1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial PilsnerSamuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

776 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 776
Reviews: 653
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 111
Gots: 2 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Pilsner |  8.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 09-10-2007)
View: Beers (127) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner Alström Bros
Ratings: 776 | Reviews: 653 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Pauly2X


3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Cloudy golden yellow, half finger head with decent staying power.

S- Strong spicy hop aroma, pale malts keep it from being overpowering.

T- Sweet pale malts up front, with a very powerful spicy hop finish.

M- A little too much alcohol dryness otherwise good.

D- I'm ususally good with one or two.

A great alternative to an IPA if you have a hop itch.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2007 20:19:46 | More by Pauly2X
Photo of Jmamay22

New York

3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I was excited to try this because I didn't have a go at it the last time Sam Adam's released it.

Pours with a hefty white head into my pilsner glass. The beer itself is a hazy orange yellow. Hops help to leave nice sticky lacing down the walls of my glass.

Smells of pure floral hops. The bottle does not lie. This is an intense hop experience.

Taste of hops, but they're delicious. It’s a hop head pilsner, but there is some malt flavoring even if this is an unbalanced beer.

Mouthfeel is borderline silky and carbonation provides an airy quality. It isn't the most drinkable brew given the abv and intense hop experience. One is good for me. This is definitely a beer I would recommend giving a try, but not something I'd recommend buying a case. It is really a pilsner trying to be an IPA.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2007 18:08:50 | More by Jmamay22
Photo of trbergman


3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Somewhat cloudy copper beer with one finger of sticky white head.

S - Toast, caramel, a sort of honey apricot flavor. Orange zest and spicy hop aromas.

T - Sweet caramel and toasty, nutty malts. Spicy and citrus rind hop flavor, with a long-lived bitter finish. Tastes much more like a very clean IPA than a pilsner.

M - Slick and full-bodied.

D - Fine-tasting beer, but not what I'm looking for in a pils. I enjoy it and would drink it again, but the color and sweetness are really off for the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2009 00:29:23 | More by trbergman
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A surprise find at ShopRite in Paramus, NJ at $8.99 a four-pack. Bottled on August 30, 2007, with a drink by date of January 2008.

Served in an inperial pint glass at fridge temperature.

Appearance- Juicy and enormously orange, this hazy monster of an ale carries an almost three finger off-white head. After several minutes of quiet settling, you could plan a vacation on one of the resorts located within the many large islands of lacing here.

Smell- This beer's hallmark, it's hard to imagine a more direct and outright hop attack... the Hallertaus are so hot they practically burn the nosehairs. It's a fat, wicked aroma that somehow incorporates the malt backbone as it opens up.

Taste- This beer isn't for most people. It is an orgy, an uninhibited, exhibitionist celebration of the humulus lupulus flower. After the initial mouth-gripping dry entry, the bitterness flows across the top and sides of the tongue where it captures and punishes the taste buds. There's no salvation in sight, so you'd better saddle up and ride this one into the sun.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Slick, coating, and much like a meal substitute... the hearty weight feels appropriate for the style. After getting through three-fourths of this beer, I just want to go to sleep. It's cool to experience a Category 5 atomic hop bomb at a level like this, but one will be enough for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2007 04:00:38 | More by yelterdow
Photo of guinness33

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice hazy golden colour with a thick frothy head that has decent retention time and leaves a smattering of chunky residue on the glass.

The aroma is a nice blend of sweetness from a good caramel base that is complimented by a heavy dose of hops: pine and grass lead the way. There's a bit of a biscuit/bread feel here as well.

Flavour hits you with a typical Pilsner bit at first, i.e. sharp, bold hops that are a bit subdued, then those hops kick it up a notch for a dirtier breadier flavour that even has a bit of juice to it. The finish of each sip has a nice bite to it which compliments the light crisp carbonated mouthfeel.

This one is pretty good, but no where near as good as I remember the original 2005 Harvest Pils to be. No idea if it's the same recipe or not, but this one definitely seems different. Good stuff overall, but not as good as I was anticipating.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2007 02:40:10 | More by guinness33
Photo of twiggamortis420


3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an extremely hazy starburst orange color. Decent fluffy off-white fine-bubbled creamy head. Good retention and excellent lacing. Looks like a dark wit beer.

Hoppy smelling? Yea, ya think!? Very grassy and to a lesser extent, floral bouquet. Malt notes are present, clean and biscuity. Some mild hints of some darker fruits like raisins, which is surprising for such a light colored brew. Overall, a very nice smelling beer.

More of an earthy and grassy hop bomb than the typical citrus west coast IPA. Bitterness is very high, but still has some undertones of light malty sweetness. It's a bit on the pricey side, but overall, a pleasant drinking experience. A nice change of pace hop bomb with the hallertau....very un-Sam Adamsy feel to it. Might revisit again next year, but splitting a 4-pack would be fine with me.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2009 03:27:55 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of TheodorHerzl


3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer looks very cloudy inside of the bottle before I poured it. The beer pours a nice golden hue, but very hazy. A decent finger of head started the beer off, and the head retention was great on this beer. Heavy lacing on the walls of the glass and a good blanket of head stayed on the beer the entire time. The nose is full of mostly of hops with some some sugary sweet malt. Biscuity malt is actually my first real flavor that I can pick out easily with heavy complex hop flavor trying to overpower the malt, but that never really happens. The taste is actually a bit on the sweet side but is still fairly balanced with the bitterness of the hops. The beer finishes slightly dry and doesn't coat very well. While a neat offering I wasn't really impressed with drinkability and wouldn't come back this again most likely.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2007 22:13:59 | More by TheodorHerzl
Photo of DogFood11


3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pounder glass. Cloudy. Thin, light orange body.

Wave of hops hits the nose right off the bat. A bit unrefined and the advertising does not disguise this. White head leaves behind a uniformed barbwire lace.

Citrus is the first thought that comes to mind. Its quickly followed by a drying hop stinger. Not as far over the top as an imperial may suggest but it definitely fits the bill. On the dry side of the house. I would love to try a completely unfiltered on tap version if its in existence. Not a session brew and its great night capper even after some bigger brews.
A solid offering that needs some refinement. Pick a team and go with it.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2007 07:32:16 | More by DogFood11
Photo of tsbuttry

District of Columbia

3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This beer is quite a mixed bag. A hophead should be able to squeal with delight for this one. It makes an excellent change of pace, especially if you're drinking some of the heavier German-style lagers or a stout that goes heavy on the malts.

Appearance: Pale, a bit cloudy, but excellent, foamy head that laces very well and is retained throughout the drink.

Smell: Fantastic. The nobel hops grab you and don't let go. Even though they tell you this is going to be a strong tasting beer, it's still a pleasant beer to sit and sniff at for a while.

Taste: Hoppy, hoppy, hoppy. I'm a minor hop-head, but I usually need a certain level of maltiness to balance things out. This is where the beer falls short. I've had good, malty Pilsners before, and this beer could stand some more, as it's hard to truly detect the malt profile of this beer.

Mouthfeel: Quite good. Finishes fairly clean, slightly oily but it has good carbonation and not much of an aftertaste.

Drinkability: This is the kind of beer that I can really enjoy one of, but it gets to be a bit much after just one.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2008 21:19:05 | More by tsbuttry
Photo of jwinship83


3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- this one pours a hazy golden orange body with a crown of off white head.

S- bready/grainy malts upfront with a more than healthy dose of grassy/floral hops.

T- the taste is mostly of hops. lots and lots of citrus and grassy hops. some grainy taste from the malt is present too.

M- light crisp clean and refreshing with maybe a little low level of carbonation

D- a wonderfully hoppy lager. something that i could see myself getting once in a while, if i was in the mood for it. tonight one bottle was enough. ill check this one out next year for sure.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 05:11:33 | More by jwinship83
Photo of tiger88


3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange-amber and sets off a light and fluffy white head. Smells strongly of hops and citrus noted. An intense hops experience is what is says and I agree. Taste is strong with hops and an extreme unexpected bitterness. Caught me off guard but I acclimated. Mouthfeel is smooth and light.

I bought a 4 pack in April and have one left. To me, the hops seem more pronounced now than they did in April and June. I'll be interested to see how it ages another couple months. the first sip was a little "in your face." I don't remember this from the first two. It was almost too bitter. maybe it was a lot more bitter than I was expecting, who knows. Anyone else had this experience? I figured the hops would have laid down a bit.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2008 14:34:32 | More by tiger88
Photo of jwhawkins81


3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Aroma - Sweet citrus like hops but also detectable malt. Not a scary level of hops in the aroma.

Appearance - Cloudy reddish yellow. Quick disappearing head that leaves a nice amount of lacing.

Taste - My first thought was "Wow, this is a way more intense Samuel Adams Boston Lager." A lot of bitter hops notes.

Mouthfeel - Thin to medium

Drinkability - Wow is this beer not for the non hophead, but I knew that coming in. I found this beer a little rough but that's more because of my tastes than the beer's fault.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2009 18:47:17 | More by jwhawkins81
Photo of Timmush

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Special thanks to ATPete for this one.

I am no professional taster but I really couldn't taste much of a difference between this and an Imperial IPA.
The color was a cloudy light amber. Good lacing but little retention on the head. Taste was hops. no doubt about it, this is hoppy. A little bitter and I didn't care for the aroma. I couldn't place it but something about it was off-putting. To me this had the taste of an IPA but with a sour finish. Not bad, worth trying, but not something I would but a lot of.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2008 00:59:38 | More by Timmush
Photo of bunnyhustle


3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"An Intense Hop Experience," yeah, I guess. Pours a murky orange with a an almost hefe like appearance. Two finger head with good lacing and good retention as well. Smell is hoppy at first but a deep sniff leaves a mix of several things (hops, alcohol, bread) that all interfere with each other. Taste is better. Hops present as expected, somewhat strong malt presence and it tastes as though there is a slight toasted grain essence to it as it hits the back of the tounge. Good carbonation levels and a slightly thick mouthfeel. Overall not a bad beer but wasnt what I expected, it was good but not memorable as a "limited release" you think would be. Something just seemed off overall with this.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2007 06:35:11 | More by bunnyhustle
Photo of nasty15108

New York

3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Poured a cloudy orange color. The pour produced a thick head of slightly off-white foam and lots of sticky lacing.

S - Smelled a lot maltier than I was expecting, but not in a bad way. Slightly floral and medicinal with strong citrus undertones.

T - Malty up front followed with a bitter dry finish. Astringent, but not as much grapefruit and pine as I would have expected.
Lots of alcohol warmth in the finish.

MF&D - A pretty good example of this style,but not something you would want to session. Nice creamy mouth feel.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2008 22:26:15 | More by nasty15108
Photo of rowew


3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, came in a 4 pack. Label has a long description of the beer, abv, and best by date.

Appearance: Cloudy orange color, nice sized head that leaves quite a bit of lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt and some citrus - hops are definitely muted here.

Taste: Bready malt in the start, slightly sweet, hops come in as a good amount of bitterness and a combination of citrus and some piney flavors.

Overall impression: Nice and drinkable - better after it warms up a bit. Aroma is a bit lacking compared to the flavor. I seem to remember the last version being a bit better, but who knows.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2007 02:27:25 | More by rowew
Photo of grs8313


3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 12oz bottle with a best by date of before January 2009. Pours a hazy golden straw color with very little white head, that dissipates fast. No lacing to speak of.

Smell: Citrus, hops, malts, dried fruit (prunes or dates) and honey.

Taste: Citrus, hops, and alcohol with a hops aftertaste. I thought the hops would be stronger, with the label proclaiming "An Intense Hop Experience," but some American Pale Ales match the hops in this one. Not that I am complaining, the hops are balanced nicely with the other flavors.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy, almost chewy in mouth. The mouth is left feeling clean with a hoppy aftertaste.

Drinkability: Very drinkable for 8.1% ABV. This is the best Sam Adams beer I have ever had. Sam Adams beers usually upset my stomach, possibly from the carbonation, but after this beer I felt fine. With the high ABV one will be fine, but a great offering from Sam, and one I would enjoy again.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2009 03:01:01 | More by grs8313
Photo of MTNboy


3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A good deep orange color with not much for head or lace. A little darker than a regular pilsner.

Smell: It has a great floral aroma that you can smell about a foot away once the bottle is opened. It a strong sweet flower like smell.

Taste: It is mainly a bitter but it does have some sweet tones and malt flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

Drinkability: It is not exactly my style beer but I am not a real hoppy person I think it is alright and I respect it.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2008 06:09:54 | More by MTNboy
Photo of FtownThrowDown


3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice golden color with a nice frothy, rocky head. Smell is all hops. Piney, grassy and just a bit juicy. Taste is bittering hops. Pretty rough and bittering in the taste. An easy drinkier, but seems a bit out of balance. A bunch of hops that don't mesh well with the rest of the beer. The malty backbone does not seem to be there to support. An easy drinker, but rather one dimensional and not complex.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2008 23:29:20 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of McDiddyPop


3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured a 12oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

The appearance was really nice. Orange in color with a thick head that stayed through the end. The smell was hoppy hoppy hoppy, and very pleasant. The taste was bitter, almost tasted like pinecones but I was very quick to get used to it. The finish left a lingering bitterness. As a whole I really enjoyed this beer, but next time I will stick with a single instead of picking up the 4-pack. This is one to be enjoyed in moderation.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2008 14:23:16 | More by McDiddyPop
Photo of DavoleBomb


3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pokal.

4.5 A: Medium orange color. Clear, but not crystal clear. Two fingers of thick frothy head with good retention and lots of lacing.

4.0 S: Mainly citrus. A little earthy with freshly cut grass. A hint of sweetness.

3.5 T: Again citrus (grapefruit and mandarin foremost). I'm getting hints of some woodiness as well. Begins sweet with a bitter finish. There's actually a lot of sweetness, but it's a roller coaster ride from sweet to bitter with every sip. Not only is this beer unbalance, but it's unbalanced twice because of what was already mentioned. Still, the sweet part is good and the bitter part is good as well, but my tastebuds aren't up for the craziness. It's like transfering fish from hot water to cold water and back again several times only much less torturous.

4.0 M: Medium body. Moderately creamy with good carbonation.

3.0 D: The brew is good, but one beer is plenty due to the crazy revolving taste.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2009 02:37:22 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of cs45977


3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in pilsner glass poured from bottle.

Appearance: Poured cloudy golden brown quick two finger head that quickly retreats to health one finger head.
Smell: Immediate and strong hop smell. Almost IPA like. Ever so slight malt (German?). Did I say Hops!
Taste: very intense pilsner taste, intense hops, finishes with alcoholic bite (a bit unbalanced).
Alcohol predominant taste. Nothing light about this beer.
Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation. Very heavy (pleasantly) mouthfeel the “imperial” malting shines here.
Drinkability: Seems to be a true imperial in that all elements seemed “double” that of a traditional. Like other Imperial or Double Pilsners I've had, this seems to be a “novelty”. I would give this one to someone as an example of what could be done with the style, or drink it myself “for something different” but I don't think this will end up in my “old standards”. I am just not a huge fan of pilsners

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2007 22:28:00 | More by cs45977
Photo of beerking1


3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an intense orange-amber, but very cloudy, with a big head that lasts very long. Aroma is all hops, and lots of them. So much hops it is very hard to tell they are hallertauer. Flavor is intensely hoppy, as promised, almost too much so. Alcohol is very apparent, and there are faint hints of malt. Mouthfeel is very dry, hoppy, and slightly oily. Truly a beer only for hopheads, it seems a little out of balance to me.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2007 19:29:01 | More by beerking1
Photo of rtepiak


3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the carbonation is a bit poor on the pour. orange in tint. head is white... lace. not really expected on that part. not too crisp. peppery hop. orange. wood malt. or more so blanding, if that's even a word, quality malt. a strange marco marketing tool of beer that isn't accessible for the norm. good beer. doesn't serve much of a place... i mean... as an imperial pilsner. too much malt. not refreshing. but american hoppy. not what i look for in a pilsner... or an american imperial pilsner for that... if that type is even justified. the metallica of beer. rather silly to drink twice. i'm sure it would be indiscernible in the face of a selection of IPA's. not a palate thing... more so a pedantic attempt.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2009 11:40:28 | More by rtepiak
Photo of Fatduck


3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another one picked up on impulse. And I'm glad, once again.

Pours a hazy pale yellow. Like a wheat field on a rainy day. Smells like hay, grass, maybe a little dirt. A nice spiciness, from the hops. They sure do know how to make a big hoppy brew at sam adams.

Its a thick brew, highly carbonated, but it struggles against the malty/hoppy huge beer that this is. At almost 9% its easy to see why its so thick. Not quite a drinkable brew, but at 10 bucks a 4 pack I wouldn't want to drink too many at once.

Over all I really like this beer, and would recommend it to anyone who likes hops or strong beers.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2008 22:31:39 | More by Fatduck
Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
91 out of 100 based on 776 ratings.