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Convict Hill Oatmeal Stout - Independence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Convict Hill Oatmeal StoutConvict Hill Oatmeal Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

138 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 138
Hads: 415
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 19.02%
Wants: 23
Gots: 97 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Independence Brewing Co. visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Redrover on 02-12-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 138 | Hads: 415
Photo of champ103
3.06/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black color. A two finger tan head forms with good retention. Sticky lace is left behind as the foam recedes.
S: Roasted malt, toffee, and coffee. The coffee is strong and acrid.
T: Follows the nose, but the acrid and bitter coffee is a little to strong. Roasted malt lingers.
M/D: A medium body, but a little thin considering what an Oatmeal Stout should be. Harsh prickly carbonation. Not hard to drink, but this is a one and done.

I was not really impressed with this. More acrid coffee that I want for the style, and not nearly as creamy and smooth as I was expecting. Oatmeal Stouts should be incredibly smooth and creamy with a bit of sweetness. This is not. Not bad, but poorly made for the style IMO.

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Photo of marieli
3.08/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Started at 54 degrees. Dark, dark brown to black, nice medium tan/camel foamy head with some staying power; smell is malt, slight oats. Something dark and well-roasted, as it warms. Taste is straight forward at first, nothing distinguished, no chocolate, sweetness or even heavy oats, but then gives way to a rising bitterness that just lays there persisting on the tongue. Maybe the beer is turning bad, but it smells ok. Maybe it's just not my cup of tea. I think it is just a burnt/bitter, slightly acidic taste. Mouthfeel is light to medium but finished thin on the tongue, giving way to that bitterness that lingers (oh yeah, I already covered that part). I could say something predictably silly, like, "it's a crime to recommend Convict Hill" but that would be pushing the rules and there are many raters who seem to like it well enough.

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Photo of mothman
3.11/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into duck rabbit snifter

Pours a small layer of light tan head. Fades to near nothing. Leaves some slight splattered lace. Color is a copper brown, nearing black.

Aroma: It either smells like black licorice or light notes of a sharpie marker. It has a deep roast to it with some chocolate and hints of vanilla. Kind of creamy.

Taste: Heavy roast with notes of coffee. Some chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and cream flavors. Has a grassy hop profile. Pretty straight forward.

Mouthfeel: Roasted and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends very dry and roasted.

Overall, a bit above the average oatmeal stout. It is a bit too roasted for my liking. Somewhat drinkable. No alcohol showing in it which surprised me for how high the abv is.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.19/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded pressure cap acquired as part of a 4 pack for $8.65 USD (including tax) at a corner store in Austin, Texas. Reviewed live(08/29/13). Expectations are high; I’m really in the mood for a good Oatmeal Stout. I dig the minimalist yet stylish label art.

Served cold – straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour. Pours a one finger wide head of khaki-tan colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Somewhat soft complexion. Okay lacing. Head retention is average to above average (2-3 minutes). Pretty decent head overall.

Body colour is an opaque solid black. No yeast particles are visible.

Looks pretty standard for the style.

Sm: Chocolate malt, light smokiness, dark malts, light vanilla, buried roasted barley, smoothening oats, hints of muted vague coffee, and caramel. An interesting, pleasant aroma of moderate strength. No yeast or hop character is detectable, nor is any alcohol. Excited to try this one.

T: Dark malts – including chocolate malt. Licorice/anise/fennel. Light vanilla and coffee touches. Somewhat grainy. Oats. Not much caramel, really. No yeast or hop character comes through, nor does any alcohol. The smokiness from the aroma is kind of here, but it’s not evocative – nor is it distracting. Balance is adequate but unimpressive. It’s a pretty standard build for an oatmeal stout, and I find no overt flaws but there’s certainly room for improvement.

Flavour duration, depth, and intensity is average. Not gestalt, but it has some cohesion and direction.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with good body and presence on the palate. Nice thickness – enough to support the fairly complex flavour profile. Complements the flavour profile pretty nicely, but doesn’t come off custom-tailored to it. Adequate carbonation. A bit scratchy on the palate. Satisfactory execution.

Dr: Drinkable. Hides its ABV well. It’ll definitely scratch your oatmeal stout itch, but it’s not amongst the best in the style. Fairly pricey as well. I might nab it again if I’m in a stout mood and there’s nothing new or better on the shelf. A nice little oatmeal stout from Independence. I’m looking forward to trying more of their beers.

Highish C+

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.22/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured black with low carbonation leaving som tannish bubbles but not to much of a head or lacing

S: Smells of flaked oats, light chocolate and faint hints of coffee

T: Starts off with faked oat an coffee which transitions int som milk chocolate, light coffee. The finish is sordov astringent, sme bitternss, rather clean

M: Medium to big body, hearty but I felt it was undercarbonated, somewhat creamy

O: Pretty average. The booze is maskd very well. i would have never guessedthis beer was 9% ABV

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Photo of OddNotion
3.27/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra in a trade with adam320.
From notes.
Thanks for the great selection of locals!
Poured into my Fantome Tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a one finger tan head on top of a pitch black body. I love the way this beer looks!

Smell: Nice roasty smell, however it is overpowered by booziness.

Taste: I am getting to roast and some booze from the nose, however the booze is much more toned down in the taste, fortunately. I also get some nice bitterness and some chocolate notes.

Mouthfeel: While it i creamy which I like in this style, it is a little over carbonated which detracts a little.

Overall: Decent, didn't blow me out of the water but it was certainly solid.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.29/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance - Pretty dark body with a substantial khaki head on. Almost overflowed my glass. Retention is phenomenal. Lacing is decent.

Smell - Sweet caramel smell first, followed by a chocolate roasted malt aroma. Not a strong smell and not really stout-smelling.

Taste - Very oatmeal-forward. So much oatmeal that a lot of the stout characteristics are lost. Nevertheless, there's a hint of coffee at the start and some milk chocolate in the middle. Lots of oatmeal in the finish and a hefty bitterness as well.

Mouthfeel - Doesn't taste as thick or heavy as I'd expect from 8.5%. High in carbonation, too. Really, it feels too light as a result. Bitter finish is never my favorite in a stout like this, either.

Overall - It's certainly not bad. I am enjoying it, but I wouldn't say it's anything special. The same stout that your local brewery is making right now.

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Photo of SPThirtyThree
3.34/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

What better way to celebrate being back in the ATX than to stop in Spec's and buy a four-pack of something local?

A: Pours the darkest shade of brown, with a thin, whispy, tan layer of cream that leaves no lacing.

S: Convict Hill's aroma is, above all, roasty and burnt. A hint of alcohol wafts through the oatmeal, chocolate, and espresso notes. Stronger sniffs also reveal a sprinkling of plum.

T: The flavor is, again, dark and roasty, with a sharp but not overwhelmingly strong hop bite up front. This brew is rather dry, and while it starts off great, by the end of the bottle, a black patent burnt bitterness builds and dwarves the other tastes. I found the second bottle to be substantially less enjoyable than the first. On the plus side, the high ABV is well-disguised.

M: The oatmeal definitely lends a smooth creaminess to the mix, but the dark, ashy bitterness dominates the mouthfeel after 6 or 8 ounces.

D: Low. The first sips were great, but CHOS is too acrid for drinkability.

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Photo of youradhere
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours pitch black, too much head- filled the pint with less than and inch of liquid. Smells like berries, coffee, cherries, slight earthy must. Tastes like cherries, coffee, dark breads and more fruit. The carbonation is a bit excessive, it has been 5 mins and the bubbles are still going strong. Some cola and toffee flavors, I also get some bell pepper in the after taste. Mouthfeel tries to be smooth and creamy, but this carbonation is waaaay too much for this. I don't want to say infected, but there is something up with this bottle. Still good, but not in the capacity that it could be.

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Photo of DevilsCups
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle sourced in a Texas trade. Nice labeling.

A - Pretty good for an oatmeal stout. I notice that oatmeal stouts usually hit the appearance notes I like in a stout. Very dark body with a very dark brown head. Welcoming for sure.

S - Pretty average for a stout. Coffee notes with a background of a bit of chocolate. A bit of "musty basement" to it, but it's not offensive.

T - Coffee notes again, with a bit of a bakers chocolate tang to it. A bit sweet/tart on the tongue. Not bad, but not crazy complex. This is one of those beers that would benefit from a dash of cayenne similar to the OA Chocolate Yeti. The ABV is hidden very, very well. This drinks like a 6% stout.

M - A bit thin, but great carbonation. Nothing crazy. Doesn't really coat your mouth or anything. At 9.2% it would be nice to have a bit more thickness to it.

O - Pretty easy going oatmeal stout. Hides the ABV fantastically well for a beer this big. I'd pick some up every now and then if it were a local.

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Photo of shivtim
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to a buddy for bringing this back for me from a trip to Texas.

Design reminds me of Jailhouse Breakout Stout.
Poured into a pint glass. Thick brown/black, with a huge creamy mocha head. Like a dark rootbeer float. Head lasts and lasts.

Nose is sweet malts. Slightly nutty and a bit toasty. Gentle hint of vanilla.

Taste is dry roasted malts and molasses. Ashy. Not very complex.

Pretty good mouthfeel.

Overall a decent oatmeal stout.

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Photo of roodie
3.41/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A: pours a dark brown/cola black with scant dark brown head, no retention, faint lacing. Very fizzy on the surface

S: hints of cola, but a bit chalky. some light vanilla, but not that appetizing. roasted malts add some smoky aspects

T: much of the same as above, but vanilla a bit more pronounced, making it sweeter and mellows out the cola/chalk.

M: thin, light carbonation adds some pleasant fizzy vanilla cola aftertaste.

O: Not bad, not my favorite style, but this seems about average from my perspective of the style.

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Photo of Humulus85
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to tjkinate for this one...

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Surly pint glass. Produced a nice two finger, dark khaki, head that dissipated disappointedly quickly and left virtually no lacing. Nice, virtually opaque, black color, typical of the style.

Smells off strong roasted malt; coffee and cocoa notes with some bread and a bit of booze that tingles the nostrils.

Tastes like your typical Oatmeal Stout upfront, with roasted coffee and chocolate malt, but it really isn't very sweet. There's a welcome hop backing to the beer, that along with touch of booze at the finish, actually makes this a pretty decent tasting brew.

Mouthfeel is right on for the style; a light body for how much flavor it has, good carbonation, and relatively dry. This is a true session stout.

Overall this is a solid offering from Independence Brewing Co. I'm not familiar enough with Stouts to offer improvements, but with the exception of it's superior drinkability, nothing really stood out to me as exceptional. I would still take this over a regular Guinness any day. Cheers!

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Photo of Retail1LO
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Received a few bottles of this in a trade. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. I initially started pouring this down the side to keep the head in check, then poured straight down the center for the last 3rd of the pour to get the desired crown. However, this beer generated but a few columns of fizz. Otherwise, it's perfectly opaque like just about every other stout on earth. The smell is the best part of this beer by far. Chocolate, a bit of tofffee and/or caramel, and a roasted grainy scent that is just terrific. The taste isn't quite up to par with the bouquet, however. It's quite bitter with a heavy dose of black coffee dominating the flavor profile. Charred oak with a bit smokiness as well. The mouthfeel is the low point. It's very very thin, and heavily carbonated. It doesn't have the dense creaminess I prefer in my stouts. Letting it rest on your tongue is like having an 9-volt battery in contact with its tip. Not a pleasant feel at all. Overall, not a stout I plan on revisiting. I'll give the remaining bottles away as extras so others can tick this and form their own opinions.

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Photo of Bmoyer0301
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


Very low hissing noise as I popped the cap. On the pour this baby comes out jet black with some dark dark brown hues around the edge of my glass. I was left with a beautiful one finger thick dark cocoa colored head that quickly faded away. When I hold my glass up to the light there is absolutely no light passing through and appears to be very clear with no sediment. As I gave a slight swirl there was a decent amount of lacing but nothing very thin.


Lots of chocolate, roast, coffee, and malty sweetness that is followed by some scorched brown sugar. I am not getting any form of hop presence here, just some nutty undertones. Maybe hot chocolate ? Vanilla ?


Just like a chocolate milkshake, super smooth and velvet like. The coffee and vanilla blend very well in this situation, not making it overly sweet. There is absolutely no bitterness or heat alcohol presence. I could see myself having this with some eggs and bacon for breakfast.


Medium, very drinkable and not overly sweet and non noticeable alcohol which amps up its smoothness.

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Photo of flexabull
3.47/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of gn0sis, thanks again!

Beer gushed a bit when opened, and I lost a little beer. Luckily I was near the sink when I opened this, so no mess was made. Pours into the glass a thick black color with a giant tan head.

Aromas are nice, dark chocolate, espresso, oats, and mineral hops.

Taste start out a little cola like, sweet, with some caramel and faint dark chocolate. Finish is crisp, with hints of mineral hops.

Mouthfeel is ok, but on the thin side, and over carbonated.

Drinkability is decent. This is an ok stout, but it's kind of messy, and with some obvious flaws.

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Photo of d5001986
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into Spiegelau tulip.

A: Pours pitch black with minimal tan head.

S: Lots of roasted malt, coffee, and vanilla.

T: Smokey, bitter burnt coffee, roasted malt, leather, a good hop presence, and a slight metallic after-taste.

M: Medium body, carbonation comes through more than expected. Surprisingly crisp, rather than the silky-smooth feel I'm accustomed to in most oatmeal stouts.

O: I'd say this was good, but definitely not great. My biggest gripe might be the smokey burnt coffee seemed to take over the entire beer. I think coffee can be great in stouts, but this one just went too far with it.

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Photo of JMad
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a pint glass...
The beer almost jumped out of the bottle when I opened it the color is opaqui dark brown, there was a lot of sediment in the bottle and in the glass, the head was huge light brown and was huge. It smells of roasted, dry, dark chocolate with a tmall amount of sourness. The taste has some dark fruits, molasses, dark chocolate, and a roasted bitterness. It feels thick, warming, and slightly dry. I cant help but think that there's something wrong with this bottle. I need to try it again, there were clumps of foamy sediment and the smell and taste was a little off.

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Photo of LiquidBread219
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - Pours a dark black color with an inch of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of coffee, sweet chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, and dark fruit. Quite enjoyable.

t - Tastes of bitter chocolate, alcohol, cocoa, roasted malts, and coffee. A step down from the smell and heavy on the bitter chocolate and coffee.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Pretty smooth and creamy. I wish it was a little more carbonated.

d - A pretty drinkable oatmeal stout that is heavy on bitter chocolate in the taste. I enjoyed the smell but wish it had been more carbonated. Would be willing to try again.

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Photo of kungpao
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Ginger Man in houston.

A- Looks like a thin pitch black stout with a small 1 and quarter inch soapy head.

S- Wasnt expecting the chocolate and coffee to come threw as much on this beer as much as it did. The oatmeal was very suddle and a bit over powered by the roasted malts and chocolate.

T- I havent had too many oatmeal stouts to compare to, but this one was pretty great tasting. Roasted malts and chocolate on the intial tasting with a coffee and suddle oatmeal smoothness to finish.

M- Inbetween thin and medium on the mouthfeel. Little amount of carbonation.

D- For the style this is not bad drinkability wise. I could easily have had more than one pint.

Overall- Interesting take on oatmeal stout. Big complex flavors, but not as perfectly balanced and smooth as it could be. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and will repurchase on tap and wouldnt hesitate to pick up a four pack on ocasion.

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Photo of tlema1
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: Jet Black, tan head
S: Some roastiness
T: Roasted malt, faint coffee
F: medium body, lingering roast
O: not as creamy as I like my oatmeal stouts

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Photo of armock
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a black color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of roasted malt that gives off coffee scents

T - Follows the nose of roasted malt with coffee flavors

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - Overall this is a pretty decent beer that I'd drink again and for an Independence beer that says something

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Photo of BryanCarey
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black in color, Convict Hill Oatmeal Stout pours out of the bottle with some degree of assertiveness. The nose of this beer offers some hints of cocoa, caramel, and dark fruits. A good deal of lacing and a nice amount of foam make for a pleasing first impression.

Moving to the taste, this oatmeal stout has a creamy body with flavors of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, espresso, and fruit. There is little in the way of alcoholic flavor, which is suprising considering the high alcohol content. The body has a silkiness about it that is common for this style.

Oatmeal stouts are usually on the sweet side, but this one is actually better balanced than most. The sweet malts and the contributions from the oats are obvious, but the overall taste attempts to balance itself out before the bottle is finished and it does a decent job doing exactly that. It actually reminds me of some of the homebrewed stout I made in the past.

Overall, this is not the absolute greatest example of an oatmeal stout, but still a pretty good effort from Independence Brewing and one of the better products I have tried from this brewery.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.54/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Absolutely pitch black with no light shining through whatsoever when held to the light. Thick, dark head forms at first, then comes down to a thin ring. Looks very nice.

S: Lots of oats with a faint roastiness in the back. Average.

T: Tastes similar to smell, but much more intense. Some slight vanilla sweetness with a lot of oat flavor. A bit of oxidation as well, but I'm not sure of the age of the beer.

M: Mouthfeel is thick with good carbonation. Very good.

O: This beer is solid, but uninteresting.

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Photo of TexasTowHead
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip pint glass.

This pours an inky brown, almost like crude oil. Minimal dun head with golden lacing left behind as it is consumed. The smell is overwhelmingly of coffee and roasted malt. Coffee dominates the taste as well, with a inkling of bittersweet chocolate.

It is thin in the mouth with very little creaminess, but this is a relatively easy drinking beer with little hint of the ABV. I enjoyed this but wouldn't go seeking it out again.

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Convict Hill Oatmeal Stout from Independence Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.