Review: Slow Elk, Big Sky Brewing

Slow Elk
Big Sky Brewing Co. — Missoula, MT

  • Style:  Oatmeal Stout
  • Bitterness:  20 IBUs
  • ABV:  5.4%
  • SRM:  45
  • Malts:  Not specified
  • Hops:  Not specified
  • Sampled:  12 oz. bottle

Description: "Happens every year; people shootin' cows. That's how the Slow Elk got its name. Enjoy the creamy texture, great malt complexity, and the unequaled smoothness of this Northern Rockies Oatmeal Stout. Stock your fridge the easy way and keep an ear open for the unmistakable bugle of the Slow Elk." — Big Sky Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  Oatmeal Stouts are an underrated style. Their smooth and creamy texture set them apart. In addition, their roasty malt flavors make them perfect for fall and winter! If you've never tasted this style, you should. I even brewed my own Oatmeal Imperial Stout which turned out quite well. I'm tasting Slow Elk as part of my series on fall seasonal brews.

The tasting:  Very dark brown (near black) in color with a tan head that dissipates fairly quickly. Aroma is dominated by espresso and roasted malt, with notes of bittersweet chocolate. Flavor is very similar to aroma with the addition of light earthy hops. Overall bitterness is low and alcohol is not noticeable.  Slow Elk is light to medium bodied and has an effervescent mouth feel. It finishes with roasted malt a slight tangy flavor, which provided an unusual, but nice ending. The tanginess was very mild—definitely not sour or tart.

Rating:  3 star.  Good.  I would drink this again if someone gives it to me.  The body was a bit thinner than I was hoping for. I also didn't experience the creamy texture that, for me, is the hallmark of the style. If you're looking for a fall beer that's not an Oktoberfest or made with pumpkins, give Slow Elk a try. 

Have you tasted Slow Elk? What's your favorite fall seasonal?

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