Oat (Imperial Oatmeal Stout) - Southern Tier Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,293 | Reviews: 671 | Display Reviews Only:
4.25/5 rDev +3.4%
A sooty ink tone that is so brightly accented with chestnut that I'm having trouble believing it's actually black. This batch (brewed Fall 2008) doesn't appear quite as thick as I remember the original release looking. Any foam whipped up on the original pour quickly diffused but a determined, hyperactive stream of carbonation continues to pin-prick the surface and is actually succeeding in restoring some level of capping.
The aroma smells like a number of things, all of which are good. A really oily mound of fresh roasted coffee beans is what comes to mind first and most repeatedly. This smell also triggers thoughts of caramel cheesecake. So far the beer has reminded me of both breakfast and dessert, I'm starting to wonder which one comes out victorious in the end...
From the first taste of things it would seem breakfast. This has far more heavy roast coffee than gooey baked chocolate. We're talking a heavy, dark, smokey 14 minute roast on these beans; it's bitter and burnt like an espresso roast. As far as the chocolate side of things, there is a good deal of creamy, truffle like flavour but surprisingly little caramelization.
The beer doesn't drink like its alcohol content is anywhere near the 11-12% range. This is a good thing for drinkability in the conventional sense - low bitterness, restrained sweetness, no alcohol and a light body masked in heavy flavours makes easy work of a 650ml bomber. That said, I feel a little disappointed this doesn't throw its weight around a little more, I find that's often part of a big stout's charm.
I still can't make any real complaints about the beer (unless you count "it drinks too easily because it's so smooth and tasty" a complaint). Southern Tier has accustomed me to super decadent, ultra rich beers (see: Choklat, Creme Brulee) so I naturally was expecting something a little heartier, a little more bold, a little more "hoarse" shall we say? Instead, I received perhaps the most composed, smooth and sessionable 11% beer in recent memory.
02-18-2009 02:50:30 | More by biegaman
4.15/5 rDev +1%
Had this on tap for the first time at Max's the other night.
The beer pours a viscuous looking black, with good head retention and lacing. The nose is quite complex with aromas of licorise (quite a bit in fact), coffee, burnt sugar and band aides. If anything the beer is even more complex on the palate, with flavors of sweet cherry cough drop (to the point where the beer is almost cloying), coffee, chocolate, licorise and spearmint. The beer has a pretty good mouthfeel, though the sweetness and abv. are almost overpowering. This is a very good beer, but it's not really very drinkable. A little bit goes a long way and I can't imagine trying to drink a pint of this stuff. Nevertheless, an impressive effort from Southern Tier.
09-26-2007 14:31:11 | More by John_M
4.43/5 rDev +7.8%
Black water series. Southern tier always goes big for their beers and this is certainly no exception.
A: The beer pours a dark cola color with a creamy off tan cherry head.
S: A huge citrusy aroma fills the nose from the Chinook hopping.
T: The malting is very big, and roasted with a huge creamy mouthful from the oats. There is some sugary sweetness from the malt, sweet chocolate, cocoa, plums and a huge chocolately roast finish and fade. wow. There is some dark fruit upon warming, some fresh coffee grinds, licorice, sticky oats, and a touch of molasses sweetness.
M: The texture is very creamy and sweetness is balanced well with the pungent Columbus hops.
D: 11% abv goes down almost to easy for a beer of this nature and proportions? Drinkability is therefore limited to one but drinks like a full meal. A definite high recommend.
04-22-2008 23:21:10 | More by beerthulhu
3.58/5 rDev -12.9%
22 oz bottle picked up at Whole Foods.
Pours a very thick and oily opaque black, thick and huge brown head forms, massive lacing, good retention. Smell is oats, caramel, chocolate, big roast, molasses, vanilla, bit of wood and smoke. Taste is molasses and toffee, chocolate, roast, oats, sweet lactic middle, coffee with cream, some floral and bitter roast in the finish. Mouthfeel is very thick and viscous, low carbonation, very sweet. At first I had this rated pretty highly, but the more I drank the more I disliked it. It turns sickly sweet and sugary, and if I have this again its going to be split a hell of a lot more than two ways.
11-21-2007 18:18:13 | More by Viggo
4.47/5 rDev +8.8%
Pours a pitch black with a thick layer of brown head that has great retention. There's a very light aroma; roasted malts, faint chocolate, and mild hop character. The taste is chocolaty and roasty with a very smooth, rich full body. There is also a smooth, citrusy hop bitterness. This is full boded and well carbonated.
It's well balanced, delicious, and very drinkable.
12-08-2011 23:52:29 | More by tdm168
3.08/5 rDev -25.1%
A: Pours black with a small tan head upon pouring that reduces very quickly, leaving a bubbly ring on top. Not muh lacing at all.
S: A little bit of roasted malt, a good bit of cream (kind of like a sweet stout), a little chocolate and oats, but also a little bit of a buttery aroma.
T: More of the same, some chocolate and a little bit of oat, but beyond that not much. The buttery flavor shows up a little bit at the end.
M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.
O: Rather boring overall. Had high hopes based on my experience with the rest of the blackwater series, but this one fell flat for me.
04-04-2012 02:02:14 | More by mdaschaf
4.58/5 rDev +11.4%
Pours an inky black beer with a small cap of dark brown foam. Lacing is spotty and minimal. The nose is full of roast, chocolate, char and a little smoke. The mouthfeel is velvety and smooth. Body is medium or so. Could use a little boost. But it lends to a lot easier beer to drink, which could be dangerous with this one. Very lightly carbonated. The taste is full of dark oils....anise, tar, black licorice, tobacco and char. It's really quite a nicely integrated flavor profile. Plus there's that flavor packed residue that lingers long after you drink. Alcohol is hidden quite nicely behind all the roast and blackened malts. Roasted bitterness lingers. Quite a nice accomplishment here. A good "sipper."
11-14-2007 04:29:22 | More by Bighuge
3.48/5 rDev -15.3%
Poured out substantially black in color, a little bit dark brown. Beige head, about 1/3" deep. Looks more like what I would expect from a coffee beer.
Aroma was fairly muted, the alcohol was noticeable. Oatmeal didn't cover up the roastiness of this one.
Roastiness and alcohol dominates the taste buds. I thought this was going to be a more smooth drinking experience, with the whole oat motif, but the problem here is the beer is just too big. A lot of bitterness as well. I don't think the notion of making something imperial and oat works. Dark chocolate, dark fruit underneath the booziness and bitterness. I love some Southern Tier, this one doesn't fall into that category.
There isn't much there, there. Flavors aren't the high point. Too non descript, not enough of what I want with oatmeal, a smooth chocolatey experience. Coating, but what makes up the coating is nothing special. The espresso notes should have shown up more in Jahva, not here.
Should be about half this strength.
04-02-2013 18:11:02 | More by Beerandraiderfan
4.47/5 rDev +8.8%
2009 batch Poured from a bomber into my Southern Tier Tulip glass.
This is one of my favorite offerings from Southern Tier so I thought it was time I gave it a review (My first review as well).
Pours dark brown and nearly black with a modest amount of head that disappears quickly. It tastes of sweet malts with some chocolate and coffee. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly creamy. I really enjoy drinking this one and will purchase again.
10-31-2009 02:55:56 | More by billab914
3.93/5 rDev -4.4%
Pitch black with no apparent edges topped by fine, dark brown foam that settled to a thin ring that lasted to the end. Some streaky lacing. Rich aroma - nutty and roasted with chocolate and caramel notes, lots of malt and a bit of alcohol. Strong bitterness barely provided balance with the huge malty sweetness. The alcohol really helped reign in the malt too. Quite roasty with lots of chocolate and caramel, grainy and malty with a hint of licorice. Thick and creamy texture with lots of warmth (a bit on the hot side actually). Good stuff. It seems like a good candidate for aging, especially if the alcohol cools down a bit.
04-26-2008 15:28:24 | More by DrJay
3.55/5 rDev -13.6%
22oz bottle poured nearly black with a minimal and short-lived head. The carbonation level, nonetheless, is good. The high ABV is amazingly well hidden, even in the feel and nose. Full body with very smooth feel. Rich but not particularly complex flavor with plenty of very dark roasted malt and some oats.
01-01-2013 01:22:26 | More by chinchill
4.22/5 rDev +2.7%
22 brought over by my trading partner SAS .. My share from my New Belgium snifter.
Looks thick even in the pour .. Black brew with a nice cap of tan head.. no lacing, but a firm collar.
Dark malts and dark fruits .. with coffee and whiffs of milk chocolate .. lite spicy hop notes.
Flavor is dark malts up front .. chocolate .. everything melds perfectly .. nothing is overpowering but instead is incredibly well meshed. Very smooth mouthfeel.. thick with a moderate carbonation ..
Viscous and boozy as it warms .. certainly a sipper .. certainly an excellent brew.
Thanks Steven for providing a great beer for our mini tasting.
03-22-2008 08:14:20 | More by JohnGalt1
3.78/5 rDev -8%
Pours a black color. 1/7 inch head of a tan color. Poor retention and poor lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, chocolate, oat, slight tart malt, and a hint of dark citrus. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial Stout. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with a low carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, oat, sweet malt, slight chocolate, slight roasted malt, and a hint of dark citrus. Overall, good body, blend, complexity.
03-03-2010 18:52:37 | More by Tone
4.43/5 rDev +7.8%
On-tap at Taco Mac Metropolis in Atlanta.
Pours black with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.
Smells of rich dark chocolate with solid amounts of roasted malts. Also present, and more prevalent as the beer warms, are slight hints of sweet oats.
Tastes good. Equal parts roasted malt and dark chocolate flavors kick things off. The chocolate flavors integrate better with the roastiness of the malts than I had anticipated from the nose. Midway through the sip the flavor profile does sweeten a bit then carries through to a moderately bitter ending.
Mouthfeel is great. It's got a nice thickness to begin with and the oats intensify it even more and make the bubbles feel more fine.
Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.
Overall the thing that stood out most about this beer was the mouthfeel - until I found out that it is 11% ABV. A flavorful beer that is not quite over the top and does a very good job of masking the alcohol. Well worth a shot.
11-04-2010 21:34:21 | More by glid02
4.03/5 rDev -1.9%
Poured into 10oz glass. Poured the thick black I expected, but lacked anything more than the thinnest cap of head, thus zero retention or lacing.
A full, rich, malty aroma had some traces of roast, and a bit each of sharpness and sweetness. The aroma had a very nice earthiness that you don't find often. The taste was very good, and I found that earthiness to be mast forthright and quite pleasant. The expected stout flavors were also solidly present and very well balanced.
The body was a quite a bit thinner than I expected or is typical for a stout this size. Drinkability was excellent, except for a couple of small tastes to other folks, this whole 22 went easily and I'm looking forward to getting more.
Overall, a very good beer. Worth seeking out.
07-13-2010 00:18:43 | More by beertunes
British Columbia (Canada)
4.13/5 rDev +0.5%
A: Black with a dark tan head; not much retention, but it leaves a nice leg.
S: Chocolate, molasses, dark bread, spice, sherry & some fusil alcohol.
T: Plenty of dark chocolate, molasses, dark bread, nuts, light spicing; good bitterness, alcohol is warming (though I wouldn't have thought it was THAT high!).
M: Thick body is smooth & creamy, with the oats really cutting the roasted acidity.
D: Fairly drinkable considering its strength.
05-06-2008 23:34:55 | More by Derek
3.93/5 rDev -4.4%
Poured on-tap into a pint glass, presenting with a jet black and viscous look, with a huge, creamy, smooth milk chocolate colored head. Aromas of nut and bread, with some dark fruit sweetness. Flavors are dark cherry bittersweet, coffee, and a steady backbone of dark chocolate. The aftertaste is bittersweet dark chocolate, and the finish is ridiculously smooth. Very tasty brew!
06-16-2011 01:51:03 | More by GarthDanielson
4.03/5 rDev -1.9%
22oz poured into a Pint glass.
A- Deep opaque brown with an 1/2 finger dark tan head. Mild retention and no lacing.
S- Oats, nuts, malts.
T- Sweet oats, malts, toffee, and vanilla.
D- Slightly bitter, sweet finish, coats the mouth.
O- Overall a very nice brew, a touch sweet, but nice to end the night with it.
05-02-2011 05:52:59 | More by HuskyinPDX
Oat (Imperial Oatmeal Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,293 ratings.