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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

3,148 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,148
Reviews: 1,652
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 144
Gots: 201 | 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: 3,148 | Reviews: 1,652 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chicory roasted and not too coffee was a plus. Creamy and bit chewy-was that supposed to be? Nice carbonation.
Had another bottle 21 months later and now I very much appreciate its smoothness. A bit acidic and oily, a perfect roast and brown colour. Fresh batch.

Sammy, Mar 21, 2004
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with just the slightest tinges of dark brown when held up to the light. Head was 1 inch that fades to a small cap. Lacing is spotty and random on the glass. Smell is of roasted malt, overripe dark fruit, and soy sauce. Taste is of bitter chocolate, burnt coffee, and slight dark fruit essence. There is a lingering roasty taste on the tongue after each sip. Good carbonation and rich mouthfeel. Not too thick or thin. Drinkability is good and the price point on this beer will lend itself to an easy buy again.

UCLABrewN84, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -28.1%

djrn2, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -4.1%

zestar, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

spycow, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

G: Imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a "not very dark for this style" cola color out of the bottle, but appears a bit darker in the glass to the point where it is nearly opaque. My pour might have been a little hard, but I got a good two-and-a-half or three fingers worth of head. The head is also a creamy color; again, reminiscent of the foam associated with colas. The head recedes fairly quickly with the slightest bit of lacing.

S: Slightly sweet on a malt base. Hints of toffee and perhaps a little bit of caramel. Faint smell of dark fruits.

T: Sweet in the mouth. Much more sweet on the palate than I would have expected from the nose. Slightly sour with little heat from the alcohol. Biscuity malt with a little bit of chocolate--another thing I didn't detect with the first whiff. Slight fruity undertones in the background--maybe dark cherries, which could contribute the bit of sourness I've detected.

M: Not overly carbonated, and slightly sweet on the tip of the tongue. As it sits, it becomes more and more creamy. The mouthfeel is somewhere between a typical milk stout and the other RIS's that I have come across.

D: Given the low ABV for the style, this is quite a bit more drinkable than is typical. The is one of the first imperial stouts I've had where I could imagine having a couple throughout an evening.

Thorpe429, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

acurtis, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

nmann08, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of metter98
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high dense tan head that quickly died down and left lacing on the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of roasted malts in the nose along with some hints of raisins and other dark fruits.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has flavors of roasted malts and raisins. There are some hints of bittersweet chocolate.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There are hints of dryness in the finish.
O: For its style, this beer is very easy to drink because it's relatively light bodied and the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

metter98, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Texasfan549, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an obsidian black with a nice mocha head; nice retention and lacing

Smell: Roasted malt, dark fruit (figs and prunes), some bittersweet chocolate and a nice whiff of rum

Taste: Starts out with a combination of roasty malt and dark fruit (raisin, date and prune), with the hops adding a bitter element by mid-palate; after the swallow, the roasty, fruity and chocolate flavors predominate into a complex finish that provides point and counter-point

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation and a hint of warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: I've come around to this one over time and have re-reviewed this while maintaining the original review date; I now appreciate the complexity and restraint in this version compared to the production of some of the American craft brewers

brentk56, Jan 30, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sable with dark bronze highlights at the edges. The beer is topped by a thick, sponge-like head that's medium brown and looks like it'll hang around a while. It falls slowly, eventually to a thick film, and doesn't leave much lace. There's a little above the receding surface of the beer, but that's about it.

The nose has some power behind it... strong, dark coffee with molasses and spicy dark fruit. The flavor reminds me of blackstrap molasses mixed with black licorice; the strong, less-sweet British version of licorice. There are also espresso and bitter black tea notes, but they aren't nearly as strong as the molasses and licorice.

The mouthfeel is full and rich, but doesn't quite match the flavor in terms of seriousness. I'm not sure if a more full body would be good for this beer or not. It might take a bite out of the drinkability, which is quite good as is. The relatively low ABV (for an Imperial stout) helps the quaffability.

This is my first Imperial stout and I'm impressed. The temperature is currently in the single digits and it's overcast and spitting snow. Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout is warming me nicely and I may just have to follow it with another.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 25, 2004
Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is the best balanced stout that I have ever had. i used to drink this beer regularly, but then was lured away by many stouts that have bolder flavors. Recently revisiting this brew makes me wonder why I have been away for so long. The stout has a very bold roasted quality with a light bitterness due to the black malts and light hopping. Has a layered cocoa, coffee, and milk flavors for added complexity. The beer, though bold and strong, is never intimidating, domineering, or aggressive. Moderately sweet with a rich and complex robustness. Properly brewed and well aged. Full and rich to the texture with a silky, creamy flow. Finishes extremely clean for such sweetness, texture, and roastedness. A slight hint of lactose sugars and a minty note adds a delicacy to the finish. A beautiful beer.

BEERchitect, Feb 12, 2006
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -4.1%

kjkinsey, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a opaque black beer with a medium dark brown head with minimal retention. Aroma is quite incredible and consists of pure black chocolate, roasted malt and some coffee. Taste is also quite a treat with the chocolate hitting first (without too much sweetness) and followed by the roasted malt and coffee to finish the whole thing. Very well balance with limited bitterness, which probably makes it one truly good dessert beer. Wow!!!

Phyl21ca, Feb 04, 2005
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

GRG1313, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of mikesgroove
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a deep dark brown with a towering pillow like tan head. Cery nice retention, with a nice slow fade leaving just a film of a head on top. No real decent lacing though.

S - Smell was initially strong but mellowed some. Nice roasted malts, nutty smell, with lots of hints of caramel and sugar. A slight hoppy twang was present in the back of the aroma. A nice proper English type of smell if that makes any sense.

M & T - First impression was very smooth. Not overly carbonated, but not a bad thing. Not very thick, just very nice feel. Lots of caramel and roasted coffee flavors were the dominant tones here.

D - Overall this was a very nice, and very sessionable Impy Stout. It was not very robust, and would not stand up against some of the other heavyweights in its style. However, I feel it does have a nice place there as a good sessionable, not so outragously high ABV stout is always a welcome treat.

mikesgroove, Apr 20, 2007
Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

jaydoc, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of womencantsail
3.28/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a dark brown color with about a finger's worth of tan colored foam sitting on top.

S: The nose is chocolate and roasted malts for the most part, with some definite dark fruit notes. I pick up a bit of a yeastiness too, that I don't often get in imperial stouts.

T: Flavor starts off with some old chocolate, mild roast character, and a bit of water. There are some muddled, sweet, dark fruit flavors there such as plums and prunes, as well as that same yeastiness the nose had.

M: The body is medium, not all that impressive for an imperial stout with a moderate carbonation.

D: Sort of disappointing since I really like their Oatmeal Stout. I'm fine with not having this one again.

womencantsail, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

kylehay2004, May 05, 2013
Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was quite a surprise. I knew the beer would be dark when I bought it but I hadn't noticed that it was in a clear bottle! When I picked it up I thought it was black or brown glass. It wasn't till I starting pour this that I noticed it was a clear bottle. So with that the color of the beer is very dark black. The head is tiny and its a brown color, it fades very fast. The aroma is of burnt sugar and malts, also heavily roasted. The flavor of this beer is reflective of the aromas. There is abig roasted malt kick and settles into a sweeter aftertaste. The mouthfeel was a little light I think, but overall this a pretty good brew.

Knapp85, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.55/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

$2.29 12 oz. (355 ml) single at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a decidedly black body with an expansive, light khaki-colored head.

Smell: Lightly chocolaty, roasted malt nose with notes of soy sauce, aged, though basic port wine, apples, and black licorice.

Taste: Roasted barley grains with touches of unsweetened chocolate and caramel with an earthy, soy sauce-esque taste running through the flavor. Hint of licorice and ripe red apples. Bits of sweetness pick up here and there. Splash of spiced prune juice. Very, very distant buttery hint. Small hints of yeast and alcohol. Finishes fruity, with a very slight metallic hint creeping into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Slight, oat-esque creaminess to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Still a fine, decent RIS, even with those dirty nickels. But, if I had my druthers, I'd reach for a Taddy Porter instead.

ChainGangGuy, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 10, 2013
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 JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

JAHMUR, Jan 09, 2012
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Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,148 ratings.