Old Rip Oatmeal Stout
- Product Reviewed: Old Rip Oatmeal Stout
- Brewed by: Big Time Brewing Company; Seattle, WA
- Reviewed By: David Brockington
- Original Posted to Usenet: January 27, 1995
Big Time is a brewpub located in Seattle's University District. It
is operated by the same folks who own Triple Rock in Berkeley and Twenty Tank
in San Francisco. It has been open since the Autumn of 1988, and has long
been one of my favorite breweries in Seattle. The oatmeal stout is one
of their many excellent specialty beers.
As this is a Big Time Product, my expectations are elevated. Oatmeal
stout is an elusive style to pin down, yet it is one of my favorite beers in
general. Benchmarks for the style are tough to isolate; I would suspect that
Sam Smith's is certainly one, and I argue that Teri Fahrendorf's Oatmeal Stout
brewed at the Steelhead Brewpub in Eugene, Oregon is another. Since the
category is rather elusive, I would hesitate to take my opinion on how
this beer fits the style at more than face value.
The beer itself poured opaque black in the glass, throwing off a
tan head. The head displayed excellent retention qualities, leaving ample
lacework down the glass throughout the entire quaffing experience.
I picked out hints of malt and roast in the nose, with some hop
aroma dancing in the background.
A malty, relatively smooth oily oatiness dominates the opening,
which slides into a dry middle and relatively bitter (hop bitter) finish.
I would guess at a gravity in the mid 60's.
Based upon my expectations, experience with prior batches of the same
beer, and discussion with Craig Verver, I have to admit my disappointment.
However, it ought to be noted that this reaction is clearly in response to
where this beer has been in the past before the recipe was hopped up with
the new brewer, Dick Cantwell. The beer was smooth, not really all that
assertive where it ought to have been (oatiness, stout-like qualities) but
was assertive where, imho, it ought not have been (lingering hop bitter
finish.) While I understand that Cantwell has been hopping several of the
beers a tad higher than the previous brewer had, and I'll admit that it
works in several of the beers, the oatmeal stout was best left untouched.
*** (out of 5)
Tough to say. Thesis writing has taken me over, to the expense of
writing reviews. I do have a stack of notes on beers I experienced on our
recent drive across the country (mid December) including stuff from Baltimore,
DC, Raleigh, Pensacola, New Orleans, and points west. Some of those notes
will be translated into reviews soon.
Copyright 1995 by David Brockington, all rights reserved