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

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

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Ratings: 788 |  Reviews: 653
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a tanned yellow with a foamy white head. An easy mouthfeel,a pleasant hop aroma, floral really. Medium plus mouthfeel with an acceptable hop taste. Drying, hop leaf drying. A bottle is best shared, as it is a sipper.A bit of orange taste as well.

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Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Knapp85
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours out as a traditional style pilsner with a yellow colored body. The head is what sets it apart from most pilsners. The retention on this is very good. The smell of the beer is super hoppy and very inviting. The taste is very hoppy as well and really makes this pilsner more enjoyable than just the normal grassy flavor that most have. This brew is more like an IPA in my opinion which really tastes great. The mouthfeel remains light and drinkable. Overall this brew is very good and I'm looking forward to having it again.

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of nmann08
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought a single of this for $2.79 at my local beer store.

I'm a pretty big fan of pilsner's but never had a stab at the imperial variety. Looks and smells like an IPA in the glass, not a bad start. Taste is very hoppy with the usual IPA tasting notes but the finish is much different. It doesn't have that 'biting' bitterness to it (which I do like), and instead has a sweeter aftertaste to it. A very unique tasting beer I must say. Very drinkable and great all around, well done Sam Adams.

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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 brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy honey color with a prodigious head that leaves a few squiggles of lace

Smell: Like a pine forest on a wet spring day; grassy and herbacious

Taste: After a flash of bready malt, the piney hop assault begins on the tongue, with a bit or sweetness appearing at mid-palate; after the swallow, the bitterness settles down but the piney and sweet malt elements blend nicely to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderately buoyant carbonation

Drinkability: It's a one off beer as the hop assault will wear out your tongue; nevertheless, a fine effort

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Photo of largadeer
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
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 zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a golden/orange color with a foamy, white, two-finger head that left some nice lace.

S - It smelled of hops. Hallertau, obviously.

T - It tasted very hoppy and grassy. There was a light maltiness. It had a nice bitter bite.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is one of the best beers I've ever had from Sam Adams. A good hoppy pils.

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Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

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

12 oz bottle, best before Jan. 2009.

Poured into a pilsner glass. Pours a nice thick head. Great lacing observed. Color is a light autumn orange. Very good looking beer.

Smell is of floral hops. No scent of mals are present. Taste is quite similiar. Many hops, obviously, are in this beer. There is a defintely a carmel taste also. The taste of alcohol is also present.

Carbonation level is great. The mouthfeel is quite smooth, but leaves a dry mouth.

Overall, I was expecting more hops than this. It had a lot, but it says an intense hop experiance on it. It was definately a great beer and I was happy that I bought it. I would recommend this to anyone who likes hops!

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

G: 12-ounce Pilsner Urquell tapered pilsner glass.

A: Pours with a nice head. The carbonation bubbles are readily apparent and stick to the side of the glass without a ton of upward motion. The beer is a pale amber in color. Foam rings galore as this goes down.

S: Straight off of the pour, you can definitely smell the hops.

T: The initial taste is excellent. There is a mild hoppy flavor followed by sweetness. The malt comes through on the back end and through the aftertaste, but the initial taste is definitely mild hops--definitely not DIPA, but on par with your average IPA.

M: Mouthfeel is light without a large amount of carbonation; it goes down very smoothly. Little to no alcohol presence, so it's hard to believe that this punches in at 8.8 ABV.

D: Very drinkable. If this wasn't so difficult for me to find, I could definitely see it turning into a session beer, particularly as the weather warms up.

All in all, an excellent brew. It's my first Imperial Pilsner, and I will definitely be seeking out more. Very much like a mellowed IPA.

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Photo of nickfl
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers of dense white head on top of a hazy copper body. Good retention, ridiculously good lace.

S - Spicy hop aroma. Notes of black pepper, oregano, tomato, and sage... very savory.

T - Big caramel note up front, followed quickly by peppery, herbal hops. Notes of lemon pepper, basil, leather, and tobacco. Finished with a strong hop bitterness slap to the face as well as lingering tobacco and alcohol.

M - Medium to full body with moderate carbonation.

D - I would be hard pressed to call this drinkable, but I will readily admit that it is an enjoyable struggle to put one of these down. This beer is extremely savory and I can see it matching many varieties of food (pretty much anything that is strong enough to compete with its flavor). This would also go quite well with a good cigar. The aroma is unique and complex and, much to my surprise, the flavor lives up to its promise. This beer is living proof that Sam Adams has the potential to produce not only the most popular craft beers in America, but also some of the best.

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

I'm not normally one to advocate aging hoppy beers because I tend to think they lose some of their hop character. This one, however, got away from me. I found it in the back of the fridge. It clearly reads "FOR BREWERY-FRESH TASTE, ENJOY BEFORE JANUARY 2009". Whoops! I'm 6 months behind!

As I recall from having this on tap, and in the bottle when fresh, this is a little softer. The maltiness appears a touch sweeter, and the hops are lacking a little bit of the spicy, raspy character they had when fresh. And, to be honest, I perceive it as slightly less bitter. Of course I'm going from memory, so I could be completely wrong.

What I will say for sure is that this is still a great beer, regardless of some age. Its golden-amber body was always a bit hazy, and it still has a creamy off-white head that holds well and leaves a wide ring of lace at the outset of the glass. The aroma is floral, spicy and gently grassy over a caramel-drizzled biscuit-like maltiness. The mouthfeel is medium-full and creamy smooth. The flavor follows the aroma, and the malt and hops balance well, with the hop flavors draping themselves over the velvety maltiness, and a solid bitterness anchoring the maltiness from within. Tasting this I thought, yes, that's the hoppiness of the Boston Lager, the Hallertau Mittelfrue. It's kind of spicy and zesty. Very nice.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright but cloudy gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of floral hops, caramelized malts, lager yeast and citrus sweetness.

T: The taste is well-balanced with a strong floral hops bitterness and sweet flavors of citrus and caramel in the background. The malt character is hearty and there's no trace of the 8.80% ABV unlike most beers in the style. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Very smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, good kick, very nice representation of style, this beer has all of the components to make it an excellent choice to drink throughout an entire evening.

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

12oz bottle into my Sam Adams ultimate glass.

Pours a murky golden copper with a poofy white head that shot immediately up to the top of the glass's brim. Once it settled down, it left some FANTASTIC lacing. Some of the best I've seen in awhile. Aroma is a delectable hop bouquet that is dank, earthy, and spicy with some added notes of citrus and even a slight burn.

Taste is a bitter hop bomb on the palette. Once again, it's has a dirty, earthy hop bitterness to it plus some added notes of citrus. A silky smooth caramel malt backbone is present under all the hops and even becomes much more pronounced as the pour warms. As a matter of fact, as it warms, the bitter hops lessen somewhat and achieves a fairly nice balance with that sweet malt. Mouthfeel is a very strong medium, providing a nice carbonated thickness to wrap your tongue around.

Wow, Sam Adam's promised an intense hop experience and I would have to say that they've come through! With a hop profile that would make most Double IPAs envious and a great drinkability for serious hopheads, this experience is one worth living over and over again.

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Photo of russpowell
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazed peach tea/amber with 2+ fingers of fluffed up cream colored head into my free Sammy pint glass!. Very good head retention & very good lacing . Cleared nicely

S: Herbal, perfumy & grassy hops, by the bushel, plus a whisper of alcohol

T: Grapefruitty & herbal hops with a little grainyness up front. Lemons & dryness are prevalent as this warms. Finishes dry with nice honey malt, lemony hops, puckery grapefruit & herbal hops

MF: Medium-bodied, slick with low-low carbonation

Drinks good, but I liked 05's version more. Seemed more subtle & well rounded IMO. Still very nice, need more malt profile. Will set some aside & see how it ages (to a point)

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.83/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hugely hazy bruised banana with apricot undertones. It isn't often that one can appreciate a beer's murkiness through a brown glass bottle, but such is the case here. I love 'dirty' looking beer, especially when hop particles are involved. The pale beige crown couldn't be any more beautiful. Scads of sticky lace only add to the magnificence.

I've never crushed fresh Hallertau hops in my hands and then inhaled the residue, but it must smell something like Imperial Pilsner. Actually, that isn't strictly true. The beer also has a sweet pale maltiness that gives depth and breath to the hop resins. I hadn't noticed it before, but this hop's muskiness reminds me, in some respects, of Cascade.

I like this beer just as much as the beer that inspired it, Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner 2005 Harvest. Maybe more. Pay very close attention to the label if you're ambivalent about hops because phrases such as 'Intense Hop Experience', 'enormous, almost reckless quantities... of hops' is truth in advertising. This stuff will rip the top several layers off your mouth and tongue without breaking a sweat.

The thing that makes this insanely delicious beer, though, is that it isn't *only* about the hops. Somewhere, way down deep, lives a sugar cookie-like pale maltiness that just does manage to take the intensely serrated edges off the alpha acids. Aging this ale should be a crime punishable by death. As fresh as possible is the only way to go.

I never knew that Hallertau Mittelfrueh were this fruity. I'm getting tons of peach and apricot, along with tidal waves of sticky orange marmalade and shards of bitter lemon. Each mouthful is an explosion of hop flavor that lasts and lasts and lasts. I better slow down or there won't be anything left to assess the mouthfeel.

While it doesn't quite deserve a perfect score, this elixir is pure pleasure in the mouth. It's at least medium-full and is as plush as one could ever hope for. It seems that the brewers have struck the perfect balance between luxuriousness and ease of drinkability.

I have no idea if Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner is identical to Imperial Pilsner 2005 Harvest. My guess is that it's pretty damn close and my suspicion is that it's even hoppier. Cheers to Mr. Koch for making this a year-round offering. It's a damn good thing the hop shortage didn't hit Germany. In a word... Wow!

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

Two finger head with good lasting power and nice lace on the glass edge. Very cloudy with a darker gold color

Hoppy aroma as expected, but more muted than the "intense" monicker might indicate.

Creamy body with an equally high carbonation. Very bitter flavor; could even be an extreme IPA if weren't lagered. The hop is fresh and long lasting, well after the swallow.

This would not be a regular drinking pilsner, but it is special and extreme in its flavoring. You will never get bored of it.

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

I had been waiting a long time for this to come around; thankfully we are now carrying it in our local stores. I was definitely in the mood for an intense hop experience. So it pours a great looking amber with a nice hazy and cloudiness about it. Lots of carbonation coming off the bottom of the glass made it very apparent this was a lively one. A great three inches or more of sticky lace formed on the top and took its sweet old time in settling down. Finally after several minutes it went down to a nice layer about a half inch thick with ample side glass lace around it. Smell was deep floral hops with a more then evident malty and grain back. Nice pine aroma blended in very well with a touch of sweetness. The flavor was more akin to a big IPA then a pilsner. A very full flavor it had a lot of the appeal of an IIPA and this made it go down very smooth. A nice crisp flavor blended in with the smooth mouth feel. Lots of bitter floral hops dominated this but there was also nice underlying musky bread like grain that made up the backbone of it. Overall this was a fantastic brew. I would dare to say that that this is an excellent creation from Sam Adams and the best I have seen come out of them. It had superb drinkabilty and a light body but intense flavor. Definitely worthy of a spot in the fridge on most days, this was complex, but yet simple. A very solid offering for any hop lover. I will be buying a 4 pack of this one for sure.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this bottle at Market Cross Pub and Brewery in Carlisle, PA.
Decanted cool into a nonic from a 12oz brown bottle.

A - A golden amber w/ pale gold highlights w/ a haze of hops. A thick collar of off white foam tops the lager. A fine ring and film of lace adheres to the pint glass sides w/ a tenacious staying power. There is a nice cascade of carbonation that rises from the pour.

S - Very fragrant and a pungent noble hop aroma surrounds the nose of this "Imperial" pilsener. Slightly piney and earthy w/ an aromatic quality. A fine hop aroma w/ a very big herbal scent.

M - A nice mix of malt and hops w/ a sweet yet full finish. Moderate carbonation allows the malty textures to emerge. Very soft hop feel which becomes gradually more bitter.

T - Dense malt is eclipsed by 'an intense hop experience'. The hallertau is sappy at first w/ a dose of sweetness. The nectar of hops or the Hop is supreme. This is no ordinary lager. The pils malt taste and body stands up, but it allows for a huge hop aroma which transfers over into an instense hop taste as promised. The citrus flavors emerge en force as it warms. Sweet and bitter combine w/ a fierce flavor that malt keeps cool. The fruity sweetness combines w/ a full on Hallertau taste all the way through.

D - I could enjoy this year-round. I love the focus on the Hallertau, it makes it such a focused and fresh offering from BBC. It has a surprising amount of balance for an 8.8% beer. Unique and drinkable which is not that common.

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Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
4.06 out of 5 based on 788 ratings.
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