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

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Samuel Adams Imperial WhiteSamuel Adams Imperial White
1,283 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,283 |  Reviews: 643
Photo of yemenmocha
3.26/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark golden with slight hint of amber, with off-white head. Nose leans more towards grain/malt, with a small ripe fruit component in there as well. On the palate the alcohol is right up front to me, with big wheat/malt flavors, sugary & tart flavors, and some dessert sweet spices towards the finish.

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Photo of gpogo
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Clear copper color with a sticky white head. Head shrank to a foamy cap and left a sparse lacing.

A- Citrusy orange fruit, a bit light on aroma.

T- It tastes similar to a wit with more alcohol. The alcohol gives it a spicy bite that cuts through the mellowness. Very light on the coriander.

M- Medium body with moderate to high carbonation. Incredibly smooth drinking.

D- Similar to a wit, but quite different. Not as refreshing, but enjoyable in a different way.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle

Pours a murky dirty orange color with a small white head that fades. Mild lacing on the glass.

Very sweet aroma with some nice corriander and orange tones. Really sweet.

Very sweet wheat beer tase upfront. Nice corriander and orange flavors. Medium bitterness that carries through the very sweet finish - borderline cloying. Slightly boozy as it warms.

Big, sticky body. Mild carbonation.

I love a good witbier and have had some great double whites, but this just isn't one of them. Pushed the style just a little too far.

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Photo of champ103
3.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark and cloudy amber orange color. Almost opaque. I really like the color of this one. A small white head forms and recedes in an instant. Light lace is left behind.
S: Not that aromatic. Kind of dank and musky. Some orange and vanilla with a little bit of zesty spice from the coriander.
T: Sweet malt. Orange, lemon, banana. Spicy coriander. Some vanilla that really gives this more depth than most wits
M/D: A medium to full body. Most examples of this style are over carbonated. This, however, is very rich and creamy. For being over 10% ABV this is easy and smooth to drink.

A really good Witbier. Something I would recommend. All of the beers in the Sam Adams Imperial Series have been a hit with me.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.76/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Beautiful fairly clear orange, lots of near white mountainous head, clinging webby lace.

S - Earthy, banana, fruity.

T - Juicy fruit, banana, tropical fruit, spice, light malt background.

M - medium to light body, lots of carb, fair coating.

D - Nice. I like it. Don't know how I would feel about the single though.

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Photo of russpowell
3.94/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in Liqour World Fayetteville ARK

Pours an effervescent amber with a sliver of beige head. Sheets of lacing & good head retention

S: Juicy fruit & some phenols

T: Follows the nose with banana creme, & vanilla up front, plus some heat. More banana with a kiss of white pepper as this warms, along with some boozey breadyness & some grainyness. Finishes with a flourish of tropical fruit, with bananas leading the way, damn near pulled a 4.5

MF: Smooth, chewy, & subtle carbonation, pretty warming

A bit chewy, but I am really digging this from start to finish! Well played Sam Adams! I accept this as an IMP Wit, not a wit, but even then; I'd take it over watered down offerings, no problem!

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Photo of Drew966
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams Imperial White pours a hazy orange/copper with an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is on the fruity side and not as full as I would hope. The flavor on the other hand is pretty strong, it's malty, a touch fruity (citrus), some clove, not really much coriander. Somehow, it still doesn't quite have the best qualities of a good wit, perhaps because I think of a wit as being an easy drinking summer kind of beer. With this much alcohol it certainly doesn't fall into that category, but more importantly the flavors don't really gel in the way a great beer does. Not bad overall, worth a try.

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Photo of redneckchugger
3.01/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

pours a hazy orange, small head, decent lacing.
nose is harsh, like i stuck my nose in a spice mill, way too over powering for me
the taste is a little better, mainly becasue it doesn't have that typical "wheatbeet taste". I like that about it, but thats al i like. its too strong for what it is, its too thick, and the spice is too prevelant.
I really don't like this beer, not even a little bit.

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Photo of markskar
3.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours cloudy orange, not much head, very little retention. Moderate to low lacing.

S - Spicy, citrusy aroma, but nothing too amazing. The alcohol aroma is present, but well masked.

T - Really sweet for something with such a high, hidden abv. Oranges, coriander dominate.

M - Smooth, thick and warming. Very nice mouthfeel, one of the best aspects of this brew (noted by previous reviewer, but I have to agree).

D - Well balanced, not overwhelming in flavor, alcohol, or thickness--which is certainly a good thing. Definitely above average for the style, but not a champion. Quite drinkable, but with a 10.3%abv, is certainly a sipper.

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Photo of selecter70
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I am very happy for the Imperial Series from Sam Adams, as it has been a nice & unexpected local step into strong beers with character. I was not sure what to expect, as "imperial" & white beer rarely are promoted. The dark-orange-brown pour with reddish edges was not expected, as I thought it would look closer to an Allagash. The white thin head & minimal lace were harbingers of the alcohol strength that soon became quite evident in the aroma of sweet malts & citrus-yeast. The flavor was sweet, much more than expected, with caramel & barley, leaving alcohol in the nose, reminding you to sip this beer slowly.Wheaty plum & orange hints rounded it out, but the overall impression was a dessert beer, or barleywine. Definitely a nice sweet offering but not a quantity beer in terms of drinkability.

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Photo of jneiswender
2.6/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 12oz brown bottle into a tulip Belgian beer glass.

A-Raspberry hue with an amber backdrop, white wisp of a head.
S-clove, juicy fruit gum
T-juicy fruit like flavor. alcohol is very assertive.
M-medium, fizzy
D-Really strong alcohol front and finish. Little depth to the overall drink.

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Photo of merryjoulton
3.02/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice orange cloudy without much of a head. No lacing either. Smells wheaty, malty, sugary, boozy, hoppy. Taste is mostly sweet, with hints of booze and bitter hops. Mouthfeel is nice and syrupy and thick. Drinkability isn't great because of the sweetness and booziness.

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Photo of wchesak
3.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A - dark orangey amber color, decent head that leaves a ring, no lacing left from the head

S - orange, malt, caramel, very similar to an American barleywine

T - if i didn't know this was a witbier i would have guessed it was a barleywine, maybe not as many dark fruits but certainly the heavy malt and low hop presence

M - obviously thicker than any witbier I have had, good carbonation though to make it not on the point of syrupy

D - picked up a 4 pack to use to drink and to cook some mussels with, certainly not in the style of witbier I was looking for but I figured as much with the 10.30 abv, could see about 2 of these in a night...good beer but does not fit the style...wish i could score this beer twice, once based on style only and once on the actual beer itself

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Photo of Kraken
3.26/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 05/25/09

Been sitting on this one for a while now, figured that Memorial day is as good a day as any to review. Besides whats better then a white beer on a hot day.

Poured from a standard 12 oz bottle in a shaker glass. Firm pour evokes a quarter inch of fuzzy white head that manages to stick around for some time. Thick and viscous lace. Color is a deep murky orange, that is semi-transluecent at the edges.

Nose- Over ripe orange really dominates the nose. Some faint notes of clove. Mild orange zest.

Palate- Wow not the light summer white that was expecting. Heavy and brooding, this is a true imp white. Over ripe orange, orange zest dominate the flavor profile. Citrus tang really jumps up and grabs the palate. Alcohol really comes through. Finishes long, again heavy on the orange citrus notes.

Mouthfeel- soapy, syrupy, and well carbonated

Drinkability- Potent, and a bit heavy for my liking especially on a summer day.

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Photo of pinotboy007
3.06/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Nice amber color w/yeast floaties and a dense, khaki-colored head that's very slow to fade with modest lace. Very nice looking beer.

S - Sweet coriander and citrus malts along with a sweet oak-like accent.

T - Hmmm . . . spice cake sweet, boozy tasting malts with some citrus and even some raw vanilla and honey. I can detect some clove and alcohol heat on the finish making this a bit medicinal.

M - Dense and silky; slides down quite nicely with light carbonation that makes a stab at being refreshing but doesn't pull it off.

D - I can see this served as dessert during autumn temperatures (with spice cake, for instance) or with cigars. This is beer may have its own category and at 10.5% I'm not altogether certain this is worth seeking out unless you can find it as a single.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours quite hazy into my 25cl tulip glass with a three finger thick lightly tanned colored head. The beer is a hazy amber hue that shows a bit of brightness when held up to the light. The aroma smells quite a bit of orange, this almost drowns out everything else, though it isn't overly loud. A lot of the fruitiness seems to come from the fermentation character, which boosts the citrus note.

Thick and chewy feeling, the beer also has a fair amount of sweetness too it. The sweetness is boosted by sweet orange peel. There is also an earthy, lightly vegetal coriander note to the finish as well as a touch of spicy pepper. There is a touch of alcohol here that provides some heat. Some sweet grain notes combines with the citrus to create some notes a bit like honey.

This beer is fairly simplistic and really not all that great. Not horrible either though, just not exactly enough like a Wit to be what I was looking for.

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Photo of Zorro
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Cloudy red colored beer with a strong light tan colored head.

Sweet smelling with a strong orange aroma. Faint spices but the malt and orange really obscure it. Smell as hard as I can this is mostly very fruity smelling.

Starts out fruity and spicy, not unlike the taste of a pumpkin ale. Bruised banana flavor to this tastes a lot like a Weizenbock. Very warming in the chest, can't taste the alcohol but you can really feel it. Little bit of citrus in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Weird beer here, not sure how to classify this one. Tastes good but not really like Belgian White Beer. It is OK.

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Photo of ShroudofTuring
1.8/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I was rather excited to try this beer, since I'm a fan of the wit style.

I found the color a bit perplexing, since it seemed to be a little dark for the style, but the pour (from a bottle into a glass) left a nice smooth (if fleeting) head, coupled with a nice, spicy aroma.

However, once it finally got into my mouth, I very nearly spit it out, because the flavor came on strong and kept coming. The flavors of orange, coriander, and alcohol pretty much beat everything else into submission, which disappointed me, since I think one of the best things about the wit style is the enormous complexity of flavor that you can get. Also, the beer seemed to be overly sweet, which detracted from the experience and left it tasting rather sickly once the full flavor presented itself. The finish lasted for a long while, which ordinarily would have been nice, but the sweetness kept it from being truly enjoyable.

The mouthfeel was rather oily, which again detracted from the overall experience.

Overall, I'd say it would be best to pass on this beer. The packaging is beautiful, but Samuel Adams needs to go back to the drawing board on this one. With some tweaking, and dialing back some of the flavor elements, particularly the overpowering sweetness, this could probably be a good beer.

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Photo of enfield249
2.84/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a golden honey color, with a parchment colored foam, about 1 finger that fades to a thin layer. If you can believe it, it looks thick when it pours.

S - I don't get a lot, but what I do get is a general fresh clean sort of aroma. Almost a spring time smell. Hard to discribe

T - Very spicy, lots of phenols. That flavor does not fade, but the wheat malt comes up, and then some sweetness.

M - Medium carbonation. Feels like an out stout almost, full. Cloying on the tongue. Not a little warming, but not in a hot solvent way. Actually, they really concealed the alcohol well.

D - Interesting to try, but I won't buy it again.

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Photo of froghop
2.88/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a semi-hazy amber-copper with a small egg-shell head, some lacing.

smell is faint, spice, some orange, and a touch of wheat.

taste is thick, spice, orange, wheat, some white pepper, and some toffee, ends on the dry side.

overall just an okay beer, that packs a punch.

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Photo of sarahspat
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a murky, deep tawny orange. A not particularly thick-looking head falls quickly and leaves nothing to remember it by.

Smells like... candy. Salt water taffy and fruit roll-ups.

Alcohol plays a large role in the taste. This beer summed up in a phrase: boozy fruit roll-ups. Or spicy caramel. Also a tiny hint of vanilla falls in there somewhere. I do taste the typical orange and coriander, but they play only minor roles here. Overall, the taste is anti-climactic. The intensity of flavors declines rapidly once the beer enters your mouth. The aftertaste is obnoxiously sweet and way too long-lived. I have a hard time believing that Samuel Adams didn't add a ton of artificial sweeteners and/or flavors to this beer.

The combination of the syrupy thickness and the cloying/artificial-tasting sweetness made this one incredibly hard to put back. This is definitely not a traditional witbier... nor is it what I would expect an "amped up" witbier to be like. I don't think I would drink it again.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured onto a standard pint glass
Big, two-inch head, dark amber/copper in color
Aroma-Clove, coriander, some citrus zest
Taste-Big flavor, coriander, cloves, orange rind,honey- a lingering alcoholic sweetness, and some Belgian undertones in the finish. Very drinkable for the high ABV(10.3)
Overall,very flavorful and complex, although a bit strong for the style.

 365 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sam Adams- Imperial White

A- Hazy golden caramel orange with a good foamy head. Minimal lacing.
S- Spicy and boozy. Orange rind, honey, white sugar, and coriander.
T- Big sweet honey and cane sugar hit you immediately. Orange and honey suckle with a big boozy presence throughout. Creamy caramelized malt near the back half.
M- Thick and sweet with a warming boozy feel. Dried fruit sweetness in the end.

Overall- A potent Wit! Not bad.

 438 characters

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 5/4/2009 (bottle):

Pours a dark orangish colored body, with a smallish whitish head, that is diminishing. Very strong aroma of dark fruit, grapes, figs. Some sickly sweet aroma too, syrupy sweet smelling. Some lighter fruit too, but it's masked by the dark fruit. Maybe as it warms up more. Dark fruit taste. Lingering back taste of malty nuttiness. Very taste. Very light tasting compared with the aroma. Some light fruit. Tasty, but heavy. Will like to see how this one ages. Very floral and fruity. Carbonation, and soft mouthfeel.

 544 characters

Photo of apowar
2.48/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Despite a vigorous pour, almost no head develops. The medium amber body is quite surprising for anything that's been brewed with wheat, but is not unappetizing. I am disappointed, though by the lack of any developing head.

Aroma of orange blossom, honey, and more alcohol than i'd like.

Flavor is enormous! Full of wheat bread, honey, syrupy orange juice, orange blossom, ripe apricot, coriander mulling spices and finishes with big alcohol burn and more orange. The alcohol really kills the enjoyment of the beer for me. The orange finish lasts for aaaages. Very sweet throughout--an element that is never particularly well balanced.

Mouthfeel is full and almost chewy with an ever present medium/assertive carbonation.

Overall--I'm not quite sure about this. I'm not shy about alcohol, this is really too much, I think. Too sweet, too much alcohol presence, and just too much orange I think. Could really use some better balance in almost all regards, I think.

 1,010 characters

Samuel Adams Imperial White from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 1,283 ratings
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