Southern Tier Brewing Company

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American Imperial Stout
4.12 | pDev: 10.44%
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: The Blackwater Imperial Stout Series is full of delicious dessert beers, with one exception: Oat, our Imperial Oatmeal Stout. Pouring black as night, with a mocha colored head, big dark flavors of molasses and bitter malts conspire to hide the high alcohol content.

Brewed with 2-row pale malt, oats, caramel malt, barley flakes, chocolate malt, black malt, Columbus and Willamette hops, this beer is chock-full of what a real imperial stout should be brewed with. We’re brewing it expressly for the turning seasons. It’s a great beer to kick back with on a cool fall evening, or cellar some away for when the snow starts to fly.
Reviews: 682 | Ratings: 1,386 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of schoolboy
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

One would expect a special brew like this from an established brewer would be outstanding, and one would not be disappointed.

It pours black and not very fizzy. The aroma is a warning for the hugely complex taste. The taste is a symphony full of malty harmony and boozy dissonance. It really isn't overly strong tasting (even though it is quite strong).

Highly recommended. I am going to enjoy the rest of this and see about getting more.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.64/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Deep brown in color with a fingernail of beige around the rim. The aroma is of sweet bourbon, vanilla, and oatmeal. The taste is a bit boozy with bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, and oatmeal. The mouth is sticky, chewy, and dry.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.57/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter, the appearance was a stiff murky dark brown close to black color. A finger's worth of eggshell white foamy head sat atop and slid off gently. Nice foamy sort of ring around the glass.
The aroma had a ton of roastiness up front, pretty bold and facing off with some coffee grounds and then some ash/char pulling in the dryness.
The flavor was pretty damn roasty creating an impressional imbalance of this roastiness and coffee grounds. Aftertaste was the same.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a slight sipping quality about it. Carbonation felt fine. ABV felt appropriate. Finish was grinding with the imbalance of the roasty coffee grounds.
Overall, the flavor was the best thing about this and most of it, I didn't mind for me but the more I thought about it, the more I thought - where in the hell are the "oats?" The oats are supposed to smooth it all out - I missed that memo.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.46/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Black and brown, how about that for an imperial stout. Aroma was alcohol, and then some roast.

Taste again was dominated by alcohol and roast. C'mon man, gimme some oats to smooth this beast out. Dark fruit kinds of bitterness permeate the palate. Unless we're talking Choklat or Creme Brulee, these stouts like Oat and Jahva just fall flat for me. Bomber format sucks for cost per oz.

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Photo of Jjski
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 10/2011 rated as a non flavored or barreled RIS or double stout. Yes I like BCBS, but I try to keep my expectations in line. This is not a " super stout" or extreme anything, it's a good RIS and weighs in at 10.6 ABV

Have waited this long to review because I had a bad experience 12/31/11 with 2 other bottles of this and , well... I had a bad experience, yack.

Opened today the last of 3 that I bought in 2011 to find fine carbonation and beautiful smell and mouthfeel. A bit of oxidation in faint " wet paper" flavors but it is 4 years old.

It was and is, a great beer. My over indulgence on New Years was not the beer's fault. I return 4 years later to humbly say "cheers".

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Photo of JebBeerFish
3.41/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I generally find that Southern Tier beers never lack in flavor, and I generally like what I have had from them. My bottle may have been an older bottle from my collection,and I suspect it was at least 2 years old. Pours a nice very dark brown, not much on the nose. I got some oatmeal initially but didn't get it throughout my share of the bottle. I got a fair amount of soy sauce, which I attribute to the age of the bottle. I may try again on draft, as I likely allowed this one to hang around too long.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Pour Oat into a snifter, allow its thick tan head to slowly rise, releasing unbridled aromas. The color of Oat is as dark as a moonless night. The first sip reveals oat's thick and lasting taste. Like a haversack to a horse, a bottle of this stout is a meal in itself." Brewed in the style of an American Imperial Oatmeal Stout. Available in 22 oz. bottles as part of the Blackwater Series, now a discontinued selection.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a Southern Tier snifter glass. Served above 54 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy cream dark chocolaty tan head over a black body. Retention is slightly above average, lacing is light and spotty. 3.75

(Smell) Earthy roast malts, grain malts, sharp licorice, molasses, some delicate tart fruit notes, and a modestly perceived alcohol presence. Any oatmeal character is passive in the aroma of this beer, and the roasted character is the most dominant. Potency is moderate. 3.5

(Taste) Rich notes of earthy roasted malt, dark fruit and licorice with a soft, coating viscosity, finishing with a moderate roast malt and a smooth, distinctive note of oats. I understand that this beer is commonly perceived as overly sweet, but as this bottle nears 4 years of age, the sweetness has toned down considerably and the balance is close, if not ideal for the style. Very rich, very complex and very flavorful. 4

(Mouthfeel) The texture is slick, moderately sticky and viscous, lightly chewy, medium dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a medium frothiness and a lightly crisp finish. Body is medium+ for the style, heavy overall. Balance is slightly roasty and earthy bitter over sweet. Alcohol presence is modest, and there are no off characters. 4

(Overall) Oat is another masterfully crafted Imperial Stout by Southern Tier, and further so one of the finest of them all. The oat character comes through mostly in the texture, generating a smooth but robustly textured ale so that the mouthfeel can meet the volume of the flavor. Aside from the oatmeal, we have a robust and very flavorful stout brimming with earthy stout goodness. 22 ounces is more than enough of a meal in a bottle, you may want to have a (qualifying) friend to share your bottle with. I will be long awaiting the imminent return of this popular ale. 4

Southern Tier Brewing Company's
Imperial Oat Oatmeal Stout

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Photo of Treyliff
3.86/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Review notes from 2013, 22oz bottle poured into pint glass

A- pours nearly pitch black with a foamy and bubbly khaki colored head that retains decently, leaving some short lasting lace behind

S- roasted malt, creamy oat, chocolate with a hint of coffee, trace of licorice

T- roasted malt up front with a touch of dark fruit, grainy mid-palate with a touch of chocolate and caramel, smooth oats and more chocolate on the finish

M- medium-viscous body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that turn into cream on the finish

O- a nice drinkable oatmeal stout that hides the ABV pretty well. It's not up there with ST's other Blackwater stouts, but still worth a try

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 9/19/2012

A - Pours a motor oil black with a minimal tan head.

S - Roasted malts, dark chocolate, and licorice.

T - Taste is sweet roasted malts, dark chocolate, toasted oats upfront. The finish is dark coffee and a light booziness.

M - Full bodied with low carbonation. Syrupy mouthfeel with a smooth finish.

O - Very enjoyable Oatmel Stout. The two years mellowed the alcohol heat considerably. A great winter sipper.

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Photo of Retroman40
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%

22 Ounce Bottle served in a goblet style glass

A - Very black with a minimal head and almost no lacing.

S - Well roasted coffee with some chocolate and some molasses in the background.

T - Chocolate and coffee upfront with malty sweetness in the finish. I drank it as close to the recommend 48 degrees and at that temp could hardly sense the high alcoholic strength.

M - Surprisingly "normal" as I was expecting something a little "thicker". Low carbonation makes this easy to drink.

O - This beer warrants serious respect as the 11% ABV could jump you if you're not careful. This is a very good stout and well worth a try for anyone who enjoys this style.

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Photo of seedyone
3.25/5  rDev -21.1%

09/26/12 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Part of a flight which included So. Tier Creme Brulee, Java Head, Imperial OAT & Founders Brkfst Stout. Started w/the OAT. Nice but compared to the rest it's a bit lacking.

I should give it another chance.

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Photo of larryarms847
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark as night black, a laser ain't getting through this tar.

Roasted malts, burnt sugar, and of course oatmeal.

The roasted malts and sugary sweetness are very upfront, with quite a bit of booziness (though this is a two year old bottle).

Mouthfeel is a little too boozy, thins it out.

Overall, I love oatmeal stouts, so I liked this, but love it I do not.

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Photo of blackcompg
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aged for about 2 years, poured from their bomber bottle...

Appearance - Pours about 2 fingers of medium mocha colored foam, body is a very dark but slightly translucent deep brown garnet, the head dwindled to a cap fairly quickly and didn't leave much for lacing at the end of the glass.

Smell - Wow, smells like liquid char, roasted malts, molasses, licorice, dark soy sauce, definitely picking up some cooked oats along the back, and light booze.

Taste - Quite a bit like the nose, begins with some sweet roasted malts, molasses, a touch of soy, a hint of dark fruits, I get some earthy grain flavors here too, possibly the oats, and longer into the finish I get a slight sourness like dark fruit peels, and a light taste of alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Just above medium, almost creamy and very smooth, although not mouthcoating, which I almost expected from a big oatmeal stout. Carb is on the lower side, and smooth and foaming across the tongue. There are some slight edges at the back of the tongue. Still very drinkable, but this is to be sipped to taste and appreciate the flavors mentioned above.

Overall - This is a very good oatmeal stout, not watery in the least, but I wanted a bit more of a substantial weight and coating of the mouth. I appreciate the absence of chocolate and coffee, and appreciated the flavor and the smoothness of the oats. A flavorful and well balanced oatmeal stout, and one that you should try.

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Photo of fgmiele
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark sable color with light brown minimally foamy head..little to no lacing that disappears quickly. Smells slightly boozy from the age..malt and oat. Taste does not follow the nose..much more full bodied and developed. Milky, creamy, chocolate. No lactate or sour flavor like a typical oatmeal. Nice and chewy..silky and full in mouthfeel. Overall..aged extremely well and a full bodied flavorful taste..usually don't like oatmeals as much as milk stout, but not in this case.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Black color. One finger of light brown frothy/creamy head. Retention is lacking and just a wisp or two of lacing are left.

4.0 S: Roasted malts and chocolate up front. Oats are powerful in this and add their trademark oat aroma. Complex layers of caramel and molasses. Fairly simple, but very nice.

4.0 T: Taste is just as good. Roasted malts, semisweet chocolate, and oats are the strongest with nearly as much caramel and molasses.

4.25 M: Heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Pleasantly creamy and super smooth.

4.0 D: Very tasty beer. Good for a Friday night.

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Photo of Omnium
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap at Beermuda, 28x Tap Take-Over for Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week
This version is the 2012 vintage.

A - Rich brown black color with half a finger of tan head no lacing.
S - Dark bitter malt and oat roasts, earthy hops, some dark chocolate.
T - Sweet roasted malt light toasted oats and grain, a little booze.
M - Super rich velvety texture, silky, just wonderful.
O - Great beer, its a shame this one isnt around anymore, but what a treat.

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Photo of EvoRich
4.87/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I'm pretty new to the craft beer world. So as I was grabbing some Creme Brulee out of the cooler at my local pub, I also saw something called "oat". Cool, I've had some oatmeal stouts I've liked. And Southern Tier makes some other fantastic stuff, lets give this a try.... Bottle date is 9-19-2012. So I'm assuming this stuff is good for a few years.

Look: Not much head, may be due to it's 11% ABV. The little head you do get qucikly disappears and you're left with a very dark liquid. A little brownish red around the edges. Takes some aggressive swirling to make a head reappear only to leave as soon as it gets there.

Smell: Oats, alcohol, coffee, chocolate. Very "imperial stout" - ish. Maybe because it is one. Very sweet aroma.

Taste: I don't get much oatmeal taste. The first thing I notice is the alcohol, with an aftertaste of mainly coffee, but a little bit of hops. I really like the beer due to it's coffee aftertaste and the alcohol being up front. It has a very sweet overall taste to it, and the only way I can describe it is that it tastes like a good imperial stout.

Feel: Creamy, full bodied for sure. One of the thicker, creamier beers I've had.

Overall: I've heard talk that this beer is going to be retired. And that's a shame. I hope this isn't true. It, along with Creme Brulee, are some of my favorites from the Blackwater Series. I have yet to try Mokah which I'm looking forward to. But "oat" is great. Of all the oatmeal stouts I've had, it's number 1.

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Photo of itsscience
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pitch black with no light around the edges and a finger of tan head that reduces to nothing in short order. It smells great with notes of chocolate, oatmeal, toasted oats, rum soaked raisins, and clean malts. The taste is alcoholic throughout with sweet malts, burnt toast, bitter hops, and plum. It has a medium body and leaves an alcohol burn at the end.

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Photo of Soncheebs
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Jet Black, motor oil with a frappy chocolatey head that had very poor retention (whiddled down to essentially a few bubbles and a little filmy texture at top) within 1 minute of the pour. Minimal lacing.
Smell: Coffee, dark chocolate, oats, malt, rum raisin, vanilla, just about in that order of potency.
Taste: Chocolate/coffee at the tip of the taste but you are immediately blasted with a overpowering malt that almost overdoes it but manages to sit back just in time to enjoy some of the subtler notes and after tastes of vanilla, chocolate, rum soaked raisins, and of course oatmeal. Even a bit hoppy in the middle there, actually quite complex of a mid taste.
Mouthfeel: For the gravity of the beer as it seemed throughout the pour, I was surprised that it was a little light in the mouth, not nearly as syrupy as I expected and this worked tremendously.

Overall: Very well done, complex stout that you will enjoy tremendously.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Super dense black hue with a dense gorgeous brown head. The head ebbed quietly by and left light lacing.

The aroma is creamy like a milk stout, with some lactose like scent. The oat is prevalent and I detect chocolate, caramel and toffee, coffee and roast.

The flavor follows the nose to a tee. Nough said.

The feel is thick and full, smooth and velvety. The ABV is said to be nearly 11 pct but Damn I don't feel it.

This is my bread and butter, so I may be a bit eschew, but I absolutely fell in love with this.

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Photo of Max578
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up at Westmere Beverage, bomber aged in their cellar from 2011. Poured into a tulip glass.

A-Pours a midnight black with a moderate oatmeal colored head. Head sticks around for a bit, and laces slightly on it's descent. Nothing special

S-Immediately I get caramel, vanilla, and oatmeal. It almost smells as if it has been barrel aged. Milk chocolate and black coffee are also present. The eleven percent alcohol is noticeable throughout. None of these scents are over-powering. They seem to have come together well, and almost seem subdued due to the age.

T-Strong oatmeal taste, which is great considering this is an oatmeal stout. Chocolate and coffee linger on the palette. Heavy malt presence is welcomed, and I am left with a delicious toasty after taste. Like the smell, the flavors are very mellow and flow together beautifully. Unlike the smell, however, the alcohol is almost non-existent.

M-Very light carbonation. Thick but not too stick, This beer goes down smoothly. Incredibly drinkable, which considering the ABV, is impressive.

O-Great brew, aging treats it well. Would have loved to have a current beer to match it up with. The Blackwater series is always phenomenal, and this lives little to be desired.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque but clear jet black in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and some faint dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a finger tall sudsy foamy light tan head that reduces to a large patch of extremely thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of roasted and chocolate malts with some lighter notes of coffee beans.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of roasted and chocolate malts along with a lighter flavor of milk chocolate. There are some light flavors of coffee beans and a moderate amount of oatmeal flavors as well. Light amounts of sweetness upfront and a touch of bitterness in the finish which fades quickly.

M: Medium to full bodied with just slightly less than moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and slightly creamy, coats the inside of your mouth.

O: The rather high ABV is extremely well hidden in this beer and there is a nice balance between the sweetness and roastiness - all of this makes this beer very easy to drink and enjoy. I recommend sipping this one and it is going down well on the first really cold night of the autumn (and the first night where we saw some snow flurries).

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Photo of Kuaff
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Oat in a snifter at cellar temperature. The bottle reads 10.8% ABV rather than 11%.

A beautiful black body this beer has, and a one-finger, chocolaty brown head which quickly reduces to a mellow ring of foam and some froth partially covering the surface.

Smells a bit of espresso, vanilla, and some lusciously sweet milk chocolate, And, unlike most oatmeal stouts I've tried up till now, it actually smells like oats! Like, it's amazingly a LOT like oatmeal. A pleasant little touch of booze lets me know what I'm in for...

I'll be damned! It even TASTES like oatmeal! A bit of molasses, chocolate milk, and earthy dark chocolate in the finish round out a very memorable flavor impression.

The feel is thick, but also so very silky smooth. And creamy. They pretty much nailed it.

This is one of those distinctively delicious brews that I never forget. It's about time someone imperialized the traditional oatmeal stout. I've always found the oats in standard ones to generally be much too subtle, if present at all. This is not the case with this. THIS delivers the oats... assertive oats. The oats in this stout will NOT be ignored. This stout will bash you over the head with a big sack of oats... and then you'll ask for more. Or at least I did.

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Photo of martyl1000
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Dexters, madison. The mild-mannered aroma is the only drawback, here. It's an absolutely beautiful, opaque black, with a massive fluffy brown head. White lacing draws a precise contrast w/ the the brown head.

I feel like I'm drinking a real contender to the double stout crown, but one that's a bit short on complexity. The 11% alcohol is entirely well-hidden. The hop bitterness balances the sweet so well it creates the mirage of sweet french-roast coffee w/ cream. And the smoothness in the mouth is unsurpassed.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Southern Tier Brewing Company - Oat (Imperial Oatmeal Stout), poured into a Craftgeer snifter.

Look - Pours a dark brown black and settles black with a mocha head that runs away. Some lacing.

Smell - Oatmeal, cream, and coffee with boozy hot malt. Sweet aroma.

Taste - Malt forward with coffee and some chocolate. Powerful oatmeal finish.

Mouthfeel - Moderately carbonated. Full body. Pretty boozy but at 11% duh. Good drinkability.

Overall - Super interesting, the cream adds a great twist to a typically thinner formula (non imperial oatmeal stout). This was a bit on the sweet side which takes something away from it, but otherwise not bad. Worth a shot if you want to expand your horizons a bit but I am sure there are better imperial oatmeal stouts out there.

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Oat from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 1386 ratings