Pioneer Stout | Connecticut Valley Brewing

38 Ratings
Read the review

Brewed by:
Connecticut Valley Brewing
Connecticut, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-13-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 38 |  Reviews: 36
Photo of comradekyle
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Beautiful nitro-pour. Thick, tight, rich head. Leaves a blanket of lace. The color is black where no light passes.

Chalky cocoa smell initially. I detect some beef stew to the nose as well.

Interesting blend of cherries, chocolate and coffee. Rich body with a low carbonation (nitro!). Silky. Aftertaste is of black patent and a bitter hop. Pleasant finish.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.5/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From gravity cask sitting on the bar. Dry hopped with Cascades.

Presented in a pint glass with a dense 1/2" dark tan head. Head falls slowly, with average lacing. Aroma is sweet maltiness and piney hops. Taste begins chocolately sweet, hops come on in the middle and carry through strongly to the close and beyond. Mouthfeel is WOW smooth, and drinkability is superb. Can't wait for their next cask offering.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to naproxen for this one.

22 oz. bomber poured into a nonic.

Pours an onyx black with a huge three finger tan head that dies down to a frothy layer of bubbles. Unfortunately with such a big head, not much webbing is left behind on the sides of the glass. Smell is pretty bland with sawdust and musty chocolate malts. Chalky coffee aromas with some roasted grains in the nose as well. Charred grains, roasted barley, and smokey caramel malts up front on the tongue. A touch of gritty earth hops midway with a cane sugar as well. Aftertaste is too watered down and plain, not much there. Medium body with a smooth soft feel to it and a mild carbonation. Just not feeling this beer. Boring watered down flavors throughout with no complexity. Too many solid stouts out there for me to return to this one.

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Photo of russpowell
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to ppotrias for this one, always thrilled to try stuff from a brewery I've never even heard of!

Pours mahogany tinged black with 2+ fingers of very noisy tan head. No head retention & lacing

S: Coffee, toasted malt, loads of coffee

T: Coffee, cocoa & dryness up front. More coffee, a touch of vanilla & some leafy hops as this warms. Finishes with some roasted malt & more coffee, tastes are a bit 1-2 dimensional here

MF: Light/Medium bodied, with fairly lively carbonation, more malt presence would be nice

Drinks pretty good, but after a few pints the dryness & coffee taste would get to me

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Photo of erosier
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a dark brown/black color with a tall and medium bodied tan colored head that laced the glass all the way down. It has a smell of very deep roasted malts and some slight hoppy bitterness at the end of the aroma. The taste is pretty good with a deep roasted malt backbone that had a little bit of a burnt smokey taste followed by a slightly bitter hop finish. The mouthfeel was nice as it was smooth but not overly smooth. The finish was a nice kind of dry toasted feel. The drinkability was OK as it had a burnt smokey taste which I was not a fan of, but not bad.

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Photo of gpcollen1
4.25/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a mighty dark into my Imperial Pint. Head gets a bit lively so the second pour was very light. Lightly sweet and roasty to the nose on a barely chilled pour. Roasted toffee in there a bit...

Taste is sharp on the tongue with some lively carbonation that is just a bit too much. NIce dark roasted flavors with some chocolate and molasses in there wiht a nice dry finish.

This one had some great flavor but the carbonation hindered what it could be. I wouldnt mind having this around in sixers...

Thanks to ppoitras

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Photo of Durge
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

First off I have to note that I see no mention of "Hyland Orchard and Brewery" on this bomber. It references only the Pioneer Brewing Company of Fiskdale, MA. But the bottle label matches the one noted on this profile so we'll go with it. This brew has a nice appearance, thick dark black with big mysterious white granule floaters, mildly carbonated with a goodly off-white/tan head and decent lacing. The aroma is pretty anemic, nothing special, a little citrusy wheat perhaps, hard to call. The taste jumps out as a bitter charcoal but you get some carmel hints as it warms. Quite thin bodied so it goes down easy, but just isn't very distinctive. It's a stout and it's OK but all those curious floaters just seem to go to waste here in a somewhat watery attempt at stout. The charcoal is nice and it is drinkable. No bad, but a bit disappointing I would say.

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Photo of plaid75
3.91/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep black hue with a two and a half finger foamy caramel head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured light burnt grain and coffee aromas with a smoky element as well.

The taste consisted of a smooth burnt grain with a slight coffee bitterness. A nice sweet caramel malt at the finish.

The mouthfeel was full, yet clean.

Overall a very nice and easy drinking stout. Milk stout type smoothness. Thanks to ppoitras.

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Photo of Stimack
3.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brew pours to a pitch-black color with a good-sized dark brown head that fizzes as it breaks down quickly, leaving no lacing at all. The aroma is of coffee, heavy on the coffee, along with a burnt smell. The taste is actually pretty good, I was not sure what to expect as I have had two other beers from them so far, one was solid and the other was not. The flavor highlights what my nose found, coffee as well as some chocolate flavors. Also has a sweet quality to it, over all it comes together pretty good. A couple of notes, it seems a little watery as well as has quite a bit of carbonation that tingles on the tongue, almost like a cola. Ok, so I would day that this is a middle of the road stout, nothing fantastic but would I get it again, yeah I suppose so.

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Photo of watermelonman
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured to a deep, dark black with a big head that lasted very well. There is plenty of lace and it looks great.

The smell is dominated by roasted malts and has lots of coffee flavor too. The taste starts with roasted malts and adds a bit of chocolate in the finish. The mouthfeel is pretty solid.

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Photo of aluskungs
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A very stout stout.

Pour like motor oil with thick head you could eat with a spoon. A lacy head that clings to the glass only to be brought down by gravity.

Stick your nose into this beer and you will smell a roasted bitterness with a hint of dry alcohol, a good smell.

Real meaty drink. Thickness of the beer is just right. Not too heavy like some imperial beers, what a stout should be. This is not watered down at all. Good mild smooth carbonation that help to keep the beer from becoming an anchor in your belly.

The taste has a bit of a sour bitterness to it from the roasted grains, like burnt coffee (this bitterness goes away if you are drinking the whole 22 oz. bottle yourself, hic!). This is the main negative point I have with this beer. It tastes burnt! There is a difference between burnt and roasted, roasted being the more favorable flavor desired in a good stout.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.38/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours like a much bigger stout - it's a deep dark black that doesn't allow light to pass even at the edges. A moderate pour generates two fingers of thick cocoa colored foam which eventually dies back leaving a lot of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is classic stout with clean notes of caramel, coffee, figs and treacle. There's a bit of a cloying sweet note which (again) makes this seem more like a Russian Imperial than an ordinary American Stout.

The flavor has quite a few dimensions that make you keep coming back for another sip. The start is a pretty clear caramel note followed by a pretty mild roasted grain flavor. Fruity esters follow (fig, apricot and apple are quite evident) with a clear but light coffee note at the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium with just enough carbonation to add a bit of sparkle to the tongue. No oily residue or lingering sticky sugar finish (which is quite a surprise for a beer that's a touch on the sweet side) No hop bitterness is evident but the finish is dry and clean. There's a very creamy feel to this ale but there's no claim of either lactose or oatmeal added to give it a silky smoothness.

I'm quite impressed with this beer - it's got all the positive characteristics of a 'big' stout but in a 5.0% body. It's full of big flavors, has a great body and looks quite imposing - all the characteristics you'd expect from a double or Imperial Stout. About the only thing this stout is lacking is the alcohol sweetness and the brain-deadening ABV. This would make a -great- session beer.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.35/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This is a pretty good stout. Thanks to ppoitras for the bottle. Pours to an opaque black color with a cascading light chocolatey head. Retention isn't the greatest, nor is lacing, but it looks beautiful as the head builds.

The smell is good. As much as I hate to be cliche, "smells like Guinness" though much more rich, chocolatey, and roasty. Even more so than the Extra Stout.

The taste is quite good as well. Chocolatey as hell, fairly dry and roasty. A nice coffee roast flavor, perhaps a dessert roast, like Verona. I probably would have called this an Irish Dry Stout, though it is a very trivial difference.

The body is a bit thin. Not much carbonation, and it lacks the creaminess. A bit of a chalky dryness.

This is a very tasty and highly drinkable stout. This would be a good session stout if only it were available here.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.31/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am sampling a room temp bomber poured into an english pint glass. The beer pours a dark brown color with a fluffy tan head foaming up easily to 5 cm even with gentle pour. As the head recedes it develops large pockmarked craters on the surface and leaves some windowpane lacing on the glass.
The aroma is mild but I get some roasted malt and a hint of coffee bean as well. Not really any hop presence that I can find. Maybe a hint of bakers chocolate in there, but no sweetness.
The first sip reveals an average body with average carbonation. Texture is a little silky and creamy.
Flavor starts with a bit of chocolate that moves quickly to a roasted malt and coffee bean middle and finish. The roasted notes linger for a bit and then fade creating a bit of a drying effect as the beer leaves my mouth.
OVerall the beer is easy to drink, but the flavors and nose are mild IMO and I would really dig a little more chocolate in there somehow.

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Photo of wedge
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a fluffy cocoa colored head. Light roasted coffee aroma aroma - burnt grains. The flavors are a littled muddled - a little roasty, more coffee, some caramel and hops in the finish. Mouthfeel is nicely smooth though a little thin which does make it easy to drink.

Pretty good, but they need to beef it up a little.

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Photo of tastybeer
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks black to me. Has a very nice tan retention. Smells of lots of toasted barley, burnt coffee and molasses. Nice rich smell. Taste is thinner and more bitter with burnt grain and sweet with malts. Very interesting. Crisp carbonation for a stout. The burnt smoky bitterness makes your mouth water.

A very burnt stout. Not bad.

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Photo of AlexJ
3.34/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Near black pour with a dense 2 finger head of light brown that stays put for a bit before settling to a whispy veil, minimal lacing.

Aroma is very subtle, with notes of roasted dark malt, used coffee filter, and dry cocoa.

Flavor had a bit more oomph than the nose, with light coffee and chocolate, charred malts, dusty leather, and mild hops in the finish.

Body is above medium, with a creamy mouthfeel and prickly carbonation. A rather ordinary stout that I probably wouldn't want to drink for extended periods of time.

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Photo of Higravity
2.06/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Shared with a friend who received in a trade a few weeks ago. I assume this is fresh as it came from some one who lives near the brewery. Nice dark color no head really even after a good pour and no lacing. The smell is near non-exsistant roasted malt is about you get and a little cold coffee. This only has a taste of roasted malt taken up a little this could have passed for a porter maybe even a black and tan, no hops anywhere. This beer had the, like having sex in a canoe, texture and was so thin it was. Well I would not drink this again unless it came straight from the tap and then with slight hesitation.

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Photo of chOAKbarrell
2.95/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer would make a good beginner's stout all around, as the only thing that isnt average about it is the mouthfeel, which happens to be slightly below-par.

The head is kind of soapy/filmy and leaves no lacing. Some chocolate malt in the nose, but its not standing out much. The taste is bland and breezy and passes right over your taste buds. There may be a touch of bitterness there in the finish, but it is hard to tell. Mouthfeel is very thin and watery. Not much there to wrap your mouth around.

I suppose this beer goes down easily, so you could drink several in a row if you wanted to, but it certainly wouldnt be much fun.

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Photo of Jason
2.84/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

A- Quick to froth up with a big tan head. Pitch black in color, good head retention.

S- Mildly acrid burnt grain aroma, day old wet coffee grinds.

T&M- Bitty burnt grain all over, creamy medium body with a semi-active carbonation. Dextrin malt sweetness with suggestions of charcoal. Touch of biscuity malt in the middle. Finishes a little sweet.

D- Not half bad but the mix of sweetness and semi-harsh roasted flavors does not meld well together ... hard to finish a glass let alone the whole bomber.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep black color with a small patchy head that hangs out. Nose is nice, with a good coffee and chocolate atop a bed of roasted grains. Good balance throughout this one. Flavor starts roasted and deep, moves to a light mocha on the finish. Pretty nice. Feel is moderate with a nice acrive carbonation. Almost a bit too much carbonation. Drinkability is good for this brew as well. It is nothing that really jumps out as a phenomenal brew, but it is nice for drinking. I'd drink it again.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer would rock if served from a nitro-tap. Poured a very Guinness-like near-black in color. Thick, foamy head sat on top. At first the head was a fairly dark brown but that brown quickly faded to a lesser shade. Nose was of toasted malts and ots and just a hint of coffee.

Flavor is very rich and full of a variety of mellow tones. Light cocoa flavors with a subtle hint of coffee. Not really burnt malts so much as toasted. Some oats came through as slightly baked and sweet. The oats lent a heavy, creamy texture to the mouthfeel. Very full body. Very smooth stout true to the style and a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of bewley
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle

Pours a thick tan head that lasts a minute or so. Dark, black in appearance promises a hearty brew.

~sip . . . sip~

Hmmm . . . not so hearty as I would prefer.

The bottle label promises a “full head” and “full flavor.” It tastes good, but it’s light in body. On their website this stout is described as medium bodied.

It’s not a bad introduction to stout and would make a fine session beer in that you could probably pack a few of these away without feeling full. At 5% what the hey? The price is right!

It's worth a try.

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Photo of meathookjones
3.27/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pitch black with a nice sized tan foam head. Big roasty malts with a nice coffee backing. Dark chocolate and a light sweetness round out the wonderful aroma. Very big and flavorful aroma here that unfortunately gives you expectations for the taste which are not met. Mainly sweetness in the flavor with a light chocolate almost cocoa powdery flavor. Almost no roastiness or coffee. Very disappointed after the great nose on this brew. Pretty much sweet is all you will get out of this. A bit light in the mouth. Ok drinkability. Not sure how the taste fell so flat after the aroma but damn it did. Thanks goes to ppoitras for the 22 of this.

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Pioneer Stout from Connecticut Valley Brewing
3.45 out of 5 based on 38 ratings.
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