Silva Stout | Green Flash Brewing Co.

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Silva StoutSilva Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Green Flash Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bourbon barrel aged

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-02-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
253
Ratings:
1,063
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
12.12%
 
 
Wants:
862
Gots:
151
For Trade:
7
User Reviews
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Reviews: 253 | Ratings: 1,063
Photo of CrellMoset
3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle - though an oddly shaped 12 oz. bottle, one more reminiscent of a hybrid between your traditional SNPA stubby and your traditional 12 oz. longneck, without overtly looking like either, and indeed, I originally assumed the volume was probably something like 500 mL - courtesy of the ever generous Alexander, a great midwestern trader and testament to BA generosity. Poured in to an oversized snifter.

Appearance: Pours an oily, viscous brownie batter brown, dark and deep, but translucent enough around the periphery that it's not like staring in to a hellish vortex of soulcrushing despair. What with being poured in to an oversized snifter (22 oz.), the head on this one didn't have a real chance to shine, though from the looks of it it certainly could have - an initial half-plus finger of creamy but bubbly cocoa brick fired head fades relatively quickly, but leaves an amazing amount of retention for a barrel-aged brew of this magnitude. Lacy tendrils and globular entrails and whimsically writhing willow wisps dance and dither lazily around the sphere of the snifter. Just a fantastic amount of

Aroma: As this one warms (and it's warmed by the time I get to the aroma, which I always review last because I have such a weak nose), bourbon begins to singularly dominate the olfactory portion of this one. Largely smooth with flourishes of spice, it melds fairly well with strong vanilla and a few other oaky notes, and these in turn run roughshod over an afterthought of a malt foundation which - if it had to be characterized by anything - would be characterized by brownie batter and molasses, though it does occasionally reveal hints of black cherry and anise.

Taste: Very fudgy, but also instantly and immediately lacking up front in something I'm not able to instantly put my finger on. Maybe it's that it's not a fat fudge. That is, the right notes are here - rich chocolate, plenty of toast, some dark toffee and caramel, and hints of earth, smoke, and dirt, all mingled in with dark cherries and chocolate - but it's a little on the weak end of the spectrum, dryer and more toasty than I'd like. Instead of a bracingly bold and chewy brew, this one manages to suggest all the right notes, but only crank them up to about five or so. A shame, I think, because of how well everything is really put together. The barrel aging is also fortunately fairly subdued, relative to what is could be (slash what I may perhaps prefer it to be) - coconut and vanilla add a perfume-like fragrance to the mouth, and the bourbon note here is more spicy and less sweet than I'd perhaps like. To its credit, it's not hot by any means, and the bourbon notes are smooth and mellow.

Mouthfeel: Eruptive wouldn't be an overstatement here. There's plenty of carbonation to spare in Silva stout, and if this one was a little sweeter, I'd probably give it a five - I'm such a sucker for that aerated, frothy, foamy milkshake sort of mouth on fat stouts. As it stands, it's still pretty darn good, though with the flavor profile being what it is, it does manage to augment both the good and the dryer, toasty, astringencies here. Definitely more good than bad, but I'm the sort that's inclined to point out flaws (read: asshole).

Drinkability: I feel like I was ragging on this beer a little, and perhaps being a little unnecessarily harsh at times. That being said, I hold my barrel aged stouts to a fairly high standard, because the company of the elite here is truly elite - truly excellent barrel aged stouts are sublime things, and if you want to bat with the big boys, you need to bring your game. Right now, however, Silva Stout is stuck in AAA ball. But that's ok, because, hell, I hadn't even heard of it two months ago - talk about a meteoric rise from 42nd round draft pick to dark horse potential-next-year fifth starter. To its credit, he has a plus curve, a plus-plus slider, and ... err, I mean, this beer showcases no hints at all of alcohol burn or sizzle or even twinge, impressive given its origin and its supra-10% abv%. On the flip side of the coin, I need more body, more heft, more weight before I really can fall in love with a barrel aged stout, and this one was lacking a little in that department. Worst case scenario, Silva Stout settles in to a bottom of the rotation starter for the winter refrigerators and evening sojourns of west coast craft beer fans, never quite posting numbers as impressive as, say, Abyss, Black Tuesday, or -bal Alesmith, but competent enough to hold its own against most major league talent. Best case scenario? The recipe is tweaked slightly, and Silva Stout becomes the Greg Maddux of west coast -bal aged stouts (I'll let you all figure out who Smoltz, Glavine, and Avery/Milwood correspond to in the above list - I have my guesses), becoming a perennial favorite of fans and insiders/experts everywhere. Tune in.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz, 12/18/12
Hill Farmstead wine glass

A: Pours pitch black, per the style. Half finger of medium tan head. Tight bubbles. Seems nicely carbonated. Fades into a layer. Really pretty looking RIS.

S: Big bourbon notes right up front. Chocolate and vanilla meshing together. Ash. Roasted grains. Tobacco.

T: Big dark chocolate. Deep cocoa. Tobacco. Vanilla. Booze. Roast. Toffee. Creamy. Long finish. Good cigar beer.

M: Full bodied. Creamy. Mouth coating.

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Photo of stephens101
3.67/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Boot black with an otherwise smooth tan froth only broken by a few tiny bubbles.

Has a deep milk chocolate, vanilla bean, plum and black cherry aroma.

Ultra bitter dark chocolate, bunt bread, tart and bitter dark fruits and a woody finish.

Silky smooth and medium.

I need some hair on my chest and this won't do it, but I suppose a good buzz will work just fine instead.

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Photo of mentor
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle provided by jshufelt, thanks for the opportunity. Pours a solid finger of dark brown head over a pitch liquid. Smells wonderful. Rich vanilla, bourbon, char, chocolate brownie, raspy oak, cedar, rich espresso, anise, grassy hops, light-colored caramel, lightly of mint and pineapple, and with a clean alcohol sting. Balanced, blended, and smooth.

Tastes delicious. Sweet with balancing bitter characters and a lightly cleansing alcohol. Bourbon barrel, chocolate, roast, burnt marshmallow, potent vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, candied prunes, vanilla wafer. Finish cleans away the wet with a rough alcohol/carbonation combination. The aftertaste is brittled sugar (like peanut brittle without the peanuts), drying oak, and fading vanilla. This a beer with flavors that border on big, but that play well together with great finesse. Well done.

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

A: black body of ale, shiny obsidian; slim finger of tan foam atop left some scarce lace motes down the glass

S: chocolate malts and bourbon whiskey barrels - suggestions of molasses and vanilla

T: sweet roasty chocolaty goodness underscores a suffusion of bourbon; dark espresso notes with molasses sweetness; hints of vanilla, oak, and whiskey caramels...

M: medium-weight, subdued carbonation, drying vaporous finish; dark chocolaty bittersweetness lingers with faint bourbon traces...

O: an excellent BBA stout - currently marketed as Cellar 3 Silva Stout - hits all the marks you'd want in a BBA stout, leans toward the medium density-type, with a smooth and classy drink and finish. Highly recommended.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.68/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I got this bottle from sideswipe-- thanks John!
reviewed from notes.

pours a oily looking brown with some red hues in the legs. Minimal spotty lacing and below average retention. (for some reason I am sounding much like Ron Burgundy as I narrate my voice notes-- bare with me).
The nose is chocolate, bourbon, loads of vanilla. Good bourbon bite on the finish.
I was unimpressed the first time I had this one, but after subsequent visits to this one, I must say it is delicious. Perhaps Drewba's enthusiasm rubbed off on me.

The feel is a bit undercarbonated, and just a hair thin.

Overall-- if this is bottled again, don't drink it for the first 5 or 6 months. Wait and enjoy it more.

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Photo of bonkers
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

thanks to arash1000 for this one, bottled 12/12. Poured from a 12ounce bottle into a CCB snifter, jet black pour, thin tan head. The aroma is full of bourbon, vanilla, roast coffee. the flavors are well balanced, nice mix of all the aromas, lingering boozey finish. the body is medium/full, well carbonated, smooth mouthfeel. a very good beer, glad I have 2.

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Photo of brystmar
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #400! Long time want of mine -- thanks to sleepyhead for the trade. Shared with two great BAs.

Great head & lace retention. Very roasty, caramely aroma; no coconut as other reviews have suggested. Flavor profile is quite dark and roasty. Lots of chocolate and bourbon, yet it feels somewhat one-dimensional and almost boring. Ethan said the last bottle he had was more complex & coconut-y; this is a little disappointing though.

Still glad to finally tick one of my longest-standing wants. Wish I'd gotten to try it fresh.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small draft pour has a black body with a small mocha head. Excellent retention for being as big and barrel aged as it is.
Heavy bourbon barrel character on the nose with some chocolate.
Omg the taste is amazing. Big bourbon and chocolate character dominate for me. Roasty coffee sits behind that with a little coconut, vanilla, and woody barrel.
Smooth body but seems a touch thin.
Delectable. All that bourbon and chocolate just works.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

This thing is badass, it's black, it's oily, its evil. The head is as dark as milk chocolate, it's fine and thick and creamy. It starts to fade down a bit but the lacing stays - just reminding you of how dark and huge it was. Nose is bourbon, it's chocolate, it's coffe grounds and booze - it's all business here.

This is devilishly good, it's rich and delicious, the bourbon is there and it's not hiding. There's this really rich chocolaty creaminess about it that's soothing and perfect for a cool night. I almost bought a bottle of bourbon tonight, but I'm having this instead and it was a spectacular decision.

Mouthfeel is the only minor detractor, it's a bit light on the tongue, and the carbonation is a bit sharp and light, but mellows as it warms. This is a delicious brew worthy of any beer lover.

Huge thanks to stawn for hooking me up!

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Photo of retry4z
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tastes like a toned-down Brandy Barrel-Aged Angel's Share - the licorice overtones are overwhelming. And there is little semblance to the Double Stout. There really is little justification for Green Flash to be making this beer. They should stick to their west-cost hop-forward beers instead.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a thick black with a bit of frothy head that subsides and leaves about a quarter inch of head after a minute.
Smell-weet bourbon abd a bit of fruitiness over some strong strong malts
Taste- Wow... this is VERY good. Similar in character to Brooklyn Black Ops.. subtle bourbon over strong chocolate and roasted malts with just a hint of fruitiness
Mouthfeel/Drinkability- great... not much else to say... very damn good

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Photo of DCon
4.69/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared a 12 fl.oz. / 355 ml bottle of this w/ CurtisMcArthur and other BA friends in Nashville, TN. Poured from the White labeled bottle w/ a Neon Green Ring in the background of SILVA STOUT & "Barrel-Aged" written beneath this into a 12oz Tulip Glass. This is a 2010 edition says MattL.

Aroma- The aroma is HUGE in this one! Strongest mixture of booze, coffee, chocolate (dark), hazelnut, and deep malts. Put my nose into this one for ages and can almost smell it to this day!

Appearance- Pours absolutely no head at all. Has the deepest brown, opaque colored body. Definitely has legs when swirling in glass and leaves a few suds behind.

Flavor- Has the richness roasty and malty flavors from the beginning. The next flavor I found was bourbon and slight coffee. Finish with a light bitterness with cocoa mixed in. Aging could have taken out many of the flavors but I still enjoyed greatly!

Mouthfeel- Medium-Full Bodied, Light Carbonation, Top Smoothest brew I've ever had, and then leaves tons of alcohol and roasty strength on the palate (not coffee roast but dark fruits blended with malt).

Overall Impression- Being Barrel Aged, I can see how this one gained its complexity in both the aroma and flavor! Would definitely love to get my hands on more of this. Have any? If you do, I'd enjoy it yourself. I can find my own soon...

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.92/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a nice black with a huge 3" tan head. Big pockets of lacing clump to the glass.

S- Nice chocolate and vanilla notes, some dark fruits, bourbon not very noticeable on the nose.

T- Sweet chocolate, dark fruits, coffee, some vanilla and bourbon linger at the finish.

M- Full body, medium carbonation. Creamy feel hides the abv very well.

O- Good BA stout but doesn't stand out compared to other really good BA stouts. Wish the taste followed the great aromas of this beer.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear dark brown color with an average frothy brown head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate to heavy toasted semi sweet chocolate, wood and bourbon aroma. Medium to heavy sweet malt flavor with a medium to heavy sweet and small alcohol bite finish of long duration. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. This is a standout beer.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle dated 12/15/12.

Finger's worth of brown head, nice carbonation. Different taste for my palate...bakers chocolate, vanilla and coconut? Bourbon barrel is present but very mellow IMO. Finishes dry with little to no alcohol presence. I agree with the general comparison to CWBBS although my palate prefer the CW more

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Photo of Sarge3130
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thick motor oil poured from 12oz bottle dated 12/15/12.

A: black as night. Finger worth of brown head which quickly dissipated.

S: best part of this beer for me. Nice oak and bourbon followed by a thick bakers chocolate. barrel notes of vanilla and coconut.

T: follows the nose well. Nice bourbon chocolate malt flavor. Somewhat dry finish. Little to no alcohol presence for 10.1%

M: little bit of a let down. Given the aroma, the appearance, and how thick the beer pored I was expecting a more chewey mouth feel. Little thin but still ok. Somewhat understandable given the barrel aging.

O: great barrel aged offering from GF. Wish I had another bottle to age and enjoy. I would drink this regularly if available. Very drinkable for the style.

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Photo of Etan
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from the 2nd batch.

A: Pours out an inky black with a small tan head that sticks around.

S: Nose comprises thick mocha, raisins, egg cream, baker's chocolate, a bit of coconut and oak.

T: Caramel, lightly bitter roasted grain, vanilla, mildly acidic oak tannins, dark chocolate, a bit vinous.

M: Thick-bodied with light carbonation. Really nice consistency.

O: Definitely an enjoyable barrel-aged stout, but one that I don't think should garner the incredibly high praise it does. Perhaps batch 1 was better.

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Photo of dfillius
4.97/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a wine glass, shared a 12oz with warnerry
A: 1/4 finger of dark brown head with fair retention. Near opaque dark brown. More head would be nice. The head only sticks around as a film.
S: Vanilla, some bourbon. Nice slight cherry. Some buttery aroma, maybe diacetyl? This makes it smell almost cake-like. Mississippi mud cake in a glass.
T: Chocolate, bittersweet cocoa, very slight bourbon. Some fruit. Fudge-like. Maybe slight coconut. I like how the bourbon is subdued.
M: Warm, not hot. Smooth, viscous, bitter from cocoa. Silky.
O: Would have been able to drink the entire 12 oz gladly. The scarcity maybe leads me to a greater appreciation. I would love to have this again. One of the best BBS I've had. Full flavored and not hot.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown body, verging on solid black. Thin khaki cap. Spotty lacing. Bubbly collar.

S: Bourbon, warmed chocolate, roasted malts, and a hint of oak.

T: Bourbon dominates the taste upfront as roasted malts, a little coffee, and chocolate round out the flavor profile.

M: A nice even weight throughout. Gentle, but adequate carbonation. Light bitterness in the finish.

O: A decent bourbon barrel aged stout -- nice to see it in the more friendly 12oz format.

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.87/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark brown pour with mocha tan head and traces of lacing. Aroma of oak, bourbon and vanilla. Tastes of smooth bourbon, vanilla and smoked wood. Medium to full bodied with a touch of carbonation. Overall, a fantastic Imperial Stout!

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.87/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Let me say, this beer rocks. My 200th review, this is a beer I've looked at for a while to try. Thanks to grilledsquid for this in a trade we did quite a while ago.

A: Excellent look with a silky black body and dark brown highlights. Ring of off white to tan head and awesome sticky dark lacing.

S: Holy cow, this is great. Super leathery and bourbon soaked dark malt bomb. Very round oak and vanilla character that has very little heat at all, but seems so well crafted. Dark fruits and some sweet stout aromas round it out. wow!

T: And the taste does not disappoint, amazing. What a masterful balance of bourbon complexity, vanilla, oak, coconut, cherry dark chocolate, milk chocolate, dark barley, licorice, caramel and even more. Outstanding. Alcohol adds sweetness but not hot or cloying at all.

M: Amazingly creamy and balanced, how is this not hot without even a year of age?

D: A little intense after a while, one serving with do, but damn it's good. Will look to trade for more of this.

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz stubby bottle dated 12/18/12 (from the 2nd release I believe)
*Notes from 05/17/13 – FW snifter glass

A: Jet black body with more of a dark coffee edge. Not terribly thick as expected with a sizeable frothy turbinado sugar colored head. Impressive stay power for a barrel-aged beer. Waves of speckled stick lace the glass after each sip.

S: Dark roast and chocolate malts meld with some very nice bourbon barrel notes of vanilla, spice, and earthy wood. There is a brown sugar sweetness with some dark fruit additions and more bourbon coming through. Has a light vinous character of rich leather and dried tobacco at the trail end. Alcohol is rather tame in the nose. Very complex and not overly burdened with the bourbon which is nice.

T: Taste is a delicious blend of dark chocolate, dark fruits, molasses, bourbon, vanilla, spice, and charred wood. Almost crème brulee like with the creamy vanilla and caramelized sugar flavors. I get a glimpse of light licorice on the backend. Bitterness is a touch on the lower side and alcohol is rather tamed albeit noticeable. Incredibly complex yet delicately balanced. Simply delectable chocolaty bourbon goodness.

M: On the thinner side for an Imperial stout but not in a distractible manner. Moderate and not too heavy or fulfilling from the very creamy texture and even carbonation. Light warming alcohol and some drying on the finish with a clean exit.

D: One of the better bourbon barreled stouts I have come across. Complex like a bourbon chocolate cordial. Yet balanced with a more restrained approach with the barreling that compliments the base beer rather than drown it out completely. Simply an incredible blend and up there with some of the best of them. Now I just need MOAR!!!

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance- Received with almost two finger's worth of head which has okay retention. The head is a medium beige while the body is an opaque, dark chocolate black. Lacing is basically non-existent but there are some spots here and there.

Nose- Huge chocolate notes that almost prevent me from smelling much else. Some cherry notes, some cocoa. A hit of alcohol and slight notes of bourbon. I did get a little bit of coconut at beginning. Light notes of oak, vanilla, and toffee. But more chocolate than anything else.

Taste- Very reflective of the nose with huge amounts of chocolate (close to fudge brownie or truffles) and cocoa. Some cherries. A little thinner than I expected. Some chalkiness on the finish. Some notes of cola. A bit of oak, some woodiness. Not as much bourbon on the palate as on the nose. Pretty solid but certainly does not meet my expectations. Nice sweetness does give it some complexity but not the complexity one would expect from barrel aging. A little bit of the coconut starts to come out as it opens up more. Some creaminess or milkiness to the chocolate.

Mouthfeel- Just about medium bodied with mild carbonation that has a slight zing that doesn't really disrupt the overall mouthfeel. A little thin for the style but this also isn't too much of a negative.

Drinkability- Pretty easygoing as it's a little bit boozier on the nose than it is on the palate. Fairly reasonable at 5 bucks a glass but the Block 15 Super Nebula is certainly a better deal.

Overall- Solid, good beer that has some tendencies toward being a really good beer. I would say it's in between good and really good. Definitely worth a try as it is a pretty solid imperial stout. But in Belmont's Bigger Badder Lineup, it's rather average.

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Photo of shivtim
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Konrad in Cali... Thanks Konrad!
Pours out deep oily brown/black. Nice foamy mocha brown head.
Nose is intense roasty sweet chocolate, with charcoal maltiness.
Taste is syrupy sweet malt, lingering brown sugar cocoa. A little bit of alcohol, especially after warming.
Solid mouthfeel and drinkability.
Very nice stout!

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Silva Stout from Green Flash Brewing Co.
4.29 out of 5 based on 1,063 ratings.
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