Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner 2005 Harvest - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
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Ratings: 252 | Reviews: 242 | Display Reviews Only:
3.65/5 rDev -11.4%
Pours a hazy tea-infused orange color with a small head. Nose is earthy noble hop, with a slightly toasty malt. I get a puff of alcohol burn in there as well. Flavor is big in the hop. I get an earthy/woodsy/almost nutty flavor from the hop. The malt is really not doing a lot in this one. Bitter on the finish is sharp, residing heavy on the sides of the tongue. Feel is thick, almost slick. I could use without the slickness. This is an interesting beer to say the least. I like the idea of using all noble hops, but the flavoring hop here is not what I expect from a pilser...imperial or not. It doesn't impart the herbal/floral notes that I would like. The earthyness from hops always puts me off.
11-23-2005 00:16:16 | More by kmpitz2
3.65/5 rDev -11.4%
24oz. bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a hazy brownish-orange color with two fingers of head. There's a good amount of lacing left on the glass. The smell is definately hoppy, but more piney than your regular citrusy hop. There's a good malt base to keep things balanced. The taste has lots and lots of hops, but it's sort of weird. The hops clash a little. I just don't think this is the right variety of hops to use for a hoppy brew. The mouthfeel is thick, but just slightly oily. The drinkability suffers some due to the harshness and high alcohol. It's there.
11-23-2005 00:15:44 | More by SheepNutz
3.75/5 rDev -9%
thanks erik - sampled mass amounts since most people i was supposed to be 'splitting' this with didn't like it too much
cloudy yellow pour with orange haze floating aimlessly in the body, like a glow. similar to that koggen thing they make. really nothing showing headwise and tiny splotches abound.
smells fresh and hoppy. impressive for a bottled beer, although it is a new release and hasn't lost its cherry. one of those beers that reminds me aromawise of pure unbroken hop flowers. the SA commercials with hop-smelling, the picture on the label, they both exemplify the feel and smell of this beer. slight waft of sporty sweat mixes in with the floral juiciness. glazed donut and pink grapefruit round out the beautiful bouquet.
starts off tasting like those hallertau hops in liquid form (duh).. follows up quickly with a punch of sweet malt sugars. approaching barleywine status in its girth and weight.. the fat albert of pilsners. hot as hell with a weird, vacant bitterness in the finish. kind of iffy at the end.
overall thick but smooth. rough finish and slight chalkiness take a few points off the overall.. $7 for 16 (or is that 22?) oz is about in line with rogue, and ill stick with rogue. regardless, a commendable effort just too thick for regular drinking.
11-22-2005 14:26:26 | More by goodbyeohio
4.9/5 rDev +18.9%
It poured a good dark golden color. Very little head. It has a strong hops smell. Hops overpowers everything in the taste and smell. Good thing I like hops. I generally don't much care for pilsners, but this is more of an IPA in taste and smell than a pils. It was smooth with little alcohol taste. I couldn't tell that it was 8.8% ABV. This is extremely drinkable. I could drink several at once if I wouldn't be smashed by the end of the second one. Very strong, this one. If I didn't know better, I would think this was an ale. Besides being like an IPA, it reminds me of an American strong ale.
11-22-2005 00:34:27 | More by badturtle
4/5 rDev -2.9%
Appearance is an almost viscous cloudy orange hazy maze. Chunky head with sticky tendrils of slime hang along the glass.
Smell is HOPS. Then theres HOPS, and if you really look below the surface you get HOPS. A) Citrusy, B) piney, C) flowery, D) all of the above. Take A, B, C, & D and multiply it by 103.
Surprisingly, Im still able to taste after that nasal assault. Flavor is, you guessed it, HOPS. Guey, guey hop drops! Bitter citrus skins and juices. This is a pilsner?? No way. Its a Double IPA that was fermented upside down. Brew is way full in your mouth, ever present, oily and warm. Mid to high carbonation fizzles & sizzles on your tongue.
This is made for hop heads to savor. I gather this would even keep the hoppiest of hop heads at a minimal pace. I needed two nights to get through it. Just an FYI Wine stopper and refrigeration worked quite well for 24 hours. Probably due to the thickness and presence of this monster. Good stuff, but I think Im one offing it. Definitely cool to see Sam Adams do something hugely different, but not too extreme in the $$ department (i.e. Utpoias). Though, even though Im not very familiar with the style, I question that this is a pilsner. Put this in a blind taste test with a number of 2IPAs and I couldnt pick it out.
11-21-2005 19:24:15 | More by GolgiIPAratus
4.13/5 rDev +0.2%
hazed amber with a thick white head that laces well. lots of herbal hops and toasted caramel in the aroma. some light floral aspects in there too.
dominant piney herbal bitterness gives way to some of the more subtle characteristics after a few sips, a little grapefruit and some toasted bready flavors in addition a light caramel flavor. a not quite bubblegum herbal quality shows up mid bottle. medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. very good drinkabilty for the amount ofbitterness and alcohol. this provides a real nice showcase for hallertau variety of hops. it's nice to see sam adams flexing it's brewing muscles.
11-21-2005 00:18:37 | More by kmo1030
4.35/5 rDev +5.6%
Scored a bottle of this from jaspers Home Brew in Nashua. Jeff there has scored 10 of the 25 cases alotted to NH.
Pours a slightly cloudy, deep golden/apricot hue. Has a voluminous off-white/light tan head of at least 1" to start. Topping is finely bubbled, and ebbs slowly. Excellent lacing left behind in the glass. Nose has touches of breadiness, plus loads of hoppiness, accentuated by light grassiness and serious spicy hop action. Body is easily a solid medium; quite nice for a "Pils". Also much smoother than the usual Pils, with less carbonated prickliness on the tongue.
Flavor has some soft bready, toasty aspects, but that is a mere bit player to the star, which is the Hallertauer Hops. Those hops are sharp and spicy, as well as showing some citrus leanings and a resiny touch. All these lupulins really stick and linger long and hard on the palate and in the throat. And even though the hops are the star, the malt leaves an underlying sweetness that balances things quite well. And the 8.8% abv? Negligible. Hardly noticed it at all. An eminently quaffable Pils, though it leans a tad towards an IPA, imo. Wish it were more in the Smutty Big Beer price range, as opposed to being over $5 where I scored it. Tasty Bier!!
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4.5
11-19-2005 23:33:21 | More by Bierman9
3.83/5 rDev -7%
Served from the bottle into a pub glass.
Appearance: A very hazy copper coloration. The head was a pleasing sudsy tower of creamy off white suds. The head never gave up and left thick concrete lacing on the glass.
Smell: A nice smell of sharp piney goodness mixed with yeasty biscuits.
Taste: Taste like a yeasty roll dipped in pine essence. Nice hoppyness greats your mouth and does not give up.
Mouthfeel: Comes off a bit oily at times however the fiesty sudsy carbonation helps.
Drinkability: This is a pretty easy beer to sit down and suck down. A very nice drinking beer.
11-19-2005 13:52:51 | More by nlmartin
District of Columbia
4.08/5 rDev -1%
from hudson wine&spirits
very carbonated amber (hey, it's an IMPERIAL pilsner) lager supports a determined rocky head that leaves a christmastime-fake-window frosting. i wish i had a larger pils glass for the second pour; didn't realize this was bottle conditioned
the tag claimed this is one of the hoppiest beers in the world, which i probably disagree with, but it is the hoppiest lager i've had. can't find info on the sam adams website, but it's suppose to measure in at 110 IBUs. woody bitterness follows a musty hallertau aroma and spicy, piney hop flavor
the malt profile is understated both on the tag and on the press release. it was the first thing i smelled out of the bottle, and brings a decent backbone to the hop. that being said, the taste is a little unbalanced
11-19-2005 03:01:14 | More by bruachan
3.48/5 rDev -15.5%
Purchased at the Beverage Depot in Flushing, NY; poured into a goblet.
This beer loses some points with regard to the style it claims to be in... much more of a double IPA than double pilsner in virtually all aspects.
This one's a hop bomb for sure.
Looks and smells like an IPA. Hops hops and more hops.
Taste is hops with little else; perhaps a slight chiming in of sweet malt and alcohol near the end.
Dry with a loooong oily hop finish. Quite bitter.
Not very balanced but when you're in the mood for something like this it's the lack of balance that's appealing.
The researchers at Sam Adams probably seek to ride a trend of hop juice popularity. Perhaps it will turn out well for them.
However, a pilsner this is not.
11-19-2005 02:47:27 | More by ommegangpbr
3.5/5 rDev -15%
Apperance: A soft, off-white, pillowy head. Hazy golden apricot in color.
Nose: Pine, sweet malt.
Taste: Cloves, sages, very herbacious, very dry and hoppy, and a little malty at the end.
Mouthfeel: Dry, bitter, foamy at the end.
Notes: A great great beer for hopheads. This brings out the noble hops like crazy.
11-18-2005 21:54:15 | More by travolta
3.7/5 rDev -10.2%
Poured into a half-liter German oktoberfest glass. Pours out a hazy, cloudy amber with swirling bubbles and a half-inch of frothy foam. Lacing is excellent. Absolutely lovely beer. Fresh, flowery, spicy hop aroma, not strong or overwhelming but clean, rich and pleasant. Hops hit squarely on first taste, in the middle, and at the end. Unfortunately, the flavor is very harsh, almost medicinal in quality. Extremely resinous. Malt is almost completely hidden by the hops. Finishes very dry. Full-bodied, crisp texture, with a hoppy astringency.
For such a promising start, I found this beer extremely disappointing. It lacks any sort of balance. I'd like to try this again after a year or two have lessened the effect of the hops. It might be enjoyable then. Bold concept, poor execution.
11-18-2005 03:31:21 | More by allengarvin
3.9/5 rDev -5.3%
22oz bomber, Riley's
appearance: very cloudy and hazt copper pour with a thick and foamy beige head...certainly a little heavier looking than your typical pilsner
smell: fresh clean hops, floral, grainy, a little earthy...bubblegum aromas and juicy citrus
taste: juicy and fruity, hop bitterness aftertaste...floral and citrus hops dominate this one (definately a hop monster), orignal bubble yum!, Definately the best sam adams brew i have had
mouthfeel: pretty thick bodied, bitter aftertaste
drinkability: ehh, wish it was a 12oz
11-18-2005 01:45:00 | More by dirtylou
4.13/5 rDev +0.2%
Dusty pumpkined gold with a skimming of bleached khaki lacework.
Dried herb and shaved orange aromatics, migrating even towards pine and pineapple as it rests. Malt provide rote breadiness, flour and then just stays out of the way.
I'll start with a mini-rant. I'm not a Scroogey stickler for style guidelines, but is there any real purpose for an Imperial (Double) Pilsner. I mean, really? What is it? It's a overhopped blonde bock, sort of. Therein, it basically belies the pils tradition of massive sessions, and dry subtlety.
But, fuck it. I like Hallertauers, so regardless, this was a must-try. And as a hop experiment, it is absolutely fascinating.
It tromps in with golden raisins, sourdough, and pear skins. The malt is fairly sedate, but up to the task of providing canvas for the obviously electric hopping. The middle is yeasty (no suprise given the looks of the glass), and despite its bottle conditioning, it doesn't present as very lager-like with its forward phenols of pepper, flour, and celery. Let's call it a Keller-uber-pilsener, and I can nearly accept it. At least the Hallertauers make me forget any qualms. A rusted nail bombast ensues full of lime leaves, hay bales, pulpy stems, and spruce resin. This has an impressive, clinging bitterness that creeps into the crevasses of the mouth, lingers and sears. Crispy, dried floral blossoms lingers long into the closure. Booze adds just illusion of gin-fueled strength, but is muted on the whole
The obese body and languid carbonation betray the usual sense of pils urgency, but strangely, even with its portliness, it coheres to the prototypic pils essence of dry, parched quaffablitiy.
This is by no mean flawless, and judged strictly as a pils, it might be outright flawed since it hardly seems lagered. But the volumn and depth of the Hallertau makes this come across as something that historically might have come to pass had Germany colonized India. Lets just call this a India Pale Hellerbock, and put the style puritans to rest.
11-16-2005 08:45:39 | More by cokes
4.5/5 rDev +9.2%
22 oz. strange looking "bomber"
Appearaance: Hazed dull orange/red color, with a nice creamy head atop, with decent lacing.
Smell: Clean floral hops, very sweet smelling with some bubblegum and grain.
Taste: Strong and assertive. Malt is slightly sweet and grassy, very fresh tasting. Alcohol provides a nice backbone, while hops play a nice supporting role. This beer showcases the malt where an IPA would highlight the hops. A nice change from the norm.
Mouthfeel: Very creamy and full, alcohol gives a slight burn, pleasing.
Drinkability: My first Double Pilsner, and I really liked it. It was what I expected, but the way the flavors worked together was pleasantly surprising. Definitely give it a shot. P.S. The best beer I have had from Boston Beer Company to date.
11-16-2005 03:12:51 | More by TastyTaste
4.2/5 rDev +1.9%
Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner 2005 Harvest
24 oz brown bottle with nice
Served in a 16 oz pilsner glass
Back label reads "For Brewery Fresh Date Enjoy Before January 2006"
Cool mini booklet attached written by Jim Koch [Brewer & Founder of Samuel Adams]
Pours a bronze color. Hazy-dark orange color blend. Excellent trails of sticky lacings leave rings around the glass.
Slight whiffs of citrus fruits. A blend of lemon, orange and lime. The nose is misleading. A true taste bud stimulation experience is in store.
Massive hop explosion on my palate with traces of a clean biscuit. Very interesting classification on this beer. Unlike any other pilsner I have had before. I taste the grainy and dry grain qualities, but this beer is complex. Freshly sliced lime bitterness on the finish. Makes me pucker with juicy hops. 8.8% ABV. Wow. This beer is so interesting and unique, I keep going back for more samples.
In all honesty, much better than I was expecting. I love the fact that I paid $5.99 for this 24 oz special offering. This beer may have single handedly restored my faith in Sam Adams.
11-16-2005 03:10:39 | More by Hibernator
4.18/5 rDev +1.5%
Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner (2005 Harvest) is best served cool (45-50F) into your favorite Sammy glass. SAIP pours up lively & effervescent, but the appearance is very hazy. The color is distictively orangish pale with a whitish head that collapses quickly leaving lots of lace in its wake. The aroma is full of pleasant grassy, freshly mown hay & dried floral aromas from the bodacious amounts of Noble Bavarian hops e.g. Hallertau Mittlefruh. The background is full of sweet bready & spicy yeasty notes along with some peppery, even citrusy tones with just a hint of strength. The flavor starts off very fruity & slightly malty with some freshly baked cinnamon roll notes; then becomes prickly & peppery as the bitterness emerges to take assertive control. The hop complexity continues to flourish towards the slightly drier, lightly alcoholic finish, but never completely dominates. This appealing medium to medium-full bodied Imperial Pilsner is fresh & lively and makes for a wonderfully drinkable apéritif or try pairing with some mold-ripened cheese e.g. Camembert de Normandie & fresh citrus fruits. Here's to the 2005 Hop Harvest!
11-15-2005 17:26:23 | More by Beertracker
4.22/5 rDev +2.4%
Very hazy bright apricot appearance, pale head of large and medium bubbles settles to a light froth an about a minute. Nice and attractive dripping ring laces. Interesting but subdued aroma, like a spiced cinnamon candle with sandalwood incense qualities and a hint of prickliness. Lower carbonation, fully medium to almost heavy mouthfeel. Malt profile is adequate but is quickly subsumed by the hoppiness. Very spicy profile, clove, wild sage, cinnamon, with a strong note of cedar coming across broadly, and then fading to a less-well-defined bitterness in the aftertaste. Still, enough dried conifer to come up the nose a bit. Jim did amp up an interesting selection of hops here, damned distinct. Maybe a bit thick for great dinkability, and this beer is a good example of how "Imperial Pilsner" is a pretty open category
11-15-2005 00:31:36 | More by ADR
4.28/5 rDev +3.9%
This is an interesting beer. Pours a cloudy, orange amber color with a light tan fluffy head. The head lingers for a bit and then maintains enough to provide a consistent lacing. Minimal carbonation makes for a very creamy mouthfeel. Aroma is basically hops with a hint of malt. Very nicely balanced beer, although it's very hoppy, the Hallertau hops give this a different flavor than most IPAs (yes, I know it's a pilsner). The alcohol seems well hidden in this beer. All in all, a very tasty treat from Sam Adams, and well crafted. The hops will linger on your palate for some time after the bottle is empty.
(treat this beer with respect, it will definitely creep up on you)
11-14-2005 23:26:22 | More by LarryV
4.03/5 rDev -2.2%
Darker than most pilsners--light amber/dark honey. quite cloudy. Thin head that leaves decent lace
Generous hops in the aroma; the malt isn't hidden but it does take a back seat.
Sparkling mouth feel of higher carbonation. Much creamier than a typical pilsner--almost like an ale. Very full body for the style despite the obvious presence of high alcohol. The malt flavors show up at the beginning, but are quickly muted by the strong hop flavors that linger long after the swallow.
I love "different" beers--this is a worthy change of pace. It would fit into a flight of IPA's nicely. Bitterness-wise it would blow most pilsners away. I'm a hop fan and therefore rate this one highly. Don't expect a pilsner with delicate flavors here.
11-13-2005 18:34:16 | More by smcolw
3.58/5 rDev -13.1%
Bomber with a little pamphlet about the beer on its neck. Served in a Pilsener.
Amber with lighter edges, good strong carbonation that supports a thick ivory colored head. Good retention. Thick globbed lace.
The nose is very hoppy, but not as piney as a DIPA. Fruity, but not like a grapefruit, more like an orange. These are distinctly euro hops, but there's a shitload of them. The malts poke out underneath with some gentle earth, but the smell is all hop bomb.
Tastes more like a DIPA than it smells. Damn near all juicy hops. I can taste the leaves. There's a bit of malt upfront that sets the stage, but the leafy buds steal the show. Very dry with lingering leaf aftertaste. I like hops, but this one is way off balance. Once my tastebuds are beaten into submission, its not as intense.
Medium mouth that finishes clean but with mega bitterness. The drinkability suffers from the lack of balance. Worth a try unless you are a hop masochist.
11-13-2005 06:53:17 | More by ypsifly
4.53/5 rDev +10%
Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner, 2005 Harvest, says the front, plus, "brewed with Noble Bavarian Hops from the 2005 Harvest." Backside, it refers to itself as a malt liquor. Stupid label laws.
Ferociously cloudy appearance, a deep, hazed orange hue...impenetrable apricot...with staying, though slim, dotted, lace-leaving head...good enough...
Aroma: WOW! This is what we expect from a Fresh Hop Ale, or a Double IPA, but not from anything that calls itself a pilsner, and though the hops are all Bavarian, this screams as loud as the big boys from the West Coast.
Caramel-y, appley, fruity, fresh, and so alive and up-in-your-face, herbaceous, piney, very lively. I like it!
Taste: thick, muddy, as hoppy as all hell. Again, I wonder, is this really a pilsner? A malt liquor? Didn't look like it, doesn't taste like it, so full of flavor, yet still containing the hoppy snap and smoothness of a great pils. Yet not thin in body, and too clean in mouthfeel.
Mouthfeel is immense. Unfiltered? You think? Dry-hopped? You betcha! Dangittidangittily delicious, let me tell you, partner! This Imperial Pilsner designation is so early in it's usage, but may I say that Samuel Adams has upped the ante, for none approaches this approach. A tasty mess that I must recommend to one and all. Wondered if the $5 for my 24 oz. bottle was too much, but now know that's silly, as other craftbrews has charged more for less.
This hophead throws up huge props on Sammy for this one...so insistently full in flavor, so intense in taste, so huge in delivering the goods...got to love it!
$5 well spent. Get hop-loving friends around you and enjoy!
11-12-2005 11:31:32 | More by feloniousmonk
3.8/5 rDev -7.8%
This one pours a hazy copper orange color with a tall white frothy head. There is a lot of carbonation activity in this beer.
The aroma is a bit malty, but is dominated by the hops. A little bit citrusy as well.
Its flavor begins with a bit of malt sweetness, then quickly changes gears to the hops. It is delightfully bitter. There is a nice combination of pine and citrus. It is very similar to an AIPA.
Mouth feel is medium bodied and is surprisingly low on the carbonation considering the activity during the pour.
I will definitely have to get another one of these before they are all gone.
11-12-2005 08:25:41 | More by Naes
4.1/5 rDev -0.5%
Pours out a cloudy golden amber and sits a murkey copper in the glass with a large, creamy off-white head, fading slowly, very slowly, to a light skim on the surface with plenty of lacings around the glass.
Smells of rich malts and bright spicy notes of citrus and grassy hops. Thick doughy consistency overall, interestingly fruity.
Tastes moderately sweet up front, doughy hunks of malt, lightly toasted. Hops boom in with strong grassy spiciness with hints of lime, pushing out moderate-high levels of bitterness. Fades out to a creamy, yeast focused finish with plenty of tangy hops lingering long after, binding to a warming alcoholic glow.
Ever so rich and creamy in the mouth with soft and forgiving carbonation. Medium-full in body.
Overall, I'm enjoying this beer quite a bit. Nice rounded flavors and an interesting hop profile pulled from the Hallertauer. As a pilsener (or double/imperial pils..whatever) I don't see the relation. This is more along the lines of an Imp English IPA or something. Too much hops flavors interfering with what should be an aggressive malt profile. I'll give it what it deserves though, as this is pretty damn good.
11-12-2005 03:41:43 | More by Skidz
4.15/5 rDev +0.7%
I'm not sure what to do with this beer. I saw it at my favorite beer store, and was intrigued, upon returning home and doing some research, to find that there were relatively few reviews on BA -- I think there were 5 at that time.
The bottle says imperial pilsner, and so I compare it to Rogue's imperial pilsner -- and I don't see the comparison. I liked Rogue's Imperial Pilsner, but this tastes like an ale to me. There is not one whiff of that high, acrid, just oh-slightly-skunky taste of pilsner in this beer -- it tastes like something that Stone would have wrought.
Which means that I loved it.
If a finer (chewy, creamy) mouthfeel has been created this year, it's not crossed my mouth. And wow -- what a powerful slap of hops.
It's been a couple of hours since I finished it, I had a Rogue Dead Guy Ale afterward, plus some chicken and potatoes, and I can still taste the hops. Well done. Well done. A powerful, chewy, thick, hoppy, and yet WELL BALANCED beer. Bravo.
11-12-2005 02:27:42 | More by Darkale
Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner 2005 Harvest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
92 out of 100 based on 252 ratings.