Friday, October 26, 2012
Anderson Valley Brewing Company Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout
This is the third beer I've tried from Anderson Valley, and so far they're batting .1000. Stouts, like porters, often end up tasting generic to me. I've had so many craft-brewed stouts that essentially tasted like poor man's Guinness. But Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout is one of those rare exceptional stouts like Founders Breakfast Stout and New Holland's The Poet. Of course it's full-bodied and creamy like any good oatmeal stout should be. But what sets it apart is its incredible complexity of flavor. It's got the usual notes of mocha and roasted malt, but there's also a slight sweetness and a pronounced hop presence that's often missing from this type of beer. As I drink, this is a stout that delights me in many different ways. It's definitely got a flavor to savor. And even with all of that complexity, it's smooth and completely refreshing. Easily one of the top five stouts I've ever tasted. I think I've figured out what I need to do: if I find any beer with Anderson Valley's name on it, buy it!