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

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Samuel Smith's Imperial StoutSamuel Smith's Imperial Stout

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3,267 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,267
Reviews: 1,667
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 151
Gots: 247 | 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: 3,267 | Reviews: 1,667 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of deepsouth
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i drank this glass out of a great divide yeti glass.

the beer poured a black color with a large tan head that stuck around a while and left some damn fine lacing.

the smell is of coffee and toffee and the alcohol smell is masked quite well.

this is two different beers. one when it's cold and one when it warms. (i guess this is true of many beers of this style) cold, this beer tastes quite flat with just a hint of coffee, but as it warms it became much more tastey. chocolate, roasted malts, and the alcohol is now detectable.

this beer is creamy, but not chewy. it leaves the mouth very slick. carbonation is present, but not a bunch.

i could drink a couple of these, but probably not more than that.

this is a damn fine beer and on of my favorite from samuel smith's.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this to cap off the Giant's victory last night.

A: Black with three fingers of tan head. Really good looking beer.

S:Sweet malt. The sweetness dominated everything else.

T: Sweetness dominated this for me. The subtle chocolate and roasted malt is there as well. Also picked up an almost cask like taste. Woody.

M: Silky on the tongue. Cask like carbonation. Subtle.

D: Excellent example of the style. Very drinkable for the style as well.

Photo of basica
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this from Cracked Kettle and man do I love the bottle itself. The bottle itself is a nice slim and tall design with the top nicely wrapped in gold foil and a unique looking label. This beer yields a jet black pour with a nicely creamy looking tan head that moderately settles to a thin layer and finally a nice clingy lacing. On the nose I pick up roasted malts, chocolates, coffee and subtle dashes of dark fruits; some lactic milkiness also peaks out of the creamy head. The smell was not very strong and the various elements in the smell were nicely balanced out. The taste starts off with an immediately suggestion of coffee followed by roasted malts and light notes of chocolates here and there with a nice smooth milky backing. There were also dashes of dark fruits towards the finish and a good amount of roasted malts on the nose. Sweetness was probably very very subtle on this one and a slighty below moderate level of bitterness can be detected towards and during the finish. Taste was fairly rich though not very rich and it was very well balanced; without too much of anything. 7 ABV makes it a really light drink as well and it practically feels below 5. The lingering after taste had coffee, roasted malts and subtle dark fruits and a light bitterness. The mouthfeel is close to full bodied and is smooth and creamy with low carbonation and goes down very smooth. This is my first imperial stout and I feel that it is highly drinkable. I was expecting something pretty heavy. I prefer the Guinness Special Export Stout to this but the strength of this one is a nice, well balanced blend of many different flavours but not overly rich and yet very enjoyable and drinkable.

Photo of seanyfo
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 edition, stored in a dark storeroom since novemeber 06.

Brought in the new year with this bad boy. Aggressive pour into my chimay chalice.

A- Jet black body with a mocha coffee 2 finger head, creamy with great retention. Im excited!

S- Roated malts, nuts, chocolates, vanilla, raisins

T- Lots of choclately roasted malts, vanilla, coffee, nuttiness in the finish.

M- Low carbonation, creamy

D- Fantastic, couldnt and wouldnt want to drink more than 2,one to savour!

Photo of peck95
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this is a very good beer maybe one of the best I've had in my limited experience.
dark, very dark with a nice dark tan head that starts off very thick and stays there. The smell is not as strong as its perfect appearance. There is a nice aroma of chocolate and a wine like alcohol smell.
The taste is a perfect blend of chocolate, dark fruit alcohol taste, roasted malts
This beer is very smooth for how complex and dark it is, the body is also ideal with a thickness of a flavored mocha.
Did i mention that this beer was smooth and very drinkable, there is no negative aftertaste like bitterness, bad alcohol (although its not that high of abv), or burnt malt sourness.

Photo of Trueant1
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Have had this many times before. A classic of all classics! Not my favorite...but well worth drinking at least a few times a year.

Pours black, looks black and thick. Has a huge billiowing tan head.

Smells of black licorice, anice, coffie, chocolate, hops, ect ect....
As an imperial stout should.

Tastes more intence then the smells but with all the smell flavors.

This is an intence brew. It controls you. I can never finish a whole bottle, but then again, I always come back and try!

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

This beer pours blacker than a witches cat on a moonless night. The head is a strong light tan foam with good lace. The nose is kind of strange. It has typical roasted malt and chocolate/coffee bean hints, yet also has a bit of scotch ale smell (very slight). The taste starts out very malty with the chocolate, burnt coffee bean, and small vanilla taste. Through the middle I realize that what i thought was scotch ale on the nose was actually the sammy smith yeastish malt funk(good funk) that you can find in almost all of their brews. There is slight hop flavor and bite here as well, just before the finish. The finish falls back into the more familiar imperial flavors. The mouthfeel is where this beer struggles. it is very thin for an imperial stout, but goes down smooth. I suspect that this can be closely linked to the brews weak 7% abv. Drinkability is very high. still a good brew overall and a great beginners imperial stout. A good buy, and another great sammy smiths beer.

Photo of atrus138
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this from a clear bottle (though I only found out it was clear AFTER pouring). Opaque black with a two-fingered dark khaki head, which later settled to become a rather thick layer of froth that lay on top. Thick lacing, though it doesn't stick very long. Wonderful smell. Nice and strong. One can detect dark fruits, roasted coffee, caramel, and brown sugar. Very sweet smelling. Taste was a little fainter than the smell indicated, though still complex and still delicious. The darker fruits make themselves a little more known as it warms. Mouthfeel is creamy, though a little on the thin side. This is very drinkable, especially for an imperial stout. Low ABV for the style, though still very warming.

Photo of dfillius
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a pint glass.
A: Pitch black, 1-3 fingers of head subsides quickly but a layer floating on top is retained.
S: Coffee, chocolate and not much else, slight alcohol smell.
T: Semi-sweet chocolate at first then bitter, roasted notes. Later in the pint a slight caramel sweetness was apparent.
M: It coats my tongue with bitterness. Drying.
D: Tasty, I could have another pint.

Photo of younger35
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 355mL bottle of this stuff at my local beer store. I’ve yet to have a Samuel Smith brew that I’ve actually liked but I’m a huge sucker for Imperial Stouts. Drank from my snifter while watching Boise State vs. Eastern Carolina.

Appearance- Pours a super dark brown with a tip of amber on the bottom of the glass where the stem meets the cup. Decent sized sandy tan head forms but quickly dissipates leaving a spotty cap and thin collar. Not a whole lot of lacing is left behind but enough to satisfy me.
Smell- Boldly roasted malts are plentiful as is dark roasted coffee. Cocoa beans and bitter bakers chocolate are offset by gentle whiffs of vanilla bean. A bit of black licorice, caramel and brandy top off the nose nicely. A lot going on in here but nothing that really dominates anything else.
Taste- The first thing that jumps out at me is how much vanilla I get out of this. There is plenty of dark roasted coffee and cream along with nice sweet milk chocolate. Brandy soaked dark cherries and raisins add a bit of sweet bitterness. Touches of caramelized sugars give this a rather nutty finish. Plenty of alcohol here although most of it is covered well.
Mouthfeel- Nice and full bodied with a very slick and oily feel along with a very light carbonation.
Drinkability- This isn’t as explosive as some other Imperial Stouts but it’s really solid and all the flavors meld really well. I love a well balanced brew and this really embodies that. This was a really good beer and I can now say I officially like a Samuel Smith beer. Recommended.

Photo of robg2251
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The appearance of this beer is a good solid black. It pours a dark tan creamy head that has stayed about an eight of an inch solid for a while now.
The smell is a very sweet carmel malt - strong bitter molasses scent.
Coffee nut molasses flavor. A very robust chocolate malt rum taste.
Mouth feel is very creamy and smooth. Carbonation not too big, and the alcohol feel isn't upfront or immediate. Finishes very smooth, no real bite to this beer whatsoever.
Overall, this is a good Imperial Stout. A nice heavy drinkable beer. This beer weighs in at 7% abv, and is a perfect winter warmer for a cold December night.

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

Appearance: Deep, dark black, with a frothy tan head.

Smell: Strong malt character with hints of bitter chocolate.

Taste: Begins in a smooth, malty wave followed buy a finish that is high in mineral content. A slight alcohol flavor appears in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: A full bodies brew, but les than I expected.

Drinkability: A very good and classic stout. A nice, complete package.

Photo of Caine
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured in a pint glass. Served just shy of room temp.

Appearance: Dark black in color with a beautiful tan head that struggles to dissipate.

Smell: Heavily malted with a wonderful fruity, coffee scent.

Taste: Roasted malt and coffee, bittersweet chocolate, almost lemon-like hops. Finishes with a nice smokey-pipe flavor, balanced with a sweet overtones.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth and creamy. Carbonation is low.

Drinkability: A great Imperial Stout, although a stronger brew is preferred. Very good over a rich meal and a cold night. Certainly looking forward to the next pint.

Photo of Risser09
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a crystal wine glass - No bottle dating system - Served at cellar temperature

Appearance: Pours a dark black color with a dark tan head. the head rises to 2 inches in height. It takes a few minutes to subside. Ample lacing on the sides of the glass. Nice.

Smell: Hop presence but heavily malted. Cocoa is a huge aroma. Caramel, toffee, rum soaked bread. Sugary molasses and port wine, leathery scent.

Taste: Chocolate truffles, dark rum, leather and pipe smoke. Coffee bitterness and roasted malt. Not too sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and low alcohol presence. Coffee flavore dbitterness is nice, as is the overall chocolatey flavor profile. Carbonation is alive but not cloying.

Drinkability: Very nice. A great tasting imperial stout that isn't high in alcohol. Certainly gains drinkability because of that. This is a good beer that I would revisit, but not in the company of other Imperial Stouts. Worth a try.

Photo of brendan13
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a snifter a dark black with no light coming through at all. A good inch of fluffy light brown head that slowly falls away to a thin whisp. A bit of sporadic lacing.
S - First thing to hit the nose is a strong dark fruit presence . That is followed up by some roasty and chocolate touches. A fairly strong rum like alcohol note is present.
T - Like the smell; dark fruits, roasty chocolate and alcohol character but also with a pretty noticeable smokiness.
M - Quite full bodied with low to medium carbonation.
D - A very nice & interesting Imperial Stout. Something that I'd highly recommend. The strong flavours limit the drinkability. Two would be about it I think.

Photo of largadeer
3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Black, slight transparency as it thins. Pours with about an inch of frothy brown head.

Smell - Vinous, subdued dark chocolate sweetness, notes of dark fruit, burnt bread and anise.

Taste - Black licorice, toast, molasses and dark chocolate. Deep roasted notes and a red wine-like drying bitterness come out in the finish. Medium-bodied and moderately carbonated. Nicely balanced.

Notes - A very approachable Russian Imperial Stout - it's warming but not overly heavy or bitter, and it still has plenty of character. That said, I'd take Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout over this any day.

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

Pours very dark brown/black with a huge tan head, fades at a slow rate and leaves some good lacing.

Smell is mostly roasted malt with hints of dark fruit such as raisins.

Taste is controlled by the roasted malt, slight bitter aftertaste from the roasted/burnt malt, assertive carbonation.

The lower ABV for this style of beer makes it possible to enjoy more than one (or two or three). Even with the lower ABV, I don't think any of the taste has been compromised.

Photo of czfreeman
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 550 ml bottle into sam smith pint glass. Opaque in color, gorgeous creamy head that falls very slowly.Breakfast on my day off!, On the nose immediate- molasses,chocolate, malts, coffee aromas. Heres goes the taste.."pow! right in the kissa!" to quote Peter Griffin from family guy.Delicious is the only word I have right now. Tastes of coffee, bitter chocolate, malts, toffe, maple very nice creamy mouthfeel,lingering flavors on the
palate. Highly enjoyable.

Photo of emerge077
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black body, mahogany brown as it's poured. Tan foam that manages to stick around. Minor strands of lacing here and there.

When the stout is first poured, there's a strange yet interesting balsamic vinegar undertone, with black olive. It's also slightly metallic, which lended itself to these aromas. There was also some dark fruit like plum or raisin. No trace of alcohol.

Flavor is plummy, with an earthy roast that creeps out halfway through. Some carob or chocolate syrup, not exactly pure. Low astringency, medium level of carbonation. Not especially sweet or bitter, it's fairly mild feeling. It's easily drinkable and enjoyable, but overall not that remarkable.

Photo of botham
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pint bottle poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass. pours a near opaque black with distant garnet highlights. head is massive, with a brown color and tight character. great lacings.

aroma is deeply roasted, with chocolate and black malts prevailing. notes of coffee and caramel are present as well. very sweet in character.

taste is very malty up front, with the same notes of coffee and caramel, as well as chocolate and toffee. very rich in character. finishes on a semi-dry note with lingering roasted malts.

mouthfeel is thick and smooth. very rich on the palate.

drinkability is alright. this is a huge brew that is very bold and thick on the palate. the high alcohol is not present until warming, which helps a bit.

Photo of GPHarris
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

aged one year

a - poured a one finger thick coffee-colored, rich and creamy head into a goblet. it left a nice ring throughout and coated the glass exceptionally well. the body was black as night.
s - hints of coffee, malts with an underlying alcohol aroma.
t - coffee, malts, vanilla and dark fruits.
m - slick and medium mouthfeel, very creamy.
d - this was delicious and i enjoyed every drop.

Photo of srandycarter
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into the tulip

A - Beautiful black beer, mocha head that leaves slowly. Lacing thin and persistent.

S - The money shot. Major deep dark malt, booze.

T - Big booze, big malt, big dark fruit. YUM.

M - Full and coating, close to what I want in carbonation.

D - Yes, this will be on the plate in the future.

Photo of bort11
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. I had no idea the bottle was clear until I poured, it was so black. Absolutely no light gets through. Thin mocha brown head that quickly recedes. No much lacing on the glass.

Smell at first has a sweet fig aroma. As the beer settles there is a more charcoal and chocolate combination. The taste has a dark charred malt flavor, with some more dark fruits. A bit more of a bitter chocolate taste.

Mouthfeel was on the thin side for an RIS. A bit fizzy. Goes down pretty quick. NOt bad, but there are much better RIS out there.

Photo of Biscuit033
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Extremely dark with huge tan head that receeds slowwly towards the beer clinging the entire way down.

S: Bitter chocolate, cream, butterscotch, and coffee.

T: Dark bitter chocolate, piney hops, anise, and an earthy bitterness. Only thing missing was the normal warmth from the alcohol.

M: Nice carbination and dry clean bitter finish. Very nice.

D: I enjoy this fine example of an RIS even with the ABV being so low. It allows you to enjoy more of the fine flavors.

Photo of Atron67
3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hah I was really surprized the first time i poured this out that the bottle is actually a clear glass bottle, so make sure to keep it dark if you store it.

A- poured a thick black with a little build up of brown head on top, the head quickly faded. has a ring of brown color around the glass

S- Maltiness throughout, pretty sweet, not really much roasted notes from the smell, just alot of chocolate scents

T- more sweet chocolate flavors, low roasted characteristics, kinda lacking on a back end of hops to balance it out. Got much better as the bottle warmed. I would have given it a much lower initial rating, however it became quite solid at the end.

M - pretty full body, not syruppy or clinging to the glassware, but its solidy present, light carbonation, clung to the tongue

D- pretty good but bear republic is still my taste/$ choice

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,267 ratings.