Oil Man | Elevation Beer Co.

very good
35 Reviews
Oil ManOil Man

Brewed by:
Elevation Beer Co.
Colorado, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Much like the "sweet light crude oil" from the eastern plains of Colorado- this beer pours a deep black with a tantalizing off-white head. Aromatics of sweet malt and bourbon envelope the nose like the sunset of the eastern plains. The malt profile continues through the palate from beginning to end with subtle hints of chocolate, coffee, and of course bourbon. This is a true beer for the malt and bourbon lovers alike.

Added by denver10 on 01-23-2013

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Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 159
Photo of Radcpa
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark appearance. Very faint bourbon aroma. Nice head that disappears quickly. Taste is a very stout with a hint of bourbon. Overall it is a very good stout but not a very good bourbon barrel aged

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Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled On: 11.08.16
ABV: 10.8%

Poured into a goblet a very nice dark brown color, pretty nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger light tan head, which also leaves some pretty nice islands and sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, some hops, nice bourbon note, slight oak, vanilla, licorice, very nice chocolate/toffee. The taste is really nice malty, real nice sweetness, nice little bourbon note, oaky, really nice chocolate/toffee, some hops, licorice, nice touch of vanilla. Full body, ABV hidden very well, a really nice complex brew, nice little dry/bitter finish. Overall, this one is surprising me, very tasty. Recommended.

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Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 12/01/15

Appearance: Hellaciously difficult to uncork, but glad I found a corkscrew to do the job; pours with a one inch mocha head on top of the sweet light crude; the head fades to a film and leaves some spotty lacing

Smell: Chocolate, caramel, blackberry and Black Jack gum (credit to ArrogantB, who nailed it); hint of Bourbon

Taste: Chocolate, caramel and, fortunately, more Bourbon than is in the aroma; through the middle, there is a German chocolate cake character, with more brown sugar and caramel sweetness as well as blackberry jam; the finish brings plenty of oak barrel, Bourbon and vanilla tones; slightly boozy

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low to moderate carbonation; some wamth in the gullet

Overall: Enjoyable to drink but the mouthfeel and lack of big Bourbon flavors will dissuade some; I liked it and was particuarly intrigued by the blackberry

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Photo of frontrangefart
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think some are a little Unfair on this beer. It's got a great smell of caramel and coffee on the nose. Taste is of chocolate and caramel and then a vanilla coffee after taste with the coffee lasting strong afterwards. Looks great and pours with a tan head. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of salimoneus
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Foreword- Poured from a 3 month old 750ml bottle into a snifter at around 55deg. This imperial stout was aged in Breckenridge bourbon barrels.

Appearance- Pours very dark, a little head, not too clingy.

Smell- dark roasted malt, chocolate, bourbon

Taste- Bitter chocolate, oak, mild bourbon, and some caramel. The aftertaste has a fairly pronounced metallic bitterness component which I do not find especially enjoyable

Mouthfeel- Average consistency, carbonation is a bit higher than I prefer in a BBA beer, the bourbon component is somewhat weak making me think this beer saw no more than 6 months in the barrel, or perhaps was aged in a once-used barrel.

Overall- A decent attempt as a BBA beer, but the lack of bourbon qualities and metallic aftertaste will probably not have me looking forward to next year's release.

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Photo of sjdevel
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Loads of dark brown foam when poured out of a 750ml bottle (@ about 52 degrees). Instant billowing 3-4 finger head. This brew is a very dark black that is impenetrable by light. Pours very think and syrupy. The head sticks around for a lo0ogn time and leaves nice traces of lace on the side of the glass.

First aroma is of deep toasted malts, chocolate, coffee, tobacco, and everything else black you can think of. Smells of a chocolate/coffee cake drenched in a chocolate syrup made from a chocolate liqueur. There's a slight smokey and cherry scent as well. Alcohol is very evident in the aroma. Hints of roasted nuts also make an appearance.

There's a slight bitter bite at first taste, then a rush of chocolate, wood, nuts, and coffee. An instant later, the alcohol set in and burrows into every cell throughout the mouth - like chasing it with a shot of whiskey - a quick burn. As the burn fades out, there are some fruity notes mixed in with some caramelly malt sweetness and nutty/charred wood.

Very think, syrupy, and chewy. This is very full bodied and lives up to its name as it seems to leave an oil slick behind on your tongue.

Loved this one as I am a big fan of dark rich stouts and even more so of the Bourbon/Whiskey Barrel aged ones. One of the best I've had and ranks up there with Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout in my eyes.

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

super rich and sludgy black. nose is coffee and barrel lots of roast. at first ok but amazing after it warmed and opened up. nice coffee. good roast. nice stout. meal.

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Photo of Labeorphile
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass. Thin tan head, which starts as big bubbles and ends as little ones, but quickly recedes. I may have been too eager and not let it warm, but the nose is faint. Definite bourbon, some coffee and chocolate with sweetness peeking through.

Taste is good. Something different than most BBA stouts, but can't place it. Maybe more dark chocolate than usual. Good mouthfeel, but the aftertaste is not my favorite.

Good, but not great example of style.

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Photo of OregonGrown7
3.15/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Maybe folks rate this high because it's in a nice bottle. They clearly need to work on this one. Poured next to black with a very thin bubbly head that dissipated quickly. Bourbon flavor is there, with some oaky dryness, but the absence of what I expected from an imperial stout is too much. This tastes and feels like a thin porter, with some bourbon and oak in there. There's also a metallic aftertaste that only hurts it more. I'm just glad I didn't buy it.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #75 (April 2013):

Aged in Breckenridge Distillery Bourbon Barrels, this brings back some not too distant memories … great ones at that. Too drinkable for its size, every flavor is extremely expressive but all seem to meld well and form quite the balanced brew. Elevation Beer Co. has nailed it again. Highly recommended.

STYLE: American Imperial Stout
ABV: 11.0%

LOOK: Black, towering brown head

SMELL: Boozy barrel juice, very woody, char, espresso, burnt sugar, vanilla, blackberries, yeast

TASTE: Amazing creaminess, nearly silky smooth, pull of wood, mild charcoal, clean booziness, vanilla, melon rind, rose water, cinnamon, French roast coffee, black walnuts, bourbon sweetness, barrel finish

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Photo of beergoot
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle label data: Bottled on: 12.05.15, ABV: 10.80%

The pour comes out thick and oily; near black body; nice, thick, light brown head. Raisin, cinnamon, and boozy notes in the aroma; soft tones of chocolate and toffee. Chocolate and creme de menthe flavors; mild bitterness flowering into a strong bourbon aftertaste. Heavy body; smooth and creamy texture.

A ballsy stout that delivers rich and complex flavors. The bourbon barrel aging balances nicely with the dark, roasted malt character while the mouthfeel, though on the heavy side, seems well-suited for this massive beer. Very, very good...

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black like oil with the same viscosity and dark tan head. Bourbon, big on the nose, with just a little vanilla and cocoa, some oak; follows onto the palate. Finishes with more bourbon.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black, opaque in the glass with a thin light brown head that dissipates to patches. Although this opened with a nice pop, the first part of the pour had no visible carbonation and I was relieved to see a typical thin head expected from a barrel aged stout. Great aroma of sweet toasted malt, bourbon, vanilla, hints of chocolate. Flavor is sweet dark malt, light vanilla and coffee, very bourbon forward. Light flavors of vanilla, chocolate and day old coffee, but they are subsumed into the barrel flavor. Medium bodied with light, but satisfactory carbonation. The bourbon in this is quite distinctive, and perhaps slightly unbalanced, masking the other flavors from interaction of malt and hops. The malt body is complex and robust enough to support the bourbon influence, but it would have been nice to taste some of the more subtle flavors. I'm a bourbon fan, so I thoroughly enjoyed this stout, but do wish it had a bit more balance. Perhaps a year or two on it could produce something wonderful. I am going to get another bottle to find out. A bit boozy in the finish, but it’s bourbon, so not a flaw. I like the name, it is remarkable how these rich stouts look like raw or well used engine oil when they pour. At this point I'm going to start salivating when I change my car oil; bad conditioning.

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Photo of MLDucky
3.22/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My bottle was from 2013. The bourbon nose had left alone with most of the bourbon flavor. An oak taste lingered, but there a bit of a metallic taste that was beginning to come through. I'm going to have to revisit this fresh to gain another perspective on this beer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Bottle #: 02442

Appearance: Splashes out a very dark brown, near black body in color, with a medium-sized, dark tan-hued head.

Smell: Chocolate-glazed roasted malts coated in meager hints of dark fruits, vanilla sugar, brown sugar, spent coffee grinds and barrel wood.

Taste: A heavy, lush chocolate and roast component in the fore with more than enough sweetness to back it up. Flush of alcohol warmth. Slight vinous dark fruitiness, a little drizzle of soy. Though not dominating the flavor, the barrel accents are evident. Subtle hop character and bitterness. The choco-roast sustains through the finish as it seems to pick up even more alcoholic heat.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-low carbonation.

Overall: For me, it falls short of great, but it's certainly still a worthwhile, solid BA-RIS.

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Photo of mactrail
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nearly black with a ruby glint in the little Jewbelation anniversary glass. A vigorous ous gets a brown-beige head out of this along with a sudsy well-carbonated mouthfeel. Interesting grapey aroma.

Brawling charred, roasted, and burned malt. Bitter chocolate flavors Fairly sweet and seriously malty. A faint sourish tang for the finish. Winey with a chalky sensation. Burnt sugar and fat, all-day caramel. Not too cloying, though, with a dry hint at the finish. Dark raisins and Sugar Smacks.

From the 750 ml bottle purchased at Grapevine Liquors in Denver. Dated 12.18.13 for 2013. Seems to have lasted well.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle $16.99 2013 vintage. I held off on this last year due to infection rumors and general wariness about the brewery. I had to buy it this year because I've been jonesing for barrel aged imperial stouts. Appearance was that typical pitch black and it actually had a good head. Aroma was a hint if coffee, roasted malts, sort if enticing. The flavor had a bit if coffee and them burnt coffee followed by blackjack gum. The barrel aspects were so subtle I almost didn't notice them which is a bummer. I don't want a beer that tastes like a shot if whiskey but I want the bourbon barrel to be noticeable. Overall this was decent but I need something more like Parabola or BCBS.

update 12/2015 -recently released batch

Pretty tasty, not as thick as I'd like but decent barrel character.

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Photo of mevett89
4.94/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This review is for a bottle of Oil Man I aged for one year.

Appearance: black as oil, with a thin chocolate brown head.

Aroma: chocolate, vanilla, roasted malt, a bit of sweet nuttiness.

Taste: sweet chocolate and some caramel, vanilla, roasted bitterness, and some dark fruit.

Mouthfeel: smooth, creamy, full bodied.

Overall: phenomenal! This was a great beer young, and it's matured beautifully. Smoother and less astringent; the alcohol has mellowed out to be fairly undetectable. This is just great!

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

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks for sharing Matt!

(A)- Pours pitch black as night black. Some good tan froth and lacing too.

(S)- Great cocoa and coffee meets a mountain of raisin. Great subtle barrel notes.

(T)- Lots of raisin and dark plum/raisin balanced well with cocoa and subtle bitter coffee. Same great oak notes from the smell on the finish.

(M)- A smooth carbonation level meets a great barrel aged stout. Not too thick or boozy. A great balanced sweetness as well without being too thick.

(O)- This is one solid barrel aged stout that might fly under the radar of the bigger names and brands these days. Rich, but well balanced and well integrated barrel characters. Tasty!

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Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that died down, leaving a large thin patch of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of bourbon from the barrel aging are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has moderate to strong flavors of bourbon that develop more as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. Slight hints of alcohol warming are present.
O: This beer hides its alcohol rather well and the bourbon flavors aren't overpowering.

Notes: Bottle #02211, Winter 2012

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Photo of GilGarp
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Winter 2012 vintage.

750 ml bottle with extremely stubborn cork. It broke in half and required a corkscrew to extract the remaining piece.

Served chilled into a goblet, Oil Man is nearly black with thick tan head. It settles slowly but leaves no lacing behind.

Aroma is sweet and slightly boozy with coffee, chocolate, and bourbon. It has some really nice dark roasted malt character.

Flavor is really nicely judged with great balance to the different elements. It's primarily a big imperial stout and that's a good thing. The bourbon in a barrel aged stout should compliment the beer and here it does just that. There is some good vanilla from the barrel aging.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a little thin for the style but easier to drink as a result. Alcohol is present but does not dominate.

Overall a very good effort from this relatively young brewery. I look forward to discovering what else they have in store.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.47/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml cork n cage bottle into a 6 oz snifter.

A- pours black with a 1 finger tan head. Minimal lacing.

S- roast, some coffee, dark fruits. No bourbon what so ever.

T- chocolate, roasted malts, faint coffee, dark fruits and more chocolate.

M- medium body and carbonation. Smooth and easy drinking with slightly if her carbonation than per style.

O- I think they may have poured this through a bourbon barrel and back into tanks. This beer has zero barrel or bourbon notes. For a regular RIS its wouldn't be pretty good, but for a BA stout is terrible per style.

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Photo of TokyoCO
4.77/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had this on tap at Elevation Beer Co. tasting room.

A: Dark black, no light penetrance.

S: Coffee, and lots of it! Dark chocolate, dark fruits and a hint of bourbon.

T: Follows the smell. Big coffee tastes up front mixed with dark chocolate and fruit. Coffee taste is present throughout but the bourbon/alcohol warmth comes in the finish.

M: Heavy and fairly creamy.

O: One of the best beers that I have tried from Elevation. Great mixing of a typical Imperial stout with a coffee stout. Loved it!

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Photo of maximum12
2.9/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to blakelive784 for this bottle as part of an excellent trade a few weeks back. Always good to try another new brewery, especially one from my second favorite state. Big, tall, imposing 750ML bomber, split with my wife. Bottle #287.

Nice minimalistic bottle art. Cork gives way reluctantly to reveal a dark black beer that foams when I look at it cross-eyed. Really. A hard pour brings head, which falls, then I pick the glass up to check it out, & it zooms right back. Nice trick. Nose is more like a straight stout, roast, cocoa. Maybe a thread of vanilla, but no bourbon is detected by my bourbon-o-meter.

Oil Man taste like no big stout I've ever had; maybe an American Double/Imperial Fruit Stout? There's a ton of flash-dried fruit right up-front, as if somebody dropped their trail mix, sans peanuts, into the mash tun. OK, so I peeked - someone said cantaloupe, & that's exactly right. Bare-bones roast in the middle, vanilla peeking out from under, but barely detectable. No bourbon. Over-carbonated for a big stout, & gotta be honest, I'm not even wild about finishing my half of the bomber.

Disappointing. I'm not going to say that word, but inappropriate carbonation, bourbon faded to nothing, fruitiness...well, I'm one hundred percent sure this isn't what the brewer intended. Scraping the heel of mediocre.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served in a Local Option cervoise.

Bottle #02022. I just can't keep my mind from flashing to There Will Be Blood-style wastelands... Anyway, this stuff pours a straight obsidian topped by a half-finger or so of dark tan foam. The nose elicits the image of a pate of brownies carousing within a bourbon barrel, with a bit of roasted malts, coffee, oak, and pretzel tossed in for good measure. The taste brings in more of the same, with a good amount of the physical barrel itself shining through, including a hint of the metal rings in the hazy distance. The body is a lithe medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a thinly fluid feel. Overall, a tasty barrel-aged stout, though one whose overt barrel influence and relatively thin body hinder its advances toward greatness.

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Oil Man from Elevation Beer Co.
4.06 out of 5 based on 159 ratings.
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