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

BA SCORE
88
very good
1,459 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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:
1,459
Ratings:
4,565
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
17.3%
 
 
Wants:
397
Gots:
1,090
For Trade:
30
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,459 | Ratings: 4,565
Photo of tendermorsel
3.17/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

I was really excited to try this one as I am a huge fan of Southern Tier blackwater series.
I hate to be the lone bad review on this one but
I was very disappointed with this one.

Poured a extremely dark black with very little head. The beer did have a real good nose to it. Smelled like a Creme Brulee. Vanilla and burnt sugar.

Way way to sweet. The vanilla tasted like an extract and overpowered everythng in the beer.... except for that alcohol. Way too boozey. Sticky syrupy mouthfeel. Not a balanced beer at all.

I shared the 22 with a few of my friends and none of us really liked it. Way to sweet and overpowering.

I do however see what Southern Tier was tring to do with this and I do give them credit for a truly original beer. This is a dessert beer. I have 3 more bottles in the cellar. I'll give this one another try in a few months or longer maybe with or as a dessert.

I definately prefered both the Oat and the Chocolate over this one.

 995 characters

Photo of Minotaur
4.62/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the most unique beers I have ever tasted. While not a thing I would drink every day, I give it high marks as an experiment in beer.

It tastes like Creme Brulee in a nearly opaque deep brown beer with a luxurious frothy cream-colored head. There are notes of chocolate, cocoa, a strong upfront caramel and vanilla, roasted malts and a balancing hop bitterness.

The mouthfeel is dense and chewy. It is drinkable but extremely thick and sweet.

 449 characters

Photo of CaptinRedBeard
2.28/5  rDev -42%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip. Pous a nice dark brown with a small mocha colored head and little lacing.

S: Mostly vanilla with some butterscotch and a hint of milk chocolate. Smells good but doesn't really smell like beer at all.

T: Vanilla extract/syrup, a little bit of the butterscotch comes through but this stuff is just insanely sweet.

M: Medium to heavy bodied, not too much carbonation.

D: I ended up pouring out over half of this beer. Something I very rarely do. I don't think I have ever drain poured a beer that was not expired. I just couldn 't take any more. I really like beers with vanilla in them and I loved Choklat. So I had really high hopes for this beer. I just couldn't get over the fact that it seemed like I was drinking vanilla syrup with a little beer added to it.

 815 characters

Photo of anthony23cippy
3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from pint and a half bottle into pint glass. Poured a little less than room temp, poured a dark opaque brown, not quite black. Very minimal head (probably due to the temp). Smells GREAT, smells of vanilla, Carmel, brown sugar, malt, and coffee. Most notable is the Carmel to me. Tastes good at first, like vanilla and Carmel, but the after taste is very alcoholic and medicinal, nearly ruins it. The carbonation is slightly less than what I prefer, and it seems a bit thin for a stout. Overall it's nothing that great, but the smell IS remarkable.

 554 characters

Photo of THORN
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bomber poured into Duvel snifter.
A: Dark dark brown, red around the edges. Cannot see through when held up to light. Pours inch tall light vanilla brown head. Sticky brown lace remains in splotches around glass.

S: Caramel smell dominates nose, very sweet, and smells somewhat like coconut. Finishes with a toasty cinnamon-esque spice.

T: Toasted caramel malts mix with very sweet vanilla (not milk) sweep by. Slight bitterness follows and seals the sweetness well.
Alcohol is apparent, but is well blended and certainly not overwhelming.

M: Medium-light carbonation fits well on tongue. Delivers a definite sweeping warmth in back of mouth and throat.

D: It is very close to too much. I feel like this beers direction is a dessert beer, defiantly should be shared with others.

 788 characters

Photo of mbusster88
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer smells absolutely amazing once the cap is off. It pours a nice dark stout body, with a nice tan head. The aroma on this is that of butterscotch. Also in the nose are some notes of booze and even some roasted notes. The first sip of this beer is really overtaken by the aroma. Very good smooth stout, however it becomes more harsh as it heats up. Definitely serving it at 42 like described is a good idea. The overall taste on this beer is classic stout, some hops, loads of malt and some cream. However, the real thing here is the aroma. Not a beer to drink quickly, or often. But a nice winter warmer when the snow is falling and you need some heat.

 660 characters

Photo of olimpia84
4.56/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured part of the 650ml bottle into a chalice.

A: very dark brown to the point it's almost black. One finger copper head that dissipated quickly. No lacing present.

S: an exquisite combination of dessert aromas greet you in this beer. The predominant smell is a strong, yet elegant, fragrance of vanilla accompanied by hints of caramel, coconut and toffee. The vanilla smell is simply excellent and unlike anything I've tried before.

T: this beer definitely pays a tribute to its name. It follows the nose beautifully with a strong start of sweet vanilla taste with notes of caramel and milk chocolate. Afterwards some malts are felt in the palate giving a slight coffee taste. It ends with a kick of bitter liquory sensation. This last part is not exactly my favorite as I feel that the transition from the smooth sweetness dessert part to the strong bitter alcohol is a bit harsh and doesn't have a good 'bridge' to connect the two. If it wasn't for this 'issue' I would have given the taste a score of 5. Regardless. this beer has an excellent taste.

M: smooth feel with low carbonation. This beer is medium to full body, leaning more towards the full body part.

O: what else can I say that hasn't been said in my review? This beer gets the job done beautifully and is a perfect option for pairing it with desserts. The vanilla presence throughout this beer is fantastic which is a plus in my case because I love vanilla. However, I can see some people having issues with this beer as it can be perhaps on the excessive sweet side. This was not an issue with me however, and it's why my review is full of praise. Highly recommended and will definitely go back for some more!

 1,684 characters

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

 422 characters

Photo of jbowers56
4.49/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Im reviewing this not so much as an imperial stout, but as a beer trying to taste a lot like creme brulee.

Looks pretty nice, decent head. Could have done with more lacing.

It literally smells like creme brulee. That is a joke. If you search there are some imp stout elements, but it is so spot on with the creme brulee thing i cant help but give it a 5.

It tastes amazing. Super sweet, but so much desert-y goodness. So glad I bought this.

A true luxury. I think the mokah is the best in this series, but for what this beer is trying to do, its hard to fault.

 564 characters

Photo of snogglethorpe
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Desert in a glass!

Thick, black, sweet, creamy, tastes strongly of vanilla and while a bit bitter, it's burn-sugar bitter, not hop bitter. A very slight metallic and acidic taste that works quite well with all the other dominant flavors going on.

I probably can't drink too much of this at one sitting, but it's actually very delicious for what it is. If you want desert, and you want beer, then a glass of this will leave you feeling well-satisfied (and it's probably a bit lower in calories than real creme-brulee together with a glass of beer!).

 550 characters

Photo of hopheadjuice
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, no freshness date.

Pours a dark ink with garnet edges. Slow rising tan head clinngs to the glass.

Smells wonderful. Buttercream, custard, vanilla frosting, and burnt caramel whiff up the nostrils. smells like the perfect desert.

Taste is very much like the smell, very sweet and filled with cream, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, caramel, butterscotch. All wound up into a little package mmmm tasty.

Being a milk stout it is creamy as fuck, nice full bodied ale with moderate carbonation and a dry finish.

10% abv this stout is a monster. extremely creamy and extremely sweet. Who needs desert when you got beer.

 627 characters

Photo of Roke87
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL (22oz) bomber poured at cellar temperature into a snifter.

Appearance- Pours a very dark black, you cannot see through this stout even when held up to a light. Had a miniscule tan head that very quickly dissipates to a thin lacing with little spotting left on the glass.

Smell- You are definitely hit with a very pungent smell of the vanilla and sweet caramel/butterscotch right off the bat, roasted malts are buried in there somewhere paired with a very faint smell of chocolate.

Taste- I get the roasted malts and coffee taste first, followed up by the sweet, creamy taste of the vanilla and caramel/butterscotch, you can definitely taste that this is a higher ABV stout with a slight alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied and very creamy, carbonation was not all there but not many stouts are overly carbonated to begin with, very drinkable for the higher ABV.

Overall- A desert turned into a beer and it lives up to its name, very sweet on both the nose and the palette, with lots of vanilla and butterscotch smells and tastes as well. I was impressed as I didn’t know what to expect I just thought I would give it a try because the name caught my eye. A very good stout from Southern Tier that delivers on all fronts.

 1,239 characters

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))

 1,031 characters

Photo of joshstevens87
2.76/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A-3.0 pour jet black with just a slight brown shade with a slim minimal white head struggling to cover the top of the beer
S-4.5 reaks of creme brulee with notes of vanilla with a caramel asserting itself with just a twinge of chocolate and coffee in the background
T-2.0 huge vanilla up front with a sweetness like eating a crème brulee but the chocolate/toffee malts asserts itself more aggressively with a little alcohol or hop bitterness to balance the taste (rightly so for the style) but overall I'm not sure if this works imperial style the massive malt and alcohol/hop present bitterness in a sweet stout interpretation albeit imperial style doesn't quite work for me
M-3.0 very heavy and rich body with a low carbonation the huge rich taste is almost a turnoff especially in a 22 oz bomber
D-2.0 not remotely drinkable, definitely a sipper tough I'm lost for words at why you bottle it in 22 oz. servings being an imperial sweet stout it seems a contradiction since due to it's imperial character it seems there is an off balance between it's imperialness and its sweet goodness which i wish would dominate a bit more

 1,128 characters

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.

 722 characters

Photo of Admbmb92
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Bruery snifter.
A-pours inky black with a little bit of brown hues on top. One finger head that disappears quickly. Lots of alcohol legs
S-vanilla, caramel, sweet chocolate, milk, custard. Smells like a caramel macchiato.
T- intensely sweet! Very similar to the smells. Slight bit of bitterness but overwhelming amount of creamy sweet caramel and vanilla.
M- medium light carbonation. Creamy milk stout goodness.
O- very good dessert beer but too sweet for my taste. More on the lines of a mix drink than a beer. Very unique though

 547 characters

Photo of whendeathsleeps
1.91/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A- Pours black with ruby highlights, a one finger tan head.

S- Would smell great, if it were a candle, not what I want to smell from a beer, Vanilla, burnt sugar, not much else in the nose.

T- Like eating a Yankee brand vanilla candle with butterscotch icing. Such an artificial sickly sweet taste, makes me almost gag. I detect nearly no hops, just sugar on top of you guessed it...more sugar.

M- Thick, full bodied, oily slick, moderate carbonation.

O- I would avoid at all cost, maybe this is for some people though. Glad I at least tried it so I could experience it for myself. It was so hard to get through even splitting the bottle with a friend. Skip this milk stout and go for Left Hand's Nitro Milk Stout, which is perfectly balanced.

In closing, try it if you must. It was one of those pure curiosity things for me. Will never buy again.

 854 characters

Photo of cbak999
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I have to preface this with the fact that this beer is following a KBS.

A- Pours a deep black with a 1/2 head that fades to a slight covering and lasts through the session.

S- Huge vanilla. I really don't smell anything but that.

T- The first and overwhelming taste to me is maple syrup and vanilla. I can see myself enjoying this with a stack of pancakes. lol

D- It's a little too sweet for my liking. The sweet notes that come through are a bit over powering. Definitely not a sipper and the 10% ABV is hidden very well. Not a session beer by any means!!

 560 characters

Photo of blaje
3.2/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours black in a sniffer, forming a thin mocha head that disappears quickly to finally look like a flat soft drink!

S: STRONG vanilla sent, too pronounced almost artificial. Brown sugar. No roasted grain in here.

M: Damn it, Feels like a vanilla coke! Too bad.

T: Sweetness. Vanilla dominates largely and everything. Caramel is present too. Easily comparable to Bailey's Irish cream. Nothing more to say. No signs of roastiness...

Overall: Big disappointment for me! I would have like a more refined milk stout since it is an "imperial series" The overall fealing of this beer is like a soft drink artificially flavoured. Will look for something else for my next milk stout.

 678 characters

Photo of wasatchback
2.63/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Two sips and dumped it out. Was very interested to try it out as the label made it sound rather interesting. Smelled and tasted like fake vanilla extract, very overpowering. I can't imagine drinking this. Wonder if this was a bad batch???

 243 characters

Photo of TheViolator666
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

22 oz. bomber poured into Stone nonic glass

Oh. My. God.
This is probably the most bizarre beer I've yet to have.
Immediately after cracking open the bottle my (stuffy) nose was pummeled by the intense vanilla/butterscotch scent that then went on to displace all of the oxygen in the room.

Appearance: Pretty average. Nice head that hung around for awhile, decent color as well. Exceptional lacing draped down the glass.

Smell: I don't even know where to begin. Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. Smelled fantastic at first, but now (hours afterwards) I wish I could get it out of my nose.

Taste: Tastes exactly what I would expect a creme brulee beer to taste like. I regret drinking so much, though. This is definitely a sipper and I wish I would have taken less of a portion. Vanilla, butterscotch, roasted maltyness and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Average as well, not as thick as I like a stout, but not thin by any means. Creamy.

 925 characters

Photo of cjoc83
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a chalice stout black, but with some clear redish hues visible on the edges of the glass when held up to the light. A fingers worth of khaki head recedes to a ring around the glass pretty quickly.

Wow...this smells amazingly similar to actual creme brulee. Burnt sugar is the dominant note, with some toffee and malty sweetness in the mix. Really smells great.

It doesn't taste as much like creme brulee as it smells, but it's still pretty damn delicious. Burnt sugar, toffee and caramel all hit the palate, segueing nicely into some sweet and toasted malt, mixing in with a little bit of lactose. There's just the faintest hint of a hop bitterness on the back end, finishing this beer off as nice as it starts. No alcohol warmth is noticeable, despite the 9.6% ABV.

Mouthfeel is solid. Creamy, but not too heavy. Low carbonation.

I was very pleasantly surprised by this one. How Southern Tier actual got this beer to smell and taste like creme brulee is pretty amazing. And while it may not be super-complex, all the flavors are solid and in good proportion to one another. I really enjoyed pretty much everything about this beer. I'm just wondering how it took me this long to actually try it...

 1,216 characters

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

Served On Tap at Westover Market Arlington, VA

A: Dark black havoc. Zero foam residue. Pure heaven!

S: ohhh my my my. Sweet sweet malt balls, Vanilla sugar cookies, dark roast Costa Rican coffee beans. Caramelized sugar cane.

T: OMG. OMG.. seriously... OMG... Southern Tier are the masters of Dessert beer!!!
Ready??
Vanilla with caramel swirl ice cream. Toasted Honey bun. Oak Cask. Dark roasted Costa Ricas coffee. Whopping malt balls. Like WHOPPERS candy in a glass!!
The Full creamy dairy milk masks the booze in this utterly delicious brew.

M: Richy creamy medium carbo mouth full. This would be glorious on a nitro tap! Smooth and gum tingling. It really coats the tongue O so well.

O: So amazing. It's so out of this world amazing that it should be held high above all other stouts as WOW... This will knock the socks off anyone who tries it. This is what should be served with my last meal..
Get yours NOW. Today.. Check all beer places. and Buy as many bottles as you can.. Well save some. just get 3.

 1,016 characters

Photo of airohead2001
3.36/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

A - Black. No head and very little lacing. Not quite what I was expecting for an imperial stout.

S - Very unique and delicious. This beer's aroma is definitely it's strongest attribute. Caramel, vanilla, sugar, and booze. Wonderful.

T - Very sweet - perhaps just a tad too much here. Vanilla, caramel, booze, and more caramel. That's about it. The taste is delicious, but really is pretty simple. Not many layers. No hops. No classic malts.

M - Good. Nice and thick, which is what you would expect for a decent imperial stout.

D - Not a whole lot here. It's taken me about 45 minutes to get past half the bomber, and I think that's about as far as I'll get tonight. A very tasty and very interesting and unique beer, but certainly not very drinkable.

 756 characters

Photo of jgreenearrow
3.19/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep brown, nearly black color with a 1/2' thick creamy brown head appearing at the top of the pour. No lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: First impression is that the beer smells very sweet. Brown sugar, vanilla, and toffee are all present in the nose. I would prefer it to smell at least a little like beer, roasted malts or something.

T: The first sip was overwhelming. Strong sweetness of vanilla mixed with some roasty bitterness. Alcohol burn in the finish. The sweetness is a little less powerful of subsequent sips mixing with some astringent and bitterness. The balance of this beer is off.

M: This beer is medium to full bodied. It is thinner than I would have thought, but syrupy. Carbonation is lacking.

Overall, this is an okay beer. That is the best I can say for it. It is blended too sweet, even for a desert type beer. The balance is off in all aspects other than appearance.

 957 characters

Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout (Blackwater Series) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 4,565 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe