Imperial Stout
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

Imperial StoutImperial Stout
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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #114
Ranked #1,888
4.19 | pDev: 11.22%
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
England, United Kingdom
Imperial StoutImperial Stout
Reviews: 1,838 | Ratings: 3,949 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque black in the glass with a two finger dark khaki head with great retention and nice lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, graham crackers, molasses, raisin and cocoa. Flavor is dark toasted malt, dry caramel, baker's chocolate, dried dark fruit, dark molasses develops light grassy hop bitterness and finishes dry and a little earthy. Medium bodied with light creaminess. The Samuel Smith porters and stouts have a distinct flavor profile that incorporates fruit flavors that are almost concentrated. Great to revisit one of the classic Russian imperial stouts, one of the iconic products in brewing history. Great fruit notes and some of the most intense molasses characters I recall. The finish is a bit drier than I remember, but that's likely due to all the domestic RIS I've had, which have morphed from the original historical recipes. A delicious dark stout from a great brewery.

Apr 30, 2021
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

355 mL bottle. Pours black with a medium khaki head. Smells of chocolate, a slight acidic twang, and some light grassy and earthy hops. Tastes of hops right up front with chocolate and roasted malt behind it. Creamy with a very light lactic tang. Finishes with hop bitterness. Medium body. Distinctive in flavor because of the creaminess and tang, but very drinkable and flavorful.

Apr 14, 2021
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JonnoWillsteed from England

4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

#1745 - Blind-tasted except for the beer's name and brewery/country, zero reviews below read (yet!)...
L- Pours jet-black with a 5mm creamy looking fine-bubble dark tan head.
S- Roasty-toasty with a certain brightness. [My sense of smell isn't clear today...].
T- Oh my, that's lovely. Well roasted, major cocoa facets and maybe a hint of very light smoke.
F- Deep yet has some richness to balance. I also sense that despite it's not mad ABV (7%), that it is just about making it's presence visible to the palate.
O- Very nice, nothing out of place or balance. Has a pungent flavour/feel yet sufficient richness (not sweetness, at all) to balance. Nice as a slow sippin' beer, but I could easily get stuck into a few of these too.
Review/scoring all done, now the reveal, I get to read the bottle lables to see what I missed! Super elegant old-school lable. Ingredients include cane sugar, not that I noticed, surprising as I *detest* and usually spot sugar in beer!
Would I buy this again? = Hell yes!
355ml bottle BBE: Jan-22, printed at neck. £2.25 Bought from TremblingMadness, York/UK as part of a large pick-your own consignment to London.

Apr 12, 2021
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backblast from Alaska

4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lots of roasted malt taste with char and bitter chocolate mingled with dark fruit and a hint of biscuit int he aftertaste. Has a medium/light mouthfeel.

Feb 28, 2021
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Peach63 from New York

3.94/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep brown with a 1 inch tan head. moderate lacing to the end.

Aroma of coffee, chocolate, roast malt.

Taste is chocolate, raisins, currants, roast barley. Astringent.

Full bodied, thick and rich, light carbonation. Dry, oily finish.

Another nice Imperial Stout.

Feb 27, 2021
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LeBron_James from Canada (ON)

4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Deep black, good head retention and some lacing but the lacing isn't fantastic.
Smell: The beautiful Sam Smith smell that no other stout has replicated in my experience. Roasted malt and roasted barley. Dark and gives off chocolate notes.
Taste: Brilliantly balanced. The blend in this beer is very very good. Lots of roasted flavours and it is in that nice spot between sweet and bitter. The aftertaste is pleasant and there're no sense of alcohol anywhere.
Feel: Good carbonation and pleasant full mouthfeel. Enjoyable.
Overall: Great representative for the imperial stout. I LOVE the Sam Smith style of stout. The smell is so iconic and I can't wait to try this on tap.

Jan 11, 2021
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Robinshutedrums from England

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Samuel Smith's imperial stout 7%

Dark brown/black coloured stout. Taste is dark chocolate, port, coffee and toffee. Great beer from what I believe is possibly one of the best brewerys in the world. A strong magnificient beer, brewed to perfection!

Dec 08, 2020
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NCSapiens from Indiana

4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I always wanted to try this classic and finally got around to it.
L: Poured out of a 550ml bottle into a Weissen glass by the bartender. Black color with minimal head. Nothing special to look at, but not bad either.
S: The aroma is well water and barley. Pretty nondescript.
T: The taste is where this beer stands out. Really nice blend of malt, hops, and yeast. Flavors of barley, char, and chocolate mingle in a perfect balance with biscuit, figs, raisins. A slight amount of hops adds complexity without overpowering bitterness. The well water adds a crisp and clean backdrop over which all the other factors play. The word that kept popping into my mind is fresh. I can easily imagine fans of lagers and Belgians enjoying this beer, as it is easy drinking, refreshing, and not too bitter. The alcohol is barely noticeable.

F: Medium bodied with sufficient but moderate carbonation.

O: The ultimate base stout. There is a restraint and elegance that creates an appreciation that grows the more one considers it. Some day I would like to try this on tap in England.

Nov 25, 2020
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Troy-Hawaii from Hawaii

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

Bought a 18.7 oz bottle $5.69 Tamuras
Smell of prune mui
Dark black color
Medium-heavy mouthfeel
Medium carbonation
Roasted malts, coffee flavors, toffee, figs. Hides alcohol well. More flavors develop as it warms
Overall a good basic stout. Nothing fancy like a lot of the current craft beers in a good way.

Nov 08, 2020
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IPAs_for_days_13 from Texas

4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L: Pours vantablack in color with a bitchin two inch espresso head.
S: Smells rich of roasted barley & malts up front, sweet fruit smell of dates, molasses & chocolate aromas as well.
T: Taste very much follows the nose, smoky/roasted flavors, theres a nice bitter aftertaste of good coffee.
F: Very light carbonation with a somewhat thin feel to it, not as thick as most porters.
O: Decent porter with a lot of complexity, certainly worth the try.

Oct 14, 2020
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Mugman8 from New York

4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Haven't had many brews in this Imperial Stout category. It pours dark as coffee with a light beige head and some lacing and a pleasant bready aroma. Taste is roasted barley, malts, yeast and hops and is surprisingly smooth with little bitterness. This is a historic English beer that was exported for the Russian Imperial Court, starting in the 1700's. To be sipped slowly and savored as the booziness rises as the beer warms. An outstanding brew that is especially nice for the Fall and Winter.

Sep 23, 2020
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Roguer from Georgia

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

Big bready light tan head. Great production and very nice retention.

Nose features more dark fruit and bread than most thick American imperial stouts. Raisins, dates, toast, toffee, red grapes, tea, very light char, banana, and just hints of licorice and molasses.

Bitter and roasty on the palate; thin by the standards established by massive double digit stouts, but it's a full bodied stout nonetheless. Flavor moves through notes of toast, char, red grapes, nuts, raisins, prunes, licorice, toffee, banana, caramel. There's a bit of bite to the hops up front, and a bit of citrus peel on the finish.

Aug 23, 2020
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OK_Denise from Oklahoma

4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I am not really into the super dark stout beers, but I have to say that this one is pretty good. It pours nice and smooth and looks super evil...err...dark. The taste is surprisingly smooth and it does not have a bad aftertaste at all. Overall, a really good beer. I would not drink more than one at an outing, but it is well worth the slurp!

Jul 19, 2020
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DrBeergood from Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Black and opaque. Toasty caramel head. Fine lacing.

S: Beautiful. Dark notes, roasted malt, coffee, chocolate,

T: Excellent.

F: Sophisticated finish.

O: Very smooth.

Jul 18, 2020
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jimmah120 from Minnesota

4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

355ml from the olde country. A date(code?) on the neck smudged off

Very dark, mocha head. Smells like dry,herbal, medicinal hops, finishing choco roastie. A very tasty drink, with that familiar Sam Smith backing yeast (i think) taste. Better than the sum of its parts, the water malt yeast and hops combine to make a delectable chocolate malt dessert beer that drinks very easy. Slight alcohol spice on the end, creamy and well carbonated - this ain't syrupy or overly sweet

Another world-class banger

Jul 06, 2020
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misteil from Ireland

4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

look: two finger tan coloured head that dissipates after a minute or two, a layer of bubbles remains, beer is almost black, a very dark mahogany colour.

smell: really quite fruity, those big hearty malt flavours are there, they smell rich and smokey, but dark fruits are what really dominates for me, lots and lots of fig, prune, some cranberry there, oaky and earthy, port wine, vinous quality to it, vanilla, raisin, spiced rum, smells very inviting.

taste: massive malty flavour there, even at only 7% there really is great depth to those flavours, smokey, earthy, almost meaty malt flavour that lingers throughout, the wave of fruit flavour does come but it’s not as prominent as it is on the nose, fig is centre-stage, cranberry too, plum, molasses and chocolate, cold strong coffee, touch of vanilla and honey, although still only light in sweetness, big whack of bitterness on the finish, the flavours and the bitterness linger on the tongue for quite some time. good stuff indeed.

feel: medium to full bodied, lightly carbonated, bitter sensation on the back of the tongue most pleasant, beer is dense and rich, very drinkable too.

overall: a charming imperial stout, with great flavour and lots of character, a perfect end of night beer.

Jul 03, 2020
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Snowcrash000 from Germany

3.96/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown coloration with a medium, fluffy head. Smells of roasted, grainy malt, milk chocolate and lighter coffee and dark fruit aromas. Taste is a great balance of roasted, grainy malt, a strong chocolate and dark fruit presence, with notes of raisin, plum and fig, lighter coffee and hints of licorice and herbal, earthy hops. Finishes with a medium bitterness and some roasted malt, chocolate and dark fruits lingering in the aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel with a medium body and carbonation.

While this appears a bit old school compared to modern RIS and perhaps just a tad lacking in body, it does have a rather nice dry and roasted character to it, with just a little sweetness coming through to round things out. Considering the ABV, there is a rather impressive depth of flavor and complexity to this as well, with a good overall balance.

Jun 17, 2020
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1DCCX from England

5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep, ink black colour, light fawn foam that lasts, roasted, coffee, toffee, nutty aroma, medium mouthfeel, deep taste with same profile as aroma; not sweet despite 7%. Drinks like a 5% beer.


Pair with dark chocolate with cherries, salted caramel dark chocolate...

Makes an incredible Black Velvet cocktail.

Jun 04, 2020
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Darkmagus82 from Texas

4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass
Appearance – The beer pours an almost pitch-black color with a one finger head of tan colored foam. The head has a fantastic level of retention, very slowly fading over time to leave a ton of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is massive of a nice molasses and caramel smell mixed with a rather strong showing of a roasted malt and a cola aroma. Along with these smells comes a big hit of a dark fruit smell of plum, raisin, and prune as well as a touch of a oaky smell. Overall, the aroma is delicious!
Taste - The taste begins with a moderately roasted taste that contains a decent showing of a cocoa flavor as well as a touch of coffee. Right from the start there is a good sum of sweetness, with it being mostly of molasses and toffee nature, but containing some of the dark fruit that was detected in the nose. The roastiness gest slightly stronger as the taste moves forward, all while the darker fruit tastes fade. At the same time, some caramel and a touch of a char and a woody taste comes to the tongue. At the end of the taste, a tiny bit of a carob taste comes to the tongue as well as a touch of a booze, leaving one with a sweeter (but not overly sweet), and dark and very easy drinking taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is one the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is quite low. For the tastes and the style, the feel is fantastic and makes for a very easy, but slow sipping and tasty brew.
Overall – A quite nice and approachable stout. While at only 7 % abv, I am not sure I would consider it an imperial stout, but categorization aside, this is a very tasty brew. Well crafted and balanced!

May 11, 2020
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mothman from Minnesota

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

Bottle. Tan head with lace. Black color.

Roasted malts and chocolate. Cocoa powder. Caramel. Some dark dried fruits. Lots of flavor for 7%. Smooth, creamy, lightly roasted. Medium to full bodied.

May 10, 2020
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark maroon black with a dense creamy light tan khaki colored foam head. Smells like dark roasted malts, roasted barley, some dark fruits, dark chocolate, coffee roast, molasses, caramel, dark toffee, and earthy herbal hops. Tastes like chocolate, dark roasted malts, some char, roasted barley, coffee roast, toasted bread, mild dark dried fruits, a touch of spice, molasses, caramel, dark toffee, with herbal earthy hops. Feels medium bodied, creamy smooth with moderate low carbonation. Overall a really nice Russian imperial stout.

May 09, 2020
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Mindcrime1000 from South Dakota

4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

Pours opaque black with limited head and lacing.

Aromas of roasted malts and dark fruits waft in equal measure. Just a hint of booze.

The flavors are simple but solid. Roasted mats, dark sugars, dark fruit, chocolate, coffee, and booze. Initially sweet, it transitions into an astringent flavor in midstream with an ashy boozy finish.

The feel is a bit flat and chalky--maybe the only drawback. Still not a heavy brew by any means.

But for a somewhat odd feel and finish, this would be a top tier representation of the style. As is, it's still impressive.

Mar 21, 2020
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JamFuel from Sweden

4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a light cap of soft, tan head.

Smell is roasty with notes of coffee. figs. tobacco and fruity and meaty hints.

Taste is roasty and rich with notes of cofffee, leather, tobacco and hints of smoke and cured meat. Soft bitterness and a hint of wood on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium, smotth and well carbonated.

Overall, a very nice stout with lots of flavor for the ABV.

Jan 28, 2020
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jwp777 from Oklahoma

4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle, tasted 1/9/20 but could not find bottling date.

Pours a very dark brown coffee color with a thin tan head which disappears quickly. Not much lacing.

Aroma is rich with chocolate and roasted malt. It smells GREAT, I just wish the aroma was a bit stronger to be honest.

Taste is roasty, earthy, some bittersweet chocolate, and maybe a bit of molasses as well. The hops, malts, and other flavors are balanced well. Finish is quite long but I don’t tire of the taste at all.

Feel is bold, and at only 7%, it lacks the heavy booze feeling that many imperial stouts bring, which is nice for me if I want that flavor but I don’t want the weight. It is fairly thick and feels like syrup toward the end.

Overall, great well balanced brew in all facets.

Jan 10, 2020
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ThemThangs from California

4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours super thick, not much of a head. Smells like chocolate and brown sugar, with something in the background that reminds me of raisins or dried fruit. Taste is the same, with quite a bit of sweetness. Also has kind of a roasty taste, with some faint alcohol and ashy taste in the background perhaps? I don't usually like imperial stouts that much, as I find them overbearing, but this is great, maybe the best one I've had.

Dec 31, 2019
Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 3949 ratings