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Earl Coffee Oatmeal Stout | Hill Farmstead Brewery

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
102 Reviews
THE BROS
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Earl Coffee Oatmeal StoutEarl Coffee Oatmeal Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
hillfarmstead.com

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Earl (1911-1985) was our grandfather’s brother; Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to him and his 13 siblings. In his honor, this Stout is crafted from American malted barley, Flaked Oats, English roasted malts, American hops, Organic Guatemalan Coffee, our ale yeast, and water from our well. It is unfiltered and naturally carbonated. A silhouette of coffee and malt - an embodiment of complexity and drinkability, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with Earl.

Pale, Caramel, and Chocolate Malt, Roasted Barley, Columbus hops; Ale Yeast, and our Well Water.

Added by kingcrowing on 09-09-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
102
Ratings:
673
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
17.92%
 
 
Wants:
195
Gots:
73
For Trade:
12
User Reviews
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Reviews: 102 | Ratings: 673
Photo of superspak
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got in a BIF from oline73. 500 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 1/13/2016. Pours pitch black color with a 2 finger dense dark brown head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toasted oats, caramel, dark bread, toffee, herbal, and floral; with lighter notes of pepper, nuttiness, smoke, char, dark fruit, and roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, coffee, and moderate earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toasted oats, caramel, dark bread, toffee, herbal, and floral; with lighter notes of pepper, nuttiness, smoke, char, dark fruit, and roast/toasted earthiness. Moderate roast/char and herbal/spicy hop bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toasted oats, caramel, dark bread, toffee, herbal, floral, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, coffee, and moderate earthy hop flavors; with a great roast/hop bitter/sweet balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from roast/hop bitterness, increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky/bready, and lightly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is awesome. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding oatmeal stout! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, coffee, and moderate earthy hop flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. The coffee has faded a fair amount as expected given the bottle dating; but this is still a wonderfully well balanced, complex, and spot on example of the style. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Myotus
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured at 50°F from a 500ml bottle (bottled 13Jan16) into a Spiegelau Stout glass. Consumed on 21Sep16.
SMELL: Strong aromas of plums, figs, and spicy and earthy coffee are balanced by mild aromas of caramel, bittersweet chocolate, and sweet oats. Subtle scents of bitter roasted malts, vanilla, alcohol further expand the Stout aspects.
4.25 out of 5
TASTE: Strong flavors of earthy and spicy coffee first set foot upon the palate. Balance is immediately found from the trailing of mild caramel and bittersweet chocolate flavors. The sweetness of the brew is amplified by mild sweet oat, plum, and fig flavors as they simultaneously caress the taste buds. Subtle flavors of bitter roasted malts counter the prior sweetness to once again achieve a balanced brew. The taste theatrical begins to end with subtle vanilla and alcohol flavors, but finally concludes with the flavors of bitter roasted malts growing more bitter.
4 out of 5
NOTE: This was a good Stout that could have been great if it was not so bitter. I enjoyed the coffee aspect because it interacted well with the fruity and chocolatey sweetness. The sweetness was a bit mild. I would not have minded the bitterness if the sweetness would have been more dominant than it was.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Solid black orb with burnt red edges and a soft, dark tan head.

Heavily roasted coffee aroma, with a soft vanilla undertone and chocolate.

Taste is more like a savory breakfast beer, with dry bitter coffee, all the more dainty elements in the background. A fruity sweetness from the beans seems to arise as it warms. I also pick up a good amount of piney hops and cedar wood, which has me feeling that this beer is nearing black IPA territory, albeit not quite.

Overall this is a pretty bitter and dry coffee stout, like munching on a teaspoon of high quality cocoa powder. It's also quite tangy, with an almost spicy bitterness never letting up.

I have a few favorite coffee stouts and porters that have yet to be toppled. This is a good attempt, but just can't compare. Finally, a beer by Hill Farmstead that isn't the pinnacle of a style!

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Photo of 11-52_4hops
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle dated 5.6.16 picked up at the brewery. Looks gorgeous coming out of the bottle. Light nose - some (surprise ) coffee. Smooth in the middle with a touch of sweetness. Bitter black coffee at the end. I am a black coffee drinker but this is a little too bitter on the backside. After having Everett a few weeks ago, I had high hopes. This is a very nice coffee stout but it does not reach the uber level of many of HF's other offerings.

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Photo of lic217
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: Dark Black black, tan head
Smell:Coffee
Taste: Coffee, sweet in middle, bitter at end, touch of alcohol heat as it ages, dark fruit
Feel: Smooth, thick
Overall: Nice beer, but not spectacular

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Photo of mothman
2.36/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.25

How does this beer get a 4.2+???
Tan head. Black color. Lace left.

Way over roasted. The coffee isn't even that good. Same HF yeast and malt bill. Smokey and peaty. Tastes like Mikkeller crap.

Medium bodied. Ends extremely dry and roasted.

I still cannot believe how this beer is rated so high. It isn't drinkable.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.66/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

8 euro per small pour @ Mikkeller Bar Barcelona. On-draught there; served in a teku. Regrettably brief notes below (given a less than ideal review environment):

HEAD: ~2.5cm wide. Gorgeous tan colour with great complexion and a lovely soft, even, coating consistency. Leaves uneven lacing as it recedes. Retention is good - ~7 minutes.

BODY: Predictably, it's an opaque solid black. No yeast, lees, or sediment is visible within.

AROMA: Wonderfully rich coffee immediately seizes my attention - subtle roast, luscious Java, no bitterness. And boy is it pungent, promising incredible depth of flavour. Underscored neatly by perfect chocolatey sweetness and dark malts. No actual oatmeal or roasted barley notes are evident aromatically.

Aromatic intensity is moderate. Suggests an impeccably balanced coffee stout with excellent depth of flavour. Still, I suppose it could deliver more complexity.

TASTE & TEXTURE: A beautifully balanced coffee stout with a sleek silky mouthfeel (owed to the oats) and magnificent softness on the palate. Its soft texture counters any coffee harshness (of which there's perceptibly none whatsoever). Subtle chocolate malt accents balance out any coffee bitterness.

And coffee is easily the star of the show. Anything but your buddy's Folger's homebrew, Earl delivers pungent diverse coffee character replete with notes of rich java, subtle roast, and powdery coffee bean. Superb depth of flavour.

A blip of Hershey's chocolate syrup.

No oatmeal starchiness or flavour; oats are here purely to aid the smoothness and wetness of the mouthfeel. Aptly medium-bodied. Perfect thickness and heft on the palate. Near ideal carbonation. Many coffee stouts suffer from too much acidity; this is not amongst them.

Cohesive, absolutely. A gestalt whole of a coffee oatmeal stout with plenty of interesting flavours, though to nitpick there is of course room for still more complexity and subtlety. While it offers very good coffee flavours, I have encountered better.

Boy do I like this.

OVERALL: Hill Farmstead's own-name lineup continues to impress with this inspired coffee stout. A drinkable offering I'd love to buy in six packs, with a depth and balance that puts most expressions of the style to shame. Really remarkable stuff from a brewery I'm constantly looking to try more of.

B (3.66) / GOOD

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Growler purchased at brewery 4/9/16 and consumed 4/12/16. Poured into Guinness stout glass.

L: Midnight black, 3 finger head, lots of lacing and a cap
S: Very malt-forward, more traditional. Oats, roasted malt. Coffee present, but very muted and behind.
T: Follows nose. Lots of roasted malts and oats. Coffee is light and comes in on the finish.
F: Medium bodied, light carbonation, quite drinkable. Definitely something about that Hill Farmstead well water that is good. Solidly constructed.
O: Unspectacular, but rock solid. An oatmeal stout you can drink every day forever.

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Photo of Trevor11
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decent coffee stout, but I prefer 3 Floyd's Wigsplitter among other beers over Earl. It is very dark and thick with viscous tan finger head. I get a lot of mocha coffee aromas as well as flavor profiles. There was an acidic, bittersweet ending possibly from the caramel or dried fruits that made another sip less intriguing. I still need to compare it to Everett.

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Photo of ScaryEd
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler filled at the brewery.

Pours a pitch black color with a thin khaki head. Leaves some good lacing.

The aroma is very roasted, with lots of bitter dark chocolate and coffee beans.

Taste follows the nose. Roasted coffee up front, followed by dark chocolate. I get some mild roasted grains and a touch of char as well.

The feel is medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Very smooth and rich. Slight lingering bitterness.

Overall a good stout with some excellent coffee flavors and a good balance between sweetness and bitterness.

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Photo of jhavs
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the brewery, nitro version, 25cl pour into their Willi becher glassware.

Look: Deep, near completely opaque, dark brown. Nitro pour, so cascading latte colored bubbles rising into tan creamy head. Layers of dark brown, deep tan, to light tan head slowly settles into the complete dark, dark brown.

Smell: Lots of roasted malts, big dark roasted bitter coffee aroma.

Taste: Get dark roasted coffee, a bit bitter, followed by the roasted malts. Smooths out nicely as it warms.

Feel: A fairly full body that remain light and easy drinking thanks to the nitro..

Overall: Rich and smooth, bold flavors, balanced.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One must compare this to classic oatmeal stouts, not the jumped up steroidal stouts that roam the land today, to appreciate the timeless brilliance of this. It's earthy, incredibly rich for the abv, smokey, dry, lingeringly bitter from hops (and, presumably, coffee), dense with chocolate, perfectly carbonated. The one weak link is the aroma which is rather muted though I honestly can't imagine this particular style ever being intensely aromatic.

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Photo of imonhiatus
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

bottled january 13, 2016, enjoyed from a hill farmstead bulb. pour is as expected black with a khaki head a nice lace. nose is as advertised...coffee over a somewhat char heavy oatmeal stout. really nice full bodied beverage...taste is definitely coffee infused oatmeal stout. nice rich roasted coffee. working man's coffee...not coffee that ends in an "...ino". as always, hill farmstead remains a brewery you can count on to deliver quality for virtually any style. a perfect reward for shoveling a foot of snow this afternoon.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 1/14/16

A: Dark, dark, deep brown, with some slightly less dark brown around the edges - pours with a rich, creamy, medium-large mocha colored head, gradually fades to a wispy cap, keeps a medium sized collar and leaves a wall of spotty lacing

S: Beautiful coffee aromas backed up with chocolate and some burnt malts - really nice dark roast coffee, coffee beans, and some coffee grounds - roasty in general - lots of chocolate, which adds to a mocha-like aroma - dark chocolate, fudge, chocolate cake, brownies - dry, lightly burnt chocolate malts, with some caramel for depth - more sweetness than I expected, with some caramel, molasses, and toffee

T: It's dessert in a glass - every sip is is like a bite of some kind of mocha chip brownie ice cream - really nice coffee flavor, dark roast, touch of espresso flavor - tons of chocolate, with dark chocolate, milk chocolate, fudge, and brownies - oats and oatmeal - moderately sweet with some burnt sugar, raw sugar, molasses, caramel, and toffee - touch of vanilla - very roasty and lightly burnt, with not a ton of burnt bitterness - finishes somewhat dry with lingering chocolate malts

M: On the heavy side of medium, smooth and chewy thanks to the oats, medium carbonation

O: This is a dessert that I dream to share... actually no, this is hard to share

It's pretty hard to mess up a breakfast stout, as far as I'm concerned, as I am an absolute sucker for the style. Apparently it's also pretty hard for Hill Farmstead to produce anything that is less than stellar. If you take a look at my reviews, you'll see me swoon repeatedly over hoppy Hill Farmstead beers. But I think this is the first dark beer from HF that has truly surprised me. It's a little too sweet, but that is the only thing holding it back from legendary status.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great nose...oatmeal and faint coffee. Light mouthfeel....getting light coffee and oatmeal notes, very smooth drinking stout! Excellent!! Wish the bottle was larger :)

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a rich black with a nice one finger mocha colored head. Great lace down the glass after each sip.

S: A nice mix of coffee and dark chocolate. Just loads of freshly ground coffee in here. Just a trace of toffee sweetness in there as well.

T: This is pretty fantastic. Lots of freshly roasted coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malt with some wet wood and espresso on the back. Just a touch of toasted marshmallow sweetness in there as well. Tons of roasty flavors without ever becoming overly bitter. This is really nicely done.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big ups to @F2brewers for hooking me up w/ my first HF dark brew. Pretty darn stoked to break into this bad boy. Out of the bottle, the esteemed Mr. Hill is crushing it, his brew bursting with rich, completely un-acrid java, almost a touch of marshmellow, a certain bit of chocolate, and perhaps some other sweetness. This is a smell with dimension, with depth! Palate is a coffee bomb, through and through, the absolute star attraction. Some roasted malt slips through, perhaps a bit of char/ash. It's some legit bitterness, and I'm hard pressed to tell if it's the coffee, the acidity of the roasted malt, or a contribution of hops. Seriously, this is burly, aided and abetted by a nice, coating mouthfeel. Fair or not, the nose set the bar so darn high, I'm not sure the taste quite lived up to it, but I think that's more compliment to the former than critique of the latter. Overall, easily amongst the better coffee stouts I've had. Prob doesn't quite reach the pinnacle (Peche Mortel territory), but clearly a really, really well done coffee stout. Props, Mr. Hill.

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Photo of mythaeus
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow, this beer is absolutely delicious! Pours beautifully to a nice thick bubbling up creamy head, outstanding chewy mouthfeel, great balance of coffee without much bitterness or high acidity, slight sweetness, all complimented each other especially when it warmed up to 55-60 degrees.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Near black with some dark brown at the edges when held to direct light. Head is super creamy and dense to start. Head is a medium tan leaning to dark. Drops to a small smooth collar with a few clumps of creamy cap. Moderate carbonation on the pour accompanying a moderately viscous pour. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Super roasted. Roast adds a soft touch of almost burnt malt. Coffee laced throughout. Some small hins of dark fruit. Tons of chocolate and cocoa. Mostly dark chocolate with some baker's cocoa thrown in for good measure. Slightly sweet. A touch of almost soy and meat in there as well...more like a well seasoned grill. A soft hint of citrus from the hops. A touch of rock coupled with some straw. Minerals. Chocolate malt in abundance. A mild hint of oats buried in the back. A slight hint of char and smoke.

Taste: Chocolate malt on steroids. Super chocolaty. Milk chocolate gives way to bitter baker's chocolate and nibs. Super dark chocolate. Oats add a bit of dimension. Small hint of citrus ghosting over the top, but it's very quickly crushed by the assertive malt base. Some generic dark fruit pushes through each sip. Fresh tobacco and a ton of coffee bean. Slightly smoky with a slight hint of grilled meat. Fresh roasted coffee bean. Slight minerality in the back as well. Sweet without crossing in to sugary or cloying. Some husky grain. Warming ups the hoppy backbone throwing a soft floral edge. Ends up a little harsh as it warms jumping the bitter cocoa and deep roasted notes to a distracting and obfuscating level.

Mouthfeel: Creamy medium body with a moderate carbonation. Super smooth, but the carbonation livens it up just a touch. Slight astringency.

Overall: Yet another guy you want around all the time.

It's definitely American. Hoppy and creamy and delicious. Everything blends. Drinks bigger than it actually is and will probably age for 2-3 years with grace.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black body with a big deep brown head almost like a nitro pour from the bottle. Nice light roast on the nose with hints of chocolate and maybe even some maple. Body is right there for an oatmeal stout if not hinting slightly toward a Belgian dry stout. Flavor is very nice and comforting. Coffee balanced with chocolate. Easy drinking for a stout and delivers what it says it will.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I tried this on tap at Hill Farmstead served in a stemmed glass.

The color is dark brown with translucent clarity and small tan head with average bead. The smell is very aromatic with coffee and cocoa aromas. The feel is great with plenty of roast yet not overdone or too bitter with a nice complimentary carbonation and sweetness.

The taste of the coffee is seamless with the malt and has a very nice cocoa-like flavor with some malt roastiness to keep pace with the coffee with a nice sweet taste like caramel in the finish. Overall I could not ask for much more - this beer delivers everything it advertises and more -an all around excellent oatmeal stout which is one of my favorite styles

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Photo of dar482
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a black color with a beautiful 1.5 finger fluffy brown head.

The aroma offers brown sugar sweetness, medium roasted coffee, milk chocolate, cocoa, cappuccino, licorice.

The flavor follows with a medium to light roasted coffee with caramel and brown sugar coming through. Then onto a punchier roasted quality and an aggressive bitterness of anise, sambuca, licorice, earthy. The mouthfeel is creamy upfront as it fades onto the bitter finish.

 461 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle. Pours a thick, viscous, dark brown. Not much head. Looks like a double digit Imperial Stout. Aroma was of premium coffee, fudge, some dark fruit and vanilla. The flavor is great but what elevates the flavor is the intensity and fullness of the mouthfeel. Thick, syrupy, chewy flavors of chocolate syrup, fudge, coffee, molasses and burnt caramel. It also feel like a 14% beer. Very impressive. Unreal body to this beer. The flavor was just as advertised. This beer was very memorable.

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Photo of Newbeergeek1
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

To be honest I don't normally gravitate towards oatmeal in beers or for breakfast. If I hadn't sat next to a much more knowledgable HFarmstead person and started talking with him I would have not bought Earl at ALL. But he told me it didn't come around all that often so I bought some and am really glad I did after I just drank my first one tonight. Earl is just so smooth and full of compatible tastes to drink. And savor. Who ever you were who suggested I should consider getting some a hearty THANK YOU.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tulip at 50 degrees. Pours two shades shy of black with a dense, two inch, mocha-colored head embedded with ringlets and pinpricks. Head eventually settles into a fairly consistent 1/8th inch skim with spots and swaths of lacing revealed as the beer recedes. Nose is a bit subdued - I get a hint of smoke and dark malts. Taste is fantastic - roasted coffee, rich chocolate and bitter char. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body (but closer to light) with an even carbonation and a creamy texture. Overall, an exceptional oatmeal stout - abv is a bit high of the style, but it's well-hidden and quite flavorful.

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Earl Coffee Oatmeal Stout from Hill Farmstead Brewery
4.24 out of 5 based on 673 ratings.
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