Russian Imperial and American Stouts, but recently, I have developed an affinity for Oatmeal Stouts. With this in mind, I ventured to a local bottle shop and picked up the Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout from Anderson Valley Brewing Company.
This stout pours an oil black opaqueness with no observable highlighting. Due to the possibility of this bottle being old (picked it up from a make-your-own-sixer), I wasn't surprised when the head dissipated almost immediately after I had completed the pour.
The aroma for this stout contained no real smellable oatmeal notes. However, dark chocolate and roasted malt combined to make the aroma quite pleasant.
The taste profile was very balanced with dark chocolate and oatmeal washing over the palate during the initial phase of the taste. A very nice hop bitterness completes the taste leaving a subtle hop character on the back part of the palate.
Before seeing the beer, I thought this stout would have a creamy, silky consistency, however, the mouthfeel was more aqueous than I anticipated. With that being said, the viscousness and light carbonation combined to create a medium-bodied brew.
At 5.7% ABV, the Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout is as close as a stout can get to being sessionable and I could see myself enjoying multiple pints throughout a cold winter night. This a good beer, and if love stouts like myself, definitely give this one a chance and I think it may convert you to the "dark" side.