A new year, a new haircut, and a favorite of mine that I picked up last year:

Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout.

A gift from my sister, this stout poured like pitch with a two finger head of cream tan bubbles.

The scent of oatmeal and chocolate was present from the moment I cracked the bottle. The head reduced to a half centimeter within minutes, and I dove in.

The oatmeal is present but not overpowering; it reminds me of my morning breakfast with some chocolate chips thrown in. Meanwhile, the chocolate is present and not distracting. I found the finish to be sweeter than expected, and I like it- it’s a small surprise worth celebrating with another sip.  It’s not quite as heavy as the Guinness Extra Stout, but the carbonation is crisper. I would have liked to see the oatmeal take a stronger role, but it’s presence doesn’t go unnoticed.

Thick and syrupy, it fits the stout category very nicely. The oatmeal adds a nice variation on a classic style, and doesn’t take away from all the normal characteristics of a proper stout. Anyone looking for a stout with something a bit different (but not radical, as many microbrews do) should be aroused by the sweetness and oatmeal notes.

Oh, and for all you vegans: Drink up. No animal products in this brew.


Overall: 7.5/10

Cost: Four pack of 12oz bottles will run in the range of ten to eleven bones in New England.

Availability: Found at a larger beverage warehouse. Any place with a decent amount of microbrews should carry it.