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

Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series)Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series)
Liked This Beer
3.92 w/ 1,928 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,928 |  Reviews: 1,110
Photo of scottoale
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my "old" favorites of around two decades ago. New style bottle and label from back then, but very similar just the same.

This brew pours a viscous ambery-copper with a 1/2 inch off-white head of decent retention and some lace. Ample carbonation, perfect for this brew.

The nose is just plain sweet malty bliss, strong and robust. Malted caramel and a boat load of alcohol fits the bill.

Sweet, rich and thick malt just fills the tastebuds...toasty, caramely, toffee and molassas flavor just takes this through the roof, till the alcohol and just enough hops, bring it back down to earth. This stuff still tastes pretty damn good to me and I consider myself a bit of a hophead.

Full bodied and full of alcohol...this brew couldn't hide the fact if it wanted too. A malt lover's dream...this is one Dopplebock that will get your attention, in a good way.

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Photo of kajerm
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at the Mundelein beer tasting. Pours reddish amber with a thin white head. The aroma is all malts, light and slightly toasted. There is some spiciness in the nose, either from alcohol or phenolics.

The taste is mixed malts and strong sweetness that stops just short of being cloying; some subtle honey and molasses flavors are present as well. The only suggestion of hopping is that the sweetness is restrained in a beer that's so obviously malty. A little spicy in the back, but not really very hot-- it is "only" 8.8% ABV after all.

This beer tastes like exactly what I would expect from a doppelbock; no more, no less. It's a solid style example and (I believe) a pretty good bargain, but at similar price points I'd probably take Spaten Optimator over this one. That might just be pro-German bias talking, though.

The mouthfeel is heavy and syrupy. This is drinkable for a doppelbock, but not not drinkable.

All told, this beer is very true to style and if you're looking for a cheap, readily-available doppelbock, you could do worse.

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Photo of number1bum
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a sort of ruby amber with a nice 1" light beige head. Just a touch of retention and a bit of sticky lacing. Smell is a bit bready but mostly sweet, with a rich caramel aroma. The caramel sweetness also dominates the taste, which is big, bold and malty. Some candi sugar and nutty flavor round out the taste, and the mouthfeel is thick and creamy, almost chewy. Drinkability takes a bit of a knock because it's so incredibly sweet, which starts to get a bit syrupy for me, but I would definitely have this again. Really nice doppelbock.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Beer pours a clear dark amber with a nice full khaki colored head. Lacing sticks very well throughout entire tasting. Smell is somewhat dull which I didn't expect but has subtle hints of caramel from the powerful malt. Taste was so smooth and so creamy, so much smokey malt that dominates this brew. I couldn't really taste much alochol in it, which I enjoy. Carbonation is very limited. Feeling is a bit chewy and quite thick. I couldn't believe this brew is 8.8%! So drinkable, so enjoyable. Pick this one up for sure

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Photo of BMoney575
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 3-30-07
Best before 8-07

Pours a deep, blood-red, with a quickly fading head and bubbles slowly rising to the top.

Smell is strong on candied fruits with an almost wine-like quality.

Taste is sweet, caramelly malt up front, with a strong alcohol warming and a very faint floral hoppiness. Very good.

Mouthfeel is outstanding. Super thick and syrupy, that flavor coats the palate forever.

Drinkability is decent, a very thick and boozy beer.

Overall, very good. One of the most flavorful lagers I've ever had. A little heavy on the alcohol, but the sweetness and thickness really balance it out. Highly Recommended.

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Photo of gunnerman
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, pours a dark rustic brown with a fluffy 2 finger head that leaves thick sticky lace on mug. Smell is very mild and has a sweet aroma of chocolate malt and nuts. Taste is very mild and not bitter at all I can taste hints of chocolate with a bit of a candy finish, very smooth and the alcohol was barerly detected, a fine and high abv contented beer from Boston Brewing co, very good in my book.

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Photo of montageman
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very clear deep amber to brown color with a small amount of carbonation bubbles into a pint glass. Nice 2 finger head that takes its time and leaves behind a lot of lacing. Sweet, caramel-y nose that has a slight roasted character in the background. Taste is very sweet, malty, & warming - the alcohol is definitely present, but in a nice way. Mouthfeel is thick & syrupy with a bit of carbonation for a slight dryness; creamy as well. This is a dangerous thing at almost 9% - perfect for after dinner relaxation. Highly recommended.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The new 2009 Imperial series doublebock is a different animal than this version that I reviewed back in 2007. This review at the bottom is for the new 2009 version. The top review is for the 2007 version. I'm scoring this with the 2009 version in mind.

Looks like a brown-amber with nice red hues and a moderate light brown head, dissiptes lightly.

Nose: Big aroma of maple-sugar malt, caramel, alcohol heat, spicey and herbal hop.

Flavor: Massivly rich and sweet malted flavor with a smooth and buttery effect that really stimulates the palate. The malt flavor is very complex with notes of sweet caramel with buttered toast and a slight alcohol heat and spicey, peppery hop that blalances out well over the huge sweet malt. There is an interesting pine-pitch like flavor in the earthy hop finish. This Double Bock reminds me very much of the "Long shots" Old Ale with it's massive malt charechter.

Feel: Full bodied, thick and slick feeling but not without a decent carbonated bite at the end.

DA: amazingly easy to drink at 8.8%.


a dark, yet clear amber/brown with red hues. 3" bubbly, thick and dense cream-colored head. slow dissipation, rather impressive. Sticky and intricate lacing. Best looking SA brew I've seen in a while!

The aroma is huge! Sweet, malty bread, cinnemon and sour fruits within the malt, a nice sour-fruity yeast underneath that. sour-dough bread with maple and honey sweetness. musky, herbalness down deep. big, earthy yeast way, way down. great complexity. maks you anxious to take a sip!

Whoa Mama! This has a huge malty complexity, much more complex than the previous version of this brew. It has infact been beefed up, and big-time! Vermont grade-a amber maple syrup rides through the malt with a beautiful balance of spicey, herbal lager-like yeast effect. full bodied feel, slick and a heat-driven herbalized finish. The flavor's are very much bold but it's balance amkes everything blend very well. Warming, complex and yet very drinkable. There is an earthy sensibility amoungst all of the heady malt flavor's that range from salty nuts to toffee. Brawney complexity!

This one is a pure joy! maybe the best Sam Adams's brew on the market. and it's a nice step-up from the old bouble bock recipe. Sip and enjoy!

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Photo of cueball52
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very rich deep amber with a small white head that dissipates quickly. It shows nice carbination.
The aroma is sweet like maple syrup and raisins.
The first taste is very sweet but smooth, not offensive. But the first thing you notice is the sweetness!
The after taste has a raisin like quality.
With the second drink I begin to notice the roasted malt and warmth of the alcohol. There isn't much hop presence but that is to be expected with the style.
Once your palate adjusts to the initial shock of the sweetness this turns into a very nice smooth beer. Very well done.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a single of this seasonal from the good people at Grapes and Hops in Fayetteville on Friday after work. I'm slowly working my way through the Sam varieties and this is another step there, which is a plus. Color is a dark rust with minimal head and moderatte tto heavy carbonattion bubble action. Nose is weak but improves as it warms and is mainly comprised of heavy malt notes, some dark fruit (maybe figs or plums), yeast, and a touch of alcohol.

Ultra sweet all the way through the sip, which is an eye opener. Mouthfeel is tight enough to keep it from getting nasty but still too outrageous and unbalanced for my palate. Alcohol is kept in check for the most part and creaminess factor is high, both of which are positives. Not a bad beer and some people will undoubtedly love it but for me drinkability is pretty low.

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Photo of bark
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The colour is dark red-amber. The finger thick beige compact head leaves lots of lacing.

The generous soft smell is dominated by lightly roasted malt, alcohol, dark bread and some yeast.

The taste is really powerful and drier than expected – strong lagers are usually sweet. I didn’t note as much alcohol either. There are some roasted notes and lots of dried fruits: Apricots, figs, almonds, hazel nuts. The aftertaste is creamy with interesting flavours of matured tomatoes, alcohol, a very bitter-dry taste with some minerals.

The carbonation is quite strong. The bubbles are medium sized. The liquid is very creamy with some thickness.

Doppelbock is not really one of my favourite styles, but this one was more creamy and balanced than most of ‘em.

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

Brown 12er, FBFTEB SEP.

Deep ruby amber, clear. Moderate carbonation. Mild head, mild lace.

Sweet tasted/roasted fruit. Malt: toffee, dark ripe fruit, nut, toasted caramel, rich. Hop: very mild floral and herbal.

Medium-full bodied, thick and smooth. Malt: dark fruit, sweet toffee, fruity, sticky sweet. Very rich. Hop: light floral, mild spice/herbal, understated, tart. Mild warmth. Mildly carbonated, but smooth, thick, and nice.

Not as balanced as it could be, more hops needed. Still very tasty. So rich, thick, and creamy. The alcohol creeps up.

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

Thanks for the surprise zrrbrrt! And right off my gots list too! I'm actually a little disappointed in the new I wish I would have saved an old one from a few years back! I'm assuming the beer is the same with a quality-minded producer like the Boston Beer Co.

Clear, deep ruby-brown beer, very beautiful. Minimal foam.

It's pretty difficult to stir up any volitiles off this one...just a faint hint of carmel and malt.

Deep and sweet, malty, carmel, deep and rich. The hops (probably Hallertauers) barely make a stand other than pure bittering. Some smokey notes, and a bit of butterscotch. A real treat.

Carbonation is very light, and this is some thick beer. Heavy; drink one of these and you'll be FULL.

Great reproduction of a fun style of lager. Fresh Celebrator has it beat for drinkability, but this one may be a notch or two higher in gravity. Drink one and celebrate springtime. Cheers!

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Photo of yelterdow
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by October, 2007. Served in a traditional doppelbock glass at cellar temperature.

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear liquid caramel, the head surprises me with a supercharged rush to the surface... it begins to spill over the rim, and I have to administer some lip service. It settles elegantly to a thin mat, leaving behind a completely unbroken liner of microbubbles.

Smell- Surprise... this is pure, balls to the wall malts from all angles. It smells as a doppelbock should... a little toffee, maybe a touch of honey and molasses... but certainly there's evidence of an abundance of ingredients to make this happen. The only drawback would be the overly pronounced sweetness.

Taste- Malts everywhere, with the added notes of honey and mead... nicely done, just a bit sweet for me personally. It certainly showcases the style and is more than generous with flavor and its malt profile.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Perfectly tingly entering the mouth, and while the beer swells it clings to the initial carbonation... making it enjoyable but too active on the tongue. Swish it another few seconds and it's a 4.5. The alcohol slides through unnoticed in the taste, but I'd be kidding you if I didn't mention that my bottom lip is numb right now. Great offering from a brewery that keeps it interesting and honest year round, I will continue to support BBC.

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Photo of Liquids
2.65/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 5 | overall: 1.5

Dense orange amber hue with a syrupy pour but minimal head that fades to scum. Aroma is intense, not unlike wort, all malt aromas with a subtle hop aroma if any. Sweet and alcoholic. Taste is Alcohol! Like an old ale, maybe even rubbing alcohol, some malt detected after a few sips, but not for the faint of heart. Too alcoholic for me. Sweet and syrupy malt base, with a bit of toasted bread-like flavors. Monochromatic under the alcohol. Mouthfeel is full, syrupy, and light on carbonation, a winner here, and who could argue unless you crave more carbonation. Drinkability - I wouldn't bother with this beer, which is sad because the Sam brewers usually know what they're doing. Alas, this is not my style, and this version is definetely not a great one.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Shp555: Poured a deep dark brown color beer with a nice light brown head with better then average retention. Aroma is dominated by some banana and cloves as well as some sweet malt. Taste comprised some subtle notes of banana bread with some cloves and some sweet malt. Body is about average for the style with alcohol well hidden.

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Photo of frazbri
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Double Bock poured mahogany in color with an impressive creamy head. The look was pristine. Aroma of caramel, maple, toffee, and hint of pine. Flavors of brown sugar, maple, pine, smoke, and raisin with pine and bitterness at the finish. Medium full in body with moderate carbonation and a clean finish.

My first experience with Sam Adams Double Bock was over a decade ago. At that time, it was more beer than I could handle. Now, I find it smooth, balanced, and very drinkable. I waited far too long to revisit this. I won't wait long to drink this again.

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Photo of JanM
2.34/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I can't stop myself from down-rating this beer. It takes a special beer drinker to love it, and I'm not that person. It poured with a nice reddish, brown color and not with much foam. The smell was of sweet candy, caramel, alcohol and maybe some grapefruit aqnd chocolate. The taste was VERY sweet, almost like soime licorice syrup, and with the alcohol coming strongly through. It's way too sweet for my taste and quite far off my ideal double bock mark (like Weltenburger). The alcohol is too dominat as well. It reminds me of a really bad Danish beer I got before X-mas and poured in the sink.

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Photo of
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Clear amber/copper color. Medium size ivory head. Lively carbonation.

Caramel scent with some roast notes. Bit of herbal/grassy aroma as well.

Mainly sweet - raisins, molasses, dark cherries. Alcohol/phenolic, mainly in aftertaste. Picks up as it warms. Hint of coffee. Grassy/herbal bittering at finish - just a bit.

Medium in body. Medium + in carbonation. Fairly drying. Very smooth, almost creamy due to carbonation.

Overall, a very well done beer and seems pretty true to style. Too sweet for my personal taste. If you like them malty and sweet, grab this, although it does have a tiny hop bite at the finish. Not as complex as other dopplebocks I have tried.

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Photo of cyberbmcd
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another great offering from Samuel Adams.

It pours a deep red almost brown, no head, great lacing.
Sells sweet and malty. taste is Very malty with toffee and just a hint of honey.then that slight blast of alcohol kicks. It's really smooth not exactly creamy but not light either.

Except for the Cranberry Lambic I haven't met a Sam's I didn't like.

This is good stuff.

Jim Koch is a genius.

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Photo of medic25
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a coppery red color, with a thin white head that quickly vanishes. Aroma is a powerful malty molasses. Flavor is outstanding; super-malty, very sweet with a creamy finish. Very little hint of hops, and the alcohol flavor is almost non-existent. Aftertaste is pleasant, not cloying at all. I was very surprised at this Sam Adams offering; I picked it up because I haven't tried a BBC in a while, and I was blown away by the quality.

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Photo of prototypic
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark brown color (a bit red when held to the light). Nice one finger head which diminished rather rapidly.

Smell: Wow. I smell heavy malts and alcohol. Those hit you in the face. There's also a bit of molasses and toffee in there.

Taste: Extremely malty. Alcohol taste is rather strong. It definitely has hints of caramel and vanilla. There's also a really sweet taste that follows, but I can't quite place it.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's not extremely thick and it goes down pretty easy. I could drink possibly two in a sitting. Overall, it's decent, but not great. I've had much better from Sam Adams.

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Photo of scorched
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I've not been a fan of the double bocks that I've had before, but this one has got me hooked.

It pours a deep, brownish-red with a nice, white head that dissipates a little quickly. The lace around the edge of the glass remains.

The smell is fantastically malty. A mild hint of chocolate.

Taste... WOW! Can you say malty? This one assaults your palate with an extraordinary cornucopia of maltiness... fantastic.

Mouthfeel is extremely creamy, almost thick.

Drinkability is slightly lower that the rest of my review, because the flavor is really overpowering, but I could see drinking it quite a lot.

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

Pours a nice, hazy dark amber with a one-finger head that fades quickly, leaving thick branches of lace. Smell is intensely sweet with brown sugar aroma dominating. Tastes as it smells - like brown sugar with light hints of banana. Sweet almost to the point of being cloying with a slight alcohol burn on the finish. The sweetness fades on finish, which is a good thing here. Drinks well for its ABV, but still, upon finishing, leaves no doubt as to its strength. A tasty malt bomb of a brew but hardly sessionable.

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Photo of Damian
3.17/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Julio's Liquors, Westboro, MA

Poured a clear, dark, crimson-amber with a tiny, white, bubbly head that quickly faded to a ring of lace. Some spotty drips of lacing trickled down the glass.

Aroma was quite sweet and fragrant. Malty rich, woody and bourbon-like with notes of molasses, caramel and vanilla.

Taste was rather disappointing. A general oakiness prevailed from start to finish with a sharp alcohol bite trumping all other flavors. Unlike most other dopplebocks I have tried, there were no distinct German malts in either the nose or the palate. Some sugary, caramel-like sweetness, malts and maple syrup were noticeable up front before the alcohol took hold. The alcohol became sharp, bitter and biting on the rear of the palate. The finish was bourbon-like and boozy.

Mouthfeel was lighter than expected for this style and somewhat overcarbonated.

Drinkability of this beer was below average. I perceived the alcohol to be much stronger than the actual 8.8% and the flavors were not strong enough to compensate for this. Furthermore, this beer did not seem to be very true to the style.

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Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 74.6% out of 100 with 1,928 ratings
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