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 ThatguyJoefromBoston
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Hellpop65
2.5/5  rDev -39.3%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of jaxon53
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of harpus
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of matjack85
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Wally1912
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of jfcaa193
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of THECPJ
5/5  rDev +21.4%

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 Reagan1984
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I could not believe when a buddy brought this beer over in late December. Let it sit in my cellar a few ore months. Today was the day...

2005 Harvest... "For Brewery Fresh Taste Enjoy Before January 2006"

Oh well, a little late...

From opening and pouring the beer you could not tell it was 4+ years old. Beautiful creamy eggshell colored head. Decent retention. Sheets of lacing. Crystal clear deep amber color with a touch of visible carbonation.

Aroma was stronger then I had imagined and really still reminded me of the more recent Imperial Pilsners from SA. Some hop, but a big ripe pineapple aroma. Smells like some aged DPA's I've had.

Smooth... That's the word. Initial burst of sharp hops, quickly followed by a moment of alcohol... (smooth) and then some nice smooth layers of malt and caramel.. Not sweet at all though.... Then into another moment of bold hop bitterness. This fades to a lingering hop effect that is nice. Afterwards, you get a moment of alcohol again... But still very nice.

Velvety mouth feel. Smooth as silk. Medium to bold body. Tiny tight carbonation.

Really a wonderful beer. Will take another 4+ years to age another.... Oh well, Very honored to have been able to enjoy this one.

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Photo of aletales
2.63/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

It was with great anticipation that I tried this beer over the holidays. I should have believed the label about a reckless amount of hops, but my definition of reckless is far to conservative. When the brewers of this beer say reckless, they mean it.

In the glass the aroma was hoppy and it was hard for me to distinguish much else. When I sipped the beer the moutfeel was lively, but soon all of the maltiness disappeared into an overwhelming hop fest. I felt like there was no balance to this beer, but then again I am no hophead.

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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 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 auxiliary
2.82/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - Cloudy light yellow color, nice head, but disaolved pretty quicj. Not mcuh lace either.

Smell - Bitter, grapefruit, flowery smell.

Taste - mailty, flowery, geapefruit taste, bitter.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, bittter.

Drinkability - Not much into bittern beers that taste like grapefruit. Seems others enjoyed it. You can get about 3 glass's out of this.

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Photo of EStreet20
3.31/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Yes, I know this beer was released over a year ago with a limited shelf life. Yes I know the best by date was over one year ago. Still I loved this beer so much last year that I had to snap up two bottles of it when I saw it in the store this year. I know this isn;t the way Jim Koch intended it to taste but I figure it'll be fun to review with the age on it.

24 ounce bottle poured into a 20 ounce "tulip" shaped pint glass.

A - This beer looks incredible. It glows with an opaque golden orange color and is topped by an excellent finger and a half of white head. The brew is hazy, due tot he hop particles in suspension according tot he bottle. Really just a beautiful looking beer.

S - A hop rush comes at me but more subdued than I remember. Grapefruit smell leades the way mainly.

T - Here you can tell that the brew's flavor has diminished. The hops have subsided to the point where the brew is a little too sweet and funky tasting. It has definitely fallen from what Mr Koch wanted flavorwise, the alcohol stands out too much and the hops don't stand up.

M - Full on the tongue but doesn;t have the pop it did a year ago.

D - Well this proves why Jim Koch is the expert and I'm not. the beer really has fallen on its face from a year of aging. Looks like the "best by Jan of '06" was correct.

Notes: Either way, a great beer, this tasting was mostly experimental. I can;t wait for the next batch of Sam Adams Imperial Pils.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.66/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Best by January 2006. Served in a pilsner glass at just over fridge temperature.

Appearance- Aside from the much darker and richer gold color, the pour yields a two-finger bone white head.

Smell- Loads of Bavarian hops... grassy and spicy and full of character, even after two years. Behind the hops, there is a sweet, creamy malt nose that comes forth.

Taste- A surprising maltiness disperses across the tongue, leaving the primary hop notes to handle the finishing bitterness. Dense and full of flavor, the dry, lasting bitterness lasts for several minutes.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Prickly at first, then foamy and round in the mouth. For an imperial pils, this is nice... but a bit thick and heavy to really sit back and enjoy fully.

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Photo of aluskungs
3.82/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Even though it says best before Jan 2006 here I am drinking it in Jan 2007. It has been in the basement fridge "lagering" for over a year and seems to have survived. Here goes!

Good foam head and stays awhile. Color is like diluted cider with bubbles.

Big hop nose surprised me! I mean pilsners should have a hop aroma but this was more like an IPA! But I guess that's why it's called an imperial pilsner. Oh yeah some malt sweetness present too.

Yes it's like a pilsner, but bigger, heavier, and more alcohol. I quickly find out that you can't chug this beer like a pilsner, it has to be almost sipped. Unfortunately becoming an "imperial" beer it seems to have forgotten what kind of beer it's suppose to be. Can you really have and imperial pilsner? Isn't that an oxymoron (or am I the moron?). To me it has become a strong ale, all of it's pilsner characteristics are almost gone.

But it's a tasty beer! Strong sweetness, like a storm, hits your tongue followed by a hop calmness eye of the storm, and then sweetness again. The hop taste is muddled, can't tell what kind of hops, just a generic hop taste, same with the sweetness.

But it's a tasty beer! Ale or lager, whatever this beer tries to be it is an interesting beer to sip away at and enjoy.

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Photo of sullysbeer
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma: Citrus hop nose masks the pilsen malt sweetness, slight alcohol, Slight grapefruit.

Appearance: Murky Amber with a tan head retention that lasts. Slight Brussels lace that sinks quickly.

Flavor: Malty up front; An explosion of citrus hop flavor bursts in your mouth like a grape. Finishes with a lingering hop bitterness that makes you literally take another sip to help quench your thirst.

Mouthfeel: Medium - fully body with a perfect carbonation.

Overall Impression: This beer is for sure a hop heads delight. Imperial Pilsner?? Naw, more like a lagered India Pale Ale (IPA). Once again you have to give it up to these guys. Great Beer.

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Photo of mshallah
4.64/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased Dec. 1st 2005 with a best before Jan 2006 stamp on label. This beer was intended to be enjoyed fresh because hops are the star. Hallertau Mittelfuh hops are used in crazy quantities. Aroma is fresh floral piney and orange citrus. Wow! Taste is of hops and more hops with a malt sweetness in the distant background as support and the alcohol is noticable. An ale-like carbonation makes this a creamy pils as opposed to a crisp one and there is an incredible lingering aftertaste. Swirl this cloudy dark gold brew in a short stem glass and amaze at it's head retention and lace, and marvel at bubbles streaming from points on the bottom of the glass. This is like nothing else out there and commits me to trying every new big bottle one-off that Jim Koch has to offer.

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I haven't had one of these babies since last year but scored some stragglers at a local liquor store that I decided to pop into for the hell of it. I was excited to see them because I remember absolutely LOVING this beer in the fall of '05. I was eager to see how much it has changed in a year.

Pours an extremely murky, dark orangeish a lighter shade of cider. Enormous, frothy head that just stays there forever. Ridiculous lacing to white out of the glass. What a gorgeous beer, just as I remembered.

Aroma is of fruity, citrusy hops, hops, and more hops. It is noticeably lighter and a bit sweeter smelling than it did fresh. It's not as "in your face" as it used to be. When fresh, it would jump out of the glass and smack you around a bit before you decided to sip it.

Then the taste...whew. Still a hop bomb, although noticeably milder than it was fresh. That really isn't saying much though because it is still just completely over-the-top. When fresh, it borders on being offensive, and astringes your entire mouth. Sweet honey malts, and hops all over the place. Very bitter, lasting well after you put the glass down from your sip. God, this is good. More piney and spicey now than when it was fresh as well. It's the same beer but has a few slight different characteristics. I enjoy seeing how a beer can change over time like this.

Mouthfeel is very heavy, almost syrupy and rolls around on your tongue. I would describe it as chewy as well. This is a GREAT beer but is it very drinkable? I don't know. As with any over-the-top hoppy beer with a high ABV, it can only be so drinkable. I could probably take down a couple of these bombers but just one would be perfect and enough. It's a beer that you should baby and enjoy the hop attack.

This is easily the best pilsner I have ever had, by a long shot. I'm not a huge fan of typical pilsners at all. Also, imho, it is the best beer that Samuel Adams has ever brewed thus far.

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Photo of jeffjfindley
4.64/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Intentionally cloudy, great amberish-orange color.

Smell: My girlfriend says it smells like beer. I concur. Very good, lively, malty beer. Mmmm.

Taste: Immensely satisfying. It tastes like a very malty pilsner. I don't know what else to say. I'm having a difficult time putting it down.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and refreshing with a hoppy finish. This doesn't feel much like a pilsner, but I like it.

Drinkability: Easy as hell, and equally satisfying. This beer is basically a hopped-up version of Lagunitas' Pils, which I love to death. Predictably I also love this, and I want to be alone with it, so go away.

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Photo of Toddv29424
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow is the first thing to say with this beer. Pours a hazy golden color, which i'm told is to do with the hop residue still suspended in the beer. Smell is huge. It's just as you would expect--a strong pilsner mixed with hops--but it seems as though the balance is really well thought out and tempered. Taste is big and chewy. It's as though the hops are infused into every corner of the taste, but it still maintains the pilsner body. Really impressed by this beer, especially because itÂ’s from Sam Adams!

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

Popped open this with a bunch of friends and everyone enjoyed it, novices and connoisseurs alike. Pours a hazy golden orange colour, with tonnes of lacing and a beautiful head. Aroma was wonderful, full of citrusy and piney notes. Taste is complex - full of fruit, bitterness and a herbal character. Mouthfeel is smooth and full bodied. Overall, a great beer to sip on.

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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