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

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Samuel Smith's Imperial StoutSamuel Smith's Imperial Stout
3,784 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: 3,784 |  Reviews: 1,778
Photo of DesMoinesMike
1.85/5  rDev -55.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I was feeling a bit daring at the Mile so I decided to try a bottle I've never had before. Well, I'm sorry to say that I wasn't too happy with my choice.

The darkness of my glass was very impressive. Help up to a light the brew had just a hint of red filter through, while the edges appeared a dark brown. The head was almost two fingers thick and steadily dissipated.

The aroma and taste were a bit of a shock. MAPLE. VERY MAPLE. The aroma was somewhat noticeable. The flavor was a smack to my pallet, and not a good one. It was very overbearing, and intensified as it had time to breathe. I'm not getting this one again.

It took a while for me to remember what this reminded me of, then it hit me, SA Triple Bock, my lowest score on BA. Maple just doesn't belong in beer, I feel.

 784 characters

Photo of davidwhatshisnam
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of Bobbydigi
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of sfprint
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

exp March 2012

A: Extremely dark and dense brown soda, head sort of rootbeer float like. Though I actually can't see any rising carbonation upon further inspection.
S: Something about it reminds me of coastal vegetation. Sand, coffee, chocolate syrup. A hair medicinal
T/m: Quite dense and thick, but not necessarily heavy, like a high quality hot chocolate. Mild but almost sour bitterness. Coffee, but very smooth and nothing really offensive. Quite delicious, perhaps the best RIS i've had.
O: Great RIS. Not usually a fan but this one is incredibly smooth with a good taste.

 579 characters

Photo of IceAce
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A purposeful pour resulted in almost two fingers of some of the creamiest, maltiest, rocky tan foam that one could imagine. As it sits, slowly collapsing into itself revealing old linen lace, the darkness of the body begins to become evident. Black as night, with the exception of the stem area of the glass, she shows a little leg and it is mahogany.

The nose is really big, with a sharpness of roasted malt as steely as a knife. Deep roasted malts are joined by earth fresh fruit and hops.

Entry is quiet, with barely perceptable carbonation and an instantanious roasted malt chewiness. Midtaste drops an earthy malt bomb on the back of the tongue along with plenty of carmalized sugar. The finish begins at the peak of malt flavor and is escorted by some bery nice hops. Roasted malts play tag with the yeast during the fade, which is long and slow.

 858 characters

Photo of SargeC
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep, dark black, with a frothy tan head.

Smell: Strong malt character with hints of bitter chocolate.

Taste: Begins in a smooth, malty wave followed buy a finish that is high in mineral content. A slight alcohol flavor appears in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: A full bodies brew, but les than I expected.

Drinkability: A very good and classic stout. A nice, complete package.

 393 characters

Photo of KiMiRaiK
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Lagerquestrian
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Kinsman
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Opaque black with a thick foamy tan head, fading quickly to a nice tan lace.

S: Sweet malt character, smells like someone's baking desert.

T: A wide variety of sweet malty flavors. Most noticeable would be brownies, followed by coffee/latte flavors. Roasted barley also makes its presence known. Alcohol provides a nice warm kick at the finish.

M: A full bodied brew but not overly chewy with relatively low carbonation.

D: A great dessert drink, but one is enough.

 472 characters

Photo of JasonTaverner
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Thrasher
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I tasted this side by side with Sam Smith's Taddy Porter, and the two brews are very similar. I will comment on the differences. This is the denser, thicker, more lustrous of the two, and the more alcoholic which is definitely noticeable right off the bat. In fact, it dispenses with the fruity, creamy, sweet character of the milder Taddy Porter for a spicier, more solid, and ultimately more satisfying experience. Because of its strength, it stands up better to the brewery's trademark clear glass bottle. (Why, Sam, why?) This beer will definitely weigh you down and is good for the end of the night.

 604 characters

Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison. Let's see how the Limeys can do with a Russian Impy.

Pours midnight black with a creamy caramel head. Nose is strong on the Juan Valdez up front with a backbone of porter grain and blackberry yogurt. Taste stays with the roasted coffee ground, bittersweet Hershey's and dark sour berries. Mouthfeel of carbonated crude oil, thick and syrupy. This is a meal of an RIS. The flavors don't always mesh - the sour fruit gets a little cloying at times - but overall a tasty stout. On the light side as far as abv for the style, but has plenty of flavor to compensate.

 611 characters

Photo of InfragilisBrew
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of changeup45
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black color, moderate brown head and some lacing. Alcohol obvious in the aroma with some roasted malt. Sharp, tart, alcoholic mouthfeel with some roasted malt and chocolate flavors. Dark chocolate aftertaste which was pretty nice. The more I drink it the better it gets, but in all honesty that just could be the alcohol doing it's job.

 336 characters

Photo of mzwolinski
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

With awards dating back to 1896 displayed on the bottle, it's a safe bet that Samuel Smith has done something right with their Imperial Stout. And it's easy to confirm this suspicion as soon as the bottle is opened.

Pours black as night with a really nice head. Dark tan, about a finger thick at start. It soon dissipates down to a thin creamy top which rides the beer the whole way down, leaving a substantial sticky lace on the side of the glass.

The aroma is really excellent. Fruity -- I detect cherries and fig -- with a malt undertone and a liquor like alcohol boquet.

Fruit is evident in the taste as well, here I pick up something more along the lines of raisin. Chocolatey notes become evident as the beer warms. The head lends a nice lightness to a texture which might otherwise be a bit overpowering. Assertive hop finish.

Indeed, the finish might be the only real downside of this beer. Something about the floral/fruity hop finish strikes me as a bit astringent. This mellows a bit with warmth, but it's still distracting and an unfortunate way to end such an enjoyable sip of beer!

Nevertheless, this is a good, medium-full bodied, generally very smooth imperial stout, and the fruit/chocolate combination in the flavor is really quite luxurious. A very fine beer.

 1,302 characters

Photo of Pellinore1
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a snifter

A: pours a very very deep brown color with a finger of creamy mocha brown colored head that becomes fluffy over time, head lingers nicely and leaves a small amount of lacing on the glass
S: nice malt character with chocolate and coffee malts with an interesting nose of dark fruits
T: wow, now that is smooth, dark fruits initially with a slight sweetness then coffee malts kick in nice and deep in the middle, then has a really nice chocolate maltiness at the end which really smooths the whole thing out nicely, so much less offensive than some of the other RIS ive had
M: smooth and thick, medium carbonation, leaves the mouth feeling like i just drank chocolate syrup
O: just as tastey as i had hoped, quality as always from the folks at samuel smiths

 777 characters

Photo of EdwardK77
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of tekstr1der
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

 295 characters

Photo of akopczyk
4.89/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of s1ckboy
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of bh123
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of JackieKu
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of kegger22
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout was a very dark brown color with a half-inch light brown head that faded to a collar.

The aroma was a rich chocolate malt smell that dominated the brew.

The taste too, was chocolate roasted malt, nice and sweet, but not over sweetened.

The mouth feel was medium to full bodied, oily and reasonably carbonated.

Drinkability was very good, pairing an excellent flavor to a sane ABV.

I had good feelings about Samuel Smith's beers before, but the imperial stout has raised them to a higher level IMO.

 537 characters

Photo of Dirty25
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 3,784 ratings
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