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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.
BA SCORE
78
okay

114 Reviews
THE BROS
75
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 114
Hads: 261
rAvg: 3.4
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 12
Gots: 18 | 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: 261
Photo of TheCondor
3.44/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

In my own opinion, Big Sky products are either hit or miss in a big way. I have had a few of their products I really enjoyed, I have also had a few duds. We will see where this one falls into play. Side poured with standard aggression into a custom Boulevard/Deschutes snifter.

Appearance - Pours a standard dark brown/black pour, with a decent one finger head that displays a bit of retention and lacing. I like the packaging on the beers and bottle, and I like the angle the brewery has, being the only brewery I have heard of in Montana, so they can corner the market on the whole Big Sky state.

Smell - Pretty subdued, there is a bit of malt in there combined with some coffee, dark bread, and a touch of roastiness. Nothing too strong or dominant.

Taste - Much of the same, as the taste is very low key with many of the above characteristics. The roastiness and coffee flavors are a bit strong in the taste, and there is a bit of a whole grain oatmeal taste as well. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel - This is my big beef with this beer. Way too watery, not nearly thick, milky, smooth, or strong enough on the finish. Basically the finish on this beer left a lot to be desired. Very watery and thin, not what you would expect from an oatmeal stout.

Overall - Barring the sorry mouthfeel, this isn't a bad beer. Not a great one, but the mouthfeel really throws it for a loop. Thats my favorite part of a porter or stout of any variation, and this one really tanked it. Although it is worth a try, you may not drink a second. Of course, it may be your favorite beer ever, who knows? (1,582 characters)

Photo of PintOHops
3.44/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Glass - Nonic

A - Dark, black color with just about no light shinning through. The head came and went within a few seconds of pouring. No lacing really.

S - Sweet milk chocolate, coconut and a touch of almond is what I pick up. Slightest bit of herbal hop twang shines through a bit. Sweet and chocolaty smelling overall.

T - Very close to the aroma. It's sweet and chocolaty with a touch of bread or biscuit in there. Citrus and herbal hop twang comes in mid to finish and washes the palate a bit. Bitterness is low, and I also pick up a touch of coconut.

M - Crispness is moderate and cuts through the viscous medium-full body.

O - I think this is a solid Oatmeal Stout that I'd enjoy drinking again. Great price, nothing wowing about it but a good representation of the style i think. Worth a try. Cheers! (813 characters)

Photo of zoso1967
3.45/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Slow Elk pours a dark brown that is almost black but shows through with some woody highlights when held up to a bright light. The head is light tan in color and while it does not have great retention, it does leave fairly nice lacing.

The aroma is slightly roasty with hints of coffee, cocoa and molasses. The malt sweetness is like that of a dark bread and there is a signature British yeast smell to go along with it.

The flavor matches the aroma quite well with the same slightly roasty and chocolaty character complimenting the bready and molasses malt sweetness. There is just a hint of chalkiness to it and some oat like character as well.

The mouthfeel is medium in size and a bit of a letdown. It has some smoothness to it but is not as substantial or velvety as the best oatmeal stouts tend to be. The brew finishes fairly dry with some nice bitter cocoa flavors.

This is a decent tasting oatmeal stout, but nothing to write home about. It is easy drinking and well balanced, but for me this style is all about mouthfeel and in that aspect this does not really deliver. (1,082 characters)

Photo of arizcards
3.45/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single from AJ's in Scottsdale back in late February for $1.59. Best by 12-23-09.

Beer poured a dark brown with an OK tan head. Nose has hints of chocolate and roasted malts. Taste is slight roasted chocolate malts, finishes with a small slightly dry hop. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth but is thin for the style. Drinkability is pretty good, this is a sessionable beer with decent flavor but no overly exciting qualities. Glad to have tried and will have to find a fresh version for next time. (503 characters)

Photo of nsmartell
3.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the 12oz bottle with a 122309 stamp to a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours black with a light red/brown tinge when held to a light. Thin mocha colored head that sticks around for some time.

Smell: Roasted malt and dull bitter chocolate.

Taste: The sweet malts now dominate but the bitter chocolate is still there as well. A bit off but could be because I am beyond what I assume to be is the best by date.

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium bodied and smooth. Nice carbonation.

Drinkability: Fairly tasty and easy to drink oatmeal stout. Taste is a little bit off for my liking, but would recommend to those macro-drinking friends looking to try something different. (732 characters)

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top with sweet label, freshness date of 12/23/09. The inside of my cap says "Hell yeah, I got a wiener dog!" I love this brewery

Appearance: Fairly bright dark walnut beer; even a hard pour doesnt produce much in the way of head though, sadly...I get a small, large-bubbled light tan cap which doesn't really seem to want to stick around.

Smell: Light roasty grains and a ton of dark sweet caramel...sweet, nice, and simple...not really the richness I expect from the style, however.

Taste: This definitely...tastes much more like a good nut-brown than a stout. It's nutty, toasty, lightly fruity, with lots of dry dark caramel, and just a bit of roast. Don't get me wrong, this is really tasty, but not much like your typical oatmeal stout. Sadly, this has to bump the score down in the "taste" category, as I'm not judging it as a brown ale, I'm judging it as a stout.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light for the style; again, for a brown ale, it'd be just perfect...

Drinkability: High

Conclusion: Good beer, awesome packaging, just not really right for the style. Slap "Nut Brown" on the label and I'd even pay the 8.49 to pick it up again. (1,167 characters)

Photo of supercolter
3.48/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Overall not a bad little stout. Appearance is as it should be- dark brownish black, nearly opaque and minimal tan head. Smell is a bit weaker than the taste, but I get a nice roastiness up front with slightly more coffee than bitter chocolate. Only a small hint of alcohol is present. Mouthfeel is decent, medium in body.
Very drinkable. (337 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.48/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a black color. One inch head of a tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of slight roasted malt, sweet malt, hint of oatmeal, and a hint of citrus hops. Fits the style of an Oatmeal Stout. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, oatmeal, slight roasted malt, slight hops, and a hint of pale malt. Overall, decent appearance, aroma, body, and blend. No one aspect of the beer is 'great', but still an easy-drinking beer. (486 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.48/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Burnt walnut brown... that becomes garnet with bright scarlet highlights when backlit with the rising sun. The upper quarter of the glass is filled with golden ecru colored foam that gets the job done. A generous amount of tattered lace helps as well.

The aroma is pretty classic for an oatmeal stout. Dark chocolate and dark caramel are out in front, with no real hoppiness trailing behind. In the final reckoning, there isn't enough power or presence for the the next highest score.

Slow Elk is a pretty simple stout. Since the brewers don't claim otherwise, I guess they hit their target. Speaking of which, a 'slow elk' is actually a cow that is shot by hunters who mistake it for an elk. That explains the cow on the label that has antlers tied to its head.

There isn't much malt and there isn't much hoppiness, so it all balances out in the end. A blip of bittersweet chocolate hits in the first half of each mouthful... and a lesser blip of herbal, earthy hoppiness (East Kent Goldings) makes an appearance in the second half. There may be a hint of black coffee and some dark caramel as well.

Even for a 'session stout', the mouthfeel is too wishy-washy. It drinks like the ABV is 4.0%, not 5.4%. An ideal fix would be to add more malt, while keeping the ABV low. Somewhat sparse carbonation works just fine.

Apparently, Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout used to be a regular release, but is now a limited release due to suboptimal sales. Instead of cutting back on the frequency of brewing, why doesn't Big Sky work to improve the beer so more people want to buy it? Just a thought.

It took some work, but I finally got the seal off the bottom of the cap so I could read what was printed there. And the answer is... 'Nuttier than a Squirrel Turd'. (1,751 characters)

Photo of CamuMahubah
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big Sky is one of my all time favorite breweries but this is one of their all time average beers. It's just so average. I thought for a minute this was like an improved version of Moose Drool but it's so plain boring. Incredibly smooth. Incredibly delicious. Incredibly drinkable.

It's just so dang boring...like a Honda Accord V6 that outruns yesteryear's Mustang but it's still boring! For a limited edition I was expecting tremendous something.

What I got was a wonderful beer with hints of dark chocolate and prolly one of the smoothest porters I have ever drank. I'm not complaining. I just expected more from this brewery. They have the most underrated IPA I have ever drank.

That said...this is a party porter...anybody can drink this...and beer snobs will approve...I think that is what Big Sky had in mind...seasonal beers often end up at parties and especially XMAS parties! FTW (893 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood. Served in a generic wide-mouth tulip.

Dark reddish brown liquid, though not opaque. Faint auburn and bole highlights. Solid, persistent beige collar, with thin islands dotting the surface. Average lacing.

Light toasty malt, a touch of stale caramel, and not a lot else as far as aromatics go.

Very mild malt, faint citrus (or maybe even lactic) note - though not one that comes from hops - and light grain.

Weak, watery mouthfeel.

Sessionable, but not particularly impressive flavor-wise. Not Big Sky's shining moment I imagine. (580 characters)

Photo of soju6
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep brown color with a decent head that fades to bits of lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, some coffee, dark chocolate and some caramel sweetness in the background.

T: Taste of roasted malt, some caramel sweetness with coffee and dark chocolate. Mild bitterness in the background with a clean finish.

F: Medium body, smooth and creamy. Has a nice earthy character.

O: A enjoyable stout that goes down easy. Nice offering from the Brewer. (453 characters)

Photo of Elemental
3.51/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour was good, reveiling a dark brown/black stout with a large brown head. The aroma is sweet and slightly hoppy but weaker than expected. The flavor is dark but yet almost light in a sense, or at least lighter than your typical stout. I was expecting something a little more dense. It had a good hop bitterness which complemented the malts.
Overall a good beer thats worth trying at least once. (400 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.51/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Assume code on neck of bottle of 122309 refers to best by date - if so, I cut it close, as that's when I sampled it - Anyway, on to the beer...

Pours black with dark brown highlights and a tan head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of dark fruitiness, mild chocolate and hint of coffee. Very mild.

The taste is of chocolate, hint of roasted coffee with an earthy, tangy fruit undertone and a slightly roasted, bitterish touch. A bit of alcohol shows. Seems to fade at the finish, but a bit of it comes back in the aftertaste.

It's pretty silky, slightly slick, light side of medium-bodied.

An easy-drinking oatmeal stout. I've had porters that were more robust. Oatmeal porter? Maybe, even then thin. Inoffensive. A light oatmeal stout, and not bad for that. (758 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown pour on this one, substantial beige head to it. Mild notes of chocolate in the aroma, decent roasting, pretty fair, but nothing offputting.

Good smooth silky taste, mild notes of chocolate, coffee doesn't seem all that present, oatmeal did a good job of rounding and smoothing this out, nothing is big and bold, its consistency is just right, not huge, but chewy enough and keeps the beer sessionable and not at all intimidating other than the color. Similar at times to a milk stout, just not as sweet. Definitely stays out of bitter territory.

I liked this one, I think this big sky brewery is a good one. One of the lighter oatmeal stouts, but when I want oatmeal, I want a lighter stout experience, so this one delivered to my expectations. (763 characters)

Photo of LXIXME
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big light brown head slowly settles into a decent lacing above a clear burnt reddish brown colored beer.

Lightly sweet dark roasted caramel malts aroma overwhelms anything that may be trying to showcase itself.

Roasted caramel malts, light chocolate laden with a light sweetness compliments each other in the taste of this stout.

A lightly burnt and dry aftertaste that brings with it a bit of the malt tastes of this medium bodied beer.

Decent enough stuff, I do believe I could drink a few of these. (505 characters)

Photo of rowew
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, normal badly drawn Big Sky label, but this one has a cow with antlers tied to its head. Bad day of hunting - guess we'll be eating the slow elk tonight.

Appearance: Very dark, just a hint of ruby around the edges when held up to light, Nice tan colored head with decent retention.

Smell: Slightly sweet, some caramel aromas with just a bit of coffee.

Taste: A bit lighter bodied than I expected, roasted flavors with a bit of caramel. Some coffee nights in the finish.

Overall impression: Drinkable, a bit lighter than most oatmeal stouts, Doesn't have the slick mouthfeel I expect from an oatmeal stout. (638 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Slow Elk is a pleasant oatmeal stout which is smooth and not astringent. While it is not as flavorful as some others of the style (Anderson Valley's come to mind), it's a good sweeter alternative after drinking all those tongue buckling IPA's. (243 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a jet black color with a one-finger, tan head of long lasting foam. It left thin traces of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of oats, coffee and roasted malts.

T - Good and roasty with a coffee-like bite. Some nice toffee and chocolate flavors are in the background.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a nice oatmeal stout. The label itself is worth picking one up. (443 characters)

Photo of goodbr3wz
3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours dark dark brown with a nice head, leaving long lasting traces of lacy foam.

S- Roasted malts and coffee where the two smells that jumped out at me.

T- Oats, chocolate, roasted malts...

M- Mouth feel is a lot thinner than i would like it to be, almost a watery feel.

O- Overall it was a decent beer, a little watered down but some fantastic smell. (359 characters)

Photo of scratch69
3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Black in color with a half a fingers worth of tan head. Tiny amount of lacing.

Smell- Light aroma of roasted malt, oats, and chocolate.

Taste- Roasted malt and char flavors with notes of coffee and chocolate.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with an average amount of carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

Overall- Drinkable but I have tried better examples of this style. (412 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
3.57/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 10/13/11

Appearance: Dark brown with some ruby around the edges when held up to the light, starts off with a little tan head, fades quick, minimal lacing

Smell: Very good - burnt, roasted malts - some coffee, some chocolate, some licorice - kind of earthy - definitely a stout

Taste: Sadly, not up to par with the aroma - very mild - slightly roasted, slightly burnt - thin, dark malts - some coffee, some chocolate, some molasses - slightly bitter, some acidity - tastes more like a brown ale than a stout

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, low carbonation, smooth, but should be a lot smoother considering this is an oatmeal stout

Overall: Not bad, but certainly not great

The only thing about this beer that really blows my mind is how much it reminds me of the results of an extract homebrew recipe. After brewing it in 2009, my partner in crime (Goblinmunkey7 here on BA) and I agreed that it was too thin, and decided to describe it as a dark ale. However, after sitting for a few months, it became great. I wonder if this gets better over time, too. (1,067 characters)

Photo of flexabull
3.57/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a decent tan head. Looks more like a porter than a stout.

Aromas are of chocolate, oats, dark sugars, and sweet malts.

Tastes of chocolate, cola, brown sugar, and creamy malts. A touch of bitterness, like bakers chocolate, and a bit mineral like as well. Finish is short, and crisp.

Mouthfeel is thin. Feels a little weak to me. Not bad, but not great either. And not thick enough for a stout though.

Drinkability is ok. A pretty tasty stout that could use a little work with the mouthfeel. I still won't be upset drinking a couple of these. (575 characters)

Photo of SerialHiker
3.57/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Black as oil as promised…a dark khaki head that settles in about a finger width thickness…(4/5)

Smell: Strong chocolate notes blended with oatmeal and malt…chocolate is dominate throughout…really not overly eventful unless you like huffing coco essence…(3.25/5)

Taste: Coffee and chocolate flavors explode as soon as they hit my tongue…oatmeal malt and hops are the underbelly as expected…robust all around leaving very little room for bitterness…apparent it’s a higher alcohol content beer…(3.5/5)

Mouthfeel: Fluffs right up, creating a milk chocolate clouds that lingers…oatmeal and malt flavors consume back of my tongue…one drink lasts a while, but it’s hard to cover the alcohol taste…(4/5)

Overall: The flavor is fantastic, chocolate and coffee notes blend fantastically with the malt and hops…the carbonation makes a cotton candy like fluff that is very flavorful…I recognize that it’s an imperial stout, but the alcohol is a bit too dominant…it could be toned down a bit and that would create a more balanced, flavorful beer…(3.75/5) (1,095 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: nearly black but permitting some light to transit with a ruby tinge. Head poured a thick finger of creamy tan foam and has decent retention.

Smell: roasty aroma with some coffee notes and a little bit of tartness. Decent.

Taste: lightly chocolatey flavor with a smooth bitterness and some vegetal hop flavors. Again, decent.

Mouthfeel: pretty smooth; medium body with a good carbonation and a nice, silky feel. Not bad.

Overall: this is a pretty unremarkable beer. It's not bad, but I won't go out of my way to get this again. (586 characters)

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