Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
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Ratings: 2,838 | Reviews: 1,630 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by ThisWangsChung:
4.5/5 rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Re-review! Poured into a Sam Smith pint glass.
A: Pours a borderline pitch black color that does a good job of obscuring the light. I love the quality of the head, it's a two finger mocha color featuring wonderful frothy thickness and impressive retention.
S: It smells more like a good Pinot Noir than a RIS in my opinion - and yes, that's a compliment. There's a fantastic fruity depth to it, loaded with raisins, figs, black currants, ripened grapes, plums, and cherries. Beneath the the melange of fruit lies a subtle undercurrent of chocolate.
T/M: This doesn't have the robust roast profile of other imperial stouts. Instead, the dark fruits from the smell immediately make themselves apparent on the tongue. Has a wonderful vinous quality to it. The fruity opening provides nice complexity as the dark fruit and lighter fruit constantly battle for dominance on the palate, with one never overpowering the other - almost reminscient of a good Belgian ale. Chocolate and caramel appear on the midtaste. The finish is vinous with slight dryness/bitterness which does a fantastic job of complementing the initial silky smoothness. Through the progression of the beer, the slight favor towards sweetness turns into a more neutral character as the dryness and (slight) astringency builds up on the tongue. There are a couple of niggles, the aforementioned lack of robustness, and the flavor profile doesn't linger the way I want it to in a RIS. Still, a fantastic brew. Finally, the carbonation is low.
O: It's not like the typical imperial stout I'm used to, but its vinous characteristics combined with some of the flavors the dark malts provide (such as chocolate) make this such an enjoyable sipper (but it's not a chugger by any means, even if it's only 7%!) It's a world class imperial stout I can get for $4 a bottle. Enough said.
Serving type: bottle
05-05-2012 21:11:42 | More by ThisWangsChung
More User Reviews:
4.39/5 rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Poured from a bottle into a snifter at around 55°F
Appearance: Medium pour with a thin tan head. Black as can be with no light coming through.
Smell: I get a ton of dark fruit in the nose (prunes and raisins) along with roasted malts.
Taste: Like the nose; Roasted malts balanced with dark fruits. The flavors are mellow compared to American counterparts yet blended extremely well.
Mouthfeel: Very light compared to the American version. Low on bitterness and goes down smooth. Drinkable for a imperial.
Overall: As with most English beers, I find this light compared to American examples that I'm use to. However, it is extremely balanced and I'll grab this again when I'm in the mood for a drinkable yet balanced and flavorful Imperial Stout.
Serving type: bottle
04-01-2014 06:16:09 | More by Bone53
4.58/5 rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
I love the label on this beer- ornate, black and white, pictures of all their medals of yore, and includes a variation on the Yorkshire rose symbol. It looks like something straight out of the 19th century.
Poured from a 18.7 ounce narrow necked bottle into a shaker pint. A moderate pour produces about 2 inches of frothy, billowing sticky and semi-stiff head. The beer is very dark brown, bordering on black. When I drink a little down and fill it up again, the last ounce or two causes the head to billow up again.
I get a lovely sweet mineral and malt aroma right off the bat- best beer aroma ever. Tons of complexity are evident in the flavor-aromas, including distinct dark cherry, chocolate, plum, coffee, nut, chocolate, and a slight leafy note reminiscent of celery. A fruity, spicy tang is quite apparent, particularly when you draw the foam off the top. This lightly sweet tang lingers into the aftertaste to balance some bitterness. Bitterness is relatively low in comparison to a stout brewed in the U.S., but it is subtle, and complements and even draws forth the malt flavors rather than hiding or overwhelming them. Not as chewy as many stouts are, and completely lacking in the over-the-top hop or extremely bitter, stale, burnt coffee flavors found in some American stouts.
I think yeast and mineral water are doing some unique things here. I wonder what chorus of little, beneficial bugs inhabit those Yorkshire squares? It's interesting to note, as I found out with a little online searching, that the Yorkshire Square process developed from early 18th century research on the absorption of gases into liquids. These squares are made of slate, which is known for its thermal stability and chemical inertness.
This is a classic and very accessible beer, and perhaps the best beer available in my area (and actually kinda cheap!). It is very unique and complex, and should be savored. I gotta remember to load up on this at Christmastime. Cheerio!
Serving type: bottle
03-31-2014 06:02:43 | More by archyquaffer
Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 2,838 ratings.