After reviewing a couple of oatmeal stouts, it only seemed fair to give our review of Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout, which is widely considered to be the mold for all other modern oatmeal stouts. While that would seem to be a difficult reputation to live up to, this beer easily scores high marks in the oatmeal stout category. The modern oatmeal stout was reintroduced with this beer in 1980, according to their U.S. distributor’s website.
Before we review it, let’s see what information we can glean off of the labels of the 12 ounce bottle in our hands:
12 FL OZ, 355 ML
Product of England
Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery (Tadcaster) N. Yorks, England
Sole Agents: Merchant du Vin Corp, Tukwila WA 98188
The Celebrated Oatmeal Stout
An opaque, wonderfully silky and smooth textured ale with a complex, medium dry palate and bittersweet finish. Brewed with well water (the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use), malted barley, roasted barley, oatmeal, yeast and hops, Fermented in open-topped ‘stone Yorkshire squares’. Celebrated Oatmeal Stout is a style benchmark revived by Samuel Smith’s and the inspiration for hundreds of oatmeal stouts.
Samuel Smith’s Brews at a small traditional British brewery, the oldest brewery in Yorkshire.
Photo caption: Knocking down the lively head of yeast formed during fermentation in ‘stone Yorkshire squares’.
Sole US Agents Merchant du Vin authentic beers
And now to our review.
12 fl.oz bottle, purchased in March 2012 at Total Wine & More, Henderson NV
Perhaps strongest is the smell of oats, with other pleasant hints of chocolate, coffee, and sweetness. Very pleasant.
The taste is definitely that of a modern oatmeal stout, but the balance of flavors is flawless. The creamy texture is enhanced by the chocolate/coffee undertones. While many beers attempt to balance malts, oatmeal, and chocolate, Samuel Smith delivers the goods.
A dry malty bittersweet finish is highly pleasant, not unlike that of dark chocolate.
There’s a reason why Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout became the template for the modern oatmeal stout: It’s simply excellent. This has been, and should be, the standard by which all others are measured.