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

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.

Nizinski, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of Liverpool08
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Liverpool08, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of PatrickJR
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

PatrickJR, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of KBoudreau66
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

KBoudreau66, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of david131
4.15/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

david131, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of Brad007
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Brad007, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of Tarheels4life
2.4/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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.

Tarheels4life, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of Goliath
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Goliath, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of DannyS
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

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.

DannyS, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of TripleTwenty
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

TripleTwenty, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of u2carew
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(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.

u2carew, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of pwsoldier
3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

pwsoldier, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of PBoegel
3.05/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

PBoegel, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of markman
2.93/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.


markman, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of bigkahunas4
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

bigkahunas4, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of JordanChabot
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

JordanChabot, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of LiquorLockerVP
4.38/5  rDev +27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An imperial white ale? I am intrigued.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

LiquorLockerVP, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of xxHelderxx
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured a semi hazy light brown with about 2 fingers worth of head (aggressive pour) which dissipated quickly. Pretty good lacing

The nose of this beer has a great deal of fruit and alcohol. The alcohol can actually be overwhelming if you really go in for a good sniff.

The taste of this beer is very orangey, the coriander/spice peeks through and there is a definite strong presence of alcohol in the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is a bit strange for me. If you think of other Witbiers like Blue Moon, Hoegarden etc they're all very refreshing and hit the spot on a warm day... I'm not sure I can see myself being refreshed with this beer due to the sheer alcohol taste. When you give this beer a try, exhale through your nose a second after swallowing, the alcohol for me carried right through my nostrils and actually stung a little bit.

For a fan of the imperial heavy-hitters, I'd say give it a shot because its still an interesting brew. However dont expect to chug it down like a Hoegarden or you might get yourself in trouble.

xxHelderxx, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of aerozeppl
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a deep golden almost honey like color. The white head quickly retreated to the rim of my tulip. There is some lacing and good retention of the little bit of head there is.

S: Tons of honey and sweetness with a hint of booze in the back. A touch of coriander and orange peel as well. By far the booziest smelling wit ever.

T: The orange peel is quite up front. Again a ton of sweetness. Maybe they used a little bit of honey to boost the ABV? It is super sweet. Booze runs throughout and it meshes with the sweetness in the finish.

M: For a "wit: this is super thick. Syrupy.

D: At 10.3% I would almost call this more of a wheatwine hybrid. It is boozy. I am enjoying it but the point of a wit is to sit on a hot day and have a few. Maybe they should market this as a winter wit.

aerozeppl, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of prototypic
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It's a light golden brown color with a lot of haze clouding the scene. It's topped with a tad off-white head that's about a finger and a half deep. It dissipated quickly and left a light, sticky coat of lace clinging to the glass.

Smell: The nose is lacking in strength. A little too much, truth be told. It is sweet and very sugary smelling. It features some citrus orange and lemon notes. Clove, orange peel and coriander spices are apparent. Smells earthy and grainy. Alcohol is noted. It seems pretty well blended for the abv. My bottle indicates it's 10.3%. A little more strength would go a long way here.

Taste: It's indeed very sweet and sugary. Almost too sweet. The spices are interesting in that they don't come across nearly as strong here. Sure, there's some evidence of clove, coriander, and orange peel, but it's far from prevalent. The wheat certainly gives it a grainy/earthy flavor. There's some light floral hops that emerge. They're very faint. Alcohol is very prevalent and runs a little too hot. The nose masked it pretty well, but that's not the case here. Finishes sweet and boozy.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It features a medium body, that borders thick. It's relatively smooth, but is hindered a little by high carbonation. Drinkability is above average, but not quite good. It's too hot, boozy, and abv at 10.3% limits it.

Imperial White's an intriguing beer. It's not bad, but it's far from great. The biggest problem is the alcohol. It's far too prevalent and too hot. If that could be worked out, it'd be dramatically improved. Perhaps the alcohol just needs to be 2% lower. It needs some work to say the least. But, it's definitely worth checking out.

prototypic, Feb 10, 2009
Photo of mtbbaboon
4.22/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I grabbed a four back of this upon seeing it in the Beer Store beer cooler. I poured a bottle into a tulip glass. Maybe not the right glass, but I like that glass. The appearance is a dark orange and very cloudy. An aggressive pour leaves a half inch head that settle quickly, leaving a ring and some light foam behind. Some light lacing after the first sip. Smells wheaty and spicy with a noticable citrus aroma. Kind of a mild aroma, but well balanced. The taste starts out somewhat sweet, but the spicyness follows quickly, fading to a bitterness. Kind of a tangy bite to it. A very good tasting beer. Medium body and slightly sticky. Mild carbonation. This is real easy to drink. Kind of hard to believe this is 9%. I don't sense it at all. Overall this is a real nice beer that I'm sure I'll buy again.

mtbbaboon, Feb 10, 2009
Photo of bowersdm
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a bavarian pilsner.

A - cloudy orange-copper color. 2.5cm of head disappeared very quickly.

S - bananas, oranges, spice, wheat. finally, Sam Adams has paid attention to the aroma part of their beers.

T - tangy wheat, sweet malt, very a very dry, slightly hoppy, citrusy finish. there was a lot of spice in the finish too. I found it to be too much.

M - good.

D - I'm not really a fan of witbiers. This is only the third that I've had I believe. It's much better than SA White Ale, but I find this a tad on the spicy side.

bowersdm, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of Drobinator
4.47/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - poured a misty dark gold with very little head

S - Strong aromas of spice, fruit and malt

T - Malty, orange. Fairly balanced with an edge toward the sweet side. Less spice on the palate than the nose.

M - Poured thick, and had a full feel to it. Felt creamy on the finish.

D - Very drinkable. That combined with the high ABV makes it a beer to be careful with.

I was looking forward to checking this out because while I love the Double Bock, I've always been a little underwhelmed by the many of the other offerings. This did not disappoint. Will have again soon.

Drobinator, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of damienblack
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Of the 3 SA Imperials recently released, this one intrigued me the most. Pours a nutty dark golden brown, like a dark tripel or a light weizenbock. Not much of a head to be seen. Smells like a very spicey weizenbock, there's evidence of plum, or cherry to be had. Excellent aroma.

First impression: This doesn't hide the alcohol too well. Every sip is big and boozey. Big malt tastes with some dried fruit. A little bit of hops, in line with the rest of SA's beers. It also has a very medicinal cloying sense to it. The spicing isn't so detectable in the flavor as in the nose. Mouthfeel is big and coating, but the medicinal part of the coating detracts from it. A little too boozey to be anything more than a slow sipper right now, but this will make an interesting candidate for aging.

damienblack, Feb 06, 2009
Photo of bgjohnston
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer came in a 4-pack, poured into my favorite pint glass. It poured a cloudy amber, with a very creamy, off-white head. The creamy foam was surprising, with a very nice mouthfeel all by itself.

Taking a deeper sip, it gives you a very pronounced boozy presence right upfront, but still manages to finish fairly dry. There is a sort of dried apricot fruity flavor in there as well.

Altogether, a very nice beer that is only limited in drinkability by its very stout ABV.

bgjohnston, Feb 06, 2009
Samuel Adams Imperial White from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 1,251 ratings.