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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.

1,710 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,710
Hads: 3,509
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 16.31%
Wants: 220
Gots: 398 | FT: 2
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.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,710 | Hads: 3,509
Photo of sk8man121
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

550 ml bottle poured into Allagash chalice. This is my second review of this beer (last reviewed on 3/30/10).

A: Pours a completely opaque pitch black with a massive three-finger brownish-beige head. Settles at one-finger, leaving no lacing on the glass. Excellent retention.

S: Dark chocolate, caramel, bitter fruit and alcohol; I even get a little bit of subtle banana. There's a lot going on in here, but it smells very cohesive.

T: Intense dark fruit up front, followed by sweet dark malts and lots of dark chocolate. Extremely complex, with everything working in perfect harmony.

M: The moderately heavy carbonation takes what seems at first like a rather thin stout and transforms it into a creamy, almost chewy drink. Velvety smooth, and perfect for the style.

O: Figured I'd re-review this one given the fact that I haven't had a bottle in close to a year. Little has changed in terms of this being one of my favorite beers out there, and quite possibly the best imperial stout on the market. And for under $4 a bottle!?


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

It's about time I tried this sucker.
It's rich and delicious.
This is probably the easiest to find for me of the world class stouts out there and I am glad for it.
The "lower" alcohol content and smooth flavors make this stout outrageously drinkable.
Lots of deep, smooth coffee and chocolate gluttony to be found. The hops are used just enough so that the sweet flavors do not become cloying.
Others have gone into great detail as to all that can be found in this bubbly black nectar so I'll just chime in with- if you are jonesing for a stout this will set you at ease and leave you with a smile on your face.

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Photo of avwrite
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.75

Fantastic. Dark, rich in flavor, and smooth going down, it's what a stout should be. Perfect balance of bitterness and coffee/chocolate tastes. Superb.

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

Poured into a strange(stick) glass..It's very dark and has quite a big head..It smells like dark chocolate with a bit of roastiness..The taste is very balanced, with a dark chocolate being the prominent flavor..It feels very smooth in the mouth and somewhere between light and heavy..I feel like I can drink a couple pints of this and enjoy it the whole time...A very good beer, and one I will go to time and time again..

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

Head retention to the fullest! For an imperial stout that is. High above the rim of my glass. Smell is huge, lots of cherries and stuff. Taste runs deep into my soul. Dates, currants and all that jazz. What ever the heck's going on its bad ass. Like a mouth full of tar. Thanks to the low, for an imperial stout, ABV this can be drunk in excess.

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Photo of Overworkedta
4.81/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a snifter. Delicous. I'm a big fan of imperial stouts and barrel aged beers so this was not a departure from my usual. Good mouthfeel and good appearance. The head settles after a bit but it pours caramel chocolate in color.

Would but again. It's a solid beer I've had several years ago but wanted to try again recently. It's no whale but it's a delicious treat to someone who loves stouts.

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Photo of Southernbrew
4.82/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a khaki head that stays around forever.

Aroma full of fruits, coffee, rum, molasses. Awesome, so much to take in.

Medium body, so smooth. Rum flavors mixed with fruit up front move to a coffee flavor with a light alcohol flavor. Molasses show up in the finish and leave a sweet-alcohol aftertaste.

This is my first imperial stout and it is nothing short of awesome. My only concern is this is as good as it gets.

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Photo of ReadyFireAim
4.82/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thought I'd continue my stout kick with Sam Smith's RIS, here. Let's take a look-see, eh?

Poured into my pint glass with a good 3/4-inch pillow of creamy goodness on top. The head settled into a nice, toffee-colored ring for the duration of the drink (this was, of course, after Armageddon had cometh).

Goodness, me! These are scents the gods dream of, man! Dark fruit scents mingle with those of lavender and coffee beans. There are hints of rum-like notes in there, too. Heavenly.

Fruity upfront, not too heavy - good consistency - with bits of chocolate and rum notes carrying through into the middle. Finishes with a warm, smoky espresso wave to help warm the throat and tummy. Can definitely taste and feel the alcohol in this one. No doubt there. You know... I think I'm going to scrap the rest of this review and just enjoy my drink, here. Cheers!

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Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.82/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this in the midst of a super session, and although it wasn't the first time I've had SS's Imperial, it was like the virgin experience.

Next to Belgian triples and doubles,Samichlaus, barley wines, etc., it not only held it's own, it gave the aforementioned beers a kung fu kick in the balls.

Opaque obsidian, no seeing through this sucker. Great head with strong staying power.

So many smells. Prunes, black pepper, licorice, sweet booze. I was salivating like one of Pavlov's dogs after a dinner bell.
This Imperial is the A-1 ass kickin' bow down and be thankful for tastebuds thrilla. Great hop balance for such a huge beer. Dark chocolate, coffee, sugary malts. Long finish where the hops return for an encore.
Real thick and chewy, smooth and delicious.
Sure, I want to drink it again and again.

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout is a benchmark beer for me, the one I compare all other I S's to. Say thankya!

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Photo of maddamish
4.82/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

An excellent stout!

Ap:Dark black in color. Medium head that retains well.

Smell: Butterscotch and coffee notes in the nose.

Taste: Carmel, Butterscotch, coffee and malt notes. These flavors interact and mix well. This is a very complex and satisfying stout that you will contemplate for awhile. A touch of toast Very nice. Very impressed.

Mouthfeel: This is the only weak part of the beer. It is too watery for me and I was a tad disappointed it wasn't thicker.

Notes: An excellent stout

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

Poured from a 550 ml bottle. Wow, deep brownish black color with a substantial billowing tan head that dissipates slowly leaving loads of lacing behind.

Nose of malt, molasses, and chocolate.

Taste is out of this world good. I've had a lot of RIS and what this lacks in ABV it more than makes up for in taste.

Great mouthfeel, feels so light in comparison to other brews of this style.

Great drinkability, wish I had more right now because it's gonna be gone before my Coronado Double Toro.

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

Deep dark brown almost black appearance with a nice foaming tan head that dissipated to a thin layer of foam with decent lace. I'm not seeing any light penetrate this brew. Aroma is sweet consisting of roasted malt, molasses, chocolate, wine and some floral-like flavors from the hops. Taste is all about the malts and is smooth and creamy with molasses notes up front followed by earthy hop flavors.

What a nice beer.

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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 Neorebel
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is as dark as night with a thick, fluffy tan head- perfect! the head does not recede for a while... The aroma is fruitier than one might expect - plum and raisin can be detected, and in the background, a touch of coffee and roasted malt. Seems sharp and crisp. After a sip the actual taste is revealed to be just as interesting and complex as the nose. The initial splash of flavor is the fruit/raisin followed by, a roasted, smoked touch and a dry finish. Very crisp on the tongue. As I drink the head sticks tightly to the glass - this is a nice frothy brew. This has a relatively light mouth feel and I can hardly put the glass down even for a second. There's just enough of a warming sensation from the alcohol. A very classy staple in the Imperial Stout world.

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

pours black like good stouts should. looks like a good stout. huge beige head.

smells chocolatey with hints of very sweet coffee. sweet smelling.

tastes great. robust bitter chocolate taste. very creamy. good hops for a stout, you can actually taste the hops. a great sweet smokey tasting stout. very smooth.

mouthfeel is creamy and drinkabiliy is great. good robust stout.

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Photo of stewart124
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a pitch black with a huge tan head. Very fluffy head that leaves a beautiful lace. Aroma is of espresso and roasted malts. Initial tastes of chocolate and coffee with blends of fruits and a nice velvet body that soothes the throat. This is extremely thick and has hints of plums. Outstanding silky feel and an overall great beer. The aftertaste is of an almost wine character. The flavors only become stronger as this brew warms. As the bottle states this is truly a drink for Her Majesty's Forces.

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Photo of HossMcGraw
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

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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

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

Poured into a pint , color is opaque black with thick tawny brown head that dissipated to a thin layer in a few minutes. Taken to the nose, complex odors of sweet dark fruit come first( hint of raisin ,plum, prune) ,dark roasted barley , some coffee , also some alcohol spirits. Great smell . Whoa! This is exellent. Taste is a complex blend of dark fruit ,roasty malt flavors of coffee , a little smokey chocolate , and some nice light hoppy notes in the finish. Very , very good! Mouthfeel is light and slick. This Russian Imperial Stout went down so easy , and a little to fast as im wishing i had some more now. It really is a top notch brew.

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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.

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Photo of Dmann
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A classic Imperial Stout if I have ever had one. This one poured a opaque black color with a small brownish head that soon setlled into a fine pillow of a head on top of my beer. The smell was great with a slight plum scent breeaking through the coffee and chocolate layers. The taste was decidedly Sam Smith with its great light mouthfeel and perfect carbonation levels and the flavors of dark chocolate, carmel and coffee were so perfectly combined that this has to be the most balanced and drinkable Imperial Stout that I have had to date! This one especially hit the spot on this unusually rainy and cold San Diego evening. A top shelf brew for sure, highly recommended!

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Photo of mempath
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

continuing my obsession with Smith offerings since the local Total Wine has such a great selection. and they don't break the bank.

pours not a color, but the total absence of light. black is static. this is shimmering opaqueness that cannot be gotten through by sight. the dark brown head just builds high as the tower of babylon that settles about midway into the 18th century...clings and clings and laces and then settles 10 minutes later into a thick veneer with still massive lacing hanging on. majestic as it's namesake!

yep, sweetness and smoke, dried fruit, mincemeat, rumcake, coffee, sweetened dark chocolate, so rich, double dutch etc. oh and there's the malt. and some raisin bread. give it another whirl and this rich lusciousness comes out. what i imagine the willy wonka factory smells like sitting beside the chocolate river...

this is simply divine stuff. you see the writing on the wall. 1200+ reviews and it's got an overall A-...go figure. all this strength and verve of darkness and chocolate and smoke and toastiness and bravado and still it's smooth as silk. yes, the silk glove/iron fist metaphor means alot here. GREAT cold, but let it warm up a bit and try not to take big gulps every time...it will reveal secrets. best bet, grab the larger pint+ size bottle if you can. usually about $3.79 or so. no catching some slight hop-edged bitterness. nice.

mouthfeel is nearly perfect. carbonation is more in the look of it than in the sip. usually, it carries over to being heavier seeming, but not here. not too thick and certainly not too thin.

it's scary how drinkable this is. i could session this easily. now, i didn't say with ease. i probably wouldn't survive the evening should i attempt it...

so very highly recommended. i recommend just about anything from this brewery. my oh my i am impressed.

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Photo of Trentonator
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am not usually a big fan of stouts (they tend to be bitter or heavy), but after trying this for the first time, I have to say wow! This beer is so incredibly smooth and drinkable, and has a wonderfully soft mouthfeel. There are so many complex flavors and yet this brew is velvety smooth going down. The smell is intoxicating even before your mouth touches that chocolatey dark goodness. I will be keeping a few of these around, this is the best Stout I have ever had.

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Photo of mntlover
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours black no highlights on this baby just black, with a creamy dark tan head which does not last long and leaves spotty lace.
Roasted malt, dark fruits, coffee and chocolate eminate, smells sweet and creamy. Tastes of roasted malt lightly burnt but smooth creamy chocolate moving to a slightly bitter coffee flavor with molasses covered fruit coming up in the mix enhanced by very light hops. A smooth and very drinkable Imperial Stout. This brew is creamy sweet with just the right amount of roasted flavors to make a perfectly balanced taste, perfection. Mouthfeel couldn't get any better. Drinkability is great. This may not be the strongest Imperial Stout but it is still damn near the best one. I use to have these more in the past but on my quest to try new stuff they have fallen to the way side. I say never again.

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Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 1,710 ratings.