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Black H2O Oatmeal Stout - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

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Black H2O Oatmeal Stout
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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

96 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 96
Hads: 209
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 7.56%
Wants: 25
Gots: 11 | 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 Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well they took this off nitro I am told,though it had the characteristics of a nitro, but more the taste of a tap. The carbonation is good at the Hall. Roasted barley and chocolate smell. It is dark and lacey. An above average mouthfeel, not as creamy as a nitro - chocolate rich. A good stout. (294 characters)

Photo of acurtis
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

mnbearsfan hooked me up with a growler of Black H2O Oatmeal Stout. Drank from snifter and pint, just polished it off. Syrupy thick black pour with super dark brown head. Nose of roasted nuts, bread. The hops really come through. Taste of roasted malt and barley with a strong earthiness. Finishes with some vanilla. Thick but smooth, lots of carbonation. Very flavorful and quite drinkable. (390 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (532 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i really enjoyed this beer (and this place as well!). sometimes these simplistic styles can get a little samey, you know, a million american pales all taste a lot alike, that kind of thing, but not this one. the oats are robust in this, and the beer is thick and smooth, even in a style known for those attributes, they are so pronounced here that this is a very distinct brew. doesnt look all that dark, some light comes though and in bright light it looks as brown as it does black, and the head doesnt hang around all that long. its nice not being so so dark, the roast is a little lighter, allowing the chocolate malt, other specialty dark malts, and the coffee side of things to really develop and come to the fore. the oats have a huge impact as well in the flavor, with a hint of sweetness and lots of layers weaving together really well. a kiss of hops in to finish too, i like that a lot, usually they are almost absent in these beers, and while this is far from hoppy, it is unique in its finish. palate coating and plenty rich, this sits very very well in the belly. i really enjoyed this one with a walleye hoagie. this brewery is on top of things, all the beers i had were fantastic. (1,196 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had Black H2O fresh from the tap earlier tonight at Town Hall. Ebony with a hint of lighter brown along the bottom edge of the glass when held up to the sunlit front window. In other words, a near-complete black hole. The head was the color of cocoa powder and was small, but persisted at one finger throughout the life of the pint. A solid sheet of lace met my eyes whenever I tipped the glass up to drink and barely tattered sheets ended up adorning the glass in the end.

The main thrust of the nose was roasted malt and coffee. Truthfully, I didn't spend much time assessing the aroma as I was too interested in drinking. The flavor was of seriously roasted (though not 'burnt') black malt, espresso and hops. Espresso was dominant, almost completely crowding out bittersweet chocolate. I don't usually like coffee-centric stouts, but it seemed to work well in this case.

I also appreciated quite a bit of hoppiness which gave the beer an added dimension. The mouthfeel was, in a word, great. Moderately thick, rich (although not chewy) and creamy in the extreme. I won't hazard a guess as to the ABV, but it didn't seem overly high to me. I'd also have to compliment the superb drinkability since the pint was gone almost before I knew it.

Black H2O Oatmeal Stout is a quality beer from a quality brewpub. In fact, it's one of the better versions of the style that I've had the pleasure to drink. I'll be sure to order another pint when next I find myself at Town Hall. Sooner rather than later, I hope. (1,520 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a thick, opaque, jet-black color with a small, light brown head. It left some soapy residue on the glass.

S - It smelled of oatmeal, biscuity malts and some floral notes.

T - It had a strong oatmeal flavor, with hints of molasses, chocolate and roasted malts.

M - It was soft, creamy, and very smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice oatmeal stout. Works very well on a freezing Minnesota day. (422 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery (Minneapolis, MN) on 8/10/10. Served in a pint glass.

Pours black, with a finger of dark mocha colored head. This retains with a thin creamy layer of foam that leaves thick swathes of lacing back. The aroma has a nice thickness to it, with notes of coffee, roast, and sweet chocolate. The oatmeal is really sticking out strong here in the nose, adding a smooth feeling sweetness to the proceedings.

The taste is sticky sweet up front with chocolate, caramel and some earthy fruit, while roasted malts add a dark tangy feel to the profile. Nice feeling moderate bite of hops here, which leaves lingering roast and earth in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp upon first sip but then gets a little stickier and softer feeling as you swallow. Pretty overall smooth on the palate though from the oats and drinks really nice despite some size to the body.

Full flavored and very drinkable, this may well be one of the best Oatmeal Stouts that I've had in a long time. I could just work between glasses of this and the Masala Mama and be a happy man here! (1,114 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.47/5  rDev +9%
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... (1,541 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not my favorite oatmeal stout but a nice one for sure. Served on tap at the brewery. Beer is black with a nice off white head of small bubbles. Some lacing, decent retention.

Aroma is little weak, some grain, mild roast.

Beer is medium in body, bitter, sweet, good mouthfeel, nice beer throughout. I'd have it again but I wouldn't go out of my way. (350 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours about a finger of tan head. Not the best retention. Color is black.

Aroma: A big roasted malts with oats and chocolate. Some coffee shows. Pretty malty.

Taste: Coffee, roasted malts, creamy chocolate, oats, and cocoa powder. Light grassy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends pretty clean.

Overall, a nice easy drinking oatmeal stout. Good amount of roast and creaminess to it. Decent drinkability as well. (477 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.74/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

64 oz. growler poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Black body, but not total opaque, with a huge mocha head. Great retention and great lacing. Love it. It looks luscious and rich.

Smell - Not a whole lot on the nose. Some roasted malts in the form of coffee, but it's faint.

Taste - Much better flavor. Chocolate primarily, with a lactose sweetness in the back end. It's coupled with a slight bitterness that prevents either flavor from coming through too much.

Mouthfeel - Thick, despite the low ABV (it's not that low, really). That lactose sweetness does it in a little bit for me, but it's still good. I had no problem putting away 32 oz. of this.

Overall - Nice, but not something I'd seek out again. Something I'd drink if I was in the area, for sure. (765 characters)

Photo of tempest
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In a head-to-head battle royale with Sammy Smith Oatmeal Stout, I put my money on the Black H20. It's just so smooth and creamy, all the while providing a chocolate malt body with a hint off roasted grains and coffee, it's hard not to love. This is a beer drinker's beer. (271 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.11/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

( Served in an American pint glass)

A- Dark black body with a faint hint of brown but to opaque to really see. A nice creamy tan head on top.

S- Black patient and other roasted grains with a slight sweetness. No sourness noticed but a hint of dried fruit like prunes in the background.

T- With the first cold sips I tasted notes of sweet dark chocolate bourbon and oak complexity with some tanginess but it was all condensed into one flavor. However the taste quickly changed with as it warmed slightly. It didn't have all that complexity but more of an off-taste that loosely held those notes of flavor. It tasted more like a defect rather than a quality. It had a faint hop bitterness but no real hop finish and the off-flavor seemed to dominate.

M- This beer has a medium full mouthfeel and no astringency.

D- This was an O.K. beer but the only real flavor was what I would call an off-flavor. It didn't really have any distinct flavors from the oatmeal no real nuttiness or grainy flavors. (1,011 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap - nitro (16oz glass, $3.75) at the Town Hall Brewery Minneapolis, Mn. Pours with one finger tan head that goes slowly leaving a good lace. Black color. Light carbonation and full bodied. Hints of coffee and smoky nose. Starts balanced and very smooth, finish has some roasted/burnt coffee flavor. The ABV is 6.0%. (327 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Town Hall did a decent job with this Oatmeal stout. It had just enough body to make it palletable. Any less and it would have tasted like typical micro-brew failings. This beer was dark...opaque with nice tan head that laced. The smell included roast and espresso. The taste was nice and balanced...others at the table thought bitter....but I didnt think so. Great balance with the roast, coffee, and enough hops to clean the pallet without being to bitter. The mouthfeel was good....more body would be nice....the ABV was perfect and this is definitely a good stout. (567 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler filled and provided in trade by StuBob. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, only a film of a head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Film that did form was quickly gone, we'll give the serving style the fault here, and lacing isn't half bad considering the lack of head. Aroma is a pleasant oatmeal, dark malt essence. Taste is sweet dark chocolate, with a light coffee presence, with plenty of oat heartiness. Mouthfeel could be a bit better with some more carbonation, again probably a presentation problem, and drinkabilty is great. I have to get out to this place and try this and many of their other brews at the source. With a young child, who knows when that may be... If you can, do so. (737 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Edit on 11-7-04. Had a growler of this last night and it was awesome. I'm upping my scores. This is one of the very best oatmeal stouts I've had the pleasure of consuming. So milky smooth, chocolatey and delicious.

This beer is black. No ifs, ands or buts abotut it. Nice tight compact creamy light brown head. Good retention. Lace is more than adequate. Aroma consists of milk chocolate, coffee bean, lactic sweetness and cocoa. Mouthfeel is silky smooth. About medium full in body. Taste is milky. Lactic sugars and vanilla bean qualities are nice. There's some bittersweet chocolate as well as cocoa bean and roasted malt. Good combo. Very smooth. Enjoyable. Good Oatmeal Stout. (685 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brew pub...Pours black with a medium tan head that rises a finger and stays a decent amount of time. Thick lacing...A decent aroma of sweet chocolate, roasy and the oatmeal comes through nicely. Could be a bit stronger and more roasty to really get me excited...The taste is on the sweet side, needs more roast to balance it out more. Light hops on the back give some balance, just not enough.

Worth trying but nothing special. (442 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
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 (491 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draught at the brewery, Black H20 is black with a small tan collar that leaves on a wisp of scattered foam - one drop.

Smell is darker malts, a little char, some crystal.

Taste is pretty good, a solid stout. Full flavored but smooth, clean. One the sweeter side with the crystal malts, not a ton of roast, really more porter in my book.

Mouthfeel is slick, the oatmeal showing up to help it slide down here. Medium bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good, this is a well made stout. (488 characters)

Photo of ZAP
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
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... (329 characters)

Photo of lupercmda
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at brewery. Pours a dark black with a nice creamy head. Smells of dark coffee. No real coffee taste as the oats give this a creamy smoothness to the taste and mouthfeel. (176 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is nearly opaque black, some hinderence of light passing through the edges, solid thick and creamy light brownish head looking like whipped watery oatmeal, crumbles slowly into some lumps and lace in rings that breaks into spots and strings. Smell is roastly sweet malts and oats and tanged of light bitterness, a bit subdued, very sweet chocolate chip-like notes and a touch of dark coffee with hints of hops and yeast. Taste picks up some from the smell with a pretty nice amount of darkly roasted malts, maybe some black malts as well, with a twinge of chocolate, quite a nice sensible sweetness derived from the oats, a light hoppyness thats very easy and mellow located near the middle areas and a light coffee sense dancing around in there as well. The sweetness varies some from sip to sip, its quite subtle and complex throughout, its a little hard to grasp cuz the coffee keeps creeping in just when I'm getting use to the milky choclate. Feel is sweetly smooth and solid medium body with a nice finish that ends nearly just as smooth as the beginning.

Pretty nice oatmeal stout, I think maybe the nitro might be sucking some of the life out of the flavors, could be richer, it reminded me a bit of a good dark dunkel minus the coffee. Soothing and drinkable. (1,278 characters)

Photo of mynie
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (1,112 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: A brown Grolsch like, flip top, EZ Cap brown glass bottle. Simply has the letter ‘O’ in black pen scrawled on the white ceramic top. A fine and very welcome present that found its way to Long Beach all the way from Minneapolis thanks to one of the Sites most awesome BA’s.

Appearance: A nice reassuring but controlled “phrourp” excites me, filled to perfection the bottle has retained the draft brews conditioning. Black, Black, Black……as classic a Black as in Back in Black and Black Sabbath. Yes it’s official, this one is Jet Black! Lovely tan brown head, smooth creamy appearance with a well aerated upper surface. Cascading conditioning forms a 3” transient belt of ether that is neither head nor liquid. It all settles down to form a beautifully smooth and awesome looking ½” cap, but it does take a little time and leaves some spotted lacing as it does so. Looks great. Even bottled from draft, this is in excellent condition.

Nose: Dark creamy malts, milk chocolate, some dark chocolate covered hazelnuts, mild hints of ground coffee – all wrapped up in a chiffon smooth silky aroma.

Taste: Creamy roasted oats and malts soaked in a freshly boiled milk frothy base with a middle of the road milk chocolate, well lubricated bitterness. Lots of creamed coffee in the finish that has some light bitterness to balance. Ends up with a resounding lip-smacking, silky smooth phase that begs you to top the mouth up with another sample. It’s damn tasty and very smooth.

Mouthfeel: Oh sheer liquid milk chocolate delight with some creamy low level bitterness. Milk shake like consistent mouthfeel, solid body, silky smooth, exceptionally luscious s-m-ilky feel with some puffy melt-in-the-mouth chocolate marshmallow malts. Bloody Gorgeous!

Drinkability: How sad, just the one bottle….soon gone. :(

Overall: One day, when beer geeks rule the World, someone will create edible Oatmeal Stout Panties, my oh my, if they smell and taste as good as this, I’ll even take on a hairy Hungarian Woman. Very tasty and exceptionally drinkable (the beer that is).

A massive tip of the hat to the “Hugest of the Big’s” for this most wonderful Oatmeal Stout, truly a very suppable marvel indeed. Town Hall does it again it seems! Wonder if they are twinned with a Hungarian Brewpub? (2,320 characters)

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