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Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout)Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout)

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: 1,431 | Ratings: 4,487
Photo of sgoodship
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured from a 1pt. 6fl.oz bottle, it frothed up a good 1.5 finger head. A craggy cream head with fizzling as the carbonation made it's way through it. Some carbonation visible in the lower half of the dark reddish brown - almost black brew. Nice lacing.

S: Crème brulee does come to mind immediately of course. Unbelievably sweet smell - especially after pouring. On closer inspection, it's a very sweet caramelized sugar and vanilla smell with a touch of alcohol and sourness. Difficult to pick out more subtleties because it is amazingly bold.

T: Taste pretty much in line with the smell. Sweet vanilla, butter scotch and sweet sherry beginning. Moves into coffee and bitter chocolate and then too quickly into a stronger alcohol bitterness - a little rum-like finish. The aftertaste is a continuation of the finish but with a lactose sourness.

M: Lively with carbonation at the start. Medium/full bodied. Creamy, kinda buttery and smooth to the finish.

D: The heavy alcohol and amazing level of sweetness was a bit much for me. A small bottle would have been just enough - a bomber was difficult to get down. I would recommend trying this beer. It's quite an experience and the smell is amazing. I get the feeling it's a very polarizing drink - some hate and some love.

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Photo of Hophead101
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

had on 10.23.08

poured from bottle into wide mouth glass.

dark brown almost black in appearance. not much head, nice tan color for what was there (it dissipated very quickly). fantastic smell. coffee, vanilla, creamy - truly smells like a creme brulee, also reminds me of a white russian drink.

take all the aromoa scents and directly translate it into the taste and throw a little alcohol taste in there as well. it is a good balance, not too heavy. vanilla up front with a roasted coffee flavor followed by an alcohol finish. mouthfeel is nice, flavors blend together more as you drink more of it.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"It's like Candy"

I've served this beer at two dinner parties and the comments are always the same.... "It's like candy" Quite a nice sipping beer and very interesting. I think this is a great example of a beer that is wonderful if used properly. God forbid you came in from a hot day and popped a bomber of this....
On the other hand, after a nice meal on a cold night in front of a fire, this is perfect.

Pretty much a step back from black this beer is dark and syrupy thick. The head is tan in color with good retention. Not much in the way of lacing.

Aroma was perfect. Fresh Vanilla.... Some coffee notes as well. Just fantastic. I've seen a couple of folks take a couple of minutes just smelling the beer.

Flavor is "candy like" and hits the Crème Brulee name on the head. A strong vanilla flavor takes center stage in front of some nice stout flavors. Roasted malt bitterness brings some dark coffee flavors that work well with the vanilla. Very creamy...then a nice hop finish. Very sweet.

Mouth feel was VERY thick and syrupy. Drinkable like Amaretto or another type of after dinner drink. One to savor and enjoy.

I'll continue to surprise guests with this dessert companion.

Nicely done.

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

This is one of the most unusual and unique beers I've ever sampled. Probably not everyone's cup of brew, but if you like sweet dessert vanilla-flavored beers you gotta try it out.

Pours a ebony color with brown hues. Creates a solid 1/2' dense light tan head.

Aroma is a pure blast of fresh cut vanilla bean, french vanilla ice cream and whipped dessert topping.

Mouthfeel is fluffy and light with a silky smoothness. This is a sugary-sweet beer and would go great with a piece of dark chocoate cake.

Flavors of vanilla cream, butterscotch, milk chocolate and a touch of dark rum come through. The only downside is that I've brewed a few pure vanilla bean stouts and porters and the taste of real vanilla bean is definitely a bit different and more subtle. This stout's taste reveals more of a french vanilla extract flavor than that of the bean itself. The 10% alcohol is quietly warming and smooth.

Not one I'd go back to often but worth the experience

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Photo of Jwale73
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Served in a tulip. Poured just one shade shy of black; zero light penetration. Half inch bubbly/foamy khaki-colored cap dissipated into a soapy skim. Some watery lacing, but no legs. Nose is, hands down, the best part of this beer. Creme Brulee in a bottle - butterscotch, vanilla and booze. Taste follows nose with a slightly bitter hops finish. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, viscous and lightly effervescent in the background. Drinkability is somewhat compromised - brew is cloyingly sweet and had to be split four ways. An incredibly rich and decadent brew, but certainly not for every day consumption. Drinkability might improve with age if the intensity of the flavors dissipates over time. Has great beer float potential.

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Photo of caminiti
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As usual, Southern Tier does what they intend to do. Why they intended to do this is beyond me, though. I have to try all the Southern Tiers, so I gave this a try, and it was like drinking Creme Brulee. Poured dark with a bit of a light head, smelled as advertised, Vanilla with a hint of coffee, and tasted the same, though in my opinion, too sweet. A bit thin as well, but drinkable. Perhaps worth a try, but not a second. May age well, so I cant say I wont pick up a second bottle to stow away for Christmas 09.

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

Black colored beer with a poorly colored (a bit too light) tan head. Nose is a bit off balance with caramel and vanilla bean hints, chocolate and milk. Flavor is interesting and unique, with flavors completely dominated by non-malt ingredients (lactose, vanilla beans,) with other light notes of chocolate and mocha. Kind of like it, don't want to pour it out like Choklat. Pretty tasty.

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

22oz bomber won in marcpal's recent LIF. Thanks Marc!

Pours oil-black, with just a small creamy off-white head- maybe this one was a bit undercarbonated?

Wow...smells just like dessert. Loads of caramel, coffee, vanilla and butterscotch. First taste screams of butterscotch. It's like drinking a strong cup of joe loaded with Brach's Butterscotch discs.

Loads of vanilla taste, too. A bit heavy on the coffee flavor, at least for me.

Just a bit too sweet as well. Interesting beer.

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Photo of Vancer
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Oh yeah, drinking a great one for Joeybeerbelly! And this is da bomb!

Of course, pours black as nite, with a mound of thick and rich tan marshmallow, lacing as thick as paint.

For the first time, aroma like a vanilla cup cake, laced with rum. Quaff is a very sweet vanilla rum ball with a chocolate coating including bits of coconut. A real desert beer, to be sure. Just a hint of 10% booze in the finish as a warm anise afterdrink. Actually, this would be hard to quaff for the long haul (over a couple hours), but a nice bomber on a cool fall evening.

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Photo of Kendo
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Poured from the bomber into a pint glass. Body is black with a light-tan/khaki-colored head.

S: Wow. Creme brulee is right. The second the cap is popped you get the vanilla. After the pour it's even stronger -- vanilla and toffee and, as it warms, butterscotch. It smells more like dessert than a beer.

T: Follows the nose, more or less. Creme brulee -- vanilla, caramel, roasty malt and butterscotch -- as it warms I keep thinking of hard butterscotch candies.

M: Just shy of heavy in weight, fairly creamy in feel.

D: Subtract points here. This beer is just too heavy and sweet to be a big drinker. It's dessert and it's a sipper, but the sweetness just weighs you down and thus slows you down. The friend I split it with was right, I think -- a bomber would be perfect for 4 people as an after-Thanksgiving-dinner drink.

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Photo of Walken
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Southern Tier: Creme Brulee Stout
22 oz. bottle, poured into a tulip.
Appearance: Pours pitch black with a medium fluffy off-white head that fades down into a small cap, surprising retention for such a big beer.
Odor: Well surprise, surprise, this sucker smells like a creme brulee! Candy corn, caramel, vanilla, cream and sugar, some faint hints of solvent alcohol in the background. Smell is thick and sticky.
Consistency: Fat and not very sassy, full body with very low carbonation, this is an extremely smooth and chewy beer. It feels like this should be a bit more bubbly to break up the huge flavors and body. Not nearly as syrupy as other ST offerings, but there's definitely some element of that here.
Flavor: Dark chocolate, burnt sugar and cream flavors are out in front of the pack, leading the charge, faint herbal/dank Columbus flavor and bitterness holding the line. Vanilla flavors swish in, chocolate flavors turn roastier, finishes, leaving the mouth coated with syrupy burnt sugar/caramel & coffee ground flavors.

I'm really not quite sure what to make of this beer. On one hand, it is awfully sweet, definitely beyond my threshhold. On the other, it is called Creme Brulee, which I hear is pretty sweet, so you can't really ding it for that. Does it have any glaring flaws, other than sacrificing drinkability for novelty? Not really. Check it out, if it's your bag, hoorah, if it isn't, no big loss. I can say that it's not nearly as good at the rest of the beers in the Blackwater Series.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.69/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

GLASS: Chimay Goblet
TEMP: Chilled to approx 45 degrees
Acquired from corey0212 in Comic Book BIF (Thanks so much!)

Super dark ruby colored liquid. Nice, quickly dissipating head. No retention. Minimal lacing.

The smell is pure Creme Brulee. No doubt about that. One of the best noses on a beer, ever. Lots of sweet cream and buttery caramel notes. Delicious brown sugar. Butter toffee. Tons of vanilla. My neighbors can probably smell this one, down the street. Powerful.

Much like the nose. Big Creme Brulee taste right upfront. Brown sugar caramalized with butter and vanilla. Lucious sweet cream. Big stout maltiness follows, which brings amazing balance to the sweetness. Coffee notes mix with hints of marshmallows. Very slight hop bite. Just a hint of the alcohol content.
This is almost perfect. With just a touch more sweetness and vanilla, then take down the bite of the hops a little bit more...perfection.

The mouthfeel could be just a tiny bit more full/thick. As it is, it's lovely. Very smooth and silky. Super easy going down.

If I had regular access to Southern Tier, this would probably be my number one beer choice, my have to have on hand at all times.
I could easily drink a bomber of this in three swallows, maybe even two. It's that good.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.92/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark, dark ruby body. Very nearly black. Not much light gets through this one. Big, thick khaki colored head. Staying power is tremendous and the lace is quite full. Strong thick aromas of caramel and toffee and burnt cream. It's a one of a kind aroma that can be smelt from across the room. Just like the aroma, the flavor is big and bold. Huge caramel and nougat tones. Burnt cream and burnt coffee. Milk sugars and char contrast. Burnt caramel and toffee. Some vanilla and chocoalte as well. This is just a one of a kind flavor. I don't know how this brewery pulls this off with beers like this and Pumking to make them so unique. This might be a little too rich and too heavy for some, but not for me. For a 10% stout, the drinkability is ridiculous.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, served at approximately 55 degrees,

A: Pours a very dark brown when held up to the light. Into a snifter it went, with a long-lasting off-white/light tan head and a smattering of lacing.

S: This is the best part. Upon opening the bottle, I was greeted with this heavenly decadent butterscotch aroma, like smelling the most delicious dessert in the world. A beautiful smell, in the top 3 best smells in a beer ever along with another Southern Tier product - Choklat, and a vintage Bell's Old Ale.

T: Taste is delicious and decadent as well. Espresso coffee with cream comes out first, a little more bitter than I expected from the roasted grains, but it was quite tasty nonetheless. Molasses and vanilla are lighter than they were in the nose, but they still offer up outstanding secondary flavours, I would have liked a little more vanilla, as I'm a huge fan of the flavour, but this was quite nice, it's more balanced with all the flavours this way than if I had my way. The flavour profile ends with a distinct hop bite, which shocked me a little going in, as I expected it to be all malt, vanilla and spice flavours. I was taken aback at first, but as the brew continued to disappear from my glass and as it warmed up, I found the grassy hop notes melded really well with the coffee flavours. The ultimate dessert in a glass beer, I'm not giving it a 5, although it's close, I still would have liked a little less hop character, but this is still outstanding.

M: The carbonation is very soft, the brew is rather light-bodied for a big stout which I liked because the mouthfeel does not weigh the beer down, it's quite drinkable in it's style, which would make it a great dessert pairing.

D: I had this beer by itself, and I loved it, but it begs to be paired with an after dinner dessert. Wow, Southern Tier makes good beer. I envy all you East Coasters for having easy access to this stuff. In the top 5 of new beers I've had this year for sure. This is a sipper to sit back and enjoy, I would love to get another bottle of this.

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

Into the KBS snifter...

A - Look reminds me of carbonated cognac. Little tan head that forms a thin ring around the glass.

S - Holy crap, I can smell the vanilla & cream from half way across the room. Slight coffee in the nose too.Alcohol is present, along with a tad of pine. It is what it says it is...

T - Not a huge surprise here, cream, vanilla, coffee dominate. Piney hops seem to linger in the finish. Yeasty esters are present. The sweet finish wins out over the slight dryness in the finish.

M - Soft, and a little more watery than I expected. Slightly prickly from the alcohol.

D - It is what it is, a sweet, fun, desert drink. I was impressed by it's ability to be so sweet, but have enough dryness keep it from being sickly sweet. Not the most complex, but could see having again.

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Photo of Derek
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The LCBO testing lab puts this at 8.2%.

A: Black with a tan head, some retention, good lacing.

S: Crème brûlée... very sweet, caramelized & burnt sugar, vanilla.

T: Quite sweet, but it's nicely balanced by the hop & roasted bitterness. Toffee, caramelized sugar, vanilla and roasted malt (with hints of coffee & nuts). The finish/after-taste is like the burnt sugar on a Crème brûlée, as well as a marshmallow that has caught fire over a camp fire.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate-to-full body is sweet, but not at all cloying.

D: Quite drinkable.

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Photo of DavidSeanNJ
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

I finally had the chance to try this one on tap while in the city today. I am really confused on how to review this one. Ok, so I totally understand what Southern Tier is doing with this one. On one hand, this brew is totally outrageous. It smells good, it looks good, it tastes good, and it's a pretty darn great idea. However, it is almost undrinkable in my opinion.

A- Dark black color. Looked like soda especially because of all the carbonation bubbles. Nice tan head, some lacing.

S- Wow. This smells exactly like a freshly baked vanilla/chocolate cake. More like cake batter and icing. Very similar to what fresh cookies smell like while baking in the oven.

T- I think sweet is an understatement with this beer. Extremely sugary and completely rich. Milk, sugar, vanilla, chocolate, cookie dough, pie, baked goods, brown sugar. This beer is outrageous. I have never had anything like this before. Tastes great, but I cannot stomach too much of it.

M- Sticky, rich, filling.

D- Horrible drinkability. I cannot imagine taking down too much of this in a sitting. A couple of sips were good for me and thats about all I could do. I am glad I got a chance to try this one.

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

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a black body that is dense with only a faint brown glow at the very base of the beer. There is a thin ring of bubbles on the top that form the head. A few random tiny bubbles sticking to the glass is the only carbonation visible.

S- The huge smell of milk and vanilla come through during the pour. There are big caramel notes that fade to butterscotch aromas as the beer warms. The smell of white sugar comes through aswell.

T- The full taste of sweet caramel is very sugary and has a big full vanilla flavor and a honey note. There is a nice roasted coffee malt bitterness in the finish that turns vinous as the beer warms.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no real alcohol heat until it gets pretty warm.

D- This would land a perfect 10 if "tasting like the food it describes on the label" were a category. The flavor was huge and intense but a bit to much for a full bomber of beer. I think I will try this again but with an espresso stout chaser.

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

22oz. bomber into shaker pint glass on 10/7/08. Thanks to Deuane for the hook-up!

A - Pitch black body with the faintest burgundy highlights around the edges and a thin mocha-colored head that receded to a patchy film and left decent lacing. The sucker is impervious to light!

S - Vanilla bean... and lots of it! Wow! Caramel sugars, fresh cream, some roasted malt and mild coffee. Pretty much smells like the dessert after which this brew is named.

T - Flavor brings all of the classic creme brulee flavors into the mix. Vanilla, caramel and confectioner's sugar are all at the forefront. Hints of roasted malt, mild coffee and bitter chocolate also make appearances.

M - Full bodied stout with a very rich and creamy mouthfeel and super smooth texture with only a bit of mild prickle from the carbonation. Finish is sweet with a touch of bitterness to balance.

D - Another big double-digit ABV beer from Southern Tier that blends envelope-pushing innovation with superior drinkability. This is definitely a dessert beer if there ever was such a thing! Definitely one of the most unique stouts I've come across in my beer travels.

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

Deep brown color, with reddish edges...thinnish, roasted tan head. It's undulating now, actually, not sure why, it's pretty stable sitting on my desk.

And I can smell the vanilla from here at my chair. Let's bring it in...Yup, all vanilla, with cocoa close behind. Swet and lovely.

Mmm. Smooth, sweet, creamy, fluffy, but yet still solid. Delicious. Yum. Dark and light. Sweet and substance. Rich and airy. Candy, and caramel malt, and ...yumminess.
The ten percent alcohol level boasted on the label is not felt in the slightest.

Why the cows on the label, though? They make cream, maybe, but not vanilla. Whatever.
Good stuff, here. Great dessert brew.

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Photo of ccrida
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into my Deschutes snifter, Crème Brûlée is an inky brownish black with a small, tight and creamy tan head that leaves very light, scattered lace.

Smell is strong and sweet, caramelized sugar and vanilla for sure, butterscotch, some coffee and light plasticy phenols and clean alcohol.

Taste is also very strong, bittersweet and nutty Similar to the aroma, Southern Tier definitely hit the mark for crème brûlée beer with this one. The lactose and caramel give make it eerily resemblent of a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato, which is not something I'm really into. While it may not be for everyone, I enjoyed it enough, although one bottle was plenty, as it was thick, sugary beer with really robust flavor.

Mouthfeel is sugary and slick, with a medium heavy body in the mouth but heavy in the stomach.

Drinkability is pretty good, not as scary as I feared, it wasn't the best thing in the world, but it worked well enough. Something to bust out every once in a while, I'll try cellaring my other bottle for a year and see what happened, as I'm really not sure what to expect, it probably will barely budge.

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Photo of oakbluff
2.6/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a chocolate cola colour with minimal head. Nose- blast of thick vanilla. Taste- creamy vanilla- super sweet, with some roasted malts. Some caustic nuttiness and finishes with stale vanilla. thick too sweet. booze is hidden, I will give it that. otherwise uggh

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Photo of Siggy125
2.49/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Nice color, amber brown, not your typical dark stout color. Awesome aroma with caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, maple. But unfortunately, this brew is overwhelmingly sweet. They could've cut the sweetness in half and still have a lot of flavor. If you pour a small puddle in a brandy snifter an share with friends, you'll be ok. Don't pour a pint and expect to drink like a beer.

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Photo of RedChrome
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky ink black beer. Slow developing third of an inch of dark tan colored head. To opaque to notice any carbonation rising. Lace holds in sticky spots.

A very sweet smelling brew with a swirl of scents. Light creme, vanilla, roasted malt, and a slight hint of maple. Smells of caramel develop at the end.

Taste is a bit of a letdown after the aroma. Super sweet creme flavor up front. Taste is very reminiscent of an Irish car bomb shot. Good flavor, but not as complex as aroma implies.

A surprisingly watered down feel on the tongue. Taste clings on the back and sides of the mouth.

A beer to try. Great as a dessert all on it's own. If you are a fan of sweet beers this is a good choice. An above average choice, but not for everyone.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.37/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Alright, here we go. This is from notes but I had this on vacation over the summer.

I had heard about it, and had tried other ST brews, and thought I had to give it a shot because I have been impressed with their Imperial Series thusfar. Being a stout-lover, I was a little disappointed.

The appearance and aroma were spot on for their goal. It smelled like the burnt sugar and carmelization that you would get from a real creme brulee. But the taste was far too sweet for my liking. Splitting a bomber between two people was tough. I could see this being a much more effective brew served in small (maybe 5oz?) servings after dinner as a dessert.

Overall, Its very interesting and worth a shot if you want to indulge. Split it with a few friends after a nice meal, and you can savor it.

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Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 4,487 ratings.
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