The Brewski Report Reviews Samual Smith’s Imperial Stout
File Date: 3.6.2011
File Name: A Heavy Beer For Slowing Things Down.
The Beer: Samual Smith’s Imperial Stout
Type: Russian Imperial Stout
Stats: 7.0% ABV
Brewer: Samual Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Web Site: www.merchantduvin.com
State/Country of Origin: UK (England)
Brewer Info: The Old Brewery at Tadcaster was founded in 1758 and is Yorkshire’s oldest brewery. Samuel Smith is one of the few remaining independent breweries in England, and further is the last to utilize the classic Yorkshire Square system of fermentation solely in stone squares. The rich Samuel Smith strain of yeast at The Old Brewery dates from the early 1900s. Hops are hand-weighed by the master hop blender, and the brewing water is drawn from a well sunk over 200 years ago. First introduced to the U.S. market in 1978 by Merchant du Vin, Samuel Smith beers quickly became the benchmark ales for the emerging craft beer movement. To this day, they remain among the most awarded. All Samuel Smith beers are vegan products, registered with The Vegan Society
Brewer Brand Hype: Russian imperial stout was originally brewed in Great Britain to satisfy the Czarist courts, who were great connoisseurs of Champagne, caviar and the art of the table. Because it was transported across the freezing Baltic, Russian imperial stout was brewed with a high level of alcohol. Rich, flavorful, deep chocolate color, scented and roasted barley nose. Complexity of malt, hops, alcohol and yeast.
Label: Contractors To Her Majesty’s Forces. Brewed at Samual Smith’s small, traditional British brewery with well water (the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use), best barley malt, roasted barley, yeast and hops to create a rich flavourful ale; deep chocolate in colour with a roasted barley nose and flavour that is a complexity of malt, hops and yeast. Fermented in ‘stone Yorkshire squares’. This distinctive type of ale was originally shipped to imperial Russia; it was a favourite of Russian nobility.
The Brewski Review: Very much like drinking syrup. Very malty and bitter. Pitch black in color with a large head on the pour. I don’t think it was bad but Russian Imperial Stout isn’t my thing. Too heavy. It would take some getting used to if I wanted to pop one of these open at the end of the day to relax. Good for fall or winter. I think it would tend to slow me down in the Spring/Summer. Heaven only knows, I need something else to slow down this uber-athletic body of mine.
Drinkability: No. Not my thing.
Appearance: Large head and pitch black.
The Buds: Bitter. Very malty. Like drinking a syrup.
TBR Cap Rating: 3.75