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

very good
1,459 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,459 | Ratings: 4,565
Photo of IIKaRuII
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

dark as dark can be, with a thick pour, that almost reminded me of maple syrup. tiny dark kahaki bubbles.

my goodness, the smell is amazing. The the Vanilla just grabs ahold and wont let go. Every time you go in to catch something else the Vanilla just invites you back. has a little earthyness, and a slight coffee overtones.

taste is rich heavy sweetened coffee, almost with too much creamer, and about 10 packs of sugar. Vanilla isn't as big of a flavor as i would have expected out of the smell.

Milky, and smooth. The carbonation is a pleasent sting that leaves just enough but takes away just as much. Leaving you with that glass in your hand, just begging to be devoured. I would consider this one to be heavy bodied.

overall this is one of the better stouts i have had, and would compare it to a mixed youngs chocolate stout, with a left hand milk stout.

 867 characters

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

Appearance - thick, black with no head after inital pour.

Smell - smelled great as labeled. Just like creme brulee.

Taste - good flavor at first, little too sweet for me, then a bitterness follows.

Mouthfeel - too heavy almost syrupy for me, would have liked a smoother finish.

Overall - not bad a good winter beer for sitting in front of a fire to enjoy. Wouldnt drink more than one in a sitting due to the heaviness associated with the beer. Would drink again.

 469 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy thirdeye11.

Pours black with a tan head. The aroma is strong butterscotch with a lot of sweetness and some vanilla. Definitely a different aroma. The flavor is butterscotch, praline and vanilla. Medium mouthfeel, low carbonation and very drinkable, but I can't see myself drinking more than six ounces at a time since it is so sweet. This beer would serve as a great stand alone dessert.

 404 characters

Photo of GbVDave
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into two pint glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours pitch black with a creamy and bubbly khaki-colored head that left generous rings and a few gobs of lace on the inside of the glass.

S: Huge nose of vanilla bean! Maybe a little caramel and/or butterscotch, as well.

T: Sweet vanilla with fleeting flavors of dark fruit, caramel, black cherry, chocolate, alcohol, roasted malt, hops, and butterscotch.

M: Very sticky, oily, and sweet. Coats like paint-this beer is a palate destroyer.

D: Incredible sweetness is balanced by dry, roasty malt, bitter hops, and a touch of tingly alcohol. Have this one at the very end of your session, just like dessert.

 700 characters

Photo of utfiero
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Color- near black with mahogany hint. Medium head tinted mocha foam.

Aroma- coffee cup with splash of coffee topped off with vanilla liqueur.

Taste- Wow! Starts sweet dominated by vanilla like the first vanilla float, then gets a bit roasty, finishing with a dry lingering hint of hop. This would be a perfect brew to add vanilla ice cream to for desert or make a beer float!

Poured from 650 ml bomber into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted on 7/20/2013.

 507 characters

Photo of BigAl723
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor.

A: Dark and pretty black. A heavy looking head that is real tan. It's about an inch and a half thick.

S: This is one of the most interesting smelling beers I've ever come across. If you've ever had a cup of flavored Creme Brulee coffee and liked it, you will be in heaven. Carmel, sweet sweet carmel.

T: Carmel and vanilla. There is not much "stout" flavor going on here. Mostly sweet flavors. I can't believe this is 10 percent.

M: Sweet carbonation. Medium feel.

D: Decent drinkability. Although I'm not 100 percent sure if I could drink a lot of this. The sweetness is just a little too much.

Overall it's a really good/unique beer. Sweet and sassy. Southern Tier continues to impress. They make some "out there" beers.

 761 characters

Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance – Pours a very dark brown/black color with a chocolate colored creamy head. Very nice lacing.

Smell – Milk chocolate, sweet vanilla, candy corn, butterscotch, caramel, and hazelnut. There's a lot going on here!

Taste – Vanilla, malt, hazelnut, chocolate, and light booze.

Mouthfeel – Creamy, medium carbonaton, sweet with a mild boozy vanilla aftertaste, but it hides the 9.6%abv incredibly well. I felt the aftertaste lingers waaay too long.

Drinkability – A very easy drinking stout for 9.6%abv, and although it was sweet, it was fairly easy to finish a bottle.

 588 characters

Photo of tut2528
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a pint glass. pour is a heavy brown like pepsi or cola. huge tan head formation (2 fingers worth) dies down rather quickly, mild lacing.

S: holy crap this doesn't even resemble a beer.the name is 100% accurate. i get a huge load of butterscotch, sugar and vanilla that all blend nicely together.

T: again, like the nose, i get a huge butterscotch and vanilla character with milky backbone. there is a very subtle hop content that is noticeable in the after taste. a slight touch of alcohol on the lips is also noticeable

O: i find this beer amazing with one condition. it must be shared. a bomber of this is too much IMHO. it is so damn rich but the flavors are extremely well balanced. would be a fantastic choice after a nice steak. this one actually took first place out of 17 other random beers in a family blind tasting in December. I find this one more complex and more well balanced that the Chokolat.

 923 characters

Photo of TheMistler
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft into a pint glass.

Thick and black, with a light tan head. Incredibly sticky lacing on the side of the glass.

My bartender's immediate comment when I ordered this was "breakfast in a glass," and she mentioned waffles. I'm not sure I can improve on that description. Maple syrup, caramel, milk, nutty sweetened oatmeal on the nose.

Oh so smooth, a not-displeasing heavy viscous quality. It definitely is breakfast in a glass. Lactose sweetness, maple syrup, sweet roasted nuts. I was pleasantly surprised by some nice hop bitterness.

Definitely imperial. Very good, but I could not drink more than... two, lets say. I almost said just one, but darnit, this beer is good.

 679 characters

Photo of BeerNinja007
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into my trusty chilled O'Douls pint glass. Paid $8.50 at a "package store" in CT. Absolutely worth it. Unique tasting experience.

Dark dark brown, thick 1-finger beige head. Very faint cherry red highlights shine through when held to a bright light. Virtually nothing gets through.

Aroma is loads of caramel, toffee, dark sugars. Sweet and smooth. A really unique and intense aroma. Not overwhelming. Smells more like ice cream than a beer. Actually doesn't smell much like beer at all. More like a scented candle.

Taste is like intense cream soda. Caramel, toffee, vanilla. Thick dark malts. Slight hop bitterness gives coffee and bitter chocolate tones to the finish.

Mouthfeel is extremely smooth. Thick but easy drinking, goes down very easily. ABV hidden very well. Carbonation is on the weak side.

 828 characters

Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

DoB: 6/6/13

Almost 2 years old sitting in my cellar for that long.

Look dark rich color with tan thick head.

Rich caramel flavor- intoxicating

Very sweet strong caramel flavor, really nailed the Creme Brûlée.

Thin taste, almost feels like its robbing such a great beer with such a thin mouth feel.

 307 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle courtesy of mgbickel, thanks Mike! Pours black with a fast fading tan head. Spotty lacing.

Nose is straight up melted caramel...with a few tablespoons of sugar thrown in just in case it wasnt quite sweet enough! Smells awesome, just like a creme!

Taste is as expected, caramel over the top. Vanilla, sugar and burnt brown sugar rounds things out nicely. It is sweet, but not quite as sweet as I was expecting. I love their Blackwater series and this one is right up there with most of the others. Finish is burnt and a little bitter...lingers a long time. ABV is totally hidden, it is dessert-licious for sure, but I could drink this anytime; including breakfast! Very nice, delicious beverage here.

 727 characters

Photo of BeernerdJeff
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Love this beer. Had it on tap for the first time a few years ago and was blown away. Was thrilled when I found it at a beer warehouse in 22oz bottles. Even though it is $9 a bottle, it is well worth the price.

Appearance-dark like coffee, as one would expect from a stout. Would have liked to have seen a thicker head on this beer when poured into my glass. Very thin head, even after a hard pour.

Smell-vanilla and coffee-would love to have a candle in my office that smells like this beer!

Taste-very impressed that this beer tastes just like it smells-a perfect mix of coffee, sweet vanilla, and a hint of caramel. Finishes with an eversoslight taste of alcohol. Must be careful with this beer as it's hard to tell it is 9.5%.

Mouth- good thickness, not syrupy like some sweet stouts.

Overall-an outstanding beer to enjoy with friends after a meal or an evening out. Definitely a dessert beer, don't see this pairing well with meat and potatoes-would go well with cheesecake, chocolate or doughnuts. I recommend giving this a try.

Serving type: 22oz bottle poured into snifter

 1,089 characters

Photo of antlerwrestler19
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a small caramel colored head that fades quickly leaving nothing behind - just a menacing looking brew. The smell is ridiculous in the best of ways - vanilla, coffee, cookie dough, roasted marshmellows, chocolate, brown sugar - man this is impressive. The taste follows suit imparting the same delicious and decadent sweetness that plays out in the nose - just a one of a kind beer here. A little on the lighter bodied side from what I was expecting and a decent amount of carbonation - also noted the slight burn from the booze. This is truly a unique beer, I've never had anything quite like it. I'm glad I have a few more bottles of this to set aside and see what happens with a little bit of time.


 732 characters

Photo of brewskifan55
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Hop City, Birmingham

A: Black as a cow's spot with a one finger tan head that stayed to graze. Lazy lacing.

S: Sweet milk and caramel. Could sniff this one all day.

T: Confectioner's delight. Sweet, and creamy with all that milk, caramel and attitude. Heaven.

M: Medium with thick, frothy carbonation. Let it roll on your tongue.

O: A great after dinner drink. A definite dessert beer. Recommended. Moooo.

 420 characters

Photo of mostpoetsdo
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black. Light, tan, mochachino kind of head, but it dissipates quickly, leaves scarce lacing.

S: Holy sugar. Caramel, toffee, burnt sugar up front. Crazy amount of vanilla. Faint chocolate and coffee lurking way in the background. I can practically smell the blowtorch crisping the sugar. Incredible dessert like smell.

T: Diabetes in a bottle. Insanely sweet, but that's the point. Matches the nose almost identically. It's like drinking caramel and toffee. It's a dessert beer, and the vanilla is souped up, grabs your taste buds, and won't let go. Faint alcohol taste, but this bottle is about 2 weeks old.

M: Rather lacking in the body, medium, but not that heavy. Carbonation is underwhelming. Alcohol burn, although not bad, is welcomed.

O/D: I am a big fan of this beer, and love the sweetness. That being said, you can only do half a bottle to yourself. Have a bite to eat, and split this big beer for dessert with someone you like.

 976 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. Pours into my glass a deep charcoal black with a half inch of creamy light tan head on top. Aromas smack you in the face as you're pouring the beer. Big, sweet dark malts collide with massive vanilla and caramel aromas. Creamy with burnt sugar tones, almost candy-ish. Chocolate flows through as well. Smells like creme brulee! The aroma is bold, interesting and enticing.

First sip brings a sweet, creamy dark malt body upfront. Bold vanilla and caramel swirls move in and out. Burnt candi sugar flows into a rich creaminess. Chocolate notes are there. Finishes off with a candy like sweetness and a touch of bitterness. A bold blend of vanilla, caramel, lactose and chocolate. Creme brulee yuminess!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy with mellow carbonation. Goes down smooth. Quite rich overall and I'm glad I'm splitting the bomber with the girlfriend, even though I could see drinking it all myself. Another bold, crazy flavorful beer from Southern Tier. Ranks up there with Kuhnhenn's example.

 1,018 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass. Date of bottling is 06/06/13.

Appearance: Pours dark and black with a slight hint of brownish amber. Moderate amount of bubbles and about one finger of tan head that fades into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing.

Smell: A very rich and sweet dark aroma with lots of caramel, coffee, and syrupy chocolate hints. Dark roasted malts with big hints of caramel, toffee, butterscotch, biscuit, coffee beans, milk and dark chocolate, and cream. Big hints of vanilla and chocolate syrup. Brown sugar sweetness and lactose as well. Light hints of dark fruit in the background. Hop presence is very light on the nose. Very forward on the sweet caramel and creamy coffee smell. Very nice aroma.

Taste: Like the nose previews, a big rich sweet taste of dark malt, caramel, and cream. Dark roasted malts with a big taste of sweet caramel, toffee, butterscotch, coffee beans, milk, cream, dark chocolate, and biscuit. Lots of vanilla bean flavor and syrupy chocolate along with sweet brown sugar and lactose notes. Subtle notes of dark dried fruit in the background. Very subtle earthy hop bitterness towards the finish. Very rich and sweet taste but not quite to the level of being overwhelming. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Thick and full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy and fairly sticky and syrupy. Slight alcohol heat is felt.

Overall: A very good imperial milk/sweet stout. Big, rich, and creamy. Very sweet but still pretty smooth.

 1,540 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Small sizzling head dissipates quickly leaving a thin crown only. Color is a ridiculously dark brown which might as well be called black. It's utterly opaque too.

Whoa! Vanilla comes on strong in the aroma, and paired with a milky sweetness (probably the lactose sugar) and the hefty alcohol level, this has the smell of a fine $15-per-small-plate dessert item. Even crosses over to smelling like an egg tart/custard...craziness. Certainly unlike any other beer aroma I've come across. Gotta give it a half-point boost for originality.

The flavor is something that could have been so terribly awful in the wrong hands, but it seems Southern Tier knows what they're doing by now and can try something unusual like this and make it work. Pure vanilla bean flavor rides out front. If you don't like vanilla you won't like this--but it's also not the only thing happening here. The vanilla is balanced with a liqueur-like warming, a burnt-sugar kind of sweetness, a little more burnt flavor that brings coffee to mind, a sort of milky vibe, suggestions of dark chocolate, something that's somewhere between root beer and Dr. Pepper, even a ghost of coconut (something BA Snorkapotamus located in S.T.'s Jahva stout) and what's really incredible is there's a grassy bit of hops in the mire too. The mouthfeel is appropriately creamy--kind of slippery and not all that thick--with just the right amount of carbonation tingle; with all those flavors happening, it makes you think of custard. This is completely unreal, and one of the most unique/memorable beers I've ever had.

I love when you hear craft-beer newbies take a taste of something rather different and exclaim "This is beer?" or "This isn't beer!" Although I'm far from an expert and have a long way to go before receiving by Beer PhD, I'm long past all that "is this beer?" stuff...yet even with Creme Brulee Stout I found myself wondering "is this beer?" The beauty of it is that, yes, this is beer! Chalk another one up for Southern Tier--it's at the very least one of their most unique offerings. Everybody should try this at least once.

 2,099 characters

Photo of jabel9
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is just as advertised. Creme Brulee. It smells and tastes just as the dessert does. It is unfair to compare this to other stouts because it is completely different other than color. This is a great dessert beer. Again, the Southern Tier brewery has made a dangerously smooth imperial style beer. The high alcohol content (10%) is masked well and this beer is exceptionally smooth. The flavors wake up all taste buds at all points of the tounge. Each sip is its own adventure. Highly recommended! Cheers!

 513 characters

Photo of slym
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was an impulse buy for me, as I really wanted more of ST's 2X Rye, but my local bottle shop (LBS) was out. At $9 for a 22-oz. bottle, the Creme Brulee isn't cheap, but sometimes you have to live a little, right?

After cracking the top and pouring out a glass, I was beginning to wonder if I was going to like this. The vanilla is NOT a background taste, you can smell it while pouring. But, I figured there is enough "coffee" and "chocolate" in stouts, so how bad can vanilla be?

Turns out, pretty dang good. You won't be pounding this brew, as both the heavy creamyness as well as the high ABV content make that a bad idea, but as an evening sipper, I found it quite enjoyable.

 685 characters

Photo of Krakistophales
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours jet black like most stouts, with very little lacing but good carbonation and persistent bubbling to the top.

S: What an awesome smell. Exactly as advertised. I get hints of toffee, caramel, malt, and definitely vanilla.

T: Tastes exactly as advertised too. I honestly can't believe they made a beer taste very similarly to a creme brulee, but they did it. Vanilla, caramel, cinnamon, star anise, custard, etc. The whole nine yards.

M: Light carbonation and surprisingly slick for a stout. Goes down smoothly and is a good draught.

O: This beer is simple: If you want a creme brulee flavored beer, this hits the mark EXACTLY. If you like creme brulee, you'll like this beer. If you're looking for something beyond that, look elsewhere.

However, even if you're looking for creme brulee, this one is a sipper and it's hard to get through more than a few ounces. Share the bomber.

 891 characters

Photo of mkabull
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer had the usual appearance of a stout nice tan/light brown head . The first smell caught me off guard with a big wiff of dessert like sweetness . The taste backed up the smell "wholely dessert batman" this is the ultimate after dinner beer . Mouthfeel was very heavy close to syrup like but great for a dessert type sipping beer . The drinkability was good but with the alcohol level and heavyness it brought down the drinkability

 438 characters

Photo of mothmanscott
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark brown to the point of appearing black, producing less than a finger of frothy, deep mocha, short-lived head that leaves a thin surface layer & collar & no lace. Aroma is vanilla, Tootsie Roll, lightly creamed coffee, caramel, roast, dark malts, toffee, alcohol booze, a hint of amaretto & a faint hint of anise/licorice. Taste is Tootsie Roll, vanilla, strong & earthy creamed coffee, amaretto, burnt bread, prune, fig, alcohol booze & a little spice. The burnt malt & caramel adds a note suggestive of maple syrup. Hop presence is best defined as an earthy bitterness in the finish & aftertaste. Aftertaste is earthy, bitter, burnt malt, vanilla/chocolate/coffee & boozy. Alcohol warmth is present. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied, with low-moderate carbonation, silky & creamy, tongue coating, smooth in a deceptive sort of way due to the peppery alcohol spice & grainy on the tongue in the aftertaste. Just a trifle too sweet for my taste but a great choice for an after dinner desert beer.

 1,012 characters

Photo of RaggaD
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a stout glass

A: Pours a dark black with a finger or so of creamy head that fades quickly leaving little lacing behind

S: Big aroma on this one!! Huge vanilla notes, butterscotch, caramel. Aptly names brew

T: Not as sweet as it smells which was a blessing because I wouldn't have been able to drink it. Real nice actually. The caramel and vanilla hit me right off the bat but seem to fade a little as I
get into it.

M: Very creamy and pleasant. For being 9.6% I was surprised to not really notice the alcohol at all.

O: Enjoyed it, not an everyday beer for sure and not my favorite milk stout but definitely another solid beer from Southern Tier.

 685 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.