1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

3,148 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,148
Reviews: 1,652
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 143
Gots: 202 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,148 | Reviews: 1,652 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drunkboxer1
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours solid black with a leathery brown head. Smells strongly of dark roasted malt, chocolate, and maybe a little alcohol. Tastes incredibly strongly of those roasted flavors, but with enough hop characteristics to stand out a bit. Earthy hops, and a moderate bitterness. I guess if I had to choose between this and Old Rasputin or something like that I'd take the American version, but it's a close second.

drunkboxer1, Jun 26, 2009
Photo of yesyouam
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout is a brown black ale with a dense brown head that leaves nice lacing. The aroma is mostly of sweet malt, but it's also grassy and fruity. It smells so damn good! It has a medium-full body that's smooth and surprisingly crisp. The flavor is not overwhelming: sweet baked cookies, licorice and baking chocolate with a nice dark roastiness. It's a very pulled-together flavor. There is a lick of medicine in the finish. This is a mature Imperial Stout.
(rated Jul 8, 2008)

yesyouam, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of ellisdee97
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Motor oil black with a dark coffee colored one finger thick head which quickly dissipates leaving a nice ring and some decent lacing.

S: Dark chocolate and nice deep alcohol with a sharp hop note. Toffee and caramel, with toasted malt and vanilla. Hidden within is a nice nutty hint.

T: Warming alcohol up front with some chocolate. Again toffee and nice deep coffee then bitter hops. Some toasted and slightly smokey flavors in the malt.

M: Nice carbonation. Smooth with a dry, smokey finish.

D: Excellent drinking stout, the alcohol is covered nicely. Wonderful combonation of sweet, smokey and bitter.

ellisdee97, Nov 30, 2006
Photo of aristeros
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Kept around cellar temperature. Dark brown like black coffee, one finger of caramel colored head that dissipates. Slight lacing as I twist the glass in the light to see the tinges of red-browns.

First Imperial Stout, but I've been around stouts and porters for a few years now.

Aroma of rough oatmeal grains, coffee, and raisins or dates, namely, sweet dark fruits. A lot more going on that I thought, but not as much as I'd hoped. Compared to the porters and stouts I've had, it's got a bit more depth.

Tastes of roasted coffee, hints of sweetness, more raisins than dates, maybe some nuts. A trifle smoky like a porter or stout should be. Some alcohol, pleasant and warming. Reminds me in a distant way of an au jus beef, and I'd take it with same without reservation.

Creamy, almost no carbonation. Smooth in the mouth, easy going, a good last pitcher of the night. Exceeds the best qualities of the Lazy Jake Porter at the brew pub near my hometown, in Long Valley NJ.

While that won't mean anything to most folks, it's high praise where I'm from.

aristeros, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of EvoRich
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours pitch black with about two fingers of head. Head actually sticks around for awhile, but does eventually reduce to a small layer.

Smell: Carmel, brown sugar, some dark fruits, cherry, chocolate. A lot going on here!

Taste: Not quite as good as I was hoping, but still excellent. Not as sweet as the smell.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied. Very smooth. Just the right amount of carbonation.

Overall: A little let down by the flavor. and I must say, the flavor is the biggest factor in a beer to me. But, just because I was a little let down does not mean this is not a good beer. I always get excited about an RIS and always expect the world. RIS's always score big with me, and this is no exception.

EvoRich, Jul 15, 2014
Photo of aquazr1
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

aquazr1, May 12, 2014
Photo of SudsSurfer
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

SudsSurfer, Nov 14, 2013
Photo of IrishGermanAmerican
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

IrishGermanAmerican, Jun 13, 2012
Photo of barmo217
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

barmo217, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of mte1972
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

mte1972, Nov 06, 2013
Photo of yankeeheel
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured black from a 12 oz bottle. 2 finger tan head that has a lot of pop and fizz to it. Solid lacing.

Smells very sweet and fruity. Lots of fig, raisin, and molasses. Very creamy and malty tasting. You get the big dark malt without it being dry, harsh, or burnt. Goes down very smooth for a big beer. I get some chocolate and coffee in there too. Mouthfeel is very soild.

Incredibly drinkable beer for an Imperial Stout. Not just for manly men. A great choice for review #50.

yankeeheel, Oct 20, 2003
Photo of niknar
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a thick, black color with a nice fluffy almond colored head. Head retention was decent, settling to a thin layer across the top within a few minutes. Little to no lacing left behind. The aroma is that of extremely sweet honey and/or molasses, roasted barley, and hints of chocolate and coffee. Also present is the smell of warming alcohol. The flavors mimic the scents as expected: sweet malts and syrups with a nice warming alcohol kick. On top of this, there is a slight carbonation that thins the mix just enough for easy consumption. An easy bitterness finishes off all the sweetness leaving a semi-dry finish. Overall, very well balanced. Mouthfeel is exactly what you would expect from the style: thick and full bodied. Drinkability of this excellent offering is quite high in my book. A definite winner from a well respected brewery... give it a shot!

niknar, Dec 11, 2004
Photo of ADR
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thick "imperial pour", brown head of 1/2 inch...no light transmission, absolutely black as night. Cherry aromas with a chocolate coating -- very similar to the box of candy. Dark and sharp flavor with a sense of some smokiness. Just lays in your mouth like a chocolatey cough syrup with a swell of deepness close to the swallow. The essence of this beer is a whopping presence and overall agreeability. Slightly less interesting than some other bigger Imperials, but a solid (and stolid) presence. If you like the profile, this brew is deceptively drinkable. One of the most delicious beers overall in existence.

ADR, Sep 29, 2002
Photo of jmponder
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

jmponder, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of LXIXME
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

LXIXME, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of mrbigpappa
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

mrbigpappa, Jul 18, 2013
Photo of soper2000
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, I love this beer! This is what made me a Sam Smith fan for life. It pours a gorgeous jet black color with a tan head. Smell is full of dark fruit and roasted malt. There's a lot of taste to this beer. Some raisins, roasted malts, and coffee. It goes down smooth and creamy but i love to take my time with this one making sure it is at room temp before the last drop hits the back of my tongue. This is definately one of my favorite imperial stouts.

soper2000, Apr 12, 2004
Photo of zachpaschal
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

zachpaschal, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of DruC4
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

DruC4, Jun 18, 2012
Photo of seakayak
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

seakayak, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of Ciocanelu
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Ciocanelu, Jan 25, 2013
Photo of pastramionrye7
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

pastramionrye7, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of jkieve
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

jkieve, Oct 14, 2012
Photo of Hardcore
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Hardcore, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of HuaiDan
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

HuaiDan, Feb 25, 2012
Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,148 ratings.