By Samuel Smith
N. Yorkshire, England
From The Brewery:
History: Originally a drink for lactating mothers, oatmeal stout was described as nutritional on early labels. Oats are in the same family as barley, and a small addition yields great flavor. Popular in the late 1800’s, the last oatmeal stout was brewed before the First World War until Samuel Smith reintroduced this style in 1980.
Taste:Almost opaque, with an unusually silky texture and complex, medium-dry velvet palate. Bittersweet finish.
Serving Suggestion: Pizza and salad, Italian foods, steamed clams, grilled ahi tuna, lobster with drawn butter, steak, ploughman’s lunch, crumpets, shish kebabs, vegetable ragout and eggs Florentine, dark flavorful bread and aged Stilton. Serve at 55 degrees.
Appearance: I poured the dark, black opaque beer into a Samuel Smith pint glass, while the foamy, chunky tan head filled the glass. This beer looks heavy, with no light passing through; little lacing, while the chunky head sticks around for the whole pint.
Smell: This is one of the best smelling beers. Rich, earthy, chocolaty and sweet, with lingering roasted coffee.
Taste: An extremely complex beer. Up front, semi sweet chocolate and mild wet earth, followed by a little herbs most likely from the hops, and then a sweet finish. The oats and the roasted sweetness leaves you thinking you just took a bite of raw chocolate chip cookie dough, and it is wonderful. As the beer warms up closer to room temperature, the sweetness is closer to bakers chocolate and drying cocoa.
Mouthfeel: A full bodied beer – not as heavy as an Imperial Stout (Sam Smiths Imperial Stout review is coming soon) – with great mouthfeel. Everything you want this style to be, while still maintaining it as a very drinkable beer.
Drinkability: Very smooth start to finish; the oats give this a slight coarse texture that is interesting and enjoyable. Samuel Smith makes some very tasty and drinkable beers, and this one is no exception.
Notes: I mainly drink American craft beer; I am starting a brewery whose style is American, and I not only usually enjoy beers from the States, but feel it is more ‘useful’ for my business. I like to try multiple beers from the same brewery, and yet again, Samuel Smith has not let me down. I have reviewed 3 of their offerings in the past few weeks, with one more on deck. Fantastic beers from a tried and true brewery.