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

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
3,754 Ratings
Samuel Smith's Imperial StoutSamuel Smith's Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
England, United Kingdom
samuelsmithsbrewery.co.uk

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
3,754
Reviews:
1,768
Avg:
4.17
pDev:
11.27%
 
 
Wants:
238
Gots:
530
For Trade:
3
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,754 |  Reviews: 1,768
Photo of dmorgan310
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of LXIXME
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of largadeer
3.55/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Black, slight transparency as it thins. Pours with about an inch of frothy brown head.

Smell - Vinous, subdued dark chocolate sweetness, notes of dark fruit, burnt bread and anise.

Taste - Black licorice, toast, molasses and dark chocolate. Deep roasted notes and a red wine-like drying bitterness come out in the finish. Medium-bodied and moderately carbonated. Nicely balanced.

Notes - A very approachable Russian Imperial Stout - it's warming but not overly heavy or bitter, and it still has plenty of character. That said, I'd take Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout over this any day.

 600 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of superspak
3.66/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

550 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 5/10/2012. Pours fairly pitch black color with a nice 1-2 finger dense tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big apple, raisin, dark chocolate, brown sugar, roasted malt, toast, dark bread, light coffee, light char, and herbal earthiness. Decent aromas with some good complexity; but the fruity aromas are a bit too overpowering, something went wrong with this bottle. Taste of dark chocolate, roasted malt, toast, toffee, brown sugar, dark bread, coffee, light char, raisin, and earthiness. Lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, toast, brown sugar, dark bread, coffee, toffee, light char, raisin, and earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance, robustness, and complexity of roasted malt flavors; with a good amount of balanced fruity complexity; and hardly any cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very creamy, lightly slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a nice imperial stout style. Good balance and robustness of roasted flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering; despite the obvious flaws with this particular bottle.

 1,359 characters

Photo of Boone757
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An opaque black body is capped by a foamy tan head that holds exceptionally well. It eventually drops, but maintains a creamy collar & thin surface covering throughout the glass. Some very nice Brussel's lace adds to the appearance. The aroma expresses dark fruit (currant, plum), dark chocolate, roastiness, and molasses. The medium/full body combines with a fine and moderate carbonation to give a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. The exceptionally rich, sweet malt expresses chocolate, toffee, roast, and coffee that's backed by a firm hop bitterness. It starts fruity (raisin, prune), developing sweetness and chocolate, but most of the flavors appear after the swallow when the tastebuds are no longer being overwhelmed. Fruit bursts forth followed by chocolate and rich caramel/molasses, then some floral hop flavor, and finally its roastiness appears - coffee-like and still somewhat chocolatey - with a borderline smokiness. The long and complex finish is what makes this beer... it's meant to be savored! It may at first seem more restrained than other examples of the style (and essentially it is), but a closer look reveals an immensely drinkable and exceptionally complex stout. Quite well done and well worth seeking out.

 1,230 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.44/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of chinchill
4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

550 ml bottle served in a goblet.
Pours dark chocolate in color, nearly black in the glass, with a decent, semi-durable tan head.

Aroma: complex; rich; appealing; balanced.

Has a rich, malty flavor with just the right amounts of sweetness, bitterness and 'coffee'. Great balance and blend of flavors. Lasting aftertaste of coffee and dark roasted grains.

Feel: full, creamy smooth body with perfect carbonation.

O: not innovative but world class nonetheless!

 465 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

G: Imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a "not very dark for this style" cola color out of the bottle, but appears a bit darker in the glass to the point where it is nearly opaque. My pour might have been a little hard, but I got a good two-and-a-half or three fingers worth of head. The head is also a creamy color; again, reminiscent of the foam associated with colas. The head recedes fairly quickly with the slightest bit of lacing.

S: Slightly sweet on a malt base. Hints of toffee and perhaps a little bit of caramel. Faint smell of dark fruits.

T: Sweet in the mouth. Much more sweet on the palate than I would have expected from the nose. Slightly sour with little heat from the alcohol. Biscuity malt with a little bit of chocolate--another thing I didn't detect with the first whiff. Slight fruity undertones in the background--maybe dark cherries, which could contribute the bit of sourness I've detected.

M: Not overly carbonated, and slightly sweet on the tip of the tongue. As it sits, it becomes more and more creamy. The mouthfeel is somewhere between a typical milk stout and the other RIS's that I have come across.

D: Given the low ABV for the style, this is quite a bit more drinkable than is typical. The is one of the first imperial stouts I've had where I could imagine having a couple throughout an evening.

 1,333 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The crazy bottle neck on the bottle's neck forces a huge head on the pour that rises up for 2/3 of the glass. A thick frothy dark colored hear that is. The beer itself is almost pitch black, but not quite.

N: Tons of malts hit first. SOme roasted malts, caramel malts, and a few others. Some caramel aromas and sweetness, a little oatmeal, some dark fruits, and a little bitter English hop aroma tops it off. A little chocolate as well.

T: Very fruity actually. Tons of malt as well, again with lots of dark malts, caramel, a little roast, I think even a nice bit of Marris Otter as base. Creamy milk chocolate, oats, dried fruits, hints of spicy hops. A little bit of juicy hop flavors as well.

M: Creamy and semi thick, with lots of carbonation.

F: Semi bitter with more English hops, and lingering hot roast and dark malts. Some sweetness on the finish as well with more caramel and brown sugar.

 906 characters

Photo of oberon
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black with a real nice creamy head,aroma is of dried fruit and some nuttiness.The taste is a little spicey and nutty with some chocolate undertones a real nice warming beer to drink before bed.This and the Taddy are my favorite Samual Smith ales.

 260 characters

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep, dark brown-black. The foamy part of the tan head dissipates quickly, but a top-coat remains in place for some time.

S: The aroma is of chocolate, malt, barley and a little bit of hops and alcohol.

T: Creamy chocolate and roasted malt & barley flavor start out and prevail as the more dominant taste, but not overly sweet. A little bit of hops hit next and then a slight alcohol sting, with a slightly sweet after-taste.

M: Incredibly smooth, heavy body, medium carbonation and a clean finish.

D: It’s not filling, very smooth, the alcohol is well-disguised and it goes down VERY easy, all of the characteristics of drinkability.

I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. I now see why this beer, style and company has received so much praise.

 821 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an opaque black (not the darkest black I have seen in a stout) in color with hints of dark brown and red when held up to the light. The beer has a half finger tall dark tan head that reduces to a thin patchy layer covering the surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: Definitely some sweetness in the smell with some dark fruits as well as toffee/caramel coming through. After that the dark roasted malts are noticeable. Overall, some nice complexity.

T: Starts with some nice dark roasted malts and some dark fruit, more plum/raisin than fig. After that some of the caramel sweetness comes through.There is a light amount of milk chocolate presence and light lingering bitterness.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

O: This is a very enjoyable and very drinkable stout. The beer has a nice complexity of flavor and aroma while still keeping a relatively low ABV. Not exactly sessionable but definitely easy to approach and not a beer that requires a lengthy time sipping. No noticeable alcohol present.

 1,121 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.86/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aroma of dark malts, chocolate, toffee, dark fruit. Taste dark chocolate, roasted malt, faint coffee & smokeyness, licorice.

124 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep cola brown, with a couple fingers of milk chocolate head. This retains with a nice looking thin creaminess, leaving back a thick cascade of lacing that hangs in sticky rings around the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of coffee, chocolate, toffee, ripe earthy citrus, dark fruit and just a smidge of alcohol. This has a nice smoky twang in the nostrils.

The taste is more of the same, with smoky roasted coffee flavor, dark fruit, chocolate, tangy caramel notes and earthy green citrus. The overall flavor profile here is equal parts ripe stickiness and bitter roast on the palate. This is dry and burnt feeling on the finish. The mouthfeel is fuller to full bodied, with some crispness on the tongue that then gives way to a big chewy thickness that fills the mouth. The alcohol presence is very well hid, with just a touch of spicy dryness that lingers on the tongue a bit after each sip.

This is one of those beers that after you finally have it, you wonder where it’s been the whole time! This was just a really nice take on an English Imperial Stout with a well balanced complexity to it and a solid chewy feel in the mouth that feels bitter than its only 7% ABV. I will be returning to this down the road.

 1,268 characters

Photo of mactrail
2.69/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

The smell is really peculiar. I finally realized, since we had been painting, it smells exactly like house paint. It's that damp, fumey smell of water-based paint that's different from other solvents.

The appearance is quite attractive, with a dark amber brown color and ample off-white head, and loads of lacing in the small globe glass. The flavor continues on the strange trip. It makes me think of prune juice, with the same sweet and tart flavors. Not that sweet, but dark and fruity. I can't get that smell out of my mind, it's back with every sip. I taste pomegranate, bubble gum, and some charred grain.

On the positive side, it's quite a creamy carbonation with a substantial mouthfeel. From the 500 ml bottle bought at a random liquor store.

 753 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours black with a 1/2" coffee colored head which leaves nice rings of lace. Aroma of roasted malts and dark chocolate. Flavor is complex and rich and slightly sweet. Full body.

 177 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: bottle from Total Wine, Cherry Hill, NJ

Pours a dark cola brown-black with bronzed tints, and a pillowy beige head. Roasty malt aroma, sugary, with coffee notes. More dark roasted malts in the taste, molasses, licorice, coffee bitterness. Not quite full-bodied, but quite rich and tasty, and a very drinkable stout.

 327 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
2/5  rDev -52%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black color with dark beige head. Aroma has sweet chocolate and dark malts. Also a faint berries note. Taste starts sweet with a liquorice note and gets more bitter towards the finish but never getting unbalanced. Overall it's a classic, very well made imperial stout.

 268 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance of this imperial stout is one of the best I've seen. The color is pitch black. Head is large, creamy, and dark tan. Retention is great. The aroma has an inviting mixture of toffee, chocolate, and dark fruit smells. I just wish the aroma was a bit stronger. The taste starts with a strong chocolate flavor with edges of toffee. Dark fruit flavors mix in nicely along with a bit of alcohol flavor. A slight butteriness is noted, especially near the finish. The sweet finish is especially long-lasting. Without a doubt this beer has a excellent mix of flavors that are layered nicely, but when compared to the bigger American imperial stouts, this falls a little short of exceptional. Still, this is highly recommended.

 731 characters

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
4.17 out of 5 based on 3,754 ratings.
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