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

3,730 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: 3,730 |  Reviews: 1,761
Photo of dnichols
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: It poured a shiny bright black body reminiscent of black ink. It had a dark chocolaty head that was robust and long lasing. It had leggy and long lacing.

S: It had the aroma of thick espresso with hints of caramel and dark fruits.

T: It had a decent balance between the dark roasted malts, dark sugars and molasses, and dark fruits. There was a dry bitter bite that complements the sweet flavors.

M: It was medium bodied with modest carbonation. It was smooth and finished dry with a slight bitter aftertaste.

D: It was a nice RIS but a bit flat and dry compared to others. The low ABV and medium body, however, makes this more of a candidate for multiple drinks in a single session then others in this style.

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Photo of bwbetts
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Nowhereman529
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very deep coffee brown with just a light bit of brown head. Really a good looking beer.

The smell is definitely something above average. It has the aroma of molasses, coffee and cocoa.

The aroma is definitely a lead in to the taste. Upfront chocolate with a coffee finish. In between the two is the molasses which gives this brew a firm beginning middle and end.

Mouth feel is good and chewy, just what I like from a dark beer. You could say it's a tad on the syrupy side, but it definitely doesn't detract from the beer.

This is a very drinkable brew, but not an everyday brew. A well deserved end-of-the-week draught for sure.

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Photo of OlRasputin989
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A black brew with a thick cappucino colored head.

S:a dusty, peppery cocoa smell with a hint of biscuit and baked apple

T: straight up roasted nutty flavors upfront then fading to dry cocoa and finishing with bitter chocolate and apple

M: medium to full body with a very smooth entry and becoming a little a dry. bitter and some hoppy crispiness.

Overall, a very refreshing imperial stout. I like English beers for the basic fact that the ABV is lower and makes the beer much more enjoyable. Very subtle and smooth

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a pitch black, motor oil, with a beautiful frothy, caramel colored head that retained magnificently and left great lacing. Bee-yoo-tiful!

Smells of sweet dark malts, milk chocolate, anisette, coffee and cream, black cherries...smells delicious!

Notes of anisette, bittersweet chocolate malts, espresso, and caramel hit you right off the bat, turning into a robust roastiness and mild hop bitter finish. Toffee notes, cherries, molasses, chocolate pudding, salt water taffy, etc in the taste. Very complex and so damn tasty.

Mouthfeel is a tad thin but with the perfect amount of carbonation.

This imperial stout doesn't rock the abv scales at a mere 7.0% which means more sessionable for me. This is one of the most drinkable Impy Stouts I have ever had the pleasure of savoring.

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Photo of SetarconeX
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black as night, and with a deep brown head. Fairly good looking little brew. Takes a couple hits for some odd brown crud under the foil wrapper, around the edge of the cap.

Smells deep and malty, with a nice toasty backing. Tastes the same way. Definately one of the better stouts I've had. Wonderful almost creamy smoothness going down. Perhaps one of the weightier stouts I've had lately.

A superb stout. Also one of the most expensive in the store I bought it at. It proves that sometimes, you really do get what you pay for. Pay top dollar, get a top stout. Good job, Smith!

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Photo of alovesupreme
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in an itty bitty Sam Smith glass.
Excellent head good retention very creawy looking.

A little bit of dark rum, dark fruit, a hint of chocolate and coffee.

Plum, chocolate, a little bit of hops in the mix to balance things out a roasted flavor with a clean finish.

Not as thick as I would have hoped but the beautiful creamy aftertaste unique to all the Sam Smith beers I have had is present and wonderful.

Very good for a RIS, I will be having this many more times.

 480 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jet black with creamy caramel brown head that leaves decent lacing.
Aroma is sweet coffee, chocolate, lots of grains, plums, dates and earthy hops.
Taste is more coffee, some molasses, noticeable alcohol, and a complex roasted malt bitterness that lingers for some time.
Very thick and cream, with some alcholic heat.

 317 characters

Photo of pBRale
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From tasting notes on 9-10-11

Appearance: Black pour, chocolatey tan head that is foamy and settles fast, leaving lots of lacing.

Smell: Sweet malts, candied sugar, alcohol booziness, ripe bananas. As the beer warms, the banana scent fades a bit while the alcohol smell increases.

Taste: Roasted malts, roasted coffee, a little bit of the sugar and fruity sweetness. The aftertaste lingers and is of roasted coffee. Bold roasty brew with a bit of alcohol in the afterburn. This becomes more prominent as the beer warms, but then diminishes as the beer warms further.

Mouthfeel: Rich, velvety mouthfeel. Mild/subtle carbonation, but enough. Just coats the mouth so wonderfully.

Overall: Bold flavorful taste, velvety smooth, and a very good beer overall.

 762 characters

Photo of mattsmith413
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of StoutAtTheDevil
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of commis
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle of an old favorite poured into a pint glass

Jet black with a frothy head the color of a local egg. Shiny/slick looking.
Mocha aroma's are huge and coffee-heavy. Distinct grain smell as well. Very nice.
Near perfect balance. The sweetness in the malt and fruityness from this fantastic yeast play against the roast wonderfully.
This has great creamy feel to it. not to thick but still velvety and substantial.
For an imperial stout this has great drinkability. Alc is low enough so that one could enjoy several bottles on a cold afternoon/night. Never gets too sweet like many American stouts and that's what I really enjoy about this, that is is very...well, stout.

 680 characters

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

Photo of granger10
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has a good overall taste to it and many flavors. But it doesn't knock my socks off like some other imperial's have. Lots of very sweet flavors. Chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, plums and a little bit of malt bitterness (but not enough). Great array of flavors that mix well. Finishes dry and roasted. The body is too thin for this to be an imperial. Don't get me wrong this is a great tasting beer, but it just seems a little weak to be an imperial stout.

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Photo of kell50
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of tobelerone
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the beer that introduced me to the world of Imperial Stouts. It seems a bit light by today’s standards but it’s still a classic.

Jet black beer with a dark tanned head of great size and retention. Lacing is excellent.

The nose is full of bitter coffee, sweet maltiness, molasses, and fruits (plums and raisins, mostly).

The taste is intricate, with predominant bitterness of an espresso-like quality, hints of bittersweet chocolate, dry, wine-like tannins, mild sweetness, toasty malt, dark fruits, and traces of both hops and booze.

Medium bodied, light for this style by the standards of 2011. Slightly creamy and sticky but well short of cloying or viscous. Lingering finish is bitter and roasty.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 550mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: utter impermeable blackness with a thick creamy beige head. Beautiful.

Smell: the first thing that hits me are apples, pears and plums, followed by some other fruity esters. Nice.

Taste: this beer is surprisingly fruity all-round. The flavor profile is very similar to that of the aroma, with the addition of some chocolate and a little alcohol. Quite good.

Mouthfeel: medium-thick with low but well-integrated carbonation. It leaves a nice coating of the mouth for optimum flavor distribution.

Drinkability: this is very drinkable. I will have no problem finishing this bottle, and at only 7%, it's downright sessionable for a Russian imperial stout. Kudos!

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Photo of IPAescotch
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Dark as night. very bubbly some lacing continues bubbling long after the pour.

S: oaky, like bark. Probably aged in wood barrels. Some chocolatey espresso scents

T: a comfortable bitterness. Chocolatey, coffee like, balanced. NOt very extreme in any one area very balanced

M: A little bit thin for a stout. middle of the road and a little watery in the finish.

D: a tasty beer. nothing spectacular but a solid choice for a stout example

 444 characters

Photo of Kendo
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the bottle into a Sam Smith's imperial pint glass. Body is black with a 2-finger brown head. Some nice rings of lace left behind.

S: Molasses, licorice and roasted barley. Faint metallic smell. Also some fruit noted as it warms - berries of some sort, I think.

T: Follows the nose somewhat. Some roasted barley up front and a tiny bit of stale cereal grains. Black licorice shows up at the back end of the sip. Hint of chocolate is there as it warms too. Finishes clean. Slight warmth from the ABV is felt in the belly.

M: A little bit thin in heft - call it medium weight, though a little bit light. Carbonation is solid - fine, light bubbles are noticed, but don't steal the show.

D: Very good.

 716 characters

Photo of ritwingr
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Wonderful Russian Stout. Dark brown almost black, with a dense two inch head that retains nicely....though leaves only spotty lacing

Aroma is overwhelmingly caramel with a faint nits if cherry. Taste is caramel with a pleasant hint of burnt toast on the finish.


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Photo of TheOldMachines
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of csmiley
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours dark brown and opaque. Only a speck of light gets through on the edges. A typical pour gave up a solid one inch head that showed good retention. A mocha colored cap of head remains on the beer for a long time. Lacing was also good.

S - Starts out with some roasted aromas and molasses on the nose. Some milk chocolate sneaks in and mixes with a warm alcohol smell. On the tail end, some coffe is evident.

T - Roasted flavors show first that quickly get met by some molasses and maple. Some bittersweet chocolate and coffee show up midway. Rounding things out are alcohol and a hint of smoke.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. Finish is a little sweet and does not stick around for long.

D - Drinkability is good. Alcohol is low which makes it go down easy for an Imperial Stout. There is a smooth character overall that I enjoy and would recommend this beer to anyone.

 890 characters

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

a fantastic rendition of an English version Russian imperial stout. textbook really. the pour is thicker and darker, but some light can still enter, and the head is sudsy and lasting, just off white. the nose is bittersweet, with plenty of chocolate malt and pushing burnt bitterness. in terms of flavor, the first sip or two are by far the best. vanilla and cocoa together, but not as intense as some American versions. the malt is really allowed to shine here, and glorious woody bitter notes come through thick and creamy. it gets a little thinner and washed out as it moves along, but its still damn good. chocolate and light bittering hops kick in on the back end. plenty drinkable, at a lower abv for the style and a really smooth texture. not nearly as full bodied as they come on this side of the pond, this is a brew I could have several or more of, and could easily be a regular in my refrigerator. I have no complaints other than a slightly underwhelming carbonation presence and it getting a little watery as it warms, but that's me being annoying. one of the best sam smith beers, which is definitely saying something.

 1,131 characters

Photo of tonistruth
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- fluffy, three finger tan head sits atop a black brew, great retention, thin filmy lace appears on sides of the glass

S- black licorice, roasted and burnt malts

T- roasted malts and coffee like aftertaste, burnt malts, roasted malts, nice balance, subtle black licorice flavors

M- medium body, smooth w/ a touch of creaminess

D- highly drinkable Imp. stout, tasty and as sessionable as this style can be, mellow, recommended

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Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
4.17 out of 5 based on 3,730 ratings.
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