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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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3,357 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,357
Reviews: 1,685
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.27%
Wants: 182
Gots: 306 | FT: 2
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:
Beer added by: Todd on 02-27-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,357 | Reviews: 1,685
Photo of shadow1961
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout pours out a lovely
stiff tan head over a black brew. The nose is amazing-
rum, raisin, and espresso dominate. The flavor is sweet
chocolate and coffee malt up front, with the slightest bitter
touch of unsweetened chocolate and hop in the finish.
The mouthfeel is surprisingly light and clean. The relatively
high alcohol by volume of 7% is well modulated by all that other
flavor action going on. It only makes itself felt in the inevitable
warming action.This is one of the finest stouts I've ever had!
I do like the label- apparently Samuel Smith is a contractor for
Her Majesty's forces, though if I were with Her Majesty's forces
in Iraq I would prefer something a little lighter- like a wit, a lager,
or poison. But on a chilly May night in Minnesota, it does come

Photo of srrn
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this is a truly great beer. Pours a thick dark oil brown with a tan two finger head. A fair amount of lacing on the glass. Smells of chocolate first then coffee and burnt toast later. Taste is very similar with a dark chocolate bitterness to the long finish. Wonderfully oily mouthfeel. Carbonation is perfect. A winner.

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

A- Pours a deep brown, nearly black.

S- Slight coffee, burnt barley scent, a little hops background.

T- Roasted barley, coffee tone, finishes nice and dry though.

M- Smooth, lots of smaller bubbles, medium to thick on the tongue.

D- A good example of the style, a true classic.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown with a half inch tan head which went away very quickly. Lacing is good. It smells like coffee, chocolate, caramel, dark fruit and some alcohol. The beer tastes the same way to me, but with some licorice, wood and acidic twangs to it too. Taste is sweet and bitter at the same time, it's a bit sweeter than I expected. Mouthfeel is medium, it's also creamy, smooth and a bit slick. There's a little too much carbonation for my liking. Drinkability is good, it's not hard to drink at all. I think this is a decent stout. I'd drink it again.

Photo of mwearl
4.62/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black in appearance with no light showing through. Head is minimal as is lacing. Very nice smell suprisingly light and fragrant for an imperial with no alcohol smell. Excellent taste with hops noticeable and a slight coffee, chocolate finish. Not as heavy as one might expect from a Russian Imperial Stout but flavor is exceptional. Mouthfeel was a little acidic on top of the tongue, but not an alcohol bite. Drinkability was the best of all Imperial Stouts for me, as it was the first time I could drink two at a single sitting.

Photo of BrewSomerville
3.48/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This Beer had a very nice aroma, it smelled very chocolaty. The mouthfeel was also very nice, it was silky smooth and almost kinda chewy. The flavour was alright, I tasted some dark cherry/ chocolate in it. It had a malty sweetness to it, however, the alcohol was threatening to overpower that malty sweetness. The alcohol gave a warming feeling to my mouth and throat. It's a nice winter Beer, but I'm not going to give it a rave review because of it's poor head retention. It looked beautiful at first with a lofty beige head, but it disappeared far too soon.

Overall Sam Smith's Imperial Stout is alright, and I would give it another chance sometime.

Photo of dmamiano
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this one at a Thai restaurant in Las Vegas.I couldnt believe it either....they only had one in their half empty beer cooler.
Anyway, the beer poured a deep brown, almost black with a wonderfull chocolate frothy head. A sight to behold.
The nose was awesome...chocolate malt, almost a faint licorice tint to it.
The mouthfeel was great, smooth fullness as I poured it on my tongue and the taste was true to style. Chocolate and biscuit notes with a slight coolness form alchohol from the finish

Photo of hckyfn9999
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black color with a nice brown head with good retention, that leaves a bit of lace. Aroma is of dark fruit, chocolate, and roasted malt. Taste is full of roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, dark fruit, a little nutty, a bit of smoke and alcohol, and rounds out with a bit of hops bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth and full bodied. This is a very easy drinker for the style.

Photo of Cresant
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this 11.2 oz. clear bottle into a Samuel Smith tulip glass. No date noted. Creamy tan head rose to over three fingers. The body was dark browm with cola colored highlights. Stereotypical RIS.

Smell was of light sweetness. Steely. Apple skins. Later it was dead-on for chocolate aromas.

Taste was faint milk chocolate. Molasses-like sweetness, however, it was not too sweet. Rather refreshing for a RIS.

Mouthfeel was medium to thin in the body, and smooth in the texture.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a deep dark brown with a towering pillow like tan head. Cery nice retention, with a nice slow fade leaving just a film of a head on top. No real decent lacing though.

S - Smell was initially strong but mellowed some. Nice roasted malts, nutty smell, with lots of hints of caramel and sugar. A slight hoppy twang was present in the back of the aroma. A nice proper English type of smell if that makes any sense.

M & T - First impression was very smooth. Not overly carbonated, but not a bad thing. Not very thick, just very nice feel. Lots of caramel and roasted coffee flavors were the dominant tones here.

D - Overall this was a very nice, and very sessionable Impy Stout. It was not very robust, and would not stand up against some of the other heavyweights in its style. However, I feel it does have a nice place there as a good sessionable, not so outragously high ABV stout is always a welcome treat.

Photo of PlaywrightSam
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into snifter. A: Very dark, nearly black, very thick head. S: Very malty with a lot of dark fruit coming through. Molasses and a hint of pineapple. T: Roasted malts giving way to some citrus, raisins, chocolate. M: Creamy, light. D: Really surprising and enjoyable.

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

Poured into a pint glass. Appears to be pitch black, but when held up to the light it's more of a dark brown. There is a nice tan head that slowly leaves a ton of lacing. Smell is big on roasted coffee and chocolate, but it's a more nuanced smell and is very nice. Taste is sweet and chocolatey up front with a nice bitter/dry coffee finish. This tastes very much like a good chocolate bar. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy - there is slight carbonation, which functions well. This is a very drinkable stout - perfect as a dessert. Highly Recommended.

Photo of taez555
4.54/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a pitch black body with a small white/tan head.

Nose is in your face with that beautiful classic Sammy Smith fruity/metallic smell. Soft milk chocolate, cocoa powder, pure liquid caramel, pears, dark prunes, liquid sugar, sweet (backwoods cigars) type tobacco, mild vanilla and a very faint alcohol nip. For such an in your face nose it has this overwhelming muted note to it like it's been aged for a while and has lost some of it's bite. Still.... a splendid nose that I could smell for hours without taking a sip.

Taste is medium to full bodied. Dark roasted malts dominate with a smooth dark chocolate and fireplace brick mild smoke note. Dark chocolate, brown bread, prunes, plums, dark raisins, old coffee, pear juice with a mild coarseness. There's a subtle minty and citrus peel hop flavor combined with a present but mellow and balanced bitterness. An alcohol warmth picks up as the beer takes hold. It finishes with a lingering bitterness and course chalkiness.

Another fabulous beer from Tadcaster. A little more dense and a bit less drinkable that the Oatmeal or Taddy Porter, but still a top notch beer that ranks as easily one of the best Stouts out there. I don't know why I don't drink Samuel Smith more often.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beautiful sable color and moderate head are attractive, and the decidedly stouty aroma with a strong caramel overtone cries "You will drink me, and you will enjoy me!" Flavor is rich and malty, and has caramel hints and a touch of smokiness. It goes down with a smooth, pleasant finish that has only a whisper of bitterness. Very satisfying, this is a must for all porter and stout fans!

Photo of MiScusi
3.55/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 16.9oz brown bottle. Pours a deep black in the glass, but small amounts of the liquid show it to be a clear reddish brown. The head is a light tan, frothy, thin, and dissipates pretty quickly. The smell and taste are both heavily roasted and I don't get much out of it other than that. A little too one dimensional for me.

Photo of cixelsydima
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A:Dark amber color,pours thinly for a stout,little head fading out to dishwater soap like bubbles.
S:Woody,smoked wood,somewhat earthy,slight hint of alcohol,
dark chocolate with syrupy molasses
T:Licorice,carmalized molasses,slightly bitter finish
M:A pop/soda like carbonation,thin
D:Not a session beer.I could drink 2 or 3 at a time.I will definitely purchase a case to hoard for myself during winter.I will let this warm up a bit prior to consuming the next bottle.The mouth feel is more velvety and smoother as it warms up.My first impression after the 1st taste was pairing this beer with a heavy,slightly sweet hickory pork barbeque.I'd love to find this on tap.This one is a "gooder".

Photo of boelker62
2.49/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

This beer fell short on many counts. Head flew away with no lacing. I imagine this one is artificaially carbonated as well. It was overwhelming. I pulled some perfume and herb scents out of this, and almost didn’t drink it past the first sip. It grew a bit on me. Just a bit, though. medium to full body, and quite velvety for being so, let this beer afect various areas of the palate. Their oatmeal stout is better, and I would prefer it to this anytime.

Photo of wanker
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours black with a small but attractive head.

Very sweet taste with mild hops. Almost as sweet as a milk stout. I was expecting more hops in an imperial stout. Strong dark stewed fruit flavors. Reminded me of prune juice, which is not bad; I like prune juice.

Slippery mouthfeel. I would prefer more carbonation.

Tasty for sure, but not at the level of Victory Storm King. I found it a bit unbalanced in the malt direction. I think a bit more hop would help.

Highly drinkable, though.

Photo of Bookseeb
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a rich dark brown that has a creamy brown head that sticks around awhile. A primary smell of chocolate then coffee, dark fruits and sweet roasted malts. Taste is sweet with the same characteristics as the aroma with good hop flavor and carbonation. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, overall it's a rich, smooth imperial stout that will definately be on my list of brews for the cellar.

Photo of MMansfield
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Vin Art Wines. Very excited about this one.

Appearance: Pours a jet black with a massive foamy brown cap that stays for eternity, leaving tons of lacing.

Aroma: Nose is dominated by hints of sweetened chocolate and roasted organic coffee beans and fresh baked bread. Also get some floral hops.

Taste: Quite sweet. Very chocolatey, with strong whiff of bitter coffee in the finish. Some caramel and grass. Moderate bitterness, definately a sweeter RIS.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and rich, not it's strongest point, but drinkability is pretty high.

Final Statement: Definately a winner. A good & sweet RIS from a very respectable brewery. This is my favorite of the their brews, and will definately seek out regularly.

Photo of Atlas1
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Man, this really takes me back. The first time I ever tried Sammy Smiths I was in college over ten years ago. My buddies and I were convinced that there was simply nothing like it on earth. We were right.

Pours a nice deep black color with a dark brown head. Hints of ruby red shine through at the edges when held up to the light. A pretty beer, but nothing spectacular for a stout. Very little head retention or lace. The bouquet here is special, though. Rich aroma of both dark fruits (plum, prune, raisins) and apples and bananas. Makes me think of a few weizenbocks I've had, but it's a sweeter aroma than most stouts out there, imperial or not. The taste is also a bit sweet with the aforementioned fruits. Sweet and tangy up front, with a smooth mellow middle, and a remarkably sweet (tart?) and bitter finish. Presents a smoky aftertaste, which I was not expecting but really like. Very sturdy mouthfeel. Overall, this is an imperial stout done right. But then again, this beer was winning gold medal awards at competitions back in 1896, so it's not like the lads at Sam Smiths are new at this. Keep up the good work, and thanks for this beer.

Photo of schusterbauer
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

of course there's no answer to the "favorite beer" question. forced to make a decision though, this would definitely be in contention.

more burnt brown than black, with highlights of mahogany, and a small staid head. perhaps my perception of its appearance is tainted by my knowledge of what comes next, but if that's the case, then so be it. smell is of barely warm brownies, prune juice, walnuts, liqueur, coffee. taste is a haphazard (in a good way) blend of the same flavors, along with burnt brown sugar, chocolate covered raisins, charcoal, and fig pudding. subtle and refined in the mouth -- not harsh, bruising, or daring like the american interpretations. inviting, and warming. pleasingly inebriating. drink a couple and you'll be singing.

i've drinken this from snifters, pint glasses, and (gasp!) straight from the bottle -- it's always fantastic. an obsession.

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

Appearance: A nice black color with a huge brown head. There is very light retention and almost no lacing.

Smell: Rich dark chocolate, roasted malts, some caramel and sugar, and mild hops.

Taste: Nice rich and full flavors here. Everything explodes on the palate without overpowering any individual flavor. The caramel and fruits are nicely balanced with the hops and everything works very well together.

Mouthfeel: Thick but not cloying. Rich and sweet while still staying dry. Wonderful.

Drinkability: A wonderful stout. I need more.

Photo of cypressbob
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle, poured into a t'IJ brewery tulip

Pours with a deep dark rich brown body, black in most lights with some slight ruby highlights throughout. Inch thick tan head with great retention along with lots of bubbly lacing

Smell, smooth rich slightly alcoholic malt, some acetaldehyde character lingering around. Slight burnt sugar character along with some more green apple aromas.

Taste, crisp and rich roasted malt, sweet astringent appley estery malt. Some acidity along with a whack of roasted malt, some slight esters

Been meaning to review this for ages, finally have... brilliant bottled

Photo of beeragent
3.07/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The beer poures a deep brown, forming no head with very little carbonation, leaving a few spots of lace on the glass. The aroma is a mix of roasted malts, and light raisins. The taste is light coffee, a little roasted malt, and a good amount of, what tastes like raisins. Thick mouthfeel, with a smooth finish. Overall, I wasnt really impressed with this stout. I've tried a few other RIS, but this one just didnt measure up. Its not a bad beer, but for the style, It was a let down, but then again, maybe I just got a bad batch. I will have to try it again in the future.

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Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,357 ratings.