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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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3,334 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,334
Reviews: 1,681
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.27%
Wants: 175
Gots: 286 | 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:
Beer added by: Todd on 02-27-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,334 | Reviews: 1,681 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JLeet
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of Sycodrummer
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

[This is my 100th review, a slight milestone in my BA life, so I had to go with my favorite style, and I'm very glad I did]

Poured from the clear 550ml bottle into a snifter the beer was a very dark black that let no light thru. It was topped by a little more than one finger of frothy dark tan head. Big rings of lace clung to the glass throughout the sample.

The smell was dark and roasted. Malt upfront but very well accented with chocolate, black coffee, and cocoa. A slight "bitterness" to the smell, a bit like black liquorice.

The innitial taste was a heavy roasted (almost burnt) maltiness. This gave way to a flurry of black cofee and dark chocolate flavors. Only a slightly bitter kick to the end similair to chicory. Some strong coffee flavors and a slight warming to each sip. Little alcohol in the taste, but the slight alcoholic warming associated with Imperial Stouts. A robust and full flavor that has some hints of darker fruit as well.

Medium to slightly heavy on the palate with a robust body that is sturdy yet maintains a creamy consistancy on the palate. Only slight carbonation.

As far as Imperial Stouts go, this has got to be one of the most drinkable. Every aroma is matched in taste and everything is so well balanced so as to accent everything else. The moderate alcohol content makes it easy to finish and despite its body, still very easy to drink. The perfect end to any meal, and one I will not keep my fridge without.

Photo of tharper178
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of BrewClint
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of markaberrant
3.71/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Incredibly dense and creamy dark tan head. Otherwise completely black. Leaves some big puffs of lace behind.

S - dark fruits, mix of cherry and raisin. There are whisps of something darker lurking, like dense chocolate, but for me it is fruit forward.

T - fruitiness carries all the way through in the taste, nicely blended with some smooth roastiness, long lingering roasted finish.

M - big thick mouthfeel, chewy. Low carbonation. Alcohol feels a tad too warm, but is still enjoyable.

D - While certainly not a bold impy stout, it is refined, and goes down easy.

I can't say I dislike the fruitiness, but it is a little much for my taste. While this is a certainly a fine English example of the style, my personal preference is more towards a cleaner, roastier, and more agressive beer.

Photo of olympicgatorade
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Stumpy29er
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of caverog
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Benvarine
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of BeerBob
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout pours a perfect black from a 12oz clear glass bottle. Head is a pleasing brown with the consistency of yogurt and easily goes to over two fingers while covering the glass sides in a vale of foam as the liquid is consumed.

Nose is the most delightful assortment of dried fruits, and chocolates that I have ever found in a stout of any kind. Fig and sweet prune are in abundance in both the nose and the palate with a nice drying coffee like bitter for the finish.

Contractors to Her Majesty’s Forces can be found on the bottle label along with gold and sliver medals from the 18 and 19 hundreds.

Photo of drumrboy22
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a Corsendonk chalice. Beer was black with a two finger, thick creamy, brown head. Heavy lacing.

Aroma was licorice, coffee, chocolate and roasted grains.

Taste was prunes, dark fruit, chocolate and roasted grains.

Very smooth mouthfeel. Good beer, that goes down easy.

Photo of DrGonzoDDS
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of velosuds
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness dating on bottle or label. Single purchased from John's Market for $2.75.

A-Pours a deep, dark brown almost black hue with a two finger, creamy tan head with good retention and ample lacing.

S-Very fruity, with deep, dark chocolate and toasted malts. Rum and raisins are also prominent.

T-Coffee, chocolate malts, and blackstrap molasses are the most prominent flavors I discern. There is also a pleasant toasted bitterness with a slightly sour twang.

M-Very smooth with medium to full body. Nicely carbonated.

D-Good for a RIS, but not great. I like this and always want more when I finish a single 12 oz. bottle, but it doesn't achieve the rich complexity it aspires to. Not quite on par with other offerings from Samuel Smith.

Photo of jskennedy
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of BWED
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from a 12 oz. bottle

A- Dark dark deep brown, near black, with a beautifully retained one finger brown head. Rings of lacing, and a quick experience of cascade as it pours.

S- Chocolate, and strong espresso bitterness. I sense a slight metallic aroma as well (like most Samuel Smith's.) Iron-rich water?

T- Some chocolate, some coffee, no metallic taste. Slight hop balance. Not as flavorful as I would expect from an imperial, but a well crafted brew.

M- Full-bodied but smooth and clean. A little bit of a dry finish.

O- A quality beer, but I don't think I can consider it "Imperial." A moderate ABV, and a mild flavor base makes it just seem like a stout. If it were any drier, I would even consider it dry irish.

Photo of ThaJokerWild
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I now know why this is the quintessence of Imperial Stouts. It is finely balanced, sweet and bitter all at the same time. A real treat to drink.It poured jet black except the very bottem where there was a thin sliver of scarlet light. There was a thin, tan, rocky head pearched on top and the lace clung to the sides. Upon smelling my nose immediatly picked up huge, roasty malts and extreme smoked bitterness. The Imperial Stout slunk down my throat coating it with an abundance of flavors. The tip of my tongue was tickled by hop bitterness, which rolled into a heavy dose of sweet chocolate malts balanced with caramel. The taste was rounded out at the end with a chalky, dry aftertaste and a warming alcohol feeling in the back of my throat. The mouthfeel was not extremely heavy as I would have expected and had a tiny bubble carbonation, which delighted my tongue. One question though, why the clear bottle?

Photo of jopezu
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of WKyle
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of juju7
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A real pleasure.Pitch black with lots of chocolate and sweet roasted notes. A kind of burt molasses character on the palate with some serious choco malt, really cool. Full bodied with perfectly smooth carbonation. Not as strong or aggressive as some of the modern RIS styles but holds it's own no problem. The Barry White of beers.

Photo of jar2574
2.92/5  rDev -30%
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.

Photo of ralree
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Dark completely opaque brown with a nice tan head. 2-fingers of head easy. Laces nicely.

S: Chocolate and caramel with hints of apples and maybe a little coffee, but not much. Pretty good smelling.

T: Slight alkaline taste initially. Lots of chocolate and roasted malt flavor make this a very good tasting beer. Fruit comes through second. Coffee becomes apparent only in the aftertaste as a nice bitter ending. A definite winner for this style.

M: Medium-bodied, barely astringent, and perfectly carbonated. Pretty dry.

D: A very drinkable brew - especially for the style. This is on my buy list.

Photo of chewy6935
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of MJR
4.97/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm honestly puzzled how some can rate Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout higher than their Imperial Stout.

Pours pitch black with a dark tan head that doesn't want to stick around, but is easily aroused with a simple swirl of the glass.

The smell alone is enough to buckle this beer lovers knees. Roasted malt, raisons, burnt fruit, molasses, alcohol-covered fruit, you name it, it's in here. The flavor is stunningly complex, with more and more flavors showing up as the beer warms up. The mouthfeel is outstanding...nice and creamy, which I think is the main thing lacking from their Oatmeal Stout...it's a bit thin.

One of the great beers of the world.

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 3,334 ratings.