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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,789 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,789
Reviews: 1,082
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 73
Gots: 82 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,789 | Reviews: 1,082 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A three-fingered head of frothy dark tan foam rises majestically as you pour Samuel Adam's dark and malty Double Bock. It's clear mahogany in color with a ruby cast, and crimson and orange highlights when held to the light. The head retention is good and it leaves thin streaks and tiny spots of lace about the glass.

Rich, doughy, toasty, drizzled with sweet dark caramel, and with a flicker of alcohol, the nose entices you to imbibe!

The flavor follows through on the promise made by the aroma with a grand delivery! It's remarkably full-flavored, unlike some other "doppel bocks" on the market; and it's really nicely balanced to display its maltiness, rather than alcohol, bitterness, or hops. There are some spicy and grassy hops to it, but they don't really compete with the malt up front, they just keep it in check. They do, however, show themselves at the swallow and into the lingering, surprisingly soft finish. Alcohol is present as well, and once again, unlike many other examples, it's kept well in-check. You know it's there, you can feel it in the mouth, and taste it amidst the malt, but it's not really obvious until the finish - it works with the bitterness to dry the sweetness of the malt, and it's quite nicely balanced from start to finish, never becoming cloying or sticky, and never becoming hot or overly bitter. Very nicely done! One of the best doppel bocks on the market.

NeroFiddled, May 27, 2007
Photo of scoobybrew
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was poured from the bottle into a pint glass. It has a deep copper color with a nice head and good retention. The aroma is richly malty with hints of chocolate and licorice. The taste is also rich and sweet, more licorice than chocolaty; although perhaps this is a function of the age. The alcohol is noticeable with not trace of hops, but it is balanced well for the style. It has a medium body with moderate carbonation.

Overall, this is a decent doppelbock. It's tasty and enjoyable enough, especially for a large American brewery.

scoobybrew, May 15, 2007
Photo of benmiliron
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Paid 5.99 for a six pack. Wow. 6 bucks for a 9% abv sixer.

Good color, kind of a smoky maple syrup color. Beer is perfectly transparent though, which is kind of strange for the style. No head to speak of after a 20" free fall into the glass. Smell is great - warm bread, molasses, alcohol. Taste is also good - a big chocolate wallop, with great bitterness and a hefty punch of alcohol. Mouthfeel is absolutely spot on. Good density, nice carbonation - almost silky in texture.

At 8.8% it'd be tough to down this as a session, but that's not the intent here. This is definitely one of the best SA brews around.

benmiliron, May 12, 2007
Photo of SMark
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle at 50 degrees. Bottle was marked to enjoy beore month notched of September.

Poured with a slight head which quickly dissipated leaving very little lacing. Color was a pleasing amber and very clear.

Very good roasted malt aroma at first hit. Came back again with a very slight vanilla.

Malty and sweet. Very good combination. Not so sure about sweet on second taste but was very satisfying.

Very appealing all around. No off odors or tastes. Well rounded.

Another good product from Sam Adams. Better than most regional brewers.

SMark, May 02, 2007
Photo of Rudgers73
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. The beer has a small head that dies quickly to a small foam ring around the edge of the glass. The beer itself has a light mahogany color with small bubbles slowly rising up. The smell is very malty and it indicates that it will be really sticky and sweet. I am also smelling a little bit of yeast in there. I am surprised by the fullness of flavor. Strong, sweet malty overtones with a hint of hops and yeast in the background to keep it balanced and to take the edge off of the thick, sticky-sweet body. The alcohol adds a sharp, yet fitting, bite. This is a pretty mean beer and it's beers like this that make me appreciate Sam Adams more and more. They hit the style like Victory does, but with a more traditional and conservative manor.

Rudgers73, Apr 27, 2007
Photo of mbutter1997
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle dated best before 10/2007.
A: Reddish caramel color; ~3/4" frothy head that reduces to thin scattered foam & light glass stick.
S: Sweet malty aroma w/ molasses and trace of alcohol.
T/M: A rich palate of caramels, light hops & smooth alcohol flavors. Definitely a full-bodied brew. The only problem, if it is one at all, is the alcohol taste is a bit overwhelming at first, but it does quickly blend in as the other flavors come out.
D: This became my favorite Sam Adams' brew after the 1st bottle. I'm reviewing the last beer in the six-pack and am already longing for the next release. HIGHLY recommended.

mbutter1997, Apr 26, 2007
Photo of mithrascruor
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby-brown color. Clear, but with virtually no head.

Smell: Aroma of rich, sweet roasted malts with caramel and a hint of alcohol.

Taste: Spicy malty alcohol taste with some caramel and a hint of bitter hops. Finish is a bit difficult.

Mouthfeel: Medium- to heavy-bodied, very smooth, and with a light tingly carbonation.

Drinkability: The alcohol in the taste is more than I would have desired for this type of beer, and makes it a bit difficult to drink.

Better than average doppelbock, but it doesn't impress me very much. It's strong, but more in alcohol than in taste.

mithrascruor, Apr 24, 2007
Photo of cixelsydima
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a copper,metallic orange,with a 1 finger head.Head fades quickly,yet continues to percolate.
S: 1st sniff....yea,this is a dopplebock,no doubt! Smells sweet.Maple?,cloves,cranberry,....wow,this beer has me thinkin about my Grandmothers Thanksgiving ham!
T: The alcohol is devilishly well hidden.I know it's there cause I can feel it.This beer is a sipper.Between tastes,the flavors just keep going like the Energizer Bunny.
M: This beer has texture.Chewy....yet smooth,too smooth for a dopplebock.
D: Watch out with this one.After 2 or 3 of these,I think I'd have have to say "uncle".I'm enjoying this more as it warms up a bit.I will have this on tap latter this year for the holidays.

cixelsydima, Apr 20, 2007
Photo of jslot38
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz Bottle, freshness date marked. Been looking forward to this one for a while now.

Appearance: Ruby tints amongst a somewhat cloudy yet transparent mahagony body. A lovely head sits atop, made up of an egg-shell white colour with faint bubbles. The head looks like its gonna stay around and a few sheets of lacing are starting to form.

Smell: Toasted nuts, biscuit, deep malts, a cherry or two lingers.

Taste: Slow down here, this is a sipping beer. The 8.8% ABV doesn't hold back, which is fine in my mind. This warming alcohol is surrounded by some great malt flavours, caramel, nuts, toast, and lingers of cherries and chocolate. Any note of hops is hidden, and there are faint touches of earth ridden hops.

Mouthfeel: Spot on, the mouthfeel of a nice lager. The hops give it a bit of an oily touch.

Drinkability: While I do enjoy it, its impossible to drink more than one, maybe two of these as the alcohol will overwhelm you - its just strong in all of its aspect. Strong and good, another spot on beer from Sam Adams.

jslot38, Apr 19, 2007
Photo of wagenvolks
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a mug, producing a hazlenut brown colored, transparent body. A finger's width of tan head slowly receeds and leaves a whisp of foam (no lacing). Aroma is fun, full of raisin, fig, nut, and caramel...all quite malty.

Tastes surprisingly fruity and sweet with big cranberry and malt notes that ride the tongue like the hoppiest DIPA. An alcoholic note pops in to say "Hi!" as this beer warms. Mouthfeel is smooth and juicy with a sour bite to the finish. In sum, it's tasty, but not good enough to make me want to have another any time in the near future.

wagenvolks, Apr 14, 2007
Photo of StarSAELS
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The black and bronze six pack should be a hint as to what you're getting into, and this double bock lives up to it.

Pours a deep burgundy with a thick, resilient, light tan head that sticks to the glass like Super Glue. Hold this up to the light and you'll be thinking, "Oh, yeah, babe!"

Get a whiff of that malty, malty aroma! Roasty and robust, this brew's sending out pheromones that scream, "DRINK ME!"

The brew's dark-roasted malts do a serious tune on your tastebuds, and do a good job at trying to mask the 8.8 abv. Combine that with the elixir's viscosity, and you've got a brew that leaves its flavors lingering up inside your cheeks. Lick your lips a minute or so after sipping and they taste like toasted marshmallows.

One of these is really enough, but two of a good thing isn't bad? Right? I'm stocking up before they're gone for the season! This should keep well next to the LongShot Old Ale and the Sweetwater Festive (2006).

StarSAELS, Apr 13, 2007
Photo of scottoale
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my "old" favorites of around two decades ago. New style bottle and label from back then, but very similar just the same.

This brew pours a viscous ambery-copper with a 1/2 inch off-white head of decent retention and some lace. Ample carbonation, perfect for this brew.

The nose is just plain sweet malty bliss, strong and robust. Malted caramel and a boat load of alcohol fits the bill.

Sweet, rich and thick malt just fills the tastebuds...toasty, caramely, toffee and molassas flavor just takes this through the roof, till the alcohol and just enough hops, bring it back down to earth. This stuff still tastes pretty damn good to me and I consider myself a bit of a hophead.

Full bodied and full of alcohol...this brew couldn't hide the fact if it wanted too. A malt lover's dream...this is one Dopplebock that will get your attention, in a good way.

scottoale, Apr 11, 2007
Photo of kajerm
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at the Mundelein beer tasting. Pours reddish amber with a thin white head. The aroma is all malts, light and slightly toasted. There is some spiciness in the nose, either from alcohol or phenolics.

The taste is mixed malts and strong sweetness that stops just short of being cloying; some subtle honey and molasses flavors are present as well. The only suggestion of hopping is that the sweetness is restrained in a beer that's so obviously malty. A little spicy in the back, but not really very hot-- it is "only" 8.8% ABV after all.

This beer tastes like exactly what I would expect from a doppelbock; no more, no less. It's a solid style example and (I believe) a pretty good bargain, but at similar price points I'd probably take Spaten Optimator over this one. That might just be pro-German bias talking, though.

The mouthfeel is heavy and syrupy. This is drinkable for a doppelbock, but not not drinkable.

All told, this beer is very true to style and if you're looking for a cheap, readily-available doppelbock, you could do worse.

kajerm, Apr 09, 2007
Photo of number1bum
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a sort of ruby amber with a nice 1" light beige head. Just a touch of retention and a bit of sticky lacing. Smell is a bit bready but mostly sweet, with a rich caramel aroma. The caramel sweetness also dominates the taste, which is big, bold and malty. Some candi sugar and nutty flavor round out the taste, and the mouthfeel is thick and creamy, almost chewy. Drinkability takes a bit of a knock because it's so incredibly sweet, which starts to get a bit syrupy for me, but I would definitely have this again. Really nice doppelbock.

number1bum, Apr 09, 2007
Photo of BeerTruth
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Beer pours a clear dark amber with a nice full khaki colored head. Lacing sticks very well throughout entire tasting. Smell is somewhat dull which I didn't expect but has subtle hints of caramel from the powerful malt. Taste was so smooth and so creamy, so much smokey malt that dominates this brew. I couldn't really taste much alochol in it, which I enjoy. Carbonation is very limited. Feeling is a bit chewy and quite thick. I couldn't believe this brew is 8.8%! So drinkable, so enjoyable. Pick this one up for sure

BeerTruth, Apr 01, 2007
Photo of BMoney575
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 3-30-07
Best before 8-07

Pours a deep, blood-red, with a quickly fading head and bubbles slowly rising to the top.

Smell is strong on candied fruits with an almost wine-like quality.

Taste is sweet, caramelly malt up front, with a strong alcohol warming and a very faint floral hoppiness. Very good.

Mouthfeel is outstanding. Super thick and syrupy, that flavor coats the palate forever.

Drinkability is decent, a very thick and boozy beer.

Overall, very good. One of the most flavorful lagers I've ever had. A little heavy on the alcohol, but the sweetness and thickness really balance it out. Highly Recommended.

BMoney575, Mar 31, 2007
Photo of gunnerman
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, pours a dark rustic brown with a fluffy 2 finger head that leaves thick sticky lace on mug. Smell is very mild and has a sweet aroma of chocolate malt and nuts. Taste is very mild and not bitter at all I can taste hints of chocolate with a bit of a candy finish, very smooth and the alcohol was barerly detected, a fine and high abv contented beer from Boston Brewing co, very good in my book.

gunnerman, Mar 29, 2007
Photo of montageman
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very clear deep amber to brown color with a small amount of carbonation bubbles into a pint glass. Nice 2 finger head that takes its time and leaves behind a lot of lacing. Sweet, caramel-y nose that has a slight roasted character in the background. Taste is very sweet, malty, & warming - the alcohol is definitely present, but in a nice way. Mouthfeel is thick & syrupy with a bit of carbonation for a slight dryness; creamy as well. This is a dangerous thing at almost 9% - perfect for after dinner relaxation. Highly recommended.

montageman, Mar 27, 2007
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The new 2009 Imperial series doublebock is a different animal than this version that I reviewed back in 2007. This review at the bottom is for the new 2009 version. The top review is for the 2007 version. I'm scoring this with the 2009 version in mind.

Looks like a brown-amber with nice red hues and a moderate light brown head, dissiptes lightly.

Nose: Big aroma of maple-sugar malt, caramel, alcohol heat, spicey and herbal hop.

Flavor: Massivly rich and sweet malted flavor with a smooth and buttery effect that really stimulates the palate. The malt flavor is very complex with notes of sweet caramel with buttered toast and a slight alcohol heat and spicey, peppery hop that blalances out well over the huge sweet malt. There is an interesting pine-pitch like flavor in the earthy hop finish. This Double Bock reminds me very much of the "Long shots" Old Ale with it's massive malt charechter.

Feel: Full bodied, thick and slick feeling but not without a decent carbonated bite at the end.

DA: amazingly easy to drink at 8.8%.


a dark, yet clear amber/brown with red hues. 3" bubbly, thick and dense cream-colored head. slow dissipation, rather impressive. Sticky and intricate lacing. Best looking SA brew I've seen in a while!

The aroma is huge! Sweet, malty bread, cinnemon and sour fruits within the malt, a nice sour-fruity yeast underneath that. sour-dough bread with maple and honey sweetness. musky, herbalness down deep. big, earthy yeast way, way down. great complexity. maks you anxious to take a sip!

Whoa Mama! This has a huge malty complexity, much more complex than the previous version of this brew. It has infact been beefed up, and big-time! Vermont grade-a amber maple syrup rides through the malt with a beautiful balance of spicey, herbal lager-like yeast effect. full bodied feel, slick and a heat-driven herbalized finish. The flavor's are very much bold but it's balance amkes everything blend very well. Warming, complex and yet very drinkable. There is an earthy sensibility amoungst all of the heady malt flavor's that range from salty nuts to toffee. Brawney complexity!

This one is a pure joy! maybe the best Sam Adams's brew on the market. and it's a nice step-up from the old bouble bock recipe. Sip and enjoy!

GratefulBeerGuy, Mar 26, 2007
Photo of cueball52
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very rich deep amber with a small white head that dissipates quickly. It shows nice carbination.
The aroma is sweet like maple syrup and raisins.
The first taste is very sweet but smooth, not offensive. But the first thing you notice is the sweetness!
The after taste has a raisin like quality.
With the second drink I begin to notice the roasted malt and warmth of the alcohol. There isn't much hop presence but that is to be expected with the style.
Once your palate adjusts to the initial shock of the sweetness this turns into a very nice smooth beer. Very well done.

cueball52, Mar 24, 2007
Photo of daliandragon
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a single of this seasonal from the good people at Grapes and Hops in Fayetteville on Friday after work. I'm slowly working my way through the Sam varieties and this is another step there, which is a plus. Color is a dark rust with minimal head and moderatte tto heavy carbonattion bubble action. Nose is weak but improves as it warms and is mainly comprised of heavy malt notes, some dark fruit (maybe figs or plums), yeast, and a touch of alcohol.

Ultra sweet all the way through the sip, which is an eye opener. Mouthfeel is tight enough to keep it from getting nasty but still too outrageous and unbalanced for my palate. Alcohol is kept in check for the most part and creaminess factor is high, both of which are positives. Not a bad beer and some people will undoubtedly love it but for me drinkability is pretty low.

daliandragon, Mar 18, 2007
Photo of bark
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The colour is dark red-amber. The finger thick beige compact head leaves lots of lacing.

The generous soft smell is dominated by lightly roasted malt, alcohol, dark bread and some yeast.

The taste is really powerful and drier than expected – strong lagers are usually sweet. I didn’t note as much alcohol either. There are some roasted notes and lots of dried fruits: Apricots, figs, almonds, hazel nuts. The aftertaste is creamy with interesting flavours of matured tomatoes, alcohol, a very bitter-dry taste with some minerals.

The carbonation is quite strong. The bubbles are medium sized. The liquid is very creamy with some thickness.

Doppelbock is not really one of my favourite styles, but this one was more creamy and balanced than most of ‘em.

bark, Mar 16, 2007
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brown 12er, FBFTEB SEP.

Deep ruby amber, clear. Moderate carbonation. Mild head, mild lace.

Sweet tasted/roasted fruit. Malt: toffee, dark ripe fruit, nut, toasted caramel, rich. Hop: very mild floral and herbal.

Medium-full bodied, thick and smooth. Malt: dark fruit, sweet toffee, fruity, sticky sweet. Very rich. Hop: light floral, mild spice/herbal, understated, tart. Mild warmth. Mildly carbonated, but smooth, thick, and nice.

Not as balanced as it could be, more hops needed. Still very tasty. So rich, thick, and creamy. The alcohol creeps up.

MrHungryMonkey, Mar 12, 2007
Photo of rayjay
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for the surprise zrrbrrt! And right off my gots list too! I'm actually a little disappointed in the new label...now I wish I would have saved an old one from a few years back! I'm assuming the beer is the same with a quality-minded producer like the Boston Beer Co.

Clear, deep ruby-brown beer, very beautiful. Minimal foam.

It's pretty difficult to stir up any volitiles off this one...just a faint hint of carmel and malt.

Deep and sweet, malty, carmel, deep and rich. The hops (probably Hallertauers) barely make a stand other than pure bittering. Some smokey notes, and a bit of butterscotch. A real treat.

Carbonation is very light, and this is some thick beer. Heavy; drink one of these and you'll be FULL.

Great reproduction of a fun style of lager. Fresh Celebrator has it beat for drinkability, but this one may be a notch or two higher in gravity. Drink one and celebrate springtime. Cheers!

rayjay, Mar 12, 2007
Photo of yelterdow
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by October, 2007. Served in a traditional doppelbock glass at cellar temperature.

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear liquid caramel, the head surprises me with a supercharged rush to the surface... it begins to spill over the rim, and I have to administer some lip service. It settles elegantly to a thin mat, leaving behind a completely unbroken liner of microbubbles.

Smell- Surprise... this is pure, balls to the wall malts from all angles. It smells as a doppelbock should... a little toffee, maybe a touch of honey and molasses... but certainly there's evidence of an abundance of ingredients to make this happen. The only drawback would be the overly pronounced sweetness.

Taste- Malts everywhere, with the added notes of honey and mead... nicely done, just a bit sweet for me personally. It certainly showcases the style and is more than generous with flavor and its malt profile.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Perfectly tingly entering the mouth, and while the beer swells it clings to the initial carbonation... making it enjoyable but too active on the tongue. Swish it another few seconds and it's a 4.5. The alcohol slides through unnoticed in the taste, but I'd be kidding you if I didn't mention that my bottom lip is numb right now. Great offering from a brewery that keeps it interesting and honest year round, I will continue to support BBC.

yelterdow, Mar 09, 2007
Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
88 out of 100 based on 1,789 ratings.