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RATINGS: 1588   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.76/5   SEASONAL: Summer   EST. CALORIES: 288   ABV: 9.6%
“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 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Immy (1955) - Virginia Beach, USA - AUG 11, 2008
Richmond Summer Gathering. Bomber courtesy of LooseCannon. Black with a tan head. As soon as we cracked the cap, the room filled with butterscotch and vanilla scents, followed by chocolate and roasty malt. Flavor follows the nose, and adds a bit of bitter coffee to the mix. Creme Brulee is what they aimed for, and they hit it, IMO. A great dessert beer, and the perfect way to end a great tasting!

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 10/20
VeloVampire (625) - Parkdale, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 10, 2008
On tap at The Empty Pint - an intensely black ale with a tan head that lasted for a good time and left thick lacing. Aroma over the top vanilla - as RagallachMC noted, "sickengly sweet". This smelled like a vanilla caramel cappuccino from Tim Horton’s - gross. A bit of malt in there, but way too much vanilla. Poorly balanced nose, and the flavour unfortunately follows the same lines. Again, intense caramel/vanilla flavours, and here there are some stout elements and a warming alcohol presence, but too little, too late. I’m all for brewers experimenting with flavouring beers, and I like vanilla in my stouts/porters - see Scotch Irish Vanilla Bean Porter - but this one’s just stupidly unbalanced. I can definitely see people liking it, but it’s not to my tastes...

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
satan165 (1020) - River Grove, Illinois, USA - AUG 10, 2008
UPDATED: AUG 18, 2008 vanilla definaley leaps out of the glass like a hurricane! this is very decadent but also strong in the booze department but without being overbearing. this is excellent, ive been on a porter kick recently at this is a perfect context to rate this beer. appearance and mouthfeel are average for the style but this is another homerun hit for southern tier in terms of flavor and aroma. i must admit however that as this warmed it became less tolerable, and i was actually looking forward to its changes from heat. the vanilla became fiery and after a time my interest in that flavor waned. however it was still not a disaster which is hard to believe with a flavor proponent so outright.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
MaltDawg (1344) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - AUG 10, 2008
22 oz bottle. Vanilla popped out when the cap came off. Aroma of vanilla, nutmeg, coffee, chocholate. Black with moderate fine creamy tan head. Creamy sweet vanilla and almond - reminds me of a Mars Bar, along with a big butterscotch and some coconut flavors. Lots of chocolate and roast bitterness along with the hops. A lot going on here. Hefty amount of hop bitterness is ballanced by all the sweetness. Finish is very sweet with a creamy full mouthfeel. WOW I really like.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
SoLan (1550) - Florida, USA - AUG 10, 2008
Dark brown/ruby/black. Small, tan head. Aroma of vanilla beans and concentrate, butterscotch, and bittersweet chocolate. Flavor is similar, more bitter. Palate is too thin for the flavor profile, balanced carbonation. A bit of a let down after the aroma.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
LinusStick (3052) - Moon Twp, suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 9, 2008
Blah. This is the usual boozy impy stout. The aroma is perfect, however. Strong vanilla and chocolate mix that knocks your socks off. Pour was a nice deep brown/black with only a thin tan ring for a head. Taste was extremely hot and alcoholic. The strong vanilla and chocolate seem like they are there to mask it rather than to be tasted. At times it tastes extremely sweet and delicious. At others the alcohol are just too overpowering. Odd and unbalanced.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
ElGaucho56 (394) - USA - AUG 9, 2008
On draft at Publick House, Brookline. Pours near jet-black with tan head. Vanilla and Irish cream wafts from a few feet away. Like sticking your nose into chocolate caramel. Cognac alcohol character, very sweet treacle, faint roasted malts, mild coffee bitterness. A delicious dessert treat, though difficult to tell it’s a beer.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 7/20
RagallachMC (631) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - AUG 9, 2008
22oz bottle. Aroma: Sickeningly sweet caramel aroma as soon as I pop the cap. Vanilla extract. Some coffee and chocolate notes if you dig for them. Appearance: Black in color with small brown highlights. Dark tan head was full and creamy with good retention. Good lacing. Flavor: Whatever flavors this beer possessed are overwhelmed by the flavors of burnt caramel and vanilla extract. Palate: Full bodied. Medium carbonation. Light alcohol warmth in back of mouth. Overall: Drainpour. This beer suffers from the same problem that Chocklat did: Overwhelming ’fake’ extract flavors. Nauseatingly sweet caramel flavor and low quality vanilla extract bury anything else going on here. Not for me.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Arayaga2 (1943) - portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 8, 2008
Black, with a dense tan head. Aroma is sweet caramelized milk. Tastes just as it smells... liquid candy with darkly bitter roasted edges. Too early to tell, but it may become cloying and vomity as the bomber approaches finished. Fantastic initial tastes tho. $9/22oz

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
pepperford (115) - robbinsdale, Minnesota, USA - AUG 8, 2008
I can see I am in the minority on this one. The nose is very nice, like chocolate cake and creme brulee. The mouth feel was just too thick. The vanilla alcohol burn was a bit too much. Add on to it the lactose. But I would deftinately use this for desserts as an ingredient.

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