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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.

1,259 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,259
Reviews: 640
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 19.71%
Wants: 25
Gots: 53 | 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: 1,259 | Reviews: 640 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of carlborch
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy, dark, orange, amber pour, with medium viscosity. The off-white-to-tan creamy head settled in at about 2 inches. The nose provides ample evidence of wheat, with citrus, and spicy notes. The nose leans toward power and I expect a hefty brew. There is almost a medicinal note? The palate is rich, enveloping, warm, and lingering. The alcohol is evident. This is not a summer session wheat ale! The Belgian lace is well-developed, leaving clear rings as I sip, although after a few minutes the head is gone. Malty, fruity, less citrus than expected and more coriander with hints of mace and vanilla on the palate. Long, pleasant lingering. I’ll try this again as the weather cools.

carlborch, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of twiggamortis420
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark, hazy caramel color with a small, creamy off-white head. Retention is just ok and does not leave much lacing. Dark for a wit and the head does not seem voluminous enough.

The nose on this beer is odd and very distinctive. It's sweet with some fruitiness and citrus peels. Also coriander spiciness is there. Alcohol and bready yeast aroma as well, pretty complex and good smelling beer.

First thing noticeable upon quaffing is how creamy and thick this beer feels. Add in the sweetness and the beer almost seems syrupy to a fault. Orange and lemon peel flavors are there aplenty along with black licorice and alcohol. Witbiers are a style I can do without the whole imperialization thing. They lose the refreshing and crisp aspect that I like in a good wit. That said, this is an interesting beer that I find somewhat enjoyable, but I dont think I will be buying another expensive four pack of it anytime soon.

twiggamortis420, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I found this beer to be very interesting. Looked pretty good, slight haze, had an off white yellowish/orangey colored head to it that fades away pretty quickly. Had some slight lacing to it, not very much. The smell was kind of all over the place. Had a strong citrusy/spicy. The taste was good to, but there was just so much flavor to it. It had one particular taste that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Almost seemed like a orangey type jam flavor. You can taste the alcohol a bit in the aftertaste but not very strong. The mouthfeel and drinkablility were good. No carbonation bite and despite the high alcohol content you couldn't really taste it. I don't regret trying this at all, not normally my cup of tea, but pretty good.

AndyAvalanche, Aug 06, 2009
Photo of movingtrain
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into a Piraat glass.

Pours a dark orange/copper color, with very little white head floating on top. It's opaque, but it appears as though there is some good carbonation bubbling up from below.

Smell is pretty loaded...bready, wheaty I should say...and there is a strong alcohol scent with every whiff...some banana and clover lingering in there, as well as some sweet cherry and ginger.

The taste hides the alcohol very well...and is incredibly sweet on almost all parts of the tongue. There are definite cherry notes here, as well as some pretty prominent banana flavors coming through and sticky heavily to the tongue. For 10.3%, the alcohols is very much in the background, and not at all overpowering.

I thought it was interesting that Sam Adams chose to do an Imperial White as part of their bold series...and was actually the last one I thought I might try...but, as it turns out, this was the first one I picked up...and it is pretty darn good. This is definitely not a beer that I could have more than one of, but is one that is enjoyable to sip on, and one that would pair nicely with some spicy foods, or a really good, marbled steak.

movingtrain, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of mdwalsh
4.13/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours fairly Orange, too orange for a witbier or any sort of white in my opinion, but we'll chalk that up to the imperialness of it. A one finger off white head fades before I finish this part of the review....not good. Plenty of active carb though around the glass. Pretty hazy.

S: There is a vague candy sugar smell about the beer, with hints of herbs, spices and citrus. Pretty refreshing, though strong for those smells.

T: Similar to the smell, but more citrus. I can really taste some orange peel. Because of the creamy consistency, it almost reminds me of an orange dreamsicle. Some honey from something more complex like buckwheat maybe. Not much maltiness.

M: Creamy. Normally for something this light that's a turnoff for me, but I really like it here. Very smooth and inviting.

D: With the refreshing taste and inviting mouthfeel, I could see drinking a lot of this.

mdwalsh, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of Spidey13
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sam Adams Imperial White pours a cloudy orange/amber with a small white head; looks very nice. Coriander shows up on the nose with some banana, orange, and pilsner malt notes. There is also a decent amount of alcohol when the beer warms up a bit.

The flavor is much sweeter than expected. Lots of banana with pepper notes. Lots of alcohol in there. Again, very sweet. The finish is quick. The mouthfeel is slick and sticky sweet with medium/high carbonation.

Overall, I liked this beer; boozy but good.

Spidey13, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of MikeBrandman
2.48/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Not a particularly enjoyable beer. Pours a delicious looking yellow haze that is nearly completely opaque. Great head and lacing too boot. Smell of bananas and...alcohol. Taste is similar too. Almost burns as it goes down. Not something I'd look for in a white. Starts like a good example of the style, fruity and hazy, but then gets a little carried away with the alcohol. Couldn't imagine having another, unless the first got me drunk enough...

MikeBrandman, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of yesyouam
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Imperial White is a cloudy, dim peachy amber ale with a very thin, dense white head that leaves tenacious, thick sheets of lacing on the glass. There is a lot of alcohol in the nose. It smells tangy, fruity and spicy. Banana is present. It's quite full bodied, very smooth and dry. It's a touch chalky at the finish. It's a touch sweet and very fruity. It dries up through the taste and gets spicier and boozier. It's sort of like a Wheatwine, or an ale version of a Weizenbock.

yesyouam, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of cnally
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A hazy, cloudy radiant orange with a slightly off-white head that barely exists unitl it quickly doesn't.

Bad-ass aroma of diacetyl, old fruits and too much malt.

Was hoping for a deeper flavor. Didn't get it. The flavor begins with a brandied alcohol, has alcohol in the middle and finishes with a very mild yeasty flavor. There is the wit. just barely.

Nice, full feel. Evenly carbonated.

I am sure glad I tried it but there is no way I will be having this again. The balance is flawed, and the alcohol is very present.

cnally, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of brewcrew76
2.6/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Murky orange, deep golden with a thin frothy white head that leaves a nice ring of foam with sheets of lace.

S - Slightly overpowering sugary, grainy aroma. Reminds me of the milk sugar in the beer I had last night. Sweet, overripe maybe even rotting fruit with citrus and coriander.

T - Sugary sweet malt, slight toffee, very overripe fruit, again bordering on rotten, coriander, spice with yeasty notes and lingering alcohol.

M - Medium body, slightly cloying and sticky with a lingering sweetness that coats the mouth.

D - Too sweet and somewhat a mess of flavors. I wouldn't try again.

brewcrew76, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of atigerlife
2.73/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a copper color with a small white head, minor lacing. Strange...not exactly a typical witbier [white?].

Aroma of hops, apricots.

Taste is strongly alcohol. Apricots, orange and spices are all prevalant. Quite sweet, cloying.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, moderately cleansing and sticky.

Overall, no...not again. That was enough. White beer??? This muddled mess tastes fake.

atigerlife, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of randawakes
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tastes sweet, apple and cider notes mixed with with a banana cream. Some spice and honey. Every other sip I can taste some alcohol. But...how is this a white? It's more fruity than anything. Pour a thin head, smells of banana nut cream. Reminds me of the Hard Apple Ale from Moose's Tooth Pub & Pizzeria

randawakes, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of mobyfann
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Paid $2.50 for a single at Ludlow Wines in Clifton...

The beer pours a hazy amber-golden base, decent head, minimum lacing. Aroma is full of alcohol with the advertised orange peel and coriander.

The taste is pretty solid, limited alcohol, moderate carbonation, heavy tasting brew... fairly smooth due to the head but enough bite to knock a few points. Yeah, it's worth another round, but this beer needs a long settle before you go deep with it.

Final Thought: A little disappointing, almost an overly exaggerated Witbier with less appeal than a well-crafted Wit.

mobyfann, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of BeerBelcher
1.43/5  rDev -58.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I have an open mind towards beer, but find this one to be repulsive. A witbier is a delicate, light, refreshing thing - this one is none of those. This beer is overpowering, with a sweet rotting graininess in place of the pleasant wheatiness and citrus notes I expected. I get that this is supposed to have all those attributes we like about witbiers just amplified, but this is not that to me...I am not finding those flavors to be louder, I am finding them to also be completely distorted into off-notes I don't care for. Combine that with a lot of booziness (which I'm OK with if the beer is giving me something else to hang in there for), and the flavor of this beer is a miss for me. Other notes: the color is a hazy orange with medium head formation, and the aroma is an isoamyl acetate warning of things to come. This is a drain pour.

I would suggest avoiding this one. Thanks to JaBier for providing this one, even though I did not enjoy it.

BeerBelcher, Jul 16, 2009
Photo of williamherbert
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The color is a nice cloudy copper color, almost yellow at the edges. Brilliant color; thin, creamy head.

The aroma of a Belgian tripel. Strong and spicy, with some banana. Earthy malts. Not much like a witbier in any way.

The taste is toasted bananas, spicy cloves. Sugary malts, almost like an English ale. Belgian tripel-like spices, with some cinnamon. Good in theory, but the flavors don't mesh well in practice.

Feels fizzy and bubbly. An alcoholic bite on the way down. It's a mix between a hef and a Belgian ale. They don't go together as well as I'd hoped.

williamherbert, Jul 15, 2009
Photo of rebel1771
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a hazey orange color a with decent fluffy white head.

S: Tons of coriander in the nose along with orange rind. Finishes with a sweet yeasty note.

T: Wow, the flavor of this one is like a punch in the face, overwhelming. Tons of sweet malts and fruity spices, loads of coriander finishing off with with a yeasty/honey flavor.

D: This is an extreme beer that's for sure. Not quite my taste.

rebel1771, Jul 15, 2009
Photo of thain709
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a deep and cloudy orange...an off white head formed...about one finger...fell quickly into a ring...decent lacning

S - A sweet nose...lots of fruit...mainly oranges...some malts mixed in

T - I feel this beer has a very nice and complex flavor...starts off sweet...as the nose suggests...heavy on the orange peel...some bread and yeast notes come into play...next comes the spices...pepper and coriander...but they are knocked down by the fruits and malts that were present in the beginning

M - Full bodied...a little too syrupy for me

D - This was a solid imperial white...it loses just a little for the high ABV...I've been very impressed with the Imperial Series...all three are solid for their styles

thain709, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of grayburn
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Scoped this beer yesterday in North Carolina's outer banks, mixed in with some crappy bmc. Oddly enough, this beer was precariously placed between Budweiser and Bud Light Lime. I was definitely pleasantly surprised by this beer, wasn't expecting much.

An amber pour presents and impressive thick head that sticks around and laces quite well. The swirl of the bottom gives a nice yeasty cloud that makes a small drop of drool drip into my sorry excuse for a beard.

The smell and taste are both surprisingly well balanced. The alcohol is definitely present, but the citrus notes really cover quite well.

The mouthfeel is just too cloying, I tried to give this a better score, but I couldn't

The drinkability is impressive for a ten percent wit. This style is usually nowhere near a favorite of mine, but this beer is quite nice.

grayburn, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of runesead
3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy and golden, good carbonation, sub-par head retention.

Smell: Floral and deep, sweet to the senses.

Taste: Solid wheat beer flavor with a hint of "extra alcohol" Not overly alcohol stingy.

Mouthfeel: Average wheat beer aftertaste but a pleasing mouthfeel throughout the beer.

Drinkability: The high alcohol contnent masks the aftertaste after a few gulps, and thisbeer becomes very good. I easily finished this beer and the experience became better as I drank.

runesead, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of Foxtrot
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in a mixed sixer.

Poured a nice semi-murky brown with minimal head and light lacing around glass. Much darker than a typical witbier.

Smells emanating from glass are very fruity, and very sweet. Some alcohol is evident, but doesn't distract from citrus, but instead makes it more pronounced.

Taste was big on wheat and some spicy yeast up front, mellowing out with a very strong malt backbone. Becomes sweet about mid palate, and finishes pretty smooth for a high ABV. beer. Cloves and coriander are evident, but coriander seems to take the forefront. Not too bad at all.

Mouthfeel was very welcoming. The high ABV really gave this beer a thick mouthfeel. I'm a huge fan of big beers with big mouthfeels, and this one fit the bill quite nicely.

As far as drinkability goes, the ABV makes this beer somewhat less desirable. But this trade-off comes with a good feel on the tongue that is well worth it.

Foxtrot, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of Patrick999
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into the Duvel tulip. In truth, a good looking beer. Honeyed gold with a thin crown of that typical finely-bubbled big-beer carbonation. Some sediment noted at the bottom of the bottle - I swirled it in.

No mistaking that aroma. It's big. Honey, alcohol and citrus.

Hmmm. Tasty, but it almost reminds me of a Dogfish Head big beer - perhaps a cross between Red & White (the "white" part) and Midas Touch. Tastes a good deal of brandy-drenched ripe bananas and a dense sweet bread. A little spiciness in the finish. The alcohol likes to show itself off a bit, which is fine. Perhaps could stand a little less heat, but perhaps a couple months of age will take care of that.

It has that limpid, sticky big-assed beer feel. Entirely appropriate.

This pushes into dessert beer territory - you could share it 2-3 ways and be fine. I could see this pairing really, really well with a crème brulee or coconut flan, not to mention a Bananas Foster...any creamy non-chocolate dessert. A sipper, to be sure.

I haven't had too many wheatwines, but this seems to me to skew close to one. Think of this as a wheatwine, and you'll be OK. Interesting, solid effort from the BBC.

Patrick999, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours clouded orange - dark and orangey for the style - with a creamy tan head. As the head descends, lacing sticks.

The smell is of orange marmelade, black pepper/ coriander, some bread and some alcohol. Interesting nose.

The taste is of orange marmelade/jam with bread (crust) and coriander. It has a sticky sweetness with black peppery spice to balance it somewhat. Sweetness and alcohol are a bit too much. Finishes a bit sticky.

It is full-bodied and a bit too sticky sweet for me.

A thick, syrupy interpretation - like a candied version of a wit. Quite boozy, too. Interesting...different.

jwc215, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of donteatpoop
4.15/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thick and hazy copper color with a finger of white head that quicly fades to all but an outline.

The scent is fantastic, heavy banana, brown sugar, yeast, and a mild underlying alcohol-burn.

The sweet grainy flavors of banana-y yeast and wheat mask the alchohol nicely. The bitterness hits the tongue first, followed soon by the sweet flavors noted before; the lasting taste is of a caramel-brownsugar consistancy.

Solid palate impact, nothing outstanding but a decent mouthfeel overall.

donteatpoop, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A feeling of awe comes over me when I see a Sam Adams brew at 10.3 percent abv, but why does it have to be an Imperial Wit. Appears a deep honey golden hue with a creamy off white head, body is clouded and full of spice. Aroma proves the appearance with coriander, orange peel, and loads of honey like sweetness with booze hidden decently in the smell. Syrupy feel to the flavor with spices booze and honey sweetness cloying from the front the back. Mouthfeel is just as cloying as the actual flavors going on a fuzzy furry feel like licking a peach comes over ya. Carbonation is supposedly soft and fluffy but I'm getting syrup and booze with a touch of remnants of a white ale and a honey like blur passes my senses. Drinkability is pretty pour not a beer I would sit on any pedestal I guess I have to look for the Impy Stout, and I know the Bock had some redeeming qualities at one point.

WVbeergeek, Jul 02, 2009
Photo of biggred1
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazed turbid amber and impossible to see through with a big soapy eggshell colored head that leaves plenty of fine lace on the glass. The nose is overripe banana, coriander, cinnamon and a touch of fusel alcohol. The flavors mirror the smell, tons of malty sweetness, spice and warm alcohol in the finish, this beer is bigger than any wit I've ever had by far. Creamy, borderline syupy mouthfeel with smooth carbonation. This is definately an extreme example of the style.. and I like it. I couldn't possibly drink more than one in a sitting but I am impressed with the boldness of BBC to brew such a monster. Worth a try.

biggred1, Jul 01, 2009
Samuel Adams Imperial White from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 1,259 ratings.