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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.

3,086 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,086
Reviews: 1,647
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 138
Gots: 179 | 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: 3,086 | Reviews: 1,647 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SleepyMonk
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle poured into a sniffer. This beer has been provided courtesy of Platinum Liquor in Bellevue Hill Sydney.

This is the darkest beer I have ever encountered and as a person who prefers and hunts down dark beers I hope that explains how striking the density of this stout is

Pouring generates a massive titanic dark tan in color creamy texture head of about 3 fingers. It bonds tightly and then dries off with patchy lace on the glass.

Aromatically this is stout is dominated by dark fruits such as prunes with a blend of gummy molasses and rich dark chocolate.

In the mouth and across the tongue this is a dominant offering. Coffee like impact with a sweet dessert like finish. Raw unprocessed natural chocolate mixed with an almost perfect balance of praline. There are elements of roasted nuts, dried cured pork no doubt this is due to a very smoke box type finish that continues to kick well after the taste has been swallowed, interestingly I even get the profile of dried seaweed; once again perhaps this is due to smokey characteristics.

To call this full bodies is almost an understatement. Well balanced level of carbonated is a compliment and signs of a beer that is well crafted.

Thanks again to Platinum Liquor Sydney.

SleepyMonk, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of Mappies
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Mappies, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of NikD
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

NikD, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of Snooprobirob
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Snooprobirob, May 11, 2014
Photo of BeerBeing
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: bottle, 12 fl.oz, clear, custom, "Samuel Smith" pressed twice around neck, "bottled at yorkshire`s oldest brewery est. 1758" pressed around bottom, gold foiled neck, gold-on-white label, no fresness date.

Appearance: "very" black, no light can get thru, very large head of long lasting brown-colored foam.

Smell: sweet fruitiness, molasses, coffee, hint of bitter chocolate

Taste: rich, full body, medium mouthfeel. Coffee, raisins, light chocolate, black cherry (?)

Notes: Sole US distributor - Merchant du Vin

BeerBeing, Aug 21, 2005
Photo of BeerAmbassador
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep inky black with a one finger tan head.

lots of roasted malt and cocoa on the nose.

flavor follows suit with a bit of sweetness. very full flavored and tastes bigger than only 7%.

very creamy mouthfeel with relatively low carbonation.

This is a really nice, affordable imperial stout that goes down easy and one that I could drink often.

BeerAmbassador, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of Fatduck
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

At 7% is it really imperial? For Sam Smith, I guess its imperial.

Black, BLACK its freaking dark. Maybe a little red/brown at the bottom of the glass. This thing smells like malt and sugar and over ripe fruit. Taste fooking GREAT. I really like this beer, and after walking home in the windy -4F weather this is exactly what I needed. Its smooth and thick, looks a bit like motor oil. Taste sweet and the carbonation is perfect. Smooth and wonderful, creamy. I cant say enough good stuff about this beer, Ive had a few tonight and I wish I would have started with this so I could enjoy it more, but its still GREAT.

Fatduck, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of jjauga
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

jjauga, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of Jablonski
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. I hadn't seen this beer on the shelves before, and picked it up to be adventurous; from glancing at the reviews it appears it's a pretty solid RIS.

A: Black as night and completely opaque; with an aggressive pour, a medium sized head resulted and minimal lacing.

S: A minty dark chocolate aroma is strongest in this beer, but an espresso aroma is not to be outdone by much. I can also pick up hints of dark fruits in the smell.

T: The taste no letdown from my original impression. Great mix of chocolate and fruits in this beer with a damped effect from the coffee. The only think missing is shot of hops somewhere to make this beer complete. Still, it's choice.

M: Good carbonation, nice thickness.

D: Very drinkable, it seems to be at a lower ABV than many RIS's that I see. Great beer, and I will purchase again.

Jablonski, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of Baldjosh
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Baldjosh, Nov 07, 2012
Photo of BKArmstrong
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

BKArmstrong, Mar 04, 2013
Photo of Knobs303
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Knobs303, Jul 23, 2014
Photo of Slongie
3.7/5  rDev -11.3%

Slongie, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of MrNuggets
4.78/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Head retention to the fullest! For an imperial stout that is. High above the rim of my glass. Smell is huge, lots of cherries and stuff. Taste runs deep into my soul. Dates, currants and all that jazz. What ever the heck's going on its bad ass. Like a mouth full of tar. Thanks to the low, for an imperial stout, ABV this can be drunk in excess.

MrNuggets, Nov 11, 2004
Photo of Bruiser81
2.95/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep brown if not black with a two finger tan head that didn't stick around long. The nose was dominated by fruit, alcohol, and a little maltiness The taste was extremely sweet, almost like a sour sweet. It also had sort of an astringent taste but it wasn't good. The mouthfeel was medium, but I didn't like how it sat on the palate. I'm not sure what the word is maybe tannic? I was disappointed with this brew especially after all the good reviews. Maybe it was skunked. I've never had a skunked beer.

Bruiser81, Feb 13, 2003
Photo of Hagbard
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black as night. So dark, it makes it impossible to tell whether the bottle is, in fact, clear or not until you pour (it is). A nice thick, creamy, dark tan head forms, making for an impressive looking beer sitting in my goblet. A beautiful sweet dark malt aroma tantalizes your nose, waiting for the promise of the taste. There is definitely some dark chocolate in the background of the aroma. The taste is simply wonderful! The smoothest imperial stout I've ever had the privilege to drink. Dark chocolate, plums, and even a nutty presence all make themselve known. All riding a great malt background. Truly a great tasting stout! I get none of the typical off flavors common to stouts. The mouthfeel is thick and full, as an imperial stout should be. It is dangerously drinkable due to the smoothness. The 7% ABV is hidden. It goes down very easily! I love this beer and wish it could be had more readily to me. Another great stout from Samuel Smith.

Hagbard, Jun 07, 2004
Photo of tkelley
3.63/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

550 mL bottle poured into a dimpled mug.

Dark body, pillowy brown head that dissipated quickly. A thin layer of foam stayed around for quite a while.

Smelled liked dark sugar (think brown sugar, rum, or molasses). Taste was very similar, but also had noticeable fruit tones and tasted a lot like the burnt/almost burnt underside of homemade bread -- the part that was touching a pan and got a little too brown. That was mostly in the back of the tongue. The front was roasted malts and english hops (not spicy or bitter, but... just there).

It gave me a nice warm feeling. I didnt keep this in the fridge when I bought it today, but rather stuck it in my cabinet under the counter. It looked really thick and viscous when it poured into the glass, but it didnt feel too thick when drunk. There was noticeable carbonation, but not too much. You could leave it in your mouth for a while without getting that bubbly feeling on your tongue.


tkelley, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of N3ptune
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

N3ptune, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Definately a good stout. It pours the typical deep-tinted brown of most stouts with a thick coffee head and lovely sticking lace. There are sharp smells of chocolate and coffe, but it also has a heavy spiced meat smell, and malt hops are evident. The taste is definately spicy meats and coffee, with lots of toasted malts, and a slight burnt flavor. The head gives its own very spicy taste. The mouthfeel is charmingly thick, bordering on too thick, but still within the limits of being good. The strength and thickness of the flavor of this beer make it seem more alcoholic than it is. Drinking it made me very warm.

FranklinPCombs, Jan 01, 2004
Photo of PlaywrightSam
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into snifter. A: Very dark, nearly black, very thick head. S: Very malty with a lot of dark fruit coming through. Molasses and a hint of pineapple. T: Roasted malts giving way to some citrus, raisins, chocolate. M: Creamy, light. D: Really surprising and enjoyable.

PlaywrightSam, Apr 18, 2007
Photo of BostonBrewins
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

BostonBrewins, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of HKUSPC40
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

HKUSPC40, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of Triglycerides
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Triglycerides, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of HossMcGraw
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of the best beers I've had. Pours pitch black and tastes like coffee, dark fruit, chocolate, roasted malt, and about a million other flavors that form a deliciously complex brew that goes down smooth as silk. This beer is soooo good and complex. Right now I'm having a bit of a crisis because I think I might like this better than the SS Oatmeal Stout. This one is definitely more complex, but I'd need an O-Stout here for comparison before I make such a big decision. I wanted to try this so bad that I paid 5 bucks for a single bottle. I know I got totally ripped off, but in Lancaster PA, my only alternative was driving to Philly or Maryland, or spending fifty bucks for a case. Had I known I'd like it this much, I might have gotten a case. Well, at least it was a kick-ass beer. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

HossMcGraw, Dec 04, 2002
Photo of earthboundagain
3.25/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From Notes

Unfortunately this beer comes late in my RIS education; I wish I had had it sooner because I think other brews have spoiled me.

The color is dark brown, with a brown head, that leaves a skim of bubbles on the surface.

The smell is muted but I get some dark malt and some coffee.

The taste is of strong coffee and molasses and a bit of fig.

The mouthfeel is watery and thin.

The drinkability is not bad do to the lower abv and not overpowering flavor.

Notes: This would be a session RIS if such a thing existed, while its nice for breaking noobs into big stouts, it is not a monster RIS in anyway.

earthboundagain, Jul 29, 2010
Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,086 ratings.