Imperial Stout | Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
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 brentk56
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an obsidian black with a nice mocha head; nice retention and lacing

Smell: Roasted malt, dark fruit (figs and prunes), some bittersweet chocolate and a nice whiff of rum

Taste: Starts out with a combination of roasty malt and dark fruit (raisin, date and prune), with the hops adding a bitter element by mid-palate; after the swallow, the roasty, fruity and chocolate flavors predominate into a complex finish that provides point and counter-point

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation and a hint of warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: I've come around to this one over time and have re-reviewed this while maintaining the original review date; I now appreciate the complexity and restraint in this version compared to the production of some of the American craft brewers

 810 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a opaque black beer with a medium dark brown head with minimal retention. Aroma is quite incredible and consists of pure black chocolate, roasted malt and some coffee. Taste is also quite a treat with the chocolate hitting first (without too much sweetness) and followed by the roasted malt and coffee to finish the whole thing. Very well balance with limited bitterness, which probably makes it one truly good dessert beer. Wow!!!

 446 characters

Photo of Boone757
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of LXIXME
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an opaque black (not the darkest black I have seen in a stout) in color with hints of dark brown and red when held up to the light. The beer has a half finger tall dark tan head that reduces to a thin patchy layer covering the surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: Definitely some sweetness in the smell with some dark fruits as well as toffee/caramel coming through. After that the dark roasted malts are noticeable. Overall, some nice complexity.

T: Starts with some nice dark roasted malts and some dark fruit, more plum/raisin than fig. After that some of the caramel sweetness comes through.There is a light amount of milk chocolate presence and light lingering bitterness.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

O: This is a very enjoyable and very drinkable stout. The beer has a nice complexity of flavor and aroma while still keeping a relatively low ABV. Not exactly sessionable but definitely easy to approach and not a beer that requires a lengthy time sipping. No noticeable alcohol present.

 1,121 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An opaque black body is capped by a foamy tan head that holds exceptionally well. It eventually drops, but maintains a creamy collar & thin surface covering throughout the glass. Some very nice Brussel's lace adds to the appearance. The aroma expresses dark fruit (currant, plum), dark chocolate, roastiness, and molasses. The medium/full body combines with a fine and moderate carbonation to give a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. The exceptionally rich, sweet malt expresses chocolate, toffee, roast, and coffee that's backed by a firm hop bitterness. It starts fruity (raisin, prune), developing sweetness and chocolate, but most of the flavors appear after the swallow when the tastebuds are no longer being overwhelmed. Fruit bursts forth followed by chocolate and rich caramel/molasses, then some floral hop flavor, and finally its roastiness appears - coffee-like and still somewhat chocolatey - with a borderline smokiness. The long and complex finish is what makes this beer... it's meant to be savored! It may at first seem more restrained than other examples of the style (and essentially it is), but a closer look reveals an immensely drinkable and exceptionally complex stout. Quite well done and well worth seeking out.

 1,230 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Black, slight transparency as it thins. Pours with about an inch of frothy brown head.

Smell - Vinous, subdued dark chocolate sweetness, notes of dark fruit, burnt bread and anise.

Taste - Black licorice, toast, molasses and dark chocolate. Deep roasted notes and a red wine-like drying bitterness come out in the finish. Medium-bodied and moderately carbonated. Nicely balanced.

Notes - A very approachable Russian Imperial Stout - it's warming but not overly heavy or bitter, and it still has plenty of character. That said, I'd take Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout over this any day.

 600 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The crazy bottle neck on the bottle's neck forces a huge head on the pour that rises up for 2/3 of the glass. A thick frothy dark colored hear that is. The beer itself is almost pitch black, but not quite.

N: Tons of malts hit first. SOme roasted malts, caramel malts, and a few others. Some caramel aromas and sweetness, a little oatmeal, some dark fruits, and a little bitter English hop aroma tops it off. A little chocolate as well.

T: Very fruity actually. Tons of malt as well, again with lots of dark malts, caramel, a little roast, I think even a nice bit of Marris Otter as base. Creamy milk chocolate, oats, dried fruits, hints of spicy hops. A little bit of juicy hop flavors as well.

M: Creamy and semi thick, with lots of carbonation.

F: Semi bitter with more English hops, and lingering hot roast and dark malts. Some sweetness on the finish as well with more caramel and brown sugar.

 906 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance of this imperial stout is one of the best I've seen. The color is pitch black. Head is large, creamy, and dark tan. Retention is great. The aroma has an inviting mixture of toffee, chocolate, and dark fruit smells. I just wish the aroma was a bit stronger. The taste starts with a strong chocolate flavor with edges of toffee. Dark fruit flavors mix in nicely along with a bit of alcohol flavor. A slight butteriness is noted, especially near the finish. The sweet finish is especially long-lasting. Without a doubt this beer has a excellent mix of flavors that are layered nicely, but when compared to the bigger American imperial stouts, this falls a little short of exceptional. Still, this is highly recommended.

 731 characters

Photo of chinchill
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

550 ml bottle served in a goblet.
Pours dark chocolate in color, nearly black in the glass, with a decent, semi-durable tan head.

Aroma: complex; rich; appealing; balanced.

Has a rich, malty flavor with just the right amounts of sweetness, bitterness and 'coffee'. Great balance and blend of flavors. Lasting aftertaste of coffee and dark roasted grains.

Feel: full, creamy smooth body with perfect carbonation.

O: not innovative but world class nonetheless!

 465 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of vfgccp
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black color with dark beige head. Aroma has sweet chocolate and dark malts. Also a faint berries note. Taste starts sweet with a liquorice note and gets more bitter towards the finish but never getting unbalanced. Overall it's a classic, very well made imperial stout.

 268 characters

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of oberon
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black with a real nice creamy head,aroma is of dried fruit and some nuttiness.The taste is a little spicey and nutty with some chocolate undertones a real nice warming beer to drink before bed.This and the Taddy are my favorite Samual Smith ales.

 260 characters

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep, dark brown-black. The foamy part of the tan head dissipates quickly, but a top-coat remains in place for some time.

S: The aroma is of chocolate, malt, barley and a little bit of hops and alcohol.

T: Creamy chocolate and roasted malt & barley flavor start out and prevail as the more dominant taste, but not overly sweet. A little bit of hops hit next and then a slight alcohol sting, with a slightly sweet after-taste.

M: Incredibly smooth, heavy body, medium carbonation and a clean finish.

D: It’s not filling, very smooth, the alcohol is well-disguised and it goes down VERY easy, all of the characteristics of drinkability.

I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. I now see why this beer, style and company has received so much praise.

 821 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of mactrail
2.69/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

The smell is really peculiar. I finally realized, since we had been painting, it smells exactly like house paint. It's that damp, fumey smell of water-based paint that's different from other solvents.

The appearance is quite attractive, with a dark amber brown color and ample off-white head, and loads of lacing in the small globe glass. The flavor continues on the strange trip. It makes me think of prune juice, with the same sweet and tart flavors. Not that sweet, but dark and fruity. I can't get that smell out of my mind, it's back with every sip. I taste pomegranate, bubble gum, and some charred grain.

On the positive side, it's quite a creamy carbonation with a substantial mouthfeel. From the 500 ml bottle bought at a random liquor store.

 753 characters

Photo of jgunther71
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of billab914
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 550ml bottle into my Stone RIS glass. Poured black in color with a thick and full dark tan head on it. The head settled to a thin layer clinging to the edges of the glass, where it left some great lacing on the sides.

The aroma has a good amount of chocolate to it with a bit of caramel and molassas coming through. It's pretty low on the roasty, coffee and bitter flavors a lot of the American versions are full of. Pretty decent and smooth aroma overall though.

The taste shows a lot of milk chocolate to it at first. I'm also getting a fruity, apple like flavor to it that I don't usually find in an imperial stout. Some roasty and bitter flavors come through towards the finish along with some more chocolate. Pretty flavorful and tasty beer and also different then others of the style to keep things interesting.

The mouthfeel is average thickness for the style but it has a very nice creaminess to it. Drinkability is very good, it's a very well made and classic beer. It had a lot of interesting and different flavors from a lot of the Imperial Stouts that I've had, and thankfully they were also pretty good flavors. Very nice beer to sip on this evening.

 1,183 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: bottle from Total Wine, Cherry Hill, NJ

Pours a dark cola brown-black with bronzed tints, and a pillowy beige head. Roasty malt aroma, sugary, with coffee notes. More dark roasted malts in the taste, molasses, licorice, coffee bitterness. Not quite full-bodied, but quite rich and tasty, and a very drinkable stout.

 327 characters

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