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Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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Samuel Smith's Imperial StoutSamuel Smith's Imperial Stout

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1,697 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,697
Hads: 3,463
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 207
Gots: 369 | FT: 2
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:
Beer added by: Todd on 02-27-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,697 | Hads: 3,463
Photo of sierra11b
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Glass

A: Neat looking bottle with a nostalgic label and feel. Pours a nice espresso brown and forms a nice light brown, stiff-peaked head. The head slowly disintegrates into a a thin layer on the surface.

S: Caramelized malt and fruit (tartness).

T: Very similar to what you get from the nose. Wonderful finish of molasses and lingering toasted coffee catch the back of the tongue.

M & D: Nice body, viscosity, and light carbonation to help it go down smooth. Have one with a meal or more than one among friends. Like with their other brews, Samuel Smith is a force to be reckoned with. (610 characters)

Photo of 2KHokie
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle. Pours a dark black with a hint of red. Nice, tall, dark tan head. Big caramel and coffee aromas. Smells sweet. Mild, fine carbonation. Some fig, roasted malt, caramel, a touch of alcohol, and a hint of chocolate on the palate. Nice bitterness and a rich mouthfeel. Finishes very clean. This is a really good stout but not as big as some you might see these days. That being said, I would actually have more than one of these! (433 characters)

Photo of bwhite105
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: pours black, with a hint of dark red. nice head for a bottled stout. It sticks around for a bit, then dissipates. Head is a rich creamy red color.

s: nutty, woody and smokey

t: nicely balanced. tastes faintly of bitter chocolate along with a smokey wood hint. the back has enough bite to let you know you're drinking a beer. slightly alcoholy aftertaste.

M: Relatively high amount of carbonation for a stout. Not particularly thick either.

Overall a very nice beer. I have had it both on tap in London and out of a bottle in the US. Unlike many of its imported stout counterparts, it travels well. (604 characters)

Photo of rivalrome
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured and served in a CCB snifter at 50ºF.

Pours a deep chocolate color with no possibility of seeing through it. Forms a 1-finger light mocha head that has the feel of a frothy cappuccino ontop, lacing is solid.

The smell has hints of fruit, whiskey, chocolate, and espresso. Smells phenomenal.

Wow, this tastes exactly how it smells. Initially hits you with dark malted chocolate, fruits, cream, and the alcohol comes towards the end. Not much of an aftertaste after swallowed.

Mouthful is surprisingly medium-bodied; it had the appearance that it could possibly feel chewier.

All-in-all, a phenomenal Imperial Stout. The ABV could be a tad higher, but it might offset the wondrous taste that this already has. If I was on an empty stomach, I could use these as a viable meal. Amazing! (795 characters)

Photo of mafeeker
3.89/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very nice dark color with a nice thick tan head that stays around for quite a while and leaves a bit of lacing down the glass

A: A bit yeast, burnt or toasty and a little bit malty. A nice fruitness is detected and a little bit of the alcohol as well.

T: Starts off a little sweet, then some of the dried fruit followed by slight roastiness and then a little bitterness after the swallow. Very well balanced on the flavor end, not overly malty and not overly bitter. Very smooth.

D: One of the more drinkable imperial stouts I have had. Could easliy drink a few pints of it. Nice smooth silky mouthfeel, seems thinner than it should be. (650 characters)

Photo of EVLguy
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This may be the perfect Imperial Stout.

Appearance: Black with only slight dark brown edges from light penetration. Pours a thick and very creamy tan head of about three fingers which takes a considerable amount of time to dissolve, leaving a fine lace of foam on top.

Smell: Big rich malty dark chocolate, roasted coffee and toffee. Unfortunately there is a small hint of alcohol under these aromas, big not enough to really harm the smell.

Taste: This is why I think this could be the perfect Imperial Stout. The taste is balanced better than any other imperial I've had the pleasure of drinking. The big dark chocolate and coffee flavors came across first, however enough hops are present to give the taste a little zing, keeping this brew from drinking like molasses. This mixed with the heavy malt of the brew gave me a light taste of oats

Mouthfeel: Very thick of course, almost no acidity and surprisingly only a light amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: For a stout this has a smooth finish that is almost unequaled. Add that to the magnetic flavor and in my opinion you have one of the only imperial stouts you could gulp if wanted. Anyway, I find this one hard to get tired of. (1,203 characters)

Photo of y2j2280
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first review - Hopefully makes sense.

A - Dark and muddy - Almost looks like motor oil. Looks thick.
S - There is a overwelming chocolate aroma. Smells sweet and roasty.
T- Taste very good. Exactly what to expect from a Imperial Stout. Strong hints of chocolate. Got some caramel and cocoa also.
M - Mouthfeel was average. It was heavy which I def. expected but felt it was over carbonated for a IS.
D - Is good. Can maybe have one more. Def. not a session beer.

Overall a great IS.Def up there on my list for this style. Would def. buy again. (550 characters)

Photo of GaetanoBresci
4.94/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely one of the best stout! Poured from the tap has a dark black with two fingers of creamy tan head. Smell oak barrel, dark chocolate, pretty intense. Taste: smooth coffee, creamy, dark fruit.
It s one of the best stout I ever tried, even if I am not a fun of imperial stout. (282 characters)

Photo of gregO59
4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

tried this one on a whim. had old Rasputin ris day before .actually liked this better . licorice taste really hit the spot , quite different from usual stouts. served from bottle to lips quite nicely ,should have bought 2 or 3. definitely will try again (253 characters)

Photo of wguy14
3.76/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass revealing a half finger head which disappeared quickly. The color was dark brown. The smell brought on coffee mostly, and maltiness along with subtle chocolate nodes. The taste was coffee, raisins, and some chocolate. The taste was not overwhelming or overly impressive and left much to be desired. I tasted more malt and less coffee and chocolate than I expected based on the smell. Overall I was a little disappointed with this brew. The oatmeal stout was much more enjoyable in my opinion. (517 characters)

Photo of Pingotas
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The roast tones are prominent and show thru the rich, essentially opaque color. Heads up quickly but settles just as fast (checked at about 57 degrees) Drink this at a distance from meals - each will significantly alter the taste the other. On a clean palate, the flavor is consistent and richly aromatic; the coffee hits you almost immediately, although it bitters up a bit too much for my fancy. Interestingly, I would take their oatmeal stout over this one (again, I'm a sugar hound) but the difference between the two is admittedly meager. I'd love to try it on tap! (570 characters)

Photo of gatorsuf1
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a nice tan head. The lacing is incredible. Smells like dark cocoa and roasted espresso. This tastes amazing. So rich and sweet. Definitely a lactose type taste is coming through, like a milk stout. Still has the coffee and chocolate flavors, and there is also a hint of soy sauce. Carbonation is on the low side. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, yet so smooth. This would be the perfect Imperial Stout if the ABV was a little higher. Another great beer from Sam Smith! (489 characters)

Photo of mikescags
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours dark as night, its almost like tar with a one finger good looking brown head.

The smell is great, roasted barley, choc, some hints of caramel, delicious.

Taste is fantastic. The malts really come through.

Mouthfeel is a little thin from what I remember, but still decent.

I could drink these all day until the abv catches up with me. (354 characters)

Photo of ClimbStuff
4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - dark like fresh brewed coffee, excellent thick, foamy head

Smell - subtle roasted notes, a faint hint of smokiness, very inviting

Taste - bold and rich roasted flavors, then a smooth essence of sweet textures, finally, a pleasant 'hang' ... makes for a very well balanced beer

Mouthfeel - medium body, lightly carbonated, sits on the palate nicely, a hint of roasted flavors and then a soft, smooth lingering presence

Drinkability - love the complexity and balance of flavors and textures, but very filling, not a "session" beer at all (552 characters)

Photo of K7online
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a gem among stouts. From the moment you pour it you will notice the nice thick body and the gracious crown that forms. That crown will hold for a long time.

The aroma is subtle and you immediately detect the coffee that is infused. The coffee taste is of course found at first sip. Notes of vanilla come to mind and molasses. It is light on the palette and does not overwhelm you with its malt flavor.

Overall this beer is offers great enjoyment and is a good accompaniment for food or just watching a game. (523 characters)

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

This was yet another beer recommended to me by a brewer friend of mine that knew I was into English Ales. This was a pretty good beer. Much more flavorful than the Fullers ESB or Belhaven Wee Heavy but just as good but not as smooth. The flavor was more complex than most of the English ales I have had but more malty and less hoppy. The color was dark and rich just as its flavor. I found this beer to be great with a white/milk chocolate and/or cheese- oddly. Good to drink- better with food. (494 characters)

Photo of mapman97
4.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow!! What a great stout. Not for the faint of heart though. Very dark, in fact I thought it was in a dark brown or black bottle until I poured it in a glass and saw the bottle was clear. Sweet with traces of coffee and chocolate with a hint of alcohol but balanced mostly by the malt, tannish white head and very thick. "Brewed especially for Her Majesty's Forces" the label says, maybe they leave it laying around for the unsuspecting enemy to find and then pounce on them as they search for more. (504 characters)

Photo of Dicahomebrewing
3.55/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured very black. Leaving a small head, with bubbles still coming up for air.

A very roasted taste, with chocolate, with a tiggle in the back of the tongue.

Low alc. percentage for a RIS, but well done.

There is somthing that I smell but i can't explane it.

Overall its a good brew, not great for a RIS, but very drinkable. (338 characters)

Photo of Arsenal82
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a mocha head that disspitated rather quickly and a dark brown almost black color. The smell was of mocha latte, chocolate with toffee notes. The alchohol was also present in the smell. The taste was of espresso and of sweet malt followed by a little bitterness. The mouthfeel was smooth with some carbonation and some lacing. Definitly very drinkable and would recommend this RIS to everybody to try. (407 characters)

Photo of SpecsBEERMAN
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Like the Bros say, "All hail to the King". Pours an opaque black color with thin, light brown head that remains through the tasting and leaves nice lacing. The aroma is of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee and alcohol. The taste profile contains much of the same. Less body and a less noticeable alcohol presence than other most RIS. Very approachable, should be the benchmark to which all others are compared. (408 characters)

Photo of mesperon
4.73/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a beautiful deep dark brown with a think, dense tan head that leaves a little bubbly lace. The aroma is full of roasted malt, with just a hint of burnt carbon. Has an edge of caramel, toffee, and a mellow sweet fruit, like red apple or pear.

The mouthfeel is very full, but not syrupy. Carbonation is moderate.

The initial taste is of deep roasted malt, that develops into a coffee and dark bitter chocolate. There's an edge of sweet caramel, and again the mellow, sweet fruit. Not at all overpowering. The finish leaves the bitter, woodsy coffee and chocolate on the palate forever.

This has to be the most balanced stout that I've ever tasted. The bitterness is bold, and enjoyable, and lasts long on the finish, but it does not overpower the palate. It is very easy drinking, almost sessionable. The alcohol is evident and warming, but not prominent. This beer could really sneak up on you and lay you out. (923 characters)

Photo of LaChaBennDotcom
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout is a damn good beer.
Beautiful head, 7.0% ABV, a sweet aroma...
light on the tongue, crisp stout flavor like coffee or chicory.
The first time i tasted this beer i immediately transgressed to a state of bliss
If you have not tried this beer You must.

Cheers (289 characters)

Photo of niday2288
4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Pour is this and black with no light getting through. Head is dark tan and subsides quickly
S-Nose is molasses and sweet, roasted malt with faint hints of bittersweet chocolate
T-dark roasted malt, burnt marshmallow, coffee and caramel.
F-Taste is roasted malt and and slight hop bitterness. Other notes of toast and brown sugar.
O-One of my favorite RIS. Not as complex as the new takes in the style but an old standby that holds its own (443 characters)

Photo of odeed
3.61/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

all the samuel smiths have a bit of the same taste.not saying its a bad thing,they all taste great!
the imperial poured out with little head and i could almost make out some light looking through it.as i said,has the sammy smith taste only with a bit of imperial thrown in for good measure.
very good stout overall. (317 characters)

Photo of jasonguit
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What can I say? This stuff is wonderful.

Poured a deep, deep brown with a quickly dissipating dark brown head.

It had a rich, earthy smell. I'm still new to stouts, so I don't know how to describe it exactly. It was easy to tell this was going to be quite different from Guinness.

The taste is excellent. Very deep and rich. Wonderful malt taste with a good bit of hop bite. If good coffee and ale had a love child, this would be it.

Drinkability - Ha! Well, while writing this review and not paying attention to my sips, I have drank the better part of a 335 ml. It is so drinkable you have to make sure you don't suck it all down in one gulp! (657 characters)

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 1,697 ratings.