Black Tot | Avery Brewing Company

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Black TotBlack Tot

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.08%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Oxymoron on 09-10-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 117 | Ratings: 177
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a great soapy white foamy head. Some roast aroma. A blend of the sour and the sweet, through Rum flavours. Rum is not overally sweet, therefore you are getting mostly the sourish. I appreciate that I am gettting, it is more than average mouthfeel, oatmeal.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.3/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to shrek086 for sending me this one!

Bottled 1/13/10.

Pours an opaque black with a 1/2 inch dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on the top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, dark fruits, vanilla, rum, and wood. Taste is super sour at first with dark roasted malt, sour dark fruits, vanilla, rum, and wood on the aftertaste. The sourness is quite puckering and I think there is some sort of infection. The beer is not completely undrinkable, as more normal flavors come about after the sourness but it's definitely a drainpour. This beer has a crisp level of carbonation but paired with the taste it's pretty bad. Overall, this is a pretty bad beer only because of the infection issue that ruins the taste. The rest of the aspects on this one are pretty good. Oh well.

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Photo of largadeer
4.37/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks, Nick. Black in the snifter with a slim tan head. The aroma has a big fresh rum barrel character, exhibiting scents of toasted coconut and turbinado sugar. The beer holds up nicely to the barrel, lending notes of oatmeal cookie, toasted cereal, chocolate and caramel. The taste closely resembles the aroma; it opens with a rich chocolate flavor, coffee-like roastiness and plenty of rum barrel sweetness. Moderately hot but not harshly so, this is very enjoyable. The mid-palate brings out a big oatmeal cookie flavor and more roasty bitterness, which leads into a sweet, rum-like finish. A medium-bodied stout, this is thankfully not too heavy or cloying; the base beer has enough roasty bitterness to balance the sweetness of the rum barrel. Good stuff.

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Photo of zeff80
4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark black color with a small, tan head of foam. It left some sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt, chocolate and some light rum notes.

T - Good chocolate flavor with some burnt molasses flavors. Rum flavor is very muted.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A full bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a really good and really interesting Imperial Stout. Certainly worth a try.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes taken after a noninfected bottle right around release--so maybe there hadn't been time.

Pours black with a thin, lastig mocha head. Nose brigs dark rum, spice, toasted malt, chocate, and a bit of coffee. Taste brings a bit of booze with those characteristics and isn't as complex as I would have hoped from the nose. Feel is nice and he rum flavors work a bit better to hide the alcohol. Drinks quite well and i am glad that I cracked my bottle early.

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Photo of mothman
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to mistofminn for sharing this one.

Poured into KBS chalice.

Pours very little tan head. Color is a dark brown, pretty black.

Aroma: Has some sour notes to it which is odd. The rum barrels are present with some oak flavors and vanilla. Sweet caramel. Very malty. Gets better as it warms.

Taste: Sour notes again. This beer seems to have gone bad in such a short amount of time. Then the ba stout flavors kick in with rum, oat, chocolate, roasted malts, sweet caramel, and vanilla. Light oatmeal as well. Decent if a guy can get past the sour notes.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, but still sour. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry with rum flavors.

Overall, it would be much more drinkable if there wasn't so much sour notes here. Let down by this since it is so young. It is decent, but the sourness really adds a negative layer to what could have been a great brew.

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Photo of jlindros
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark fluffy fizzy head, pitch black beer.

Nose fluffy marshmallow, earthy cardboard notes, funky aged malt, mild fudgey cocoa, etc.

Taste sweet fluffy candy malt, nougat and fudgey cocoa, little earthy, candy chewy fudgey cocoa. Little acrid roast notes, etc.

Mouth is med bod, some warming booze, lighter carb.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out an opaque, dark brown body with a very thin, khaki-colored head.

Smell: A malty nose with notes of nutty, crunchy oats, semi-sweet chocolate, light coffee-scented roasted malts, and a flutter of booze, though not particularly rum based, and a touch of dark fruits.

Taste: A stronger, more pronounced chocolate taste than implied by the aroma, like a cupcake frosting. Sound sweetness. A spoon of oatmeal with a little bitty splash of rum stirred in. Moist prunes. Some earthy touches, with a hint of bitterness. Hint of whole black peppercorn. Dry, warming, choco-roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-low carbonation. Some smooth slickness on the tongue.

Overall: Good, not great. Bare in mind these were from some old, old notes. So, either this bottle dodged the sour bullet or I caught it before the "Tot Taint", as I hear it's called, took hold. Either way, it was good enough, though I didn't get much rum-character out of it at the time.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.31/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I really had some high hopes for this one as I have had for the entire series. Was really looking for something good to come out of here. Served chilled and dumped into a large goblet. This one was consumed on 05/16/2010.

Very nice pour, one of the best of the night if I am being honest with a deep, black as night look to it and a nice three finger head of dark chocolate that hung around long enough to make its presence felt.

Aroma starts of very dark, rich espresso, dark oak notes, hints of rum or bourbon. Very nice. Warming though brings about trouble as I start to pick up notes of a bittering agent. A touch of vinegar and I knew the stories were true. Still I trudged on, hoping for the best. Each sip was sadly soured of what should have been a superbly done barrel aged beer. The dark chocolate, espresso and roasted malts were all still clearly discernable but the problem was that a sour, acidic, vingear flavor has now tainted it all. It pained me to drink it not because it was horrible, but it really had the backbone to be excellent, you could taste it, it was almost there.

Overall really a could of, would of, should of, situation. This could have been excellent but sadly is barely average.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is nearly black with a solid mocha colored head on top. A few spots of lacing on the glass.

S: A nice combination of oak, rum, and vanilla. Plenty of roast, chocolate, coffee, and a bit of oatmeal as well.

T: Plenty of roasted malt, perhaps too much of it. A hint of booze and dark fruits. The talk of infection has made me a bit worried about this one, and perhaps this one is beginning. A bit of acidity and olives.

M: The body is medium with a moderate carbonation. Something is a bit off with the finish.

D: It's too bad this one has gone down hill. I would imagine this would be a really nice beer.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.69/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Big thanks to JMBSH for this bottle!

I've heard rumblings about infection, but I decided to pull the trigger anyway. This stuff pours a straight obsidian topped by a half-finger of tan foam. The nose comprises tart black cherry and galvanized steel surrounded by a sea of roasted malts, chocolate syrup, and boozy molasses. The taste leads with the black cherry and a hint of the metal and sticks with this formula for the duration. It's a true shame, especially since I can taste the real desired result beneath: there's roast, chocolate, molasses, and a boozy caramel-ness, the makings of a truly delicious rum-barreled stout. Unfortunately that glimpse I get is rather fleeting, as the infection races toward my tastebuds like rage zombies. The body is a light hefty, with a rather light moderate carbonation and a chewy feel. Overall, what could have been exceptional was marred by the infection. Worse, the infection didn't make a tasty sour stout. Just a mess. Oh well, worth a shot...

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Photo of drabmuh
2.71/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I've had this beer twice and I can say without question that this beer is garbage, undrinkable garbage. Beer is black with a brown head, no retention, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is metallic and sour with a mild roast.

Beer is metallic, very metallic...strong sour almost soy sauce. I've given it more of a chance that it deserved...never again.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Properly cellared bottle poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black with a thin brown head that dissipates to a ring around the glass; no visible carbonation nor lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, molasses, a hint of rum and dark cherry. Flavor starts with cark toasted malt, coffee and chocolate and goes south after that, with a metallic sourness ending in acerbic bitterness. Medium bodied with little carbonation. After the aroma on opening, I thought I had dodged the bullet, but this does taste like a soured stout. Smells good and the initial taste indicates a good dark imperial stout, but the finish is not good. Oh, well. Avery has never failed me before; I'll open something else.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aged in rum barrels...that's a nice change than the regular oak or bourbon. Let's see what the rum adds.
Pours a deep brown/black with a brownish head. Seems a bit soapy, but overall it has a nice density. Slight lacing, slick.
Caramel, chocolate, molasses...vanilla (?) aroma. Not a strong aroma, but pretty darn good. Licorice maybe.
A bit of coffee in the taste. Chocolate and caramel with some spice and leather. Interesting. A bit of vanilla if I think about it.
Alcohol is present which seems to thin out the feel a touch.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick tan, almost brown head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has your typical OS aroma; earthy, black malt bitterness, a bit of chocolate/crystal malt sweetness, and creamy oatmeal aroma. The rum barrels provide a bit of depth, but are mild at best. The taste is good as well. It has an easy drinking black malt flavor with a super smooth oatmeal feel. The rum barrels really seem to calm the warmth and overall alcohol presence. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This a good oatmeal stout. I don't find it to be head and shoulders above the rest, but it's complex and interesting.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown to black with a cream-colored head. The aroma is bourbon and chocolate. The flavor is bourbon, alcohol and chocolate. The alcohol is pretty hot but not overpowering. Low carbonation and a thick mouthfeel. A very good barrel-aged beer.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled January 2010; Sampled February 2010
A solid pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip glass produces a fat-two-finger thick, lightly brown stained, dark tan colored head. The beer is a rich black hue that has touches dark chocolate brown. When held up to the light the beer is still quite opaque, but does show a rich, red / amber glow. Rich aromas of toasted whole grain, bitter dark cocao, lightly burnt whole grain bread, coffee with cream, some burnt grain acidity and on the sweeter side notes of coffee liquor, maybe a touch of molasses and mocha coffee. After a bit I am realizing that the toastiness and much of a light spiciness as well as the sharpness are actually being contributed by oak. As the beer warms soft floral notes of vanilla become noticeable. The aroma is interesting and complex, but somehow doesn't seem as interesting and integrated as I would like.

Somewhat viscous feeling as it hits the palate, but it actually seems a bit on the light side for a beer of this strength. The beer has a light, mocha like sweetness to it up front, but finishes with a tartness that seems contributed by the Rum barrel and also a bit from the roasted grain contribution. The tartness brings out an almost grappa like fruitiness to the finish, though without an overly harsh alcoholic bite that this would usually imply. The most dominant flavor here is definitely the roasted grain; espresso, and only a hint of burnt grain husks. A flavor of toasted coconut lightly scents the flavor as does a light oaky spiciness that mixes in with a touch of warming alcohol. A touch of astringent, burnt vegetal notes mars the finish just a bit, but is fairly restrained overall. And it can also be a bit acrid and burntly acidic in the finish at times. A bright, plum like fruitiness can be found here after digging around for a while.

An interesting beer, but I can't really say that this is as enjoyable as I would like it to be. This is certainly drinkable and is even enjoyable enough to finish, but I think that the body is a bit thinner than it should be as it needs a bit of a richer malt base to stand up to the alcohol, the rum barrel and the roasted malt. I will say that this beer definitely needs to be allowed to warm up in order for it to seem a bit more integrated and balanced.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this a while back from Celeriac... Thanks Max.. shared with the peeps... and if there was an infection, it was very very minor.

Pours with a thin tan head.. no real lacing... ehhh.... okay... not great.

Roasty nose with hints of wood and cinnamon.. I get "rum", but have a hard time describing it other than "rum".

Flavor has some great dry cocoa and a pretty pronounced toasted malt presence... the traditional stout components are pretty minor really... descent dark dry dark malt and that is pretty much it... the rest of this beer is balanced nicely on the barrel and the background booze... there is a minor sour cherry presence, but I may be making it up.. Body is a tad light for the style, but the carbonation seemed to still be in play.

Nice... Glad we caught this before the bugs took hold... I would love to see this again with no hints of infection.

Thanks again Max... this was a surprising hit.


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Photo of corby112
3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark chocolate brown/eggplant color that is almost pitch black and completely opaque. Even when held to a light source there is no semblance of lighter color. Thin coffee colored head that very quickly fades into a minimal ring.

Complex aroma with lots of roasty malt notes balanced by the earthy oak tones and sweet rum/liquor presence. Hints of chocolate malt, toffee, molasses, oatmeal, roasted coffee bean, licorice and toast. I'm really surprised how the stout element of the base beer have held up in the nose. Slightly vinous with subtle oak and vanilla notes. Hopefully the flavor holds up t the aroma and is not a complete rum bomb.

I have heard that this beer might be infected but I guess got lucky because I'm not picking that up at all. Maybe some slight oxidation but nothing too noticeable. Much to my pleasant surprise the balance noticed in the aroma comes through in the flavor. Complex and well balanced with the rum barrel aging complimenting the oatmeal stout flavor rather than completely overpowering it. Plenty of roasty malt notes with hints of chocolate, oatmeal, toffee, nut and licorice. Only slight tannis but still vinous with hints of grape and other dark berries. Also, there is a nice sweet rum presence as well as some slight vanilla. Slightly dry finish with some nice alcohol warmth.

I was very excited about this beer because it was complex, well balanced and most of all not infected.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.3/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, bottled on 1/13/2010. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head that went away quickly. There's also a good amount of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is roasted malt, coconut, chocolate, rum, oats, and a bit of oak and brown sugar. The aroma is nice, but seems a bit light. The taste is very sweet. The brew tastes like rum, coconut, vanilla, chocolate, raisins and oats. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and slick, but also seems a little bit thin, too. Moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good. I thought it was pretty easy to drink, it's smooth and enjoyable. I think this is a good overall brew, I'll have to save my other bottle for a while and see how it ages.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.17/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Peter was kind enough to grab me a bottle when he noticed I was throwing out a BA Blackout for a bottle of this. Thanks, man, you're quite the guy! Bottled 13 Jan 2010, I got to try this earlier and enjoyed the fresh rum barrel character and wanted to revisit it.

In my Hopleaf tulip, an aggressive pour yields an absolutely black beer with a dense, mocha colored head that falls off to a disk. Highlights are very dark brown, bordering on black, and lacing, minimal, though some patchy foam is present.

Ah, good old rum. Chock-full of coconut, biscuit-sweetness, brown sugar and all things that make a good rum, coupled with a pretty massive chocolate and oatmeal character, almost cookie-like. Booze is apparent, working well with the coconut-sweetness. The palate opens with a big coconut-like sweetness and brown sugar. Chocolate and dark fruit character are quite prominent as well, along with a mellow vanilla sweetness. The roast character is low, allowing the barrel to really shine. The oatmeal character is strong, and when coupled with the dark fruit character, makes me think of an alcoholic oatmeal raisin cookie, which is only a good thing. Mildly sweet on the finish with a slick, oatmeal character, this is quite decadent, really. Carbonation is moderate, and the finish, long lasting with some booze, coconut and oatmeal slickness. The booze on the finish is very welcome, cutting through the sweetness just enough. An impressive beer that I'd love to try again.

I might be in the minority here, but I don't think this beer really needs to be aged. It's about the fresh rum barrel character and needs to be enjoyed as such, not some emasculated, oxidized, mellow beer.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle courtesy of hoppymcgee. Bottled January 13, 2010. Served in my Old Stock tulip. Pours pitch black with zero light penetration. Head was half an inch, loose and khaki-colored and quickly dispersed from the center out the shoulders, forming a thick frothy band around the edges. Spots and strands of delciate lacing formed on the tilt side of the glass during the tasting. Nose reveals, tart, slightly acidic fruit (maybe cherries), caramel, followed by booze, on a malty backbone. Taste follows nose - barrel aging is well hidden, and missing some of the flaked oat quality usually present in an oatmeal stout. Finish leaves a pleasant, light, lingering buttery flavor between quaffs. Mouthfeel is medium-light, perhaps a little thin, with a carbonation that lightly asserts itself towards the back of the tongue. Very little alcohol heat, despite the 10% abv. I know there has been talk of infection with this brew, and the tart fruit is probably an indicator; however, I have to say that I found this beer to be a pleasant sipper with a fair amount of complexity.

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Photo of maximum12
3.64/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to wyoming for sending me a bottle of this in a trade for a couple highly anticipated brews. Thank you sir!

Pours black, as light scurries away from the clean glass. Very interesting smell, cherries left in a glass of rum for several hours & sprinkled with sweet malt dust. There's also clearly more than minimal alcohol in this brew. Very nice.

Black Tot mixes genres with the abandon of a DJ just discovering the turntable in his parent's basement. Rum, vanilla, & cherries come front & center. None is dominant over the others, but the rum lends the beer a boozy, woozy-feeling air that makes it lean in the direction of the barrel. Charred malts, then a healthy dose of bitter hops, jar the senses away from the slippery sweetness, creating a wave of checkered misunderstanding. The rum, malts, & hops aren't terribly well integrated, but the taste is still....pretty good.

Very interesting, & good, beer. This one could do with further aging to allow the various ingredients to meld a bit more, but as is, it's a cool new twist from a good brewery.

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Photo of champ103
4.33/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to tjmodica for the extra.

A: Pours a pitch black color. A two finger tan head gently rises with decent retention. The foam finally recedes to a ring, and leaves some sticky lace behind.
S: This is a very muted nose. Light roasted malt and sweet milk chocolate. A bit of wood, and some rum like alcohol. Good stuff, but not as big as I would have liked.
T: There it is. Lots of rich bark chocolate that is the most dominate flavor. Subtle coffee, and a light roasted malt character. Dry oak that is the perfect compliment to a light rum flavor. Sweet fruits as well, I get a lot of apples. Excellent.
M/D: A full body that is incredibly smooth and creamy. Velvety soft. There is some rum flavor, but it is not hot at all. Really easy to drink, and so smooth. Did I say this was smooth?

Another hit from Avery's Barrel Aged Series. I feel very fortunate to have had all three so far. This one is much more subtle than the others in the series. Still excellent, and way to easy to drink. Highly recommended if you can find it.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from a 12 oz bottle into a tasting glass at NoTB.

The beer pours dark black with a very da rk tan head. The head rises a couple fingers, is very creamy and has great retention and lacing.

The aroma is super sweet some vanilla that is mixed with roasted coffee.

The taste is also really matly but in a good way, its not to sweet but just a very sweet ris. The middle and end brings about some light coffee and a great vanilla finish.

This beer is very creamy and warm with a great lasting taste.

Overall, this is a very good well balanced stout.

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Black Tot from Avery Brewing Company
3.62 out of 5 based on 177 ratings.
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