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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 177 |  Reviews: 117
Photo of homebrewhawk
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in a snifter. Poured a deep brown/black with a finger of tan head. Lots of chocolate and roasted malt in the aroma. Also some oak. Deep roasted flavor. Seemed a bit boozy. Vanilla from the oak. Long lingering finish of chocolate malt. Rich, full bodied. I didn't get much rum character. Nice beer, but a little pricey.

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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 Lunch
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12oz. bottle at EBF 2010 in Boston, MA into a tasting glass at the appropriate temperature (02/20/10).

A: Pours a dark, dark brown nearing black with a nice 1 finger creamy light tan head that faded quickly.

S: Bouquet of rum soaked chocolate with some roasted malt and oats. Not a strong as I would have imagined.

T: Rum soaked chocolate and oats hit the palate first with some roasted malt. Nice overall flavor, but seems a bit hollow especially in the middle.

M: Medium to fuller-bodied with fairly low and creamy carbonation with a little warming from the rum.

D: Quite easy to drink, but a tad lacking.

Overall this beer was a fine BA Imperial Stout from Avery, but certainly not on par with Mephistopheles. Worth a look.

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Photo of ne0m00re
3.19/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served a 12 oz bottle into an oversized red wine glass to capture the aroma.

A: Black with a thin, red hue; it poured with a thick light brown head that quickly died to a thin lace.
S: A strong rum-soaked raisin aroma--with prominent alcohol--stands in the forefront, while roasted malts and pineapple float in the background. The aroma is impressively complex.
T: Chocolate-covered espresso beans (stress on the beans, as in eating coffee grounds); the chocolate creaminess lingers. Raisins and dates are present. The taste is kind of a let-down compared to the aroma.
M: Very little carbonation with a thin mouthfeel that is still quite creamy. The mouthfeel is typical for barrel-aged stouts.
D: Not very; one is delightful, one-and-a-half is too much.

Overall, this tastes like a typical barrel-aged stout. Using rum barrels is a nice touch, though. It probably isn't worth $8 a 12 oz bottle...

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Photo of Duhast500
4.35/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a tasting glass.

The color is a dark black with about two fingers of brownish head and some lacing.

The smell is a bit roasty with a smoky dark chocolate flavor. This is a slight tobacco hint as well.

The taste is roasted malts and some dark chocolate right up front with some coffee flavor in the back that does come out briefly. A nice rich flavor that is coating on the tongue as it goes down.

The feel of this beer is a bit heavy but not more than any other imperial stout. goes down well and has a slight still as it slides down your throat.

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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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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 Proteus93
4.02/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Decided to take the plunge on a 12 oz. bottle of this, picked up at Beer Run in Charlottesville.

A: Midnight black, topped with a modest, sandy head that is quick to dissipate. The remaining collar does leave a reasonable spider-webbing of lace behind, though.

S: Dark fruit and roasted malts are a bit heavier on the nose than the more subdued coffee scent, which is a nice touch in a stout. Some nice oak notes come out, though I only really detect some of the 'alcohol' scents that would have been left behind by the rum.

T + M: It's hard to really make out what flavours would have been added in the rum-barrel aging. There is some caramel flavouring in there, but that could be found in the beer itself anyways. It would appear that, more than anything, flavours have just been enhanced or complemented one another nicely. It has a 'coffee with liberal cream and sugar' quality to it that's quite nice, and a very smooth body. Carbonation is just right for the mouthfeel and it goes down nice, chilly, and creamy. The oatmeal does seem to add more to the mouthfeel than the flavour in this one.

D: This is a nice, big, 'night off from work' sipping brew. When treated as such, it has a wonderful drinkability to it, as it's so smooth and goes down like velvet. As far as the price-point goes, I have a little trouble paying the amount asked. The beer is certainly quite tasty, and I don't regret making a single purchase. However, as far as 12 oz. bottles go, it has some strong contenders. That aside, check it out... if it is to taste, then by all means, buy more!

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

A - Pours a rich thick black with a moderate sized foamy dark tan head into my Deschutes snifter at 55º.

S - Smell that rum! Haven't had too many rum aged beers yet, but you for sure can smell it. But it's not overpowering. I can still get a few typical stout qualities off coffee and dark chocolate, molasses, and black licorice oh my! Also get some interesting nuttiness, like a Hazelnut/chestnut.

T - Similar to nose. The rum is there, but it's not overpowering alcohol barrel flavor I'm use to with some barrel aged beers (cough, bourbon county). It's a lingering light rum flavor with the dark chocolate, roasted malts, nuttiness, molasses and black licorice. Lightly sweet and even more bitter.

M - moderate carbonation, creamy overall mouthfeel with a bitter finish.

D - Really a great tasting stout, with just the right amount of rum that doesn't kill the beer. Also very balanced not only in the barrel and the beer, but also the bitter sweetness of it. If I had to describe this one, I'd say BALANCE. Way to go.

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

Damn nice looking beer. Close to black in color with some bricking at the edges. A large fizzy mocha head, great colored looks great, fades quickly into a ring around the glass and a thin topper.

Fantastic chocolate aromas both dark and milk. Blueberry, hints of currant, sweet cream, rum aromas add a good twist with hints of wood. A bit of roasted barley with burnt caramel and hints of coffee.

Very nice. Sweet chocolate malty flavors with thick creamy mouthfeel from the oats that thins out quickly from the rum. Hints of wood and rum flavors with raisin and mollasses. Nice bit of carbonation. Roasted malts and hints of spent coffee grains. Some dark fruits lye on the finish.

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

A - Pours a pitch black liquid, thick. Smallish 1cm brown head that dies quickly.

S - Dark almost fruit smell, then subtle, almost a mild burnt sugar smell. Reminiscent to some Trappist beers... Slight alcohol note in the vapors. No real hop aroma.

T - Slight sweetness, but amazing balance with dark flavors, slightly fruity. Alcohol tones in the finish - but finishes dry in stead of sweet. I am drinking this warmish on purpose to alcohol will be more prominent. No real hops flavor, but a int of bitterness. However the bitterness blends with the existing stout flavors and so well they can't be separated. The stout flavors are smoothly integrated. Warm, rummy flavors mix very well and end with a slight sweetness, but not cloying. Maybe a slight raisin effect. It is really a great flavor. Flavors are also like Imperial Porters... But yay for an Imperial Oatmeal Stout!

M - I love the mouth feel. Not too thick as might be expected with a 10% ABV beer. Fills the mouth with a medium body, warm and full but not over the top.

D - Strong, but well hidden. Despite the 10% ABV, I had trouble finishing the review before the beer was gone (12 oz).
If you like Imperial stouts and porters, you will like this. Much more drinkable than a KBS.

Recommend if you like Imperials.
Yummy, very!

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.18/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 1/13/2010
Picked this up today at Marty's. Nate suggested this as something special in the store.

Poured into a wine glass with a fairly aggressive pour. For a moment a gold/black head formed. After fading a film of golden foam lay across the surface of the beer. The beer itself was a very shiny black color that let light in only on the edge.

I admit that I read some of the reviews earlier today and the consistent knock was the aroma. The good news is that it wasn't as bad as I thought. Having said that, I can see the reason why people referenced this. Slightly musty and I think this comes from the oats.

Flavor is fantastic and quite complex. Vanilla in the background, some bark chocolate up front. Black Licorice notes and some telltale signs of the rum. Especially in the after taste. As it warms, more dark roasted malt flavors come out enhancing the dark chocolate flavor.

Silky mouth feel with medium body. Somewhat slick. The slightest of carbonation. There is a slight warming from the abv, but the alcohol is very well hidden.

I really enjoy this beer and am having a ball slowly working through the glass as I watch the Olympics. I suggest you grab a bottle of this if you can.

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Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This recent barrel aged release from Avery left me wanting more, especially after the first in the series the Brabant. This beer pour pitch black with a small dark caramel head. The aromas were about the only thing I didn't like about this beer, you pick up on a lot spice from the rum cask and as you get closer all you get is a pungent alcohol smell. Taste wise it was excellent, not a hit of high alcohol on it. The rum casks add wonderful hints of molasses and vanilla that compliment the oatmeal stout perfectly. Overall this beer good but not great

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Photo of xpimptastikx
4.35/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pitch black, vigorous pour produces a finger mocha head which leaves minimal lacing.

S - This is probably the only negative part about the beer. As I was pouring it I could smell the sweet spice of the rum barrel, but as I neared the glass it's dominated by alcohol. Behind that you have your typical bakers chocolate and roasted malts.

T - There is definitely less alcohol in the taste. It's all replaced by the wonderful rum barrel character; vanilla, sugar, and little spice. This is a complex beer that sheds layers as it warms up. On par with BCS, but way less alcohol presence, which leads to an overall balance that's great.

M/D - I love a good spiced rum and RIS, so this is a no brainer. The mouthfeel is decently thick, but not chewy. The alcohol is non-existent in the taste.

I'd easily pick this over a BCS if it wasn't almost twice the price. Since we don't get any real BA beer in Texas, this will do just fine for now.

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Photo of Popkas
4.32/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black with a very thin head.

S: Wow, just a little bit of malt, but mostly rum. Not overwhelming at all, but still dominant.

T: Ah yeah. Starts of with a nice straightforward roasted malt with a bit of chocolate and finishes with a rush of rum. Again not overwhelming - just right.

M: Full body that coats the mouth. Smooth finish.

D: Really digging this one and it is very drinkable at the 10%+

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

12oz. bottle allowed to warm to 45F before being poured into a Great Divide tulip. (Bottled on Jan 13, 2010; 10.08% ABV)

Pours jet-black with the slightest touch of cola creeping in at the margins. A dusty, dark custard head makes up for what it lacks in size with incredible retention. Five minutes after the pour the creamy foam has hardly budged (good lacing, too). Interesting aroma. Not sure if Avery is the first to use rum barrels to age a big stout, but this is the first commercial version of which I'm aware. I can see this catching on, as the fruitiness from the rum is readily apparent, and pleasing. Notes of pineapple, banana, vanilla, wood, and cane sugar all blend nicely, while the Imperial Stout portion adds a hefty malt sweetness of dark chocolate, black coffee, and caramel. Lots of booze here, too--not enough to singe the nose, but close.

Black Tot is arguably one of the most complex & tasty high-ABV beers Avery has produced. Bitter baker's chocolate and vanilla beans coat the palate with a Godiva-esque decadence. Vinous wood and port-like boozy notes add a hefty does of ethanol that warms the sides of the tongue, but at the same time doesn't overwhelm the palate. An impressive creaminess to the thick body pairs with the light carbonation level, making for an satisfying mouthfeel that doesn't wear down the tastebuds. Dry finish with a lingering chocolate/hop bitterness. Black Tot is a great sipper, and goes down dangerously easy for the 10% ABV. Excellent beer, and I look forward to Avery's next Barrel-Aged Series release.

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Photo of hoppymcgee
4.42/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Doodler for this bottle.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle dated 1/13/2010 into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a deep brown with a golden-hued, thin head that "cups" around the beer as you swirl the glass around.

S: Smells of the rum barrel upfront with dark chocolate, cedar wood, and malts as it warms up.

T: You can taste the wood from the barrel right away, followed by roasted oats, cocoa nibs, and a caramel/nutty aftertaste.

M: Chewy (just the way I like it). Peppery carbonation gives the beer a "light" connotation - it does not feel like an Imperial beer at all.

D: Wow. I have not had something 10%+ ABV this easy to quaff, ever. The best feature of this beer.

Overall, a very nice, big oatmeal stout from King Avery. This is the first of the 3 in his Barrel-Aged Series that I've tasted and now I'll seek out the other two!

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Photo of chefmikeanderson
4.62/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got this bottle thanks to Doodler. Thanks buddy

A: nice and non see through dark like a stout should be. had to pour it slightly aggressive to get a good head out of it

S: Smell is wonderful. Im kind of comparing this to a bourbon aged beer so I was impressed on how the rum didn't over power the base beer. smell of roasted almost burnt but in a good way oatmeal raisin cookie. there is a warm rum alcohol in there as well

T: lots of toasty oats. still gives me the oatmeal cookie like the smell. i love oatmeal cookies by the way. chocolate covered raisins... yum. Theres a lot going on here i keep having to take more and more sips. Once again Im really impressed how the rum blends in with this beer. its pretty much the perfect amount of rum. the only reason its not a 5 is because i just feel like there could be a little more "mmph" in there

M: great for an aged stout. perfect carbonation on the tounge and a slight mouth coating as well

D: This beer is actually really really smooth for a 10%. the tart burnt characteristics mingle well with the dark rum sweetness along with the creamy oatmeal stout. Avery has another winner in my book. Im glad I have two!

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Photo of Jayli
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Marty's in Newton

A: This beer pours a rich deep opaque brown with a one finger of creamy brown head. Head quickly fades and leaves spotty lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of roasted malts, coffee, touch of oak and a whole lot of alcohol.

T: Taste starts off with a big kick of rum that then blends in to dark fruits, chocolate, and a hint of molasses. Finish is charred malts, coffee, and another hefty dose of alcohol.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation, smooth, rich feel that isn't too heavy.

D: I'd really like to grab another bottle to age this as the booziness detracts the potential on the nose and taste. This is definitely a sipper.

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Photo of jamie2dope
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was glad to see this one at Downtown Wine and Spirits, as I thought this was only going to be released at the brewery. Color is motor oil black, with about an inch worth of tan heading. Really nice blend of oak and dark chocolate comes through in the nose. It definitely has a cookie like quality that might be a result of the oatmeal. The rum comes through strong in the taste, along with some dark fruit and more chocolate. I was expecting it to come off a bit hot, which some of Avery's beers tend to be, but not in this case, as the beer is really well balanced taste wise. As far as thickness goes, I was expecting this beer to be a bit more viscous. I could put back a few of these, and be very happy, if it weren't for the somewhat hefty price tag. This brew definitely ranks as one of Avery's very best if you ask me. Drink one now, and age another.

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Photo of chicano4craft
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured black as night with a half inch head from a vigorous pour. Head disappeared pretty fast.

First thing I smelled was alcohol. The rum mixed well with the roasted malt. Some coffee and chocolate.

The alcohol wasn't as strong as I expected. The base is a great Imperial Stout with hints of rum, coffee and some dark chocolate. The mix of stout and rum did not disappoint.

As far drinkability this one is definetly a sipper!

This beer meet my expectations. Very nice. I will revisit this again in about a year. I'm sure some age will do it good.

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

A: pours deep mahogany with creamy tan head. Three fingers

S: raisins, licorice, roasted malts. Rum smell comes through.

T: leads with a rum flavor, followed by black chocolate licorice. Finishes with just a bit of alcohol.

M: medium bodied. Not thick but substancial. Medium carbonation.

D: very nice but the uniqueness of the rum with the licorice makes this more of a one bottle sipper in my opinion.

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Photo of GarrisWH
4.28/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours an opaque, borderline black/deep brown with one finger of creamy, tan head. Retains a nice cap and leaves some good lacing behind.

S - Dark, roasted malts with coffee and dark fruitiness coming through. The rum is pretty pronounced in the aroma which lends a somewhat boozy quality, unsurprisingly...

T - Rich, roasty dark malts up front with noticeable coffee, chocolate and dried, dark fruit(prune/raisin) flavors. Some caramel and molasses flavors are also present as well as a touch of woodiness from the barrels. The finish brings a touch of heat and a bit of the sweet rum flavor. The rum flavors really go well with the roasted malts and add a nice touch without overpowering.

M - Full bodied, rich, and smooth with mellow carbonation.

D - Another well-done barrel-aged offering from Avery. Delicious combination of flavors with a nicely hidden ABV. The rum character is pronounced without dominating and ends up being a great match for the imperial stout. I will definitely have to get my hands on a few more of these.

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Photo of jcruiser
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A-Nice and black. Poured in 6 white china coffee cups at a condo in Breckenridge. Looked just like coffee.

S-Of rum and malt.

T-nice rich rum taste. Hopefully this will fade somewhat after some time in the cellar as it is too in your face right now

M-great mouthfeel with plenty of body

D-we split one amongst 6 people. i planned on drinking one of the other two that I bought by myself. That probably won't happen since one of them spontaneously exploded in the middle of the night sitting on the dresser.

I am going to save the other one if I can get it home without it popping too. The uniform pieces of glass give me the idea that some additional fermentation was going on. I will beer mail Adam and find out if anyone else has had this problem.


Steve from the brewery offered to replace the broken bottle at the brewery. We went to Boulder since we were in Breckenridge and had time before an early evening flight out of Denver. Man the place has changed. The tap room is a far cry from the last time we were at the brewery 3 1/2 years ago. The cask conditioned Hog Heaven that I had there is the best beer I have had in the last 12 months!

A shout out to Avery and their customer service. These guys still remember how to extend courtesy and how to communicate with their customers.

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Photo of JMBSH
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black as night. Poured about half an inch of dark tan head that shrank to just coating the top of the beer.

S - Roasted malt in scent. A slight vanilla like scent but doesn't smell as sweet.

T - Dark roasted coffee, baker's chocolate, licorice notes. There is a another flavor in the background that I can't identify. Don't know if it from the rum (not a rum drinker).

M - Coats mouth and tongue. Very smooth. After a few sips, the alcohol leaves a warming sensation in back of the mouth that lingers a bit after the liquid has left my mouth.

D - The alcohol warmth tells me that one is all I need to have. A nice sipper.

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