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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.

780 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 780
Reviews: 653
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 117
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: 780 | Reviews: 653 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jcdiflorio

West Virginia

4.2/5  rDev +3.4%

Thanks to larrydp fro bringing this beer down for me to try,probably got tired of hearing me talk about it. A 12 oz bottle served into my SA glass (what else)

Cloudy,glowing amber color with a generous dense,very creamy,fluffy looking with good retention leaving chunky rings of lace with a few staggering bubbles rising.

Good,very strong noble hop nose spicy,herbal and peppery.Lots of unsuspected maltyness also, with a strong carmelized aroma showing through. Very earthy also.

Intense hop bite right from the start, with a tinge of alcohol, and lots of thick sweet,syrupy maltiness with a good burnt edge. suprizing balance with boozyness also showing through mid-way through again. Very earthy,finishes very dry,leafy and resinious with noble hop notes coming through at the finish. Leaves the tounge swelled and with somewhat of a numb feel.

Mouthwatering feel that's very creamy and silky smooth with a grainyness that's pleasing. Goes down suprizingly easy. Just a few,the ever present boozyness will occasionally come through and give a constiant warning. Try this one a try ASAP before the hoppyness starts to dwindle.

10-24-2007 02:50:33 | More by jcdiflorio
Photo of wardough


4.28/5  rDev +5.4%

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.

10-24-2007 00:27:49 | More by wardough
Photo of NCSUdo


4.4/5  rDev +8.4%

12 oz bottle

A; Hazy golden under a smallish head that barely attempts to stick around.

S: Nice caramel aroma, slight hint of alcohol and some nice hop character. Very impressive aroma and what I would expect from an imperial pilsner.

T: Very complex up front, finishing with some alcohol and bitterness. Sweetness up front is very well done.

M/D: Good carbonation in a medium body. Drinkability is pretty good on this one as well.

Tasted along side DFH Golden Era and Carolina Brewing Company's Imperial Pilsner. This was the best of the 3 by a decent margin followed by the CBC brew than DFH.

10-24-2007 00:17:13 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of AlephNull


3.58/5  rDev -11.8%

A - Pours a cloudy orange color -- surprising for a pilsner -- expected clarity. Nice thick frothy head sticks like glue to the sides of the glass.

S- Ummm.... I may detect a bit of hops here... just kidding -- hops are over the top. Not your typical smash you in the face northwestern hops so prevalent in hop-heavy beers though -- These are spicy and even a bit fruity. A nice, if unbalanced scent.

T - The hops are all over your palate here... fruity and a spicy. I don't taste much in the way of malts here. It finishes a little bit bitter. Not incredibly complex, but nice and clearly demonstrates the hallertau hops.

M- Thick and creamy... not quite right for a pilsner, but not bad.

D- Well, as a pilsner, this doesn't work so much -- it's so much like a modern IPA. I enjoy it though despite the over the top bitterness. The hops are clean and crisp. I'm rating the drinkability a bit higher than I might otherwise, because I think this is a better beer than I ranked it in the other categories.

10-23-2007 00:37:25 | More by AlephNull
Photo of bluegrassbrew


4.35/5  rDev +7.1%

12oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

This beer pours a hazy tangerine color with a lovely two fingers of frothy head. Leaves really nice sheets of sticky lace.

Holy mother of hops! This one is absolutely reeking of hoppiness. Not so subtle notes of orange and grapefruit mixed with some sugary sweetness.

Taste is another blast of hops! Intense bitterness at first that dominates the palate. With warming the bitterness starts to meld nicely with some sweet malty notes. Fresh oranges and grapefruit are easliy detected. Leaves a lingering bitterness long after each sip is gone.

Drinkability got knocked slightly because of the hop power. I would think a true hophead would applaud this though.

Overall, a really tasty and interesting beer. Like a DIPA, yet different in many regards. Highly recommended!

10-22-2007 21:21:55 | More by bluegrassbrew
Photo of Brad007


4/5  rDev -1.5%

Pours a cloudy amber/pale color with a one-finger head. Aroma is clean with an overpowering Hallertau presence. Taste is an interesting mix between the clean lines of a Pilsner and a mildly-hopped IPA. A second sip confirms more traits of a pilsner as it is very drinkable in the sense of a decent pilsner. Definitely has the characteristics of an imperial ipa and a decent pilsner

Tough call here but since it's the first of the style I've had, I have to be fair.

Review no.300

10-22-2007 03:14:17 | More by Brad007
Photo of JamesS


3.35/5  rDev -17.5%

The idea was nice, but this was more like an American or India pale ale than a pilsner. It has a nice color, very dark straw, with good (bottle) head and great lacing. Excellent smell! A great cross between a nice pils and a pale ale. Taste would have been marked higher, except as noted before. Goes down nice, for a pale ale, but not as smooth as most pils.

10-22-2007 00:12:29 | More by JamesS
Photo of Neehan

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev -5.2%

Bottle to pilsener glass yields a picturesque hazy, golden honey body with a thick head and fantastic retention. This looks like a picture that you would find on the cover of a book about beer... fantastic. The smell is dominated by hops with a sweet, slightly honey flavored backing. The taste is good and will snap you up if you are drowsy by the onslaught of hops. Yes, I'll say it perhaps this is too hopped. Lacking in balance hinders the drinkability. Tastes like a very young barleywine rather than a pilsener but still a very nicely done beer by a fantastic brewery.

10-21-2007 20:17:51 | More by Neehan
Photo of Lupe

New York

4.33/5  rDev +6.7%

Golden to peach in color, hazy, with a nice size off white head. Good amount of lace is left behind.

Hoppy aroma of sweet citrus - orange, lemon, and a hint of grapefruit. Floral and grassy as well. Gives you a good preview of what's to come.

The taste is dominated by smooth citrus, floral, and piney hops. Sweet malts and caramel show up in the background, but this beer is a showcase of Hallertau hops. Lingering hop spiciness. Not exactly balanced, but smooth and not an overpowering bitter assault on the tongue.

Medium in body, smooth, crisp and refreshing. Very drinkable even with all the hops and higher abv. Solid beer and great for when you need a hop kick.

Never realized how good Hallertau hops were. I like the showcase of a single variety.

10-21-2007 19:51:55 | More by Lupe
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.53/5  rDev +11.6%

Hard pour into a SABL glass produces a wonderful frothy head atop a hazy pale orange. Wonderful lacing is left all the way down the glass. Aroma is of citrus hops and sweet malts. The taste is dominated by smooth citrus hops. This is by far the hoppiest lager I have ever tasted. Citrus dominates with some pine and sweet malts and caramel linger in the background. The beer is medium bodied with some stickiness but the alcohol is not overbearing at all. This is a truly unique and wonderful beer. This one can easily be considered an IPL (India Pale Lager) if there ever was to be such a thing.

10-21-2007 05:49:52 | More by atsprings
Photo of wheelinshirt


4.53/5  rDev +11.6%

From Abe's in Bethlehem, $2.75 for a 12 oz bottle. Split this with a friend after a bunch of absurd beers (sam adams triple bock '94, Vapeur en Folie '95, and La Roja) and it reminded me what beer was again. Beautiful golden color and two fingers of thick creamy head that leaves tons of lacing and, as it sits, gets really rocky--completely mind blowing.

Smell is also amazing--100% hops. I love it so much. The taste is bitter with tons of hop flavor (a little citrusy) as well. Even though this isn't exactly what you would call balanced it wasn't out of control. The mouthfeel was crisp and light like a pilsner should be and was very drinkable even with all the bitterness. Overall an exceptional beer that is very reasonably priced.

10-21-2007 01:23:21 | More by wheelinshirt
Photo of hoppymeal


4.1/5  rDev +1%

Pours golden to peach in color, hazy, with a decent size off white head. Aroma is some nice sweet citrus, mainly oranges, a hint of grapefruit, mixing with a strong grassiness. Creamy maltiness mixes with the hops andshows some nice citrus sweetness up front in the taste. Decent grassy bitterness and a hint of the alcohol strength in the finish. Medium in body, decent malt backbone becomes creamy as it warms, but is well balanced by the slightly zesty and fairly bitter hoppiness. Deliciously hoppy beer, easy to drink, very refreshing when you need a nice hop bite.

10-20-2007 21:35:36 | More by hoppymeal
Photo of CharlieMopps


3.88/5  rDev -4.4%

Poured into a brand new Sam Adams Boston Lager glass, compliments of Boston Beer Company.

A: A beautifully glowing orange hue that fades into more of a goldenrod color toward the bottom of the glass. Great head with a solid density that displays good retention and lacing along the sides.

S: A bold grassy and floral aroma, fresh hop scent that has a low-lying sweetness. What can I say, I have yet to smell a beer like this, that exhibits such an aromatic and enticing bouquet, at least with the character of the hop in the floral sense.

T: Naturally, the featured aspect of this beer is the hop profile. Sipping this one gives the tongue a jolt of bitterness, yet also brings out the spicy, floral character of Hallertau hops. While I definitely enjoy this feature, I'm not overly amazed by the flavor. Granted, it's a tasty beer, but I'm just not enthralled with this one. That said, it still features the Hallertau hops beautifully.

M: Carbonation is adequate, giving it a bubbly feel. The hops leave an oily residue on the palate, which makes for an aftertaste that resonates.

D: I will say that this beer has drinkability, and it stands out as another innovative and flavorful offering from Sam Adams. While not being overly impressed with some of the nuances to this beer, I can still appreciate it, and am glad this is available. I'd recommend this one to Pilsner/Imperial Pilsner fans and hop-heads alike.

10-20-2007 21:31:36 | More by CharlieMopps
Photo of jwc215


4.43/5  rDev +9.1%

Pours hazy gold with a thick foamy white head that descends to a lasting cover.

The smell is of spicy, floral, citric fruity Hallertau hops. Well, if you like the smell of Hallertau, this is your thing! Not one-dimensional, though, as a grainy, slightly grassy, malt backing gives it support. A wonderful aroma!

The taste is followed through with a Hallertau overload...floral, citric, lemongrass - Intense hops with enough malt backing to keep it smooth and with a fair amount of comlexity. Fruity, peppery alcohol quite noticeable lending a hand towards a dry finish. Hop bitterness stays around, but not in a puckering way.

It has a thick, almost syrupy body.

Well, it is intense - and well-crafted. A hop-head's delight! A robust tribute to Hallertau Mittelfruh!

10-20-2007 13:45:40 | More by jwc215
Photo of Zorro


4.18/5  rDev +3%

Sampled through the efforts of Secret Halloween '07 BIF and jaxon53.

VERY strong head forming beer NO reason to pour this one aggressively.

Chill hazed deeply golden colored beer nearing amber color with a near immortal tan colored head that just won't quit. Damn THIS is the strongest head on a beer that I have ever seen. My Pilsner glass is filled to the brim with beer and head and the head really refuses to quit, remarkable.

Very strong Nobel hops aroma earthy, hoppy, spicy and herbal. Pilsner malt is not obliterated by the hop aroma and you can smell its sweetness and toasted grain mostly in the ethanol vapors.

The flavor starts out strongly hopped from the start; herbs and flowers are the first things that hit you along with an initial sweetness from the malt. Pilsner on steroids really does sum this up in a way but there is more to it than that. A celebration to near ridiculous levels of the other hops the Nobel ones. Quite a strong bitter zip in the after taste in this beer along with plenty of grassy flavor. There is a bit of a numbing effect on the tongue here and I am sure I am missing some of the flavors from the intensity of this.

Mouthfeel is very thick for anything in the Lager category of beer.

While this is very tasty it is also a bit tiring on the tongue. Like driving 100 MPH on the freeway; it is an exhilarating experience but if you keep it up for too long you will get hurt. A nice beer best sampled by the glass and NOT the one-liter stein at a time. One a night is about the correct quantity.

10-20-2007 02:32:44 | More by Zorro
Photo of jmalex


3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

The folks at Total Wine in Cherry Hill, NJ were nice enough to let me split up a 4-pack of this. I grabbed 2 and this is the first I'm drinking.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a pilsener glass a yellow color with just the faintest orange hue. The head is large, rocky, and has excellent staying power.

SMELL: A fairly significant hop aroma which is citrusy, spicy, and resinous. A substantial malt backbone shines through nicely creating a mostly balanced aroma.

TASTE: The taste, as expected, is totally dominated by the hops. They're slightly resinous and, while significant and powerful, seem restrained enough not to move the beer too far out of balance. The malt is quite sweet and comes out much more toward the finish. Any indications of it being a lager don't come on until the finish as well. The hops get the final word, though - the flavor remaining in your mouth long after you swallow.

MOUTHFEEL: It's quite full bodied, which I guess makes sense given the hugeness of this beer. Carbonation level is average.

DRINKABILITY: It suffers from being imperial, but at least you can't detect the alcohol much at all. I really don't think I could finish 2 in one sitting though.

A cool beer and even cooler that it came from the Boston Beer Company. When I think Sam Adams, I think safe traditional styles so this is a really neat change up. And seeing as how this is not something I'd normally drink, I'm glad I have another bottle so I can change it up too.

10-19-2007 20:52:55 | More by jmalex
Photo of maddogruss

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%

Obtained a bottle of this at the local tavern.

A: Pours a murky, golden body with a 3/4 inch head that hold for the whole beer.

S: A nice, floral, hoppy smell with a subtle undertone of sweet malts.

T: A decent hoppiness; did not seem like it was a high IBU beer. There were sweet malts in the aftertaste that balanced the hops very well. Towards the end of the beer, the alcohol made itself more evident in the taste, but nothing overbearing.

M: A solid, smooth, full-bodied mouthfeel that was very nice.

D: Definitely a drinkable beer. The balance between the hops and the malts makes it a solid brew that is very easy to drink. Highly recommended to anyone.

10-19-2007 20:25:57 | More by maddogruss
Photo of asabreed

New York

4.18/5  rDev +3%

12 oz. bottle into a Pilsner glass. Unless I'm mistaken, I have a bigger bottle of this from a few years ago still in the basement back home. Maybe that was a bad idea. I suppose I'll see this Christmas when I go back.

Appearance: A gorgeous hazy copper and yellow and orange. It even looked hazy and insane in the bottle through the brown glass. The head, even though it's in the smaller top of the glass, is rich and stays regenerating because of the carbonation assault making its long way up the glass. Beautiful site to behold. With rich lacing left behind at each sip, and the head never wanting to falter.

Smell: A rich assault of pilsner malt sweetness and richness, hoppy and oily bitterness, and mild funkiness. Quite the nose here, with much to behold. The funk seems to be coming from the hops, which is so rich it's incredible. I don't know much about Hallertau, but this may be it. Almost like squeezed flower petals, or overripe fruit, or overripe flowers. But assaulting and welcoming at the same time.

Taste: The key here, as -- for me at least -- with all great Double IPAs and Imperial Pilsners, is the cohesion and magic between the malt and the hops. It's able to bring complexity, a backbone, balance, and long finish, with much to discover in between. Rich and full malt, bread crust, earthiness, with hop oil bitterness and aromatic perfume mixing also. Be warned, though, this is hoppy, as you probably already know. May be confused with a Double IPA, but the Pilsner part of it really doesn't want to let up, which also contributes to making it so great.

Mouthfeel: Rich, full, oily, carbonated, coating. Everything I was hoping for here.

Drinkability: I'm not sure exactly how much it was for the 4-pack -- maybe around $9, which to me is an excellent price. I think Sam Adams would benefit by releasing this type of 4-pack craft brew more often. I mean, Jim, you gave us awesome glasses as BA subscribers, you know you got stuff on the DL in the warehouses. Let is have some more. This stuff is great, and there has to be a lot more waiting to explode into the masses. But yes, definitely worth it, and a great brew overall.

10-18-2007 04:24:42 | More by asabreed
Photo of Winter


4.4/5  rDev +8.4%

Pours hazy orange with a thick rocky head. Intense citrusy, hoppy aroma. The mouthfeel is full-bodied with soft carbonation. There's a huge juicy,citrus hoppy flavor upfront. Hops become piney toward the middle. The malt background is there, but is well overshadowed by the bitterness. The spotlight, the star here is the Hallertau. Bitterness lingers long into the finish. Unbalanced, yet for some reason, I don't mind it and it seems to work here.

Does the Imperial Pilsner style have to equate to an extremely hoppy beer? Sam Adam's take on it the past two year's leads a drinker to believe so. But this is suppose to be a celebration of the hop harvest and indeed it is. If you love hoppy beers, this one is definitely for you.

10-18-2007 03:45:48 | More by Winter
Photo of EStreet20

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Loved the '05. Time to check out this year's recipe.

12 ounce bottle, tall pilsner glass.

A - Cloudy golden yellow color. Translucent but still nearly opaque. Never seen a brew this light in color not let light through. 2 plus fingers of nearly white head. Some lacing patches on the glass. Really a nice look.

S - Big citrusy hop aroma. Extremely inviting on the nose.

T - Fantastic taste. Hops leading the way with big citrus before some balancing malt comes through. Next level of hops is a nice piny spicy kick. Finishes with some alcohol warming and some bitterness. Really great "green" hop taste from beginning to end.

M - Medium body and medium carbonation. Just right for the brew.

D - Extreme hops will definitely turn some off, but still a fantastic imperial pilsner and is exactly what the bottle advertises, "an intense hop experience."

10-18-2007 01:56:07 | More by EStreet20
Photo of billybob


4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

pours a orange golden color with a large white head that holds very well and a nice spider web lace. nice fruity smell and you can tell that the hops are there. taste is slightly sweet, with a citrus fresh grapefruit turning to that slightly bitter hop after taste. well balanced with a medium body and good carbonation. very nice beer but not one that i would have more than a few at one time.

10-17-2007 16:30:20 | More by billybob
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

3.78/5  rDev -6.9%

I picked this up on a whim on my last beer run.

A - hazy golden yellow with a nice white head
S - for an intense hop experience (label notes) I was dissapointed I could not pick up more hops on this one. Light golden malt with a hint of grassy hops at the edges.
T - Hey, theres that intense hop experience. Hoppy bitter, spicy and a light grassy note dominate with a light biscuit sweet malt note rounding out the effect.
M - medium bodied, nicely carbonated lingering hop effect.
D - Engaging through the full glass. If I had paired this with a spicy dinner / appetizer I would thoroughly enjoy a couple in a session.

Glad I tried this one.

10-17-2007 14:45:56 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev -2%

12oz bottle> pilsner glass

A deep orange hued golden color pours out, slightly frosted with giant bubbles streaming quickly to the top to form a spacious, clumpy and bubbly white head, one finger deep and dissipates rather fast, the head is simply not tight enough to stick around for too long. There is plenty of sticky lacing left behind but the head is totally gone in no time flat.

The nose is a wonderful balancing act of the Hallertau Mittelfrueh hop complexity, both the fruity, citrus scents like watermelon, starfruit and strawberries comes out and then in equal intensity the very spicey and green-veggie herbalness is big and very pleasing. Way underneath is a subtle herbal, buttery malt that adds a slight bit of balance beyond the hop scent.

The flavor is very much in tune with the overall aroma, this hop's flavor's are in perfect balance with eachother, I'm not sure I've ever tasted a more complex hop, it's got dense red fruits, like strawberry, kiwi and a hint of lemmon zest right along with it's equally as tastey herbal, spicey and green-veggieness, this hop seems to envelope every aspect of the bold flavors you would expect from maybe, two or three hop varieties together. This is one kind that makes a very complex flavor. The high ABV heat and acidic bitterness comes in after and adds a well needed balance to the hop domination. Last and certainly least is the subtle buttery, toffee-like malt that is really there for further balance and feel.

This is a hefty medium bodied brew that feel both crisp and sticky. This stuff is a hop lover's dream, easily the most impressive hop flavor I've had, perhaps if the malt played a slightly bigger role...oh well, certainly not as easy drinking as it's younger brother Pilsner, this 8.8% ABV is no joke, but damn fun.

10-16-2007 16:38:53 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of walshclimb


4/5  rDev -1.5%

Pours cloudy pale yellow with minimal white head. Smelled of light malt with moderate sour yeast and light sweetness. The initial flavor was malty with a quick transition to an increasingly bitter aftertaste that had hints of herbs. Medium bodied creamy to oily with lively carbonation and slightly metallic finish. Overall, this was tasty but a little bitter in the aftertaste. Surprisingly not overly alcoholic in the finish considering it is a relatively light beer with 8.8% ABV. I suspec the bitterness helps cover this up a little.

10-16-2007 14:50:34 | More by walshclimb
Photo of Floydster


3.8/5  rDev -6.4%

12 ounce bottle from Cooke's Market in El Segundo, gave my dad the rest of my four pack

Poured into my Firestone pint glass with a cloudy golden color and a whopping 3/4 inch soapy white head

Smell was skunky and then nothing but hops, smell was much stronger than most IPAs

Taste was nice, crisp at first but then hops attack the tastebuds and do not stop for minutes at a time, extremely bitter and full of pine hoppiness, nice dry finish to round out the flavor

Could not drink more than two bottles of this at most, but drinkable for what it is at the same time, if that makes sense

Very unique and risky beer from Samuel Adams, really braching out from their usual norm

Highly recommended at least trying even though four packs run about twelve dollars at most places (10 at some BevMos that are carrying it)

Congrats to Sam Adams for finally doing something different and making a complex brew that is like nothing I have ever tasted before

10-16-2007 06:02:08 | More by Floydster
Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
91 out of 100 based on 780 ratings.