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Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout | Big Sky Brewing Company

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118 Reviews
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Slow Elk Oatmeal StoutSlow Elk Oatmeal Stout

Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
20 IBU

Added by Mitchster on 12-15-2001

For Trade:
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Reviews: 118 | Ratings: 285
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, toasted oats, and some cocoa aromas. Taste is much the same with an acidic flavor on the finish. There is a medium amount of burnt and roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and thin bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer that has an unexciting flavor and mouthfeel.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this definitely isnt rated high enough on here. its a rich creamy smooth stout with a great oat flavor. it pours midnight black and thick as hersheys syrup. theres an aggressive three inch foamy mocha head that leaves pretty lacing on the sides of the glass. it smells like milk chocolate and oatmeal with brown sugar. the beer isnt sweet, but it is creamy. seems like flavor elements of a milk stout as well as an outmeal stout, with the roasty malts and chocolate notes dominating. the feel is excellent too, velvety smooth and coats the mouth and throat with a layer of goodness. mellow carbonation gives it a nice rich feel. one of the better big sky beers ive had, and this shold get much more appreciation on here. would make an lovely beer float with some hard vanilla bean ice cream.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle, part of a pricey (aren't they all right now?) six-pack to recently show up in Alberta.

This beer pours a clear, very dark brown cola colour, with two chubby fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and fizzy tan head, which leaves some low-lying fog bank lace around the glass as things quickly subside.

It smells of roasted bready caramel malt, bittersweet cocoa powder, subtle cafe-au-lait, musty black licorice, and a soft earthy and herbal drying hoppiness. The taste is gritty and grainy caramel malt, watery chocolate syrup, a bit of free-range ashiness, day-old coffee, a touch of sour milk, and more plain earthy, musty, and leafy hop bitterness.

The carbonation is adequate in its supportive and structural frothiness, the body a so-so medium weight, and kind of too tacky and clammy to be considered smooth, doubly so given the style. It finishes trending dry, the roast, ash, coffee, and middling hops riding us out to pasture.

Overall, a rather simple (in the dunce hat sort of way) version of an oatmeal stout - light all around, but it's hard to get mad at it, as it is what it is. There's enough flavour to save this one in the end, but those initially small and inconsequential cracks are starting to spread.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big light brown head slowly settles into a decent lacing above a clear burnt reddish brown colored beer.

Lightly sweet dark roasted caramel malts aroma overwhelms anything that may be trying to showcase itself.

Roasted caramel malts, light chocolate laden with a light sweetness compliments each other in the taste of this stout.

A lightly burnt and dry aftertaste that brings with it a bit of the malt tastes of this medium bodied beer.

Decent enough stuff, I do believe I could drink a few of these.

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Photo of zeff80
3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a jet black color with a one-finger, tan head of long lasting foam. It left thin traces of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of oats, coffee and roasted malts.

T - Good and roasty with a coffee-like bite. Some nice toffee and chocolate flavors are in the background.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a nice oatmeal stout. The label itself is worth picking one up.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 12/10/2014. Pours crystal clear very dark brown color with a 1-2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of milk chocolate, caramel, cocoa, toasted oats, light coffee, brown bread, herbal, floral, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted/bready malt and moderate earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of milk chocolate, caramel, cocoa, toasted oats, light coffee, brown bread, herbal, floral, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, caramel, cocoa, toasted oats, light coffee, brown bread, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice robustness and complexity of dark/roasted/bready malt and moderate earthy hop flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice oatmeal stout style. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted/bready malt and moderate earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. Not as bold as some other oatmeal stouts; but still very well rounded and nicely enjoyable in flavors.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rough pour delivers a big-bubbled and frothy light-tan head that holds well over a very deep, almost black, mahogany-brown body that displays clear crimson highlights at the base of the glass when held to the light. Light cocoa, some milk chocolate, a touch of lightly roasted coffee, and some background floral hops appear in the nose. It's creamy and smooth across the palate with a delicate carbonation that accentuates its medium/light body. There's more coffee and a much darker chocolate present in the flavor than the nose suggests, and some light fruit also comes into play. It remains sweetish with an underlying bitterness, but some mild acidity from the dark malts helps to round things out. It finishes with a gently lingering note of mocha and a dull, mild bitterness. It's not overly impressive flavorwise, but it is well-balanced and drinkable.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Burnt walnut brown... that becomes garnet with bright scarlet highlights when backlit with the rising sun. The upper quarter of the glass is filled with golden ecru colored foam that gets the job done. A generous amount of tattered lace helps as well.

The aroma is pretty classic for an oatmeal stout. Dark chocolate and dark caramel are out in front, with no real hoppiness trailing behind. In the final reckoning, there isn't enough power or presence for the the next highest score.

Slow Elk is a pretty simple stout. Since the brewers don't claim otherwise, I guess they hit their target. Speaking of which, a 'slow elk' is actually a cow that is shot by hunters who mistake it for an elk. That explains the cow on the label that has antlers tied to its head.

There isn't much malt and there isn't much hoppiness, so it all balances out in the end. A blip of bittersweet chocolate hits in the first half of each mouthful... and a lesser blip of herbal, earthy hoppiness (East Kent Goldings) makes an appearance in the second half. There may be a hint of black coffee and some dark caramel as well.

Even for a 'session stout', the mouthfeel is too wishy-washy. It drinks like the ABV is 4.0%, not 5.4%. An ideal fix would be to add more malt, while keeping the ABV low. Somewhat sparse carbonation works just fine.

Apparently, Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout used to be a regular release, but is now a limited release due to suboptimal sales. Instead of cutting back on the frequency of brewing, why doesn't Big Sky work to improve the beer so more people want to buy it? Just a thought.

It took some work, but I finally got the seal off the bottom of the cap so I could read what was printed there. And the answer is... 'Nuttier than a Squirrel Turd'.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.1/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body with a small, bubbly, beige-colored head.

Smell: Roasty coffee and creamy nose with notes of bakers chocolate and licorice.

Taste: Dark caramel paired with an earthy chocolate character and a hint of licorice. Mildly sweet. Slight roasty bitterness. The lightly roasty finish leaves you with a watered down chocolate flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Pass. Errs on the side of drinkable, but ultimately, it's a bit thin, and leaves you (or me at least) looking and wanting for more richness, more creaminess.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

inky jet black, and thick looking as well with an almost oil like appearance, really quite nice. Rich chocolate colored tan foam that rose up a good two inches

starts off kind of light, but hits its stride with notes of sugar, molasses, chocolate and a touch of coffee that carry over well in the flavor. smooth with loads of chocolate and a nice and mellow balance between the rich chocolate and roasted malts. easily drinkable and a nice and solid beer.

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Photo of russpowell
3.32/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black with 3 fingers of mocha colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Roasty malt, cocoa & woody hop notes & some coffee

T: Follows the nose, some coffee as well & cocoa up front. Herbal & woody hop notes, some charred notes, some smokeyness as well as this warms. Finishes roasty with a touch of chocolate sweetness

MF: Medium bodied, firmly carbonated, never really smooths out like I hoped it would

Drinks easy enough, but was hoping for so much more from Big Sky. Glad I didn't by a sixer of this

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Photo of Jason
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Middle of the road head retention, the ale shows a clear deeply brown hued liquid.

Smell: Mild roasted notes that throw hints of coffee around, mild sweetness and a twang of hops as well.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Moderate body, more creamy than smooth in the mouth. Obvious coffee flavours throughout with traces of chocolate in the finish. Light on the hops and the roasted flavours are mostly tepid.

Notes: One breweries stout could be another breweries brown ale … the lightest oatmeal stout I have ever run into. A good drinking ale but there is nothing special that it brings to the table.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a shaker pint glass at The Firkin.

Wanted to delay the mead a bit, so I went in for a nice oatmeal stout. It pours a very dark black-brown topped by about a finger or so of dark tan foam. The nose comprises roasted barley (as though 'twere fresh from a grain bag), light cocoa powder, and very light coffee. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a small bit of char in the background. Things still taste kinda husky grain-wise, rather than the roasted malted barley that would normally be found in these types o' brews. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a kinda weak stout, one that just doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of jwc215
3.51/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Assume code on neck of bottle of 122309 refers to best by date - if so, I cut it close, as that's when I sampled it - Anyway, on to the beer...

Pours black with dark brown highlights and a tan head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of dark fruitiness, mild chocolate and hint of coffee. Very mild.

The taste is of chocolate, hint of roasted coffee with an earthy, tangy fruit undertone and a slightly roasted, bitterish touch. A bit of alcohol shows. Seems to fade at the finish, but a bit of it comes back in the aftertaste.

It's pretty silky, slightly slick, light side of medium-bodied.

An easy-drinking oatmeal stout. I've had porters that were more robust. Oatmeal porter? Maybe, even then thin. Inoffensive. A light oatmeal stout, and not bad for that.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Color is as black as black can be, and the head is thick, sturdy, and of tannish hue. Nice aromatics: cocoa, cream, earthy, gritty, some espresso, but I have to breathe in deep to imagine it all.
Some bitterness on the palate, but, moreover, smooth and tasty.
Lacking is the roasty flavor on the palate. that I utterly insist on in an oatmeal stout. Not much bite, and far too light in body. A decent and drinkable stout, but on the bottom rung, as oatmeals go.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Trying the Slow Elk for the first time as a desert to a long Friday. The beer poured a black opaque with a thin ecru head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent is has a nice espresso feel. The taste is a little watery coffee but it is decent. There is a nice sweet toffee after taste which makes one want to keep sipping away. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with smooth carbonation. Overall it's a smooth drinkable stout that is worth a taste.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Black with a thin layer of light brown head.

S - Roast, nuttiness and some chocolate aromas. A fairly light overall nose.

T - Roast, chocolate, a touch of coffee and a slight bitterness up front with a sweet brown sugar presence from the oatmeal. The finish is dry.

M - Light to medium body. Moderate carbonaiton. Too carbonated for the style for my liking.

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Photo of Tone
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a black color. One inch head of a tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of slight roasted malt, sweet malt, hint of oatmeal, and a hint of citrus hops. Fits the style of an Oatmeal Stout. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, oatmeal, slight roasted malt, slight hops, and a hint of pale malt. Overall, decent appearance, aroma, body, and blend. No one aspect of the beer is 'great', but still an easy-drinking beer.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Slow Elk is a pleasant oatmeal stout which is smooth and not astringent. While it is not as flavorful as some others of the style (Anderson Valley's come to mind), it's a good sweeter alternative after drinking all those tongue buckling IPA's.

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Photo of stevoj
3.1/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from Brewers Haven. Pretty average all the way around. Normal color and aroma, rather dull appearance. Taste is correct for the style, but not too exciting

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Photo of Wasatch
4.1/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to pokesbeerdude for this brew.

Pours a very nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy tan head, nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, very nice toffee/chocolate notes. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, very nice toffee/chocolate notes. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty brew, wish we would get it here in Utah.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: nearly black but permitting some light to transit with a ruby tinge. Head poured a thick finger of creamy tan foam and has decent retention.

Smell: roasty aroma with some coffee notes and a little bit of tartness. Decent.

Taste: lightly chocolatey flavor with a smooth bitterness and some vegetal hop flavors. Again, decent.

Mouthfeel: pretty smooth; medium body with a good carbonation and a nice, silky feel. Not bad.

Overall: this is a pretty unremarkable beer. It's not bad, but I won't go out of my way to get this again.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep garnet color, the head modest in size, frothy in texture and the residual lace fine sheets. Smell is lightly toasted grain aroma with sweet candy like tones and is quite pleasant with the start sweet and the top middling. Pretty good brew in my opinion.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.01/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Best by 122309 stamped on bottle.

It pours a very dark reddish brown with a half inch of tannish foam and some good lacingt.

The smell is a light dose of roasted malt, very mild chocolate, and a touch of bitterness.

The taste is of some roasted malt, a milkshake like chocolate flavour that brings a muted sweetness, and some hop bitterness. The finish is kind of messy..light sweet tones and bitterness that do not bring any sense of balance at all.

The mouthfeel is light and it's, imho, over carbonated.

Drinkability? This is not a very good example of an Oatmeal Stout at all so it isn't all that drinkable for me. I think the recipe for this needs some serious work.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.51/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Black in the middle dark brown to the edges. 1" of tan head. Mild chocolate, medium roast.

Real smooth and silky mouthfeel, taste is smooth, not bitter or acrid. Chewy. Reasonably sessionable. Mild, super mild sweetness.

This is a good oatmeal stout.

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Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout from Big Sky Brewing Company
3.44 out of 5 based on 285 ratings.
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