McNeill's Oatmeal Stout | McNeill's Brewery

very good
64 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 79
Photo of mrandypandy
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
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 +4.8%
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 +6.7%
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 +2.9%
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 +5.3%
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 -3.2%
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%
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 +8.8%
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 +7.2%
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 -2.7%
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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Photo of Jwale73
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the brewery on 5/9/2008. Served in a nonic. Poured an opaque black with some deep ruby red highlights around the edges. Half-inch mocha-colored head dissipated almost immediately leaving behind a residual slick, with a thin band of foam around the perimeter of the glass. Some watery lacing, but virtually no adherence. Mild nose; mostly came across as roasted malt and oats with a slight earthy character. Taste consistent with nose; however, coffee flavor is much more pronounced, as well as a hint of dark chocolate. Same earthiness is still present and more pronounced at the finish (perhaps coffee grounds), followed by a light hops bittering that lingers between sips. Medium-bodied mouthfeel, some effervescence, but fairly subdued with the hops rounding out the mouthfeel nicely. Very sessionable - alcohol is well-hidden, and not too much complexity or over the top flavoring; however, lacks some of the sweetness characteristic of the style in my opinion.

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Photo of WeisGuy
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to calsbeek for for this bottle.

a - pours a pretty thick looking black with a one-inch dark brown head, retention around the edges, light lacing

s - pretty strong iced coffee with some oatmeal thrown in, not much by way of alcohol

t - lots of dark roast coffee, some dark malt on the midpalate, finish is bitter coffee with some hints of dark bitter chocolate, no alcohol detectable

m - medium-to-full bodied, lower carbonation, fairly dry on the finish

d - somewhat drinkable, the bitterness from the coffee flavors limits somewhat though, lower alcohol make for pretty easy drinking

Very nice oatmeal stout though not all that complex. The coffee flavors really overwhelm the beer though that ok with me. Well worth trying a bottle, especially if you're a coffee lover.

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Photo of Sammy
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Vermonthiker for this. Initial reaction was; what happened to the bottle? No bubbles on top of the liquid, it even appeared to be missing some fluid. Dark, almost no carbonation present. The pour-was this a cask beer? The taste-a cask RIS and a magnificent one based on that with understated natural carbonation and tasty coffee-chocolate bittersweetness, with complexity at sips. A delight of a beer.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle (thx, jwale73) to a standard pint. Label is perhaps the most 'amateur'-looking design I've seen yet - photo doesn't do justice as to just how unattractive this one is, at least on the outside...served at probably between 55-60F, perfect for the nuances of this style. Best before last Day of <ka-chunk> March (looks to be a hand-punched label).

A: The pour is deep ebony, capped with a a fizzy tan head cresting at about 2-fingers. As it drops, it grows more dense and forms a blotchy, petri-dish kind of head, quite bubbly. Virtually no lace, a few scattered specks.

A: Aroma is quite sweet, full of grainy oatmeal, reduced sugar and a hint of vanilla. A strong smelling oatmeal stout, with a lingering acidity of lactose and mild lemon. Surprisingly bold, sort of singes the nostrils.

T: A superbly roasted and flavorful coffee-centric stout, with enough sweetness to counterbalance the nearly blistering bitterness. Dark roasted, hinting at over-the-top smokiness, sweetness, bitterness and sourness, then a mellower sugar/charred - all make this fun to drink.

M: Coating thickness. Not a heavy stout, but one that fills the mouth with a power definitely much larger than its meager 4.9% abv. A slight carbonation, a strong bitter roast and a careful sweetened malt finish.

D: That firm and rich roasted quality certainly makes this a sipper; 22 oz. is alot to consume, flavor-wise. Still, it's very good and one worth recommending, especially to the oatmeal stout enthusiast. The fairly miniscule ABV makes this a sure fire session-worthy beer if you're looking for big flavor and low alcohol.

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Photo of Brad007
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Saw this on tap at American Flatbread and just had to have it.

Poured a pitch black color with a nice brown head. Aroma was very roasty, with hints of coffee, cream and oatmeal in the nose. The taste was roasty with a burnt coffee/oatmeal character showing through more. It was also creamy and a bit chewy as well. Went down smooth at the back of the throat.

A very good effort at an Imperial Stout. I'm also hoping to find the bottled version sometime as I missed this beer.

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Photo of Stimack
4.19/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have been waiting to try this beer for a number of months now. I picked this up during a trip to Vermont this past summer and wanted to wait till we had some cooler weather and today was the day. This brew poured jet black with a smallish dark tan head that had some legs but broke down to just leaving froth around the edges of the glass. The aroma is very nice, coffee, chocolate, and a smoky roasted scent. Has a nice flavor which seems to have quite a bit going on. Smooth with a sweet flavor upfront which breaks quite quickly a nice smoked roasted taste with expresso, oatmeal and vanilla flavors. This brew ends with a nice dry feel. Overall this is a pretty easy drinking brew with a lot of characteristics. Glad I waited to give this one a try, went well with the cooler weather.

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Photo of iceball585
4.62/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pitch black color, non-transparent, one finger thick dark brown head that faded slowly to a thin cover

S- Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, dark malts, oatmeal, hint of coffee

T- Coffee, smokey, dark chocolate, vanilla, milky, dark malts, oats, slight bitter bite at the end

M- Heavy bodied, low carbonation, smooth, creamy, slight dry then oily finish

D- Could drink a lot more of this one

Definatly a great oatmeal stout. Good full stout feel and good flavors that aren't too overpowering. This one ranks near the top of my list of favorite stouts.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Had this black beauty during the Saints vs. Colts NFL opener.

Pours a complete opaque black with a one finger tan head that quickly dies down to a thin layer. Even with a pretty aggressive pour, the head of this one didn't yeild much. Stickiness is alright, nothing to write home about. Smell is pretty typical for the style. Loads of chocolate malt, toasted oat, and roasted barley. Taste is pretty solid. Good smokey roasted barley up front with an espresso and coffee like taste that follows. Aftertaste is sweet milk chocolate that ends this one perfectly. Mouthfeel is medium to full with just enough carbonation. Creamy, rich, and thick...just how Oatmeal Stouts should be. Alcohol is low, but I can't put this one down too quick because of how filling it is. Definitely the kind of beer that gives me a craving for a fine cigar.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.39/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beautifully dark with a huge-I mean HUGE cocoa colored head on top. Has to be 3 inches thinck. Dessert in a glass. Mellow aroma-slight roasted malt, somewhat metallic. Good smooth roasted flavor. Slight licorice bite to it. Has a somewhat "homebrew" wang. Sort of industrial or mechanical flavor to it I cant get past. Very full and creamy body-disgustingly smooth. Overall a nice oatmeal stout but the one flavor I cant seem to get away from. Detracts from the whole package for me.

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Photo of cichief
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at McNeill's Brewery in Brattleboro, VT.

A- Pours nearly black with a thick, dark brown head.

S- Scent of coffee and dark chocolate, slight hops undertone.

T- Big and powerful, it starts of with sweet malt than goes to bitter coffee/chocolate, and finishes slightly dry.

M- Smooth and creamy, thick on the palate, nice dryish finish.

D- Very tasty, one of the best Oatmeal Stouts I have had.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.42/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 pt 6 fl oz brown bottle.

Pours a syrupy, chocolate-maple in color. Slightly creamy, deep brown colored head that lingers as a whispy sheet. Faint lacing with decent strength.

Rich, milk and dark chocolate with whaffs of oatmeal, oak, and warming alcohol. Nice creaminess with tones of toffee, mocha, and fudge.

Rich milk and dark chocolate, mocha, and fudge upfront: intensely rich. Creamy vanilla and oatmeal flavors that provide a nice balance. Dried oak, faint hints of slick alcohol, and notes of dark fruit: plum, grape. Complex and very flavorful.

Full in body; rich and robust, yet also creamy and smooth. Not quite syrupy, but coats the palate well.

McNeill's Oatmeal Stout is addictive, nevermind drinkable. Great aromatics and flavor: a stunning brew for the colder months.

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Photo of silver1audi
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a delicious offering from McNeills. (It should be known that I generally compare oatmeal stouts to Sam Smiths which seems to have set the bar) When poured into my standard pint glass it has a beautiful black body and a caramel colored head. Smells oaty, chocolately, malty, coffee... tastes a bit paper-y, tastes of chocolate, oats, malts, coffee, caramel, slightly cough syrupy, a touch of hops toward the end. The flavor is very bold and right up front as soon as it hits your tongue; nothing weak about this beer. Mouthfeel is thick, coating, and slippery on the tongue.

One of the best oatmeal stouts I've tasted. When I'm in the mood for an oatmeal stout, I'll definately be reaching for this one.

If you like giant robust flavor, it's worth grabbing this one.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

AP: Nearly totally black in color. Minimal head, thin dissipated to an brownish covering around the edge of the oversize wine goblet.

Smells: Oaty, chocolate, smokey malt, oak wood.

Taste: A smokey malted coffee taste, starts and ends smokey and bitter with heady malt and slight bitter and leafy hop.

MF: Thick and substantial, seems to sit lazily on the palate. Big Full body.

Honstly, this bottle is NOTHING compared to the "on tap" version. But it's still a delightful and easy to drink brew.

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Photo of Hhawk06
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another 22 oz. bomber from McNeill's, brought back quite a few with me from VT.

Its a fairly attractive beer, as its black as night with a nice slow-forming cocoa-colored head. The chocolate malt mixed with some smokiness in the nose is a delight. So far, so good. Its certainly a full and heavy-to-medium body with a tantalizing slick and creamy mouthfeel. There is heavy roastiness with toasted chocolate malt and lighter coffee bitterness begging for showtime. It remains pale and very earthy throughout, true to the style. It finishes with more coffee residue than the mouthfeel would suggest. Still, nicely balanced with a creamy malt texture that is satisfying. Wholesome and well crafted.

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Photo of ChuckD
4.37/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber brought back from VT. Poured into a chalice. The pour shows a breautiful, thick tawny head. Decent lacing on the way down. The color is perfect - dark brown/black.

The nose is great on this beer. The sweetness of the roasted grains jumps out. There is no real typical sour smell with this oatmeal. You definitely know that there is some richness on the way.

In the mouth, the smells are verified. Layers and layers of sweet oats, chewy and substantial nuttiness. The maltiness is not overwhelming, as there is a little hop character and slight carbonation to break it up. The finish is nice and dry, with the sweetness giving way to a more organic earthiness.

Musings: This is a wonderful oatmeal. One of my favorites. The taste blew me away.

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McNeill's Oatmeal Stout from McNeill's Brewery
3.75 out of 5 based on 79 ratings.
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