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

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very good
1,431 Reviews
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Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout)Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout)
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,431
Ratings:
4,480
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
17.3%
 
 
Wants:
389
Gots:
1,050
For Trade:
30
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,431 | Ratings: 4,480
Photo of IBUlover
1.18/5  rDev -70%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

My first review, unfortunately, is spurred by my feeling responsible for warning people to save their money.

Smells like cake batter that tried to drown itself in vanilla extract after downing a pint of vodka. Boozy and sickly sweet aroma can be smelled from across the bar, I actually said 'ugh" as the bottle passed by me on it's way to the poor person who actually had 22 oz of this to drink.

I generally agree that a beer can't be properly reviewed based on 1 sip, but that's literally all you need. Unless you posses a 5 year old's sweet tooth and an alcoholic's liver I'd suggest avoiding this beer.

* Would be interested to try this beer with 1-2 years of aging, but I won't go near it again in the interim.

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Photo of Oxymoron
1.28/5  rDev -67.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

What is trinity cream? Pours a midnight black color with very little hue throughout. A very prominent and soft tan head with good retention and lacing. Not sure for how long as it was a dumper.

The nose has WAY too much vanilla coming out. Put the glass now and still could smell it. Let it breath for 10 minutes, still the vanilla is obnoxious. Some butter and milky notes. No beer notes to speak of.

The taste is super sweet and like the nose is dominated by vanilla. Super sweet with a "hurts your teeth" sweetness. There is a fake cream/lactic thing that really emphasizes the sweetness. Almost like condensed milk. On the back end the vanilla comes out and really overpowers everything in the finish. Some minor roast, but really where is the beer.

The body is waaay too sweet. Overall this is not beer. This is a dumper. How can you drink this?

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Photo of PDXHops
1.3/5  rDev -66.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thanks to Yamar18 for this bomber, poured into an oversized snifter.

An aggressive pour directly into the middle of the glass coaxes a little skim of tan foam that covers 1/3 of the surface of the beer and disappears quickly. Very dark cola brown body. No lacing to speak of. Disappointing visually.

STRONG butterscotch and caramel aromas jump out of the glass. I can easily smell this beer from a foot+ above the glass. Once my nose adjusts a bit, I can pick out some cocoa, Irish cream liqueur, and a hint of vanilla. I can't detect any malt at all. Certainly no bold roasty flavors like you'd expect in a big stout. Sweet and boozy, with heavy emphasis on the sweet.

For the most part, this beer tastes like it smells. Weird, that is. Thankfully there's actually a hint of coffeeish dark malt and a hint of bitterness, but hints are it, and they seem to be in conflict with all that sweetness. The dominant sweet flavor is Irish cream- it's artificial and unpleasant to my palate. I hate it a little more with each sip. I'm pretty sure my dog is laughing at me as I try to choke this stuff down (I should give him some, too; misery loves company).

Mouthfeel's somewhat disappointing. Medium-full bodied, lowish carbonation. The lingering artificial sweetness all the way into my throat is quite unpleasant.

Overall impression: Strange beer. I'm pretty much morally opposed to drainpours, but in the case of Creme Brulee, this rule was meant to be broken.

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Photo of Arbitrator
1.3/5  rDev -66.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Chilled bomber into a glass. Courtesy of a trade with funkydelic. Thanks Cameron!

A: Pours a pitch black with a surprisingly light, cream-colored head for an RIS. Retention is about 30 seconds before retreating to a collar of big bubbles, and no lacing down the glass or during swigs. Not much in the way of legs either.

S: Vanilla. Jesus. Like I'm sniffing a bottle of vanilla extract. Cannot smell malt, hops. Just vanilla and some burnt sugar.

T: And that's all I can taste too. Wait. Wait. Chocolate. Roasted malts. Burnt sugar. Ugh. To say this beer is oversweetened is an understatement. I'm beginning to be less and less impressed with Southern Tier's Diabeetus imprint. Please cut the sugar and the vanilla the next time you make this. KTHXBYE.

M: Low carbonation, and a surprisingly thin body that makes it feel like sugar water.

D: Never again. I'm not done with the bottle yet, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to pour it out before I'm done. This might be the worst beer I've ever had, and it is a testament to my cheapness that I'm still at it.

Incidentally, this is one of those beers that I would use as an example of, "Just because you can make it doesn't mean you should." Really, a creme brulee beer in 22oz form? Who thought that was a good idea? Christ.

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Photo of woodske1
1.36/5  rDev -65.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Everything is ok until you take a sip of this beer. The smell and the look are pretty nice but that's where the party ends.

The sweet flavor of the beer just tastes very fake and processed. It doesn't taste like Creme Brulee, it tastes like a non-fat yogurt or something. If you are new to southern tier don't let this one scare you away.

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Photo of Dreilide
1.42/5  rDev -63.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.5

One of the worst beers I have ever tasted. The smell and flavor could have been caramel vodka for all I knew. Poured it out after 2 sips, just in case the first wasn't typical. The sweetness was vague and artificial, and any of the normal stout full body was replaced by an unsettling alcoholic flavor that lingered long through the night.

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Photo of womencantsail
1.47/5  rDev -62.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

A: The pour is a dark brown color with a khaki colored head that settles down to a thin layer.

S: The amount of butterscotch, caramel, vanilla and burnt sugar in the nose is nearly unbearable. I felt like I got a cavity just from smelling it.

T: I thought the nose was bad, but jeeze. This is pure, unadulterated sugar. Butterscotch, burnt sugar, vanilla, caramel, and some sugar on top for good measure. A bit creamy, but who really cares?

M: The body is medium with a low carbonation and a tooth rotting sweetness.

D: I'm pretty sure I am diabetic after having taken a few sips of this beer. So unbearably sweet and sugary without any sort of balance.

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Photo of Lare453
1.48/5  rDev -62.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured a black into my glass with a small cocoa brown head.

The smell of vanilla extract was overpowering. It smelled of fake vanilla, like vanilla vodka.

The taste was awful with the flavor of overpowering vanilla extract.

The mouthfeel was pleasant, smooth and velvety with a light soft carbonation.

I would never recommend this beer. Stout and imperial stout are my favorite styles of beer but this was disgusting. I've never reviewed a beer before but after opening this one and the southern tier chokolat, which is equally awful, I had to review them.

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Photo of Rutkiller
1.5/5  rDev -61.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This beer is absolutely horrible. The smell is obnoxious and unappealing. The taste is worse. It has one of the worst aftertastes I've ever experienced; somewhat medicinal and just downright nasty. The beer looks good, however; its opaque, almost black, and pours a nice tan, one finger head. Unfortunately, it's all looks, and no taste. I couldn't finish this one. I read other descriptions and I guess my taste buds aren't refined enough because I didn't taste cocoa, chocolate, Creme brûlée, vanilla or anything else described in this beer. It's horribly sweet and unappealing. Won't be buying this again.

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Photo of Chinon01
1.55/5  rDev -60.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer was an utter disaster. In my opinion it could have been something nice if they would have cranked down the vanilla extract, cake batter taste about 7/8th. It's that outta wack. It looks like a stout without the bishop's collar. Smell is again vanilla extract only. The taste is equally non-complex with thankfully some bitter roastedness in the finish. Mouthfeel and Drinkability are irrelevant as it is too cloying to swirl in the mouth and have more than a few sips before leaving at the bar. Again other than appearance this beer was an utter disaster.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
1.57/5  rDev -60.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Well, I had this on tap last year. I hated it then, I didnt finish my pint. I also hated Pumpking about this time last year as well, but I have that another shot and now I love it. I grabbed a bottle of this in hopes that it would turn out like Pumpking.

A- Not nice and thick looking like the other Black Water Series beers. Its a clear rootbeer color on the pour and condenses in the glass as a black beer with cola edges. No head retains so there is no lacing.

S- The smell is what I remembered most about this beer. It will stick with you. I cant decide if it is good or not. Its a nice smell, but it is not a smell I can associate with beer. It smells like some sort of scented candle found in a tacky living room all decorated with "rustic country" things that are actually just cheap trinkets made to look old. It smells like Worther's Originals and vodka. There is barely any beer smells coming through.

T- It is how I remembered it. Wildly sweet with a spike of astringent alcohol, like vanilla extract with vodka. Its like someone took the extract used to make Vanilla Coke and fermented it to 10% abv. Its not so bad until the finish and the aftertaste. Thats when the nasty alcohol hits you and things get messed up. It stings the back of the throat with every swallow. The aftertaste is like vanilla vodka with Splenda.

M- Not full enough and too carbonated.

D- I am really fighting this bottle.

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Photo of Kevin67
1.6/5  rDev -59.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A sickeningly sweet, artificial taste that was hard to place and a texture in my mouth like motor oil and lidocaine. The numbness in my mouth from this horrible beer lasted all day, but the taste was still on my tongue the next. Worse than a hangover. The people who rave about this have obviously never had a great Crème Brulee because this doesn't capture the taste or feel of one at all.

Edit: I stupidly tried this again at Thanksgiving because I didn't want to be rude to the host. It was just as horrible the second time. Luckily, I was able to beg off drinking more than a sip.

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Photo of Dennoman
1.62/5  rDev -58.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

22 oz bomber, poured into a snifter.

Before reading this review, please understand this is an extreme beer that *will* divide the crowd. I decided to write down notes and review it later, as I might have been too emotional on the night itself. I wanted to give it a more honest chance than just a 1.0 in every category and say it's the worst beer I've ever had. It's not, but boy is it close.

A: Okay, I suppose. Quite thin-looking with obvious reddish notes. Foamy, bubbly, soapy head.

S: WHOA-HOA-HOA! Absolutely horrendous. I think the best way to describe it, is the vanilla-scented candle from Hell. Huge waft of artificial vanilla essence with a vague hint of hops are all I get from this. For being so artificial, it's also surprisingly stale. It smells like the butterscotch and vanilla sweets your grandparents used to keep in the TV cabinet where temperatures would reach the upper eighties, together with their collection of rubber bands and potpourri. Sickening.

T: I suppose you could live with the smell if the taste was up to scratch, but sadly I was equally disappointed. The stench of rotten and chemical vanilla in your nose contradicts with the mostly hoppy flavors you get in your mouth at first, which is then washed away by booze to lead to a sandy dry finish. I don't know what this is supposed to be, but I sure as heck don't like it. Absolutely lip-curlingly vile.

M: I suppose this isn't over-carbonated and therefore has an okay mouthfeel, but this is sadly one of these numbers I have to fiddle around with to give it the low score I feel it deserves.

O: Knowing that a lot of people aren't big fans of Southern Tier's emulation style of brewing, I did rather like their Oat, Choklat and Mokah when I tried them. This however is just a swing and a miss for me. A big swing, I'll grant them that, and this is one of those beers that probably go well with people that have either an immense sweet tooth, or just... well... sorry, I can't begin to imagine how anyone could like this. That is - however - just my opinion, and I like the fact that Southern Tier either goes big or goes home. Big kudos on that!

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Photo of SteveO1231
1.64/5  rDev -58.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Picked up this bottle from Manchester Liquors. I wanted to see what all the hype was about.

The "Butt Water" series with the screening of cows on it.

Pours a dark black with slight caramel highlights. thin tan head and bubbly lacing.

this beer smells exactly like a french vanilla coffee from dunkin donuts. almost like caramel corn.

what the hell! the taste in no way matches the aroma whatsoever!

very heavy on the palate, a ton of caramel/toffee sweetness up front that has a funky imitation taste. the back end has a dry bitterness that is musty, earthy like tree bark, and leaves a dirty metallic aftertaste in my mouth.

i wonder if someone is pulling a prank on me and switched the brew inside with an over syruped two week old coffee from starbucks.

this beer makes me want to quit drinking beer all together.

i cannot believe the hype on this beer, you've got to be kidding me!

awful! F! get this thing away from me!

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Photo of ZAP
1.66/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

The more I drink this the more I realize I'm not a big fan of this beer. Some people love it...others hate it....I'm in the later category now.

What this tastes like are those werthers candies....I never liked them either....just too rich and sweet and over the top for me....butterscotch, toffee, french vanilla...it's all too much more me..

I even tried pairing this with a Padron Maduro cigar and that just about made me even sicker to my stomach..

I like this brewery and I respect that others may like this but to me it is one of my least favorite beers or all-time

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Photo of waltonc
1.67/5  rDev -57.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Appearance: very dark brown with minimal head

Smell: All I smell is overwhelming butterscotch.

Taste: Smooth, creamy vanilla and butterscotch. But cloyingly sweet.

Mouthfeel: creamy and thick, not much carbonation.

Drinkability: I really want to like this beer, and in small doses it's not bad. I give Southern Tier credit for brewing outside of the box. However, this is just too sweet and cloying for a 22 oz bottle. Customers should have the option to purchase this in 12 oz or smaller bottles. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to pour out more than half of my bomber because this just isn't very drinkable in large doses.

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Photo of sidetracked
1.69/5  rDev -57%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Pours black with a thin light brown head that only lingers around the edges.

Smell is super sweet and resembles cake batter with too much vanilla more so than beer.

Taste upfront is roasted malts but quickly becomes overpowered by really sweet vanilla extract.

Full bodied, smooth, and velvety with low carbonation. Not bad if you can get past the aroma and flavor.

Kind of tastes like someone ruined a good stout by pouring a bottle of vanilla extract in it. Terrible balance of flavors--the sweetness isn't that bad but the vanilla needs to be desperately toned down. I hate wasting beer, but I couldn't even drink half a glass before drain pouring this.

8/6/2010

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Photo of kimbo33
1.71/5  rDev -56.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This is a beer I cannot get into, I was so pumped when it came out, I drove to the brewery and found that it was the worst tasting beer at Soutern Tier. It tasted so fake, like they used some real cheap off flacoring to give it that sweet taste. And it was more vanilla tasting than I thought it should be. It does look nice and smell pretty good but it end there.

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Photo of Seanbonjon
1.72/5  rDev -56.2%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This was disgusting, I'm honestly surprised people like it. I've also tried the Southern Tier Chokolat and been equally disappointed. I'm officially done trying out Southern Tier.

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Photo of NODAK
1.76/5  rDev -55.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Aroma here is the sweetest I've ever smelled....by far. Nothing really can approach it. Strong aroma of candied butterscotch with a ridiculous amount of sugar. Wow.

The taste follows through, with a load of butterscotch, vanilla, and candied sugar. The mouthfeel isn't particularly thick, but it's certainly very sweet. Somewhat surprisingly (at least for me), there's a prickly, persistent bitterness that hangs around at the finish and creates at least some semblance of balance (though really, it didn't stand a chance).

Southern Tier is a brewery that either hits or misses. This is the biggest miss in their lineup. In fact, it might be the biggest miss I've ever had. The first time I had it, I wasted over half the bottle. The second time, I had a sample pour given to me at the bar and had to immediately drink water to get the disgusting taste out of my mouth. Complete failure, in my opinion.

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Photo of Calico
1.78/5  rDev -54.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A: Extremely dark brown, near black, with very little head. Some lacing.

S: Like vanilla extract and butterscotch.

T: Like flavor concentrates: butterscotch, vanilla, and maybe some of that chocolate cheesecake flavor from Nature's Flavors that I ruined more than one dessert with. Everything over the top, much too intense. Like trying to drink an overly-flavored dessert made by a very heavy-handed chef. The butterscotch, above all, stood out - and that's a flavor I really detest. This didn't seem to be a diacetyl-induced butterscotch, but something added - from a bottle - in the secondary. (I know that's not what they did; it says on the bottle they used real vanilla beans, for one - but it tastes like flavor extracts.) Aftertaste is of saccharin.

M: Sort of slippery. Coats the tongue and will not let it go. Almost puckers the tongue with the intensity of the flavors.

D: I could not finish it. The sink, I'm afraid, got part of it. I would have gladly given it to someone who could appreciate it properly if they'd been there.

I am definitely not part of the target market for this beer. First off, I should have read on the label the part about it being a milk stout. Oops. No wonder it upset my stomach. I can't have any milk product that hasn't been turned into hard cheese or yogurt without my innards complaining. Second, I had a big sweet tooth about 15 years ago; I would even have dessert with lunch sometimes. These days, however, given the option of a sugary dessert or an IPA, I'll pick the IPA every time. It just doesn't occur to me to eat sweets.

Southern Tier has been one of my favorite regional brewing companies. For now I'll stick to their IPA and Phin and Matt's, and hope their next big beer is more to my liking.

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Photo of emmasdad
1.79/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Thanks Dan, for the opportunity to try something new, something I would definitely not want a whole bottle of for myself. Pours an intriguing dark brown/black color, with the bare minimum of tan head. Aromas of vanilla, roasted malt, burnt caramel and cream. On the palate, this one was sickly sweet, with rootbeer schnapps, imitation vanilla extract and milk chocolate. Undrinkable, even in moderation. I was told this is a love it or hate it kind of beer, and I believe it. Unfortunately for me, I hated it. Probably one of the worst beers I've ever had.

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Photo of BrokenEdge
1.83/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I've had a lot of people say to me "I don't normally like beer, but you've got to try this one" and against my better judgment, I got it on tap one night. I was stunned when I looked up the rating of it on here, can't believe it's scored as well as it has.

Anyway...looks unspectacular. Dark brown/black body with the slightest bit of white foam around the edges of the glass. Minimal lacing. Smells downright putrid. Smells like really intense, artificial vanilla and alcohol. Taste was even worse. This was like a combination of vanilla extract, cough syrup, and cheap vodka. In fact, I could probably make a batch of that at home and it would be cheaper. Lots of overwhelming alcohol presence (the 10% ABV is not disguised at all) and just cloyingly, overwhelmingly sweet. Feel is harsh due to all the alcohol and not at all creamy and mellow like milk stouts typically are. Felt a little more like an unbalanced quad than milk stout. This beer is just plain unpleasant and I would not drink it again.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
1.83/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A - Very dark brown brew pour with almost no head and no lacing.

S - Smells like vanilla custard and burnt sugar. They deliver on this creme brûlée thing for sure... The vanilla is very pungent. Placing your nose near the beer is almost nauseating. It's a struggle, but underneath the vanilla, I detect faint hints of blueberries. It is . . . unique.

T - Immediately, it presents with a very acrid bitterness. The flavor is of extremely intense vanilla, custard and caramelized sugar. Underneath this, there is charred malt. Aftertaste is really, really bitter, but it is a caustic, medicinal sort of bitterness - not at all pleasant. Along with the bitterness is lingering vanilla. Unlike a lot of beers, the sweetness and bitterness don't play nice. They make for a startlingly unpleasant brew. I really just hate the taste of this.

M - Smooth, but with high carbonation, medium bodied, a little refreshing, but the bitterness prevents that from shining.

D - Ugh. My tongue feels like it was just beaten with a vanilla bat. I commend Southern Tier for brewing this, it delivers enough creme brûlée that one feels the beer has delivered true to its name. However, I don't like it. It is just narrowly above drain pour for me. With a lot less vanilla and a lot less of that gross medicinal bitterness, this could be a tasty brew, but it is too over-the-top to enjoy.

Edit: I almost ended up pouring this down the drain, but I found that it meshes strangely well with peanut butter. As long as you don't accidentally smell it, drinking this while eating peanut butter is kind of pleasant.

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Photo of wspscott
1.87/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 1

growler pour into a pint glass
courtesy of JC

A: pours completely black, topped with a cappuccino colored head that drops to a thin film and leaves a little bit of lace.
S: Butterscotch, vanilla, smells sweet
T: tastes very sweet, cloying, lots of vanilla and caramel, kristine thinks of butterscotch, a little bit of dark roasted malt in the background along with a hint of alcohol heat.
M: Creamy and mouthcoating with a little astringency.
O: Reviews had made me think this was a very polarizing beer and now that I have tasted it, I can see why. If they dialed back the sweetness/vanilla/creme brulee flavor by half and made it more of a sweet stout with some of those flavors, then I think it would be a much better beer. As it is, this comes across as a horrible mess. I can't imagine drinking even a 6 or 8 ounce pour, it is just too sweet/overwhelming. This is a drain pour for me.

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Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 4,480 ratings.
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