Wynkoop Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout

Review: Wynkoop Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout

In Beer Reviews by Karl

Wynkoop says:

A meaty foreign-style stout, Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout is made with Colorado base malts, roasted barley, seven specialty malts, Styrian Goldings hops, and 25 pounds of freshly sliced and roasted bull testicles. Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout is an assertive, viscous stout with a rich brown/black color, a luscious mouthfeel and deep flavors of chocolate, espresso and nuts. The beer sports a savory, umami-like note and a roasty dry finish. Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout is 7.5% ABV and 3 BPBs. (That’s balls per barrel.)

2014-01-07 18.32.19

Wynkoop Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout
Stout, 7.5%ABV

This review is long overdue, to which I have to apologize to my brother, Pete.

One of the benefits of having family that travels and lives in far-flung places is that sometimes they come home with new and interesting beers. It’s how I’ve learned to fall in love with the beers from Odell’s, and also that not all beers that hail from the Mile High state are worth falling all over yourself to get.

Also, sometimes, they’ll come home during Thanksgiving and slam down a 2-pack on the table and say with no lack of threatening tone in their voice, “Go ahead and try that.”

Thanks, Pete.

That” is, of course, the fabled bull-testicle beer. Beer with balls. Cervesa con cajones. Etcetera. Etcetera. By Beerpulse’s math, every can has 1/100th of a nut in it. The beer started as an April Fool’s day joke, which then took on a life of its own:

This has sat in my fridge for the better part of two months now, and I’ve honestly been a little intimidated by it. I mean…it’s got balls in it. I also say this to point out that I don’t think a couple months will have really taken the edge too far off this beer, but just so you know it’s been hiding on me a little bit.

Interestingly enough, I may be one of the few beer writers east of the Mississippi who’s consumed bull testicles without them being boiled and hopped. Once upon a time in a previous life, as part of a radio interview for some Taste of Chicago promo a few years ago I had an acquaintance bring in some criadillas, aka also bull testicles. They were, as I recall, mostly flavorless and chewy in an unpleasant gummy kind of way. I wouldn’t repeat it, I thought, but here I am, drinking bull-testicle beer.

So, how is it?

The aroma is figgy and rich with dark rum — there’s also something definitely “meaty” about this. I hate to use the term umami, but there is that certain savory, roasty note in the background. There’s also a sharp spice note, almost salty (yes, I know), which fades as it warms. There’s also a nice finger-thick deep dark tan head that dissipates eventually but lingers in the lacing. Nice looking beer; plenty dark, deep brown with some reddish/oxblood tinges around the sides. 

The body is hearty, syrupy and again, I hesitate to call this “creamy” because that’s going to cause all sorts of bad associations in people’s heads, but I’ll do it anyways. It’s creamy. It coats the palate quite nicely, like a can of paint & primer all in one. 

As for the flavor: Well, it doesn’t taste like balls, if that’s what you’re worried about. (But…if I told you it did taste like balls — actual testicles — would you likely have any idea what I was talking about?) Nope, it’s just a well built stout with a gimmick and a good name. A little peanuty and chocolatey, with a solid amount of sticky grape soda along with toffee and very mild roastiness. It’s sweet. Properly stout-y. Not scary.

I wouldn’t say there’s any major hop presence here, either in bitterness or aroma, but there’s a certain iron-like metallic bitterness at the end. There’s a medium-length finish here; not lingering, not offputting, not too dry. There’s a sort of red-grape/merlot flavor here, and a chalky tail to it, and then right at the very end, a little note of peanut brittle to cap it off.

If I told you this was just a good stout from a good brewery, you’d be hard pressed to really discern any sense of testes in here.

That is a sentence that no one could have told me I’d ever write.

Anyways, that’s what a beer with balls in it tastes like. I have no idea why I’m okay drinking this and yet still recoil in terror at the idea of a beer with pig heads and pig bones mashed into it. But there it is. I can’t recommend it, per se, because it was carried across half a continent and it was brewed on a whim as a half-joke, but hey, if it’s still out there, give it a shot.

2014-01-07 18.32.40

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Karl has written about food, travel and beer for Chicago Magazine, Draft Magazine, Thrillist, Time Out Chicago and more. His book, Beer Lovers Chicago, comes out in early 2017, and if you're buying, he's likely having a porter or a pale ale.