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

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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
samueladams.com

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:
1,925
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
17.05%
 
 
Wants:
121
Gots:
158
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 1,109 | Ratings: 1,925
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.41/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A lovely shade of rich, lustrous reddish copper that displays especial radiance when backlit with sunlight. A truly stunning color. The large, caramel-colored head is as creamydense as any you're likely to see and sets off the beer nicely. There isn't much lace, but even that can't dampen my enthusiasm. This is easily the best looking Sam Adams beer that I've ever seen.

The nose couldn't help but be a letdown. It consists of lightly roasted malt with a very faint sweet molasses presence. I don't pick up any chocolate or nuts or much of anything else that would make the nose the least bit interesting. Thankfully, it opens up with warming, pulling the score up in the process.

Back on track on the palate. Where was all that power and complexity in the nose? Double Bock reminds me a little of a wee heavy in that it has a sweet, smoky, brown sugary flavor with a wonderful alcoholic mini-punch to the chin.

The brewers did not skimp on the malt and it shows. This ain't no weak-kneed doppelbock, but a full-throated roar of lightly chocolatey, sweet and syrupy, dark caramelly, sticky date-like, three-dimensional, lightly boozy deliciousness. I'm not one to quote on style adherence, but it seems to me that this beer could also fit into the Scotch ale/wee heavy, the old ale or even the (lighter) barleywine categories with a little creative shoehorning.

The body is medium-full and the mouthfeel is slightly slick and infinitely smooth. The long, diminishing finish is especially nice with echoes of dark caramel intermingled with sweet citrus. Stealth carbonation is a perfect fit for the flavor profile and the body.

I'd be lying if I said that this beer is anything less than a stunning surprise. No BBC product that had previously crossed my lips led me to expect such an amazing beer, one that has been in my cellar for at least half a year, but one that I've passed over on innumerable occasions for more interesting looking fare. Unless you're an unrepentant hophead to the exclusion of all else, you'll find something to like about Sam Adams Double Bock.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

From the bottle: "Enjoy this beer now or age it to develop rich and unique flavors"; "Samuel Adams Double Bock is brewed with a half pound of malt in each bottle, almost enough for a loaf of bread. This rich, intense lager reveals a deep mahogany color and velvety smooth flavor. Samuel Adams Double Bock is one of our most sought after brews. Enjoy! [undersigned] Jim Koch".

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.93 out of 5 based on 1,925 ratings.
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