Chad9976 (1126) - Albany, New York, USA - FEB 5, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Here in Albany, NY we don’t have many bragging rights, especially when it comes to beer. But then I discovered that one our local breweries has had a beer win a gold medal at the World Beer Cup in 2004. That beer is Brown’s Oatmeal Stout, made by Brown’s Brewing Co. across the Hudson River in Troy. While this beer wouldn’t win a gold medal with me, I still found it to be another great example of why oatmeal stouts are such appealing beers.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
This beer pours very smoothly and forms a large layer of tan, foamy head which lingers throughout the life of the drink and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The body is nearly opaque black, but upon close inspection it is revealed to be very dark ruby red. The aroma is very typical of a stout with a mild, malty scent with hints of chocolate and is otherwise sweet.
I’d always been a passive stout fan until I tried high-end chocolate and oatmeal stouts and now have a newfound appreciation for the style. Brown’s Oatmeal Stout has most of the makings of a quality beer of the style. It starts out with a strong, sweet taste with significant oatmeal noticeable. As I drink more I notice a slight chocolate flavor, but caramel actually seems to overpower it.
After continued drinking I found the beer to have a distinct smoky aftertaste, due to its maltiness I assume. It wasn’t quite as roasty-tasting as other more robust stouts, in fact, this beer even has a bit of a thin, watery mouthfeel. Overall, it’s very tasty but not quite as rich as I would prefer.
Most dark, robust stouts tend to have a smooth finish thanks to their delectable palate, but others have a bitter bite to them. Since Brown’s Oatmeal Stout is milder than most of the type, giving it a thin, soft presence as well as an extremely easy finish.
What was pleasantly pleasing about this beer was how light on its feet it seemed to be. Brown’s Oatmeal Stout is only 5.25% ABV, which is far from being any kind of imperial brew. The weight itself is seemingly light as I was able to drink two bottles in a relatively short timespan without feeling overwhelmed in the least.
I hate to give anything less than a perfect rating to a beer with such a track record, but I wouldn’t consider Brown’s Oatmeal Stout perfect. It’s very good as it’s tasty, smooth and light, but I felt it could’ve been better. It’s definitely a beer I’m glad to know is a hometown brew.
NOTE: Watch the video version of this review at:
Boliv (1148) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 27, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Poured very dark brown and opaque with a light tan head. Aromas of chocolate malt, coffee, caramel, and some hops. Flavor is sweet, with a subtle bitterness and a very prominent earthiness (dirt, tree bark). Somewhat carbonated and a pretty thin body. Not bad, but there are better examples out there.
WLG423 (201) - Connecticut, USA - DEC 9, 2009
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Dark almost black body with a small caramel colored head. Sweet coffee aroma with a slight hint of chocolate. The aroma is comfortable and not over powering. Body is incredibly light for such a dark beer with an almost sudsy mouth feel with abundant carbonation. Feels almost like a generic cola. Flavor is incredibly subuded despite the stronger aroma; slight notes of coffee and caramel come through with a slight oat flavor. Finishes out quickly with a slightly bitter taste.
puboflyons (2043) - Allenstown, New Hampshire, USA - OCT 8, 2009
3.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with no date or lot code noticed. The pour is a quick brown with a thin tan head so it looks pretty average for a stout. The aroma is sweeter with a background of oatmeal, wheat, and roasted coffee grinds. The mouthfeel is rather thin for a stout which came as a disppoinment. But the flavor does not totally disappoint as it is a gestalt of sweetness, chocolate malts, and neutral hops. A halfway decent oatmeal stout.
Rciesla (5499) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - SEP 27, 2009
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Pours a black body with a tan head. Thin sweet and simple, chocolate malt, oats, caramel but thin and some light milk sugars. Decent beer.
addictedavi (4) - New York, USA - AUG 30, 2009 does not count
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Out of a 12oz bottle, pours appropriately opaque. Quickly subsiding head leaves thin lacing and aroma of caramel and oatmeal. The mouthfeel is too thin for my preference, but there’s a good amount of carbonation. Caramel malts are dominant in the taste but I also like the little bit of roasty, bitter cocoa powder I found. Aftertaste is of caramel. It’s not a bad or unpleasant beer; it’s drinkable, with enough nuance to keep your attention.
CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - MAR 24, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle: Pours a barely transparent dark mahogany with a thin, clingy-lacing light tan head. Has a sweet toasty caramel nose with a touch of milk chocolate and hazelnuts. Starts with good fullness and semi-sweet dark maltiness with some light roasty notes and pleasant bitter balance toward a slightly drier toasty finish. A pretty drinkable and true to style sweet stout.
jredmond (5196) - Manhattan, New York, USA - MAR 17, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On draft at the Brewpub. Pours pitch black body with small brown head. Aroma is some chocolate malt. Taste is roast and deliciousness, I wish I was in better shape at the time to try more of this sucker.
Brewbie (453) - New York, USA - MAR 12, 2009
2.9 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12oz bottle. black with a small fluffy brown head. not much of an aroma at all. taste of dark chocolate, little bite in the thin finish. not a bad beer at all
basewars (169) - Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 23, 2009
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap. Pours dark black with thick head. The chocolate and oatmeal definitely show through. Nice full body. Still not quite as good as Samuel Smith’s, but very good.