Transient Artisan Ales

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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #170
Ranked #835
4.35 | pDev: 6.67%
Transient Artisan Ales
Michigan, United States
Notes: Imperial Breakfast Stout, Tugboat Coffee, Maple Syrup, and Vanilla
Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 250 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Dragginballs76
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours black with thin tan head that settles to a thick ring. No lacing.

Aroma - Rich sweet maple syrup, vanilla, lots of coffee, roasted malts rich dark chocolate.

Taste - Big maple bomb, sweet vanilla, bitter dark chocolate, lots f coffee, roasted malts, oak. The flavors are really balanced.

Feel - Creamy slick, slightly warming roasty dry finish.

Overall - Really well done maple stout, really easy drinking alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of maximum12
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Chuck2319 for this 22 oz. bottle. Split with my wife.

Black liquid flows & brings with it everything noted on the bottle – wow. Chocolate, vanilla, roast, booze, all making love on a flower-patterned futon. Lovely.

Buckley needs some time to breathe, well, like most of us. Cold, the coffee is too sharp, too harsh, but it slowly fades into the shrubbery as it warms. At full bloom, this is integrated beautifully. Coffee, roast, vanilla, & maple syrup, roughly in that order, come smiling across the tongue like a parade of supermodels. Bits of bitterness, leather, tree bark on the finish. No booze at all, except the feeling in my head. Not thick at all for the ABV, this could pass as a bulked up 7.5% American Stout. Drinky. So well balanced that a bottle to oneself isn’t out of the question.

An excellent beer whose flat-top brushes right up against the next level. I’d never turn this one down.

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Photo of JBowenGeorgia
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with a finger of tan head.
Smells of vanilla, maple, chocolate roasted malts, coffee.
Taste follows, lots of coffee and vanilla. The maple is there but not overpowering,
Full bodied and well carbed. Smooth, well balanced.
Overall a very tasty one from Transient.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled spring 2016; drank 7/5/16 @ the Yarchives.

Black/brown appearance.

A rough pour yielded a HUGE, noisy dark khaki head; a thick curtain of lace.

Chocolate syrup, vanilla, maple syrup & faint strawberry notes in the nose.

Thick, creamy mouthfeel.

Vanilla, maple syrup, chocolate syrup & fresh earth flavors up front; medium roast coffee bean notes on the finish.

Monster flavor here; a touch too sweet, but right up my alley.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a motor oil black with a thin tan head. Decent amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is big black coffee, dark chocolate and maple syrup.

T - The taste is huge black coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla and maple syrup.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a soft dry finish.

O - This is a killer imperial stout. Tons of rich flavors and with no noticeable alcohol at 14%.

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Photo of Buck89
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Opaque dark brown with a thin tan head. Fantastic aroma with maple, coffee, chocolate, and vanilla. The taste was even better. All of the above flavors were bright and distinctive. The feel was full but not overly sweet. Some heat on the finish but not much for such a big beer. Outstanding.

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Photo of ovaltine
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an onyx black color that swallows all light, underneath a dense, dark tan head. Rich dark chocolate and coffee aromas dominate the nose, and there’s also a significant maple aroma as well as some vanilla.

The coffee is the first flavor on the taste, but the dark chocolate and maple soon follow, and the vanilla guides this to a rich, smooth finish - and zero booze in a huge ABV (14.0%) stout. How is that even possible?

Yet another beer that Transient executed perfectly, IMHO.

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Photo of REVZEB
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

At last a worthy challenger to founder's breakfast stout has been found, and in its own backyard no less! Now this and FBS are two different takes on the style, with this being the more viscous and sweet of the two. The maple, vanilla, and the fudge pair perfectly with the oat and coffee bitters. Rich, rewarding and smooth. For a beer that is not barrel aged, it really brings depth of flavor.

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Photo of darktronica
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is the best coffee maple stout I've ever had, and even beyond that specific niche, it's a top-notch beer; I don't generally appreciate maple in beers but am open to trying them, so this one was a shocker for me. Exceptionally smooth, very well-balanced, bursting with flavors, and full-bodied.

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Photo of BillRoth
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this recommended by Max at Beer Temple in Chicago and grabbed a bomber during recent Beer Safari.
Opens with creamy head that quickly dissipates to a tan halo against black/brown body. Wonderful aromas of maple and vanilla. A bit of coffee and mocha chocolate. Taste is dominated by vanilla. Rich slightly sweet and delicious. Other flavors evident but also a bit boozy and bright in feel which gets in the way of the more subtle flavors. Otherwise feel is silky despite bright carbonation bite at end of sip. Overall seems very good but a bit young and bright.
A bit over on vanilla add...which is noticeable as a specific add not from BA/oak. The maple is a nice touch. Coffee is noticeable but somewhat lost in the malt and vanilla.
Would definitely recommend if you like dessert stouts. For me...Very good beer and very happy to have tried.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Stark black with a large, beautiful cascading mocha foam that settles at a thick, creamy blanket with a garter-like grip for a good long while.

Smell is dusty cinnamon, but light, with faint vanilla creamed coffee, roasted dark malt and a hint of smoke.

Taste indicates some fusil booze, but not necessarily bringing a burn with it at first, starting with acidic coffee featuring a slightly bitter bite. There's seemingly too much vanilla, as it's rum-like, which drowns out the maple and other elements, such as the cinnamon, which I'm not getting much of. There's a slightly smoky exhale that may be from the maple, but actually comes across as dark coffee.

In the end, it does have a hot swallow that builds, with a medium body, crisp, slightly thick fizz, and a semi-wet constitution. Buckley is okay, but could be better by knocking more than a few points off the ABV.


Having a fresh 2019 bottle, Buckley really is much more intense and delectable with tons of fresh coffee giving off mocha brownie in front of light tobacco and a hint of maple brulee, accented by chocolate frosting.

Time to Increase my rating.

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Photo of Furlinator
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2017.
Pours opaque black with a beige head that remains as a ring on top and leaves thick strands of lace. The smell is of coffee, very faint vanilla and earthy hops. The taste follows with coffee flavor dominating. Subtle notes of vanilla and maple follow. Light bitterness on the finish. Good stuff.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.3/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nitro at the brewery. Black body. Smells very sweet. Booze, vanilla, maple, a little coffee. Sweet fudge. Tastes very sweet, too. Maple sweetness. Vanilla again elevates the sweetness. Chocolate. Just a little bit of coffee and accompanying bitterness, but not enough for this level of sugar. Heavy body and boozy. I can see why people like this, but it’s too sweet to be drinkable in any real quantity.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - On Nitro, The beer was brownish black with a mocha colored head.

Smell - The nose was super sweet, mostly sweet coffee.

Taste - My initial impression was sweet chocolate with maple to follow. The beer was sweet but not cloying. The vanilla notes were hidden but still detectable. The sweetest lingered in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - On nitro tap, this beer was super smooth.

Overall - I have only had the speaker on nitro tap. With that said, I am prepared to suggest this beer fits into an elite category.

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Photo of ksimons
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A-inky black with a thin layer of dark tan head that leaves a bit of lace around the top

S-dark roasted coffee, vanilla, and light maple sweetness

T-dark roasted coffee bitterness and light vanilla

M-full body and moderate carbonation

Overall coffee dominates the taste, could use a little more vanilla to add some more sweetness, but still overall a very nice stout

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Photo of bennyman12
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lots of carb for an impy stout
I was expecting the coffee to be much more dominant based on previous reviews but found it to be well integrated. It does drive the flavor, but if you told me this was done with just kilned coffee malt and a bunch of mild chocolate malt and some dark wheat, I'd have believed you. Feel is medium thick. Not bc or perennial level viscosity, but at least as thick as prairie, cycle, or Cw stouts.
Good beer!

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Photo of Kramerbarthomer
4.14/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Too much coffee. There is a faint sweetness from the vanilla and maple syrup here, but the coffee just overwhelms everything. Somewhat underwhelmed after the great things I'd heard about this beer from friends.

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Photo of JebBeerFish
3.78/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Very dark, 1/8 inch cocoa-ish head on gentle pour.

S: Bitter Coffee, maybe very, very faint vanilla.

T: Expresso shot, French press coffee with the flavor (but not feel) of bitter coffee grounds in your mouth. The most coffee forward and coffee dominant beer I have ever had. I am getting zero maple syrup and/or vanilla. There are some other flavors here, but they are soooo far in the background and soooo Death Star dominated by the Expresso bitter coffee flavor, that those flavors are like fleeting unrecognizable memories of a dream when you first wake up.

F A smidgeon on the thick side

O I like coffee. I like strong dark roast coffee. I drink a lot of strong dark roast coffee everyday. But this is one dimensional and the description of the beer is very different from the actual taste of the beer.

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Photo of Zoomslowik
4.26/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L- What I want a stout to look like. Deep brown color with a an inch-plus of tan-colored head. It dissipates to a thin layer around the edge and leaves some lacing.

S- Pretty strong coffee with some roasted malts and chocolate. Pick up a little syrup after it sits.

T- Once again, the coffee and roasted malts are pretty prominent. A little bitter. Milk chocolate flavor that's more prominent than the aroma. Perfect amount of syrup, barely any vanilla.

F- Smooth, medium-thick feel.

O- Solid stout. I would really like it with the coffee/bitterness scaled back slightly and some more vanilla. I'd like to try out Kentuckley, but that seems unlikely.

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Photo of stortore
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle into a tulip snifter, 2016 edition.

A very good looking pour, deep brown and opaque, with a 1 1/2 inch head of thick, dark tan foam, and a good amount of lacing. The smell is roasted malt, molasses, coffee, vanilla, raisins, light chocolate, light maple as it warms. The taste also leads with roasted malt, then more coffee and vanilla than the nose, maple, cocoa, raisins, some milk chocolate, caramel and molasses. A nice hop bitterness on the finish. No real sweetness from the syrup, but sweet overall as it warms. Pretty delicious stuff. Very smooth and creamy, full bodied, hides the high ABV well, the taste lingers.

Big effort from Transient on this one. Lots of great flavor, especially the coffee, and looks and feels great as well. The maple could have been stronger, but it has enough presence to compliment the other flavors. Well worth a purchase, if it comes around again.

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Photo of MacSon1982
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look - dark motor oil black. 1/4 of head dark brown head upon pouring into a snifter. Lacing holds on decently throughout drinking.

Smell - sticky sweet toffee and syrup with some roasted burnt coffee grounds.

Taste - thick strong coffee punch up front with mild maple and vanilla. Some cinnamon and anise are present. Light burnt caramel and tobacco.

Feel - thick and chewy. Creamy and sweet. Medium high boozyness.

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Photo of prior2two
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorite non-BA stouts. Super coffee forward, and the 2016 version needs to mellow out a little bit, and let the other flavors shine a bit more. However, it's still and excellent beer, and one I hope to enjoy many more times.

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Photo of Spinaltapped
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Acquired from The Beer Temple in beautiful Chicago, IL. Drank out of a Transient Artisan Ales Members Glass.

Look: Two fingers of dark khaki head with an unintentionally vigorous pour. Pitch black color, head sticks around for a while, good lacing along the glass. Tiny fluffy bubbles up top.

Smell: A wallop of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal with a cup of coffee with cream and sugar nearby. Smell is very heavy in the syrup which gives it a great level of natural sweetness. The coffee huge and works with the vanilla, definitely not a roast bomb (at least on the nose), more in the chocolaty region. A good hit of alcohol but not as much as the 14% abv would indicate. Really lovely.

Taste: Boozy maple syrup, much more bitter roast than is on the nose, vanilla seems to be an afterthought. A proper carbohydrate heavy American breakfast in a glass with three shots of whiskey added in. The bitterness definitely rises as it warms, the roast is a bit overpowering.

Feel: Heavy mouthfeel (8/10). slick, oily, coating. Loads of residual sugars from the syrup. Carbonation does just enough to avoid being overly dense. Not quite BCBS good, but pretty f'in good.

Overall a really fine stout, just has more coffee bitterness than I often prefer. If they could cut that and let the maple syrup and vanilla shine a bit more, it would be incredible, but for now the roast is just a bit overpowering. Still a classy beer and probably one of my favorite non-BA stouts in Chicago area, tho.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

650ml bottle of the 2016 release. Served in a snifter glass.

Pours a dark brown, nearly black and opaque body, one finger mocha head, short retention time, not a ton of lacing. Looks substantial in the pour. Smells of a humongous amount of coffee, minimal maple sweetness, milk chocolate. Not a whole lot else, the bitter dark coffee and a touch of green pepper seems to dominate the entire nose, even as it warms up. Flavour starts out similarly, lots of bitter, roasty black coffee mixed in with a slight vegetal flavour and light vanilla sweetness. As it warms up, the maple syrup seems to jump out more, cutting into the black coffee a bit, but overall the coffee was too dominant, and not in an ideal manner. Still, a good beer. Mouthfeel is fuller bodied, a bit slick, good carbonation, hefty body with a bitter espresso finish. Overall, a beer that seemed to be marred by the amount of coffee used. No heat, which is nice, but way too much coffee to make it into a beer that is any better than good.

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Photo of AlarmClock314
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

300th rating!

22oz bottle, no date, 14% ABV. Pours jet black with a medium sized dark brown head which lasts a while; great lacing. Smells of coffee, dark cocoa, roasted malt, fresh/earthy hops, maple syrup, and some vanilla. The taste follows closely with mostly roasted malt and dark cocoa with some coffee, char, vanilla, and maple syrup. The alcohol is well hidden by the flavor intensity. Moderately strong bitterness and dryness with some light sweetness for balance. More maple syrup comes through as it warms up. The mouthfeel is smooth, but has an average body and carbonation. Overall, it's a very well done non-BA IS; flavorful and balanced. Certainly worth a try if you can find it on the shelf.

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Buckley from Transient Artisan Ales
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 250 ratings