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Samuel Adams Imperial Stout - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Imperial StoutSamuel Adams Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,444 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,444
Reviews: 796
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 13.95%
Wants: 50
Gots: 69 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Imperial in stature and bigger than your average stout. This colossal stout was inspired by those created by 18th century English brewers for the Russian Imperial Court of Catherine II. The special malts in this intense and massive brew delivers rich flavors of dark chocolate, coffee, and anise.

(Beer added by: Duhast500 on 01-18-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,444 | Reviews: 796 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by RidiculedDisplay:
Photo of RidiculedDisplay
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have been curious to try this for some time. This and maybe the Imperial Wheat were the only things within the Imperial Series that had much pull for me. Here we go:

Appearance: As to be expected, Sam Adams has incredibly tight quality control, and as such I expect them to pay attention to something other brewers may put on the backburner in order to concentrate on aroma or flavor: the appearance. I wasn't disappointed, in that regard. Poured with a really large, two finger coffee color/caramel color head, which settled only after about 3 to 5 minutes (quite a while, really) to a half-finger. Still pretty robust looking head, though, at a half-finger. Body is complete night black, totally opaque, and what you'd hope for in an RIS. Lacing is exceptional - lasts until you take a sip or swirl again, patterns all over the place, mountainous, arms, and spots. A+ job on the appearance.

Smell: On the front end is some hints of nutmeg, very weak coffee, bittersweet chocolate, black licorice, and mild butterscotch or caramel. After that, the alcohol hits, which, as others have noted, is a downer, since this, while 9.2% is by no means a low ABV, IS, after all, an RIS. RIS's with 12% ABV's I've tried don't have quite as much of a ethanol kick as this one does in the nose. Back end is grain and yeast.

Taste: Metallic quality that others have mentioned is definitely there, right away, intermixing in and out with the bittersweet chocolate and mild coffee flavors. Not too much roastiness, and some caramel follow. Upon swallowing, the coffee flavor peaks through more than in either the beginning of the taste or in the nose, which was encouraging, and saved me from demoting this to a 3.0 for the metallic flavor and the very much still-perceptible alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Adequately carbonated, and even though you can taste and smell the alcohol, it isn't "hot," really, at all.

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable for an RIS, but really only something I'd buy if I had no other RIS options, which, given Boston Brewing's distrib., might end up being the case at some point - if they keep brewing this.

RidiculedDisplay, Jun 10, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

9.2% ABV. per label.Good to see SA branch out and make a foray into this style.Poured into a snifter an oil slick black with a minimal cappuccino (like the bottle says)colored head that is gone rather quickly.Aromas of charred dark fruit and black licorice,dark roast coffee and a bit of wood as well.Flavors are heavy on the black licorice with molasses and dark fruit quite prevelant as well,a nice bit of raw earthiness in the finish as well.A solid stab at the style,just all around good.

oberon, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of aszatk01
4/5  rDev +5.3%

aszatk01, Oct 19, 2013
Photo of ExtraStout
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark, thick and syrupy. The frothy brown head is gone pretty quickly with little lacing. Smells of roasted coffee and semi-sweet dark chocolate. Mouth feel is creamy, smooth and very tasty with a little bit of bitterness. For a Sammy, it was an unexpected treat. I liked it a lot. Reminded me of the Stone 12th anniversary bitter dark chocolate oatmeal stout but a bit less smokey. I'll be getting more.

ExtraStout, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

t2grogan, Oct 06, 2014
Photo of tohe9384
4/5  rDev +5.3%

tohe9384, Sep 12, 2012
Photo of ricksrealm
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

ricksrealm, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of JasonA
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Oil slick black. Darker than my burnt 3 day old coffee. Ample 2 finger head, thick mocha chocolate color. Considerable lacing. No light getting through.

Dark malt. Boozie, rum raisin. Light espresso, maybe chocolate.

Dark bakers chocolate. Deep espresso, all througout. Wow. Dark malted roasted malt (does that make sense?). Ending with port in a yummy way. Some drying, hops, biscuit. Something upfront I cant place.

Thick, juicy. I can just let this sit in my mouth all night. Take a small sip, o2 it, and relax. Wow, sits perfect.

Reminds me a lot of Bells Expedition Stout. Not quite as syrupy with mouthfeel, a little better in that manner.

At 65F, line me up 6 of these. Ill knock them down, and they will knock me down. Id win the battle, but they would win the war.

By far the best Sam Adams ive had. Favorite to day was their Boston Ale (not Lager).

JasonA, May 17, 2009
Photo of danthehopslamman
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

danthehopslamman, Aug 15, 2012
Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was a syrupy-looking black brew with a small orange/tan head and a tiny bit of lace. It had a bittersweet chocoloate and roasted malt aroma. A nice espresso bitterness, also some chocolate and dark fruit. More bitter than sweet, a pretty good stout.

lordofthewiens, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of warnerry
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours pitch black with two fingers of brown head. Head looks creamy and has good retention. A nice amount of lacing left behind.

S - Chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, dark fruits and a bit of anise. Also a touch of hops. Pretty nice.

T - The taste has more coffee than chocolate, moderate roastedoak malt, a subtle but noticeable hop punch, a bit of anise, raisin and faint cherry. Alcohol not noticeable at all.

M - Mouthfeel is medium, definitely not heavy, slighty bitter and dry on the finish.

O - Pretty good RIS overall, at a great price. Like a lot of Sam Adams beers, this seems a bit subdued, and so doesn't really stand out. But it is a tasty and easy drinking RIS that I could see having again.

warnerry, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of 40451
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

40451, May 19, 2012
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

SmellsofMahagony, May 18, 2013
Photo of Tiderion
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this stout.

A: Black, black, black with an amazing tan head.

S: Light licorice aroma.

T: Little bit heavier licorice flavor.

M: Smooth end.

D: I'm not a licorice person but I do like stouts. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this beer despite my handicap.

Tiderion, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of TimoP
4/5  rDev +5.3%

TimoP, Jun 27, 2012
Photo of Doomcifer
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Doomcifer, Jul 27, 2014
Photo of orm56
4/5  rDev +5.3%

orm56, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of megamass
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

megamass, Jun 07, 2013
Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Jason, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness/vintage info...come on now, the label says "age it", how about some dating info? Anyway, rant over, this one pours Imperial stout dark/almost black, under the expected dark tan head, froth, film and leaves light and fine tiny spots of lace. Nose is full of dark chocolate, espresso, chocolate milk and burnt grains. Full flavor, heady stuff @ over 9%. Nose carries nicely into the tongue sensations, more dark, dark chocolate, roasted grains and dark coffee. Thick and smooth mouth feel. Real nice job here by S.A. Impressive.

Billolick, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of tigg924
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark black color, with big chocolate brown head, medium carb

Smell: chocolate, with malts, and some wood

Taste: bitter dark chocolate, coffee, alcohol, and roasted malt

Mouthfeel: dry, slightly bitter, rich full body

Drinkability: A drinkable Imperial Stout, the high ABV is moderately masked. If this were on draft, I may get it, but I have had better imperial stouts

tigg924, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a black color with a tan head. The aroma is roasted malt, chocolate, coffee and a little bit of dark fruit. A nice, complex aroma and better than I expected. The flavor is a mix of heavy roasted/charred malt, dark chocolate and some coffee. There is also a nice bit of cream flavor. Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice Imperial Stout, easily the best beer from the Samuel Adams Imperial Series.

Mora2000, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of donunrue
4/5  rDev +5.3%

donunrue, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of sculls65
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured nicely with a 2 finger head.. completely black..im not seeing any light through this stout. Moderate lacing of the tannish foam. 1st smells of roasted malts with some chocolate, and smoky fruit?, but not overpowering. Tastes of coffee..dark cocoa. Mouthfeel is great: thick, mild carbonation, coats the tongue nicely. I think Sam Adams does a nice job of trying to bring a wide variety of brews to a mass market. Id drink it again but i think id take a Founders or Arcadia Ales IS over it anyday.

sculls65, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of Happy_Camper
1/5  rDev -73.7%

Happy_Camper, Apr 26, 2012
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Samuel Adams Imperial Stout from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
86 out of 100 based on 1,444 ratings.