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

3,735 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

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Ratings: 3,735 |  Reviews: 1,763
Photo of Kvlterbm
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep, dark brown that borders on black. Fairly vigorous pour resulted in about a finger's worth of mocha colored head. The head died down pretty quickly, but what was left of it left some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Big notes of roasted barley, some coffee, chocolate notes, and some sweetness/dark fruits. At 7.5% the alcohol's not very present, aside from a pleasant warming as you drink.

T: The same roasted flavor detected in the nose, bolder coffee. The dark fruits make themselves known, melding very nicely with some earthy, grassy flavors.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, very impressed. A damn good Imperial Stout, and I'm looking forward to getting more.

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Photo of mattgreger
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The pour on this brew super dark. Not quite a solid black, actually a brownish/black. It had a beautiful mocha colored head. It had some pretty good retention. As the head on this brew faded, it left a nice lace as it falls down the sides of the glass.

This brew has a light chocolate aroma with hints grass, sugars and just a touch of fruit. I am detecting orange more then anything else.

From the first sip this brew is impressive. It a beautifully thick body, especially for the size of the brew., with some great chewy malts. It has dark chocolates and toffee flavors that give this brew some great balance. It feeds into a great taste of some dark fruits, which I am detecting some raisins, plums, and maybe some peaches. The touch of orange is there too, that I detected in the aroma. As the brew warmis, that alcohol is present, not to much, but a great warming feeling none the less.

This is a medium to fulled bodied brew. It doesn't have very much carbonation at all. It does have a nice smooth feel as you drink. As I said above, it has a nice, yet soft warming feel and a great sipping brew.

This brew was wondefully rich. Its a great brew. Something I could never turn down. Its has a great feel, but isn't so strong that you have to worry about the ABV. It has a great drinkability.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pitch black, tall brown head retained very well
S - very roasty, milk chocolate, lightly nutty and fruity
T - strong roasty malt, light coffee and milky chocolate, nutty and a light licorice note
M - almost not carbonation, chewy smooth, very full
D - tasty and very smooth, the alcohol is well hidden, definitely worth a try

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Photo of samie85
2.73/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a pitch black with three fingers of dense, mocha-colored head.

S-Very deep caramel with some sweet roasted smells, like that of coffee.

T-A bit of roasted malts with some caramel and a mild bitterness.

M-Very, very watery... reminds of me of weak, watery coffee. A little bit of carbonation.

D-This beer isn't disgusting by any means, but it's far below my expectation of what an RIS is. The mouthfeel is especially disappointing.

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

A - Pours pitch black, finger of big bubbled mocha head, solid retention and some fine sticky lacing.

S - Sweet milk chocolate and dark cocoa, some leafy green hops also coming through.

T - Dark cocoa and milk chocolate, though comes through more bitter than the nose implies. Roasted characteristics are nicely balanced with some light espresso and nutty notes also making an appearance.

M - I found this one a bit light on carbonation, coming off a tad watery and in need of a bit of a lift.

O - Overall a very tasty imperial stout and highly recommended to any fan of the style. The higher ABV goes completely undetected and the flavours were well balanced and delicious.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.81/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a tan colored head. In the aroma, a mellow sweet roast. In the taste, a sweet roasty malt and hints on chocolate. A bitter and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry to sweet licorice like aftertaste. Hides the alcohol, a nice roast but a bit sweet. Nice, but just above average.

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Photo of stmod
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Even I drank lots of beers (of many types) in the past, this is my first review.

I am just starting to try to understand beer and I would do this also by reviewing them.

So, let's go to the review:

Appearance: Very dark color, less head I was bargain for.

Smell: I got traces of chocolate and roasted and a general balanced complex smell that I was not able to disaggregate.

Taste: I got bitter from start to end. I was bargain for more structured taste, instead it gave me a good sense of balanced simplicity (sure, this is not a lager, but the drinkability is too much for me for this kind of beer).

Mouthfeel: Little carbonation.

Overall: I was bargain for a more outstanding alchoolic aspect, while this beer hide this characteristic inside a balanced group of aromas where bitter and roast dominates.
The alchool come out in your mouth after a while you finished the beer.
I had just one, and I was ready for the second, even if, I suspect, the alchool would hit me too much.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce (355mL) bottle into a cervoise glass. Best before 12 March (whoops).

A: Thick head has good retention. The body is completely opaque and the darkest of browns. Good looking stout.

S: Deeper than I initially gave it credit for. Alcohol-soaked fruit, coffee beans, chocolate, molasses.

T: Hrm...Subdued (raw) molasses notes float around. The maintaste is unexpectedly fruity (apples, grapes). The aftertaste showcases the gentle bitterness of this imperial stout, providing dark chocolate with a touch of carbonation. Overall, splendidly balanced.

M: A bit too light, I feel. Served near the recommended 60 degrees, but I might have preferred it a mite colder if that made the body more viscous.

D: Very drinkable, and a bargain at the price (£2). Certainly recommended. Will drink again.

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Photo of beerman207
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Needed a beer tonight. Sam Smith was waiting

A: Black as night - nice tan head leaving little lacing on the glass when the head goes away

S: Nice mollases nose with hints of coffee, chocolate, malt, maybe some brewers licorice

T: Brewers licorice, malt, some smoke, dark fruit

M: Little carbonation

D: Good stout. Can't say it's my fav but the drinkability of this one is high based on how much you could do in a session.

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Photo of shand
4.41/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

An aggressive pour yields a tiny head that quickly dissaptes leaving wisps of head in the glass. Lacing is considerable. The beer itself is a garnet-tinged black. The aroma on this is fantastic. Roasted malts, dark fruits, and a touch of chocolate dance around my nose. It seriously smells so good. Taste-wise, the dark fruits (cherries and figs) hit the tongue first, and they sure are great! If first impressions made a brew, this'd be a 5 for taste for sure. However, when the fruits begin to exit, the rest of the flavors, although quite well-done, aren't quite as jaw-dropping. It's the same-old drill, roasted malts and chocolate. There's just a touch of a hop presence to round things out.

The mouthfeel is good, if unremarkable. It's a bit sharp at first, but mellows out to a nice creaminess. On the lighter-side of full-bodied. The drinkability? Off the charts for the style. My snifter disappeared in 20 minutes, which is crazy for a RIS. This might be helped by the lower ABV than is typical for the style, but this is quite drinkable no matter what you call it. This is the rarity - an Imperial Stout that I could work into a beer rotation! This is an immensely drinkable RIS that I absolutely love. It's a classic for good reason. Highly recommended.

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Photo of yourchoice
3.77/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Catching up on some notes from the last couple weeks...

A- Pours very dark, almost black with a light brown/dark tan head. Minimal lacing.

S- Raisins and figs with a malt background.

T- A bitter chocolate is very present, with a slightly sweeter raisiny flavor.

M- very slight carbonation, medium body....thinner than I expected.

O - A bit easier to drink than I expect for an RIS. Not necessarily a "bad" thing, but I expected more from the beer.

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Photo of kwjd
3.84/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown colour with thin pale tan head. No lacing is left on the glass and the head seems to dissipate fairly quickly. Smells of roasted malt, with a faint hint of chocolate and cherries. Some tartness is in the flavour, but it works nicely with the roast. Silky mouthfeel. This is much simpler than many imperial stouts I've had, but I really enjoy it.

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Photo of harrymel
3.71/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my wife to picking this up, cheers wife!

A: Pours a dark, dark brown. Single finger, fine foam, latte head dissipates quickly and leaves a sheet of the same. Scattered lacing. Excellent clarity and when the light shines, cherry hues come through.

S: Graham, molasses, copper, figs. Pretty good, but not particularly complex for the genre.

T: Lots of toasty, dark malts. More bitter than I had anticipated. Nice actually, but not great.

M: Good full bodied with low carb and good slick feel on the finish. Great body and mouthfeel on this.

D: Very drinkable, paticularly for an impy stout (at ABV 7%, I would dispute this). As a stout, outstanding, as an impy stout, okay.

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Photo of glassjaw25
4.41/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this is a great Imperial Stout. The nice thing about this beer is that I believe it can be drinkable to the Stout lover and even someone who may not be a big Stout fan. This stout has a stronger bite than a Guinness but nowhere near as close to Stone Russian Imperial Stout.

The look of this beer is fantastic, very dark in color and a nice tan head. For an Imperial Stout, I find this beer to be more drinkable than other imperial stouts probably due to the boarder line abv.

For someone that is new to drinking Imperial Stout, I would suggest trying this beer.

Will I drink this beer again, YES!

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Photo of CheckMate
4.51/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz brown bottle obtained at McKinnon's in Salem, NH. pours a dark brownish black with an inch and a half of mocha color head. scents of dark chocolate immediately hits the nose with the scents of nut, caramel, coffee and a little bit of booze. tastes of coffee and chocolate immediately hits the tongue with caramel and nuts in the background. medium bodied with low carbonation. very drinkable. first sip invites the next!


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Photo of puboflyons
4.01/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the 550 ml. bottle stamped SL15J1. Sampled on March 3, 2011. Rich, ultra-dark brown to nearly black pour. Opaque with a full, foamy head. The aroma is of a good, dark malt character but also a tad boozy. It seemed boozier in aroma than the 7% ABV would imply. The body is nice and bold. The taste is a fine balance of coffee, yeast, and a wonderfully dry finish. This is an excellent choice for Imperial Stout fans because it is enjoyable and more widely available than other Imperial Stouts.

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Photo of veinless
3.97/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fluid jet black, with complete opacity, and a healthy two finger head that dissipates quickly without leaving too much lace. Is sort of fizzy, which was unexpected for a RIS.

Smell is of roasty caramel and malt, with some toasted grain in the back and molasses coming to mind near the middle. No coffee or chocolate notes - this looks to be a straight shooting roasted beast. Even get a bit of char at the very end. Great nose.

Taste follows pretty closely, with the molasses coming out a lot more than in the aroma, and a bit of sour twang coming in from the hops or something else. Roasted malt leaves a slight bitterness on the tongue resembling coffee. Middle is a bit watery for my taste, but it does carry the beer well enough. Nuttiness is present at the beginning of each sip which is a nice touch.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, although watery in the middle as I mentioned, but very well aided by the carbonation and is reasonably well-bodied for the beginning and end of each sip. Drinkability is great, as this beer doesn't assault you with flavors, but rather allows them to come out softly of their own accord. Amount of flavor for the 7% abv is admirable as well considering the style. Finish could be a little bit better, as it is only kind of bitter and a tad watery, while I'd prefer it to be either neutral or heavily bitter, but it is good nonetheless. Really good, affordable, and common RIS; I'd buy this again for sure.

 1,451 characters

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

330cl brown bottle purchased at McKinnon's. Pours a completely opaque black body with a good inch of tan head. Dark chocolate and toffee comprise the better part of the aroma with slight espresso and nutty notes. Deep roasty espresso and dark chocolate dominate the flavor with slight herbal and toffee notes make up the flavor with just hints of herbal hops. Fairly dry finish. Medium to full in body with medium carbonation. One sip definitely invites another. Roasty and fairly dry. A bit of a sipper though one sip invites another. Wow. Another slam-dunk for Samuel Smiths. A malt-forward traditional example of the style. Awesome.

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Photo of 12percent
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to pint glass.

Dark in color with a tan head.

Not as thick as expected with just a tad more carbonation than I care for.

Flavorful. Smooth going down.

Im still learning about picking up on the flavors of these stouts, but the chocolate and coffee flavors are prominent.

This beer will be making another appearance in my home in the future.

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Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid black color with a foamy tan cap that has nice retention and ample lacing.

Sweet smelling with the presence of molasses and lactose scents.

Good sweetness up front in the forms of molasses and dark fruit. The back end offers up roasted malts and coffee bean with a touch of alcohol.

Smooth with lots of creamy carbonation and a dry finish. The body is thinner for the style, but feels good considering it is only seven percent alcohol.

A nice introductory RIS, although I personally prefer a bigger and bolder example. Very easy to drink and it is very affordable and easy to find which makes this a nice choice.

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Photo of bagpiper2005
3.63/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour: Pitch black with a finger and a half of brown head that dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Very dark, fruity aroma, primarily raisin and plum. Some roasted malt and chocolate, as well as a bit of alcohol.

Taste: Raisin and chocolate are the frontrunners in this beer. A hint of coffee in the finish. Pretty one-dimensional, and not very bold, however.

Mouthfeel: Medium with high carbonation. OK, but the excess carbonation doesn't belong with the style.

Drinkability: It's actually quite a sessionable beer.

Final notes: Not bad, not great. I would consider drinking this again if it weren't for the price. However, there are better Imperial Stouts to be had.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into Sam Smith's tulip pint - I've had this one before, but the review got eaten by the random review eating monster that lurks in the depths of the site, waiting to eat up random, occasional reviews, never to be seen again.

Pours pitch black, with a creamy, one-finger tan head. Nice enough lacing.

Nose is sweet, mix of blackberries and dark chocolate, and an almost nutty roastiness underneath - light and inviting. Lightly roasted coffee, and a nice, dark breadiness as well.

Taste is beautiful, classic and decidedly old school. Earthy roast, dark fruit with just a hint of tartness, a finish that's nutty, a bit roasty, dark chocolate, bit of licorice, lingering earthy bitterness, bit of oiled leather, hinting at smoke, just a tiny bit of alcohol shows through just enough on the tail end of the finish. Very subtle, but timeless and fantastic.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the thinner side, a bit sharp, though still with a light creaminess to it. Very dry, finish is quite long.

Drinkability is fantastic. Full flavor, so enjoyable. Very nice.

 1,067 characters

Photo of TheSarge
4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into a Guinness Extra Stout pint glass, and perfectly it does so. Mounds of dark tan colored head, and an opaque black colored body that allows some ruby red highlights on the edge of the glass.

The aroma is very chocolaty, along with some milk and metallic characteristics.

The taste is very milk chocolaty, along with hints of coffee and caramel.

This is lightly carbonated, medium to full in body; however, very wetting to the palate though for a slightly warm finish. This is one of the most pleasant Imperial Stouts I've had.

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Photo of BBP
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours dark with a decent mocha brown head. Good carbonation and lacing.

S- Coffee, chocolate, and rum. A hint of booze. Notes of raisin. Quite complex and nice, although a little hard to pick up.

T- There's a ton of raisin and plum flavor mixed into the chocolate and rum notes. Coffee comes into the aftertaste a little. It has some milkiness to it which lightens it up and balances a bit with the drier cocoa notes and bitterness. While I thought it tasted nice, it also seemed a bit off of what I'm used to. It doesn't seem all too much like most of the other imperial stouts I'm used to. There was a bit more sweetness in this than I would have liked without the bitterness to back it up.

M- Creamy, smooth, and medium full. This goes down superbly. Slightly dry, sticky finish. Carbonation is just how it should be.

D- On the lighter side of imperial stouts for sure. It goes down quite easy, but isn't a regular stout by any means in flavor or alcohol presence. The ABV sneaks up on you as you can drink this fast. It also has the slightest amount of heat to it.

Quite interesting to have the dark fruit play a role in this after having more run of the mill imperial stouts as well. That being said, my personal preferences were probably better off without it. Still a good drink.

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Photo of riored4v
3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 1/29/11

Poured in to a pint. Good 1.5 finger head, pitch black body. Head was dark tan.

Smell was estery and a bit off/weird. Very mild roast Good amount of sweetness. Strong raisin.

Taste had strong raisin and ester presence. Very mild roast with a good amount of sweetness. Some yeasty/english presence with a very light bitterness. Some chocolate notes as well.

Mouthfeel had a medium/light body. Light carb, slightly sticky finish.

Drinkability was decent. Lots of ester and raisin. Even splitting the bottle, 1 was enough.

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Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
4.17 out of 5 based on 3,735 ratings.
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