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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.

781 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 781
Reviews: 653
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 127
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 781 | Reviews: 653 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Phillyduke
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 4-pack of this in Virginia in March. I realize that it's 2 months past its "best by" date, but I had never seen it before, and I was curious. Besides, I knew it wasn't "bad," but it might taste different than when it was fresh.

A: Poured into a pilsner glass, leaving a yeasty sediment in the bottle. Enormously foamy head nearly crests out of the glass before eventually settling, leaving huge bubbles of sticky lacing down the sides of the glass. Retention is quite nice. Beer is a hazy apricot color, and some wisps of yeast can be seen suspended in the mixture.

S: Hops, hops and more hops. Predominately pine and noble aroma hops. Slight citrusy/grassy undertones, but overall quite clean and fresh.

T: For 8.8% ABV, this beer is surprisingly balanced. Peppery pine and juicy citrus blend well with the sweet, bready malt backbone. Finishes with a long pleasing bitterness and a slight alcohol burn that greets the stomach with a warming sensation.

M: The enthusiastic head beat a good deal of carbonation out of this beer. Mouthfeel is relatively smooth and somewhat creamy, though the aftertaste does have a bit of a hot alcohol sensation.

D: This is really quite enjoyable as long as it remains somewhat chilled, but I'm not used to drinking such a strong pilsner. The ABV will eventually catch up with you, so more than a couple is probably out of the question (I guess there's a reason it's sold in 4-packs). Definitely not one to reach for on a hot day when you need to quench a thirst, but a decidedly unique take on the style. Comparing my thoughts to reviewers when this beer was fresh leads me to believe that the hop character may have been toned down a bit, so I'd look forward to trying this again next fall/winter when it's fresh.

Phillyduke, May 01, 2008
Photo of JimboHD2005
4/5  rDev -1.5%

JimboHD2005, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of BeerTaster
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance copper slight haze and a huge head. Smell tons of hops. Taste hops again play the domenent role jst enough malt to keep the hops in check. This beer taste like a cross between a pilsner and an imperial IPA. Mouthfeel mediem in body and lite oncarbonation. Drinkability was ok this is a good beer but its a once in a while beer.

BeerTaster, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of davidt
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy marmalade-orange color. Thick off-white, long lasting head. Strong hop aroma with some sweetness. The taste is the intense hop presence as promised. There’s a pretty strong malt presence as well. Mouth feel is sticky, slightly oily. There’s a noticeable alcohol sweetness to the taste. Didn’t care for this the first time I tried it, but on a revisit find it’s not bad. A bit unbalanced to me.

davidt, Dec 24, 2007
Photo of Deus1138
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I went through a phase where I was drinking nothing but really hoppy beers. I'm not really into really hoppy beers anymore, but I figured I'd give this a try.

Appearance is a golden color with maybe just a little orange tint. The smell is no surprise, mostly hops. The taste is somewhat surprising. It's quite bitter and hoppy, but there's not an overwhelming amount of bitterness. It's really hoppy, but it doesn't make your lips pucker. There's also a very subtle malty sweetness hiding in the background, somewhat of a honey flavor. The aftertaste is nice too. I'm not sure how often this is released, but I think it's a great beer for the fall -very earthy and spicy. Probably one of the best from Sam Adams. Very enjoyable and highly drinkable, even for someone who is not a hop-head.

Edit: After reading some other reviews about how well the alcohol is hidden, I decided to look at the ABV.... 8%??? Are you serious?! It's VERY well hidden! Proceed with caution!

Deus1138, Oct 11, 2008
Photo of BurnsTau
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy straw/light orange color, great white head with great lacing. This is a very good looking beer.

Smells are strongly of hops, bitter tastes up front. Although very pleasant the hoppyness is a bit one dimensional and a bit out of balance. There is a bit of a malt backbone there but not much. Alcohol is suprisingly well hidden.

Overall this is a very solid brew, I would say it's the best Sam Adams beer I've had yet and would definitely buy it again.

BurnsTau, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of Jerzdevil1116
3.13/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle

Appearance: Cloudy golden color. Small white head, dissipated after a few minutes. Light visible carbonation rising to the top. nice lacing.

Smell: Malty with the fruity essences of the hops coming through.

Taste: All bitter hops with some of the alcohol making its presence known. May be some malt in there, but the strong hops makes it difficult to pick up.

Mouthfeel: A little more body than I was expecting. Slightly velvety

Drinkability: Not a beer I'd drink everyday, but I get the craving every once in a while. It makes sense they only come in 4 packs.

Jerzdevil1116, Nov 16, 2007
Photo of eballard
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy yellowish brown with a think foamy head that settled slowly and left a good lacing. There is a strong hop smell that is unmistakable. This beer has all the hop flavor you would ever want from an imperial pilsner. Sam Adams has taken this beer and done just what they set out to do, create “an intense hop experience.” There is the distinct hops taste with a spicy aftertaste that bites at your pallet. The hop is sweet and leaves a nice aftertaste. The feel is smooth and creamy and finishes very clean. If you like your hops heavy and strong I would recommend this beer. It has a great hops taste that is well balanced offering all the flavor of hops without the bitterness that you get from some intensely hopped beers.

eballard, Sep 17, 2007
Photo of william5586
3.15/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Very hazy light orange. Small amount of head that quickly faded to a ring that left some sticky lace.

S- Hops. Tons of hops. Citrus and pine hops mostly. No malt anywhere to be found.

T- Again, dominated by hops. The bottle says that the beer is an intense hop experience and I'm going to have to agree with it. Citrus and pine hops open things up. A hint of sweetness slips in towards the middle, but is quickly lost to the punishingly bitter, grassy finish. Did I mention that it was bitter? The bitter after taste hung around for a while after I was finished with this one. I am a fan of hops but this one was just a bit to much for me.

M- Creamy and full bodied.

D- This is definitely a beer that I would only want to have one of in a sitting. Took me awhile to finish one.

william5586, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of hellomcfly
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the back of my fridge. Says it is best enjoyed by January 2008 and it is early May now. It was extremely hoppy so it should still be tasty.

A - Pretty cloudy dark honey color with a nice tall, fluffy, off white head that leaves great lacing behind.

S - Hop aroma dominates but there's some sweet malt there too. Kind of a grassy hop smell. Alcohol smell in the nose as well.

T - I'm pretty sure it has definitely mellowed out some. This initial hop bite isn't quite there like I remember but it's still very bitter in aftertaste. Seems a little more balanced now actually than I recall.

M - Full bodied and pretty thick mouthfeel in my opinion. Right amount of carbonation.

D - It's a good beer but I wouldn't rank the drinkability really high. It's very hoppy. I like it and think it would match up well with the right food, but I don't think I would want more than one in a sitting. This seems more like a DIPA to me than anything else.

hellomcfly, May 06, 2008
Photo of atrus138
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle. Very orange color with a two and a half finger head. Lots of lacing that stuck to the glass the entire time.

You can definitely tell that this is a hoppy drink from the smell. Lots of hops and piney smells.

The taste is obviously very hoppy. You can barely tell its alcohol content while drinking. Very powerful and very enjoyable.

I could easily drink a few of these. Very flavorful. Might be a bit overwhelming for some, but this is definitely worth a try.

atrus138, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of zymurgy4all
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice cloudy orange with an off-white thick long lasting head. You can smell the hops as you are pouring. Malt characteristics are similar to the Boston Lager, however the hops are way over the top. I would rather have less bittering, because it leaves you with a long lasting bitter flavor, however the first sip is quite refreshing with a citrusy/flower like hops. I'm guessing they only use Hallertau for the flavor and aroma, because I don't think it would be so bitter with a low alpha hop thrown in at the beginning of the boil for bittering. Mine wasn't overly carbonated, but had a nice mouthfeel. I give Boston Beer a big thumbs up for being such a large brewery brewing such an over the top beer.

Highly recommended if you are a hop head, otherwise the bitterness will get you.

zymurgy4all, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of leif86
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drink by: January 2009. Quite different from last year's.

A: Crystal clear. Goldeny copper brew. Head is slightly off-white and composed of smaller bubbles.

S: Caramel and citrus - flowery hop aroma also. Some alcoholic ester notes in the background.

T: Mmmm.. hops. Ever so slight caramel flavor. It's mostly hops here and it brings it all - grapefruit, piney, flowery, and a hint of citrus. This bitterness stays with you... mmm.

M: Slightly creamy, slightly sticky at the end. Pretty perfect carbonation, in my opinion.

D: I liked the previous version better but this one is still on my list of seasonal offerings to pick up. I could put back several of these, but not much more than that since the hops really dominate your taste buds.

leif86, Oct 16, 2008
Photo of wardough
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured it into a nice pint glass.

A: It pours a nice amber, cloudy brown. About 2 fingers of head at the top. The head stays, but goes down to 1 finger. In my book, it just looks like a beer should look...beautiful.

S: A faint hint of pears hits...almost sweet smell.

T: Sweet, hint of those pears, then the hops hit. Holy smokes, did the hops hit, and then a hint of alcohol at the end. Normally alcohol ends it up for me, but this one seems to be a little bit more balanced.

M: Perfectly carbonated that enhances the taste. The head at the top coats the mouth as the beer goes down.

D: I would definitely drink another one. It's a school night, so I can't drink too many of them.

wardough, Oct 24, 2007
Photo of BravoTwo
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - cloudy golden color, with a thin head of white foam. Little noticable carbonation

S - all hops, and nothing but hops. As promised this smells like an intense hop experience. Nice and spicy floral notes. Smells good and definitely as advertised.

T - Earthy, spicy, hoppy Hallertau. Very crisp and biting, The taste of this beer was definitely as advertised. If you enjoy the hops experience and then this beer is for you.

M - Thicker, creamier mouthfeel. Low levels of carbonation. This beer "sticks" to the roof of your mouth.

D - IMO this is a one per sitting drinker. This is not a session beer, but it is a really good beer for what it is supposed to be. If you are looking for an intense hoppy pilsner that will slap you right in the face with taste, this is th beer for you.

BravoTwo, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of HopEnthusiast
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. I love hoppy beers and had to give this one a try. It pours a nice clearish copper color with a nice head and good lacing. Has a nice aroma of spicy hops and sweet malt. Perfectly balanced. Has a nice big hop finish but not to overpowering. Has a medium body and nice carbonation. Great beer to relax to after work.


Aged a bottle for 1 year and was surprised when tasting it. Poured and orangesh amber color with a frothy off white head that left decent sticky lacing. Has a more malty than hoppy flavor this time. Definitely better fresh. The aroma is the same, more malty this time around. Not bad at all but better fresh in my opinion.

HopEnthusiast, Jan 01, 2009
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 AMo
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Hallertan Imperial Pilsner pours a gorgeous peachish orange that for the most part is completely opaque. The smell is intense with hops which gives this beer an extraordinary hop flavor. Right out of the fridge there is a bold bitterness that comes though in the aftertaste, this mellows dramatically within minutes. This beers mouthfeel is powered with hops, yet is surprisingly smooth and easily drinkable, especially considering its 8.8% abv.

AMo, Oct 27, 2007
Photo of Roeters
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice orange/copper color with 2" of thick white head

Light hop aroma very light citrus aroma

A hop explosion of citrus, light malt body showing through, resin taste finish

slightly oily with a dry finish

If you like hops you will love this beer, I drink as much of it as I can find

Roeters, Apr 20, 2009
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.

DeathbySexyBT, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of adams82
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright copper colour, cloudy with a big fluffy and sticky white head. This was certainly bottle conditioned... as if the clinging to the bottom of the bottle didn't tip you off first. Smells sweet and full of big floral and slightly citric noble hop notes. Tastes very syrupy sweet up front, lots of malt backbone and then dominated by spicy, citric and floral hops. Finishes fairly bitter and tart, almost too bitter for a hop novice, but certainly not over the top for a hop head!

Fairly unbalanced and defiantly suited for those with a taste for piss and vinegar, this is a unique offering from a brewery that that (in my opinion) hardly ever goes over the top, but they did a great job with this one. Very easy to drink given the high ABV, full bodied and loaded to the gills with hoppy goodness.

Maybe they wouldn't need 12 lbs/BBL if they used a higher alpha hop... I'm thinking "Samuel Adams Centennial Imperial Pilsner". Hells yeah.

adams82, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of biking4beer
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice foamy white head. Chill haze golden with a touch of amber.

Huge hop aroma obviusly. Nice and skunky. Touch of orange, honey and apple.

Taste starts off with a touch of sweetness. The apple and honey are back, and then the hops smack you upside the head and linger around well after you have swallowed. This beer has a nice funky twang.

A good level of carbonation is present to help break everything up. Good level of oiliness.

My first impression of this was that it was a dry, fruity IPA. On the second bottle a couple of days later, it definitely declared it's self as a pilsner. The skunk really came through. IPA and Pilsner lovers will come together over this beer. If you even remotely like hoppy beers, this is a must try.

biking4beer, Nov 03, 2007
Photo of mcowgill
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Great looking hazy light orange color with a thick frothy head that slowly dissipates leaving an ever so thin lacing on the glass.

S - Very inviting citrus hoppy aroma with an almost banana-like smell in the mix. This one smells deadly and I mean that in a good way.

T - Man I love this beer! Starts off with just enough malts to keep it honest and then bam! Hops all over the palate. Delicious spicy swallow this one is. Strong aftertaste which would be off putting to some but not me.

M - Medium bodied almost creamy, adequately carbonated.

D - This one is definitely a sipper at 8.8% and with the intense hoppiness.

mcowgill, Nov 25, 2008
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 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.

tiger88, Oct 09, 2008
Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
91 out of 100 based on 781 ratings.