Stone Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout

Stone's Go-to IPA was the only beer from them that stumbled. They've made some absolutely remarkable beers, and I like the very name of a chocolate oatmeal stout, even if Budweiser thinks that anything that doesn't get brewed in a giant vat the size of a city block is Un-American.

It arrives as basic implacable black by was of brown, and the head gives the indication. Normally, I'd note the tan head, but this one is downright brown, and different isn't necessarily bad. The aroma is chocolate and grains and I detect floral hops, as well. The chocolate is really what is setting the scene for everything else to be presented in.

First sip is a chocolate malty taste of goodness. It is rich and sweet, even though the name says "bitter" right there in plain text. The sweet malt must be taking the place of the sugar, but I kind of expected all that malt to be of the chocolate variety in the first place. Either way, the effect is not bitter in the sip, but the sip is like looking at the world through a keyhole. Let's open up the door.

Tip-in is chocolate and carbonation tingle. The chocolate isn't bitter, just like in the sip, and there is even a slight hue of coffee tossed in for good measure. The middle arrives with more chocolate, but the oatmeal asserts itself to give an earthy, grainy texture upon which to paint this landscape. The finish has more grain than you'd think, and then it has a chocolate froth that gargles up and... yes, there's now a subtle hint of bitterness that it trails away with.

Bottom Line: Rich, sweet, and bitter. This is a delicious take on an intriguing style.



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