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Vanilla Oatis - Ninkasi Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Vanilla OatisVanilla Oatis

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BA SCORE
87
very good

383 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 383
Reviews: 74
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 17
Gots: 55 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
A delicious oatmeal stout with just enough hops to balance the copious quantities of dark roasted malts, oatmeal for a creamy smooth drinkability, and whole vanilla beans for a rich complexity. To achieve this higher level of decadence, we added in whole vanilla beans to the final stage of fermentation - the same process we use to dry hop a beer.

(Beer added by: Docer on 07-19-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 383 | Reviews: 74 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WDJersey
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kojevergas
2.99/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

BOTTLE: Brown glass. 1 pint 6 fl oz. 2014 vintage. Purchased in Lone Tree, CO. Appealing label art/design. Branded pry-off pressure cap.

1072 O.G. 50 IBUs. 7.2% ABV.

Served chilled into a nonical pint glass. Expectations are above average given the brewery and style. Allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 3 fingers wide. Khaki colour. Gorgeously creamy, thick, and full. Soft-looking and supple. Retention is good - about 6-7 minutes. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Opaque solid black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it's an appealing oatmeal stout, but isn't unique or special. Looks more or less as it should.

AROMA: Oats, dark malts, cream, chocolate malts, vanilla, sweet milk chocolate, and lactose sugar. I like that the vanilla isn't overt, and the oat character seems lovely, but it could definitely be more evocative and intricate. Luckily, there's no off-character, overt alcohol, dirty yeast character, etc., and the hop profile (in spite of the ostensible 50 IBUs) is unnoticeable.

Aromatic intensity is mild at most.

TASTE: The vanilla isn't as overt and naked as I expected, and initially I find myself let down, but as I drink I come to appreciate it as a subtle addition to an already successful oatmeal stout. And fairly subtle notes of creme brulee emerge as it comes to temperature. Predictably, the malt backbone is dark malts and chocolate malts. Many oatmeal stouts don't actually have an oat flavour, but this one definitely does, bringing plenty of starchiness to the table. Light on cream. Mildly sweet. I do find some hints of lactose sugar and milk chocolate which are more appropriate for a milk stout than an oatmeal stout.

I certainly like it, but it leaves a lot to be desired - especially in terms of complexity/intricacy, subtlety, and nuance. It's a fairly well balanced brew which will definitely scratch your oatmeal stout itch, but there are absolutely more widely available brews out there that do the style better - and the sweetness/bitterness aspect of the balance is just off. Average duration, depth, and intensity of flavour, with a nice flavour amplitude.

It's not a hoppy brew by any means. No yeast character comes through, nor do any off-notes.

Critically, where's the requisite roasted barley note?

My biggest criticism is it's just too reticent and closed off. Its flavours just aren't that rich or evocative.

TEXTURE: Medium to full-bodied. It features a strange coarseness and dryness - particularly towards the end of the second act - which drags on the palate and frankly defeats the point of an oatmeal stout to begin with; oats are used to render an otherwise coarse and dry stout smooth and wet - like a porter. Not as creamy or soft as would be ideal, but sufficiently both. It's aptly thick and has a good overall presence on the palate. Well-carbonated.

This mouthfeel, while not ideal for the style, does complement the taste nicely, and the unexpected coarseness helps curb the usual slickness of the vanilla. It doesn't elevate the beer and there's definitely work to be done, but it's well-executed.

OVERALL: It hides its ABV well, and it's a nice oatmeal stout, but it does flirt too much with milk stout characteristics for my tastes, while not committing enough to the titular vanilla. It's a nice but unfortunately generic beer in the style from Ninkasi. I won't be buying it again unless it's the only good choice at a subpar bar, but I'm glad I tried it. Might make a nice introduction to the oatmeal stout style, but the discerning drinker will be unimpressed. On the high end of average.

High C

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4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

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3.64/5  rDev -5.2%

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4/5  rDev +4.2%

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4.32/5  rDev +12.5%

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5/5  rDev +30.2%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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3.8/5  rDev -1%

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3.64/5  rDev -5.2%

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3.81/5  rDev -0.8%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

On tap Roof of Wholefoods Brooklyn. I am tasting the vanilla right away with this one. After that is a very good sweetish stout. Has some body, nice and chewy, so not a porter.

Photo of Slongie
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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4/5  rDev +4.2%

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3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of biboergosum
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, one of a whole new swath of Ninkasi to recently broach the Alberta market.

This beer pours a solid black abyss, albeit with prominent basal cola edges, and three fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and somewhat bubbly tan head, which leaves some stellar sedimentary rock face lace around the glass as things sink away.

It smells of roasted caramel malt, bready toffee, Cheerios, wet ash, bittersweet cocoa powder, ethereal vegetal vanilla, and burnt-seeming leafy, weedy, and earthy hops. The taste is semi-sweet caramel malt, dark chocolate, natural vanilla, oatmeal porridge, a subtle char, and earthy, leafy, and mildly grassy hops.

The carbonation is fairly low-key, just a minor burbling frothiness for the most part, the body a sturdy medium weight, and generally quite smooth, with a thin creaminess trying hard to be heard. It finishes on the sweet side, the cocoa, caramel, and waning vanilla easily parrying the barbs of any lingering char or party-crashing alcohol.

A tasty stout, both experience enhancers (oats for body, vanilla for flavour) workin' it overtime. It is a tad strange, the vanilla not being associated with its usual barrel friends, but that's ok with me - what we get here is more of the real deal, for what it's worth. Worthy of checking out, if you like the well-made, adulterated (much love) American stouts.

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3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of prock180
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

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Vanilla Oatis from Ninkasi Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 383 ratings.