1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

1,218 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,218
Reviews: 638
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 19.71%
Wants: 24
Gots: 49 | 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)
View: Beers (127) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Imperial White Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,218 | Reviews: 638 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

2.58/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle. Pours a slightly hazy orange with a small white head. Aroma of sweet melon, honey, and sweet orange. Flavor of alcohol, sweet melon, banana, some vegetal notes. A rather bland and boozy Belgian and certainly not reminiscent of an imperial white. This is pretty bad, and I couldn't finish the glass...

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2009 16:39:43 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of unclejimbay


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

Samuel Adams Imperial White
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Style: Witbier, ABV: 10.30 %, bottle>wine glass

A 4.0 - Beautiful but different for a white. 3 finger head, excellent head retention and lacing. Deep orange honey color, semi cloudy.
S 4.0 - Smooth citrus sweet candy scent. Fruity in aroma.
T 4.0 - Imperial? INDEED! This is a BIG beer. Sweet citrus with rich body on wheat base. Tripel meets wheat wine meets Wit?
MF 3.5 - Rich slick body with a smooth mouthfeel, this is a sipper for sure!
D 4.0 - If you like Wit beers, try this one. Be warned it is rich, bold, and strong!

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2009 14:20:50 | More by unclejimbay
Photo of Tdizzle


3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into a New Belgium globe glass, this beer pours a clear, glowing light amber color with a sticky head that breaks apart to a thick ring along the inside of the glass. Each sip leaves some spotty splotches of lacing.

S- The smell is very boozy and sweet, with floral notes of coriander and a hearty base of wheat malt. Tropical fruits and oranges too. The alcohol is too pronounced though.

T- A sweet, wheaty malt taste is accented by lots of tropical fruit flavors and some floral spice notes from the coriander. The big alcohol content delivers a punch towards the moderately dry finish that leaves a boozy warming sensation in the chest.

M- Thick, viscous and syrupy. The carbonation is mild but it balances out the heavy mouthfeel nicely.

D- This beer puzzles me. The 10.3% ABV seems over-the-top for an Imperial White. It's odd that this beer has an even higher alcohol content than their Impy Stout and the Doppelbock. Other than the smell and the taste being pretty hot, it's a fairly tasty beverage.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2009 05:10:11 | More by Tdizzle
Photo of IceTrey9785


2.45/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip shaped glass...

A: Good pour -- nice head retention (at least two fingers), pours a nice orange-tan color. Very cloudy, and as you swirl the glass, the beer is a little thick like syrup.

S: Citrus all the way. You can tell there is wheat in the beer, but the citrus (tangerines, blood orange, etc) are really overwhelming. I might have thought someone poured a little orange juice in my hefeweizen...

T&M: The taste is really intense. Great concentration, the wheat really gives a nice full taste, followed by layers of candied citrus fruit. Round and supple. However, the finish lingers in the form of a really bad throat lozenge that won't go away. For a beer that high in alcohol, they did a great job covering up the taste in the beer.

Overall, too overdone. This a a beer that has potential to cut into the Blue Moon crowd, but it is way too intense. To me I thought it could have been a Blue Moon with orange vodka floating on the top. Too high in alcohol and too much citrus that overwhelms the nature of the witbier. I couldn't even finish one 12oz bottle. Diabetes in a bottle at best. Hopefully this great brewery will try again and get it right...

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2009 19:38:11 | More by IceTrey9785
Photo of sweemzander


2.9/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottle date present.

(A)- Pours a light amber color that is rather cloudy. Began with a small 1-finger head but disappeared within seconds to nothing.

(S)- Strong scents of honey & spice, slight citrus, teeming with adequate malts.

(T)- Really sugary stuff! A ton of malt in this for a wheat ale. Slightly lemon-ish combined with tons of honey. The malts and alcohol are really over-powering. Rather one dimensional.

(M)- This is really really sweet yet at the same time smooth enough to enjoy i guess.

(D)- Despite its sweetness and relative smoothness, the high abv (10.4%) really puts this beer out there into the sipper department. Its just so darn sugary!

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2009 02:49:14 | More by sweemzander
Photo of MDekker


4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours out a hazy burnt orange color, without much head, but what is there is sustained pretty well.

S: Wow - initial thoughts of some lemony cleaning product, but not totally in a bad way - lots of lemons and oranges, wheat, and something sort of soapy and potent that I can't quite place. Some more fruit, too, like raisins. And some pine-like hop aroma too.

T: A creamy dose of alcohol it is, along with flavors like those in the aroma. I feel like I'm sipping some brandy, practically. Some hop flavor to balance it, but not much.

M: Very creamy, more than I expected, but with some alcohol bite behind it.

D: Despite the alcohol, easy to drink, and sort of refreshing after a long outdoor day.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2009 02:08:28 | More by MDekker
Photo of epicness

New York

2.15/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

A: Foggy orange, small head that quickly dissipates. Medium lacing.
I liked the color though but I was surprised that it was so dark. That should have been the first warning to me.

S: Spicy, Citrusy and wheat... lets not forget alcohol. This thing reeks of alcohol.

T: Very alcohol taste to it. I can barely taste anything else. A little bit of citrus but the alcohol is slapping me in the face. Witbiers normally have a nice complex taste but all I can seem to taste is hot hot alcohol and coriander. A big big disappointment for me being a Wit fan.

M: Full and thick. Medium to high carbonation.

D: Not very drinkable due to the high ABV.

I think Sam Adams tried to outdue themselves with the 10.3 ABV. Take it down to the normal Wit % of 5ish and this is probably a good beer.

I drank probably 1/2 to 3/4s of it and then it got a drain pour.
It's just a rough taste that I don't like. The last sip made me gag and then I figured it was time to get rid of it.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2009 02:15:02 | More by epicness
Photo of BitterPachyderm


2.85/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I recieved this as an extra in a trade with stephens101...no freshness date.

Poured into an oversized wine glass (once again). Had a one finger bubbly head, no real foam, just bubbles. Had a syrupy orange body with no sediment found.

It had a spicy nose with just a hint of banana and cloves. As it warmed, a bit of cinammon and orange pushed through.

The taste was a bit dirty...almost like rotten oranges and stale coriandor. The alcohol didn't really show itself...there was also only a glimpse of banana.

The mouthfeel was a tad too flat for my liking, but did have a bit of spice to it. The spice was the only thing that made it kept it decent.

Drinkability-wise, it was decent, but I don't recommend having more than one, assuming you really want the one to begin with. I was surprised that the alcohol wasn't any more present than it was.

Not a great beer from Sam Adams. Hell, it wasn't even a good beer. It almost felt like it was just something they through together to try and keep up with the Jones's. I don't plan on seeing this beer in my fridge again.

Note: I noticed that the label said you could sit on it for a while, but I can't imagine that making it any better. But hey, that's only my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2009 20:23:28 | More by BitterPachyderm
Photo of Wegbier


2.42/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

a- very nice retention, and a light off white head with lacing and an almost clear amber liquid. But really nothing like any witbier that i have ever heard of.

s- fresh crepes, no better way to describe this one, smells like alcohol and orange peel and maybe somewhere in the back there is some wheat in the crepes. boozy.

t- just like the smell strong numbing alcohol with orange and coriander. there is nothing white/wit about this beer.

m- full and light carbonation and the finish is so clean because the alcohol burns the rest of the taste away.

d- this is one to warm the gut in the winter. Take it very slowly.

This beer is Utopias little sister you could have called it a Belgian strong ale, or you could have even tricked me with quadrupel, but never a white ale.
Dont get me wrong this is an intriguing intense beer and after a few years in the cellar she just might grow into something really special, but for now whoa!

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2009 03:08:25 | More by Wegbier
Photo of garcia2a


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

POurs a rusty golden color, slightly cloudy with a lacey head and light carbonation.

The nose has a nice malt-acid quality that imparts a rich sweetness, like heavy orange and citrus meets malt. This carries over well to the to the taste as the malt is quite pronounced with a unique slightly smokey tart feel. I'm getting this grassy-meat sweats back taste that I kinda like.

The mouthfeel is big for the style and the beer does cloy, but a great session beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2009 01:10:51 | More by garcia2a
Photo of yemenmocha


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

Pours dark golden with slight hint of amber, with off-white head. Nose leans more towards grain/malt, with a small ripe fruit component in there as well. On the palate the alcohol is right up front to me, with big wheat/malt flavors, sugary & tart flavors, and some dessert sweet spices towards the finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2009 03:09:27 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of gpogo


3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Clear copper color with a sticky white head. Head shrank to a foamy cap and left a sparse lacing.

A- Citrusy orange fruit, a bit light on aroma.

T- It tastes similar to a wit with more alcohol. The alcohol gives it a spicy bite that cuts through the mellowness. Very light on the coriander.

M- Medium body with moderate to high carbonation. Incredibly smooth drinking.

D- Similar to a wit, but quite different. Not as refreshing, but enjoyable in a different way.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2009 01:13:38 | More by gpogo
Photo of MaltyGoodness


3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle

Pours a murky dirty orange color with a small white head that fades. Mild lacing on the glass.

Very sweet aroma with some nice corriander and orange tones. Really sweet.

Very sweet wheat beer tase upfront. Nice corriander and orange flavors. Medium bitterness that carries through the very sweet finish - borderline cloying. Slightly boozy as it warms.

Big, sticky body. Mild carbonation.

I love a good witbier and have had some great double whites, but this just isn't one of them. Pushed the style just a little too far.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2009 00:59:14 | More by MaltyGoodness
Photo of champ103


3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark and cloudy amber orange color. Almost opaque. I really like the color of this one. A small white head forms and recedes in an instant. Light lace is left behind.
S: Not that aromatic. Kind of dank and musky. Some orange and vanilla with a little bit of zesty spice from the coriander.
T: Sweet malt. Orange, lemon, banana. Spicy coriander. Some vanilla that really gives this more depth than most wits
M/D: A medium to full body. Most examples of this style are over carbonated. This, however, is very rich and creamy. For being over 10% ABV this is easy and smooth to drink.

A really good Witbier. Something I would recommend. All of the beers in the Sam Adams Imperial Series have been a hit with me.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2009 20:40:17 | More by champ103
Photo of srandycarter


3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Beautiful fairly clear orange, lots of near white mountainous head, clinging webby lace.

S - Earthy, banana, fruity.

T - Juicy fruit, banana, tropical fruit, spice, light malt background.

M - medium to light body, lots of carb, fair coating.

D - Nice. I like it. Don't know how I would feel about the single though.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2009 03:09:59 | More by srandycarter
Photo of russpowell


3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in Liqour World Fayetteville ARK

Pours an effervescent amber with a sliver of beige head. Sheets of lacing & good head retention

S: Juicy fruit & some phenols

T: Follows the nose with banana creme, & vanilla up front, plus some heat. More banana with a kiss of white pepper as this warms, along with some boozey breadyness & some grainyness. Finishes with a flourish of tropical fruit, with bananas leading the way, damn near pulled a 4.5

MF: Smooth, chewy, & subtle carbonation, pretty warming

A bit chewy, but I am really digging this from start to finish! Well played Sam Adams! I accept this as an IMP Wit, not a wit, but even then; I'd take it over watered down offerings, no problem!

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2009 02:51:24 | More by russpowell
Photo of Drew966


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

Samuel Adams Imperial White pours a hazy orange/copper with an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is on the fruity side and not as full as I would hope. The flavor on the other hand is pretty strong, it's malty, a touch fruity (citrus), some clove, not really much coriander. Somehow, it still doesn't quite have the best qualities of a good wit, perhaps because I think of a wit as being an easy drinking summer kind of beer. With this much alcohol it certainly doesn't fall into that category, but more importantly the flavors don't really gel in the way a great beer does. Not bad overall, worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2009 01:04:35 | More by Drew966
Photo of redneckchugger


3.05/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

pours a hazy orange, small head, decent lacing.
nose is harsh, like i stuck my nose in a spice mill, way too over powering for me
the taste is a little better, mainly becasue it doesn't have that typical "wheatbeet taste". I like that about it, but thats al i like. its too strong for what it is, its too thick, and the spice is too prevelant.
I really don't like this beer, not even a little bit.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2009 11:36:41 | More by redneckchugger
Photo of markskar

New Hampshire

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

A - Pours cloudy orange, not much head, very little retention. Moderate to low lacing.

S - Spicy, citrusy aroma, but nothing too amazing. The alcohol aroma is present, but well masked.

T - Really sweet for something with such a high, hidden abv. Oranges, coriander dominate.

M - Smooth, thick and warming. Very nice mouthfeel, one of the best aspects of this brew (noted by previous reviewer, but I have to agree).

D - Well balanced, not overwhelming in flavor, alcohol, or thickness--which is certainly a good thing. Definitely above average for the style, but not a champion. Quite drinkable, but with a 10.3%abv, is certainly a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2009 00:19:22 | More by markskar
Photo of selecter70


3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I am very happy for the Imperial Series from Sam Adams, as it has been a nice & unexpected local step into strong beers with character. I was not sure what to expect, as "imperial" & white beer rarely are promoted. The dark-orange-brown pour with reddish edges was not expected, as I thought it would look closer to an Allagash. The white thin head & minimal lace were harbingers of the alcohol strength that soon became quite evident in the aroma of sweet malts & citrus-yeast. The flavor was sweet, much more than expected, with caramel & barley, leaving alcohol in the nose, reminding you to sip this beer slowly.Wheaty plum & orange hints rounded it out, but the overall impression was a dessert beer, or barleywine. Definitely a nice sweet offering but not a quantity beer in terms of drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2009 22:30:14 | More by selecter70
Photo of jneiswender


2.6/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 12oz brown bottle into a tulip Belgian beer glass.

A-Raspberry hue with an amber backdrop, white wisp of a head.
S-clove, juicy fruit gum
T-juicy fruit like flavor. alcohol is very assertive.
M-medium, fizzy
D-Really strong alcohol front and finish. Little depth to the overall drink.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2009 22:20:56 | More by jneiswender
Photo of merryjoulton


3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice orange cloudy without much of a head. No lacing either. Smells wheaty, malty, sugary, boozy, hoppy. Taste is mostly sweet, with hints of booze and bitter hops. Mouthfeel is nice and syrupy and thick. Drinkability isn't great because of the sweetness and booziness.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2009 07:11:45 | More by merryjoulton
Photo of wchesak

South Carolina

3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A - dark orangey amber color, decent head that leaves a ring, no lacing left from the head

S - orange, malt, caramel, very similar to an American barleywine

T - if i didn't know this was a witbier i would have guessed it was a barleywine, maybe not as many dark fruits but certainly the heavy malt and low hop presence

M - obviously thicker than any witbier I have had, good carbonation though to make it not on the point of syrupy

D - picked up a 4 pack to use to drink and to cook some mussels with, certainly not in the style of witbier I was looking for but I figured as much with the 10.30 abv, could see about 2 of these in a night...good beer but does not fit the style...wish i could score this beer twice, once based on style only and once on the actual beer itself

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2009 23:15:18 | More by wchesak
Photo of Kraken


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

Reviewed 05/25/09

Been sitting on this one for a while now, figured that Memorial day is as good a day as any to review. Besides whats better then a white beer on a hot day.

Poured from a standard 12 oz bottle in a shaker glass. Firm pour evokes a quarter inch of fuzzy white head that manages to stick around for some time. Thick and viscous lace. Color is a deep murky orange, that is semi-transluecent at the edges.

Nose- Over ripe orange really dominates the nose. Some faint notes of clove. Mild orange zest.

Palate- Wow not the light summer white that was expecting. Heavy and brooding, this is a true imp white. Over ripe orange, orange zest dominate the flavor profile. Citrus tang really jumps up and grabs the palate. Alcohol really comes through. Finishes long, again heavy on the orange citrus notes.

Mouthfeel- soapy, syrupy, and well carbonated

Drinkability- Potent, and a bit heavy for my liking especially on a summer day.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2009 17:34:15 | More by Kraken
Photo of pinotboy007


3.05/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Nice amber color w/yeast floaties and a dense, khaki-colored head that's very slow to fade with modest lace. Very nice looking beer.

S - Sweet coriander and citrus malts along with a sweet oak-like accent.

T - Hmmm . . . spice cake sweet, boozy tasting malts with some citrus and even some raw vanilla and honey. I can detect some clove and alcohol heat on the finish making this a bit medicinal.

M - Dense and silky; slides down quite nicely with light carbonation that makes a stab at being refreshing but doesn't pull it off.

D - I can see this served as dessert during autumn temperatures (with spice cake, for instance) or with cigars. This is beer may have its own category and at 10.5% I'm not altogether certain this is worth seeking out unless you can find it as a single.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2009 20:17:29 | More by pinotboy007
Samuel Adams Imperial White from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 1,218 ratings.