Samuel Smith Organic Chocolate Stout

My experience with Samuel Smith has not been stellar. The best of the beers was better than average, but I came away from most of them thinking that they represent the worst of British beers, and they are watery and just not the kind of beer I would turn to for fulfilling my beer needs. That said, I didn't get this because I expected it to suck.

The beer is a deep ruby red to the point of blackness. The light tan head leaves no lacing, but it sticks around like a particularly drunk guy at a party who is just too busy talking about his blog and how important it is to the world even though no one reads it, Cameron! The aroma is smoke and chocolate with a little coffee mixed in there for good measure. I have high expectations based on the aroma - this may be the best of the British beers. Maybe.

First sip is a small chunk of Halloween candy, but it's one of those *special* candies that are only available to adults because they decided to add alcohol to the chocolate. There is also some cherry in there that I wasn't expecting, and it covers the smoke that I smelled, as I don't actually taste any of it in the sip... so, on with the swig.

Tip-in is dark chocolate and whispy smoke mixing together with gentle tingling of carbonation right around the outside. The middle pours in with a little cherry, a little licorice, and a tiny bit of vanilla. It's very smooth for having this much flavor (pretty much no hops involved). The finish arrives with a sudden splash of carbonation, a heightening of cherry with a bit of coffee and earth,

Bottom Line: Not bad at all, if you're in the mood for a bit of chocolate. The whole experience gives the impression of flavors that are muted a bit, but the flavors are still good and complex.

3.5/5

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