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Saturday, July 31, 2010

New Holland The Poet Oatmeal Stout

New Holland The Poet Oatmeal Stout:

Without a single whiff or sip, this beer is at a disadvantage because it is an oatmeal stout and because it is not Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout. Drinking Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout is an experience on a near-religious level (I have a special hand-made beer mug I use). And as much as I like Edgar Allan Poe, presumably the inspiration for this raven-bedecked beer, it may be more product marketing than poetic justice.

I didn't get too much out of the nose-in-bottle test, so into the glass it goes where it doesn't help out too much. If you really breathe in deep, like 2-3 seconds at full nostril intake, you can get some of the subtle scents, but even several swigs into the beer, there are no noteworthy tastes, either on the surface or bubbling underneath. I actually have to do the burp test to see what tastes can be hiding in this oatmeal stout. When I think of oatmeal, and toasted oatmeal, I have a very specific flavor spectrum in mind, and this does not fall on the spectrum.

What I can say positively is that it is easy drinking, scoring high in accessibility. It does not taste boozy, but also I don't see any % abv, because it's not printed on the bottle! I don't like this. Number one, I am a responsible drinker (please, no e-mails) and I like to know what percentage beer I am drinking, but also it's just polite. Please, to all brewers, put the % abv on the bottle, somewhere.

I just recently reviewed Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Black Ale, which was pretty great, and I know these are different styles, but I think they are close enough for me to say that Old Engine Oil takes The Poet Oatmeal Stout to school. And not to belabor the point, but as I mentioned in my opening, compared to Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, this beer lags behind and will be scored harshly in terms of representation in its style of beer. As for style points (originality, boldness, etc.), it does not do well and the same goes for personal preference. Its redeeming quality is its smoothness, but for me that is not enough. If asked when next I will drink New Holland The Poet Oatmeal Stout, I certainly won't say "Nevermore!" but I might say "not for while."

New Holland The Poet Oatmeal Stout:

Representation: .35
Accessibility: .90
Style: .5
Personal Preference: .75

Total: 2.5 Flags
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Scott-TheBrewClub said...

I'll agree that Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout sets the bar pretty high for other oatmeal stouts. The first time I tried The Poet, I felt exactly as you did. I was solidly unimpressed by its blandness.

PMcC said...

New Holland makes some pretty good beer, so this was disappointing.

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