Samuel Adams Imperial Stout | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

very good
1,496 Ratings
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Samuel Adams Imperial StoutSamuel Adams Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Duhast500 on 01-18-2009

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Ratings: 1,496 |  Reviews: 806
Photo of Happy_Camper
1/5  rDev -73.8%

Photo of cde1218
1/5  rDev -73.8%

Photo of UncleJon206
1/5  rDev -73.8%

Photo of David1975
1/5  rDev -73.8%

Photo of OriolesFan1008
1/5  rDev -73.8%

Photo of CrashOverride
1/5  rDev -73.8%

Photo of Manoftyr
1.24/5  rDev -67.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Appearance-Looks decent enough, doesn't quite have that motor oil slick consistency that I like to see in an Imperial Stout though, there's some head but it doesn't leave any lacing...oh dear., I smell alcohol and something that smells reminiscent of banana flavoring, very artificial banana flavoring; this doesn't smell very appealing.

Taste-Bitter, tasteless,; this doesn't taste good. I had to chug the second half of my glass to finish should not be *ABLE* to chug an imperial stout, let alone have to.

Mouthfeel-So thin it practically dissolves in your mouth, yuck.

Drinkability-Sink drain here I come! I can drink no more of this 4pack.

Notes-I'm sorry to say this is going to be my first F and I'm sorry again to say that it's a Sam Adams. Sam, I have absolutely no idea what you were going for with this beer but whatever it was you failed at it. This is nasty.

 912 characters

Photo of afoltz2
1.5/5  rDev -60.7%

Photo of jmgault1
1.5/5  rDev -60.7%

Photo of Cris4545
1.75/5  rDev -54.2%

Photo of Hunterbrewhaha
1.96/5  rDev -48.7%
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.

 549 characters

Photo of elBecko
2/5  rDev -47.6%

Photo of Mingstein
2/5  rDev -47.6%

Photo of stairwell2811bre
2/5  rDev -47.6%

Photo of tblocks21
2/5  rDev -47.6%

Photo of Buebie
2.02/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Picked up this brew today as a single, not ready to pay $11 for a 4 pack of this yet until I try her out.

Poured from a 12oz tall brown bottle into my Surly Tulip. Forming a 2.5 inch head off a semi-soft pour. The head finally receeds leaving a nice quarter inch retention layer of light khaki color. Lace drapes cover most of the glass, more thin then thick, but coverage area is large.
The beer itself is black with no light penetration.

The aroma is lacking any punch, its faint and almost non-existant. Very very mild chocolate, almost root beer like, some molasses and a touch of charred wood. Thats it for aroma, and its quite dissapointing.

The taste is also dissapointing. The mouthfeel is thin, carbonated and a bit of wet cardboard at the start. Too much alcahol punch with a solvent kick.
This beer is representing the mass produced shit water that really pisses me off in a beer. Yea, your out to make a buck, thats fine, but atleast make a good beer. Makes meangry I bought it, this is not like any other Imperial Stout I've had. I'd say it would be up there with an ok regular stout, but no imperial..
There is alot of toasted grains and charred woodyness, but no chocolate, no oats, just straight bitter.

Glad I only picked up one of these. Not satisfied with it at all. Drainpour.

 1,300 characters

Photo of CaseyR22
2.11/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Look- black, not a bit of light comes through. Big frothy brown head that eventually settles to a thin saucer. Not much lacing.

Smell- dark chocolate, dark fruit and some overwhelming artificial sweetness. Kinda smells like root beer and prunes. Not very pleasent

Taste-kind of has a cheap wine taste to it. Not much stoutyness to speak of. Mostly sweet dark fruit followed by a bunch of rubbing alcohol like booziness. This is pretty bad, but drinkable.

Mouth- Kinda thin, medium carbonation at first but after 10 minutes itas practically flat. I'm not impressed.

O/A--I'm sorry to say, I'm kinda mad I wasted $11 on a 4 pack of this crap. It must be a really old pack or lightstruck or something because its hard for me to believe this has a decent rating here. This is literally the worst stout I've ever had and I won't be trying it again unless they start putting a discernable date on these things and I get a fresh one.

 930 characters

Photo of jmerloni
2.12/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Dark brown to black. Not very much head on this one. What's there is tan and laces minimally.

S - Decent smell. Roasted barley, malts, coffee, chocolate.

T - Not great. Roasted malts, not much coffee or dark chocolate. Instead, dark fruits like sweet cherry and plum are present here, but they don't taste fresh and Sam Adams' signature metallic taste is obvious here. Tastes like a dead dubbel with a little extra malt. Alcohol really comes through, kind of unnecessarily.

M - Lighter than I would prefer this to be and grossly syrupy as well. Pretty dry. Carbonation is too much. Alcoholic taste is overt and unpleasant. Usually alcoholic tastes in beers are pleasant and warming, but not here. Sam Adams could do much better in this department with this beer.

D - Not a good brew, and unlike the Imperial White in Sam's series, you can tell this one comes from Sam Adams. While that's not a bad thing obviously, this beer tastes predictable and could definitely benefit from being, well, stoutier. It could be thicker and more robust. The fruitiness is fine with me, but the chocolate/coffee flavors should be buffed up. On another level, this is about as long as I've ever taken to finish a beer...this shit's gross and hard to drink. Doesn't taste good, ingredients are cheap, and there's no reason why the alcohol has to be so unpleasant in this. A pretty awful brew.

 1,384 characters

Photo of ronbo5421
2.25/5  rDev -41.1%

Photo of BMart
2.25/5  rDev -41.1%

Photo of jazer
2.26/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A very dark beer. It looks very inviting, but just doesn't deliver. A overly sweet flavor dominated by a sort of metallic taste. It leaves a lousy aftertaste as well. Kind of hard to pinpoint a dominant scent. It has a nice mouthfeel and I definately wouldn't drink another one.

Definately not recommended.

 307 characters

Photo of alcstradamus
2.28/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

A--Pours as black as the deepest depths of Charles Manson's soul, with a huge 3 finger dark brown head that leaves behind a thick trail of lacing. This is as good looking as any beer I've ever seen, I don't see how this could be rated lower than a 5 unless purposely trying to lower the overall letter grade.

S--As odd, funky wooden smell. Also some vanilla and molasses, maybe some bakers chocolate and dark fruit hidden in there. This smells bad, I am almost scared to drink it because any stout I've ever had that smelled like this ended up tasting like rotten fruit

T--Unfortunately, I am not surprised. There is a strong initial burst of rotting fruit, like a raisin that someone left on the sidewalk on a sunny day. A bit of imitation vanilla and bourbon notes, but I can't really go further because once I taste the funkiness I can't wade through it. This is not the worst imperial stout I've ever had, but it comes from the same family

M--Nice creaminess that luckily does not coat the mouth and leave an aftertaste

D--Nah, drain pour for me. Joins the ranks of Triple Bock and Cranberry Lambic as the worst Sam Adams beers

 1,135 characters

Photo of SeaBrew40
2.32/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours black, totally opaque. Nice creamy head with good retention and lacing. The smell was overpoweringly sweet, more toffee than chocolate. Smooth mouthfeel, perfect carb. I felt like the brew was trying too hard, and was not a well rounded imperial in taste or aroma. Too many things stuck out to make it very enjoyable. It would go from very sweet to bitter with a very bitter, roasted aftertaste that I found undesirable. I would not drink again, and can't really recommend it.

 482 characters

Photo of mullenite
2.35/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Glassware - Over-sized Brandy Snifter

Appearance - Totally opaque black color, no colored highlights, nothing at all. Initially there was a one finger tan colored head, but it didn't last long at all. Lots of nice lacing left on the glass. Better head retention and this would be the perfect looking RIS.

Nose - Chocolate, alcohol... and prune juice? It really smells like malta, which is nice when I'm drinking malta... but not a beer like this. I want roasted barley, coffee, chocolate, and all the other great flavors I think of when I think of a RIS. I definitely don't want prune juice.

Taste - The taste is a little better than the smell, not as prune-y with more chocolate and some roasted notes in there. Not very complex and not anywhere near the top examples of the style. With each sip the smell bothers me more. The after taste is quite nice but the flavor just isn't there. Huge miss.

Mouthfeel - Nice, thicker medium body and nice carbonation.

Overall - Unfortunately the appearance and the mouthfeel can't make up for the aroma or taste of this beer. I guess I set my hopes too high, but this one is really bad.

 1,131 characters

Photo of icheadle90
2.4/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

This beer pours and smells wonderful. Small head and completely black. Very strong aroma. And that's where the good stuff ends.

Three words: Too. Damn. Strong.

You can tell that Boston Beer Company was trying to prove something with this, and they went too hard.

Very disappointing.

 285 characters

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Samuel Adams Imperial Stout from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.82 out of 5 based on 1,496 ratings.
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