Midnight Oil Stout - Swamp Head Brewery
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Ratings: 134 | Reviews: 41 | Display Reviews Only:
3.99/5 rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Straight pour from a 32oz twist-off growler CO2-purged, filled, and plastic-wrap-sealed at the brewery yesterday. Poured into a stubby tulip-ish tumbler-ish glass, Swamp Head’s new fancy piece for the holidays this year.
Appearance (3.75): Three fingers of medium tan-colored foam easily comes off of the pour, capping a black body that passes a moderate amount of light—it looks a bit like cola, with its dark brown tint without and reddish or amber tones at the edges. Retention is moderate, taking an average amount of time to die down, leaving very little on the surface (just patches of film) along with a decent collar on the glass at the level of the beer. Just a few suds stick around here and there for a little while, leaving very little true lacing. It looks really, really excellent at first, but winds up looking average in the end.
Smell (4.25): Brewed black coffee (lighter roast), dark cocoa powder, dark wheat bread, a veeery small amount of molasses, some dark chocolate (like 80% cocoa), and some grassy, slightly piney hops. Smells dark, smells dry, smells relatively light, and smells like a good American stout on the low side of the ABV spectrum. I especially like the cocoa powder note.
Taste (4.0): The palate follows the nose in most regards, though it comes off a bit lighter and leans toward coffee rather than cocoa powder at first, but switches over to the cocoa powder full-on in the finish. Very little or no trace of milk chocolate, cream, or anything else particularly sweet or creamy—all of the smoothness and richness in the flavor is owed to a subdued bitterness: rather than coming off as particularly tannic, acidic, or astringent, the coffee, cocoa, and chocolate offer light to moderate doses of their flavors but stop short of digging in at the end. Overall this comes off as a very solid, full-flavored, accessible stout.
Mouthfeel (3.5): The body is relatively smooth, with a slightly-lighter-than-medium weight, a decent carbonation that foams up quickly and fizzles out in time. It’s a good, better than average feel but could be a bit smoother with a finer, better-integrated carbonation.
Overall (4.0): I really enjoy this stout, in the end. It’s really good on tap, and it’s nice to see an accessible—in both feel and flavor—stout come from a brewery that’s constantly coming up with interesting, off the wall takes and variations on lighter-colored styles of beer. It’s not some weird Belgian-ish beer, barrel-aged imperial stout, or DIPA. It’s just a really solid, straightforward American stout that hits the rights notes but remains accessible to those who haven’t gone headfirst into the world of dark beers (yet). And it’s sessionable. Recommended.
Serving type: growler
12-10-2013 05:13:06 | More by fmccormi
Midnight Oil Stout from Swamp Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.