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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 badbeer
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of isubsmith
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of hero27
3.37/5  rDev -17.6%
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.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.71/5  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.

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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 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 rhoadsrage
3.11/5  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.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
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?

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a growler. This stout held up remarkably well, and even after a month in the refrigerator after the initial opening, it still tasted good despite having lost its initially great carbonation.

This stout poured a very dark brown/black color with red hightlights with tall, pillowy, brown foam that persisted and clung to the glass a bit. The smell was roasted malt and cocoa with some barley and a bit of light sweetness. The taste was lightly sweet with flavors of cocoa, chocolate, oatmeal, and a hint of yeast. The hops were there in the background but were pretty well masked by the malty flavors. The mouthfeel was very smooth and creamy with medium-full body and low carbonation feel. Overall it was relatively clean. This was a very easy drinking and smooth stout.

Thanks to felonioumonk for this one.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of RedDiamond
4.49/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very serious chocolate aroma. Tastes sweet, like a milk stout, with a creamy, scintillating mouthfeel and a dry finish. Opaque with a hint of maroon. Scant head and lace.

Overall, a smooth stout, abundantly creamy, with a strong taste of chocolate. A challenging session brew but highly drinkable in every sense.

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Photo of jwilli7122
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours black with a smaller, creamy off-white/tan head. head is smooth sliding, not sticky.
smell is coffee and milk chocolate.
although not all that aggressive in terms of bitterness, this is absolutely a pleasure to drink. big coffee flavors with some notable milk chocolate- (and maybe some plain milk flavors also) coffee and bit of roasted malts. neither very hoppy, nor very roasty, but exceptionally well balanced and smooth. not dry, but not exactly creamy or oily. think 1% milk.
a very nice beer

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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 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 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 beernbbq
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Man is this good! A perfect stout to stand alone or enjoy with dessert. Powerful espresso like flavors hit you upfront but the mouthfeel is smooth and makes for easy drinking. A dark chocolate finish lingers and definitley had me looking for more. Another fine beer from Town Hall.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.8/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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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 ADR
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nitro tap at the brewpub...

Almost opaque black color, downward carbonation is somewhat brief but a sturdy and persistant 1/2 inch creamy head remains on top. Fat ring laces that drip. Very little aroma, just slightly malty without being roasty. Flavors lean much toward milk chocolate, with just a slight sense of darker grains. Finish has elements of some caramel along with the chocolate. Overall, a little thin in body but a faithful representation of a non-dry Stout.

Notes on regular tap: Body is similar, far more coffee flavor.

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