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

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1,747 Reviews
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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Reviews: 1,747 | Ratings: 3,677
Photo of ChrisBowers
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The Beer God cometh. Simply a spectacular beer and the kingpin of the style in my opinion. Pours jet black with a nice viscosity. Smell is kinda wine-like with perhaps some blackberrys? Taste is wonderfully complex. Bittersweet chocolate, raisins, espresso, slight port wine perhaps in the finish. Super-drinkable at 7%. Enjoy.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Intensely dark liquid, topped by the finest head I've seen on any beer that didn't either come from a tap or have a widget. The foam was the color of coffee ice cream, and lingered tenaciously.

S: Sweet and malty. Burnt sugar, caramel. Faint chocolate notes.

T: From start to finish, there's an underlying sweetness, always present but never overpowering. After a second or so, rich, dark-toasted grain comes to the forefront, with rich and buttery diacetyl supporting. Coffee-like flavor makes an appearance, and hops is present but never overpowering in the finish.

M: Nicely carbonated, not much alcohol burn. Honestly, I was so wrapped up in the taste, I barely noticed the feel.

O: This is the first imperial stout which I really liked (and I mean I REALLY liked it!), not overly-sweet or overly-hopped like several I've tasted before. I can't wait to get another of these, to share with a good friend. After 3 other beers by Samuel Smith, and now this one, I have to say that the guys at Budweiser are lying: Samuel Smith is the king of beer!

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Photo of ralree
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Dark completely opaque brown with a nice tan head. 2-fingers of head easy. Laces nicely.

S: Chocolate and caramel with hints of apples and maybe a little coffee, but not much. Pretty good smelling.

T: Slight alkaline taste initially. Lots of chocolate and roasted malt flavor make this a very good tasting beer. Fruit comes through second. Coffee becomes apparent only in the aftertaste as a nice bitter ending. A definite winner for this style.

M: Medium-bodied, barely astringent, and perfectly carbonated. Pretty dry.

D: A very drinkable brew - especially for the style. This is on my buy list.

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Photo of mnesporov
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 12oz clear bottle. Who would have known this was a clear bottle. No freshness date to be found.

Appearance: A deep amber brown/black with hints of chocolate hues. It allows minimal light to penetrate its body. The head was a thick mocha brown with incredible retention and the Lacing lasted throughout.

Smell: A very roasted dark smell to it. I hinted bits of chocolate, roasted hazel, deep flavorful prunes and even hints of malaises and milk.

Taste: Where to begin there is a whole lot going on here. A very roasted taste with a combination of lemony and hop like flavor begin on the palate. With soundly tastes like prunes, dark chocolates, coffee, raisins, and even a hint of sweetness.

Mouth-Feel: A very rich, bodied brew with a smooth to creamy mouth-feel

Drink-Ability: This is by far a Beer God of stouts. It is well worth the money for this amazing beer. If you haven’t had one yet stop what you are doing right now and go bye this beer.

Notes: What the hell are you still doing reading this go bye the damn beer!!!

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Photo of bobbyc881
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this one with some friends along with a few other imperial stouts. This was the most impressive.

Pours out dark, dark, dark, with a substaintial tan head. Smell is slightly sweet and fruity.

Taste is incredible. Very smooth... chocolate, dark fruits, just the right amount of maltiness. Carbonated just right. Feels full-bodied. I can't get over how drinkable this one was. Very little could be done to improve. Give me more.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.69/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have had this before and loved it so when I found the 550ml big bottle at the Monroeville Giant Eagle for a mere 4 bucks it was the first beer in my hand.

A - For me it was pretty much black. I could only see slight clearness when pouring and I can see bubbles from the carbonation. Carbonation was great and gave way to fluffy head with lacing
S - Big strong roasted malt with coffee and chocolate malts along the sent. Actually smells sort of bourbon but that might be from the strong malts.
T - Very tame yet rush of strong coffee followed by vanilla then mild oak followed by a bitter chocolate finish. Very complex and tasty.
M - Full bodied like a big beer with a low ABV tag and no loss of flavor. A great succession able beer in my book.
D - Overall I don't know why I can't find this in more places but would totally drive to Monroeville for another bottle and maybe one of their fruit beers I have been meaning to try.

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Photo of J30wang
4.69/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tastes phenomenal. Brings you through a spectrum from smokey to creamy with a nice hint of chocolate in the background. This is a very well developed stout--it doesn't push too hard. Cradles you right into it's comforting arms...no flares, no gimmicks; just down to earth stuff.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.69/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a luxuriously dark brown with the faintest amount of light penetration. Beautiful hot chocolate foam head. Retention isn't so great but maintains a thickish film.
Smell is AMAZING. Rich with malt, oak, the full fruitcake full of dark fruits, rum & wheat, soy, peat. Hugely complex and fantastic balance.
Taste is smoky, toasted malts, soy, fruitcake, peat and licorice. Again, great balance and complexity.
Full bodied, smooth like silk across the tongue. Light effervescence. This beer is well deserving of its high rating.

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Photo of leantom
4.69/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm very happy that I bought this. Here goes:

A: A dark black that lets no light through - completely opaque. The beers pours a small brown head that leaves plenty of lacing upon consumption (good protein content). Lovely, but not that impressive for the realm of imperial stouts.

S: Exquisite. Lots of brown sugar, caramel, toffee and milk chocolate at the forefront, but can also detect many dark fruits like plums and raisins. Emphasis on the milk chocolate bit. Can't detect any hops and the English brewer's yeast is also imperceptible (which is to be expected; it's not a Belgian ale).

T: Taste follows the nose. Lots of dark malt leading to an obvious chocolatey flavor profile, but there's also a lot of raisins and plums that linger in the aftertaste. Rather, the initial taste is one of robust chocolate but this gives way to darker, sweeter fruit. Very nice and well balanced interplay of dark fruit and chocolate.

M: Nice. Decently carbonated and well-rounded thickness/creaminess.

O: A very nice, well-balanced stout bursting with chocolate and dark fruit.

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Photo of rousee
4.69/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I think I am in love with the imperial stout style. As I become more and more of a beergeek, this is the one style that taste-wise that does the most for me. This past weekend, I had an Oatmeal stout from Heartland in NYC (it had won a few medals) and it tasted like a baltic porter or an impy stout. This one reminds me of theirs. Very nice indeed.

It pours beautifully--its smooth brown but no head-no lace. Doesn't seem to matter though as the nose is almost perfect for the style. Burnt almond and nice tree bark (burch or cedar-maple oak-mix)is what I get.

Tastewise-there is also some slightly vinous dark cherry/plum and a little chocolate and coffee.
The MF is MF'en kick--ass.

What do I got to do to inspire all my fellow BAs to try this fabulous beer ?? Please ??

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Photo of LeoPanna
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: poured into pint glass...Dark brown, red, huge creamy head...
S: malts, chocolate, caramel, paprika... river water?
T: delicious...heavy malts.. coffee and sugar...good amount of alcohol... a slight maple syrup, well water after taste... it's spicy as well
MF: very little carbonation, almost like a flat cola... refreshing and prefect to sip on.
O: this is one of my all time favorites.... packed with flavor... cheap as hell...

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Photo of beerluvr
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours with a billowing tan head settling over barely opaque liquid. Nose is a bit of dark fruits, followed by malt...the classic Sam Smith dark beer nose. Taste is smooth and sublime, with notes of raisins, burnt malts and yeast fruitiness apparent. Silky-smooth on the palate despite it's 7% alcohol content. A refreshing change of pace for the style, as most Imp.stouts feature an upfront hoppiness...this one emphasizes the malts quite nicely.

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Photo of StevieW
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz clear bottle...yea yea.... Black as midnight in the middle of nowhere. Loud pour....glug glug glug, produces a creamy, pillow soft tan head. Bubbly, small drops of hop oil, dance on top. Great smell of roasted plums, raisans and other fruit. Molasses. Taste is silky smooth, roasted plums, subtle bitter chocolate malt. Quick hint of port wine. Bitter snap starts, then sweet slippery port finish. Great beer, and well worth the praise it receives.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow this brew is awesome.... I neglected english brews for years because of one bad experience and it was a huge mistake. pours a beautiful alley night black. charcoal head that retains and fades to a half finger chunk. syrupy mouthfeel with just a touch of zing that balances it out and leaves the mouth perfect for another drink (to me this is rare in a big imperial). yeasty chocolate/caramel/ doubled up....I love this beer.

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Photo of aaronbeach69
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

WOW! this is my favorite stout to date, granted I can still count the number of different stouts I have had on two hands... well, maybe a few toes too. But, this one was amazing, very drinkable yet very real, very hoppy, very thick = very happy.

In particular the beauty of this beer (and one of the greatest things about all imperial stouts) is the great mouthfeel. As this thick syrup slides down my throat and sticks to the sides of my mouth I can hardly believe that this substance can even be called by the same name as what most people gulp down by the can all over this country, I really feel the calling to spread the word to the ends of the earth that a veil has been drawn over the eyes of the public and this dark slosh is just the substance to wash away ignorance and replace it with a knowledge of thick, full, roasted goodness!!!

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Photo of 86MonteSS
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not exactly sure who Samuel Smith was, but if he didn't achieve sainthood, I'm perplexed. This brewery can't go wrong, and Imperial Stout is certainly its flagship. This is everything imperial stouts aspire to be, and it's why I put all my faith in the English when it comes to beer.

This was the one that slapped me in the face and opened my eyes to all the others.

Bold yet balanced taste with a perfect lace, this is the quintessential stout. A bitter coffee taste lays the foundation while a gentle sweetness oversees.

While there are "better crafted" beers out there, nothing is better-rounded than Sam Smith's Imperial Stout.

Realizing the bottle was clear after perceiving it as amber ranks way up there in terms of the coolest moments of my life.

If I was an old man, I'd want Samuel Smith to marry my daughter.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this out of a 12 oz clear bottle and served in a British imperial pint glass. Classic Samuel Smith's gold foil decorates the top the of the bottle.

Appearance is a jet dark black with a brown head on top. The head stays fluffy and composed. Awesome sticky lacings.

Aroma of sweet milk, molasses, licorice and roasted grains.

Sweet and creamy mouthful. A taste that highlights a taste dark and roasted malts. Espresso sharp bitterness. Flavors of licorice, coffee, and chocolate. Fairly dry finish.

A personal favorite beer and one of the best Imperial stouts out there. Recommended.

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Photo of Bookseeb
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a rich dark brown that has a creamy brown head that sticks around awhile. A primary smell of chocolate then coffee, dark fruits and sweet roasted malts. Taste is sweet with the same characteristics as the aroma with good hop flavor and carbonation. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, overall it's a rich, smooth imperial stout that will definately be on my list of brews for the cellar.

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Photo of andebrice
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark black, with a tiny amount of ruby when held to the light. Couldn't even tell the bottle was clear until after it was emptied. A nice very light tannish-brown head, hangs around for a bit. Lacing is very minimal. Smells very sweet, apples, figs, raisins and a bit of roasted coffee, overall very sweet smelling. The taste on this stout is excellent. very sweet early and as it moves further back on the tongue the malts really start to show, then it recedes to a sweet finish that leaves a nice bitter coffee aftertaste, that lingers. Has a nice full bodied feel in the mouth, good carbonation. I could definetely get used to drinking this one.

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Photo of Luigi
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew is pitch black. The head is a creamy tan color and is very sticky. There is a rich chocolate and coffee aroma. Hints of fruit and alcohol. The flavor is rich and intense. Dark chocolate, coffee, raisins, and leafy hops. Full bodied and a sweet finish with some coffee flavors lingering on the tongue. Hands down one of the best stouts I have ever had. $3.99 a bottle but well worth the price.

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Photo of orangemoustache
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours very black with zero transparency thick creamy tan head is very nice to look at.this pillow of foam hangs around for a pretty long time before dissapating into a thin shell capping the blackness beneath,beautiful lacing as well

S-hints of rich dark chocolates,creamy milky caramels,roasted nuts

T-this is an extrodinary masterpiece chocholates,carmels,dark coffees,dark fruits blueberries,plums the tastes go so well together its hard to believe how complex it really is

M-creamy full body,perfect carbonation,slight bitterness at times but never the burnt bitterness that I often experience with other stouts

D-this is a very special beer(period)

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Photo of darky
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Opaque black. I've come to regard color as the least important factor when it comes to beer evaluation. It's a stout; It's black.

Smell: Alcohol initially... but then bread, touch of banana, hint of coffee...BEER.

Taste: Categorically, I'm not a fan of imperial stout's. THIS is by far my favorite example of the variety. While squarely an imperial stout, it has wonderful characteristics shared by some of the best Belgian quad's I've ever had. Subtle banana and bread, with the addition of coffee, none of which get overpowered by the elevated ABV. Very well balanced.

M: Parks itself firmly on the tongue. 'nuff said. Wonderful.

O: As I said, my favorite example of an Imperial Stout with a flavor profile exceeding it's price tag. A no-brainer selection if you find yourself indecisive at your beer retailer of choice.

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Photo of bigpatvoodoodad
4.71/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - pitch black with a brown head. Good 3 finger head

S - raisins, chocolate, plum

T - complex taste of chocolate with roasted malt

M - Just right. Not too thick or thin. Almost reminiscent of a porter.

O - This is an excellent stout and has become one of my favorites. I am a fan of stouts and this is by far one of my favorites in this style.

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Photo of peck95
4.71/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this is a very good beer maybe one of the best I've had in my limited experience.
dark, very dark with a nice dark tan head that starts off very thick and stays there. The smell is not as strong as its perfect appearance. There is a nice aroma of chocolate and a wine like alcohol smell.
The taste is a perfect blend of chocolate, dark fruit alcohol taste, roasted malts
This beer is very smooth for how complex and dark it is, the body is also ideal with a thickness of a flavored mocha.
Did i mention that this beer was smooth and very drinkable, there is no negative aftertaste like bitterness, bad alcohol (although its not that high of abv), or burnt malt sourness.

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Photo of Gear54
4.71/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From a 550ml bottle into a pint glass.

A: pitch black with zero light penetration. Two fingers of thick kaki head with amazing thick lace. I have never seen a stout stick to a glass as well as this one.

S: roasted malts and dark chocolate. I don't pick up any hops what so ever.

T: follows the smell well. Roasty dark chocolate with some carmel undertone. Absolutely no hop bitterness to offset the malt.

M: thick on every swig with lots of head and heavy on the tung.

O: this is my opinion of a great IS. Not my favorite but one hell of a good beer.

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Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
4.17 out of 5 based on 3,677 ratings.
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