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Vanilla Stout | Big Muddy Brewing

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84
good
45 Reviews
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Vanilla StoutVanilla Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Big Muddy Brewing
Illinois, United States
bigmuddybrewing.com

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A traditional Milk Stout infused with pure Madagascar vanilla. Subtle vanilla flavor throughout with roasted notes and a slightly sweet, smooth finish.

Added by cdrogers on 12-05-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
45
Ratings:
167
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
25.54%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
44
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 45 | Ratings: 167
Photo of sleuthdog
2.61/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into tulip

Appearance: Pours a dark, dark brown to black that doesn't allow any light penetration. I was unable to produce any head at all and in all honesty poured what I'd describe as flat.

Smell: Vanilla with some milk chocolate hits me at first. A very slight coffee is present but way in the background behind the sweet notes. There are some malty notes mingling in there, too.

Taste: Well where is that vanilla I got in the nose? Disappointing that the vanilla is not more prominent. There is some malty roasty notes and a mild chocolate. This is just like drinking flat cola like a root beer with a small shot of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Very watery and flat. Like I said before just like drinking a flat cola. Nothing else to note.

Overall: Well this did not impress at all. I liked the aroma but couldn't get past the overall flat, sweet cola-like characteristics.

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Photo of Bones10
2.95/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

No date to be found on the bottle.

Pours a thin reddish black with a thin white head that left immediately, leaving no lace.

Unfortunately it smells like a Bud. This is a stout?

Well, it doesn't suck, the malt is decent and there is some bite, but I get no vanilla at all. I wouldn't say no if one was offered for free, but I could buy much better. I hope this was old and didn't age well. I went to SIU and wanted this to rock.

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Photo of ccg
2.96/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour with light carbonation. Light scent of a stout without any hint of vanilla. Mild stout taste with very little vanilla noticeable while drinking. It leaves a mild vanilla aftertaste, but that's about all the vanilla I'm getting from it. Mouthfeel is pretty light and a little on the thin side for a stout. Overall: It's not bad, but it would benefit from stronger vanilla notes and more body.

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Photo of LCB_Hostage
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: black. little to no head or lacing
S: Vanilla
T: Vanilla
M: Actually the best part of the beer. Smooth and creamy without being overly syrupy. Could have use a bit of carbonation, thogh.
O: Vanilla.

Seriously. I like vanilla. I never would have purchased this beer if I didn't like vanilla. But c'mon guys. Have you never heard of subtlety??? This has to be the most one-dimensional beer I've had in a long time. Thing is, that wasn't too bad at first. But this was a classic "diminishing returns" brew. By 1/3 - 1/2 way through I was so over the vanilla milkshake novelty and desperately wanted something even vaguely beer-like to punch through the smothering vanillaness. Alas, twas not to be. I'll probably drink the rest of the six, but I'm really going to pick and choose my moments carefully.

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Photo of C2H5
3.12/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle, this beer is a root beer brown, looks more like a porter than a stout if that really means anything. Carbonation leaves a small white head that quickly reduces to a thin ring around the glass. Smell is alot of roasted malts, familiar sweet "milk stout" nose, sadly I'm not getting a lot of vanilla.
Has a nice roasted malt flavor, a bit of sweetness and the vanilla flavor tries to come out a bit midway but never really makes it for me, the finish is a bit of bakers chocolate and is bitter and drying.

I was hoping that the vanilla would be right up front since it says VANILLA in huge writing, but then again it also says STOUT really big and o'well...It tastes like some of the vanilla porters I have had but with less vanilla and more roasted malt flavor. I really wanted to really like this one, but I only moderately liked it. It's worth a shot for the price, but don't expect a thick bodied vanilla flavored stout, because it isn't one.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a nonic
A- This beer pours a nice jet black body with a light tan film that soon fades to a ring and a gentle carbonation trails up the side of the glass

S- The soft note of coffee roasted malt leads to a vanilla nougat aroma that has a hint of bourbon in the depth. The aroma is pretty clean otherwise

T- The coffee roasted malt has no bitterness and finishes with a watery taste. There is a slight tartness that is a bit to big for the other flavors and a slight roasted hint lingers. Some vanilla grows into the flavor as it warms.

M- The light mouthfeel has a thin texture to it with no alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer is a bit thin and watery with some nice vanilla character, just no malt to support it. The tartness grows over top the malt flavor and there just isn't any depth to the malt.

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Photo of bnes09
3.42/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark and opaque with a descent, light tan head and moderate retention.

Beautiful aroma of roasted malts and vanilla, sweet in the nose.

Flavor starts with moderate amount of roasted malts, boasting coffee, dark chocolate and wheat toast. This flavor quickly vanishes leaving room for a sweet vanilla extract flavor which dominates up through the finish.

Thin, slick, watery feel. Almost like the malt is not present at all in the finish. Average carbonation.

Not what I'm looking for in a stout. Just needs more roasted malt character and texture.

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Photo of Samp01
3.44/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark cloudy cola brown with a small quickly fading tan head. Aroma is of sweet vanilla beans, dark malt with some roasted notes. Taste is same as taste, has some mild bitterness. Palate is medium body, smooth, sweet. The finish is of sweet mild herbal vanilla bean flavor, a bit of dark roasted malts with light bitterness. Sweet and mildly pleasant. Overall a good after dinner.

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Photo of farrago
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid two finger head of light tan foam, on the denser side although larger bubbles pop like fireworks across the surface, only a few streaks of lacing, thick at first but minimal stick. Brownish liquid with a hint of orange, would be clear were it not for the large amount of particulate floating around inside, the carbonation is tiny and not strong enough to form beads. The nose is surprisingly quiet but there’s big time vanilla on display, milder roasted cocoa, actually seems to have a hoppier spine than over-reliance on malty sweetness, nutty in a creamy way, not a lot of staying power. Full-bodied, fleshy and carbonated to a state of soft creaminess, basically this comes off like a root beer float. Vanilla, cola bean, hazelnut, still lurking in the background is a piney hoppiness. It’s smooth and glides through the palate, its main drawback is how the flavors peter out before the finish. No strength in the lactose, milky element, which is kind of key for a milk stout. Any roast is short-lived at best. This could easily be a perfectly reasonable summertime stout, supported by its confectionary, soft drink sweetness.

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Photo of Antc2382
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a large format bottle into a pint glass

A: huggggggge tan head when poured. It basically is the foamiest beer that I've had. Beers color is black, fairly opaque with that nice foamy head sticking around for the remainder. Pour some more, get that head. S: a little grassy, which is surprising for a stout. It has a sweetness in there as well but I'm having trouble picking it up. It really does have a strong nose. T: not as much vanilla as I'd hoped for. Tastes like a basic milk/sweet stout with the faint sweetness much more prominent than the roasted malt. Slight bitterness and chicory root. F: it's very smooth, but I would have liked a tiny bit more carbonation. O: it's a solid sweet stout that deserves a try. Nothing groundbreaking but it's good quality

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Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark chestnut color and about two fingers of tan head. Good clarity. Sweet chocolate and vanilla on the nose, faint hints of charcoal and roasted malts. Touch of caramel.

Nice smooth mouthful. Nice sweetness but not overly sweet. Creamy. Lots of vanilla and caramel flavor. Faintly woody finish Lends balance to the beer adding a bit of dryness. A few astringencies but other wise a nice easy drinking milk stout.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

1753rd Review on BA
Bottle to Woodshop Snifter
12oz

Purchased at Binnys Forest Park, IL

App- Out of the gate, I thought this was a RIS w/vanilla. It wasnt. The label of the milk stout is right. A bit lighter in browns and tans with a semi deep center. Once compacted on itself. Its a bit darker than pouring would suggest. A small 1/2" fizzy head was there and then gone.

Smell- A bit sweet on the nose. The vanilla is a bit light for me, but blended well with a bit of a brown ale note and lends itself to a nice healthy malt base. A bit lactose and lacking a big punch. However, at 6% was not expecting to be overpowered either.

Taste- This was pretty good. A bit light on the vanilla again for me, but still flavorful and well balanced. A bit sweet and dessert forward. A bit roasty and malty with some sugary milk flavors.

Mouth- A lighter medium body with a smooth medium carbonation. The residual flavors are of malts, vanilla and a little bit of a grainular sugar flavor.

Drink- Pretty good. Was part of a mix 6 at Binnys and I like Vanilla in my beers. Couldve been a touch better, but thats just my opinion. Would probably add more vanilla to this if I was at home.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

The final bottle left from my Friar Tuck's run prior to my buddy's wedding. It pours a deep black-brown topped by a short half-finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises cocoa powder, vanilla bean, light roasted malts, and a drop or two of molasses. The taste holds notes of dark cola, light roasted malts, vanilla bean, and a dusting of dark chocolate powder. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, an alright stout, but one that comes in too thin, both in terms of body and in terms of robustness of flavor. Not bad, but not quite good, either.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.59/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Vanilla, Hazelnut, Coffee, ThIn looking with a small white head. Black color with a hint of Brown.More vanilla lacking some carbonation, but smooth aftertaste.Nice Beer, definitely more impressive than the Leinenkugels Vanilla Porter.

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Photo of jaredsmith83
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big Muddy is regional for me and a beer that's pretty prevalent around here so I've been able to try all of their offerings thus far. I keep going back to this vanilla stout in hopes that it will change, but, something about it doesn't resonate with me. Its got a great black look to it, very strong. The smell is on point with a sweet stout, you pick up a bit of vanilla in it along with your standard stout smell. The taste, however, is where it loses me. The vanilla in it tastes overly artificial and has that fake sweetness about it. After a while, its almost overwhelming in the beer. It is lighter body, but doesn't really have the creaminess of a milk stout. It is a good stout for the summertime, as its light qualities don't leave it riding heavy in you. I keep going back to it as I like supporting those close by, but its definitely not a stout that I go to.

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Photo of MIchelle
3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a great , easy drinking dark brew. Pours a nice dark brown, very bubbly. You could almost mistake for a glass of coke lol. The head is super thin maybe a 1/4"very light colored. It has a pleasant vanilla smell but it's very light. The taste is very light and refreshing. A nice light vanilla taste but not super sweet and over bearing. Very easy drinking. If your looking for a very full bodied, intense, and interesting beer this isn't it but it is great to sip and i'd buy it again. It's not as complex as many of the beer styles I purchase but sometimes a nice easy drinking beer is called for. :)

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark cola brown, almost black. Medium sized, light, bubbly, light tan head. Average retention leaving very little lace.

S - Loads of vainilla. Some chocolate, cola and anise aroma. Reminds me of root beer really.

T - Tastes even more like root beer. Also has a slight cream soda sweetness to it. Hints of chocolate and a touch of licorice, but it's more or less like drinking slightly flat root beer with a bit of cream soda added.

M - Medium body with lower than average carbonation. Slick and wet feeling.

D - Easy to drink stout. Alcohol is non-existent. Fairly sweet but not cloying. Slick and just goes down the throat easily.

Notes: Very much like drinking root beer without the carbonation. Doesn't exactly taste or feel like I'm drinking a beer. It's not bad, but it's different, although I think it could work well for certain situations.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

-to ben.

A: Cola pour, creamy topping with a khaki-walnut colored head of average retention and small lacing there-after.

S: Accents of rootbeer, ginger and freshly granulated chocolate with a heavy hand of vanilla syrup. Finishing hints of fresh cocoa powder, pancake syrup and toffee sweetness. Nice balance, strength and retention.

T: Flavor was rootbeer and vanilla syrup forward, sweet, with ginger and a boat load of vanilla. Caramel-toffee, hazelnut coffee and sweet cocoa with some sweet vienna malts. Hints of melon fruitiness.

M: Syrupy mouthful, cola like texture and depth, sticky, medium body with a light carbonation.

O: Loads of vanilla sweetness, nice start but is overly sweet for multiples, more of a dessert beer where moderation is the key.

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Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a short beige head that quickly died down, leaving some lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of vanilla extract are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the beer tastes likes someone poured a bunch of vanilla extract into a stout, although not necessarily in a bad way.
M: It feels a bit shy of being medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This isn't a bad beer if you like vanilla, but the taste doesn't seem to be very balanced and is just dominated by vanilla extract flavors. It could use complexity in the form of some other flavors.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up last week down at Buy-Rite in Jersey City. I only saw one other store here in Jersey that had this available but this was the only place that had it via the single bottle. I expected this to be sweet, full-bodied, and to have a strong vanilla taste. One out of three may work in baseball but here, it meant that this beer felt a bit short. It was not that sweet, quite thin, and hit me over the head with what flavor it embodied. If you're a fan of vanilla and like a beer that's claims it's a Stout but feels like it's a Porter, than look no further. This is your brew!

The pour wasn't anything special, as it poured a deep raisin brown with just a hint of light coming through around the edges. Not much of an aroma to this (besides vanilla) and the same was true for the head and lacing, which were thin and short-lived. Lots of vanilla bean to the taste with some hints of powered cocoa, oat, and just a touch of currant. The carbonation was thin so this felt quite thin since there wasn't much to scrub after each sip and there was just a hint of roasted malt in the aftertaste as well.

For a beer that was 6.00% ABV, this felt a bit stronger. I could feel the booze slowly sneaking up on me but it wasn't enough to knock me out. The lactose, sugar, and strong bitter chocolate that characterizes so many Milk/Sweet Stouts was NOT here at all and even though this wasn't bad to drink, I had to drop it a bit in the ratings only because it didn't hold true to style. Some chocolate malt or a fuller body could have made this really great but as is, it's just a beer to mindlessly down while pondering what might have been....

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Photo of dbl_delta
3.69/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Undated bottle into pint glass. Murky amber-brown with a 1.5 finger light tan head. Initial impression is - d'oh - vanilla. Slightly bitter vanilla - not a hops bitterness, but it's like the vanilla masks the malt and pretty much everything else. On the thin side for a stout - mouthfeel is medium and I think it should be heavier/creamy to go with the vanilla theme. Alcohol is not at all evident. Finishes slightly bitter, with a vanilla aftertaste.
Too one-dimensional for my tastes. There are better stouts out there.

 530 characters

Photo of Neorebel
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Vanilla Stout pours a translucent dark brown color, with a thin soda-like head. Minimal lacing, but there is definitely some carbonation present. Not bad for the appearance. The smell is very interesting - the first thing that comes to mind is candy - like toffee and caramels. Vanilla taffy. Roasted malt aroma is also big. The flavor is a lot like the aroma - a bit one-dimensional. My first impression was that the vanilla tasted a little artificial or perhaps that it was a little too much. However, after allowing the beer to sit a little while, it grew on me. Basically, this is a decent milk stout with a dose of vanilla ice cream, if you can imagine that. The flavor lingers a while in the finish, which is nice. Light mouth feel and body. Overall - worth a try, if you like light, sweet stouts.

 803 characters

Photo of Suds
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a very dark, nearly black beer with a tan head. The aroma is overwhelmingly vanilla. It borders on over-done vanilla bean. Some chocolate and a bit of espresso underneath. The taste is slightly sweet, with some bitterness. The vanilla carried over in the mid taste. Moderately creamy mouthfeel, but it lacked depth. Overall, it was pretty good.

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Photo of MickeyBeer
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle that I picked up the local store and poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a brown color with about one finger of light tan head that disappeared almost immediately. Not all that impressive of an appearance for a stout.

S- Smell is sweet and pleasant. Vanilla is the dominating aroma along with sweet malts.

T- Roasty malt flavors along with vanilla and coffee. Also picking up on a little bit of a root beer flavor. Overall, the flavor is sweet and smooth.

M- Mouthfeel is surprisingly light for a stout. Carbonation is medium-light. This is a brew that I could have several of and not exhaust my taste buds. It is smooth, but easy to drink.

O- A tasty brew, but not much like a stout in my opinion. Almost more like a porter. Still a tasty beer that I would have again, but wouldn't necessarily seek out.

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Photo of Gavage
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a dark brown almost black color with a short one finger head.

Smell: vanilla and some roasted tones come through to the nose.

Taste: roasted malt, big vanilla flavor, some softer molasses tones, and prunes are balanced with some floral hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Light crispness to start, smooth at the finish. Aftertaste is laced with continuing vanilla flavor.

Overall: this stout is a bit sweet and full of vanilla flavors, so don't expect a hearty stout here. Slow sipping but not a bad beer at all.

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Vanilla Stout from Big Muddy Brewing
3.72 out of 5 based on 167 ratings.
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