The last time we reviewed a Samuel Smith’s beer, also a stout funny enough, we had found some evidence that pointed out rather dodgy business and ethical practices the brewery engaged in from many years before. After searching further, a website called “Sam Smith’s Forum” (http://samsmiths.info/) popped up and it had an incredible number of incidents involving managers, staff, customers, and others dealing with the brewery over the years. The accounts ranged from being fired abruptly without due pay to being told by Humphrey Smith you won’t be considered for hire because he doesn’t want anyone born outside Yorkshire working in his pubs.
The plethora of articles written about lawsuits surrounding the pub and their staff suggest that many of these stories are regular occurrences and is a sad state of affairs for the brewery and current employees. It begs the question in so many ways; how does the brewery, let alone the pubs, continue? Monetary consequences aside, if things are so bad, why are people still applying for the vacant positions at the brewery or pubs? Something here just doesn’t add up, there has to be more to this story than a tyrannical brewery owner and his wild rules, policies, and decisions.
If anyone has more insight into this, feel free to comment or send us a message at [email protected].
With that out of the way, on to the beer!
Organic Chocolate Stout
Grabbing the bottle, I see the typical Yorkshire square on the back and crack it open. A pleasant chocolate aroma wafts out from it almost immediately. On the pour, a dark, slightly viscous stream pours out with little head until near the end. When the heads finished forming, it began to dissipate rather quickly. There was no haze to speak of and few bubbles could be seen rising from the bottom of the glass.
The aroma was sweet, but not sickeningly or in an overpowering way. Slight bit of malt smell with some banana sweetness reminds me of the banana chocolate chip coffee cake Starbucks used to carry. The hops are just barely noticeable, almost an afterthought.
The sip brings in a predominantly sweet milk chocolate flavor, washing over the tongue in a thick, smooth wave. Any malt flavor is subdued and becomes apparent only after sitting on the tongue. The hops are all but lost in the mixture, incredibly subtle, but add the edge to finish the chocolate flavor off. Each flavor seems to act as a layer working from sweet to bitter, each layer evaporates leading into the next flavor until the flavor disappears quickly after the swallow.
Overall, though quite pleasant and enjoyable, this stout is too rich to enjoy in large quantities, it is better suited paired with a dessert or as a dessert itself. As is the case with most Samuel Smith brews, this is a solid stout that is pleasant and enjoyable, but not exceptional.
Smooth and pleasant, chocolate dominates most of the flavor but is not overpowering.
As happens with Samuel Smith stout, the body is lacking.
Chocolate, sweet fruit, and ice cream (would make a great beer float).
Time of year
Anytime you want a sweeter beer for dessert.
TA Brews rating 3.5/5