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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.
very good

1,410 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,410
Reviews: 794
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 13.95%
Wants: 40
Gots: 61 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,410 | Reviews: 794 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BringusKilkenney


4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is jet black no light emittance with just a small head and some lacing looks pretty good to be a macro.

The smell is of nice roasty malts and dark fruits. Smells like a well done imperial kinda impressed.

Tastes nice and malty and dark. Has notes of dark fruits and roasted malts and chocolate like bitter bakers chocolate.

The mouthfeel is heavy and smooth very nice liked this brew alot especially from such a big brewery i could drink this for a while has great drinkability with the lower percentage on the imperial it is kinda nice but disappointing at the same time.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2009 00:31:29 | More by BringusKilkenney
Photo of jwc215


4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with a thin, tan lasting head - espresso-looking, with some lacing.

The smell is robust - dark chocolate, dark fruit, toffee, some roast. Slightly pungent.

The taste is of chocolate, roasted coffee, fruity alcohol. The alcohol is present, but not overpowering - masks just slightly, making the nose a bit more impressive than the taste. A touch of earthy bitterness gives it a nice balance. It has a woody-ish, dry finish.

It reaches full-bodied.

This is an enjoyable sipper! Alcohol could be hidden a bit more, but it's not unexpected for an abv of 9.2%. Nicely balanced and fairly complex!

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 17:05:55 | More by jwc215
Photo of nick76


3.15/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is almost meaty with touches of bacon and maple syrup, chocolate, and burnt malt. The appearance is black is with a huge head. The flavor is like the aroma. The palate is thin for the style. Overall it's a well made beer but it does not do anything great.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 05:56:11 | More by nick76
Photo of Nick3


4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured into a Rochefort chalice is black as night. No head on this one but a thin, dark brown film rims the top of the beer and looks delicious. Smell is an enticing menage of dark chocolate, molasses, and roasted malts. Taste is dark chocolate up-front, in the middle and in the finish. Finish also brings a peppery tinge with some roastiness and alcohol warming. Sticky and chewey on the palate; I had no problem finishing this beer. A pretty good RIS that was pleasantly better than I expected.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 04:38:11 | More by Nick3
Photo of Murchmac


3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a motor oil midnight black. Coffee head with thin lacing.

Coffee, chocolate, anus.

Chocolate, coffee, slight alcohol.

I really enjoyed this beer, but it made me feel dirty. Something about Sam Adams brewing an Imperial Stout didn't seem right, like if my sister where in playboy. Weird.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 03:06:01 | More by Murchmac
Photo of champ103


4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque black. A large tan head forms on first poor. Some thick and sticky lace is left on the glass as the head recedes.
S: This is interesting. Very malty. Sweet molasses and dark fruits at first. A roasted chocolate aroma follows. Towards the end a slight dry charcoal aroma. Some alcohol as well.
T: Sweet and sticky molasses that boarders on cloying (though not quite). Roasted malt and chocolate. Alcohol.
M/D: A full body and low on the carbonation end. Very sticky and oily. This is a nice sipping beer. The alcohol is present, but does not over power.

This is a really good stout. One of the better Sam Adams that I have had. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 22:13:36 | More by champ103
Photo of number1bum


3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown color although it's clear that it's not quite black while pouring, although it appears so in the glass. Dense two inches of creamy dark tan head sits on top. Keeps a very nice, full lace and leaves a ton of stick on the sides.

Smell consists of chocolate and roasted malt, some coffee and dark fruit. Also a sticky sweet molasses aroma, which along with the dark fruit are two aspects that I don't love. A whiff of booze creeps in now and again, as well.

Taste also has a strong molasses sweetness along with some fudgy chocolate. There is some roasted malt but I'd prefer a bit more I think. There is a dark fruit quality that carries over from the smell, with flavors of raisins and prunes. Also some coffee and hop bitterness in the finish. This is reminding me a lot of their Cream Stout which is also a good beer but not one of my favorites.

Mouthfeel is exceptionally creamy and smooth. Very soft in the mouth, chewy, full bodied, quite rich. Very nice.

Overall this is a pretty good Imperial Stout but not one of my favorites. Something about the molasses/dark fruit combo just doesn't appeal to me all that much. It's also a bit on the sweet side. A solid brew, definitely worth trying, but it has a pretty premium pricetag on it so I can't even say it's something I'd keep on hand. Storm King is superior and cheaper, and there are others I'd prefer as well.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 20:23:07 | More by number1bum
Photo of Floydster


3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle purchased from Beverage Warehouse in Marina Del Rey for about three dollars, usually comes in four packs, poured this into my Lost Coast pint glass tonight

A-Very dark brown that is almost black, one inch foamy beige head with good retention and especially after a nice swirl, some lacing too
S-Roasted malts, burned grains and barley, sweetness that is mostly vanilla and chocolate, light espresso, and
T-Starts off slightly sweet with lots of malt, slightly roasty in the middle with some chewiness as well, lots of cocoa and grains in the finish, aftertaste is quite both sweet and dry, nicely balanced, more chocolate and vanilla comes out by the end, liked how this one changed with temperature and got more mellow
M-Roasty, dry, chewy, and sweet, mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, moderate carbonation, taste lingers for quite some time actually
D-Could drink a few bottles of this, not too heavy on the stomach, pretty good drinkability overall, expected this to be overly sweet and filling but it was not thankfully

One of the more impressive beers to come from Sam Adams recently, not really in the mood for an imperial stout tonight but it was still good, would drink again, recommended

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 04:09:45 | More by Floydster
Photo of drgonzo3705


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very motor oil black with a small fluffy mocha colored head. Not much lacing, but other than that looks great.

S: Bitter chocolate, molasses, and a sweet maltiness make a nice nose. Bit of an alcohol burn.

T: Chocolate and a bit of coffee.

M: Full bodied, creamy, mild carbonation.

D: Good go to stout. Still a bit hot but should age nicely.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 03:55:46 | More by drgonzo3705
Photo of kbutler1


3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip glass.
Served at 50 degress and warming...
A: Dark brown, almost black. Good head. Starts a light tan and settles to a medium tan with tiny bubbles.
S: Sweet malt and alcohol
T: Sweet turning to bitter. Lingering taste of coffee and licorice. Definately taste the alcohol. Not as smooth as some Imperials I have had.
M: Medium to heavy mouthfeel
D: Yeah, sure.
Not as smooth as other Imperial Stouts I have had but a good try.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 23:59:33 | More by kbutler1
Photo of CHSLBrew


3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

A-Deep, gorgeous, opaque & bright black beer. Lush dark brown head rose off the pour, reduced quickly.

S-Chocolate, roasted malt, extensive dark fruity esters and dried fruits. Something grassy.

T-Chocolate is present, but not as prominent as in the aroma. Heavy roast with hint of alcohol flavor, but quite a bit of boozy harshness. Fruitiness is deep, bright and dark at the same time. Some hop characteristic, with an assertive bitterness. Finishes slick, bitter and fruity with a bit too much alcohol.

M-Slick feel, oily-full body. Low carbonation.

D-Good flavor, but the harsh alcohol and minimal chocolate and roasty characteristics seems not quite perfect for the style. A bit of aging would perhaps make this beer interesting and help smooth out the alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 21:06:19 | More by CHSLBrew
Photo of neenerzig


4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle poured into my pint glass. This beer pours a very dark brown color that lets in no light. The tan brown head is well over an inch thick when poured. Settles to a nice 1/4 inch thick and then a decent surface coating. Good lacing. Aromas of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt and some spices. Flavors of bitter coffee and somewhat sweet dark chocolate upfront, followed by a bit of roasted nut and a bit of spice (cinnamon perhaps). The bitterness comes out more as the beer warms up a bit. Has a crisp and creamy, smooth full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink in a good way. Pretty good effort here.


Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 03:19:09 | More by neenerzig
Photo of BARFLYB


3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle split with oglmcdgl, thanks for the chance.

A- Sam's Imperial Stout is dark black and thick looking. A bit of some brown light creeps in on top. A impressive active head of light brown foam does it's thing to build a nice cap of foam.

S- You got your usual deep roast malt giving of a burnt coffee smell. With that comes chocolate and some fusel alcohol scents in this nine percenter.

T- Taste like a imperial stout with rich chocolate and deep malts. Bitter chocolate as well plus some hops in this fresh bottle contributing. The coffee comes through in taste as well as a slight burnt/roast flavor in the after taste. All that on top of some apparent alcohol.

M- Thick, velvetly and full flavored and just some co2. A bit warming from the alcohol and some burnt aftertaste.

D- A smooth stout that needs to be sipped. I enjoyed it but with so many stouts on the market i fear this may get lost in the mix. I'm interested to see what a year does to a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 02:17:57 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of BeerManDan


4.48/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It poured very thick, the color was such a dark brown that it was on the verge of being black. The was some tan foam with a load of lace on the side of the glass.

Upon first sniff, the smell of roasted malts, anise, coffee and spices filled the nose with a pleasant soft aroma.

The taste of roasted malts, semi-sweet chocolate, with a hint of dark bitter sugar and coffee are flavors that jumped out on the palate! We balanced for all the components. One of the better stouts so far this year. Hurray for Boston Brewing Company! There beers only get better and better!

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 02:14:32 | More by BeerManDan
Photo of scruffwhor


4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice jet black with dark brown highlights at the top of the beer. Lovely, soft and thick layer of dusty brown foam after the pour. Rich, creamy and dark roasted malts with some warm alcohol that lends a slight charcoal aroma. Vanillin zucker mixes with robust French roast coffee and 60% cacao dark chocolate. Theres some creaminess mixed with a smooth abv. in the finish. Very smooth and silky smooth malty palate. Great nightcap sipper.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 02:08:41 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of engisch

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours nice, thick, and black with a nice deep cappucino colored head. The head is rather short lived and there remains just a bit of lace on the top, but there isn't much lacing on the glass. For the nose, I get a light chocolate and roasted malt sweetness. The small is nice, but nothing special when compared to other imperial stouts. The flavor is good, but lacks the complexity of the RIS's that I have come to love. The beer does have a nice thick and creamy mouthfeel with little carbonation. I only bought 1 bottle as I wanted to try it, but I wasn't disappointed as my expectations were rather low. I probably wouldn't get it again, as there are plenty of others of the style that I would choose over this. Overall, I enjoyed it and it isn't a bad beer if you aren't able to find other more enjoyable imperial stouts!

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2009 02:33:43 | More by engisch
Photo of KarlHungus


4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a thick used motor oil black color. The head is a half inch of tan foam which recedes slowly into a thick, firm cap of lacing. The aroma is of graham cracker, milk chocolate, and roasted malt. The taste is a lot like the aroma. It is bold, and well rounded. I would be no means say that this beer lacks depth, but it doesn't have that extra complexity that makes for a great imperial stout. The mouthfeel is full bodied with appropriately low carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a nice Imperial Stout, and it is even nicer to see BBC doing some bigger beers. All in all, this beer reminds me a lot of a cross between Lion Stout and Old Rasputin. It has all the roasted malt and graham cracker of Lion Stout with the well rounded higher (but not to high) alcohol of Old Rasputin. I would certainly drink Samuel Adams Imperial Stout again when in the mood for a large, but not overpowering stout.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2009 00:21:16 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of KeefD


3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours nice and thick, almost a solid black, even darker in the glaass, but the head is short lived and there's no lacing. In the nose I get a lot of caramel, some burnt sugar, light chocolate and plenty of roastiness. Not really much in the way of coffee. Smells OK, but could use some more roasted malt and a bit more coffee that I've come to love out of RIS's. Really not a lot going on in the flavor. Sure it's loaded with roasted barley, some hint of caramel and chocolate, but that's about it. Rather one-dimensional. Mouthfeel is the best part of this beer, nice thick and creamy, richly textured, low carbonation. I'm on the fence with this one. It's not bad by any means, but can't touch the best of this style. I can think of 15-20 RIS's I would rather have. Uninteresting really, and probably won't be buying it again. I'll take a 4-pack of Old Rasputin for $2 cheaper any day.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2009 22:29:45 | More by KeefD
Photo of dude


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black and opaque with some purplish notes as well (or just reflected off the cool purple label). Smells like anise, chocolate, coffee and alcohol. Taste is bitter yet sweet. There's a good presence of roasted malt flavors, with vinous fruit/alcohol and flowery hop flavors as well. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Carbonation level is mild, but on for style according to my very limited impy stout experience. I only had one bottle to drink, but would have had more if available. I like beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2009 23:58:49 | More by dude
Photo of bbothen


3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into snifter.

Pours a deep dark black color with a thin brown colored head. Head quickly dissolves into a slight skim across the brew & small ring of bubbles around glass. Not much lacing.

Smells of roasted sweet malts, some fruitiness, some chocolate & coffee, leather, faint smoke, little to no alochol aroma.

Sweet, molasses, nice hop bitterness, chocolate, roasted coffee, nice toasted flavors, tastes swell.

Thick, syrupy, chewy, full bodied, low carbonation, lingering bitterness.

This is quite enjoyable. Drink it without expectation.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2009 21:49:16 | More by bbothen
Photo of jasonjlewis


3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a tiny head with low retention and a dark brown color.

Smell is of licorice and chocolate malt which overtake the roasted malt underneath.

Smooth chocolate malt licorice tasting beer with a subdued roasty characteristic underneath.

Full carbonation with a good body and creaminess lie underneath.

This is a decent beer from Sam Adams. It's a little overpriced, but I encourage people to try it at least once at a bar.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2009 04:57:16 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of guinness33

New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a damn near black as night colour with hints of ruby when held to the light. Head is a dark tan colour and a bit thinner looking than expected, as I was anticipating something with a bit more of a creamy heft to it. Minimal and spotty residue is left on the glass.

The aroma is chocolaty,with some coffee and alcohol certainly in the mix. General roasted malt has a strong presence as well. Not bad, but all in all a bit tame for the style.

The flavour is similar to the aroma, with bitter chocolate and a heavy alcohol presence leading the way. Toasted/roasted malt is evident toward the finish of each sip and is quite strong at times. Perhaps some fruit here and there that wasn't really picked up in the aroma. Mouthfeel is full bodied and slick ,but even still a slight touch thinner than expected for the style.

Minor flaws (if you even want to call them that, as they aren't flaws per say, but more so personal style preference differences) this is a nice beer that is actually one of the easier drinking imperial stouts around. The one thing I'd certainly do is tone the alcohol presence down a bit, as I think it'd bring out the other flavours a bit more. Regardless, this is a nice bigger, bolder brew from the BBC.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2009 02:56:31 | More by guinness33
Photo of fitzy84


3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick head for the pour with a really dark black appearance. Patchy lacing and eventual thinned out head. Roasty aromas with mixtures of chocolate, coffee, toffee, malts and grains. Even with this great mix, it was a little thinned out I felt. Taste was great; bitter cocoa mixture with a good sense of earthy, toffee tones. Creamy mouthfeel gives it a nice milky texture throughout drinking. Overall, a neat dessert-like beer from Sam Adams.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2009 01:55:31 | More by fitzy84
Photo of tweeder263


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a thick black brew with dark tan one finger head. Sweet dark chocolate scent slight hop scent . Taste of slight chocolate and slight odd alcohol type flavor that lingers in your breath. Mouthfeel is good,,not totally chunky but feels almost right. Drinkability is good , this beer has its moments , the alcohol isnt disguised too well and its of an odd flavor.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2009 01:19:09 | More by tweeder263
Photo of fightingirishcmk

New York

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a thick motor oil consistency. Very dark, without any redness even when held up to the light. Head was very small, 1/2 finger, and was brown in color. Moderate lacing was left on the glass.
S: Chocolate, coffee, and cherries are all apparent.
T: Bitter chocolate was the predominate taste, but anise is present, and it finished very bitter.
M: Full bodied, viscous, with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: Only average for an imperial stout. Chocolate flavor dominated a bit too much and, although good, wasn't great.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2009 19:56:28 | More by fightingirishcmk
Samuel Adams Imperial Stout from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
86 out of 100 based on 1,410 ratings.