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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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1,720 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,720
Hads: 3,569
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 16.31%
Wants: 216
Gots: 427 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
United Kingdom (England) | website

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.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,720 | Hads: 3,569
Photo of NJpadreFan
2.6/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Samuel Smith has a few good offerings out there but this is NOT 1 of them.

Sam Smith Imperial Stout poured black with a thick creamy head that would not quit. The smell is of toasty roasted coffee and chocolate. I also detect an alcohol odor present. The taste was BLAHHHH! Sweet and bitter. The bitterness and alcohol taste made this seem like oven cleaner or some other nasty house cleaning item! Ughh... I honestly think someone poisoned me!

Sorry Sam Smith fans ( I honestly like the oatmeal stout, and organic lager) this is one beer "Her Majesty's Forces" can keep!!

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Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The appearance of this Imperial was exceptional in my opinion. Not only was it an opaque opal color, but, it also had a nice 2 finger dark tan head that just lingered. It looked so darn good. Even when the head did start to go down it left a curtain of lace that would then form perfect rings around my glass. This was a visual 5, no doubt about it. The smell was excellent as well. A caramel nuttiness, with plenty of roasted malts and coffee notes. To me it's a similar smell to the Taddy Porter. The taste was of burned caramel, roasted espresso beans and roasted sweet malts. It also had the sweetness of burned fruits, raisons, and dates. The mouthfeel, although very good, was a bit thinner than I expected. Again, not bad at all, but from the richness of the rest of the experience I expected a bit more body. Very drinkable, the exceptional taste of this Imperial makes you wish winter would last a bit longer so you could squeeze a few more sessions in around the fire place.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.51/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ok can't believe I havent had this classic before. Comes in the usual clear Sam Smith pint bottle..
This is athe classic looking stout..black for the most part though mahogany accents round the edges appear when its held to the light..lovelly tan head..great looking lace.
The smell is dominated by the roasted, toasty malts, sweet black fruits, slightly milky.
Sweet when it first hits the tongue then a lemon rind bitter zestiness seems to clean that off the palate..then the esspresso coffee bitterness takes over..with creamy undertonesfinishes of with a nice hop kick at the back of the throat..alcohol is barely tastable.
An adventure for the taste buds, excellent on the palate.
ASn exceptionally drinkable Imperial Stout..maybe lower in alcohol than many others nowadays..but its big on taste and character.

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Photo of TinusTime
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a shade of black as dark as a starless night. Nice 2 fingered tan head that lasts for a good long while and laces well. The aromas are of a bit of bitter chocolate, strong coffee and a bit of brandied dried fruits. Taste is echoed.. Nice espresso roasted coffee notes in the taste with the chocolate and dried fruits adding some depth. This is one tasty treat. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with only a bit of the alcohol showing through. Drinkability is high for a stout of this stature and magnitude. One of the best you can find. One can only imagine the number of foods this beauty could pair with. Have one of these with dessert instead of coffee.

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Photo of stewart124
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a pitch black with a huge tan head. Very fluffy head that leaves a beautiful lace. Aroma is of espresso and roasted malts. Initial tastes of chocolate and coffee with blends of fruits and a nice velvet body that soothes the throat. This is extremely thick and has hints of plums. Outstanding silky feel and an overall great beer. The aftertaste is of an almost wine character. The flavors only become stronger as this brew warms. As the bottle states this is truly a drink for Her Majesty's Forces.

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Photo of SeanChouffe
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A great stout. Pours a deep black color with a light brown head. Sticky lace ? head diminishes quickly. The aroma is complex: malty, roasted stuff, chocolate, coffee and some fruit. The flavor is sweet and dry with a spicy finish and roasted tastes that hang around for a while. The mouthfeel is full: creamy and smooth with a dry finish.
One of my favorites.

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

Pours perfectly black as expected but the head disappeared rapidly, in any case it lets off a nice aroma of fruit and roast, which invites you to partake.

Taste is rich and varied, just to name off a few of the flavours: roasted barley, raisen/prune, a sweet milk bit, a nice back of the tongue hop bitter for a moment, and an overall coffee/chocolate tinged aspect, really tasty.

Mouthfeel definitely has some body while drinkability on this is about par for the course with imperials, good for people used to drinking them, not at all good for less adventurous taste buds :-)

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Photo of Chsyhkr
3.49/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The grand daddy of Imperial Stouts.

Clear bottle leads to some funny aromas, surprised? Not me.
Why do they do that...Get rid of the clear bottles.

Other than funny the aromas are ripe fruit and roast, very complex.

Leading to the same type of flavors, prunes and complex roasted flavors with plenty of hops in the end.

Not really strong enough for an Imperial Stout, 7.0%. But plenty warming.

Enjoy, just make sure you don't get a skunked one!

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Photo of Zorro
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black brew, this is in fact clear, IF! You have a 500-watt bulb to hold it up too.

Smell is sweet and malty, reminds me of a doppel bock. Solid fruitiness to this beer, and a touch of sourness. Toffee and brown sugar smells are here too. There is a solid chocolate smell to this.

Taste is very rich, to many flavors to catch on the first taste, strong chocolate flavor. Complex toffee, and then smoke and then, milk, and then coffee and then chocolate. Caramel is in here, Vanilla, Nuts, and many more. A VERY big brew.

Mouthfeel is thick like I like it.

Very drinkable to me, but will probably kill a Budweiser fan. A Master brew unlike the "Hop Monsters" that just overplay a single aspect. GREAT brews have 10-20-30+ Different dimensions of excellence, not just one. I like this company’s Oatmeal stout a bit better than this one, but this is a world class brew none the less.

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Photo of WesWes
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served at cellar-like temperatures in a Trois Pistoles goblet.

Appearance: Jet black topped by a thick dark tan head made of eensy weensy bubbles. Dissipates rather quickly to a scant film and a small ring. Wee bits of lacing were left on the glass.

Smell: Nice delicate balance atwixt coffee and prune aromas. Not as intense or as over-the-top as some (well, most) American versions.

Taste: Heavy roasted malts with prune-like dark fruit flavors. Coffee notes. Hearty with some light hopping on the finish. Sweet malts throughout the entire profile.

Mouthfeel: Oddly lighter in body than most imperial stouts I've had. Still, pretty dang thick.

Drinkability: I'd say that, judging solely by the brewery, that this is a very traditional Imperial Stout. Nice and tasty, but I like more coffee and chocolate flavors.

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout was served from a 550 ml clear bottle. When the beer was poured into an imperial pint glass, a thick and rich rocky tan head formed, then settled after a minute into a thinner but darker brown blanket, leaving thick lacing. The beer itself was impervious to light, except at the thinner bottom, where some deep ruby was seen to shine through. The nose was loaded with notes of ripe plantain, dark chocolate, sweet banana, and molasses... an intersting contrast to the nose of many of the top American imperial stouts. The taste was highly influenced by the nose. A mellow roasted malt base holds up flavors of molasses and dark chocolate, with subtle suggestions of banana coming through in the lingering semi-dry and well-bittered finish. The body was a little thin for an imperial stout, but wasn’t too detrimental to the overall experience. As this was a toned down imperial stout, not in flavor but in body and alcohol content, it was very drinkable. Overall a solid and fine tuned piece of work, sure to please most stout lovers, but may dissapoint junkies of Expedition, Speedway, or Storm King Stout.

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Photo of Foxman
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours impassibly dark, black of body with deep brown highlights at the edges. A quick light brown head scrambles upward, then settles slowly to a thin blanket of earth-toned foam. There are thin splotches of sticky lacing.

The aroma conveys a deep roasted grain sweetness trussed by a certifiable vinous character. The air is very basic with a mild bitterness countered against the malt body.

A malt sweetness rumbles forth in the flavor then swerves, just before becoming cloying, giving way to a mellow dark roast bitterness. A warm port character slips into the middle before the grain steps forward again. The finish brings a fading sweetness tempered by a distant hops bitterness.

Thick bodied, the heavy texture coats like a slinky dense liquor, leaving a syrupy sweetness on the palate.

I'll admit it's sweeter than I expected, but as just a piece of this tasty puzzle, that's an asset. One of the more truly balanced Imperial Stouts, it's big, but not humongous; full, but not bloated; dense, but far from over-complicated. The rather moderate ABV and fetching features make this emminently drinkable and enjoyable. It's a fine taste of England, and if it's even better on that side of the pond, then maybe I should be buying a plane ticket first thing.

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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.

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Photo of winomark
2.78/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Jet black with a substantial foamy brown head.

Aroma: Smells like chocolate licorice. Slightly sweet with toasty and yeasty notes.

Taste: Quite bitter and sour up-front, with a medicinal finish. Some chocolate tones.

Mouthfeel: Dry, but coating. Again, bitterness and sourness dominate.

Drinkability: Not a favorite of mine. Don't like the sourness of this stout.

Tasted blind at the Saint Louis BA tasting 12/14/03

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

Wow! What a fantastic beer. I have to say that I was blown away with it. Pours to a midnight black color with creamy light brown head. The smell is marvelous, chocolate and a spicy rum smell. They go well together. The first sip and I was shocked, holy cow this is a great beer! The taste is thick and heavy with hints of chocolate, raisins and is out of this world. It has a very smooth feel to it with good carbonation. I feel I could drink this beer night or at least until my face meet the floor!

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Photo of alexgash
4.41/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an oily black with a creamy tan head. Very nice. Smells of chocolate pudding, raisins, and roasted rum. Mmmmm. If the nose is a little reserved, the taste makes up for it. Very rich, whiskey-sweet malts. Notes of chocolate and raisins. Followed and balanced nicely by a dose of hops. Finish is bitter, slightly roasty, with noticeable, warming alcohol. Not as thick or strong as many other imp. stouts I know and love, but still great.

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Photo of BeefyMee
4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black with a tan head. Decent lacing. When it was in the bottle I could hold it up and get a little glint of light through it. Now that I have poured it, it has become a black hole.

Smell: Chocolate and a faint alcohol scent.

Taste: A lot going on here. Chocolately and cookie-like with some smokiness to boot. Every few sips there's a fruitiness as well that is something along the lines of raisins or currants or maybe prunes. As I drank, the smoke flavor became more evident. The alcohol is barely noticeable.

Mouthfeel: So creamy and wonderful.

Drinkability: Alcohol is not a factor here, only flavor. The last half of the beer was simply not as good as the first half.

I might need more time to figure this beer out. I can certainly see myself coming back to it.

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Photo of RootedFool
4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black and beautiful. I held this mother up to a lightbulb, for only a second, and it is totally impervious to light.

Burnt chocolate, licorice and coffee come through on the nose right away, and a light sourness -- perhaps due to the clear bottle? Bad batch? Well, if this was bad, it was still good.

Mouthfeel not as creamy as I expected, but coated my mouth nicely.

Rich roasted flavor of coffee and chocolate followed by an understated hop bitterness.

Just the right amount of carbonation.

The alcohol content is barely detectable, but warming.

Can't say I'd go for this again, there are many more beers to try, but it was a worthwhile experience.

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

Dark cocoa colored head that is thick and foamy. The head held solid and left a lot of lace as the beer dissapeared. The beer was coffee black in color, almost light abosorbing. The aroma was of creamy chocolate, dark malt, and alcoholic raisins. The flavor was rich and creamy, some burnt malt and a little cocoa. A great beer with rich flavor and a smooth finish.

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Photo of BCMan
4.73/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite thing about Sam Smith Imperial Stout is the look on the people around me's faces when I pour it and they realize that the bottle is clear. Most of them cringe and make some annoying comment about cough syrup. This beer is black with no chance of light getting through it. (even if you hold it directly in front of the light) It pours up a nice frothy brown head that lingers a bit before fading back to the drink. The aroma is interesting. Imagine what thick and dark might smell like and then have one of these and see if you were close. The flavor build straight through the after taste and lingers a bit. This guy Sam Smith must have beed a pretty cool cat!

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Photo of twilight
4.87/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is the beer dreams are made of. The taste of the roasted barley. Chocolate. Coffee. Molasses. Even a hint of butterscotch in the aftertaste. This should be the one they judge all stouts by....

Points off for the loss of the small brown head, but points for the inky blackness and the elegance of the brew in a nonick pint and the head retention around the edges of the glass. It smells sweet, almost like caramel, but dark as night. The taste is heavenly, thick and full. Heavy and beautiful, almost like drinking candy.

I know I couldn't drink this all night, for fear of passing out on someone's lap, but oh, is it so good.

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Photo of necoadam
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Yummy!! Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout reminds me of two great brews put together. Apperance reminds me of Victory's Storm King Imperial Stout. Looks jet black with excellent amount of carbonation. Smell consists of chocolate and prunes mostly. Taste is what it's all about. It reminds me of Victory's Storm King and Sam Adam's Cream Stout put together. It's got that creamy aftertaste which makes it complex. And at 7.0%ABV, you wouldn't even know it's that much (the taste that is), although it does warm your throat and stomach which is a nice feel. Truly one of the best beers money can buy. I would recommend this beer just about to anyone.

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Photo of dansteino
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There are few beers that carry the clout
Of a Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout
It pours the color of night
Through which light cannot fight
This beer is what life is about.

Wow. Did this beer just make me burst out in rhyme?

I do not know, but I love this ripe fruit smelling, chocolate coffee tasting goodness.

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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.

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Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 1,720 ratings.