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

Samuel Adams Imperial WhiteSamuel Adams Imperial White

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,194 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1194
Reviews: 638
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 19.71%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 01-16-2009)
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Ratings: 1,194 | Reviews: 638 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of alleykatking


2.9/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Fiddler's.

A- Pours a semi-hazed orangey honey color. Two finger eggshell white head shows medium retention. Long streaks of lace all along the sides of the glass.

S- Tons of spicey wheat on the front of the beer. Alcohol comes through and tingles the nose midway through with hints of orange peel. There seems to be a light flowery tone to this in the ending with more alcohol coming through at the final part with a light peppercorn aroma.

T- Tons of wheat in the front with a nice spicing in there as well....peppercorn is all I can really pick up. Orange zest with some warming alcohol in the ending of the front of the beer. Middle of the beer shows more orange and the warming alcohol turns a light medicinal. Wheat comes through once again in the ending with the alcohol just dominating the ending flavors.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Thick feeling from start to finish. Wheat and alcohol with a hint of orange left on the palate. Aftertaste is warming alcohol, peppercorn, and wheat. Flavors were balanced as well as it could be for the style. No real off flavors overall but the alcohol does become a little dominate toward the middle and ending. Heavy alcohol drying on the palate.

O- Overall this is a average drinking beer. The alcohol does really come out a ton and for that it makes this beer a little unbearable at times. Well I shouldn't say unbearable but just average overall. The ABV is a little high making this a one and done drinker.

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2011 02:55:42 | More by alleykatking
Photo of jgasparine


2.8/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A- Poured with almost no head or lacing, just a faint swirl of haze on top. The body was a turbid dark amber color with some aggressive bubble trains working up the sides of the glass. This is supposed to be a Wit??

S- Super sweet candy malts... almost cloyingly sweet. I'm also picking up vinous notes, candied fruit, burnt sugar and [after the beer warmed] some cinnamon. Smells good, but not at all what I would expect from a Wit... I suppose an average mark would be fitting then...

T- A very sweet replicate of the nose. Finishes with the resinous taste of corriander, cinnamon and an echo of booze. As the beer warmed, a bit of tartness from the wheat emerged as well. Again, tastes good, but not at all what I would expect from a Wit... I suppose an average mark would be fitting then...

M- An overcarbonated medium body, textured a bit by some unattenuated sugar. Carbonation was a turn-off.

D- Not a drain pour, but definitely not my bag. Too sweet, not-to-style and overcarbonated.

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2010 16:01:05 | More by jgasparine
Photo of OneDropSoup


3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had on tap at 6 & Save in New Kensington, PA. Big up to Sean for spotting me this one.

Looks very nice, with a deep orange/brown body that kind of glows. Finger of white foam.

Smells of passion fruit, peach, banana bubble gum. Taste follows right with it, rich & fruity. Intriguing at first, as I've never really experienced these kind of flavors in a beer before, & they're unique. Once the novelty wears off, it's a bit much to withstand in sip after sip, I'm sorry to say. The sweetness & fruitiness overwhelms in a way that most fruit beers don't -- it's thicker & heavier, & I feel like I'm on spring break drinking a tropical daiquiri when instead I'm in 40 degree Pittsburgh (this is not actually a good thing, if you can believe it). In the end I find myself barely being able to finish this rich fruit drink.

In the vein of a lot of Dogfish Head stuff, I gotta give SA credit for trying something kind of bananas (literally), despite my not actually enjoying it tremendously.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2009 00:03:32 | More by OneDropSoup
Photo of jdubjacket


3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Carraba's at Perimeter in north Atlanta. Served in a chilled pilsner glass. Pours a generally yellow color with a minimal head. Smell is generally citrusy. Taste is citrus and bready. Taste is somewhat subdued. Moderate carbonation. I don't know if this was the best environment for this beer. The glass was chilled and the beer may have been served too cold. I tried to warm it, but even so, the beer was just ok.

Serving type: on-tap

03-21-2009 02:37:52 | More by jdubjacket
Photo of Duhast500

Rhode Island

4.45/5  rDev +29%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Initial Response:

I had this at a beer tasting. It was one of the first times they rolled out a couple of kegs of the imperial series after announcing the release so I was intent on trying each.

From the tap poured into a small tasting cup.

The color was a light yellow. Head was white and quite foamy.

The smell was strong with a fruity overtone and a bit hoppy as well.

The taste was full of great hop flavor. Fruity taste with hint of tangerine in the background (I may have placed that fruit wrong) with a malty wheat taste as well.

This beer was a bit of a surprise. I was second among the friends that tried it and my friends first tasting of it was of dissatisfaction. I greatly liked the beer and i will be picking up a four pack and will update my review when I have more of this good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2009 14:40:31 | More by Duhast500
Photo of brian786868968676


5/5  rDev +44.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An Absolutely amazing Imperial! So sad its be discontinued, but luckily I bought out the store for years to come. This beer is great off the shelf, and astonishing in taste years later. I have four year old bottles I open for very special occasions and the taste is similar to a fine port wine. in about 10 years when my stock is empty I will be upset with Sam Adams for their mistakable choice of discontinuing it.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 16:15:34 | More by brian786868968676
Photo of WunderLlama


3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into glass stein

Copper orange, translucent pours a nice head that settles to a white foam cap. Lacings on the glass.

Sweet aroma of oranges, coriander, malt.

Sweet smooth first sip. Malt, coriander, orange. Hint of alcohol, gentle carbonation, good mouthfeel. Smooth aftertaste

Sweet, enjoyable, repeatable .

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2014 02:09:48 | More by WunderLlama
Photo of constantine_272


2.79/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: Light brown with a touch of orange and copper. Slightly cloudy. Hefty amount of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Light carbonation.

S: Spice, coriander and musk. Tons of alcohol.

T: More musk. A lot more musk. More spice and coriander. Bread yeast with an odd sweetness. Alcohol. Starts off of caramel. Finishes with a long greasy taste with a bit if citrus and the funkiness of fermenting grass clippings. Way too much sweetness that finishes long.

M: Viscous and syrupy from the alcohol. Long aftertaste and a bit mineral. Medium dry. A little heavy.

O: This one doesn't work for me. It tastes a lot like the gose from Sam Adams I just reviewed. I hope all four beers from the sampler pack don't taste like a variance from the same base recipe. Anyway, it just tastes like stale old beer that was stored improperly. The alcohol and the sweetness is so big that it makes it hard to drink. Tastes a bit better as it warms up, but still meh.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 04:27:49 | More by constantine_272
Photo of superspak


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

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 6/1/2013. Pours moderately hazy/cloudy golden orange color with a 2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon zest, orange peel, pear, apple, wheat, bread, honey, caramel, coriander, clove, pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of malt, spice, and yeast ester notes; with decent strength. Taste of lemon zest, orange peel, pear, apple, honey, wheat, bread, caramel, coriander, clove, pepper, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of lemon/orange zest, pear, apple, honey, caramel, wheat, bread, coriander, herbal, light clove, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice balance, robustness, and complexity of malt, spice, and yeast ester flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very slick and slightly syrupy mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good imperial witbier. Good balance and complexity of malt, spice, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 22:02:21 | More by superspak
Photo of AtrumAnimus


4.08/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The appearance is very nice. The pour is a beautiful cloudy umber color with a thick long lived head that leaves a nice lacing down the glass that just lingers.

The nose is is a sweet peppery malt that is very floral and spicy. The sugars and fructose are dominant.

The taste is a bit alcohol at first, with some buttery hops that quickly take over. The coriander is noticeable and a nice touch. The malt is very strong but is subdued by the stronger spice, alcohol and hops.

Overall this one is fairly drinkable and full of complexity. Overall this is not one of my personal favorites or styles. But it is quite well crafted. I would highly recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2013 22:07:01 | More by AtrumAnimus
Photo of joeseppy


3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

No bottle date, I can spot, this was purchased in 2011.

Pours a rich caramel color with, better than I expected, aggressive carbonation. White head and lasting.

Muted aromas of rum and raisins. Toffee, brown sugar and candis coming through as well as in a potpourri.

Brown sugars and raisin/prune with unobtrusive alcohol ringing through the cranium. Overripe banana as well with muted clove on the tongue.

Medium to heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation stays enough to sparkle. Tongue gets a sticky coating as well.

This really has turned into more of a Belgium Dubbel with the candi presence, dried pitted fruit as well. I bought this due to the fact I got whacked off one bottle which I believed to be a great pre-flight craft. Fresh this was too perfumy and a lot of exentuated wheated present ie bananas and clove. This has aged in a way I had not imagined. One of the highest caloric intake brews and not sure I would ever waste any more time with this-don't feel like running extra miles over this.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2013 21:23:43 | More by joeseppy
Photo of tfin07


2.56/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

Honestly I tried this because of a friend. After drinking it with all my buddies I made the statement "It tastes like a stronger version of Boston Lager". After saying it all my friend tried it again and came to the very same conclusion. However thats just me. Tryi it for yourself.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2013 19:19:16 | More by tfin07
Photo of xoxirishrose


4.33/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I loved this multidimensional witbier! Sam Adams' Imperial White is delightfully flavorful. This delicious white ale is light yet bold with its wide array of flavorings from citrus to vanilla with floral notes. Along with its complex flavor profile Imperial White delivers a subtle warming sensation with its high alcohol content. Although both strong and flavorful, this remarkable beer manages to remain smooth and refreshing, which also gives it a high drinkability factor from beginning to end. Overall I found this to be an exceptional beer,* perfect for a cool fall evening.

*I do, in full disclosure, tend to favor the witbier style, making my opinion slightly bias in favor of this Imperial White.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2013 03:48:57 | More by xoxirishrose
Photo of BeerKangaroo


3.94/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Into a mug:

A: hazy orange almost earthy brown colored body with a slim half finger of a white foamy head, decent amount of slightly foamy lacing tries to cling to the glass

S: late summer/early Autumn earthy citrusy fruitiness, light spice adds a nice back up, I'm also getting a little bit of vanilla (not sure where that's comin' from but I figured I better mention it)

T: takes the previously mentioned flavors and adds a bit of breadiness, spicy aftertaste and finish

M: light to medium, fairly sessionable, carbonation does seem pretty good for the style and for me, the alcohol doesn't penetrate the mouth, but I later felt the effects

O: there was a reason I had this specifically at this time unbeknownst to me, but what a nice brew that I'm glad I picked up, I would definitely get this one again

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2013 21:17:56 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of Furlinator


3.81/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours hazy orange-tinted gold with one inch of white head and heavy lace. There is floating sediment visible in the glass.

Smell is peachy citrus and spice up front with some biscuity bread on the back end.

Taste is more bread-forward with citrus and faint spice finishing. The 10.3% ABV is nearly undetectable.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation.

An interesting citrus and spice witbier. Thicker and heavier than expected. A solid effort.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2013 22:54:28 | More by Furlinator
Photo of JG-90

New Jersey

3.06/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Beer pours a deep brown with a hint of peach with a large, creamy, light tan head that has good retention and leaves moderate lacing. Beer is hazy and has a moderate amount of floaters. Smells of a wheaty/breadiness, orange peel, earthyness, coriander, and (i'm guessing) grains of paradise (as it is reminiscent of their Summer Ale).

Has taste similar to the nose, what you would expect, but much sweeter and boozier; why it is an Imperial Wit. I don't think this extremeness makes this style any better. Mouthfeel is heavy and chewy, with average carbonation.

All in all: a 3x boozier, 3x sweeter ,(and 3x more flavorful), SA Summer Ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2013 22:59:53 | More by JG-90
Photo of vette2006c5r


3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Imperial White pours a darker amber color with a small but long lasting lacing head. There is a sour and malty aroma, with hints of plums. The taste has a lot of plums, and a mellow yeasty taste, lots of spices and Belgian candies. Boozy and warm flavors finish the taste. Full flavors, and drinkable if you sip. Overall a very boozy and spicy witbeir that has no creamy wheat flavors.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2013 22:08:18 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of TruePerception


3.46/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)


Samuel Adams' Imperial White: 10.3% ABV; Appearance: hazy yellow amber; Smell: lime, light wheat, slight malt; Taste/Mouthfeel: light lime skin, followed by sweet malt, bit of tang, slight bitter after taste, faint anise; pretty good

Poured into a pint glass.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2013 05:40:24 | More by TruePerception
Photo of sagefool

North Carolina

4.36/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is actually my favorite offering from Boston Beer Company.

The color is on the orange side of amber.

Head is 2" to none, depending upon how you pour. My offering was from the Small Batch Collection. A 22oz. bottle provided both experiences.

The flavor is candied oranges, with a hint of vanilla and honey. It's sweet, y'all. At 10% ABV, you knew it would be.

Very nice.

The rest of their offerings are mediocre to "Good Lord, this could be so much more. But it's on the good side side of mediocre."

This one is quite good.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2013 18:09:08 | More by sagefool
Photo of CaptJackHarkness

New York

4.24/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the Small Batch Collection.

Aroma is sweet and "rummy". Pours a rich amber brown and hazy body with large beige head. Head reduces quickly to an oily film that spots the glass. Taste is thick coriander spice and a rum like booziness. Warming, not a good choice for a summer drink but could be enjoyable on a crisp fall evening! More like Wheatwine than Witbier.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2013 20:28:22 | More by CaptJackHarkness
Photo of BeardedBoffin

New Mexico

3.39/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The beer is handsome solid amber with a large cap of receding foam. The aroma has notes of classic wheat with coriander and just a hint of booze. Chewy on the palate, fruity, and too-boozy--almost vinous. The spice is there at the end, but not enough.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2013 22:27:57 | More by BeardedBoffin
Photo of lwillitz


3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12-oz bottle into wheat beer glass

A - 4 fingers of cream-colored foam over a cloudy body of golden orange; high amount of visible carbonation, good lace and excellent retention

S - orange, coriander, tropical fruits, caramel sweetness

T - citrus, peppery spice, dark fruits, anise, caramel sweetness, alcohol; alcohol and malt sweetness linger for a warming finish

M - thick and oily full body, medium/high carbonation, boozy warmth

O - Because of the thick body, malty/fruity taste, and conspicuous alcohol, this one drinks like a barleywine. Not your typical wit, but a tasty brew nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2013 21:22:53 | More by lwillitz
Photo of TheSixthRing


3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - Pours a hazy rusty orange with an off-white 2 finger head. Fair retention. Suds around the edge. Lacing is small, spotty and with fair stick.

Smell - A creamy aroma, with coriander, citrus and booze.

Taste - Follows the nose; creamy flavor. Sugar sweetness. Touches on coriander spice and a light citrus before a boozy finish.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied, thick and creamy. Sticky. Low carbonation. The bottle touts 'smooth and refreshing'. Yeah, not so much.

Overall - Had potential, but ultimately it's a bit of a boozy, sticky mess. Nothing I'd buy again. In terms of how it drinks, it's probably much closer to Belgian Dubbel than what I would imagine an "Imperial Wit' to be.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2013 03:10:43 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of stella77artois

New York

3.76/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pilsener glass.

A - Pours a unique lightly-burnt orange. Very cool looking. As with most witbiers, a fair amount of haze to it. Good amount of carbonation and a nice frothy head.

S - The wheat, coriander, orange peel we expect from a witbier, with lot's of spices added. Noticed some hot pepper aromas, very interesting.

T - Pretty solid. Has a lot more oomph at 10.3 ABV, and the alcohol is noticeable. Not in an unpleasant way, though. The hot pepper spices are slightly noticeable too. The taste of the spices is unique and tough to put a finger on. Definitely a unique tasting beer.

F - Again, unique. Without a doubt the thickest witbier I've ever tried. Very thick, almost a porter in terms of thickness. The carbonation evens out the thickness in a slightly refreshing way. Can feel some alcohol warmth, as well as some warmth from the spices.

O - A very unique beer. This beer is not outstanding, but it's very good. One of the more unique beers I've ever sampled in that yes, it's obviously a wheat beer, but has many characteristics not usually (or ever, in my experience) noticed in a witbier. A very good but not outstanding beer that I'd recommend it for any extreme beer fans.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2013 22:28:15 | More by stella77artois
Photo of artdob


3.66/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a golden apricot honey color. Initial more than modest head subsides far too quickly.

Banana bread on the nose with lasting yeasty notes.

Surprising palate that leans towards a syrupy texture, kind of like drinking a fruit nectar. While somewhat off the beaten path, I think I like it. Taste too is reminiscent of an apricot nectar - not quite as decadent as North Coast's Grand Cru (which is amazing), but almost like a distant cousin from a taste profile perspective.

Mild carbonation on the thicker than usual mouthfeel, with additional pleasant notes that make their way through the crevices in my head.

I would have this again.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2013 03:34:32 | More by artdob
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Samuel Adams Imperial White from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 1,194 ratings.