1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,789 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,789
Reviews: 1,082
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 72
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,789 | Reviews: 1,082 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, split in a chalice of Blackie

appearance: pours a dark ruby-garnet, light beige head with very little retention, light ring of lacing, dark and full bodied

smell: thick and sweet, huge malt presence, sweet candy apple, caramel, raisin, toffee...good doppel aromas

taste: sweet red apple, creamy caramel that shows up big in the flavour, big and sweet malt, fair alcohol presence with a deep warming sensation, toasty, very rich texture

mouthfeel: full bodied, smooth, rich

drinkability: good

dirtylou, Jun 01, 2006
Photo of GolgiIPAratus
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled: 4.6.06

The beer looks like molasses stretched thin, but still dark brown with ruby highlights around the edges.

The aroma is like smacking your face on the doorjamb while walking into a brewery. Massive malts tenderly assault the nostrils. Sweet banana bread lies underneath the obvious dank overtones.

The flavor is, of course, malt overload. Rich, deep, dark fruits swim in this liquid meal right before a nice, tart bitterness upon swallow. It’s, duh, a full bodied beer. No question it’s in your mouth. Oh, yeah, it’s in there. Its low carbonation only increases the thickness around your tongue. But it’s proper thickness, nothing too extraneous, but still quite heavy.

It’s not made for sessioning. At least not for me. I like to enjoy one after a good bitter beer or late night before bed like a snack or dessert.

GolgiIPAratus, May 26, 2006
Photo of bjohnson
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark copper almost rust amberish color with an initial half finger creamy caramel colored head that dissipate rather quickly. Retention hugging the sides of the glass.
S: Aromas of floral hops and a sweet caramel like maltyness.
T & M: Tastes of sweet caramel malts hit the palate first leaving a wonderful sweet aftertaste in the middle to back of the tongue. Creamy feeling as it hits your lips and goes down the gullet. Very smooth drinking doublebock. abv is slightly noticeable as it warms the throat and stomach. Carbonation settles on the tip of the tongue but evaporates quickly. Nice sweet malty aftertaste dominates making you wanting more. Not as spicy as I was thinking it was going to be, but no matter as it didn't affect my fondness of this offering.
D: Definately a drinkable beer. One of the better ones I've had from Sam Adams in a long time. Would like to try this on tap if I see it. Recommended.

bjohnson, May 19, 2006
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer is a reddish brown, with a thick, off-white head that fades at a moderate rate and leaves a thick lace.

S: Very malty aroma, with caramel, vanilla spice, fruit (I want to say apple & apricot but I could be wrong), and a faint bit of hops.

T: Caramel & vanilla sweetness hit you right away and prevail throughout. There’s a slight taste of hops to provide the Sam Adams signature and it leaves a very sweet after-taste.

M: The heavy sweetness causes the beer to leave a sticky residue in your mouth; however it’s very smooth with a heavy body and medium-to-high carbonation.

D: It’s smooth and sweet so it goes down quite easily and masks the 8.80% ABV. However, it’s also very filling, which I don’t say about a lot of beers, even most full-bodied beers. Plus, even on an empty stomach, I don’t think I’d drink too many of these especially if there were something else to choose from in the fridge.

Typically I like the Sam Adams beers, but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this beer. I did expect it to be darker in color. The smell gave me flashbacks to the miserable Cranberry Lambic from the holiday sampler pack. However, I was able to get past that as the beer doesn’t taste like the Cran-Lam at all. It does taste more like the Winter Lager & Old Fezziwig Ale though. Overall, I just wasn’t impressed.

TheManiacalOne, May 11, 2006
Photo of weeare138
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a deep dark mahogany color with a creamy white head that retains nicely. Scattered spots of lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of creamy vanilla, cocoa, caramel, and toffee.
Taste is of huge maltiness with vanilla, cocoa, toffee, raisins, and caramel.
Mouthfeel is creamy, malty, sweet, with caramel, nuts, and a mild alcohol presence.
Pretty good beer by Sam.

weeare138, May 04, 2006
Photo of PeatReek
3/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Moderately thin head, possibly due to an overly gentle pour. Head color is yellow with a hint of orange; lots of nice malty goodness coming. Body crystal clear and deep amber/orange. Smells huge! Vague prune & raisin overtones, and just malt! Like malted milkshake malt. Taste is very sweet, slight metallic tinge up front followed by that nice malty flavor. Thick chewy body. How alcoholic does this taste? During the sip, it's very subtle, but the aftertaste is a bit hot. I'd probably stick to one bottle of sammy's double bock.

PeatReek, Apr 27, 2006
Photo of falloutsnow
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hard pour creates a two-plus centimeter head that's white-brown in color. The foam is very dense and creamy, almost like a meringue, and takes a fair amount of time to dissolve and still leaves a good amount of lacing and frothiness on top. The body itself is translucent with a deep ruby color and very active carbonation.
Taking in the scent, one derives a pungent alcohol character mixed with the classic doppelbock smell: some mixture of intense malt, caramel, toffee, butterscotch. No detectable hop presence; the alcohol seems to blur out much else aside from the equally dominant grain characteristics. Taste is somewhat similar: extra helpings of mildly toasted malt alongside some caramel malt and diacetyl, blended with a liberal amount of alcohol sting. There is a bit too much alcohol presence, for a doppelbock, in my opinion.
Its weight on the palate is pleasantly thick and chewy with a moderate to strong carbonation level that's appropriate for the thickness of the beer. Finish is unexpectedly dry, as there was little hint of bittering hops from scent or taste profiles.
Sam Adams' attempt at a doppelbock comes through as a solid representative of the style, though a bit unable to hide its alcohol and lacking a certain amount of depth found in other doppelbocks.

falloutsnow, Apr 26, 2006
Photo of FightingEntropy
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I’m always amazed at how Sam Adams does such a good job of brewing beer in spite of being a larger brewer. Double Bock is no exception. Poured into a pint class at 54 degrees, a fluffy, yellow snow colored head (sorry for the analogy) sprang up about a ½ inch thick, but dissipated rather quickly to only faint traces on top the dark brown beer. The 8.8% alcohol shows through easily in the smell, overwhelming any hop note. Alcohol is strong in the taste as well, blended with lots of caramel malt flavors. Very sweet overall, easy to drink for a strong beer. Nothing very harsh or overwhelming. Compared to other doppelbocks, a good introduction for a friend who is scared of hops but ready for a well made strong beer. Smooth mouthfeel makes it accessible, and very drinkable. Not much to be afraid of while doing a very good job. Hopefully, large breweries will notice that such beers are possible and supported on a wide scale. If on the menu at a regular restaurant, I’d order it over standard fare easily, but probably before or after the meal or bring a six pack to a friends.

FightingEntropy, Apr 16, 2006
Photo of maddamish
4.9/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I just wanted to put my place marker in here and extol the virtues of this beer. Not only is this beer a beauty to look at with its big foaming head and orange-ish brown body, but it is one of the more tastier beers on the market.

Keep looking here for a review as I am going to get more of this product and give it a write up it deserves. But for now. Take my word and try one of these tonight.

maddamish, Apr 11, 2006
Photo of JoeyHotrod
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Now this is good! Much better than their Brown Ale I tried earlier.

The appearance is no doubt reminiscent of the style. Dark amber and a lovely pillowly head. Lacing while not being huge, is definitly around for most of the glass.

If I didn't know any better, would assume this was one of the classic German Dopplebocks based only on appearance... how does it hold up in other ways, one might ask?

Quite well if I may so!

The smell was of malts... sweet malts.. being the predominant factor, definite carmel malts there as well. Hops nowhere to be found, though wouldn't expect there to be, given the style.

From a taste standpoint, again it's pretty authentic and comparable to The German Counterparts. While it's not going to replace Celebrator in my book, this is still some damn good stuff!

Malt bliss for lack of a better way to describe the taste. While I can appreciate both a brew on the malty side, as well as one on the hoppy side.... in terms of the last year or so, I've seen myself going more toward the hoppy side of the spectrum for the most part.

This particular beer is a great example of just what I've been missing out on.

Sorry you've been neglected maltly beers, this was one heck of a reunion!

One of the more true to style examples of The Sammy Seasonal brews and one I would highly reccomend.

JoeyHotrod, Apr 04, 2006
Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Saw this in a local liquor store and decided to give it a try. I like most of Boston Beer's other offerings, but I didn't know what to anticipate with this. Didn't seem like Sam's usual fare/style, but I gave this a shot with an open mind. As you can see by my number ratings, I thought this was well worth the risk!

A nice, solid oak color defined this pour. Beautiful hue, the head filled the top of my pint glass, and the aroma was pleasantly surprising, but not overbearing or over-the-top. The taste has lots of roasting, caramel, and toffee in it, but I don't feel the chocolate that some other reviewers felt was present here. The lacing wasn't impressive, but the aftertaste was subtly wonderful. All the aformentioned flavors melded nicely and lingered for a while, but never feeling weak or out of sync. This beer had a nice warming feeling to it, was light on carbonation, and almost felt like a session brew. Yes, I understand this is 8.8% ABV but that's only by looking at the numbers. This had the taste and mouthfeel of an Octoberfest with the warming quality of a winter warmer; both sans spices.

Sam's got a winner here, and moved up a level in my book. This was a chance for me and possibly for them, since I'd guess that most people associate their offerings with the Boston Lager and the seasonals. Solidly crafted, a pleasure to drink from start to finish, and worth every penny - the patriot and brewer would be quite proud indeed!

JerzDevl2000, Apr 03, 2006
Photo of SetarconeX
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'll confess, I was a little bit nervous about Sam Adams going for a Doppelbock. Just didn't seem like their normal type of beer. I'll admit, it's far from my favorite, but it's actually a respectable effort.

Deep reddish brown color that's still a few shades lighter and more clear than most of my old favorite doppelbocks. Malty, slightly chocolate nose showing just a tad more alcohol than I'd like.

On the taste, it's heavily malty, but without the sweetness of a lot of doppelbocks. Bit of an astringent alcoholic zing on the back. Subdued coffee flavor behind the malt, really not too complicated but rather tasty nontheless.

Probably would drink a lot more of this if it were a bit more available. A solid beer.

SetarconeX, Mar 28, 2006
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Initially pours a super clear garnet color with a small 1/4" head of small off-white bubbles that disappeared pretty quickly. There were very few bubbles rising to maintain the head.

Aroma: Some toasty malts along with a noticeable metallic aroma. There are no real hops to speak of in the aroma, so you just get to enjoy the caramel malts and some Melanoidins from the malt.

Taste: Pretty rich malt driven flavor. There is quite a bit of caramel notes along with more Melanoidins than I thought from the aroma. There is a noticeable spiciness from the alcohol along with a dark caramel flavor that comes across as almost roasty. There are no hops to speak of in the flavor, but they are definitely there in the balance. The beer finishes balanced toward the sweet, but just barely as the hops (and maybe the dark malts) balance the sweetness. The finish is slightly sweet with some evident alcoholic warming.

Opinion: This DoppelBock is quite a bit different than the majority of those you find in Germany. For a beer that has this much girth, there is a very mild specialty malt presence. The same applies to the hop presence as this beer definitely lets the malt run the show. It is on the balance between Paulaner and Spaten. I wouldn't say that it was a contestant to either one, but still splitting the difference. It is an OK beer, but it doesn't really stand up to the true German styles.

SkeeterHawk, Mar 27, 2006
Photo of Bierguy5
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before October, 8.8 % ABV. Pours a clear, reddish brown/mahagony color. Thin tan foamy head disappears pretty quick. Caramel, dark fruity and alcohol aroma. Strong caramel, toffee, and slightly fruity flavors. Slight bitterness at the end is followed up by alcohol warmness. Full body, almost chewy, with low carbonation. This is big and bold in comparison to most other Sam Adams beers. Very nice, and certainly a bargain. I like it.

Bierguy5, Mar 25, 2006
Photo of cracgor
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a caramel to reddish color with a lightly colored head. The head is not very impressive looking. Smells very meaty. roasted malts come across like lump charcoal with estery notes like cherry. The hops add a little to the nose, lightening the other aromas and lending some balance. Very good taste to this one. The flavors meld into a fruity sort of flavor...like berries. Balanced well with the caramel malts and light taste of hops in the finish. Medium to full bodied, a little syrupy. It feels strong, but isn't alcoholic. Just enough complexity to enjoy, but I'd rather enjoy it with a meal.

cracgor, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of lokicat444
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Thick brownish appearence, good amount of head. Smells sweet, like bread.

The taste delivers, the massive amount of malts really comes through with caramel/chocolate undertones. Hops balance the malt out though, to give this beer a satisfying finish. An aftertaste of alcohol is detectable on some sips, but that's understandable given its abv.

Mouthfeel is very rich and thick, probably one of the thickest beers I've ever tasted. Its quite drinkable in the taste department, but will fill you up very fast, and is definitely not a session beer.

A very well-balanced dopplebock that goes down very smooth. It's a shame this is a seasonable.

lokicat444, Mar 15, 2006
Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pilsner glass. A nice one finger head of a very light brown forms. Beer is dark caramel colored and crystal clear.

Huge caramel malts greet the nose. Very sweet smelling as well. Almost like a cough syrup. I can even smell the body on this puppy.

Sweet, almost but not quite cloying tasting. Caramel and butterscotch. Some bubble gum flavors as well.

Dense and full bodied beer. Silky smooth and sweet. Just the right amount of carbonation. Extremely drinkable. I have had a six pack of this in my fridge constantly for about 3 months now. This is my go to beer right now. Probably my favorite, everyday Sam Adams beer. Get it while its hot!

SaCkErZ9, Mar 13, 2006
Photo of warriorsoul
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark mahogany in color with pillowy white head...sticks around for the duration of the glass and leaves some sporatic lacing.
Pleasant aromas...rum raisins, cherries and some alcohol burn.
The taste is enjoyable...a tad too sweet up front, but coats the pallet nicely and finishes very flavorful. More cherries than raisins and not falling short on the malt side...some hops to bitter it up and the alcohol makes its way through to let you know to respect this one.
Mouthfeel is thick and somewhat cloying and the carbonation is high...I'd like to see it a bit more mellow.
A sipper for sure and a nice way to finish the evening.

warriorsoul, Mar 13, 2006
Photo of timtheenchanta
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was a big letdown for me. Also, I hate how Jim always "Americanizes" the German names for the beer styles.

Inviting glowing brown color with generous head and a little retention. Lots of lacing down the glass, however.

The smell is all sweet chocolate malt. No hops.

Sugary malt sweetness. Smooth malty buttery feel.

Not a fantastic doppel. Easy enough to drink but probably not worth picking up another sixer.

timtheenchanta, Mar 12, 2006
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a dark warm brown body that is crystal clear with a good carbonation. The light beige head starts as a thin mat of foam but quickly turns into ring around the rim.

S- The smell of sweet dark caramel and dried fruit comes through even during the pour.

T- This beer has a dark sweet malt flavor with a buttery note and some slight stale butterscotch notes. There is a vinous finish this is a bit dry. No real hops noted in the taste or finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slight watery texture.

D- This beer had some nice dark sweet malt notes but it did have a but of a off-taste in the butterscotch and the alcohol was a bit hot. However I get the feeling that this won't really stand up to age.

rhoadsrage, Mar 11, 2006
Photo of DogFood11
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a shiney copper. Tan head leaves some evidence, a nice touch for a high end ABV%.

It has some dark fruit smell and texture to it. Alcohol is far from shy, long lasting and large warming. This is the best I've had from the Sam Adams line. Chewy, thick mouthfeel, cleans up nicely.

Notes: On the malted end of an already heavily malted dopple bock style. Carbonation is mild, making the body liquorice like, syrupy, molasses pours in, and amazingly it all works out fine. This is my favorite Sam product yet.

DogFood11, Mar 11, 2006
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 ounce standard brown glass bottle with a Signature “Sam Adams” embossed shoulder. Classic Sam Adams label design has a gray-black color inset to a bronze border with a color-coded crown cap. A seasonal brew it has the words ‘Double Bock’ on the main label. Has a nicked “Sep” Brewery Fresh date and a listed strength of 8.8% Alc. By Vol.

Appearance: Striking with its sheer clarity, the deep brown body has a metallic bronzed depth to it. Tan colored head with a creamy texture. Light lacing but a gentle swirl brings out a feisty conditioning that seems to take forever to settle out underneath the head, you could be forgiven for thinking that time had started to slow down as you watch the slow motion carbonation cloud dissolve away.

Nose: Tonnes of malts, big warm malts with massive dollops of molasses in support. Sweet caramel with a burnt white sugar aspect to it.

Taste: Toasty malts with caramel and molasses in high concentration. Sincere but low key hop character flashes here and there. Soiled background with a soft spoken smoked malt gentleness. The alcohol is here and you can feel it but it doesn’t really take over or even become a distraction, it’s just there. Rich texture to the taste profile is very rewarding.

Mouthfeel: Quickly warms up in the first third and has a very satisfying feel throughout. Thick and chewy with a full-bodied resolute constitution. The alcohol adds a bold nature from the first second of the first sip. Smooth and rich with a gorgeous sweet caramel toffee finish.

Drinkability: I sipped my first bottle, but soon found myself returning to my fridge to get a second and top up the remnants of the first. Even that one did not last too long either, but I was filled by the time I finished a brace of these.

Overall: This is a great offering, I have never seen it before but I am glad that I picked up a six-pack of this beauty. It’s been a chilly wet day today in Long Beach and this is the perfect warm-up to the night. I'm not too big on Doppelbocks but this is definitely worth trying out.

TheLongBeachBum, Mar 11, 2006
Photo of akajimmyd
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Fluffy head does not retain well. Rich dark brown body.

Smell – Rich full malty aroma.

Taste – Sweet malts, tart flavors and a boozy finish. (over 8%)

Mouthfeel/Drinkability – Full body as you might expect. By definition, I believe, it is quite heavy and one or two is more than enough to satify. Nice "big beer" from SA.

akajimmyd, Mar 10, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks promising at the offset with a lable that states it's higher than average alcohol, big body, and malty sweetness. A beautiful brown / ruby hue with a fleeting, white-ish head. Very sweet and very bold aromas that take on a molassas, syrup, nutty quality. Lowly hopped for maximum preceived sweetness. Tastes sweet and thick up front with a hiding alcohol content that comes through only in the dry, tacky finish. Barley malt, nuts, and toffee flavors remain persistant from beginning to end. Bold enough to counter the sugar sweetness. A bite-ey graininess hangs up in the back of the throat that compromises the drinkability, but not enough to ruin the beer. Though it doesn't compete, it's good to see an American Double Bock that stands up to German counterparts.

BEERchitect, Mar 06, 2006
Photo of palliko
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is deep brown/red with beige foam that sticks to the glass. Aroma is of crystal malt, hops, and butterscotch. Initial taste is creamy and smooth, opening up into a deep sugary malt middle with some balancing hops and smoky toast. Finishing with caramel notes and a lingering dryness. Reminiscent of Salvator and Celebrator, but less sweet.

palliko, Mar 06, 2006
Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
88 out of 100 based on 1,789 ratings.