Imperial Stout | Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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Imperial StoutImperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.16/5
Exceptional
3,811 Ratings
Imperial StoutImperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
England, United Kingdom
samuelsmithsbrewery.co.uk

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,465
Reviews:
1,786
Ratings:
3,811
pDev:
11.3%
Bros Score:
4.44
 
 
Wants:
243
Gots:
552
Trade:
3
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,811 |  Reviews: 1,786
Photo of PhilMiller
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of soulcougher
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of banger7
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of crwills
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
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 mooseo
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml bottle into tulip.

A - Dark black brown with a large tan head.

S - Roasted malt, molasses, dark chocolate, slight dark fruit.

T - A wonderful mix of sweet roasted malt, caramel, chocolate, plum, and black cherries. Light earthy hops lend balance. Finishes slightly bitter with burnt malts, coffee, and dark fruit.

M - Exceptionally smooth and soft. Medium bodied. Dry finish.

O - A nice complex imperial stout with good balance. The plum and black cherry gives a distinct character to the beer. Very drinkable.

 521 characters

Photo of Musineer
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of Dapperticus
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of stoutman
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
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

Photo of GeoffRizzo
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pitch black pour, dark brown head; incredible retention and lacing until the last drop. Eager, highly anticipative aroma of burnt malts, plums, raisins, heavy notes of alcohol. Up front this bad boy is thick, yet smooth and creamy. Velvety slick, with a port feel to it; roasted malts, the alcohol is quite noticeable, yet it is in the background and does not offend. Character notes are many, to include nuts, raisins, port, burnt malts, coffee beans and chocolate; absolutely incredible flavoring and taste. Savoring, enjoyable, a warming brew, immensely drinkable, quite complex, worth a novel; clearly one of the best brews out there.

 638 characters

Photo of biggmike
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark, dark brown pour with light brown head that was long-lasting. I was kind of disappointed because I am a big fan of the Oatmeal Stout and Taddy Porter. Alright but to me not great. The taste was just a bit metallic and I just didnt think it was that good. I will try again because I'm a big fan of their other beers.

 320 characters

Photo of twelvsies
4.67/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man, this company makes some great brews. Seems as though I discover a brewery and then have to try each of their beers. Sammy Smith has been that brewery recently, along with Fantome. Both great in different ways. This is one of the beers (among several) in their lineup that will now be a permanent part of my "beer rotation." Appears a staunch black color, letting in no light. Smells and tastes are super complex. Lots of different angles coming at me here. First there's a dark fruity component, dried cherries and currants. There's also a nice roasted malt in there and actually a bit of spicy hops that I can definately taste. More odd stuff: milky tones, dust, and a leathery character, like sticking your face in a baseball glove that's been sitting in the sun all day. This beer is almost "funky" in the way that a farmhouse ale might be described, though with out the sour. Really amazing tastes here, very complex once again. Slick warm mouthfeel and the surprises behind every sip make this one a real pleasure to drink. Cheers to Sammy, whoever he may be.

 1,069 characters

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

Nice little stout here for sure. I say little, because I feel that 7% might be a bit light for a RIS, but this guy certainly made up for it in flavor. Pours the characteristic dark black/brown with a bit of chocolate milk-colored head that had ok retention. Aroma is pretty nice, some fruit, chocolate, roasted malt, hint of booze, maybe even some vanilla in there too. Taste has some nice bitter roasted malt making a big play, but dark fruit poke in and out at times. Dark chocolate also makes an appearance. Again some booze comes in there too. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, but a bit thin as far as I'm concerned. Really enjoyed the drink, a good, available, affordable RIS.

It is a little weird that at 7% the booze in this one is not very well-hidden. What's weirder is that I think it works for the beer in that alcohol flavors are pretty normal for other popular big ABV guys in the style.

 900 characters

Photo of climax
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As black as the outline of this website, and no brown highlights. The head was creamy and dark. Retention was good as well.

The nose was no surprise, dark and bold. However, it was not overly roasty or dry. Flavors molasses, raisins, vanilla, licorice, and brown sugar all were evident. Very complex aroma, even some ripe raspberry syrup flavors came through. It definitely keeps me smelling.

The taste follows the aroma quite close, with some added acidity. The more roasted tones of dry coffee and chocolate showed themselves, unlike in the nose.

The body is full, as expected, pretty easy to drink though. The carbonation was mild but ample. Ultimately, it was very creamy with a dryish finish. Damn Good, and surprisingly easy to drink.

 746 characters

Photo of Steve_Studnuts
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of sephyrott
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%

Photo of brett606
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of seand
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep black, with just a tinge of brown hues around the bottom of the glass. Head is thick, foamy, big bubbles, fairly dark tan. Retains pretty well and leaves great lacing.

S: A kind of muted sweetness, full and complex. Roasted coffee notes blended with dark chocolate tones and molasses.

T: Lots of flavor, full and complex. Similar to the smell but moreso, with rich bitter coffee and dark chocolate notes as well as dried fruit.

M: Medium amount of carbonation, very full bodied, with an aftertaste that lingers for a long time.

D: It's very full bodied and heavy, but, given that, it's also very drinkable.

A great RIS, that shows you can create a hugely flavorful beer without a similarly huge ABV.

 720 characters

Photo of DougT
4.67/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Sam Adams glass at 47 degrees.

Black as night, even to the edges of the glass. 2+ fingers of dark golden brown frothy head. Dissipates leaving considerable clingy lacing. A solid foam layer lasts throughout the drink.

Smells of roasted grains, toffee, some sweetness, a little hops. Smells a bit like a dark wine with hops added. A complex smell that makes my mouth water.

Tastes of Cognac or dark grape juice, just a subtle hop bitterness, slight coffee flavor, sweetness only in the aftertaste. Flavors don't follow the nose completely, which adds complexity. Alcohol is well hidden. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel is a strong medium. Nicely carbonated. Flavors are forward on the tongue. There is no alcohol burn on the throat.

This is a very complex, nuanced, flavorful beer worthy of praise. I am enjoying this more as time goes by. As it warms the wine flavors are reduced and more dark fruit and yeast flavors come forward. The hop flavors are not as prominent as I expected, the roast subtle, they yeasts are not overpowering, and thought I get a nice warm feeling the alcohol flavors are well suppressed.

This is a very good beer.

 1,158 characters

Photo of RobTheKnob
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of jmbranum
4.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Imagine drinking Guiness Extra Stout while high, and you start to get an inkling of how good this beer is.

Gorgeous amazing black beer with a perfectly colored short tan head.

The aroma hit my nose as soon as I opened the bottle. Lots of toasted maltiness.

The flavor, oh the flavor, frankly it is indescribable. A perfect pairing of glorious bitterness, super dark chocolate with some very slightly fruity notes (along the lines of some 85% cacoa chocolate I had recently that had the same strange fruity notes).

Supposedly this beer is only 7% alcohol but I think there is more warmth than that. Pleasant mouth feel, smoothly carbonated.

A world-class beer. The best stout I've ever had.

 705 characters

Photo of khiasmus
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black.
Ruby.
Attractive.
Creamy.
Frothy.
Fruity.
Licorice.
Sherry.
Raisin.
Lacing.
Smooth.
Chewy.
Sweet.
Chocolatey.
Buttery.
Butterscotch.
Light-ish.
Ineffervescent.
Welcoming.
Delicious.
Cloying.
Drinkable.
Enjoyable.
Complex.
Smoky.
Peaty.
Well done.
Underwhelming.

Good.

 293 characters

Photo of Sathanas
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of seakayak
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Elfastball7
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of eat
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice frothy cover of mocha coloured head topping an opaque, black body. Nice lacing.

Smells of minerals, dark roasted malt, light molasses, buttery caramel, dark berries and English hops.

Dark berries really come out in the flavour, along with roast malt, minerals, a little butter, light English hops and lots of coffee and dry cocoa on the finish. The flavour is a little on the thin side for my liking but what's here is great.

Smooth medium body with light carbonation. Normally I would think the feel is too thin for a stout but it works here.

Amazingly drinkable for 7% ABV. As far as I've tried, this is the definitive English imperial stout.

 657 characters

Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 3,811 ratings