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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.

1,229 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,229
Reviews: 639
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 19.71%
Wants: 25
Gots: 51 | 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: 1,229 | Reviews: 639 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tnip23


4.4/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I suppose i should not be surprised by some of the more negative reviews as for the most part they are from those who see the SA name and relegate it to the lower echelon of craft brews. This beer however is exactly what it claims to be. When I a imagine a imperial white, I expect all the great characteristcs of the true greats of the style, such as hoeggarden, amplified. That is what SA imperial white is, a fruity spice bomb with high alcohol, a wonderful mouthfeel and a winning finish. There are many SA creations i don't favor, but this one is a winner, if you are being honest in your review.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2009 20:34:26 | More by tnip23
Photo of BeerSox


2.35/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into nonic.

Deep and cloudy burnt orange hue with a one finger light tan head that settles to a razor thin and smooth cap.

Caramel malts, along with a bit of raisin and cinnamon. A bit of orange peel in there as well.

The alcohol is way too noticeable in this beer, especially for the style. More raisin that gives way to some toasty malts toward the end. I could almost say this tastes salty...

Sam Adams should go back to the drawing board on this one, or maybe just leave this style as a crisper refreshing type beer. I'm definitely not impressed with this one, as the drinkability is so low from the alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2009 23:20:59 | More by BeerSox
Photo of BirdFlu

New Jersey

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

My first taste of this was at EBF 09, but seeing as I had already been to the 3F, Founders, DFH, and Lost Abbey tables I didnt think my initial reaction (disappointment) was accurate.. luckily (sort of, i guess) I found a single of it and got a second introduction. Smells faintly of oranges and bananas, nothing striking though not bad. Pours a dark orangish/amber color with a white head that dissipates quickly.. it basically resembles your average yuengling or such.. The taste is citrusy, the orange and coriander are certainly there but no where NEAR the presence they have in, say, DFH red&white.. Its fruity but a bit creamy as well, much more like a tripel than witbier, again: good not great. The mouth is surprisingly moderate and sort of thick. Its got a sweet presence in he mouth and the ABV is certainly there. Its better than your average finds and its certainly got a full flavor that isnt bad, but its not amazing.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2009 14:18:12 | More by BirdFlu
Photo of Mitchster


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

$3.10 for a 12oz bottle @ Jack's. 10.3% ABV per the bottle. OG=24.6 Plato. Brewed with two-row Harrington, Metcalfe, and Malted wheat. Hopped with Hallertau Mittelfrueh.

Pours out to a cloudy, milky medium amber, forming a large creamy head with good retention and nice lacing. Carbonation is mild. The nose is very enticing and fresh with a potent orange peel and coriander nose, abundant malts, and tropical fruit esters. The mouthfeel is very soft and smooth with a dense, rich body. The taste opens with candied apples, rotting oranges, and spicy cloves, followed by potent coriander and a malty sweetness and big malt body. The finish is smooth with notes of pineapple and kiwi. The finish is lightly dry with very mild bitterness, but it still well-balanced. As it warms, the malts open up and become even more enjoyable.

This is a very good beer. I thought it would be hard to brew an Imperial Wit that would still be enjoyable and drinkable, but this fits the bill and Sammy has done it well. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2009 16:21:12 | More by Mitchster
Photo of kshankar

District of Columbia

3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured into my Hoegaarden glass..this has a deep orange/amber color to it and a creamy white head. Retention is pretty good.

Aroma: Spices and orange come off, but other than that not much else. Spices is coriander

Taste: Spices dominate from the beginning, along with an alcohol sensation that follows. Kind of a warming type. Strange. I don't taste too much of the citrus really. Tastes fine..imperial maybe. White? Not as much

Mouthfeel: Creamy and full body. Goes down well

Drinkability: Its not bad. Whether or not its a wit is up for debate..Southhampton makes a double white that's better, I'd say. Goes down well though, and its worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2009 03:31:43 | More by kshankar
Photo of PeprSprYoFace


3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a sort of semi viscous dark honey color with no head. Very little lacing.

Smells pretty sweet. Citrusy and belgainy smells come through with the sweet malt.

Tastes pretty sweet. Very malty. Not what I was expecting this being a wit beer. But I like how their thinking outside the box. It's a little too sweet for me. Not enough Belgian esters also.

Mouthfeel is pretty viscous for a wit beer. It needs more carbonation too.

Overall an ok beer but I don't think I'll buy it again. Maybe if I see it on tap or something. I'll let the rest age and try one once a year.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2009 02:26:01 | More by PeprSprYoFace
Photo of PSUBeerman


3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured in a wheat glass

pours in nice and thick with a hazy amber color and an orange tint. The head is thick and creamy, off white color. Lots of lacing left behind.

I was expecting more of an aroma, but I got the orange and spices. Also some alcohol aroma.

This is definitely thicker and more viscous than I first thought. There is some carbonation, but I would have liked a bit more.

The taste hit me pretty good. Again, more than I expected. The spices stand out most. The orange and fruitiness is also quite evident. Hints of malt. There is some alcohol in the taste, but not bad considering the ABV.

Pretty good overall, but the thickness is what would keep me from drinking more than 1 or 2 at a time.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2009 01:36:37 | More by PSUBeerman
Photo of dedrinker


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

I drank this beer. Its' kind of orange-amber in color with a uniformly dense off-white. beige head. cloudy? Overcast. Smells kinda citrusy and spicy. It tastes like a Saison sort of. It's imperial, but it aint white. Full smooth body. It finishes a little yeasty with mild jolly rancher citrus fruit. It's not bad. But I wouldn't bother with it again.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2009 03:30:11 | More by dedrinker
Photo of jwinship83


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

12oz bottle says 10.3% abv on it

A- alot darker than i was expecting. a murky dark amber colored body with a crown of beige colored head. i guess the extra malt in this one darkens the color a bit, but this one doesnt seem to fit the style.

S- lots of bready malts is the first thing i notice. some spices as well. coriander and orange peel. some noticeable alcohol in too.

T- lots of alcohol. lots of bready malt. some orange also. little bit of coriander.

M- thick and syrupy with a low level of carbonation. warms as it goes down.

D- a wit on steroids. probably not one ill visit again. my least favorite of the new samuel adams imperial series by far.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2009 05:11:27 | More by jwinship83
Photo of PittBeerGirl


3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Body is a slightly hazy dark golden to light copper hue. Pours with a hefty 3 finger+ head that eventually fades to 1/2 finger and leaves plenty of lacing behind in the glass. Cloudiness is light to medium (for a witbier) and uniform.

S- Nose is full of big bready yeast (though with American aromas), then coriander comes through along with orange and a slight phenolic presence.

T- Upfront the flavor is very light and the highlight is definitely coriander with a slight presence of orange and other citrus flavors and a pretty hefty bready yeast backbone. Coriander comes through a bit more for the finish as well as a nice floral hop flavor. What lingers is a balance of coriander, citrus, yeast, and hop flavors all wrapped in a warm alcohol blanket.

M- This is the best mouthfeel that I have come across in a Sam Adams brew thus far. Medium to high slightly tingly carbonation and a medium weight-yet full smooth creamy bready body.

D- This is a good offering from Sam Adams. My biggest complaint about it is the blatant American influence. I would have liked to have tasted more Belgian flavors-and at $4.25 a 12 oz bottle I think this would have been doable.

Aside from that- this is a well put together wheat beer. The overall impression is a mix of Sam Adams White and Leine's Sunset Wheat with an Imperial Flare. The ABV is noticeable but not intrusive. One I might have again-but the $ is a little bit high-certainly worth a try though.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2009 03:59:52 | More by PittBeerGirl
Photo of Dangerous


4.4/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Adams has created yet another fine brew here. This is a heavily malt flavored concoction that is reminiscent of a farmhouse saison that I brewed last year. I definitely get the banana that some of the other reviewers have noted along with some coriander and citrus. Pours nice and packs a big punch. Definitely not a session beer! Way to go Sam Adams!

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 22:32:40 | More by Dangerous
Photo of allengarvin


3.05/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass. This beer has a hazy orange-gold color. The head was slow to form, but after a moment, it was left with a dense, creamy half-inch on top. The aroma is sweet, with a light underlying spiciness. On first taste, the sweetness of this beer cloys the senses. The body is very heavy and full--the opposite of what any normal wit should be. There's coriander present, but it gets lost in the heavy malt and noticeable alcohol. It's really too much, and it's not enjoyable.

An imperial wit ought to be something like Celis's grand cru, very perfumy, strong, but light-bodied. This bastardization just doesn't work.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 06:44:29 | More by allengarvin
Photo of oriolesfan4


2.38/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Finally got around to trying some of the new SA Imperial Series. Bought a 4 pack for $8.99.

Pours a cloudy orange, small head to it with a small amount of patchy lacing. Smell is very spicy, also very boozy. Tastewise, nice body to it.. the spiciness really comes through here. A VERY strong alcohol kick to it as well... this tastes stronger than a DFH 120 minute. Any typical witbier characteristics are just over-matched by the spiciness and mixed-drink type alcohol flavor. Kinda bummed about this one, there is no flavor detectable besides the ethanol... too bad.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 19:57:30 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of NEhophead


2.33/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 fl oz brown bottle; served in a goblet. Alcohol by volume is listed on the label as 10.3%.

Pours a murky copper with highlights of hazy camel. Creamy, lightly off-white head that recedes to a thin sheet after a few moments. Delicate patches of lacing with decent strength.

Heavy, artificially sweet malt aroma with an intensely sharp, gaseous alcohol presence. Lemon solvency, but not much more in terms of citrus aromatics.

Very sweet candied sugar over a very delicate toasted malt base. Mild, citrus solvency. As in the aroma, the alcohol presence is overpowering and unforgiving. Once the alcohol presence clears the artificial sweetness, a weak adjunctory base of grains and thin malt appear. A train wreck regarding balance from the start.

Full bodied; bulky, gaseous, and slick. Diverse, intense flavors that have no semblence of textural balance.

At 10.3% abv, this 'witbier' is a bulky mess. Nothing refined, rounded, or drinkable about this offering. A concoction that should be pulled from Sam's lineup.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 18:07:27 | More by NEhophead
Photo of alexgash


3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle.

Glowing, pulpy, brassy-orange body. Little finger of whipped, creamy, beige head. Nice lacing. Nose shows off lots of tropical fruits, banana, banana rum, and yeast. Maybe a hint of spice in there as well. Toasted malts and banana puree up front. Tropical fruit sweetness follows, mixing with the banana flavors. Slight medicinal twang rides sidecar with these malts. Yeasty in the finish, along with subtle spices and orange/citrus zest. Full-bodied and thick, with an almost smoothie consistency. Warming, but not overly boozy for the abv. Not bad.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 02:49:23 | More by alexgash
Photo of Monkeyknife


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

Poured from the bottle a bright hazy gold with a healthy white head of foam.

Aroma of sweet malts, banana cream pie, Belgian yeast, and spices.

Very sweet banana and bubblegum flavors along with yeast, cinnamon, and booze. The 9% alcohol tickles the palate.

Medium bodied, sweet and sticky, with moderate carbonation.

This wit is too sweet for me and hard to really get into.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 01:59:42 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of Kevuas

New York

3.13/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer smacks you pretty hard in the nose and the palate. Sam Imperial White tried to do too much too fast. I found that it was almost offensively strong and full of flavors that did not blend well with me. Therefore I found it suffered on drinkability. Yet despite this, the flavors had a pleasant aftertaste. Upon finishing the bottle I felt very full, however, whether mentally or stomachally, nonetheless left me feeling a bit "too much".

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2009 02:22:55 | More by Kevuas
Photo of TheFightfan1


3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my new glassware from BA. Pours a cloudy light amber color with a nice white heading very small bubbles.

Smell is of corriander,banana,and lime. This one isn't light on the alcohol. Also after a bit a nice citrus hoppey smell.

Taste is very heavy with booze up front the nose is feint from the taste all I can taste is the alcohol.

Mouthful again very heavy but a nice light malty taste with an orange aftertaste.

This beer would be alot better if they toned down the alcohol and corriander. It might get better with age same as the double bock.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2009 01:48:25 | More by TheFightfan1
Photo of treyrab


2.98/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Glad to see the imperial serious at the local grocery store. Unfortunately I think I grabbed the wrong one of the three. Poured into my pint glass tonight...bottle says 10.3ABV...

A: Pours a very cloudy orange with a decent 1.5 finger eggshell white head. Doesn't look very impressive.

S: Smell is a bastardized Belgian with tons of coriander, orange peel and alcohol. A hint of macro cereal grains tops it off.

T: Taste is incredibly strong with orange peel and coriander spices with alcohol definitely noticeable. Definitely too strong with the alcohol and the flavors just do not mix.

D: One and done.

Overall, I am glad I tried this. I will not buy it again, but I still look forward to their other imperial series beers.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2009 00:30:47 | More by treyrab
Photo of tigg924


3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2009 14:46:09 | More by tigg924
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

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

From a recently purchased 4-pack, this will be served in a classic Belgian witbier glass at just over fridge temperature. Bottled on 1/26/09.

Appearance- This viscous, hefty brew pours a *much* deeper gold than any other wit I've seen... the weight alone in the glass is stupefying. Mostly clear with barely any haze, it supports a stubborn inch-thick bone white crown that sits firmly on top. Creamy lacing that chooses where and where it will not stick.

Smell- Huge coriander and orange popsicle nose... its absolutely massive presence brings with it some of the alcohol as well. The label states a 10.3% ABV.

Taste- While the flavor profile delivers a balanced showing of all ingredients and spices, this particular beer doesn't do all that well "imperialized". The alcohol heat is too far out front, contributing an unpleasant middle and finish to the taste. Samuel Adams' regular seasonal White Ale is so much better on all levels.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Foamy, slick, and just a wee bit aggressive... it works for this beer. The swallow is good, never letting down with regard to the smoother carbonation. This beer makes its presence felt for sure, and it will sock you if you're not careful. Not a winner in BBC's stellar lineup in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2009 03:56:49 | More by yelterdow
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2009 02:21:19 | More by Billolick
Photo of MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

4.18/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased at The Liquor Shop in Tyngsborro, Mass. Pours a hazy but clear red-amber with a short lived inch of off-white head that leaves some good lacing. Banana, clove, nut, spice all characterize the aroma, more reminiscent of a hefeweizen than a witbier really. Fruity sweet at first, with banana, nut, clove, pith, and a touch of citrus and some alcohol warming at the finish. Rich full body with moderate carbonation. A tasty smooth beer this is - a witbier or any sort of amped-up witbier this is not. Reminds me of a spiced hefeweizen. I like it though, and it's way better than Samuel Adams White, and one of Samuel Adams' better beers IMO. Not reviewing this for the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2009 01:11:18 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of NCSUdo


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

12 oz bottle

A: Deep, hazy copper under a small but think white head. Good lace and OK retention.

S: Very citus aroma, big orange mixed with some lemon zest. Some coriander mixed in with a sweet wheat character, but citrus is the story here and it's quite nice.

T: Sweet, very sweet, close to being too sweet. Citrus again dominates, but wheat plays a much bigger role than in the aroma. Bitter finish that is slightly off balance and a hint of coriander through out.

M/D: Full bodied, light carbonation. Good drinkability. A very tasty beer. The only real drawback I can find is that the taste is a little off balance from a big sweetness to a little bit too much bitterness in the finish. However, I still really like this beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2009 01:20:42 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle labeled at 10.3%, poured into a nonic

A: Clear copper orange color, with small amount of steady carbonation. Thick, dense off white head with decent retention and thick, sticky lacing.
S: Powerful smell of alcohol and sweet, fruit aroma. Mild peppery, coriander smell in background but alcohol and fruit dominate.
T: Hard to distinguish much of the flavor from the strong alcohol finish. There seems to be a strong wheat, banana like base hiding behind the alcohol but I'm picking up a very strong, medicinal like sweetness that is making this hard to appreciate for me.
M: Creamy, medium body with strong pinch of carbonation and finish is very warm and boozy.
D: Ehhh. This beer sort of reminds me of a Hoegaarden Grand Cru, trying to turn up everything in a witbier to "11", but the alcohol is just a little too out of control for me. The beer starts off like a nice flavorful wit, but then the alcohol dominates the finish.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2009 01:11:20 | More by yourefragile
Samuel Adams Imperial White from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 1,229 ratings.