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Vanilla Stout | Big Muddy Brewing

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Vanilla StoutVanilla Stout

Brewed by:
Big Muddy Brewing
Illinois, United States

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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 165
Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

 414 characters

Photo of FosterJM
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

1753rd Review on BA
Bottle to Woodshop Snifter

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 Gavage
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
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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Photo of Lemke10
4.06/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a dark brown color with a foamy, light brown head. The scent is mildly malty with hints of vanilla. The texture is thin yet a little creamy. You can definitely taste the vanilla in the flavor. It’s kind of like a vanilla cream soda with deeper robust flavors. Fairly decent as it’s better than some vanilla beers on the market but I’ve had at least one other beer that was better with its use of vanilla. An easy find for me, but I guess they are a smaller operation.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown - near black in color, with minimal cap of bone white head, moderate lacing. Scent is strong with vanilla... Smells more natural than artificial, malts are dark and toasty, light creamy sweetness. Taste hits with vanilla, bitter on the tongue, helped along by light cream and sugar, roasted grain with notes of chocolate and coffee, faint stone fruit. Medium bodied, biggest issue is the lack of smoothness, creaminess or heft, would have upped the score a touch. Another nice, comfortable and approachable brew from the Midwest.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.57/5  rDev -4.3%
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 bnes09
3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

 551 characters

Photo of sleuthdog
2.61/5  rDev -30%
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 match1112
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: dark brown, almost black. inch of creamy brown head has decent staying power leaving moderate lacing behind.

s: vanilla, chocolate, cocoa, caramel, dark chocolate.

t: vanilla and chocolate, no detectable hops or anything that would make me think this is a milk stout instead of just another vanilla infused stout.

m: a lot thinner than i would of hoped for, pours about the same consistency of soda. carbonation was good, not quite as sticky as i was expecting either. rich and creamy.

o: reminds me of a vanilla cream soda more than a stout. otherwise very drinkable

 574 characters

Photo of tlazaroff
4.06/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On the nose I get roast, baking cocoa, and slight vanilla. I expected there to be a lot more vanilla, but maybe it'll show itself in a different way.

Its dark dark brown with ruby highlights where the light peeks through. The head is a light mocha that provides interesting lacing that reminded me of hieroglyphics at first.

On my first sip, I found the vanilla. It's like biting into a vanilla bean and scooping out the seed with your teeth. The vanilla is so strong, thats almost all I taste. I get some residual cocoa notes, but this is mostly straight vanilla. It's so good!

Light carbonation and a medium body allow this beer to be enjoyed as a sipping beer, when the alcohol is a bit lower than normal for that designation. It's easy to drink though, and is pretty much desert in a glass.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

 815 characters

Photo of unibrew
4.45/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this beer to be very drinkable. The vanilla IS strong up front, but, with balance..not too sweet. Sweet enough though. I would like it to be a little thicker, but, it's not imperial, so, mouth feel is a little on the thin side for my tastes. What it is though, is a very drinkable stout, heavy on the vanilla. Don't expect anything more. It's not complex. Just a straightforward vanilla stout. Sound good to you? Tastes great to me! Very enjoyable. I'd buy it again.

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Photo of emerge077
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time seeing the bottles locally, revisiting this as i've only tried it on tap before. Bomber was $8 which seemed a little high, but on par with similarly packaged beers.

Black with brownish edges, lots of drippy lace in the glass, a bit of a contrast from the draft version. One finger of tan foam rises and sticks to the sides of the glass, thin skim of tan foam across the surface.

Sweet vanilla bean aroma, definitely authentic and very aromatic. Probably the best aspect of this beer, it has a nice trace of underlying cocoa. Similar flavors of cocoa and vanilla, blending more seamlessly and smoothly than the draft version. Light roast, dry finish, not overly sweet at all. Fairly straightforward. Body is a touch light, but it's very drinkable.

 760 characters

Photo of FreshHawk
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

 856 characters

Photo of C2H5
3.12/5  rDev -16.4%
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 koutkid41
4.78/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Its a dark black in color. It has a nice creamy tan head great retention.
S: Strong vanilla aroma, not much other notes noticeable but that's okay. Love the smell and aroma of this beer.
T: Vanilla flavor is very noticeable and sweet, but not overpowering. Really nice and smooth on the palate. Cant get enough of the taste. Plenty of sweet vanilla is up front as it should be. Nice balance to the sweetness, with nice hint of chocolate.
M/D: A medium to full body beer. Smooth easy to drink beer that I just cant get enough of.

Big Muddy did an amazing job with this beer, absolutely cant wait to get these in bottles!!

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Photo of seedsofchaos
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this infamous local at Kindling this afternoon after a great black and bleu steak sandwich. Big Muddy hasn't quite made its way to bottling this beer yet and the only way to get it is at one of a few local bars/bistros.

Big Muddy Vanilla is formidable in appearance. It's deceivingly formidable though. Although it never claims to be an Imperial anything, one does get the sense that they are about to drink a big double stout or the likes from the jet-black appearance and skimming of a head. What one does get is a great silky mouthfeel. It's milk-stout-esque if I had to sum it up quickly.

Smell is fairly simple, but good. Vanilla comes out swinging followed by milk chocolate. Aromas are of fresh baked goods. Think oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and milk. Yum. I have to say that this beer, along with Big Muddy Monster, are the best beers from Big Muddy Brewing to date. Flavors follow the bouquet with just the slightest roast and just enough hop bitterness to round the beer out. This definitely is malt forward with tons of vanilla, but balance is there.

A great offering from a local brewery. Nice job, Big Muddy.

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Photo of champ103
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Kindling in Carterville, IL

A: Pours a dark black color. Almost opaque. A two finger tan head forms with excellent retention. Plenty of sticky lace is left behind.
S: Sweet vanilla up front and dominate. Light roasted malt with some chocolate. While the vanilla is not over barring, it is pretty much the only thing going on.
T: Much more balanced flavors here. Plenty of sweet vanilla is up front as it should be. Though more roasted malt to balance out the cloying character of the vanilla. Along with some chocolate in the finish.
M/D: A medium to full body. Smooth carbonation. Very nice body. So easy to drink. A great winter beer, something to sip on during a cold night, but without the high alcohol of most winter warmers.

This is a very nice stout, and a big step up for Big Muddy. Hands down the best they have done, and something I would recommend.

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Photo of cdrogers
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Kindling in Carterville, IL.

It was as dark as a cola with a nice off-white and dark-tan head with a nice head retention while drinking.

Nice balanced vanilla aroma with a little sweetness and malted notes.

I really enjoyed this one. It got the vanilla for sure, but it was very balanced with the hops and the sweetness in the aroma came through with the taste.

Nice carbonation and well-balanced. Was not heavy at all, quite smooth.

Overall, this is a great stout and I really enjoyed the nice vanilla flavor and aroma. Highly recommend as a regular cold-weather beer.

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Vanilla Stout from Big Muddy Brewing
3.73 out of 5 based on 165 ratings.
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