Secret Stache Stout | Finch's Beer Co.

very good
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Secret Stache StoutSecret Stache Stout

Brewed by:
Finch's Beer Co.
Illinois, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Vanilla Bean Stout

Added by aasher on 02-26-2012

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Reviews: 136 | Ratings: 698
Photo of match1112
2.8/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours thick and oily lookin, but a lack of head and lacing doesnt set this apart from anything else. smell is some chocolate with a hint of vanilla, kinda sweet like a milk stout. taste is prety plain for a stout with, i hate to say it cause i dont know for sure, but it tastes like imitation vanilla. mouthfeel is thinner than it looks and kinda oily. goes down easy but could use carbonation. overall this is a standard example of a stout. nothing spectacular, but nice and easy to drink at only 5.3%.

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Photo of johnnnniee
2.95/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

16oz can from Sully's
Pours a solid dark brown bordering on black with a smallish tan head that dissipates almost instantly. Aromas of chocolate, roast and vanilla dominate with hints of dark fruit, charred sugar and light earth. The flavor is sweet with big chocolate and vanilla countered with a sharp molasses char kind of flavor happening. Little to no hop flavor or bitterness that I could find. Thick body with an oily sugary mouthfeel and a faint level of carbonation. 5.3 % abv but it drinks like its 9% and thick inky oily as shit. Not something I enjoyed much.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.03/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can purchased at AJ's Beer Warehouse in Henrietta, NY.

This one pours a fairly dark black, with a one inch foamy fluffy head, and a decent amount of lacing.

This one smells like slightly artificial vanilla, and chocolate, with a little roasted malt.

Unfortunately, the vanilla here is a little flat and artificial tasting, not bring a whole lot to the table. There's some chocolate and roasted malt, as expected, but the flavors just seem a bit muted.

This has a watery mouthfeel, with a thin body, and a moderate level of carbonation.

This is certainly a lower-end stout for me. I wish the vanilla had a bit more of a natural or authentic feel.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.19/5  rDev -18%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Close to straight black with some dark brown at the edges when held to light. No head, no carbonation. Smooth and slightly viscous pour. Took me a bit by surprise.

Smell: Roasted. Very soft vanilla. Touches of old coffee with a solid, but not assertive, cocoa and dark chocolate element. Nutty and slightly sweet. Slight push of something almost like oats and lactose. Some darker sugars headed toward molasses, but never quite there. Vanilla comes out a bit more as the beer warms, as does the roasted character.

Taste: More of that roasted malt coupled with some nice hints of creamy vanilla. A nice compliment of roasted coffee beans and a slight touch of burnt malt. Malt sweetness is there, but not too aggressive, allowing some of the bitter roasted elements to shine through. Very minor hop influence, mostly herbal. Not particularly exciting, but solid. Coffee flavor lingers on the back. Slightly ashy with some small hints of licorice.

Mouthfeel: Nice and slick medium body with very minimal carbonation. Clean on the tongue.

Overall: Properly endorsed by Mustachio Furioso.

A decent canned stout. The vanilla adds enough to save it from being average, but doesn't bump it too far either.

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Photo of Monalenard
3.23/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

when i cracked the can i thought this beer had gone completely flat. there was no trace of carbonation until almost half way through the pour. we have a sleeper.

as soon as i started to pour this into my tulip i began to wonder if this might be better served over pancakes. this is one thick beer. i really cant think of anything ive had that was thicker; bourbon county thick. the carbonation finally showed up about 1/3 through pouring. it has a cool kind of guiness rising carbonation effect (the only cool thing about that garbage) only more subdued. you're left with a pint of beer so thick it might as well have been made by ben and jerry with a chewy looking thin but dense cap of dark mocha head.

smells like a pretty typical stout, maybe a little coffee, char, vanilla maybe; i'm trying. It's all pretty faint.

the taste is like that moment when you're blasted out of an acid trip where you're dreaming that you're drinking a beer but you're actually licking an uncleaned BBQ. what the hell? this is liquid char? little tip. let this one breathe a little longer than you would an american stout, normally. it sucks right out of the fridge and NO, i do not keep my beer fridge too cold.

this one just takes a bit longer to warm to a point where you can really taste this beer. after a while its actually quite nice. the vanilla i thought i smelled comes up and there's this off-ish sweet flavor unlike anything else i've tasted in beer before. almost like coffee mate. gotta say, i dont hate it.

The mouthfeel and texture with the carbonation is what i really love about this beer. its so creamy. i love a good thick beer with a nice persistent but small, tingly carbonation. this would do well with a few alterations as an imperial. good beer, kinda weird. let it warm. patience is a virtue.

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Photo of iheartmyTHO
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this beer the other night. I definitely got notes of chocolate and coffee but no vanilla despite the fact that the word vanilla was on the can.

It was a tasty stout - but nothing stuck out to me about it. I've tried plenty of other chocolatey / coffee stouts before and this tasted very similar to those.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.26/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

16 oz can into a pint glass.

A: Pours a nearly pitch black color. Not much head is on this one, which is disappointing - it isn't even a fingers high, but it has a nice khaki shade. The only thing noteworthy about it is the slight lacing it leaves on the glass.

S: There's plenty of roasted malt, which I always love in a stout. Beyond that lies notes of cream, chocolate, and vanilla. The advertised vanilla is evident...but not quite as much as I want it to be. Oh well.

T: However, it does make a decent showing on the palate. Vanilla notes blend fairly well with the cream flavors, before finishing with touches of roasted malt. Decently enjoyable if simplistic and sweet.

M: It doesn't have the finishing dryness I like out of my favorite stouts, nor the body. What it does do well, though, is showcase the vanilla flavors decently through a soft, creamy finish. Carbonation is good, but could aid drinkability a little more.

O: Not bad. It's a bit too sweet for me, though, so I doubt I'll buy this again. Well worth a try if you like vanilla or cream soda.

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Photo of mlichens
3.29/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a tall boy can into a glass beer mug. Almost no head but some slight tan laces. Smell is notably almost absent, but some sweet vanilla and molasses notes.

Taste is rather sweet, though compared to other vanilla beers it is not at all overwhelming. Also, not nearly as sweet as a typical American stout. No hops. Odd, given the many other Chicago/midwestern beers.

The mouthfeel is creamy, to be sure, but more compared to an American ale than a traditional Irish or English stout. Tasty, goes down smooth.

Overall: I'd drink it again with joy if someone bought me a pint but it's not a stout I'd seek out again.

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Photo of HawkD
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I tried this on a whim. I've been pretty happy with most of their offerings up to this point. Poured from 16 oz can into tulip. Pours dark as a moonless night. Nice aroma, chocolate, light coffee and roasted malt no real vanilla. Taste is fair. Not what I was hoping for, kinda blah. Lacking focus. Mouthfeel is slick. Carbonation is too light. Left my upper lip really sticky as if yeast did half the job. Overall, I'm disappointed but like I said these guys generally do a good job.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.32/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

1 PINT can
Served in a snifter

A - It pours black with over an inch of dark mocha head that hangs around awhile.

S - The smell is cocoa and dark chocolate.

T - The taste is dark chocolate followed by burnt popcorn. The bitter burnt flavor grows in intensity with each drink.

M - Seems thin for a stout.

O - The aroma was good. Then it started breaking down. The burnt flavor made it unpleasant by the end.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can into a oversize wine glass. Color was a very dark brown, but not quite black. Had a mocha brown 2 finger head, only lasted a few minutes before leaving just a thin layer. Primary aroma was chocolate, very much like a Hershey's bar. Vanilla with a small hint of pepper in the back. Flavor was very slightly sweet, like watery chocolate milk, but also had sour notes. Coated very well, needed perhaps a touch of carbonation, seemed pretty flat. Overall not bad, but not very flavorful or with any must have qualities.

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Photo of teromous
3.39/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In a can.

Appearance: Black body with a massive foamy light brown head.

Aroma:There is a bit of an acrid aroma like a burnt frying pan and I can smell a spruce-like hop aroma. It isn't a diverse aroma but it has a very unique character that makes it interesting.

Taste: At first it reminds me of coffee and then I get a bit of charcoal flavor. It mentions vanilla on the can but I am not picking that up. It's a pretty average stout.

Mouthfeel: It has a pretty good mouthfeel. It is creamy with a medium thickness and an off-dry finish.

Overall: It's a pretty good stout. I was expecting some vanilla given the labeling on the can, and that was disappointing, but the stout itself is pretty good. On a side note this probably wouldn't be a beer that I would pick up again but because it is in cans I would be more likely to grab some for a camping trip.

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Photo of Cresant
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured this 16 oz. can into a nonic glass. No date on can. The body was an opaque black/brown. The head was dense and tan. Solid lacing remained after a heavy pour.

The smell was ashy and grainy. Molasses and a bit metallic.

The taste was sweet with a deep fruitiness. Dark chocolate and cherry. Very drinkable and the alcohol is well hidden. Vanilla and some metallic notes too. Not off-putting but distinctly metal.

The mouthfeel was creamy with a medium body. Modest carbonation. Overall solid.

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Photo of IPAdams
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a dark motor oil color with a mall tan head that receded quickly.

Smell- Roasted coffee, char, vanilla and some oakiness. Also pick up some caramel and toffee.

Taste- Strong burnt roast flavor with some sweet vanilla to help balance it. Moderate bitterness. The vanilla has some extract flavor to it. Picks up a bit of tart flavor as it warms.

Mouthfeel- Fairly thin body for a stout, pretty dry. Carbonation is good though.

Overall- Not a bad beer but not very complex. Mainly burnt roast and vanilla in both the nose and the head. I'd like the body to be thicker too.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.47/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ Farmhouse.

A - Black with a thin layer of medium brown head

S - Very smoky with some sweet chocolate notes.

T - Very smoky, which was unexpected as this was not advertised in the name or the descrption of the beer. Some roast and chocolate notes present in the background. As the beer starts to warm up, the smoke beomes a little subdued (but still dominant) and the vanilla, which was undetectable previously, starts to show up.

M - Medium body. Silky and creamy. Light carbonation.

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Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -10%

From a can, pours a dark chocolate brown, a little bit of head, but not much.

Nose is toasty, roasted malts, a little vanilla, cocoa and espresso and resin pine hops. The flavor is roast, dark chocolate, resin, earthy notes, a little bit of vanilla an cocoa.

This is good, but no where near the top for the type of beer it is.

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Photo of horshack7
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Rather dark in fact down right black with a dark beige head about an inch thick.

Aroma: Dark roasted coffee, semi sweet and dark chocolate notes. Vanilla bean, roasted malts and hops.

Taste: Lots of dark roasted, dark roasted chocolate, vanilla bean. Hops have a light char. The mouthfeel is smooth with a light dry finish.

Notes: Quite drinkable and very good for a cool night. Cheers.

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Photo of peabody
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a really dark black with very little suds which are tan and very small. Very little lacing
but there are some legs.
Aroma is toasted cinnamon raisin bread with sugar icing. The yeast is pungent through the charred malt.
Taste is sweet charred malt and coffee with the slight hint of dates. A little one sided but for a 5%er this is pretty nice.
Mouthfeel is sticky as all get out.. And just spill some on your hand or face. Sticky sticky sticky.
Overall this is a very nice cold weather daytime drink. You don't have to worry about high abv and this has a big darkness not usually found in 5% beers.

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Photo of fourstringer
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a tallboy can into a Duvel tulip. Moderate hand. No date seen.

A: Very dark ruby-tinted brown body on the pour. Opaque black in the glass. 3 fingers of light mocha-colored head. Good retention. Nice lacing.

S: Coffee, cacao, roasted malt with an earthy character. Subtle vanilla. Very faint smoke. Burnt nuts. Overall, the nose is a bit light. Somewhat medicinal.

T: Tangy, roasted malt initially with a burnt character arising midway. The hops build gradually for a semi-dry finish. Alcohol presence seems disproportionately high for 5.3% ABV.

M: Moderate carbonation with a medium to light body. A touch prickly.

O: Great looking stout that came up a bit short in the taste department. There are some good flavors lurking in there, but the brew struck me as a bit unrefined and somewhat harsh.


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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

$ 2.99/16 oz can at Lager mill
16 oz can ar 45 degrees into imperial pint glass
Aroma of roasted malt and chocolate
Head average (4.5cm), medium brown, creamy with rocks, rapidly diminishing to 2 mm layer
Lacing poor, few small islands of small bubbles
Flavor begins with heavy chocolate presence, which slowly fades from slightly sweet to slighty bitter. No alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl.
Palate is medium to full, creamy, soft carbonation

A not too bad stout, but pretty heavy into the chocolate. Good palate and aroma, but the rapidly diminishing small head and poor lacing detract from the appearance.

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Photo of cbutova
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another new Finch's can I have seen around MA. Love seeing these new cans and some nice styles in them

A- Poured from the can for the review into a giant snifter. Leaves the bottle with a thick, oily consistency and a pitch black body. Small light mocha head raises up to about a finger high and has decent retention. Creamy ring leaves just a few spots of lace.

S- Dark roast malts dominate the aroma but you can tell it is a lower ABV stout right away. Cocoa powder, black grains, coffee beans and toffee notes come to mind. Hints of vanilla and dark fruits in the background.

T- Rich roast malt notes carry over from the aroma with flavors of big cocoa powder, coffee, burnt grains and dark sugars. Vanilla and dark fruit is stronger here as compared to the aroma and the former is quite nice with the other flavors present.

MF- Lactose lends some nice texture but overall it feels a bit thin or watery. Carbonation near the lower end of what I would want for a stout at this ABV. Finishes with some roasty bitterness.

Solid stout with a large cocoa powder flavor and some vanilla. Leaves a bit to be desired in the flavor and body but nothing comes off as bad.

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Photo of funkyaudio
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out a dark brown, appearance is almost black, on the thicker side. thin head atop the liquid. aroma is sweet and of dark chocolate, some vanilla and a bit of lightly roasted coffee bean. none of which are over powering. creamy feel on the tongue. vanilla and coffee flavors stand out with a bit of a roasted flavor and a tad bitter.

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Photo of Lare453
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A black, small light brown head. Light lacing, very small ring left over.

S very light, sweet, chocolate, light vanilla.

T light, sweet, creamy vanilla beginning, the middle is a Light ice cream, the end has a light cocoa powder. Very light chocolate aftertaste.

M sweet, thick, creamy, soft

O very good beer, I recommend trying it once.

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Photo of HosP
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at local shop. Poured 22 oz bomber into tremens snifter.

Pours dark in color. No head at all. A thin film on top is all that resembles a head. Smells sweet with vanilla notes. Some chocolate to which is nice! Flavor is sweet as well. Roasted malts and chocolate up front. Vanilla comes in and takes over pretty quick. Lacks a punch you expect from a stout, but the vanilla is very nice and makes up for it. Medium body, a little on the thin side for a stout. This is very easy to drink. I like stouts with a little more flavor though. Still a very nice vanilla stout.

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Photo of AlexFields
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark black, looks very thick, decent head. Looks like a higher abv beer than it is.

Nose is fairly average--some cloying malt, some roast, maybe some mild chocolate. Nothing special.

Taste is considerably better--very chocolate forward, some smoke, hints of vanilla.

Mouthfeel is very thick for a low abv stout. Very nice.

Overall a very good stout, better in the mouth than the nose.


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Secret Stache Stout from Finch's Beer Co.
3.89 out of 5 based on 698 ratings.
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