Earl Coffee Oatmeal Stout | Hill Farmstead Brewery

Earl Coffee Oatmeal StoutEarl Coffee Oatmeal Stout
BA SCORE
97.9%
Liked This Beer
4.28 w/ 724 ratings
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
Ranking:
#728
Reviews:
117
Ratings:
724
Liked:
709
Avg:
4.28/5
pDev:
6.78%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
192
Gots:
80
Trade:
9
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 724 |  Reviews: 117
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jaydoc
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a different kind of coffee stout here, relying less on sweet crystal malts to cover up or balance out bitter or acidic coffee, this beer instead seems to choose to embrace those elements, and the malt bill seems designed to compliment that, not cover it up. the beer is obsidian shiny black, with a surprisingly active and lasting dark brown head, very lively and foamy, crows this nicely in the glass. bitter coffee aroma right away, heavily roasted drip coffee, maybe even some thats been sitting on awhile, gas station sludge in a good way, with this intense almost charred grain depth to it. the flavor is much of the same, tons of bitterness and even some light astringency from the coffee. only the oats seems to temper that, with a little starchy richness that adds some body and a very thin vein of sweet. the coffee is bold here, obviously added liberally, but also tasting on the edge of going stale. i have become acutely sensitive to freshness of coffee in the last few months, and i notice a ton of beers now have a stale coffee element. this is nowhere near oxidized and green peppery, but it seems like it may be near the end of its useful life, at least for the coffee part. i like the intense bitterness this brings, and the body. i like the bold nature of it, and the abv is spot on for the style and what i like to do with it. always a treat to drink hill farmstead beer, and this is cool because its neither yeast nor hop driven, which makes it one of their very few i have had like that. thanks to my man back east for sending this one out in an amazing box of beers. memorable for its coffee intensity and minimalist almost naked approach.

 1,661 characters

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

So, today we're drinking with Earl, great-uncle of the Hill Farmstead is commemorated in a dark and lush ale that tempers its dry coffee roast with the silky effect of oats- playing atop an English-type stout with peps of citrus and dark fruit.

Earl opens with the standard appearance for stout- dark as night and with a subtle film of haze. But pleasantly surprised, its tall column of foam is expansive and lavish- like mocha-stained meringue. With its long retention and intricate lacing, the ale carries a more fortified appearance that even the British have achieved.

Its scent is squarely focused on coffee, borrowing its java-forward scent from both the natural roast of barley but also from actual coffee additions which give the beer a tilt toward the coffee bean but without undue boastfulness. Underneath, a pillow of burnt sugar and heavy cream soften the roasty scent and bring life to softer notes of walnut, toast, toffee and campfire.

To taste, the fusion of toffee malt and coffee weave together seamlessly, coating the tongue with robust sweetness. As the toffee and cream begin to fade, nutty columbian coffee and french-roast coffee give the middle palate a deeply hearty taste. As the ale trends dry and bitter in finish, subtle flavors of grapefruit peel, burnt wood and grape come out to play.

Boldly textured, the abrasive edges of roast are tempered by the silkiness of oats for a creamy palate sensation early, but trailing for a malty-dry taste late that's chocked full of coffee bitterness and lingering wafts of cocoa.

Earls memory lives on in ale form that's tall, dark and truly handsome. Its a stern demeanor with a reasonable side. Masculine and strong throughout.

 1,702 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.66/5  rDev -14.5%
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

 2,338 characters

Photo of oline73
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of superspak
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

 1,921 characters

Photo of mothman
2.36/5  rDev -44.9%
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.

 317 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

 449 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Hill Farmstead stemmed tulip, as it should.

A dark chocolate colored rich creamy 1.5 finger head that fades fairly slowly with lots of lacing, over a pitch black beer with no light coming through, great appearance for a growler that's almost week old.

Nose brings some dark malts, a light milk chocolate and flaked oats, quite creamy, a little roast, etc. and despite all that no real acrid or char aroma. Then coffee, a little from possible roast, but more like fresh brewed and fresh roasted coffee, but not a ton. Also alittle caramel and fluffy nougat, as well as hints of light earthy hops, and just a touch of vanilla.

Taste starts with big fluffy malts, fluffy nougat flavors, caramel, a bit of milk chocolate and cocoa, etc. Then coffee, fresh roasted coffee beans like they steeped the beer right in the beans for a while, an earthy coffee that's slightly nutty and a little bitter but not a lot. Dark malts bring just a bit of bitter slightly charred flavor, but hardly acrid, and even seems to have a nice caffeine pick-me-up. A nice fluffy oatmeal center, creamy and rich with a nice nougat caramel touch to it, and hint of vanilla again, little bitter acrid char lingering as it moves to the finish. There are very light earthy hops with a touch of pine in there as well adding to the bitterness of the charred malts and coffee beans. The finish dries a bit but remains a little sweet, long lingering bitterness that doesn't get overpowering, in fact it's a nice bitterness, due to both light earthy piney hops and roasted char. Finish also coats the tongue a bit as the oats really stick there for a bit, and leave the light chocolate, bitter roast, vanilla, and a nice coffee bitterness and light roasted coffee beans.

Mouth is med to fulled bodied but quite rich and creamy, nice carb.

Overall quite nice, nice malt bill with creamy oats, little chocolate, caramel, nougat, and even hint of vanilla (not sure how, maybe just perceived from the oats and chocolate and coffee). The coffee is quite strong but not overpowering, nice coffee flavor that really comes through. The bitterness is nice too, a combination of roasted malts, light earthy piney hops, and roasted coffee beans. The only thing keeping this from being a great beer is that light bitter acrid char flavor that gets a little much at times. Otherwise very nice.

 2,363 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Hill Farmstead First Anniversary Party. Served in a Hill Farmstead long-stem tulip.

Pours a very, very dark brown color with a good off-white head and some really nice lacing on the way down. The nose brings forward some really nice coffee along with some roast and earthy characteristics. A bit of chocolate in the background as well as some hops. The flavor has nice coffee character along with some roast. Chocolate throughout. Mouthfeel is really excellent and the oats come through. No noticeable booze. Really a fantastic stout.

 549 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Rifugium
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of billab914
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Earl Coffee Oatmeal Stout from Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beer rating: 97.9% out of 100 with 724 ratings
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