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Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series)Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series)

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very good

1,815 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,815
Reviews: 1,084
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 13.27%
Wants: 80
Gots: 85 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 02-07-2009)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,815 | Reviews: 1,084 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rayek
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams sensory glass.

A: Deep copper with excellent clarity and a foamy cream colored head. Head retention is just OK. Leaves a bit of lace.

S: Take one whiff, and you'll know that this going to be strong stuff. Alcohol isn't front and center, but it makes up a fair amount of the total aroma. Dark fruits, toffee and pepper make up the rest.

T: Strong without being over the top. Toffee and dark fruit flavors dominate out front. Bitterness has a well balanced pepper bite. Finishes with a mild alcohol warmth going down.

M: Medium body is a touch syrupy. Carbonation level is right on.

D:Overall, I liked this beer. The high ABV crept up on me and would keep me from drinking more than one. A nice beer, but not at the top of my list for beers of this style.

Photo of Brettster
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have been looking forward to trying some of the Sam Adams Imperial Series. This one was not a let down.

It pours pretty thick into a Sam Adams Pilsner glass. It is a pretty deep brown almost red with an off white head that fizzles down to bubbly lacing around the glass. At the first sip it was pretty sweet with an alcohol and spice after taste. It has a thick and smooth mouthfeel.

This beer is just a bit on the sweet side but still a drinkable beer.

Photo of bamadog
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have to admit, this beer was much better than I went into it thinking it was going to be. It was actually absolutely great and I will not hesitate to come back to this one. Review is from notes taken on 11/21/09. Poured from the bottle to a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a little thick and viscous looking; color is a deep caramel brown combined with a nice ruby red; starts with a 1/2 finger head that is off-white and fades quickly to a thin scum on the surface; body is clear and shows strong carbonation; spotty lacing and oily residue is left on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Quite potent -- rich caramel and burnt sugary/syrupy maltiness; a slightly bready quality to it as well; slight whiff of alcohol. I'm very excited to drink this based upon the smell.

Taste: Outstanding! Big and rich caramel and burnt sugar flavors that match the nose and a very firm bready backing; solid flavor of alcohol is present as well, a little big, but still pretty well blended; a slight raisin-like flavor is kind of hidden in there too.

Mouthfeel: Body is thick and chewy and coats evenly; strong carbonation keeps the viscous body lively; gums are left tingly and the belly is left especially warm.

Drinkability: I know that a 4 seems high for something pushing 10% ABV, but the smell and flavors are just so great with this beer and the price is right! Perfect for a nice cool fall/winter evening.

Photo of Rootdog316
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep ruby red/dark auburn with a head that quickly disappears.

Aroma: Caramel, bread crust, banana and vanilla.

Taste: It starts with a big mouthful of caramel, then some dark rum, a little banana, and bitter, European hops. Has a hint of chocolate too.

Mouthfeel: Thick, almost chewy.

Overall: Very drinkable, a bit on the sweet side. Heavy on the alcohol, but not something you notice half way through a glass.

Photo of losdizzel
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a very nice beer

Poured in a Sam Adams boston lager glass very nice look.

A B V is 9.5 The taste is very nice
a whole lot of MALTS in this one
mouthfeel is pretty good
About 10.00 dollers a 4 pack
very nice sam adams beer
still looking for double chocolate stout.heard sams made one yet to find .

Photo of Mavajo
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a somewhat dark, rich brown with a moderate head that fades to a medium crown. Mild to moderate lacing. Nose is of caramel malt and a hint of apple. Taste is sweet, caramel, no real bitterness. Slight alcohol burn and warming sensation that becomes more pronounced as the beer warms. Mouthfeel is sticky syrupy and smooth. Medium carbonation.

All in all, a sweet alcoholic brew with moderate drinkability. Don't know if it's a favorite but I did enjoy it and its definitely worth experiencing.

Photo of Mosley1212
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a glass.

I was expecting it to be a very bitter beer, but I don't get that at all. It have a very sweet taste (maybe caramel?), but there is some bitterness on the back of the tongue with each swallow.

Once you swallow you can taste the acohol and I get a very warm sensation as it is going down.

The color is impressive light brown with a hint of red or orange. Very attractive.

This beer is drinkable, but I don't think I could drink very may in one sitting.

Overall, this is another fine product by one of the best American brewers.

Photo of BillyBoysPie
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle into a pint glass.

Nice half inch pale tan head. I quite like the color - it reminds me of several of the Dopplebocks I had while studying in Germany. It also has beautiful ruby notes if you hold it up to the light. I strongly recommend that. The head dissipated quickly, andI didn't get much lacing, but it may have been the pour. I'll change that if I have a second that does lace.

Nice and caramel/malty. A hint of chocolate, but that's not what you should be interested in. The caramel is very sweet - there's a bit of sugar smell to the beer. The 9.5% alcohol is well hidden in the fragrance. No real herbs.

I'd recommend serving this beer after about an hour and a half of warming if you've refrigerated it, it really brings out the flavor. A really smooth caramel malt beginning. The spice flavors are very light, and subtle - the reason for the warm beer recommendation. The alcohol is noticeable at the end - but really is part of the flavor profile, just like it should be in a Doppelbock. It tastes, to be honest, quite good.

A very full-bodied beer with a bit of carbonation to balance the strong flavors. A mouthful of this beer is just that, but it's worth it. I don't feel the 9.5%, but I have a high tolerance and drank this over the course of about a half an hour. It could be seen as a meal in a glass - similar to the original doppelbocks.

I recommend trying this one. I'm planning on having the other two of the imperial series after my excellent impression of this beer.

Photo of Mosstrooper
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into 19oz pilsner.

Appearance: Deep caramel in color, with a very minimal tan head that leaves some lace.

Smell: All malt- chocolate and caramel throughout, with hints of apple and alcohol.

Taste: Very sweet from the malts, but finishes with a strong alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel: Thick, with balanced, natural feeling carbonation. Warming alcohol finish.

Drinkability: A very good beer from Sam Adams, but a sipper for sure due to the high ABV.

Photo of dmamiano
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a snifter with virtually no head, but lacing attaches to the glass with a swirl. Also nice legs observed at this point as well.
Deep reddish brown gloes from the glass as fine bubbles rise to the top.
very malty and sweet in the nose. ripened fruits, slight medicinal reminding me of an english style barleywine.
A malt bomb for sure. Very warming with alcohol as I swallow. Slight bitterness also felt on the back of the tongue.

Photo of Viggo
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, picked up in Buffalo.

Pours a clear dark red, some orange highlights in the corners, thick light tan head forms, settles to a thick ring around the glass, lots of lace chunks stick, good retention.

Smell is nice, very sweet and intense, caramel, brown sugar, bread, biscuits, lots of raisin and dark fruit, alcohol is well hidden, cherries, lots of toffee, really nice aroma.

Taste is very sugary and fruity, raisin, brown sugar, caramel, bread and biscuit, sherry, very sweet, alcohol, a bit of oxidative notes, nice sweet malty finish, alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, feels a bit syrupy, low to medium carbonation. Some warmth going down but overall a pretty nice doppelbock.

Photo of grub
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Viggo brought this one over. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled nov 7/09.

pours crystal clear deep red, showing beautiful garnet and ruby hues when held to the light. the fine tan head drops fairly fast but leaves plenty of lace behind.

aroma is good. rich caramel and toffee. multi-grain bread and a bit of biscuit. earthy and a bit woody. light alcohol. some dark fruit too - date, raisin, plum.

taste is good. caramel and toffee. bit of butterscotch. touch of cocoa. big bready malt - whole wheat bread, cracker, bit of biscuit. just a light toasty component. earthy and a bit woody. the alcohol comes through a little more than in the aroma, but still only seems to reveal itself as a gentle spreading warmth after the first few sips. a bit of dark fruit again, date and raisin mostly.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body but with a relatively dry finish. just under medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. nicely balanced. i could easily drink a whole bunch of this one and get into trouble when that 9.5% starts kicking in. good stuff.

Photo of haddon
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- poured a dark cola color that shows a reddish hue when held to the light. not much of a head. good lacing down the glass

S- not much to the nose- malts, toastiness & perhaps a bit of sweet molassess

T- wow, the malt is evident. biscuity taste that you would expect. on the back of the throat there is an explosion of smoky sweetness with a nice punch of warm alcohol that stays with you all the way down

M- medium to full body that is very viscous on the tongue. not much carbonation.

D- was expecting a lopsided taste heavy on the malts with no hop flavor but was pleasantly surprised. the alcohol was a little heavy on the aftertaste but overall really enjoyed the experience.

Photo of colts9016
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pokal glass at 42 degrees.

Appearance: A light tan two finger head that dropped like a rock. The color of the beer is a mahogany with reddish copper tint. There is effervescence in the beer. The clarity of the beer is slightly opaque.

Nose: A very deep rich malty aroma with some toastiness. There is a some fruity aroma, plums. There are some caramel notes and some sweet melanoids. There is no hop character noticed.

Taste: A deep rich full malty flavor with toastiness. There is caramel, plums and a sweet melanoid. There is no hop character.

Overall: The mouth feel is velvety smooth and slightly sweet. The body of beer is medium body and the finish is medium. The beer is loaded with a lot malt. The head is sorely disappointing. There is not a lot of effervescence in the beer either. It is not a great beer, but descent.

Photo of wahhmaster
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a 0.5L Pilsner Urquell-branded pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish-brown color with a tight frothy head that lingers for a while leaving nice lacing.

Smell: Typical dopplebock territory here: sweet and malty.

Taste: Heavy on the roasted malts. Has kind of a creamy taste to it. Backed by a noticeable alcohol flavor (duh, it's 9.5%).

Mouthfeel: Really smooth. Based on the mouthfeel, you could be drinking milk.

Drinkability: A decent dopplebock and right in line with most of SA's other beers: a good representation of the style but nothing extraordinary. While this dopplebock doesn't hold a candle to its German counterparts, I'd still recommend this one to almost anyone.

Photo of roblowther
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours opaque brown with a thin tan head that laces like my grandmother if she had practiced better living through chemistry. Smells malty, sweet, with a dark fruity undertone. Tastes woody up front then melts into a delicious sweet molases maltiness with a dry nutmeg-esque finish. NICE! Mouthfeel is well-carbonated and then slippery. Drinkability is fantastic. Not too sweet, not too dry, just out and out de-pour me another-licious.

Photo of steveh
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First try of this new series, poured into a snifter for effect.

A -- Dark, black cherry color with red highlights and a light tan head that thins slowly.

S -- Mild fruit and alcohol, even a little solvent. Earthy notes back with sweet malts and toffee becoming more apparent with warmth.

T -- Rich molasses flavor up front mixed with toasted dark bread and some cookie dough character. Hints of chocolate and vanilla with warming. Finishes surprisingly clean after all that with some lingering earthy notes from malt.

M -- Syrupy mouthfeel with a medium heavy body. Alcohol warming as the bottle goes down.

D -- Very smooth and drinkable, a definite sipping and savoring beer for the cooler months. Very reminiscent of Bavarian Eisbocks.

Photo of avalon07
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a mug. Had an amber color and a slightly cloudy consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy head that didn't stay around very long and some good lacing.

S: Malt, malt and more malt.

T: Like the smell, malt dominates the taste. Also present is caramel and a very distinct boozy quality. This beer has a much higher and more noticable alcohol content than any Doppelbock I've tried before.

M: A high level of carbonation and a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: As Doppelbock's go, this is one of the more drinkable you'll find.

Photo of Hovellord
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The only other doppelbocks against which I can compare Samuel Adams Double Bock are Paulaner Salvator and Aventinus and the American offering does not fall short. Great, hearty, boozy darkness. Malty, and decidedly so. Velvety in the mouth. The desired warmth on the tongue is present, as is the afterglow. Makes one know he is drinking beer. One complaint--so drinkable that one can fall off the couch before he knows what hit him. Stick to one and take your time.

Photo of Albinoh
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber color, with a decent brownish head. Sugary aroma, you can tell the beer is going to go down with that syrupy taste of heavy malted beers. The taste is sweet and slightly burned, after a few sips it leaves a bite of bitterness on the tongue, but not to much. Full body, sticky.

Good beer, good for winter as the alcohol is hidden in the sugar.

Photo of katan
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Continuing my tour through the imperial series.

12 oz into a goblet.

A - Pours a very clear brown to amberish colored liquid. Little carbonation is apparent. Head formation is about non-existent.

S - Some malt sweetness - caramel and peat malt flavors. Reminds me of a scotch ale. No alcohol or yeast notes. Overall pretty light scent.

T - Mega-malty - I guess he wasn't lying that a loaf of bread is in there. Maple syrup like. Mid-stream goes rather flat, no hopping, no bitter build. Finishes with a very strong caramel sweetness, super sugary. Clings on the tongue in the aftertaste while a noticeable alcohol warmth makes an appearance.

M - Super-thick, coating, clinging. Massive amounts of unfermentables are present. No carbonation bite, this beer is all smooth.

D - Deceptive ABV, but not a beer you should mess with. Not filling. Flavors are well integrated, but I find the overwhelming sweetness as almost like drinking maple syrup after a while.

This beer could easily be confused with a barley wine - the sharpness of a lager is lost here, and runs more along the vein of an ale. Oh - and do I feel a bit of deja vu from the triple bock - some of those maple notes are very similar.

Photo of mjw2808
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany with some reddish in there. Small head, minimal lacing. The aroma is very very malty, some spices and some alcohol. The taste is beautiful, roasted malt in abundance with some caramel, maybe a hint of coffee malt in there and a very small hint of alcohol as its going down. This is one of my favorite beers from Samuel Adams.

Photo of BeerMark
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial) pours a beautiful deep brown in my glass. Mild carbonation and small head round out the appearance. Not a whole lot of aroma but I can detect a boatload of malts. The flavor is of malts and earthy spiciness. It's delicious and much better than I expected. This is a slow sipper for me due to the richness rather than the alcohol burn. Not much burn here considering the alcohol content. Very nicely done.

Photo of Anthony1
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into the new SA glass a cloudy brown color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy off-white head, some sticky lacing. The nose is malty, hint of alcohol, spices, and caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, hints of alcohol, slight spice, and caramel. There is a nice sweetness in the finish. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a very tasty brew, recommended.

Photo of KrisPaulk77
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Lazy Magnolia pint glass.

The beer poured a deep, dark mahogany, with a minimal but dense khaki colored head. The head presented itself, and then settled down into a little remnant of foam the remained until the very end. Some sticky lacing was noticed throughout the pint.
The aroma was a pure malt assault. The heavy, thick malt sweetness was the star of this show. Their were caramel notes and some mild dark fruits as well, accenting the whole effect, but this was a showpiece of malt goodness. The hops were percieved with some spicy florals, but they as well were only there to be a backup player to the malts.
The taste was just what I was anticipating and more. A malty, bready, sweet rush. Some toffee notes, and a huge caramel flavor comes through, followed by a bitter note from the hops. The finish stuck around and left you wanting another yet another sip.
The mouthfeel was huge and satisfying. It was what I wanted it to be. A small bit of alcohol was noticed. The 9.5% is very well hidden in this wonderful brew.
I hate that I was unable to sample Double Bock in it's past incarnation. Some reviewers on here claim it was superior to this new Imperial Series version. That must've been one helluva beer, because this Double Bock was excellent. A fine offering from Jim and crew, and one I will be buying when I can find it.

Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
88 out of 100 based on 1,815 ratings.