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

Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial PilsnerSamuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

771 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 771
Reviews: 653
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%

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: 771 | Reviews: 653 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Jordan1985rec


3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I was served this at the end of a brewery tour at Boston Beer Company, and to honest it was a bit too much for me.
Good if you like VERY hoppy beers, but for somebody like me who tends to like the more mild ales and such, this tasted kind of gross. Now obviously in a store I wouldn't pick this up because it blatently says on the bottle that it is extremely hoppy, so I don't blame the beer, nor do I think it is particularly bad, just not for me. I would recomend this beer to IPA fans and other such hop heads.
Look: Was very pretty to look at, amber-ish with a nice, lasting head.

Smell: Wow, hops and lots of them. To me smelled of citrus and maybe a bit like household cleaner.

Taste: Strong as F@*k, too hoppy for this guy. But good for hop fiends.

Mouthfeel: Almost burning sensation in my mouth from the bitterness of this beer. Honestly the overall package here made my girlfriend sick and me a little woozy.

Drinkability: I would only have one myself, but I can see my friends who really live for hops sticking with this for at least one more.
Just not for me I guess.

Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2008 22:37:50 | More by Jordan1985rec
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled this at the German Beer Festival and later out of a bottle.

Pours a cloudy golden orangey color with a fluffy white head that just wouldn't quit. Carbonation on this one is a bit on the high side. Smell is overwhelming hops, but not the spicy or citrusy smell that one would expect from an ipa with "c" hops in it. Definitely a much more flower like smell. The taste didn't really do it for me. Very bitter as one would expect, but not a flavorful bitter. Maybe my pallet isn't ready for this beer, but I would have liked some grapefruit, or citrus flavors in with the bitter, but it just wasn't there. Medium body with bitterness all around. I saved a couple of bottles of this and I think it will be really interesting to see how these hold up over time. As they are now, I think they are a bit harsh.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2007 02:20:14 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of tempest


3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the Hop Devil Grill in NYC.

Yes, it is an intense hops experience, but that aso means it's not a pilsner experience. Unlike the Rogue imperial pils, for instance, the hops here completely overwhelm any malt flavors. That leaves you with a thick grapefruit rind and noble hop spice. There's plenty of big beers that host big lhop levels like this one and without the malt or pilsner character, this is just another hop bomb for the most part. Still, the hops are pretty tasty, I'm just wish there was more pilsner in there.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2007 15:24:11 | More by tempest
Photo of jermar


4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in 20 oz. draft cup at Uno's in Kenmore Square before Game 2 of the ALCS. I was surprised to find it there. The barmaid asked whether I was sure I wanted it, implying that other patrons had been turned off by the brew. I assured her that I did - and was pleasantly surprised to be charged only $6 for 20oz at such an establishment.

In any case, what can I say? It is a bit shocking to experience such full-blown hop assault from a lager-style brew, but it is simply delicious. And I think the malt held up its end of the bargain, providing just the right level of sweetness. I was not able to savor the drink for long as my party was getting ready to head to our seats at Fenway, but that drink was the least disappointing aspect of that long night. Go Sox!!

Serving type: on-tap

10-14-2007 17:48:40 | More by jermar
Photo of BattleRoadBrewer


3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Sam Adams Beer Summit Oktoberfest in pint glass tankard.

Pours orange amber with a bit of haze, making a modest off-white head.

Aroma is fullsome with hops, but with less bite on the nerve endings, and a bit less rich and floral, than the bottled version.

Taste is sweet and buttery, not as clean, nor as citrusy, as the bottled version. Maybe such a big beer needs to age longer before serving, so that it can come into balance.

Mouthfeel is great, slick and bitter, goes down easy.

Drinkability is great or sinister, depending on how you look at it. 8.8% ABV is completely concealed, this beer is too quaffable for your own good! Overall, keg version suffers from being insufficiently aged compared to the bottled version, which I scored quite a bit higher.

Serving type: on-tap

09-15-2007 15:08:38 | More by BattleRoadBrewer
Photo of Icedogs


4.98/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is sorely missed! It was the first hop monster I had, and I had it at a time when I was not keen on the hop--much more into the malty beers. But this was a home run with me right off the bat. I wish Jim Koch and team would make it again. Anyone know if they will?

In short, this beer is so dry and yet so creamy. Quite an amazing beer!

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2013 01:18:17 | More by Icedogs
Photo of Knapp85


4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours out as a traditional style pilsner with a yellow colored body. The head is what sets it apart from most pilsners. The retention on this is very good. The smell of the beer is super hoppy and very inviting. The taste is very hoppy as well and really makes this pilsner more enjoyable than just the normal grassy flavor that most have. This brew is more like an IPA in my opinion which really tastes great. The mouthfeel remains light and drinkable. Overall this brew is very good and I'm looking forward to having it again.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2011 22:04:51 | More by Knapp85
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great vibrant yet hazy yellow and orange frothy head. Big grassy hop aroma from this one.

This is a taste for hopheads, built into an imperial pilsner. Sam Adams doesn't make their ipa's usually with that much hops, strange they went big on this one, and I like the results. Quite bitter, but zesty, lemon citrus hop flavors driving the bitterness. Has a little bit of the lager yeast flavor that was complimented by the massive hop burst. Don't know if this is exclusively hallertau, but whatever proportion, it works nicely to create a strong ass beer worthy of spring early summer time.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2011 16:57:00 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of LiquidBread219


4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Bright orange color, translucent, very appealing

S: Imagine shoving some hops up your nose, very floral, spicy smell really enjoyed the nose in this one.

T: Initially very citrusy and spicy. Turns into a very bitter and crisp flavor.

M: Smooth, good amount of carbonation

D: It is a good beer I really think this is one of the better Sam Adams beers that is available.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2011 05:49:30 | More by LiquidBread219
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?

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 03:11:08 | More by Mess
Photo of BeerLover99


3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: deep amber, orange color, strong lacing, small head size.

S: strong malt with decent hops playing back-up.

T - very intense bitterness, slight citrus in the background.

M: very thick syrupy body. leaves me wanting to drink more but constantly have a thirsty feeling.

D: A MUST HAVE for any hop head! This is not for beginner beer drinkers. Not a session beer, probably best to be shared with others to savor each sip.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2010 20:49:33 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of arboristfish


3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a copper color with a slighty off color head. The smell is an intense noble hop character. The taste of this beer is extremely bitter. The bitterness lingers a long time! The mouthfeel is thick for a pilsner. This is a sipping beer. Its not bad, but wow it is an imperial!

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 01:43:33 | More by arboristfish
Photo of OWSLEY069


3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orange-ish color with a light tan head. In the aroma, hallertau hops stand out with a nice dry malt. In the taste, dry hops, dry malt which is quite balanced, with a small hint of alcohol. A smooth and medium to big bodied mouthfeel, with a dry, small hop and small alcohol hint in the aftertaste. Big hops and a small alcohol hint, quite IPA like, but you can tell it is a pilsner. Good nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2010 20:13:05 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of 3FaveryRogue


3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of Archer liquors, I get to open a bottle I haven't seen since the beginning days of my tasting experiences. Can't say I had strong memories of this one +/-; can't say that this will be anything like the 1st time. But glad to give it a shot.

[L] A glowy orange. Very hazy. Head is slightly darker than white but significantly lighter than tan. Just a tilt back on the glass leaves rings of sticky lacing.

[S] Upon first impression, it just smells like an ordinary, citrusy ASA/DIPA. Upon further quaffing, the pilsner malt, and noble hops come through. Though I'm still not sure I dig the Imperial Pilsner label.

[T] THIS is the beer Sam Adams NEEDS. This is the beer that hop heads WANT. Great DIPA qualities. The hops in this beer are amazingly intact. Front and mid body they seem to dominate the palate. Gritty pale, and caramel tastes appear. Finishes a very astringent bitter; like sucking a rind. Me likes that, though. Some dry, crackery pilsner malt wraps things up. You could definitely tell this beer is not fresh.

[F] Feel is very nice. Very soft and mild, with a decent carbonation. Not extremely sweet; but very dry and bitter.

[D] If this were available more often, I could see myself doing 2 in an evening. Hell; 1 lends a decent buzz @ 8%. 2 would definitely push me to move on to something more, though. I imagine a fresh one would be even more enjoyable, and tongue-numbing.

Overall, this probably should be slipped back into rotation at Boston Beer. Can't really say this beer has "peaked", but if you still have one, drink now, or pass it on. Not even sure why Archer hung onto it for so long. It's collecting nothing but novelty and dust. Enjoy!

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2010 13:47:49 | More by 3FaveryRogue
Photo of burnerfinger


4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

has become VERY hard to find this, but I found it and am promptly reviewing it:
I suspect this 4-pack has been cellared for a year or more - Les at Majestic Liquor tells me it was in the back.

A modest one finger head that settles to a film, with great lacing. Pours thick, orange-amber brew.

S: lite on the nose really I get much more malt than hops.

T - rather sweet brew, nicey balanced with a hoppy bite. really this is great but not as hop heavy as I expected.

M super heavy body. nice carbonation - no ABV bite but the buzz pulls thru well

D: approaching perfect. drink em up!

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2010 05:16:47 | More by burnerfinger
Photo of BeerAdvocate


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer review from BA Mag Aug 2007.

Thank the beer gods that Boston Beer Company brought their Imperial Pils back. It received rave reviews from us two years ago, so let's give this year's version a go.

Hazed amberish orange, the haze coming from the insane amount of hops being used here. Not a huge head, but the lace stays for the duration of the drink. Big, pungent, grassy, herbal and alcoholic notes with a biscuity malt aroma, all of which comes forth in a sort of perfume. Smooth and creamy with a full body. Explosive flavor to start, huge hits of juicy hops that go from fruity to bitter and resiny. The malt character is solid enough to hold its own, even though the balance is pushed way off to the hoppy side. Bitterness comes in waves and eventually takes over as the palate dries. Finishes with a seemingly never-ending hop flavor.

Pretty damn amazing and certainly a benchmark for this new American style. A sure pick for any hophead, beer geek or extreme beer lover. Pretty much any funky blue-veined cheese will make a good pairing.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2010 14:05:50 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of htomsirveaux


4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 14 Nov 2007.

Large white-yellow head. Well carbonated. Surprisingly cloudy orange yellow color. Smells resiney, floral, A says like bubblegum. Well hopped, floral, fruity. Lots of malty sweetness too. Some green fruitiness. Alcohol fairly noticeable. Medium body, mouthfeel like 1% milk.

A good deal of gorgeous hop flavor (A).

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2010 05:38:46 | More by htomsirveaux
Photo of jsh420


3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

an extra from Hopstoopid120 - thanks

best before jan. 2009

pours a very cloudy amber orange with a big 2+ finger head with good retention and left notches all down the glass

smell - is malty carmel bready malts with some floral hops in the background

taste - i pick up the hops now - pine and grapefruit very juicy and bitter - the malts are strong - sweet bready carmel - reminds me of some bw's

mouthfeel is medium to heavy body that coats the mouth with hop resin - very smooth

drinkability was good - a very interesting beer that i hope SA brings out of retirement so i can try one fresh

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2010 01:21:24 | More by jsh420
Photo of Shumista


3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Time to drink this one, it's been in the cellar for too long and is past its best by date. Given it's high alcohol content I'm sure it will be fine, though the hops may have faded some. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A- Hazy orange, small white head. Lots of lacing.
S- Caramel and biscuity malt, floral hops.
T- Not surprisingly the caramel and biscuit malt background is there. The hops have clearly faded from what they once were but are still there and are pleasantly balanced with the malt.
M and D- Medium bodied, good carbonation. I would drink more of this...but I think this may be one of the last bottles around so that will probably not be a possibility unless SA brews more.

What I like about this is that unlike some other imperial pilseners I have had that end up just tasting like IPAs or DIPAs, this one actually tastes like a double pilsener. Very interesting beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2010 07:15:52 | More by Shumista
Photo of WCBCFrank


2.6/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

They should rename this imperial to Totalitatian, because this is a "mother" of a pilsner...totally overwhelms my palate with bitter pine and grapefruit hops, it best described as hopjuice. For my palate, this is like the aged very expensive smelly cheese someone brings to your dinner party....

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2009 21:06:00 | More by WCBCFrank
Photo of pzrhsau

District of Columbia

3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer had a nice cloudy orange characteristic with a nice head.
Smell: I don't know, hops? There is some malt in there, but you really are getting that hops aroma up front.
Taste: If you don't like herbal intense hop flavor, you will not like this beer. It has some malt but you are just getting a real hops experience. If you breathe through your mouth, that floral aroma stays with you. This beer was a lot of fun.
Mouthfeel: Now this is complicated. I did not like the first sip. It was like chewing the hops. But as my palate got acclimated to the beer, it was actually quite smooth and refreshing.
Drinkability: Be nice to this beer. I can see that some people dont like the style. But I can say i really liked it. Not usually what I go for, but a good beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2009 21:23:47 | More by pzrhsau
Photo of generallee

New York

3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The label reads best before Jan. 09 and it was sampled on 6-24-09.

Appearance: The body has a deep orange amber color with a few random and tiny bubbles of carbonation here and there. Its clarity is very good as well. The head is very thick and creamy with about a two and a half finger thick ness. It is light tan in color and very long lasting which makes for nice sticky rings of lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is really rich and full of leafy/spicy hops and pale bready malt.

Taste/Mouth: The flavor, like its aroma, has an intense spicy/leafy/herbal hop character. It is in you face with hops and bitterness. Under this heavy layer of hops is a simple and very modest pale bready malt flavor. There is just enough malt presence in there to remind you that this is a beer and not just a bottle of hop extract. It finishes with slowly with a strong hop flavor and bitterness that clings to tongue and feels like it is pulling the enamel off of your teeth. The palate has a full, thick body and slick texture with light carbonation.

Notes: This is a big, full hop bomb and I even sampled it a few months passed its freshness date. I love hops and the flavor was very good but I am not the biggest hop head in the world so for me the drinkability was low on this one. A little bit of this goes a long way.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2009 16:57:07 | More by generallee
Photo of alkemy


4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I decided to buy another 4 pack of this today as I forgot to review it some months ago when I first had it. Poured a light and bright orange amber. Nice spicy hop aroma, but I remember it being a little more pronounced the first time. As far as the hops, the taste was more of the same...a little less intense than I remembered, but I did notice some malts this time. I don't remember that aspect. It's spicy and floral on the hops and slightly sweet on the malts. Mouthfeel is same as remembered with a very rich and creamy feel. I've never been a fan of pilsners, but I really like this...probably because it's stretching the style a bit.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2009 00:48:43 | More by alkemy
Photo of DeathbySexyBT


4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is as advertised: Intense.

A: Cloudy enough to render this opaque. Brassy body with a thin white head.

S: You just got clubbed in the nose with a Hallertauer Hop bat. Yeah, so this should be expected but, this is has a big hop aroma. Pithy, pulpy, pine needles, grapefruit, and lemon zest. Very aromatic.

T: The question that immediately runs through your mind as this floods your mouth is "What was the safety word, again?" Then you begin to like it. Yeah you do...You like that immense bitterness and the utter abuse of hops here, don't you? Yeah, you like the explosion of flavor in your mouth with each swallow of this delicious brew, don't you? This review is making you feel dirty, isn't it?

M: Full is an understatement on the body. The carbonation is ridiculously close perfect but just a hair high.

D: If you do not like this beer you are either A) a Zima fan, B) not a Hop fan, or C) dead.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2009 18:21:34 | More by DeathbySexyBT
Photo of Ragingbull


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ruby-orange and cloudy. Almost a pink hue to the orange color. Nice head retention on a creamy head of foam that has a cream color to it. Some tiny prickle.

Very faint hops in the nose. The nose actually has me braced for some big sweet malt. The hops starts to come alive a little more with repeated sniffing or perhaps with time to aerate. Perhaps this is how Bavaria smells.

Floral hop attack and for sure some malt sweetness. The hops seems to keep the malt in check where many beers the malt controls the hops. Very little aftertaste. There is a definite floral character to the flavor that is almost sweet.

I like the smell.

Its a thickish mouthfeel and actually looks thick while its being poured.

Some residual hops for an aftertaste. The floral sweetness is the only thing I could do without, but it makes "this beer" "this beer" now doesn't it.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2009 03:29:30 | More by Ragingbull
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Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
91 out of 100 based on 771 ratings.