Brew Review

Beer Review – Maine Beer Company Mean Old Tom Stout


As I mentioned in my review of the Maine Beer Company MO Pale Ale, this brewery’s website leaves a lot to be desired. All they have to say about their  Mean Old Tom is that it’s a “Stout aged on special vanilla beans”. In their defense, they are a very small company, and their beers are approaching near cult status in the Northeastern US, so I assume their time is better spent brewing, rather than playing around on the interwebz (leave that silliness to guys like me!). Thankfully, they give you a bit more information about how they came up with the name for this beer on the back of the bottle. Here is what they have to say about their Mean Old Tom Stout:

I think it was the summer of ’76, I was 5 years old and my uncle Tom came to paint our house. It was in the tiny town of Louisiana, Missouri, on the mighty Mississippi River, where he would take me to troll the roadside ditches to gather one man’s junk (beer cans). In honor of his magnificent treasure (his beer can collection) and his spirit for fast cars, tough motorcycles and mean smiles, we bring you Mean Old Tom.

Let’s see if this beer is any good…

  • Appearance: Deep, dark mahogany. Thick, half inch tan head that dissipates slowly. Minimal lacing on the insides of the glass.
  • Aroma: Bittersweet chocolate. French roast coffee. Very subtle vanilla bean notes in the background, as well as a bit of cigar wrapper.
  • Taste: Lightly carbonated. Medium bodied, i.e. not too thin, not too thick. Bittersweet chocolate and French roast coffee bitterness from beginning to end. I didn’t get any of that vanilla, but there is a bit of cigar tobacco lingering in the aftertaste.
  • ABV: 6.5%

After falling in love with Maine Beer Company’s Peeper Pale Ale, Lunch IPA, and MO Pale Ale, my expectations for this beer were super high. Although this beer didn’t blow me away like their other beers did, I still found their Mean Old Tom to be quite enjoyable. I particularly enjoyed the bittersweet chocolate notes that are prominent from beginning to end. I’m not much of a smoker, but I could totally see pairing this with a mellow cigar on a cool Spring night. Overall, this is a very good beer, but at $8.50 per 16 ounce bottle, I would probably grab a Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, a Stone Smoked Porter, or a North Coast Old Rasputin in its place, since those beers are marginally better, and they cost significantly less.

16 replies »

    • It was quite tasty, but not as good as some other Stouts/Porters that I’ve had recently. Also on the list of great ones, Green Flash Double Stout.

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    • My apologies kind Sir. That was not my intention! On the flip side, you’re driving distance to many fabulous SoCal Breweries, so pipe down You! Heh

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  1. That beer looks delicious. Although I have to admit that the graphic design nerd in me is just as impressed by the label- the simplicity of the “Mean Tom” logo, the laid finish to the paper… Truthfully, the actual product is the best looking part. I know I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll say it again- I’m really jealous that you have access to all of those eastern seaboard beers.

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    • I like the graphics too. Very classy! And as far as jealousy, I think it’s the same for everybody across the country, i.e. plenty of ungettables due to distribution problems within the states or breweries unable to keep up with demand. On the positive side, I would think that this “problem” has helped to build brew-tourism, beer geek communities, and increased the amount of beer trades going on around the country. We’re all on the hunt for the next Holy Grail Ale!

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    • They are in pretty limited distribution. If you do happen to find them, start with their Peeper Pale Ale. Though they are all very good, this one is super special. Maybe cause it was the first of their beers that I tried.

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