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: 137 | Ratings: 700
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 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

bomber into tulip glass.

Appearance: dark oily black bodied beer with a 2 fingers medium brown head. Head drops down to a thick cap with some large bubbles. Thick lacing on the side of the bottle.

Smell: Boatloads of vanilla and some milk chocolate! Little roast and smoke. The beer smells really sweet; just like dessert.

Taste: Big vanilla upfront and a little bit of dark chocolate; just like the nose. Midpalate you get a deep roasty note that continues through to the finish. Its roasty without much bitterness; I like that. As the beer warms you get more of what you were promised...vanilla! The vanilla does not become overbearing or cloyingly sweet at anytime while drinking the entire bomber.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied stout with low end of moderate carbonation. Creamy and smoooth beer that is really drinkable.

Overall: This is without a doubt the best non-barrel aged vanilla beer I have ever drank. The ironic thing is... Up to this point Finch's beer offers have not been impressive, but this beer is seriously the real deal! I hope that Finch's will consider making this beer a year around offering and put it in canned format instead of bomber format. Must try if you like vanilla in stouts. 3 final words: Flavorful Session Stout!

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

Finch's Beer Co. - Secret Stache Stout. 5.3% ABV. 16oz can split between snifters.

Look: Settles pitch black, retaining some faint caramel highlights in the light. Small tan colored head from semi aggressive pour, which subsides into sticky lacing.

Smell: Rich bakers chocolate, vanilla bean, dark malts, and some roasty coffee.

Feel: Medium bodied and chewy, with lots of carbonation

Taste: Bitter coffee and unsweetened chocolate up front, followed by some roasty dark malts, and vanilla bean. Finishes sweet, with dark chocolate, vanilla, and coffee.

Overall: Big fan of vanilla, so any beer with vanilla in it, I'll want to try. This was a great example of a rich vanilla beer, greatly balanced by other sweet flavors; almost like a Milk Stout.

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

16oz can poured into a snifter

A- pours pitch black in color with a small khaki colored head that reduces to a film floating on top

S- toasted cereal grains and roasted chocolate malt, vanilla & coffee

T- dark toasted malt brings flavors of dark chocolate and herbal coffee, cereal grains, caramel and vanilla. More dark chocolate and coffee on the finish

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that turns creamy in the finish

O- nice toasty stout with a good amount of chocolate and coffee

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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 bigfnjoe
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a tallboy can into a Dogfish snifter

A- pours jet black with a half finger dark brown head. Looks about typical for a stout, but I'd like a bigger the color of it, though

S- lots of chocolate coming through in the nose, with some nice hints of vanilla as well. Solid

T- big chocolate in the first taste, with a blast of vanilla seeping in. Very slight bitterness from the chocolate. Huge flavors, reminds me a lot of a great milk stout, with vanilla being used instead of the lactase. Awesom

M- medium bodied....odd, because at times, I get a lot of thickness and a lot of thinness from the body. So, split the difference I guess

O- this is great, especially at 6.49 a four pack (which has to be a misprice in PA, considering the other Finch's offerings are 9.99 per four). Very easy drinking stout from a tallboy, with tons of great flavors coming through big time

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black with a foamy tan head and nice spotty wisps of lace.

S - Roasted malt, dark chocolate, vanilla, fudge brownie. Smells sweet but also has a roasty bitterness. Hint of creme brulee.

T - Big dose of vanilla, roasted malt, milk chocolate. On the sweet side but enough roast and dark chocolate flavor to balance it.

M - Light and creamy mouthfeel. Smooth.

D - Makes a great dessert beer. Sweet but not cloying.

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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 TheSleepyMonkey
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can poured into a snifter. Pours jet black with very little tan colored head. Head dissipates quickly.

Smell is mild coffee, chocolate, hint of alcohol. A little smoke and leather.

Tastes like liquid chocolate. Not much booze in flavor, just chocolate, very sweet. Hints of vanilla as it warms

Nice creamy mouthfeel. Can't believe this is only 5%. Really tasty.

Nice job on a very sessionable stout. As easy a drinker as there is in the category, and it comes it cans :). We'll done.

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Photo of Etan
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This just showed up on shelves, which I'm happy about because I missed it when it was in bottles a few months back. Will I finally find a Finch's beer that I like?

Pint can into a tulip.

A: Pours a very dark brown body with a thick tan head. Looks nice.

S: Light roasted malt, coffee, some lactose-like sweetness, chocolate.

T: Light coffee, sweet vanilla, milk chocolate, slightly bitter roasted grain, charred bread.

M: Between medium and thick-bodied with light carbonation. Very creamy.

O: This did not disappoint. The taste and mouthfeel are pretty much spot-on. Now if they could work on getting the rest of their beers to this level of quality...

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Photo of DIM
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black body and a dark tan head; looks like a stout. Smells of lightly roast chocolate cake primarily. Maybe a trace of vanilla.

Sweet tasting for sure but obnoxiously so. Lots of chocolately malts with a well incorporated hint of vanilla. No layers of complexity, but this is a very satisfying drink.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11 ounce pour - $6.75 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Black, rich-looking body, with a deep, tan-hued head, about one-third of an inch high.

Smell: Sizable roasty, coffee notes, brownie mix, molasses. Then, some softer cream, vanilla scents. Dark fruitiness. A hint of smoke and spice.

Taste: Roasted malts sprinkled with pipe tobacco ash and full of flavors tasting of espresso, vanilla cream, prunes, brownies. Very small snippet of licorice. Ample sweetness, but it's not overly sweet. Minimal hop character and bitterness showing beyond the robust malts. The light ashen tone is sustained until the smooth, roasty, drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Good stuff. For me, the best of the Finch bunch to date.

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Photo of JWU
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz. can poured into a tumbler glass

A- black. no light penetrates. khaki head, with nice lacing. For a stout on the lower ABV side, it looks great.

S- Roasty malts, with vanilla, and a light coffee note.

T- Walks the line between dry and sweet well. Nicely roasted malts, with hints of vanilla, a more aggressive coffee note than the smell implies, and some dark chocolate. Ends more bitter than sweet.

M- Heavier side of medium, with a decent amount of carbonation for a stout, but not over the top.

O- well done, almost sessionable stout.

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Photo of basaywhat
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can. Pours opaque black with creamy tan head. Aroma is roasted malts, earthy notes, chocolate, vanilla, and and faint spice. Flavor is dry roast malts forward with vanilla, chocolate, light hop bitterness.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Nice looking pour. Viscous and black. Capping this is a sticky, dark mocha colored head that retains for ages and leaves a small amount of ropey lace stuck to the glass.

S: Whoa, very nice. Bitter roasty chocolate, toasted grains, vanilla bean, cocoa nibs, fudge brownie, and a hint of marshmallow.

T: Very close to the aroma with an interesting smokey/woody flavor as well as milk sugar and a hint of earthy hops.

M: Smooth and full with fantastic balance and depth from the cream, lighty buzzy hops, dry/roasty malt, semi-sweet chocolate, and kiss of vanilla.

O: If only they'd opened their portfolio with this one first. This needs to be in cans or in regular rotation in bottles. It's that good.

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Photo of msquared36
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a thin light brown head.

Smells of vanilla milk shake and roasted malt.

Strong taste of vanilla, especially as it warms. In addition to the vanilla, red raspberry up front with a lingering aftertaste of cigar smoke.

Little carbonation but very smooth.

Just enough sweetness to balance out the smokiness, without being sticky or overpowering. Doesn't assault your taste buds.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a can of Finch's Secret Stache Stout a couple weeks ago for $2.99 at The Lager Mill. This can caught my eye when I was looking for some new beers to try, I have never heard of Finch's before, but I decided to take a chance on them, so lets see how it goes. No visible canning date. Poured from a 16oz Tallboy into an imperial pint glass.

A- The can is really good looking and eye catching, it's got this street art vibe that is nicely done and it really sticks out on the shelf, great design. It poured a dark black color that didn't let any light come through with a fingers worth of light mocha colored head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left a little bit of spotty lacing. This is a nice looking Stout but it could have used a little more head.

S- The aroma starts off with nice and sharp dark chocolate aroma followed by some nice espresso like aromas. Up next comes a medium amount of sweetness followed by some nice and rich roasted aromas along with some good vanilla aromas towards the end. This beer had a great aroma, it was fairly complex with lots of rich and roasted aromas, I really like it.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma, it starts off with a higher amount of sweetness followed by lots of dark roasted malts that impart some nice bitter dark chocolate, lightly charred, and a light coffee flavors. Up next comes some creamy flavors followed by some vanilla that isn't overpowering and it goes nicely with the other flavors. Towards the end there's a medium amount of bitterness followed by a little more sweetness with a sweet and roasty aftertaste. This was a good tasting beer, it was a little too much on the sweet side, but that's how this beer is intended to be, so it's not that big of deal.

M- Fairly smooth, rich, very creamy, sticky, full bodied and it had a nice amount of medium carbonation. This beer had a nice mouthfeel but it was a little too sticky.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and a good example of the style, but I think the brewery was going for more of a Sweet/Milk Stout and this seems to fit that style perfectly with lots of sweet and roasted flavors and aromas. This beer had ok drinkability, it went down fairly smooth and the flavors held my attention, but the high amount of sweetness would prevent me from wanting another one, one pint is the right amount for me. What I liked the most about this beer was the aroma, it was pretty awesome with tons of nice chocolate and roasted aromas that mixed perfectly with the vanilla, I was impressed. What I liked the least about this beer was the high amount of sweetness, I think if it was toned down just a little bit it was help the roast balance it out better. I would buy this beer again, I would like to take a couple cans on my next ski trip, I think this would be the perfect beer to have in the warming hut and share with friends after a morning full of skiing, and the fact that it comes in cans makes it that much better, I recommend this to anyone who loves stouts, especially Sweet and Milk Stouts. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer, I didn't know what to expect from this brewery but this turned out to be a good beer and they made a pretty good first impression on me, they crammed a lot of flavor into a beer that is fairly light on the alcohol, I will for sure be on the look for more beers from them, good job guys.

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

Poured a dark chocolate opaque color in a stein with a 4F head which slowly resolves.

The intial aroma is chocolate and dark roasted malt. The aroma lingers for most of the tasting- at the end of tasting the aroma is mostly dark roast.

The mouth feel is smooth- very little carbonation.

The taste is chocolate, vanilla, and a hint of sweetness.

The finish is slightly hoppy and smooth.

Overall, an excellent, easy drinking stout. I am a big fan of Finch beers- easy drinking, not overdone, and lots of flavor.

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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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Photo of MCain04
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz can courtesy of the guys at Finch's, thanks! Poured into my DFH oversized snifter.

Pours an almost black body with a tan creamy head of good retention and lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee. Maybe a little tobacco. Great aroma overall.

Taste is subdued compared to the aroma. A little watery. Still getting the roast character and a little bit of chocolate, maybe vanilla, not much coffee, drinkable but too bland.

Mouthfeel is crisp with a light to medium body. Moderate carbonation. A little thin. Slightly sticky and dry finish.

Overall, very drinkable, but suffers in that it is thin and diluted in the taste. Fantastic aroma though, and a great stout for those wary of a heavy mouthfeel.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Half Acre tulip.

A- pours pitch black with a 1 finger dark brown head. Thick blotches of lacing cover the glass.

S- chocolate, dark fruits, roast, a hint of vanilla.

T- dark chocolate, roasted malts, bitter coffee, again very little vanilla and some bitterness.

M- medium body and carbonation. Nice smooth, slightly chalky feel.

O- nice stout. Big roast and chocolate, but vanilla may have faded over the past 8 months or so.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

$3.19 for a 16oz can at Siciliano's. Brewed with vanilla and lactose. 5.3% ABV.

Pours out to a clear deep black. Pretty thick and dark for a 5.3% beer. Forms a nice creamy dark tan head with excellent retention and lacing. Carbonation is mild-moderate, ~2.0 carbs or so. The aroma opens with vanilla, some carob, a little black walnut, roasted grains, and distant hops. Mouthfeel is smooth with a viscosity bigger than the 5.3% would have you believe, partly due to it's lower carbonation. The taste is a recap of the aroma. Bitterness is mild, but there is still some late addition hop flavor rounding out the roasted grain notes. Burnt marshmallows and burnt sugar in the finish, but not sweet, per say (despite the lactose). There is a weird combination of flavors going on between the hops and the roast malt. It's not bad, but a touch acidic. Otherwise, cleanly fermented.

This is an interesting beer. I think most stout lovers are going to enjoy it, and like I said, it has an impressive mouthfeel despite the 5.3%, however the acidity of the hops and the roast hurts it a bit and doesn't lend to me drinking more than one of these at any given time.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$3 16oz "tall boy" can poured into a Samuel Adams "Perfect Pint" glass.

Appearance: Pitch black... car oil kind of black. There's a tiny head, but it goes away almost instantly, with just a thin, brown layer of foam on top. Lacing, at least initially, is sexy.

Smell: Super dark, roasted malts is the most notable thing here. However, there's plenty of chocolate-like notes as well, with some vanilla. The vanilla definitely comes out more in the aroma than it does in the flavor, which MAY be a good thing. (The vanilla is the main thing that drew me to this beer).

Taste/feel: What a stout. Forget the fact that it comes from a can. What. A. Stout. Balanced very, very well. It's never too sweet, or too bitter. Front of the sip is a bit of dark fruits (?) for sweetness, but then there's pretty much nothing but malty, chocolate goodness until the end. As the beer warms up, the beer seems to get a tad bit more bitter, and the vanilla comes out a LITTLE more, but I notice a lot of people complaining about the vanilla in it. To be honest, I don't really get much at all (at least when it's cold)... and that disappoints me. It's there in a subtle way, but I actually wanted a little bit more. Regardless of that, this is still a slick-in-the-mouth, quality stout: an absolute delight.

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Robust coffee and coffee grounds, molasses, nice sugary middle with vanilla and cream compose the flavor profile. Nice and sweet with a crisp finish. My first beer from Finch's and I was pleasantly impressed. I will hunt this down and get it again.

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Secret Stache Stout from Finch's Beer Co.
3.89 out of 5 based on 700 ratings.
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