Black Widow Oatmeal Stout - Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 76 | Reviews: 63 | Display Reviews Only:
3.2/5 rDev -11.6%
"Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive."
--Sir Walter Scott
Opaque ebony with a wide swath of rust orange along the bottom edge of the glass. The sorrel colored cap looks good atop the beer. Its upper surface is nice and bubbly, leaving similar looking lace when it eventually begins to deflate.
The nose is right on the money as well. Are we sure this beer was brewed by Yellowstone Valley? Each deep inhale brings swirling aromas of milk chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar and maybe even butterscotch. There's also a mild undercurrent of coffee, but the others easily overpower and subdue it.
I was hoping against hope that Black Widow would taste as good as it smells. I wasn't very confident, though, because I've had (and haven't liked) two other beers from these guys in the past few weeks. If the smell score could just as easily be the next highest, the taste score could just as easily be the next lowest.
The beer's major faults are that it's too sour and is too light in the mouth. I'm not sure why I can't appreciate the first of those in the nose, but I can't. The flavor profile consists of melted chocolate that has been thinned with a considerable amount of lemon juice. There's also a bit of lactic tartness, as if an ounce or two of sour milk was added. Just enough roasted barley character remains for it to (barely) cling to average status.
The mouthfeel is a disappointment. It's probably okay for a porter, but even then it barely stays within the lower range of acceptable. I wonder if age has something to do with what might be called body decomposition. With no dating, it's hard to know for sure.
If only BWOS tasted as good as it smells, it would be Yellowstone Valley's best beer by a wide margin (of course I haven't had them all yet). The name and the colorful, cartoony label are great, but don't be deceived by this Black Widow. It really isn't very good beer and didn't come close to ensnaring me in its web.
04-30-2007 14:11:39 | More by BuckeyeNation
4/5 rDev +10.5%
Pours a deep dark mahogany going to black, with just a little light getting through. Great tan head dissipates to about 1/4' with good lacing.
Smell: Roasted grains, malt & nuttiness.
Taste: Roasted grains, coffee, and hop bitterness and dryness on the tongue, throat & roof of the mouth.
Mouth feel: Smooth, but not silky smoothness you expect with this style. A little more carbonation would help.
Not the best oatmeal stout out there, but pretty good. Would work well with dessert or a nice thick steak.
11-26-2005 04:20:04 | More by russpowell
4/5 rDev +10.5%
Rich, roasty aroma, thick with coffee notes, mingled with anise, nutmeg, cinnamon, some dark fruits:cherries,dates. Totally dark, gorgeous tan head, full body. An excellent example of one of my favorite styles, but there's nothing remotely here to rival Rogue Shakespeare or Samuel Smith's.
11-19-2002 00:44:07 | More by feloniousmonk
3.98/5 rDev +9.9%
Enjoyed this one with a big steak at Jake's in Billings. It poured a real dark brown color. No light passing through at all, and a small tan head on top. It has a distinctly smokey nose, wood roasted malt seems to be the aroma im getting, but there is also some bitter bakers chocolate going on. The flavor is far less smokey than the nose, just more of a heavy roast here. The bitterness of the finish is not from hops, but rather burnt malt and that unsweetened cocoa. The mouthfeel is lovely. A nice creamy thick body and just enough carbonation. It feels silky, and might be even further served in that direction by a nitro tap. This was a good beer overall. Maybe a little too filling to slam a lot of them, but one was a treat.
10-01-2012 19:01:08 | More by StonedTrippin
4.47/5 rDev +23.5%
07/07/05- Purchased at Osco Drugs in Billings, MT.
Presentation- 12oz undated bottle poured into my Delirium Tremens tulip.
Appearance- Black pour with an inch dirty white head and average lacing.
Scent- Lots of darkness. Coffee, chocolate and roasted malts.
Taste- Coffee hits first, then a very big dark chocolate taste takes over. Lasty a nice hop bitterness finishes it off.
Mouthfeel- Very smooth and a lower carbonation level.
Drinkability- Very recommended. My favorite beer from this brewery. Good beer all around.
07-06-2005 04:13:02 | More by GClarkage
3.35/5 rDev -7.5%
Thanks to hopdog for this...
Appears a dark brown borderline black with a small tan head that fades into a small head and leaves scattered lace.
Smell is of a sweet, lacto sugar, oatmeal, and black patent concoction.
Taste is of the same aromas with that lacto sugar jumping out and an almost vinous like taste lingering.
Mouthfeel is smooth and sweet with a small amount of bitterness coming through.
01-13-2006 00:45:18 | More by weeare138
2.35/5 rDev -35.1%
This was brought to me with a light, deep-tan head that actually maintained good retention. I noted a slightly chocolaty nose. The mouthfeel was thin to medium with a light chocolate taste in the mouth. The finish had a slight chocolate aspect to it. This was a good porter, but a lousy oatmeal stout.
01-01-2007 23:25:08 | More by woodychandler
2.88/5 rDev -20.4%
Pours dark brown, near black. Very little head and what is there dissappears in relatively short order. Smells somewhat creamy, lightly roasty, but with a slight sourness from the grain. Relatively thin, and not nearly silky enough for the style. Quite sour from grain, too much so. This quite distracts from the other elements of the beer. Its drinkable, but not all that enjoyable.
03-14-2009 19:32:48 | More by Georgiabeer
3.73/5 rDev +3%
Pours a five finger brown head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Black color. Faint carbonation and heavy bodied. Roasted chocolate nose. Starts almost sweet - between roasted chocolate and sweet chocolate, finish is roasted chocolate. Nice oatmeal stout. $1.79 for a 12oz bottle from Vintage Liquors Dickerson, ND.
07-05-2006 22:46:52 | More by jdhilt
3.28/5 rDev -9.4%
Thanks goes out to Bitterbill for this brew.
Pours a dark brown/black color, nice carbonation, little fizzy tan head, some sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, slight tangy/sourness, slight roastyness, toffee, and caramel. The taste is malty, some sourness going on, slight roast, toffee/caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, quite a different Oatmeal Stout, glad to have had a chance to try it, Thanks Bill.
02-10-2008 01:11:17 | More by Wasatch
4.5/5 rDev +24.3%
This dark, dark ruby beer throws out a small chocolate brown head that is soon only an edging that provides some decent lacing. Great chocolate, java and vanilla bean on the nose. Really nice aroma. This is really a nice tasting oatmeal stout. Great bittersweet chocolate characteristics. Some definite coffee tones that are very nice. And some cocoa too. Wow. This is nice. Creamy, velvety texture. Feels like silk on the tongue. Medium to full bodied. Excellent Oatmeal Stout.
A Bighuge thanks to Cokes for the sample.
07-16-2002 21:02:34 | More by Bighuge
3.13/5 rDev -13.5%
12oz brought home from Montana in the fall and kept in the basement cooler. shared with my brother.. mine from a shaker pint.
Very nice lite tan head with spiderweb lacing.. very dark brown brew with only the slightest hints of red when held to a light.
Aroma is spot-on.. lite roased barley and dark roasted malts and chocolate overtones... even smells creamy.
lite/medium body despite a nice creamy finish.. roasted grains and slight malt sweetness and an underlying "acidic"/"sour" flavor .. reminds me of my homebrews where I've used a little bit of acidulated malts.. Sorta tastes off.
I know that this is an "aged" version of this brew, but I have notes dating back 3 years and all have "sour" flavors. If Black Widow had a little bit more body and could pinpoint and get rid of the slight off flavor then this would be a very nice brew.
12-25-2007 09:57:23 | More by JohnGalt1
3.98/5 rDev +9.9%
The beer after disassociating itself from the 12 ounce brown bottle pours a very deep black walnut color with some ruby high lights, the head is modest in size, frothy in texture and the color a light chocolate, as it evaporates the lace forms a fine sheet to conceal the glass. Nose is heavy with toasted grains, sweet and fresh, the start is sweet, and the malt profile adequate, the top is light to middling in feel. Finish is prickly in its acidity, the hops apparent but not overstated, somewhat dry and sweet aftertaste, a light but drinkable stout.
05-15-2004 21:03:58 | More by Gusler
4.13/5 rDev +14.1%
12oz single, Brennan's
appearance: pours a rich dark walnut color, tinted ruby, bubbly chocolate brown head, lacing around the rim...sick bottle as well
smell: heavy aromas...cocoa powder, a bit of smoke, licorice, coffee grounds, a lot of dark fruit, chocolate covered cherry, plum, dates, raisins
taste: taste is very familiar...i've had something quite similar to this recently but I can't put my finger on it...dry cocoa powder, dark coffee, cherry, plum, raisins, smoky, sweet toasted malts, some sweet floral hops buried underneath
mouthfeel: creamy and velvety, pretty nice
drinkability: very drinkable
12-29-2005 03:22:15 | More by dirtylou
3.63/5 rDev +0.3%
12 oz bottle poured into a Sprecher nonic. "keep refrigerated", no date or info.
A - A loud, tall pour doesn't do this beer any favors. The head is low and retained poorly leaving only a thin film behind. The vigorous swirl coaxes some tan froth out. Black Widow is almost black with slivers of clear brown-amber around the edges.
S - Black Widow's aroma is void of any hints of spider like the label suggests (whew). What it does have however, is a rich roasted malt nose with a good depth to it. Cocoa and molasses hints with a nice oat presence. At first, an now on the swirl, the nose is pretty solid but after sitting, Black Widow gets this old, musty smell. It's not entirely off-putting since it's relatively low, it's just a nuisance. Low hop presence is slight grassy and lingers in the background. Very roasted nose overall.
T - Heavily roasted flavor is prominent with classic backing notes of coffee, cocoa, and molasses. Not a lot of the oats come out in the flavor as much as the mouthfeel. The roasted bitter finish balances pretty nicely with at thin backing of hop presence. The flavor has a bit of depth to it but lacks any real distinctiveness.
M - This beer is surprisingly thin in the texture which is too bad. I'd really call this medium-bodied as there is plenty of carbonation for a crisp, lighter feel on the finish. The oats do smooth the texture of the beer out though. A lingering dusty dryness and roasted bitterness finish it out. This could really be brought up to be thicket and more substantial here.
D - While Black Widow is well-balanced for drinkability, it could help in other areas to make it a better beer all-around. It's just lacking a distinct spark of something. It doesn't stand out in a community of malt-bomb-loving beer drinkers.
05-05-2010 04:30:06 | More by BeerFMAndy
3.63/5 rDev +0.3%
It pours from 12oz bottle a very dark brown with reddish hues and has a 1 finger head of tannish foam with some lacing.
The smell is of roasted malt, some chocolate, and some caramel.
The taste has roasted malt up front followed by notes of chocolate and some citrus. Hmm...I don't think the citrus is a welcome addition for me in this OS. Things were tasting pretty good until that "sourness" from the citrus hit my taste buds. Still, it's not bad. It finishes with a roasted malt bitterness, it has a medium mouthfeel, and the carbonation is medium. I'm still shaking my head over that weird sourness that *does" mellow down a bit further into the session.
12-25-2007 16:46:09 | More by Bitterbill
4.4/5 rDev +21.5%
Dark color of solid black with slivers of dark red highlighting, nice thick and creamy one finger high head of tannish hue, a bit lumpy and settles slowly leaving nice sticky lace in big strings.
Smell is a nice dark and rich roastyness with a touch of chocolate and coffee swimming around in the nose.
Taste is mostly tanged chocolate tones at first, very smooth and inviting, moderately sweetened, introducing some light coffeeish like dryness and flavor with a fairly calm hop bitterness in the finish. Good amount of heavyness, creamyness, and smooth lingering coffee, chocolate, and hop bitterness and dryness. Lots of good roastyness thoughout. Quite enjoyable feel, nearly heavy and full with a good smoothness, which I think it gets from it being an oatmeal stout. Has some very nice lingering qualities. Quite a good stout. Recommend trying it out if you can find it.
06-22-2003 13:39:13 | More by tavernjef
4.05/5 rDev +11.9%
I didn't know what to expect with this one, but I am impressed...black with a red tint(some light does shine through)...tan lace...great nose of roasted grains...oats definitely present on the nose along with some nice java and dark cocoa tones....medium bodied....not quite as creamy as I like my oatmeal stouts to be, but pretty smooth in the mouth...taste is of burnt malt...dark cocoa...java and some oaty characteristic....not in my elite class of Oatmeal Stout's but not far off that..
08-06-2002 22:39:51 | More by ZAP
4.15/5 rDev +14.6%
Almost black with ruby red hues, a full pillowy light brown head, good carbonation, and rings of lace. Chocolate and coffee aroma at first turns roasty. Bitter roasty flavor dominates. Medium finish with a dry roasty and lightly bitter finish.
Per Y.V.B.Co. website: Roasted barley and chocolate
malt. Gentle bittering but generous aroma is given by the
popular English hop, East Kent Golding.
1998 GABF - Gold - Oatmeal Stout
01-20-2004 21:43:03 | More by RBorsato
4.43/5 rDev +22.4%
Quote from the label: "...brewed with the finest hops & malted grains with only a hint of spider". The spider didn't show up in the taste, but may have explained the lace web left down the glass.
Amazing brew. Pours a very deep amber (who I am kidding..this black by most standards). Aroma is big and roasty.
Likewise, big roasty, oaty flavors. Lots of coffee and milk chocolate (this actually might be two separate flavors, dark chocolate and lactose sweetness). Hops add just the right amount of bitterness.
The carbonation levels may be just slightly too high...detracts a little from the smoothness. This is a minor complaint. Still very nice in the mouth.
Makes you want another...leaves a wonderful roasted coffee flavor filling the mouth. This aftertaste is almost as good as the beer itself.
One of the best oatmeal stouts I have tried. Snap it up if you can find it...good luck. Worth searching for.
04-10-2002 22:40:01 | More by cokes
2.4/5 rDev -33.7%
appearance: The pour creates a .25" light mocha head that steadily recedes to a ring around the glass. The beer is a very dark brown in color.
smell: Moderate aromas of roasted malt and milk chocolate. Light hoppiness. There's also a considerable off sour note to the aroma.
mouthfeel: The carbonation is towards the higher side of the medium range, and the body a light medium. The carbonation is a little high, and I'm not getting the smoothness I would normally expect in an oatmeal stout.
taste: At first my tastebuds pick up on some roasted malt, and then BAM...my mouth is assaulted with an offensive sourness. It pretty much dominates the flavor, though a little roast peeks through the onslaught. The sourness lingers for a solid thirty seconds after the sip.
drinkability: A little trying to drink with the lingering sourness
Acquired in a trade with loren01
04-24-2006 03:00:17 | More by blackie
3.93/5 rDev +8.6%
Black Widow is a deep, dark brown with a small, tan head. Retention is weak. Aroma is a very inviting mix of roast and oats. Plenty of coffee smells burst forth. Taste has a nice roasted body with plenty of coffee flavors. Oatmeal sweetness is in the mix as well, but not a full as the aroma suggests. An overall balanced complexity makes Black Widow a recommended brew.
07-10-2006 23:10:09 | More by Gagnonsux
3.65/5 rDev +0.8%
The beer poured black with brown highlights when held to light. The head was tan, and extremely tall lasting like a champ to coat the glasss.
The aroma was roasty with chocolate and coffee most prevalent. As it warmed, and after the head finally fell back, the beer gave off some fruitiness.
The flavor was chocolate with coffee and roastiness that lasted. The flavor of the chocolate was smooth with the coffee and the bittering tasted to have mostly came from the roassted grains. The beer was well balanced and not overpowering in any one aspect. As it warmed, the beer exhibited some fruity flavors.
The finish was dry with pleasant lasting yet slight chocolate and coffee flavors.. The body was just a bit above medium and could have been a bit more.
12 ounce bottle. A nicely made Stout, but no real Oatmeal mouthfeel or character. Still tasty, but more of a dry stout.
12-19-2004 20:00:51 | More by GCBrewingCo
3.7/5 rDev +2.2%
Brewed with pale, caramel, and chocolate malts, dextrine, wheat (malt), roasted barley, flaked oats, and a touch of spider. Hopped with Magnum and E.Kent Golding.
OG=1.058, 5.9% ABV.
Pours out to a cloudy very dark mahogany, nearly black, forming a nice-sized tan head with good retention and one solid sheet of lacing. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma is nice...heavily roasted grains, black walnut, sweet dark malts, vanilla, freshly seared wood, and bittersweet chocolate. The mouthfeel is a little stinging from overcarbonation for the style but has a longlasting sheen on the tongue. The taste is more akin to a semi-dry stout...somewhere between an oatmeal and a dry. The malts have less emphasis on the body and sweetness than on the roastedness. As it warms, butterscotch creeps up and gives it a decidely English off-flavor. There are some higher alcohol in the middle and rub off into the finish as an astringency. The finish is very burnt, like charcoal without much more complexity. Bitterness is moderate.
Not hearty, rich or sweet like I would expect for an oatmeal stout. Overcarbonation, measly body for the style, and slight fusels hurts it's drinkability. A decent attempt, but nothing I would recommend.
11-23-2005 00:55:02 | More by Mitchster
3.65/5 rDev +0.8%
I'm a little surprised at how high some of the scores are for this beer, because I found nothing exceptional about my sample.
Aroma has a sweet almost candi like complex maltiness with lighter and darker qualities. Oatmeal presents itself too. Lots of variety in aroma.
Black with red hues and seems clear. Head is thin and doesn't hold too well, but leaves a ring.
Smokey quality to flavour with the dark roast, esp. in the lingering. Starts off light and sweet, then moves to heavier darker qualities. Fairly long roast malt dryness to finish.
Has a thick heavy quality. Decent smoothness. Only a little oily.
Decent complexity. Not sure what "gently bittered" means, but sweetness is balanced well. Good, but not very good.
12-18-2003 03:35:41 | More by garymuchow
Black Widow Oatmeal Stout from Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.