Last week I received the three-pack containing each of Widmer‘s “924 Series” of beers, their “special, but accessible, high-end craft beers” that includes the year-round Pitch Black IPA and Nelson Imperial IPA: this package however was highlighting the Brothers’ new Oatmeal Porter, which is brewed using custom-roasted oatmeal from Briess Malting.
Jeff has some good thoughts about how remarkable this is—that a major malting company is doing custom orders for a single craft brewer—so I won’t rehash that here other than to comment on the sample of “Bro-Oats” that came along with the beer (in a small jar). They have a golden toasty appearance and tasting them (of course you taste them!) reveals a rich, nutty, cookie-ish flavor, along with a little oiliness.
The porter itself is 6% abv, and here are Widmer’s words:
Our Oatmeal Porter boasts a serious malt backbone. Premium pale and Munich malts, and a custom oatmeal roast create a rich flavor drenched in the velvety mouthfeel of toasted oats and dark chocolate malt. Hints of caramel and toffee provide a touch of sweetness and the perfect compliment to an enticing mocha aroma and smooth finish. Prost to roasts!
Appearance: Pours a cola brown-almost-black, with a minimal light tan head.
Smell: A creamy, chocolaty nose with vanilla notes that remind me a bit of bourbon. Roasty with a deep, almost cloyingly sweet coffee-like character.
Taste: The roasted oats stand out here, lending a sweetish, maybe doughy(?) kind of impression, with a touch of charred astringency. It wants to have a creamy texture but instead is dry. Some of that bourbon-y vanilla (lanolin?) comes through, a result of the roasting process perhaps? Also, there’s a hint of oatmeal cookie.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a touch of astringency, yet still that vanilla sweetness in the back.
Overall: Interesting, different. I’d like to drink a few more to get a fuller sense of it!