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Midnight Oil Stout - Swamp Head Brewery

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Midnight Oil Stout
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BA SCORE
88
very good

177 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 177
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 10.91%
Wants: 10
Gots: 15 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Swamp Head Brewery visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tpd975 on 03-08-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 177 | Reviews: 47
Reviews by cambabeer:
Photo of cambabeer
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Yes, this beer is good. Very good. I live in Gainesville, so it's nice to have a quality stout made locally, two miles from my house.

This beer looks thick and black, with a white head that isn't all that thick. Leaves some lace on the class.

The smell is good, but just not very strong. Obvious malty and coffee scents. Somewhat nutty and fruity as well.

The taste complements the smell perfectly. The malted bready sweetness and the estery and chocolatey tastes are balanced well by the malt bitterness and coffee bitterness. Clean and crisp, especially for a stout. Very toasty.

Swamphead makes good, quality beer, and this is no exception.

More User Reviews:
Photo of chinchill
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. The pour was basically black, as expected given the name, The modest size tan head has very good retention and moderate lacing. The great aroma is dominated by a very appealing coffee aroma. Very little hops in the nose and mouth for an American stout, and also relatively low ABV -- being just descriptive; not pro or con on this. Some hops do come through in the finish and, more so, in the aftertaste.

O: for coffee lovers only, this stout is dominated by coffee flavor and aroma, but only mildly bitter. I particularly like the aftertaste which has a chocolate tinged coffee flavor without the unpleasant bitter/tannic component.

Photo of JPBCrown
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap in the tasting room (which, by the way, is very nice and worth a visit!).

Appearance was great. I like my beer dark. A bit disappointed by the thin head...but hey, it's not crucial. Smells like dark coffee, chocolate, and oatmeal...and the same for the taste! I was extremely impressed by the coffee flavor in this brew. Not too overpowering, but not too little either. Still tasted like a nice, dark stout with an addition of coffee and chocolate. The mouthfeel was thinner than expected, but not enough to disappoint.

Overall, great brew. My first impression of Swamp Head was the Wild Night Honey Cream Ale...and I wasn't very impressed. But this makes up for that and more. I'll be visiting Swamp Head again!

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a brown cola-like head that dissipates to a nice little ring.

Smells awesome. I love heavy coffee stouts and this one doesn't disappoint. Great smell.

Nice coffee bomb with some hops actually hiding in the finish. Nice, but the coffee fades after a bit.

The feel is a bit light, unfortunately.

Pretty drinkable, actually. Good breakfast beer.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

32 oz. growler poured into a pint glass. Thanks to nmbr0ne for this growler!

Appearance - Very dark considering how light of a stout this is. Dark mocha head that doesn't hang around long, but leaves some lace. Pretty imposing, really.

Smell - Coffee and roasted malts. Nice coffee aroma that seems to be on par with the stout aromas. I'm glad I smell some of the stout, which doesn't seem to happen with a lot of coffee stouts.

Taste - More roasted malt-forward than the smell would indicate. Good coffee flavor throughout, but the roasted malts produce a slight chocolate flavor in the middle. The finish is all coffee, though, which is a bit of a disappointment. Bitter coffee finish is slightly detracting.

Mouthfeel - Pretty thin, which lends to drinkability, but detracts from the flavor. The stout drops off faster than the coffee does, leaving me with black coffee.

Overall - A good stout. A local bar has had this on tap before and I'd order it again. I appreciate that it isn't an investment of an evening to drink it, but it still comes through with a lot of flavor.

Photo of aepb1
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep black with a nice brownish head

S- Coffee --- lots and lots of coffee

T- Dark coffee, roasty malt, no citric aftertaste from Latin American coffees, whether that was because another region was used or it was masked by the rest of the beer, I was quite pleased.

M- Not as heavy as you'd think with the powerful coffee smell. Pretty light for the stout. Carbonated well.

D- Really nice beer. Great start for craft beer in Gainesville!!

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

32 oz growler poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.

Thanks Mark for bringing this back from Florida for me!

A - Certainly no loss of carbonation from the trip is evident as Midnight Oil pours as dark as old oil, forming a dense, quiet mocha head. Firm and long-lasting, the pile rests on a beer that's darker than a black hole.

S - Deep and dark, Midnight Oil is ripe with bold roasted malts; dense dark chocolate, freshly brewed espresso - very prominent - and dry cocoa gives it a muddy, dirt nose that compliments very well. It smells incredibly bold for a standard stout, only clocking in at 5%. Toasted graham cracker and whipped milk follow in the finish.

T - Strikingly less potent than the nose leads one to believe, Midnight Oil is abounding elsewhere but here, it's pretty one-dimensional. Roasted, almost to the point of burnt, the malt doesn't offer any of the deep complexity the nose does. Bitter baker's chocolate, mocha, and cold coffee mash together in the background.

M - For how smooth and quietly this poured, I expected it to be much thicker in the feel. This beer is actually pretty medium-light in body for a stout. The roast characteristics provide a dry bitterness along the slick finish of this beer but it remains drinkable for the Florida weather.

O - While my immediate reaction is that the flavor is lacking, it's not so much the flavor's fault as it is just not a reflection of the intense, complex aroma. Chocolaty, roasted malt and coffee define this deeply dark beer. I definitely have to acknowledge that a stout much heavier or intense wouldn't remain constantly drinkable in Florida weather where as Midnight Oil would.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really nice pour, very typical for the style with a deep dark black look to it and a nice head of maybe two inches that came up and over the top with some ease. Settling down it left a decent amount of lacing on the sides, but nothing spectacular though it did retain a good bit of the puff of tan on top. The aroma was nice, well blended mix of chocolate and roasted malts, hints of light coffee notes and a decent bit of dark fruit note carrying over. This was pretty much par for the course with the flavor. Started out very smooth with a rich and well defined chocolate note that dominated early before mellowing with a nice but of vanilla and coffee notes. Small touch of hops catching up right there at the end were enough to make it just slightly bitter, but overall it was a smooth, creamy and very session able stout.

Photo of mwilbur
4.44/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap into tulip.
A: Pours a super dark brown-black with 1-2 inch light mocha head. Good retention.
S: Nice dark roast coffee, dark roast malt, leather, tobacco, and a hint of molasses.
T: Wonderful coffee note in this! Dark roast coffee, dark roast malt, sweet molasses, and a hint of leather.
M: Very nice creamy feel. Light-medium body. Dry and bittersweet notes that linger.
D: An excellent example of style...nice surprise! The creamy feel paired with the excellent coffee note really makes this special. And the ABV keeps it sessionable.

Photo of fmccormi
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Photo of mullenite
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Counter pressure filled bottle.

Pours from the bottle with a 3/4 finger mocha colored head. My experience with this beer however is that it usually has a taller, longer lasting head. Never really leaves much of a lacing for me though.

Smell is really only dark roasted coffee. Being familiar with the coffee used it is near burnt. Nothing really comes through beside the coffee. My preference is for more of the malt to come through but I can dig it as is.

Taste is also almost all dark coffee. There is some malt coming through in the finish as dark chocolate which keeps the coffee flavor from being harsh.

Medium body with a very slick, creamy mouthfeel. Nice carbonation, not too much and not too little. Near perfect, just wish it was a little thicker.

Overall I like this beer a lot. I really like the coffee flavor they've gotten out of this one.

Photo of DoctorZombies
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black draft pour with off white head. Coffee nose and flavor. Medium lite mouthfeel. Tasty coffee inspiring stout.

Photo of FLBeerGuy
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark black with a thin tan head that leaves slight lacing.
Smell is overpowering coffee, hard to smell anything else.
Taste is strong coffee, a little chocolate and some hop bitterness on the way down.
Mouthfeel is on the light side for a stout with more carbonation than you might expect.
This is very drinkable if you like a strong coffee stout (strong being coffee, not alcohol). Personally, it is too strong in the coffee end to make me want to have more than one.

Photo of Jerone
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark, black with a choco head that sticks around for a bit but fades eventually, leaves a bit of lacing too.

S - Rich dark roasted malt with some chocolate and espresso too.

T - Yum, dark roasty malts with some good coffee/espresso as well with some chocolate flavors too. No burnt malt flavor, just that good dark roast. Great balance and big flavor.

M - Medium body, slightly creamy, not thick bit not thin either. Carbonation is slightly below medium, just enough.

O - Good solid stout with lots of flavor, but nothing you don't want.

Photo of arelymrt
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Black and thick , the smell is very good is not to strong, definitely the coffee scent is there( I like coffee). Really nice stout

Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler courtesy of drabmuh. Served in a fancy new Swamp Head pint glass (the one with the green print), also courtesy of drabmuh.

Pours a very dark black color with a nice mocha head. Sticks around for a bit and leaves some slight lacing. The nose brings some really strong notes of coffee. Really nice aroma off of a high quality bean. A bit of roast in the background. The flavor swaps things up, with the roast being more prominent and the coffee character fading to the background. Light chocolate there as well. The body is a bit too thin--I'd like something with some more body to bring forward that creamy texture that's always nice in coffee beers. However, the roasty finish is nice. A very nice brew. Would enjoy trying more from them.

Photo of Swim424
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this on tap at Proof

A-Dark black. Nice Brown head. hung around for a bit.

S-smells like coffee. Maybe a little chocolate. But mostly coffee

T-Coffee again. I always say I am not a fan of coffee but the stouts are always good. A little chocolate and oatmeal but mostly just coffee. A tiny bit of hops stick out but not much. Besides the coffee you have to be really looking for the other flavors.

MF-Thick and creamy. Nice flavor and aftertaste.

O-Very good. Not high alcohol and very good to sip. Highly enjoyable beer.

Photo of Stacey-Rae
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Love this beer. Great for breakfast.

Photo of Spider889
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I think this was a guest tap at Cigar City while I was visiting...

A - Black with a khaki head.

S - Very roasty and dry. Simple but nothing to fault here.

T - Roast is in the flavor as well. Some nice semi-sweet chocolate notes and a light bitterness for balance.

M/O - Nice and smooth, but I was expecting something thicker given the name. Not bad at all.

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Datz Deli in Tampa

A - Pours a deep brown with a wispy tan head.

S - The smell is a fusion of roastiness; the aroma suggests that the malt and the coffee was roasted to within an inch of its death.

T - Flavors of burnt espresso, as well as smoky-peat elements, dominate this brew; it is, however, not tremendously pungent.

M - Smooth and quite refreshing for a Stout, certainly, but at least a tad thin and undercarbonated, to boot.

D - Not bad. Swamphead seems to be really getting the ball rolling as of late.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A solid all-around brew that brings in strong notes of coffee and burnt cocoa while stradling the fence of creamy Oatmeal Stouts and bitter American Stouts.

The pour delivers a deep, opaque, and dark brown colored beer with an expansive brown head of large bubbles, loosely woven, and soon give way to a thin lace that decorates the top of the beer. I would have hoped for a bit more malty staying power.

A varying display of roast give the dominating impressions in the aroma. Roasted barley, coffee, roasted nuts, and soft malts are found deep in the beer. Grassy hops and twangy-tart berries give a bit of a more complexity than is usually reserved for Belgian Ales.

Flavors however are all about the roast, coffee, and charred cocoa notes. The malt roundness is religated to a dry, fully-attenuated character that lends little to the flavor of the beer. Bitterness is based on the hop acids but there's a sharp rebuttal from the roasted grains.

Big on malt up front, the beer quickly gives way to the dry roasty character of char, dry cocoa powder, and coffee grounds. The beer finishes quite dry and roasty- kinda like a Schwarzbier but with more weight and complexity, but not with the drinkability.

No doubt this is a solid American/Oatmeal Stout but because of the dry character that forbids roundness or softness, I'll give the nod to an American variety though the only hop notes are grassy ones in aroma and flavor.

Thanks again RomaniIteDomum!

Photo of cosmicevan
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big thanks to LiquidDegenerate...swung through town and we had a raging bottle share and he left a growler of this behind for me to check out. THANKS! enjoyed in the 7eventh Sun tulip courtesy of jim as well!

a - brew poured a stouty black with a generous finger plus of grey tan head that dissolved quickly leaving massive walls of lace on the side of the glass.

s - nice clean roast and coffee

t - again fairly clean, big roast, coffee with some chocolate.

m - roast and char. surprised this is not a porter.

o - overall a nice beer. very light for a stout, but super roasty and fairly flavorful. very nice indeed. worthwhile stout. nice to have a beer that isn't 10+ % also.

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lookin' good here. Black pour, albeit a bit thin looking. Head could use more smoothness or richness. Otherwise, delicious appearance.

Ok, coffee up front aroma. Not so much coffee grounds like KBS, more like faint aroma in a Dunkin Donuts shop. Rich, and fleeting. I kinda like it. Some dark roast and dark chocolate also. Bits of grass.

Taste is more balanced between the coffee, chocolate, burnt grass, and Italian plum. Smooth texture, wondering if oats are used. Smooth, but a touch thin.

Very drinkable, could see having this with football and burgers.

Photo of macrosmatic
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Growler filled at the Swamp Head tasting room. Reviewed from notes. Poured from 32 oz. growler into a Westbrook pint glass.

A: Very dark brown to black, opaque, with a thin light tan head and essentially no visible carbonation.

S: Strong black coffee, a bit nutty and toffee, and big dark roasted malts.

T: Dark roasted malt bitterness, black coffee, some nuts, with a moderate roast bitterness at the finish. No particular hop presence discernible.

M: Relatively thin body, carbonation sensation on the low side, and moderate alcohol presence.

O: This was a good beer, and easy to drink. It has a lot of the flavors of an Imperial Stout without the alcohol. I kept feeling like it was too thin while drinking, but I think it's average for an American Stout - I just kept expecting Imperial Stout body.

Photo of Interfectus
4.82/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my favorite stout. It's more of a desert than a beer, and even my Mom (who's not a beer drinker) thoroughly enjoyed it! It's a playful blending of chocolate, warm grain, and caramel flavors. Its creamy without being too heavy, and the mouth feel is a perfect compliment to the taste. The head is creamy and chocolaty. It'll fill you up, but I'd be perfectly happy if it were the only beer I had for an evening! It seems like it would be good at nearly every temperature. It's color is very dark (even black), but it is by no means bitter. I HIGHLY recommend this one!

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Midnight Oil Stout from Swamp Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 177 ratings.