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Beer #10 – January 10, 2010: Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout

January 10, 2010

Beer: Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout

Brewery: Samuel Smith Old Brewery, Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, England

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Serving Type: Bottle

Price: $9.99 / 4-pack

Availability: Year-Round

Glassware: Shaker Pint

Strength: 5.0% ABV (alcohol by volume)

Drinkability: The smooth flavor and creamy mouthfeel combine for a very easy drinking but flavorful beer, neither too heavy nor bitter.

Tasting Notes

Appearance: It pours nearly pitch black with a foamy, mocha-colored head.

Aroma: Sweet, Belgian dark chocolate, hints of cherry and port

Mouthfeel: Slightly thick, moderately low carbonation, very creamy

Taste: There is an initial doughy sweetness that reminds me of a zeppole.  The middle quickly comes forward, with pronounced flavors of rich semi-sweet chocolate and mocha, more subtle notes of black cherry and port, and a very slight mineral tinge.  Mild roasted and toasted notes come through in the finish.  Overall, while this has potentially sweet and robust flavors, it is not as heavy or overly rich as one might expect.

Pairing: The chocolate and mocha flavors lend nicely to dessert pairings.  However, desserts with a lot of chocolate might be too over the top.  I’d try something more understated, like a chocolate chip vanilla pound cake or a cherry scone.

Trivia: While malted barley is typically the major grain component of beer, other grains can be used as part of a brewer’s recipe to achieve different flavors and/or affects.  Wheat, rye, corn and rice are just some of the grains a brewer may chose to use.  Oatmeal, however, is one of the more unique and distinctive choices because it does little to affect the flavor, but significantly affects the overall impression.  The addition of oatmeal to a recipe adds both a creamy, thicker body and an overall increased sweetness to the resulting beer.

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