Saturday, September 22, 2012

Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout

An old dude at Total Wine convinced me in broken English that Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout is the best beer ever, so he and I both grabbed a 4 pack and headed to the cash register. I'm pretty sure I've had this beer before, but just never wrote anything down. It's brewed by Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) in N. Yorks, England.

The label is very busy, mostly gold and black lettering on a white background. Who, what, when, where, and medals--all included. The cap and neck of the bottle are covered with a gold foil. This is a tall skinny bottle and is actually 12 ounces, not the typical European 11.2. The story on the back tells about the beer and makes sure you know that it's fermented in stone Yorkshire squares.

Nutty and roasted aroma with plenty of caramel and raisin sweetness. There is a really nice initial sweetness--raisins and cherries and plums and toffee and caramel. Quite delicious! A hoppy balance and nice roast come along and work really well with the sweetness, though sweet wins easily in the end.

The 7% alcohol is noticeable and works with the fruit in a rum cake kind of way. The alcohol percent is just right, glad it's not a liquor bomb. Creamy, smooth, nice feel in the mouth. Finally, a really pleasant aftertaste lingers for a long time. Excellent beer. Great to try or revisit if it's been a while.

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