For some reason, I have always avoided Samuel Smith’s beers at the bottle shop. I don’t know what it is (maybe their wide availability, the fact that they are imported and I’m worried about the long trip here, who knows), but for whatever reason I’ve just never made the investment. A friend recently gave me a 4-pack of the Oatmeal Stout, though, so here goes.
I drank this beer at “room temperature” which for me is around 62°, although I think the bottle was still a bit cooler than that. I poured it into my large tulip glass and it was black with the slightest red highlights. The head poured a tan color and there was a lot of it, but after about 5 minutes of sitting it had all but disappeared.
Aroma is roasty with maybe a hint of something like raisins in it. I couldn’t get much else out of the aroma.
The mouthfeel is a little lighter than some oatmeal stouts I’ve had lately, and despite the ig head during pouring, it still has enough carbonation to be a little prickly. The beer has a nice, light roasty flavor to it as the dominant flavor, and I still pick up something that reminds me of raisins on the aftertaste. It has a slightly unpleasant taste VERY early in the sip that disappears right away, but I can’t really put my finger on it… I think it might be the hops and how it interacts with the rest of the flavor profile? Not a dealbreaker by any stretch, but it is a little off-putting.
Overall, this is a decent beer. It is light, both in body and flavor profile, so it could be a good alternative for people who like Guinness or are looking for a gateway to stouts. With a 5% ABV, it makes for a decent session beer, since it’s not too heavy tasting or feeling. That said, it is a little lacking in some of the darker, roastier, coffee and chocolate type of flavors I really look for in a stout, so I can think of better examples of this style, which is one of my favorites.