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Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout)Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout)

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: 1,431 | Ratings: 4,487
Photo of jm1229
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've heard a lot of good things about Southern Tier, so I picked up this, Pumking, and Mokah. Here goes nothing.

22oz bottle with no date served into a Goose Island pint glass at 42 degrees (as stated on the bottle).

A- Pour yields roughly one finger of mocha colored head that disappears a little too quickly for my liking. I prefer a nice beer moustache from time to time...Jet black color with some carbonation bubbles collecting on the sides. Looks okay.

S- Really unique. Smells of an extremely rich dessert coffee. Lots of vanilla in here, some cinnamon (dare I say). Smells like a birthday cake.

T- Just like the nose, it has a superb richness to it. Some cappuccino, coffee, vanilla. I say some, but what i mean is "up the wazoo". How much sugar is in this?

M- perhaps there is a little too much carbonation, but the beer is incredibly smooth for 9.6%.

O- Based on reading other reviews, I expected this to be a little out there in terms of originality and uniqueness. I've had nothing like this before, and while it's a really fun beer to have, it's not something I'll be going back to too often, mainly because it's extremely rich. It's a true sipper. Maybe it's just me, but this tasted more like a tiramisu than it did creme brulee, but I love both, so who cares?

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Photo of bobsy
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Southern Tier Creme Brulee presents a dark brown, off-black body in the glass with a tan head that quickly falls to a patchy film. Each time the glass is tilted the head is replenished a little before falling again. No lacing is left behind. Perhaps the most aromatic beer I have drank in a long time, the smell of vanilla bursts from the glass and overpowers the senses. A creamy coffee liqueur lurks in the background trying to be noticed.

The initial hit is undoubtedly deeply caramelised and partially burned sugar, which forms a very accurate representation of that part of the dessert. However, the rest of the flavour deviates quite considerably from how a creme brulee custard would taste, veering off into the realm of a flavoured coffee (any Canadian BA's would understand the flavour in a second if I described it as Tim Horton's french vanilla cappuccino). There's a large amount of coffee roast here, but to a great extent its obscured by a strong sweetness and vanilla lingering in the top of the palate. A nice hop finish helps to cut the sweetness somewhat, and combines with the pre-existing flavours to provide a very pleasant finale and lingering aftertaste. Still I feel the alcohol is a little too apparent and that the messy flavour profile falls short of the other blackwater offerings.

The body is slightly slick, yet a little to thin and effervescent to pull off the creme brulee allusion with anything close too aplomb. Make this a bit heavier and tone down the carbonation and I think we'd have a winner. In fact a body closely resembling Oat's would work well here.

This is an interesting idea, but I feel that it could have been executed a bit better. Perhaps it would even have faired better as a regular milk stout - at least then the evident alcohol would have been removed. The sweeteness and heavy vanilla could also be a bit much for some, and it certainly hits the same wall that all of Southern Tier's imperials do, but it hits it a hell of a lot faster. For me, a bomber is a little too much to face and enjoy over an evening, and this is one I'm happy to split with my wife. We both enjoyed the experience, but couldn't help but view this as a novelty beer: great in concept, but probably not something we would search for again.

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Dark black with almost no head, and minimal lacing.

Smell - Cream, chocolate, sugars, vanilla, carmal, butterscotch, some malts. Made my mouth water.

Taste - Sweet, vanilla and carmal overload, but not quite as bad as i was figuring. Malts are present but are a bit underwheming with all the sweetness. Has the milk stout flavor along with the alcohol adding some warmth. Some dark fruits are slighty tasted at the end.

Mouthfeel - Thick and coats mouth big time with sugars, alcohol and vanilla. Palette is covered with sweetness and mouth is left a little bitter chocolatey and dry.

Overall - Not bad but a little to much with the alcohol. This is to be a dessert beer but its really intense. I still prefer there chocolate stout to this, its not so sugary sweet and more stout flavored. Also i wish this was in 12 oz bottles, cause for me, this 22oz is a chore to finish.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber from Beer Run. Not the first time I've tried this one, but the first time I've actually managed to get a review out of it. Long story! Poured in to a 22 oz. snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dirty, dark brown, but not quite opaque brew - it's almost like a heavily-toasted barleywine in hue - capped by a fizzy, relatively fast-fading tan head. The retention leaves a lot to be desired, as does the lacing - only the thinnest fizzy collar of lace persists, and that's largely on the back of a steady stream of fine carbonation. Not too much goin' on here.

Aroma: Incredibly sticky sweet sugars, seeping and swimming and seething with vanilla bean and faint cocoa and milky, creamy lactose overtones. Alcohol is only the faintest afterthought in this one, though it is slightly detectable. Severe agitation brings to the forefront a lot of dark, heavily toasted, partially singed caramel sugars, though these are heavily masked and fortunately superseded by their lighter, sweeter counterparts in the normal course of agitation.

Taste: Jeeze. Highly burnt, heavily caramelized sugars are pleasant up front, but wear thin a little quickly - I don't even mean quickly as in, as the entire beer progresses, but more quickly "per sip." That is, the severely burnt nature of the sugar is particularly harsh in the finish of each sip, right when it hits the back of the tongue. It's a shame, really, because the forefront of each sip - the vanilla beans, the sweet, creamy, milky sugars, the slightly bitter hop presence - is pleasant. It just fades way too quickly.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonated, but heavy, sticky, syrupy thickness makes your mouth and your lips and your whole face sticky. Still, enough carbonation to keep it lively and even, though not as creamy as I'd like.

Drinkability: Well, hm. The alcohol doesn't really come through here in any appreciable way ... outside of its effect. If it weren't so roasted, so heavily burnt, so ... astringent ... it would be much nicer, but probably still even a little sweet for my tastes (and likely for most). I'm glad to have actually reviewed it, following my "Beatification + Creme Brulee = debacle" debacle, but I won't be enjoying this one again anytime soon, likely!

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Photo of snogglethorpe
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Desert in a glass!

Thick, black, sweet, creamy, tastes strongly of vanilla and while a bit bitter, it's burn-sugar bitter, not hop bitter. A very slight metallic and acidic taste that works quite well with all the other dominant flavors going on.

I probably can't drink too much of this at one sitting, but it's actually very delicious for what it is. If you want desert, and you want beer, then a glass of this will leave you feeling well-satisfied (and it's probably a bit lower in calories than real creme-brulee together with a glass of beer!).

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Photo of farrago
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a bold and close to four finger head of dark foam, airy but not wispy, has better retention than you’d think, only minor surface dimpling, the lacing is thin and haphazardly spread across the glass sides. Clean liquid if predictably opaque, like buffed onyx, tiny hint of orange at the rims. The nose is like having a German chocolate cake smashed into your face, coconut, caramel, butterscotch, chocolate, only a slight roasted edge, some candied oranges, this has a “take no prisoners” approach. Full-bodied, same story in the mouth, unbearably sweet like a hose force feeding you toffee, caramel and butterscotch. This almost makes it hard to register the vanilla and chocolate. The carbonation is super soft and adds to the fluffy character. Heavy on the Maraschino cherries and again candied oranges. Does an odd bitter twist at the end. Can’t fault it for intensity of flavor but it was a concerted effort to finish the bomber.

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Photo of fountainofyouth
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a rocket into a recently purchased Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout tulip imperial pint glass. Figured this would be an appropriate beer to use it on.

Appearance: Pours an aggressive head, light brown. Body is very, very dark with only the slightest bit of ruby red when held directly up to light. Looks impressive.

Smell: Holy crap, it smells like a creme brulee! Like, really. Behind it is alcohol and some soft chocolate. No room for hops.

Taste: Well, I'll be damned -- tastes like a creme brulee too. It's a bit more subdued, allowing room for alcohol, blackened barley, and some mystery off-flavors. Good and distinctive, but not flawless.

Mouthfeel: Very thick, sugary body. Residual sugar left over.

Overall: It's good for a novelty beer. I'm not sure if it's worth getting more than once.

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Photo of Med
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Just a shade shy of pitch black with a surprisingly light tan slight head that quickly becomes just a ring. Leaves some lace, but not enough to get excited about. Smell is SWEET. It smells like Creme Brulee. I mean almost exactly like creme brulee. Loads of vanilla and some cocoa. No perceptible alcohol or yeast here. Taste follows exactly where you would expect it to. Loads of vanilla, some marshmallow, and a hint of cocoa. Actually it reminds me very much of creme brulee flavored salt water taffy, but I'm not sure why. This comes across as more of a liqueur than a beer, but again no detectable alcohol warming. Feel is thick and somewhat viscous. Drinkability is low, mostly due to the almost overwhelming sweetness. Well worth a try, if only for the uniqueness.

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Photo of dismal
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From a bomber into a pint glass. Pours black with a little bit of redish highlights coming through if held up to the light. Has a big, very light tan head at first but pretty quickly it reduces to almost nothing, leaving little to no lacing down the sides of the glass. The smell of this one is mainly vanilla. Thats all I really got out of it, there may have been a hint of coffee but the vanilla really stood out to me. Taste was the same though the coffee came through a bit more. Really sweet tasting, and honestly had a cream soda like taste to it which I'm not completely sure I'm down with haha. Overall not a bad taste just not what I really want to enjoy in a beer. Pretty good mouthfeel however, thick, which is what I want in a stout. Drinkability is average, above average at best. At leas the alcohol is hidden well. Not something I would drink a lot of in one night or even often. I may pick it up again but most likely I would pick up other Southern Tier products instead. I'd say it's worth a try but it's pretty sweet tasting and strong on the vanilla. Nothing wrong with that if you really like that kind of thing.

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Photo of liamt07
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle from the LCBO, part of the Winter release. Into two stemmed wine snifters, shared with the girlfriend.

Pours black, with a finger or two of khaki head, Mild retention, sticky lace. Nose is huge, loads of graham cracker, burnt sugar, pie crust/pastry crust and vanilla, with some alcohol hanging out in the back. Taste is fairly complex, lots of stuff thrown together here. Caramel, sweet creme brulee, dark chocolate, burnt brown sugar and vanilla all find their way in there, with some alcohol on the back end. Great mouthfeel, thick and real chewy. Drinkability takes a hit, this is super sweet and a real dessert beer. Half a bomber was more than enough, almost too much for me. Interesting stuff, and really gives the impression of some creme brulee.

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Photo of Swim424
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a rouge pint glass from a bomber.

A-pours a the color of true dark chocolate with a milky chocolate film covering the top. not much head.

S-wow. Smells like a mom and pop coffee shop. delicious. lots of vanilla filled with nice bits of coffee, chocolate and caramel pleasing the nose as well.

T-an overpowering amount of vanilla smacks your tongue immediately upon entering the mouth shocking your tongue. As soon as the immediate rush is over a hard amount of espresso smacks your tongue. As it slides down your throat you get a blast of 100% cocoa bittering your tongue hard.

MF- a bit thinner than I expected. Definitely boozy. a bit creamy.

O-This is a pretty good beer. Very powerful. This was a total shock to my nose and mouth. But it is nicely sweet. The alcohol is very noticeable on the finish.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

22oz bottle split with my buddy as dessert. Poured into my snifter

A: Deep brown with a thin, light brown head with pretty good retention. Ruby red highlights

S; Jeez! Smells like... creme brulee! Massive vanilla and butterscotch make for a very appetizing post-prandial aperitif but not the best of beers

T: Tastes pretty much like the nose. Massive vanilla and butterscotch lead things off on a beer that's carried by medium bodied beer with hints of chocolate. Finish is sweet and very creme-brulee-esque.

M: Well carbonated, maybe a little thin for such a big stout?

D: I can't honestly imagine drinking one by myself.

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Photo of Zach136
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pitch black, nice head sized tan for 9.6%

Aroma: Super intense vanilla bean. Like you can smell it clearly from feet away intense. Up close you can smell the caramelly, sugary sweetness to it. Little to no roast character.

Flavor: Holy diabeetus. Cloying vanilla, blackstrap molasses, hersheys syrup. Instant headache.

Mouthfeel: Do I really have to drink more? Full+ bodied, cloying, beets.

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Photo of TrappistJohnMD
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours black with a light tan head that lingers well in the glass.

Smell is butterscotch, maple syrup, vanilla, coffee and a little cake-like. It is much like walking up to a gourmet coffee cart.

Taste is sweet malts, caramel, coffee and vanilla. Medium bitterness in the finish. Extremely rich!

Mouthfeel is full-bodied with light to medium carbonation.

Overall this was good but so incredibly rich that I could never drink more than a small glass.

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Photo of WeedKing4
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bomber pours a dark black with a little carbination forming around the glass. The smell is very sweet and reminds you of desserts you have over the holidays. The taste follows suit and is incredibly sweet for a stout. Its almost too sweet really. The abv% is well hidden, but its drinkability is difficult since its so damn sweet. Going to be a struggle to finish this bomber by myself. Won't go out of my way to see this out again. That being said, i'm glad I got to try it.

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Photo of Kendo
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Poured from the bomber into a pint glass. Body is black with a light-tan/khaki-colored head.

S: Wow. Creme brulee is right. The second the cap is popped you get the vanilla. After the pour it's even stronger -- vanilla and toffee and, as it warms, butterscotch. It smells more like dessert than a beer.

T: Follows the nose, more or less. Creme brulee -- vanilla, caramel, roasty malt and butterscotch -- as it warms I keep thinking of hard butterscotch candies.

M: Just shy of heavy in weight, fairly creamy in feel.

D: Subtract points here. This beer is just too heavy and sweet to be a big drinker. It's dessert and it's a sipper, but the sweetness just weighs you down and thus slows you down. The friend I split it with was right, I think -- a bomber would be perfect for 4 people as an after-Thanksgiving-dinner drink.

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an extremely dark brown with a small, off- white head that disappears quickly. Scent is... Sweet Jesus!!!! The sweetest beer I've ever come across. Smells like dessert and gives me a craving for chewy caramel candy. Tons of sweet caramel, toffee, and brûlée. Taste is just as sweet. German chocolate cake with toffee and vanilla. A TON of caramel. Hints of overly sweet chocolate. Sugar bomb. Slight warming booze as it warms. Mouthfeel is full bodied and very rich. Drinkability...now this is where this beer fails. It is amazing with the first few sips...but becomes completely overwhelming almost instantly. Overall, this beer is unique and deserves all the hype for that, I just recommend it in small doses.

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Photo of beerhan
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had a 4oz draft sample of this last night and honestly I cannot believe that this was even beer. It more or less tasted like liquified cheesecake or tiramisu. There was a heavy cream taste with strong hints of cocoa and coffee. The alcohol is almost undetectable and the taste really is a lot more like Kaluha than anything else. Nonetheless this sample was more than enough for I would not want more. It is the a good dessert beer but if anyone can seriously take more than this down they must have a real sweet tooth.

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Photo of devilben02
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

My wife wanted to try this one, so I was happy to share it with her. It pours like any good imperial stout, with a deep, opaque brown color and a modest ring of foam. This beer smells absolutely incredible, with an aroma of vanilla and caramelized sugar that is as close to actual creme brulee as I can imagine. The flavor is likewise dominated by vanilla and caramel, which isn't as pleasant as it is in the aroma, and there is also some earthy, dark roasted malts and an undercurrent of booze that don't connect well with the decadent sweetness. The texture is pleasant enough, with a light carbonation to help break up the dense, sweet flavor profile. In the end, though, despite the unique flavor profile, the distinctive, potent sweetness is just too much, and I likely won't be picking this one up again.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Alright; I've heard just about all there is to hear about this beer. I'm walking into it open-minded; I think this is my first beer from Southern Tier. Expectations are high; I like the sound of it. Acquired at a local beer store for $15.00 (this shit's hard to come by in Los Angeles). 9.60% ABV confirmed. I don't have a snifter on-hand, so I'm serving the 650ml brown glass bottle with a standard pressure cap into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in Los Feliz. Reviewed live.

Served after a period of rest from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of its consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger tan colour head of good cream and thickness, and great retention considering the high ABV. Body colour is a nontransparent opaque solid black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Pretty appealing for the style.

Sm: Sweet Jesus, that is one hell of an aroma. Overpowering creme brulee: custard, vanilla, sweet sugar, and luxurious dessert. Staggeringly appealing. I can't wait to try it. Buttery as all hell. I'm wary of the sweetness, but I'll bite. It's exactly as it should be considering the aims of the beer.

T: Heavy vanilla sweetness with custard and buttery qualities abound. Yes, that definitely tastes like creme brulee. And it's not as artificial as some have noted. Cream, custard, sugar, whipped cream, sinful vanilla dessert notes. Wow. Maltiness is hidden actually; I couldn't tell you if the malts were dark or light based on the taste alone. I assume they're dark. No roast at all. No real chocolate. Just creme brulee throughout, like a tasteful dessert wine. Definitely meets its aims, but the sweetness is quite over the top. I don't know if I want to finisht his whole bottle. No yeast or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Smooth, wet, creamy, clean, sinful. As buttery and sugary as they come. Suits the flavour profile near perfectly. Good thickness and carbonation.

Dr: Wow. This really does taste like creme brulee. It's right up there in the best specialty beers, for sure. The drinkability, however, is quite limited. Frankly, they bottled it in too large a bottle. No one in their right mind would want to consume the entirety of this bottle alone. I of course will do so because I'm not a pretentious twat who drainpours everything that isn't good enough for my posh lips. It hides its ABV remarkably well and would pair brilliantly with actual creme brulee, but the drinkability is very limited. This is one hell of a beer and it's certainly unique. I don't think anyone denies that. For that reason alone, every beer fanatic needs to try it at least once. Preferably in a small pour, though. This is a dentist's nightmare.


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Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

a: a beautiful thick black body with 1/4" tan head; light lace and decent retention

s: caramel and syrup with vanilla ice cream; butter and chocolate

t: very sweet caramel and syrup wth vanilla ice cream; butter and chocolate; as well as added light coffee; it is similar to creme brulee; i see it

m: smooth but a little sticky and syrupy

d: really heavy and a little too sweet to have a full pint but an interesting beer that is worth a couple desert tastes

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Photo of Stunner97
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- dark brown to black in color with very thin white lacing that quickly fades away, no carbonation to be seen

Smell- all i can say is wow, this is literally the most strong smelling beer i may have ever smelt, its smells much as advertised being a creme brulee, tons of vanilla and caramel dominate this pungent delicous sweet nose, literally smells like desert, I could smell this one all day

Taste- the taste of the beer is not quite as strong as the nose would believe you to think on the start, its gots got some roasted espresso and burnt malts up front and even little touch hops, its not til the finish that the vanilla and caramel start poking there nose around again and lingering long on the finish, the finish is much more drying and less sweet then i excpected

Mouthfeel- the mouthfeel of this beer is i would say medium bodied its not light but it certainly alot more light still then i might have suspected, some alcohol can be noticed on finish

Drinkability- Overall -this is a very creative beer and one thats unique amongst most other beers I have tried, its not as sweet as you would think for sure but the flavors are vanilla are strong, really to me the weakest point of this beer is the firm bitterness at the end which I guess is cutting back on some of the sweetness but still not sure its the most desirable taste to me, this is probably not something I would seek out again as it seems it has some good points but never reallly comes together to be great rather okay, worth a shot as a desert beer

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Photo of lpayette
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Received in trade as an extra from the generous Lofgrep.

The appearance isn't all that impressive with little carbonation to show off The color is very near pitch black. The little bit of head that is present does produce some lacing however.

Smell is apparent from the start, as opening produces TONS of creme brulee notes. Strong coffee aroma as well.

Taste- A little too burnt on top I think this creme brulee is. From the smell I expected this to be super sweet and delicious. The extra roasted characteristic however was a bit much for me.

A sipper for sure, and a desert beer at that. If this were just a little bit sweeter, I'd be all over this beer.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Black pour with a small tan head that disappears quickly.

S: The smell is really sweet. Predominantly butterscotch, with some vanilla and chocolate mixed in as well.

T: This has one of the most interesting tastes I have ever encountered. Butterscotch mainly, really a lot like creme brulee, but in stout form.

MF: Creamy and oily body.

D: Not very good. Took me a while to put down one glass.

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Photo of Abstract_Alegebra
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Beer Run in Cville. Obsidian in color with a micro lace that fades to almost nothing. What a nose! It's like getting punched in the face by the candy man wearing butterscotch boxing gloves. Taste follows the nose but (relatively) toned down. Smooth, sweet, lingering on the back in a way that stays with you, but is nice. Bis thick and uniform.

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Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 4,487 ratings.
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