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

2,242 Reviews
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Samuel Smith's Oatmeal StoutSamuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout

Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
United Kingdom (England) | website

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-05-2000

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Reviews: 2,242 | Ratings: 6,457
Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Brew pours a deep reddish brown - not quite opaque with a thick fluffy tan head. Lots of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass throughout the drink

The smell is subtle but pretty much by-the-book stout: notes of caramel, hints of smoke and a wee bit 'bready'

The taste is quite heavenly - lots of dark roasted taste without any hint of burning or over-toasting. Primarily a caramel or molasses like sweet note with compliments of coffee and chocolate. Barely any hop note there but there is a small bitterness at the end to round out the taste.

Mouthfeel is everything an Oatmeal Stout ought to be - it's like drinking velvet and cream. There's a light amount of carbonation to fuzz up the tongue but the creaminess leaves a slightly oily coating on the tongue.

Very, very drinkable - just what you'd hope for in an Oatmeal Stout. The brewers have avoided some of the more aggressive notes that can tend towards burnt coffee or bitter chocolate and have instead created a brew which is classic: sweet, dark and creamy...

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Photo of futaboots
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lately I've been feeling like I should put my reviews up for the beers that defined my early exploration into good beer. Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout is THE beer. The one that slapped me in the face, and made me realize that there was a whole world out there of better beer. Astonishingly, it is still one of my favorite beers of all time, a beer I still get a frequent craving for, a year and a hundred or so new beers later.

So how does it taste?
Excellent. There's a very sweet taste here that I still can't pin down, and I don't get a lot from other stouts. Kind of like molasses. Some astringency is there too. When I first started drinking this beer I noticed a metallic taste as well, but I can't detect it anymore, which might be attributed to a different pallette. For some reason I'm having hard time identifying the different flavors in this brew, which might be why I like it so much. Oh sure, the usual stout flavors are there, there's some roasted coffee, some bittersweet chocolate. But this beer tastes like it made it's own rules for how it should taste. I haven't had any other beer that tastes quite like this one. Young's comes closest, but I didn't like it nearly as much.

Appearance and Smell. Not completely black, there are ruby edges, and light can actually penetrate this beer if it is bright enough/viewed at the right angle. Head is modest, receding to a fine lace. Oddly enough, I know I've had some bottles that produced very little if any head, or lacing, although I don't remember the flavor ever suffering much due to this.

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Photo of AltBock
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle in a 3 pack that came with a Samuel Smith pint glass and beer coasters
Appearance: Poured an opaque color with some ruby coloring. Had a nice head of foam with little or no lacing in the glass.
Smell: An excellent chocolate malt-coffee like aroma.
Taste: Has a sweet malty chocolate taste that I liked very much. Samuel Smith said that this had an IBU of 32, but I couldn't really taste that much bitterness. I liked that it didn't show it, because it might have ruined it.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, not much carbonation, and has a slight roasted malt aftertaste.
Drinkability: An excellent oatmeal stout that people should try. Becareful when buying because it comes in a clear bottle and you don't know how long it's been sitting out.

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Photo of Troyone
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark coffee color with a slight amber hue, some head and lacing, and can not see the carbonation.

The smell has a bready, toasted, molasses malt smell with resin and citrus hops.

A lightly sweet, moderately bitter, molasses, roasted coffee malt with a spruce and citrus hops flavor.

Medium to full body, dry slightly syrupy texture, soft and lively carbonation, and a slight metallic and astringent finish.

Drinkability is good for this style.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very solid stout. I'm chasing the dragon after drinking a Stone Imperial Stout the night before, which is not distributed here in Iowa. Not nearly on the same level, but it has served its purpose well for the night.

Appearance is jet black is no light passage and a perfect tan head. The head sticks around for quite a long time, but does not lace well.

Smells like chocolate malt and coffee. Only a hint of roast.

Tastes very sweet, which recedes to a bit of a bitterness from the roastiness and hop bite in the aftertaste. The beer is fairly light bodied but with a creamy mouthfeel. Swishing throughout the mouth provides an awesome sweet malty flavor. Drinkability is good for this stout. Another one I'll probably drink again from Sam Smith.

(edit: Search for my post in the food & beer forum for Barbecue Stout Burgers. They were excellent with this brew.)

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Photo of JackTheRipper
2.77/5  rDev -34%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark brown with ruby highlights. Head was almost non existant. No lacing.

S: Right out of the bottle I got a weird skunky smell that went away after it warmed up to almost room temp. Bitter coffee smells with some malty undertones. Can't get that funk out of my nose, though.

T: Hoppy, more hoppy than I would have expected. Solid malt base. Loads of bitter coffee here.

M: Even though this looked flat, it was carbonated quite nicely. Very full in body. Low alcoholic warmth.

D&N: I had this one more than a decade ago on tap in Spain, this beer isn't even close to what it could be. I can't shake the skunkiness I smelled when I first opened this one. No head, average tastes, Not something I'd recommend.

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Photo of whynot44
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A really full bodied ale.

Black, rich roasted malt flavor. Slightly sweet, fruity with just a touch of hops.

Smooth. Seemed to actually taste better as it warmed up to "cool" rather than "cold".

A drink to sink your teeth into. Drink it by itself or with hearty food that can stand up to it.

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

poured a dedep, black almost opaque color. Smell is of coffee and expresso. Taste is enjoyable but nothing spectactular. Left a nice dry taste. Drinkable, but nothing above average. After reading all tghe great reviews, I was a bit disapointed. I've tasted better stouts.

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Photo of Litterbean
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a super dark black. Thick as hell, no light can permeate. A nice tan head forms and disappears somewhat quickly.

There is a very unique smell to this brew, something of a smoked meat characteristic, real pleasant. I know a meat smell isn't a good descriptor but that's what I sense. There's some coffee-like aromas as well. There is also a leafy hop character.

I get a distinct hop flavor at the start. A fruity grape-like sensation is in there, along with some earthy flavors, and then the sweet malts kick in. Hints of coffee, chocolate, and of course, oatmeal round this one out. A bit tart at the end as well. Good mouthfeel, real creamy and smooth.

A damn tasty brew!

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Photo of Beersignal
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A seductive deep mahogany pour sporting a 1/2 inch cap of creamy tan foam that slowly shrinks to a somewhat clingy film that lingers for a good while.

Roasted, fruity and smoky notes jostle with aromas of cocoa and coffee grounds in an envelope of dark malts. Great complexity as it warms and reveals even more of its olfactive charm with hints of black licorice and anise. This is one occasion I wish I had my wife's pregnant olfactory senses... that's like smelling in 3D!

This is a full bodied brew with a rich and creamy texture that coats the insides of the mouth fully. The flavours are really exceptional and beautifully harmonized. Just the right amounts of malty sweetness, fruitiness (cherries, and currants...) pave the way for roasted notes and hints of caramelization and dark chocolate in the middle. Late emanations of peat and smoke round out the experience judiciously and a gentle hoppy bitterness punctuates the peat and smoke perfectly. As the beer warms, the finish also reveals a faint residual sweetness that accompanies the hops to the bitter end.

I can't wait to head south of the border again and pick up more of this incredible stout... 'cause it can't be found in CANADA !@#$%&*&$#@"

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Photo of MrSeth
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours with brown highlights at first, but once in the glass it's opaque black with a medium sized tan-brown head. Some head retention in the form of a big bubbly ring.

Smell: Sweet black licorice nose. Black cherries and toasted raisin bread as well.

Taste: Just a sip brings a full on roasty malt. Medium-heavy chewy body. Ginger snaps and baked apples.

Mouthfeel: Refreshing! Not every stout is refreshing to drink. Some stouts are refreshing but too watery. This stout has an excellent balance of body and flavor. Drinkable and inviting.

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Photo of TongoRad
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark translucent brown/black with a tall finely bubbled tan head. It settles down to about 1/4" and stays there.

Lovely aroma- roasty, nutty, fruity, malty- with a strong, but not overbearing, impression of butterscotch underneath it all. Added up it all comes together like a spice cake or a dessert.

Very soft flavor redolent of dried fruits and nuts with a long roasty finish- essentially it tastes the way that the aroma promises it will. There is just as much bitterness as is required to keep things grounded, and not a touch more. It starts to feel a bit thin by the end of a glass, but that is a minor complaint.

This is a smooth, well made beer, and an excellent example of the style.

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Photo of twelvsies
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I should really drink more of this stuff. Appears a really dark color that I will now coin as "pitch brown." Basically as close as you can get to black without actually being totally black darkness... I think you all know what I mean. The brown head lasts and lasts til the beer is gone, all the way down my friends. Smell is totally sweet and creamy, which carries over to the taste. In addition to the milky sweet cream taste there's a nice roasted malt and cocoa taste, and a low bitterness profile. Whereas their imperial stout has that burnt bitter flavor, this one is all about the soft buttery taste. Mouthfeel is nice and I would even say thin for a stout, but that's the way I like my stouts, not chewy. That's not to say that this beer isn't hefty though. Sure is. A really superb beer that I'll remember next time I'm craving a good stout.

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Photo of elricorico
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep brown and once it settles in the glass it appears opaque black with a hint of ruby at the base of the glass. It had a one finger deep head(after an aggressive pour) that was creamy and tan coloured.

Smell is not so strong as some other stouts. A bit of roasted malt, something faintly soapy and a dark fruit aroma, none of which are very prevelant.

A bitter coffee flavour takes the lead in the taste category, with a faint sourness. The finish is fairly dry and bitter. It is a good flavour for the style, not my favourite, but nice.

Mouthfeel is bordering on chewy. Carbonation is what you'd expect for a stout, but leaving it on your tongue is not comfortable for long.

The beer goes down fairly well. I think I will revisit this one someday soon, as I also get the feeling that this one will grow on you with time.

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque deepest brown color with a luxurious creamy beige colored head. Not much head retention or lacing, but a nice looking pint. Dark roasty, matly aroma with some cereal grain quality to it. No discernable hop aroma other than a mild earthiness. Mostly roasty and sweet, with some caramel, coffee, treacle and chocolate-like undertones. Torrefied oat is a garnish amongst the malt. The sweetness is maltose, almost bordering lactose. Somewhat bitter in the finish, maybe some Challenger in the kettle. Very drinkable. A quintessential example of a full-bodied, lower ABV oatmeal stout.

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Photo of HogHill
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very dark brown, some deep red highlights are visible when held up against the light. Smells of dark roasted malts and coffee grinds. Tastes sweet with the primary flavors being a toffee and dark chocolate with a hint of coffee. Feels a bit smooth in the mouth, probably due to the oatmeal and moderately low carbonation. Very drinkable beer, especially at 5% abv.
Overall this is one of the classics, a great beer that will stand the test of time no doubt.
Notes: I flipped a coin to determine which stout I would drink and which would be used as a marinade. Tadcaster Oatmeal Stout survived and Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout became the marinade for my rib eye, it was an enjoyable steak and it did go excellent with this one.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one easy-drinking stout! Not too over the top or overpowering (maybe empowering if anything) a great stout to start with, gorgeous flavor without being too brazen.

Pours a medium bodied (for a stout) pitch black with a one finger off-white head, beautiful. Nose is roasty, with wafts of chocolate and a nutty quality. Taste is smooth and delicious, very easy to drink. Chocolate, almonds, vanilla, roast and even a bit of a lactose-like character are all present.

This is a quintessential example of the style, very good, as always.


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Photo of droomyster
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown, deep red edges, with a tan foamy head lasting a few minutes; little lacing to space of. Delicious smells of milk chocolate and walnuts, cookies, cereal, interlaced with traces of vanilla. Taste of nutty molasses, toastiness, butterscotch and grassy hops, overall lightly sweet. Ends with bitter roasted coffee and a long dry finish. Softly carbonated and full bodied but wonderfully drinkable. I will definitely buy this again and would love to actually try it with ham and eggs.

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Photo of horndecker
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Here is a deep, absolutely opaque, english-walnut-to-black color. Stolid tan head with a ruby or purplish tinge to it. The fine head fades slowly to clumpy islands of frothy murk. Mmmmm.
The nose is at first slightly grassy - gentle hops to the fore, I suppose - followed quickly by robust chocolate, coffee and raisin aromas.
The taste is of unsweetened cocoa powder, stewed fruit, toasty malt in the middle with a lightly hoppy finish. All this contained in a wonderfully smooth and silky mouthfeel.
Absolute yum. Ultimately drinkable, a favorite.

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Photo of Luigi
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bitch black color with a giant light brown head. Smells very sweet, like chocolate and dark malts. The Taste! let me get to the taste! wow! Silky full bodies with strong chocolate and butterscotch flavors. Some coffee and oats too. A little bit of hop background. This beer is almost perfect! I could drink this beer for breakfast everyday!

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Photo of beveragecaptain
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

550 ml bottle. This beer pours out very nearly black with a tan head. Rich, malty aroma. Slightly sweet malty flavor with some roastiness. This beer has an amazingly smooth mouthfeel, which I assume is from the oats. This is an incredible beer that I am especially partial to, as it is one of my first introductions to quality beer. I would recommend it as a good stout for the inexperienced stout drinker. Of course it's a great choice for the experienced drinker too.

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Photo of beertastegood
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Out of the bottle...

Appearance: Pitch black with tan head that lingered.

Smell: overtones with a rich malt nose.

Taste: Immediate bitter coffee taste with a dry aftertaste. This is a little harsh. Not as smooth as some of the other oatmeals, such as Young's or McNeill's. It is, however, very unique and unquestionably an oatmeal stout.

Mouthfeel: It's got a bite to it. Pretty "chewy".

Drinkability: In a word, no.

Not too bad of a brew. I think there are better oatmeal stouts out there.

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Photo of SaunaKing
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Wow - a beautiful looking beer. Pitch black witgh a nice tan leather head. Not much lacing but an attractive looking pint. Smell is a mild chocolate. Nice for a stout - not a very strong aroma but pleasant. The taste leaves a little to be desired, especially after the perfect pour and great aroma. Its very smooth but has a carbonated soda taste upfront whith a little coffee in the finish. The mouthfeel is watery and light.
A very drinkable beer, these are made to be put back with abandon.

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Photo of EPseja
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this in a four Oatmeal Stout taste-off between Samuel Smith's, Troeg's, Wolaver's, and Barney Flats.

Appearance: 1.5" generous head - tight retention. Medium sized bubbles all the way up, with tiny ones on top. Color is a very light tan/sand. Dark dark crimson when held up to light.

Smell: Very sweet, almost cola-like smell - reminiscent of a supersweet chocolate. Not really smoky. Cherry or chocolate twizzlers.

Taste: Full bodied, but cloyingly sweet for the style. Chocolate and candied malts. Bananas foster. Aftertaste reveals some roasted coffee roundness.

Mouthfeel: Medium - not smooth, not silky. Average.

Drinkability: Due to its over sweetness, this beer is only a one-pinter.

A good oatmeal stout, but I was expecting more from such a highly rated beer. I would rather spend the money on the Troeg's or Barney Flats!

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Photo of DrJay
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very dark, nearly black, and completely opaque. Not even a hint of highlights at the edge of the glass. This was topped by a dense, creamy, light brown head that showed good retention and stickage.

Smell: Rich aroma with some sharpness from the hops and a bit of earthiness. Maltiness consisted of roasted, caramel, and mild chocolate.

Taste: The malty aromas are echoed in the flavour, but with a little less roasted (although dryness from the roasted barley is present) and a little bit of fruit. Bitterness is just enough to balance the malt and the hop character is on the earthy side. Overall, it starts crisp followed by chocolatey, malty sweetness and finishes with more bitterness and some nuttiness. Great!

Mouthfeel: Full creamy body, aided (I assume) by the oats without making it overly heavy or slick. The low carbonation is just about perfect -- tiny bubbles form in the beer during a sip and add to the velvety texture.

Drinkability: I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and would certainly have another if given the opportunity. I could drink this all night. I'll definitely be looking for it again.

550 mL clear glass bottle. No freshness date.

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Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
94 out of 100 based on 2,242 ratings.