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Vanilla Oatis - Ninkasi Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Vanilla OatisVanilla Oatis

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

414 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 414
Reviews: 82
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 20
Gots: 58 | 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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 414 | Reviews: 82 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.41/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of brentk56
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
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

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

impressive for a number of reasons. i love the dark sleek look, not shiny or flat, but somewhere in between in terms of luster. smallish head, but good retention and white lacing. i smell vanilla, but its still behind the dark earthen barley roast and a touch of carbon ash as well. minimal sweetness in the taste or the feel, which makes this for me. so many of these come across as sugar bombs, and this one is appreciably dry as well as bitter on the finish. vanilla is also only subtle, playing off the body and sweetness of the oats, but contributing only accents. most vanilla beers going right now are so heavy in vanilla that the beer gets lost, not the case with vanilla oatis, which stays dark and bitter and rich, without ever getting sweet or overbearing. well hidden alcohol strength and a long roasted barley finish. fun and well made beer, among the best ive had from ninkasi.

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 products 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.

Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of kojevergas
3.02/5  rDev -21.4%
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

Photo of imperialking
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of DoubleJ
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

I guess a plain old oatmeal stout wasn't enough for the palates of Ninkasi. Add while vanilla beans to the process, and bam, Vanilla Oatis. Coming out of a 22 ounce bottle (thanks Tina!), on to the beer:

Vanilla Oatis is ink black colored and topped with a half-inch of head which slowly drops in size to a vanilla colored lace. A few specs of lacing retain around the glass. Speaking of vanilla, I smell vanilla in this beer. Light roasty, astringent notes too. Call the aroma bittersweet, I guess.

This vanilla oatmeal stout doesn't hold back goodness. The beer offers a modest array of notes, from molasses and brown sugar, to over-roasted coffee, to a touch of vanilla with creamy oats. Not only does the beer bring bitterness from the roasted character, but there's a pungent kick of hops towards the end. Vanilla Oatis' best attribute is its silky smooth texture and full body, which makes this beer feel as much as a milkshake.

Can this be used as a meal replacement? Maybe not, but it sure would be fun to use.

Photo of barleywinefiend
2.36/5  rDev -38.5%
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

Photo of smakawhat
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Creamy and very light tan three finger head off the pour. Sits with a good thick cap and whip cream like appearance. Body color is a big dark walnut black with even a tinge of red highlights. A nice looking brew for sure.

Subtlety seems to hint on the nose. Mild coffee and cream like milky tones, a bit of sweet lactose maybe to round out. Very mild vanilla but an even softer coffee and cake like aroma permeates. Good solid milk chocolate adds to the mix. The creamy action hits nicely with the promise of something larger to come.

Palate delivers wonderfully. Creamy textured roast and chocolate with a silky body. Rich nice chocolate and light roast aromas wash over the mid palate. Very mild hop tinge of pine and fruit just so tiny but give a little play in the mid palate, finishing with a rich cream character no doubt from the oats. Vanilla character is a bit lost somewhat, but perhaps it is adding to the experience.

A real solid oatmeal stout for sure, missing some of the vanilla flavor it hints at, and a bit of hop unexpectedness, but as an oatmeal stout it sure delivers.

Photo of Zorro
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Black colored beer with a tall brown colored head, among the darkest beers out there.

Smells of patent malt and almonds. Vanilla scent but fortunately they didn't go nuts with the vanilla. Scents of chocolate and mild coffee.

Starts out mildly bitter with a toasted grain and chocolate flavor. Mildly sweet with a good chocolate flavor the vanilla is an accent to this beer and a nice one. Got to thank the brewer for NOT going nuts with vanilla. Vanilla is one of those spices like clove that can REALLY take over. Nice tasty Oatmeal Stout.

Mouthfeel is thick and smooth, basically milkshake thick.

Overall there is nothing really wrong with this one except maybe needing a few extra flavor nuances. VERY recommended.

Near world class!

Photo of rab53
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Wasatch
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz. Bomber

Pours a very nice thick, dark brown color, nice carbonation, not much of a head, fizzy tan color, a small island and some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is nice, malty, with some nice vanilla notes, toffee, chocolate. The taste is very nice, malty, very nice vanilla note, with some toffee and chocolate thrown in. Medium body, nice little chewiness, with a slightly bitter/dry finish. Overall a nice brew, glad to see it here in UT.

Photo of John_M
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery this past weekend.

The beer pour a blackish brown color with pretty good head retention and lacing. On the nose this beer is very attractive, showing considerable vanilla, licorise, dark chocolate and coffee. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this moderately sweet stout, and I have to say I think the vanilla imparts a nice, added element to this beer. Also, the vanilla version doesn't seem to be quite as "hopped up," and so has more of a soft, smooth, velvety finish. Drinkabilty is good, and once again I think the vanilla helps to soften the licorise somewhat, which I always find to be a bit much in the regular Oatis.

All things considered, this is a very solid beer, one that I prefer considerably to the regular Oatis. Wish Ninkasi would make this available all the time.

Photo of KAF
3.31/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

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Vanilla Oatis from Ninkasi Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 414 ratings.