Despite working in central London (Fitzrovia, to be precise) I haven’t been to a Sam Smith’s pub in a long time. Not since they inexplicably increased their prices, thus eliminating their major selling point. The beer has never been great, well certainly not the draught stuff but I had a couple of drinks in The Fitzroy Tavern tonight and was pleasantly surprised by their bottled fare.
The Taddy Porter is very, very nice. A bit pricey at £5.50 a bottle (albeit a 550ml) but delicious nonetheless. Roasted, malty, chocolatey and slightly sweet means that this, for me, is a very moorish sipper of a drink.
The Oatmeal Stout, also about the same price, was a little disappointing. While there were still those malty, roasted notes in the nose, there was also a lingering salt-and-vinegar aroma that got me slightly worried. It wasn’t overly present in the flavour but it did have a slightly vinous aftertaste which made it much more difficult to sip and savour than the porter.
There’s still the Organic Chocolate Stout to try, and I noticed an apricot fruit beer as well. I have tried their cherry, raspberry and strawberry fruit beers, and for me, they have a very nice balance of sweet and bitterness that makes them quite drinkable, so I’ll no doubt be trying that at some point.
And from memory, their Organic Cider and Nut Brown Ale bottles are also decent if, again, slightly pricey.
So probably better if you can find their bottled range in a shop rather than pay the expensive bar prices – try Dr.Ink of Fulham or Whole Foods (Kensington or Piccadilly branches) – but I’d say the porter is now my drink of choice if I find myself in a Sam Smith’s in the near future. Considerably better than their lagers.