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8 Ball Stout - Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe

8 Ball Stout8 Ball Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

835 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 835
Reviews: 512
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.95%

Brewed by:
Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 07-23-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 835 | Reviews: 512 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The Lost Coast Brewery and Café was conceived in 1986 when Barbara Groom, a pharmacist, and Wendy Pound, a family counsellor, wondered what it would take to start their own brewpub. After years of experimental home brewing, planning and studying, Barbara and Wendy were ready to begin. With the 1989 purchase of the Pythian Castle, a 100-year-old building in Eureka, California, the café was ready to open. The building, a restored wood frame structure built in 1892, was purchased from its original owners, The Fraternal Order of the Knights of Pythias. After some extensive remodelling, the Lost Coast Brewery and Café began operation in July of 1990. The brewery outgrew its original home in the Pythian Castle and moved production to a larger site down the street. After a record breaking year in 2005, producing over 24,000 barrels, Lost Coast Brewery had expectations of breaking the 30,000-barrel mark. In 2009, it broke that record producing over 50,000 barrels, making Lost Coast Brewery the 33rd largest in the United States. Lost Coast distributes its ales in 22 states, Puerto Rico, and three Canadian Provinces.

With the Canadian winter coming on, Bucky decided to stock up on stouts, including a 650 ml bottle of Lost Coast's 8 Ball Stout ("8 Ball"). Oddly, there was no production or best before date on the bottle. 8 Ball was 5.8% alcohol by volume.

8 Ball poured a very deep brown colour verging on black, with about 1/2" of creamy tan coloured head produced. The head faded to a thin cap of foam after 3 minutes, and left considerable spotting and some modest lacing all down the glass. Its aroma was of dark coffee, dark European chocolate and earthy/herbal hops. 8 Ball's taste very much followed the aroma, with the addition of a certain sweetness which gave way to a mildly bitter dark coffee finish and aftertaste. As the beer warmed there was a bit of booze in the finish...which was surprising given its 5.8% alcohol content, but by no means unpleasant. The only weakness of this beer was its slightly thin mouthfeel, which contrasted noticeable with the creaminess of the head. Carbonation level was moderate, fully in keeping with the style. Overall this is a solid, flavourful stout and not overly hoppy in the finish...well worth a try. Currently selling for $4.80 per 650 ml bottle.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 23:00:48 | More by BuckyBeerBeaver
Photo of CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a shaker pint glass. Impressively dark and opaque, pitch black with just the barest hint of a red halo at the bottom of the glass. Aroma is surprisingly sweet, I get considerable caramel initially and then the more expected dark roast coffee and milk chocolate notes, along with a sour fruitiness that couples with the dark malts to yield a pomegranate molasses effect. Smells pretty fantastic if not a bit sweet for the style. No real hop aroma. Tastes similarly sweet and rich, with some diacetyl apparent and an ultra-smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Quite chewy but not heavy and very drinkable, with considerable residual sugars noted and moderate to high carbonation. Very nice tactile translation of the oatmeal stout style characteristics, although less dry and earthy than some (e.g., Rogue Shakespeare Stout, Samuel Smith's iconic example). The main flavors seem to be coffee with a little cream, light chocolate, butterscotch, and the tiniest tinge of dry ash. The booze is very well-concealed. Finish is roasty and sweet but here some floral earthy hops become apparent, cutting the sweetness and providing a contrast to the main show. I like this a lot, has some sweet stout character and the oats really do add an amazing smoothness. Then again, I have a soft spot for the sweeter side of dark malt and others may prefer something more dry.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 17:21:53 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of theteleman


3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a straight forward oatmeal stout. 5.8% abv. Dark black in appearance with a nice off colored white creamy head. Taste of toasted malts and faint hints of chocolate. A super smooth stout, one of the lightest oatmeal stouts I have tasted, very drinkable. We finally got some rain here in San Diego and I went with this brew for our "cold" weather stint we have going over here. Lost Coast keeps it pretty simple and straightforward, this isnt the most complex beer out there, but its still damn good in its simplicity.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 01:32:36 | More by theteleman
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark color stout with a medium light brown foamy head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma consists of light dry roasted malt with light bitter notes. Taste is a mix of roasted malt with light dry bitter notes and some residual sugar notes are also noticeable. Body is about average with good carbonation. Enjoyable and easily drinkable but a bit short on the complexity level.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2014 03:05:45 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of DaveBar

Ontario (Canada)

3.49/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Purchased at the LCBO for $4.85/600ml bottle. Served at 10deg C in a snifter

A- No head what so ever. No film, nothing at all. Opened very weak.

S- Nothing special but ok. Hints of coffee and caramel

T- Pretty good. Very carbonated despite the low carbonation on opening/pouring. Roasted malt and barley as usual for stouts.

M- Ok. Nothing special. Pretty carbonated and light.

O- Ok. Will not buy again. There are much better examples of stouts out there from micro breweries. that will blow this away.

Food Pairing

This ok stout would go well with... cured meats and heavy cheeses.


Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 17:48:41 | More by DaveBar
Photo of Mosstrooper


4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into 16oz mug.

Appearance: Pours an opaque black color with a large brown head that dissipates slowly. As the head dissipates spotty lace is left behind.

Smell: Coffee and chocolate dominate with a touch of woody hops.

Taste: Begins with a slight hops spice which rounds out to a coffee flavor. Finish of bittersweet chocolate and a bit more coffee at the very end.

Mouthfeel: Medium/heavy, creamy body with light carbonation and a very sticky finish that dries out just a bit.

Overall: I haven't had an oatmeal stout for quite some time, but this one is quite good. I'd be more than happy to drink this again and again. A nice after-dinner brew...or maybe breakfast!

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 00:02:43 | More by Mosstrooper
Photo of silverking


4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- pitch black with a thin tan head. Sticky lacing.

S- dark roasted coffee, milk chocolate, and a touch of vanilla.

T- acidic coffee, bakers cocoa. There is a light smokiness in the finish.

M- medium/full bodied, velvety carbonation.

O- outstanding. Seriously, buy this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2014 04:41:40 | More by silverking
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

8 Ball Stout is essentially as black as an 8 ball (its light brown outlining notwithstanding). Its head is sepia-toned and sticks mostly to the outlining of the glass, to which it manages to partially grasp onto even as the liquid desists. It's opaque but far from intimidating.

The beer is, by smell anyhow, a liquid Ferrero Rocher; the bouquet is encased in a roasted hazelnut shell, a wafer-like maltiness, and loads of milk chocolate. It's both Christmas and Halloween in a glass. And it smells a bit like a coffee shop. It's not overly rich but still plenty decadent - enough to send those on a diet running for the hills.

That roasted hazelnut, wafer, and milk chocolate flavour profile continues on the palate - again, it's Ferrero Rochers for all! There's lots of caramel and toasted nuttiness. Being a Californian stout, there's naturally also some 'green' flavours; some sips have enough budding floralness to register like a rose-infused green tea (blended with coffee of course).

The mouthfeel is light and agreeable enough to pass for a Schwarzbier. The roast is in essence only - it's suggestive, not so manifest - and it tastes of milk chocolate (as opposed to dark chocolate). It also has a milky, lactose sweetness and the corresponding tanginess. Hops add faint forest-y leafiness but no bitterness. All in all, it's a very agreeable stout.

There's nothing aggressive about Lost Coast 8 Ball Stout - it's one of the few Californian offerings not to make an extreme example of this potentially dark and decadent style. Instead it is a wonderfully approachable, agreeable rendition. It's an easy one to recommend.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2014 03:52:56 | More by biegaman
Photo of watermelon

North Carolina

3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

$3 pint draft had a The Tapp Room in Boone NC

A: Opaque black body with a khaki head. little lacing and decent retention.

S: Smell of dark malts some smoky fragrances as well.

T: Lots of dark malt flavor in the taste. Some bitterness, a little bit of coffee in the flavor.

M: Really thin mouthfeel low carbonation.

O: If you don't mind a thinner body stout I would give it a shot. This one isn't very complex and wont be one that I will be returning to.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2013 05:56:01 | More by watermelon
Photo of BGDrock

Ontario (Canada)

2.41/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: black, with mocha head that vanishes to nothing in no time

Aroma: cassis, chocolate covered cherry; roasted malt aromas are secondary

Taste & Mouthfeel: watery, like bad office coffee - there's really not much to it at all, doesn't taste terrible, just doesn't taste....bitter and tart aspects of the roast are predominant, not the rich coffee and chocolate you'd hope for; carbonation is ok; some mineral, tin flavours

Overall: this doesn't give you much to say so....weak

PS - after reading other reviews, I wonder if I got a bad batch, as everyone else seems to be having vastly different experience (and I share my bottle with a friend, and we both didn't enjoy it)

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2013 23:13:07 | More by BGDrock
Photo of AlbertaJack

Alberta (Canada)

4.75/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Perhaps my review lacks the sophistication of others, but after tasting many porters and stouts- 8 Ball Stout is my number #1 because of it's dark, smooth, rich flavour. To be sure, this stout has alluring, complex tones in smell and taste and for all its boldnes-its dwell gently within.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2013 01:07:46 | More by AlbertaJack
Photo of mick303

Ontario (Canada)

3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

650 ml bomber into a tulip glass Colour is a dark brown with a solid creamy tan film with nice lacing. Looks good. 3.75
S – nice hints of coffee, dark cocoa, sortof earthy/herbal notes, its mellow but pleasant and balanced, not too hoppy with nice roasty malt profile that has a bit of toasty caramel sweetness. 3.75
T – a sweetish coffee start, hints of cocoa, mild roasty malts, then a caramel toffee body really comes out, it is rather sweet overall before drying out a bit on the finish. Some earthy bitterness that develops more as the beer sits, but overall a smooth balanced stout. 4.
M – moderate body, mild to moderate carbonation, and quite smooth with some malty chocolaty sweetness and some creaminess to the feel, really drinkable though. Finish is a balanced dryness. Good substantial but also refreshing stout. 3.75
Overall, I liked the sessionable and tasty aspects on this stout and thought they were worked quite well. Hop character could be more interesting and forward I thought, and sometimes they struggled to cut the sweet chocolate notes, but this resolved itself. I think this is definitely worth a try for a well-made stout, not the most interesting stylistically, but it does drink quite nicely, and is certainly well above-average. 4

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2013 01:51:46 | More by mick303
Photo of Fatehunter


3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours one finger of tan head on a black body.
The aroma is rich roasted malt with lemon and some burnt malt too.
The taste is burnt wood, roasted malt, molasses, coffee and dark chocolate. Wonderful.
The texture is smooth with low to moderate carbonation.
An excellent stout.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2013 04:44:29 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of KYGunner


4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really like the dark ebony complexion as it holds a bit of dullness in its flat black way. The head rose amongst a flood of bubbles and gave a highly carbonated look.

They got the scent right here with all the classic char, chocolate, Graham cracker, marshmallow, roasted oat and dry grain maltiness.

The flavor tends more to roasted coffee with a smokey char. There is a sweetness that is light but it seems to be a roasted marshmallow. There is a lactose flavor as if this were a milk stout which adds a creaminess to feel. Since we are talking about feel I'll move into the dry but smooth movement of this stout as it carries across the palate.

This was a real shock as I picked it up in a mixed six pack but it really holds all the components I look for in a stout.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2013 23:42:10 | More by KYGunner
Photo of DenisKolkin

Ontario (Canada)

3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

650 ml bottle from LCBO for $4.80 CDN poured into a pint glass. Left out for about 30 minutes before serving. Bottle reads 5.8%ABV

Appearance - Dark brown, nearly black opaque beer. Poured a nice 2 finger tan head that lasted for a while and left a soapy residue through the session. Just a glint of red detected when looking through the glass into the sun. decent lacing left over as well.

Smell - Not quite as much here as I was hoping for, some roasted grains and a certain sourness that is intriguing.

Taste - Hint of sweetness, roasted malts and dark cocoa hit the palate and provide a pleasant experience. Little bit of booze on the back end. Nothing otherworldly, but not unpleasant and full flavored.

Mouthfeel - Quite rich and creamy, but retains a nice light character, that makes getting to the bottom of the glass not a chore. Finishes medium dry with a moment where all flavor is gone, then rushes back into the mouth with the aftertaste. I can't say it had the fullness and weight of other oatmeal stouts I've had, although that selection is limited, it was perhaps more refreshing than they could ever be.

Overall - Quite a good beer, and seeing that I had never seen in stores, thought it was worthy of a try. Glad I did because it's quite tasty and is a nice bridge in the stout world between the lower ABV stouts and the more serious Imperial Stouts.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2013 22:08:49 | More by DenisKolkin
Photo of CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cola brown, nearly pure black, with a big rocky tan head with excellent retention. Some roasted barley, dark chocolate and sourness in the nose. The taste is dry and malty with lots of dark malt roastyness and bitterness and coffee and caramel notes. Hops are restrained throughout, just adding a little bitterness. The mouthfeel is light bodied for the style with sparse, prickly carbonation. Light bitterness and roastyness in the finish.

A decent stout. Lots of dark malt and roasted barley flavor with a light body to make it quaffable. Could be a bit heartier in the malt profile and the hopping rate, but still good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2013 01:12:02 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

650mL bottle from the Conestoga LCBO. Part of the fall release.

Poured into a snifter. Dark chestnut, nearly black, with a third of an inch head that recedes into a thick ring with loads of lace. Nice looking brew.

Nose is roast coffee, dark dry chocolate, cream, anise.

Nice tasting brew, reasonably balanced. Roasted malt, chocolate, a bit of sugar sweetness, finishes with a touch of dryness. A bit hard to pin down, it's nothing out of the ordinary, but still tasty enough.

Lacks the creaminess and dryness I've come to expect from oatmeal stouts, and the carbonation was a bit sharper than expected.

Good brew for a good price (under $5, at least in Ontario). There are some more distinct brews to be had of this style, but this one was certainly enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2013 23:10:30 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

ABV on the bottle is listed as 5.8% rather than 6.3%. Whether a new recipe or a recalculation, I do not know.

Beer is jet black. A vigorous pour results in only a minimally-sized tan head.

Smell contains dark chocolate and roast malt. Also some oatmeal, but maybe that is power of suggestion. Nice smell.

Taste is creamy and roasty, with a bit of an oatmeal flavour. A surprisingly large anise flavour. Some chocolate. Nice balance between sweet and bitter.

Medium bodied, strongly carbonated (despite the lack of head). Nice and soft, but the carbonation is too high.

Overall, pretty good, but there are certainly better oatmeal stouts out there.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2013 00:25:04 | More by jrenihan
Photo of micromaniac129


4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rich and thick looking deep black color. A medium size mocha head forms and then fades to a thick ring. Very little lacing is left in it's wake.
The nose had a pretty hefty roasted malt aroma. There was also hints of coffee and cream or lactose.
A straight forward taste of roasted malts and coffee upfront, some chocolatey notes at finish. Finishes dry and bitter with a roastedness that lingers into the aftertaste.
8 Ball is a satisfying stout that has great drinkability and flair.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2013 12:11:38 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of BeerLover99


3.14/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A: black body, trace khaki head,

S: roasted choc nuts, malt, hint of coffee

T: same as nose hint of sweet up front,
firm roast malt, with semi-burnt finish

M: med/light body, bubbly/semi-dry finish

O: Nose and Taste are fine; great start for stout newbie.
Wish the body was creamier. Alcohol very well hidden.


Serving type: bottle

08-22-2013 20:55:10 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of Hex92


3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Looks good, smells and tastes OK. Overall its a big meh. It doesn't really excel in any category. The taste is just not much of anything. Very boring. Tastes like something you would get at a brew pub 15 years ago. Its just not big enough for today...or at least not for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2013 02:25:39 | More by Hex92
Photo of dtivp

West Virginia

3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark black with ruby hues, a two finger foamy mocha head that fades into a thin ring with moderate lacing.

Aroma of toasty malt, coffee, some dark chocolate, very pleasant to the nose.

Taste of toasty malt with oatmeal, sweet chocolate and hints of caramel, very little bitterness.

Mouth Feel was light leaning medium body, just a little thin, silky, creamy smooth with a slightly sweet ending.

Overall this was a good oatmeal stout, needs a little more body and a touch more bitterness for balance.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 00:58:28 | More by dtivp
Photo of BeerWithMike


4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Sampling right now on 1/30/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a pilsver flute glass with a '8 ball" next to the stem.

Pours nearly black with a very tiny tan head that hangs around the whole time. Lots of lacing is seen actually that settles ever so slowly back down. Very nice aroma of coffee, roasted malts with a hint of bitter chocolate. Taste is the same with just the right amount of carbonation for a stout. LOTS of black coffee flavor right up front on the tongue. Very pleasant overall with just a slight bitter finish.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2013 21:04:09 | More by BeerWithMike
Photo of LampertLand

British Columbia (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Lost Coast '8 Ball' Oatmeal Stout @ 6.3% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $5.30

A-pour is dark brown from the bottle to near black in the glass with a small tan head which is leaving a spotty lace along the pint glass

S-roasted coffee , chocolate malts

T-smooth and crisp to start but gives way to a very sweet chocolate milk finish

MF-medium carbonation , full bodied , almost has a RIS feel on the palate

Ov-ok/good beer yes I'd buy again

prost LampertLand

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2013 05:01:04 | More by LampertLand
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle dated 5 Feb. 2013 served in a snifter.
A: Deep brown, nearly black in the glass, with a modest, bubbly tan head that has weak retention. Moderate lacing.

S: Pleasing aroma features dark roasted malts, a hint of smoke and a touch of sweet caramel.

T: Good flavor. Solid but middle-of-the-road, and, therefore, weak on the dimensions of interesting and distinctiveness.

M: Smooth; medium body.

O: Very good but not outstanding across the board.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2013 00:45:56 | More by chinchill
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8 Ball Stout from Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe
87 out of 100 based on 835 ratings.