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

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Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial PilsnerSamuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 788 |  Reviews: 653
Photo of BlindPig
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Thick off white head on a cloudy orange body with yellow hues around the outside. Nice lacing that covers the top and sticks to the side of the glass.
S- Just a ton of hops in the nose. Smells like smelling a bag of hops. Ton of grass and herbal hops with some spice in there too. Some pepper and just a hint of caramel body in the back but not a lot at all.
T- Follows the aroma with just a hop assault on the tongue. Leaves a really big bitterness on tongue and has a strong grass and herbal flavor from the hops thats lingers in after taste. Some caramel in the back the slowly goes over the tongue but doesn't stand a chance against all the hops. I don't think you could put much more hops in a beer.
M- Full body with medium carbonation.
D- I think it is good but almost over done on the hops. Don't get me wrong I love hop bombs but this may be one with just to many of the wrong kind of hop.

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

12oz. bottle received in trade from chefboy812 - Thanks!

Hazy, orange/yellow liquid. Large, rocky, off-white head.

Grassy & earthy. Herbal. Peppery. Not much sweet/malt balance in this beer. I think I'm going to like it...

Taste is much more bitter than sweet, composed of grapefruit and grass. Malt does show up as a biscuity middle. Provides excellent support for the hops, without taking anything away from them. Nice lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. As I drink, there is some, slight, sweetness in the middle. I think someone spilled a little sugar on the grapefruit. Alcohol is exceptionally well hidden.

Medium body. Medium + carbonation. Quite dry. ABV warming very noticeable.

I've been looking forward to trying this beer for over a year, and I'm happy to say that it didn't disappoint. If you like hops, go get some of this now!

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle. Cloudy, straw color. Thick white fluffy head. Great retention, and a tremendous amount of lace. Very impressive so far.

Spicy, herbal, floral hops leap out of the glass. Very intense aroma. Not much else going on in the nose, but that is the intent, such a fresh smell.

Not very clean for a pilsner, but I get the idea, a very pale malt, allowing the spicy, floral hops to shine. Bitterness is strong, but not overwhelming.

Great body. Just a sticky fresh hop bomb, nothing wrong with that. What a great beer.

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Photo of mynie
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice head. As thick and as gold as honey.

I--I should have never have started brewing. It took the mystery out of beer. I found out that hop bombs were easy to make. I found out that subtle, light beers were really hard to make. That made to me reassess my whole process of reviewing beer. Confused me. I'm used to flipping shit around and rethinking it, but that's like books and music and my own forms of expression. That's not beer. Beer is a beverage. Not an art. You can't have meaningful arguments over its interpretations and receptions. You can't waste your time and energy--your precious brain cells and life--you can't waste those things on something that's supposed to be pure enjoyment.

But wherever there's enjoyment there's toil. There are people there. There is labor that has gone into your enjoyment. There is something--it might not be work, it might not be creation--but there's _something_ there that took effort. And effort isn't effort if it's blind.

So someone's eyes have to be open. And someone has to pay attention to what's going on. And someone, somewhere, is going to think to his or her self "hey, why is this good" or "why is this bad," and begin examining it. And their examinations will maybe make them join in the field. Or maybe they'll form a valuable opinion that will help shape the field. You can't abandon it because you don't want the intellectual challenge. You can't help run from your thoughts or your opinions.

It's been a while. But I have to say that I like this beer even though it's a hop bomb. It's a goddamn simple hop bomb and that makes it goddamn intersting hop bomb. Tons of spicy hops make it explode into a citrus hop. I never realized that that was how it works, that it was just a change of intensity that completely changes flavors. Does this mean that all flavors are one, parts of a different spectrum that effects different, imagined flavors when the intensity is brought up an down? No. BUT it takes a pretty goddamn fantastic beer to make someone think like that.

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Photo of Trueant1
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thick cloudy dark orange. A one finger white head forms that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of sweet malts...almost bavarian malts (smell) The hops are floral and some pine is in there.

Very sweet malts up front. Malt sweetness tastes of grapefruit and oranges. A bitter,oily piney hop aftertaste follows. ALcohol is mixed in throuout the tasting experiance. To me, the taste is a PERFECT blend of "bitter-sweet". A perfect 5!.

Moutfeel is thick and chewey from the malts. They must have used tons of malts to counteract the bitter and floral hops. The beer drinks thick but seems dry. An oily, bitter hop aftertaste dominates the palate on the aftertaste.

This is a great brew. It drinks nice. Would want this one to taste every year. Maybe even a session brew for the hophead?!

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

A- An interesting cloudy amber. Nice thick head that slowly dissapates.
S- Tangy hops and citrus. Built my anticipation for the flavor.
T- Hops hops hops!! Rather bitter with a hint of citrus and caramel. Caught me off guard at first but the flavor grew on me until I really enjoyed each one.
M- Near perfect. Carbonation is just right and it goes down easily.
D- Great. Seems much more like an IPA than a pilsner. But still great.

The bitterness was a suprise, but then again the labeling on the package warns you that it's an INTENSE hop experience. While I was originally not a fan of really hoppy beer, brews like this one and Dale's Pale Ale are starting to turn me into a Hop Head. Great brew! Cheers!

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Photo of beeroclock
4.92/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It doesn't get much better than this. It's got the bitter hop bite that will please any hop-head out there. I think Campbell's soup drink this before thinking of the slogan, MMMM MMMM Good. Man, that sums it up. I popped the top and poured into the Sam Adams glass received from being a founding member of the BA mag. You can't get aggressive with the pour, even being easy on it produces a monster head. The smell of hops pillow out as soon as you pop the top and as the head melts away, the smell continues to blow that hop scent in your face. Taste.... oh the taste... Great citrus hop punch to the back of the throat. It stays with you through the entire swallow and stays on your tongue long enough to make you crave another sip. Drinkability is exceptional. I only wish I could get this in 6 packs for $8, instead of a 4 pack for $9. I would stock up and keep this as my staple. Excellent beer, I suggest it to anyone that enjoys the DFH 90 & 120 min IPA's.

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Photo of jbphoto88
4.79/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

High marks for this hop-tastic beer. It looks great, smells great and tastes even better. On first taste the hops are like a citrus punch in the face, but just when you think its too overpowering the bitterness subsides and leaves you with the rest of the beers flavors. A complex and flavorful beer and a must try for anyone who likes a hoppy brew.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to larrydp fro bringing this beer down for me to try,probably got tired of hearing me talk about it. A 12 oz bottle served into my SA glass (what else)

Cloudy,glowing amber color with a generous dense,very creamy,fluffy looking with good retention leaving chunky rings of lace with a few staggering bubbles rising.

Good,very strong noble hop nose spicy,herbal and peppery.Lots of unsuspected maltyness also, with a strong carmelized aroma showing through. Very earthy also.

Intense hop bite right from the start, with a tinge of alcohol, and lots of thick sweet,syrupy maltiness with a good burnt edge. suprizing balance with boozyness also showing through mid-way through again. Very earthy,finishes very dry,leafy and resinious with noble hop notes coming through at the finish. Leaves the tounge swelled and with somewhat of a numb feel.

Mouthwatering feel that's very creamy and silky smooth with a grainyness that's pleasing. Goes down suprizingly easy. Just a few,the ever present boozyness will occasionally come through and give a constiant warning. Try this one a try ASAP before the hoppyness starts to dwindle.

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

Poured it into a nice pint glass.

A: It pours a nice amber, cloudy brown. About 2 fingers of head at the top. The head stays, but goes down to 1 finger. In my book, it just looks like a beer should look...beautiful.

S: A faint hint of pears hits...almost sweet smell.

T: Sweet, hint of those pears, then the hops hit. Holy smokes, did the hops hit, and then a hint of alcohol at the end. Normally alcohol ends it up for me, but this one seems to be a little bit more balanced.

M: Perfectly carbonated that enhances the taste. The head at the top coats the mouth as the beer goes down.

D: I would definitely drink another one. It's a school night, so I can't drink too many of them.

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Photo of NCSUdo
4.41/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

A; Hazy golden under a smallish head that barely attempts to stick around.

S: Nice caramel aroma, slight hint of alcohol and some nice hop character. Very impressive aroma and what I would expect from an imperial pilsner.

T: Very complex up front, finishing with some alcohol and bitterness. Sweetness up front is very well done.

M/D: Good carbonation in a medium body. Drinkability is pretty good on this one as well.

Tasted along side DFH Golden Era and Carolina Brewing Company's Imperial Pilsner. This was the best of the 3 by a decent margin followed by the CBC brew than DFH.

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Photo of AlephNull
3.57/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy orange color -- surprising for a pilsner -- expected clarity. Nice thick frothy head sticks like glue to the sides of the glass.

S- Ummm.... I may detect a bit of hops here... just kidding -- hops are over the top. Not your typical smash you in the face northwestern hops so prevalent in hop-heavy beers though -- These are spicy and even a bit fruity. A nice, if unbalanced scent.

T - The hops are all over your palate here... fruity and a spicy. I don't taste much in the way of malts here. It finishes a little bit bitter. Not incredibly complex, but nice and clearly demonstrates the hallertau hops.

M- Thick and creamy... not quite right for a pilsner, but not bad.

D- Well, as a pilsner, this doesn't work so much -- it's so much like a modern IPA. I enjoy it though despite the over the top bitterness. The hops are clean and crisp. I'm rating the drinkability a bit higher than I might otherwise, because I think this is a better beer than I ranked it in the other categories.

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

12oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

This beer pours a hazy tangerine color with a lovely two fingers of frothy head. Leaves really nice sheets of sticky lace.

Holy mother of hops! This one is absolutely reeking of hoppiness. Not so subtle notes of orange and grapefruit mixed with some sugary sweetness.

Taste is another blast of hops! Intense bitterness at first that dominates the palate. With warming the bitterness starts to meld nicely with some sweet malty notes. Fresh oranges and grapefruit are easliy detected. Leaves a lingering bitterness long after each sip is gone.

Drinkability got knocked slightly because of the hop power. I would think a true hophead would applaud this though.

Overall, a really tasty and interesting beer. Like a DIPA, yet different in many regards. Highly recommended!

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Photo of Brad007
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber/pale color with a one-finger head. Aroma is clean with an overpowering Hallertau presence. Taste is an interesting mix between the clean lines of a Pilsner and a mildly-hopped IPA. A second sip confirms more traits of a pilsner as it is very drinkable in the sense of a decent pilsner. Definitely has the characteristics of an imperial ipa and a decent pilsner

Tough call here but since it's the first of the style I've had, I have to be fair.

Review no.300

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Photo of JamesS
3.42/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The idea was nice, but this was more like an American or India pale ale than a pilsner. It has a nice color, very dark straw, with good (bottle) head and great lacing. Excellent smell! A great cross between a nice pils and a pale ale. Taste would have been marked higher, except as noted before. Goes down nice, for a pale ale, but not as smooth as most pils.

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

Bottle to pilsener glass yields a picturesque hazy, golden honey body with a thick head and fantastic retention. This looks like a picture that you would find on the cover of a book about beer... fantastic. The smell is dominated by hops with a sweet, slightly honey flavored backing. The taste is good and will snap you up if you are drowsy by the onslaught of hops. Yes, I'll say it perhaps this is too hopped. Lacking in balance hinders the drinkability. Tastes like a very young barleywine rather than a pilsener but still a very nicely done beer by a fantastic brewery.

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

Golden to peach in color, hazy, with a nice size off white head. Good amount of lace is left behind.

Hoppy aroma of sweet citrus - orange, lemon, and a hint of grapefruit. Floral and grassy as well. Gives you a good preview of what's to come.

The taste is dominated by smooth citrus, floral, and piney hops. Sweet malts and caramel show up in the background, but this beer is a showcase of Hallertau hops. Lingering hop spiciness. Not exactly balanced, but smooth and not an overpowering bitter assault on the tongue.

Medium in body, smooth, crisp and refreshing. Very drinkable even with all the hops and higher abv. Solid beer and great for when you need a hop kick.

Never realized how good Hallertau hops were. I like the showcase of a single variety.

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Photo of atsprings
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hard pour into a SABL glass produces a wonderful frothy head atop a hazy pale orange. Wonderful lacing is left all the way down the glass. Aroma is of citrus hops and sweet malts. The taste is dominated by smooth citrus hops. This is by far the hoppiest lager I have ever tasted. Citrus dominates with some pine and sweet malts and caramel linger in the background. The beer is medium bodied with some stickiness but the alcohol is not overbearing at all. This is a truly unique and wonderful beer. This one can easily be considered an IPL (India Pale Lager) if there ever was to be such a thing.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From Abe's in Bethlehem, $2.75 for a 12 oz bottle. Split this with a friend after a bunch of absurd beers (sam adams triple bock '94, Vapeur en Folie '95, and La Roja) and it reminded me what beer was again. Beautiful golden color and two fingers of thick creamy head that leaves tons of lacing and, as it sits, gets really rocky--completely mind blowing.

Smell is also amazing--100% hops. I love it so much. The taste is bitter with tons of hop flavor (a little citrusy) as well. Even though this isn't exactly what you would call balanced it wasn't out of control. The mouthfeel was crisp and light like a pilsner should be and was very drinkable even with all the bitterness. Overall an exceptional beer that is very reasonably priced.

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

Pours golden to peach in color, hazy, with a decent size off white head. Aroma is some nice sweet citrus, mainly oranges, a hint of grapefruit, mixing with a strong grassiness. Creamy maltiness mixes with the hops andshows some nice citrus sweetness up front in the taste. Decent grassy bitterness and a hint of the alcohol strength in the finish. Medium in body, decent malt backbone becomes creamy as it warms, but is well balanced by the slightly zesty and fairly bitter hoppiness. Deliciously hoppy beer, easy to drink, very refreshing when you need a nice hop bite.

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Photo of CharlieMopps
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a brand new Sam Adams Boston Lager glass, compliments of Boston Beer Company.

A: A beautifully glowing orange hue that fades into more of a goldenrod color toward the bottom of the glass. Great head with a solid density that displays good retention and lacing along the sides.

S: A bold grassy and floral aroma, fresh hop scent that has a low-lying sweetness. What can I say, I have yet to smell a beer like this, that exhibits such an aromatic and enticing bouquet, at least with the character of the hop in the floral sense.

T: Naturally, the featured aspect of this beer is the hop profile. Sipping this one gives the tongue a jolt of bitterness, yet also brings out the spicy, floral character of Hallertau hops. While I definitely enjoy this feature, I'm not overly amazed by the flavor. Granted, it's a tasty beer, but I'm just not enthralled with this one. That said, it still features the Hallertau hops beautifully.

M: Carbonation is adequate, giving it a bubbly feel. The hops leave an oily residue on the palate, which makes for an aftertaste that resonates.

D: I will say that this beer has drinkability, and it stands out as another innovative and flavorful offering from Sam Adams. While not being overly impressed with some of the nuances to this beer, I can still appreciate it, and am glad this is available. I'd recommend this one to Pilsner/Imperial Pilsner fans and hop-heads alike.

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Photo of jwc215
4.44/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy gold with a thick foamy white head that descends to a lasting cover.

The smell is of spicy, floral, citric fruity Hallertau hops. Well, if you like the smell of Hallertau, this is your thing! Not one-dimensional, though, as a grainy, slightly grassy, malt backing gives it support. A wonderful aroma!

The taste is followed through with a Hallertau overload...floral, citric, lemongrass - Intense hops with enough malt backing to keep it smooth and with a fair amount of comlexity. Fruity, peppery alcohol quite noticeable lending a hand towards a dry finish. Hop bitterness stays around, but not in a puckering way.

It has a thick, almost syrupy body.

Well, it is intense - and well-crafted. A hop-head's delight! A robust tribute to Hallertau Mittelfruh!

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Photo of Zorro
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled through the efforts of Secret Halloween '07 BIF and jaxon53.

VERY strong head forming beer NO reason to pour this one aggressively.

Chill hazed deeply golden colored beer nearing amber color with a near immortal tan colored head that just won't quit. Damn THIS is the strongest head on a beer that I have ever seen. My Pilsner glass is filled to the brim with beer and head and the head really refuses to quit, remarkable.

Very strong Nobel hops aroma earthy, hoppy, spicy and herbal. Pilsner malt is not obliterated by the hop aroma and you can smell its sweetness and toasted grain mostly in the ethanol vapors.

The flavor starts out strongly hopped from the start; herbs and flowers are the first things that hit you along with an initial sweetness from the malt. Pilsner on steroids really does sum this up in a way but there is more to it than that. A celebration to near ridiculous levels of the other hops the Nobel ones. Quite a strong bitter zip in the after taste in this beer along with plenty of grassy flavor. There is a bit of a numbing effect on the tongue here and I am sure I am missing some of the flavors from the intensity of this.

Mouthfeel is very thick for anything in the Lager category of beer.

While this is very tasty it is also a bit tiring on the tongue. Like driving 100 MPH on the freeway; it is an exhilarating experience but if you keep it up for too long you will get hurt. A nice beer best sampled by the glass and NOT the one-liter stein at a time. One a night is about the correct quantity.

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Photo of jmalex
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The folks at Total Wine in Cherry Hill, NJ were nice enough to let me split up a 4-pack of this. I grabbed 2 and this is the first I'm drinking.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a pilsener glass a yellow color with just the faintest orange hue. The head is large, rocky, and has excellent staying power.

SMELL: A fairly significant hop aroma which is citrusy, spicy, and resinous. A substantial malt backbone shines through nicely creating a mostly balanced aroma.

TASTE: The taste, as expected, is totally dominated by the hops. They're slightly resinous and, while significant and powerful, seem restrained enough not to move the beer too far out of balance. The malt is quite sweet and comes out much more toward the finish. Any indications of it being a lager don't come on until the finish as well. The hops get the final word, though - the flavor remaining in your mouth long after you swallow.

MOUTHFEEL: It's quite full bodied, which I guess makes sense given the hugeness of this beer. Carbonation level is average.

DRINKABILITY: It suffers from being imperial, but at least you can't detect the alcohol much at all. I really don't think I could finish 2 in one sitting though.

A cool beer and even cooler that it came from the Boston Beer Company. When I think Sam Adams, I think safe traditional styles so this is a really neat change up. And seeing as how this is not something I'd normally drink, I'm glad I have another bottle so I can change it up too.

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

Obtained a bottle of this at the local tavern.

A: Pours a murky, golden body with a 3/4 inch head that hold for the whole beer.

S: A nice, floral, hoppy smell with a subtle undertone of sweet malts.

T: A decent hoppiness; did not seem like it was a high IBU beer. There were sweet malts in the aftertaste that balanced the hops very well. Towards the end of the beer, the alcohol made itself more evident in the taste, but nothing overbearing.

M: A solid, smooth, full-bodied mouthfeel that was very nice.

D: Definitely a drinkable beer. The balance between the hops and the malts makes it a solid brew that is very easy to drink. Highly recommended to anyone.

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Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 788 ratings
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