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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.
BA SCORE
79
okay

1,245 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,245
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: 1,245 | Reviews: 639 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

PittBeerGirl, Mar 09, 2009
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!

Dangerous, Mar 08, 2009
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.

allengarvin, Mar 08, 2009
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.

oriolesfan4, Mar 07, 2009
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.

NEhophead, Mar 07, 2009
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.

alexgash, Mar 07, 2009
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.

Monkeyknife, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of Kevuas
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".

Kevuas, Mar 06, 2009
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.

TheFightfan1, Mar 06, 2009
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.

treyrab, Mar 06, 2009
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.

tigg924, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of yelterdow
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.

yelterdow, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of Billolick
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

Billolick, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
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.

MrHurmateeowish, Mar 05, 2009
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.

NCSUdo, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of yourefragile
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.

yourefragile, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of nicnut45
4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a transparent amber color. Not cloudy like most wheat beers. Big bubble coco cola head thats fades into whispy lacing.

Smell: Bubble gum hits you first followed by a stong liqour scent, carmel sweetness.

Taste: Sweet, almost sherry like. A bit of subdued orange in the background. I wish there were a bit more hops in this one. Hops are a bit hard to recognize maybe Mt. Hood?

Mouthfeel: Its thick you know its there. Carbonation is light. Sweet favors linger on the cheeks and tounge after the swallow.

Drinkability: This is one high alcohol beer I could have a few of. The flavors arent too crazy and the booze is well hidden. I dont think I would ever buy it again though. But I admire Sam Adams for there adventurous spirit. You would never see the bud or miller do something like this even though they could easily afford too. Thumbs up to Sam Adams for serving something only a select few will buy.

nicnut45, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of atsprings
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Tulip glass at Flying Saucer, pours a nice crisp dark orange with a decent frothy head that diminishes to a thin layer. Aroma is some sweet malts and spice. The taste is a nice abundance of sweet fruit, coriander and yeast, very true to style. The beer is certainly a heavy sipper, but an enjoyable one. This is certainly a good beer for the style, one I'd certainly try again if the mood hits.

atsprings, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of pvllbum
4.18/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

So I picked this up the other day expecting the same from sam adams which to me is a very well crafted beer and I wasn't dissapointed. Poured a nice hazy orange and smelled like citrus. Taste was, to me, was in one word balanced. Nothing overtook another but you could taste it all. The malts and citrus and the nice alcohol buzz to it. Only knock I have on it is as it warmed it got a little too sweet but nothing undrinkable. Thumbs up to sam adams on another great beer.

pvllbum, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one poured beautifully and smelled great but it all went down hill from there.

Pours a deep cloudy orange with a thin whispy white head. Great lacing and small legs around the glass. The smell is wheat and orange with a hint of coriander. Some alcohol present in the smell. The taste is mostly wheat and orange. Not much of a coriander in there but a little. The alcohol is too much for this one. Making a witbier stronger, atleast in this case, does nothing for the beer. The alcohol takes over and the mouthfeel is oily from it. I would say the drinkability is low and this one could use a year or two in the cellar but I think that would only mellow the hotness and would probably not do much to the flavor of the beer.

CrazyMacHarris99, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of dananabanana
4.65/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: hazy orange. One-finger white head, pretty good retention. Strong lacing all around.

S: Smells wheaty immediately after opening, even from arms length. Bold citrus notes.

T: Mildly alcoholic tang. Citrus and spices. Bold and hearty. Lots of malt, wheat.

M: Nicely carbonated, slightly slick.

D: Very strong, took me a long time to drink and fully enjoy it. Definitely a big brew.

dananabanana, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of Haybeerman
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Hazy orange/copper color. Poured a 2 finger frothy white head with fari retention. Lacing sheeted down the glass.

S: Alcohol right up front. Clove spices and semi-sweet banana. Quite the balance between between the two.

T: Nice balance between wheat and malt. Along with big flavors, big alcohol. Orange, citrus zest and banana.

M: Full body. Balanced carbonation. Not a typical wit for sure; smooth, creamy, heavy bodied and big alcohol.0

D: Its an Imperial all right. This is not your summer-fun wit - more like one and done.

Haybeerman, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of CrellMoset
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of and split w/ dkachur - thanks! My portion poured into a tasting glass.

Appearance: Pours a transparent orange body, full of fine-bubbled and slow carbonation, indicative of a very thick beer. The one-finger head fades decently slowly for a witbier (especially one of this alcohol level) and leaves a nice, thick, sticky collar of lace.

Aroma: Dan said it best with "tropical fruit basket." Tons of pineapple, peach, heavier red grape notes, banana, cherry, and pear, mixed in with a light, neutral peppery note and - unfortunately - a slight hint of alcohol burn.

Taste: Thick, syrupy honey notes, cloves, white pepper, banana, pears, and the aforementioned alcohol, which is hot and spicy more than unpleasant. It still does detract from the other flavors, slightly, however. Just a very thick, syrupy, fruity beer.

Mouthfeel: Thick with plenty of fine-bubbled carbonation, making for a big, slightly cloying, milkshake-esque feeling beer. It's even and creamy, but very thick. Plenty of prickly, spicy alcohol, too.

Drinkability: This one's interesting. It's a good stab at a style that's hard to get right - the traditional witbier notes tend not to hide higher abv%s too well, so "imperial" renditions of it often fall flat. This one's even hotter than most, and though the array of flavors and notes it presents are nice, they're a) not very witbier-esque, IMO (more a Belgian Strong Pale) and b) don't do much to cover up the alcohol. That being said, this one's worth trying once. Hopefully, the SA Imperial Series will evolve in time as Koch gets more exposure to higher abv% brews.

CrellMoset, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of spointon
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into my Allagash tulip glass.

A= This ale poured a mildly cloudy orange/amber color. With an aggressive pour at warmer than fridge temp, the snow white head rose just 1/4" then quickly dropped to a very thin broken skim. Some minor lace on the glass.

S= At first sniff, I was surprised to find the aroma almost buried under the huge blanket of alcohol emanating from this brew. Wow. I had to blow across the rim of the glass to remove the alcohol vapor and then I could detect a rich blend of malty and fruity sweetness and a mix of spices. Over time this alcohol vapor thing lessened to reveal more of the beer's quality.

T= The flavor has big alcohol running throughout, but also shows a strong bit of coriander and nutmeg as well as peaches, tangerines, honey, and a generally bready malt sweetness. Finish is on the heavy side and sweet but leaves a pleasant aftertaste.

MF= Bigger medium body with just a moderate carbonation level. Sort of a tongue-coater though.

D= I was really challenged by this beer at first, but as I got to know it I liked it more and more. On the surface, its way darker than one should ever expect a "white" ale to be. It is also a bit sweet and heavier than you would expect, but that is the nature of "Imperial" I guess. Ultimately, this beer needs to sit in the glass for 10-15 minutes before drinking and in my opinion at that time it is an enjoyable sipper. I couldn't do more than two of these in a night though.

spointon, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This might be the most visually attractive beer I've ever had. Served in a pilsner glass, the beer was a hazy red/orange color with a thick white head and plenty of lacing. Spicy orange aroma, like those Christmas ornaments stuck with cloves. Mostly citrus (orange) taste, faint spice, and malt. But way too sweet! Cloyingly sweet. One and done.

lordofthewiens, Mar 01, 2009
Samuel Adams Imperial White from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 1,245 ratings.