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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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3,151 Ratings

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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 zachattack555
4/5  rDev -4.1%

zachattack555, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of Brunite
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance; Pours a slightly thin, black, 1-finger tan head that settles slowly.

Aroma: Roasted malt, licorice, some alcohol, a hint of chocolate.

Taste: Bittersweet...some alcohol....roasted charactyer

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a dry finish.

Overall: Solid but there are others I would choose for regular drinking.

Brunite, Jan 31, 2012
Photo of ejw127
4/5  rDev -4.1%

ejw127, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of Realale
3.2/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear black with a significant ruby component. Nice very fine mocha head.

Nose is initially sour cherry with a touch of chocolate. The fruitiness comes more into balance with time and a medicinal aspect appears. Rather distinctive nose.

On the thin side of medium in the mouth. A little light on malt, and comes off a touch sweet. Really could use more bitterness to balance. Average length.

Mouthfeel is fine. Quite drinkable for an Imperial, but not terribly interesting.

Tasted blind at the 12/14/03 St. Louis BA tasting. This was perhaps the most conspicuous victim of the blind tasting format. This bottle certainly did not live up to the lofty reputation of the beer, yet nothing indicated a bad or mistreated bottle to me.

Realale, Dec 16, 2003
Photo of Absolut
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Absolut, May 23, 2013
Photo of StoicBeast
4/5  rDev -4.1%

StoicBeast, Jun 10, 2012
Photo of Mikus
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

This was very good. Some interesting toffee notes, etc on the nose, however the deep, full flavors and dark roasty nightmares I expect in an RIS were a bit lacking. That said, this is a really nice beer, and I would definitely drink again (esp. if I were out of my homebrewed RIS!).

Mikus, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of jdkitchi
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

jdkitchi, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of abcsofbeer
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the traditional clear bottle from SS. The color is a darkest brown with no transparency. The head is bubbly and light brown in color; about a 1/2 inch high. The head dissipates to a thin crown and leaves no lace.

The aroma is very special with this beer, and, it hits you as soon as you pop the top. The smell is medium to full bodied malt with sweet caramel aroma too. There are some strong hints of alcohol in the aroma too. The taste is full bodied burnt malts and bitter chocolate. At the top of the glass, the alcohol is strong. There are small hints of nuts and very slight hoppiness that brings the bitterness together.

The alcohol seems to die down a bit as the beer warms. Overall, this is a superior stout.

abcsofbeer, Dec 31, 2005
Photo of hoegaardenhero
4.29/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

550ml bottle poured into snifter

a: deep black body that is completely solid with a tan/brown head that fades to eventually leave a centimeter of tan head that stays the duration

s: what hits my nose first is a sweet spicy coffee fragrance; hints of alcohol; some dark chocolate and darker fruits

t: strongest is the roast coffee malts; a hint of yeasty bitterness as well; floral hops; prunes and apples; strong sweet chocolate at finish; seriously complex flavor

m: thick w/ light carb; could maybe be just a teeny bit creamier

d: this is a great beer but it is not to be taken lightly; it is like a full meal both in terms of how much it fills you up and the complexity and strength of flavor; i have had this beer on numerous occasions and have never been able to finish the 550ml because i feel so stuffed after about 400ml
it is hard to believe it, but it has been approximately 6 years since I reviewed this beer and it has been aging in my cellar. Time for a review of Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout after 6 years:

a: the beer still pours a thick opaque black although it has some sort of burgundy highlights near the bottom of the glass that I don't remember from before. Same beautiful tan head that fades leaving a thin coating on the top of the glass that lasts for the whole experience. very light carbonation is visible in the black depths.

s: really fragrant; port and alcohol are the predominant aromas; dark prunes and raisins are present as well; chocolate;

t: chocolate and raisins are the predominant tastes; the raisiny sweetness lingers while some more roasted/burnt flavors come into the sip; overall, very sweet and smooth with a good blend; a lot sweeter than i remember, but very, very well balanced

m: incredibly smooth with very, very mild carbonation; creamy and silky; this may be the area that has improved the most.

d: in my opinion, this beer has improved and mellowed with age and as it last lost some of those burnt notes, it has gained some great fruity notes and really found a warm spicy balance.

hoegaardenhero, May 16, 2014
Photo of robieobie1
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

robieobie1, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Here is one good solid stout. Any stout lover will love this one. The maltiness and hopps are blended to perfection to offer a stout with a crisp clean finish. A little light on the nose but exceptional in quality. This is a highly quaffable stout and can go down so fasts you will be left wanting - more that is. Exceptional if you can find it on tap as well.

AtrumAnimus, Dec 31, 2002
Photo of Leschber
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Leschber, Mar 20, 2012
Photo of Dmann
4.88/5  rDev +17%
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!

Dmann, Oct 21, 2004
Photo of BigBarley
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

BigBarley, Oct 22, 2012
Photo of wakajawaka76
4/5  rDev -4.1%

wakajawaka76, May 30, 2012
Photo of MADPolo
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

MADPolo, Aug 13, 2013
Photo of jkd03c
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

jkd03c, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of mcrawford
4/5  rDev -4.1%

mcrawford, Mar 30, 2014
Photo of Beric
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Beric, Jun 01, 2013
Photo of d_brommer_nh
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

d_brommer_nh, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of SteveO1231
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aw man This is an awesome beer!

Pours a jet black with an awesome thick foam of tan head on top. Low carbonation.

Huge roasted malt aroma with some delicious smells of dark chocolate, butterscotch, and caramel. Makes my mouth water.

Rich creamy texture, delicious roasted chocolate taste, so damn good! Followed my a dry bitterness of black coffee, burnt caramel/toffee. Nice little kick of alcohol esters in the finish, not too much, but just right.

Most perfect Imperial stout I have ever tasted, so balanced and drinkable. Why did I wait so long to drink you? I enjoyed this beer with some X-mas chocolates, Awesome!


SteveO1231, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of TonyJ815
3.25/5  rDev -22.1%

TonyJ815, Jan 30, 2014
Photo of Gaisgeil
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The definitive Russian Imperial Stout, it all really begins and ends here. Ina market saturated with the 'more - more - more' mentality this brew quietly maintains itselfs steadfastly as the measuring stick by which lesser versions are tried, judged and found to be wanting.

Pours a not quite opaque black in color with just a little bit of color sneaking in around the corners with a airy tan head with good retention. Nose is very nice, incredibly well balanced between a certain dark fruit character with a dry cocoa undercurrent. Taste is impeccable, so well balanced and smooth, many layers going on here. So well crafted that it's easily drinkable and approachable, but still so big and robust without going over the top. Mouthfeel is medium as the style goes, but so well evened out that it's hardly a problem. So very drinkable.


Gaisgeil, Jan 02, 2006
Photo of lehueve
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

lehueve, Nov 04, 2013
Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,151 ratings.