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)
Very Good
4,620 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 4,620 |  Reviews: 1,473
Photo of IBUnit63
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thin banana nut bread-colored head looks hearty but dissipates quickly. Deep, sarsparilla-brown body with minimal carbonation. Root beer similarities with deeper brown body.

Can smell vanilla/oak even before taking a whiff. Lots of butterscotch, caramel and heavy malt. Vanilla meshes nicely with alcohol. Custard notes emerge with warmth.

Awesome, roasted malt backbone with custard, vanilla beans and oak combining with a toffee bitterness - I think there are some hops in there, but their subdued/knocked unconscious from everything else going on around here. This is positiviely insane. Look out - beacsue fo lack of carbonation in this example, it gets very syrupy with warmth.

Coats the mouth like a blanket. Sweetness dissipates at first to create robust stout finish. However, too much warmth brings a syrupy finish as noted above.

This example could have used more carbonation to cut the syrupy texture. Will most likely try another and compare notes. Gets an A for impAct, though.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque darkness with a full finger foamy light tan head that fades quickly to surface. The smell is aggressive and consuming. A rich vanilla sweet butterscotch aroma. Adequately carbonated, the mouth feel is full bodied without being syrupy. Full flavored, the taste matches up to the smell directly with a light hint of coffee. The lactose sugar gives it a distinct over cooked milk character thats creamy. A real sipper, approaching over sweet. A truly unique beverage. Take one for a spin...bring ice cream.

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Photo of chriskozma
4.57/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I just bought a few of these from beers of the world in Rochester. I was pretty pumped so here we go...

The appearance is a very dark brown with a small dark tan head. The smell is just fantastic. Vanilla, caramel and all things that make a creamy dessert are present. The taste is just as yummy. I drank this one out of a refrigerator and it started out good and as it warmed it got even better. Although this thing is delicious, the drinkability isn't it's best strength. It's pretty damn filling (as it should be, it's a creamy dessert!). Overall, this is one of my favorite imperial stouts from what is becoming my favorite brewer in Southern Tier.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black in color with only a wispy head that forms on the pour. I'm a little disappointed in the fact that it pours just as thin as this years version of Jah-va. I wish they would get back to the fuller, more viscous beers that they used to.
Smell is exactly as the bottle states, Creme Brulee. Lots of vanilla, roast and some caramel. Wow, taste is roasted, vanilla, hazelnut espresso. Taste is good. Let me state that I love desert beers though, so this is right up my alley. The taste is very sweet. If I see one problem with this beer, it may be the sweetness may be much for an entire bomber. Everytime you lift the glass to your mouth, your nose is telling you that you have a nice hazelnut espresso in your hand. I keep expecting warm coffee, but then there's a cold beer. It's a beer unlike any I've ever had.
A little thin on the mouthfeel, but smooth. It'll be very interesting to see what time does to this beer.

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Photo of Med
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Just a shade shy of pitch black with a surprisingly light tan slight head that quickly becomes just a ring. Leaves some lace, but not enough to get excited about. Smell is SWEET. It smells like Creme Brulee. I mean almost exactly like creme brulee. Loads of vanilla and some cocoa. No perceptible alcohol or yeast here. Taste follows exactly where you would expect it to. Loads of vanilla, some marshmallow, and a hint of cocoa. Actually it reminds me very much of creme brulee flavored salt water taffy, but I'm not sure why. This comes across as more of a liqueur than a beer, but again no detectable alcohol warming. Feel is thick and somewhat viscous. Drinkability is low, mostly due to the almost overwhelming sweetness. Well worth a try, if only for the uniqueness.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark obsidian black with a narrow collar of creamy tan.

Smells of bit-o-honey and vanilla taffy with a slight cocoa dryness. That's about it. I'm not picking up much "beer-ness" at all other than a distant sharp dryness that could be perceived as an after thought of hops.

The flavor starts with an over-the-top cocoa and vanilla that reminds me of chocolate breakfast cereals and marshmallows. It rounds off with a slight sting of musky and woody hops that picks back up on the cocoa that transitions into a dark baking chocolate. There's a lingering milky sweetness in my mouth long into the finish.

Feels thick and rich with an undetectable carbonation that probably adds to the thickness. This adds tremendously to the dessert like nature of this beer.

Splendidly complicated, but a little too sweet for its own good.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty dark black with a very thin tan head. Nose is so heavy with vanilla that it reminds me of Coffeemate Vanilla Whatever-It-May-Be. Highly sugared, very sweet. Flavor is sweet as well. It really almost hijacks the experience. But there is a slight roasted edge that kind of adds a slightly different dimension to it that helps keep it interesting. Overall though, it is very sweet. And knowing how big the bottle is ahead of me, I'm not really sure how I am going to drink it all. Feel is smooth on the liquid, and I mean rrrreeeal smooth. Carbonation is low, but as it should be. This is very drinkable, yes. I think the problem is that the bottle is a bomber. 22 ounces? I mean come on. You need to share this with a party of six people to keep it pleasureable. As a side note to all brewers: The first person to brew this kind of thing and bottle it in say a 6 or 7 ounce bottle might have something interesting on their hands. Bottom line is that this is yet another well made and interesting beer from Southern Tier. I don't know what happened to their brains over there, but hey...keep it up.

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Photo of tendermorsel
3.17/5  rDev -18.9%
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.

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Photo of Nickls
4.52/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an Imperial Pint Glass from 22 oz. bottle.

I haven't reviewed many beers on this site even though I've tried plenty. When I have reviewed, I have followed the traditional A, S, M, D formula.

I am going to break with tradition because this beer is very unique in my opinion. The nearly jet black color is very appealing, but where this brew picks up steam is in the aroma.

The smell is a hybrid between vanilla and butterscotch (very close to an actual creme brulee). It only gets better with the first sip. Every bit of what you expect from the aroma with sweet vanilla and butterscotch maltiness up front, with the following roasty-good finish.

Despite its coating sweet-goodness in my mouth, I could definitely drink a few more of these for my dessert. What a brilliant brilliant that I have to quit this review and enjoy the rest!

Edit: Have sample this several more times, and have found the drinkability scale to have gone down for me a bit. Just finding it too rich to really quaff well. Also, the flavors have risen on the sweeter scale for me...changing palate I suppose. Still wonderful stuff!

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Photo of Beerisheaven
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

A - Largely consistent with what others have said regarding color and lacing.

S - Top notch with huge bouquet of vanilla, butterscotch, toffee, and caramel. What else can you say. Intoxicating smell that makes you want to dive in.

T - Sweet no doubt but I was happy that it did not taste artificially sweet in any way. For me, I volleyed back and forth between the vanilla bean, butterscotch, and caramel shots of flavor.

M - Great mouthfeel with the perfect blend of carbonation. I actually liked this one a little more on the colder side than when it warmed although I am sure I will be on the minority of this one.

D - Hides the alcohol like the better beers do. Maybe not a beer that you can drink all night because of the intense flavor, but you could certainly kid yourself from the ABV side into thinking that you could.

Another winner in the series. ST definitely hits a home run here after a little bit of a letdown for those who thought that the Imperial Cherry Saison should have had bolder cherry tones. Upward and onward to Pumpking!

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Photo of brewdogmrb
4.72/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Creme Brulee pours a beautiful dark dark brown color with some red highlights. A sticky, quickly dissapating head fills up a bunch of the pint glass when I pour. The aroma is overwhelming, really beautiful. Huge vanilla and cream smells, as intense as the Jah-va and Choklat Black Water brews before it. A rich, intense beer drinking experience -- no real hints of the huge ABV here. Pretty easy drinking mouthfeel and carbonation wise, but the flavor is so intense that I would be shocked if someone could drink two of these in a row. Kind of like eating two creme brulees in a row -- why even try? A wonderful beer with a lot of killer qualities that could easily be cloying and terrible but just isn't. Another winner from ST.

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Photo of kirok1999
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, not black, very slight wispy head and almost no lace.
Smell is all about sweet vanilla, caramel.
Taste is just like the smell. Almost like caramel ice cream, deep, rich vanilla notes, with just a hint of dark malt. Very slight carbonation and a rich and slick mouthfeel. Definitely a sipping beer which gets better as it warms up. Southern Tier is going into uncharted waters and making some damn fine beers.

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Photo of mirdreams
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Opens with a very full, sweet smell, like sniffing a Creme Brulee scented Yankee Candle. Not a lot of head, just a deep dark snifter full of gorgeousness. First sip is a smooth, velvety richness, just like the desert it's imitating. A little malt lingers behind to remind you that it's beer, not really the liquid desert the waitress claimed it. She suggested half pints because it's so very sweet and at 10%, big. But I could have happily drank a pint, and rotted my teeth out.

Going into my top three, along with Ommegang's Chocolate Indulgence and Lindeman's Framboise.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a tulip

Appears an almost opaque black with minimal ruby red highlights around the edges. A fluffy cocoa colored head rose a good two fingers and subsided in time. Light spider web lacing down the sides

Wow. Vanilla, butterscotch, caramel, coffee, and milk chocolate all jump out of the glass. A very sweet nose. It really does smell like a Creme Brulee. (Note: I became so enfatuated with the smell that I was constantly plunging my nose into the glass for more)

This is a sweet stout, big and rich. Vanilla bean, caramel, butterscotch punch your palate and then caramel malts and bittering hops take over. The aftertaste is where this beer is best. You would think something this sweet would leave a nasty, sticky, aftertaste, but they did a great job smoothing it out.

Little to no carbonation, smooth and creamy. This has a nice velvety body to it.

I took my time with this guy as I wanted to savor it, and it took me nearly two hours to get through the whole bottle. I wasn't struggling by any means, it is just such a rich flavor profile that I really had to slow my pace.

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Photo of brantadid
4.57/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Black Water series continues to impress me. This beer is dessert.

Poured black with some ruby highlights. Huge white head, which reminded me of a milkshake, formed. Excellent head retention and tons of lacing.

The vanilla aroma is incredible in this beer. It is complete creme brulee. vanilla up front and then burnt sugar. Awesome.

The taste is out of this world. Much like the nose, you get a ton of vanilla on the front palate that is followed by a slight bittering. Much like slightly burnt sugar or caramel. With all this flavor, it still manages to be big and malty with the slightest hop profile in the far palate. 10% alcohol is completely masked.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy. Lower carbonation with a flavor that completely coats the palate. Almost viscous without the cloying qualities. This is what extreme beer is all about. Not to be consumed with dessert, but as dessert.

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Photo of ABHatter
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter. Gorgeous jet black color with a brown/purpleish color on the edges. Very tiny head goes away very quickly.
S--Smell is absolutely outstanding butterscotch, tons of Vanilla and a faint tootsie roll smell. T&M--Taste is fantastic. Loads of sweet vanilla, burnt sugars, chocolate and a tad of butterscotch round this out with a nice alcohol creaminess on the finish. As far as drinkability goes I gave it a 4 , This beer is a little rich and very sweet but it is also quite drinkable considering it's hefty 10% ABV. All in All, another fantastic beer from Southern Tier's black water Series. I would recommend anyone to buy this one as soon as they can, because I'm sure there will be a ton of Beer trekys stockpiling it in the next few weeks.

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Photo of dick783
4.77/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a snifter like the bottle suggested. It has a pitch black body and a tan head that doesn't stick around too long. Looks like you'd expect an imperial stout to look. But once you take a whiff of it thats where things change.

It smells sticky of vanilla, butterscotch, and caramel. If you close your eyes you'd never think it was beer you were smelling. More like a bowl of ice cream. It says there is hops in this thing, but from the smell of it they could have been using rainbow sprinkles. I don't know if I'm supposed to drink this or get a spoon.

Thank god, it tastes like it smells. Its got a sweet chocolate taste thats coated in vanilla and caramel. This thing is a milk stout on steroids. Even after I swallow I can taste it. Its like my mouth is coated in vanilla candle wax.

As long as you have taste buds you'll enjoy this. Its like no other beer I've ever had. Has to be the best desert beer out there. If you can drink more than one of these though you are my hero. Its a very filling beer. Job well done Southern Tier.

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Photo of gkatsoris
4.67/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black. No head at all; well maybe just for a minute or so. Black.

S: Honestly, this smells exactly like creme brulee. Tons of vanilla, and the malts balance it right out.

T: Sugary sweet. Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla! Then the malts, then coffee finishes. Wow, this is desert in a glass.

M: Not too chewy, rather thin. But it suits. Because of the sweetness, the thinness is a good balance.

D: This may be the most "tastiest" beer I've ever had. It ranks right up there w/ Utopias because of its uniqueness. But I have a feeling one (okay two) and done - it had to rhyme right? How about two and thru.

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Photo of corey0212
4.56/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black, with the faintest brown highlights at the edges, small tan head fades pretty quickly and doesn't leave much in the way of lacing. The smell? In all likelihood, this is the most impressive smelling beer I've ever had....the vanilla bean is just exploding out of the glass, sweet melting butterscotch, and just a tiny bit of milk chocolate trying to claw its way through the vanilla bean. Taste is all about the bean! Crazy amount of vanilla bean flavor, just overwhelms the palate with its sweetness...this truly is a dessert beer. A touch of alcohol taste on the back end, nothing overt. Silky mouthfeel, not too sticky given all the sweetness. At 10%, this one is perfect for sharing. Really just a fantastic effort from Southern Tier. Wow!

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Photo of ph2001
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle in snifter

a hard pour gets one finger of head that leaves very quickly. black. the smell is ridiculous; sweet, sticky, strong like butterscotch, like vanilla and carmel. it smells how the candy corns at halloween taste. the smell itself is fantastic, but as a beer it doesn't make sense. very faintly hiding in the back is a hint of malt and booze.

it tastes like it smells, but much smoother and tolerable. the 10% is not there at all, if someone said it was only 7% i'd be shocked, but somehow it's a hefty 10. wow. the sweetness is incredibly strong of carmel and vanilla, just like choklat tastes strong like fudge brownie batter. this is not your average beer. this is your imperial milk stout! the flavors coming out of this are crazy and unlike any beer i've ever had. it has the longest lasting and most satisfying aftertaste ever. it goes on forever and tastes almost better than the beer itself. i thas a light medium body, smooth and somewhat creamy, typical of a milk stout. if it was any thicker it would be way too much with the strong flavor. this beer is probably too much for some people as it is. this beer doesn't go with desert, it is desert. pretty crazy and unique, definitely worth a shot. it is walking the fine line of being too sweet, but it is not sickeningly sweet.

edit: had on tap at sunset bar and grill and flavors were pretty different. the sweetness was much more mild and the maltiness came out a bit more. it also had a drier feel to it. still good but a good drop off from the bottle.

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Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout (Blackwater Series) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 4,620 ratings