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Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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Samuel Smith's Imperial StoutSamuel Smith's Imperial Stout

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3,300 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,300
Reviews: 1,677
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.27%
Wants: 169
Gots: 264 | 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:
Beer added by: Todd on 02-27-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,300 | Reviews: 1,677 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Nate
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of RodSmith
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Cattafin
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of Fishbone
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Buster
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of szmnnl99
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of BrownNut
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've always loved Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout and Oatmeal Stout and decided to do a side-by-side taste test. Here it is.


A - black, deep ruby next to a lightbulb, thick off-white head, though not as thick or as textured as the Oatmeal Stout.

S - steely caramel, mocha, malt, mild coffee, almost a mulled winey/port note - more pronounced than in the oatmeal stout. Towards the end something plum-like came out, and finally something apple-y.

T - malt, cocoa and dark chocolate, hint of tart

M - smooth but less silky than the oatmeal stout and finishes slightly dry and slightly tart

O - I really like the Oatmeal Stout and this one cranks up the robustness a notch or two in my opinion. It's got a more pronounced flavor.


A - black, deep ruby next to a lightbulb, the famous Samuel Smith's thick, tan, textured head

S - steely caramel, wet grain, malt, faint mulled winey note

T - mild mocha, brown sugar, hint of a tart-metal-caramel triangle, pastry note

M - silky, ends slightly dry

O - A solid oatmeal stout, very well balanced, delicious and palatable, perfect for drawing newbies into the stout fold. Its American cousins take the ball from there and elevate the robustness and complexity, but this is still a nice one to drink. I'm a little sad that it doesn't deliver as well now that I've expanded my stout palate, but I'll keep my nostalgic soft spot for it.

Photo of Shmantha
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Leschber
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of orangesol
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought this one at Wegman's. I have had it a bunch of times now, time to sit down and write a review for it.

A - Pours jet black with a bubbly one and a half finger tall tan head leaving small streaks of lace down most of the glass.

S - Smells of dark roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits, black licorice and a touch of fruity yeast. This one has nearly everything you would look for in an Imperial Stout.

T - Starts off with quite a bit of dark roasted malt quickly giving way to some sweet chocolate and dark fruits. Once the sweetness dies down you get hints of black licorice, port wine and a very light fruitiness. Finish has plenty of dark roast, lingering long after consumption.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. This one is dark and roasty throughout, clinging to the pallet long after consumption. The soft feel does help to keep things in check tho.

O - Still one of the better "simple" stouts out there. It has a good amount of flavor and the lower than average ABV makes it easy to drink. A great entry level beer into the world of Imperial Stouts.

Photo of Garrett
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of DaveONan
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.92/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout has a thick, creamy, beige head and a very dark brown (with red tints) appearance with some lacing. Aroma is sharp, dark-roasted barley malt, fudge, and bread crust, and taste is of dark malt, black coffee, sugar, chocolate, sweetness, and some hop bitterness thrown in. There is also some dark fruit aspect, like dates. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, and Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout finishes heavy and semi-dry. Overall, this is a wonderful beer.


Photo of Reagan1984
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally time to review a Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout. One that I’ve had over the years, but never sat and thought about it too much.

The head builds and appears like a chocolate shake. Thick and creamy with excellent retention. The beer is much lighter than most Imperial Stouts and really looks like a cola w/o the carbonation. Just a touch of lace. Not nearly as much as the look of the head led me to believe.

Aroma is fairly light and I swear has mineral components to it. Just a touch of dark roasted malt, but not too strong at all.

I get cocoa and dark chocolate here. Some soy up front and some fruit in the end. Very smooth and easy drinking. Every once in a while I think chocolate/cherry in the flavor. Dark chocolate really is the base of the flavor here.

Mouth feel and the look of the beer go hand in hand. Both lighter than most Imp stouts I am used to. I prefer a thicker body, but this is still a nice beer.

Photo of BluBeers
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.62/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: 1/2" brown head over black liquid.

S: Yeast, dark fruit including figs and cherries and some toasted malt.

T: Toasted malt, roasted barley, yeasty flavours of cherries and figs with a somewhat bitter aftertaste reminiscent of black coffee.

M: Medium viscosity and a medium level of carbonation.

O: Just beautiful. A meal in a glass.

Photo of weezarc
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of HochFliegen
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice black pour with a solid tan colored head. Aroma was strong with malt, chocolate and coffee scents. With a deeper inhale I picked up alcohol and cherries as well. First tatse was very smooth and left a sweet impression of choclate and dark ripe cherries on my pallate. The aftertaste was slightly bitter and dry leaving a burnt coffee taste. Nice smooth mouthfeel with just enough creamieness. What a great warming stout on a cold rainy night.

Photo of robieobie1
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Kirby
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Kahlerbock
2.75/5  rDev -34.1%

Photo of WorldOfBeerCraft
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Pexkool
4.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Guinness pint.

A - It's what you would expect from a good stout, a pitch black color with a brown head over 3 fingers high that leaves a lace of about half finger high. Beautiful.

S - Delicious smell, rum and licorice fills the nose when the head is at its highest point, and when it dissipates the scent fades to a semi-sweet chocolate and anise aroma. A slight sniff of alcohol, perhaps, very well hidden.

T - Molasses, licorice and alcohol in a complex blend of flavors; there are some of them that I can't quite catch. I guess that's the roasted barley the label talks about. An aftertaste of hops and strong coffee.

M - Creamy and silky smooth. There's nothing much to add, really, it's fantastic. There's carbonation, but it's barely there. And with 7% ABV you can hardly notice the alcohol.

Overall a nearly perfect stout! I think it was much better than its Stone counterpart, but that's just my opinion. I would have expected more chocolate flavor but, again, that's just me. Can't complain though, this was one of the best stouts I've had. Highly recommended.

Photo of herman77
3.55/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Date code is SF10k1 and according to the international fresh beer only site, it was bottled on June 10th, 2011.

A: Dark dark brown, pretty much black with a light tan head with decent retention. A bit of spotty lacing.

S: Mineral water. Roasted malt and a bit of sweetness.

T: Very nice balance of roasted malt and sweetness. Very smooth. It has that mineral water or hard water taste again that is found in the nose. Short finish that is a bit sweet with roasted malt.

M: Medium body, soft carbonation that is really soft on the tongue.

O: Not bad. Pretty good drinkability. Wish it was fresher though.

Photo of OldTime
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,300 ratings.