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Millstream Back Road Stout - Millstream Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Millstream Back Road StoutMillstream Back Road Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

154 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 154
Hads: 310
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 16.4%
Wants: 9
Gots: 22 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Millstream Brewing Company visit their website
Iowa, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jt31914 on 06-19-2010

The 'oatmeal' in the name is due the 5% oatmeal in the the grist of this brew. Oats give beer a real thick mouthfeel, something definitely desirable in a stout! Black malt and roasted barley give the beer its color, and coffee-like flavors. If you like thick full-bodied & smooth stout, this beer is for you!

22 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Millstream Back Road Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 154 | Hads: 310
Photo of apintofknowledge
4.06/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours as black as night with a seriously large creamy tan head. The aroma is toasty, with hints of roasted coffee and unsweetened chocolate. It has a really nice mouthfeel... a creamy and foamy head, followed by a slick and oily liquid with lots of tiny bubbles of carbonation.

The initial taste is of sweet dark roasted coffee, followed by a earthy/root-like flavor, with a slightly sour woody finish. As I drink more, and the beer warms, a sweet molasses flavor comes through, and the bitterness begins to fade, becoming more and more smooth to enjoy.

On a pairing note, dark chocolate makes an excellent companion for this beer, but only in small amounts, because something too rich could overwhelm the beer.

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Photo of trumick
4.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown color with a light tan fluffy 1/2 inch head that dissapates quickly to nothing and no lacing.
Scent is of sweet dark roast malts, chocolate and slight coffee.
Taste follows the nose with dark sweet malts and fruits up front and a dry spicey hop and coffee finish.
Smooth as any stout I have ever had. The mouthfeel is well above average. It is creamy with appropriate carbination, the most outstanding part of this ,ah, *lager*??...
Drinkability is slightly above average also. This is a beer that I would sit and sip many. I have several and am going back for more.
A fine lagered stout. One of the best stouts I have ever had. This one easily competes with any stout from Bells.

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Photo of Southernbrew
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fine dark black with a small, light brown head.

Rich aroma, some oats with plenty of roasted chocolate as well as a bit of fruit.

Medium body, a bit thin for the style. Light carbonation. Big chocolate malt flavors are balanced by a light "oatiness." Ends with a mix of caramel and bitter chocolate. My taste buds may be off, but I pick up just a hint of peanuts in the end as well. Odd, not bad though.

A reasonable oatmeal stout. A bigger body would help significantly. The concept of an oatmeal stout lager is intriguing as well.

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Photo of marburg
4.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque, brown beer with a perfect half inch or so of frothy dark tan head. The nose is full of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, prunes, and a grainy, oaty cereal smell.

Very clean and milky, this defines "smooth" in a stout. Full flavored, malty, chocolate, malted milk ball type flavors with just a bit of roasted flavor through the finish. It's pretty straightforward as a chocolatey, milky oatmeal stout with decent carbonation. And it's incredibly drinkable. A surprisingly good treat. Thanks, Don.

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Photo of hero27
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a very deep, dark brown..entirely opaque. Relatively thin brown head to start which recedes to a thin tan ring, and eventually disappears completely.

Smell: Nice roasted oatmeal smell. Hints of chocolate & coffee in the aroma also.

Taste: Roasted sweet malt taste of oatmeal and chocolate up-front. Lingering coffee bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth & medium-bodied. Subtle flavors make this a very drinkable beverage, by any style's standards.

Drinkability: An enjoyable (and highly drinkable) stout. If you're a fan of the style, I'd definitely recommend it. It is a nice fallback session stout around these parts since it is widely available in this area.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque black pour with a nice soft bubbly tan head...recedes fairly quickly to a ring around the top. Some nice lacing as well...no light is getting through here. A very nice robust ground coffee aroma intertwines with notes of dark chocolate and toasted oats. Big, impressive nose!

Smooth roasted, toasty oat maltiness mixes with some nutty coffee tones and hints of bitter dark chocolate on the way down. Just a nice, tasty oatmeal stout overall.

Mouthfeel has a silky smooth creaminess to it with just enough carbonation to make it lively on the palate. This is a stout that I wouldn't mind sessioning with and is a nice suprise as I just picked it up on a whim while I was in Iowa. Recommended.

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Photo of DrunkMcDermott
2.83/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Starts out really nice. Beautiful roast coffee smell when opened. Pours a deep black body under a thin tan head. Taste is very roasty, too, but I also get the big sour orange taste other raters mentioned, followed by a punch of Coca-cola. Taste does settle out to a nice creamy oatmeal stout, but the sour cola gets in the way. How could they got such a taste with a lager yeast?

I emailed the brewery and they suggested the off taste came from the fact that I had an 8-month old bottle; since they don't pasteurize their beer, that's past its prime. I will definietly buy more fresh beer and revise my review at a future date.

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Photo of mentor
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle obtained from To Your Health (Coralville) in Janurary 2005 and consumed that same evening. Freshness date says November. Pours thick and silent with a half-finger brown head...and with a chocolate smell. Appears utterly pitch black, even when held up to a light. Smell has a nice blend of chocolate and coffee. Taste takes a while to take hold. Chocolate and coffee run around playing tag in my mouth. First one dominates, then the other. What an interesting experience. Hazelnut comes in late and the finish is dry and roasty. Body is medium heavy and carbonation is strong (too heavy for the style IMO). The flavors are really well-balanced in this beer. I find this to be one of the most drinkable stouts I've ever had.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first experience with an oatmeal stout. I must say, being an Iowa native, I am quite surprised to see that a state with such a strong love affair for sissy yellow beer could produce such a deliciously black nectar. This was my third favorite of Millstream's product line when I took the tour earlier today. It pours quite dark with a small tan head. Tastes almost like a Guiness, but not quite as dry or harsh. While I can appreciate this beer for what it is, it would not be my choice for a medium to heavy session.

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Photo of alexgash
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown body. No light penetrateth. Creamy, toasted-tan head. Nice. Good lacing. Sweet, roasted barley with notes of coffee and chocolate. Smells good to me. Sweetish mocha sweetness unfolds, amidst lightly roasted barley. Full-bodied, and velvety-creamy. Slight homebrew funk. Reminds me of Lake Superior's Sir Duluth. Overall, a very nice oatmeal stout that would make a great session beer.

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Photo of mynie
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

At the bar at which I ordered this a man warned me, while sitting over his Miller Light, "you best be careful with that son: It's pretty rough."


This is one of the most drinkable stouts that I've ever had. Sweet malt upfront, not roasted and bitter, just a hint of coffee and toffee mixed with and oaty aftertaste. Really nice, but not very complex or strong. Good mouthfeel, but not great, and, like I said, this is the most drinkable stout that I've ever come across.

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Photo of aracauna
3.19/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Dark brown with the usual Millstream fizzy and short-live head. The aroma is full of sweet chocolate and roast with a bit of oatmeal. The flavor is fairly big, but comes across as a bit thin. The body is really watery for the style and unsatisfying despite the flavor being pretty good. This brewery’s best beer is definitely the John’s Generations, an excellent witbier.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BuckeyeNation for the trade. Pours a very dark brown color that lets a little light through. Thin beige head that dissipated rapidly. Not much lacing until further down the glass. The aroma consists mainly of coffee as well as a touch of malt. Medium-bodied with a milky texture. Roasted coffee, malt and a touch of tart fruit in the flavor. The finish is smooth with a lightly bitter character. Nothing too exciting going on here, just a run-of-the-mill Oatmeal Stout you can find anywhere.

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Photo of tavernjef
2.85/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Brown bottle liter swing-top: Matte black color with a bit of a darker brown tint in brighter light. Firm finger high crown of lumpy broken chocolate brown, keeps a good puff for a while, settles to keep s broken skim and firm frothed edging, drippy lacing with nothing sticking.

Aroma is fantastic, soft bakers chocolate and milk chocolate, just grazes a roasted tint; sweet nuances of oats and barley flakes, little noting of iced coffee and charred wood.

Taste is far too sweet; it has tart, tangy, tones that aren't doing it for me. Lots of malt and oat sweetness thats becoming uncomfortably close to wine-like for an oatmeal stout. Dark cherry and some charred wood notes actually make a way in towards the finish, but the sweetness here is over the top for me. Perhaps this has gotten past its prime. The smell maybe eludes to what it may have once existed in flavors, but this is a sweetified, tangy mess. No matter how hard I try, I cannot enjoy this bottle. Looked and smelled promising, but the taste promised nothing but an overly sweet twang of undrinkable soda pop syrup.

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Photo of Dantes
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Package: 12oz. crowned brown “heritage” bottle; somewhere between a stubby and a longneck. Common “date scale” along side is not notched (all too common lately). No ABV information. Pleasant green label with grist mill logo.

Cost: Acquired via trade

Presentation: Shaker pint at ~50º

Appearance: A tad lighter than normal for an oatmeal stout. Admits some light, giving it a aint tea-like glow. Generated a generous, but loose cream-colored head; that resolved quickly down to a stout ring.

Smell: Nice but faint aroma, with some nice roastiness and a likable cereal note.

Taste: Reasonably full, considering the faint aroma. Gently roasted flavor with some sweet graininess and a recognizable oatmeal fullness. A mild fruity dimension also makes itself known. Finishes cleanly but a bit quickly, with a diluted sensation.

Mouthfeel: Starts off very creamy and reasonably full, but does sort of “collapse” into a more watery state. Seemingly consistent with their other beers (qv.). Interesting in that I feel similarly about some of Ithaca Brewing’s beers (especially the brown ale). Very silky, persistent carbonation. Very interesting in that the carbonation is so good, while the body is a bit on the weak side. Tough to rate.

Drinkability: A beer that is likely to please a wide range of people. Very smooth, easy-drinking and satisfying, but complex enough for “serious” beer drinkers.

Backwash: Quite an interesting beer. Labelled as a lager, you would hardly know it but for the slightly diluted body and perhaps the simple flavor profile. Still, it provides a good deal of flavor and enjoyment in a tight, refined package. A fine local choice.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with bright ruby highlights. The head is a light toasty brown with large bubbles visible where foam meets glass. It falls unevenly to a softly lumpy disk and leaves a small amount of lace in disordered scraps.

The aroma delivers sweet, roasted malt without much in the way of coffee or chocolate. Maybe those guys will make an appearance as the beer warms. Note: some chocolate becomes noticeable as room temperature approaches.

The flavor is enjoyable and is of dark chocolate-laced black malt. There's also a subtle hop bite that fades in roughly two seconds after beer enters mouth. The finish is increasingly (though still only modestly) bitter. The mouthfeel is a few notches more full than medium and has a softness that might be due to the oats.

Millstream Colony Oatmeal Stout is a good version. I'll have no problem drinking locally after tasting this beer.

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Photo of beerfan82
3.32/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I guess this beer caught me off guard. Just being a beggining beer drinker I haven't had much experience with darker beers. Personally I wasn't a big fan of the nutty taste. It had an almost coffee dark taste to it. If you are a fan of darker beers this one will be the one for you. It's tastes are complex enough for a dark beer fan.

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Photo of RedBaron
4.4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I tried this beer for the first time on draught at the brewery, just one-and-a-half-weeks ago. As I poured the bottled version tonight, for this review, I think I'm in love all over again!

This 'stout', which the brewer actually confesses to being born of lager yeast, is an outstanding dark beer, complex in taste, wonderful to the nose, and opaque in color.

The beer poured nicely, with a dark brown head. The nose has hints of fruit (almost fig), as well as chocolate and roasted malts. The head on this brew poured vigourously, and maintained nicely down through the tasting.

The body, though not too heavy, was right on for a stout/dark lager, and had the combination of many nicely roasted malts, and a smoothness that probably comes from its namesake--oatmeal. There is also a nice bitterness to this beer, probably in the form of an American hop variety. Taken in combination with the various malts, this is one tasty beer!

The finish is nice, and the roastiness of this brew lingers here.

When I tried this beer at the brewery, I told the brewer that this reminded me of a more complex, fruity(ish) schwartzbier, with a definite American craft-brewed bent. He actually shared my sentiment, without revealing all the secrets in this beer.

Call it a stout, or call it a dark lager, Colony Oatmeal Stout is one fine beer.

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Photo of Tballz420
2.95/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is a completely black beer, with a small, brown head on the top. The smell is of clean, lagered water, and of chocolate. The taste is a bit peculiar, clean lagered, chocolate, pretty sweet, a tad bitter, and something else, possibly some fruit. It just seems a bit confused, something about it but this isnt my favorite.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark black color, small head. Aroma is mildly choolate, but kind of weak. A medium bodied Oatmeal stout. Roasted malts, chocolatly and slightly sweet. Mild hops, slightly spicy. Big taste, full flavor. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is very dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Nice stout.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

You think you know a thing or two about beer, until someone puts a bottle in your hand that reads "Oatmeal Stout Lager." Whodidthewhat? Howdidthehey? Huh.
Appearance: fully black, with a nice, burnt tan head.
Aroma: bitter and roasty, with fruity notes.
Texture is limpid, body and mouthfeel and everything else is light, light, light. Short finish. Drinks down extraordinarily smooth, but ...Actually, I have a hard time criticizing this. I could fault it for lacking the complexity, depth, or flavor of a good oatmeal stout, but it's an oatmeal stout lager. It is what it is. But I'm not sure why it is what it is.
Fruity notes emerge in the middle, and are appreciated.
Not a bad brew at all, but the lack of top-fermenting yeast did not please this stout-fan's palate at all, only left me yearning for a true stout.

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Photo of Gusler
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer pours that most lovely of colors A deep mahogany brown to black, the head is plentiful, light chocolate in color, the lace sticky thick sheets that adhere nicely to the glass. Sweet roasted barley dominates the nose, hot milk chocolate also come to mind, caramel and quite a pleasure to “Sniff”. Front is sweet, the top is middling in mouth feel, with a pertinent acidic bite, hops pleasing to the palate, the aftertaste bittersweet and dry. The beer is drinkable, although a bit "Watery", would classify it as a "Beginners" introduction to the dark side and stouts, so maybe I should temper my criticism.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a dark ruby. It is capped by a fizzy brown head that recedes to and edging within seconds. Chocolatey and coffee-like on the nose. Pretty nice. This stout features some bittersweet chocolate tones as well as burnt malt. Also present to a small degree is dark fruity tones. Everything melds together nicely. Not as creamy of a mouthfeel as I like in my stouts, but drinkable nonetheless. Not too bad. Not too great.

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Photo of jmatthew
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good solid black appearance, but lacks the oily thickness of other stouts. Smells of dark chocolate. Taste is appealing with bittersweet chocolate in the front, more bitter at first and sweet afterwards, and a good maltiness in the middle. Hops are slightly present, smooth and easy down the pipe.

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Photo of marc77
3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nearly opaque jet black hue, w/ a hint of hazy deep garnet when held to light. The light brown head settles quickly into a thin layer that leaves sparse islands of bubbles. Sharp, coffeeish roasted barley combined with chocolate malt dominate the aroma... dark caramel malt sweetness is intially subdued but becomes more assertive as the brew warms. Fruity esters are completely absent. The flavor is an appropriate extension of the aroma, although w/ a more prominent malt sweetness. An initial snap of roasted barley bitterness gives way to sugary caramel, then moderate hop bitterness and chocolate malt emerge, lending a bittersweet dark chocolate character mid palate. Light in body for style, but with sufficient dextrins for a smooth mouthfeel. Finishes somewhat dry, w/ roasted grain bitterness lingering. Colony is an enjoyable oatmeal stout, but doesn't possess any outstanding qualities. Although it lacks the "silky" quality of a good OS, the drinkability remains good.

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Millstream Back Road Stout from Millstream Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 154 ratings.