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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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3,095 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,095
Reviews: 1,647
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 138
Gots: 180 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,095 | Reviews: 1,647 | Display Reviews Only:
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

Donnie2112, Aug 16, 2008
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.

treyrab, Aug 16, 2008
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.

JoeMayo, Aug 16, 2008
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.

webmanspidey, Aug 16, 2008
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!

ReadyFireAim, Aug 09, 2008
Photo of prsguitarsr4me
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.

prsguitarsr4me, Aug 07, 2008
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.

tpd975, Aug 04, 2008
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.

PhxHorn, Jul 31, 2008
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.

daythree16, Jul 28, 2008
Photo of nasty15108
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!

nasty15108, Jul 24, 2008
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.

twiggamortis420, Jul 22, 2008
Photo of redneckchugger
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into a proper pint , dark, hardly any light gets through at all, 2 inch head the nose is great, coffee, chocolate, toffee, hint of caramel, absolutley outstanding
first sip is all coffee and burnt malts. with a slight hop in the back, , not much alcohol at all which doesn't suit the style but thats fine.
mouthfeel is a bit thin for a imperial stout, kinda disapointed in that aspect
i could have several of these, not a session beer by any means but still so tasty that i wish i had bought more than one
overall this is one of the best imperial stouts i have had.

redneckchugger, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of Garzan72
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a really nice imperial stout. Very well balanced and was very enjoyable. It looked nice and thick and creamy. Smelled very rich and complex. Tasted great and went down real smooth with a fruity after taste. Mouthfeel was thick yet rich and creamy. Real easy to drink.

Garzan72, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of tai4ji2x
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

opaque black w tan head that fades to thin layer. some lace.

smell has chocolate, faintly coffee. roasted, charred malts. fruity plum and even fig paste. some earthy tones.

flavors are all similar, but somewhat muddled together, plus phenolic and alcohol character in the back. bitterness is moderate, with hops that are grassy, but mostly of charred malt.

smooth, but not really thick. gentle carb.

still quite decent, but not my favorite in today's competitive field. needs more distinctiveness between all the flavors, plus maybe more malt character.

tai4ji2x, Jul 15, 2008
Photo of paskinsj
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer took me by surprise, i expected a harsher taste but it went down smooth, maybe too smooth. The flavor was like a light smokey stout. It was one of the better stouts that I could drink a few bottle all night and not get tired of it. Not as harsh as a lot of other strong stouts.

paskinsj, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of BMoney575
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 7-13-08

Pours a absolute black, but you can just make out tiny bubbles rising to the top. A foamy tan head quickly fades, leaving behind soft rings of lacing.

Smell is very sweet, some hints of anise and butter English hops.

Taste is very good, sugary malt at first, then a big roasted character, finished with a good bit of hops and lots of smokiness.

Mouthfeel is good, smooth and creamy.

Drinkability is decent, it is definitely on the sweet side.

Overall, a very English take on the RIS. A good choice for something different.

BMoney575, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of GoodKnight1220
2.88/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle to a glass.

Very, very dark in color looks black, little to no head.

Smells of heavy alcohol and dark chocolate, smells much like a wine.

Alcohol taste right up front, ending with a very bitter chocolate.

This has a greasy & syrupy mouthfeel.

I could drink one of these in a sitting, and you need to drink this on a cold day.

GoodKnight1220, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of Nowhereman529
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very deep coffee brown with just a light bit of brown head. Really a good looking beer.

The smell is definitely something above average. It has the aroma of molasses, coffee and cocoa.

The aroma is definitely a lead in to the taste. Upfront chocolate with a coffee finish. In between the two is the molasses which gives this brew a firm beginning middle and end.

Mouth feel is good and chewy, just what I like from a dark beer. You could say it's a tad on the syrupy side, but it definitely doesn't detract from the beer.

This is a very drinkable brew, but not an everyday brew. A well deserved end-of-the-week draught for sure.

Nowhereman529, Jul 11, 2008
Photo of roadhouse
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 550 ml bottle into a snifter.

Appears almost opague black, but when held up to the light some red highlights are visibile. Nice one finger dark tan head.

Aromas of dark fruits, raisins, chocolate, coffee, molasses, cookie dough, and a bit of alcohol.

Flavors live up to the aroma. Coffee and chocolate dominate the flavor profile, while a fruity character emerges alongside it. It finishes kind of creamy almost like a milk stout with a certain smokiness to it as well. Very complex.

Mouthfeel is pretty heavy, yet still a bit thin I think. Doesn't detract much overall though. If anything it just raises the drinkability.

Most Samuel Smith offerings have pleased me and I knew this one would too. I swear the aroma reminds me of the best chocolate chip cookie dough. Flavors are so complex here. I just want to take another sip right after I put the glass down. Excellent stuff.

roadhouse, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of SpecialK088
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bollte into a pint glass.

Im not gonna review this beer as i normally do, im gonna say it pours with all the same charecteristics of a stout and thats where it stops being typical, very rich/comnplex flavor that can only really be appreciated by drinking it, exceptionally smooth and creamy. I've heard it said that people would feel spoiled if they were allowed to drink something on a normal basis and its exacly how i feel about this.

SpecialK088, Jul 06, 2008
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep opaque black coloration with a thick creamy milk-chocolate colored head. Retention is fair, as the head settles to a thicker film over the top. Not a lot of lacing to speak of, but it's still solid.

S: Loads of molasses, dark fruits, bittersweet chocolate, and a spicy note from the alcohol.

T&M: Dark fruits with some floral hops initially followed by emergent bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee, and some sort of spicy/sweet alcohol-esque flavor. Very rich, sweet, and complex. The body is full, but not quite full enough for my liking. The feel is creamy enough, but I still feel like a slightly fuller body would help things out quite a bit.

D: Another great beer from Samuel Smith's Brewery. This is actually rather drinkable for a RIS. The alcohol content is on the low side, and the body isn't like motor oil, making it easier to sip on.

BamaBeerBuff, Jul 06, 2008
Photo of Gtreid
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Black, with about a half finger of toasted brown head that receeds quickly and leaves no lace.

A: Chocolate, molasses, and coffee. Big sweet and roasted malts, plus some earthy hops that balance it nicely.

T: Yum! Again, sweet chocolate, bread, and coffee. Just what an Imperial Stout should taste like. It finishes slightly dry.

M&D: A little light for the style, I was expecting something a little more viscous. At 7% ABV, I could drink plenty of these, but it would be best served as a sipper after dinner. Very good example. Skal.

Gtreid, Jul 05, 2008
Photo of Strix
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Near opaque, with decent head.

Smells dark. Coffee, malts, roasted and burnt flavors. Smell is not strong though.

Flavors very heavy, but mild. Coffee and burnt flavors drag this down, and not much else in the mix. Even after warming up, the flavors are a bit muted for my taste.

Mouthfeel silky smooth, and was the highlight of this one for me.

I was not as impressed with this as I thought I might be. It was fairly heavy and flavors were muted. Still worth a try, but not among my favorites.

Strix, Jul 05, 2008
Photo of clayrock81
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes: Paired this with some chocolate balls (seriously) and it was delicious.
Poured into a pint glass and received a midnight black, thick brew which gave me a voluminous three-finger, tan head that quickly died to one-finger and left a lace ring. I can say the smell was good, but hard to pinpoint the smell. Malts cam through like coffee and maybe caramel and/or chocolate, there was some sweetness in the smell. A full-bodied beer that is very smooth, almost silky, and creamy. Even with a dry backbite that is the perfect finish, a tasty body with roasted, coffee and chocolate malts at the forefront of my taste buds. Didn't notice many hops, but there was a slight hop bite from the carbonation and something like dark fruit (black cherries) that was faintly in there.
I will gladly throw this down with anyone and recommend this beer to my non-beer geek friends as that rare beer that is not expensive yet close to perfect.

clayrock81, Jun 28, 2008
Photo of naterock
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

C: completely opaque solid pour with a two finger head that settles to about a half finger. tan think head.
S: deep scents of toffee and chocolate with a hint of vanilla bean. smells like a ice cream parlor.
T: incredibly thick chocolatey approach, turn to toffe in the middle and heavily roasted malt in the back. incredibly crafted stout.
M: smooth very lightly carbonated with an incredibly thick body.
D: This one is definitely a sipper, or a nice beer to have with desert. I usually don't pay this much for a four pack but I was absolutely not dissapointed. I will keep this around more often

naterock, Jun 28, 2008
Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,095 ratings.