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

2,272 Reviews
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,272 | Ratings: 6,586
Photo of cubedbee
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a thin cap of beige head and moderate retention. Nose is roasted coffee, sweet molasses, oatmeal cookies. Taste is pretty sweet with flavors of oats, bitter chocolate, black licorice, and roasted malts coming through. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth and thick, very nice. This is a very good stout, more drinkable than the Imperial.

 351 characters

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

Pours very, very black. With a bit of a satiny shine. Good, two finger brown head floating atop this liquid which stays til the end. Lace sticks to the glass like butter, leaving behind artistic designs on the glass. Smells sweet and earthy. Malts, oatmeal, molasses, coffee, and some nuts. The earthy smell seems a bit out of place. It reminds me of garden dirt. Ooh, good taste. Sweet malts, nuts, molasses, bitter coffe, sweet chocolate, and even a bit of spice. Mouthfeel is smooth. Just like the satin it looks like. Very drinkable. I can drink these one after another, and enjoy the last like the first. I love this beer.

 627 characters

Photo of chrisms86
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had high expectations for this beer, as stouts are my favorite style. I grabbed a bottle of this in favor of my usual choice, Deschute's Obsidian Stout, because I was in the mood for something new.

Poured like your normal quality stout, near black with a somewhat thick tan head. Mouthfeel was a bit too thin for my tastes but it got the job done. Although the taste wasn't too impressive I enjoyed the absence of a strong chocolate flavor, which makes mosts stouts undrinkable with meals. The versatility of this beer is probably its best attribute, you can have it with or without food unlike many other sweeter tasting stouts.

Highly recommended over your average brew, but as far as stouts go you can do better. Even so, this one won't disappoint.

 759 characters

Photo of Opethsprite
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Lookin' good--dark brown with a thick, lasting tan head. Smells of chocolate, carmel, and apples. Maybe a hint of cinnamon, too. It tastes of bittersweet, dark chocolate and honey. Carmel and apple tastes are there, but to a lesser degree. This is a fantastic beer! Very filling and very enjoyable!

 298 characters

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

500ml bottle bought from the Vineyard Belfast

Pours a very deep brown colour. Head is quite tan and full – lasts quite a while..

Aroma – chocolate, coffee, slight hint of dark fruits (raisins, figs?)…

Taste – Quite sweet, hints of brown sugar, coffee, slightly bitter, some cookies ?…

Mouthfeel – quite thick but not too heavy.. fairly smooth.. very drinkable..

Overall – one of my favourite oatmeal stouts… highly recommended if you like this style…

 475 characters

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...

 1,034 characters

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.

 1,564 characters

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.

 762 characters

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.

 463 characters

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.)

 885 characters

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.

 722 characters

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.

 303 characters

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.

 271 characters

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!

 689 characters

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 !@#$%&*&$#@"

 1,220 characters

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.

 550 characters

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.

 702 characters

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.

 850 characters

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.

 847 characters

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.

 597 characters

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.

 740 characters

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.


 559 characters

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.

 499 characters

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.

 554 characters

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!

 348 characters

Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
4.2 out of 5 based on 6,586 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.