Review - Stone Brewing Company's Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout
"Summer dreaming in late January..." -- Stone Brewing Company
Pours an obsidian black body with a gorgeous light brown head, two fingers in height, with a frothy consistency. excellent retention. Lacing is fairly sticky with solid lines. Having settled, the head has retreated only slightly with still a frothy consistency. Body clarity is next to nothing with very little opacity. Initially the nose perks up when the strong alcohol presence smacks you across the face. This is going to be a strong beer and there is nothing hiding that fact. A chocolate malt presence dominates the glass and the hop presence is not noticeable through the malty body (as expected). As a darker beer, you may expect a roasted malt presence, but not with this beer. Initial taste is loaded with roasted malts with a subtle bitterness. towards the finish, the character takes on a more prominent bitterness with a significant chocolate backbone. overall, a lot of roasted character. Light to medium in bodied and softly carbonated, the mouth is left with an oily film that coats the palate. The warming alcohol feeling does not overpower the malty, chocolate goodness.
Silky-smooth body, highly drinkable. Very obvious alcohol presence that is at least levied by the roasted malts. The alcohol levels are a bit more obvious than we'd like for an under-10% beer, and throw the balance off a bit, but the richness of the chocolate malts makes it easy to forgive.
Reviewed on June 12th, 2009.