Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout | Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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Samuel Smith's Imperial StoutSamuel Smith's Imperial Stout
3,792 Ratings
Samuel Smith's Imperial StoutSamuel Smith's Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
England, United Kingdom

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 02-27-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,792 |  Reviews: 1,779
Photo of RKing44
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of halo3one
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of WebGuyMike
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of jjheinrichs
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of mmmbeerNY
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of truesolution
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Leschber
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of rodrigueZflyingf0x
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of whallgren
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Kingcurio
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Caruvana
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Adam_Lifts
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours very dark brown/black with a huge tan head, fades at a slow rate and leaves some good lacing.

Smell is mostly roasted malt with hints of dark fruit such as raisins.

Taste is controlled by the roasted malt, slight bitter aftertaste from the roasted/burnt malt, assertive carbonation.

The lower ABV for this style of beer makes it possible to enjoy more than one (or two or three). Even with the lower ABV, I don't think any of the taste has been compromised.

 466 characters

Photo of 3Vandoo
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith for many is a classic imperial Stout, for me, it was just a normal usual stout, but a fair good one.

I love the transparent bottle, it is dark, dark like the night darker than night, call her ninja. Forms a nice foamy brown head that just let herself to firm lace of a caramel colors...

Smell is of roasted malt at first, second with black chocolate, liquorice and a strong vanilla and sherry flavours. Chocolate is quite present to the nose with a rich malted presence, sweet and so powerful.

Her taste is so around her smell actually, the sweetness of the beer get present with her rich malt complex flavours followed by a malty chocolate flavours that ends with small bruits berry like flavours. Butterscotch presence is prominent that finishes with a warm alcohol touch.

 796 characters

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 550 mL bottle into a pint glass.

A- pours jet black with a two finger light brown head. I like that the head isn't as dark as I've seen in other RISes...looks nice. No lacing, which is unfortunate

S- getting a lot of varying scents here...faint aroma of chocolate, with very slight hints of coffee, dark fruits, and as someone else mentioned, I'm actually getting some cookie dough. Very complex...and totally awesome

T- very, very mild...which stuns me based on the style. But you know what...its good. Not an alcohol bomb. I'm mostly getting dark fruits...which I'm not the biggest fan of, but there is a hint of some sweeter chocolate in the back of my throat as well. Nice.

M- feel is great. Creamy. Smooth.

D- I'm only going to give this a 4 here, because while there isn't any real booziness to it...the fruitiness puts me off. I'm not a huge fan of stouts that have the dark fruit in them as a rule, so yeah

 934 characters

Photo of CHL
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beuatiful beer, opaque black with a tall brown head that tastes like coffee and chocolate. It's so good. Sweet biased, with the pruny imperial stout taste refereed by chocolate, fruit flavors, dark malts, coffee, swirling in a satisfying and thick brew. Certainly warming and alcoholic, but not oppressively.

Only the stomach and this beer's cost impedes its drinkability.

 373 characters

Photo of Mancer
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle poured out a jet black body with a three finger high light brown head. The foam slowly dissipated into a thick and sticky lace the coast both the beer and the glass. The initial aroma of is highly dominant of spiced licorice with notes of dark fruits, caramel and malts. The initial flavors were predominantly of licorice , with light roast, hints of dark fruits and light caramel. The brew had a medium body with light carbonation.

Overall, this was an interesting Russian imperial. I think that on most days I wouldn't be fond of the overwhelming licorice, but this was actually quite nice and well rounded.

 621 characters

Photo of tmcarter23
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CraftBeerDiary
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Running4beer
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out pitch black with a medium dark tan head that stays that way till the last drop. Lots of aromas to this, picked up some coffee, chocolate some raison and a smoke or roasted aroma in there as well. Tastes of some coffee, chocolate, little bit of raison and some malt. Mouthfeel with smooth and creamy with not much bitterness to it. This is a good beer but my favorite Sam Smith is still Oatmeal Stout.

 410 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm glad I returned to this after several years of trying two dozen other RIS.
Drinking this now is like returning to the Rosetta Stone and deciphering what the RIS style-- now in its many, many permutations -- really should seek to find.
Samuel Smith's rendition is, in a word, balanced.
In six words: balanced by blending different malts well.
Hops play a minor role here as the roasted malts have been crafted so well that spices are less needed to achieve balance.

Listed in the "1001", Imperial Stout deserves to be there.
Merchant du Vin deserves credit for making it so available to American crafters and consumers.
Garrett Oliver, author and brewmaster at Brooklyn, called it the "touchstone" that inspired their Chocolate Stout.
MJ's 1999 gave it 3.5 stars of 4, called it "estery" and credited it with relaunching the style as far back as the 1980s.
Reviewed also in Roger Protz' "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!" the CAMRA classic.
"Classic" will forever describe this strong stout.

 999 characters

Photo of TargaFlorio
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Uconnelmo
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Traquairlover
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A = Dark mahogany with a good foamy dark tan head, fair retention.

S = Dark chocolate cocoa powder, creamy capuccino.

T = Dark strong flavors. As with the smell strong bitter cocoa powder taste, pepper, long bitter finish.

M - Medium body, good mouthcoating, carbonation stings just a little too much.

D = Good drinkability. A very nice RIS.

 382 characters

Photo of FrothFanatic
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Not as good as Samuel Smith's organic Chocolate Stout, but it pours an excellent dark black creamy body with minimal bronze head. The aroma is profound, quite remarkable how strong the chocolate, nutty, coffee notes greet you, when the taste is not as bold. Still a very tasty stout, Samuel Smith is my favorite brewery for stouts and porters. Delicious!

 354 characters

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 3,792 ratings
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