Black Helicopter | Flat Earth Brewing Company

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Black HelicopterBlack Helicopter
144 Ratings
Black HelicopterBlack Helicopter

Brewed by:
Flat Earth Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: English Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by feloniousmonk on 05-14-2008

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 144 |  Reviews: 70
Reviews by GarretD:
Photo of GarretD
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of DaftPatrick
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

Photo of tvenne
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ryancl
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bsp77
3.42/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Jet black with large initial tan head. Unfortunately, the head noisily dissipates into nothing at all. Looks flat after a couple minutes.

Smell: Coffee, both sweet and burnt roasted malt & molasses, some light oat.

Taste: Light roasted barley and oats, with a nice layer of coffee on top. Without the coffee, this would be a substandard lightly sweet oatmeal stout. The coffee elevates it, but not quite enough.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, overly thin body, finish does not have the dryness expected or needed from a Coffee Stout.

Drinkability: Easy to drink, but nothing too spectacular. I will take Flat Earth's own Porter over this any day.

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Photo of NilocRellim
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of beerkittycat
4.42/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is deep black, brown with some ruby hints if you hold up to a light. Frothy brown head lingers for only a moment then disappears. Aroma has layers and layers of subtle coffee and roast malt with some oatmeal cookie lurking in the background. Taste is....WOW. I've never had coffee beer with such complex coffee flavor which pairs amazing with the oatmeal stout. Medium bodied but finishes dry with coffee still delicately dancing on your tongue. Interestingly, I actually taste the beer and the coffee but their flavors marry to make an extraordinary experience . I taste something different with each sip and look forward to the next. They definately didn't use your average Folgers for this one. A very complex and wonderfully layered brew. What a treat.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at the Pig & Fiddle. It pours bright black under a thin tan colored foam cap. It highlights rich coffee flavors and aromas with the bitterness from the roast combined with a mild hop touch balancing the sweeter malt flavors.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.37/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. 2012 Bottle.

Appearance: Pours a dark oily black with lots of bubbles. About two fingers of tan head that holds up well. Moderate amount of lacing hanging to the sides of the glass.

Smell: A nice vibrant mix of coffee and chocolate in the aroma. Dark roasted malts with lots of sweet chocolate, coffee beans, oats, caramel, nuts, and some sugar. Also a pretty noticeable burnt bread aroma. Smells pretty roasty and sweet.

Taste: As the nose leads, a lot of dark malts and coffee. Dark roasted caramel malts with milk chocolate, lots of coffee, oats, nuts, burnt bread, and sugar. Nice sweet roasty flavor. Not much bitterness. Tastes kind of like a sweet milk stout with more coffee.

Mouthfeel: Body on the lighter side of medium and carbonation is moderate. Creamy, slightly sticky, and very smooth.

Overall: A pretty good oatmeal stout. Not as robust as the typical coffee stout but pretty good for the style.

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Photo of HoppySeb
4.19/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sgttibbs
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Shawner
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of augustgarage
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. This batch is 4.9% ABV.

The black malts are doing their job in the appearance, as this is an impenetrable midnight brown liquid capped by a dense creamy desert sand collar and a swirling maelstrom of surface bubbles. Pasty lacing and good retention.

French roast coffee in the nose - somewhat delicate, and by no means dominate. Hints of molasses and crystal malt as well as low black pepper notes.

Chocolate, coffee, and charcoal on the palate - a subtle complexity unfurls in layers. The oats seem to smooth out the astringency and faint roast-y sourness. The Kent Goldings contribute sufficient bitterness and a little spiciness. Dark earthy finish with a touch of fruit (from the coffee) in the aftertaste.

Medium-bodied, creamy, and astringent, with good carbonation.

The roast barley, black malt, and coffee add substantial roast notes, though the use of pale malt and English hops keep the drinkability fairly high.

 973 characters

Photo of Oboogie
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of tempest
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Blue Nile, ordered after dinner.

I don't like cold coffee, but I like a good coffee beer like this one. The java is pretty overpowering, but notes of the roasted malts still show through and add the total flavor. The mouthfeel is very smooth with a balanced bitterness at the end with a long coffee aftertaste. Worth a try if you dig coffee.

UPDATE 11/25/10: I wasn't a huge fan of this year's coffee used from Dunn Bros. This is the only coffee beer I've tried, where I felt the beans could have been better. The coffee character was more burnt than anything.

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Photo of zonker17
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of morimech
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown, almost black color with one inch of tan head that has moderate retention. No lacing is left on the glass. Has a nice fresh coffee aroma with some roasted malt lingering in the background. The flavor is where this beer comes through. Complex flavors of coffee and mocha. A little sweetness balances the burnt bitterness in the finish. Has a slight coffee aftertaste. Far too much carbonation. Knowing Flat Earth's history this is not much of a surprise. Either fizzy or flat with their bottled product. This feels like a cola when I drink it. Very drinkable as a morning alternative to a cup of coffe especially with the low ABV.

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Photo of akorsak
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to brewseum for this 750 mL bottle, # 297 of 500. Shared with Ffejherb, brewslut, and ksak.

A: The stout has a tan colored head that is sharp contrast to the dark blackness of the beer beneath it. Despite standing out, the head doesn't have much retention in it, lasting for only 1/4 of the glass. The stout, predictably is black, black as the helicopter that I say hovering overhead...

S: The nose leads off with a strong dose of coffee followed by a smooth, creamy aroma that is equal parts lactose and oatmeal. There is also plenty of burnt toast to go around.

T: The stout starts off a little sour, literally. A cuprous flavor, like licking a penny or staunching a paper cut, that is rather unpleasant. Before the copper, a strong burst of coffee hints at good times, hopefully, to come. As the stout warms, the copper subsides a bit, allowing for more roasted stout elements, aided by a creaminess, that are able to overcome the metallic presence. By the end of my second glass, the stout seems to be running at 80% its full strength.

M: The mouthfeel runs into a roadblock initially, losing all momentum that the coffee mustered up. It takes a while, and a warmer temperature, to improve.

D: If not for the midsip hiccup, this would be a rockin' oatmeal stout.

 1,278 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.41/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle split and poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. Ingredients listed, O.G. 1.052, SRM 27, IBU-26, 5.2% ABV.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for sharing this bottle with me!

A - Totally black with a rich tan head with low retention and no lace on the glass. It's a very mediocre looking stout to start with.

S - Dark roasted coffee floods the space around my nose just on the pour. Full-on fresh pot of coffee in this pint! Roasted malts back it up with bitter-sweet chocolate. Awesome coffee nose!

T - Thin maltiness with roasted notes and a little dusty cocoa with bland soil. The coffee is strong and nice bit it needs balance that's not there.

M - Thin and low-bodied with a roasted bitter finish and acrid dry, very dry bitterness. The worst part of this beer, being an Oatmeal Stout as it's listed, is that the mouthfeel shows no signs of oatmeal in it at all.

D - Not offensive at all, it's just bland. The coffee is at a great level, it just needs much more malt in the background to boost the body and flavor up. Also, if it's truly an oatmeal stout, there needs to be a lot more oatmeal to give it a creamy feel.

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Photo of charlesw
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very pretty - deep, black, opaque. Nice 1" head every single time - doesn't go crazy and spill out but stops right where it's supposed to. Lasts a few minutes. Decent earthy dark malt smell. Good coffee and light roasted malts in the mouth but, sadly, a bit of sourness to it.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I can still not believe jjanega08 put this in my box.. as an extra!! Jozef already hooked me up on some much sought after brews.. the Black Helicopter was sorta a dream brew that was hovering outta my reach.. huge thanks!! Enjoyed tonight out of my New Belgium snifter... Hand numbered with a sharpie.. 152/500.

Very nice 2 brown 2 finger head.. not alot of lace as expected.... but the cap is pretty and the brew is dark dark black.

The nose is a musky cold pressed coffee with a chunk of bittersweet chocolate.. reminds me of a Flying M Iced Mocha.. mildly sweet.. as it warms the coffee aromas are actually more complex than a nice cup.

Flavor has very little sweetness thankfully.. huge flavors for such a low ABV... thick earthy coffee beans.. no real coffee astringency.. chocolate is more of an afterthought in the palate.. there is a subtle maltiness that really ties everything together that I am only assuming comes from the oats.. the mouthfeel is very smooth and sorta velvety.. again especially for such a low ABV.. the body is a nice medium and the carbonation is also medium yet with the body it is soooo smooth.

Drinkability is tough for me to describe.. I am loving this one right now as a night-cap.. but if it was any other time of the day, I would dial it back a notch or two just because the coffee flavors and aromas are pretty intense.. that said, I never thought I would want a bunch of "coffee stouts" just so I could have such sweet dreams.

Jozef.. Thanks again, you are a trader's .. trader.

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Photo of yamar68
2.98/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bottle to snifter:

Pours jet black into the glass with a soft edge of black coffee. Small latte head fades within a minute to a thin ring. Nose features all the notes of a fresh light roast plus some basic caramel characteristics typical of a full-bodied stout. The taste, honestly, is too heavy for me on the coffee. Almost like drinking an unsweetened coldpress. The stout notes are there, but barely. I could probably drink this on ice before breakfast. Not nearly as complex as I’d hoped. Mouthfeel also fits the coldpress description. Overall, good for what it is, but I’d really have to be craving this specifically to buy again.

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Photo of edbeered
4.42/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, a disclaimer: I don't drink coffee. I like the way it smells, but for me the taste has never remotely approached that heavenly aroma. Well apparently the answer is to add it to beer and serve it cold. What an idea! Served on tap in a tulip glass, this pours an opaque black color with a small brown head and initially some fine lacing on the glass that eventually dissappears. The smell is terrific-roasty coffee and chocolaty oatmeal sweetness. The taste is much the same, with an added earthiness that gives this beer real depth, along with a hint of balancing hops. The flavors blend beautifully together. The mouthfeel is rich and smooth. I'm finding it difficult to drink anything else while this limited release is available. This is a style I will have to explore further. Well done!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A classic coffee stout to start off my evening. This was one I had been wanting to track down. Bottle number 191 out of 500, this one was served at cellar temperature and poured into a pint glass. Consumed on 05/13/2009.

The pour was very nicely done. Deep, dark, and black as night with nothing shining through at all on the sides of bottom of the glass. Nice inch and a half of rich tan head comes up and over the top, falling down with a thick coating of the glass that lasts well into the session. Big aroma of coffee right off the bat. Some light roasted malts, a hint of vanilla to sweeten it up as it warms. Light hops tickle the nose as well, very well put together here I have to say. Smooth, even feel, full bodied with a robust carbonation that did not let it fall flat, really pushed the flavors onto the tongue and let them fully explore the palate before settling back down to earth. Wonderful coffee flavor was steeped with bitter notes. Roasted goodness from first sip to last and a long, drawn out, creamy finish that was the icing on the cake.

Overall this was very solid. A very well done, and smaller coffee stout, clocking in at 5.5% I was very impressed with the drinkable factor. Overall very solid and I would look forward to trying this one again any day.

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Black Helicopter from Flat Earth Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 144 ratings