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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,998 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,998
Reviews: 1,638
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.24%
Wants: 126
Gots: 153 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,998 | Reviews: 1,638 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of samie85
samie85

Illinois

2.63/5  rDev -37.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2011 21:27:39 | More by samie85
Photo of boulevard2
boulevard2

New York

2.63/5  rDev -37.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2006 14:19:48 | More by boulevard2
Photo of EPseja
EPseja

New Jersey

2.65/5  rDev -36.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2006 01:13:57 | More by EPseja
Photo of fscottkey
fscottkey

New York

2.68/5  rDev -35.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2014 02:23:33 | More by fscottkey
Photo of IntriqKen
IntriqKen

California

2.7/5  rDev -35.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2006 04:49:44 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of KI9A
KI9A

Illinois

2.7/5  rDev -35.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2008 02:04:36 | More by KI9A
Photo of Jimmys
Jimmys

Pennsylvania

2.7/5  rDev -35.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 02:08:11 | More by Jimmys
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

2.71/5  rDev -35.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2013 04:50:58 | More by mactrail
Photo of eporter66
eporter66

New York

2.73/5  rDev -34.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2008 20:34:34 | More by eporter66
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

2.73/5  rDev -34.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2003 20:29:21 | More by clvand0
Photo of Photekut
Photekut

Tennessee

2.75/5  rDev -34.2%

05-18-2013 22:21:19 | More by Photekut
Photo of Keananmichael5
Keananmichael5

California

2.75/5  rDev -34.2%

03-17-2014 18:02:37 | More by Keananmichael5
Photo of Softestdog
Softestdog

Florida

2.75/5  rDev -34.2%

09-01-2012 23:33:48 | More by Softestdog
Photo of Kahlerbock
Kahlerbock

Kansas

2.75/5  rDev -34.2%

03-12-2012 05:12:28 | More by Kahlerbock
Photo of Jim_DemonDeacon
Jim_DemonDeacon


2.75/5  rDev -34.2%

03-10-2012 20:36:48 | More by Jim_DemonDeacon
Photo of phishbone23
phishbone23

New York

2.75/5  rDev -34.2%

01-23-2013 13:57:21 | More by phishbone23
Photo of Hefeweizie
Hefeweizie

New Hampshire

2.75/5  rDev -34.2%

12-11-2013 04:19:31 | More by Hefeweizie
Photo of scarnold8
scarnold8

Indiana

2.75/5  rDev -34.2%

01-13-2013 19:19:20 | More by scarnold8
Photo of robertjskelton
robertjskelton

Alabama

2.75/5  rDev -34.2%

07-23-2014 17:39:21 | More by robertjskelton
Photo of winomark
winomark

Missouri

2.78/5  rDev -33.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2004 06:22:56 | More by winomark
Photo of TheViolator666
TheViolator666

Ohio

2.78/5  rDev -33.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2009 02:16:18 | More by TheViolator666
Photo of warmstorage
warmstorage

California

2.8/5  rDev -33%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2007 01:31:15 | More by warmstorage
Photo of RedwoodGeorge
RedwoodGeorge

California

2.8/5  rDev -33%
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...

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2005 03:24:47 | More by RedwoodGeorge
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

2.85/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours pitch black with a huge tan three finger head that retains better than almost any beer I have seen, nice and creamy as well. No lacing at all but it might be my glass. Smells of roasted malts and a metallic scent, not liking this metal thing at all. Also some dark sweet fruits in the nose. The taste is out of whack to me. It has nice roasted malts but also has a huge metallic taste, more than any beer I can think of. It kind of throws the balance off and ruins it. After reading other reviews I definitely get soy sauce, yuck. The extremely sweet fruity taste in this beer also does not belong in an imperial stout. Some hops compliment the finish but the sweetness of this beer is way too overwhelming. Also some cocoa behind the metallic sweetness. Mouthfeel is pretty good. Nice and creamy with good carbonation and a coat of that sweetness. No warming really at all. The drinkability here is not good, the sweet/metallic taste is hardly tolerable. The roasted malts save it but I can hardly finish the bottle. The price was very good but I will only try this one again if I really, really don't trust this bottle. The worst part is the appearance was so good I thought I was in for a super cheap Imperial treat.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2009 04:20:14 | More by cbutova
Photo of jar2574
jar2574

Missouri

2.85/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thought this came in a dark bottle, but after pouring the beer I see that it's clear. That's how dark black this beer is. Very thick caramel colored head. Black beer. No light gets through at all.

Smells of chocolate, licorice, and coffee. Enjoyable.

Unfortunately, the taste reminds me of day-old coffee reheated in the microwave. That said, there is complexity here that others might find intriguing. I just can't stand the taste enough to want to try it again. Tastes like licorice, roasted grain and burnt coffee. Not much hops. Too much roasted flavor and too acidic. A little watery and comes across as a little flat.

As much as I have loved other Samuel Smith beers and want to like this one, I doubt I give it another shot.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2007 01:15:28 | More by jar2574
Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 2,998 ratings.