Black Helicopter - Flat Earth Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black HelicopterBlack Helicopter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

68 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 68
Hads: 132
Avg: 3.77
pDev: 15.12%
Wants: 10
Gots: 7 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Flat Earth Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: feloniousmonk on 05-14-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 68 | Hads: 132
Photo of OmahaKF
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Smell is heavily of roasted coffee with a hint of sweet cream. Taste pretty much mirrors the smell with just a hint of coffee acidity on the finish. Mouthfeel is a little thin for a stout. Overall, I was expecting a slightly richer coffee taste, but a decent lighter coffee stout.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at the Pig & Fiddle. It pours bright black under a thin tan colored foam cap. It highlights rich coffee flavors and aromas with the bitterness from the roast combined with a mild hop touch balancing the sweeter malt flavors.

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Photo of hardy008
3.17/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black with a one finger tan head. The aroma has coffee and dark roasted malt.

The taste is mostly bitter with coffee and dark roasted malt. There is little to no sweetness to balance the bitterness. At 4.9 % abv, I didn't expect very much malt, but it would have been nice to have had more than this.

Light bodied for the style with average carbonation. Has a bitter aftertaste from the coffee and dark roasted malt. Somewhat disappointing in my opinion.

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Photo of zac16125
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle into a chalice
no bottling dates

Thanks to haveanother1 for sending this over via trade.

A: Opaque black with 3 fingers width of bubble tan colored head. Bubbles settle and it becomes a dense 1 finger width that has great retention. Leaves a sheet of lacing down the side of the glass.

S: Oatmeal and lactose like heavy cream, a bit herbaceous, subtle coffee and chocolate.

T: Roasty and grassy/herbaceous. Oatmeal, a more pronounced coffee than was present in the aroma, lactose and a subtle semi-sweet bakers chocolate.

M/D: Nice smoothness, mouthfeel on the lighter side, carbonation moderate, drinkability is average.

O: Solid brew, nothing spectacular, but a nice Sunday morning beer to get my homebrew day started.

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Photo of Kadonny
2.93/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a snifter glass.

A: A jet black color with a light brown head. Not any lacing that I could see.

S: Loads of coffee, some roastiness, licorice and some doughy smells.

T: Roasted coffee jumps out and then...not much else. If I really try, I can get some chocolate and roasted flavors, but this is really a thin one dimensional beer. Did I mention coffee? This tastes like a weak cup of coffee, exactly. No alcohol, no roasted flavors, no fruits, nothing. Bitterness? Um, no.

M: Do I really need to spell it out more? Very thin mouthfeel that leaves you wanting more, a whole lot more.

O: Wow, not impressed at all. There is so much more that could be done with this beer, but it just seems like the brewer wanted to settle for a safe, non offensive beer.

This is my first Flat Earth beer and with a name that sounds so bad ass, "Black Helicopter" left me expecting so much more. Damn.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. This batch is 4.9% ABV.

The black malts are doing their job in the appearance, as this is an impenetrable midnight brown liquid capped by a dense creamy desert sand collar and a swirling maelstrom of surface bubbles. Pasty lacing and good retention.

French roast coffee in the nose - somewhat delicate, and by no means dominate. Hints of molasses and crystal malt as well as low black pepper notes.

Chocolate, coffee, and charcoal on the palate - a subtle complexity unfurls in layers. The oats seem to smooth out the astringency and faint roast-y sourness. The Kent Goldings contribute sufficient bitterness and a little spiciness. Dark earthy finish with a touch of fruit (from the coffee) in the aftertaste.

Medium-bodied, creamy, and astringent, with good carbonation.

The roast barley, black malt, and coffee add substantial roast notes, though the use of pale malt and English hops keep the drinkability fairly high.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.02/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- Very dark brown, nearly black. Head is very thin, and dark cocoa, retention mediocre.
S- Aroma is charcoal-y with some coffee ground aroma as well. Just a little bit of chocolate.
T- The flavor has a noticable coffee presence but it's not as strong as I would like. Just a touch of smokeyness.
M- Body is a bit lighter than I would like. Carbonation is also to high for an oatmeal stout. Not as smooth as I'd like.
O- It's ok but the mouthfeel is just too far off where it should be.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 5/2/12
*From notes

-- Another prime example that trading with brydeen is the best decision you'll ever make. --

A: Pretty dark for a low ABV Stout like this. It's certainly richer then I'd hoped for. A good pour yields a two finger bubbly mocha head.

S: Lots of coffee on the nose. Green, unroasted coffee at that. Maybe a bit of dark malt, but if it's there, it ain't much.

T: Imagine you just made a full pot of coffee with half of the needed grounds. Like ordering a coffee with a gallon of water back. This isn't as intense as I'd like it. It feels like the brewmaster wasn't willing to push the limits, that he'd rather appeal to the masses.

M: Much too bubbly for a Stout of any kind. I guess, considering it's meager ABV it's alright, but I'd really like a little more body and depth.

O: Meh. If I'd ordered a cup of joe from Dunkin' Donuts and gotten this, I'd probably send it back. Merely ok at best. If you're looking for a coffee fix, or heck even a Stout fix, I'd recommend looking elsewhere.

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Photo of brydeen
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours jet black, with a thin, quickly diminishing tan head

S: Massive dose of roasted coffee punches you in the face. Toasted oats with bittersweet chocolate present as well

T: Roasted coffee, much like the nose, with a slightly burnt/scorched coffee ground taste. Sweet chocolate, similar to a milk stout.

M: Much lighter body than it appears. Was hoping for a much creamier texture

O: fantastic aroma, but lacking a little in other areas. Definitely not a bad beer, just not particularly noteworthy

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black color with a medium-large tan head that diminishes quickly. Scent nose on this one. Tons of oats and a bit of biscuit aroma. Some butter as well. I have never really been able to smell oatmeal in an oatmeal stout before, but I get it in this one. Some chocolate, coffee, and a ton of roasted malt. A bit nutty as well. Taste is not nearly as good as the nose, but still tasty. Immediately, I get roasted malt and a bit of coffee. The coffee is a bit stale actually. A bit of oat and chocolate. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side. Drinkability is fairly high. Overall, the best smelling oatmeal stout I've ever had, but not the best overall.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.37/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. 2012 Bottle.

Appearance: Pours a dark oily black with lots of bubbles. About two fingers of tan head that holds up well. Moderate amount of lacing hanging to the sides of the glass.

Smell: A nice vibrant mix of coffee and chocolate in the aroma. Dark roasted malts with lots of sweet chocolate, coffee beans, oats, caramel, nuts, and some sugar. Also a pretty noticeable burnt bread aroma. Smells pretty roasty and sweet.

Taste: As the nose leads, a lot of dark malts and coffee. Dark roasted caramel malts with milk chocolate, lots of coffee, oats, nuts, burnt bread, and sugar. Nice sweet roasty flavor. Not much bitterness. Tastes kind of like a sweet milk stout with more coffee.

Mouthfeel: Body on the lighter side of medium and carbonation is moderate. Creamy, slightly sticky, and very smooth.

Overall: A pretty good oatmeal stout. Not as robust as the typical coffee stout but pretty good for the style.

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Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber served in a tulip glass

A: Completely opaque and pitch black. Nice 2" tan frothy head, fades but maintains a nice presence.

S: Cocoa bitter over coffee and dark malt. A slight metallic bitter (hop) aroma.

T: Rich malty profile carries coffee flavor. Coffee is slightly bitter and hop bitter keeps it going. Toasty grain.

M: A bit thin on the palate for the style. Maybe a bit astringent.

O: Very smooth, fun coffee brew.

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Photo of syrupjoe
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 Pint 6 Fl. Oz. bottle into pint glass. Enjoying at home - talked to one of the owners while he was dropping it off at a liquor store so this baby is fresh!

Pours a very dark brown with slight amber tint. One finger greyish tan head that dissipates quickly. Sparse but present lacing.

Nose: Dark roast coffee explosion, burnt popcorn, roasted malt, toasted bread.

Taste: Roast, burnt popcorn, caramel, slight sweetness.

Moderate carbonation with thin, watery, slightly slick mouthfeel.

Overall it's a drinkable but unimpressive beer. Almost more of a mild than a stout. Burnt popcorn flavor gets in the way of anything else this beer should be presenting. The nose isn't that bad but the taste is thin, watery, and boring. Will definitely finish this serving but won't pursue in the future.

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Photo of yamar68
2.98/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bottle to snifter:

Pours jet black into the glass with a soft edge of black coffee. Small latte head fades within a minute to a thin ring. Nose features all the notes of a fresh light roast plus some basic caramel characteristics typical of a full-bodied stout. The taste, honestly, is too heavy for me on the coffee. Almost like drinking an unsweetened coldpress. The stout notes are there, but barely. I could probably drink this on ice before breakfast. Not nearly as complex as I’d hoped. Mouthfeel also fits the coldpress description. Overall, good for what it is, but I’d really have to be craving this specifically to buy again.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.01/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On the bottle theres a picture of an AH-64 Longbow Apache. +10 Points.

Jettest black body you can get, no amber hues. Fairly substantial light brown head. Lighter chocolate malt nose. Pretty well balanced oat, kind of bready, chocolate, almost a sweetness, just a hint of roast if any. Theres a coffee element to it, but its actually not as dominant is it could be. Which i think works very well in this case; the coffee i almost didnt notice for a little while. Nice blend

Its on the thinner side of fat, fairly sharp on the tongue.

The more i taste it the more i like it as a solid oat. Certainly not overpowering, but very well blended. B+ for the beer which is bumped up to A- for the AH imagery.

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Photo of soze47
3.27/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Review from notes, consumed late 12/10 or early 01/11

Appearance: Black color, fizzy and fading brown head. No lacing.

Aroma: Coffee, but not robust. Roasted malt stands out almost just as much on the nose.

Taste: Um, a little muddled here. Not bad, but roasted malt and coffee flavors are there, but neither distinguish themselves apart from each other. Could use a little more bitterness. Definitely some chocolate notes here.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Too light and loose for the style. Body almost can't carry the flavors. I find this one not unpleasant to drink, but if you enjoyed it enough, it could be more drinkable than I rate it here.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 12/23/10
Reviewed cold but let warm to room temp. From a bomber to a glass

A - Poured a dark brew with three fingers of foam. Nice lacing ring, can't tell if you if there is any carbonation present

S - Malty blended with coffee, some hints of chocolate present. Nothing noticeable in the hops department

T/M - Big coffee malt taste, thick and creamy at first but smoothed over time. More chocolate flavors came through

D - I really good brew. I have had it a couple of times on tap and in bottle form. I brew that I can come back too. I recommend picking brew up!

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Photo of woosterbill
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber coutesy of markhvizdak into a Duvel tulip.

A: Black body with mahogany highlights; a finger of light brown foam shows good retention and lacing. Nice.

S: Big, rich, fresh coffee. Awesome. Once the initial rush of coffee goodness passes, there's a nice touch of burnt sugar/molasses sweetness. Great.

T: Coffee is still dominant, backed up by a bit of generic maltiness, and finished with a nearly sour coffee finish. A bit too astringent, but still pretty tasty.

M: Very light-bodied with moderate, super-fine carbonation. Delicate; perhaps too much so.

D: I'm loving the complex coffee flavors that dominate so completely, but the bitter astringency of the finish keeps it from being the most drinkable of stouts.

Notes: Great beer. Excellent job keeping the emphasis on the coffee throughout, which is really all you can ask for out of a 5.2% beer. I'd gladly drink this any day.


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Photo of JackieTH
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black with a brown head that dissipates quickly leaving a thin tan web.

Smell: Roasted malt and coffee.

Taste: Very nice layer of roasted coffee taste with underlying elements of malt, oatmeal and molasses.

Mouthfeel: Thin

Drinkability: Coffee is the redeemer here.

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Photo of bsp77
3.42/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Jet black with large initial tan head. Unfortunately, the head noisily dissipates into nothing at all. Looks flat after a couple minutes.

Smell: Coffee, both sweet and burnt roasted malt & molasses, some light oat.

Taste: Light roasted barley and oats, with a nice layer of coffee on top. Without the coffee, this would be a substandard lightly sweet oatmeal stout. The coffee elevates it, but not quite enough.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, overly thin body, finish does not have the dryness expected or needed from a Coffee Stout.

Drinkability: Easy to drink, but nothing too spectacular. I will take Flat Earth's own Porter over this any day.

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Photo of TheDudeBeers
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 0z. bomber into a pint glass

A - Dark black with 2 fingers of head. Great looking beer!

S - Coffee, chocolate, oats, grain

T - Fresh Roasted Coffee, Smoke, Oatmeal, and a slightly creamy finish. A little bitter, but i like that as I'm a habitual coffee drinker.

M - Very low carbonation, a little creamy but a little thin for an oatmeal stout.

D - The coffee flavor is great and done right. High quality locally roasted beans and it shows. Sometimes coffee beers have that poor quality Maxwell House coffee taste to them, but not this one. As a constant coffee drinker this is the best mix of great coffee flavor and beer i've found.

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Photo of GeezLynn
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark black with a brown head that makes a brief appearance and then coats the sides of the glass.

S: Nice roasted malt-coffee combination. A little oats/earthiness. Reminds me a little of hot cocoa. Definitely the strength of this beer.

T: Not near as much coffee as you would expect from the smell. Roasted malt is the primary flavor, but beyond that doesn't seem to be packing a whole lot else. Not much in the way of sweetness, and the finish is a little dry and rather abrupt for the style. Needs more coffee if you're going to slap a Dunn Bros. logo on the label.

M: Somewhat thin with full carbonation (not smooth). More of a porter feel than stout. Could use more oats.

Overall, not bad, but pretty much on par with the other three Flat Earth beers I have tried - on the light side. Here's hoping these guys decide to ratchet things up a bit in the flavor department.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.24/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks goes milah for this extra. Poured into my pint glass from a bottle

A: Pitch black, small amount of tan head, tiny soapy lace ring

S: Loads of blacck coffee, hints of roast malt and chocolate.

T: Black coffee grounds, huge bitterness, earthy dirt flavor touch of smokiness

M: Medium to light body, a bit thin, low carbonation

D: Overall nothing real impressive, pretty average/

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle split and poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. Ingredients listed, O.G. 1.052, SRM 27, IBU-26, 5.2% ABV.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for sharing this bottle with me!

A - Totally black with a rich tan head with low retention and no lace on the glass. It's a very mediocre looking stout to start with.

S - Dark roasted coffee floods the space around my nose just on the pour. Full-on fresh pot of coffee in this pint! Roasted malts back it up with bitter-sweet chocolate. Awesome coffee nose!

T - Thin maltiness with roasted notes and a little dusty cocoa with bland soil. The coffee is strong and nice bit it needs balance that's not there.

M - Thin and low-bodied with a roasted bitter finish and acrid dry, very dry bitterness. The worst part of this beer, being an Oatmeal Stout as it's listed, is that the mouthfeel shows no signs of oatmeal in it at all.

D - Not offensive at all, it's just bland. The coffee is at a great level, it just needs much more malt in the background to boost the body and flavor up. Also, if it's truly an oatmeal stout, there needs to be a lot more oatmeal to give it a creamy feel.

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Photo of jera1350
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On cask at Stub and Herbs.

Solid black color with a frothy tan head that leaves some nice lacing.

A bit of a roast to the nose, but pretty light. Hint of chocolate.

Very disappointed in the taste, especially for the style. Has a bit of roast in the taste with some light smokiness. The beer has a pretty sour characteristic to it to that just doesn't fit. Overall, the taste just doesn't appeal to me.

Seems to be undercarbonated even for a cask beer. Just too flat, but otherwise has that nice smooth oatmeal stout texture.

It's not a bad beer, but when having access to Summit and Town Hall Oatmeal Stout's this one just doesn't stand up. The sourness is a turnoff, but I will say that the smoke presence is a unique touch. Overall though, I would pass on this beer next time.

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Black Helicopter from Flat Earth Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.