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 dedrinker
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hazy honey color and smells of bitter herbs and flowers. spicy herbal flavor on a round, firm, yet soft malt body. The hop dominates but only in the sense that it requires the sturdy shoulders of the malt profile to ride on. Being a lager it does not add any extra fruity/ estery flavors, resulting in a finish that is also dominated by hop bitterness and aroma, so if you really want to know what Hallertauer hops taste like, this is it. Many choose to regard Sam Adams with a jaundiced eye due to their size (as if they were the A-B of craft beer) but Jom Koch can deliver the goods any day of the week and push Dogfishhead's imperial pils into second place. Something that A-B has yet to do with any style on any level.

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

anyone rating this much under a 4 needs to either check their bias or get their shitty tongue examined

a: The one-finger, meringue like off white head recedes slowly. Great retention and nice lacing. The beer is a chill hazed rich golden color.

s: Lovely nose, absolutely brimming with fresh, floral Hallertau hops. Glorious hops. Ethanol tinge way in the back of the nose is perfect. Big presence of light malts bring the typical pilsner malt aromas, minus any "skunk." Delicious honey and candied tropical fruits hide behind the hoppy cover. Passionfruit, pineapple, mango, kiwi. A touch more grain would make this an easy 5 for me.

m: The carbonation is borderline high and very smooth, with a full medium body. Quick drying, somewhat chalky finish.

t: A load of clean pilsner malts give a moderate sweetness that is more than balanced with a load of Hallertau. Big hop flavors of tropical fruits compliment the grain well. Starts a little sweet and malty, turns hoppy, and ends with a high bitterness and long lingering floral hop flavors.

d: A breeze...the hoppiest pilsner I've come across for sure, and I love it.

single bottle from Whole Foods Raleigh...won't buy another because I've already got more than enough beer, but I'm very glad to have tried this one

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I have been waiting for this beer to come back for 2 years. I was very excited to find this baby in 4 packs today @ the local store.

Appearance - pours a very cloudy golden with a really nice, creamy head that sticks around for the long haul. Tremendous lacing down the glass with each and every sip.

Smell - very floral, sweet, tropical, hops, hops, and more hops....amazing bouquet of aromas coming form this brew.

Taste - Citrus notes and sweeter up front at very first, then turns ridiculously hoppy. Very astringent, dry finish. Aspirin-y aftertaste. The hops just cling to the palette for dear life, staying with you forever. Definitely not balanced but a hophead's delight.

Mouthfeel - Very oily, full bodied, good carbonation.

Drinkability - Despite the high abv and extreme hoppiness of the beer, it is very drinkable. Hopheads unite for this gem.

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Photo of far333
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Turbid apricot colored with a thin orangey-beige head that doesn't rise up much, and then settles out quickly to a thin layer of foam.

Low aroma of sweet malt, faint citrus, and some alcohol fumes.

Flavor is initally rough and pungent, somewhat hard-edged. Bitter orange rind jumps on the tongue all at once, followed quickly by an alcoholic astringency. The alcohol warms the tongue and cheeks, and masks the flavor from there. Hints of sweet malt and grapefrut and pine hops try to poke through, but the octane level pushes them back down. Not very balanced, not too complex.

Mouthfeel is full but also crisp and tingly. Average drinkability. Not as good as the '05 selection.

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Photo of sstackho
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased from Bauer Wines in Boston. Pours a slightly hazy gold with a bit of muted carbonation. Aroma is very nice - strongly hoppy. The flavour profile is warmly bitter and hoppy. In some ways similar to an IPA, but with different hops that are of the "noble" variety, I suppose. It is nice to have a beer that goes overboard on those hops to make them easier for me to distinguish in "lesser" beers. The hops aren't quite piney, but they are getting close. Aftertaste is strong and heavy.

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Photo of balconybrew
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into the Sam Adams glass. Pours a hazed amber with a 2 finger bright whitehead. Little lacing and little retention. Aroma wasn't as strong as I expected, still lots of hops. Good hop, pils taste. Good hop bite. Minimal alcohol taste. It wasn't what I expected, but still a good beer.

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Photo of techdiver
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy golden orange with a two finger head that dissipates slowly leaving a thin veil of foam and sticky lacing.

Hmm! Smells like, would you believe, hops?

Overbalanced hops over malt. How close can a Double IPA and a Double Pilsner be? So hoppy it reminds me of Ruination.

Smooth and coating, great brew.

Pretty drinkable stuff. Glad I was able to locate some. Availability locally was in question, picked this up on my run across the state line to Maryland.

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

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a Pilsner Urquell stange. Body is a cloudy golden-orange color, topped by a finger of creamy white head that sticks around for the duration. Tight bubbles keep on coming from the bottom of the glass. Simply a beautiful beer.
Beautiful aroma of floral Hallertau hops, balanced nicely by a good bit of crisp, slightly sweet pilsner malt. Mild grassy notes and hint of biscuit are detectable as well. Palate is complex and well-balanced. A mild biscuit character up front succumbs briefly to the floral bitterness of the hops mid-palate. Balance is achieved just before the swallow, with sweet malt and sharp hops teaming up for pure deliciousness. The hops again show their edge after the swallow, providing a satisfying, lingering bitterness.
Body is smooth and creamy, with the active carbonation keeping a light fizzy edge on the beer. A very slight stickiness is also present, which makes sense given the high gravity on this beer. If it weren't quite as strong, I could probably drink this all night long. As it is, it's certainly a pleasure, and I'll drink one about every night as long as the supply's around.

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Photo of goochpunch
4.77/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a hazy peach nectar with wild carbonation that rises up to the thick and fluffy head. Leaves just a touch of lacing. Wow. Smells like sticking your head into a bucket load of hops or getting a whiff of a strong hop tea. Tons of hops in the nose with big earthy and herbal aromas. A malty sweetness and faint alcohol presence back up the hops. Hallertau takes the center stage of the flavor as well. All the intricate characteristics of this noble hop are magnified time 100 simply because there is so much of it used for this beer. Lots of fruitiness, flowers, perfume, tea, and general hop leafiness and spiciness are all up on the taste-buds. An assertive bitterness comes in the finish to wonderfully balance the well-stated malty sweetness. Although the alcohol is not pervasive in any way, it does show up a bit. While this adds a rounding complexity to everything, I kind of would have preferred this to be lower on the abv scale. It does something to the overall flavor slight so slightly hinders drinkability. Mouthfeel is full, a touch slick, and well carbonated. This goes beyond impressive.

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Photo of guinnessfan
3.66/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 16 oz. Guinness nonic.

A: Pours a clouded amber/copperish color with a 2 finger head. Little lacing and little retention.

S: Not very strong. IPAish, some hops.

T: Nice hop kick, not pine-ish but slightly citrusy.

M: Nice and bitter, dry, a real biter.

D: Good beer, high ABV, be careful as it doesn't taste as boozy as the ABV would suggest.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.44/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark yellow almost orange with a head that lasted the whole way down. The first smell from the bottle is an amazing dose of hops. The second smell from the glass is just as glorious. Jim Koch is speaking the truth when he touts the amount of hops because the nose is amazing. Fruity, grassy, floral hops and then the taste is more hops and a nice malty backbone with some caramel flavor. This is unlike any pilsner I have ever had but the smell is so beautiful and the taste is delicious. This beer is hoppier than many IPA’s I have had but doesn’t have much bitterness to speak of which I believe is noted on the carton. This has completely upset what I thought I knew about Sam Adam’s. I have had several of their beers but nothing even comes close to this. The 8.8 ABV is undetectable to the taste at first but a little astringent on my tongue halfway through. Top notch and every bit as hoppy as claimed on the label, hopheads should love this. I will now proceed to give Sam Adams lineup a second look, well done.

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

This beer pours a hazy yellowish brown with a think foamy head that settled slowly and left a good lacing. There is a strong hop smell that is unmistakable. This beer has all the hop flavor you would ever want from an imperial pilsner. Sam Adams has taken this beer and done just what they set out to do, create “an intense hop experience.” There is the distinct hops taste with a spicy aftertaste that bites at your pallet. The hop is sweet and leaves a nice aftertaste. The feel is smooth and creamy and finishes very clean. If you like your hops heavy and strong I would recommend this beer. It has a great hops taste that is well balanced offering all the flavor of hops without the bitterness that you get from some intensely hopped beers.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden, orangish-amber color, with two fingers of creamy white head that has great retention and leaves a good amount of lacing on my Boston Lager glass. Aroma is very hoppy as is expected. The hops are spicy along with lots of citrus, specifically grapefruit, and with some pine present also. A nice caramelly, malt backbone is there too. Alcohol is more noticeable as the beer warms.

The hops are definitely noticeable upon entering the palate. They are bitter but not overly so for a hop head. More of the citrus noted in the aroma was present, although there is some lemon zest not specifically noted before. Sweet malt is noticeable in the back, but is muted by the blast of hops on the palate. Hops linger on the palate afterwards spicy and almost a slightly herbal taste is present. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a dry finsh. This is a great beer from BBC. Even at $10.49 for a four pack, I will pick this up again. This should become a yearly release.

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Photo of jetfanzee
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a golden copper, cloudy in the glass, with a chunky head that stays around for a while. Good lacing that lasts longer than the beer does, with a strong stream of bubbles raising from the bottom of the glass.

Strong piney smell rises out of the bottle before you even start the pour. Gets even stronger in the glass, where it's joined by a hint of citrus. You can't wait for the hops to hit you.

The front of your tongue is teased by a hint of sweetness from the malt, but don't expect it to last. The hops then hit full force and boy do the hit. Your whole mouth is coated with the hop flavor, and the bitterness, but it never becomes overpowering. The hops never make it to the back of the throat. A bit of alcohol is there, but it doesn't distract from the hops, who are clearly the star of the show.

High carbonation cuts through the oily mouthfeel you would expect from a strongly hopped IPA. Excellent drinkability, the first one definitely calls for another.

Thanks Jim Koch for another great offering from Boston Beer.

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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 bosco7
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper color with a voluminous cloud like head. Lacing that is as thick and chunky as the head. I was expecting a crystal clear straw colored beer.

Lemon, orange zest, wildflowers, and some spicy mint like aromas. Smells like an IPA....almost.

Sweet, malty, and fruity upfront. Honey, some caramel, biscuit, grapefruit, orange marmalade, and some mango. Very fruity for a lager...all of this flavor came from the hops? Wow. Finishes with noble hop spice and a lot of it. High level of bitterness.

Very tasty brew that I plan on having again. Recommended.

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

Pours out cloudy orange with two fingers of white suds that stick around. Some lacing.
Aroma is citrus. Orange peel/lemon peel hops are very abundant here. Honey and a wheat/clove smell. Very nice aroma.
Taste. This is a very fresh brew from SA. The floral hops and the bitterness of the drink make for a very dry pilsner experience.
Good dryness followed by a tangy sweet darkness that makes you want another drink. Don't know why this one isn't rated just a tad higher. Pretty nice drink all around.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.72/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a hazy light yellow. The head was rich and white and left a nice amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell was very hoppy with good amounts of citrus, pine, and even a touch of spice.

Taste was very sharp and loaded with hoppy bitterness. Quite a bit more than I expected. Eventually I was able to detect a bit more of the subtleties of the citrus, pine, and malt.

Mid-bodied, crisp, and quite carbonated.

This was not quite the sessionable beer I expected but was the beer I had hoped it to be.

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

This new version of their imperial pilsner pours a dark orange leaving a thick yellowish head that sticks with this beer. The aroma is flowers, peppery spiciness, honey, bread, citrus, great nose a lot going on. The taste start bitter but not overly shocking just powerful enough to let you know this is no ordinary pilsner. The bitterness moves to a malty caramel, honey, sweetness that helps balance the bitterness a bit but it is still a hoppy beer and hops dominate the palate.

The finish is silky smooth, just goes down very easy. This has a lot of similarities to the one I tried in the bottle in 2005 and on the limited release kegs SA had in 2006 but there is slight change in appearance and a bit in flavor at least from what I remember. I paired this beer with some roasted salmon the fatty fish really goes well with this hoppy pilsner.

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

Served on tap at Sam Adams Beer Summit Oktoberfest in pint glass tankard.

Pours orange amber with a bit of haze, making a modest off-white head.

Aroma is fullsome with hops, but with less bite on the nerve endings, and a bit less rich and floral, than the bottled version.

Taste is sweet and buttery, not as clean, nor as citrusy, as the bottled version. Maybe such a big beer needs to age longer before serving, so that it can come into balance.

Mouthfeel is great, slick and bitter, goes down easy.

Drinkability is great or sinister, depending on how you look at it. 8.8% ABV is completely concealed, this beer is too quaffable for your own good! Overall, keg version suffers from being insufficiently aged compared to the bottled version, which I scored quite a bit higher.

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

Twelve-oz bottle, poured into a Bernardus chalice. It's an orange-amber color, hazy, with a frothy head that fades after a minute or so. The smell is dominated by very fresh-smelling hops. It's not overwhelming, but it's pretty appetizing. There's some sweet malt lurking in the background of the aroma as well. Hop flavor is apparent from the very start, richly citrusy and floral. Bitterness is high but not imperial-IPA-type bitterness. Some sweetness of the malt comes through but not much malt flavor. Dry finish. It has a very nice creamy texture, as well.

A definite improvement over the 2005 Harvest Imp. Pils from SA. This one's taste is much more balanced, not the raw medicinal hoppiness of the earlier version. Very nice job!

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Photo of cjgator3
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams pint glass. Pours a hazy golden orange color with a nice sticky white head that leaves a lot of lacing all around the edges of the glass. The aroma is slightly buttery malt with a good dose of hallertau hops. The taste is smooth and creamy malt upfront with an explosion of hallertau hops in the finish. I knew this was going to be pretty hoppy, but I did not expect it to deliver the punch that it did. I am quite impressed with this offering from BBC. Overall, this is a highly recommended brew. I wish this was available year round, and not just as a special release.

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

Slightly hazy light amber with a big off white head that hangs around for a while in the new SA Boston Lager glass.
Smells like I just opened a ziploc bag of Hallertau hop pellets on brew day. Nice earthy noble hop aroma.
This starts off hoppy and then pretty much stays hoppy ...I'm going to be deaming of hops. It is bitter, but not ridiculous...well, close to ridiculous until it warms and degasses a bit. Earthy and grassy citrus-rind hop flavor dominates. Not very complex , but who cares. If you like this type of hop flavor and you don't care if it's balanced or not , then this is a good one to get. Actually reminds me of DeRanke XX Bitter , but more intense. Not much malt flavor , but there is an attempt at balance make this more than just bubbly hop tea. Mouthfeel is medium to full...carbonation lively. This is a really nice one to sip slowly and picture fields of tall trellised in the SA commercials. I'm going to enjoy the rest of these one at a time.

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

12oz brown bottle from Florian's in Auburn. Hazy amber-golden body with a half an inch of off-white head that sticks around and leaves a fair bit of lacing. Smells orangey, grapefruity, pithy, and somewhat spicy - the hops definitely dominate the aroma. Grapefruit and orange dominate with pith and spice in the background and just the slightest hint of malt in the background. Not as clean a finish as expected for a lager, with the hops lingering Medium to full in mouthfeel with only a moderate amount of carbonation. Becomes less harshly bitter as it finishes, becoming more sweet, but still maintaining the citrusy character. A pretty solid beer and a good one to have when in the mood for hops. Not as syruppy as a lot of these sort of "big beers" making for a drinkable and tasty beer. Far and away one of the best Samuel Adams beers I've ever had.

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

Service Temperature, 40 degrees. Glassware, 12 ounce German Balloon.

Appearance, is light orange & without clarity, while producing a medium tan head & a curtain of lace.
Aroma, can be described as mild citrus, with a pine of hops wafting across.
Taste, can be felt as a nice mild citrus with a dance of pine and some cloying, along with an unexpected hop backend. Mouthfeel is mild to medium but not unexpected.

A nice release, although part of me feels it might be lacking something from the '05 release.


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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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