I poured a 500ml bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 7/15/14 and cost $6 ($0.36 per ounce).
Appearance: Dark black body, completely opaque, no sediment or
carbonation visible. Pours to a large, brown, frothy head which laces
and retains extremely well.
Smell: Slightly mild, but with notes of coffee and dark chocolate.
Taste: Maine Beer Company is known for their hoppy beers, so I was quite
eager to try a malt-forward beer by them: Mean Old Tom; a stout aged on
natural vanilla beans. From the description and recipe I was expecting a
big, bold stout, but what I got was a rather nominal brew that happens
to have some sweet components to it. Not that there’s anything wrong
with how this turned out, since the result is still a more-than-solid
This beer is brewed with a fairly standard malt bill with the addition
of some flaked oats, though I wouldn’t classify it as an oatmeal stout
per se. It’s lightly sweet up front, with an almost cola-like taste.
Through the middle there’s some coffee and roasted malt flavor and
bitterness with a sweet vanilla taste on the back end. It creates for a
milk chocolate flavor, but it’s entirely too mild. A bit of an oatmeal
sweetness can be found lurking in the background, as well as an
English-like mineral quality I’ve never found in any other beers from
this brewery. I’d imagine an imperialized version of this brew would be
intense and amazing, but what’s here is nice and satisfying.
Drinkability: Getting through a glass of Mean Old Tom was no challenge
whatsoever. The mouthfeel is thinner than you’d expect, though it’s
smooth going down and finishes clean. It probably should be a bit bigger
in body than it is at 6.5% ABV, as this drinks like a lighter pub-style
stout. Works fine as a liquid dessert or a standalone beverage.