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Midnight Oil Stout - Swamp Head Brewery

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Midnight Oil Stout
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very good

44 Reviews
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Reviews: 44
Hads: 192
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 25.13%
Wants: 11
Gots: 20 | 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

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 44 | Hads: 192
Photo of tykechandler
2/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On draft at the Owl Cafe Tap Room in Apalachicola FL. Nice mellow coffee flavor, but the beer was a butter bomb! Lots of diacetyl--undrinkable. Swapped it for another beer.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.44/5  rDev +15%
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.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had from draft into growler. Pours a dark brown almost black color with tan head. Coffee, roasted malt, cocoa, and some oats on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with more lightly roasted coffee bean flavor.

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Photo of fmccormi
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of cambabeer
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

32oz growler poured into a unlabeled snifter today, 8/14/2013. Thanks to R.J. for including this one as a local extra!

The beer pours a nice dark brown, somewhat opaque body with a short white head that dissipates quickly into a very thin collar. There are spots of lacing left on the glass as I drink it down. It's a nice looking, especially dark American-style stout. I'm impressed with how the body of this beer looks, its almost like an Imperial Stout in how dark and thick it appears to be.

Smell is very much full of unground coffee beans. I'm not sure if coffee was added, but this is a very nice combination of dark chocolate malt sweetness and the more bitter espresso & dry cocoa bean scents. It's got a very appetizing nose and I'm really enjoying it as a coffeehead.

Drinking this beer is a pleasure. It's got a nice combination of dryness along with a nice dark chocolate sweetness balanced out by some bitter, burnt coffee bean flavour. It's deep, rich and full of flavour that isn't too sweet or bitter, but is well-combined and complementary to each other. There are no off-flavours here.

The feel on this is pretty typical for American stouts. It poured and looks like a thick viscous RIS but in actuality, the body feels more medium-bodied. Not to say that its watery like Guinness as it still has a substantial body. It's an incredibly drinkable, smooth and refreshing stout. I think it's certainly fitting for the Florida weather. It's a bit dry yet sweet, with the bitterness being more of a natural coffee type rather than a hop bitterness. Aftertaste is a nice trail of espresso flavours, except this beverage is cold.

I really liked this one quite a bit. Very drinkable yet full of flavours and a especially pleasurable nose. This is a great everyday stout that's probably great for the summer and fall when you're feeling something dark, chocolatey and coffeey but don't want to open up Bourbon County. I see that this is a year-round stout, and if this beer is any indication, I think Gainesville will enjoy having Swamp Head around town!

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of delta490
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-a seriously dark beer. No light got through that I could tell. The head was a deep mocha that left big lacing
S- not much noticeable on the smell. A little roast notes but not much more.
T-whatever is missing on the smell comes through on the taste. Big coffee notes with subtle chocolate and a little bitterness in the finish
M- wonderfully smooth. No carbonation noticed.
O- a great big-flavored stout

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Photo of cosmicevan
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Satchel’s in Gainesville. Poured in a plastic cup...oh well. Very strong roasted coffee aroma, some sweet chocolate. More carbonated than other stouts. Mild sweetness balances with the roasted coffee to make this flavor profile plenty bold. Goes down easy, which is expected given the 5% alcohol. A great stout in cold or warm weather. I’m beginning to really like Swamp Head, and will have to make a visit there soon.

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Photo of Jerone
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of Chaney
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this one on tap at a local Whole Foods off of International Drive in Orlando.

A: Poured a pitch black color (or lack of), with no light passing through this suck at all. It had a huge 2-3-4(?) finger head that clung to the glass like Spider-Man. Looks mean!

S: It had a very muted, faint smell of fresh coffee grounds, burnt oats, and chocolate. Subdued, yet effective.

T: Very coffee forward, but with a fairly smooth finish overall. Sure, I got some lingering bitterness on my palate the more I sipped, but overall this was a steady drinker. Barely enough sweetness, but I appreciated that.

M: Creamy, medium-bodied, good carbonation, and with a ridiculous amount of lacing. It had an overall slick feel to it, probably as a result of the oats.

O: If you don't like coffee, you may not like this one, but I've gotta admit that there was a helluva lot of flavor here for such a low octane brew. Me likey!

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Photo of Swim424
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of Spider889
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of GallowsThief
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The House of Brews in Jensen Beach.

A – Black as night on the pour. Light tan head that receded pretty quickly.

S – Big roasty malts. Coffee, mocha and oats.

T – A lot like the smell but the coffee flavor lens to as espresso taste. Big and bold. Think strong black coffee. Roasty malts of course. Mocha and dark chocolate. Tiny bit sweet at the end. No real bitterness despite the big coffee flavor.

M – Medium bodied with medium to low carbonation. Creamy coating mouthfeel.

O – Really dug this brew. Love coffee and this has it in spades. Creamy and tasty and pretty damn drinkable.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: very dark, little light getting through. Nice milk chocolate head

S: rich roast aroma.

T: very roasty. This one has the aftertaste of a bbq or chewing on coffee beans which is great for me. Earthy and caramelized sugar notes.

M: very smooth and full bodied.

Overall: coffee infused beers are some of my favorites. This one is has more of a coffee taste than many others I have tried. More like a beer flavored coffee which is fine with me.

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Photo of JPBCrown
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
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!

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Photo of Interfectus
4.82/5  rDev +24.9%
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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Photo of drabmuh
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler brought back to DC from Gainesville by me to share with some dude. Poured into a Swamp Head pint glass because I am capable of such a feat.

Beer is black / dark dark brown, with a thin off white / tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is mildly sweet with some roast and some coffee, smells good.

Beer is thin and bitter in the back with ash and roast and some coffee. The great thing about this beer is the source of the coffee, locally roasted in Gainesville and it is the coffee I use in one of my homebrewed beers. The big problem with this beer is the body. If you could fill out the body with a higher finishing gravity you would get that stout feel to it. The coffee and other flavors seem a little flat and this is probably due to the lack of palate to express themselves on.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-black with a thick tan head that thins out

S-smells like creamy mocha and oatmeal. the oatmeal scent is strong

T-comes in creamy with tangy oatmeal. transitions in to a strong taste of coffee which forms a long lasting after-taste. its not too exciting, but the flavors are strong and there are no negative tastes.

M-creamy light carbonation with a watery finish. reminds me of a nitro tap mouthfeel.

O-its a decent oatmeal stout. drinks fairly light. definitely a good beer, but i expected more. this isn't a must try.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt!

The beer is dark brown with a thin, tan head that leaves a fair amount of lacing behind. The aroma brings a light dose of roast and coffee. The flavor is decent, but lacks character and assertiveness. The feel is relatively thin, though this is but a 5% ABV stout. Overall, I wish the beer brought more coffee and roast character, both in the aroma and flavor profile. Worth a try.

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Midnight Oil Stout from Swamp Head Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.