Why we're here...

Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout

Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout is an Oatmeal Stout brewed by the Samuel Smith Old Brewery of Tadcaster, England. While Samuel Smith is an internationally distributed brewery, they are very much focused on their local community. Beers are still distributed through out their home town of Tadcaster on carts pulled by Shire horses. Sam Smith also uses the traditional brewing method known of stone Yorkshire squares and the same strand of yeast that's been in use since the 1800's.

I bought this at Raley's Market on Freeport Blvd in Sacramento for $3.49 for a 550ml bottle. It has an ABV of 5%.

It pours a very dark browm with a big, fluffy tan head that leaves thick lacings. The aroma is subtle with hints f roasted malts, sweet caramel, and a bit of alcohol. The taste is sweet malts up front followed and finished by the roasted malts and some earthy hops. The body is lighter than your average stout with a little more carbonation but still retaining that classic creaminess.

This is an excellent Oatmeal Stout, and a Must Have It for stout lovers. If you're not a big fan of stouts, give it a try. This is the most reviewed Oatmeal Stout on Beer Advocate and still comes in #2 just after Three Floyds and just before Rogue. It's what you want out of a stout - the sweet roastiness, enjoyable creaminess, no lingering bitterness and not filling.

I still argue that Sam Smith's is one the most under appreciated skilled breweries available in the US. Their Pale Ale is also really good. The lesson to learn from Sam Smith's is the importance of water, yeast and process, all of which are very unique to Sam Smith. The brewery uses the same well water since its founding in 1758, the same yeast strain since the 1800's and the same traditional brewing method of the yorskhire squares.

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