Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

very good
1,110 Reviews
Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series)Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series)

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

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 02-07-2009

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Reviews: 1,110 | Ratings: 1,927
Photo of rickyleepotts
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well it’s been a LONG time since we have drank a beer. It’s funny, I have been traveling so much we truly have not had time to drink. Well, we have time to drink, but as I always say, this projects lets us drink with a purpose. Anyway, we are back and we had some time this afternoon to write. (I say that as I am about to head to work!)

Today we are drinking a Samuel Adams Double Bock. I have had Sam Adams (what I call them) several times, and their beers are always solid. But this one is part of their Imperial Series. I know that every time I drink an Imperial beer… I am always impressed. Anyway, this one is a Double Bock (following suit for a traditional doppelbock), a German style beer. Speaking of this type of beer, what is it with the goat? All of these beers have a goat on them somewhere. Oh well, let’s drink.

In the Glass: In the glass, it’s thin and has a subtle head. You can’t really see through it, but it doesn’t appear to be that thick of a beer. If I had to say the color, I would say a penny… something with a deep copper color. The head, even when you swirl it around the glass, remains thin.

Nose: This beer smells AMAZING. Oh man, this is one of the most powerful noses that I have ever smelt. It starts sweet, then ends with a bit of oxidation on the back of the nose. It smells wet, and you can pick up the hints of alcohol that this big beer (nearly 10% ABV) has in it. I am sure once I taste this beer, the alcohol will scream at me. Let’s see what this beer tastes like.

Flavor: When a beer has a strong nose, it rarely follows up without the taste. This beer does. Oh man, the taste is amazing, and just as the nose changes on the front of the nose to the back, the flavors change as it goes from the front of the palate to the back of your throat. It starts fresh, and has an almost citrus flavor at first. As it moves back the palate, it becomes dark, smokey, and almost gives you a burnt caramel flavor by the time it finishes. Speaking of the finish, it lasts for a long time. The aftertaste (which I will get to) is consistent and lasts for a long time.

Mouthfeel: The beer, in the glass, doesn’t appear to have a thick nature, but in the mouth it has a subtle thickness to it. Not molasses, but close. Considering how it smells, to how it tastes, I almost want to leave it in my mouth for a while. I can tell that the longer this beer sits, and the closer it gets to room temperature, the better this brew will taste.

Aftertaste: It’s still there! I tell you, a good beer has a solid nose and a great mouthfeel. This beer offers all that, and has the taste to back it all up. This beer is one of the best beers I have had in a long time, and the aftertaste isn’t going anywhere. It’s a big beer, thick a thick IPA, and would go well with red meat or nuts. The aftertaste is thing, but it sticks around for a good three to five minutes after each drink. I bet this beer would be good on tap too.

I have to say, this beer is amazing. I rarely rank a beer this high, but it’s one of the best beers I have had all year. I just had an Ass Kisser Double IPA… and this blows that out of the water. (The Ass Kisser is one of the most popular double IPAs on the market, and has won several awards over the years.) This beer smells great, tastes great, and leaves my mouth wanting more. I am thirsty after each drink, as it leaves the mouth dry… but who cares? It’s delicious, and I just want another drink! Bottoms up people.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.97/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

With a label on the back noting that each bottle contains "a half pound of malt...almost enough for a loaf of bread," it comes as no surprise that even the aroma of this beer is strong, smelling of thick caramels and dark brown sugars, marbled rye bread and toasted grains.

On the tongue the maltiness continues in delectable waves, breaking against the tastebuds in caramelized sugars, dark fruit esters such as prunes, thick and woody maple syrups, roasted grains, and many fruity alcohol notes that seem more appropriate for wines or ports. Hops are low to medium, bringing in just the right amount of grapefruit bitterness to keep the keep the malts in check, but coming through more strongly in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is thick, as is to be expected, and comes across like cream.

I do admit to a bit of bias here, as the original Samuel Adams Double Bock is one of my favorite beers, but it seems to me that the brewery has only improved on it. This Imperial incarnation has all the flavors of a well-cellared beer, but without all the wait.

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Photo of Floyd12
4.95/5  rDev +26%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Dark amber and reddish hue beer with a creamy off-white 2 finger head. The head dissipates but leaves great lacing down all sides of the glass.

S- Malty and spicy smelly with a very sweet undertone. Fruity/floral presence with a hint of alcohol.

T- Delicious. Very creamy, malty, smooth. A slight hoppy bitter finnish with the undertone of the high alcohol content.

M- Full bodied beer with light to medium carbonation. Very creamy and slightly sticky.

D- If I physically could I would drink this nonstop.

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Photo of maddamish
4.9/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I just wanted to put my place marker in here and extol the virtues of this beer. Not only is this beer a beauty to look at with its big foaming head and orange-ish brown body, but it is one of the more tastier beers on the market.

Keep looking here for a review as I am going to get more of this product and give it a write up it deserves. But for now. Take my word and try one of these tonight.

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Photo of ronniebruner
4.88/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow! Sam Adams continues to be America's best brewery for a reason.! This double bock is rich and creamy. It pours a dark amber color, with a white, frothy head and zero carbonation. The beer has a chocolaty aroma and appearance and is sweet on the pallette. This beer is smooth and leaves a great aftertaste. A very enjoyable brew! Sam Adams and Widmer are constantly my favorite American brewers. But Sam Adams has yet to disappoint!

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Photo of RBorsato
4.88/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bright reddish-amber color with a low creamy brown head and slight lace. Big malty aroma !! Light caramel and light chocolate notes. Big malty flavor; dark caramel malt dominates. Full bodied, rich, creamy, and chewy with a warm alcohol finish.

I was worried about age but this aged incredibly well !! One of the best American dopplebocks to compare to imports.

Label states "Dark Lager" & "Rich bock brewed with extra malt".
ABV: 6.8% (per bottle).

'99 embossed stamp along bottle bottom. Tasted: 01/25/03

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Photo of Xanax37
4.88/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Brothers, if I can suggest one beer you simply must try in your is this one. I had the pleasure to down many a 4-pack and I appreciated every damn one of them. One of the most exceptional and boldest beers I've had the privileged to try. A word of advice, you will either hate this beer (it's not for the weak) or absolutely love it. It's Imperial Cousin isn't bad...but not the same.

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Photo of Engibeer
4.85/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a top-notch beer. Deep, deep reddish copper. It focuses the light like a prism. Beautiful. A vigorous pour raise a thick, buff head that recedes to a ring around the glass. The aroma of rich malt fills my nose and summons the glass to my lips. Thick, January sorghum with just the mere hint of bitter cocoa on the back end of the finish. I truly love this beer. Easy drinking with no real alcohol that I can detect inspite of the high abv. Wonderful. I passed on this the first time I saw it. Never again. If I see it, I will buy it, and you should too.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.85/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

New version, kicked up about 1% ABV (03APR09). Still a beauteous, clear chestnut hue, with a thin, fine, minimal tan head. Lacing is still quite attractive. Nose consists of nice toasty malts, with caramel and toffee sweetness, and light floral hopping. Mouthfeel is lovely, creamy smooth and chewy. Malty sweet sugars coat the tongue, yet are never cloying. More caramel and a smidge of brown sugar. Rum-soaked fruit-cake flavors come to mind. I could drink this all day and night! It sucks, though, that Jim Koch has opted to go with 4-packs vs. sixers, and at higher costs on top of that... Same scores... Prosit!!

*** ***

Latest tastings (09JUN06)... Have another Jan/Feb 2004 bottle... Not much different from last Dec... Is it a tad less full-bodied? Unsure... silky smooth, though. Still rich, smooth, creamy; lots of sweet malts, light caramel, brown sugar.... just a smidge of hops left.... a bit of a warming effect... Now at almost 2.25 years... lovely!!
Next up, getting into the 2005 offering, about 1.25 years old... garnet/mahogany, creamy beige head... seems to have better body than the earlier '04... a touch less sweetness than the '04, with a correspondingly higher bit of hoppiness, though still not bitter at all. Yes, still lovely, all around! Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.8
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | mouthfeel: 5 | drinkability: 5

*** ***

Have opted tonight (04DEC05) to dive into a couple of bottles of Sammy from approx Jan/Feb of '04. Color, of course, hasn't changed; still with a creamy, beige head, and quite full, heavy, thick and smooth on the palate. Rich, sweet brown sugar malt coats the tongue. Lusciously malty yet not at all cloying. Caramel coats everything, yet there is still a smidge of a floral quality from the Noble hops bearing fruit at the finish. Coming up on 2 years in the cellar fridge (at a constant 48F), this bier is still top-shelf!!

*** ***

I have here tonight (10FEB03) a bottle from 2002, and a current, fresh bottle of 2003. Color is identical to each other, and to the '01: a rich, mahogany hue with tinges of ruby. Both have a fine, tan head, though the '03 was initially bigger, and lasts a bit better than the '02. Both leave a bit of lacing. (4.5 for each).
Aroma of last years is much more pronounced than the new model. Still a strong, malty sweet nose, with the '02 perhaps having more caramel (4.5 for '02, 4.0 for '03).
Mouthfeel for both is exquisite! Full-bodied and silky smooth on the tongue! (5.0 each).
The '02 has a more rounded flavor profile, more malty sweetness, with heavier caramel emphasis and even maybe a tinge of molasses. The fresher version, though still with malt aplenty, has an ever so slight bitterness that aging may quell somewhat. ( I still go with a 5.0 for the '02, and a 4.5 for the '03). I was worried that Sammy might have dumbed-down this bier like some others in the line-up, but from 1 bottle, I feel it's still up to it's standard as Sammys best, imho. Drinkability? I love 'em, so 5.0 for each. Prosit!!

*** ***

(Just scored a couple of cases at Shaws for $19.99 each!!!!) Am currently (20Jan02) drinking a 2001 leftover...aged nicely...Beauteous brown/ruby color, with a creamy, small white head. Some lace present.... Sweet, malty nose....some caramel and perhaps toffee and dark fruit. Lovely full body, with a nice smoothness on the tongue. Mucho malt flavor with a nice sweetness... seems like some caramel-like flavors are there too.... and the alcohol doesn't let you forget it's presence! I REALLY enjoy this bier!


Orig rating 4.5/4.5/5.0/5.0/5.0 = 4.80


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Photo of Brunite
4.82/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice dark mahogany red color with a tan head that sticks around for a while. Settles to a tan color.

S: All malts! Caramel malts and some dark, dried fruits. I am also getting some distinct molasses and brown sugar.

T: Similar to the smell, the molasses and sweet malt predominate! Wow. This tastes great. A lingering residual sweetness. I love this! Alcohol just a tad strong.

M: Medium/heavy body...definitely Creamy & smooth as silk going down.

D: I could drink this all day. This beer is great. The best SA I've had. I rate this only 2nd to Celebrator. Amazing flavor for a lager beer. Cracks my personal top 20 list for sure...which means I'll always have this on hand in my fridge! An A+ ranking from me.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.8/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An outstanding beer, the Double Bock might be the best beer that Sam Adams makes. Its smooth texture and rich flavors elide its heavy alcohol count (8.8% ABV). It pours rich and reddish brown, producing a thick tan head that lasts well through its consumption. It is extremely rich in flavor and taste, with chocolate, caramel, and berry malt all in a magnificent roasted melange. The malt is heavy but not obstreperous, allowing the other flavors to emerge as it's consumed. It finishes as smoothly as it begins. A genuine treat, one of the best dopplebocks around. A gem, and not to be passed up.

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Photo of keeganfrank
4.77/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark, red-brown liquid with a thick, sudsy head of about two fingers. Aromas of sweet bread, banana, pineapple, berries. Tastes almost like cinnamon raisin bread. Plenty of spices, fruits and sweet bready flavor. This is a truly exceptional brew; it's the first one I've ever given a 5.0 in any category.

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Photo of Beer-TheThickerTheBetter
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Popped the cap off and smelled the beer. Smells like chocolate, but with a hint of barn funk. Gosh I am hoping the barn funk doesn't continue to the taste. Poured into a pewter stein, took one sip. Wow! I can't believe a beer as complex as this comes from Sam Adams! I like several Sam Adams beers, but they usually are tasty/straight-forward and not complex. I taste at least 4 different levels to this beer. First off there is the sweet chocolatey malts, and man are they sweet. Next I hint just a tinge of dark fruit like the Rochefort Quadrupel I tried last week. Then more sweet malts, with less chocolate and more caramel. Finishes sweet as well. The mouthfeel is incredible. Not the thickest I have had, but excellent. Overall it is as close to chocolate milk as I can describe for a beer, without it being gross. Excellent. Only thing I would probably wish for is a little more of a head on the pour. One of my new favorites, although I must admit I am partial to the style.

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Photo of Bear1964
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%

This is one outstanding beer, looks great and tastes even better! Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a standard Pint glass showed me a beautiful dark reddish brown pour with a 2 finger fluffy tan head which left nice lace as I sipped it down, the aroma is sweet and malty with hints of bread and brown sugar along with dark fruits. With the first taste I was happy I found another well made special beer by Samuel Adam's...they have many and I'm not a beer it's a winner. The medium mouthfeel sets up the malty sweet flow over the tongue, roasted malt and a rich bread round out the solid but fruity taste that hides the ABV well...and a hint of Carmel picks out at the end...a very solid Double Bock!

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Photo of dcook11
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Poured into a snifter. One finger off white head. Ample lacing. Dark amber color, with small fine bubbles rising to the top.

S- Soy sauce. Sweet and tart. Cherries, both sweet and sour.Heavy maltyness.

T- Soy sauce. Again, a tartness, followed by a balancing sweetness. Sweet and sour cherries. Mild hop bitterness and a drying finish.

M- Heavy bodied.

O- One of my favorite beers in the style..

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Photo of Hautacam
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Just had my first taste of the '06 batch last night, and it is a beautiful thing !
Great red, amber color....pour with a head that disappeared to a collar.
Smells great...caramel, malt, hint of alcohol.
Tastes fantastic....carmel, malty, sweet bitter at all..hops just not there.
Carbonation barely there at all.Mouth feel smooth and medium-to-heavy.
Drinkable...I had two...the alcohol does sneak up on you.
Think I'll get a case....or two....this has been a favorite of mine for years....I wish that they would make it year round.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.74/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: a deep garnet red color. Great brightness and perfect clarity. One to two fingers of a tan head that fades fairly quickly and leaves a bit of a lacing.

Smell: super sweet caramels. Very bready. Dark fruits. Probably one of the strongest smelling beers I've opened recently. This one really bites at you with those super sweet malts and dark fruits. Alcohol is noticeable but not astringent or over powering.

Taste: starts off with bready malts. Quickly diverts to caramel, toffee and brown sugar. Dark fruits are more subtle but still big, prunes and dates. Some alcohol sneaks through especially as it warms. Alcohol is there but smooth.

Mouthfeel: big and heavy. Thick and creamy. A meal of a beer. Very warming as well

Overall: a big and wonderful beer. Very sweet but not overly. A great beer to introduce people to a style that's not so well done in the states. Big bold flavors make me want to go for Utopias. I imagine it being a bigger bolder but somewhat related to this one

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Photo of AustinBeerLvr
4.73/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner style glass. Freshness date is labeled that this brew is fresh until the end of August of 2007.

This is one of the most beautiful beers I have ever seen in a glass. Awesome head retention, great lacing on the glass, and the color of the beer is just exceptional. It's a wonderful dark ruby that is simply awesome to see. The beer looks so damn good I could pour it just to view the beer.

Nose is caramel sweetness with hints of alcholol and other fruit scents as well. Hops are only slightly noticeable.

Oh man is this beer tasty! It starts off with a good amount of caramel sweetness that lasts throughout and then the alcholol hits as well as the spiciness of the hops that last until the end of the sip. As I sipped the beer further, my palate got more used to the beer's alcholol flavor and it faded a bit. A nice roasted malt feel is also present throghout the sip of this brew. Maybe a little choclate flavor in the back as well. Mouthfeel is almost perfect for the style. Just right, not too heavy, by no means not heavy enough. The difference from last season seems to be a more substantial hop flavor and bitterness that perfectly balances everything out.

Either my palate has changed since last winter or the BBC improved this brew, but this year it tatstes exceptionally well. This beer is so complex, words can't describe it. It is so tasty, words can't describe it. Also, the ABV of this brew makes it as warming as can be for a cold winter's day (believe it or not, we get those days here in Central Texas!) I would say this is the absolute perfect beer. As for the drinkablity, it's defenitely a sipping brew as it's very strong, but oh is the flavor and everything else just to die for!

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Photo of Bi0hazrd
4.72/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Now this is my kind of beer. I first had this back in the late '90s when I lived in Boston. I can remember anxiously awaiting February for this to be released so that I could buy several cases for the year.

A- clear chestnut hue, with a thin, fine, minimal tan head

S- Very complex. Huge toasted malts with caramel and toffee sweetness, and light floral hopping. Smells like a great doppelbock to me!

T- Sweet in the beginning with the malts coming in the middle with a tint of alcohol at the end.

M- silky smooth and chewy.

All in all a very good beer that is well balanced with all the complexity that goes with it. I could drink this all day long if not for the high ABV. Still 3 or 4 of these and I will call it a night.

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Photo of Todd
4.7/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the few beers that I can honestly say that I look forward to each year. Malty, robust and extremely warming ... one of the last ballsy beers by Sam Adams, and one that I wish was a year round beer.

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Photo of rkcrozier
4.7/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured thick and brown from bottle to glass and the smells of malt were very apparent.

I love this beer! I haven't had a beer from BBC in a while but saw the Double Bock as well as the Porter from the Imperial series and had to try at least one of them.

The smell of malt was so intoxicating I couldn't wait to take the first sip and savored every bit of it. The mouthfeel is very smooth and doesn't weight you down but it definitely packs a powerful punch.

I can't wait to try the porter!!! Way to go BBC!!!

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Photo of gearkraft
4.7/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A rich and dark cherry chocolate like color. Hints of amber towards edge of glass (was poured from a bottle). Very minor lacing, with little to no head retention. Im so memorized by the colors I don't care that there is an absence of head.

Smell: I hint detections of a apricot and fermented soy on the back end. Almost reminds me of a fruity soy sauce type of smell. Probably not the best way to describe it, but its pleasant... almost like a humid summer evening.

Taste: This one took me a minute to really get down. First you get hints of malts, followed by a huge rush of apricot and starchy smoothness. Back-end finishes with a slight coppery nut flavor.

Mouthfeel: I originally was disappointed, but after a few sips it began to grow on me. Its heavy, but soothing. Almost like a home made cream sauce for pasta.

Drinkability: I rated this with a high score because it is a great beer, that I could conceivably drink several of, but with the high alcohol content I wouldnt suggest it.

Would I buy this beer again? No, probably not. But you ask, "why did you give it such a high rating"... Well, because it is simply good, and thats it. Its also expensive for a 4 pack.

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Photo of beerprovedwright
4.7/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In a real Samuel Adams glass. Two finger head of light brown foam, mild lace, with moderate cling. Color matches a 24 on the SRM beer scale. Smell of caramel, roasted wheat, pepper, chives, and malt. Taste is well balances, with flavors of chocolate, toffee, caramel, wheat, rye, molasses, and coffee. Great mouthfeel, creamy and full with a slight tingle on the top of my mouth. Not a beer I would have more than two unless I was going nowhere for a afternoon. I see more of this on the horizon.

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Photo of oelergud
4.7/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally the SA Double Bock is out in the stores, I've been awaiting this great brew for so long and it's just as good as I remember it.
A very clear dark ruby and a light tan head makes this a beautiful beer, not alot of lace but enough for me.
The smell doesn't hide the caramel and high alcohol % and neither does the taste, very creamy and full bodied, make sure you get a little of the head with each sip as that makes it even better.
Leaves a caramel cover in your mouth and brings a cozy warmth to your bones on these cold winter days.
This is one of the few seasonal beers I stock up on so I can enjoy the taste for a good while after the brewers stop making it.
This is one of the best beers from SA and one of the very best winter lagers.

-Oelergud, Cheers!

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Photo of BoulderBarrovecchio
4.67/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Brown copper semi-translucent with a 1/2 inch that sticks, a lot of carbonation activity with lacing as you venture through the pint.

S: Bready and malty with slight caramel and fruit scent.

T: Bready, malty, and spicey (cloves?) with a yeast/malt on the back-end that lingers. The slightest of slight hops presence.

M: High carbonation that hits in the front and lingers throughout, full bodied and very creamy. A perfect mouthfeel, the best I've ever tasted.

O: Active appearance, bready and yeasty, perfect mouthfeel. I tend to favor domestic doppelbocks over bavarian because of the mouthfeel, and I think I have to rate Sam Adams over Troegenator. Simply awesome.

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Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.93 out of 5 based on 1,927 ratings.
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