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Black Widow Oatmeal Stout - Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black Widow Oatmeal StoutBlack Widow Oatmeal Stout

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78 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 78
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 19.01%
Wants: 1
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co. visit their website
Montana, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
The Biter is a smooth malty oatmeal stout balanced by flavors of roasted barley with chocolate malt. Gentle bittering but generous aroma is given by the popular English hop, East Kent Golding.

This gentle stout will be attractive to anyone who likes a full-flavored beer, including hard-core connoisseurs of stout.

The image was developed to symbolize the alluring, if not sinister character of the Black Widow Stout!

(Beer added by: packetknife on 04-10-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 78 | Reviews: 63 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of demcorhip
2.8/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Almost opaque black bodied brew. The slightest head formed on the pour then quickly left. No collar. Very mildly and finely carbonated.

Mild roasted aroma, creamy malts with a hint of oatmeal, and a mild hazelnut bread aroma greets my nose. Faint leafy earthness in the back end.

Pronounced lactic sourness, some fruity esters, cherry or perhaps blackberry. Very mild roastiness and hints of oatmeal and creamy nuts. Mildly floral earthiness in the finish.

Thin and lacking. Needs more backbone and more roasted qualities. Not much more to say, this is quite underwhelming for an oatmeal stout.

It is drinkable, and could almost pass as a brown ale vs a stout due to the lack of body and roast. Glad i got to try this and will leave it at that.

demcorhip, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of Wasatch
3.28/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Wasatch, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of Bitterbill
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased locally.

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.

Bitterbill, Dec 25, 2007
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

JohnGalt1, Dec 25, 2007
Photo of mojopilot
1.9/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I was given a bottle of this beer from a friend of mine, I don't know how old it is or anything about it really. it pours nice and dark, with almost no head.

On to the taste! Someone else said they had a bottle they thought was mishandled and was very sour. I too have a very sour beer, I would say the sourness is right up there with a Flanders Red. I love Flanders Reds, and I like stouts too. I also love lobster and popcorn, but I'm not going to mix the two together. I don't know if every bottle is like this, so I don't want to be too hard on this beer but I have to say this is in the top 5 worst beers I've ever had.

mojopilot, Dec 18, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

"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.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 30, 2007
Photo of rpheld
4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a six-pack of 12 oz. bottles purchased in Bismarck, ND.

A: Pours a dark brown- thick black with a creamy two-finger head.
S: Smells sweet, with chocolate and burnt scents.
T: Has a creamy chocolate flavor, silky oatmeal, burnt aftertaste
M: creamy and silky, a very drinkable stout
D: Pretty good stout, I'd recommend trying it if you can get close enought to Billings, MT to get it.

rpheld, Feb 20, 2007
Photo of terrabyte
2.48/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark black with a large, frothy, light-tan head.

The aroma is like sweet & dark molasses laced with chocolate.

Tastes like fizzy coffee and chocolate, although that could be my imagination. Not very good due to the overcarbonation. Whatever smells I picked up from the aroma are pretty much washed out with a tonic water taste.

Mouthful is a bit like seltzer. Something I'm really seeing a lot in anything bordering on milk stouts lately. I'm assuming this is a bottling error, and a long running one from other reviews. Hopefully if they serve this on tap anywhere, the customers are getting the taste the brewers hoped for.

Drinkability is below average. It looks like beer, smells like beer, but tastes like overly carbonated water.

terrabyte, Jan 30, 2007
Photo of woodychandler
2.35/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

woodychandler, Jan 01, 2007
Photo of snilsen13
3.05/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

a - deep brown with yellow hue. head was faintly brown, but it's gone now.

s - typical chocolate coffee aroma plus some smokiness

t - mild sweetness followed by noticable carbonation sting and accompanying citrus flavors, grapefruit. finishes with a peculiar blend of bitter chocolate and tart fruit.

m - very light for a stout, has some carb sting.

d - there is a really unpleasent aftertaste, like orange peel rind, that I can't shake...

overall - strange brew, reminds me of orange chocolate. some people will probalably really like this, but this isn't a chocolate dipped strawberry, so I'm just not sure. thanks to loren01 for the beer

snilsen13, Aug 27, 2006
Photo of nlmartin
1.58/5  rDev -56.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer was served in a pub glass.

Appearance: The poured black with a ruby opaqueness to light. The beer was pretty flat and didnt have a head.

Smell: This was the highlight of this beer. The beer has a pretty good roasted coffee malty smell. The beer has a brief splash of currants.

Taste: Yuck! This beer is an unending drink of bitter astringent chemical yuck.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer has a light body with no carbonation. The taste was just straight bitter chemical harshness. The beer really wasnt drinkable in any fashion. I am just not desperate enough for a beer to finish it. Down the drain this one goes. Oh well, better luck next beer.

nlmartin, Aug 19, 2006
Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Originally reviewed May 11, 2005. 12 Oz Bottle. Slightly transparent dark black currant pour, with ruby brown edges. Topped with fizzly thin ivory head, that’s fading fast. Aroma of sweet plum, malt and roasted coffee and a savory pork port sauce. Very rich and strong roasted coffee flavor. Favorly deep, yet even. It’s a meal in my mouth. Well carbonated and a bit of brandy alcohol to round and soften the edges. Palate is salty and a little watery.

CharlesDarwin, Aug 10, 2006
Photo of MaltyGoodness
2.03/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz. bottle thanks to jhammerly

Pours a rich black with a creamy tan head thatthins. Nice lacing on the glass.

Light aroma of roasted malts with some nice caramel tones.

Wow, this beer is sour city. Some roastedness comes through, but dominted by an unpleasant sour taste. I can only assume that this beer is quite old as no date is on the bottle.

Light body, plenty of carbonation.

I could probably choke it down if I wanted to. However, the drain got the best part of this beer.

MaltyGoodness, Jul 13, 2006
Photo of Gagnonsux
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Gagnonsux, Jul 11, 2006
Photo of jdhilt
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

jdhilt, Jul 05, 2006
Photo of geexploitation
2.65/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This one pours a solid black with an espresso-ish head. Very pleasant aroma: dusty chocolates and a bit of coffee, with a hint of sour fruits underneath. On the palate, though, the coffee and other malty flavors take a back seat to a big, ugly sourness that dominates to the finish. Once the finish comes, there are some bitter coffee flavors hinted at in the nose, but until then that sourness is oppressive. Not what I expect or want in an oatmeal stout. Mouthfeel is thin and lacks that oatmeal stout slickness.

All around, this beer is not too pleasant to drink. Not the best effort here.

geexploitation, Jun 11, 2006
Photo of jhammerly
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to loren01 for the trade.

Poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass. Very dark brown with a three-fingered head that dropped to a thin ring in a matter of minutes. Hints of chocolate and roastiness touches the nose. The taste is of coffee-like malts and not hardly any hop, lightly lingers on the tongue. There is also a bit of sourness in the finish. The body is rather thin, almost watery, but it doesn't take too much away from the overall taste. Not a bad offering, just not outstanding. Could be a good session beer.

jhammerly, May 19, 2006
Photo of blackie
2.4/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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

blackie, Apr 24, 2006
Photo of lou91
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

You forget about these session stouts when you’re used to drinking RIS or double stouts. Dark with red hints with roasted maltiness on the nose. This is real tasty and easy to drink- nothing mind blowing but that’s ok. Pleasant sweetness with subtle chocolate and toffee. Few brewers make such an easy stout and this reminds me to drink more oatmeal stouts. Thanks to Gclarkage.

lou91, Apr 17, 2006
Photo of AlexJ
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Abyssal black pour with a HUGE billowing head of mocha colored fluff. A steady stream of large cascading bubbles feeds the head, creating ridiculous amounts of lacing and retaining nicely.

Aroma is nice, and on spot, but a little too subdued. Notes of darkly roasted grain, charred sugars, cocoa, coffee, plum, and a hint of oaty tartness.

Flavor is much bigger than the nose; a solid dark chocolate and toasted grain entry with plenty of bittersweet dry cocoa, instant coffee crystals, plum jam, and a burst of floral and light pine hops in the trailing finish.

Body is nearly large, with a expansive mouthfeel due to the heavy carbonation. After many swirls, it relaxes and feels smooth, creamy, and very slick.

AlexJ, Mar 11, 2006
Photo of Jredner
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is coffee, cream and mild chocolate. Pours dark brown but approaches full black int he glass. Head is a mostly diminishing creamy tan affair. Fore is acidic and bitter with lots of coffee and roasted malt notes. Middle gets a bit tinny/metallic tasting. You definitely taste a little oatmeal influence along with some sweetened condensed milk flavors and a touch of nuttiness.

Jredner, Feb 17, 2006
Photo of weeare138
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

weeare138, Jan 13, 2006
Photo of dirtylou
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

dirtylou, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of mntlover
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black with brown highlights showing thru a smaller tan head that does leave some lace behind.

Aroma is light coffee mixed with plum some sweetness noted with a light oat presence. Some light graininess and some woody vanilla noted as well.

Taste is roasted grains some light coffee and chocolate flavors mixed with plum. Some grainessin the flavor also strange for a stout also that woody vanilla hints which is nice.

Mouthfeel is a little lighter then expected ut still a solid medium.

Drinkability is ok the vanilla flavors are nice but the grainy flavors are strange for a stout and mouthfeel is a little light. Want to thank Hometown Sports BIF and ImWithStupid for this sample.

mntlover, Dec 14, 2005
Photo of russpowell
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

russpowell, Nov 26, 2005
Black Widow Oatmeal Stout from Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.