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Black H2O Oatmeal Stout - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

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Black H2O Oatmeal Stout
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96 Reviews
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Reviews: 96
Hads: 209
Avg: 4.09
pDev: 8.31%
Wants: 25
Gots: 12 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ADR on 04-06-2003

Traditional oatmeal stout. The silky smooth oatmeal lends itself perdectly to the intense roasted malt character of this dark robust stout.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 96 | Hads: 209
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oatmeal stout ranks high among my favorite styles, and I'm up to try any example, but this one went far beyond any expectations!

Appearance: a very perfect darkness, but perhaps soft around the sides, and not fully black, though entirely opaque, with a solid, standing 1/2" head of cocoa-colored foam.

Aroma: light and creamy on the very first sniff, but thereafter, bitter, but softly so, and rich and redolent with espresso character. This has to be the coffee-est of non-explicity-coffee-stouts I've encountered, and it's no wonder that Town Hall's Coffee Stout, made with this beer, drenched in grounds and such, has to be ranked as my favorite coffee stout of all, beating out Bell's Java, Z St. Mocha, and any/all comers.

On the tastebuds, every flavor found in the aroma has it's way with the senses.
Fully flavorful, all the way, not too bitter, not too sweet, just perfect!
Rich, roasty, rewarding. Malt is huge, hops small. Body isn't exactly full, finish is smooth and coffeeish to the last. A very easy-drinking stout, and extraordinarily packed with flavor for a style that doesn't often live up to it's potential, in many examples. This is definitely my kind of stout.

And this new assessment makes it harder to decide on my favorite beer from Town Hall. Too many good ones!
I took notes on a cask version at the end of last year...infinitely smoother, and the coffee character still stands tall.
P.S. I still don't know if the Doobie Brothers inspired the name of this beer, investigation is still pending...

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Photo of battlekow
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing this from notes that I took on 8/18 on a visit to the brewpub.

Black H2O has a very creamy, chocolate head; looks like the beer has cream filling. Jet black. Smells, and I quote myself, "really, really good," of lactose and chocolate, sweet and creamy. Tastes sweet and smooth, like velvet chocolate cake. A little fruity, like raspberries. Thick, luxuriant mouthfeel. Man, an amazingly tasty dessert of a beer.

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Photo of hanco005
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler

A—dark brownish black, espresso like. Very little head on any of the pints I poured from this growler, but the lacing was decent

S—strong coffee, with mild oat and chocolate scents

T—very strong coffee with some burnt taste as well, nice balance of malt and oat flavors, a bit of a dark chocolate taste as well. Yum!

M—creamy and a bit slimy, very thick and robust

D—A great oatmeal stout, finished the 4 pint growler in one sitting and was still not full ( but very tipsy as I hadn’t eaten since lunch). Could have drank this all night. A great winter brew!

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Photo of gatornation
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had on tap at MTH the appearance was black as night with a nice beige fluffy head that dissipates to a nice beige /cherry ring with some sticky lacing on the side..the smell is chocolate ,molasses roasted coffee plum and some berry smells..the taste was a sweet chocolate and roasted coffee smell with a small amount of oatmeal nothing dominated in this stout but all was present and competing in the flavor it was fantastic and nicely balanced..WOW this is one great stout that is full but at the same time easy to throw back a couple in a hurry really drinkable and highly flavorful a perfect oatmeal stout..highly recommended

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Photo of mcallister
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very burnt, rugged, amber brown, very dark, reminiscent of something you would find in the middle of the woods that a "cabin brewer" would brew. Still a nice mocha head very frothy that leaves a fabulous sticky lace behind.

Rich and sweet vanilla, slight coffee, burnt roasted malts, marshmallow, a bit of milk chocolate, and even some melted toffee, with a cherry on top.

Rich, and creamy, smooth as day mouthfeel, flavors of burnt chocolate, roasted malt, smoke, oatmeal of course, sweet heavy cream, and a bit of black currant.

This is an oatmeal stout I could find myself drinking on a daily basis.

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Photo of opwog
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now listening to: Michael Jackson - Billie Jean

A- Great darkness with an off white thin head
S- Toasty malt, coffee, cocoa
T- Very nice brepub stout! You really couldn't expect much more out of an off-campus type bar.
M- Perfect carbonation and thickness.
D- If I was going to be in this area for longer, this is exactly what I would want to keep in the hotel fridge as a growler!

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Photo of ZAP
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Damn near black...small light when held up to the lamp...small burgandy notes....big burnt malt and java notes on the nose...wonderfull sweet milk stout flavor characteristics...sweet milk chocolate..the mouthfeel is creamy and smooth...outstanding oatmeal stout...creamy....finishes a little on the dry side...substantial too...

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Photo of jera1350
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black as night in color with a thick and frothy head that could almost be cut with a knife.

The smell could use a little bump up, but there is a decent hop scent along with chocolate and a bit of coffee.

Pretty hoppy for the style, which I love. Chocolatey with a hint of smoke and coffee. Ever so tasty with a nice complexity for the style.

Oatmeal smoothness with about a medium body. Carbonation is spot on and creamy.

I would have to call this my favorite oatmeal stout. There is only one other that I could say comes close. It's all around great and has such an outstanding flavor profile. On cask is equal to beer perfection. This is a Town Hall must try for anyone.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
4.36/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There was a lot to like about this beer. I thought it exhibited the dry-roastiness of an Imperial Stout while maintaining a lightness on the tongue and dryness of an Irish stout and delivering the light sweet finish of a breakfast stout. So, I would say this is a very pleasant blend of all three styles!

It pours very dark, although not inky like an imperial stout, with a thick nude pantyhose colored head. Aroma was roasty. Flavor was extremely roasty, with hints of coffee, and some slightly sour sweetness at the finish. Mouthfeel was light yet substantial (and wonderful!), and not at all syrupy the way some heavier stouts can be. I found this to be an extremely drinkable, yet extremely flavorful, stout and enjoyed it immensely.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 5-26-10
Reviewed cold from a growler to a glass

A - Black pour, 1 finger of foam, nice brown with a tint of red lacing ring, couldn't tell if there is any carbonation present

S - Vanilla, brown sugar, and malt of course, some coffee notes

T - Oatmeal and malts, some coffee aftertaste

M/D - Another winner from Town hall Minneapolis, a very smooth and drinkable Oatmeal stout, highly recommend trying this brew and picking up a cheap growler

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Photo of fisherman34
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black in colour with a huge chocolate and espresso aroma. Loads of chocolate, vanilla, and caramel flavors. Perhaps a hint of mint in there too. Lots of body and quite complex for a sweet stout. Excellent stuff. I could drink a few of these without much difficulty.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub. Poured into a standard shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Dark black with a little bit of brown color coming through. Solid three fingers of creamy tan head with good retention and a nice froth. Good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Dark roasted malts with some chocolate, nuts, oats, milk, and a little coffee. A fairly strong aroma of smoke mixes in with the chocolate. Smells very roasty, robust, and fairly sweet.

Taste: Sweet dark roasted malts up front with some good notes of chocolate, oats, nuts, milk, subtle coffee and lactose. A pretty noticeable taste of smoke lingers around making this taste like a cross between an Oatmeal Stout and Baltic Porter. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation. Very creamy, lightly sweet and syrupy, and very smooth. Sweet but finishes moderately dry.

Overall: A very solid oatmeal stout. The smoke and milk flavors add a nice touch.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one at the MTHB on-tap. Poured a pitch black color with a fine film of tan head on top. Looks solid; no real highlights, and leaves some light lacing. Nose is lots of sweetness, oats, cookies, and then of course a good amount of roasted malt in there as well. Flavor is likewise. A down and dirty beer, if you catch my meaning. Tons of roasted malt, but not in a drying way - lots of sweet cookies and some chocolate in there as well, to help keep it drinkable. Coffee flavors swirling. A solid brew. Feel is nice and full, as it should be, but not so filling you couldn't drink a couple. Overall, a nice beer.

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Photo of CultureJamMN
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm an oatmeal stout fan, and this made me happy to have TH in my area. I'll be stopping by for a growler of this soon.

Is almost totally black in appearance with a thinish head and lacing that is not super. Generally, it looks like an espresso, which is what it should look like.

The smell was pure ambrosia. The strong coffee and chocolate notes are so rich. I could have wafted this beer for an hour.

The taste is like a cafe mocha with malty overtones... taste and smell are very similar.

A little thinner than maybe a stout should be, but all in all very silky on the tongue. I cant wait to try it on cask.

This beer could end up being my winter beer for a good long while.

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Photo of mynie
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2 day old growler.

Pours nitrous smooth into an imperial pint glass. Not really opaque, but there's a nice big brown head that sticks around for a respectable amount of time. Probably a nicer pour on draft.

Smells of very distinct coffee and big huge milk chocolate all backed up by an oatmeal rawness that would make me think this was a porter if it wasn't so guldarn smooth. Seriously sweet, in a wholesome way. Reminds me of a certain popular Breakfast Stout...

Tastes not quite as great. Still very good. Wonderful milk chocolate starts things off, which moves quickly into roasted malts which disolve into oatmeal rawness. The front is smooth like a coffee/milk stout, the back is rough like an oatmeal stout. Both are good, but the front is much nicer than the back, and the two sides are too much of a juxtaposition to really work. Still, it tastes pretty friggin good.

Where this brew really stands out is the creamy mouthfeel. It's just perfectly smooth--there's no other way to describe it. That smoothness works to perfection with sweetness, but doesn't work quite as well with bitterness.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on-cask at the brewpub

cellphone notes

appearance: served in a standard pint - rich dark mahogany, creamy chocolatey head with great retention

smell: the creamy head of this beer gave hints of whiskey and peat, below is lush chocolate and roasted malt. nice

taste: I enjoyed this oatmeal stout late-night on the patio and it went down easy - rich and chocolatey with nice contrast provided by the oats and light alcohol presence.

mouthfeel: velvety, rich and creamy

drinkability: high

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Photo of errantnight
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a fantastic brew.

Pours a deep black (not quite pitch) with a thick (if not very substantial) head. Looks gorgeous, just loses a point for the underwhelming head (which also appears a little light in color).

Smells like toasted malt and coffee roast and dark chocolate. A delicate and superb balance

A swallow brings the coffee to the fore, and then chocolate, the malt is clearly and afterthought, and if there's any hops at all they're not coming out, although the finish is clean. There's just enough of that oat-y sweetness to give some body and character to this. I love it.

I waited a few days before cracking this growler, and I'm sure that a fresh pint would inch things up here. If this were even remotely available to me in the NE where I am or Cali where I'm going this would be a staple.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this several times at Town Hall, but thanks stubob for picking up a growler of this so I finally can sit down and rate it. It pours black with a creamy light brown head. It leaves good lacework when sipped down. It has a nice roasted malt aroma with hints of coffee. The flavor is rouasty and chocolately with coffee notes in the finish. It has a creamy mouthfeel with a nice bittering finish. A very tasty stout.

Sampled 9/21/03

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Photo of gangstafaceclay
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Pours black with a nice tan head

Smell is of coco, and roasted coffee.

Taste is of semi-sweet chocolate, toasted malts, creamy roasty coffee, and good amount of oats.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth and medium bodied. Goes down so smoothly

Overall this is a wonderful oatmeal stout. Very drinkable and great roasty flavors.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice jet black with a tan head. This is one of the better oatmeal stouts I have had, creamy and thick, with a little oat heartiness. This is another winner from Town Hall (which I just got back from). Definitely get the sampler if you happen there, it is $7, but worth it.

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Photo of mwagner1018
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've always loved a good stout on a cold winter evening...the Black H2O Oatmeal rendition did not let me down! I enjoyed this beer on a recent trip to the Townhall Brewery...(slight side note). Parking at this place can be a real pain, on this trip, I parked in a lot that was apparently marked as a "tow zone." Long story short, this trip to Town Hall cost me about $300, having drank 3 beers, that comes out to about $100/beer...well worth it!!! I'm keeping my notorious positive attitude on this one!

...The Black H2O is a brilliant creamy, smoky, oatmeal stout...with hints of roasted malt and a clean velvety/chocolate after taste. The creamy 3/4 inch head on this beer breathed out great aromas and sat beautifully on the top of the beer. A beautiful burnt charcoal color that had a medium/perfect mouthfeel. Only slight downfall, the beer was served just a bit too cold...enjoyed it even more as I let it sit down toward the bottom.

Drinks like a light meal and would go very well with a tradional English style comfort meal of pot roast, potatoes, carrots....

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Photo of mnstorm99
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nice black pour with a nice tan head that never leaves.
Aromas are toasted malts, sweet and bready
Nice malty flavors are dominant, just a tinge of hops but the oats are there.
Mouthfeel is what always gets me on these beers, I love the chewy creamy coats your throat feeling here.
I could drink these all night, filling: yes, wonderful: yes.

Give me another.

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Photo of aaronh
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark color is pretty much black, topped by a medium brown head. Sweet malt aroma is touched by vanilla and bourbon notes. Very appealing. Flavor has a solid roasted note that blends well with a sweet malt character. Silky smooth oatmeal oily texture just adds to the experience. The vanilla and charred malt complement the mix of flavors well. Mouthfeel is smooth and solid. Drinkability is very good. A nice example of an oatmeal stout.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Town Hall in August 2009.

Pours a dark black with a very nice brown head and a little bit of lacing. The smell is one of abundant roasted grains combined with bits of coffee and a few nibbles of chocolate. The oats work their way out as well. The taste brings the oats out a little bit more and also includes some mild bittering hops. The mouthfeel is very nice--medium-bodied and quite chewy. Very drinkable considering the style, and something I'd love to have a constant supple of as the leaves fall off the trees.

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Photo of roadhouse
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had from a growler shared with spointon on 5/11 into a pint glass

Poured a deep black color with a two inch tan head. It retained well and left quite a bit of lacing on the glass.

Aroma was heavily of chocolate and mocha coffee, but there was also some detectable oatmeal aroma.

Taste had lots of chocolate up front with a slight sweetness that comes in before a strong roasty coffee-like flavor comes in to last until the finish.

Mouthfeel was medium-light bodied, very smooth and slick, though perhaps a touch thin.

Overall a very good oatmeal stout. I only wish we had had more time to spend at Town Hall so I could have tried more of their beers.

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Black H2O Oatmeal Stout from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.