Black Widow Oatmeal Stout
Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co.

Black Widow Oatmeal StoutBlack Widow Oatmeal Stout
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Stout - Oatmeal
3.74 | pDev: 16.58%
Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co.
Montana, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Black Widow Oatmeal StoutBlack Widow Oatmeal Stout
Notes: The Biter is a smooth malty oatmeal stout balanced by flavors of roasted barley with chocolate malt. Gentle bittering but generous aroma is given by the popular English hop, East Kent Golding.

This gentle stout will be attractive to anyone who likes a full-flavored beer, including hard-core connoisseurs of stout.

The image was developed to symbolize the alluring, if not sinister character of the Black Widow Stout!
Reviews: 67 | Ratings: 94 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by tbone1384:
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tbone1384 from Wyoming

1.5/5  rDev -59.9%

Nov 17, 2012
More User Reviews:
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jdhilt from New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a five finger brown head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Black color. Faint carbonation and heavy bodied. Roasted chocolate nose. Starts almost sweet - between roasted chocolate and sweet chocolate, finish is roasted chocolate. Nice oatmeal stout. $1.79 for a 12oz bottle from Vintage Liquors Dickerson, ND.

Jul 05, 2006
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garymuchow from Minnesota

3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm a little surprised at how high some of the scores are for this beer, because I found nothing exceptional about my sample.
Aroma has a sweet almost candi like complex maltiness with lighter and darker qualities. Oatmeal presents itself too. Lots of variety in aroma.
Black with red hues and seems clear. Head is thin and doesn't hold too well, but leaves a ring.
Smokey quality to flavour with the dark roast, esp. in the lingering. Starts off light and sweet, then moves to heavier darker qualities. Fairly long roast malt dryness to finish.
Has a thick heavy quality. Decent smoothness. Only a little oily.
Decent complexity. Not sure what "gently bittered" means, but sweetness is balanced well. Good, but not very good.

Dec 18, 2003
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beerguy101 from California

3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark black color. Small tan quickly diminishing head. Aroma is espresso, chocolate and malt. A light to medium bodied Oatmeal stout. Malts are roasted, with chocolate and coffee flavors. Smooth taste, but I was expecting a thicker bodied beer. Well balanced and it has a nice dry finish. Nice beer. It’s hard not to like a beer that on the label quotes ”This ale is brewed with the finest hops & malted grains with only a hint of spiders” Mouthfeel is a little thin. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

Mar 06, 2004
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beernut7 from Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours with a deep dark color and lacy tan head. The robust aroma hints of roasted and chocolate malts. A heavier medium body supports a sweet roasted malt flavor with a light bitter twang and chocolate laced finish. Very drinkable and quite tasty.

Aug 27, 2002
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ZAP from Minnesota

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

I didn't know what to expect with this one, but I am with a red tint(some light does shine through)...tan lace...great nose of roasted grains...oats definitely present on the nose along with some nice java and dark cocoa tones....medium bodied....not quite as creamy as I like my oatmeal stouts to be, but pretty smooth in the mouth...taste is of burnt malt...dark and some oaty characteristic....not in my elite class of Oatmeal Stout's but not far off that..

Aug 06, 2002
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Bighuge from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This dark, dark ruby beer throws out a small chocolate brown head that is soon only an edging that provides some decent lacing. Great chocolate, java and vanilla bean on the nose. Really nice aroma. This is really a nice tasting oatmeal stout. Great bittersweet chocolate characteristics. Some definite coffee tones that are very nice. And some cocoa too. Wow. This is nice. Creamy, velvety texture. Feels like silk on the tongue. Medium to full bodied. Excellent Oatmeal Stout.

A Bighuge thanks to Cokes for the sample.

Jul 16, 2002
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ADR from Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When I saw these guys at the Brew Review this Fall, I figured it was a matter of time before they started shipping to Minnesota...some sixers showed up this week.

Black, lets some light in at the bottom...cream-like 1/8 inch head. Sweet aromas. Pretty good balance of malt flavors, semi-sweet chocolate with a little run at a roasty flavor that's short of coffee. Body could be a little fuller, a little warbly and tea-like, but carbonation is well done (neither flat nor spritzy). Minimal hops as appropriate. Decent Stout, could be a little more broad in its approach in this style, kind of forgetable.

Oct 31, 2002
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cokes from Wisconsin

4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quote from the label: "...brewed with the finest hops & malted grains with only a hint of spider". The spider didn't show up in the taste, but may have explained the lace web left down the glass.

Amazing brew. Pours a very deep amber (who I am kidding..this black by most standards). Aroma is big and roasty.
Likewise, big roasty, oaty flavors. Lots of coffee and milk chocolate (this actually might be two separate flavors, dark chocolate and lactose sweetness). Hops add just the right amount of bitterness.
The carbonation levels may be just slightly too high...detracts a little from the smoothness. This is a minor complaint. Still very nice in the mouth.
Makes you want another...leaves a wonderful roasted coffee flavor filling the mouth. This aftertaste is almost as good as the beer itself.
One of the best oatmeal stouts I have tried. Snap it up if you can find it...good luck. Worth searching for.

Apr 10, 2002
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TastyTaste from Minnesota

4.55/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Written From Notes Compiled 6/04-8/04:
Deep, opaque brown color, with a finger height of tan head. Leaves rings of sticky lace on the way down the glass. Bitter chocolate and rich coffee aromas, combined with oatmeal which rounds off the nose. Bitter, challenging flavor, yet body and creamy flavor make this perfectly balanced. Great brew from a brewery that I respect more with every one of their offerings.

Aug 25, 2004
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packetknife from Idaho

4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark dark amber with a thin light-brown head that followed to the bottom of the glass. Lots of malt and some smoke on the nose, like cooked chocolate. Baker's chocolate, amish molasses, roasted almonds. Some hoppy and citrus-like finish that lingers. Just thick enough, quite drinkable.

Feb 08, 2004
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BeerResearcher from Massachusetts

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

This one pours a dark mahogany with a fair-sized tan head and some trailing lace.
The aroma is sweet malt and very smoky.
Malty tastes of toasted dark rye, molasses, dark chocolate and coffee with cream come through.
There are plenty of hop flavors to enjoy. Grapefruit and lemon zest and a tea-like tartness blend together harmoniously.
This is a sharp-edged, smoky and rich flavored stout.

Feb 07, 2004
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Bitterbill from Wyoming

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

Purchased locally.

It pours from 12oz bottle a very dark brown with reddish hues and has a 1 finger head of tannish foam with some lacing.

The smell is of roasted malt, some chocolate, and some caramel.

The taste has roasted malt up front followed by notes of chocolate and some citrus. Hmm...I don't think the citrus is a welcome addition for me in this OS. Things were tasting pretty good until that "sourness" from the citrus hit my taste buds. Still, it's not bad. It finishes with a roasted malt bitterness, it has a medium mouthfeel, and the carbonation is medium. I'm still shaking my head over that weird sourness that *does" mellow down a bit further into the session.

Dec 25, 2007
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Gusler from Arizona

3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer after disassociating itself from the 12 ounce brown bottle pours a very deep black walnut color with some ruby high lights, the head is modest in size, frothy in texture and the color a light chocolate, as it evaporates the lace forms a fine sheet to conceal the glass. Nose is heavy with toasted grains, sweet and fresh, the start is sweet, and the malt profile adequate, the top is light to middling in feel. Finish is prickly in its acidity, the hops apparent but not overstated, somewhat dry and sweet aftertaste, a light but drinkable stout.

May 15, 2004
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Kolb from Montana

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

May 01, 2019
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RBorsato from Virginia

4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost black with ruby red hues, a full pillowy light brown head, good carbonation, and rings of lace. Chocolate and coffee aroma at first turns roasty. Bitter roasty flavor dominates. Medium finish with a dry roasty and lightly bitter finish.

Per Y.V.B.Co. website: Roasted barley and chocolate
malt. Gentle bittering but generous aroma is given by the
popular English hop, East Kent Golding.

1998 GABF - Gold - Oatmeal Stout

Jan 20, 2004
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feloniousmonk from Minnesota

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

Rich, roasty aroma, thick with coffee notes, mingled with anise, nutmeg, cinnamon, some dark fruits:cherries,dates. Totally dark, gorgeous tan head, full body. An excellent example of one of my favorite styles, but there's nothing remotely here to rival Rogue Shakespeare or Samuel Smith's.

Nov 19, 2002
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JISurfer from South Carolina

4.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one good brew. I wasn;t expecting something this good with the cheesey logo and all, but I was wrong. It had a good strong taste of chocolate malts and coffee. It had some hints of alcohol present, but nothing too overbearing. The bottle said that it had hints of spider in it, but I didn't really taste any. I would recommend this one for anyone looking for an everytime stout or a winter warmer type.

Dec 14, 2003
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Mitchster from Michigan

3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brewed with pale, caramel, and chocolate malts, dextrine, wheat (malt), roasted barley, flaked oats, and a touch of spider. Hopped with Magnum and E.Kent Golding.

OG=1.058, 5.9% ABV.

Pours out to a cloudy very dark mahogany, nearly black, forming a nice-sized tan head with good retention and one solid sheet of lacing. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma is nice...heavily roasted grains, black walnut, sweet dark malts, vanilla, freshly seared wood, and bittersweet chocolate. The mouthfeel is a little stinging from overcarbonation for the style but has a longlasting sheen on the tongue. The taste is more akin to a semi-dry stout...somewhere between an oatmeal and a dry. The malts have less emphasis on the body and sweetness than on the roastedness. As it warms, butterscotch creeps up and gives it a decidely English off-flavor. There are some higher alcohol in the middle and rub off into the finish as an astringency. The finish is very burnt, like charcoal without much more complexity. Bitterness is moderate.

Not hearty, rich or sweet like I would expect for an oatmeal stout. Overcarbonation, measly body for the style, and slight fusels hurts it's drinkability. A decent attempt, but nothing I would recommend.

Nov 23, 2005
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marburg from Michigan

4.69/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer brings balance to the Force. A dark, well-carbonated brew -- maybe a bit light. Whatever. Pushes an amalgam of dark, roasted flavors out of the glass and at you. Coffee beans, roasted pecans, and chocolate being cooked on the stove. Aromatic to say the least! A bit light on the tongue, but the flavor follows through. Sweet khalua / White Russian sort of moment of clarity is immediately enveloped by burnt coffee beans and chocolate. Surprisingly smooth and easy to drink. Just a straight ahead, no frills, no gimmicks, no nonsense stout. Excellent.

Jun 16, 2004
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tavernjef from Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark color of solid black with slivers of dark red highlighting, nice thick and creamy one finger high head of tannish hue, a bit lumpy and settles slowly leaving nice sticky lace in big strings.
Smell is a nice dark and rich roastyness with a touch of chocolate and coffee swimming around in the nose.
Taste is mostly tanged chocolate tones at first, very smooth and inviting, moderately sweetened, introducing some light coffeeish like dryness and flavor with a fairly calm hop bitterness in the finish. Good amount of heavyness, creamyness, and smooth lingering coffee, chocolate, and hop bitterness and dryness. Lots of good roastyness thoughout. Quite enjoyable feel, nearly heavy and full with a good smoothness, which I think it gets from it being an oatmeal stout. Has some very nice lingering qualities. Quite a good stout. Recommend trying it out if you can find it.

Jun 22, 2003
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weeare138 from Pennsylvania

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

Thanks to hopdog for this...
Appears a dark brown borderline black with a small tan head that fades into a small head and leaves scattered lace.
Smell is of a sweet, lacto sugar, oatmeal, and black patent concoction.
Taste is of the same aromas with that lacto sugar jumping out and an almost vinous like taste lingering.
Mouthfeel is smooth and sweet with a small amount of bitterness coming through.

Jan 13, 2006
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Nytemare from Oklahoma

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

Never had an oatmeal stout before, was not quite sure what to expect. Poured a nice dark brown with a little red around the edges. Brown head with moderate retention and lacing. So far, about what I'm used to in a stout. Smelled of roasted malt, nice espresso and chocolate, and oats. Guess that's why they call it an oatmeal stout. Tasted about the same. Nice chocolate flavor with a roasted espresso and oatmeal backbone. Very little hops presense at all. A little bland towards the end, but a good beer. Moderate body, with a little bite to it. Pretty smooth for the most part. Drinkable enough I'm keepin' the rest of the sixer for myself. I might give away one, but mostly mine. Not bad. Think I'll have another.

Feb 22, 2004
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mntlover from Tennessee

3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black with brown highlights showing thru a smaller tan head that does leave some lace behind.

Aroma is light coffee mixed with plum some sweetness noted with a light oat presence. Some light graininess and some woody vanilla noted as well.

Taste is roasted grains some light coffee and chocolate flavors mixed with plum. Some grainessin the flavor also strange for a stout also that woody vanilla hints which is nice.

Mouthfeel is a little lighter then expected ut still a solid medium.

Drinkability is ok the vanilla flavors are nice but the grainy flavors are strange for a stout and mouthfeel is a little light. Want to thank Hometown Sports BIF and ImWithStupid for this sample.

Dec 14, 2005
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granger10 from Wisconsin

4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was simply an all around well done beer. It poured a light black color with crimson colored highlights and a perfect sized fluffy brown head. The nose was roasted barley and maybe some earthy components as well. The taste was very well balanced. I would equate the main flavor to being a bittersweet cocoa but oatmeal was definitely there as well. The was some roasted espresso but it wasn't as apparent as in the smell. Vanilla seemed to mix with the chocolate, esp. as the beer warmed. Earthy hops come in and give this beer more balance. Medium in body but the flavors weren't the smoothest. No alcohol prescence at all and the end was uninspiring. But this simply was a great example of making a balanced yet flavorful oatmeal stout.

Feb 08, 2004
Black Widow Oatmeal Stout from Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 94 ratings