Midnight Oil Stout - Swamp Head Brewery
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Ratings: 136 | 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
4.09/5 rDev +4.6%
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.
Serving type: on-tap
09-05-2013 15:23:45 | More by cambabeer
3.74/5 rDev -4.3%
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!
Serving type: growler
08-14-2013 23:53:06 | More by Stevedore
3.91/5 rDev 0%
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.
Serving type: growler
08-03-2013 22:04:39 | More by macrosmatic
4.13/5 rDev +5.6%
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
Serving type: on-tap
07-15-2013 23:22:23 | More by delta490
Midnight Oil Stout from Swamp Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.