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

653 Reviews
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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Reviews: 653 | Ratings: 788
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 buschbeer
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured into a pint glass to a half inch of white head. I really like the smell. I can smell a nice blending of malt and hops. I taste the malts up front but the more I drink the more the hops come through. It has a thick body, just like my bitch. It is a very nice beer. I enjoyed it. I kind of wish I had the whole four pack. Oh well, there's more beer in the fridge.

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Photo of tgdigital
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was really surprised by this beer. There have been a few offerings from Sam Adams that I have enjoyed, but this one is really special. Pours a standard golden color with a white head. The nose is where things get interesting, loads and loads of hops. The taste is great with tons of floral hop presence and a smooth crisp finish. Not a lot of overwhelming bitterness either, the malt sweetness balances the beer out nicely. I'd definitely recommend this beer to hop heads or anyone else interested in trying a pilsner of a different color.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. No bottled date, but does say, "For brewery-fresh taste, enjoy before January 2009" . . . . .

(A)- Pours a hazy golden amber. No head retention at all except for a light layer of white bubbles on the surface.

(S)- Honeyed hop aromas. A good malt backbone from what I can tell. A Pine Sol combined with a 7-up kind of smell. Slight spice on the finish.

(T)- An initial, sweet & citrusy honeyed hop blast that settles down to a brown sugar and carraway seed (the seeds you find in Rye bread) maltiness. An interesting deviation in both strengths and tension of bitter and sweet.

(M)- It has a good balance of bitter to sweet. The carbonation level is spot on. Not weak, nor super strong either. Smooth for how hoppy it is.

(D)- Despite its 8.1% abv, it is well balanced all around. A refreshing and different variation from your run of the mill IPA. The alcohol will sneak up on you if u have at least 2 of these. I think that the overall age helped this out alot. This is easily still good even after the suggested drink by month of January 2009.

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Photo of jonballs
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Very clean hazel-orange, good head retention but with minimal lacing

S-Big flower-boquet hop aroma with a hint of citrus and a good bit of alcohol kick to follow

T-Strong citrus/pine hoppy kick all the way through, good bitterness as it falls down the throat. A good balance of faint floral sweetness and bitterness.

M-Remarkable hearty chewy mouthfeel, I could almost spread butter on this stuff. Creamy consistency, makes the lips sticky after 1/2 a glass

D-A very refined, well-balanced pilsner. Matter of fact, the best pilsner I've tasted thus far. If you're a hophead, this is an excellent choice. Just be forewarned, more than two of these monsters will turn your lips into flypaper!

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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 ClockworkOrange
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce bottle purchased at the Beer Stop for $2.50. Poured into a nonic pint glass and appears a hazed rich apricot color with about an inch of pillowy off white foam. Smells and tastes of sweet toasted grains, bread, piney hops, citrus such as orange lemon and grapefruit, followed by a healthy dose of caramelized ,alts to pull it all together. This pilsner falls somewhere between medium and full bodied with ample carbonation. Great drinkability even after factoring in the high ABV.

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Photo of JVEyck309
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle in a pilsner glass
(semi drunk review)
A: Murkey dark gold, looks a lot like the color my iced tea comes out to be with some OJ.. looks to be high carbonation, thin head sticky lacing
S:hmmm.. appetizing
T&M: Chewey mouthfeel, smooth as butter, hops are spicey and brilliant! Loving this (Bias of being a tad drunk) Reminds me of my recent encounter with Southern Tier's "Gemini" as far as the mouthfeel goes, not as creamy and oily/slick but somewhere close.
Definitely a strong focus on the hops but nicely balanced with a chewey biscuity malt character that makes this very special. Pretty complex and well balanced. This is my first "Imperial Pilsner" So it's a bit difficult to call this one so naively... I'll keep it simple and say it surpassed my expectations with high complexity, enjoyable flavors, and a great mouthfeel. If this is a session beer then it is a short session at 8.1% abv. Don't take my word, check it out for yourself.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
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 william5586
3.16/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Very hazy light orange. Small amount of head that quickly faded to a ring that left some sticky lace.

S- Hops. Tons of hops. Citrus and pine hops mostly. No malt anywhere to be found.

T- Again, dominated by hops. The bottle says that the beer is an intense hop experience and I'm going to have to agree with it. Citrus and pine hops open things up. A hint of sweetness slips in towards the middle, but is quickly lost to the punishingly bitter, grassy finish. Did I mention that it was bitter? The bitter after taste hung around for a while after I was finished with this one. I am a fan of hops but this one was just a bit to much for me.

M- Creamy and full bodied.

D- This is definitely a beer that I would only want to have one of in a sitting. Took me awhile to finish one.

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

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Thanks to pokesbeerdude for sending me this one in trade.
* ABV is now @ 8.1%, not the 8.8% listed here.

A- Hazy golden. Pours with ~1 fingers of light tan head, which fades slowly to a thin cap. Leaves ample lacing as consumed.

S- Spicy, floral hoppiness, with bready, malty-sweet notes. A bit underwhelming.

T- Lots of resinous pine to provide a solid, lasting hop bitterness. Milky, honey like maltiness. Alcohol's presence mixes subtly into the hoppy bitterness.

M- Surprisingly creamy and smooth; slightly syrupy, full feel. Fair amount of residual oiliness. A real standout here, IMO.

D- Quite good for an 8.1% ABV...

Future outlook: First Imperial Pilsner that I've had, and it was indeed a very good, interesting beer. Don't recall ever seeing this available around here, but would like to try again next year if it makes it.

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

Nice orange/copper color with 2" of thick white head

Light hop aroma very light citrus aroma

A hop explosion of citrus, light malt body showing through, resin taste finish

slightly oily with a dry finish

If you like hops you will love this beer, I drink as much of it as I can find

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Photo of JoeBloe
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

looks real nice as it pours a slightly hazy orange and puts up a 1 finger head that quickly settles down to a thin film - floral and fruity aromas among the hop presence - taste is a bit citric, with hop oils - but nice - there's a lot going on here - finish is , i don't know, resiny(?) - mouthfeel is quite thick, this sticks around for a while - i've always known pilsners to be dry and 'snappy' - this is my first double/imperial - so is this true to the style? i don't really know - good enough of a brew, though.

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Photo of ironarrow42
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bright light orange colour with some chill haze. Generous eggshell-white head falls to about 1/8" layer.

Appetizing aroma of floral hops with light fruity character. Full body with a creamy, rich, velvety texture and very fine, light carbonation. Crackery malt with soft, floral hop notes. Bitterness is gently balancing, building into a firm finish. Hint of burnt sugar late. Well crafted lager with seamless flavours. Plenty of hops, but with a soft character.

Leaves some lace on the glass and lingering floral hop-bitter-caramel malt tastes on the palate. Alcohol becomes noticeable as it warms. Really excellent beer!

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

A: The color of dark honey, thin layer of head that stuck around for quite a while, ever so slightly opaque - 4.25, S: Somewhat of a muted smell, very herbal and earthy, - 3.50, T: The label says 'An Intense Hop Experience' and that seems very appropriate - loads of bittering hops that dominate the palate, also a nice touch of mild sweetness in the background, a hint of banana - 4.50, M: Velvety - 3.50, D: As a lover of hops this is an easy beer to enjoy as there is no shortage of them - 3.50

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Photo of spitfire9703
3.37/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Bright orange color, translucent, very appealing

S: Imagine shoving some hops up your nose, very floral, spicy smell

T: Initially very citrusy and spicy. Turns into a very bitter and crisp flavor. Almost overwhelming.

M: Smooth, almost creamy.

D: It is a good beer, but it can be harsh at times. One or two at max in one sitting.

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Photo of willjschmidt
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Pours a bright orange color with a thick white head. Lots of lacing as well.

S: Big spicy hallertau hop aroma with some slightly sweet pale malt coming across as well.

T: A very intriguing beer. It's big and bold with a big wallop of hallertau hops. The hops are overwhelming to the mouth in a good way. They are spicy, floral, and even a quite a bit of citrus. Believe it or not, even with the huge dose of hops there is a decent balance with some sweet pale malt.

M: Creamy and smooth.

D: A very tasty beer but a tad bit over the top. Probably wouldn't want to have more than one or two of these at a time.

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Photo of bfields4
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice orange to lighter copper haze comes to a tight lacy head.

Juicy hops with some hints of sweetness. Really makes my mouth water.

Piny hoppy flavor with biscuity notes. Light fruitiness comes around too this time a little bit of a caramel is present.

Very full of body for a lager an unfiltered nice mouthfeel.

I admit in the past I have been quick to judge a SA product. Generalizing them as ok, but definitively not stellar for their styles. This guy really proved me they are more than capable brewers.

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

Thanks to Joey for this bottle.

Golden to amber color with a thin, half inch of foam. Some lacing is present.

Graham cracker malt sweetness with a bit of coffee, spicy and earthy hops. A bit of lemon. Floral, maybe a bit of sulfur.

Sweet graham cracker and toast malt upfront with and earthy, floral, and slightly spicy hop bitterness in the back. Semi-dry finish balances the malt flavors pretty well. Toffee, caramel and hints of coffee in the end.

Sweet and syrupy upfront with low carbonation in the finish.

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Photo of Vengeance526
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice copperish orange color with about a 1 finger tan head that slowly subsides to a nice ring and leaves some great lacing.

As expected, lots of hops in the aroma. Fruity, somewhat earthy but overall very pleasing to say the least.

Taste hits you with the hops immediately as it starts out with a nice earthy bitterness. As you sip through, the hops exhibit a more floral tone with fruity notes of apricot, light citrus and a gradual sweetness like caramel also starts to come in. This was one of the first beers that got me into hops and its still a classic in my book. Amazing taste that just gets better as you go along.

This is a fairly smooth pilsner that goes down pretty easy given the abv and bitterness levels. Easily the best offering I've tried from BBC to date and one that I will probably never get tired of.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle into a pilsner glass. pours a very cloudy orange gold yellow color. you can even see this vibrant cloudy color through the brown bottle. lots of hop sediment floating around as well. great appearence.nice fluffy off white head that sticks around for awhile. nice lacing, nice retention. the aroma is obviously very hoppy, but its not as huge as the taste suggests. a light pilsner type malt aroma as well. the taste is that of some really strong earthy, spicy hops all the way through. very heavy strong mouthfeel. the hops really linger. perhaps a tad bit of an alcohol taste. not a great balance to this one. but its definately what the label suggests a hop experience. reminds me a lot of a double IPA. its not very drinkable due to the high ABV, definately a sipper. this is prolly one of the best offerings from sam adams that ive ever had, i would definately suggest it to anyone that enjoys hoppy beers.

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

Actually drinking this in one of the Sam Adams glasses.
Nice, crystal clear golden color. Small tan head with plenty of carbonation.
Nose is a nice mix of earthy hops, sweet malts. Almost has a candy-like smell to it.
My initial taste is BITTER.
Holy crap, I will take a minute to sip and savor.
Initial, smooth malt/mouthfeel, until the assault of the hops. They slide in quickly and hit the back of the tongue with a mind numbing bitterness.
Not for the faint of heart, but a nice beer.

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Photo of goblue3509
4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At first taste it was alot of hops. However, after digesting what the taste was it was fantastic. After the initial shock of the hoppiness of the beer, it was great. It has fantastic smell and drinkability. The smell is what a beer should smell like, a very good entry.

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

It's all good. A buddy said this one might be too old, but I gave it a try.

A -Copper, clear, nice almost white head. Stays for awhile. Sticky lacing.

S - Citrus hops and deep malt.

T - Major party. Big, full flavors. Hops, malts, a great blend and balance.

M - Full, creamy, coating, good balance.

D - Not too high in ABV or do overly pronounced in flavors. Good for session, if not a tough one.

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Photo of dhd1491
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've never done this before, but for this brew, which I consider superlative and intoxicating (in every sense of the word), I have reproduced word-for-word, below, the review of fellow BA beer lover BuckeyeNation. I could not write a better description of this (or any) beer. I want to read it repeatedly as I partake of SA's HIP. Feast your eyes on it:

"A+ / 4.85
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | drink: 5
rDev: +16.1%

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!

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 11-26-2007 16:46:26."

Bruised banana with apricot, indeed. Excellent and precise; some of the greatest descriptive writing I've had the pleasure to run across. Thank you, Buckeye.

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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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