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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.

3,056 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,056
Reviews: 1,640
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 135
Gots: 170 | 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: 3,056 | Reviews: 1,640 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kinger:
Photo of kinger


3.4/5  rDev -18.7%

OK, I know in my 2nd and last review of a S.S. brew I formally said goodbye due to overpriced let-downs but.... a) I scored this for $2.69, b) I grabbed it within the first week it hit the shelves, and c) I love stouts. So with that being said this is a solid stout although my rating is likely lower than my overall enjoyment of this beer but I have to put it up against other Imperials. Aroma is enjoyable, very roasty and bitter. Good dark pour with an easily attainable head with little to no lacing. Mouthfeel is somewhat creamy and the finish is smoooth, but it's rather thin for an Impy. Impressive taste, roasted malts-a-plenty, some light coffee and chocolate. Easy to drink for an Impy and the alcohol makes a quick appearance. Overall a solid stout.

08-26-2008 12:19:03 | More by kinger
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +2.4%

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.

08-03-2003 17:34:05 | More by oberon
Photo of davemarc87


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-20-2014 03:27:26 | More by davemarc87
Photo of RoyalT


4.08/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

08-19-2003 00:30:30 | More by RoyalT
Photo of DaPeculierDane


4.55/5  rDev +8.9%

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.

02-07-2006 00:58:36 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of DanGeo


3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

04-26-2014 11:00:39 | More by DanGeo
Photo of tectactoe


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

09-09-2012 22:08:16 | More by tectactoe
Photo of jono0101


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

05-09-2014 20:25:22 | More by jono0101
Photo of brownbeer


3.93/5  rDev -6%

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.

07-31-2010 03:09:50 | More by brownbeer
Photo of JudgeRoughneck


4.47/5  rDev +6.9%

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.

12-06-2006 06:01:29 | More by JudgeRoughneck
Photo of Spaten454


5/5  rDev +19.6%

06-14-2014 21:02:10 | More by Spaten454
Photo of tbryan5


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-10-2013 01:37:04 | More by tbryan5
Photo of Shakerman


5/5  rDev +19.6%

03-31-2012 22:03:53 | More by Shakerman
Photo of sgoodship


4.15/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

10-28-2008 02:25:08 | More by sgoodship
Photo of SkiBum22

New York

3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

01-15-2013 20:04:32 | More by SkiBum22
Photo of blackwingedhorde


3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

01-06-2012 05:52:57 | More by blackwingedhorde
Photo of joemetric


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

07-10-2014 16:59:24 | More by joemetric
Photo of Dmann


4.88/5  rDev +16.7%

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!

10-21-2004 10:40:27 | More by Dmann
Photo of SuomiHobbit


3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

03-26-2013 01:08:07 | More by SuomiHobbit
Photo of BJ1833


4.72/5  rDev +12.9%

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.

09-16-2004 23:05:49 | More by BJ1833
Photo of tuckevalastin


4.13/5  rDev -1.2%

A: Black as night with a decent dark tan head

S: Strong sweet boozy smell

T: A thick toasty flavor. Has a small alcohol bite without much bitterness. Hints of coffee but the slight bitterness takes over that taste. The chocolate tones I've heard of didn't come through for me but some surprising sourness does. An earthy stout where, again, the roasted malt flavor prevails.

M: Relatively smooth while feeling a little thick. There is a very slight looming bitterness.

D: Definetly a sipper. Too strong to be an everyday stout. But flavorful enough to want to drink again.

Overall it's a decent and distinctive stout. Not a bad beer but not a great one for me either, at least not in the Imperial stout style which is full of world class beers.

01-13-2010 00:52:49 | More by tuckevalastin
Photo of orbitalr0x


4.33/5  rDev +3.6%

This one pours a deep black with a beautiful 1" tan head that stays its course nicely. I'm not seeing any light penetrating this brew and it looks wonderful in the glass. The smell is of powerful roasted notes, hints of coffee and cocoa as well. There are some burnt grains that enter my nose, overall it smells quite nice.

The first taste is very smooth with a robust roasted / burnt malt flavor...bitter coffee hits the back of my palate on the way down. Chocolate covered raisins fit there way in there somehow too. This is well put together and quite easy to drink.

Mouthfeel is very nice, altough it almost seems a bit lacking in body to me personally. The drinkability factor is very good. This one goes down easily and tastes great. A couple of these and I'd be a happy camper for the night. If you enjoy stouts, and have yet to try this one, get off yer ass and do it already!

10-09-2004 02:40:43 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of sabitu


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

01-12-2014 23:36:33 | More by sabitu
Photo of bulldogg915


2.5/5  rDev -40.2%

03-06-2014 02:48:53 | More by bulldogg915
Photo of SD-Alefan

South Dakota

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-09-2014 17:57:39 | More by SD-Alefan
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Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,056 ratings.