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Beer Reviews: Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout

The Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout (A.K.A. 12th Anniversary Ale) stands out as a testament to the creativity and craftsmanship of modern brewers. This review delves into the unique characteristics, flavor profile, and sensory experience offered by this distinctive beer, aiming to guide enthusiasts and casual drinkers alike through the rich tapestry of its composition.

A Symphony of Flavors

This is black as ink, very impressive. Even when I hold it up to the light, nothing gets through. An aggressive pour into my Stone pint glass yields a thick, muddy head that dies down quickly.

Smells like cocoa. No surprise at that. Toffee is trying to work its way into the mix as well.

The first taste is quite simple, actually, chocolate and oatmeal, as advertised. Subsequently, sips reveal a greater depth of sweetness. Ripe plums, toffee, even brandy-like notes. This is very rich. In fact, I’m really taken aback by the sweetness of this; this is definitely a dessert beer. Alcohol heat is discernable, but it does nothing to detract from the pleasure upon my palate.

The body is not as viscous as I would have imagined. I would describe it as slightly north of medium with just enough carbonation. The oatmeal in the mash really makes for a silky-smooth mouth feel. At 9.2% ABV, “drinkability,” I suppose, is in the eye of the individual beer holder. But while it’s not difficult for me to finish the bottle, it’s rich enough that I likely wouldn’t want more than one in a sitting.

Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout turns out to be a pleasantly sweet surprise, though you wouldn’t normally associate such a rich and warming beer with summertime. Pair it with chilled Eskimo cookies and crank up the AC for a sweet treat. Better yet, reserve some of the bottle and make a float with vanilla ice cream. Or you could simply just lay it down and cellar it until the first frosty fall evening.

Whatever you do, just make sure not to pass up on a chance to try it. Highly recommended!

Craftsmanship and Pairing

The creation of such a beer requires not only a deep understanding of brewing science but also an artistic touch. The brewer must carefully select and balance the malt, hops, chocolate, and oatmeal to achieve the desired flavor profile and texture. This process often involves trial and error, with each batch contributing to the refinement of the recipe.

When it comes to pairing, the Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout is remarkably versatile. Its rich flavor profile complements a wide range of foods, from the savory depth of grilled meats to the sweet indulgence of chocolate desserts. It can also stand alone as a dessert beer, offering a decadent finish to a meal.

Experiencing the Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout is akin to discovering a new facet of the beer world. It challenges preconceived notions of what beer can be, offering a blend of flavors that are both familiar and novel. For those accustomed to the lighter side of beer, it invites a foray into the darker, richer realms. For stout lovers, it offers a unique twist on a beloved classic.

The Verdict

In conclusion, the Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout is a beer that deserves attention. It embodies the spirit of craft brewing, showcasing the ability of brewers to push the boundaries and create something truly memorable. Whether you’re a seasoned beer enthusiast or someone looking to explore the world of stouts, this beer offers a rewarding experience that marries complexity with drinkability, bitterness with sweetness, and tradition with innovation.

As with any craft beer, the true essence of the Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout can only be fully appreciated through personal experience. So, the next time you find yourself at a craft beer bar or a brewery, consider venturing into the rich, inviting world of this stout. It’s more than a drink; it’s a celebration of flavor, craftsmanship, and the endless possibilities within the realm of beer.

John Crafton

Written by

John Crafton

John Crafton, a seasoned beer reviewer with a decade's experience, is celebrated for his refined taste and extensive knowledge of brewing. His passion for craft beer has led him across the globe, tasting and reviewing a diverse array of brews. John's writing simplifies the complex beer world, catering to both newcomers and connoisseurs.