Brew Review Score Card
Samuel Smith Imperial Stout
Stout & Porter - Imperial Stout
Yorkshire, England, UK
Samuel Smith Brewery in Tadcaster was founded in 1758 and claims to be the oldest brewery in Yorkshire. The business is still family owned and is known for being a traditional company that still delivers beer casks by shire horse drawn cart and imposes a mobile phone and music ban in their pubs.
The brewery is also proud to confirm they still draw water from their own well, use the same slate squares since the 1800s to ferment their ales and stouts. Their beers are then casked in traditional casks made and maintained by the brewery fulltime cooper.
Such a dedication to traditional practices means the product has a traditional quality and their Imperial Stout is no exception. Imperial Stout or Russian Stout was brewed to withstand the arduous sea journey to Russia. The drink was exported in impressive quantities as it was the favourtie tipple of the court of Catherine II. It originally had over 10 pounds of hops per barrel and is believed to have had an ABV of over 10%. The Samuel Smith recipe was a successful export to the US in the early 1980s and Imperial Stout has become one of the most popular styles among craft brewers in the States.
The stout pours deep brown to black, almost like coffee with a thin tan head. The aroma is rich and complex with drak chocolate notes and roasted malt.
The taste contineus that blend of experiences, bringing metals, port, figs and raisins to mind, light on the mouth with little indication of the alcohol weight. The after taste brings a bitter note with a hint of biscuit and barley.
A surprisingly drinkable stout, nowhere near as heavy on the stomach as many in the field. This is an immensely popular stout and has a complex and light enough feel to please lager and ale drinkers alongside the stoutheads. If you are not the sort of person who normally opts for a stout, this could be a good way to take your first steps on this branch of the beer family tree.
Best served at 15°c
Registered with the Vegan Society as suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Heart of Darkness with a thin tan head
Rich fruity notes, formidable
Caramel, flat coffee, figs, port and darkness
Strong bitterness, fading into burnt toffee
Slight carbonation but not too heavy, a possible gateway to stout for IPA drinkers
A dark, impressionable beer. Made using traditional methods and ingredients. A masterclass in British brewing.