Southern Bay Brewing Co. Vanilla Oatmeal Stout


14907121_590239604493522_892595638024021236_n“A few times a year the brewers are allowed the freedom to push the boundaries and create something truly memorable. This luxurious stout was such a hit last year that it is back by popular demand. Eight specialty malts combine to create layers of flavour balanced with bold bitterness and rounded out with the finest quality vanilla we could source. Cheers.”

Served in a snifter glass. The appearance of this stout is expectedly black as night and literally impenetrable. A short tanned head forms on top but it reduces to a thin wispy later that struggles to manage any lace. On the nose the vanilla sweetness presents quite well. Unlike some vanilla stouts this one really taps in to the sweet creaminess of the spice, handing it that scent you get from real vanilla ice cream. Not only balancing it but tying in to the aroma is this gorgeous roasted malt and cocoa scent. Undertones of treacle, butterscotch and marzipan round out this seriously likable aroma. The feel of this stout is innocuous and smooth with a considerable bitterness developing around the mid. The 6.5% ABV is extremely well hidden while the medium body compliments the overall texture. The flavour is less about a progression and more about a solid four-to-the-floor base of chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla and a delicious nutty caramel flavour. A delicate hop bitterness is introduced in the middle and lays a platform for the sweet and creamy vanilla to counter the semi-rich roasted malts and chocolate to finish on. As much as this stout is light and palate friendly we can’t ignore the bold roast and rich chocolate that balances the sweet vanilla so well. The brewers have found a happy medium with this drop that has to be respected. This is a stout we’d certainly return to….more than once.