Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
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Ratings: 3,042 | Reviews: 1,639 | Display Reviews Only:
2.15/5 rDev -48.6%
Shot glass-flight, unknown freshness
Pour-Dark brown with black tint, tiny effervescence and a good amount of it, light lacing, some head retention but not much.
Nose-Huge fruity nose, very familiar scent, after hearing the word Twizzlers I 100% agree, so it must be an artificial cherry kind of flavor.
Palate-Very sweet, some sour, some bitter. Red licorice, very fruity, some roast, off caramel flavor.
Body-Full, heavy, creamy. Don’t like this beer at all, the flavors are not for me.
11-07-2011 01:43:01 | More by seesnow3
3.9/5 rDev -6.7%
[Best served in a snifter]
The pour was a deep dark murky black with a large (2-3 finger) light brown rocky head that lasted a decent while leaving behind some really nice residue floating on top thus producing some really excellent lacing.
The aroma was wonderfully robust with a burnt dark bread malt and a mild sweet leathery yeast with notes of dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee, licorice, some dark fruit and a hint of molasses.
The taste was lightly sweet and malty with a hint of chocolate from the onset then became a mild bitter sweet with a nice note of coffee at the end with the flavor lasting a nice long while proceeding the swallow.
Mouthfeel was nice a full in body and rather creamy and a tad dry in texture with a mild carbonation.
Overall a superb Imperial Stout, very easy to drink and very enjoyable on the taste buds.
11-04-2011 22:56:54 | More by KajII
4.45/5 rDev +6.5%
Poured from 550 mL bottle to an imperial pint. Bottling date was smudged off of this bottle.
A: Very dark, nearly opaque black. A few rays of light make it through if held up to the light and are cola in color. Active carbonation with a thick cocoa head with great retention and lacing. What a nice stout should look like.
S: Chocolate, prunes, oak barrels, and a strong vanilla extract presence. Slight hints of coffee, rum, and cane sugar.
T: Roasted barley up front, and the coffee flavor comes through much more in the taste department, holding down the middle. Prunes, molasses, hops, and biscuity yeast bring up the rear. Chocolate hints throughout. Well balanced and very, very tasty.
M: Smooth, medium bodied, with just a touch of a hops finish and a bit of spritz from the carbonation. Just a tad bit of dryness after the finish. A little on the thin side of stouts. A nice alcohol warmth, holds its ABV well.
O: Just a notch below the best I've had, but much more attainable. A wonderful find for me on International Stout Day. I'll definitely be coming back to this one!
11-04-2011 02:53:46 | More by tito42
3.58/5 rDev -14.4%
Holiday Wine Cellar
Black as can be with a thick, persistent light brown head. Sheets and dots of lacing are left down the glass. Perfection!
An interesting aroma for an imperial stout: roasted malt, milk chocolate, and graham cracker crumbles. It's interesting and quite intoxicating.
The flavor isn't nearly as nice as the aroma, unfortunately. There's simply not a ton here: roasted malt, light chocolate, and a bit of sugary sweetness, but not much else.
Thin to medium bodied with low carbonation.
This was really disappointing (because I had such high expectations). While this is gorgeous and quite aromatic, it just doesn't do it for me in either the taste or mouthfeel departments. While certainly a decent big stout, I won't feel like I'm missing out if I don't ever have this again--which is too bad, because I was hoping I'd love this stuff--it's so inexpensive!
11-04-2011 01:58:34 | More by ehammond1
4.13/5 rDev -1.2%
A - Darkest brown without being full on black with a generously thick creamy head that takes on the color of an Arby's Jamocha shake. The lacing is a sheet of foam that runs evenly around the entire glass.
S - Dark chocolate aroma doesn't allow for too much else in the nose. Perhaps something fruity, as in dark fruit.
T - Dark chocolate follows to the tongue with a raisin or plum characteristic. A touch of heat towards the end, but bitter chocolate still prevails
M - Smooth, creamy and medium body. Decent carbonation with little aftertaste, other than bitter chocolate.
O - Quite a nice little drinker this is. Well balanced, not excessively heavy, and it isn't too demanding.
11-04-2011 00:13:24 | More by gopens44
3.68/5 rDev -12%
12oz (from the UK?) bottle poured into a Snake River pint glass.
A: Good dark black body with brown & ruby highlight...2 fingers of dark khaki colored head; rocky and foamy, it leaves behind some lace.
S: Dark fruit and astringent (soy?) sweetness...maybe some woody notes, and coffee underneath that with an herbal character.
T: Dark fruit tang upfront with a flash of toffee...roast after that, and it finishes with some coffee bitterness but I feel like this is a pretty lightly hopped RIS.
MF: Moderate body, creamy mouthfeel, decent carbonation.
O: Not my favorite flavor profile...decent, but I prefer more roast, coffee, hop/earthiness, etc.
10-31-2011 14:28:10 | More by Scotchboy
4.03/5 rDev -3.6%
Drank from a 12 fl. oz./355 ml bottle purchased at Julio's Liquors, Westboro, MA
Served in a snifter
The liquid appeared much thinner and lighter in color than your average Russian imperial stout, but it made up for this shortcoming with an attractive, bubbly, light brown, two-finger head. Excellent retention. The crown faded to a thick, lasting ring of froth. Streaks of lacing cascaded down the glass.
The nose was fantastically rich and complex. Dark fruit notes were quite apparent. Raisins, figs and plums were most noticeable. There was a definite bourbon-like presence, which was surprising considering that this beer is neither bourbon-aged nor high in alcohol. Lots brown sugar sweetness. Powdered cocoa notes were detectible. A bit of roast. Overall, quite smooth and balanced. The aroma became even more robust and complex with time. Port-like notes appeared as well.
Dark fruits again came through strong in the flavor profile. Lots of deep roast. Rich and malty yet quite dry. Brown sugar was noticeable. Some dark chocolate and cold black coffee. Notes of char came through on the dry, slightly smoky finish. Some hops were detectible as well. As the beer warmed, the flavor profile became smoother and more robust. Nevertheless, this was definitely one of the most quaffable Russian imperial stouts I have sampled.
The mouthfeel was the only real letdown. It was very thin for the style. The liquid contained a moderately spritzy effervescence that seemed a bit distracting.
Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout is a unique take on this now ubiquitous style. Although it may not be as intense as many of the monster stouts brewed today, it it impressive nonetheless. All in all, I found this beer to be refreshing both literally and figuratively.
10-31-2011 13:47:27 | More by Damian
4.3/5 rDev +2.9%
A - Beautiful! Dark body the color of flakes of bitter-sweet chocolate and black coffee. A gorgeous dark burgundy head of khaki and black cherry. Super strong lacing like shaving cream hills. Lovely.
S - Sweet mildly smokey. Some liquid malt smells like a lightly toasted chocolate pastry. Tiny puffs and hints of hoppy leafs. Like those treats they sell in SE Asia wrapped in banana leaves palm leaves.
T - This is nice. Bitter roasted sweet. Sorghum and caramel dipped coffee muffins. Initial palate is cool and minty then sweet and full, then aftertaste is slightly alcohol burn. Maybe the only problem.
M - So smooth and creamy. Like a honey milkshake. Refreshing to no end. Slight alcohol burn might be off putting for some, but it's not a deal breaker.
D - Sam Smith boys know about beer. They deliver once again, in a refreshing smooth beer that is both filling and hearty and at the same time light and playful. Could drink this until my feet give out from under me.
10-29-2011 02:59:03 | More by jeranbrews
3.88/5 rDev -7.2%
Pours a dark chocolate, near black, with mahogany edges when held to the light. A frothy tan head laces minimally. The roasted barley, vanilla and licorice in the nose. Agitating brings forth a bready yeast smell.
Very dry, bitter chocolate, maybe coffee if you force yourself to notice it. Porter like, dry finish, not rich or sweet. Mineral, metallic coin taste.
A sharply carbonated, soda mouthfeel, not creamy as you might expect. The mouthfeel is wholly enjoyable, just strange for a(n) RIS.
American RIS's might be more rich than their European counterparts. This isn't a bad beer, just not what I expected. Re-surprised with every sip at how light bodied, and crisply carbonated it is.
10-27-2011 02:51:18 | More by ggilman
4.1/5 rDev -1.9%
A-Pours dark as they come. No highlights. Tan leather head forms and dies down to a thin film. Leaves minimal lacing. Doesn't pour very viscous.
S-Sweet nose. Hershey syrup. Some good roasted coffee too. Burnt caramel. Subtle hints of dried dark fruit. Light sizzle of alcohol. Interesting and inviting nose.
T-Hershey syrup again. Roasted coffee is secondary but quite tasty. Lightly bitter. More dark chocolate bitter than hop bitter. A bit nutty. Plums and figs. Like chocolate milk with too much syrup in it. Light tobacco hint in the end.
M-Heavier body but relatively light for a RIS. Carbonation is definitely noticeable. Not too viscous. Easy drinking however. Lightly bitter. ABV masked well.
O/D-This is a pretty decent beer. I didn't love Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, but this one is pretty legit. Easy drinking, mellow, and sweet. Not excellent but good for a four pack that is easy to get.
10-26-2011 02:34:16 | More by VelvetExtract
4.03/5 rDev -3.6%
A really good pour. Comes out thick and black with some slightly lighter red notes around the sides. The head comes on thick and off-brown with good staying power. A dense, creamy coat of lacing sticks to the glass.
Smell is all malt and roasted barley. Some hints of both chocolate and licorice are present, but play supporting roles.
As the beer hits the tongue, it's all creamy and sweet, somewhat like chocolate milk. Eventually, you'll pick up coffee notes with the licorice (or anise) saying hello as well. In the finish, the hops are front and center before finally giving way to a slightly bittersweet chocolate swallow.
It's thick and creamy, but at the same time, slightly loose. As mentioned, it's also sweet with some bitter. It's a nice combination of contrasts.
Another good selection from Sam Smith.
10-22-2011 02:41:41 | More by RickS95
4.03/5 rDev -3.6%
355ml bottle, best before january 2013
A- Utterly black colour. One finger, light brown head, not as creamy as in most strong stouts. Scarse retention and not much lacing either
S- Strong and rich smell of what should probably be caramel malts, but with a distinct alcoholic note that has the aroma feeling like rum. Lots of undernotes as well: leafy hops, prune, molasses, yeast; something new with every smell
T- Obviously very malty, and again with that assertive (but somehow still delicate) alcoholic note, plus a light roasted note. Flavour is strong with chocolate, with an amazing load of undernotes: dried/dark fruits, coffee, nut, leafy/lemony hops on the tongue; just like the aroma, something new with every sip
M- Nicely smooth. Quite on the light side in body for an imperial stout, but somehow still full on the palate andl enough thick. Moderate carbonation is appropriate for the beer. Warming
O- Very drinkable for the style: of course the 7%ABV helps, but despite low ABV the beer still feels as rich and complex as an imperial stout should feel
10-21-2011 14:01:44 | More by Cozzatoad
4.05/5 rDev -3.1%
American brewers take note of the thick maltiness and creaminess packed into a 7% ABV beer. Not to mention the chocolate, chicory, anise, and freshly roasted coffee beans. Great fruitiness from the yeast and caramel and toffee tops it all off. Great beer here.
10-19-2011 14:58:18 | More by bump8628
4.33/5 rDev +3.6%
Poured into a chilled, wide-mouthed glass.
-Appearance 4.0: Poured out a beautiful, squid-ink black. Slight, amber-colored head that quickly (you guessed it) disappeared. Striking looking beer.
-Smell 4.5: Lots of lovely aromas present. First smell is of an alcohol-flavored caramel and then a smell of grains and hops. Delicious and it's a shame more stouts don't focus on the bouquet of their beers.
-Taste 4.5: Sweet taste up front, with a slight bitterness. After swallowing...wow, lots of toasted barley, hops, caramel, brown sugar...many other flavors to discover in future tastings. Delicious. Long aftertaste of chocolates and toasted grains.
-Mouthfeel 4.0: This beer is not bottle conditioned and verges on the edge of too much carbonation. However, the bubbles are much smaller than in your typical brew and, in my humble opinion, this makes the carbonation in this beer not as much of distraction as in other brews.
-Overall 4.0: This must be one of, if not the, best stouts in the world. There is a level of carbonation present here that will turn off fans of "draught only Guinness," but if you are like me and are accustomed to other stouts, you will find an infinity of tastes to enjoy in this excellent British stout. If you can find it, BUY IT.
10-19-2011 03:47:05 | More by BeerDocT
4.58/5 rDev +9.6%
Ink black and opaque with deep ruby hues at the bottom of the glass. Dense and towering, chocolate milk-colored head which leaves a thick layer of creamy froth. Blankets the entire glass in foamy goodness.
Beautiful bready, roasted and dark fruit aromas. Also some hints of black licorice.
Deep and complex roasted aroma with coffee, dark chocolate, wheat toast, and licorice. Rich molasses, prune and black currant sweetness balance the roasted flavors. Hops add depth with a spicy herbal character. Exceptional depth and complexity.
Full-bodied, dense consistency and ultra-smooth feel. Feels like smooth, melted chocolate in your mouth. Low carbonation but this is perfect and adds to the drinkability.
Simply an excellent imperial stout and a masterpiece in brewing from Samuel Smith. A little less intense than most examples of the style. Still very complex with lots of flavor to make me go back for another sip over and over again.
10-18-2011 02:30:57 | More by bnes09
District of Columbia
3.7/5 rDev -11.5%
Pours dull black with a huge, densely packed light brown head (maybe a salmon tint, I can't tell if it's the light in here). Very good retention and pretty good lacing. Smells like rich roasted malt and a hint of vanilla and cream and fruity notes. Taste is rich but restrained roasted malt and a little minerally (spot on, I totally see the well water) no hops/chocolate/coffee to speak of, finishing with a bit of bitterness. Medium body and carbonation which is not particularly smooth. Overall, the light touch of roasted malt makes this pretty drinkable. The minerally taste is an interesting angle.
10-17-2011 06:22:04 | More by pmarlowe
4.35/5 rDev +4.1%
Poured from 550 ml bottle into a stout glass.
Appearance: Dark and black with only a little color coming through the bottom of the glass. Four fingers of creamy tan head that hold up for a while then settle into a thin layer. Lots of lacing.
Smell: Dark roasted caramel malts with a big aroma of dark fruits including some raisins, plums, and figs. Has some noticeable hints of coffee and chocolate but they are more subtle than a typical imperial stout. Also some molasses and a bit of booze in the aroma.
Taste: Lots of dark roasted malts. Chocolate and coffee flavors are stronger in the taste then the smell. The dark fruits are also pretty strong with hints of plums, figs, and raisins. Light hints of molasses. Flavor is full, complex, and not as thick and bitter as most imperial stouts are.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Very creamy and smooth. Feels considerably lighter than a imperial stout but in a good way.
Overall: A very good stout. The dark fruits add a nice touch and this is the smoothest imperial stout I've had.
10-16-2011 06:34:48 | More by MattyG85
4.5/5 rDev +7.7%
Beer poured from bottle into a Nonic pint shaped glass
A - Beer pours with a fluffy and bubbly espresso, brown colored head; 2+ finger in size; holds very well; body has a very dark, almost black, colored body; good lacing
S - Heavy coffee nose; slight touch of dark chocolate; deep roasted malt scents; hint anise or other spice hidden in there; light hint of caramel; as the beer warms up, licorice scents come up; some grass or hops nose
T - Roasted malt flavor; followed up immediately with dark coffee and dark chocolate flavor; touch of sweetness; packed with stout flavor, not too hoppy either, just the right amount of bitter flavor at the end
M - Smooth, rich and creamy, just like chocolate milk; light coffee aftertaste
D - Fantastic drink; great dessert beer or enjoyable with a few sweets; great balance of roasted coffee flavors and chocolate; not too over bearing, but memorable; I'll make this a staple in my fridge
10-09-2011 03:08:31 | More by ferrari29
3.9/5 rDev -6.7%
Samuel Smith Imperial Stout
355ml bottle poured into a mug
No born on date or other distinguishing numbers, although I do dig the tall, thin bottle and old school label
A: Pours an opaque black with 2.5 fingers of bubbly creamed coffee colored head. Some reddening is seen around the edges when held up to a bright light. Head dissipates at a moderate rate. Leaves no appreciable lacing.
S: Strong aroma. You don’t have to stick your nose into the beer to smell this one. Lots of dark fruit is noted right away, fig and plum in particular. More subtle coffee and roasted aroma. Doesn’t really smell like an RIS, more like one of the better Doppelbocks, or to a lesser degree some of the not-as-complex Belgium quads.
T: It might not smell like a stout, but it tastes like one. The first sip has some dark fruits up front with a big roasted malt character on the backend. Has some earthy/grassy flavors in there as well. There are flavors of dark chocolate that linger in the aftertaste, along with the lingering roasted characters. The aftertaste is probably the best part of the palate profile, as otherwise the flavors as a whole are on the weaker side for an RIS. Good flavors, just more subdued than I prefer in an RIS.
M/D: A lighter mouthfeel. Light to medium bodied. Over carbonated for my liking, which takes away some of the smoothness that I look for in a good stout. I also think the over carbonation detracts from some of the more subtle flavors. Heavily carbonated stouts are one of my pet peeves. Otherwise, pretty easy to drink with no hint of the relatively low ABV. You could certainly have a couple of these in one setting if you so choose.
O: Overall, a decently good beer. However, with the subdued flavors, lighter body, and over carbonation, it doesn’t really come off as an RIS to me. I would drink it again, particularly since the price is relatively low, but its not something I’d go out of my way to have again. I prefer the bolder American RIS’s. However, I do think it is much better than the Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, and certainly worth a try if you've never had it. Afterall, it is one of the standards of the style which others have built off of.
10-08-2011 23:08:11 | More by zac16125
3.95/5 rDev -5.5%
This will be a quick one - watching Taxi Driver. Can't...keep my eyes...off...DENIRO!
A: Thick, oily black pour, with a velvety tan pillow of a head - so smooth. Good lacing all around, medium retention. Looks like an Imperial Stout should.
S: Epic chocolate malts and rich caramel cream. Got some smoke and oak, too. It's wrapped up by a big butterscotch bourbon - delicious. I'm not getting a whole lot of British feel here, but that's ok; it's great.
T: Light vanilla with a maple nuttiness underneath. The flavors are rich, but they come off in that distinctly weightless British way. Roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate all have an equal stand; all hardy flavors. There's a nice hop showing as well - a bit Noble-tasting, mostly light and earthy. Just the smallest hint of mineral water and alcohol push the palate toward a slightly dry, chocolaty aftertaste. Bold, classic flavor.
M: Light, thin, with a decent showing of carbonation. Not oily at all, as the look would imply.
O: A very nice drink. Not my favorite Imperial Stout, but timeless, nonetheless. Just another reason to love Samuel Smith.
10-08-2011 22:53:20 | More by BarryMFBurton
3.15/5 rDev -24.6%
Poured into Sam Smith Pint
Appearance-Pretty dark, almost a dark dark red. Head was a tan 2 finger head that had pretty good retention for a RIS, probably cause the ABVs only 7. Lacing was pretty good.
Smell-Roasted Malts, Coffee, Dark fruits, and some booze.
Taste-Follows the smell, alot of flavors going on in a 7% stout. Only problem is it's a little bit sour, not sure whats going on here. I still get some nice Roasty Malts, Coffee, and Plum. Something about this beer is different then I remembered.
Mouthfeel-Light to Medium bodied, I'd say more on the lighter side. Carbonation was pretty low.
Overall-I remember enjoying this beer alot more a while back. Going to have to try another bottle soon. Still a good beer, but an Imperial Stout it's just to thin, I'd consider it more of a Stout.
10-06-2011 15:33:17 | More by SWMeyer4141
4.08/5 rDev -2.4%
A: Vigorous pour yields a pitch black brew with a big creamy, espresso foam-like head that sticks around for a few minutes before settling. Great lacing.
S: Toasted and roasted malts. Some cocoa notes. Molasses-like sweetness. A little boozy, with an almost scotch-like aroma.
T: Rich and roasted, but not overwhelmingly so. Balanced, leaning at first toward the bitter/burnt side, then opening up into a mellow, dark caramel sweetness that lingers a little through the finish.
M: Full, medium-heavy mouthfeel. Lively carbonation for a stout (I'm assuming from the added CO2 they indicate on the bottle). No signs of alcohol, except in adding robustness to the body.
O: An all-around great imperial stout. I love it for what it is, but the jaded American beer geek in me wanted something a little bolder. Still, guaranteed to please any lover of the dark stuff.
10-04-2011 16:35:58 | More by BMoldy
4.5/5 rDev +7.7%
330ml bottle. 7,0% Abv.
Served chilled in a tulip wine glass.
Appearance: Sam Smith's Imperial stout looks black in the glass with only the faintest deep red visible on the edges when back light. The beer is topped with a large light coffee coloured head that displays great retention and leaves chunky lace.
Smell: Wow, I wasn't expecting this much power from an English stout!
Dark roasted malt, molasses, lots of dark fruits (stewed plums, and raisins), chocolate, coffee, dark caramel, slightly burned fruit cake and black licorice are all noted. I was expecting a few hops, but none are noted.
Taste: Wow, this is one tasty beer! It just shows that an RIS doesn't need to be 12% to have a bold flavour.
Again Roasted malt, molasses and dark fruits dominate. Fruit cake, chocolate, espresso, black licorice and dark caramel are also noted. The flavour is initially sweet and has a great, lasting bitter finish. No alcohol is noted.
Mouthfeel: Full body, lightly viscous with mild, very smooth carbonation. The beer doesn't feel as big as many American versions of the style, but this makes it a whole lot more drinkable!
Overall: Great imperial stout and one I would recommend and hope to have this again.
10-02-2011 15:56:07 | More by Thehuntmaster
3.9/5 rDev -6.7%
Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass
Appearance: blackish-brown; thick, tan, 1 finger head that froths away. Great lacing.
Smell: Chocolate, malty, floral
Taste: Expresso, dark chocolate; smooth finish
Mouthfeel: medium; thick on the tongue, creamy
Overall: A decent example of an IRS; rich, regal. Let it warm and the smoothness dominates.
10-01-2011 18:58:43 | More by brewskifan55
3.1/5 rDev -25.8%
Poured from a 550 mL bottle into a Blue Star Brewery Pint Glass.
Pours a beautiful black with hardly any reddening around the edges. The only shade of red that this has is on its base, but on it's sides it's beautifully black. I can easily say that this is the blackest thing in my room and is easily one of the best looking stouts I've seen. Sadly the head comes one fingered and goes, but a small remnant stays on top and it reminds me of delicious coffee.
This oddly just smells lightly coffee-like. It does have some toffee notes, but I can't pick up the chocolate that I'm used to in a Russian Imperial Stout.
This hits the usual coffee notes that I'm used to in a Russian Imperial Stout, but it misses out on the sweetness that I'm used to from one. Roasted malts are present. There is oddly what seems like a alcoholic dark chocolate to this.
The mouthful is creamy and nicely smooth. The only carbonation this feels like it has is whatever of the head hits the palate.
This feels like a standard Russian Imperial Stout. It's far from anything special, but it's a nice starter to the style. I guess if I wanted a roasted malty coffee this would be a nice choice, but it's hard to find a time to enjoy something like this. If this was possible to drink while studying then that would be the best time, but I'm studying! The best time to enjoy this drink is probably the worst.
If you are going with a Samuel Smith then the Oatmeal Stout is a far better stout than this one in my opinion.
09-30-2011 20:40:44 | More by TheAlamoWrocker
Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,042 ratings.