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

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

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very good

1,746 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,746
Reviews: 1,075
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 65
Gots: 65 | 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: 1,746 | Reviews: 1,075 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mentor


4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle purchased from John's Grocery (Iowa City) and has a freshness notch of July (consumed late-May 2005). Hard pour to get a thin red-tan head over a dark red (and crystal clear) liquid. Smells of caramel, like those caramel squares people give out for Halloween. Beneath is a gentle chocolate, some alcohol, and faint weedy smelling hop. Smells sweet and enticing. Tastes alcoholic over a sweet caramel with a nice chocolate character. It's got a creamy mouthfeel that, combined with the wet sweet, allows the chocolate to come across as rich. The alcohol, while noticable, isn't unbearingly strong. The carbonation is a bit more than I would like and I'm missing the 'bock' in this bock. Did they decoct mash this?...I'm guessing they just used a bunch of crystal malt to try to get the same effect. At first I was missing a munich character to the malt, but with searching I do detect it as a dry malt beneath the alcohol, sweet and carbonation. I can't place the hops, because the floral that rises in the throat battles with an alcohol sting. Altogether, pretty nice. The alcohol may settle with a bit of aging and I'm sure the malt would meld nicely, too. The head never quite settled to a ring around the liquid and there was some lacing on the inside of the glass. As the beer warmed, the malt smell dominated the alcohol (thankfully) and the caramel character rose more prominently in the taste. What a delighful mouthfeel. Thick and creamy, like an oatmeal stout, but a gentle alcohol burn keeps you on your toes. Oh, I'm liking this more and more (plus the alcohol is noticable inside my head now, too). Well done.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2005 05:43:36 | More by mentor
Photo of CRJMellor


4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hyper clear mahogany with some copper tints. Small light tan head forms on the pour but really fades to a scattering in a few minutes.
Aroma of heavy, swet malts and caramel candy corn, molasses and a burnt brown sugar note.
Flavors of cough medicine, caramel malts and some wheat bread first on the palate. As it warms a bit a roasted nut and slightly peaty hit with some alcohol esters coming through. Alcoholic warming also bubbles up.
Mouthfeel chewy malt and sweetness for the most part with just a bit of roast and and little bit of bittering to cut it.
Drinkability is excellent. I for the most past avoid SA beers these days but this was a real treat and I wish they would go back to make some more experimental and unique beers instead of going down the path of SA light and things that every relatively big brewer does.
Thanks to PPoitras for the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2005 02:08:49 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of HappyHourHero


4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dense, thick, dark cream colored fades slowly to a thin film. Doughy, yeasty, chocolate malt aroma with and slight alcoholic whiff at the end. Transparent mahogany colored beer with a ruby hue, and a few large bubbles breaking loose from the bottom of the glass. Sweet malty flavor with a bit of caramel, rum, raisins and plums. The finish is mildly bitter and the alcohol warming. Mouthfeel is thick throughout. A solid one from Samuel Adams.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2005 02:40:36 | More by HappyHourHero
Photo of kbnooshay

New York

2.9/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I can't reccomend this. It reminds me of Brooklyn's Monster barleywine, it is like drinking whiskey. The alcohol is out of controlll. There are some sips that are great, and others that are hell, hmm maybe it was my batch. Anyways it pours a beautiful red brown. THe mouthfeel is sticky with a somewhat carbonated feel to it. Not easy to drink yet sorta fun.

haha. I edited this review because the strength of a few of these really effected my english.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2005 01:00:27 | More by kbnooshay
Photo of pentathlete


3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a flute, ruby brown with a sticky lacy head. Malty nose leads to a sweet carbonic taste. Finish was a touch metallic probably due to the alcohol. Mouthfeel was medium with carbonation providing most of the tactile sensation. Alcohol was certainly noticeable but not overpowering. Easy to drink, curious how this will age. Decent brew for a style that I'm never too excited about.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2005 23:32:08 | More by pentathlete
Photo of dauss


4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear amber ruby color. A creamy off-white head rests on top. Lots of lacing and good retention.

Smell: Sweet malt aroma, with a roasty graininess. Alcohol smell is quite strong.

Taste: Rich and malty. Very sweet maltiness with a molassas flavor. Slight hop bitterness in the middle, and finishes out sweet, malty and smooth. Alcohol leaves the mouthfeel thin in the end.

Notes: Its very smooth. Alcohol isn't that strong in the taste. Deceivingly potent and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2005 04:51:23 | More by dauss
Photo of ahking


3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pretty much a classic example of the doppelbock style. Pours a rich brown/mahogony color. Quite thick and heavy. Lots of malt flavor, hints of raisen, port, currant. Hops are minimal and not memorable in this brew. Not a beer you would dedicate the night to. Sample a bottle and put the rest away for another occasion.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2005 05:39:15 | More by ahking
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep cherrywood with a lacy tan head. Smells of fruity malt, caramel, plum and black currant.

Taste is again rich fruity malt. Plum and tart apple. Sweet caramel and vanilla. Alcohol very prevalent. Big flavors. Sticky mouth. A slow sippin' beer to be sure. Haven't had this beer in years and it is an old favorite. However, it's alot rougher around the edges than I remember. It can stand to go down for a few months at least.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2005 02:41:12 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of jasonpeckins32


4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a nice mahogany color with dark-brownish notes. This is an exceptionally wonderful looking beer. There immediately is a very nice tan colored foamy head that lasts through the entire beer. The aroma is almost ferocious, there are so many different vapors leaping from the glass that I'm almost scared of it, yet at the same time I cant wait to try it.

The taste is quite sweet, very chocolatey with some hints of caramel. There are several different bold flavors noticed, almost as if they are battling each other for room in the glass. It has a heavy-bodied mouthfeel and is a little warmer going down than the average beer. Must be the high alcohol content, very nice. I think I'd rather just have one or 2 of these at a time and save the rest for another night. Its a great beer, but almost difficult to choke down after the first couple.

All in all, this was a great beer, and will definitly find its way to my fridge again very soon.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2005 03:09:47 | More by jasonpeckins32
Photo of SilentSabre

North Dakota

3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I'm a bit disappointed by this one. I've heard nothing but good things about it and have been dying to give it a go. Good thing a friend gave me one and I didn't waste money buying six of these bloody things. It poured a very dark red bronze colour with a light brown foamy head that dissolved in about 40 seconds or so. It looked okay. Nothing that I was just crazy about, but decent all the same. The smell was quite sweet, almost sickeningly so. Nice malt and tiny hidden spice notes, but over all it's very sweet smelling. The taste had a large amount of sweetness as well, but also had a bit of hops and quite a bit of malt. Not bad. Not fantastic, but not bad either. The mouthfeel had much more carbonation than I was expecting and 8.8%abv it was quite heavy indeed. This isn't an awful beer, but I really didn't care for it as much I thought I would. It's just not for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2005 03:48:43 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of tgbljb


3.1/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance - poured a beautiful deep copper color with fait head

smell - deep smell with hints of alcohol

taste - dark flavor typical of this style of beer

mouthfeel - not overly enjoyable to me

drinkability - average at best, not my favorite style of beer, one was enough

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2005 02:22:47 | More by tgbljb
Photo of danadeny


4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper brown body, with a smooth slightly brown head. Smells malty. slight sweet, but overall faint. Tastes malty, sweet, a bit of alcohol in the middle. No major hop flavor, but awesome ballance so they must be there. On the sweeter side of dopplebocks. Mouthfeel is oily, slick, and slightly thick. Drinkability is good because of a great ballance.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2005 16:37:38 | More by danadeny
Photo of Gaisgeil


3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one pours a gorgeous deep red in color with an ample white head. Nose is quite strong, a bit citrusy, a strong malt profile in the nose is evident. Taste is quite malty, sour notes abound however with a slight hop profile emphasizing the point. The body is quite smooth and rich but the sourness overtakes all except the finish which is quite a mess of alcohol tones.

I can't say I particularly like this one, it's not very well done overall. I doubt I'll return to this one anytime soon.


Serving type: bottle

03-02-2005 09:51:35 | More by Gaisgeil
Photo of BeerFink


3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Flows into my mug a deep brownish red, creating 2+ fingers of creamy head. Very clear appearance showcases a plethora of tiny CO2 bubbles rising to the surface. Smells like a modest helping of citrous hops fortified by lots of malt. There is also a yeasty breadlike character to the nose. An alcohol aroma is more easily detected as the beer warms. The taste is the bane of hop heads. Lots of malt, especially pale malts, with a slight toasted flavor. There is some spice and also some sweet caramel. A prevalent alcohol presence hampers the overall taste and drinkability. The slightest note of hops is present towards the end. The mouthfeel is pretty thin, adding to the warming effect of the alcohol. There is not much aftertaste, the flavor seems to abruptly surrender to the alcohol, leaving a winelike warm taste in your mouth.

Not a bad beer, but I was a little disappointed in this offering from Sam Adams. IMO, a little too rough around the edges.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2005 01:07:03 | More by BeerFink
Photo of mgdeth


3.05/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Rich copper color, head dissipates fairly quickly. Crytsal clear; appealing.

Smell - Malty aroma is present, but is considerably weaker than Salvator. A whiff of alcohol creeps into the smell as well.

Taste - Not quite as smooth as other doppelbocks I have tried. The flavor is malty sweet, but muted. There is also a roasted caramel flavor present and bready. It, however, is also relatively weak. To be fair, it appears that I purchased this beer after the freshness date marked on the bottle.

Mouthfeel - Poor. I tried this one in a blind taste test next to Salvator, and the Sam Adams is comparatively weak-bodied. Drink this after you have a golden ale, and all of a sudden it seems pretty imposing.

Drinkability - The taste is not too bad, but the beer has an aftertaste that I do not care for. The feel is a bit sticky.

Comments - It's surprising how poorly this beer stacks up against real German doppelbocks. With all due respect to other reviews of this beer, I am disappointed by this offering from what I otherwise consider to be a great brewery. Either that or don't drink this stuff wearing a blindfold while comparing it with Salvator. Once I ditch the blindfold, the characteristics of the beer improve slightly.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2005 03:56:51 | More by mgdeth
Photo of whartontallboy

New York

3.08/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear red pour with mahogany hues, small tan head that dissipated pretty quickly. Smell is of malt, gingerbread, caramel, and vanilla. The taste is okay. Lots of malt and some sweet fruit flavors that hint at prune or fig, and you can taste a smoke flavor that becomes more pronounced as it warms. The finish leaves an aftertaste of alcohol and licorice which is rather pleasant. The alcohol character is a bit too strong, and maybe cellaring would temper it a bit. It just seems a little boozy right now, even for its relatively high ABV.

Overall: Eh. It's not a bad beer, but it's not great, either. There are many better doppelbocks out there, although maybe none better at this price. I was really excited to try this one, but it's a tad rough and fairly forgettable. Maybe I'll cellar one for a few months and see what comes out.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2005 04:01:14 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of rajendra82


3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Spotted for the first time in Georgia, this seasonal beer came in a 12 oz. brown bottle. When poured the look was a clear deep red-mahogany. A small fizzy head formed for a very short time before evaporating away. The smell was very malt dominated, and exhibited pronounced notes of orange peel, cherry, lemon, and vanilla. The taste was a bit too alcoholic with tempering attempts by cherry, almond, and toffee flavors. The mouthfeel was thick, rich, and maple syrup sticky. Aftertaste was peppery with a strong burn. I think that a bit of extended cellaring is warranted by the up front alcohol profile. More to follow in a couple of years.

Since the consensus seems to be that the Samuel Adams Double Bock is best after about 1 year of aging, I decided to crack open the last of my 2005 bottles and do a side by side comparison with the 2006. For fairness, I had them both at near cellar temperature, with identical size flute glasses. Here is what I found:

Appearance: The 2005 and 2006 both came out well carbonated and clear and looked almost identical at first. If not for having different brewery logos on the flutes, it would have been easy to get them mixed up. The 2005 version was a shade darker, but I am not sure that this was due aging or just a year to year variation. Then a curious thing happened, the head on the 2006 started going down, while the head on the 2005 kept getting bigger with a volcano cone formation crowning above the rim of the glass. Since the beer is not bottle conditioned, I am not sure what caused the extra foaminess in the last year’s version.

Aroma: The 2005 had a subdued nutty aroma with some notes of sherry, while the 2006 aroma was bright, spicy, and had somewhat of an orange peel oil quality to it. The alcohol was also more readily apparent in the younger beer via the nose.

Flavor: The older beer has a mellow flavor that was hard to put into words. I think there were notes of chocolate, toffee, wood, and black cherry in there, with a subtle hint of peppermint. The new beer was less complex, with peppery spiciness, and a little bit of sour cherry. Alcohol was well hidden and unobtrusive in the older beer, while it was readily apparent with gentle warmth in the newer beer.

Mouthfeel: The 2005 was silky soft and went down luxuriously. The 2006 was a bit more prickly and sticky. The aftertaste was almost absent during sips from the glass of the aged beer, with it seemed to linger far longer while drinking the younger pour.

Drinkability: Both were easy to down, but the younger beer felt a bit more exuberant. I think after a year in the warmish cellar, the older beer had about reached the peak of maturity. At 9 months of incubation in the cellar, one would get the best of both worlds IMHO.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2005 03:44:59 | More by rajendra82
Photo of sagito327


3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

NOTE: this is my FIRST review, so please, take it with a grain of salt, as I am most certainly a novice.

The color is a cherry red. The head dissipated rather quickly, leaving a respectable amount of residue on the glass. I smell almost exclusively malt--though the properly trained nose may smell more. In terms of taste, malt dominates again. There is, however, a good sensation on the front (sweet) sensory neurons of the tongue. A bitter sensation accompanies this. Molasses and sweet rum. Not either thick nor carbonated, but a pleasant medium between the two. Somewhat of a kick after swallowed--this is good. The only REAL problem lies in its high ABV, which results in a decent buzz rather quickly. All in all, I'm proud to refer to this beer as my first reviewed.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2005 08:02:08 | More by sagito327
Photo of farHillsBrewer


3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Sam Adams Double Bock looks and smells pretty good. The color is a dark reddish brown with a creamy off-white head and just a touch of sticky lace. It's quite sweet with not much bitterness, and a straightforward dark malt flavor of caramel and toffee, not too complex. What I enjoyed most was the mouthfeel, which was warming with soft bubbles, and the flavor flooding the roof of the mouth, while the taste goes front to back and through the pallet. What I liked least was the 8.8 which limits my intake. A decent though not exciting brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2005 01:08:40 | More by farHillsBrewer
Photo of BeerResearcher


4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle. Date etched on side label.
It pours a ruby-hued teakish color with a nice thick yellow-tinged beige head and a fair amount of lacing.
The aroma is mostly of sweet malt, with a noticeable whiff of horse barn.
Man, this is one malty brew! Remember Ovaltine? There's a resemblance here.
Notes of milk chocolate and doughy buttered bread come to mind. A bit of honey and molasses add to the sweet sensation
Although there is plenty of raw and edgy resinous hop bitterness, their impact is tempered by the full powerful body of malt.
A taste of golden rum enters the picture and flitters around the peripherals of the all mighty maltiness and vies for attention with its equally dominated hop sibling.
Yeah, Sam Adams is a big brewer, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still brew good, or even excellent beers. This is one really fine brew!

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2005 03:54:16 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of sweethome


4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The "new" Sam labeling - must be the fresh 2005 version.

Pours dark amber with a bit of a chestnut hue. A little lighter than I recall. White head that leaves quickly to white huddling of bubbles on the outside of the glass. Big sweet malty nose - lush.

An attack of flavors right on the tip - maple sugar, full mouthfeel of sweet maltiness. Makes quite a turn mid-mouth to bring out the malt charachter. Follows right through to a very long finish of maple, nuts, and huge sweetness. Just a bit "fresh" right now. Lay this baby down for a month or two and it it will be spot-on.

It is not quite as smooth as I like for the style, but give it time and I think it will deliver that too.

A fantastic warming feel. Leaves a satisfying malt presence.

I'll reserve judgement versus the 2004 version (one of my favorites)until it sits a while.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2005 04:25:16 | More by sweethome
Photo of hero27


4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark copper color. Initial carbonation was good but that comes to a quick halt. Leaves a very nice, tan head..tight bubbles. initial retention is really good but dies soon afterwards leaving a thin ring around the edge of the glass. Lacing is very oily and thin, doesn't stick too well.

Smell: Super sweet caramel and molasses malts. You can pick up alcohol notes as well. No hop aroma as far as i can tell.

Taste: A malt lover's delight. Strong, rich flavor, impressive..molasses, caramel, and miscellaneous fruits are the usual suspects...all making one hell of a showing. I can pick up some faint hops but the sweet malts are overwhelming, to say the least. One kick ass tasting doppelbock.. warming alcohol finish is a nice touch.

Mouthfeel: Smooth as. The nearly 9% alcohol does not make it the least bit rough to drink. Very rich and creamy, the malts make show their muscle throughout this lovely brew.

Drinkability: Considering the relatively low price and smoothness of this brew, the high-alcohol doesn't really matter...just one dangerous beer if you don't respect it.

Overall, I was pleased to see my favorite local store get this in..it's tough to get seasonals in Iowa but they do a helluva job...and for $7 a sixer, I didn't think it was a bad deal at all. If you haven't had this one yet, it's a must buy.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2005 22:01:49 | More by hero27
Photo of OStrungT


4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark red. The head is tan. It leaves good laces. It smells very carmel like with fruity and spicy flavors adding to it. It tastes very sweet. It almsot tastes like a malty dark red wine. It is slightly hoppy adding a spicy flavor. I can detect a flavor similar to raisins. This beer is full bodied. It is kind of thin. There might be a little too much carbonation to it though. I probably wouldnt drink this beer all night long because it is quite sweet, and I dont particularly like that. It is definately worth a try though.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2005 03:14:37 | More by OStrungT
Photo of beveragecaptain

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Dark amber with about an inch of head. The aroma is not too exciting, just a little bit of caramel sweetness. The flavor, however, is big and malty. This is a nice suprise, since you don't usually get a flavor this big from a Sam Adams beer. Just enough hops for some balance. Mouthfeel is medium to full. This is one of the best of the regularly available bottled beers from Sam Adams.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2005 03:26:48 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of allengarvin


3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Mahogany brown, quite clear, thin head and nice lacing.

Aroma: Caramel, and a touch of floral, spicy hops in the nose.

Flavor: Caramel malt, a bit of toffee flavor, and a peppery note of alcohol. Noble hop flavor is moderate, reminiscent of the same flavor in Boston Lager. Finish is clean.

Body: Moderate to full body.

I admit, I've never found what so many people like about this beer. It lacks the rich Munich-malt character of German doppelbocks.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2005 03:16:28 | More by allengarvin
Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
88 out of 100 based on 1,746 ratings.