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

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Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series)Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series)

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very good

1,816 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,816
Reviews: 1,085
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 13.27%
Wants: 80
Gots: 87 | 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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Ratings: 1,816 | Reviews: 1,085 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Chaz
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 'fridge into a Libby pint produces a tan head of medium duration and moderate lacing. To the casual onlooker this is the sort of "dark beer" that so many fizzy yellow beer drinkers speak of in a curious, almost fearful manner; a dark, almost opaque brown in color. Upon closer inspection -and held up to direct light- it's more of a dark reddish-amber than brown in color, and it is brilliantly clear in appearance. Carbonation looks almost minimal, but is actually moderate on the palate. The nose is consistent as per memory and previous reviews, offering caramel, toffee, licorice, sour apple, and even rum. Diacetyl is also present, but it's minimal and consistent with past offerings of this brew. There's still only a hint of hop bitterness showing through on the nose, and that's fine, as this is a malt monster rather than a hop bomb after all. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, and does a great job of coating the tongue with an unctious, treacle-like malt-based quality . . . "malt-slime"? Nah, just put it down to Turbo Maltitude. "Plenty of rich malt goodness"? Absolutely, and as per style this offers both fruit (sweet cherry, red apple, raisin) and spirits (rum, brandy) notes. Quite warming and deceptively drinkable. Medium-to-full bodied, and definitely a sipper rather than an easy sessioning beer. Flavors and overall drinkability tend to improve with a bit of warming-up as opposed to drinking straight from the 'fridge.

Flavorful and substantial, Samuel Adams Double Bock remains my favorite offering from the brewery, and is worth buying by the palate-load.

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

I poured the beer into a pint glass, the color is a beautiful copper brown color, not very much head.

I could not quite place what I got in the nose but I liked it, sweet and hoppy.

The taste was good I picked up alittle sweetness in the back of my mouth, with the malts up front

The mouth feel was thick and somewhat creamy

I could definitely see drinking more that one of these at a time

Photo of russpowell
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BBD of Oct 07 pours an effervescent chestnut with 2 fingers+ of sand colored head. Good lacing & fair head retention

S: Big bready maltness, a little cinnamon & alcohol as this warms up.

T: Big malt & breadyness up front. A little brown sugar & caramel work their way in as this warms. I also get a little toffee & maple syrup. Finishes sweet (brown sugar & toffee), warming & slightly dry

MF: Chewy, a little sticky, medium to heavy bodied with low carbonation. My lips (probably cracked from the cold) are picking up a persistently alcohol sting

Drinks pretty easy, a nice take on the style & better than last years IMO. I will try to hold some back & see how it ages

Photo of Vancer
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

SOB, can’t believe I’ve missed out on this one in previous years. What a top notch, great brew.

Just look at that great pour, clear mahogany brown, ivory head, lace city in my Sammy tulip glass.

Sweet molasses and malts in the aroma, but then – BAM ! The quaff will just about knock you to your knees with the big malty, molasses, toasty and doughy, hints of bourbon. This is so freakin full bodied – I bet this is way over 200 calories a bottle. NO hint that we almost talkin’ 9%. The only negative is the overall sweetness of the brew, just a tad too much.

The final kicker – sixer was a standard price of $7 like any other offerings from Sammy. Unbelievable all around great deal for a great brew.

Photo of BeerSox
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pilsner glass.

Clear deep amber, almost a ruby red color with some lighter honey amber toward the bottom of the glass where it's thinner. Light tan fizzy head that has decent retention. Solid lacing throughout the glass.

Sweet malt aroma with some caramel and a creaminess that is akin to vanilla yogurt. A little bit of warming alcohol makes its way through.

Mostly malts are tasted, with a light creaminess, toastiness, and sweet caramel flavor. Some alcohol makes its way through with a little bit of vanilla as well. Thick and spritzy mouthfeel, almost like carbonated olive oil. Finishes with some grainy malts and caramel, along with a little bit of alcohol.

Seems to be a popular beer among the masses, and I can see why. It's hot or miss when the bigger breweries make this one, but they hit it dead on. Get some when you can.

Photo of AustinBeerLvr
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner style glass. Freshness date is labeled that this brew is fresh until the end of August of 2007.

This is one of the most beautiful beers I have ever seen in a glass. Awesome head retention, great lacing on the glass, and the color of the beer is just exceptional. It's a wonderful dark ruby that is simply awesome to see. The beer looks so damn good I could pour it just to view the beer.

Nose is caramel sweetness with hints of alcholol and other fruit scents as well. Hops are only slightly noticeable.

Oh man is this beer tasty! It starts off with a good amount of caramel sweetness that lasts throughout and then the alcholol hits as well as the spiciness of the hops that last until the end of the sip. As I sipped the beer further, my palate got more used to the beer's alcholol flavor and it faded a bit. A nice roasted malt feel is also present throghout the sip of this brew. Maybe a little choclate flavor in the back as well. Mouthfeel is almost perfect for the style. Just right, not too heavy, by no means not heavy enough. The difference from last season seems to be a more substantial hop flavor and bitterness that perfectly balances everything out.

Either my palate has changed since last winter or the BBC improved this brew, but this year it tatstes exceptionally well. This beer is so complex, words can't describe it. It is so tasty, words can't describe it. Also, the ABV of this brew makes it as warming as can be for a cold winter's day (believe it or not, we get those days here in Central Texas!) I would say this is the absolute perfect beer. As for the drinkablity, it's defenitely a sipping brew as it's very strong, but oh is the flavor and everything else just to die for!

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a steamed glass. The liquid is a cloudy red with good carbonation. The head is a finger light tan and leaves no lace.

The smell is good. Fruity malt with caramel notes. Very good traditional DB nothing daring or different. Just well done.

The taste follows the smell. Big fruity notes with caramel. A very nice malt bomb.

The mouthfeel is ok. Not quite as nice as it could be. Nice body but could be better.

The drinkability is good. I enjoyed this beer but can afford better.

Thanks to NFLMVP for this brew. MK

Photo of srrn
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great looking deep clear amber brew with minimal head and no lacing. This is a wonderful example of the style. It's a bit thicker in the mouthfeel than the German examples I've had. I taste mostly malts and carmel very little hops in the finish It's also not quite as drinkable as say Celebrator or Salvatore, but that's not really a bad thing, this one is a great sipping and relaxing beer. I'll buy more.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a dark beer with a little head. The smell it gives actually reminds me alot of Horn Dog Barleywine from Flying Dog. It smells very sugary, yeasty, and I get alcohol and dark fruit, maybe even black cherry. The taste is intensely sweet with only feeble bittering hops attempting to hold it back. I get tones of caramel, nut, and red apple skin but all of these cower on the palate before the sugary-sweet presence of this cloying malt-bomb. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy-sludgey. I guess this could be considered doppelbock but it is closer to what I think of as barleywine. In the end it has none of the lager characteristics that make good doppelbock such a thing of beauty.

Photo of SuperSpy
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a thick brown with some ruby highlights and minimal head. What little head there is disappears quickly and doesn't leave a trace of lace. Pretty much no head retention, but there are some legs, so I assume these are both due to the alcohol content so I'll let those slide, but there is still no clarity.

S - Very strong maltiness with melanoidin, some prune, and a caramelly toastiness.

T/M - A dark, almost, but not quite chewy maltiness with a mix of figs and a toasted nuts. Would benifit from a bit more body, but the balance keeps the alcohol subdued. Not a great beer, but a good one.

D - Even though you keep sipping it because you keep expecting something more, this is a good brew but it has some room for improvement.

Photo of Mitchel
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sam Adams Double Bock pours a warm auburn color with a moderate head. The head, which is beige in color modestly dissipates to leave no lacing. It smells of amber malts, just a hint of hops (noble?), a bit of sherry, figs, and some…….soy sauce. Yes, soy sauce.

The tastes is immediately dominated by sweet then settles down to a nice grape/fig essence. After a few tastes, there is a trace of a nutty aftertaste with some dried fruits thrown in. The mouth feel leaves a little bit to be desired. It is good, but not great. Honestly, it is a little bit thin for my preference. The alcohol isn’t incredibly overpowering, but is at a tolerable level.

Well, this is a good beer. Not horribly well rounded or outstanding many ways, but again, it is a good beer. I would like to cellar a few to see how they turn out but I am afraid that it would just get to be cloyingly sticky, sweet. Give this beer a try if you are able to find some in your neck of the woods.

Photo of goochpunch
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a deep cherrywood with a 2 finger head that eventually sinks down to a thin layer of off-white bubbles. Leaves sheets of solid lacing down the sides of the glass. Smell is of dark, toasted malts, dried fruits, soft noble hops, and a medicinal alcohol presence. Taste is of dark, chewy malts, light cocoa, candied cherries, dried fruits, and some floral noble hops. Only downside to all of this is the alcohol is a bit too aparent to my tastes, especially as it gets warmer. Mouthfeel is viscous, sticky, but essentially flat. Drinkability is hindered by the high alcohol on this one. Gets too boozy as it warms.

I could see this really mellowing out and becoming a lot better with some more age on it. I can't imagine drinking this fresh. It'd probably be a disaster, my friend.

Photo of Manosbeeroffate
2.63/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From a trade with czoch75 (great trader) Pours dark brown, little head. Smells oh way sweet. Tastes the same too, way way too sweet, kinda like candied figs, prunes and jelly doughnut filling. Mouthfeel is a bit thick. Overall I expected better from Sam Adams on this style. It's impossible to find this beer in my neck of the woods, I think i understand why.

Photo of Zorro
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled due to BIGsBIF and the kindness of BeerBeing.

Pours a clear rusty red colored ale with a thin tan head.

Smell is sweet with a clear strong scent of Nobel hops. There is a clear Kikkoman soy sauce scent here. Lots of sweet walnut scent here smells much like sherry.

Taste is sweet with the flavor of soy sauce at the beginning. After a bit the flavors of grapes appears. Nutty flavors are mostly obliterated by the soy sauce taste. I have frankly had better.

Mouthfeel is good and thick.

Drinkability is well, no way to sugar coat it; this is simply not up to German standards for a Bock. When ever I want a bock beer this will not be the one I look for.

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

There's Johann Sebastian Bach, his son Johann Christian Bach, Sebastian Bach, Catherine Bach, Jim Backus and Bacchus the mythological god of wine, but bock, the beer which has come to be associated with the goat, what is it? Got me. If you want beer expertise ask Charlie Papazian or Michael Jackson, I'm just a beer raconteur. Every double bock I've had has had the distinct taste of cooled wort. The liquid caramel malt extract taste from a can with light seltzering hop and carbonation and cold water added. Not great but not bad at all. Actually better than good but not too good. Just ginchy.

Photo of EPseja
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served froma 12oz. bottle at just below cellar temperature in a Samuel Adams Double Bock flute/tulip glass. Freshness date notched at November, 2006.

A - Clear, tawny red/amber color with noticeable viscosity in the pour. Head rises to an inch - light tan in color, creamy top with odd sized bubbles. Great staying power. Lacing is dense with micro-bubbles, creating a solid translucent veil down the side of the glass. So good!

S - Big, malty, sweet and bready. Some notes of overripe bananas foster. Crystallized maple syrup. Cherry pipe tobacco. Warm and inviting.

T - Sweet and roasty on the tip of the tongue, mellowing out in the middle as a lick of well placed hop bitterness begins to appear. Alcohol becomes noticeable just for a moment as the beer makes its transition from mouth to throat. Finish is bold and bready, leaving a sweet organic grain aftertaste.

M - Dense and syrupy going in. Carbonation is slightly tingly. Rises to become a dense mousse in the mouth. Swallow is substantial and clingy. Belly warmth is instant and pleasant. A meal in a glass.

D - This is one scarily delicious beer that packs a punch. Big tastes. Big body. Big finish. And that equals big scores. The presence of Big alcohol means that I wouldn't drink two of these in a row, but I certainly would enjoy one, stretched over the time it takes to have two beers. Taking your time also allows this beer to open up and transform as it warms... Excellent!

Photo of beerphilosopher
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, rich brown color with a fluffy head that has lasting intentions. Lots of lacing in the oversized wine glass I'm using. Nose is quite sweet and notes of burnt malts, caramel, molasses, and some flowery hop bitterness in the back. Palate is the taste equivalent of the nose ... dominent caramelized malts, black strap molasses, and enough hops to keep it from being cloying. Mouthfeel is medium and the finish surprisingly dry and clean. Another quality brew from Sam Adams. I'd say a good representation of the style all in all.

Photo of hckyfn9999
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served out of a bottle dated best by Oct. Looks like I've made the cut by a month. Pours a dark amber color with a small white head that disappears quickly and leaves a ring around the glass.

Smell is of sweet carmel and fruit, perhaps figs, apples, and a faint smell of black cherry with some alcohol present as well.

Taste is great like sweet carmel initially with a little vanilla present. The taste finishes with alcohol and a little spicy pepper as well. Mouthfeel is great and for a fairly high ABV this beer is very drinkable . Only knock I had on this beer was there was virtually no head when poured. Great brew from Boston Beer.

Photo of dherling
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottles poours out a nice brown with a reddish hue. I got a thick head out of this that eventually diminished. Nothing special there. There's a lot of malt in the nose, very sweet smelling. The first sip confirms this, lots of malt, very sweet, but the flavor develops a sourness with a tiny amount of hops towards the end. It has a nice creamy mouthfeel, not expected in this kind of a beer. Has a fairly high alc%, and it isn't masked very well. This was a one and done beer for me.

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


Into a pint glass, pours a deep copper with nice off-white head, good lacing. Aroma is kind of weak, but a nice blend of sweet malt, fruits, maybe a little roasty. Taste is malty and sweet, fruity, deeper than expected, a kind of burnt caramel, really quite good. Mouth is full, very warming, as I then discover that its nearly 9%. Wow, what a good beer, probably one of my new fav.s from SA, one I'll be looking for come fall for sure.


Huh, almost three years to the day, find myself sampling this again. Again, looks good, with lots of lacing. Aroma isn't nearly as 'weak' as I may have imagined last time, lots of bocky goodness... hefty amount of roasted malt, caramelized malt, dark fruits, a hint of alcohol, very nice.

Taste is full, thick, plenty of roasted and caramelized malt up in here, dark fruits, leather, a bit boozy as it warms, very nice. Body is thick, creamy smooth, an effevescent carbonation. In all, very high quality from this one, very well balanced, very whole, a thoroughly enjoyable beer.

Photo of UberWasser
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

Pours a dark copper color with an off-white head that clings to the glass until it fades. Once it does fade the beer looks a bit limp, to me, but the color is quite nice.

Smells of sweet caramel malt, mostly. Yummy. Also has some spicy alcohol and a slight hop hint in the background.

The taste is where it really gets fun, though. Quite complex, with the overarching flavors being the caramel malt and the peppery alcohol. Other flavors I found were some roasty toasty smokiness and a bit of light citrus hop that intertwine in the finish quite nicely, prompting another sip. Mouthfeel was just thick enough to help the range of flavors stick around for a little while.

I come away from this beer with just that much more respect for Boston Beer Company. This is definitely a great beer and a great example of the style.

Photo of bklynbeerbaron
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Appearance: A clear, deep copper color, but a small head fizzled out pretty quickly.

Smell: A sweet, caramel aroma, as well as roasted peanuts.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Starts out very sweet, but there's a little bite underneath to help balance things out. It's followed by a toastiness that resembles whole wheat or multi-grain bread. Mouthfeel is full, but has medium carbonation that tingles the tongue even after drinking.

Drinkability: Goes down pretty easily, although the sweetness and the high ABV would make it difficult to put down more than a couple in a sitting.

Notes: A tasty, malty brew. Beats Spaten Optimator in my book. Definitely let it warm up a bit to get the full range of flavors.

Photo of ghostwalker
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spring 2005 bottle. Been saving this one for a while.

Color is ruby-reddish brown. Fairly thick white head, nice lacing.

Smell is light sweetish malt.

Flavor is sweet caramel malt with a bit of sourness on the finish. Good, but kind of one dimensional compared to Celebrator.

Mouthfeel is medium with some creaminess.

Drinkability is moderate. I find this one a good sipper, but one is usually enough.

Photo of maximumsheehan
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Apperance: Pours a dark redish amber, nice lacing. Decent head that is gone about 1/2 way through the beer

Smell: Sweet, very sweet

Taste: Sweet, similar to the smell, caramel, nutty hints

Mouthfeel: Syrupy, you wouldn't know that this beer is 8.8% abv if the bottle didn't say it.

Drinkability: I could see myself getting down on this a lot more in the winter months, but I saw it in July and couldn't resist.

Notes: A great beer but like I said through out the review it almost tastes like candy. I'm not sure if this would mellow or develop further through cellaring, but out of the bottle it's almost too much. Not a session beer.

Photo of wedge
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear rust with slow, sparse carbonation; head is thin and creamy disappearing from time to time until a quick swirl brings it back to life. Genuine doppelbock aroma of huge bready malts and grain with a pleasant berry fruitiness. Rich malty flavor: toasted, sticky caramel sweetness and warm fruits. Pretty damn thick and smooth with an even dryness.

Very good version of the style - solid, tasty malts with a good amount of dark fruitiness. Highly recommended.

Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
88 out of 100 based on 1,816 ratings.