Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

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

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series)Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series)
Very Good
1,929 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,929 |  Reviews: 1,110
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.

 315 characters

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.

 429 characters

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.

 512 characters

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.

 598 characters

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.

 258 characters

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

 655 characters

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.

 608 characters

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.

 485 characters

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.

 543 characters

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.

 660 characters

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.

 688 characters

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

12 oz. bottle tried 7 Jul 2009.

Served in the 0.4 L Hutthurmer mug. Medium light brown head. Lightly carbonated. Clear deep cherry brown color. Aroma is malty and syrupy, some vanilla. Starts quite sqeet, molasses and warm roasty malt. Some rum, a bit on the boozy side. Rich and syrupy, some balancing bitterness in the finish. Aftertaste is lingering ethanol and brown sugar.

Ethanol is warming throughout.

 410 characters

Photo of zhanson88
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A deep mahogany color that really looks appealing. Head is off white, and when it reduces a small amount of lacing hangs around and sticks to the edges of the glass.

Smell: Definite caramel and malty notes in the smell. You can really smell the alcohol in this beer.

Taste: Smooth caramel is prevalent, along with a complex malt character. The finish is slightly hoppy and dry, but very smooth and pleasing.

Mouthfeel: This beer has a heavy body, but it is smooth and goes down easily.

Drinkability: Despite the ABV, I find this beer easy to drink. The smoothness really contributes to the drinkability. This is a well rounded beer. Recommended.

 663 characters

Photo of jazer
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Upon first sip it reminds me of a soda. Which is a good thing. The smell is what hits you with the most impact. This is the best smelling Sam yet. This is a very sweet beer. Almost too sweet, that's why it's a 3.5. I love the look of the brew, reminds me a lot of Black Lager. If I was to find this on tap I would definately order it up a few times.


 363 characters

Photo of pdgreen
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A Great lacing with a deep red/coppery colour to iy.

S - Strong complex barley and alcohol aroma. Great malt smells.

T - Prominent alchol taste with some malt back ups. There is a minor taste of hops which brings about a nice finish to the beer

M - The alchol taste balances the thickness of the beer

D - A great beer but a little heavy. Complete flavour and great aroma. Overall one hell of a beer

 402 characters

Photo of 828beagle
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass a thick reddish brown with a nice beige head. Smells like licorice with caramel overtones. The sweet malts are definitely evident in the taste but are not overpowering. It is well neutralized with a slight bitterness. A complex brew and quite heavy in body. At 9.5 ABV it packs a nice punch but I really don't know if it is worth the price ($8.99) per 4 pack 12 oz. But without a doubt one of Sam Adams' best brews.

 440 characters

Photo of bigrzman
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Head disappears fast but that is typical in bocks. Deep mahogany color is outstanding.

S: Smells like caramel and Munich malts with a lot of alcohol.

T: Berry like malt with a big ciitrusy hop taste and a lot of booze.It is also bready and smokey.

M: Astringent and velvety smooth. Smooth on the way down and a very dry finish. This stuff is heavy and good.

D:Yeah I would have another one! Very warming and cheery.

 422 characters

Photo of Swill5786
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep brown the same shade as the bottle; Cloudy when held to the light; Minimal head, gone in a flash.

S - Something wonderful awaits; Sweet malt, sugary... Molasses; Alcohol wafts through... Perhaps the slightest sense of hops.

T - Fantastic doppelbock; Malt is heavy; Alcohol bite along with the hop-bitterness has a warming quality; Chocolate emerges as it warms along with a hint of citrus... Lemon? Perhaps.

M - Decent; Light carbonation; Dry finish.

D - One will do ya!

 491 characters

Photo of tronester
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, deep mahogany with a thin tan head. Smells of ripened malt porridge. Taste is brown sugar that has been aged on oak up front, a super smokey middle, and an earthy dextrose finish. Alcohol is present in the taste. Mouthfeel is super rich, low carbonation. Drinkability is decent, the high alcohol flavors pretty much limit this to one though. A very good beer though, just a sipper.

 396 characters

Photo of btorsdog
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Man this baby is a MALT-Bomb. Pours a deep brown with hints of reddish hue, good head fadded fast.
Smell is sweet malts, lots of them.Taste was same as nose, almost with an overbearing sweetness not to bad though, does have a pleasant alchohol presence.
decent mouth,slightly heavy. drink was not real friendly on this one,had to work a bit at it although it (bottle) went down in about 20 mins.
Think I was just tryin to "Get Er Done"

 435 characters

Photo of Cylinsier
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz.

Pours a dark amber brown, opaque, with a good inch and a half of a fine tan head. Retains as a film.

Smells a bit hoppy and mostly rich and syrupy, perhaps on the sour side, reminiscent of wort before it has fermented.

Tastes strong, maple syrup sweetness with a bit of tartness and heavy malt flavors. Brown sugar and a bit of smokiness are there too. The alcohol peaks its head through.

Moderate body, maybe on the thinner side, with mild carbonation.

Heavy and rich, this would go good with dark meat. It's a bit hard to drink on its own actually, and a bit too strong to drink more than one or two at a time. Interesting and tasty for the style though. A good reminder that innovation and distinction aren't unique to ales even if it's not something I'm especially fond of myself.

 800 characters

Photo of Radome
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Beer is a deep, deep copper color, almost red. It is crystal clear. The head starts off thick and drops to a thin, creamy, off-white layer with great lacing.

S - The aroma is totally dominated by malt with warm, bready or biscuity overtones. There is also a noticeable alcohol aroma. No hops. It smells like a doppelbock on steroids, similar to an English Barley wine.

T - The taste is a good reflection of the aroma, except that the alcohol is more prominent and the malt slightly less so. There is also some hop flavor that shows through to add complexity.

M - Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, verging on cloying. The carbonation is barely noticeable, but the alcohol burn helps cut through the thickness.

D - This beer has a great appearance and outstanding aroma. The taste is very nice, but the overall experience is taken down a notch by the overly thick mouthfeel.

 877 characters

Photo of MadeInOregon
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally got my hands on a bottle of this stuff from Whole Foods!

Poured into a stemless wineglass I found it very carbonated--soda-like, in fact. The head was almost non-existant and dissipated rapidly. However there is significant lacing around the cup which is nice. The color is very deep reddish bronze--very similar to Dr. Pepper. The Double Bock has a beautiful color, but is kinda lacking in the visuals overall.

The smell is faint but very oily and astringent. It reminds me of red wine and finger nail polish remover (yuck!) There is some syrupy sweetness, but overall the smell is not very appetizing.

The first sip surprised me: much more cough syrupy than I was expecting. I've had a good number of double bocks so I was expecting some of that, but Sam Adams' is way more medicinal than I was anticipating. My first thought after taking a sip was "wow, I might need help finishing this." Not a good sign in my book.

There is some piney, smokiness and faint hop bit that pierce through, but the overall flavor is mostly syrupy medicine.

Did I mention the alcohol? Yes, lots of in there and not hidden at all. It's not inappropriate for the style, just not very pleasant. If it weren't for the hop bite it'd be a major turn off. As it is, it's not that bad.

Drinkability?....eh, not so good.

This is indeed an above average beer as its scores suggest, but is just an average double bock in my opinion. The candy-like maltness is interesting but doesn't make for a beer I'd want to drink a lot of. 8 oz. is probably plenty unless you REALLY love sherry, because that is almost exactly what this tastes like! But, heck, throw in some ice cubes, maybe a lemon wedge, and you'd have a decent afterdinner drink.

Glad I tried it, but I'd take their Imperial Stout over this one any day.

 1,801 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +2%
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 PintOHops
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Glass - Pint

A - Clear copper color with almost a 1-finger head, it dissipated very fast. Lite-moderate Co2 can be seen. A spot here & there was left on the glass but no lacing.

S - Big bready malty nose. I get wheat, toasted breads, soft caramel & brown sugar. There's a touch of plum & raisin in there as well, with a bit of alcohol. As it warmed I picked up milk chocolate & nuts.

T - Alcohol is what I notice the most, it's strong & leaves warmth in the throat as it goes down. I get a very nice flavor of bread, caramel, brown sugar & nuts underneath the alcohol. Bitterness & hop flavors are practically absent, and it finishes with a strong punch of alcohol & soft cherry like note.

M - Creamy & smooth with soft crispness. Around medium-full bodied.

D - If not for the strong 9.5% ABV it would be allot more drinkable. I could really see it being dangerously drinkable with a meal but drinking it along really allows you to taste how much alcohol is in it. Overall I enjoyed it but probably wouldn't come back to it again. Worth a try for sure though. Cheers!

 1,072 characters

Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 1,929 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.