So this one has been hanging around for a month or so, and I’ve yet to give it a proper review. It took a little longer than I anticipated to condition in the bottle. The first one I cracked after two weeks revealed little more than a bubble or two, even after vigorous aeration in the glass. I gave it a couple more weeks, and a few good shakes of each bottle to rouse the yeast every few days, and my second bottle popped open with that beautiful sounding PFIFF

After having a couple of these at very cold temperatures, I decided it was better appreciated at just slightly cooler than room temperature, maybe 65 or even 60 degrees. The normal cold setting from the beer fridge seemed to overshadow some of the subtle aspects of the beer, and didn’t allow it to really open up. Kind of like adding a splash of lukewarm water to a nice single malt scotch to let the aroma and flavors blossom a bit (something I’d never personally do, but some people swear by it…would you add water or put ice in a fine wine? It’s neat or nothing for me.)

The Captain’s Oatmeal Coffee Stout poured with a decent two finger head, and I immediately caught the defining aromatic characteristic of this beer…Starbucks Breakfast Blend coffee. I added 16 ounces of the stuff in the primary just before fermentation. And I think it came through pretty well, just what I was looking for. Not too heavy, but enough to know it’s there.  I also get some faint notes of chocolate, thanks to the small bit of chocolate malt in the recipe. If you really focus on it, you can also pick up a hint of alcohol in the background (this one comes in around 5.5% ABV). 

The taste is pleasing. Smooth throughout, pretty malty without much hop bite (only about 30 IBUs). Very “clean” and roasty. The oatmeal kind of coats your mouth with its velvety texture. It’s really more perceptible in the aftertaste than in the initial taste itself. While the oats are certainly there in the texture, mouthfeel is a little on the thin side, however, but I can live with it. I’m certain it’s because I topped off my primary with a half gallon or so of tap water to get my batch to five gallons before I pitched the yeast. I should use some carapils or malto-dextrin next time I make this to add some more depth.

Overall, I think this is a very drinkable stout. Not a masterpiece, but I’m already getting requests for more.  

Rating: B

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