O.V.L. Stout - Russian River Brewing Company

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O.V.L. Stout
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381 Ratings
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Ratings: 381
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 12
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Dry Stout |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mark on 05-09-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 381 | Reviews: 68
Reviews by CurtFromHershey:
More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This stout came out of the tap very dark brown in color with some precious ruby highlights. The huge, darkly-tanned head would have stayed the night had I let it.

Smell – The malts were lightly-roasted at the nose. They were mixed with some good coffee notes and a light, chocolate compliment. There were a bit of sweets in here as well that reminded me of brown sugar.

Taste – The good, roasty flavors came out nicely at the tongue. The coffee and baker’s chocolate seemed to be evenly mixed. A light sprinkle of brown sugar finished this one at the taste.

Mouthfeel – This one was very light but not quite light-bodied. It had some noticeable bitterness at the end as well.

Drinkability – You could probably drink this all day and not get drunk. It is a very tasty session ale that begs to be shared.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A stout that is lighter in appearance than many, this takes on more brown than black in its appearance, nice soft head on it, less than 1".
Aroma was like many aspects of this beer, smooth. Roasting notes are very delicate, not huge, not bitter.

Again, taste, smooth, chocolate malt, very sessionable, mild undertaking here. Light mouthfeel, wouldn't say there is any dominant aspect of this beer, other than its easy to please attitude. Its a nice change of pace when you're at the brewery because most of their selections are either heavy on belgian yeast, sour, or very hoppy.

A mild, smooth light cocao experience.

Photo of williamjbauer
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap served in a 4 oz sampler

A - Dark brown with one finger tan head with moderate lacing and good head retention.

S - Earthy, chocolate, roasted barley.

T - Follow smell, pretty sour and a little bitter as well, I was pleasantly surprised. Notes of tobacco, coffee, dark chocolate. Weak start but a nice complex dry finish.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O - Pretty good stout, really liked the earthy flavor

Photo of chinchill
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the RR Brewpub in Santa Rosa.

A: dak brow-blackn, essentially opaque but clear. Semi-durable head still leaves very good lacing.

Aroma: dark roasted malts withfaint hops.

Flavor: dark roastd malts with more obvious hops than in the aroma.

Feel: smooth; light body seemed relatively too light for style and even a bit watery; medium-low carbonation.


Photo of rastaman
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tap@Russian River Brewpub. This is a good Guinness clone, only this is much, much better. Soft and dry coffeed texture, lightly Roasted. Decently long finish, could drink a lot of these. Pretty much the perfect session stout, good robust flavour, but not too heavy.

Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewpub. Nitro, making for a creamy head on black. Coffee roast aroma, flavour. Chocolate. A little watery, and can only drink so much of it. Sessionable stout, a Guiness sub but even a Guiness fan did not like it, good for a change of pace, but not the specialty of the house.

Photo of MiScusi
4.23/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On nitro tap at the Russian River pub. Poured, um, black with a nice creamy light tan head. The beer was creamy and contained a lot of sweetness. The roastiness was still there but not in huge amounts, and a lot of chocolate came through. The mouthfeel was very slick but airy. I really liked this stout, sometimes the roastiness is too much for me but that was not the case here.

Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.3/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Had on nitro tap at Russian River brewing. Nice compact 2 fingers of head. Very black/dark brown. Reminiscent of what Guinness looks like on tap. Smells very toasty, chocolatey. Does not have that sour watery smell that you'd get out a Guinness. Very toasty, coffee and chocolatey, with a bit of bitterness on the finish. VERY light. Everything an Irish stout should be. F#$@in amazing. Goes down like an iced coffee. CAN IT PLEASE!

Photo of nataku00
2.19/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes.

Nitro poured into a pint glass. Pitch black color with that nice cascading head appearance of a nitro beer up to a half a finger of creamy dark brown head.

Not much of an aroma, maybe some overly roasted and astringent burnt malt aroma. Touch of coffee.

Taste is just burnt malt, very dark espresso. Lingering roasted bitterness and astringency.

Medium body and creamy from the nitro. A forgettable beer from RR.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

impenetrable black abyss was formed. Huge tan head, maybe three inches high capped the top of it and only gradually settled down, leaving behind a thin veil across the top and loads of sticky brown lace. Very day, essentially black with no light shining through at all.

The aroma was loaded with roasted malts, though not as heavy as one would expect given the big look of it. Light hope notes were also noticed in here, with a small plum or raisin like note, almost like some dark Belgian yeast was used. As it warmed some light cocoa started to show as well. The flavor was more of the same. Started out with a nice bit of roasted malts, which then careened off into a slightly hoppy finish. Lots of cocoa and light licorice hints swirling around in the background, giving it some nice depth. Very nice feel, rich, full bodied, with good carbonation that led to never a dull moment, and something that would be best categorized as not very dry at all.

Photo of jeffjeff1
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this at Russian River Brewery during the release of Pliny the Younger. It was part of the sampler.

Appearance- black color, nice tan head

Smell- roasted malt, coffee, chocolate

Taste- roasted malt, coffee, chocolate

Mouthfeel- full bodied

Drinkability- It was really good. Usually everything they have is awesome.

Photo of largadeer
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black with the slightest of ruby highlights and a dense, frothy and long-lasting nitro head. Signature nitro dry stout appearance.

Smell: Roasted grain and dark chocolate. Slightly earthy. Coffee with a dash of cream. Better aromatics than most nitro stouts.

Taste & mouthfeel: Roasty and dry. Chocolate and coffee, just a touch of sweetness from the malt. Light bodied with low carbonation, but very creamy on the tongue. Dry and bitter in the finish with a hint of earthy hops. This is surely a step up from most Irish dry stouts - more aromatic, more flavorful, but still light in body and alcohol. A great alternative to Guinness.

Photo of Gusler
4.48/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cask @ Real Ale Fest
The beer pulls from the cask an onyx color the head thick and tall, the color chocolate brown, the texture creamy with the lace a glutinous sheet to cling mightily to the glass. Nose was sweet chocolate; coffee with a rich toasted grain aroma to end it all, start was ambrosia, rich in malt and the top full and creamy. Finish was gentle in it acidity, the hops perfection, somewhat bittersweet and dry aftertaste, I voted this the hit of the fest at least for me, and just missed by a frog hair of getting some at O’Brien’s, damn well better luck next time.

Photo of plaid75
4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at the brewpub, Santa Rosa, CA.

Poured a deep black hue with a two and a half finger frothy tan head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a soft roasted malt with a touch of smoke.

The taste was smoky and roasty with a slight lactose sweetness.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style v

Overall a tasty stout.

Photo of baiser
4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at RR brewpub in Santa Rosa. Wonderful creamy appearance. Dark roasted and smooth as hell. Mouthfeel was a bit disappointing right away. Lacks the body you'd expect from a stout. Other than that, great roasted flavours - chocolate and espresso. Like a delicious iced coffee. Easy to drink, a great session stout.

Photo of Mark
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This light colored stout, it leans more towards brown than black, left some of the best lacing I have encountered. A solid coating really added to the ambience. This beer had a strong roasty aroma, taste profile seemed to have some strong licorice notes to it, almost imparted a medicinal taste. A well made stout that just didn't quite make it with me taste wise. Could grow on you though. Ful bodied and enjoyable if you can adapt to the different taste.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nitro-tap at the RR Brewery in August 2009.

A: Pours a very dark brown with a nice off-white head.

S: Dark roasted malts and a little bit of coffee character.

T: Tastes somewhat dry with the coffee and roasted malt--not getting too much complexity from this one, and something is a little off in the balance, although I can't say exactly what.

M: The best part of this brew--minimal carbonation to go with a smooth creaminess.

D: The mouthfeel is really nice, but there was really nothing special about the taste of this one.

Photo of womencantsail
4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A great looking beer. The pour is black with a thick off-white head that leaves amazing lacing on the glass.

S: The smell is roasted malt, coffee, a bit of chocolate, and maybe some toasted nut aroma.

T: The flavors are just about what you would expect from the nose. The roasted malt and coffee are the most dominant, but the light chocolate and nuttiness come through to provide a nice combination.

M: The beer is a little thin for what I like in a stout, but still has a decently creamy or silky texture. The carbonation is very minimal, but that's what you expect from a nitro beer.

D: This is a great session/easy drinking stout. The flavors are nice and the alcohol is low, providing a beer that you can easily have several of throughout the night.

Photo of flexabull
4.06/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Nice looking beer. Flat black, with the signature white nitro head.

Aromas are faint, a bit of coffee and roasted malts.

Taste is quite bitter for a stout. The finish has a distinct pine hop bite to it. The rest of the flavors are classic stout. Bitter chocolates, oats, and dark roasted malts.

Mouthfeel is nice and full. Maybe a touch fleeting on the finish.

Drinkability is very good. A very flavorful stout, that checks in at only 4.8% ABV. I could see have a few of these in a seating...

Photo of Cmack15
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark black as night

Aroma: dark roasted malts, touch of smokiness

Taste: roasted malts with a touch of smoke

Mouthfeel: light to medium body, dry creamy. I believe there beer is served on nitro so it was nice and creamy like a Guinness

Overall a well made dry Irish stout but I am not a huge fan of that style so I can not rate this beer very highly.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.1/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Russian River.

A - Served a very dark brown with a thin tan head. Strong retention and lots of lacing.

S - coffee mostly, some roasted malts.

T - Mostly the roasted malts come through here. Some coffee as well.

D - Way to thin here. Lower carbonation.

O - The flavors were ok, but he body was not up to RR standards.

Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on nitro-draught into a half-pint glass. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were high: it's my favourite style and from my favourite stateside brewery.

A: Pours a one finger head of wonderful tan colour, great thickness, and excellent retention. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Cream, coffee, light chocolate, toffee, and perchance a bit of caramel. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Cream, coffee, light roasted barley, and light chocolate. Fairly complex, and well balanced. Well built. Flavourful.

Mf: Creamy. A bit too smooth for a stout; more porter-esque. Also too wet. It's still good though, and aids the flavours in a general sense. Nitro was the right choice.

Dr: Very drinkable and affordable. I'd have it again. Strange for a stout. All things considered, it was a bit of a disappointment, however.

Photo of scottfrie
3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nitro-tap at the brewery.

A: Served black in a nonic pint with a quarter inch of light brownish-tan nitro head that left great sheets and thick rings of nitro style lacing down the glass as I drank.
S: I get just a touch of grass mixed with stronger notes of roasted malts, dark chocolate and coffee ground.
T: Very roasted flavors with notes of rich coffee, roasted dry grains, chocolate and roasted malts, a bit of backing chocolate and a hint of grassy hops. The finish is full of chocolate and the aftertaste is roasted and lingers forever after the swallow. There is almost no bitterness to the brew, but it’s not very sweet either. No one thing really stands out.
M: Watery-ish mouth with a good bit of chew to it though. The nitro carbonation is soft but thin, and the body could be thicker. There isn’t much to this beer in the mouth but I guess it fits the style.
O: A great tasting and highly drinkable stout. The low alcohol makes this a very easy beer to drink again and again.

Photo of beerwolf77
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Russian River.

Dark black with a solid finger of tan head. Mild bitter coffee and roast malt. Flavor is mostly bitter malt and black coffee. Thin with mild carbonation. Nothing really stands out. just another Irish stout. Then again. I didn't come here for a stout.

Photo of hoegaardenhero
4.33/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: decent creamy tan head on an opaque black body; beautiful thick foam left sticking to the side of the glass

s: smoky malts with coffee malts; dark chocolate

t: terra firma; roast coffee; milk; light acidic sourness; light graininess; dark chocolate

m: very smooth and creamy; could be cask

d: a great stout w/ some strong roasty flavors

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O.V.L. Stout from Russian River Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 381 ratings.