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

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Samuel Adams Imperial WhiteSamuel Adams Imperial White

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1,269 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,269
Reviews: 643
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 19.71%
Wants: 30
Gots: 62 | 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: 1,269 | Reviews: 643
Photo of dotsonjamesg
4.09/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dull cloudy brown with a one finger head that quickly dissipated; much darker than your average witbier. The appearance isn't really consistent with the style but what the hell do I care. It looks tasty.

Smell: The smell is very lovely. Full bodied and complex with a nose filled with citrus, vanilla, coriander, roasted malts, and alcohol. Its probably one of the best smelling brews I have had the opportunity to try in recent history.

Taste: Pretty similar to the nose. The brew is pretty sweet at first and then moves in to a crisp bite. The flavor is rich with citrus and spices and heavy on the alcohol, 10.3% according the bottle.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy but finishes well.

Drinkability: The brew is a seasonal brew and is brewed differently every year. Having not had the previous editions of this brew, I think a "B" is an understatement to the quality of this beer. Its drinkable, even for those who enjoy really aggressive brews and the alcohol content makes it worth the effort and price.



Photo of Pencible
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a hazy dark gold with white head. It smelled like lemon hops and creamy yeast with caramel malt and fresh wheat. It tasted like peach hops and sour but creamy yeast, with lots of caramel and barley malt, and a bit of orange. It was quite thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bitter/sour aftertaste. Overall this was actually pretty nice, which was surprising because I don't typically like witbiers that much. Perhaps my palate has just evolved? Either way, this beer had good flavor and huge body. It hid the alcohol well, and was very easy to drink. Fun and enjoyable, especially for a warmer day.

Photo of fightingirishcmk
3.29/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a slightly hazy orangish color, a bit darker than a traditional Wit. The head was about 2.5 fingers in size, and receded at an average pace. There was some slight lacing left on the glass.
S: A fruity smell predominates, some citrus notes, but a cherry and raisin aroma is stronger. A mildly piny hop presence is there as well.
T: A somewhat complex belgian fruitiness is tasted in this beer. The orange and coriander are drowned out by warmer, darker fruits such as fig and cherry as well as some spicy peppery notes. There is a lot of bitterness that, while somewhat balancing the maltiness of the beer, is a bit too much for a wit.
M: Medium bodied, sweet, with a moderate alcoholic heat.
D: For a 9% beer, it is somewhat drinkable. Not nearly as drinkable as a real wit. And not an improvement on the overall style.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a semi-hazy orange color with a one inch off-white head that falls down to a skim. Leaves some moderate lacing.

Aroma is straight up bubble gum. Very sweet and sugary. There's a hint at some orange fruitiness but not much else.

Taste is very sweet and sugary - too much so. Again the bubble gum flavor is dominant. Orange is more present than before then there's a slight spicy character towards the finish but it's faint. A bit of alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel is the strongest part of the beer. It's medium bodied, tending slightly towards full but it's got a very creamy texture.

I was quite disappointed with this one. I don't think this is really a style meant to be imperialized.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.02/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace.

S: The aroma is of bananas, citrus, Belgian yeast, light malts, some spice and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a harsh alcohol bite followed by sweet flavors of caramel, citrus, spices and some Belgian yeast. The malt character is hearty and there's a decent hops presence. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style it's a prime example of why certain types of beer shouldn't push the ABV too high. I thought an amped up version of Sam's White Ale would be pretty good but I was proven wrong.

Photo of TexIndy
1.91/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No dating info but a new release so know it's fresh. Color was a hazy orange amber. Good amount of slow moving carb - almost like it was moving thru watered down syrup. No lacing. It had an average sized fizzy white head that quicky settled into bits of film and a collar.

The aroma was awful. Mega sweet and a ton of alcohol. Got a cavity just sniffing it. Besides the orange there is none of the usual wit aromas. Even the orange was off. Instead of a nice mid level aroma enhancer this was like someone poured a bag of sugar into some OJ. The taste was even worse. Starts out with an overly sweet attack and then progresses into pure alcohol. I don't have anything against high ABV but they have their place and after trying several imperial wits the past month that place is not wits. I'm ready for this fade to die out. Wits are my favorite style but this is just crap.

Overall, a drain pour. Avoid. One and so done. Enough with the imperial wits.

Photo of rtratzlaff
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The look of this Imperial White is quite a bit darker than expected. A copper body with a 1/2" white head sticks around for the most part. Bubbles of carbonation head to the top of the glass at a rather slow rate showing this beer has quite the body to it.

The aroma is orange peel, rather sweet in character, and a bit of alchohol as well. The coriander is in there too.

The taste is sweet up front along with orange characteristics. If I had to describe this in one flavor, it would be sugared orange peel soaked in grey goose vodka. I don't mean that to be completely negative, but it is what it is. This is not what I think of when I think of a wit, but imperial wit doesn't really make much sense either.

The carbonation keeps the big body from being too much, but adds a good mouthfeel.

Overall, this is a beer to try a time or two as a sipper, but not anything I would want to have often or more than one.

Photo of JohnGalt1
2.83/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz picked up today at the Coop for about $2.50.. Poured into my Chimay goblet.... 1/2" head.. the hazy honey orange beer poured heavy and looked thick.

Sweet smelling for sure.. orangey nose is light..

Flavor is ooohh so sweet.. verging heavily on cloying.. more orange and a medicinal flavor from what ever spices are used.. Body is heavy and carbonation is lite.. thick coating mouthfeel detracts... a little boozy.

If this was not my first beer of the night.. it would be a probably drain pour.. it is a real effort to choke it down.. just too much leftover sweetness to make this a winner... I doubt I will buy another bottle until I can confirm a new batch is out... I don't care for this one at all.

Photo of KI9A
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Very hazy orange/amber, puffy off white head, good retention, nice lacing.

S: Honey, malt, some citrus.

T: Up front with sweet honey, nice and malty. Some corrinder, some sour orange peel. VERY boozy. This could easily pass as a Barleywine, or, a Belgian Strong Ale, brewed with spices. Nothing here says Wit, in any way, other than the label. Nice, none-the-less.

M: Heavy, oily, leaves a big alcohol burn in the center of the chest. Too much for a warm spring day.

D: I like this beer. But, would be way better suited for a mid-winter's night, with the snow falling, and the wind howling. I just got in from working in the yard, and, while it is only 55 outside, I'm having a real tough time getting thru this beer. If it was offered in the winter, I'd buy it. Not sure if this is what I want in spring.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, listed as 10.3%,

A: Pours a cloudy murky goldenrod/orange, with a full, long-lasting white head, excellent lacing.

S: Smells pretty similar to their regular white beer, flowery, perfumy, orange zest.

T: Definitely an Imperial, it has all the nice spice flavours of the original White which I liked, but a ton of booze mixed in.

M: Sweet and boozy, full-bodied with solvent character.

D: A nice attempt, but the few other Imperial Wits I have had have hid the alcohol much better, in this one it tends to dominate the drink, there's just not enough malt to hold back the 10.3%, but in the end it wasn't a hard beer to finish.

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

Pours a huge 3 1/2 off white head. Hazy golden orange body, with lots of bubbles rising to top. Head retention and lacing are above average

Smell is similiar to a belgium strong ale. Fruity with some spice, alcohol, and belgium yeast.

Taste is pretty sweet, of malt and some alcohol. Taste is also more similar to a belgium strong ale than to a witbier. Cant really taste coriander or citrus as much as the fruity yeast. Alcohol is really present

Mouth feel is big, syrup like going down. Head is semi creamy, carbonation isnt too high

Was a bit disappointed by this beer, didnt really taste any witbier characteristics and it was a little too alcoholic. Honesty tasted like a mediocre duvel

Photo of auxiliary
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance - Cloudy ornage yellow color. Poured a large head but then went flate. Small specs of lace here.

smell - Sweet malt, citrus smells here.

taste - Has a oil feel to it and then you feel the alcohol spike. It is like a basic wit+oil+alcohol. Even leaves a slick substance on your tongue when your done. Has a barleywine taste it too.

mouthfeel - Medium body, and has a oily feel.

drinkability - I think it too strong for a wit. When I think of wit, I think og hot day in the spring or summer. Is kind a a strong, but I dug it.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a DT tulip.

A: Pours a hazy/cloudy apricot-orange color with an extremely creamy light-orange colored head. The foam quickly melts down to a thin skim with creamy ring. A bit of lace is left behind.

S: Whoa. Bananas and bubblegum soaked in booze. Hints of coriander...and more booze.

T: See above. Very boozy with not enough yeast, citrus, or wheat flavors to make it very interesting. Meh.

M: Aside from the burn from the alcohol heat, this guy is pretty slick and oily. The oilyness plasters the spicy booziness all over everything in my mouth.

D: Surprisingly pretty easy drinking considering how un-Witbier-like this is. Pretty unnecessary.

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

first i must say its like no witbier i have ever had but not to be taken in a bad way taste is more like a mild barleywine with that same warm alcohol taste. looks like unfiltered cider when poured with a short beige head and a nice sticky lace that holds past the finish. smells of fresh banana bread and mild hint of alcohol. very sweet and fruity taste with a lightly slick mouthfeel. drinkability, witbier no. something else, mild barleywire yes.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's exciting to see a ground-roots brewery break out their molds with some daring and energetic beers. Nothing is more a leap of faith than an Imperial Witbier.

The beer begins with a surprisingly copperish-orange-golden hue that has a viscous character to the sight. A thin head forms and then lasts the session. Lacing and legging evident on the sides of the chalice.

Juicy aromas of fresh oranges jump out at the nose. A cotton-candy maltiness then follows along with a heavy dose of soft, spicy corriander. An unexpected ethanol scent burns the nose hairs and warns to take it slowly.

Extremely sweet flavor hit the palate with a sugary, malty, honey-like flavor. Orange juice, pineapples, and a plethera of esters build on one another and continue to develop the flavors deep into the finish. No hop presence to mention, but the peppery phenols give the complexity and a valid attempt to balance the sweetness.

Again, very sweet, heavy, and somewhat oily to the feel because of the extraordinary amount of unresolved sugars. Alcoholic heat pushes the beer further than expected. The beer looses the classic cool, soft, delicate, creamy mouthfeel that original Witbiers showcase well.

Rather than an Imperial Witbier, this could easily be considered a Barleywine with a Witbier influence. Interesting nonetheless.

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

12oz bottle poured into a goblet. I agonized over what glass to pour it in for a while, but in the end, I decided to go with something that would enhance the volatiles.

A: Pours an IPA-like dark orange. Finger-width head that quickly fades.

S: Dominated by bananas and spices.

T: Banana-ey fruitiness and honey-like sugary sweetness. No trace of the citrusy tartness usually associated with witbiers. Some alcohol burn in the beginning, but it fades away.

M: Not nearly as syrupy as I feared it would be. Rather light, actually.

D: I'd say that Sam Adams did about as good a job as could have been done. But that doesn't change the fact that there's no justification for this beer to have been created. Not every style needs to be embiggened, as Jebediah Springfield would say. As a witbier, it's not very good. But as a generic Belgian strong ale, it's pretty decent.

Photo of Lexluthor33
2.96/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hazy,orange /yellow highlights with a small head and thin lace.
It had an alcohol fruit tone with some malts and coriander.
It tasted sweet,sugary,full of a good dosage of alcohol and citrus fruits that followed with some malts. Some hints of figs and caramel.
The feel was full bodied,medium carbonation some mild spice. It was smooth,but aggressive in terms of ABV.

Notes: The smooth feeling when it goes down struggles with balancing of the malts. It was filling and really for me it was a sugar bomb. Not something to look for in my opinion.

Photo of cvstrickland
3.36/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Into a large pilsner glass, Samuel Adams Imperial White pours syrupy and rests at a hazy burnt orange color trimmed in golden amber. The liquid body is topped with a thick cap of fine-bubbled, off-white foam that relaxes quite slowly and deposits lightly fluffed rings of lacing onto the glass.

The smell is quite fruity, with fermenting notes of golden apple and fresh white bread. The aroma is drenched with an orange rind oiliness that at first sniff strikes me as quite artificial, but as the drink warms a bit the faux-citrus character fades into soft, mellow sweetness with a razor-thin edge of grain alcohol.

The taste is twangy and fruity, the flavors closely following the aroma profile. Notes of artificial orange drink and mushy fallen apples are drizzled in Everclear, and the drink begins to impart significant warming upon my belly right away. The brew is somewhat floral and increasingly vinous as the encounter progresses, and the sturdy 9% ABV becomes increasingly noticeable, manifesting itself in one rosy-cheeked drinker a little bit bothered by the chemical drying effect acting upon his palate.

The brew has fine carbonation, a fullish body, and imparts a little slickness as it passes through my mouth. Not a terrible drinker, but not at all quaffable, either. An "interesting" brew I'll call it, this big sipper of a Witbier, but "interesting" can mean just about anything, can't it?

Photo of Murchmac
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After having a Southampton Double White, thought, i'd give this style a try. This one, not so much.

Pours a cloudy honey orange, thick syrupy, like lorena bobbit got a hold of a blood orange.

Smells of citrus, malts, floral qualities to it. Of course it's a threesome, it's from Boston.

Spicy citrus taste, a little to hot hot hot for buster pointdexter and the hottub.

Thin finish, not the creamy lingering sweetness I was looking for. As my 7th grade french teacher said "bof"

Photo of jdubjacket
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of maskednegator
2.92/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Pours syrupy. Orange body, thin white head.
Smell: Oranges, cloves, crackers, spice.
Taste: Corander, vanilla, orange, bananas, light malts, alcohol.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, syrupy, strong carbonation.
Drinkability: Way too sweet and cloying to drink very much. Alcohol presence isn't helping anything either.
Verdict: Interesting beer, but just way too sweet for me. Wits are usually crisp, light and refreshing, and this is like drinking a 10% Orange Bang.

Photo of Gump
4.59/5  rDev +33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first beer of the Imperial Series.

Pours a medium amber with touch of cloudiness.
Immediate foamy head that doesn't last too long.
The aroma is strong on corriander with a hint of orange.
Medium-full body.
Flavor is biscuit, moderate hops and a peppery back end, with terrific alcohol flavors. Warming.
Clearly a belgian yeast.

Fantastic beer that is very wit-like in the nose, but the flavors scream Imperial.

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

After trying the new Imperial Stout, I am afraid to try this beer.

Poured from a 12oz tall brown bottle into my Sam Adams Turbulator glass.
Forming a nice looking foamy 2 inch white head. The head is very long lasting, finally settling to a quarter inch of retention, after about 7 minutes.
The lace left behind is a nice even webbing, somwhat thick.
The color is a bit hazy, with an unfiltered appeal. A pale orange with hints of red.

The aroma has orange peel, touches of vanilla, a little bit of grainy smell, and alot of warm alcahol. The traditional spiced witbear aroma with floral wafts of corriander.

The taste on this is actually quite good. Its starts out sweet, with corriander and a really strong grain bill. A bit more orange peel at the swallow, hints at grassy hops, and a nice dry peppery flavor. The beer is spot on for the style, with some creative aspects adding to a nice flavor profile.
The finish is dry and mildly spicie with corriander and orange peel lingering.
For 9% this is super drinkeable. Somwhat creamy with a nice bite of carbonation through the swallow. Things warm a bit into the swallow, but do not heat up beyond the mild warming.
Is it just me, or there a belgin like yeastyness here?

I more then dislike Wits, but this one was very satisfying.
True to the style, not overly hot, or solvent like in some of the other reviews. Trust me, if you think this was hot and solvent like, try the Sam Adams Impy stout.
I'm very interested in what a few years cellering would do to this one.

This is a great beer, thank you Jim Koch.

Photo of Aenema
2.36/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - Cloudy, deep amber with a thick head and nice lacing.
Smell - Boozy, orange peel and sugar.
Taste - Very boozy, alcohol, some malt and lots of sweetness.
Mouthfeel - Thick, full body with a syrupy feel.
Drinkability - Too sweet and boozy, not very drinkable, especially for a white. The alcohol isn't merely unmasked, it's prominent and overpowering.

Photo of chaz410
3.44/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Sam Adams boston lager glass.
Pours a dark amber with a thin white foamy head.
Smell is surprising. Very sweet belgian styled malts. Raisens, dates, prunes, belgian yeast typical background. Has little spicey notes and virtually no real hops on the nose. I was surprise how much belgian malt was on this nose though!
Taste is less impressive when compared to the nose. Spicier with notes of raisen and belgian sugar. Good alcohol finish. Honestly better than I expected from Sam Adams (when purchased here in NC).
Good drinkability with respect to the alcohol.

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Samuel Adams Imperial White from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 1,269 ratings.