Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Holland The Poet oatmeal stout

It's that time of the year when I could go for a stout every single night. With there being so many outstanding American craft stouts out there, sometimes even the classic Guinness pint won't do. New Holland's The Poet is up there with just about any stout I've had. It is everything I love about this style and delicious in numerous ways. Like all good oatmeal stouts, it's smooth with a touch of sweetness. It's got the wonderfully roasty character you'd expect, with coffee and chocolate flavors hitting all the right notes. The oats add an extra dimension of taste and a super-silky mouthfeel. Hops bring a just-right bitter finish, and all in all this is pretty close to a perfect stout. It's rich and full-bodied yet drinkable and thirst-quenching. We often think of an oatmeal stout as a heavy, "meal in a glass" type beer, but The Poet is surprisingly sessionable. It's got a moderately low alcohol by volume (5.2 percent) and goes down wicked easy. Suck it down all night, or slowly savor a single bottle as you warm yourself by the fireplace. Either way, you can't let stout season go by without enjoying The Poet.

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