Cottonwood Almond Stout | Carolina Beer Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Cottonwood Almond StoutCottonwood Almond Stout
43 Ratings
Cottonwood Almond StoutCottonwood Almond Stout

Brewed by:
Carolina Beer Company
North Carolina, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with a variety of malts including Chocolate, Crystal, Munich, and Black Malt; and hopped with Eroica, Mt. Hood, and Northern Brewers hops- then finished with a touch of Real Almond Flavor.

Added by homersimpson on 03-10-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 43 |  Reviews: 42
Reviews by bjohnson:
Photo of bjohnson
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to blackie for sending this as part of my BA Anniv. package.

A: Pours a jet black color with a caramel colored head. One finger head that has site retention.
S: Sweet caramel and almond notes. Slight vanilla and cherries. Very smooth and soft aroma.
T/M: Almond and vanilla flavors start things off. Slight chocolate and caramel notes in the background. Carbonation gives it a slight thinness of body, though that could be an illusion. Soft and smooth on the palate. Almond flavored aftertaste. Slightly dry on the tongue.
D: Smooth and silky. A very nice offering from Cottonwood. One that, while enjoying I was thinking, how do I clone this? My first almond stout and definitely a good one to track down. Thanks Bart.

 733 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.92/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep murky brown with an almond colored head (go figure),great nutty aromas going on along with some unsweetened chocolate.Subtle almond notes in the flavor along with a milk chocolate flavor wich really melded well with the nuttiness.A very solid stout here a dessert beer to be had or a night cap I wish some of the local haunts would put this in their tap selection around here.The only drawback is the thin watery mouthfeel.

 437 characters

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Dark, near black on the pour with a thick creamy head of approximately 1/2" in depth. Color was off-white to light brown and reduced to an uneven creamy layer after several minutes lasting for most of the drink. No real lacing, just a smattering of clingy bubbles.

S: Intriguing mix of earthy, nutty aromas with hints of vanilla (almond?). Seems to have a touch of alcohol on the nose, sort of strange for a gravity this low.

T: Complex flavors of smoky, malty peat with an interesting flavor that is probably the almond, giving it an interesting ability to blend and mellow the other flavors - much like vanilla. Very earthy and nutty, but with hints of coffee as well. The overall profile is mostly dry. Finish is relatively quick but with a longer linger of that smoky, malty, earthy taste.

M&D: Relatively full bodied in the mouth but not all that heavy. The light carbonation helps deliver a sort of creaminess that is pleasant. I don't know if I could get used to this flavor mix or not. It isn't bad, but I wouldn't call it good either. As for drinkability, I wouldn't turn one down but I wouldn't go out of my way to look for this again either.

 1,207 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
2/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine May 2007.

Brewers seem to love to mess with Stouts. Maybe because it's easy to hide things, like mistakes? Let's find out.

Opaque. Pitch black out of the bottle with a crowing head of coffee-colored foam that sticks and stays well. Heavy dose of almond oil dominates the nose and is reminiscent of flavored coffee and cordials, and has an odd nuttiness--like off peanut butter, which is a bit nasty, to be honest. A bit crisp up front with a tingly carbonation; rather light in body. Acrid beneath--a bit sharp, with a tangy burnt character. Citric-hop edge reinforces the acridness with a rindy smack. Malts are fairly one-dimensional, with little sweetness. Dry, bland finish, with a semi- abrasive nutty result on the palate.

Sorry, but almonds don't belong in beer--or at least not in this capacity. Their presence in this brew is far too dominating and distracting, and it just makes this really hard to consume.

 954 characters

Photo of merlin48
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle pours a deep brown opaque body with a cocoa hued tightknit head that settles at two centimeters and retains well. Minimal patch lacing. Aroma is amaretto, milk chocolate, and a note of black cherries. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, rich and creamy, and well carbonated. Dark roasted malts serve up a surprising smoothness of amaretto and sweet milk chocolate. Some roasted coffee bitterness and leather notes emerge toward the finish, which closes with some almond nuttiness. This is a very different kind of stout that I'm accustomed to, with a smooth and creamy profile, nearly devoid of roasty bitterness, but it works quite well here. The less than full body increases drinkability, and the tasty flavors of this one make it difficult to stop at just one bottle. I really like this one, with its nutty almond and chocolate sweetness. Very well done.

 863 characters

Photo of kb199
3.94/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pilsner glass; dark brown, almost black hue, fading to brown at the head. Lots of head, but virtually no retention or lacing.

Smells of coffee with sweet undertones. Tastes sweet at first, which fades into a coffee/chocolate body, finishes with a hint of almond.

Thin body, but remarkable drinkability.... hell, I could drink four or five...very dangerous. A very good selection from my beer of the month club.

 427 characters

Photo of scott
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Dark with nice clarity. Minor carbonation, thusly minor head and lacing. Recall of past Easter Sunday chocolates (Nestle Almond). Easy to drink, but nothing beckoning me to hit this up again. Milk stout with a nice nutty aftertaste. Recommended.

 251 characters

Photo of silver0rlead
4.14/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle pours a jet black with a small, tan colored head. Smell is almonds with a roasted coffee and chocolate background. This is a slightly old bottle (this is a winter seasonal and it's now may) but it's still pretty tasty. The taste is almonds, gourmet expresso/fresh roasted coffee, and a lightly sweet chocolate tate that leaves a slightly sweet finish. A great stout, with a somewhat thin mouthfeel that makes it alot more drinkable than you're average winter stout. A nice, complex, tasty and drinkable stout from Cottonwood.

 537 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours black (with some ruby highlights arounds the bottom)and 1 1/2 fingers of creamy tan head. A nice thin layer of retentions yields some decent lacing. The aroma is sweet chocolate and vanilla notes, coffee and yes, a earthy smelling roasted almond presence.

The taste is more chocolate sweetness, as well as some caramel notes, that opens up into a fairly prevelant taste of roasted almonds, that(along with some light hop notes)ends things with a bit of bitterness in the fin. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit too much carbonation that gives the overall feel more of a sharp pop as opposed to the smoother creaminess that I enjoy in a Stout.

Eh, this wasn't too bad. I really liked that this did indeed have a good bit of almond character that helped mellow things out a bit but that body just didn't work well at all with the flavors for me. Perhaps I got an overcarbonated bottle? I'd be interested to try this on tap for a comparison.

 989 characters

Photo of Backer2004
3.79/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Finally!!! After months of enjoying the Cottonwood Pumpkin, the new seasonal is out in full force. Heard great things so far about the Almond Stout and already got the chance to try the Cottonwood Frostbite on tap (which I thoroughly enjoyed as well and hope it will be sold in bottles).

Pours one of the darkest stouts with a thin head and some lacing. If you like the scent of almonds, the scent is wonderful. I've had better tasting stout but combined with the smell, it's way above average. In regards to drinkability, I will have to take this one bottle at a time.

 573 characters

Photo of PhillyStyle
2.3/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served on-tap at Woods on South (Charlotte) in a pint glass.

The beer was dark brown in color with a mocha head that was light and carbonated. The beer gave off a heavy malt aroma. Appeared to have a strong coffee flavor but was a bit over carbonated. It was not so easy to drink and left a unpleasant bitter aftertaste. I only had one and I am not sure if I would try again or not. Certainly better stouts on the market.

 422 characters

Photo of timtheenchanta
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black with thin head that dissipates quickly. No lacing.

Very sweet smell. Sugary, nutty and a hint of caramel malt.

Suprisingly little nut flavor. Mostly sweet malt with slight hop balance.

Good full feel with tingly sweet palate. I might pick this one up again but I won't push it on friends that I'm trying to turn on to beer.

 344 characters

Photo of daliandragon
3.39/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The head dissapated awfully fast to count for much so I was a little concerned about that. The nose takes over right away, and is loaded with appetising almond flavor and backing cherries. Also vanillla and some other nut notes. Sweet and very tasty, if not at all like a stout or even a beer; if my eyes were closed I'd swear I was smelling butter pecan ice cream. Color is close to jet black.

Taste is a letdown after that money shot on the nose. Token almond flavor, and some roasted malt, but litttle else really hits home and it ends up being a tad empty. Mouthfeel thins out after the initial taste and aftertaste is almost nothing. Too bad, I now assume the nose is generated artificially because I can't taste most of those flavors at all. Where did they go? Back to the drawing board...

 798 characters

Photo of Enola
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer has a little head. The color is black. The smell reminds me of black cherry ice cream. The taste is deffinatly like almonds. There is also a coffee like aftertaste. The mouthfeel is good. Just a bit of bitterness lingers. The drinkability is fair. I could drink a sixer of these. I wish the old Cottonwood Brewery was still in Boone.

 343 characters

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

This beer pours oil black with an impressive head. I smell cherries more than anything (I know this is the almond) the taste is the same with a bit of toast and hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth. This is not a beer I would drink more than half a bottle of, It would however be very nice to have a bit at the end of a meal, definately not a quaffing brew.

 356 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.53/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - very dark burgundy, thin mocha head, some stray lacing.

Aroma - smoky at first, then develops a sweet almond aroma. Pleasant, once the almond shows up though, it takes over.

Taste - smoky, charred flavor hits the palate initially. After a few sips, that tones down and the almond flavor starts to come through, tasting somewhat contrived but interesting and flavorful nonetheless. Chocolate flavors emerge as well once the beer warms up some. This is a fabulous dessert-style stout, IMO. Ends with some smokiness and roasted malt.

Mouthfeel - slightly heavy, coating, plenty of smoothness.

Drinkability - a fantastic blend of almond, chocolate, and all that is good about stouts.

 704 characters

Photo of Strix
3.64/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Black with a small and quickly dissipating head.

Smell is quite intriguing. Coffee, burnt/roasted flavors and nuts.

Unfortunately, the taste doesn't quite live up to the smell. Coffee, and roasted nutty flavors are present. However, I think it's the mouthfeel that drags this down. Undercarbonated for me, and weak mouthfeel means despite a delicious smell and ambitious flavor characteristics, this feels like old coffee or flat pop.

An interesting brew, but didn't quite live up to what it could have been for me.

 518 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights and a tan head that sticks around for a while. Smells of roasted malts, cherries, nuts. Tastes of cherry, nuts, roasted grains, sugary syrup. Thick sweet body and mouthfeel. Ample carbonation. Interesting brew. I really enjoyed the novelty of the first few sips, but after a while the sweetness took over and made it less appealing.

 372 characters

Photo of JISurfer
4.43/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Damn those stupid NC beer alcohol laws! This has so much potential to be such a great beer. With that said, it still is a pretty good brew. It was very well balanced out with the faintness of the almonds, chocolate malt, and coffee taste. The smell was like sweet almonds and toasted marshmellows. Don't worry, it isn't that sweet at all. It's got the usual thickness of a stout, but is a little bit lighter on the palate. It's quite refreshing and doesn't leave a nasty taste in your mouth. All in all a good find. Horray for me!

 530 characters

Photo of rodrot
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This stout poured nearly pitch black with a half inch tan head that left a little lacing on the glass. Smell was very nutty, with notes of coffee and pralines also. Taste was overwhelmingly of almonds, with just a little bit of espresso flavors and chocolate poking through. This beer was medium bodied and a little thin in the mouthfeel. After finishing half of the bottle, the almond flavor was just too strong and really took away from the drinkability of this beer. It tasted very artificial, as if a barrel of imitation almond flavoring was just dumped into the fermenter. This is not a beer that I will be purchasing again.

 629 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dense black color with a foamy beige head that leaves a few shards of lacing dancing around the pint glass

Smell: Charred wood, day old coffee and some nuts (but more hazelnut than almond)

Taste: Opens with a German black bread flavor with a distinctive sour element picking up by mid-palate (almost like nut skin sour); after the swallow, the malty flavors dominate, with a little chocolate and almond rounding it out; sour nut skins in the finish, too

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A real mixed bag that differs from sip to sip; not unpleasant but could have a more distinctive almond character

 653 characters

Photo of NCSUdo
4.31/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A: Pours a black, with brownish hues, under a small brown head. No lace, hardly any retention.

S: Smells of some chocolate covered nuts, some sweet almond/amaretto and some hints of roasted malt in the backgroud. Even some vanilla sprinkled in.

T: Some creamy/chicory type sweetness up front, ending in a mildy roasted malt and bitterness. Almond flavor springs up afterwards with some other non-almond types of nuttiness. Hints of chocolate here and there too.

M/D: Carbonation is a bit high, body is full but slightly thin. Drinkability, however, is exceptional. A 4.10% stout that smells and tastes like a familiar liqueur? Count me in. I'll will definitly be picking up a sixer of these next time I'm out.

 740 characters

Photo of banjojon
3.81/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured into a frosted mug
initial 2in of dense head in a choc milkshake color
very dark, thick color
after 2 mins head is down to 1/2 in with good lacings

nutty, choc, licorice, coffee

like the aroma
rather crisp mouthfeel with little aftertaste
flavor lingers on lips a tad but not on the palate
would probably be better at room temp

i could see keeping a sixer around
definitely tasting the almond

 440 characters

Photo of dudemuskie
3.62/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked a bottle of this up at a Charlotte, NC airport bar and was pretty excited to score a specialty local brew!

Appearance- Pours deep dark brown, nearly black with a thin beige head at about 1/2 finger. Head dissipates quickly. Low CO2 evident from appearance.

Aroma- Almonds front and center. Rich almond nuttiness mingles with malty sweetness and hints of chocolate/cocoa and dark roasty malts. Some subtle estery fruitiness. Hints of dark caramel and molasses.

Flavor- Starts off with almonds and a touch of fruitiness (almost like a chocolate cake laced with almond oil). Overripe strawberry fills the mouth with dark chocolate notes in middle. Finishes with roasty malt, dark chocolate, and soft earthy hop bitterness. Roasty and raisin flavors linger and hang heavy for a chewy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Low to Medium CO2, slightly chewy and definitely full bodied. Moderate residual sweet/stickiness.

Overall- Interesting stout! Tasty and unlike anything I have ever had. Almond flavors may be a bit overwhelming, making this brew a bit low on the drinkability scale. Nice roasty stout qualities and a fun brew to drink (one of)!

 1,141 characters

Photo of Biffster
4.34/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer has a luscious pour, with a thin lacy tawny head. The aroma is VERY inticing - an inviting mixture of almonds, butter, coffee, burnt currant, toffee, plum, cherry, and the list goes on and on.

The flavor starts with a touch of chocolate sweetness that gives way to almond. The almond stays with the flavor and mingles with butter and a roastiness at the swallow that counters the richness of this beer well. After the swallow, a roasty coffee flavor combines with the almond and lingers pleasantly.

The mouthfeel is luscious and creamy. The carbonation from the bottle is almost a bit high for all of this velvety smoothness. I bet this would be fantastic on tap. There is a touch of astringency (common in stouts) that lingers.

Overall, I came to this expecting to be underwhelmed or at best, mildly impressed. This brewer, whoever he is, really knows stouts. That helps when attempting something as ambitious as this. I heartily recommend this to anyone who is looking for a rich and substantial winter beer.

 1,028 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Cottonwood Almond Stout from Carolina Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.59 out of 5 with 43 ratings