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RATINGS: 1531   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.76   SEASONAL: Summer   EST. CALORIES: 288   ABV: 9.6%
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“a stout of great contention” We are not the harbingers of truth as some may suggest but it may indeed be argued that our brewing philosophy is tantamount to a dessert with a bellicose past. How, you may ask, would a brewery determine a likeness to hard-coated custard? Our response is simple; it’s all in the power of history, and of course, the extra finesse needed to top off a contentious treat with definition.

By comprehending the labyrinthine movement of time, one would not think it strange to trace the errant path of an ordinary object such as a cream dessert only to discover that it has been the cause of cultural disputes since the middle ages. The British founders of burnt cream and from Spain, crema catalana, both stand by their creative originality and we respect that, but it was the French Crème Brûlée, amid the strife of contention, that survived to represent our deliciously creamy brew. 9.6% abv • 25º plato • 195º L • 22 oz / 1/6 keg 2-row pale malt / dark caramel malt / vanilla bean / lactose sugar / kettle hops: columbus / aroma hops: horizon

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JUL 29, 2008
UPDATED: JAN 11, 2013 22oz from MrBendo - thanks, Todd!! One of the keys to penning a decent beer rating seems to be not only judging your own appreciation, sense response, etc., but trying to assess what the brewers were seeking to accomplish and then deciding whether or not they succeeded. In the latter, I’d have to say that the folks at ST have knocked it out of the park with this brew. The aroma is super rich and exactly what the brew advertises, with massive amounts of vanilla and butterscotch in there, along with - yes - burnt caramel. Slightly thin and confectionary, but really appetizing (though perhaps not as beer?). There is, however, much more of a roast presence underneath and I was thankful for that, though I’m not getting that much of the base imperial stout. As it warms, the bite comes through more and you can guess as to the qualities of the basic beer. All of which is a roundabout way of saying that, as to the first dimension of reviewing I noted, I’m not sure it’s a homer, but man what a quirky, interesting, creative beer. Blackwater for the win.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
thornecb (4636) - Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 29, 2008
Pours mahogany into a snifter. Offwhite head recedes leaving no lacing. Vanilla and cream whiskey aromas. Crisp and slightly sour upfront with a sweet, lasting caramel and vanilla brulee finish. Definitely hits the spot for dessert.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
chimay67 (41) - hunt sta, New York, USA - JUL 29, 2008
From the crack of the crown cap, the aroma attacks the senses. From the scent, it begs to be tasted. I’ve always been a vanilla guy, always been a stout guy, so combining the two for me is a match made in beer heaven. This is probably the perfect dessert beer. Do yourself a favor and let it warm up as you taste it. As it warms the vanilla favor moves to the back and the malt move up front. It’s a gem from start to finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
kirok1999 (2) - USA - JUL 29, 2008 does not count
Pours a very dark brown with a wisp of dark head and lacing. Smells like vanilla and caramel ice cream packed into a beer bottle. There’s some chocolate notes but everything is dominated by the vanilla. Tastes much better as it warms up. When cold it is thin and fizzy; when it warms it is much richer and less carbonated. You have to be in the mood for this one. It is a sipper for sure and if you’re in the mood for some vanilla ice cream this will fit the bill nicely.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DrHomolka (761) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUL 29, 2008
Bomber. Pours the lightest color I’ve seen from an Imperial Stout. Dark tawny, brown -looks black in the glass but if you watch the stream from the opening it looks like a dark brown ale or a watery porter. White head is medium sized at first then quickly dissipates to a small ring on the circle with some swirling shapes in the center. The aroma is jesus holy god what a strong aroma. I just lifted it towards my face and was overwhelmed with an intense aroma of vanilla and dessert in general. Once I settled down I could smell whole vanilla bean, cream, intense caramel. At first I was blown away but then I was reminded of the artificial vanilla syrup people put in their coffees. This really does smell like Creme Brulee. Quite amazing really. Even though the aroma reminds me of that artificial flavor it still rocks and is all types of interesting and unique. The taste is absurdly rich, thickly sweet, decadent and very dessert like. The vanilla beans seem to actually lend a chocolate type flavor to compliment the caramel and vanilla flavor. Very interesting to see that this was brewed sans choclate, black, or roasted barley. The drinkability is incredibly low as this is very, very sweet and if treated like a normal beer - incredibly cloying. As a small-portioned dessert like beer though it hits the spot. I imagine this would pair tremendously with cheesecake or even... creme brulee. Though this beer isn’t a complete success I am quite impressed with Southern Tier for their interesting flavored beers including this one.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Sparky (2244) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - JUL 29, 2008
Bomber courtesy of GMCC2181. Pours an opaque black with minimal tan head. Nose – wow – smells like butterscotch candy. I could smell this stuff all day. Taste is cream, vanilla, coffee and butterscotch with a bit of a bitter finish to cut the candy flavor. Too sweet for me, but I can appreciate this beer for what it is. Great job Southern Tier. I bet it would be great over vanilla bean ice cream. Full, creamy mouth feel. Thanks for sending this d o double G!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
frylock (1135) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUL 29, 2008
Dark, cola-brown color beneath a thin ring of foam. Rich and sweet aroma full of vanilla, butterscotch and sugar cookies. The flavor is very dessert-like. Lots of chocolate and vanilla sweetness with just the faintest hints of coffee and roasted barley. Very sweet; almost approaching the point of being cloying, but it doesn’t quite get there thankfully. Lives up to its name, and hides the alcohol very well.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DocLock (8163) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 29, 2008
Pours deep blackish with dark brown edges and 1-finger off-khaki head. Nose is piquid chocolate cake, vanilla custard, coffee with french vanilla cream. The flavor is sweet, creamy, rich, a pleasant mix of chocolate cake, vanilla, custard, coffee, and mild cinnamon. This is the epitome of dessert beers, but some may be turned off by its unique recipe, which takes traditional beer recipes and mocks them with its ballsy uniqueness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
rocbyter (1915) - Waterbury, Connecticut, USA - JUL 29, 2008
Light chocolate aroma. Very dark but a little amber is noticeable in the light. Medium brown head. Moderate to mild bitter malt beginning with a sweet milk chocolate finish. Thick and creamy palate

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
BrewCzar (108) - St Louis, Missouri, USA - JUL 28, 2008
22 oz bottle pours a dark brown with a thin thin tan lacing head. Very strong aromas of butterscotch, irish cream, vanilla, and caramel. Palate starts sweet winth hints of butterscotch, vanilla, and roasted malts with a bitter coffee finish . Very interesting blend of flavors, very well done.

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