Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial PilsnerSamuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner
789 Ratings
Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial PilsnerSamuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner

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

Style: American Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Flyer on 06-18-2007

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 789 |  Reviews: 653
Reviews by burnerfinger:
Photo of burnerfinger
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

has become VERY hard to find this, but I found it and am promptly reviewing it:
I suspect this 4-pack has been cellared for a year or more - Les at Majestic Liquor tells me it was in the back.

A modest one finger head that settles to a film, with great lacing. Pours thick, orange-amber brew.

S: lite on the nose really I get much more malt than hops.

T - rather sweet brew, nicey balanced with a hoppy bite. really this is great but not as hop heavy as I expected.

M super heavy body. nice carbonation - no ABV bite but the buzz pulls thru well

D: approaching perfect. drink em up!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great to see the 2005 Harvest Imperial Pilsner back at least somewhat in a different form loved that beer and just love this beer to.Poured into a pilsner a deep gold with some heavy orange tint a big fluffy 2 finger white head atop that settled slowly leaving globs of lace as it did.Like a double IPA but with the hallertau hops instead of Cascades and or Amarillo hop just fresh leafy,grassy,resiny hop with a touch of alcohol sweetness as well and a lingering vegetal note like a hopped up a spring bock almost.Heavy handed hops on the palate wich is just great with me very leafy and grassy with some white pepper-like spice a big malt as well with some deep caramel sweetness and doughy presence with the sweet alcohol bringing up the rear but it doesnt hinder the beer much.It will creep up on ya but if you like hops and enjoy big lager beers this is it I love it.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This Pils is a gorgeous, deep, radiant orange in color with a beautiful thick and lingering head. Words cannot explain how beautiful the orange coloring is. It’s like an orange Christmas tree bulb – pure as can be. The head is equally pleasing to look at.

Smell – This smells more like an IPA than a Pils, but the hops are indeed quite easy on the nose. It’s’ a wonderful fruity hop bouquet filled with unsweetened peaches and apricots with some nice grapefruit.

Taste – The hop flavors are truly “imperial” as the name implies. They don’t have that PacNW pine. It’s more like sheer hop fruit, and somehow through all of this the fine malt base comes out.

Mouthfeel – This is a solid medium-bodied and very bitter.

Drinkability – Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fan of the perverted American “beer styles” born from failed attempts to replicate classic European beers (like American Wheat – blah) but damn this is extremely well done. It is very drinkable yet bitter enough to satisfy hopheads.

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

Beer review from BA Mag Aug 2007.

Thank the beer gods that Boston Beer Company brought their Imperial Pils back. It received rave reviews from us two years ago, so let's give this year's version a go.

Hazed amberish orange, the haze coming from the insane amount of hops being used here. Not a huge head, but the lace stays for the duration of the drink. Big, pungent, grassy, herbal and alcoholic notes with a biscuity malt aroma, all of which comes forth in a sort of perfume. Smooth and creamy with a full body. Explosive flavor to start, huge hits of juicy hops that go from fruity to bitter and resiny. The malt character is solid enough to hold its own, even though the balance is pushed way off to the hoppy side. Bitterness comes in waves and eventually takes over as the palate dries. Finishes with a seemingly never-ending hop flavor.

Pretty damn amazing and certainly a benchmark for this new American style. A sure pick for any hophead, beer geek or extreme beer lover. Pretty much any funky blue-veined cheese will make a good pairing.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brand new 12oz bottle. Pours into my glass a quite hazy yellow orange hue with a sticky inch of creamy white head that lingers. Active carbonation rises up, this brew looks really nice in the glass. Just what I remembered from the big bottles last year. Aroma begins with sweet pale and biscuit malts with a hint of caramel in the background overridden by a bold, spicy, herbal hop blast. Pungent and green, the hop oils seep out of the glass. Somewhat floral as well. A noble hop bomb.

First sip brings a brief flash of pale, biscuity malt that is quickly overwhelmed by spicy, herbal hop flavors. A bit earthy with some floral aspects as well. The brew flows down with a nice hit of bitterness as the hops win over in the balance. Big hop resins throughout, visions of bright green hop cones come to mind. Finishes dry with a nice bitter twang and lingering hoppy goodness. Damn good!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy with the perfect carbonation that just rushes across the palate. Quite enjoyable to drink and refreshing as well. Overall, this is big tasty imperial pilsner and I'm glad to see it back. One of the only brews I know to focus on the Hallertau specifically, it's a tasty treat for a hop lover. Well worth grabbing a four pack of this.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This has to be one of the prettiest beers I've seen. It is a hazy orange color with a medium head that retains throughout, and some beautiful lacing. Intense floral, citric aroma. Ditto on the taste: grapefruit, unspeakably hoppy. If you are a hops maniac, this beer is for you. Others might find it to be a little over the top.

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Photo of 40451
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of generallee
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The label reads best before Jan. 09 and it was sampled on 6-24-09.

Appearance: The body has a deep orange amber color with a few random and tiny bubbles of carbonation here and there. Its clarity is very good as well. The head is very thick and creamy with about a two and a half finger thick ness. It is light tan in color and very long lasting which makes for nice sticky rings of lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is really rich and full of leafy/spicy hops and pale bready malt.

Taste/Mouth: The flavor, like its aroma, has an intense spicy/leafy/herbal hop character. It is in you face with hops and bitterness. Under this heavy layer of hops is a simple and very modest pale bready malt flavor. There is just enough malt presence in there to remind you that this is a beer and not just a bottle of hop extract. It finishes with slowly with a strong hop flavor and bitterness that clings to tongue and feels like it is pulling the enamel off of your teeth. The palate has a full, thick body and slick texture with light carbonation.

Notes: This is a big, full hop bomb and I even sampled it a few months passed its freshness date. I love hops and the flavor was very good but I am not the biggest hop head in the world so for me the drinkability was low on this one. A little bit of this goes a long way.

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I have been waiting for this beer to come back for 2 years. I was very excited to find this baby in 4 packs today @ the local store.

Appearance - pours a very cloudy golden with a really nice, creamy head that sticks around for the long haul. Tremendous lacing down the glass with each and every sip.

Smell - very floral, sweet, tropical, hops, hops, and more hops....amazing bouquet of aromas coming form this brew.

Taste - Citrus notes and sweeter up front at very first, then turns ridiculously hoppy. Very astringent, dry finish. Aspirin-y aftertaste. The hops just cling to the palette for dear life, staying with you forever. Definitely not balanced but a hophead's delight.

Mouthfeel - Very oily, full bodied, good carbonation.

Drinkability - Despite the high abv and extreme hoppiness of the beer, it is very drinkable. Hopheads unite for this gem.

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Photo of BeerIsland
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a bottle Sandy Mitchell laid on me for carting him home from Max's one night and I appreciated the largess very much. I'm actually pretty impressed with this beer. Poured from the bottle, it's a cloudy orange in the pilsner glass with a light lacy head. The nose is clean, fresh, and malty. Can't say I pick up a lot of hops at this point. The initial taste is very much like a pils, it would hard to say it's well over 8%. There's a decent malt/hops balance even with the extra ingredients. Very drinkable and far from tasting like a load. Very good job!

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Photo of merlin48
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy peach hued body with a substantial almond head that retains well and leaves very sticky lacing.

Aroma of bold noble hops, floral and herbal with a note of bready malt.

Medium body has a zesty carbonation.

Taste is dry and leafy with herbal and floral hops. Bready pale malts balance very nicely. Alcohol is barely noticed.

Didn't know if I would like this one but it's actually quite good. This is one I'll be certain to look for again.

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Photo of LyonsHead
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a cloudy orange with a thick and creamy white head and nice lacing

S: Smells like hallertau hops... in other words, this beer is extremely floral mixed with dried fruit. smells fantastic

T: there is a huge hop flavor here, i surprisingly enough get a slight caramel/toasty note in the deep background (if you let it sit in your mouth for a second).

M: Really thick and smooth, very creamy. finishes dry

D: If you like hops this one has them. Don't know if I could drink a bunch of this but its good.

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Photo of mattster
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opened 12 fluid ounce bottle, poured into pilsner glass.

Really good head formation, holds 2.5" for a while, leaving lacing on glass. Color is a dark amber hazy brew with bubbles rising inside.

Smell is more malty, while taste presents a nice hoppy flavor. Also spicy pine and slight citrus notes. Good carbination, nice finish. I wish I had bought more than just a single.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of magictrokini
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Its been a long time since I've had a pilsner this good. Pours a light, hazy amber with a massive head. Can really smell the Bavarian hops with hay-like undertones. Taste is very clean up front, with the hops behing mellowed by the malt. The hops keep it bitter, but without turning into a weak IPA. A taste of bread is also there throughout, giving it a thick mouthfeel.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to larrydp fro bringing this beer down for me to try,probably got tired of hearing me talk about it. A 12 oz bottle served into my SA glass (what else)

Cloudy,glowing amber color with a generous dense,very creamy,fluffy looking with good retention leaving chunky rings of lace with a few staggering bubbles rising.

Good,very strong noble hop nose spicy,herbal and peppery.Lots of unsuspected maltyness also, with a strong carmelized aroma showing through. Very earthy also.

Intense hop bite right from the start, with a tinge of alcohol, and lots of thick sweet,syrupy maltiness with a good burnt edge. suprizing balance with boozyness also showing through mid-way through again. Very earthy,finishes very dry,leafy and resinious with noble hop notes coming through at the finish. Leaves the tounge swelled and with somewhat of a numb feel.

Mouthwatering feel that's very creamy and silky smooth with a grainyness that's pleasing. Goes down suprizingly easy. Just a few,the ever present boozyness will occasionally come through and give a constiant warning. Try this one a try ASAP before the hoppyness starts to dwindle.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle into a pilsner glass. pours a very cloudy orange gold yellow color. you can even see this vibrant cloudy color through the brown bottle. lots of hop sediment floating around as well. great appearence.nice fluffy off white head that sticks around for awhile. nice lacing, nice retention. the aroma is obviously very hoppy, but its not as huge as the taste suggests. a light pilsner type malt aroma as well. the taste is that of some really strong earthy, spicy hops all the way through. very heavy strong mouthfeel. the hops really linger. perhaps a tad bit of an alcohol taste. not a great balance to this one. but its definately what the label suggests a hop experience. reminds me a lot of a double IPA. its not very drinkable due to the high ABV, definately a sipper. this is prolly one of the best offerings from sam adams that ive ever had, i would definately suggest it to anyone that enjoys hoppy beers.

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Photo of far333
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Turbid apricot colored with a thin orangey-beige head that doesn't rise up much, and then settles out quickly to a thin layer of foam.

Low aroma of sweet malt, faint citrus, and some alcohol fumes.

Flavor is initally rough and pungent, somewhat hard-edged. Bitter orange rind jumps on the tongue all at once, followed quickly by an alcoholic astringency. The alcohol warms the tongue and cheeks, and masks the flavor from there. Hints of sweet malt and grapefrut and pine hops try to poke through, but the octane level pushes them back down. Not very balanced, not too complex.

Mouthfeel is full but also crisp and tingly. Average drinkability. Not as good as the '05 selection.

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Photo of doremite
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great vibrant yet hazy yellow and orange frothy head. Big grassy hop aroma from this one.

This is a taste for hopheads, built into an imperial pilsner. Sam Adams doesn't make their ipa's usually with that much hops, strange they went big on this one, and I like the results. Quite bitter, but zesty, lemon citrus hop flavors driving the bitterness. Has a little bit of the lager yeast flavor that was complimented by the massive hop burst. Don't know if this is exclusively hallertau, but whatever proportion, it works nicely to create a strong ass beer worthy of spring early summer time.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.82/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears an orange marmalade like hue with a thick large bubbled custard textured foamy off white head. Unfiltered but nothing like the hop particles that the 2005 version had to offer, head dwindles slowly great retention with lacing that forms unevenly with speckled pattern all around my pint. Aroma contains deep complex layers of herbal grassy hop bursts with mild skunk edged pungency. To balance out the intense hop experience comes pale biscuit malt sweetness with some hot alcohol action tickling the ol' nose hairs, a mild air of sweet honey character as well. Flavor offers up a barrage of Hallertau hoppiness with strong colossal hop bitterness over a delicate light biscuit malt character mild bready yeast notes too boot. Hop heavy in your face with the hops herbal grassy pungent citrus peels galore and a touch of that skunk flow. What a beer to really understand what Hallertau hops are all about, definitely tastes good to have raw hops on the tongue. Mouthfeel is full bodied with hop oils giving it the lusciousness that I'm sensing on my palate carbonation carries everything well, raw hop attack bites the tongue and finishes dry with alcohol and bitter hops left in the finish. Drinkability is great if you like the hops, because I feel like I could use about a case of this stuff just so I can fall in the hop pile every once in awhile, single hopped anything is usually great but this brew is world class.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a yellowish orange color, slightly hazy, with a thick, fluffy off white head with a yellow tint to it. The head fades very slowly, leaving a massive lacing.

This beer has a nice mild grassy aroma. It smells citrusy also. It smells good, but I would not call it an "intense hop experience" Not as hoppy as a Double IPA, but hoppier than an English IPA. It does smell more crisp though.

This beer tastes just like it smells. Grassy with some citrus hints. As with the aroma, it dosent have the alleged intense hop flavor I expected. Good none the less.

This beer is very crisp and refreshing. It leaves a grassy aftertaste. The carbonation is perfect.

This beer may make a decent session beer. It tastes good, but it is a little high in alcohol.

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer. I do feel a little misled about the discription. I guess on the West Coast, saying that you used an almost reckless amount of hops means something different as on the East Coast.

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Photo of WCBCFrank
2.7/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

They should rename this imperial to Totalitatian, because this is a "mother" of a pilsner...totally overwhelms my palate with bitter pine and grapefruit hops, it best described as hopjuice. For my palate, this is like the aged very expensive smelly cheese someone brings to your dinner party....

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Slightly cloudy golden orange color. Thick white head. Excellent lacing and retention.

Smell - Hops, citrus such as grapefruit, spices, cloves, and nuts.

Taste - Nice hoppy presence. This is probably the hoppiest pilsner I ever drank. Nice sweet citrus flavor followed by a nice bitter aftertaste and spices.

Mouthfeel - Light/medium bodied. Dry crisp feel.

Drinkability - Easy to drink. High ABV but tasty.

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Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 4-pack at Tower on Piedmont in Atlanta.

Pours a cloudy copper color with a one-finger white head. The head dissipates into a patchy layer of bubbles on top and a medium-sized ring around the glass. Lacing is decent.

Smells of pine hops with a sticky-sweet caramel malt backbone.

Tastes very good. Pine hop and citrus flavors are joined by more of that sticky-sweet caramel malt. The hops are front and center, and stick around for a while after the sip. The end of the sip is pretty bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. As you may have gleaned already, it's got a stickiness that accentuates the thickness and good carbonation. Goes down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. The bottle doesn't lie - prepare yourself for a lot of hops.

Overall this beer didn't disappoint. I may buy a few more 4-packs of these to keep around for hop cravings. Worth a shot.

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Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 789 ratings