Thursday, 12 April 2012

REVIEW #96: Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout (Rogue Ales)

Pours a deep dark black and capped by a short-lived but inviting tan head. Cocoa, coffee and roast barley aroma. Medium bodied with a rich, dank malt with oily chocolate and digestive biscuit immediately noticeable. The oatmeal lends the beer both weight and a savoury, almost meat-like character. The hops provide plenty of bitterness (69 IBU - high considering its not an imperial stout) and aroma, the bitterness is plain and meshes well the the kilned barley. The lemon & lime hop aroma is also well evinced throughout, balancing the ashy malt almost too well. Additionally the carbonation is on the high side. I would have preferred a less hop-led approach which may have in turn afforded a flatter, maltier and heavier ale; how I imagine an oatmeal stout should be. Merely a personal preference at the end of the day though. I like the beer's dryness and its clash of chewy malt versus scorched barley. A beer well worth finding.

Rogue Ales of Oregon produce an amazing array of ales & lagers. I first came across them back in 2004 (ish) via their destinctive German Maibock-inspired Dead Guy Ale, thanks to Leicester's specialist beer shop The Offie. I later tried their delicious Christmas beer Santa's Private Reserve at the Great British Beer Festival in Earls Court 2007. Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout has had several incarnations since it was first brewed. For example it was previously made with a single hop variety Cascade and later with both Cascade and Perle. Now Rogue use both hops and barley grown at its own "micro" farms. Its pleasing to see that The Offie are still stocking a nice range of Rogue's ales; I picked up their Yellow Snow IPA & St. Rogue Red just the other day, expect reviews soon.
  • MALTS: GREAT WESTERN 2-ROW; crystal 135-165; chocolate; ROGUES OWN DARE (tm); rolled oats (unmalted); roasted barley (unmalted)
  • IBU: 69
  • ABV: 6.5%

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