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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

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,098 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,098
Reviews: 1,647
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 138
Gots: 180 | 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: 3,098 | Reviews: 1,647 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of largadeer
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Black, slight transparency as it thins. Pours with about an inch of frothy brown head.

Smell - Vinous, subdued dark chocolate sweetness, notes of dark fruit, burnt bread and anise.

Taste - Black licorice, toast, molasses and dark chocolate. Deep roasted notes and a red wine-like drying bitterness come out in the finish. Medium-bodied and moderately carbonated. Nicely balanced.

Notes - A very approachable Russian Imperial Stout - it's warming but not overly heavy or bitter, and it still has plenty of character. That said, I'd take Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout over this any day.

largadeer, Dec 21, 2007
Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out black with a mocha colored, 4-finger head. It left lacing as I drank it.

S - It smelled of malt and coffee.

T - It had a roasted malt and bitter coffee flavor. I also noticed caramel amd toffee flavors.

M - It was soft and creamy. Heavy-bodied.

D - It is a very good Russian Imperial. Fortunately, it isn't as strong as some others in terms of ABV.

zeff80, Aug 13, 2006
Photo of biboergosum
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

550ml bottle, at the Metro Pool Hall, working my way through their commendable fridge(s).

This beer pours a nice inky black, with very slight red edges, and three fingers of puffy, foamy, and extravagantly bubbly chocolate milk brown head, which damned-near coats the glass as it genially recedes.

It smells strongly and evenly of dark chocolate, caramel malt, toffee candy, edgy black fruit, oxidized red wine, a touch of black licorice, and faint earthy, weedy hops. The taste is semi-sweet milk chocolate, gritty caramel/toffee malt, subtle and indistinct sour black fruit, surprisingly prominent cola and anise notes, a wisp of woodsmoke, and mild earthy hops.

The carbonation is generally quite understated, the body a stocky, solid medium weight, and silky smooth, with suggestions of creaminess. It finishes on the sweet side, with more chocolate, roast, and touched fruit.

As it warms, I get a strong semblance of boozy hot chocolate, which would make it, I imagine, a lovely après-whatever sipper, be it with dessert, or more robust cold weather activity. I'm sure the tsarina had experience with both, in spades.

biboergosum, Jun 17, 2009
Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

JAHMUR, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An opaque black body is capped by a foamy tan head that holds exceptionally well. It eventually drops, but maintains a creamy collar & thin surface covering throughout the glass. Some very nice Brussel's lace adds to the appearance. The aroma expresses dark fruit (currant, plum), dark chocolate, roastiness, and molasses. The medium/full body combines with a fine and moderate carbonation to give a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. The exceptionally rich, sweet malt expresses chocolate, toffee, roast, and coffee that's backed by a firm hop bitterness. It starts fruity (raisin, prune), developing sweetness and chocolate, but most of the flavors appear after the swallow when the tastebuds are no longer being overwhelmed. Fruit bursts forth followed by chocolate and rich caramel/molasses, then some floral hop flavor, and finally its roastiness appears - coffee-like and still somewhat chocolatey - with a borderline smokiness. The long and complex finish is what makes this beer... it's meant to be savored! It may at first seem more restrained than other examples of the style (and essentially it is), but a closer look reveals an immensely drinkable and exceptionally complex stout. Quite well done and well worth seeking out.

NeroFiddled, Feb 07, 2003
Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

SocalKicks, May 26, 2014
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep, dark brown-black. The foamy part of the tan head dissipates quickly, but a top-coat remains in place for some time.

S: The aroma is of chocolate, malt, barley and a little bit of hops and alcohol.

T: Creamy chocolate and roasted malt & barley flavor start out and prevail as the more dominant taste, but not overly sweet. A little bit of hops hit next and then a slight alcohol sting, with a slightly sweet after-taste.

M: Incredibly smooth, heavy body, medium carbonation and a clean finish.

D: It’s not filling, very smooth, the alcohol is well-disguised and it goes down VERY easy, all of the characteristics of drinkability.

I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. I now see why this beer, style and company has received so much praise.

TheManiacalOne, Apr 13, 2006
Photo of Jason
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Top notch brew, some the best stuff on this planet. Worth the price ... a cold weather beer for me paired with a cigar.

Jason, Nov 19, 2001
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

RblWthACoz, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Great same massive sized head as most Samuel Smith's brews out there, but this one has a deep brown amber black dark chocolate hue to it allows minimal light to pass through with a streak of prune hue purple deepness, lacing nice thickets of tan lacing clinging to my imperial pint. Aroma: Once again deep chocolate and coffee tones are present with fruit edges there fermented prunes or figs with chocolate sauce englazoned uone them how wonderful every dark roasted stout should smell this magnifcant. Minimal hopping in the aroma for the fruit and deep flavoful roasts mean to steal the show. Tase: Alcohol infused deep roasted malts with fruit remaninsce leaving their mark upon this heavenly dark ale, I really think this is one of the best imperial stouts on the market maybe not extreme or over the top but most flavorful and consistent the Sam Smith's reportoire get's the gold. Mouhfeel: A bit fuller than most Sammy Smith's this one packs quite the body keeping each sip not only flavorful but chewy. Drinkability: Is incredible for the amount of alcohol and flavor coming through I can't believe they allow this type of beer out there in this semi prohibitional state this country sometimes seems to be stuck in.

WVbeergeek, Oct 02, 2003
Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev -4.3%

nickfl, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep cola brown, with a couple fingers of milk chocolate head. This retains with a nice looking thin creaminess, leaving back a thick cascade of lacing that hangs in sticky rings around the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of coffee, chocolate, toffee, ripe earthy citrus, dark fruit and just a smidge of alcohol. This has a nice smoky twang in the nostrils.

The taste is more of the same, with smoky roasted coffee flavor, dark fruit, chocolate, tangy caramel notes and earthy green citrus. The overall flavor profile here is equal parts ripe stickiness and bitter roast on the palate. This is dry and burnt feeling on the finish. The mouthfeel is fuller to full bodied, with some crispness on the tongue that then gives way to a big chewy thickness that fills the mouth. The alcohol presence is very well hid, with just a touch of spicy dryness that lingers on the tongue a bit after each sip.

This is one of those beers that after you finally have it, you wonder where it’s been the whole time! This was just a really nice take on an English Imperial Stout with a well balanced complexity to it and a solid chewy feel in the mouth that feels bitter than its only 7% ABV. I will be returning to this down the road.

Kegatron, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of russpowell
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Black inky body that allows no light to penetrate. Huge brown/mahagony head that retains a 1/'2" head and lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell: Malt, Coffee, Alcohol, & toasted grains

Taste: Toasted grains, licorice, coffee, bitter choclate, and hops bittereness in the tounge

Mouthfeel: Damn, talk about smooth, great balance and carbonation.

Probably gets less respect these days becuase of much more potent Imperial Stouts & doubles out there, but pretty dang tasty to me.

russpowell, Nov 27, 2005
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is black as black can be, and the head is proud, large and a creamy tan color. Aroma is warm and wonderfully delicious, soft, creamy, notes of chocolate, slightly roasty, and edging into darker flavors, but not quite there. Palate is deliriously sweet and inviting. Mouthfeel: sursprisingly smooth and untroubled, gentle, harmonious, thick with malt, mellow with hops.
Very smooth drinking for an Imperial. I haven't had one of these in a long time, and have spoiled myself with the bolder, brasher, and far more adventurously flavored (roasted, malted, hopped, everywhichway) American versions, the Old Rasputins, Stormkings, Expeditions, Rogues, and Stones...
But, I can't help liking it. Great stout, delicicious,delightful, but a bit weak, at a "mere" 7%, compared to similar brews from "the colonies". Quite tasty, but I'd love it if they'd ever stretch out some.

feloniousmonk, Mar 05, 2003
Photo of Slatetank
4.93/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am a fan of most Samuel Smiths beers, some of my first English ales that I tasted were from them. I decanted this cool into a tulip.
A - Deep ebony w/ dark amber highlights. A thick 2.5 fingers of compact, pin sized tan bubbles crown the black fluid.

S - Rich odors of toffee, Port, vanilla, caramel and roasted nuts are concentrated in the aroma. Slight tinges of anise and berries round out the nose.

M - Roasted coffee, with light astringency, moderated carbonation and mild sweetness. Woody touches w/ a faint peppery spice.

T - Very concentrated dark malty and roasted tastes w/ a hint of smoke. A smooth rich toffee flavor w/ hints of bourbon and molasses w/ a nice vanilla cream taste and woody dry aspect. A toasted nut and rich dark chocolate flavor settles the char notes. Absolutely clean compared to the burst of malt and intense flavor as the stout becomes consumed.

D - Like black magic, it weaves a spell and tells a story w/ its magnitude, a fantastic example -The premier of it's style. I truly enjoy this quality stout sip by pleasure filled sip.

Slatetank, Sep 24, 2007
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a fantastic rendition of an English version Russian imperial stout. textbook really. the pour is thicker and darker, but some light can still enter, and the head is sudsy and lasting, just off white. the nose is bittersweet, with plenty of chocolate malt and pushing burnt bitterness. in terms of flavor, the first sip or two are by far the best. vanilla and cocoa together, but not as intense as some American versions. the malt is really allowed to shine here, and glorious woody bitter notes come through thick and creamy. it gets a little thinner and washed out as it moves along, but its still damn good. chocolate and light bittering hops kick in on the back end. plenty drinkable, at a lower abv for the style and a really smooth texture. not nearly as full bodied as they come on this side of the pond, this is a brew I could have several or more of, and could easily be a regular in my refrigerator. I have no complaints other than a slightly underwhelming carbonation presence and it getting a little watery as it warms, but that's me being annoying. one of the best sam smith beers, which is definitely saying something.

StonedTrippin, May 02, 2013
Photo of drabmuh
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No date on the bottle, contents poured into a tulip. Beer is black and forms a brown head of medium bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass but the head doesn't have staying power.

Aroma is nice, sweet with a hint of alcohol and some caramel. Smells really good, a subtle roast.

Beer is really smooth and tastes great. Full bodied, carbonation in the mouth is minimal. Leads with a sweetness followed by a slight bitterness of the roast. There is no aftertaste, good palate connectivity. I would recommend this beer and drink it as a repeat.

drabmuh, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of jlindros
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The crazy bottle neck on the bottle's neck forces a huge head on the pour that rises up for 2/3 of the glass. A thick frothy dark colored hear that is. The beer itself is almost pitch black, but not quite.

N: Tons of malts hit first. SOme roasted malts, caramel malts, and a few others. Some caramel aromas and sweetness, a little oatmeal, some dark fruits, and a little bitter English hop aroma tops it off. A little chocolate as well.

T: Very fruity actually. Tons of malt as well, again with lots of dark malts, caramel, a little roast, I think even a nice bit of Marris Otter as base. Creamy milk chocolate, oats, dried fruits, hints of spicy hops. A little bit of juicy hop flavors as well.

M: Creamy and semi thick, with lots of carbonation.

F: Semi bitter with more English hops, and lingering hot roast and dark malts. Some sweetness on the finish as well with more caramel and brown sugar.

jlindros, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -4.3%

oline73, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: bottle from Total Wine, Cherry Hill, NJ

Pours a dark cola brown-black with bronzed tints, and a pillowy beige head. Roasty malt aroma, sugary, with coffee notes. More dark roasted malts in the taste, molasses, licorice, coffee bitterness. Not quite full-bodied, but quite rich and tasty, and a very drinkable stout.

Rifugium, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of WesWes
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark black color with a thick brown head. The aroma is great. It boasts of crystal, chocolate, and black barley. The taste is good. It is a smooth and rich dark beer with real flavor. There are a lot of chocolate and crystal malts here with some black barley for color and crisp roasted flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine drinking stout. It's not much of a sessions ale, but it's one to enjoy. That's for sure.

WesWes, Feb 09, 2004
Photo of mactrail
2.71/5  rDev -35.2%
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.

mactrail, May 05, 2013
Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

mendvicdog, Apr 30, 2013
Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad to see Samuel Smith switched to brown bottles.

The beer pours a very dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma is chocolate with some roasted malt. I also get a little bit of mint in the aroma. The flavor is chocolate and roasted malt with some coffee mixed in. There is also some cream and oat notes in the flavor. Thick mouthfeel and low, soft carbonation. A very nice traditional imperial stout.

Mora2000, Jul 31, 2011
Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 550ML bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown color with one finger of tan head and high carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, roasted malts, and chocolate. Hint of toasted malts and grain.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, toasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits, and a hint of alcohol and coffee.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty good imperial stout that is heavy on the dark fruits in both the smell and taste. Would try again.

mdfb79, Aug 16, 2010
Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,098 ratings.