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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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3,216 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,216
Reviews: 1,655
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 147
Gots: 223 | 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: 3,216 | Reviews: 1,655 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of warriorsoul
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Solid black color with less than a half a finger of tan head...most disappears within minutes and leaves very little lacing.
Very nice scents of sweet, dark chocolate, port and rum soaked raisins.
Taste is well balanced...a roasted malt sweetness lingers on the pallet with much delight. Nice chocolate profile in the flavor with espresso beans too. At just 7%, the alcohol is well hidden.
Mouthfeel is above average but the carbonation could be a bit less for me.
Very easy drinking here...honestly, the first time I have had this one...will pickup more in the near future.

warriorsoul, Apr 22, 2006
Photo of TheBungyo
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

At first I thought the pour would result in a lighter body, but my fears were not realized. Only the edges are any lighter than the blackest night. Head is nicer than anything straight out of the bottle has a right to be. It is the color of brown sugar.
Nose leaps out. Toss a cup of sugar onto a skillet, turn up the heat and as it burns, there's your smell. Taste is a collage of brown sugar, molasses, chocolate syrup, and cough syrup like alcohol. That cough syrup taste is what keeps this from being a 5 for taste, but that's a minor hindrance. This is a tasty brew. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy. I could certainly have a couple of these, a sixer is a wise purchase!

TheBungyo, Apr 22, 2006
Photo of bignick
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Half-liter bottle purchased at the Wine Gallery in Brookline for $4. Served in an Ommegang glass.

I like this beer. Its creamy but light mouthfeel make it a pretty easy beer to drink. It is not overwhelming like the majority of American Russian Imperial Stouts, and I appreciate the simplicity. There is a good deal of coffee and a bit of raisins in the malt, and it is enjoyable from the front of the toungue to the back of the throat.

bignick, Apr 15, 2006
Photo of maddamish
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

An excellent stout!

Ap:Dark black in color. Medium head that retains well.

Smell: Butterscotch and coffee notes in the nose.

Taste: Carmel, Butterscotch, coffee and malt notes. These flavors interact and mix well. This is a very complex and satisfying stout that you will contemplate for awhile. A touch of toast Very nice. Very impressed.

Mouthfeel: This is the only weak part of the beer. It is too watery for me and I was a tad disappointed it wasn't thicker.

Notes: An excellent stout

maddamish, Apr 15, 2006
Photo of Fugazme
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black, black, black... some reddish hints on the tilt towards light. 1/2" off-white/tan head that is thick with staying power. Lots of stickage to the glass. Very, very nice.

Caramel aroma. A touch of coffee. Mostly sweet roasted malts. A bit of alcohol and chocolate.

Pretty silky on the palate. A smooth beer.

Roasted malt and coffee upfront on the taste... quite sweet in the middle and slightly bitter on the backend. Some whiskey, but not much. Coffee on the finish.

This is a highly drinkable beer.

Fugazme, Apr 14, 2006
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep, dark brown-black. The foamy part of the tan head dissipates quickly, but a top-coat remains in place for some time.

S: The aroma is of chocolate, malt, barley and a little bit of hops and alcohol.

T: Creamy chocolate and roasted malt & barley flavor start out and prevail as the more dominant taste, but not overly sweet. A little bit of hops hit next and then a slight alcohol sting, with a slightly sweet after-taste.

M: Incredibly smooth, heavy body, medium carbonation and a clean finish.

D: It’s not filling, very smooth, the alcohol is well-disguised and it goes down VERY easy, all of the characteristics of drinkability.

I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. I now see why this beer, style and company has received so much praise.

TheManiacalOne, Apr 13, 2006
Photo of stephen1162
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just finished drinking this beer from a 12 oz. bottle in a stemmed glass. I let it sit for about 30 minutes after pulling it from the fridge, so I imagine the temperature was about 50-55 degrees F.

Appearance was very nice: moderate head that lasted for about 1/2 the beer; nearly black in color; no yeast in the bottle.

Smell was typical for Imperial Stoudt; licorce, coffee, roasted smell.

The taste was very smooth, and was really enhanced by nibbling on some bitter-sweet chocolate chips while drinking the beer.

The mouthfeel was almost velvety, and in my opinion, considerably better then Victory's Imperial Stoudt.

I can't wait to sample the remaining 3 bottles from my 4-pack.

stephen1162, Apr 11, 2006
Photo of scottoale
3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the typical Samual Smith 550ml. clear glass pours a nearly black, just a hue of burgundy when held to light, with light brown foam capping. Two fingers thick rises from a fairly mild pour, then dies down to just a surface layer and a bit of lacing.

Burnt malt, dark coffee, sweet chocolate and a note of grassy hops. As it warms a bit, the hops stand out with a wiff of alcohol.

Sweet, yet bittery dark malty front that blends in some caramel, coffee, chocolate, tobacco and prunes, then turns lettuce and finishes bitterly clean. Rather well balanced.

With a medium plus body, it has a creamy as well as a tangy mouthfeel, with a pleasant warming of the alcohol ending each quaff. This stout fits the bill and it's definitely worth tasting.

scottoale, Apr 11, 2006
Photo of boulevard2
2.63/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle

Pours thick and black with a thick head coffee like.

Scent of chocolate and yeast.

This is a typical english stout with a type of yeast I can't stand. I wouldn't reccomend this compared to the other wonderful stouts out there. Maybe on tap this is better or maybe the bottle I bought was old not sure but very dissapointed.

boulevard2, Apr 07, 2006
Photo of OStrungT
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a jet black, with no light shining through. The thick, fluffy brown head fades slowly, leaving many laces.

The aroma of this beer is quite mild. I smell roasted malt. It has a slight banana aroma. Strange. It is also a little more hoppy than I would have though. I also smell some coffee.

This beer tastes of coffee. However, as with the aroma, the flavor is quite mild. Behind the coffee, I taste some sweet malts. I can also taste some of that banana that I noticed in the aroma.

This beer is very smooth. It leaves a sweet malty aftertaste. It is carbonated very well for the style.

I think this beer would be an excelent session beer. It is only 7% ABV, so that wouldnt be much of a problem. Also, the flavor is quite mild. I think this beer is a winner.

OStrungT, Apr 04, 2006
Photo of custardcb
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jet black color comes cascading out of the bottle into my pint glass. After settling down for awhlie a nice half finger head resides on the top with a creamy coffee color.

Aroma is roasted coffee beans, dark rich malts, brown bananas, and vanilla.

The first sip is strong and smoothe. Slightly bitter chocolate taste on the back end. Leaves a nice feeling in the mouth and does not become to strong.

Let this one warm up a bit once you pull it from the fridge. Drinking it too cold will not allow you to fully appreciate the flavors.

custardcb, Apr 03, 2006
Photo of phisig137
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light balck color, with some brown showing around the edges. A thick head quickly forms, and slowly falls, leaving a rim around the glass.

Aroma is full of vanilla, dark roasted malt, a bit of hops and oddly a bit over ripe banana.

Flavor tastes quite vanilla-ey, chocolate and coffee. Has hints of oak aged flavor. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style, but drinkability is high.

phisig137, Apr 01, 2006
Photo of doubleipa
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice big, tan, foamy head. Aroma was quite sweet, malty. Taste is different than any other RIS I've had. The typical chocolate, molasses, and malt flavors. However, the flavors are more subdued that, let's say Stone RIS. This is what I'd expect from Samuel Smith's. Drinkability is prettyhigh since it's only 7% abv.

doubleipa, Mar 31, 2006
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.93/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - this Sammy Smith offering produces a full finger of espresso colored head atop a dark black brew

S - wow, i'm surprised there is a very strong banana aroma, very inviting banana with a slight alcohol twinge; it overpowers any espresso/chocolate aroma that i expected

T - this is damn good, it has a overpowering banana/coffee flavor with a bitter finish

M - very smooth with a great bitter finish

D - high, this is a great brew, I might have a new favorite beer of ALL time, try this beer, it is awesome!

sinstaineddemon, Mar 24, 2006
Photo of Hautacam
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out very , very dark...tan crema, foamy head..laces , drops to 1/8 in and lasts.
Smells of roasted malt, prunes , raisons and port...hint of chalk.
Taste is really exceptional.. sweet ,doughy ,roasted malt, toasty,some prune and nutty sherry-port, hint of alcohol ..with a nice semi-cloying , bitter hop finish....a very slight hint of chalk right at the end....compelling you to sip again and again. Just gets better as it warms up. I'm taking my time with this one...it's so good.
Mouthfeel is medium...lighter than most American RIS's that I've had...low carbonation.
Drinkable in terms of not wanting this to end !

Hautacam, Mar 23, 2006
Photo of jj21
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pores dark mahogany with a thich tan head. Average retention with good lacing. Has the distinctive "soy sauce" undertone that has been brought up on the discussion board recently. Roasted amlts and Caramel aromas. Warming to drink. Fine example of an Imperial Stout.

jj21, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of yelterdow
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, served at cellar temperature in the brewery's nonic.

Appearance- Pours a glorious ruby-tinged black into my glass, showcasing a 3½ finger light tan head that crackles serenely into itself. Beautifully unassuming, yes, that is the way I will describe the appearance. Lacing is reserved to several small patches.

Smell- An English display of molasses, chocolate, and muted alcohol... a pleasure indeed. Full and heavy, yet clean and brisk... almost a paradox. A sweetness, most likely from the malts, hovers and carries the aroma's body. Very nice.

Taste- Uniquely its own... there really is no mistaking Sam Smith's for any other Imperial Stout. First, the water used here is obviously a contributing factor in the clean, cutting character of the initial taste. The malts, combined with the chocolate and molasses notes are light on the tongue, but pack in a pleasing flavor and balance. The lingering finish, both malt-driven and mildly hopped, is tasty and lasting.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Light, prickly, and active enough to tantalize the palate for the next go-around. It works extraordinarily well with the character of the beer, and I love the fact that it's only a 7% ABV... a relatively mild RIS. Drinkability soars because of this, and points shall be awarded. Clear bottle my ass, this is great.

yelterdow, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of timtheenchanta
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark black. Completely opaque. Large dark tan head. Slow to dissipate and lots of clingy lacing.

Dark coffee, milky cream, and the scents of a freshly plowed field.

Roasted malt and coffee flavors. A hint of alcohol when swallowing but nothing unpleasant. Sweet chocolately flavor flashes in the end before being drowned out by the familiar toasted malt/impy stout character.

This beer is worth all of the hype. Pick this one up if you get the chance.

timtheenchanta, Mar 12, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
2.7/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured deep amber brown with gorgeous cream colored head that stayed with the brew throughout the glass.
Scents of coffee, bitter chocolate, roasted malts.
Taste was slightly disappointing...more aroma than flavor. Lightly toasted malt flavor and rich mouthfeel of coffee/chocolate.
Aftertaste was .... indescribable....not pleasant...slightly kerosene that stayed a long time.
Maybe an older bottle, but I don't think so. I just think I don't care for the aftertaste and prefer a more complex flavor to my stouts.

IntriqKen, Mar 10, 2006
Photo of scruffwhor
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

Appearance- Pours a beige head with good retention, but eventually recedes to a ring of foam around the edges and then nothing. The color is a squid ink black, always apealing to me.

Smell- A appealing mix of sweet white bread, mocha, and heavy cream.

Taste- Starts out with a good balance of creamy roasted malts and very subdued English malts. The finish is more vanillin zucker than anthying. Sweet but very subdued in both its malt and hop flavors.

Mouthfeel- Liquid beer oil. But very smooth, just like the real thing. Although the carbonation can't be seen in this black hole of beer, you can definetly feel it on the back and sides of your tongue.

scruffwhor, Mar 09, 2006
Photo of goochpunch
4.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured jet black with a creamy, mocha head. Smells of raisins, chocolate, and slightly of coffee. Alcohol makes itself more present in the nose as it warms. Flavors of dark chocolate and coffee upfront, followed by undertones of kalamata olive. Shortly after, there come strong flavors of Spanish moss and moist, perique tobacco, followed by warming alcohol. Lingering bittering hops in the absolute finish. I am quite taken aback by the complexities here. Mouthfeel is not too heavy, but slick and carbonated enough to pair with the flavors. Coats the tongue nicely.

A very nice imperial stout. Small in alcoholic strength, but has an unmatched flavor profile. Perfect for nights where you don't want to have to commit to a 22 oz. of 10%+ ABV. Samuel Smith wins again.

goochpunch, Mar 09, 2006
Photo of Tupperwolf
3.15/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a plumlike dark brown, not quite black, into my imperial nonic, capped with a spongy light tan mocha head. It leaves lots of lacing behind; If you find a bright enough light source, you can see some hints of ruby, but it's mostly opaque.

Let this warm up! Seriously, don't drink it out of the fridge. I have mine set on 0.5 and it is still too cold for most beers, this one included. Before it warms all you'll get is astringency. As it warms, gentle coffee aromas begin to come out, building along with a little bit of caramel and some veggielike greenness.

Coffee with cream, some lemony stout zest - slight smoky roastiness.

An enigma of a mouthfeel - thin for an imperial stout, yet damn filling. It's not 'thin' per se, just compared to a lot of other Impies I've had - smooth, imperceptible carbonation, slight alcohol zest.

All of the Imperial Stouts I've had have been American, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that an honest English version isn't as in-your-face.

Tupperwolf, Mar 08, 2006
Photo of Frozensoul327
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good Stuff. Pours out to a black as night color with a strong head of about 1/4 inch. Lots of lace inside the glass, and a medium low level of carbonation. Aromas of licorice, full roasted malts, dry grains, some sweet molasses. Taste; full and robust. Flavors of cold coffee, burned malt, some hop notes are present, but pushed to the back of the flavor palate, as more malt and maple elements take control. Wow. Good mouthfeel, very rich and creamy. Like having a sweetened beer brick in your mouth. Very heavy. Pretty darn good drinkability. I'm gonna be back soon. Highly Recommended. My favorite Russian Imperial Stout.

Frozensoul327, Mar 08, 2006
Photo of kgotcher
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

550 ML bottle, Contractors to her majesty's forces. MUST be good.

Pours incredibly dark, even when held to the light, just a hint of amber will peek through. Amazing. Super thick and creamy (mocha like) head with a brown color. Takes a good 5 minutes to subside and still has a good 1/2 finger left.

Aroma is vanilla, toffee, dark toasted grain, coffee, alchohol (reminds me a bit of an alchoholic coffee drink) very potent overall and a bit sweet. Very full mouthfeel, creamy and dense with a salty finish. Taste is vanilla, burnt malt and coffee, there seem to be many other flavors as well, may need to try this one a few times to get accustomed to the depth of flavor.

Well for my limited experience in Imp Stouts, I would still have to say this is very drinkable. Lots of flavor and a beautiful looking beer.

kgotcher, Mar 07, 2006
Photo of gmcfarre
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 550mL bottle into Samuel Smith pint glass. What a pairing!

A- Dark, dark black color with a thick tan head. Head rose to almost 2 inches with fairly aggressive pour. Leaves a good lookin' spotty wall of lacing.

S- Intense dark malt, chocolate and a helping of java beans.

T- About as good as a Russian Imperial gets! Delicious warming effect envelopes you from the instant it touches your lips. Dark malt and chocolate predominate, but hops make a nice cameo for a change. Finish has a roasted, smoky feel.

M- Just the right amount of carbonation to add to the warming effect. as it conquers the mouth, a creamy, oilcan smoothness wins out. Leaves you with a nip of dryness.

D- So delicious you can down it like a champ, but why would you want to? One to savor and sip for a while. Alcohol does make its presence known well into the drink.

gmcfarre, Mar 07, 2006
Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,216 ratings.