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

Samuel Smith's Imperial StoutSamuel Smith's Imperial Stout

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2,839 Ratings

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Ratings: 2839
Reviews: 1630
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%

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: 2,839 | Reviews: 1,630 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of SportsandJorts


3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: dark brown/black with about 2 fingers of a tannish head that doesn't stick around for too long. leaves a very slight lacing behind

Smell: looks of chocolate, pretty sweet. roasted malts with just a touch of smokiness

Taste: chocolate, dark chocolate covered fruits that taste slightly metallic. finishes up with roasted and slightly smoked malts. very good with the exception of the metallic twinge

Mouthfeel: fairly creamy and light for a RIS.

Overall: mouthfeel is the highlight for me. ill have to try and find a fresher bottle to see if the metallic taste in uncharacteristic. but otherwise a very good and tasty RIS that is very well balanced

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 21:05:19 | More by SportsandJorts
Photo of LampertLand

British Columbia (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Samuel Smith's 'Imperial Stout' @ 7.0% , served from a 550 ml bottle purchased for $6.50

A-pour is a dark brown from the bottle to near black in the glass with some crimson red peeking thru along the glass edge , with a small tan head leaving a streaky lace film along the pint after every sip

S-sweet dark fruit , raisins mostly , vanilla in the back

T-very smooth tasting 'RIS' , easy drinking , some smokeyness on the swallow

MF-ok/good carbonation , feels full bodied , slight dryness on the palate

Ov-good beer , better than most 'RIS' ,

prost LampertLand

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2013 04:00:00 | More by LampertLand
Photo of Kuaff


4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout... in a snifter at cellar temperature.

A breath-takingly beautiful beige head, a plump three fingers high, graces this Russian imperial stout. And it its black, as it should be.

It pretty much smells like it should too. Malty milk chocolate, a little dark chocolate, vanilla, and some earthy raisins. It's a sweet scent.

The flavor is refined and balanced, with no overwhelming qualities. Just pleasant and satisfying chocolate, coffee, and earth. There's a a little bit of fruity tartness in the beginning. Then comes a mellow but magnificent finish that I describe as rich dark soil mixed with ground coffee and soaked with chocolate milk. Really, REALLY far into the aftertaste some nice smokiness shows up.

A pretty full body and some real smooth creaminess only enhances the experience.

Can't go wrong with this stuff.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2013 04:16:57 | More by Kuaff
Photo of scotorum


4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into an Innis & Gunn flute.

a: Black with clear ruby highlights when held to light. Inch and a half beige head receded slowly to heavy surface foam and extensive lacing.

s: Dark malt and fruit.

t: Strong smoky dark malt with considerable hop bitterness. Both the smoke and the bitterness linger in the mouth.

m: Medium with great body, very smooth.

o: Benchmark imperial stout. Easy drinking. Founders Imperial Stout North Coast's Rasputin and this give each other a good run for their money.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2013 17:07:06 | More by scotorum
Photo of Dsimenson


4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Starts out with a 3/8" mocha colored head, moderate lacing as you drink it. Dark dark bron color--like usedotor oil--my favorite color. Aroma is deep and rich, very complex once this ore chilled glass starts to warm up a bit--chocolate, molasses, malt, coffee.
Flavor is balanced, very rich and complex, and fairly strong--molasses, coffee, caramel, a bit of grapefruit and pine, some figs. Mouthfeel is fairly thick, a bit creamy. Overall this is an outstanding stout, and I really like stouts!

p.s. Do not drink this super cold or in an ice cold mug--that's like wearing earplugs at a magnificent symphony.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 03:35:02 | More by Dsimenson
Photo of stephens101


4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pure black in color with a full, dense, nut-brown head.

Smells of caramel, milk chocolate, brown bread, vinegar and plums.

Tastes of dark chocolate, big plums, distant earthy hops, and black grapes. A bit metallic at the end.

Lies on the medium side of heavy. Viscous.

Nice to leave that world dominated by extreme beer and realize what I've been missing.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 01:11:55 | More by stephens101
Photo of gregO59

New Jersey

4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

tried this one on a whim. had old Rasputin ris day before .actually liked this better . licorice taste really hit the spot , quite different from usual stouts. served from bottle to lips quite nicely ,should have bought 2 or 3. definitely will try again

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2013 02:49:40 | More by gregO59
Photo of vette2006c5r


4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imperial Stout pours a black color with very little head. There is a strong aroma with lots of creamy notes, and a strong roasted and coffee notes. The taste is bold very creamy, with strong coffee flavors, with a nice warm finish. Good full flavors, good body, and that unique Samuel Smith flavor. Overall a very good bold and special imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2013 23:45:41 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of Crafts_and_recreation


4.79/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a surprisingly complex and well executed brew!

A: pours a lovely black, opaque hue

S: Fruit forward aroma of dark wine, raisins, caramel, toasted barley, and wood combine to awaken the senses

T: Complex notes of sweet, rich malts with an ever so slightly charred alcohol flavor reminiscent of dark wine and toffee or licorice

M: A balanced medium body that carries smoothly across the palate and has a slightly dry finish

O: A great stout! Very interesting combination that works well and gives some variety to the traditional flavor

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2013 01:16:58 | More by Crafts_and_recreation
Photo of TheMultiYeast


4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled June 26, 2012.

Very dark brown blocking any trace of light. A small sandy head forms briefly. Very little lacing.

Nose offers deep roasted barley aromas, chocolate, molasses, some dark fruit, and a hint of hops.

Taste also goes heavy on roasted notes, some dark chocolate, mild sweetness, a bit of charred bitterness and a long aftertaste.

Nice body on this one. Not overly thick, just enough to stand up to the flavors and modest ABV.

Just a classic Imperial Stout that everyone should have.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2013 02:10:48 | More by TheMultiYeast
Photo of Scrapss


4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Sam Adams Turbinator style glass. Purchased in 22oz bottle

A: dark as night. nice head at first that settles into thin wispy lacing.

S: some hints of dark cherry, deep roasty notes, slight notes of brewers' licorice notes.

T: malty deep coffee roasted, some of the licorice notes, bit of booziness. Very complex dark roasted notes. Woodiness, caramel.

M: filling oily/creaminess, and hot , imperceptably slightly smoked finish. nice malty middle breath.

O: very solid. Would definitely have over and over and over yet again. Sam Smith delivers yet again.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2013 23:42:04 | More by Scrapss
Photo of Dave1999

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a small tab coloured head.

The smell is dark fruits, licorice and treacle. Smells fantastic.

The taste is dark fruits and licorice. There's some alcohol on the finishing, is pretty dry.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

This is a great ris as I'd expect from Sam smiths. A lot less sweet than some of the American versions.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2013 00:18:56 | More by Dave1999
Photo of Alextricity


4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

$3.29 for a single at my bottle shop, but I really wanted a big stout that I hadn't had before... I went with this.

Appearance: Poured with an awesome brown head on it that eventually died down to a silky looking film on top. The beer itself looks black, but has a lot of ruby to it when held up to light.

Smell: Dark fruits. Dark chocolates. A bit of alcohol. Maybe even black licorice to an extent. Just a lot of roasty character.

Taste/feel: A relatively thick mouthfeel, but probably somewhat thin for the style is the first thing I notice. Then the flavor of a somewhat tart dark fruit comes through, followed by a very pleasant roast aftertaste. Most RISs I've had have a huge alcohol profile with a ton of warmth, an oily mouth feel, a pretty intense warmth, and so on -- given that this "Imperial" stout is only 7%, I don't get much of that at all... maybe that's why I like it so much. It's a big stout, but it's one that I could probably actually enjoy two of. With pretty much any other RIS, I'm more than fine after having just one because they usually feel so heavy.

The price is kind of steep on this beer, but it's pretty exceptional. For my preferences, this may be the best Russian Imperial Stout that I've ever had. At the same time, I'd probably pick other options more often just because this one's (fairly significantly) more expensive. Must try.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2013 16:41:07 | More by Alextricity
Photo of ISmith87


3.89/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tried this beer before and it was alright. Seems like the guys over in England didn't quite get the message on the Imperial Stout. Good beer though, so here it goes...

A - Good looking beer, dark brown almost black with a nice brown head that starts at 2 finger sbut then dissipates down to almost nothing.

S - Mostly red wine. Some dark roasted malts in there.

T - Again a lot of red wine. Dark and roasted malts. Coffee, Espresso. Dark Fruits.

M - light - medium mouthfeel, I missed the thick body of the American RIS's. Alcohol is there (but it shouldn't be at 7%). Leaves a roasted/red wine aftertaste.

O - For a Russian Imperial Stout this is pretty one-dimensional. A lot of red wine flavor but not much of anything else. Maybe I'm just spoiled here in the US with Stone RIS and Old Raspy but I wouldn't buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2013 00:08:26 | More by ISmith87
Photo of Charliechu


3.35/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

550 ML bottle from Whole Foods.

It looks and smells just like an imperial stout. The pour was smooth and everything you come to expect from the style, just that taste wasn't there for me. Personally I thought this beer was a bit light for an Imperial stout. I was expecting something a bit more... flavorful. I also thought mine was a bit over carbonated, but that could just be my bottle. It does leave though a very pleasure after taste of some sweet coffee notes. Overall, I thought it was a decent beer, but as fair as imperial stout goes, I wouldn't be picking this one for my first choice.

Drink more beers!


Serving type: bottle

08-10-2013 06:51:44 | More by Charliechu
Photo of Fatehunter


3.84/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Almost three fingers of tan head... a bit much, on a black body. Looks great though.
The aroma is a strong roasted malt and with a touch of burnt malt.
The taste has strong bitter coffee, roasted malt and a bit of milk to mild it out. A nice bold profile.
The texture is crisp thickness with moderate carbonation.
Pretty solid.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2013 04:15:56 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of KYGunner


3.71/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The color alone gets this a 4 as the black is brilliant oynx, practically glowing. The head was fizzy, brown and was lost.

The scent reminds me of molasses, sorghum and caramel malt. A little sweetness in the nose theres a soy-like aroma that's a bit off putting.

The taste has a nice chocolatey malt flavor with a touch of roasted coffee, char and toasted malt. A little licorice sweetness is the only distraction from a pretty decent Stout.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2013 00:24:16 | More by KYGunner
Photo of JamesStreet


3.86/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured really dark brown, almost black, opaque color of molasses. Very slight brownish head. Good bit of lace.

Standard aroma of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, a little raisiny smell.

Taste follows smell. Chocolaty- raisin taste going on here. A little sweet on the back end.

Medium heaviness, low carbonation. Alcohol buried well.

Overall a nice imperial stout. Not my favorite but nice to drink. I tend to like a little more oomph in my RIS and this one lacked.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2013 01:32:02 | More by JamesStreet
Photo of IchLiebeBier


3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Very dark; almost black; small tan head; dissipates quickly; no lacing

Aroma: Roasted grains; burnt; dried fruit; coffee

Taste: Smooth creamy start with lots of warming alcohol; bitter mid with sweet, nutty notes; well balanced and complex; finishes with coffee bitterness and roasted grains

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 22:22:36 | More by IchLiebeBier
Photo of PaleZombie


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

A - Dark brown color with some ruby tinges coming through all around the glass. About a finger of nice creamy tan head.

S - Bittersweet chocolate malt, lots of dark fruit (rains and figs) mild hints of coffee. Mild hint of alcohol as it warmed.

T - Big on the dark fruit followed by pleasant sweet chocolate malts, a tad bit of coffee bitterness in the finish.

M - On the light side of medium, not as thick as I expected from an Imperial Stout. Good amount of carbonation.

O - Great representation of an Russian Imperial Stout on this one with the dark fruits shining through. This will be a go to for a lighter RIS and is not too pricey.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2013 04:26:47 | More by PaleZombie
Photo of Roman5150


3.84/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

bottle into pint glass, aged for 1 year

appearance: pitch black with 2 finger tan head, aggressive pour

smell: smokiness, roasted malts, espresso and really black coffee, dark chocolate

taste: Heavy smokiness, almost like a German Rauchbier, lots of dark chocolate and a dry roasted espresso flavor in the middle. Ends with a beef jerky, earthy finish.

mouthfeel: not much carbonation but a huge thick creamy flavor

overall: A great example of an English Stout. However, i'm not a huge fan of English beer. I studied there for 3 months with hopes of getting into their style of beer, but it never grew on me. WHile a great stout I can drink all day, and will buy again, it in no way compares to it's US counterparts such as Stone IRS, Bells Expedition or Black Note, Founders KBS, BS, CBS, and many more. It's a great brew that I can respect, just not my style.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2013 04:56:20 | More by Roman5150
Photo of trxxpaxxs

New York

3.54/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a pitch black with one full finger of dark khaki colored head. The foam is think and frothy, and takes forever to diminish. There is a ton of lacing left on the glass as it drinks.

S: The nose is caramel, chocolate, raisin, and soy. Uhh ohh. I'm in for a bad time. It smells a touch sour and just off. How long has this been sitting on the shelf at my local beer store?

T: It starts out sweet with roasted malt, caramel, and toffee. I get some milk chocolate in the middle, but nothing that dominates. I'll tell you what does dominate, though... sour. I get soy sauce and lacto throughout. Bummer man. The finish is more lacto and toffee.

M: Full bodied beer. This one has some good heft. It's coating but not syrupy. The flavors seem to be ok (minus that brutal sourness). I'm actually a bit taken aback by the toffee notes in this beer.

O: Not a fan. The off flavors really ruin this beer. I hope it's just a bad bottle, but who knows. I will try this again sometime down the road, but will prefer to seek this out on draft.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2013 20:42:24 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of WillCarrera


4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

550 ml bottle, no bottled-on date that I can find, poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours black with a huge, fluffy brown head, has very good retention and leaves awesome lacing.

S- Chocolate, roast, dark fruit, vinous aroma. Smells nice, a pretty fruit-forward stout aroma.

T- Lots of dark fruit, some roasted grain and light chocolate. Finishes with more fruit and maybe some vinousness.

M- Medium-bodied, it's about what you'd expect for a 7.00% stout, but it's pretty thin for the style.

O- A solid imperial stout, it's tasty, and although the flavor isn't massive and the body is a bit thin, it's still a great beer for the price point.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2013 02:23:10 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of mactrail


2.71/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

The smell is really peculiar. I finally realized, since we had been painting, it smells exactly like house paint. It's that damp, fumey smell of water-based paint that's different from other solvents.

The appearance is quite attractive, with a dark amber brown color and ample off-white head, and loads of lacing in the small globe glass. The flavor continues on the strange trip. It makes me think of prune juice, with the same sweet and tart flavors. Not that sweet, but dark and fruity. I can't get that smell out of my mind, it's back with every sip. I taste pomegranate, bubble gum, and some charred grain.

On the positive side, it's quite a creamy carbonation with a substantial mouthfeel. From the 500 ml bottle bought at a random liquor store.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2013 04:50:58 | More by mactrail
Photo of StonedTrippin


4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a fantastic rendition of an English version Russian imperial stout. textbook really. the pour is thicker and darker, but some light can still enter, and the head is sudsy and lasting, just off white. the nose is bittersweet, with plenty of chocolate malt and pushing burnt bitterness. in terms of flavor, the first sip or two are by far the best. vanilla and cocoa together, but not as intense as some American versions. the malt is really allowed to shine here, and glorious woody bitter notes come through thick and creamy. it gets a little thinner and washed out as it moves along, but its still damn good. chocolate and light bittering hops kick in on the back end. plenty drinkable, at a lower abv for the style and a really smooth texture. not nearly as full bodied as they come on this side of the pond, this is a brew I could have several or more of, and could easily be a regular in my refrigerator. I have no complaints other than a slightly underwhelming carbonation presence and it getting a little watery as it warms, but that's me being annoying. one of the best sam smith beers, which is definitely saying something.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2013 00:22:30 | More by StonedTrippin
Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 2,839 ratings.