A new Trader Joe's just opened in Raleigh, so we had to stop in and brave the crowd. It was packed, but we decided to tough it out. Along the way, we picked up a box of beer bread mix, which meant I also needed a six pack. (Actually, I only needed one 12 oz bottle for the bread; the other five, bonus for me!)
Their beer selection is small, and pretty much a variety of brews packaged especially for Trader Joe's. Among them, I found Stockyard Oatmeal Stout, I figured it would be ideal for the bread... not to mention a rainy fall afternoon.
Stockyard has a very dark, black appearance. It's almost completely opaque. In fact, no light passes through except for a small sliver at the very bottom of my pint glass. Even then, only a dark mahogany halo is evident. It pours with a dense, foamy tan head and leaves light lacing.
This beer has a strong, malty aroma. The most prominent essence is that of a dark, roasted coffee. I also picked up a very slight sourness, especially after giving it a good swirl.
Taste & Feel
Rich and surprisingly aggressive. A healthy sip reveals heavy roasted malt and Espresso flavors, then it finishes with a dark chocolate aftertaste. Stockyard has a medium-full body, but it's not as creamy, and much bubblier, than most stouts that I've sampled. It's not very bitter, but mid-swallow it does give a quick bite across the top of tongue.
I was caught off guard by this one. I expect a stout, especially an oatmeal, to be a bit creamier and a have a smoother blend of flavors. This had a stronger bite and the flavors were distinct. With a slightly lighter body, it could pass as a porter.
That said, it's a decent autumn or winter beer. My wife baked the beer bread and has a nice batch of beef stew simmering, and I trust that this will make a nice accompaniment for tonight's meal.
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