Samuel Smith’s – Imperial Stout

Tasting: December 29, 2011
Style: Stout (Imperial)

samuel smith imperial stout

For about fifteen years, I would have considered myself a bigger wine enthusiast than a beer enthusiast. I was Obi-Wine Kenobi according to fellow pop – John. My credo was that the enjoyment of a wine was mostly influenced by the company that it was shared and the food that it was paired. A wine that I might have called mediocre probably tasted a whole lot better on a warm summer night with friends. Even though beer can pair nicely with certain foods — to me, wine offers some amazing combinations. Exhibit A -a barbecued steak and a rich cabernet sauvignon. Beer however I find is better with friends — it’s more casual. With wine, I find a lot of people are uptight and don’t want to seem like novice enthusiasts. It’s like trying not to embarrass yourself in a fancy restaurant by using the wrong fork.

Why the tangent on company and beer enjoyment? Well, I’m drinking what was one of my favorite stouts of the 1990’s — I’m in the company of my two sons and was trying to get them to sit down and eat their dinner. My wife has been battling a 103 degree fever for three days now and I’m just trying to survive to hand over the household reins to her once she’s able. Their company has been trying and if I had to say sit down and eat one more time — I might explode. Needless to say, I wasn’t really enjoying this stout at all. But, funny they’ve finished dinner and they’re role playing with some of their Christmas toys so nicely. What do you know? – my opinion has changed dramatically as well. The moderate fizziness at first sip has subsided and the raisin and plums have opened up nicely over the top of roasted malt. The body of this stout and ABV (7% ) might not match up with the behemoth imperial stout offerings of the day – but this one has enough flavor and enough complexity to have it remain quite relevant in the imperial stout market.

I’ve enjoyed the company and I’ve enjoyed this stout enough to put it at 87 points.

PS — I usually take my pictures with my droid and of late I’ve been playing around with a cool free app called “paper camera” I downloaded from the Amazon App Store.

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