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

BA SCORE
88
very good
1,450 Reviews
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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
Reviews:
1,450
Ratings:
4,538
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
17.3%
 
 
Wants:
396
Gots:
1,081
For Trade:
30
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,450 | Ratings: 4,538
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 BigAl723
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor.

A: Dark and pretty black. A heavy looking head that is real tan. It's about an inch and a half thick.

S: This is one of the most interesting smelling beers I've ever come across. If you've ever had a cup of flavored Creme Brulee coffee and liked it, you will be in heaven. Carmel, sweet sweet carmel.

T: Carmel and vanilla. There is not much "stout" flavor going on here. Mostly sweet flavors. I can't believe this is 10 percent.

M: Sweet carbonation. Medium feel.

D: Decent drinkability. Although I'm not 100 percent sure if I could drink a lot of this. The sweetness is just a little too much.

Overall it's a really good/unique beer. Sweet and sassy. Southern Tier continues to impress. They make some "out there" beers.

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Photo of 1santore
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. the color was black with a little tan head that disapated quickly leaving little lacing. The smell was a very pleasing vanilla and carmel. The taste followed suit with smell, with the vanilla up front. It is also very sweet. The mouth feel is very smooth with low carbonation amd a little oily feel(very nice). Over all a very good beer. Would recomend it as an apertif because of it sweetness. A little sweet for my taste but a good sipping beer.

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Photo of jsg2220
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served: 22oz. into a snifter

A: Dark purplish-black, 3/8" of head that quickly builds then fades to almost transparent toward the center.

S: Vanilla custard, buttery caramel, and burnt sugar.

T: Vanilla and burnt sugar -> roasted malts -> hops in the finish, left with a caramel flavor in the mouth.

M: Milky and soft leaving a thick creamy feeling in the mouth and a sugary stickiness on the lips.

D: Have this for dessert.

Etc: Cool bottles with lots of info

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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 rhinos00
2.72/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass.

A- Pours a dark, cola brown. Produced a fingers width of tan colored head. Reduced to a thin ring upon consumption.

S- What a wonderful smelling beer. Huge, potent notes of butterscotch and vanilla. Lots of sweet aromas. Truly smelled like creme brulee.

T- After smelling the aroma my expectations were very high. Unfortunately the taste was borderline unbearable. I like my Dark Lords and other sweet RIS's, but the sweetness in this beer was way too much for me to handle. Getting a nice mixture of cocoa, lactose and vanilla type flavors. Unfortunately these delicate nuances are completely overrun by the immense sweetness.

M- Slightly let down in this area. I was hoping for a creamier, thicker mouthfeel. Despite the lack of viscosity, the lactose in this beer did add some texture.

D- This beer was almost a drain pour from me. While the taste truly did match that of creme brulee, it did not translate to the drinkability. By the time I was nearing the end of the bomber I almost had to hold down the beer from coming back up.

Overall, I applaud Southern Tier's ability to make this beer taste like creme brulee. Unfortunately, the extreme sweetness in this beer did no favors the taste and drinkability. Won't be trying this again...ever.

EDIT: this was much more bearable on-tap...the sweetness was tempered.

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Photo of Tone
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color. One inch head of a tan color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet toffee, sweet malt, slight hops, and slight roasted malt. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial Stout. Mouth feel is smooth and slightly thick with a low carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, strong alcohol, slight roasted malt, hint of coffee, hint of hops, and a resounding sweetness throughout. Overall, a very strong brew that I'm glad I did not try before my other two beers tonight. Wow, incredible flavor, body, and drinkability.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Southern Tier Crème Brûlée is a brownish black ale with a dense, rich beige head that leaves incredible lacing. It has a very strong vanilla aroma that fills the room. Wowza! It's quite sweet with a touch of roastiness. It smells like crème brûlée. It's full bodied and quite smooth with a reasonably clean finish. It's quite sweet and vanilla is the dominant flavor. There's caramelized sugar in the taste with a nice bitterness at the finish. It tastes like crème brûlée. It makes for an awesome dessert beer.

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Photo of projectflam86
2.73/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

First off I will say that I am reviewing this according to the style listed on BA: "American Double/Imperial Stout". This one was just not for me...

A- Pours a dark brown color with a thin off white foam head. No lacing is left behind.

S- Lots of malt sweetness. Caramel, toffee, cane sugar, and milk chocolate all comprised the nose. Not really any roasted aromas that most Imperial Stouts are known for.

T- Whoa, this tastes like a diabetic coma waiting to happen. Almost like drinking caramel mixed with toffee and evaported milk. Painfully sweet.

M- Medium body with low carbonation. Syrupy and way too sweet.

D- Ive said it a few times already but this beer is just way too sweet for me. It hardly tastes like a beer and was difficult to finish.

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Photo of far333
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a crystal snifter glass. Deep mahogany colored with ruddy orange higlights. Low head of soapy bubbles despite a vigorous pour.

A full and deep aroma of caramel and vanilla and malted milk balls.

Rich flavor of caramel and vanilla, some toffee and Frangelico notes. Fairly sweet, tending toward cloying but the balancing bitterness reaches in and offsets it. Mid-mouth moves to a sharp bitter chocolate, mild espresso notes, but always with an under-riding flavorful sweetness. Very rich, the ABV is well hidden.

Moderate mouthfeel, a bit syrupy and thick. Not overly drinkable, a bit much.

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Photo of drseamus
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pitch black body minimal head.

S: strong burnt sugar caramel aroma pummels my nostrils. Smells exactly like the dessert or a caramel hard candy. ST always gets the aroma dead on.

T: Again just like the dessert including some roasty bitterness Reminding me of the burnt top. Strong residual sweetness.

M: Surprisingly only medium bodied despite the intensity of flavor.

D: The cold temperature allows for a better drinkability than when it's served at the correct temperature. However I will still have to work to get the pint down. Definity a dessert beer and should probably be served in a ten ounce snifter.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.2/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Just made a fine home-cooked dinner for my significant other and now that she is off to study, I decided to pull this one out as "dessert"

Pours black with a finger of head that disappears quickly from my 25 oz. snifter. Smell is holy-cow-vanilla-and-toffee. This truly is a dessert beer, no other way to describe it. The taste follows closely...whipped cream, toffee, vanilla. Medium bodied with a slight carbonation sting, not really that great for a milk stout. Drinkability is where this one fails...and let me tell you what it REALLY fails. The taste itself is excellent, but after about 4 oz. I honestly didn't want any more. I don't know what to do with the rest of the bomber, this one is cloying and annoying. I know what they were aiming for and they hit the nail on the head, but that doesn't make it actually drinkable.

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Photo of Wheelinb
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I found this to be really amazing. While I am not a fan of anything sweet, there are so many flavors going on here that the sweetness is balanced out. Pours dark black and the aroma makes your mouth water. It smells like some dessert just pulled from the oven. There is vanilla, chocolate, coffee and caramel flavors going on. While this is utterly delicious, I found it hard to finish the whole pint because of how rich this beer is. Needless to say I truly enjoyed drinking this beer and will seek it out again. If I were Tracy Morgan I would take this beer behind the middle school and get it pregnant.

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Photo of cbutova
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black like a brand new batch of coffee with a one finger dark tan head. The head falls to a thin layer on the beer after a minute or two and leaves medium lacing down the glass. Smell is the best part of this beer, I know this is an Imperial Stout but the goal of the beer is a Creme Brulee Stout and the smell is caramel, vanilla, sugary awesomeness. This one smells like a delicious dessert, mmm. Taste here falls a bit shorter than the smell, the Creme Brulee factor decreases a bit and it becomes half dessert and roasted malts. The Creme Brulee shines again in the after taste, maybe a bit of alcohol in the taste too. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for an Imperial Stout for me. It is smooth but doesnt really fill/coat the mouth very well, good carbonation. Drinkability is good here, not too heavy on the stomach, good taste and smell, will drink again.

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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 jsh420
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

pours jet black with a 2 finger tan head that fades fast and left no lacing

smells very close to the real thing - carmel sugar vanilla butterscotch

taste was just like the real stuff - burnt sugar carmel that reminds of burnt marshmallow and a very sweet vanilla that lingers on the taste buds for a while

mouthfeel is ok - i thought the body was very thin

drinkability is so so - i would never be able to drink a whole bomber - i needed 4 people to help me finish this one

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Photo of mikeyv35
4.41/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage Into A Tulip Glass
Sampled W/ 2 BAs - Approx. 7oz. Sample

This brew pours a dark, dark mahoghany to black color, with a one finger beige head that diminishes quickly to a few bubbles. Little to no lacing on this brew. Looks a little thin for the style. The nose is simply amazing w/ boat loads of cracked vanilla bean that can be realized without even completely bringing your nose to the glass. Also, has the aroma of nuttiness and caramel in the background. The taste is the same vanilla bean in your face w/ burnt caramel, coffee, and licorice on the finish. Could definately session this one if I had more of an alcohol tolerance as I once did, and the ABV is completely hidden @ 11.00%. I feel the thinness for the style helps in this aspect. Overall, this is the perfect dessert/after dinner beer and a nice offering from Southern Tier as I have grown to expect from them.

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Photo of Shango42
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Bomber poured into a mug.

A-Thick tan head, some lacing, dark and serious.

S-Sweet caramel and sugar. Creme brule ice cream. Roasty cinnamon and cream.

T-Starts with a bit of a bite on the front end that is very unique and reminds me of burnt espresso/cappucino beans. It gives way to sweet coffee with caramel - as if a lot of Sugar in the Raw were added to it. Some cinnamon and a strong vanilla bean on top of this big malty brew. The vanilla makes this really unusual and the bite on the front end stays on the palate long after the beer is gone from the tongue. A very nice complex beer.

M-Low carbonation, medium density, creamy with a full body.

D-Very drinkable as a dessert beer. So sweet that it might turn some people off. But not me.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet for a blackish body and a one-finger light brown head. Buttery, vanilla, milk (a little) - an intensly sweet smell that I started to pick up as soon the cap came off. A touch of bread and burnt malt are also in there; pretty close to actually smelling like a creme brulee dessert. Smooth, ultra creamy with vanilla, caramel, hints of spice and wood in taste, a dryness thanks to some burnt malts in a medium body that was a little sticky. Finishes dry and is complemented by the ABV. A perfect dessert beer and I recommend having one, and only one, after a nice dinner.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this bad boy on draft at D's in Monroeville.

Looked nice if not really exceptional: black with a thin tan head, dark amber highlights at the bottom, almost no lacing.

The smell is the secret weapon here: I could smell the sweet sugar from across the table. Never in my experience has a beer so perfectly captured the essence of another flavor. Smells like creme brulee, there's no other way to describe it. I think I let it sit for 5 minutes & just sniffed it. Amazing.

Taste carried a lot of the caramelized sugar so present in the smell, with a little dark fruit (raisins?), & the left-right of alcohol & roast. The slightly charred aspect of the dish came through in the taste, not unpleasant, but something surprising & experienced in a lot of beers.

The mouthfeel was decent, again nothing to write home about. I loved this, but due to the intensity of the flavor & the alcohol, one was sufficient. This is where I get caught up on "drinkability" -- highly enjoyable, but would I have another? Probably not. Same reason I don't order multiple desserts after a meal.

I feel like this might get a lot of flack for being so sweet & rich, or gimmicky, but I have met few beers that so thoroughly accomplish their objective as this one. I feel like this is something Southern Tier nails, the rich, evocative dessert beers (Pumking & Choklat included).

 1,361 characters

Photo of jsanto
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

s -- bottle capped bottle.

a -- very nice dark brown, and a creammy head.

s -- this is the best smelling beer i ever had. it was like being in a candle store.

t -- maybe i just like mike stouts, but i did not taste any milk, just vanilla and coffee cream.

m -- little carbonation, good for a change from the belgians.

d -- i enjoyed it all night.

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Photo of Nesued
2.95/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Poured into my Old Rasputin Imperial Stout glass. I thought it would be fitting. Color is a deep brown/black with little chance for light to escape. The head was slight upon initial pour, however it opened up a bit to a one-finger presence. Over time, this settled to a thin ring with slight lacing.

Smell - Well named. Smelled like the dessert with the only thing missing would be the flame-kissed caramel crust. Big vanilla nose (big is an understatement..let's say HUGE). Caramel and coconut as well. Little more could break through that huge opening.

Taste - Smooth opening, however followed by a confusing mix of coconut/caramel/vanilla/burnt sugar. This finishes with an intense hop bite (and yet more vanilla).

Mouthfeel - Considering the mix of flavors, there was a medium density in the mouthfeel. Finishes with a strong body.

Drinkability - A novelty. The nose was exceedingly inviting, but I personally feel it didn't live up to billing. Had it remained smooth throughout, with a mild finish, it may have been worth more than a "well, I tried it" opinion. Even as it warmed, the vanilla retained a medicinal twang. Perhaps a small amount, paired with chocolate or vanilla bean ice-cream, would work.

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Photo of mothman
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Just shared this with some new friends. Poured into a pint glass.

Color is a dark dark brown. Has 1 finger of head, decent retention leaving some lace.

Aroma was good, but very sweet. Milk and chocolate. Very creamy. This is an interesting aroma.

Taste: Here is the problem, this beer is so damn sweet. Milk, chocolate, and very creamy. I could maybe have 4 ounces of this, but the taste is so sweet.

Mouthfeel: Silky and creamy. Full bodied. Decent amount of retention. Ends with a sweet chocolate aftertaste.

Overall, this beer is simply to sweet. I couldn't drink a lot of it. It is good, but I wouldn't want a lot. I can see this being good on ice cream or chocolate cake.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As Southern Tier does with all Black Water beers in the series, this one oozes with creamy goodness of chocolate cream pie, to the point that I forget that this is a 10% Milk Stout.

Very strong aromas of, well... Creme Brulle. Strong vanilla, coffee, chocolate. Very well balanced and mouth watering. A light hint of cola comes in the end.

Flavors of vanilla and powdered sugar start off in as well as any beer imaginable. Soon, strong coffee, chocolate, vanilla, heavy cream, and merange (sp?) engulf the beer and dive heavy into a Khaluha-like alcohol taste and strength. Very nice but that extra sweetness begins to take the form of aspirtame from time to time.

Quite heavy on the palate due to light carbonation, heavy sweetness, and firm maltiness. Bitterness seems to come from a lot of directions; hops, bitter cocoa, coffee, and again that aspirtame bite. Finishes a bit cleaner than expected with a deep chocolate and vanilla linger. I would probably prefer this beer without the disjointed bitterness.

Again, this is not a desert beer- It is the desert!

Thanks JNN4V

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 24oz brown pop top with nice label and cool spheel about the beer...no freshness date

Appearance: Pitch black opaque beer with a dark cream large-bubbled head with decent retention

Smell: MASSIVE butterscotch tones...touch of vanilla latte...ungodly sweet creamy goodness

Taste: BIG butterscotch notes up front, maybe a bit of lightly roasted coffee with milk and vanilla...medium alcohol notes on the finish...this is like a big, creamy super French-vanilla mocha

Mouthfeel: Viscous and thick

Drinkability: 1 bottle, three people, small snifters: perfect

Conclusion: This was a great after dinner drink; it's huge in mocha flavors and butterscotch and vanilla...it's a bit over-the-top and too sweet to enjoy much at a time, but definitely interesting (went perfectly by itself and with from scratch German Chocolate Cake) and is definitely worth a try.

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Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout (Blackwater Series) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 4,538 ratings.
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