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Vanilla Oatis - Ninkasi Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Vanilla OatisVanilla Oatis

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

91 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 91
Hads: 513
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 26
Gots: 85 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Docer on 07-19-2009

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 91 | Hads: 513
Photo of barleywinefiend
2.36/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Poured a jet black with ok carbonation leaving behind a small tannish cap and some bubbles

S: Light oats, not much vanilla, roasted notes, pretty tame

T: Oats, roasted malt, the flavors for this beer were very mute. Instead, it tasted like a bunch of cheap vanilla extract, light oats and some cocoa all muddied together

M: Some booze, heavy body, not much on flavor or feel, not as hearty as I would expect

O:Pass (421 characters)

Photo of travolta
2.56/5  rDev -34%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: Straight black, cappuccino head. Some lacing with good enough retention.

Nose: Roasted coffee, slight vanilla bean, mostly toasted oats. Not much going on.

Taste: Creamy mouthfeel with perfect carbonation. Tastes like oat crackers with some very light vanilla butter on top. There is not much vanilla in here. (327 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.02/5  rDev -22.2%
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 (3,703 characters)

Photo of KnowYourCraft
3.03/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

A: Pretty typical here for a stout, black, with a nice little mocha colored head that goes quickly, solid appearance

S: Very simple here, vanilla, chocolate, and oats, but it smells really good!

T: WOAH! This is excessively hopped with bittering hops! Besides the bitterness, the taste follows the smell exactly. If this beer wasn’t so bitter it would have an immense amount of potential to be very good.

M: Very light, leaves your mouth dry, very uncharacteristic like of a stout

O: Needs less bittering hops, the bitterness makes it harsh and almost undrinkable. (572 characters)

Photo of trippytbta
3.08/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured bottle into Tulip glass

Beer pours dark brown almost black, 2 finger camel colored head.

Aroma of sweet vanilla and gritty oats, dark roast malt.

Tastes like a bitter dark french roast coffee. The vanilla is not what I had hoped for. Very 1 dimensional. This is where the beer falls short.

Mouth feel is creamy, can’t narrow down the carbonation too well (not the best judge) but not the best proportion for the brew.

Over all with the name of the beer I expected more. This is a beer you buy hoping for something different. Not a bad brew, but not what I expected. (581 characters)

Photo of Jellopants356
3.24/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a smooth mahogany with a coffee colored head. Thick lacing and nice creamy consistency on the head. Smells like the regular Oatis, oatmeal stout. Tastes surprisingly bitter but finishes with the same Oatis flavors, malted oats, honey, and a bit of sweet coffee. I was, however, disappointed in the lack of vanilla flavor within this beer. The mouthfeel is nice and smooth but the finish leaves very little taste of any kind of vanilla. Overall, i'm pretty disappointed in this beer. (488 characters)

Photo of ADZA
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's been sitting in the fridge for a while eyeing me off so tonight's it's her turn and pours a dark as night black hue with the creamiest two finger coffee laced head and some nice lacing,the smell is bourbon,booze,sweet dark malts and dried fruits,the mouthfeel is nicely carbonated but feels light on in body just medium bodied which is a big let down and has tastes of strong vanilla first up followed by some sweet caramel,milky chocolate and finished with a fruity hoppiness which really levels out the sweetness in a good way but overall for me I'm glad I've tried it but it's abit all over the place and not something I'd seek out again cheers. (653 characters)

Photo of Matthew_Taylor
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark, thick coffee color, with a small, thin, light brown head when poured. Surprisingly has little to no smell, but great mouth feel. A very milky texture, one of the better feeling stouts that I have tasted. A Solid stout, but lacks the vanilla taste or aroma that I would expect from a beer that calls out its inclusion. Dark, coffee tasting with notes of chocolate and (very minor) hints of vanilla.

Very drinkable, but again, lacks the taste of vanilla you would expect from a beer that you would think it trying to highlight the use of vanilla in the brewing process. (574 characters)

Photo of Reappropriated
3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I like this beer, there is just not as much depth in flavor as I would prefer.

There were hints of vanilla, but overall it seemed a bit faded, which was somewhat disappointing. If I am going to decide to get the vanilla Oatis over the regular version I want there to be a noticeable different. The favor was nice, which I was not surprised by, as I like the regular version, but I was not wowed either by the vanilla or by anything deeper coming from this beer. I would drink this beer again, there are just lots of others that I would choose before I got to this one. (570 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.41/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, cookie dough, and vanilla aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, vanilla, and lots of char flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer with a fairly acrid char flavor that lingers long after each sip and takes away from the drinkability in my opinion. (617 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

650 mL bottle poured into a tumbler.

Appearance - Black body, a little transparent at the edges. Small off white head that doesn't last.

Smell - A ton of vanilla. Oatmeal. Some chocolate

Taste - Again, a lot of vanilla. Much roastier. Coffee. A bit of dark chocolate. Bitter roastiness lingers.

Mouthfeel - Medium low carbonation. Medium body.

Overall - Vanilla keeps it interesting and elevates it. (405 characters)

Photo of mxchap
3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Overall: Certainly drinkable, but lacking compared to many other oatmeal stouts. Vanilla presence is somewhat muted. [3.5]

Look: Pours a tall light-tan head with good retention. Lacing all the way around. Dark brown in color with some red highlights when held up to light. [5]

Smell: Vanilla (duh) and apples. Marshmallow, little bit of caramel presence (caramelized banana). [3.25]

Taste: Strong ester presence, along with some malty sweetness (and some artificial sweetness as well). Roasty and boozy flavor comes in at the end. [3.5]

Feel: Surpringly dry and hot finish. Seems off for what they were going for. Oats do little to impact the feel. Thin body [2.75] (670 characters)

Photo of kagent777
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bomber purchased in Pocatello, Id on the way back from Jackson. No bottling date to be seen. Poured into my standard beer goblet after half an hour out of the fridge.

Appearance: Very dark brown with a dark tan head that settled quickly. No problems. Nice lacing.

Smell: Vanilla and some roasty notes with chocolate. The overall effect is that of a yummy chocolate bar.

Taste: The vanilla is strong in the taste. I love vanilla, one of my favorite flavors, but this is almost too much for me. The vanilla hides almost everything else. I could have used a bit of ash or char to butt up against the vanilla. This is semisweet and the alcohol is well hidden at 7.2 ABV.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: Too much vanilla, this one needs a competing flavor. Something to go up against the vanilla. I was hoping for more. (845 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a slightly translucent black, with about an inch of medium brown head that had good retention and moderate lacing.

The vanilla was very noticeable in the nose and the scent was a bit on the sweet side. The vanilla also covered up the expected roasted malt notes instead of complimenting them. The story was much the same on the tongue, with the vanilla dominating, rather than complimenting.

The body was pleasing solid, but there was a lingering sticky-sweetness on the finish. Drinkability was good, but the sweetness detracted from the overall, enjoyment. A very good, solid beer that's certainly worth trying if you see it. (667 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found this at WinCo of all places. Pours with fairly long lasting dark tan head... the brew is pretty much black except a little light making it through the stem end of my glass.

Plenty of vanilla on the nose... it sorta masks the background cocoa aroma, but the chocolate/roasty notes are definitely just there, just bullied out by the vanilla.

Flavor mirrors the nose almost exactly...

Body seems a little watery, but somehow still retains an unusual smoothness probably from the oats... carbonation is on the light side, but certainly within style guidelines.

Well made beer, but just not to my liking.

4/3.5/3.5/3.5/3.5 (628 characters)

Photo of TruePerception
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ninkasi's Vanilla Oatis, an oatmeal stout brewed with whole vanilla beans. 7.2% ABV.

Appearance: Solid black with a thin tan head. Slight root beer coloring along top outer rim, once head fades.

Smell: Dark roasted oats. Light coffee. I'm not getting any vanilla on the nose. We'll see if that changes as it warms up...

Taste/Mouthfeel: Really smooth texture. Soft and creamy. ...There's a weird acidity present. It's hard to pin down, but I'm definitely salivating! The lighter roasted coffee is present on the palate, as well. Slight oatmeal taste. I'm not getting any vanilla? I wonder if I got a bad bottle...

Poured into a pint glass, from a 22 oz. bottle. (667 characters)

Photo of vkv822
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz : Teku

Pours black, with a thick, foamy light-brown head.

Vanilla upfront, blends very well into oats, followed by mild roasted and cocoa malt.

Fairly close to the nose. The flavors run together just a tad bit more, though they can still be picked out.

Medium-thin bodied, with mild foamy carbonation, though still creamy. The flavors lead me to expect a more full, rich body. For the style though, it is fine.

I wasn't sure what to expect from the vanilla use, but it was well done became the focal point, complimented by the base beer. (547 characters)

Photo of chugalug06
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is very voluminous, rises fast with toasted brown head, large soapy bubbles ontop with dense bubbles below crust. Brew is a bit on the thin side and pitch black.

Toasted vanilla goodness. Mildly hazelnutty.

Dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, dry, bitter, slightly harsh, but settles nicely. Creamy, milky, medium body, heavy carbonation.

Recommended for $5/22oz. But not for much more than facevalue. It's worthy and drinks nicely. (444 characters)

Photo of Hoptometrist
3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from the bottle into a nonic glass

A- Poured a very dark brown with a big fluffy mocha colored head with big bubbles

S- Big cereal graininess and bready notes, mineral water, and some very light floral notes. Not very stout like in the aroma. Maybe a hint of vanilla, but it comes across as more floral.

T- Sweet milk chocolate, natural vanilla flavor, some cereal graininess, breadiness, and molasses

M- Very creamy and smooth, dry, substantial medium body

O- Great mouthfeel and pretty big vanilla notes, but natural tasting and not too overwhelming. I think I prefer this to the original Oatis just a little bit. (627 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a big rocky tan colored head.

Aromas are of dark roasted malts, some coffee notes, light vanilla, and cocoa.

Taste is quite vanilla forward. Sweet and creamy with some cocoa notes. Finish is crisp and slightly bitter, with some mineral and pine hop flavors.

Mouthfeel is full, smooth, with very nice body.

Leans to the sweet side a bit too much for my liking, but this is still a pretty tasty beer. If you like sweeter stouts, you'll probably enjoy this one. (493 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle given to me on 5.28.13

A - Pours a dark brown with a darker tan head that fades to a small clump in the middle of the glass.

S - Oatmeal, chocolate, coffee. Where's the vanilla?

T - Lots of oatmeal and coffee. Still not much vanilla.

D - Decent carbonation with a medium body.

O - Oatis is decent, more vanilla might have helped this one, but I couldn't find any. (378 characters)

Photo of N3rdM3t4l
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

They botteled it so I got one. Bomber into shaker pint.

A: looks like a stout. Dark and opaque. A little mocha head fell to a pretty sparse cap and a rather thick ring.

S: the vanilla is clearly. Lots of roasty aroma and it is sweeter than normal oatis smells. Smells great though.

T: opens with a sweet note. Followed by a bit hit of the roasted flavors of a stout. Vanilla throughout but just before the hops balance the beer out at the end the vanilla comes to the foreground. Leaves a bit of a bitterness on the palate but it is nice. The vanilla is sweet and needs the balance.

M: little thicker than medium bodied. But not quite heavy.

O: oatis is good and made better by vanilla. But everyone know vanilla makes dark beers better. (742 characters)

Photo of Braz
3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at Fred Meyer.
Had an alright roasted aroma. Some notes of coffee.
Looks fairly typical. Almost no head at all. There is some carbonation there though as it has a sort of sparkling presence.
Taste is pretty good though I don't pick up a ton of vanilla. Just a bit more would have been nice. Lightly sweet roasted taste. Pretty good.
Nicely carbonated. Has a velvetty feel to it that I like.
Pretty good but not outstanding. Has a good feel but lacks on the vanilla. A bit of a head would make it more appealing to the eye too. (540 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Looks much like regular Oatis - pitch black with a nice bubble show that settles to two inches; lacing action not quite as complete, however

Smell: Vanilla tones soften the roasty element of the base beer and turn the chocolate fudge into milk chocolate; the herbal/piney hops are present as they are in the base beer

Taste: Milk chocolate and vanilla, up front, with the herbal/piney hops building in the middle; surprisingly carbonic in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; less creamy than the base beer, surprisingly

Overall: I much preferred the regular Oatis to the Vanilla sibling; this one is less balanced and is missing the roasty and chocolate flavors I liked so much in the base beer

Thanks, mabermud, for the opportunity (782 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours near opaque black with a tan, 2 finger head. Great retention, leaving a thin, broken layer of microbubbles on the surface. Very little in the way of lace.

Smell - As the name implies, the aroma consists of chocolate, vanilla and oats.

Taste - Follows the nose; strong chocolate and vanilla upfront, intermingled in a way that it becomes a bit muddled. Hints of oatmeal. Not much else, as the vanilla sweetness rides to the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body with moderate carbonation. Smooth, creamy finish.

Overall - Sometimes, less is more. Such is the case here with Vanilla Oatis. The standard Oatis is a very, very good oatmeal stout: multi-layerd, with lots of flavor. Adding vanilla melds all those flavors together, making a beer that, at best, hits on two notes. Fair to good beer overall, but I'd take the original version everytime over this variation. (891 characters)

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Vanilla Oatis from Ninkasi Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.