Oproer Brouwerij - Imperial Oatmeal Stout
Serving Temperature:52–59° F
Suggested Glassware:Snifter, Tulip, Small Nonic or Pinot Glass
We’re pleased to offer our Rare Beer Club members access to Oproer Brouwerij’s delicious Imperial Oatmeal Stout this month. This sees very slight distribution in the U.S., with about 50 cases sold over the past two years and most of 2017’s allocation going to Portland in draft form. This will be the first taste of Oproer’s beers for the vast majority of our members. But we’re pretty convinced that the smooth, plush feel of this one will mean it won’t be your last.
This pours a deep, dark chocolate brown that barely lets any light through, capped by a thick dark-tan head that almost looks like latte foam. And the foam isn’t going away anytime soon, a testament to what oats can do in a style that often suffers from pouring with minimal head. The aromatics are dark chocolaty and licorice-driven from the start, with complexity from an array of dark malts offering roasted coffee, baker’s chocolate, and even toasted marshmallow. Emergent vanilla, almond and red fruits appear as this imperial stout is allowed to warm up.
This also gets even smoother as it warms. That first sip of Oproer’s Imperial Oatmeal Stout arrives with a generous measure of the anticipated coffee and rich chocolate, while its subtle perimeter of mineral hop bitterness is supported by the roast and char of the darkest malts. For imperial stout lovers: This is an impressively impactful and generous example, with oats helping round the edges out and open up a middle-malt space offering caramel, sweet toffee, more toasted marshmallow, almond and fresh-baked bread. For all of the countless imperial stouts we’ve been able to try over the years, we’re always impressed by the ones that present a spectrum of stout flavors that feels wholly unique and integrated. We found Oproer’s oat-laden take incredibly endearing, with its own way of balancing all its elements. A chocolate-peanut-butter profile appears occasionally—adding one more layer to already delicious beer.
The smooth texture contributed by the oat additions here make this ready to drink right out of the gate, and the brewery indicates a best-before date two years after bottling but suggests drinking it lightly chilled and fresh. Imperial stouts, oats or otherwise, make us inclined to go big in terms of food pairings, such as spice-rubbed steaks or burgers. At Oproer’s restaurant, we’re inclined to sip this alongside their cajun-spiced seitan-lupine burger with chili mayo.
The recently formed Oproer Brouwerij in the Netherlands sees just a sprinkle of distribution in the U.S. via the folks over at Shelton Brothers, with most of the current focus being draft-only options around Portland. You may have crossed paths with Oproer’s Black Flag, a tasty black IPA packed with Cascade hops and a potent medley of darker malts, but that’s about it for what you’re likely to find stateside. Oproer was formed in early 2016 through the merger of two well-established breweries in the area, Rooie Dop and RUIG Bier, which had already managed to export to a combined 30+ countries. They’re making some incredible beer, and are slowly expanding their distro through the production facility’s new 21-barrel system.
Personally speaking, we find Oproer (which sounds like a Dutch pronunciation of ‘uproar’, and approximately translates as ‘revolt’ or ‘insurrection’ in English) a bit easier to remember, and plump to pronounce, than the names of its predecessors. Ohh-proor. And while the brand is just making headway on an international scale, they’ve already gotten some world-class co-signs, doing collaborative beers with top-tier breweries such as Hair of the Dog, Deschutes, Fat Heads, Brew By Numbers, Buxton, Gigantic, and Breakside. Keep an eye on these folks, and we’ll definitely be doing the same. Their Imperial Oatmeal Stout is a perfect glimpse into what Oproer’s been up to—and we’re excited to see where these folks head in the future.
Oproer’s operations in Utrecht include a production brewery, brewpub and restaurant, and the latter two are particularly worth a visit if you’re traveling in the area. The restaurant’s part of the pub, and that location’s got its own on-site brewing system to create beers specifically for the brewpub, in addition to those made at the production facility. They’ve got a diversity of Oproer beers you’re not going to find anywhere else, plus an impressive selection of great beers from other breweries in the Netherlands and beyond. For good measure, the farm-to-table fare at the restaurant had them named best vegan restaurant in all the Netherlands for 2016. For more info on what Oproer’s got going on, visit them at www.oproerbrouwerij.nl.
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