Mean Old Tom | Maine Beer Company

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Mean Old TomMean Old Tom
Very Good
2,444 Ratings
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 jakeaustin on 03-03-2010

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,444 |  Reviews: 475
Photo of Bilco
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of corby112
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown that appears black and completely opaque in the glass with a two finger beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Minimal spots of lace left behind.

Roasted malt aroma with lots of sweet chocolate countered by a strong vanilla presence. Robust with lots of toast, dark chocolate and roasted coffee bean in the nose which keeps the vanilla in check.

Medium bodied with a nice balance of roasted and sweet flavors. Lots of dark malt flavor with hints of roasted gourmet coffee, burnt toast, oatmeal and dark chocolate followed by a creamy lactic and sweet vanilla presence mid-palate. I was nervous that this would be a vanilla overload but there is enough of the flavor there without overpowering the stout characteristics. It actually serves as a nice balance to what would otherwise be an overly roasted stout. a bit tame and light bodied for my liking but enjoyable and easy to drink.

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Photo of OldIronLungs
3.47/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours into a pint glass a thin cola brown with a finger of head that settles as a smooth light mocha disk.

Nose is light roasted coffee and bitter chocolate - hints of sweet vanilla.

A sip is thin, with prickly carbonation towards the back. Light coffee and chocolate, some roastiness, and a delicate bitterness to finish.

Simple, straight-forward, and ultimately pretty plain. The vanilla didn't come through appreciably in the sip. Not enough body for my tastes, felt like a sweeter porter. Still not unpleasant at all to quaff. MBC has hoppiness down pat, but this stout wasn't the direction I'd hoped they'd take.

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Photo of benbking
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Jspriest
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of OtherShoe2
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a tan foamy head. No retention, no lace.

Coffee grounds and charcoal notes in the nose. Maybe some wood. Not a hint of sweetness.

Good balance between sweet and bitter. French roast coffee up front, some slight sweetness in the malt, but that is really pushed back. I get the vanilla bean, but again, not sweet - essence is there, which works. Great malt, but this is more bitter than balanced. Finishes strong with coffee and bitterness, but highly appropriate.

Full bodied, but not thick and oily. Alcohol is a non-factor.

A good solid version of the style. Does not seek to be over the top or overly complex, but still manages some nuances that are really great but subtle.

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Photo of Screper
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of redleaves
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Roasty nose, fluffy cream head and dense black. Very creamy in the mouth, almost milky, it would be a milk stout if it wasn't for the roasted malt. Perfect amount of hops. There is a bit of bright fruit as well, not sure what though, coconut? Maybe not. Nice amount of vanilla, not sweet but straight Madagascar bean. This would do great on a nitro tap. Medium dry finish. Half way through the glass the roasty flavor disapears and it mostly creamy. Overall a good beer, I would drink it more frequently if it wasn't for the price, this is more of a $12 a six pack beer then a $5.50 a 16oz beer. Excellent anyway.

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Photo of celticfutblclub
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16.9 oz bottle poured into an alchemist pint glass. bottling date says 111011 which seems weird given i bought it on that date perhaps 110111? either way the store had just got it and mbc had just released it so its fresh.

A - jet black coffee body with no light getting through. thick big bubbled head sits two fingers deep on top. head just stays and stays and when it does recede it just sticks and sticks.

S - roasted coffee, toast, rice and vanilla. the rice note was pleasant but very much unexpected. not nearly as rich of a head as i expected which isn't a bad thing just sort of surprising.

T - roasted coffee and toasted oats are the main focus here on the front and the back. hops hit in the middle with a decent grass hop taste. the vanilla flavor here is sort of lost on me. i get a sweetness around the edge on this and i am assuming thats the vanilla beans.

M - full bodied with some graininess in the body. good dry finish.

O - its a nice stout. i like how they arent trying to do something too crazy here. my only major complaint would be that i wished the vanilla beans were more present. still a fine stout however.

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Photo of bierbrauer
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Whole Foods in Portland. Bottle dated 111011 -- the day it was purchased. It's nothing if not fresh.

A: Dense, dark very brown,with small amount of tan-colored, dense foam that settles slowly; evenly distributed lacing.

S: Prominent coffee and faint vanilla.

T: Coffee, some chocolate & hazelnut, with lingering bitterness.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation; creamy, with neutral finish.

O: Since this summer, I've been an advocate of MBC via Peeper, Zoe and (especially) Lunch, but this is a first tasting of Mean Old Tom. It's a good stout. It's straightforward -- a tad simpler than I anticipated, based on other offerings of MBC. I'll look forward to trying a more aged version and of following MOT to track its evolution.

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Photo of Florida9
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch #1.

A: First of all, I love Maine Beer Company's minimalist labels. Simplistic, yet still classy. As for the beer itself, it is a cloudy darker brown in color. There is lots of sediment. Forms a bubbly, light tan head and leaves very little lacing.

S: Smell is rather complex with notes of coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, and a little vanilla in the background.

T: Taste is likewise complex. Lightly sweet roasted malts, toast, chocolate, a little coffee, and some light vanilla accents. Very tasty.

M: Body is thin for a stout with lower carbonation. Dry.

O: And with this beer I complete the MBC superfecta and it is another good beer. A bit thin for the style, but still a very flavorful and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of nhindian
3.28/5  rDev -17.8%
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 TMoney2591
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a stemless globe.

Big thanks to the Central PA group from the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

Batch #1. Frankly, I think the label just shows a Mildly Perturbed Tom... Anyway, it pours a dark sunset amber-garnet topped by about a finger of dirty off-white foam. The nose comprises dark chocolate powder, chocolate syrup, light roasted malts, dark greens, very light grass, and light coffee. The taste holds notes of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate powder, light vanilla bean, and black pepper. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta-kinda watery feel. Overall, a pretty tasty and enjoyable little stout. Frankly, I have yet to have a bad Maine Beer Company beer...

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Photo of rhong187
3.08/5  rDev -22.8%
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 kingcrowing
3.57/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

500ml bottle poured into a HF tulip - Batch #1.

Pours a deep dark brown with a small thin/bubbly light brown head. Nose is vanilla, chewy/nutty maltiness, and maybe some molasses.

Taste is light and smooth, a balance between a bite of bitterness/carbonation and mellow vanilla and dark malts. There is that molasses taste here, almost like dark chocolate as well. Mouthfeel is a bit light and watery. Finish is crisp and a bit bitter. Overall quite nice - even on a summer afternoon.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Looks absolutely beautiful when poured into my tulip glass, nice tan two fingered creamy head and very, very dark burgundy color.

S - Dark roasted malt, bitterchocolate, roasty coffee beans, light traces of vanilla, some anise/black licorice, and dry charcoal.

T - Taste is similar to the nose and the roasted goodness stays even throughout. Partially into the sip, there's a bitterness that surfaces in the form of very bitter, dark chocolate. Vanilla is slightly present and I don't pick it up until the lingering dry aftertaste. Part way into the glass after the palette adjusts there's a small trace of cream that settles in. Licorice and dark bitter chocolate are the main attraction to the tongue.

M - Dry, light medium body.

O - Not overly complex, but smooth, even and consistent throughout the sip. My only criticism would be to thicken it up, but considering I'm drinking this one in the midst of a 90 degree day, the light medium body seems to be just right for situation.

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Photo of sk8man121
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 oz bottle ($6.59 at Maine Brewing Supply in Portland, ME) poured into Allagash chalice. Batch #1.

A: Pours a mostly opaque brownish-black with russet highlights. 1-finger head settles quickly and leaves no lacing.

S: Heady combination of chocolate and vanilla. Fresh cream.

T: Clean flavors of cream and chocolate up front, as well as a hint of vanilla. Subtle hop presence in the center, followed by a great deal of oak and licorice. Finish is woody, roasty and pleasantly bitter, with a touch of alcohol.

M: Highly carbonated, creamy and silky. Alcohol burns the back of the throat in a nice way.

O: I love vanilla bean stouts and all of the MBC beers, but for some reason passed over this for quiet a while, until I heard that it was a one off and that there are only a few bottles left in the state. Reminiscent in many ways to Dieu du Ciel's benchmark Aphrodite (although dryer and less aromatic), Mean Old Tom is a nice take on the style. I'm not blown away, but then again wasn't really expected to be.

Another win for Maine Beer Co.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle, graciously picked up for me by John. Thanks, John! This is batch #1. Again, the packaging is very elegant.

Pouring a dark brown with a dense, light brown head with excellent retention and nice lacing, this is a very nice looking beer. Reddish-brown highlights are noticeable. The nose is a blend of mellow roastiness, moderate bitterness, mild nuttiness, and a smooth vanilla aroma present. A mild grainy acidity is present, making this rather refreshing. The vanilla character is a lot more complex than I've had recently, with a blend of a floral and mildly earthy character. A touch of caramel is present in the back. This is a beautifully subtle beer.

The palate is not quite as nice as the nose. Silky smooth, this almost has some oatmeal characteristics here. Moderately roasty with a nice toasted grain character, there's a mild grainy bitterness that balances the sweetness from the vanilla and caramel. The vanilla isn't particularly noticeable on the palate, but the base stout is good enough to hold its own. The mid-palate is just a touch watery, a hair more bitterness would take care of that. Drying, roasty and mildly bitter on the finish, this beer is medium-light in body, moderately carbonated and as with the Lunch IPA, expertly conditioned. Either I'm just in the mood for a good, simple stout, or the rest of the reviewers don't know what they're talking about :-) My only complaint would be the price, and even that's a half-hearted one.

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Photo of John_M
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mean Old Tom Batch #1. From my recent trip up to Portland (Maine).

The beer pours a very dark brown color with pretty good head retention and fair lacing. The nose is attractive in this beer, show casing considerable licorice, light coffee, vanilla and dry cereal. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, and I found this beer to have an attractive, fairly light, dry, lightly hoppy finish. The licorice flavor seems to really dominate the flavor profile, with not much more than a hint of vanilla and coffee. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a fairly long, dry and lightly bitter finish.

A nice enough beer, if not exactly one of the superstars of the Maine Beer Company portfolio. Still, glad I was able to try this one.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.52/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 6/10/11

Batch #1

Massive thanks to Brez07

Not at all what I'm used to seeing with a stout. Pours a fairly light brown and maintains a brown hue even in the glass, albeit deeper. One finger head drops to a thinner layer, leaving some lace.

Doesn't entirely smell like I was expecting either. Cleanly roasted grain notes and some toasty dark bread aromas. Hints of fading cocoa; perhaps that way on purpose. Sugary overtones and some earthiness. Soft vanilla sweetness on the edges,

An earthy hoppiness leads off, scatters and regroups at the finish. A decent bitterness is had, also attributable to notes of roasted coffee and a nip of bitter cocoa. To greater extent is a lightly roasted grain bill that perhaps seems more in line with an American Brown Ale than stout. Bready and earthy. Vanilla sticks to the latter half but adds an enjoyable layer of complexity.

Sits comfortably on the plump side of medium in terms of feel. Though not harsh, carbonation is higher than I prefer and at times overpowers the flavors. The feel starts to coat mid-sip and builds toward the finish then tapers off to a lingering graininess and a bit of a kick.

Overall impression - for the most part, nicely done. I'm convinced this would be better labeled as an American Brown Ale as it seems more in line with that style than a stout. To that end, I have to knock it a bit to style but I'll happily give it the benefit of the doubt.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A HUGE thanks to Drazzamatazz for this great beer. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours into a tulip with a dark brown color and about a finger of head. Slight light is seen around the edges of the glass.

Smell – Not as noticeable as I would have hoped – roasted malts, slight vanilla, cocoa, and milk chocolate.

Taste – This is overall the same to the aroma, nice roasted malts, slight REAL vanilla (I can’t overemphasize how important it is to NOT use extract in the case of vanilla – it is so nasty otherwise). Nice bittersweet cocoa/milk chocolate at the end.

Mouthfeel – As others have mentioned, the biggest drawback of this is here. Way too light of a mouthfeel in my opinion, good carbonation for the style, but I wish it was a bit thicker and more oily.

Overall – A pretty good beer. Damn quaffable, not overpowering. I would for SURE pick this up again if I saw it on the shelves by me (sadly not likely for a lonnng time)

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Thanks to Brez07 for sending this to me in his LIF.

A: Pours a light black with a small off-white head that quickly dissipates to small foamy layer. Not much lacing.

A: Nice roasted black malt, some chocolate, and hints of vanilla. As it warms the chocolate becomes a bit more pronounced.

T: Very similar to the aroma, heavy roasted malt, some chocolate and a little bit of vanilla.

M: Medium bodied, but seemed to be a little thin. Decent carbonation.

O: Was hoping for a bit more vanilla. This is a solid beer that hopefully in future batches will have that vanilla boost. Another solid beer from MBC.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown almost black, 1 finger mocha head

smell: roasted malts, barley, little vanilla

taste: roast, malts, little vanilla

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium to full body

overall: wish there was a little more vanilla flavor. you could start to pick the flavor up when it was warming up but not enough. Glad I got to try it and I think more people need to track down these beers for Maine Beer Company.


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Photo of stakem
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to foofaa for sharing this brew. Pours a dark brown color with a tan cap that holds fairly decent and forms spotty lacework on the glass. When held to the light, it appears to have decent clarity and more brownness about it.

The smell of the brew is nutty and dark with roasted grains. There is a very pleasing sweetness about this brew that smells of vanilla mixed with a touch of coffee. There is a light fruited character caught somewhere inbetween the familiar scent of hops verse alcohol. The fruited aspect smells dark and raisin-like but not as full and to the extent of some brews. (That probably doesn't make much sense but I don't know how else to describe it.)

The taste brings on more of the roasted grain character, possibly more nutty than I like in a stout but still very enjoyable. There is an underlying note of herbal hops and vanilla sweetness that provides a pleasant contrast. This brew is toasty overall, when coupled with the nutty aspect it almost comes across like coconut in flavor mixed with coffee. The hops linger in the mouth with an herbal aspect.

Overall not bad, I appreciated the opportunity to try this brew. It is medium bodied and slightly thin almost watery with it's low level of carbonation.. It lends itself to being easily approachable and very easy drinking without the shock of big alcohol impact. I'd give it a try again.

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Photo of ggilman
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9oz. bottle into a tulip glass. The elegant, clean and simple label informs that this is Batch #1. I love that after pouring a full glass, there's an ounce or two left to revisit once I'm done.

Solid jet black, two fingers of creamy tan foam. Tight Guinness-esque bubbles settle out to a loose thin layer. Delicious creamy chocolate vanilla aroma. Flavors are more subtle than the nose. Cream soda float creamy mouthfeel. A little bitterness right off the bat adds a bakers chocolate mouthfeel to the mix. Coffee and vanilla bean as it warms. Not very sweet, nice dry roasty finish. Lightly carbonated, gulp away. You can take a nice chewy bite out of this stout. I pretty much guzzled this tasty offering after brunch, therefore feeling the 6.5%. Excited for what the future holds for Maine Beer Co.! Can't wait to see what they come up with next! Double IPA? (fingers crossed)

This beer, as well as their others, wreak of quality & freshness.

Anyone ever see them on tap?

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Mean Old Tom from Maine Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.99 out of 5 with 2,444 ratings