDev:
9.34%
 
 
Wants:
146
Gots:
491
For Trade:
17
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,394 |  Reviews: 466
Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A Very tasty stout. This is the best stout with vanilla I can remember having. Soft carbonation. Bottle from Capone’s. Great drinkability. Soft mouthfeel of dark black with bubbly head. Chocolate and roast aroma. Another great mastery by this brewery.

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Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at the bottle share hosted by Adam Fine Wine & Liquor held at Sophie’s Place in Redondo Beach, CA.

Bottled 5/3/12.

Pours a murky dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, coffee, cocoa, and vanilla beans. Taste is much the same with a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with nice aromas and flavors that make it tasty and easy to drink.

 614 characters

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a fantastic stout, im sure there will be a barrel version of this some day right? wow. it pours a midnight black color with creamy frothy thick off white head with fantastic retention. the nose is a big stout to me, the vanilla doesn't add much aromatically, somewhat surprisingly. big bitter barley malt and a hint of cocoa is all. the flavor is true to style, rich and creamy, not sweet at all, more bitter than anything, and the vanilla is also subtle, but natural. its less vanilla intensive than some others, which is just fine by me, it lets the malts really shine. big sturdy mouthfeel, soft and dry, full body, enough bubbles. this is one of the better beers in the genre ive encountered for some time. a really nice beer, like they all are, from maine beer company.

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Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Knapp85
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a decent lookig black color. The head was a tan color. The head fades away leave just a film over top of the beer. The smell of the beer has a roasted aroma, with some chocolate notes, not really picking up on the vanilla like I had hoped for. The taste of the beer is roasted, it's got a toasted flavor it in the finish, not much of a hop profile or anything. The mouthfeel is dry and slightly creamy. Overall I was hoping that this had a little more vanilla to it. It's a decent stout in my opinion.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin light mocha head that quickly disappeared, leaving a thick ring of bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of chocolate and roasted malts in the nose along with subtle hints of vanilla beans.
T: The beer is quite malty and has flavors of bittersweet chocolate and roasted malts plus some hints of vanilla beans towards the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It feels a little fuller-bodied than you would expect for its alcohol content.
O: This beer really packs in a lot of body and flavors for a beer that has a relatively low alcohol content compared to other beers in the style. It is also very sessionable.

 767 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stepping out of the shaddows of hopped up ale and into the darker realms, Mean Old Tom proves that Maine is much more than just "Lunch" anymore and is maybe ok for dessert too.

Built on a foundation of roast and layered with silky vanilla, the ale kicks off with a rather polite but masculine darkness. Just shy of black, the beer builds a rich and short statured lather of froth that caps the beer confidently and long lastingly. Light on lacing, there's the built-in forgiveness that goes into the use of vanilla and its head-repelling oils.

Richness and boldness exudes from the glass as the scents of high cocoa content chocolates, dark roast coffee, vanilla and singed caramel seduces the olfactory senses. As the nose warms up to the beer, supportive walnut, whipping cream and woodish hops come to life but never rival those initial notes.

In similar fashion, the initial taste is full of French-press coffee, roasted walnuts, bittersweet chocolate, burnt caramel and a certain campfire character that reminds me of roasted marshmallows. Its that silky smooth middle that introduces caramel and milkshake-like cream flavors. Yet, the finish brings about a woodish-type bitterness from hops to crispen the taste and reinforce the stout's roasty underpinnings.

Medium-full, the stout really takes on American character with dry roast character but softened with creamy vanilla for added weight and silkiness. Amply carbonated for creamy smoothness, the ale trails with dry roast, drying hops and just enough alcohol warmth to allow a hint of refreshment.

Though the ales demeanor is bold and masculine, its not overwrought either. Its a sensible Stout with impeccable balance, vanilla intrigue and flawless in recipe design and brewing technique. But because of its perceived modesty, it'll never get the notoriety that it deserves.

 1,843 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.62/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle. The label blurb isn't overly specific, but still screams out allegiance to some kind of typical and familiar American story trope.

This beer pours a pretty solid black, with the merest of basal cola edges, and four ebullient fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and somewhat bubbly milk chocolate brown head, which leaves some decent spooky webbed lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of lightly roasted, and kind of meaty bready pale cereal malt, puffed wheat, sharp espresso, and not much, if anything at all, in the way of vanilla, organic or not. The taste is weirdly dominated by that cereal-heavy dry wheat character (I'm reminded of when my mom made puffed wheat squares, instead of Rice Krispie squares, and that caramelized marshmallow goodness that I craved), mixed dry coffee and cocoa powder notes, hints of the proclaimed vanilla, in more of a boozy baking ingredient guise, and middling leafy, weedy, and earthy hops.

The carbonation is fairly low-key and understated in its basic goings-on, the body an adequate medium weight, and acceptably smooth, the grittiness of the malt seeming culpable at this juncture. It finishes mostly dry, the grain, char, hops, and vanilla, I suppose, colluding as such.

Calling yourself an American Porter may mean, for the most part, employing adjuncts that the English don't allow or particularly care for, and that's the problem here. Maine advertises the vanilla - in the end, a sort of snake-oil salesman move - and fails on the Yankee hopitude front. There is indeed a special vein running through the majority of this brewery's offerings, but methinks this offering took one too many sick days when they were handing out the decoder ring for that.

 1,734 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.74/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First impression: 3.54

***
02.10.15: full review.

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Unbranded pry-off silver pressure cap. Classy understated label art. 1 pint .9 fl oz. "012715 49."

6.5% ABV. Purchased at Alphabet City Beer Co. in NYC. Cost was $8.99 USD. Reviewed live as a vanilla bean stout per the label. Served cold into a tulip and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

Expectations are high; I had this before and liked it.

HEAD: 2 fingers wide. Khaki-tan colour head. Creamy, full, thick, and luscious, with a soft appearance and smooth, even consistency. Nice complexion. Retention is quite good - about 7-8 minutes. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Opaque solid black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it looks quite good for the style, but features no stand-out characteristics.

AROMA: Authentic genuine vanilla bean. Dark malts. Milk chocolate. Chocolate malts. Cream. Could use a roasted barley presence.

Admittedly, it's quite straightforward for a stout - even plain - but that vanilla bean is incredible. I can't wait to try it.

Aromatic intensity is moderate.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: Rich genuine vanilla bean is the star of the show - just as it should be. Dark malts and chocolate malts provide the aptly sweet backbone, but it's never cloying. I like that it emphasizes the vanilla bean. Cream fills it out nicely.

Schlimenhaumer notes that it's on the earthier side of the style, and I'm inclined to agree.

Sure, it's simple. Sure, it's plain. But there's an elegance to its mastery of fundamental basics, and damn if it isn't balanced. Sure, more complexity and subtlety would be nice, and a roasted barley presence would be nice. Good depth of flavour.

Nice duration and intensity of flavour.

TEXTURE: Creamy, smooth, wet, medium-bodied, and beautifully soft. Thickness is near perfect. The creaminess, silkiness, and softness are great, but it does lean a bit hard into porter territory. Well-carbonated.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

OVERALL: Highly drinkable. It's one hell of an enjoyable stout, and will please the discerning drinker. Some newcomers to craft beer will crave the unnecessary - coffee, bourbon aging, etc. But the fundamentals are here, and it's damn well executed.I'd absolutely get it again, even at its high price point, and this is proof Maine Beer Co. isn't a one trick pony; they can executed styles that aren't hoppy. A great go-to vanilla stout that crushes widely available offerings like Breckenridge Vanilla Stout or Stone Vanilla Bean Smoked Porter.

High B

 2,638 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of brentk56
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color verging on black that is capped by a decent, but not overly impressive head that becomes rather rocky; leaves a modest amount of lace

Smell: Very roasty, with chocolate and vanilla bean elements

Taste: Opens with gobs of chocolate flavor and moves in a very roasty direction by mid-palate; the vanilla element is very subtle and comes through in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I enjoyed the roasty elements and the subtle vanilla treatment and think the chocolate comes through very effectively, call this a Porter and there would be fewer complaints about the mouthfeel, I think

 659 characters

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.

 856 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.69/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a black color stout with a large brown foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of vanilla and black chocolate is quite interesting. Taste is also dominated by vanilla with black chocolate notes and some dry roasted malt notes. Body is thinner than I was expecting with good carbonation. Enjoyable but a fuller body would have been better.

 373 characters

Photo of LXIXME
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A dark color sits below a decent lacing that once was a layer of froth, this beer fills your nose and then your palette with rich tastes leaving a drying raw dark chocolate taste behind. The after taste in itself is worth the drive but then again I have had the pleasure of drinking this beer at the Maine Beer Company, worthy.

 327 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

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Mean Old Tom from Maine Beer Company
3.96 out of 5 based on 2,394 ratings.
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