Wensleydale Brewery’s Black Dub Oat Stout is reviewed by Craig Heap
Black Dub Oat Stout
Black Dub is not named after the music style, but rather a dark, deep pool in the River Cover. Some might say it is quite appropriate, then, that a dark, frothy brew comes from the bottle on pouring, as opposed to loud music. Still, if one in ten bottles emitted heavy bass lines when the cap was popped it might make the overall experience more interesting.
Moving swiftly past the obvious description of its colour, Black Dub Oat Stout has a dirty-yellow/tan head which, despite the use of oat, (as compared with Sam Smith’s Oatmeal Stout), did not last long. It gives out a low, earthy aroma and roast coffee notes. The malt was very fresh and light, a heavy dose of hops carrying forward the impression of a high-hopped red ale rather than a brooding stout.
Those hops came to the forefront of every taste; followed by a creamy, oat sweetness and then a long, dry bitter finish. This one-two-three appeared on my palate with each mouthful without fail, and the only other flavour I could pick up on was a blackcurrant cordial taste which was present from start to finish. You may be able to go a whole bottle without sensing it, but once you do that Ribena taste is unavoidable and somewhat annoying.
The body was relatively light for a stout, and combined with the hoppy, fruit flavour, this stout could appeal to those who wouldn’t normally give stout a go, or want something that little bit different. On the other hand, it could be quite divisive amongst stout lovers. For me, it lacked the full, rich ‘meal in a glass’ sensation I want from a stout when I choose to drink it.