Vanilla Oatis | Ninkasi Brewing Company

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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: 122 | Ratings: 636
Photo of Jellopants356
3.24/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a smooth mahogany with a coffee colored head. Thick lacing and nice creamy consistency on the head. Smells like the regular Oatis, oatmeal stout. Tastes surprisingly bitter but finishes with the same Oatis flavors, malted oats, honey, and a bit of sweet coffee. I was, however, disappointed in the lack of vanilla flavor within this beer. The mouthfeel is nice and smooth but the finish leaves very little taste of any kind of vanilla. Overall, i'm pretty disappointed in this beer.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a standard pressure-cap bomber into a conic pint glass in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Half-finger mocha head with decent retention. Dark chocolate color, no light peeks through. Thick lacing cascades down. Fine looking brew.

S- Chocolate malts, oatmeal, vanilla beans, toffee. Kind of warm and sweet with a thick body behind it.

T- Chocolate and vanilla with a roasty aftertaste. Sweet but finishes bitter.

M- Dry and tight. Interesting feel.

O- It's an alright brew. I think I prefer the straight Oatis.

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Photo of Zorro
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Black colored beer with a tall brown colored head, among the darkest beers out there.

Smells of patent malt and almonds. Vanilla scent but fortunately they didn't go nuts with the vanilla. Scents of chocolate and mild coffee.

Starts out mildly bitter with a toasted grain and chocolate flavor. Mildly sweet with a good chocolate flavor the vanilla is an accent to this beer and a nice one. Got to thank the brewer for NOT going nuts with vanilla. Vanilla is one of those spices like clove that can REALLY take over. Nice tasty Oatmeal Stout.

Mouthfeel is thick and smooth, basically milkshake thick.

Overall there is nothing really wrong with this one except maybe needing a few extra flavor nuances. VERY recommended.

Near world class!

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Photo of Spikester
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It has been awhile since I have enjoyed the standard Oatis so my tastes may have changed over time.
Pours dark brown with a modest one finger head. Could easily be increased with a more aggressive pour. Head leaves after about 5 minutes but lacing is quite impressive.
Smell is the normal beer plus vanilla. Plenty of vanilla.
Taste in the same, plenty of chocolate, coffee, some molasses, and a medium hop bitterness that never overcomes the sweet malts.
Mouthfeel is very good for the style and carbonation is average. Finish is medium dry.
Overall I prefer the regular Oatis but I believe this would be a promising crossover beer for newer stout drinkers. One of the main ingredients in chocolates is vanilla. Also hard to believe this is 7.2% abv from the taste. Well hidden.

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Photo of vkv822
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz : Teku

Pours black, with a thick, foamy light-brown head.

Vanilla upfront, blends very well into oats, followed by mild roasted and cocoa malt.

Fairly close to the nose. The flavors run together just a tad bit more, though they can still be picked out.

Medium-thin bodied, with mild foamy carbonation, though still creamy. The flavors lead me to expect a more full, rich body. For the style though, it is fine.

I wasn't sure what to expect from the vanilla use, but it was well done became the focal point, complimented by the base beer.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bomber split with the wife, my portion into a HotD tulip...

A: Dark brown/red pour yields a very dark body with some light piercing the edges of the glass...bigger tan head recedes at a medium pace and some lace sticks around.

S: Solid aroma, definitely more sweet than roasty or bitter...plenty of vanilla, especially as this thing hits room is vanilla bean, not vanilla extract...buried notes of cocoa, oats, dark barley, and suggestions of brown sugar.

T: Not artificial tasting, huge plus and a must for a vanilla beer...lots of vanilla bean, with underlying roasted malt, oats, and some on the finish too but nothing to write home about...cream and sugar...touch of burnt/char on the aftertaste.

MF: Solid texture as the base-oatmeal stout still comes through, though the vanilla somehow seems to have thinned this beer a bit...alcohol is invisible...lower carbonation than I was expecting but just fine for the style...body is medium and creamy.

O: Pleasant, a good sipper, and a nice one to room temp, 14-15oz was almost too much sweetness (for me). Vanilla is a tough thing to integrate well into a beer...even just a little too much and I'm not drinking more than a few ounces. Overall this is a pretty well done beer in my opinion, one I would recommend for stout lovers and vanilla lovers. 12oz bottles would be nice.

For $3.29 (or whatever it was) this is a hit and not a miss.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found this at WinCo of all places. Pours with fairly long lasting dark tan head... the brew is pretty much black except a little light making it through the stem end of my glass.

Plenty of vanilla on the nose... it sorta masks the background cocoa aroma, but the chocolate/roasty notes are definitely just there, just bullied out by the vanilla.

Flavor mirrors the nose almost exactly...

Body seems a little watery, but somehow still retains an unusual smoothness probably from the oats... carbonation is on the light side, but certainly within style guidelines.

Well made beer, but just not to my liking.


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Photo of sam_bliss
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22-ounce bottle into pint glass, split 3 ways.

This nearly black stout has an impressively smooth, light brown creamy foam head. Very little light travels through; none in the middle of the glass, but the edges betray a bit of brown and red. Smells of roasted malt, burnt cane sugar, smoky caramel, unmalted oats, and vanilla extract. A bit of fresh earthy hops hits the tip of the tongue, but vanilla beans immediately take over the thick creamy mouthfeel.

Some dark chocolatey malts and some warmth from the higher-than-usual-for-a-stout alcohol content fill in where carbonation is scarce. Yet carbonation would hardly be fitting for such a full-bodied dessert brew. The viscous offering finishes quite smoothly and without leaving behind any syrupy or sticky leftovers. The lingering taste is of white chocolate, surprisingly. Dank-hop and black-malt bitterness keep sweet Vanilla Oatis from entering the realm of shallow, sugary beer.

This one is for after dinner and before bed time. Would probably be great for a beer float if it weren't so great on its own. I'd recommended using something less complex that is not so tasty by itself if you want to float some ice cream.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours near opaque black with a tan, 2 finger head. Great retention, leaving a thin, broken layer of microbubbles on the surface. Very little in the way of lace.

Smell - As the name implies, the aroma consists of chocolate, vanilla and oats.

Taste - Follows the nose; strong chocolate and vanilla upfront, intermingled in a way that it becomes a bit muddled. Hints of oatmeal. Not much else, as the vanilla sweetness rides to the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body with moderate carbonation. Smooth, creamy finish.

Overall - Sometimes, less is more. Such is the case here with Vanilla Oatis. The standard Oatis is a very, very good oatmeal stout: multi-layerd, with lots of flavor. Adding vanilla melds all those flavors together, making a beer that, at best, hits on two notes. Fair to good beer overall, but I'd take the original version everytime over this variation.

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Photo of CookstLiquor
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 650ml bottle. Pours a deep blackish-brown colour with some nice tan head. The smell is big on creamy chocolate notes. The taste is quite rich with the vanilla showing up as a sort of burnt marshmallow flavour. There's a bit of smoke in there as well as some chocolate and coffee notes. The vanilla component is complementary without domination. Nice.

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Photo of WalterHeisenberg
4.8/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Aggressive pour into giant beer mug
A: black dark body mocha colored head big and foaming. Dies down in minutes but still apparent with minimal lacing. Leaves a ring Looks enticing
S:dark roasted malty bitter chocolate cherry coffee vanilla. Yea!
T: dark roasted malty slightly hoppy vanilla alcohol up front then chocolate cherry malty bitter then coffee malt vanilla down .Very balanced flavor. Vanilla was slight but more pronounced as it warms.biter hop coffee after taste. Yum
M: smooth rich velvet creamy
O: A pleasure to drink. Looks smells taste very quality. Just a tiny hint of the 7.2% i would drink this regularly. Funny i like my IPAs bitter but my stouts sweet. Good price too.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Black in colour, light brown finger of head, no lighter edges, sporadic lace. Aroma is rich with vanilla bean, coffee, roast, sugar, light flowery hops. Again, taste is big on the vanilla beans, rich, sweet, roasty, coffee, toffee. Creamy feel, medium body.

Beautiful use of vanilla right here. It's sultry and smooth, sweet and savory.

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

Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours pitch black with a fine, one finger light brown head with great retention and lacing. Sweet aroma dominated by vanilla with light toasted malt. Flavor is toasted malt, coffee and quite distinct, but well integrated, vanilla. Starts semi-sweet, finishes dry and crisp with bitter coffee and light hops. Medium, creamy body with nice mouth feel. A nicely made oatmeal stout with deft use of vanilla flavoring, nicely balanced. I'll watch for this the next time it arrives.

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Photo of N3rdM3t4l
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

They botteled it so I got one. Bomber into shaker pint.

A: looks like a stout. Dark and opaque. A little mocha head fell to a pretty sparse cap and a rather thick ring.

S: the vanilla is clearly. Lots of roasty aroma and it is sweeter than normal oatis smells. Smells great though.

T: opens with a sweet note. Followed by a bit hit of the roasted flavors of a stout. Vanilla throughout but just before the hops balance the beer out at the end the vanilla comes to the foreground. Leaves a bit of a bitterness on the palate but it is nice. The vanilla is sweet and needs the balance.

M: little thicker than medium bodied. But not quite heavy.

O: oatis is good and made better by vanilla. But everyone know vanilla makes dark beers better.

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Photo of mvforegonian
4.95/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Source: Ninkasi Brewery in Eugene, Oregon. First tried this brew as part of a taster flight but quickly ordered a pint.
A: The appearance was slightly lighter than other oatmeal stouts I've tried but still dark brown and inviting.

S: Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla! The vanilla aroma was not gross overpowering or fake. The hints of caramel and roasted malts made me excited to take a swig!

Taste: Delicious. The vanilla was less present in taste than aroma but was apparent at the finish. The hops and malts were not lost and the flavor developed all the way from start to finish.

M: Smooth and creamy as an Oatmeal Stout should be.

Overall: Try it!

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Photo of beertunes
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a slightly translucent black, with about an inch of medium brown head that had good retention and moderate lacing.

The vanilla was very noticeable in the nose and the scent was a bit on the sweet side. The vanilla also covered up the expected roasted malt notes instead of complimenting them. The story was much the same on the tongue, with the vanilla dominating, rather than complimenting.

The body was pleasing solid, but there was a lingering sticky-sweetness on the finish. Drinkability was good, but the sweetness detracted from the overall, enjoyment. A very good, solid beer that's certainly worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of oregone
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Belmont Station:
A: Pours very dark with a good amount of light caramel head that recedes to solid ring around the rim. Very nice looking stout.
S: Vanilla is there in front, but not at all aggresive. It gives a lightly sweet aromatic note to the otherwise predominantly roasty/acrid smells that I expect from Oatis. Some milk chocoltae notes are here, and the chocoltae and darker malts are balanced by the sweeter vanilla and caramel aromatics.
T: Very much in line with the smell. Sweet vanilla weaves in and out of dark coffee and chocolate, and balances the base beer rather than moving it in a dominantly sweet direction. Well-rounded and very drinkable/not overwhelming/palate fatigueing.
M: Alright here. With the strength of the flavors and smells, I would expect a bit more body here, though it does what it does very well.. Carbonation is good.
O: I would happily have a couple pints of this again. Strong characterful stuff that isn't oppresssive, and on this account, the medium bodied mouthfeel helps the drinkability. Going in to this looking for a huge blockbuster of a beer will leave you disapointed, but it's a very nice medium bodied stout with an excess of delicious character.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.36/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Poured a jet black with ok carbonation leaving behind a small tannish cap and some bubbles

S: Light oats, not much vanilla, roasted notes, pretty tame

T: Oats, roasted malt, the flavors for this beer were very mute. Instead, it tasted like a bunch of cheap vanilla extract, light oats and some cocoa all muddied together

M: Some booze, heavy body, not much on flavor or feel, not as hearty as I would expect


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Photo of ccrida
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draught at The Beer Stein, Vanilla Oatis is cola black with a small off-white head that leaves light lace.

Smell is soft, sweet malt, with a waft of vanilla bark, with hints of birch beer and cream soda, some lactose as it opens. No flaws, just a little tight.

Taste is very nice, a well played addition to the excellent Oatis base beer. The vanilla again comes off earthy, very natural and well integrated into the delicious base stout, with is dangerously smooth, with flutters of chocolate malt and anise. Lots of depth.

Mouthfeel is slick, very soft, the oats really shining through. Medium bodied, it seems lighter in the mouthfeel do to the silkiness.

Drinkability is very good. This is a fantastic vanilla stout. One of my favorite regional stouts is really on another plain with the addition of the vanilla beans. Rarely seen, but always ordered!

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Photo of John_M
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery this past weekend.

The beer pour a blackish brown color with pretty good head retention and lacing. On the nose this beer is very attractive, showing considerable vanilla, licorise, dark chocolate and coffee. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this moderately sweet stout, and I have to say I think the vanilla imparts a nice, added element to this beer. Also, the vanilla version doesn't seem to be quite as "hopped up," and so has more of a soft, smooth, velvety finish. Drinkabilty is good, and once again I think the vanilla helps to soften the licorise somewhat, which I always find to be a bit much in the regular Oatis.

All things considered, this is a very solid beer, one that I prefer considerably to the regular Oatis. Wish Ninkasi would make this available all the time.

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Photo of bradleyp
4.92/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I tried this beer at the Ninkasi tasting room. I was quite surpised from this beer. I am a huge fan of Oatis, and I am now a bigger fan of the Vanilla Oatis. Poured via tap into a pint glass by a sexy female bartender. Light creamy head with sweet vanilla aroma. The beer, not the bartender. I hope this comes out in bottles soon. I wasn't able to take the brewery tour due to construction.

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Photo of Docer
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a treat at the PIB... was really looking forward to this... wish the would just make a vanilla Imperial Oatis to bottle....

- Dark chocolate and caramel color with caramel head.. lacing all around... little specs of vanilla were present in the head, and the guy doing the pours noticed it too in the overflow pitcher and was shocked at the amount of real vanilla specs.. like the beans in ice cream..

- Wonderful sweet vanilla smell, clean, and crisp.. bit of bittering hop, nut, and chocolate... sweet oatmeal!

- Smooth vanilla without being too sweet... chocolate malt, bittering hop, and overall very balanced and delicious....

- Sweet watering goodness, I want more now!

- One must invent a devise to hold the mouth open for full time pour of Vanilla Oatis into my mouth... huge fan!

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