Stone are celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2016 by releasing an "Encore Series" of brews. Today's Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout is a rerelease of their 12th anniversary beer which was created during the hop shortage of 2008.
Founded in 1996 by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner, Stone is among the top ten largest craft brewers in the United States. With several locations in California, Stone are now embarking upon eastern expansion with a brewery in Richmond, VA and another in Berlin, Germany.
Stone Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, 9.2% alc., 22 oz. bottle
C: Black with a foamy caramel head and decent lacing
N: Dark roasted malt with dark chocolate presence and just a hint of drip coffee
P: Soft entry but bitter across the palate with dark chocolate and roasted grains, slight barnyard funk to the back of the palate
F: Lingering dark chocolate bitterness with just a hint of raisin
In conclusion: A very solid stout but I would have preferred a touch more oatmeal influence and just a touch less bitter chocolate. The Xocoveza stands head and shoulders above it.