Since Nick, Hofer, and Eric all have studied in Durham, I probably shouldn't be the first to review a brew from across the pond. But as of late I can't keep my hands off Samuel Smith's selections. So here goes:
Before I start on the pale, I must say that I had two 550ml bottles of Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout over the weekend and the quality was unreal. I'm not a huge fan of imports because I'm accustom to American styles and on occasion the beer doesn't hold up during the travel. But the stout really blew me away. I was out enjoying a birthday meal so I didn't drink it with a discerning palate. But I'll definitely give that stout some more quality time later.
As for the pale ale, I cannot believe, I am absolutely shocked, by the sweet smell. Poured into a pint glass, when you nose dips past the rim during sips the aroma is almost overpowering. A very sweet toffee smell. Luckily the taste is more subtle than the smell. Still some sweetness but mostly toasted malt flavors. A bready flavor compliments the other tastes giving an overall enjoyable combination. The only drawback is the hops are very limited, especially compared to most American Pale Ales. As a result the body is kinda thin. But this feature also makes the beer very drinkable. In addition there are enough flavors to overcome the light mouthfeel. The refinement of recipe is noticeable. It's as if they have been brewing this beverage for over 200 years. Cheers.