St-Ambroise Oatmeal StoutMcAuslan’s St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout, hailing from Montreal but consistently available in Toronto, is the beer that got me into craft beer. I first had it in 2006; my first summer volunteering for The Fringe Festival (of which McAuslan is a sponsor). Though the ratebeer reviews start back when the site launched in the year 2000, this beer has been around since 1991 (the brewery launched in 1989). It’s best on tap (nitro, of course), but is also available in bottles, and, starting this year: tall boys!

Oatmeal Stout is classically creamy, with roasty notes of chocolate and coffee. This beer is great for any season, though most people associate stouts with wintertime. Whenever people think Guinness is what a stout is supposed to taste like, I ask them if they’ve ever tried Oatmeal Stout. It’s a whole new world. I used this beer for my first pairing: beer floats using Greg’s Roasted Marshmallow ice cream (my favourite) in my sorority’s basement.

According to Wikipedia, oatmeal stout normally contains a maximum of 30% oats, added during the brewing process. This imparts a bitter flavour. The smoothness of oatmeal stout comes from the high content of proteins, lipids (includes fats and waxes), and gums imparted by the use of oats. The gums increase the viscosity and body, adding to the sense of smoothness.

I suggest you enjoy this beer while listening to Pharoahe Monch’s “Body Baby”. This beer has body for daaaaaaaaays.