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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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3,299 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,299
Reviews: 1,677
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.27%
Wants: 168
Gots: 263 | 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:
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: 3,299 | Reviews: 1,677 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwc215
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured BLACK with fairly thick, tan head that became a well-retained lace.
It had aromas of sweet chocolate, coffee, and anise. Robust smell.
The taste was extraordinary. Very complex and robust. Chocolate, anise, coffee tastes were well-balanced. Just the right balance between sweet and bitter. Very invigorating.
Left a nice bitter-sweet mouthfeel.
This beer is exceptionally drinkable. It's silky smooth with a slight alcohol finish. It's characteristics are god-like. Well worth the price for this one!

Photo of Pingotas
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The roast tones are prominent and show thru the rich, essentially opaque color. Heads up quickly but settles just as fast (checked at about 57 degrees) Drink this at a distance from meals - each will significantly alter the taste the other. On a clean palate, the flavor is consistent and richly aromatic; the coffee hits you almost immediately, although it bitters up a bit too much for my fancy. Interestingly, I would take their oatmeal stout over this one (again, I'm a sugar hound) but the difference between the two is admittedly meager. I'd love to try it on tap!

Photo of edskirk3
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A big 550mL clear glass bottle with a cool old-timey label.

Really dark stuff, I'm surprised light can escape from it. Pours with a great-looking mocha-tan head which is thick and creamy.

It smells sweet. Prunes (?), chocolate, rum, and some smoke.

Palate is excellent. There's raisins and prunes, bitter chocolate, a slight tang of hop bitterness, and a not of smoke at the end. The whole thing is absolutely delicious.

Imperial Stout is viscous, sticky, and ever more oily as the bottle is imbibed, as is expected. More of a cigar by the fireplace beer instead of a summer ballgame beer, obviously. Maybe you could get away with that in October, though. One bottle should suffice as a nightcap, Christmas Eve beverage, or a reward to yourself after shoveling the driveway.

Yes, I love this stuff.

Photo of jettjon
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Highs: Flavor, drinkability
Lows: None

Pours mahogany brown under a huge fluffy light brown head that fades slowly leaving behind copious lacing. Nose of coffee, sweet sorghum, and malt. Taste coffee, chocolate, malt, sorghum, a bit of iron, then strong coffee finish with a nice fade to a clean lightly bitter finish. Overall a pretty mellow stout, not in-your-face with either malt or sweetness. Well-balanced. Mouth is watery but substantial. Drinkability is great; this is a great tasting and balanced stout. The 7% ABV is completely unnoticed.

Overall: A great stout, heartily recommended.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass

a - deep black color, no light coming through this one; very small head that left a nice lace

s - somewhat nutty, coffee-like smell

t - complex tasting, similar to the smell, hints of coffee and slight nut flavor

m - coats nicely

d - very drinkable, almost dangerously so at this abv

Never again will I go for the Guinness if this Imperial Stout is available. Very enjoyable all around, especially for a relatively low price.

Photo of quasimoto
3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - It is a deep black color with no light shining through. The head is big tan frothy one and has laced nicley.

S - It is kind of cold when i first started but as it warms up it smell like a nice blend of chocolate, roasted coffee, and some crisp hops. A very even blend and certainly very enjoyable.

T - Once again an even blend of coffee and roasted chocolate, but there is a slight cardboardish flavor. There is a slight red wine vinous flavor and some plum. Slightly skunkish. Probably a factor of it being in a clear bottle and getting light struck.

M - Very viscous and has a slight old beer sharpness to it. The bitterness is in the end but there is something else there that makes it feel old.

D - Im sure if this is fresh it is probably unbelieveable, but maybe this bottle is old.

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

Poured an opaque black with just a bit of ruby redness peeking in. Very well carbonated with a thick, long-lasting brown head. Nose was molasses, brown sugar, and fruit with an underlying roastiness. Had a bit of alcohol as well. Full body; rich and syrupy. Molasses and roasted malts up front with a very firm bitterness below. Whiff of vanilla as well. Really, really flavorful but not for the weak-hearted! Mouthfeel was quite pleasant and all an imperial stout should be. Drinkability as well; not something that you'd drink a gallon of, but one of the tastier beers you'll find anywhere.

Photo of gatorsuf1
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a nice tan head. The lacing is incredible. Smells like dark cocoa and roasted espresso. This tastes amazing. So rich and sweet. Definitely a lactose type taste is coming through, like a milk stout. Still has the coffee and chocolate flavors, and there is also a hint of soy sauce. Carbonation is on the low side. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, yet so smooth. This would be the perfect Imperial Stout if the ABV was a little higher. Another great beer from Sam Smith!

Photo of warriorsoul
3.92/5  rDev -6%
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.

Photo of TheBungyo
4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
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!

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.

Photo of maddamish
4.82/5  rDev +15.6%
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

Photo of Fugazme
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of stephen1162
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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.

Photo of boulevard2
2.69/5  rDev -35.5%
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.

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.

Photo of custardcb
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of phisig137
3.99/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Photo of doubleipa
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.92/5  rDev +18%
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!

Photo of Hautacam
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
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 !

Photo of jj21
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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.

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,299 ratings.