Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

Not Rated.
Samuel Smith's Oatmeal StoutSamuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,203 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,203
Hads: 6,270
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 18.81%
Wants: 324
Gots: 1,033 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-05-2000

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,203 | Hads: 6,270
Photo of Vengeance526
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

550 mL bottle...

Pours a dark, almost completely opaque black color with a 1 finger beige head that held nicely for a while and left a considerable amount of lacing.

Aroma consists mostly of chocolate with a touch of caramel and some bready notes.

Taste builds on the aroma as you experience many of the same things in a more pronounced manner. Caramel, toffee, chocolate and maybe a hint of dark fruit all come through in the taste. Pretty good stuff here.

A very smooth feel but maybe a bit rich for some. I'd cap it off at one bottle per sitting but that is not to say I would not want another later on down the line. Overall a fine example of an oatmeal stout.

 668 characters

Photo of LordofTime25
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours to a dark brown with some red on the edges. Has basically no head but some lacing is left.

Smell chocolate and roasted coffee in this brew.

You taste the coffe flavor first, but then you taste the chocolate come through.

Creamy brew that coats the tongue.

Pretty good, but only one of these at a time would do.

 320 characters

Photo of Voonder
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours almost black colour with huge tan head. Good looking stout. Good retention.
Smell - sour, bready, has some unpleasant notes.
Taste - bready with some raisin notes, some chocolaty malts. Much better than aroma.
Smooth, well balanced. Decent oatmeal stout, still pretty drinkable. I'd have it again.
Thanks a lot to jac5084 for this one.

 341 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber/ black color with a tan head. In the aroma, sweet oatmeal and a roasty maltiness. In the taste, just like the aroma, sweet oatmeal, and a roasty malt. A small bite and a decently big roasty maltiness in the mouthfeel, and a dry maltiness in the aftertaste. One of the beers that changed me into what I am today, however thank God for the brown bottles finally.

 379 characters

Photo of kbnooshay
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

wtf? I coulda swear i wrote a review for this many moons ago. Hmm anyways, its always nice to come back to this one.

Poured a gorgeous dark brown with a super massive frothy brown colored head, that i can already see is leaving some nice spotted lace. Many describe this brew as being pitch black which it isn't. Its a very dark brown but it certainly lets light through. Has it changed over the years possible?

Aroma is jam packed with oat, vanilla, brown sugar and lotsa roasted malt. There is also some sourness goinh on here, possibly from the yeast.

Taste is similar to the smell, but a nice bitter chocolate flavor kicks in with lots of deep roasted malt flavor.

Feel is creamy but not as thick as i remember. Light carbonation.

Not bad, but not what i remember from past tastings.

 794 characters

Photo of SerialTicker
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear ruby black color with a finger or two of a pretty dark, tan head. Quite a bit of carbonation as well, which I wasn't really expecting.

Smell: A lot of roastiness, with a pretty significant caramel note. There's some coffee, but I'm not really getting any sorts of chocolate aromas. This beer has a very good nose on it.

Taste: For being supposedly the best oatmeal stout in the world, I'm pretty largely let down for a few reasons. I'll assume this is due to my ignorance, but anyway... first of all, the mouthfeel isn't at all what I thought it would be. Rather than a smooth feel, it's pretty light with a surprising amount of prickly carbonation. Second, the flavor is just lacking. It isn't bad, but it sort of tastes like watered down coffee. As it warms up a bit, I also get a minor dark fruit flavor that I find odd, but it does add a bit more depth and intrigue to the beer. I've been under the impression that (of ones I've had) oatmeal stouts have a relatively thick, creamy mouthfeel with fairly mild carbonation, and have a nice, bold flavor. I don't get it with this.

My dad claims that this is the best beer that he's ever had, but I've had better oatmeal stouts that were made right here in Michigan. I know my opinion is an unpopular one, but it is what it is. S.S.O.S. is a drinkable, easy-to-session sort of beer, but it's not how I like my stouts.

 1,403 characters

Photo of Exner83
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Name a flavor, and it's here! Cohesive, yes, but wildly kaleidoscopic - dark malts, oats, molasses, Fig Newton, dark chocolate, energy bar, tree bark, and liquid smoke... I'll have one, please. Just one.

Still a well-crafted brew that leaves a lasting impression: You'll NEVER forget it. A chew-tastic hunk of fruity coffee power.

 331 characters

Photo of marieli
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle. Started at 55 degrees. I did not get much of an aroma, especially compared to its sibling imperial and chocolate stouts. Pretty straight forward smell of grains and malts. Not much chocolate or coffee. Same with taste. Smooth, minimal bitterness. Mouth feel is between thin and medium. Overall I would describe the taste as good but nondescript. I would not drink it just to drink a beer--I'd reach for the organic chocolate or imperial stout. But with a meal I would drink this over those. Bottom line, Samuel Smith continues to impress me with its lineup.

 576 characters

Photo of wingnutter
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jet black, like motor oil with a frothy head.

I detect alcohol in the smell, which is odd for a 5% ABV beer. Also some sweet nuttiness, toffee, burnt malts.

Taste: smooth, sweet & sour. Coffee, toffee, nuts, brown sugar. Tasty. Not perfect but not bad.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, oily, and smooth all rolled into one. Feels heavier than it is.

Drinkability is good, but I think one or 2 is all I could handle. Its pretty rich.

 430 characters

Photo of jar2574
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 550 ml bottle. Jet black beer with a great two inch head. Tiny bubbles, but they take quite a while to settle. Nice coating on the way down.

Typical oatmeal stout smell. Nothing remarkable there.

Very smooth mouthfeel, with less roasted malt taste than I'm used to in a stout. I like it, the roasted malts aren't so overpowering.

That said, the taste isn't mind blowing or anything, it's fairly run of the mill. Nothing disagreeable. Malts and oatiness. Didn't catch any sweetness or hops, really.

Very drinkable, especially for a stout. Nice work. Great session beer.

 587 characters

Photo of Popkas
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a near black dark brown with a frothy creamy head. Smell is very muted - hard to get much from it aside from some roasted malt. The taste is much more pronounced than the nose with strong malt, cocoa, oats and a bit of coffee. Medium body with a little much carbonation. Drinkability is decent.

 300 characters

Photo of MONKandTUCK
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle. I've learned that smaller Stouts really ought to be enjoyed on Nitro, conventional Draught, or widget can; not from the bottle.

A - Pours a luscious black with a dense head. It looks exactly the way a Stout should.

A - some roasted notes, nothing overly pronounced.

T - When cold it's very boring. Once it warms it gets some decent depth to it. The finish is roundly chocolate. It's not especially roasty, more dark and sweet. It really tastes like chocolate. The malty bridge is full of Sam Smith yeast flavors - my favorite part of the experience. A decent amount of crystal malt was used, but it doesn't do the beer great favors. At least it's more tame than Milk Stouts.

M - It's very wet. On the one hand, it's drinkable. People who hate the heaviness and burnt flavor in Guinness will see Stouts redeemed in their eyes after trying this. However, those of use looking for a substantial Oatmeal Stout won't find it here. There isn't the velvety character I was expecting.

O - It's sure drinkable, but it's not the stuff of legends. Really, it bridges more on what I think a Brown Ale should be than an Oatmeal Stout. I've had better beers. It definitely doesn't deserve even a spot in the shadow of Sam Smith's Russian Imperial Stouts.

 1,260 characters

Photo of hoplover82
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

It pours black with a light brown sugar thick head. Thick beautiful laticework.

The aroma is of very dark roasted barley. And a little alcohol.

The flavor is pretty good. Very malty but not overly sweet like a milk stout. Very balanced with a little bitterness.

The mouthfeel is outstanding. Realy. It's very smooth but it has a kinda...good grittiness on the tongue. I guess it might be called dry? But to me, it seems a little watery. Just a little.

I think that might be my favorite aspect of this beer ( the mouthfeel.)

Very drinkable.

 547 characters

Photo of Gatch
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Black as the two black borders of this website. Bubbly, fluffy light brown head.

S - Roasted malt, beef jerky, not getting much else.

T - Roasted malt for sure but tastes watered down. Charcoaled meats and a peaty-earthy taste on the palate. Not overly impressed as I expected I would be.

M/D - A surprisingly light body that has an irony, watery feel. Some modest carbonation.

 384 characters

Photo of mattffrost
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into glass

Appearance beer is black with tan head. Decent head retention. Pretty to look at.

Smell chocolate, sweet malt, coffee.

Taste Sweet chocolate, coffee, slight sweentess that finishs slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel Slight carbonation, sweet

Drinkability Not my ideal style but good. One of these is plenty for me.

 335 characters

Photo of surfmeister
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pretty beer, very dark brown, coffee-like in appearance, huge head which stuck tenaciously to the glass and refused to dissipate.
Smell was a roasted, malty, nutty assault on the senses, taste followed suit with similar roasted, coffee, chocolate tastes. This is a full flavored beer, but far from perfect, I think the roasted taste creates a somewhat one dimensional brew due to it's overbearing nature, I didn't feel like drinking many of these, I needed a change up after the first one.

 492 characters

Photo of TheDoorman
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Solid dark brown body with a persistent light brown head. Big aroma of roasted malts and rich dark chocolate. Palate is big roasted flavors like the aroma. Only problem is that the finish is a little flat, some more hop presence is in order. I also think the beer is a little under alcoholed. The malt flavors are too strong and especially given the limited hoppiness, could use a psuh in the ABV to balance it out. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy with a tingling carbonation.

This is a very good traditional Oatmeal Stout. Its a great example of the style, but not terribly complex. Problem with this beer is simply that it is what it is. Stouts have come a long way in the last decade, and this beer is somewhat left behind.

Some may feel that this beer has retained its greatness, and I agree to a degree that it is still a fantastic example of the style, but given the stout competition, I cannot say this is a beer for which I am going to rush back.

 954 characters

Photo of Damian
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep brown/black with a small, fizzy brown head.

Aroma consisted of intense toasted malts, some hops and a faint sweetness.

Taste was coffee-like, somewhat creamy and sweet with a slight espresso-like, bitter aftertaste.

Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Fairly easy drinking for a stout.

 320 characters

Photo of pumarocks
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at the Hi/Lo Beverage in Bridgetown, OH off Glenway. It was a holiday gift pack with a imperial pint glass and 2 other brews.

This is what stout is all about baby! Very creamy, full of body and robust in flavor. It has a dark-as-night look and a frothy head that lingers and lingers. It has a chocoIate/coffee aftertaste that will leave you wanting another sip. I have always enjoyed this brew from Samuel Smith.

 430 characters

Photo of nixhecks
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured deep brown/black with a tan fluffy foam head, dark ruby edges (barely) if held to the light. Lacing is moderate to sparse - seems a bit soapy-ish at first. Aroma is mainly of fruits, especially a dried raisin or prune smell. Slight hints of burnt cocoa and chocolate as well. Taste is mostly burnt, with hints of sweet chocolate and a syrupy fruitiness. Mouthfeel was a bit thin but not too bad, actually coated the palate a bit and complemented the fruity and bitter finish. Not a bad beer for every once in a while, but not anything to rush to your local store for.

 574 characters

Photo of oline73
3.69/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with some light coming through. There is a finger and a half of thick tan head and great retention.

Smell: Sweet malt and a bit of caramel. Mild roast. Not a super strong smell overall.

Taste: Very malty and not as much roast as I remembered. A bit nutty with some dark fruit notes. The finish is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I would have liked more roast but still very good and smooth. I will probably have another given the chance.

 584 characters

Photo of Higravity
3.69/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this again after many years and it is still the same which is nice. Being a SS product I agian taste metals in the beer, but maybe that is just me. The color it pours is black comprised of red, looking though at the right angle shows the beers color of ruby so dark it becomes black. It makes sense as the stout is just a built up amber and this beer is a near perfect in color in my eye. The nose is a little lacking as the malt seems subdued, but there is a presences of earth roastedness and chocolate oats that escape. This has a great feel in the mouth of silky oat protiens that carry a roast bitterness that is delightful, still this beer has a metalic aftertaste that I couldn't seem to shake. It left lace all the way down my glass, it would be hard to make a better mild oatmeal stout.

 801 characters

Photo of eat
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The last bottle from a Samuel Smith gift box, poured into it's branded pint glass. The pour looks thinner than I was expecting for an oatmeal stout. An opaque, black body retains a thin cover of mocha coloured head.

Tons of dust/must (box of old clothes from the attic) up front on the nose while it's cold straight out of the fridge. A little cheese, some dark malt, apple juice, light caramel. As it warms, milk chocolate emerges along with more of a roasty character. I don't know what to make of this one. As odd as that combination may sound, it doesn't smell at all bad; though it's definitely unexpected.

This is nothing like what I was expecting. I like it but it's completely different from any other oatmeal stout I've tried. I actually did a double take looking over at the bottle to make sure I was drinking what I thought I was drinking. Lots of apple cider-like sweetness, light flavours of roasted malt, Samuel Smith well-water minerals (I love the character of their water; very distinctive), dark earthy hops. Subtle on the oat presence. Most of the stout character to be found here is on the finish with lots of dusty cocoa to dry your mouth. Actually as I drink this beer I'm enjoying the cocoa finish more and more; the cocoa really intensifies as it warms.

For an oatmeal stout I find this to be too thin-bodied. A decent medium body nonetheless with very light carbonation.

I'd have to say this beer is drinkable more than anything else. Not really what I'm looking for in an oatmeal stout but it is fairly tasty and would totally be sessionable. I had been wanting to try this beer for a while and was hoping to be blown away; I'm a big fan of their imperial stout and brown ale. Sadly I'm only left thinking it was all right. I'd drink it again but won't be seeking it out.

 1,805 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired at Trader Joe's as part of their 3 beer/1 glass for $9.99 pack. 550 ml brown glass bottle with foiled-over pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof given its current ratings and reputation as the best oatmeal stout in existence.

Served nearly straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger light tan colour head of good cream and thickness, and good retention. Body colour is a solid nontransparent opaque black. Not quite jet black, but it's very dark. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Looks as it should for the style.

Sm: Roasted barley, chocolate malt, dark malts, and caramel. The roast is particularly attractive. Very evocative and inviting. I don't detect alcohol or yeast. I'm looking forward to this one.

T: Roasted barley, chocolate malt, dark malts, fired kiln malt, caramel, chocolate, milk, and cream. Some cream. A balanced, enjoyable flavour all around. Well layered. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Any hopping is floral and backgrounded at best. Tasty. Oats come through as it warms; I didn't detect any in my initial pass. Some cola notes throughout, even some herbal character as it warms. Oddly enough, I get some pear fruit. Some earthiness at the base, but subtly executed. Some vanilla/creme brulee hits in the late second act - a highlight of the beer, but one that directly challenges style conventions; it's ballsy, but I like it.

Mf: The coarseness of the roast duels with the rolling smoothness of the oats; the only winner is the consumer. Ideal thickness and carbonation. Wet enough to keep it drinkable but dry enough to satisfy the needs of the style and to complement the flavours. Above all, it's balanced and tailored with/to the flavour profile. A bit heavy on the palate for the modest ABV, but it suits the flavour. It could use more cream.

Dr: Quite drinkable considering its heavy bold flavours and assertive mouthfeel. I rather fancy it. A solid oatmeal stout, and one I'd love to try on nitro/draught. Tasty and enjoyable. A satisfying brew from Samuel Smith's. Is it their best beer? Possibly. I look forward to finding out.

I'd like to try this side by side with the Stockyard Oatmeal Stout also available at Trader Joe's. I worry that I'm rating this a bit high based on outside influences, but it's so yummy.

High B

 2,567 characters

Photo of demcorhip
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the beers that originally got me interested in exploring the diverse realm of craft beer. This bottle is at least a year old, having sat in my beer cupboard for too long.

Pours black, very mildly and finely carbonated, yet manages a tight pale tan head, which displays pretty good retention. Thin sheets of lace grace the inside of my Samuel Smith glass.

Creamy oatmeal, a hint of treacle, some vinous scents as well, hopefully this wasnt forgotten about for too long. Mild roast quality, hints of chocolate chips and hazelnut coffee. Mild earthy and slightly woody hop character also present.

This one may have sat forgotten for slightly too long. Predominant fruity, vinous character from oxidizing malt almost overwhelms the finer qualities of this beer. Taste quite similar to the nose, but the things i really love about this beer are somewhat muted, the creamy oats and hint of nuts, the treacle, chocolate, and roast are getting ready to leave the main stage to play second fiddle. Earthy hints of decaying leaf and a mild woodiness appear at the finish, along with slightly smoky wisps of dark roast coffee.

Somewhere between light and medium bodied. Very mild level of carbonation, fits the style and does not detract from the still tasty grains and hops. Nice interplay between the oatmeal, nutty and treacly malts, and the roasted barley. Just a slight hop kiss to add another layer of depth to the experience. Unfortunately starting to show signs of oxidation with its vinous notes.

Still surprisingly drinkable, hasnt gone too far yet. Creamy yet slightly dry, light in body yet rich in taste, although certainly not to the level of bigger, badder assed stouts. Even while passed its prime this stout still demonstrates its quality. Do not cellar this beer for any significant period of time, respect it and enjoy immediately!

 1,852 characters

Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
94 out of 100 based on 2,203 ratings.