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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Imperial WhiteSamuel Adams Imperial White

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,243 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,243
Reviews: 639
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 19.71%
Wants: 25
Gots: 52 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,243 | Reviews: 639 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lonestar4lunch
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%

This one starts off with a big, spicy, sweet aroma. Just a bit of lacing hangs around. Taste on this one is huge with bananas, herbs, malt, bitterness and alcohol. It's thicker than I was guessing it would be. It finishes with some hop dryness and spiciness that lingers. Very interesting and is a big beer to finish. 12oz is more than enough.

lonestar4lunch, May 07, 2009
Photo of TheBierBand
4.38/5  rDev +27%

poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass to produce a big 2-1/2" head of frothy, thick foam. The foam stuck around for quite a while. But as it dissipated, it left big clumps of foam on the side of the glass. The color of the beer is dark yellow/orange and is rather cloudy.

The smell is of orange citrus backed up by spicy coriander and a whif of alcohol.

Taste: WOW! BIG BEER! Quite sweet with a big alcohol ZING. Flavors include orange, spice, big alcohol finish.

MF: Thick/robust.... and smooth.

Drinkability: This is a sipper.... but its quite nice. It should not be considered a "lawn mower" beer. This is for a nice relaxing evening. Rich and hearty texture.

TheBierBand, May 05, 2009
Photo of weeare138
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%

Thanks to TomDecapolis for sharing the bottle...
Appears a murky amber with a small white head that quickly fades out into a tiny cap. Mild speckles of lacing quickly drop into a small collar.
Smell is of overkill caramel, sugary grain, and light citrus.
Taste is of caramel sweetness that borders on sugary syrup/adjunct, along with a mild spicing.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, viscuous, and sweet. I just wasn't feeling this one.

weeare138, May 04, 2009
Photo of degerbah
4.08/5  rDev +18.3%

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.

degerbah, May 04, 2009
Photo of mwa423
3.83/5  rDev +11%

A - Pours a solid two finger head that dies down to a solid lacing that sticks to the bottom of the glass. Color is a very dark but clear straw color.

S - Sweet and boozy, maybe a bit of honey smell.

T - Very very sweet, with a really sweet aftertaste.

M - Thick and rich, enjoyable for the style.

D - One or two, maybe the third of the four pack, but I doubt I could drink the entire 4 pack at 10.5 percent abv

mwa423, May 04, 2009
Photo of ThaBobfather
4.38/5  rDev +27%

Pours nearly opaque orange/copper color with thin rimming white head.
Smells of orange rind, spice, and sweet hops.
WOW. Tastes of sweet malt, almost syrup with some fruit flavor and spice.
Finishes is a bit muddily with a sweet taste left.
Pretty well drinkable.

ThaBobfather, May 04, 2009
Photo of DavidSeanNJ
3.9/5  rDev +13%

A- Dark and hazy deep orange color with some amber tint. Extremely cloudy. Nice lacing for a witbier. Some serious head going on, however, did not last long.
S- Caramel, candy, sugar. Candy apple? Nothing but sweetness and alcohol in the nose.
T- This might be the maltiest witbier I have ever had. This reminded me of a sweet barley wine. I'm not kidding. Candied apples and oranges. Spicey kick. Bananas.
M- Thick, creamy, decadent. Sticky and sugary. Smooth but very rich.
D- I drank one and was pretty much finished due to the high alcohol content and cloying flavors. I appreciate this one because I have not had a witbier that pushed the boundaries as much as this one.

DavidSeanNJ, May 03, 2009
Photo of Kromes
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%

Pours a hazy amber with a thick white head. Smells like sweet caramel malts and alcohol, doesn't really smell like a typical white beer. Tastes is of sweet caramel malts, alcohol, and some orange peel and coriander in the background. The only thing I didn't really like is how thick it felt. It is a bit syrupy. It tastes very good, so the drinkibility is good.

Kromes, May 03, 2009
Photo of cvfish
4.22/5  rDev +22.3%

A - This beer poured an orange amber color that produced a fluffy white head that had good retention and laced the side of the glass nicely

S - The aromas produced by this beer had very sweet, fruity notes, and some spiciness

T - The taste of this beer was great, a good bit of sweet fruity flavors that went along side the maltiness very well, and a hint of spices

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body on it that was accompanied by a light amount of carbonation

D - This was a great beer, the style is not done as much and it was a pleasure to see someone take it up to the next level, this was a very tasty beer and great for the originality

cvfish, May 03, 2009
Photo of naterock
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%

poured into a fluted tasting glass. medium dull copper in color with little to no head.

smell is overwhelming alcohol, with a yeasty nose. some banana and a little bit of clove and possibly some cinnamon.

tastes rich and spicy with a strong malt backbone and a modesthop profile. really suprising.

Mouth is a bit dry but crisp. Drinks slow and is a new style for me. I am excited for more styles like this.

naterock, May 03, 2009
Photo of SpecialK088
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%

Poured from a bottle into a Snifter

Pours a near orange color, very deep amber. Light head never really gets above 1 finger and lingers a nice film over the top.

Very spicy, corander along with some sweet spices and almost a belgian yeast. Very sweet notes as well.

Sweet and spicy, suprising how well the alchol is hidden being that its near 10%. Very sweet flavors with a nice spicy corander finish and a sligh alchol burn.

Light body and very complex the flavors all go together well without one overbearing the rest

Not something I would drink all the time but with the popularity of this style growing I am exited to try some more of them.

SpecialK088, May 03, 2009
Photo of webmanspidey
2.65/5  rDev -23.2%

Poured into a pint glass.. copper orange color, fizzy head at the perfect proportion. Smell mostly reminds me of peaches.. maybe there is some spiciness and other fruits but it is mostly sweet.

Taste is not very pleasant and alcohol comes through very strongly. Sweet peaches again with some slight spices.

I wasn't very impressed with this one and have had many better witbiers. This seemed to be an attempt to take a regular witbier and add a bunch more alcohol than expected without any additional complexity in the flavor.

webmanspidey, May 03, 2009
Photo of AlexCuse
4.8/5  rDev +39.1%

I just tried one of these, and I'm almost speechless. I really didn't know what to expect (a witbier weighing in at over 10% is just insane) but I was very pleasantly surprised. It tastes somewhat like a wit, but there's a heavy dose of banana taste and aroma, making it taste almost like a tripel. But right on the heels of that we find a really strong malt flavor more reminiscent of a dubbel. At the end its' a glorious combination of dubbel, tripel and wit. Tastes strong, alcohol-wise, but I would never peg it at 10%. Maybe 7. The drinkability, coupled with the high alcohol content, make this a very dangerous beer. Mouthfeel is heavy for a wit, but that is to be expected. I thought it was just about right.

If you are a fan of belgian ales, this one is definitely worth a try. I am going to try to track down some more this weekend!

AlexCuse, May 02, 2009
Photo of DIM
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%

The label indicates 10.2% abv this year.

a: This was a somewhat hazy peach color. It pours with a large, slightly sticky, creamy looking white head.

s: Lots of bananas, lots of sweet, fermented bananas. A little flowery alcohol, minimal spices in the nose.

t: Huge, wheaty banana flavors that are over the top and obnoxious, but in a good way. The dry floral heat at the end and the long, lingering spiciness aren't as pleasant.

m: Thick, incredibly viscous with creamy carbonation. Maybe a little too thick.

d: This is just too much of a good thing. If witbier were Coke, this would be straight up syrup. Still, this was oddly appealing.

DIM, May 01, 2009
Photo of buschbeer
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%

I poured into a nonic to an inch of head. It was a cloudy, copper color. It smelled of bananas, alcohol, and sweet malt. I was expecting this beer to taste horrible, but it did not. I was definitely different for me. I tasted of really ripe bananas and seemed syrupy. But at 9%+ ABV, it was not a bad way to start the evening.

buschbeer, May 01, 2009
Photo of Tone
3.81/5  rDev +10.4%

Pours a cloudy, orange/copper color. 1 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of banana, alcohol is noticeable, clove, some other citrus aromas, slight hops, and slight sweet malt. Fits the style of a Witbier. Mouth feel is thick and smooth, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, slight hop, spices, slight citrus, and a hint of tartness. Hard to define the rating system on this 'Imperial' White. Way too strong to be a good Witbier, but it is meant to be an 'Imperial' and is tasty. Overall, a relatively smooth beer, the blend of flavors is nice and the aroma is pleasant.

Tone, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of tdawgydog
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%

I picked up a four pack of this on a recent trip to my favorite beverage store. I was previously unaware of the "Imperial" line of beers that Sam's has been producing and since Wit is one of my favorite styles I thought I would give it a try.

A - Pours a little darker than your traditional Wit beer. Almost a dark brown
S - You can smell the alcohol in this beer, quite different from most Sam Adams brews.
T - The alcohol taste is a little strong, it tastes as if it had been aged in a barrel. There is a slight hint of whiskey or some other liquor in here.
D - Not overpowering, it was enjoyable, I just wouldn't classify this as a standard Witbier.
M - Very well done. The carbonation is just right and the beer is full bodied.

tdawgydog, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of johnnybgood1999
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%

This is just what many would think it was looking at the Imperial White title: a Witbier on steroids. I picked this up in a mix n match sixer that allowed me to pick up brews at 8.99, that should have been $13-14 a sixer. That is the only reason I picked this up. My preconcieved notion that this beer would suck was way off. I really like this. It is a mix between a barleywine and wit. 10.2% alcohol and I can drink it almost like a regular light beer. This beer is dangerous, yet so good. It's almost like bmc made something massive, but with flavor. Nice job Samuel Adams. My only knock is that alcohol overwhelms the smell. Oh well, it definitely doesn't overwhelm the taste.

Edit: After having more than one bottle the alcohol really starts to become too forward.

johnnybgood1999, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of KarlHungus
2.6/5  rDev -24.6%

This beer pours a cloudy orange color. The head is an inch in height, and recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is completely overpowered with cardamom. I like to detect a hint of cardamom in a wtibir, but this goes way overboard. The taste is the same with a linger aftertaste that leaves me felling like I've just eaten a tablespoon of cardamom. The mouthfeel is full bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall, I do not like this beer. This is the third or forth imperial witbier I have tasted, and thy have all been bad. I think I can understand why too. Witbier is a style that is all about delicacy, and you completely lose that when you try to imperialize it.

KarlHungus, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of elniko
2.95/5  rDev -14.5%

Poured into Weihenstephan glass, no dates listed on bottle.

A: A little darker than typical wit, half finger head and a small amount of lacing. Decent looking.

S: I get a slight tinge of the witbier spice and coriander but most likely I pick up alcohol. Not the most pleasant smelling brew.

T & M: I have never had nor seen an Imperial White before so I was quite curious how it would taste. The mouthfeel was more full than typical but the hops added to the brew give it an almost medicinal quality.

D: I can't say that I really enjoyed this beer although I am glad I tried it.

elniko, Apr 27, 2009
Photo of Traquairlover
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%

12-oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A = Hazy orangish brown with small off white head, fairly good retention.

S = Cinnamon, coriander, fresh baked pumpkin bread.

T = Very sweet, which I could live with but there is a saccharine aftertaste that is off putting, tastes reflect the smells, there are various spices including coriander and cinnamon, the light tart notes of citrus peel show through but in an understated way. Long sweet finish.

M = Heavy body almost syrupy, frothy creamy feel, good mouthcoating. Much heavier than I expected, but decent as a mouthfeel on its own accord.

D = I mark this down because I tihnk this would be hard to drink many of in close proximity and for a once in a while beer, there are many I woud put before it. That said, it may just not be my cup of tea, it is not a bad beer at all.

Traquairlover, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of JohnL9013
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%

Prepare yourself. I was just simply not expecting what came out of the bottle on this one. This beer is one of the most flavorful beers I've ever had. It's so sweet that it's actually too intense for my tastes.

A: Dark golden. A tiny bit hazy.

S: Yikes, malt, bananas, sweetness, etc. The smell definitely gets your attention.

T: The taste literally slaps you in the face with how sweet it is. There's so much malt flavor in this brew that I didn't even know how to drink it. Really, it's just way, way too sweet for my tastes. This beer doesn't have a hint of bitterness. It's all sweet malt with fruit.

M: A bit towards the syrupy side.

D: Very low drinkability on this one. I wasn't able to finish mine.

Overall, this is a ridiculous beer, but you have to be in to this kind of beer in order to enjoy it. Fortunately, I got this as part of a customized 6-pack, so I didn't blow the money on the full 4-pack. I'd recommend the same.

JohnL9013, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of ommegoose
4.13/5  rDev +19.7%

$10 for a four pack. Packaging is really quite bland across the whole Imperial line. I guess I see the need to distinguish this line, but they could have done better.

No sediment at the bottom unfortunately, and the appearance is decidedly not hazy. This brewery just does not ever seem to get the appearance of its wheat beers right. Some webby lacing, and frothy cap that remains all the way down. Clear pale orangey with fine, slow-moving carbonation.

At least the smell is spot on. Huge banana and orange aroma. Wheat backbone. Opens up later with peachy and apricot aromas. Vanilla.

Huge witbier flavor, very potent. You can see the work that the 10% did. Lots of banana, more of that than the orange peel or spice, which tends to dominate many wits. Peachy flavor. Has some heat, but fine for a slow sipper like this. Kind of milky sweet. Clove and spice presence is pretty low, or is at least harder to perceive. It mostly shows up on the finish.

This is one of the silkiest beers I've had. It's really impressive. The alcohol stings in just the slightest. This makes me think about reconsidering many of the times I've given such high mouthfeel scores. The heat makes it just less that perfect, but it's damn close.

Well, this is about exactly what you'd expect. No surprises here. It's a good witbier, twice as strong. I think it shows that imperial witbier is a viable beer to make. Unfortunately, I don't think this opens up new avenues the way that big styles like doppelbock, or impy stout, or IIPA or quadrupels do. It's just a big witbier. But it's tasty, and I'm really enjoying it. Good chance I'd buy it again, and I approve of this effort from the brewery.

Side note: I saw someone refer to this as almost being a wheatwine, and I kind of see that, as the beer warms up. It's an interesting perspective that might make you think about this differently. It's not quite as deep as the wheatwines I've had, but I can also get four bottles of this for roughly what a bomber of a wheatwine is.

ommegoose, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of Wasatch
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this brew.

Pours a nice hazy dark golden brownish color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy head, with some nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, some yeast notes, banannas, coriander. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, yeasty, a touch of banannas/coriander. Medium body. Drinkable, not to happy with the taste of this brew so far, my bottle sez 10.3% ABV.

Wasatch, Apr 25, 2009
Photo of scruffwhor
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Hazey sunshine amber tea color. Not a whole lot of foam or head. Only a couple of slow, tiny bubbles. Super heavy, sweet wheat and yeast malt aroma. Sugared fruits with maybe soe fruitcake. Very yeasty sweet smelling beer, especially as it warms. The taste has a juicey-juice fruit flavor upfront. The yeast, malt, and wheat combine to make a great lightly toasted fruit melange. Green apple skins, bubble gum, and some sweet cloves. I wish the palate of this beer was more dry than syrupy sweet. his beer was good sweet, but some typical witbier dryness would round this beer out nicely.

scruffwhor, Apr 25, 2009
Samuel Adams Imperial White from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 1,243 ratings.