Sumi Cacao
Grimm Artisanal Ales

Sumi CacaoSumi Cacao
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Stout - American Imperial
4.13 | pDev: 6.78%
Grimm Artisanal Ales
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Sumi CacaoSumi Cacao
Notes: Brewed with vanilla and cacao.
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 103 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Franziskaner
Franziskaner from Missouri

4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black in color with a fingernail of brown around the rim and covering half of the top. The aroma is of vanilla and dark chocolate. I’m tasting silky smooth milk chocolate, roasted barley, and vanilla. This a very decadent dessert beer that would pair well with fresh raspberries or strawberries.

Oct 27, 2019
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BerryKumquat from California

4.39/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Dark , rich brown. Reminds me of a stout or porter.
S: Rich chocolate notes with occasional vanilla notes mixed in.
T: A rush of chocolate that turns into a vanilla after taste. Both flavors aren't too strong but not too weak either.
F: Chocolate aftertaste with rarely some vanilla notes.
O: It's a chocolate, vanilla bear that isn't too overbearing or too subtle.

Dec 18, 2018
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bluejacket74 from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle, bottled July 2017. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head that stuck around for a while. There's also a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like roasted malt, cacao, vanilla, and coffee. For the most part I think the taste is pretty much just like the aroma, but there's also some earthy flavors noticeable too. More bitter/roasty than sweet, I think the cacao is stronger compared to the vanilla here. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's slick and smooth with a moderate amount of carbonation. I thought this was a pretty good imperial stout, definitely worth picking up a bottle if you come across some! $12.99 a bomber.

May 26, 2018
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ScruffySouthpaw from New York

4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter glass right from the bottle.

Appearance: dark black to brownish body which comes off slightly thin with a dark tan head rising just a nudge under a finger's length. Zero lacing off the bat with the head settling quick after first sip.

Smell: deep mocha and heavy coffee bean. The scent is pretty strong with little to no room for dissipation.

Taste: Malts and heavy chocolate but not super sweet and definitely not too bitter. Complex and subtle alcohol which comes off pretty smoothly.

Mouth: Strong after taste which liners in your palates for a very long time. Medium carbonation but very full bodied.

Overall: Good brew and great pick up, one of the better Grimm beers I've had and will look forward to buying it again. Always in a glass. Salud!

Dec 24, 2017
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Sabtos from Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Shiny black with a minimal tan blanket fading to a thin wobbly ring.

Chocolate syrup, roasted nuts and a hint of bitter, woody hops or coffee are delivered via a light to medium body, bubbly froth with a very dry, slightly sharp finish.

Dec 11, 2017
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HopHunter19 from Missouri

4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - nice black beer with a mocha head on it which leaves a nice lacing
S - big chocolate, dark chocolate, vanilla, cream, roasted malts, roasted marshmallow, graham cracker
T - big milk chocolate and vanilla, cream, whole milk, roasted malts, marshmallow
M - thick mouthfeel, alc covered, aftertaste is roasted malts and dark chocolate
O - it's a good beer. Similar to Founders Breakfast Stout.

Dec 06, 2017
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Tone from Missouri

4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a tan color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, roasted malt, hint of chocolate, slight coffee, and yeast. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial Stout. Mouth feel is smooth, clean, and thick. There is a low carbonation level and slight bitterness. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, roasted malt, hint of chocolate, slight floral hops, slight coffee, and yeast. Overall, good appearance, great blend, and good body and aroma.

Nov 27, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter, the appearance was a dark brown color with a slim cap of a little off white to almost tan foamy head. Subtle concave tickle of lace hinging along the sides of the glass.
The aroma had a superb blend of sweet to roasty cacao beans flowing eventfully over some vanilla bean sweetness. Light earthiness and some dark bread flowed up in there.
The flavor was moderately sweet coming across with some dark chocolate nibs. A light warming bitterness rolled across the vanilla beans stretching over some toast/dark bready notes. Dried nuts form underneath. Subtle sweet to roasty stickiness in the aftertaste.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fine sipping quality about it. Carbonation felt good. ABV felt on par. Nice lingering bitter roasty grip riding along my tongue on the texture. Finish was semi-roasty with an ample sweetness, just fashioned nice and absorbing.
Overall, very nicely done imperial stout with the cacao beans and vanilla beans - well worthy of having again.

Oct 29, 2017
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.63/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22 oz. bottle dated July 2017

Pours dark brown black with a dense creamy tan foam head. Smells like blueberry, cherry, berries, rich dark chocolate, creamy vanilla, caramel, molasses, toasted malt, toffee, brown sugar, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like blueberry, deep dark chocolate, berries, cherry, creamy vanilla, caramel, molasses, roasty toasted malts, toffee, brown sugar, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium bodied, creamy and smooth with moderate low carbonation. Overall a really nice imperial stout with vanilla and cacao.

Oct 09, 2017
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superspak from North Carolina

4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled in 7/2017. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky khaki head with amazing retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Thick soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, cream, marshmallow, brown sugar, fudge, molasses, toasted dark bread, nuttiness, raisin, prune, fig, date, and licorice; with lighter notes of smoke, charcoal, leather, tobacco, pepper, pine, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, vanilla, cocoa, and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, cream, marshmallow, brown sugar, fudge, molasses, toasted dark bread, nuttiness, raisin, prune, fig, date, and licorice; with lighter notes of smoke, charcoal, leather, tobacco, pepper, pine, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate roast/char and peppery/pine hop bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, cream, marshmallow, brown sugar, fudge, molasses, toasted dark bread, nuttiness, dark fruit, licorice, smoke, charcoal, leather, tobacco, pepper, pine, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, vanilla, cocoa, and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; with an awesome roast/hop bitter/sweet balance, and zero cloying/acrid flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from hop/roast/char bitterness. Medium carbonation and full body; with a very smooth, creamy/bready/grainy, and lightly slick/silky/sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Minimal warming alcohol for 10.2%. Overall this is a fantastic spiced imperial stout. All around outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, vanilla, cocoa, and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the big ABV. Very rich and complex on malts, with nice vanilla/cocoa presence. Quite a bit more fruity/yeasty than I recall from their other stouts; but it works really well, never overpowering. Just the right amount of roast/charred notes, without being acrid or astringent for the style. A highly enjoyable offering.

Sep 30, 2017
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Upon the foundation of roasted grain, generous hopping and wonderfully burnt sweetness, the Sumi series of Grimm Artisanal makes a pitstop at the intersection of cacao and vanilla.

Sumi Cacao pours a luxurious espresso black, crowned with a tarnish foamy lather. As the aromas waft onto the senses, they carry a robust dark coffee, cocoa, toasty, nutty blend. Seared sweetness is remiss of molasses, brown sugar and marshmallow before the roast and dessert additions settle on the tastebuds.

Lavishly malty, roasty and semisweet, the stout coats the mouth with a luscious coat of bittersweet chocolate, cream sweetened espresso and a gentle waft of campfire. Cocoa and vanilla offer a hint of milkshake before the stout turns bitter with baker's chocolate and a broad woodsiness of black walnut, char and soothing spice.

Malty dry and full in body, the beer's waning moments are long, bittersweet and lavishly roasty. A long aftertaste of burnt marshmallow, spicy coffee liquor and cream rolls deep into the next roasty, savory, nutty sip.

Sep 11, 2017
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CHickman from New York

4.49/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

July 2017 bottle served in a snifter, it pours black as ink with a 1 finger foamy tan head that was full of bubbles and faded slowly / average in time for the style, settling down with a tan foamy layer on top and leaving very good foamy lacing.

Smells of roasted malt, cocoa powder (cacao), dark chocolate, burnt coffee grinds, vanilla, charred campfire wood, and basically it resembles dipping a campfire burnt marshmallow into an imperial stout. Nice, roasty and complex, this is pretty much what I expected with this brew and found it very enjoyable.

Tastes spot on for an imperial stout blessed with vanilla and cacao; we've got dark chocolate, burnt coffee grinds, smoke, charred wood, a brownie like sweetness that brings in the vanilla and cocoa powder, roasted grains, faint piney hops, dark fruit like raisin or chocolate covered raisin, peat moss, bitter bakers chocolate, half and half and brown sugar. Rich with a lot of roasted malt, the vanilla balances the roast and bitterness by bringing in a sweet aspect which then blends well with the chocolate and cacao. Flavor is much better than I expected since some stouts with vanilla go overboard and are too sweet, but this was done masterfully.

Mouthfeel is creamy and milky like a milk stout but with fizzy carbonation which contrasts the velvety feel as it slides down. The char, roasted grains, vanilla, cocoa and chocolate all come together in harmony to mask the ABV and flow effortlessly. The body is thick and on the dense side, which then fades with a nice chocolate/vanilla sweetness that's slightly bitter and full of char and roast.

Overall one of the best vanilla infused imperial stouts I've had as the vanilla was very subtle and complimentary and worked well with the cocoa/cacao and roasted malt elements in the base beer. Much easier to drink than it should be, this was a finely crafted beer and one I'd definitely seek out again.

Aug 26, 2017
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

This one smell like dusty powdery dark chocolate, earthy vanilla bean, and light roast.

This isn't quite to the level of Sumi Ink or Double Negative, but it's still tasty. There's a lot of chocolate, but it's definitely not straight chocolate. It kind of reminds me of dark chocolate bark or something, with some cinnamon spice, earthy vanilla, and very light roast. It's not exceedingly sweet, which is pleasant.

This is kind of thin, not as thick as Grimm can be stout-wise. It's definitely very drinkable, and feels more substantial as it warms.

They definitely need to make Sumi Ink again. This was good, but none of the Sumi's have been as good as the Ink.

Aug 10, 2017
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Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Teku glass.

Look is a pitch black with a razor thin tan head.

Aroma is roast malt, chocolate, and a slight pepper 

Taste matches aroma. Lots of chocolate, thin body, and a little pepper at the end.

Jul 31, 2017
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Smakawhat from Maryland

4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the growler, after a good taster at the Beltway Brewing Co Sterling VA.

Light tan head, quite creamy even a solid two fingers is made even from a recent tapped growler pour. Real tall collar, thick and nice looking, with some good cling to glass sides. Body color is a very dark walnut brown, and classically opaque, maybe slightly muddy and red also. Real solid looking stout.

That nose is filled with goodness. Creamy roasted malts and vanilla really jump out nicely. Cocoa angle seems to angle more towards a good coffee bean roast, which makes for a good play on the vanilla tones I think much more nicely.

Very nice palate. Rich amounts of malt roast, and a good coffee like punch. Faint bitter chocolate that's really accented on the finish by some very strong hop bitterness that makes for great bitter cocoa flavor. Slightly less creamy than fresh on tap for the mouthfeel, but fully supportive of the transpiring flavors. Faint dark whoppers like candy quality but stays away from being too sweet and artificial tasting, sort of taffy sticky like. Vanilla and creamy tones seem a little muted compared to on tap from what it seems like, but still makes a good presence.

A good solid real rich Imperial stout. Like how this seemed to go into a coffee direction out of nowhere. Delicious stuff.

Jul 31, 2017
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Damian from Massachusetts

4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Whole Foods Market - Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
July 2017
Served in a snifter

Medium viscosity on the pour. Slightly thin for the style. The dark chestnut brown liquid was topped by a frothy, near finger-tall, khaki colored crown that quickly fell to a bubbly film. Drippy streaks and spotty droplets of lacing trickled down the glass.

The nose was quite smooth and contained strong notes of powdered cocoa. Moderately roasty. Bit of nuttiness too. Some dark chocolate appeared as the beer sat. Dark fruits too. Solid overall but not spectacular. Later, rich fudgey notes came forth.

The flavor profile was definitely darker and roastier than the aroma. Roasted malts dominated from the start. Touch of char. Subtle bakers chocolate notes appeared in the center. Hint of sweet cream as well. The beer finished with more bitter roastiness and a kiss of booze.

Nice frothy, medium bodied mouthfeel. Creamy, slick and smooth on the palate. The liquid contained an ultra fine, moderate effervescence.

Grimm kills it with their hoppy beers and sour ales, but their stouts always strike me as rather middle of the road. All in all, a respectable beer, especially given the priceoint, but not particularly noteworthy.

Jul 26, 2017
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Greywulfken from New York

4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I've had Sumi Ink (bourbon barrel aged with vanilla) and Sumi Zest (orange zest and vanilla) previously, loved both. This is my third foray into their Sumi series (for the curious, "sumi" is a reference to a solid black ink), here featuring cacao (the seeds from which cocoa and chocolate are made) and vanilla.

The pour is not inky - looks like translucent dark brown - but in the snifter, pitch black indeed... Kicks up a slim cap of dark foam which reduces to a sheen and collar, trailing a series of small lace motes behind. Aromas are appropriately ripe with vanilla - the kind that has an alcoholic edge to it - and a background of sweet chocolaty smells. On the palate, this relatively thin-bodied brew delivers a major dose of vanilla, again taking the fore - here, followed with a taste akin to molasses-infused chocolate. Aside from feeling rather light, the beer is smooth and slick across the tongue. As it warms, the cacao's cocoa flavor elements become more pronounced and the two meld together, with slight vapors of alcohol touching the roof of the mouth.

A little light-feeling for a stout, and the vanilla has something of a sharp character - vaguely astringent - but I am not off-put by it. Perhaps some will regard it as too "hot" - and I'm sure it will mellow if aged - but I happened to really enjoy drinking it. Definitely on par with the other two. Bottle price was a bit high - $21 bucks on Long Island - so buyer beware...

Jul 13, 2017
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Boccu from New York

4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black nice one finger brown head. Nice lacing. Aroma chocolate, vanilla and roast. Taste follows the nose with a light chalk mouth feels. Excellent stout as always from Grimm. Big fan of them. Great addition to the sumi family.

Jul 11, 2017
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FriedSlug from North Carolina

4.48/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black, inky beer with a brown head that leaves ribbons of lacing. The smell is filled with chocolate, vanilla and char with a nice sweet, roasted malt smell. Tastes like a glass of bitter chocolate with a lot of char and bitterness at the end. Wish there were a little more vanilla and it was a little less bitter but it really is a great stout.

Jul 10, 2017
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cosmicevan from New York

4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grimm dropping bottles like mad today and although I find that they make some fantastic sours...seeing another stout in the sumi series that features vanilla and cacao gets me excited!!! sumi ink was a favorite of mine while sumi zest left me unfulfilled I am sold on the description. But enough about me...onto the beer...

classic impy stout looks with a chalky head. cacao and roast lead in the nose giving an almost gourmet coffee scent...but the taste she's a winner. for a non barrel aged stout, the chocolate and vanilla are kissed with a significant roast but not overly done so. it's a nice beefy stout that invites you for sip after sip. nicely done.

Jul 08, 2017
Sumi Cacao from Grimm Artisanal Ales
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 103 ratings