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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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,999 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,999
Reviews: 1,638
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.24%
Wants: 126
Gots: 154 | 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: 2,999 | Reviews: 1,638 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark ruby, but not quite opaque like a good impy. Nice looking tan head, unfortunately it disappears pretty fast. No lacing, not a bit.

Smells like dark, fruity alcohol and lacks any roasty notes. Tastes is smooth with dark ester qualities. No roasty or smokiness, fairly simple profile and subtle, but still good.

Easy drinking for an impy stout and feels nice. Its a good RIS, but I find this, like I've found some of the other Sam Smith beers, to be overrated. A good beer, but one of the last RIS's I'd choose if I had a good number of choices. There is better, bolder stuff to be found at America's own craft breweries.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2005 06:24:26 | More by tempest
Photo of joecast
joecast

Australia

4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours with a huge brown foamy head. letting it sit to warm and settle was the only option. a shade or two darker than the oatmeal.

marvelous aroma. full of honey, figs, and a touch of alcohol. plent more over-ripe stewed dark fruits. juicy.

more dark fruits in the taste. charred malts. now i've never done it, but this is what i imagine an ash tray would taste like. not in a bad way either. and i dont smoke.
this really smooths out as it warms. not a lot of bitterness, but the alcohol keeps the sweetness in check.

my only gripe is the mouthfeel is a bit light. well, quite a bit light, like bordering on watery. otherwise, very happy with it.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2005 05:58:08 | More by joecast
Photo of doppelmeup
doppelmeup

North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! What a beer!

Poured a deep black with some garnet hints into a pint glass.

Not a strong aroma, a bit sweet, a bit molassesy (is that a word?)

Tasted some chocolate, some molasses, and some butterscotch? Sweet without being overpowering.

After the great flavor, the there was enough hoppiness to cleanse the palate and leave you wanting more.

An excellent beer. Sweeter than Old Rasputin with a nice, clean finish. A nice balance of hops and malts.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2005 00:29:51 | More by doppelmeup
Photo of daliandragon
daliandragon

North Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a classic looking stout with a color as dark as night and a thin cap of creamy tan head. The nose is laced with coffee and toasted malt and has a sweet tone as well. I chose this as the final of my Christmas beers and I'm pretty excited about it.
This beer is heavy and thick to the taste with coffee and roasted nut flavors and a smooth, full finish. This is almost as much a meal as a beer, and crazy filling. I can't get over the creamy, silky texture and finish. For a stout,this is extremely quaffable stuff, I find myself craving more already.
Wow, I can see why this beer is so highly rated:complex, delicious, and easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2005 04:43:38 | More by daliandragon
Photo of riversider76
riversider76

New York

4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black with a tan head,that did not disappear. Smell is of roasted malt with a hint of coffee and chocolate. Mouthfeel is fairly thick. Taste is malt and chocolate.Very smooth. Finish is rich with flavor,with just a hint of the alchol. This is a well balanced beer! Excellent!

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2005 01:09:48 | More by riversider76
Photo of indy169
indy169

Wisconsin

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

A nice looking heady black beer. The smell is rich and heavy as to be expected.
Mouthfeel is a little squirrely for my tastes but in line with other imperial stouts I've tried. Not my favorite variety. I find it strong, thick and unrefined. Flavors of dark chocolate, nutmeg, and coffee dominate.
Don't get me wrong, I love strong beer however this one does not entice me.
One is plenty for a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2005 17:18:02 | More by indy169
Photo of SteveO1231
SteveO1231

Connecticut

5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aw man This is an awesome beer!

Pours a jet black with an awesome thick foam of tan head on top. Low carbonation.

Huge roasted malt aroma with some delicious smells of dark chocolate, butterscotch, and caramel. Makes my mouth water.

Rich creamy texture, delicious roasted chocolate taste, so damn good! Followed my a dry bitterness of black coffee, burnt caramel/toffee. Nice little kick of alcohol esters in the finish, not too much, but just right.

Most perfect Imperial stout I have ever tasted, so balanced and drinkable. Why did I wait so long to drink you? I enjoyed this beer with some X-mas chocolates, Awesome!

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2005 00:01:20 | More by SteveO1231
Photo of bennetj17
bennetj17

Arizona

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

This is a very thick pouring stout, very black, with not much head that dissipates into a caramel colored ring around the glass. The smell is rich and malty, though not overpowering. It starts out with a divine sweetness yielding to a nice bitter finish. It feels very thick but has a rich smoothness and just the right amount of carbonation for a stout. Overall a good balance here. This one is a slow drinker though, very filling. Probably best with dessert.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2005 18:32:33 | More by bennetj17
Photo of ypsifly
ypsifly

Michigan

4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, undated 550ml poured into an imperial pint glass.

None more black with a thick tan head that bubbles up and holds its ground. Thick webbed lace effect.

The nose is roasty with dark chocolate, slight metal, and bitter hops.

The taste delivers all that the nose promises with some vinous flavors, dark ripe fruits, and a slight citric tang. The finish carries a lot of the choco/roasted malt flavors.

Full creamy mouth that retains a little oil and is very pleasant. One of the most drinkable impy stouts available in these parts. I highly recommend this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2005 05:14:44 | More by ypsifly
Photo of Backer2004
Backer2004

North Carolina

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

Great for a beer, good for the style. I picked this one up at a nice local beer pub in Belmont, NC post-Pop the Cap. The alcohol was not noticeable and the appearnce was very typical -- very dark, creamy with no head or carbonation. The Stone one I had of this style just seemed to be a above and beyond this one. Not overpowering and a nice one for those new to the style. A biton the pricey side ($5.25 a bottle).

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2005 02:54:38 | More by Backer2004
Photo of funkengruven
funkengruven

Ontario (Canada)

4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quite a nice stout. Pours to a deep black with a tan puffy head. Smell has hints of essence of wine, fading to hints of caramel and smoke. Taste is excellent, the roasted malts make their presence known in this fine creation with strong caramel presence. This is slightly bitter, but not so bitter that it makes it difficult to drink, in fact it's quite smooth. Very drinkable. I hope there are more of these at the local liquor store next time I visit.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2005 21:34:57 | More by funkengruven
Photo of troutmask96
troutmask96

Washington

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

Wow - what a great Imperial Stout this is. Pours a black-as-night body with a tan, foamy head that's as thick as shaving cream. Smell is of raisins, currants, and a slight note of alcohol, which is actually well-hidden. Taste is deep and sweet but not overpoweringly so. Finishes sourly, which is standard with Imperial Stouts. With a low ABV of 7.0 and the fantastic smoothness, this is more than your typical "one-and-done" Imperial Stouts...

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2005 03:42:57 | More by troutmask96
Photo of falloutsnow
falloutsnow

Illinois

3.6/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

2012-04-15 Review

Bottle from Whole Foods
No bottled on date
Poured into a tulip glass

I was more impressed with Samuel Smith several years ago, when I first started drinking beer. Sampling a bottle of their imperial stout for the first time in a few years makes me think of three possibilities: my palate cannot detect the goodness that I once thought was evident in this beer after comparing it to fresher domestic varieties, that my inexperienced palate was finding flavors and aromas that didn't exist, or that I've just purchased an old bottle. Since I have no way of knowing about the last item, I have to rely on my senses and claim that I no longer find this beer as enjoyable due to palate development and comparison. While S. Smith's Imperial Stout is still a decent version, in this case I have to say that I enjoy the United States' assertive varieties more.

Pours a 2cm head of dark tan to light brown bubbles, small in size, forming a smooth and cloud-like appearance. Head descends somewhat quickly to a nice-looking cap atop the beer, leaving small spots of lacing in its wake. Body is dark brown to black in color with dark amber brown highlights. Carbonation is barely visible along sides of glass.

Aroma is a bit light, and I have to do some heavy digging to get anything distinct, but mostly of roasted malt, molasses, dried plums, and a bit of chocolate.

Taste opens with some roasted malt sweetness and mild bitterness. The sweetness could be described a bit as dried plums or currants, but I find it has more in common with roastd malt. Mild black licorice and molasses flavors emerge a bit further back, giving way to a bit more roasted malt sweetness, bitterness, and very faint coffee around mid-palate. Fades out with a rush of sweetness, licorice, and slight chocolate. Pleasant aftertaste of roasted malt and a bit of dark chocolate. In general, good tasting, but a bit one-dimensional with heavy emphasis on roasted malt and sweetness, and not particularly "strong" tasting, either.

Mouthfeel is essentially perfect for the style: gently carbonated, creating a smooth foam on the palate that moves across easily and is highly enjoyable. Finish is dry

2005-12-18 Review

A: Thick, dense, two-finger head that is light brown in color. The beer is completely black and impenetrable to light; one knows nothing of what is transpiring within the liquid as all carbonation and sediment would be completely enveloped by this darkness. Spotty streaks of lacing are left on the sides of the glass as the head deflates.

S: Traces of chocolate, prunes, molasses and roasted cereals.

T: Slightly burnt, but dense malt sweetness with hints of raisins and plums. Transitions to the deep flavor found in dark dessert wines and port. Some smokiness and sweetness in the aftertaste, but no noticeable hop presence. Alcohol taste becomes more present as the beer warms.

M: Medium-heavy body, very light carbonation, evincing a rich and smooth beer with a dry finish.

D: Highly flavorful and complex with deep, dark secrets. A beer that I'd only venture once a night, but that is worthy of drinking during many winter nights.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2005 03:42:15 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of MurphyMacManus
MurphyMacManus

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. clear bottle into snifter.

Appearance: Opaque black with coffee-colored head that seems to be physically attracted to the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Dark chocolate, raisins, faint alcohol, and maybe coffee and more dark fruit.

Taste: Dark chocolate, raisins, coffee, mild alcohol. Very complex and sweet without being cloying, like a fine port.

Mouthfeel: Beer shake; deliciously thick and creamy.

Drinkability: After one of these I'm done for the night--too full for more.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2005 15:02:39 | More by MurphyMacManus
Photo of Gagnonsux
Gagnonsux

Texas

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

The appearance of this imperial stout is one of the best I've seen. The color is pitch black. Head is large, creamy, and dark tan. Retention is great. The aroma has an inviting mixture of toffee, chocolate, and dark fruit smells. I just wish the aroma was a bit stronger. The taste starts with a strong chocolate flavor with edges of toffee. Dark fruit flavors mix in nicely along with a bit of alcohol flavor. A slight butteriness is noted, especially near the finish. The sweet finish is especially long-lasting. Without a doubt this beer has a excellent mix of flavors that are layered nicely, but when compared to the bigger American imperial stouts, this falls a little short of exceptional. Still, this is highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2005 19:10:57 | More by Gagnonsux
Photo of sinistrsam
sinistrsam

Maryland

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

This poured very dark, almost black and somewhat watery. It had a very small head which went away almost immediately. The aroma was unmistakably stout-sih; very roasted hints of malt and coffee, possibly chocolate, dark fruits. It immediately hit me with bitterness in the taste, with plenty of maltiness and caramel flavor. It had a lasting chocolate/coffee bean aftertaste which was pleasant, but left something ot be desired. It had a bitter and watery mouthfeel. I'm going to go against the grain on this one and disagree with the monumental praise this had gotten. A good beer, but not outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2005 18:06:14 | More by sinistrsam
Photo of Phatz
Phatz

Pennsylvania

4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours black with dark ruby highlights. It has a nice brown head that is thick and foamy. Substantial lacing.

Smell: It is definitely a black licorice aroma. That is what hit me right up front; then there were hints if red, like cherry or birch. Very enticing!

Taste: Chocolaty; with a hint of this mixture: Birch-beer and Cherry-cola mixed with dark cola (Coke), in other words it is a thin syrupy characteristic in the taste, with those flavors. I got a slight bit of dark tobacco and vanilla in the aftertaste. I tried some dark chocolate next to this beer and it was a beautiful match.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was surprisingly thinner than I expected from a Russian Imperial Stout. Still it was pleasant and very creamy.

Drinkability: The drinkability of this beer was actually, surprisingly, exceptional. This is a R I S with a relatively low ABV and it does not sit heavy in your stomach. As a huge fan of Imperial Stouts, I must say that their one drawback is that they were you out quickly. This beer is an exception. It has most all the positive attributes of RIS and avoids the one drawback. That sounds like a darn fine beer to me. I highly recommend.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2005 07:47:09 | More by Phatz
Photo of allergictomacros
allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

550ml clear bottle

Appearance:
Dark. Real dark. So dark I didn't realize it was a clear bottle until I started pouring it. Big, thick, spongy head looks very substantial.

Smell:
Strong smell of caramel. Rich, roasty aromas.

Taste:
Lots of roasted flavours. Coffee, molasses. Noticeable bitterness, especially in the aftertaste. A little peppery.

Mouthfeel:
A bit of punchy carbonation. Not as creamy as I expected, but still a fullish feeling.

Drinkability:
Well... the bottle didn't last me very long. Goes down a little too easy maybe... :P

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2005 04:00:50 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of orfeu
orfeu

New Mexico

4.78/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

550 mL clear bottle. Black with faint chocolate highlights. Creamy, finely attenuated tan head that soon becomes a mere cap. Aromas of chocolate, fruity cough syrup, smoky raisins and toffee. Taste is of hops, at first, then smooth chocolate and coffee bliss. Surprising bit of boozines for only 7%. Cherry cordials. Slightly buttery but mostly spicy bitter finish. Mineral aftertaste. Not bad at all. As it warms, the flavors balance out more. Definitely a standard-bearer of taste, but not quite the heaven in a bottle I was expecting. Incredible mouthfeel, however: tingly, slick and oily and an eminently downable medium-to-thin body. Low ABV (for the style) + totally mesmerizing sipping = super high drinkability. Absolute pioneer for the style and deserves much credit for that alone.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2005 04:17:20 | More by orfeu
Photo of Dicahomebrewing
Dicahomebrewing

New York

3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured very black. Leaving a small head, with bubbles still coming up for air.

A very roasted taste, with chocolate, with a tiggle in the back of the tongue.

Low alc. percentage for a RIS, but well done.

There is somthing that I smell but i can't explane it.

Overall its a good brew, not great for a RIS, but very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2005 02:19:00 | More by Dicahomebrewing
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

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

Poured from bottle(room temp) a beautiful pitch black with a huge brown head.

The smell is of sweet malt and chocolate and is very nice albeit fairly faint.

The taste is a wonderful blend of sweet roasted malt and chocolate with a nice bite from the hops and just a touch of the licorice note that is found in most of the Samuel Smith products I've tried.
This is a superb Imperial Stout and at just 7% abv, you can actually kick back more than one and not have your butt kicked. ;^)

I thoroughly recommend this beer!

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2005 00:08:54 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Served in an imperial pint glass)

A-This beer has a nice deep dark midnight brown body with no visible sings of carbonation it is so opaque. The head is a boiling mat of light brown that settles to a nice even layer.

S- The deep dark aroma has notes of graham cracker and nuts with some caramel notes and a dark roasted malt and barley with some faint slightly bittersweet chocolate in the finish. As it warms I start to get a hint of banana milkshake in the finish.

T- The taste of dark malt has a slightly sour earthy quality. The finish is dry with some slight hints of honey oddly enough. The taste of bittersweet chocolate comes through with more fruity flavors of raisins as it warms. The notes of fresh bread and alcohol hints come through in the finish also.

M- This beer has a full body with some velvety texture to it. The alcohol warmth is very soft and helps finish the taste of the beer.

D- This beer has nice big dark flavors but the secondary flavors were a bit strange with banana and bread seemed to take over. I would have liked some more malt complexity and maybe a bit more alcohol or hops to balance out this big beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2005 02:25:03 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A: Ruby-black, lots of tan head, only a little retention, but plenty of lace. The perfect stout would have better head retention.

S: Slightly fruity profile from the British yeast, pleasant sweet roastyness.

T: Bittersweet; very well balanced. Dark caramel malt, mocha, raisins, smooth hop/roasted malt bitterness. Slight fruity tang in the aftertaste. Not much alcohol taste, but it does become more warming as it warms up. Very nice flavour, but lacking the depth of some.

M: Moderate to full body, a little chalky. Moderate carbonation.

D: In terms of a Russian Imperial Stout, this is where it's at.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2005 23:45:20 | More by Derek
Photo of deBeers
deBeers

California

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

This is the smoothest Russian Imperial stout I've ever tasted. I won't compare this directly to another but this is more drinkable than any other that I've encountered so far. It's medium bodied for a RIS and and so easy to drink. I won't even review it except to suggest you set a special evening aside for one or two of these and enjoy. Building a fire optional. Tastiness, not.

Go. Now..and enjoi

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2005 07:10:56 | More by deBeers
Photo of Franchise
Franchise

Oregon

4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours pitch black, and leaves a thick tan head that stick to the sides of the glass. The smell is chocolate, toffee, alcohal but not overpowering, and a very faint plum essence. The taste is very smooth....it has a great hoppy finish and starts with a bittersweet chocolate vinos taste on the palate. This beer is very good one that I will frequent for many times to come.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2005 16:27:45 | More by Franchise
Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 2,999 ratings.