Buffalo Sweat Bourbon Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout

Buffalo Sweat sauntered into my life with their very good oatmeal stout only to do themselves one better by adding vanilla to it. Adding the anomaly of an aging container that used to contain some kind of heavy alcoholic beverage like rum or whiskey is not usually something I look forward to. Still, these people have done their homework and seem to be just perfecting a style of oatmeal stout, so let's give them a try...

Another so-brown-it's-black beer to try out. There is pretty much no head straight from the can; there are bubbles that manage to make their way to the top of the beer in order to burst as soon as they get there. I will concede to a few bubbles managing to survive and stick to the sides of the glass, but that's about it. The aroma is coffee, smoke, chocolate, vanilla, and I imagine bourbon, but I'm not really smelling that. Maybe (likely) I will taste it.

First sip is, as its sister beers, quite nice. It's smoke, chocolate, a hint of coffee, and definitely vanilla. Unlike the aroma, the sip definitely has bourbon lurking in it, but it is a complementing the rest of the beer very nicely. I did not expect this, especially after the many failures where the various liquors were too much for the beers involved. On to the swig!

Tip-in is rich chocolate and mild roasted coffee with a slight hint of roasted oatmeal. Carbonation is very light to the point of almost not being a factor, but it is a factor enough. The middle is fan-goddamn-tastic. It has the smoke, the very light coffee, the chocolate, the sweet vanilla, and even a slight hint of bourbon that just flows in a silky smooth way down the throat. I almost don't want the finish to come, but come it does with a slight bitter tingle on the front of the tongue and a gentle fading of the finish. There's no fanfare or anything, but there is a gentle cessation of taste and a trail of smoke.

Bottom Line: Smooth and flavorful, this is a beer that I can't imagine would be the wrong one for any situation. Quite possibly my favorite beer of the three.



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