While Dungarvan's Coffee and Oatmeal Stout is a limited Winter brew, it's not a novelty Christmas beer. I think it's fair to say that this most certainly is.
I've had completely contrasting experiences with Whitewater Brewing in the past. First I was very impressed by their Clotworthy Dobbin (though I've yet to write about it), before things went a bit tits up with Belfast Lager. I'm interested to see how this one goes...
Sanity Claus pours a clear, light ruby red. It could easily pass for an Irish Red, in fact. The aroma really only comes alive when the beer warms up, producing lovely chocolate malt and liquorice notes. Interesting, and not at all what I expected. The taste is good too, with buttery fudge, woody malts and a nutty finish calling most of the shots, with hops providing a little bitterness and not much flavour. It's good, if a little low-key. I certainly wouldn't turn to this as a winter beer, let alone as my beer of choice for the big day itself.
The search goes on.