El Toro Negro Oatmeal Stout - El Toro Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 62 | Reviews: 46 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by rickyleepotts:
3.2/5 rDev -14.2%
I have had this beer before, but learning the brewing process at El Toro has me pumped up to drink it again. Cool they brew so little beer at the brewpub. Looking at pictures of the brewpub, this place is small. Our kind of place. Oh, and looking at the label makes me think of the Breakfast Club. "You mess with the bull… you get the horns!" Ha!
We just got back from Flagstaff where we visited nearly every brewery within a 10 mile radius. We hit up Flagstaff Brewing Company, Lumberyard Brewing Company, Beaver Street Brewing Company, and Mother Road Brewing Company. Mother Road is sweet. They were all sweet. We also went to Hops On Birch, McGaughs SMoke & Bottle, and Oak Creek Brewing Company. I am losing track here… At Hops On Birch they had a Four Peaks tap takeover, and they had Sirius Black on tap. Yeah, we had some of that!
Before I forget, we also went to Made in the Shade, a huge beer festival in the middle of nowhere. It was $40, and while we drank a TON of beer, we won't be going back. The Strong Beer Festival is our new favorite. Anyway, I will stop talking about our weekend and start talking about this beer. Bottoms up, people!
In the Glass: Pitch black is right. That is dark as night. The head was nice, but didn't last long. It was a nice foamy tan that I wish was thicker and stickier. Not much lace here. The next time we have a weekend off, I want to head to California and see this operation. From the looks of it, it's small and this was basically a homebrew before they started bottling it. I have had all three beers from El Toro offered in Arizona. This was my favorite. Of course, this time I am drinking with a purpose!
Nose: Not much going on here… it has a nice metallic finish, but not as impressive as I expected it to be. I am getting some subtle chocolate malt flavors, but I have to dig deep to find them. I hope the flavor is better than this.
Flavor: That really delivers. I like the mouthfeel best…but I will get to that. The flavor isn't overwhelming, and it has a nice fluffy mouthfeel. The flavor hangs on a bit, but leaves my mouth polished and ready for another sip. This isn't an incredible beer by any means, but it does have a nice drinkability. I can see myself drinking a pitcher of this during dinner.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel, and the finish, is my favorite part of this beer. The head was, at first, thick and creamy. The mouthfeel is every bit of that. On a second sip, I swished it around in my mouth a little bit. Some of those same chocolate malt flavors come out, but it is SO overwhelming that I could barely swallow. Still a nice finish leaving a somewhat metallic finish. I bet this would be great room temperature.
Aftertaste: I expect a beer like this to have a longer finish… but that's OK. It's thin enough to justify drinking a pint or more of this. The price is right, too. That is if you can find it. Total Wine & More is always out of the El Toro beers. Not sure if that is just a distribution problem, or what. They ALWAYS have their amber, but I am not a fan of amber ales.
This is a good introduction to the style. The tasting notes mentioned the oats, but I am not tasting much of that. If I didn't know any better, I would almost call this an Irish dry stout. Still a good example of the style. If you are new to craft beer and/or oatmeal stouts, this is a great place to start. Cheers!
06-24-2013 03:50:30 | More by rickyleepotts
More User Reviews:
4.3/5 rDev +15.3%
Poured into my Guinness pint glass a near pitch black except for just a slight tint of ruby when held into light a thinner but well retained mocha colored head atop.Appetizing mix of cocoa and roasty malt in the nose with a touch of a molasses,an oatmeal stout with quite a big hop profile quite roasty with soft cocoa notes and some wood a big earthiness really hits home in the finish making me want more.I really like this oatmeal stout it is gentle but hop hearty,well done
11-02-2007 21:32:21 | More by oberon
3.95/5 rDev +5.9%
12 ounce bottle sampled. Pours black with a dark tan cream head that leaves sumptious lacing. Nose is funky burnt malts. this is a rich, full bodied, smooth and silky OMS. Notes of the expected cafe au lait, toasted and burnt malts, also some vanilla and mint. Great tasting, smooth drinking stout. Velvet on the tongue. Stout lovers will enjoy this one, may be too buff, dark and flavorful for those not into big and hearty stouts.
03-19-2005 03:22:21 | More by Billolick
3.63/5 rDev -2.7%
This poured to a very dark color with a small head and minimal lace. It looks good sitting in the glass, that's for sure.
The smell and taste have light stout and light oatmeal flavors. This is pretty light and drinkable as far as oatmeal stouts go. It's not something that I would seek out, but it is something that could keep me happy.
03-31-2004 05:38:18 | More by watermelonman
3.93/5 rDev +5.4%
NIce oatmeal stout here. Pours pitch black with a dense tan head that sinks rather quickly.
Odd sweetness in the nose..can't quite place the exact aroma...not bad, but not really fitting for this bier.
Big robust taste, with coffee, chocolate, oats and a creamy (almost milky) sweetness. A little vanilla bean on the finish.
However, this bier is not quite as complex as the above would indicate. It needs more hops bitterness for balance. The sweetness tends to dominate. Not bad, but just slightly off-balance.
Sweet and smooth in the mouth. On the thick side. Again, the sweetness weighs slightly too heavy in this respect too...otherwise, almost perfect.
Still a winner of a oatmeal stout. A little more balance and this would be phenomenal
04-10-2002 23:05:57 | More by cokes
3.95/5 rDev +5.9%
Its opaque black body rests beneath a short but creamy head of dark tan foam. The retention is limited, however, and it drops readily to a thin collar and leaves no lace about the glass. Yeasty fruitiness and piney hops combine in the nose with a chocolatey and roasty malt. In the mouth its very fine, natural carbonation wakes the tongue with a soft, prickly sensation that fades to leaves its medium body soft and smooth in the swallow. Its rich, caramelish malt seems slathered in dark, bittersweet chocolate and then tempered by a roasted edge; and it's combination of berry-like fruitiness and piney/grassy hops lends it a fair bit of complexity. It's well-balanced by a bold bitterness and it finishes dry with a lingering roastiness that lasts long after the fruit and hops have gone. Quite enjoyable!
09-14-2003 01:27:34 | More by NeroFiddled
3.5/5 rDev -6.2%
12oz single...doing some "spring" cleaning of the fridge. obtained from brennan's
appearance: pours a cola-esque mahogany colour into a ND pint glass...creamy chocolate head with some minimal lacing. average
smell: lightly roasted aromas, artificial vanilla, semi-sweet chocolate, light espresso
taste: pretty standard all around which is in line with expectations from a brennas mystery beer...light hopping is noticeable, smooth vanilla bean, sweet chocolate, light espresso bean. standard
mouthfeel: medium body, dry finish, lightly acidic
03-11-2007 00:55:08 | More by dirtylou
3.3/5 rDev -11.5%
Had this at the SF beer week kickoff event.
It poured a completely opaque dark brown with an inch of pretty, quickly dissipating head.
The nose really really reminded me of werther's originals candy, something I probably haven't had in years. :)
After looking and smelling the taste was kind of disappointing. There was an interesting tanginess that comes in about 2/3 of the way through, and a pleasant malt background, but otherwise I didn't get much out of this brew.
The mouthfeel was really sharp for this style of beer. Oatmeal stout is supposed to be absurdly smooth, not like this.
Drinkability was above average, mostly because the finish was cleaner and completely not sticky.
02-16-2011 05:32:25 | More by g00dness
3.85/5 rDev +3.2%
Pitch black and no hue, minimal light brown head, and can not see if there is any carb action.
Milk chocolate, molasses, and some caramel malt smell with some pine and citrus hops aroma.
Lightly sweet/acidic, lightly/moderately bitter, grainy, dark chocolate, coffee, and molasses malt taste with a resin and grapefruit/orange flavor.
Medium bodied, slightly syrupy/creamy almost watery texture, soft/lively carbonation, and a smooth slightly metallic finish.
Very drinkable, the balance is allright, and the finish although has some grapefruit metallic is not bad.
09-19-2005 06:50:52 | More by Troyone
3.5/5 rDev -6.2%
Pours a deep ebony color with a quickly fading tan head that leaves little to no lacing.
Smells of cocoa and oatmeal mostly.
Tastes of the oats and roasted malts. Coffee notes lead off transitioning over to some cocoa notes. Oatmeal is present throughout. A touch of earthiness also comes through and rounds everything out.
Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.
Overall, a pretty decent oatmeal stout, but nothing that stands out.
04-01-2013 00:42:16 | More by ocelot2500
4.6/5 rDev +23.3%
A massive crackling three plus finger head jumps off the jet black body. Rocky foam fades leaving some lace. Toasted malts, buttery toffee and rich coco are all overy the satisfying nose. Oh so smooth on first sip showing the oats really did thier job. Mellow silky sweetness graces the mouth with hints of rich toffee and slightysmokey carmalized malts. An exceptionally satisfying and sessionable stout. A bit of powdery bitter does develop as you continue to drink. Mouthfeel is pleasant and well balanced. Amazingly well drinkable. I would like to have lots more of this fine brew. It is a solid chalanger for Ipswich IMO.
07-23-2008 21:03:37 | More by SPLITGRIN
3.95/5 rDev +5.9%
Much thanks for the kind BA who included this one as an extra in a recent trade. Bif fan of the style so I could not wait. Served at cellar temperature in an oversized wine glass, this one was consumed on 09/28/2008.
The pour was very nice with a rich dark brwon, nearly black coming through right away. Nice head of maybe an inch came up over the top but settled down quickly into just a thin film across the top. Decent side glass lacing as well.
The aroma deep with notes of coffee and cocoa, almost bittersweet with a light hoppiness undercutting the deeply roasted malts. Slight peat like aroma as it warmed up. The flavor started out a little off for the style with a health dose of smoked and roasted malts, not exactly at all what I was expecting out of it, but none the matter it was still very good. Rich notes of cocoa overlayed with a hint of dark bakers chocolate and an almost molasses like flavor swirling around in there as well. The finish though was coated with licorice like flavors and very wet, leaving you almost drooling, waiting for another sip to come through. Decent feel on this one, though if I am being honest, towards the end of the session it did start to feel a little bit flat on me, but maybe it was me. Still though, more then decently sessionable and I would have no issues with drinking this again.
Overall not bad for a little stout, I am not sure it fits in totally with the style, but none the less it was still very nicely done. I would have no issue at all with trying this one again. Solid offering.
09-29-2008 00:16:06 | More by mikesgroove
4.08/5 rDev +9.4%
Appearance: Dark chocolate brown that has the slightest opacity when held to light. The light tan head retains fairly well, leaving sticky lace on the rim of the glass.
Smell: Sweet milk chocolate, coffee with cream, roasted malt. On the sweet and malty side of things, but nowhere near cloying.
Taste & mouthfeel: The most immediately striking thing about this brew is the mouthfeel - oatmeal is put to good use here. Rich and silky smooth without being overly heavy or sweet, this is top notch stuff. The taste is a straight-forward but enjoyable mix of chocolate and toast up front with a semi-dry coffee finish. This beer would be remarkable on cask, I'd bet.
09-05-2008 23:10:03 | More by largadeer
4.4/5 rDev +18%
I have never heard of El Toro brewery, so naturally I ordered this. Great thick dark color, black with thick tan head. Super sweet smell, chocolate, oatmeal, cinnamon all noticable. Taste was rich and creamy, head fell down the glass perfectly. Filled my stomach after dinner with the perfect balance of sweetness and a mild bitter hop finish. It was just as memorable as the Young's version. Left me smiling, rubbing my belly, and ready for sleep. I would like to run into this one again.
05-30-2002 19:33:26 | More by StevieW
4.05/5 rDev +8.6%
The beer after its departure from the 12-ounce brown bottle resides in the glass an onyx color with a modest creamy chocolate colored head, the lace a thick coating to cover the glass. Nose is roasted and toasted grains, coffee and chocolate, sweet and fresh, start is sweet, rich with grain and the top moderate to full in its feel to the palate. Finish has a delectable acidity, the hops pleasing in their spiciness, quite dry and linger aftertaste, a nice drinking beer.
08-11-2004 21:39:20 | More by Gusler
3.43/5 rDev -8%
This beer looks and smells better than it tastes. I never expect much from this brewery, but since they had a beer out I could buy only one of them, I tried it.
They brew a good poppy jasper, but this is not an oatmeal stout. It's a hoppy, dark version of an amber ale. California is known for hops and throwing a bunch of hops in the beer regardless of taste. This beer is no exception
not a great representation of the style, and not even a great representation of the bay area. Fine beer for just drinking.
10-28-2007 03:46:27 | More by Murchmac
3.03/5 rDev -18.8%
Paid $4.50 for a pint from El Toro in Morgan Hill, CA.
Half finger non frothy light tan head that dissipated quickly and had no retention. Little carbonation visually. Little lacing.
Malty and not overpowering in the nose.
Taste is very mild, and mouthfeel is watery and lighter bodied, especially for a stout. Medium carbonation.
Very easy to drink.
I also noted in the description on the beer menu the following which I did not find to be true:
-rich coffee flavors
-mild cocoa tones
-smooth, mild bitterness
Not El Toro's best offering.
07-05-2008 20:05:47 | More by ibbjamin
4.05/5 rDev +8.6%
Poured exceptionaly dark with very little tan head even with a fairly aggressive finish to the pour.Some mild chocolate overtones, but for me much more of a scent of a cold espresso coffee! Sampled with a little Belgian chocolate, a nice combination. As the beer comes up in temp so does the espresso scents now mixed with hints of hops and yeast.Beer has a very smooth finish with a mouthfeel I would call almost velvety. A very good OS that I will no doubt drink again!
12-23-2006 01:16:42 | More by builder53
3.7/5 rDev -0.8%
thanks to Fartingdog for this via trade
A - Pitch black, huge long lasting tan head
S - espresso, chocolate and hops. Was a bit surprised the hops were that pronounced. reminded me almost of a RIS than an oatmeal stout.
T - similar to the smell but as it warmed to room temp, the oatmeal influence seemed to become a bit more pronouned - and tasty.
M - medium bodied, nicely carbonated.
D - at a warmer temp this beer really shined. Unfortunately I was at half a glass at that point. I would definitely have another one of these again, just a bit warmer than the first one.
04-18-2007 15:06:50 | More by barleywinebrewer
4.22/5 rDev +13.1%
This was obtained in trade with GClarkage... I have only had a few oatmeal stouts before, but he's sent me some good surprises in the past, so we'll see if this one is as good as the others.
Poured dark brown into my pint glass, and developed a two finger tan foamy head. It died down to a thin layer of foam that lasted throughout the glass.
Aroma was of light roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and a hint of coffee. Quite subdued, yet in a very good way.
Taste was initially of roasted malt and some coffee, then a little hop bite with some bitter chocolate underneath. After swallowing, I was blessed with a long roasted malt aftertaste.
Mouthfeel was silky smooth and creamy. Sooo nice.
A VERY drinkable brew. Would that it were available on my side of the country.
08-31-2005 02:09:15 | More by connecticutpoet
El Toro Negro Oatmeal Stout from El Toro Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.