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Beer Review #282 Schlafly Oatmeal Stout

04-08-03I might be weird, but I love a good stout when it is starting to get warm out. I know a lot of people who will not drink a stout unless they can see their breath, but I enjoy them in the spring. Something about a quality stout screams spring to me. Odd, I know. For today, I have an oatmeal stout out of the Saint Louis Brewey, Schlafly brand. My father-in-law brought this beer to me as he is a lover of a spring stout as well.

This beer pours as you would expect any oatmeal stout to pour, dark. It has a velvety texture as it poured into my glass with a tanish head. The nose was that of cold coffee. There is some roast mixed in there but coffee roast was there more than malt roast. A slight bit so sweetness can be found as well.

On my first taste I got some really nice caramels notes upfront. A roasted malt soon followed in and notified my taste buds that this beer is a stout. The beer then goes into a very smooth coffee flavor and ends on that highlight. This beer has more coffee than any other oatmeal stout that I have had before. After a quick look at the bottle they do use coffee beans in the making of this beer. Odd to see an oatmeal stout with coffee not advertised as something with coffee, but that’s just me. Where the oatmeal does show up is the wonderful creamy texture in the beer.

This beer is just a joy to drink. While it is more of a coffee stout (is that a style yet?) than an oatmeal stout it is nicely balanced I really enjoyed this one and it is currently my favorite from the Schlafly family of beers. (more…)

Beer Review #45 Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout

While I am stuck in Texas my family back home is getting hit with another snow storm, not as bad as last week’s storm though. This one is only going to be dropping a foot and a half on them. When I think of winter or snow, there is only one drink that will help balance out all of that white. That drink is a stout. Nice, dark, rich, creamy, silky, and roasty are all words that come to mind when I think of a stout.

I recently had the pleasure of have a Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout again. I first had it a year or so ago and loved it. I finally got the chance to have it again and I did not pass up on the opportunity. It pours a deep black with a brownish/tan head. It is actually clear if you tilt the glass a bit to get a thin cross section of the beer. On the nose there are a lot of roasty aromas. It has a slightly bitter/sour smell like that of unsweetened coco.

The first sip is fully of roasty flavors. It is super malty and has a sweetness, mostly do to the oatmeal grain that it is brewed with. I got a lot of bakers chocolate in there as well along with hints of campfire. That might sound odd, but it is wonderful. The mouthfeel is silky but also thick. It goes down very easy.

Overall I think this is a great stout. It is very drinkable and I could easily put away a few of these things. Some might find it filling, but I don’t have a problem with it. When I think of an oatmeal stout, Samuel Smith’s is what a reference everything to. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a solid stout. (more…)

Beer Review #41 Winter Welcome Ale

I have a few more winter seasonal beers to get though but today’s review comes all the way from Yorkshire, England. It is Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale. I’ve had a few other Samuel Smith beers before and I have liked every single one. I think their Oatmeal Stout should be the standard of the style because it is just so perfect. Samuel Smith’s is also Yorkshire’s oldest brewery and dates back to 1758.

The beer pours a nice amber, copper color with a large fluffy head that quickly fades to a thin lace. It is perfectly clear and looks more the part of a winter beer than my last review did. The nose on the beer is full of a lot of fruity esters. In particular grape and dried fruit comes to mind. There is a bit of malt sweetness in there, but the fruit is the most prevalent smell. I didn’t get much in the way of hops on the nose though.

On the first sip, it tasted like an English pub ale with more than normal fruity esters. The fruit really comes through on the back-end of the beer. There was very limited malt flavor throughout the drink. There was also a bit of the hop bite on the end but it also finishes very crisp. The beer is extremely dry, perhaps one of the most dry beers that I have ever had. And the aftertaste is mostly biscuit and toasty flavors. It is an amazingly complex beer that really allows you to sample each layer.

This beer would be excellent for anyone who loves English ales. It isn’t hoppy at all and is packed with flavor. The flavors are not overwhelming, they are layered and a bit hidden. The more you drink it, the more things you find to taste. This ale comes in at 6% ABV. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got this beer, but I was pleasantly surprised. If you like complex beers or English ales, this one is for you. (more…)

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA Beer Review

I told you the beers would get better, and this review, steps it up to an unhealthy level. Unhealthy only because Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA clocks in at an amazing 20% ABV. Before I go any further, let me post what the brewery has to say about their beer:

“Too extreme to be called beer? Brewed to a colossal 45-degree plato, boiled for a full 2 hours while being continuously hopped with high-alpha American hops, then dry-hopped daily in the fermenter for a month & aged for another month on whole-leaf hops!!! Our 120 Minute I.P.A. is by far the biggest I.P.A. ever brewed! At 20% ABV and 120 IBUs you can see why we call this beer THE HOLY GRAIL for hopheads!”

I’ve only ever had one bottle of this stuff, partly because it is tough to find and partly because it cost me $8.99 for a single bottle. I did recently see it at my local distributer for $160.00 a case ($6.66 a bottle). But when you think about it, the price really isn’t that bad. 20% ABV is equivalent to 4-5 “normal” beers. Aside from the price, this beer is special for other reasons.

It pours an amber/orange color and, not surprisingly, it has a strong hop aroma. The beer is very thick, and seems to pour slower than other beers (just like how an oatmeal stout pours differently from a shitty macro).

Before I tasted this I was expecting to be blown away with hop flavors. 120 IBU’s is insane. The smell was there, and with with IPAs, I was expecting the taste to be there was well.

Surprisingly, the hop flavor was smooth and not overpowering. Overall, all of the flavors were very smooth. Shocker. The first thing that hits your tongue is a bit of alcohol. This flavor quickly dissipates to a fruity, woody, slightly hoppy feel. Later in the beer the hop flavors become more noticeable. It takes you by surprise, but not in a bad way.

This beer is very well balanced. There is not a single element that overshadows another. For the new craft beer drinker this would probably not be a great beer, but I really enjoyed it. One thing you need to remember is to drink this beer slowly. I had this over the period of an hour and a half (and it doesn’t taste bad warm). If you drink this like a normal beer, you are not going to get very far. This is a great cold day beer that I will be having again very soon.