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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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1,702 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,702
Hads: 3,482
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 16.31%
Wants: 213
Gots: 384 | 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: 1,702 | Hads: 3,482
Photo of do_ob
4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Pours black with a 1 finger tan head of foam. Pleasant aroma which has notes of chocolate, coffee, chai spice, vanilla, and roasted malt. Quite light weight for an imperial stout, but rich and creamy nonetheless. A bittering, roasty chocolate/vanilla mixture on the taste at first. Middleways, coffee notes start to shine through, with more bitterness on the tongue after the finish. A bittersweet char is left on the palate after it's all said and done.

Overall, very enjoyable. Has quite a bit of tang to it, and doesn't finish as smooth as I'm used to. Not a bad thing, however. This beer has its own characteristics, and while it's different from the Americanized RIS's I'm used to, it's a solid example in its own right. Definited worthy of its reputation.

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Photo of Gorilla_Biscuits
1.48/5  rDev -64.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

This is a super weak imperial stout, It's malty and watery. Not a huge fan... the abv is much lower than your typical RIS, yet it really has no flavor to it.

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Photo of drunkenmess
3.74/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Was expecting more from this after hearing much about it. Pours dark as hell, black. Nice thick dark tan head which stays all thru with thick lacing also. Smells to me almost like oats, nuts? and sum sweetness. Taste is actually alil bland for me.. nuttiness with some bittersweetness to it. Overall I've had better (Lagunitas Imperial Russian Stout). Hoping the Tady Porter will be better.

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Photo of Cantram88
4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Stout says it all. I enjoyed the first taste of this sense savoring sixteen ounces of brown goodness after a long 12 hour shift. It's bold fragrance and phenomenal character make it a special occasion drink, but definitely one to keep around and share with other die hards.

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Photo of AirBob
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Notes from 12/22/14

A - 3 fingers of super dense, chocolatey head. Dark black body. Excellent retention. Great lacing.
S - Light milk chocolate notes. Slight notes of coffee grounds. Molasses.
T-Bitter, light roasted coffee. Dark chocolate. Touch of molasses. A little metallic in the finish. More cocoa.
M - Creamy but on the thinner side for the style. Bitter finish keeps it drainable. Latte like.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

DATE TASTED: April 7, 2015... GLASSWARE: Duvel snifter.. OCCASION: celebrating the O’s opening day win while watching the NCAA finals... APPEARANCE: ominous black body that allows a swiftly simmering brown head to halo at the glass ... AROMA: powerful rum, vinous port, strong Spaltz and chocolate make for an inviting complexity--not to mention the roasted malts that provide a wicked balance... PALATE: smooth, slick, a bit dry, yet full-bodied--a paradox resolved only through a beautifully lingering aftertaste... TASTE: chocolate, roasted cracker, slight alcohol in a whiskey-like allure; the components make for a rich, dark, strong stout that is sweet and rewarding; some nut, raisin and cask wood further the experience...OVERALL: Once more, another brewery that does so little wrong--this beer commands the taste buds with strength and subtlety, rewarding the drinker with a sweet, powerful sip...

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Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - extremely dark with a massive beige head that has extreme retention. Ruby highlights against the light and loads of lace.

S - Extreme heavy burnt malts some sweet brown sugar and dark fruit and plenty of boose.

T - Wow what a mix from burnt malt to treacle like sweetness with a sour pang, good boozy punch. Almost like a stout meets barley wine.

MF - Pretty smooth and creamy with boozy nip and warmth coupled with moderate drying.

O - A great drink with ample flavour and clearly a winner for those who like big taste.

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Photo of cyoung35
3.22/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Drink this beer with your mouth hole. Appearance is black in the natural light. Lovely fuggle aroma and light hop bittering. Tastes and feels like a smooth cold coffee.

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Photo of maedhros09
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Dark brown/black with moderate tan head that leaves some lacing
Smell: roasty, dark fruit
Taste: Roasty chocolate/coffee with dark fruit and mild herbal hoppiness. little bitterness
Feel: medium body, smooth

Overall: This stout has the typical hallmarks of imperial stouts - sweet roasty chocolatey maltiness and a dark fruity acidity with a moderate bitterness. What is most different from american imperial stouts I've had is that it's not as thick and sweet. Also, accounting for the lower ABV, it is less boozy. The flavor balance is really remarkable - proof that you don't need a crazy high ABV to achieve an exceptional imperial stout.

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Photo of coltonbrimhall
4.61/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

-amazing thick thick head foam that lasts and a midnight black body
- roasted barly smells with a alcohol warmth
-one of my favorite Russian imperials alcohol warming roasted grains and slight oat cream
-a little to creamy for this style but great overall
-great beer will drink agian ideal russian imperial stout

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Photo of CTbrew32
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Black in color with a one a finger mocha colored head produced.

Aroma- Consists of dark chocolate and roasty malts.

Taste- Semi sweet chocolate is big upfront along with some bitterness from the roasted malt. Towards the finish a slight fruity aspect comes out showing flavors of orange and cherry, but not acidic or hoppy, rather esters from the yeast.

Feel- Medium to full bodied, light carbonation, and a creamy yet semi dry overall feel.

Overall- A 7% percent imperial stout is a unique thing to see, but regardless as a stout this is a great beer. The orange/cherry aspect gives this a really nice flavor dynamic with the roasted malt, espcially as it warms. Overall, this is very flavorful and easy to drink, and its definitely worth revisiting.

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Photo of marieli
4.94/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle. This was a great beer. Appearance dark brown. Wish the aroma had a little more oomph. I did not get the fruits many document. Maybe it was just me that day but otherwise this stout packed a lot of well balanced flavor. Coffee rose above chocolate and malts. A great blend. Creamy and delicious. Can't wait to see if the next one lives up to the first!

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Photo of avwrite
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.75

Fantastic. Dark, rich in flavor, and smooth going down, it's what a stout should be. Perfect balance of bitterness and coffee/chocolate tastes. Superb.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.11/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pitch black pour with a one finger caramel-colored head with minimal retention and decent lacing. The nose is roasty with a subtle sweetness along with hints of licorice, espresso, toffee, molasses, and a touch of dark fruits. The taste follows suit with hints of roasted malt, dark chocolate, molasses, espresso, dark fruits, licorice, and leather. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy with a nice bittersweet finish and great drinkability. Overall, another solid offering from Samuel Smith's.

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Photo of infinitebruner
3.77/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

January 21, 2015

550 ml bottle, snifter

A – Jet black and moderately thick, opaque. About an inch of medium-tan, big-bubbled foam with fairly low retention.

S – Sweet malt with deep toffee and roasted coffee and licorice notes. Hops are herbal, slightly woody. A bit of oaky, earthy character, and some fruity esters.

T – A lot of malty sweetness with licorice and light tobacco high in the mix. Roasty coffee notes and sweet molasses. Herbal, medicinal hop flavors and some moderate hop bitterness.

M – Moderately low carbonation, fairly smooth and lighter than expected. A lot of residual sweetness and moderate bitterness. Balanced toward sweet.

O – Fairly complex and enjoyable flavor profile, would like a little more bitterness for balance.

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Photo of RichardMNixon
3.22/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

Looks like a great stout. Smell is chocolate, raisins, must, and feet. Taste is cleaner but fairly plain and one dimensional. Mouthfeel is the strong suit, silky smooth and very chewy.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

App - Pours like motor oil with brown head which resolves to fine brown lacing and minimal effervescent.
Smell – roasted malts, burnt caramel, dried leaves, fresh wood shavings, dried figs/dates

Taste – malt forward, bittersweet with a lot of dark, dried fruits notes (prune/raisin), bready (rye), a lot of dry woodsy notes. Fairly clean finish with only a hint of residual sweetness (almost like a fig).

Mouthfeel – medium bodied (akin to 2%milk) with a fair amount of carbonation as it warms, dries the palate and leaves a bit of syrupy stickiness in the mouth (not unpleasant)

Overall: very good imperial stout, a complex blend of flavors that make it a good winter sipper, with less alcohol than other beers within this genre. I enjoyed it, though there are several great American RIS that I’d prefer (at a more reasonable price point!) My current fave is the Yeti imperial Stout – very similar in complexity with a sweeter profile, cleaner palate and a bit higher ABV.

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Photo of ed_loves_ipa
4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A bit pricey, but definitely worth it. T: toasty malt with a hint of coffee. S: burnt chocolate and alcohol. M: full flavored malt profile. Very tasty. I will definitely get more next time.

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Photo of thegodfather1076
4.64/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Nice label that has a very classic look and color scheme. Label gives a bit of brewery info, has an awesome eye-catching font, states “Fermented in stone Yorkshire Squares”, “1896 Gold Medal Winner International Brewers Exhibition” and “1930 Silver Medal Winner Brewers and Allied Traders International Exhibition and Market”. Gold foil wrapped neck and cap. Back label gives ABV info, brewery info, web info, and a nice description of the beer. Embossed on the bottle are “Samuel Smith” and “Bottled at Yorkshires oldest brewery est 1758”.

Appearance: An aggressive pour from its 550mL brown home into a 16oz Imperial Pint led to a thick creamy 4 finger cappuccino colored head atop a thick opaque black beer that lets no light through. Head retention was an amazing 6min 19sec before dissipating to a thick ring and 1 finger rocky coating with an amazing amount of lacing.

Smell/Aroma: Smell is of sweet dark fruits such as prunes or plums along with a bit of cooked molasses, slight coffee, and chocolate.

Flavor/Taste: Tastes of dark fruits and cooked down brown sugar and molasses with a bit of milk chocolate on the front end. Mid point becomes very roasty with a deep fresh roast coffee bean flavor along with a roast chocolate malt coming through. Back end again has a deep roast coffee bean flavor that becomes slightly smokey with a sweet milk chocolate taste for a nice balance. Finish and aftertaste is very roasty. Just phenomenal!!

MouthFeel/Drinkability: On the full side of medium bodied with a thick creamy mouthfeel that goes down smooth. Very drinkable brew!!

Overall/Comments: I have to say that this is one of the more impressive beers that I have had. Many RISs try to be so over the top with ABV and flavors that they become a bit overwhelming. Samuel Smiths Imperial Stout combines perfect ABV, flavor, and mouthfeel to make a must try beer! Classified as a Russian Imperial Stout @ 7% ABV. Consumed 1/8/2014.

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Photo of TeamMathis
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: black. Kept a decent head.
Smell: sweet malt, cocoa, coffee.
Taste: same as smell with a bit of a bite.

This is excellent. It has a nice creamy if not oily feel to it. Tastes like it'd have a bigger ABV. Overall, I'm very impressed and will certainly get it again.

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

L - Almost opaque black. Light mocha head that dissipated quickly. No lacing but some syrupy legs
S - Coffee, dried fruit and caramel. Some sweetness
T - Coffee and bitter chocolate. Firm bitterness on finish. Something in the flavor has a bit of belgian yeast to it - a hint of estery fruitiness
F - A bit thin on the finish. Really wish there was more malt backbone to this

Overall solid, but not feeling the love entirely. Interesting but probably not something I will re-visit again.

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Photo of Can_has_beer
3.23/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this one a few times now and I just can't behind those flavors. I think its the yeast, which comes off as a bit Belgian to me. I think it needs less yeast and more roast.

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Photo of Jeffsta1
4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A fine stout, a benchmark for me.
Pours dark, light head.
Moderate mouthfeel for an imperial stout.
Very nice flavor. Coffee, cocoa, mildly bitter, not overly sweet.
Finish is subtle but long; classic stout flavors

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

500ml bottle served in a snifter at fridge temps. No freshness date but was purchased in 12/2014.

Appearance: very dark brown with a nice and thick tan head. Fairly effervescent considering this is a low carbonation style. It was not as thick as some other examples of an imperial stout but was decent.

Smell: raisins, prunes, and other dark fruits, notably fruity (Ringwood yeast maybe), sugar plums. No alcohol, coffee, chocolate, dark malty character at all. Weird from an imperial stout with this pedigree.

Taste and Feel: pretty thin but very tasty, no alcohol at all, roasted character in the middle where I'd expect some classic stout chocolate or coffee notes would be, there is a roasted malt finish and the mouthfeel is rather dry for the style.

I have to say, this was not at all what I was expecting from a very classic imperial stout. Maybe it's because I'm used to the amped up American versions here in the states. I'm going to have to try to get a hold of some more classic English examples of this style to see if this is what it's supposed to be. I have another bottle that I'm going to try in a few months. Lets see if I can find a Courage RIS to try.

After a few months in the cellar all of the dried fruit flavors melded together to. Rate a very enjoyable beer. This is a nice palate calibrator for what an original Imperial Stout should taste like. Score was raised from about weak 3.75 to a solid 4.25

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Photo of majorbase2
3.99/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very very dark (possibly black) color with a very large, thick, brown head. Not the best retention. Recedes leaving a small amount of lacing around the edges.

Aroma leads with milky chocolate. Very very sweet. A bit of dark fruit, most noticeably raisin. Chocolate really dominates here.

Taste is more of the same, although not necessarily in a bad way. Some notes of biscuity malts, a bit more of the dark fruits, with a hint of black licorice. Sweetness dominates. Once again, raisin is the most noticeable dark fruit. Honestly not as much going on in the taste as I had hoped.

Although I have been disappointed to this point, mouthfeel knocks it out of the park. Medium bodied, perfectly carbonated. Nice and creamy, goes down very smooth. The most easily downable Stout I've ever had.

Overall, I'm honestly a little disappointed in my first entry from Samuel Smith. Although they completely nail the sweet, milky chocolate in the taste, I wasn't moved by any other aspects of the taste. Still a good Stout, but not what I had hoped.

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Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 1,702 ratings.