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:
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Ratings: 788 |  Reviews: 653
Photo of uwmgdman
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked up a 4 pack for $9.49 at Woodman's.

This beer pours a cloudy light golden/straw color with a creamy white head that left a decent lace. The aroma is an off the chart spicy, floral hop aroma, it smells like a handful of Hallertau hops! The nose also has a moderate sweetness and a moderate, soft maltyness. The flavor is up front, in your face, highly spicy hop flavor with moderate sweetness and a warm alcohol presence, especially at the swallow. The bitterness is medium-high and the beer finishes with a spicy hop flavor all over the mouth. Carbonation is moderate as was the body. Overall this was very good, but for the price I don't think I would buy it again, but it is worth trying. The aroma was amazing, nothing short. The flavor was good, but the finish was a bit too much for my preference, even for an imperial pils.

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Photo of phisig137
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- slight hazy deep gold amber color. 2 finger head. Fantastic retention, and abundant lace. looks quite promising.

S- bursting with soft citrus aromas. Good lord do Hallertau smell fantastic when amped up. Smells like the hop pellets that I add to homebrew. Very nice indeed.

F- Surprisingly complex grain bill up front. Great layers of malt sweetness that are quickly beaten down by a wave of Hallertau. Great resinous hop quality, along with citrus overtones, and a firmly bitter backbone. Well balanced, but definitely hoppy.

M- Thick and chewy, a bit heavy for a pilsner, but you won't hear me complain about that....

D- a little low. alcohol is noticeable, and makes this a bit of a sipper.

Overall, I'm pretty damn impressed. I'd have to say that this is the best imperial pils I've ever had. I look forward to the rest of my 4 pack and will likely be buying a few more. Highly recommended to anyone, and WELL worth seeking out. This beer just goes to show that Boston beer can make great beers to sell to the masses and pay the bills, and they can also make some truly fantastic beers to appeal to the biggest beer geeks of all... all of my fellow Advocates! Thank you Sam!

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Photo of shererjt
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slightly orangish straw color. Was unexpectedly hazy. This was my first foray into the Imperial Pilsner realm so I didn't know if that was normal, but when I see "pilsner" I think crystal clear. Still, had a beautiful, large, rocky, off-white head with great lacing so I went ahead and scored it slightly above average. Wonderful aroma, just an absolutely stellar hop scent. Some malt was in there too but the hops were front and center. About as good a smelling beer as you could find anywhere. Medium-full body. Very malty but lots of hop bitterness to balance. The bitterness lingered in the finish--just a bit too long, in fact, for my taste. Plenty of hop flavor as well. Relatively clean, though the hops were so intense that it was hard to really judge this. Mouthfeel was okay; not as harsh as might be expected given the massive hop presence. Drinkability was slightly above average, which was actually pretty good, considering.

Delivers what it promises. If you let it warm up a bit, the malt is more apparent. Try some of this just so you can smell it.

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Photo of medic25
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single, served in the Sam Adams glass. Big frothy white head, with a darker color than I'd expect for a pilsener. Strong hoppy aroma. The taste. The great bitterness of the hops overwhelms every other aspect of the taste, but in a delicious way. The alcohol is well masked; very drinkable for something this powerful.

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Photo of MiguelMandingo
3.31/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I have read a lot about this brew, and decided to give it a shot. I picked up a single from Grapevine Market.

Poured a 12oz. bottle into a pilsener glass.

Appearance - This beer looks pretty good. It is a golden yellow straw color, very translucent to borderline transparent. Very hazy. It produced an amazing two finger head that slowly dissipated to a thin crown. It leaves a lot of lacing.

Smell - It smells very floral. It get notes of fresh cut grass, and notes of piney, citrusy hops. The hops pretty much dominate the scent. The is a malt scent but it very slight, and very subdued.

Taste - Mostly bitter hops. While lagers and pilseners are not my favorite styles, I can tell that it is missing the malt profile that is characteristic of most lagers/pilseners I have sampled. There was a slight bready flavor, but it was bitchslapped by the aggressive hops. There is a hay-like grassy flavor, as well as lemony-limey citrus notes. Very bitter.

Mouthfeel - Fairly medium bodied (definitely on the lighter side of medium). Very chewy. And extremely oily. It lacks the carbonation level that I feel would adequately cut through the bitterness of the hops, and the oily feel.

Drinkability - This was just okay. I think the bitterness level and relatively high ABV prevent this from being very sessionable - mostly the bitterness. I have had beers that have a higher ABV than 8.8% that are way more sessionable than this. My palate is pretty much ruined for the evening, so you should probably save this beer for the end of the night.

I wasn't very impressed with this beer. It was decent, but it won't be making its way into my beer rotation. I would try it on tap, but I probably won't be buying anymore bottles of this. Worth a try for the experience.

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

Appearance: It's a golden color. Very, very hazy. Head is off-white and about a finger and a half. Retention was very good and a nice, thick coat of lace lined the glass.

Smell: Very sweet citrus aroma up front. Mostly grapefruit, orange, and a bit of lemon. Hops are piney and very strong. Very slight malty presence is notable.

Taste: Citrus flavors provide an initial sweetness. Hallertau hops are fantastic. Once they kick in, it's piney and very bitter. Very, very good. There is a bit of a malty taste on the tail, as well as a yeasty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It leans medium bodied. Carbonation is excellent. At 8.8%, it's strong, but very drinkable. Have to be careful with this one. Very smooth. Overall, this is probably the best Sam Adams I've had. Pick it up while you can.

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Photo of marcobrau
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden hue with plenty of foam that forms a persistent half-inch thick, bright white head. Aggressive hop aroma with cedar, sea salt notes which evolves into some a grassy, almost woody character. Tastes good, the body is full, which is kind of surprising to me. The hop character is quite robust, especially the bitterness. (There's got to be a TON of Hallertau hops in the beer!) The hops are very spicy towards the finish leading to good slam of bitterness. The long, spicy, bitter finish is pretty intense, and a bit too "rustic" for me. A tasty beer, but one that could be made more enjoyable if it were a little less chewy up front.

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

12oz single, scooped a 4 pack for 8.99 at sadhanna's

appearance: pours into a bells tulip glass, hazy golden-orange body, foamy beige head with soapy lacing left behind...true to form

smell: nothing too mind blasting in the aroma but a sharp green hop presence, nice citrus blast to the nose with a toasty malt backdrop

taste: pungent blast of orange-citrus hops, dripping green leaf, fairly hot alcohol presence, simple pilsner malt presence...some other fruit flavours present - peach, apricot, white grape. I like it, but not really more or less than any of the other imperial pilsners i have had

mouthfeel: boozy, sharp hop bite

drinkability: ok

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Photo of tgbljb
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy golden color with massive white puffy head. Godd retention and lacing.
Smell is all about the hops. Strong notes of piney and grassy hops abound.
Taste is also all anout the hops, but enough sweetness is also present to provide a slight balancing. As the beer warsm the hops become less intense and the malt sweetness becomes stronger.
That being said, The ending is still long ang austerely dry.
A flavorful beer, but one is enough.

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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.

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Photo of jtrockchalk
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
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 0tt0
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-oz. bottle poured into a nonic pint glass.

Color is a hazy orange with a bit of amber flashes in the middle of the glass. Head is enormous and fairly dense given the large bubbles. One of the most beautiful looking beers I've seen. Amazing. Big, fat citrus hops greet the nose. Orange, lemon, a bit flowery, and some earthiness as well. Finally, after all the mediocre big pilsners I've tried, one that nails it. Citrusy hops, cracker-like malt, big as hell, and some nice alcohol warmth. Most of these turn out too sweet due to the malt (Terrapin All-American pils, DFH Golden Shower). Sam Adams'? Nails it. Crisp, fairly clean, medium bodied, and oh-so-drinkable. Just a beautiful creation. A new instant classic, in my book.

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Photo of shirfan
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picture perfect appearance, with a 4-finger head that refused to leave for several minutes, and a lightly hazy dark golden liquid below, accented by several bubble streamers from the bottom of the glass. Copious lacing for the duration.

Grassy, lemony aroma doesn't quite do justice to the taste waiting behind it.

Taste: A hops behemoth. Absolutely chock full of hallertau flavor, outshining pretty much all other aspects of the beer. That said, it's not insanely bitter -- there is a light sweetness from the malts, adding at least a small counterweight to the overwhelming hops flavor. Leafy, lemon zest, mildly floral, hints of pepper.

Mouthfeel is on the light, drinkable side, especially since this brew isn't very sweet. Probably the hoppiest non-ale beer I've had yet.

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

Just a few comments on what I notice about this beer than I did last year. While the hops are outstanding, they take on a much more herbally, rosemary, ginger quality than previously. Also the ester-rich malts give a tobacco-like / fig flavor than also went unnoticed.

I get tickled when I see the Sam Adams commercial that boasts of adding a pound of hops per kettle, as opposed to a few ounces by compeating breweries -- hell, I add a pound of hops to my homebrew starters. At any rate, their scale must have been off when brewing this beer, because there is much more than a pound in this beer. It screams hops in such a way to make Stone and Dogfish wimper. It's all about the Haullertau hops from the removal of the lid, until way past the last sip. An agressive boquet of floral, grassy, piney notes fill the nose while the pilsner character struggles for attention. Flavors of sweet pilsner malt hit up front, but the hop flavor dominates the tast. Pleasantly bitter in the feel, with a hop / alcohol dryness that cannot be overlooked. Hops linger for ever after the beer is finished, even gaining intensity at times. Yea, it's one dimensional, but what a dimension to have!

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Photo of HoustonTX
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was extremely excited to see this in Texas. Hallertau is one of my favorite hop strains. Let's see how this one stacks up.

This beer pours a lovely murky orange, with highlights of light gold.
Frosty white head sits a top.

The aroma is extravagant. Loads of hoppy goodness with a very nice backing of malt. Malt/Halletau combination makes for one of the best smells in the industry. I just can't get enough of it.

A definitive hop bomb. Loads of juicy dry-hop rinds. Resiny, sticky, undoubtedly fresh hops caress the mouth. Lots of bitterness, with a healthy dose of pale malt backing. Orange peel and grapefruit are focus in the hop flavor. Hops so fresh, they came right off the field.

Sam Adams nailed this one. A wonderful, masterfully crafted Ale.
Definitely recommended.

Cheers to Hallertau!

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Photo of iceball585
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Cloudy golden yellow color, one finger thick head that faded down to a thin cover, tiny carbonation bubbles throughout

S- Citrus (mostly lemons and oranges), strong hops, alcohol, a range of spices

T- Strong taste of hops, lemons, pine, bitter, earthy, bready, grapefruit

M- Fairly light body, medium carbonation, strong dry hop bite finish, warming feeling of alcohol

D- Definatly worth trying but don't think I could have more than one

Really interesting beer. Definatly the most complex double IPA that I've have. Strong hops flavors but also hint of citrus and other flavors. This beer is definalty not for the weak at heart. You can definatly smell the Hallertau hops in this one.

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Photo of burnstar
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky gold with a huge resiliant head. Aroma is sweet and very hoppy. Citrusy- lemons, and herbal. Taste starts with a dull sweetness. Plenty of herbal hops. Light bitterness. Sweet backbone throughout. This is probably what a double pils should taste like. The few other double pils I've had have been way too sweet. Nice creamy full bodied mouthfeel. Pretty drinkable for its strength. Very nice beer overall

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Photo of Durge
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A hazy amber color with big white head and very good lace. The aroma is a tangy/sprite flowery hops with a little buttery hint noted. The taste is again a bit tangy at first, seems to be more grapefruit hops now with a black pepper finish. A sturdy body feel that is fairly drinkable. A bit of alcohol but not much, just a nice blend, quality in each sip. Very much recommnded.

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Photo of redneckchugger
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a proper pint.
pours a golden , beautiful tan, with 2 inchis of white fluffy head, rings of lacing down the glass.
smells of hops, hops hops, grapefruit, lemon peel, maybe some toasted bread
taste is a hop assualt, as much as any dipa, grapefruit, pine, some lemon some alcohol in the background, with that toasted bread , bit of caramel there too.
feels bit thicker than i expected, kinda creamy from the carbonation, slight alcohol burn, in a pleasent way, mouthfell is my favorite part of this beer.
a good beer, very interesting take on a pils, my first impy pils so so far i am impressed, i just would have like to have seen more malt.

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Photo of Foxman
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a hazy and lazily carbonated honey golden orange, reminiscent of an IPA. Two fingers of frothy light beige head dip to shallow dunes of surface foam. Isthmi of lacing jut along the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, well, there's hops, with deep-seated black pepper, white pepper, green pepper, and pine and grapefruit as a kicker. Beneath the stringent crispness is mildly sweet caramel malt, and maybe, just maybe, a whisper of alcohol.

Upon sipping, surprisingly, the malt actually makes a fairly sweet assertion, yielding creamy caramel and toffee. Then the hops go into after-burner and blast a dry zephyr across the palate, with black pepper, general spice, pine, and dusty grapefruit. The venerable crispness joins with a stripe of alcohol to evaporate the mouth's moisture. Still, a thin tendril of biscuit malt wriggles through before the dry bitterness sands the tongue to a blank slate in the finish. It's a hoppy beast with a touch of manners.

Medium bodied, the malt is sinuous and slick, and the electric glow leaves a zappy tingle behind for some time.

There's a central character in most stories, and the Hallertau occupy that niche here with a controlled frenzy. The bitterness borders on savage, but they exhibit enough culture and refinement, thanks to the pertinent flavors, to remain civilized. The ABV is well cloaked despite its size, so it comes off as sneaky, and it warrants some notice. Yet it drinks like a refreshing hoppy pilsner. It slides down smooth, says please and thank you, then says you're welcome once you've finally regained some saliva.

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

Hazy golden orange with a nice big head that settles to a thin layer, leaving plenty of lacing down the glass. Wow..a slew of smells I can't even sort through. Grapefruit-like bitterness, but with an orange-citrus taste from the hops, with a piney taste that came through every so often. On the finish a little caramel. Oily and sticky mouthfeel, but for a hoppy beer, thats what I like. Surprisingly drinkable. A good beer. Worth a try.

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Photo of klewis
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden with a big bubbly head.

S: Big hoppy smell - mostly vegetal but with some nice citrus notes. Good sustain and lacing.

T: Big taste. A bitter and spicy hop flavor, but with a somewhat sweet honey taste in the finish. Remarkably different from anything else I've had. To sum it up: bitter, complex, and intense.

M: Full-bodied with moderate carbonation. Quite sticky and thick.

D: This one caught me off guard. I wasn't expecting it to be this good or this unique. Frankly, I find it too intense to have more than one, but it's excellent nonetheless and worth seeking out.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Inspection: Not a lot going on. Speaks of Hallertau Mittelfrueh, 8.8% abv. and a best by date of January 08 (sampled October 07). I’m glad to see the stylistically incorrect, but legally required “Ale” that keeps us Texans safe from terrorists.

Aroma: Like sticking my nose in a bag of Hallertauer hops. It smells fresh and wet. Further sniffing only brings other hop smells, leaf, oil, and cone.

Appearance: Very hazy sunset orange glass holds a two finger white head that settles down to a full finger after giving up heavy lacing on the glass.

Flavor: All about the hops baby. They are a bit leafy, but the sweet malt combines to give a mild citric orange note. This beer shows off why Hallertau Mittelfrueh is one of the noble hops. Tons of hop flavor, only a modest (in comparison) bitter burn in the finish. I was surprised to see the 8.8%, this hides it like a prized jewel.

Mouthfeel: Massive oil in a heavy body triggers smacking chews. Low carbonation only intensifies the oily feel.

Overall Impression: Took this in with long, thirsty, appreciative draws. This is a great beer to school non-brewers on Hallertau hops, the backbone of most German beers. I’ve never encountered a beer that highlights a hop as well as this does, West Coast IPAs included. I started the bottle as a doubter, and finished as a believer. Rock on Sam Adams, Great Beer!

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Photo of Atron67
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- poured a heavy fluffy white head with a slightly cloudy golden body

S- noble hops provide the base of the scents, a strong malt base is present

T- A solid bitter hoppy malt base, as the hops flavor fades, the malt finish provides a nice smooth finish. Seems more like a pale ale than a pilsner but its a solid lager.

M- a smooth lightly carbonated body with a light body.

D- a great drink

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Photo of tweeder263
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a superhazy gold brew with a huuuge head.surprised me.

Smells o fresh hops,,very much reminds me of the fresh hop scent from when i am brewing,,,awesome.

Taste veerrry hoppy,,but definitely not overbearing,,not the citrusy typical taste i would be thinking it would have,,sweetness also lingering in the background. Very earthy grassy hop..i like it.

Mouthfeel is nice slight thickness,,beautiful..
Towards the end i start to feel the slight alcohol tingle,,hidden well behind the hops.

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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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