Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout
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It can be difficult to review a beer that stands as the quintessential representation of its style, because any perceived flaw has the potential to be shrugged off as just hallmarks of the style or some other such nonsense. The status symbol is hard to shrug off. But still, beers like this Oatmeal Stout need to be attempted to be treated like any other. It arrives in a large 550ml, which ends up being the perfect format for sharing, and is growing to be a personal favorite. Like many Samuel Smith beers, it comes wrapped from the hap down to halfway up the neck with gold foil. Luckily it breaks easy enough to pry open the cap and pour. What emerges is a seemingly jet black beer that in actuality is a super dark brown that boasts ruby red highlights. A fine tan foam is created that lingers. Aromas of oatmeal are present, but it's overwhelmingly chocolate forward and roasty. These aren't extreme either, just simply more dominant. As it's sipped, a creamier body is evident, more so than a simple stout. Dry roast character is at the forefront, along with coffee beans, roasted nuts, and elements of dark toffee. It continues on with the roasted flavors through to the end, which has some mild metallic notes. The best in its class, for sure.
Beer Description from Brewery
Brewed with well water (the original well at the Old Brewery, sunk in 1758, is still in use, with the hard well water being drawn from 85 feet underground); fermented in 'stone Yorkshire squares' to create an almost opaque, wonderfully silky and smooth textured ale with a complex medium dry palate and bittersweet finish. Screenshot 2015-03-17 18.44.18Best served at about 55F (13C).