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 vkv822
3.66/5  rDev -12%
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 +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of eye2
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of kojevergas
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
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 -3.8%

Photo of ScubaSteve2002
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of blackcompg
3.42/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from their 12oz bottle...

Appearance - Poured 2 fingers of mocha head, color of the beer is a very dark but translucent ruby color.

Smell - Molasses, soy sauce, dark fruits, touch of black coffee.

Taste - Taste follows the nose: roasted malts, black coffee, dark fruits, and touch of soy. These flavors come all at once. In the finish I get some char, toasted pumpernickel crust and a fairly prominent mineral taste.

Mouthfeel - Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, medium carb adds some nice tingle and lends nice drinkability.

Overall - I'm a bit disappointed here, let me explain. The nose is wonderful, and by the smell of this "Imperial Stout" I thought this was going to be a big, flavorful, mouthcoating beer, but it absolutely is not. The flavors are nice, but feels a bit watered down. I like the beer, but have a hard time thinking of this as Imperial. This feels and tastes far more like a regular stout or porter. See what you think.

 949 characters

Photo of tvv375ia
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass

A-very dark brown to almost black with a slight ruby hint at the edges with about a 2 finger tan head that faded to a cap with a little lacing

S-lots of aroma coming from this one starts with some roast coffee then a little dark chocolate and carmel malts followed by some dark fruit sweetness

T-not quite as much going on as the smell but there is a lot of flavor. roasted malts that start coffee and faded to the dark fruits giving a sort of sweet finish

M-good carbonation nice creamy body

O-readily available, decent price, great beer whats not to love with this one

 616 characters

Photo of ShemRahBoo
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Antnyd82
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of CelticAleMan
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of ajs4bd
2.5/5  rDev -39.9%

Photo of LowDrag
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Fenrisulven
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of rpaul2012
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Joshgonzales79
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Neorebel
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is as dark as night with a thick, fluffy tan head- perfect! the head does not recede for a while... The aroma is fruitier than one might expect - plum and raisin can be detected, and in the background, a touch of coffee and roasted malt. Seems sharp and crisp. After a sip the actual taste is revealed to be just as interesting and complex as the nose. The initial splash of flavor is the fruit/raisin followed by, a roasted, smoked touch and a dry finish. Very crisp on the tongue. As I drink the head sticks tightly to the glass - this is a nice frothy brew. This has a relatively light mouth feel and I can hardly put the glass down even for a second. There's just enough of a warming sensation from the alcohol. A very classy staple in the Imperial Stout world.

 775 characters

Photo of StoutishDan
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of fox227
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of radioscooter
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of stealth
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of zachary80
3.59/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice tan head, almost overly large. Black body. Perfect thick, velvety lacing.

Strong aroma- slight raisin seems out of place for the style.

Flavor isn't as bold as the aroma lead me to believe. Lingering bitterness is slightly fruity.

Mouthfeel is about right for a lighter RIS. Smooth and relatively thin. This isn't supposed to be Dark Lord.

Overall it's a good Imperial Stout, the flavor/aroma isn't really impressive. More like a strong flavorful regular stout. ABV doesn't hit the requirement here or by the BJCP, but I knew that ahead of time

 558 characters

Photo of animal69
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of sukwonee
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

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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