Total Score: 8.75/10
Samuel Smith: Those magnificent bastards! I didn’t read their book (I don’t think they’ve written one*) but I am continuously impressed whenever I crack open a bottle of Mr. Smith’s Good Time Juice, aka all of their beers that I have tried. Today’s Sam Smith brew is their Organic Chocolate Stout [where have you been all my life?] or, as I often have to do with a Samuel Smith review, I’ve initialised the beer name to SSOCS to save on word space… hmmm, SSOCS… sort of like socks, I like it.
Poured from a generous almost-a-pint-but-not 550ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Looks like a glass of a certain ™ popular cola beverage… with a khaki-coloured 2 cm head on top – how very un-cokelike of this brew to have a head. The head soon reduces to a centimetre, that’s more cokelike of it. 8/10.
S: Full cocoa on the nose, which takes on a hint of coconut character (as cocoa can do sometimes, I think it’s the oil in the cocoa bean) with hints of cream and a solid Stout note of chocolate and a touch of vanilla. Chocolate milkshake in a beer in a pint glass – superb! 10/10.
T: Wow, this is one sweet beer… literally! This beer is aimed squarely at chocolate lovers with the above flavour characters of: Cocoa, coconut, milk chocolate and that hint of vanilla. Finish is skewed towards sweetness but it does contain a hint of cacao bitterness and mild astringency. 9/10.
M: Medium, but slightly watery bodied with a thin to flat classic UK pub carbonation. The wateriness pulls it back from greatness as this beer could definitely have benefited from its Oatmeal Stout cousin’s bag of flaked oats, oh well. 7/10.
D: This is too singular on the sweet tooth side for most beer drinkers I suspect… however I’m enjoying the break from hops – not every beer needs to be a see-saw balance between sweet/bitter – sometimes it is nice to indulge in a decadent chocolate dessert and this beer is the perfect complement to that experience, even if it is incomplete as a true beer experience. Final word: This is the best example of a “Chocolate Stout” I’ve had thus far, if you’re crossing off some sort of chocolate-flavoured beer bucket list this one should be at or near the top. 8/10.
Food match: Chocolate cake, something Black Forest-y, or a torte – stick with desserts for this brew, trust me.
*A shiny new donkey for whomever gets that film reference – AND – brings me the head of Colonel Montoya.