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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,984 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,984
Reviews: 1,637
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 124
Gots: 147 | 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)
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Ratings: 2,984 | Reviews: 1,637 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwinship83


4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- black body with a moderate sized beige head.

S- toffee, chocolate, roasted malts, and a hint of licorice.

T- very roasty with a strong coffee after taste. lots of licorice as well.

M- creamy and smooth, but too thin and watery.

D- very interesting beer thats easy to drink. other than the thin mouthfeel, this is a great beer. very possible to have a couple of the 550ml bottles in a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2008 04:25:06 | More by jwinship83
Photo of prosper

Alberta (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

based on the appearance and smell, I was expecting a good, but hardly exceptional stout. Then I drank some. Wow. This beer grabs your attention immediately and holds on!

There's an immediate, sharp carbonation bite on the tongue, accented by fruity late-hops and big almost belgian esters. The next think you notice is the creamy chocolatey-smooth texture and the usual (but subdued) accompaniment of roasted grain flavours, and a nice grainy bitterness without any astringency. You'll notice lots of fruit notes; cherry, apple, etc. It finishes with dark grainy bitterness and hops, with a slight alcohol warmth. This is an absolutely stunning stout. I'll buy more of these.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2008 02:37:46 | More by prosper
Photo of Goliath


3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black, and completely opaque. A half inch light brown head forms on top and lingers with good retention.

The aroma is alright, but nothing too special. Some darker malts, with a bit of fruit, and slightly floral.

Taste is ok. Dark malts give some burnt flavors, burnt coffee being the dominant. A bit of dark sweet fruit follows.

Mouthfeel is kind of thin for a RIS, feels watery. Carbonation is fine.

Drinkability is moderate to high. Flavor is fine, and alcohol is easily manageable. It's a good beer but nothing out of the ordinary.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2008 00:15:37 | More by Goliath
Photo of Stonebreaker


4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Motor oil black with a thick rich head and hoops of lacing.

Smell: Faint chocolate, spice and alcohol.

Taste: Chocolate, faint prune notes, warming alcohol, well balanced. What is that signature taste that lets you know it's a RIS, whatever it is this has got it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and rich as butter.

Drinkability: A very drinkable brew, but ought to be respected, delicious. A classic.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2008 20:58:46 | More by Stonebreaker
Photo of kinger


3.4/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

OK, I know in my 2nd and last review of a S.S. brew I formally said goodbye due to overpriced let-downs but.... a) I scored this for $2.69, b) I grabbed it within the first week it hit the shelves, and c) I love stouts. So with that being said this is a solid stout although my rating is likely lower than my overall enjoyment of this beer but I have to put it up against other Imperials. Aroma is enjoyable, very roasty and bitter. Good dark pour with an easily attainable head with little to no lacing. Mouthfeel is somewhat creamy and the finish is smoooth, but it's rather thin for an Impy. Impressive taste, roasted malts-a-plenty, some light coffee and chocolate. Easy to drink for an Impy and the alcohol makes a quick appearance. Overall a solid stout.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2008 12:19:03 | More by kinger
Photo of changeup45


3.48/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black color, moderate brown head and some lacing. Alcohol obvious in the aroma with some roasted malt. Sharp, tart, alcoholic mouthfeel with some roasted malt and chocolate flavors. Dark chocolate aftertaste which was pretty nice. The more I drink it the better it gets, but in all honesty that just could be the alcohol doing it's job.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2008 20:30:43 | More by changeup45
Photo of ryane


3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours Black, small tan head, small amount of lacing

S- Smells roasty, chocolatey, and a hint of coffee

T- Chocolatey, with a subtle coffee flavor, smooth, a bit sweet for my liking but good

M- Nice body, reminds me of a bigger version of their oatmeal stout

D- Good beer, but with its similarity to the oatmeal stout, think Id rather drink that and be able to have a few

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2008 17:24:01 | More by ryane
Photo of KodyBrannon


4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured this beer into a pint glass. It poured black with a thick tan head. The smell was of alcohol and roasted malts. I also picked up a hint of coffe in the scent. The taste was more coffee, with a hint of roasted malt coming through in the after taste. The mouthfeel is heavy with a touch of carbination. This is a very enjoyable beer, and is widely available. I would recomend this to anyone who is a fan of the RIS style.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2008 00:09:53 | More by KodyBrannon
Photo of PatronWizard


3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 4 pack to glass...

Looks like dark coke. Not quite black, but very dark brown. Head fell down kinda quick.

Light coffee aroma, not a strong scent.

Good coffee flavor, some sour notes.

Body is a little thin for a stout.

Sorry, don't know what else to say. I bought this because it was on the BA Top 100 and I expected more. It's not bad by any means but I expected KaPow! This is the same week that I had Stone IRS and Speedway Stout for the first time so maybe I have the bar set too high for this little guy. Even as such, this is still a solid brew and Sammy Smith continues to make quality products (only let me down once - India Ale).

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2008 20:17:49 | More by PatronWizard
Photo of matty


3.38/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black colored stout with a creamy head that fades to about a half an inch.Aroma is a mix of cocoa and coffee.Taste is chocolate,coffee and alcohol.I personally think this is a much better brew than their nut brown ale.I would buy again and recommend to my buddies.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2008 05:10:31 | More by matty
Photo of AltBock


4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slender brown 12 oz. bottle with a classic white label on it. This classic label has the name of the beer in gold lettering, the brewery's symbol of a barrel with the established year on it, and some of the medals it won back in 1896 and 1930. Don't they have any recent medals laying around? The back label on contains the mandatory US information. Just below the gold foil that's over the cap is some kind of bottle code. Mine was bottle code SB06B1. I'm sure that's a code that the brewery can only understand.

Appearance: I poured this Samuel Smith's beer into a Maudite Snifter. What came out of this small bottle was a big black colored beer. It was an oil black, but it wasn't a oily black sludge of a beer. Great color! The head of foam was almost as nice. The initial head of foam was about 1 inch in height and was a mocha/light tan color. It had great retention that left behind a small mocha/tan film, foamy rings along the edge, and just a small amount of spots of lace around the glass. It was just a nice Imperial Stout appearance!

Smell: When I first popped the cap, I got this unique aroma that combined black cherries and a bale of hay. When the beer settled, the bale of hay was gone, but the black cherries still remained. Along with the black cherries, there was the smell of dark roasted coffee beans, dark roasted malts, a hint of dark chocolate, black berries, and then finishes up with a subtle scent of sweet caramel and bitter roasted hops. I noticed there were a few malted tea leaves hiding in here too, but those came and went as they pleased.

Taste: This Imperial Stout starts off dry and roasted with dark roasted malts, dry roasted coffee beans, a splash of bitter dark chocolate, and a touch of of dry roasted bitter hops. I thought that was the end of the taste, but that was only the beginning of the taste. After the hops, the taste goes sweet with sweet English toffee, sweet roasted malts, and some ripe black berries at the finish line. I thought the first half of the taste was good enough for this beer, but the sweet finish was the icing on the cake.

Mouthfeel: This Imperial Stout was more medium bodied than full bodied. The aftertaste was adark and roasted like it should be, but it wasn't as thick as I would have liked it to be. This dark roasted aftertaste contained dark roasted malts, a hint of roasted coffee beans, a touch of bitter dark chocolate, and a few crushed berries at the end. There was plenty of flavor, but it was lacking the punch.

Drinkability: This has to be one of or the very first Russian Imperial Stouts made available. Unless I'm mistaken and those award on the label from 1896 do not belong to this beer. If you like your R.I.S., then you should try one of the first ones made available.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2008 03:33:19 | More by AltBock
Photo of thekevlarkid


4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of the bottle this is the darkest beer I have yet seen. Even up to sunlight you cannot see through it! Nice aroma like molasses with earthy notes. Not much head and it faded quickly. Great mouthfeel, full body and medium/light carbonation. Flavor is more robust and less sweet than the smell. Coffee, nearly burnt malt (heavily toasted) with a slightly bitter finish. This is totally varietly appropriate and as hearty and packed with gumption as I would want out of a beer. Classic.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2008 14:32:08 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of nrbw23


4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Pours black with a farily large light brown colored head that has great retention leaving some spotty lacing.

S- Smells of dark fruits, raisins, chocolate, coffee, molasses, and a bit of alcohol.

T- Flavours live up to the aroma. Coffee and chocolate dominate the flavour. It was served to me way too cold but as it warmed other flavours came through such as the darker fruits and roasted malts. A bit complex in taste could pick up quite a bit.

M- A little too thin for the style but not too bad probably adds to the drinkability.

D- Pretty solid brew I just think there are others that are better.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2008 07:42:55 | More by nrbw23
Photo of kzoobrew


4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black, ruby on edge and in the light. Tan colored head with good retention.

Big malt in the nose. Goof amount of sweet aromas. Milky lactose type of nose, sweet chocolate and molasses. Rum like alcohol.

Roasted malt hit the tongue up front. Definitely hops almost sweet/sour citrusy flavor. Coffees and chocolate flavors on the back end

Full mouth feel but very smooth and creamy. Quite enjoyable to drink.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2008 03:25:59 | More by kzoobrew
Photo of Donnie2112


4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

dark, had a lot of head to start was able to retain about a quartor inch of head and I couldn't see any carbonation

nice coffee and shiwky smell nothing perceptible as hops over all impression of bananas

banana split with a chocolate topping well concealed alcohol straight up yummy

rather light and easy very smooth with the right amount of carbonation

I am transferring my notes from some time ago so I'm not sure if I remember how drinkable it was but as I recall it was absolutely excellent

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2008 17:57:57 | More by Donnie2112
Photo of treyrab


3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A: Extremely dark with a nice brown head that laces. Similar in look to most any RIS.

S: Very strong with coffee and cocoa along with noticeable dark fruits

T: The taste is very strong, which I live. Tons of coffee in the flavor along with some chocolate. The hops are definitely present as well with a nice bitterness

M,D: The mouthfeel is rather thick, with a little lack of carbonation on this one. Overall, decent brew, but not one of my favorite SS.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2008 16:58:39 | More by treyrab
Photo of JoeMayo


3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours black with a light tan head. Not much in terms of head retention or lacing.

S- The smell is outstanding and incredibly unique! Sweet gold or dark rum and dark fruits (mostly raisins with a little fig). Vanilla comes through quite clearly as well as molasses. Hints of brown sugar, caramel, and a mild spiciness are also noticeable.

T- Unfortunately not as good as its smell. The smell is so intense and the flavor seems to be a dumbed-down version of the smell. It reminds me of rum-raisin ice cream with the following flavors: rum, raisins, vanilla, and sweet cream. Molasses and caramel also make an appearance. A generous dose of malty flavor is also detected. The flavor is complex and good, but somewhat watered down.

M- A little thin for a RIS, but thick enough and moderately carbonated. Crisp finish with a lingering aftertaste.

D- I split the bomber, but I feel like I could easily drink the whole thing and maybe finish a second one.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2008 03:11:35 | More by JoeMayo
Photo of webmanspidey


4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance typical of imperial stouts. Very dark with minimal head.

Smell and taste sweeter than the typical imperial stout in my opinion. Molasses, raisins, chocolate.. Alcohol masked well.

I believe this must be the most drinkable imperial stout I have had to date.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2008 01:31:35 | More by webmanspidey
Photo of ReadyFireAim


4.83/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thought I'd continue my stout kick with Sam Smith's RIS, here. Let's take a look-see, eh?

Poured into my pint glass with a good 3/4-inch pillow of creamy goodness on top. The head settled into a nice, toffee-colored ring for the duration of the drink (this was, of course, after Armageddon had cometh).

Goodness, me! These are scents the gods dream of, man! Dark fruit scents mingle with those of lavender and coffee beans. There are hints of rum-like notes in there, too. Heavenly.

Fruity upfront, not too heavy - good consistency - with bits of chocolate and rum notes carrying through into the middle. Finishes with a warm, smoky espresso wave to help warm the throat and tummy. Can definitely taste and feel the alcohol in this one. No doubt there. You know... I think I'm going to scrap the rest of this review and just enjoy my drink, here. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2008 01:32:32 | More by ReadyFireAim
Photo of prsguitarsr4me

New York

4.93/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Excellent beer. Highly recommended. The flavor is fantastic and it pours very dark - and tastes that way. I've been digging these imperial stouts a lot lately, and the Samuel Smith is one of the best, one of my favorites with Old Rasputin, Boris the Crusher, Oaked Yeti, Stone, etc.

Purchased at Kokoman Fine Wines and Liquors in New Mexico.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2008 01:57:53 | More by prsguitarsr4me
Photo of tpd975


3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice looking brew. Pours big bold and dark black. The head rises to one and a half fingers and shows good retention. Spotty lace noted.

S: Starts with a nice coffee aroma. Next comes a big blast of dark fruit. Plums, Figs, and raisins can all be detected. There are light hints of chocolate and toffee as well.

T: Not an American RIS by any means, nor does it try to be. Tons of dark fruit up front with hints of molasses and brown sugar. Fresh coffee and chocolate are there but take a back seat.

M: Medium in body, smooth with little carbonation.

D: Differnet than most RIS' but good in a unique sort of way.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2008 16:35:42 | More by tpd975
Photo of PhxHorn


3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a light tan head. Smells of licorice and coffee. Taste is a nice combination of tobacco, coffee, bourbon, but none of them are overly strong. Didn't really detect much chocolate in there. Overall, the flavor is middle of the road as far as intensity goes, but it's a fine beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2008 04:51:34 | More by PhxHorn
Photo of daythree16


4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours jet black with a creamy, tan, 1/2" head that fades to a thin layer but never completely goes away.

The smell is very rich. Notes of maple, roasted malt, and dark chocolate are present. It almost has the aroma of Rocky Road ice cream. Served cold, the taste is primarily bitter chocolate, toasted nuts, and a subtle alcohol warmth. As the beer warms, the alcohol presence becomes more noticeable, and some caramel flavor develops. Very little hop presence.

The mouthfeel is somewhat thick, as is expected, but it's very smooth and creamy, and it may be the most drinkable RIS I've had so far.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2008 19:22:56 | More by daythree16
Photo of nasty15108

New York

4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

A - Black as night. Thin tannish head that slowly dissapated into a bubbly film and produced thick clumpy lacing.

S - Ripe fruits and dark chocolate.

T - Malty with the taste of dark ripe fruit (raisins). Finished slightly sweet with hints of chocolate, roasted coffee and a wee bit of smoke.

MF&D - Not overly thick, but very enjoyable. Very smooth and creamy. Top Notch!

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2008 19:17:59 | More by nasty15108
Photo of twiggamortis420


3.05/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Large bottle calls for a large oversized widemouth mug, right?

This beer is black. Very rich 3 finger head lingers on and on and on...not overly viscous though.

Heavy malts, dark raspberries and dark chocolate on the nose.

Hmmm, one of the fruitier RIS I have had...has me wondering if this bottle might be a bit off. Not overly malty like I was expecting. I taste wheat bread, burnt toffee, a bit bitter. Full body and mouthfeel.

This one does not do it for me...I will gladly take a Rasputin or a Storm King over this any day.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2008 04:04:07 | More by twiggamortis420
Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 2,984 ratings.