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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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1,696 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,696
Hads: 3,460
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 207
Gots: 368 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,696 | Hads: 3,460
Photo of vette2006c5r
4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imperial Stout pours a black color with very little head. There is a strong aroma with lots of creamy notes, and a strong roasted and coffee notes. The taste is bold very creamy, with strong coffee flavors, with a nice warm finish. Good full flavors, good body, and that unique Samuel Smith flavor. Overall a very good bold and special imperial stout. (351 characters)

Photo of Crafts_and_recreation
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a surprisingly complex and well executed brew!

A: pours a lovely black, opaque hue

S: Fruit forward aroma of dark wine, raisins, caramel, toasted barley, and wood combine to awaken the senses

T: Complex notes of sweet, rich malts with an ever so slightly charred alcohol flavor reminiscent of dark wine and toffee or licorice

M: A balanced medium body that carries smoothly across the palate and has a slightly dry finish

O: A great stout! Very interesting combination that works well and gives some variety to the traditional flavor (547 characters)

Photo of TheMultiYeast
4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled June 26, 2012.

Very dark brown blocking any trace of light. A small sandy head forms briefly. Very little lacing.

Nose offers deep roasted barley aromas, chocolate, molasses, some dark fruit, and a hint of hops.

Taste also goes heavy on roasted notes, some dark chocolate, mild sweetness, a bit of charred bitterness and a long aftertaste.

Nice body on this one. Not overly thick, just enough to stand up to the flavors and modest ABV.

Just a classic Imperial Stout that everyone should have. (506 characters)

Photo of Scrapss
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Sam Adams Turbinator style glass. Purchased in 22oz bottle

A: dark as night. nice head at first that settles into thin wispy lacing.

S: some hints of dark cherry, deep roasty notes, slight notes of brewers' licorice notes.

T: malty deep coffee roasted, some of the licorice notes, bit of booziness. Very complex dark roasted notes. Woodiness, caramel.

M: filling oily/creaminess, and hot , imperceptably slightly smoked finish. nice malty middle breath.

O: very solid. Would definitely have over and over and over yet again. Sam Smith delivers yet again. (571 characters)

Photo of Dave1999
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a small tab coloured head.

The smell is dark fruits, licorice and treacle. Smells fantastic.

The taste is dark fruits and licorice. There's some alcohol on the finishing, is pretty dry.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

This is a great ris as I'd expect from Sam smiths. A lot less sweet than some of the American versions. (372 characters)

Photo of SerialTicker
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

$3.29 for a single at my bottle shop, but I really wanted a big stout that I hadn't had before... I went with this.

Appearance: Poured with an awesome brown head on it that eventually died down to a silky looking film on top. The beer itself looks black, but has a lot of ruby to it when held up to light.

Smell: Dark fruits. Dark chocolates. A bit of alcohol. Maybe even black licorice to an extent. Just a lot of roasty character.

Taste/feel: A relatively thick mouthfeel, but probably somewhat thin for the style is the first thing I notice. Then the flavor of a somewhat tart dark fruit comes through, followed by a very pleasant roast aftertaste. Most RISs I've had have a huge alcohol profile with a ton of warmth, an oily mouth feel, a pretty intense warmth, and so on -- given that this "Imperial" stout is only 7%, I don't get much of that at all... maybe that's why I like it so much. It's a big stout, but it's one that I could probably actually enjoy two of. With pretty much any other RIS, I'm more than fine after having just one because they usually feel so heavy.

The price is kind of steep on this beer, but it's pretty exceptional. For my preferences, this may be the best Russian Imperial Stout that I've ever had. At the same time, I'd probably pick other options more often just because this one's (fairly significantly) more expensive. Must try. (1,372 characters)

Photo of ISmith87
3.91/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tried this beer before and it was alright. Seems like the guys over in England didn't quite get the message on the Imperial Stout. Good beer though, so here it goes...

A - Good looking beer, dark brown almost black with a nice brown head that starts at 2 finger sbut then dissipates down to almost nothing.

S - Mostly red wine. Some dark roasted malts in there.

T - Again a lot of red wine. Dark and roasted malts. Coffee, Espresso. Dark Fruits.

M - light - medium mouthfeel, I missed the thick body of the American RIS's. Alcohol is there (but it shouldn't be at 7%). Leaves a roasted/red wine aftertaste.

O - For a Russian Imperial Stout this is pretty one-dimensional. A lot of red wine flavor but not much of anything else. Maybe I'm just spoiled here in the US with Stone RIS and Old Raspy but I wouldn't buy this again. (834 characters)

Photo of Charliechu
3.4/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

550 ML bottle from Whole Foods.

It looks and smells just like an imperial stout. The pour was smooth and everything you come to expect from the style, just that taste wasn't there for me. Personally I thought this beer was a bit light for an Imperial stout. I was expecting something a bit more... flavorful. I also thought mine was a bit over carbonated, but that could just be my bottle. It does leave though a very pleasure after taste of some sweet coffee notes. Overall, I thought it was a decent beer, but as fair as imperial stout goes, I wouldn't be picking this one for my first choice.

Drink more beers!

Cheers! (626 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Almost three fingers of tan head... a bit much, on a black body. Looks great though.
The aroma is a strong roasted malt and with a touch of burnt malt.
The taste has strong bitter coffee, roasted malt and a bit of milk to mild it out. A nice bold profile.
The texture is crisp thickness with moderate carbonation.
Pretty solid. (364 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.71/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The color alone gets this a 4 as the black is brilliant oynx, practically glowing. The head was fizzy, brown and was lost.

The scent reminds me of molasses, sorghum and caramel malt. A little sweetness in the nose theres a soy-like aroma that's a bit off putting.

The taste has a nice chocolatey malt flavor with a touch of roasted coffee, char and toasted malt. A little licorice sweetness is the only distraction from a pretty decent Stout. (444 characters)

Photo of JamesStreet
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured really dark brown, almost black, opaque color of molasses. Very slight brownish head. Good bit of lace.

Standard aroma of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, a little raisiny smell.

Taste follows smell. Chocolaty- raisin taste going on here. A little sweet on the back end.

Medium heaviness, low carbonation. Alcohol buried well.

Overall a nice imperial stout. Not my favorite but nice to drink. I tend to like a little more oomph in my RIS and this one lacked. (476 characters)

Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Very dark; almost black; small tan head; dissipates quickly; no lacing

Aroma: Roasted grains; burnt; dried fruit; coffee

Taste: Smooth creamy start with lots of warming alcohol; bitter mid with sweet, nutty notes; well balanced and complex; finishes with coffee bitterness and roasted grains

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores (380 characters)

Photo of PaleZombie
4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

A - Dark brown color with some ruby tinges coming through all around the glass. About a finger of nice creamy tan head.

S - Bittersweet chocolate malt, lots of dark fruit (rains and figs) mild hints of coffee. Mild hint of alcohol as it warmed.

T - Big on the dark fruit followed by pleasant sweet chocolate malts, a tad bit of coffee bitterness in the finish.

M - On the light side of medium, not as thick as I expected from an Imperial Stout. Good amount of carbonation.

O - Great representation of an Russian Imperial Stout on this one with the dark fruits shining through. This will be a go to for a lighter RIS and is not too pricey. (689 characters)

Photo of Roman5150
3.86/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

bottle into pint glass, aged for 1 year

appearance: pitch black with 2 finger tan head, aggressive pour

smell: smokiness, roasted malts, espresso and really black coffee, dark chocolate

taste: Heavy smokiness, almost like a German Rauchbier, lots of dark chocolate and a dry roasted espresso flavor in the middle. Ends with a beef jerky, earthy finish.

mouthfeel: not much carbonation but a huge thick creamy flavor

overall: A great example of an English Stout. However, i'm not a huge fan of English beer. I studied there for 3 months with hopes of getting into their style of beer, but it never grew on me. WHile a great stout I can drink all day, and will buy again, it in no way compares to it's US counterparts such as Stone IRS, Bells Expedition or Black Note, Founders KBS, BS, CBS, and many more. It's a great brew that I can respect, just not my style. (866 characters)

Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.55/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a pitch black with one full finger of dark khaki colored head. The foam is think and frothy, and takes forever to diminish. There is a ton of lacing left on the glass as it drinks.

S: The nose is caramel, chocolate, raisin, and soy. Uhh ohh. I'm in for a bad time. It smells a touch sour and just off. How long has this been sitting on the shelf at my local beer store?

T: It starts out sweet with roasted malt, caramel, and toffee. I get some milk chocolate in the middle, but nothing that dominates. I'll tell you what does dominate, though... sour. I get soy sauce and lacto throughout. Bummer man. The finish is more lacto and toffee.

M: Full bodied beer. This one has some good heft. It's coating but not syrupy. The flavors seem to be ok (minus that brutal sourness). I'm actually a bit taken aback by the toffee notes in this beer.

O: Not a fan. The off flavors really ruin this beer. I hope it's just a bad bottle, but who knows. I will try this again sometime down the road, but will prefer to seek this out on draft. (1,039 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

550 ml bottle, no bottled-on date that I can find, poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours black with a huge, fluffy brown head, has very good retention and leaves awesome lacing.

S- Chocolate, roast, dark fruit, vinous aroma. Smells nice, a pretty fruit-forward stout aroma.

T- Lots of dark fruit, some roasted grain and light chocolate. Finishes with more fruit and maybe some vinousness.

M- Medium-bodied, it's about what you'd expect for a 7.00% stout, but it's pretty thin for the style.

O- A solid imperial stout, it's tasty, and although the flavor isn't massive and the body is a bit thin, it's still a great beer for the price point. (643 characters)

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. (753 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.13/5  rDev -1%
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. (1,131 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear deep brown with garnet highlights and a frothy one inch tan head that lingers, eventually leaving sheets of pillowy lacing as it dissipates.

Licorice, dark fruit, roast malt, chocolate, and floral hops form the initial aroma. Notes of soy, tar, acetone, and light medicinal phenols add complexity. Dark cherry and vinous tones are surprising, as well as minerally qualities.

Flavor reveals acetone, vinous, dark cherry, minerally undertones initially, which fade to rich roast malt and dark chocolate mid palate, with light char surfacing in the finish, adding slight bitterness. The malt profile is truly rich.

Body is fairly full, with low carbonation and soft alcohol warmth.

Not what I recall from this brew. The vinous, minerally, and soy characteristics
must've eluded me in the past. Either that, or I got an odd bottle. Great malt character, though. Not overly bitter, by any stretch, nor overly sweet. Well balanced. But that acetone character is offputting. Minus that, it's an excellent beer. (1,023 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml bottle into a nonic pint glass

pours a dark black with a nice creamy beige head. Smell is typical for the style with a lot of roasted malts and chocolate dominating the palate. Taste holds true with an abundance of chocolate (though not overwhelming) and a good roasted malt backbone. Very solid RIS. Full bodied, light carbonation.

Overall my favorite Samuel Smith beer and a real winner, especially for the price! (423 characters)

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured 500mL bottle into 34oz mug. Pitch black with dark, dark brown on the edges in light, with a thin dark brown head that doesn't stick around. Smell is similar to the oatmeal stout; mostly yeast, but with a hint of chocolate. Taste is very clear, coffee and chocolate malt with a pretty clean finish. Mouthfeel is full yet fizzy. Delicious. (344 characters)

Photo of KelsoSaaz
4.52/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter

A: Pitch black with no light coming through. Tan, fine, quickly dissipating head.

S: Dark fruit and dark chocolate. Heavily roasted malts.

T: Intense roasted malt and coffee flavors. Bittersweet bakers chocolate and tiny hints of tart black cherries. Slight acidity. Finishes with bitter roasted malts and dark fruit.

M: Thick, viscous, borderline syrupy mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation.

O: A brew fit for a king. This RIS is exceptional and comes with a price tag that won’t offend the common folk. Samuel Smith’s continues to prove its world-class status. This is a must have for winter months or as an after dinner treat. (653 characters)

Photo of FLima
4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black color, so deep that almost no light can come through it. Lots of thick caramel head with an eternal retention.
Very nice aroma of dark chocolate with cherries, yeast and coffee. So far very promising.
Flavor was far from disappointing regardless of the high expectations the appearance and aroma had built in. Strong notes of espresso coffee, roasted malts and a bit smoked, condiments, port wine, caramel and a good deal of perfumy floral and earthy hops. Dry aftertaste with a residual coffee bitter taste.
Full liquorish and velvet body, creamy with very low carbonation and tiny bubbles. Alcohol of 7% ABV, which is on the lower range for the style, is subtle among the other bold variables.
Excellent beer, perfect balance. One to be savored slowly, feasting on every sip. (783 characters)

Photo of Samuel906
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I'm a big fan of Sam Smith's chocolate stout, the imperial did not disappoint either. Unlike most imperials, this is very dry, and more bitter. Lots of roasted malts, bakers chocolate, and cappuccino. Just a touch of brown sugar sweetness. My only real qualm is is a bit light and watery for an Imperial, and has almost no head. Overall very good, and a nice reprieve from the usual diabetes bombs that are most imperial stouts. (428 characters)

Photo of JuliusCaesar
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Black with a light brown head

S: Not very powerful but chocolate is there

T: Chocolate is dominant but caramel and toffee are also distinguishable. Bitterness and light alcohol on the finish

M: Rich and smooth

Overall: Really enjoyable beer. It's just plain good (269 characters)

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 1,696 ratings.