Samuel Smith Brewery | Organic Chocolate Stout

From a 550ml bottle served slightly chilled at 11 degrees Celsius into a white wine glass. No date information on the bottle. Expectations are about average.

Appearance

The beer pours a clear, dark brown (opaque black with a full glass) with 3cm of dense, billowy, deep tan head that dissipates into a partial film in 3+ minutes. Great lacing and good overall retention. She looks fine.


Aroma

Medium-strong and sweet. Pronounced chocolate candy bar with faint roasted malts (coffee) and some earthy hops. Vanilla, honey, and toffee – all too sweet. The aroma severely lacks balance and is not making me look forward to the sip.


Flavour

Follows the aroma with moderate strength and sweet balance. Cloyingly sweet chocolate syrup with a roasted malt backbone. Vanilla, honey, and toffee again – too sweet. In addition, I'm surprised to taste pronounced perfumy/floral rose and/or orange blossom. Low bitterness – it needs more for balance. The finish is lengthy, of medium intensity, and perfumy-sweet.


Mouthfeel

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Creamy but with a very dry finish. Moderate, unpleasant astringency and no apparent alcohol warming. Not terrible but I don't like the mouthfeel.


Overall

Samuel Smith's organic chocolate stout looks great, but is cloying with the roasty character clashing with the sweetness. "Malt beverage" at the front of the bottle, "flavoured beer" at the back, which is it? The words organic and natural come up in the label but I find the aroma/flavour artificial if anything. I've worked with chocolate for years and the character expressed in this beer doesn't resemble natural chocolate. Sorry Samuel Smith, I've had some nice beers by you, but I don't like this product. I don't recommend this to anyone and I'm certainly not buying it again.

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