Black Helicopter | Flat Earth Brewing Company

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Black HelicopterBlack Helicopter

Brewed by:
Flat Earth Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States | website

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: 68 | Ratings: 137
Photo of Bighuge
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Inky black body. Huge crop of deep brown head with great retention and lace properties. Beautiful aroma of thick roasted coffee and mocha and java. This carries over into the flavor as well with the heavily roasted coffee flavors. But the body of this beer is not strong enough to hold up to the bold flavors of this beer. There's no backbone. Watery in the mouth. Definitely could use some heft. This beer is a tale of two cities. Absolutely love the look and smell. Flavor is fine. Mouthfeel could use some work.

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Photo of Florida9
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Black in color. Pours with a huge, fizzy, big-bubbled, oddly dark taupe colored head that reduces down to a thin surface coating. Minimal lacing.

S: Roasted malts. Char. Burnt black coffee.

T: Straight up cheap black coffee. Even has a little bit of that sour acidic bite that some coffees have. Also cola and some very heavily roasted malt. Quick finish.

M: Medium in weight and body, but rather thin for the style. With heavy carbonation. Very cola-like.

D: Good. Not great. Would have never guessed this one was an oatmeal stout given the lighter body and heavy carbonation. Actually, this was probably the most carbonated stouts I've ever had. But still an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Soilworker
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
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 Parrotbeak
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black, with a half-inch, frothy tan head that remains. Massive lacing as it goes down.
Smell is intense roasted coffee, but some burnt malts can still be discerned. Espresso, caramel, and dark chocolate come in as well.
Taste is bitter dark chocolate and coffee grounds. More burnt malts, with some faint caramel and toffee. However, while the front end is flavorful, the finish is rather lackluster, with some weak cocoa and coffee flavors.
Mouthfeel is fairly smooth, with a clean finish. Low level of carbonation, but the bitterness from the coffee gives it some life. Medium body.
Drinkability is decent, but the intense coffee presence makes it a bit off-balanced. Pretty good beer overall though.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
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 ffejherb
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to akorsak for sharing this bomber on 3/21/10.

A - Poured a deep, opaque onyx-colored liquid with a finger of tan froth that reduced to a patchy retention but swelled up with each swirl of the glass, leaving some spotty lace behind.

S - Coffee, roasted malt and leafy bitter notes comprise the initial aroma, followed by a hint of astringency and slight herbal hop notes.

T - Starts out on the good foot, but turns sharp, metallic and astringent in the middle. However, all is not lost, as a decent roasted malt character emerges in the backend with a hint of chocolate, which offers a hint of sweetness.

M - Medium bodied but ultimately a little thin and watery overall. Dry, metallic finish with moderate bitterness on the palate.

D - Not a bad oatmeal stout, although it certainly got better as it warmed. Still, I found it to be a bit too harsh and metallic overall.

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Photo of akorsak
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
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 mothman
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
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 Mistofminn
4.24/5  rDev +12.5%
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 kruse
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
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 tpd975
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First beer from these guys that was not a mess to pour. Most have been so overcarbonated that it took a half hour to pour a single glass.

A: Pours a nice nutty brown with a small fizzy head. Nice collar hangs around and produces small hints of lace.

S: Mostly coffee in the nose. Not fresh espresso, more like cheap 7-11 coffee. Hints of roast hides behind along with a touch of sweetness.

T: Roasty coffee up front. The coffee flavor is much better than you would find at 7-11. Nice flavors of toasted bread as well. A touch of creamy sweetness hides beneath the coffee. The finish has a touch of chocolate and a nice blast of bitter coffee.

M: Medium in body, pretty good carbonation.

D: Not bad, not my favorite coffee brew, but it will do in a pinch.

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Photo of Floydster
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle acquired in a trade with brewseum, thanks again Barry, bottle #308/500, poured into a Bruery tulip glass, dark brown to very dark brown color with some mahogany around the edges, 3/4 inch creamy tan head, aroma is coffee, burned toffee, oamteal, grains, dark chocolate, and roastiness, taste is mostly roasted malts with a hint of coffee in the finish, definitely a lighter feeling stout and not some big imperial beer, almost a little tart at times which is not such a good thing, roasted and dry mouthfeel, thin to medium bodied, moderate level of carbonation, could drink this bomber, low in alcohol and it feels that way, coffee is not overpowering at all and is probably too light actually, drinkability for the style is good, would drink again, worth trying

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Photo of maximum12
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle #254/500 has been waiting in the basement since this winter. Have overdosed a bit on all the coffee beers racing around, finally going back to one.

Thick & black. The nose is a blast of the Dunn Brother's distinctive coffee.

The coffee is too strong in this brew, it blurs & distorts whatever the stout underneath might have going for it. There's a gleam of sweetness if I concentrate, maybe a bit of roastiness, which could be the coffee...nah. The coffee taste is nice, but there's really nothing else here, one could get the same effect by chilling a mug with a dash of 7UP for carbonation.

Decent enough beer, but I would have liked something in addition to the coffee blast.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
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 Murchmac
2.36/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Had this one in a tasting, poured a healthy dose of it, loved the look of this black as night stout.

Smell of coffee, some burtness, but kinda metallic and sour as well. Like this was Airwolf or something.

Tastes some coffee up front, some roasty toastiness but too carbonated and there's that metallic taste again to it. Like the sand from Libya where Ernest Borgnine had to help retrieve Airwolf.

Not a good beer, too carbonated and metallic tasting, I like my dark stouts to not taste like metal. We all drain poured this brew something only the FIRM would cook up.

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Photo of sonicdescent
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

200th review! Decided to take a slightly different route for it.

I wish I had kept better track of who sent what extras, but a big cheers to the BA that did send me this as an extra.

Pours a very nice dark brown, nearly black except when held in the light. The head, while turning into a layer of crown, does seem to stick around for a while. The mocha colored goodness looks like it is trying desperately to cling to the side of the glass, but likely to my not quite beer clean glass, is having some difficulty.

Scent is coffee beans up front, roasted malt, and chocolate very hidden in the back. This smells like a good cup of fresh coffee. No hint of booze or any hops.

Taste, unfortunately, is going to be a huge sticking point for me. This is coffee, through and through, and thats it. The coffee taste is good, but this is incredibly one dimensional after that.

Mouth is a bit on the thin and bubby side, I prefer my stouts to be thick and damn near flat.

This is going to be like drinking a cup of coffee, and I'm happy to have tried it once, but won't go out of my way to revisit.

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Photo of charlesw
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
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 Gueuzedude
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is well carbonated as a careful pour still produces a nearly four-finger thick, lightly browned, dark tan colored head in my 25cl tulip glass. The beer is quite black, but with a brown tint and it shows a perhaps a hint of bright ruby if held up directly to the light. The aroma is definitely coffee influenced as it smells like coffee even as I am pouring this beer. A deeper inspection of the aroma, yields sharp, almost harsh, burnt aromatics and even some acidic burnt notes. A touch of charcoal, some berry like coffee-bean notes, well toasted whole grain bread crust, very burnt caramel notes and even some dark chocolate aromatics are noticeable if you dig around here. The aroma is a little harsh for me, but does have some interesting notes to it.

The beer is quite fizzy, which contributes too much carbonic acid. Luckily this is easily remedied by some vigorous swirling. Burnt acidic flavors are joined by roasted charcoal notes and a lingering acidity and burnt bread note that lingers on in the finish. The beer starts to lose a bit of its harshness as my palate gets used to it, though it still never loses it. Dark chocolate notes, softer cocoa flavors and something a bit like burnt prune juice add a bit of balance to the purely roast coffee notes that are up front. There is a touch of berry flavor here as well (perhaps a touch of blueberry even).

Not as bad as my initial impression's misgivings, but this is a bit too burnt / roast dominated for my particular tastes. Still this is fairly enjoyable and definitely worth trying (I'll even finish the bottle pretty easily which is saying something).

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.64/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to tytoanderso for this one.

Looks like a deep dark brown with a creamy foam of dark tan. When held to the light, not too many new colors sneak through.

Smells of over-caramelized sugar, a touch of cough syrup and a dash of coffee. Hmmm... I'm trying to get the syrupy stickiness of this one to drift over to just sticky barley, but it isn't working. Not a fan.

Tastes exponentially better. (whew!) It starts with a soft and subtle smokey dark grain. As it picks up its roasted grainy elements, before you realize what's going on, it transitions over to coffee. Sneaky. Bravo! The less-than-desirable elements of the nose are still here but they at first appear as a balancing, ambiguous fruity sweetness, but in the finish, I get the same unpleasantness, but they are far more inconspicuous this time around as the coffee tends to mask it quite a bit.

Feels slick and clean with a healthy frothing of carbonation that swells and then dissipates before it gets in the way. Very playful, but perhaps a bit too lively for the style.

The smell aside, this one's quite enjoyable. As I look at the final 3.7 I give this one, the beer is waaay more enjoyable than the score leads on. Honestly, I think it smells disagreeable for my tastes, but the beer itself is pretty darn good. Way better than a 3.7, but whaddaya do?

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Photo of natasharai
4.04/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured with 2 fingers of bubbly tan head that dissipated to a rim around the top of the glass leaving no lacing. The beer is dark brown and doesn't let any light thtough.

Smell: Fruity plum, sweet malt, and coffee

Taste: Coffee up front, then malty, and sweet, followed by a small hop presence

Mouthfeel: Leaves mouth pretty dry, pretty thin and tingly on the tongue.

Overall: Easy to drink, really light feeling and the alcohol is not noticable. The flavorts throughout are much lighter than I expected. The coffee flavors are not as noticeable as I would have liked.

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Photo of br3wmeister
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Nice big light brown head good retention and little lacing. The beer pours a dark brown color.

S- Dark chocolate, coffee and other roasted aromas up front. Some molasses comes through along with a little touch of smoke.

T- Lots of bite up front, I can not tell it if is from carbonation or hops, I am thinking carbonation. Next comes some nice sweet flavors, molasses and a hint of brown sugar. Then the beer drys out and bitter roasted coffee and barley come through to finish things off.

M- Medium bodied with a nice hop and carbonation bite.

Overall this is a pretty good stout. Maybe nothing too special but worth trying.

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Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
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 jjanega08
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
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 gford217
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
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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Black Helicopter from Flat Earth Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.
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