Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Oatmeal Stout

Samuel Smith
United Kingdom

Style: Sweet Stout

Jug’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (World class.)

Oatmeal stouts were originally billed as a nutritional beer for lactating mothers. They were a popular style of beer in the 1800s but officially died out in the early 1900s. That is, of course, only until Samuel Smith reinvented the style in 1980.

This effectively makes Samuel Smith the parent of all oatmeal stouts, and it has a pedigree to prove it. Their Oatmeal Stout is brewed in Tadcaster, England in a brewery that dates back to 1758. Their house yeast is a strain that dates back to the early 18th century. The well that Samuel Smith draws their water from was dug over 200 years ago. Even the busy label on the “Victorian Pint” bomber wields a bit of turn-of-the-century nostalgia.

The beer pours with an opaque darkness, topped with a big, thick frothy head that lingers. The nose of the beer is a delicate malt sweetness, and you can almost sense the high carbonate water the beer is brewed from. No hop bouquet at all.

The first taste is sweet malt. This isn’t a big overwhelming sweetness you’ll often get with other oatmeal stouts. It’s one of the most distinctive flavors I’ve ever found in a beer. It starts with a hint of molasses, but evolves into something more as the velvety smoothness begins to take over. The finish is dry with a slight malt bitterness and just a hint of earthy English hops.

The success here is the perfect balance of it all. Each sip takes your taste buds on a journey that leaves you refreshed and ready to go again. It’s difficult to sum up the intangibles that make this a world class beer—it’s really something you have to experience.

Reviewed by Jug Dunningan on February 5, 2009.
Agree with this review?
Happy anniversary, Lakefront Brewery!

Drinkin’ And Thinkin’

Beer Dorks News

Want to know how healthy the craft beer industry is? As always, look to Portland. Craft pioneer Bridgeport announces sudden closure, adding to a growing list of PDX casualties.
Did Anheuser-Busch Chicago offer their shit beer to Cody Parkey before his missed field goal? Because that may explain why he "accidentally" biffed it.
Chicago now has the most breweries of any city in the country. Other things Chicago has the most of: murders, mobsters, and Ditkas.
Trying to spin it positive, BA releases end of year graphic. Only 5% growth in the craft sector when nearly 1000 new breweries opened? That's a collapse waiting to happen.
R.I.P. Tallgrass... another casualty as the regional/national craft beer market continues to get squeezed.
Wait... Constellation Brands cut all of the Ballast Point and Funky Buddha sales staff? They merged it with their Corona/Modelo staff?? We're SHOCKED!!!
Pizza Beer founder crying about failure of company, blames everyone else. Reminder, the beer tasted like vomit. Try having better ideas or making better products so you're not a failure.
It's Bud Light so doesn't really matter, but we expect this beer to be sitting around for awhile.
Indiana brewery to open with controversial beer names to "get the conversation going". Translation: taking advantage of serious issues for free publicity.
Hundreds of amazing beers in Wisconsin and the Cubs took back the one everyone drinks just because it exists and people have heard of it. How fitting...