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: 1,451 | Ratings: 4,540
Photo of TheViolator666
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

22 oz. bomber poured into Stone nonic glass

Oh. My. God.
This is probably the most bizarre beer I've yet to have.
Immediately after cracking open the bottle my (stuffy) nose was pummeled by the intense vanilla/butterscotch scent that then went on to displace all of the oxygen in the room.

Appearance: Pretty average. Nice head that hung around for awhile, decent color as well. Exceptional lacing draped down the glass.

Smell: I don't even know where to begin. Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. Smelled fantastic at first, but now (hours afterwards) I wish I could get it out of my nose.

Taste: Tastes exactly what I would expect a creme brulee beer to taste like. I regret drinking so much, though. This is definitely a sipper and I wish I would have taken less of a portion. Vanilla, butterscotch, roasted maltyness and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Average as well, not as thick as I like a stout, but not thin by any means. Creamy.

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Photo of cjoc83
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a chalice stout black, but with some clear redish hues visible on the edges of the glass when held up to the light. A fingers worth of khaki head recedes to a ring around the glass pretty quickly.

Wow...this smells amazingly similar to actual creme brulee. Burnt sugar is the dominant note, with some toffee and malty sweetness in the mix. Really smells great.

It doesn't taste as much like creme brulee as it smells, but it's still pretty damn delicious. Burnt sugar, toffee and caramel all hit the palate, segueing nicely into some sweet and toasted malt, mixing in with a little bit of lactose. There's just the faintest hint of a hop bitterness on the back end, finishing this beer off as nice as it starts. No alcohol warmth is noticeable, despite the 9.6% ABV.

Mouthfeel is solid. Creamy, but not too heavy. Low carbonation.

I was very pleasantly surprised by this one. How Southern Tier actual got this beer to smell and taste like creme brulee is pretty amazing. And while it may not be super-complex, all the flavors are solid and in good proportion to one another. I really enjoyed pretty much everything about this beer. I'm just wondering how it took me this long to actually try it...

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Photo of airohead2001
3.36/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

A - Black. No head and very little lacing. Not quite what I was expecting for an imperial stout.

S - Very unique and delicious. This beer's aroma is definitely it's strongest attribute. Caramel, vanilla, sugar, and booze. Wonderful.

T - Very sweet - perhaps just a tad too much here. Vanilla, caramel, booze, and more caramel. That's about it. The taste is delicious, but really is pretty simple. Not many layers. No hops. No classic malts.

M - Good. Nice and thick, which is what you would expect for a decent imperial stout.

D - Not a whole lot here. It's taken me about 45 minutes to get past half the bomber, and I think that's about as far as I'll get tonight. A very tasty and very interesting and unique beer, but certainly not very drinkable.

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Photo of jgreenearrow
3.19/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep brown, nearly black color with a 1/2' thick creamy brown head appearing at the top of the pour. No lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: First impression is that the beer smells very sweet. Brown sugar, vanilla, and toffee are all present in the nose. I would prefer it to smell at least a little like beer, roasted malts or something.

T: The first sip was overwhelming. Strong sweetness of vanilla mixed with some roasty bitterness. Alcohol burn in the finish. The sweetness is a little less powerful of subsequent sips mixing with some astringent and bitterness. The balance of this beer is off.

M: This beer is medium to full bodied. It is thinner than I would have thought, but syrupy. Carbonation is lacking.

Overall, this is an okay beer. That is the best I can say for it. It is blended too sweet, even for a desert type beer. The balance is off in all aspects other than appearance.

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Photo of MerryTapster
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer poors pretty dark, almost black, with a nice white heads that lingers. Lacing is ok.

S: Vanilla and Coffee are the most presnt in this. I also found notes that would be very similiar to a butterscotch candy.

T: Vanilla and sweet cream up front, followed by espresso and dark chocolate. Tasty, but different.

M: This beer is very smooth and creamy, with a medium carbonation. Basic stout mouth feel.

O: Not a bad beer, it is on the sweet side but nobody said that was bad. This would pair nicely with a variety of deserts. Again, this one is worth a try.

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Photo of braker649er
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

My highest praise is that this beer represented truth in advertising--the flavor was an undeniable dessert beer that was very sweet, and had creamy-caramel-toffee flavor just like you'd expect from the name. I was in favor of the high ABV (especially high as a milk stout)--the booze gave the sweetness dimension.

It almost felt like you could achieve this beer by brewing a solid base and then adding butterscotch syrup. That may sound a bit cynical. Actually by this I mostly mean that the taste was on target.

The flip side: A few sips in, I couldn't decide if I actually *wanted* a beer that tasted like burnt cream/caramel. My bad? I rated relatively highly even though this wasn't ultimately a beer I'd buy again.

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

A - Pours a dark black with a great sizes tan head

S - Wow! Sweet caramel creme brulee. marshmallows, vanilla, toffee, burnt sugar.

T - Just like it smells,and complex. very sweet, creme brulee, caramel, vanilla toffee, burnt sugar, etc. Roasted malts, chocolate, butter cream/butterscotch and coffee.

M - Moderate carbonation and a little syrup.

D - If you like sweet dark chocolate caramel sugar beers, this is IT! It's totally as advertised "Creme Brulee" I don't know how Southern Tier does it. But this is SPOT on. I really liked this one. Remember butterscotch lifeavers? Yeah, YUM!

I can't believe some people gave this a low review because it tastes like it should. A sweet creme brulee stout beer.

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Photo of kylehayworth
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a treat for me, cheers to Jason.

A: The pour was a deep brown, with a white maybe ever so tan head. The lacing was on point as well.

S: WOW...the smell was amazing, I could taste it without even drinking it. So much caramel, vanilla, and loads of butterscotch.

T: It taste just the same way it smells, and the general consensus was Werther's Original candy.

M/D: Thick and luscious, mild carbonation. This is a great beer to share with a couple of people, consuming a whole bottle will surely leave you with a tummy ache.

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Photo of CaptainTripps
4.62/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: The beer pours a very, very dark brown approaching black. No light on the edges. This is one thick looking beer (almost syrup like). Came with a fingers worth of dark brown head leaving sticky lacing down the glass.

S: oh, WOW. This thing is amazing. Instantly you get hit with strong notes of burnt sugar, vanilla, butterscotch, sweet cream, caramel and chocolate. Its heaven in a glass. Very rich flavors as well.

T: Following the nose, this is a thing of beauty if you have a sweet tooth. Upon the first sip you get this burnt sugar taste, similar to maybe a burnt marshmellow? This is followed up by strong notes of butterscotch and vanilla. Also getting notes of chocolate, sweet cream, caramel and alcohol. Really rich and in your face beer. Its a tastebuds work out.

M: Thick, like a chocolate milk shake and super smooth. Carbonation is low, which I think is key with this beer. Alcohol present but not over thet top.

O: If I am ever in a mood for something sweet with a little kick, this is the beer I will come back to. Probably one of the most powerful smelling beers I have yet to have.

It was goood.

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Photo of Kartoffeln
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours mahogany so dark it's practically black against the light, with a substantial tan head of creamy, bubbly foam that sinks to a ring and leaves strings of lacing.

S: Butterscotch and creme brulee dominates the nose, strongly sweet caramel with a faint charred note drowned in French vanilla with a buttery custard undertone. Faint chocolate and roasted malt notes come through and mingle to produce aromas of caffe mocha and hazelnuts. Mild booziness throughout. It's appetising, but kind of artificial and overdone like something off a Starbucks menu.

T: Sweet caramel, custard, and vanilla dominates the sip before letting some roasty chocolate malts through, producing a sweet caffe mocha and hazelnut flavour following the nose. Roasted malts pull through with hints of black coffee and smoke in the finish alongside woody hops. The ABV is pretty well-concealed.

M: Full-bodied with very mild carbonation and a substantial, chewy, but smooth texture like heavy cream. The roasty bitterness in the finish does a bit to backstop the overwhelming sweetness of the palate, but altogether it comes off too sugary and makes the 650 mL bottle a chore to get down in one sitting.

D: In no way, shape, or form is this an "American Double/Imperial Stout" as listed and it hasn't been reviewed as such; it's a milk stout, strong and sweet. A pretty good milk stout, too, but excessively sweet; the creme brulee premise overwhelms the stout base instead of complementing it, and the vanilla is overdone. It feels like a novelty, but it's still worthy of serious consideration if you've got a friend that'd fancy splitting a bottle for dessert.

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Photo of gatorbreath
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man, this was more of a teaser than anything...couldn't drink a whole pint if I wanted...

Appearance is dark with webby head that sticks to everything it touches..the drink is so sweet and finishes semi-bitter, I feel like I just ate a sweet treat with each bite. I feel like this is more a novelty beer, i cant imagine this being soeones go-to joint. Enjoyed my little bit, probably gonna pass from here on out..


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Photo of Pabs311
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I recently tasted an '08 and '09 side by side. I have to say that the year in a bottle does this bear wonders. If you have the patience, lay one or two down. i ahve a couple more '08s that im gonna wait another year before crackin open. I'm gonna review the '08 after a year.

A- pours dark and opaque with a good good sized dark tan/coffee colored head.

S- you can smell the vanilla coming off this before before u even lift it to ur nose. There's a ton a vanilla and butterscoth with a malty backbone to the aroma of this beer. id to just sit there and smell it all day, but where's the fun in that?

T- The taste reflects the aroma 100%. The beer has also smoothed out quite alot over the yearof aging and any bitterness that can be seen in the '09 has almost completely disappered.The beer is a little on the sweetside though because of all the vanilla.

M/D- Mouthfeel is on the fullbodied side, coats the palate very well and lingers well. This is a beer that i wouldn't be able to drink all by myslef. the flavor is very robust and is more of a sipper. plus it's so good i like to share with a friend so they can experience this beer as well.

got a couple '09s to lay down so we'll see how a 2 year old '08, 1 year old '09 and new '10 comapre next year!

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Photo of iabeerbaron
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Wow, awesome aroma for this beer. Smells like butterscotch, caramel, and vanailla. Really nice pour, medium tan head. Flavor was very good, but got to be a little too sweet for me. The vanilla, in particular, was a little too overpowering for me. Bomber bottle is way too much for me. Really unique brew.

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Photo of DawnL
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep, dark color with lots of sticky lacing.

Vanilla bean first on the nose - then a real milky, creamy aroma that really does make me think of creme brulee. Okay, more pots de creme - but still delicious.

Vanilla definitely comes across on the palate very strongly.

For the dessert beers - it's all about the mouthfeel. Silky, smooth, like drinking a milk shake. Rich and unctuous. Drinks like a dessert - like melted ice cream.

Absolutely lives up to its name - this is like drinking creme brulee. Also, not all that easy to imbibe due to high abv and the sweetness that can be cloying at times.

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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.


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Photo of dowen17
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a huge, creamy milk chocolate colored head. Leaves some decent lacing down the glass but the head recedes to a small cap.

Smell is of pure caramel. Melted candy corn. Some alcohol. Really REALLY sweet. Also some vanilla extract.

Tastes like a melted caramel candy. Candy corn, vanilla extract, sweet sweet malt, and alcohol. This beer does not hide the alcohol well at all. Definitely a dessert beer though.

Mouthfeel is creamy and chewy. Not the thickest beer in the world but very nice.

Overall this beer would be great with a slice of cake. Not something you could drink every day because its VERY sweet but its good.

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Photo of ph2001
4.62/5  rDev +17.6%
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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Photo of srroos
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque dark brown with a small brown head. Smells like butterscotch, vanilla, and expresso. Gives the impression of tiramasu more that creme brulee to me. Taste is dominated by burnt sugar, with notes of butterscotch and espresso following. Full bodied as expected for an imperial stout. Alcohol is very well hidden.

A very interesting beer all around. I'm very glad I tried this one, but not sure I'll be seeking out more. Ignore all the critics; try this if you can!

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Photo of challenja
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served On Tap at Westover Market Arlington, VA

A: Dark black havoc. Zero foam residue. Pure heaven!

S: ohhh my my my. Sweet sweet malt balls, Vanilla sugar cookies, dark roast Costa Rican coffee beans. Caramelized sugar cane.

T: OMG. OMG.. seriously... OMG... Southern Tier are the masters of Dessert beer!!!
Vanilla with caramel swirl ice cream. Toasted Honey bun. Oak Cask. Dark roasted Costa Ricas coffee. Whopping malt balls. Like WHOPPERS candy in a glass!!
The Full creamy dairy milk masks the booze in this utterly delicious brew.

M: Richy creamy medium carbo mouth full. This would be glorious on a nitro tap! Smooth and gum tingling. It really coats the tongue O so well.

O: So amazing. It's so out of this world amazing that it should be held high above all other stouts as WOW... This will knock the socks off anyone who tries it. This is what should be served with my last meal..
Get yours NOW. Today.. Check all beer places. and Buy as many bottles as you can.. Well save some. just get 3.

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Photo of Deerslayer210
4.66/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is the stout that turned me into the addict I am today. I first had it on tap at the brewery tour. It was super smooth and had a taste unlike I had had before. It is a coffee, chocolate, and vanilla like no other. If the vanilla sweetness was turned down just a pinch this beer would be taken to a 5. The smell of this fine stout might be the best of any beer out there and makes you close your eyes and breath in deep again and again. They should make it into an air freshener.

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Photo of BradT
4.73/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My favorite beer that I can get on a reg... bar none and I'm an IPA guy. My next favorite is Sierra Nevada Bigfoot... I could drink ST CB every day... Wish it were easier to get 1/6 kegs of it. Honestly, the first time I had it I was surprised as I'd ever been by a beer. Amazing.

Smell - like a mochacino... Delicious
Taste - a perfect mix of coffee, chocolate, and sweet vanilla... With a hint of alcohol
Mouth - nice thickness, without being a milkshake
Appearance - if it appears in my glass... I'm happy

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Photo of dananabanana
3.54/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

A: Dark brown to inky black, thick white head.

S: Sweet vanilla caramel.

T: Sweet malt, coffee/espresso notes. Bitterness on the back of the tongue.

M: Very creamy!

D: Good, but the more you drink, the more bitter it gets. They took the "brulee" part a bit too seriously, the burnt flavor is too overwhelming to drink more than half a glass of this.

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Photo of USCTrojanBrian
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The very first bottle from The Perfect Pour (Columbia, MD), plucked right out of the box.

Smells of vanilla and coffee cream, quite good aroma. Dark, not quite jet black color. Smooth and creamy drinker, it hit a ton of intangibles here.

However, the taste didn't do it for me. As per the rules I'm judging taste by the style and what they were trying to accomplish here which clearly will earn good marks. But from a personal point of view, and this is probably heresy, I didn't come close to enjoying this offering from Southern Tier.

The taste is a bit more coffee cream than creme brulee, but the effect is similar of a sweet, vanilla and coffee and chocolate dessert beer. Very little to complain about if you dig that combination of flavors. Well worth the effort if so.

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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 json83
2.4/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

9.6% ABV and 288 calories per bottle. I was attracted to tasting something different and surprise how well it smelled after opening the bottle. The taste was extremely off-putting - vanilla and coffee sounds attractive but the blunt caramel/butterscotch favor that kicks in does not match well with the combination. Easily one of the sweetest beers I've ever had. To be fair, you get used to it the more you consume, but it was just a weird taste at first. This is one combination I'll probably never see again and I do not regret trying it, however I would not purchase again.

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Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout (Blackwater Series) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 4,540 ratings.
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