Beer Journal

A quasi-daily examination of beer and things related to beer.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Now on Tap: Imperial Stout

Imperial Stout

Brewer: Samuel Smith Brewery, Tadcaster, Yorkshire, England

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 7.0%

Regular beer drinkers and readers of this space should immediately register the qualifier "imperial" with meaning "more alcohol", and Samuel Smith's version is no exception. However, what is uncharacteristic of this style and drink is the smoothness. For certain, hints of chocolate and coffee are present - as much should be expected with any decent stout, imperial or not - but this one is has a palette that is surprisingly refreshing as well.

Having first opened its doors over 250 years ago, Samuel Smith's is Yorkshire's oldest brewery. Sam Smith's (as it is locally referred) is probably better known States-side for the excellent Oatmeal Stout. The company's Bitter, a traditional British-style pub ale is also very good, as are the organic beers, a trend that finds Samuel Smith among the pioneers.

Rating: 7.0

Recommended with: Most of the time, I would suggest a chocolaty dessert to accompany a drink as dark and sweet as this one, but I think a reversal is in order. Due to its aforementioned smoothness, I think this drink would pair well with a salty appetizer, such as calamari served Rhode Island style.


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