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

1,453 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,453
Reviews: 796
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 13.95%
Wants: 52
Gots: 72 | 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)
View: Beers (117) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,453 | Reviews: 796 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HopStoopid120
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of Adamostella
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Lawnboy33
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of justintcoons
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Pahn
4/5  rDev +5.3%

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

Poured an absolute pitch black color into a tulip from a 12 oz bottle.
Massive tan colored head that dissipated slowly to a thin film that stayed. Very good head retention. This stout is visually very appealing.
Aroma is predominantly chocolate, with notes of dark fruits, molasses and roasted coffee.
Taste similar to the aroma is sweet upfront with hints of cocoa/chocolate. The sweetness gives way to a fairly robust roasty finish with just the perfect amount of bitterness. The alcohol is very well masked, and its not until your halfway through the beer that you can feel the warmth.
Almost full bodied with a nice smooth, silky complexion on the palate. Mouthfeel and drinkability is very good.
Some lacing along the sides of the glass.
Overall, I think this is a very good stout from Sam Adams. Definitely going to age one and see how it develops.

Photo of SawDog505
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into 13 oz tulip. Pours an opaque black, with a thick looking, sticky, one inch expresso colored head. Lacing and lots of it and wonderful retention. Smell is chocolate covered raisins, dark malts, figs, and some roasted coffee. Taste is all of that, huge blast of strong coffee in the finish. Fairly dry finish, body is on the large side, and perfect amount of life. This beer really surprised me, my taste buds have changed, years ago wasn't much of a fan.

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

A- Pours pitch black, it looks thick and viscous. Totally opaque when held to light. Produces two fingers of soft, cake-like mocha head. It looks absolutely delicious.

S- Big nose on this one, big bready roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee beans, dark fruits in the background, especially dates, figs, and anice with a bit of alcohol.

T- The alcohol has a big bite right from the start and is on the sweet/molasses side, paired with anice and some dark fruits, the beer is pretty boozy for its modest 9.20% ABV. Roasted malt rounds out the center with a big thick body and coffee and dark chocolate flavors.

M- Medium to full bodied, has a bready, rich, chewy feel while keeping the stickiness down to maintain drinkability.

O- An extremely solid and drinkable, if somewhat traditional, take on the style. Anyway, I'm very impressed, this beer should make it onto anyone's must-try list for the winter.

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Wow! Pour is motor-oil-black with a ridiculously large dark brown thick and creamy head, that takes forever to set, but when it does; rich lacings!

S: Hard roasted sweet malt; rich dark dried fruits. Some vanilla and some critic notes. Dark chocolate. Some faint coffee.

T: Hard roasted sweet malt, burnt! Vanilla and coffee. Faint dark bitter chocolate and a nice balanced tone of dark dried fruit, but far from sweet.

M: Long lovely bitter and sweet aftertaste; smoked and burnt notes are a great part of the aftertaste. Body is dry and full while carbonation is held to a minimum.

O: Very nice, bone dry and quite complex in all it's modesty.

Photo of kawilliams81
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- Black with 1 finger cola head, thin lacing that resides immediately.

S- Sweet chocolate, dark malts, molasses.

T- Some coffee, chocolate, pine bitterness.

M- A little thin for the style, medium body, lower carbonation.

O- Ok imperial stout. Would be a decent option if you want to drink a couple imperial stouts in a night.

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

Personally I think that Sam Adams really stepped up their game. I really enjoyed this beer. It's very rich, lots of the stout flavors from beginning to end. The alcohol is definitely prevalent in this beer from the smell to the taste, to the way you feel. I certainly felt the after affects. All in all a great effort, lots of complexity, and was structurally correct in my opinion, however alcohol is a little too much.

It made me want to try the other higher end beers that Sam Adams is making.

Photo of CrystalShipMS3
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful black and rich foamy head.

Smells of licorice and dark fruits (figs and cherries?) and dark caramel. Also some coffee and cocoa. The alcohol is very noticeable.

The flavor is well balanced and has many dimensions. Tastes like black licorice and star anise mainly. Some caramel comes is second and bitter chocolate and a dark malt linger on your palate. The alcohol is noticeable but not overpowering. The initial sweetness helps to offset the bitter bitter flavors. Perfect balance.

Mouthfeel is heavy and somewhat syrupy. Coats your palate and sticks around for a while.

It's another one of those brews that are really planned out. They had a specific flavor in mind and obviously went thorough a lot of testing to get it just right. I'll be buying a six pack of this anytime I come across it.

Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours with a full rich head which dissipates after a few minutes. It is jet black and light cannot be see through it.

S: Coffee, Dark Chocolate, Bready, and some light booze

T: It has some nice rich coffee and dark chocolate notes with some nice breadiness and some raisin notes.

M: It has a rich mouthfeel with a low carbonation. It coats the tongue and the back of the throat.

O: Overall, it reminds me of a nice rich old style english stout, because of its coffee, dark chocolate, booze, and light raisin notes. This really is a good stout, but with some aging I think the booziness will subside. I am also hoping it will balance out with a little bit more sweetness which will complement the roastiness.

Photo of deaconoflove
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ap. Black w/ dark brown head...short life.
Sm. Roasted, toasted, toffee.
Ta. Burnt coffee, then toffee, and more alcohol esters as it went on. Tasted very good at first, but less likable as the bottle went down.
Mf. Good, filling.
Dr. One was enough. Trying it in a beef stew.

Photo of mrfrancis
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an inky black with a creamy tan head that laces deep into the glass. When held up to the light, this beer displays no highlights-it's just black.

S: Gentle aromas of roasted grain, coffee, dark chocolate, and dried fruit are present on the nose. Surprisingly subtle for a stout of any kind.

T: Opens malty and rich with notes of dark chocolate truffles, raisins, coffee, black currants, heavy cream, roasted grain, black licorice, and figs. The finish is long and smooth, introducing a hint of hop bitterness and a prickle of alcohol underscored by notes of grain, chocolate, and dark fruit.

M: Full-bodied, velvety, and silky, though somewhat firmer and drier than expected. Displays none of the resinous qualities that so many American takes on this style seem to possess. Somewhat more akin to classic British takes on the style than its American counterparts.

O: I've always felt that the Samuel Adams beers are solid and receive an unwarranted degree of bashing from many beer geeks. The quality of this beer, I feel, provides evidence of this trend. If you've never had a Russian imperial stout, then it would not be a bad idea to start with this one and branch out. If you're already familiar with the style, give this one a fair chance. It just might impress you.

Photo of DCon
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 12 Fl Oz bottle of this from Lukas Liquor in Ellsiville, MO for $2.99 & shared w/ GeoffTheAleMan. Poured from the Blue bottle w/ the Manchester United Dragon on it into a 16oz Pint Glass. No freshness date but not worried about it with this style.

Aroma- Very roasty, strong chocolate, and rich aroma! Has tons of grain and malt behind it but not much of the burnt characteristic you see in Imperial Stouts. Can tell its going to be a tremendous tasting beer with the aroma!

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger head that is dark brown but doesn't last. The body is a deep brown color and opaque. No lacing afterwards.

Flavor- Has nice chocolate and roasty flavors that make up this easy stout. In the taste, it is slightly burnt but rich cocoa is the main characteristic! Very well balanced.

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, Light-Medium Bodied, Smooth, and has a lighter, roasty finish.

Overall Impression- My favorite from Samuel Adams now! This one was impressive with its roastiness and chocolate flavor. I enjoyed this throughly and will be having more from this "Limited Series".

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

I enjoyed this one a lot more than I expected. Very dark, nearly black..decent tan head that falls quickly but leaves behind excellent lacing. Big aroma of malt, anise/licorice, sugar, booze, chocolate.

Also an excellent and strongly flavored beer with many of the same characteristics: syrupy maltiness, anise, leather, tobacco, booze, dark chocolate. Complex.

Fairly thick and unctuous. The smoky tobacco/anise thing lingers nicely.

Stay away if you don't like the sweeter or thicker bodied stouts. It's not super chewy but it's close. Good job by BBC.

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

A- Pours a very dark brown, looks like syrup. Dark tan head that disappears quickly.

S- Chocolate, mocha and booze up front. Slight hint of coffee and possibly some vanilla.

T- Malt and chocolate right off the bat. I little harsher than some of the imperial stouts I have tried, not very smooth.

M- Thick, but drinkable. Some carbonation.

O- I had this bottle for over a year and expected it to mellow out. Not a bad imperial stout, but not as good as most if the ones I have tried.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful pour. Thick, perfectly black. Dark chocolate brown, three finger head with full lace all the way around.

S: Dark chocolate dominates with roasted malt and coffee notes.

T: Roasted malt dominates. The coffee, chocolate, nut notes. Not as sweet as I see others reporting.

M: thick body, moderate carbonation.

Overall: This is an impressive beer as for the smell and pour. The taste is good but not quite what I hoped after seeing it and smelling it.

Photo of shortbus7
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: very dark and black with a nice khaki colored head.

S: Good amounts of chocolate and malt, very good.

T: Much like the smell. This beer is very sweet, almost to much for me, especially for this style, but doable.

M: Thick and viscous with just the right amount of carbonation.

O: I was very delighted by this beer, especially for a sam adams, which I am generally not a fan of. If they could calm down the sweetness, this would be a fantastic beer.

Photo of LiquidCucumber
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark as any stout with a very nice looking mocha-colored head which stays for quite some time.

S - Booze and dark fruits like figs and raisins as well as a ton of chocolate and some coffee scent.

T - Lots of the deeply roasted malts. Coffee and chocolate pay a predominant role here and this brew comes off as quite sweet, but not cloying. Does have a lot of booze flavor throughout; could be hidden a bit better.

M - Pretty thick stuff, but nothing cloying or overwhelming. I really like the MF of this beer.

O - Excellent beer from a brewery that excels in middle of the road beers. Not my favorite stout by far, but you could do a whole lot worse.

Photo of Hunterbrewhaha
1.85/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I have never been satisfied with a Sam Adam's beer. I have never been able to finish a Sam Adam's beer. I tried to review with an open mind but this struck me as awful. Does not taste like a beer, more like a burnt malt.

A- Dark, thick, looks pleasing.

S- Rich, burnt chocolate, coffee/toffee.

T- Overbearing toffee and burnt chocolate, first taste and aftertaste reminicent of Malta Goya.

M- Sits on tongue okay, high alcohol content very noticeable, too thick for a beer.

O- Should have bought another Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout instead.

Photo of brewskifan55
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

Appearance: brownish/black; an expresso color. 2 finger head that rules long after being poured.

Smell: Malts, chocolate and coffee; you can tell this is gonna be a big beer taste.

Taste: Rich, bourbon taste with dark chocolate and anise. Coffee finish.

Mouthfeel: medium; sits regally upon the tongue.

Overall: A fine sipping beer for a cold night; much like brandy. Tried it with cheddar, then almonds, then cashews. Nice pairings. Wish I'd had a chocolate chip cookie to pair. Even better as it warms. Still liked the Imperial Double Bock and Imperial White better.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

This pours somewhat thick, its pitch black (even held up to the light with a nice mocha head with good retention. The smell is of roasted malts, chocolate and coffee, the alcohol is also noticeable. The feel is very thick and chewy, one of the thicker beers I've had (off the top of my head only ten fifty is thicker). The taste is pretty good also, I get the dark roasted malts, a heavy coffee flavor and some sweetness, reminds me of a molasses type sweetness, there is also some alcohol burn. Overall this is a very good stout and one of the better (best?) beers from Sam Adams, although at $10 a 4 pack, Old Rasputin is cheaper and Green Flash Double Stout is the same price both of which I slightly prefer, so I'm not sure how often I'll buy this, but I'll occasionally pick it up, its a tasty stout.

Samuel Adams Imperial Stout from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
86 out of 100 based on 1,453 ratings.