Oat (Imperial Oatmeal Stout) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Oat (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)Oat (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by John on 12-17-2004

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Ratings: 1,364 |  Reviews: 679
Photo of johnnnniee
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Brewed fall 2008, Enjoyed fall 2008.
Pours a Dark brown with the faintest of ruby when held to light. Smallish tan head that disappears quickly but leaves some lace on the glass. Smells of roasted malts, some alcohol, coffee and bitter chocolate. Taste is chocolate, then some hops hit you, bitter roast and a bit of alcohol in the end. Mouthfeel is Creamy smooth, thick body, low carbonation. This is a good brew that I think will be great with some age. I think the alcohol needs to tone down a bit, but I Love how creamy smooth this one is.
2008 Bottling enjoyed Jan 2013
Pours a solid blackness with a thinnish tan head that quickly dissipates. Aromas of coffee chocolate and molasses dominate the nose. There's a faint dark fruit and a hint of earthy hop aroma as well. The flavor is roast and chocolate with brown sugar, molasses and still a touch of ethanol. Light dried fruit flavor and earthy hop bite. Thick viscous body with a sweet roasty syrupy mouthfeel and a light level of carbonation. This one seems to do really well with a bit of age on it. The flavors seem to have melded nicely and the alcohol while still present has toned considerably.

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Photo of trpng0bily
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Brewed Fall 2007
Tasted Fall 2008

Just a note before the review: the bottle I have claims an ABV of 11%, not 12.5%.

A vigorous pour shows a thick, pitch black beer with quickly dissipating head. The smell, predominantly of chocolate and bread, is surprisingly thin for a brew this rich. The taste truly earns the "imperial" title - massive bittersweet chocolate (more sweet than bitter), some coffee, oats and lightly roasted barley, with some definite hop spice and slight hop bitterness. The real genious here is the melding of the deftness and relative lightness that is characteristic of an oatmeal stout with the largess of flavor (though not the complexity, it must be noted) of an imperial stout. The mouthfeel is absolutely spectacular - thick and chewy, with nice warming action. As to drinkability, between the ABV, the richness, and the sweetness, good luck trying to knock down more than one of these.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with a half inch head of tan. Minimal lacework and retention is short.

Aromatics lead off with dark chocolate, oatmeal, charred malts, coffee, and toasted bread.
A warming Kahlua-like note pulls through.

Full bodied and very creamy. Sticky and chewy with a lush mouthfeel.

Roasted malts, rich chocolate, fresh oatmeal, and coffee beans start the pallet.
A bowl of oatmeal drizzled with chocolate syrup and a fresh coffee on the side.
Warming alcohol pulls through, but not hot and fairly subtle.

Finishes with lingering chocolate, caramel, coffee, char, and warming alcohol.

Another winner from the Blackwater Series of ST. Yum.
I think this one is best fresh though, as the bready, toasty, oat character will be fading.

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Photo of maddogruss
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got of bottle of this from the Cloverleaf Tavern.

A: Pours a dark brown body with a small, dark tan head with pretty minimal retention adn very limited lacing.

S: Smelled of a bittersweet, chocolate, roasted note with some alcoholic undertones noted.

T: A pretty, nice, robust, roasted taste but the alcohol is not very well hidden as it also makes itself evident in the taste. The aftertaste is some more alcohol and roasted notes and a kind of hoppy, earthy bitterness also makes itself evident, which is most likely the oats.

M: A very smooth and a pretty thick mouthfeel. A nice mouthfeel for an Imperial Stout.

D: A decent drinkability for this style of beer, but recommended for the cooler months. You will feel the higher than normal ABV after a little bit, so it can be quite warming. However, if approached accordingly, you should be able to handle this one and be fine.

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Photo of InsolublePancake
4.49/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Very, very dark, hardly any light gets through. Only the slightest head forms, and that quickly disappears.

S- It's a formidable scent. It stings the nostrils... in a good way. Dark chocolate and licorice jump out at first. Boozy, fruity aromas are present too, reminiscent of cherries. Now this is what an Imperial Stout should smell like.

T- Sweet upfront with chocolate and dark fruits. You can tell that this is a very strong beer; the alcohol is always there, but it doesn't get in the way. The roasted malts really come out in the finish with a nice burnt flavor.

M- Thick and syrupy with just enough carbonation to liven things up a bit.

D- A good sipper, but too strong to have much of in one sitting. I'd suggest splitting the bomber between two people, but it's good enough that you might end up wanting the whole thing.

This is a superb Imperial Stout. It reminds me of Stone IRS, and that is most certainly a good thing. The smell is superb, the taste is rich and complex... it's the perfect beer to warm you up on a cold night. If you're a fan of big stouts you should definitely get some if you can. Highly recommended.

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Photo of mnapier
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Service Temperature, 50 degrees farenheit. Glassware, 12 ounce tulip.

This dark ale hold no light that pours a medium salt and pepper foamy head that dissipates quickly leaving behind ridge-lines of lace. The nose is that of dark chocolate almost cocoa like, with some coffee, and a sweet orange peel citrus.
Tasting this I detect dry roastedness, along with mild hop bitterness, with some medium alcohol. Overall mouthfeel is medium.

Interesting addition to the Fall Season, I will have to see how this holds up in the coming months.l


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Photo of homebrewhawk
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber served in a snifter. Poured a deep, opaque black with a thin wispy head. Roasted malts with some fruit and a little alcohol. Full bodied. Deep roasted malt flavor. Not a lot of hop bitterness, but roasted malt bitterness. Long dry finish of chocolate malt. I'm going to put my other bottle away for a while. This seems like it might need a little time.

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Photo of Wildman
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured pitch black and formed a small medium tan foamy head that left latticed lace as it subsided. An aroma of malt, cocoa, coffee and a hint of oats. The flavor was of malt, chocolate, anise and grain. The body is medium light and the finish is bittersweet. This stout is pretty good, but not quite as good as some of their other stout offerings.

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Photo of brewdoc75
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been quite impressed with Southern Tier, so I was happy to see an Imperial Oatmeal Stout from them.

This beer pours a jet black color w/ a minimal off white head. There is a ruby-brown hue present. I get some chocolaty sweetness in the aroma, unfortunately this is followed up by a strong alcoholic aroma. Not what I like to see in my imperial stouts. The flavor is better than the smell. I get a strong dark chocolate flavor with some hints of roasted coffee. There is definite malty sweetness in this beer. The beer finishes w/ a strong bitterness. It compliments the sweetness well. I am a sucker for the mouthfeel of an oatmeal stout. This one does not let you down. Great chewy thick mouthfeel overall.

I really solid imperial stout overall. The oats make it have that pleasant mouthfeel as well. It isn't the best imperial stout I've had by far, but its pretty good. I'd probably buy it once again, but there are others I'd pick up first.

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Photo of erosier
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

L: Pours a deep jet black color with little to no brown colored head. It has some lacing down the glass but not alot.
S: Smells of faint malts, some faint oatmeal aromas, and then a big alcohol aroma and some black malt in there as well.
T: Very very bitter. The malts all combine for a very bitter taste that perhaps the hops keep all the way through the beer. Some alcohol in the flavor as well.
M: Very thick, heavy, smooth, and very warming.
D: OK drinkability but there was alot of alcohol at 11% but I was able to do the bottle. Interesting take on the style as always from Southern Tier.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at Beer Run, Charlottesville, VA. Served in a 10 oz. snifter.

Appearance: Gorgeous lacing, gorgeous body, gorgeous head with great retention ... what's not to love about this one?

Aroma: Very interesting, actually. Much crisper, lighter, more citrus than I detected in the bottle. There's also plenty of dark, heavily roasted malts and some spicy alcohol.

Taste: Wholesome toasted malts, with a nice full-bodied quality that almost certainly comes from the oats, a lot of nuttiness, full roast coffee, milky bakers chocolate, a hefty spicy, lightly citrus-y hoppiness, some salty notes, and a soupcon of alcohol as things warm, though it's definitely not prominent. A bit of a step down from the bottled version, in my opinion.

Mouthfeel: Perfectly-bodied, with immaculate smoothness, a great carbonation level, no cloying notes, and not nearly as thick or sticky as I remember the bottle being.

Drinkability: Better than the bottle in some ways and worse in others. The taste and aroma seem to be dominated less by whatever tastes/aromas you would imagine would constitute an Imperial Oatmeal stout and more by fruity, nutty, and (potentially) some funky off flavors, though could just be my keg. A friend detected sunflower seeds, and I get way too much orange peel. On the other hand, appearance (a perfect pour will do that) and mouthfeel are a little improved, so I think it's a wash. Give it a shot either way. Recommended.

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Photo of kmeves
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black body beneath a thin tan head, some lacing. Aromas of cocao, plum, cherry, light roasted barley and malted milk balls. Flavor is semi-sweet cocoa, light coffee flavors and some restrained notes of roasted barley. Full body, creamy texture, soft carbonation. Finishes a nice long cocao sweet.

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Photo of JeremyK
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a wide mouthed chalice. Very little head that disipates immediately. This beer has a restrained aroma of a roasted chocolat liquor nose. Once the beer hits the mouth an explosion of flavor is released. Roasted malt, coffee, burnt toffee, and burnt wood flavors envelop the palate. a very silky textured mouthfeel with a long lingering finish with a drawn out bitterness and roasted malt. Alcohol is very well masked. Fully enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of sholland119
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a deep, dark black. A thin white head quickly dissipates to a thin ring.

S-Excellent. Strong aroma of vanilla and sweet chocolate with a bit of roasted malt and hops lurking behind the malt.

T-Less sweet than the nose. A nice roasted coffee mixed with caramel and vanilla in the front, finishing with a nice hop bitterness.

M-Very nice. Creamy and slightly bitter with light to moderate carbonation.

D-Well, one is awesomely drinkable. High ABV caps my intake at one.


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Photo of daledeee
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Iowa never has been able to get too many Imperial Stouts. Whenever I see one, I have to try it. To date, I can only think of two or three that have come across our borders.

This beer ours very, very dark. I couldn't even seen light through the stream coming out of the bottle. The head was not overwhelming but was a beautiful dark tank. It went away to a thin layer and lace stayed on the side of the glass quite nicely.

The nose is sweet, chocolate and caramel.

Taste is quite strong. Chocolate, burnt, malt with a little sweetness yet it is not overly thick tasting. As I drink this beer it seems to mellow a little and is pretty easy to drink despite the strong ABV. Mouth feel has a little bite but is really smooth to the tongue. Overall, a very appealing beer.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle split with my friend today. 2007 bottle

A: Thick, jet black with dark brown highlights. Solid dark brown head that isn't too big. There's some carbonation that's visible along the sides of the glass but settles down eventually

S: Solid stout aroma with a lot of chocolate, some coffee. Smells thick!

T/M: Starts off with some chocolate and coffee flavor with a rather big body that ends up with a bitter finish. There's some mild raisin like notes that are pleasant. On the palate, this beer is ridiculously slick. The carbonation is low and this coupled with how big the beer is really makes this one slick beer. Unfortunately, as this warms up, the alcohol heat is noticeable despite being cellared a year. Still solid, though

D: The high ABV really hurts this - at 8-10% range, this would be stellar.

**Edit 30 June 2013**

Nothing quite says heat wave like a 11%stout. Bottle, batch 1.

This has aged quite nicely. Fruity, chocolate, oatmeal raisin cookies , Minimal oxidation is present. The palate is a blend of oatmeal cookies, Chocolate syrup, toasted oatmeal, a little bit of coffee and licorice. quite slick on the palate, this beer is moderately sweet and quite enjoyable. alcohol is well hidden. 4/4/4

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Photo of msolar
4.73/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow - this beer was amazing. I'm a huge fan of stouts, and this is certainly one of my favorites. It might even replace Sam Smith's as my favorite Oatmeal Stout.

The >11% ABV is dangerously well hidden.

I'm hoping to get this on tap at home at some point. In the meantime, I'm certainly picking up another bottle or two.

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Photo of asabreed
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber into a Chimay chalice. 2008 batch.

Appearance: Even with a vigorous pour I'm not getting much head or lacing, and I'm not sure why, though the color's beautifully opaque, and a swirl or two lets me get an idea of how pretty this hypothetically could look otherwise.

Smell: Grainy oats, sweet baker's chocolate, mild coffee but more mocha, blackened but not burned malts, caramel malts, a good does of earthiness, mild berries. And as it warms the hops come to the forefront a bit more too. Balanced and heady without going too far.

Taste: I like the oats here for the smoothness and creaminess and not going overboard. Coffee flavors are mild but are nicely more mocha than burnt or strong coffee. Powdered sugar, caramel malts, molasses, honey, raw earthiness and berries, mild charcoal, and finishes deep with lingering roasted malt flavors, honey sweetness, and coating citrus hops.

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy and luscious and heavy-bodied, with enough carbonation to let all the flavors mesh without being too much.

Drinkability: A great beer, and within the same great circle like Stone RIS and Weyerbacher XIII, though the around $9 price tag is a bit hard to swallow. Maybe the economy has something to do with that also I suppose. That said, it took me a while to drink it and I enjoyed every sip. I wouldn't mind cellaring one to see if the sweetness curbs a bit, but it's great fresh. Southern Tier continues to get out of their hole they were in due to the first few brews I had by which I was not very impressed. The last few, however, were pretty great, including this.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, poured into a snifter.

A: Deep blackish brown and at first is topped with no head whatsoever. Pours vigorously it reveals a thick mocha colored one inch head that fades into a ring and leaves a bit of lacing on the way down the glass.

S: Blackstrap molasses , chocolate, brown sugar and brandy, dark fruits and a thick dark grainy sweetness. Smells quite a bit like a dopplebock.

T/MF: Super huge malty punch, thick sweet with a mild grainy bitterness with mild peppery highlights. Closes with a slight alcoholic heat. Not really all that oaty, though it certainly tastes similar to oatmeal stouts, I was expecting something akin to a bowl of oatmeal, but it is very tasty nontheless, I mean some is there but there seems to be more of a focus toward the toasted grainy aspect of this beer. Noticeable hop bitterness mixed with a small amount of fresh ground coffee. Given time to warm the beer becomes a bit sweeter, brown sugar becomes a bit more pronounced as well as the oats. Mouthfeel is full and thick with a grainy bitterness and only a slight hint of pin prickly carbonation.

D: Very drinkable considering the ABV, which is well hidden, but compared to the bevy of other imperial stouts out there this one does not stack up as well as many other stouts out there. Not bad but not all that great.

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Photo of ATPete
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, ABV 11%

Pours black as night, shiny, viscous with a thick appearance. A small brown head stays laced across the top of the brew. Roasted grain, chocolate malt, coffee been, and a hint of molasses in the nose. Much is the same with the beers flavor, very roasty, lots of semi-sweet chocolate and caramel malt, a grassy bitterness, a slight hint of alcohol heat, not 11% in the slightest. Not extremely complex but one hell of a quality Imperial Stout. Full bodied but not grainy or thick, a bit sticky but dangerously drinkable. I recommend this one for sure.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark ruby color with minimal head and an even ring of lacing.

Scent of oats with cinnamon, caramel, chocolate and earthy hops. The sweetness of the malts and bitter hops balance this one nicely. Damn good scent, and different from a typical oatmeal stout.

Taste of oats and coffee start, with chocolate, brown sugar, roasted malts, earthy hops and a hint of vanilla. Finishes dry with oats and roasted malts.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a bite from the alcohol. Though good, it would be better if it hadn't had that strong of a bite.

Another great beer from Southern Tier, the Black Water series continues to impress me the more I come back to it.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed Fall 2008 indicated on the bottle. Served in my brand new Terrapin snifter. Poured just shy of black with deep burgundy highlights around the edges; opaque with regards to clarity. Quarter inch, tan-colored head dissipated into a mere swirl with a tiny band of foam and bubbles around the edges of the glass. Some lacing but no legs. Nose is malt, molasses and a touch of alcohol. Extremely flavorful - chocolate malt, molasses, brown sugar, oats and a light hops bittering to round out the finish. Mouthfeel is medium and chewy without being overly viscous (viscosity is cut by a light carbonation in the background). Definitely a little bit of alcohol heat on this one. Best enjoyed slowly and savored as it warms so as to detect subtle changes in character.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber to a pint glass the liquid is dark and has nice carbonation. The head is nice, two finges, dark mocha, and leaves some nice lace.

The smell is good, chard coffee bean, chocholate notes and dark bread.

The taste is even better, a solid roasty brew with coffee, chocolate and toasted dark bread, a couple lactose notes hold it back from excellent.

The mouthfeel is good a solid full body and nice carbonation.

The drinkability is very good this is a brew to be tried to be sure, Prosit, MK

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a couple of these in a trade recently as I had never had a chance to try it and I really do love the Southern Tier imperial series. This one I just had to get. Served at cellar temp and poured into an over sized wine glass, this one was consumed on 09/14/2008.

The pour was very nice, lots of rich looking deep chocolate brown notes. A small head of tan poked up through the bottom of it, quietly sitting on top for the remainder of the session before slipping back down to just a veil over the top that easily set me up for some fine, and thin side glass lace.

The aroma was about as rich as they come. Deep notes of alcohol came tumbling in at the start. Lots of sweet chocolate like notes that were mingling in and out the entire time, really just pushing through on this quite well. Some lactose, and sweet sugar like notes coming through as well. A very tight flavor profile here, and extremely rich. I was actually quite shocked by this to be honest. This one seems as though it could hang up there with the best of the big boys for sure. Rich notes of vanilla and chocolate were dominating here, along with a nice tight profile of almost bourbon like alcohol. Creamy and smooth, this was a full bodied stout at its finest. I had no issue polishing off the sweet stout over the course of the night, but I was feeling it this morning for sure.
Overall I have to admit this one took me by surprise. I did not expect it to be anywhere near as good as it was. In fact this was downright excellent. One of the best bigger stouts I have had in a long time, and hands down my favorite of the big southern tier beers. I would like to have one of these everyday it would seem. Really go check this one out, it is absurdly good.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Rather viscous pour, black as they will be. Head is a light sandy tone, a little short, but what's there is quite creamy.

S: Chocolatey, a little hint of dark fruit. There's a whiff of alcohol vapours. Quite a big malt presence.

T: A big coffee-ground flavour, alcohol, and some dark chocolate. Nice roasted malts, and the oatmeal flavour seems to tame what could otherwise be somewhat harsh and biting. Nicely done.

M: Rich and smooth, with a slick oiliness towards finish that provides a slippery exit and a touch of residue through the mouth.

D: The alcohol presence is noticable - but not in a sense that it needed to be 'hidden.' With the other flavours, it's almost dangerously drinkable. A pretty good beer - maybe a little bit over the top (only in America!), but good.

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Oat (Imperial Oatmeal Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.08 out of 5 based on 1,364 ratings.
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