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 Rennpferd
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It poured golden and hazy with a one finger head. A lite amount of carbonation could be seen rising from the edges of the Pilsner glass.

It had a very robust bitter hop scent that was accompanied by a mild earthy malt undertone.

It had a very intense hop flavor. Bitter, mouthwatering with a dry alcohol and husky malt finish. It started out watery at the front of the pallet but became full bodied and foamy at the back-end.

I found this to be a very drinkable beer. I am sort of a Hop-Head however. BBC clearly achieved what they wanted with this brew. Connesiours of robust in your face beer will love this.

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Photo of rtepiak
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the carbonation is a bit poor on the pour. orange in tint. head is white... lace. not really expected on that part. not too crisp. peppery hop. orange. wood malt. or more so blanding, if that's even a word, quality malt. a strange marco marketing tool of beer that isn't accessible for the norm. good beer. doesn't serve much of a place... i mean... as an imperial pilsner. too much malt. not refreshing. but american hoppy. not what i look for in a pilsner... or an american imperial pilsner for that... if that type is even justified. the metallica of beer. rather silly to drink twice. i'm sure it would be indiscernible in the face of a selection of IPA's. not a palate thing... more so a pedantic attempt.

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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 ZimZamZoom
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. A regal bronze color, clear as clear can be. Not only can I read the Capitol City logo on the other side of the glass, but I can distinguish that it is etched on the outside, and I can pick out the inside of the glass. Almost a 3d effect. Nice eggshell colored head that is very creamy looking. Gobs of sticky lacing left behind as this beautiful thing fades. Plenty of bubbles rise with a purpose from the bottom of the glass.

A bit of a pine-bomb here, wafts of green needles, freshly broken as my Eddie Bauer hiking boots drag over their long dead brethren. Some nice clean pilsen malt behind this but let's face it...this is all about the hops. A slightly boozy burst of alcohol slithers around in the aroma as well, adding nicely to the overall effect. Wow the taste is also all about the piney hops. Almost (but not quite) overdone here. I mean I have never had a mouthful of pine forest before, but thanks to this beer I cannot say that any more. Interesting to have this type of hopping in a pilsner. You can taste the clean refreshing beer behind the hops, but it does not approach balance. Nor does it have to. It goes bitter in the end and the pine actually lingers longer. It could have been bittered with spruce might ask...was it?

Hops are so overdone by American brewers. This beer is a refreshing change in that it is overdone differently, but still a great one for the hopheads. Interesting, complex, has a great feel and is eminently drinkable.

Glad to finally try this beer.

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Photo of bobsy
4.71/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy apricot with one of the stickiest ivory heads I have ever seen. Lots of rings of persistent lacing and great retention. Piny, leafy aroma. Huge pine and grass hop bitterness playing off against a sweet pale malt background. This beer has flavour and bitterness in spades. The hops are also well-rounded out by a pleasant fruitiness, with hints of lemon and peach, but at the end of the day this is all about the hallertau. The body is medium, yet at the same time sticky and chewy, which provides a pleasing compliment to the resin taste.

I can't get over how good this is... a pilsner that drinks like a double IPA, but with great balance. I've liked Sam Adam's beers, but never really been blown away... until now.

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Photo of APNumber3
3.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours golden orange with a thick, off white head. Alot of bubbles, came pouring out of the bottle upon opening. Drank this on Feb. 13. Best before date on bottle was January 2009. This may explain the lack of aroma. I detected some faint citrus and maltiness. But nothing even remotely strong. However, this brew is rather tasty. Very hoppy with some slight malt sweetness to even things out. Strong grapefruit like aftertaste which lingers quite a while. Mouthfeel is a bit heavy, with the aforementioned aftertaste very prominent (not in a bad way, though). Overall, I do like this beer. If Sam Adams were to get into the IPA game, this would be a good place to start for sure.

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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 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 riversider76
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden orange. One finger plus white head with excellent retention and laceing. Aroma is of fruity citrus hops, and some bready malts. Body is this and carbonated. Taste is a creamy mike of fruity,piney hops and a malty carmel sweetness. Really good!

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

kinda cloudy orange as it pours from the bottle, some yeast chunks fall out. head took a pour down the center of the glass to induce. floral citrussy aroma, lots o hops. sharp bitterness, malty sweet but not cloying, and nice hop flavor. its like a dog fish head ipa without the cloying sweetness and crass hop flavor. the hops are very nice. it tastes like a good double ipa with some perfume in it.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. "best before" recommendation of jan 2009. oh well...

deep straw color with amber tones. clear. nice head that slowly fades to wisps and ring. very nice lacing.

strong noble hop aroma, almost pine-like, but staying within the realm of grassy and earthy. whiff of sulfur. biscuitiy malt and hint of yeast fermentation.

malty caramel sweetness combines with bold hop resins (of a grassy, zesty, hallertau character) and assertive but balanced bitterness. hop flavors have floral and even black tea-like notes. it seems as if all the flavors manage to persist into the finish.

pleasantly smooth, with substantial body and lively, yet creamy, carbonation. light resins and astringency in the finish.

a very flavorful beer - you don't get "noble hop bombs" very often, but this is a very nice example.

a shame that mine wasn't fresher. i will aim to get them immediately upon release in the future.

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Photo of br3wmeister
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Two inch foamy head that becomes a nice lumpy surface as it dissipates. Good head retention and perfect lacing. Nice lightly hazy golden colored beer.

S- Sweet caramel and cake aromas with some nice spicy, floral and citrus smelling hops. I really enjoy the hop character in this beer.

T- Lots of piny, bitter hops that dominate the palate, some caramel sweetness sneaks in but does not hold long. This beer is not particularly well balance but does display the Hallertau hops very well.

M- Fairly light bodied beer but the hops coat your mouth and stick around for awhile. Good carbonation.

Overall- This is the only imperial pils I have ever tried and I do enjoy it but feel like there must be something that can show it up.

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Photo of bowersdm
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a german pilsner

A - cloudy orange color with 1cm of white head.

S - hops. nothing else.

T - a slight malt taste precedes a wallop of Hallertau hops. It has a very floral finish, slightly citrusy as well. the 8.8% ABV was not noticeable

M - good

D - this is the first hoppy beer and I ever had and I got to say, I enjoyed it. It's what got me into IPAs and American Barleywines. Its hoppiness is the only thing that cuts down on its drinkability.

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

Appearance: This selection pours with a thick off white head. Generous lacings and surface spiderwebbing. Color is a medium honey and has a touch of haziness.

Smell:, these are aplha hops. Virtually no aromatic hops were observed in the aroma curve. A light grassy presence was detected.

Taste: Wow....hops really stand out in this. The hop bitterness jumps out and follows the flavor for the majority of the taste presence. Citrus and slight malty presence can be detected during presentation to mid-flavor. Hops bitterness kicks in again during sustain. Good job.

Mouthfeel: The palate is a little crouded but the hop presence, but this is marketed as "An Intense Hop Experience". This selection delivers on that promise. I still rate this fairly high on mouthfeel due to the fact that this is a Double.

Drinkability: This is an absolutely wonderful brew. The super hop presence will not make this an acceptable selection for a neophyte drinker, however, an experienced drinker will be able to appreciate the hop bite of a well designed craft beer. Great job Samuel Adams.


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Photo of scottoale
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. brown bottle purchased in a four pack. Enjoy before January 2009 on the label, so it's at the tail end of freshness per se.

It pours a deep amber-gold with good clarity into a tall pilsner glass, with a solid two-finger thick frothy head of just off-white. Great head retention that leaves heaps of sticky lace clinging to the glass. Carbonation appears subtle, yet adequate.

To the nose comes an earthy Noble hop with just a faint bit of sweetness at the end. Black tea, tobacco and earth coming through strong. Nice hop aroma with some bite.

Mildly malty intro turns quickly to an earthy hop bittering blaze...lots of tobacco and a bit of black tea and a grassy hop bitterness that pleases the palate. The hops definetly dominate this brew but nothing like a piney, citric West coast IPA...much mellower and less cutting than a palate wrecking hop bomb. Very nice flavor that finishes crisp and clean with an earthy aftertaste that returns to the tongue.

Medium body with a crispy mouthfeel and the alcohol well masked. A pleasure to drink and definetly a brew that I recommend to any type of beer lover, cheers.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pokal.

4.5 A: Medium orange color. Clear, but not crystal clear. Two fingers of thick frothy head with good retention and lots of lacing.

4.0 S: Mainly citrus. A little earthy with freshly cut grass. A hint of sweetness.

3.5 T: Again citrus (grapefruit and mandarin foremost). I'm getting hints of some woodiness as well. Begins sweet with a bitter finish. There's actually a lot of sweetness, but it's a roller coaster ride from sweet to bitter with every sip. Not only is this beer unbalance, but it's unbalanced twice because of what was already mentioned. Still, the sweet part is good and the bitter part is good as well, but my tastebuds aren't up for the craziness. It's like transfering fish from hot water to cold water and back again several times only much less torturous.

4.0 M: Medium body. Moderately creamy with good carbonation.

3.0 D: The brew is good, but one beer is plenty due to the crazy revolving taste.

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Photo of a10t2
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy and pale orange. Minimal bubbling from carbonation, and a think white head dissipates quickly, which must be due to the alcohol content because there's good lacing.

S: Primarily smells of clean malt with some floral and pine hop notes.

T: Spicy hops are immediately apparent, but the malt backbone is sweeter than I would expect. There's a fair bit of alcohol evident too, but it isn't hot and fusel-y at all. Hop flavor dries out the taste and lingers forever.

M: Smooth and light, not overcarbonated, thank god. There's a little warmth from the alcohol, and the hop aftertaste is pleasantly puckering.

D: Noble hops are kind of a one-trick pony, but the overall effect is so pleasant that I could easily have several back to back. If it weren't for the 9% ABV, that is.

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

A - slight haze, light orange colour, thin white head, leaves lots of nice lacing... looks like an IPA

S - sweet lemon citrus, light malt sweetness. it's missing any sort of pine, but it's not far off from an IPA.

T - lots tasty herbal hops, floral and citrus mixes in nicely, malt sweetness is med low, finish is smooth hop bitterness and dry cracker/biscuit.

M - med body, med low carbonation, overall sensation is creamy, but light, finish is dry with some astringency from the hop bitterness that I don't mind. Alcohol is subtle, but does have a noticable warmth.

D - I've got nothing to compare it to, but it tastes like an IPA with noble hops, and it works quite well.

This one is so close to an IPA, and so far removed from a Pils. Call it whatever you want, it's damn good! This is a beer I have been looking forward to trying since it was announced in fall 07, and it did not dissappoint.

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Photo of hoppheadIPA
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep cloudy orange and with an agressive pour, produces a bubbly 1" head that dissapates fairly fast into a thin foam that sticks around. Hops and spice in the nose with some floral hints to note. Some bready smelling malt in the backround. Floral hops and malt hit the tastebuds at 1st sip. Lacing sticks to the glass quite nicely as I drink. Finishes bitter with a slight alcohol warming at the end. Tastes awesome, since I'm not very into this style. Mouthfeel is full and complete. Drinkability is quite low due to the abv.

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

Poured hazy amber color with an average frothy white head that was lasting and produced good lacing.

Good heavy citrus and grass aroma.

Medium body with a slick texture.

Moderate spice and hop flavor with a long finish.

Very good brew and a standout for style.

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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 Greggy
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a 2 finger thick head with great retention into my tulip glass leaving some great lacing. The body is a murky golden/amber color.

S- Big hop herbal hop aroma, tea, mandarin orange, edgy pineapple, some light grapefruit. Nice sweet maltiness lingers as well.

T- Starts out with a nice sweet herbal malt reminiscent of marmelade and peach tea, then transitions into a nice fruity, floral hop. Could it be hallertau? The hopiness gives it a nice piny and fruity taste that moves gracefully into the dry hoppy finish.

M- Nice light carbonation lightly caresses the palette. Great overall balance.

D- This is a delicious brew that is hoppy yet balanced. I won't buy any more this year as it's going to lose it's hop bite soon, but next year I'll definitely be in for more.

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Photo of sprucetip
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Is there really such a thing as an Imperial Pilsner? I guess so. I tried one Midnight Sun called a Belgian Style Imperial Pilsner. What the hell, I'm all for creativity.

Clear, golden, lots of activity and big foamy white head and thick lacing that goes for the duration.

Sweet malty foundation with significant supporting role from grassy Euro hops. Nice. I'm into it. Not super complex, but balanced elements dancing around my nasal palate.

Alot like the nose only with a very sharp, bitter bite just before the finish, which for the most part diminishes as quickly as it rises, but lingers at a lower level well past the finish. I don't mind it but some people probably do.

Carbonation pretty much spot on and not overdone, smooth, creamy texture, and solidly medium body. I like the thickness of the feel. Does not finish clean, as hoppy bitterness lingers.

The lingering bitterness surely is a turn off for some. But if that is not an issue for you, look out! I don't notice the 8+abv in any sensory experience except for feeling buzzed. Wish I had another....

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Photo of kkosmoski
3.21/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Longneck poured into a Duvel glass. This is this year's batch, rated at 8.1% abv. Quite hazy yellow orange color in the glass with an ample, tightly-packed white head. Thick lacing down the sides. Aroma consists of pine, lemon, dirty socks, halfway dry hay, bit of cheese. A little orangey sweetness meets a solid citrusy bitterness right off the bat. Bitterness holds on right through to the end with notes of pine, tea leaves, and an earthy finish. A hay-like bitterness sticks in the aftertaste for quite a while. Thick in body with a silky carbonation and noticible warming effect from the abv. Drinkability is not very impressive with the upped alcohol, sticky feel, and intense bitterness.

I think that previous batches of this beer have been more successful based on memory. Even though the alcohol content has been lowered this year, I feel like its presence sticks out more. Flavor is good, but there is something going on with the aroma in the bottle that I have here. It is a bit funky and almost has a dirty laundry scent to it. Overall, I do like the theme and inspiration for creating this beer, and I do seek it out whenever they make it.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass
Dark orange/amber with a thick two inch head

Aroma--Definite big hops and citrus

Taste--Like a "hop-gauntlet" slap to the taste buds--Bitter grapefruit citrus, slight lemon/orange rind--Hops, hops, hops! They move right in and take over the whole operation
This would pass as a Double Imperial IPA with no questions asked. A big biting, bitter finish.

Overall, tons of hop flavor that tend to blow away the other ingredients. A "must" for all hop-heads however. Goes great with spicy foods

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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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