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

6,620 Ratings
Samuel Smith's Oatmeal StoutSamuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout

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

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: 2,280 | Ratings: 6,620
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black in color and topped by a creamy dark tan head that holds well and leaves very good lace. When held to bright light ,some clear, brown highlights can be seen. The aroma offers a bright fruitiness, some light chocolate, a mild roastiness and a hint of butterscotch. The body is light-medium with a very fine, restrained carbonation that gives it a silky smooth mouthfeel. The flavor is sweetly malty with a good dose of fruitiness up front, followed by some bittersweet & dark chocolate notes as it crosses the palate, and finishing with a more noticeable bitterness, some nuttiness, and a long lasting gentle roastiness. Clearly balanced toward the sweet side. There's a mild diacetyl here that seems to pull the whole thing together. It never appears to become more than just a light butterscotch note, but it helps to round everything out so nicely - smoothing out the roastiness, and maybe even helping to keep the sweetness in check.(?) A very nice, and highly enjoyable beer, that is soft & sweet & light but also offers alot of character - allowing it to fill a variety of different roles. Highly recommended.

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Photo of chinchill
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Portion of fresh bottle served in 6 oz glass.
(revised 1/2011 with 550ml bottle served in pint glass)

This is what an oatmeal stout should look like: nearly opaque with a frothy light brown head.

S - more subtle than expected, given appearance. Floral, earthy and malty; toasted grain aromas dominate.

T - starts smooth and soft. with predominately malty flavor. Noticeable chocolate. A bit bitter at finish. This classic is good to the last drop.

M - smooth, full bodied, significant carbonation.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours nearly black with a light tan head which retains well and leaves spotty lace. Mild roast malt aroma with a nutty and chocolate flavor. Creamy and smooth finish.

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

Poured from an 18.7oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours to a very dark brown with a thick, beige head and a decent amount of lacing on the glass.

S: You smell a chocolate & coffee sweetness and a roasted malt aroma with just a bit of alcohol.

T: The taste isn’t as sweet as the smell containing a smoky coffee flavor. No bitterness at all and a slightly sweet after-taste.

M: Very smooth, with a heavy body and light/medium carbonation. I’ve seen the word “chewy” thrown around in other reviews and this is the first beer that I’ve had that identifies with that term. I’m considering that a good thing.

D: Despite being heavy and a bit filling, this beer goes down very easy. It’s very flavorful and not over-powering. This is a beer that you can just chill out and relax with.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an opaque very dark brown to black with brown highlights when held up to the light. The beer has a two finger tall creamy tan head that slowly reduces to a thick layer covering the entire surface of the beer. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of dark malts, oatmeal, light sweetness, and hints of chocolate.

T: There is a nice complexity to the flavors - dark malts, chocolate, nuts, oatmeal, and some light sweetness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Creamy.

O: I like this beer, another return to years of past when I was just starting to appreciate craft and import beers. I think this beer is easy to drink and sessionable - goes down perfectly on a cold autumn afternoon, preferably by a fireplace.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Almost pitch black, medium head, nice lacing and retention. The roast dominates the smell, along with vanilla and dark fruit.
The taste follows, very roasted malts, sweet also, with big dark chocolate notes, big coffee and some mild caramel. There is also a stronger grainy note. Dark fruit follows, with sweet dark fruit (raisin, dried fig, dates) and some mild acidity (red apple). Big dark spices, like cocoa, cinnamon, with vanilla, but also a faint anise and piney note. Probable because of the hops, with some green herb coming through, and creating a great bitterness, a bit dry in the aftertaste.
The beer is creamy, but does have a bit of carbonation, just enough for the alcoholic content to pinch, not just warm up.
A beautiful (oatmeal) stout, balanced perfectly if not for just a tiny bit of extra sweetness, but i guess it's a matter of taste. And i loved it.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an opaque black body with a small, creamy, light yellowish head.

Smell: Sweetish, malty aroma with hints of milk-soaked, cinnamon-sugar coated bread crusts and red wine.

Taste: The flavor is predominately sweet with flavors of chocolate, coffee, and molasses. There's also a slight roasty balancing bitterness, though it still manages to finish semi-sweet as the chocolate emerges once more.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body with a soft carbonation, but its silky smooth, I must say!

Drinkability: A nice, light, sweet stout fit for any time of day, including 8:30 in the morning!

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

Deep, dark mahogany brown with lighter brown, almost ruby, highlights. The cap has the color and surface texture of a freshly-baked oatmeal cookie. It's frothysticky, reasonably persistent and leaves a few small sheets and a few wisps of lace behind when it fades.

The nose is a little more subdued than some stouts, but a chocolate-covered coffee bean character is evident. Flavors include warm molasses cookies and coffee, along with very little chocolate. Oatmeal comes to the forefront as it warms and the beer becomes even more delicious as a result.

The mouthfeel is medium in heft, smooth and not especially creamy. There's a little too much carbonation for my tastes.

This is supremely drinkable beer that I'm enjoying immensely. Here's the short version of this review: Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout is a widely available, easy drinking, delicious version of an oatmeal stout and is one that will always have a place in my beer fridge.

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Photo of billab914
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 550ml bottle into my Portsmouth tulip. Poured dark brown in color with a thick tan head to it. The head kept a nice covering on top of the beer as I drank it and left some excellent lacing as well.

The aroma has a smooth oat and chocolate flavor to it. It's not overly complex or extreme, but it's a very solid and appealing flavor.

The taste shows a big oat flavor to it that is similar to an oatmeal cookie. It has a roasty and rich milk chocolate flavor to it as well that is very nice. Pretty balanced with sweet and bitter in the finish. I typically love oatmeal stouts, and they really don't get much better then this.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy and carbonation is moderate. Drinkability is very good for me. I love the oat flavors and what it adds to the mouthfeel. Excellent beer overall and pretty much a benchmark for the style for me personally.

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Photo of russpowell
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark mahogany/black with a thick, creamy tan head. Very good lacing and head retention

Smell; Chocolate, honey, fruiity & vanilla notes

Taste: Bitter choclate, licorice & grainy bitterness. Fruitty/quinching finish

MF: Perfect, silky smooth & great carbonation

Great quaffability, I highly reccomend this ressurection (decades ago) of a classic from sam smith's

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550 ml bottle

A: Pours a very dark brown color with a thick layer of beige/mocha colored foam on top. Decent retention and very thick lacing left behind.

S: Surprisingly faint, there is a bit of chocolate and lightly roasted malt. Slight sweetness from the oatmeal and a little bit of dark fruits at the very end.

T: Slight sweetness, with chocolate and a little bit of dark fruit. There is a little bit of coffee and cream as well. Again, rather sweet, which wasn't completely unexpected.

M: Very smooth and creamy, but touch thin for my liking. Goes down easy and is very drinkable though.

O: A solid beer, I don't love it, and I am not sure I would get it again, but it has its place.

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Photo of smcolw
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Impressive and lasting rocky head. Excellent lace on the side of the glass. Nearly black in color.

Strong caramel aroma--semi-sweet. Some chocolate and cocoa. No hop.

Awesome balance of dark and light malts. Not as sweet as the smell suggests. Some hop in the finish but the swallow is mostly black patent malts. Very full body--almost like whole milk. Low carbonation, but perfect for how dry this beer is.

This is one of the best stouts in the world and worthy of tasting in a flight of the world's best.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am sorry but this has to be one of the best beers ever made. A staple of my early craft years, I had long forgotten how good it was. I picked up a bottle on the local shelf on my way home tonight and cracked it open after dinner, poured into a pint glass and consumed on 08/13/2010.

Perfect dark brown color with a creamy tan head that reached about an inch up the side of the glass and had incredible retention. One of the best looking beers of any style I have ever seen, looking at it now some twenty minutes in the thick coating all along the glass is immense.

Aroma is sweet roasted malts, oasts, chocolate, rich an creamy caramel and vanilla. So full and rich, with a creaminess to the feel that is unmatched in the style. Each sip starts with a smooth, almost mousse like feel across the tongue, which evolves into rich chocolate and incredible depth of roasted malts. Light touches of hops come across on the finish giving it the slightest hint of bitterness in the finish before the final taste of sweet malts wrings itself out across the palate.

Overall it really does not get better then this, the hallmark people should strive for.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the most drinkable oatmeal stouts I have ever tasted. I enjoy the results of fermentation in slate tanks. It has the best appearance, taste, and smell of them all. I like the fact that it is not too strong, so you can have several. I enjoy that it has no cloying sweetness and a crisp aftertaste. This stout has a luxurious mouthfeel and can be counted on to deliver everytime.

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Photo of Jason
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz clear bottle that has gold foil on top, no freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Ink black with a wonderful light tan lace which leaves rings all the way down the glass.

Smell: Mildly acidic dark malt twang, a little earthy and some sweetness also.

Taste: Smooth as silk with a crisp full body to boot. A strong roasted malt flavour pushes everything aside ... to make way for a creamy sweetness. There seem to be an hidden earthy undertone throughout ... most likely from the Yorkshire yeast. Hop bitterness is vague yet keeps the sweetness in check. A semi dry falls on the palate as soon as the sweetness fades. Dark roasted coffee, over caramelized buttery toffee and dark sweetened chocolate flavours swirl around the tastebuds to make for a bitter sweet finish.

Notes: A cult classic among beer geeks dating back to 1980 ... lets have a moment of silence in honour of this fine brew ... if you want to jump into the world of stouts give this one a try, you might be surprised and actually love it ... I did that is for sure.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 550ml bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark dark brown color, almost black, with 2 fingers of fluffy tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, caramel malts, coffee, and some vanilla or cream.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, oats, chocolate, and light coffee and caramel malts.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. The body is very smooth and creamy and goes down easy.

d - Overall a very good, very drinkable oatmeal stout. Was glad to have it and enjoyed the roasted notes and chocolate in the smell and taste. The mouthfeel and the low ABV makes this one you can drink a lot of. Would definitely have again.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Re-Review 03/22/05

I thought I'd re-review this beer since my tastes have improved over the last year or so. The appearance is excellent, the color is about one shade less than black and the head is tan and creamy. Plus the head leaves a nice layer of cream once it has dissapated. The aroma isn't very strong, but has a nice subtle sweet smell with a dark chocolate undertone. The taste is very full-flavored. A sip starts with dark chocolate sweetness which rounds to a more general roasted sweetness. Sip concludes with sweet roasted coffee taste. I have definently come to appreciate and love this beer since my initial sample. I still find it a little bit too filling, but it isn't as much of an issue to me this time around.

Original Review 5/16/04

Ah, my first stout, I'm still trying to figure out exactly what I think about it. First off, this is some seriously dark beer, its almost pitch black. The aroma is nice, a little sweet, but not overpowering. SInce this is my first stout, I don't have much to compare to, but I do enjoy the taste. This beer starts off really smooth in my mouth and leaves a nice, mildly sweet aftertaste. Overall, I can definently tell that this is a good brew, but I'm still not sure if stout is a style that I really like. I'll probably have to try this again with some food to see what happens. I can definently tell this isn't something I'd want to drink a whole lot of in one sitting.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I am continuing to drink my way through the Samuel Smith's oeuvre, thanks to a recent inspiration in one of the forums. Just in case anyone wondered what I was doing ...

From the bottle: "An opaque, wonderfully silky and smooth textured ale with a complex, medium dry palate and bittersweet finish. rich, creamy head and an intense dry, tangy character. Brewed with well water (the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use), malted barley, roasted barley,oatmeal, yeast and hops. Fermented in 'stone Yorkshire squares'. Celebrated Oatmeal Stout is a style benchmark revived by Samuel Smith's and the inspiration for hundreds of commercial oatmeal stouts."; Captioning a picture: "Knocking down the lively head of yeast formed during fermentation in 'stone Yorkshire squares'."

My pour created two foamy fingers of deep-tan head with great retention. It looked like the top of a root beer float. Color was a deep, dark brown with cola highlights at the edges. Nose had a roasty, chocolaty sweetness, not really dark chocolate, but more like chocolate and smoke or chocolate and charcoal. Mouthfeel was more active with carbonation than I would prefer from a beer whose brewers are calling "silky". Taste was rich, chocolate and a light smokiness, to me more of a dessert beer than an everyday beer. I have to agree with them about the "bittersweet finish", but it was more sweet than bitter. I tend to think of bittersweet in terms of chocolate and this was somewhat sweeter than that, but there was also a modicum of bitterness.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Black with a cola halo and ruby highlights. Medium dark khaki head with great retention and nice lace.

S - Sweet medium roast malt, touch of prune, a wisp of booze, iondine, and a mineral edge.

T - Frig'n delicious. Milk chocolate, porridge, a soft accent of woody hop, caramel, roast grains, and sweet latte. The finish lasts forever

M - Creamy, full body.

O - I was worried about the nose, but the taste didn't disappoint in the least. One of the best beers you can get in a mass market grocery store.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark brown with a decent sized beige head and a fair amount of lacing.

S: sweet oats, roasted malts, toffee, caramels.

T: good tasting brew, with all of the aspects of the aroma coming through nicely. The beer is slightly sweet. I would prefer a bit more roasted malt and crispness from the oats.

M: slightly thin and sweet.

D: a solid example of the style.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Textbook pour with a full two fingered tan head to complement the deep ruby almost black color of this magnifcant beer full even rings of lacing nice. Aroma: Deep chocolate tone with a biscuity edge to it and fruit ridden coffee tones what a complex oat filled aroma awesome beer here folks. Taste: Creamy milk tones with fruit and robust coffee and chocolate textures a mild taste of alcohol presence running through it just so easily balanced this beer is tops in the style. Mouthfeel is fluffy the body has increased texture due to the oatmeal this is perfected. Drinkability: Smooth creamy easliy imbibed a must try that not matter the price tag next time I'm in the mood for a Oatmeal Stout this is my choice.

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Photo of stakem
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a 4 pack and unfortunately had a mishap that redendered all the other soldiers MAN DOWN all over the floor of my garage. (A moment of silence if you would be so kind.) So I am taking the time to sit and review this lone hero in real time at my computer...

Poured into my favorite plain, somewhat chipped pint glass.

Pours a very dark brown; nearly black color with a bit of redness around the edges where the light fights to get through. Initially it has an amazing creamy 3 finger head that slowly receeds and leaves a fair amount of lacing about the previously touched sections of the glass. Deep smell reveals traces of burnt grains, chocolate and little bits of coffee. Taking a deep gulp, it has that rich smoothness you would expect with anything advertising the name oatmeal. Immediate flavors of over-ripened dark fruit, coffee, chocolate and burnt barley/hop bitterness brings in the finish. The carbination is enough to make your tongue tingle...quite inviting for the next sip. This is a solid beer and each sip is a reminder that this beverage is well balanced...if only I had another.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've always been afraid to buy any of the Samuel Smith products because of that clear bottle they come in. So today I stopped at the local and the oatmeal stout had just arrived and was still sealed in the case box. There's no way that one is light struck, now is the time to try it!

Pours a solid dark brown with fluffy off white head that laces itself on the way down the glass. Aroma is faint chocolate and caramel. Taste follows the smell. Mouthfeel is medium thin, creamy, and drying. The chocolate taste lingers after each sip. Decent brew, definitely not like the American oatmeal stouts I've had. This one is much more sessionable. I could drink a few of these.

Revisited on 12/13/2009
I ended up with a Sam Smith Gift pack at a holiday party Yankee swap so I thought I'd do a better job reviewing this beer.
Beer pours a deep dark brown with the faintest of ruby highlights when held to light. Large fluffy mocha head sticks around forever and laces the glass all the way down. Smells of molasses, oatmeal and a hint of chocolate. Taste is filled with caramel, molasses, chocolate, a bit of dark fruit. Finishes kind of dry with a lingering subtle roast bitterness. Mouthfeel is just short of creamy, medium body and carbonation. I actually think I like this a bit less than the first time I reviewed this. Its a decent enough beer, but nothing special. Maybe I just enjoy the less subtle American version of everything. My score reflects the first time I tried this.

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Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep, dark brownish black with 1/2" of dense, cappuccino colored head that has great retention. The nose has notes of chocolate and faint roasted malts with just a hint of alcohol. The taste is rich, roasted malts and faint coffee up front with chocolate and mild hops in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and well carbonated. The mouthfeel becomes a little heavier as the beer warms.

This is a solid oatmeal stout. The oatmeal thins the chocolate and roasted malts making this an easy drinking, any weather, dark beer.

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

Poured from the into a pint glass.

Monster head which falls pretty quickly. Light cocoa brown head with some retention. Pours a nice dark mahogany and a near dark red brown body. Excellent brown lacing rings on this beer as well.

Faint malt bouquet and soy sauce saltyness. Buckwheat noodle smell and body with some dry qualities. What is this soba beer? Good thing I like Soba noodles! Tasting of the beer brings out more of its fruit upon smell.

Upon taste is a wash of sweet cherry fruit with just the right body. Malty borderline sweet caramel and a faint dense roast feel. How can roast be dense? But this is. Really interesting composition with this beer, not what I expected from the nose. This almost feels like out of the bottle like it comes from the cask.

Drinkability is solid, and this is a real inexpensive beer. Sam Smith for the win again.

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Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
4.2 out of 5 based on 6,620 ratings.
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