DarkElf (3033) - La Jolla, California, USA - JAN 25, 2014
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
30-Sep-13 (22-oz bottle: Purchased 30-Sep-13 for $4.99 at The Bine & Vine Bottle Shop in San Diego, CA)
My fear with any beer that has "vanilla" in the name is that the vanilla will be overdone and blatant because subtlety is not in the vernacular of most craft brewers these days. But here we have a Vanilla Oatmeal Stout where the stout aspects still are the dominant characteristics while the vanilla plays a complementary role in the background, which is the way it should be. The malt base is generally medium in roast, very chocolatey, medium sweet, and moderately bitter, with the oatmeal being slightly less apparent than the roast and chocolate. And while the expected vanilla flavor is apparent but not prominent, piney hops seemingly contribute more bitterness than flavor. There’s also an unexpected spicy quality with just a touch of heat to make me think there’s a bit of jalapeño in the recipe. The same level of balance between roast, oatmeal, and vanilla is echoed in the nose, the roast and oatmeal about on par with the vanilla just a bit more in the background, but there’s also a bit of floral and spicy quality as well. It’s full bodied but not heavy, sticky, or cloying, and carbonation is medium. There’s plenty of roasty dryness and lingering, roast/hop bitterness to dry out the palate on this medium-sweet beer. The beer is dark-brown in color and is capped by half an inch of dark-tan head that settles to a wide ring surrounding a wafer-thin sheet, leaving only a few spots of lace on the glass. Overall, while I wish this oatmeal stout were a bit less roasty, I do love the complementary use of vanilla and the overall balance is very finely crafted here. Nicely done.
high_on_hops (620) - Burlingame, California, USA - JAN 18, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a solid black with a tan head and lacing. The aroma has lots of vanilla and chocolate with a bit of dark malt too. The flavor is dark chocolate and vanilla up front with a toasty, semisweet finish over a smooth, medium heavy body.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Sammy (8627) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 18, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle from Windy City. Very dark brown body with a big mocha soapy head. Stout aroma. Light taste of oatmeal, vanilla in finish. Roast on finish is very lasting. OK beer.
alexanderj (3317) - Branson, Missouri, USA - JAN 17, 2014
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle; dark brown or black in color with a light brown head. Aroma of oats, leather, smoked meat, and a subtle hint of vanilla and caramel. Very oaty, roasted and meaty. Some vanilla, but lacking a bit of sweetness. Some coffee notes. A bit messy for me.
maxwelldeux (3663) - Everett, Washington, USA - JAN 16, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours a near-black color with a moderate tan head on it. The vanilla in this one is actually pretty subtle on the nose, methinks, but serves as a nice complement to the roasting, while serving to temper the roastiness a bit. The vanilla comes through much more in the taste and sweetens the beer up from the normally slightly bitter roasting flavors. Nice brews.
Lagerboy (1230) - British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 15, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bomber. Clear deep dark brown, slight amber hue, tan foam fades. Aroma of vanilla, dark roast, a whiff of chocolate and coffee. Lightly bitter dark roasted malts, smooth sweet vanilla taste. Softer carbonation, medium-full bodied, moderately hopped. Finishes quite sweet, but not cloyingly so. Nice winter warmer, but: DNFL (Definitely Not For Lagerboys)
gorditoabd (624) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 2, 2014
4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bomber from the village market in idyll wild-pine grove. Pours the dark brown black I expected with the appropriately small amount of white lacy head. Aromas are just a bit of roasted dark malt with a hint of the vanilla. Taste is RICH of vanilla and exceptionally well combined with the oats and dark malts. Wow, very nice. Hops are present, and do offer a balance, but nothing overwhelming. Man, this is balanced, well done stuff. Ninkasi indeed.
DedicatedToFun (2540) - Santa Monica, California, USA - DEC 31, 2013
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Awesome oatmeal stout, nice splash of vanilla, bomber from whole foods, nice
mjg74 (2492) - La Mesa, California, USA - DEC 26, 2013
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bomber from BevMo. Quite dark in color on the pour. Somewhat sweet roasty nose. Mildly milky sweet smelling with a slight hint of what might be vanilla. Sweet, rich and roasty up front. Nice smooth mouthfeel. Solid roasty/sweet balance. A little vanilla. Finish is bitter roasty with a light hop bite.
monk191 (928) - California, USA - DEC 25, 2013
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
A nice vanilla oatmeal stout. Pours a beautiful deep black with a thick tan head. Smells like oaky or toasted vanilla, and oatmeal. Taste is similar. Starts with classic oatmeal stout, with some vanilla coming in at the finish. A nice winter beer. Had in the bottle. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone