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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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3,041 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,041
Reviews: 1,639
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 135
Gots: 169 | 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: 3,041 | Reviews: 1,639 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of truesolution


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

04-29-2012 17:24:12 | More by truesolution
Photo of Leschber


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-20-2012 19:23:45 | More by Leschber
Photo of rodrigueZflyingf0x

British Columbia (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

09-21-2012 07:33:19 | More by rodrigueZflyingf0x
Photo of whallgren


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

06-17-2012 17:40:05 | More by whallgren
Photo of Kingcurio


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

05-21-2013 01:58:20 | More by Kingcurio
Photo of Caruvana


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

05-27-2014 17:37:15 | More by Caruvana
Photo of gregO59

New Jersey

4.24/5  rDev +1.4%

tried this one on a whim. had old Rasputin ris day before .actually liked this better . licorice taste really hit the spot , quite different from usual stouts. served from bottle to lips quite nicely ,should have bought 2 or 3. definitely will try again

11-07-2013 02:49:40 | More by gregO59
Photo of scotorum


4.24/5  rDev +1.4%

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into an Innis & Gunn flute.

a: Black with clear ruby highlights when held to light. Inch and a half beige head receded slowly to heavy surface foam and extensive lacing.

s: Dark malt and fruit.

t: Strong smoky dark malt with considerable hop bitterness. Both the smoke and the bitterness linger in the mouth.

m: Medium with great body, very smooth.

o: Benchmark imperial stout. Easy drinking. Founders Imperial Stout North Coast's Rasputin and this give each other a good run for their money.

12-09-2013 17:07:06 | More by scotorum
Photo of CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

4.24/5  rDev +1.4%

Poured from a classic Samuel Smith's bottle into a goblet. I am a major advocate of this brewery, appreciating the unique yeast and diacetyl character of their brews as well as the malt complexity. This is probably one of the top Russian imperial stouts in the world, providing a supreme balance of deep, rich malt flavors, sweetness, and perhaps surprisingly prominent hop flavors, hitting all these targets without going out of balance. Pours a Stygian opaque black with a few reddish highlights here and there, with ample rich tan foam. Releases an assertive admixture of buttery, chocolate, coffee, roast barley, and toasty aroma notes, roughly in that order. Tastes of chocolate brownie, caramel sauce, freeze-dried coffee crystals, plums, smoked corn husk, light rum, wood, Samuel Smith house yeast and earthy, grassy hops with maybe a hint of citrus rind. Incredible complexity of flavor with the expected heavy, thick body and low to moderate carbonation. The alcohol burn is there but less harsh and astringent than some American examples of the style. I appreciate the refined and measured approach to a "big beer" and this epitomizes that ideal.

01-10-2014 04:55:47 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of thierrynantes


4.23/5  rDev +1.2%

Beer bottle (35.5 cl.), first tasted in 2000.

Appearance : black brown color, with tan creamy foamy head.
Smell : strong aroma, caramel nose of toasted
Taste and mouthfeel : very soft mouth, liquorice, bitter and roasted with coffee notes.
Drinkability: a very good beer in the style Russian Imperial Stout.
Review updated 2012.

10-31-2007 22:14:25 | More by thierrynantes
Photo of BlurryVisi0n

New York

4.23/5  rDev +1.2%

Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Darkness, with a tan head coming off the body rising to roughly 1" and a half.

Smell: Wine, more like the alcohol scent of it.

Taste: Yeast meets chocolate, little bitter and you can feel the complexity of it.

Mouth: Light to medium carbonation with an after taste to lust for.

Overall: You are crazy to leave this on the shelf, well rounded beer that reminds you what real beer is. Salud!

04-16-2012 04:27:26 | More by BlurryVisi0n
Photo of Chaney

District of Columbia

4.23/5  rDev +1.2%

Ticking my way through the "Beers of Fame" list. Sam Smith REALLY need to get rid of those clear bottles.

Served in an Olde Hickory glass.

A: No light passing through this rat bastard. Black as night, with a peppery whipped cream-like head on top of that ink.

S: Sam Smith profile through and through. I might best describe it as pureed raisons with added dark chocolate.

T: Much more fruity than most Imperial Stouts out there. I'll stick strongly with my raison observation. Dark, semi-sweet chocolate in the middle, but then the dark fruit comes back.

M: Absolutely ridiculous lacing, with a low-moderate carbonation bill. EXTREMELY drinkable!

O: Pretty awesome stuff. Samuel Smith's crowning achievement to my mind.

02-13-2013 01:16:27 | More by Chaney
Photo of BradtheGreat7


4.23/5  rDev +1.2%

an awesome looking 12 oz. bottle with a Old English style label. Very classic looking. Poured into a nonic pint glass and one in a snifter.

A - Black. Very dark. Hardly any garnet red when held to the light. A definite black beauty. A huge, rich, and creamy mocha head that seems to last forever. I had very nice lace. This has the ultimate look of any brew I've seen. I like my brew black.
S - She was definitely a sweet smelling brew. A little bit of dark fruit up front. Then came the rich molasses which dominated my nose. It was a good solid smell, but I was looking for more of the other sweet notes in my nose. It has the sweet milky smell with a hint of coffee(these were the smells I wanted more of) But I can't complain.
T - The bitterness of these chocolate notes were to die for. Absolutely A+. The hoppy taste was nice as well. I just got stuck with the chocolate like coffee taste it brought. Almost wanted everything else to go away. However the taste of dark raisins and prunes were a lot better in taste than smell. Great tasting brew nonetheless.
M - Medium to full body that is good all the way through. You can taste the alcohol, but it's less than most English style RIS.
O - A superb RIS. I really am fond of this style of brew. I've had many different ones, and they all seem to please in their own way. This is a winner for sure. World class, and one of the less alc % ones out there, so it's one of the best ones to get if you arent used to this style of stout. It's also great tasting to those who are. I buy at least a single bottle almost everytime I see it. A real deal winner here.

08-19-2011 20:45:50 | More by BradtheGreat7
Photo of coreyfmcdonald


4.23/5  rDev +1.2%

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours pitch black with a finger of dense light brown head. Slowly recedes to a film atop the beer.

S: Huge dark fruits in this beer, more than any imperial stout I've ever smelled. It smells more like a quad to me. Underneath that, I get toffee and a bit of roast. I also get some nuttiness from the typical English yeast I'm used to from Samuel Smith's.

T: This is like three different beers up front, in the middle, and in the aftertaste - very complex and interesting. The English yeast is much more apparent here, particularly at the front of the beer. I get quite a bit of nuttiness and a bit of sour up front. This quickly turns to roasted malts, prunes, and dark chocolate. The finish is all smoke and dark chocolate. Very interesting and tasty, but I find myself wanting a bit more flavor, probably from being used to the American versions of this style. No hint of ABV.

M: Medium bodied with fairly creamy carbonation. Above average.

O: This is a very interesting beer. Like I said when explaining the taste, it's almost like three separate beers. I'm generally not a fan of the yeast Samuel Smith's uses (and I'd still like to try this beer with a different yeast), but I like this beer quite a bit. Very complex, very tasty.

07-18-2012 01:51:24 | More by coreyfmcdonald
Photo of Mora2000


4.22/5  rDev +1%

Glad to see Samuel Smith switched to brown bottles.

The beer pours a very dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma is chocolate with some roasted malt. I also get a little bit of mint in the aroma. The flavor is chocolate and roasted malt with some coffee mixed in. There is also some cream and oat notes in the flavor. Thick mouthfeel and low, soft carbonation. A very nice traditional imperial stout.

07-31-2011 02:23:42 | More by Mora2000
Photo of magictrokini


4.22/5  rDev +1%

I have always been disappointed with beer from Samuel Smith, so I was reluctant to try this one. However, when I realized the bottle was clear, and the dark brown was the beer, I was intrigued. Aroma is tobacco and roasted chocolate malts. The taste is very, very good. Understated for an Imperial, this is dominated by roasted malts, with a solid backing of bittersweet chocolate and light coffee. Ended sweet. If only the rest of Samuel Smith's beers could be this good.

12-16-2008 17:07:51 | More by magictrokini
Photo of BranfordBound


4.22/5  rDev +1%

550 mL bottle purchased at Coastal Wine and Spirits in Branford, CT.

This is the darkest beer I've had yet, even while pouring its practically black, never mind while sitting in the glass. There is a nice 1-2 finger light brown head that forms which settles to a covering leaving barely any lacing. Normal, maybe a little less than expected.

The smell is intense, there is a lot of dark fruits, very alcoholic, like a brandy. There is definitely a roasted and chocolate in the back, not much coffee.

The taste is very similar to the nose, there is a warm sensation from the alcohol while going down, and the dark fruits play the main role. In the back there is the typical stout flavors of roastiness and chocolate.

Whew, this is heavy stuff, albeit very smooth. Very heavily bodied.

This beer masks the alcohol well, which is to be expected seeing as it isn't too high compared to other RIS's. Still a sipper, though, drank 2/3's of the bottle and wouldn't want anymore, better for winter time, too.

All in all, not bad, I'll try a few other brands so I can choose my favorite to age, this one was a little too heavy on the dark fruits, but pretty darn good for not being aged.

06-13-2010 19:55:21 | More by BranfordBound
Photo of Melchizedek


4.22/5  rDev +1%

Yum, yum, yum... pours black with the barest hint of light coming through at the very edges of the glass, with a light brown head that settles to an eternal cap.

Powerful aroma up front of alcohol and dark fruit, toffee and honey; in the mouth, this is complemented by a velvety, rich mouthfeel. There are more bitter and mineral notes in the flavor, and the roasted grains show themselves as well; in the background are some lingering dark chocolate, vanilla and spice.

This is just outstanding. Wonderful special occasion beer, I'd say. Don't pass it up.

11-14-2005 20:10:38 | More by Melchizedek
Photo of seedsofchaos


4.22/5  rDev +1%

A: Lively head with a color reminiscent of cherries. Bubbles nicely when poured, quickly creating the beautifully fluffy head. Pours black: a deep and classic stout black with slight red tinges.

S: Sweet and malty. Maybe the head coloring is playing tricks with my tastebuds, but a slight cherry scent is present: like a cordial cherry chocolate.

T: Strong and malty at first but then gets increasingly chocolatey: dark, dark chocolate with some fruity undertones.

MF: At first, a bit thick for my liking... But then quite smooth as drinking continues and the beer warms a bit.

D: One of the first craft beers that I've had that I might make a constant in the collection. Great for a treat at night to unwind but without an overpowering ABV. Sweet and thick enough that it's great after a light dinner.

10-28-2008 01:09:37 | More by seedsofchaos
Photo of wspscott


4.22/5  rDev +1%

12oz bottle in pint glass

A: Darkest black with a thick creamy tan head. Leaves no lace
S: All roasted malts
T: There is no hint of the alcohol, all you get is roasted malts with a drying feeling on the tongue. There is a slight hint of fruit in the background.
M: Smooth but not creamy. I would like a little more body here because this goes down too easy.
D: This is an excellent stout, very well balanced. The alcohol is well hidden, this could be a 3.5% beer, which seems to be unusual for an imperial stout. So many come across as 'hot'. Again, the only thing missing is a little more texture/body to fill things out. Highly recommended.

07-01-2007 01:42:56 | More by wspscott
Photo of smakawhat


4.22/5  rDev +1%

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Big Fist full of head and a great milk chocolate bubble look. Dark brown off the pour like varnish for a body and light brown hues on the edges. Really nice head cap on this with great retention.

Great balance of malt and milk chocolate smell and nuts and even a little bit of vinegar hidden in the background. Really good, even some tobacco, nice bouquet on this stout.

Taste is a great malt and somewhat butter, but some sour fruit that's quite pleasant. Alcohol, banana, and roast coffee on the finish compete with a chocolate middle palate taste. Some carbonation in the middle palate also, but tolerable at least.

For the inexpensive price and pocket size go to feel of the bottle, this is a great go to stout which just makes drinkability a little better than good. This is a very good place to start for this style.

01-20-2011 00:55:38 | More by smakawhat
Photo of albertmdh


4.22/5  rDev +1%

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.

07-27-2006 21:57:02 | More by albertmdh
Photo of yankiac


4.22/5  rDev +1%

A - Black with a brown head.

S - mild aroma with hints of coffee and roasted malts

T - Well blended with coffee and vanilla, and a roasted touch.

M - Full bodied but not overly thick. You are aware that you are drinking a stout but not offended by it.

D - Good. Usually can't drink multiple imperial stouts but this one is an exception.

11-05-2010 23:40:33 | More by yankiac
Photo of Murchmac


4.22/5  rDev +1%

Pours a dark black with tan head.

Smells of dark chocolate.

Tastes of dark chocolate, roasted malts, some bitterness. Just a great beer all around.

Excellent mouthfeel, leaves you with a dry slightly bitter chocolatey aftertaste.

Everything they do is good.

01-14-2008 01:02:58 | More by Murchmac
Photo of baiser


4.22/5  rDev +1%

Pours pitch black, with a dense brown head, and sticky lacing. Aroma of prunes, cocoa, burnt coffee, wood and alcohol. Taste is tremendously complex. Roasted, coffee, chocolate notes, raisins, bitterness, touch of alcohol warmth. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Definitely one to be sipped and enjoyed after a meal.

12-24-2004 17:17:38 | More by baiser
Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,041 ratings.