Blackbird Oatmeal Stout | Flying Bison Brewing Company

very good
28 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Blackbird Oatmeal StoutBlackbird Oatmeal Stout

Brewed by:
Flying Bison Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-19-2003

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 28 | Ratings: 38
Photo of gabedivision
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler fresh from the ol' brewery.

A- Pours a dark brown with a tainted white 2 finger head of fluff on the top.

S- Faint chocolates and malts.

T- Chocolate malts roasted nuts and creamy smooth oatmeal touch that leaves a sugary zing on the tongue.

M- Medium bodied, smooth, dry.

O- This is a good oatmeal stout that i will surely revisit. I am hoping this makes its way back to the bottling line soon. Cheers!

 431 characters

Photo of kwjd
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I walked into Mr. Goodbar in Buffalo and saw this beer on cask was on for $3.50. I hadn't tried it before, but I love cask stouts, so I jumped on that. Pours a dark brown colour with huge brown head (bartender had to tell me to wait a minute after ordering because the head had to settle down to pour more). The head was very thick, great head retention. Some lacing down the side of the pint glass. Smells of chocolate and oatmeal, with the roasted barley. Flavour has a nice mild sweetness to it. I hadn't even heard of this brewery before Sunday, but loved the stout.

 570 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2009, been sitting in the fridge since that summer, 12oz bottle.

Pours dark brown with crimson edging. Far from opaque or black. A thin, beige head lasted shortly and dissapated to a placid surface with a few dots.

Aromatics lead off with roast, caramel, chocolate and a hint of espresso. Hints of nougat and biscuits follow through.

On the slightly fuller side of medium bodied with a grippish mouthfeel. Fairly thin for the style.

Roast, nougat, dark chocolate and a hint of ash start the palate. A slight oilyness from the oatmeal comes forward and the beer drinks fast.

Finishes with lingering roast, espresso, and rolled oats.

Tasty enough, but pretty meager for a stout. More like an oatmeal porter.

 719 characters

Photo of bobsy
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer arrived at the table a shockingly dark brown, and had I not held it up to the sun and noticed its ruby highlights I would have called this black. A light mocha head gamely tries to stay around for the duration and gives up some nice lace. Nice dark roasted malts waft enticingly upwards, with their aromas of coffee and bitter chocolate. And there it is. On the tongue wave after wave of malts bring creamy coffee and bittersweet chocolate to the tastebuds, along with hints of dark fruit, a vinous sourness and a smooth oatiness. Medium bodied and smooth, it does well in the mouthfeel, but not as well as some examples I've had.

Granted, it was a bad choice for a hot day, but it complimented my dinner well, and I can see drinking a lot of this in more suitable weather.

 783 characters

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to that guy with his balls in the exhaust.

Pours a nice black color with some slight highlights, a good off white quite fizzy head roils up with ease so pour slowly. The lacing left behind is ok.

Nose is a weakpoint so far. I thought it may get a bit better as it warmed, but that was not to be. Some dark malts in the nose, a wierd metallic, coppery note as well. Maybe a splash of anise.

Taste is kind of odd. It starts of with a touch of the metallic flavor that i described in the nose, but nowhere near as strong as it was in the smell. Quickly changes gears though, and starts featuring a roasted malt quality. Sort of hidden amongst the thinness. Strange. I'm not getting any of the signature oatmeal slickness in here either. Towards the finish, much of the flavor is dampened by the overcarbonation, but there is some slight dark fruit and a bit of a hop kiss. The aftertaste is mostly a bitter malt twinge.

Mouthfeel has some real issues in the bottle. This one is overcarbonated. Not to gusher status, but if not poured like liquid nitrogen, this one will rise quickly out of the glass. The mouthfeel is also just thin in general. Kind of odd to feel the roasted malt presence through the middle with such a thin body.

Drinkability is not bad, but would be better if the flaws in the mouthfeel werent so pronounced. Not sure of the abv here, but Im putting it around 5, maybe 6. I could put away a couple of these, but it would seem like a bit of a chore with the overcarbonation.

Overall, this is not a bad beer by any means, it just has some serious mouthfeel and body issues that need to be repaired. The Oatmeal could also be amped up a bit here, as it was thin there as well. I have heard that this one is a treat on cask, which i can see, as it might kill some of that excess carbonation and maybe take a touch of the metallic notes out. Not a horrible beer at all, but defenitely not an attention grabber either. Give it a shot, but don't go into it expecting a new favorite.

 2,015 characters

Photo of cpn920
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured very black with a creamy tannish head. Smell was very mild with nothinhg other than the caskish aroma coming through. Taste was good that matched the style as you would expect. Was a little thin and lacking some carbonation but very smooth. Drinkability for me is high. Served at about room temperature and it was one that I could sit back with all night. Good brew.

 373 characters

Photo of riversider76
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours the darkest of browns with a thin tan head. Not much retention, and just a little laceing. Aroma is of dark malts and chocolate with roasted coffee. Body is thinner than I expected with some carbonation. Taste is of creamy dark chocolate with a slightly bitter finsh. Hints of roasted coffee make this a beer well worth trying.

 333 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a nice mix of bitter black malt and chocolate malt. It gives off some weird esters. Also, I don't detect an oatmeal in the nose. The taste is decent also. It has a smooth and quite dry, roasted flavor with just a hint of chocolate sweetness in the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an above average beer, but not representative of a true oatmeal stout.

 524 characters

Photo of wiseguy142
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on cask at the Tap and Mallet in Rochester. Pours black with a light frothy head and low visible carbonation. Aroma is.. cask-y? Just sort of screams fresh without any really overwhelming aromas coming from the ingredients. Taste was pretty nice.. a little watery but about what I look for in an Oatmeal Stout. Nothing really extreme, just a dark and hearty beer with a super smooth mouthfeel from the cask. Usually when I'm drinking cask ales I'm looking for some sort of irresistability and this gets about a 6/10 in that category. It's just missing a little bit of the flavor that I could really crave.

 614 characters

Photo of Mazeraski
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask at The Old Toad in Rochester.

A - Jet black which when held to light reveals a deep garnet hue. Poured with a half inch thick light tan head which left a very sticky laceing as I made my way through the brew.

S - Aroma of smoky roasted malt and tiny hints of coffee mixed with a smooth oaky maple slightly boozy note coming from the fact that it's a real ale.

T - Simiar to the smell; Smooth and smoky roasted malt mixed with alcohol warms the palate at first followed by a different smoothness coming more from the oatmeal aspect which is coupled with the smoothness brought upon by the cask-conditioning.

MF - Very smooth and a bit more watered down than I expected for an oatmeal stout. Low carbonation and medium-bodied.

D - Quite a drinkable stout, especially so due to the smooth oak and booze taste attributed to the cask. I would've had another if it weren't for the girlfriend reminding me I had to drive.

Notes: To start I'd like to say that this was served to me at right around room temperature, which turned out to be perfect. When I took the first sip, I honestly didn't think it was an oatmeal stout at all due to how thin the mouthfeel was. Definitely could tell that it was cask-conditioned from the smell but also the taste, especially as it warmed. Overall, this version (being the cask-conditioned version) was well worth trying even if the mouthfeel was a bit disappointing. A good brew to try if you swing by The Old Toad.

 1,458 characters

Photo of penguinjive7
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost black with a bit of ruby hue. A nice fluffy white head to cap it off. A nice thick lacing clings to glass as I drink it.

Smell is mostly of roasted malt.

The taste is of roasted malt as well as hints of chocolate and a touch of hop bitterness to round out the finish.

This brew goes down smooth and easy. It is a bit on the lighter side for an oatmeal scout and my opinion, but still very nice overall.

A very pleasant brew overall. I put down this rather large glass without any trouble and could have gone for another. I would definitely get this one again.

 576 characters

Photo of HopDerek
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear chestnut color with ruby red hues, thin cream colored head has average retention and leaves some lacing. Smells of roasted malt, milk chocolate, slight coffee notes, smoke, and citrus. Tastes of chocolate, roasted/burnt malt and a slight smokiness, milk, with a combo of citrus hops and coffee bean bitter finish. Medium in body with good carbonation, sweet, creamy, and smooth with a roasty burnt kick and a bitter finish. A fairly good oatmeal stout, easy to drink and doesn't show any signs of high alcohol, whatever the ABV may be.

 549 characters

Photo of pitweasel
4.65/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At a recent visit to The Old Toad, I checked their cask board and was very excited to see a stout on the list. Fan of the thick black beers that I am (plus a name like Flying Bison), I had to give it a try.

It took one sip to remember that drinking a cask brew is a whole different world compared to what I'm used to. In this case, that's a very, very good thing. This drink smelled terrific - I've waited too long to review it to offer much detail about the smell, other than to say that it had my mouth watering.

The first sip revealed a borderline thick mouthfeel, with no carbonation, that caught me a little off guard. Your average bottle of beer, this wasn't! This cask stout was smooth, creamy, and not served at sub-zero temperatures.

What struck me most (and last) about this was the head. This is the first time that I can remember a beer still having a full one finger head after all but the final ounce or two have been consumed. The beer poured with a finger and a half to two fingers, so this was darn good retention.

Flying Bison Oatmeal Stout in a word: sexy. In three words: sexy and delicious. As long as they keep making it, I think I'll keep buying it. And please, Flying Bison, don't be afraid to run a sampling down the road in Rochester sometime!

 1,275 characters

Photo of plaid75
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown hue with a half finger frothy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a robust burnt grain coupled with coffe a bit of smoke.

The taste consisted of a full mix of burnt grain, bitter coffee and sweet chocolate.

The mouthfeel was very smooth and toward the fuller side.

Overall a very good oatmeal stout. Robust and complex.

 376 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.23/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Flowing at Smokin' Joe's had a cool propeller blade tap handle and they weren't sure if it was flowing the Aviator Red or the Oatmeal Stout after a sample pour I decided it was definitely the Oatmeal Stout. Appears a cola brown dark chocolate tone with some red highlights when held toward the light forms a moccha tan head leaves behind specks of lacing. Aroma has sweet chocolate soft mild coffee tart lactic tone with minimal herbal hops to embrace some soft sweet grainy oat character as well. Flavor is upfront with the chocolate roasts but the addition of the oatmeal gives it a soft character with the bitter roasts and mild herbal hops it gives the overall chocolate sweetness a balance, but it did finish with a touch of lacitic acidity sort of a cream stout in nature. Mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied evenly carbonated definitely a flavor that stays on the palate. Drinkability was decent just I've had some really good oatmeal stouts in my day and I couldn't get down that lactic touch in number.

 1,012 characters

Photo of Avagadro
4.92/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this from the growler case at beers of the world in rochester NY. Nice little green sticker on top with a date (packaged, shipped, or brewed on?) either way its fresh, and tasty. Appearance is velvety black with a coffee brown around the edges of the glass. Head is minimal, but I've never had good luck with oatmeal stouts and head. I'm guessing this isn't an issue at the bar with Nitrogen running through it. Aroma is beautiful and upfront, dominated by sweet maltiness and backed up by a roasty nuttiness. Flavor is exactly what you would expect from the aroma. This is one of the best tasting oatmeal stouts I've ever had. Very rich, but with a balancing crispness. There is a nice thick mouthfeel to back everything up. Drinkability is through the roof. On several occasions I've finished a growler of this in a night. I'm addicted to this stuff. I will probably get it as long as it's still cold outside. I highly recomend this to anyone in the area who likes this style. It's a classic example of a good oatmeal stout.

 1,030 characters

Photo of orfeu
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler filled fresh from the brewery. Garnet-hued brown with a dense and steady desert-khaki head. Roasted chicory aroma, with coffee grounds and chocolate malted scents making a strong showing as well. Very pleasing chocolate mocha flavor predominates with subtle coffee notes and a thin, plum-like vinous character creeping in just before the finish. Long, roasty aftertaste. The thinnish body certainly heightens the drinkability (factored in terms of ease, at least), but I do find myself wishing this one had just little more heft. The oatmeal definitely makes it smooth and creamy, nonetheless. This is an incredibly tasty Oatmeal Stout that I'm lucky to have available almost any time of the year.

 705 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark brown with bright chestnut highlights and a rocky tan head that produced thick lace and showed good retention. The aroma was a little on the mild side, malty and roasty in the right combination. The flavour was also mild, with a bit of roast and a decent malt sweetness, maybe some nuts and chocolate. Bitterness contributed nicely and there was just a hint of hop flavour towards the end. Dry in the finish. The body was on the thin side, particularly for an oatmeal stout. A decent drinker, but the body and flavour were a little washed out for me, so there's not a lot of reason to go back to this one.

 610 characters

Photo of oberon
4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a near pitch black but there was a little ruby hue when held up to some outside light with a thinner but nice creamy textured mocha colred head,lighter aromas I picked up a nice roastiness and some hints of vanilla and coffee.A nice smooth creamy mouthfeel and it was a standard not nitro pour,soft rolling flavors dark roasted malts and mocha, with touch of roasted nut and a leafy almost hinty hop presence in the finish.A well rounded and smooth oat stout with alot of flavor,recommended.

 498 characters

Photo of Foxman
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It came to me a ruby tinged black, but not so ebony that you can't sense that it's actually a profound brown. A finger of light brown head dwindled slowly, and lacing was sticky and plentiful.

The aroma carried forth the bite of deeply roasted malt, almost charred, and dark coffee and baker's chocolate. An earthy oat presence tangled with a mild sour aura.

Upon sipping, the malt pressured the palate, with a burnt sugar bittersweetness, along with espresso and dark chocolate. An almost vinous acidity flirts lightly with a dusky oaten touch, and the merest spritz of hop bitterness gave way at the close to allow the residual malt effects to linger long at the finish.
The flavor was earthy and suprisingly simple, not to mention quite enjoyable.

Medium bodied, the mouth-filling creaminess was almost sensual, but it flowed away a bit sooned than I'd anticipated.

It's an interesting beer, putting its signature firmly on a style that not every brewery attempts to undertake. The unique thumbprint on the flavor, a fetching sourness, goes a long way toward making this very drinkable, and even memorable. I drained a pint, and ordered an other. That's a strong testament, considering the excellent alternatives.

 1,234 characters

Photo of bignick
3.41/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On cask at Sunset in Allston 4/18/06 during a Flying Bison promotional night. Served, courtesy of BA Marc, the owner, into a tulip glass.

This is clearly a very different beer cask-conditioned than the one that the previous reviewers are reviewing. Malty roastiness does not determine this beer; rather, there is a sour acidity that reminds me of Jolly Pumpkin beers. It tastes almost vinegary, but in a smooth and enjoyable way. There is cocoa maltiness in the background, but the red-wine esque flavor defines this beer. This is an enjoyable offering the way it is, and it is certainly very different. I am not sure I would like drinking this on a regular basis.

 667 characters

Photo of bossmanjg
4.8/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was by far the best Oatmeal Stout beer I’ve ever had the pleasure of sucking down.

Appearance: It poured black, aesthetically a very pleasing beer.

Smell: A very unique mixture of coffee and chocolate. And as it warmed in my grip it gathered more and more the aroma of café mocha.

Taste: The taste was explosive. Love it.

Mouth feel: This was a thick, creeeaaamy, and silky beer.

Drinkability: This is, for me at least, most definitely a session beer. I can’t see myself drinking to much of this brew on many occasions.

And as always remember the immortal words:

“Beer is proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy.”

~Benjamin Franklin

 682 characters

Photo of shippos
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

sampled at clarks real ale fest on 09-05-2004.

thick tan head witha deep dark brown color, clear and brilliant. some hints of roasted malt with some burnt malt and a smooth creamy aroma taking over. very smooth and creamy mouthfeel rich but highly drinkable. the flying bison flew above everyone at clarks that day.

 318 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Preview of 2004 Fall batch. A sweet stout. Decent taste, yeast, generous malts that give forgiveness, nuts and chocolate and bit of toastiness. Soap bubbles head.

I had this again two years later and it was right up there as a stout, very creamy mouthfeel without nitro, malty chocolately aroma.

 298 characters

Photo of wailingwench
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have drank this when it's been good and when it's gone "bad." I will of course only rate it from a positive standpoint. It is not a beer's fault that it has lost it's magic. Even at the bad point, it was still drinkable, which says alot about Flying Bison.

Foam Factor: Nice creamy billowy head. The presentation encouraged me to drink it. Poured silky smooth with a deep black and garnett color. Nice lacing and retained head almost to completion.

The Nose Knows: Sweet chocolate and coffee aroma. Slight alcohol scent.

Tongueland: Sweet and rich with the chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts competing with each other for equal playing time. A real treat. As it warmed, the flavors really emerged, making this one of my favorite domestic stouts. Nice lingering aftertaste, nothing too powerful. Just the right combination to accompany grilled chicken or even nachos. I have started and finished a night with FB Blackbird.

Someone on another site rated this "rippingly good." I must agree.

 1,005 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Blackbird Oatmeal Stout from Flying Bison Brewing Company
3.98 out of 5 based on 38 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.