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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,710 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,710
Hads: 3,505
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 220
Gots: 396 | FT: 2
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:
Beer added by: Todd on 02-27-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,710 | Hads: 3,505
Photo of Gorilla_Biscuits
1.48/5  rDev -64.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

This is a super weak imperial stout, It's malty and watery. Not a huge fan... the abv is much lower than your typical RIS, yet it really has no flavor to it.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
1.56/5  rDev -62.6%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

wow, this beer looks friggin great. dark as night, huge tan head. looks like a two-layer cake. head is going nowhere, had a bit of the guinness waterfall effect upon pour.

aroma is somewhat gross, like old leather and mold. someone said 'beef jerky,' and i can see a note of meatiness. interesting, but odd.

wow this tastes foul. it tastes like a suitcase that was left in the basement for years. then the basement was flooded, and the leather buckled and grew mildew in the cracks. i hate to say it, but this is going right down ye olde tadcaster draine.

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Photo of JDV
1.72/5  rDev -58.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours black with a nice rich light toffee colored head. Smells of sweet caramel and soy sauce. Taste is rich, creamy, definite smokiness, and a roasty and caramel and soy sauce flavor with a hint of dry sourness. Fairly light carbonation gives it a decent oily thick mouthfeel. Definitely a different stout than those I've had before. Tastes almost like what I would imagine a very subtle rauchbier might be like, even though I've never had one. Unique lingering smoky tart soy flavor. Not a stout I'd ever drink again

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
1.85/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I was feeling a bit daring at the Mile so I decided to try a bottle I've never had before. Well, I'm sorry to say that I wasn't too happy with my choice.

The darkness of my glass was very impressive. Help up to a light the brew had just a hint of red filter through, while the edges appeared a dark brown. The head was almost two fingers thick and steadily dissipated.

The aroma and taste were a bit of a shock. MAPLE. VERY MAPLE. The aroma was somewhat noticeable. The flavor was a smack to my pallet, and not a good one. It was very overbearing, and intensified as it had time to breathe. I'm not getting this one again.

It took a while for me to remember what this reminded me of, then it hit me, SA Triple Bock, my lowest score on BA. Maple just doesn't belong in beer, I feel.

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Photo of rickyleepotts
2/5  rDev -52%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

It smells wet. There is no better way to explain it. Not a big nose, with subtle chocolate notes. The beer is very thick, though. But that’s okay… most stouts, especially imperial stouts, are meant to be dessert beers. There is no way you could drink one more of these beers. This beer is actually a Russian imperial stout… I am not sure what that means, but we shall see.

The beer is VERY thick on the tongue, and has a immediate sweetness to it. Then it just hangs back on the tongue as the sweetness continues around the mouth. The beer as a pretty high ABV, coming in at 7%… but doesn’t drink that big. As thick as this beer pours, and as smooth as it tastes it doesn’t make me think stout. Let alone imperial stout. (Or Russian imperial stout, whatever that means!)

The beer is good. I would buy it again, mainly because they are cheap. Cheaper than most beers in a bottle this size. I actually like their brown more than this. But it’s thick and black, and would go well with a nice cigar or meat based meal. Man… I wanted it to be so much more. As we move along 1001 bottles… I am sure I will be let down time and time again! Bottoms up people!

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Photo of KyleVick4
2.03/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

From a big bottle
Its pitch black with white/tan head that has good lace and very small fine bubbles. Looks all around like a good beer.
It has the distinct caramelly sam smith smell to it with mild hints of alcohol and coffee. Not a bad smell, just peculiar.
Not impressed at all. Tastes like the traditional Sam Smith ale (which I am not a fan of) not like the Imperial Stout beers that I love. I taste mostly caramel and maybe hints of licorice or chocolate? Way too sweet for this type of beer. Either way I was very unimpressed with the taste.
Light and not very carbonated. I dont like a very carbonated Imperial Stout, but I also like a thick IS. Either way this beer is light and medium mouthfeel that should be much heavier in my opinion for a IS.
I had trouble finishing the one glass of the beer I poured. It left a bad taste in my mouth and I was reluctant to finish it...
Overall I would not recommend this beer. If you are looking for a good Imperial Stout, try the North Coast Brewing Co. Old Rasputin (one of my favorite all time beers) or Terrapin Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout.

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Photo of Marraybay
2.16/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Like others have said, I keep trying S.Smith with the hope of really liking one of their offerings, but aside from their choco stout, it just isn't happening for me. This one had possibilities, but just far too much roast and bitterness, without anything pushing back the other way. If it had opened with some nice brown sugar/dark fruity sweetness, this might have been interesting.

Somewhat small head and no real lacing; Pours a dark brownish black. Boozy nose and taste to go along with the puckering finish. Fairly thick and filling. There won't be a rematch.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
2.2/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The head is light brown and the beer is dark black (ironic). The smell is metallic like all the other beers from this place. The first one of these I had the smell was wonderful with roasted and chocolate malts making it unbelievably good. Taste is metallic. Sadly metallic. I am sad to give this beer such a bad review.

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Photo of bobhits
2.21/5  rDev -47%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Dark brown and opaque once in the glass. A good 2 finger head that's holding well enough. Leaving impressive lacing (wasn't expecting much). That said this doesn't last. It also leaves a bit of residue when swirled, I love this...sucker. But overall a touch below average for the style but average for a beer.

.Astringent sour smoke and butter scotch? Unlike the oatmeal not description here to judge from. OK so 7.0% and an imperial stout. A bit light for the style.

Sweet flavors and some lets say a smoky flavor with sweet dominance and finishing with some earthy hops. It's just off imo. This beer either needs more hops or more of a bunt flavor. Or it could go the strong malty sweet route (not my ideal). This beer needs to go somewhere and it doesn't. There's a chocolate flavor here. There's some sweetened coffee in a way. All of this is just again poorly done.

This isn't as pillowy and creamy as the regular oatmeal stout but the carbonation is good and the body is thicken enough. Average maybe a touch more than.

I'm not interested in another beer. Unlike my last few beers of the night I won't be pour out the remainder to avoid getting too buzzed (drunk?). That's mostly because this is my last beer of the night. It's not a drinker or sipper. I don't get what these oatmeal stouts that aren't overly strong are going for. I don't want to sip it on a cold night. I don't feel I should grab a cigar to go with. I don't want to drink quickly and I don't see this going with any food I'd eat. So what's left?

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Photo of swede96
2.22/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured black with a 1 finger light brown head into a pint glass. The appearance was good, but the head did not stay long after the pour.

Smell was of dark fruit and did not get anything else from the aroma.

The taste reminded me of prunes...dark fruit with very little hop.

Mouthfeel was full with a fruity sort of coating.

Drinkability was I had one it that was enough. the dark fruit was just not getting it done with my palate.

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Photo of seesnow3
2.23/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Shot glass-flight, unknown freshness

Pour-Dark brown with black tint, tiny effervescence and a good amount of it, light lacing, some head retention but not much.

Nose-Huge fruity nose, very familiar scent, after hearing the word Twizzlers I 100% agree, so it must be an artificial cherry kind of flavor.

Palate-Very sweet, some sour, some bitter. Red licorice, very fruity, some roast, off caramel flavor.

Body-Full, heavy, creamy. Don’t like this beer at all, the flavors are not for me.

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Photo of schellsbeer
2.32/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I keep saying, nobody has anything over the American Micro Breweries and how they brew Stouts and Porters.

Who cares if this is one of the oldest recipes? Who cares if it is made by Samuel Smith?

Who cares...Who cares...Who Cares...???

Once again, I am greeted by a European Stout Beer that has some hidden FUNK taste that doesn't belong in a good beer. I really don't know how all of the positive reviewers can't taste this one ingredient in many of the European Stouts and Porters and like it. To me, this tastes too much like a Baltic Porter or Stout just because of that funky taste I get.

I know that is one of the RIS's that everyone is suppose to love, but I don't. First bottle and the last.

Give me a Surly, Bells, Schells, Summit, Left Hand, or Sierra Nevada any day.

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Photo of boelker62
2.49/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

This beer fell short on many counts. Head flew away with no lacing. I imagine this one is artificaially carbonated as well. It was overwhelming. I pulled some perfume and herb scents out of this, and almost didn’t drink it past the first sip. It grew a bit on me. Just a bit, though. medium to full body, and quite velvety for being so, let this beer afect various areas of the palate. Their oatmeal stout is better, and I would prefer it to this anytime.

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Photo of champ103
2.57/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Dark brown/black with a big tan head that leaves a littles lace (not as much as I was expecting). Very good overall.
S: Bread malt smell, burnt coffee, soy sauce, and a little vanilla. Lots of alcohol from the start. Overall, I am not very impressed.
T: Burnt malt and sweet molasses with soy sauce and lots of alcohol again.
D: Not very good. Watered down, very bitter and hard to drink.

I don't like the soy sauce flavor, and the alcohol makes this hard to drink and enjoy. I just finished an Old Rasputin, which is a great RIS. This is not.

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Photo of tjthresh
2.6/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Completly opaque, dark chocolatey black. Light brown whipped looking had. Pours with a lot of fizz. Aromas of charred wood, dark roasted coffee, alcohol, and some oxidation. The flavor is chocolatey and roasty and really pretty bitter. The oxidation is all threw this beer though. Really thin and watery. Compared to the its American counterpart, lifeless.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2.6/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Samuel Smith has a few good offerings out there but this is NOT 1 of them.

Sam Smith Imperial Stout poured black with a thick creamy head that would not quit. The smell is of toasty roasted coffee and chocolate. I also detect an alcohol odor present. The taste was BLAHHHH! Sweet and bitter. The bitterness and alcohol taste made this seem like oven cleaner or some other nasty house cleaning item! Ughh... I honestly think someone poisoned me!

Sorry Sam Smith fans ( I honestly like the oatmeal stout, and organic lager) this is one beer "Her Majesty's Forces" can keep!!

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Photo of SteveoNY
2.64/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

P - 18.7 oz Bottle, attractive white label with gold printing and gold foil neck, daycode stamp.

A - Opaque black to the eye, with thumb of medium tan head, low retention, sticky lacing.

S - Hint of mocha, coffee, dark dried fruit, and rubberbands.

T - semi malty molasses at first, then the dry 7.0% abv and bitterness catch up. If you like to drink prune, plum, and raisin juice this is your beer lol

M - smooth and creamy, lower carbonation.

D - If you can fathom the 7% abv flavor I guess it makes a nice sipper. I deff wouldnt crack a second one the same day. would be dissapointed if this were a dessert beer or night cap..

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
2.65/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured deep dark brown body with thin dark beige head. head lasted 15 seconds.Slight lacing of glass.
Choco-coffee dark rotting fruit smell.

The bottle tells me it is brewed with well water from a well first used in 1758. It tastes as if they forgot to filter the mud out from the water!! Too bitter, burnt coffee. I am going to pour out the rest. (My sink is becoming an alchoholic!). I am giving up on Russian Imperial's!!

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Photo of KI9A
2.67/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I know I am all over on the ratings, but, I was not impressed with this on a few levels.

A: Dark body, wonderful puffy head.

S: Like sour candy. Yech..

T: Sweet and sour sauce from a Chinese resturant was my 1st impresssion. Followed up with toasted malts.

M: Decent, bitterness. Not too bad once it hit the back of the mouth.

D: Ehh.

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Photo of fscottkey
2.68/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Jet black with 1 finger head that quickly disapates.

S: Dark fruit and licorice

T: Malts, raisins and dark fruits. Sweet finish with no bitter taste at all.

M: Not as sily or smooth as I would expect.

O: Nose is weak for an Imerial Stout. The mouthfeel is watery for an I.S. I prefer a coffee or chocolate forward I.S.

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Photo of mactrail
2.69/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

The smell is really peculiar. I finally realized, since we had been painting, it smells exactly like house paint. It's that damp, fumey smell of water-based paint that's different from other solvents.

The appearance is quite attractive, with a dark amber brown color and ample off-white head, and loads of lacing in the small globe glass. The flavor continues on the strange trip. It makes me think of prune juice, with the same sweet and tart flavors. Not that sweet, but dark and fruity. I can't get that smell out of my mind, it's back with every sip. I taste pomegranate, bubble gum, and some charred grain.

On the positive side, it's quite a creamy carbonation with a substantial mouthfeel. From the 500 ml bottle bought at a random liquor store.

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Photo of boulevard2
2.69/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle

Pours thick and black with a thick head coffee like.

Scent of chocolate and yeast.

This is a typical english stout with a type of yeast I can't stand. I wouldn't reccomend this compared to the other wonderful stouts out there. Maybe on tap this is better or maybe the bottle I bought was old not sure but very dissapointed.

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Photo of EPseja
2.71/5  rDev -35%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from a 12oz (clear!) bottle in a Samuel Smith imperial pint glass at just below cellar temperature.

A - Pours a medium chestnut brown color with raspberry highlights that disappear once the brew hits the glass. The head is creamy and big, with a medium bodied cocoa color and excellent staying power. Lacing is decent, with spotty hanging crags, but doesn't hang around long.

S - Dry chocolatey winelike notes. Tasted vanilla. Unscented candle wax. Light molasses and soy sauce.

T - Almost burnt maltiness and a sweet molasses and coffee start. The middle brings about a touch of fragrant hoppiness and a nasty flick of shopping bag plastic. The end is drying and nicely bittered, but the plastic notes really disappoint.

M - A bit watery and bright for the style, although it does round out after some frothing in the mouth. Swallow is average.

D - As I near the 1/3 point of this beer, I can't seem to get away from the plastic and soy qualities. It's not that they're monstrous, it's just that they distract from all the good points about the beer. If not for this point, the drinkability would be much greater, especially in light of the easy-to-handle 7% ABV. I've had many simply amazing Russian Imperial Stouts, and this isn't one of them.

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Photo of clvand0
2.71/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a very dark color with a dark medium head. The aroma is full of scents of alcohol as well as some chocolaty malts. The taste is of burned malts and licorice and the alcohol is not extremely well masked as well as very dry tasting. The dry and burned malt stick around in the aftertaste. This beer is fairly easy to drink for an imperial stout, but not being a fan of imperial stouts, I would not have more than one.

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Photo of Jimmys
2.72/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: opaque black. big fluffy rich brown head. as it dies down the retention and body look like a freshly poured cup of espresso.

S: vinous fruit is pretty prominent. a little grassy maybe? a soft chocolate/roast. slight burnt graininess.

T: tobacco. cocoa. dark fruit is actually a noticeable alcohol (surprising to me at such a low ABV (for a RIS)). pretty dry finish.

M: some big time carbonation on a medium/full body.

D: i was expecting a little more from this beer being on the 'beers of fame' list. i guess a 7%'er should be this light, but as far as RIS's are concerned there are a lot ahead of this one on my list.

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Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 1,710 ratings.