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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,284 |  Reviews: 643
Photo of angelmonster
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a huge 3 1/2 off white head. Hazy golden orange body, with lots of bubbles rising to top. Head retention and lacing are above average

Smell is similiar to a belgium strong ale. Fruity with some spice, alcohol, and belgium yeast.

Taste is pretty sweet, of malt and some alcohol. Taste is also more similar to a belgium strong ale than to a witbier. Cant really taste coriander or citrus as much as the fruity yeast. Alcohol is really present

Mouth feel is big, syrup like going down. Head is semi creamy, carbonation isnt too high

Was a bit disappointed by this beer, didnt really taste any witbier characteristics and it was a little too alcoholic. Honesty tasted like a mediocre duvel

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Photo of auxiliary
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance - Cloudy ornage yellow color. Poured a large head but then went flate. Small specs of lace here.

smell - Sweet malt, citrus smells here.

taste - Has a oil feel to it and then you feel the alcohol spike. It is like a basic wit+oil+alcohol. Even leaves a slick substance on your tongue when your done. Has a barleywine taste it too.

mouthfeel - Medium body, and has a oily feel.

drinkability - I think it too strong for a wit. When I think of wit, I think og hot day in the spring or summer. Is kind a a strong, but I dug it.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a DT tulip.

A: Pours a hazy/cloudy apricot-orange color with an extremely creamy light-orange colored head. The foam quickly melts down to a thin skim with creamy ring. A bit of lace is left behind.

S: Whoa. Bananas and bubblegum soaked in booze. Hints of coriander...and more booze.

T: See above. Very boozy with not enough yeast, citrus, or wheat flavors to make it very interesting. Meh.

M: Aside from the burn from the alcohol heat, this guy is pretty slick and oily. The oilyness plasters the spicy booziness all over everything in my mouth.

D: Surprisingly pretty easy drinking considering how un-Witbier-like this is. Pretty unnecessary.

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Photo of billybob
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

first i must say its like no witbier i have ever had but not to be taken in a bad way taste is more like a mild barleywine with that same warm alcohol taste. looks like unfiltered cider when poured with a short beige head and a nice sticky lace that holds past the finish. smells of fresh banana bread and mild hint of alcohol. very sweet and fruity taste with a lightly slick mouthfeel. drinkability, witbier no. something else, mild barleywire yes.

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

It's exciting to see a ground-roots brewery break out their molds with some daring and energetic beers. Nothing is more a leap of faith than an Imperial Witbier.

The beer begins with a surprisingly copperish-orange-golden hue that has a viscous character to the sight. A thin head forms and then lasts the session. Lacing and legging evident on the sides of the chalice.

Juicy aromas of fresh oranges jump out at the nose. A cotton-candy maltiness then follows along with a heavy dose of soft, spicy corriander. An unexpected ethanol scent burns the nose hairs and warns to take it slowly.

Extremely sweet flavor hit the palate with a sugary, malty, honey-like flavor. Orange juice, pineapples, and a plethera of esters build on one another and continue to develop the flavors deep into the finish. No hop presence to mention, but the peppery phenols give the complexity and a valid attempt to balance the sweetness.

Again, very sweet, heavy, and somewhat oily to the feel because of the extraordinary amount of unresolved sugars. Alcoholic heat pushes the beer further than expected. The beer looses the classic cool, soft, delicate, creamy mouthfeel that original Witbiers showcase well.

Rather than an Imperial Witbier, this could easily be considered a Barleywine with a Witbier influence. Interesting nonetheless.

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

12oz bottle poured into a goblet. I agonized over what glass to pour it in for a while, but in the end, I decided to go with something that would enhance the volatiles.

A: Pours an IPA-like dark orange. Finger-width head that quickly fades.

S: Dominated by bananas and spices.

T: Banana-ey fruitiness and honey-like sugary sweetness. No trace of the citrusy tartness usually associated with witbiers. Some alcohol burn in the beginning, but it fades away.

M: Not nearly as syrupy as I feared it would be. Rather light, actually.

D: I'd say that Sam Adams did about as good a job as could have been done. But that doesn't change the fact that there's no justification for this beer to have been created. Not every style needs to be embiggened, as Jebediah Springfield would say. As a witbier, it's not very good. But as a generic Belgian strong ale, it's pretty decent.

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Photo of Lexluthor33
2.96/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hazy,orange /yellow highlights with a small head and thin lace.
It had an alcohol fruit tone with some malts and coriander.
It tasted sweet,sugary,full of a good dosage of alcohol and citrus fruits that followed with some malts. Some hints of figs and caramel.
The feel was full bodied,medium carbonation some mild spice. It was smooth,but aggressive in terms of ABV.

Notes: The smooth feeling when it goes down struggles with balancing of the malts. It was filling and really for me it was a sugar bomb. Not something to look for in my opinion.

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.36/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Into a large pilsner glass, Samuel Adams Imperial White pours syrupy and rests at a hazy burnt orange color trimmed in golden amber. The liquid body is topped with a thick cap of fine-bubbled, off-white foam that relaxes quite slowly and deposits lightly fluffed rings of lacing onto the glass.

The smell is quite fruity, with fermenting notes of golden apple and fresh white bread. The aroma is drenched with an orange rind oiliness that at first sniff strikes me as quite artificial, but as the drink warms a bit the faux-citrus character fades into soft, mellow sweetness with a razor-thin edge of grain alcohol.

The taste is twangy and fruity, the flavors closely following the aroma profile. Notes of artificial orange drink and mushy fallen apples are drizzled in Everclear, and the drink begins to impart significant warming upon my belly right away. The brew is somewhat floral and increasingly vinous as the encounter progresses, and the sturdy 9% ABV becomes increasingly noticeable, manifesting itself in one rosy-cheeked drinker a little bit bothered by the chemical drying effect acting upon his palate.

The brew has fine carbonation, a fullish body, and imparts a little slickness as it passes through my mouth. Not a terrible drinker, but not at all quaffable, either. An "interesting" brew I'll call it, this big sipper of a Witbier, but "interesting" can mean just about anything, can't it?

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

After having a Southampton Double White, thought, i'd give this style a try. This one, not so much.

Pours a cloudy honey orange, thick syrupy, like lorena bobbit got a hold of a blood orange.

Smells of citrus, malts, floral qualities to it. Of course it's a threesome, it's from Boston.

Spicy citrus taste, a little to hot hot hot for buster pointdexter and the hottub.

Thin finish, not the creamy lingering sweetness I was looking for. As my 7th grade french teacher said "bof"

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

Had this on tap at Carraba's at Perimeter in north Atlanta. Served in a chilled pilsner glass. Pours a generally yellow color with a minimal head. Smell is generally citrusy. Taste is citrus and bready. Taste is somewhat subdued. Moderate carbonation. I don't know if this was the best environment for this beer. The glass was chilled and the beer may have been served too cold. I tried to warm it, but even so, the beer was just ok.

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Photo of maskednegator
2.92/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Pours syrupy. Orange body, thin white head.
Smell: Oranges, cloves, crackers, spice.
Taste: Corander, vanilla, orange, bananas, light malts, alcohol.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, syrupy, strong carbonation.
Drinkability: Way too sweet and cloying to drink very much. Alcohol presence isn't helping anything either.
Verdict: Interesting beer, but just way too sweet for me. Wits are usually crisp, light and refreshing, and this is like drinking a 10% Orange Bang.

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Photo of Gump
4.59/5  rDev +33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first beer of the Imperial Series.

Pours a medium amber with touch of cloudiness.
Immediate foamy head that doesn't last too long.
The aroma is strong on corriander with a hint of orange.
Medium-full body.
Flavor is biscuit, moderate hops and a peppery back end, with terrific alcohol flavors. Warming.
Clearly a belgian yeast.

Fantastic beer that is very wit-like in the nose, but the flavors scream Imperial.

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Photo of Buebie
4.33/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After trying the new Imperial Stout, I am afraid to try this beer.

Poured from a 12oz tall brown bottle into my Sam Adams Turbulator glass.
Forming a nice looking foamy 2 inch white head. The head is very long lasting, finally settling to a quarter inch of retention, after about 7 minutes.
The lace left behind is a nice even webbing, somwhat thick.
The color is a bit hazy, with an unfiltered appeal. A pale orange with hints of red.

The aroma has orange peel, touches of vanilla, a little bit of grainy smell, and alot of warm alcahol. The traditional spiced witbear aroma with floral wafts of corriander.

The taste on this is actually quite good. Its starts out sweet, with corriander and a really strong grain bill. A bit more orange peel at the swallow, hints at grassy hops, and a nice dry peppery flavor. The beer is spot on for the style, with some creative aspects adding to a nice flavor profile.
The finish is dry and mildly spicie with corriander and orange peel lingering.
For 9% this is super drinkeable. Somwhat creamy with a nice bite of carbonation through the swallow. Things warm a bit into the swallow, but do not heat up beyond the mild warming.
Is it just me, or there a belgin like yeastyness here?

I more then dislike Wits, but this one was very satisfying.
True to the style, not overly hot, or solvent like in some of the other reviews. Trust me, if you think this was hot and solvent like, try the Sam Adams Impy stout.
I'm very interested in what a few years cellering would do to this one.

This is a great beer, thank you Jim Koch.

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Photo of Aenema
2.36/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - Cloudy, deep amber with a thick head and nice lacing.
Smell - Boozy, orange peel and sugar.
Taste - Very boozy, alcohol, some malt and lots of sweetness.
Mouthfeel - Thick, full body with a syrupy feel.
Drinkability - Too sweet and boozy, not very drinkable, especially for a white. The alcohol isn't merely unmasked, it's prominent and overpowering.

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Photo of chaz410
3.44/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Sam Adams boston lager glass.
Pours a dark amber with a thin white foamy head.
Smell is surprising. Very sweet belgian styled malts. Raisens, dates, prunes, belgian yeast typical background. Has little spicey notes and virtually no real hops on the nose. I was surprise how much belgian malt was on this nose though!
Taste is less impressive when compared to the nose. Spicier with notes of raisen and belgian sugar. Good alcohol finish. Honestly better than I expected from Sam Adams (when purchased here in NC).
Good drinkability with respect to the alcohol.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.4/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

10.3 ABV batch.

Nose is full of fruit perfume, soft spice, and an-almost bubblegum sweetness. Smells quite good.

Pours a dark butterscotch color, no clarity, mildest of heads that was creamy while it lasted. Looks pretty good - maybe good, on account of the alcohol.

Mmm. Beautiful manifestation of the fruit perfume from the nose blended with supple fruit sweetness, quenching tartness, and spicy goodness. Good, strong notes of strawberry and banana with perhaps pineapple or orange, some mango, and guava. Nebulous spice tantalizes the olfactory without ever landing solidly on any one aroma receptor. And then there's the smooth, creamy body of a lightly carbonated, heavily-syruped, fruit-based frozen drink that's melted. In fact, I could imagine this as a mixed drink - especially with all the tropical fruit flavors. Banana is the most peculiar, and I love a good bananay wheat ale. What an amazing body - it get's creamier with each sip I tell you! Finishes with a funky tropical vibe. No alcohol noticeable. Tastes great. Feels wonderful.

Hands down the best Witbier style beer I've had. What's wrong with extreme? It's beautiful.

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Photo of CMW
2.43/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Pours a semi-cloudy dark copper color with bright white head. Retention quickly fades and leaves a small ring with light lacing.

S - Smells of vanilla, orange peel, and alcohol.

T - Not great. Can taste malt, orange peel, and coriander but they are all dwarfed by the alcohol.

M - Creamy with medium carbonation, somewhat velvety on the pallate.

D - The alcohol is too strong to make this drinkable.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.4/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The ABV listed on the bottle is 10.3%, not 9%.

Rich amber body with a finger of tan head atop it, not what I expected at all from a Witber. The color is almost bock-like, and beautiful. Good, malty nose full of caramel, chocolate, light coffee, and berry--wow. Terrific taste, sweet from the berry with a sour finish, malty and smooth--excellent. With the nice effervescence, honestly, this drinks like a fine Dubbel. It reminds me of a less complex, somewhat toned-down Ommegang. It's outstanding.

The high ABV makes this somewhat of a sipper, but this is more than worthy. Thus far, it just may be my favorite from Sam's Imperial Series, and my favorite Witbier. It's a jacked-up, sensational offering. Very fine.

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Photo of rye726
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a medium brown with a tan head. Nice looking bale, but in no way resembles a witbier. Nose has wheat malts, citrus fruits, subtle hops, alcohol and herbs. The taste is also quite sweet with an unbalanced alohol presence and various summer spices. Medium body is poorly carbonated. Not a bad beer, just not my idea of a witbier. Still enjoyable. About what I expect from Sam Adams.

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Photo of Pagzzz
2.93/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

4-pack of 12oz bottles $11.99

Aroma: blast of alcohol and spices, lots of bitter orange peel and phenolic spiciness.

Appearance: oddly orange colored, not white like a witbier. Firm 1 finger head that fades very quickly. Hazy.

Taste: strong alochol crushes some of the malt character ... but not the spices which seem to be elevated to overcome the alcohol. witbier character gets lost in a perversion of the style. At 10.3% ABV it is just too strong ... an 8% version might have let the softer wheat base style character through.

Mouthfeel: Very thick and sweet, almost underattenuated ... which is hard to imagine considering the 10% ABV. Strongly alcoholic.

Overall, a dissapointing attempt at an innovative style. Try making it a little smaller next time.

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Photo of zsk
2.43/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This was a complete disappointment.

It is slick and sickeningly thick. Not good thick like a Russian Imperail Stout. Thick like Karo syrup.
Nothing in this beer says Witbier to me. It's hopefully one of the last "MAKE THIS BITCH AS STRONG AS WE CAN" beers. No wit, no nothing good.

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Photo of yossarian14
2.43/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Listed as 10.3% on bottle. Sam Adams Imperial White claims to "push out the boundaries of a witbier" I had trouble finding anything witbier"ish" about it.

There is nothing refreshing about this beer. It is darker, heavier and more syrupy than a witbier, imperial or not, should be. It has the characteristics of a BSPA, but its all muddled. The sweetness is sticky and overwhelming and the astringent alcohol flavor lingers.

I am disappointed, to say the least.

I've had DFH's Red & White and at 10% it is much better.

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy copper-orange with a thick creamy head.

Aroma is grainy caramel malt, banana and lemon. Undefined spices with a definite alcohol astringency.

Taste is initially very malty and sweet as the nose suggested. Plenty of citrus fruit - orange, pear, and apple. Honey, and a touch of coriander and peppery spice. Alcohol has a big boozy presence throughout.

Mouthfeel is full, thick and silky.

I didn't know what to expect from an 'Imperial' wit. I thought the flavor was very balanced and smooth. Alcohol comes on a little hot, but I felt it brought out a nice counterpoint to the broad range of sweet fruit notes. Spice has a subtle, understated presence. Pretty good stuff.

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Photo of soulgrowl
2.8/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: There's nothing white about this one. Bold and quite dark orang, hazy and difficult to see through with a white-ish head with good retention.

Smell: Pleasantly bold and fruity, with lots of orange peel, soapy lemon, and spicy coriander plus sweet grapes, strawberries, limes, caramel, and white wine in the background. There is also a hefeweizen-esque banana tone, plus plenty of alcohol with a suggestion of Malibu.

Taste: Very boozy and quite sweet, and frankly there is little to distinguish it as a "white" beer of any kind as opposed to just an ordinary Belgian strong ale. Apple, honey, and brown sugar are detectable, along with a cool alcohol edge, but where's the nuance? Where's the white beer zest? Nowhere, that's where.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, dry, and clean - very good.

Drinkability: I am not really impressed with this beer. What is the point? Ordinary witbiers are both more interesting and more refreshing. This tastes like a not-so-good version of Chimay red. Disappointing.

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

Bottled.. Twelve ounce. Dark orange colored ale, with a large, creamy white head. Nose is strange, very sweet, fruity, coconut, ginger-ale like, just awful. Flavor is sweet, strong & fruity, with out a lot of body or finesse. Just awful in every way.

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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