Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout: Dessert Beer Made Better

I was given a bit of a treat the last time I was in Brewforia.  It was after the Stout dinner that celebrated International Stout Day earlier this month, and I had to work late.  I went in after work and had a bite to eat and a beer.  While I was drinking my Rogue Shakespeare Stout on Nitro and enjoying every sip of the delicious creamy stout, one of the owners came over and asked if I wanted to sample this year’s Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout.  Not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth, especially when that gift horse is carrying beer, I said sure.

I was transfixed by this beverage!  It was amazing, and unlike years before it was …well…beery. I haven’t really been too interested in this brew, because its reputation was that it was way too sweet and didn’t taste like beer.  Well, this year they have tweaked the recipe a bit and viola it is a delicious and beautifully crafted dessert stout.

It is still quite sweet to be sure, but the finish is quite a bit different than in previous years, or so I’ve been told.  The nose on this beer is wonderful.  It smells like a bakery.  Yeasty, bready, and sweet.  Like Hot Cross Buns cooling on a window sill.  The mouthfeel is slick and creamy like melted chocolate bars.  The flavor starts out sweet and has the distinct flavor of Creme Brulee, but about mid palate you taste and feel the alcohol, then a bit of a malty, hoppy bite.

This was a pleasant surprise, because I’ve always been told that this stout is so sweet it doesn’t even taste like beer.  This is without a doubt beer, that has been transformed into a dessert all on its own.  It is still sweet and limited in when and how much of this you might like to enjoy, but it also accentuates the positives of being a beer and celebrates all  beer can be.  I definitely suggest you give this year’s offering a try.  People who were there had said that this year’s version was far better than previous years because it does have that stout flavor and kick at the end of the sip.

Have you tried it this year?  I picked up a bottle to share over the holidays.  I think I will surprise many people with this beer, and turn some into craft beer drinkers.  I can’t wait.


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19 Comments on “Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout: Dessert Beer Made Better”

  1. BeerBanker
    November 16, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    bought a bottle over the weekend along with a 2011 Bitches Brew. I’ll be very happy soon…I had the 2010 on draft last year and it was a mouthful of sweet. But can’t say as I left any in my glass !!

  2. Don
    November 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    This year’s is sweet too, but I think you will be surprised at the finish. It reminds you that it is indeed beer.

  3. johnking82
    November 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    I had a 5 ounce pour and that was enough for me, a little overbearing, but I was eating creme brulee at the same time. I think a small glass would do me fine.

    • Don
      November 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

      Agree totally. I had about a 3 oz pour, and bought one bottle to share between 8 people. I think it will be enough.

  4. November 16, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    I recently ordered a Creme Brulee at a restaurant with some friends. We were just having beers, but the waitress promptly put out three spoons. I then realized that my beer was taking a long time. So, I flagged her down and clarified that I wanted Creme Brulee “the beer.” Since the order was already in, I enjoyed both for dessert.

    • Don
      November 16, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

      Funny thing is I actually dislike Creme Brulee the dessert, but I really liked the beer. Maybe I should try the dessert again.

      • November 16, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

        Honestly, the beer has way more vanilla than the actual dessert, IMHO.

  5. November 16, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    Mmm maybe it’s my double x chromosome but I dig a dessert beer always. I will def drink this with my special chocolate stout cupcakes! Can’t wait!

    • Don
      November 16, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

      You should send us some of those cupcakes for a review…yeah a review…that’s the ticket!

  6. November 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    I’ve enjoyed it this year on it’s own by myself and with friends at a dinner party paired with chocolate lava cake. And at the Brewforia stout dinner, I splashed some over the top of some vanilla bean ice cream—yum. It is quite extraordinary.

    Can’t say that I’ve had a beer quite like it. Dessert stout for sure. Can’t comment on how it compares to other years. This is the first year I’ve had it. But yeah, you do get glimpses of stout, thankfully. I got Kahlua on the back end as well. Vanilla, and the burnt sugar that tops a creme brulee up front. Craziest part of the Creme Brulee experience is popping open a bottle. The bouquet not only permeates your tulip glass, it fills the room. Anyone in the immediate vicinity knows something special was just opened. Fun beer to be sure. 🙂

    • Don
      November 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

      Can’t wait to crack this open for Christmas Desert!

  7. Cindy
    November 16, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    I live in OC, CA. Where can I find this? And what other dessert beers do you reccommend?

    • Don
      November 17, 2011 at 10:38 am #

      Cindy, I think I recall some of out SC friends saying that you can get Southern Tier products at Whole foods. That said, I’m not sure they will have the Creme Brulee, but you might be able to talk to their beer buyer and ask for him/her to order you some. Hope that helps.

      As for other dessert beers, I love the Midnight Sun TREAT. It is a chocolate pumpkin porter brewed with spices. Very delicious!

  8. November 17, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    Yes! I use this as a gateway beer to entice my girlfriends to open up to craft beer.

    I haven’t used Southern Tier in my stout cupcakes before because I found that Stone’s Russian Imperial Stout is the best all around stout workhorse. It is great in my kona stout ice cream, car bomb cupcakes, and slow cooker pulled pork.

    I really enjoy Creme Brulee – perfect for sharing at the holidays.

    • Don
      November 17, 2011 at 10:39 am #

      I think I’m gonna have to try the Stone RIS in my pulled pork! That sounds wonderful!

  9. Sean
    November 17, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    I was first turned onto this beer when I was in Maryland a couple years ago and it’s one of my favorites. Though the purists will object try it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and make a float. It’s magical.

    • Don
      November 17, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

      Mmmmm….that sounds delicious.

  10. Doris Gonzalez
    November 17, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

    So glad to find you! I am in CA and looking to obtain a few bottles for the Mr. for the Holidays. Any ideas,,as they do not distribute to CA? Had a litte in a brandy snifter last fall while in PA .


  1. Christmas 2011: Skunked Twice! | Beer & Whiskey Brothers Blog - December 27, 2011

    […] sharing.  I mentioned earlier on a post that I was really looking forward to sharing a bottle of Southern Tier Creme Brulee.  This is a fantastic sweet stout that really reminded me of Bailey’s Irish Cream, with a […]

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