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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.

3,168 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,168
Reviews: 1,653
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 145
Gots: 207 | 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: 3,168 | Reviews: 1,653 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cbutova
2.85/5  rDev -31.7%
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.

cbutova, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of jar2574
2.85/5  rDev -31.7%
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.

jar2574, Jun 03, 2007
Photo of adamette
2.85/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Live review. Poured from the 550 ml dark brown bottle with gold foil over the cap. Poured into my Samuel Smith pint glass. Mark on neck of bottle: SD02H1 but I am not sure what that means.

A 4 inch generous medium brown head over a mostly very dark body that shows a bit of dark mahogany light in front of a light bulb. Classic look. 4.5

S Dark roast malt and an unexpected dark fruit smell of dates or raisins. At first I thought this was a sense of alcohol but repeated smells revealed the dark fruit smell. At a minimum the smell is interesting. 4.0

T Well, the taste is directly related to the smell. Dark roast malt, dark fruits carry right into the taste from the smell but added is the wet texture and a rather unwelcome and badly disguised taste of alcohol. 2.5

M More thin than I would have liked. I am spoiled by so many American Craft RIS's and their big, luxurious mouthfeel. 2.0

D Not that good. I finished one pint and it took me a while to conclude what I would do with the remaining until I finally poured it out. 2.5

Notes: Samuel Smith, brewer of some of the most classic beers (Oatmeal Stout, Nut Brown Ale) disappointed me with this one. As suggested, my palate is spoiled by other, much more engaging American craft RIS's.

adamette, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
2.88/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours black with burgundy highlights with a creamy dark tan head that dissipates quickly.

Smells like sour caramel and smoke.

Tastes like tangy coffee and cough syrup. Finishes with a medicinal sourness. When it warms a bit (as it took so long to stomach it) some hazelnut flavors introduce themselves.

Mouth feel is creamy with small carbonation.

Yuck. I tried drinking this slowly to pick out all of the flavors. I tried gulping it and also I tried letting my mind wander so I could surprise myself with a sip. Either way, this was just not an enjoyable beer. I’ve found a lot of British stouts to be a bit sour, but this is down right un-pleasant. This tastes more like a porter or brown ale, so based off of rating by style, this beer misses the mark.

DarkerTheBetter, Nov 26, 2005
Photo of GoodKnight1220
2.88/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle to a glass.

Very, very dark in color looks black, little to no head.

Smells of heavy alcohol and dark chocolate, smells much like a wine.

Alcohol taste right up front, ending with a very bitter chocolate.

This has a greasy & syrupy mouthfeel.

I could drink one of these in a sitting, and you need to drink this on a cold day.

GoodKnight1220, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of freditoj
2.9/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Very dark color, like a 2 inch head.

Smell - Malty.

Taste - Like soy sauce. I don't know if my beer was bad. When it was served the owner of the store told me it was frozen and gave it to me for free. I understand the beer was damaged.

Mouthfeel - The taste is heavy and strong.

Overall - Don't know what all the fuss is about.

freditoj, Sep 01, 2012
Photo of 1Adam12
2.95/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured this into a beer mug. Very dark with a decent sized carmel colored head on it. Smelled notes of chocolate and maybe just a little bit of coffee. Taste was very light compared to many of the other Imperial Stouts I've tried. Tastes of chocolate and malt, but kind of watery to me, however did have a very nice lingering coffee aftertaste. Ahhhh there's the coffee! At 3.99, this is something I would drink if I wanted an Imperial Stout, but didn't have the money to get anything else

1Adam12, May 14, 2011
Photo of tweeder263
2.95/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a nice dark beer with tan head,very nice.Aroma of licorice slight alcohol smell not bad.Taste up front is nice ,balanced ,but the lingering bitter afterwards sucks. I had high hopes for this beer and other sam smith beers but now im not quite sure.Nice slick mouthfeel though the taste killed the drinkability of this beer.

tweeder263, Dec 25, 2004
Photo of Bruiser81
2.95/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep brown if not black with a two finger tan head that didn't stick around long. The nose was dominated by fruit, alcohol, and a little maltiness The taste was extremely sweet, almost like a sour sweet. It also had sort of an astringent taste but it wasn't good. The mouthfeel was medium, but I didn't like how it sat on the palate. I'm not sure what the word is maybe tannic? I was disappointed with this brew especially after all the good reviews. Maybe it was skunked. I've never had a skunked beer.

Bruiser81, Feb 13, 2003
Photo of semibaked
2.98/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours super black with about 2 inches of brown head.

S - First thing I smell is red wine (kinda weird) but also has roasty malts and some syrupy sweetness too.

T - Wow a lot acidic and sharper than I thought it would be, really boozy up front, some hops with some malts and raisin sweetness. Really disappointed in the taste I was expecting a traditional Imperial Stout and I didn't get it.

M - Really smooth and creamy, very nice, too bad the beer doesn't taste better.

D - I am pretty bummed by this, I usually really like Samuel Smith's beer but this is bad stuff. Definitely will not be drinking or buying this again.

semibaked, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.98/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Relatively clear super dark brown. Almost black. Pours with a higher than expected carbonation. Head is tan, wispy, and bubbly after a few seconds. Drops to a tiny cap with some points of lacing. Looks a but thin overall.

Smell: Sweet, chewy, burnt chocolate, but more sweet than burnt. Loaded with dark fruit. Plums, ripe cherry, even fig. Super fruity. Lingering alcohol on the back. Hints of vanilla and something that reminds me of oak, but it can't be. Mild earthiness buried in the back. Chocolate malts. Loads of roasted barley. Vague sense of minerals from the water. Soy sauce.

Taste: Roasted. Sharp snap of cocoa and burnt malt. Some minor sweetness. Roasted barley. Chocolate edge is so bitter it's almost acrid. Mineral. Rocks and some sense of earthy hops. Some dark fruit (mostly cherry) mixed with soy sauce and some caramelized sugars. Vaguely nutty. Burnt and sweet as it warms. So much barley.

Mouthfeel: Significantly thinner than I would expect. Carbonation is high and contributes to a body that runs on the light side of medium. Lingering dryness.

Overall: Are we sure this is imperial?

Trying not to compare this to the absurd American Imperial Stout/American RIS is hard. This drinks thinner than most standard American stouts and the British water and yeast are distracting.

Goblinmunkey7, Oct 27, 2012
Photo of mctizzz
3/5  rDev -28.1%

mctizzz, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of richbrew
3/5  rDev -28.1%

richbrew, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of martianMan
3/5  rDev -28.1%

too sour for me

martianMan, Oct 19, 2014
Photo of DrMindbender
3/5  rDev -28.1%

DrMindbender, Jul 17, 2014
Photo of thebeeler
3/5  rDev -28.1%

thebeeler, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -28.1%

smartassboiler, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of YourOnlyMan
3/5  rDev -28.1%

YourOnlyMan, Nov 23, 2012
Photo of krl2112
3/5  rDev -28.1%

krl2112, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of anwo56
3/5  rDev -28.1%

anwo56, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of chrispoint
3/5  rDev -28.1%

chrispoint, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of jeff1973
3/5  rDev -28.1%

jeff1973, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of Felicia
3/5  rDev -28.1%

Felicia, Aug 20, 2013
Photo of aanth
3/5  rDev -28.1%

aanth, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of lic217
3/5  rDev -28.1%

lic217, Feb 03, 2013
Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,168 ratings.