Finally, the refugees from my over-heated attic have all been liberated, with Broughton Scottish Oatmeal Stout the last under the wire. I have it in my head that I don't generally like oatmeal stouts, finding them a bit heavy and phenolic. This one's just 4.2% ABV -- how heavy could that be? Not very is the answer, but that's not a good thing here. Not much of a nose and very little on the palate either, other than some mild, dry roastiness and bags of watery fizz. As it warmed I got a little bit of a sweet phenolic vibe, but it could well have been my imagination. Mrs Beer Nut claims there's more going on, but still hasn't a good word to say: "like something you eat for breakfast because it's good for you". Ouch! Stern and beardie Mr Broughton won't be welcome back in my gaff, by the looks of things.
So, while I was being a glutton for punishment, I figured I may as well get rid of the other one of the genre knocking about the house: Goose Island Oatmeal Stout. The Chicago team insist on it being served in a "balloon goblet" -- a Duvel glass will have to do. Even though it's only slightly stronger at 5.1 ABV, it really delivers on texture with a big, chewy body. The nose is a bit sickly with the promise of sticky treacle, yet the flavour is dry and very slightly spicy with a lasting toasty aftertaste. I think this may be the first oatmeal stout I've had which actually tastes oaty and I reckon I'd have it again.
So, it turns out that oatmeal stout isn't a lost cause after all. Duly noted.