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 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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Photo of JohnnyI
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one has quite the shoes to fill, following a glass of the legendary Bavarian benchmark, Celebrator Dopplebock. Poured from the 22 oz. bomber into a nonic pint glass with perhaps a little too much oomph. After a brief cascade of foam over the side, it settles in to a towering, frothy cream-colored head. The interesting color of the brew only accentuates the appearance. Ruby red under the lamp, with amber highlights. A transparent mahogany in the shadows. In time the pronounced foam settles in to a patchy coating with consistent lacing all the way up to the rim. The aroma epitomizes that massive malt dopplebock bouquet. Bread dough with some faint molasses, soy sauce and fig-like esters. A touch of earthy minerals in the nose. The first sip brings a potent malt sweetness and a bit of a metallic twang. Boozy brown sugar flavors coat the tongue and finish with a slightly drying bitterness. A little toffee is present but this is not particularly complex. Not as earthy as I expected either. Mostly there's rock candy sweetness and enormous malt flavors. The mouthfeel is rich and hearty, a bit sticky. Full bodied. The carbonation is such that it helps provide a creamy texture. Given the high gravity of this one it's no surprise that a noticeable alcohol warmth is present in the chest. Maybe a tad cloying and a little stronger than I prefer for the style. Perhaps it's lacking some of the character of its Bavarian brethren, but it's a solid representation of the style. A worthy beer to pay tribute to it's predecessors and a solid nod to Sam for crafting another outstanding offering.

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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 confer
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite a good double bock.
Dark brown with a tan head
Smell has a lot booziness to it to go with a sweet malty smell.
No alcohol burn as expected from the smell just a whole lot of caramel sweetness.
Overall a very good double bock but a bit on the sweet side.

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

the malt bomb you would expect in this style from this brewer, but a well done take on the style, bigger than most, authentically german, and memorably different at the same time. its so dense in grain, toffee and burning sugar in a fry pan. with a lager yeast that cant eat the sweet. there is a european nature to the malt, and a strong alcohol presence in there two. i like its weight, its great for the fall, but its a beer that i just cant drink real much of because of how big it is with all its sticky sweetness. seems to me like an awesome cooking beer, cheesy beer muffins, bread pudding, even a pot of chili would benefit from a brew like this. i appreciate it but i dont love it. cool that a brewery this big still does stuff like this though, this is definitely not rookie beer.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into pint glass

A- pours a deep murky brown color with some ruby hue on the edges, small creamy off-white colored head retains for a while, eventually settling to a film on top that stays for a while

S- big caramel malt aroma up front with notes of butter-toffee, fruit cake, raisins, figs, roasted nuts, caramelized brown sugar & candy corn. Classic malt bomb aroma expected of the style

T- the caramel notes continue through to the taste with massive sweetness of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, banana bread & molasses. Nutty & earthy notes kick in mid-palate along with dark fruity notes of fig, raisin & prune. Light herbal hop bitterness allows the malty sweetness to shine.

M- thick and creamy body with moderate carbonation leads to a smooth and chewy mouthfeel slightly warming silky finish

O- quite possibly my favorite SA beer, it's a massive malt bomb that shines with caramel and dark fruit notes. A fine example of the style

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a deep mahogany color with a rather large head of off white foam. The head has a decent level of retention, fading over time to leave a very nice level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is massive of a sweet caramel smell and is mixed with some lighter aromas of a more chocolate and bready smell. Along with these aromas comes some other sweeter smells of a dark fruit nature with some fig and raisin hitting the nose. A little bit of a molasses as well as some very light hop smells of an herbal nature and a little bit of a boozy rum smell come to the nose, overall producing a nice sweet and warming smell.

Taste – The taste begins big and malty with tons of caramel and some very bready and roasted malt flavors. As the taste advances the darker roasted malt flavors are intensified with a bit more roast and some darker fruits of raisin and fig joining the tongue. The darker fruits also add some more sweetness to the brew and with a molasses flavor that develops later in the taste, ends up sweetening the brews taste ever so slightly sweeter, even with a loss of some of the caramel sweetness. A tiny bit of a boozy rum comes to the tongue at the end, but this is rather light for a bock of 9.5 % abv, leaving a decently roasted, and dark fruity sweetened, malty flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is super thick and creamy with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. For the double bock style the feel is right on with it really nicely complimenting the malty and sweeter flavors of the brew and making for a nice slow sipper.

Overall – A big and robust, thick and fruity sweet double bock. If looking for something very sweet and malty then this is a good choice, with it delivering in both sweet and malty with a bit of alcohol and roast balancing it all out. Overall fairly tasty.

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Photo of Bear1964
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%

This is one outstanding beer, looks great and tastes even better! Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a standard Pint glass showed me a beautiful dark reddish brown pour with a 2 finger fluffy tan head which left nice lace as I sipped it down, the aroma is sweet and malty with hints of bread and brown sugar along with dark fruits. With the first taste I was happy I found another well made special beer by Samuel Adam's...they have many and I'm not a beer it's a winner. The medium mouthfeel sets up the malty sweet flow over the tongue, roasted malt and a rich bread round out the solid but fruity taste that hides the ABV well...and a hint of Carmel picks out at the end...a very solid Double Bock!

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance was dark brown with a egg shell white head. The smell was very sweet with a lot of malt characteristics and almost a vanilla or caramel. The taste was heavy and a little boozy. But after that I got a lot of semi sweet flavor. Dominated by malt and heavy flavors. The mouthfeel was thick but satisfying. Overall very nice but maybe not for everyday.

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Photo of jaredtp
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer was a good beer. I liked that it was a bock beer. I liked the malt body this beer, I liked that it was dark. I also liked the fruit taste that it has. I liked that it was sweet. I could taste the raisin fig that it has in its flavor. I would not mind having this beer again if I could find it somewhere where I live.

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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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