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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

2,987 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,987
Reviews: 1,638
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.24%
Wants: 125
Gots: 147 | 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: 2,987 | Reviews: 1,638 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

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

This one pours a deep black with a beautiful 1" tan head that stays its course nicely. I'm not seeing any light penetrating this brew and it looks wonderful in the glass. The smell is of powerful roasted notes, hints of coffee and cocoa as well. There are some burnt grains that enter my nose, overall it smells quite nice.

The first taste is very smooth with a robust roasted / burnt malt flavor...bitter coffee hits the back of my palate on the way down. Chocolate covered raisins fit there way in there somehow too. This is well put together and quite easy to drink.

Mouthfeel is very nice, altough it almost seems a bit lacking in body to me personally. The drinkability factor is very good. This one goes down easily and tastes great. A couple of these and I'd be a happy camper for the night. If you enjoy stouts, and have yet to try this one, get off yer ass and do it already!

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2004 02:40:43 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of trumick
trumick

Michigan

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

Pours a deep dark brown with very little head and not much lacing.

Scent is of sweet dark malts, dark chocolate, and coffee. The scent is more pronouced as it warms. It has the same scents just more intense.

Taste follows the nose, sweet dark malts, dark bitter chocolate, finishes with slight hops, coffee and a bit sweet. Taste is also more pronounced as it warms and, yes, better.

Mouthfeel, very nice and smooth almost creamy with perfect carbination, meduim to full bodied a bit lighter than I would expect for the style.

Drinkability, danger, this one is very easy to drink. I could put a bunch of these away. This is probably the most drinkable Imp Stout I have ever had. The lower (lower for the style) abv helps.

What a nice beer. The abv is lower and makes this beer that much more apealing. This is one I will definately buy again.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2004 02:48:22 | More by trumick
Photo of odeed
odeed

California

3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

all the samuel smiths have a bit of the same taste.not saying its a bad thing,they all taste great!
the imperial poured out with little head and i could almost make out some light looking through it.as i said,has the sammy smith taste only with a bit of imperial thrown in for good measure.
very good stout overall.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2004 03:12:01 | More by odeed
Photo of BJ1833
BJ1833

Kansas

4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep black color with brown two-finger head.

Aroma: Mmm... this already smells delicious. Coffee and chocolate aroma hits you first with a fainter smell of toffee as well.

Taste: A strong coffee and roasted malt flavor. Notes of toffee and caramel as well. This is very rich and complex. Alcohol is present but definitely not overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body that is creamy and silky. Perfection carbonation in this bottle.

Overall: This is the first imperial stout I've tried and I don't see how they could get any better than this! This is easily the best stout (imperial or otherwise) I've ever had. This beer would make a good winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2004 23:05:49 | More by BJ1833
Photo of jvajda
jvajda

Ohio

3.33/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Black as night and a very dark head that dissapates quickly.
Smell: Strong smell of sweet bananas in the nose.
Taste: Very sweet banana tones and small alcohol taste. Somewhat simple for a stout.
Mouthfeel: Creamy. Leaves the lips sticky.
Drinkability: I don't feel like this beer has much to offer that would bring me back.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2004 01:07:47 | More by jvajda
Photo of 99bottles
99bottles

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Into a tulip, this stout poured a very near black color with almost an inch of deep tan head. The retention was lacking, and a thin lace was all that remained after a minute.

Smell: A rich roasted scent from the barely that nearly stings the nostrils, and then wraps them up in soft richness.

Taste: This stout is my Imperial benchmark. It has a very classic taste and flavor; that is of roasted barley, some acidic coffee, very strong notes of dark chocolate, raisins, figs, and alcohol. It has modest bitterness, without too much hop flavor. Very very good.

Mouthfeel: This might be thinner than what most imperial stout drinkers have come to expect. In this case, I think it does well with matching the flavor to the viscosity and thickness of the beer.

Drinkability: A great beer to herald in the change of the seasons. This is a nice beer to sip, and though I think multiple bottles coudl be consumed in one sitting, I'd rather sit and reflect over one.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2004 14:23:33 | More by 99bottles
Photo of sutcliff
sutcliff

Missouri

4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the first imperial stout I ever tried years ago and I made it a point to have a pint of it on a regular occassion. An excellent example of the style with a warm, rich taste, and a low amount of hop aroma. The color is a deep black and the head was significant.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2004 22:32:01 | More by sutcliff
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

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

The Victorian style label is very cool.

The beer pours pure black with a big tan head and good lacing. The aroma is of sweet cocoa powder, with the expected coffee and roasted barley notes as well. The taste is incredibly rich and complex. The coffee flavors are so well defined. There is a diversity of chocolatey flavors. The hops very evident. Theres also a smokey faintly acidity (from the roasted barley?). The carbonation is light in this thick brew making for a creamy mouthfeel. This beer is eminently drinkable because it is so well balanced and alcohol flavors are completely concealed behind a wall of richness. An excellent Imperial Stout.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2004 04:22:19 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of meathookjones
meathookjones

Virginia

3.33/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I haven’t had a bottle of this in years, basically the last time I had it I was still drinking craft brew from the bottle. So seeing how it is right behind on of my favorites in Stone Russian imperial stout I had to pick it up to review it. Pours out used oil black that looked a little thinner than other RIS’ I have had but great nonetheless. A full dark tan head formed atop the oily liquid and left no much in the way of lace as it faded away. There seems to be a strong smell of chocolate liquor coming from this with fruits and a bit of alcohol as well. Sweet chocolate covered fruit came to mind when I first sipped this. Chocolate and a touch of coffee were also present as well as a bittersweet finish. There was an odd sour taste that hit me a few times that was very unpleasant, not sure what this is from. Mouthfeel was good but not as thick as other Imperial Stouts but creamy still. Drinkability was lower than I would have though with that odd taste really putting me off. Not sure if I got a bad bottle or what but I plan on revisiting this in the future and giving it another chance.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2004 16:02:59 | More by meathookjones
Photo of garymuchow
garymuchow

Minnesota

4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I sat on this for a few months after purchase (don't ask me why, 'cuz I don't know), plus how long did it sit in the store? Nonetheless, it didn't seem worse for the wear.
Aroma is heavy sweet malt, like molasses and with a strong fruit quality and bits of roast.
As it pours it looks lighter in color, but once in the glass it's black as night. One inch firm dense head.
Flavor is rich without being excessive. Pushes cloy but never too much. Fruit. Roast. Coffee. Really sweet up front, moderate bitterness in middle that adds nice comlexity.
Smooth as silk. One of the softest smoothest beers I"ve ever head. Appropriately thick.
Everything is perfectly balanced for style. Dessert, slow sipper or multi-purpose beer. Excellent.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2004 14:10:51 | More by garymuchow
Photo of Jacobob10
Jacobob10

New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A truly beautiful appearance. Pitch black with the darkest tan head I have ever seen. Awesome! The only reason this didn't get a 5 for appearance is because it left virtually no lacing on the glass. Great aroma as well. Very crisp and fresh for something with such a dark and roasted smell. Full bodied beer that contains flavors of caramel, roasted malts, and coffee, but it has a touch of sweetness to it. Very creamy mouthfeel. The drinkability takes a hit due to the high alcohol content and the thickness of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2004 22:05:20 | More by Jacobob10
Photo of SilentSabre
SilentSabre

North Dakota

4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured black as tar with about a 15cm thick dirty off-white head. The smell is absolutely fantastic, if you like this style of course. Roasted malt, chocolately, a little fig like, some caramel. The taste, too, is very chocolatey with that burnt malt taste I do love so about this style. Very smooth. Very easy to drink. Quite heavy, however, and three or less in a single sitting would be plenty. Excellent.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2004 04:07:29 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of rajendra82
rajendra82

Georgia

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

The beer came in a 550 ml. sturdy looking clear (why?) bottle that released an a dark brown liquid with red highlights. This beer does not have the inky black look of other imperial stouts. The head was coffee-colored and formed at about 1½ inches thick initially, but then quickly dissipated to a thin layer of foam and some decent lace. The aroma was roasted coffer and dark chocolate goodness, with a dollop of dark skinned fruits thrown in the mix. The taste was a delightfully intense balance between the sweet flavors of raisins, figs, toffee, and apples; and bitter notes of old coffee and unsweetened chocolate. The alcohol warmth was pretty tepid for an imperial stout, and is clearly not the draw in this beer. The mouthfeel was also quite a bit lighter that the big boys, but was satisfying nonetheless. An easy drinking stout that is clearly a step above the ordinary, but remains very approachable still. A sessionable imperial stout if you will.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2004 03:39:23 | More by rajendra82
Photo of dmbfrat420beers
dmbfrat420beers

Germany

4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation - Attractive clear (why do so many British breweries use clear bottles?) bottle with white label declaring Sam Smith's as the "contractors to Her Majesty's foces" haha.

Appearance - Dark with red tint around the edges. Big, tightly packed tan head. Lacing clings nice and thick to the side of the mug - very nice touch.

Aroma - hmm...very different from the other Imperial Stouts I have tried (Stone '04 and Old Rasputin). I would describe it as sort of a musty smell with grassy hop hints and some alcohol. Very strong, especially as you get ready to drink.

Mouthfeel - full bodied, decent carbonation

Taste - Like Sam Smith's India Ale, this beer is a far cry from its American style cousins. Strong grassy hop flavor up front that gives way to an ample roasted malty sweetness. Hints of bitterness left on the lips and in the back of the mouth, but otherwise turns into an almost candy like sweetness on the sides of the cheeks and tounge. Also leaves a nice fruity tartness. Lots of flavors going on here and it changes quite a bit from sip to swallow. Finishes very clean, no alcohol flavor to speak of, except a warm feeling as it goes down. Quite tasty and complex, though I wish there were little more of a bitter kick, but that is just my predilection.

Drinkability - Thought by the size and pungent aroma this beer would not go down easily, but was suprised about how easy it was to drink.

Final Words: Bought a 4-pack of this for $10, can't wait to finish the rest. The best of their beers I have had so far. It is hard to say how this compares to the American Double Stouts, they seem so very much different.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2004 05:36:49 | More by dmbfrat420beers
Photo of beertaster13
beertaster13

Washington

4.9/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have found the stout to end all stouts. Pours a deathly crude oil black with streaks of ruby, the mocha/tan head is wickedly awesome and the lacing will leave gobs on the glass. The smell is of espresso and mocha chocolate raisins. A slight nut smell as well, alcohol is detectable. The taste is pure glory, the sweetness of the roasted chocolate invites you for more, a graham cracker marshmellow sweetness is icing on the cake. Hints of fruit, dried raisins detected. Alcohol is detected as well. Medium bodied for a stout, not to thick but perfect to invite more and more, a very drinkable stout and will become the staple for me. Awesome.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2004 22:34:42 | More by beertaster13
Photo of mattcrill
mattcrill

Ohio

3.55/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I guess I'm going to be the one to go against trend here but I can't help how I feel about this beer. So here it goes....

Appearance: Great appearance. Pours black as black can be. Lovely dark brown head that forms but after one sip, it's gone. Still, it leaves nice lacings around the glass.

Smell: Very complex. I definitely smell dried fruits (raisins or prunes) with some malty undertones. I don't pick up much other than the sweetness.

Taste: This is where I was let down. I really enjoyed the taste however, I just thought it was a very one-dimensional brew. I picked up the taste of licorice, raisins, and a slightly dry and mild alcohol finish. It just didn't taste as big or as complex as I had hoped.

Mouthfeel: Very full and chunky but not very balance. Virtually no carbonation which made this beer feel very heavy.

Drinkability: I can't imagine having more than one of these at a time. Leaves you feeling very full.

Overall: I'd definitely recommend trying it once. Maybe this is closer to the true style of an RIS and maybe the only ones I've tried have deviated from this standard. So maybe I'm the one that's screwed up. Also, with all the review I read, expectations were pretty high. Who knows...

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2004 15:52:39 | More by mattcrill
Photo of tjd25
tjd25

France

4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very silky thick and foamy head. I had the impression that it disappeared quicker than some for some other samuel smith brews. The body is of an intense black color, totally opaque.

The smell shows an emphasis on a roasted coffee aspect with fruity notes of chestnut. Earthy and bread-like cereal character, with hints of bacon bites. The fruity character is quite developed.

The taste shows a strong coffee aspect, combined with a dark chocolate bitterness and a sweet fruitiness, almost slightly citric. Almost burnt grain, and maybe a very light hint of liquorice. Alcohol gets noticeable in the finish, quite warming and not overwhelming. Just enjoyable.

The mouthfeel is incredibly round, very smooth, but not really creamy, with a thick dark chocolate grassy bitterness. The alcohol progressively warms the throat, but this brew is still almost as drinkable as water. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2004 23:26:15 | More by tjd25
Photo of mobyfann
mobyfann

Ohio

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

Paid $2.49 for a 12 oz. bottle...

The appearance on this one was quite nice for a stout, typical black-brown base with the chocolatey colored small-to-mid sized low carb head and a great lacing effect on the glass. The aroma is pleasent, a nice mocha smell to it, with a few hints of some fruits.

The taste is great, a simple but productive stout with all hints of the aroma plus some caramel and roasted goodness, absolutely splendid. The mouthfeel is great, smooth as a 7% stout could get, feels less heavy than some porters that I've sampled as well. The drinkability is high as this stout went down fast and smoothly.

Final Thought: Another winner from Sam Smith's collection, this is the way a stout should be, ideally.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2004 19:10:07 | More by mobyfann
Photo of JISurfer
JISurfer

South Carolina

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

Wow! This had a nice deep, rich, chocolate/dark fruit taste to it. Was very thick and chewy, just like I like 'em. The head was super thick and pillowy in the beginning, but then died out to a laceing. I would reccommend this brew to anyone who hasn't had it yet. I thought it was a little better when it was colder, but that's just me. All in all a great imperial and a top notch example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2004 03:40:44 | More by JISurfer
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
ALESwhatCURESya

Wisconsin

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

Pitch black with thick beige head that decided to stick around for the entire time. Sweet matly, nutty and mollasses aroma off the head. The alcohol produces a sweet and warming taste in the mouth. Very thick lacing as the glass got emptier. Finish is very bold and not for the beginning stout drinker, but damn, does it taste good. Thumbs up!

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2004 00:40:29 | More by ALESwhatCURESya
Photo of bigone4
bigone4

Rhode Island

4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great stout straight from England. Great color and aroma. Smooth stout I really enjoy drinking this beer a little below room temp. The flavors come out and are remarkable on my tounge. Hint of coffee and a nice after taste. Samuel Smith deffinately gets a great vote of approval from me.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2004 18:25:13 | More by bigone4
Photo of kegerator
kegerator

Maryland

4.95/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I enjoyed this beer quite a bit.
Poured out black as night with a nice brown head, appearance was right on for this style.
the best way i can describe the aroma is oily chocolate with some hints of coffee and port. I was excited by this.
taste was just about the same as the aromas, but I wasn't getting the oily part in the taste. very smooth.
I will buy this one again for sure. It would have gotten all 5's and probably deserves it but in comparison this one just didn't quite have the heartiness of storm king almost too smooth. get it and taste it. you won't be disappointed

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2004 13:13:14 | More by kegerator
Photo of SBPCGuru
SBPCGuru

Colorado

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

When this baby was poured out of her clear glass dwelling, it was of a deep dark blackish-brown color with a thick inch or so of head. You stick your nose into this beer before that first tasting, and it revs up your senses for a malted wonderland. The taste going down is nicely complimented by its buttered rye bread aftertaste. Each sip brings the aroma of nutty malted goodness before this masterpiece rolls over your palette. The head follows the beer down the side of the glass until the last sip. This is stout worthy of more tastings in the future.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2004 05:39:13 | More by SBPCGuru
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

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

Not even opaque, this is a dark, dark mahogany brew. This features a truly awesome head for a bottle. Deep tan in color, the head leaves an impressive sticky lace throughout the tasting.

Strong oily alcohol fullness in the aroma. Powerful dark malt richness--chocolate, black patent malts.

Rich and oily, this is a beer to be consumed slowly. Strong chicory coffee flavors. Unlike pale ales, the hop is used strictly as a spice. The aftertaste is long lasting and bitter in an espresso way (the hop is quietly present as a touch of counterbalance) . This is a big beer in every way.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2004 17:55:11 | More by smcolw
Photo of egajdzis
egajdzis

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown, not opaque color with a large tan. It left some lacing on the glass. Had an aroma of chocolate malt, and fruits, most notably raisins. Taste of coffee, chocolate malt and some hops as well. It finished with a quick oily taste. The best session Imperial Stout I had tonight, if there ever was one.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2004 23:05:58 | More by egajdzis
Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 2,987 ratings.