Mean Old Tom | Maine Beer Company

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Mean Old TomMean Old Tom
Very Good
2,430 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,430 |  Reviews: 473
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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Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #1.

Pours a creamy 1 finger head that fades semi slowly with a bit of lacing, over very dark brown color with hints of rosy maroon light coming through.

Nose starts with tons of vanilla, light chocolate malts, light roast, some caramel, creamy dark malts, oats?, some light earthy hops, touch of cocoa.

Taste also loads with vanilla, creamy malts, dark malts, some chocolate malt, hint of roast, caramel, some light earthy hops, a bit of a decent bitter taste, light sweetness and some creamy like oats, no booze. Finishes with some more light bitter earthy hops, a slight bitter roast, plenty more vanilla and chocolate, and some oats.

Mouth is medium to slightly heavier bodied, creamy and a bit rich, decent enough carbonation.

Overall pretty good, very drinkable, decent enough hops, lots of vanilla as it promises, nice malts, perhaps a bit more body and chocolate would help, a nice bitter and sweet balance too.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch #1
500ml bottle poured into a mug.
This beer was a very dark brown, nearly black color. A hint of red when held up to a light.
Medium-sized tan head and a little bit of lace.
Strong roasted malt aroma up front, followed by some sweet chocolate. A little bit of vanilla tucked in there.
Tasted like espresso with a shot of chocolate. I think I lost the vanilla.
A bit on the thin side.
Nice enough.

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Photo of maximum12
3.15/5  rDev -21.1%
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 gford217
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, batch 1, thanks to Ben.

Pours fairly light for a stout, settling in as a dark opaque chestnut with a small off-white head that recedes to a wispy cap.

Aroma is a really nice mixture of roasted black malts, cocoa powder and vanilla beans. There is also a slightly more sweet milk chocolate character to the owe as it warms.

Taste is more of the same and really excellent for a regular stout. It's got the backbone of roasted malts with a layer of sweet chocolate and vanilla on top. Lightly roasted and dry finish.

The mouthfeel is the one drawback for me as it's a little on the thin side for a stout with decent carbonation.

Overall, this is an excellent stout - the vanilla adds the right amount of balance and sweetness to the roasted base. A little more body and this would be a world class American stout.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Stout aged on natural vanilla beans, a bottled beer previously from their "trash can" series.

Pours a dark amber almost brown color with a large off-white head, fades at a slow rate and leaves some small bits of lacing on the glass as it empties.

Smell has a great roasted malt aroma with light hints of vanilla complimenting, I'm not a vanilla fan but it offers the right amount of balance that adds to the nose without making it seem overly sweet or cloying, picking up a bit of a cocoa presence as well.

Taste has a very light body for a stout, drinks almost like a light porter, carbonation is also quite high which makes it seems like a porter, the roasted malt is decent in taste and the vanilla is not overwhelming but adds a hint of complexity, finishes very dry and chalky like I nibbled on some cocoa nibs, really wish it had a more substantial body since it definitely feels thin.

I had the opportunity to try bottles before they hit the market at Novare, I wasn't overly impressed that night but it seems a bit better in the comforts of my own home and not "ruining" my palate with huge beers prior to trying it. Still though, I can't help but be a bit disappointed since Peeper and Zoe are a couple of the best beers that Maine has to offer.

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

Thanks to ToasterChef for the trade. Poured into a Nonick pint glass from the bottle. Batch #1, no dates to speak of on bottle.

A very solid four finger head off the pour, and a faint cream tan color. Tiny cola like bubbles and also a nice tight foam head. Body is a nice dark brown to red with great looking red hues. Some tiny bubbles of carbonation stick to the side of the glass. Very good looking so far.

Great malt and roast smell on this, and with hints of cream and coffee. Not much else though, but this is real nice.

Taste is good but a let down from what is coming off the nose. Mild malt, some bitterness but mild. A typical wet stout body but has a real nice finish I must say. Says aged on natural vanilla beans, but there is no sense of any vanilla in taste or smell of this beer. Almost a milk stout sweetness on the finish too.

With all being said though, this is still quite a good beer for drinkability.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. The beer pours dark brown with a thin layer of light tan head that washes away quickly with thin lace. This is certainly a vanilla bomb. Mostly vanilla in the aroma with dark roasted malts in the background. I'd say too much vanilla maybe, but it's still pleasant to smell. The taste, much like the smell is borderline overpowering with vanilla. It's rounded out with mocha like flavors and a nice bitterness to the finish. I'd like this more if I didn't feel like I had to focus so much to get past vanilla. Real nice feel to this though, creamy and full with good soft carbonation. Overall, a welcome new offering from Maine Beer Company.

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Photo of gdrydenc
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours with a finger of cream brown head. Nearly black, but if you hold it up to the light, you can see a very dark amber. Very good looking beer.

S - Smell is of nice roasted malts. Hints of coffee and chocolate. I don't get tons of vanilla bean in the smell.

T - Much like the smell, good malts, hints of coffee and chocolate. I do get the vanilla beans in the taste, which is good. I am kinda disappointed though, because it has a bit of a watery taste. I wish it was a much more robust stout, but what can you do?

M - Nice creamy mouthfeel, but the wateriness of it comes out again.

D - When it comes to stouts, this is incredibly drinkable. Low ABV and delicious.

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Photo of Casey10
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a nice beer that while good doesn't match quite the american stout that a Cadillic mountain stout (a tall order) does exspecially based using price as a factor

This is a nice beer and has a nice appearance with a smell of cocoa.

The cocoa has a similar taste but has a bit watery/smoked taste to it not bad but not outstanding.

The drinkabilty might be really good but per bottle it is expensive.

The beer is worth a try hoped for better though.

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

Reviewed from my notes. A draft pour from the only keg in existence (at least with this batch) into my Uprising chalice as part of Novare Res' beer and chocolate pairings for Valentines Day.

The beer is dark brown in color and has lots of clinging and rising carbonation. A small foamy head covers a portion of the liquid, some some bare areas remain. A coat of film and patchy foam cover the sides of my glass after I swirl the beer about.

The nose has a combination of coffee/chocolate/mocha aromas. It's roasty, sweet and has a touch of bitterness.

I can taste vanilla and and coffee bitterness. There is an interesting sweetness in the aftertaste that, for me, takes some getting used to.

The beer is sticky and leaves a big coat behind. Lots of carbonation can be felt and the body lies comfortably between medium and full bodied.

This is an enjoyable stout, but I prefer MBC's other offerings a lot more. I wouldn't drink more than one of these in a session, considering that it probably come sin 16oz bottles.

I should note that some of the flavors, textures and especially the appearance of this beer makes me think it could have come from a cask, but the menu did not indicate such, so I reviewed it as though it was a normal draft pour.

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Photo of twelvsies
4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

New seasonal from the guys at MBC. Have eagerly awaiting this one... Pours a robust brown with ruby edges, a nice and hearty beige head, nice life, nice lacing. Really worth a few whiffs - the nose is subtle at first, with coco and subtle vanilla, followed by some mellow coffee and chocolate. Flavors meld so well - light roastyness allows the vanilla to poke through amidst the toasty coco and chocolate, with nice coffee undertones, nutty, and a dry and dusty hop finish. Low bitterness. Super smooth texture, nice and mellow, with the perfect dry finish to balance. For the style (stout) this is supremely drinkable. This beer has the nice balance of plenty of interesting flavors and complexity, while pulled off with subtlety, yet still remains a refreshing and drinkable stout. Can't wait to see what comes next.

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Photo of bishopdc0
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The head is very full forms more then 2 finger very thick and tan. The beer is dark and only on the pour could you see the dark amber color. The head hugs the glass very nice one of the best heads I've seen in a bottle

Big nose on this beer it whafted to my nose while I was pouring it. There is a lot of aromas coffee with roasted malts and a mellow vanilla that works perfect together

To start this is a dry stout not an imperial or big stout wit that said this is a great beer. The beer starts slightly sweet. A roasted nutty flavor enters. The nutty coffee taste is very pleasent. A slight hop enters with a very hint of vanilla in the aftertaste. Its a big dry finish.

For a stout this great I'm astonished how they were able to have the taste and aroma differ but have it go together

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first bottling of Mean Old Tom aka Batch 1

A: Pours a deep reddish-brown with a 2 finger brown head

S: Definite dry stout smell, with malty chocolate notes and some burnt coffee. Vanilla is wayyy in the back of the nose, and kind of tricky to detect

T: Dry with a huge malt profile followed by chocolate and vanilla notes. Quite bitter on the finish

M: Medium body and carbonation, pretty smooth. Fairly watery, but I find that to be the case with a lot of lower abv stouts

D: Another solid offering from MBC, this definitely has some potential. Easily drinkable and not too heavy

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Photo of Brez07
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the second bottle I've had. Had my first at Novare but wasn't impressed. Figured I'd give it another shot though. Batch #1

A: Pours a dark brown color. Fairly translucent for stout actually, with lots of amber highlights on the sides and bottom. Kinda looks like cola. Initial 1 finger light mocha head recedes within minutes, leaving a very thin layer

S: Not a big nose, but what I get is some cocoa mix, roasted malt and the tiniest hint of vanilla. These aromas seem to intensify as the beer warms

T: Definitely different then the first bottle I had (which was more like a porter). Fairly big roasted malt presence right off the bat. Once the palate adjusts, some nice chocolate and vanilla flavors come out

M: Thin and a little watery at first. Still, smooth and slightly creamy. Roasted malt flavor lingers on the palate

D: Will the real Mean Old Tom please stand up? I'm really hoping this is it, because it's much better then my previous bottle experience. Nicely done first batch

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Mean Old Tom from Maine Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.99 out of 5 with 2,430 ratings