Vanilla Oatis | Ninkasi Brewing Company

very good
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Vanilla OatisVanilla Oatis

Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A delicious oatmeal stout with just enough hops to balance the copious quantities of dark roasted malts, oatmeal for a creamy smooth drinkability, and whole vanilla beans for a rich complexity. To achieve this higher level of decadence, we added in whole vanilla beans to the final stage of fermentation - the same process we use to dry hop a beer.

Added by Docer on 07-19-2009

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Reviews: 123 | Ratings: 636
Photo of RandyCongdon
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I have always been partial to stouts. Usually, I like the Imperial and Dry varieties more than the Oatmeal, but this impressed me.

The look is great. The beer itself is very dark brown to near black. The head is a very light tan and quite thin at first. Then, it dissipates into a tiny ring around the top of the beer. The lacing that many stouts leave behind is not so noticeable here, but it's absence does not detract at all. There is a slightly syrupy appearance as the beer settles down the glass after a sip.

I always find the smell to be the hardest category to describe. You can definitely taste the vanilla, but coffee or mocha tends to dominate. There is a toasty aspect to the aroma. Overall, the smell is sweeter than bitter. You can detect the alcohol more than in other stouts, but it is not overpowering.

The taste is almost as good as the smell. The taste of the best of coffees falls just a bit short of their aromas. This comparison is not a knock at all, because I typically give beers a higher rating for smell than taste. There is a definite chocolate/coffee taste. It has a good balance of appetizing bitterness and of medium sweetness. The vanilla is very subtle, but noticeable if you really look for it. The malt tones are a bit subdued because of the mocha aspect.

The mouthfeel is good. I would characterize the body as medium. There is a very smooth , slightly syrupy feel, with a modest amount of carbonation. There is a nice, bitter bite on the tongue at the finish that is very appealing.

Overall, this is a good beer. I have been recommending it to co-workers and customers at my store. The feedback has been positive,as a whole. As with many stouts, this one pairs well with chocolate cake, but I often prefer to enjoy it on its own merits.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

$ 2.21 (Including Beer Club discount and tax)/12 oz bottle ($ 0.184/oz) from State Line Liquors, Elkton, MD.
Undated bottle at 42 degrees served in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter. Allowed to warm to 45-54 degrees prior to consumption.
Aroma – chocolate, malt. Fades slightly but still present to the bitter (sic) end.
Head large (Maximum5.2 cm, aggressive pour), light brown low density frothy head, shorter than average retention, diminishing to and frothy irregular four to five mm ring and thin partial layer.
Lacing – poor. A few drag marks from the receding ring.
Body dark brown/black, opaque.
Flavor – chocolate, a hint of coffee, no vanilla, roasted malt, no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl. Ends with a distinctly bitter malt aftertaste.
Palate – medium, almost creamy, soft carbonation.

Prior to opening the bottle, I sniffed some vanilla extract to make sure I knew what I was looking for. I knew and I didn’t find it in the beer, in neither nose nor taste. Perhaps this bottle is old, perhaps not. It does have the stout bitterness and some oaty smoothness.

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 4, Flavor 3.75, Palate 4, Overall 3.75.

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Photo of TIG_show
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yeah. It's good. The vanilla flavor and oatmeal flavor is in the name, so if you buy it and don't like it, that's on you. The flavor is good and and the beer is bold. The IBU is solid and it's a very good stout.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black, good viscosity without becoming an imperial stout. Light brown head, 3/4". Aroma of vanilla and mild roast.

Taste is mildly sweet, standard amount of vanilla. The roastiness is kind of covered up by the vanilla sweetness, hides alcohol well. Carbonation soft making for a smooth beer on top of the use of oats. Usual chocolate malt impressions.

One of those rare bombers that is affordable. Would bang again at $4 a pop.

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Photo of avalon07
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a dark, thick consistency. There was an inch and a half of foamy, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing. A great-looking beer.

S: A decent aroma of roasted malt, vanilla, and chocolate.

T: Tasted of a little bit of oats, some light chocolate notes, a lot of vanilla (not too much, though), roasted malt, a bit of hops, a hint of molasses, an earthy quality, and a hint of coffee. A solid enough flavor, but not forward enough with certain ingredients (chocolate, especially). Still, an interesting taste.

F: A Well-carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: While this beer has its flaws, it's still a worthwhile brew. Very much drinkable.

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Photo of AndrewMichael
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured in a stemmed glass. Had this on International Stout Day. Very dark color, nice carbonation, and medium body. Great roasted malt aroma, rich flavors, and subtle vanilla.

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Photo of Jacob_Hargis
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a traditional speigelau stout glass. Dark rich color, like a freshly brewed espresso. Slightly frothy milky mocha head with lacing and carbonation bubbles forming at the top of the glass. Initial aromas on the nose of sweet caramel, definite notes of vanilla bean and malt sweet. The roasted cocoa/malt character joins nicely with the sweetness of the vanilla and the balanced bitterness of the hops that linger in the background. Vanilla everywhere but in a good way. The heavy load of dark roasted malts and oats provides a great mouthfeel, but is not as creamy as I would have thought. With the slight carbonation I think it works well. A very stout-y beer with roasts toasty sweet and flavorful character that I think anyone who enjoys a sweeter dark stout time and again would really enjoy sampling this beer. Its complex, layered, and very much vanilla forward.

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Photo of ccg
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It's a good-looking stout with dense, foamy head. There's a little bit of lacing when first poured, but not a whole lot after that.
It smells like a good oatmeal stout. I'd be lying if I said the vanilla jumped out at me. The grains were dominant on the nose.
The vanilla is more noticeable in the flavor, and it's balanced well against the grains in the stout.
It has the usual soft, creamy feel of an oatmeal stout, but it's a bit on the thinner side.
Overall, it's a nice, easy-drinking oatmeal stout, but I wish the vanilla component had been a little more interesting.

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Photo of colts9016
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A two finger light tan head head that is creamy foamy and rocky. The color of beer is dark brown and is opaque. The head has good retention and left a lot of lacing on the glass.

N: Vanilla, oats, coffee, milk chocolate, toasty and roasty malts, yeast, earthy, and some wood.

T: Vanilla, molasses, coffee, milk chocolate, roast and toasty malt notes, yeast, earthy, and some wood.

M: creamy little carbonation, and medium full body.

O: The beer looks great beautiful head, and sexy lacing. The nose is slightly muted compared to the taste. The mouthfeel is good. The beer is well made and a very nice sipper.

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Photo of hman43
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: It pours black with a brown head. There is plenty of lacing on the glass.

Smell: It has aromas of oats, vanilla, and chocolate.

Taste: There are oat, chocolate, and vanilla flavors with hints of coffee.

Feel: It has a very creamy texture that has a medium feel and finishes moderately bitter.

Overall: It is a creamy texture stout with plenty of oats, vanilla, and chocolate that combines well together.

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Photo of Guppy314
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Farmers Fishers Bakers (in DC), poured as black and nearly opaque with a lasting one-finger khaki head. Vanilla clearly apparent in the aroma, taste follows with chocolate roasted malty sweetness. Body is creamy and moderately full with only moderate carbonation. Nicely smooth and very satisfying!

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Photo of BeerSamurai34
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pretty solid all around. Good vanilla on the nose and taste, but the mouthfeel was pretty thin for an oatmeal stout. Minimal lacing and not much complexity.

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Photo of cmurkar
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a thick tan head. Little retention with some lacing. Very good looking for a stout. Smell is nice, composed of a strong rush of vanilla and roasted malt, with hints of coffee. Taste is slightly sweet and heavy vanilla forward, with a dark malt and coffee presence. Dry finish. Conflicted on the feel. Creamy as most oatmeal stouts with mellow carbonation. Lingering bubbly feeling on the tongue. Very drinkable stout overall. Pleased with the way the vanilla worked with the rest of the flavors.

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Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - Dark colored like a stout should be, but very little head and no lacing... aesthetically pleasing up front, but lost it's nice appearance as i drank.

Smell - Dark malt, cocoa, and a STRONG amount of vanilla. The vanilla does not overwhelmed but adds a nice depth and sweetness to the traditional stout aroma.

Taste - Very nice stoat, with the base being a combination of cocoa, coffee, and dark malts... none of those tastes are overwhelming and blend together wonderfully. If this was just a stout it would be quite good, but the addition of the strong vanilla flavor (only mildly sweet; does not turn this into a sugar bomb) makes it a great oatmeal stout. Great balance.

Feel - I'm running out of ways to describe the feel of a stout, but the oatmeal causes this to be slightly more "scratchy" as it goes down (only mildly) and also mellows the cocoa.

Overall - Great stout that is only enhanced by the oatmeal's texture and taste. The taste of the vanilla really elevates this from a "good" oatmeal stout to a "great" oatmeal stout.

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Photo of johnnyd10vt
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great American stout. Almost black. Moderate tan head. The vanilla is subtle and not so much to qualify this as a novelty beer. Complex with lots of coffee and chocolate undertones. Well balanced with enough hops to give character but not so much as to be overwhelming. Very drinkable.

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Photo of hophugger
3.31/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Extra dark in color with nice fizzy tan head. Aromas of light chocolate and fresh vanilla beans. Taste is full of fresh vanilla with a decent back of malts, light chocolate, coffee and sweetness

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown with fb of light tan head. Smells strongly of roasted malts, hint of vanilla, cocoa, coffee. Tastes sweet, roasted malts forward, strong vanilla presence, transitions to subtle coffee and cocoa notes and abrupt stop - very clean finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, minimal carbonation.
Overall, solid oatmeal stout - very smooth and tempered with a hint of vanilla. If they would consider including some hot chilies with this - it would be a truly interesting beer, with the oat tempering the flavors. . .
I rather enjoyed, good price point - and I would purchase again -

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Photo of snaotheus
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle split between a pair of large snifters. This thing has been loitering in my fridge for a while. November 13 2014 is stamped along the bottom edge of the bottle. Maybe it' been loitering longer than I thought.

Pours black with a small tan head and moderate carbonation. Smell is toasty and vanilla. Maybe a touch of coffee.

Taste is vanilla and heavy roasted malt. Almost burnt malt.

Mouthfeel is moderately thin, and a little bit watery. Overall, not a bad beer.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a snifter, the beer is a very dark, blackish-brown coloring, with a low profile, bubbly, tan head. Nose of roasted coffee, subtle vanilla, and hints of bittersweet chocolate. Flavors are smooth and bitter coffee forward, followed by cream and vanilla rich and sweet notes. Very balanced, but ultimately the bitter coffee wins out, even into the aftertaste, with a toned down coffee and cream linger. Smooth, creamy, and dry bodied, with a bitter roasted coffee linger throughout the smooth, dry finish.

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Photo of pianoguy
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. No bottling date info

Pours a solid black body with a tan head. Very little retention. Some lacing

Smell is very faint. Mainly malt. Coffee with some vanilla sweetness

Taste bring out a little more of the vanilla but it's not overpowering.

Nice velvety smooth feel is right on point for an oatmeal stout !

Overall: Pleasantly surprised. I bought this for the oatmeal stout qualities more then the vanilla. I'm more of a traditionalist and am not into "flavored " beer. But the vanilla wasn't too overpowering . It was just there. The taste was surprisingly good . And the feel was very nice. Not sure if I will have this again but I definitely want to try Ninkasi's regular (non vanilla) oatmeal stout .

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Photo of delta490
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Is an almost-black dark brown. There is a thin tan head that disappears quickly. The aroma is on the mild side but does have a nice hint of vanilla and a little bit of roasted malt. The taste is subtle, but good. There is a nice roasted malt quality, a little bit of vanilla, an earthy hops aspect, and just a little bit of oat. The body is on the lighter side but not terrible for it. There is just a slight tingle on the tongue from carbonation

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Photo of tmentzer
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Medium head, didn't last too long. Not a lot on the nose, some vanilla but not overpowers. But the taste was very nice, not too sweet, vanilla didn't overpower, nice dry finish. I really expected (for whatever reason?) that this would be overly sweet, and that definitely wasn't the case. Not a long finish, but an imminently drinkable beer. Well done.

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Photo of constantine_272
3.47/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured dark hazy brown with a nice fluffy tan head. Smell was heavy of vanilla and chocolate sauce. The vanilla is even more vanilla ice cream and bittersweet chocolate with a dry bitter roasty chocolate finish. Too heavy handed on the vanilla where it would have been better as an accent. A nice dry bitter chocolate finish cleans off some of the sweetness. Overall I wasn't a huge fan of this. There was far too much vanilla for my taste. I get that they were trying to differentiate from the regular oatis, but the regular Oatis is very good and difficult to improve upon with these unnecessary additions.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark brown almost black color with tan colored head. Not overly viscous. Vanilla, roasted malts, oats, and milk chocolate on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium to full bodied. Finishes with vanilla and chocolate.

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Photo of BenGap
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark black with a thick foamy tan colored head with a smooth lacing that quickly slides back into the beer. Notes of vanilla come across first before the malty oatmeal, with a hint of chocolate and roasted pecan. Smooth and creamy feel with no carbonation. Taste starts with vanilla extract and some alcohol notes before quickly giving way to the roasted oatmeal amd nice finish. Overall a decent beer, although I think I prefer the regular Oatis. I had hoped the vanilla would give it some more complexity to an already good beer. In reality it seemed like putting a shot of vanilla in the stout as it didn't seem to really blend and mix in with the overall flavor and smell of the beer.

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Vanilla Oatis from Ninkasi Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 636 ratings.
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