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 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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Photo of SAABtech
4.67/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


a. dark amber with little head

s. very malty with hints of caramel, chocolate and roasted grain or toast and a spicy alcohol presence, very clean!

t. This is the most full flavored beer I have tried so far! it is now my new winter beer.with the use of a half pound of malt when making it the flavor is full of caramel, chocolate, almonds, nuts and lots roasted malts with the spicy alcohol that warms the belly as you drink it.

m. a full bodied beer, thick and hearty with a small amount of carbonation.

d. a filling beer i could most certainly use it as a meal. i like it alot.

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Photo of goblue3509
4.65/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Takes about two sips to get used to it, (much like the imperial pilsner) but after that exceptional taste. Color is a very dark brown, but not a black like a stout. Very good aroma. Very impressed with it. Looking forward to tasting the rest of the imperial series.

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Photo of drunkboxer1
4.64/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured this hard into a beveled glass mug. The head dissipated really quickly and left little to no lace. It smells sweet, caramely i guess. Tastes the same but more so. The hops are just right for the style, providing enough balance for this malt-bomb. Nice thick mouthfeel with maybe a little more carbonation than I'm used to in this style. I like this beer a lot but I dunno if I'll pay another 10 bucks for 4, especially when I can get Optimator for cheaper and get my dopple fix.

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Photo of Alewife
4.63/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of my all-time favorites! Nice sweet, malty nose. Has a nice fine, creamy head on top of a great chestnut colored body. Tastes of molasses and caramel smooth out nicely over the palate. This is a great one for sipping and enjoying. 2002 is not a bad year, but if you can hold on to it for awhile and drink it in a year or two, WOW!!! Ages beautifully!!!

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Photo of ndekke39
4.63/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 4-pack at the store, poured one of these into a pint glass. Deep ruby red, very clear. A white head that drops quickly into a thin ring of lace. A little bit of sticky lace on the side of the glass.

Aroma is pretty simple: rich, bready, maltiness.

The taste is fantastic! A must for maltheads. Big, bready flavors. You can taste the malts stacked up here. A little bitterness on the finish, enough to balance things.

The mouthfeel is probably my favorite part: rich and creamy, without being overly heavy. Such a great complement to the malty backone.

A very drinkable beer. Definitely one for maltheads, but overall an excellent beer. A new favorite for me.

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Photo of danoeltico
4.62/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 26Jul2011
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

Deep amber to light brown color with a touch of head that dissipates quickly. Little to no lacing observed

Sweet spice and molasses esk aroma

Get some dark fruit and the spices that I smelt along with some nice rich sweet molasses. Hides the alcohol almost too well. Don't drink on an empty tummy as she will catch up with you quickly!

A very robust beer that will age nicely. Plan on picking up some more to age. A very tasty Double Bock! Highly recommended to give one of these guys a pour.

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Photo of hwwty4
4.62/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

To preface, this may well be my favorite beer that Sam Adams has put out yet. Poured a 12oz bottle into a Chimay chalice. Poured a dark amber red with orange tones when held to the light. The beer had a off white head that disappeared quickly. Aroma is amazing. Lots of dark fruits, with brown sugar, caramel and cherries. Taste is roasted malts with brown sugar, dark fruits and a alcholy kick. Mouthfeel is medium to full with a light carbonation. Extremely drinkable. I think I'm going to have to go pick up a sixer.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The new 2009 Imperial series doublebock is a different animal than this version that I reviewed back in 2007. This review at the bottom is for the new 2009 version. The top review is for the 2007 version. I'm scoring this with the 2009 version in mind.

Looks like a brown-amber with nice red hues and a moderate light brown head, dissiptes lightly.

Nose: Big aroma of maple-sugar malt, caramel, alcohol heat, spicey and herbal hop.

Flavor: Massivly rich and sweet malted flavor with a smooth and buttery effect that really stimulates the palate. The malt flavor is very complex with notes of sweet caramel with buttered toast and a slight alcohol heat and spicey, peppery hop that blalances out well over the huge sweet malt. There is an interesting pine-pitch like flavor in the earthy hop finish. This Double Bock reminds me very much of the "Long shots" Old Ale with it's massive malt charechter.

Feel: Full bodied, thick and slick feeling but not without a decent carbonated bite at the end.

DA: amazingly easy to drink at 8.8%.


a dark, yet clear amber/brown with red hues. 3" bubbly, thick and dense cream-colored head. slow dissipation, rather impressive. Sticky and intricate lacing. Best looking SA brew I've seen in a while!

The aroma is huge! Sweet, malty bread, cinnemon and sour fruits within the malt, a nice sour-fruity yeast underneath that. sour-dough bread with maple and honey sweetness. musky, herbalness down deep. big, earthy yeast way, way down. great complexity. maks you anxious to take a sip!

Whoa Mama! This has a huge malty complexity, much more complex than the previous version of this brew. It has infact been beefed up, and big-time! Vermont grade-a amber maple syrup rides through the malt with a beautiful balance of spicey, herbal lager-like yeast effect. full bodied feel, slick and a heat-driven herbalized finish. The flavor's are very much bold but it's balance amkes everything blend very well. Warming, complex and yet very drinkable. There is an earthy sensibility amoungst all of the heady malt flavor's that range from salty nuts to toffee. Brawney complexity!

This one is a pure joy! maybe the best Sam Adams's brew on the market. and it's a nice step-up from the old bouble bock recipe. Sip and enjoy!

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Photo of Stingray5
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, translucent amber with a nice creamy head. Smell is sweet chocolate malt. Hints of prunes. I can detect the alcohol here. Not so representative of the taste that is about to follow, though. Mouthful is huge, bold and creamy. Low carbonation.

Taste is sticky sweet caramel, molasses, prunes, followed by a long lasting alcohol warmth. Hops? We don't need no stinkin' hops. More flavors going on here than I'm able to identify. Extremely pleasing to drink. There's a lot going on here, so combined with the higher abv, two of these at a time seems to be my limit. Aw heck, make it three!

This stuff has quite a kick. Gives me that warm fuzzy feeling. This and the Winter Lager, are my favorite offerings from BBC. Go get some. Excellent!

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Photo of fitzy84
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pretty nice. The drink poured with a syrupy-color, thin appearance into the glass. Little to no head immediately. Brown-amber colors are the general colors seen in this drink. The smell is great; thick, thick malts and spices. The taste is out of this world: pure sweetness with sharp bitter-alcohol tastes that are more delicious than overpowering. The mouthfeel is awesomely perfect for this drink since it allows the beverage to be thin enough so its not like a meal for some people. Is this the best doppelbock? No, but with its very above average dimensions, this Sam Adams staple is one of the best in their repertoire.

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Photo of elmore
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a dark carmel with a thin tan head. Head receded rapidly with minimal lacing.

Smells of moderately roasted malts, caramel, brown sugar, minimal hops aroma. Taste is similar to smell with nice alcohol warmth. Moderate carbonation with a medium body make this a very drinkable.

This is a real gem from Sam Adams. One of the best Doppelbocks I've had. I think better than some that are very highly ranked ones. This is the best BBC beer I've had.

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Photo of John
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This stuff is so good I decided it merits a re-review after a recent tasting.

12oz. bottle. Deep ruby-brown color, beautiful tan, cascading, lasting head. Aroma is of sweet dark bread and toasted caramel. Full body. Flavor is dark malty sweet, chocolatey with hints of caramel. Alcohol is quite pronounced, but balances the sweetness (use caution near open flame!). Minimum detectable hop. Serious brew.

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Photo of edchicma
4.58/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This is my first double bock. This brew is not for Joe Six Pack. The first thing I noticed was the somewhat fruity smell with a definite alcohol tinge. The color is amber red with a head that dissipates rapidly retaining a lacy quality for some time. After my initial taste, I was strcuk with how much this reminded me of wine, but with a nice mouthfeel witha lingering full-bodied aftertaste. Very smoth going down (but sip, don't gulp). A beer that is meant to be savored and appreciated.

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Photo of dbmcrorie
4.58/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first thing I said when I took of sip of this rich elixir was "Wooo!" I was literally puckered and shocked at the power and robustness of the flavor of this beer.

It poured smooth and clear with a small amber head at the top. The bubbles were large yet left minimal lace around the glass. A full glass is a deep amber/orange with a rich red hue.

I first noticed the heavy smell of malt; a bit roasty with defined caramel notes and hints of chocolate. It reminded me greatly of fresh baked soda bread. Fruity esters compliment the intense malty nose. Later on, the smell began to emit nutty notes reminiscent of a nut brown ale.

WOW. This double bock packs a punch. It is full bodied with a very thick lasting mouth feel that almost leaves your lips sticky. It is extremely malty and sweet at first with citrus notes adding a tangy finish in the back of the tongue. Fruity notes of oranges and dates leave a wonderful aftertaste. The alcohol is definitely there but blends well with the robust flavor.

It is not a beer that can be drank in large doses due to its thickness and rich flavor, nor should it be taken lightly. Nevertheless, I was more than impressed by its multiple layers and powerful presence. Like a proper barley wine style or trappist ale, this beer is probably best matched with fine cheese and a good conversation.


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Photo of SamN
4.58/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Last of the Imperial Trifecta from Samuel Adams. This was surprisingly hard to find. Served in a tulip, for lack of a better glass.

A- This pours ridiculously fizzy and soda like. Super dark, fairly clear (I'd say a 50% haze). The head is a tanish white, very foamy and bubbly. Couldn't find a better glass for pure visual presentation, such a solid looking beer. Beautiful, elegant, classy all come to mind.

S- First sensation is of mustiness. Heavily malted, so huge booming scents of nuts (not that kind) and dark fruits soaked in Everclear. Strong alcohol whiffs. Nutty, creamy, sweet and boozy. Smells like a great doppelbock to me!

T- Starts with rich mahogany toned flavors of nuttiness, oak and with a lot of boozy burn. Great "swelling" of flavors, rising and crescendoing. Finishes on some hops flavors and less sweetness. Aftertaste left behind is not great, of scorched sugars.

Bottom line: Rich, malty and satisfyingly sweet and boozy, could still use some more complexities, a wider range of flavors and less alcohol burn (it's a little distracting). This ain't no Samichlaus, but still mouthwateringly delectable.

M- So silky, so smooth and heavenly silken. Huge body, like liquid lead in my mouth. Heavy and full, with thicker consistency.

D- A great, great, great beer. SA has a solid foundation here, just some minor tweaks would make it perfecto.

Great jobs, SA. This is the best of your Imperial Series, and one of your best beers ever.

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Photo of gmfessen
4.58/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a clear, deep crimson-brown color with a thin but semi-active tan head. The nose seems a bit one-dimensional with a malty sweet brown sugar note with just a touch of dark fruit mingled in. One dimensional, but good. The flavor on the other hand seems to explode with depth. The premise is basically the same as the nose but with a whole new layer of complexity. Chocolate, brown sugar, molasses, dates, figs, and a bit of smoke combine to make this an excellent doppelbock. The mouthfeel is all of full bodied with a minimal carbonation that suits the beer well, goes down extremely smooth and leaves a slick yet drying finish. Overall, dangerously drinkable with the deceivingly high ABV. Try this one for sure.

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Photo of beerluvr
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This (aged since February) beauty pours a thick luscious and long-lasting tan head, very finely carbonated. Deep amber/reddish liquid. Nose is fruity, sweet...I swear I got a whiff of banana when I first poured it into the glass. Wow, taste is sweet with malt sugars, complex notes of alcohol and subtle fruitiness gives way to a gorgeous hoppiness...just dry & bitter enough to balance out the viscuous mouthfeel. This beer has aged beautifully, one of the finest to emerge from the cellar! Sadly, it's also the last bottle, the rest were drunk months ago...if only I knew how well it keeps. To those who have some stashed away...enjoy!

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Photo of Ellbert
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark red with some brown highlights. The tan is decent, light tan with teeny tiny bubbles. It slowly fades to a sticky lace.

Smell: Very thick and malty aroma with a beautiful hop presence and a nice alcohol spicy kick to finish it off.

Taste: Very beefy. A very well balanced flavor. Malt and hops are right up front, then alcohol and just when you think it is finished the malt comes back around for another go. The aftertaste leaves you fairly clean. This is fantabulous!

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is very meaty. It is nice and thick and coats the tongue. The carbonation is very tight and works well with the alcohol to tingle the tongue.

A great beer. This should be a year round offering. Not all that drinkable because of the ABV however.

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Photo of Hovellord
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The only other doppelbocks against which I can compare Samuel Adams Double Bock are Paulaner Salvator and Aventinus and the American offering does not fall short. Great, hearty, boozy darkness. Malty, and decidedly so. Velvety in the mouth. The desired warmth on the tongue is present, as is the afterglow. Makes one know he is drinking beer. One complaint--so drinkable that one can fall off the couch before he knows what hit him. Stick to one and take your time.

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Photo of mjw2808
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany with some reddish in there. Small head, minimal lacing. The aroma is very very malty, some spices and some alcohol. The taste is beautiful, roasted malt in abundance with some caramel, maybe a hint of coffee malt in there and a very small hint of alcohol as its going down. This is one of my favorite beers from Samuel Adams.

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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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