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

Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial PilsnerSamuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner
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American Imperial Pilsner
Ranked #4
Ranked #3,694
4.09 | pDev: 11.74%
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States
Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial PilsnerSamuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner
Reviews: 653 | Ratings: 790 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by htomsirveaux:
Photo of htomsirveaux
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 14 Nov 2007.

Large white-yellow head. Well carbonated. Surprisingly cloudy orange yellow color. Smells resiney, floral, A says like bubblegum. Well hopped, floral, fruity. Lots of malty sweetness too. Some green fruitiness. Alcohol fairly noticeable. Medium body, mouthfeel like 1% milk.

A good deal of gorgeous hop flavor (A).

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More User Reviews:
Photo of TheSarge
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours with a decent finger and a half thick, bright whit head. The body is ultra hazy and dark orange in color. To me, it appears as a hefe weizen.

Obviously the hops shines through as far as aromas go. It's been so long since I've had a hop bomb, and I'm really excited about this. The aromas I detect are very lemony and grassy. Surprisingly, I don't detect much of a piny aroma.

This is a total hop bomb. It is totally dominated by a grapefruit taste, with a little hint of malty sweetness. I do taste a bit of piny flavor here.

This leaves by tounge burning with hops. This beer is not very complex though. It's pretty much a hops tea.

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Photo of jtrockchalk
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours an amber orange color that is reminiscant of many good wheat beers. Head is huge and lingers for several minutes leaving rings of lace all the way down the pint glass

S - I gave this a five for one reason. GRAPEFRUIT! My favorite aroma in beer and life for some strange reason, but enough about me....Once I break from my grapefruit coma, I do notice pine and a little lemon rind in the background

T - There is that damn grapefruit again, I just can't get away from it. Immense hop flavor with a surprising amount of malt that finds its way through the hops. If the malt was just a tad more pronounced, I might have given a 5 to taste also.

M - Pucker up! If you don't like hops forget it. Although it as a medium heavy mouthfeel that is unexpected.

D - Hopheads could drink this all night, but myself as an above average lover of hops could probably only do a couple, but they would definitely be savored before I switched to Two Hearted for the rest of the night.

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Photo of bheilman
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This came in a bottle. It had probably mellowed a little because it sat in my closet for a few months. The beer is a little cloudy somewhere between yellow gold and brown. More on the lighter side but not light like a typical pilsner. The smell is a little too malt/sweet scented. It tastes a lot like a double IPA except with more intense hops if you can beleive that. The sweetness in the scent doesn't come through too much in the taste. The beer has a decent aftertaste with citrus being the dominant flavor. The intense hop taste makes this beer not so drinkable. I couldn't really go past a single. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of dionisio
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

So, I read about this beer in the Sam Adams newsletter, and decided I wanted to try it. But then I never ended up seeing it in the stores I happened to go into, so it kind of slipped my mind. And then recently I was in a store and I saw it, and remembered I had wanted to try it, so I bought it. But then I had it for awhile, and I was avoiding trying it, because I wasn't in the mood for it. I've been mostly in a British/Irish ale mood these days, and thinking about a high alcohol pilsner wasn't turning me on. But today, I decided to bite the bullet and try it, and on my first sip, my reaction was, "Wow."

So yea, it's a tasty beer. However, after sitting with it for some minutes now, I wouldn't say it's a particularly unique beer. But it is good, no doubt about that.

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Photo of MTNboy
3.64/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A good deep orange color with not much for head or lace. A little darker than a regular pilsner.

Smell: It has a great floral aroma that you can smell about a foot away once the bottle is opened. It a strong sweet flower like smell.

Taste: It is mainly a bitter but it does have some sweet tones and malt flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

Drinkability: It is not exactly my style beer but I am not a real hoppy person I think it is alright and I respect it.

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Photo of everetends
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle thanks to IBUnit throwing this in as an extra. Served up in my DFH shaped pint glass.

A: Pours an incredibly hazy orange color. Held to the light and this puppy glows. Got a half a finger of white head that falters quickly to a thick ring. That ring does create a lot of nice sticky lace that notches the glass beautifully. This beer has a ton of carbonation activity throughout the experience. Looks great.

S: Smell is pretty much one thing and one thing only. Hops and I imagine they are Hallertau. Going on a limb there. Just a ton of bitter hops coming out. There is also some malt in the background with a touch of sugar. Not too bad.

T: Taste is yet again a ton of hops. Bitter goodness with some grapefruit and citrus notes. The malt tames it a bit, but the malts really dominate. The malt is light and sugary, light cookie presense. There is also a touch of salt water flavor coming out. It is as advertised, an intense hop experience.

M: This is a medium to full bodied beer. This one really has a nice slick and sticky feel. Lots of bitterness in the aftertaste. ABV has some decent warmth to it but doesn't really come out too much. Carbonation is high and raelly allows this one to go down pretty easy.

D: This beer is pretty powerful stuff. Tons of hops and bitterness dominate almost every aspect of this beer. It was enjoyable but I would not see myself taking part in more than one in a sitting. Its just a bit too much.

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Photo of Mortarforker
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of toycellar
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really like this brew, so much so that from the first wiff I had to take a pull from the, lots of hops. very very nice. Poured a cloudy golden hue into my pint glass. Nice head that stood up until the finish...which came way too soon. Smell reminded me of a nice German brew, it's taste reminded me of a light lager...this was enjoyed as an apertif and the lunch that followed had a lot to live up to. I found this very drinkable, probaby downed it too quick, the abv on this reminds you to enjoy in moderation...or give up your keys...

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Photo of yossarian14
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

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

Yellow orange pour with an ample white head. Some lacing on the glass.
Hops dominate in the aroma and the flavor.
Lots of bittering hops in the flavor with a lighter malt contrast. As promised on the bottle, this one is more about hops than malt.
Mouthfeel is a little for such a high alcohol content but there is some syrupy feeling to it.
Easy to drink but I only had one bottle. I'm not sure how many I could drink at a time.
My third Imperial Pilsner in recent weeks. This style is on the way to becoming a favorite for me, but Rogue Morimoto and DFH Golden Era are better choices because there is a better hop/malt balance.

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Photo of largadeer
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Nice presentation with the 4 packs, it's very classy looking. The beer itself is orange-amber with tons of hop-haze and a sticky, soapy head.

Smell: Spicy, oily and earthy. Hop aromas are well balanced with a big malt backbone.

Taste: It's surprisingly rich and malty at first, but the massive hop flavors quickly overpower any lingering sweetness. Grapefruit, lemon peel, pepper and grass notes make up the complex hop flavor. The high ABV is completely hidden underneath the big malt and hop bill.

Mouthfeel: Thick, oily, slick on the tongue. Despite being a pilsner, this isn't remotely quaffable.

Notes: This is good stuff. It's extremely hoppy, more so than even most Double IPAs out there, but it's fairly well-balanced and it has great hop character.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. brown glass bottle into a stemmed pilsner glass. Alcohol content, as noted on the label, is 8.1%.

Pours a deep golden hue with a small but solid cream-colored cap that leaves behind thick sheets of lace along the walls of the glass.

Delivers a bouquet of fruity, floral, citrussy hop aromas, but nothing too spectacular.

Full-bodied, with an assault of fruity, resinous, citrus-grapefruit hop flavors, massaged by a soft mouthfeel and equally soft malt backbone, finishing long and quite dry and bitter.

Despite the high level of alcohol, this is a very balanced and drinkable imperial pilsner, and the dry finish keeps you wanting more. A great example for hop lovers everywhere.

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Photo of InsolublePancake
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep gold and somewhat hazy with a couple fingers of white head forming on the pour and quickly dissipating.

S- Floral, herbal, and grassy hop aromas are prominent and backed by a substantial malt sweetness. I'm also picking up a cider-like tartness. Quite interesting.

T- Starts out kind of sweet with some caramelly flavors, then quickly goes bitter. The flavor is very similar to the smell, with lots of grassy, herbal hops. The bitterness is quite strong, on the level of a good IPA, although certainly not overwhelming.

M- Medium-bodied and a little syrupy with a fairly low level of carbonation.

D- Actually not too bad. The alcohol isn't particularly noticeable, and although the beer is certainly not a quaffer, I might have another.

Interesting beer, to say the least. It's absolutely packed to the gills with hop flavor. I hesitated to review this because it had been in my fridge for at least a couple of months and the bottle said "Best before Jan. 2009," so it was technically past its prime. However, this was the last of a four-pack, and I drank the other three fresh, so I can say that the hop flavor in this beer has diminished very little, if at all. That is a testament to the sheer amount of hop flavor in this beer. I would imagine that this beer could be aged for a decade and still have a substantial hop presence. Anyway, if you like hops, especially the Hallertau variety, I recommend this beer.

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours with a huge head that lingers for the entire duration of the beer. Little carbonation in this one, light brown color and perhaps slightly hazy?

Smell- Big juicy hops, not overly spicy however.

Taste- Very smooth, almost oily in flavor. Hops are not out of balance but very big and up front, they begin to dissipate slightly on the aftertaste but a spicy bitterness remains. Tart and wet.

Mouthfeel- The chompiest pilsner Ive ever had, this is downright chewy!

Drinkability- Totally a great sipper, really a meal unto itself, best sit back with this puppy and take teeny tinny sips.

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Photo of CHSLBrew
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A-A hazy, glowing orange-amber beer, topped with an off-white head. Good retention, reduced to a thin, consistent bubble layer.

S-Intense piney hop aromas. A very floral hoppiness. Som bright fruitiness additionally, possibly partly from the hops, but also perhaps an estery fruitiness. Little to no malt aroma.

T-This is a hoppy one, appropriately described as "intense" on the label. The piney, floral hoppy flavors are prominent initially, which lead into a strong bitterness. There is a fruity sweetness in the background, seeminly a maltiness coming through the bitter. A bit of alcohol flavor on top of the clean, bitter finish.

M-Medium body, but it starts to feel almost heavy because of its intense bitterness. Medium-high carbonation. There's almost a grainy feeling to this beer.

D-Pretty OK drinkability. The bitterness seems to be borderline a bit much. However, that does seem to be in line with the style.

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Photo of rowew
3.61/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, came in a 4 pack. Label has a long description of the beer, abv, and best by date.

Appearance: Cloudy orange color, nice sized head that leaves quite a bit of lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt and some citrus - hops are definitely muted here.

Taste: Bready malt in the start, slightly sweet, hops come in as a good amount of bitterness and a combination of citrus and some piney flavors.

Overall impression: Nice and drinkable - better after it warms up a bit. Aroma is a bit lacking compared to the flavor. I seem to remember the last version being a bit better, but who knows.

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Photo of AlephNull
3.57/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy orange color -- surprising for a pilsner -- expected clarity. Nice thick frothy head sticks like glue to the sides of the glass.

S- Ummm.... I may detect a bit of hops here... just kidding -- hops are over the top. Not your typical smash you in the face northwestern hops so prevalent in hop-heavy beers though -- These are spicy and even a bit fruity. A nice, if unbalanced scent.

T - The hops are all over your palate here... fruity and a spicy. I don't taste much in the way of malts here. It finishes a little bit bitter. Not incredibly complex, but nice and clearly demonstrates the hallertau hops.

M- Thick and creamy... not quite right for a pilsner, but not bad.

D- Well, as a pilsner, this doesn't work so much -- it's so much like a modern IPA. I enjoy it though despite the over the top bitterness. The hops are clean and crisp. I'm rating the drinkability a bit higher than I might otherwise, because I think this is a better beer than I ranked it in the other categories.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had the pleasure of splitting this with Brent (Swimsum) yesterday. Thanks again buddy! Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Bright, yet hazy, golden orange body with creamy white head. Good retention, decent lacing.

Smell: Honey, caramelized oranges, sweet leafy hops, and moist vegetation.

Taste: Sweet, citrusy, and very malty. Leafy hops make a pretty huge impact in flavor and bitterness. Finishes dry and alcoholic.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy, kinda sticky, creamy, and nicely carbonated. Very smooth. Finishes warm and dry.

Drinkability: My first ever imperial pilsner, and I liked it. Didn't expect the hop experience to really be as "Intense" as advertised, but it certainly was. Nicely done SA!

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Photo of adams82
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright copper colour, cloudy with a big fluffy and sticky white head. This was certainly bottle conditioned... as if the clinging to the bottom of the bottle didn't tip you off first. Smells sweet and full of big floral and slightly citric noble hop notes. Tastes very syrupy sweet up front, lots of malt backbone and then dominated by spicy, citric and floral hops. Finishes fairly bitter and tart, almost too bitter for a hop novice, but certainly not over the top for a hop head!

Fairly unbalanced and defiantly suited for those with a taste for piss and vinegar, this is a unique offering from a brewery that that (in my opinion) hardly ever goes over the top, but they did a great job with this one. Very easy to drink given the high ABV, full bodied and loaded to the gills with hoppy goodness.

Maybe they wouldn't need 12 lbs/BBL if they used a higher alpha hop... I'm thinking "Samuel Adams Centennial Imperial Pilsner". Hells yeah.

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Photo of NickMunford
1/5  rDev -75.6%

Photo of thekevlarkid
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Out of a bottle this beer was a cloudy, bright orange/gold color with lots of visible rising carbonation. The head was one finger's worth of yellow tinted foam that quickly settled into a tight cap and laced. The aroma was quite hoppy (grapefruit and orange peel in particular) and spicy as well with a background of wood and hints of peat smoke. The flavors were bold and, as described on the bottle, "an intense hop experience." The first flavor I got was the citric hoppiness and some bitter elements of orange and lemon peel/zest soon followed by the pine note, this was then tempered by some earthy malt which does provide just enough sweetness to balance it. Very bitter overall, as close to fresh hops flavor as I have found to date. The mouthfeel is smooth and easy to drink despite being full and rich. Though I would stipulate this beer best be enjoyed by hop-heads it truly is a great example of an unusual style and representative of the act that despite being a macro Sam Adams can brew like a micro.

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Photo of zymurgy4all
3.87/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice cloudy orange with an off-white thick long lasting head. You can smell the hops as you are pouring. Malt characteristics are similar to the Boston Lager, however the hops are way over the top. I would rather have less bittering, because it leaves you with a long lasting bitter flavor, however the first sip is quite refreshing with a citrusy/flower like hops. I'm guessing they only use Hallertau for the flavor and aroma, because I don't think it would be so bitter with a low alpha hop thrown in at the beginning of the boil for bittering. Mine wasn't overly carbonated, but had a nice mouthfeel. I give Boston Beer a big thumbs up for being such a large brewery brewing such an over the top beer.

Highly recommended if you are a hop head, otherwise the bitterness will get you.

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Photo of aerozeppl
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my sam adams super pint glass.

A: Poured with a finger of white head. Spotty lacing. Nice slightly hazy golden color.

S: Hops right up front. Not really balanced and more of a bittering hop nose.

T: Very bitter up front. Goes into a little bit of a faded orange taste. A slight hint of graham crackers behind the hops.

M: Sticky mouthfeel. Carbonation was a little bit on the low side.

D: Fairly good. Not too many examples of the style out there so it is always nice to get to try one.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just had the 2008 version fresh. Aroma was wonderful.... Upgraded from a B+ to A-

This beer was a hazy Orange/Copper color and a very interesting color indeed. Not sure I've encountered a beer with quite the same look before. A huge head immediately formed and you could tell this was not going to dissipate any time soon. The structure of this white head was unreal and almost like whipped cream. Indeed it did wind up staying like a dollop of whipped cream for almost the entire time I enjoyed the beer. Additionally, there was an almost perfect set of horizontal lines of lacing across the glass noting every time I took a sip. I seriously thought of taking a photo and trying to post it as the most perfect lacing I've ever seen.

Aroma was floral and citrus fruit. Almost exclusively grapefruit and a slight spice note to the aroma.

There was an immediate hit of malt flavor that carried some sweetness, but this was quickly taken over by the Hallertau Bomb. You can detect the higher level of alcohol in the flavor profile. Good balance at the end and the hop linger is nicely balanced vs. the malt backbone of this brew.

This beer certainly is matching the notes about the style of Imperial Pilsner. (except visually)

Mouth feel is fairly full bodied and quite thick or sticky. While I enjoyed drinking this, you certainly can not sit around and drink these all night.

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Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 790 ratings