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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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3,336 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,336
Reviews: 1,682
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.27%
Wants: 177
Gots: 288 | 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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Ratings: 3,336 | Reviews: 1,682 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have been waiting to try this beer for quite awhile and the day has finally arrived.
Served in a clear 550ml bottle. I have never been a fan of the clear bottle in some rare cases, the beer lasts and fights the light.
Poured an opaque black with a nice creamy head resembling chocolate milk. Great lacing as well.
The smell is fantastic. Raisins, mollases, figs and malt. Not an overwhelming hop presence but a great balancing effect.
I was a little dissapointed in the taste. A little too sweet I think for an imperial. Yes, very sweet. A nice hop bitterness is present and some chocolate and fruitiness such as prunes and mollassas are present as well. The sweetness is not to my liking.
Sticky mouthfeel with the bitterness lingering for a while. Not an overwhelming alcohol mouthfeel which is nice because I think more alcohol would make this a completely unbalanced beer.
A nice cool fall night beer.

Overall, I was dissapointed. I had high expectations, maybe too high. A very good beer though.

Photo of ghostwalker
4.88/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pitch black pour into my Three Philosophers chalice. If there are any color highlights, I can't see them. 1/2" of dark tan/brown head. Absolutely beautiful. Head doesn't stick around long, too bad.

Nose is very malty, nutty and rich.

Extremely rich and flavorful. Dark roasted malt. Smoky, coffee/espresso , dark caramel and molasses, the flavors go on and on. I really could go for a cigar to enjoy with this one.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, but still smooth and tasty. Coats the inside of my mouth with goodness. Wow! It's the beer that eats like a meal.

Outstanding drinkability. The 7% ABV is not evident to me at all. I could have a very nice session with this stuff playing darts or pool in a smoky bar somewhere.

My first experience with this one, it's an instant classic. The only bad thing I can say about this beer is that it appears to be very difficult to find in the big bottles, as well as generally harder to find than the rest of Sam Smith's line. Never fear, I will make the necessary trip to the stores that I know carry it.

Photo of sacfly
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark, opaque, black with red highlights. What little head there is, is a brown with very small bubbles. Very sweet, malty nose. Fruity… prunes.

First sip is like no other imperial stout I have had. Beef jerky comes first in my mind. Smoke. Roasted grain, malty sweetness is there, but takes a backseat. I can’t get over the beef jerky (in a good way). Now in place of beef jerky, I’m picking up a bacon flavor. Wow. I can drink bacon. Heavenly. Smooth, creamy mouth feel that is lacking in most imperial stouts. Slightly astringent aftertaste… Aftertaste is dryer than expected from the other characteristics, but welcome and not overbearing.

As a teacher, I would give this an A+.

Photo of tastybeer
4.97/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black with creamy tan head, not sticking but maybe because I'm drinking it too fast. Really good all around. Smells and tastes full of roasted maltS, coffee, deep dark fruit hops, Smoked fruit malt finish. Balanced perfectly in smell and taste. Velvety chewy full body that goes down extremely smooth.

Give me more.

Photo of EStreet20
4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12- ounce glass bottle poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - Awesome looking opaque black with a nice large foam caramel colored head.

S - I'm smelling an extreme amount of chocolate/coffee with some caramel/molasses smell in there. I actually think it smells like one of those caramel frappucinos from Starbucks more than anything else. Amazing.

T - Wow, starts off with a nice roasted coffee taste but then surprisingly a bit of a citrus hint comes through from the slight hop punch. The flavors mix beautifully. Finish tastes smoky. Complex and delicious.

M - Nice and smooth. The smoky taste leaves you wanting a nother sip.

D - Goes down nice and easy. Definitely a sipper, but one I could enjoy a few of after a long day.

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

This was a very good beer!
The brew poured a dark almost black with a small tan head.
Smell is of caramel, chocolate & malt...YUM
The taste was great with the just mentioned chocolate caramel taste with fruit and cream (more flavors than I could absorb)
This was just a joy to drink & the Samuel Smith name is something I will be holding in high esteem.

$2.99 for a 550ml bottle

Photo of RedHaze
3.36/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an almost jet black, with a thick two finger head that slowly faded to a thin layer that lasted the whole time I sipped this beer. Had tons of lacing.

Smells were roasted malt, chocolate, a little coffee and nutty. But there's also a bit of a cardboard aroma going on as well.

Taste is malts at first, followed by chocolate and coffee, and finishes just a little bit bitter. Mouthfeel was kind of oily, which seemed to throw of the flavor some. Not sure if it was just this bottle, but it was still good enough that I'll give it another try sometime.

Photo of ChrisA
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My neighbor brought some over earlier in the summer for a party and we did not get around to opening them. I kept wanting to try it, but it just didn't seem right to drink an Imperial Stout in the middle of summer. I was also a bit scared that my taste buds would not be ready for it.

Was I ever wrong!!! This is an amazing beer. No wonder the top ratings it has received. It reminded me how much I missed drinking stouts and this was far and away the best stout I have ever had. Excellent flavor. Easy to to drink and I nice level of alcohol. I am not surprise it did not spoil in my fridge. I'll be stocking up on more for the winter.

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

poured a very deep copper-brown, almost black color with an attractive tannish head that fell to a beautiful tan collar around the top of the beer. Smell is magnificiently complex with a mixture of coffee, dark fruits (prunes, plums, raisins, figs), molasses, maple syrup, and toasted malts noted. First taste is a bit overpowering, with strong notes of alcohol present. Subsequent sips bring forth strong chocolate notes mixed with a nice bitterness.The aroma a each sip is truly fantastic. Finished nice and creamy with a strong bitter note present. I enjoyed the beer, but to me it is something to try on special occasions. The strong aroma and taste can begin to get a bit overpowering.

Photo of silver0rlead
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black that is only slightly transluscent, with a thick tan head that retains very well, imposing looking stout. Aroma is dominated by sweet and roasty scents; chocolate, coffee, vanilla, heavy cream, and some roasted scents. Taste has big chocolate and roasted flavors, with some coffee, cream, plum, floral hops, blackstrap molasses and some alcohol notes. The hops really help to balance out the sweetness and help make this stout very drinkable. Mouthfeel is smooth with a medium body and a lightly bitter, astringent finish. Drinkability is very good and the alcohol is only slightly noticeable. Enjoyable imperial stout that you could actually drink more than one of and not be falling out of your chair.

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

[This is my 100th review, a slight milestone in my BA life, so I had to go with my favorite style, and I'm very glad I did]

Poured from the clear 550ml bottle into a snifter the beer was a very dark black that let no light thru. It was topped by a little more than one finger of frothy dark tan head. Big rings of lace clung to the glass throughout the sample.

The smell was dark and roasted. Malt upfront but very well accented with chocolate, black coffee, and cocoa. A slight "bitterness" to the smell, a bit like black liquorice.

The innitial taste was a heavy roasted (almost burnt) maltiness. This gave way to a flurry of black cofee and dark chocolate flavors. Only a slightly bitter kick to the end similair to chicory. Some strong coffee flavors and a slight warming to each sip. Little alcohol in the taste, but the slight alcoholic warming associated with Imperial Stouts. A robust and full flavor that has some hints of darker fruit as well.

Medium to slightly heavy on the palate with a robust body that is sturdy yet maintains a creamy consistancy on the palate. Only slight carbonation.

As far as Imperial Stouts go, this has got to be one of the most drinkable. Every aroma is matched in taste and everything is so well balanced so as to accent everything else. The moderate alcohol content makes it easy to finish and despite its body, still very easy to drink. The perfect end to any meal, and one I will not keep my fridge without.

Photo of DogFood11
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow this brew is awesome.... I neglected english brews for years because of one bad experience and it was a huge mistake. pours a beautiful alley night black. charcoal head that retains and fades to a half finger chunk. syrupy mouthfeel with just a touch of zing that balances it out and leaves the mouth perfect for another drink (to me this is rare in a big imperial). yeasty chocolate/caramel/ doubled up....I love this beer.

Photo of numenor1
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost black, though somewhat lucid. Nice tan head which reduces to a color with some slightly lacing. Smell is of butterscotch and chocolate. Taste upfront is sweet diacetyl butterscotch and chocolate, then some light roastiness kicks in and then fades to a slight hop, chocolate finish. Overall the body is medium at best and carbonation too. The overall effect is nice, but i'd prefer this to be a little stiffer. Overall very enjoyable. Alcohol is nonexistent.

Photo of pweis909
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 550 mL bottle into a pint glass with a quarter inch head that quickly dissipated, leaving behind a black brew that is nearly opaque, save for a cherry translucence visible only at the edges.

The smell is deliciously spicy and malty sweet. The taste is roasted malt, balanced by an unobtrusive bitterness, with the spiciness still apparent when I sip the brew and swirl it slowly around my mouth.

Tried pairing part of the bottle with a chocolate hazelnut ice cream, as others suggested that chocolate would go well with this. The sweetness of the desert overwhelmed some of spicy flavors. While the pairing did not offend, I think the brew did better on it's own.

Photo of cncbofh
4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a motor oil dark with a big bubbled tan head. Nose is grainy and chocolate filled.

Taste is a little sharp - a bit astringent. Lots of bitter malts, chocolate, charcoal, and maybe some figs in the back. Drinkability was fine - the alcohol was hidden well and the carbonation was perfect. Excellent beer from Samuel Smith.

Photo of bobbyc881
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this one with some friends along with a few other imperial stouts. This was the most impressive.

Pours out dark, dark, dark, with a substaintial tan head. Smell is slightly sweet and fruity.

Taste is incredible. Very smooth... chocolate, dark fruits, just the right amount of maltiness. Carbonated just right. Feels full-bodied. I can't get over how drinkable this one was. Very little could be done to improve. Give me more.

Photo of HopGoblin
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured deep black almost opaque. Aroma of berries. Taste is sharp, tart, and fruity right off the bat. The beer has hints of cherries, chocolate, and vanilla. Lighter on the palate than most of the American stouts I have tasted lately. This beer drinks easy and smooth with a long pleasant finish. A good brew from Sammy Smith.

Photo of Bonhoeffer
4.87/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ahh. Old friend. I bought a couple of these on my first ever out of state beer run. Fell in love back then, and now this is my first sip since. I bought a four pack at Richey's Easy in Pensacola for about $8.40. Excellent price for a most excellent beer. I shall probably hold on to the other three for a while to see where it goes.

I can't say anything that hasn't already been said. You know, jet black. Thick tan creamy head that lingers. Great sort of nutty aroma. Goes down soooo easy. Notes of chocolate, roasted flavors, perhaps a hint of cherry. I don't really notice the hops, but i know they are there to balance everything out.

Kind of entertaining that the label mentions awards given to the beer in 1896 and 1930.

Complex. Rich. A masterpiece.

Photo of hyuga
4.84/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours jet black under a darkish tan head that's not too dense.

Aroma of dried figs, dates, and sweet molasses. Faint dark cherry-wood in the background. Amazing complexity.

Burnt molasses on the tongue at the front, followed by plum and cherry with a hint of roasted grain. Fig laced with alcoholic sweetness linger through the finish. Very pleasant leafy hop aftertaste. Thick and biting mouthfeel. Leaves the tongue tingling.

This is an amazingly drinkable imperial stout. I haven't had this beer in a very long time and I find it even better than I remember it. All-around goodness. Low alcohol so you can have a few in one sitting, and it's as complex and satisfying as just about any 9%+ imperial stout.

Photo of dirtylou
3.63/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this single bottle was purchased on the first day of legal high grav beer sales in North Carolina from Brawley's in Charlotte. I had seen this thing around in the midwest but I am guilty of not buying it because of its rather low abv.

appearance: very dark as expected, foamy light brown head, not incredible lacing. as it poured i noted it looked a little thin for the style

smell: roasty, light caramel, slight earthiness. nothing too special in the nose, just standard imperial

taste: reminded me of their oatmeal a little bit, Samuel Smith beers have this common "trait" that I cant really put my finger on. slight dark coffee, mild cocoa, pretty sweet, raisin, plum. Not terribly exciting in general

mouthfeel: rich and smooth, too thin for my taste though

drinkability: goes down easy

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

Presentation: bottle, 12 fl.oz, clear, custom, "Samuel Smith" pressed twice around neck, "bottled at yorkshire`s oldest brewery est. 1758" pressed around bottom, gold foiled neck, gold-on-white label, no fresness date.

Appearance: "very" black, no light can get thru, very large head of long lasting brown-colored foam.

Smell: sweet fruitiness, molasses, coffee, hint of bitter chocolate

Taste: rich, full body, medium mouthfeel. Coffee, raisins, light chocolate, black cherry (?)

Notes: Sole US distributor - Merchant du Vin

Photo of andjusticeforale
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours out of the bottle into big and dark with a gray tan two finger head that settles to 1cm after 2-3minutes.

There is not much to speak of in the way of aroma, perhaps some malty mocha-chocolate with a bit of smokiness. More comes out after the tasting.

Upon first sip I don’t think I was ready for this black and ominous liquid to be so smooth. There are obvious coffee notes upfront; some cocoa, and through the middle is a subtle astringent bitterness that is really quite fascinating. There is a pervasive coffee taste, but there is a sweetness behind this flavor that almost hints of smoky flavorful wood. And a bitterness.

The finish is dry. The mouthfeel is huge, and there is an uncanny perfect amount of carbonation here. It holds the stout “together” and provides vast drinkability. Any less carbonation would change the whole texture, any more would contradict the style. As for this huge beer, there is still supreme drinkability, and even if Imperial Stouts are not on your menu- this is a must try. I wouldn’t pair this with any weak foods, no mild cheese and crackers or fish and chips. This one deserves a porterhouse, or rather, a steak and kidney pie?

Photo of mentor
4.88/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle obtained from Superior Liquor (Colorado) and consumed about a week later (July 2005). Pours a one-finger almond brown head over a pitch black liquid. A little bit of dark rbuy red edging when held to light. Smells cherry sour, roast, and underlying caramel. Tastes delicious...oh my! Chocolate, roast, sour, caramel, currant, raisin, blueberry, prune. Imagine a dense chocolate raisin rum cake, the weight of which has a buttery brown sugar syrup almost tearing out the sides, but nothing quite collects on the plate. Some beers flash a certain flavor before it bows and leaves the stage for some other flavor to shine in the spotlight. Not this beer...this beer holds each flavor throughout the taste. Each rising and mixing with other flavors and never quite going away before merging with some other flavor. A delight to pull each draw and ponder each aftertaste. No gulp is a repeat of a previous..there's alot going on and I seem to focus on different wonderful qualities during each taste. Plus, a wonderfully thick smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is mild and tinkers the thick hanging on my tongue. I think this helps some flavors remain fruity and pleasant so that the beer isn't overly heavy. Lacing on the inside of the glass defines the level the liquid sat after each gulp. There is still a thinlayer of head on top of the beer. What an amazing selection.

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

roma is a nice creamy chocolate, with just a faint hint of roasted bitterness

Flavor is quite nice- more bitterness than the aroma, definite chocolate, some espresso beans, and a definite alcohol/op bite at the end. A little off at the end. But overall very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is decent, but actually a slight bit on the thin side.

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

500 mL bottle with no freshness date - served slightly chilled in a goblet. Pours an inky black with slight red tinges when held to the light and it's topped with a 1/4" brown head that is fizzy and leaves little lacing but never completely goes away. The aroma consists of green apples that are sour/tart, chocolate, coffee, anise, some dark fruits and a bit of alcohol. The taste is identical but with some green hops and a nice bitterness from the hops and roasted malts. The body is medium to full with a medium carbonation and the drinkability is high for an imperial stout. Delicious. Paired well with chocolate cream oreos.

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,336 ratings.