Tree House Brewing Company

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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #693
Ranked #3,063
4.24 | pDev: 8.02%
Tree House Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States
Notes: Expressionism is an imperial stout brewed with an array of Chocolate, Roasted, and Brown Malts. Its flavor is a function of complex and carefully selected ingredients and precise brewing application. It has gentle stout flavors, eschewing heavy bitter roast characteristics in favor of notes like cocoa powder, dark candy sugar, caramel, and dark fruit. It is best enjoyed in a snifter while allowed to warm to 50 degrees. It will keep well when kept cold for up to 6 months, evolving in the can to become more integrated, complex, and rewarding with time. We encourage you to try one fresh, and then again over several months to reveal evolving layers of complexity. Expressionism is the second installment in a new line of dark beers to be brewed in the Autumn and Winter of 2018!
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 82 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of bret27
bret27 from California

4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Can courtesy of Yllib.
Canned 3/20, so... ~7 months old.
L: Jet black, minimal creamy brown head.
S: chocolate, licorice, Marshmallow, sweet.
T: chocolate, roasty coffee, licorice, brown sugar, no booze presence.
F: wnl for style.
Overall: nice imperial stout. Roasty stout qualities without the barrel-aging or adjuncts. Solid.

Oct 15, 2020
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.38/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16 oz. can. Black with a head that disappears instantly. Smells of cola, brown malts, and cocoa powder. Tastes of heavy chocolate up front giving way to cola behind it. Dark fruity flavors in the finish. Not too sweet, but leaves a sweet aftertaste. Kinda boozy. Heavy, even though it isn't too sweet. A little bit of a strange profile. Chocolate, cola, and dark fruits. Not what I expected from it.

Apr 26, 2020
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BeerBaronBear from New York

3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I liked this beer, but didn't love it. Recently had a number of other Tree House stouts, and most of the others I liked better. There was basically no head on this beer, and combined with its medium, syrupy body, made it look like a glass of cola, which wasn't terribly appealing. The smell also had a lot of alcohol in it, and not much other rich aroma to my nose. The flavor had some nice roast coffee and bitter chocolate notes to it, and a touch of smokiness. Maybe some raisin or cherry flavor in there too. But I didn't love the syrupy sweet aspect to the taste and feel - it almost bordered on cough syrup territory.

Mar 21, 2020
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mnj21655 from Massachusetts

3.99/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black on color with maybe a 1/8” of light brown head that dissipates rather quickly. Aroma is malty, chocolately, and sweet bit a subtle roasty note. Taste follows the aroma; there a lots of sweet caramel malts, milk chocolate, and a sweet finish. I’d actually like a little more roast character and bitterness to balance this out more. This is medium-full in body with low carbonation and a slightly syrupy note. Overall this is a decent beer, the ABV is very well hidden, but the flavors skew too sweet for me. I can see how people who like adjunct stouts might be more of a fan.

Mar 20, 2020
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oldmankoch from Tennessee

4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A little hot on the tongue. Otherwise very delicious beer that presents Chocolate/Coffee/Caramel/Candy at the forefront as it warms. Would never turn this beer down.

Mar 19, 2020
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TheBeerMaster1 from New York

4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Canned 3/2/20 poured 3/17/20. Pours a beautifully clean Ruby Brown color. Smells of dark chocolate and roasted malt. Drink is of a syrupy cocoa powder, caramel, burnt sugar mix. Clean, Very silky and rich. Definitely more of a dessert beer for its sweetness and bit of the boozy ending.

Mar 18, 2020
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beersampler6 from Michigan

3.81/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Hmmm...this one just didn't quite sit right with me. A decent beer, sure, but not what I was expecting from the mighty Tree House. 3/2/20 date printed on can. Pours a surprisingly thin dark black opaque color with just a little tan head and minimal scant lingering lacing. Smells of rich dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, caramel, vanilla, nuts, bread and malt. Taste follows the nose, not bad but just lacked depth and power. Good balance, higher ABV was fairly well hidden, just not as rich and flavorful as I was expecting. Smooth mild mouthfeel, decent carbonation. Probably would look for other Tree House imperial stouts before this one.

Mar 18, 2020
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BHDLCC from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very dark pour without much head...very nice taste...bright tasting with a bit of ‘tang’, almost fruity...not heavy mouthfeel for a stout...very enjoyable and easy to drink

Jan 14, 2019
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EMH73 from New York

4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a quarter inch light brown head that receded to a ring quickly and left some splotches of lacing. Smells of dark chocolate, roasted malts, coffee and caramel. Tastes of bakers chocolate, cocoa powder, coffee, caramel, burnt sugar, roasted malts and figs. Heavy bodied, minimal carbonation, smooth and creamy mouth feel.

Oct 31, 2018
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tigg924 from Massachusetts

4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours opaque, dark brown in color with 1/3 inch head. Taste is burnt caramel, roasted malt, butterscotch, and coffee. Heavy bodied, sweet, roasty, and heavy bodied. Amazing, complex stout. Delicious..Really impressed

Oct 20, 2018
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agreenman19 from Connecticut

4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L - used motor oil with a frothy tan head. Looks like a freshly frothed latte.

S - roasty toasty. Burnt malts and popcorn. Baker's chocolate.

T - way more fruity than I'd expected. Playful nuttiness and earthy blackberries. Figs and even cherry. Toasted caramel drizzled stop a medium roast with a dash of cocoa powder. Hits that chalky bitterness without the cloying sweetness. Finish is dry and herbalicious.

F - light? Strange. Goes down way too easy for this ABV. Nice breath of fresh air from all the sludgy milk stootiness of late. Smooth and velvety soft, yet I feel it might actually benefit from a more robust body. +1 for whatever the hell TH does to make their mouthfeel so killer on draft.

O - surprisingly bright and... ugh... expressive. There. I said it. Unique and all over the map with coffee-centric flavors from adventurous beans.

Oct 20, 2018
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rudzud from Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up some cans of this at the brewery when it was released last month.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a nice dark brown almost black with a nice two finger mocha head that faded slowly to leave light lacing and a nice creamy blanket.

S - Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa powder, coffee, harsh bitter roast. Little bit of caramel sweetness.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. Decent dark chocolate and cocoa powder, bakers chocolate. not super fudgy, just really assertive dark chooclate. There is some creaminess and caramel before getting a hefty wallop of dark acrid roast coffee. The roast is definitely on the aggressive side to the point that on the finish it completely overwhelms the other flavours.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, creamy, little on the thicker side. Alcohol hidden nicely.

O - Overall this was a solid enough imperial stout, however, for me the roast was just a bit too aggressive for my liking. It definitely opens up much more as it warms.

Serving Type: Can

Oct 18, 2018
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hopsputin from New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: solid malt black color with a silky complexion. not much head to speak of

s: rich roasted malts and dark chocolate. brown caramel malts and a subtle nutty aroma. more chocolate and a big biscuity malt. a touch of berry and fig in here as well. maybe a small hit of alcohol as well

t: huge note of chocolate fudge and dark chocolate powder, followed by big sweet malt. dark fig and sweet dark berries behind that. smooth roasted malts which lend a little bit of bitterness. more chocolate and sweet malt towards the end

m: heavy and silky, rich mouthfeel with low carbonation

o: a rich, sweet, and luxurious sipper. on the sweeter side for a stout (perhaps it could use a little more roast?) that is a nice, no-frills stout

Oct 13, 2018
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to rudzud, canned 9/21/18
Pours a super high thick creamy foamy 2 finger mocha colored head, fades slowly with nice lacing, very dark brown almost black beer

Nose plenty of roast and cocoa, some roasted coffee and a little acrid char notes, an almost smokey like note from the charred roast, plenty of caramel, coffee, and cocoa, even touch of fluffy nougat

Taste brings plenty of acrid roast, burnt char and a little smokey like char, roasted malt and acrid burnt coffee, a little fluffy nougat and cocoa, caramel, a little creamy oats, mild bitter roast and little earthy hop, mild candy notes and brown sugar like, sticky finish, hint of alcohol, lingering roast burnt coffee acrid like

Mouth is fuller bod, creamy rich fluffy, nice fluffy carb, only a hint of alcohol

Overall eh, not quite up to Tree House standards, way too acrid burnt roast, but not terrible and def drinkable.

Oct 07, 2018
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scotorum from Massachusetts

4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Acquired at the brewery less than two weeks ago. Colorful modern art can is a definite attention-grabber.

Poured from the 16 oz. can into a Samuel Smith English tulip pint

a; Opaque black with a huge two inch thick tan head which receded slowly to thick surface foam and dense lacing.

s; Mainly black coffee.

t; Roasty malt with espresso black coffee bitterness. Sweet finish with lingering bitterness and some throat burn evidence of the higher ABV in the back of the throat.

m: Medium, good body and carbonation tingle.

o; A fine imperial stout. Its prominent strength surpasses the more balanced classic Old Rasputin and Samuel Smith Chocolate Stout with more assertiveness.

UPDATE 10/23/18: Second can was beautifully balanced and with less black coffee and more chocolate notes. A superior Imperial stout! Bumped taste, feel and overall ratings up .25 each.

Oct 04, 2018
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ScaryEd from New Hampshire

4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On draft at the brewery.

Pitch black with a beautiful caramel head. The lacing is just silly.

Aromas of chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate. There's some subtle notes of caramel and roasted coffee, but this one is all about the chocolate.

The taste is more of the same. Chocolate for days. Chocolate syrup, fudge, and cocoa powder. Some mild coffee and caramel. Very sweet.

The feel is thick with soft carbonation. Syrupy and smooth.

Overall, a great imperial stout. Tree House definitely knows how to bring out the most of chocolate malts, as this and the imperial porter both taste like chocolate syrup. Perhaps slightly unbalanced, but definitely delicious.

Oct 03, 2018
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a very dark black color, with a small head, and not much lacing.

This smells like caramel malt, brownie batter, espresso, cocoa powder, and dark fruit.

This is just a super expressive imperial stout without any added flavorings- a new thing for Tree House for sure. There's a surprising emphasis on caramel, with cocoa powder and deep sweet brownie-like fudgy chocolate. There's some light fruitiness, too. This is surprisingly decadent for having nothing added to it.

This is medium bodied, chewy and rich, with a very nice level of drinkability for the higher ABV.

I am very impressed with this. Tree House has always been solid at stouts, but I'm impressed they can stand on their stout legs without maple or coffee.

Sep 28, 2018
Expressionism from Tree House Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 82 ratings