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

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1,109 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: 1,109 | Ratings: 1,924
Photo of CO-Bloom
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another reminder beer is subjective. I loved this beer. This is an intense malt driven punch to the senses. I get huge dried fruit, banana, caramel, toffee, toast and a slight warming finish. ABV is well hidden but still present. Haven't had a ton of doppelbocks so I am not totally sure as to how it stacks up stylistically but my taste buds like the beer presented. Highly recommended for fans of big malty beers (winter warmers, English barley wines, old ales, etc.)

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Photo of Rockjocknroll
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wow. I had heard this was the zenith of Sam Adams and boy howdy, it measures up. After a visit to the brewery I picked this up at a local bottle shop.

A: Dark reddish-brown with an everlasting head. Seriously, it stays in the glass for hours.
S: Crystal malt for days. Caramel, toffee, malt...you want to eat it.
T: Similar to the nose. Tons of caramel, toffee, dark sugar, yeast and malt.
M: Heavy but crazy drinkable.
O: This bock is one of the best I've ever had, easily one of the best for style. SA might miss the mark here and there for other styles and beers but this is exceptional. Damn near a perfect bock.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful ruby clear pour, but with a little too thin white head. Smells like a good German doppelbock! Malty sweet goodness with a hint of roastiness. Taste is similar, but a little too much heat. Good overall, but it with the classics so easily attainable, not my go to. Prost!

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Photo of mncoinman
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Heavy malt aroma. Pours deep reddish brown. Significant and long lasting foam head. No visible carbonation. Good bite on the tongue. Nice lacing. Good dose of munich style malt flavoring. Pretty well balanced on the sweetness factor (not too much). Drink this with some salty snacks. Good stuff.

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Photo of HiWire
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark clear amber with minimal head. Smells of sweetness, vanilla, boozy, and malt. Tastes of minor sweetness with a medium malt profile. Finishes a mellow malt with lingering spiciness. Solid mouthfeel, no lacing. Would buy again.

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Photo of trevorpost
3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear red with a small amount of off white head that dissipates to nothing
Aroma is sweet malt, some dark fruit. A bit lacking for the ABV
Flavor is a bit bigger, but still lagging behind something like JA Saxonator. Toffee and caramel, some raisin and grape.
Balanced feel, a little bit boozy but nowhere near as much as the 9.5% would indicate.
Ultimately a good beer that would have been better at a lower ABV. For the size of it, ends up lacking a bit in flavor.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass, orange brown with a large tan head that lingers leaving good lacing, cloudy

S: intense malt, honey, some dark fruits, bread, sweet

T: intense malt, slightly yeasty, dark breads, light flavors of dark fruit, figs, molasses, brown sugar, pretty impressive flavor profile

M: remarkably light for such a high ABV, alcohol well hidden, clean finish

O: very interesting for a "big beer" that isn't a stout or a DIPA hop bomb

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Photo of OrangeMen
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2016 release

Appearance- Pours a rich red mahogany color, ruby red. Finger thick, off white colored head, pillowy and creamy.

Aroma- Caramalized sugars, toasted grains, rich maltiness. Dark fruits, raisins, figs, dates and plums. Slight cranberry notes, something a bit tart.

Taste- Dark fruits, raisin, plum, red wine grape, fig. Bready, rich malty sweetness, syrupy. Bready, toasted grains. Bit of a floral spice.

Feel- Medium feel, slightly syrupy but very very smooth. Moderate carbonation.

Overall- Nice doppelbock. Has a great balance of those sweet dark fruits, rich malts, and breadiness. Does truly taste like a meal in a glass. Hearty and warming.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.1/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

** 04/06/2015
Appearance, Dark reddish brown. Clear copper. No head. Aroma: wine, Apple, Taste: sour Apple, but not too sour. Easy drinking. Light grasses, hops, malt. Feel: lively. Good beer. Like a "less festive harpoon winter warmer".

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Photo of ichorNet
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Just re-released in the form of a couple 12 oz bottles in the newest "Adventures in Lager" mixed-12-pack, SA's doppelbock gets another chance to wow with its huge malty backbone and intense ABV. This is actually my first time with this beer, to be honest. Was never really interested in it enough to pick it up separately, but as part of this pack it makes a lot of sense.

Pours a deep brown with ruby/garnet tones hidden within. Head is towering and off-white with great, consistent lace as it dissipates to a single finger of foam. The beer has a translucent look; seems very lightly filtered. The color is dark though, so it's tough to tell if I can't see through it due to lack of filtration or if it's just a high SRM.

Nose is wonderful... redolent of earthy baking spice (cinnamon and nutmeg pop out immediately though neither is used in the beer as far as I'm aware), doughy yeast, brown bread, fig and molasses, this big German-style lager nevertheless doesn't seem to throw its weight around too much. Ethanol heat is kept to a surprising minimum here. I can only really detect warming alcohol notes if I inhale very deeply and intently. Mostly, I'm picking up brown sugar, bready qualities and spice. No esters are picked up at all. This seems very clean.

Flavor is rather rich with lots of similarities to crème brûlée, some toffee and cocoa along with the molasses and brown bread noted in the scent. Very little of the spice notes from the nose come through on the palate, but the earthy, dusty and vaguely-yeasty, doughy flavor seems to sit on the tongue throughout. Pretty nice, if sweet overall. Once again, kind of surprising that this is so strong considering its pretty approachable, if heavy and malty, palate.

Feel seems to sit on the heavier side of medium with moderately-low carbonation, which is pretty much to-style. It's been a surprisingly long time since I've had a traditional German doppelbock and this doesn't really feel quite like one, but it's still nice for what it is. Perhaps there's a reason they don't call this a "doppelbock" (or name it something that ends in '-ator', either!) other than ease of marketing, then. Regardless of whether it squarely fits in the stylistic category it's lumped into on here, one thing's for sure to my palate: this is a pretty damn good drink.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours from the bottle an opaque brown with a tan head that leaves plenty o' lacing.
The aroma is toffee, caramel and biscuit.
The taste follows. Toffee and bready sweetness up front, a little raisin and fig, a touch of spice (cinnamon perhaps?) and some boozy warmth.
Mouthfeel is medium and smooth.
Not at the level of the best German Dopples, but pretty darn good.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.35/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Amber appearance, light, mild super thin 1/8" head on it. Tons of alcohol dominates the aroma.

Taste, again, alcohol blast obliterates everything else. There's a massive caramel presence that keeps anything from being too prominent, there's some smoke, spice rack and citrus notes. Nothing in terms of hops, more bitter fruit and alcohol burn.

Worst beer of the Imperial Series.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16.9 ounce bottle poured into a stein

A: Pours a mahogany with a tan creamy looking head, lots of bubbles streaming up the side, light does come through giving the beer some lovely ruby colored edges, some lacing, some good head retention.

A: Surprisingly it smells very fruity, raisins, figs, molasses, caramel, burnt sugar, lots of aroma, slight roasted malts, alcohol is well-hidden, smells pretty solid.

T: Dark fruits, burnt sugar, caramel, molasses, has a touch of honey in the middle, finish is roasted and sweet, some bitterness, aftertaste is sweet.

M: Medium bodied mouthfeel, good amount of carbonation, smooth, very drinkable.

O: I know Sam Adams gets a lot of dislike but they can brew some really solid beers, including this one. Lots of flavor, aroma, nice appearance, creamy smooth mouthfeel, I really enjoyed this. I might pick up another for the cellar.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Caveat this is a review of a 2013 bottle

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter
A: murky brown in color very little head

S: smells like raisins and apples caramel burnt sugar

T: caramel, fairly sweet, raisins, bready lots of residual sugar has a sour taste on the end and a little bit of an acidic taste

M: very high carbonation tingly n the tongue a little unpleasant for a doppelbock

O: Well fuck...the beer is a lot better than. remember it tasted more like a scotch ale and sadness now it actually resembles a Doppelbock. Not sure about the slight acidic taste and sourness.

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Photo of BlackBeerPirate
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Taste, bold, malty, roasted, molasses, complex, alcohol bourbon notes.
Deep Red/Brown in color, clear, Full body, Average sized head with nice lattice to lace. Big spice in the finish.
25 IBUs

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.69/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Cloudy rust brown, with a substantial light tan head and extensive lacing. The head and lacing are nice, but the body is a bit more muddy than I'd like.

S - Positive is the rich malt nose, but there is a slight chemical note, and the alcohol hit is significant.

T - Caramel and sticky bread sweetness, cut by a vegetal grassiness. The close has a hint of over-steeped tea, and acridness that undercuts what is otherwise a fairly pleasant drink.

M - There is a bit of stickiness, and certainly the alcohol and bitterness in the close helps clear it, but not completely.

O - This is close to a great doppelbock. Unfortunately, off notes undermine the delicious caramel and bread qualities. As a result, it seems they'd have been better dialing things back a touch and keeping tighter control.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours brilliant reddish chestnut to mahagony producing a 1” clingy and persistent light tan foam collar.
S: Sweet bread, faint citrus.
T: Toffee, caramel, sweet dark bread, cola, light citrus,
F: creamy, smooth, medium to medium low carbonation, medium to full body, a little alcohol warming on the end.
O: A big bold beer that is a little on the sweet side but still very good.

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Photo of ZBowden
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours clear dark brown with tan head, smells of sweet malts caramel sweet potato, tastes of malts hides the booziness of the beer as well as slight woody bitterness. Mouthfeel is rich and silky with medium carbonation.

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Photo of outdoor7or24
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

22 oz bottle purchased at Costco. Poured into snifter.
A: pours a brown sugar body, +2 finger off white foam head, heavy spotty lacing
S: oak, slight char, spicy, brown sugar, alcohol
M: medium body, slight resin in tongue
T: oak, boozy, burnt wood, some vanilla
O: okay brew, on the unbalanced side and boozy. The boozy part interrupts flavors coming through for me.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reddish brown pour/khaki foam;great lacing. Sweet caramel nose and taste. Boozy tongue, caramel exhale. Medium lite mouthfeel. Very pleasing. "Bigger" beer.

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Photo of futiledevices
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not my favorite style to begin with, but a nice departure from Sam Adams' usual offerings. Nice medium body. Not too strong of a nose, but decently bready and malty. Heavy on the toffee, brown sugar, cherries, malt. While it's fairly sticky and syrupy in the mouth, the finish leaves something to be desired. Maybe a little nutty and boozy at the end, but nothing that was begging me to keep drinking it. Overall, a nice addition to the Sam Adams collection, but just not one of my favorites in the style. If it's at your local bottle shop, it's worth a shot, as it's pretty affordable and may be a nice choice if you're into it.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really enjoyed from the bottle in a snifter. This mighty fine doppelbock pours a brownish red with a nice lightly off white head of tight beaded foam that dissipates to a thin layer ring and thin layer of foam with light lacing. Nose of fresh dark bread, toffee, and strong booze. Flavors follow the nose exquisitely with toffee, brown sugar, and warming alcohol tot eh front and sides, fresh baked lightly dark bread and rich crust to the read with warming alcohol and sweet butterscotch flavors to the back and aftertaste. Most with moderate carbonation, high drinkability, and slick mouth feel. This is excellent. Sam at his best!


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Photo of Ohiovania
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Smells of biscuity twizzlers with a slight hint of alcohol.

I thought it would be more of that malty/ toffee sweetness but it resides at a moderate, yet still constrained, sweetness. The cherry from the twizler is there with moderate alcohol.

Carbonation seems slightly above what I would expect as well.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amber pour with thin tan head - doesn’t look as appealing as it’s about to be... aromas of bread and caramel. Much the same comes across the tongue. A sweet finish makes this just right.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, poured into a tulip at approximately 45 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a deep, rich, clear mahogany red-amber, and forms a massive, fluffy head of tawny beige foam. Lacing is present and impressive. The bottom of the glass lines with large bubbles, and sheets of tiny bubbles rise continuously.

Smell: Heavy caramel malt swirls out of the glass, thick with the scent of fresh bread as well. There's a toffee presence in the aroma, and something vaguely leathery.

Taste: As predicted from the smell, this is heavy on the caramel and toffee malt flavors, from the opening all the way through the finish. There's a breadiness in the background as well, alongside a rather sharp, metallic iron sort of taste. By the finish, that metallic note intensifies, turning dry and sharp, and there's an odd lingering intense bitter toffee aftertaste. Not much going on in the way of any fruits, though there is a vague sort of walnut tone that manifests through the middle.

Mouthfeel: Initially somewhat creamy and sticky, this breaks down at the end to leave a watery finish.

Overall: Not a bad go at a doppelbock from a US brewer! It stays solidly in the malt flavor wheelhouse, and comes decently close on mouthfeel. It's not my favorite doppelbock, nor even my favorite US attempt, but it's a solid beer.

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Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.93 out of 5 based on 1,924 ratings.
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