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

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 Stunner97
3.22/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

appearance- light golden brown in color, mostly clear body, with a nice white head, decently low carbonation,

Smell- slight orange citrus on the nose, slight wheat, but more then anything good amount of citrus comes of the nose

Taste- lots of fruit namely to me orange and peaches, very full bodied and decently full flavored white, overall a lot of sweetness comes out of this one on the finish

Mouthfeel- Creamy thick and full bodied

Drinkability- an overall good beer but to me a tad sweet from what i usually would be looking for in a white beer, couldn't myself in anyway have more then one of these in a nite just to much sugar and sweetness mixed with such a high alcohol level, this one would knock you on your butt and you would never see it coming, worth a try as its pretty unique

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Photo of IMincedTheKing
1.9/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a murky tea-brown with pathetically thin off-white head.

The nose is holiday spices--cinnamon, clove-- artificial banana, tropical fruits, and yeast. It's a big and bold smell, but my first thought was "Scary!", and I don't think I can reconcile the aroma with the style.

Puckeringly sweet fruits and yeast combined with a big, chewy mouthfeel. I don't like any of it, and the only saving grace is the slight citrus aftertaste.

This reminds me more of a tripel than a witbier, but even looking at it that way, it's still terrible.

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Photo of berserker256
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've never seen an imperial white so I had to buy it. $10.99 for a four pack. My bottle says 10.3% alcohol as opposed to the 9% listed above. It's the color of an old worn penny and has a dense and creamy vanilla-colored head. Opaque, too... Not too easy to see through. Fruity and spiced aroma. The bottle says orange and corriander and I'd say that's an accurate description. It's heavier than any wheat beer I've ever had. Thick and syrupy with a large amount of alcohol warmth. Grainy, earthy, bittersweet, and spiced. Lingering sort of sour aftertaste. Lots of different flavors. Some good, some not so good. LOTS of alcohol warmth. It feels like I'm drinking wine. This is a slow-sipper not to be drank in large quantities.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.44/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This has a deep, orange-hued amber look, no there's no frosty white hues that i look forward to in a 'white". Plenty of good bubbles and a cream colored , thick head, 2" deep initially with semi-sticky lacing. Too much deep maber color here.

Ahhh...big tropical fruits, starfruit, grapefruit, tropical punch. corriander and spices, a juicy aroma with a balance of tingly heat and peppery assorted spices. Hey, it's a great aroma but pretty strange.

A wonderful balance of spicey herbs, black pepper, cloves, corriander, and tangy but sweet island fruits, go ahead and choose your mellon. This sia very malty white, big, sweet malt, and cloying in the back, almost full bodied feel just doesn't seem right. I usually love the zippy, refreshing quality of white ale's and this one does not deliver that. This beer is hard to wrap your head around because I'm not sure of what it's supposed to achive. Personally, I'm not sure I "get" the Imperial white style.

This is a sipper brew, and really should be mor refreshing with a nice complex yeast for complexity but it's all malt and juicy fruit.

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Photo of malty
2.47/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Inaugural batch from early this year.

Pours a gorgeous glowing amber orange (cloudy) with a blossoming 2" dense & creamy off white head. Nice uniform sheets of almost undisturbed lace all the way down.

Sweet boozy notes of sherry in the nose with a white grape undertone. Some aromatic spices do bob and weave through the thick boozy fog though.

Hot and boozy alcohol hit my tongue from the onset. Some flavors of sweet malts play a minimal part of this high-octane taste profile. The inherent flavor of the basic composition of the beer is severely detached due to the extremely high ABV for this soft style of its 'parent' beer.

Mothfeel is nice. Soft and airy with a velvety smooth feel.

Drinkability is not good for me. I don't think I'll finish this bottle as a matter of fact.

Overall a detached brute of its parental beer style. I'm all for pushing the boundaries (i.e. Devil Dancer, Bell's 'Batch' beers, etc.) but this really doesn't work for me. Wheat malt is probably my favorite malt used for beer. Hopefully the wheat malt allocated for this beer could be used for another prototype. I compare this severe deviation of a traditionally delicate beer to Slayer singing my children a bedtime lullaby.

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Photo of omnigrits
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a straight pint glass.

Darker than I was expecting for a beer of this style, but no bad thing. Thinnish head evaporates quickly and leaves no bubbles or lacing.

Strong smell of bananas and apricots in the nose, and a big spice hit on the tongue. Strong hints of cloves, coriander and a vaguely peppery thing in the background. I think they might have tried a little too hard with this one. It's too sweet and cloying for my taste. A bit thin in both the finish and the body. I don't care for it too much. DISCLAIMER: Wheats, whites and hefeweizens aren't the sort of beer I like to drink, but they are beer and I feel I should give them a fair crack of the whip and be as impartial as I can.

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Photo of phisig137
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a slightly hazy mid-amber copper color, with a fluffy 2 finger head. Excellent retention leaves behind abundant lace and a thick cap of foam.

S- Loads of orange, an a touch of spicy hops. I do detect a decent amount of banana and even vanilla from the wheat fermentation. Smells like it will be sweet.

F- Yup, right off the bat caramel flavors dominate and overwhelm the palate. Again, loads of orange presence, with only a hint of coriander. Sweet from front to back, although there is a hint of the same spicy hops towards the end. Extremely unbalanced, and not even remotely refreshing as the six pack claims it to be.

M- Silky smooth, but low carbonation

D- Dangerously high. There is a bit of alcohol burn and warming after half a glass, but it is hidden so well that it would be easy to drink the whole 4 pack rather quickly.

Overall, it isn't as bad as my score is. It is a pretty good stab at an imperial Wit, although not nearly as good as say SouthHamptons. I'd consider buying it again, but I'll likely buy the standard wit first....

Oh, and my bottle says 10.3% ABV, not the 9% listed here on BA.... was this a different recipe or not?

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Photo of emsroth
2.9/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2


App: Deep orange with an of white head. Slight haze but still transparent.

Smell: Creamy fruit

Taste: Thick and fruity that quickly dries. The source of dryness is unclear, mybe hops since it's "imperial." Very unlike a witbier, but not terrible. Flavor matches smell exactly.

Full thick body. Light carbonation. Very drying.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.4/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a pint glass.

3.5 A: I'd like to start out by saying that I had to pour like a crazed lunatic to get my 2 fingers of head. Cloudy medium orange color. Head surprisingly has average retention and a good amount of lacing.

3.5 S: Orange peel. Orange zest. Lots of orange going on. A bit lemony as well and a touch of grassy hops.

3.0 T: The first sip almost knocked me on my ass from the huge alcohol punch. Caramel sticks out like a sore thumb. Didn't expect this from a wit. Banana and orange blend together to form a very tasty fruitiness. Still alcohol runs rampant. Tastes kinda like a homebrew gone unchecked.

3.0 M: Medium body. Good carbonation, but once again the alcohol comes in to crash the party, preventing a smooth finish.

2.0 D: This gives a good argument for why witbiers should not be imperialized. There isn't enough going on to neutralize the alcohol. Simple as that.

This is my second SA Imperial series. The stout had the same ultra alcohol burst problem too. One more to go it appears.

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Photo of mynie
2.97/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Glugs out into a thick, flat-looking, offrust pour. Small white head fades into a small white cap. Unimpressive.

Smells like a very heavy Wit. The wheatmalt is overrun by alcohol esters and tons of BBC hops, hellertau?, very spicy. Decent enough blend of very strong smells, though kind of messy.

Tastes very much as its aroma indicated. Starts off like a heavy witbier, and that's really nice, but this quickly gets consumed by an assload of hellertau, nearly unpleasant, and then some strong alcohol burn at the end. Not bad, especially considering how unique it is, but really not good.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured in to a goblet.

Pours a hazy dark orange with a frothy offwhite, tight clinghead.

Smell is sweet, clovy, malty, and spicy, but none really jumps out.

Taste is sort of a fruity syrup and honey with some vegetable like smoothness.

Very good mouthfeel is full.

Kind of sweet taste is a little much for an otherwise pretty good beer.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.17/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

the label says 10.3% abv

A- very handsome looking beer, murky and viscous, fire glow orange when held up to the window with golden amber highlights and vermilion undertones. rich creamy beige foam lasts as long as it can against the alcohol.

S- sweet/tart and very fruity like candied tropical fruits. banana, orange, guava, cinnamon, pineapple, fig, coconut, peach clove, nutmeg, like a spiced holiday bread, mild bubblegum. i can kinda feel the coriander in my nose but i can't really smell it until the beer warms up.

T- very sweet and boozy with all of the above mentioned fruit flavors, especially banana and cinnamon, lingering behind fruity french vodka like alcohol esters. difficult to tell whether the citrus and spicy flavors come from the added ingredients or from the yeast, as it tasted very similar to a quadrupel or a big tripel. becomes tart and fruitier as it warms and the sugary sweetness is met by a nice mild amount of grassy citrus hops. dries out a little in the finish with some bitter orange flavor and very faint coriander that comes out only as it nears room temp.

MF- they got the ticket right here, cuz this girl is big creamy and soft, they boast a great mouthfeel all over and stay true to their word. thick and silky smooth with very tight carbonation that intensifies the effect.

D- one big bad motha, can't sit here and pound these all night but, hell, there's so much flavor that one can disappear pretty quick. all the wheat provides a luscious body but other than that, it just seems like a different style of big belgian beer considering the added spices aren't that noticeable. still overall it's an attractive, delicious beer worthy of a chalice or tulip.

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Photo of ZAP
4.55/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is a little "wheat wine" like with additional floral notes along with citrus notes of oranges, corriander, and bananas.

Body is big and little cloying but the booze and spicing helps keep it in check.

Flavor is rich, sweet maltiness complimented by fresh oranges, bananas, and corriander...this is pretty complex and also has smaller notes of subtle white pepper and some tropical fruits (papaya, pinneaple, mango)

This is a dynamite beer....very "Imperial" and very complex....a sipper but I could handle a couple or more at one sitting as it continues to excite the more you drink it....great stuff...

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Photo of stephens101
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A thick and consistent tan head covers a hazy reddish-orange brew. A nice stripe of lacing is left behind. A big whiff of coriander mixed with sweet malts is noticed at first. Some sugar, grapefruit rind and beer bread also exist. Tastes super sweet up front with some spice, subtle hops and huge malts all working their way into the experience. Also very sugary and bready with some sourness and alcohol heat figuring into the end. Intense at first until all the elements begin to separate and become discernible on their own. It's well carbonated with a medium mouthfeel. A very unique beer. Maybe too much so.

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Photo of Mdog
3.82/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy amber-brown, ok head but good lacing.

Smell: Banana, spices.

Taste: Very sweet, spicy, mild banana, a hint of booze.

Mouthfeel: Feels huge for a wit, as it should since it is about a double wit.

Drinkability: The feel knocks this down some, tasty, decent price, but just too heavy.

I've had a few imperial wits before, Sam Adams does a pretty good job with this one. It just feels heavier than the other big wits I've had before (New Glarus, Bells Batch 8000) and not as much banana as I'd like. Still, a pretty good beer.

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Photo of Gilgemesh
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drank this one in my new Sam Adams glass, thanks Med. The beer is an amber tinged with a bit of red. A slight haze is noticeable, but not unapealingly so. The nose is of caramel with a slightly alcoholic finish. There is also a nice undercurrent of spicyness. The flavor is big and sweet balanced nicely by the crisp alcohol finish. Even as sweet as it is, the alcohol cleans the palate right off. The mouthfeel is full, bigger than I expected. Overall there are some nice aspects of whit in there, but this is more imperial than whit. Quite nice though.

PS. The glass is great too.

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Photo of zeff80
3.99/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, orange color with amber highlights near the top of the glass. It had a small, foamy, off-white head that left soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of clove and tons of yeast. It had some nice banana aromas mixed with wheat.

T - It tasted spicy with hints of nut. It had nice sweet wheat flavors with yeast and clove taste, too.

M - It was crisp and very sharp. It was medium-bodied with a warm alcohol presence.

D - This is quite possibly the best wheat beer I've ever had. It really is finely crafted with great aroma and flavor.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass out of a 12 oz bottle. This beer pours a sort of hazy, dark gold/medium copper color. White head is about an inch when poured, settling to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass and a thin surface coating. Nice lacing. Has a floral, sort of fruity tang aroma with orange and coriander spice. Sweet malty taste along with the aforementioned coriander spice and fairly sweet tangy citrus. A touch of hop bitterness on the back end and just a hint of alcohol rounding out the taste. The sweet orange flavors do tend to dominate, especially as the beer warms up a bit. It does end up being a little bit too much for my taste. I hope it mellows out a bit with age as I am aging one of these in my cellar. Has a crisp, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Easy to drink. A good effort here overall.

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Photo of nlmartin
1.67/5  rDev -51.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This beer was served chilled in an Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance: I got to say this is the highlight of this beer. The beer pours a nearly peach coloration. The head is big thick and biege. Good retention is noted. Very nice lacing remains behind on my glass.

Smell: The beers aroma is dominated by bannana. An undertone of cloves and bubble gum is noted. The alcohol is very boozey.

Taste: Dam is this boozey. Dam is this sweet!... The beers flavor is dominated by super cloying sweet bananas.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The beer is a booze laden syrup. Honestly this beer is awful!... Sometimes you have to strike out to hit a home run. This was definately an example of swinging for the fences and striking out.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer has a deep caramel colored body with a slight hazy to it and lots of big bubbles pushing their way to the surface. The spongy head of tan fades quickly to a mat of big bubbles collected on the sides of the glass.

S- This beer has a berry sweet aroma with a faint clove quality to it and a soft banana fusel alcohol finish.

T- The big sweet flavor has an almost herbal quality to the spice notes with some caramel malt flavor to follow. As the beer warms notes of bread crust come through the sweetness and finishes with a fusel alcohol note. As the beer warms there is a tartness in the finish that grows.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft alcohol heat finish that burns a bit when it warms.

D- This is a big beer with some spice and plenty of heat but there isn't much depth or balance. I don't know what age would do to this but without the alcohol heat there would be much character left.

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Photo of taez555
2.58/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Reviewed from Notes. Tasted 2/27/09

This beer poured an opaque orange tan body with a small pale white head.

Nose is a strong wheat, banana and bubble gum.

Taste is thick and strong. Tastes like stale, hard bubblegum that you find in old packs of baseball cards. (the kind that would cut your cheek it was so sharp), mixed loads of coriander and two week old moldy bananas. Tons and tons of rotting bananas. Tons of black rotting bananas and bubblegum. Wheat, yeast and some bread. Very thick, with a dull wheat taste.

This beer is horid. Stale bubblegum and rotting bananas, did I mention that? Sam Adams Three Weis Men, the one off weisbock, from a few years ago was stellar, this however is shit. Hands down the worst Sam Adams product I've ever had.

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Photo of alkemy
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a hazy copper color with a head that was only about a finger high, but quite thick. This head dissipated fairly quickly, but left plenty of lacing. As far as scent, I got a combo of juicy fruit and allspice. At 10.3% abv, my fears of overt sweetness were confirmed. I'm guessing this is unavoidable pumping the alcohol up this high on this style of beer. I do kinda like this brew, it is just too rich and sweet for me to have more than one. In fact, I would prefer this to be bottled as 6 8 ouncers rather than 4 12 ouncers. This would be a nice dessert beer or even a winter beer.

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

Its been a long time since I purchased a Sam Adams brew, and this introduction to their "Imperial Series" did not disappoint. The Imperial White pours a hazy semi-dark orange color, with a nice head, the bavarian ring rims the glass nicely, foam in the middle thins a bit (as I'd expect in a witbeir) but doesn't disippate, which is nice. Smell is nice, but understated. The signature Sam Adams spice is present in the nose, as is a light hint of orange and wheat undertones. The taste is very good- I get an alcoholy, malty taste, with a subtle orange wheat flavor- very, very nice. Mouthfeel is just as promised on the package- warm, smooth, light spice, suprisingly light overall mouthfeel given the ABV. Drinkability is scary- A dangerously drinkable big beer, so beware. A great take on a the classic witbier style.

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Photo of JAA
3.21/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Total wine, you my only friend.

Appears hazy orange, not very cloudy with a thin microbubbled head.

Smells faintly of citrus and booze. perfumey.

Tastes is a little to sweet for my liking. Very little spice, citrus sneaks in with the finish. Quite boozey.

Overall a very smooth brew. Mouthfeel is satin. Drinkability is relatively good, but would have been even more so if it weren't for the overtly alcoholic taste.

I liked their Imperial Stout better.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Murky and cloudy scarlet red. Thin bubbly white head. Lacing is quite full. Aroma is inviting. Fresh smells of yeast and baked bread and lavander. A little orange coriander too. Interesting concoction. They really stepped it up this year tipping the scales at 10.3% a/v. Mighty hefty for a Witbier. Mouhtfeel is a little syrupy and a bit alcoholic, though not overly so surprisingly. Overall impression is sweet and spicy and syrupy. Sticky sweet. Sugary sweet with cinnamon and pepper spicing. Body is full. This beer has a "cough medicine" feel to it, though it's not as bad as that sounds. This is just a little unbalance and maybe just a little TOO big for this style.

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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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