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

3,737 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: 3,737 |  Reviews: 1,764
Photo of TaylorK
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of Jack_Frost79
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of waughbrew
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Black black black is the color of this truly lovely beer. Small creamy light brown cap with great retention and lacing. Aroma is of tar, oats, raspberries, sourness, and acidity. The flavors are all subtle and blend wonderfully: Seems like a cross between a milk, an oatmeal, and an export stout. Smooth tobacco finishes with chocolate, dark fruit and a bit of acidic sting. I do find that overall there is a surprising lack of coffee, chocolate, and alcohol aromas and flavors. Compared to modern expectation of an Imperial stout, this is very mild, but complex nonetheless. Velvety texture. Quaffable.

Sam Smith products tend not to impress me much, but this beer is very good. However, I get a sense of polish on this brew that somehow comes across as being "over-produced" like a pop album. Perhaps it is because no flavors stick out much - there are no rough edges. When I want an imperial stout, I want the beer to take chances and be a little bolder. This is a nice, smooth brew that I will remember as a stronger sweet stout with very blended, subtle flavors.

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

English brewed russian imperial stout, 355 ml bottle.

Looks very dark brown, with a light brown head
Smell is massively nutty, coffee, a bit chocolate.
Coffee stays in both flavour and aroma the longest, with the roasted nutts as a close second.
Very bitter, medium body. Not too alcoholic in the aftertaste.
A good stout. Very bitter. Not too complex.

 353 characters

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of jcalabre
3.2/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Originally sampled on 24 June 2002. I am writing this review from my notes. Opaque black w/ a frothy head that settles down quickly, this Imperial Stout has more of the 'coffee' taste than other I.S.'s I've tried. I didn't think that the overall taste was that strong. Also, the alcohol wasn't well hidden. A decent imperial stout, but I prefer others.

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Photo of Peyton5410
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

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

Smithy's Imperial Stout pours a pitch black with ruby highlights in the bottom of the glass. A thick and creamy dark tan cap sticks around for a while.

The nose is really great once this warms to the proper temperature. Sweet raisins and dark molasses, dry roasted and black coffee, with sweet and spicy black licorice

Medium-full with nice creamy carbonation. Rich, but light sweetness of the black licorice at first. Roasted black malts with bitter dark chocolate and black coffee.

This Smithy takes a slight step back in the flavor department, but is still really good. Not quite as outstanding as some of the versions I have had, but still deep once it warms a bit, and more drinkable than most.

 702 characters

Photo of kirkse
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Beefytits4
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of TheSleepyMonkey
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of jcubz
4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DoctorDog
4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 355 ml bottle into a mug.

A- Very dark; essentially black/opaque. Pours with ~1 1/2 fingers of tan head, which fades rapidly. No head remains during consumption, and no lacing.

S- Fantastic! Chocolate, coffee, and a hint of a liquor/molasses. Extremely pleasant aroma.

T- A bit of sweetness to start, then some molasses flavors, followed by cocoa/coffee bitters at the finish. Puts me in the mind of a beverage concoted by blending mocha, black licorice/anise, and shoo-fly pie...all without being too sweet. Absolutely fantastic.

M- Medium/light carbonation. Smooth. Quite excellent.

D- A fantastic desert/late night sipper IMO.

Future outlook: Repeat business imminent. Thankful to have purchased a 4 pack instead of a single.

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

color is just making the black verdict, and has a finger of head fading to a collar around the edge.

Nose and flavor both hint toward milky and chocolaty flavors, there is just something dairy-esqe poking out from under the sweet malts and roasts, but only lightly. There is also some sweetness in the vein of Vanilla bean. this is a lighter imperial, at least in this day and age of monster beers.

Really creamy mouthfeel, medium body but silky smooth.

 455 characters

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

A: Poured into a snifter it forms a rather large head, but it's pretty. The beer is black with lots of active carbonation and the head is solid sand tan. Lots of different sized bubbles. The head fades slowly, but not too slowly.

S: Smell is powerful as soon as I pour. I get not much chocolate, but a little alcohol. Sweet, dark, malty fruit smells are what really dominates. I get a little citrus even, but now, now I think I smell a hint of soy sauce. I'm thinking of Orange Chicken with soy sauce.

T: Sweet and bitter. very odd. Very much like an English Porter mixed with a baltic porter in my opinion. It's the water. Has the same unique taste of all Sam Smith Beers. Sort of reminds me of the beach for some reason. A little salty, fishy taste, but not in a bad way. Still, not what I want in my RIS, doesn't taste dark enough.

M: Very light, proper carbonation and all. Leaves the mouth feeling refreshed and satisfied.

D: Meh, I could do it, but I don't think I would want to drink too much of this.

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

550 mL bottle at 48 degrees into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: It pours pitch black with two and a half fingers of thick and wet tan head that holds and laces very well.

S: Char, dark roastiness, sweet dark fruits, and some cocoa.

T: Smooth and slightly sweet dark fruits, lots of roastiness, a little charred oak, and smooth chocolate at the back end.

M: This has medium body thickness with some small-bubbled carbonation and a creamy and semi-oily finish.

O: This is fantastic. The get more flavor from a 7% RIS than most brewers get from 10%.

 542 characters

Photo of GallowsThief
4.73/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a bomber into my Duvel tulip.

A - Black pour with a massive creamy brown head. Nice sticky lacing.

S - Chocolate, dark fruits and coffee. Just barely a sweet smell along with a touch of alcohol.

T - Umm chocolate explodes in the taste first. Mocha and coffee are not far behind. The dark fruit lines up and you taste that as well. Just barely a hint of the sweetness that you smell but it is perfect.

M - Creamy all the way. Medium bodied. Covers the mouth in goodness.

D - 100% yes. This is a damn smooth stout. Relatively low ABV at 7% makes it highly drinkable. This is a winner.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Jeez, these guys brew consistently amazing stuff. Dark brown, near black with quickly disappearing top poured in a snifter. Candy caramel and toffee on the nose. Rich, velvety dark cocoa flavors among some roasted quality of the malt. Remarkably smooth, with slightly sweet lingering taste. Wow.

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Photo of PhilMiller
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of soulcougher
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of banger7
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of crwills
3.92/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good, but not as good as I remember. Pours a deep dark chocolate brown, but not quite black, with a small light brown creamy head. Aromas of chocolate, coffee, and quite a bit of alcohol, along with some sour fruit notes (dates?). Taste is malty and quite bitter, with the sweetness mostly contained within the aftertaste. Slightly thinner mouthfeel than I remember from before -- last time I had this was way back at the beginning of my craft beer days (way back being about 2-3 years). There are many RISs that I'd prefer now that I've tried a few more.

 555 characters

Photo of Hoagie1973
3.76/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I gave this one a second look and it turns out I just had a bad bottle before.
Doesn't have many of the characteristics I would expect from an Imperial, starting with the head. Only about one finger and it didn't hang out long, leaving nothing behind.
Sweet aroma of roasted chocolate malt, molasses, and caramel. Hint of metal and malt vinegar.
Immediately after swallowing there's a weird earthy flavor that dissipates quickly into sweet chocolate and molasses. Roasted bitterness and hops show up to balance the finish. I still think they could bump up the IBU's to cut a little more of that sweetness. Aftertaste slowly fades into a very nice mocha-coffee flavor.
Feel is medium and somewhat creamy. Nice carbonation levels keep the residual sugars in check.
Overall pretty nice, but not the best Imperial.

 810 characters

Photo of Lagerquestrian
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of stoutman
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This rich, powerful, and flavorful stout has a deep chocolate color with a roasted barley nose and a noticeable burnt currant character. Serve with rich cheeses, caviar, oysters, or double-dark chocolate cookies in a brandy sniffer at 60°.

 240 characters

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
4.17 out of 5 based on 3,737 ratings.
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