Aroma: Mild roasted grain aromas, generally with a coffeelike character. A light malty sweetness can suggest a coffeeand-cream impression. Fruitiness should be low to mediumhigh. Diacetyl medium-low to none. Hop aroma medium-low to none, earthy or floral. A light grainy-nutty oatmeal aroma is optional.
Appearance: Medium brown to black in color. Thick, creamy, persistent tan- to brown-colored head. Can be opaque (if not, it should be clear).
Flavor: Similar to the aroma, with a mild roasted coffee to coffee-and-cream flavor, and low to moderately-high fruitiness. Oats and dark roasted grains provide some flavor complexity; the oats can add a nutty, grainy or earthy flavor. Dark grains can combine with malt sweetness to give the impression of BJCP Beer Style Guidelines – 2015 Edition 29 milk chocolate or coffee with cream. Medium hop bitterness with the balance toward malt. Medium-sweet to medium-dry finish. Diacetyl medium-low to none. Hop flavor medium-low to none, typically earthy or floral.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full to full body, with a smooth, silky, velvety, sometimes an almost oily slickness from the oatmeal. Creamy. Medium to medium-high carbonation.
Impression: A very dark, full-bodied, roasty, malty ale with a complementary oatmeal flavor. The sweetness, balance, and oatmeal impression can vary considerably.
Comments: Generally between Sweet and Irish Stouts in sweetness. Variations exist, from fairly sweet to quite dry, as well as English and American versions (American versions tend to be more hoppy, less sweet, and less fruity). The level of bitterness also varies, as does the oatmeal impression. Light use of oatmeal may give a certain silkiness of body and richness of flavor, while heavy use of oatmeal can be fairly intense in flavor with an almost oily mouthfeel, dryish finish, and slight grainy astringency. When judging, allow for differences in interpretation.
Ingredients: Pale, caramel and dark roasted malts (often chocolate) and grains. Oatmeal or malted oats (5- 20% or more) used to enhance fullness of body and complexity of flavor. Hops primarily for bittering. Can use brewing sugars or syrups. English ale yeast.
Commercial Examples: Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, Broughton Scottish Oatmeal Stout, Figueroa Mountain Stagecoach Stout, St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout, Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, Young's Oatmeal Stout