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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
88
very good
1,109 Reviews
Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series)Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series)
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,109
Ratings:
1,922
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
17.05%
 
 
Wants:
118
Gots:
158
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,109 | Ratings: 1,922
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.21/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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

A: The beer is a reddish brown, with a thick, off-white head that fades at a moderate rate and leaves a thick lace.

S: Very malty aroma, with caramel, vanilla spice, fruit (I want to say apple & apricot but I could be wrong), and a faint bit of hops.

T: Caramel & vanilla sweetness hit you right away and prevail throughout. There’s a slight taste of hops to provide the Sam Adams signature and it leaves a very sweet after-taste.

M: The heavy sweetness causes the beer to leave a sticky residue in your mouth; however it’s very smooth with a heavy body and medium-to-high carbonation.

D: It’s smooth and sweet so it goes down quite easily and masks the 8.80% ABV. However, it’s also very filling, which I don’t say about a lot of beers, even most full-bodied beers. Plus, even on an empty stomach, I don’t think I’d drink too many of these especially if there were something else to choose from in the fridge.

Typically I like the Sam Adams beers, but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this beer. I did expect it to be darker in color. The smell gave me flashbacks to the miserable Cranberry Lambic from the holiday sampler pack. However, I was able to get past that as the beer doesn’t taste like the Cran-Lam at all. It does taste more like the Winter Lager & Old Fezziwig Ale though. Overall, I just wasn’t impressed.

 1,401 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice color to this with a translucent reddish tint around the sides of the glass. A small white head of foam then rose up from the bottom of the glass and settled down nicely leaving copious amounts of side glass lace.

The aroma was again very solid. Rich caramel malts, hints of earthy hops and other tones and a nice and rich sense to it. Some light hints of a roasted note as it warmed and the belly of grain could start to be picked up. The flavor though was top notch. Smooth and coating, this one seemed to take on a mind of its own. First sip dripped sweet caramel malts all over, rich and deceptively smooth. Moving through a slightly bready mid palate it came back out the other side with a nice, almost pine like hop note that was just enough to peak my intrest before rolling back to a smooth and subtle finish of deep roasted notes.

 845 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle cold into my dimpled lager mug. The bottle displays a besty before Oct 08 freshness date.

A - Deep bronze w/ 1.5 fingers of light tan that caps this dark lager and drops to a ring around the mug

S - Boozy, malty, creamy, rich malt + vanilla tinged milky caramel odors w/ sweet fruit in the nose w/ a hint, oh so slight of banana

M - Very malty w/ sweet fruity textures, mild to medium carbonation w/ nutty almost amaretto like qualities. Dense and full of body, almost chewy w/ the thick yet sweet finish w/ out any hint of cloying.

T - A very pleasant fig and very ripe banana taste w/ milkly caramel and sweet cream flavors. The nutty aspect is sweet also w/ a hint of pistachio. A lot of subtle stone fruit notes w/ more creamy wheat malt and caramel malt flavors w/ subtle floral and herbal hop hints. Minor notes of alcohol appear as it nears room temperature w/ hints of marzipan and honey that make this buttery smooth American Bock w/ the faintest hint of toasted malt.

D - Even at 8% this bock is so drinkable the calories are worth every sip of this national treasure. It verges on dessert in a glass, I really consider this one of the top Doppelbocks I have tasted in the U.S. or Germany so far for that matter. A well crafted beer, but not easy to drink 3 without feeling the potency of a very well made strong lager.

edit 9/25/10 bottle A-4 S-4.5 M - 4.5 T-4.5 D-4.5

A - a burnished copper color, clear with thick pale cream cap. The carbonation is visible and bead is tight with solar flare streaks of lace cling to the glass]

S - a sweet creamy scent w/ mild vinous tinge and caramel notes w/ a subtle floral hop accent and slight berry odor

M- feel is moderately carbonated and mild alcohol w/ a full feeling malt body, semi-dry as it finishes w/ light spice and subtle caramel creaminess

T - The taste is very good I enjoy the way the caramel and bready flavors intermingle with a slight spicy and dried fruit flavor there is a nice balance with alcohol flavor low in the overall taste. There is a slight hop bitterness keeping the malt fullness from becoming cloying and the light toasted notes are very pleasant

D - This is a seriously drinkable bock, I was told by a distributor that it has not been selling well so they are discontinuing it which sucks since it has always been one of my faves by Samuel Adams

 2,374 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BBD of Oct 07 pours an effervescent chestnut with 2 fingers+ of sand colored head. Good lacing & fair head retention

S: Big bready maltness, a little cinnamon & alcohol as this warms up.

T: Big malt & breadyness up front. A little brown sugar & caramel work their way in as this warms. I also get a little toffee & maple syrup. Finishes sweet (brown sugar & toffee), warming & slightly dry

MF: Chewy, a little sticky, medium to heavy bodied with low carbonation. My lips (probably cracked from the cold) are picking up a persistently alcohol sting

Drinks pretty easy, a nice take on the style & better than last years IMO. I will try to hold some back & see how it ages

 674 characters

Photo of Jason
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Color: Dark chestnut.

Smell: Malty. Brown bread, caramel, brown sugar, dried plums but more bready than anything else.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Thick creamy body, delicate smoothness. Semi-stodgy maltiness, thick slice of toasted bread, treacle, dried raisins and plums, sweetness throughout. Herbal hop, warming but mellow alcohol. Toasty and warms finish is semi-sweet.

Overall: A good stab at the style, fits it at least though the benchmark has been raised over the years ... this one at least meets that mark still.

 560 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adams sensory pint glass.

Thanks to papollo for this bottle!

Why is the style listed as doppelbock when it's actually a double bock? (Tee-hee!) It pours a clear dark-ish amber brown topped by a half-finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises caramel, blackened biscuits, honey, and that English-style toffee we always hear about. The taste mostly holds true to the caramel and toffee, along with some less-burnt biscuits, figs, and a light touch o' booze. The body is a hefty medium, with a light carbonation and an almost chewy (gummy, perhaps?) feel. I find this to be the best of the SA imperial series, in terms of taste and overall interpretation of style. A fine doppelbock, indeed.

 708 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light brown with reddish hue. Appears to be clear. Minimal head that ends in single layer of bubbles. Spotty lace.

Strong, sweet caramel aromas. No hop.

Rich, thick beer, but there's enough carbonation to prevent it from being too much. Lots of sweetness from malt sugars, but there is some hop to provide balance. The aftertaste is mostly caramel sweetness.

 368 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a huge off white cream head, with an amazing deep ruby tone tone. This beer just looks like a treat, and once you smell feel the sweet malt and wrap around your taste buds you will be sold. WIth full syrup flavors of figs and almost a mild brandy this beer is amazing. A standard in double bocks, definitely incredible in the amount of malt. A beer that is 8.4% purchased in WV was a dream come true, and I felt like I was being rebel breaking the law. It was sweet, then I realized they labeled the bottle malt liquor , and that might be why WV can import the Sam Adams Double Bock. A full mouthfeel that fills you up, nice and chewy. I still find this one very drinkable.

 679 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My pour gave me two fingers' worth of thick, foamy, deep-tan head with great retention. Frankly, it looked like an ice cream float. The nose was very sweet and sugary, candy-like, actually. The color was a deep orangish-amber with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was full, thick, and creamy with a rich sweetness on the tongue. It was like liquefied dessert! The finish had a definite alcohol presence, but tempered with a lingering sweetness. I probably would not want a steady diet of this, but on a cold winter evening at home, it was very pleasant.

 550 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Freshness date of end of October notched on label:

Pours dark rubyish brown with an off-white head that thins, but lasts awhile before become a lasting, swirling patch. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is bready, caramelish, with a touch of Continental-type hop spiciness in the background. Malt-accented.

The taste is malty - caramel/toffee with a spicy fruity/rum-like balance. Nice malt complexities with just a hint of sufficiently balancing hops. Fruity alcohol is prominent, but not too sharp or covering. Finishes with a warming sweetness.

Full-bodied and rich, it leaves a sweet, but not sticky, aftertaste.

Well - it packs a certain punch, but there is a smoothness, and certainly a flavor, that makes it drinkable for the abv. A good interpretation of the style and one to have around in the cold/cool months.

 821 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev +1.8%

On tap at Granite State on tap.
Deep brown with a smallish quickly dissipating off white head. Huge bready caramel raisin dried fruity maltiness with just a touch of alcohol and earthy hop to balance. Nice sipper that I need to spend a little more time getting to know.

 269 characters

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep caramel amber with a thin layer of soft, off white head that has little retention. The nose has strong notes of baked apples and caramel with some alcohol esters. The flavor is simplistic; baked apples, mild sugar, faint bread. The mouthfeel is warm, smooth, and medium to full bodied with the right amount of carbonation.

This is a rather solid American version of the German classic. Sam Adams has done a superb job creating a balanced, smooth, easy drinking, high ABV beer.

 490 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color is a clear, dark garnet hue, and the head is a voluminous creamy tan, slow to crumble. Nose is impressive: deep, dark, earthy, yeasty, malty, fruity, but still a tad dry and roasted. Associations of cherries, port, sweet, strong liqueurs, cognac, leather. Full, lush, powerful mouthfeel, with a lingering, alcoholic finish. Taste is rich, delicious, never-ending. This a "dark lager" I enjoyed all the way down. It's "only" 8.5%? Feels it, too!
Probably the best Samuel Adams beer I've had in a long, long time. Yum, yum, yum!

 533 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy, orange-brown body. Lots of carbonation and a thin sticky head.

S - Lots of brown sweet goodness. Caramel, molasses, dried figs, brown sugar, malt syrup and hearty pumpernickel.

T - Big sweet, malty flavor up front. Rich, viscous molasses. Burnt brown sugar and robust dark flavors. Faintly bitter to balance the beer, along with a chewy, grainy malt.

M - Sticky sweet and full bodied this beers body and flavor lingers on the palate. Nice tingly carbonation to handle the beer's viscosity.

O - A great try at the Doppelbock, Sam adams comes through with a super malty, traditional take on it.

 608 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

No date on bottle. Beer served in a Celebrator glass (close enough). Beer is brown and hazy, forms a thin off white head of small, tiny bubbles. Carbonation is low.

Aroma is caramel and slightly roasty.

Taste is pretty good. Its not the best doppelbock i've had but its pretty cool. Its caramel and slightly sweet up front, some carbonation in the mouth, good mouthfeel and some roast in the back.

 400 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, pours clear dark almond, with a puffy tan head. leaves a lot of lacing. Nose is of bread and a bit of alcohol. Full bodied, very malty brew. Sweat on the tongue and alcohol obviously present and high. not much hop flavors or mouth feel present. This is a strong, deeply flavorful sipper. Not my favorite style, but this one is pleasant and worth a try.

 366 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is dark caramel color with a creamy, full-sized head. Obviously the aroma is malty, however it wasn't as strong or full as expected. Smell is caramel malt mainly, fairly standard. Taste is primarily of sweet malts with just a touch of hops spice. Malt flavor is very full as should be expected. Mouthfeel is a little bit creamy which adds to the expirience. This is a great beer, easily one of the best Samuel Adams I've tried.

 442 characters

Photo of tempest
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a pretty good doppelbock, but I feel like it lacks th compexity to make it a great one. Alcohol was also a bit evident in the aroma and flavor. The arom aroma didnt really do ti for me, I found it weak for such a big beer. The flavor still had trademark chocolate and licorice doppel flavors, but this beer could be more. Still worth a try.

 353 characters

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy light tan head. The aroma is good. It has a nice dark malt feel with dry lager yeast scent. It smells creamy and quite sweet. The taste is good. It is a rich, malty brew with an emphasis on crystal and black malts. It goes down smooth and and warms on the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a flavorful brew with a warm finish; a fine sessions beer.

 459 characters

Photo of Tone
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, amber color. 1/4 inch head of a pale tan color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet malt, toffee, slight hops, and strong yeast cleanliness. Fits the style of a Doppelbock. Mouth feel is really smooth and slight thick with a low carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt up front, then sweet malt, really good yeast flavor, slight hop in the background, and a general sweetness (caramel?). Overall, this was a fantastic beer and easily the best Doppelbock I've ever had. In my opinion this blows Ayinger Doppelbock out of the water. I was a little leery of this brew going in, but I'm a huge fan now.

 631 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep bronze color with an off white head that's about an inch thick. Some lacing developed. Aroma is of sweet malt. The flavor is very malty with hints of prunes. The alcohol is very noticeable.

The mouthfeel is syrupy with a tingling sensation while swallowing. The syrupy malt sticks to the tongue for a bit. The alcohol is a bit too noticeable here to give it a good drinkability ranking, but the flavor is nice.

 427 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a reddish-brown color with a tan head. The aroma is very nice and exactly what I expect in a doppelbock. I get a lot of toffee and sugary malt notes, as well as a little bit of dark fruit and some grape notes. The flavor is extremely malty. I get a ton of toffee and caramel malt as well as some cherries and other dark fruit. There is also a nice brown sugar quality to the flavor and the overall flavor is very sweet and malty. There is no hop presence in the beer. The alcohol is very well hidden. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. One of the better year-round Samuel Adams beers.

 605 characters

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

The beer may not be out on the market yet, but I sampled some at the Sam Adams brewery multiple times on December 21. On to the beer:

The beer is a medium bodied amber. Sweet like any other doppelbock, perhaps a little more fruity and a little less malty, but smoother overall. Raisins and grapes were some of the more dominating flavors, the latter being the result from the alcohol, which by the way is lighly perceived. Why couldn't I find this in my area last winter? Oh well, at least I can say I'm one of the few to try it on draft.

 539 characters

Photo of Duff27
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 Vintage

A- Thin tan head atop a ligt brown/dark orange beer. Some lacing and alcohol legs left on glass.

S- Hints of booze, fruit.

T- Caramelly goodness, low hop profile. Boozy but not overwhelmingly so...well hidden for 9.5% anyways.

M- Well carbonated. Medium mouthfeel, slightly syrupy.

D/O- An "okay" dopplebock, not my favorite of Dopplebockfest 2011 by a longshot. Worth a try but there are a lot better options out there for the price.

 452 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from 9/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours dark orange amber with very light carbonation, very little head, but a hint of lacing. Aroma of mild caramel malt. Flavor is heavy sweet malt with caramel, with a malty, slightly hopped finish. Nice medium body. Somewhat boozy aftertaste. Seems like a well made beer, but not that complex.

 355 characters

Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.93 out of 5 based on 1,922 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!