Getting Back to Basics
A Review of Schlafly Oatmeal Stout by Saint Louis Brewery, Inc. / Schlafly
Posted on 3/2/2012 by Chops
                   
Great
Good basic beers will often get lost in the murky lands of bad beer. In today's whimsical craft beer world, it seems that most breweries are out to push the limits of beer styles. This is great and all because who doesn't love exciting new experiences? But, we should always give credit to the basic brews that started it all. Unfortunately, there are some overly enthusiastic beer drinkers who get so caught up in the cutting edge styles that they will often dismiss a great basic brew as a bad beer. Beers don't need crazy ingredients or wacky brewing processes to be considered good. They only need to be done right. One such basic gem is the Schlafly Oatmeal Stout.

In the glass, this beer has a deep brown coloration, not quite black. It comes with a creamy tan head that dissipates at a normal pace. On the nose, I was able to identify a coffee roast and a few hints of dark chocolate. That's pretty much it, just a standard introduction to a standard beer style. Going into that first sip, I was expecting nothing more than a couch worthy oatmeal stout.

The flavor profile closely matched the aroma and added in a complimentary hop note. The coffee roast flavor makes its presence known as the dominant trait. The dark chocolate notes reside more in the background and never really assert themselves. The bitterness of the hops balance out the mix by adding a nice counterweight to the darker flavors. The mouthfeel is a little thin, but quite smooth with no distracting grittiness. The finish is surprisingly clean and leaves you with a pleasant roasted hoppy aftertaste.

Overall, the Schlafly Oatmeal Stout is a solid representation of the oatmeal stout style. It's a tasty, well-balanced beer with a nice pure flavor. I can happily recommend it to any level of beer fan. Seasoned drinkers will find it to be a great session stout, while novices will find it to be a fantastic introduction into the style. It's the kind of baseline brew that makes you want to learn about beer history. And in that spirit of education, Schlafly was kind enough to provide the following blurb on their website about this tasty nectar:

Before the 19th century, all barley was malted over wood kilns. The resulting dark roasted malt made the browns, porters, and stouts of England. During the end of the 19th century, brewers used oats for their restorative and nourishing characteristics, producing beers such as oatmeal stout and milk stout. Today, British and American craft brewers are once again promoting the style.

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Schlafly Oatmeal Stout by Saint Louis Brewery, Inc. / Schlafly
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