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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Imperial WhiteSamuel Adams Imperial White

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1,218 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,218
Reviews: 638
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 19.71%
Wants: 24
Gots: 49 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 01-16-2009)
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Ratings: 1,218 | Reviews: 638 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours quite hazy into my 25cl tulip glass with a three finger thick lightly tanned colored head. The beer is a hazy amber hue that shows a bit of brightness when held up to the light. The aroma smells quite a bit of orange, this almost drowns out everything else, though it isn't overly loud. A lot of the fruitiness seems to come from the fermentation character, which boosts the citrus note.

Thick and chewy feeling, the beer also has a fair amount of sweetness too it. The sweetness is boosted by sweet orange peel. There is also an earthy, lightly vegetal coriander note to the finish as well as a touch of spicy pepper. There is a touch of alcohol here that provides some heat. Some sweet grain notes combines with the citrus to create some notes a bit like honey.

This beer is fairly simplistic and really not all that great. Not horrible either though, just not exactly enough like a Wit to be what I was looking for.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2009 20:15:52 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Zorro


3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Cloudy red colored beer with a strong light tan colored head.

Sweet smelling with a strong orange aroma. Faint spices but the malt and orange really obscure it. Smell as hard as I can this is mostly very fruity smelling.

Starts out fruity and spicy, not unlike the taste of a pumpkin ale. Bruised banana flavor to this tastes a lot like a Weizenbock. Very warming in the chest, can't taste the alcohol but you can really feel it. Little bit of citrus in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Weird beer here, not sure how to classify this one. Tastes good but not really like Belgian White Beer. It is OK.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2009 02:36:05 | More by Zorro
Photo of ShroudofTuring


1.68/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I was rather excited to try this beer, since I'm a fan of the wit style.

I found the color a bit perplexing, since it seemed to be a little dark for the style, but the pour (from a bottle into a glass) left a nice smooth (if fleeting) head, coupled with a nice, spicy aroma.

However, once it finally got into my mouth, I very nearly spit it out, because the flavor came on strong and kept coming. The flavors of orange, coriander, and alcohol pretty much beat everything else into submission, which disappointed me, since I think one of the best things about the wit style is the enormous complexity of flavor that you can get. Also, the beer seemed to be overly sweet, which detracted from the experience and left it tasting rather sickly once the full flavor presented itself. The finish lasted for a long while, which ordinarily would have been nice, but the sweetness kept it from being truly enjoyable.

The mouthfeel was rather oily, which again detracted from the overall experience.

Overall, I'd say it would be best to pass on this beer. The packaging is beautiful, but Samuel Adams needs to go back to the drawing board on this one. With some tweaking, and dialing back some of the flavor elements, particularly the overpowering sweetness, this could probably be a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2009 04:16:39 | More by ShroudofTuring
Photo of enfield249


2.85/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a golden honey color, with a parchment colored foam, about 1 finger that fades to a thin layer. If you can believe it, it looks thick when it pours.

S - I don't get a lot, but what I do get is a general fresh clean sort of aroma. Almost a spring time smell. Hard to discribe

T - Very spicy, lots of phenols. That flavor does not fade, but the wheat malt comes up, and then some sweetness.

M - Medium carbonation. Feels like an out stout almost, full. Cloying on the tongue. Not a little warming, but not in a hot solvent way. Actually, they really concealed the alcohol well.

D - Interesting to try, but I won't buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2009 01:46:36 | More by enfield249
Photo of froghop


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

pours a semi-hazy amber-copper with a small egg-shell head, some lacing.

smell is faint, spice, some orange, and a touch of wheat.

taste is thick, spice, orange, wheat, some white pepper, and some toffee, ends on the dry side.

overall just an okay beer, that packs a punch.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2009 23:02:12 | More by froghop
Photo of sarahspat


2.48/5  rDev -28.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2009 18:30:32 | More by sarahspat
Photo of hosehead83


3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured onto a standard pint glass
Big, two-inch head, dark amber/copper in color
Aroma-Clove, coriander, some citrus zest
Taste-Big flavor, coriander, cloves, orange rind,honey- a lingering alcoholic sweetness, and some Belgian undertones in the finish. Very drinkable for the high ABV(10.3)
Overall,very flavorful and complex, although a bit strong for the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2009 15:20:41 | More by hosehead83
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sam Adams- Imperial White

A- Hazy golden caramel orange with a good foamy head. Minimal lacing.
S- Spicy and boozy. Orange rind, honey, white sugar, and coriander.
T- Big sweet honey and cane sugar hit you immediately. Orange and honey suckle with a big boozy presence throughout. Creamy caramelized malt near the back half.
M- Thick and sweet with a warming boozy feel. Dried fruit sweetness in the end.

Overall- A potent Wit! Not bad.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2009 21:27:53 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of jujubeast6000


3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 5/4/2009 (bottle):

Pours a dark orangish colored body, with a smallish whitish head, that is diminishing. Very strong aroma of dark fruit, grapes, figs. Some sickly sweet aroma too, syrupy sweet smelling. Some lighter fruit too, but it's masked by the dark fruit. Maybe as it warms up more. Dark fruit taste. Lingering back taste of malty nuttiness. Very taste. Very light tasting compared with the aroma. Some light fruit. Tasty, but heavy. Will like to see how this one ages. Very floral and fruity. Carbonation, and soft mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2009 04:51:08 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of apowar


2.42/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Despite a vigorous pour, almost no head develops. The medium amber body is quite surprising for anything that's been brewed with wheat, but is not unappetizing. I am disappointed, though by the lack of any developing head.

Aroma of orange blossom, honey, and more alcohol than i'd like.

Flavor is enormous! Full of wheat bread, honey, syrupy orange juice, orange blossom, ripe apricot, coriander mulling spices and finishes with big alcohol burn and more orange. The alcohol really kills the enjoyment of the beer for me. The orange finish lasts for aaaages. Very sweet throughout--an element that is never particularly well balanced.

Mouthfeel is full and almost chewy with an ever present medium/assertive carbonation.

Overall--I'm not quite sure about this. I'm not shy about alcohol, this is really too much, I think. Too sweet, too much alcohol presence, and just too much orange I think. Could really use some better balance in almost all regards, I think.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2009 04:03:53 | More by apowar
Photo of dhd1491


3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours copper-orange, cloudy, with no head. Interesting flowery spice aroma. Taste is BIG. Sweet, oily with nutmeg. Lightly carbonated. Alcohol is huge and medicinal; distracts from everything else going on. This is a great choice to tie one on quickly, but a little too over the top otherwise. That said, there are some interesting flavors and aromas going on in the background, so not a complete bust by any means.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2009 20:44:37 | More by dhd1491
Photo of TopperXiChiPsi

New York

1.27/5  rDev -63.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is the first time that I have ever been disappointed by the Samuel Adams brewery. I bought this beer as a single bottle from an excellent beer shop, thinking I was getting a great taste of a beer I'd come to love over the coming years. I was sorely mistaken.

The color was great. It was darker than I expected, but I assumed that it's status as an "Imperial Witbier" would explain that. Actually drinking it, however, proved to be immensely difficult.

The first sip took me by complete surprise. I nearly spat out the vile concoction upon feeling the oily liquid slide down my throat. It burned a little, likely due to its 10.3% abv content. Simply put, it tasted like poison. I gagged each successive time I tried to drink it, and poured it down the drain after 3 sips.

I'm not someone afraid of strong beers. Frankly, I'll drink Camo, but I won't touch this stuff ever again. Don't buy this, and send the brewery a letter telling them how poorly they've done. Thanks,


Serving type: bottle

05-18-2009 20:11:43 | More by TopperXiChiPsi
Photo of superdedooperboy


3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer represents a style virtually unheard of -- an Imperial Witbier. Being as such, it would be improper to rate this beer based on the Witbier style, and so I shall rate it according to its merits in relation to its base style as well as its special personal traits.

12 oz. brown bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep, rich, hazy golden hue verging on amber. Gives rise to a thick, creamy off-white head that holds rather well and settles eventually to a thick crowning ring. A gorgeous stained glass web of lace remains on the walls of the glass behind each swallow.

Nose shows a clear Belgian yeast presence, with the distinctive spicy fermentation character. Coriander and a touch of orange peel appear and are to be expected alongside, and a bit of boozy alcohol belies this brew's hefty 10.3% ABV.

As per the description on the label, the body and mouthfeel are worlds beyond those apparent in traditional Wits. Whereas "standard" Witbiers offer up a light, tingly, slightly slick mouthfeel, this "Imperial" version offers a thick, mildly-carbonated, slick and chewy body. The palate really only hints at a Wit, being likened more to a combination of Belgian Dubbel and Tripel. Sweet, vaguely grain-like malt forms the backbone of the beer, upon which layers of coriander, orange peel, faint clove and grassy, somewhat herbal notes are lain. A spicy-sweet finish mixes with a mild warming alcoholic astringency and lingers for quite sometime afterward.

Alcohol content hinders drinkability, but two of these would satiate, and the mix of flavor and aroma is quite unique and ultimately satisfying, providing a nice escape from the ordinary and providing, yet again, some space to reexamine the notion of what defines a beer and its style.

One of those brews that, along with Utopias, proves that the widely available, often commercially-viewed Boston Beer Co. is truly a craft brewery at heart. A perfect brew for to celebrate the American Craft Beer Week, as it is truly an example of a well-crafted, boundary-breaking beer. It would certainly be interesting to see, as the company suggests on the label, just how this beer stands up to cellaring.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2009 03:31:48 | More by superdedooperboy
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber-copper with a creamy off-white head. Nose is strong and sweet, with abundant alcohol and apple, floral notes. Very boozy smelling. Flavour is similarly big on alcohol and fruity fermentedness. Orange and coriander are background at best, obliterated by the heavy malt. Quite sweet, bordering on cloying and with a touch of acidity up front. Slick, oily mouthfeel with a low carbonation is substantial. The sweet/boozy mix is interestingly complex and somewhat reminiscent of Samichlaus, but drier and with a bit of a wheatiness. Definitely different, although I wouldn't recommend it as a regular brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2009 12:49:42 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of coldmeat23


3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Pilsener Glass
TEMP: Cellared at approx 45 degrees

Wow, this is much darker than anticipated. It's dark orange with hints of copper. It has a two-finger head of creamy white foam. Retention is quite good and the lacing is very good.

The nose is full of big malt notes and typical witbier spices. Notes of orange and a touch of lemon. Corriander and a light hint of cloves. Caramel toffees and some brown sugar.
Interestingly unique.

Taste follows the nose, completely. There's not much that I could add here. Except to say that this is almost cloyingly sweet and the alcohol is somewhat detectable.

Almost full-bodied, which is a nice surprise. Very smooth and somewhat creamy. Nice low to mid level of carbonation.

While the flavor here is enjoyable, the cloying sweetness, combined with the high ABV would keep you from throwing very many of these back. Just smooth out that sweetness a touch and this would be very nice, though. I may put a couple bottles in the cellar and see what they do.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2009 03:18:26 | More by coldmeat23
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.2/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow! I'm surprised that with so much malt the spices actually come through with such sharpness. But I'm getting ahead of myself. It pours a cloudy amber with an orange cast and gold and brass highlights beneath a short head of creamy yellowed-white. The head retention is good and it leaves walls of tiny spots and streaks as it goes. However, for a beer with such a healthy dose of glutinous wheat, and so much malty girth it should be better. The nose is fruity, and rind-like. It's citrusy (lemon) and gently spicy. In the mouth it's medium-full and spritzy , or perhaps that's zesty - with so much body I'm not sure it can be 'spritzy', so, yes, zesty. The flavor is as the aroma suggests but much more full. The malt also steps up to the front. It's wheatish and sugary, and it suggests caramel, or at least darkened sugar amidst the fruitiness (apples, lemon, plum). In a way it makes me think of a warm oatmeal breakfast treat. Oats and cinnamon? - not quite, but along the same lines in a way. It's also interestingly more clove-like than coriander-ish. That must be from the yeast. It's interesting, rich, and satisfying. The alcohol never shows, although it probably helps to focus the finish; and the bitterness is balanced to work with the spiciness so that it off-sets the sweetness of the malt just enough, and then lets it finish dry with a swirl of spiciness. Full and rich, and somewhat complex. Worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2009 02:22:17 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of paco1029384756


4.15/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy dark orange color with a small creamy white head.

Scent of sugars, fruits, caramel, spices, and some alcohol. The scent is stronger than I expected, and even with the alcohol present this one holds up nicely.

Taste of grain, light fruits, butter, spices and a bit of alcohol. Alcohol isn't as apparent as it is in the scent. This one has a nice flavor to it; a bit lighter than the scent, which I like.

Mouthfeel is medium light bodied with strong carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2009 22:39:55 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of clayrock81


4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear auburn gold body with cloying but quickly dieing tan head. Citric and clove are evident in the smell, but some heavier hops and stick, sweet caramel notes are also prevelant. An interesting beer indeed for a witbier lover, as the high ABV is mostly hidden but slightly noticeable in the hoppy dryness of the beer. Medium-bodied and balanced, goes down smooth w/ orange and spices evident, along w/ sticky, sweet malt. Not a normal witbier by any means but a great beer to relax w/ and a must try.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2009 17:19:29 | More by clayrock81
Photo of CJfromPhilly


4.38/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the 12 oz bottle an orangish-amber with a thick foamy head that settles into a heavy collar. There's an almost macro like fizziness...LOTSA bubbles rising to the top. Aroma is wonderful, a mixture of fruit (orange & banana) and a caramel/toffee note. The flavor is big, bold and wonderful as well. I pick up hints of the aforementioned fruit plus the caramel/toffee, plus a bubblegum like sweetness. The alcohol is present and gets more noticeable as the beer warms, but doesn't take away from the experience. The mouthfeel is quite substansial...this is a thick, almost chewy beer. Overall, a big, bold, BEAUTIFUL beer from Jim Koch & the crew at Boston Beer Company!! This is top notch stuff, and I hope there's more on the shelves when I make my next beer run!!!

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2009 22:50:56 | More by CJfromPhilly
Photo of scottyshades


3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy, unfiltered golden copper color. The head is small, lacing is decent. Pretty nice looking wit

S: Yeasty, bready nose. Alcohol is definitely present, which masks other notes. No citrus, but other fruit (pineapple?) is present. Strange...not bad, but more like a tripel

T: Yeasty, alcohol filled, bready, not really fruity either. A little too syrupy for a witbier I feel

MF/D: Too much alcohol for me. Too sweet as well. Not my cup, but I can see the appeal.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2009 19:18:28 | More by scottyshades
Photo of ppoitras


4.13/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle purchased as part of a 4-pack from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head over the cloudy golden amber brew. Head falls gradually, with average lacing. Aroma is sweet, lightly citrus. Taste also is sweet to start, which segues nicely into a lightly tart lemony close, with a lingering warmth. Mouthfeel is WAY smooth, and drinkability is excellent. Very nice brew once you get into it.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2009 23:46:42 | More by ppoitras
Photo of Vancer


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

Starts off with a opaque amber orange, with a thick and creamy ivory head floating on top. Looking good in the Sammy Adams freebie glass, with the lacing laying a sheet around the glass.

Sweet tangerine and citrus in the aroma and also the quaff. Additionally, the winter spices of clove and nutmeg really add some zest to the brew. No hint of any alcohol, sips like a dream. So much hops to balance it out, it actually has an oily feel to the finish.

Damn fine brew for $2+ a bottle, may sure you grab a 4 pack before they're gone.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2009 20:17:27 | More by Vancer
Photo of BretSikkink


3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Super cloudy, with a nice sticky head. Great lace. Aromas of spice, not-quite-done-baking bread, and citrus.

The flavor leads with orange, drops in some pine resin, the coriander and other spices are prominent, while the malts take a nap mostly. What's there is awfully sweet, bordering on syrupy, with impressions of Nyquil creeping in. Really not a bad experiment, but this is one witbier that's gone too far.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2009 03:48:14 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of Proteus93


3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: A lot darker than I expected. Deep amber, quite hazy. The head has some trouble forming, potentially due to the higher alcohol content.

S: A robust aroma... lots of wheat, coriander, orange, and other ripe fruits... pear in particular. Pretty decent scent.

T + M: Big, syrupy, and sweet. Lots of sweet malts and wheat... some big fruity flavours... apple, pear, and some orange citrus. Spices add a little touch, but not as heftyas others, and I expected that an "imperial" wit could be too intense. It does well there, but it's still a bit rich in body and can get pretty sweet. Alcohol makes itself known quite quickly and appears more in the flavour as it warms, intensifying the warmth in the body slightly.

D: One big sipper, and maybe a little too sweet even taken slow. There's a lot going on in this beer - unfortunately, most of that is sugary sweetness. A whole lot of sugar sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2009 03:14:59 | More by Proteus93
Photo of BARFLYB


3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single bottle poured into a Flying Fish pint glass. My 3rd in this series.

A- Imperial White pours thicker than your average wit. A cloudy orange color once in the glass, small bubbles are seen rising through the thickness. Not much of a head, more like a dismal cap. Some lacing in spots here and there, not much.

S- Super sweet, malts upon malts and a huge focus on fruit. Smells like a whole banana was used for each 12oz bottle. Fresh orange slices as well. I guess Sam used some hops in this but you not a trace in the smell. Some witbier like spices with warming but it's hard to get past the fruit.

T- Taste like something DFH would brew based on the over the top malt addition and slightly syrupy taste. A huge banana taste as expected with just a hint of clove on the backside. Rich sweet malts giving off a bready vibe. Orange peel, while the alcohol is well hidden.

M- The feel on this is full and sweet. It is above medium bodied with light carb. The aftertaste just lasts forever though which gets old after 4oz's or so. Some more spice factors in this may have rounded out the feel, but for now this is a malt bomb.

D- I was skeptic for good reason, i mean a 10.3% witbier, come on. It is exactly how I thought it would taste like though, A trumped up wit beer focused on sweetness. I'll take a regular wit any day of the week from Sam as a 10% witbier in the summer does not seem like a good look. With that said this is not the worst thing created, just predictable.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2009 05:12:45 | More by BARFLYB
Samuel Adams Imperial White from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 1,218 ratings.