Beer Nerdistry: Wolaver’s Oatmeal Stout Review

wolaversoatIt’s always a bit disappointing when a favored brewery puts out something that doesn’t quite measure up to its better beers on tap. I haven’t had Wolaver’s in a long time, though I recall digging a few of their beers back in the day. After enjoying some extremely tasty oatmeal stouts this season, I was looking forward to seeing what this Vermont organic label had to offer in the style. Sad to say, a fuzzy head and a less than enthused palate left me wanting more…of something other than what I was drinking.

The Rundown:

Wolaver’s is the certified organic line brewed by Otter Creek. I’ve enjoyed some of their other beers in the past, though this is my first time scoping out their Oatmeal Stout (5.9 percent ABV).

Label Dude has been working hard in the field poking things with his big pointy stick. That’s sweaty business, so no wonder he’s got a growler of brew with him. That’s my kind of lunch break. But $5 says that’s no stout he’s toting along in 85 degree temps. Then again, Wolaver’s uses a variation on the same label for all of its brews.

Appearance Pours dark brown, nearly black with a thin mocha-colored head that dissipates almost immediately.

Aroma – Roast malts and coffee notes are pleasantly present if rather subdued.

Taste – A formidable full-bodied charge of malt strength backed by moderate silkiness from the oats takes charge up-front before trading off with bitterness of hops and burnt coffee. This is bolstered by chocolate undertones that say a quick “howdy” on their trek across the palate. Finishes with a lingering bitterness.

Overall– Perhaps not as smooth through and through as other oatmeal stouts I’ve had. This comes off as a bit more porter-like. As a complete aside, every beer I had out of the six-pack I bought, consumed at different times throughout the course of a week or so, gave me an odd buzzy feeling in the head – almost like having an overcaffeinated coffee porter. Seems odd, and unrelated to the ABV, which isn’t terribly high. It’s a decent beer but not one I’d recommend for the style.

Verdict: C+


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