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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

1,234 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,234
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,234 | Reviews: 639 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of edchicma
edchicma

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +13%

Pours an orange yellow with decent initial head..good lacing. This bottle indicates 10.3 abv and it expresses itself in this manner. COuld this be classified as a wheat wine? Smell is barleywine-like with deep elements and a distinct alcohol presence. In the taste area malt, corainder, floral, almost roselike qualityies come through in a thick blend that includes a distinct alcohol presence. Like many strong brews, the subleties become more appaent upon warming. Mouthfeel is warming, slightly viscuous, very substantial. Definitely a sipper, drinkability beacomes better upon warming.

02-25-2009 00:04:48 | More by edchicma
Photo of BDIMike
BDIMike

Ohio

3.85/5  rDev +11.6%

Pours a dark golden, orange color that is very cloudy with what looks like some suspended yeast. There is a thin white head at the pour, but it dissipates fairly quickly.
In the nose you are immediately hit with a very strong orange and coriander smell. After that, there is a nice fresh wheat smell also.
The taste is much stronger than the smell. The taste starts with the subtle orange, coriander, and spice taste of the regular Sam Adams White, but then hits with a very strong punch of alcohol taste.
Mouthfeel has a nice amount of thickness to it, especially for a wheat ale. The beer is smooth on the tongue, but after the sip it leaves a harsh alcohol burn in your throat.
Sam Adams Imperial White is a nice beer that is definitely worth trying, as I have never had anything quite like it. It has a nice appearance and aroma and a very interesting taste. The drinkability, however, is not that great. This is a nice beer to buy a 4-pack and split with three buddies because it has a nice taste and is definitely worth trying. Because of the harsh alcohol burn in the beer, though, it would be hard to have more than one or two of these.

02-23-2009 23:59:22 | More by BDIMike
Photo of BMoney575
BMoney575

Texas

3.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Sampled on 2-22-09
10.3% ABV

Pours a deep golden color with a filmy head. Clingy lacing forms in thin rings.

Smell is very sweet, almost frosting-like. Tons of orange/lemon aroma, with a little spice.

Taste is extremely sweet, with the only relief coming from the alcohol near the end.

Mouthfeel is good, super thick with low carbonation.

Drinkability is poor, sweetness and abv are a deadly combo.

Overall, I'll have to get a couple more and see what some cellar time will do.

02-22-2009 21:13:49 | More by BMoney575
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev +2.3%

Cloudy orange-amber color. Very small head, particularly for the style. Light spotty lace on the glass.

Fresh raw wheat aroma with a strong dose of yeast. Notable alcohol in the background.

Starts off smooth and alcohol oily. The flavors of wheat are muted. In fact, the most distinctive aspect is sour, citrus flavor. The aftertaste is all alcohol. Overall, not my cup of tea (or beer that is).

02-22-2009 19:17:43 | More by smcolw
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Served in my Weihenstephaner glass. Poured a hazy orange with gold highlights around the edges when backlit. Quarter inch white head was embedded with tiny bubbles. Some strands of lacing were revealed on the tilt side of the glass. Nose was yeast, corriander, orange peel, bubblegum and bananna esters. Taste consistent with nose, but maltier than anticipated, as well as some booziness. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied and lively with some slickness. In terms of drinkability, I've never had an imperial white. It was a decent brew and flavorful; however, not as refreshing as your typical witbier.

02-22-2009 18:50:00 | More by Jwale73
Photo of erosier
erosier

Connecticut

3.63/5  rDev +5.2%

L: Pours a nice amber-orange-yellow color with a medium sized and thin white colored head that laces the glass nicely all the way down.
S: Smells of sweet malts, wheat, orange, coriander, and a big alcohol whiff at the end.
T: Tastes of sweet wheat malts, nice amounts of orange and coriander, then a big alcohol kick at the end. I was not expecting this much alcohol, but it was certainly prevalent.
M: Somewhat smooth, sharp from the alcohol, and the perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Pretty drinkable, if the alcohol was masked more it would be a bit better, but overall this was something I never expected from Sam Adams, and I am glad they did this beer.

02-22-2009 14:36:51 | More by erosier
Photo of GilGarp
GilGarp

Colorado

3.6/5  rDev +4.3%

Picked up a single to check out this "imperial white" beer not knowing entirely what to expect.

Pours into the curvy Samuel Adams glass. It has a very cloudy, almost murky, orange color. Almost no head develops even though I try to provoke it in the pour. The 1/4" that does form is gone quickly. Some lacing is left behind.

Aroma is sweet with a definate banana smell. Certainly reminds me of a Belgian style ale yeast but not a good one.

Flavor is mostly sweet with a slight spiciness to it. Lots of ripe fruit including bananas, apples and pears.

Mouthfeel is too thick and syrupy for my tastes.

A wit should be more crisp. I understand this is a really big wit but it sort of misses the point. I wanted big flavor, lots of spice and citrus. This comes across too heavy and thick. Not enjoyable and not worth seeking out.

02-22-2009 05:30:00 | More by GilGarp
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
JoeyBeerBelly

New York

3.73/5  rDev +8.1%

4oz pour from a 12oz bottle at Big Z's SA tasting on 2/21/09

L - clear orange color with a white head that fell to a light layer.

S - citrus fruit and wheat aromas, orange, lemon tropical fruits.

T - coriander mixed with a sweet wheat malty flavor, moderate bitterness on the finish.

F - medium bodied with mild carbonation

D - a nice treat, but not for sessioning.

02-22-2009 01:19:14 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of Nizinski
Nizinski

Illinois

3.65/5  rDev +5.8%

Grabbed this at the store, not quite knowing what to expect from this. I have had Wheat Ale before, not always a big fan always hit or miss..

Pours cloudy as normal. Very small head, very minor lacing. Served at about 50f. Smell is much like other wheats I have had, I can smell the booze in this one. Also smells like spices, banana other fruits I cant pinpoint.

Taste is good. I wasnt expecting to like this really. Banana flavor is very much in there. This tastes like a banana beer to me, with wheat. I can taste the booze, as expected from the smell. Not a lot of carbonation

This is very easy to drink for being such high ABV, in fact I think I drank it to fast. This is a pretty cool beer I think it was worth the money trying, cant say I will buy more. 4 (pack) is much more then I would ever need.

I'm glad I picked up just one. Samuel Adams I think your great for giving other styles a try, even if each beer dont get rave reviews I respect that. I really wanted one of the other Imperial Series but this is all they had.

02-21-2009 22:28:11 | More by Nizinski
Photo of Liverpool08
Liverpool08

Massachusetts

3.55/5  rDev +2.9%

I definately would not call this a Witbeer. But its a great addition to the Sam Adams collection.

Nice white head that decreases to a thin layer. Plenty of lacing. First sip is quite powerfull! The 10.3 ABV really hits you, but the more you sip the easier it gets. The nose is also a bit alchoholic. A unique dark orange color. Nice feel in the mouth, not like a Witbeer, but pretty clean.

Overall a unique and nice addition to the Sam family.

02-21-2009 21:35:52 | More by Liverpool08
Photo of PatrickJR
PatrickJR

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +11%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

Sam Adams Imperial White is a little difficult to rate because of it's status as "imperial witbier" but I have tried to review accordingly.

A - Not white at all, more of clear, orangish amber. Two fingers of head rise initially but fade somewhat quickly and settle to nothing, no lacing, likely due to the high ABV.

S - Wow, this smells much more like a wit than I'd expected! Moderately strong overtone of coriander rides on huge fruity wheat aromas. Lots of citrus is packed in here as well (orange and lemon) with an ample tropical fruit-like sweetness. Touchs of chalky aroma are noted as well.

T - Coriander mixes with a very sweet wheat malt flavor that tastes like a combination of orange, banana, vanilla, and pineapple. No tangy or musty/chalky flavor as in some Belgian examples of the style, just a pleasant and complex fruit flavor. Coriander continues after the sweetness fades and mid to late palate there's a briney flavor going making for an interesting contrast against the huge sweetness. Salt and spice quickly spiral into a rather sudden burst of alcohol, contributing a mild to moderate bitterness and finishing things clean.

M - Not something I'm used to in a wit...I can't tell if it works for this brew or not. Solid medium body to be sure, thinning out near the end of the sip. Carbonation is moderate to low, giving this beer a dessert like character.

D - To put "imperial" and "witbier" in the same sentence seems a bit paradoxical, but Sam Adams has managed to make such a thing quite drinkable. The noticable alcohol gets a little annoying after a bit but the rich flavors more than compensate. Probably not the crisp, refreshing beverage one will reach for after a day outside, but definitely a beer worth tasting and exploring.

02-21-2009 08:53:19 | More by PatrickJR
Photo of KBoudreau66
KBoudreau66

Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev +11.6%

Pours amber colored with some carbonation and two fingers or rough looking white head that will dissipate to a thin layer. Leaves white lacing down the glass. Not a typical look for a witbier.

Smell: sweet malts, alcohol, bananas, copper and undertones of orange.

Taste: up front is sweet malt, bananas and alcohol. There are undertones of orangey citrus and there is a copper taste to it that I couldn't help but notice. It tastes better then the smell.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonated. Nothing like a typical witbier that is light bodied and more fizzy.

It's a drinkable brew. Not your typical belgian wheat by any means. It's better then I was expecting it to be. It's worth trying, and if you don't like it at first you may find yourself enjoying it more and more as you continue to drink it.

02-21-2009 07:00:55 | More by KBoudreau66
Photo of david131
david131

California

4.15/5  rDev +20.3%

Bottle says 10.3% ABV

A- A fairly cloudy orange liquid with some nice ruby hues and a splotchy white head. Surprisingly dark for the style, but it looks awesome. It doesn't get any better than this.

S- Bubble gum, clove, bananas, candy. Very sweet with just a touch of alcohol. My friend put it best by comparing it to Alpha Kong.

T- Banana, clove, bananas, clove, cotton candy, alcohol. Not nearly as boozy as I was expecting. This is actually pretty sweet and complex. Very nice.

M- A little burning from the alcohol, as well as some dryness. Very clean in the aftertaste.

D- A surprisingly solid beer that doesn't really drink like it's 10.3%. Just as soon as I get used to and bored with Samuel Adams, something like this comes along. Try it.

02-21-2009 05:33:02 | More by david131
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

3.58/5  rDev +3.8%

Pours a golden amber color with a two-finger head that recedes to leave some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is strong with the hints of coriander and orange peel in the nose. Nice and malty for a change too. Some alcohol detected in the nose.

Taste is strong with a profound alcohol burn at first that's followed by coriander and orange peel. Some sweetness in the middle. A second sip confirms much of the same.

Mouthfeel is quite thick and full of orange peel and has a slight alcohol burn to it. Definitely needs some aging.

I'm not sure what to think of this beer. Witbiers are usually better when they are lower in alcohol but to be honest, this beer isn't that bad. It just needs some aging and it's still a bit tolerable when fresh. There simply aren't that many examples of double whites (I've honestly only had 2 or 3) and again, I'm not sure if it's a style that benefits from higher ABV.

Regardless, this beer is worth a try at least once. I suggest buying 1 bottle instead of a full 4 pack to see if you like it or not.

02-21-2009 03:57:50 | More by Brad007
Photo of Tarheels4life
Tarheels4life

North Carolina

2.4/5  rDev -30.4%

Appearance: Orange in appearance with a nice two finger head.
Smell: Like fruit roll-up
Taste: Like a fruit roll-up so not very good.
Mouthfeel: Starts with a taste of fruit roll-up and ends with an alcohol aftertaste.
Drinkability: One is definitely enough it is too sweet and just not that great.

Overall just not that great, sort of feel like i got gypped here.

02-21-2009 03:05:46 | More by Tarheels4life
Photo of Goliath
Goliath

Illinois

3.15/5  rDev -8.7%

Pours a hazy, light amber color with a one inch creamy, off white head. Good retention and some nice soapy lace.

The aroma is decent. Some citrus can be found, but I'm not finding any corriander in the nose. It is sort of boozey though with a phenolic bite.

The taste is ok. A good bit of citrus comes through, but again it seems like it's lacking on the corriander. It's phenolic, too boozey.

Mouthfeel is pushing full bodied and it's lightly carbonated.

Drinkability is moderate. The flavor profile isn't as intense as I would have liked, which leads to a bit of difficulty in the ease of consumption because of the strong alcohol presence. It's not bad, but chalk up another disappointment for Boston Beer Co. for me.

02-21-2009 01:34:06 | More by Goliath
Photo of DannyS
DannyS

New York

3.85/5  rDev +11.6%

Served in a Duvel Tulip glass, poured from a 12 oz. bottle.

A - An unexpected cloudy orange color, very little head.

S - Very strong oak, almost whiskey-like aroma backed up by citrus and spice

T - My first few sips yielded a vicious alcohol attack on my taste buds, but i let it sit for a minute to open up and warm up a tad, and I was rewarded with an intriguing malty sweetness, once again backed up with orange and coriander.

M - Feels almost syrupy on the tongue, yet still smooth, with slightly less carbonation than the norm.

D - 10.3% ABV does not a repeat drinking beer make. Add that to its consistency, and this is not one you want to drink several of in a sitting. You'll easily finish the bottle, but you won't want another.

Overall - A unique entry into the world of Witbiers. If Blue Moon is for the wheat neophyte, this one's for the witbier aficionado looking for a challenge. I'm probably going to cellar the rest of the bottles that i have...well, after I go lie down for a bit.

02-21-2009 01:13:50 | More by DannyS
Photo of TripleTwenty
TripleTwenty

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev +11.6%

The store I go to just got the Imperial Series in yesterday.

A: Darker then I expected for a Wit, pours a dark orange but not quite an amber color with a bit of cloudiness. One finger of head that dissipated quickly.

S: Smells of sweetness, malt, a hint of coriander and alcohol.

T: Malt/sweetness but well balanced for the ABV. They hide the alcohol well for a 10.3% but you still are able to taste it. Able to get a touch of the coriander.

M: Medium body and very smooth with little to medium dryness.

D: This beer was actually much sweeter then I expected and I am going to let two of them mature for a while before I try them again. This is a Witbier and I did not grasp much of the Witbier in it. I would have liked to see more taste of coriander in the beer but overall a decent beer.

02-20-2009 18:23:33 | More by TripleTwenty
Photo of u2carew
u2carew

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev +8.7%

(A) Redish orange color. Hazy with visible carbonation. Pours with a mellow head of foam then settles quickly.
(S) Wheaty aroma, some spice and sweet notes.
(T) Sweet malt with a wheat aftertaste. Hints of dried cherries.
(M) Thick, syrupy feel... like port or cough medicine.
(D) Drink it slow, and it will grow on you.

02-18-2009 22:44:22 | More by u2carew
Photo of pwsoldier
pwsoldier

Texas

3.45/5  rDev 0%

A - Pours a cloudy copper with a thin off-white head that dissipates fairly quickly. It still manages to leave a small amount of lacing though.

S - Kinda boozy, though there's plenty of citrus (orange) and coriander in there, with some spice to mix things up a bit.

T - Quite a bit more boozy than the smell. Lots of alcohol on the palate. It's kinda distracting. The citrus, coriander, and spice still come through though.

M - Full-bodied, kinda creamy, and somewhat dry in the finish. Carbonation does a good job of keeping if from being too rich.

D - Not the best double-white I've had, but it's easy enough to drink. The alcohol is fairly obvious on the palate, but it doesn't creep up on you very much.

02-17-2009 07:14:13 | More by pwsoldier
Photo of PBoegel
PBoegel

New York

3.05/5  rDev -11.6%

12 oz bottle, poured into a Tulip. Bottle says abv 10.3%, no freshness date.

I was thinking Wit and this beer pours on the amber side of orange with a nice but fairly quickly receding head. Looked for some effervescence and there was very little even with nucleation points in glass.

The aroma is somewhat syrupy and spicy, very much grains of paradise and some coriander character, some slight peppery notes. Very boozy and floral like alcohol too, and some slightly fusel like notes.

Taste is very messy and thick, too much going on with spices and the body is very cloying. Some fusels mix in with this to make it hard to drink.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and somewhat oily like a good wit but with almost too much depth.

Not something I could really see seeking out often, this was an interesting beer to mix into their new imperial series but it lacks the character and dimension of a great beer.

02-16-2009 18:02:22 | More by PBoegel
Photo of markman
markman

Connecticut

2.93/5  rDev -15.1%

Now, I'm a big fan of witbiers. And this ain't your Daddy's witbier, imperial or otherwise.

Clear orangey brass with a tight head. And a malty almost doppelbock like aroma leaps from the glass.

At first taste there was a cider like quality to it ...and quite big-bodied for the style. I'm thinking doppelbock with a heavy twist of unidentified spiciness.

I'll tell you what it puts me in the mind of. Several years ago now, Southampton Publick House fucked up a batch or two of it's renowned Grand Cru; after a bit of aging, some yeast issues resulted in an undesirable apple quality that was very distracting. And here it is again in this beer...and it is still quite undesirable to this reviewer.

I'm not sure what the intention was here. For me, the balance of the four-pack will find it's calling in the kitchen as a deglazer. There, it just may shine.

If you want an "Imperial White" experience, look to Southampton Double White...or, better still, Allagash Fluxus 2008.

Cheers...

02-15-2009 04:06:20 | More by markman
Photo of bigkahunas4
bigkahunas4

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -13%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip. Came out of the bottle a grapefruit color, settling in the glass a hazy brown. Okay retention on a white head, lacing was spotty. Aromas are similar to the SA heffy pepper, lemon grass, and banana peel.

Flavors are heavier than I anticipated. Lots of banana, some spiciness, a bit of straw, rounded out with some alcohol. Alcohol is hidden until the end, and then its flavors really take over the mouth. Mouthfeel is medium, smooth.

Lots of alcohol flavor that just isn't balanced out for a style like this. Certainly different, but not very refreshing. Probably won't seek this out again.

02-14-2009 21:18:03 | More by bigkahunas4
Photo of JordanChabot
JordanChabot

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +13%

Yes... an Imperial White....at 10% + abv. ... awesome..thank you Jimbo

A - pours a semi transparent golden color. Not as cloudy as I would expect for this style. about 3-4 inches of white head that fluffs up nicely.

S - the smell is full of butterscotch...caramelized banana...spices (nutmeg...hint of clove....allspice)...some alcohol

T- Sweet butterscotch and caramel notes with a whole bunch of spices. like the aroma... caramelized banana and brown sugar linger for a while with a finish of chewy glutenous bread, clove, and some alcohol. Theres something salty about this in the end I can't quite figure it out (help?)

M- The mouthfeel is big....reallly big. Very sticky and full bodied. This will leave its mark on your palate for a long time, but its not too syrupy or overbearing.

D - I mean, your not going to knock this back like the spring white ale or a blue moon, but....given the ABV this baby is very easy to drink. Still, I don't see myself getting through a 4 pack of these in a sitting.

Truly a unique beer...like nothing i have ever had. Awesome addition for Sam Adams....a real redeemer for not making the coffee stout.

02-14-2009 19:36:17 | More by JordanChabot
Photo of LiquorLockerVP
LiquorLockerVP

Rhode Island

4.38/5  rDev +27%

An imperial white ale? I am intrigued.

Appearance:
A murky copper color that looks less bright than I had expected. Alot of white ales Ive had are pretty orange looking, but this one is darker. Almost a dirty cider color. Very cloudy. Nice thick cup cake head that wouldnt stop growing. It was thick and dense, like frosting. As it receded it left lacing, and never truly cleared the beer's surface.

Smell:
Almost a mix of papya/mango/spiced rum. There is alot of fruit mated with a strong background of sweet, spicey malts. I was expecting the 10% to burn through but I am not picking up much alcohol sizzle. Well perhaps a bit on the deep nose pulls, but it is rather subtle.

Taste:
Mmm, really tastey. The sweet/spice is balanced with a thick flabby body so as not to be over the top. A bit of banana ester. The alchohol content is awesome in that it perfectly matches the sweetness and makes the brew both thick but palate cleansing. Sweetness skunk stripes down the tongue, while the back sides pings some bitter. A mild throb remains as the alcohol works the gums. Little to no aftertaste. I am a big fan, not the light fruit flavor I was expecting.

Moutful:
Feels fat in the mouth, carbonation getting pretty foamy during exploration. The bubbles are creamy, and the overall consistency is thick. The beer pulls in allakazam though, the thickness is quick sizzled away by the alcohol leaving a lightness that leaves you ready for more. Really nice.

Drinkability:
As I got to know this beer more, I decided it was much more drinkable than I originally thought. It has a ton of flavor, but isn't excess in its impact on the pallate and gut. I've let it sit a bit and open up, and it still retains its initial enjoyment on each pull. I think it would be a knockout with hot chinese orange chicken.

02-14-2009 16:51:59 | More by LiquorLockerVP
Samuel Adams Imperial White from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 1,234 ratings.