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

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 UncleJon206
1/5  rDev -75.4%

Photo of NickMunford
1/5  rDev -75.4%

Photo of CrashOverride
1/5  rDev -75.4%

Photo of wvmi
2.28/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Poured a 12 oz. bottle in a pilsner glass (appropriate, no?). Very nice amber to peach color, quite hazy. One finger of foam, nice lacing.

Smelled pleasant. citrus with a bit of pine, maybe a bit grassy.

Unfortunately the HEAVY bottom hops overpowered the top hopping, making this the most bitter beer I have ever tried. I know it's "intensely hoppy" but I was hoping for more aroma and flavor, not just the bitterness.

Couldn't tell the feel of it. (see above)

Sorry to the purists, but I could not drink this. This beer may be true to style, but I couldn't drink it. Dumped 10 oz., and I consider that alcohol abuse.

 624 characters

Photo of Maudite
2.29/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I had this last year, and quite enjoyed it. THis year is a different story...

It had a ncie appearance, deep golden, hazy-blonde with a reddish tint, topped with a soapy white head due to the high level of hops.

The aroma was overtly pungent, displeasing, and somewhat solvent-like. My initial reaction was an over-use of hops.

Upon tasting, I got a similar flavor as I did in the nose: solvent, fusel-alcohol taste. I now wager it is from either over-sparging, or an over use of hops (too much alpah extraction), or a combination of the two. This was a great beer last year, but this time something happened in the brewing process to cause these off flavors.

The mouthfeel was killed by this, leaving the mouth feeling like I had just licked a 9-volt. The "hop" flavor that lingered on the edges of my tongue had a faint hint of how it should have tasted, but all was covered by the fusel-alcohol/solvent-like tastes.

I do not reccommend drinking this beer, unless you want to taste a common off-flavor for homebrew trouble-shooting or competition judging purposes.

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Photo of hooligan
2.38/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Very old bottle picked up at Universal Liquors in Holiday, FL.

Best by January 2008? I was in so much shock after seeing this on the label that I asked my wife "Are you sure it's already been January 2008?". 3 months past it's prime... oh well.

Beer pours to a very cloudy, rich honey-colored beer with a thick heavy foam - settling quickly to a soapy lace that barely clings to the glass.

Smell is aggressively hoppy upfront with a cloying caramel and rum raisin sweet odor and a sharp alcoholic nose.

Tasting: Thick and powerful noble hops come out immediately with a thick, rich caramel and toasted bready malt character... heavy laden with strong phenolic notes, lots of "plum and rum". Hint of burnt caramel at the end, finished with the everlasting nasal alcoholic burn.

The thickness of this beer would be perfect, if the beer wasn't so cloying and alcoholic.

I need a fresher bottle - I can tell that this beer could potentially be a favorite if it weren't so "hot". I've seen similar reviews down the line, leaving me to wonder "What the hell is wrong with the distributors? How long have we been getting stale beers?"

Next time I'll have the wife check for "best by" dates.

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Photo of JDV
2.5/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Cloudy dark orange pour in a lager glass. Big white nice head, with big hop aroma. Kind of grassy hops flavor with a thick gritty mouthfeel and an intense tree bark/chewed up aspirin tablet like bitterness. Too medicinal of a bitterness to be truly pleasant for me and killed an otherwise nice, unique beer.

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Photo of webbcreative
2.55/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

uhg! this is not good for me! TOO BITTER! my word! i will admit that i prefer malt to hops but good lord this is too extreme for me to even try to enjoy! and that bitterness just lingers the whole time on the side of my mouth. I will definitely not be having this one ever again. well balanced? seriously, holy cow I cant taste anything but bitter.

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Photo of cosmicdebris
2.55/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I was really looking forward to trying this beer. Poured great looked great and the smell was out of this world. But the taste blew it for me. The bottles have drink by January 2008 and it is now almost April 2008 so I do not know how much the date was a factor but this beer was way too salty tasting for me. I tried a second sip and then just poured the rest the down the drain. Has anyone tasted this when it first came out and again more recently? Did it change at all?

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Photo of Kallessin
2.62/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A very cloudy/hazy golden beer with a slight orange tint. It had a small head that dissipated quickly.

A very hoppy/grassy aroma with a slight hint of fruitiness.

I can only taste the hops. It's has a very bitter flavor. I was expecting the hops to be the main flavor in the beer, but I was hoping it wasn't going to be too overpowering. I'm a little disappointed. No alcohol flavor at all, however, which was surprising.

The mouthfeel is really not that bad. It's very dry, but overall the best quality of this beer.

I couldn't drink more than one of these. This beer was a fun experiment, but I don't think I'll have it again.

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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 sinstaineddemon
2.74/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - this beer pours a hazy dark tan with a dull white head atop, plenty of lively carbonation keeps the head alive for a while

S - the hop aroma explodes out of the bottle and is huge, elements of floral and piney hops combine for a huge hop-splosion with a slight background grapefruit usu. associated with hops

T - um... over hopped, the hops, though quality, are way too much, cant pick any other flavors that may be there, but to me its too bitter to be enjoyable.

M&D - as i said too bitter, Golden Shower blows this away, i love Impy Pilseners and IPA's and DIPA's, but this just wasnt that enjoyable to me

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Photo of DavidEddie
2.75/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, best before January 2008.

Poured a hazy golden amber. Thick 3 inch head settles to lots of sticky lacing. Strong scent of somewhat sour citrus hops and green grass. I detect a small hint of spice in there as well. Taste of bitter grapefruit, lemon, green leaf, and sweet carmel malt. Definitely hoppy. Alcohol presence is moderately known. Mouth feel is medium (not light or heavy). A little bit syrupy. Fair amount of carbonation. Overall drinkability is fair. Not my favorite, but is nice to see Boston Beer Co. come out with something different. Cheers.

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Photo of huntert
2.76/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Way too much alcohol can be tasted and smelled in this brew.

My first one came after a couple of Dales Pales Ales and my saturated palate enjoyed the flowery, less citrus taste. When I returned to this beer as a first drink of the day, it was nearly disposable. The alcohol tastes is far too much. The hops that follow up are okay.

I love hops, but this beer would have served better with more malt and more balance.

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Photo of jneiswender
2.76/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured out of a reddish brown bottle into a pint glass.

A-Reddish brown body. Clear. Nice white medium head.

S-Pine like, but soft hop scent. Lets you know that these are NOBLE hops.

T-Very bitter. Rip your tongue out hop flavor. Definately a hop bomb here no doubt.

M-Light in the mouth because of how intense the hop profile.

D-For hop heads, most others that had a try didn't really care for it.

A bit one dimensional.

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Photo of mnstorm99
2.76/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The appearance of this beer is a nice dark yellow that is hazy with a great retaining head.

The smell is pure hops, I can't get past the plain hop smell long enough to get much of the malts picked out. I like the aroma though.

Tastes like Hallertau, which I figured. Unfortunatly I am not a fan of flavoring a beer with these hops, great aroma hop but not a good flavor hop. I like the piney citrus flavors you get from many of the other hops out there.

Mouthfeel is good for a pilsner, smooth going down and the hops do give a better feeling going down.

Unfortunatly I will not be buying this beer again, If you are going to make a hop bomb, I don't think noble hop are going to give you what you want, but maybe since it is a pilsner that is why they used these hops.

I like the attempt at this beer, I am just not a fan.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.78/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a five-finger off-white head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Cloudy light amber color. Piney hoppy nose. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is a hop-head's delight although there is a faint sweetness midway, finish is bitter with an incredibly long lasting bitter aftertaste. To me not worth the $1.50 for a 12oz bottle (usually $8.99 for a 4pak) from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH.

 423 characters

Photo of beermanbrian
2.79/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've had this one a couple times and just haven't reviewed it yet. I remember thinking it was a nice solid brew but tonight it's not doing it for me. Drinking out of my Sam Adams glass and it really seams to concentrate the smell, which isn't a good thing. Nice golden color with a big frothy white head. Smell of floral hops but an off cheese smell kicks in. At first I thought I was crazy but the more I go back and check the more I dislike the smell. Taste is a weird balance of bitter and sweet, you can tell it's full of malt but the bitterness won't let go. As it warms the high ABV starts to burn through. Overall I was dissapointed in this one. I really wanted to like it but it just didn't deliver.

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Photo of AndoBrew
2.84/5  rDev -30%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

*did not like, would not buy*
*but* * go sam!*

app: looks like thera flu. but i dont have a cold.

smell: dry pepper mild grain.. like a phantome but not as classy... mild fruits as well, the fruits are not classy at all.

taste: dry pepper, actually this is nice, it is over hopped, but sam adams? really.. i can actually say, good job sam! dont get to say that much. a bit acidic to say the least, but i like it over all. tame the beast and it would be a hit!

mf: fine, bit thick in the back.

drinkable?: nope. gets to much acid acid acid as you drink it.

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Photo of tzieser
2.87/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I'm not the hugest hop fan anymore, so when I bought this, I wasn't supervised I didn't like it. It only comes in 4 packs, and I bought mine for 9 bucks or something. Had hazy golden color to it, it reeked of strong and bitter hops. The taste reflected the smell- extremely bitter and intense. I'm surprised this is labeled as an imperial pilsner, because I had a hard time finishing one of these. i thought it would be a strong ipa or a double ipa. i think this 4 pack stayed in my fridge for 3 or 4 months before I finished them.

Overall, it's great if you love hops. Personally, I can't stand beers that have shitloads hops that aren't balanced by some sweet malts, like this brew. At 9 bucks a 4 pack, I can't see myself buying this again.

Buy if you love hops, don't bother if you aren't a fan.

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Photo of Jacobob10
2.87/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Very hazy orange color with a nice frothy head and excellent head retention. You never need to swirl the glass, it keeps a nice thin layer of head across the entire surface for the duration of the beer. However, I was thrown off by the cloudiness. The beer is impossible to see through which I find puzzling for a "pilsner" style beer..

The nose is all hops. Extreme citrus aroma with not much else to speak of.

The taste is more of the same, but not pleasant at all. Way too bitter with absolutely no malt balance. Leaves a nasty herbal hop taste on your tongue - which, as a fan of hoppy beers, I usually don't mind - but maybe Hallertau Mittelfruh was the wrong hop to use for this?

I remember liking the '05 Harvest wayyy better than this. This beer just lacked any other redeeming characteristics besides an aggressive citrus aroma and a good-looking head. To me, it seems like an overly-bitter hop bomb with little thought put into how the rest of the beer should have been designed. At least they warn you on the bottle that it will be "an intense hop experience." I just wish it was an experience I'd like to remember. Wouldn't recommend it.

 1,152 characters

Photo of morimech
2.93/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy yellow with a tight one-fingered head that slowly recedes to a thin cap. Plenty of lacing left on the glass surface.

Sweet malt and grassy, spicey hops make up the aroma. A hint of alcohol is also detected.

I am afraid that my bottle is not as good as it would of been fresh. A lot of alcohol overpowers the hop bitterness and malt. A little spice in the aftertaste. Alcohol warming going down. Tastes more like a barlywine than a pilsner.

Has a medium body and sufficient carbonation.

I hope to get a bottle that is fresh and more representive of what the brewer is trying to make. A few months past the best by date and it is just overpowered by the alcohol since the hops have mellowed.

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Photo of kasper
2.96/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I wasn't impressed with this beer and it's likely because it was an older bottle sitting around at OakTree, but I never saw the "best by Jan 2008" warning under the store's UPC sticker on each bottle (was a single). I'll re-review next year.

A: Pours like a creamsickle -- hazy, dirty orange body with a tight and frothy, thick off-white head. Mild lacing around the glass.

S: Floral hops, white grape/citrus aromas supported by a sweet but subtle backbone.

T: Bubbly, hoppy and spicy. A bitter and spicy finish lingers but taste overall is uneventful and one sided.

M: Full bodied, bubbly, thick and somewhat sticky.

D: I would likely turn down this beer again if the Best By date had passed.

 699 characters

Photo of mobud
2.97/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into SA glass.

A- Dark straw with a big head that was out of control. Needed 3 pours to fill glass waiting for head to drop down. Head finished around 1 inch.

S- Florial hops

T- Sweet and overbearing. Felt like my taste buds were raked. After the first several sips, I lost my ability to pickup any other flavors.

M- Thin on the front of the mouth, then alittle thicker on the throat.

D- Really not for me. After all the talk about this beer, I was expecting alot more. Maybe if the hops had some time to mellow, it would balance more.

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Photo of JohneHoodlum
3/5  rDev -26.1%

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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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