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

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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 enfield249
3.09/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Sam Adams has the appearance almost perfect on this. Pours motor oil thick, almost no head, and that which forms fades quickly from a espresso tan to nothing.

S - Not getting much other then general dark sweetness. Figs?

T - Mellow is the first thing that comes to mind. Nothing specific stands out. Not roast, bitterness. There is some bitterness in the after taste, but that might be hops, hard to tell.

M - Pretty good, I guess. Slightly cloying, nothing wrong with that.

D - Meh. Not a bad beer, but hardly worth the price of admission.

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Photo of KrisPaulk77
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale goblet.
It poured a viscous midnight black, with very minimal deep garnet highlights around the edges, with a dense, head of latte colored foam. The head reduced down to an impressive looking cap of foam, and good lacing was noted.
The smell was big roast and heavy malts, raisins and other dark fruits, the faintest whiff of smoke, big licorice, burnt malts, bittersweet chocolate and earthy hops.
The taste was big malts, anise or licorice, burnt malts, a touch of raisin, cut by an earthy hop bitterness, and a bit of a hot alcohol finish. The balance was good, the feel was big and chewy and full. There was a good bit of carbonation.
A good offering from Samuel Adams. A great after dinner drink, or paired with an assortment of chocolates. I will buy this one again.

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Photo of SPThirtyThree
4.52/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The blackest of black beers, pours ominously into the pint glass, forming a delicate, thin head, a deep, dark chocolate color, murky mocha relaxing atop the black abyss of beer.

S: Malty and roasty, with burnt caramel and raisin flavors, perhaps from Special B malt. The aroma is backed by sweet and tarry notes and graced by a hint of lemon zest. This beer
smells like the turbulence before a storm, dark and mysterious, but exiting and dangerous at the same time.

T: Bitter up front, but very chocolatey and burnt. The burnt biscuit flavors taste like licking a charred piece of cornbread. In a good way. The middle taste is of cappuccino and espresso, with a warm burn bourne of the high gravity. Some
hop bitterness towards the end, although subtle behind the sticky caramel flavors. Well balanced flavor profile.

M: Creamy and heavy, with some blanketing burn from the ethanol.

D: The high alcohol content is a cause for concern in the drinkability department, but i feel that I could demolish a never-ending supply of these.

Overall, delicious and amazing.

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Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a totally black color and a thick texture. There was a huge amount of creamy, tan-colored, long-lasting head and very good lacing. A lot of chunky sediment at the bottom of this one.

S: Smelled of malt, coffee and sweets. Not as robust as I would've thought.

T: Lots of malt, coffee and caramel in this beer. A decent, understated flavor.

M: A fair amount of carbonation with a very dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: This is a drinkable well-made stout. A big - but not overpowering beer.

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Photo of Kromes
4.26/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep dark black, no light is getting through this beer. It has a nice dense tan colored head that is just sitting right on top of the beer. Great lacing down the sides of the tulip glass.

S: A burnt malt and caramel malt aroma with some alcohol. A nice strong assertive aroma.

T: At first there is a sweet caramel malt flavor and then some burnt malt/coffee flavors. In the middle the mellow floral flavors show up briefly with the alcohol. The alcohol flavor is not that strong. This beer finishes very smooth with a really nice sweet coffee and cream flavor that lingers.

M: Not too overly heavy. It's right there in the middle for the style.

D: Definitely a very good Imperial stout to sip and enjoy.

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Photo of hoplover82
4.16/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of bcm119
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a viscous opaque brown, with a thin chocolate colored head.

Deep roasted malt aroma-- baking chocolate, coffee and a hint of alcohol and licorice.

Roasted malt is complex and chewy, with plenty of chocolate/coffee flavors, along with earthy hop bitterness and a minerally tang. Full bodied, viscous body. More of the same in the finish, with some leafy hops in the aftertaste.

A nice imperial stout, spot on for the style. It has a certain Sam Adams quality-- slightly minerally, well-attenuated, and supple yet clean-- which I happen to like.

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Photo of TheFlern
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer is just one shade from being as dark as the BA background of black. Lots of brown head pours but dissipates after 10+ minutes. Good lacing.

Smell: Alcohol hits the nose first accompanied by some really interesting malt notes. I could see why Russian Czars would like this type of brew from the warmth it brings just from smelling it.

Taste: Very balanced malt notes with the alcohol. It isn't overly malty though, which is good. The malt notes are very well received. A little alcohol in the finish which diminishes the score.

Mouthfeel: Heavy, dark, heavy, dark. I think i should also mention how heavy and dark this beer is. Carbonation is good but this beer is heavy on the pallet. The weak should avoid.

Drinkability: This beer is too heavy to have more than one or two of. Its a great pint while it lasts, probably an hour unless you are a total alcoholic. However, it is dark and strong enough to suffice for 4 lesser beers imo.

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Photo of katan
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz into a goblet

A - Pours very dark brown to black - some amberish hues around the outside. Very opaque. Head formation is quite strong, mocha in color. Dissipates to a film.

S - A very muted nose - almost non-existent. Only thing that is detectable to me is the roasted barley. Perhaps some alcohol, but again very very light.

T - Starts of with a light malt note, with some chocolate and vanilla flavors. Mid-stream only brings in a light bitterness - but I would find this beer to be mostly malt forward. Finishes with a chocolate note that turns into a bit of a hop flair - almost out of place in the finish. Aftertaste sits on the tongue with a roasted barley + malt sweetness.

M - Full bodied, creamy. Carbonation bite is present, but not harsh. Sugars stick to the tongue quite easily.

D - Deceiving in its ABV - well hidden. Not overly filling, but the body of the beer does make it somewhat a sipper. Flavors not overwhelming.

Nice to finally have an affordable RIS in Iowa. Not that I don't like Rogue's XS Stout, but for $16 I couldn't go there. This beer is a nice solid offering.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pitch black with a mocha, long lasting head. Cling lace abounds.

S - Chocolate chip cookies.

T - Malt, smell factor, bitter at end. Nice production.

M - Medium body, super coating, fair balance.

D - Yummy, but I could see how it would get tiresome.

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Photo of unclejimbay
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Adams Imperial Stout
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 9.20 %
~7/2009 during BCBCS Brew day with JH

4.5 in all catergories...
Dark black in color with a beautifully creamy coffee colored tan head. Excellent retention.
Smells of rich roasty maltyness and deep/dark coffee notes. Tastes as it smells, with some dark fruity/nutty notes, distinct coffee malt tastes on palate. Mouthfeel is medium... a bit higher than expected, thick full bodied beer as appropriatte.

I very much enjoyed this brew as a fine example for an Imperial Stout. It's not neccisarily sessionable at 9.2% with it's full body, but it's a great rep of the style IMHO. This Stout is a bit more on the roast/malty/coffee end of the spectrum more than the chocolate range for the style.

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Photo of bnes09
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As I tilt the bottle, I am expecting beer to come out but instead dirty oil flows into the glass. This beer boasts an opaque coal black color with a substantial brown, frothy head that retains itself well and creates an appealing lace.

A mild alcohol spice as well as rich coffee and dark chocolate come through in the nose.

The taste is very similar to the smell. Rich chololate and coffee. Also has hints of black licorice before the alcohol comes through and warms the insides. Smoked wood and meats middle to end. Descent flavor but a bit too smoky for my taste and takes away from the balance.

Full bodied with a low level of carbonation. Goes down very smooth.

A good imperial stout but there are better examples out there.

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Photo of erz316
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle into sam smith pint glass.

A - the beer looks great! huge dark tan head; pitch black body with only the smallest bit of colour getting through. this brew looks fanstastic! the head lasts a short lifeitme, and the lacing is so incredibly sticky that the whole glass becomes covered in this brown curtain

S - malty and chocolaty, with a bit of yeast. maybe the yeast is toffee, but either way its still a good nose.

T - the taste is good. its like a cheaper and less "boom right in your face" rasputin, also with out all that great coffee and russian flavour. to hell with it, i just want to drink the beer.

MF&D - great! a cheap beer with a thick feel, and a great texture (feels almost like a un oily crude oil). I really think this guy has a great deal done right, and I wish all the mediocre breweries could get up to snuff on how to make a robitussin like beer, well, at least for this style

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Photo of nickfl
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - The body is an opaque black, topped by a finger and a half of medium brown foam. the head settles slowly and leaves good lace.

S - A strong aroma of chocolate and sweet coffee with minor notes of toffee, caramel, and molasses. Fruity notes of plum and black cherry with some light, citrus hops are hiding behind the malt.

T - Lots of chocolate and coffee up front with nutty toffee. Light grapefruit hops briefly make themselves known, along with plum and raisin notes, before a dark, roasty finish with moderate malt and hop bitterness. The finish leaves the palate awash in lingering notes of smoke, chocolate, toffee and tobacco.

M - Thick, oily body, moderate carbonation, and a reasonably dry finish.

D - Sam Adams really came through on this one; this is a very drinkable and complex imperial stout. The malt character is great and has just the right combination of bitterness and dryness to keep it well balanced and very easy to sip. I'll be buying some of these to age, and I would love to see a barrel aged version.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 355 ml poured into a tumbler.

A-- Black as motor oil and a decent size head, one finger, that quickly died. Quickly leaving lacing behind. Not very carbonated at all.

S-- Cocoa, coffee and a tad bit of licorice in this. Smells thick but has a sugar smell to it.

T-- Cocoa, coffee, and thick. Interesting. Not as much chocolate as other RIS's I have had of late. Taste quickly dies off. The licorice is interesting and comes in at the end

M-- Leaves a thick coating in the mouth that goes away very quickly. Needs more chocolate. Not a lot of carbonation.

D-- Not bad. Needs more chocolate and maybe a touch of vanilla. Kind of feel like I am drinking a good coffee with cocoa in it. The licorice is an interesting twist but needs a bit more. Go get a Yeti and taste the difference. The ABV is there but it just lacks something in this that could set it apart from others. Gets very dull after a few sips.

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Photo of HiAIPA
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. This black liquer at 9% is potent yet restrained for an imperial. Good, with smooth flavor profile of mocha, cocoa, and roasted grain bill. A little boozy but not too much. Good mouthfeel and weight for a stout. I would drink these again on a heavy snowy day in the middle of January.

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Photo of froghop
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours black with a very small brown head, and good lacing.

smell of cocoa, coffee, and a whiff of licorice in the back.

taste is dry, bakers chocolate, coffee, vanilla bean, and licorice, end is dry and a little bitter.

overall a descent imperial stout.

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Photo of joozyboozy
3.14/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

so im trying to broaden my palate to stouts and porters, so i will obviously not like the taste as much as say a pale ale.

ok so i love the color of this beer. its black, thats it just solid black. the head is similar to the crema of a shot of cappicino, very thick and caremel colored.

the smell consists of a thick but light caramel scent, the anise is also present.

the taste is rough. malty and thick with hints of coffee, chocolate, and very mild hoppiness. then the anise kicks in (used for licorice flavoring) i really dont care much for it but some might. the coffee pops out in the after taste especially.

this is the thickest beer i have every had. almost as thick as milk or a sauce. not too carbonated

couldnt drink too many, id get a bit too goofy haha

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Photo of rfgetz
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: dark black, nice khaki head but no lacing

S: Moderatley strong scents of coffee, cocoa, dark fruit and booze

T: dark roasted malts give it a coffee and cocoa like flavor. nice dried dark fruit in the backround (cherry, plum, rasin). Some booze on the back end.

M: A tad thinner than i had imagined or hoped. no stickyness or aftertaste.

D: Clearly the best of the Imperial Series and one of Sam Adams finest brews. All their beer used to have the complex, full flavor profile used to have, i guess it takes a special series to get that now.

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Photo of armock
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a black color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind.

S - Is of roasted malt that gives off chocolate and coffee secents with a touch of alcohol

T - Follows the nose with the chocolate and coffee taste the alcohol is pretty present

M - This beer has a fuller body with lighter carbonation to it

D - Much like most of their beers theres nothing groundbreaking happening here but its a good solid representation of the style its a little hotter than I would prefer but overall its a good beer thats worth the time and money to try

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Photo of northaustin
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a pint glass. pours a dark black with alot of thick brown head. the head disappears rather fast but leaves a ton of lacing.

smell: dark and very roasty, with hints of the coffee and chocolate. some alchohol is also present.

taste: very well balanced. a frothy mixture of coffee and chocolate with some sugars and alchohol present in a very pleasant way.

mouthfeel: frothy and bold. feels like the satisfaction of having drank a good hearty brew.

drinkability: in my opinion probably the easiest to drink of the sam adams imperial series. a good beer all around and a shining example of the imperial stout style.

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Photo of maleman
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No freshness dating noted on bottle.

A - poured dark as the night! an initial one finger mocha colored, bubbly head that receded quickly into an uneven cap with thin lacing.

S - dark chocolate, biscuits and roasted malt. as it warms the alcohol wafts off.

T - the chocolate leads, some sweetness in the malt, some acidity, not as heavy as i had expected.

M - full bodied, duh! not a ton of carbonation. tastes in the very back of the mouth. aftertaste of chocolate.

D - stouts have yet to become my bag, but who knows one day it might. scotch grew on me and now i love it, so one day i may become a stout drinker, but not today. just can't see myself sitting around drinking stouts. sorry!


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Photo of PhxHorn
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours basically black with one finger of tan head. No light gets through. Smells of coffee and chocolate. Tastes a pleasant blend of coffee, chocolate, molasses. Not the most intense flavor I've had from a RIS, more middle of the road, but very respectable. The alcohol is well hidden. A bit heavy to drink much of this too fast, but as RIS's go, I can't complain.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz single, obtained last winter maybe

consumed during sunday night football as the rain falls outside

appearance: poured into an unbranded chalice - big dark mahogany body, creamy chocolate head with very nice retention

smell: dark bakers chocolate - big and roasty, something a touch metallic on the nose

taste: huge roasted body - waves of alcohol penetrate the flavor profile...bitter dark chocolate, a ton of sweet chewy caramel, stinging licorice. nice

mouthfeel: velvety smooth,

drinkability: big and bitter

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Photo of billybob
4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours out black from the bottle like very dirty motor oil, tan one finger head with a light lace as you sip it. smells of dark chocolate, strong coffee and alcohol. strong bold taste, smooth and creamy with roasted malt, sweet strong coffee, alcohol that warms you as it goes down and taste that lingers on after each sip. its not session but one or two would do just fine.

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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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