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

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Samuel Adams Imperial WhiteSamuel Adams Imperial White
1,284 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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,284 |  Reviews: 643
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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Photo of dashmartino
2.19/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Blech. Had higher hopes for this stuff. Bought a single at Goldstein's in Kingston PA. Poured into a hoegaarden glass (hey, it's a white, right?) First sniff, real boozy and not pleasant. Taste, very sweet but too boozy. Not a chugger. Very disappointed! Who knows though, it may have been skunked sitting in a singles shop.

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Photo of goblue3509
4.32/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

This beer pours with a golden yellow color and is a little bit cloudy. The smell is very floral. The taste is lighter than I expected, there is a lite hoppy taste, but you taste the alcohol. The mouthfeel is carbinated, you can feel the carbination if you leave the drink in your mouth. Overall, however, this is one of my favorite beers. I was very surprised how smooth and light it was based on the higher alcohol content.

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Photo of Lambstrong
3.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark golden in color. A little darker than I had anticipated for this style. Nice thick white creamy head. Good head retention and good lacing.

Aroma: Very sweet smelling. Hard for me to pick up on the spices they used. Slight phenol notes.

Taste: There's the spices. Sits on the back of your tongue. Cloves , allspice, a little ginger is what I detected. Very smooth and the spices balance out the sweetness of his high ABV ale.

Mouthfeel: Velvety. The carbonation is there, but there is a heaviness to this beer that stands out. Very nice.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
3.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an orangish amber color. A tad dark than expect. Yields a minimal head that quickly dissipates.

S: Some vague hints of orange and spices, but the most predominant smeel, albeit relatively weak, is alcohol.

T: Tasted a lot better than the smell. Lots of citrus flavors on the front end with a nice combination of spices on the back end.

M: Started crisp, but left a lot of alcohol on the palate.

D: A worthy effort, not a beer I would seek out but worth a shot.

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Photo of hopdog
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle.

Poured a medium orange/amber color with a smaller sized off whtie head. Aromas of citrus (mainly oranges), coriander, some wheat, and caramel. Tastes of citrus (the same oranges), wheat, sugary sweet, and caramel. Sweet with some alcohol in the finish.

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Photo of treehugger02010
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a bottle of this at Gullifty's Restaurant in Rosemont, PA.
Appearance: The body is a cloudy amber color. The head is a finger tall, egg shell, ok retention and ok lacing.
Smell: The aroma is stale.
Taste: The flavors are spices, wheat and sparge.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is crisp.
Drinkability: This is an ok beer.
Don't drink and review.

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Photo of leif86
2.29/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

No drink by date found on this 12 oz bottle. I poured it into a SA glass in order to make the beer feel at home.

A: A yellow-orange color, a bit copper, with little head and only a spattering of lacing.

S: First whiff: holy crap, this beer is hot. Second whiff: dear god, it's hot. Third whiff: smells very sugary and... oh god I can't tell anything else it just reeks of alcohol.

T: Exactly like it smells. The finer points of this brew are lost behind a near unpleasant sugary sweetness at the front and then the overwhelming taste of alcohol throughout the rest of each sip.

M: A bit sticky and syrupy. No thanks.

D: I didn't even want to finish this one glass (but I did). Makes me happy I only bought a single and not a 4 pack.

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Photo of DBoone
4.25/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I really like this beer for a Sam Adams product.
Appearance: Nice brownish red color. Very little head and small amount of lacing.

Smell: Reminds me of a beer aged in a whiskey barrel. Very enjoyable!

Taste: Excellent! Fruity and alcohol notes very present.

Mouthfeel: Superb! Very filling and quaffable.

Drinkability: Good. Be careful, plenty of alcohol with this one. You will enjoy, but do not drink more than one or two in a session.

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Photo of Shaw
4.2/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy copper in color after swirling the final ounces in the bottle. The head is thick, but not huge.

It has a light banana and clove aroma.

The taste is very good. Big spice flavors like clove mix with sweet malt flavors and yeasty notes to make a super wheat beer. It's like a hefeweizen, but jacked up. The high alcohol is quite noticeable in the fusel flavors.

The body is also great: Smooth and creamy and slick.

This is a very good beer and one of Samuel Adams best. I highly recommend it. Seek it out.

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Photo of necrat
3.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured a very foggy copper color.

The smell is flour-y. Not like floral, but like flour the stuff you use to bake. A fruity tang to the smell too. Unusual.

The taste was , well, odd. Citrusy hints and a whack you up the head vanilla essence. And mixed with Alchohol. It doesn't mix that well for me, but its unique enough.

Mouthfeel was sharp, a little on the heavy carbonated side. Definatley alchohol "feel".

Overall this is a strange beer. I don't know if I would go out of my way to buy it again.

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Photo of burnstar
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours murky brown with a medium sized head. Aroma is very sweet with notes of caramel and light fruit, apples perhaps. Also just a bit of alcohol is noticeable in the nose. Taste is also very sweet again with some light fruit notes. Alcohol is noticeable in the finish. Full bodied and nicely carbonated. Not really a witbier at all- this is an unique and extreme beer. Definitely a sipper and not something I'd want to drink a lot of.

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Photo of fitzy84
4.09/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours with a dark, hazy amber appearance. Lacing is really patchy and the head thins out way too fast. Aromas are wicked rich with vanilla, malts, very ripe orange. Tastes have a lightly complex, almost syrupy hint to them. Very sweet with a thin bitter aftertaste. Malts are heavy and overpower any citrus flavoring I could properly sense. Overall, an interesting drink from Sam Adams.

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Photo of Overlord
1.84/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Ugh. Not very good. At all.

Pours a dark amber orange. Small white foam crust. Almost no head, really. A bit murky.

Smells faintly of alcohol, orange/cirtus juice, and ... alcohol. Taste is overly boozy. Really too much alcohol present for a wit. Super sweet. Damn, this is undrinkably, malty/fruit juicy sweet. Maybe a bit of lemon/orange rind, but it's one of the sweetest beers I can recall.

No real carbonation to lighten things up. The syrupiness is unpleasant. This is pretty damn bad. I think its syrupy sugariness may have given me a cavity. On the plus side, it seems to be attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. Who unfortunately become insanely drunk from the overwhelming alcohol.

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Photo of Brew33
2.68/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

After my first sip of this beer I asked myself "Why?" Why was this beer brewed? Were there people sending Jim Koch emails begging for a boozed up version of a Witbier?

It is a nice, deep orange color. The aroma was non-offensive but nothing to write home about. The beer tasted boozy, syrupy sweet, light carbonation and fairly viscous. Sharp alcohol on the front end. Dry finish. Bordering on undrinkable.

I love SA's White Ale but this stuff is brutal...

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Photo of dotsonjamesg
4.09/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dull cloudy brown with a one finger head that quickly dissipated; much darker than your average witbier. The appearance isn't really consistent with the style but what the hell do I care. It looks tasty.

Smell: The smell is very lovely. Full bodied and complex with a nose filled with citrus, vanilla, coriander, roasted malts, and alcohol. Its probably one of the best smelling brews I have had the opportunity to try in recent history.

Taste: Pretty similar to the nose. The brew is pretty sweet at first and then moves in to a crisp bite. The flavor is rich with citrus and spices and heavy on the alcohol, 10.3% according the bottle.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy but finishes well.

Drinkability: The brew is a seasonal brew and is brewed differently every year. Having not had the previous editions of this brew, I think a "B" is an understatement to the quality of this beer. Its drinkable, even for those who enjoy really aggressive brews and the alcohol content makes it worth the effort and price.



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Photo of Pencible
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a hazy dark gold with white head. It smelled like lemon hops and creamy yeast with caramel malt and fresh wheat. It tasted like peach hops and sour but creamy yeast, with lots of caramel and barley malt, and a bit of orange. It was quite thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bitter/sour aftertaste. Overall this was actually pretty nice, which was surprising because I don't typically like witbiers that much. Perhaps my palate has just evolved? Either way, this beer had good flavor and huge body. It hid the alcohol well, and was very easy to drink. Fun and enjoyable, especially for a warmer day.

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Photo of fightingirishcmk
3.29/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a slightly hazy orangish color, a bit darker than a traditional Wit. The head was about 2.5 fingers in size, and receded at an average pace. There was some slight lacing left on the glass.
S: A fruity smell predominates, some citrus notes, but a cherry and raisin aroma is stronger. A mildly piny hop presence is there as well.
T: A somewhat complex belgian fruitiness is tasted in this beer. The orange and coriander are drowned out by warmer, darker fruits such as fig and cherry as well as some spicy peppery notes. There is a lot of bitterness that, while somewhat balancing the maltiness of the beer, is a bit too much for a wit.
M: Medium bodied, sweet, with a moderate alcoholic heat.
D: For a 9% beer, it is somewhat drinkable. Not nearly as drinkable as a real wit. And not an improvement on the overall style.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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

Appears a semi-hazy orange color with a one inch off-white head that falls down to a skim. Leaves some moderate lacing.

Aroma is straight up bubble gum. Very sweet and sugary. There's a hint at some orange fruitiness but not much else.

Taste is very sweet and sugary - too much so. Again the bubble gum flavor is dominant. Orange is more present than before then there's a slight spicy character towards the finish but it's faint. A bit of alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel is the strongest part of the beer. It's medium bodied, tending slightly towards full but it's got a very creamy texture.

I was quite disappointed with this one. I don't think this is really a style meant to be imperialized.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.02/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace.

S: The aroma is of bananas, citrus, Belgian yeast, light malts, some spice and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a harsh alcohol bite followed by sweet flavors of caramel, citrus, spices and some Belgian yeast. The malt character is hearty and there's a decent hops presence. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style it's a prime example of why certain types of beer shouldn't push the ABV too high. I thought an amped up version of Sam's White Ale would be pretty good but I was proven wrong.

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Photo of TexIndy
1.91/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No dating info but a new release so know it's fresh. Color was a hazy orange amber. Good amount of slow moving carb - almost like it was moving thru watered down syrup. No lacing. It had an average sized fizzy white head that quicky settled into bits of film and a collar.

The aroma was awful. Mega sweet and a ton of alcohol. Got a cavity just sniffing it. Besides the orange there is none of the usual wit aromas. Even the orange was off. Instead of a nice mid level aroma enhancer this was like someone poured a bag of sugar into some OJ. The taste was even worse. Starts out with an overly sweet attack and then progresses into pure alcohol. I don't have anything against high ABV but they have their place and after trying several imperial wits the past month that place is not wits. I'm ready for this fade to die out. Wits are my favorite style but this is just crap.

Overall, a drain pour. Avoid. One and so done. Enough with the imperial wits.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The look of this Imperial White is quite a bit darker than expected. A copper body with a 1/2" white head sticks around for the most part. Bubbles of carbonation head to the top of the glass at a rather slow rate showing this beer has quite the body to it.

The aroma is orange peel, rather sweet in character, and a bit of alchohol as well. The coriander is in there too.

The taste is sweet up front along with orange characteristics. If I had to describe this in one flavor, it would be sugared orange peel soaked in grey goose vodka. I don't mean that to be completely negative, but it is what it is. This is not what I think of when I think of a wit, but imperial wit doesn't really make much sense either.

The carbonation keeps the big body from being too much, but adds a good mouthfeel.

Overall, this is a beer to try a time or two as a sipper, but not anything I would want to have often or more than one.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
2.83/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz picked up today at the Coop for about $2.50.. Poured into my Chimay goblet.... 1/2" head.. the hazy honey orange beer poured heavy and looked thick.

Sweet smelling for sure.. orangey nose is light..

Flavor is ooohh so sweet.. verging heavily on cloying.. more orange and a medicinal flavor from what ever spices are used.. Body is heavy and carbonation is lite.. thick coating mouthfeel detracts... a little boozy.

If this was not my first beer of the night.. it would be a probably drain pour.. it is a real effort to choke it down.. just too much leftover sweetness to make this a winner... I doubt I will buy another bottle until I can confirm a new batch is out... I don't care for this one at all.

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Photo of KI9A
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Very hazy orange/amber, puffy off white head, good retention, nice lacing.

S: Honey, malt, some citrus.

T: Up front with sweet honey, nice and malty. Some corrinder, some sour orange peel. VERY boozy. This could easily pass as a Barleywine, or, a Belgian Strong Ale, brewed with spices. Nothing here says Wit, in any way, other than the label. Nice, none-the-less.

M: Heavy, oily, leaves a big alcohol burn in the center of the chest. Too much for a warm spring day.

D: I like this beer. But, would be way better suited for a mid-winter's night, with the snow falling, and the wind howling. I just got in from working in the yard, and, while it is only 55 outside, I'm having a real tough time getting thru this beer. If it was offered in the winter, I'd buy it. Not sure if this is what I want in spring.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, listed as 10.3%,

A: Pours a cloudy murky goldenrod/orange, with a full, long-lasting white head, excellent lacing.

S: Smells pretty similar to their regular white beer, flowery, perfumy, orange zest.

T: Definitely an Imperial, it has all the nice spice flavours of the original White which I liked, but a ton of booze mixed in.

M: Sweet and boozy, full-bodied with solvent character.

D: A nice attempt, but the few other Imperial Wits I have had have hid the alcohol much better, in this one it tends to dominate the drink, there's just not enough malt to hold back the 10.3%, but in the end it wasn't a hard beer to finish.

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Samuel Adams Imperial White from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 1,284 ratings