Marshall's Mugs: Samuel Smith
Published: Monday, October 1, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 1, 2012 22:10
October is finally here, evoking a thirst for the celebrated Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout, available year round. The oldest brewery in Yorkshire, located in Tadcaster, England, brews their Oatmeal Stout with well water from the original well sunk in 1758.
The water is drawn from 85 feet underground, which creates hardness that is ideal for darker beers and stouts. After the brewing process is complete, Samuel Smith Old Brewery ferments most of their beer in its stone Yorkshire squares. This process is nontraditional for most beers today.
Most beers are fermented in enclosed barrels or massive vats. However, this stout’s open fermentation creates its opaque color.
Despite its dark depiction, Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout is silky smooth, but complex with flavors. The contradictory nature of the body is what makes it so unique.
They do not list specific ingredients on their site. If I were to further an educated guess, their barley and malts have to include chocolate and oatmeal.
Although they do not give explicit ingredients, they do mention seaweed finings in the beer. Yes, seaweed. In the homebrew kingdom, seaweed finings are known as Irish moss. Irish moss is a negatively charged molecule that attracts to the positive protein in beer, thus making the brew clearer and smoother.
Furthermore, when you pour the stout out of the artfully crafted bottle, the almost opaque color really appears along with a large beige collar at the head.
Best served about 20 degrees below room temperature, the chocolate and oatmeal undertones stand out in the smell and taste upon first sip. The beer is sweet and smooth as it goes down and very dry on the palate as a stout should be.
Unfortunately, not every drinker will enjoy this beer. It is dark, filling and just plain different. It is a love-hate relationship similar to Guinness. What is truly amazing is the tradition at Samuel Smith’s. Fermented in the large Yorkshire stones squares. This image itself is worth the price of one bottle.
Their Oatmeal Stout paved the way for many of the stouts found in the American market today. It received an overall score of 95 out of 100 from the Alstrom brother at Beer Advocate, which is a popular beer magazine. A 95 registers as world-class and not many beers make it there, another true testament to Samuel Smith Old Brewery.
So if you are swinging by a place that sells single bottles, such as Total Wine or State Line Liquors, buy a 550ml bottle of Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout and pair it with homemade meatballs and pasta in a red sauce.
The chocolate oatmeal flavor is an unmistakable part the of Samuel Smith tradition.
Silky and smooth, the complex flavors go down easy with a distinct dryness on the palate.
Nearly opaque with a thick beige creamy collar. A true stout appearance.
An interesting mix of sweet chocolate that stings the nostrils a tad.
Just classic style stout from one of the oldest breweries in the world, worth a try for any type of beer drinker.