Tarbox Cream Stout | The Liberal Cup Public House & Brewery

Liked This Beer
3.92 w/ 27 ratings

Brewed by:
The Liberal Cup Public House & Brewery
Maine, United States

Style: Irish Dry Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
As black as the night and as smooth as the Blarney Stone, our version of this classic Irish style is thick and creamy, with a mild aftertaste of burnt and roasted grains.

Added by wwchamberlain on 12-19-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 27 |  Reviews: 16
Reviews by sprucetip:
Photo of sprucetip
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A liberal 20oz "pint" at the Liberal Cup in little Hallowell, Maine, the hip little neighbor of Augusta. Just $3.75 for that generous pour.

Black. Didn't notice any highlights in the soft light, but maybe you could find some if you held it to a bright light. Thick, off white creamy head lasts and lasts and leaves thick lacing. Couldn't look much better.

As I dip my nose toward the froth I think I'm getting coffee, bitter chocolate and roasted malts. But maybe it's just black patent and roasted barley? Some light sweetness adds some complexity and creaminess.

They call this a Cream Stout at the brewpub, but I think the description here as an American Stout is more accurate, as the flavor is dominated by sharp roasty and bitter elements. There is a bit of sweetness, if you look for it, but mainly it tastes strongly of coffee like roasted grains. This lingers beyond the finish. It's not bad, but not complex or subtle. Reminds me of a homebrew stout I made that I put too much black patent and chocolate malt into.

The feel is that of a cream stout, but the sharp roasty flavor outdoes this creaminess, so far as plugging it into a category. Though creamy, it is on the thin side. Still, very pleasant mouthfeel.

One 20oz "pint" was plenty, though I had had another 20oz before it. Not strong alcohol, but the sharpness of th roasted grains was a bit out of balance, and I like my stouts roasty.

 1,412 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Hairrrrrrrr
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of mdale13
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- very black appearance. could not see though it at all with the dim table lights. nice tan one finger head. head remains, but gets gradually smaller as you drink. very attractive looking beer.

S- coffee, creams, hint of chocolate. my friend said it smelled like a starbucks coffee.

T- rich, mocha, coffee, with hints of creams and chocolate. a burned quality to the taste. a very tasty beer

M- very smooth. enjoyable. it was easy to savor each mouthful before swallowing

D: goes down as smoothly as it tastes. a great beer all around.

 540 characters

Photo of imbibehour
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a half pint glass at the Pub.

Boy is this thing DARK. A great creamy no go anywhere head that is a wonderful light cocoa brown and super creamy, looking nitrous but not sure (might have asked). Body is pitch dark walnut black and solid and a puck that is really solid keeps sitting throughout the drink while finishing.

Nose is a little sweet cream, with a mild hop presence. Tobacco, light roast and char.

Taste brings the creamy milk sensation, along with a little bit of cream texture but it's also a little thin. Char roast comes out soft soft in feel.

Overvall rich, but subtle, light and airy, creamy if a little wet, real nice stout.

 656 characters

Photo of illpass78
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Big 20 oz. pour in a house pint at Liberal Cup in Hallowell.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a big two-finger tan head that sticks around forever. The pour is Guinness-like in that tidal layers of stout kind of way.

Aroma: Chocolate, roasted malt, dark coffee. Nice, classic stout nose.

Taste: Follows the nose. Classic Irish stout profile. Reminds me of Guinness.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth.

Overall: Great, faithful interpretation of an Irish stout. Hits all the notes.

 482 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap and served in a Liberal pint, the beer is a very dark, solid, ruby-highlighted dark brown with a dense, solid, creamy light tan head. Aromas of roasted meats, light milk chocolate, mocha, and a touch of charcoal. Flavors are dark and smooth, with a deep roasted coffee flavor riding a light, dry body. Smokey tones impart some depth to the backbone, with a touch of cream to keep things light. The aftertaste is slightly bitter coffee and sweet cream. Dry, light finish with a slight bitter linger. Very good.

 523 characters

Photo of aarush
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of twilight
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one nummy beer.

Served in a liberal 20oz. Shaker Pint glass with a thick light chocolate brown head, black as midnight on a moonless night. The nose was a nutty, sour aroma with a light hop scent. It tasted very much coffee-ish with a creamy, slightly malty initial feel with a sourish coffee taste, finishing off into a coffee roastiness. There is this creaminess to it that goes down well. A nice session brew with a slight tanginess that only takes a bit to get used to.

 484 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the source.
Comes to the table a solid dark brown/black color with a decent sized foamy tan head. Aromas of roasted coffee and earthy hops with just a touch of chocolate and caramel. The flavor is lightly bitter with roasted grains and countered with a bit of earthy hop and just enough caramel and chocolate to keep it interesting. Medium to light body with a moderate level of carbonation, and a creamy mouthfeel. Pretty good sessionable stout.

 456 characters

Photo of ggilman
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My 100th review!

20oz. Imperial pint at Liberal Cup.
Dark black with thick creamy tab head. The head coats the pint more than laces! Roasted dark malt nose. Sweet creamy vanilla too. This is pretty much a straight ahead English style stout. Very smooth and creamy, with roasty malts. Some bitterness in the back, along with a little coin flavor. Very thick and drinkable, with a dry finish. Well made and enjoyable, not over the top.

 434 characters

Photo of Boppar
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a nitro-tap into a pint glass.

A: Dark, dark, dark, with two fingers of leathery nitro bubbles cascading down the sides of my glass.

S: Dark roasted malts, coffee, chocolate.

T: See above. This is very much a stout served on a nitrogen tap. While it doesn't break any new ground for this style, it serves quite well for what it is.

M: Creamy, slick, super smooth. A bit on the thin side, but then again I tend to think that about most single stouts (and especially those served on nitro).

D: Another please!

 517 characters

Photo of ScottHeidrich119
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of LostHighway
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of PatandDavid
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good stout I thought, especially as this is not my favorite style. This was actually the most opaque stout I think I had ever seen, not even a glow on the bottom of the glass when lifted to look at. The head had a bit of speckled color throughout. I detected some roasted coffee notes in the aroma. Taste was very good: no thin or watery notes detected, medium bodied. Flavor held much mocha! The head lasted for the whole beer, which is always nice. 20 oz. pour. pat

 472 characters

Photo of bdaggett
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of wwchamberlain
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the best Microbrewed stouts I've had on tap. Not as dry as Guinness but still quite smooth. Not overly malty or burnt. And the best thing...its not called the Liberal Cup for nothing...20 oz. imperial pints are the standard here.

 236 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Off the nitro-tap this beer was an opaque black, onyx-like color with a tight cap of tiny, tan bubbles. The lacing, as would be expected, was in sheets. The aroma was dry, woody and light with roasted malt being dominant. The flavors were quite good, maple, roasted malt, heavy coffee, hints of chocolate and cream. But it was so heavily on the roasted side I had trouble thinking of it as a "Cream Stout." The mouthfeel was silky, the body full and the carbonation perfectly soft. Enjoyable, but it's really an American Stout contrary to the label at the bar.

 560 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of ILiveOffHops
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of spiffysamurai
4.92/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Comes in a dark brown, almost black shade. The asethetics of the beer is great to anyone new to the liberal cup community.

S: The beer comes in a nice smelling scent. The beer will grab you right off.

T: The beer taste nothing like the normal beer. It taste like a smooth beer with some taste of chocolate, sugar and vanilla.

M: Though it looks thick, it is quite smooth in the mouth.

D: Easy to drink and goes down quite nice and easy.

 443 characters

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This, along with the Alewife Ale, was the best of the beers I tried there. Black body with consistent tan head. Mocha scent. Tastes very chocolately. While on the heavier side of medium bodied, it is definitely not quite as heavy as many stouts. Tastes similar to Samuel Adams chocolate bock in some ways, but definitely more tasty and richer.

 343 characters

Photo of rderedin
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of HoorayBeer
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice thick head, about 2 inches. Very froathy as I tried to drink it, and it did not want to leave.

Smell was hard to find, due to the head being in the way. The ones I could identify were the rich black coffee notes. They were in there with the sweet smell.

Like I said, very hard to drink with the head in the way. Once I finally cut through the head it was very good though. Hops and malts are well balanced and a coffee after taste which was plesant. I enjoyed this, good session brew. Just hard to get over the enormous head that sat on top of it.


 568 characters

Photo of yukoncornelius
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of ktyson01
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this during a recent trip to Agusta. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: The beer was black with little light making its way through. A nice thick head that started at 1+ fingers and took its time but dissapated to a very nice ring and lacing.

Smell: Not a lot here. A nice maltiness with hints of bitter chocolate and coffee.

Taste: Nothing over the top but delivers nice flavor. Very smooth with a taste of chocolate, coffee and oatmeal.

Mouthfeel: Despite its appearance this a smooth and silky beer, not thick. It has a nice low carbonation and finishes clean.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink and not real heavy for a stout. Could drink another but the Liberal Cup's portion size, large pint, keeps you from wanting too much more.

I'll try to find my way back to the Liberal cup and hope this is on tap again.

 829 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Tarbox Cream Stout from The Liberal Cup Public House & Brewery
Beer rating: 70.4% out of 100 with 27 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.