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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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3,042 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,042
Reviews: 1,639
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 135
Gots: 169 | 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: 3,042 | Reviews: 1,639 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of frazbri


4.38/5  rDev +4.8%

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout poured deep black with a mocha head. A little chocolate and fruit in the aroma, but a little skunk as well. Chocolate and black treacle flavors were present. Body was full, and carbonation modest.

This a fine stout. A rich and flavorful beer that isn't as brash as it's American counterparts, but doesn't lack complexity. As far as the aroma, I know I sense skunky esters in lower levels than most people do. It did affect my rating, but didn't detract from my enjoyment. (much) This is still a beer worth experiencing.

10-11-2005 03:55:22 | More by frazbri
Photo of fingolfin72

North Carolina

4.6/5  rDev +10%

Color- espresso, with a light brown, small, lacy head.

Nose- Port, coffee, sugar, toasty caramel. Some alcohol.

Palate- Rich. Coffee, toffee, smoke, peat, oysters, brandy, caramel. Smooth and beautifully integrated.

Absolutely outstanding.

The finish is long and satisfying, and the unusual and seemingly disparate flavors combine into a lovely package.

10-10-2005 02:02:30 | More by fingolfin72
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.18/5  rDev 0%

Clear black in color with a thick 2" tan head. Some thick lacing develops thorugh the drink. Nice combination of coffee, chocolate, caramel, and alcohol in the aroma. The flavor follows the nose, as chocolate, coffee, licorice, dark plums, and roasted malts are well balanced. Mild bitterness and light alcohol rounds it out.

Mouthfeel is crisp at the start, and mildly crisp at the finish. Finish is also rather short in the aftertaste, as the flavors disappear from the tongue quickly. Superb drinkability.

10-09-2005 18:15:32 | More by Gavage
Photo of Golden2wenty1


3.95/5  rDev -5.5%

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison. Let's see how the Limeys can do with a Russian Impy.

Pours midnight black with a creamy caramel head. Nose is strong on the Juan Valdez up front with a backbone of porter grain and blackberry yogurt. Taste stays with the roasted coffee ground, bittersweet Hershey's and dark sour berries. Mouthfeel of carbonated crude oil, thick and syrupy. This is a meal of an RIS. The flavors don't always mesh - the sour fruit gets a little cloying at times - but overall a tasty stout. On the light side as far as abv for the style, but has plenty of flavor to compensate.

10-07-2005 03:59:24 | More by Golden2wenty1
Photo of Citadel82

New Jersey

4.6/5  rDev +10%

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout is a brew that had always been the epitome of beers before the craft beer revolution took hold. Cervino's in Ridgewood NJ carried it and it was so pricey that I was at first reluctant to buy it. Today many craft brews are more expensive and some are tastier, but Sam's was always there. The beer is gorgeous midnite black, it is fruity, roasty and has a rich creamy head. Notes of cocoa and cider and coffee. A rich and tasty brew that is perfect to end the day on. Cheers.

10-06-2005 04:03:49 | More by Citadel82
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +11.2%

Pours pitch black with a small, lasting creamy tan head. Smells malty - sweetened roasty grains, with smooth fruits - banana nut bread - bittersweet chocolate, light coffee. Taste is excellent. Rich creamy malt sweetness, roasted coffee, chocolate, some dark fruits, and not a hint of alcohol. So velvety smooth, slick, and rich - perfect. Drinkable too at 7%.

A deep, dark, delicious stout. Damn thats a good beer.

10-03-2005 03:24:28 | More by wedge
Photo of SaCkErZ9


4.08/5  rDev -2.4%

I have been waiting to try this beer for quite awhile and the day has finally arrived.
Served in a clear 550ml bottle. I have never been a fan of the clear bottle in some rare cases, the beer lasts and fights the light.
Poured an opaque black with a nice creamy head resembling chocolate milk. Great lacing as well.
The smell is fantastic. Raisins, mollases, figs and malt. Not an overwhelming hop presence but a great balancing effect.
I was a little dissapointed in the taste. A little too sweet I think for an imperial. Yes, very sweet. A nice hop bitterness is present and some chocolate and fruitiness such as prunes and mollassas are present as well. The sweetness is not to my liking.
Sticky mouthfeel with the bitterness lingering for a while. Not an overwhelming alcohol mouthfeel which is nice because I think more alcohol would make this a completely unbalanced beer.
A nice cool fall night beer.

Overall, I was dissapointed. I had high expectations, maybe too high. A very good beer though.

09-30-2005 01:38:13 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of ghostwalker


4.9/5  rDev +17.2%

Pitch black pour into my Three Philosophers chalice. If there are any color highlights, I can't see them. 1/2" of dark tan/brown head. Absolutely beautiful. Head doesn't stick around long, too bad.

Nose is very malty, nutty and rich.

Extremely rich and flavorful. Dark roasted malt. Smoky, coffee/espresso , dark caramel and molasses, the flavors go on and on. I really could go for a cigar to enjoy with this one.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, but still smooth and tasty. Coats the inside of my mouth with goodness. Wow! It's the beer that eats like a meal.

Outstanding drinkability. The 7% ABV is not evident to me at all. I could have a very nice session with this stuff playing darts or pool in a smoky bar somewhere.

My first experience with this one, it's an instant classic. The only bad thing I can say about this beer is that it appears to be very difficult to find in the big bottles, as well as generally harder to find than the rest of Sam Smith's line. Never fear, I will make the necessary trip to the stores that I know carry it.

09-29-2005 23:47:11 | More by ghostwalker
Photo of sacfly


4.65/5  rDev +11.2%

Pours a dark, opaque, black with red highlights. What little head there is, is a brown with very small bubbles. Very sweet, malty nose. Fruity… prunes.

First sip is like no other imperial stout I have had. Beef jerky comes first in my mind. Smoke. Roasted grain, malty sweetness is there, but takes a backseat. I can’t get over the beef jerky (in a good way). Now in place of beef jerky, I’m picking up a bacon flavor. Wow. I can drink bacon. Heavenly. Smooth, creamy mouth feel that is lacking in most imperial stouts. Slightly astringent aftertaste… Aftertaste is dryer than expected from the other characteristics, but welcome and not overbearing.

As a teacher, I would give this an A+.

09-28-2005 22:03:35 | More by sacfly
Photo of tastybeer

North Carolina

4.97/5  rDev +18.9%

Black with creamy tan head, not sticking but maybe because I'm drinking it too fast. Really good all around. Smells and tastes full of roasted maltS, coffee, deep dark fruit hops, Smoked fruit malt finish. Balanced perfectly in smell and taste. Velvety chewy full body that goes down extremely smooth.

Give me more.

09-27-2005 00:34:57 | More by tastybeer
Photo of EStreet20

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +4.8%

12- ounce glass bottle poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - Awesome looking opaque black with a nice large foam caramel colored head.

S - I'm smelling an extreme amount of chocolate/coffee with some caramel/molasses smell in there. I actually think it smells like one of those caramel frappucinos from Starbucks more than anything else. Amazing.

T - Wow, starts off with a nice roasted coffee taste but then surprisingly a bit of a citrus hint comes through from the slight hop punch. The flavors mix beautifully. Finish tastes smoky. Complex and delicious.

M - Nice and smooth. The smoky taste leaves you wanting a nother sip.

D - Goes down nice and easy. Definitely a sipper, but one I could enjoy a few of after a long day.

09-23-2005 01:17:30 | More by EStreet20
Photo of Roderick


4.22/5  rDev +1%

This was a very good beer!
The brew poured a dark almost black with a small tan head.
Smell is of caramel, chocolate & malt...YUM
The taste was great with the just mentioned chocolate caramel taste with fruit and cream (more flavors than I could absorb)
This was just a joy to drink & the Samuel Smith name is something I will be holding in high esteem.

$2.99 for a 550ml bottle

09-22-2005 22:51:31 | More by Roderick
Photo of RedHaze


3.33/5  rDev -20.3%

Poured an almost jet black, with a thick two finger head that slowly faded to a thin layer that lasted the whole time I sipped this beer. Had tons of lacing.

Smells were roasted malt, chocolate, a little coffee and nutty. But there's also a bit of a cardboard aroma going on as well.

Taste is malts at first, followed by chocolate and coffee, and finishes just a little bit bitter. Mouthfeel was kind of oily, which seemed to throw of the flavor some. Not sure if it was just this bottle, but it was still good enough that I'll give it another try sometime.

09-22-2005 02:39:42 | More by RedHaze
Photo of ChrisA


4.55/5  rDev +8.9%

My neighbor brought some over earlier in the summer for a party and we did not get around to opening them. I kept wanting to try it, but it just didn't seem right to drink an Imperial Stout in the middle of summer. I was also a bit scared that my taste buds would not be ready for it.

Was I ever wrong!!! This is an amazing beer. No wonder the top ratings it has received. It reminded me how much I missed drinking stouts and this was far and away the best stout I have ever had. Excellent flavor. Easy to to drink and I nice level of alcohol. I am not surprise it did not spoil in my fridge. I'll be stocking up on more for the winter.

09-21-2005 01:29:52 | More by ChrisA
Photo of tgbljb


4.1/5  rDev -1.9%

poured a very deep copper-brown, almost black color with an attractive tannish head that fell to a beautiful tan collar around the top of the beer. Smell is magnificiently complex with a mixture of coffee, dark fruits (prunes, plums, raisins, figs), molasses, maple syrup, and toasted malts noted. First taste is a bit overpowering, with strong notes of alcohol present. Subsequent sips bring forth strong chocolate notes mixed with a nice bitterness.The aroma a each sip is truly fantastic. Finished nice and creamy with a strong bitter note present. I enjoyed the beer, but to me it is something to try on special occasions. The strong aroma and taste can begin to get a bit overpowering.

09-17-2005 00:35:06 | More by tgbljb
Photo of silver0rlead

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev 0%

Pours a dark black that is only slightly transluscent, with a thick tan head that retains very well, imposing looking stout. Aroma is dominated by sweet and roasty scents; chocolate, coffee, vanilla, heavy cream, and some roasted scents. Taste has big chocolate and roasted flavors, with some coffee, cream, plum, floral hops, blackstrap molasses and some alcohol notes. The hops really help to balance out the sweetness and help make this stout very drinkable. Mouthfeel is smooth with a medium body and a lightly bitter, astringent finish. Drinkability is very good and the alcohol is only slightly noticeable. Enjoyable imperial stout that you could actually drink more than one of and not be falling out of your chair.

09-15-2005 03:54:31 | More by silver0rlead
Photo of Sycodrummer


5/5  rDev +19.6%

[This is my 100th review, a slight milestone in my BA life, so I had to go with my favorite style, and I'm very glad I did]

Poured from the clear 550ml bottle into a snifter the beer was a very dark black that let no light thru. It was topped by a little more than one finger of frothy dark tan head. Big rings of lace clung to the glass throughout the sample.

The smell was dark and roasted. Malt upfront but very well accented with chocolate, black coffee, and cocoa. A slight "bitterness" to the smell, a bit like black liquorice.

The innitial taste was a heavy roasted (almost burnt) maltiness. This gave way to a flurry of black cofee and dark chocolate flavors. Only a slightly bitter kick to the end similair to chicory. Some strong coffee flavors and a slight warming to each sip. Little alcohol in the taste, but the slight alcoholic warming associated with Imperial Stouts. A robust and full flavor that has some hints of darker fruit as well.

Medium to slightly heavy on the palate with a robust body that is sturdy yet maintains a creamy consistancy on the palate. Only slight carbonation.

As far as Imperial Stouts go, this has got to be one of the most drinkable. Every aroma is matched in taste and everything is so well balanced so as to accent everything else. The moderate alcohol content makes it easy to finish and despite its body, still very easy to drink. The perfect end to any meal, and one I will not keep my fridge without.

09-14-2005 02:54:17 | More by Sycodrummer
Photo of DogFood11


4.72/5  rDev +12.9%

Wow this brew is awesome.... I neglected english brews for years because of one bad experience and it was a huge mistake. pours a beautiful alley night black. charcoal head that retains and fades to a half finger chunk. syrupy mouthfeel with just a touch of zing that balances it out and leaves the mouth perfect for another drink (to me this is rare in a big imperial). yeasty chocolate/caramel/ doubled up....I love this beer.

09-12-2005 03:56:58 | More by DogFood11
Photo of numenor1

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev -1.9%

Pours almost black, though somewhat lucid. Nice tan head which reduces to a color with some slightly lacing. Smell is of butterscotch and chocolate. Taste upfront is sweet diacetyl butterscotch and chocolate, then some light roastiness kicks in and then fades to a slight hop, chocolate finish. Overall the body is medium at best and carbonation too. The overall effect is nice, but i'd prefer this to be a little stiffer. Overall very enjoyable. Alcohol is nonexistent.

09-11-2005 01:22:57 | More by numenor1
Photo of pweis909


4.45/5  rDev +6.5%

Poured from a 550 mL bottle into a pint glass with a quarter inch head that quickly dissipated, leaving behind a black brew that is nearly opaque, save for a cherry translucence visible only at the edges.

The smell is deliciously spicy and malty sweet. The taste is roasted malt, balanced by an unobtrusive bitterness, with the spiciness still apparent when I sip the brew and swirl it slowly around my mouth.

Tried pairing part of the bottle with a chocolate hazelnut ice cream, as others suggested that chocolate would go well with this. The sweetness of the desert overwhelmed some of spicy flavors. While the pairing did not offend, I think the brew did better on it's own.

09-08-2005 23:53:32 | More by pweis909
Photo of cncbofh


4.3/5  rDev +2.9%

Pours a motor oil dark with a big bubbled tan head. Nose is grainy and chocolate filled.

Taste is a little sharp - a bit astringent. Lots of bitter malts, chocolate, charcoal, and maybe some figs in the back. Drinkability was fine - the alcohol was hidden well and the carbonation was perfect. Excellent beer from Samuel Smith.

09-03-2005 05:12:09 | More by cncbofh
Photo of bobbyc881

South Carolina

4.72/5  rDev +12.9%

Had this one with some friends along with a few other imperial stouts. This was the most impressive.

Pours out dark, dark, dark, with a substaintial tan head. Smell is slightly sweet and fruity.

Taste is incredible. Very smooth... chocolate, dark fruits, just the right amount of maltiness. Carbonated just right. Feels full-bodied. I can't get over how drinkable this one was. Very little could be done to improve. Give me more.

08-31-2005 19:56:46 | More by bobbyc881
Photo of HopGoblin


3.68/5  rDev -12%

Poured deep black almost opaque. Aroma of berries. Taste is sharp, tart, and fruity right off the bat. The beer has hints of cherries, chocolate, and vanilla. Lighter on the palate than most of the American stouts I have tasted lately. This beer drinks easy and smooth with a long pleasant finish. A good brew from Sammy Smith.

08-31-2005 04:42:31 | More by HopGoblin
Photo of Bonhoeffer


4.88/5  rDev +16.7%

Ahh. Old friend. I bought a couple of these on my first ever out of state beer run. Fell in love back then, and now this is my first sip since. I bought a four pack at Richey's Easy in Pensacola for about $8.40. Excellent price for a most excellent beer. I shall probably hold on to the other three for a while to see where it goes.

I can't say anything that hasn't already been said. You know, jet black. Thick tan creamy head that lingers. Great sort of nutty aroma. Goes down soooo easy. Notes of chocolate, roasted flavors, perhaps a hint of cherry. I don't really notice the hops, but i know they are there to balance everything out.

Kind of entertaining that the label mentions awards given to the beer in 1896 and 1930.

Complex. Rich. A masterpiece.

08-30-2005 13:42:38 | More by Bonhoeffer
Photo of hyuga

North Carolina

4.85/5  rDev +16%

Pours jet black under a darkish tan head that's not too dense.

Aroma of dried figs, dates, and sweet molasses. Faint dark cherry-wood in the background. Amazing complexity.

Burnt molasses on the tongue at the front, followed by plum and cherry with a hint of roasted grain. Fig laced with alcoholic sweetness linger through the finish. Very pleasant leafy hop aftertaste. Thick and biting mouthfeel. Leaves the tongue tingling.

This is an amazingly drinkable imperial stout. I haven't had this beer in a very long time and I find it even better than I remember it. All-around goodness. Low alcohol so you can have a few in one sitting, and it's as complex and satisfying as just about any 9%+ imperial stout.

08-24-2005 06:18:38 | More by hyuga
Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,042 ratings.