If You Don't Know Four Corners' Notorious O.A.T., Now You Know.
Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this recurring feature, we'll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers now available in the suddenly crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it's local?” Should be a fun experiment, no? Cheers to that!
This week, we sipped on Four Corners Brewing Company's Notorious O.A.T.
Fast Facts on Four Corners Brewing Company Notorious O.A.T.
Style: Oatmeal Stout.
ABV: 7.1 percent.
International Bitterness Units (IBUs): 38.
Color: Almost black.
Availability: Seasonal, in cans.
Let's put Four Corners Brewing Company back in the limelight, because its beers are just right. Four Corners, for the most part, brews within the boundaries of what one might consider “normal” beer. So it's nice to see that it has branched out just a teeny tiny bit with this recent effort, called Notorious O.A.T.
Wait, how far out of bounds, you ask? Well, not much out of bounds, to be honest. But, hey, it's beer! And I'm drinking beer! And you should absolutely try this beer! Four Corners' approach with this beer is far from timid. Oh, and like some of its other beers, Notorious O.A.T. is a seasonal offering. So get your hands on it sooner rather than later, OK?
Also, since we're on the subject of Four Corners, we should probably mention that, just this past week, the brewery's owners announced that they will be moving operations out of the gentrification-in-progress Trinity Groves neighborhood and over to the up-and-coming The Cedars neighborhood. Love it or hate it, it appears that this is happening — albeit sometime in 2017.
Personally speaking, I like it.
Oh, and as one last side note: See if you can identify how many Notorious B.I.G. references I put into this beer review. It'll be like a fun game, maybe.
Background on Oatmeal Stout.
The oatmeal stout style has British roots. It's a flavor-filled style with roast and coffee notes. Oatmeal stouts have medium bitterness, often brewed to balance out the healthy malty flavors. The alcohol range is normally between 4.2 and 5.9 percent ABV, so it's a style that has a ton of flavor, but at the same time, won't totally put you on your ass. Notorious O.A.T. mostly lives in the style laid out by the standards for this style set forth by BJCP.
Notorious O.A.T. is almost black. There's just a smidgeon of light that shines through the deep brown edges on my glass. A tan head persists about three-quarters of the way through my first beer. Overall, the appearance is on point.
The aroma excels in Notorious O.A.T. — its style is definitely not played out. There's a balance of bitterness from both chocolate and the hop addition. The hops certainly don't get in the way of the rest of the accented flavors going on here. My brain is also trying to trick me in to thinking that there is chocolate milk and marshmallows in this beer, which is totally not true. But it's there, and it's teasing me.
Along with the aroma, you might want to ask this beer what its interests are, who it be with. Great question! There's coffee, roast and a slight bit of toast. Unlike some other, lower-alcohol oatmeal stouts, this beer's ABV is elevated, and it shows here in the flavor, with a moderate boozy warmness on the swallow. O.A.T. starts at 18 Plato, which means it's a bit high on the sugars for the oatmeal stout style. If I have calculated it correctly, it also finishes a bit on the sweet side compared to the classic oatmeal stout style. And that's just fine with me, because the intensity of the flavors all seem to balance and play nice with each other.
The mouthfeel on this beer is silky smooth. The flaked oat addition in the mash certainly helps round out that silky feeling on the tongue, and I dig it. Some oatmeal stouts can taste a bit on the thin side, but not so here. Nobody will ever use the word “thin” to describe the body of this beer. The carbonation is spot on for the style, and there's no chance it'll leave your ass flizat.
I'm happy that Four Corners has added yet another winner in to its lineup. This hard-working brewery just continues to impress me with its beers. Don't get me wrong: Everything they got, they gotta work hard for it. But, nonetheless, Notorious O.A.T. will go on my recommend list for a beer run. But, Notorious O.A.T.: You gon' be here for a while? Let's hope so, because this is definitely a beer I'm big on.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give Four Corners Brewing Company Notorious O.A.T. a 7.5. And if you don't know, now you know.
What's happening in the area brew scene?
• Saturday, March 5. One-Year Anniversary at On Rotation.
• Saturday, March 5. Girl Scout Cookie and Beer Pairing at 903 Brewers.
• Saturday, March 5. Craft Beer Ladies of DFW Meet-Up at Texas Ale Project.
• Sunday, March 6. One-Year Anniversary at BrainDead Brewing.
• Friday, March 11. Bluebonnet Brew-Off at Irving Convention Center.
• Saturday, March 12. Dallas Brew Bus' March Tour.
• Friday, April 1-2. Big Texas Beer Fest.
Previous On Tap Reviews:
• Peticolas' Royal Scandal: 10.
• Community's Mosaic IPA: 10.
• Peticolas' Velvet Hammer: 10.
• Community's Barrel-Aged Legion: 10.
• Community's Legion: 10.
• Deep Ellum's Barrel Aged Four Swords: 9.5.
• Lakewood's Saint Dymphna: 9.5.
• Peticolas' Lost Epic: 9.5.
• Community's Ascension Porter: 9.5.
• Lakewood's Temptress: 9.5.
• Lakewood's Goatman: 9.5.
• Community's Public Ale: 9.5.
• Peticolas' Thrilla in Brazilla: 9.5.
• Woodcreek's Bourbon Barrel Bock: 9.
• Lakewood's Wild Manimal: 9.
• Revolver's Blood & Honey: 9.
• Martin House's Imperial Texan: 9.
• Community's Trinity Tripel: 9.
• Peticolas' Irish Goodbye: 9.
• Four Corners' Block Party Porter: 9.
• Cedar Creek's Belgian Dubbel: 9.
• Peticolas' Ghost Of Alfred Brown: 8.5.
• Deep Ellum's Easy Peasy IPA: 8.5.
• Deep Ellum's Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
• Lakewood's Rock Ryder: 8.5.
• Rahr's Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
• Lakewood's Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
• Oak Highlands' Golden Mustache: 8.
• 903 Brewers' Crackin' Up: 8.
• Deep Ellum's Play Date: 8.
• Rahr & Sons Brewing Company's 11th Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout: 8.
• Bitter Sisters' Belgian Tripel: 8.
• Noble Rey's SteamPunk: 8.
• 903 Brewers' Citra On Top: 8.
• Bitter Sisters' Hissy Fit: 8.
• BrainDead's Gritz: 8.
• Community's Barrel-Aged Inspiration : 8.
• Cedar Creek's Fisticuffs: 8.
• Lakewood's Punkel: 8.
• Four Corners' El Chingon IPA: 8.
• Martin House's Day Break: 8.
• Deep Ellum's GOURDzilla: 8.
• Peticolas' The Duke (Aged 12 Months): 8.
• Deep Ellum's Pale Ale: 8.
• Revolver's Bock: 8.
• 903 Brewers' Sasquatch: 8.
• Peticolas' Wintervention: 8.
• Armadillo Ale Works' Brunch Money: 8.
• Martin House's Salsa Verde: 8.
• Cedar Creek's Spinning Mule Robust Porter: 8.
• Lakewood's Holiday Bonus: 8.
• Lakewood's Hop Trapp: 8.
• Noble Rey Golden Rey With Raspberries and Ginger: 7.5.
• On Rotation Saved By The Belma: 7.5.
• True Vine's Unicorn's Revenge: 7.5.
• Deep Ellum's Hop Seeker: 7.5.
• Four Corners' El Super Bee: 7.5.
• Lakewood's Hopochondria: 7.5.
• Three Nations GPA: 7.5.
• Martin House's Rubberneck Red: 7.5.
• Lakewood's Antigoon's Revenge: 7.5.
• Community's Texas Pils: 7.5.
• Lakewood's Zomer Pils: 7.5.
• Cedar Creek's Dankosaurus: 7.5.
• Martin House's Turtle Power: 7.
• Collective's Petite Golden Sour: 7.
• Shannon's Chocolate Stout: 7.
• BrainDead's Red Ale: 7.
• Community's Razzy Raspberry Witbier: 7.
• Martin House's Gateway Blonde Ale: 7.
• Bearded Eel's Purple Unicorn: 7.
• Shannon Brewing Company's Irish Red: 7.
• Texas Ale Project's Somethin' Shady: 7.
• Deep Ellum IPA: 7.
• Cedar Creek's The Lawn Ranger: 7.
• Martin House Brewing Company's Cellarman's Reserve IPA (Amarillo).: 7.
• Lakewood's Till & Toil: 7.
• 903 Brewers' The Chosen One: 7.
• 903 Brewers' Sugar On Top: 7.
• Martin House's Gateway XPA: 7.
• Armadillo Ale Work's Quakertown Stout: 7.
• Revolver's High Brass: 7.
• Community's Pale Ale: 7.
• Oak Highlands' Chump Change: 7.
• Martin House's River House: 7.
• Grapevine Craft Brewery's Sir William's Brown Ale: 7.
• Community's Funnel Cake Ale: 7.
• Audacity's Boss Raptor IPA: 7.
• Collective Brewing Project's Mom Azacca: 6.5.
• Four Corners' La Lechuza: 6.5.
• Revolver's Ironhead IPA: 6.5.
• 903 Brewers' Trot Line: 6.5.
• Peticolas' Operation Collaboration: 6.5.
• Grapevine Craft Brewery's Nightwatch: 6.5.
• Peticolas' The Duke: 6.5.
• Deep Ellum's Double Brown Stout : 6.5.
• Nine Bands' Cactus Cat: 6.
• Martin House's Kafkaesque: 6.
• Tupps' Cotton Mill Gold: 6.
• Rabbit Hole's Tweedleyum: 6.
• Rabbit Hole's Off With Your Red: 6.
• Cedar Creek's Elliott's Phoned Home Pale Ale: 6
• Grapevine Craft Brewery's Lakefire: 6
• Armadillo Ale Works' WunderMelon: 6
• Deep Ellum Pale Ale: 6
• Lakewood's La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
• 903 Brewers' The Land Of Milk And Honey: 5.
• Deep Ellum's Numb Comfort: 5.
• Four Bullets' Black Jack Brown: 4.5.
• Four Corners Heart O' Texas: 4.
• Audacity's Sunset Boulevard: 4.
• Shannon Brewing Company's IPA: 4.
• Grapevine's Monarch: 4.
• Twin Peaks' Dirty Blonde: 3.
• Franconia Wheat: 3.
• Miller Lite: 1.