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 TappaKeggaBrew
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured very dark, nearly black w/ just a hint of mahogany at the margins. The head was an uber-thick layer of tenacious foam the color of burnt sugar. Retention was very good, lacing fair.

S: Toasted malt and dark fruit dominate, as is typical of stouts. There's some coffee as well, although in the background. It takes a little imagination to smell the vanilla.

T: Strong, deep-roasted malt up front; acrid at first, but yielding a little sweetness after a moment. Tart fruit appears in the middle, and lingers well into the finish as it melds with mildly bitter hops and subtle coffee flavors. Finally, the vanilla shows up -- not too strong, but definitely there -- and it mixes with all of the flavors listed above as they fade.

M: Very smooth. So much so that the lower carbonation and moderately dry finish are easily forgiven.

O: A solid American stout, and the vanilla, while not strong, does add a nice touch. A little pricy for frequent consumption, but worth trying on occasion.

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Photo of bylerteck
4.01/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Binghamton Beer Depot. Born 01.27.13. From notes.

A - Poured black with a one finger mocha/dark brown head. Good spotty lace, half finger retention.

S - Biga aroma of roast, coffee, faint vanilla, deep chocolate, and more coffee with a pronounced roast element.

T - Big roast again. Nice mild sweetness, assumingly from the vanilla. Sugariness and big roast that mellows later on. Nice and complex, as well as tasty. Vanilla is subtle. Some cola.

M - Mild carbonation, medium body, dry and sweet finish.

O/D - A nice stout. My frist from Maine Brewing and I was slightly underwhelmed based on their hype. Complex and tasty nonetheless. Quite rich, but needed some more vanilla.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 012713. Tulip glass.

A: Pours black with a half inch of sturdy, light brown head which recedes fairly soon to a ring. Pretty good retention and a few dots and streaks of lacing.

S: Dark chocolate and vanilla meld very tightly with a little roastiness, and a touch of coffee.

T: Roasted malt and vanilla are the most prominent flavors, with the vanilla integrated well, and a bit of coffee. Fairly dry and a longish finish featuring the coffee and light roastiness.

M: Medium body and medium, biting carbonation which mellows out and smoothens with time in the glass. Alcohol is well hidden.

O: Pretty drinkable. They managed to hit a good level of vanilla without overdoing it, and to integrate it well with the base beer. That being said, the vanilla can be a bit fatiguing in moderate quantities.

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Photo of MCain04
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle from BostonRyan, thanks, 12/01/12, poured into a FFF Teku. Stout and vanilla beans... color me intrigued.

A: Dark brown/black, khaki head of 2+ fingers, rich and thick with OK lacing and retention.

S: Roasty malts and some coffee, not getting much vanilla on the nose, nice aroma but we'll have to see if the vanilla comes through more on the taste.

T: Interesting. There's a semi-sweet tartness that dominates the taste here. Some roasted malts and coffee as well, not getting a lot of vanilla though, but maybe that's the sweetness I'm tasting. All in all, definitely a unique-tasting stout.

M: A little too thin and too carbonated for my liking. Wet feel to the finish.

O: Certainly pleased to have tried this brew, but probably wouldn't have it again. Perhaps I just like my stouts bigger and fuller, but the taste wasn't quite right here either. May just be personal taste though.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Maine Beer Company - Mean Old Tom - 16.9fl oz bottle

Look - Pours midnight black with a negligible foamy head. OK lacing.

Smell - Deep chocolate and coffee malts. A little zing. Faint vanilla.

Taste - Carbonated with cream stout hit. The vanilla is very subtle.

Mouthfeel - Rests remarkably dry for a stout. Quite drinkable, not boozy at all, of course at 6.5% it shouldn't be but some are.

Overall - Good stout, not remarkable but solid and enjoyable. Worth the cost. My wife thoroughly enjoyed and she is more of a stout drinker than I.

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Photo of Pencible
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured an opaque black with thick tan head.
S: It smelled like strong fresh coffee with some rich dark chocolate and a bit of oak.
T: It tasted like bitter dark chocolate and rich French roasted coffee, with a little earthy oak and vanilla bean. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was thick with moderate carbonation. Nice big body.
D: This was a great stout. I didn't pick up as much vanilla character as I hoped, but the scent and taste were both still very enjoyable. The body was great, seeming more like a double stout. The finish was incredibly smooth, so it was very easy to drink. Doesn't need age, but who knows what cellaring may accomplish. Great refined brew. Recommended.

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Photo of Beerandboards
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled on March 18, 2013.

A - inky black with a khaki head, about 1.5 inches or so. Leaves some thin lacing.

S - roasty malt, dark chocolate, some vanilla.

T - follows the nose almost exactly. Dark chocolate, some coffee/roasty flavors. The vanilla is pretty thin, but acts to smooth things out very nicely.

M - low carb, thick and creamy mouthfeel.

O - this is a really tasty beer and, as with other Maine Beer Co beers, the quality craftsmanship shows through. My initial reaction was that I wanted more vanilla, but I think the vanilla (even if a little light) plays a nice role in the beer, smoothing out the flavor profile. Rather than playing a standout role, the vanilla connects everything.

I think the rating suffer from people looking at this to fit a double/imperial stout profile. It's not a double, people.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at a small grocery store in Waterbury, VT.

Pours black, not the darkest black ever, but still pretty nice. Frothy mocha colored head, about 1 inch. Not much lacing.

Smells include roasted malt, vanilla beans, and chocolate.

The taste is similar. The beer never shies from what it claims to be- a vanilla stout. Lots of great earthy sweet vanilla flavors- not too cloying, at all. Some coffee flavors as well, alongside strong chocolate. Not much hop flavor. No incredible head-banging flavors here, just a lot of subtle niceties.

Silky sweet and smooth mouthfeel, likely from the use of oats. Low carbonation. Very drinkable.

Good to see that MBC can do non-hoppy beers, this is one is understated and elegant.

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

Pours nearly jet black except for a tinge of ruby when held right up to the light,a creamy beige head atop that left a broken ring of lace behind.Vanilla and more vanilla in the nose,some dark roast comes into play as well as some chocolate but the vanilla wins out.It's roasted on the palate but I love the vanilla warming flavors,it's not overly sweet with a nice somewhat drying earthy finish.This beer is underrated in my opinion,it's warming with a nice vanilla flavor that isn't overly done,a great beer.

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Photo of far333
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Blackish brown with a thick and frothy head that rises up a full inch, and then settles out to a low cap with legs and ringlets rising up the sides of the glass. Rich aroma of darkly roasted malt and subtle vanilla. Rich flavor of roasty malt, somewhat smokey, bitter malt, cocoa, root beer, some hop bitterness, subtle hop flavors, subtle vanilla notes. Rich mouthfeel, but a bit slick, yet tannic. Really good beer.

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Photo of Jakk
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Thick, dark black. Amber head.

S: Heavy chocolate, a little vanilla

T: Initially quite sweet, but quickly dips south into bitter unsweetened chocolate. Roast and vanilla round it off nicely. Long bitter chocolate finish.

M: Medium carbonation, maybe a little more than I would have expected given the flavor

O: Quite good. The carbonation conflicts with the favor profile a bit, but overall pretty unique and very enjoyable.

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Photo of hopoilcrazy
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to gpugliese for this awesome extra!

A- Obsidian tinge, slight, very slight port shades. Nice firm eggshell head that sticks around for awhile. No lacing, but a solid ring forms and hangs out.

S- Strong vanilla aroma wafts out with a german chocolate hit. Very light coffee note.

T- Lighter than I expected, but still very good: nice and balanced with the malt monster rearing its head immediately and then being tamed a little with hop bitterness. The finish is crisp tasting of light roasted coffee. The vanilla bouquet does not come through in the flavor hardly at all.

M- The feel is medium bodied and crisp. Not chewy, but pleasing.

This is definitely a solid beer, and it is well crafted which is what makes it exceptional.

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Photo of BlindProphet
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one’s for my good buddy Tom, who’s by no means mean, but is a bit of a bastard.

Pours tar black with a thick mocha head. The vanilla’s aroma is well pronounced, and blends nicely with that of strong roasted and chocolate malt.

Tom tastes more bitter than its nose would let on--a strong and roasty back of the mouth bitterness accented with subtle vanilla, chocolate, and mocha flavors. Still, the mouthfeel is a bit thin; it hastens across the tongue and takes a fair amount of the taste with it.

All in all, this is a very pleasant beer. The vanilla beans add character without overpowering, making for an incredibly drinkable product. I wouldn’t call this a remarkable beer, but I would recommend it and I would definitely order it again.


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Photo of Kendo
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Born-on-date on the bottle says 02-19-13. Consumed on 3/16/13, so this is very fresh.

A: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Body is black with a 2-finger tight-bubbled tan head that leaves behind a thick curtain of lace. Lots of lace on the way down.

S: Chocolate does battle with roasted barley and a touch of char. Chocolate wins.

T: Same battle, only here the winner is roastiness. Tastes more like a Porter, with notes of charcoal, roasted barley, roasted coffee beans and some cocoa powder. Vanilla shows up late, on the back of the palate, and is modest, not in-your-face at all.

M: Medium in heft with active carbonation. Vanilla at the back end provides the illusion of a modest slickness.

O: Very good. Drinks more like a Vanilla Porter than an American Stout, but no matter what you call it, it's good.

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Photo of korguy123
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

012713 on the bottle.
Bottle into snifter.

Opaque black pour with a half finger tan head. Spotty lacing.

Dark chocolate, burnt coffee, burnt toast and the slightest hint of vanilla.

Nice mellow vanilla, burnt toast, medium roast coffee with bittersweet chocolate. A slight metallic taste in the finish.

Light to medium body.

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Photo of davey101
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

01/27/2013 vintage, 500 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Pours a jet black body with tons of mocha foam. Dies down quickly but leaves behind excellent lacing and retention.

S - Really huge blast of coffee beans, milk chocolate and sweet vanilla. A bit minerally on the finish. There is something about this aroma that reminds me a lot of HIll Farmstead's Everett, but it falls a bit short.

T - Coffee, chocolate malts, sweet vanilla and some light roast. Quite tasty.

M - Medium bodied and creamy.

O - Perhaps it was my inclination to stack this up against double and imperial stouts....but that is not what this beer is. Its a relatively moderate ABV stout with a solid coffee and vanilla flavor. Its tasty and enjoyable, but not exactly world class. Once again I feel conflicted on the price tag of an MBC beer....

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Photo of Mertzy81
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

a: This was black and it poured with a big, sticky, khaki colored head.

s: Vanilla is certainly noticeable, but not overwhelming. Lots of deeply roasty cocoa as well. Not much complexity, but it is very appealing.

t: Very strong roast cocoaheld in check by a nicely prportioned dose of vanilla. Strong lingering roasted bitternessat the finish. Not a lot of layers here, but a very nice juxtaposition of flavors.

m: Very creamy.

o: Other great beer from MBC, no surprise there.

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

16oz bottled January 27, 2013. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours black with a three finger creamy/foamy brown head that slowly recedes to a small foamy cap and leaves nice rings and webs of lacing behind.

Aroma is vanilla, chocolate, caramel, roasted malts, sweet-smelling and dessert-like. Good to very good strength.

Flavor is rich vanilla, chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, some caramel, moderate sweetness, some bitterness, minimal alcohol. Tasty.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, pretty smooth and creamy but a bit of a carbonation bite too.

Really tasty vanilla Stout. The vanilla isn’t subtle, it’s definitely here and a big component of this brew, nice chocolate notes too. I’ve got one more bottle that I’ll sit on for a couple of months to let the hops fade out a bit which I think would help.

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Photo of Chaney
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled 1/27/13

Served in a Duck Rabbit snifter.

A: Opaque as hell, with a mean-looking, mocha head that contained bubbles the size of NYC.

S: Kinda understated, yet still quite inviting. Smelled like high-grade coffee, a good bit of char, and some vanilla to boot.

T: Quite enjoyable and delectable, with a smooth disposition all around. Sure, the bitterness was there, but it didn't detract from the flavors whatsoever. The vanilla definitely helped with that in this setting.

M: Thick and then some, with the perfect carbonation bill and roast (char) level. The lacing was ridiculous, and my glass looked as if it went through a car wash without a rinse.

O: Heck, I'd pay $7-8 buck for this again. Maine never disappoints. Welcome to DC!

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Photo of Jimmys
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500mL bottle into taster. bottled on 02.19.13.

A: dark brown body. nothing crazy, just a really dark brown. head is on the brownish side as well. retention is good. spotted lacing.

S: lots of coffee starts the nose off. dark chocolate combines with vanilla to have a very DD coffee elixir-like aroma (you know coffee coolata bullshit). a little bit of tobacco is there as well.

T: wisps of vanilla are there, but not nearly as much than on the nose. a lot of bitter roasted grain. slightly astringent towards the finish. chocolate, dark chocolate mostly. adds to the bitterness. unfermented sugars linger into the finish.

M: average/slightly high carb on a rich, medium body.

D: overall i enjoyed this brew. wouldn't have hated for more of the vanilla bean aspect to come across on the nose/palate, however, still a good American stout.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
4.78/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Black, no light through this one, about three fingers of thick beige head, heavy lacing on the glass.

Smell: Roasted malts with coffee, vanilla, and maybe some chocolate.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Thick, but smooth. Alcohol is up front with raosted malts, vanilla, and coffee. Leaving a roasted coffee bean after taste.

Overall: Once again Maine Brewing has done it!!! Another excellent brew that I will continue to enjoy!

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Photo of ElCommodoro
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a beautiful looking beer. It had an inch of thick, brown, fluffy head. The smell was pretty mesmerizing too. Very roasty and chocolatey. The taste was almost disappointing after that. It's good. Maybe even very good, but not mesmerizing. The chocolatey and coffee notes hit you first, but as your palate adjusts to their bitterness, it's a pretty straightforward stout. It's a very thick one with a lot of bitter notes. The roasted malt, the chocolate bitterness, and the cold coffee ground flavours all come together in a nice way. And maybe the vanilla bean flavour helps to mellow those out a bit, but I sort of wish it did more to that end. Breckenridge's Vanilla Porter may be catering to a different crowd with it's sweetness, but I thought it did a much better job of making the vanilla bean flavour a key part of the beer, at least. This one just screams of cold coffee flavour. It's still a decent stout, though. It, too, is partakable. Be prepared for a bitter, more traditional American stout, though. There is no sweetness here. I was wondering how something aged on vanilla beans could be "mean," but now I know. Tom was indeed a rascal, drinking stuff like this. However, that hint of vanilla flavour that ties it all together and mellows out the flavour just enough shows that he had a soft spot for those willing to look for it. I may not have been expecting a bitter beer, but I got one and it's still worth giving a chance.

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Photo of gr0g
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours solid black with a light tan head about one and a half fingers tall. Retention is OK while lacing is spotty. Vanilla is prominent on the nose and dominates. Cocoa powder is the other noticeable component of the aroma.

The flavor profile is dry overall with a healthy portion of vanilla-infused roasted malt. Texture is a bit prickly at first but eventually settles to a silky smoothness. Body is a bit thin. The flavors here are very straightforward and nice, if lacking in complexity. While it's quite easy-drinking as-is, I'd like more roast and more sweetness.

The vanilla is a nice complement to a solid base stout. This is a restrained stout that can be enjoyed in a large serving, though the same restraint hasn't been applied to pricing, which makes it hard to recommend wholeheartedly.

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Photo of CharlatanSin
3.89/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. Born on 1/27/13. The newest addition to the CT market.

A- Black, with a nice, persistent tan head.

S- Chocolate malt, with some vanilla. Toasted dark grain.

T/M- Milk chocolate and coffee. More roasty as it warms up, a little burnt even. Vanilla, especially on the finish. A little thin, but smooth. Good flavor but not a great mouthfeel.

O- Good stout overall. The vanilla isn't super powerful but keeps it interesting.

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Photo of mikem0487
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

1 Pint Bottle with born on date 01/27/13. Poured into my Green Man Brewing Co. snifter glass.

A-Dark black chocolate body with a nice two finger width brown head. Leaves nice lacing as I swirl it in the glass. Looks heady!

S-Defiantly pick up those vanilla beans with dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt with a coffee-esque aroma. Also reminds me of hot chocolate and baileys. Love how everything is well balanced and that the vanilla mellows out the dark chocolate/roasty characteristics that become more pronounced in the end.

T-Vanilla is more subtle in the taste than it is in the aroma. Its defiantly there but wish there was more. The roasted malts defiantly shine through here. Coffee, dark chocolate, mild tobacco on the palate. Finishes with the roast notes with a touch of citrus hops coming in there.

M-Good carbonation. A little thin for this style. Finishes dry. Enjoyable none the less.

O-A great rendition of an American Stout. Aroma is great and wish I could have gotten more of that vanilla in the taste to balance out the roastiness. Highly drinkable and another great beer from MBC!

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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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