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

241 Reviews
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.

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Reviews: 241 | Ratings: 251
Photo of allengarvin
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a half-liter German oktoberfest glass. Pours out a hazy, cloudy amber with swirling bubbles and a half-inch of frothy foam. Lacing is excellent. Absolutely lovely beer. Fresh, flowery, spicy hop aroma, not strong or overwhelming but clean, rich and pleasant. Hops hit squarely on first taste, in the middle, and at the end. Unfortunately, the flavor is very harsh, almost medicinal in quality. Extremely resinous. Malt is almost completely hidden by the hops. Finishes very dry. Full-bodied, crisp texture, with a hoppy astringency.

For such a promising start, I found this beer extremely disappointing. It lacks any sort of balance. I'd like to try this again after a year or two have lessened the effect of the hops. It might be enjoyable then. Bold concept, poor execution.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber, Riley's

appearance: very cloudy and hazt copper pour with a thick and foamy beige head...certainly a little heavier looking than your typical pilsner

smell: fresh clean hops, floral, grainy, a little earthy...bubblegum aromas and juicy citrus

taste: juicy and fruity, hop bitterness aftertaste...floral and citrus hops dominate this one (definately a hop monster), orignal bubble yum!, Definately the best sam adams brew i have had

mouthfeel: pretty thick bodied, bitter aftertaste

drinkability: ehh, wish it was a 12oz

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Photo of cokes
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dusty pumpkined gold with a skimming of bleached khaki lacework.
Dried herb and shaved orange aromatics, migrating even towards pine and pineapple as it rests. Malt provide rote breadiness, flour and then just stays out of the way.
I'll start with a mini-rant. I'm not a Scroogey stickler for style guidelines, but is there any real purpose for an Imperial (Double) Pilsner. I mean, really? What is it? It's a overhopped blonde bock, sort of. Therein, it basically belies the pils tradition of massive sessions, and dry subtlety.
But, fuck it. I like Hallertauers, so regardless, this was a must-try. And as a hop experiment, it is absolutely fascinating.
It tromps in with golden raisins, sourdough, and pear skins. The malt is fairly sedate, but up to the task of providing canvas for the obviously electric hopping. The middle is yeasty (no suprise given the looks of the glass), and despite its bottle conditioning, it doesn't present as very lager-like with its forward phenols of pepper, flour, and celery. Let's call it a Keller-uber-pilsener, and I can nearly accept it. At least the Hallertauers make me forget any qualms. A rusted nail bombast ensues full of lime leaves, hay bales, pulpy stems, and spruce resin. This has an impressive, clinging bitterness that creeps into the crevasses of the mouth, lingers and sears. Crispy, dried floral blossoms lingers long into the closure. Booze adds just illusion of gin-fueled strength, but is muted on the whole
The obese body and languid carbonation betray the usual sense of pils urgency, but strangely, even with its portliness, it coheres to the prototypic pils essence of dry, parched quaffablitiy.
This is by no mean flawless, and judged strictly as a pils, it might be outright flawed since it hardly seems lagered. But the volumn and depth of the Hallertau makes this come across as something that historically might have come to pass had Germany colonized India. Lets just call this a India Pale Hellerbock, and put the style puritans to rest.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. strange looking "bomber"

Appearaance: Hazed dull orange/red color, with a nice creamy head atop, with decent lacing.

Smell: Clean floral hops, very sweet smelling with some bubblegum and grain.

Taste: Strong and assertive. Malt is slightly sweet and grassy, very fresh tasting. Alcohol provides a nice backbone, while hops play a nice supporting role. This beer showcases the malt where an IPA would highlight the hops. A nice change from the norm.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and full, alcohol gives a slight burn, pleasing.

Drinkability: My first Double Pilsner, and I really liked it. It was what I expected, but the way the flavors worked together was pleasantly surprising. Definitely give it a shot. P.S. The best beer I have had from Boston Beer Company to date.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner 2005 Harvest
24 oz brown bottle with nice
Served in a 16 oz pilsner glass
Back label reads "For Brewery Fresh Date Enjoy Before January 2006"
Cool mini booklet attached written by Jim Koch [Brewer & Founder of Samuel Adams]

Pours a bronze color. Hazy-dark orange color blend. Excellent trails of sticky lacings leave rings around the glass.

Slight whiffs of citrus fruits. A blend of lemon, orange and lime. The nose is misleading. A true taste bud stimulation experience is in store.

Massive hop explosion on my palate with traces of a clean biscuit. Very interesting classification on this beer. Unlike any other pilsner I have had before. I taste the grainy and dry grain qualities, but this beer is complex. Freshly sliced lime bitterness on the finish. Makes me pucker with juicy hops. 8.8% ABV. Wow. This beer is so interesting and unique, I keep going back for more samples.

In all honesty, much better than I was expecting. I love the fact that I paid $5.99 for this 24 oz special offering. This beer may have single handedly restored my faith in Sam Adams.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner (2005 Harvest) is best served cool (45-50F) into your favorite Sammy glass. SAIP pours up lively & effervescent, but the appearance is very hazy. The color is distictively orangish pale with a whitish head that collapses quickly leaving lots of lace in its wake. The aroma is full of pleasant grassy, freshly mown hay & dried floral aromas from the bodacious amounts of Noble Bavarian hops e.g. Hallertau Mittlefruh. The background is full of sweet bready & spicy yeasty notes along with some peppery, even citrusy tones with just a hint of strength. The flavor starts off very fruity & slightly malty with some freshly baked cinnamon roll notes; then becomes prickly & peppery as the bitterness emerges to take assertive control. The hop complexity continues to flourish towards the slightly drier, lightly alcoholic finish, but never completely dominates. This appealing medium to medium-full bodied Imperial Pilsner is fresh & lively and makes for a wonderfully drinkable apéritif or try pairing with some mold-ripened cheese e.g. Camembert de Normandie & fresh citrus fruits. Here's to the 2005 Hop Harvest!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of ADR
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very hazy bright apricot appearance, pale head of large and medium bubbles settles to a light froth an about a minute. Nice and attractive dripping ring laces. Interesting but subdued aroma, like a spiced cinnamon candle with sandalwood incense qualities and a hint of prickliness. Lower carbonation, fully medium to almost heavy mouthfeel. Malt profile is adequate but is quickly subsumed by the hoppiness. Very spicy profile, clove, wild sage, cinnamon, with a strong note of cedar coming across broadly, and then fading to a less-well-defined bitterness in the aftertaste. Still, enough dried conifer to come up the nose a bit. Jim did amp up an interesting selection of hops here, damned distinct. Maybe a bit thick for great dinkability, and this beer is a good example of how "Imperial Pilsner" is a pretty open category

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Photo of LarryV
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is an interesting beer. Pours a cloudy, orange amber color with a light tan fluffy head. The head lingers for a bit and then maintains enough to provide a consistent lacing. Minimal carbonation makes for a very creamy mouthfeel. Aroma is basically hops with a hint of malt. Very nicely balanced beer, although it's very hoppy, the Hallertau hops give this a different flavor than most IPAs (yes, I know it's a pilsner). The alcohol seems well hidden in this beer. All in all, a very tasty treat from Sam Adams, and well crafted. The hops will linger on your palate for some time after the bottle is empty.

(treat this beer with respect, it will definitely creep up on you)

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Photo of smcolw
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
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 ypsifly
3.6/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber with a little pamphlet about the beer on its neck. Served in a Pilsener.

Amber with lighter edges, good strong carbonation that supports a thick ivory colored head. Good retention. Thick globbed lace.

The nose is very hoppy, but not as piney as a DIPA. Fruity, but not like a grapefruit, more like an orange. These are distinctly euro hops, but there's a shitload of them. The malts poke out underneath with some gentle earth, but the smell is all hop bomb.

Tastes more like a DIPA than it smells. Damn near all juicy hops. I can taste the leaves. There's a bit of malt upfront that sets the stage, but the leafy buds steal the show. Very dry with lingering leaf aftertaste. I like hops, but this one is way off balance. Once my tastebuds are beaten into submission, its not as intense.

Medium mouth that finishes clean but with mega bitterness. The drinkability suffers from the lack of balance. Worth a try unless you are a hop masochist.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
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 Naes
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a hazy copper orange color with a tall white frothy head. There is a lot of carbonation activity in this beer.
The aroma is a bit malty, but is dominated by the hops. A little bit citrusy as well.
Its flavor begins with a bit of malt sweetness, then quickly changes gears to the hops. It is delightfully bitter. There is a nice combination of pine and citrus. It is very similar to an AIPA.
Mouth feel is medium bodied and is surprisingly low on the carbonation considering the activity during the pour.

I will definitely have to get another one of these before they are all gone.

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Photo of Skidz
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours out a cloudy golden amber and sits a murkey copper in the glass with a large, creamy off-white head, fading slowly, very slowly, to a light skim on the surface with plenty of lacings around the glass.

Smells of rich malts and bright spicy notes of citrus and grassy hops. Thick doughy consistency overall, interestingly fruity.

Tastes moderately sweet up front, doughy hunks of malt, lightly toasted. Hops boom in with strong grassy spiciness with hints of lime, pushing out moderate-high levels of bitterness. Fades out to a creamy, yeast focused finish with plenty of tangy hops lingering long after, binding to a warming alcoholic glow.

Ever so rich and creamy in the mouth with soft and forgiving carbonation. Medium-full in body.

Overall, I'm enjoying this beer quite a bit. Nice rounded flavors and an interesting hop profile pulled from the Hallertauer. As a pilsener (or double/imperial pils..whatever) I don't see the relation. This is more along the lines of an Imp English IPA or something. Too much hops flavors interfering with what should be an aggressive malt profile. I'll give it what it deserves though, as this is pretty damn good.

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Photo of Darkale
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not sure what to do with this beer. I saw it at my favorite beer store, and was intrigued, upon returning home and doing some research, to find that there were relatively few reviews on BA -- I think there were 5 at that time.

The bottle says imperial pilsner, and so I compare it to Rogue's imperial pilsner -- and I don't see the comparison. I liked Rogue's Imperial Pilsner, but this tastes like an ale to me. There is not one whiff of that high, acrid, just oh-slightly-skunky taste of pilsner in this beer -- it tastes like something that Stone would have wrought.

Which means that I loved it.

If a finer (chewy, creamy) mouthfeel has been created this year, it's not crossed my mouth. And wow -- what a powerful slap of hops.

It's been a couple of hours since I finished it, I had a Rogue Dead Guy Ale afterward, plus some chicken and potatoes, and I can still taste the hops. Well done. Well done. A powerful, chewy, thick, hoppy, and yet WELL BALANCED beer. Bravo.

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up and was surprised.I have never heard of this type of beer and decided to give it a try.This pours a cloudy coppery color with a huge foamy head.
The smell is a hoppy citrus scent that is very strong.This is a very balanced beer.Although it is very hoppy,it's not too bitter. The malt is also strong and makes this a well rounded beer.A really full m/f,the taste actually explodes in your mouth.
If I can find this again I will buy it.Great job Sam.

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Photo of twelvsies
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A really interesting beer, in a really strange style which I didn't even know existed. I'm a big fan of pilsners in general though, so I was glad to see this one hit the shelves. Appears an orange color with lighter yellowy straw hints shining through. Big, foamy, dense head with some excellent staying power. Really hoppy in the nose, and a whif of alcohol mixed into a doughy German malt base. Taste is pretty complex actually. Lots of hops, lots of malt, lots of flavor. This is sort of a barleywine of the lager family, which I'm sure is pretty hard to pull off if you think about it. Rustic, bready grains, spicy hops. Quite a alcohol kick to it as well which I wasn't expecting. That makes it a bit tougher to drink. I think if they toned that down a tad this beer would be amazing. It's still great though. Big and bold and definately unique. Try it out.

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Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner 2005 Harvest from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
4.14 out of 5 based on 251 ratings.
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