O.V.L. Stout
Russian River Brewing Company

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Stout - Irish Dry
Ranked #214
Ranked #42,617
3.65 | pDev: 13.42%
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 462 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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GarrettB from Colorado

2.88/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

July 27th, 2015 - Onwards to the dark thimbles on the Russian River cornucopia taster banquet. The OVL stout collects a nice head, with a scaled pattern along the edge of the glass, and a light cocoa powder scent. The palate is surprisingly thin, and the flavor disappoints, with a soil style flavor palate, but thin and bitter.

Feb 15, 2019
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Bluerabbitbell from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Excellent offering from tap at RRBC! Slight coconut overtones from this obvious dry stout. Leah and I enjoyed this one for sure. Would definitely order this one again.

Mar 24, 2017
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Bum4ever from California

4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap at RRBC on 2/9/2017
L: Dark brown, almost black, thick
S: Coffee and chocolate, some sort of nut
T: Smooth and easy to drink, coffee and chocolate flavors.
F: Creamy and smooth like a nitro stout should.
O: Definitely a nice nitro stout and would order again.

Feb 11, 2017
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gandres from Philippines

3.29/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Tap to glass @ Russian River Brewing tap [email protected] Santa Rosa,CA
A: Black/dark brown if held agains the light, big brown head lacing
A: nutty, with a hint of chocolate
T: not bold, not a lot of taste
MF: slightly creamy, fizzy
OA: Good stout- ok to repeat, not buy, not look forward to
Drank: April 14, 2016 9pm

Apr 20, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.81/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

More brown than black yet still pretty. Aroma was dry, irish stout kind of vibe.

Taste was easy going, smooth, Guinness as if it was a lot thicker and chewier. Chocolate malt isn't heavily roasted.. Real clean stuff.

Dec 21, 2015
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Biggiekrock627 from Maryland

3.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had a pint on tap at russian river along with an order of pliny bites. Not my favorite stout or favorite russian river beer. Head poured as 1 finger and was a frothy off white. The feel was light on the palate....almost watered down compared to other stouts.

Oct 07, 2015
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

probably underrated here, this was the only beer i had at russian river that was neither hoppy or sour that really impressed me. its a big chalky textured stout thats as dry as they come, but loaded with deep earthy roast that never turns acrid or bitter. its drinkable too at a real low abv and a mouthfeel that almost leaves me thirsty. there are coffee notes in here too, rich and creamy in that way, but a dark chocolate complexion arises before the finish. i get the grain before the flavors it produces, which is how i like it. yeast has done a complete job here, residual sugar is nil. its really easy to put this one back, although maybe it does lack a finish just a bit. i had no idea russian river made beers that werent the hop bombs or the sours, and while most of the ones i tried were pretty pedestrian, this stout really stood out as a top quality beer.

Sep 20, 2014
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Antnego from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Guinness with deeper flavor, better body and color. I had this on nitro-tap and the mouthfeel was heavenly, rich and silky-smooth. I got some burnt malt but not overpowering as in some other stouts. I tasted caramel, chocolate and coffee with no off-putting sourness I've experienced in some stouts. Very crisp and refreshing finish. I highly recommend giving this one a try if you're near the brewery. It's a tap-only deal.

Jul 30, 2014
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the RR Brewpub in Santa Rosa.

A: dak brow-blackn, essentially opaque but clear. Semi-durable head still leaves very good lacing.

Aroma: dark roasted malts withfaint hops.

Flavor: dark roastd malts with more obvious hops than in the aroma.

Feel: smooth; light body seemed relatively too light for style and even a bit watery; medium-low carbonation.


Jul 06, 2014
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ArrogantB from Colorado

4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the brewery in Santa Rosa. I'll start off by saying this was the best dry irish stout I have ever tasted. Dark black color, good tan head. Aroma was chocolate, coffee, dark malts, great. Flavor was exactly the same and so robust. This was delicious and I'd order pints regularly if I ever saw it on tap.

May 08, 2014
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BMMillsy from Florida

3.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tried as part of a sampler at the brewery. This was a black pour with super creamy light brown khaki head. Chocolate and espresso on the aroma, plenty of roast to go along. Surprised at the big aroma for such a light stout. Big chocolate and roasted coffee flavor, finishes with lingering charred roast. This has more flavor than I have had in any dry stout. Nicely done. Very thin mouthfeel that goes down very easy with velvety carb. Not bad at all, and I would have this again despite this being one of my least favorite styles.

Mar 05, 2014
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inlimbo77 from Delaware

3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

6oz half pint pour
Enjoyed at Santa Rosa, CA brew pub on 9/5/12

A: This pours out darker than the porter for sure. It's a fairly dark brown almost black color. I see some reddish hues at bottom of the glass. There is a light tan head. It's very frothy.

S: On the nose, I get light roast coffee. Some chocolate. Nothing too crazy aggressive.

T: As for the taste, much like the nose it's a very mild stout. I get some of that light roast coffee bitterness on the tip of the tongue. That meshes in nicely with the chocolate flavors. It's rarer thin, like others have mentioned Guiness like. Didn't see ABV, but has to be lower side.

M: It's medium body

Sep 13, 2012
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elNopalero from California

4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours a dark coffee color with cocoa-colored foam. There’s a delicious roasty aroma that’s followed by a sweet roast on the palate, with hints of French roast coffee and dark chocolate notes. Finishes sweet. I like to call it dessert in a glass. Perfect capstone to a day of IPAS and Belgian sours.

Aug 12, 2012
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AgentMunky from New York

3.13/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served in a sampling glass at the brewery.

A: Opaque, some creamy head (nitro) atop a lining ruby beer.

S: Roasted chocolate malt and not much else.

T/M: Thin-bodied -- like Guinness -- with an equally thin taste. Distant, roasted malt. Slightly sour finish. Unimpressive, but then again, I'm unimpressed by Guinness.

O: Not impressed. Would not have again or recommend to anyone other than people who like Guinness.

Aug 05, 2012
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lacqueredmouse from Australia

3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Russian River in Santa Rosa, CA.

Pours a bronzey, brown-black colour, with relatively little haze—indeed, light permeates it even despite its colour. Head is a milky mocha-brown colour, with a gorgeous silky consistency from the nitro-pour. It also leaves amazing lacing. Really, it's a great looking beer.

Aroma contains everything you'd expect: mild roasted notes, a touch of coffee, a slight sweetness which gives a hint of unfermented wort, crushed, brittle chocolate and a milkiness throughout. It's very pleasant, if in some senses just ticking the boxes.

Taste is unexpectedly different, however. There's almost nothing on the front, leaving everything to roar up on the finish, with clingy, watery coffee filling out to a roasted astringency on the back, leaving dollops of husky bitterness and roasted tobacco. Everything forms on the back, and it feels a little undeveloped as a whole. Feel is good, but less exciting than it should be.

Drinkable enough at the start, but with the build up of ashiness on the back harms it. I'm surprised to say I didn't find this as good as I'd hoped. But then, maybe I just have unreasonable expectations.

Jul 04, 2012
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whitefire from California

3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the brewery in between PtY pourings.

Pours a classical stout, beautiful dark color and a classic head above an obsidian dark brew.

S: Nothing special

Mouth feel: Rich, little carbonation.

Overall: A nice stout, rich, good flavor but nothing overly special, still, i will not turn this one down!!

Feb 12, 2012
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williamjbauer from Colorado

4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap served in a 4 oz sampler

A - Dark brown with one finger tan head with moderate lacing and good head retention.

S - Earthy, chocolate, roasted barley.

T - Follow smell, pretty sour and a little bitter as well, I was pleasantly surprised. Notes of tobacco, coffee, dark chocolate. Weak start but a nice complex dry finish.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O - Pretty good stout, really liked the earthy flavor

Feb 03, 2012
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Beerandraiderfan from Nevada

3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A stout that is lighter in appearance than many, this takes on more brown than black in its appearance, nice soft head on it, less than 1".
Aroma was like many aspects of this beer, smooth. Roasting notes are very delicate, not huge, not bitter.

Again, taste, smooth, chocolate malt, very sessionable, mild undertaking here. Light mouthfeel, wouldn't say there is any dominant aspect of this beer, other than its easy to please attitude. Its a nice change of pace when you're at the brewery because most of their selections are either heavy on belgian yeast, sour, or very hoppy.

A mild, smooth light cocao experience.

Jan 30, 2012
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nataku00 from California

2.19/5  rDev -40%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes.

Nitro poured into a pint glass. Pitch black color with that nice cascading head appearance of a nitro beer up to a half a finger of creamy dark brown head.

Not much of an aroma, maybe some overly roasted and astringent burnt malt aroma. Touch of coffee.

Taste is just burnt malt, very dark espresso. Lingering roasted bitterness and astringency.

Medium body and creamy from the nitro. A forgettable beer from RR.

Jan 15, 2012
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beerwolf77 from Wisconsin

3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Russian River.

Dark black with a solid finger of tan head. Mild bitter coffee and roast malt. Flavor is mostly bitter malt and black coffee. Thin with mild carbonation. Nothing really stands out. just another Irish stout. Then again. I didn't come here for a stout.

Dec 29, 2011
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yourefragile from District of Columbia

3.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at the brewpub.

Pours a rich dark chocolate with a dense, creamy off white head. Long lasting retention and thick sheets of lacing. Weak aroma of mild roast malt and coffee with light hops in the finish. Dry, creamy body with roast malt and mild coffee. Not bad, but a little boring and one dimensional.

Dec 20, 2011
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Jugs_McGhee from Colorado

3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on nitro-draught into a half-pint glass. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were high: it's my favourite style and from my favourite stateside brewery.

A: Pours a one finger head of wonderful tan colour, great thickness, and excellent retention. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Cream, coffee, light chocolate, toffee, and perchance a bit of caramel. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Cream, coffee, light roasted barley, and light chocolate. Fairly complex, and well balanced. Well built. Flavourful.

Mf: Creamy. A bit too smooth for a stout; more porter-esque. Also too wet. It's still good though, and aids the flavours in a general sense. Nitro was the right choice.

Dr: Very drinkable and affordable. I'd have it again. Strange for a stout. All things considered, it was a bit of a disappointment, however.

Dec 20, 2011
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HuskyinPDX from Washington

3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Russian River.

A - Served a very dark brown with a thin tan head. Strong retention and lots of lacing.

S - coffee mostly, some roasted malts.

T - Mostly the roasted malts come through here. Some coffee as well.

D - Way to thin here. Lower carbonation.

O - The flavors were ok, but he body was not up to RR standards.

Dec 10, 2011
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Hojaminbag from Colorado

3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is another note that has been hanging around for entirely too long without a review being written, and now is the time.

Russian River's OVL Stout has a dark, pitch-black body with a thick, solid brown head. Basically, the look you expect from most dark beers on a nitro pour.

The aroma is muted (my complaint about nitro), but there is definitely coffee and dark malts.

The flavors is straightforward, but pretty good. Coffee is the main flavor, followed roasted flavors, black malt and baker's chocolate. Probably a little bit of toffee also.

Thick, full, creamy, just like a nitro a beer should be.

This is one of the many beers that I wonder what it would taste like out of a normal CO2 tap. Or, even better, out of a cask. I'm just not the biggest fan of nitro setups. With that said, this is still a nice dry stout.

Oct 15, 2011
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Chincino from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on-tap as part of a sampler at the Russian River Brewery.

The beer poured to be black in color. The aroma was of roasted malts with a hint of chocolate.

Dry, creamy, light, and easy to drink. As noted in some previous reviews, this beer reminded me of a traditional Irish Dry Stout and was very different from the other Russian Rivers beers I had had previously.

Good for the style, but certainly not my favorite of the many wonderful beers made by this brewery.


Oct 11, 2011
O.V.L. Stout from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 462 ratings