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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.

785 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 785
Reviews: 653
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 130
Gots: 3 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 785 | Reviews: 653 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bonkers
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a 12 ounce bottle into my SA pint glass. As i was pouring the first thing that hit me was the smell. A wave of wonderful orange/lemon hops filled the air. The beer pours an apricot color with a 2 finger white head. The head does not stick around long, but leaves lots of lacing. The taste is heavy to hops, as would be expected. The flavor is very strong with citrus and a hint of pine. The finish is dry with a hint of bitterness. The beer is a medium bodied sipper. A great beer.

bonkers, Oct 08, 2008
Photo of ArrogantB
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark yellow almost orange with a head that lasted the whole way down. The first smell from the bottle is an amazing dose of hops. The second smell from the glass is just as glorious. Jim Koch is speaking the truth when he touts the amount of hops because the nose is amazing. Fruity, grassy, floral hops and then the taste is more hops and a nice malty backbone with some caramel flavor. This is unlike any pilsner I have ever had but the smell is so beautiful and the taste is delicious. This beer is hoppier than many IPA’s I have had but doesn’t have much bitterness to speak of which I believe is noted on the carton. This has completely upset what I thought I knew about Sam Adam’s. I have had several of their beers but nothing even comes close to this. The 8.8 ABV is undetectable to the taste at first but a little astringent on my tongue halfway through. Top notch and every bit as hoppy as claimed on the label, hopheads should love this. I will now proceed to give Sam Adams lineup a second look, well done.

ArrogantB, Sep 17, 2007
Photo of groganb
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- An interesting cloudy amber. Nice thick head that slowly dissapates.
S- Tangy hops and citrus. Built my anticipation for the flavor.
T- Hops hops hops!! Rather bitter with a hint of citrus and caramel. Caught me off guard at first but the flavor grew on me until I really enjoyed each one.
M- Near perfect. Carbonation is just right and it goes down easily.
D- Great. Seems much more like an IPA than a pilsner. But still great.

The bitterness was a suprise, but then again the labeling on the package warns you that it's an INTENSE hop experience. While I was originally not a fan of really hoppy beer, brews like this one and Dale's Pale Ale are starting to turn me into a Hop Head. Great brew! Cheers!

groganb, Oct 25, 2007
Photo of IgnatiusReilly
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz. bottle to tall pilsner glass at home.

Brilliant golden honey color, with an excellent, massive head, really thick and rocky, loads of lace down the side of the glass. Aroma is all floral pine and sweet malt, with honey scents. Taste is all hops, yet no where near over-powering. This beer seems to be able to pull off the uncanny trick of being well-balanced while seemingly not having a big, sweet malt counterpart. Don’t get me wrong, the malt sweetness is there with some bready and biscuity undertones, but this beer is all hops from beginning to end, with a nice dry, puckering bitterness all the way. Mouthfeel is medium to full-bodied, and at 8.8% this is extremely drinkable. Great beer.

IgnatiusReilly, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of tmoneyba
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured hazy amber color with an average frothy white head that was lasting and produced good lacing.

Good heavy citrus and grass aroma.

Medium body with a slick texture.

Moderate spice and hop flavor with a long finish.

Very good brew and a standout for style.

tmoneyba, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of timtim
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

hazy beer truly the color of honey with an off white head that reduces itself to a thin film and leaves tons of lacing on the glass. georgeous smell that entails a big, strong hop character and a great malty yeasty backbone. Not an overly sweet malt, just a top notch pilsner malt that really carries those cream of the crop hops. really such a beautiful thing those hallertau hops. taste is dominated by hops and carried by the malt wonderfully. not much else going on. not much else needs to. medium body could be a little velvetier, but good mouthfeel none the less. easy to drink. such a pleasure to the senses. it's great to see sam adams representing proper like.

timtim, Sep 21, 2007
Photo of olmatty
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance- pours a billowy four finger head with excellent retenion and moderate lacing. Deep golden to light copper color with lots of bubbles sticking to the glass.

Smell- Bitter hops over a light cracker maltiness

Taste- Great concentration of light malts brining forth a delicious bready sweet maltiness followed by a fresh and bitter blast of Hallertauer hops. Made me think of fresh cut grass. What all pilsner should taste like.

Mouthfeel- Crisp, bubbly and fresh. Stays on the palate with a bit of stickiness

Drinkability- It took restraint to drink this slowly enough to review this beer. Infinitely drinkable. Refreshing enough for hot weather, thick and flavorful enough for cold weather. Very versatile.

olmatty, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of Vengeance526
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice copperish orange color with about a 1 finger tan head that slowly subsides to a nice ring and leaves some great lacing.

As expected, lots of hops in the aroma. Fruity, somewhat earthy but overall very pleasing to say the least.

Taste hits you with the hops immediately as it starts out with a nice earthy bitterness. As you sip through, the hops exhibit a more floral tone with fruity notes of apricot, light citrus and a gradual sweetness like caramel also starts to come in. This was one of the first beers that got me into hops and its still a classic in my book. Amazing taste that just gets better as you go along.

This is a fairly smooth pilsner that goes down pretty easy given the abv and bitterness levels. Easily the best offering I've tried from BBC to date and one that I will probably never get tired of.

Vengeance526, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of boogles
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What an exceptional beer! Murky, murky appearance but without floaters, lacing like you wouldn't believe, delicious. Bitter. Hops. Beautiful. This is one beer that exceeded my expectations. That doesn't happen often. After these four, I may even purchase another.

boogles, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of JAA
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I believe this was my first imperial beer of any kind about two years ago. I was blown away, naturally. So i figured i would give it a go again.

Funny how a piece of plastic from total wine can turn into all kinds of flavorful beer. Merry Christmas to me.

WOW this smells great, like orange, strawberry, banana juice from tropicana. I also got a little grass or leaves, not sure which.

Tastes much like it smells. A lot of the juice in the aftertaste. Hoppy, of course, but not really bitter. A pleasure to drink.

very nice all around and i'm glad i bought it again. Cheers!

JAA, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of trkerrigan
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hop lovers Holla!!!!

From what I have gathered from some this ranks at over 110 IBU’s, others say the IBU of the Imperial Pilsner is un-measurable.

Regardless, I love this beer. This is the only beer that I have had that really lets the glorious ingredient of hops completely take over. Other beers that claim to have bold hop flavor, taste like an everyday IPA after this.

Have you ever eaten a hop pellet? In many ways drinking this beer is just as intense. Except taste is much better, and you feel less like an idiot afterwards.

trkerrigan, Dec 27, 2007
Photo of Mess
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a review for 2007 Samuel Adams Imperial Hallertau Pilsner. I also poured a 2008 to compare next to it. Both were cellared upright and served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

2007: Audible hiss when cap popped. White billowy foam head. Burnished cloudy gold. The '07 surprisingly had a stronger scent of hops. Sharp bitterness, lemony hops. Toffee sweet malt - pineapple? Whiff of alcohol. Great Brussels lacing. Soft mouthfeel. Really tasty.

2008: Barely a hiss when popped. White billowy foam head. Rich orangey glow. Both the '07 and '08 were very similar, however the '08 surprisingly had a fainter scent of hops. Sweet malt nose, grapefruity hops. Smooth mouthfeel - almost like from a cask. Would figure the '07 would have been mellower. Sweetness on finish but minimal aftertaste. Excellent beer. The '07 likely just kept better than the '08.

They ever going to release this again?

Mess, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of Brew33
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in my new Duvel Tulip glass.

Wow. Pours a nice fizzy orange color. The smell is INCREDIBLE. The best nose on a beer that I can remember.

The taste is pleasantly hoppy. This beer is hoppy but the malt sweetness plays great backup. Crisp, tasty, slight alcohol warmth. Beautiful beer. I am very impressed. I could smell this beer all day long. They need to make this stuff into cologne.

Great beer, pricey but well worth the investment.

Brew33, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of Trueant1
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thick cloudy dark orange. A one finger white head forms that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of sweet malts...almost bavarian malts (smell) The hops are floral and some pine is in there.

Very sweet malts up front. Malt sweetness tastes of grapefruit and oranges. A bitter,oily piney hop aftertaste follows. ALcohol is mixed in throuout the tasting experiance. To me, the taste is a PERFECT blend of "bitter-sweet". A perfect 5!.

Moutfeel is thick and chewey from the malts. They must have used tons of malts to counteract the bitter and floral hops. The beer drinks thick but seems dry. An oily, bitter hop aftertaste dominates the palate on the aftertaste.

This is a great brew. It drinks nice. Would want this one to taste every year. Maybe even a session brew for the hophead?!

Trueant1, Oct 25, 2007
Photo of popery
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, I had to clean out a dusty Pilsner glass for this one, so I'm glad it was good. That's actually an understatement; it's damn good. Sam Adams succeeds with this big hoppy pilsner that shows off their ability to compete with smaller, specialty brewers. If all pilsners were this good, my glasses would not have been dusty. This pilsner packs a ton of great hop flavor, although I'm fairly sure that my tongues is not refined enough to identify it as a pilsner without knowing beforehand. It's close to a heavily hopped IPA or DIPA for me. The hops have a flavor that is unlike anything that I've tried thus far. I don't necessarily prefer it to other heavily hopped beers but it's always wonderful to taste such a strong, true hop presence. The beer is a bit dark for a pilsner and has a stronger head than most. The hops are more bitter than American varieties and invoke a different palette of fruit notes. It's less citrus, but there's also a strong balancing malt presence that confuses my ability to taste. Half of the time I think tasting notes like this are nonsense but it does help me remember the taste when I review it. So, know I might be wrong about specific tastes, but I do find it enjoyable. The mouthfeel has a little mroe pucker than I'd like on the aftertaste. I had a Green Flash Le Freak earlier, so it's not so much a reaction to the hops as to some slightly runaway alcohol content. It's still a highly drinkable beer with a huge and delicious hop flavor.

popery, Oct 04, 2008
Photo of RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This Pils is a gorgeous, deep, radiant orange in color with a beautiful thick and lingering head. Words cannot explain how beautiful the orange coloring is. It’s like an orange Christmas tree bulb – pure as can be. The head is equally pleasing to look at.

Smell – This smells more like an IPA than a Pils, but the hops are indeed quite easy on the nose. It’s’ a wonderful fruity hop bouquet filled with unsweetened peaches and apricots with some nice grapefruit.

Taste – The hop flavors are truly “imperial” as the name implies. They don’t have that PacNW pine. It’s more like sheer hop fruit, and somehow through all of this the fine malt base comes out.

Mouthfeel – This is a solid medium-bodied and very bitter.

Drinkability – Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fan of the perverted American “beer styles” born from failed attempts to replicate classic European beers (like American Wheat – blah) but damn this is extremely well done. It is very drinkable yet bitter enough to satisfy hopheads.

RoyalT, Dec 08, 2007
Photo of nortmand
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours brilliant orange with some haze and a white head that leaves beautiful lace.

Fanfreakintastic aroma. Floral spicy peppercorns and pine resins with a hint of citrus. Defines noble hops.

Sweet pine needles up front. Balanced caramel until the back of the tongue, where there is a pleasant, lingering bitterness.

Full bodied, a bit strong to drink a ton of, but full of character, possibly the best I've tasted from Boston Beer Company.

nortmand, Oct 03, 2007
Photo of Drufus
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Stored in the fridge then poured into a 10 ounce pilsner glass. Rich orange color with decent carbonation.

The first sips were tasty, and I could feel the back of my tongue alive with the hops. This was the first time I ever tasted anything that at first did not even register on the sweet taste bud receptors on the tip of my tongue! However, as I drank more I could start to taste more of the subtler notes with the front of my tongue. When the beer began to warm slightly, the hops seem to come alive and notes of spice and fruit were apparent.

The smell is amazing. Like sitting in a field of hops. This is the best smelling beer I have ever had. In fact, even after I had finished it, I caught myself smelling the bottle!!!

The mouthfeel was not as heavy or as oily as I suspected, but nothing about it was out of the ordinary

The drinkability is incredible. I could not taste any alcohol notes until the last sip. I only purchased one bottle and I wish I had another! I could drink 2 of these back to back with no problem.

Overall a great beer. Great tasting, and it smells incredible! I want more but I think i might have a hard time tracking it down.

Drufus, Oct 27, 2007
Photo of jasonjlewis
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Murky orange color with insane initial head and retention. Thick and frothy. Simply amazing

The smell is very hoppy. I smell a similar experience to that of an ipa. The hops smell similar to cascade hops but have a distinction all their own. I now have hallertau hops in my vocab.

Clean pale malts appear on the palate with an intense hoppiness afterwards. Sort of a breadiness from the malts. The hoppiness is not overly bitter as it is hoppy. They managed to balance hoppiness with hoppy bitterness. Very nice. Flavors are clean with no ale fruity undertones. My first imperial pilsner. A damn good style of beer. I taste a slight caramelization as the beer warms.

Decent, slightly low carbonation that is perfect for this beer. It's odd that this beer has a slight creaminess. It sticks to the palate fairly well.

This is just one hell of a beer. I wish I had bought a case rather than a four pack.

jasonjlewis, Oct 26, 2007
Photo of BrewMonkey
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours light amber to orange with a good deal of sticky looking head. Tight bubbled lacing as the head recedes. Slight haze to it also.

Aroma is staggering. It reminds me of two things, standing outside Anchor Brewing in SF, and standing over a boiling kettle of wort directly after a hop addition. Wow, that's just beautiful.

Taste is really unlike anything I've tried before. I can't tell if the aroma is messing with me or not, but it's very much like drinking unfermented wort, very sweet and malty with bitterness in the back. The hop flavor is there, but I can't get past the malt backbone. I can sense a juicy kinds of condensed hop flavor, but its almost swamped by the malt flavor and aroma. The bitterness certainly comes through, but the hop flavor was suprisingly muted.

Mouthfeel starts creamy and finishes dry with a good deal of bitterness and moderate carbonation levels.

It may not be the most complex beer I've had, but it might be one of the most interesting. I've never had a beer that seems to have incapsulated the pre-fermentation properties of wort in a finished beer. Really unique and fantastic, well worth the long search.

BrewMonkey, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of Donnie2112
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance: not what I expect from a pils of any type cloudy almost orange amber color decent head retention and

smell: big grassy hops dominate the nose with backgrounds of light malts raisiny malts

taste: notes of cereal and raisins in the malt that make me think of great old ales and barleywines. Astoundingly unique flavor for a pils the malts are then dominated by a slightly minty, heavily grassy hops finish. Intense hop experience indeed.

mouthfeel: medium bodied and nice carbonation that helps the flavor to pop. very nice

drinkabilty: I don't remember drinking a beer with this much flavor that is this straight up refreshing. Perfect drinkability.

There's go to be a little more

Donnie2112, Jun 06, 2008
Photo of botham
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner. pours a hazy amber color with a few fingers of tight white head. the head last for a few minutes and leaves moderate lacings on the glass.

smell is of spiced hops above all else, with a lightly fruity base. sweet malts are present, but do not sit above the hops. munich malts are above pale malts, which both give the brew good balance in the nose.

taste is of mild & spicy malts up front, which only intensifies at the back of the palate. the hop flavor is mild, and takes on a unique character. alcohol is detectable, but not harmful to the taste experience. malts are subtle, with the same munich flavors in the background. a floral character moves throughout the profile, giving the brew its wonderful lager character.

mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, with notable amounts of alcohol and spiced hops. this makes for a bold brew, with an extremely seductive hop character. solid.

drinkability is great. this is a big brew with bold flavors that will tickle any palate. definitely one of the top offerings from the guys in Boston. cheers!

botham, Oct 30, 2007
Photo of wedge
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Hazy orange hue with a thick, persistent white head that won't let go of the glass. There's a lot of yeast in the bottle which I wasn't expecting. The aroma is brimming with noble hop resins. Floral and citrus with some sweetness and a slight alcoholic edge. Very fresh hoppy flavor: leafy, peppery, and floral. Wow that's an intense amount of hops. There's no other brewery that's been able to pull off this "style" as well as Sam Adams. The onslaught of hops is balanced somewhat by a solid sweet malty base, but the hops are fully in charge here. Much heavier than most everything else with the word "pilsner" in it, though not too full bodied. The aftertaste is suprisingly pilsner-like: the lingering flavors, bitterness, and dryness.

Mmmmm....hops. Sticky, fresh German hops. A shit-ton of 'em. Its funny how I instantly remembered this beer as soon as I took my first whiff even though I haven't had the stuff in nearly two years. If you like hops and want something that stands out even among the hoppiest of DIPAs, come and get it. You won't be disappointed.

wedge, Oct 27, 2007
Photo of Bierguy5
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle. Cloudy, straw color. Thick white fluffy head. Great retention, and a tremendous amount of lace. Very impressive so far.

Spicy, herbal, floral hops leap out of the glass. Very intense aroma. Not much else going on in the nose, but that is the intent, such a fresh smell.

Not very clean for a pilsner, but I get the idea, a very pale malt, allowing the spicy, floral hops to shine. Bitterness is strong, but not overwhelming.

Great body. Just a sticky fresh hop bomb, nothing wrong with that. What a great beer.

Bierguy5, Oct 25, 2007
Photo of rallison
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So, my first imperial pilsner. Pours a very nice looking golden amber color with a 1 finger white head that leaves some decent laving around. Smells very fresh - lots of fresh, grassy hops with a hint of hop juice. Smells excellent.

Taste is very, very nice. The malt backbone here is how I wouldn't mind more pilsners to be - relatively thick with a nice toffee like sweetness. The hops then come storming in, providing for a balance that leans toward the hops. Grassy, floral hops are immediately noticeable, transitioning to an excellent bitterness that stays on your tongue all the way until you taste your next sip. Very crisp finish as well, with almost a spicy characteristic. Nice. This is complex and tasty. A delicious brew that starts you out slightly sweet, then tempts you with the hops until finally finishing the swallow - at which point it lets you know this is one hopped up pils.

rallison, Sep 23, 2007
Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
91 out of 100 based on 785 ratings.