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

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Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series)Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series)
Very Good
1,933 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,933 |  Reviews: 1,111
Photo of KYlawyer
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First time to try this beer. Was intrigued when I saw an American brewer with this style.

Appearance: Pours nice, but not much head, seems to bubble away quickly in a fizz of carbonation. Deep rich reddish brown color, with visible streams of co2 bubbles rising to the surface. Slightly cloudy in appearance but much clearer than other brands of this style. Very spotty lacing but it does hold tends to be in smaller patches.

Smell: First impression is of cherries. Also, some chocolate and hints of cappuccino. Very sweet aroma.

Taste: A very sweet brew. The smell of cherries I first noted carries over into the taste. My first impression was of dark chocolate covered cherries. Some hints of a sweet coffee nature like a cappuccino, very yeasty. The hops come on only at the very end and only very faintly, not near enough to abate the very sweet flavor, only a very slight hint of bitterness in the after taste.

Mouth Feel: Very creamy, rich and yeasty.

Overall impression, I am not partial to very sweet brews. I know that these imperial styles tend toward the sweet and yeasty. In that respect I assume anyone who love a chocolate stout or other imperial would really find this satisfying, I'm just more partial to an APA or IPA.

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Photo of mariposafan
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I didn't think I'd ever say this, but this Samuel Adams brew is one of the best tasting that I've ever tried.

It may not be pretty - the red-brown body is nice and clear but the tan head is short and doesn't last long at all.

It may not smell great - super, super sweet aroma with some alcohol and malt. Does give a hint, though, of the richness of the flavor.

The mouthfeel is very pleasant - smooth and creamy and slightly thick. The carbonation could have been a little less prickly but otherwise the mouthfeel was exceptional.

After all of those minor details are set aside, though, the flavor just takes over. Amazing, fantastic flavor. Very rich, nothing like as sweet as the aroma promised - in fact not very sweet at all for a dopplebock. Very malty with some minerality that almost comes across as saltiness. All of that is good, but the complexity - tastes of dates, figs and vintage port wine - is what sets this apart from all of the other dopplebocks I've tried. If I could give this a 6 for taste I would.

Given the richness and the 9.5 ABV this is a sipper so the drinkability isn't what it might otherwise be. No problem, though; it's one of the finest sippers I've tried yet.

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Photo of mikeg67
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Dark red hue, a small, off white, short lived head. Aroma of grassy hops and caramel malt. Full, tangy body. Perfume hops, caramel malt, alcohol fill the mouth, some notes of cherry as well. Huge, long, dry finish. Big, nicely balanced beer

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.31/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Our pour reveals a one and half finger tan head, atop a dark toffee colored brew that is clear all the way through. Moderate carbonation is visible through the glass. The aroma is dark, with highlights of salt water taffy, strong diacetyl notes, a hint of vanilla, and a tinge a metal. The taste begins with sugary sweetness and roasted malts. It has a buttery middle that carries the sweet notes to the back, where the flavors fall off to a salty sourness and irony bite. These last notes remain in the aftertaste with a faint caramel maltiness. As the sip follows through it is slick, with the mouth left somewhat coated, but semidry. The body is medium, and seemingly thin for a doppel. This is a strong brew, and has fair drinkability due to the moderate flavoring and the lighter body.

Overall, as lovers of doppelbocks, we were left wanting more. While the traditional flavoring was there, in a general sense, the dominance of the metallic aftertaste was less than desirable.

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Photo of arboristfish
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%
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 imkittle
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Typically I shy away from Sam Adams, but this one seemed like it might actually be worth a try, and it didn't disappoint. The maltiness is very obvious as soon as it hits your nostrils but isn't over powering in taste. The high alcohol content is also surprising and is very drinkable considering the style of beer. Overall I really enjoyed this brew and I encourage anyone who normally glances over Sam Adams to give it a go.

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Photo of irishevans
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- behaves like a pop while being poured, very fizzy. head foams up and dissapates quicklyleaves an off white (in the direction of orange) film atop the liquid. light brown red until held up to the light, then it's a transparent amber red color.

N- caramel, cherry, and alcahol, and a slight sourness.

T- follows nose, but adds some bready notes. the hint of sour is on the finish.

M- Very thick, low carbonation (in spite of the appearance of being over carbonated on the pour). nice example of the style.

D- Awful thick to do more than sip. but a wonderful example of it's style, I'll likely be having this again.

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Photo of Andrew644
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep brown color with a nice tan head.

S- lots of aroma in this beer, I can smell it without even putting my nose to the glass, it has a very malty smell with just a pinch of hops. While I am sure there are lots of hops to balance this beer with all the malt they don't really come through in the smell.

T- A very deep maltiness that is just a little sweet at first but as the beer reaches the back of the mouth the hops start to balance it out a little. I am not a big sweet beer person but this beers flavor is great.

M- awesome mouthfeel, its just the right carbonation and feel to go with the flavors of the beer.

D- a very nice beer that is definately worth trying and if it was cheaper I would buy more often.

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Photo of Bi0hazrd
4.72/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Now this is my kind of beer. I first had this back in the late '90s when I lived in Boston. I can remember anxiously awaiting February for this to be released so that I could buy several cases for the year.

A- clear chestnut hue, with a thin, fine, minimal tan head

S- Very complex. Huge toasted malts with caramel and toffee sweetness, and light floral hopping. Smells like a great doppelbock to me!

T- Sweet in the beginning with the malts coming in the middle with a tint of alcohol at the end.

M- silky smooth and chewy.

All in all a very good beer that is well balanced with all the complexity that goes with it. I could drink this all day long if not for the high ABV. Still 3 or 4 of these and I will call it a night.

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Photo of speter
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep mahogany with a one-finger white head that fades to a thin whisp leaving decent lacing.

S: Malt, with varying degrees of roasty and biscuity scents, plus definite ethanol. As the beer warms up, more brown sugar comes to the fore and perhaps some raisin and/or prune as well.

T: The richness of the malt dominates the front, and persists well into the finish. The aftertaste is where the bulk of the action is, with a complex mélange of brown sugar, toffee, raisins and caramel. This is definitely better as it warms.

M: Full bodied, but with decent carbonation,so it doesn't feel too syrupy. Some warmth, but the alcohol is well integrated.

D: At 9.5%, this is big, even for a doppelbock. As a sipper, it's fantastic on a brisk winter night.

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Photo of TheMadJack
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 12oz. Bottle into Pint Glass

A: Dark, dim garnet with little head and good clarity.

S: Fruity at arms reach, but readily reveals a full-bodied malty aroma with hints of honey and nutmeg.

T: Cereal, sweetened with honey, is dominant with nutmeg and clove accents. A peppery hit of alcohol, but not heady. Mild hop presence ...Noble? Hard to tell. Definitely there but understated. Finish is two-part: First bittersweet, then a quick fade away with a slight lingering of the malts.

M: Full and almost syrupy on the palate, which psychologically accentuates the sweetness in the brew. Very low carbonation, but not flat. A slight thickness accompanies the finish.

D: Surprisingly sweet but not off-putting, with an ABV that feels lower than the identically alcoholic Imperial Stout in the series. That same tell-tale peppery alcohol is a warning to not take this beer too lightly. The syrupy mouthfeel tends to slow drinking down quite a bit and the beer only gets more assertive with each degree gained in temperature. Not a sipper in terms of assertiveness, but certainly a beer to respect and take the time to appreciate. The full-bodied complexity limits it's pairings, though it's quite good with spiced - and even spicy - sausages provided you go easy on the condiments. Try a bratwurst with some grilled onions and a dab of mayonnaise on a roll alongside and you'll see that sometimes, simple is best.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.14/5  rDev -45.4%
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 ComfortablyBum
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz poured into DFH glass

A - Dark and mysterious copper with a small head, but nice lacing.

S - Spicy with toasty caramel. Very inviting. Oh yeah you can smell the alcohol too.

T - The alcohol is really strong compared to other beers this style. it was pretty overpowering, but you could still taste the toasty malt. There was a lingering sweet aftertaste.

M - The bite on the tounge was not a turn on for me, but still managed to feel smooth throughout. It was not a flat beer, and felt like a big mouthful.

D - I bought a 4 pack of this one for $10. It was an alright beer, but not for the price. I couldn't drink all four at once.

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Photo of NODAK
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Some aromas of dark fruit, raisins, molasses and alcohol show up on the nose of this beer. Although, it is not particularly pungent.

Pours a dark brown in the pink glass with a thin, pillowy head that dissipates pretty quickly.

Taste has huge malty sweetness on it like you'd imagine. A little dark fruit, but the tasty is predominately of a lot of caramel and brown sugar here. It's pretty thick in the mouth, but not ridiculously so. Finishes with a good dose of brown sugary sweetness, with a little astringency. No attempt to put hops in this brew. As for the alcohol, it's extremely well hidden considering the ABV. Even for style, this is a pretty boozy beer, and they manage to hide it. That could definitely be due to just how sugary this beer is.

This is definitely a tasty doppelbock. Since the label says they put enough malt in each bottle to bake a loaf of bread, I'm sure the waistline won't agree. However, I'm impressed by this beer's smoothness and sweetness without being over the top.

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Photo of jrc64
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby/chestnut color. Looks says "I'm a Fall beer". Aromas of malty caramel ever present. Very smooth and flavorful on the mouth. Lots of malt and caramel flavors. Alcohol well hidden considering 9.5% ABV. Not an easy beer to locate. Grab it if you see it. This one is perfect for a cold winter evening.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark toffee brown with an off white head and a decent amount of lacing on the way down my pilsner glass. Nose brings some caramel, toffee, and quite a bit of booze. Taste is booze, caramel, hints of dark fruit, toffee, and light maple flavoring. Mouthfeel consists of a medium body with a lot of alcohol presence. Good flavors, but--at least when fresh--this is dominated by a lot of alcohol warmth.

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Photo of GabrielM
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip.

A - deep brown/amber color with a nice white head atop.

S - caramel, vanilla, maple, malt sweetness and maybe a tiny bit of alcohol.

T - all the flavors in from the smell with a heavy malt sweetness to it.

M - nicely carbonated and good flavors, but a little heavy and thick. The sweetness and consistency remind me of maple syrup in a way, which isn't a great thing.

D - a tasty brew, but a little sweet and thick for my likings, so I will keep these to one-bottle-a-night sippers.

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Photo of rudzud
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got a bottle as a random surprise. Not my favorite sams...

A - Pours a dark brown somehwat crystal. Very, very little head that quickly fades leaving one small step above no lacing.

S - Big sweet raisins and carmel notes. Burnt sugar and big alcohol notes. This stuff is pretty potent.

T - Much like the nose though this is just waaay too sweet for a doppelbock. Candy sugar, carmel, raisins. I mean, its good just not for this style. Its a sugary sweet mash.

M - Sticky sweet. Somwhat offputting.

D - This stuff is so potent, its giving me heartburn! Would not buy it for a friend or myself.

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Photo of megahurts4
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sam Adams Double Bock

Appearance: Dark brown, small head, some lacing.

Smell: Caramel-apple.

Taste: Malty caramel with a hint of apple and hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium.

Overall: A rich double bock. It was very malty and simplistic. I really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of cwguy5
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from the bottle into a wide tulip glass.

thinnish head with some lacing; deep amber color with the slightest haze

aromas of raisin, walnut, and maybe dark chocolate

very smooth with very low alcohol flavor for a 9.5%; sweet all around with flavors of raisin/plum, walnut, chocolate, black cherry; pretty malty

very velvety smooth mouthfeel; fine, crisp carbonation; a bit syrupy with medium honey-like linger

this beer is very sweet but has many complexities that keep it from being bogged down; reminds me of a barleywine with less hops; seems to like being cold; thought it was just average at first but really enjoyed it by the end of glass

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Photo of nas5755
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear brown beer that I assumed would be darker due to my limited experience with bocks, a nice head came along with good lacing. The nose was extremely bready with notes of chocolate and raisins. Damn, this is complex, raisins molasses, brandy, dark malts, milk chocolate(a rarity in beer), dark fruits, figs, and vanilla are just a few of my initial of impressions. Carbonation levels are on the medium side, very smooth. A very drinkable beer for something as complex. I am very impressed with this offering. I had this bottle in my cellar for almost a year and was amazed by the taste and complexities.

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Most likely the best Sam Adams I have ever had.
Pours a black color with some ruby hue when held to light. Small head, okay lacing.
Smells of chocolate malts, roasted malts, coffee and dark fruits.
Tastes fantastic -- of plums and fig, chocolate and roasted malts, mild hops hiding in there, and some slight coffee aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is very thick and nice.
With a high ABV it makes the drinkability hard for the novice beer drinker and great for those of us who love such things.

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Photo of PhiloPsych
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ruddy brown in the glass with no head at all. Smell is sweet, molasses, and toasted malt. For a lager, the mouthfeel is surprisingly syrupy thick. The finish isn't lager crisp, either--it's a bit sticky and resinous. Despite those ale-like characteristics (both of which I like), I still feel like I'm drinking a lager. Some similarities to a barleywine, though without the pronounced hops. Previously, Spaten Optimator was probably my favorite in this style--this compares well to Optimator, especially since it has higher ABV than Optimator.

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Photo of StaveHooks
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark amber. A yellowish brown 2 finger head with good retention. Spotted lines of lacing left behind.

S - Roasted crystal malt. Earthy bread covered in maple syrup. Cherry alcohol.

T - Wow. Much more going on with the flavor. Chocolate and dark fruits-cherry and plum, rich caramel, and molasses.

This one packs a punch in every category. The flavors are elevated and adventurous. A bold and complex Dopplebock that is challenging to pick apart. I thoroughly enjoyed drinking this. For some reason I've passed this up so many times. I had no idea it would be this good.
Don't pass this one up! We need more Dopplebocks like this in the States.

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Photo of ryanonline
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

looks like a nice deep brown beer with a very clear appearance, all topped off with a thick whitish head. Sheety lacing.

smells very similar to a spicy tripel maybe a bit more malty. toffee like with some cloves and maybe a touch of cinnamon. an underlying citric scent and maybe some booze.

ooh man, is that sweet. a bit too much carmelish toffee like flavor, not enough one or another. a touch of date sweetness maybe too. also a bit grainy. a lot of heat.

slightly too thick and coating for my taste. very light carbonation, and kind of between creamy and viscous mouthfeel. dry, alcoholic finish.


once again, sam adams proves to be better than the lowest common denominator.

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Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 1,933 ratings