Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout | Big Sky Brewing Company

BA SCORE
79
okay
289 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay
Read the review
Slow Elk Oatmeal StoutSlow Elk Oatmeal Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Big Sky Brewing Company
Montana, United States
bigskybrew.com

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
20 IBU

Added by Mitchster on 12-15-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
289
Reviews:
118
Avg:
3.44
pDev:
13.66%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
28
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 289 |  Reviews: 118
Photo of yemenmocha
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours bblack, off tan head that retains well.

Nose has an off metallic note, nougat chocolate, and fairly clean.

Palate is noticeably thin bodied, almost watery, faint oat & roasty flavors, and a surprisingly clean finish.

Is this an oatmeal stout lite?

 256 characters

Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't often try stouts, but Big Sky has produced some good brews and I figure they would be worth it.

It poured an opaque red with a very thin brown head. The aroma was very caramel with a bit of chocolate. It tasted more of caramel/nutmeg in oatmeal, a bit of an odd combination that, complex. The mouth feel was medium for a stout.

I would say this beer is decent but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

Edit: I am totally perplexed by the animal on the logo. It's a cow with elk antlers. Perhaps after a few beers you actually understand it. I may never know.

 567 characters

Photo of vande
3.4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of katan
3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle

A - Dark as night. Very thick looking. The head was very light, and not near as dark a head as other stouts.

S - The smell is very light - in fact I can't quite discern much here. Only a small amount of roasted and chocolate notes are present.

T - Not really all that strong of a flavor here. It starts with some sweeter notes that transition to a light balancing here. Finishes with a mix of the oatmeal of oatmeal and sweetness.

M - No carbonation present. The beer is light in body for other stouts that fit this category. Nothing bad per se, but may not be an Oatmeal variety.

D - Not hard to drink. The beer is not weighty by its carbonation or its thickness. The ABV I'm sure is higher than normal, but so far has not affected me.

 756 characters

Photo of TheCondor
3.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

In my own opinion, Big Sky products are either hit or miss in a big way. I have had a few of their products I really enjoyed, I have also had a few duds. We will see where this one falls into play. Side poured with standard aggression into a custom Boulevard/Deschutes snifter.

Appearance - Pours a standard dark brown/black pour, with a decent one finger head that displays a bit of retention and lacing. I like the packaging on the beers and bottle, and I like the angle the brewery has, being the only brewery I have heard of in Montana, so they can corner the market on the whole Big Sky state.

Smell - Pretty subdued, there is a bit of malt in there combined with some coffee, dark bread, and a touch of roastiness. Nothing too strong or dominant.

Taste - Much of the same, as the taste is very low key with many of the above characteristics. The roastiness and coffee flavors are a bit strong in the taste, and there is a bit of a whole grain oatmeal taste as well. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel - This is my big beef with this beer. Way too watery, not nearly thick, milky, smooth, or strong enough on the finish. Basically the finish on this beer left a lot to be desired. Very watery and thin, not what you would expect from an oatmeal stout.

Overall - Barring the sorry mouthfeel, this isn't a bad beer. Not a great one, but the mouthfeel really throws it for a loop. Thats my favorite part of a porter or stout of any variation, and this one really tanked it. Although it is worth a try, you may not drink a second. Of course, it may be your favorite beer ever, who knows?

 1,582 characters

Photo of PintOHops
3.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Glass - Nonic

A - Dark, black color with just about no light shinning through. The head came and went within a few seconds of pouring. No lacing really.

S - Sweet milk chocolate, coconut and a touch of almond is what I pick up. Slightest bit of herbal hop twang shines through a bit. Sweet and chocolaty smelling overall.

T - Very close to the aroma. It's sweet and chocolaty with a touch of bread or biscuit in there. Citrus and herbal hop twang comes in mid to finish and washes the palate a bit. Bitterness is low, and I also pick up a touch of coconut.

M - Crispness is moderate and cuts through the viscous medium-full body.

O - I think this is a solid Oatmeal Stout that I'd enjoy drinking again. Great price, nothing wowing about it but a good representation of the style i think. Worth a try. Cheers!

 813 characters

Photo of zoso1967
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Slow Elk pours a dark brown that is almost black but shows through with some woody highlights when held up to a bright light. The head is light tan in color and while it does not have great retention, it does leave fairly nice lacing.

The aroma is slightly roasty with hints of coffee, cocoa and molasses. The malt sweetness is like that of a dark bread and there is a signature British yeast smell to go along with it.

The flavor matches the aroma quite well with the same slightly roasty and chocolaty character complimenting the bready and molasses malt sweetness. There is just a hint of chalkiness to it and some oat like character as well.

The mouthfeel is medium in size and a bit of a letdown. It has some smoothness to it but is not as substantial or velvety as the best oatmeal stouts tend to be. The brew finishes fairly dry with some nice bitter cocoa flavors.

This is a decent tasting oatmeal stout, but nothing to write home about. It is easy drinking and well balanced, but for me this style is all about mouthfeel and in that aspect this does not really deliver.

 1,082 characters

Photo of JohnBender
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of arizcards
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single from AJ's in Scottsdale back in late February for $1.59. Best by 12-23-09.

Beer poured a dark brown with an OK tan head. Nose has hints of chocolate and roasted malts. Taste is slight roasted chocolate malts, finishes with a small slightly dry hop. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth but is thin for the style. Drinkability is pretty good, this is a sessionable beer with decent flavor but no overly exciting qualities. Glad to have tried and will have to find a fresh version for next time.

 503 characters

Photo of nsmartell
3.46/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the 12oz bottle with a 122309 stamp to a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours black with a light red/brown tinge when held to a light. Thin mocha colored head that sticks around for some time.

Smell: Roasted malt and dull bitter chocolate.

Taste: The sweet malts now dominate but the bitter chocolate is still there as well. A bit off but could be because I am beyond what I assume to be is the best by date.

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium bodied and smooth. Nice carbonation.

Drinkability: Fairly tasty and easy to drink oatmeal stout. Taste is a little bit off for my liking, but would recommend to those macro-drinking friends looking to try something different.

 732 characters

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top with sweet label, freshness date of 12/23/09. The inside of my cap says "Hell yeah, I got a wiener dog!" I love this brewery

Appearance: Fairly bright dark walnut beer; even a hard pour doesnt produce much in the way of head though, sadly...I get a small, large-bubbled light tan cap which doesn't really seem to want to stick around.

Smell: Light roasty grains and a ton of dark sweet caramel...sweet, nice, and simple...not really the richness I expect from the style, however.

Taste: This definitely...tastes much more like a good nut-brown than a stout. It's nutty, toasty, lightly fruity, with lots of dry dark caramel, and just a bit of roast. Don't get me wrong, this is really tasty, but not much like your typical oatmeal stout. Sadly, this has to bump the score down in the "taste" category, as I'm not judging it as a brown ale, I'm judging it as a stout.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light for the style; again, for a brown ale, it'd be just perfect...

Drinkability: High

Conclusion: Good beer, awesome packaging, just not really right for the style. Slap "Nut Brown" on the label and I'd even pay the 8.49 to pick it up again.

 1,167 characters

Photo of Thirstygoat
3.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

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

Overall not a bad little stout. Appearance is as it should be- dark brownish black, nearly opaque and minimal tan head. Smell is a bit weaker than the taste, but I get a nice roastiness up front with slightly more coffee than bitter chocolate. Only a small hint of alcohol is present. Mouthfeel is decent, medium in body.
Very drinkable.

 337 characters

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.

 486 characters

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'.

 1,751 characters

Photo of jpuetz
3.49/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of halo3one
3.49/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of tectactoe
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of sgttibbs
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of CamuMahubah
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big Sky is one of my all time favorite breweries but this is one of their all time average beers. It's just so average. I thought for a minute this was like an improved version of Moose Drool but it's so plain boring. Incredibly smooth. Incredibly delicious. Incredibly drinkable.

It's just so dang boring...like a Honda Accord V6 that outruns yesteryear's Mustang but it's still boring! For a limited edition I was expecting tremendous something.

What I got was a wonderful beer with hints of dark chocolate and prolly one of the smoothest porters I have ever drank. I'm not complaining. I just expected more from this brewery. They have the most underrated IPA I have ever drank.

That said...this is a party porter...anybody can drink this...and beer snobs will approve...I think that is what Big Sky had in mind...seasonal beers often end up at parties and especially XMAS parties! FTW

 893 characters

Photo of RDW
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of augustgarage
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood. Served in a generic wide-mouth tulip.

Dark reddish brown liquid, though not opaque. Faint auburn and bole highlights. Solid, persistent beige collar, with thin islands dotting the surface. Average lacing.

Light toasty malt, a touch of stale caramel, and not a lot else as far as aromatics go.

Very mild malt, faint citrus (or maybe even lactic) note - though not one that comes from hops - and light grain.

Weak, watery mouthfeel.

Sessionable, but not particularly impressive flavor-wise. Not Big Sky's shining moment I imagine.

 580 characters

Photo of PatrickKlopfenstein
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of rogerthegill
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout from Big Sky Brewing Company
3.44 out of 5 based on 289 ratings.
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