What is the significance of oatmeal in an Oatmeal Stout? Does it contribute to mouth feel, flavor, etc?
Contributes body (unfermentables) and a silky mouthfeel.
What Shadetree said. I also feel that it adds a slight flavor/aroma also, enhances any regular stout, in my opinion.
+1 to Shadetree and Beersk. Even in a dry stout, some flaked oats will add a pleasant silky mouthfeel.
You pretty much have to toast the oats, at least until they slightly color and give off an oatmeal/nutty aroma, as explained in “Brewing Classic Styles” and its McQuaker’s Oatmeal Stout recipe, for them to provide much of a flavor element. I’m sure there are afew exceptions, such as if using Golden Naked Oats, which are flavored.
+1 I toasted the oats on my most recent batch, and I really picked up a nice toasted aroma/flavor on the front end, which led into the roasty finish very well.
Agree, not much on flavor or aroma. Silky silky. (now I’m drooling).