Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Mean Old Tom | Maine Beer Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
445 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 445 | Ratings: 2,316
Photo of Immortale25
4.19/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. Label says 030315.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/2 inch dark tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves large clots behind.

S- Firm dark roasted malt aroma with some hints of vanilla sweetness. Also notes of chocolate and caramel.

T- Easygoing stout flavor with some semisweet chocolate tones. Vanilla isn't as prevalent as expected. The roastiness is right out in front bringing some mild char to the table. As the palate acclimates and the beer warms, the vanilla starts to come out more. Iced coffee aftertaste.

M- Semi-creamy with medium-low carbonation and a full body.

O- Quite flavorful and drinkable. A great stout for those looking for something heavy but not too strong.

 859 characters

Photo of DIM
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

 481 characters

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

Bottle chilled, poured into a nonic pint glass.

Pours dark brown to black. Only a little bit of light gets through around the very edges. There's a pretty mocha colored head which settles to be pretty thin.

Smells of coffee, milk chocolate and vanilla. The milkier notes on the nose make it seem like it's going to be very creamy.

Tastes of some chocolate, with solid coffee flavor and bitterness behind it. The vanilla really comes across in this one and is very pleasant. The vanilla and coffee flavors do feel as though they're fighting a little bit, it could be a little bit more balanced in that sense. The mouthfeel is very creamy, well carbonated.

Overall, this is a good American stout. I love the vanilla and how it comes across. It's not perfectly balanced, but then again I have very high expectations for Maine Beer Co.'s offerings.

 849 characters

Photo of ksimons
4.19/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-dark brown, almost black, with no highlights seen in the light and two fingers worth of tan head

S-backbone of roasted malt with espresso, dark chocolate, and sweet vanilla

T-very nice, a strong roasted flavor comes out the most, roasted coffee, slight burnt flavor, and light vanilla sweetness

M-medium body, light to medium carbonation, left with a dry slightly burnt mouthfeel

Overall I like this one a lot, really great smell to it and a nice roasted body. Easy to drink and enjoy.

 491 characters

Photo of dogfishandi
4.19/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16 oz. bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. Bottled 12/01/12 (about 1.5 months old).

Pours out opaque black, no light getting through. A nice big fluffy light mocha colored head off the pour, it eventually settles to a nice retentive tight layer. Some decent spotty lace clings to the glass as it drinks.

Creamy smelling from the oats, a nice roasted malt aspect brings forth some nice coffee aromas that almost makes it seem as though actual coffee was put into this beer. A creamy vanilla aroma, and a bit of what a brewery smells like, mashed grains in a way.

A nice tasting stout. Everything tastes pretty much spot on. Creamy vanilla melds nicely with roasted malts, a bit of roasted coffee and dark chocolates. Hints of sweet toasted malt somewhere within. A nice hop bitterness, just a touch more than you might expect from the style, cuts through what sweetness is there and lingers through the finish. Finishing out with a bitter dark chocolate roast flavor with a bit of bakers cocoa.

Very smooth and very creamy. Carbonation is appropriate. Great drinkability.

Maybe perceived at first as somewhat of a simple stout, but well made and very flavorful. Something about this reminds me of the aroma and taste of a mash from a stout. Nicely done, now throw some in a bourbon barrel!

 1,305 characters

Photo of kwiley03
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Glass. Beer was 54 degrees.

From the top down I notice the dark tan frothy head about 2 fingers in depth which disipates to a thin silky film after 5 sips. Long strings of tiny bubbles migrate upwards. The beer is an opaque brownish black with the exception of a thin maroon band across the base of the glass as the light passes through.

Sweet aroma of roasted chocolate malts with a slight hoppiness. Very light and pleasant in the nose. No real aroma of Vanilla however.

Coats the mouth without the impression of being viscous. Has a perfect hearty stoutness.

Tastes of roasted chocolate malts and coffee minus any bitterness that over roasting imparts occasionally. Slight hop bitterness remains on the back of the tongue while allowing some milk chocolate notes to develop. Finishes with the typical stout aftertaste. Once again no real presence of the Vanilla mentioned in the label.

Overall this beer is delicious. Real easy to drink with a great balance of components. This one is probably very appropriate to be paired with a dessert like Lava Cake but works equally well with Beef Stew. Will definitely buy more when my local store stocks up again.

 1,195 characters

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.

 253 characters

Photo of ummswimmin
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I poured Mean Old Tom into my snifter glass. This is a very dark black beer. I don't get any light through this one. The thick stout has minimal foam on top, as you would expect from a stout like this one.

Off the top I get a good dose of coffee and vanilla. The aroma on this beer has really good balance. I like the chocolate I pick up from this beer.

This is a very rich stout. You get a lot of coffee in this one. I get the vanilla on the back end.

The mouthfeel is a little challenging with the after-taste. The bitterness really stands out.

This is a good beer from the Maine Beer Company. I would recommend picking up a bottle.

 640 characters

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was given to me by a friend for Christmas, with the intent that this would be the first time I gave it a go. I had never had anything from the Maine Beer Company before and after having this, I'm surprised that their beers aren't more readily available. While this wasn't a knockout, this was a great example of the style that quietly grew on me as I worked my way through my pint glass.

Naturally, this beer poured dark - not quite black but very brown with a head that looked like it solidified once I let the liquid settle. It did dissipate but it took and while and what was left ended up clinging to the sides of my pint glass. The aroma wasn't terribly strong but the taste more than made up for it. Coffee grinds, espresso, and milk chocolate all combined for a pleasing taste coupled with just a hint of carbonation that kept this from being too heavy. I could only taste the vanilla in the aftertaste but it didn't have that boozy, overpowering nature that it takes on so often in a beer of this style. The consistency of this beer was that of milk chocolate as it went down smooth from start to finish and felt like a liquified version of a nice chocolate mousse cake.

This may have been one of the lightest Stouts that I've ever had, when it came to the alcoholic content. Downing this 1 pint, 9 ounce bottle was a joy and had I had the time, I could have had another in a sitting. Anyone who's new to this style would be well-versed to start out here, as this is strong enough to easily fit into this category while being easygoing enough to offend no one. A great example of why beers of this style are desserts unto themselves.

 1,649 characters

Photo of EkimGram
3.84/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

Taken from my beer journal dated 2/24/12

Appearance: 16.9oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Colour is a very dark brown with a finger-thick toffee-coloured head that fades slowly leaving a nice lacing.

Smell: Rich, roasted, and toasty malts are strong and bold. I also pick up a slight bitterness in the mix.

Taste: Mild, dark, and balanced. Malts are burnt, roasted, and have an almost butter flavour - probably a sweetness passed on by the vanilla beans.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, a little watery, and mild level of carbonation.

Overall: I had feared the vanilla beans would be too much but I really enjoy the subtle nuance they add. A solid brew.

 662 characters

Photo of sevenarts
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown, towards black, opaque. Big tan head, very fluffy, with strong retention and lacing.

S: Coffee and chocolate followed by some hints of mild citrus hoppiness.

T/M: Smooth coffee and chocolate malts gradually give way to more of a burnt, roasted, slightly bitter taste. Some nuttiness, and a bitter hop followthrough. Creamy with good body.

O: A really good and tasty stout, nothing fancy, just a nice mix of flavors. Great looking and good tasting.

 470 characters

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

Astringent, chalky, black, and bold...this is a fine American stout. It's utterly obsidian, with a light brown head. The smell is of highly roasted, but not quite burnt, grains. The vanilla also comes out nicely in the smell. Dry...very dry taste, which accentuates the grain. Full in body and very drinkable. Enjoyable stout.

 326 characters

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

Inky black with a slight white-brown head. Smells like sweet malts, light brown sugar, fresh coffee grounds, and a little bit of lightly toasted vanilla marshmallow. It tastes like coffee, light chocolate malts, and roasted grain. The vanilla is very subtle, sometimes I get a hit of it other times I don't. Sometimes I get a little almost homebrew flavour. Fairly creamy mouthfeel. Overall its a little lighter than I expected, but its still a very nice little stout.

 468 characters

Photo of brewtus
3.76/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour dark dark brown with a frothy two finger head. The smell is great, fresh ground coffee, roast malt, earthy tones. Taste starters with some ground coffeeness, some bitterness from it. The vanilla isn't as prevalent as I had hoped but you can taste it throughout. This was pretty good, great mouthfeel and smell were what stood out for me. Worth a try. We don't get this in Columbus so I'm glad I got to try it during a trip.

 428 characters

Photo of Teleweizen2
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a deep midnight black. Completely opaque. Two fingers worth of beige head which fades to a thin film.

S - pronounced grainy and roasty notes. Like finely ground coffee beans. Sweet notes of chocolate sauce. Faint hints of vanilla beans. As it warms the aromas become more like dark bread almost chocolate cake.

T - very chocolaty. Surprisingly low amount of roast character. Just hints. More of an herbal hop flavor for balance. Slightest tinge of vanilla, but could be just a hint of alcohol peaking through. Smooth chocolaty finish.

M - velvety texture. Medium bodied. Lower carbonation.

O - a nice stout. I was hoping for a bit more vanilla but was pretty much what i expected. plesant but i was expecting something a bit more aggressive overall.

 764 characters

Photo of Rukasu
3.47/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours impenetrable blackness. Literally, a halogen desk light could not penetrate it. Thick, long lasting, creamy brown head, about three fingers.

S: Very little smell, some roasted nuttiness with faint cocoa.

T: Roasted malts with mild vanilla hints and an acidic finish. Earthy and complex, cigar tobacco, apple skin bitterness.

M: Tart and a bit astringent. Not as smooth as I expected, but fairly light. Little carbonation makes it a bit syrupy.

O: Agree with some of the previous reviewers that something is a bit off with this. It's quite bitter, almost sour at times. Maybe aging would smooth it out a bit, but for something similar, I thought King Titus was better.

 681 characters

Photo of deebo
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled aug 10 2012
A-very creamy dark tan head. Black and clear. Laces nicely
S-weak aromas clean toasted dark barley malt
T-strong vanilla taste blends well with the chocolatey malt
M-soft mouthfeel- rich bodied with a pleasant chocolate/vanilla finish
O-a good dessert beer-clean and flavorful

 296 characters

Photo of popery
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a creamy head, light brown, about the color of coffee with a splash of milk. Lots of fine bubbles. The aroma is a tad weak, but the flavors present are very nice. Light cocoa with some coffee and roast. A very well-integrated and strong but not overbearing shot of vanilla. Some of the sweetness is almost lacto in character, or perhaps I just expect that in vanilla stouts. Definitely tends toward the sweet milk chocolate side of things. The taste could be quite good, but it just lacks the necessary depth. Kinda washed out. I'm mostly getting a sorta watery vanilla milk chocolate flavor. It's nice and I appreciate the thought behind it, but this beer could be a lot better if the same flavor profile was just turned up in intensity. Mouthfeel is actually pretty creamy despite the somewhat watery flavor. It's a nice beer and doesn't diminish my excitement for MBC, but I'm a bit disappointed after trying Lunch, Zoe and Peeper.

 951 characters

Photo of BeerLover99
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: onyx body, finger khaki head, splendid lacing

S: vanilla, roasted oats, mild dark chocolate

T: vanilla bean, dark chocolate, creamy roasted oat finish

M: med body, smooth mouth

O: Maine does it again. Lots of flavor
and nose for an American stout.


 281 characters

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.

 401 characters

Photo of beastmammoth
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Especially as it warms, this is a great beer. Intense overwhelming roast bitterness couples with harsh unsweetened chocolate. Waves and waves of bitter tempered by some delicate vanilla. A little light on mouthfeel but smooth and not lacking. Light sweet vanilla on the nose.

 275 characters

Photo of C20Percent
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown with a nice tan colored bubbly head on top. Can actually see some pretty decent bubble action in the body. Head seems to be holding rather nicely. Nothing super here, but nice nonetheless.

S: First thing coming through is a nice roastiness. Some definite coffee notes mixed with vanilla bean. For me though -- main thing coming through are the roasted malts. Swirling the brew seems to bring out the vanilla.

T: Vanilla bean and roasted malts mostly coming through in the flavor. There is a strange finish -- something that taste flat. I don't think that's the intent, but... There's a lot of complexity in the taste. All the flavors are there though. Solid.

M: The body is much lighter than your typical stout, which is a bit unfortunate. Carbonation is flat -- light. Not much chewiness. Not really feeling the body. The worst of the features. It is smooth -- not really creamy. Oily feel.

O: The label says you can age this. This particular brew is 7 months old. When you start drinking you can tell that something is off. It comes through in the finish. Then it really comes through when you begin to analyze the feel. This is an above average brew, but just barely. For $7.70, which was what I paid for this you can find much better stouts.

 1,271 characters

Photo of brother_kenneth
3.62/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter glass.

A - Very dark, but not quite black. Nice amount of light brown/tan head, decent lacing.

S - The most noticeable thing is the vanilla. There are also hints of coffee and some smokiness.

T - Mouth is rather thin, but the taste is pretty good! Lots of vanilla up front, along with a nice smoked, roasted malt flavor. There is some dark coffee here as well, but it is not very strong.

O - This is a pretty good stout and the vanilla beans certainly add a nice touch. It is a fairly straightforward brew that is easy to gulp down. Cheers!

 566 characters

Photo of argock
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16.9 oz grey-brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. Bottled on 111912 on side of label. Purchased at WIne Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $6.99.

A: Nearly black with ruby/chestnut edges and 1-2 fingers of light beige head with good retention but minimal dots of lacing.

S: Strong aromas of maple-vanilla, like those Brachs candies you stole so many times from the grocery store bin when you were a kid shopping with your Mom. The roast also comes thorugh pretty strong but not much on the dark fruit or malt side of the ledger.

T: The flavor is also mostly vanilla with a hefty roast component that fades with warming. There is a fair amount of sweetness to balance with the roast. Unfortunately there is not a lot of soul to this beer, as it tastes as undermalted as the 6.5% belies. The flavor is very thin and artificial tasting without the sufficient malt backbone.

M: Reasonably creamy and smooth but the body feels thin for the style.

O: Maine Beer should turn this into an imperial stout -- even as a porter this would seem thin and short on character. More base malt to carry the roast and vanilla more as accents would be step in the right direction. Pretty disappointing for the price and especially compared to MO and Zoe (and even Peeper Ale).

 1,281 characters

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

Bottle dated 082612 08. So, August 26, 2012. Poured in to tulip.

A -Black with half a finger of medium brown head.

S - Big sweet vanilla aroma up front with roast and hints of coffee in the background.

T - Vanilla up front that immediately gives way to a huge roast profile and some bitter coffee flavours. Fairly sweet overall with some balancing bitterness.

M - Medium body, Light carbonation.

 402 characters

Mean Old Tom from Maine Beer Company
3.96 out of 5 based on 2,316 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!