Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout (Blackwater Series) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout (Blackwater Series)Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout (Blackwater Series)

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: Milk / Sweet Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The brewer suggests a serving temperature of 42 °F for this beer.

Added by ph2001 on 07-12-2008

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Reviews: 1,459 | Ratings: 4,565
Photo of Hyptochrons
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

nice looking dark brown pour, black in glass. less than a finger of tan head that recedes quickly, leaving a few spots of lace. aroma is pretty nice, super sweet vanilla, dark fruity cherry note, sweet chocolate. on palate it is decent at first, but as it warms becomes extremely cloying and almost medicinal. at first i thought it might be enjoyable, but ultimately it is not.

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Photo of wasatchback
2.63/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Two sips and dumped it out. Was very interested to try it out as the label made it sound rather interesting. Smelled and tasted like fake vanilla extract, very overpowering. I can't imagine drinking this. Wonder if this was a bad batch???

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Photo of Skrumpy
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On the label of this beer it says: "Why the hell not?" That is how one must approach this beer. The brewers did not try to hide anything, so you have to assume this will be a sweet, dessert beer based on the name alone. One must judge it for what it is, not in the same vein as other stouts. It's called creme brûlée for a reason. So, if you don't like sweet beers, or vanilla, or custard, don't waste your time, & then you won't waste more time complaining that you didn't like it. Beyond that, this deep, dark brown stout delivers what it promises.

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Photo of Profundobaso
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L - black, with a thick head that dissipates but leaves behind lacing
S - literally like a creme brulee. strong hints of vanilla and custard.
T - tastes as sweet as it smells. a bit of roasted malts, in addition to, well, more creme brulee
F - medium mouth feel, a bit unsatisfying for a milk stout, especially at this ABV. fairly easy to drink though
O - they definitely weren't kidding about this one being a dessert beer. one of the sweetest beers i have ever had. i enjoyed it, but this definitely isn't the beer for everyone. if you like creme brulee and feel adventurous, go for it.

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Photo of alarmclock314
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, dated 12/8/16, 10% ABV. Pours semi transparent dark brown amber with a medium sized khaki head; some lacing. Smells of mostly vanilla, custard, sweet lactose, and caramel with some faint roasted malt. The taste follows with roasted malt, custard, vanilla, sweet lactose, and caramel. Extremely sweet and light bitterness; probably the sweetest stout I've ever rated before. The body is above average and carbonation is below average. Overall, this was too sweet and needed more balance, but was drinkable with a good feel. I've had the 2015 version in a 22oz bottle (the one with a cow on it) and I remember it being more balanced in regard to sweetness versus bitterness.

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Photo of edward_boumil
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Beer is jet black, got almost no head despite aggressive pour, couldn't really coax one by swirling. Smell is crazy sweet and strong vanilla, like smelling straight extract. Taste is a repeat, somewhat creamy but very strong vanilla, very sweet. Definitely a dessert beer.
Feel is very heavy, cloying, a little astringent.
Overall not my cup of tea. I'm not crazy into stouts, and when I do drink them I prefer drinkability and balance to flavor bombs. I can see some people liking this, unfortunately just doesn't really mesh with my palate.

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Photo of curtis6290
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very good looking stout with a nice thick foam head that lasts over 20 minutes. The smell was bold with nice flavors of vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar. The Taste and Fell really killed this beer, which is the main factor. It was so sweet and overbearing that it wasn't enjoyable. Needs less vanilla and flavoring and more hops to balance this out. Great concept, but this beer was not very drinkable at all. Ended up draining it.

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Photo of 72u7h
2.21/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer. I don't know. You smell it and it's like WOW VANILLA IN YOUR FACE. Then you taste it and it's like vanilla extract all up in your mouth. It's sort of harsh, really sweet. Vanilla is overpowering, big time. I got 4 bottles of this, and tried 2 so far and I'm going to trade the rest because this beer is just no.

look - its dark
smell - like vanilla, like ALL the vanilla has descended into this single bottle
taste - like vanilla extract, sweet vanilla extract. Nothing more nothing less, there isn't any depth because you can't taste anything beyond the damn vanilla!

feel - like a vanilla soda, but overpowering went and camped out in your mouth.

Is that good enough? Yea. I love southern tier, but this beer is I don't know, feels like someone messed up.

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Photo of DaverCS
3.26/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Black in color with almost no head, lacing, or legs.

Aroma is concerated caramel and vanilla. Smells like a pure caramel candy; an over-abundance of sweetness.

Taste reminds me of drinking pure vanilla extract. It smells better than it tastes, with an astringent bitterness and alcohol bite at the end. The pure vanilla extract is mixed with an extremely artificial caramel coffee sweetener taste.

I am not a fan of this beer. Smells quite good for a dessert beer, but the taste is a mess. I don't pour many beers out but this one was a drain pour. It gets a 65/100.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black liquid.

Dark khaki head; decent lace.

Werther's Original nose! Crazy!

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Werther's flavor with a hint of bitterness on the finish. Over the top, but unique. One is more than enough!

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Photo of breakdownbbe
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How much you enjoy this beer is going to depend on how open you are to the concept. On one hand, it's probably the truest realization of the term "dessert beer" out there. On the other hand, I see how the sweetness could be a bit overwhelming for some. Personally, I loved it. The easiest drinking 10 percenter I've ever tasted, and the smell is just astonishing; if you blindfolded me and had me smell this I'd swear it was actual creme brulee. There's not a crazy amount of layering to the flavor, but if you're like me and love vanilla custard that's not really a problem. Super rich, too. Overall, pricey, but very unique and daring!

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Photo of EMV
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Dark, dark, dark brown pour... nearly black. Thin white head... falls quickly but leaves spotty lacing.

S: Vanilla and sweets... dessert... smells just like creme brulee. Nailed it.

T/F: Roasted grains and burned sugars. Strong flavors of vanilla and cream... kahlua and iced cream... a little bitterness in the roast for balance. No discernible hop presence. Full in body... thick and smooth... almost creamy. Residual roast and sweetness on the tongue in the aftertaste. Warming but not boozy.

O: The very definition of a 'dessert beer' and very impressive how they've hit the aroma and flavor profile of creme brulee. Not one I'd want often, but a very well done effort.

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Photo of jwilcox767
4.71/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow, this really fits their bill as a "dessert" beer. Tastes and smells of vanilla beans, khalua, and... ice cream? I need to find more for sure, not exactly sure how it will age though. At $4.50/12oz it's somewhat expensive, but when you taste, it's worth it. Definitely not a flavor profile you'll find in many brews, and the 10%abv really helps to mellow/meld the overall flavors.

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Photo of CHickman
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

DOB 12/08/15: this well aged bottle pours pitch black color with a beige colored 1 finger thick foamy head that was full of tiny bubbles and dissipated slowly, leaving very good spotty lacing.

Smells of vanilla extract, Kahlua, Baileys Irish Cream, vanilla beans, lactose sugar and ice cream. The sweetness is too much and cloying, with no stout qualities and too much vanilla and egg cream. Impressive how they get a beer to smell like a liqueur, but it was too over the top for my enjoyment.

Tastes like it smells with strong vanilla, Crème Brûlée, Kahlua, Baileys Irish Cream, vanilla beans, cocoa powder, lactose sugar, brown sugar and vanilla ice cream. There are some roasted stout elements, coffee grinds and espresso, but the sweetness is beyond anything I can enjoy. I give Southern Tier credit for masking the ABV and creating a beer that actually tastes like creme brulee, but this brew is not for me.

Choklat, Choklat Oranj, Mokah, Jahva and most of the Blackwater Series have been very enjoyable, but this was a sweet mess that I would not drink again.

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Photo of beerguy04
4.68/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a jet black color with a creamy tan head. Smells like a vanilla milkshake. Tastes like vanilla butterscotch. Mouthfeel is creamy. Overall, another impressive beer from Southern Tier.

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Photo of BierRunner
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice dark color but not as thick as I expected. Nose is unbelieveble and lives up to its name. Deeply sweet on the younger but enough bitterness to give it a stiff backbone. Carbonation is a little light but the finish is a full 30 seconds. Nice after dinner beer.

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Photo of DBosco
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Chestnut brown around the edges, but opaque black otherwise. Head disappears leaving some lacing. Smells of vanilla, caramel, and alcohol. Taste is sweet, vanilla, caramel, with a hint of bitterness which could be a mix of vanilla beans and roasted malts. Mouthfeel is rich creamy and a little foamy. Overall, a pretty good dessert beer. Maybe it would be better if they backed off the sweetness and ABV a bit.

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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22 oz bomber,into a Funky Buddha snifter.DOB 12/08/16 10:01am.

Frothy,yet creamy,khaki colored head that stands just over 1 finger tall.Moderate retention.Silky,jet black in color,with no light showing through the glass.Light carbonation.

On the nose I get strong notes of vanilla and creme.This beer smells exactly as advertised,creme brulee,and vanilla custard.There are notes of dark roasted malts,and caramel,but they are faint.

The palate follows the nose with vanilla and creme in the lead,and faint hints of caramel malts.Once again it tastes like vanilla custard,or creme brulee.This beer does have an alcohol bite to it,but nothing vicious.Sweet but not cloying.

The body is heavy,with a sticky mouth feel.Also there are some elements of alcohol warming on the way down.

This is a pretty damn good Imperial Stout.They probably could have done a little more to mask the alcohol,but still pretty good.I might have to pick up another bottle,and see if a couple months,or a year of aging will help blend the flavors,and mask the alcohol.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I really enjoy scouring the shelves at the Friendly Greek Bottle Shop since I never know what I might find to drink & review next! Of course, I would have preferred more CANs and fewer bottles, but c'est la guerre.

From the bottle: "Imperial Stout Brewed with Vanilla Beans & Natural Flavor"; "25 [deg.] Plato[,] 2-row barley[,] dark caramel malt[,] vanilla bean[,] lactose sugar[,]Columbus & horizon hops[,] natural flavor".

I Pop!ped the cap & gave it an aggro pour befitting my frustration with Th' Stillers' play this evening. This raised just over a finger of foamy, deep-brown head with moderate retention. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose was very sweet with loads of vanilla and caramel evident. Mouthfeel was medium. Phew, was this ever sweet! The caramel was the most prevalent taste, followed by vanilla and a slight smokiness and dark chocolate. Oh my. This made me feel like I was going to have a sugary overdose. It is absolutely a Sweet Stout. no question. Finish was cloyingly sweet & I found myself wondering what might accompany this. I might have coffee as an accompaniment since as it warmed, it began to take on a pronounced chocolatiness along with the caramel and vanilla. I would consider this to be a dessert beer, but not one that would require an additional dessert to go with it. This was plenty on its own.

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
4.77/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Look: Pours a pitch black color with a one finger beige head that laces the glass very well.

Aroma: It smells exactly like Creme Brulee. I'm getting notes of salted pretzels, burnt/caramelized sugar, creamy custard and mild chocolate.

Taste: The flavor follows the nose exactly. Sweet upfront with notes of lactose and caramel candy. Notes of salted gourmet chocolate and sour dough pretzels dance in the background. This is an absolute treat. Like creme brulee in a glass

Some people might think it's too sweet, but thats the point, this is a desert beer. As for other members reporting offputting notes of metal and """artificial""" flavoring, I tried to be as critical of this beer as I could and searched quite hard for such faults but came up empty handed - this has no brewing flaws, it's simply a matter of taste whether you find it cloying to your palate or not.

Feel: The mouthfeel is medium bodied and low in carbonation. Sweet and quite silky with rich malty flavors.

Overall: Don't even bother giving this a second glance if you aren't a fan of sweet/milk stouts. But if you're in the mood for a really fine desert beer, it really doesn't get better than this. Like I said a lot of people might find it cloying or unbearably sweet but that is a matter of taste - not a flaw - it's made that way on purpose ... it's a desert beer.

I'm giving this mostly 5s across the board because for a desert beer... it simply hits the nail on the head.

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Photo of The_Beer_Guru
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown color with a beige head. I smell mostly of vanilla with notes of sweet caramel and roasted malts. Taste follows the smell with a creamy rich mouthfeel. Very good beer that hides the ABV quite well. I would definitely buy this again.

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Photo of bdaggett
3.31/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

I had been hunting this beer down for years. The result was not as good as I had hoped. The sweet flavor was very strong, and combining it with an alcohol taste made it almost unbearable. The beer does not have many other flavors to support it, and if it does, they are smothered by the sweet cream flavor. A big disappointment for Southern Tier.

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Photo of Dilly84
2.69/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.75

Being generous with my review.
I'll keep this short and sweet. (No pun intended)
The taste is overbearing sweetness. I'm baffled at the high reviews this beer has. There is very little, if any, alcohol taste to this and to say it's sweet is an understatement. Candy bars aren't as rich as this not is real creme brulee. Tastes like a mix of malt loaded down with sugar and heavy cream. Not a good sweetness. Just plain out overbearing.

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Photo of Ctb6582
4.56/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter at LoDa Bier Garten in Mobile, AL. It was a keg from 2014 they had been sitting on. Wow. Inky black with a small head. Smelled exactly like putting my nose in a bowl of creme brûlée. This is an awesome desert beer. Heavy on vanilla and caramel, sugar practically crystallizes on the lip of the glass. It coats the tongue and sticks around. Roasty, toasty, malty goodness. Definitely not an everyday beer, but this one was spot on for time and place.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark brown to the point of appearing black, producing less than a finger of frothy, deep mocha, short-lived head that leaves a thin surface layer & collar & no lace. Aroma is vanilla, Tootsie Roll, lightly creamed coffee, caramel, roast, dark malts, toffee, alcohol booze, a hint of amaretto & a faint hint of anise/licorice. Taste is Tootsie Roll, vanilla, strong & earthy creamed coffee, amaretto, burnt bread, prune, fig, alcohol booze & a little spice. The burnt malt & caramel adds a note suggestive of maple syrup. Hop presence is best defined as an earthy bitterness in the finish & aftertaste. Aftertaste is earthy, bitter, burnt malt, vanilla/chocolate/coffee & boozy. Alcohol warmth is present. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied, with low-moderate carbonation, silky & creamy, tongue coating, smooth in a deceptive sort of way due to the peppery alcohol spice & grainy on the tongue in the aftertaste. Just a trifle too sweet for my taste but a great choice for an after dinner desert beer.

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Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout (Blackwater Series) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 4,565 ratings.
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