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Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Slow Elk Oatmeal StoutSlow Elk Oatmeal Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

114 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 114
Hads: 264
Avg: 3.44
pDev: 21.51%
Wants: 12
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company visit their website
Montana, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 12-15-2001

20 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 114 | Hads: 264
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.1/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body with a small, bubbly, beige-colored head.

Smell: Roasty coffee and creamy nose with notes of bakers chocolate and licorice.

Taste: Dark caramel paired with an earthy chocolate character and a hint of licorice. Mildly sweet. Slight roasty bitterness. The lightly roasty finish leaves you with a watered down chocolate flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Pass. Errs on the side of drinkable, but ultimately, it's a bit thin, and leaves you (or me at least) looking and wanting for more richness, more creaminess.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ok bought in the 12 oz brown long neck. Rather amusing label a heifer with tied on antlers LOL.
Beer actually looks pretty darn good when poured into my pint mug dark mahogany brown with a nice tan coloured head..the head shrinks fast but never quite dissapears.
This one i can definatlly smell the oats..along with a semi=pleasant burnt aroma..its not bad though.
Taste is good and creamt to start than a oaty flavour near the middle of my tongue..it loses its way in the final third..no after tatse to speak of.
Mouthfeel is too thin for this style..too watery near the end.
This beer started off good but limped home in the end..a bit of work and this could be a good brew.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Very dark brown in color with a head that rose up nicely but fell like a rock.

Smell – This one had a blend of burnt coffee and oatmeal. The oatmeal though is very subdued and not the prominent smell.

Taste – There’s a nice balancing hop in here, but again the pure oatmeal flavor is lacking. I can pick it up, but it doesn’t dominate like it should. The other flavors aren’t bad, though. There are nice coffee notes and a sweet chocolate compliment.

Mouthfeel – This was one of the thinner Oatmeal Stouts that I’ve had. Style requirements are one thing, but I like my Oatmeal Stout to be big and chewy like, say, a bowl of oatmeal.

Drinkability – This went down very well, so I’m giving the highest rating of the beer in this category. I could drink this all day, really, as a session ale, but it’s just not what I expect when I buy an Oatmeal Stout.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of Big Sky's Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout last week for $1.69 at The Lager Mill. I'm in the mood for a nice Oatmeal Stout tonight and since I've never had this one before I thought I would give it a try, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks ok, it looks like a cow with elk antlers. It poured a very dark brown color that was bordering on being black and it had a really slight ruby hue when held to the light with two fingers worth of fluffy medium tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left some patchy lacing. This beer looks ok, but I wish the color was a little darker.

S- The aroma starts off with some pretty sweet roasted malts that impart a pretty chocolate syrup like aroma with just hint of black coffee to it. After that comes a medium oat like aroma followed by some molasses and vanilla bean. The aroma was ok, but it was a little on the sweet side with a little to much chocolate syrup.

T- The taste seems to be somewhat similar to the aroma and it starts off with a thin and watered down roasted malt flavor with chocolate and coffee still showing buy they are much lighter then they were in the aroma and the coffee seems to slightly stick out the most. After that comes a pretty grainy and oaty flavor that doesn't have enough roast to balance it out. On the finish there's a hardly any bitterness just a hit of sweetness instead and the aftertaste was very grainy and oaty with just a little bit of roast to it. This beer was pretty average tasting, there wasn't any off flavors but the flavors that were their weren't roasty and rich enough to be as true to style as it should be.

M- Pretty smooth, watery, slightly creamy, on the light side of being medium bodied, with a slightly higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was average at best, it wasn't rich and thick enough for the style with a little too much carbonation.

Overall I wasn't impressed with this beer and I thought it was an average at best example of the style, the flavors were too thin and the body was too watery for the style, that's not what I'm looking for in a good Oatmeal Stout. This beer doesn't have the best drinkability, it went down smooth, but the flavors just couldn't hold my attention and the thin body was a turn off so one is more then enough for me. What I liked the most about this beer was the aroma and appearance, they weren't great, but they weren't bad and either and compared to the other aspects of this beer those were the highlights. What I liked the least about this beer was how muted the roasted malt flavors were and how thin and watery the mouthfeel was, they were a pretty big disappointment. I wouldn't buy this beer again, it's priced good, but the quality isn't up to my standards for the style and there's many more Oatmeal Stouts that I would much rather be drinking, I wouldn't recommend this beer to anyone, it's just not worth it. All in all I was let down with this beer, it just didn't deliver what a good Oatmeal Stout should and it left me wanting much more, better luck next time guys, this one turned out to be a miss.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a shaker pint glass at The Firkin.

Wanted to delay the mead a bit, so I went in for a nice oatmeal stout. It pours a very dark black-brown topped by about a finger or so of dark tan foam. The nose comprises roasted barley (as though 'twere fresh from a grain bag), light cocoa powder, and very light coffee. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a small bit of char in the background. Things still taste kinda husky grain-wise, rather than the roasted malted barley that would normally be found in these types o' brews. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a kinda weak stout, one that just doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of Hopswagger
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

P:  Aggressive carbonation climbing the walls of the glass.  Pitch black abyss with ruby highlights and a thin bubbly cappuccino head. 

S:  Huge roasted malt, sweet molasses, vanilla bean, rolled oats, stale cigarette ashes,  columbian roast coffee and timid bourbon. 

T/M:  Burnt chocolate, oats, stale smoke, coffee, vanilla extract, raw organic carrots, musty wood and subtle hints of cayenne.  Overall a stale, burnt and rustic flavor. Medium body with aggressive carbonation that is too much for the style and ruins what could be a nice creamy body.  A dry finish lingers burnt oats and wood. 

O:  A decent OS that has a nice balance of flavors. I would have liked the sweet nose to transfer more into the taste. The stale smoke flavor almost overpowered the other flavors.  Slow Elk missed the mark for me, but wasn't way off.  A decent attempt but not close to a top lister by any means. I can say its better than many I have had though. 

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, toasted oats, and some cocoa aromas. Taste is much the same with an acidic flavor on the finish. There is a medium amount of burnt and roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and thin bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer that has an unexciting flavor and mouthfeel.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.18/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - An aggressive pour yields only a thin and short-lived wisp of fizz on top of this deep-brown-bordering-on-back brew. Absolutely no lace.

S - Milk duds, chocolate milk made by a five year old (i.e. way more chocolate syrup than an adult would pour!). Cliff Bar oats and molasses.

T - Not a whole lot going on here. Easy milk chocolate and oats. Hay-like hops on the back end, but only a hint.

M - Too fizzy and raspy IMO. However, it mellows out after a few seconds in the mouth and leaves a medium-full bodied and slightly sugary feel behind. Finishes sweet and clean.

A very mild mannered stout. Easy drinking but sort of boring.

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Photo of warnerry
3.21/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a very dark brown, though some red is apparent when held up to the light, with two fingers of tan head. Head quickly settles to a thin but persistent cap and leaves god lacing.

S - Coffee and some roasted malt. a faint sweetness. Didn't get much else, but not bad.

T - Taste is roasted malt with a bit of silky oat. Coffee and som faint chocolate.

M - Very light mouthfeel with lots of carbonation. Doesn't really feel like a stout.

O - Nothing too interesting here. Too watery, which reduces the enjoyment quite a bit.

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Photo of bunnyhustle
3.22/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep, deep ruby with mocha brown head. Had a six pack and I think everyone had different head. Some had a nice thick one, others it was very thin and non-existant. Smell was enjoyable. Its was a nice mix of chocolate syrup with some dark caramel and a bit of cream to it. Taste was ok but a little bland. This, as with many stouts, is meant to be enjoyed at a warmer temperature. At first the taste is very bland however, as it hits the back of the tounge you notice some milk chocolate and a touch of bitterness with some bakers chocolate. Mouthfeel was far to light and watery for me. I think if this beer had a fuller body I'd be a good B+ brew. Overall good and pretty easy to put a few away in a sitting.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.22/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a nearly pitch black color with a one finger head of a tan colored foam. The head fades very fast leaving only a light level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma of the brew is heaviest of a roasted malt with tons of oatmeal and caramel. Other big aromas of a cocoa nature are there as well mixed with some hints of a vanilla and an almost cola like smell to produce a very pleasant and inviting warming aroma overall.

Taste – The taste starts with a moderately roasty and sweet flavor with tons of caramel and cola flavors upfront. There is a bit of an oatmeal flavor, which starts out light and remains so throughout to the end of the taste. All the while, as the taste moves forward, the roasted flavor seems to dwindle a bit with it taking on even more cola and a little bit of dark fruit of a more plum like nature. With a little bit of a cherry and some light vanilla coming at the very end, one is left with a moderately sweet and sorta lightly roasted flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is rather thin for a stout of 5.4 % with a carbonation level that is on the average to slightly higher side for a stout. Not really the right feel for the style as it too much accentuated the sweet over the roasted-darker flavor so the brew.

Overall – Not really one I cared for all too much, it was too sweet without enough roast and didn’t really have a great body for the style. Ah… just OK.

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Photo of bagpiper2005
3.23/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pour: Deep brown with red around the edges. Two fingers of tan head that had big bubbles and decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Light aroma of chocolate and coffee. A touch of oats but very, very faint.

Taste: Sort of bland with hints of roasted malt and a bit of coffee in the back. No oats to speak of. Pretty one-dimensional. Too bad.

Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium, generally thinner than I think of a stout being. Medium carbonation.

Drinability/Overall: Drinks pretty easy, I'll give it that. It's just rather unexciting.

Final Notes: This is another one of those "not a bad beer, just a little lacking" beers. The smell and taste it has are good, but I just wish there was more substance to it. It happens.

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Photo of Jason
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Middle of the road head retention, the ale shows a clear deeply brown hued liquid.

Smell: Mild roasted notes that throw hints of coffee around, mild sweetness and a twang of hops as well.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Moderate body, more creamy than smooth in the mouth. Obvious coffee flavours throughout with traces of chocolate in the finish. Light on the hops and the roasted flavours are mostly tepid.

Notes: One breweries stout could be another breweries brown ale … the lightest oatmeal stout I have ever run into. A good drinking ale but there is nothing special that it brings to the table.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Color is as black as black can be, and the head is thick, sturdy, and of tannish hue. Nice aromatics: cocoa, cream, earthy, gritty, some espresso, but I have to breathe in deep to imagine it all.
Some bitterness on the palate, but, moreover, smooth and tasty.
Lacking is the roasty flavor on the palate. that I utterly insist on in an oatmeal stout. Not much bite, and far too light in body. A decent and drinkable stout, but on the bottom rung, as oatmeals go.

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Photo of Phelps
3.27/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed in a shaker pint at the Mellow Mushroom.

Brown like a burnt beef patty, with the edges giving up watery amber translucence. Head is fuzzy, about half a finger tall, and the color of my khakis. It gets to a thin top layer and sets up shop.

The nose, in order: cocoa, vanilla-tinged oats, coffee. Sweet and smooth.

The flavor unfortunately can't deliver on the nose's promises. Chocolate is again the most prominent flavor, but it's the tangy, bittersweet variety. Esters of oats fill the mouth, then earthy hops hit home. Finishes clean, with a touch of sweetness. The chocolatey tang builds as I work my way through, but so does the oatmeal.

As I suspected from the appearance, Slow Elk’s a little thinner than I like my oatmeal stouts to be. Smooth, medium-light, with moderate pokey carbonation and soft fizz.

An average oatmeal stout. Smells good, tastes okay, feels inadequate.

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Photo of BrownAleMale
3.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Horny Goat pint glass.

Appearance- A few shades under pitch black with some off white head that dissipates to a tiny layer on the surface.

Smell- Coffee, sweet malt and a hint of hops.

Taste- Mostly coffee and a citrus hops.

Mouthfeel- For a stout it is very watery.

Overall- Nothing spectacular about this stout but it is very well balanced as far as malt and hops. Could definitely be more there in flavor and mouthfeel though.

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Photo of russpowell
3.32/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black with 3 fingers of mocha colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Roasty malt, cocoa & woody hop notes & some coffee

T: Follows the nose, some coffee as well & cocoa up front. Herbal & woody hop notes, some charred notes, some smokeyness as well as this warms. Finishes roasty with a touch of chocolate sweetness

MF: Medium bodied, firmly carbonated, never really smooths out like I hoped it would

Drinks easy enough, but was hoping for so much more from Big Sky. Glad I didn't by a sixer of this

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
3.32/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 12oz. Tumbler Glass

Appearance - Black appearance with tinges of dark brown around the edges, there's a head that pours about an inch thick that has an off-white brownish color to it.

Smell - Burn oatmeal and malt notes are noticable, along with some toffee/caramel scent at the end. It smells fairly sweet for a stout

Taste - Has an oatmeal/burn malt flavor, along with the standard coffee/cocoa flavor. It's good, but it's also fairly average so there's nothing really too much going on here.

Mouthfeel - It's a very easy to drink for a stout style of beer and it's very smooth. Body is more on the heavy side, and it's a thicker feeling beer.

Overall - It's your typical run-of-the-mill stout that plays it safe and sticks to what makes an oatmeal stout drinkable, and that's okay. I would've liked to have a bit more flavor, but in the end it's a drinkable stout that manages to be decent and at least appeasing .

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Photo of colts9016
3.32/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass at 47 degrees. I have been wanting to try this beer, I finally found it.

Appearance: A half finger head that has fair retention; furthermore, the head is creamy and foamy. The color of the head is medium tan color and a few laces cling to the glass. The color of the beer is dark mahogany with a dark reddish hue. The clarity of the beer is opaque. A few carbonation bubble are visible on the side of the glass. The beer looks great, would have like to seen a more resilient head.

Nose: A very rich roasted malt profile with some burnt, toasty, and caramel notes. A subtle note of floral esters, wood and oatmeal. Other minor aromas chocolate and molasses like note. The smell of the beer is wonderful

Taste: A very rich roast on the malts giving off burnt, toasty, and light caramel note. Other flavors are floral esters, wood, oatmeal, chocolate, coffee, and a hint of sweetness (molasses like).

The mouth feel of the beer is coating, carbonated, and slightly astringent.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium thick and the finish is medium. This is a very roasty toasty brew good flavors. The only complaint I see is there needs to be more oatmeal. Most Oatmeal beer that I drink are a bit more complex, tad creamy and smoother. Good beer nonetheless.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Black with a thin layer of light brown head.

S - Roast, nuttiness and some chocolate aromas. A fairly light overall nose.

T - Roast, chocolate, a touch of coffee and a slight bitterness up front with a sweet brown sugar presence from the oatmeal. The finish is dry.

M - Light to medium body. Moderate carbonaiton. Too carbonated for the style for my liking.

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Photo of KingSlayer
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle

A: pours jet black dense liquid, one finger beige foam, poor retention, no lacing.

S: faint nose composed of roasted malts and chocolate.

T: roasted malts (not intense), semi sweet, well balanced, chocolate hint, mild alcoholic presence, acid-dry retrotaste, residual retronasal coffee, lasting coffee bitterness.

M: creamy medium bodied, not silky, nice adequate carbonation.

O: light body for an oatmeal, nose is pleasant but faint and would like more complexity, the acid-dry taste i guess is from the oatmeal, would like more intense roasted malt flavors. it was worth trying this brew, but next time i might skip it to try a different one.

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Photo of tapman
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A dark brown, though not altogether opaque; a little see-through around the edges. Foam is dense w/ small bubbles and a medium tan complexion. No rolling cascade, but no necessary for the style, just fun to see.

Raisins and dark chocolate, a small amount of hop aroma blends with the dark malts creating a fine balance in the aroma. Te hop dark malt is something I only came to appreciate after brewing several dark beers and this one's got it. Small astringency, but not too bad.

Too thin a taste for me. Was expecting something a little thicker unfermentables-wise; the flavors don't fit well with the thinness of the brew. Dark chocolate and a small roast come through as wellas the balanced hoppiness and ome caramel, toffee notes, and as good as the grain bill is I'm just missing the oatmeal. Even at this lower abv% the oatmeal should thicken up this beer. Isn't that the point of the oatmeal anyway? Did they toast it and mean for it to be a flavor component instead of a thckener?

Mouthfeel is much too thin for my taste per the style. I feel it could have more body even at the alcohol level.

A very quaffable oatmeal stout and for me that is the problem. I like to sip my oatmeal stouts and to me this is right between and American stout and a traditional outmeal stout. Some more hops would have been good to make it American and more body for an Oatmeal, but hey, not terrible. I just wouldn't guess is was an oatmeal stout in a blind test. But who am I, right?

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours bblack, off tan head that retains well.

Nose has an off metallic note, nougat chocolate, and fairly clean.

Palate is noticeably thin bodied, almost watery, faint oat & roasty flavors, and a surprisingly clean finish.

Is this an oatmeal stout lite?

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't often try stouts, but Big Sky has produced some good brews and I figure they would be worth it.

It poured an opaque red with a very thin brown head. The aroma was very caramel with a bit of chocolate. It tasted more of caramel/nutmeg in oatmeal, a bit of an odd combination that, complex. The mouth feel was medium for a stout.

I would say this beer is decent but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

Edit: I am totally perplexed by the animal on the logo. It's a cow with elk antlers. Perhaps after a few beers you actually understand it. I may never know.

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Photo of katan
3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle

A - Dark as night. Very thick looking. The head was very light, and not near as dark a head as other stouts.

S - The smell is very light - in fact I can't quite discern much here. Only a small amount of roasted and chocolate notes are present.

T - Not really all that strong of a flavor here. It starts with some sweeter notes that transition to a light balancing here. Finishes with a mix of the oatmeal of oatmeal and sweetness.

M - No carbonation present. The beer is light in body for other stouts that fit this category. Nothing bad per se, but may not be an Oatmeal variety.

D - Not hard to drink. The beer is not weighty by its carbonation or its thickness. The ABV I'm sure is higher than normal, but so far has not affected me.

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Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout from Big Sky Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.