San Quentin Breakout Stout | Marin Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
San Quentin Breakout StoutSan Quentin Breakout Stout
Very Good
190 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 190 |  Reviews: 122
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Uncomplicated roasted barley, simple stout. Easy mouthfeel and drink, a changeup from all the thicker chewier stouts I have been regimented to.Black, some tan head, nice one. From Liquid Solutions. Judging from the bottle's label, it's been brewed the same way for about 15 years, a lifetime in craft brewery.

 309 characters

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 590 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of kojevergas
3.27/5  rDev -15.3%
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+

 2,678 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Thick, melted chocolate color with a rocky dark beige head; some lacing

Smell: Chocolate and mocha aromatics; somewhat roasty

Taste: Opens with a dark chocolate flavor that betrays a hints of cream and mint; a developing bitter/sour character builds through mid-palate, when the chocolate re-appears; after the swallow, the finish is black bread and chocolate, with a lingeriung roasted coffee aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Although the sour element that appears mid-palate is an unfortunate distraction, this is basically a pretty tasty stout and much improved over what I had on tap a few years ago

 660 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of vfgccp
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of oberon
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass jet black,I mean no light showing thru here,a thinner rather fizzy mocha colored head atop.Aromas are big and earthy,some wood,and light char as well,not much sweetness,slight molasses is all.Feel is way to prickly and fizzy for the style,for any beer really.Flavors are pretty good,earthy and dry,quite raw with little sweetness,the problem is that fizzy feel,it takes away to much from the beer.Not one of the better export style stouts I have had,to fizzy,the flavors are good but its overshadowed.

 527 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.31/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

 661 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first from this brewery

Pours mahogany with 3+ fingers of fluffed-up/chunked up mocha with brown tinges, colored head. Very good lacing & above average head retention

S: Bits of coffee, then toasted grain & fruittyness

T: Dry, grainy & loads of toasted malt/charred grains up front. Fruittyness, licorice, more dryness & a bit of cocoa as this warms. Finishes dry as hell, with coffee grounds, plus a bit of licorice

MF: Fairly chewy with low carbonation, dryness is a bit too much for me

Drinks okay, but the dryness is a bit too OTT for me. Coffee stout lovers will probably dig this, will certainly give other beers from this brewery a go

 650 characters

Photo of dfhhead25
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"San Quentin, may you rot and burn in hell,
May your walls fall and may I live to tell,
May all the world forget you ever stood,
And may all the world forget you did no good."

--Johnny Cash

Raven's eye black with a glimmer of pecan brown along the bottom edge of the glass. The expansive, chocolate mousse-like head is gradually giving way to beer, but is doing so slooowly. It has a wonderful, whipped texture that doesn't preclude the deposition of a fair amount of abstract patterned lace. I could easily grant the next highest score, but won't.

The nose is a roasted barley masterpiece. The incredible aromas escaping the glass include bittersweet chocolate, ground coffee beans and vanilla. I expected some 'Yakima valley' hoppiness (so says the label), but I'm not getting any. Thankfully, this nose doesn't need hops to be considered great.

It's too bad that the flavor isn't quite as explosive as the aroma. I blame the body (more on that later). On the palate, bitter coffee grounds are at least as prominent as dark chocolate fudge. Black malt, and plenty of it, should be a required ingredient in all big stouts as far as I'm concerned. This one could stand to have a little more of it.

I can still appreciate the suggestion of vanilla bean, even if it's no longer a major contributor. Hops, in terms of flavor at least, are still absent... and still aren't missed. I like sweet stouts, bitter stouts and tangy stouts. This one is all of those at once, which keeps it from having a distinctive, memorable personality. No worries, it's still terrific beer.

There's no way that I can let a less than stout mouthfeel slide on a Foreign/Export stout. I'm well aware that this isn't an RIS, but still, a little more heft would be welcome. I'd also like to see the bubbles lose some of their fizziness. Things are improving somewhat as the beer sits, but not quite enough to suit me.

Marin San Quentin Breakout Stout is good beer, not great beer. A little more malt and few less bubbles would fix it right up and would give it a chance to compete with the best of this style. Hell's bells Johnny, quit complaining and start planning for the Breakout.

 2,181 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one as an extra in a recent trade and could not wait to give it a try. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 02/24/2009.

The pour was very good. Deep dark brown in color, essentially black with no light shining through on this one at all. This was one damn big looking beer. As it settles a two inch head of tan rose up and then settled back down into a thin half in layer that stayed forever dropping lots of lace down the sides. Lots of chocolate and coffee in the aroma here. Rich with hints of molasses and burnt caramel, really big aroma here. The flavor was full, rich taste of roasted malts and hints of cocoa and coffee, nice sweetness and a dry finish here with almost all the alcohol completely hidden. Nice feel, rich with a full body and a nice subtle finish to it. I was really impressed with this one, as close to a sessionable big stout as you are going to get. This is a must seek out.

 943 characters

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Huge massive tan moccha head thick bodied resilience in all it's glory. Body is deep black dark when held up to the light all you get are ruby highlights peeking through lacing is thick and sprawled upon the entire pint glass watchout this one's a rough pour beer forms a head like you wouldn't believe it. Lacing sticks together like a colloidal suspension it's crazy. Aroma: Deep layers of chocolate from deep German dark chocolate tones to milky smooth cocoa this beer is wide on the range of tones that it produces, hopping is definitely evident floral hops here in one of the darkest stouts I've ever seen. Deep roasted malts blend so nicely in the scent of this fine crafted brew I am loving it. Taste: Slight fruit tones trail and combine with spritzy deep chocolate notes wow what an interesting brew we have here, bittering hops bititng at the palate a complex brew hard to compile all of this description with my senses. Mouthfeel: Is chewy complex everything from the full body to the viscous head that pours here. Drinkability: Wow, considering all of the complexities here this beer is going down a little too smoothly, but wow is it tasty.

 1,165 characters

Photo of GClarkage
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/13/04- Purchased at Bemvo in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 22 oz bomber with no date, poured into my Moab Brewery pint glass.

Appearance- Nice dark black color with a 1/2 inch head and adequate lacing.

Smell- Smells of coffee and nuts. Maybe a tad of dark chocolate.

Taste- Much sweeter than expected for a regular stout. Coffee comes out hard with the malt and leaves a nice aftertaste. A bit of chocolate tempts your pallet at the same time.

Mouthfeel- Too much carbonation takes away what could have been a very good beer. Actually, I guess it still is a very good beer. A tad rough going down with the fizz.

Drinkability- Decent, except for the carbonation. The taste wins me over though. Good product from Marin Brewery.

 744 characters

Photo of Duff27
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Derek
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

 476 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
San Quentin Breakout Stout from Marin Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 190 ratings