Cellar 3: Silva Stout
Green Flash Brewing Co.

Cellar 3: Silva StoutCellar 3: Silva Stout
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American Imperial Stout
3.63 | pDev: 25.62%
Green Flash Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Cellar 3: Silva StoutCellar 3: Silva Stout
Notes: Our Double Stout ages in oak bourbon barrels, and artfully emerges as Silva Stout. This midnight black ale features elegant notes of oak, vanilla, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted barley and ripe cherry. Round and delicately balanced in body, each sip envelops the palate with its impressively complex craft composition.

45 IBU
Reviews: 126 | Ratings: 419 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Brolo75:
Photo of Brolo75
2.89/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

750 ml poured into a brandy snifter

A: Pitch black, no light comes through, head vanished quickly, what’s left of the head is an off white color, no carbonation, some lacing.

A: Vanilla, slight bourbon, some roasted malts, not much on the nose, not picking up any alcohol.

T: Bitterness right up front, slight bourbon, vanilla, oak, roasted malts, very hot, lots of alcohol coming through, chocolate, dry, lots going on but the flavors just don’t blend smoothly. I think the bottle I picked up was infected as I also noticed there was a very prevalent butter like taste.

M: Kind of thin for a bourbon barrel aged stout; I do like the dry chocolate like finish but not much else.

O: I had high expectations for this beer but I am disappointed. It has an off oak vanilla flavor up front, I would expect a nice bourbon flavor up front, but the bourbon is not as prevalent as it should be. There’s more bitterness in this beer than I’ve ever had in a bourbon barrel aged stout, I would definitely not buy another bottle. I've had other bourbon barrel aged stouts that are way better, at $20 bottle I will not pick up another. My suggestion for this beer is to enhance the bourbon, tone down the bitterness, and add some body. I am guessing that they mixed this beer with more fresh beer than aged beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As its reputation precedes it, Silva Stout has achieved legendary status as one of the best bourbon barrel-aged imperial stouts in existence. But knowingly some of these rare bottles have an unintentional buttery dactyl defect, the beer's reputation is at risk.

And this is one of such bottles. But as the beer pours a lavish and silky onyx color and consistency, a creamy mocha-laden froth ensues. A pass of the nose reigns in the espresso, chocolate and toffee notes, but with a strong whiff of butterscotch. And backing off of that somewhat nefarious butter and caramel in taste, The robustness of black-strap molasses brings the initial taste within the brewers range of intentions.

Its fudge center is chocked full of bittersweet chocolate, smooth coffee, vanilla and heavy whipping cream. Its lavish sweetness is heightened with the butterscotch culprit that insists on dominating the taste. Still charred blackcurrant, blackberry, black cherry and plum allow for a savory sherry-like set of complexities to accompany the rummy spice of alcohol.

Even fuller in body than usual, the even coat of buttery textures thwart any carbonated lightness and allow the stout to sit weightily on the tongue, saturating each and every tastebud completely. The dactyl compound has smoothened lot much of the acrid espresso roast, but dampens is flavor effects nonetheless. Chewy from beginning to end, the stout finishes with spiced rum and a persistent oily weight with a long afterglow of butterscotch.

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Photo of maximum12
1.5/5  rDev -58.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

It isn’t every day that you see a long-time want resting comfortably on a local shelf: this one comes in a 750ML corked & caged bottle, which have now been stripped away so I can split it with my wife.

The pour is coffee black with more carbonation that I’d suspect. The nose is very light roast – and that’s about it. Barrel? I’m imagining it’s there. But I’m not sure it is.

Silva Stout: Cellar Series 3 is one of those beers I’m sorry I glanced through the reviews before I started ingesting it. Luckily, I seem to have avoided one of the bad bottles (I find out shortly I was wrong) – but it’s not good. This tastes blended. Light roast, light malt sweetness, very light barrel, wood slivers. Tastes like a 6% ABV barrel-aged stout that’s been allowed to sit for too long. Plenty dry as the oak asserts itself. And, well, shit. As it starts to warm, the tolerable tastes start to meld into…July porta potty immediately comes to mind. Then it goes downhill from there. Soon, there’s nothing good left.

I laughed, I frowned, I wept. I’ve had plenty of Green Flash over the years, & I don’t know what went wrong here, but it’s really wrong. Drain pour. And not in a good way.

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Photo of Nietzsches_Horse
1.18/5  rDev -67.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Like some others, the bottle I had was pure liquid butterscotch. At $10/sip, before drain-pouring, I will not be buying this one again. If you are going to charge above average prices, you really need to provide an above average product, backed by above average quality control.

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Photo of Fox82791
2.72/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

Pure Diacetyl, really disappointing green flash

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Photo of zac16125
1.79/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

750mL bottle into a tulip
Bottled on: Feb 2015

A: Opaque black, huge 3 fingers width of tan colored head that is dense appearing and has great retention before dissipating down and leaves lots of lacing. 4

S: The has a really odd aroma, and I can’t even say if I like it or not at first. There’s a funky character, almost like the aroma of paint and cardboard. There are good characters as well, like cinnamon graham cracker, roasted marshmallow, and dark cocoa notes. But overall its dominated by a huge butterscotch character. Turns out I do not like it. 2.5

T: The flavor is off too. Cardboard, cocoa, butterscotch. Huge diacetly off notes. Undrinkable. 1.25

M/D: wasn’t able to drink enough to accurately rate mouthfeel but as above its undrinkable 1.5

O: 1.5

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Photo of TheVerbalHermanMunster
2.11/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Off flavors galore. $18 go bye bye.

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Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
2.9/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75


Look - Pours a thick pitch black, with lively effervescent head that dissipates almost instantly. 3.5 paws.

Smell - Lots of nutty aromas, bits of chocolate and vanilla. Mostly peanut butter mixed with alcohol. Smells more like a quad than a stout. 3.5 paws.

Taste - Very odd. Lots of nuttty flavors up front. Strong alcohol presence. It's like the nut flavors just hit a wall and nothing follows. The finish is almost nothing but booze. 2.75 paws.

Feel - So incredibly thin. Feels like I'm drinking a kolsch or pilsner. 2 paws.

Overall - I've read the first batch of Silva Stout was amazing, and it's gone downhill ever since. I can't speak to what it once was, but this offering is beyond disappointing. 2.75 paws.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.49/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Corked and caged 750mL bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 24.99. Brewed 4/13, bottled 2/16/15. Served in a Three Floyds teku.

Pours jet black with a lively three fingers of khaki head. The bubbles slowly recede until only a tiny halo remains. A few scattered specks is as close as this comes to lacing.

Red wine notes near dominate the aroma. Faint bourbon, licorice liquer, malt sugars and lots of oak.

As in the nose, red wine barrel notes are a huge factor in the taste. Wet oak, anise, fruit skins, dark chocolate, caramel, mild coffee, cherries, hints of vanilla and a little booze.

Dry, medium, semi chalky body with with rather heavy carbonation. Red wine, oak and chocolate linger in the finish.

I have to assume that after 18 months in a barrel Silva Stout took on oak tannins much like wine does. That must be where the red wine notes are coming from. While this is quite good and the strong oak flavors make it unique, for my tastes it just doesn't stand up to the host of other well made barrel aged stouts. Factoring in the exorbitant price I can't see myself buying this again.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
1.78/5  rDev -51%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1

Brief write-up. It smells underwhelming - the nose is dominated by caramel and diacetyl. It gets worse the more it opens up. And then, it ends up tasting fucking terrible - when the dominant note is butter, in a damn barrel-aged imperial stout, we have serious problems. Maybe I'm being facetious...no, I'm not. It's pretty much charcoal and butter. What the flying fuck, Green Flash?! Seriously Chuck Silva, what the hell?

1.78/5: I actually like the base beer, so what the fuckin' hell happened here???!!!?!

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Photo of JamLand
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On draft: solid ba stout, not nearly the butter bomb everyone is complaining about.

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Photo of hunninghake
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2nd attempt after an absolute diacetyl bomb! Pours an enticing and slightly viscous deep black with a lovely tan head that dissipated rather quickly but never fully disappeared. Nose is immediately butterscotch, toffee, roasted malts and vanilla. Taste is certainly boozy with those buttery notes also present and accompanied by bourbon, hazelnut and an earthy dark chocolate. Also picking up some fruity esters (sourness?). Still there is no getting past that buttery flavor. Though my first bottle was unquestionably bad, this one's buttery presence is more tempered initially restraining a negative judgement and inviting some further patience. Unfortunately, the buttery presence seems to get a bit more prominent as the beer warms. With that, it begins to move further away from being interesting and ebbs more towards being a beer that could not have been inline with exactly what the brewers had hoped for. I was very excited about this beer as it had been years since I had (and loved) the Silva Stout. This was not what I remembered it being and not my favorite GF beer by a long shot.

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.87/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 Batch 01 version of a 750ml bottle brewed on February 16 2015. Consumed on May 16 2015. Pours a dark cola color with some carbonation bubbles, a slight frothy tan head and spots of lacing. The nose starts off with bourbon and vanilla and then the wood comes through too. Taste is of vanilla, oak, burnt molasses and bourbon. Smooth, slick mouthfeel with a slight burn on the back end from the 10.1% abv of this medium to full bodied brew. Cellar 3 Silva Stout was an awesome Barrel Aged Imperial Stout that I'm glad to have tried. Apparently, this beer seems to be hit or miss but thankfully my bottle was a hit.

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Photo of Smakawhat
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass. Vintage 2015. Batch 01. Bottled Feb 16th 2015.

Deep and creamy rich three finger tan head, staying with a cake like top and even head. Classic dark walnut black body, totally opaque with a big matching darkness to go with it. Slightly aggressive appearance and in control, very impressive looking.

Aroma is filled with buttered toffee notes. Ah so this is what everyone is getting supposedly but if this because of diacetyl guess what, it's actuall pretty neat, it actually smells like salted carmel a bit minus huge salt and sweet tones. Can't say I have ever had a diacetyl huge laced nose on an imperial stout in my life that's for sure nearly 3000 reviewed beers in. It's actually not that bad, but the buttery note certainly is dominant. Black IPA quality and barrel aging notes are totally absent because of this huge in your face aroma though. It is very interesting, could be diacetyl laced but doesn't quite got the popcorn artificial butter thing coming quite exactly. If a beer is laced with it though, it has to be really noticeable for me, as I am not super sensitive to it that I know. Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, cherry fruity esters forget it ecspecially, not a chance. Here goes.

Palate is kind of odd, but also very suprising. The aftertaste on this is incredibly impressive, but it is nothing what the mid palate presents or event suggests. What do I explain first here on first sip is very hard to put into words, and a repeat is neccesary. Light bodied roast character, but not that slick enough to be diacetyl possibly. Mild sour tinge but not from infection, possibly a leftover fruity ester trying to peak out in the mid palate. Aftertaste though is shocking, with a thick dark powdered cocoa and huge unexpected fudge rich coffee. The light character definitely hints more to that Cascadian Dark angle than Imperial stout, but doesn't contain a lot of thick round oaky notes or feel either. Moderate booze, but also no sweetness at all.

Here's the thing overall. Regardless of rumors, regardless of others, and of course everyone has their own sensitivities, this is the thing that strikes me the most. I have a very hard time believing that this profile I am tasting right now, is what the brewers envisioned for this brew. Just not feeling it at all. We've all had a plethora of barrel aged stouts, and this one is truly out there, and more so completely in another realm than what even the label describes. Chalk this one up to uniqueness folks. For me it's not a choke it down brew, but boy is this a friggin odd one, and if you're not willing to take a chance then just stay home, but the payoff just isn't here folks.

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Photo of BraveMountie
1/5  rDev -72.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Undrinkable, pure butter. Had to pour it out.

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Photo of Bonsall_Phil
3.64/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Thin on the glass minimal lace, runs off the glass quickly. Beautifully dark. Poured aggressively, it has a cocoa colored head for a few seconds.. Kinda neat that way.

When the bottle was first popped there was an intense bourbon scent with vanilla and an overall maple-syrup quality. It was very exciting actually, but in the snifter at proper temperature it dulled down a bit to a still-pleasant vanilla, wood and bourbon. The maltiness is roasty chocolately sweet but more subdued than what I have experienced in even a regular good dry stout. You can pick up the roasty barley scents too. Pretty nice.

Taste starts a little different than the nose, more alcohol up front, cherry and then settling in to the nose scent as the flavor lingers. I don't believe there is any lactose in this but it just seems milky to me... In a distracting sort of way. You can't call it acrid, but it holds onto the tongue in an overly bitter way. Alcohol heat is there, but that will surely subside over time.

Well, I'm out $20. Glad I tried it early before buying multiple bottles. Surely, it'll be better with age, but I'll let other people try that out. I've tried many BAs in their first year and this is the least promising.... And the most expensive. Should have been warned when it was self-touted as "rare". To be clear, it's not bad. Just not as good as others in class. There are non-barrel aged stouts that have more complexity and enjoyment to them.

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

- Batch 1 bottled on 16-Feb-15
- 750mL bottle poured into Lost Abbey Teku on 15-Apr-15

Dark chocolate dominated in both flavor and mouthfeel; so much so that I barely got any coffee notes. A lot of vanilla and caramel tags alongside the chocolate. Didn't get any cherry. Overall, a decent BA stout but definitely could've used more time in barrel to bring out more bourbon. Definitely nothing like its predecessor.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.36/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

BOTTLE: 750ml. Brown glass. Black branded hood-and-wire cap over a cork. Appealing black and orange label art.

10.1% ABV. 2015 vintage. 45 IBU. Limited Reserve.

Expectations are sky high; I've heard a lot of great things about Silva Stout. But Green Flash hasn't historically been my favourite. Reviewed live as a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout per the label. Served cold into a stangenglas and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

HEAD: Dark tan colour, with a dessert-like appearance. Soft, supple, smooth, even, and creamy, with nice frothiness. Retention is amazing for such a high ABV - easily 10+ minutes. The softness is a stand-out characteristic - wow. But it could be darker, deeper, and more expressive.

BODY: Opaque solid black. No yeast or sediment can be seen.

It's a nice looking appearance for an imperial stout, but isn't unique or special. I'm looking forward to trying it.

AROMA: Exquisite bourbon, with deep notes of genuine vanilla (bean), coconut, luxurious marshmallow, and rich white oak. The bourbon barrel does seem to overwhelm the base beer, which brings notes of dark malts & chocolate malts into the fold. Cream, some buttery creme brulee, cherry/dark fruit, and maybe a kiss of roasted barley.

I find no coffee, oats, lactose sugar, or dark chocolate. No powdery cacao nibs either.

Aromatic intensity is above average. Suggests a balanced imperial stout with wonderful bourbon character.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Creamy, soft, smooth, and wet, emphasizing the creme brulee like vanilla notes and especially the deep coconut character. The bourbon barrel is definitely the star of the show in this beer, eclipsing the straightforward dark & chocolate malt backbone with more impressive notes of white oak and the aforementioned vanilla/marshmallow.

I struggle to find coffee and/or roasted barley in the base beer, but find none. There is some subtle cream and ripe cherry/cherry skin, but overall the base beer is disappointingly simple. Depth of flavour is average. Flavour duration and intensity are average.

Well-carbonated, with an apt full body and adequate heft and weight on the palate to support the flavours. Sleek and almost velvety on the palate. Good overall presence and presentation of flavour, but there isn't quite a perfect harmony of texture and taste.

Not a gestalt brew, but a well-executed imperial stout with some nice bourbon notes. A more intricate base beer and a deeper bourbon barrel character would elevate this into the upper echelon of beers in the style. I quite like it, but it's not the masterfully built impecabbly balanced beer I've been to lead to believe it might be over the past few years of hype.

Not gushed, oily, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or hot.

OVERALL: Far more drinkable than its ABV might suggest, but not effortlessly so. It's probably easily Green Flash's best work in my opinion, but then it's not one of my favourite breweries to begin with. Definitely competently executed as a barrel aged imperial stout, but the barrel's eclipse of the base really holds it back. More subtlety and intricacy is needed for this to compete with stylistic paragons, but it's well worth trying and boasts notable cohesion. I just wish the price point wasn't so terrible ($22.00 USD at a bottle shop in Austin, TX); I'd sooner reach for many a barrel aged stout over this one merely because of the price/quality ratio.

High B-

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Photo of Immortale25
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. Batch 01.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/2 inch light brown head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and minimal surface foam. Not-so-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Massive amount of butterscotch and yogurt in the nose. Like I'm smelling a melted Werther's Original candy mixed in with vanilla Chobani. It wouldn't be a problem if there were other elements to go along with it but it's completely one-dimensional. Obviously diacetyl.

T- Assertive barrel character on the first sip. Second sip brings more of the diacetyl sweetness but not as strong as in the nose. Notes of vanilla, toffee and cake batter. Disappointingly, there's very little roast characteristic since the barrel and diacetyl have drowned it out. Artificial popcorn butter in the aftertaste.

M- The only thing that's right about this beer. Creamy and silky smooth with medium-low carbonation and a fullish body. Still wish it was a bit thicker though.

O- I was hoping my bottle would be an exception to all the other diacetyl-laden ones out there but there's no denying that this is not so. Green Flash had to have known there was something wrong with this beer but went ahead and released it anyway. Well they're not getting any more of my money.

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Photo of The_Golden_Spruce
1.18/5  rDev -67.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

2015 Cellar 3 Bottle: Diacetyl Drain-Pour Edition.

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Photo of KVNBGRY
3.41/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hmm. Let down. Not at all good.

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Photo of Luisfcarrizo
5/5  rDev +37.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of ghirsh
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of teamwiggum
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tally
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Cellar 3: Silva Stout from Green Flash Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 419 ratings