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: 1,451 | Ratings: 4,540
Photo of drjamyma
4.74/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't review beers often, nor have I been on B.A. for a while. I just had to say something about this beer. When I heard about milk stouts years ago I envisioned a beer that tasted like this one. Every other Milk stout in comparison is an utter failure (ha just trying to sound like a beer snob). Seriously though, excellent tasty beer. To the point where your questioning whether or not it's really a beer... Kinda like the first time I had a rasberry or fruit beer.

I only had a 3 oz. serving of it at a place called Bukowskis in boston. It was considered desert. And no complaints. I'm not sure if I could finish a pint of this. But I'm going to try because I found a lone bottle of it at blanchards today on my way back from work.

I'm stoked. Even more stoked that it's now almost 7 and an acceptable time to start drinking this fine beverage. Excellent.


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Photo of beerthulhu
4.74/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a very dark ruby when held to the light, a dark rich heresy chocolate color in the glass. A frothy 2 finger head sits atop with moderate retention, dark khaki in color, while leaving sparse thin columns for a lacing.

S: The nose was by far one of the most enticing aspects of not only this drink, but probably any drink I ever encountered. A huge rich sweetness of heresy chocolate and vanilla bean are emitted that can be detected from clear across the table, maybe even the room. Like a freshly brewed baby ruth cappuccino with frothy whipped milk and marshmallows this is truly one beer I could sit and smell all day. It is overly sweet but down right ridiculously good, rich, very rewarding and nothing short of a perfect score here.

T: The flavor certainly did not disappoint with regards to a perfect nose delivering nothing less then a stellar performance as well. Rich sweet heresy chocolate with some whipped frothy milk starts things off. Some dark sweetly roasted coffee with vanilla beans soon follow complimenting and providing a nice bridge leading to the middle of the palate where fresh ripe and dark juicy fruit (dates and plums) add to the mixture. The Columbus hops add a soft pungent flowery bitterness (think hop ottin for a prime example) that gently tries to tame the dessert type nature of this drink. The finish finds a beautiful fade of black licorice, some caramelized cane sugar sweetness and a touch of sweetened rum alcohol adding some spicness. Honestly fail to see how you could improve on the nose and flavor here. There is a nice alcohol warming that gently prevents the beer from ending to sweetly and thus adding complexity and a nice finish of warm hot cocoa.

M: slick and lusciously smooth, light in body and with a very flat carbonation presence. A nice slick feel, though maybe a little lighter then anticipated.

D: An incredible drink and probably one of the best per style ive tasted with Lancasters milk stout a close second. Only the 10.0% abv and sweet dessert type nature prevents this from going down any smoother then it already could. Enjoyment was near perfect, second to none. My only parting words would be that this beer seems a bit to sweet and potent to be bottled in a bomber for one serving. This would be best shared with a friend. Consuming a whole bottle by ones self is like eating dinner then having a whole german chocolate cake for desert, a bit overkill volume wise, but there are some of us who cant deny that sweet chocolately calling.

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Photo of paxkey
4.74/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours black with small dark head that dissipates quick and there is some sticky lacing.

the smell is exquisite in its desertlike scintilation. it smells like candy in a glass.

tastes on par with the smell. sweet syruppy and delicious. no alcohol taste but a great warming from the 10% kicks in quickly.

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Photo of Lupe
4.74/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown, almost black, that is capped by a cocoa colored small head. Not much of a head, so not much retention and little lace - as expected in a higher abv beer.

With the first sniff you realize those crazy guys upstate hit it out of the park again. Loads of vanilla, caramel, and cream. Roasted character sneaks in adding hazelnut coffee. Wow this is one enticing aroma - it smells like dessert.

Flavor leads with creme brulee - vanilla, caramel, and cream. Like the aroma, coffee steps up next followed by some mild alcohol. Taste is like Frangelico spiked coffee. A little milk chocolate finishes things off. Just a ridiculous flavor.

Full bodied, smooth, rich, and satisfying. Not to drink with dessert - this is dessert. A real sipper that dares you to come back for more. The alcohol is not upfront, but is not hard to find. The fullness alone keeps drinkability down a bit, but you will want more.

Exactly what you would want/expect from something labeled Creme Brulee, and that alone makes this a special beer.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.74/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle just purchased from Super Saver Liquors on Route 22 for $7.49...
Pours a deep, dark, jet-black, ebony hue with hardly any head and very minimal lacing...
As far as aroma is concerned, I challenge you to find any beer that can more accurately replicate the sugar-sweet, milk and malt laden, creme brulee aroma that the name suggests... Absolutely unbelievable, heavenly smell...
Taste, likewise, stood up to the bold aroma, with deep, dark nuances of milk chocolate, roasted malts, sweet cream, and dulce de leche...
Creamy, thick, rich mouthfeel along with an awesome level of drinkability for a 10% brew...
Excellent stuff...

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.74/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours very dark; held up to strong light it shows a brownish ruby. Thin foam, light mocha in color, and not hanging around for long but sticking with a nice collar. Doesn't lace at all, too bad.

Aroma - this smells like a dessert my son and I made last year for his culture assignment. It's called dulce de leche (caramel cream). Bascially heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla bean. The sweetest of sweet aromas, I dig it.

Taste - caramel malts are flavored early by the vanilla, like butterscotch candy. Roasted malts play a minor part but they are there. Nutty, coffee notes on the swallow, a nice blend of warm alcohol melding things together. The aftertaste has a drying smack of hops but not near enough to counter the high sugar effect of this brew. Finishes warm in the belly with flavors of caramel, vanilla, and roasted malt.

Mouthfeel - not especially smooth, but smooth. A touch under-carbonated to allow for a more dessert style intent.

Drinkability - I love the sweet beers and this is no exception. Wouldn't mind having another one of these for Halloween, it would be the ultimate beer candy on the 'candiest' night of the year. Major kudos to the good folks at Hyde Park W&S for hooking me up with a bottle of this earlier in the year. An ideal night to enjoy it as we have snow flurries in the forecast for the first time this season, the World Series has its first ever suspended game, and I mourn the loss of a treasured Beer & Sweat beer glass. It was a freebie but a member of the family nonetheless. Cheers to good beer, good baseball, and the remaining barful of glassware brotherhood left to carry on the sampling/reviewing tradition. Prosit!

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Photo of aussieyank
4.74/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Creamy and sweet, this beer isn't for everyone. One would have to rank it in its own category. For what it is - a delicious stout that actually tastes like Creme Brule - its very close to perfect.

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Photo of azdback
4.74/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Dark and pitch black in color. Highlights are just as black, but I get just a sliver of light at the bottom of this. Head was barely one finger and light coco colored. The lace seems to stick now but we'll see. Does stick initially but fades quickly.

This is the sweetest beer that I've ever smelled. Not a bad thing though (at least not to me). In no particular order I get these aromas. Dulce de leche, Brach's soft chewy caramel cubes, those little yellow butterscotch hard candies. There is some coffee and absolutely no alcohol at all. Buried in a pile of sugar I guess?

Taste is at first charred wood or maybe the outer charred skin of a marshmallow that became that way over a campfire. All the smells I got from this, translate directly to the taste. Burnt sugar, caramel, butterscotch and maybe just a bit of vanilla. The ultra roasted malts also give me some coffee and some bitterness. I now know how I will become a billionaire. Make hard candy that tastes just like this. But wait, if you order in the next 15 minutes, we will include the car air freshener that smells the same.

Mouth is rich and luscious. Full and sweet to the end. This isn't your average Double Stout, by any means, but it does have the mouth of one.

Overall, I don't care at all that I am going to rate this beer way higher than the highly experienced raters. I think this beer is very sweet, but in my opinion it is not a weakness at all. This is what the beer is. Um?? Creme Brulee?? Ever eaten one? This is an exceptional brew, if you don't want an extremely sweet beer don't try this one. Thanks to davesway10 for this masterpiece. This one needs it's own style. Imperial Dessert Stout. All 5's there!!

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Photo of bgildea
4.74/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice dark almost black brown, with a slight plum hue. Slight head that sticks around for a little while. Mild lacing as well.

S: Smells delicious!!! A nice strong sweet vanilla flavor comes across immediately with some nice caramel in the background. Great aroma that makes me want to drink it ASAP.

T: A very complex flavor. First you taste the sweet vanilla flavor. Then the caramel hits you. It finishes with a nice roasted malts after taste. The three principle flavors work very well together and illustrate how the sum is greater than the individual parts.

M: A nice chewy consistency for this milk stout.

D: Extremely drinkable. Great tasting beer that will bring me back for more. I could drink these all night.

Overall: Phenomenal beer! Everything about this beer is great. The taste is amazing, I would definitely recommend this beer to anyone and everyone. The 10% alcohol content is also a plus. You'll enjoy drinking these all night and probably get a nice little buzz out of it too.

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Photo of BradT
4.73/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My favorite beer that I can get on a reg... bar none and I'm an IPA guy. My next favorite is Sierra Nevada Bigfoot... I could drink ST CB every day... Wish it were easier to get 1/6 kegs of it. Honestly, the first time I had it I was surprised as I'd ever been by a beer. Amazing.

Smell - like a mochacino... Delicious
Taste - a perfect mix of coffee, chocolate, and sweet vanilla... With a hint of alcohol
Mouth - nice thickness, without being a milkshake
Appearance - if it appears in my glass... I'm happy

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Photo of Kuaff
4.73/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I have here a beer dubbed "Creme Brulee" sitting in my snifter at cellar temperature. It's 9.5% ABV, and NOT the 9.6% listed on this site (how DARE they mistake the ABV by a tenth of a percentage point!).

A fairly fast-fleeting head of about two fingers. It was the tan hue of golden brown sugar. The color is black with a tiny bit of murky brown around the edges.

I take a sniff of this milk stout... and I realize that it's one of those beers that not only smells GOOD, but unlike any other beer I've had. Butterscotch, vanilla, and that candy corn that you get around Halloween all come through STRONG in the scent. I can smell it when it's a foot or two away from my nose. There might be a little maple syrup and bourbon in the aroma as well, and also an indescrbably fruity character... It smells SWEET. Damn, that's good.

The taste brings forth what the scent promised, although not quite as much sweetness. It's a rich, flavorful blend of vanilla, butterscotch, and caramel. Like burnt sugar, really. An aptly-named beverage be this, and one what briefly causes me to talk in the manner of a pirate for no apparent reason. True to its style, this is both milky and sweet, but not TOO sweet. Aye, not for me, anyhow. There's an unmistakable likeness to toasted marshmallow in the flavor, and a woody, ashy, roasty earthiness in the finish... a superb stout finish that wraps up an impeccable flavor profile.

The feel? Awesome, like every other Southern Tier offering I've been privileged enough to try. Stunningly, supremely syrupy and sticky, and creamy like custard. I loooove it. Is it weird that a drink what which drinks kinda like molasses is so very drinkable to me?

This one explores the uncharted waters of stout-brewing territory and reaps gloriously unique and resplendent rewards.

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Photo of brewdogmrb
4.72/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Creme Brulee pours a beautiful dark dark brown color with some red highlights. A sticky, quickly dissapating head fills up a bunch of the pint glass when I pour. The aroma is overwhelming, really beautiful. Huge vanilla and cream smells, as intense as the Jah-va and Choklat Black Water brews before it. A rich, intense beer drinking experience -- no real hints of the huge ABV here. Pretty easy drinking mouthfeel and carbonation wise, but the flavor is so intense that I would be shocked if someone could drink two of these in a row. Kind of like eating two creme brulees in a row -- why even try? A wonderful beer with a lot of killer qualities that could easily be cloying and terrible but just isn't. Another winner from ST.

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Photo of beveritt
4.72/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks go out to Packforever1976 for throwing this in as an extra.

Presentation: Poured from a 22 oz brown bomber into a Duvel chalice. Label is typical style of Southern Tier and shows some cows, along with all the vital statistics for this beer.

Appearance: Pours with 1 finger of tan head. this settles slowly to a ring around the glass and an island of foam above the nucleation point. Very nice lacing as I drink. The beer itself is a dark muddy brown and completely opaque. No sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Holy crap, this smells like crème brûlée. Vanilla, eggs, cream, and a hint of cinnamon. Amazing.

Taste: Not as sweet as you might expect from the smell, but still very much like crème brûlée. Egg and milk creaminess upfront with hints of vanilla and cinnamon. Very slight roasted malt flavor in the middle. Finishes with slight coffee notes and a long, lingering fresh cream flavor. Slight alcohol sweetness, though the 10% ABV is hidden well. Slight alcohol warming as you sip this one.

Mouthfeel: average carbonation level. Body is very good.

Drinkability: What can I say, this is an unusual one. Not something I would drink everyday, but it is hard to argue with what it is; Southern Tier tried to make a beer reminiscent of crème brûlée and they nailed it. Spot on.

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.72/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Local Taphouse, way back in October 2012 I think. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark brown colour, lovely nitro head; yellowish beige nice and dense, retaining beautifully. Looks beautiful.

Fuck. Me. Holy shit that smells as good as God's favourite fried chicken restaurant kitchen. But completely unlike a fried chicken restaurant kitchen, more like caramel, toasty and sweet and vanilla custard. Notwithstanding it just smells amazingly different for a beer, it just smells fucking delicious. Holy shit.

Taste is similar. Bit of roasty malt around the edges, but loads more of that milky, custardy goodness. Yeah, caramel with slight nutty edge and some slight darker edge which needn't be there but still makes you feel like it's keeping it more grounded. Retains a bitterness on the back but for the most part, amazingly sweet desserty beer, so smooth and creamy. It's becoming a cliché in my tasting this beer but holy shit.

Smooth, velvety. Just a whisper of booze on the back. Lovely feel.

About as miraculous a dessert beer as you could dream of. Sweet, delicious, yet without being bogged down in its own self satisfaction. Slight edge to keep you drinking, as if more enticements were needed.

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Photo of acevenom
4.72/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large snifter glass. The beer pours black with thick light tan head and lots of visible carbonation along the side of the glass. Cracking the cap open revealed tons of vanilla in the aroma. That is the case when the beer is smelled and there's some nice dark chocolate and toffee. This is a very vanilla forward stout. The best description for the flavor is dessert in a glass. The vanilla from the aroma is present in the flavor with chocolate, toffee, and coffee like roastiness. As the beer warms up, it almost tastes like a brownie. The body is full with a thick mouthfeel. The carbonation is moderate. This is an excellent beer. Definitely one of a kind.

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Photo of russpowell
4.71/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Props to Jw347, cheers Jonathan!

Pours mahogany with a pinky of tan head. Above average head retention & average lacing

S: Rich caramel & coffee, & a touch of coconut; & a touch of cinnamon as this warms; yummy

T: Yummy caramel & a touch of coffee, some leafy hops hiding in the background up front. Coffee grounds do battle with chocolate & more caramel as this warms. Finishes much caramel & creamy chocolate notes. This is pulled off nicely

MF: Medium bodied, some stickyness, semi-creamy & low carbonation

Drinks pretty good, I could pound a few with dessert, a cheese tray or even a red curry. Will ding it a bit, because it would grown old after about 2 pints as a stand alone session beer. The ABV is artfully hidden

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

Poured from 22 oz bottle into snifter.

A-Light brown head, dissipated quickly. Very dark brown in the light, almost black when not in light.

S- Smells like a vanilla/butterscotch candy. Coffee was there, but almost as if it were a vanilla latte from a coffee shop. The sweetness is remarkable.

T- Tastes like a very light coffee with a few vanilla/butterscotch shots in it. the vanilla/butterscotch lingers on the tongue for a good amount of time.

M- Crisp and light. Not as heavy as I was expecting, but with the amount of sweetness, it balances itself out.

O- The amount of vanilla/butterscotch in this took me by pleasant surprise. I was hoping for more roasted coffee/chocolate and a bit more thickness, but overall, the beer to me is very balanced and definitely something to seek out again.

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Photo of codysjb
4.7/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Bottle poured into a tulip.
A: Brown and Black, decent head but doesn’t last too long.
S: Vanilla, Crème, and Caramel overwhelm while there some coco in the back. Definitely some alcohol that comes out.
T: Syrupy and vanilla flavor and caramel flavor are huge, extremely sweet beer.
M: Vanilla fills the mouth with a sugar like sweetness, and some booze on the end. Very very sweet and flavorfull.
O: Great, not the best beer ever made but a beer like nothing else I’ve had. Sooo sweet. (A)

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Photo of Fulkrum78
4.7/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on draft in Asheville, NC at the Thirsty Monk South. Pors dark with a nice light head. Smells just like creme brulee, and you can pick the aroma up from a foot away. Taste is sweet and rich, you even pick up something reminiscent of the burnt caramel you'd expect. The alcohol in this beer is present and noticeable, but the sweetness goes a long way towards balancing it out.

All in all, a great dessert beer. I'd happily drink it again!

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Photo of inthebeeraisle
4.69/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle from The Hop & Vine. Surprised to still see some of the choice beers that they had around.

A: This is a relatively flat beer. The head dissipated quickly. A beautiful dark color that shows little light when held up to a lamp.

S: This beer smells like caramel, chocolate, vanilla, & whipped cream. Awesome!

T: Rich, smooth, "It's just like chocolate creme brulee" she said.

M: Yeah the mouthfeel is smooth. I kind of thought I already told you that.

D: This is the best beer that I have have from Southern Tier so far. I love the Black Water Series, but their other brews are also quite choice as well. I highly recommend this beer, but it does have a very high ABV.

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Photo of jeremyd365
4.69/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This poured a nice dark brown with little tan head. Its nose was awesome from the get-go: strong coffee and vanilla... Very sweet. It's flavor was somewhat less powerful but still very delicious. It was full bodied and definitely one ill have again.. I'd especially like to try it on tap!

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Photo of rye726
4.69/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark chocolate brown with a thin tan head.

Nose has a huge vanilla presence along with burnt cream, roasted malts, fudge brownies and caramel. Quite impressive.

Taste is very sweet but still well balanced. Loads of vanilla over milky oats, cocoa and rich candies. Bitter hops through the finish.

Full body is nicely carbonated. Quite drinkable considering how much sugar they packed into it.

My least favorite of their imperial stouts, but still pretty damn good. A love hate beer for sure.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.69/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

GLASS: Chimay Goblet
TEMP: Chilled to approx 45 degrees
Acquired from corey0212 in Comic Book BIF (Thanks so much!)

Super dark ruby colored liquid. Nice, quickly dissipating head. No retention. Minimal lacing.

The smell is pure Creme Brulee. No doubt about that. One of the best noses on a beer, ever. Lots of sweet cream and buttery caramel notes. Delicious brown sugar. Butter toffee. Tons of vanilla. My neighbors can probably smell this one, down the street. Powerful.

Much like the nose. Big Creme Brulee taste right upfront. Brown sugar caramalized with butter and vanilla. Lucious sweet cream. Big stout maltiness follows, which brings amazing balance to the sweetness. Coffee notes mix with hints of marshmallows. Very slight hop bite. Just a hint of the alcohol content.
This is almost perfect. With just a touch more sweetness and vanilla, then take down the bite of the hops a little bit more...perfection.

The mouthfeel could be just a tiny bit more full/thick. As it is, it's lovely. Very smooth and silky. Super easy going down.

If I had regular access to Southern Tier, this would probably be my number one beer choice, my have to have on hand at all times.
I could easily drink a bomber of this in three swallows, maybe even two. It's that good.

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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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Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout (Blackwater Series) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 4,540 ratings.
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