Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout - Big Sky Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Slow Elk Oatmeal StoutSlow Elk Oatmeal Stout

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114 Reviews

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Reviews: 114
Hads: 262
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
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Reviews: 114 | Hads: 262
Photo of Elemental
3.51/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of jwc215
3.51/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of CamuMahubah
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
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 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

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Photo of augustgarage
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of soju6
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of supercolter
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of Tone
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
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'.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.47/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of nsmartell
3.46/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

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Photo of zoso1967
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of arizcards
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of TheCondor
3.44/5  rDev 0%
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?

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Photo of PintOHops
3.44/5  rDev 0%
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!

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