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Uncommon Stout - Bent River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Uncommon StoutUncommon Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

42 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 42
Hads: 240
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 34.37%
Wants: 8
Gots: 57 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Bent River Brewing Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-06-2004

This unique stout is our top selling beer. We infuse our Oatmeal Stout with some of the country's best coffee to make this award winning medium bodied ale.

28.8 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 42 | Hads: 240
Photo of Jho3325
2.15/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Poured 12 oz bottle into snifter. It has a cola look and smelled like cheap coffee. Smell is overpoweringly coffee. I did not really taste beer in this at all. Rather, it tasted like cold Folgers. It didn't taste like it was brewed with coffee. It tasted like someone poured a little bit of stout into stale coffee. I won't be trying again.

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Photo of zoolou
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appeared very dark, almost black.

Smelled like semi-burnt, weak coffee, and the taste was much the same. I could not fish out any other flavors besides the burnt coffee flavor, and I may as well have been drinking coffee.

I have enjoyed coffee stouts in the past, but this one was a bit too one-dimensional for repeated tastings. Judging from the other higher scores, I may have had a bad pour, but I don't think so.

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Photo of sendbeer
2.63/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Good start. Smells like chocolate, cola, and a little coffee.

I think this is oxidized, tasting wet cardboard and an off sour note as well.

I hope this bottle has just gone bad. The aroma tells me that this is not a terrible beer. I'd give it another try.

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Photo of Minkybut
2.91/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I poured this promising beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer poured a black looking brew with a tan head. The head did not last very long at all. The beer mostly tasted like coffee, cold coffee, cold heavy coffee with a handful of sugar thrown in it. It was cold coffee to me and not beer. I will not buy again.

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Photo of jpro
3.22/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12oz into a mug. Wow - the coffee aroma is huge. Taste is a bit too much coffee, actually. This is almost like drinking coffee. Maybe more oatmeal and roasted malt would help round out this beer. I feel like I should mix this with another stout...

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Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

That’s pretty much a big ol’ coffee beer alll right. Big aroma of roasted coffee, fortunately not too bitter. Clearly the fact that it’s one of BR’s regular brews has meant they’ve kept working on it. The brewmaster told me he’s had some business types slam three or four pints of this the night before a big presentation, then call back to complain that they couldn’t get to sleep at all. So he makes sure everybody knows that this not a "coffee roast malt" beer; this is a beer with lots of coffee in it! And it’s pretty tasty, too.

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Photo of bashiba
3.39/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a dark brown color with a suprising amount of transperancy for a stout. With a nice inch of tan head.

Smell was very nice, hints of bitter chocolate, heavy coffee odors and some nice burnt malts dominating.

Taste was dominated by the coffee. A little bit of bitter dark malts, but mostly coffee flavors coming through.

Mouthfeel was very thin and watery, the one real downfall to this beer.

Drinkability was fine, I just expect a little more substance from a stout.

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Photo of t8dd
3.41/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. Bottle. Not sure if I got a bad batch or what but when I pour this beer into a glass the head is, for lack of a better word, unmanageable. Takes 10 minutes for the head to die down. So it takes a long time from opening this beer until the time I get to drink any. The head itself tastes like an ashtray-not indicative of the taste of the beer. The beer itself has nice roasted coffee flavor but a little too thin for my liking. It's just ok.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - oddly overfilled bottle pours a cola-like dark brown topped with a creamy beige head that holds decent retention
S - coffee and roasted barley aroma with some chocolate
T - coffee and roasted barley again here. Chocolate and oatmeal are present as well
M - thinner body than expected, moderate carbonation.
O - pretty pedestrian coffee stout. Good, but nothing extraordinary.

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Photo of larryarms847
3.61/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice light brown to black with a quickly dissipating head.

Smells of oatmeal, chocolate, and roasted malt are most prevalent.

Flavors of the oatmeal and chocolate are perfectly balanced with a roasted malt/nutty back bone.

Mouthfeel is where this one lost a couple of points, it was a bit thin for my taste in stouts.

Overall an excellent oatmeal stout and it's always great to support local!

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Photo of Elsuperjefe
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Black pour w thin tan head. Nose is dark roast and malt. Taste is rich and 100% coffee. Light to medium body. Low carbonation and low abv. Perfect with an after dinner treat.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. The color is black but not quite opaque. A finger of head dissipated quickly to leave a skim and ring around the edge.

Smell: I got a whiff of roasted malts as soon as I popped the cap. The coffee scent is prominent. I am unsure, though, if it is espresso-like or akin to something a little less intense. Regardless, the roasted intensity seems tamed by chocolate and oatmeal. There are also scents of molasses, cappuccino, brown sugar, and perhaps some dark fruit or berries. Overall, it provides a very nice aroma.

Taste: It has a nice, full mouthfeel, but the flavor is muted. In that sense it does remind me of a cup of coffee, and the flavor seems more aligned with an oatmeal stout. The roasted barley is prominent but weak. It is also balanced by plum, a little molasses, black licorice, and dark chocolate. In fact, the overall flavor seems more akin to dark chocolate than anything else.

Drinkability: I was a little leery of buying this because I had never seen Bent River beer bottled and was concerned there would be packaging issues. However, this is decent enough out of the bottle to make me want to have a draft.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, deep brown having a garnet hue at the edges when held to the light, producing 2+ fingers of tan, shortlived, foamy head that leaves a stringy wash of thin lace. Aroma is led by rich dark coffee followed closely by deeply roasted malt & nuts in a background that hints of woody vanilla, chocolate, molasses & a faint touch of dark fruit. Taste is less robust than the nose: coffee & roast, dark malts, hints of char, dark unsweetened cocoa & cola. The lightly dry finish exhibits char, unsweetened cocoa & low cola like sweetness. Aftertaste is dry, bitter chocolate, roast & a more exaggerated burnt note than in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, low-moderate carbonation, creamy but not as chewy as expected from the oats, with a light prickly bite beginning at midsip and lasting through the finish.

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Photo of sprucetip
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this beer many times, sometimes I have been fairly impressed, other times disappointed. But it seems like Bent River is becoming more consistent. We'll see. Luck for them, I'm reviewing a sample that impressed me earlier today.

Appearance matters little to me, so it looked like a stout. ... OK it Had some mocha head that stayed for a bit before fading. Wee nip of lacing.

Smells mainly of coffee. There is some malty sweetness underneath, but it's mostly coffee and other roasty notes.. It is not nuanced or complex, but what is there is fairly balanced.

Like the nose, the taste is dominated by coffee. But it works, if you like coffee (and for this particular batch). There is some malty backbone balancing, some roasted barley character, and a wee nip of roasty/hoppy bitterness. And it was all well balanced and got better as it warmed. It reminded me of when I thought this was a really good beer.

Well carbonated, thinnish medium body, smooth, easy drinking with a clean finish.

As stated, this is a coffee beer. Very coffee, not just a little. So if you don't like coffee, don't drink it. My advice is try it if you can, because if you can, you are probably in the Quad Cities and your options are limited. And some batches seem to hit the spot. And, as an annual visitor, the brewery seems to be getting a grip on the Quality Control and achieving more consistency with their flagship beers, of which this is one.

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Photo of TheSSG
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice, soapy head that leaves fleeting laces. MASSIVELY aromatic notes of dark chocolate and coffee dominate the nose, with notes of roasted malt and acidity behind it. Black. Starts with a deep, toasted malt flavor, a touch of acidity, then a flash of coffee as it moves into a low bitterness, and finishes with coffee lingering across roasted malt.

If only it tasted as good as it smelled!
My god, this is one of the best smelling coffee stouts on earth; it smells like a fantastic cup of dark chocolate with coffee. The flavor is a much, much subdued version of this. BUT, don't get me wrong, this tastes good. It's a bit on the thin end of stouts, but nothing too far out of whack. Quite solid.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a nearly pitch black color with a two finger head of a tan colored foam. The head fades moderately quickly to leave a light level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is big of a roasty smell mixed with a good showing of a coffee aroma. Along with these smells comes some lighter notes of a caramel and vanilla sweetness as well as a little bit of a crème and an oatmeal like aroma. Overall the aroma, while not a powerhouse, is rather pleasant and inviting.

Taste – The taste begins with a blend of sweet and roast with the sweet being predominantly of a caramel and toffee flavor but having a little bit of chocolate mixed within. From the start there is a light coffee flavor which grows in intensity as the taste moves on. There is also a good showing of an oatmeal flavor up front which actually dwindles as the taste moves on. While the oatmeal falls, flavors of a vanilla sweetness and some more grainy tastes take its place. With all the transitions that occur on the tongue toward the end, one is left with a rather sweet and smooth roasty coffee flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is a little thicker for a stout of only 5.4 % abv with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. For the dark, sweet, and coffee flavors of the brew the feel is rather well done as it makes for a robust feel for all the rich roasty and dark flavors.

Overall – A rather decent oatmeal coffee stout that isn’t overly potent in alcohol. This will make for a rather nice sipping brew in the cooler weather I am sure.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at El Bait Shop. I had a hell of a time determining the name of the beer I drank an hour or so ago. The wooden tap handle said 'Get Bent', which the bartender swore was the name of the beer, but which I've now determined is simply the brewpub's tagline. After reading a few reviews, I'm sure Uncommon Stout is what I had.

Transparent burnt umber infused with a generous shot of black cherry juice. The head was razor thin when the glass was placed in front of me and broke into surface wisps within minutes. Wavy rings of lace decorated the glass in the end.

The nose was dominated by black coffee and roasted malt. My experience has been that most coffee beer is on the simple side since the java obliterates any hint of complexity or subtlety. Such was the case here as well. The fact that I don't care for coffee makes the smell score (and the flavor score for that matter) that much more impressive.

Uncommon Stout might be the most coffee-like beer that I've ever had outside of Peche Mortel. Like the nose, the flavor profile was straightforward. Underneath the ground coffee bean pungency lurked bitter baker's chocolate and black malt. Simply put, if you like black joe, you'll like this beer.

Of the beginning, middle and end of each mouthful, I liked the crisp, drying finish best of all. That was where the flavors softened, deepened and melded into something truly delicious. The final few swallows were also better than the first few; yet another characteristic of a well-brewed ale.

I was hoping I wouldn't find out that the beer is a stout because the mouthfeel was nowhere near stout-like. Porter-like maybe. A little too much early fizz settled down quickly, lending an enjoyable light creaminess to the bottom of the pint.

I find it odd that Bent River doesn't inject the word 'Coffee' or 'Mocha' or 'Java' into the name. The one they settled on is still appropriate, though, since Uncommon Stout is uncommonly good. I now plan to 'Get Bent' whenever the opportunity presents itself.

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Photo of emerge077
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Green Lady for the "South of 80" event. Served in a narrow fluted tulip, review from notes.

Black body fades into a dark burnt sienna brown around the edges, topped with a thin wispy skim of tan foam across the surface.

Mellow roast malt and coffee notes, rich but subtle.

Flavor is big on coffee, mellow and roasty malts, and is smooth and light bodied. Light lingering bitterness from the coffee i'd guess. Wholesome and satisfying, equal parts roast malt and bitter coffee, hints of dark chocolate, smooth and integrated feel. Seemingly simple, yet well crafted and enjoyable. Definitely something to see out, a solid coffee stout from Bent River.

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Photo of KFBR392
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: a traditional stout look. Medium bodied thickness on the pour. Above average lacing on the glass while drinking.

Smell: has the aroma of a tall cup of black coffee. Tons of coffee grounds. Some oatmeal and molasses try to poke through but the coffee is dominant. Lacks complexity with but does the coffee aroma well.

Taste: more complexity here then in the aroma. Lighter coffee accents on the front. Toffee and caramel hit on the body. Some of the darker coffee grounds hit toward the back end of this brew. A chalky dryness is left on the palette.

Mouthfeel: heavy, with a lot of dryness. The coffee grounds are felt very much.

Overall: a very good Illinois beer. Fans of heavy stouts will definitely like this one.

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Photo of BeerFan95
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A nice dark brown body with a long lasting frothy tan head. Good lacing. Seemed to have a nice level of viscosity.

S: Initially there was a nice blend of roasted a dark chocolate malts, but there was a hint of smoke and coffee. While the roasted malts seemed to dominate there was enough subtitles from the other notes to make it work.

T: A little more dark chocolate than I expected. Still heavy in the roasted malts, but the chocolate added a delicate sweetness. Mild flavors of coffee and smoke.

M: Although easy to drink and very smooth the beer did have some body to it. A nice dry finish

O: Really enjoyed this beer. A well balanced flavor that complemented the aroma.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle with no date, poured into a snifter

silky smooth oatmeal stout, black coffee, hop bitter, lil chocolate and all that. dark look, ruby edges, small ring of head. smells of a dirty coffee filter (primo coffee grounds).

"...soggy and wet, throw my pampers all around your neck"

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #74 (Mar 2013):

Bent River infuses coffee into this brew—are they suggesting that this could be a breakfast beer? Very good use of coffee here, balanced in all aspects and quite easy to knock back. They made the right choice to start bottling this beer. There are not enough coffee beers, let alone great ones like this.

STYLE: Oatmeal Stout
ABV: 6.5%

LOOK: Nearly pitch black, healthy lacing

SMELL: Fresh coffee, unsweetened chocolate, mild charcoal, burnt blackberries, toasted bread crust

TASTE: Very smooth, almost silky, creamy, chewy medium body, fresh coffee overtones, dried grass, mild chocolate, hint of alcohol, black currants, moderate hopping, balance bitterness, roasted finish

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on-tap at Summer Camp 2006. Arrived a nice dark black with brown edges and a nice cap of khaki foam. Albeit this was in a plastic cup...it still managed to look good. Aroma was big roastiness coupled with an awesome fresh brewed coffee bean following. A bit of chocolate and a slight creaminess.

First sip brings a smooth roasted malt upfront that quickly segways into a rush of brewed coffee flavor. I was plesantly suprised by the rich, forward coffee flavor here. Goes down with a hint of chocolate and a lingering roasted coffee bean finish. Overall, a tasty coffee stout and a great beer find at a festival.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and smooth with a slight creamy aspect. Not overly heavy, but still had enough to make itself known. Even in the oppresively hot sun this was still tasty. I'm hoping to try it again sometime and I could see myself having a few. If you enjoy coffee stouts I'd say give this one a go!

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Photo of NickTheGreat
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L (4) - This beer is a very dark deep brownish black color. Not a lot of head to speak of, but looks good.
S (4) - Nice burnt/roasty smell. Not much hop presence, not that there should be
T (4.25) - There's definitely the burnt/roasty taste as well. But it is a stout, after all. A bit of coffee, but not too much. Not a lot of bitterness, just a hair. Nice all around flavor.
F (3.5) - About the right level of carb. I'd like a bit more creaminess though. It should be a little smoother
O (4) - I had had this beer in the fridge for a while, and finally got around to drinking it. It was a solid beer, very respectable. Didn't blow me away in any category, but good all around.

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Photo of thalassophile
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought at Iowa City Hy-Vee, single bottle. Served in a clean pint glass.

Notes of deep chocolate and coffee with a little pine. Really, really, really yummy stout flavor -- one of the best domestic stouts I've ever sampled. Mouthfeel leaves a stouty soul wanting; there should be much thicker body here. Mouthfeel somewhat oily. Still, yummy as hell. The middle of the pint is ripe with deep malt flavors. Would totally drink again, many times.

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Uncommon Stout from Bent River Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.