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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.

1,251 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,251
Reviews: 640
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 19.71%
Wants: 25
Gots: 54 | 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: 1,251 | Reviews: 640 | Display Reviews Only:
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"

Murchmac, Mar 21, 2009
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.

jdubjacket, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of maskednegator
2.88/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

maskednegator, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of Gump
4.6/5  rDev +33.3%
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.

Gump, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of Buebie
4.35/5  rDev +26.1%
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.

Buebie, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of Aenema
2.35/5  rDev -31.9%
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.

Aenema, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of chaz410
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

chaz410, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.43/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

10.3 ABV batch.

Nose is full of fruit perfume, soft spice, and an-almost bubblegum sweetness. Smells quite good.

Pours a dark butterscotch color, no clarity, mildest of heads that was creamy while it lasted. Looks pretty good - maybe good, on account of the alcohol.

Mmm. Beautiful manifestation of the fruit perfume from the nose blended with supple fruit sweetness, quenching tartness, and spicy goodness. Good, strong notes of strawberry and banana with perhaps pineapple or orange, some mango, and guava. Nebulous spice tantalizes the olfactory without ever landing solidly on any one aroma receptor. And then there's the smooth, creamy body of a lightly carbonated, heavily-syruped, fruit-based frozen drink that's melted. In fact, I could imagine this as a mixed drink - especially with all the tropical fruit flavors. Banana is the most peculiar, and I love a good bananay wheat ale. What an amazing body - it get's creamier with each sip I tell you! Finishes with a funky tropical vibe. No alcohol noticeable. Tastes great. Feels wonderful.

Hands down the best Witbier style beer I've had. What's wrong with extreme? It's beautiful.

MrHungryMonkey, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of CMW
2.38/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Pours a semi-cloudy dark copper color with bright white head. Retention quickly fades and leaves a small ring with light lacing.

S - Smells of vanilla, orange peel, and alcohol.

T - Not great. Can taste malt, orange peel, and coriander but they are all dwarfed by the alcohol.

M - Creamy with medium carbonation, somewhat velvety on the pallate.

D - The alcohol is too strong to make this drinkable.

CMW, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of Gehrig
4.4/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The ABV listed on the bottle is 10.3%, not 9%.

Rich amber body with a finger of tan head atop it, not what I expected at all from a Witber. The color is almost bock-like, and beautiful. Good, malty nose full of caramel, chocolate, light coffee, and berry--wow. Terrific taste, sweet from the berry with a sour finish, malty and smooth--excellent. With the nice effervescence, honestly, this drinks like a fine Dubbel. It reminds me of a less complex, somewhat toned-down Ommegang. It's outstanding.

The high ABV makes this somewhat of a sipper, but this is more than worthy. Thus far, it just may be my favorite from Sam's Imperial Series, and my favorite Witbier. It's a jacked-up, sensational offering. Very fine.

Gehrig, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of rye726
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a medium brown with a tan head. Nice looking bale, but in no way resembles a witbier. Nose has wheat malts, citrus fruits, subtle hops, alcohol and herbs. The taste is also quite sweet with an unbalanced alohol presence and various summer spices. Medium body is poorly carbonated. Not a bad beer, just not my idea of a witbier. Still enjoyable. About what I expect from Sam Adams.

rye726, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of Pagzzz
2.9/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

4-pack of 12oz bottles $11.99

Aroma: blast of alcohol and spices, lots of bitter orange peel and phenolic spiciness.

Appearance: oddly orange colored, not white like a witbier. Firm 1 finger head that fades very quickly. Hazy.

Taste: strong alochol crushes some of the malt character ... but not the spices which seem to be elevated to overcome the alcohol. witbier character gets lost in a perversion of the style. At 10.3% ABV it is just too strong ... an 8% version might have let the softer wheat base style character through.

Mouthfeel: Very thick and sweet, almost underattenuated ... which is hard to imagine considering the 10% ABV. Strongly alcoholic.

Overall, a dissapointing attempt at an innovative style. Try making it a little smaller next time.

Pagzzz, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of zsk
2.42/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This was a complete disappointment.

It is slick and sickeningly thick. Not good thick like a Russian Imperail Stout. Thick like Karo syrup.
Nothing in this beer says Witbier to me. It's hopefully one of the last "MAKE THIS BITCH AS STRONG AS WE CAN" beers. No wit, no nothing good.

zsk, Mar 18, 2009
Photo of yossarian14
2.42/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Listed as 10.3% on bottle. Sam Adams Imperial White claims to "push out the boundaries of a witbier" I had trouble finding anything witbier"ish" about it.

There is nothing refreshing about this beer. It is darker, heavier and more syrupy than a witbier, imperial or not, should be. It has the characteristics of a BSPA, but its all muddled. The sweetness is sticky and overwhelming and the astringent alcohol flavor lingers.

I am disappointed, to say the least.

I've had DFH's Red & White and at 10% it is much better.

yossarian14, Mar 18, 2009
Photo of Blakaeris
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy copper-orange with a thick creamy head.

Aroma is grainy caramel malt, banana and lemon. Undefined spices with a definite alcohol astringency.

Taste is initially very malty and sweet as the nose suggested. Plenty of citrus fruit - orange, pear, and apple. Honey, and a touch of coriander and peppery spice. Alcohol has a big boozy presence throughout.

Mouthfeel is full, thick and silky.

I didn't know what to expect from an 'Imperial' wit. I thought the flavor was very balanced and smooth. Alcohol comes on a little hot, but I felt it brought out a nice counterpoint to the broad range of sweet fruit notes. Spice has a subtle, understated presence. Pretty good stuff.

Blakaeris, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of soulgrowl
2.7/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: There's nothing white about this one. Bold and quite dark orang, hazy and difficult to see through with a white-ish head with good retention.

Smell: Pleasantly bold and fruity, with lots of orange peel, soapy lemon, and spicy coriander plus sweet grapes, strawberries, limes, caramel, and white wine in the background. There is also a hefeweizen-esque banana tone, plus plenty of alcohol with a suggestion of Malibu.

Taste: Very boozy and quite sweet, and frankly there is little to distinguish it as a "white" beer of any kind as opposed to just an ordinary Belgian strong ale. Apple, honey, and brown sugar are detectable, along with a cool alcohol edge, but where's the nuance? Where's the white beer zest? Nowhere, that's where.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, dry, and clean - very good.

Drinkability: I am not really impressed with this beer. What is the point? Ordinary witbiers are both more interesting and more refreshing. This tastes like a not-so-good version of Chimay red. Disappointing.

soulgrowl, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of Crosling
1.9/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Bottled.. Twelve ounce. Dark orange colored ale, with a large, creamy white head. Nose is strange, very sweet, fruity, coconut, ginger-ale like, just awful. Flavor is sweet, strong & fruity, with out a lot of body or finesse. Just awful in every way.

Crosling, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half inch of thick and creamy sun drenched cloudy white head. Beer looks like an orange creamsicle, a wonderful cloudiness, very thick with some nice legs. heavd could stand to stick around a bit longer though.

Fat and thick aroma, heavy, could be overpowering and a bit off putting to some out there I imagine. It is quite sweet, cream soda, orange cream soda, coriander and some bubble gum dusted in sugar. Shit is heavy and thick. Just the slightest bit overpowering.

Thick and creamy opening, suprisingly alcoholic for a witbeer, a heaviness that I was not expecting and barely prepared for even after having one of these before. Quite sweet, sugary, alcoholic, candied orange slices, coriander, not much banana, candy vanilla (read, fake or manufactured) lots and lots of bubble gum, wow, almost too much, I feel like I may be missing something, a bit too one dimensional.

Above average for a wit, but a bit too much, sort of clouding what wits are all about, but then again, I have to get used to change. I'm sort of a closet fan of this beer.

bluemoonswoon, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of jbphoto88
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazed orange color with an off white head that fades pretty quickly. This beer seems to be a little to dark to be an imperial white. I expect witbier's to be the color of corn silk and even though this is an imperial its more pale ale or IPA-ish in color.

The smell is true to style. Spiced wheat with a nice underlying tone of orange. That distinct Belgian style yeast is present giving that familiar bready bubblegum note.

Taste is over sweetened in the long run but there is a nice bouquet of flavors. Candied oranges with a subtle spice and a wheat backbone. The flavors are masked by a thick syrupy feel that washes over the palate and leaves mostly the fruity, yeasty flavors.

Not a great example of a witbier. The right smells and tastes are subtly there but they seem over processed and unrefined. The one positive in this brew is a nice smooth mouthfeel. Despite the syrupy feel it is cool and coats your mouth nicely, while masking the 9% ABV.

jbphoto88, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of Slatetank
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

shared this with tenderbranson69, poured chilled into a sampler
A - A pale/light copper w/ thin white cap, bubbles slowly rise. Gentle haze, thick white coats the glass

S - Like bread, honey and melons w/ celery odor and high alcohol presence in the nose

M - Strong heat, sweet texture -almost viscous w/ mild spice and high carbonation for the strength

T - A bit like cough syrup in strength at first w/ alcohol flavor followed by wheat and mild fruity/tropical flavor which improves as it warms w/ more malty flavor and mild spice

D - A strong tasting beer and bold - I would recommend sampling with food. It seems a bit intense for my taste @ 10.3% to really be considered drinkable. I like it but this doesn't hide the alcohol well. Not an every day beer, perhaps shared or as a nightcap best suits this.

Slatetank, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of bashiba
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured a dirty amber with a thick off white head.

The smell had a light sweet fruity smell with hints of citrus.

The flavor is super sweet with a big fruity flavor, heavy orange citrus and alcohol taste along with a bit of coriander and other spices.

The mouthfeel is thick and warm and a bit cloying.

Overall way to sweet and fruity, a little bit goes a long way.

bashiba, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of StrangeBrewer76
4.2/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear golden-straw color into a tulip glass. Head is minimal but with a solid white ring and cirrus clouds wisping in the middle, by all appearances, this looks flawless. A gentle swirl generates a perfectly creamy and uniform 1 finger head that lingers and laces as fine as any I've ever experienced.

Fruity fruity fruity in the smell. Pear, apple, muscat, raisin. Cinnamon or some other spice swirls around there too. Very good.

Taste is very slightly cloying but sweet for sure. It's thick for a witbier but Imperial white is an apt title. I'm tasting the orange as the sneaky 9% makes it's way to my cerebral cortex. All of the smells come through in the taste but less than the scent may lead you to think. I'm really liking the taste of this beer. As a result of trying this I will seek out more witbiers.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with minor foamy bubbling making it smooth and rich. It finishes sweet then dries up like the first drops of a summer rain on a hot blacktop road.

Drinkability is decent considering the gravity but at the ABV is what knocks it down a bit. It's a good thing that this only comes in a four pack because more than 2 at a time would be a waste.

I will definitely buy this again to share with friends and family who may enjoy it and I'll have some too.

Cheers to SA for their Imperial series. They know the market and they certainly know beer!

StrangeBrewer76, Mar 15, 2009
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.

tnip23, Mar 14, 2009
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.

BeerSox, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of BirdFlu
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.

BirdFlu, Mar 13, 2009
Samuel Adams Imperial White from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 1,251 ratings.