Thursday, 25 September 2014

Rogue: Shakespeare (Oatmeal Stout)

Two Row Bar, Fitzroy (Melbourne)

Easily one of the best oatmeal stouts to be found anywhere.

Here we have Rogue's Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout (on tap no less - at Two Row Bar).

 My eyes are not what they used to be (scraps leftover from a past life, perhaps) but Shakespeare pours a jet black with a fluffy choc mousse head that quickly dissipates like King Hamlet’s ghost.  Aromas of choc cherry become immediately apparent.  The mouthfeel is smooth; nigh on perfect in fact.  A delicate chocolate character dominates the entire palate, however there is a hickory undercurrent and subtle, yet suggestively rich, bitter coffee-like finish.  It has to be said that the beer was served as cold as the wintry night in which Hamlet opens (and it was equally as cold on this evening here in Melbourne).  As the beer warmed, the chocolate and coffee characteristics shone through perpetually; the oatmeal component being almost unnoticeable and certainly not at all "grainy".

Oatmeal stouts are not quite as well represented as espresso, double chocolate, cacao and mocha fusions, however that is what allows this terrific American brew to hold its own within the wide world of stouts and porters.  Rogue Shakespeare oatmeal stout might not require an accompanying guide (a la that written by Bill Bryson) to better understand it, for it is a simple yet highly effective brew, much like a cinematic adaptation of any one of William Shakespeare's works.

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