195 of the Best Stouts, Blind-Tasted and Ranked

Learn about how we rate & review beers with our BJCP blind panel here

The Bruery Black Tuesday Port (2017) (75)

Tart dark fruit, not much stout/roast character. The musty character carries through from the nose. Very sweet and very boozy, but the booze helps balance the sweetness. Finish is tannic.

pFriem Family Brewers Cinnamon Maple Stout (83)

A strong cinnamon note with a bit of sweetness and an almost minty clarity drives the bright nose, while a thin-but-not-too-thin body offers a more economic and deliberately confident sip. Not overly sweet, but satis-fying.

Great Divide Yeti (2017) (83)

Herbs from the nose, along with a light onion flavor. Definite alcohol strength, even a bit hot. Cocoa powder–dusted dark truffle with a healthy level of cherry ester. Hops flavor is citrusy, mainly lemon and grapefruit.

TRVE Brewing Company Stout O))) (85)

A whiff of campfire and charred oak subtly weave through the nose, while the sip shocks with the sharp bite of bitter hops and tannic malt before quickly fading.

River North Coconut Mr. Sandman (85)

Medium coconut with chocolate and light coffee spiciness. Coconut and light chocolate, roast and light alcohol. Lighter body for the alcohol level with moderate carbonation that presents itself at the end. Medium roast character mixed with a light spiciness.

3 Floyds Dark Lord (2017) (85)

Like eating an alcoholic gingerbread house. Heavy sweetness, molasses, gingerbread spiciness that extends into the aftertaste. Cloying sweetness covers everything but the gingerbread. Finishes with light bread, chocolate, and coffee.

Terrapin Moo-Tella (2017) (85)

Rich, creamy hazelnut tones with supporting chocolate. Mouthfeel is thick throughout, but it finishes with enough roast and dryness to make you want to take another sip. The finish has a lingering touch of sour.

Highland Brewing Black Mocha Stout (86)

Light coffee in the nose feels more accessible than foreboding, with mild chocolate. Flavor-wise, it’s clean and straightforward with no pieces out of place—pleasantly light and drinkable.

pFriem Family Brewers Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout (86)

Understated but rich cocoa on the nose feels sophisticated and confident. The sip offers a subtly barreled, semi-dry, dark cacao chocolate flavor that’s on the spare and spartan side—a touch thin and sharp.

Brink Brewing Co. Moozie Milk Stout (86)

A hint of smoked-malt aroma on the nose lends a bacon-for-breakfast feel without overwhelming it, while the sip offers just a touch of sweetness in a rather loose and unfocused body. More structure would benefit it greatly.

Boise Brewing Black Cliffs (86)

Piney/citrusy hops, roast malt, dark Caramalt, and full body. Medium bitterness leads to a drying finish. Going deeper, it tastes like a raw hops tea with light malt sweetness, but strong bitterness holds it.

Exhibit 'A' Sunday Paper (86)

Dark roast malt and a medium dark roast coffee. Medium light body. Very tasty coffee. There’s some boozy alcohol in the finish. Nice balance. Finishes roasty and slightly bitter.

Switchback Brewing Company SOS (87)

Warm umami vanilla roast notes suggest significant age and maturity. The sip is similarly rich and confi-dent—a touch thin, but awash in low-key roast and bourbon notes that aren’t too sweet and aren’t too bit-ter—just right.

Main & Mill Brewing Co. Barrel-Aged Imperial Chocolate Peanut Butter Jifforia (87)

The wall of peanut nose attacks you with an irresistible aroma of deep roasted nuts. The sip buffers the nut-ty roast with a healthy but economical dose of sweetness, keeping all in check. Rich, sweet, warming, delight-ful.

Telegraph Brewing Big Bad Baer (87)

Coffee-forward nose offers a glimpse of orange and bourbon barrel, but they play smaller roles to the cof-fee’s lead. The sip is thinner than expected but nuanced in its expression with a confident roasty bitterness complementing the restrained sweetness.

Springdale Beer Brigadeiro (87)

A light milk chocolaty nose with a light touch of roast and smoke, it’s balanced toward the easy-drinking side with a bantamweight body and a quick finish with flashes of chocolate and mild bitterness.

Brink Brewing Co. Street Corner Thieves (87)

Compelling berry chocolate vanilla nose is richly natural in its expression. On the sip, those berry notes push too far forward, offering an acidic fruity note that slightly overpowers the roast and barrel.

Jackie O’s Brewery Oil of Aphrodite (87)

Subtly sharp acrid notes give the nose an edge that would otherwise be lost to the slightly buttery and rich umami notes. The sip is more straightforward and porter-like, with faint roast and a light nutty sweetness that quickly dissipates.

Central Waters Peruvian Morning (87)

Chocolate, slight vanilla, slight caramel, boozy warmth. Slight coffee. The finish comes across a bit thin, which leaves a lingering tannic astringency.”

Sprecher Czar Brew (87)

Chocolate and caramel malt up front, with some fruity complexity that has hints of dried cherries. Fairly sweet on the finish—could use a little more bitterness to balance, though this lets the spicy oak/whiskey character come out more. A little chalky mouthfeel on the finish paired with a nice warming alcohol note.”

Fifty West Brewing Saturday Morning Cartoons (88)

Buttery baked brownie nose. The body comes across a touch thin, both in viscosity and flavor intensity as the roast adds a sharpness and slight acidity.

Odd Side Ales Rye Hipster Brunch Stout (88)

Bacon and maple syrup offer a brief hit on the aroma before it settles into a slightly thin sip of smoked meat, spicy bourbon, and soothing dark chocolate. Strange but engaging, it’s out of the norm but deliciously appetizing.

Chapman Crafted Ballad of the Barrels (88)

A present nose eschews intrigue and plays all its cards up front—bourbon, brown sugar, leather. The sip of-fers a few more layers, with a bright bite that immediately flows into a subtle woody and chocolate barrel note.

High Water Brewing Campfire Stout with Coffee (88)

Rich coffee, golden toast, light caramel, and a brief glimpse of sweetness on the nose give way to a thin, but roasty, sip that evokes slightly burnt coffee with a touch of balancing sweet.

Pinthouse Pizza The Big Lebarrelski (2019) (88)

Strong and sharp coffee roast rules the nose with faint hints of coconut and vanilla. The sip evokes more chocolate—sweet milk as well as dark—with that strong coffee roast backbone that tempers the sweetness. A touch young and simple, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Maine Beer Co. Mean Old Tom (88)

Dark chocolate with a very roasty, almost astringent finish accentuated by the hops. The vanilla adds nice underlying spice but isn’t particularly strong. Finish is smooth and creamy, with lingering dry coffee and hops bitterness.

Great Notion Peanut Brother (88)

Similar to the aroma. The peanut character leaves a slightly dusty coating impression on the finish. Fairly creamy with good carbonation despite the nut addition, which is nice.

Great Notion Double Stack (88)

Very strong maple-syrup character, though maybe not as intense as in the aroma. Milk chocolate sweetness throughout, with a lingering creamy finish. The roast from the stout tries oh so hard to peek through and brighten things up, but it doesn’t really have a chance. The coffee adds some dryness on the finish, but it’s still quite sweet overall.

Against the Grain Brewery 35K (88)

Rich, creamy, and full-bodied. Nice sharp roast complemented by mild hops. Both fade in the mid-palate but grow again in the finish.

Maplewood Fat Pug (88)

Rich and smooth mouthfeel until the finish, which is fairly acidic and sharp. The cherry and raspberry esters play nicely with the roast and chocolate.

New Holland The Poet (88)

Fairly chewy mouthfeel accentuated by the high level of fine-bubbled carbonation. The roast and cocoa cut the silkiness leading to a roasted acidity and dry finish. The esters on the nose are also on the palate but are more subtle.

Iron Hill Russian Imperial Stout (88)

Sweeter and less burnt than some Russian imperial stouts. Lingering semisweet chocolate flavor in the aftertaste. Alcohol hides until you swallow, then reveals itself. Flavors of dried raisins, chocolate, and coffee. Some pleasant oxidation character, and a warming finish. A bit of roast astringency sticks out on the swallow giving it a husky character.

Moksa Brewing Co. Exorbitance (89)

A lower key roasted nutty note anchors the rich nose, supporting a spicy and herbal vanilla with just a touch of bright coffee. The sip is molasses and dark Karo sweet with a luxurious cocoa and almond streak through. Durably exquisite in the quality of flavors.

Pure Project Brewing Hazelsaurus Rex (89)

Nutty and decadent gelato notes on the nose play with roast coffee for an almost Italian take on imperial stout. The sip is curiously thin for a beer of this weight, and the sweet hazelnut notes supplant the more deli-cate roast notes.

Cape May Brewing Bourbon Barrel-Aged Concrete Ship (89)

A flaky chocolate croissant nose offers a nice dive into the generally sweeter body. The barrel character is less pronounced, and the bitter raisin flavor is not quite as clean as the best in the category, but it finishes with a cleansing bitter kick.

Jackie O’s Brewery Coconut & Vanilla Rum Barrel Oil of Aphrodite (89)

A captivating umami note grounds the strong, sweet rum overtones in the nose, while a bit of Thai-style spice (sweet yet savory) layers over more round dark-fruit notes giving the very rum-forward sip an almost tiki feel.

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery Oyster Stout (89)

Rich chocolate notes lay over a hint of salty seawater and a bit of almost saison-like fermentation ester. The sip carries that ester forward with soft chocolate notes throughout.

Oskar Blues Barrel-Aged Ten FIDY 2018 (89)

A quintessentially barrel-aged stout nose touches on oak and spirits with an underlying richness. The sip is clean and crisp with a rich and slightly sweet mid palate braced by a cleansing tannin. Rich, but not too rich. Sweet, but not too sweet. Expertly balanced and engaging.

Amalgam Brewing Other Realms (89)

Bourbon notes on the nose highlight an imprecise and mildly vegetal nose that transitions to dark fruit–infused chocolate in the sip. The net effect is more estery than exact.

Left Hand Bittersweet Nitro (89)

Chocolate, licorice, and dark fruit. The coffee adds a nice dry, roasted background, and the vegetal note from the aroma isn’t as pronounced. Finish has a milk-chocolate sweetness.

Burial Beer Seasoned Skillet (89)

Semisweet bitter chocolate is the dominant character. An ashy roast note from the nose is still present and leaves a lingering tongue-smacking chalky feel. The finish is rich and not overly sweet, and the bourbon and wood character add a nice underlying warmth.

Melvin Barrel-aged Ruckus (89)

Baking chocolate, tons of roast, and a bit of smoke. Nice lingering dark-fruit sweetness, accentuated with hints of port character from the barrel. Nice body, but it still finishes moderately dry with a pleasant fortified wine booziness.

The Bruery Vindictive (89)

The flavor of this beer dances between roast character with some malt sweetness and fruit sweetness. The roast is a bit of coffee, leather, and chocolate. Fruits are plum and prune with some sweet grapes coming through, grappa-like. Stout character gets a bit lost in the mix.”

Alvarado Street Brewery Motor Oil No. 5 (90)

Bright orange and rich chocolate on the nose lead into a stunningly gorgeous sip where swirling vanilla, or-ange, and chocolate are highlighted by a strong residual sweetness that perfectly sells the combination’s al-chemy.

Seventh Son Brewing Sextus (90)

A confounding beer that tastes nothing like anything else we’ve reviewed. The nose evokes mint chocolate chip ice cream. The flavor is light on spirits barrels, but the bright and soft herbal-meets-dark-chocolate bit-terness is intriguing and singular.

Verboten Brewing Barrel-Aged Cake or Death (90)

Dark roast cacao nose dives deep into the chocolate pool. The sip is moderated by the vanilla and coconut bourbon character, but still pushes a hard cacao line to cut through the sweetish body.

Hoppin’ Frog BA T.O.R.I.S. the Tyrant Triple Oatmeal-Imperial Stout (90)

The nose is umami rich, with an almost Turkish coffee cardamom character, and follows through on that rich, sweet expectation but maintains tight control with a strong espresso roast backbone through the sip. Co-hesive and thoughtfully considered.

Jackie O’s Brewery Vanilla & Coffee Bean Bourbon Barrel Dark Apparition 2019 (90)

Sweet latte and Werther’s notes on the nose, backed by a refined espresso roast, while the sip offers less than expected, which becomes more. The sweetness is not overwhelming, the body isn’t thick, but offers enough support for the various flavors, and the vanilla offers a softening note that increases perceived sweet-ness. Well-considered and thoroughly enjoyable.

Ecliptic Brewing Oort Imperial Stout (90)

A rather intensely hoppy nose speaks to its American-ness, with subtle C-hop citrus notes and a bit of pine. Bitterness seizes the sip from the outset, with a dual-pronged roast and hops aggressive bitterness.

Mother’s Brewing Native Oak Version 2 (90)

Rich umami with a soy angle and a touch of orange citrus zest on the nose. The flavor is intensely rich and layered, like a smoky jazz club deep in the morning hours—a heady mix of bourbon, char, and deep, confident cool.

Oskar Blues JAHvanilla Ten FIDY 2019 (90)

Nutty, almond, and roast notes dominate the nose with a strong vanilla undercurrent. The sip is on the thin-ner side, but woody tannic sharpness helps cut through the rich vanilla and coconut sweetness. Bold, clean, and rich. Walks a properly tensioned slackline between decadent and disciplined.

The Bruery Black Tuesday (2017) (90)

Alcohol is the dominant flavor, followed by a rich melanoidin sweetness with dark fruit, chocolate, and hints of tomato juice. Finish is sweet and boozy, not particularly bitter.”

EPIC Triple Barrel Big Bad Baptist (90)

Tastes like a piece of coffee cake with rum poured over it. Finish is pretty dry, possibly due to oak tannins and/or the coffee. Coconut and cocoa nibs round things out without sticking out.

Ska Brewing Co. Steel Toe Milk Stout (91)

A sharp Tootsie Roll nose with deeper undertones leads into a warm chocolate sip with a balanced sweet-ness and just enough body to keep it interesting. Clean, crisp, and crushable.

Side Project Derivation Blend 11 (91)

A dark, rich marshmallow nose is enveloping and deeply engaging with a solid bourbon-oak character in the background for depth. The sip is similarly decadent but refined, with a thoroughly sophisticated mix of dark chocolate, bourbon sweetness, and rich vanilla. The economy belies its sophistication, with a confidence that’s undeniable. It pushes the bass notes to excellent effect.

Fort George Brewery From Astoria With Love (91)

Black licorice, anise, ash, and even bitter kale on the nose. The sip is rich initially with an almost cardamom spice, but thins out quickly.

Hop Butcher/Solemn Oath Hobson (91)

Soft, light, and sweet with tobacco and licorice notes on the nose that carry through in the flavor. It’s a bit vague and shapeless as the body wades through the various flavor notes.

Against the Grain Bo & Luke (91)

A tight and slightly smoky nose with brief glimpses of orange citrus segues into a bold body with rich but round wood notes and an enduring heft. Finishes with a lingering smoky note that’s angular but not harsh—a structured but not overbearing linger.

Pinthouse Pizza Dinner for One (91)

It’s tough to achieve soft sophistication in a stout without extensive sweetness, but rich toasty caramel notes in the nose and a soft vanilla body that’s neither too bitter nor too sweet keeps the volume level down, allow-ing nuanced flavors to push forward.

Stone Brewing Fyodor (91)

Tightly defined nose of oiled leather and dry oak transitions to a sharp sip where equal parts roast acidity and residual sweetness hit quickly, then fade into a lingering dry dark chocolate finish.

Cerebral Peace Be the Journey (91)

Rich chocolate and caramel sweetness. The coffee character is pretty subtle: it adds a bit to the roast character on the finish. Pretty sweet on balance, nice and creamy mouthfeel but a little heavy overall. Pleasant alcoholic warming on the swallow. Very nice fruity flavors.

New Holland Dragon's Milk Reserve Triple Mashed (91)

Rich dark fruit sweetness. This has great complexity with dark cherries, toffee, and chocolate, but it is missing any stout roast character. Boozy as hell. The finish isn’t particularly bitter, but the alcoholic heat leaves that impression. Still quite sweet overall.”

Schlafly The Variant (91)

A fairly typical barrel-aged stout, with sweet coffee roast, light cocoa, and barrel character. The port accentuates the cherry fruitiness and alcoholic warmth. Finish is mocha and booze. Mmmm, booze.

Brewery Vivant Love Shadow (2017) (91)

Coffee and chocolate up front, followed by a boozy, oak-barrel quality. Fairly sweet, but the roast bitter finish along with a bit of alcoholic burn keep it from being overly cloying. A bit of a chalk note on the finish, like cocoa powder.”

The Bruery Share This: Coffee (91)

Medium-full bodied with some definite alcohol warmth. The base beer is more prevalent than on the aroma, bringing a nice dark-chocolate quality to complement the fruitiness of the coffee and the roasted malt.

Great Divide Chai Yeti (91)

Spicy chocolate with complex roast astringency, bitter dark chocolate, light milk sweetness, and a touch of alcohol warming at the end. Light mushroom, coffee flavor in the middle of the sip that blends well with the chai spiciness. Well balanced alcohol warming toward the end of the sip that leads in the aftertaste. Finish is chocolate, coffee, and tea spiciness.

Societe The Pugilist (91)

Light-bodied and moderately roasty with notes of dark chocolate and caramel. No hops to speak of with the bitterness just there to provide complexity against the dry finish. Slight astringency on the finish.

Ritual Brewing Manhattan Barrel Aged Big Deluxe (92)

A rich, varied cocktail nose of sweet cherry and bitter citrus braced by a warm, rich orange bourbon-barrel note leads into a sip that’s sweet and intense, with high-key fruit notes that overwhelm the lower-key stout notes. Fruity, but in a slightly cloying way. Most of the way there; not all the way there.

Cerebral Brewing Sugar Pie (92)

Sweet overwhelms spicy on the nose, amplified by cocoa, vanilla, maple syrup, and a vein of cinnamon run-ning through. The sip is similarly sweet, with a broad and loose maple syrup-meets-vanilla and a hint of roast and cinnamon. It's a bit too cloying to be truly great but remains an enjoyable dessert beer.

Upland Brewing Co. Teddy Bear Kisses (92)

A zippy toffee/butterscotch nose leads into a rich sip with a light roasty scaffold and glimpses of endearing sweetness. Hefty, but not overwhelming.

Main & Mill Brewing Co. Bourbon Barrel–Aged Carpathian 2019 (92)

Honey and toffee lead the nose with low roast and dark-chocolate notes. The sip brings more sweet honey and a bit of chocolate with so little roast it might be better named a porter. An almost red-wine and oak tan-nin runs through it, but the bourbon barrel note makes a brief appearance deep in the finish.

Finkel & Garf Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout (2019) (93)

Mid-sweet chocolate on the nose plays with a hint of cinnamon and tanned leather backed by significant bourbon oak notes. The flavor has a bit of acidic roast malt bite tempered a bit by the residual sweetness, but it’s a bit sharp on the swallow.

Foothills Brewing Dead and Berried (93)

Light roasty coffee notes in the nose are overwhelmed by vivid, sharp berry notes. The flavor is awkwardly sharp—a bit too dry, low in barrel character, and a bit too roasty—and the berry ends up adding extra acidity without the accompanying richness.

Burial Beer Anno Domini MMXIX (93)

Lemon zest is an unexpected but bright and curious addition on the nose. The body is thick and the sip sweet but with a unique and singular herbal flavor. Interestingly like no other stout we’ve had.

Madhouse Brewing Barrel Aged Carpe Diem 2019 (93)

Bright coffee drives the nose with glimpses of rich maple. The sip doesn’t quite live up to the nose, with a slightly thinner body and a basic coffee acidity.

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery Black Forest Cassowary (93)

A touch of old-style imperial stout bitterness on the nose meters out the potential excess of the other ingre-dients, while on the sip the cherry and coconut push forward into pure dessert territory. It’s rich and syrupy on the sip with a lingering sweet finish.

Two Roads/Evil Twin Saigon Scooter Selfie (93)

Sweet but curiously sophisticated rich coffee note on the nose offers an alluring entry to the very sweet body. Under normal circumstances, that level of sweetness would be unsuitable, but here it carefully plays against the coffee, fruit, and roast notes, creating a surprising and unexpected beer.

Schlafly Salted Caramel Stout (93)

Like a liquid caramel chocolate candy. Caramel dominates with the chocolate and roast playing an important supporting role. The salt adds just a touch of complexity but elevates the beer tremendously.

Avery Raspberry Truffale (93)

Very sweet up front. Chocolate, caramel, and dark-fruit sweetness. The finish is medium sweet, but not cloying. A touch of bourbon corn richness. Some nice vanilla notes from the barrel on the finish.

Birds Fly South BA Wolves in the Piano (2017) (93)

Lots of dark chocolate. More overripe banana. The barrel is more of a supporting role. Very sweet and rich beer that’s balanced by the barrel and the alcohol. More rich than sweet. Decadent.

Ratio Beerworks BA Genius Wizard (94)

A young bourbon oak nose is surprisingly light on the chocolate and roast. The flavor is similarly weightless with more caramel macchiato than mocha. A bit subdued for a barrel-aged stout, but surprisingly drinkable.

Crooked Stave Private Reserve Bourbon Barrel Imperial Oatmeal Stout #183 (94)

The nose is all leather, aged oak, and softly aged roast with a strong, rich umami note. The sip is very sweet but retains some oaky, roasty structure and definition. Still, it finishes brighter than expected for such a weighty beer.

WeldWerks Coconut Brandy Medianoche (94)

Thick legs coat the side of the glass. Nose is a compelling mash up of dark roast malt and rich spirit-laced oak with coconut. The sip is as thick as it gets, with a touch of roasted malt inkiness offering a foil to the sweet coconut notes. Ponderous and engaging with thoughtfully executed barrel character.

Main & Mill Brewing Co. Barrel-Aged Imperial Breakfast Stout 2019 (94)

Nostalgia rules the nose with a heady mix of chocolate processed breakfast cereal, maple syrup, and light roast coffee. A soft, pleasant cacao and coffee bitterness defines the sip and reins in the otherwise rampant sweetness. It’s bold in every way, but strikes a drinkable balance.

WeldWerks Peanut Butter Cup Achromatic (94)

Densely rich peanut notes on the nose feel naturally decadent but perfectly in place. The sip carries through on the promise of the nose, with bold and nutty notes singing in harmony with the rich chocolate.

Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout (2017) (94)

Maple-syrup sweetness, chocolate, and caramel and a moderate coffee spiciness. Alcohol warming that lets you know it’s there but not harsh or overwhelming. Finishes sweet chocolate, light coffee, maple, and a touch of booze.

Beachwood BA System of a Stout (94)

Dark fruits, coffee, and chai dominate. Moderately strong sweetness leads into moderately strong bitterness that slowly fades. A fair amount of alcohol warmth helps to balance. Barrel character comes through nicely in the aftertaste. Complexity from the brandy, some light wood character with vanilla.”

Burial Beer Tin Cup Camp Stout (94)

Coffee and chocolate tastes up front with light spiciness from the coffee toward the end of the sip. Moderate carbonation and light astringency help the spiciness give a light bite at the end. More bitter than sweet with a light lactose creaminess.

Adtoit Theory Double Barrel Death of Cthulhu (Ghost 565) (94)

The stout is pretty sweet overall—chocolate, caramel, candy sugar, and some dark fruit. The finish is quite boozy and bitter enough to keep it from being cloying.

El Segundo Brewing 2018 Barrel Aged Standard Crude (95)

Anise and fennel on the nose feel subtle but sophisticated. The sip deftly rides the line between sweet and savory, with a soft but significant roast buffering the restrained residual sugar. Body lands on the lighter side, with the varying intensities of flavors all serving the drinkable goal.

Fremont Brewing Dark Star (95)

The flavor follows up on everything the aroma suggested—rich, sweet, chocolate coffee but adds in a hoppy bitterness that supports the roasty edge. While the bitterness lingers into finish with a light acidity, it’s still fairly smooth. Just enough alcohol to feel appropriate for the style.

pFriem Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout (2017) (95)

Rich and chewy chocolate, caramel, and roast character with a bitter finish. Nice tannic spicy character on the swallow, with mellow alcohol warming quality. The bitterness masks some of the more delicate malt sweetness overall.

Anchorage Time Waits for No One (95)

Super-intense flavor across the board. Dark rich chocolate and dark cherry. Boozy. Over the top sweet, but the bitterness and the booze attempt to balance it. Still sweet but also bitter.

Aslan Brewing Satan's Airport (95)

Huge! Sweet malty richness, great malt character behind the coffee/roast flavor: dates, raisin, caramel, and toffee. Despite that, the coffee and roast are strong enough to drive the flavor. Very estery, strong spicy alcohol. Coffee character has serious depth. Good-quality roast coffee with fruity/peppery notes.

Cerebral Here Be Monsters (Batch 2) (95)

Massive rich, sweet stout—caramel, chocolate, with lingering sweetness. Strong boozy barrel qualities pair well with the base beer, though the finish still comes across bordering on cloying.”

Starr Hill Double Bass Mocha (95)

All dark roast, all day with this one. The base beer supports a very dark roast, earthy coffee while the chocolate adds richness and silkiness. The peppercorn shines through on the flavor as it did on the aroma.

Seventh Son Fox in the Stout (95)

Intense chocolate and caramel sweetness with a soft, mellow finish despite the strong roast character. The alcohol adds really nice warmth and spiciness throughout and cuts the overall impression of sweetness.

Odd Side Ales Deleterious (96)

A subtle and oaky nose with a touch of caramel and burnt sugar segues into a full sip with black licorice un-dertones and strong roast braced by a significant sweetness that rounds off the would-be sharpness. Compel-ling and rich.

New Image Brewing Three Halves (96)

The nose offers an almost Thai-style sweet-meets-spicy character, but the sip loses definition as a vague acidity plasters over any roast structure or engaging barrel character.

Squatters Outer Daarrgness (96)

The nose is all rum—burnt sugar and oak with a touch of dry barrel character. The flavor starts warm and rich, but on ensuing sips, the dry and vegetal character comes through, leaving the pleasure of the spirits bar-rel purely in the nose.

4 Noses Toasted Coconut & Vanilla Ryeciprocal (96)

A leather-meets-coconut-and-vanilla nose offers a more constrained aroma than the body delivers in flavor, as the ingredients burst forth in the sip with reckless abandon. Still, there’s an accomplished, assured spirit running through it that underpins all of the sweet character with a richness that supports.

Surly Brewing Co. Barrel-Aged Darkness (96)

The warm bourbon oak nose is concise yet rich and welcoming with a peanut-brittle undertone. The sip is instantly enveloping with rich dark chocolate and fennel notes that resolve as a slightly sweet milk-chocolate note, braced by a mild but structuring roast. Exquisitely layered and characterful.

Fort George Brewery Matryoshka (96)

Very light chocolate and oak notes on the nose. The body is clean but spartan, with a very classic and time-less approach.

Coronado German Chocolate Cake 2018 (96)

Intense dark bitterness up front: roast, dark chocolate, dried fruit, with a drying oak character. Some residual sweetness, but the bitter qualities dominate overall. Pleasant nutty coconut on the finish. Lingering vanilla and chocolate on the swallow. Some nice warming alcohol notes.”

Bottle Logic Jam the Radar 2018 (96)

Similar to the aroma. Strong chocolate and raspberry character. Rich and dessert-like, decidedly sweet without being overly cloying. The whiskey character adds nice vanilla warming notes on the finish.

Side Project Derivation 7 (96)

Rich chewy dark malt, chocolate, vanilla, raisin. The barrel character dries up the finish and leaves a lingering tannic bitterness. Great balance with the strong alcohol character. Aged character has hints of umami/soy sauce, which adds complexity.

J Wakefield Brewery Adjunctron Project: Yellow Lion (97)

Maple sweetness over a vaguely coffee nose leads to a sip that expertly balances coffee bitterness and a maple-vanilla sweetness. It’s not cloying, but a fully realized integration of the various ingredients.

Burial Beer Seasoned Skillet 2019 (97)

The slightly thin and sweet hazelnut-coffee aroma leads into a mildly structured body that’s more sweet than bitter, with almond-meets-chocolate-croissant flaky pastry notes alongside drip coffee with three pumps of hazelnut syrup that carry through into the finish.

Lost Abbey Sinner’s Blend (97)

Cinnamon and peppers sail over a base of coffee roast. The body is a bit thinner than anticipated but offers a balanced roast, coffee, cinnamon, and bourbon-barrel approach. Lacks the luxury of the best in class but exe-cutes reliably.

Alvarado Street Brewery Anniversary Ale V 2019 (97)

Bourbon and old oak punctuate the nose. On first sip, it’s intensely and overbearingly sweet, but with famili-arity comes more nuance, and ensuing sips bring out the roasty notes that offer a ponderous but elegantly refined experience.

Creature Comforts Brewing Concurrence Blend No. 1 (97)

Warm umami vanilla roast notes suggest significant age and maturity. The sip is similarly rich and confi-dent—a touch thin, but awash in low-key roast and bourbon notes that aren’t too sweet and aren’t too bit-ter—just right.

Springdale Maple BA Brigadeiro (97)

Lots of good stouty dark malt character—coffee and chocolate. It’s fairly sweet, but the roasty finish dries it up a bit and keeps it from being overwhelming. The barrel character comes through nicely on the finish.”

Three Taverns Double Smack (97)

Crazy and bit disorienting with the first taste. There are a lot of flavors vying for attention all at once. Quite sweet, but this is offset by the spicy roastiness from the coffee. The banana helps pull things together by adding a richness between the dryer character of the coffee and oak. The finish has strong licorice and vanilla character, with lingering maple-syrup sweetness.

Perennial Barrel-aged Abraxas 2018 (97)

Cinnamon for days! Semisweet chocolate. Slight coffee, vanilla, caramel. Quite boozy but not harsh. The cayenne burn on the finish is present and appropriate, and the tannins from the barrel and whiskey blend well with the rest of the adjuncts.

Hardywood Hoax (97)

Rich and chewy, lots of dark chocolate and dried fruit, with a strong boozy finish. It’s extremely complex without being cloying. Thick and potent with alcohol lingering in the aftertaste.”

Cerebral Barrel-aged Ancient Ruins (97)

Dark chocolate with an intense boozy barrel character. Warming without being overly aggressive. The finish is a balance of bitter dark malt and sweet chocolate. Nice spicy quality from the barrel. Very sweet, strong, and rich.

4 Noses Ryeciprocal (97)

Chewy chocolate and roast character followed by a great spicy barrel character. Finish is fairly dry, accentuated by the roast and oak astringency. Has some restrained boozy heat on the swallow that is nicely warming.

Angry Chair Rum Barrel Aged Imperial Awakening (97)

High perceived up-front sweetness with a dry cocoa-powder finish. Coffee is strong and helps to balance the sweetness from the malt and vanilla. Spice from the rum and cinnamon adds complexity and plays off of the booze. Warming, slightly boozy without being hot.”

Cigar City Brewing Caffè Americano (98)

A strangely slight nose takes subtlety to the extreme—some coffee is there, but you’ll have to go looking for it. The flavor, however, brings rich and only slightly sweet coffee roast notes to the fore.

Prison City Pub & Brewery Wham Whams (98)

Strong Cocoa Puffs nose captures the baked-chocolate-with-cereal grain character of the breakfast favorite. The sip is luxuriously thick and coating, with sweet and bitter chocolate notes in balance, but it’s squarely on the ‘dessert beer’ end of the spectrum.

Creature Comforts Brewing Concurrence (Blend No. 2) (98)

Sharply defined cinnamon notes play off some vanilla and coconut from the barrel, underpinned by a solid coffee roast. The sip is a touch too sweet—pleasantly softening the spice but dulling the edge as broadcast by the nose. Enjoyable if a bit loose.

Commonwealth Brewing Kamehameha (98)

Subtle tropical notes on the nose aren’t nearly as overwhelming as the ingredient list might suggest—it’s restrained with a slightly nutty and vanilla aroma. The sip is similarly cohesive, with well-blended tropical fla-vors that stand up to, but don’t dominate, the roasty stout body and spicy barrel character. Thoroughly inte-grated and gorgeously executed.

Alvarado Street Brewery Dark Libations #3 (98)

Exquisite and decadent nutty vanilla nose is gloriously excessive with today’s prices on vanilla. The sip is equally luxurious, with a big silky roast body, thick and sweet, highlighted by more layers of vanilla and nuts.

Moksa Brewing Co. Deluxe (98)

The richest of rich and sweet vanilla notes in the nose. The sip is very light chocolate with intense vanilla, but certainly balanced toward the lighter side with just a bit of balancing bourbon character.

Great Notion Brewing Frenched Toast (98)

The cinnamon and maple-syrup notes jump out of the glass in a vivid display of adjunct intensity. The body is extremely sweet, but the quality of flavor delivers exactly as the ingredients promise, and then some. Burn down any expectations for balance and embrace the singular expression of these breakfast flavors.

Tampa Bay Brewing Ready to Drink (98)

Very coffee, but more chocolate and roast from the beer come out, and the peanuts are more integrated with the malt. It’s sweet but not overly sweet. The alcohol helps balance as well as some hops bitterness. The finish is smooth.

Powder Keg SUPERVOID: Breakfast (98)

Rich coffee and chocolate sweetness with a light coffee spiciness in the middle of the sip that quickly transitions into a tobacco, leathery character right before the finish. Moderate alcohol warming. Aftertaste is a smoky, chocolate campfire with a moderate sweetness.

Lost Abbey Serpent's Stout (2017) (98)

Massively rich and complex, tons of chocolate, caramel, oak, whiskey with a nice boozy finish that isn’t overly hot. The bitterness and alcoholic finish keep the sweetness in check, and the complex character lingers really well.”

Weldwerks Coconut Medianoche (98)

A Mounds candy bar. Dark chocolate and roast paired with toasted coconut. Great balance of the adjuncts. Finish is sweet, as you would expect, but still relatively balanced given the other significant aspects of the beer. Nice warming alcoholic boozy note on the finish without coming across overly hot.

Against the Grain Brewery Pretty Willie's Stout (98)

Caramel and chocolate with a restrained roasted bitter finish. The barrel adds some nice spice qualities but is pretty subtle overall. Nice balance on the finish, not overly dry. A mix of caramel, roast, and alcohol lingers through the swallow.”

Perennial Vanilla Abraxas (98)

Spicy cinnamon up front with moderate chocolate and roast toward the end of the taste. Light clove spiciness as it starts to warm.

Terrapin Richland Reserve (2017) (98)

Surprisingly, the coconut comes first, with coffee trailing close behind. Then the rich sweetness brings up the rear: very big maple, pecan praline, dates, caramel, and rich toffee. Nice vanilla. Warming alcohol.

Surly Darkness (2017) (98)

Raspberry and milk chocolate with some sweet dark cherry and clean roast. Rich and thick body with a fairly dry finish and a slight ethanol burn. Hops bitterness is there, but well hidden to just provide balance. Some lingering bitterness.

Finback BA The Hawk & Whale (99)

Rich peanut and strong coffee on the nose lay atop assertive bourbon-barrel notes. The sip is as rich as it gets—inky, nutty, with sharp definition and enveloping umami and deep chocolate notes.

Mikerphone Imperial Smells Like Bean Spirit Special Roast (99)

Maple wafts from the glass over a bed of sweet coffee roast while the legs of the pour slowly, slowly recede down the glass. It’s decadent, for sure, but an extra dose of dark roast coffee gives the sip all the bitter bal-ance it needs to stand up to the intense maple sweetness. Utterly fantastic.

Great Notion Brewing BA Double Stack (99)

What this beer lacks in bourbon-barrel character, it makes up for in intensity. The coffee is intense but tucked into a beer that feels like a vehicle for the maple character. It’s decadent with a perception of sweet-ness on the nose from the maple that (thankfully) isn’t fully realized in the sip, allowing for a surprisingly clean finish for a big-bodied barrel-aged breakfast stout. Gloriously overdone in the most decadent of ways.

Amalgam Underground Breakfast (99)

Sweet and strong vanilla latte nose leads into a slightly-less-sweet sip with a clean but satisfying flavor. It’s a dessert beer, but well-executed and reasonably crisp for the level of residual sugar.

Perennial Artisan Ales BA Abraxas 2019 (99)

Woody chocolate and light spice notes on the nose lay a low-key umami expectation that carries through into the ultra-rich body. The sip is exquisitely silky and perfectly spiced, with thoroughly integrated cinnamon, pep-pers, whiskey, vanilla, coconut, and roast. Singularly incredible in execution.

Creature Comforts Brewing Life in Flux (99)

Richly woody with a burnt caramel note on the nose. The flavor is wide and vast, with big woody notes braced by tighter dark chocolate with slightly spicy and warming bourbon. Richly engaging and thoroughly in-triguing with a sweetness throughout that finishes on a tight roast.

Side Project BVC (99)

An intense and sweet cinnamon bun with vanilla nose pushes forward, then the sip balances with light touches of milk chocolate in a loose but rich body. Enjoyable despite its rather vague definition.

Hardywood Park Ruse (2017) (99)

Fantastic rich and chewy stout character, huge chocolate and dried cherry, with hints of vanilla. The finish is quite sweet, but cut by the tannic barrel-aged character. Not as much red-wine character as in the nose, but it still adds some complexity.”

Side Project Derivation Blend #9 (99)

Spicy cinnamon. Semisweet chocolate. Slight peppery spice/heat. Sweet maple. Spicy coffee. Vanilla and caramel barrel characteristics. Fairly viscous and mouth coating. Nice warming character from the barrel without being overly hot.

Perennial Maman (2017) (99)

Massive chocolate, dark fruit, roast leading to a lingering barrel-aged oak character and strong, but not overly hot, alcoholic warmth. Residual whiskey character adds spiciness.”

Ozark Beer BDCS 2018 (99)

Very dark rich chocolate syrup. Chewy dark malt with an intense roast bitterness, but backed with a chocolate, caramel sweetness to balance. Luscious, rich, and tongue-coating, with a pleasant warming booziness on the swallow. Some barrel spiciness comes through at the end to cut the sweetness a bit. The barrel adds a hazelnut, toasted marshmallow, vanilla, and caramel character.

Other Half Bourbon Barrel Aged Pastrytown VIP (100)

An intense vanilla nose offers glimpses of sweet chocolate and oaky barrel, but the sweet vanilla sip tells you everything you need to know about the beer. It’s dessert in its purest form, richly satisfying.

Perennial Artisan Ales Maman 2018 (100)

Inky and dark with gripping legs that belie a rich body. The nose is anise and dark chocolate with low-key oaky bourbon notes, while the sip is soothing and rich with glimpses of spicy fight that give definition to the luxurious experience.

Drake's The Void (2017) (100)

Fairly sweet up front. Starts with caramel and dark dried cherries with a lingering roastiness that balances with the strong alcohol character nicely. Finish is warming but not overwhelmingly hot. The whiskey character adds complexity but isn’t overwhelming.