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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
1,744 Reviews
Samuel Smith's Imperial StoutSamuel Smith's Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
United Kingdom (England) | website

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
Reviews:
1,744
Ratings:
3,655
Avg:
4.17
pDev:
16.31%
 
 
Wants:
223
Gots:
484
For Trade:
3
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,744 | Ratings: 3,655
Photo of cmurkar
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely dark brown, almost black. Head is two and a half inches and dark tan. Disappears pretty quickly. Smell is dark malt and chocolate, with a roasted finish. Taste comes through with the roasted malt and coffee. Lingering cocoa and molasses on the finish. Feel is surprisingly light for an imperial stout, yet very smooth.

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Photo of dojobrewco
3.16/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark pour with a roasted aroma. Not as full bodied as I had thought it would be however very drinkable. The bottle I poured had been sitting in my fridge for about a month or so; not sure if this affected the flavor as this is the only one I have ever had.

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Photo of exparte
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Fairly complex but mild aroma of chocolate, coffee, licorice and roasted malt. Pure black in color with a thick and creamy espresso head. Tastes slightly sweet, mostly licorice, with mild bitterness at the end. Full bodied with creamy carbonation and a lingering sweet licorice finish. Well crafted and enjoyable but too heavy on the licorice to become a favorite.

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Photo of Callaghan
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a Pint glass.

A: Black, no question about it. 2 finger mocha head, borderline brown. Minimal lacing left on the glass. About a 1/2 inch of head retains for the entire glass, until the last drop. I would have scored higher if the lacing was there.

S: Sweet and malty, like chocolate and molasses. Alcohol is there too, but not strong at all. A little bit of sweet fruit brings it all around! One of my favorites for sure!

T: Dark chocolates, caramel, dark fruits, prunes and even dark cherries, bitterness that turns to smokiness. Roasted malts and then a great aftertaste that lingers around for a bit. A touch of alcohol just makes things right. There are stronger and more "slap you in the face" RIS's, but this one perfectly balanced.

M: Silky smooth, light and bubbly, yet medium bodied. I expected something heavier based of the look and smell, but I was greeted with a slightly oily feel, but not heavy. The carbonation really brings it together and finishes this beer right!

O: I can't quite give a "5" to any of these categories. The beer didn't seem to have the same depth as some other RIS. I don't think it really compares to many other RIS, in that it falls a little short in that respect, but as a beer, it is great! I do like the other Samuel Smith's stuff, and this one did not disappoint.

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Photo of at7000
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Second time I have bought this. English "bomber" sized bottle. Raisin to the extreme, even prune juice. That sounds horrid, but this is indeed a great beer. Definitely works. The Brits know what they are doing I suppose, after all those years. I'm an IPA guy and still like this one. Like a Guinness Stout that has some extreme flavors going on. Intense. Complex. Nuff said.

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Photo of ziggy13
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice dark black with a half-inch glorious tan head. Aroma was the same as the taste. To me, the alcohol was present but pleasant. It also offered a sweet flavor upfront, finishing with deep flavors of chocolate. The mouthfeel was desirable and because of the subdued alcohol it was surprisingly easy to drink. In its drinkability it differed from most other Imperials, as I could definitely drink a few. Samuel Smith's second best beer. It is second only to the Oatmeal Stoudt.

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

Poured into a goblet, Sam Smith's Imperial looks rather nice, with a deep near black color and a nicely tanned head. Retention isn't bad, but not great either.

The aroma is a little odd for the style. There's some sharp roasted malts, but also a spicy/yeasty smell that is quite strong compared to most stouts that I've had. I like it, but it's definitely not the norm. It could be more intense, as well.

The flavor opens up with a little sharp roastiness followed by a dried fruit character in the middle. The finish is odd, almost slightly metallic in addition to the requisite roast character. Spicy and yeasty as well. Oddly enough, this tastes slightly Belgian. Seriously! I kid you not! If not for the metallic overtones, I would have given it a four.

In the mouth, it's solid. The head lends a nice creaminess, though it dissipates too quickly. I could definitely have gone for a bigger body here, but for 7%, this is quite big.

Overall, this is a drinkable ale, but it's biggest defect is it's odd flavor combination. Don't get me wrong, its good, but at the same time, I feel it could be a lot better. To be honest, it tastes like it was fermented too hot and a few off flavors developed.

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Photo of tubeboy
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. A very dark brown beer with a thick mocha head.

S. A strong smell of prunes and chocolate.

T. A very nice combination of roasted grains, chocolate and prunes.

M. A good mouthfeel, could be a little more thick.

D. Overall a very enjoyable stout. I would rate this second only to Stone Russian Imperial. This is a very available stout year round.

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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.

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

A- Black body with big cappuccino head, a little more head than the usual stouts

S- The first note definitely is Vanilla, after that the smell carnival starts: Chocolate, coffee, alcohol, roasted malts and little odd nuttiness and smoke almonds.

T- Now Smoked almonds, dry fruit, alcohol, appears at the beginning and a hint of vanilla appear at the end.

M- Cigar, almonds and bitter chocolate.

D- One or two is enough, recommended with strong cheese, and smoked "jamón Serrano".

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Photo of Rob6852
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first Imperial Stout.
WOW!
Pours a dark near ink black into the glass with 2 inchs of head that
slowly disapates to a ring that leaves nice laceing down the inside
of the glass.
The smells of mocha and the alcohol makes it known that it is there.
Taste...wow.
This stout has an initial taste of mocha/coffee and finishes dry and warms the tummy up right nicely. The 7% abv really bites you (in a good
way). As the beer warms you just want to sip it and sit back and
relax.
Samual Smith got it right with this one, no doubt.
Its a dark, strong stout that is right nice on a winter night.

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Photo of sutcliff
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the first imperial stout I ever tried years ago and I made it a point to have a pint of it on a regular occassion. An excellent example of the style with a warm, rich taste, and a low amount of hop aroma. The color is a deep black and the head was significant.

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Photo of musingmonkey
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass. My excitement to drink this stout proved a little detrimental to the initial experience, as I drank it a little colder than I should have. This affected the head too, I think, or perhaps it requires a more vigorous attempt than I provided, as it was around 1 finger high, and faded quite quickly. The lacing left was thick and sticky. Reminded me of an off-colour, not quite symmetrical spider web.

Smell was of slightly burnt espresso, dark malt, and definite medicinal qualities. The same medicinal taste was present, although greatly subdued. Early on in the drink I decided to try and warm the glass with my hands, and this paid dividends after a few minutes. Sweet, dark toffee/caramel flavours delightfully played off the malt. Quite a complex stout.

A smooth drink, with a substantial but not over the top body, I was more inclined to sip than gulp. I would have to say that this is now my favourite stout.

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Photo of nickg902
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the most interesting imperial stouts I have had. The pour is dark brown, to black with a little mocha head. Aroma is of coffee and burnt chocolate, perhaps some roasted amalt and a hint of fruitiness. The taste is sweet, hints of coffee and caramel come thorugh. Little bitter aftertaste is perfectly balanced in this brew. First impression I got when tasting this beer is that it resembled the taste of wine, with the fruity taste that is present in this beer. Quite complex. Mouthfeel is extremely smooth. I would definitely recommend anyone to try this.

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Photo of ryane
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours Black, small tan head, small amount of lacing

S- Smells roasty, chocolatey, and a hint of coffee

T- Chocolatey, with a subtle coffee flavor, smooth, a bit sweet for my liking but good

M- Nice body, reminds me of a bigger version of their oatmeal stout

D- Good beer, but with its similarity to the oatmeal stout, think Id rather drink that and be able to have a few

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Photo of charmcityboh
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a glass. Very dark, a total blackout pour with the perfect tan head you expect from the style. Roasty smell, hints of coffee and chocolate. Taste is very licorice up front, moving to the roasty malts which is quickly overtaken by the hops. Nice balance, a tad hot at the very end. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style, if I must find something, but hardly worth mentioning.
Overall a very nice Imperial Stout.
For whatever reason, mostly just the huge variety of options with beer, Samuel Smith's well regarded brews just never found their way into my cart. Thats changed. 5 years into my beer rebirth, and I'm having a lot of fun getting to know this "old Master" brewery.

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Photo of BJ1833
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep black color with brown two-finger head.

Aroma: Mmm... this already smells delicious. Coffee and chocolate aroma hits you first with a fainter smell of toffee as well.

Taste: A strong coffee and roasted malt flavor. Notes of toffee and caramel as well. This is very rich and complex. Alcohol is present but definitely not overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body that is creamy and silky. Perfection carbonation in this bottle.

Overall: This is the first imperial stout I've tried and I don't see how they could get any better than this! This is easily the best stout (imperial or otherwise) I've ever had. This beer would make a good winter warmer.

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Photo of seebus
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was very dark with an almost reddish head. Really, I couldn't imagine a darker liquid. You can smell dark chocolate and a hint of vanilla coffee. It had a smokey bitter taste, and the dark chocolate comes back in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel was great, with a nice even body; a happy mouthfeel to the end. Good drinkability too. Great stout.

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Photo of willyumlong
3.3/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bottle looks great love the gold wrapping
black as tar with good head retention and lacing
not a very potent smell but still good
disappointing probably because i had such high expectations due to the style and price, im glad i didn't see its reviews before drinking or i would have been even more disappointed. don't get me wrong it is good beer but not spectacular to my pallet. in all honesty i would be just as happy with a plain old guiness. sorry.
probably won't be buying any more but was fun to experience.

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Photo of capn
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout is a Russian Imperial Stout with an eye-catching, old style label reminiscent of its Victorian roots. It is 7% ABV but other than that, they really don't tell you much else about it. I first had it at a tasting event some time ago and enjoyed it very much but haven't gotten around to reviewing it until now.

It pours with an opaque, dark black color with the slightest ruby hints at the edges that could only be revealed by direct, bright light. It developed a tall, light-brown head that was creamy and fluffy. The initial aroma was very light and only of sweet malt which I thought was a bit odd. That is when I realized that it had been chilled to standard refrigerator temperature which is well below its recommended serving temperature of approximately 60 degrees. After allowing it to warm a bit, the aroma evolved into one you could really stick you nose into. It was deep and complex but all its notes were subtle and required hunting, which is part of the fun for me. The malty sweetness remained but I also detected slight notes of vanilla and chocolate. The first sip doesn't disappoint either. The mouthfeel starts with a moderate tingle on the front of the tongue which subsides quickly, developing into a thick, creamy feel all over the mouth. The taste is initially slightly sweet which instantly gives way to the hops and alcohol, which blend excellently. The flavor has complexity, but like the aroma, the notes are subtle and you have to work for them. I detected bitter chocolate, hops, some roast, and smoke. It finishes dry with slight black coffee notes and lingers a little.

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout is an excellent beer. It is right in line with the expected characteristics of this style while maintaining great balance throughout. I recommend you use a sniff and sip technique while drinking and enjoy it slowly to get the most out of it. It has the qualities to be enjoyed alone or with food. It even has the legs to stand with a full-bodied, maduro cigar.

I wish you Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
The Cap'n
uscaptainsblog.blogspot.com

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Photo of swede96
2.22/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured black with a 1 finger light brown head into a pint glass. The appearance was good, but the head did not stay long after the pour.

Smell was of dark fruit and did not get anything else from the aroma.

The taste reminded me of prunes...dark fruit with very little hop.

Mouthfeel was full with a fruity sort of coating.

Drinkability was I had one it that was enough. the dark fruit was just not getting it done with my palate.

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Photo of Kvlterbm
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep, dark brown that borders on black. Fairly vigorous pour resulted in about a finger's worth of mocha colored head. The head died down pretty quickly, but what was left of it left some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Big notes of roasted barley, some coffee, chocolate notes, and some sweetness/dark fruits. At 7.5% the alcohol's not very present, aside from a pleasant warming as you drink.

T: The same roasted flavor detected in the nose, bolder coffee. The dark fruits make themselves known, melding very nicely with some earthy, grassy flavors.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, very impressed. A damn good Imperial Stout, and I'm looking forward to getting more.

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Photo of mtschmitz
3.33/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice dark opaque brown with single finger head. The head seems to dissipate quickly to a fine lace but inconsistent.

S: Smell is a bit less aromatic than i was anticipating being an imperial. Subtle hints of chocolate and coffee. Even after letting it sit for a while the aroma did not expose itself too much.

T: Lots of smoky flavor and a taste of coffee and dark chocolate. Tones of alcohol which quickly diminish to smoke. A bit overpowering on the alcohol taste, but good nonetheless.

M: Mouthfeel is pretty thin but the flavors evolve on the palate quite well. A bit less chewy than is my liking for an imperial

O: Overall I'd say that it's a decent Imperial Stout. Im a big fan of their nut brown and porter but this left me wanting more out of the beer. You can't beat the price and I'm I'll return to this some time in the future.

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Photo of Miles_Wilson
4.84/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Wow! After enjoying the Sam Smith Pale Ale immensely I had to try the Imperial Stout out to experience its mettle. The look is exactly what you would expect from a stout, a nice foamy head with easy pour from the bottle but so thick and perfect you would think it might be a nitro brew. The smell is nothing short of intoxicating, full of deep malty and toasty notes much the same as the Pale Ale was for me.
The taste and feel are what this beer is all about; those malty cocoa notes roll over the tongue with a creamy but effortlessly smooth finish, full of malty lingering flavor.

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Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
93 out of 100 based on 1,744 ratings.
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