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

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88
very good
4,592 Ratings
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Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout (Blackwater Series)Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout (Blackwater Series)
BEER INFO

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

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
Ratings:
4,592
Reviews:
1,466
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
17.3%
 
 
Wants:
401
Gots:
1,096
For Trade:
28
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,592 |  Reviews: 1,466
Photo of RichH55
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tarantula brownish black with blood red highlights. The beer is anything but a black hole and appears barely opaque when backlit with afternoon sunshine. Atop the liquid sits a golden brown sugar colored crown that gets the job done, including leaving attractive sheets of tattered lace on the upper reaches of the glass.

My nostrils don't have to get anywhere near the glass to appreciate the aroma. The beer smells like a flavored coffee drink that's dominated by caramel. I suppose it also smells like creme brulee, but I've only had that dessert once and that was more than 20 years ago. Do I smell coconut as well? Odd.

I can see how Creme Brulee is a polarizer. It's both different and delicious, but it's starting to wear out its welcome as the ounces cruise by. It doesn't seem possible that the brewers created this flavor profile with nothing more than dark caramel malt, vanilla beans and lactose. Then again, why not?

Creme Brulee is billed as an Imperial Milk Stout, but it doesn't really taste like it. That whole burnt sugar/creme caramel/vanilla vibe takes it in an entirely new direction. For my money, Southern Tier's Imperial chocolate stout (Choklat), Imperial coffee stout (Jahva) and Imperial oatmeal stout (Oat) are much, much better. Those first two are outstanding.

It's weird how I still taste coconut. That's in addition to the flavors described above, plus vanilla and melted milk chocolate. The Columbus and Horizon hops provide a background bitterness that keeps the beer from being overly sweet. In the end, it doesn't all come together as well as I'd like.

Considering the style and the ABV, the mouthfeel fails to close the deal. It's a fraction thin and isn't as creamy as it should be. The carbonation wouldn't be as noticeable in a plusher, more velvety brew.

The Black Water Series from Southern Tier contains some of the best beer on planet Earth. Unfortunately, Creme Brulee misses the mark (although not by much) because it pushes the envelope too far in one direction. Some love it, some hate it. I can take it or leave 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 chrishiker1409
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of naproxen
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

yowza! I enjoyed this first from a bottle at bonbon's summersplash, then split a draft the other night at eli cannon's for 'dessert'.

Appearance wise, all Imperial Stout, it is black as night and really that is all there is to say, very true to the style, coffee w/ milk colored head.

The smell is amazing, butterscotch and caramel knock you right in the face like a diabetic at the Werther's factory. The taste itself is not as strong with its aroma, but this is by all means a palate killer so enjoy this, go figure, as dessert. In all my endeavors as a cook I have yet to make or enjoy real creme brulee, so I can not comment on how close this is to tasting like one, but I can only hope and pray it really is. It leaves a sweet, almost puckering, film in the mouth. I want to not like it because of the overbearing sweetness, but hot damn it is just tasty. Good to enjoy, with friends, once or twice. I could never have a whole bottle alone or often.

((edit only for spelling errors, my english teachers would frown so bad))

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Photo of beagle75
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a goblet.

A: Opaque black color showing dark brown at the edges, with incomplete residue of mocha-tinted bubbles. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Luxuriously decadent caramel smells as if sugar granules were just scorched by an open flame. Refined spirituous malt is mildly roasty, suggesting a flavored coffee. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins fairly sweet, with refined roasted malt and powerful toffee candy. Acidity is moderate, more felt than tasted. The middle is drier, where husky malt is juxtaposed with spirituous brandy qualities. The finish shows bitter roast of moderate intensity for the style, with lingering volatile vanilla.

M: Medium viscosity, acidic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This strong stout is a specialty beer dedicated to dessert service. It has a smell that is able to conjure powerful sensory images of its namesake dessert, but the other sensory qualities sem unremarkable when considered alone. One can imagine how it might prove overpowering when unaccompanied, but it shows great promise (and flexibility) when taken in the company of sweet foods. It measures up to be more than the sum of its parts, though it is in large part thanks to the heavenly smell.

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Photo of Sixpoint
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of fscottkey
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a tap into a 16oz standard pint.

A: [3.25] Dark black with no light penetration. This was a tap pour and produced no head and no lacing at all.

S: [4.00] Rich butterscotch. You can smell it when the glass gets near you.

T: [3.75] The taste is butterscotch, maple syrup and a hint a vanilla. The alcohol is not overpowering but it is detectable.

M: [3.00] A little thin - not bad but not as chewy as I was expecting. Carbonation seems rights.

O: [3.50] This is an unorthodox brew. I can see why this would be polarizing with some people loving it and some hating it. It is really sweet and candy-like and that might not be your thing. I thought it was a nice offering to mix things up a bit. I could not drink more than 2 of these in a sitting.

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

Again I find milk stouts too rich for me. It seems like there is a protein element present that is off putting. This one looks great and the body is nice and thick. The nose is strong butterscotch which would be quite nice if it were toned down a bit. It's just too sweet and strong. The taste is similarly overloaded to the point that I finds self just trying to get it down instead of spending any time with it. I don't want to knock it too much since others seem to be high on it, just coming to the conclusion that this family is not for me.

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

Served on-tap in a 10oz glass imperial tumbler at Beer Run (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Very dark chestnut brown with cap of french vanilla colored head with various lace marks down the glass.

S: The aroma is extraordinarily pungent and is a bit to high on the artificial extract scale for me. The vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, chocolate and alcohol are all big and bold and unfortunately leave the impression of a highly aspartamed cup of coffee, kind of like using way too much liquid Coffeemate (name your flavor) in coffee.

T: The flavor is dominated by alcohol first then tempered a little by the hefty vanilla, caramel, and chocolate flavors tinged by nutty flavors like hazelnut. This reminds me of Rogue Hazelnut Brown Ale in the high extract quotient quality of the flavor. This beer is full of flavor, but the palate doesn't really mix well and instead leaves a disorganized remnant of high-octane liqeur rather than tasting like beer. Warming made a little difference in smoothing out some of the harsh, artificial flavor character, but not enough to change my score. I like the spirit behind this beer, but the execution isn't right on for what I look for in a big stout. Rounded flavor with an emphasis on malt in the profile is what I am looking for rather than a cartoonish combination of flavors that work well in a dessert but not in this brew.

M: The feel is pretty good but a bit thin for the ABV and for all the flavor in this beer. The afteraste is highly phenolic and medicinal.

D: Not all that drinkable and the 10oz were a tall order when all was said and done.

EDIT: Had a 2013 bottle shared with my wife. Poured into a clear glass snifter.
A: Dark brown with short cap of head with a few spots of lace.
S: A nutty-vanilla-butter-frosting aroma that really smells interesting, kind of like nutty cotton candy.
T: Flavor a lot more drinkable than I remember and I think the mellowing time helped. NOt really stouty, more of a strong ale with all of the buttery vanilla sweetness. But there is a nutty quality that I like. It smells and tastes like a nutty, nougat-filled candy bar. The butteriness in the aroma comes through less in the flavor than in the aroma and is not really distracting. ALcohol is pretty well-hidden.
M: Moutheel is also reasonably creamy with low carbonation.
O: Overall, I am really surprised. I would not want to drink this often as it is very sweet, but I have to give ST credit, this is pretty good for what it is. Scores adjusted a little upward.

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Photo of Tracker83
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep pitch-black color stout with a medium light brown foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma is totally dominated by vanilla and some weird crème brulé-like syrup. Taste is also dominated by the vanilla and whatever syrup they've used and little else is discernable. Full body but could have been creamier with good carbonation and no discernable alcohol. Interesting experiment but a bit over the top and not sure I would want to drink a full bottle by myself.

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Photo of blivingston1985
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the moment the bottle is opened the room fills with vanilla. And it sticks around. Once poured into my goblet the vanilla can be appreciated along with the malt and a lot of alcohol. I don't usually chill my stouts very much, but this one recommends a 42 degrees serving temperature so I will oblige. The head is tan and short lived, winding down to a bubbly ring of lace.

Taste is all vanilla and alcohol at the coldest first sip. Kind of disappointed. And the slight bitterness of the aftertaste is kind of counter-productive to the sweet sugars and vanilla. Going to let this one warm a bit. Average mouthfeel for a cream stout.

Warming helped quit a bit. Don't know why they would recommend such a cold temp for a stout. Never again, souther tier. Never again.

The alcohol has slipped behind the vanilla after a good 15-20 minutes of sitting in my glass with periodic sips. Still not to drinkable.

Might try aging one of these until the winter months to use as a sweet winter warmer.

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Photo of elkinbrown
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of LittleBreeze
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally showing up at stores in my area.

Minimal (1/4 inch or so) creamy tan "head". The dominate aroma is vanilla. There is spice and burnt sugar. For me, this tastes like it smells. Overly dominated by vanilla. It is far to sweet. The flavor is good....hints of coffee...bit of chocolate malt. But the vanilla and sweetness got to be to much. This from a person that loves creme brulee..loves stout...loves creme brulee with stout. ;-).

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

Drinkability suffers due to the sweetness. A dessert beer of course. It really needs a pairing to cut the sweetness.

I'm looking forward to seeing how it ages. I'm hoping the vanilla fades just a bit.

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Photo of travloh
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have been dying to try this stuff. I love sweets and the thought of a creme brulee beer is very enticing.

I pull this straight outta the fridge and pop the top. First smell is of sweet vanilla and boozy kahlua. Smells yummy but the alcohol is present. Thoughts of sambuca, jagermeister shoot through my cranium.

Pour into a snifter reveals a dark brown potion of respectable viscosity. High altitude glugs produce a shockingly feeble head. No retention, either.

A hefty whiff of the glass and the vanilla and sugar take center stage. I still smell that Jag and Kahlua.

Chocolate, malt, french vanilla coffee. Like the rich syrup in the centers of dark chocolate candies. Vanilla but pretty well balanced. The back end is more chocolaty. Its very sweet.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly spritzy. Good carbonation to complement the thickness and molasses qualities.

I like this stuff but the booziness is a little much for me. The sweetness is very nice, but it may affect the drinkability.

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Photo of manitouman84
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark black brown, not the darkest stout I have seen, with a thin caramel brown head. A lot going on in the aroma department, lots of sweet caramel smells; toffee, butterscotch, some nuttiness, and subtle vanilla cream comes through in the end. Tastes just as it smells, a whole lot of carmel maillards. It really socked my taste buds with toffee and butterscotch at first, then a creaminess settles in that finishes with a slight bitterness that lingers on the tongue. After my palate recalibrated itself to the initial intensity of the caramel flavors did the vanilla come through. The mouthfeel is what I might describe as molasses, it really coats the mouth, I can still feel the sugars on my lips as I write this review. It is good, and clears the mouth relatively well for such sweetness, but it is a lot to take in. I shared a bottle of this with my wife for dessert, definitely glad I did not have this one to myself. I really recommend trying this one out, it is a very interesting beer, but I may just leave it at that.

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Photo of PackenGreen
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of John_M
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

On tap at Frisco's in Columbia the other day.

The beer pours a very dark brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose on this beer is it's best feature by far, consisting of an exotic smorgasbord of vanilla, caramel toffee, chocolate, cherry and coffee. The beer smells as if it will be pretty sweet, and it certainly is. The flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, though the sweet vanilla and toffee flavors tend to overwhelm everything else. The beer is a bit heavy and tiring on the palate, and as it sits in the glass, the alcohol becomes more and more apparent. Towards the end the beer becomes cloyingly sweet, hot from the alcohol and very, very tiring. Drinkability is not one of this beers better features, and frankly I could barely finish my 10 ounce goblet.

This is an interesting beer, but the combination of sweet vanilla/toffee flavor, coupled with the noticeable alcohol, make this one beer I'm unlikely to order again any time again soon.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

I had the this in the bottle about 6 months ago, had it on tap tonight at Sierra Grille. Pours very dark brown, not quite pitch black, with a decent beige head, forms a ring on the edge of the glass leaving good lacing. Smell is absolutely insane, smells like melted white chocolate/caramel. Taste is insane as well, TONS of vanilla bean, caramel, chocolate, alcohol. Even though the taste is good I will say it's very over the top, it kind of crosses the line between beer and milkshake. I loved many other Southern Tier big beers (Choklat, Mokah, Pumking) but this is a little too sweet for me. Taste is very dessert like but definitely a sipper. A 12 oz glass was enough for me, I'm not sure how I finished the bomber back in the day. If you have liked the other Southern Tier stout bombers give it a go, but this is probably my least favorite out of them.

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Photo of nate4g63
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a snifter, very dark, barely any head that went away fairly quick.

Smells really really good! Like the soft caramel candies. A little hint of alcohol in there as well.

Tastes just like it smells. Reminds me of a much more potent version of Saranacs Caramel Porter.

Mouthfeel is pretty light, not creamy like I expected ,and wanted, it to be.

Not sure if I would want to drink much more than this bomber, I would prefer it as a 12 oz. I can't say it would be my first pick if other stouts are availaible.

Overall it's nothing I would hunt down, but nothing I would turn down either. Solid brew from a solid brewery.

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Photo of scottyb88
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A-poured smooth and kinda thick with little head, plenty of lacing, very black with nice tan head

S-smells pretty good, vanilla, butter pecan ice cream

T-typical stout but with a nice sweetness that has a bit of spice at the end, butter pecan flavor is present

M-silky and a little thick, little to no carbonation

D-at 10% alcohol its very well balanced, its a very rich beer that I couldn't see myself having a second

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Photo of Brittmb29
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On Draft at my new favorite beer bar, The Coffee District in Delray Beach, FL

A- Dark black body no light penetration and a creamy off-tan head. head stays through the glass while thinning to the rim of bubbles w/ some in the center, served cold in a cigar city snifter.

S- BUTTERYY, mmm with the alcohol smell it smell of a sweet butterscotch. slight malty smell to back the candy like smell.

T- Creamy buttery and caramalized flavors with strong alcohol mid sip. sweetness from start to finish with not much bitterness only some roasty flavors to balance. dry alcohol finish with 9.8% ABV with some sweet, but not overbearing.

M- Creamy medium body mouthfeel although dryness from alcohol makes it a thinner medium. dry from midsip and finish which is nice since it keeps the beer drinkable.

O- This is a dessert beer dream, very sweet so i don't think it would be more than a glass unless its really your thing (also due to high alcohol). Butterscotch flavors and high alcohol content also make it reminiscent of a liquor so this also docks its drinkablity for me. had a nice lambic type ale after and it was a good beer set for the night. an enjoyable draft treat.

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Photo of delta490
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer poured a deep dark black with about one finger of light tan creamy head. Minimal head retention but a little lacing all the same. The aroma is sweet and strongly vanilla. For me it's almost too sweet. The taste closely matches the aroma and I was wishing for more stout and less vanilla. The vanilla is almost too much and overpowers the subtle milk stout. It has a nice feeling in the palate from the lactose. Overall it's just a little too sweet for my taste and I wish the bottle notes had more prominently highlighted that this was strictly a dessert beer.

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Photo of DmanGTR
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - poured black with a creamy 1/2" tan head that diminished to nearly nothing in a few minutes, agitation allowed for a reformed cap

S - delicious! Sweet creme brulee crossed with dark chocolate and espresso! Vanilla too? Nice. A touch of fruitiness and yeast is present as well. So far so good!

T - very sweet at first, maltiness then sweeps across the palate, followed by coffee and syrup, bittersweet finish with hardly any hoppiness at all. Some notes of biscuits but the vanilla/malt/caramel sweetness was nearly overpowering. Alcohol is present throughout. This is where it starts to go down...

M - thick and heavy with moderate carbonation, chewy and syrupy

D - decent for a 10% brew but the thickness and sweetness only lets me do one of these in an evening

Overall - not a bad beer to try for kicks but nothing spectacular. Way too sweet and sticky. Something new to try for the record books. Perhaps it would benefit from aging?

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Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout (Blackwater Series) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 4,592 ratings.
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