454 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.

Deschutes Brewery NA Irish Style Dark (83)

“Light chocolate and a woody note on the nose, with a bit of ashy roast. In the sip, light and a touch watery, with a muddled malt character that mixes up light vegetal with light roast and a bit of acidic bite.”

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.

Broken Strings Brewery Sugared Stout Gang Peanut (85)

"Singularly peanut in the nose beyond any shadow of a doubt, but subtle vegetal notes materialize around the edges."

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.

pFriem Family Brewers Rum Barrel Aged Porter (85)

“Slightly dulled chocolate nose, knocked down with time and age. The sip is similarly muted, with light chocolate cola and slight herbal bent. The reductive nature is difficult to dislike, but also lacks a certain spark.”

Russian River Brewing Co OVL Stout (85)

“A bit of chicory coffee offers an earthy roast nose with bits of wet tree bark and cacao nib. The sip is light, letting the dark malt and carbonic acidity attack quickly, without much body or softness to buffer it.”

Schlafly Beer/The Saint Louis Brewery, LLC Oatmeal Stout (85)

“Subtle herbal chocolate nose rolls into a soft sip that blends a bit of campfire s’more, with light chocolate, toasty malt, and even faint vanilla notes.”

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.

The Bruery Black Tuesday Grand Reserve (86)

"Sharp oak-tannin and leather nose; pronounced ethanol burn. The sip is intensely alcohol-forward, with burnt sugar and dark caramel notes. Pervasive alcohol heat."

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.

Ecliptic Brewing Barrel-aged Oort (86)

“Nose of toasted bread, lightly burnt caramel, and touch of buttery oak. Flavor plays it straighter, with light oak, caramel mid-notes, and light burst of roast cacao nib. More vibrant than lux.”

Summit Brewing Co Summit Oatmeal Stout (86)

“The lightly hoppy nose adds a pungent herbal tinge to the chocolate nose. The sip brings in a bit of tight roast bordering on char, but softened by lighter caramel layers. Just sweet enough, without impacting the need for another pint.”

Lakefront Brewery Inc My Turn Series: AL American Stout (86)

“Inky dark note on the nose; the sip pulls it back with more bready malt and soft caramel. The body isn’t excessive—trim and lean, with a crisp hop character.”

Single Hill Brewing Company Reserve - Osa Major (86)

“Herbal hop nose with solvent notes. Flavor sits in a strange middle ground between citrus-pine hops and dry cocoa powder. Finishes with a dry austerity.”

Allagash Brewing Company North Sky (86)

“Slightly vegetal note on the nose upsets the flow, but in the sip, very subtle fermentation esters offer a fruity reprieve.”

Moksa Brewing Co Framboesa Preta (86)

“Soft berry note in the nose, subtle with a bit of chocolate. In the sip, a similarly subtle fruit-chocolate interplay. Heavy body and concise sweetness are just enough to highlight the berry while maintaining some reserved distance. Tight roast notes and light caramel add dimension.”

Horus Aged Ales Pallas's Pere (86)

“Soft nutty caramel on the nose, with hints of coconut and vanilla. The sip sprawls a bit, with hints of red fruit and tobacco in a loose boozy jam session. It trades roasty bass notes for a deep caramel twang.”

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.

Ecliptic Brewing BA Sedna Tiramisu Stout (87)

"Bourbon, dark cherries, cocoa, and burnt-sugar caramel drive the nose. The sip pushes dry cocoa forward, for heavy chocolate without excessive sweetness. Light body never quite brings the expected oomph."

Civil Society 4th Anniversary Black Label (87)

"Intense roasted nut, dried fig and plum, vanilla, and vinous Cabernet in the nose. Roasted-peanut and dark-berry-jam. Doesn’t rely on cloying sweetness."

Springdale Beer BRIG Mocha Stout (87)

"A very light roasty coffee aroma offers brief flashes of vanilla and caramel. The sip is confidently sweet without pushing too far as light earthy hops keep a tight rein, but the hefty perception of body gives it a richness well above its weight class."

The Bruery Aloha Friday (87)

"Tropical earthy richness on the nose; peanut-coconut character persists into the sip. It's hard to find more, but the beer hides its ABV well despite the thin body."

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.”

Melvin Brewing Eureka (House of Flying Barrels) 2 Years (87)

“Broadly fruity peanut-coconut nose with dark malt flourishes. The sip skews tropical, with a bit of toasted coconut and malt-chocolate, but it trades dimension for accessibility.”

Roaring Table Brewing Sunburnt Mirth 2020 (87)

“Curious banana-coconut note on the nose with a hint of cinnamon. The flavor leans toward very light milk chocolate and coconut, with a strong and simple sweetness.”

Black Laboratory Brewing Willett BA Black is Beautiful (87)

“Caramel-latte nose is light and unassuming, as barrel notes fold into general caramel malt tones. In the sip, a boozy chocolate cola note emerges with zippy effervescence and light chocolate and barrel notes.”

AleSmith Brewing Co Speedway Stout Variant #2: Mostra Coffee & Coconut (87)

“Vegetal coffee on the nose makes it hard to get into. On the sip, dry and underwhelming.”

Three Taverns Brewery Cocoa Cafe (87)

“Spicy warming latte nose, almost chai-like with an earthiness that supports the sweeter elements. In the sip, it’s not nearly as excessive as the nose suggests, with sweet caramel notes tempered by a subtle drying spice. Finishes with a subtlety that’s surprising.”

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.

Sun King Brewing Shadow Proof Peanut Butter (88)

"Singular peanut dominates the nose, with toasted notes supporting. The sip is similarly overpowered by peanut, with mild roast, very little barrel, and a persistent, omnipresent roasted peanut note throughout."

Port Brewing Churchill's Finest Hour (88)

"Tightly focused bourbon nose—hefty spirits and a touch of licorice. Light body lets the roast and barrel push through, with acrid and astringent notes, tempered by a significant and unsupported sweetness."

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.

Fifty West Brewing BBA Death Valley Shootout (88)

"Warm oak, orange peel, orange liqueur on the nose with dark roast malt. Milk-chocolate sip is loose, thin, disappearing quickly. An easier-to-drink approach."

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.

Ex Novo Brewing Kill the Sun (Coffee & Chocolate) (88)

"Bourbon, cherrywood smoke, barrel char, overripe dark fruit on the nose. The sip veers toward cocoa with a slight bourbon edge—dry and dusty middle, without the supporting bass notes."

Grand Teton Brewing Black Cauldron (88)

"Dark- and milk-chocolate nose; caramel and toasted-bread touches. Initial sip is well-rounded, gentle—roast bitterness stirred into semisweet chocolate glaze with citrus hints, finishing with a fruity dark-chocolate note."

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.

Fifty West Brewing Maple Coffee Death Valley Shootout (88)

"One-note maple nose. The sip is heavy in the mid-range—caramel, light chocolate, a touch of hop bitterness. A touch thin and unsupported relative to its peers."

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.

Perrin Brewing Company No Rules 2021 (88)

“Curious floral spice nose with grape esters and oatmeal-cookie sweetness. Sip’s a bit thin, with huge coconut. Sweetness sags without malt support. All highs with no lows.”

Pondaseta Brewing Co. Rye Barrel Aged Castle Black (88)

“Vinous chocolate nose with subtle vanilla and coconut edges. The sip wavers, with rich flavors on a thin body that struggles to support its ambition.”

Four City Brewing Company Amanda (88)

“Big berry notes on the nose with a rounded sweetness more than berry tannin. In the sip, the dark chocolate comes forward, dusty and dry, pushing the berry notes to the retronasal. Pleasantly restrained.”

New Image Brewing Co Local Ties (88)

“Ethanol pushes a sharp roast-malt aroma with lighter hits of Whoppers candy. Flavor doubles down on whiskey heat with a spicy edge; a broad fruitiness emerges as it sits on the tongue. Reckless, young, full of energy.”

Deschutes Brewery Obsidian Stout (88)

“Comforting nose with subtle citrus and pine notes. The flavor is soft with a mellow initial chocolate approach and very light roast that allows the hop notes to push forward as it lingers.”

Four City Brewing Company Four City Stout (88)

“Dark chocolate and a touch of marker with a slightly herbal tinge in the nose offer a pointed entry. The sip brings the warming chocolate forward with more herbal spice.”

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.

Abandoned Building Brewery Belladonna (89)

"Dark stone fruit, grape Pez, earthy vegetal undertone. The sip is dry but rich, sacrificing body for continued sipping. General chocolate notes but little roast. A touch out of focus, overly simplified."

Anchorage Brewing Blessed (89)

"Precise, full-spectrum nose: high sweet vanilla, mid caramel-coconut, and bass dark malt. Stacked tiers of caramel, coconut, and vanilla create an intensely rich but rooted experience."

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.

Highland Brewing Southern Nouveau Cafe au Lait (89)

"Smooth chicory-coffee nose; a bit of vanilla-barrel sweetness. The sip offers smooth, creamy dark chocolate, light coffee, and an airy but defined sweet lightness."

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.”

St. Elmo Brewing Three (89)

"Fruity, dank modern hops in the nose, juxtaposed with thin chocolate and roast. Sweet orange and lemon together with creamy dark chocolate. Decadent, forward-thinking."

Cerebral Brewing Rye Barrel Aged Trophy Hunt (89)

"Balanced nose of rich roasted malt, dark chocolate, vanilla. The sip evokes fruity esters—grilled peach, orange, tangerine—resolving into a sweet stout body accented by earthy vanilla."

pFriem Family Brewers Cold Brew Coffee Barrel Aged Stout (89)

“Slight ashy coffee-roast in the nose. Flavor wrestles with itself—tight roast, bright acidity, thin body, peanutty roundness. High carbonation diminishes its savory nature. Too regimented in this category of debauchery.”

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.

Revelry Brewing Cake Killah (90)

"Earthy spice-driven nose with a Thai edge—lemongrass, roasted peanut, basil, ginger. The sip gets hot quick, with a chile burst. Umami notes with light chocolate and lingering heat."

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.”

12 West Brewing Sacrifices (90)

"Big chocolate nose, braced by spicy bourbon, raisin. The sip pushes sweeter, amplifying raisin and fig. Vanilla-caramel note lingers deep into the finish."

Mikerphone Brewing BA One Man Wrecking Machine (90)

"Mounds, Almond Joy, Black Forest cake, sweet cream frosting, and Nutella. A black malt shard helps keep it honest."

Elevation Beer Oil Man Imperial Stout (90)

"Wafty bourbon nose with a wide reach—wet dog, damp forest, toasted cinnamon, vanillin. The sip pushes prune and fig touches, with rich esters underpinning dark chocolate."

Lakefront Brewery Black Friday 2019 (90)

"Nose of black jellybeans and grape candy, with dark-chocolate and bourbon-barrel notes. The sip is abrupt but likeable."

Garage Brewing Marshmallow Milk Stout (90)

"Gobs of marshmallow on the nose leave no room for subtlety; as it warms, a lightly spiced cream-soda note emerges. The sip is moderately sweet; the light body seems confused by what's expected from it. Finishes with a lingering toasty caramel-vanilla note."

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.

2nd Shift Brewing Pinckney Bend BBA Liquid Spiritual Delight (90)

"Strong coconut-vanilla barrel in the nose; unmistakable bourbon. The sip is smooth, dark chocolate, waffle cone, mocha, with assuring bourbon heat and spice. Satisfying, yet slightly dulled by low carbonation."

Breakside Brewery Chocolate Brandy Alexande (90)

"Polished leather, dark red fruit, and earthy spice on the nose; light, rustic anise. The sip is sweeter and less rugged, with soft fruit, milk chocolate, and sprawling sweetness."

Ecliptic Brewing Oort Imperial Stout (90)

“Hefty blue-ish tone, cool and detached, with a big dose of earthy hops. The flavor balances that tight hop bitterness with a very smooth roast. Body is a touch thin by modern standards, but it adds to the overall drinkability. Punchy and flavorful.”

Silver City Brewery Shadow Magic (90)

“Subtle, polished chocolate notes on the nose. Big roast-malt flavor notes, very light smoke, and a subtle sweetness pulls it together and softens the edges.”

Nocterra Brewing Company Take A Hike: S'mores Stout (90)

“Bold, but slightly kludgy, s’more notes in the nose pull chocolate and marshmallow through a slightly medicinal, artificial lens. The sip is a bit thin for a beer of this scale, more ‘flavored’ than ‘flavorful.’”

The Brewery LBK Social Justice Warrior (90)

“Very sweet honeysuckle nose with a perfumey, vanilla-fruit intensity. The sip is dialed back, with chocolate soda and dark- roast notes wrestling with vanilla extract. A bit of a synthetic feel.”

Weathered Souls Brewing Co. Anniversary Blend (90)

“Cinnamon, berry, and caramel nose offers surprising breadth. The flavor bends fruity, underpinned by big chocolate notes but minimal roast; overtones of cherry and apple. Toasty vanilla.”

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.

MotoSonora Brewing Road of Bones Imperial Stout (91)

"Anise and minty-herbal hops drive the nose; faint roast. The sip is loose and light, like a big dry stout—lean, minimal—without the expected bitterness and body."

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.”

Avery Brewing Night Warden (91)

"Leathery-brown malt nose with toasted whiskey barrel; caramel and vanilla touches. The sip is cool, thin, dark chocolate–forward. Barrel recedes as creamy, bitter chocolate emerges. Light for its intentions."

Crooked Run Brewing Virtue (91)

"Candied red-fruit nose with bubblegum, strawberry—unique, interesting. The sip brings it back to stout territory—soft red fruit, mild roast, firm caramel middle. Atypical, offbeat, but engaging."

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.”

10 Torr Brewing Menacing Vibrations (91)

"Coffee-chocolate nose and a whiff of decomposing leaves. The sip is brighter—a slightly sweet highlight fades into cocoa powder and drip coffee. Rides the line between pedestrian and accessible."

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.

Wolf's Ridge Brewing BBA Ladies Who Brunch (91)

"Dark chocolate, coffee, and bourbon dominate the nose; maple and cinnamon appear as it warms. The sip offers generalist appeal, as light maple, spice, and coffee blend in a soft, sweet package."

DESTIHL Brewery Dosvidanya Rye (91)

"Nose is hulking but tenuous—a Richard Serra sculpture that could crash down any minute. The sip brings charred-oak bourbon bracing bitter dark chocolate, smoothed by vanilla-caramel patina. Singular, uncompromising."

Outer Range Brewing Timber with Vanilla (91)

"Sarsaparilla nose with honey and vanilla. The sip furthers the root-beer theme with pronounced sweetness but also genuine earthiness and roasted malt to keep it from devolving into soda-pop territory."

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.

Pinthouse Pizza Bearded Seal (91)

"Faint smoke and roast in the nose with thin dark-chocolate notes. Light body shows a touch of ashiness as the sip progresses, but a hit of sharp dark chocolate sweeps through toward the finish to clean it up."

Parish Brewing Rêve Coffee Stout (91)

"Fruity coffee notes evoke berries and solid dark chocolate. Sip is round, enveloping; a creamy hint of vanilla holds it together. Luxurious and rich despite mid-strength, with the right sweetness to blunt the roasty edges."

Alesong Brewing Señor Rhino (91)

"Spicy, sweet nose with an agave twist. Engaging. The sip is thoroughly integrated cinnamon, chocolate, and vanilla. Sweetness kept in check by tightly structured tequila notes."

The Lost Abbey Serpent's Stout (91)

"Hops on dark roast—richly layered, intense nose. The sip is big dark cacao polished with a smooth, creamy sheen—bold, lively. Dark chocolate deep into the finish."

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.

Baere Brewing Company Breathe Out (91)

“Bacon fig jam nose with heavy fortified wine note. Spicy and woody cigar sip with a pungent and fruity front end; it mashes up disparate stout themes with graceful aplomb.”

Verboten Brewing Vanilla Not a Speck of Light (91)

“Marshmallow nose with a faint licorice edge sets a wide dynamic range. Flavor lands more solidly sweet, with just a touch of campfire-roast adding dimension to the vanilla and milk chocolate middle.”

Liquid Mechanics Brewing Company Street Punk Stout (91)

“Simple roasty nose, with slightly ashy note. The sip is sweeter and softer with gentle chocolate ripples, but the sharp, ashy roast notes deny that pleasure.”

Area Two Experimental Brewing Barrel-Aged Chocolate Cookie Stout (91)

“An almost perfumy coconut note on the nose with nutty back notes leads to a sip that throws a vegetal edge on otherwise toasty-sweet elements.”

New Holland Brewing Dragon's Milk (91)

“Vague candi sugar on the nose amid boozy bourbon waves and milk chocolate. The sip hits high in the chocolate strike zone—more milk chocolate, Caramello, and Nutella than roastier iterations. Zippy carb keeps it breezy.”

Free Will Brewing Company Decadent Chocolate Ralphius (91)

Crisp but slightly fruity cacao note on the nose, with a touch of caramel and dark berry. On the sip, those dark berry notes push forward—blueberry, blackberry—with alternate hits of bitter and sweet chocolate. On subsequent sips, the sweetness and ethanol with the fruit notes bends a bit medicinal, but it thankfully adheres to its dark malt structure with a lingering dark-chocolate bitterness.

Single Hill Brewing Company Osa Major (91)

“Woody, wet-dog note on the nose. The sip is more structured woody tannin with a big bread crust note, but surprisingly restrained roast.”

Pure Project Lost Monarch (91)

“Candy sweet in the sip, but endearing punchy coffee notes amplify and define the rich caramel midtones, with a well-placed sharp roast note across it.”

Broad Brook Brewing Company OLMEC Mayan Kakawa Stout (91)

“Molé nose with a gentle cinnamon spice, the sip is broad with a reassuring sweetness that softens the spice but flattens the more characterful edges.”

Cellarmaker Brewing Company Regeneration Cycle (91)

“Enormous vanilla on the nose; candy-like sweetness and a toasty macaroon hit. The sip leans into dessert sweetness with gusto, abandoning any pretense of drinkability. Best enjoyed in small amounts.”

Ozark Beer Company BDCS 2021 (91)

“Caramel, roast, and big bourbon notes on the nose evoke a caramel-bourbon cocktail. On the sip, a roast softness lets the caramel malt notes push forward with light layers of roast underneath, selling a bourbon richness without harsh extremities. Remarkably smooth and integrated.”

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.

American Solera BA Distractions Grasp (92)

"Nestlé Crunch, Nutella-covered Rice Krispies treat, braced by a touch of coffee. The sip itself is significantly sweet, but with a blended chocolate nuttiness that gives it just barely enough structure."

12 West Brewing Midnight Run (92)

"Nutty, caramel-forward coffee notes on the nose present intensely with apparent sweetness but the sip doesn’t indulge. Light and nimble, despite the strong coffee and roast."

Westbound & Down BA Western Justice (92)

"Soft licorice nose. Sip starts light, sweet, and mocha, finishing with brusquely bitter roast tempered by caramelized sugar."

The Brew Kettle Kitka (92)

"Light coconut and milk chocolate on the nose is a touch thin but inviting. The sip launches with a sharp edge of carbonation, but the tame roast malt allows the flavors to push forward. Highs and high mids overpower any deeper or richer notes."

Epic Brewing Co., LLC Sextuple Barrel Big Bad Baptist (92)

“Coffee defines the nose, with rounded roast and small caramel hits. The sip veers toward the thinner end, pushing coffee roast.”

Hoppin' Frog Brewing Extended Barrel-Aged D.O.R.I.S. The Destroyer Double Oatmeal Imperial Stout (92)

“Musty oak cellar, hazelnut, and spicy blackberry lead into a staid sip of muted cacao and oak. The aroma’s energy gives way to the surety of the flavor, but the intensity builds with each sip.”

Verboten Brewing Not a Speck of Light (92)

“Anise and sharper roast on the nose with honey and vanilla underneath. The sip rolls in like a sweet bourbon tide, supported by chocolate and cinnamon-like spice, giving up some definition in pursuit of ease.”

Burial Beer Co Anno Domini MMXXI (2021) Rum Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout with Coconut, Hazelnut, and Mexican Vanilla Bean (92)

“Spicy cocktail nose with a nutty-earthy note and an almost pad thai–like sweet-spicy-nutty axis.”

Perennial Artisan Ales Shake the Frost (92)

“Woody, roasty coffee note on the nose. Tight and succinct. The flavor skews light, with softer fruity coffee notes balancing the gentle roast. Satisfying without heaviness.”

Deschutes Brewery The Abyss (92)

“Bold Pacific Northwest hops and tight roast malt offer a distinctly American nose. Uses barrel-aging to smooth hop and roast edges into a delicious beer to be drunk by the snifter, not the taster.”

Woven Water Brewing Company Obsidius (92)

“Boozy nose with oatmeal raisin coconut cookie. Ethanol in the sip amplifies the sweet coconut and nut tones. Intense but entertaining.”

North Park Beer Co. Maple Barrel-Aged Brunch Before Dying (92)

“Herbal coffee nose with tight almond and light maple notes, riding into a punchy chocolate-licorice body. Expressive maple unfolds as it warms. Big, but never excessive.”

Westbound & Down Brewing Company Single Barrel Select: Heaven Hill Double Absence (92)

“Light oak and subtle nutty notes on the nose. The sip pushes midtone caramel malt with just a hint of lower roast. Subtle and sophisticated, but unassuming.”

North Park Beer Co. Mostra Before Dying (92)

“Light coffee and Nestlé Crunch nose. In the sip, heavily extracted coconut dominates with big ethanol edge. Slight vegetal note after the swallow.”

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.

Modern Times Chaos Grid: Joy Edition (93)

"Luxurious nose of almond butter and coconut, leaning on sharp roast to avoid cloying. The sip embraces broad, sweet, nuts-and-coconut notes over light chocolate, foregoing subtlety for intensity and sweetness."

Birds Fly South Nights Like These (93)

"Red fruit, bread pudding, oatmeal cookies with dried cherries—rich caramel and fruit notes offer a distinctive nose. A light yet rich body satisfies without the need for additional malt heft."

Great Divide Brewing S’mores Yeti Imperial Stout (93)

"Curious cinnamon-chai-spice nose with vanilla and caramel; feels vaguely Himalayan. Dry cocoa surges on the sip—the pointed, bitter-chocolate rush subsides into a spicy, lingering finish, reverberating with roast and chocolate, under a smooth vanilla sheen."

Burial Brewing Anno Domini MMXX (93)

"Oranges and chocolate nose; sharp, acidic, juicy edge. The sip pulls it together remarkably: soft coconut and vanilla soften the fruit's sharper tendencies. Polarizing, thought provoking."

Moksa Brewing Grasp of Oak (93)

"A solid s’mores line runs through, with hazelnut, toasted grain, caramel, and marshmallow-vanilla nose. Finishes quickly and cleanly, with light roast clearing the palate."

Flying Dog Brewery Operation Breakfast (93)

"Caramel macchiato nose with hefty maple syrup—big, bold, sweet. The sip is more restrained: roast-coffee sharpness slashes through lighter body. More malt support in the middle would put it over the top."

Narrow Gauge Brewing Barrel Aged Vanil (Batch #2) (93)

"Earthy nose with orange zest, floral spice, vanilla, and light herbs. The sip is clunky, bull in a china shop, as rough caramel and roast malt bump into earthy vanilla, with no manners and minimal panache."

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.

Two Roads Brewing Espressway Coffee Stout (93)

"Gorgeous, expressive coffee nose, lightly crossed by toast and caramel in a broad swath. Lean, sparing sip, with resounding roast-coffee notes—a treat for the coffee-obsessed."

Ex Novo Brewing Kill the Sun (93)

"Overripe dark fruit on the nose with a hit of baking spice and cocoa powder. The sip continues the fruity display, with apple and dark cherry pitched against a very bitter black malt backdrop."

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.

DESTIHL Brewery Dosvidanya Vanilla Rye (93)

"Nose of dark chocolate, spice, whiskey, vanilla. The sip goes deep, dark—layers of malt, licorice, tobacco, charred oak, softened by a modicum of sweet vanilla. Has the heft to accompany a cigar or cask-strength bourbon."

Toppling Goliath Brewing Norseman's Wrath (93)

"Chocolate orange, lime, citrus-zested dark-roast coffee. The sip is more familiar: dark-chocolate orange—creamy, with enough sweetness to soften the bitter edges. A compelling embrace of the new."

Upland Brewing BBA Teddy Bear Kisses (93)

"Slightly off-putting old-barrel vegetal note, distracts from chocolate-roast base with hefty bourbon notes. The sip is warming, round, with caramel and toffee notes softening the sharper roast."

Foothills Brewing Dead & Berried Imperial Stout (93)

“On the vinous side of barrel-aged stouts, it feels less ‘berry-driven’ in the nose than some others that lack actual berries. On the sip, the fruit is again more vinous jammy.”

Uhl’s Brewing Co Deep Dark Depths (93)

“Blackberry and port aroma with roasty undertones. In the flavor, roast acidity highlights red fruit notes for an initial berry shock that resolves into lingering roast coffee.”

Roadmap Brewing Co Plain Black T's (93)

“Dark chocolate, anise, and a bit of licorice in the nose. The sip brings coffee roast forward with a smoothly defined edge. Lingering dark-chocolate bitterness.”

Liquid Mechanics Brewing Company Single Barrel Anarchy Project (93)

“Grape Kool-Aid, chocolate raisins, and berry-filled chocolate truffle on the nose, with requisite oaky whiskey note. The sip pushes dry and woody with peanut and cocoa powder. Finishes with an off-dry lingering bitterness.”

Broken Strings Brewery Livin' on a Doge (93)

“Lightly sweetened coffee nose with endearing maple and vanilla. The sip defies sweetest expectations, as coffee-roast emerges with distinct earthy bitterness. Slight hesitation keeps competing forces at arm’s length.”

Uhl’s Brewing Co Fluffernutter Imperial Stout (93)

“Natural earthy peanut on the nose—spicy and woody. The sip is sweeter but bolstered by that earthy real peanut and a big low-end roast malt that builds support for the sweeter top end.”

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.

East Brother Beer Oatmeal Stout (94)

"Subdued floral, apple, and cherry notes in the nose. The sip is visually thin but round on the tongue, with more red fruit and an unabashed embrace of layered malt sweetness that's kept in check by just a touch of mild roast and a prickly carb. Comforting."

Moksa Brewing Pastry Mode (94)

"Toothy, peanut-buttery nose, rich roast, bright coconut. The sip is sweet, rich, dark—chocolate-coconut, coffee roast, and vanilla. Rich contrasts accentuate bold sweetness for maximum effect."

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.

Finback Brewery Incarnation (94)

"Bourbon-coffee nose is sculpted, sweet. The sip is rounded, warming, as coffee joins the dark-malt chorus and substantial semisweet body pushes forward."

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.”

Great Divide Brewing Barrel Aged Yeti (94)

"Fruity-citrus American hops nose bowls over lighter chocolate and roast. The sip is unassuming, light, "drinkable" despite style expectations. Minimal barrel. Smooth and integrated."

Amalgam & Westbound & Down Meta Coconut (94)

"Huge toasted coconut nose, warming and rich, underpinned by subtle stout and barrel sweetness. The sip would cloy if it weren’t for the through-line of bitter dark malt adding depth."

Amalgam Brewing Another Realm (94)

"Dark chocolate, hazelnut, vanilla, and coconut hints in the nose, pie crust. Thickly layered dark fruit—prune, fig, dried apple—brightened by citrus-zest twang."

Jackie O's Brewery BA Dark Apparition (94)

"Bold nose—balsamic reduction on charred figs, dark cherry, dark-roasted peanuts, with port and whiskey overtones. Silky sip of roast coffee, faint cherry, light hazelnut, and long-lingering dark-chocolate bitterness."

Station 26 Brewing Hell Bear (94)

"A slightly thin, whiskey-soaked, stroopwafel nose hides chocolate and roast under sharp spirits. In the sip, simple cocoa powder with a medium backing bitterness. Rough and jagged, with an accessible simplicity."

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.

Bend Brewing Barrel Aged Trade War (94)

"Nose with light licorice, dark chocolate, pronounced oak tannin, a touch of cardboard. The sip offers woody vanilla and tannic spice touches, giving structure to creamy dark-chocolate body. Compelling."

Incendiary Brewing Company Our Darkest Days 2021 (94)

“Roasted, earthy nuttiness on the nose with a bit of bourbon. The sip brings big caramel-bourbon sweetness with rolling lower chocolate notes. Dessert-focused, with depth to support it.”

Elysian Brewing Dragonstooth Stout (94)

“Bold PNW hop nose with intense roast notes alongside. Simultaneous hop and roast agendas with big and uncompromising flavors of both.”

Brävery Brewing 2019 Bourbon Barrel-Aged The Shroud (94)

“Peanut brittle and nutty roast coffee with bourbon oak midtones in the nose. The sip skews lighter and brighter, with vibrant herbal vanilla softening sturdy dark-chocolate notes. Lively and dynamic.”

Breakside Brewery Cute Metal (94)

“Dark-chocolate berry in the nose, with Port-like red-grape and bourbon-derived waffle-cone vanilla. Smooth on the tongue—thick but not weighty—with vibrant vanilla.”

Melvin Brewing Eureka (House of Flying Barrels) Night Visions - Vanilla Latte (94)

“Huge coffee notes in the nose with a polished woody smooth edge. The sip is sweeter, trading away some of the expected roast bitterness for a general coffee-ness, and a round body that feels imprecise despite the sharp flavor components.”

Moksa Brewing Co Changes (94)

“Big coffee notes in the nose with a vivid marshmallow pop; the coconut emerges in the sip for a soft and indulgent sweet finish given structure by the strategic coffee notes. Smart choices pull it back at every critical moment.”

Hoppin' Frog Brewing Rye B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher - Batch # 400 (94)

“Beautifully thick pour. The nose pulls forest pine needle and bark, the sip pushes a dry woody, tannic roast malt with just a touch of residual sweetness. Classically bold.”

Pure Project Dualité (94)

“Toasted marshmallow nose with a hint of campfire. The sip is syrupy-thick, camouflaging sweet notes that balance the sharper dark roast. Bright, lush decadence.”

Pontoon Brewing Company Barrel Aged German Chocolate Cake (94)

“Thoroughly dessert, with big coconut-latte notes on the nose and pitched sweetness in the flavor. But it never feels cheap, layering Nutella, Toblerone, and Mounds bar over a strong, smooth espresso base.”

Moksa Brewing Co Grasp of Noir (94)

“Sweet nutty marshmallow in the nose with an earthy undertone. The sip is rich and peanut-forward. Big, decadent, indulgent, and beautifully balanced.”

Cerebral Brewing Here Be Monsters - Single Barrel Select (Bottle Logic) (94)

“Woody licorice with a fruity vanilla top note. The sip is firm and brisk, with tight chocolate and vanilla oaky notes. Well-structured, not sluggish.”

Highland Park Brewery Barrel-Aged Griffith J. Griffith (2021) (94)

“Hazelnut coffee on the nose with a darker roast edge. Bright, sweet, but structured in the sip with a firm and velvety roast.”

Maplewood Brewing Company Barrel Aged Cuppa Hazelnut (94)

“Dive bar meets Italian dessert in the nose, with stale cigarette, bourbon, and hazelnut truffle. Comfortable, accessible, yet aspirational, with boozy chocolate-pecan against French roast. Equal parts louche and lofty.”

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.

Ratio Beerworks Genius Wizard 2019 Maple Pecan (95)

"Deep chocolate praline nose. More rich and rugged than soft and sweet. On the sip, subtle sweetness highlights substantive nuttiness and bold chocolate. Intensely flavorful and rich without relying on sweetness as a crutch."

Second Self Beer Malibu Doyle (95)

"Butterscotch nose with touches of caramel and roast. The sip is less sweet than expected—a touch light and watery—with coconut flavor more like heightened barrel than adjunct ingredient. Almost dark-barleywine character."

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.

Perennial Artisan Ales Vanilla Abraxas (95)

"Woody, minty-herbal vanilla nose with hints of roasted malt. The sip is substantial. Quick finish feels lighter than it should for a beer of this weight."

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.

Melvin Brewing Vladimir Gluten (95)

"Inky licorice and black malt strike stark aroma notes; just a touch of chocolate. The sip is rugged—unyielding, unapologetic roast malt and bourbon notes. Dry cacao lingers."

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.

Revolution Brewing Deth's Tar 2019 (95)

"Sharp black nose like a Slayer song—rhythmic, pulsating, unrelenting. The sip softens the brutalism with a sweet melodic interlude, probing the darkness before an acoustic prog-metal outro ties a folksy bow on it."

Seventh Son Brewing Murmuration (95)

"Dark, roasty nose with anise and holiday spice. On the sip, holiday fruitcake—dark cherry and raisin braced by spice—and a warming, familiar, just-sweet-enough body. Endearing and rich."

Vitamin Sea Brewing Seven Bells and All's Well (95)

"Medium-roast coffee on the nose, clean and direct, rounded by a vanilla touch. Big, bold sip with chocolate, hefty coffee roast, and lingering mid-palate caramel alongside roast bitterness. Rich but not decadent."

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.

Mikerphone Brewing TMF (95)

"Vanilla, almond, oak tannin, smoked bacon, caramelized stone fruit. The sip pulls it into focus: initial roast sharpness quickly tempered by substantial body. Grilled orange, sour cherry, and lingering almond/coconut keep it interesting."

Loaded Question Brewing Co. The Tartan (95)

Roast and light smoke with a bitter chocolate note on the nose and a warm citrus undertone. Round chocolate notes perfectly placed, neither sweet nor bitter, convey with a rounded smoothness that's perfect for enjoying pint after pint.

Goose Island Beer Co. Anniversary Bourbon County Stout (95)

“Crisp, sweet bourbon notes in the nose—big, boozy, with subtle apple and pear overtones. Incredibly smooth despite its intensity.”

New Realm Brewing Wooded Reserve Series: Doomsday Hound Russian Imperial Stout aged in Templeton Rye Barrels (95)

“Chocolate-liqueur and Brazil-nut nose. The sip flirts with deeper dusty roasted cacao notes, but re-centers with a burst of cola and relatively high carbonation for a definite zip.”

Bend Brewing Co Canadian Coldfront (95)

“Huge coffee notes in the nose strike a general ‘coffee’ tone. The sip is drier than might be expected, but the bit of malt sweetness amplifies the lightly sweet latte approach.”

The Veil Brewing Company Apple Brandy Pallbearer (95)

“A layered story of intention and excess. The sip pushes cherry and plum notes; sweetness and body amplify the fruit, but smooth dark malt provides a rich counterpoint.”

Phase Three Brewing 01&02 (95)

“Umami nose with bourbon high points—rich, savory, just a bit sweet. Bourbon-barrel tannin and vanilla; coconut offers an earthy foil. Aged yet vibrant.”

Urbanrest Brewing Company Will We Ever Hug Again (95)

“Low-key charcoal nose with an almost minty highlight. On the tongue, warm and dry chocolate with an earthy citrus spin. Lean and minimal.”

Toppling Goliath Brewing Co Double Barrel Assassin (95)

“Spacious dark-chocolate nose beneath light fruity notes and vanilla-coconut bourbon sweetness. The sip brings sweetness; caramel malt layers and focused roast play their parts without dominating. Beautiful depth.”

Goose Island Beer Co. Suffolk County Stout (95)

“Chocolate and very light smoke on the nose lead into a whiskey-driven sip with subtle dark fruit (almost vinous) and bold roasty notes. Dark chocolate lingers.”

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.

Reuben's Brews Chocolate Box: Hazelnut Praline (96)

"Nutty chocolate nose with sharp black malt. On the sip, roast note pushes onto center stage, stealing the spotlight from hazelnut and vanilla. Tenuous sweet notes hover precariously."

New Realm Brewing Oaxaca Choca (96)

"Beautiful cinnamon-chile-vanilla nose. The sip veers toward dark chocolate, giving up body and sweetness. Smoldering chile burn stays below the radar, surfacing as mild heat after the malt subsides."

Finback Brewery Grazing on the Ordinary (96)

"Finely honed hazelnut-coconut nose, polished and rich, backed by smooth roast. The sip is a pastry chef's creation—rich, intense, with savory nods that allow indulgence without losing critical integrity."

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.”

Oskar Blues Brewing Barrel Aged Ten Fidy (96)

"A friendly throwback, reassuring and familiar, with sharp black malt on the nose. Layers of sharp, sweet, rich, and boozy. Breadth of flavor makes up for a generally thin body."

Starr Hill Brewery Little Red Roostarr (96)

"Earthy, slightly peppery note in the nose with a touch of chocolate. On the sip, it's lower carbed for a softer approach, with cool-toned chocolate notes and more peppery coffee."

Cycle Brewing 6 Years Beers with Mexican Vanilla Beans (96)

"Enormous marshmallow-vanilla nose, with an earthy touch. On the sip, it mellows, with rich but reserved dark chocolate, tanned leather, coconut, and umami notes. Bold."

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.

Perennial Artisan Ales Fantastic Voyage (96)

"Coconut and vanilla in the nose. The sip is confidently rugged and sophisticated—not obvious or cloying—for a natural barrel-aged stout with coconut highlights, rather than an intense coconut experience."

2nd Shift Brewing Chico's Revenge (96)

"Nose of dark toast and chocolate wafer offers dark Maillard richness along with some nuttiness. The sip edges the sweet line without tumbling over it, cranking up dark chocolate and mocha with a nutty umami richness."

Brick West Brewing Buffalo Coat (96)

"French roast, dark cherry, apple, and faint smoke on the nose. The sip is brutally bitter, but steers clear of acrid with creamy softness. Classically rugged."

Surly Brewing 2020 Barrel-aged Darkness (96)

"Toasted cereal and mocha-latte nose. The sip is multidirectional—sharper dark malt, creamier chocolate, boozier whiskey, sweeter nutty vanilla—all confidently resolved in a cohesive whole."

Top Rung Brewing Company My Dog Scout Stout (96)

“Beautiful blend of chocolate and roast on the nose—intense but polished with a bready edge. The sip pushes more of the same, as that toasted bread takes the edge of the more intense roast flavors without the very-caramel sweetness that some others employ. The balance despite the intensity is impressive.”

Westbound & Down Brewing Company Beyond Opulence (96)

“Fragrant French-pastry vanilla in the nose, finely layered. The flavor brings a healthy dark-malt kick buffered by the sweeter caramel midtones, wrapped up in luxurious vanilla.”

The Lost Abbey Old Viscosity (96)

“Big caramel-coffee notes on the nose strike a latte pose. The sip tightens up the excess of the nose, with sharper (and slightly unforgiving) roast notes.”

Breakside Brewery Space Music (96)

“Stewed plum and fernet on the nose offer a resounding bass thump, accented by a bit of whiskey sweetness. The sip plays lighter than the nose, easy on the darkest malts but pushing chocolate intensity without roast bitterness.”

Perennial Artisan Ales Maman (96)

“Spicy anise and cabernet nose, with deep blackberry and earth. Exquisitely structured, pulling together tight oak notes with soft vanilla overtones.”

Baere Brewing Company OG Toasty (96)

"Orange peel, grill char, dried plum, and sawn lumber on the nose. The sip is silky soft—a feat for a small beer—with spicy herbal chocolate notes."

Tripping Animals Brewing Company Navaho Churro (96)

“Big sweet cinnamon notes in the nose. On the sip, the cinnamon-sugar note dominates.”

Incendiary Brewing Company The Interception of Entropy (2021) (96)

“Boozy nose with assertive but welcoming chocolate-bourbon aroma. The sip eschews roasty bass notes for smooth caramel mids, punched up with sweetness but tempered by woody tannin. Jovial, with liqueur truffle friendliness.”

Horus Aged Ales Coconut Convergence (96)

“Frosted coconut cake nose, complete with icing and vanilla. Intense coconut stops just short of absurdity. The sip is over-the-top sweet, with layers of coconut, ethanol, coffee roast, and a touch of toasted wood. Singular and focused.”

Alvarado Street Brewery Chop & Scrape Batch#2 (96)

“Intense but sophisticated vanilla nose intrigues. Sip is dark and rich, with smooth, decadent, lightly herbal vanilla notes and smooth but bold roast. Balanced sweetness.”

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.”

Westbound & Down Opulence (97)

"Stroopwafel-caramel with huge, sharp vanilla nose—intense, uncompromising. The sip dives into more familiar chocolate-bourbon territory, eschewing edgier notes for straightforward whiskey and roast."

Hoppin’ Frog Brewery Double Barrel B.O.R.I.S. (97)

"Dark cocoa, red wine, and light char. Sturdy, broad-shouldered sip, rich but not sweet, cohesive despite varied flavors. Firm, rounded tobacco bitterness lingers deep into the smooth finish. Luxurious."

Jester King Brewery Necrølith (97)

"Black-malt nose stays on the pleasant side of inky, with grape juice and grape candy undertones. The sip is well-rounded, smooth, with a light nutty caramel note softening harshness from darker malts."

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.

WeldWerks Coconut Medianoche (97)

"Caramel-coconut nose and syrupy-thick body. Luxurious. Intensely sweet sip rounded by earthy coconut and dark malt. Rough edges are polished away, leaving a gleaming example."

Narrow Gauge Brewing Peanut Butter & Stout (97)

"In the nose, deep roasted peanuts stand in for typical coffee/licorice note, with a signature earthy richness to the roast. The sip is smooth peanut butter with substantial chocolate—expressive and evocative of dark chocolate peanut truffles. It thoughtfully avoids sweet milk chocolate and peanut-butter candy clichés. Lower key without the sharpness, light caramel and cereal grain, and a cohesive flavor that's imminently satisfying."

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.”

Goose Island Brewery Bourbon County Stout 2019 (97)

"Sharp, inky nose underpinned by light caramel. More action in the sip—bold, assertive barrel over a base stout with layers of dark malt, caramel, and thoughtful sweetness. Exquisite and enduring."

Orpheus Brewing Stouts All the Way Down: The Vanilla Chronicles: Mexican (97)

"Warming, spicy nose with endearing richness—colorful with fruity vanilla. Soft roast and dark chocolate brace the low end, but the earthy, toasty, caramel body provides a canvas for the vanilla."

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.

Resident Culture Dedicated Mind Expansion with Vanilla (97)

"High-key bourbon-vanilla nose with milk chocolate—lightness defying visibly syrupy expectations. Curious balancing act, thoughtfully executed. Incredibly thick despite lighter flavors."

Weldwerks Old Fitz Medianoche (97)

"Chocolate roast on the nose, sweet bourbon highlights. Dark-chocolate, with smooth dark coffee and caramel. Singular in focus and intensity."

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.”

WeldWerks Brewing Co. Double Barrel 1910 Medianoche (97)

“The lowest bass notes—char, 85 percent dark chocolate, double espresso—rumble through the nose. In the sip, tactful roast polished to an obsidian sheen underpins burnt caramel layers. Fully committed.”

Alvarado Street Brewery Motor Oil 10 (97)

“Nutty, toasted coconut on the nose with big vanilla. The sip dives into marshmallow world—huge vanilla braced by rich dark chocolate. It’s a wide gulf between highs and lows, as sweet punchy highs echo over rumbling lows.”

Perennial Artisan Ales Barrel Aged Abraxas (97)

“Cinnamon-candy nose leads into a spicy cinnamon body with light chocolate. Prickly spice and thinner body balance the decadence.”

Wolf's Ridge Brewing Moscatel Barrel Magellan (97)

“Leathery red fruit in the nose with a bit of vanilla. The sip is sweet but vinous—wide on the tongue but not cloying, with a woody back note.”

Vitamin Sea Brewing Imperial Seven Bells (97)

“Flourless chocolate cake with hazelnut espresso icing in the nose. The sip pulls the similar nutty roastiness, buffered by a softening vanilla note with the warm glow of a tungsten bulb—flattering in its soft definition.”

Surly Brewing Company 2021 Barrel-Aged Darkness (97)

“Bold dark malt nose with subtle berry and candi sugar highlights. Finely tuned sweetness and body. Artful. Unrelenting.”

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project Continuum II (97)

“Deep woody umami note suggests extended age, with mushroom, vanilla, and coconut barrel notes. The sip is luxuriously sweet, with cherry top notes adding a bright fruitiness to the dark affair.”

Toppling Goliath Brewing Co Shadow Raptor (97)

“Rich vanilla aroma with bourbon depth. In the sip, vanilla oscillates between spicy and sweet. Bourbon bite mellows into softer chocolate cake with vanilla icing. Never drops too deep on the roast. Alluring heft.”

Albright Grove Brewing Company Walker Valley (97)

“Nose captures the beautiful nuance of coconut, vanilla, and boozy oak from barrels alone. The sip is punchy. As it warms, a leathery timelessness takes hold.”

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.

Firestone Walker Nitro Merlin Milk Stout (98)

"Pour and just watch it for 5–10 minutes before taking a sip—the sheer joy of the soft and creamy head persisting indefinitely is palpable. The nose is subtle with gentle spice reminiscent of chai and very lightly roasted coffee, with bits of caramel apple and marshmallow. The sip is masterful, gently rolling in without so much as a hint of a sharp, dark malt edge, redefining ‘smooth’ and ‘creamy’ in the process. As it sits on the tongue, the spice emerges, softly, with luxurious milk and dark chocolate notes that feel crafted to a soft hand, like leather worked by a master tanner—structured and strong, but comfortably worn."

Against the Grain 70K Amburana (98)

"Deliciously spicy, cinnamon-forward nose. The sip is sweetish but round, pulling the drying spice notes together with creamy milk chocolate."

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.

Perennial Artisan Ales Maman (98)

"Deepest and darkest of noses—anise and French roast. Layered sip with hazelnut, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, crème brûlée, and singed marshmallow. Smooth, engaging, thoughtful."

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.”

Verboten Brewing Barrel-Aged Cake or Death (98)

"Deep nutty-chocolate nose with barrel-coconut and vanilla. The sip is a touch thin but pushes deep chocolate, coconut, licorice, and dark cacao. A thoroughly rich and flavorful experience."

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.

Creature Comforts Brewing Concurrence No. 5 (98)

"Gorgeously edited nose of caramel, vanilla, coconut, and roast leads into a vanilla-caramel sip, pitching bold notes against a sweet, dark-roast-coffee body. Maintains rugged character despite indulgence."

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.

Birds Fly South Empress Rising: Red Wine (98)

"Red fruit, faint smoke, and licorice. The sip shines with vinous oak, trading spirit sharpness for big, sweet body and red fruit, balanced by smooth tannins and bitterness. Confident, creative."

Highland Park Brewery Brunch Friends (98)

“Over-the-top maple nose goes for the breakfast-stout gusto, with light coffee notes behind it. The sip brings the expected sweetness, but with a toothy smooth roast that grounds it. Big and bold, but surprising.”

Wolf's Ridge Brewing Chocolate Port Barrel Dire Wolf (98)

“Chocolate and light berry nose. The sip is unexpectedly fruity yet crisply defined by roast bitterness, with layers of red grape, boysenberry, plum. Rich but rounded, more matte than sheen.”

Toppling Goliath Brewing Co Assassin - 2021 (98)

“Bold bourbon and smooth dark malt in the nose with faint prune and raisin. The sip pulls caramel-malt sweetness forward, pitched against delicate roast and massaged bourbon notes that accentuate the beer beautifully. Masterful.”

Phase Three Brewing Eunoia Batch 3 (Toasted Marshmallow) (98)

“Intense and excessive in all the right ways. The sip reels in the sweetness and balances with an earthy grounded vanilla note. Delicious.”

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.

Side Project Brewing Beer: Barrel: Time (99)

"Endless depths of dark malt and espresso; creamy caramel and Nutella around the edges. The sip wraps nutty caramel midtones in huge roasted bass tones."

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.

Wellspent Brewing Mister Maraschino (99)

"Nutty nose with undercurrents of cherries and sweet stout. The sip pulls it all together, with balanced sweetness, subtle cherry, layers of malt that pull out caramel, roast, chocolate, and umami notes, and a satisfyingly semidry finish that invites another sip. That rare dessert stout that is equally enjoyable in a glass or in small pours, shared among friends."

Westbound & Down Brewing Company Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout (2021) (99)

“Bourbon-praline nose with a bit of derby pie. The sip brings energetic bourbon with deep fudge and smooth espresso. Cohesive, beautifully blended. Despite the intensity, it feels effortless.”

Cerebral Brewing Mysterious Forces (99)

“Curious confection—coconut and vanilla drive a Crunch-bar note over light espresso. The sip hits toasted coconut, caramel, and Rice Krispies, with deeper roast in support. High sweetness is artfully buttressed.”

Brävery Brewing 2021 Vanilla Bourbon Barrel-Aged The Shroud (99)

“Chocolate nose with rich and defined vanilla—fragrant, with decadent earthy wood. The sip blends mid-tone chocolate, a darker roast touch, and a pinch of sweetness to highlight that bright vanilla.”

SpindleTap Brewery Aceite Crudo (99)

“Beautiful nose with pungent dark malt, smooth roast, and a fragrant licorice/anise element. On the tongue, it’s smooth and deliberate, as rounded roasty notes play against layers of caramel. A light hop bitterness offers a structured through line and keeps it from becoming too sweet.”

Pinthouse Brewing The First 6 Black Sabbath Records (99)

“Evocative nose of leather, chocolate, caramel, coconut, and vanilla. The sip delivers on that suggestion with semisweet chocolate and coconut. On the lighter side of the body spectrum, but so beautifully balanced that it no longer matters.”

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.

Toppling Goliath Brewing Assassin 2020 (100)

"Deep, smooth bass notes (dark chocolate and earth), rounded with a polished, toasted-oak note, heavy on vanillin and coconut—luxurious, rich, confident. The sip hits the golden mean between sweet and dark with an improbable, supernatural balance. Layers of caramel buoyed by dark, roasty malt richness that never overpowers the more delicate notes. Perfectly integrated."

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.

Maplewood Brewing Company Barrel Aged Cuppa Vanilla Rye (100)

"Bold and confident rich whiskey nose with multifaceted vanilla “Rich, bold, confident whiskey nose with multifaceted vanilla layers. The sip cleverly wraps moderate sweetness in thick body for a decadent tongue-coating sip that isn’t trying to prove anything. Subtle richness and exquisite heft.”