Samuel Adams Imperial White - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Imperial WhiteSamuel Adams Imperial White

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1,270 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,270
Reviews: 643
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 19.71%
Wants: 31
Gots: 63 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Witbier |  10.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 01-16-2009

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,270 | Reviews: 643
Reviews by Crosling:
Photo of Crosling
1.9/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Bottled.. Twelve ounce. Dark orange colored ale, with a large, creamy white head. Nose is strange, very sweet, fruity, coconut, ginger-ale like, just awful. Flavor is sweet, strong & fruity, with out a lot of body or finesse. Just awful in every way.

More User Reviews:
Photo of ExtraStout
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange honey color with a small frothy white head. Excellent head retention and lacing. Flavor is overpowering spice, very sweet and honey like. It's tough to get past the over use of spices and honey but its definitely says "hey I'm here" to your tongue. The malts are a bit over-powering too. The alcohol is all there but I found myself not wanting to finish this.

Photo of JasonA
4.35/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent light carmel. Solid finger of sticky thick head with ample lacing. Looks great.

Candy sugar, booze. Belgian yeasty, with a hint of citrus hops. Lots of delicious malt in there.

Hmm, awesome. Lots of malty booze like a Barley Wine. The Belgian Candy sugar hits (kinda a sweet bite). Hops are a faint thought in this beverage. Taint of bitter and smidgen of aroma.

Good thick body. Might be a little syrupy, though not sure you can get away from that at this ABV. Warms the throat, and ends with malt lovers Belgian dreams.

Feels a little over the top. Id be inclined to try this at ~8% ABV. I can only do 2 or so of these before it gets too much.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This might be the most visually attractive beer I've ever had. Served in a pilsner glass, the beer was a hazy red/orange color with a thick white head and plenty of lacing. Spicy orange aroma, like those Christmas ornaments stuck with cloves. Mostly citrus (orange) taste, faint spice, and malt. But way too sweet! Cloyingly sweet. One and done.

Photo of generallee
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: From the pour I got a bright orange body with lighter yellow hues at the sides of the glass. (This is much darker than a standard White or Witt beer.) On top was tall creamy off white head with fairly good staying power for a 10+% beer. It slowly fades to a wisp thin layer that makes some slick lacing.

Smell: The aroma has notes of spicy yeast, coriander, and orange peel back up by a mild boozy maltiness.

Taste/Palate: It has a warm and sweet overall character. There is a solid bready and wheat malt base with hints of spice, yeast, and bitter orange peel. Hops are light and blend into the background and the big abv adds warmth. The palate is full, smooth and slightly slick.

Notes: It’s much heavier and less drinkable than a normal Witt beer. This is interesting but way out of style.

Photo of Billolick
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness info to be had. 10.3% advertised on the label. Pours cloudy, darker peach amber, off white head, tiny bubble thin head, then film and leaves nice fine and extensive lacing. The nose on this one is of lime, alcohol, sweet malts. I got notes of gin, lime, fruity/yeasty goodness. Unfortunately this one is a bit on the "hot" side, taking away from the taste enjoyability and ultimately drinkability as well. This one needs some work

Photo of Homebrew35
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: A vigorous pour into a Boston lager glass, yielded a 1 finger head. Some lacing and clinging up the glass.

S: Smells of fruit, wheat and carmel.

T: spicy with some sticky sweetness coming through.

M: Med carbonation, med/full body.

D: Nice upfront malts and spice with quite a hot finish that make it hard to finish. A good warmer in a cold day.

Photo of tigg924
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: high carbonation, big head, cloudy, orange-brown in color

Smell: banana, clove, citrus, cardamom, and alcohol

Taste: It matches the smell to a tee, with more alcohol

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium body, spicy, creamy, with a small bitter taste due to the alcohol

Drinkability: Not for me. Too much of an alcohol taste to be considered a favorite. Very much a high abv version of their white ale. If you like the white ale, you should like this.

Photo of Mora2000
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an orange color with a decent-sized white head. The aroma is about what I expected. I get a lot of coriander, with a little bit of orange peel to balance things out. Smells like a regular witbier, only more intense. The flavor is similar. The predominant flavor is the coriander, but there is some syrupy, sweet orange marmalade notes in there as well. There is also a little bit of detectable alcohol. Easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I am not a huge fan of Imperial Whites, but this one was pretty good. It has a nice balance of the coriander and orange, which is what I look for in a witbier - imperial or otherwise.

Photo of Cavanaghty
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams glass.

Appearance: Hazy amber color with a thin white head that lingered. Mild lacing on the glass.

Smell: Banana, mild cloves, wheat, hops.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Very smooth medium bodied. Taste of wheat and hops with mild notes of banana.

Overall: Very good beer. I have enjoyed this on several occasions.

Photo of Ursula1007
2/5  rDev -42%

This is beer too sweet for me, however, it may be wonderful with sauerkraut and sausage and pork.

Photo of deebo
2.92/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A-pours cloudy reddish brown with lots of yeast particulates and a generous white pillowy head
S-Sweet malt aroma and heavy on orange scent
T-Heavy on wheat and some alcohol, but fairly well hidden for this 10%+ beer
M-Syrupy-fairly cloying but cleans up quickly with a little alcohol bite.
D-Not bad given the strength
O-Ok, but for an amped up white, a beer like Hoegarden Cru tastes truly like a concentrated version of Hoegarden. This is a completely different beer-if it wasn't for the orange aroma I would not relate it to a witbier. The oily syrupy mouthfeel of this beer is a little offputting for me, but this is a decent beer that I wouldn't mind having again. Wonder how it will age.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.21/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle in a fancy glass.

Very nice deep dark amber with no head, slight lacing. Aroma is quite boozy for being over 10% abv. Quite spicy and slightly syrupy but not as much as 120min IPA. Pretty solid big beer from Sam Adams. It is really pretty good.

Photo of Kraken
3.26/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 05/25/09

Been sitting on this one for a while now, figured that Memorial day is as good a day as any to review. Besides whats better then a white beer on a hot day.

Poured from a standard 12 oz bottle in a shaker glass. Firm pour evokes a quarter inch of fuzzy white head that manages to stick around for some time. Thick and viscous lace. Color is a deep murky orange, that is semi-transluecent at the edges.

Nose- Over ripe orange really dominates the nose. Some faint notes of clove. Mild orange zest.

Palate- Wow not the light summer white that was expecting. Heavy and brooding, this is a true imp white. Over ripe orange, orange zest dominate the flavor profile. Citrus tang really jumps up and grabs the palate. Alcohol really comes through. Finishes long, again heavy on the orange citrus notes.

Mouthfeel- soapy, syrupy, and well carbonated

Drinkability- Potent, and a bit heavy for my liking especially on a summer day.

Photo of jondeelee
4.3/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Adams' Imperial Series beers are made to be big, so it comes as no surprise that even the aroma on their Imperial White is exaggerated. Huge fruit aromas are present, reminiscent of oranges, berries, and apricots, surrounded by the spicy scent of coriander and lightly toasted grains.

On the tongue, the explosion of fruity flavors was so immediate and intense that it caught me quite off-guard: massive apricot and orange flavors dominate, far closer in their strength to a liqueur than a beer. Even the coriander spice is large, and between that and the grapefruit-bitter hops, my soft palate was left lightly tingling. Malty sugars make up the rest of the mix, bringing sugary alcohols and toasted grain notes.

Overall, this beer definitely pushes the boundaries of what it means to be a Witbier, as it contains all of the flavors regular fans of the style expect, but pushed to an almost inconceivable extreme. This beer is the flipside of nuanced. No doubt this will have a polarizing effect, some thinking the result fantastic and others finding it too powerful. Personally, I think it's superb.

Photo of MattyG85
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a fairly deep and hazy amber orange with lots of rising bubbles. Big four finger off white head with good retention. Leaves a lot of lace around the glass.

Smell: A pretty sweet smelling blend of wheat, malts, and spices. Lots of wheat and pale malts with hints of bready biscuit. Big hints of coriander and some pepper spices. Big citrus presence with good hints of orange peel, lemon zest, apricot, peach, and a little banana. Also a little whiff of booze. Hops are pretty muted.

Taste: Like the nose indicates, a pretty sweet and malty Witbier with a boozy kick. Wheat with lots of coriander and some pepper spice. Big taste of pale malts with a lot of bread. Some banana and a big citrus presence. Notes of orange peel, lemon zest, and a little peach and apricot. Light hint of noble hops towards the finish. Some booze in the taste.

Mouthfeel: Fairly heavy bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy, syrupy, and somewhat sticky. Feels a little hot.

Overall: An interesting take on a Witbier. A decent taste, but a little too syrupy and sweet.

Photo of StevenBilodeau
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow, a really good Witbier, but now a Imperial Witbier too! At 10.3% ABV, this is a doozey! This is an incredible tribute to the Belgian Style Witbier, nicely done, and overall a good beer.

Pours into glass a rich gold color. Good head, frothy...with lace, great lacing to add.

The aroma, is strong and spicy. I get notes of sweetness, hop-spice, candy, and medicinal alcohol (due to it's high ABV probably)

The taste is really good. Really smooth, considering its high ABV, also contains a plethora of flavors. Nice body, but accomapnied by a really smooth drink. The essence of spice, and sweetness are evident but subtle, the spice more in your face. A slight hint of citrus fruit and or coriander.

Overall, this beer is very good, and I highly recommend this for any Witbier lover!!!

Photo of sarahspat
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a murky, deep tawny orange. A not particularly thick-looking head falls quickly and leaves nothing to remember it by.

Smells like... candy. Salt water taffy and fruit roll-ups.

Alcohol plays a large role in the taste. This beer summed up in a phrase: boozy fruit roll-ups. Or spicy caramel. Also a tiny hint of vanilla falls in there somewhere. I do taste the typical orange and coriander, but they play only minor roles here. Overall, the taste is anti-climactic. The intensity of flavors declines rapidly once the beer enters your mouth. The aftertaste is obnoxiously sweet and way too long-lived. I have a hard time believing that Samuel Adams didn't add a ton of artificial sweeteners and/or flavors to this beer.

The combination of the syrupy thickness and the cloying/artificial-tasting sweetness made this one incredibly hard to put back. This is definitely not a traditional witbier... nor is it what I would expect an "amped up" witbier to be like. I don't think I would drink it again.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Amazingly dense witbier. Ultra cloudy and full. Smell is full of all kinds of stuff off the spice rack, vanilla, coriander, thyme, cinammon. Some of those aromas come back in the flavor profile as well.

This really is one of the best tasting SA's I've had. And its so BIG in every way. First hops I've really detected in a witbier. I don't even think this counts, it really should be labeled an imperial witbier, its that big. Everything about it, alcohol though is hidden well enough.

Only drawback, its so much, so sweet, so different, that you shouldn't drink more than 1, and at 10$ a 4p, its reasonably priced for the quality.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.22/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A feeling of awe comes over me when I see a Sam Adams brew at 10.3 percent abv, but why does it have to be an Imperial Wit. Appears a deep honey golden hue with a creamy off white head, body is clouded and full of spice. Aroma proves the appearance with coriander, orange peel, and loads of honey like sweetness with booze hidden decently in the smell. Syrupy feel to the flavor with spices booze and honey sweetness cloying from the front the back. Mouthfeel is just as cloying as the actual flavors going on a fuzzy furry feel like licking a peach comes over ya. Carbonation is supposedly soft and fluffy but I'm getting syrup and booze with a touch of remnants of a white ale and a honey like blur passes my senses. Drinkability is pretty pour not a beer I would sit on any pedestal I guess I have to look for the Impy Stout, and I know the Bock had some redeeming qualities at one point.

Photo of glid02
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at the Liquor Loft in Tallahassee, FL.

Pours a hazy orange color with a half-finger white head that dissipates quickly into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of very sweet malt with hints of spices and alcohol.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Syrupy sweet malt flavors up front are backed by mild spices and a warming sensation at the end of the sip. As it warms the alcohol comes out a bit more.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is alright. I split a 12 oz. bottle and that was enough for me.

Overall this is an alright beer, but this style just doesn't lend itself to "imperializing". It's bordering on being too sweet, and warming up does nothing to help it's cause. Worth a shot if you're curious.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer has a deep caramel colored body with a slight hazy to it and lots of big bubbles pushing their way to the surface. The spongy head of tan fades quickly to a mat of big bubbles collected on the sides of the glass.

S- This beer has a berry sweet aroma with a faint clove quality to it and a soft banana fusel alcohol finish.

T- The big sweet flavor has an almost herbal quality to the spice notes with some caramel malt flavor to follow. As the beer warms notes of bread crust come through the sweetness and finishes with a fusel alcohol note. As the beer warms there is a tartness in the finish that grows.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft alcohol heat finish that burns a bit when it warms.

D- This is a big beer with some spice and plenty of heat but there isn't much depth or balance. I don't know what age would do to this but without the alcohol heat there would be much character left.

Photo of Nibbley
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle, pours a cloudy orange with little head and no lacing.

Aroma is big and spicy with corriander, white pepper and orange rind.

Taste is similar to the aroma, with corriander and spice with a big malty mouthful and warming but not overpowering alcohol bite.

Not what I'd call a Whitbier, but, pretty damn tastey and a surprise from Sam Adams.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazed orange color with an off white head that fades pretty quickly. This beer seems to be a little to dark to be an imperial white. I expect witbier's to be the color of corn silk and even though this is an imperial its more pale ale or IPA-ish in color.

The smell is true to style. Spiced wheat with a nice underlying tone of orange. That distinct Belgian style yeast is present giving that familiar bready bubblegum note.

Taste is over sweetened in the long run but there is a nice bouquet of flavors. Candied oranges with a subtle spice and a wheat backbone. The flavors are masked by a thick syrupy feel that washes over the palate and leaves mostly the fruity, yeasty flavors.

Not a great example of a witbier. The right smells and tastes are subtly there but they seem over processed and unrefined. The one positive in this brew is a nice smooth mouthfeel. Despite the syrupy feel it is cool and coats your mouth nicely, while masking the 9% ABV.

Photo of degerbah
4.01/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy yellow-orange with no head. There is a significant hop aroma with a fruity smell as well.

This is a servicable (albeit absurdly strong)white ale. It's tasty and the only alcohol I'm picking up is how warm my face feels as a result of drinking it.

Overall I think this is a tasty but slightly over-priced beer. I think there is way too much alcohol for this to be an everyday beer which is a shame. I might get this again if I wanted to get drunk in a hurry. Otherwise, there are tastier beers out there.

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Samuel Adams Imperial White from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 1,270 ratings.