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Samson Stout - Estes Park Brewery

Not Rated.
Samson StoutSamson Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

65 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 65
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Estes Park Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-27-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.65/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Oreo cookie black with glimmers of ruby along the edges. The appearance score will be bumped an extra half point since there aren't too many 5.0% stouts that are opaque black. Despite a high-altitude pour, head formation is disappointing. No more than an inch of toast brown foam has formed atop the beer, and there's precious little lace. A decent cap might have turned this into a pretty good looking stout.

The nose is a pleasant surprise (considering my other experiences with Estes Park Brewery beer). It's roasted malty with aromas of crushed cocoa nibs comfortably in front of black coffee. If the flavor follows suit, this will be the best beer from these guys that I've had yet.

Although it doesn't hold up as well on the palate, Samson Stout is a commendable effort. I love the fact that the brewery used predominantly roasted malt (I'm guessing), even if they didn't use quite enough of it. There's a nice smoky char to the flavor that doesn't cross the line into burnt.

The website says that oatmeal was added for sweetness. They couldn't have used much since sweetness is fairly hard to come by. The Galena and Goldings hops were added with a heavy hand, contributing much more bitterness than flavor. That's okay, the malt doesn't need much help in the flavor department.

I've decided not to be too hard on the mouthfeel since it's *just* big enough to keep the beer moored on the light end of the American stout spectrum. The fact that it isn't overly bubbled keeps it on my good side.

Samson Stout proves that Estes Park is able to brew decent-to-good beer if they put their minds to it. If the malt load was increased by 50% (doubling it would be even better), this would be a stout worthy of its name.

[Samson was a 1000 lb. elk killed by a poacher. Part of the proceeds of the sale of this beer go to Operation Game Thief, an organization that apprehends and prosecutes poachers.]

BuckeyeNation, May 18, 2007
Photo of jaydoc
3.25/5  rDev -3%

jaydoc, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a black body with a thin, light tan-colored head.

Smell: Rich roasted malt aroma with a plenty of dark chocolate and, to a lesser extent, coffee.

Taste: Roasted malts and more dark chocolate and coffee, all with a solid level of sweetness. Finishes roasty and sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Not nearly as interesting as a necklace of human teeth, but it's not half bad. Not half bad at all!

ChainGangGuy, Oct 10, 2007
Photo of zeff80
3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a dark, dark brown color with a small, short-lived, tan head of foam. Not much in the way of lacing. Seems to be a trend with Estes Park brews.

S - It smelled of chocolate and roasted malt. Maybe a slight hint of coffee.

T - Good dark chocolate flavor with a strong roasted malt presence. It had a slight bitterness with a touch of pine.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is pretty good. The best Estes Park brew I've had so far.

zeff80, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of russpowell
3.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Not completely black in appearance some hints of ruby redness are there (barely) with a tannish to brown head that dropped away pretty fast.

Nose has lots of maltiness & alcohol with funky hints of vick's cough syrup!

Nice bitterness on the tounge& the roof of the mouth, giving way to huge maltiness & raisins slight alochol taste.

Nice silky mouth feel
A good sit by the fire beer....

russpowell, Sep 11, 2005
Photo of MarkyMOD
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%

MarkyMOD, Nov 06, 2012
Photo of stakem
3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Review from notes taken earlier in the week.

Bottle reads: "Samson a 1,000 pound elk was killed by a poacher. Part of the proceeds from the sale of this beer are donated to Operation Game Thief to apprehend and prosecute poachers." About all I can say to that is cheers, wish I had been able to purchase more.

Pours a black color with less than a finger of tanned head that is quick to dissolve. Nose is rich on chocolate, coffee and a bit of sweetness. There is lacing on the glass before I even take my first sip. Taste is exactly as the nose would lead you to believe. Lighter than expected mouthfeel, low carb and finishes pleasantly bitter dry.

stakem, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of Bighuge
2.58/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Beer is almost black. Slight chocolate brown head is gone in seconds. No lacing ability. Smell is heavily roasted. Taste is not nearly as complex as it should be. Some roasted and chocolate notes, but overall, pretty bland. Watery mouthfeel. Body is way too light for a stout. Very bland stout.

Bighuge, Oct 24, 2002
Photo of dirtylou
3.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz single, Brennan's

appearance: pours a dark mahogany, black almost, some evident ruby tinting as poured...a foamy chocolate brown forms but dissipates to just a little lacing in short time

smell: bitter cocoa powder, roasty malts, espresso bean...somewhat bland for the most part...unpleasant and unidentifiable aroma present

taste: bittersweet cocoa powder hits hard up front, heavily roasted malts are dominant, burnt espresso bean, slight hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste, roasted barley...slightly above average

mouthfeel: bittersweet, thin, tad watery, medium body

drinkability: pretty drinkable

dirtylou, Jan 31, 2006
Photo of Haybeerman
3.73/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black, completely opaque. Poured a 1 finger creamy chocolate colored head with fair retention; dissipating slowly to an even skim. Thick even lacing.

S: Rich toasted grain that was slightly sweet.

T: Coffee up front with bitter chocolate and burnt caramel to follow. Bittering hops in the finish to balance but a bittersweet flavor lingers.

M: Medium body. Low carbonation. Smooth and silky.

D: Smooth and balanced. Nice flavors. Nopt too filling. Expected a bit more body.

Haybeerman, Mar 25, 2009
Photo of cokes
3.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pretty mediocre stout here. Pours a decent black body, off-tan head that vanishes quickly. Big time roasted barley and oat flavors. Not bad for the style. But it seemed way too flat and thin. A little more substance would boost this beer up quite bit. The favor is there, but the body is not.

Unless you have a pathological obsession with oatmeal stouts, look elsewhere for your beer drinking needs

cokes, Feb 27, 2002
Photo of cpetrone84
3.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pour is black with caramel head and large bubbles. Nose is heavy roast, faint peat, notes of bakers chocolate a d bitter coffee. Taste is less roasty, still powerful, front of palate, dry chocolate and bitter coffee. Finish is empty, carb is very light and body falls off in the finish.

cpetrone84, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of alexgash
3.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Samson the legendary elk graces this bottle. Cool. Very dark brown to black with a small to medium sized cocoa head. Good lacing; just like elk drool.
Smells like toasted marshmallows, bitter dark chocolate, and roasted coffee.
Traces of semi-sweet malt flavor kick off the taste. Chocolate and roasty espresso come in not long after, along with some hoppy bitterness. Finish is not overly bitter (like SN stout), but it works. Light to medium bodied for a stout, with an overall watery feel.

alexgash, Oct 23, 2004
Photo of jfcaa193
3/5  rDev -10.4%

jfcaa193, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of crobinso
2.75/5  rDev -17.9%

crobinso, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of WDJersey
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%

WDJersey, May 24, 2014
Photo of Crosling
3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Expressive stout nose with hints of roasted malts (cocoa, chocolate, coffee, roast), along with a hint of raisins. Blackened magma in color, just about opaque with a small and quickly diminishing light mocha colored head. Complex roasted malt flavor, with lots of malt bitterness and dry coffee and cocoa flavors. A hint of light fruits and a tinge of hop flavor ride the finish. Initially watery, but becomes slightly creamy after it warms. Definatley calmed my nerves.

Crosling, Apr 12, 2006
Photo of bditty187
3.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black… totally black in hue, there are no shades, just abyss. Impressive. The head was brunette in color; it is a perfect cap to the appearance. At the foam’s highest point the bubbles created a half-finger worth of foam. It faded fairly rapidly to a soapy cap, this cap lasted the entire consumption. The subsequent lacing was unorganized, spotty but prevalent enough to be noteworthy. Overall, this beer doesn’t look too bad; I love the color (of the liquid and head). Nice.

The nose is roasted coffee and kisses of chocolate upfront, it is lightly acidic at the back; dried cocoa powder completes the nose. Hops are largely absent. No mention of alcohol. No fruitiness. It might be missing some nuances but the roasted qualities are very good. It says “stout” to me. There is moderate potency. Simple but inviting.

The first thing that struck me on the initial sip was the thinness of the body and in a sense, the flavors. Like the nose, the palate has the right roasted qualities. Coffee, chocolate, dried cocoa powder, char, and a smidgen of milky sweetness. These qualities are very pleasant but there needs to be a little more in the flavor profile. Maybe some fruitiness or some bittering hops or some booziness. No matter, the palate is good. Dry. I do think it was better on-tap. It is a simple stout, nothing more… nothing less.

Medium-light in body, thin and slick mouthfeel, there isn’t much carbonation, this doesn’t help the beer. The mouthfeel is weak but I can deal with it.

If this was available locally, I would buy it. If I lived in CO, I won’t. There is a bigger difference between good beer in NE then CO. Anyway, yes this beer is drinkable. I like it but it is nothing I’ll seek out but I won’t turn one down either. It would be a good, simple dessert accompanier. I purchased this sample as part of a mix six-pack purchased at the brewpub in Estes Park, CO.

PS: Sad story behind the name, see the side of the label.

bditty187, Oct 06, 2005
Photo of Beaver13
3.55/5  rDev +6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a dark black with no head at all.

The aroma is roasted chocolate malts and coffee and a little sweet lactose.

The flavor is watery chocolate and coffee and a touch of smoke with a burnt finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied but extremely watery with no carbonation.

Overall, there are good components to this beer - it's very black, I like the chocolate and coffee in the taste and the smell, but the wateriness and lack of carbonation brings it down a ton. This beer shouldn't be ad either - I got it straight from the brewery less than a month ago.

Beaver13, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of HardTarget
3.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A) Black glass with a very thin edge of light showing through when tilted; motor oil. No head even with a firm (slightly abusive) pour.

S) Rich roasted grain with a mild sweet/milky edge.

T) Nice coffee note up front, mild stout flavor in the back all with a milk stout element. For the style (American Stout) I expect a lot more hop notes than are going on here, but the flavor is enjoyable as is.

M) Body seems a bit weak and watery, low carbonation.

O) A nice beer, no flaws, and a nice coffee element that keeps it interesting. I'd like to see some head retention and a little more chew.

HardTarget, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of richkrull
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%

richkrull, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of Drknight
3.25/5  rDev -3%

Drknight, Mar 23, 2014
Photo of pmcadamis
3.3/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - This inky black stout has only the tiniest trace of a thin tan cap in place of a proper head. The brew itself is as black as old motor oil, but the small head and lack of decent lace leave something to be desired.

S - Rich dark chocolate and espresso bean. This has that prototypical American stout nose with a one-two combo of dark, dark chocolate and freshly ground espresso beans. Nothing happening here is extremely interesting or complex, but the simple stout notes are very well done.

T - This is sweet at first, with molasses hints before bittering up a bit with dark chocolate notes on the back end. There are some earthy soil and 'shroom notes that may be a result of age (I have no idea how old this bottle is but my brother in law picked this up for me in Fort Collins, which is only an hour's drive from Estes Park, so I'll assume it's relatively fresh. Like the nose, this is an easy going stout that is well presented in terms of style, but it's not knocking my socks of or anything.

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied, this is mildly carbonated and not all that bitter for a stout. This finishes a little roasty, and slightly sour.

D - Not bad. This is a very serviceable stout that doesn't do anything wrong, but doesn't go out of its way to shine either. Easy drinking average session stout IMO. Actually, due to the lighter body and lack of heavy bitter coffee notes, this might make an excellent choice for a summer picnic if you are feeling like something darker in the summer. Not bad at all.

pmcadamis, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of Spider889
2.1/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Live review.

This was a big "meh" the first time I tasted it with some friends during our New Years party. My buddy Mooky left some beer from WY/CO behind and this was one of them. Thanks bud!

The bottle mentions the beer is named after a poached elk named Samson and that the proceeds are going to help prevent poaching. I wish them well with their efforts.

The beer pours essentially flat. A few big soap bubbles pop up here and there, but it didn't matter how rough I poured it, nothing was going to happen. The only saving grace is the thick black color, which I deem appropriate for the style.

Smell is pretty weak. Some dark roasted coffee and bitter malts with lingering molasses.

Flavor is very bitter from lots of black malt. Bitter black coffee and mild brown sugar. Really not that much going on.

Mouthfeel is dry, bitter, and flat. Slightly watery despite the thick appearance.

Drinkability? Man I am sitting here with my head resting on my hand, slightly cocked to the side in deep and uncomfortable thought. I stare at my nearly full pint and debate if it's worth the effort to finish this thing... Probably not.

Spider889, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of PhatAtUT
4/5  rDev +19.4%

PhatAtUT, Dec 03, 2011
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Samson Stout from Estes Park Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.