Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner 2005 Harvest | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner 2005 HarvestSamuel Adams Imperial Pilsner 2005 Harvest
251 Ratings
Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner 2005 HarvestSamuel Adams Imperial Pilsner 2005 Harvest

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed exclusively with an enormous, almost reckless, amount of first harvest noble hops - Hallertau Mittelfrueh from Germany. 110 IBUs. The "murkiness" is from hop particles, which are literally in suspension and create a permanent haze. It's part of the overall experience, and was intended.

Added by kbub6f on 03-29-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 251 |  Reviews: 241
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bit cloudy, nice head, lace. Floral bouquet. Dry bitterness that's a very good bitterness. Fresh and nicely malted, with complex, for a pilsner, taste of orange citrus, spice, herbs. Classy bottle and label. Very drinkable and satisfying.A good one I would have again.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I remember when I was a kid and ate all of the Flintstone vitamines and my mom said that too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Now I know what she was talking about. This beer is packed with wholesome a flawed level. The immense barley additions lead to a thick and almost syrupy sweet flavor and texture. The hops add a big burst of spiciness, earthiness, dirtiness, and grassiness. Together, the flavors round out nicely, but in a over-kill presentation. The beer ends up a little too grainy, thick, and vegetable-like. The alcohols hide well for the 8.8%. Full and robust on the palate with an oily / buttery finish. Though it took a while to warm up to the flavors and texture, it never really mellowed to a drinkable level for me.

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Photo of brentk56
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a murky honey orange body with a prodigious head that leaves tons of lacing

Smell: Stong noble hops aroma (very green) but the malt backbone also comes through

Taste: Starts out with a sweet biscuity flavor from the malt that is subsumed, after the swallow, by a hop blast (110 IBU) that is grassy and slightly fruity and gets increasingly bitter after the finish but there is a residual sweetness that lingers

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy with plenty of carbonation; significant warming after the swallow

Drinkability: Wow, is this over the top; I think I would like it better if it were a bit dryer and less alcoholic

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An appropriately hazy copper-orange body is capped by a full head of frothy ivory that holds quite well and leaves some very nice, wide rings of lace at the outset of the glass.

The aroma delivers a combination of caramelish malt and floral, herbal, and mildly citrusy hops that welcomes you to imbibe. It smells worty, but in a good way... not like unfermented wort... more like kettle wort at mid-boil.

In the mouth it's full/medium bodied and zesty on the tongue with a brisk carbonation.

It's well balanced in the flavor with a biscuity, slightly toasty, and delicately caramelish malt off-set by heaps of resinous, leafy, grassy, floral, minty, and citrusy hops. The bitterness is quite solid, but balancing and not overdone. It finishes with an ebbing tide of toffee-like malty sweetness that receeds to reveal earthiness, woodiness, mintiness, hoppy spiciness, and then a blocky bitterness.

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Photo of oberon
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clouded deep golden with burnt orange hue with a very tight two finger white head that left sheets of lace as it settled leaving a frothy top.The noble hops this beer is full of really show thru in the aroma sharp and peppery spice a little herbal over top of a doughy malt base reminded me a bit of a vienna style lager aroma wise.Quite a hefty pizza dough malt base lightly sweet and almost chewey stands out at first the reckless amount of hops hit mainly in the finish quite spicey and herbal that lingers nicely.Did I say this reminds me a bit of a big vienna style lager?A very good beer and I like the 24 oz bottle,well done.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer is a hazy amber color with a thick white head that fades at a decent rate and leaves a heavy white lace.

S: Very strong hops aroma along with a sweetness smell of malt, citrus and honey.

T: Big hops bite comes out at first, then a bit more sweetness than I had expected, then the pleasant hops bitterness returns and a slight alcohol sting. The hops stick around in the after-taste and get significantly stronger as the beer warms.

M: Crisp, smooth and decently balanced, medium-heavy bodied with medium carbonation and a clean finish.

D: It’s certainly got all of the qualities that make a beer drinkable. Flavorful, smooth, clean finish and not as filling as most beers with a body as full as this one.

I had noticed the release of this beer and thought that it was going to be yet another one of those limited releases that I would never see in this area. To my surprise I actually found it. I like most of the stuff that I’ve had from Boston Beer Co. and although this beer is a bit different from their regular stuff, it’s still a pleasant change-of-pace.

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Photo of smcolw
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Darker than most pilsners--light amber/dark honey. quite cloudy. Thin head that leaves decent lace

Generous hops in the aroma; the malt isn't hidden but it does take a back seat.

Sparkling mouth feel of higher carbonation. Much creamier than a typical pilsner--almost like an ale. Very full body for the style despite the obvious presence of high alcohol. The malt flavors show up at the beginning, but are quickly muted by the strong hop flavors that linger long after the swallow.

I love "different" beers--this is a worthy change of pace. It would fit into a flight of IPA's nicely. Bitterness-wise it would blow most pilsners away. I'm a hop fan and therefore rate this one highly. Don't expect a pilsner with delicate flavors here.

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Photo of russpowell
4.97/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I enjoyed this in a paulaner .33l fluted pils glass. Yum!

Poured a hazy honey color that cleared as I enjoyed it. Head was massive and held up through out, lacing was equally impressive.

Smell:Floaral hops pile on & wiffs maltiness poke through every once in while.

Taste: Crazy hops more floral than piney, but some of those too meet sweet maltiness and leather from hops freshness breaking down??

MF: Chewy & balanced

Don't really care if this is closer to a IIPA (do't think so) or IPILS, just a damn good beer that I will try to find for less than $5 a bottle...

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I like what the Boston Beer Company is offering here, it's truly a can't-miss proposal. Let's get started!

Appearance: Pours a clouded, orange-brown with a dense and at times chunky white head.

Smell: The beer runs the gamut, from fruity, to pine, to floral, to spicy, to herbaceous and back again.

Taste: Rrrargh! Grrarrrgh! Grrrargh! This beer literally turns you feral.

Spiciness is upfront and naturally unforgiving. Thankfully though, the sweet malt undertones give the beer some bouyancy, with an almost honeyish flavor shining through. Altogether, it tastes very green and leafy, and as if spiced with fresh-ground white pepper and grated cinnamon. The snappy finish lingers through each and every sip, through writing this review, and possibly into tomorrow.

Yes, this beer's very hoppy, friends. Very very hoppy. If you're going to drink it, you're going to have to learn to understand that.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full; thicker than I had expected, with a definite silkiness to it.

Drinkability: I was worried this beer would be like drinking lye, but that wasn't the case at all! A very gripping beer journey, and one I recommend taking. 200 Reviewers (199 applied) can't be wrong!!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hugely hazy, gloriously gauzy, terrifically turbid, fantastically (hop-)flecked tawny capped by an enormous head that is as thick, sticky and creamy as they come. I don't care what anyone says, hop oils make the best heads... and the best lace, as evidenced by the fact that every square inch of the glass is coated with it. The thick lace blanket is disappearing in spots as the insanely bubbled crown melts like a scoop of ice cream, but it's still a wonderful sight.

While the nose is clearly hop-focused, the maltier aspects of the beer's personality have not been forgotten. I don't know about a 'reckless' amount of hops, as the label claims, but BBC went well beyond the boundaries of respectability... for which they deserve the thanks of hopheads the world over. Hallertau Mittelfruh will never be confused with Centennial or Cascade, but they provide a delightful citrusiness in addition to the typical German floral spiciness.

I was a tad let down with my first sip since the expected hop explosion didn't materialize. Each subsequent sip, however, brings the flavor into increasingly clear focus and allows me to appreciate the beer as a unified whole. While it may not ascend to the heights of the most insanely hopped IPAs, Imperial Pilsner's hoppiness has depth and it most definitely has legs. It's amazing how long the multi-dimensional hop flavor maintains contact with my taste buds; a function of the sheer quantity of cones used and of the big body.

Anyone who scoffs at the notion of a double pilsener need only drink one bottle of this beer. It is exactly what I would expect if the malt content of a standard pils was doubled and the hop content was tripled. The malt backbone, which is as solid as granite, is as sticky-sweet as honey and is lightly caramel-like as well. Atop that is a raging river of noble hop resins that provides a cumulative, tongue ruffling amount of biting bitterness. There are few things more delicious than well-supported, out of control hops.

Alcohol is part of the flavor profile (as it is in all big beer), but it's remarkably well-integrated and is anything but harsh or intrusive; yet another indicator that BBC has come through with a world-class beer. The mouthfeel is appropriately medium-full, with a heavily silky stickiness that I love. It allows the hops to linger and to provide pleasure long after the beer has gone on to its reward in my increasingly warming belly.

I had serious doubts that another Sam Adams beer would ever supplant Double Bock as my favorite. It isn't all that surprising that a hop bomb was the ringleader of the coup. Imperial Pilsner 2005 Harvest is a remarkable beer that all hopheads owe it to themselves to try. Please guys, don't make this a 'one and done'. Do I have to beg?

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Photo of Jason
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

24 oz brown bottle with a freshness date on the back label.

A- Amazing head retention even after you take several sips ... the lace pretty much clings all the way down the glass too. Completely orange-amber hazed color, this is most likely from the boat load of hops used in this brew.

S- Very floral, tad orangey with other mild citric tones ... faintly pine-like with an herbal backing, all from the hops. Mild and clean solvent alcohol.

T&M- Creamy smoothness is sublime in the full body, big hop presence of bitterness and flavor. Layers of pungent oil; soft herbal, clean citric, tobacco, dull pine. Maltiness drops in a foundation of sweet and toasted character ... but this is simply overshadowed by the massive hop onslaught.

D- A big two thumbs up to the Boston Beer Co. for brewing this beer ... I'd love to this or similar every year. Sometimes the more hops the better. Paired this with some sharp goat cheddar.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of rab53
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of TMoney2591
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Budweiser pokal.

connecticutpoet is quite the mensch for sending this my way!

Missed the failsafe for "brewery fresh taste" by four-and-a-half years. So it goes. It pours a boggy amber, leaning like a cholo to the orange side o' town, topped by over two fingers of stalwart, creamy, ecru foam. Honestly, I think those color swatches in paint departments look to this head for the purest example of the color ecru. The hops in the nose cry out from a locked basement, the prisoners of a gang of buttery biscuits. The ringleader is a rotund toffee bastard, lazy and seemingly overconfident. I don't think I've ever had a pils approach my 'strils in this manner before. Now my tomgue has no idea what to expect. Let's end his anxiety, eh? At first, the "reckless" amount of hops mentioned on the neck tag make their collective presence known, all piney and citrusy and whatnot. But, like the more sheepish rabbit from Watership down, they flee into their warren. Just as in the smell, a sweet and buttery toffee-led gang is the cause of the panic. This time, though, the hops grab for vengeance, stinging the tongue throughout the aftertaste. It all makes for quite the thrilling cinematic (and pleasant gustatory) experience. Everything sits in the mouth with a bit of weight, but not much; the carbonation is there, but meek, like the wallflower trying vainly to ask his crush to the prom; and a lovely creamy feel pervades. Copacetic, man. Even with the age, this is a fine bit o' brew, I tell you what. I can only imagine how it will be in a few more years...

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Photo of Billolick
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, with a hanging little booklet, giving information/propaganda about the beer. Enjoy before date on the rear label. Pours a glowing honey/orangy shade, with a slight cloudyness. Dense light tan head, that leaves gobs of lacing and sheeting. Nose is of pungent, spicy, musty hops. This a large,rich, bold, flavorful and hoppy concoction. Very coating and oily mouthfeel. Dry, flavorful and grainy finish. Hoppy oils coat the teeth and tell me to refill my glass with this fine brew. This went very well with a bratwurst cooked with sourkraut in some much less hoppy beer. Be sure to get a few bottles of this very worthy brew and enjoy.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.57/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy amber golden big thicket of off white orangish brown tinted head leaves even speckled lacing down the conical v shaped pilsner glass. Aroma: Hallertau...Hallertau...and more Hallertau very much leaf, citrus, and floral toned blended with a pilsener note biscuit tone with a mineral note finishing with a touch of alcohol and heavy bready sweetness. Taste: Strong bitterness German noble hops earthy, floral, grassy, and citrus rinds mmh mmh good hefty grain bill produces some balance to the even heftier load of hops slightly sugary flavor a touch more sweetness and alcohol come out as it warms but Hallertau hops rain supreme with alot of bitterness. Mouthfeel: Medium to fuller body range carbonation slowly chugs along I'm assuming due to the higher gravity sticky with oils from hops and residual sugars nice. Drinkability: Very nice never experienced Halletau hops in this fashion very aggressive and innovative on a relatively low traveled style, I'm very happy nice from the bigger craft brewer and only $6.50 much better than Sam Adams last "special release" the Chocolate Bock at $15+.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

02/02/06- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 24oz (odd sized bottle) bottle, 2005 edition. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Very murky dark orange, maybe apricot in color. 3/4 inch ultra creamy head with light lacing.

Smell- Wow, they weren't kidding when they said this baby packed a punch. Huge floral, fruity and pine resinous aroma. Malty sweeter smell behind all these hops.

Taste- Tremedous flavors of sticky pine resin and floral green teas like flavors. Sweeter malt background. Hops infiltrate and hang around long into and after the swallow.

Mouthfeel- Average carbonation, light creamy texture.

Drinkability- Only my third Imperial Pils..this one takes the cake. Never imagined a 110 IBU pils would be so drinkable. Tasty and leaves you wanting more.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy orangey color, some carbonation, nice small head, lots of lacing.

S - The scents are of hops, malts, and kinda citrusy.

T - The taste is hoppy and tangy with a nice bitter finish. There is also a slight alcohol feel/taste.

M - Medium body.

D - Very drinkable. This is my first American Double Pilsner, very tasty and hoppy which was a surprise for me. Another excellent brew from SA.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner, 2005 Harvest, says the front, plus, "brewed with Noble Bavarian Hops from the 2005 Harvest." Backside, it refers to itself as a malt liquor. Stupid label laws.

Ferociously cloudy appearance, a deep, hazed orange hue...impenetrable apricot...with staying, though slim, dotted, lace-leaving head...good enough...

Aroma: WOW! This is what we expect from a Fresh Hop Ale, or a Double IPA, but not from anything that calls itself a pilsner, and though the hops are all Bavarian, this screams as loud as the big boys from the West Coast.

Caramel-y, appley, fruity, fresh, and so alive and up-in-your-face, herbaceous, piney, very lively. I like it!

Taste: thick, muddy, as hoppy as all hell. Again, I wonder, is this really a pilsner? A malt liquor? Didn't look like it, doesn't taste like it, so full of flavor, yet still containing the hoppy snap and smoothness of a great pils. Yet not thin in body, and too clean in mouthfeel.

Mouthfeel is immense. Unfiltered? You think? Dry-hopped? You betcha! Dangittidangittily delicious, let me tell you, partner! This Imperial Pilsner designation is so early in it's usage, but may I say that Samuel Adams has upped the ante, for none approaches this approach. A tasty mess that I must recommend to one and all. Wondered if the $5 for my 24 oz. bottle was too much, but now know that's silly, as other craftbrews has charged more for less.

This hophead throws up huge props on Sammy for this insistently full in flavor, so intense in taste, so huge in delivering the to love it!
$5 well spent. Get hop-loving friends around you and enjoy!

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Photo of Gavage
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a hazy and cloudy orange color with some lighter yellow highlights on the glass edge. Thin 1/2" head falls quickly. Some decent lacing develops through the session.

Smell: strong grapefruit citrus, grass, and a hearty bitterness.

Taste: huge malt backbone, with loads of grapefruit slices and lemon zest, wrapped in a strong earthy bitterness. Alcohol is slightly noticeable. This is one of those beers that can be considered a meal when no food is around.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Crisp throughout. The flavor tones last long on the tastebuds.

Drinkability: nicely drinkable, but I found this to be quite filling. Flavors also expaned as it warmed. Great beer.

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Photo of tempest
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got the last bottle available from the local beer store.

Light orange body with a good white head. Good lacing and head retention. Somewhat opaque from the massive hops. Wow.

Smells of spicy hops with a touch of alcohol. Strong aroma, like your typical pils on steroids. Tastes great, similar to a DIPA. Very spicy hops almost reminiscant of a saison. Unlike aroma, no alcohol flavor detected.

Watchout for this one (if you can still get one) once it starts to warm up. The 110 IBUs approach the drinkability of Ruination. Keep this cold and you're in the clear. Still a bit tough to drink, I'm glad I shared this bottle with a couple friends.

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Photo of plaid75
3.43/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a very murky deep copper hue with a one finger pillowy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a robust caramel malt with a mellow but peppery noble hop.

The taste was upfront spicy hop with a grainy middle and definite doughy malt finish. There was an astringent hop aftertaste as well, and a mild warming alcohol.

The mouthfeel was chewy, with a dry finish.

Overall a very interesting beer. Although the hops have seemed to mellow over a year, I still don't believe there is enough of a grain bill to support the hop dosage.

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Photo of WesWes
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a hazy dark gold color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice pale and carapils malt scent along with a huge hop aroma that is quite intense. It smells sweet and highly bitter. The taste is great. It has a very smooth and malty flavor that is full of hops all the way down. It's warm and satisfying as well as highly bitter. You gotta love Sam Adams going for it with this brew. They didn't hold back. That's for sure. The mouthfeel is great as well. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is one hell of a beer. This is hops done right; full on.

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Photo of mltobin
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Prior to this 2005 Imperial Pilsner, I had only had some of the classics from Sam Adams: Boston Lager, Summer, Winter. But I had read somewhere that this had a high ABV and tasted good.

Upon pouring, the beer was a nice dark color with quite a bit of head to it. It tasted very good with vanilla and other tastes hitting my palate. I enjoyed it very much so and it was the beginning of my trying a lot more of the smaller batches of beers that Sam Adam puts out over the course of the year. Overall, a very good beer.

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Photo of Zorro
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Motor oil thick pour gives me a murky light brown brew with a good tan head. I guess you could call this gold but I really can't do that. This is hard to assign an appearance score for, Pilsners aren't suppose to be cloudy! However it is what the brewer intended.

Smell is a nose full of Hallertau hops. Spicy, perfume and herbal all at the same time. This might be even too much hops as it has a slight soapy aroma. Malt is hard to smell under all that hops but it is there; sweet and bready in nature. The alcohol works well here to bring the more floral elements to your nose.

Taste is extremely hoppy and a bit bitter at the beginning. Big flavor of hops is salty and floral all at the same time. This is a beer your taste buds have to adjust to. Very spicy flavor but it is sharply bitter too. Not a senses destroying bitterness this is a sharp musical note that hits and dissipates quickly leaving a very long lasting hop after taste.

Mouthfeel is very full damn near olive oil thick.

A MOST unique and intriguing beer! It is hard to strictly apply style guidelines here since this ignores all of them. WOW I am not entirely sure I understand everything about this beer but it is easy to drink and not like anything else in the "Imperial Pilsner" class that I have ever tried. I absolutely recommend that you try this. I personally will purchase at least three more bottles and taste this again.

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Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner 2005 Harvest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 251 ratings