1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

3,258 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,258
Reviews: 1,665
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 154
Gots: 241 | 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)
View: Beers (27) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,258 | Reviews: 1,665 | Display Reviews Only:
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!

Photo of BigBarley
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of wakajawaka76
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of MADPolo
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of beerforpresident
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The appearance of this Imperial was exceptional in my opinion. Not only was it an opaque opal color, but, it also had a nice 2 finger dark tan head that just lingered. It looked so darn good. Even when the head did start to go down it left a curtain of lace that would then form perfect rings around my glass. This was a visual 5, no doubt about it. The smell was excellent as well. A caramel nuttiness, with plenty of roasted malts and coffee notes. To me it's a similar smell to the Taddy Porter. The taste was of burned caramel, roasted espresso beans and roasted sweet malts. It also had the sweetness of burned fruits, raisons, and dates. The mouthfeel, although very good, was a bit thinner than I expected. Again, not bad at all, but from the richness of the rest of the experience I expected a bit more body. Very drinkable, the exceptional taste of this Imperial makes you wish winter would last a bit longer so you could squeeze a few more sessions in around the fire place.

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!

Cheers!

Photo of majorbase2
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very very dark (possibly black) color with a very large, thick, brown head. Not the best retention. Recedes leaving a small amount of lacing around the edges.

Aroma leads with milky chocolate. Very very sweet. A bit of dark fruit, most noticeably raisin. Chocolate really dominates here.

Taste is more of the same, although not necessarily in a bad way. Some notes of biscuity malts, a bit more of the dark fruits, with a hint of black licorice. Sweetness dominates. Once again, raisin is the most noticeable dark fruit. Honestly not as much going on in the taste as I had hoped.

Although I have been disappointed to this point, mouthfeel knocks it out of the park. Medium bodied, perfectly carbonated. Nice and creamy, goes down very smooth. The most easily downable Stout I've ever had.

Overall, I'm honestly a little disappointed in my first entry from Samuel Smith. Although they completely nail the sweet, milky chocolate in the taste, I wasn't moved by any other aspects of the taste. Still a good Stout, but not what I had hoped.

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.

Slàinte!

Photo of fisherbray
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of Dools9
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into nonic pint

A: Jet black, very dark. Thick light brown pillowy head retains forever and leaves excellent lacing.

S: Lots of dark fruits, I get something that reminds me of figs and raisins. Theres light hints of chocolate. Decent amout roasted malts, light toffee and light coffee notes come through. Mostly dominated by dark fruit and sweet mollases.

T: Rich roasty malts, sweet mollases, light dark chocolate and hints of smoke. Bitterness is there but not overpowering. Definitely getting alot of dark fruit, plums and raisins mostly. Different but I like it.

M: Lighter bodied for a RIS. Its very smooth and theres no alcohol detected.

O: Very nice, different than previous RIS's that I've had but very easy drinking. Can see why this is so highly rated. Maybe not my favorite imperial stout, but well crafted.

Photo of parintele
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Duffman79
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of caahare
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of palliko
4.78/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is absolute black, with a massive head of coffee colored foam that clings to the glass forever. Aroma has a smorgasbord of fruits, lactose, molasses, chocolate, black coffee and ethanol. Initial taste is incredibly complex! There is so much going on! It tastes like the best Starbucks macchiato with caramel; plus citrus/floral hops, smoke, chocolate, dried fruit, and Lord knows what else! I think I will just savor the experience.

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first Imperial, and I can't help but be excited.

It poured with a thin, espresso-brown head and a very, very dark body, as close to black as anything I've seen. The aroma hints at alcohol-soaked dark fruits.

Upon first taste, it's apparent that this is an exceptional beer. It has a great complexity of flavor, with rich chocolate tones, rum-soaked raisins, espresso notes, and a strong caramel flavor that really shows itself as the brew warms. The high(er) ABV hides nicely amongst the multitude of flavors, though at only 7%, there isn't that much to hide.

Beautiful. Awesome. Wow. If all Imperials are this good, I'm hooked for life.

Spoils of the 10/11/03 Knoxville Raid.

Photo of olbubba
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Lewdd
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of yankeeheel
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured black from a 12 oz bottle. 2 finger tan head that has a lot of pop and fizz to it. Solid lacing.

Smells very sweet and fruity. Lots of fig, raisin, and molasses. Very creamy and malty tasting. You get the big dark malt without it being dry, harsh, or burnt. Goes down very smooth for a big beer. I get some chocolate and coffee in there too. Mouthfeel is very soild.

Incredibly drinkable beer for an Imperial Stout. Not just for manly men. A great choice for review #50.

Photo of pastramionrye7
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of angelmonster
3.48/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a giant 2 inch mocha head, pitch black in color with good carbonation and head retention

Smells of faint chocolate malts with a bit of hops and alcohol. Would have liked a more powerful smell.

Tastes of burnt malts with some coffee like taste. Somewhat low hops for an Imperial stout but the hops are still present. Very faint alcohol taste with a weird copper like after taste. Some dried fruit , maybe prunes is also tasted

Carbonation is too much. My mouth is almost numb from it. Slight creamy going down but not too heavy. Too bad the carbonation kind of screws up the mouth feel

Good quality beer. Carbonation held it back from being a great beer. Not too bitter, not too heavy, great price. More drinkable than alot of RIS. Would buy again

Photo of Eman17
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of jopezu
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of jhhollier
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of crownrl28
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,258 ratings.