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: 1,450 | Ratings: 4,536
Photo of BeerSamurai34
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This one had a really nice nose and pours a beautiful black color, but the mouthfeel is really disappointing and the taste is really watered down despite a really nice roasted nose.

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Photo of stevoj
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled at Boise’s 2014 Imperial Stout get together, over 120 bottles to choose from. Going with the flow on this rating. A bit sweet, even for a mil stout, but hits the marks for tasting like creme brulee.

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Photo of Squire123
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark, dark, dark brown. If there is a cap of any color it settled so fast I missed it.

Aroma: This smells fantastic. It does have the scent of desert but the flavorings overwhelm anything I might identify as hops or malt.

Taste: Hard to describe. It tastes like it's flavorings which are on the heavy side. Definite sweet vanilla with a sort of roasted nut flavor that reminds me of pecans. Harsh roasted malt then dominates the flavor creating a disconnect with the scent that mars the drinking experience. Don't taste alcohol though it's certainly in there, as well as hops I suppose. Not for someone seeking a traditional Imperial Stout, or any other sort of beer I know, a thing on it's own that some find off putting but I find rather interesting.

Texture: Heavy, any other word for it would be a synonym for heavy.

Overall: Named Imperial for the alcohol (10%) I suppose as well as the style though they could call it anything they want. It's so over the top style guidelines really don't apply.

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Photo of Beric
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Serving: On tap in a snifter
Served: 6 May 2016

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish black with a soft tan head that sticks around for only a little while before giving out to just a ring around the edge of the glass. Looks pretty decent, but nothing spectacular.

Smell: Wow, this thing literally smells like cake. HUGE vanilla notes and very sweet smelling as well.

Taste: Very much like the nose- it is almost cake like in its vanilla sweetness. Honestly this isn't bad at all, especially in the 12oz pour the bar gave me. However, I found it pretty one-note after a while and can see that drinking a whole bomber of it probably isn't super awesome.

Mouthfeel: Medium-high body with medium-high carbonation.

Overall: A good beer, for sure, and one I definitely recommend. However, the pervasive vanilla sweetness does get to you after a while. Very good for dessert though, in pours ranging from 8-10oz!

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Photo of basaywhat
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours black with a thin tan head and some lacing. Aroma is very sweet with vanilla and butterscotch. Flavor is roasted malt, caramel, chocolate, coffee, plenty of vanilla, butterscotch, and sugary notes. Medium body with soft carbonation.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Is this the sweetest beer ever made? Possibly. Comes out an equal mixture of brown and black. 1/2" tan head. Aroma was of super sweet chocolate, caramel, espresso.

Wow, amazingly sweet, goes great over vanilla ice cream. Lots of vanilla already in it. Such a dessert beer, through and through. Sugary caramel.

I would totally like to keep one of these on hand in case I get the dessert jam feels.

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Photo of arizcards
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from TW Arrowhead in early February for $10.99. Bottled on 12-30-15.

Beer poured black with a nice tan head that has some nice hand time.

Nose is vanilla, chocolate and cream, very nice.

Taste is vanilla, cream, caramelized sugar, and milk.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall this is a very nice dessert beer. Southern Tier needs to rename the backwater series to the dessert series. Will definitely keep this in mind to serve as an after dinner dessert beer. Cheers!

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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 zshaft
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

what a great dessert. man this beer delivers on all notes. sweet. chocholate. milk. really good. only drawback is that it's way to sweet to have to to much. one is plenty. cheers

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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 spoony
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 650 ml bottle (dated December 30, 2015) to a snifter. Reviewed from notes dated April 9, 2016.

A-A normal pour produces a fat finger of dense, mocha head. The head drops to a thick cap that hangs around above a nearly black, opaque liquid. No carbonation is visible.

S-The aroma is hugely sweet with massive amounts of vanilla. The vanilla is almost overpowering. Underneath the vanilla I sniff some milky mocha-java, caramel, brown sugar, and a nuttiness that suggests pralines. Really sweet....

T-The taste is also hugely sweet and almost cloying with the vanilla flavor. There is a bit of lactose sweetness, but I mainly taste butter caramel and brown sugar. I guess this is what I should expect for a beer named after a dessert famous for having burnt sugar on top. Oddly, however, there is a little punch of hoppy bitterness on the mid-palate. Seems out of place here.

M-The body is soft and somewhat chewy. It is on the heavy side, which amplifies the sweetness.

O-I have been warned about the sweetness in this beer, but I still had to check it out for myself. Even as a dessert beer, the vanilla is too much for me to want to drink more than just a sip. Maybe over ice cream would be the ticket?

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Photo of Skeezman
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say about this beer. This is my favorite of the Southern Tier Blackwater beers. The aroma when you pop the top makes you think you're about to eat a delicious dessert. This dark beer pours great and tops with a beautiful tan foamy head. The finish occasionally leaves a bit of hoppy flavor in your mouth then back to the sweet creme brûlée caramel. It has a high ABV which will sneak up on you because it tastes so darn good. Cheers!

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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 HomerSwim
3.01/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

People like this beer? Why? To me it tastes like you force fed a cow turpentine and subsequently used the spoiled milk to create a want to be pretentious beer that wouldn't even live up to french snootiness.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

BOD 12/15/15. Pours black. Outstanding head volume and retention, world class lacing.

World class rich nose of vanilla, cream and light caramel. It screams crème brulee. Underneath is a light coconut aspect.

Medium body with a smooth texture that has creamy moments. Carbonation is world class with a perfect body / carbonation balance that really allows the complex flavors to open up. The middle has a burst of effervescence while the finish is pricky and finely bubbled.

The flavor profile is quite outstanding. Had the alcohol remained covered and suppressed the very slight astringency, it would be world class. It begins with a wave of vanilla that floats above cream then shifts to vanilla over caramel. The middle has a hint of roast oriented bitterness underneath. From the middle to the finish, chocolate and coconut notes emerge. The finish is a slow sweet fade of slightly sweet vanilla with a touch of alcohol flavor and astringency.

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Photo of Nanothaniel
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Look: Deep dark brown with almost no head
Smell: I can't decide if this nose is epic or if it smells like a candle. Okay, if I was smelling a candle I'd buy that candle in a heartbeat. Approaching a beer however, I think maybe it needs a little something extra? Very strong vanilla, strong like vanilla beans, not extract.
Taste: Sweet, big vanilla hit, a little roastiness, a little pecan. I feel like this beer needs some food to go with it, maybe some cranberry crusted goat cheese.
Feel: Awesome honestly, probably the best part of this beer. It just envelops your mouth like melted butter. Reminds me a little of Bourbon County Stout (not quite though, I'd give my last Bourbon county a perfect 5 on mouthfeel).
Overall: I wanted to love this beer, but sometimes we have to tame our expectations. This beer was distinctive and memorable, but honestly a little bit hard to finish a 22oz bottle. If this would've came in a 12 oz my impression might've been about .25 higher, but I question the decision making of selling this in a larger package. I'd like about 6oz of this with some ice cream at the end of a stressful day.

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Photo of erk0607
4.58/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Smell: Like creme brulee - vanilla, toasted sugar, cream

Look: dark brown with light foam head

Taste: roasty, creamy, sugar notes, toasted malts

Feel: intermediate, not too heavy, light cream

Overall: would get again

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Photo of WonderNerd15
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Jet black, with small, quickly disappearing tan head
Smell: Super sweet vanilla, spot on creme brûlée
Taste: Very sweet vanilla, bitterness hits on the back end, but isn't overly bitter
F: Thick and lingering in the mouth, almost syrupy
O: Good, interesting brew. Definitely not an all day drink but still good none the less

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Photo of BigGold
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

First had on draft into nonic half-pint, and a couple of days later from 12-oz. bottle, stamped "DOB 12/31/2015," into faceted mug. Aroma screams fancy Starbucks, but beer is a bit more restrained and drinkable, even for those of us who like our coffee black.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 10% abv

Appearance- Pours a dark chocolate brown, nearly black once in the glass. Light brown head quick to dissipate. Opaque.

Smell- Cream, vanilla, caramel, sweet.

Taste- Sweet vanilla bean and lactose sugary sweetness. Ample butterscotch. Finishes rich with notes of milk chocolate and coffee and a slight vinegar taste.

Mouthfeel- Heavy in body with low carbonation. Abv is felt by the burn.

Overall- A complex full flavored stout. Was not expecting the heavy butterscotch flavor. Decadent, like a dessert, and made to sip

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Photo of ryannosaurus
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bomber poured to tulip

Pours black with chocolate head that quickly dissipates, leaving bust a light have of bubbles

Aroma absolutely nails the namesake dessert, just amazing vanilla caramel

Flavor is extremely sweet, heavy on the vanilla, caramel more lurking then as aggressive as in the nose. Bit of roast. Lot of vanilla bean bitterness on the backend, brown sugar praline as it warms

Big solid lush mouthfeel

This has been on my radar for some time. Outrageously sweet, I was surprised there wasn't as much caramel in the flavor as in the aroma. Overall too sweet for normal drinking, but this is beyond normal.

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Photo of braker649er
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

My highest praise is that this beer represented truth in advertising--the flavor was an undeniable dessert beer that was very sweet, and had creamy-caramel-toffee flavor just like you'd expect from the name. I was in favor of the high ABV (especially high as a milk stout)--the booze gave the sweetness dimension.

It almost felt like you could achieve this beer by brewing a solid base and then adding butterscotch syrup. That may sound a bit cynical. Actually by this I mostly mean that the taste was on target.

The flip side: A few sips in, I couldn't decide if I actually *wanted* a beer that tasted like burnt cream/caramel. My bad? I rated relatively highly even though this wasn't ultimately a beer I'd buy again.

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Photo of moofthedog
3.42/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very dark, standard stout. Brown-ish head with pretty lacing.
Aroma: Creme brule. Vanilla. Extremely sweet smelling.
Taste: Extremely sweet. Not dry thankfully. Also slightly booze-y, being 10% ABV. Kind of reminds me of a belgian dubbel actually in how sweet and strong it is. Can barely tell hops are in this.
Feel: Really nice actually, carbonation is moderate. Despite booze-y taste, it sits in the mouth well and leaves a nice aftertaste actually.

Overall: Expensive and novelty, not something I'd buy again and actually somewhat disappointing from southern tier. I think it would be cool if they replicated the same smell but dialed it back a bit, reduced the ABV and lowered the overall sweetness. It's just a bit "in your face" when some subtlety would go a long way in imparting the creme brulee idea.

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Photo of MJSFS
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a DFH chalice L: dark dark brown with no head and minimum lacing A: sweet milk, burnt sugar, and a slight buttery aroma T: exactly like the nose M: heavy and slick like liquid sugar O: awesome dessert beer, not for everyday, but goes great after a fine dinner.

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Photo of do_ob
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Medium brown pour and settles dark brown in the glass; black body with reddish-brown highlights around the edges. A thin, vanilla-colored lacing tops it off. On the nose, huge notes of candied sugar, caramel, vanilla, lactose, and dark chocolate with hints of coffee. Incredibly sweet-smelling. The taste follows the nose with huge notes of sweet, burnt cream, chocolate, lactose, vanilla extract, butterscotch, roasted malt, and expresso. Not quite as sweet as I was expecting given what I've heard, but still probably the sweetest beer I've ever had. The feel is nice - dense enough to carry the flavor and alcohol, but not really chewy or syrupy. No taste of booziness to be found.

Overall, not bad. Very, very sweet but if you like that then this is a good one. I could't drink more than 12 oz. in a sitting.

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Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout (Blackwater Series) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 4,536 ratings.
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