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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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3,087 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,087
Reviews: 1,647
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 138
Gots: 179 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,087 | Reviews: 1,647 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scottum
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mmmmmm stout!

Pours out very dark with a nice fluffy brown head. This is a nice beer. Dry and the taste blows one away. Me for one. Goes down smooth with no notable aftertaste. This is my first imperial stout and I am very impressed. This is certainly not the last of these to test my belly. More will follow; the sooner, the better.

scottum, Jan 29, 2003
Photo of UncleJimbo
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This stout is very dark brown (almost black, with there are hints of red if held to the light). It pours to give very little foam head. There is only a trace of an aroma (not unusual for a stout). The taste was full with the flavors of bitter chocolate and coffee coming through the dark malt. Not much hop character. The mouthfeel is sweet and smooth, and the body is medium. The drinkability is good for this strong stout.

UncleJimbo, Jan 21, 2003
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentataion: Clear 12 oz bottle with foil-topped cap. Many statements as to the nobility of this beer.

Appearance: Dark...opaque. Like a black hole. No light passes through this beer. "Coffee with cream"-colored head that stubbornly refuses to leave any portion of the glass uncoated.

Aroma: Incredibly deep. Like smelling a chocolate bar and fresh-brewed coffee, this beer tantalizes the nose, revealing a hint of what the taste buds can expect.

Taste: Excellent. How does a beer taste this good? A complex assortment of flavors dance across the taste buds; roasted chocolate predominates. A very well-balanced beer that does its best to hide the alcohol content.

Mouthfeel: It wraps your taste buds in velvet. Creamy-smooth richness covers every square inch of your mouth.

Drinkability: How many can you buy? Not as assertive as the other stout I've tried (Victory Storm King), but I think that is a good thing. I've only recently started to try the stouts and this is a beer I could consume forever.

OldFrothingSlosh, Jan 21, 2003
Photo of philipt
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good stout turned up a notch versus your typical dry stouts.

Nearly black in color (one can catch a faint reddish tint if the light catches it right) with a a tan, no, light brown head. The head was rather small, but I believe that was due to my overly cautious pouring - used a smaller glass than normal. Roast malt in the nose. Taste was roasted malts, some chocolate, light hop spice. The alcohol is neatly disguised.

This is a solid beer worth every point in my rating.

philipt, Jan 17, 2003
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've been able to try several terrific Imperial stouts, and Samuel Smith remains one of my favorites. I believe that it is one of the best balanced beers of the style (that I have tried). Goes down quite easy for a thick-bodied, 7% alcohol beer. Not too hoppy or malty. Pours extremely dark, good- sized head, some remains throughout. Notes of chocolate (but not overly so), and not too dry (as are some of the other highly regarded imperials). Most times I've had this beer, I've enjoyed it completely, however it may be adversely affected by the clear bottle.

JohnnyDuvel, Jan 07, 2003
Photo of Gusler
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In my many beer conversations, many seem to think the quality of this brewery has slipped over the years, and that the clear bottles decreases its flavor. Well, of the hundreds of bottles of Samuel Smith’s Beers I’ve purchased, not one has been off; maybe I’m just lucky.

The jet-black typical stout color is so pleasant a site sitting in its chalice, with the portly head perched atop the black beauty. Creamy in its texture, chocolate brown in color and as it evaporates, leaves a magnificent sheet of lace to smother the glass. The aromas of a truly great Imperial Stout are unmistakable, rich roasted grain, bittersweet chocolate, fresh roasted coffee beans, lightly sweet, and an absolute treat to the senses. Ambrosial malt start, the top thick and creamy rich the finish has a nice crisp acidic bite, hops purposeful in their spiciness. Aftertaste is chocolate malt dry, and quite long lasting, and in my opinion, still one of the best "Stouts" on the "Beer market" today, as it was yesterday and as it will be tomorrow. This is one brewery that still loves its beer and the drinkers who buy their products.

Gusler, Jan 01, 2003
Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Here is one good solid stout. Any stout lover will love this one. The maltiness and hopps are blended to perfection to offer a stout with a crisp clean finish. A little light on the nose but exceptional in quality. This is a highly quaffable stout and can go down so fasts you will be left wanting - more that is. Exceptional if you can find it on tap as well.

AtrumAnimus, Dec 31, 2002
Photo of doho95fu
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Update..... I must have had a bad bottle because I retried this beer this weekend and it is a solid Imperial, no doubt. I have no idea why the previous beer was lacking in flavor, but this brew certainly has some great flavor, coffee roast, caramel, molasses, even some faint spice. Had to change the review to reflect a very solid brew.

OLD Review This beer just didn't do it for me, and the problem was the taste. It is deep brown, almost black with a thin tan head and low carbonation. The smell is malt with some caramel sweet tones. The taste is just average, nothing complex or interesting and even a little watery in my mind. This is my favorite style (so far) but this beer lacked the in your face flavor and complexities of other Imperials that I love (Rogue, Storm King). I do like the color and the mouthfeel was good, but as far as taste (the most important factor in my book) it just didn't pack it.

doho95fu, Dec 30, 2002
Photo of inebrius
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A commanding nose of chocolate syrup liberally poured over baked berries, anisette wafer cookies and a spoon of vanilla ice cream. A predominate roastiness oversees a mélange of fantastical flavors that meld perfectly with a smooth, oaty mouthfeel. A masterful creation out of the old brewery. Like having your own personal flavor harem stroking your buds whilst you lay back in a state of exquisite wonderment. Drinkable? Please! How can you keep your lips off it? Elegant *and* accessible.

inebrius, Dec 29, 2002
Photo of cretemixer
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice pour. Looks like an Imperial should, Black as coal with a nice tan head that holds firm. Chocolate & alcohol dominate the nose. Nice roasted malts that are heavy on the chocolate with a slight coffee finish. Very drinkable. Lighter in body than I was expecting. A fine example of the Imperial Stout.

cretemixer, Dec 27, 2002
Photo of kunzbrew
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WOW, pours an opaque black with a creamy tan head that sticks around for the duration, and leaves a sexy lace down the glass. The smell of whiskey fills the air after cracking the bottle and pouring into the glass. The coffee and caramel malts so very strong yet so very pleasant to the taste. This is a great beer and no wonder likes it.


kunzbrew, Dec 25, 2002
Photo of oelergud
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark stout as an imperial stout should be, head is generous and tan with a hint of red in it.
I really like how samuel smith serves the beer in a clear bottle so the color is readily discernible.
Roasted coffee, liquer, chocolate and maybe licorice made up the nose of this beer for me and made me eager to taste it as well.
Sweet coffee/chocolate taste, the smoky quality was apparent at first sip and gives the stout an edge on the competition when it comes to being remembered and stand out from the crowd.
Nice mouthfeel, a little dry even though it leaves a thin coat on the tongue and roof of your mouth.
All in all a very good beer if a little pricey.

Oelergud - Cheers!

oelergud, Dec 22, 2002
Photo of AaronRed
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What an exceptional brew. I am surprised that I have never tried it before- or maybe I did years ago but do not remember. Anyway, this beer is insanely delicious. Jet black with a nice tan head, this is possibly the smoothest of imperial stouts. Rich and malty with roasted chocolate and coffee like flavor, it also reminded me of port, with sort of plum flavors. This beer is so smooth, with a velt texture, it just goes down easily. Of course you want to savor and enjoy this masterpiece in front of a nice fire with good conversation.

AaronRed, Dec 15, 2002
Photo of proc
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can't believe I haven't reviewed this one yet. Pours out to a dark, yet not completely black color in the glass. Aroma is that of caramel and malt. The taste is where this beer really shines. Molasses, toffee, coffee, caramel and plums are present. The 7% ABV is hidden well with little alcohol presence. The swallow is very good and invites you to drink it again. Not as complex as Bell's Expedition, but a wonderful beer in its own right.

proc, Dec 14, 2002
Photo of StevieW
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz clear bottle...yea yea.... Black as midnight in the middle of nowhere. Loud pour....glug glug glug, produces a creamy, pillow soft tan head. Bubbly, small drops of hop oil, dance on top. Great smell of roasted plums, raisans and other fruit. Molasses. Taste is silky smooth, roasted plums, subtle bitter chocolate malt. Quick hint of port wine. Bitter snap starts, then sweet slippery port finish. Great beer, and well worth the praise it receives.

StevieW, Dec 13, 2002
Photo of ZAP
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I went into this tasting thinking I was going to give it about a 4....I figured it couldn't be as good as it was rated...thought it might be overated...I was wrong...this is truly specialt....compared to Kalamazoo Expedition this is not as aggresive or intense...but it is by far more enjoyable....this is a great tasting, easy drinking Imperial Stout with class and character...

The appearance is coal black...I held it to the light and saw nothing coming through....the nose is very good but just short of the 5.0...brown sugar/dark rich bread/molassis on the nostrils....Veru creamy texture in the mouth...full bodied but not overthick...very drinkable....taste has a nice bite of dry hops on the finish...before that it is strong on the molassis/brown sugar/dark fruit....

This was a real treat to taste and I will be buying more soon...

ZAP, Dec 10, 2002
Photo of Mick
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's not great because it is Samuel Smith's; Samuel Smith's is great because of products like this.

Ink black liquid overtakes the glass the way an octopus overtakes its prey's senses with a jettison of black liquid. Pours to create a great creamy head that laces all of the way to the bottom. A winter welcoming aroma of coffee and roasted malt. Flavorful, not demanding on the taste buds rather soothing. A noticeable, but complementing hop presence, attentive not astringent. Smooth light body and sleek finish earn this one a, "best overall."

Mick, Dec 09, 2002
Photo of IrishRedRock
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Quite the interesting stout. As expected, wonderful appearance: jet black with a creamy tan head. The smell at first smelled a bit stale, but as it warmed the true aroma came out: strong vanilla, cocoa, raisin.

Flavors run everywhere. Preceding the nice bitter hop aftertaste is a nice blend of dark fruits, coffee, and a serious roastiness.

Samuel Smith, kicking serious ass as always, and throwing me the constant reminder of why I love beer so much.

IrishRedRock, Dec 06, 2002
Photo of HossMcGraw
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of the best beers I've had. Pours pitch black and tastes like coffee, dark fruit, chocolate, roasted malt, and about a million other flavors that form a deliciously complex brew that goes down smooth as silk. This beer is soooo good and complex. Right now I'm having a bit of a crisis because I think I might like this better than the SS Oatmeal Stout. This one is definitely more complex, but I'd need an O-Stout here for comparison before I make such a big decision. I wanted to try this so bad that I paid 5 bucks for a single bottle. I know I got totally ripped off, but in Lancaster PA, my only alternative was driving to Philly or Maryland, or spending fifty bucks for a case. Had I known I'd like it this much, I might have gotten a case. Well, at least it was a kick-ass beer. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

HossMcGraw, Dec 04, 2002
Photo of yen157
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Everyone knows what they are getting into when they try this one. I was very lucky in that this was one of the very first good beers that I ever tried.

Thick as hell tan head on a black body. Smells of dark fruit, maybe dark raisins, coffee, roasted grains, and dome alcohol. The first sip of a big, complex beer such as this is always a humbling experience because the beer assaults your sense of taste with so many flavors at once you struggle to pick them out before your tongue gets quickly acclimated. Despite being very full flavored, this beer tasted very clean. The flavors of dark grains, sweet malt, treacle, and warm, buttered toast were picked out before sensory overload occured. Some bitterness was percieved from hop as well as a tiny bit of charcoal bitterness from burnt grains. Other imperial stouts often have a much more pronounced burnt flavor whereas this one exhibited it as a more of a subtle treat .

Smooth, creamy mouthfeel made this a real pleasure to drink. After drinking this I was very unsure why I don't drink Sam Smith's Imperial Stout more often.

yen157, Nov 25, 2002
Photo of ElGuapo
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

another excellent selection from samuel smith. it poured nice and dark with brown foam leaving its mark all down the glass. aroma was nice and roasty with a little hint of chocolate.

it hits the tongue a little thinner than i had expected. i thought i was going to be loaded with dark malts coffee and chocolate, but it was a little bit light. very smooth and absolutely delicious.

ElGuapo, Nov 23, 2002
Photo of maxpower
4.88/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours black as night, nice creamy tan head.Smells of dark roasted malts and coffee, thick creamy full mouthfeel, sweet malty and awesome, the flavors and aroma get even better as it warms.

maxpower, Nov 22, 2002
Photo of BitteBier
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark with only the faintest (still awfully dark) hints of color at the fringes. A substantial head of bronze/tan foam that lingers and creeps down the side of the glass as you drink. Sweet, even fruity, nose with lesser hints of chocolate, though more muted than I would like. Taste is a wonderful balance of smoothness and slightly hoppy bitterness with the typical roasted tastes coming through. Clean mouthfeel and good drinkability complete this great stout.

BitteBier, Nov 20, 2002
Photo of aracauna
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Imperial Stout Blind Tasting (11-16-02): Not reall dark for style. Ruby flashes. Head is a little thin, but pretty average for style. The aroma is big alcohol, sweet chocolate and roasty malts. The flavor is less heavy on the alcohol and is more sweet chocolate. Nice roasty malt underneath, hay-like almost. Really nice fruitiness. The mouthfeel seems a bit thin for style. Really sweet.

aracauna, Nov 18, 2002
Photo of BeerBob
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout pours a perfect black from a 12oz clear glass bottle. Head is a pleasing brown with the consistency of yogurt and easily goes to over two fingers while covering the glass sides in a vale of foam as the liquid is consumed.

Nose is the most delightful assortment of dried fruits, and chocolates that I have ever found in a stout of any kind. Fig and sweet prune are in abundance in both the nose and the palate with a nice drying coffee like bitter for the finish.

Contractors to Her Majesty’s Forces can be found on the bottle label along with gold and sliver medals from the 18 and 19 hundreds.

BeerBob, Nov 17, 2002
Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,087 ratings.