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

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Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial PilsnerSamuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner

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788 Ratings

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Ratings: 788
Reviews: 653
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 131
Gots: 5 | 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)
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Ratings: 788 | Reviews: 653 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of far333
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Turbid apricot colored with a thin orangey-beige head that doesn't rise up much, and then settles out quickly to a thin layer of foam.

Low aroma of sweet malt, faint citrus, and some alcohol fumes.

Flavor is initally rough and pungent, somewhat hard-edged. Bitter orange rind jumps on the tongue all at once, followed quickly by an alcoholic astringency. The alcohol warms the tongue and cheeks, and masks the flavor from there. Hints of sweet malt and grapefrut and pine hops try to poke through, but the octane level pushes them back down. Not very balanced, not too complex.

Mouthfeel is full but also crisp and tingly. Average drinkability. Not as good as the '05 selection.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz picked up today at the Coop for about $2.40.. poured into my shaped Sam Adams glass.

2 finger head with lots of lace... nice cap.. brew is golden with a very soft haze.

Aroma is spicy citrus with some bready pale malts..

Big bitterness out of the gates.. followed by smooth pale malts with a little bit of sweetness.. the malts are only present long enough for the big hop presence to kick in... very hoppy.. big orangey hoppiness with some grassy/spicy hoppiness. finish sorta drops off for me though except for a long bitterness.. mildy metallic. Body is medium with abundant but smooth carbonation.. drinkability for me is not that high.. the big bitterness seems out of whack... and I like a great DIPA, but put into the Impy Pilsner category, and it just seems too much.


Photo of FatSean
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pilsener-style glass from 12oz bottle. Hazy, orange-brown color, with a thin off-white head that quickly dissapear leaving plenty of lacing. Looks very pretty and full of mystery.

Smell is mild, with a sweet/sour citrus twang.

Taking a sip coats the mouth with bitter orange-peel as the alcohol vapors rise into the sinuses. Hops, hops and more hops. Did they put any malt in here? I'm not complaining! The finish hangs arround on the palate in a nice way inspiring a sipping approach. I wouldn't be drinking these on a hot humid summer day, but the cloying hop flavor is not offensive at all.

Thick on the tongue with a moderate ammount of carbonation for a pilsener. The alcohol and hops conspire to produce a syrupy sensation.

While I am a fan of pilseners, I'm not sure this is one I'd keep arround. Definately nice for a change of pace, but the price and complexity keep it from being a frequent visitor to my fridge.

Photo of aerozeppl
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my sam adams super pint glass.

A: Poured with a finger of white head. Spotty lacing. Nice slightly hazy golden color.

S: Hops right up front. Not really balanced and more of a bittering hop nose.

T: Very bitter up front. Goes into a little bit of a faded orange taste. A slight hint of graham crackers behind the hops.

M: Sticky mouthfeel. Carbonation was a little bit on the low side.

D: Fairly good. Not too many examples of the style out there so it is always nice to get to try one.

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

Poured from a bottle a hazy light yellow. The head was rich and white and left a nice amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell was very hoppy with good amounts of citrus, pine, and even a touch of spice.

Taste was very sharp and loaded with hoppy bitterness. Quite a bit more than I expected. Eventually I was able to detect a bit more of the subtleties of the citrus, pine, and malt.

Mid-bodied, crisp, and quite carbonated.

This was not quite the sessionable beer I expected but was the beer I had hoped it to be.

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

12 oz bottle into US Pint

A: cloudy orange with 1 finger head that dissipated quickly

S: Not as hoppy as I'd expected but definitely getting some peppery lemongrass like aroma

T: Bitterness hits lightly on the palette at first and then after about 5 seconds really sits down and makes itself known, a nice 2 punch combo. Chewing on a gulp really brings out pine needle astringent flavors from the hops

M: smooth a bit numbing from the bitterness and dryness after awhile

D: ABV, Cost, and Intensity make this a nice once in awhile beer but interesting none the less

Photo of dfillius
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass.
A: Aggressive pour yields 1.75 fingers of pillowy white head with terrific retention. Chill hazy light coppery gold.

S: Gummy peach rings, rich and tangy herbal hops, some light shortbread underneath it all. Do I detect a hint of cat pee? Hallertau is an interesting hop varietal, it has a very delicate aroma. A good alcohol aroma is present as well.

T: The alcohol is not hidden well unfortunately. Good hop bitterness: spicy. Cucumber, some citrus, some metallic :(. Tastes a little like apricot or apple hookah tobacco smoked out of an apple bowl I had once. Interesting and good flavor, but not outstanding.

M: Oily and syrupy and a bit phlegmy. A tad astringent. Bracingly bitter - surprising since the hop smell is so delicate.

D: Decent and tasty, but slightly harsh aftertaste makes me only want one more at most. It loses points on the latter quality.

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

Poured into a 16 oz. Guinness nonic.

A: Pours a clouded amber/copperish color with a 2 finger head. Little lacing and little retention.

S: Not very strong. IPAish, some hops.

T: Nice hop kick, not pine-ish but slightly citrusy.

M: Nice and bitter, dry, a real biter.

D: Good beer, high ABV, be careful as it doesn't taste as boozy as the ABV would suggest.

Photo of shererjt
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slightly orangish straw color. Was unexpectedly hazy. This was my first foray into the Imperial Pilsner realm so I didn't know if that was normal, but when I see "pilsner" I think crystal clear. Still, had a beautiful, large, rocky, off-white head with great lacing so I went ahead and scored it slightly above average. Wonderful aroma, just an absolutely stellar hop scent. Some malt was in there too but the hops were front and center. About as good a smelling beer as you could find anywhere. Medium-full body. Very malty but lots of hop bitterness to balance. The bitterness lingered in the finish--just a bit too long, in fact, for my taste. Plenty of hop flavor as well. Relatively clean, though the hops were so intense that it was hard to really judge this. Mouthfeel was okay; not as harsh as might be expected given the massive hop presence. Drinkability was slightly above average, which was actually pretty good, considering.

Delivers what it promises. If you let it warm up a bit, the malt is more apparent. Try some of this just so you can smell it.

Photo of esv
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A little difficult for me to grade since it's a bit unique and I haven't had any of the small handful of imperial pils on the market.

A) Hazy orange beer. Billowy white head. Tight, tiny bubbles in the head.

S) Malty sweet and hoppy. So this is hallertau.

T) Big, syrupy sweetness. Hugely bitter that washes out most of the syrup. Monstrous. A little medicinal.

M) Medium Mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

D) Higher than expected. The big IBUs keep the malt in line.

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.

Photo of Jmamay22
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.

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.

Photo of yelterdow
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.

Photo of SixpointJMH
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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of tsbuttry
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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of Timmush
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.

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.

Photo of nasty15108
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.

Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
91 out of 100 based on 788 ratings.