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

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Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial PilsnerSamuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner
788 Ratings
Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial PilsnerSamuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner

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

Style: American Double / 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 788 |  Reviews: 653
Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up on a whim on my last beer run.

A - hazy golden yellow with a nice white head
S - for an intense hop experience (label notes) I was dissapointed I could not pick up more hops on this one. Light golden malt with a hint of grassy hops at the edges.
T - Hey, theres that intense hop experience. Hoppy bitter, spicy and a light grassy note dominate with a light biscuit sweet malt note rounding out the effect.
M - medium bodied, nicely carbonated lingering hop effect.
D - Engaging through the full glass. If I had paired this with a spicy dinner / appetizer I would thoroughly enjoy a couple in a session.

Glad I tried this one.

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Photo of Grandwazoo
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy golden brown with smallish creamy head

Surprisingly mellow nose with floral hops and slight malts

Not a lot of fruit, but the hops are very balanced, providing some floral flavors at the beginning and then dropping into a building hops bitterness thta does not get too dry. Itensity of flavor builds very nicely.

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Photo of esv
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A little difficult for me to grade since it's a bit unique and I haven't had any of the small handful of imperial pils on the market.

A) Hazy orange beer. Billowy white head. Tight, tiny bubbles in the head.

S) Malty sweet and hoppy. So this is hallertau.

T) Big, syrupy sweetness. Hugely bitter that washes out most of the syrup. Monstrous. A little medicinal.

M) Medium Mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

D) Higher than expected. The big IBUs keep the malt in line.

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Photo of dionisio
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
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 CHSLBrew
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
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 hero27
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.
8.8% abv

The bottle says it is an "Intense Hop Experience", and they weren't kidding.

Pours an extremely hazy peach..with a soft, modest head of off-white foam.
Slight aroma of earthy malts & soft Hallertau hops.
Enormous floral hop taste with a good stinging bitterness and a warm, biscuit malt backing. There's a light citrus flavor that mixes in well and keeps it from being too overwhelming & heavy. The alcohol is slightly noticeable, but not distracting, and the lingering floral bitterness lasts for minutes after each sip.
Thick mouthfeel, but goes down pretty damn well considering.
This beer is certainly approaching double IPA territory..I know it's an Imperial Pils and expected to be pretty hoppy, but the hops in this rival 99% of the beer out there.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.72/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an extremely hazy starburst orange color. Decent fluffy off-white fine-bubbled creamy head. Good retention and excellent lacing. Looks like a dark wit beer.

Hoppy smelling? Yea, ya think!? Very grassy and to a lesser extent, floral bouquet. Malt notes are present, clean and biscuity. Some mild hints of some darker fruits like raisins, which is surprising for such a light colored brew. Overall, a very nice smelling beer.

More of an earthy and grassy hop bomb than the typical citrus west coast IPA. Bitterness is very high, but still has some undertones of light malty sweetness. It's a bit on the pricey side, but overall, a pleasant drinking experience. A nice change of pace hop bomb with the hallertau....very un-Sam Adamsy feel to it. Might revisit again next year, but splitting a 4-pack would be fine with me.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.72/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a hazy light yellow. The head was rich and white and left a nice amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell was very hoppy with good amounts of citrus, pine, and even a touch of spice.

Taste was very sharp and loaded with hoppy bitterness. Quite a bit more than I expected. Eventually I was able to detect a bit more of the subtleties of the citrus, pine, and malt.

Mid-bodied, crisp, and quite carbonated.

This was not quite the sessionable beer I expected but was the beer I had hoped it to be.

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Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.72/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer looks very cloudy inside of the bottle before I poured it. The beer pours a nice golden hue, but very hazy. A decent finger of head started the beer off, and the head retention was great on this beer. Heavy lacing on the walls of the glass and a good blanket of head stayed on the beer the entire time. The nose is full of mostly of hops with some some sugary sweet malt. Biscuity malt is actually my first real flavor that I can pick out easily with heavy complex hop flavor trying to overpower the malt, but that never really happens. The taste is actually a bit on the sweet side but is still fairly balanced with the bitterness of the hops. The beer finishes slightly dry and doesn't coat very well. While a neat offering I wasn't really impressed with drinkability and wouldn't come back this again most likely.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz picked up today at the Coop for about $2.40.. poured into my shaped Sam Adams glass.

2 finger head with lots of lace... nice cap.. brew is golden with a very soft haze.

Aroma is spicy citrus with some bready pale malts..

Big bitterness out of the gates.. followed by smooth pale malts with a little bit of sweetness.. the malts are only present long enough for the big hop presence to kick in... very hoppy.. big orangey hoppiness with some grassy/spicy hoppiness. finish sorta drops off for me though except for a long bitterness.. mildy metallic. Body is medium with abundant but smooth carbonation.. drinkability for me is not that high.. the big bitterness seems out of whack... and I like a great DIPA, but put into the Impy Pilsner category, and it just seems too much.


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Photo of FatSean
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pilsener-style glass from 12oz bottle. Hazy, orange-brown color, with a thin off-white head that quickly dissapear leaving plenty of lacing. Looks very pretty and full of mystery.

Smell is mild, with a sweet/sour citrus twang.

Taking a sip coats the mouth with bitter orange-peel as the alcohol vapors rise into the sinuses. Hops, hops and more hops. Did they put any malt in here? I'm not complaining! The finish hangs arround on the palate in a nice way inspiring a sipping approach. I wouldn't be drinking these on a hot humid summer day, but the cloying hop flavor is not offensive at all.

Thick on the tongue with a moderate ammount of carbonation for a pilsener. The alcohol and hops conspire to produce a syrupy sensation.

While I am a fan of pilseners, I'm not sure this is one I'd keep arround. Definately nice for a change of pace, but the price and complexity keep it from being a frequent visitor to my fridge.

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

Pours a nice hazy golden colour with a thick frothy head that has decent retention time and leaves a smattering of chunky residue on the glass.

The aroma is a nice blend of sweetness from a good caramel base that is complimented by a heavy dose of hops: pine and grass lead the way. There's a bit of a biscuit/bread feel here as well.

Flavour hits you with a typical Pilsner bit at first, i.e. sharp, bold hops that are a bit subdued, then those hops kick it up a notch for a dirtier breadier flavour that even has a bit of juice to it. The finish of each sip has a nice bite to it which compliments the light crisp carbonated mouthfeel.

This one is pretty good, but no where near as good as I remember the original 2005 Harvest Pils to be. No idea if it's the same recipe or not, but this one definitely seems different. Good stuff overall, but not as good as I was anticipating.

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Photo of tiger88
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange-amber and sets off a light and fluffy white head. Smells strongly of hops and citrus noted. An intense hops experience is what is says and I agree. Taste is strong with hops and an extreme unexpected bitterness. Caught me off guard but I acclimated. Mouthfeel is smooth and light.

I bought a 4 pack in April and have one left. To me, the hops seem more pronounced now than they did in April and June. I'll be interested to see how it ages another couple months. the first sip was a little "in your face." I don't remember this from the first two. It was almost too bitter. maybe it was a lot more bitter than I was expecting, who knows. Anyone else had this experience? I figured the hops would have laid down a bit.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A surprise find at ShopRite in Paramus, NJ at $8.99 a four-pack. Bottled on August 30, 2007, with a drink by date of January 2008.

Served in an inperial pint glass at fridge temperature.

Appearance- Juicy and enormously orange, this hazy monster of an ale carries an almost three finger off-white head. After several minutes of quiet settling, you could plan a vacation on one of the resorts located within the many large islands of lacing here.

Smell- This beer's hallmark, it's hard to imagine a more direct and outright hop attack... the Hallertaus are so hot they practically burn the nosehairs. It's a fat, wicked aroma that somehow incorporates the malt backbone as it opens up.

Taste- This beer isn't for most people. It is an orgy, an uninhibited, exhibitionist celebration of the humulus lupulus flower. After the initial mouth-gripping dry entry, the bitterness flows across the top and sides of the tongue where it captures and punishes the taste buds. There's no salvation in sight, so you'd better saddle up and ride this one into the sun.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Slick, coating, and much like a meal substitute... the hearty weight feels appropriate for the style. After getting through three-fourths of this beer, I just want to go to sleep. It's cool to experience a Category 5 atomic hop bomb at a level like this, but one will be enough for me.

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Photo of jwhawkins81
3.69/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Aroma - Sweet citrus like hops but also detectable malt. Not a scary level of hops in the aroma.

Appearance - Cloudy reddish yellow. Quick disappearing head that leaves a nice amount of lacing.

Taste - My first thought was "Wow, this is a way more intense Samuel Adams Boston Lager." A lot of bitter hops notes.

Mouthfeel - Thin to medium

Drinkability - Wow is this beer not for the non hophead, but I knew that coming in. I found this beer a little rough but that's more because of my tastes than the beer's fault.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.69/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pounder glass. Cloudy. Thin, light orange body.

Wave of hops hits the nose right off the bat. A bit unrefined and the advertising does not disguise this. White head leaves behind a uniformed barbwire lace.

Citrus is the first thought that comes to mind. Its quickly followed by a drying hop stinger. Not as far over the top as an imperial may suggest but it definitely fits the bill. On the dry side of the house. I would love to try a completely unfiltered on tap version if its in existence. Not a session brew and its great night capper even after some bigger brews.
A solid offering that needs some refinement. Pick a team and go with it.

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Photo of Pauly2X
3.69/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Cloudy golden yellow, half finger head with decent staying power.

S- Strong spicy hop aroma, pale malts keep it from being overpowering.

T- Sweet pale malts up front, with a very powerful spicy hop finish.

M- A little too much alcohol dryness otherwise good.

D- I'm ususally good with one or two.

A great alternative to an IPA if you have a hop itch.

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Photo of waldoiverson
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into US Pint

A: cloudy orange with 1 finger head that dissipated quickly

S: Not as hoppy as I'd expected but definitely getting some peppery lemongrass like aroma

T: Bitterness hits lightly on the palette at first and then after about 5 seconds really sits down and makes itself known, a nice 2 punch combo. Chewing on a gulp really brings out pine needle astringent flavors from the hops

M: smooth a bit numbing from the bitterness and dryness after awhile

D: ABV, Cost, and Intensity make this a nice once in awhile beer but interesting none the less

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Photo of nasty15108
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Poured a cloudy orange color. The pour produced a thick head of slightly off-white foam and lots of sticky lacing.

S - Smelled a lot maltier than I was expecting, but not in a bad way. Slightly floral and medicinal with strong citrus undertones.

T - Malty up front followed with a bitter dry finish. Astringent, but not as much grapefruit and pine as I would have expected.
Lots of alcohol warmth in the finish.

MF&D - A pretty good example of this style,but not something you would want to session. Nice creamy mouth feel.

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I was excited to try this because I didn't have a go at it the last time Sam Adam's released it.

Pours with a hefty white head into my pilsner glass. The beer itself is a hazy orange yellow. Hops help to leave nice sticky lacing down the walls of my glass.

Smells of pure floral hops. The bottle does not lie. This is an intense hop experience.

Taste of hops, but they're delicious. It’s a hop head pilsner, but there is some malt flavoring even if this is an unbalanced beer.

Mouthfeel is borderline silky and carbonation provides an airy quality. It isn't the most drinkable brew given the abv and intense hop experience. One is good for me. This is definitely a beer I would recommend giving a try, but not something I'd recommend buying a case. It is really a pilsner trying to be an IPA.

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Photo of trbergman
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Somewhat cloudy copper beer with one finger of sticky white head.

S - Toast, caramel, a sort of honey apricot flavor. Orange zest and spicy hop aromas.

T - Sweet caramel and toasty, nutty malts. Spicy and citrus rind hop flavor, with a long-lived bitter finish. Tastes much more like a very clean IPA than a pilsner.

M - Slick and full-bodied.

D - Fine-tasting beer, but not what I'm looking for in a pils. I enjoy it and would drink it again, but the color and sweetness are really off for the style.

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Photo of cs45977
3.67/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in pilsner glass poured from bottle.

Appearance: Poured cloudy golden brown quick two finger head that quickly retreats to health one finger head.
Smell: Immediate and strong hop smell. Almost IPA like. Ever so slight malt (German?). Did I say Hops!
Taste: very intense pilsner taste, intense hops, finishes with alcoholic bite (a bit unbalanced).
Alcohol predominant taste. Nothing light about this beer.
Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation. Very heavy (pleasantly) mouthfeel the “imperial” malting shines here.
Drinkability: Seems to be a true imperial in that all elements seemed “double” that of a traditional. Like other Imperial or Double Pilsners I've had, this seems to be a “novelty”. I would give this one to someone as an example of what could be done with the style, or drink it myself “for something different” but I don't think this will end up in my “old standards”. I am just not a huge fan of pilsners

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Photo of guinnessfan
3.66/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 16 oz. Guinness nonic.

A: Pours a clouded amber/copperish color with a 2 finger head. Little lacing and little retention.

S: Not very strong. IPAish, some hops.

T: Nice hop kick, not pine-ish but slightly citrusy.

M: Nice and bitter, dry, a real biter.

D: Good beer, high ABV, be careful as it doesn't taste as boozy as the ABV would suggest.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice golden color with a nice frothy, rocky head. Smell is all hops. Piney, grassy and just a bit juicy. Taste is bittering hops. Pretty rough and bittering in the taste. An easy drinkier, but seems a bit out of balance. A bunch of hops that don't mesh well with the rest of the beer. The malty backbone does not seem to be there to support. An easy drinker, but rather one dimensional and not complex.

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Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 788 ratings
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