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Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

Not Rated.
Samuel Smith's Imperial StoutSamuel Smith's Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,212 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,212
Reviews: 1,655
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 146
Gots: 220 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 02-27-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,212 | Reviews: 1,655 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by datalager:
Photo of datalager
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

datalager, May 16, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of Immortale25
3.97/5  rDev -4.8%

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. Bottleneck says SE12N1.

A- Pours a 99% opaque black color with an 1/8 inch dark tan head that immediately fades to a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass and the faintest specs of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Quite sweet-smelling with notes of dark roast, wood and raisin.

T- The sweetness continues and the raisin notes are even more apparent here. Almost tastes like a barleywine with its dark fruit complexity however it's not very boozy. Biscuity, buttery and, once again, woody.

M- Dry and slightly chalky with medium-low carbonation and a full body.

O- Although I like the Oatmeal Stout better, this one is quite enjoyable as well. A lot different than the American RIS's out there with its high level of sweetness and what is likely English yeast.

Immortale25, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of at7000
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Second time I have bought this. English "bomber" sized bottle. Raisin to the extreme, even prune juice. That sounds horrid, but this is indeed a great beer. Definitely works. The Brits know what they are doing I suppose, after all those years. I'm an IPA guy and still like this one. Like a Guinness Stout that has some extreme flavors going on. Intense. Complex. Nuff said.

at7000, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of TimZebGir
3.8/5  rDev -8.9%

A: Black, barely perceptible ruby when held up to light, foamy, well-retained head (3/3)
S: Lots of chocolate, alcohol, raisin throughout (10/12)
T: Imperial, lot of sweet maltiness in beginning, roasty, light chocolate undertones, and light metallic/astringent on finish (15/20)
F: Very bubbly and light, pretty dry finish (3/5)
O: The longer it lingered on the palate, the more I got used to it, but the body was surprisingly light in comparison to the flavor, and left it a little hollow therefore. (7/10)
38/50

TimZebGir, Sep 03, 2014
Photo of oberon
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black with a real nice creamy head,aroma is of dried fruit and some nuttiness.The taste is a little spicey and nutty with some chocolate undertones a real nice warming beer to drink before bed.This and the Taddy are my favorite Samual Smith ales.

oberon, Aug 03, 2003
Photo of davemarc87
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

davemarc87, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of RoyalT
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Absolutely gorgeous! The body is black as night. The volcanic head rises slowly, collapses slowly, and laces extensively.

Smell – Highly refined coffee aroma. There’s a special, highly-prized shaded Columbian bean that a coffee bar by my house serves occasionally, and this has the same scent. There’s also huge toffee (which I love), again, highly refined. We also have hints of chocolate, dark fruit (prunes, I think), sticky molasses, brown sugar, (slightly) burnt malt, and even some hops for balance.

Taste – There’s a lot going on in there. It has a bitter English balance that I can’t quite finger, but basically you’ve got a wonderful mix of fine coffee, select toffee truffles, quality raw, and brown sugar. There’s also a whole array of fruits, mostly dark, let by prunes and maybe dates.

Mouthfeel – Little carbonation in accordance with the style. This one is a bit bigger than medium-bodied and very smooth.

Drinkability – This one is very well done. My preferences tend to be off the balance that they did here, but this is a good RIP nevertheless.

Update – This was one of the first reviews that I did after joining the site in the fall of 2003 but decided to re-rate this with an ’04 vintage after it bombed in a blind RIP tasting that I did with some friends. It stood out as one of the worst examples of the style and most of us actually dumped it in the sink.

This RIP does well as a stand-alone, but other prominent examples were so much bigger and more flavorful that this seemed like a lightweight. Sam Smith’s strong point is its smoothness and creamy mouthfeel, but a lot of the big boys were able to attain the same or even better feel with superior flavors.

RoyalT, Aug 19, 2003
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I’m really enjoying drinking this beer. There’s no carbonation to speak of and no head either but that’s not getting me down. I’m smelling rich bourbon, which I usually detest in beers, but this scent is laced with blackberries, plums, and vinous currants. I’m loving it. Bitter chocolate then fills out the rich, sweet dark fruits nicely. The mouthfeel is as chewy as the color is opaqued plum. A long lingering oak barrel bitterness rounds out the thick beer nicely along with hits of chocolate and roasted, no burnt currants. Great beer and very complex. I’m going to have to drink a few more bottles to search this one for all of its elements.

DaPeculierDane, Feb 07, 2006
Photo of DanGeo
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

DanGeo, Apr 26, 2014
Photo of tectactoe
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

tectactoe, Sep 09, 2012
Photo of ExtraStout
4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Black with a light brown, small, creamy, slowly dissipating head. Not that much lacing.

Smell: Sweet, espresso-like, and lightly fruity, like bananas and plums. Roasted malts are pungent and wonderful.

Taste: Roasted malts and coffee, touch of bittersweet chocolate, and hints of toffee, raisin and smoke. The finish is long and Alcohol is present but not too strong, just to A marvelously complex beer!

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick body, creamy texture and almost syrupy with it how it clings to your mouth leaves a sweetness of the lips, but still light enough that it’s not a chore to polish off.

Drinkability: Yes, at 7% ABV, I could drink a bunch of these. I love sitting back and taking my sweet old time milking sipping down a bottle or two of this stuff.

Excellent tasting stout, Imperial though??, ABV should be higher to called Imperial. It's more like an Extra Stout.

ExtraStout, Wednesday at 02:45 AM
Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -4.1%

t2grogan, Oct 06, 2014
Photo of jono0101
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

jono0101, May 09, 2014
Photo of brownbeer
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A creamy, light brown head forms atop the black, opaque liquid. This is a good looking beer. I want to drink it.

The aroma has "English" written all over it, in permanent marker. Chocolaty with buttery molasses in a forward way. Quality.

Earthy on the palate, with hints of chocolate and bitter roast balanced by sweet maple and molasses flavors. The mouthfeel has a certain minerality to it and it's full in texture.

A well-made beer that's rich enough to challenge you a bit. One to try every once in a while.

brownbeer, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pitch black with a thin but tenacious layer of espresso to chocolate milk colored head.

Smell- Dark fruit, dark chocolate, dark rum,hop spice, deep caramel, brown sugar, and a hint of sweet wort. Pretty great smell but I wish it was stronger.

Taste- Starts out with a strong roasted coffee character, then dark chocolate, then spicy/earthy hop bitter clears the way for a finish of burnt coacoa, and roasted grain bitter. The finish is much better than it sounds I promise. Some more of that earthiness in the aftertaste. A nugat tone comes out with warmth. Later I get a bit of black cherry. This isn't super-complex but it is exactly what I expect Imperial Stout to taste like. Rich, but more bitter than sweet, and dark as midnight.

Mouthfeel- Hefty but far from oppressive. Chewy.

Drinkability- Barely a hint of booze anywhere definately helps.

JudgeRoughneck, Dec 06, 2006
Photo of Spaten454
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Spaten454, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of tbryan5
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

tbryan5, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of Shakerman
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Shakerman, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of sgoodship
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite beer labels. It couldn't look more Russian Imperial and combined with the classic and proud looking Sam Smith's bottle, it is just darned handsome.

A: Not hard to get a head on this brew from a 1pt 2.7fl.oz. bottle. Dark brown almost black liquid. Head is nice 2 finger that is coffee stained and fluffy. Little amount of carbonation prickling under the head. A nice small head stays throughout the drink with some large spots sticking to the glass.

S: Simple but classic. A little fruit (maybe prune), coffee and caramel malt - some slight hoppiness.

T: Just as the smell promises. The aftertaste is sometimes a little bready and the hop sourness kicks in quickly and heavily at first but subtler toward the end of the drink.

M: Medium bodied. Round and creamy. Low carbonation.

D: Initially, I felt like the flavor could be have been bolder and hold longer. It felt a little weak at times. I also felt like the aftertaste could be less acidic. Having said that, as the drink progressed, both points were lessened because the beer settled and felt like a good, well balanced brew. It isn't a show-off - it's quite understated, It doesn't blow my mind but I would recommend it.

sgoodship, Oct 28, 2008
Photo of SkiBum22
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

SkiBum22, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of blackwingedhorde
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

blackwingedhorde, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of joemetric
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

joemetric, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of Dmann
4.88/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A classic Imperial Stout if I have ever had one. This one poured a opaque black color with a small brownish head that soon setlled into a fine pillow of a head on top of my beer. The smell was great with a slight plum scent breeaking through the coffee and chocolate layers. The taste was decidedly Sam Smith with its great light mouthfeel and perfect carbonation levels and the flavors of dark chocolate, carmel and coffee were so perfectly combined that this has to be the most balanced and drinkable Imperial Stout that I have had to date! This one especially hit the spot on this unusually rainy and cold San Diego evening. A top shelf brew for sure, highly recommended!

Dmann, Oct 21, 2004
Photo of SuomiHobbit
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

SuomiHobbit, Mar 26, 2013
Photo of BJ1833
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep black color with brown two-finger head.

Aroma: Mmm... this already smells delicious. Coffee and chocolate aroma hits you first with a fainter smell of toffee as well.

Taste: A strong coffee and roasted malt flavor. Notes of toffee and caramel as well. This is very rich and complex. Alcohol is present but definitely not overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body that is creamy and silky. Perfection carbonation in this bottle.

Overall: This is the first imperial stout I've tried and I don't see how they could get any better than this! This is easily the best stout (imperial or otherwise) I've ever had. This beer would make a good winter warmer.

BJ1833, Sep 17, 2004
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Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,212 ratings.