Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Taste of Siberia from Ninkasi

At one point or another, the entire staff of WestToast.com has lived in Siberia.

Think snow leopards, cheap vodka, and freezing cold winters. So maybe it's Pullman, WA, but that's kind of like Siberia compared to the exotic places we all live now.

Just across the border from Pullman was a little brewpub in Moscow, Idaho that served the finest brew that Coeur d'Alene Brewing company had to offer. For Rick and I, their Vanilla Bourbon Stout hit the spot every single time.  Sadly for the craft beer drinking community in the Palouse, CDA Brewing shut their doors in 2012 and we thought we'd never find another vanilly-stouty beer that good regularly available on the commercial market.

Well folks, Ninkasi has done it. The March debut of their Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout in 22oz bottles is intended to "offer customers a tasty, more decadent alternative to the favored Oatis Oatmeal Stout."

Remaining on the shelf year-round, the Vanilla Oatis will replace the regular Oatis in the 22oz bomber lineup for Ninkasi. Don't worry plain Oatis fans, you can still get it on draft and in the 12oz bottles.

The Vanilla Oatis takes the traditional oatmeal stout and adds Eugene's Singing Dog Vanilla to the fermentation tank, creating a nearly orgasmic experience for those of us who gravely miss the CDA stout.  Perfect to pair with dessert or all by itself.

Here's the beer, according to Ninkasi:

A delicious oatmeal stout with just enough hops to balance the copious quantities of dark roasted malts, oatmeal for a creamy smooth drinkability, and whole vanilla beans for a rich complexity. To achieve this higher level of decadence, we added in whole vanilla beans to the final stage of fermentation – the same process we use to dry hop a beer.

Of course, I purchased some the first day it was available at my local bottle shop, so here goes.

Brewery: Ninkasi Brewing
Style: Oatmeal Stout (with Vanilla)
BeerAdvocate.com Rating: Not yet rated.
RateBeer.com Rating: Not yet rated.
Serving: 22oz bottle
ABV: 7.2%

Appearance: This one poured jet black into the glass, with a small but quite enticing head.

Smell: Vanilla. With hints of stoutiness. All of the things I love in a vanilla stout come together in this one. Seriously, the nose invites you to take a sip as quickly as you can, and I did.

Taste: Pure heaven. The Vanilla Oatis is sweet and well-balanced with some nice vanilla notes and a bit of chocolate on the end. Not at all boozy when it really could be with 7.2%. This is one you want to bring a bit closer to room temperature to truly enjoy.

So there it is. A hole in our hearts and livers has been filled. The best part? This beer is $3.99. Really!



  1. I loved the time I spent in Siberia, except for the lack of snow maintenance, it was awesome and I will always love it.

  2. And I will always love the fries from the Alehouse with a nice cold Vanilla Bourbon Stout!

  3. Alehouse!!!! Open mic night, nommy beer, and really cute people to look at :)