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

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88
very good
4,579 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:
4,579
Reviews:
1,463
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
17.3%
 
 
Wants:
399
Gots:
1,091
For Trade:
28
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,579 |  Reviews: 1,463
Photo of billab914
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier glass. Pours black with a tan head that settled to a thin covering that clung to the sides. A little lacing on the glass as I drank it.

Aroma has a very strong vanilla and butterscotch presence, maybe a little chocolate but it's tough to get anything else over the Creme Brulee flavors. Smells pretty much like a Creme Brulee in beer form.

Taste has vanilla with some chocolate and some roasted grains in the bitter finish. The butterscotch isn't as pronounced as in the nose but it's still there. Has a sweetness to it as well which was expected. Pretty much tastes like Creme Brulee.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is not great, it's a very strong flavor and pretty sweet. 22 oz is definitely too much for one person, splitting it with several people would be good.

Overall this is pretty much exactly like Creme Brulee in a bottle. It is good in moderate amounts but gets overwhelming after a bit. A 4 oz sample for desert would be great. It seems like they hit their target of Creme Brulee pretty well though.

 1,104 characters

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.

 2,070 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.71/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Props to Jw347, cheers Jonathan!

Pours mahogany with a pinky of tan head. Above average head retention & average lacing

S: Rich caramel & coffee, & a touch of coconut; & a touch of cinnamon as this warms; yummy

T: Yummy caramel & a touch of coffee, some leafy hops hiding in the background up front. Coffee grounds do battle with chocolate & more caramel as this warms. Finishes much caramel & creamy chocolate notes. This is pulled off nicely

MF: Medium bodied, some stickyness, semi-creamy & low carbonation

Drinks pretty good, I could pound a few with dessert, a cheese tray or even a red curry. Will ding it a bit, because it would grown old after about 2 pints as a stand alone session beer. The ABV is artfully hidden

 729 characters

Photo of drewone
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes.

A: Pours a deep black color with a mocha colored head on top, decent head retention. Some foamy lacing forms on the sides that reduces to a very thin layer by the end.

S: Wow, incredibly aromatic. Lots of sugar, vanilla, caramel, and a little bit of spice. Really does not smell like any beer I have had before. In a word, rich.

T: More of the same form the aroma. Extremely sweet, with vanilla, caramel, and toasted sugar. Rich and cloying.

M: Medium to full bodied, and filling. Rather creamy, but still has some nice carbonation.

O: Liked it more than I was expecting actually. No way I could drink a whole 22, let alone a pint, but with a rich dessert, this could be really good.

 711 characters

Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of smcolw
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Modest beige head. The liquid is near black--no light passes through the glass. Slippery lace that slides back into the head.

This truly smells like creme brulee: very sweet vanilla with caramelized table sugar.

Lots of burnt sugar flavor--too burnt for a good creme brulee. There's an element of coffee/mocha to the bitterness. The body is rich, almost oily. Light hop in the background.

 391 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked this one up in a trade recently. I had been dying to try it as I had heard some mixed things regarding it. Needless to say I just had to get it. Twenty two ounce bomber that was served at cellar temp and poured into an oversized wine glass.

One of the best pours I have seen in a long time. Rich dark brown, essentially opaque with a huge head of off white foam that reached a height of three inches before finally deciding to come down to around two inches and leave it at that. Huge amounts of side glass lacing just ringing the inside of the glass and thoroughly coating everything that was in sight.

The aroma was just insane. I am not even sure what to make of this one here. Rich and bitter vanilla flavor. A touch of light alcohol, but this was very well hidden. Huge aroma here, my wife complained later in the night she could smell it an hour after the bottle was empty. This was the thickest, most bitter vanilla smell you could imagine. The flavor was more of the same. Now I have heard mixed reviews about this and I can really see why. You have to take it for what it is. This is a dessert beer, this bottle should be shared with like four people as by itself, this is way too much for one person. I was really struggling towards the end, as the flavor was soo insanely sweet, maple sugar, vanilla, molasses, hints of caramel, I mean if it was a kind of sugar it was dumped in this in great quantity. There was a smooth, delicate feel on this with more then adequate carbonation making up the majority of the body. But still, even the aftertaste hung with you for what seemed like a day and a half. A sipper for sure, but something that needs to be shared.

Overall not bad at all, not the best thing, but for what the style is, this was actually pretty damn good. It looked and smelled fantastic, it was just the overall volume of this bottle was a bit much for me. Something akin to a KRE would be much better for this as it is needs to be sampled in limited amounts. A must try though for the novelty of it.

 2,032 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of atrocity
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of smithj4
4.56/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of mdfb79
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass. A 2009 bottle that says the ABV is 10.0%.

a - Pours a dark brown with a little bit of carbonation and 1.5 fingers of tan head that has great retention and lacing.

s - This is one amazing smelling beer. Very sweet with lots of caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, and malts. Maybe a little chocolate.

t - Follows the nose. Lots of butterscotch and very sweet. Some vanilla and malts as well. Aftertaste is more caramel and butterscotch with hints of booze.

m - Medium to full body with light carbonation. Very thick and creamy.

d - Thought this was a great stout. If you like sweet smells and tastes, you'd probably like this; if you like butterscotch or caramel, you'd probably love it. The only knock I can see against it is a 22 oz. bottle being too much to drink by yourself due to the sweetness. Personally this isn't a problem for me as I enjoy sweet caramel/butterscotch, but I know some people who can't. Either way, this could be a great stout to share with some friends with dessert.

 1,041 characters

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.

 657 characters

Photo of orangesol
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of vfgccp
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Coca-Cola black. Almost no head to speak of.

S - Whoa, this could pass for a shot of insulin in a pinch. Butter scotch - HUGE butter scotch - and white chocolate.

T - A liquefied dessert. White chocolate chip cookies, heavy cream, vanilla pudding, latte. Extra dark maple syrup in the finish.

M - Syrupy sweet and super smooth. Marbled pound cake flavors through the finish. Almost no alcohol at all on your palate.

O - Sooo sweet. Definitely needs something to counter balance the profile like a big blue cheese, pretzels, salted nuts, or a spicy Asian snack mix.

 572 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I really enjoy scouring the shelves at the Friendly Greek Bottle Shop since I never know what I might find to drink & review next! Of course, I would have preferred more CANs and fewer bottles, but c'est la guerre.

From the bottle: "Imperial Stout Brewed with Vanilla Beans & Natural Flavor"; "25 [deg.] Plato[,] 2-row barley[,] dark caramel malt[,] vanilla bean[,] lactose sugar[,]Columbus & horizon hops[,] natural flavor".

I Pop!ped the cap & gave it an aggro pour befitting my frustration with Th' Stillers' play this evening. This raised just over a finger of foamy, deep-brown head with moderate retention. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose was very sweet with loads of vanilla and caramel evident. Mouthfeel was medium. Phew, was this ever sweet! The caramel was the most prevalent taste, followed by vanilla and a slight smokiness and dark chocolate. Oh my. This made me feel like I was going to have a sugary overdose. It is absolutely a Sweet Stout. no question. Finish was cloyingly sweet & I found myself wondering what might accompany this. I might have coffee as an accompaniment since as it warmed, it began to take on a pronounced chocolatiness along with the caramel and vanilla. I would consider this to be a dessert beer, but not one that would require an additional dessert to go with it. This was plenty on its own.

 1,377 characters

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of TMoney2591
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

I do so enjoy beers that stay true to their names. This 'un pours a straight obsidian topped by a finger or so of light tan foam. The nose is a dessert in its own right, comprising buttercream frosting, vanilla, cane sugar, chocolate syrup, maple syrup, molasses, sweet toffee, powdered sugar, and a vague sense of french toast or funnel cake. You know, sweet breads and whatnot. If I could literally eat smells, this would near the top of my list in terms of desireability. Happily intrigued, a taste must be had. A lot of the sweeter notes are still there, but are subdued, allowing some light roasted malts to come through, ensuring a more well-rounded, if somewhat weaker, tasting experience. The body is a rather hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a rich, velevety feel. Damn, I enjoy this brew. Even better, the smell tends to linger in my apartment, allowing me to enjoy its sweet, sweet smell for a few days hence. Good times.

 986 characters

Photo of ZEB89
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of thatoneguymike
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Capone's in Philadelphia.

The beer is dark brown with light crimson highlights, and a thin, wispy, tan head. Spotty, random lacing left on the sides of the snifter. The aroma...wow. One can detect this beer from several feet away. Huge aroma of coconut, flan, maple syrup, brown sugar. The label speaks truth...this is creme brulee. Good flavor, though less enjoyable than the aroma. Booze is prevalent throughout. Sweet and rich, this brew is akin to a gourmet dessert. A small portion is perfect. Honestly, this is an intriguing and creative beer. Well worth trying.

 581 characters

Photo of Zaphog
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout (Blackwater Series) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 4,579 ratings.
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