Profiled by Maria Devan
The oatmeal stout is like the plane jane of stouts. A lower abv and not ususally put into barrels or has anything flashy added to it.
The color is a dark brown and if you will note the range in color on the srm chart for this style can go from 22 all the way to 40. I would say this one is a 36/37. Thick creamy khaki head that persisits and refreshes itself with each tip. Clarity is good.
Nose is roasted grains and rich little bit of coffee and cream. A faint light sweetness on the nose. They used lactose in this so that is cheating but it smells authentic. A little more than a low noble hop on the nose that I think is fresh and so light as to be seductive in this beer but that too deviates from style just a tad. Oats show a bit of soft breadiness and at first there is no fruitiness from malts. Then I think it’s their house yeast giving a grapey fruitiness rather than the dried dark frutiness you usually find in a very low background note in this style. Because it does not seem to make the beer “Belgian” I think it smells and tastes a bit strange. Sweet chocolate.
Smooth flaovor. Roasty and rich with nothing burnt. The hops in this beer are delightful and take their place in the beer without trouncing the other flavors. They are a bright little bit of freshness. A pleasant floral from the bravo and a lightly stem-y herbal from the Styrian Golding. Cocoa powder that is less sweet on the palate as it is on the nose adds a bit of complexity. Slickness on the tongue and in the finish from the oats and even though they used lactose I think the sweetness is in check. A subtle bitterness from the hops and a touch of dryness from the roast finish this one creamy, full bodied, balanced and it does not linger long in the aftertaste. They used midnight wheat in this beer and that adds a bitterless, dark color to beer with hints of roast depending on how much you use. It also is said to finish exceptionally clean and I think they used it to smooth any astringency from the oats that would gather in the finish. There was none. As it warms the dark fruit starts to emerge. it is not well defined so you cant say raisin or this or that and it remains in the background. Becomes more nutty from the oats as it warms.
Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”
Maria Devan lives in Ithaca, NY and is a great beer writer. She has regular beer Sundays where she profiles brews, reviews brews online with homebrewers and other beer community connected bloggers. She’s judged beer at a homebrew competition and been a steward. And she’s kind of short. But that’s OK.