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C.O.B. (Coffee Oatmeal Brown) - Free Will Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
C.O.B. (Coffee Oatmeal Brown)C.O.B. (Coffee Oatmeal Brown)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

31 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 31
Hads: 207
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 33.07%
Wants: 10
Gots: 41 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Free Will Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Flounder57 on 11-24-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 31 | Hads: 207
Photo of saison90
1/5  rDev -74%

the only way i can describe this beer is coffee pickles. the smell was reminiscent of stale espresso grounds, and it tasted like it was brewed with pickling brine. me and a friend each had a single sipped and dumped it.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.17/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Pour is a clear caramel brown with a small amount of tan head. Nose is slightly overly roasted coffee, roasted malts, faint sticky caramel, a bit thin. Taste is the same, it has a bit of a cola flavored coffee, overly roasted malt, a touch acrid, moderate bitterness, overly carbonated and stings the throat.

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Photo of wattoclone
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Aroma is coffee and hints of nuts. Pours a medium brown with tan head. Taste is not exceptional, but has coffee and some roasted malt. As usual for American craft brews, it has a high ABV which detracts from the experience. A mild craft beer like this should not hit you so hard. If I wanted to get sloshed fast I would just have a malt liquor.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I know that I am supposed to be on a moratorium against buying bottles, but I really like what Free Will B.C. is doing and so my Willpower is more Free than it should be! Ah, well.

From the bottle: "Blah blah blah blah blah IMPERIAL SOUTHERN ENGLISH-STYLE BROWN ALE blah blah blah blah INTENSE blah blah blah blah blah blah DELICIOUS blah blah ... Blah blah blah COFFEE blah AND THEN SOME MORE COFFEE!!!" Hey, I only transcribe what they print.

The initials C. O. B. in the navy stand for "Chief of the Boat" aboard submarines, so for all of my bubblehead brethren, I am going to sink ti one for you!

Caps Lock is now off and so is the cap. I went with my usual heavy-handed pour, resulting in my usual pseudo-cascade, settling into the usual two fingers of dense, light-tan head with moderate retention. Blah blah blah. Color was more of a Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) than a full-on Brown, but it had NE-quality clarity. Blah blah blah. Nose had an overly roasted coffee quality and although I like my coffee strong, bitter and black, like my women, I do not much dig that heavy roastiness. Blah blah blah. Mouthfeel was medium, at most. This in an Imperial version of the style?!? Blah blah blah. The taste was reminiscent of Kahlua in a boozy, coffee-infused way. Man, the first time I had Kahlua, I was a paperboy and these two cool cats had an apartment on Lancaster Avenue in the 400 block. One Friday night, when I was out doing weekly collections, one dude's hot sister in her mid-20s was visiting. She invites me in, we smoke some pot, she puts my head in her lap and begins pouring Kahlua into my mouth and then we were gettin' it on. No kidding! I was like sixteen or seventeen and it was not the first time that I had made it with somebody on that route. Pleasant memories, but I was not finding this beer to be all that pleasant. Blah blah blah. It just seemed too hot and the coffee was not making it happen either. Blah blah blah. Hey, don't get me wrong - I am all for experimentation, but sometimes, not everything works as planned. Blah blah blah.

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Photo of HopBomb515
3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Deep mohagany and brown color with nearly no head and not much of any lacing. Smell is coffee, slightly nutty, caramel and toffee. Coffee, burnt caramel, toffee and a slight nutty note on the back end. Thin mouthfeel is underwhelming, ok carbonation seems off and dry finish seems misplaced. Good coffee flavor, a little off on the finish and mouthfeel. The taste saves this from being a bust, but not one I'd seek out again.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Pours a dark blackish color with a short lived head.

Aroma is roasted malt, char, sweet vanilla, and booze.

In the taste, roasted malt, vanilla, coffee, a bit of char. Some alcohol and more nutty cocoa on the edges.

Good brew that drinks lighter than it truly is.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Canal St. Pub, Reading, PA.

Mahogany brown color, semi-translucent, with a small tan head that receded to a ringlet; minor lacing on the glass. Cold coffee grounds in the nose, toasted bread, caramel malts. About what I'd expect from a coffee brown ale. Taste was similar, cold pressed coffee, caramel malts, somewhat nutty, toasted oats and rye (though I'm not sure any actual rye was used in this beer), with a slight herbal bitterness in the finish. Body was medium, a bit thinner than I'd expect from an oatmeal beer, but about on par for a typical brown ale. Overall pretty decent. Good if you like coffee, good if you like brown ales.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, no date.

appears deep dark brown with ruby highlights, thin cream colored head which fades. big aroma of coffee with cream and sugar, dominates. coffee takes the taste over too, but not roasty, definitely the base is a brown ale. medium to thin body, higher carbonation, okay feel. overall a unique take on flavor combinations.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Brass Rail Deli, served chilled in a pint.

The color is a murky brown with light off white cap with ringlets of lace sticking and ultra fine bead not the best appearance, but better than average. The smell is a mix of sweet malt with fresh coffee odor with nutty light bean-like roasted nose and light herbal hop scent. The feel has a creamy, worty texture with sweet roasted grainy aspect and semi-dry finish with a slight coffee acidity mid palate.

The taste is good and pretty much follows the aroma with full malty toasted oatmeal aspect with a light coffee element and moderate hop influence with an herbal flavor. The coffee tastes good, but midway it starts to bring a vegetal element and there is light alcohol with nutty dry taste in the finish. Overall a pretty good brown, not great -if you take away the oats and coffee it is pretty ordinary and the coffee doesn't really improve it enough to warrant a second taste to me. I like the concept but it could use some refinement as it seems like an under attenuated strong ale. The sweetness level is ok and the coffee is more earthy than I prefer considering the style + Abv but it is good drinkability wise

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Photo of claspada
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a translucent brown color with a khaki medium size head that recedes rather quickly.

Aromas begin heavy on the java with coffee grinds, then some toasted bready malt, toffee and some minimal cocoa powder. Not detecting much of an Oatmeal presence.

The tastes follow the nose with lots if coffee balanced by a strong molasses, cocoa and a nutty, biscuity maltiness. Sweetness is minimal.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium-low carbonation. Finish is slightly bitter but mainly subpar for any beer advertising Oatmeal; it is missing that creamy oat induced chewiness.

Overall this was a tasty beer and quite drinkable any day of the year but especially tasty late fall after a nice dinner. The only ding for me is the weak mouthfeel and semi-watery mouthfeel for much a strong beer.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Deep mahogany brown with 1 finger of off-white head that dissipates quickly. Good clarity.

Coffee grounds, medium roasted coffee, espresso...yeah, basically coffee.

Again, coffee grounds, medium roasted coffee with cream and sugar and hints of espresso. Caramelized brown sugar, hazelnut and touches of overripe black plum.

Medium bodied, silky and smooth.

8.3% abv is well hidden and tastes like COFFEE.

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Photo of Samp01
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep cloudy brown with a thin beige head. Aroma is a wonderful sweet coffee essence with some caramel and maple undertones. Taste is sweet caramel maple and sweet coffee candy and a bit of mild espresso bitterness. Palate is a medium smooth and creamy body, good carbonation and slight sticky mouth feel. Taste almost like a cup of ice cold java and with the alcohol at 8.3% you don’t notice it.The finish is the same as taste. Overall a very good tasty and enjoyable brew.

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Photo of 57md
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is a cloudy, muddy copper with an orange hue and more than a finger of fizzy head. The coffee and espresso notes are clearly present in the nose as well as some robust hoppiness for a brown. The coffee flavors are rich and strong, but the body is a bit thin even for a brown. The finish is dry with a bitter finish that comes from both the hops and the roasted coffee.

My final assessment is a mixed bag. Many beers erroneously claim to have a coffee flavor; this offering is the real deal when it comes to coffee without a doubt. The problem is that the elements of a classic brown are present, but they are overwhelmed by the coffee.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having on draft at Pearly Baker's Alehouse in Easton, PA.

Appearance: The beer poured a minimal head that reduced to a thin layer. It is an amber mahogany color with good clarity and slow moving bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Roasted coffee dominates the aroma. You do pick a bit of oatmeal and some fruitiness.

Taste: Coffee mellows out well with the oatmeal and malty flavors. Some lingering bitterness too from the coffee that is nice.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full bodied, low to medium carbonation, roasty, and delicious.

Overall: Pretty good find here while traveling through Easton, PA. Nice and roasty and delicious.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Came to me in a tulip, very dark brown in color a mocha head sat on top and was pretty tall.
Aroma has a lot of coffee grounds in it. Some toasted malts and sweetness too.
Drinks like the nose with a big coffee taste. But as it warms the coffee mellows and some roasted malts maybe even a bit of toffee come through. Hints of cocoa mingles in the taste too.
Drinks a heavy medium on the palate, smooth but alittle washed out.
A very good beer.

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Photo of MadCat
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice brown color, short white head, no lacing

Smell: Coffee, oatmeal, and malts

Taste: Cold brewed medium roast coffee up front, with some oatmeal and bready malts

Mouthfeel: Medium body, good carbonation

Overall: Pretty good, but not outstanding. A pretty solid coffee beer. Definitely a coffee beer but the coffee isn't overwhelming.

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

I recently had this beer at The Washington House in Sellersville, PA. This beer is brewed in Perkasie, PA and the brewery itself is only about 2 miles away.

Served in a goblet-like glass

A - Beer arrived with a half-finger, mocha-colored head. It's a very deep brown, almost black color, totally opaque. Nice lacing left after drinking.

S - A nice coffee aroma

T - A huge coffee presence mixed with some chocolate-like sweetness. The beer is rather bitter but it goes down really smooth. The oatmeal isn't really noticeable. The ABV is slightly noticeable but never overpowers the beer.

M - A medium body. Medium carbonation. Leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste

O - I really enjoyed this beer. The brewery is less than 3 miles from my home and I'd gladly pick up a growler of this. I've had several of Free Will's offerings and I've been impressed with them all.


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Photo of Omnium
4/5  rDev +4.2%

A. Brown with two fingers of fizzy tan head, no lacing.
S. Coffee roasts, nuttiness, lightly toasted malt and grains.
T. Creamy rich coffee and oatmeal, lovely roasted flavors, toasted caramel and toffee sweetness.
M. Well balanced, rich flavor.
O. Great brown, love the boldness of the coffee and the smoothness of the oatmeal

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Photo of philbe311
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A very slight head, less than a fingers worth, of rich creamy light khaki colored froth... Decent retention especially considering its modest beginnings... It fades to a splotchy uneven veil of lacing and thin collar... The nose is loaded with coffee and chocolate at the forefront... The color is a slightly murky pale brown... A moderate bit of moderate carbonation rises throughout... Some light roasted malts... Dark breads and loads of crust... The nose is quite robust and fairly pleasing... The flavor profile follows closely to the nose with a hefty addition of brown sugar and some light nutty nuances... Medium bodied... Sleek, smooth and rather delectable... The addition of the oatmeal does wonders and makes this one rather velvety... Limited carbonation... Goes down exceedingly smooth... A welcome introduction to Free Will brewing... Interesting concept and one that was well executed... I will gladly enjoy this on multiple occasions going forward and I look forward to trying the rest of Fee Will's portfolio...

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Photo of SHerninko
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from CJ's next to Towamencin Beverage & Pudges.

I've seen this pop up all around. Wegmans, North Penn Bev., etc.
CJs had single bottles--what a concept, right. So I grabbed the last one to see if I want a 6 or 12 pack. Free will Pale Stout was solid so hoping this would deliver.

Overall this is a great beer. Color is light for a brown, especially when I pour stouts 90% of the time. Some minor carbonation & slight head and lacing. After a few minutes it is flat with no head and no legs. Can now see the full brew as a redish-brown like a clay color.
Nose is excellent. All coffee. Dark & rich espresso like with a hint of sugary sweetness.
Taste is full on rich dark roast coffee. A hint of sweetness in the middle and then a dark and full coffee finish. Oatmeal? Maybe in the process but no flavor from it detected. Actually kind of light mouthfeel. When cold it was real creamy but thins out after warming.
Overall, try it. If you like coffee and beer then you're all set. The ABV for me was not detectable. If this was bourbon barrel aged I'd be buying growlers every few days (hint). I see they have a Choco nib & vanilla version. I may need to hunt that down to fill in between my BCBS coffee. Win/win!

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Photo of MikeWard
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%

On tap at Funcks in Palmyra, PA, part of a 4.5oz flight.

Deep copper coplor with thin white head. Nice strong coffee aroma, which translated well to the taste. A smooth taste and finish, none of the sour bitterness you sometimes get with brown ales. The high abv is well hidden.

Enjoyed this one, would certainly have it again.

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deep amber color, good clarity, low carbonation, minimal carbonation. Thin off-white head.

Absence of hops would put this in the English (not American) Brown Ale camp. (That's what the bottle says, and I agree with it.) Although the 8.3% ABV certainly makes it an outlier in either style.

Malty, with an emphatic but not overwhelming coffee flavor - and maybe peanuts? Medium mouthfeel, sweet finish.

Overall, a damn fine Brown Ale regardless of style.

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Photo of JPowell712
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a very interesting brew. It blends three things together that I have never tried together. It was dark brown to the pour with very little head to it. The aroma was obviously coffee. The taste was also very much of a coffee bean or espresso bean flavor. The oatmeal comes through in the taste also making it very smooth to the finish. To me it almost taste like an carbonated iced coffee. This is a great brew for coffee lovers and beer lovers alike. The aftertaste is a little bit on the bitter side, but so is strong brewed coffee. I like this beer.

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Photo of PA-hunter
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 8.3% abv. From my hometown brewery.

Appearance- Quite dark, Caramel brown in color. Minimal white head that dissipates fast.

Smell- Big hints of roasted coffee, molasses, and caramel.

Taste- Rich sugary base with sweet malt flavors. Molasses like sweetness in the middle turns to a fresh roasted coffee bean flavor that goes right through to the end of the taste. The coffee taste lingers in the palate for quite some time, and is strong, yet brilliantly fresh and clean.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body, very smooth and lively as far as feel.

Overall- A suberb coffee beer of the brown ale style. Very fresh. The coffee is strong but just enough not to be overpowering. A great sipping beer with an imperial alcohol content. Seek this one out if you're into coffee-beer. Great blend of sweetness as well.

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Photo of j4mmin42
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

This is an exceptional brew, but it really is overpowered by the coffee. The thing is, this doesn't take away from the beverage at all- it enhances it nearly perfectly. As far as the ABV- it's refreshing to have a sipping beer that does not have the sweet, syrupy qualities of a barleywine etc; being that those beers are usually not for me, this does rather well in the same role.

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C.O.B. (Coffee Oatmeal Brown) from Free Will Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.