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 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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Photo of saintwarrick
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This brew pours a nice grapefruit color with a big ole thick fluffy, pale-ale style head. Big hops in the aroma, grassy and oily hop resins all over the place. Taste is reminiscent of an IPA, though not quite as thick or sweet on the palate. Bready taste, semi sweet, but very bitter once the hops assert themselves, which is very quickly. Goes down smoother than your typical double IPA, though it is just as bitter.

Hell of a beer but it is not exceedingly drinkable.

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

Pours a murky gold with an orange tint. A pale cream colored three finger head slowly billows up, and shows good retention as it becomes rocky and slips down leaving patchy lacing. Pungent floral and spicy noble hop aromas with an unexpected citric/tangerine note and a solid Pils/Munich malt background aroma. The first sip is sweet with toasty Munich malt and biscuit notes. Sharp Pils taste comes on slow bringing with it a hint of alcohol, but zero ester. A robust german hop character develops in the aftertaste; more floral than spicy and certainly reminiscent of the rare Hallertauer Mittelfrueh varietal. The addition of an orange peel/tangerine taste seems very alien in a Pils but sits well with the rest of the malt and hop profile. The bitterness has the classic german low-cohumulone smoothness with plenty of hop flavor and the alcohol helping dry the tounge. The mouthfeel is somewhat heavy but dries so quickly there is no chance for cloying. A Fullish body and medium-light carbonation allow the hop oils and malt flavors the settle and marinate for a moment before fading away just enough to beg another sip. This is beer that takes full advantage of the possibility for high drinkibility within the style. Slight dextrin, mild residual toasted malt and lasting hop flavor linger in the finish, but the last few swigs could easily still be called "clean" for a Double Pils.Not quite the "Intense Hop Experience" that a hop-head like myself was hoping for, but nearly flawless in design and the best interpretation of the style I have tried to date.

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

A: Pours a nice orange copper with a solid two fingers worth of foam. Carbonation is evident and a nice sticky lacing is left on the glass.

S: Hops! This is by far the hoppiest Sam Adams beer I've ever smelled. Floral hops with hints of citrus and pine dominate the aroma. Damn this smells good.

T: Wow! I'm highly impressed by this beer - definitely one of the finest I've ever had from SA. The hops hit you up front, and turn nice and smooth in the middle and finish with a nice aftertaste. They're not overly bitter, but really crisp and smooth. Very enjoyable. The malt balances it out nicely with hints of sweetness and caramel.

M: Smooth with a touch of graininess. Nice crisp finish.

D: I wish they could and would make this beer year round. I find most SA offerings to be a solid offering, but not good enough to find a normal rotation in my fridge. This one however could sit there year round.

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Photo of waughbrew
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[IIRC, $9.99 from Kenmore location of Wine Gallery]

A very hazy apricot with a healthy frothy white head with decent retention and very good lacing. Aroma is both very strong and yet not in-your-face or harsh. Really herbal and peppery in a well-rounded way. Rose petals and hay. Pretty big on the tongue, but with sweet grainy pale malt leading into a crescendo of even bitterness and healthy carbonation, the heaviness is not overbearing. Oak and vanilla come through with some alcohol as it warms. Certainly salivating.

A tasty treat from BBC. The hop aroma and bitterness are strong, but not quite as bold in the hop flavor as the first bottling if my taste buds are correct, but the bigger bottle that it was in could certainly have made the difference. :)

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

This is certainly a tasty dry beer. Imperial Pilsner is still a style definition I am adjusting to but the beer is good and thats what matters. Huge thanks to SwillBilly for sharing this beer with me.

Appearance: Pours a attractive golden orange color with a frothy white head and some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Gorgeous grassy hop aroma. It is a bit floral and earthy with a biscuity malt backbone.

Taste: This is hoppy and dry. It is remarkably approachable with the Hallertau hops. The malt backbone is present but takes a back seat to the bone dry hops. Long lasting dry aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: It is crisp and light but well carbonated and with the intense dryness it feels bigger in the mouth. Very nice.

Drinkability: Well, my one complaint with Imperial pilsners is that they are not traditional easy session beers. That said different is good and change should be embraced so the big abv sipping pils is a nice change of pace from time to time.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of Dewey0603
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy burnt orange with a medium white foamy head that leaves great lacing. The smell is pungent with citrus hops,carmel,floral,and some sweetness,malt? The taste is thick with a deep dose of bitter hops. Citrus and pine flavors are present along with a creamy sweet "bisquity" backbone. The m/f is heavy with all the flavors mixing well. Another good offering from Sam's,although some might feel that this is a little harsh,still one that you should try.

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

Poured a deep shade of orange with a bit of cloudyness and a thick creamy off white head, good retention and lots of lacing.

Smell was a pretty even dose of slightly sweet toasted malts and a juniper hops.

Taste has a pretty solid amount of grainey malt body, but is quickly consumed by the huge piney hop bitterness. Very bitter.

Mouthfeel is super oily and slick with a long lasting residue.

A good drink for a hop head, any one else need not apply, intensely bitter and junipery.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice hazy golden colour with a thick frothy head that has decent retention time and leaves a smattering of chunky residue on the glass.

The aroma is a nice blend of sweetness from a good caramel base that is complimented by a heavy dose of hops: pine and grass lead the way. There's a bit of a biscuit/bread feel here as well.

Flavour hits you with a typical Pilsner bit at first, i.e. sharp, bold hops that are a bit subdued, then those hops kick it up a notch for a dirtier breadier flavour that even has a bit of juice to it. The finish of each sip has a nice bite to it which compliments the light crisp carbonated mouthfeel.

This one is pretty good, but no where near as good as I remember the original 2005 Harvest Pils to be. No idea if it's the same recipe or not, but this one definitely seems different. Good stuff overall, but not as good as I was anticipating.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange/amber/golden in color. Large sticky white head. Clumps of lace line the side of the glass.
Huge whiff of floral hops.
Loads of hop bitterness in the flavor. Citrus, piney and spicy. Nice change of pace beer from the DIPA's for the hop heads out there.
Sticky bitter prickly mouthfeel.
Good beer. Great for the hot night on the first day of Fall.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.9/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a cloudy pale orange color. The head is massive, billowy, fluffy, and sticks around forever. The aroma is of spicy citrus with a hint of pine, a touch of mint, and a very faint mineralness. The taste is like the aroma, but with a firm, almost abrasive, bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is of full bodied with nice carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a great beer. It is like an DIPA, but with a lager yeast and noble hops. I coud drink this everyday, but I would certainly like to have the option.

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Photo of rowew
3.61/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, came in a 4 pack. Label has a long description of the beer, abv, and best by date.

Appearance: Cloudy orange color, nice sized head that leaves quite a bit of lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt and some citrus - hops are definitely muted here.

Taste: Bready malt in the start, slightly sweet, hops come in as a good amount of bitterness and a combination of citrus and some piney flavors.

Overall impression: Nice and drinkable - better after it warms up a bit. Aroma is a bit lacking compared to the flavor. I seem to remember the last version being a bit better, but who knows.

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

Having had the original SA Imperial Pilsner, I was disappointed in this offering. Aroma is musty hops with a bit of a funk nose to it. Hoppiness is assertive in the flavor with a grapefruit like tang. Slightly sweet, the mustiness follows through into the flavor. Tastes a little raw, I think it would have benefitted from more aging before they released it. A decent brew, but lacking the excellence the original had imho.

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Photo of cs45977
3.67/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in pilsner glass poured from bottle.

Appearance: Poured cloudy golden brown quick two finger head that quickly retreats to health one finger head.
Smell: Immediate and strong hop smell. Almost IPA like. Ever so slight malt (German?). Did I say Hops!
Taste: very intense pilsner taste, intense hops, finishes with alcoholic bite (a bit unbalanced).
Alcohol predominant taste. Nothing light about this beer.
Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation. Very heavy (pleasantly) mouthfeel the “imperial” malting shines here.
Drinkability: Seems to be a true imperial in that all elements seemed “double” that of a traditional. Like other Imperial or Double Pilsners I've had, this seems to be a “novelty”. I would give this one to someone as an example of what could be done with the style, or drink it myself “for something different” but I don't think this will end up in my “old standards”. I am just not a huge fan of pilsners

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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 jaxon53
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served slightly chilled in a pint glass from a twelve ounce bottle. Poured a slightly hazy golden amber orange color that seemed to glow in the glass.Two fingers of fluffy white head laid on top of the beer and faded rather slowly. Left a generous amount of thick lace behind on the glass. The nose was owned by the hops. Citrus, floral, malty, yeasty, earthy notes were all present behind a wall of hops. This one is definitely a palate smasher. Nice thick sweet malt up front that is overwhelmed by a rush of bitter hops. Plenty of citrus in there. Lemon zest, sweet balancing malt, with a nice grassy flavor to it. Perfect carbonation. A nice full, somewhat thick mouthfeel that is quite pleasant. Awesome drinkability. Now my favorite pilsner. I.P.A.'s beware.

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Photo of Mdog
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hazy gold/yellow, big head and good lacing.

Smell: Pink grapefruit and some floral notes.

Taste: Excellent balance between bitterness and sweetness. Starts with some sweet pink grapefruit, some grassy flavors, a fair amount of bitterness from the hops.

Mouthfeel: Tingly!

Drinkability: Goes down easy, but a little strong to have more than a couple.

This was a very good beer, my only comment is that it seems more like a double IPA than a double pilsner. There usually isn't much citrus flavor in pilsners and this has plenty of citrus. But who cares, it's good stuff.

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

I really like this brew, so much so that from the first wiff I had to take a pull from the, lots of hops. very very nice. Poured a cloudy golden hue into my pint glass. Nice head that stood up until the finish...which came way too soon. Smell reminded me of a nice German brew, it's taste reminded me of a light lager...this was enjoyed as an apertif and the lunch that followed had a lot to live up to. I found this very drinkable, probaby downed it too quick, the abv on this reminds you to enjoy in moderation...or give up your keys...

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

Pours a slightly cloudy, dark straw/orange color with a 1/2 inch creamy off-white head. Lots of carbonation. Head fades to a 1/8 inch cap that remains throughout, with great lacing down the glass all the way to the last sip.

Hop aroma is right in your face: very citrusy and piney. Intense! Not even a hint of the alcohol.

Just like the aroma, the hops jump right out at you. Spicy, floral notes up front with a citrus bitterness following right behind. The malty sweetness balances the bitterness in the middle, but it finishes with a long, grapefruit like dryness that stays with you right until the next sip. Still not even a hint of the alcohol. Great balance!

Medium to full bodied mouthfeel, but the carbonation keeps it lively.

Generally not being a big fan of pilsners, this is one that I would definitely enjoy over and over again. A must try for any hophead!

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

So, my first imperial pilsner. Pours a very nice looking golden amber color with a 1 finger white head that leaves some decent laving around. Smells very fresh - lots of fresh, grassy hops with a hint of hop juice. Smells excellent.

Taste is very, very nice. The malt backbone here is how I wouldn't mind more pilsners to be - relatively thick with a nice toffee like sweetness. The hops then come storming in, providing for a balance that leans toward the hops. Grassy, floral hops are immediately noticeable, transitioning to an excellent bitterness that stays on your tongue all the way until you taste your next sip. Very crisp finish as well, with almost a spicy characteristic. Nice. This is complex and tasty. A delicious brew that starts you out slightly sweet, then tempts you with the hops until finally finishing the swallow - at which point it lets you know this is one hopped up pils.

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

Pours a nice orangey gold color with some cloudiness and a grey-white head that forms only a thin layer on top of the liquid. The aroma is a pure blast of Hallertauer hops, like you stuck two cones right in your nostrils. Minimal malt notes, in the form of some sour-sweet pale and caramel malts, come through underneath the dominant hops. On the palate, big, spicy acidity from the hops comes through straight off. At the mid-palate some sweeter malt notes come in, but the hops remain the main attraction, sticking to all the parts of the mouth with their earthy, spicy bitterness. Overall, this is a tasty ode to the Hallertauer. It's lacking in complexity, certainly, but its aroma and flavor is so evocative of its namesake hop, it makes up for it. Very good.

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

12oz bottle into pilsner glass.

A slightly cloudy honey amber hue with a light tan two finger head that lasts a while, slowly settling to a pillowy cap. Strong lacing along the glass.

Strong hop aromas are the characteristic that stands out. The Hallertau gives off a less sharp scent, with almost a hint of smoke, or at least that's what it reminds me of.

Honey-biscuity malts set up the sweeter hop flavor that comes from the Hallertau variety. The hops still do lend a little bit of spice, which adds to the complexity. Full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation, but not flat. The finish is all hops, with the bitterness and the spice lingering for a good while.

The Hallertau isn't my favorite hop variety, but this beer seemed to present it well. Since it's a lager the hops pretty much take the show as well. I think this beer shows that Sam Adams has a wide range of extreme beers that are well crafted. Recommended.

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

Finally, I get to try this one. Pours a cloudy golden orange with a big fluffy white head. Nice lacing works it's way down the glass.

Nice, hoppy aroma. Floral, grass, citrus...they all seem to be here.

The flavor is quite delightful. This is how a hoppy pilsner should be done. Very nicely balanced. Not overly bitter or sweet. Bready malts, flowery and citrus hops, just a slight spicy bite.

Crisp, medium body. Good carbonation. Dry aftertaste that is a little bitter. Good job BBC. These go down really easy. I like 'em. Time to go get another four pack.

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

Finally got my hands on this coveted brew after missing out on it last year. The beer pours a hazy, deep gold with a good 1 inch head that dissipates after a few minutes. Aroma was heavenly. Very flowery and spicy with a good dose of sweet malt aroma as well. Taste was of strong hops and alcohol at first, then finishes with a good combo of dryness and sweetness. This is very balanced between the massive hop attack and the malt character. Drinkability was very good as the body of this beer was light-medium in the palate. Not sure if this is worth 11 bucks for a four-pack, but it's pretty damn tasty. It's only money, right?

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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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