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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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1,268 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,268
Reviews: 642
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: 1,268 | Reviews: 642
Photo of CMW
2.43/5  rDev -29.6%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of Pagzzz
2.93/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

Photo of zsk
2.43/5  rDev -29.6%
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.

Photo of yossarian14
2.43/5  rDev -29.6%
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.

Photo of Blakaeris
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Photo of soulgrowl
2.8/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

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.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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.

Photo of bashiba
3.02/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

Photo of StrangeBrewer76
4.23/5  rDev +22.6%
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!

Photo of tnip23
4.38/5  rDev +27%
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.

Photo of BeerSox
2.41/5  rDev -30.1%
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.

Photo of BirdFlu
3.62/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of Mitchster
4.17/5  rDev +20.9%
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.

Photo of kshankar
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of PSUBeerman
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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.

Photo of jwinship83
3.32/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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.

Photo of Dangerous
4.38/5  rDev +27%
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!

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Samuel Adams Imperial White from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 1,268 ratings.