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Samuel Adams Imperial White | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Imperial WhiteSamuel Adams Imperial White

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 01-16-2009

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Reviews: 643 | Ratings: 1,283
Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.12/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The appearance is very nice. The pour is a beautiful cloudy umber color with a thick long lived head that leaves a nice lacing down the glass that just lingers.

The nose is is a sweet peppery malt that is very floral and spicy. The sugars and fructose are dominant.

The taste is a bit alcohol at first, with some buttery hops that quickly take over. The coriander is noticeable and a nice touch. The malt is very strong but is subdued by the stronger spice, alcohol and hops.

Overall this one is fairly drinkable and full of complexity. Overall this is not one of my personal favorites or styles. But it is quite well crafted. I would highly recommend it.

 659 characters

Photo of joeseppy
3.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

No bottle date, I can spot, this was purchased in 2011.

Pours a rich caramel color with, better than I expected, aggressive carbonation. White head and lasting.

Muted aromas of rum and raisins. Toffee, brown sugar and candis coming through as well as in a potpourri.

Brown sugars and raisin/prune with unobtrusive alcohol ringing through the cranium. Overripe banana as well with muted clove on the tongue.

Medium to heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation stays enough to sparkle. Tongue gets a sticky coating as well.

This really has turned into more of a Belgium Dubbel with the candi presence, dried pitted fruit as well. I bought this due to the fact I got whacked off one bottle which I believed to be a great pre-flight craft. Fresh this was too perfumy and a lot of exentuated wheated present ie bananas and clove. This has aged in a way I had not imagined. One of the highest caloric intake brews and not sure I would ever waste any more time with this-don't feel like running extra miles over this.

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Photo of tfin07
2.56/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

Honestly I tried this because of a friend. After drinking it with all my buddies I made the statement "It tastes like a stronger version of Boston Lager". After saying it all my friend tried it again and came to the very same conclusion. However thats just me. Tryi it for yourself.

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Photo of xoxirishrose
4.31/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I loved this multidimensional witbier! Sam Adams' Imperial White is delightfully flavorful. This delicious white ale is light yet bold with its wide array of flavorings from citrus to vanilla with floral notes. Along with its complex flavor profile Imperial White delivers a subtle warming sensation with its high alcohol content. Although both strong and flavorful, this remarkable beer manages to remain smooth and refreshing, which also gives it a high drinkability factor from beginning to end. Overall I found this to be an exceptional beer,* perfect for a cool fall evening.

*I do, in full disclosure, tend to favor the witbier style, making my opinion slightly bias in favor of this Imperial White.

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Photo of Furlinator
3.82/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours hazy orange-tinted gold with one inch of white head and heavy lace. There is floating sediment visible in the glass.

Smell is peachy citrus and spice up front with some biscuity bread on the back end.

Taste is more bread-forward with citrus and faint spice finishing. The 10.3% ABV is nearly undetectable.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation.

An interesting citrus and spice witbier. Thicker and heavier than expected. A solid effort.

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Photo of JG-90
3.1/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Beer pours a deep brown with a hint of peach with a large, creamy, light tan head that has good retention and leaves moderate lacing. Beer is hazy and has a moderate amount of floaters. Smells of a wheaty/breadiness, orange peel, earthyness, coriander, and (i'm guessing) grains of paradise (as it is reminiscent of their Summer Ale).

Has taste similar to the nose, what you would expect, but much sweeter and boozier; why it is an Imperial Wit. I don't think this extremeness makes this style any better. Mouthfeel is heavy and chewy, with average carbonation.

All in all: a 3x boozier, 3x sweeter ,(and 3x more flavorful), SA Summer Ale.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.13/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Imperial White pours a darker amber color with a small but long lasting lacing head. There is a sour and malty aroma, with hints of plums. The taste has a lot of plums, and a mellow yeasty taste, lots of spices and Belgian candies. Boozy and warm flavors finish the taste. Full flavors, and drinkable if you sip. Overall a very boozy and spicy witbeir that has no creamy wheat flavors.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)


Samuel Adams' Imperial White: 10.3% ABV; Appearance: hazy yellow amber; Smell: lime, light wheat, slight malt; Taste/Mouthfeel: light lime skin, followed by sweet malt, bit of tang, slight bitter after taste, faint anise; pretty good

Poured into a pint glass.

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Photo of sagefool
4.35/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is actually my favorite offering from Boston Beer Company.

The color is on the orange side of amber.

Head is 2" to none, depending upon how you pour. My offering was from the Small Batch Collection. A 22oz. bottle provided both experiences.

The flavor is candied oranges, with a hint of vanilla and honey. It's sweet, y'all. At 10% ABV, you knew it would be.

Very nice.

The rest of their offerings are mediocre to "Good Lord, this could be so much more. But it's on the good side side of mediocre."

This one is quite good.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.24/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the Small Batch Collection.

Aroma is sweet and "rummy". Pours a rich amber brown and hazy body with large beige head. Head reduces quickly to an oily film that spots the glass. Taste is thick coriander spice and a rum like booziness. Warming, not a good choice for a summer drink but could be enjoyable on a crisp fall evening! More like Wheatwine than Witbier.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.42/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The beer is handsome solid amber with a large cap of receding foam. The aroma has notes of classic wheat with coriander and just a hint of booze. Chewy on the palate, fruity, and too-boozy--almost vinous. The spice is there at the end, but not enough.

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Photo of lwillitz
3.81/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12-oz bottle into wheat beer glass

A - 4 fingers of cream-colored foam over a cloudy body of golden orange; high amount of visible carbonation, good lace and excellent retention

S - orange, coriander, tropical fruits, caramel sweetness

T - citrus, peppery spice, dark fruits, anise, caramel sweetness, alcohol; alcohol and malt sweetness linger for a warming finish

M - thick and oily full body, medium/high carbonation, boozy warmth

O - Because of the thick body, malty/fruity taste, and conspicuous alcohol, this one drinks like a barleywine. Not your typical wit, but a tasty brew nonetheless.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - Pours a hazy rusty orange with an off-white 2 finger head. Fair retention. Suds around the edge. Lacing is small, spotty and with fair stick.

Smell - A creamy aroma, with coriander, citrus and booze.

Taste - Follows the nose; creamy flavor. Sugar sweetness. Touches on coriander spice and a light citrus before a boozy finish.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied, thick and creamy. Sticky. Low carbonation. The bottle touts 'smooth and refreshing'. Yeah, not so much.

Overall - Had potential, but ultimately it's a bit of a boozy, sticky mess. Nothing I'd buy again. In terms of how it drinks, it's probably much closer to Belgian Dubbel than what I would imagine an "Imperial Wit' to be.

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Photo of stella77artois
3.74/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pilsener glass.

A - Pours a unique lightly-burnt orange. Very cool looking. As with most witbiers, a fair amount of haze to it. Good amount of carbonation and a nice frothy head.

S - The wheat, coriander, orange peel we expect from a witbier, with lot's of spices added. Noticed some hot pepper aromas, very interesting.

T - Pretty solid. Has a lot more oomph at 10.3 ABV, and the alcohol is noticeable. Not in an unpleasant way, though. The hot pepper spices are slightly noticeable too. The taste of the spices is unique and tough to put a finger on. Definitely a unique tasting beer.

F - Again, unique. Without a doubt the thickest witbier I've ever tried. Very thick, almost a porter in terms of thickness. The carbonation evens out the thickness in a slightly refreshing way. Can feel some alcohol warmth, as well as some warmth from the spices.

O - A very unique beer. This beer is not outstanding, but it's very good. One of the more unique beers I've ever sampled in that yes, it's obviously a wheat beer, but has many characteristics not usually (or ever, in my experience) noticed in a witbier. A very good but not outstanding beer that I'd recommend it for any extreme beer fans.

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Photo of artdob
3.61/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a golden apricot honey color. Initial more than modest head subsides far too quickly.

Banana bread on the nose with lasting yeasty notes.

Surprising palate that leans towards a syrupy texture, kind of like drinking a fruit nectar. While somewhat off the beaten path, I think I like it. Taste too is reminiscent of an apricot nectar - not quite as decadent as North Coast's Grand Cru (which is amazing), but almost like a distant cousin from a taste profile perspective.

Mild carbonation on the thicker than usual mouthfeel, with additional pleasant notes that make their way through the crevices in my head.

I would have this again.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Hazy; orange-amber; small head quickly dissipates, but good lacing

Aroma: Very sweet; syrupy; citrus; Belgian yeast; spices

Taste: Syrupy from the start, all the way through to the finish; lots of warming alcohol with candy sugar the whole way; finishes slightly dry and hoppy

Remarks: Good dessert beer; I would have rated this higher a few years ago, but, while good, doesn't compare to true Belgians

Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of Suds
4.04/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a 12 ounce bottle, this beer is a rich amber color, not exactly witbier in color. It does have some haze, and a brilliant white head. The aroma is enchanting...loads of spice (coriander, pepper) and a caramel, toffee, candy like background. Some candied-fruit is present in the aroma as well, along with yeast, banana, and a hint of clove. Woody and booze-like. The taste is moderately sweeet, but not at all with the crisp, tart-like qualities of a traditional wit. Interesting and very enveloping. The alcohol shows up in a prominent warmth. Full body. This is a cool weather brew. Nice.

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Photo of RyanCave
4.19/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: beautiful amber, well carbonated-approximately quarter inch of head, good lacing
S: a bit boozy, banana, tapioca, carrots, classic belgian, bubblegum, plum and other fruit, little citrus
T: Sweet bread, banana, tapioca, not too much hop character, wheaty, bubblegum, a bit boozy, small spice
M: Well carbonated, complimented the taste
O: I was very surprised with this brew, I'm somewhat skeptical of Sam Adams and picked this up on a whim. Very glad I did, very well put together brew, I would buy this again

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Photo of acevenom
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Samuel Adams perfect pint glass. The beer pours slightly hazy copper with a thick, off white head that dissipates slowly. The beer appears to be well carbonated due to the presence of lots of tiny bubbles rising in the beer. Not much lacing is left behind on the side of the glass. I pick up the wheat in the aroma as well as the spice notes. It's not a strong aroma overall, but I can pick up hints of coriander with citrus. Also make no mistake about it. The booze is noticeable in the aroma even when this beer is well chilled. Like in the aroma, the spice notes take a back seat to the malt and the booze. The spices notes are there and I do get the coriander, pepper, and citrus in the flavor. The sweetness is almost like honey in many ways. The body is full with enough carbonation to make this beer clean on the finish. The alcohol provides a nice warming feel. This is a good beer for what it is, but I wouldn't necessarily classify this as a witbier. It doesn't quite reach the levels of quality of an excellent wheatwine, which is how I'm judging this beer.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.96/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, no apparent date present, just a code. Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours about a quarter inch thin white cap which dissolves instantly. Dark orange amber colored body. Some alcohol legs noticeable. Of the four pack I bought, one of these beers had a very noticeable giant yeast strand / bacterial culture squid looking thing taking form. The one I'm drinking now has the slightest bit, but nothing like the first one I had.

S - Smells strongly of Belgian yeasts and floral spices. Coriander. Light peppercorn. Caramel malts. Alcohol soaked oak barrels. Not a very powerful aroma, but smells boozier than other witbiers. Still, an underwhelming aroma.

T - Taste is of Belgian yeast, bubblegum malts, some faint brettanomyces taste, and alcohol soaked oak wood / bourbon vanilla presence is both surprising and pleasing. Witbiers definitely aren't my thing typically, but this one isn't bad. Warming alcohol presence.

M - Sticky / bitter. Yeasty / bready. Buttery, although I hate using that word as a descriptor, is what comes to mind. Nice aftertaste.

Overall, a job well done from the Boston Beer Company once again, easily the best witbier I've had from them yet, as their others were forgettable at best. Quite possibly one of the better witbiers I've experienced in general, so that is also something. Definitely interested in trying more from their imperial series.

Samuel Adams Imperial White ---4/5.

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Photo of bmwats
3.62/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a footed tulip.

A: Medium amber. Pours about a half finger, bubbly, white head. Settles pretty quickly, leaving a smattering of foam on the surface, and a ring around the rim of the glass. No real lacing.

S: French bread, lemon citrus, a little orange citrus, and a little bubble gum.

T: White bread, a little maple syrup and honey, a little clove and lemon.

M: Thick and syrupy. Dry finish, but little aftertaste except for a little acetone.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Slight head, but no real lacing. Nose is full of character with some fruity and indistinct sweet notes. Bready flavor with lots o' balancing components.... fruit, honey, spice, and citrus. Overall, this is a good quaff.

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Photo of alex_hart
3.24/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

served into my Chimay glass

Appearance is a hazy, rusty brown-orange with an off-white head that dissipates rather quickly. No lacing.

The smell is off-putting. It is so unbelievably sweet in the nose that it makes me a bit nervous. Toffee, caramel, sugar, just sweet sweet sweet with a hint of booze.

Taste is much better than the smell, but still isn't exactly what i was hoping for. still very sweet (not quite my cup o' tea) with caramel, toffee, a bit of bitter hops, some booze, some candied fruit (maybe orange; something citrusy). Not bad, but not great.

It is medium to full bodied with a creamy feel to it in the mouth. Mild carbonation. Leaves a little residue after the swallow.

Overall this was just not my thing. I was excited at the prospect of the style from sam adams, but this just isnt their best work. I'm sure with some tweaks to the amount of sweetening ingredients they used it could become much more enjoyable.

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Photo of BulbousBeer
2.42/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is my first imperial from Sam Adams. This beer looks nice in the glass and pours well ,but both things are soon forgotten as the taste is sickly sweet banana flavor with some strange spice after taste. It's body is syrupy It's like a cross between a cheap malt liquor and a badly made witbier. In fact I'd probably rather just have the malt liquor. Sam Adams is not my favorite brewery but I normally find their beers session-able. They need to withdraw this one. I may have been harsh on this beer but i expect better from them.

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Photo of ChestSplitter
2.51/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

This is a very attractive beer to look at, and the smell of malt and spices is pleasant. But eventually you have to stop staring and sniffing and actually drink it. Then you are just assaulted. All the fruits and spices and malt and booze just hammer you. The common theme with all these imperial series beers is this syrupy sweet flavor bomb. It works really well in the Imperial Stout. Not here.

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Photo of vicg12
1.86/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 1

The smell was interesting, I was initially intrigued. Really is a beautiful beer, loved watching it while it filled up my glass, like bubbly golden straw. Really large head. But, right when it enters your mouth you are just struck with a strong pungent burst, it discourages you from taking a large sip, I powered through and was not rewarded. It is really just disgusting. Too many flavors buying for your attention, and they are like steam rollers on your taste buds, they don’t get along. Save your money and don’t buy this beer, it’s only good to look at. I ended up using 75% of the 24 oz bottle for cooking because I couldn’t handle anymore awfulness. I really don't understand how anyone could enjoy this beer.

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Samuel Adams Imperial White from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.46 out of 5 based on 1,283 ratings.
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