Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout is a mainstay of the imports section of most beer stores. Every craft/import beer drinker has noticed the gold foil top and distinctively tall bottle. And being noticed means being purchased. Other than the Nut Brown Ale, I've never seen another offering from Samuel Smith's and was excited to see this on several beer store shelves this year.
The bright copper brew produces a finely bubbled, off-white head that evaporates off to a thin cap within a couple of drinks. A light lacing remained at the top of the glass from when the head was full, but didn't chase the beer down the sides the way last night's Jubelale did.
Light fruity esters chased stronger aromas of butterscotch, caramel, and toasted malt with a touch of honey laying over the entire mix. The bouquet was light but very pleasant, only filling my nose when the glass was close.
The taste is smooth and crisp. Fully of fruity ale goodness, the medium carbonation and body provide a very pleasant drinking experience. It starts sweet and finishes with an ever-so-light warming, a touch of pepper, and a mild bittering on the back of the tongue. It reminds me of a Redhook ESB (Extra Special Bitter) but with a higher malt profile.
This is a nice Winter Warmer. The lower alcohol content makes it slightly more sessionable and would be a great any-time-of-year drink.
Brandon got specific with the fruit flavor, expressing it as an apricot flavor.
Brewer: Samuel Smith Old Brewery
Location: Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, UK
Style: Winter Warmer
Alcohol Content: 6.0% ABV
Interesting Note: Samuel Smith Old Brewery uses traditional stone Yorkshire squares when brewing their beer. I found this to be a very interesting approach to fermentation. Click the link to read more about it at Wikipedia.