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: 1,456 | Ratings: 4,555
Photo of lackenhauser
4.56/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Usual jet black stout color. Very slight tan head on top. Amazingly deep and complex aroma-huge vanilla notes and caramelized sugar. Just insanely like a dish of creme brulee. Flavor is simply fantastic. Massive vanilla sweetness with a hint of rich, creamy chocolate. Heavily caramelized taste. Ever so slight espresso richness. Really comes across as a dessert. Great solid body. Silky smooth. Not a hint of being 10%. Just an incredible beer. Either you love it or hate it-I love it. Have to knock it down a notch as it is so rich and dont see consuming a lot of it. I think this is just a great example of what a brewer can do. MMMmmm.

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Photo of prototypic
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Crème Brulee Stout's a very dark brown, nearly onyx color. It's not quite opaque. There's a few ruby highlights around the edges, but not many. Sitting atop is a light mocha tan head that's a couple fingers deep. It procrastinates more than I expected in dissipating. It puts up a hearty fight against the 10% abv. Lacing was sticky and on the lighter side.

Given the fact that I could smell this beer as soon as the cap was cracked, there's no question about its strength. It's extremely aromatic. A short whiff reveals a wealth of vanilla bean and sweet caramel. It smells incredibly sweet and certainly nailed that "Crème Brulee" thing. Smell like a dessert? You bet your ass. Sweet chocolate is very prominent. There's a light coffee aroma that's a welcome surprise. The nose is no doubt impressive, but personally, it smells way too sweet. Very novel smelling beer though. No doubt about it.

Crème Brulee is one sweet beer. I don't mean that necessarily in a good way. It is very reminiscent of a dessert. Vanilla bean and caramel are the dominant flavors throughout. Did I mention how incredibly sweet this beer is? Chocolate malts add more sweetness and a pretty good malty flavor to it. I'm picking up a hint of coffee. That's a pretty nice touch, but would be better if it were more pronounced. There's definitely a hop presence that I didn't pick up on the nose. They add a bitter flavor and balance it (a little). Alcohol is very well masked and is barely noticeable. Pretty impressive for 10% abv. It finishes a little bitter, sweet, and a tad dry. It's not bad. Easily above average. But, it's just too sweet to be any better than that.

It features a body that's on the lighter side of medium. It's way too thin. Big badass stouts need big badass bodies. This one doesn't have it. Somehow it's still relatively smooth. Very light carbonation helps it a great deal, but it really needs to be more substantial. Drinkability's pretty average. It's way too sweet and too strong. A bomber of this stuff is too much. It's a flat out struggle to get it all down. My wife happens to like this beer. Where is she dammit?

Crème Brulee Stout's probably my least favorite of Southern Tier's Black Water Series. It's not a bad beer, but is best served in (very) concentrated amounts. It's extremely sweet and dessert-like. The flavor's pretty good the first few sips, but it grows very tiring very quickly. I don't feel quite as strongly about as some do. I definitely don't love it, but I don't hate it either. I definitely feel that it's a novelty that's worth experiencing, even if only once. Hey, if you're available, I still have a little bit of a bomber that I'd love to share.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

05/15/09- Purchased at Chucks Wines in Chargin Falls, OH.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance- Brown colored pour. About a 1/2 inch head which turns into small bubbles. Leaves some light spotting of lace behind.

Smell- Smells dead on like a mix of creme brulee and kalhua. Very nice and potent scent.

Taste- Extremely rich and almost sickeningly sweet. I then looked at the label and it said to drink at 42 degrees rather than 55+. So, I put it back in the fridge for 30 minutes and drank the rest. A bit better but quite sweet still. The malt comes through a bit more with a roasted flavor.

Mouthfeel- A bit overcarbonated. I would think this would be much better on a hand pump possibly. Lots of caramel and vanilla aftertaste.

Drinkability- Not really my cup of tea. I would have downgraded, but I know it's because I just don't really care for creme brulee and the sweetness this beer imparted. I know it probably is a well crafted beer though.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received in CanBIF 5, thanks to wfeddern. From a 22 oz. bomber, abv% on import label listed at 8.2%.

Pours out a deep opaque black in appearance, golden oak nimbus appears when held to direct light. Tall, thick, creamy sandy head with good retention and lots of thick spongy lacing in its wake.

Aroma is robust, bombastic, and delicious! Intense milky vanilla and toffee notes sweep the show, some light coffee tones, and it is a gorgeous phenomena.

The flavour is equally intense, yet not as cohesive as the aroma. Starts with both sweet toffee and dry roasted malts, continues with a dry coffee middle, although with an underlying milky and caramel sweetness. The finish is a dry mild espresso on the back of the tongue yet with milky toffee still coating the palate. Aftertaste is a dry lingering presence, yet with the toffee notes still coating the mouth.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, not as thick as I had expected, but this is a good thing as the flavour is intense enough on its own.

Wow, that was quite the trip. Best shared I think, a good dessert beer. After 12 oz. I am quite satiated and satisfied, the sweetness gets a bit overwhelming. Something I'd go back for more for the right occassion.

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Photo of beerindex
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark, at first almost black, shade of brown. And it has an outmeal-stout colored soft brown head, which it retains reasonably well. It terms of smell, butterscotch and caramel dominate, though there is a small hint of vanilla.

As far as taste goes, I most readily notice espresso and milk, so I rather feel the beer was misnamed. Sure there is the occasional vanilla hint, but nothing more in the sweets department.

Like with Southern Tier's Imperial Cherry, the name made promises the beer simply didn't keep. But, casting that aside and considering the beer on its own merits, this was damn drinkable. I'd suggest renaming it, but then they've lose the novelty sales the current name obviously brings in (my purchase included).

I'd drink it again, though not sessioning, as this is a bit heavy and with a respectable ABV.

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Photo of brentk56
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark chocolate brown with a tan cap that fades with rapidity but leaves plenty of foamy dots around the chalice

Smell: Creme brulee from a mile away; hard to imagine it is a beer

Taste: Vanilla, butterscotch and creme up front, with a building sweet intensity through mid-palate and beyond; unlike the draft version, the bottled sample seems all about the sweetness, right through the lingering finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; a bit cloying

Drinkability: Loved this on draft, but in the bottle, it becomes a bit tiresome; still quite an accomplishment to make a beer taste like dessert

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Photo of DrinkinBuddy
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours complete darkness of night with no moon in sight. Nice brown head that leaves minimal lacing throughout session. Smell is in your face vanilla beans with alcohol lurking far behind. Tastes like sweet, sweet vanilla and caramel. Extremely sweet. Mouthfeel is thick and smooth. Little carbonation makes it seem thicker. Drinkability: because it's so sweet isn't the best. I downed a bomber, but I don't think I'd go further than that. Very tasty though, a desert all in itself.

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Photo of PDXHops
1.3/5  rDev -66.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thanks to Yamar18 for this bomber, poured into an oversized snifter.

An aggressive pour directly into the middle of the glass coaxes a little skim of tan foam that covers 1/3 of the surface of the beer and disappears quickly. Very dark cola brown body. No lacing to speak of. Disappointing visually.

STRONG butterscotch and caramel aromas jump out of the glass. I can easily smell this beer from a foot+ above the glass. Once my nose adjusts a bit, I can pick out some cocoa, Irish cream liqueur, and a hint of vanilla. I can't detect any malt at all. Certainly no bold roasty flavors like you'd expect in a big stout. Sweet and boozy, with heavy emphasis on the sweet.

For the most part, this beer tastes like it smells. Weird, that is. Thankfully there's actually a hint of coffeeish dark malt and a hint of bitterness, but hints are it, and they seem to be in conflict with all that sweetness. The dominant sweet flavor is Irish cream- it's artificial and unpleasant to my palate. I hate it a little more with each sip. I'm pretty sure my dog is laughing at me as I try to choke this stuff down (I should give him some, too; misery loves company).

Mouthfeel's somewhat disappointing. Medium-full bodied, lowish carbonation. The lingering artificial sweetness all the way into my throat is quite unpleasant.

Overall impression: Strange beer. I'm pretty much morally opposed to drainpours, but in the case of Creme Brulee, this rule was meant to be broken.

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Photo of alexgrahamlv
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought this for my wife who is an Creme Brulee nut.

The beer pours dark dark brown to black. I can already smell the vanilla pouring out. Not much head or retention is sticking. The aromas are prominent with vanilla and caramel. This reminds me of a vanilla cream soda for sure. On the taste, very sweet vanilla with hints of coffee and caramel. Full body with a lasting finish. The taste of vanilla lingers on my lips. Good beer but a bit too sweet. My wife gave me her half as she found it too sweet

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Happy opening day! Opaque black when poured into my Red Sox glass. Large, cocao colored head that never really diminishes or goes away. Monstrous lacing.

Smells and tastes the same: sugary vanilla and Good N' Plenty candy. I've never actually had creme brulee but if it tastes like this stuff I like it. Aftertaste of butterscotch and booze. Extremely smooth, full mouthfeel.

I finished the bottle over a three hour period but I think it would be even better when split with a friend as it's a very strong, distinct taste that gets old after a glass.

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Southern Tier and what I will call their Sweet Series hits another triple with this one. Very good, if maybe a touch too sweet.

Appearance is the weakest aspect, not much in the way of head and a near black pour with minimal lacing.

Smell is exactly as advertised, heavy caramel, sweetness, sweetness, and sweetness.

Taste is, according to my wife, Creme Brulee to a T. I have never had it, but what I can say is that this is an ultra sweet drink, with a cream taste, toffee, and caramel background. No hop or alcohol presence.

Mouth is medium/big in feel and carbonation.

Pretty easy to drink at first, gets a bit tougher because of how sweet it is.

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Photo of mwilbur
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 650 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a very dark garnet color (very little light gets through with backlighting). Essentially no head forms.
S: Wow! A definite boozy creme brulee aroma. Very nice.
T: Unfortunately, the taste doesn't quite live up to the high expectations brought on by the wonderful aroma. Vanilla bean up front with a hint of caramel malt in the background. Alcohol esters.
M: Fairly smooth and creamy with a mild alcohol bite.
D: Decently drinkable. The high ABV is well hidden. Creme brulee is best served in small amounts, not this brew has its limitations in drinkability. Would go well as a dessert accompaniment.

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

Poured from the 22oz bottle into my newly obtained Dogfish Goblet.

Appearance- Beer pours thick and black with a mere finger of creamy off white head with specks of tan intermingled. Lacing clings to the sides of the glass and there appears to be a bit of the good old legs present on the sides as well.

Smell- Wow, simply put, wow, caramelized sugars, pure creme brulee, I don't even catch beer on the initial sniff, or even on the follow up sniff. Just pure desert, I kind of regret that I'm drinking this and not pouring it over ice cream. So sweet with caramel and brown sugar, It may not be up to snuff on style guidelines for a double stout, but for what they claim this to be, it hits the ball out of the park.

Taste- More of that sweet delicious creme brulee, how in the world does Southern tier do it? Burnt roasted malts, no hops to be found, a bit alcoholic and could stand to be scaled down a notch on gravity, but outside of that, a perfect desert beer rivaling even the almighty Young's Double Chocolate, and yet different from it at the same time. Creme brulee, plain and simple, first Chocolat, now this. Amazing Southern Tier.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, rich, sweet, candylike, warming, medium in carbonation, and full bodied.

Drinkability- Amazingly drinkable, but I won't be drinking this in too much of a hurry. This is one to be savored and enjoyed for as long as the resistance to gulp it down holds out. What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall during a Southern Tier brew session.

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Photo of BravoTwo
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep black / brown, very minimal head and carbonation. Looks thick.

S - Smeels of vanilla, cream, and burnt sugar. Smells like a beer called Creme Brulee should very aromatic.

T - Sweet burnt sugar taste. Creamy, sugary, dark.

M - Viscous mouthfeel, very minimal carbonation, thick and rich.

D - If you want a sweet beer with a lot of character, then this would be an excellent choice. Definitely a desert beer, and a good choice for an after dinner drink.

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Photo of currysage1
2.99/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Had a large sample of this at the Sierra Grille after work.

Full frothy tan head, very sticky, not enough of a sample to see lacing, dark stained mahogany color, slight rust colored edges.

Smell is strongly of vanilla frosting, not quite the store crap, but certainly no buttercream. I have to say it was overpowering and set me up negatively towards the taste.

Taste made up for the smell, vanilla is certainly in play here as well, but is less aggressive, letting the roastiness out to play. I think that ST has done a good job making a beer/creme brulee hybrid. While not to my taste it is still very high quality. Feel was great for a Double milk stout, not as thin as a normal MS and a little slick.

My advice is to get the half pint if possible unless you want diabetes.

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Photo of julian
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark cola color with minimal carbonation. An aggressive pour did however yield a satisfactory tan colored head that disappeared fairly quickly.

Smell: One word describes the smell of this beer. INTENSE! Well maybe 2 words, INTENSE & SWEET! This literally smells like liquid Werther's Original candy.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Taste is smooth and sweet. Lots of caramel and sugary sweetness that rolls off your tongue like gooey taffy. It's like a Werther's Original candy and Creme Brulee in liquid form. It's actually quite tasty and delicious. People either hate it or love and I love it. Carbonation is medium, aftertaste is sweet and leaves you wanting more!

Drinkability: Awesome. I could probably drink another few of these. There is a lot of flavor to the sweetness which makes it very enjoyable. It's not just an overly alcoholic and malty beer (say like an eisbock) there's a lot of character in this. Southern Tier has done a great job at beer-a-fying a desert. I haven't yet been disappointed by their Blackwater Series. Keep it up ST and thanks for the recent distribution to WA!

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

Pours dark black with a nice off white head. Pretty viscous coming from the tap, man this stuff is pretty potent looking.

Smell is ridiculous. It smells like dessert. Lots of buttery, toffee flavors dominating along with rich chocolate and cake. I hardly smell anything else except maybe a hint of the alcohol.

Taste is sweet, very sweet. Its like melted ice cream in a glass with an alcohol back. All the tastes of creme brulee are evident so you can fault ST for anything. They have achieved what they wanted to and they did a damn good job of it.

This is a beer best enjoyed in small glasses with a dessert. Its actually pretty much a dessert unto itself.

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Photo of kels
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer #2 in a blind tasting last week. I'd like to think I was spoiling my friends with this one:)

Appearance: Looks like diet coke, seriously. Very little bubbly head and very little lacing, with immense carbonation running throughout. Big viscosity and tons of alcohol - can actually see layering in the liquid.

Smell: Enormous aroma - slight metallic note, big time toffee, caramel and butterscotch.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Really great flavors of sweet butterscotch, cream, caramel, and coffee grounds meet with a pretty serious viscous mouthfeel. Good carbonation gives way to sticky aftertaste.

Drinkability: Moderate to high for such a big beer.

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Photo of bamadog
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle 2 of the blind test test that several us underwent to put our minds to the test, this one kind of took the cake for me. Truly an amazing beer, and probably the best Southern Tier that I've had yet.

Appearance: Dark dark cola brown, no light was coming through but when I held it up it showed just a flicker of a deep amber as well. Thin ring of head at the top, but not much really to speak of.

Smell: Strong sweet caramel/butterscotch. Wow. malty and a little bit of chocolate/cocoa in there. The smell made me a little nervous because sometimes things are a little too sweet...

Taste: The caramel/butterscotch is S-U-P-E-R present and it dominates - I thought I was eating some fancy desert as opposed to indulging in a beer. When I drank it, I also noticed a slight coffee taste to it as well, with a hint of bitterness in the back, but the sweetness really stood up front and took over this beer. Also a strong presence of alcohol in the back, but with the kind of ABV, you've gotta expect that.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth, coats the entire mouth and leaves it a little sticky. Also, the carbonation was much more present that I thought it would be based upon the thick viscosity of this bad boy.

Drinkability: While this is an amazing beer and something to truly behold, I would have to put this a little lower because of the high ABV and strong sweetness to it. This is strictly an opinion though because the sweetness is a bit much for my personal palate. But still, you've gotta appreciate this one.

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Photo of madtowndmb1
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: This beer poured a very deep brown if not black, with no head. Very good looking pour

S: I loved it! Sweet like burnt sugar, chocolate, cream, and maybe some caramel

T: Way too sweet for me but very good. It tasted just like it smelled, which was sweet.

M: Smooth, malty, sweet it was what I expected.

D: I actually recapped this beer because my wife and I couldn't handle it all in one sitting. We went back to it 2 days later and it tasted the same so the recapping saved it. I would need to have like 6 people over to have a whole bottle.

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Photo of abents
2.48/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

22oz bomber with cows on the label (down with that!)
Pours out a beautiful black color. Even with pretty vigarous pour, not much head, but it is light tan in color and laces sporadically. Smell is like candy, burnt sugary sweetness, coffee, caramel malts, and i swear butterscotch. Taste is disgusting. Way way way too sweet. Sticky caramel, butterscotch, chocolate and coffee lead to an incredibley hard to drink beer. I must say I do not really like sweet eats very much, but on occasion I'll have one. This beer however is ungodly sweet. Very hard to drink this. Lots of candy, sweet malty flavors, but i need some bitterness or some sort of balance, this is just way too far in the sickly sweet catagorey. Definitely one to share, preferably with someone who doesn't like beer, because this tastes nothing like one. The label says I should drink this at 42 degrees, maybe because this is at 43 degrees that it is this bad, but I doubt it. Ugh, this is gross, if I want dessert I'll get one; if I want a beer, I won't be drinking this.

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Photo of southsiderookie
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer I opened it and thought I was six years old in a candy shop. Literally the smell was so great I wanted it for my cologne. Very light head that you would expect from a stout. Left a light lacing in the snifter I used. Had a very sweet taste that was similar to its aroma. But while I was drinking it I was wishing I had someone to share it with. I guess the main downfall it has is that its too sweet for its own good. I highly recommend splitting a bomber with someone.

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Photo of SirSketch
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - 1/2 finger of beige to light brown head. Beer is primarily black with faint shades of dark red and mahogany when glass is tilted. Very engaging!

S - The aroma in this beer was so good it was shocking at first! Big vanilla, butterscotch, milk chocolate, dark cocoa, and the kick of a high ABV beer. Has some very earthy qualities to it, also. I didn't want to lower the glass from my nose!

T - Heavy chocolate, whipped cream, caramel, and roasted barley. Less vanilla taste than the aroma led on, but just the perfect amount. Hop bitterness gives slight relief from the immense sweetness of the beer. Really well balanced and just fantastic.

M/D - These are the only categories where I gave a slightly lower score, mainly due to the fact that, even though it is a great tasting beer, I didn't find myself wanting to drink much of it. Overwhelming a bit, maybe? Either way, I highly recommend this beer!

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Photo of woodske1
1.36/5  rDev -65.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Everything is ok until you take a sip of this beer. The smell and the look are pretty nice but that's where the party ends.

The sweet flavor of the beer just tastes very fake and processed. It doesn't taste like Creme Brulee, it tastes like a non-fat yogurt or something. If you are new to southern tier don't let this one scare you away.

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Photo of colts9016
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to donkeyrunner for the bottle

Poured into a pint glass at 50 degrees.

Appearance: A jet black color with touch of highlight on the bottom of the glass. There was no head and when I tried to force it nothing appeared. There is a tan ring around the glass.

Nose: A heavy sweet cream, caramel, and vanilla for the initial aroma. To be honest it smells just like a custard. In the background of the beer you can smell the malt.

Taste: Caramel malt, sweet cream, vanilla is the dominate flavor. There is a subtle hops buried deep in this overtly sweet stout.

Overall: The mouth feel is full body and creamy. The finish is sweet and linger. No lie, this beer taste just like the dessert, except it is heavier with caramel. The beer is very sweet and definitely a sipper. I just didn't know what to expect from this beer. I have read they either love or hate, a love hate relationship. I love it, because it is an extreme beer and something many are not willing to try. Is it drinkable, yes and no. The beer is difficult to drink, but easy to sip.

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Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout (Blackwater Series) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 4,555 ratings.
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