Beer of the Weekend #443: Uncommon Stout

Well, look on the bright side: it’s NIT time, baby!

Since Sunday is Saint Patrick’s Day, and I have not tried many dark beers this winter, I decided to drink some stout. So the beer of the weekend is Uncommon Stout, brewed by the Bent River Brewing Company of Moline, Illinois.

To be honest, I was surprised to see Bent River brews on the beer shelf. I did not know Bent River bottled their beers until stopping at John’s today. I have heard good things about the brewpub locations on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities, so I hope their bottled product is high quality.

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. The color is black but not quite opaque. A finger of head dissipated quickly to leave a skim and ring around the edge.

Smell: I got a whiff of roasted malts as soon as I popped the cap. The coffee scent is prominent. I am unsure, though, if it is espresso-like or akin to something a little less intense. Regardless, the roasted intensity seems tamed by chocolate and oatmeal. There are also scents of molasses, cappuccino, brown sugar, and perhaps some dark fruit or berries. Overall, it provides a very nice aroma.

Taste: It has a nice, full mouthfeel, but the flavor is muted. In that sense it does remind me of a cup of coffee, and the flavor seems more aligned with an oatmeal stout. The roasted barley is prominent but weak. It is also balanced by plum, a little molasses, black licorice, and dark chocolate. In fact, the overall flavor seems more akin to dark chocolate than anything else.

Drinkability: I was a little leery of buying this because I had never seen Bent River beer bottled and was concerned there would be packaging issues. However, this is decent enough out of the bottle to make me want to have a draft.

Fun facts about Uncommon Stout:

-Style: BA classifies it as “Oatmeal Stout.”

-Price: $8.99/sixer at John’s Grocery in Iowa City.

-Serving temperature: 50-55ºF.

-Alcohol content: 6.5 percent ABV.

-IBU: 28.8.

-Speaking of Moline, I still need to make a beer run to the Hy-Vee there for brew unavailable on this side of the Mississippi. Perhaps I can do that during “spring break.”

The Quiet Man’s grade: B-.

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