All the years I lived in the UK I can’t ever recall having anything from Samuel Smith’s brewery; so it now seems fitting being so far away from North Yorkshire that I should find plenty of offerings from the brewery in quite a lot of the local beer shops. To which leads to an interesting question: how many US beers – the really good ones, the craft beers – make their way across the Atlantic? Certainly the opinion of US beers seems to be somewhat low if all you know are the big brands and people even sneer when you talk about how great US beers are and how many good ones are available. Whatever, this beer is an English one so the point seem somewhat academic in relation to this.
The Beer: Imperial Stout, 7%; very black, frothy tan head; Dark roast aroma with distinctive coffee elements; dark roasted, bitter, coffee tastes with a fusion of caramel; falls into a dark chocolate bitterness – think 98% cocoa; bitter, roasted after taste.
I was quite surprised how many beers from this brewery are available in the US, certainly the organic beers are readily available in stores that specialise in organic foods, but the website mentions around nine beers most of which I can find. This is an enjoyable beer, and a very good stout. It sits in the more coffee-bitter style stout area and suggests that the brewery really knows what it is doing – it has been around for a very long time. It is not as smooth as other stouts, but then it does have interesting complexities. Again, this is a beer I would have no problems in recommending if you are looking for an (English take on) Imperial Stout; if you anywhere near Tadcaster then you are really going to enjoy your time (no idea what Tadcaster is like, it has been around since Roman times).
Website: Samuel Smith’s