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Southampton Publick House Oatmeal Stout

May 23, 2011

Southampton is the “other” Long Island Brewery for those that are unfamiliar with it. Many people are familiar with Blue Point and their well rounded brews that tickle the taste buds, but few are aware of Southampton outside of a cool sign they’ve probably seen hanging in various beer bars in states that don’t receive their beer. I’m serious, I can’t count how many times I’ve been somewhere that has never had a Southampton beer in a bottle or on tap but have four or five of their signs hanging around. The thing about Southampton beers is that when you have them, you immediately wish they had a larger distribution network. Southampton is at its heart, a place where you can get unique spins on classic brews that will generally be delicious, whether or not it’s quite what you were looking for.

I had this particular brew at Barcade’s Slyfox vs Southampton Night. Now while I will say that when it came down to the whole tally of the night Slyfox just edged out Southampton, however in my opinion this was the beer of the night. How could you tell this was the beer I favored? I ordered it twice in a row. What came each time was a rich black brew with a nice caramel head that smelled of toasted oats. The beer itself was smooth and velvety, the exact kind of mouth feel you want out of any stout.

The taste was straightforward, which is exactly what you should be looking for in an oatmeal stout. There’s no reason to dance around a nice flavor if you can do it right, and while there are always hints that you can compliment with, if you do it just right you don’t need them. While it was still fresh off the tap and served at the right temperature, that I would call ‘barely cool’, the oatmeal stout tasted like you were eating a freshly toasted marshmallow. Not that burnt blackened thing that you swallow as quickly as possible so you can get to the gooey cream center, but one made by someone who camps way too much; perfectly browned, gooey but still a little chewy, and picking up a nice woody taste. As it warmed, the creamy flavor that lent it the marshmallow taste dissipated and I was left with something that was still creamy but now had more of a roasted oat taste. Once more, it is not a burnt or bitter flavor, instead it was like you had just carefully toasted a slice of homemade oat bread. When I finished the first pint of it, I sat there and realized that I needed to take my mouth on that delicious taste ride again as opposed to delving into whatever brews Slyfox and Southampton had been experimenting with and sent over.

The only sad thing about this brew is that you won’t find it in a bottle, not even the 750 series. This is one of the beers you’ll have to hunt down on tap, or actually journey out to the Publick House for. Still, it’s brews like this that are probably why Southampton is one of the breweries with the most competition winning beers in the United States.

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