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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

1,830 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,830
Reviews: 1,090
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 13.01%
Wants: 87
Gots: 99 | 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: 1,830 | Reviews: 1,090 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of Suds
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I’m glad to see this beer in the stores again.
Pours a deep reddish-hued brown. Minimal head and an intense malt aroma. Taste is sweet and malty, with a candy-like character. Molasses with a soft doughy mouthfeel. Alcohol follows through, and provides a pleasing warming sensation. Finishes sweet and malty.
Overall, it’s a wonderfully tasty brew from BBC….enjoyable and well-crafted. I’d say it’s a tier below a world-class dopplebock, but still well worth a try.

Photo of kwalters
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beware the Double Bock. That's what I should have been telling myself before I proceeded to drain the entire sixpack. This was my first doppelbock, and man did it kick me hard. I was so enamoured with the wonderful, sweet malty flavor that I forgot to comprehend the effects of 8.45%.

Double Bock pours a nice coppery color. The malty aroma is slight compared to the flavor. There's a lot of good cookie dough sweetness here. Perhaps even molasses cookies?

This is a really nice beer that seems to be readily available during winter months. It provides a great balance of good taste for a good price. Dive in if you haven't already. Just don't feel compelled to drink more than a few in a sitting.

Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ruby red, tan rocky head. Pleasant nose of malts, caramel, candy, perhaps french toast? Up front, a syrup feel, some corn syrup and somewhat creamy. Touch of alcohol presence throughout, medium malt based body. Maintains a rich, borderline chewy malty body, with caramel, molasses and biscuity/toasty offerings. Quite complex, quite tasty. As she warms, nearly a full bodied doppelback, with a definitive warming effect. Clearly one of the best BBC products, and worthy of a top 5 nomination in it's class. Are you kidding me? A mass-marketed seasonal produced 'beer' with deep flavoring and a high ABV? Rack em'. And, get this bad boy on shelves year round!

Photo of malty
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12 oz. longneck bottle with month of NOV notched-out.

Crystal clear reddish-copper appearance with fine bubbles cat- tailing vigorously upward to form a light-khaki colored 1/2 inch head. Awesome lacework.

Complex malt with black pepper. Gave it a good swirl to release the carmel and dark fruit jam notes.

Flavors of creamed coffee with fruity malt. Black pepper once again, but with a gingerbread dusted with powdered sugar element in there as well. Graceful and muscular malt foundation. Med-full bodied with a fantastic rounded finish.

Stellar mouthfeel. VERY fine carbonation that prevents the heavy malt from becoming cloying. Playful and kinetic, but still solid and silky.

I bought a single bottle to sample only, really wish I would have bought the 6 pack - I'd be pouring another right now. Highly drinkable, especially with a below zero wind chill.

Sam Adams has really changed my opinion with what they are able to bring to the table, primarily with bigger malty beers. I enjoyed this much more than the August Schell bocks, along with more famous imported bocks. How does 'Samuelator' sound?!

Photo of mschofield
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

At first it looks black, but held to the light it is more of a very dark red, topped with a thin tan head.
Very malty aroma, filled with dark fruit (cherry) and brown sugar.
Again the taste is robustly malty, toasted/roasted and sweet. Dark pumpernickel or rye bread, molasses, chocolate, caramel, some apple.
Full taste, and full syrupy thick body, pours with a liquor type viscosity. I couldn't drink too many.

Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I found the double bock to have sacrificed some of the complexities of the style, to provide a more generally drinkable beer. While I appreciated the chocolate and scant fruit notes, the brew isn?t as complex in flavor as it could have been. I appreciated the way the beer shrouded the typical alcohol flavor, but wonder if the presence of alcohol on the palate is what allows bocks to achieve their typical depth of flavor.

Photo of jtw5877
4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am a sucker for this beer. It pours a nice garnet hue with a fluffy tan head. Malty aromas abound letting me prepare myself for what's in store. Total malt goodness rich creamy chocolatey caramely goodness. This is a true no brainer for any beer lover.

Photo of shirfan
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a decent beer but not my favorite dopplebock.

Pours a clear walnut color, with minimal head. Aroma is a bit off... smells faintly like cherry liqueur.

Taste is almost cloying; I confess a sweet tooth, but this reminded me of overly-rich devilsfood with thick, syrupy cherry filling. There is a good chewy malt presence, but it seems like an afterthought. Alcohol is nicely hidden even if it's taking refuge behind piles of sugar.

I think a little more roasted malt flavor could rescue this brew. It tastes a bit too processed, too junk-food-ish, if you will.

Photo of Jables
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark copper with a blanket of white head.

Smells of a high level of sweetness.

Taste is candy sweetness to the max. It isn't too slutty but it is definitely pushing the boundary. To put it in musical terms, it's not rushing but it's playing on top of the beat.

Mouthfeel is quite full and coating. Syrup is not too thick to describe it but it's full.

Also made for a great marinade on my Sirloin this evening!

Overall it's a little too sweet to be really drinkable but it's not overwhelming.

Photo of genaro
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Double Bock poured a very dark brown with traces of copper with a nice head. There was little lace. The aroma was malty, with traces of caramel and chocolate, and some hop bouquet. The taste was smooth and malty with elements of chocolate and caramel. There was also some hop bite. It was neither too sweet nor too carbonated. The finish was basically dry and not too exciting. Overall not too bad, and I may give this beer another try since my tastes are changing and some SA beers are becoming more appealing to me now then they have in the past.

Photo of jwilli7122
2.85/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Very very sweet. Maybe the sweetest beer I've ever had. Quite rich. Too much for my taste. I don't taste any hops, and I can't say I really enjoy this one. Chocolate cherry syrup comes to mind (with some alchoholic kick). maybe dopplebock is not my favorite style. It might be good- its just too much and too concentrated for me to really enjoy. Huge candy sweetness is not my thing, but if it's yours - this might be good.

Photo of chilidog
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Ohio for bringing this 8.45% abv in. First time I saw it I bought it, and im running back for more!! It pours a very nice dark ruby/amber. The head is tan, soft, pillow like that laces great, rings & sticks. The taste is a rich, semi-sweet dose of smokey malt with a alcohol background and a hint of hop. The mouthfeel is silky smooth, creamy and soft. The abv is higher than your typical sam but still a good drink, slow and easy, with winters chill and foods.

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

I'll admit, I have a particular affinity towards Sam Adam's Double Bock. Two years ago, it was one of the first beers I've ever had that showed me a deeper world of beer that inevitably led me to become a beer advocate. Though because it is a seasonal, this is the first time I've been able to resample it. So fond memories keep me from being too critical.

Pours a golden red with billowy white head. Smell is of hops and sweetness. Taste is malty and complex, an excellent sensation of carbonation combined with heavy, malty goodness. The malt characteristic evolves from being overly sweet at first to becoming somewhat bitter by the time I swallow. I highly recommend this beer to someone who wants to find more in the world of beer. It worked for me!

Photo of Longstaff
2.87/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

Finally tracked this down. It looked dark and mysterious when I poured it out kind of thick like used motor oil. Dark brown appearance with some reddish highlights. Thick light brown head develops when poured roughly. Very faint malt aroma with slight fruity alcohol mixed in. Taste was dissapointing with no hop flavors noticed, just slight caramel malt flavors. Very little alcohol flavors that are indicitive to this style and it supposed 8.45% abv. Only thing going for it was the molasses like mouthfeel and it didn't have any offensive flavors. Too sweet and somewhat cloying for me to actually enjoy more than one. I'll stick to the more tastier Optimator for about the same price.

Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
88 out of 100 based on 1,830 ratings.