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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

1,840 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,840
Reviews: 1,094
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 13.01%
Wants: 88
Gots: 107 | 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: 1,840 | Reviews: 1,094
Photo of ahking
3.24/5  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.

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.

Photo of SilentSabre
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
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.

Photo of tgbljb
3.11/5  rDev -20.7%
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

Photo of danadeny
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Photo of Gaisgeil
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
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.


Photo of BeerFink
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
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.

Photo of mgdeth
3.06/5  rDev -21.9%
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.

Photo of whartontallboy
3.08/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

Photo of rajendra82
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of sagito327
3.92/5  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.

Photo of farHillsBrewer
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
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!

Photo of sweethome
4.27/5  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.

Photo of hero27
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of OStrungT
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of beveragecaptain
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of allengarvin
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of bigbubba
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very nice clear dark red beer with a light tan head. After the head faded a ring of froth remained around the sides of the glass, the slight lacing left behind was not sticky enough to truely lace the glass. There is a big sweet malty aroma. The flavor is very good, a little on the sweet side. The mouthfeel is very nice, full and smooth. It is very easy to drink, but watch out for the alcohol. A very good beer, just a little sweet to make it a regular occurance.

Photo of HardTarget
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown 12 oz bottle with Oct notched as “best before”. I think they are lying since I could see this one aging nicely.
Aroma: Black strap molasses, raisin rum, dark malt. I know what this smells like! It’s a slightly less intense SA Triple Bock! Um, well, duh.
Appearance: Murky brown-black glass with a small light tan head that collared but didn’t lace.
Flavor: Wow. A lot of the Triple Bock flavors, but just not condensed like the Triple. Very sweet with a syrupy taste, some spiciness that I think is hop induced. It has lots of maple, a good dash of rum (with alcohol note) and hints smoke; Complex study in dark.
Mouthfeel: Full body, rather thick with a solid chew; syrupy. Nice low carbonation level
Overall Impression: I think this is the best thing I’ve had from Sam Adams since the Triple Bock. A lot of similarities between the two, but this is much more drinkable. The only real drawback I see is what I see: the appearance is very murky, almost muddy in texture. This was an aged bottle (1 year) from my friend Pegasus. I can see this one spending time in the cellar. Highly recommended from my chair, a very good beer!

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

I was plesantly surpised to see this beer back in Michigan, it had been at least 6 years since I'd seen it here. Color is medium brown with amber highlights. Some carmely tones in the aroma, fairly standard. Taste is surpising to me. Not as lush and rich as I remember. Slightly vegetal, perhaps either oxidized or they used adjuncts. Taste otherwise is nice, grassy german hops, and some malt taste present. Drinkablity is pretty high for a double (or dopple) bock. Decent drinking beer.

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is dark caramel color with a creamy, full-sized head. Obviously the aroma is malty, however it wasn't as strong or full as expected. Smell is caramel malt mainly, fairly standard. Taste is primarily of sweet malts with just a touch of hops spice. Malt flavor is very full as should be expected. Mouthfeel is a little bit creamy which adds to the expirience. This is a great beer, easily one of the best Samuel Adams I've tried.

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

I know I say it all the time, but a case of this for around $26 is indeed a steal. Since it's also fairly limited, I'd say if you're a DB fan, definitely try to at least pick up a 6 pack when you see one.

NOTE: This one I'm drinking is a year old, and it has indeed gotten better.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown / amber. On the darker side more than anything. Nice mocha colored head that leaves a thin line of white lace around the glass.

Smell: There's a lot here for sure. Malt presence is huge and welcoming. Caramel malt, sweet chocolate, raisins, some nuts, toffee. Very complex and very worthy of getting your nose in there to see what you can find.

Taste: Very complex. Toffee, some chocolate, raisins, caramel presence is huge in taste also. Very much like a dessert in itself, and as you swallow the mouthfeel is fantastic.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied, but not syrupy or extremely thick. The swallow is really where it feels and tastes amazingly nice, though. It may be ineffable, but there's something that happens that I've not gotten with any other beer.

Drinkability: I consider this, even though it's not the most expensive beer, somewhat of a delicacy -- for both it's sweetness and high alcohol percentage. So why would you want to make it a session beer, really? I've yet to pair it with a dessert, but I'd like to try. As I said before, though, it's pretty much a great dessert in itself.

Photo of carln26
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I’ve read the thread on this site about the beer that started people down the path of Advocacy. I couldn’t pick a particular beer at the time, but when I saw this in the store yesterday, I reminisced, and realized: this was it for me. Being a struggling engineer fresh out of college. SA was about the top beer I could afford, and I remember seeing this in the store, taking it home, and trying. WOW, this is what beer is supposed to taste like? That was what drove me to start trying other beers and styles. When I looked at this site, I was pleasantly surprised to see how high a ranking this beer is given, and I’d say I have to agree.

A great deep amber color with gentle ruby highlights is topped a medium, dense cream colored head. The malt in the beer gives off toffee and caramel aromas. It’s difficult for me to find any hints of the hops used in the brewing. The taste has more toffee flavors, maybe even some butterscotch. The hops don’t bring a ton of flavor to the beer, more a subtle bitterness that accents the rest of the flavor. The mouth feel is smooth and rich. Very drinkable. This beer deserves the favorable reviews.

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Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
88 out of 100 based on 1,840 ratings.