San Quentin Breakout Stout | Marin Brewing Company

very good
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San Quentin Breakout StoutSan Quentin Breakout Stout

Brewed by:
Marin Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Foreign / Export Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 01-10-2002

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Reviews: 121 | Ratings: 188
Photo of beerbart
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Looks like motor oil, smells like molasses,
tastes like heaven above if heaven above were...
dark roasted coffee, molasses and cola (in a good way), and chocolate
that's maybe been singed, caramelized just this side of a burn.
Spot on. Delicious. Wake me in the morning.

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a finger of tan head on a black body.
The aroma is rich roasted malt, toast, burnt wood and milk chocolate.
The taste is rich malt with good balance, a touch of pine and coffee bitterness.
The texture is silky smooth and light. Wonderful.
An exceptional brew.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.27/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap and decent label acquired at a local SoCal bottle shop; I try to buy beer brewed in-state when I can. Expectations are above average; I love a good export stout. 7.0% ABV confirmed.

Served a bit too cold for a stout by my book, but not by the label's: "Serve at 50-55 F." Okay then. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a rich tan colour head of lovely gorgeous cream, great thickness, and real good (~5+ minutes) retention for the high ABV. Looks how the style ought to; creamy and appealing. Body colour is a solid nontransparent opaque jet black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. I'm real excited for this

Sm: Roasty and creamy - just as it should be. Dark malts. I love the roasted barley focus, which is ideal for the style. A bit of complementary floral hopping, but not too much. A bit of biscuity yeast is apparent. I'd even guess oats; I suppose I just don't know better. Very appealing. Spot on for the style, with enough depth of flavour to tell me it won't be simple crap . A fairly strong aroma. This is shaping up to be much better than expected initially.

T: Roasted barley guides it, with rolling oat notes (I was right!) and dark malts filling out the body. Some floral hopping, but it's minimal and complementary. Unfortunately, it does lack a bit of balance; the roasted barley feels strangely...artificial? Slightly stale? Something's off. Maybe it's just too damn cold; I knew I should have disregarded the label and waited. I any case, it's nicely creamy - a lovely characteristic and one that is a requisite of any good example of the style. Here's a beer brewed with an understanding of the careful roast and cream balance integral to a solid stout. It's mineral-heavy; maybe that's the water used? Little yeast character comes through, if any. No alcohol does either.

Mf: Creamy and soft up front but too thick and hard (i.e. with regard to water hardness). Smooth and wet. Too heavy on the palate, coming off feeling overbearing. The hardness here is a severe flaw and undercuts the flavour profile, distracting the drinker.

Dr: Very drinkable for the high ABV, but it feels like wasted potential; if they'd just fix that pesky mouthfeel! Overall, I do like it - and I intend to try more beers from this brewery. Just ignore the advice on the label and serve this one merely chilled. A good-but-not-great export stout, and not one I'd get again. Still, for a little known (in my experience) microbrewed export stout, it's somewhat impressive. Just not the hidden gem I'd hoped for.

Gets better as it warms.

High C+

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the House of 1,000 beers for 5 bucks.

A - Man I know this is an old bottle but it fills the glass with over an inch of solid deep mocha head, in fact this is one of the darkest heads I ever seen. Equally as dark beer with mild carbonation bubbles throughout,

S - Mild burnt malts, bakers and dark chocolate malts, and a touch of oatmeal.

T - Actually quite good the roast is pretty cloying giving a burnt oatmeal taste which brings sweet malts and chocolate in the finish. A mild bit of hops rounds the palate but it seems overly roasty to me,

M - Medium and quite chewy. Very stout like.

Overall quite a big chewy stout that hides the ABV well with a roasty almost smoke like flavor. Not bad.

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Photo of mactrail
3.31/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Seriously opaque, even in a skinny glass, and topped with plenty of beige foam. As dark a head as I've seen, and so is the beer. A little roasted barley in the nose. Plenty of carbonation on the tongue. Silky mouthfeel plus the prickly bubbles. Fairly substantial body.

I have only had a few in this style but just recently tried the Pike Street Export Stout, which I liked a little better. Identical ABV. This has a little more sweet malt and a little less of the darkest flavors. A hint of the sourish charred taste, but a little dark chocolate as well.

Interesting to sip but that hint of burnt oatmeal gets old. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Total Wine.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cookie dough, cocoa, and slight soy sauce. Taste is of dark roasted malt, cookie dough, cocoa powder, and pretzels. There is a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that has a better taste than smell in my opinion.

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Photo of arizcards
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from the LaJolla Whole Foods in late February for $4.99.

Beer poured black with an OK tan head.

Nose is roasted barley and coffee.

Taste is roasted malts with chocolate and coffee.

Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, medium bodied with some silky smoothness. It is lacking a little body.

Overall i like this brew, a nice representation of the style.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a draft into a pint glass at Hamilton’s Tavern in North Park, San Diego, Calif. A finger of head once I got it. Color was black. Brownish tan caramel lacing. Decent retention.

Smelled of coffee, dark chocolate, light caramel and toffee.

Tasted coffee, coffee beans, toffee and dark caramel. Good mix of tastes.

Full body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long smooth finish.

Good and balanced stout. I’d have it again for sure.

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Photo of biglite351
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The bottle slowly foamed over for about 10th minutes when I opened it. I do not know what caused that, but I assume that it is not good.

A - black as pitch with a tight brown head.

S - toasty and roasted malts, a hint of baking chocolate and something a bit bitter.

T - a lot going on. Toasted malts, dark fruit, coffee, smoke and maybe a candy in the mix. Deep and complex, but not overpowering.

M - Creamy but thin, very mild tingle on sides of tongue.

O - great flavor but let down by the feel. An all-nighter none the less.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color with a tight, tan head that leaves a little layer lacing.

Smells of solid roasted notes, I am picking up a funny burnt type note though.

Tastes of the roasted malts with some decent sweetness. Malts come through with chocolate and coffee. Has a bit of a creamy note to it as well. Touches of roasted bitterness are countered with a brown sugar sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, nothing special, but is still quite a solid beer that you shouldn't ignore.

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Photo of McD0uche
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass:

A: Really dark brown, almost black, with hints of brownish red around the edges. Light mocha bubbles appear initially. Not too much in the way of head or lacing.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate, some sort of unidentifiable fruit (maybe figs?), appealing roasted coffee, a hint of sweetness.

T: Fairly close to the smell, with roasted malts and chocolate coming through as well as coffee and a bittersweet finish. The alcohol is present but not overpowering.

M: Definitely dry, lingering, and smooth overall. Medium carbonation that adds to the overall effect.

O: I found this appealing overall, and would definitely pick one up again in the future if I saw it. This experience has encouraged me to try out other Marin brews.

 769 characters

Photo of newsage
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not as good as I remembered. Ok tasting average stout roasted malts are main taste of this beer no chocolate or coffee here. The one thing that bothered me was the carbonation, this beer is way over carbonated which kills the mouthfeel. All in all I won't be buying this again. There just too many other stouts out there that are better.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a dark brown color with a large 2 finger mocha tan head. Roast coffee notes along with some dark chocolate. Medium mouthfeel with carbonation. Slightly over carbonated. Starts off with a slight chocolate sweetness, dark fruit, and then transitions to a light roast bitter flavor. Some lacing. Some lingering roast bitterness notes. Overall, this is pretty good beer.

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Photo of litheum94
3.39/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed 5/15/11. No bottling dates. 22 oz bottle.

Pitch black, with a very restrained, brown head. Patchy covering, but does leave some nice lacing.

Strong aromas of cured meats and charred wood and smoke. Some espresso and faint traces of baker's chocolate.

Hint of smoke and brine. Sharp, strongly brewed espresso flavors that linger forever. Roasted barley gives it a slick, soft mouthfeel. There's a slight fusel alcohol flavor, but it's quickly wiped away by more coffee flavors that dry out the entire mouth. As it warms, the finish isn't quite as dry, and has more of a creamy texture.

This is overly dry at first, which I do not like in stouts. It does get better as it warms, but overall, a pretty average stout.

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Photo of mkotsayfan
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter. Pours a dark black with one finger of light mocha-colored head. The aroma has a lot of chocolate and coffee, and some nice roasted malts. The taste has similar characteristics, with coffee and chocolate in the flavor, along with a decent kick of vanilla. The mouthfeel is medium-light bodied with decent carbonation, a lighter and thinner feel than most stouts, but makes it quite drinkable.

This is a solid, easy going stout. Pretty straight-forward, but not too simple to make it boring or forgettable. A nice choice when you don't want the heaviness of a 10%+ ABV stout, but want some of the same characteristics.

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Photo of colforbin73
4.29/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is a really solid stout. it obviously suffers on the shelf given the varied reviews here. it may not always be TIME, it can be handling as well. drink this beer fresh!

pours a nice jet black with a thin tan head that fades pretty quick. good smokey roasted malts in the nose -- slight hint of hops. good fresh aroma.

the taste reveals the chocolate spicy texture lurking at the center of the brew. slightly bitter, tad biscuity -- the mix of roasted malt, fresh hop bitterness, and dark chocolate is very satisfying.

DARK CHOCOLATE -- not too sweet, 80% dark chocolate.

on CASK this could be EPIC.

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Photo of Derek
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

An award winner since'89.

A: Black with a huge tan head, good retention, awesome lace.

S: Brown sugar, mocha, very bready,

T: Treacle, coffee, very bready, licorice, good bitterness, pleasant hint of soya sauce. Alcohol is a little warming.

M: Incredibly smooth, moderate body has a drying alcohol finish. Carbonation is pleasantly subdued.

D/O: A very warming stout that's not too filling. Good stuff. It'd be interesting to age a bottle and let the alcohol fade a bit.

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Photo of cocogan
3.27/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle, poured into pint glass.

Visual: Assuming there wasn't gonna be much head on this one I increased my pour rate. Bad idea. A healf glass of light brown head leftover. However it did recede to a thin froth.

Nose: Roasted malt, chocolate, apricot, lemon

Taste: Follows the nose quite appropriately. Roasted malt sweetness right away, followed by a tangy sour that persists on the palate throughout. The but end finishes with a nice coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation. Light, sliky feel.

Overall: At first I liked the tang taste because it was a bit different, but now I'm having second thoughts. The bottle was marked down from full price at Bev Mos so it could by chance be a bit aged.

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Photo of alexhahn82
2.87/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark black 1 finger head that sticks.

S - Holey shit, smells like an oatmeal based chocolate cookie!

T/M - Taste is unfortunately less intense than the aroma, but fortunately spot on in taste, just waaaay waaaay less intense of flavors than expected.

O - For a breakfast stout in my opinion is bordering on a light beer, would love to see an imperial version.

PP (Price Point) - Spot on for $7 a 22oz bomber. Just not as strong flavor or ABV wise.

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Photo of LazyL
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap from the Library Ale House in Venice Beach. A very inviting black brew with a heavy espresso foam head. The nose has all the usual suspects of a good stout; coffee, molasses. Wow, the taste is chocolate, coffee, toffee and very nice with a lingering finish. The mouthfeel is dry and semi sweet witha feeling of a cola float. Medium bodied and creamy. Overall this goes down like water. Feed the camel as I am parched. At the time of this tasting it seems as though I could consume quite a few of these pints with great ease.

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Photo of azdback
2.8/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a large tulip glass. Hyper carbonation!! I'm gonna give a try again. After letting this sit opened for another 10 minutes it finally calmed down. Deep, dark pitch black. The over anxious carbonation has created a dark brown frothy head. Not leaving much lace though.

The smell is dark roasted malts. Roasted coffee. Caramel sweet. Maybe a hint of chocolate nibs.

First taste was smoke or charred wood. That mellows to dark roasted malts. Not really any coffee or chocolate here. As it warms I am tasting some weak tartness of maybe a cherry?

The mouth is okay. Well carbonated but not a stout feel. Medium body and finish. More of a Porter than a Stout.

Overall I am very let down by this one. I really love all the Moylan's stuff and this being a side project or sister?? I know you guys can do better than this!? At the very end of this one and the lace never happened (at all!) and as this warms it doesn't get any better just tart-er.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Marin Breakout Stout has an opaque, body that is the darkest shade of brown. The chocolate colored head is about a finger thick, and although it has fairly good retention, it doesn't do much in the lacing department.

Big notes of both roast and chocolate in the aroma, with coffee in the background. Roasted malt is the biggest contributor here.

Roasted, malted, barley dominates the flavor of San Quentin Breakout Stout. Chocolate and coffee are also appreciated, and in about equal strength. Based on the aroma I expected there to be a lot more chocolate, but this is not the case here. The finish has just a bit of bitterness to it.

The body seems acceptable, but there really is just a little bit too much carbonation on this one.

I give this one a thumbs-up. Pretty solid beer with a nice mix of roast, chocolate and coffee.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Darkest brown with a cappuccino head that is quite sticky. No highlighting really, and quite nice lacing that leads to a pretty menacing appearance.

Nose is similarly tough, with enough roasted barley to more than get the point across: chocolate, coffee, vanilla, chalk, bourbon, and piney hops. Very nice.

Coffee somewhat overtakes the chocolate in the flavor, the sweetness is dialed way back. Standing in for sweetness is a bourbon-vanillin note that kicks in toward the finish and lingers in the aftertaste. Not much hoppiness, although the finish is lightly bitter.

This is just too thin to be a great stout. In fact, I could see a more adventurous brewer losing the vanilla and packaging this as schwarzbier, or hopping it up and calling it a Cascadian black. Which is fine, it still tastes good, but it's not a really full, viscous stout body.

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Photo of kwjd
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from City Beer in San Francisco. Pours a pitch black with tan head. Head starts out pretty thick, but then dissipates to almost nothing within about a minute. Very thin lacing on some of the glass. Smells of roasted malt without too much else, maybe a hint of chocolate. Flavour is fairly sweet, I get some type of salty note too. Thinner mouthfeel than many stouts of this strength. A pretty good stout, but nothing too outstanding.

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Photo of kaseydad
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my snifter and I am met with a jet black ale with a nice mocha brown foamy head with staying power. The aroma consists of chocolate, espresso, leather, hot cocoa and roasted dark malts. Very nice. The taste has the ever present coffee characteristics up front but a heavy dose of chocolate on the swallow followed by roasty malty bitter aftertaste. It all works well together. A lot going on. The mouthfeel is full bodied with light carbonation. I think the drinkability is great! It's a perfect compliment to the rainy night I am currently enduring. At 7%, it's not too tough to get multiples...and enjoy them heartily. Very good.

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San Quentin Breakout Stout from Marin Brewing Company
3.87 out of 5 based on 188 ratings.
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