Monday, June 14, 2010

Episode 20: Imperial Stout, Samuel Smith's

June 13, 2010
Review #20

Brewery: Samuel Smith's
Website: None
Beer: Russian Imperial Stout
Beersperts: Scott B, Joby J, Brian F
Beerspert Panel Rating: 6.7
Available:  Worldwide

Notes from the brewery:
The Old Brewery at Tadcaster was established in 1758.  Samuel Smith's is a small, independent brewery, brewing at the oldest brewery in Yorkshire. The original well at the Old Brewery, sunk in 1758, is still in use. The brewing water for the ales and stouts is drawn from 85 feet underground.  The malt mixes with hard well water in copper mash-tuns. Fuggles and Goldings, the old fashioned varieties of hops that over the centuries have given the best British ales distinctive flavour are added later and boiled in 'coppers'.  Samuel Smith still ferments ale and stout in traditional Yorkshire stone 'squares' - roofed fermenting vessels made of solid blocks of slate. The yeast is of a strain that has been used at the Old Brewery continuously since the beginning of the last century, one of the oldest unchanged strains in the country, still as healthy and as active as ever frothing up into rich creamy heads.

ABV: 7.0%
CAL (12oz):

Notes from the Beersperts:
Scott B:
It’s got a lot of aroma.  It’s probably the most aromatic beer we’ve had to date.  It’s kind of like an iced latte.  It’s kind of a cocoa chocolaty.  Very fragrant.  Literally, it’s kind of like drinking an iced coffee.  No fruity, personally I’m kind of overwhelmed by the cocoa chocolaty taste so I’m not a coffee drinker at all, so to me it’s kind of off-putting altogether immediately, so maybe it’s masked for me. It’s a fine beer.  I guess I’m just personally put off by the strong smell of it.  I do like Stouts of sorts, but this isn’t one of them.  Guinness is one that I enjoy.
Rating: 4

Joby J:
Right off the bat you have to compare it to a Guinness or earlier in our reviews we reviewed a Murphy’s so I compare it to one of those.  But to Guinness, this is a much stronger beer than Guinness is.  This being 7% ABV, but the mouthfeel to this, I feel, is a little lighter than a Guinness.  I feel like a Guinness sticks in your mouth.  A little creamier going down – like a malty, chocolate milk kind of.  You can really taste the alcohol in the mouthfeel compared to a Guinness.  What I’m smelling or tasting is a something like a caramel or molasses.  Something chocolate, but sweet.   Usually find myself to be a darker beer drinker as opposed to a pale ale or something like that, so this is right up my alley. I enjoy this beer.  Again, it’s a pretty high alcohol by volume beer, therefore you can only have a couple glasses after dinner.  But all-in-all it’s a great beer and I recommend it to anyone who can get there hands on it.
Rating: 8
Brian F: I taste a lot of burnt mocha, caramel, cold coffee I think is something that I’m tasting with the aroma.  You can also taste the higher alcohol percent.  It gives it a sharper taste that you don’t typically find.  The sweetness that I’m tasting is that caramel mocha.  I love it.  I typically don’t like dark beers, but I think the higher alcohol content gives it a little kick.
Rating:  8

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