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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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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,151 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,151
Reviews: 1,652
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 147
Gots: 202 | 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: 3,151 | Reviews: 1,652 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of champ103
2.6/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Dark brown/black with a big tan head that leaves a littles lace (not as much as I was expecting). Very good overall.
S: Bread malt smell, burnt coffee, soy sauce, and a little vanilla. Lots of alcohol from the start. Overall, I am not very impressed.
T: Burnt malt and sweet molasses with soy sauce and lots of alcohol again.
D: Not very good. Watered down, very bitter and hard to drink.

I don't like the soy sauce flavor, and the alcohol makes this hard to drink and enjoy. I just finished an Old Rasputin, which is a great RIS. This is not.

champ103, Oct 30, 2007
Photo of samie85
2.63/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a pitch black with three fingers of dense, mocha-colored head.

S-Very deep caramel with some sweet roasted smells, like that of coffee.

T-A bit of roasted malts with some caramel and a mild bitterness.

M-Very, very watery... reminds of me of weak, watery coffee. A little bit of carbonation.

D-This beer isn't disgusting by any means, but it's far below my expectation of what an RIS is. The mouthfeel is especially disappointing.

samie85, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of boulevard2
2.63/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle

Pours thick and black with a thick head coffee like.

Scent of chocolate and yeast.

This is a typical english stout with a type of yeast I can't stand. I wouldn't reccomend this compared to the other wonderful stouts out there. Maybe on tap this is better or maybe the bottle I bought was old not sure but very dissapointed.

boulevard2, Apr 07, 2006
Photo of EPseja
2.65/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from a 12oz (clear!) bottle in a Samuel Smith imperial pint glass at just below cellar temperature.

A - Pours a medium chestnut brown color with raspberry highlights that disappear once the brew hits the glass. The head is creamy and big, with a medium bodied cocoa color and excellent staying power. Lacing is decent, with spotty hanging crags, but doesn't hang around long.

S - Dry chocolatey winelike notes. Tasted vanilla. Unscented candle wax. Light molasses and soy sauce.

T - Almost burnt maltiness and a sweet molasses and coffee start. The middle brings about a touch of fragrant hoppiness and a nasty flick of shopping bag plastic. The end is drying and nicely bittered, but the plastic notes really disappoint.

M - A bit watery and bright for the style, although it does round out after some frothing in the mouth. Swallow is average.

D - As I near the 1/3 point of this beer, I can't seem to get away from the plastic and soy qualities. It's not that they're monstrous, it's just that they distract from all the good points about the beer. If not for this point, the drinkability would be much greater, especially in light of the easy-to-handle 7% ABV. I've had many simply amazing Russian Imperial Stouts, and this isn't one of them.

EPseja, Nov 28, 2006
Photo of fscottkey
2.68/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Jet black with 1 finger head that quickly disapates.

S: Dark fruit and licorice

T: Malts, raisins and dark fruits. Sweet finish with no bitter taste at all.

M: Not as sily or smooth as I would expect.

O: Nose is weak for an Imerial Stout. The mouthfeel is watery for an I.S. I prefer a coffee or chocolate forward I.S.

fscottkey, Jul 14, 2014
Photo of IntriqKen
2.7/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured deep amber brown with gorgeous cream colored head that stayed with the brew throughout the glass.
Scents of coffee, bitter chocolate, roasted malts.
Taste was slightly disappointing...more aroma than flavor. Lightly toasted malt flavor and rich mouthfeel of coffee/chocolate.
Aftertaste was .... indescribable....not pleasant...slightly kerosene that stayed a long time.
Maybe an older bottle, but I don't think so. I just think I don't care for the aftertaste and prefer a more complex flavor to my stouts.

IntriqKen, Mar 10, 2006
Photo of KI9A
2.7/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I know I am all over on the ratings, but, I was not impressed with this on a few levels.

A: Dark body, wonderful puffy head.

S: Like sour candy. Yech..

T: Sweet and sour sauce from a Chinese resturant was my 1st impresssion. Followed up with toasted malts.

M: Decent, bitterness. Not too bad once it hit the back of the mouth.

D: Ehh.

KI9A, Dec 12, 2008
Photo of Jimmys
2.7/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: opaque black. big fluffy rich brown head. as it dies down the retention and body look like a freshly poured cup of espresso.

S: vinous fruit is pretty prominent. a little grassy maybe? a soft chocolate/roast. slight burnt graininess.

T: tobacco. cocoa. dark fruit is actually a noticeable alcohol (surprising to me at such a low ABV (for a RIS)). pretty dry finish.

M: some big time carbonation on a medium/full body.

D: i was expecting a little more from this beer being on the 'beers of fame' list. i guess a 7%'er should be this light, but as far as RIS's are concerned there are a lot ahead of this one on my list.

Jimmys, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of mactrail
2.71/5  rDev -35%
look: 4 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

The smell is really peculiar. I finally realized, since we had been painting, it smells exactly like house paint. It's that damp, fumey smell of water-based paint that's different from other solvents.

The appearance is quite attractive, with a dark amber brown color and ample off-white head, and loads of lacing in the small globe glass. The flavor continues on the strange trip. It makes me think of prune juice, with the same sweet and tart flavors. Not that sweet, but dark and fruity. I can't get that smell out of my mind, it's back with every sip. I taste pomegranate, bubble gum, and some charred grain.

On the positive side, it's quite a creamy carbonation with a substantial mouthfeel. From the 500 ml bottle bought at a random liquor store.

mactrail, May 05, 2013
Photo of eporter66
2.73/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

550ml Bottle into a pint glass. This is my first time drinking a higher ABV, so maybe this is another thing where taste develops over time. To me this was too boozy

A - Pours a dark black with a brownish tinged foam. 1 1/2 fingered head which dissapates to a covered top and some mild lacing around the glass

S - Wow - I was immediately hit by the alcohol smell. I let the beer warm, and it certainly took on a rich chocolate scent, but the alcohol is right up front.

T - A rich chocolate/cocoa flavor is right upfront and the boozy taste is never too far behind. The roasted malt sits in the back and the alcohol certainly warms the throat and chest as it goes down. Again - the alcohol was too dominant for my taste, but the beer is a higher ABV, so it should be expected

M - Rich medium bodied beer.

D - I honestly cant say I would have more than one, and I would not buy this again. The alcohol flavor was just to upfront, and as strong as the chocolate was, it was not enough. I guess I must like the 5-6 ABV range, this just took something away from the beer for me. I did let it warm for a time before opening.

eporter66, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of clvand0
2.73/5  rDev -34.5%
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.

clvand0, May 02, 2003
Photo of Photekut
2.75/5  rDev -34.1%

Photekut, May 18, 2013
Photo of Keananmichael5
2.75/5  rDev -34.1%

Keananmichael5, Mar 17, 2014
Photo of Softestdog
2.75/5  rDev -34.1%

Softestdog, Sep 02, 2012
Photo of Kahlerbock
2.75/5  rDev -34.1%

Kahlerbock, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of ncstateplaya
2.75/5  rDev -34.1%

ncstateplaya, Jan 13, 2014
Photo of Jim_DemonDeacon
2.75/5  rDev -34.1%

Jim_DemonDeacon, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of phishbone23
2.75/5  rDev -34.1%

phishbone23, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of Hefeweizie
2.75/5  rDev -34.1%

Hefeweizie, Dec 11, 2013
Photo of scarnold8
2.75/5  rDev -34.1%

scarnold8, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of robertjskelton
2.75/5  rDev -34.1%

robertjskelton, Jul 23, 2014
Photo of winomark
2.78/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Jet black with a substantial foamy brown head.

Aroma: Smells like chocolate licorice. Slightly sweet with toasty and yeasty notes.

Taste: Quite bitter and sour up-front, with a medicinal finish. Some chocolate tones.

Mouthfeel: Dry, but coating. Again, bitterness and sourness dominate.

Drinkability: Not a favorite of mine. Don't like the sourness of this stout.

Tasted blind at the Saint Louis BA tasting 12/14/03

winomark, Jan 24, 2004
Photo of TheViolator666
2.78/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I just don't understand.
Why does everyone go berserk over this brewery? Over the past two nights I've had 3 beers from "good ol'" Sam Smith that have done nothing but disappoint. This being the second stout I've had (first was the highly revered Oatmeal Stout) has followed in this trend. I went into this really wanting to like it... truly hoping that this brewery would offer something that I would like, but no.

That being said, I would buy a keg of this before I thought about taking another sip of Guinness.

550 ml bottle poured into Great Lakes stout glass.

A: Appearance is average. Dark brown/black with a thin brown cap. No lacing is visible.

S: The smell turned me off immediately. It smells like smoked over-salted beef jerky. Reminded me instantly of Guinness... must be something about the United Kingdom, but I really haven't had a stout from across the Atlantic that I've enjoyed in the slightest.

T: At least the taste is an improvement on the smell (or stench). Pretty bitter, surprisingly. A dash of dark fruit sweetness. The hint of coffee flavor saves this one. Hides the 7.00% ABV well. Gets better as it approaches room temperature, as with any stout.

M/D: Why must the UK make thin/bland beers? Too thin for my taste at least, but I guess that's why it goes down so smooth.

I'm no patriot, but fuck bless the USA for making such awesome Imperial Stouts.

TheViolator666, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of warmstorage
2.8/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce clear glass bottle, gold foil topped, states 7.0% ABV.

Pours an opaque black with a small amount of medium brown head which dissipates rapidly, leaving little to no lacing.

Aroma is sweet prunes, plums, and indicates higher alcohol that the bottles indicates.

Taste is some sweet fruit, perhaps prunes, a slight bit of chocolate, some roastiness. Definitely thin for the style. A distinct metallic taste from the medium taste all the way through the finish and aftertaste really detracts from everything else; this is something I've noticed in Samuel Smith's oatmeal stout as well.

Mouth is relatively tingly with carbonation, lingers, light to medium physical body.

As disappointing as all the times I've had this beer before. It's just a weak example of the style, notwithstanding Samuel Smith's historical pedigree. I might give it a try again in a year or two, but certainly won't go out of my way to seek it out.

warmstorage, Jan 19, 2007
Photo of RedwoodGeorge
2.8/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I'm a big Samuel Smith fan so I'm rather surprised at how disappointed I am in this stout...

The pour is promising enough - dark, dark amber with a thin tan head. I wouldn't expect much carbonation with this style and wasn't surprised when the head died down quickly leaving very little lacing along the glass.

The smell is promising enough - plenty of notes of caramel, coffee and a roasted aroma that you'd expect.

The taste was rather one-dimensional. While there were hints of roasted grain in there, this was primarily a treacle and prune drink (which isn't really a good thing) The brew was just shy of being overpoweringly sweet with an overbearing molasses taste accompanied by an equally strong flavor of plums, prunes and raisins. There was very little hops to compliment the thick, sweet flavors leading to a very unbalanced brew.

Mouthfeel was the highlight of the beer - it was almost velvety smooth. Carbonation was low as per the style but if they'd added a few more hops to dry out the palate it would have been near perfect. There was an oily residue left on the tongue but that's to be expected of a heavy stout.

I'm not sure I've rated a beer a 2.0 before but "not impressed" is exactly how I'd describe my experience. I'm a big fan of Samuel Smith's brewery and adore their oatmeal stout so I'm very surprised at how unexciting this brew is. It's heavy bodied and high in alcohol but I was hoping for something more...

RedwoodGeorge, Jul 01, 2005
Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,151 ratings.