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

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
1,758 Reviews
Samuel Smith's Imperial StoutSamuel Smith's Imperial 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
Reviews:
1,758
Ratings:
3,721
Avg:
4.17
pDev:
11.27%
 
 
Wants:
234
Gots:
517
For Trade:
3
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,758 | Ratings: 3,721
Photo of chrhowe
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite impressive from the pour on....pours a very deep dark black with a one finger head. The pleasant, tan head doesn't last very long but has a nice thin layer that lingers on the edge of the glass. I smell dark chocolate, cherries and figs. It's almost port like.
The taste is earthy, chocolaty with some mocha and coffee hints as well. This beer is quite pleasant and very interesting.
Having just finished dessert this is quite the "capper." This RIS has a very smooth, rich and creamy feel to it which makes it all the more enjoyable. One could sip on this all night long, at a slow pace that is. Definitely the top I've had from Sam Smith to date.
Excellent brew!!!!

 679 characters

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

Served in a squat pint glass

Pours a thick, opaque black with faint coffee hues with good head retention. Head is of a rich toffee color and moderate thickness.

Cacao, dark fruits, dark roasted coffee and roasty aromas are present, along with a rum-like alcohol nose and sweetness. Pussers Rum comes to mind.

Dark chocolate, coffee and roasted malt flavors are immediately prominent, which segue into notes of dark fruits and a pleasant hop bitterness. Finish is a dry, slightly smoky sweetness with a pleasant presence of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and medium in body. Carbonation is perfect.

This is the first imperial stout that I have had the pleasure of drinking in quite some time, and this offering wastes no time in reminding me why the RIS is one of my favorite styles. An absolutely fantastic beer.

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Photo of Nostrajonus
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Black pour with a two finger creamy tan head that is amazing.

S-Roasted barley and with hints of dark chocolate and hops.

T- Rich malts and dark chocolate. The hops are there too, but in the background. Complex and well put together.

M- Creamy smoothness. This drinks really well.

O- Had this before, and will have it again. Drinks very well, full bodied flavor, reasonably priced.

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Photo of Bartrob6
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

looks like a stout to me! black with a very small head and tiny bits of lacing.

smells good with roasted malts, chocolate, and i'm getting some dark fruits also.

taste is strong chocolate. extremely well done.

incredible mouthfeel for an imp stout. very drinkable for its style. probably the most drinkable one i've had.

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Photo of MeMyselfNAles7
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite RIS. Sam Smith did an above average brew with this one. It may be a little on the short end due to its 7%abv, but its still a solid brew.

Poured this brew on a snifter it casts a very dark brown brew with a beige, creamy and rich full crown that has a good retention. Full body with nice carbonation. The aromas are of strong roasted coffe, dark malts and dark cocoa, no alcohol perceived on the nose. The first sip brings the dark malts out followed by the roasted coffe and closing in with a nice touch of dark cocoa that gives it a great finish, with no lingering notes. Nothing overpowering. More drinker friendly than Old Ras but its an exceptional example of the style.

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Photo of NotACommunist
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from 550mL bottle into Guinness pint glass.

A: Pours a dark black with a thick rich head that last a long time. Head is the color of a coffee stain on a white sheet of paper. Lots of nice lacing. Can see a peek of ruby reflecting through the bottom reflecting the light. H

S: Deep roasted barley, slight chocolate covered cherry smell

T: Lingering bitter hops on the back of the tongue; bitter chocolate taste. Alcohol doesn't take over... Pleasant.

M: Rich but not too thick. Becomes more thin as it warms up while drinking.

D: Great for a nightcap, especially when the heat is out at your house in winter, like it is in mine.

I like this as I am exploring this style.

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Photo of ellman
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mmm Stout.
Apperance: BLACK, when I bought it i did not realize that the bottle was clear. It has a this tan head
Smell: Roasted malty sweetness.
Taste: Like no stout i have ever tasted, a little bit of a burnt flavor (not in a bad way). and some bitter ends
Mouthfeel: a bit thinner the i expected but overall quite good.
Drinkabliity: quite drink abt but if a drank to many i would surely fall down.

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Photo of jrb1001
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A: Very dark, My roomate at school thought that the bottle was a brown bottle...lol


S: Very hoppy and smells like a coffee, its smells like a darker beer.


T: Very smooth and easy to drink

M: Has a coffee taste to it but, but smooth


D: I drank it will dinner and I would definately drink another soon in the future.


Note: The Samuel Smith collection of Beers is really good, but this beer has to be the best.

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

The beer pours a wonderful black with a thick tan head. Lots of malt sweetness on teh aroma. The tast is sweet with a hint of fruit. The body is medium and there is a hint of bitterness in the aftertaste. This is very drinkable for an imperial stout and is a great introduction to the syle.

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Photo of Glazed144
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown, light black. Not much head at all. Roasted coffee/chocoalate smell. Smells like roasted malt. Smooth mouthfeel, nice bitter aftertaste, not overwhelming.A very good brew and I highly reccommend it.Samuel Smith truly knows what they are doing.

 262 characters

Photo of Limberg316
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Excellent Imperial Stout if there ever was one! Smooth pour with an almost red tint through the light. Dark brown head that is tasty but disappeares very quickly. It almost reminds me more of a porter than a stout. Drinks very easily and is very smooth going down. I'm not sure if I would want more than two or three at a time though.

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Photo of yourchoice
3.77/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Catching up on some notes from the last couple weeks...

A- Pours very dark, almost black with a light brown/dark tan head. Minimal lacing.

S- Raisins and figs with a malt background.

T- A bitter chocolate is very present, with a slightly sweeter raisiny flavor.

M- very slight carbonation, medium body....thinner than I expected.

O - A bit easier to drink than I expect for an RIS. Not necessarily a "bad" thing, but I expected more from the beer.

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Photo of SteveoNY
2.64/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

P - 18.7 oz Bottle, attractive white label with gold printing and gold foil neck, daycode stamp.

A - Opaque black to the eye, with thumb of medium tan head, low retention, sticky lacing.

S - Hint of mocha, coffee, dark dried fruit, and rubberbands.

T - semi malty molasses at first, then the dry 7.0% abv and bitterness catch up. If you like to drink prune, plum, and raisin juice this is your beer lol

M - smooth and creamy, lower carbonation.

D - If you can fathom the 7% abv flavor I guess it makes a nice sipper. I deff wouldnt crack a second one the same day. would be dissapointed if this were a dessert beer or night cap..

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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.

 1,335 characters

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.

 661 characters

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".

 484 characters

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.

 602 characters

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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Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
4.17 out of 5 based on 3,721 ratings.
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