Samuel Adams Imperial Stout
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Samuel Adams Imperial StoutSamuel Adams Imperial Stout
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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #841
Ranked #24,408
3.84 | pDev: 13.54%
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States
Very Good
Samuel Adams Imperial StoutSamuel Adams Imperial Stout
Notes: Imperial in stature and bigger than your average stout. This colossal stout was inspired by those created by 18th century English brewers for the Russian Imperial Court of Catherine II. The special malts in this intense and massive brew delivers rich flavors of dark chocolate, coffee, and anise.
Reviews: 810 | Ratings: 1,505 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by cvfish:
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cvfish from Louisiana

4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a deep black color that produced a brown fluffy head that good retention and left a good amount of lace on the side of the glass

S - The aromas that were produced were straight forward RIS, roasted malts and coffee

T - The taste of this beer was also straight forward, the roasted malts and bitter chocolate was present with a little bit of coffee

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium to heavy body that was accompanied by a light amount of carbonation

D - This was a very good Imperial Stout, very drinkable and made for sipping, you cannot go wrong with this beer if you like the darks

May 03, 2009
More User Reviews:
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rebel1771 from Florida

3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a jet black color with tan head that sticks around a while.

S: Strong aroma of chocolate mixed with a bit of dark cherries.

T: Toasted pumpernickel, bitter dark chocolate, and a strong alcohol punch.

D: This is obviously a good brew but I think I can only handle one in a sitting. While this is a good example of an Imperial Stout I believe there are better options out there.

Sep 07, 2009
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botham from New York

4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. pours oily black with minimal head. thick and syrupy in appearance. a bit of swishing produces a dark brown, creamy head that dissipates quickly.

aroma is deeply roasted with notes of burnt malts, dark chocolate, and an earthy wooden base. the earthy character gives way to an almost smoke-like note that works quite well with the roasted malts.

taste is roasted, with a very mellow quality and additional notes of dark chocolate and a bit of coffee. the flavors here are inseperable, creating a very complete and satisfying profile. after a bit of warming the earthy wooden character comes forth and a bit of alcohol shows.

mouthfeel is full bodied, creamy, and quite smooth on the palate. finishes silky smooth with residual roasted malt and chocolate.

drinkability is good. a lack of true drinkability is inherent to the RIS style, which contributes to a hit here, but as far as overall appreciation, this is an excellent RIS. full of black malt character and silky smooth on the palate, this one warms the stomach and leaves the palate satisfied. cheers!

Jul 29, 2009
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hoplover82 from Texas

4.16/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a pitch black color with a huge dark brown sugar creamy head that has ok retention and excelent lacing.

S-The aroma is pungent with roasty characteristics. Very straight foward. Maybe some earthy hops way in the back. Some chocolate malt too.

T-Much like the aroma. Lots of roasted barley and some chocolate too. A bitterness that just barely keeps it from being sweet. It's not sweet but it's very malty.

M-Has a huge silky body and it's slightly dry in the finish.

D-It goes down very smooth but there is a very noticable alcohol presence. I wouldn't say it's fusal though. I think it goes down very well for the style and abv. Very nice beer indeed.

Oct 22, 2009
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cadaugherty from Illinois

4/5  rDev +4.2%

Nov 18, 2011
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rob99er from California

3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Jan 08, 2012
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Braz from Washington

4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown/black. One finger of creamy brown head that recedes after a minute leaving a light lace. Aroma is heavy dark chocolate with a light roastiness. Light sweetness of chocolate up front, with a dry roasted coffee finish. Subtle spice aftertaste - the anise perhaps. Smooth lightly carbonated thick body. Alcohol is well masked by the strong chocolate/coffee flavors. Very good beer with excellent body. Will definately have this again sometime. This almost tastes like a milk stout.

Dec 27, 2012
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Tballz420 from Minnesota

4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Jet black body, no hues come through when held to the light. Tiny brown head. Great chocolate malt nose. Huge and complex taste. Big chocolate malt, some roast and burnt notes. Spice from the alcohol. Some oakyness. Full mouth brew. Pretty good imperial.

Jul 14, 2010
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GilGarp from Colorado

3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours from a 12oz brown bottle into a high ball. I didn't even realize the bottle had a date stamped on it. Brown ink on brown bottle equals hard-to-read. The code doesn't even read an actual date but rather a series of digits. Ok, enough gripe, on to the beer.

It has nearly black color with a thin ring of dark redish brown around the edge. The 1/4" of brown head settles to a film on top of the beer. No lacing is left behind.

Aroma is sweet and boozy with a hint of what smells like oxidation to me.

Flavor is surprisingly similar to my homebrew RIS. It's sweet and fruity up front with a bit of red wine. The black malts and ample hops come forward bringing a bitter roastiness to the picture. There's some milk chocolate, which is a unusual, and some light roasted coffee.

Mouthfeel seems a little thin but it's smooth and fairly easy drinking.

Overall, I'm surprised this is coming out of Sam Adam's. It's really not any better than my thrid attempt at homebrewing. While I'd like to say this as a compliment to myself, it's really said with a feeling of disappointment in SA. Not a bad beer but it could have been so much more.

Mar 29, 2009
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imagineiii from Vermont

3.01/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured into my trusty dfh snifter. decent half inch of head. large bubbles, great brown color to the head. beer is dark as any out there.

its hard to find the scents i want to find, but theyre there. smells like my homebrewed imp stout, which i know cant be a good thing. maybe too much sweetness without enough burnt malts to cover it. molasses, brown sugar.

molasses and sweet alcohol dominate. some dark chocolate in there too. unfortunately this beer is ruined for me but a slight soapy quality. cant put my finger on it, but it almost ruins this beer for me. alcohol heat at the back.

mouthfeel is not quite heavy, but definetely thick. alcohol comes in the middle. aftertaste is ruined by soapy chemically notes. doesnt stick to the palate like my favorite imp stouts but thats probably a good thing.

its not harsh, but its not enjoyable.

EDIT: you MUST let this beer warm before consuming. it improves.

Mar 11, 2009
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Duff27 from Illinois

3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage

A- Thin light mocha head on a bnlack beer. Well above average lacing, decent head retention.

S- Cola, chocolate smells.

T- Very sweet, lots of residual sugars, Licorice. My alcohol detectors put this at 10%abv.

M- Thick mouthfeel, medium carbonation. Feels good in the mouth!

D/O- Been awhile since I've had this, pleasantly surprise with how it held up. Very nice, widely-available impy stout.

Nov 26, 2011
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NuclearDolphin from Minnesota

3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Tulip Glass

Appearance - Pitch Black with a thin filmy dark brown head. Leaves behind some sparse lacing on the sides.

Smell - Rich & Sweet Chocolate, Coffee/Mocha, Yeasts and Burnt Malts. It smells just like an Imperial Stout should.

Taste - Chocolate, Cocoa, Coffee, and Burnt Malts. While it tastes quite good, the finish is a strong burnt/ashy aftertaste. It gets better the more you drink, but it's there.

Mouthfeel - Thick bodied with moderate carbonation. It's slightly crisp, but I'm used to my stouts being creamy and smooth. This body feel just for some reason

Overall - It's got some great flavor, but the aftertaste does need some work before it can be an outstanding beer..

Sep 04, 2012
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3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Dec 12, 2012
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tavernjef from Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Impenetrable blackness with a short cropping of dark tan thick foam that swifts away a bit quick. Oily, spotty lacing along with a few stretched out strings coat the glass well.

Aroma is deep and dark of raisin and currants slathered in a small amount of chocolate and roast. Not nearly as big as it could be, but pretty adequate and rounded well in its nature on the nose.

Flavors are much better and quite a bit more complexing then what the aroma would lead you to think. Upon first taste it speaks of what a good RIS should be. Very distinct currant, raisin, date deepened sweetness smoked with a slight char and peppery noting take a step forward. Milky dark chocolate fills in the rest as notes of cocoa powder, vanilla, coffee, and hops help add a nice dryness of cream.

Body is bold, smooth, quick, and frothy within a solid, bigger medium body. Keeps a solid tang of very deep and dark fruity sweetness all the while a complex balance of chocolate and subtle burnt roast keep it wrapped up into a nice drying finishing package of drinkable delight. Perhaps a bit more thickness would be in order, but it tends to fill the palate well enough with both flavor and body.

Could drink a few of these or more; or at least up until the 9.2% decides to take over. Which is nearly non-existant anywhere, so beware.
Sam Adams can proud of this one as it holds its own among many other RIS's out there.

Aug 01, 2009
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happygnome from Minnesota

4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: pours a inky black color with about an inch of brown head that doesnt dissapear very fast and leaves a good ring of lace around the edge of the glass
s: deep roasted chocolate, hints of dark fruit coffee and a touch of the alcohol
m: full bodied beer feels creamy, little carbonation

overall, this isnt a session beer, but the style never is.Very enjoyable

Jun 22, 2009
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AndrewOToole from Texas

3.31/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a brown head that dissipated quickly, almost no lacing.

Smells like coffee with a bit of soy sauce and alcohol.

Very tasty stout, however the soy sauce flavor is a bit too strong. High alcohol content (about 8.5%) covered very nicely.

Nothing to write home about, good carbonation, leaves a slightly oily feel on the roof of your mouth.

Not my go to strong stout, but very tasty, I'd drink this beer again.

Apr 06, 2010
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Hunterbrewhaha from Florida

1.96/5  rDev -49%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I have never been satisfied with a Sam Adam's beer. I have never been able to finish a Sam Adam's beer. I tried to review with an open mind but this struck me as awful. Does not taste like a beer, more like a burnt malt.

A- Dark, thick, looks pleasing.

S- Rich, burnt chocolate, coffee/toffee.

T- Overbearing toffee and burnt chocolate, first taste and aftertaste reminicent of Malta Goya.

M- Sits on tongue okay, high alcohol content very noticeable, too thick for a beer.

O- Should have bought another Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout instead.

Sep 19, 2011
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stoney1031 from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Dec 28, 2012
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weeare138 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears an opaque, dark black with a small dark tan head that slowly fades away. Scattered spots of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is smokey with cocoa, brown sugar, and licorice found amongst the mix.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with more of a prune, and fig flavor coming through in the flavors.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, sugary, and bitter.

Jul 20, 2009
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jdskinns from Illinois

3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Poured an average head, brown in color, that slowly dissipates leaving a thin covering. Excellent lacing. Black body with no light getting through. Smell is sweet with coffee and vanilla coming through. Flavor is slightly bitter with roasted malt flavors dominating and some dark fruit flavors showing through. Medium body. Overall a pretty decent brew.

Nov 05, 2009
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bowersdm from Ohio

4.44/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.

A - Black (as usual) with a 3cm light brown/lightly creamed coffee look. On the pour, the beer looked as if it was the darkest beer I have ever seen. The overall appearance puts it high on my list of darkest beers as well.

S - cocoa, roasted barley, coffee. not much going on here.

T - cocoa, roasted barley, coffee, dark chocolate, a subtle spicy hop flavor and when the beer hits room temperature, a licorice/anise flavor is discernible. This is probably the anise flavor the bottle is speaking off. I could never tell the difference between anise and licorice, so I'm just going to say it was anise/licorice. The beer itself doesn't have the depth of flavor as other Imperial Stouts, but what it makes it taste great is how rich the flavors are. The alcohol became discernible at room temp also.

M - incredibly. This is probably the best mouthfeel of any bottled beer i have ever had.

D - I find it to be a really rich beer, definitely a slow drinker. It's a great value for the price (9.99 for a four pack) and I will definitely buy some again.

Feb 08, 2009
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zekeman17 from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Dec 05, 2013
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

May 05, 2014
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allenson21 from New York

2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Jun 20, 2013
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sulldaddy from Connecticut

3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared a bottle of this with Stopper. Poured a cellar temp bottle into a snifter. The beer pours a dark oily hue with only minimal beige head.
Some molasses and roasted malt on the nose and a little bit of booze pokes through as well.
First sip reveals a thick body and a little syrupy texture carbonation is fizzy but fine and tingles a bit.
Flavor is molasses and brown sugar with lots of warm booze. Warm through the finish. no real hops anywhere.
The beer is decent and interesting to see SA produce, I wonder if a year in the cellar would tame the warmth a bit?

Mar 09, 2009
Samuel Adams Imperial Stout from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 1505 ratings