3.7AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Here in Albany, NY we don’t have many bragging rights, especially when it comes to beer. But then I discovered that one our local breweries has had a beer win a gold medal at the World Beer Cup in 2004. That beer is Brown’s Oatmeal Stout, made by Brown’s Brewing Co. across the Hudson River in Troy. While this beer wouldn’t win a gold medal with me, I still found it to be another great example of why oatmeal stouts are such appealing beers.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
This beer pours very smoothly and forms a large layer of tan, foamy head which lingers throughout the life of the drink and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The body is nearly opaque black, but upon close inspection it is revealed to be very dark ruby red. The aroma is very typical of a stout with a mild, malty scent with hints of chocolate and is otherwise sweet.
I’d always been a passive stout fan until I tried high-end chocolate and oatmeal stouts and now have a newfound appreciation for the style. Brown’s Oatmeal Stout has most of the makings of a quality beer of the style. It starts out with a strong, sweet taste with significant oatmeal noticeable. As I drink more I notice a slight chocolate flavor, but caramel actually seems to overpower it.
After continued drinking I found the beer to have a distinct smoky aftertaste, due to its maltiness I assume. It wasn’t quite as roasty-tasting as other more robust stouts, in fact, this beer even has a bit of a thin, watery mouthfeel. Overall, it’s very tasty but not quite as rich as I would prefer.
Most dark, robust stouts tend to have a smooth finish thanks to their delectable palate, but others have a bitter bite to them. Since Brown’s Oatmeal Stout is milder than most of the type, giving it a thin, soft presence as well as an extremely easy finish.
What was pleasantly pleasing about this beer was how light on its feet it seemed to be. Brown’s Oatmeal Stout is only 5.25% ABV, which is far from being any kind of imperial brew. The weight itself is seemingly light as I was able to drink two bottles in a relatively short timespan without feeling overwhelmed in the least.
I hate to give anything less than a perfect rating to a beer with such a track record, but I wouldn’t consider Brown’s Oatmeal Stout perfect. It’s very good as it’s tasty, smooth and light, but I felt it could’ve been better. It’s definitely a beer I’m glad to know is a hometown brew.