Black H2O Oatmeal Stout - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

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Black H2O Oatmeal Stout
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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

187 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 187
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 27
Gots: 12 | FT: 2
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:
Traditional oatmeal stout. The silky smooth oatmeal lends itself perdectly to the intense roasted malt character of this dark robust stout.

(Beer added by: ADR on 04-06-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 187 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of leftmindedrighty
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

64oz growler received in a trade with objectivemonkey

Smell is in line, very sweet with a good oats aroma, very chocolaty

Taste is more of the same, very sweet up front, almost too sweet, but then the oats kick in the deliver that smoothness. Which is a good thing too, because this brew has no bitterness to it at all. Which I really don't like, but the very unique flavors are making up for it. And the ABV is not even there, but being as sweet as this is, I'm not surprised, I'm expecting it.

Overall, a good Oatmeal Stout, and one I would frequent if available to me. Luckily, there are better Oatmeal Stouts within reach. But all in all, I enjoyed a more sweet Oatmeal Stout, if only to remind me what else is out there.

Photo of Jredner
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The aroma is very roasty and coffee accented with some mild chocolate and vanilla notes. It’s much roastier than you get from most sweet stouts, but that is a good thing. The body is black and holds a thumb thick mocha head that quickly compresses down to pencil thickness, but then holds there.

The fore is again quite roasty with vanilla, coffee, chocolate, caramel and a hint of ripe dark fruit. The aftertaste is sweeter with less roasted notes and the mouthfeel is creamy with low carbonation and that hefty feel of a good stout despite some thinness to the flavor through the middle. This is a pretty nice brew and I’m tickled pink to have a whole growler to enjoy. Had a pint yesterday and it seems even tastier today.

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Originally reviewed on December 2, 2005. On tap at the brewpub. Pitch black, witha cream and coffee head. Deep coffesque and cream aroma with tons of cocoa and roast. Flavor is smoky, seet, creamy and loaded with sugar, molasses and more coffee, yet mellow rounded and fruity, almost like this beer has had a mellow barleywine added to it. There’s a subtle gentle brandy quality, with warming tones and a high level of complexity and depth. I’m really enjoying this. A decent run of Tahitian vanilla bean and sweet caramel. Lucious. Damn, Town Hall makes Stouts best.

Photo of mwagner1018
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
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....

Photo of mcallister
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Photo of ccs
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

It looks great, smells wonderful--lots of roasted malt. I love stouts and this one didn't disappoint in the flavor, smell, or appearance category...but, I was a little disappointed by the mouthfeel. I think that it should be a little thicker. I like a stout to be stout in every way, with a big mouthfeel, a nice aroma, and a rich taste. I just felt that H2O met two out of the three requirements. I could drink them all night, but it still felt like it was mis-named to me...just a stout, not thick enough to be an oatmeal stout.

Photo of mynie
4.3/5  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.

Photo of errantnight
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of jdhilt
3.63/5  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%.

Photo of walleye
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a big thanks to a person in Minneapolis, Minnesota for this growler of beer. had this earlier this month. poured a dark brown to black with a nice sized tan head. aroma, roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, dark cherries a nice sweetness just lingers over the top of the glass. flavor the sweetness is just right for me , got chocolate covered cherries, malts, a touch of vanilla. mouthfeel was a little on the thin side that just made it a very easy drinking beer I just kept filling my glass I think I drank 3/4 of the growler in a very short period time (like 45 min.)

Photo of grub
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours an opaque black colour with a deep tan head. the head is very fine and forms a thin layer on top of the beer.

the aroma is malty, roasty, and a bit of sweetness. maybe just a hint of sourness too.

taste is roasty and slightly smokey with a great malt background and moderate bitterness level. the malt character almost reminds me of rye bread. really nice. there's some definite residual sweetness, but not to the level of being sticky or cloying.

the mouthfeel is big, which i'd expect from an oatmeal stout, and has a nice smoothness from the oats.

drinkability is good, but it's a big enough beer that you're not going to have more than a pint. that's fine with me and seems correct for the style.

Photo of BrewMaster
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very dark brown, near black with a thick tan head on top.

Smell: Roasty with some burnt sourness and a touch of chocolate.

Taste: The flavor opens with a burst of sweet roasted flavors. A touch of espresso but mostly bittersweet chocolate and toastiness. Some mild, sandy hop flavors back back up the toasty sweetness. The sweet ending has a bit of brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, grainy and thick. Nice full body but a bit too grainy.

Drinkability: Nice toasted and rich flavors. Texture could use some work but all around a tasty beer that I'd have again.

Photo of hanco005
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
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!

Photo of CultureJamMN
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap pours an onyx hue with solid khaki headcap.

Deep aroma despite being hidden by a thick coating. Bold toasted malt and baked cake.

First swigs: Toasted and roasted grain with raisins and figs and buscuit. Endless flavors of maple syrup and pecan. Lingering aftertaste of cocoa.

Feel is smooth and milky slick half 'n half.

Last swigs: THis was so good that I had to debate taking back a growler of this and Masala Mama but I opted for two Masala Mama growlers.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark black that let through some burgundy light. Its head looked like creamy hot chocolate and left minimal lacing. Smells like espresso, and lots of chocolate with a slight sourness. Tastes like sour blueberries, black liquorish and coffee. Mouth feel is very smooth and a little on the flat side.

Photo of badbeer
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a decent beer and I would drink it again, I do enjoy Oatmeal Stout, however, this one did nothing to make me go wow. The smell started me off nice but the taste was not as impressive. There is the taste of roasted grains and caramel. This beer is filling and enjoyable, but don't expect to be swept off of your feet.

Photo of isubsmith
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: The usual - dark black opaque body, brown creamy head that quickly dissipated. Some lacing, but not an exceptional amount.

Smell: Caramel/creamy (some where between the nose of a milk stout and an bourbon oak aged beer). Roasted grains. Some coffee/chocolate but more milk chocolate than dark chocolate. I really enjoy the nose on this beer.

Taste: Creamy. Roasted cereal tastes. Some of the caramel from the nose. I find the taste less appealing than the smell, but pretty good. It is still tasty. Minimal bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Smooth

Drinkability: This is what I order when there are no "special" beers at the brewery. Very drinkable.

Photo of hero27
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

64oz growler. Sampled on 10/01/2005. Sticker says "Enjoy By: 10-5"

After reading some of the other reviews, I'm convinced that there was a problem with the growler I took home from the brewery...somewhat surprising, since I kept it cool the entire way home and put it in the fridge as soon as I got back. Also, managed to drink it several days before the date listed.

The pour was dissapointing. Really no head to speak of..it poured very flat into the glass. Dark brown, virtually black in color. The smell is rich coffee and hints of chocolate. Taste is similar, and the best character of this by far, even with the carbonation problems that were obvious with this serving type.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to try this yet at the brewery. As soon as I do, I'm very confident that my rating of this brew will be substantially higher. I attribute the carbonation problems to the growler, not the beer itself. I just wish I could have enjoyed this beer in it's full glory. I guess I'll just have to wait until my next trip to Town Hall. I'm anxious to try it again.

Photo of Oxymoron
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was on tap when visited Town Hall which was on nitro-tap. The color was a good dark black with limited color distortion when tipped or held to the light. The head was exceptional as per a nirtro drop would do. A crisp tan color with a creaminess to it. The smell is sweet with a candy liquorish fragrance to it. Stronger roasted and some light plums are noticeable too.

The taste has a nitro twist to it. Makes a creamy taste but also dampens the taste down. The malt has a stronger oatmeal and roasted mixed with black patent taste. More of a chocolate quality then say coffee. A hinted lactose flavor is noticed as well but it’s very subtle. Not quite milk but maybe influenced by the nitro. The hop is minor but limited earthy tastes support the strong oatmeal malt taste.

The beer was full bodied with good carbonation. A good taste that is sweeter then most oatmeal stouts. Overall I’m not a fan of nitro but I think it gave more of a smoother and creamer taste, but also limits the malty flavor.

Photo of battlekow
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Photo of fisherman34
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.1/5  rDev -24%
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.

Photo of ppoitras
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
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?

Black H2O Oatmeal Stout from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 187 ratings.