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 OWSLEY069
2.14/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a hazy deep amber to copper color with a light tan head. In the aroma, a small roast, a small nuttiness, and dry alcohol. In the taste, a dry alcohol stands out with a small, sweet nuttiness. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry nuttiness and alcohol hint in the aftertaste. Alcohol just stands out way too much and not really balanced.

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Photo of granite
2.16/5  rDev -45%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12oz poured into bock glass.

A---It poured mahogany with red hues and a thin white head.

S---Esters, green apple and late malt.

T---Malty, hot alcohol, fruity yeast and cider aftertaste.

M---Medium bodied.

D---It was more ale like then a lager. It tasted like it was fermented hot. I have no interest in trying the 07 batch again.

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Photo of HopNelius
2.23/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Served in a mini snifter.
Appearance-Redish mahogany, appeared a lot lighter in color than Double Bock's that I am used too.
Smell- malty smell but not as malty as I would expect from a double bock.
Taste- notes of caramel and lots of malt, malt however is not burnt malt.Booziness does shine trough a bit.
Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, thick.
Overall- I did not buy this beer. Someone had bought it for me whith out knowing what kind of beer's I prefer. I do not normally gravitate towards Double Bock's but I have had several over the years and I usually end up comapring them all to ayinger celebrator double bock which this beer pales in comparison to.

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Photo of nortmand
2.26/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Brownish amber with a 2 finger white head.

Smell is hay and a tad bit of roast.

Cloyingly sweet. Just pure malt sweetness, with a slightly bitter roast end.

I know it's supposed to be a doppelbock and really sweet and malty and all, but this takes it to another level. Other doppelbocks are sweet, but also incredibly drinkable. I just can't imagine drinking very much of this in a sitting.

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Photo of JanM
2.34/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I can't stop myself from down-rating this beer. It takes a special beer drinker to love it, and I'm not that person. It poured with a nice reddish, brown color and not with much foam. The smell was of sweet candy, caramel, alcohol and maybe some grapefruit aqnd chocolate. The taste was VERY sweet, almost like soime licorice syrup, and with the alcohol coming strongly through. It's way too sweet for my taste and quite far off my ideal double bock mark (like Weltenburger). The alcohol is too dominat as well. It reminds me of a really bad Danish beer I got before X-mas and poured in the sink.

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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 Hoagie1973
2.48/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a clear medium amber color with a nice buttery head and good lacing.

Smells of malt, sugar, fruits, and maybe a hint of vanilla?

Wow this is sweet! This is too sweet even for me, and I like em sweet. Tastes extremely malty, with caramel, dark sugar, and harsh alcohol. Hops are there somewhere, but overpowered by the sweetness. Bitterness comes more from the alcohol than hops.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy.

I'm not too impressed by this one. I'm starting to think maybe I'm just not a fan of bocks in general.

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Photo of arboristfish
2.5/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

The color of this beer is an amber with a brown haze to it. The smell of this beer is of booze and roasted caramel malts. The taste is of overpowering caramel and booze. This is not a balanced beer. Mouthfeel is slightly thick, and little to no carbonation. A sipping beer.

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Photo of StoutHunter
2.51/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I picked up a bottle of Samuel Adams Double Bock a couple weeks ago for $2.49 at The Lager Mill. I haven't tried anything from Samuel Adam's imperial series before, so since this was on the singles shelf I decided give their Doppelbock a try and see how it stacks up to the other ones I have tried. There was no visible bottling date but I am sure this is a 2011 vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label on this beer looks good and the picture of the goat is drawn well, I still don't get the deal will most Doppelbocks having a goat theme on the bottle. It poured a nice deep and dark mahogany color with some nice red/copper hues when held to the light. It had two fingers worth of off white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed the rest of the time.

S- This beer has a really strong malt dominated aroma. It starts off with some caramel, toffee and dark fruit aromas with some some grainy biscuit like aromas. It has a big amount of sweetness in the nose that gives it a brown sugar and candied sugar like aroma along with a slight presence of alcohol and a slight amount of earthy and grassy hops.

T- Wow this is one malt heavy beer, I believe this could be called a malt bomb. It starts out with tons of malts that impart a pretty robust caramel flavor along with some toffee and dark fruits. The malts are slight biscuity and heavy on the sweetness, too much so for my taste. The sweetness tasted like a heavy mixture of brown sugar and candied sugar, to me the sweetness was cloying and it was immediately followed by a pretty big alcohol presence that just seemed way too boozy for 9.5%. The finish had a medium amount of bitterness along with some warming alcohol burn.

M- It was sticky and it had a thick syrupy like body that was just to thick and cloying. Carbonation was on the low side of medium but it seemed to suit this beer just fine.

Overall I thought this Doppelbock wasn't that good and it had too many harsh qualitys for me to like. As far as sweet Doppelbocks go this is up there with being one of the sweetest Doppelbocks I have had to date and combined with the lack of hiding the 9.5% of alcohol made for a beer that was pretty hard for me to get down and not all that enjoyable. I don't mind sweetness and booze in a Doppelbock and I have come to expect it from this style, but balance is the key and this beer showed hardly any balance. What I liked most about this beer was the look, it had great color for a Doppelbock, what I liked least about this beer was it's unrefined and unbalanced taste, it was just too sweet and boozy. I wouldn't buy this beer again, I'll stick with my go to Doppelbock, Celebrator. I wouldn't recommend this beer to anyone, unless sweet and boozy is your thing, it's not hard to find a much better Doppelbock. I find this beer to be a swing and a miss for Samuel Adams, it lacked the balance and refinement that better Doppelbocks have, this beer needs a good amount of tweaking to be good, it's just too rough around the edges. I still want to try their Imperial Stout but this beer made for a bad first impression for Samuel Adam's Imperial Series. This is the second worst Doppelbock I have had with Primator still remaining the worst to date.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.53/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Copper color, extremely thin head if any to it. I liked the color, not so much anything else in terms of appearance. Aroma was largely alcohol.

Taste, was largely alcohol. If you search for it, a miniscule amount of citrus and smoke. Yeah, nice pairing. . . psych. Lots of caramel, its like a dipa, but without hops. Weird spice flavoring that defies description other than that I would label it a negative. Like a mix of prunes and grandma's perfume.

About my least favorite of the extreme or whatever series they're calling it.

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Photo of ohmybock
2.55/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This one tastes OK at first, however, it becomes worse and worse with each sip. I don't know what causes this. Is it a flaw in the ingredients, the brewing process or perhaps in the lagering phase? I'm not sure. It tastes more like a mediocre chocolatey brown ale, rather than a clean, properly-lagered doppelbock. The malt flavor in this bock just isn't clean like the many German versions on the market. Like a cheap macro-lager, I would suggest drinking this one as cold as possible. Otherwise, the unpleasant grainy-ness of this bock is just too much.

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Photo of goz
2.55/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pour is a medium-dark ruby, with a medium sized tan head, almost no lacing. Aroma is sweet, malty (caramel), and some fruityness also. Flavor starts with a strong malt sweetness, middle and end are mostly dominated with an alcohol presence that won't stop. Body is on the thin side of medium. Hints of cough syrup flavor come in towards the end.

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Photo of davexisxrabid
2.55/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured this into my Sam Adams Sensory Glass (of course!) and produced a quarter inch head that dissipated almost immediately on top of a nice brown body. Not much carbonation evident in the brew and no lacing during the drinking period.

Aroma consisted of a sweet malty scent followed up by a sweet soy sauce smell.

Flavor felt flat - a slight caramel malt sweetness followed up by a alcohol kick.

Mouthfeel was medium-full mainly due to the fact that there didn't seem to be much carbonation. The flavor was very fleeting and not very complex on the palate.

Easy to drink because it feels light on your palate but this beer just felt too flat. I wish there was more punch to it and a stronger maltier flavor rather than a weak malt prescence followed up by the alcohol burn. Maybe I got a flat one - there is another bottle left in my 4-pack but if that one tastes the same way, then I'm sure I will not try this brew again.

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Photo of tone77
2.56/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a pretty deep auburn color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is a bit on the malty side. Taste is big on alcohol, consider using a shot glass for this one. Some malts come through after the initial alcohol burn. Feels medium bodied and very strong in the mouth and overall I felt the alcohol dominated this beer.

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Photo of ncvbc
2.58/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a ruby red type color with a medium fizzy head that slowly fades to a ring. Slow, limited carbonation. Smell is of some overwhelming fruit and sweetness. Kind of cough syrupy and maple. Taste bring a little more sweetness and makes me want to use the word cloying for once. A little too thick and artificial. Mouthfeel isn't too bad. A decent sweetness but a little thick again. Some heat in there. Good bready aftertaste. I don't think I can handle this one. Not your typical Dopplebock. Has some of the right characteristics but it's nothing close to some favorites of mine.

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Photo of douglasbarbin
2.59/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bought a 12 oz. single for $2.65 at Acquistapace in Covington, LA. Poured into an AHS 20th Anniversary pint glass. Let me preface this review by saying that this is not one of my preferred styles of beer, but every now and then, I like to enjoy a good, malty beer. Today must have been one of those days, because I went home with mostly bocks, porters, and stouts. Anyways, on to the review...

A: Deep reddish amber color, almost like a barleywine. One finger, tannish/off-white head that quickly dissipated. Some lacing around the glass, but not a whole lot.

S: Sweet, malty, and bready. Notes of caramel. Maybe some sort of dark fruit, like raisins or figs. Overall, indicative of the style. No hops aroma to speak of. I know it's a bock, but did somebody forget the hops?

T: Again, very sweet, a little too sweet for my tastes, but like you would expect in a doppel or a trappist. Somewhat bready, but mostly sweet. WOW! This stuff does not hide the ABV very well. Tastes very "hot" and astringent. Something like this probably needs more time to condition and mellow out. The label states 9.5% ABV, but it tastes like about 15%. I'm hoping the Sam Adams Imperial Wit I bought along with this beer tastes a little smoother. That one is 10.3% ABV, and I'm a little worried after tasting Sam Adams 9.5% Doppelbock. Also, no hops to speak of, although I wasn't expecting any after smelling this beer. The taste is definitely unbalanced and a bit more toward the malty/sweet side than I care for.

M: Thick, like Aunt Jemima syrup. Sweet, with a "hot" alcoholic, astringent quality. Now that I think about it, the mouthfeel is not all that different from Nyquil, although maybe watered down slightly. Not a good mouthfeel, IMO. I feel like I should brush my teeth immediately after drinking this one.

O: I just can't get over the alcoholic taste of this beer. It's not completely overpowering, but it is definitely in your face and upfront. I imagine that in a year or two, this would be an entirely different beer, but I can't see myself buying this again any time soon. It's not awful, but it's far from great, in my opinion. A bit overpriced, considering that I can buy a bottle of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale Barleywine for about half the price, and get the same ABV and slightly better taste. Worth a taste if you're a fan of doppelbocks. Otherwise, don't bother with this one.

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Photo of martyyy1
2.6/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Okay- I'm going against the grain here. I poured this one into a pilsener glass at about 45 deg. It looked really nice with a rich cherry color and moderate carbonation. Head was kind of lazy but hung around a while. The smell had me anticipating rich malts with sugary aftertones. Then I tasted it. I still haven't figured out how you can make a rootbeer float look like beer. Sam did it here. Everything about this beer including the hops is drenched in sugary syrup. Mouthfeel is sticky sweet. On the plus side the alcohol is well hidden (again drenched in syrup) making the drinkability average.

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Photo of Manosbeeroffate
2.64/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From a trade with czoch75 (great trader) Pours dark brown, little head. Smells oh way sweet. Tastes the same too, way way too sweet, kinda like candied figs, prunes and jelly doughnut filling. Mouthfeel is a bit thick. Overall I expected better from Sam Adams on this style. It's impossible to find this beer in my neck of the woods, I think i understand why.

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Photo of Liquids
2.65/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 5 | overall: 1.5

Dense orange amber hue with a syrupy pour but minimal head that fades to scum. Aroma is intense, not unlike wort, all malt aromas with a subtle hop aroma if any. Sweet and alcoholic. Taste is Alcohol! Like an old ale, maybe even rubbing alcohol, some malt detected after a few sips, but not for the faint of heart. Too alcoholic for me. Sweet and syrupy malt base, with a bit of toasted bread-like flavors. Monochromatic under the alcohol. Mouthfeel is full, syrupy, and light on carbonation, a winner here, and who could argue unless you crave more carbonation. Drinkability - I wouldn't bother with this beer, which is sad because the Sam brewers usually know what they're doing. Alas, this is not my style, and this version is definetely not a great one.

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Photo of gordavidson
2.65/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Extremely clear. Copper and a dark amber come to mind. Even with a hard pour, the head is just like a soda- shows up for a second and fizzles out.

S- Brown sugar, a little spice, alcohol.

T- Sweet and malty. The spice sticks out a little bit. The alcohol is very apparent.

M- Wow, this is kind of thin and astringent. The alcohol is not hidden well at all.

D- I am glad I only had a single of this. All I could think of was a SA Octoberfest with more alcohol in it. It did get to be a little easier to drink as I got further into the glass, but that could have just been the alcohol taking effect.

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Photo of vdread
2.66/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Samuel Adams Double Bock pours a dark, reddish caramel color, with a thick sticky head that leaves spots of lace in the glass.

the smell is sour milk, sweetness, caramel, and a strong alcohol presence.

the taste is like drinking brown sugar. cloying, super sweet, and thickly malty. alcohol hits the tongue head on. strong notes of caramel and spice. do i detect some fruityness in there? if so, it is slight.

mouthfeel OK, it's' very syrupy and sticky

i could have liked this beer if it weren't for the overwhelming alcoholic presence. it kicks you in the teeth from the get-go. it ruined any nuances in taste i may have otherwise picked up. i finished the first 3/4 of my glass before it got too warm to handle. will probably not be seeking this out again.

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Photo of disastermouse
2.66/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I really wanted to like this beer. I'm pretty impressed with everything Sam Adams does (well, almost everything). This beer leaves something to be desired. It's not that I don't like the style, Optimator is one of my favorite beers.

A - One of the best aspects of this beer. Nice translucent brown. Head is killed by the alcohol very quickly.

S - A lot of alcohol in the nose, malt is there - not exactly buried, but not as prominent as I'd like.

T - The alcohol is way up front. WAY up front. With most beers, I'm drinking the malt and hops and the alcohol is just along for the ride - not with this beer. Not only is it not hidden, it trounces all over the brew. It really reminds me more of a Barley Wine than a Double Bock. I don't know what the issue is, as I've had Belgians this strong - Imperial DIPAs too. I've also had strong Stouts, but this one just can't hide the alcohol at all. It needs more SOMETHING to balance the alcohol. More hops? More sweetness to balance the alcohol? I don't know.

MF - Vapory mouthfeel, alcohol heat.

D - One is enough of these.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.7/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 4/25/2009 (Bottle):

Pours a dark red colored body, wine looking. Head is average, off-white, and diminishing. Sweet, malty aroma. Some bitterness too, and molasses. Brown sugar and alcohol. Sickly sweet smelling. Thick mouthfeel. Sweet syrupy taste. Thick syrupy aftertaste. Some alcohol. No bitterness, but not as sickly sweet as it first seemed, based on first sip and the aroma. Some roasted flavors. Almost like a barley wine. Very much a sipping beer.

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Photo of misinformed
2.7/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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

A- Clear, dark mahogany. 1/2 to 3/4 finger tan head that dissipated fairly quickly, but didn't disappear completely. The beer left behind some small blobs of lacing.

S- Faintly sweet and malty. Not much else going on.

T- Very, very sweet. The first half of the glass I could not get over the taste of molasses. Later just a general candied sugar sweetness and malts. Some roasted grain and occasionally faint licorice. The finish was of roasted grain.

M- Medium consistency, I suppose. It is very smooth which makes me want to say it has a lighter consistency than it actually does. No carbonation that I noticed and just the occasional bit of alcohol burn.

D- Definitely a sipper. It smoothed out a lot and settled down as it warmed, but it still felt pretty uneven. Overwhelmingly sweet, almost to a sickening point for me. Admittedly I am more of a hop person, but I am starting to appreciate malt and the sweetness that comes with it. Still, I did not enjoy this very much.

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Photo of andrewt960
2.73/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Poured dark crimnson in color... almost burgundy. A head the reflected the body of the beer. the head didn't stick around for the whole beer.
S- Had rich malty smell, and had very little hops that were recognizable. It almost had a apple, or some type of fruit smell in the background.
T- Has aobviouse malt taste... and is very stong... both in alcohol taste and in the malt. Again, very little in the hops, but it's not meant to.
D- Comes off a bit strong and is a bit of an aquired taste. Not bad, but it's not my favorite beer. The 8.5 is nice and keeps you warm on the aftertaste.

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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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