Style Details

Name
Oat­me­al Stout
Cate­go­ry
Dark Bri­tish Beer
BJCP Style Code
16 B
Appearan­ce
Medi­um brown to black in color. Thick, crea­my, per­sis­tent tan- to brown-colo­red head. Can be opa­que (if not, it should be clear).
Aro­ma
Mild roas­ted grain aro­mas, gene­ral­ly with a cof­fee-like cha­rac­ter. A light mal­ty sweet­ness can sug­gest a cof­fee-and-cream impres­si­on. Frui­ti­ness should be low to medi­um-high. Dia­ce­tyl medi­um-low to none. Hop aro­ma medi­um-low to none, ear­thy or flo­ral. A light grai­ny-nut­ty oat­me­al aro­ma is optio­nal.
Fla­vour
Simi­lar to the aro­ma, with a mild roas­ted cof­fee to cof­fee-and-cream fla­vor, and low to moder­ate­ly-high frui­ti­ness. Oats and dark roas­ted grains pro­vi­de some fla­vor com­ple­xi­ty; the oats can add a nut­ty, grai­ny or ear­thy fla­vor. Dark grains can com­bi­ne with malt sweet­ness to give the impres­si­on of milk cho­co­la­te or cof­fee with cream. Medi­um hop bit­ter­ness with the balan­ce toward malt. Medi­um-sweet to medi­um-dry finish. Dia­ce­tyl medi­um-low to none. Hop fla­vor medi­um-low to none, typi­cal­ly ear­thy or flo­ral.
Mouth­feel
Medi­um-full to full body, with a smooth, sil­ky, vel­ve­ty, some­ti­mes an almost oily slick­ness from the oat­me­al. Crea­my. Medi­um to medi­um-high car­bo­na­ti­on.
Over­all Impres­si­on
A very dark, full-bodi­ed, roas­ty, mal­ty ale with a com­ple­men­ta­ry oat­me­al fla­vor. The sweet­ness, balan­ce, and oat­me­al impres­si­on can vary con­si­der­ab­ly.
Typi­cal Ingre­dients
Pale, cara­mel and dark roas­ted mal­ts (often cho­co­la­te) and grains. Oat­me­al or mal­ted oats (5-20% or more) used to enhan­ce full­ness of body and com­ple­xi­ty of fla­vor. Hops pri­ma­ri­ly for bit­te­ring. Can use brewing sug­ars or syrups. Eng­lish ale yeast.
Histo­ry
A vari­ant of nou­ris­hing or inva­lid stouts of the late 1800s using oat­me­al in the grist, simi­lar to the deve­lo­p­ment of sweet stout that used lac­to­se. An ori­gi­nal Scot­tish ver­si­on used a signi­fi­cant amount of oat malt. Later went through a shady pha­se whe­re some Eng­lish bre­wers would throw a hand­ful of oats into their par­ti-gyled stouts in order to legal­ly pro­du­ce a ‘healt­hy’ Oat­me­al Stout for mar­ke­ting pur­po­ses. Most popu­lar in Eng­land bet­ween the World Wars, was revi­ved in the craft beer era for export, which hel­ped lead to its adop­ti­on as a popu­lar modern Ame­ri­can craft beer style that uses a noti­ce­ab­le (not sym­bo­lic) quan­ti­ty of oats.
Comments
Gene­ral­ly bet­ween Sweet and Irish Stouts in sweet­ness. Varia­ti­ons exist, from fair­ly sweet to qui­te dry, as well as Eng­lish and Ame­ri­can ver­si­ons (Ame­ri­can ver­si­ons tend to be more hop­py, less sweet, and less frui­ty). The level of bit­ter­ness also varies, as does the oat­me­al impres­si­on. Light use of oat­me­al may give a cer­tain sil­ki­ness of body and rich­ness of fla­vor, while hea­vy use of oat­me­al can be fair­ly inten­se in fla­vor with an almost oily mouth­feel, dryish finish, and slight grai­ny astrin­gen­cy. When jud­ging, allow for dif­fe­ren­ces in inter­pre­ta­ti­on.
Com­mer­cial Examp­les
Ander­son Val­ley Bar­ney Flats Oat­me­al Stout, Broughton Scot­tish Oat­me­al Stout, Figuer­oa Moun­tain Sta­ge­coach Stout, St-Ambroi­se Oat­me­al Stout, Samu­el Smith Oat­me­al Stout, Young’s Oat­me­al Stout
Ori­gi­nal Gra­vi­ty
1.045 - 1.065 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.010 - 1.018 SG
Color
22 - 40 SRM
Alco­hol
4.0 - 5.0 %vol
Bit­ter­ness
25 - 40 IBU