Black Helicopter | Flat Earth Brewing Company

very good
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Black HelicopterBlack Helicopter

Brewed by:
Flat Earth Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: 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

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Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 142
Photo of brewseum
4.6/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served a thick black with a decent tan head that was mostly lasting and left decent lacing on the glass. The aroma was a nice blend of coffee and roasted barley. The taste features an almost perfect amount of coffee that does not overpower the stout characteristics at all. I'll be picking up a growler of this whenever I can-very tasty!

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Photo of Dotcubed
4.43/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I opened this one to apease the wife. Unfortunately I wan't taking good notes.

Came out with a good coffe blackness. Nice cappichno colored foam. Smelled like a well made cup of cold coffee.

Exceptional flavors. Coffee balances well with the beer. Smooth and mellow. Cream in this would be sinful, an abomination. Good to the last drop. Almost not like drinking beer except for the nice fizz and crispness.

We both liked it's lightness, and plesant java notes. A fine offering that I'll get more of if possible. Fingers crossed.

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Photo of beerkittycat
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
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 edbeered
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
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 MattyG85
4.37/5  rDev +15.6%
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 jjanega08
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A= Deep dark black coffee color, surprisingly large head that I can hear crackling. Very thick tan head. Great lacing. Pretty impressive looks.
S= Dark coffee! Chocolate as well but more subdued. Toastey malts and a little smoke in it.
T= Super coffee flavor. That's almost all it is. Great beer. Possibly better than coffee bender??? I dunno but it's pretty close. Maybe a little less complex than coffee bender with the flavors but none the less very good
M= High carb and medium weight. Very good
D= Very very very high! Session is coming from this one. Just great coffee flavor in a coffee stout. very good beer.

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Photo of Buebie
4.34/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a limited, 500 bottle release. Bottle #154, hand written in sharpie marker on the lable.
Lable design is pretty cool, I think they did a nice job keeping to the theme of what this beer offers in the overal design.
Also the demographics on the bottle are a nice touch as to what went into this.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into an oversized snifter.
A big frothy 2 finger kaki tan head billows off the pour. Receeding to a nice cap of retention. Silky greasy like lace drapes my glass.
The color is all black, no penetration of light.

Aroma is quite malty with a big toasty cereal grain aroma. Somthing sweet, like a diry/ milky aroma. Lots of great dark roasted coffee smells. It honestly smells like I just grounded some whole beans and took a wiff, very fresh smelling.
Bitter baking chocolate aromas, a faint cry of somthing minty.
Some mild grassy hops at the tail end of the aroma pulls.

Mouthfeel is quite smooth with a thick mouthfeel, made possible by the oats. Carbonation is present, not overwhelming, but just right.
A big bursting up front of dark roasted coffee, becoming nuttier with a dark bitter chocolate flavor. Clean finish, no sweetness in this, its quite roasty and dark. A long lingering toasted ceral grain flavor still with wisps of coffee.
Some oaty flavors are present, but mostly overwhelmed by dark bittering flavors.
Hops are detectible only for an instant at the swallow, then the woosh of chocolate and coffee quickly carry it away.

This is quite good. I recommend it, if you can find it, but I hear its gone.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just wanted to say thanks to Ted for hooking me up with this one. Poured into a snifter.

A: Black in color with a light tan head that dissipates quickly to the edge of the glass. Head retention is a bit minimal, but lacing is good.

S: Very roasty aroma, with hints of coffee and chocolate, with a faint presence of smoke in the backround.

T: Lots of dark roast coffee, with some chocolate and toast. The bitterness from the coffee is almost perfect. There is also some minerality in the beer that I really enjoy. Almost like graphite or pencil lead.

M: A medium-bodied stout, but has enough flavor, complexity, and silkiness thatt makes the mouthfeel very pleasant.

D: Might be one of the most sessionable coffee stouts I have tasted. Lower in ABV, this one is very easy to drink. I'll be seeking this one out again.

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Photo of kruse
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler of Black Helicopter at the brewery and opened the next day.
Poured a deep midnight black with a lovely inch-and-a-half tan head. Lovely to look at.
Coffee is immediately noticeable in the aroma, as are sweet notes. Little hop aroma, characteristic of style.
Coffee was again immediately noticeable in the taste, the bitterness melded nicely with a chocolately, nutty sweetness.
Decent mouthfeel, but a bit less rich and silky than many oatmeal stouts. Mildly bitter, more from the coffee than hops.
Very drinkable

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
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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Photo of Soilworker
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black with a 1.5 finger thick light brown head. Relatively low head retention.

S: Yummy rich roasted coffee paired with some roasted malts, which are somewhat hard to discern behind the roasted coffee notes. Hops only really serve a balancing role but nicely so.

T: This one is pretty damn good. There is a nice roasted coffee flavors to go along with some great chocolately and vanilla notes. There are some burnt notes that pop up throughout the palate and add some interesting character to the beer.

M: Quite smooth despite the fact that the highish carbonation.

D: I really liked this, its mellow overall, though the roasted notes are on the high side, and I could definitely drink and enjoy this one all night.

Notes: I would definitely buy this one again. At under $5 its very reasonable and its a very good beer overall.

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Photo of Mdog
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Opaque black, big foamy tan head.

Smell: Pretty strong coffee aroma.

Taste: Very nice, lightly sweet coffee and oatmeal smoothness.

Drinkability: I thought I'd drink this over a couple days but was so impressed I finished the bottle in an afternoon.

Good news, another Flat Earth bottle! I was really impressed by this beer, an excellent combination of a light oatmeal stout and coffee. Tasty and very drinkable.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
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 Mistofminn
4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ad this as my third and final beer at Stub and Herbs Darkness Day Eve celebration. It seemed the popular beer of the moment, and I've had it in bottle form, but didn't get around to reviewing it.

A 16 oz pour in a pint glass, this is served black with little to no head. Doesn't leave a ton of lacing around the edge.

The nose on this is more coffee than beer. This is insane. This has to be a very fresh beer, because the you couldn't get a fresher ground coffee smell if you jumped into a silo of Dunn Bro's ground coffee. Literally, this is insane coffee. It smells amazing. I don't remember the bottle I had smelling this great...

Unfortunately, the taste doesn't quite live up to to the lofty expectations I made from the nose. This is more like the bottle I had and remember. Light coffee taste with a nice stout base. Kind of muted, but most beers would seem muted when put up against that nose...

Mouthfeel is medium to light, with a nice carbonation and a cream feel. Drinkability is awesome. The only way to make this beer better is to find a way to consume it through smelling it...A great session beer, this is for sure.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.23/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Draft into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours pitch black with a hint of blackish-tan head. Appetizing.
S: Nice medium-dark roast coffee wth background roast malt.
T: Nice true coffee flavor (again medium-dark roast). Follows aroma well. Not complex, but a good straight-forward coffee stout.
M: Surprisingly light and smooth. The oatmeal softens this nicely. Many coffee beers have a bitter acidic bite that this avoids. Creamy feel. Medium body. Excellent for style.
D: Highly drinkable especially for style. Highly recommended for you fellow coffee lovers out there. A very satisfying brew with red meat: paired amazingly well with the filet mignon with blue cheese crust at the St. Paul Grill.

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Photo of mnstorm99
4.23/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beatiful black opaque pour, almost looks like a black marble as the nice tan head settles on top and stays for the majority of the experience.
Beatiful, dark roasted coffee aroma, on top of a touch of roasted barley and aromatic malts.
Taste is real nice and balanced, there are hops there, but just enough to let you know they aren't alone, nice mellow coffee flavor to balance out this malty beverage.
Mouthfeel is as well as it should be with a smooth, chewy feel from the oats. Man, I could replace my morning coffee with this one, Very well done beer.

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Photo of Greggy
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Pours a very nice dark brown head, thick and creamy, but doesn't offer much lacing, probably because of the coffee? The body is dark black with no light showing through.

S- Loads of very dark roast, sweet chocolate malt, cream, roasty grain twang.

T- Starts off almost salty and peppery which is only slight but a touch odd, then have a nice very dark roasted coffee, nice dry chocolate, cream, hints of vanilla. The finish is slightly dry with great coffee.

M- A bit to much carbonation on the body. Overall nice coffee.

D- Very great stout and flavorful. Nice ABV as well. Definitely will drink again. Glad I have a bottle left.

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Photo of mothman
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Stub and Herbs

Served in a goblet

Came with no head. Color is a deep black.

Aroma: Strong coffee, very strong coffee aroma. Chocolate. Earthy hops. Awesome.

Taste: Dark roasted strong coffee. Wow, this tastes almost more like coffee then it does beer. Very sweet.

Mouthfeel: Rich, creamy, smooth. Nice carbonation with a full body. Leaves a dry coffee flavored aftertaste.

Overall, this beer is coffee. Awesome drinkablility and I will probably get more of this. If you like coffee, you have to try this beer.

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Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes from last nights stout tasting.

Pours black with one finger mocha head. Coffee and sweet roasted malts dominate the smell. The coffee dominates the taste with some milk chocolate and more sweetness from the malts. The mouthfeel is silky and smooth and the bitterness from the coffee really balances out the whole thing. I could sniff and drink this one all night long. Would love to have this one again.

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Photo of darkpreferred
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can poured into a 12 oz. mug. Poured black with a decent tan head. IBU is 26. This stout uses a quality coffee bean. Probably my favorite coffee brewer supplies this excellent coffee bean. I found it to be a smooth stout with a nice body and really no bitterness. Not overly carbonated. Tastes of coffee and chocolate - well of course, it's a stout. Also dark roasted malt.
Nice drinkability. Would have again.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Black Helicopter is a coffee oatmeal stout made with locally roasted Columbia coffee beans from Paradise roasters in Ramsey, MN. What makes this coffee beer different you ask? This is the first beer of its kind made with coffee brewed on a Clover machine, which uses a unique mechanism for extracting the subtle and complex flavors of a coffee bean. Don't miss this chance to taste this one of a kind brew."

Is it an oatmeal stout, or a coffee stout...or a "breakfast stout"? Maybe it's all three?

Murky black, roasty brown, slim head.
rich, earthy coffeeish aromatics.
Coffee right off the bat, rich and flavorful, but not overpowering. Silky smooth on the palate, oatmeal doing the trick. Very easy-drinking, and energized. Gets better, and mellower as we get further in. Smooth and snappy!
This is the coffee stout to beat. It's the Goldilocks of the style, not too big, not too small, ...ju-ust right!

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Photo of gford217
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle #149/500 courtesy of Buebie poured into a tulip.

Pours dark chocolate out of the bottle and sits very close to black in the glass underneath a hefty tan head that goes slowly down to a collar and leaves only a trace of lacing.

The aroma is dominated by a mix of oatmeal and roasted coffee with dark chocolate malts mixed in.

The initial oatmeal and chocolate sweetness fades into the roasted espresso character and dark malts of the backbone. The finish is chocolaty and a bit chalky.

The mouthfeel is super smooth due to the oatmeal with a small bit of soft carbonation.

This is my second beer from Flat Earth and I'm definitely impressed by this one. The coffee is present but not overpowering, balanced well by the oatmeal. Very good and goes down extremely easy. Big thanks to Brian for sending me this rare brew.

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Photo of morimech
4.12/5  rDev +9%
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 zeff80
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pracna on Main

A - Poured an opaque, dark, dark brown color with a small, cappuccino-like head. It left moderate amounts of lace.

S - It smelled of coffee (java), sweet chocolate and floral notes.

T - It tasted of coffee, rich roasted malts. The was a nice sweet chocolate flavor that balanced out the bitter hops and coffee.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium-bodied beer that was fairly easy-drinking.

D - This is a very nice oatmeal stout with coffee. Delicious on tap and a look forward to trying more Flat Earth brews.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
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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Black Helicopter from Flat Earth Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 142 ratings.
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