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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,722 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,722
Hads: 3,575
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 16.31%
Wants: 218
Gots: 430 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
United Kingdom (England) | website

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.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,722 | Hads: 3,575
Photo of daledeee
4.67/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I admit I was skeptical. A clear bottle is usually trouble. But this time-no skunk. I trusted everybody else's ratings. This is one fine stout.

I did not chill this much. Probably 55F. Pours absolutely dark with a nice thin head. Pretty tan head about a quarter of an inch thick. More carbonated bite than I expected. Not very dry. Very intense roasted malt flavor. Chocolate and coffee also. Some hops make it through all that in the finish. Believe me there is a lot to taste here, but smooth is the word. Don't pass this up

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Photo of jcalabre
3.2/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Originally sampled on 24 June 2002. I am writing this review from my notes. Opaque black w/ a frothy head that settles down quickly, this Imperial Stout has more of the 'coffee' taste than other I.S.'s I've tried. I didn't think that the overall taste was that strong. Also, the alcohol wasn't well hidden. A decent imperial stout, but I prefer others.

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

12oz. clear (blah) bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a jet black color with 1 thick finger of light tan foam. There is a slight bit of lacing. The smell is sweet and nutty, full of burnt malt too. The taste is heavy roasted malt with coffee and caramel lingering in the background. There is just a little bit of hops on the back of the tongue for balance. The mouthfeel is thick and very smooth. The drinkability is pretty nice for 7%. The benchmark for all imperials!

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Photo of euskera
4.73/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

To my thinking, this is the standard against which other Imperial Stouts should be rated. Nice sustained head with a lovely chocolate-brown color. Smell is of malt and chocolate, with a little coffee overtone. Taste is velvety smooth, starts with malt at the front, then the waves of chocolate, molasses, and roasted espresso kick in. Just superb!!

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

I now know why this is the quintessence of Imperial Stouts. It is finely balanced, sweet and bitter all at the same time. A real treat to drink.It poured jet black except the very bottem where there was a thin sliver of scarlet light. There was a thin, tan, rocky head pearched on top and the lace clung to the sides. Upon smelling my nose immediatly picked up huge, roasty malts and extreme smoked bitterness. The Imperial Stout slunk down my throat coating it with an abundance of flavors. The tip of my tongue was tickled by hop bitterness, which rolled into a heavy dose of sweet chocolate malts balanced with caramel. The taste was rounded out at the end with a chalky, dry aftertaste and a warming alcohol feeling in the back of my throat. The mouthfeel was not extremely heavy as I would have expected and had a tiny bubble carbonation, which delighted my tongue. One question though, why the clear bottle?

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

Magnificent! This imperial stout is luscious and smooth and complex. It pours an unfathomable deep brown, but it is neither oily nor viscous. The dark tan head lofts it way upwards tantalizingly and then recedes deliberately into a fine buckskin blanket over the insides of the entire glass. The smell is slightly sweet, molasses and dark cherry balancing the mossy darkness of the stout. But the mouthfeel--it's like a down comforter on a cold, crisp night. And a taste to match--smoked toffee from start to finish with the subtle sweetness emerging from time to time as I savour every sip.

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

Poured slightly chilled and perhaps a bit shaken after being in the back of the car on the drive back from Whole Foods, where the grocer mentioned he had heard this was a great Imperial Stout.

It pours out pitch dark, and has a very nice (and potent) taste. The smell didn't rouse me much, but the beer has a perfect mouthfeel.I was also impressed by the smooth aftertaste. It's much more drinkable than most other bears with this strong of a smokey flavor. I'm not a big fan of this type of beers, but won't hesitate to have another.

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

Pours a dark black with a nice sized tan head. Nice coffee/roasted malt smell. The taste is the shit. Light coffee flavours with a little chocolate, roasted malt, toffee and alcohol added in the mix. Also a bit metallic. Rich medium texture, not too heavy, creamy and just right. the drinkability is awesome since it isn't too strong to put you off flavour wise, and that it has a nice balance of alcohol, enough to warm you up but not so much you have troube finishing your 4 pack. delicious.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought locally (Grapevine refrigerated shelves), a couple of weeks in my fridge, reviewed 45F-70F.

A medium-small, noisy tan head dies fast giving up thin, uneven lacing. Dark ruby highlights show up on the edges of a black, black beer.

Sweet toffee and molasses dominate the bready, Brit-malt nose. Some grapes show up in the slightly sweet front. The middle is thick, thick, buttery and thick. Toffee sticks around throughout. The finish dries, but it's a little cloying and a little astringent. This is a very good, unique beer that's really a lot better at room temp, where it evens out and becomes the delicious treat it's meant to be.

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Photo of BierReise
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this before several years ago and haven't tried it again until now. Very impressive stout and a sweet surprise. Poured very dark almost black with short but tight tan head. Smell of roasted malt and usual english hop nose. Feels like velvet on my tongue and one of the smoothest stouts in recent memory. Taste is malty and rich with chocolate and roasted malt prevailing. Great to the finish.

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

Wow, what a great Imperial Stout. I mean this is what I've always imagined. Amazingly dark body with brown head. Sweet malty base is balanced with chocolate, coffee, and hopped up undertones. This is both sweet and crisp. The lower alcohol percent gives you a chance to drink the entire four-pack without same effects of a 10% Imperial Stout.

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Photo of clvand0
2.71/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a very dark color with a dark medium head. The aroma is full of scents of alcohol as well as some chocolaty malts. The taste is of burned malts and licorice and the alcohol is not extremely well masked as well as very dry tasting. The dry and burned malt stick around in the aftertaste. This beer is fairly easy to drink for an imperial stout, but not being a fan of imperial stouts, I would not have more than one.

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Photo of Loki
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This wonderful brew pours a deep, dark brown. So dark it is nearly black. The deep brown color is wonderfully complemented with a thick, fluffy, creamy, biege head that tasted nearly the entire beer. Aromas of malt, chocolate, and coffee waft from the nose. The nose leads the blessed drinker to tastes of coffee, chocolate, malt, and hints of caramel. There are also delicate hops to even out the flavor and leave a slight bitterness like that of a mild coffee.

My only two wishes with this beer were that my palatte and nose were more developed to detect more delights hinden inside this brown treasure chest and that I didn't have to drvie two hours each way to get this wonderful beer.

I have a new favorite brew and Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout be thy name!

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Photo of Tballz420
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Re-review on the basis that my original analysis was horseshit.

This brew is completely black with some slight brown hues coming through when held to the light. Large, creamy brown head maintains its shape for quite some time. Thick sheets of lace line the glass. Roasted and sweet chocolate malt nose. Sweet chocolate malts dominate, some roasted characteristics, alcohol well hidden, virtually unnoticeable. Chewy soft mouth. Excellent stout.

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Photo of 86MonteSS
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not exactly sure who Samuel Smith was, but if he didn't achieve sainthood, I'm perplexed. This brewery can't go wrong, and Imperial Stout is certainly its flagship. This is everything imperial stouts aspire to be, and it's why I put all my faith in the English when it comes to beer.

This was the one that slapped me in the face and opened my eyes to all the others.

Bold yet balanced taste with a perfect lace, this is the quintessential stout. A bitter coffee taste lays the foundation while a gentle sweetness oversees.

While there are "better crafted" beers out there, nothing is better-rounded than Sam Smith's Imperial Stout.

Realizing the bottle was clear after perceiving it as amber ranks way up there in terms of the coolest moments of my life.

If I was an old man, I'd want Samuel Smith to marry my daughter.

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

So many subtleties. So little time.

Dark, almost oily pour gives a suprisingly long-lasting tiny-bubble head. Rich roasty aroma that belies the alcohol content. Surprising as well, the mouthfeel is not American "big" but refined. The tiny bubble quality does not overpower the mouth, but allows for sipping reminiscent of a sherry. Lingering prune aftertaste makes me stop questioning the Raison D'Etre that Dogfish brewed.

Does not in any way need food to complete the experience, but my initials: Would unquestionably dance a tango with sharp cheese or brie. Must be that oily sensation. I don't eat chocolate, but I can assume that German chocolate cake with dark cherries would also run with this.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the beer that got me writing beer notes about 8 years ago. This excellent Imperial Stout is ebony in color with a thick, foamy tan head that leaves behind a shroud of lace. The complex aroma gives pleasing smells of coffee, chocolate, hops and alcohol. The heavy and rich malt provides a luscious, velvety texture. Abundantly hopped with citrus, metallic and tea-like bitterness. Coffee and chocolate press forward as does some molasses sweetness. Noticeable alcohol, but not overdone. Wow!

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

It's pitch ass black, defining the word opaque. A large two inch tan head forms and reduces to a thick coating which laces well. It presents itself like a perfect stout, and a perfect stout it is damn close to. The aroma is a strong concoction of roasted malts, vanilla, and chocolate. I get some dark fruits coming through as well, but vanilla stuck out the most. I love it! Super-smooth creaminess is the mouthfeel of this medium to full bodied brew. Strong flavors of burnt coffee and chocolate treat your palate, and then some hops come by for a quick stay in the finish. Warming alcohol is prevalent in the finish, a reminder of the strength of this brew. This is one heluva stout, simply put.

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

My perspective of Russian imperial stouts must me skewed a little bit since I'm used to drinking Storm King Stout and Old Rasputin, but this was still a wonderful beer. Black in color with a head that is about an eighth of an inch and diminishes to a very thin layer. Aroma of chocolate and coffee and the sweet taste of raisins come through in the taste.

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

This is an extremely well-made Imperial Stout. This beer pours a super-dark, black with a nice off-white/tan, frothy head. The aromas are of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and some hops in the background. The taste is all about the malts, chocolatty, caramelly, coffee-like, lucious! The mouthfeel is very thick, smooth and creamy and the drinkability is near-perfect. One of the greats!>Cheers to DrewS for the samples!,

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Photo of Running4beer
4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out pitch black with a medium dark tan head that stays that way till the last drop. Lots of aromas to this, picked up some coffee, chocolate some raison and a smoke or roasted aroma in there as well. Tastes of some coffee, chocolate, little bit of raison and some malt. Mouthfeel with smooth and creamy with not much bitterness to it. This is a good beer but my favorite Sam Smith is still Oatmeal Stout.

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

Poured a black juice with a light tan head that was very thick, wouldn't budge. Had a sweet thin coffee nose and beautiful malt that was roasted just enough - a soft and delicate but still strongly present smell. Beyond this base, it had a clean and clear nose, coming off as very fresh; other scents included a slight dry corn tone, fresh grass, and a tiny bit of fig.

It tasted a little more watery than most Imperial Stouts, but it helped make the beer quite refreshing. Hey, in the American market of ultra-hopped microbrews, a non-overbearing and cloying imperial stout is a nice thing! Sliding thin on the tongue, it had a very fruity bitterness in the front of mouth, but as bitterness rested it showed a little cream tone, too. Real good roasted malt flavor came through. A solid tasting all around.

While many American made Imperial Stouts are made by upping the hops or adding chocolate or doing whatever to make the beer as aggressive as possible, this beer is more straightforward and doesn't try too hard to be extreme or innovative. In other words solid in a good and classical feeling way. Leave it to Sammy Smith to show us how it can be done.

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Photo of nixhecks
4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was looking for a special drink with a kick for this wednesday evening and I think I found it. Presented in a 1pt. 2 oz. bottle, clear glass. Poured a jet black with a frothy tan head that stayed and stayed. Aroma was remiscent of dark fruit lik raisons or figs, and also included coffee, smoke, cocoa, and roasted malt. The mouthfeel was extremely smooth, going down just like silk and low in carbonation. It tasted very bittersweet, toffee and roasted malts as well as cocoa and a smokey-charcoal taste. Excellent choice. The overall character is very complex, and this plus the heavy body make this a great beer.

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Photo of Scooter77
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was the first Imperial Stout that I’d ever sampled and it’s still my favorite one of the style. Pours a deep, deep black color with a creamy tan head, which seems to stick around for the duration. A thick, sticky beige lace is left on the glass. Nose is full of malt, caramel, chocolate, and alcohol. The taste will give you a swift sucker-punch in the mouth. There are so many flavors, all mixed together. Chocolate, coffee, malt, and malt all seem to blend together perfectly. This is a highly enjoyable imperial stout.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This sample came from Hawaii as the B.C. liquor stores decided
not to stock this example of Samuel Smith , which is a shame
because this beer ranks among the best of its type.

The colour is black as a moonless night and the nose is treacly
and enticing. What really makes this beer excel is the rush of
coffee flavours entwined with a beautifully balanced malt/hop
combination. I had to sip slowly to appreciate what a complex
and drinkable beer this becomes. This just might be my favourite
stout with Rogue's Shakespeare Stout coming very close.

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Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 1,722 ratings.