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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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3,258 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,258
Reviews: 1,665
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 154
Gots: 241 | 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: 3,258 | Reviews: 1,665 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of akorsak
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a 550 mL bottle served in a weizen glass. The stout is near room temperature.

A: The stout is pitch black, no ruby red hints, no nothing. There is a light brown head that is fairly small.

S: The ale has a strong chocolate aroma with hints of lactose sweetness.

T: The flavor here is very reserved, completely unlike any US RIS beers. There is a semi-sweet lactose flavor and hints of chocolate, both of which provide a pleasantly strong flavor. Hops are practically non-existent.

M: The stout is a very refreshing take on the RIS variety.

D: The stout is very drinkable with a mid-range abv. This is a good stout for those who don't like the American over-hopped types.

Photo of afinepilsner
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz clear bottle

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout is black in color with a hint red when held to a light. Its tan head was 3 fingers thick with good retention and some lacing. It smelled of roasted grain with a hint of alcohol. The taste was fantastic with rosted grain lots of malt flavor and that hint of alcohol. This medium-full bodied beer disapeared rather quickly out my glass. This is an excellent beer.

Photo of cjgator3
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a huge tan head that sticks all over the glass. Aroma is sweet with dark fruits, molasses and a rum like alchohol smell. Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy that lets you know from the beginning that it is going to be a superb beer. Taste is roasty with coffee and bitter chocolate that finishes with a nice firm hop bitterness. Wow, this is a wonderfully crafted brew from an exceptional brewery! A masterpiece without a doubt!

Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out black with a mocha colored, 4-finger head. It left lacing as I drank it.

S - It smelled of malt and coffee.

T - It had a roasted malt and bitter coffee flavor. I also noticed caramel amd toffee flavors.

M - It was soft and creamy. Heavy-bodied.

D - It is a very good Russian Imperial. Fortunately, it isn't as strong as some others in terms of ABV.

Photo of escapements
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Thick tan head, deep mahogany red, very nearly black. Very rich & thick appearance.

S - Malt, choc/coffee, caramel.

T - Mellower taste (for a stout) than it first appears by sight, but still a very rich flavor. Malty goodnes to be sure, choc/coffee again, sorgum, sweet, then turning dry slowly with a pretty clean finish, maybe a little licorice. Very slight alcohol taste, well hidden by the overall level of flavors.

M - Very smooth. Thick and creamy.

D - Very, very tasty brew. Filling also. A couple of these and i'm happy.

Photo of AmorousAngel
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured opaque and black. Very minimal tan head that did not even cover the entire surface of the liquid.

Roasted malts are very evident, with almost coffee-like undertones. Hints of nut as well.

Explosion of roasted malts, but not sweet like some strong, malty beers.

Very smooth mouthfeel. Almost no carbonation.

Excellent beer to drink one at a sitting, because they are quite filling.

Photo of gunnerman
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith Imperial stout poured into a snifter, a nice dark black color with a carmel colored 1 inch head that leaves nice fat sticky lacing. Smell is of sweet dark chocloate with hints of roasted nuts. Taste is of a smooth mellow malted barley with hints of roasted nuts, very well balanced not bitterness with a hint of alchohol burn. I could drink this fine offering all day long very well balanced and goes with a nice meal, one of my favorites.

Photo of albertmdh
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Didn't realize the bottle was clear until I popped the cap. This is a good thing. Smell is fairly bitter and chocolaty. Poured into a glass I found at the thrift store, wide hollow stemmed wine glass type thing, 3 inches of dark brown head, subsided to about a half inch. Taste to me is incredibly complex. Red wine depths, with chocolate and coffee overtones. Little bit of hops at the back. This one is a bit syrupy for me, though, I imagine a draft might smooth her out a bit. I can't see drinking more than one of these at a time, but I really do seem to enjoy the imperials.

Photo of horndecker
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

500 ml clear bottle with one of the grandest little labels...

It's the deepest darkest, reddish walnut with a fine sticky dark tan head. Beauty. The nose is all roasted malt, citric hops, a bit of a tang, wonderful combo, cocoa, faint cherry-ish aromas, caramel, espresso brings up the rear. Burnt edges, whiff of smoke.

So smooth. First sip is tangy hops, a flash of herbal bitterness and dusty cocoa powder, quickly followed by a sweet malt, roasted, toasted and round. Raisins, caramel.The sweetness lingers. Alcohol shows up and buzzes around the tongue, but it's not too forward. Bitterness returns, but this time dry and citric, slowly sliding towards a cocoa and dark fruit aftertaste. Jeepers. The tastes develop slowly and the finish is long.

Soft and smooth mouthfeel, rather full and foamy. Luscious.

One of my favorites.

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

Pours jet black, with the slightest hints of deep red around the base of the glass, and builds a much larger deep tan head than I had expected, which dissipates and leaves almost no lacing fairly quickly. Smell is a bit light, with chocolate and dark fruits apparent, but a bit of an off note too, likely due to the clear bottle. How a brewery of Samuel Smith's tradition and repute could even think about clear glass is beyond me, but I digress. Taste gets back on track. Rich and full, with a heavy fruitiness containing notes of cherry, plum, and raisin coming alongside burnt chocolate and a lovely hint of brandy and port wine. The roasted bitterness in the finish goes on forever, thanks in great measure to the thick, rounded body. Drinkability is great. Top notch, without a doubt.

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

Presentation: great label, "contractors to her majesty's forces," perfect for an imperial stout.

Appearance: pitch black, one finger dark tan head - probably the darkest colored head i've seen in a beer. good retention, but little lacing.

Smell: roast, chocolate, perhaps a little sourness in the aroma. from the aroma, i anticipate some bitterness as well. a little sweet-smelling towards the end.

Taste: wow, that's good. lots of complexity, picking out individual flavors is going to be tougher than usual: slightly sweet/fruity at the tip of the tongue, bitterness in the middle. some caramel character. dark fruit finish, resolving to a dry, bitter aftertaste. very enjoyable. this is a stout where the bitterness is from hops, not burnt grain. it's roast, but not charred. surprisingly fruity, maybe that's because it's an english rather than american yeast.

Mouthfeel: lighter than I expected, medium body, not particularly thick. this definitely isn't what i expected from an "imperial" stout, but i like it. i'll need to try another one soon to compare.

Drinkability: A highly drinkable stout, though a bit surprising! Best i've had so far (still many good ones to go, though!)

Photo of krckrjck
3.3/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

this is the 3rd sammy smith i've tried and to be honest, i don't see what all the hype about them is. i wasn't impressed at all. it reminded me of a guiness and i can't stand guinness. guinness is a bad impression of a good beer. anyways, here goes:

A:black but not opaque, a little bit of ruby highlights. huge toffee colored head that slowly fades. thin film of head sticks around.

S: bitter burnt chocolate with coffee and dried dark fruits. a lot more alcohol than i expected.

T: all i'm getting is coffee/toffee up front. didn't notice much change as it warmed up.

M: thin thin thin. dissapointed here.

D: so so. i didn't like it so i wouldn't drink it again.

Photo of kimcgolf
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Large clear bottle. Poured to a dark black color, with thick, pillowy tan head. Good lacing. Try as I might, I got very little aroma of any sort. Taste of a malty chocolate, with hints of caramel. Early on, the finish was slightly watery. However, this became much smoother and good at mid-bottle, and at the end, the 7.0% had kicked in just enough to make for a very good finish. While not my favorite beer, it is my favorite Samuel Smith, to date.

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

Sam Smith's Imperial Stout is outstanding. Without a doubt, one of my favortie beers and definitely one of my favorite styles.

A: Pours a deep black with a good creamy, tan head. Head retention and lacing is good. Looks like motor oil, with a bit of deep red showing where light can pass through.

S: Aromas are sweet coffee, roasted malt, and slightly alcoholic. No presenece of hops or bitterness (which is right on for this style).

T: Incredibly good. Slightly sweet. Many of the flavors are similar to smell. A bit of bitterness comes through from bittering hops and possible use of black malts. Alcohol is present

M&D: Not as heavy as one might think for an imperial stout. Medium-heavy body with silky mouthfeel.

I have loved this beer in the past and I wil continue to enjoy it in the future. Highly recommended.

Photo of mcallister
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Jet black pour with an inch thick, creamy, cappucino head. Some spotty lacing, and terrific head retention.

Dark bitter chocolate, mollasses, roasted caramel malt, butterscotch, sweet vanilla, anise, and the slightest hint of coffee.

What kind of water is used to make this beer? Clean as dormitory at a college for maids. Freshly ground coffee, bitter dark chocolate, heavy cream, vanilla bean, butterscotch, roasted caramel malt, anise, and some clover honey.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Great finish as well. Could drink this stout all day.

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

Appearance: this is a very dark beer, of course imperial stout, but looked great nice brown head.

Smell: Smells great coffe, malt ect great balanced smell.

Taste: Coffee great taste not at all metallic, not bitter at all very smooth. flavor

Mouthfeel: Great carbonation good thick feel.

Drinkabilty: I could down a ton of this stuff and I would like to have this in my fridge always..

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is really easy to find in my area, but for some reason I never tried it until a friend brought it to a poker game. It was so damn good, the only knock is that I swore I detected a slight skunk in the beer, but I was this only one.

The color was black with a thin head and it had a massive aroma of sweet malts. The flavor was chocolate, roast malts, and just a touch of coffee. The body was thick and creamy, with a nice coating ability.

I'll definitely have this again.

Photo of Higravity
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first Imperial Stout I ever had was one of these bad boys. I have come a long way since then but this is still a beer I will revisit. Pours dark as dark can be with a slight tan head that goes rather quick. The smell is of roasted malt sweetness with just a hint fo hops. The alcohol is so hidden it might as well not exsist, but the beer is a lovely soft roastedness mocha cocoa. Very smooth and drinkable.

Photo of jasonguit
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What can I say? This stuff is wonderful.

Poured a deep, deep brown with a quickly dissipating dark brown head.

It had a rich, earthy smell. I'm still new to stouts, so I don't know how to describe it exactly. It was easy to tell this was going to be quite different from Guinness.

The taste is excellent. Very deep and rich. Wonderful malt taste with a good bit of hop bite. If good coffee and ale had a love child, this would be it.

Drinkability - Ha! Well, while writing this review and not paying attention to my sips, I have drank the better part of a 335 ml. It is so drinkable you have to make sure you don't suck it all down in one gulp!

Photo of Daredevil
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

"Imperial Stout" was the kind of beer which was shipped to the russian nobility some 100+ years ago ... it seems that russian taste tends to go for strong bodied drinks with a certain sweetness .... most "imperial stouts" I know tend to accentuate the sweetness, sometimes with a "sticky tendency" ... compared to those this brew is "ultra brut" and with a medium to "slim" body ... but it's lack in corpulence is more than compensated with it's elegant smoothness ... to give you an image: this is like spotting a mysterious dark-haired beauty disguised in a porcelaine mask on the Carnival of Venice ... to die for

Photo of nriech
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured very dark with almost half the pint glass appearing to be head at first. This has a bit of the rolling head that disappates like Guinness. But what was to come was completely different.

Aromas were hoppy and malty at the same time. The initial taste was similar to any other stout but then the hops came through and made this something different. Not like some of the other recent imperial stouts that blow your tounge off with hops, this was a good balance.

I still had my thick stout but there was extra flavor with the hops that gave me the blend of a fruity chocolate. This is a very well balanced imperial stout that I highly reccomend for any stout lover.

Photo of nickg902
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the most interesting imperial stouts I have had. The pour is dark brown, to black with a little mocha head. Aroma is of coffee and burnt chocolate, perhaps some roasted amalt and a hint of fruitiness. The taste is sweet, hints of coffee and caramel come thorugh. Little bitter aftertaste is perfectly balanced in this brew. First impression I got when tasting this beer is that it resembled the taste of wine, with the fruity taste that is present in this beer. Quite complex. Mouthfeel is extremely smooth. I would definitely recommend anyone to try this.

Photo of vtfan77
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark, dark brown, almost black, but there is a little light getting through. About an inch of tan head and a bit of lacing round it out.

S- Mostly coffee and burnt malt aromas. Some sour fruits, maybe plums and raspberries thrown in there.

T- More coffee and burnt flavors. A touch of bitterness at the end but not too much. Very pleasant, not at all overwhelming.

M- Smooth, silky, creamy. Very nice, a joy to swallow.

D- Very good considering the style. Goes down like velvet and the abv is not too bad at 7%. I could definitely drink another.

Overall, this was a very nice Imperial Stout. I'm not even a fan of stouts but I could definitely drink more of these. Recommended.

Photo of neenerzig
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the best Imperial Stouts I have ever had. perhaps second only to Stone's. This pours a very dark brown color with a nice tan head but with little lacing. Roasted smells of chocolate or coffee filled my nostrils. Not an overly strong smell though. Very nicely balanced tastes of malt mixed with some chocolate, a bit of alcohol and maybe just a very slight touch of hops. All these balance each other very nicely. This A nice clean, smooth, and a bit of a creamy mouthfeel. Mild to moderate carbonation. Out of all the stouts I have had this is the most well balanced. Not as bitter as a lot of other stouts I have drank and certainly the most drinkable stout I have ever had. A definite winner that all Stout lovers must try. I will have to have this one again for sure.


Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks good going into the glass! A thick dark brown color, 2" thick brownish/mocha tinted head, minimal lacing.

Smells are: Deep roasted nut, deep malts and some caramel sweetness.

Taste...Roasted>smokey>Rich hops>SweetCaramel>coffee like after taste.

MF: Heady and thick, yet remarkably easy to drink thanks to the array of tastes.

Mmmm Mmmm Good. (hope that's not copyrighted!!)


Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,258 ratings.