One sad truth about the Ontario craft beer world is that a lot of great beers get small distribution. A number of factors can lead to this lead problem: the brewery is located away from a major urban centre, their batch sizes are small even for a craft brewery, the LCBO and Beer Store control the retail side… lots of reasons that have been agonized over many times. A bit of work is required to try many beers, either traveling to the brewery or paying close attention to when it becomes available at your local pub. I’m happy to highlight one such beer, the Stone Hammer Oatmeal Coffee Stout.
The Oatmeal Coffee Stout pours pitch black with a nice inch of beautiful head that looks like coffee with a touch of milk. The head slowly subsides, leaving some lacing around the top of the glass. A nice aroma reminiscent of chocolate covered espresso beans, a mix of roast and coffee with a definite undercurrent of chocolate sweetness. The roasted profile marries the chocolate and coffee aromas quite well. The flavour is initially dominated by the roasted malts and milk chocolate. The coffee comes beneath those flavours and is more a component of the beer rather than a dominating element. There is a slightly acidic quality from the coffee, but very little bitterness in general. The sugars are almost overwhelming, which could be offset with an increase in bitterness or an increase in the 5% ABV.
A medium-bodied beer with a little creaminess in the mouthfeel, but not as much as one might expect from an oatmeal stout. Overall, a nice stout with more depth and character than the Mill Street Coffee Porter. Bright, clean flavours that make this more than a beer with added coffee. The lack of bitterness is my only complaint and the one thing preventing this from being an outstanding beer. The Stone Hammer Oatmeal Coffee Stout is now available at the Stone Hammer retail store, as well as on tap at the Rhino, Market Hill Cafe in Mono Mills and the Delhi Street Bistro in Guelph. Bottles are also available at the Emmett Ray, Stout Irish Pub and Ambassador in Richmond Hill. For cask availability check the #ONcask hashtag on Twitter.
Recommended If You Like: Talking about your favourite method of brewing coffee. Archaeology. Iced coffee. George Eagleson. Chocolate covered espresso beans.