McNeill's Oatmeal Stout | McNeill's Brewery

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McNeill's Oatmeal StoutMcNeill's Oatmeal Stout
79 Ratings
McNeill's Oatmeal StoutMcNeill's Oatmeal Stout

Brewed by:
McNeill's Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-10-2003

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 79 |  Reviews: 64
Photo of jmdrpi
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber bottle, label notched that best before the end of November.

pitch black in color, with tan head that fades into just a collar.
the aroma is a combination of sweetness and bitter roasty flavor.

pretty spot-on for the style in my opinion, well balanced. the label talks about a major hop component, but I didn't pick that up at all.

beer doesn't fell overly thick, but it does coat the mouth well. easy to drink.

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Photo of Seanibus
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Of the McNeill line, this is the best, butthere is still this strange, sour house taste that is neither pleasant nor easy to explain.

Pours a deep rich black with a decent off white tan head. The aroma is roasted, malty, with a bit of chalky chicory. The flavor is roasted and a bit coffeelike. It has some dark toast and burnt sugar. But at its center is the strange, hollow, thin, sourness that seems to be the defining character of McNeills. Another near miss.

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Photo of ujsplace
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic...

This brew pours a pitch black with a creamy, dense one-finger head that is a light brown color. The head fades to a thin, somewhat chunky layer that leaves descent lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, oats and coffee bitters.

Tastes of dark sweet chocolates, mild coffee bitters and oats. These flavors seem to become more pronounced as this brew warms. Nice bitter finish left on the tongue.

Thick, chewey, creamy and robust.

This is a highly sessionable oatmeal stout. Not too big... I would have actually hoped for a bit more punch - nevertheless, this is a very good oatmeal stout. If you see it it is definitely one worthy of trying.

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Photo of cooch69
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was pretty dark, it was pretty much almost black with a half inch head.
It smelled of hops, chocolate, coffee, and caramel matliness.
The taste of this oatmeal stout was pretty full bodied. I did'nt even look at the alcohol content of this beer yet but it tastes like it's around 6.5% and i'm guessing that it's actuallty about 6 to 6.5 percent, but upon further inspection I can't belive that it's not 5.
It is a pretty burly Oatmeal stout. It has a pretty decent amount of hops in the recipe. Enough to balance out all of the other things going on without dominating anything.
The oatmeal adds a pretty silky texture to the palate, although i've had better in oatmeal stouts. All in all this is a pretty decent beer and I'll have to try some of their other offerings soon.

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Photo of jlindros
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark colored fluffy large 2+ finger head rises up in my oversized snifter, and fades very slowly leaving a slight lacing. THe beer is pitch black as the starless night that approaches.

N: Mostly oatmeal, a nice oatmeal stout aroma that is. Some dark malts, a little roast, black patent, heavy lovibond crystal, even a little dark fruit aromas. Some light caramel and fluffy malt aromas. There is also a light hop aroma, with a little aromatic hops, little spicy and floral hop aromas. The nose is harder to get though, even with the oversized snifter I have to really agitate it to get through to the aroma.

T: Starts with a somewhat sweet stout flavor, lots of malts. There's a pillowy fluffy malt taste, that gives me the feeling of nougat and marshmellow, but in dark malt form. Some oatmeal and thickness, more dark malts, a little roast and black patent, and dark crystal, as well as a touch of caramel. A little molasses too. I also get a slight hint of tangy fruit, almost as if this beer is a little too old for itself. It's supposed to be kept and drank fresh, and I bought it recently but who knows how long the store had it. It says best before May 2010, so just missed the date. There is a little spicy and floral hop characteristic with it, and just a slight hint of bitterness from hops, combined with a little bitterness from the roasty malts.

M: Pretty thick and fluffy, oatmeal like, with decent carbonation.

F: Finishes a little more bitter as the hops and roasty malts seem to add a nice earthy bitterness, but it's still light on the bitterness. It dries a bit but keeps some sweetness about it with a little more caramel, nougat, and touch of molasses. It leaves a little syrupy sweet sticky feel as well, that combines with the lingering fluffy oatmeal feel and is somewhat heavenly in the mouth. More roasty dark malts linger too, mostly charred earthy bitterness at this point. A hint of that tangy fruit also lingers too.

If I remove that tangy fruit, this is a really good oatmeal stout. Very tasty, great mouth feel, and best of all super drinkable at <5%. I would put this up to the Sam Smith any day as a great drinkable oatmeal stout.

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Photo of SIBrew
2.01/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

So this is not the first of the Mcneill beers I have had. This one does not meet the wants I have for an oatmeal stout. The head is interesting, a smooth tan head, but it leaves you quickly. The smell has a hint of oatmeal stout in it, very weak. The taste is just down right not good. It is drying, and has no oatmeal stout qualities to it. I am very not impressed. Up front is an almost metallic like flavor, and then it just hits the back of my tongue with dryness, almost no appreciable hop qualities. I am hoping, a lot, that this beer has been through a lot considering it was brought to me in Southern Illinois from VT. But all in all, if this is in fact what it tastes like normally, I would recommend not purchasing it.

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Photo of BostonBrewins
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a thick looking black with a nice brown head.

S - Very roasty with some sweet vanillla undertones.

T - Roasty and rich. Very smooth too. Some nice flavor. Finishes with some bitterness.

M - Light to medium body. Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side, but it does help to contribute to the smoothness.

D - Pretty good drinkability, a decent session brew.

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Photo of albern
3.21/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a good looking beer, but not a great oatmeal stout. It's not bad but it is a tad disappointing. Usually McNeill's puts out a better brew than this. The look of the beer is very good. It has a nice creamy, slightly foamy tan head, plenty of lacing and retention. The nose has a slightly charred molasses whiff to it, some sweet malts, dark malts, not enough chocolate or mocha aromas to really entice you.

The taste is a bit off. For starters, an oatmeal stout should be lots creamier than this one, which isn't particularly creamy. The next quality of the beer is a burnt malt or molasses flavor, coupled with a combination of some tininess, a slight melatic tinge, and a touch of sourishness. There is lots of dark malts, sweet malts, and some chocolate in the background. It just seems that there is some off dextrin coming out of this beer that interferes with it. The dextrin takes on a tinny, metallic, sourishness and it is unfortunate. The beer is okay but I'm a bit disappointed. The aftertaste is mostly dark malts lingering but that tinny metallic sourishness just won't quit.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this one from the back of the fridge to go with dinner last night, the last of what I had from McNeil's. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 01/12/2010.
The pour was very nice, and much bigger then I would have thought. A deep chocolate brown color was evident right away. Very nice and dark with a big foamy head of light tan coming up and over the top and settling down quit nicely I have to admit. Really nice lacing as it settles down inside the glass. Rich, sweet aroma of milk chocolate, cookie dough, touches of lactose coming through right out of the gate. That warm, sweet smell you find in a well done oatmeal stout. Warming did fade it out a little bit, but nothing terrible at all, in fact in fact it was still more then decent. Smooth, even carbonation really gave a nice kick to the medium body, as it did not come across to heavy at all, in fact just about right. Nice coating on the tongue of sweet malts and chocolate touches balanced against a light coffee bitterness in the finish was just what was needed. Light and easily session able, the bottle was made quick work of.
Overall this was very solid and very serviceable. Really a good representation of the style and easily one of my favorites I have had from them. I would have no issue at all with trying this one again any day!

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Photo of ScreamForMe
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Joe for this extra!

A regional/local from the sender. Poured black. Medium body. Mouthfeel was a little on the thin side. The company I shared this with enjoyed it as did I. Very drinkable. Perhaps a nice beer to session on - if I could get it out here.

Next review!

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Photo of lakeguard
4.4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the best stouts that I tried this year. I got a 22 oz. bottle on a trip to Vermont but didn't get around to drinking it right away. Once I did, it was a memorable experience. Just a good strong, rich, bitter flavor all the way through the after taste. I will be looking for more on my next trip to the area. Beer is like life--you never know what you're going to encounter, but when you find something good, don't let it get away.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.26/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a three-finger light brown head that fades slowly to a thin layer and leaves some lace. Roasted chocolate nose. Black color, no highlights. Light-medium carbonation and light-medium bodied, seems watery for a stout. Flavor is dry, roasted chocolate. Very dry finish. $2.99 for a 22oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a very very dark brown that was almost black, with a chocolate brown frothy head. The head didn't last more than a minute or two. Aroma started off a touch sour, but it quickly became slightly sweet, definitely reminded me of a oatmeal cookie. Also had a small touch of lactose in there. Taste was slightly bitter and acidic. Small amount of sugar, but kind of offputting. Felt a bit thin in the mouth but nicely carbonated. Flavor was a detractor from the drinkability.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep brown with a thick tan head and some very decent lacing.

Smells of deep roasted malt, coffee, a little sweet grain, light smokiness.

Charred grain, with a burnt, then slight sweetness mixed in. Has a sour aftertaste that reminds me of that which you get from bread sometimes. Not digging that factor too much. Moderately strong, no other really off flavors.

A little watery in the body. The head stays around, and is part of the drinking experience all the way down the pint.

Overall, it went down easy, but there are other oatmeal stouts worth drinking well before this one. This is a very solid decent brew, but it is just that. $4.99 bomber makes it worth trying.

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Photo of jim102864
1.46/5  rDev -61%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Very black and viscous as expected when poured into my Sam Adams glass. Nice pillowy tan head. There's nearly no nose but for the faintest wisp of coffee. The taste is...well awful. Extremely bitter with a metallic edge. Not the creamy, smoothness and breadiness one expects from the style. This may just be a beer that's met its expiration date though I don't know what that date is since the year is not indicated and the "best before month" is not notched. Bitter mouthfeel. Not drinkable.

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Photo of mrandypandy
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle via trade with kingcrowing

A- Pours a clear dark black with a good sized tan head that cascades down the sides when I swirl my glass. No light escapes my glass, and overall, a very clean looking brew. I'm excited!
S- Not overpowering, but a nice faint roased character with a more dominant malty sweetness. This beer smells like I wanted it to taste (see below).
T- I was expecting a smooth and sikly oat stout, with a touch of sweetness over the roasted malts. What I got was a complete roast bomb with a touch of bitter/burnt malts. The roasted malts dominate from the beginning and don't let up. A bit one-dimensional.
M- A bit dry and prickly on the tongue, nowhere near as smooth as I would expect from the oats.
D- Not nearly as drinkable as I would like for a sub 5% stout. The one-sided roastyness really overpowers and detracts from me wanting to finish the bomber.

Overall, I was a bit let down by this beer. My memories of their Imperial Stout were stellar, and the appearance/aroma really had me excited. However, the roast assault on my palate left much to be desired. I'll have to crack open my second bottle and re-review at a later date...

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Photo of theghost3
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to kingcrowing for this. Pours a deep, dark brown, almost black with a 2-finger cafe au lait head.

The smell is toasted malts, oats & chocolate. The taste is strong of burnt malts, oats, and a sort of earthiness. Mouthfeel is carbonated, which kind of deadens everything. Not as thick as I expected. There's a little sourness as well.

This is a drinkable oatmeal stout. It's dominated by burnt malts, but the oats are very apparent.

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Photo of BeerSox
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into pint glass.

Pitch black with a one finger brown head that settles to a thin cap. Very dry roasty aromas, along with a little bit of coffee in the background. More very heavy burnt malts, along with a little bit of bitter chocolate. The hops don't show up too much. Full bodied, carbonation is on the higher side.

Didn't write too much about this one but it's definitely an enjoyable, sessionable stout. Recommended.

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Photo of DousedInStout
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep, dark brown with tan head. The head retention is great and the lacing is sticky. The nose is sweet and roasty. There is some fruity esters the shine through some smoky char notes. The taste is well balanced. Some semi-sweet chocolate balanced with some earthy, piney hops. It finishes dry and fruity - with a bit more alcohol astringency than expected for only being 5%. The carbonation is appropriate, but the mouthfeel is a bit light for an oatmeal stout. Overall, a nice and very drinkable New England stout.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber for $2.99 at the Lebanon Co-op. Poured into a chilled pint glass.

A: Dark tan 2 finger head faded quickly to a thin layer.

S: Dark, smokey malts, small pine hop bite, chocolate and coffee.

T: Smokey malts throughout. Smoke is dominating at first but tones down as the beer breathes (or maybe as my palate adapts). Coffee, chocolate, citrus and pine hops. Caramel/ toffee note develops as it breathes.

M: Moderate thickness and body. Adequate carbonation. Smooth.

D: Goes down easy, very drinkable despite being quite filling.

This really seems like a bargain at the $3 price point, but consider the paltry 4.9% ABV and it seems less impressive. Loses points all around for lack of a kick. No wonder it's so drinkable.

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Photo of damienblack
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thick dark brown, looks a lot thicker than it actually tastes. Nice puffy head retention, head looks very biscuity. Smells very hoppy, not a lot of roastyness in the head. Taste... doesn't quite have the flavor of the better oatmeal stouts. The hoppiness is actually the flavor that comes through the most, tempered by some dark malt. Some hoppy aftertaste, makes for a different sensation. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side, pretty thin and light for a stout. Does have that smooth oat feel, though. For me, I was expecting something a little sweeter and roastier, and the hoppyness detracts from the drinkability. It's an interesting interpretation, just doesn't quite do it for me.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a bomber bottle this beer was an opaque black color with three fingers of barrel-colored brown head. The retention was very good as a fluffy cap and the lacing sticky in spots. The aroma was of unsweetened chocolate, roasted malt and dry oatmeal. The flavors were spot-on for the style, roasted malt, coffee, bittersweet chocolate and a pleasant balancing note of oats. Rich and quaffable. The mouthfeel was smooth, the body full and the carbonation soft. Though it was not deeply complex or earth shattering this beer really landed the dismount, scoring high in every column and thus making it one of my favorites in this style.

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Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Monster sized head. Superior lace; chunky rings after every sip. Dark brown; so dark, no light passes through.

Creamy, chocolate milk aroma; great mild hop in the background. Attractive, balanced and rich.

Deep, dark cocoa--beyond semi-sweet--very bitter. Thinnish body, the only real negative. Long-lasting aftertaste of coffee grounds. Simply a delightful, heavy stout.

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Photo of scottg
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass at the brewpub.

Pours a dark black color with a 1/2 finger brown head which fades quickly leaving light lacing. Big chocolate aromas with espresso and smoke lingering. Roasted malt flavor up front leads to light smoke and a sweet oatmeal flavor with a very dry lemon rind finish and a slightly smokey aftertaste. Full body, medium carbonation, creamy and mouth cleansing at first and very dry finish. The smoke is very well controlled.

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Photo of tpd975
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a wonderful deep dark black hue with a solid thick one and a half finger head. Retention is pretty good, and the foamy head dies to a collar. Spotty lace noted.

S: Nice grainy oat aroma with a big splash of coffee. Hints of chocolate and a nice blast of smoke as well.

T: Very unique. Big bitter coffee up front with a nice amount of char in the middle. A strange yet enjoyable sourness overcomes you in the finish. Did not expect that from this beer. Not typical of an oatmaeal stout. Though I see others experienced it as well, so it's not infected.

M: Medium in body with bold carbonation. Very sour and somewhat dry finish.

D: I enjoyed how unique this one was. That being said a bomber was enough.

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McNeill's Oatmeal Stout from McNeill's Brewery
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 79 ratings