1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Oat (Imperial Oatmeal Stout) - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Oat (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)Oat (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,303 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,303
Reviews: 673
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 117
Gots: 147 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: John on 12-17-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,303 | Reviews: 673 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kegger22
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark brown with an embarrassingly miniscule head that really didn't disappear as much as never show up. The aroma didn't exist. So far, not a very promising start. The taste... actually, not bad. I was a little worried that there would be nothing there either. First off, it's very sweet, though not sickeningly so. There is also some coffee, some maple, and from out of nowhere, a bitter after taste. That's an interesting surprise. The feel is full bodied with nada carbonation. Drinkability? Ehhh, not so much. Too sweet and too much ABV to be anything more than a sipper.

ST Oats tasted pretty good, but suffered from low scores on all of the other categories.


kegger22, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of brystmar
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 650ml bottle into a snifter.

Pours very dark -- almost black -- with very little head. Carbonation is minimal. Chocolate & oatmeal are the predominate scents; hints of coffee too. This beer is an utter treat to smell...I could sniff it all day!

Taste is that of overwhelming chocolate and oatmeal-y goodness. Quite smooth too -- I was completely unaware of its high (11%) ABV until standing up to toss the bottle when I was almost finished with the beer. It was at this point that I checked the beer's ABV. This thing hits you hard, but not in the head, not the palate. Very very smooth for the ABV. I'm not typically a stout guy, but I can see myself keeping a regular stash of this beer.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, sneakily hiding this beer's true strength. Aftertaste leaves a tiny hint of its strength, but it's well balanced for sure. Undoubtedly solid in this field.

Drinkability is quite good from a strictly mouthfeel & smoothness POV, but slightly diminished due to its strength.

Pretty darn delicious overall. And again, I'm not a stout guy.

brystmar, Oct 28, 2009
Photo of jsh420
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

drank and reviewed on 10/3/09 but for some reason it was deleted

pours the darkest brown almost black with a 1/2 finger tan head that left no lacing

smell sweet carmel chocolate oat pale malts and with hops in the background

taste - wow! this might not have the best nose but this is a great impy oaty stout - bitter hops is what hits my buds first then the rich chocolate oat and sweet carmel malts

mouthfeel is medium body which adds to the drinability - low carbonation leaves a silky smooth finish

drinkability is crazy even with the 11%abv - this is one of the better impy stouts i have had in a while

jsh420, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of ClevoPiwo
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with highlights of deep rich brown on the edges. Not much head, what did form was nice and tan, but quickly died down - not much carbonation. After a few minutes and a few sips there is completely no sign of foam, the beer looks deceptively placid.

The smell is fantastic. Big notes of chocolate, sweet dark fruit and some hints of alcohol are very pronounced with underlying aromas of coffee.

Taste is similar to the smell in that the chocolate and dark fruit are very rich and pronounced. There is a big chocolate, molasses and fruit sweetness up front followed by some heat from the alochol, which at 11% is still pretty masked. The finish exhibits some of the coffee character.

Overall a remarkable beer. The mouth feel is very silky and creamy, but not too syrupy and viscous. The alcohol packs a punch but is still well hidden. Chalk another one up to Southern Tier.

ClevoPiwo, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of projectflam86
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep brown/black color with a thin light brown head with a bit of retention.

S- Dark malt and roasted aromas dominate the nose.

T- Full roasted malt flavor with waves of bittersweet chocolate, coffee, molasses and oatmeal. Actually the oatmeal is more prominent than I would have guessed going in. A quick alcohol bite was present in the finish.

M- Full bodied with light carbonation.

D- Nice roasted flavor with a well hidden alcohol burn. Worth getting again.

projectflam86, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of JohnQVegas
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle, 2007, into Sam Adams lager glass - all the snifters are packed. Huge thanks to Mike (mikesgroove) for the amazing unexpected extra!

Pours pitch black with a nice, dense brown head of about 3/4", that slowly settles down without ever losing density. Great stickage, walls of lacing. .

Nose is huge, crazy chocolate, loads of licorice, burnt caramel sweetness, shimmering alcohol.

Taste is - wow, this defies any expectations I possibly could have had given how people generally react to whether or not this beer should be aged. Big time chocolate richness, smooth vanilla and a dark caramel sweetness with hints of burnt sugar are at the forefront, followed closely by nice licorice and dark fruit notes that mingle with a firm but by no means dominant spicy alcohol note. This one is a desert in and of itself - respectable complexity, but this one's just about unabashed decadence. Very light roastiness comes out on the finish.

Mouthfeel is fantastically creamy, with just a hint of sharpness from the alcohol. Wee bit boozy, but not in a bad way.

Drinkability is quite nice, though the alcohol is still certainly there. This isn't even close to some of the fire-breathing dragons that some RIS' are, but it's still packing a bit of heat.

JohnQVegas, Oct 03, 2009
Photo of bobsy
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer looks the business, and thanks to Cole's for deciding to give me a pint of imperial stout. A deep black body sits under a chocolate milkshake head that laces in sheets as its slowly fades to a cap. The nose is full of that smoky, slightly bready oatiness that I love, but its also complimented by all the regular flavours you would get in a beer of this heft - chocolate, coffee and alcohol. Hmmm... would you like some coffee with your oatmeal? One sip reveals this to be a bang on interpretation of an imperial oatmeal stout. Lots of bittersweet chocolate and burned brown sugar mixed in with a shot of espresso. The oatmeal comes through strongly in the finish, giving the impression of tobacco, and (not surprisingly), oatmeal. There's moderate bitterness, but I feel its mostly from the roasted malt. The mouthfeel belies the alcohol, and isn't as heavy as I would expect, veering more towards that of a regular oatmeal stout. That said it is smooth and well-handled... I just expected something bigger and silkier - Southern Tier don't usually do half measures.

This is an excellent interpretation, and my one real criticism is the same one that applies to all Southern Tier's bigger beers - after a while the sweetness starts to become too much. in fact this would have been excellent in a two-thirds pint glass. Nonetheless, another impressive stout from the blackwater series.

bobsy, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Brooklyn Brewery pint glass

A: Poured a nice 1.5 finger course caramel colored head that had good retention. The brew was completely black and viscous. Layering was a little spotty for the style but left trace rings nonetheless.

S: Sweet soy sauce, vanilla, chocolate, dark fruit, and roasted malts.

T: Chocolate and sweet soy sauce opening and lasted into the middle. Ends with a slight twinge of hoppiness and a strong alcohol kick.

M: Full bodied and only slightly carbonated with a viscous mouthfeel that really coats the insides of the mouth and lingers.

D: Deeply enjoyable but most definitely a sipper and really heavy enough so that its one and done.

SpeedwayJim, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of capra12
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed with speedwayjim and dj schnitzel served out a snifter on 9/25/09.

Appearance: jet black with 1 1/2 fingers of brown head. Spotty lacing.

Smell: Sweet dark roasted malts and chocolate with alcohol as well.

Taste: Opens with roasted dark chocolate and coffee which last til the end. Right before the finish there is a complex malt profile which last till the end and a slightly alcohol finish leaving a coffee and malty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel:Smooth and full bodied and minimal carbonation.

Drinkability: I would have this again but on another night because of the high abv and I definitely recommend this to try.

capra12, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of vacax
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thick black with a big light brown head. Fair retention, ring of very fine foam sticks around, along with a thin carpeting on the surface. Shows some alcohol legs. Smells sweet and rich. Oats, cocoa, burnt sugar, roasted malts.

Tastes of candied dark fruits, candi sugar, dark roasted coffee doctored with loads of sugar. Quite sweet, but lots of highly roasted malts in the background, and plenty of tasty dark fruits and a bit of ester to go along. Very tasty. If you like sugar with your coffee, you will like this. If you take it black, maybe not. Full bodied, not the thickest beer, but the oats make it super slick on the palate. A treat. For me this is a great drinking stout, as I can take mine dry or sweet, in this case a bit sweet, but plenty of balance still. Yum. Question: why haven't I ever had barrel aged Southern Tier?

vacax, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of hardy008
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color with a two finger tan head with decent retention. Smells of chocolate, raisins, molasses, and alcohol. The taste matches the aroma. Vanilla and coffee bitterness are also present . As I suspected, the alcohol is not well hidden, but never mind, the flavor is good.
This is rich as a stout should be and malty. The mouthfeel is full, rich, and creamy. Nicely carbonated. This is a nice drinkable stout.

hardy008, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of Pencible
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in Fall 2008. This poured an opaque dark mahogany with a bit of tan head. It smelled like roasted barley and dark chocolate and molasses, with some coffee and toasted oats and a bit of dark cherry. It tasted like roasted coffee and bitter chocolate, with some molasses and burnt barley. It was thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this wasn't as sweet or have as much oat flavor as I expected (perhaps due to almost a year of age?), but it still had an easily enjoyable flavor. The body was great, and it hid the alcohol very well, so it was definitely easy to drink. Nothing too special, but still a nice solid imperial stout.

Pencible, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of jnn4v
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle brewed "Fall 2008," consumed September, 2009, so I'm guessing it's nearly a year old now. Was stored in a cellar or refrigerator the whole time.

A: Completely black, very little head at all. What little head existed was a dark brown color. Appears to be thick.

S: Some phenols or vinegar mixed with coffee and chocolate as it first was poured. Within 5 minutes of opening, it smelled MUCH better. Rich chocolates, molasses, coffee and some heather / clover floral.

T: Starts out sweet with some chocolate, vanilla and coffee. Gets a bit bitter on the aftertaste. Almost reminded me of a chocolate milkshake at one point. Some toasted oat lingering in there, but not much.

M: Very smooth. Silky, rich texture. Thick. Very little carbonation, but carbonation did exist.

D: Very drinkable for the 11% ABV and thickness. However, it was definitely better split with friends than trying to finish the whole bomber.

jnn4v, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of BenZ
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is the best southern tier beer I've had. An extremely smooth beer. It's not too sweet, inspite of being on the low IBU side of things. I have to think it's tough to make a really balanced beer like this; they are either way too sweet (the greater sin) or too bitter. This is perfect. There was hardly any head despite the clean goblet and correct technique. Carbonation feels perfect - strange... I thought oats are known to help with head retention.

BenZ, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of billybob
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pored black into the glass almost no head or lace but a total pitch black color. aromas of smoky charcoal, strong coffee, alcohol, all very strong in the nose. taste is complex, sweet, smoky, extremely smooth, chewy full body mouthfeel, taste becomes even stronger as it warms. alcohol warms and blends well with the overall taste. definitely look for it its a great tasting beer.

billybob, Aug 05, 2009
Photo of Onenote81
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to JohnGalt1 for sending this little beauty as an extra in a recent trade. Thanks, Toby!

2007 Vintage

Pours a thick deep black with a very thin tan head on top. This becomes just a ring around the edge, but it leaves some nice-looking lacing rings behind. Smells of cocoa beans, bitter coffee, sourdough bread, with a slight nutty scent.

The mouth is silky smooth and creamy. Hints of carbonation-bite tickle the tongue, but overall, she's creamy. There's a sharp twang on the first few sips, reminding me of sourdough bread. This gives way to a nice bitter espresso mixed with creamy oats and chocolate flavor that is splendid. The alcohol presence is still quite there after a few years in the cellar. I'm feeling happily buzzed halfway through this bomber. Very good stout. Get some if available.

Onenote81, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of CHADMC3
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep viscous black with only a thin layer of deep tan head. This closely resembles an oil slick, excellent.

The roasted chocolate and caramel malt wafts from the glass. There is also a smokey quality teaming with some vanilla or creamy like scents.

Toasty, roasty, and a little smokey; the palate offers a hearty malt experience of chocolate and caramel with delicious grainy oat aspects and a touch of alcohol burn at the finish.

This is a big, chewy stout that is silky and smooth with little noticeable carbonation, a great flavor offering, and just the perfect alcohol burn to warm the body.

This is an awesome brew. Tons of flavor and character, truly enjoyable, but the abv will keep me at one bomber in a night.

CHADMC3, Jul 04, 2009
Photo of sethmeister
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber, marked brewed fall of 2008.

Dark brown body w/ ruby edges shows black in the glass. 1.5 finger mocha colored head slowly drops to a ring. Some soapy lace.

Scent is strong licorice, chicory, mild coffee, chocolate

Taste is smooth warm sweet chocolate and black strap molasses. Peppery alcohol note in the background lingers and develops into a smokey peaty flavor. Oatmeal flavors and nutty notes. Earthy, spicy and citric hops notes become evident.

Mouth is voluptuous and creamy -almost chewy - with a firm but not excessive warming in the throat

Drinkability is exceptional.

This is a fantastic example of a style I am very fond of. Excellent!

sethmeister, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 22 ounce bomber bottle poured into my nonic Imperial pint glass. This is from the first vintage - 2007. Appears an opaque dark brown color with about two fingers of dark ecru foam. The foam settles to a thin creamy layer within a few minutes. Aroma and flavor consist of rich roasted grains, both bittersweet and creamy milk chocolate, medium roasted coffee beans, sweet caramelized malt, notes of mild vanilla, alcohol has subsided nicely. Approaching full bodied and somewhat chewy with ample carbonation. Really decent drinkability, richness be damned.

ClockworkOrange, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of endincolorado
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with a thick, tan head. Great head retention and awesome sheets of sticky molasses-like lacing.

Aromas of rich roasted malt, some toast, cocoa, and a slight smokiness. Sweet oats are evident in the nose as well. If there's a hop aroma in here, it's so well-hidden by the malt that I'm missing it.

Rich, sweet, and sticky on the palate. Definite coffee flavors-- mixed with a sweet hazelnut/oaty flavor. Chocolate, and a nice bitterness that reminds me of black coffee. Pretty complex, with a full body and a nice, creamy-- almost chewy texture. Great carbonation, and a lasting sweetness on the palate.

Pretty well balanced for an oatmeal stout. The only downside lies in the ABV, and the fact that anything this sweet or rich could become overwhelming after too much.

endincolorado, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of kels
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark chocolate brown, completely opaque, with a 1 finger tan head that fades and retains at a hazy, 1/2 finger skim. A thick ring of tan lace follows the liquid down the glass. No visible carbonation in the liquid.

Smell: The smell is very full and pleasant. Roasted character is most forward, along with chewy malt and a slight sweetness of oats. The smell reminds me of the way Quaker chewy granola bars smell.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Taste's roastiness borders on smoky much more than I expected. Alcohol is also a little sharper than imagined, especially since this bottle is from Fall 08. Great chew, charred oat, malt and slight bitterness that I can't attribute fully to the roast or a possible hop presence. Feel is pretty bright from a surprisingly higher carbonation, and the aftertaste leaves a ton of sticky film behind on my lips and palate.

Drinkability: Moderate - the taste is great and it is very full-bodied. The alcohol content and its sharpness slow it down.

kels, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of bamadog
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to kels for bringing this one up. Poured from the bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours very dark brown/near black; body is opaque; on the pour there is a one finger head that is pretty much a straight up tan shade that is very foamy - typical for the style - and fades to a thick ring around the surface with a slightly thinner uneven skim floating in the middle; spotty uneven lacing, but it's thick where it's at.

Smell: About what I would expect - very deep roasted malts with a moderate scent of chocolate coming with the malts; oat scent is present as well - smells a bit like a bowl of oatmeal buried in the beer somewhere; very faint whiff of alcohol as well, but for something that's 11% it seems like it might be more present -- may be a sneaky beer...

Taste: Much like the smell - deep dark toasty and roasty malts; strong hints of semi-sweet chocolate that is a little bitter; a very miniscule presence of some hop bitterness that is a little earthy/dirty. The alcohol is present on a the vapor, but really masked well in the taste, much more apparent in the mouth/chest; aftertaste is burnt roast - a nice way to finish.

Mouthfeel: Body is a little on the thick side, creamy; still has a low level of carbonation (was bottled in Fall of 2008 so it's been sitting for a while) and it really warms the chest too on the way down, so the alcohol is still a very present factor here.

Drinkability: I'm really enjoying this beer - it's a heavier one so I wouldn't want to drink a ton in a night, but splitting a bomber is just about right. ABV is a little high as well and would probably be a factor. So while it's great in a lot of other areas, weight and 11% will knock this down a little bit.

bamadog, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of Zraly
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a slight brownish head. The head is minimal and slightly disappointing. However, it smells of sturdy, rich malts and licorice.

Rich, earthy, creamy flavor --- the oat becomes more and more pronounced as it warms. Smooth chocolate, coffee, licorice, and alcohol notes mingle with a slight hop note to create a very balanced mouthfeel. Oats add lovely creamy note that smooths the experience out even more into a chewy, dry finish. Very tasty and the alcohol, while noted, isn't pronounced and is buried well. Thus, this is dangerous with its 11% alcohol billing. Even so, though, a 22 oz bomber by myself is probably not going to happen --- thankfully I have a drinking buddy.

I would very much enjoy this with an ice cream sandwich.

Zraly, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of alcstradamus
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A--Pours black in color with a bit less than a finger of head in my 16 oz. snifter. Only spotty lacing left behind.

S--Wood, vanilla, grains, dark chocolate, raisins, toffee. Rich and complex but not very big, you really have to dig your nose into the glass.

T--Lots of burnt woodiness in the initial taste. Chocolate starts to creep through, the oatmeal creaminess becomes very apparent once warming begins to take place. Tasty brew for sure.

M--Medium to full bodied, very creamy. Definitely what an oatmeal stout should feel like.

D--Very easy to drink for an 11% ABV brew. A little bit more flavor could have easily pushed the drinkability to a 5 rating...but that's not an easy task for such a high alcohol beer.

alcstradamus, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of DoubleJ
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Continuing the tradition of the First and Second Unorganized Invitational, I bring the start of the Third Unorganized Invitation. For those unfamilair, the "unorgainized" theme is for a stretch of beers which I celebrate the end of the school year with. This year, given it was the year I graduated, I poured more money into the one. The first one is Southern Tier Oat. Are you ready? Let's go:

Inot a snifter it goes, no head forms on top this dark liquid. That's not a good sign. Well, the smells is nice. The nose is tickled with licorice, dark fruits, figs, and fudge brownies. Please don't taste flat...

There's a light sizzle of carbonation on the palate. It is a thick beer that clings to the palate, but slips off at the same time. It tastes more like mocha than oatmeal. A mild pinch of alcohol, which is a little hot, pairs with an astringent roasted note. As it warms, it become sweeter, and the booze is less felt. Mocha and hot fudge begin to take over. The beer becomes smoother as well.

A little oommph seems to be missing from the overall picture to warrant a higher taste score. Still, it's fairly good. Drinking a bomber of this is stretching it; better in smaller samples.

That's one beer down in the Third Unorganized Invite (T.U.I.), and hopefully the upcoming competition meets my high expectations.

DoubleJ, Jun 02, 2009
Oat (Imperial Oatmeal Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,303 ratings.