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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,829 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,829
Reviews: 1,090
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 13.01%
Wants: 87
Gots: 98 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 02-07-2009

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (114) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,829 | Reviews: 1,090 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Manosbeeroffate
2.64/5  rDev -32.7%
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
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
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
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
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
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
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
4.49/5  rDev +14.5%
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
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
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
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
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
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
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
3.41/5  rDev -13%
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
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
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
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of tastybeer
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very warm red-amber brown color with a tight foam light tan head. Smells heavily malted, sticky and sweet. Caramel toasted malt, mild spice, a buttery smoothness, soft hops complimenting the huge malts, with a suggestion of prune and dark fruit. Taste is juicy and thick with malts. Very sweet caramel, but not too sweet. Mouthfeel is vicous and smooth. Leaves the lips sticky. Medium thick body is quite nice. Sam Adams usually pulls off some good brews but this is one of their best I think (haven't had them all yet).

Well worth a good number of tries.

Photo of ohmybock
2.55/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This one tastes OK at first, however, it becomes worse and worse with each sip. I don't know what causes this. Is it a flaw in the ingredients, the brewing process or perhaps in the lagering phase? I'm not sure. It tastes more like a mediocre chocolatey brown ale, rather than a clean, properly-lagered doppelbock. The malt flavor in this bock just isn't clean like the many German versions on the market. Like a cheap macro-lager, I would suggest drinking this one as cold as possible. Otherwise, the unpleasant grainy-ness of this bock is just too much.

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +2%
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

Photo of GolgiIPAratus
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of bjohnson
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.21/5  rDev -18.1%
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.

Photo of weeare138
3.88/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of PeatReek
3.04/5  rDev -22.4%
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.

Photo of falloutsnow
3.88/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of FightingEntropy
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of maddamish
4.9/5  rDev +25%
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.

Photo of JoeyHotrod
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
88 out of 100 based on 1,829 ratings.