Monday, November 21, 2011

Beer Review: Samuel Smith Imperial Stout

Reviewing a Samuel Smith Imperial Stout by Samuel Smith Old Brewery.
Score: 94

2011 vintage bottle served in a brandy snifter.

Appearance: A finger's length of fizzy heady pours and subsides into a thin blotchy tan lace. The color is as dark brown/black as midnight, and no light even pretends to permeate through. 4/5

Smell: A very sweet, vanilla-extract nose. Faint dark rum and unsweetened dark chocolate notes. I go back and forth as to if I smell faint oak flavors, though that might just be the vanilla. 4.5/5

Taste: Very complex, malty and balanced. Flavor toggles between sweet/dark chocolate, and then smoky roasted coffee. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: A viscous, sticky beer. Slightly foamy, and the finish is of delectable coffee breath. 4.5/5

Overall: Wow. This is light in alcohol, but big in flavor. This beer is super smooth, and certainly one of the better Russian Imperial Stouts I have had to date.

Recommendation: This is one of the better beers I have ever had the pleasure to drink. This would be a great first Russian Imperial Stout to drink in order to get into the style, as the flavors are less aggressive and more balanced than some other Russian Imperial Stouts.

Pairings: Dark meats or chocolate dessert.

Cost: $3.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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