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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

1,819 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,819
Reviews: 1,087
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 13.01%
Wants: 84
Gots: 96 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,819 | Reviews: 1,087 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dogbrick
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another decent seasonal from Sam Adams. This beer is a reddish-mahogany color with a medium thin tan head that disappeared slowly. Quick lacing. The aroma is malty with a slight smoke character. Smooth and rich body with a big malt profile, along with caramel, chocolate and hops. There is also a creeping alcohol presence. The finish is very sweet malt and molasses. Not a world class Doppelbock but a nice full and easy to drink beer.

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

Pours a clear ruby/chestnut color with a dense, tiny bubbled, creamy tan head. Good lace. Aromas of sweet roasted malt, caramel, chocolate and a mild smoky nuance. There was also a bit of yeast.
Big, rich sweet grainy malt flavor. Chocolate, dark caramel, and hints of toffee, molasses and vanilla. Had an earthiness to it and a mild alcohol and bitterness in the finish.
Medium bodied with a rich, full, slightly sticky mouthfeel and great carbonation. Big rich beer with quite a kick if you're not careful. Great sippin' for dessert.
Excellent version of the style. I've read some posts on this site about it being even better after a year...I can't wait!

Photo of BadBadger
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A fine and affordable beer. Pours a rather nice deep ambe colorationr. A beautiful foamy off-white head. This head lasts the duration. Nice lace. Very tasty, malty sweetness along with hints of caramel. Even at 8.5% ABV this is a very drinkable beer. Definitely worth buying by the case-YUM.

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy light tan head. The aroma is good. It has a nice dark malt feel with dry lager yeast scent. It smells creamy and quite sweet. The taste is good. It is a rich, malty brew with an emphasis on crystal and black malts. It goes down smooth and and warms on the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a flavorful brew with a warm finish; a fine sessions beer.

Photo of Billolick
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, pours clear dark almond, with a puffy tan head. leaves a lot of lacing. Nose is of bread and a bit of alcohol. Full bodied, very malty brew. Sweat on the tongue and alcohol obviously present and high. not much hop flavors or mouth feel present. This is a strong, deeply flavorful sipper. Not my favorite style, but this one is pleasant and worth a try.

Photo of DPMomutant
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A pretty hard pour results in a 2 finger head whose darkness is a great match for the dark red/brown color of the beer.

This beer has a mostly fruity smell with a little malt hint. Very pleasant and it masks the high alcohol I've heard about.

It has a nice, hearty but sweet taste, also fruity. Strong enough that you know there's some alcohol there, but is not overpowering.

This beer feels smooth with surprising carbonation. Goes down easy...almost too easy with the ABV in this. This beer is easy enough to drink to have two....any more and it'll surely hit you.

I could see monks living on this for a few months. Three of these spread out and you won't long too much for food. If you do, have two more. Really good stuff. It's a seasonal, but it's good until November so grab a 6er or two if you can find it, you won't regret it.

Photo of goindownsouth
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A big thank you to Bierman9 for this fantastic sample...

Presentation: A rather unassuming 12 ounce bottle, with a demarkation that this brew is best if consumed by November of 2004. As if that was going to be a problem...

Appearance: This dopplebock poured out a deep and rich brown, with a hazy tan/beige head that, with the help of some vigorous pouring, stayed around for a long time. Actually, throughout the entire Bier.

Smell: Wow! Bittersweet chocolate, roasted malt, and maybe even some light toffee notes are picked up here.

Taste: The flavor is smooth, with great emphasis on the aforementioned bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt.

Final Word: A smooth Bier. I never would have thought that this was 8.45% ABV. Moreover, if no one would have told me this was from Samuel Adams, I probably would not have guessed that either. My only legitimate knock on this Bier is that it is not a year-round offering. But damn good, at that.

Zum wohl!

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

Aroma possesses deep and fairly dark caramel tones and somewhat roasted that is fairly rich and satisfying.
Clear dark amber pushing brown with reddish hues. Thin head that hangs around.
Full deep rich flavor. A striking experience taking the first sip. Alcohol notes quite evident with flavor and warmth. Sweet that pushes cloy, but not too much for my tastes (which granted have become more tolerant since I first began here). Fruity notes and a bit of molasses. Slight toasty quality.
Rich, yet soft enough. Well done carbonation.
Rather pleasing beer that does style quite well.

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

Decent, medium-tan head; modest lacing.

Nice smell, with slight sweetness.

Light redish-brown body with moderate bubbles.

Significant maltiness, with no distinct aftertaste.

Overall, a VERY drinkable brew - despite the ABV. Keeping a six pack or two in the cellar: it definitely benefits from cool-yet-not-cold storage.

Haven't tried this in a few years - VERY glad to make its reacquaintance (especially after a rugged NW Ohio winter)!

Photo of kbub6f
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There's a medium-sized, yellowish-tan, foamy, uneven head. Color of the beer is deep, dark red. Clear. The nose is caramel, a little sick-sweet and a little nutty. There's sweet toffee in the front leaning into a caramel, buttery, thick, sweet, tangy middle. It's quite fruity (cherries?). The nuts and butter in the finish are quite nice, but just a tad cloying. Warming alcohol. It's sweet and buttery. Almost too much so, though it tames with temperature. But all around, a good, strong, thick, flavorful beer. Who can complain about that?

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

This was quite a supprise to me that Sam Adams could brew a beer like this, but I was pleased. It poured a ruby red color with a frothy white head that did not stay long but left a little lace down the glass. The smell was a very inviting carmel malt scent with some toffee scents as well. The flavor was great with a huge malt carmel sweetness and a great breadyness as well. The 8.4% alc was hidden quite well and just slightly snuck into the flavor profile. For an American brewed Double Bock, this one is right up there with Sudwerk's for my fav.

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

Poured dark and clean with a decent head. Aroma was sweet and pleasant. Initial taste was very sweet, rich and smooth. Roasted nut flavors came out, and rich carmel and dark roast malt flavors becoming apparent as swallowed. Had a nice hop zing to it but not enough to balance out the sweetness. A tasty beer, but it's a little too sweet for a typical session doppelbock.

Photo of Jacobob10
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My buddy picked up a six pack of this for me, and boy am I glad that he did. Pours a dark brown with an average, yet consistent head. It feels silky smooth on the pallate, with a nutty taste that stands out above the rest. Also, a slight alcohol taste was detectable, obvious with an ABV of over 8%, but was more detectable towards the end. This is a great brew, one of the best from Samuel Adams, and is drinkable but hearty. This is a liquid dinner in a bottle!

***Edit*** (2/22/06) - After trying SA Double Bock again for the first time in over a year, I have brought down my ratings of appearance and mouthfeel. The head on this beer is almost non-existent. It is also MUCH sweeter than I remember it being and less full-bodied. The sweetness is almost overwhelming but it definitely does calm down a bit after it warms up. In my opinion, this beer is most enjoyable when it is on the warmer side when the sweetness and alcohol have toned down.

Photo of proc
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out to a ruby-esque color in the glass with a slight, tan head. Aroma is that of raisins and light fruit. The taste is reminiscent of cognac with raisins and plums coming to the forefront. The finish is marred a bit by the presence of the alcohol, albeit slight, but still there. I have a feeling that some age on this one would mellow out the swallow a bit.

Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a 1/4" yellowish tan head that takes only a minute to fade to a thin film of bubbles and a tiny collar. Average lacing that sticks weakly. Beer is dark copper in color, yet highly transparent, with amberish highlights and a handful of streamers. Smell is very sweet and malty, with an almost candylike caramel quality and a toffeeish finish. Nosefeel is just a step away from being pastryish in the body but finishes vaporous (as of alcohol) and approaching bitter. Taste begins with firm, sweet caramel malts that are quickly pushed aside by hullish barley; somewhere there lurks a hint of grape (which, with the alcohol, had me thinking "cognac??" halfway through the bottle); finally a big, inappropriate (IMO) bitterness as of alcohol plus Hallertau gone wrong. The flavor transitions are smooth but not complex. Mouthfeel is tingly, a bit thin, and sticks to the palate like cola. Where's the creaminess of the great doppelbocks? I actually drank this faster than I felt I should, in order to get it down before the sweetness faded away. Drinkable, but lacking in depth compared to many other widely available examples of the style.

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

Immensely deep with cocoa, Samuel Adams Double Bock is an alcohol-infused flourless chocolate cake. This is impressive stuff, humbling after trying Bell's Consecrator Doppelbock. In terms of richness and depth of malt (which hides the 8.45abv very well), SA Double Bock blows most (if not all) American interpretations of the style out of the water. I'm sideswipped with gorgeous malt and an everso delicate dryness of the finish from the hops. The hops bring this beer home. As remarkably malt-heavy as this beer is, the latent notes of green hops that, in their delicacy and freshness, make me think of Europe, make this a complete beer. Finally, an American dopplebock that will actually last until winter. This brew should age well over the next few months (if only it wasn't so filtered and fined).

Relax, relax.

Photo of Beastdog75
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams Double Bock seems to be one of the Boston Beer Company's most respected offerings and one of the more anticipated brews of the late-winter/early-spring season. I picked this up and looked forward to trying it after hearing and reading some decent things about this brew. This beer is definitely a high malt/high octane brew and is quite nice, but although I was pretty unfamiliar with the style my instincts can already tell me that its German counterparts are probably a bit better.

This beer pours a reddish hued brown color that is surprisingly quite translucent. Slightly less than 1 finger of tan foam forms, and it only retains for about a minute. The smell was of caramel and roasted malts, and not as strong or as memorable as I had hoped it to be. In terms of the mouthfeel, this beer is quite rich and leaves the mouth feeling sticky. The malts really do make this beer, and they don't let you forget it. A sweet, caramel-like malt flavor is the centerpiece of this beer with some slight buttery/toffee notes. There are some red wine/dark fruit notes that show up, especially when the alcohol flavor kicks in. I was a bit taken back by the alcohol's presence on the palette. Even though this beer is more than 8% abv, I personally didn't think it was hidden that well in the flavor, as it did leave some "burn" in my mouth and nostrils. Any hop bitterness here is overshadowed by the malt and alcohol. Aftertaste has some roasted grain notes to it, some dryness, and continuing alcohol flavor. This beer does end up having some warming effect to it, although not quite as much as predicted.

I feel I may have judged this beer harshly, but my expectations were (perhaps unjustly) fairly high. Make no mistake: I did enjoy this beer, but maybe with my expectations so high I tended to notice the flaws more than the positives. This beer is quite sweet (almost syrupy), so don't expect a balanced brew. Some other BA reviews mentioned the alcohol not being a factor in the flavor, so I do plan to cellar a bottle of this and see how it fares. If the "alkeyhol" mellows out a bit this will be a stellar brew. Until then, it remains as a good sipping beer, plus it has peaked my interest into trying some real Deutsch doppelbocks like Celebrator and Optimator.

10/28/05 I tried a bottle of this that I aged for more than a year and a half. The taste was a little bit smoother, but it didn't mellow out as drastically as I thought it would. The brew still retained some of its alcohol flavors, although it wasn't quite as prominent. I was reminded of the strong maltiness of this brew, and it was interesting to try one of my first aging "experiments."

Photo of ElGuapo
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a dark brown with amber tones. It is topped in a generous topping of tannish foam that holds up fairly well. The aroma is very malty and buttery. There are some nice hints of spices as well as some roasty aromas.

It is pretty heavy and rich with a very smooth mouthfeel. The malts are in control throughout. There is balance with some spice flavor, and lots of roasty and chocolate flavors from time to time. I did get a buttery taste in there, and even bits of caramel. The complexity is pretty good. For a heavy brew, it is also very drinkable. This is what I like to see from Sam Adams.

Photo of Gavage
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep bronze color with an off white head that's about an inch thick. Some lacing developed. Aroma is of sweet malt. The flavor is very malty with hints of prunes. The alcohol is very noticeable.

The mouthfeel is syrupy with a tingling sensation while swallowing. The syrupy malt sticks to the tongue for a bit. The alcohol is a bit too noticeable here to give it a good drinkability ranking, but the flavor is nice.

Photo of kelticblood
3.29/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Exceptional appearance.I've had this aging for almost a year now and decided to review it.Poured a brownish red in color.Clear with no sediment.An off white head that looks very refined as far as carbonation.Spotty traces of lace.Doesnt seem as thick in texture as most other Dopplebock's. Alcohol is noticed and somewhat harsh on the finish. A sweet malt aroma.Well crafted but too hard to swallow.It just doesnt taste good going down.Needs more balance. Anyone can make a beer with a high ABV,,but making it taste good and drinkable is another challenge. Maybe i'll give this another review later too see if its any different.

Photo of daledeee
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown with off white head. My initial impressin was this tasted like a stout, then the big malt profile and sweetness came through. Lots of burnt carmel. Maybe a tad too sweet. Not alot of hops or bitterness. Very drinkable for a strong one.

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

Poured out a dark copper/ruby color with some head that later on laced nicely around the glass. Mainly malts hit the nose first, with some caramel and some roasted aromas in there for good measure. Taste is quite huge. Quite honestly, it's almost like corn syrup. Quite sweet at first then some hops (but very little) is mixed in for the balanced portion of the beer. Very nice. So creamy and smooth. Finish is quite dry with some roasted flavors at the very extreme end. The 8.45% is hardly detected. Another winner from Sam Adams.

Photo of Ellbert
4.57/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark red with some brown highlights. The tan is decent, light tan with teeny tiny bubbles. It slowly fades to a sticky lace.

Smell: Very thick and malty aroma with a beautiful hop presence and a nice alcohol spicy kick to finish it off.

Taste: Very beefy. A very well balanced flavor. Malt and hops are right up front, then alcohol and just when you think it is finished the malt comes back around for another go. The aftertaste leaves you fairly clean. This is fantabulous!

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is very meaty. It is nice and thick and coats the tongue. The carbonation is very tight and works well with the alcohol to tingle the tongue.

A great beer. This should be a year round offering. Not all that drinkable because of the ABV however.

Photo of Dubblebock
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Wow, this is one beer that I certainly expected to enjoy more than I did. I'm a sucker for these malty, sweet, big beers, and this Sam Adams offering looked like it would hit the spot for sure. It's a seasonal beer, and I haven't really seen it in my area very much this year. Fortunately I have a friend at work who hooked me up with a couple of bottles, and I was glad to get them.

Problem is....it wasn't all that great for me. Most disappointing was the initial appearance. It poured with nary a head at all, and it looked weak and uninviting right off the bat. Caramel colored, it let plenty of light through when I held it up to the lamp. It looked thin, not a good sign for a doppelbock. Not much nose, either, another bad sign. It smelled faintly malty and sweet, but I wanted to get more from it.

The taste saved it for me to some degree. It was very sweet to start with, as a good doppel should be. Bready overtones took over before the hops added the requisite bitterness on the back of the palate. The alcohol gave it a nice warming effect, but the sweetness almost became cloying after about two-thirds of the way through.

Thin mouthfeel. Good carbonation, though. The ABV probably wouldn't lend itself to sessionability, but it was drinkable for the most part once I got past the measly appearance.

I gave both samples a go, hoping that I had gotten a slightly off bottle on the first run, but it was no different the second time around. I have never seen such a swing between how a beer looked and how it tasted. I wish this beer had profiled better. I wanted a big, creamy, frothy, chewy beer, but it wasn't in the cards. Compared to Spaten Optimator or Celebrator, this was not the best of breed. I'll pass on this one next year.

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Double bock reminds me of living in Philly between New York and Washington D.C. Not one or the other. Give credit to BBC for a flavorful Double Bock. This excellent 12 oz. pour (5/5) is ruby, dark, and brown. Nix the bubbles and land-ho! for huge, sticky mountain range head. BA brownie points. The website tells of an eight month shelf life. My bottle had an Oct. notch (assuming 2003) which means that this was prime for the picking.

At first, there was no aroma; nary a sweet, caramel hints at best. As it warms, alcohol pervades and sweet burnt toast escapes. You do not have to be a "dark" fan to appreciate this complexity. This is a deceivingly good beer.

She's complex, with toffee, can’t decide dark or burnt [two-row as per website] malt. Buisquick dry, pancakes.

Aftertaste is long & narrow down the tongue middle, sour black grape, black cherry hints, [1/2 lb. of Malt per bottle] roasty smoked flavor. This is no Skull Splitter, but if you like this flavor, see Skull Splitter reviews *** Skull Splitter highly recommened *** Also, bready Pumpernickel bread is in the house.

Full bodied in the kisser. Dig the 8.45% abv. Toasty. Liquid bran cereal.

As far as the sometimes overdone Winter Brews, in comparison, this is a decent drinkablity level. Smooth even velvety [ok, that is from the website]. Last sips: Someone hit spellcheck. Awl-kee-hawl hits. Eight month shelf life? Check in with me Halloween '04. Well see if that makes a major life altering diff.

Not sure on price, but beer is good. Happy beering.

Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
88 out of 100 based on 1,819 ratings.