Odd Side Ales

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #681
Ranked #2,151
4.19 | pDev: 8.59%
Odd Side Ales
Michigan, United States
Notes: This complex imperial chocolate coffee stout aged in bourbon barrels provides a mouth watering vanilla, oak, whiskey, chocolate and espresso flavors.
Reviews: 60 | Ratings: 360 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into Thulsa Doom. Trade from superspak.

Deep, thick shiny black brings an obsidian nucleus with coffee brown edging. The head is a beige fingernail.

Wow, lots of vanilla on the nose. Some mocha. Espresso. Sweet caramel bourbon barrel. Mmm.

Flavor brings intense antiseptic, with flavors of bright fruits soaked in dark roast coffee. A continual mild flavor of cherry cough syrup throughout the whole beer, unbelievably realistic. Some sweet orange peel, molasses, dark berry, burnt caramel, slight vanilla, and intense peppery roasted coffee. The antiseptic barrel comes in at the end again to sandwich the entrance and the closure. Lots of lingering roasty bitterness. More cherry cough syrup drying on the finish.

Feel is slick. Very slick, like oil. Coats the palate. Burning heat from the barrel and booze. Resins and alcohol dryness close out the profile.

Overall, a pretty decent bourbon barrel stout, but just a little too intense/antiseptic for me. It reminds me of Vicks44 and being sick and a pile of Kleenex. It's very forward in its flavors but they are both charred and medicinal. Worth a try if you are curious.

 1,155 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2018; bottled 01/26/2018

Appearance: black body with thin cap of off white head.

Smell: very chocolatey aroma. Smells very rich and sweet. No distinct coffee notes or bourbon notes.

Taste: Liquid milk chocolate bar. Not tasting much coffee. Not tasting much bourbon. Getting a very rich vanilla taste. Maybe that is the bourbon barrels contribution to the beer flavor?

Mouthfeel: thin body; on par with most Odd Side stouts. Really sticky and slightly boozey, but that maybe due to the richness that this beer has.

Overall: Nice stout from Oddsides, but there are better barrel aged options from this brewery.

 623 characters

Photo of Wolvmar
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

16oz growler from Barrels & Vines. Bottled 7/18/18. Drank 7/20/18. 10% ABV.

Pour: small tumbler. Almost no head despite seemingly good carbonation when opened. Dark brown/black.

Nose: vanilla, coffee, chocolate. Not overpowering at all and not a lot of alcohol present.

Taste: vanilla was surprisingly strong but not overdone. Although a bit more than I like. Chocolate, mild coffee, slight bourbon tone. There’s a lot going on but all very subtle.

Mouthfeel: this is chewy. Fairly well carbonated for the style but easily drinkable. Really nice.

Overall: a typical well-done BBA coffee stout. However, the relatively strong vanilla nose and taste keeps it a little below others in my book. Would drink again and enjoy but won’t actively seek it out.

 764 characters

Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


A: Dark roasted malts, chocolate, light coffee, followed by vanilla and moderately light bourbon.

A: Black color, opaque, with a thin, uniform tan head that quickly recedes into the glass.

T: Rich chocolate like roasted malts, light coffee, followed by vanilla and light bourbon and moderately light roasted malt bitterness on the finish.

M: Full bodied with moderately light carbonation.

O: Awesome; the beer has great chocolate and coffee notes that well balanced by the vanilla and bourbon character.

 517 characters

Photo of floyd_pugman
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Early 2018 release. Poured into a stemless Darkstar November glass. Deep dark espresso color. Nose is molasses, dark chocolate fudge, oak, roasted malt, mild coffee. Mouthfeel is moderately rich and mildly sludgy. Palate is caramel, vanilla, molasses, fudge, mild coffee, and finishes with plum. Only moderate barrel notes and complexity.

It’s good but not great; would be better with more barrel character. It beats more basic shelf BA stouts like Lagunitas and KBS, but nothing worth chasing.

 504 characters

Photo of AyatollahGold
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black beer with a very thin khaki colored head. Head is mainly just an outer ring along the glass.
Nose is boozy with notes of vanilla, bourbon and some oak.
Taste is great. Notes of bourbon, vanilla and oak with some coffee/espresso notes as well all bouncing off each other.
Has a nice warm feeling without being too boozy or having a whiskey burn.
Overall, I think this is a great beer with many dimensions to it and great balance.

 444 characters

Photo of Blackop555
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black. Foamy, short, tan head that fades fast.

Smells light coffee, bourbon, chocolate, roast malt and vanilla hints.

Tastes roast malts, coffee and dark fruit. Followed by chocolate, light vanilla and bourbon hints. Finish is dry with a roasty linger. Lighter Medium body and creamy lower Medium carbonation.

 317 characters

Photo of buschbeer
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours black and is topped with an inch of tan head that leaves very little lacing.

The smell is pretty nice. I get light bourbon and coffee notes with a lot of milk chocolate.

I get a lot of chocolate in the flavor with some hints of bourbon. There is a little black coffee in the finish.

Full mouthfeel with low carbonation

This beer is not as good as it is fresh. I thought it was a 2015 and was avoiding it, so I left it in the cellar too long. The smell is fantastic still, but the flavor is a little oxidized.

 575 characters

Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Super smooth coffee bourbon stout. Fresh Rich coffee grounds and vanilla, spicy bourbon oak on the aroma. Taste is very smooth- the coffee and roasty malts stand up to the barrel treatment for a well balanced palate. Feel is very smooth and helps the flavors linger. A great winter beer, and one of the better Bourbon aged coffee stouts around. One of Odd Side's best for sure.

 381 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
3.24/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I hate rating infected beers but this is going south. 2015 consumed in March 2016. Tart cherry and pomegranate. I can sense the potential but the body is thinning and this is only going to get worse.

 199 characters

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on 2/20 out of a swingtop growler filled at Odd Side one week prior, on 2/13. Poured into a imperial pint glass.

Appearance (4.0) - Poured somewhat aggressively to coax out two fingers of creamy, cocoa-hued foam that retains for a minute or two before slowly fading to a bit of film across the surface of the liquid and a few streaks of darker brown lace on the sides of the glass. The body is walnut dark brown, bordering on black.

Smell (4.0) - The aroma is well-blended, with several elements coming out in a cohesive whole--baker's chocolate, sweet coffee and caramel notes and sort of a dessert-like sweetness that hints at lactose, even though I don't think this is a milk stout. The barrel is hiding there, but it is definitely subtle, with none of the astringency that can sometimes come through in harsher barrel-aged stouts.

Taste (4.25) - The smell really provides a nice preview of what's to come with the flavor. Rich chocolate and mocha coffee are the predominant profiles, but there is still some bourbon in there to provide a nice bit of counterpoint, but without the heat. Some residual flavor characteristics in the form of vanilla, lactose sugar, marshmallow, all serving to meld the coffee and chocolate into something that is less pungent than you often get from coffee stouts. Roasted malts provide a nice semi-bitter finish that prevents this from becoming cloying.

Mouthfeel (4.25) - Body is medium, with lowish carbonation levels, but there is a distinctly creamy component to it that makes it feel a little bit fuller than it might otherwise. There isn't a ton of body, but it still gives a filling impression.

Overall (4.0), a well-done beer from Odd Side. It's not my favorite of their excellent barrel-aged stout offerings, but it stands out in how easy it is to drink for something with coffee and chocolate and then stuck in bourbon barrels. The flavors all meld together quite well, which makes it go down smooth, but with lots of flavor. The only drawback is that it can become a tad monotonous over a full growler of it. Still, that never seems to prevent me from finishing one over a couple days.

 2,144 characters

Photo of Sabtos
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nose of coffee, maple-even. Though, maple is not listed.

Taste of creamy bitter chocolate stout and maybe even a sort of cedar. Bourbon is not too hot.

Restrained use of barrel. Less is more here. Not to die for, but better than many trade-bait whales.

 254 characters

Photo of Lazhal
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Very slight unpleasant aroma in the 2017 bottles. Smells very medicine like.

Mouthfeel is thick, silky, and luscious. Absolutely lovely. Not sure it gets any better.

Solid flavor. One thing that strikes me is that it is completely devoid of the leathery, tobacco flavors I get in a lot of BA stouts.

Don't want this glass to end!

 336 characters

Photo of EyePeeAyBryan
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark and smells of rich chocolate and a small amount of bourbon and a touch of coffee. Nice lacing, superb taste with a near perfect balance of flavors (sweet, bitter (hops?), cocoa, bourbon) and the alcohol is hidden very well. Solid brew.

 246 characters

Photo of TheGent
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Many thanks to beergorilla for a 32oz Governor's Quarter growler of this delicious Michigan-made stout.

A: Pours an opaque viscous black coffee colored liquid. Thick espresso foam brown head that disappears and leaves minimal but very sticky residue along the glass. No visible carbonation.

S: The nose is phenomenal, dominated by coffee and chocolate, with notes of cinnamon, coconut, raisins, smores, chocolate pudding and some smooth bourbon.

T: Sweet milk chocolate up front followed quickly by a bitter cocoa, coffee, raisin flavor across the middle and back. Slight touch of cream. Bitter roasted malt, long dry bitter coffee finish. Not getting much from the bourbon barrel here.

M: It is a bit thin, but smooth with a touch of carbonation.

D: From the nose, which is unsurpassed, to the bold sweet and bitter flavors, none being overly dominant, this stout exceeds most others. Delicious beer I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to try.

 966 characters

Photo of BigRedDog
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark, murky black with no head. Slight mocha colored bubble line the outside of the glass.

Smell is big on coffee, bourbon, and vanilla. A slight caramel sweetness is present as well. Maybe even some maple syrup...

Taste is oak and vanilla with a nice rounding out of semi sweet chocolate and bitter coffee. Slight caramelization of some of the flavors and a lingering roast that coats the tongue.

Mouthfeel is interesting. This beer is basically flat. Other say the mouthfeel is too thin. I think with a decent amount of carb this beer would become thick and syrupy. I for one do enjoy the low/no carb. That being said I can see how most people say it is thin. A little bit more body and this beer would be much better.

Overall a great beer. Nice roast and breakfast character. Not heavy for the alcohol content. Good balance.

 839 characters

Photo of WhoKnew23
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This is an awesome stout. There is almost a smores component to it. It may just be me, but I taste a nutty taste throughout, which is really yummy. Like others said, it is a little on the thin side. However, the taste more than makes up for it.

 244 characters

Photo of PHBoiler
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A tad on the thin side, but marshmallow and chocolate. Little roast from the coffee but light on the bitterness. bourbon blends seamlessly with no heat. Excellent stout.

 172 characters

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer was a murky black color with few mocha bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smell - The nose is most noted for sweet chocolate.

Taste - My initial impression is sweet baker's chocolate followed by the booze. The coffee is present but leans toward the back. The chocolate and coffee present a dry aftertaste that is slightly warming.

Mouthfeel - For a stout, I found this to be thin. Like most people, this is my major crticism. It needs more body.

Overall - I was not blown away, but I rather enjoyed this beer.

 548 characters

Photo of K-Dog
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

When I first tried this almost 2 years ago I wasn't sure how good a thin 7% bb stout Could Really be. This beer is fantastic. Bough 6 bottle last fall. Have drank 4 every couple of weeks. Drinking one now with 6 months if age and will save the other for about another six months. It's a shame odd sides is retiring this gem. Please bring back again sometime in the future.

 372 characters

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.84/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Fantastic coffee profile. Light on the barrel. Charred malts, sweet, light body, and very drinkable. Solid coffee stout that is best for those that don't want a huge battle influence. Terrific balance.

 202 characters

Photo of FaradayUncaged
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, dark brown to black with very little dark khaki head that disipates quickly to a lingering ring around the surface. A nice soapy lacing present during drinking.

Aroma is amazingly delicious. Heavy roasted malt here with cocoa, coffee, caramelized sugars, not as much bourbon as expected and just just a slight tinge of lingering alcohol at the finish. Loving the earthy, oaky, campfire marshmallow smell throughout.

Taste of hugely roasted malt, cocoa, caramel, coffee, bourbon barrel (though again much more subtle then expected), and just a hint of vanilla. The alcohol is well balanced and/or hidden even as it warms. I get a lot of sweetness from the aroma but very little from the taste as the finish is fairly dry and tending towards bitter.

Mouthful is quite nice being medium to full even with light carbonation.

Overall a fantastic stout and for me an even better bourbon barrel aged variety. Surprisingly easy to drink and seems to disappear all too quickly. A must buy again in the future.

 1,031 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle received in a trade with mikeyson4 recently, thanks dude.

Pours a fairly dark, but not entirely opaque, black color, with a quarter inch head, and basically no lacing.

Smells like coffee, molasses, chocolate, and caramelized sugar. Smells pretty sweet.

This tastes good, but it's a tiny bit too sweet to be top level. Very sweet, cream and coffee flavor, with some sweet chocolate syrup, molasses, and a little bit of caramel. The barrel character is pretty light, and not all that prominent. I get a little bit of sweet bourbon, but no oak.

This is medium bodied, slightly thin for the style, but not that much to it's detriment. It's got a pretty low level of carbonation.

This is a pretty solid "light" BA stout for when you don't want to get wrecked.

 766 characters

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.02/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle...courteous extra via Justin..thanks man!

Dark pour with a short lived cinnamon head.

Smells of powdered cocoa and not much else.

Taste is odd....gobs of Nesquik...artificial powdered chocolate...tinny, metallic notes...barrel is negligible. Some tart red apple notes and dark fruits poke around.

Carb is high, body is light, and there's just a "fake" taste here that doesn't jive with me... that and the red apple tartness that lingers. Guess either this is a bunk bottle or my palate just doesn't dig on the masses.

 536 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.81/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

An aroma of chocolate rice crispier treats? Some bland coffee and a bit of toffee in the flavor. Medium body somewhat low carbonation, dry finish. Not bad, perhaps a touch oxidized, and just a little too thin to fulfill its potential.

 237 characters

Morningwood from Odd Side Ales
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 360 ratings