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

Samuel Smith's Imperial StoutSamuel Smith's Imperial Stout
Liked This Beer
4.17 w/ 3,762 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,762 |  Reviews: 1,770
Photo of rickym
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of jtierney89
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night with a big brown head, looks nice so far, maybe ill find a Sam smith beer I actually like. Nose is heavy on alcohol prunes and licorice.

Beer has a big medicinal hop presence which is balanced extremely well by roasted malts, peppery flavors.

Lacing is incredible.

amazing drinkable for such a big beer. Grape like sweetness contends with the big hop presence extremely well making for a greatly balanced beer. Alot going on here. I had a lot more written but my browser crashed twice while reviewing this beer. I loved it though.

 555 characters

Photo of Siopisophy
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of liamt07
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle from AJ's Fine Foods on North Central in Phoenix. 355ml bottle into a chalice.

Black with ruby red at the edges when held to some light, a great amount of lacing and some solid retention. Nose has chocolate with a great dark fruit character, sweet and rich dark malts with a dry and lightly toasty grain character. A touch of licorice as well. Taste has some dried dark fruits lightly coated in chocolate, some brown sugar and caramel. Light roastiness in the finish. A bit of the Samuel Smith hard water character too. Drying, creamy and great mouthfeel for the style - real bang on for what I dig. Low carbonation. An excellent imperial stout. My only point of contention? I wish this was bigger, maybe a few percent higher in the ABV category. Sam Smith does dark ales well.

 785 characters

Photo of divineaudio
3.87/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter.

a - pours black and forms a finger of light brown head that dissipates fast. no lacing.

s - roasted malt, leather, faint grassiness.

t - strong roasted malt flavor, almost burnt. dark chocolate notes, faint fruitiness. a tinge of earthy bitterness with a dry finish.

m - full bodied but never feels too heavy or syrupy. has just the right amount of carbonation.

o - pretty damn good, but imho other brewers have outdone this one stylewise. very drinkable for a bigger beer. can't go wrong picking up a 4 pack of these though.

 558 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of surlytheduff
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of antique
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of dragomni
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of match1112
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

settles in the glass a pitch black with half a finger of sand colored head. within a minute the head is gone, leaving no lacing and a still glass of motoroil. nose and taste are both pleased with the typical aromas of stouts. roasted malts provide coffee and chocolate for the senses, a little alochol on the back end of both is nice, not over done. the biggest draw back to this beer is the mouthfeel. i think it should be thicker and sticky, like a syrup. this one is thinner, like a porter. other than that this is a good imperial stout for the money.

 554 characters

Photo of SoGreasy
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of GreatPumpkin
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Sinewave
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of MrKennedy
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle thanks to Adam at Platinum Liquor. Poured into a Mikkeller tulip.

Pours thick for the ABV, black as night and with a nice tan coloured foam on top. Decent head retention, no real lacing other than runnings as it falls.

Smells cool. Plenty of chocolate, dark, darker and darkest. Also a real nice liqueur smell along with roasted malt and a touch of caramel.

Tastes of caramel, chocolate and roasted malt. Some warming alcohol detracts from what would otherwise be a pretty decadent experience.

Mouthfeel is full, big bodied for the ABV, still soft with some roasted bitterness late. Surprised at the alcohol heat that is the one thing that irks. Still, it does very well in this department.

A lovely beer. A reminder that the day i spent in Tadcaster was not nearly long enough. Wish i had drunk more of this in the UK. Might get some to cellar and hope that the booze drops out. A big stout and i have had worse with some other limited or brewery release RIS's. A very enjoyable beer.

 1,003 characters

Photo of RAFH
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of cdwil
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Pieless
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of fx20736
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle served at cellar temp in nonic.

Oil black with a chunky khaki head. Nice lacing.

Aroma of toasted caramel malt, a touch of burnt roasted malt and a faint bitterness.

Mouthfeel; soft and light.

Taste: Caramel malt, milk sugar, Coffee, licorice with a mild hop bitterness.

Notes: Been drinking this one at Holidays for over a decade but just reviewing this now. Easy drinking, well made, without flaws.

 418 characters

Photo of arkansastroy
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of jsurfs82
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of vkv822
3.66/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

550ml bottle into tulip snifter.

Pours black with a thick, frothy tan head. Very nice looking.

The aroma has some dark fruits blended with molasses, chocolate and roasty notes.

The taste is briefly of roasty cocoa upfront and finishes with some dark fruit notes.

Has a medium body with prickly carbonation.

A pleasant RIS, a bit different than the American versions I have tried in that there is a bit less of an emphasis on the bold, roast, coffee and chocolate flavors.

 476 characters

Photo of MouldyCrow
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of eye2
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of kojevergas
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

33cl brown glass bottle served into an EKU 28 snifter at the Kortrijk train station (I was on the go). Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a one finger tan colour head of wonderful cream lacing, great thickness, and standard retention for the ABV. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Caramel, chocolate, roast, coffee, toffee, vanilla, and cream. Rich and decadent.

T: Heavy caramel lacing weaves through a lightly roasted barley body. Hops are those that support the flavours from the nose with the exception of coffee. It's really quite nicely layered. Complex and brilliant.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with adequate coarseness but not enough dryness for the style. It matches the flavours almost perfectly.

Dr: With a fairly high ABV, a very good price (~2.70 euro in Switzerland), and incredible drinkability, it's a brilliantly done stout that I'd definitely have again.

I don't know that it's a good candidate for aging on account of its ABV (which is a bit low).


11.28.14: Truncated notes. 7.0% ABV. Classy iconic label art. Gold foil-ed over pry-off pressure cap. 550ml brown glass bottle.

Served cold into a Guinness goblet in high altitude Castle Rock, CO. Reviewed live as an imperial stout per the label. Served chilled and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Four fingers wide. Khaki colour. Creamy, nicely thick, soft-looking, plump, and supple. Retains well - for about 5-6 minutes. Smooth and rolling.

BODY: Opaque black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Quite appealing overall, but nevertheless typical for the style.

AROMA: Fresh intoxicating Belgian chocolate. Soft chocolate malk, lactose sugar, cream, and a hint of roast. Hints of dark fruit - mainly plum and prune. It's soft, light, and incredibly inviting. I can't wait for the first sip. An exquisite aroma of above average strength. Fantastic.

I find no burnt, coffee, yeasty, or off characteristics.

TASTE: Extravagant dark fruit - plum and prune - blends immaculately with soft Belgian chocolate, milky lactose sugar, and pleasant cream to form an incredibly well-balanced flavour profile with plenty of subtlety.

TEXTURE: Smooth, supple, soft, wet, silky, and fantastically creamy. Excellent overall presence on the palate. Full-bodied, ideally thick, and not too viscous or heavy. Really elevates the beer.

OVERALL: Absolutely a classic in the style, but not a reigning champion. This is a beer that must be tried by any fan of the style, but since its introduction it's been eclipsed by more daring bold brews. In any case, it's a touchstone and a paragon, and ought to be regularly revisited if only to calibrate one's imperial stout barometer. Extremely drinkable, and always enjoyable, Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout is ludicrously good.


 2,812 characters

Photo of jpd7374
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 87.9% out of 100 with 3,762 ratings
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