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Port Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout | Anderson Valley Brewing Company

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Port Barrel Aged Oatmeal StoutPort Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout
24 Ratings
Port Barrel Aged Oatmeal StoutPort Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout

Brewed by:
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-21-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 24 |  Reviews: 17
Reviews by tjsprague:
Photo of tjsprague
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was being poured at the Celebrator Beer Fest and they were serving a special tap that had been aged for 7 years in the port barrels.

I have never had a beer that tasted quite like this. This was a fantastic mixture of both a nice port and a sweet thick oatmeal stout.

The beer pours dark with a little creamy head, it looks just like any oatmeal stout until you smell it. After 7 years the port from the barrels has really seeped into the beer. The first thing you smell is a nice fruity and sweet smell from the port wine, which almost goes against what you see with the dark brown beer in the glass.

The taste comes in two parts. At first is a sweet and fruity taste of port, its just like drinking a glass of aged wine. But about halfway through the beer comes in. The oatmeal stout is thick and creamy with a nice sweetness from the oatmeal. So where you might have had bitterness if you were just drinking port you get a wonderful sweet and creamy finish after the flavorful and fruity port from the beginning.

The mouth feel was velvety and thick just like a nice stout should be.

For drinkability this is a excellent beer. The two flavors balance each other and take away most of the harsh edges that either one of the components might have. This is a beer to be enjoyed slowly and in small amounts.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.94/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black and lesser brown appearance, some decent head and tiny lace, which is more than average for barrel aged stuff sometimes. Aroma was kind of that portness I guess, I certainly know I like the regular version more at this point, just from the smell, but I'm definitely not a fan of port, so that has a lot to do with it.

A lot of different flavors, was like an Anchor Christmas mixed with a thinner oatmeal stout, a port barrel and a tame wild yeast. Sour notes are more of a distraction, not really impressive for that aspect of the beer. What the base beer had going for it, gets destroyed (smooth chewiness) by the port flavor, sweet, buttery, woody, with some celery and carrots or some other shit just thrown in to keep you guessing.

It just ends up obliterating the deep yet not bitter roasted notes, the smoothness, the chewiness of the base beer. File this under barrel aged version worse than base beer.

Drank at Jupiter for Sour Sunday.

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Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of nickd717
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review dated 6/26/2009. Bottle #122 of 150 picked up the day after the Boonville Beer Fest, waiting several hours at the brewery much to the annoyance of my girlfriend who wanted to go home and wash the mud from the rainy fest off her.

Black color with a small, wispy light beige head.

Great musty aroma of port, chocolate, vanilla, and berries.

Flavor fell a bit short - chocolate, roasted malt, and wood were a bit overwhelmed by a somewhat jarring tart vinous/port flavor. Good but not as well-balanced and smooth as I’d like.

Palate somewhat creamy with low carbonation.

Overall I feel like this is a bit too much age for a stout like Barney Flats. AV brews a good imperial stout, and if they would up the gravity of that a little more (up to about 12-13% ABV) and then put it through the same aging process, that beer could be pretty legen...wait for it...dary!

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Photo of Nage37
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle #119.... Nickd717 hooked a brother up!! I honestly never thought I would see one of these rarities with my own eyes, let alone get full bottle to share with the boys!! Nick is one generous dude and a super trader.

Short lasting tan head... the brew is pretty clear... not quite black but close.

Nose shows very obvious port qualities along with plenty of dry cocoa... fruity and a bit vinous..

Extremely interesting.. slightly sour that mixes well with the dry stout qualities and wine elements.. dark cocoa... a bit of leather ... some tannic astringency on the finish....

body seemed on the light side for such a complex beer and the nearly 9% ABV.. but the carbonation was about perfect.

I was pretty surprised how well this was received with the regulars and the peeps new to our little circle.. I thought it was pretty good, but not great.... just very very interesting.


Thanks again Nick... I still feel indebted to you.. let me know if you ever need anything.

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Photo of huadog
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of largadeer
3.66/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to nickd717 for bringing this one to a recent tasting. Dark near-opaque pour, sits black in the glass with a small tan head that rapidly dissipates. Buttery, fruity aroma, mild lactic sourness, chocolate-covered cherries. Tart, vinous flavor, very woody. Sour and roasted notes clash a bit. Medium-thin body. Diacetyl is thankfully less present on the palate. Sweet-tart finish with light tannins. Interesting stuff, better than expected but still not wholly successful. A bigger base beer would have been a good idea.

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Photo of ThirdLap
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Anderson Valley tasting room, Feb 13, 2009.

A - Deep brown, almost opaque, creamy tan head, low retention, some lacing noted.

S - Wow, the port barrel aging really shows. Dark sour fruits, cherries, mild hint of bitter chocolate.

T - This is like no other imperial stout. In fact, it's probably the closest thing to a sour/stout mix I've ever encountered, and somehow it works. I get tart dark fruits, cherries, celery, with a vanilla aftertaste. Alcohol is almost imperceptible. Very sweet.

M - Light bodied, crisp finish, medium carbonation, and if you can believe it, refreshing.

D - A thirst quenching stout.

Different, but good. Way to buck the trend guys!

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.96/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Black and brown liquid, average head, lesser lace. Aroma was definitely port barrel, ugh kinda. Sweet booze. Too much harsh booze.

Taste was just a hodgepodge for no rhyme or reason of flavors. Sweet rubbing alcohol destroys the base beer, which is a good beer. Thins out the beer, even gives buttery impressions. Like they dumped a bunch of leftovers from the fridge into the beer.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing this, Shane. Serious wales, here.

A: The pour is dark brown in color with a rather tall tan head.

S: Nicely tart from the dark fruit and port aromas. There's a fair bit of oak and wine along with a nice sweetness to go with a mild roast and dark chocolate character. Seems to be a strong graham cracker note.

T: Sweet wine/port flavors abound. Plenty of oak to it as well. The roast is somewhat mild and instead the more dominant flavors are dark fruits and sweet graham crackers. Light chocolate notes, perhaps some hints of caramel.

M: Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation.

O: This is such a solid beer. I'm not always the biggest port or port barrel aged beer fan, but this is good stuff.

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Photo of Jules11788
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Barely any head, sticky lacing, black as night

S: Wood, port, and chocolate

T: Starts with a roasty wood flavor, then quickly transitions to a nice smokey sour tartness. Finishes with rich chocolate and slight notes of raisin

M: Buttery and light, very slightly carbonated

O: This is one hell of an interesting beer. It's like mixing port and wood flavors into your chocolaty stout flavors -- you either dig it or you hate it. I happened to dig it! Glad I got the chance to try this rare brew

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Photo of Kopfschuss
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of HopHead84
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Bottle #117/150, thanks! This was supposedly aged for 7 years in Port Barrels.

A: Dark brown, bordering on black, with a big bubbly beige head.

S: A pleasant blend of dark and milk chocolate. The extensive time in the barrel has left its mark on the base beer, imparting notes of lightly tart plum and grape. Caramel and toffee are evident. Oxidation is sherry-like and faint.

T: Lightly tart grape and plum meld with dark and milk chocolate. Oak is present but light. Alcohol is well hidden. There's a light nuttiness accompanying toffee and chocolate. Bitterness is low and the beer has a graceful sherry-like oxidation.

M: Medium in body with a moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is creamy and silky.

Overall: A good beer, but I think a more robust base beer would have better handled the extended barrel aging.

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Photo of 99bottles
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Monk's

Appearance: This is a daaaark brown stout served with a light tan head of about an inch. Very classic appearance.

Smell: Whew! Really interesting. It smells of sour grapes. I realize the port connection, but this is a sour nose. There is some roasted barley and observable hops to this, but the bitterness I expect fades quickly into this puckering sour-sweet (yeah yeah) smell. I like it!

Taste: My mouth waters from the smell, I take a big sip... I almost fall out of my chair. This isn't a stout. It can't be. Where's the dark roasted barley? Where is the dry oatmeal finish? Where is the chocolate (oops, there some is) and coffee (ok they're there but hiding). What is this incredible tartness that dominates the beer? The puckering aftertaste, the sour grape the tart cherry? It's...ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. A perfect 5.

Mouthfeel: It was not a thin stout, there was moderate viscosity in the body and almost non existent carbonation. It was like drinking cold wine.

Drinkability: Oh, bring it on! I only had one, but I could have had many more. I could see this bogging you down after 2 or 3, but the taste is so different that it begs to be drank. This is an experiment gone great. Someone dust off that Nobel Prize and get it ready.

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Photo of Genghis22
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle # 56 of 150
Picked this up May 3, 2009, after the Boonville Beer Festival

A - Pours jet black with a nice brown head. The head gives way pretty quickly, no lacing.

S - Strong smells of wine! Lots of fruit in this one. Sour cherries, plums, currants.

T - Sour! Very strange for a stout, but it is very sour at first. Sour cherry tasting, leads into sweet smokey porter like taste. Smoke, oak, tobacco and coffee flavors emerge as it warms.

M - Medium Body, moderate carbonation. Very dry.

D - Wowza. This is not for everyone. This is an intense beer with lots of flavors going on. I was surprised at the carbonation level, and how sour and dry it was. The wine is almost, but not quite, overpowering. I enjoyed this much more after it warmed up a bit. I'm curious to see how it ages, but for now, it is one and done.

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Photo of drummstikk
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A three-way balance of roast, sour, and aged oak flavors. pours a ruby-black, and smells like coffee and lemons. Has an immediate lactic tang in the taste, followed by a wave of roasted malts, then vanilla and wood barrel flavors. Body is light and smooth, with enough carbonation to balance the sourness, but not so much as might muddle the several distinct flavors. Very unusual to taste so many flavors in such a drinkable beer. You could forget to sip this high-alcohol brew and you might even find the light body and gentle sourness to be highly refreshing!

Hop bitterness is low, as the beer's focus is to compare and contrast sour and roasted flavors. A highly unique creation that deserves a few more tastings to fully understand. Nice work Anderson Valley!

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Photo of aforbes10
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Davis grad, the day after it was served at a tasting there (they always have enough left over). Pours black and a little still with a slight head. Lacing falls apart quickly. Smells like warm sherry, alcohol obvious and fruity. Chocolate and heady red win notes. Flavor is definitely commanded by the flavor from those port barrels. Big, aggressive port/red wine punch, hot alcohol and hints of oak. Touch of tartness goes well with the chocolate and oatmeal-soft mouthfeel. A very tasty treat. Kind of like I'm drinking a really good wine mixed with really good beer. A hybrid style, in taste.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Whoa! Perfect "5" pour. Alert the press! Oh, it's black with a 1/2" brown head. A perfect tulip pour with brown lace creeping down the glass.

Scents of wild flowers and malts. Dry cooking flour & molasses. Quite intense scents. Earthy wet wood, and warmed up yogurt.

Tastes of sour cranberry, roasted malts, smoked charcoal, sophistication. Hmmm. Sour lemony male syrup. Tons of flavors. Malts vs. Hops...can't tell. Lingering aftertaste of smokiness & cigar.

Complex drink bordering on 4.0 - 4.5/5.0

Full bodied that swigs back quickly due to investigationg the taste.

I'd put another down if you're buying.

Last swigs: Who turned out the lights? Dark. Lemony sour oily stoudt that lacks carbonation. Ever drink pancake batter & syrup? Yogurt scents as it warmed. Monk's on tap for a mere $3.50. Rocks!


Beer is good. Happy aged cask beering.

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Photo of RochefortChris
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of axeman9182
3.05/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On tap for Barcade's 8th anniversary party and served in a goblet.

Anderson Valley's port barrel aged oatmeal stout pours a solid black. A thin dusting of khaki colored foam crowns the beer, but leaves no real chance for any head retention or lacing. The nose has just a bit of roast, along with some dark fruits and a little oak. The flavor starts out similarly, with just a bit of dark chocolate. There's a solid plum and raisin presence before some tannic oak sets in. That transitions nicely into a sour cherry finish. The tannins from the wood give an astringent character to the mouthfeel, and it's paired with a carbonation that's just a little too active. This Anderson Valley stout was a tough beer to score, as it was supposedly aged in port barrels for seven year, and while an oatmeal stout is what went in, what came out is an entirely different creature altogether.

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of JWD
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

09 bottle of the 7 year port barrel realeased the day after the Boonville fest. (bottle 115 of 150)8.7ABV in the bottle

A- Black with very active carb, very active head to it, quickly goes away. looks good.

S- As stated before this is almost a black port wine, very heavy on the barrel and the port taste, very DRY. First of its kind for me.

T- MOre of the same, DRY, PORT, and BARREL but very good and extremely interesting.

M- Not good, IMO to thin or weak of a stout to age in a barrel, maybe a DL or something would be out of control.

D- Went down smooth like an after dinner port would. good and i will cellar the other for the next few years.

RARE AND INTERESTING, i have 2 of 150 bottles made, that kind of cool..

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Port Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 24 ratings
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