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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

1,097 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,097
Hads: 1,884
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 17.05%
Wants: 113
Gots: 140 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

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 (120) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,097 | Hads: 1,884
Photo of abeerwiseguy
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 22 oz bottle listed a 9.5% ABV. The bottle label stated “Ale” on the bottom. As this was the third brew I had “taste tested” during this session, I checked the 2012 Brewers Association Guidelines and confirmed I was not as yet suffering from the 9.5% ABV. Doppelbock is a lager. Guess Sam Adams has some work to do on getting their styles and / or labeling straight.

Poured into a room temp stein it was dark brown with two fingers of brownish head that did not stick around long and left little lacing.

Caramel and malts dominate the aromas.

The taste was very pleasant with a slight sweetness from the caramel and richness from the malt.

A very full bodied flavor profile was balanced with a smooth clean finish and carbonation. Mouthfeel was rich and viscous with warming from the alcohol.

Overall this an excellent example of the Doppelbock style. A lot of breweries are only producing Doppelbock’s as a seasonal or limited edition beer which is unfortunate. I have added this to my buy it when I see it list.

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

No bottling date on the label, but this beer has aged about one year.

A: An aggressive pour into a standard pint glass did not produce a head. The brew is a rich amber color with a reddish-brown hue. It is dark but still translucent.

S: The aroma is a smooth booziness combined with candied fruit, sweet malt, and some grain.

T: The taste is sweet fruit consisting of candied apple and some sweet cherry, along with sweet malt and some grain. All of the sweetness is balanced by bright hops flavor that is earthy and grassy.

M: The body is a medium weight and it is very smooth with a clean finish. There is also a good deal of carbonation.

O: Overall this is an enjoyable enough double bock. It has a pleasing balance of different types of malt sweetness and hops bitterness. But, it is really not anything outstanding. It is neither a great representation of the style or an interesting variation on the style. Still, it is an enjoyable beer. Also, this beer has aged about one year. By now the alcohol is well-hidden and the flavors have had time to blend together. A year ago the first bottle in this four-pack had a flame-throwing amount of alcohol heat that overwhelmed all of the other flavors except for the sharp hops bitterness. This beer becomes a much better drinking experience with aging, but, I am just not sure that it is worth the wait.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed 11/16/12

Appearance: Somewhere between dark amber and reddish copper - small, off-white head, fades quickly to a wispy cap, leaves some streaks of lacing

Smell: Deep, dark caramel and molasses - cooked grains, malt extract - some dark fruit skin and soy sauce - some solvent-like, obvious alcohol - some sweetness as well

Taste: Cooked, caramelized grains - lightly roasted nuts - caramel, malt extract, and bread crusts - dark fruit - some bitterness, sugary sweetness - strong alcohol flavor, and it's not a good one - malty, but not enough

Mouthfeel: Medium body, sticky, could actually use a little more carbonation

Overall: Not awful, but not great

This gets some bonus points for not being reminiscent of Samuel Adams Triple Bock (which still gives me nightmares). Otherwise, it's an average dopplebock. Lots of caramel, but too much booze. Pass.

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Photo of B33R501
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

damn good, maybe great lager. had this last friday, cant decide between this and last (wed) nite's troegenator on tap which was fantastic. and so is this. love the new label and 22 oz size (is this size new?) and correctly priced at $10.99 for 4 pak, $5.99 bomber Wegmans.
i got the bomber, as this is a beer i enjoy occasionally.

very pretty mahogany. super fresh big cherry apple aroma, couldnt stop enjoying the smell. caramel malts, very bread like, dark fruits, molasses. hops in there somewhere, pleasant. nice and thick, drinkable and the bomber was just the perfect amount. strong and satisfying.

every once in a while you gotta have this, troegenator, or a korbinian (which i havent seen around in a while). throw in Samichlaus at Christmas. going to lagertown.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear mahogany brew with a big frothy head and some delicate lacing. A nice look overall.

S - Sweet malt - smells like brown ale malt syrup. Faint dates.

T - Very malty, molasses, alcohol - that speaks, but doesn't shout, . Aftertaste is a slowly fading malt with on;y a touch of bitterness from a subtle - likely german - hop.

M - Smooth, thick, slick, refreshing. A little gummy in the aftertaste, but overall pleasant.

D - Not bad. More than one would be a chore, but it is a nice experience. I'd have again.

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Photo of Beer-TheThickerTheBetter
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Popped the cap off and smelled the beer. Smells like chocolate, but with a hint of barn funk. Gosh I am hoping the barn funk doesn't continue to the taste. Poured into a pewter stein, took one sip. Wow! I can't believe a beer as complex as this comes from Sam Adams! I like several Sam Adams beers, but they usually are tasty/straight-forward and not complex. I taste at least 4 different levels to this beer. First off there is the sweet chocolatey malts, and man are they sweet. Next I hint just a tinge of dark fruit like the Rochefort Quadrupel I tried last week. Then more sweet malts, with less chocolate and more caramel. Finishes sweet as well. The mouthfeel is incredible. Not the thickest I have had, but excellent. Overall it is as close to chocolate milk as I can describe for a beer, without it being gross. Excellent. Only thing I would probably wish for is a little more of a head on the pour. One of my new favorites, although I must admit I am partial to the style.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a bottle I have been sitting for maybe 3 years now so we’ll see how it is with that in mind. It pours a murky brown color with just a slight beige head. As the bottle indicates this is very malty and gives off a sweet grain scent. The taste is kind of has a barrel aged, chocolate thing going on. Overall it is very sweet and drinkable. Definitely taste a little of the bitterness from the 9.5% ABV but it is very subtle. Very interesting, next time I would probably just drink this new instead of aging it by accident though.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the old style label, cannot find a bottle date.

A- Pours a deep amber to almost brown color. Fairly hazy, with a fair amount of small-sized sediment. Smaller 1 finger head that doesn't retain very long. Lacing is lacking.

S- Intense malts are prominent and dominant here. Dark fruit scents come out of the malts, as well as a healthy dose of caramel. Mixed in with the semisweet malts is a somewhat metallic/acidic scent, which is kind of funky.

T- Just like the scent to the tee. Starts with lots of heavy malts, most prominent of which is the caramel. Hints of dark fruit flavors that intermingle with definite bread-like flavors, similar to a Belgian quad. On the back end, that kind of metallic/acidic funky flavor makes a quick appearance. Ends with a slight bite of dark malts.

M- Not quite as thick as most doppels, but still fairly thick. Highly carbonated which cuts down on the creaminess. Alcohol is present and slightly warming, but by no means strong or overpowering. Not a sipper by any means, but also not one you'd drink quickly or a lot of.

Overall, a solid beer, and probably among my favorites of those from BBC. I'm not sure of this one's age, but I think it has reaped some benefit from being in the bottle for a bit.

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Photo of Sharkophile
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a Sam Adams pint glass. Appears a dark brownish red with a huge off white head which quickly recedes into nothing. Leaves no lace. Can see how heavy the beer is as the viscous liquid swirls around the glass.

S: Smells sweet with some molasses, toast and a bit of fruity and roasty aromas. A hefty whiff of booze rounds things off.

T: Initial sweetness of caramel and brown sugar, with some raisin and black cherry like fruity flavors. Vanilla? A bit of cocoa and roasty character comes out as the beer warms. Spicy, warming alcohol sweeps away the sweetness and allows for a dry, bittersweet finish.

M: Hefty full body with a gentle, fine carbonation. Very well done.

O: Very good doppelbock. Reminds me alot of Troegenator actually.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a dark ruby color with a bit of clarity, but nothing too impressive. The head is a one finger cream color with acceptable retention.

S: Darker fruits, caramel, and a bit of chocolate. A *very* nice aroma, but a rather typical one.

T: Caramel to start, giving way to a midtaste full of toffee and chocolate, while the finish is fruity and lightly grassy. The aforementioned back end has a nice crispness to it for such a big beer. Quite enjoyable, but it could be even better with a little more in the way of malt complexity.

M: Creamy smooth and moderately thick, like any good doppelbock should be. The booze is faintly noticeable, but it never comes close to detracting from the experience. It's not the most drinkable brew, but it's a very pleasant sipper in general.

O: I feel like it could have a little bit more in the way of drinkability, but it still does a good job of ticking all the doppelbock requirements with aplomb. A damn good brew in general; one of SA's finest regular offerings.

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Photo of claspada
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark mahogany-hued color with a thin cap of white foam that recedes leaving minimal lacing.

Aromas begin with toasty bread and sweet caramel with a rich, vinous fruitiness and some emerging solventy alcohol notes.

The tastes begin quite sweet with very strong dark caramel maltiness with a distinct plum and golden raisin fruitiness throughout. As it warms you get some sweet doughiness and a tiny bit of spicy hops.

The mouthfeel is medium to medium-high in body with medium to medium-low carbonation. Luscious, syrupy finish with a slight bite from the warming alcohol.

Overall this is farily decently made, respectable doppelbock that can easily be found for a decent price. Can't hold a candle to many of the traditional German examples but it's passable compared to many poorly made, overly sweet American examples.

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Photo of mactrail
3.36/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big and rich brew. Coppery amber in the Affligem chalice. Nice foam and lacing along the glass. The usual attractive and well-made Sam Adams product. Scent of caramel and fruitcake.

Full of caramel and roasted malt. Quite sugary and rather hot with alcohol. Buttery with a little sharpness. Ends with a bitter twang. Quite fruity with figs, mixed fruit jelly, and a hint of candied orange peel. Less complex than you might like, though for a speedy hit to the brain and a rush of glucose, it can't be beat.

I like malty, sticky brews, but this one is a little too sweet and candy flavored. From the 12 oz bottle, a single from Best Damn (soon to be Krisp) in San Diego.

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Photo of sj660
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Brown-bronze, lighter than you might be used to in a doppelbock. Small thin head with immovable laces.

The aroma is malty, of dark bread and caramels, with a little bit of dark fruit. It is warm, thick, creamy, with a touch of resiny hop aftertaste lost ultimately to the alcohol, which is intense.

It's not Celebrator, but I'd probably take it over a Salvator. I'm a big doppelbock fan and this one is worth having.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from 9/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours dark orange amber with very light carbonation, very little head, but a hint of lacing. Aroma of mild caramel malt. Flavor is heavy sweet malt with caramel, with a malty, slightly hopped finish. Nice medium body. Somewhat boozy aftertaste. Seems like a well made beer, but not that complex.

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

Pours a dark hazelnut with a very thin (inch) cream colored head. The head dissipates very quickly with little if any lacing. This beer is a mouthful - very literally liquid bread, with some raisins, figs, possibly some cinnamon in that bread as well. The malts are right out front and big. Finishes pretty cleanly with a crisp light hop tone - probably Saaz. Like most reviewers on this site, I'm not much of a Sam Adams guy, but this looked too interesting to pass on, and I'm glad I didn't. This is a rock solid high gravity dopplebock.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Most noted is how much malt was used per bottle. Almost a loaf of breads worth? That's quite a bit!

A - A deep dark amber read hue, almost black with some pretty sweet dark tan head. Good carbonation for almost 10%

S - Smell is of deep raisin, plums, figs, and well... bread. Man it smells sweet and rich.

T - Damn this is the best Dopplebock I have had in a while. Perfect sipping beer with tons of dark fruit, sweet malts, caramel and toffee. As it warms I get an unexpected hoppy finish but it does stay very sweet and malt forward. Damn good.

M - Medium to thick boded and chewy.

Overall this is a great beer from Samuel Adams. Buy it now.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from CJ's NY for 1.99$

Appearance - Clear reddish brown colour with an average size fizzy/frothy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes.

Smell - Malts, raisins, caramel, hops, butterscotch, anise

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste raisins, malts, and some butterscotch/caramel. There are also some herbal notes and some anise mixed with some hops. It ends with a dark fruit and slightly bitter aftertaste.

Overall - Reminds me a bit of a barley wine taste wise. It's very well done and one of the best beers I've had from this brewer. I'd like to keep a few tucked away to see how the flavours develop over time.

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Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy reddish brown in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles on the surface along with a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of brown sugar and raisins in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and is malty with flavors of brown bread, caramel, molasses and raisins.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of alcohol warming in the finish.
O: This beer is like having liquid brown bread along with some additional flavors and is rather easy to drink considering its strength because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste. It is a good representation of the style.

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Sam Adams Imperial line served as my intro to craft beers, microbrews, and non-BMC beers. That said, the first three "cool" beers I had were Sam Adams' Imperial White, Imperial Stout, and Double Bock.

So now, three heavy beer-drinkin' years later, I am returning to them (and a new addition since then, a Wee Heavy!) to see how they stand up to all the amazing beers I have had since...

A: brown amber with two-finger tan head

S: toffee, caramel, malt, fig

T: chewy caramel malts, buttery

M: thick, full, heavy

O: the only other doppelbocks I've ever had, Samiclaus Bier and Kuhnhenn's Dark Heathen, were nothing like this. They were very thin on the palate and more silky sweet. This has a chunky malty weight to it. I'm not sure which is more appropos of the style, but the other two were much easier to drink. This was like drinking a protein shake. Not a horrible beer, but a bit much for my tastes.

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

Sam Adams has a ton of different brews in their lineup, but I’ve never had anything from their Imperial Series. Double Bock is one of these big beers, and a bottle that I’ve been seeking for quite a while.

A: Reddish-mahogany body, letting clean ruby light through the body. A full two fingers of tan foam appear, nicely formed and thickly bubbled. Low retention and full pockets of oily lacing.

S: This is a rich, wonderful nose. Aromas of malt waft up first: grassy grain, plum, fig, cinnamon-oatmeal raisin, cherry, and smooth toffee. Bold umami. Toast and alcohol come out in a peppery, roasted manner, with scents of char, wooden bourbon barrel, rum, and mild coffee. It’s exactly what you want in a beer of this style.

T: This palate’s all malt, and full of flavor. Amber grain and dark grass, caramel, fig, molasses, and dates are full here, with the earthy husk flavors taking center stage. Very earthy, very husky in its profile. Honey and breads come forward in a triumphant chewiness and provide a reaching presence of graham cracker and buttered toast. Brandy and a bit of coke syrup pass over a leafy hop bitterness soon after. A boozy aftertaste accompanies this brew, with sweet oils and smoky caramel.

M: Boozy, big, and with a follow-through of warm sugariness. Near-perfect thickness for a doppelbock.

O: The saving grace of Sam Adams: their imperial series – this is an incredible doppelbock. Any American brewer that can do a traditional German lager with this amount of richness and complexity should be applauded. Well done, BBC!

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Photo of kawilliams81
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Alesmith Horny Devil bottle.

A- pours a dark ruby, near brown with a 2 finger tan head. Small traces of lacing remain.

S- sweet dark fruits, toffee, and toasted malts

T- sweet malts, dark fruits and candi sugar.

M- medium body and carbonation.

O- nice doppelbock. Nice mix of sweet and dry malts.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Dark reddish brown, medium tan head.

S: Aroma is wonderful - fruity but dark with roasty caramel notes. Can a smell be dark? This one is.

T: Malty taste up front. Then sweet but with a pronounced alcohol presence.

M: Somewhat on the heavier side with good carbonation.

O: A good beer, but not sure I'll be actively seeking out a second go-round.

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Photo of jpro
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single 12oz bottle from Publix, poured into a 0.5L stein...

A: Copper with a reddish tint; one finger of light beige head; no lace.

S: Pretty rich, bread malts.

T: Caramel and toffee malts; some alcohol; somewhat dry / earthy hop finish.

M: Full; moderate carbonation; some heat from the alcohol.

O: An interesting doppelbock... not super sweet, but still tasty; nice hop bitterness was more than expected.

*from notes
** 1st brew tried from “Imperial Series”

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Photo of gkunkle
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a ruddy brown with decent amount of carbonation. The head is tan but not very tall, it recedes to a ring and a few small splotches. The smell is of maple and caramel with a touch of fruit, maybe like strawberry and orange. The taste follows the smell well, strong maple and caramel, very sweet and smooth, I detect a slight alcohol taste. Mouthfeel is thick-ish. Overall a decent beer, I quite like it as an American double bock.

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Photo of shand
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Pours a hazy red-amber color with a large, full head. The aroma is big on malts, with some fruits backing it up. The taste is very large and alcoholic, with fruits being the primary flavor. Honestly, it's a little too much for me and winds up tasting just a bit too "hot" in general. It doesn't taste bad on the way down, but it's really just too much fruitiness with too much alcohol. The mouthfeel is far too smooth to really be of note, and the drinkability is not very good. Overall, this is a beer that's just too big for it's own good. The fruit dominance just doesn't work with the huge alcoholic flavors that this beer presents. I'm usually a big Sam Adams fan, but this tastes a little too much like hot vomit for my tastes.

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Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
88 out of 100 based on 1,097 ratings.