Secret Stache Stout | Finch's Beer Co.

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very good
134 Reviews
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Secret Stache StoutSecret Stache Stout
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
134
Ratings:
691
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
22.37%
 
 
Wants:
16
Gots:
105
For Trade:
1
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Reviews: 134 | Ratings: 691
Photo of ryan1788a5
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can poured into a pint glass.

A: Jet black pour. Seems to have good clarity.Brown head settles rather quickly. Thin, broken ring of lacing.

S: Roast and dark fudge sauce. Strong waft of vanilla brings a milk chocolate impression. Roasted coffee beans. Malted milk balls. Tight berry darkfruit deep in the background.

T: Dark chocolate fudge, woody and roasty, slightly acrid and acidic. Black coffee. Tight berry. All of this is tempered by the vanilla and lactose, which add enough sweetness to take the rougher edges away. Malted milk balls. Roasty, sooty, and smokey finish lasts a long time.

M: Moderately thick. Luxuriously creamy and silky. Modest sense of weight. Low carbonation.

O: A very easy beer to drink. The bolder and harsher flavors are brought into balance nicely by the lactose and vanilla sweetness, and the body and texture go a long way to increasing drinkability as well.

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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 bubbadorse
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Tried this beer at a backyard cookout. NOT a session beer, though the alcohol level is manageable. This a very malty, sweet stout with a heavy mouthfeel. The beer I had was fairly flat, which I like in this style. It was far too sweet and heavy for a Labor Day cookout, but as a desert beer this would be wonderful.

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Photo of JayQue
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A really solid stout. Very drinkable, good flavor. Pours a completely dense dark brown color with a dark tan head. Good lacing on the glass. Nice sized head but retention is a bit lacking.

Aroma of roasted malts, vanilla and bittersweet chocolate. Mild, but still pleasant.

Solid stout taste. Rich and malty with a strong chocolate presence and a hint of vanilla.

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth like a milk stout or oatmeal stout.

Overall a very good stout.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the can into a nonic pint glass.

A real nice dark pour, walnut black body and a giant three finger foamy dark mocha brown head. Fluffy and foamy retention with lots of staying power. Thick one finger cap when settled. Looks rich and luscious.

Great nose. Wonderful roasted grains, light hints of coffee and chocolate milk. Good hint of vanilla and cream, we are hitting the notes nicely so far.

Palate hits nicely. Hinting at a light body, but wonderful roast coffee flavors on first sip. Slowly hints at some bitterness then washes with a milky light lactose sweetness. Creamy yet light palate which makes the malts full and rich coating everywhere. The sweetness is almost milk stout territory but for myself it doesn't quite get there which is a plus.

Overall real nice drinking, and light and full of body and rich qualities.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 fl oz. can, with no apparent canned on or freshness date present. My second beer from the local Finch's Beer Co., excited to try it since I love vanilla and I was impressed by their first offering that I tried, Finch's Beer Co. Threadless IPA.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Aggressive pour straight down the center yields about one and a half fingers of creamy dark brown / mocha colored froth on top of a rich dark opaque black colored body. No light shows through. No lacing. Looks very nice.

S - Smell is more subdued than I would expect: dark roasted toasted malt presence, iced black coffee, cream, smooth chocolate & sweet natural vanilla.

T - Taste follows the nose, only better: creamy milk chocolate, lactose, dark roasted coffee beans, toasted malt, faint smoke, & of course beautiful natural vanilla extract.

M - Silky smooth & creamy, hardly any carbonation or coarseness to be found at all. A bit of roasted coffee bean bitterness leftover on the palate.

Overall, an incredibly smooth and easy drinking stout. Wonderfully flavorful, considering the lower 5.30% abv this beer carries. Definitely a nice beer, the vanilla flavors deliver the goods. Definitely a stout I would drink again and again. If you get this beer in your area, drink it.

Finch's Beer Co. Secret Stache Stout ---4/5.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.34/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

LOOK: Ontap, pours a very dark brown with a tan head. Leaves plenty of lace down the pint glass.

SMELL: A sweet smelling stout with copious amounts of raw vanilla and hints of both dark and milk chocolate. Mostly vanilla and a bit of charred malt.

TASTE/FEEL: Full bodied and very, very smooth. Delicious vanilla cream coffee like brew. There is a small woody, earthy hop presence. Big time vanilla, always a good compliment to a firm, roasted malt base. Well carbonated, easy to drink.

OVERALL: This vanilla laced stout is the bomb. BOOM!

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a light brown head. In the aroma, caramel and roasty coffee. In the taste, sweet coffee, notes of caramel and a sweeter vanilla note. A small bite, but mainly smooth with a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dryer vanilla coffee like aftertaste. A really nice vanilla presence, a bit sweet, but quite sessionable.

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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 BEERMILER12
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a pitch black color with almost no head to speak of

S: Roasted malts with a hint of vanilla and lactose. Not much to the aroma

T: Roasted malts followed by a little vanilla and some sweetness to balance the roastiness. Again, not much to it but it's pretty much spot-on for what it's supposed to be

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: At 5.3%, this is a nice vanilla milk stout with a good roasty character and a little sweetness. Should definitely be characterized under milk/sweet stout because it's brewed with lactose and it definitely comes through, providing some sweetness along with the vanilla. Not a bad value at $10.59 for a 4-pack of 16 oz cans

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Photo of Brad007
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

One of the most impressive can pours I've seen. Pours dark, thick with a milkshake-like head into my glass.

Good mix of roasted coffee with a touch of vanilla in the nose. Smells a lot stronger than something at this ABV should.

Now I see why. Creamy with tons of roasted malt, cocoa and vanilla flavors. Bursting with flavor.

Leaves a bit of a singe going down, mainly due to carbonation. Dial it down a bit and you're golden there.

A very flavorful stout in a can. I would like to try their other stout offerings soon because this is the most flavorful stout I've had in a while.

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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 oberon
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours black as an oil slick with a creamy deep beige head atop.Aromas of bitter chocolate,vanilla,dark fruit,and mild char,it's pretty sweet.Flavors start out with a big hefty sweetness but a nice drying earthiness keeps it in check,alot of vanilla and dark fruit flavors to go along with bitter chocolate at the onset.One of the better milk stouts I have had in awhile,it's sweet but it's also got a big earthy/roasted finish.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I bought a couple of these CANs on a recent scouting expedition to The Foodery (N. Liberties) and I CANnot believe that reviewers STILL have a bias against CANned beers! Apparently, The CANQuest (TM) has CANtinued not to make believers out of everyone within earshot. I could understand it even up to a few years ago, but now ... ? Beer, and especially craft beer, in CANs is the way to go! End of CANrant.

From the CAN: "Ale brewed with Vanilla".

The Crack reveled yet another brimful craft CAN and as a previous reviewer mentioned, not only are you definitely NOT getting gypped, it is like a Baker's Dozen. The only drawback in this instance is that it is a very dark beer and if it splashed on white or colorful clothing, it might be an issue. I recommend opening it away from the CANsumer's body as a result. The tallboy nature of the CAN made it a little more difficult to perform an inverted Glug, but as a professional, I was able to pull it off. I was faced with a finger of dense, deep-tan/light-brown head with decent retention. Color was a deep, dark, cola-brown which allowed for zero light penetration. I even took a wee dram in a fest tasting glass outside to see if I could get any traction and even then, only at the edges. The SRM on this one must be extremely high. Nose smelled like French Vanilla coffee, reminding me to pick up some of Giant Eagle's brand the next time I am near one. To quantify, there were roasty notes of coffee and chocolate but with vanilla added to the equation. I have never made (or drank) a full pot of French Vanilla coffee as it tends to be too sweet, but I am pressing on with this one. Mouthfeel was medium with an oily slickness on the tongue that I had not expected. Previous reviewers had led me to expect a fullness which was not present, but neither was there anything wrong with that slick feeling. The taste was definitely French Vanilla coffee and I recommend a name change to "Finch Vanilla Stout", but I will understand if the brewers disregard my suggestion. Finish had a dryness that left a powdery feeling in the back of my throat, like dehydrated beer, just add water. This was a very different stout than what I was used to or even expected. I would probably stop at one as a self-avowed hophead, but that is just me. The fact that it is available in CANs makes it a bonus.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Really lovin' what Finch Beer Co. has in mind, their Milk Stout takes on a sturdy roast character that's buffered with vanilla and cream for a savory desert-like effect.

The lush ale pours with a deep and dark brown color that hinges on black- seeming near clear, its onyx-like sheen is deep and ominous. Even with a turbulent pour, the head is short with tan coloration and its lace is slight as the oils of vanilla and cream make their presence known.

Lovin' its aroma, the scent of bittersweet chocolate, roasted nuts, deep roast coffee, burnt sugar and malted milkshakes offer up first impressions. But as the taste settles in. the ale favors and malty-rich middle palate of brown sugar, toffee and molasses before it surpasses sweetness and favors burnt toast, espresso, and heavy whipping cream even late in taste- its vanilla thread is eventide with each and every sip but never commands the overall flavor.

Its easy to be seduced into bigger and more robust texture, but the ale is remarkably even and balanced. Even after the early carbonation subsides, its late structure is smooth, light, and pleasantly pillowy even as the slight herbal hops, alcohol warmth, and receding malts suggest otherwise.

Delicious in its taste, Finch's Beer Co. is upping the game of Stout yet keeping them drinkable, smooth, and ever so lavish. It's clear that Finch Beer Co is upping their game in the dark ale arena.

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Photo of russpowell
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours ebony with a pinky of mocha colored head. Decent lacing & scant head retention

S: Coffee & cocoa

T: Follows the nose, very dry, a touch of woody hops up front. More cocoa with lactic sourness, more dryness as this warms, plus a bit more woody hops. Finishes dry with a touch charcoal, carob & chicory, almost pulled a 4.25

MF: Medium bodied, smooth carbonation, thinned out a bit as this warmed

A pretty nice stout that faded out a bit as it warmed, not a good as Buffalo Sweat, but not bad. Bet this would be great on nitro

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Photo of RickS95
4.29/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16 ounce can

Quite attractive from the pour. You can see the thickness as it leaves the can. It's extremely dark, pitch black. The head has a slight cascading effect and is slow forming with light brown bubbles. Somewhat creamy head that retains fairly well, leaving a nice lace.

Roasted barley in the nose mixed with caramel and other dark malts. I get none of the vanilla mentioned on the can, but lots of char.

Taste matches the nose. Roasted grains and dark malts, charred goodies, but still no vanilla. Possibly some ground coffee hiding in there.

It's the creamiest beer I've ever had. It can't get any smoother. You can feel the thickness of the beer. Touch of sweet ultimately chased by the bitter char. Smoky feel follows deep into the finish.

I enjoyed this. Very easy to drink. More ABV would be welcomed. Overall, one of my favorite stouts.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce can into pint glass, no canning date. Pours dense pitch black color with a 2 finger fairly dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, light char, coffee, toast, vanilla, toffee, cream, light floral, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roasted malt notes with moderate creamy vanilla; with good strength. Taste of huge dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, light char, toast, vanilla, toffee, cream, and roasted earthiness. Slight coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, light char, toast, vanilla, cream, and toffee on the finish for a while. Really great balance and complexity of roasted malt flavors with moderate creamy vanilla; with huge robustness and no cloying flavors present after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy and slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent vanilla cream stout! Great flavor complexity and balance with big robustness; and very smooth to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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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 estlinska
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap into a standard shaker pint at The Saucer on 4/15/13. Pours a very dense and ebony black with just the barest of chocolate hues at the edges of the glass. It has a thick, medium-roast coffee colored head that erupts quickly from the pour and then settles down rather quickly. No light penetration at all. The smell was quite aromatic. It was a nice compliment of roasted malt and milky sweetnes. There was a nice subtle, not overly dramatic vanilla edge to the smell as well. It was equal parts roasted coffee beans and milk chocolate on the nose. No real hops on the nose. If lactose can have a smell, it was in this beer. The taste was rather good. It was quite swet and very smooth with the very mildest of a bittering hop to keep it reined in. For the most part though, it had all the nice flavor of a glass of chocolate milk. It was quite sweet with a nice roasted quality to it. The vanilla seemed to work synergistically with the lactose to create a strong sweetness. The mouthfeel, therefore came off as a little bit cloying. No alcohol on the tongue, good full body, but that sweetness just ended up lingering longer than I would have liked.

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Photo of rangerred
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16oz can into a pint glass.

Pours pitch plack with a thin quarter inch dark tan head that fades away within a minute to some swirling on top of the beer. A few splotches of lacing on the sides of the glass but not much else. A little bit of a let-down.

The aroma, however, more than makes up for the unimpressive aroma as it really blows me away. Tons of milk chocolate leaping out as well as coffee and a healthy dose of vanilla. There is a moderate roast tying it all together but a really mouthwatering and delicious aroma throughout.

The flavor is even better. The vanilla really stands out married nicely with milk chocolate. Almost reminds me of chocolate milk or a Hershey's bar. Coffee is there but remains in the background lending just enough roastiness to keep things from getting too sweet. Some swirls of caramel also come through with a very smooth and creamy mouthfeel finish with just a little stickyness and lingering roast.

Overall, this is possibly one of the best lower strength American Stouts I have had. The vanilla is perfectly done as it is all too often overwhelming in beers. All flavors balance perfectly and the body is awesome. Definitely a beer you should pick up if you get the chance.

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Photo of tone77
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A big thanks to the creator of the can quest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is chocolatey, a touch of coffee as well. Taste is very good. Lots of chocolate, some vanilla and coffee, tasty and enjoyable. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall this is a quality beer worth seeking out.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Well it looks like a great stout, deep mocha head with decent lacing and a dense dark body with pitch black hue.
S - Smells of lactose sugars yet not much burnt roast which is appreciated. The sweet chocolate smell does have a sort of vanilla tone to it.
T - Served a bit warmed up the hops smack my palate with an abrasive roast. After a few sips it does become quite a balanced stout sort of like great lakes Blackout lighter. Cocoa nibs and sweet chocolate malts highlight with maybe the slightest twang of vanilla. I for one appreciate a balanced vanilla profile considering too much make beer a tad too sweet. By no means chocolate milk of beers but a very tasty stout.
M - The ABV is on par making this pounder a real treat. Very complex and tasty stout that never gets too sweet.

Overall the only other milk stout I can think of that is close to this awesome-ness is "left hands milk stout" but seeing as this has a thicker body and more ABV (meaning more flavor) this one is next level awesome.

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Photo of RWLawman
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Jet black. Pours like motor oil. Thin khaki head, with very little scattered lacing left behind.

S - Vanilla, roasted malts, sweet chocolate, and coffee.

T - Mostly sweet milk chocolate, followed by a noticeable roasted malt presence, and coffee. There's the slightest hint of vanilla for me, not nearly as dominating as others have reported in past reviews. Not sure if this is the result of pouring from a can, or not.

M - Full-bodied, with moderate-to light carbonation, and a smooth, silky texture. It coats the mouth nicely, leaving you wanting more. I think out of draft, nitro-tap, or nitro-can/bottle, this would be a competitor with Left Hand Milk Stout or Young's Double Chocolate Stout. Very impressed, as I've never heard of this brewery previously.

O - Outstanding! Highly recommended for chocolate stout fans. Give this a shot. It's the chocolate milk of stouts.

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Photo of andrewjraab
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black and thick as hell. Almost has a cherry cola hue to it.

S: Vanilla jumps out, coffee beans, coco.

T: Follows the lead of the nose and it is like drinking chocolate milk. It is silky smooth....chocolate silk.

O: So glad I got to try this (thanks DLP) - as stated above - like drinking chocolate milk, but with alcohol - a definite try.

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Secret Stache Stout from Finch's Beer Co.
87 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.
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