Onward Stout | Yazoo Brewing Company

27 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Yazoo Brewing Company
Tennessee, United States

Style: Irish Dry Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The tan lace clings to the glass as you raise the pint to your lips. Close your eyes and smile as the rich espresso notes fade to a dry, roasted finish. Exceptionally smooth and satisfying. Made with English Pale malt, roasted barley, black patent malt, and flaked barley. Hopped with East Kent Goldings and Target hops, and fermented with our English ale yeast.

35 IBU

Added by Brent on 04-12-2004

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Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 71
Photo of veech
2.48/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Of all the beers in the sampler served at their taproom, I anticipated liking this one the most and was sorely disappointed. The beer poured with an opacity and creamy tan head that were true to the stout style(although I wouldn't consider this a dry Irish stout). The predominant smell was one of charcoal which was my first hint that I would not care for this beer. No other scents could be detected due to the overall burnt character both in the nose and on the palate. I've tasted and enjoyed smoked porters and stouts before, but they were much milder than this. It literally tasted as though liquid smoke was added to the glass. I don't think storage, temperature, or age were to blame as it was sampled at the brewer's taproom, so I have to assume that it was a legit representation of their beer. I'm much more a porter/stout fan than a hophead, and I literally had to choke down the small sampler glass. I spent 2 weeks in Ireland last summer, and through exhaustive personal research, really got a feel for what a proper pint of Irish stout should taste like. This wasn't it. Stick with the Sly Rye Porter, Dos Perros, or the Pale Ale when visiting Yazoo. I will be in Nashville soon, and will give it a 2nd chance. I'll update if hopefully, change is noted.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.07/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Gourgeous dark dark brown color, almost black, Thick creamy brown head with excellent retention. About what you would expect froma nitro-tapped beer.

S - Weak aroma of roasted coffee. The beer does not smell bad, it just lacks aroma in general.

T - Not an overpowering taste at all. Hints of coffee and toasted grain. A good tasting stout. Just a little hop bitterness comes through.

M/D - Thin bodied and an almost flat feeling. Just does not feel like a stout in the mouth. Decent taste which does make it drinkable, but I feel it is much better on standard tap.

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Photo of Merkur
3.16/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on cask infused with vanilla beans at 12 South Taproom.

The beer pour a very dark brown with very little head.

The smell is that of coffee and a little smokiness, along with the slight hint of vanilla.

The beer has a very light texture and taste. The vanilla is very subtle and is really only detectable on the finish. The vanilla taste opens up as the beer warms a little.

Overall, this was a very solid low alch stout that is very easy drinking.

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Photo of brentk56
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Has a very dark brown body with a dark tan head; looks good at first, but has poor head retention and leaves virtually no lacing

Smell: Weak roasted malt character

Taste: Starts out with a coffee flavor that quickly thins out and leaves a phenolic plastic aftertaste with a touch of tobacco

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin body with low carbonation

Drinkability: I hate to rain on this parade of accolades as I am a big fan of local beers but this is an unimpressive stout; really more like a porter if the truth be told; I had high expectations and saved this one for the last of the four Yazoo brews I tasted on my Nashville trip but I cannot say that any one of them passed muster in my view; a real shame as the brewery is trying some unusual recipes but all of their beers seem to lack body

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Photo of Roman5150
3.36/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle into tulip

appearance: black with off white 1 finger head

smell: roasted malts, espresso/coffee, dark chocolate, hazelnut

taste: prominent malt backbone with bready notes, dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, a bit watery and not much hop presence at all

mouthfeel: decent amount of carbonation, pretty thin feel

overall: A very session-able stout, on the watery side for the style but at 3% you could drink these all day and not feel them. Decent flavor's but nothing too strong or aromatic, on the tame side for a stout, even a lower abv.

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Photo of dfried
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Little to no head in the one I tried, but I think that was because the bartendress over filled it, I did get a tan ring to form. Dark in color, but you can pick up a little ruby color even in its center, yep it looks Irish anyway. The smell is of roasted malts, coffee and chocolate. More of the same in the taste, it almost seems like a darker roast that is in some stouts, the coffee malt was quite bitter, I think that is what stood out most about this beer to me. There is a slight hop zing in the background. I felt like the mouthfeel was a bit gritty, no so much chewy or creamy, I wasn't a big fan. I would put this beer in the "worth a try" category, but I wouldn't revisit it a lot.

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Photo of Jenkster4
3.46/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer is extremely dark. No light getting through. The head is very creamy and mocha color with small bubbles. On the nose I get some roasted characters. Almost smoky, but not quiet, maybe a slight charred note. The taste is coffee, roasted malts, and that charred note again. It's pretty creamy so they all just hit you at the same time, and leave you with a dry palate. I'm getting some coffee bitterness that is lingering for a while.

Overall this is a very nice session-able stout, and it's even better on NITRO!!!

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Photo of Tilley4
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first nitro tap brew here....

Appears looking really good... Nice thick creamy head atop an almost black brew...

Aroma is weak malts and a bit of coffee....not much else...

Fairly non-descript here...its not bad but it doesn't stand out either... Just ok...

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Photo of John1985
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Stout poured a nice opaque black with a nice white head that dissipated quickly without much lacing. Malty aroma with overtones of roasted malt and chocolate. Taste like it smelled with a pleasant malt, dark chocolate and coffee. Dry roasted finish, true to style. Not many hops to speak. A few hops at the end would have made it a bit more enjoyable but this is a fine, drinkable stout.

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Photo of dashirey
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was poured from a growler that I received from unclejedi in the March Growling at the Moon exchange. Thanks so much!

A - Very dark brown/black, no light shines through when held to the light. Nice mocha/tan head that sticks around through the entire pint even though there was not much lacing left on the glass.

S - Coffee is the most abundant smell, but there are some chocolate "undertones" with a deep nasal inhale.

T - Surprisingly not much taste at all upfront in fact the taste really doesn't show up until after you swallow. When you finally get the taste mostly you are hit with some coffee, a little smoke, some roasted nuts, and a little metallic taste at the end.

M - Smooth. Carbonation is spot on, however in my opinion it was a little thin on the mouthfeel. Does leave you with a drying sensation in the mouth.

D - Despite the problems with the taste and mouthfeel, overall this is very drinkable. It is not filling and with an ABV under 4% I could drink this all evening and be great.

Thanks for introducing me to the Yazoo Brewing Company unclejedi!

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Photo of witster18
3.81/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

pours opaque black. big burly dark tan head retains very well.

big flavor. smokey, chocolate,.. i even get a little vanilla. finish is slightly charred roasted malts coming through with the bitterness of hops giving it a late, great bite. lacking the nice earthy tones I like in a stout though...

chewy. good mouthfeel overall..

overall: This beer has good flavor for a lower abv stout. The kinda thing that should be able to put guinness in it's place, but never will. Definitely lacks any chalkiness or earthy tones from the hops, but is pretty darn drinkable. Not sure if the flavors would come on too strong to session.. the malts are a bit charred-like and possibly keeps some of the other subtle notes shining through.

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Photo of Misfit138
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this a couple of times at the brewery and never reviewed the pre-nitro tap version, but I thought I should at least review the nitro-tap.

A- Very dark brown with the sinking nitro-bubbles creating a mild creamy head.

S- Chocolate and expresso type maltyness. Faint.

T- Initially chocolate and expresso malts followed by soft bitterness.

M- medium bodied, somewhat creamy. Lighter than anticipated.

D- Pretty good. It has a pretty smooth taste. Flavorful with a clean finish. Could have a few of these. I would personally like to see Yazoo do an oatmeal stout rather than the Irish stout, but it certainly is good.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Dark black with a ring of medium brown head.

S - Roast, espresso and a hint of chocolate.

T - A big roast profile followed by a hit of espresso and hints of chocolate and smoke.

M - Light to medium body. Light carbonation. A touch watery for the style at times.

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Photo of brunsojw
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Overall, not bad. Smooth, but could be more smooth. I think Sue is of course the best dark beer these guys are making, but really enjoy the stout for what it is.

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Photo of clvand0
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap in Nashville. Pours a very dark color with a moderate white head that leaves nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of chocolate and a little coffee - good malt character. The brewer told us he uses English pale malt, roasted barley, black patent, and flaked barley for this one. Along with EKGoldings and Target hops. It is very well balanced and has a great finish. Great beer.

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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Flying Saucer. Creamyness and dry tartness spot-on for the style. A very prominent smoked malt flavor. I've never had an opportunity to smell burning peat, so I don't know if that is what was used, but this seemed to me to be a hardwood smoke, maple burned in a fireplace comes to mind. The smoked malt, while fairly assertive, is not overdone and adds a nice depth to the beer. Very nicely done.

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Photo of JayS2629
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much better from the nitro tap at the brewery. Not only does it make it feel thicker and creamier on the mouth, but I think it brings more to the nose and perhaps the taste. Dominated with roasted coffee, a slight bit of smoke, and some cocoa. The taste has an underlying caramel, cocoa and coffee with some smoke and a bit of burnt flavor from black patent. The mouthfeel is greatly improved from the nitro. Overall a very good stout. What is most impressive is the flavor for such a low abv.

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Photo of titosupertramp
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has been one of my favorite Yazoo offerings for a while now.

A: Pours from the growler as a very dark brown, cola color. Immediately, a thick mocha head forms with large bubbles. Fades slowly leaving behind a fair amount of lacing. For a small Irish stout, this is about as good as it gets.

S: Chocolate, black coffee, roasted malts, some smokiness.

T: The roasted, coffee flavors mixed with a fair amount of smokiness are the first things I notice, maybe a slight molasses flavor as well. Finishes up with nice flavors of chocolate.

M: Medium bodied, but just a little on the watery side...not bad though considering the low ABV. Slightly dry finish.

O: Incredibly drinkable stout. Packs a punch in both smell and taste, especially for such a small beer in terms of ABV. Fresh from a trip to the UK, I can confidently say that Onward is as good as any sessionable stout that I sampled while there.

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Photo of otfiddler
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served by Beer Sellar in Nashville.
Very dark brown, opaque beer, wtih half-inch wide cocoa-colored head, dissolving rapidly to narrow band, with moderate to fine lacing.
Hint of chocolate or coffee smell, but very light aroma; would have liked more "nose".
Light to moderate carbonation.
Taste was dry, with hint of chocolate and/or coffee undertones with a mildy bitter aftertaste.
Mouthfeel somewhat oily, but not unpleasantly so.
A very tasty stout, not the best I've tried, but definitely worth drinking another time.

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Photo of jxhowell
4.28/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was the first beer I tried after entering the premises.
It had an excellent creamy pour from the beginning that ended with a nice thick head settling on the top.
I coud immediatly smell the rich espresso aroma as I lifted the pint.
The taste was dominated by the espresso-like flavors with hints of chocolate in the aftertaste.
Although rich, the beer was very drinkable....I only wish I could have left with a few growlers of it. However, I was told that due to it being a nitro stout that they were unable to do so.

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Photo of treble
4.28/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is one of the best irish stouts I've had. I tasted it when I visited the brewery in Nashville, it was poured into a sampler glass from the nitro tap, and then I had another in a tumbler.

Goodness! Beautiful pitch black opaque coloring, slight hints of amber but no light shine-through! Fine carbonation. Quick moving, rippling and abundant cascade, very wavy when poured. Gorgeous thick, fluffy/creamy dark tan head, when poured it was a good 3 fingers, probably a little more. It dissipated very slowly, there was a little less than a finger's head toward the end of my drink. The lacing was fairly thick as well, forming horizontal sheets on the side of the glass, slowly giving way to some holes.

Smells of, yes, definitely warm coffee, but also has a smokiness. Very appetizing, the beer was cold but the smell had a very warm roundness.

Tastes also like coffee, malty molasses coffee. And smoked Gouda. Very robust, almost too flavorful. The mouthfeel was so silky, as irish dry stout is not as heavy as it seems, so was this.

Drinkability is a tough one, it is quite flavorful, I want to rate this as being very drinkable, but I need to have more than 1 and 1/2 of these to judge if the flavor becomes too much.

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Photo of fromage
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really a fantastic beer--I'm quite impressed with the Yazoo guys on this one. "Irish Stout" is not quite the style that comes to my mind when tasting this one, but I'll forgive it. Got a refill on a growler two days before getting around to drink it. Drunk in a pint glass. (Can someone explain these prices, btw? 4$ for a pint or 7$ for a growler (4 pints)...)

Looks great, surprisingly so, since I don't have much experience in growlers. I was afraid I'd lose carbonation. They haven't started bottling this one yet. Near black, with just a bit of brown on the fringe. A big, soapy, muddy head that faded into lacing that lasted the whole glass. Not much bubbling to be seen.

Smells even better. Lots of coffee and chocolate, sweet cream, and sugar. Is this beer or something I might buy at Starbucks? It's beer--some apples and anise testify.

Taste does not dissapoint. Very little hop bite, but a roasted bitterness. Not astringent either. Quite refreshing on a miserable, rainy day. The sweet and bitter mingle in the back of the throat for a satisfyingly complex aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is full, not gritty. Not cloying or too bitter. It's just right!

I could easily drink a growler of this stuff and never get bored. Some beers I feel like the full impact of them is only on the first sip and smell. This one keeps on challenging the palate and rewarding subsequent pours!

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Photo of Veryunclever
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at the Yazoo taproom 2/22/09.

Poured opaque with a nice, thick head. Smelled mainly of chocolate and espresso. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Excellent drinkability, very smooth and tasty. Even my fiancee who normally hates stouts enjoyed it.

Easily one of the better stouts I've ever had. It's a shame this hasn't made it to widespread distribution and is only available at the Taproom (and a few bars around Nashville). It's easily one of Yazoo's better brews. I was terribly disappointed that there was no way to take any home with me.

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Photo of xduderx
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As stated already, this isn't exactly your stereotypical "irish stout" but that that is one of the things that makes this beer special.

appearance - very dark brown/black with a 1/2" tan head

smell - coffee and sweet-ish

taste - coffee and chocolate with no noticable bitterness

mouthfeel - a lot thinner than guinness or murphy's but creamy nonetheless

drinkability - a good drinker that I would have a few times a week.

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Photo of JiminKY
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very interesting stout. Certainly not as heavy as an Imperial, but quite complex. Very smooth, with strong coffee and malt tastes. It almost reminded me of a cup of espresso (especially in the little 5oz glass in the build-your-own sampler at Nashville's Flying Saucer). Appearance was a nice dark black, but the subdued lighting in the bar made it difficult to discern subtleties about the appearance. Smell was not as strong as I normally enjoy, but a larger glassful in a quieter setting may be more revealing. Very enjoyable beer that I would certainly recommend if you can find it.

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Onward Stout from Yazoo Brewing Company
3.73 out of 5 based on 71 ratings.
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