Stockyard: bad name, decent beer

The Chicago Stockyards stir up romantic visions of underpaid, overworked immigrants, noise, stench…so what better image to connect with a beer.  Maybe to an out-of-towner, it gives them a connection to Chicago history.  I don’t know.  Looking past Stockyard Oatmeal Stout’s bad name, this turns out to be a decent beer.  Made by Goose Island under the Stockyard Brewing Company monicker (kind of like Jagger-Richards songs being credited to Nanker-Phelge), the oatmeal stout pours black with a hint of red and produces a nice tan head.  I find a little chocolate, some coffee and some smokiness in the bouquet.  It has a nice taste, which starts a bit sharp, but the smoke and hops feel good in the mouth.  It’s a bit thin for my money, at least to be called stout, but it doesn’t detract from the experience.  Would that be more like a porter then?  The aftertaste is coffeelike, and I’m not sure if that’s so great for my taste, as I don’t drink but one or two cups of coffee a year, but it’s certainly a better beer than I expected, especially as a non-Biersch micro brew from Trader Joe’s.  (See my review of Trinity Red Ale)


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