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

Appearance - Slightly cloudy golden orange color. Thick white head. Excellent lacing and retention.

Smell - Hops, citrus such as grapefruit, spices, cloves, and nuts.

Taste - Nice hoppy presence. This is probably the hoppiest pilsner I ever drank. Nice sweet citrus flavor followed by a nice bitter aftertaste and spices.

Mouthfeel - Light/medium bodied. Dry crisp feel.

Drinkability - Easy to drink. High ABV but tasty.

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

Serving from a fresh case of 12 oz. bottles, 2007 vintage. Missed out on the 2005, so was really looking forward to this one.

Decanted into the swell Sam Adams glass I got earlier this year, which really showcases beers well.

On the pour, you get a golden-apricot colored brew, with one finger of creamy white head. The head dissipates to a thin white cap which sticks to the end of the brew. Lacing not evident on the glass, except on the swirl.

The nose is all hops, floral and grassy. A faint malt note does make it's way through, if you are discriminating.

The taste is huge with hops (for a pilsner), but yet, a stout malt backbone is clearly there; very good balance. I would equate the hop presence to that of an American IPA in strength; definitely higher than an American Pale. Floral and grassy hop flavors assault the tongue, but there is underlying sweetness that keeps this from being 'extreme' in any sense. Malt flavors are bready and sweet. Mouthfeel is medium-full. The 8.8% ABV is warming, but otherwise not noticeable. Drinkability rates high for this old hop-head. Finish is dry .. very dry.

If you enjoy a good American IPA (Think Boulder's Mojo or Victory HopDevil), then you will enjoy this beer. Perhaps a bit too intense for a 'malt-head', but the balance might make it worth a shot for you.

Na Zdravje

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Photo of domtronzero
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally a lager I absolutely love! Pours a slightly hazy golden copper color with a large white head. Long lasting and lots of lacing. Aroma is a massive burst of Hallertauer flowers. Piney, resiney, and full of a huge floral/earthy scent. Taste is big and bold. Lots of piney tones with a big malty balance. Kind of bready, but being a lager, there aren't a bunch of fruity flavors hiding the true taste. Alcohol is a definite presence (in the mouth and in the head). Mouthfeel is smooth and medium on the tongue; almost too easy to drink. It's almost the best of both worlds (lager & ale)... Too bad it only comes in 4-packs. I'm gonna be trying to stock up on this while I can.

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

Best beer i've drank in a while. I love that Samuel Adams is making a beer like this. This seems as hoppy as their other attempt at a DIPA was malty from what I read. Im glad they made this beer.

Smells of alcohol outweigh the hops smell, but the malty taste is underscored by the huge hop taste. The hugely balanced hop taste. I think this is the difference between east coast/british hops and west coast hops. These hops used to this degree in a west coast beer would be spicy, this beer is big and balanced.

Very tasty beer, gives you warm malts, alcohol hotness, and hoppy wickedness in one big beer. Alcohol creeps up on you.

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Photo of delicious
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A hazy amber body is topped with a tall cream head composed of small, even bubbles.
I shared in the honor of picking hops for a local brewer this season, and the nose on this beer evokes strong memories of that experience.
The flavor is a bitter dried apricot. It isn't as citrus a bitter like the 2005 Harvest, but a more dry, leafy bitterness.
The finish is slow to respond, and not bitter at first, but given ample pause between sips, cotton mouth sneaks in from the back and spreads across the palate. While the imbiber is busy moistening said palate (a losing battle if there ever were one, especially with hop reinforcement provided by additional consumption), a warmth wells up from within.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing this again on 10/16/08. A bottle from the 2008 batch poured into my pilsner glass. This beer pours a clear golden/orange/golden color. Nice white fluffy head is over an inch thick when poured, eventually settles to a nice white surface covering with very good lacing! Aromas of sweet, honey malt and grassy, citrus hops are present. Has a sweet caramel malt flavor with some slight tart and a bit of spice, along with the citrus hops of course. As teh beer warms the flavors do balance out a bit more, but the hops certainly do dominate. Has a crisp, smooth, frothy medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moerate carbonation. Easy to drink, especially as it starts to warm up a bit. A real winner here!


Originally reviewed by me here on Friday night 9/21/07
Poured into my pint glass tumbler. This beer pours a hazy copper/medium golden color. Has a nice white, fluffy head an inch thick when poured that quickly settles to a nice 1/2-2/3 inch before eventually settling to a nice surface coating. very nice lacing here coating the inside of my glass. Aromas of hops and spice are certainly present along with some citrus and light malt notes. Tastewise this beer is very hoppy upfront followed by some sweet malt and mild spice. Flavors of grapefruit and maybe a hint of apricot are also present. This is certainly the hoppiest pilsner I have ever had and it heavily reminds me of a lot of the the finer IPA's I have had. However this beer does certainly have a very good balance tastewise, as is stated on the packaging. The sweetness and spice become more apparent as the beer warms up a bit. This beer has a crisp and smooth, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Overall pretty easy to drink, especially as it starts to warm up some. A very good beer from the fine folks at the Boston Beer Company, maybe the best offering I have ever had from them!


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

12oz bottle poured with vigor into Sam Adams glass.

A: deep golden color with orange highlights, cloudy, two finger foamy white head with great retention. nice lacing throughout

S: citrusy, grapefruit hops, hops and more hops

T: great hop flavor and bitterness, grapefruit but with a little bit of sweetness lurking

M: med body and carbonation, some bitterness clings to the tongue, spicy. kind of sticky mouthfeel

D: very smooth for all the hops present. I could probably drink all four but I think I should savor.. two at a time

This beer is fantastic.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, amber to orange color with a slight white head. Strong hop aroma-I was expecting more-still quite nice. Grassy and somewhat piney. Huge hop flavor. Starts out extremely floral and turns to a blast of bitterness. Malty sweetness that is gone too quick as the hop blast comes in. Good body-really dry in the finish from all the hops. Very, very drinkable and enjoyable. The tongue stripping dryness in the finish might be too much in the long run. Still a hell of a great beer.

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

hazy beer truly the color of honey with an off white head that reduces itself to a thin film and leaves tons of lacing on the glass. georgeous smell that entails a big, strong hop character and a great malty yeasty backbone. Not an overly sweet malt, just a top notch pilsner malt that really carries those cream of the crop hops. really such a beautiful thing those hallertau hops. taste is dominated by hops and carried by the malt wonderfully. not much else going on. not much else needs to. medium body could be a little velvetier, but good mouthfeel none the less. easy to drink. such a pleasure to the senses. it's great to see sam adams representing proper like.

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Photo of hawksfan82
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance is a lot darker than your usual pilsner. The look is close to a lighter pale ale like a Honkers or a Boulevard for your midwest folks. This is probably on account of the extra hops.

Smell has the same pilsner characteristics, but with a little bit of the green/citrus/sweet hoppy smells to it that you get in a pale ale. Almost like a 50/50 mix between the two.

Taste is very good. I was afraid it would be a super hoppy beer that tried to keep the "pilsnere" label. It definitely had more hops than the average pilsner but right when you think it might just be another IPA type beer, it finishes with that nice spicy pilsner bite that your used to. Really well balanced.

Drinakability is not too bad. You can have 2-3 or more of these sitting down at night, but not too many more.

All in all, pretty good stuff. Was actually much better than I expected from a larger "micro" like sam adams.

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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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