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Mar 30, 2009 08:36 PM

Anyone try these beers?

I was wondering if anyone's tried Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout or Salvator Doppelbock? Any good?

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  1. Samuel Smith makes some great ales in my opinion and I'm a big fan of many of them, including their Oatmeal Stout. If I recall correctly there is also an organic oatmeal stout they make if you're so inclined, I've yet to try it. But yes, Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout is very good, my second favourite oatmeal stout by far.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Shortsord

      I have only had the Sam Smith's but I agree it is great, I am lucky enough to live close to a Sam Smith's pub.

    2. Both are top-notch beers. Another good one if you like the Salvator is Ayinger's Celebrator, also a doppelbock.

      1. Why not just try 'em?!?!?

        I think they're both top class beers. Others disagree.

        Taste is such an individual thing, you just need to try them and judge for yourself.

        8 Replies
        1. re: The Professor

          I find it hard to imagine anyone would disagree that these are two classic brews. They're cited as textbook examples of their respective styles in the BJCP style guide.

          1. re: Josh

            Agreed that these beers are classic examples. They are two of the best of their type, without a doubt. I am generally an "Ale" man, but as lagers go, Salvator Dopplebock is one of my all time favorite beers along with Spaten's Optimator.

            As long as you've brought it into the discussion, I'll have to argue that the BJCP style guide, though, is another story altogether...seriously flawed and more and more these days not taken very seriously by many beer afficianados. Looking at what the guidelines have evolved into, they may be useful (though still seriously flawed) for amateur brewing competitions, but they are a confusing and utterly useless tool for consumers. The idea of every variant of every "style" becoming a new style of its own has turned the guidelines into something of a joke.
            But that's a discussion for another thread.

            1. re: The Professor

              Those guidelines are used for judging competitions of all kinds, not just amateur. World Beer Cup and GABF use them, for example. Also, they're not meant for consumers, they're meant for beer judges who understand what they are and what their purpose is. Not every style variant becomes a new style, that's a really big exaggeration. I'd be curious to know which of the styles outlined in their guidelines you'd really take issue with.

              1. re: The Professor

                Salvator, however, isn't what it once was. It was once a much darker, roastier-tasting brew. While it's still got an appropriate strength for a doppel, Salvator tastes almost like a Marzen.

                I'm not saying it's bad, just that at some point (around '00), the brewers radically changed it.

                1. re: Kenji

                  Hmmm...I've wondered about that. While I don't remember it tasting "roastier" , or darker for that matter, I do remember it being a bit "chewier" (for lack of a better descriptive)...a bit more rich malt character and perhaps a bit more ABV as well.
                  As you say though, although it does seem somehow different than in the past, it is still a good beer.

                  1. re: The Professor

                    I agree about the dimunition in the beer's richness -- but believe me, it was once much darker & roastier as well. I was alerted to the change in '00 or '99 by fellow beer-lovers who proposed dropping the "ator" suffix from the beer's name to indicate its decrease in doppelbock status. The news of the beer's change horrified me. Salvator had been an absolute classic doppel, one awarded four stars by Jackson in his pocket guides. Why mess with that - especially in a dumbing down way?

                    I regard today's Salv as a "doppelmarzen." It tastes good and is powerful -- and I wouldn't turn one down if it were offered. But it is not the mighty doppelbock it once was.

                    1. re: Kenji

                      "Why mess with that - especially in a dumbing down way?"

                      It usually boils down to costs. Or maybe the breweries think that tastes are evolving (in this case de-volving). Either way, I agree that it is a real shame.
                      That's like traditional Oktoberfest Germany, the old Maerzen style of Oktoberfest beer has disappeared at the fest, presumably because the brewers think that the public favors lighter colored beers...who knows...
                      so much for progress...

            2. re: The Professor

              I will try them...when I have the money! =D

            3. You can't go wrong w/ england's oldest brewery. I even have a tie w/ their logo.

              1. SS oatmeal stout was my introduction to that lovely stout substyle.

                Other fine examples of the style, most of these a bit richer, include those by Anderson Valley, McAuslin, and Mercury Brewing in MA.