Black Tot | Avery Brewing Company

Black TotBlack Tot
177 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 177 |  Reviews: 117
Photo of bigbelcher
4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Damn- why can't they make this beer all the time?

Color was a deep black color. Aroma was of roasted amlt, no hop charecter evident. Flavor was of a rich full bodied stout, some fruitiness which I wasn't expecting, a tad sweet due to the high alcohol content. An excellent beer which I wish was available all the time. If it wasn't for meph addict or moloch I could almost say that this was Avery's best beer.

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Photo of emmasdad
4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Duvel tulip. Nice opaque black color, with a bit of medium brown head. Nice aromas of brown sugar, molasses, dark rum and oak. A lot of sweetness on the palate here, with vanilla, cocoa powder and a lot of boozy rum flavor. Pretty hot, but still quite good and drinkable. I was really looking forward to this one in the months leading up to its release, but after a few bottles, it's kind of a letdown--not bad at all, just not all that I had hoped.

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Photo of GregSVT
4.37/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter courtesy of my buddy Mike

A: Pours deep black with a medium tan head that fades quickly to a small layering leaving a small amount of lacing.

S: The nose is at first all chocolate malts but as you leave your nose in you can smell some molasses and milk chocolate.

T: The taste is where the rum barrel shines through unmistakeably. Theres a ton of molasses and sour oak on top of the chocolate malt backbone.

M: The feel is creamy and full bodied with just the right amount of carbonation.

D: While I would love to drink this all night I bet I could only put down about two. I would love to find more of these but they didn't make it to Dallas for some reason.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an ink black body with a small cappuccino head. The Goslings really shows on the nose and right away. Sweet and oaky with vanilla and brown sugar too. The flavor is remarkable. Both familiar and new at the same time. Dark chocolate, espresso, oak, coconut, vanilla, and on and on. Goslings is distinctly noticeable on both the nose and palate. This lends some sweetness that cuts the drinkability a bit, but this is a 12oz bottle (which I split with the wife). The unique flavors the rum barrels add to a style that has been saturated with more of the same is more than worth it. The sours will grab more attention, but this no slacker.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Dark black in the glass but the pour revealed that its a deep red. A nice luxurious tan head is leaving all kinds of lacing in my snifter. More of a head and better retention that I expect in a barrel aged stout with an ABV this high.

S- Definitely an oatmeal stout. Loads of coffee, chocolate, vanilla. A really sweet smelling beer. Behind the breakfast stout quality resides the rum barreling. It comes through in the form of a spicy, caramely smell. Its quite complex. Lots of licorice and faint hops.

T- Very different. I have not had anything aged in rum barrels before. It makes for a pretty boozy beer but its a different type of booze than what Im used to. Its a lighter, very sweet and acidic type of alcohol presence. Im not sure if I like the way it pairs with the creamy coffee and chocolate notes of the oatmeal stout.

M- Typical low carbonation of a barrel aged stout, creating a fuller, creamier feel. Finishes semi dry with a very slight stickiness.

D- Rum barrel aging is definitely unique. In this case I dont think it works to the fullest. I am having a harder time than normal with this beer. Its really the sweet and acidic finish that hurts it for me.

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Photo of rye726
4.18/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown, near black. Nice tan head.

Nose has chocolate, coffee, roasty malts, wood and a light rum presence.

Taste also has a subtle rum presence followed by dark malts, coca and espresso.

Medium body is well carbonated. Drinks well, but my least favorite barrel.

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Photo of Xul
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Body is an almost entirely opaque black, with the only visibility being small streams of carbonation running up the edges of the glass. Head is a fizzy, one finger mocha colored head with poor retention.

S: Lots of deep, roasted grains up front followed by some bitter dark chocolate and hints of coffee and vanilla. A toasted coconut aroma comes through, likely a combination of the rum barrel aging and the roasted malts. A general oakiness lies in the background but the rum doesn't contribute much else to the nose.

T: Starts off with big roasted grains and bitter chocolate, but some spice and alcohol from the rum cut through fairly quickly. Finishes with a blend of rum and coffee, backed by notes of vanilla and oak.

M: Thin bodied for the style and the strength of the beer. Carbonation is okay but I think this would really excel with a thicker, creamier body.

D: The mouthfeel really hurts the drinkability on this one. Good flavors, but between the strength and thin body, it's definitely not something I'd want more than one of.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, 10.08% abv. Bottled Jan 15, 2010. Pours a very dark brown, nearly black in color. Fizzy mocha head disappears right away. No lace at all.

Nose is very nice, roasted notes, with some dark and milk chocolate. A suggestion of dark fruit. Maybe some licorice. A softer oak barrel aroma with a rummy edge. Some booze present in the nose.

Roasty, with a hint of dark chocolate. Subtle flavors are swept away quickly by a somewhat dominating boozy, rum flavor. Seems a bit astringent. A dry finish.

A bit light in body, and high on carbonation. Seems a bit hot. I like the experiment, and this is a unique beer. I find it enjoyable.

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Photo of largadeer
4.37/5  rDev +21.4%
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 srandycarter
4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Just one shade short of black. Nice tan head leaves slowly to ring. Some cling lace remains.

S - Deep dark malt. Booze and wood make their presence as well. Soy. Almost a little anise?

T - Hot, bittersweet dark malt. Taste a bit like a shot, pretty hot. Nice mix of malt, heat and bitter.

M - Creamy. Thick. If not for the booze and wood tannin, would probably be too sweet for me. Sweet still wins at end of day.

D - At this ABV and its palate killing flavors, this is a sipper or nightcap, not sessionable.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
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 boatshoes
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Was lucky enough to score a few of these through trade and when they happened to make their way out to Ohio. Just had my first bottle.

Appearance- Pours the typical opaque black out of the bottle but with a very minimal sheeting of brown head coming off of a very aggressive pour. Head dies back almost immediately to a small ring around the edges.

Smell- Some rich flavors from the rum barrel initially evident with lots of vanilla and coconut coming through for me in particular. A healthy does of roasted malt as well but also a slightly unsettling punch of alcohol bite at the end.

Taste- Starts off with lots of dark malt and some bitter chocolate. Mixed in quite nicely are the vanilla and coconut and a slight dark fruitiness as well that I would attribute to the rum. Just a bit of tobacco and wood as well. However, finishes at the end with some hot alcohol that was picked up on in the nose.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- I felt that the mouthfeel turned out to be the low point of this beer. It was quite thin even for the style, with the minimal carbonation and hot alcohol on the finish further thinning out the beer. Drinkability was decent for the style but some age might take the hotness of this one a bit.

Overall, a decent barrel aged offering and I like the slight fruitiness lent from the run barrel. However, the mouthfeel was quite thin and the beer a bit hot overall. I'm torn on aging this though because it seems like the fruit flavors from the barrel aging may diminish with time as well.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%
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 johnnieoz
3.91/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottled on 1/15/10, but consumed rather than cellared. I mean, it's already been barrel-aged...

A: As dark as can be. Minimal espresso-like head that can be replenished with a vigorous swirl.

S: Ships ahoy! Rum aromas galore wafting from the glass deep into my nostrils. They are proceeded by more traditional RIS/ADS scents such as licorice and coffee.

T: Initially, Black Tot is quite sweet and refreshing. As she warms up, it becomes a tad harsher - or to my mind, a tad more Avery-ish. Or perhaps, this is just how a rum-barrel aged strong stout tastes. Regardless...tasty.

M: As soon as I saw that this was an Oatmeal Stout I expected some smooth groovin'. And I was not disappointed. Tot feels full on the palate, coats the mouth with flavors and it goes down like velvet.

D: Given the mouthfeel and the unique, delicious flavors, I am obliged to rank this high in drinkability. The 10.08% ABV is certainly present as I near the bottom of the glass, but not in the taste or smell. Unless you count the rum, and that would be just silly.

Much preferred this to Brabant, the first in the barrel-aged series - I have not had access to Sui Generis, the second. For me, this is one of those beers that I like to savor due to its brilliant mouthfeel. Aging won't hurt this beer, but it is ripe for consumption right now. Kudos.

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Photo of Overlord
2.91/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours black. Strangely "thin" pour. Harrumph. Fast dying one inch tan head.

Smells ... like booze. Not really even rum, either, just booze. Some dark fruits and chocolate in there. And booze.

Taste is so over the top boozy. A beer like this needs an uber-strong base to combat the -bal aging, but this is a bit thin. Some acrid, sort-a cereal-y/oatmeal-y malt, a nutpunch of rummy booze, a bit of chocolate and dried coffee.

Really not so great. The mouthfeel is abhorrently thin.

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Photo of callmescraps
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at the Goat, apparently for free. Fun times. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance- Rich and black. A tiny mocha head that dissipates momentarily.

Smell- Some nice rum. There is a real vanilla and coconut component that is just great. Followed by some rich dark fruits.

Taste- Vanilla up front. With some coconut. There is a light burn on the roast. Definitely a smooth oatmeal quality. A tad boozy. And yet, it falls a little flat. There are hints of all these nice qualities, but it's pretty subdued. Very dry on the finish. There's a nice start, then absolutely nothing in the middle, then the roast. The first sip is better than the third. And the fourth, etc.

Mouthfeel- Very rich and smooth.

Drinkability- Goes down easy, but too easy. Just a tad bland.

This was an interesting beverage, and nice to try. But I'll pass next time.

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Photo of THORN
4.5/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 Fl. Oz. bottle poured into pint glass. Served 50-55 F.
A: Pitch black. Light brown bubbly frothy head. Head is two fingers thick. Cascade and gas exchange is very noticeable.
S: Brown sugar, toasted malts, and chocolate.
T: Dark toasted malts. Very sweet sugary body. Molasses sweeps in and finishes with bitter hops. Alcohol is noticeable and is faintly rum-like.
M: Heavy on tongue, thick, and syrupy.
D: Big beer. Well balanced all the way through.

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Photo of OlieIPA
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Was surprised to find several bottles of this stuff at Hollinghead's after work today...glad I got a chance to pick up a few bottles for myself. Poured into a Bruery tulip glass at roughly 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

A: Poured very thick and black and settled into the glass the same way, with and almost mud-like (well, maybe not that thick) consistency. A nice creamy brown head soon followed the pour and exhibit superb lacing and head retention qualities.

S: Rum, chocolate, nut, caramel, wood, dark fruit, aged black cherry and a strong vanilla finish; extremely complex with very little alcohol burn.

T: The first impression is rum and then a whole variety of Imperial Stout-like flavors. A good amount of roasty and chocolate flavors are detectable, but it's almost as if the rum-barrel is masking all the malt and additive flavors that the brewer threw into this beer. It's surprising too, considering the rum flavor isn't as bold and robust as I expected.

M: A lot thinner and dryer than what I come to expect from this style. Often times I felt it subdued and thinned out the flavor profile.

D: There is nothing offensive about the beer, but there is nothing too exciting about the beer at the same. I'm not sure if I would go out and buy a whole bunch of bottles, but I was still able to down most of my half pint pour...within a 45 minute period.

Overall: A good, not great, Imperial Stout that may be worth a try. Cheers!

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
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 Arbitrator
3.64/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared by nickd717. Thanks Nick!

A: My pour produces a pitch-black body with no light penetration even in small quantities. The head is dark mocha in color, made up of fine bubbles. Retention is short, leaving a very thin ring around the edge.

S: I'm not much of a rum drinker, so I couldn't exactly pick out what made this rummy -- but I detected plenty of coconut, brown sugar, molasses. Touches of chocolate, oatmeal cookie, vanilla. Some booze sting.

T: Starts off nicely sipper-sweet, with coconut, cookie, chocolate, brown sugar, and molasses. Nice flavor. Tannins near the finish. I kept expecting some roast / coffee flavors, but that's surprisingly restrained here. Just more on the sweet side, letting tannins, light graininess, and a hint of oxidation (mix of soy and sherry) provide the balance. I feel like this is only going to get sweeter with age, though; so it's probably better to drink it fresh.

M: Velvety, but somewhat thin for the style. Slick, oily. Boozy for sure. But altogether, better than I expected.

D: Generally speaking, I'm not a huge fan of Avery beers, but this one was an exception and a bit of an eye-opener. I wouldn't go out of my way to hunt this down ($12 a bottle?), but I did enjoy it.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.37/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nearly opaque, you can see through the pour. The darkness is topped with a deep stiff foamy tan head that fades slowly leaving thin sheets of Belgian lacing behind. The smell is really nice; aggressive and complex. It's slightly different from the neck than from the pour. Like a roasted grain, you can smell the oats, tobacco under the boozy esters. Adequately carbonated, the mouth feel is full bodied and smooth with a tang from the booze and it has that 'coating' nature that i really appreciate in my favorite Double Stouts. Full flavored the grainy oat, roasted dark chocolate malt nature come through from the nose and that tobacco note lingers nicely and adds a unique complexity that i think warrants higher scoring. The drinkability is huge. I seriously could sip on these all night but it has a noticeable boozy heat to it that detracts from it slightly. Overall, one outstanding effort. Will not disappoint. Highly recommended.

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Photo of nickd717
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle ordered online from The Wine & Cheese Place. If you don't think I'm a sucker for a -bal aged imperial stout, you don't know me. I am.

Pours nearly black with a small tan head that leaves great foam.

Aroma is roast, chocolate, rum, coconut, and wood. Maybe some fruity notes too.

Flavor is pretty nice, with rum, dark fruits (maybe prune and plum), coconut, vanilla, and a little chocolate. Some tannins in there from the -bals. A touch of alcohol as well.

Medium body for the style with a smooth palate. Appropriate carbonation level.

Solid imperial stout overall, with good drinkability.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.17/5  rDev +15.8%
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 beachbum1975
3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle poured into St. Bernardus chalice. Server at 50-55 degrees.

Pours a black with brown and copper highlights on the pour. Opaque and almost pitch black in the glass. The head initially sat at 1/2 inch, but quickly faded to a thin amoeba shape after about 2 mins. The head color is dark mocha.

I definitely get the oatmeal base in this beer, just by the nose. In addition, I get light vanilla, banana and baker's chocolate.

Very nice flavor. I definitely taste the vanilla come out from the barrel. In addition, I get molasses, oatmeal and a heavy roast. The overall flavor is medium to full flavored. I get the rum attributes in the aftertaste, lingering around in my breath. The other aspects of this beer were reflected in the nose.

The viscosity was a bit too thin or watery for me. The carbonation is crisp and lasting into the mouthfeel, as well.

Overall, I was almost concerned it was oxidized, but it may have just been my palate tonight. I would be nervous to cellar this one.

I had to drop the drinkability rating on this one because:
1.) $8.99 it's just too damn expensive for 1 x 12 oz bottle of beer regardless of it's batch size (315 total cases). Rarity doesn't determine price; ingredients and time in the barrel does and in this case,
3.) I think it could have spent more time in the rum barrel

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Photo of icetrauma
4.04/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of the bottle into a pint glass.

Appeared a deep black with very little dark tan head.

Smelled of dark roast malt with nuances of oak and vanilla.

Taste started off with a slight hint of anice immediately followed by oak, vanilla and chocolate. Finished off with the dark roast malt finish.

Mouth feel was good. Not to thin and not as thick as it poured.

Very good beer. After every drink I kept on looking into the glass and could not believe the depth of flavors coming from this brew. Good job Avery.

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Black Tot from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.6 out of 5 with 177 ratings
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