Midnight Oil Stout - Swamp Head Brewery

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Midnight Oil Stout
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BA SCORE
88
very good

163 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 163
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 9
Gots: 11 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: tpd975 on 03-08-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 163 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bilco
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
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 wo87810
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Chaney
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
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!

Photo of BastionShaw
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of mrsdrabmuh
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Swim424
4/5  rDev +2%
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 Spider889
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
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 jsurfs82
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.63/5  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 GallowsThief
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Photo of JPBCrown
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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 Interfectus
4.85/5  rDev +23.7%
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!

Photo of drabmuh
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

Photo of AdamBear
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.63/5  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 Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.75/5  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 PorterLambic
2.9/5  rDev -26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours black as pitch with a gorgeously creamy dark tan head that dissipates slowly to a ring and island.
Smell is malt, coffee, bittersweet chocolate and some dark fruit.
Taste ashy, coffee, malt.
Watery with a medium body and lightish effervescence. Slightly warming. Not nearly as good as I had hoped. Too ashy, much like an ashtray. As this is my first from this brewery, I'll look for some different brews to try and hope this one is just not for me.

Photo of babaracas
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 32 oz. growler. Pours a cloudy very dark brown, near black in the glass, with two fingers of dense dark brown foam. Slowly fades to a quarter inch leaving a few big blobs of lace.

Smell: smells like dark roast organic coffee (same thing I drink every morning, but better cause it's in beer!). Pungent with earthy, green, and slightly smoky characteristics. Underlying baker's chocolate + caramelized sugar. It is first and foremost a coffee stout, there's no doubt of that.

Taste: the coffee is back, but without the implied acidity. Dark brown sugar, bitter chocolate, and a solid earthy hopping. A little prune-y flavor appears as it warms.

Feel is light-medium bodied. It could use a little more carbonation, as it doesn't feel quite as creamy as it looks, but I could be convinced that's the fault of the growler (though only filled 3 days back).

A really nice coffee stout. Hope this one gets bottled some day.

Photo of godfathermg57
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Tall Paul's Brew House

A: Black as a stout with a healthy tan head.

S: COFFEE! that's most of what i smell. I suppose that makes sense given the name. I don't detect too much cocoa or other stout-ey smells

T: Very much like the smell with lots of coffee. Taste is not very complex but it's refreshing enough

M: Certainly not thick like the name Midnight Oil might imply. Fairly light stout body.

D: Pretty drinkable so that's a definite plus.

Photo of MisterE
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

on tap at the Red Onion Neighborhood Grill in Gainesville FL

A: served in a Yuengling pint glass, a deep impenetrable brown color with a thin one-finger head that lingers for a few minutes

S: rich, dark roasted malt and dark roasted coffee dominate

T: as with the smell, the barley and coffee beans have been roasted to the darkest extent without charring, leaving a sharp and smoky flavor

M: plenty of carbonation and a little thin

D: after more than one, the caffeine content is apparent, but the taste is still pleasant

notes: Midnight Oil is coffee stout brewed with french roasted coffee beans and will be enjoyed most by those who have developed a taste and tolerance for dark coffee

Photo of unclejimbay
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap @ Kickbacks
Appearance was pitch black with short head and rentention.
Aromas of roasted malt, dominate coffee and subtle chocolate.
Tastes of dark malts, coffee upfront, bitter and dry on the finish.
Mouthfeel is very light bodied for a stout.
Drinkability is solid offering for a lighter bodied dry styled stout. I enjoyed it.

Additional info;
I attended a Swamphead Beer dinner at Kickbacks here in Jacksonville Florida 12/13/2010. The lineup overall impressed me, brews were appropriatte to style and well done across the board. I most notably enjoyed the Hoe Hoe Hoe Wit, Tupelo Cream Ale, Stumpknocker APA, and 10-10-10 Whiskey Barrel Aged as standouts for the evening. Overall a very talented brewery across the entire lineup. I had chance to meet Luke the owner who was a great guy, and Craig the brewer who was passionate and open to share his processes. Both were knowlegdable and I am very excited about this new Florida Brewery.

Here is are most of the Swamphead brews that were offered at the dinner;
Hoe Hoe Hoe Winter Seasonal - a Belgian style specialty ale with cranberries, ginger and orange blossom honey
Wild Night Tupelo Honey Cream Ale
Cottonmouth Belgian Style Wheatbier
Stumpknocker American Pale Ale
Big Nose IPA
Saison du Swamp - Florida Style Saison with rye
10-10-10 Imperial IPA
10-10-10 Imperial IPA aged in Palm Ridge Whiskey barrels
Midnight Oil Oatmeal Stout with locally roasted organic fair trade coffee
Alderwood Smoked Porter
Chipotle Smoked Porter
Stumpknocker infused with Chipotle peppers
Catherine's Inspiration - Russian Imperial Stout
Catherine's Passion - Russian Imperial Stout infused with organic cocoa nibs and Midnight Oil coffee

Midnight Oil Stout from Swamp Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.