Swanton Rea's Double Chocolate Stout
Hermitage Brewing

Swanton Rea's Double Chocolate StoutSwanton Rea's Double Chocolate Stout
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Hermitage Brewing
California, United States
Stout - American
2.9 | pDev: 24.83%
Mar 18, 2013
Jan 06, 2011
Swanton Rea's Double Chocolate StoutSwanton Rea's Double Chocolate Stout
Notes: None
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1.75 by CommanderOfAwesome from California on Mar 18, 2013
3.25 by Doberman from California on Jan 02, 2013
Photo of BeerManDan
2.75/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5
by BeerManDan from California

Poured a dark brown with tan foam and lace on the side of the glass. The smell of roasted malts with a hint of smoke. The flavor was had a bitter, bitter taste of over roasted malts. Just like burnt coffee taste. The mouthfeel was bitter with no pleasant flavor on the palate. This was so much a dissapointment for this stout.

Aug 21, 2012
3 by steve8robin from Massachusetts on Apr 29, 2012
3.5 by sandy408 from California on Apr 14, 2012
Photo of Drinkerofales
3.19/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by Drinkerofales from California

Pours dark brown, almost black and brown on the edges, with a small mocha head that dissipated quickly to leave some lacing.

Smell is roasted malt, dark chocolate and dark fruit, and some booze. Smell is great.

Taste is overly bitter chocolate and roasted malt. There is some hop in there, but this is a really one dimensional flavor overall.

The beer is thin, and not much body. The low carbonation leave gives you and alcoholic bite that is unappealing.

I liked the 500ml size, but this was kind of boring. The smell was great, and I had high hopes, but that was the best part of the beer. If only it had it lived up to the aroma.


Feb 25, 2012
Photo of McD0uche
2.69/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5
by McD0uche from California

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass:

A: Dark brown with reddish hues. No head nor lacing. A few copper bubbles dance pitifully on the surface.

S: Deep, dark chocolate. Sweet. Toasted malts, and a kind of smokey smell. Probably the best quality of this beer.

T: Heavy dark chocolate. Ends bitter, tastes boozy throughout the experience.

M: Very carbonated, with a lighter body. Crisp, if that makes sense. This doesn't feel right in my mouth at all.

O: I was disappointed in this one. The smell had hints of a good experience, but it fell short overall.

Feb 16, 2012
4.5 by tirlzx from California on Feb 11, 2012
4 by EddieG28 from California on Feb 01, 2012
4 by NickMunford from Wyoming on Jan 22, 2012
2.5 by RXUYDC from California on Jan 07, 2012
3.5 by tbeq00 from California on Dec 27, 2011
Photo of DarthKostrizer
2.29/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5
by DarthKostrizer from California

Look: Black and totally opaque with a good 1/2 inch head and above average retention

Smell: Roasted malt and dark chocolate

Taste: A bit of the same from the nose but it has a bit of oxidation and metallic notes and finishes with a rough roasted malt character and some ash

Mouthfeel: Medium body and low carbonation

Overall: This is truly a waste of money and should be avoided

Dec 13, 2011
2 by nmann08 from Virginia on Nov 18, 2011
2 by codynevels from California on Nov 16, 2011
Photo of Zorro
3.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
by Zorro from California

Very dark brown colored beer with net to no head.

Smell is very strong patent malt. Smells bittersweet with chocolate, coffee and faint smoke. Cake batter malt aroma. No real hop scent.

Starts out neutral in sweetness and lots of patent malt and not much else. And that is about it for the flavor, never really develops and seems thin in the mouth.

Mouthfeel is decidedly thin.

Overall not impressed or entertained either. Pretty much what can minimally called a Stout. Highly disappointing.

Nov 13, 2011
Photo of broken22
3.83/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by broken22 from California

Pours out a nice and dark with very minimal head. The smell is not to strong but what I can smell seems a little on the bitter side of sweet. This beer has flavor throughout. I can really taste the chocolate. It reminds me of 70% dark cacao flavor especially on the back end. The back end really feels like I had just at a piece of chocolate because it has the same lingering bitterness. This has a very nice amount of carbonation that bites the tongue.

Overall I like this brew. I don't know why it got such low reviews. I think it's a damn decent chocolate beer. The label is pretty cool. They used design elements from old dollar bills.

Aug 08, 2011
Photo of brentk56
2.68/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
by brentk56 from North Carolina

Appearance: Pours a cocoa brown color with a modest head; leaves a squiggle or two behind

Smell: Burnt toast and cocoa

Taste: Burnt toast, up front, with a chocolate addition that adds a phenolic character by mid-palate; after the swallow, the chocolate flavor returns to prominance but there is a burnt, phenolic off flavor that disturbs the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Nice label - thought this was going to be something special; my mistake

Jul 14, 2011
Photo of comfortablynumb1
2.83/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
by comfortablynumb1 from California

Poured from 500ml bottle into an Old Raspy pint glass. Front label states 'Irondale Brewery'...

A - Pours black with a two finger light brown head on fairly aggressive pour. Head dissipates rather quick, but here is some slippery lacing to be had...

S - Dark roasted malts, black coffee, and dark chocolate...

T - Lots of bitter cocoa notes. A little over the top. Also pick up some black roasted cofee and dark roasted malts. Ends with some lingering cocoa and a good dose of bitter hops. Finish is dry. Abv is well hidden...

M - Pretty light. On the lower side of medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation and a dry finish...

O - Price/taste ratio is way out of whack here. I paid 7 dollars for a 500ml bottle. Hermitage needs to reassess their product, and adjust the price accordingly. If this brew was half the price I would have given it a higher overall score. Glad I got a chance to try this, but not something that I will be buying again in the near future...


Jul 10, 2011
Photo of mdfb79
2.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
by mdfb79 from New York

From 06/04/11 notes. Bottled shared by BigSexy410; thanks man. Poured into a tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown color with a few light tan bubbles of head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, and a little bit of sweet sugar or fruit. I'm also getting something that isn't too enjoyable, making me think something is slight off. It's like a little bit of wet dog. Not that great.

t - Taste is a definite step up from the nose, but I'm still not crazy about it. tastes of roasted malts, and very light chocolate. Nothing bad or offensive about it, but just kind of roasted malts.

m - Body is very watery, with a light feel and low carbonation. Would have liked a thicker body and a bit more carbonation.

o - Overall not that great of a stout. The taste is fine/average, with roasted malts being mostly it, but the body was a bit too thin and the nose had something weird to it in my opinion. Wouldn't seek out again.

Jun 07, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.57/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
by lacqueredmouse from Australia

Ah, Hermitage. I feel a connection with you because I feel a connection with San Jose. Some day, you will make me a truly good beer. Is this the one?

Pours a dark and relatively opaque brown-black with a frothy and quite consistent head of ochre brown. Lacing is sheeting and pleasant. Head collapses after a while, and the body is very thin—especially for a beer weighing in at 8% ABV, but it looks decent enough.

Nose is roasty and pleasant, giving a good dash of dry and dusty cocoa to the underlying characters of roasted barley and bitter charred grain. Not particularly sweet overall, but with the potential for sweetness, like a good espresso. Not bad at all.

Taste is rather thin, in fact disappointingly so, but with a pleasant lilting roasted dryness that makes a drinkable dose out of a rather simple palate. Roasted grain on the front, with a slight cocoa semi-sweetness mid palate. Back is very dry, and the feel is woefully thin, giving little complexity or basis on the finish.

I'm afraid that Hermitage are yet to wow me, yet again, but this beer is not unpleasant. It's generally tasty, well put together and drinkable. Sure, it's missing depth, complexity and character, but it's relatively easy to drink, and is surprisingly supple for a beer weighing in at 8% ABV.

It's certainly something I'd consider picking up again. I'm surprised at how low it's rating is.

May 11, 2011
Photo of 4000qtrap
1.27/5  rDev -56.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1
by 4000qtrap from Missouri

Source/Serving: 16oz bottle, no expiration date

S: Overwhelmingly tangy with a light coffee/cocoa nib character. The tangy red grape is dominant and quite unpleasant.

T: Sweet and tangy up front that covers over any malt character with a syrupy blandness. Once the malts do break from under the cover they are pleasant with a dry chocolate graininess and moderate bitterness. Clean flavors, though without much depth or complexity, but they only show up 2/3 of the way through the sip. In the finish the sweet/tang returns obliterating any redeeming quality.

Notes: If I didn't have friends over it would have been a drain pour. My darn phone didn't get good reception in the Bevmo else I would have read the reviews and never touched this stuff given my previous experience with Hermitage. This is my last Hermitage brew. Ever. They are not even just average, rather bad across the board and this one isn't even cheap.

May 02, 2011
Photo of SolomonGrundy
2.11/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2
by SolomonGrundy from California

Ahh crap...I didn't realize this was a Hermitage beer....Hopefully they're contract brewing the stuff and not just slapping an obfuscatory label on a bottle filled with crap swill...

The basics: A whopping $8.99/500ml bottle (OUCH! Take that knife outta my back!) and 8% ABV...

Pours a nice, dense near-to-opaque blackish-brownish with only a hint of mahogany at the edges when held to the light. A short, soapy tan head tops it off, with decent lacing.

Aroma has a sort of "sour milk" character to it. I hope that's not indicative of a crappy beer, but I'm thinking maybe so. That scent colors the whole aroma profile, such that it all has this unpleasant character to it. I get some roasty-roast-o malt components, but they're really masked by the horrible sour milk...

Flavor is uber-tangy. Almost TOO tangy. And the sour milk is definitely there. It's like bad cream...This is painfully unpleasant. There is a certain effervescent character to the carbonation, too. Almost like it's not naturally carbonated. The chocolate promsied, bespoken of by the label, is hardly noticeable amid the squall of bad flavors here. The finish is quite dry and carries, finally, some of the better characteristics of this beer: roasted chocolate malt and a touch of hops. This is way too expensive for what it is: a run of the mill, to poor, stout that might even be somehow spoiled, if that's possible. Avoid...

What I like most: Not a whole lot, to be honest.

What I like least: The sour milk characteristics, for certain, but none of it is very good.

Verdict: Essentially crap, and this, unfortunately, happens to be Hermitage's M.O. Avoid like the sweating sickness...

Mar 25, 2011
Photo of Bigfatbino
3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5
by Bigfatbino from California

A = Dark brown / black in the glass, poured with a frothy head that dissipated after a minute or so.

S = rich and "chocolatey" (not 'sweet' though) - with plenty of floral notes and a powerful roasted aroma.

T = mild acidity on my palate it seems. mild bitterness. a few roasted coffee notes, but not the "double chocolate" that I would expect. I am not impressed.

M = medium resinous mouthfeel, quickly fades, low carbonation.

D = at over $9.00 per pint bottle (at Bevmo), I will not be having a stout like this anytime soon. For the price, you could get a better flavor from another stout that would be comparable if not better than this offering.

Mar 16, 2011
Photo of DeanMoriarty
3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
by DeanMoriarty from California

Picked up a bottle of this from BevMo in Point Loma and poured it into an Old Speckled Hen pint glass.

A: A rich black pour with a nice root beer colored head that leaves good lacing in my glass from start to finish.

S: Sweet toasted grains, smoky burnt toast, bitter dark chocolate, earthy moss and a hint of booze.

T: Very similar to the nose - bit more smoky bitterness and hop presence, but pretty weak and not much going on at all.

M: Light to medium bodied, very thin and watery - almost like they cut a good batch of stout (???).

D: Don't waste your time if you're looking for a proper stout.

Feb 27, 2011
Photo of tobyandgina
2.85/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5
by tobyandgina from Nevada

Pours out beautifully. Very dark with very little reddish brown highlights. Two fingers of tan head and some nice lacing.

On the nose: dark roasted coffee, slight chocolate, and a very funky, weird wet shoe leather aroma. Not very appealing, kind of scared to sip.

I'll sip anyways: dry roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, not much in the mouthfeel. Very thin with a dry finish. Tastes better than it smells.

In the end, good flavors, but not much in the drinkability department.

Feb 17, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
2.25/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2
by GRG1313 from California

Labeled "Irondale Brewery. Swanton Rea's Double Chocolate Stout"

Pours viscous black with a thick, firm and bold medium dark tan head.

Nose is big assertive plums, sweet dark chocolate and hints of vanilla.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery and not what the pour, appearance or nose promises. Mouthfeel is short and unappealing.

Flavors are medium assertive citric bitter roasted grain. Flavor profile is simple in all respects, including a simple roasted grain character that goes to a simple dull bitter hop grapefruit oil flavor and finish.

In the final analysis this is a watery light bitter stout that really has no character whatsoever.

Jan 06, 2011
Swanton Rea's Double Chocolate Stout from Hermitage Brewing
Beer rating: 73 out of 100 with 28 ratings