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Samuel Adams Imperial White - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Samuel Adams Imperial WhiteSamuel Adams Imperial White

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1,194 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1194
Reviews: 638
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 19.71%

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)
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Ratings: 1,194 | Reviews: 638 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Darkmagus82


4.28/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer has a hazy nice orange color with a thin white head. The head fades rather fast to leave only a small amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is of sweet bread and some nice orange citrus. There are good aromas of yeast as well as a nice boozy aroma which meld quite well with the rest of the aromas.

Taste – The taste starts out big and bready. There is a nice sweetness upfront which is mainly of orange citrus in nature. As the taste advances the citrus sweetness in enhanced with the bready flavor lightening a bit. The yeast flavor starts to build more toward the middle with some flavor of banana accompanying it. These flavors sweeten even more as the taste advances to the end where they are meet with an alcohol flavor that gives a slight burning/warming flavor on the mouth.

Mouthfeel – The body of this beer is on the creamier side with a carbonation level that is also on the higher side. The thick body suits the bready flavors well, while the carbonation complements the sweeter flavors well, with neither the body nor the carbonation really taking away from the beer.

Overall –While on the sweeter side, this is a nice flavorful imperial white. It is easy to drink and is at a good price. Sam does a wonderful job once again ad I would recommend this brew!!

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2012 01:25:36 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of Greywulfken

New York

3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Sam Adams Imperial line served as my intro to craft beers, microbrews, and non-BMC beers. That said, the first three "cool" beers I had were Sam Adams' Imperial White, Imperial Stout, and Double Bock.

So now, three heavy beer-drinkin' years later, I am returning to them (and a new addition since then, a Wee Heavy!) to see how they stand up to all the amazing beers I have had since...

A: pours a dark amber, reasonable head that stuck around as a lid throughout; motes of lace

S: sweet, caramel malt, some spices

T: sweet caramel malt, coriander/clove-ish spices, some dark citrus, but overlaid with a syrupy caramel sweetness; the spices add a dryness that keeps the sweetness in check

M: full-bodied, syrupy but not sticky, full mouthfeel, very soft, creamy

O: it didn't receive overwhelmingly strong reviews here, and I must confess, I still haven't had any other witbiers, but this is an good beer. It is the pale version of an imperial stout - it has richness and delivery. Perhaps true devotees of witbiers take exception to this because they're used to a different product. Totally understandable. Maybe this is average for a witbier, and granted, its not terribly complex or sophisticated, but it is a helluva lot better than the BMC swill out there.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2012 19:18:46 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of beerluvr

Ontario (Canada)

3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel Tulip. Tall off white head settling over deep gold/slightly hazy liquid. Aroma of the usual wit spices and a sweet maltiness..probably due to this sitting in the stores cooler a few months but all is good in this case.

Smooth & rich mouthfeel with fruity notes, subtle spicing and alcoholic warmth...goes down easy like a $20 hooker (sorry lol) The finish is spicy with again the alcohol flourish. One of my top Wits.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2012 01:50:51 | More by beerluvr
Photo of FlemingVSKing


4.45/5  rDev +29%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Simply a good strong and flavorful witbier.

The floral hops, orange, corriander, and potent alcohol content blend perfectly in a very bold taste. It may actually be a bit shocking at first but leaves you wanting more and more.

I have read some complaints about the lack of a thick head. That is true. You can pour this brew like a Pepsi and it won't foam but I can't for the life of me really hold that against it. It's just the least little thing that I'm worried about.

The head that does exist holds well and leaves tantilizing little rings down your glass as you go.

It's a really great brew for pilsner fans looking to find something more.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2012 17:29:07 | More by FlemingVSKing
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours medium copper with a scant ring of white foam. Middle top stays clean. Orange peel, corriander nose and a touch peppery. Hearty orange bitter taste. Definitely a couped up witbier. Wheaty orange peel mouthfeel.

Not used to a witbier with this much gas.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 23:26:01 | More by KTCamm
Photo of BostonHops


1.98/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle served in goblet.

pours a hazy light amber color while yielding a good finger of head; moderate lacing, retention. decent appearance. unfortunately it's all downhill from here.

the nose tends toward the fruity side with notes of lemon and orange - also a hefty dose of booze. big malt presence with some spice evident. taste? simply put, not good. a well-intentioned brew that falls flat. too boozy, too sweet... not layered at all. tried to like it, esp considering its cost, but ended up a drain pour. not for me.

original review on: 07-20-2010 21:35:16

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 21:56:43 | More by BostonHops
Photo of Jamesthebrit


2.63/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: When I poured this I was very excited. It seemed smooth and hazy. A nice hazy amber.
S: Doesn't really smell like anything. The minimal head that was on the beer dissipated too quickly to be worth anything.
T: Again poor showing here. The alcohol overpowers all the other flavors of the beer. I get no wheat flavor whatsoever. Very sour.
M: Sits ok. The body is solid but again, the alcohol really comes through and I don't want this beer to linger around.

An overall poor showing. I was excited when I found this at the store because I had never seen it before but the execution here is not very good. Doesn't bring the wheat flavor as promised and turns out to be quite terrible to drink.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2012 18:00:24 | More by Jamesthebrit
Photo of WoodBrew


3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer poured a cloudy hazy amber gold. A creamy light tan head builds about two fingers high, but dissipates fast. It leaves some lacing on the glass.
I smell honey, malty notes as well as some spice and coriander.
Tasting the beer, up front there will be a those spice and coriander notes, followed by honey and sweet malt flavors in the middle. The end is rounded up by some belgian style hops, but the sweet notes are still dominating. The 10.3 ABV are well hidden. An interesting beer, well done for the style.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2012 00:52:26 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of ronniebruner


4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams is the most consistent American brewer. They try so many things and they never seem to disappoint! This beer pours a beautiful light golden color with a hint of spice and a light cream colored head. The beer is perfectly carbonated and is smooth for a beer with ten percent alcohol. It is rather sweet and goes down very smoothly. Easily one of the better white beers I have tried in a long, long time. Props to Sam Adams, the real American king of beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2012 03:58:32 | More by ronniebruner
Photo of beerme626


2.23/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Wow, what a disappointment from Sam Adams.

A: Thick, cloudy, with minimal head. Looks like thick, pulpy orange juice.
S: Orange for sure, but also with a massive whiff of alcohol.
T: Here's where it gets nasty. Citrus is too strong, wheat taste is too weak. Alcohol taste (which is very strong) doesn't match either.
M: Makes you pucker up at the beginning from its sourness, and blasts the back of your throat going down.
O: Gross. So much for that $3.50 a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2012 15:05:11 | More by beerme626
Photo of kojevergas


2.1/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a N'Ice Chouffe stem beerflute in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I don't think I've had Samuel Adams' imperial series before and I tend to like witbiers.

Served refrigerator cold. Acquired at Ralph's market.

A: Pours a two finger head of fair cream, nice thickness, and great retention for the high ABV. Colour is a hazy nontransparent copper. Strange looking for a witbier, but I'll go with it.

Sm: Heavy malt content, with some orange esters and clove. A bit like a tripel, actually. Some yeasty notes - which I didn't expect. Not like any witbier I've ever had. A moderately strong aroma.

T: Lemon and orange esters over a clean malt foundation. Clove. Quite simple, but pleasant. No layering. A bit heavyhanded, especially for the style. Doesn't feel fully fermented by any means. Some yeast comes through, but no alcohol. Poorly built for the style. Imbalanced. I'm not very fond of it at all.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the style and the flavours generally. A touch too thick for what the flavours require. By no means overcarbonated.

Dr: I find it difficult to consume on account of its rather poor quality. This is built all wrong for the style, even if it's "imperial". The extra malt required to increase the ABV severely damaged the flavour profile. Now I know why I've never seen an imperial witbier before; it's a terrible idea. Not refreshing at all.

What happened to the delicate lemon tinges and refreshing character of the style? This is a disgrace, especially from Sam Adams.


Serving type: bottle

03-01-2012 03:55:31 | More by kojevergas
Photo of brewskifan55


4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

A: amber, opaque; a half finger head that settles quickly; big bubbles; light lacing.

S: Coriander, orange peels, banana, wheat, yeast

T: orange and coriander slide in; sweet caramel; bready malts. Alcohol envelopes and mellows the drinker. Slightly bitter finish that pulls it all together. Yum. I agree with some of the other reviewers: this one borders on a barleywine taste.

M: medium, creamy; full bodied, great carbonation.

O: Blue Moon, meet your big brother on steroids. This is one I'd drink again. A big taste that puts you in a mellow zone. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 21:23:25 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of Thickfreakness

New York

4.25/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- A cloudy copper/orange pour into my DFH glass. Thicka and creamy tinted head floats atop and leaves lots of foamy, sticky lacing all over the glass.

S- Honey, orange peel, coriander, light brown sugar, homeade caramel, clove, allspice, ginger and green apple. Really complex and well put together.

T- Caramel covered tangerine slices, orange blossom honey, brown sugar, some banana yeastiness and raisin bread. A nice citrus bitterness pulls thru all that sticky goo and balances nicely.

M- Nice and sticky like fruit cake... honey, caramel, dried fruit, oranges, clove, cinnamon and ginger. Really coats the mouth and tongue with oily sweetness but also has a nice citrusy bite.

O- I think this belongs more in the English Barleywine category than the Wit one. I'm really loving this, and wishing I hadn't waited so damn long to try it. I can't wait to age a 4-pack of this each year. I love all of the Sam Adams Imperial line!

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2012 03:16:01 | More by Thickfreakness
Photo of WastingFreetime


3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Ruddy orange color with some hazing in it and a single finger of collapsing cream colored foam that leaves minimal lacing behind. Smells and tastes most intensely of dried apricots, orange peel, caramel candies, coriander, and booze in descending order of strength. As somebody else has already stated before, this really is effectively the wheat equivalent of a barleywine at this point (wheatwine?) and behaves in the mouth exactly as one would expect such a thing to perform. Texture is lusciously thick, smooth, and creamy... finishes somewhat boozey hot and solvent-y. If only they had hid the ABV a bit better and made a stronger head presentation, but these things are nitpicking compared to everything else about the brew which is done well.

In summary, memorable for a wheatwine power chord of dried apricots!

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 05:06:37 | More by WastingFreetime
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange with a quarter of an inch of soft, dense, off white head that has good retention. The nose is very malt forward with wheaty and bready aromas as well as some citrusy, zesty notes. I also get a little banana peel, faint spice, and alcohol phenols. The taste is malty up front with a lightly bready, wheaty, caramelly profile followed by some white grape notes, citrusy, orange zest notes and faint banana and then finishes peppery with some faint spice and some spicy, bitey alcohol. The mouthfeel is med to full bodied, very warm, smooth, and mildly carbonated.

This is a decent beer. It's definitely worth checking out. Most of the flavors are typical to the style but the additional malt and alcohol add depth and character that make this an enjoyable sipper.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2012 22:32:58 | More by tdm168
Photo of UTCengOwl


4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Saw a bottle of this as a single at Central Market and I figured why not. I was a bit down when I saw the other reviews, but I'm now thinking that a lot of those people were off in their opinions. A unique and interesting beer. Served in a New Belgium globe.

Nice, dense 1/2" white foamy head. However, the star is the light orange body with a red hue. It's hazy, but still brilliant when held up to the light. Inviting.

The smell is a bit solventy. Sticky, medicinal orange. This is gonna be interesting to drink...

This is... surprisingly good. Very reminiscent of a wheatwine. It has the thickness and body of a lighter barleywine. Much more fruit, too. A bit of spice on the start of the sip, but not an overwhelming amount carrying over to the aftertaste. The creaminess of the body is just heavenly. I think I hit this at the right temperature. Too hot and I bet this gets solventy. Too cold and I bet it's not as fantastically creamy.

I like this quite a bit. It most reminds me of Brooklyn's The Companion, but this has a lot more depth of flavor and better mouthfeel. Good show!

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2012 04:16:32 | More by UTCengOwl
Photo of src22

North Carolina

3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Murky orange with a 1 finger white head that dissipates after a minute or two.

S: Smells of slight malty breadyness with orange and coriander and a strong alcohol scent.

T: Overpowering alcohol taste with some spices and maltyness.

M: Medium body'd and slightly creamy with good carbonation.

O: Overall, this would be an excellent beer if it weren't for the overpowering alcohol. Maybe aged for a year or more would mellow it out enough for the malt and spices to shine a bit more.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2012 05:00:29 | More by src22
Photo of socon67

New York

3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours golden, cloudy and with an active white foam. Minimal lacing.

S - Scent is of fresh grain, citrus, and sugary candy.

T - Taste is consistent with the smell. Citrus and sweetn flavor, with a taste of hearty grain. Finish has a slight acidic burn.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, and a tasty beer that feels ligther than its ABV.

O - Interesting take on the style. I found it a potent witbier that pushes the envelope.

Serving type: growler

02-06-2012 04:29:14 | More by socon67
Photo of jzeilinger


2.65/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours an amber color and looks more like an amber ale than a white. Nice thin lacing white head and active carbonation.

S - Candy Belgian caramel, booze, some citrus, and mild spices.

T - Overall, tastes like fusel, cloying cough syrup. Belgian candy caramel & light citrus are added in the background.

M - Thick, full bodied, and lipsmacking sticky.

O - The best thing about this beer is the color. I'm not sure whether to applaud Sam Adams for pushing the boundaries on a witte beer or to totally ding it because it resembles nothing close to the style. I hate to say it, but it's an absolute mess. Give me a Whitewater IPA instead.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2012 03:06:20 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of Gladius270


3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a hazy orage with a thin white head, with persistant lacing.

S- CITRUS. Grapefruit and orange dominate the nose. I also detected some grassy notes in there.

T- Taste follows suit with smell and delivers alot of citrus. I found this beer to be overwhelmingly sweet tasting, and finishing with a bit of an alcohol burn.

M- Creamy, smooth mouthfeel. The highlight of this brew for me.

O- Overall, I enjoyed this beer. I enjoyed the way it felt as I drank. Wish the sweetness were toned down a bit though.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2012 20:14:55 | More by Gladius270
Photo of shand


3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams imperial pint.

This one pours a hazy white-orange color with a tiny head. Aroma has a wheaty citrus aroma along with a fairly high amount of alcohol. The taste is wheat, citrus, and alcohol. It's not terrible, but the style just probably isn't well-suited to being imperialised. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and well-carbonated, and the drinkability suffers a bit. It's an interesting beer, but not one I'd probably be prone to having again.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 04:21:13 | More by shand
Photo of soulfly1492


4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Floral, bready, biscuity, grains and alcohol. Caramel and darker malts. Orange citrus, tart, mild spices, corriander. Odd for the style, smells a bit like a strong ale due to the darker malts.

Appearance: Pours a tall white head with tiny bubbles. TONS of lacing. Impressive retention. Deep gold in color with amber highlights. A bit cloudy.

Taste: Dense, wet sourdough bread, floral, mild orange citrus and spice, no alcohol while the beer is still very cold. Mild smooth caramel. Some vanilla. Smoked meats.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body. Super creamy and smooth. Oily. Mild carbonation, can feel all of the tiny bubbles.

Overall: A witbier, really? Let's put that aside for now. This is a wonderful brew. Complex all around, floral, sweet, fruity, caramel, bready, tart. Wow! 10.3% ABV, tastes more like 6.5% ABV. Intense yet pleasant in both the aroma and taste.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 20:52:11 | More by soulfly1492
Photo of JerseyKirk

New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: straw on outside to orange center. Unfiltered and hazy. Light gets through. 1 finger khaki head that settled quickly away. Small to medium bubble carbonation.

S: cream, belgian yeast esters, lemon, banana and slight alcohol in the nose.

T: malty sweet, caramel, hallertau hops, earthy, carbonation, alcohol finish. Slight unsettling high carbonation and finish with booziness. Much nicer and smoother when it warms up.

M: thin, sweet and carbed.

O: really neat that this beer uses no caramel malts but the sheer amount of 2 row makes it orangeish. Too boozy, missing cloves, banana and bitter orange in the taste. Sweetness is prevalent though. Wouldn't buy again.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 19:58:03 | More by JerseyKirk
Photo of filmguy


2.23/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

No aroma whatsoever. As Gary V would say...Aromatically challenged. The initial attack is promising with some coriander, sugar, hint of orange. Then....nothing....then....what is that god awful finish? What is that nasty aftertaste? What is that 9.3% smacking me upside the head for?

Oh well...I had to try it.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 00:46:26 | More by filmguy
Photo of BucannonXC5


3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Color was hazy orange. Just a tad (1/4 inches) maybe of head. Light lacing on the top that had circled the glass with a bunch in one spot (probably where I poured). Hardly any lacing in the middle. The lacing dissipated within five minutes. Spider-web film on the sides of the glass.

Heavy whiff that I could smell from two feet away. Alcohol and cloves dominated the smell. I also got wheat and orange peels. A sweet sugary smell as well.

Tasted a mix of cloves and orange peels, backed by a heavy dose of alcohol. The alcohol is definitely not hiding. I also got caramel in there. Feels a bit like a winter warmer.

Medium body. Sticky texture. Soft (below average) carbonation. Smooth finish.

An OK beer overall, although I was expecting a bit more. Definitely a witbier. Good finish, though.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 03:46:40 | More by BucannonXC5
Samuel Adams Imperial White from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 1,194 ratings.