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

very good
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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,928 |  Reviews: 1,110
Photo of Gritsak
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- nice clear brownish ruby with a big offwhite head. head dissapates fairly quickly to leave little to no lacing.

S- sweet syrupy smell with some fruit hints. light alcohol presence.

T- very sweet alcohol flavor. tastes a little oaky. not sure what i think about this really..pretty complex and hard to pinpouint flavors.

M- thick body with light carbontion. very smooth.

D- taste is a bit annoying to have more then a couple. doesnt pair well with any of the food ive tried with it.

overall- im not a big fan of the style, but it is pretty good. at $6 a 6pack this is a steal. even if you are just drinking at a party this 6 pack equates to about ~12 regular beers so thats a bargin. i wouldnt neccessarly seek this out though.

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a dark red with a large tan foamy head. The smell is very 'bisquity' with a alot of malt. This is one good smelling beer. The taste has alot of malt flavor with some carmel sweetness. The best thing about this beer is that it's not as super sweet as other double bocks. The m/f is medium/heavy with a flavor that is mixed very well for a high alcohol beer. This is a very good beer and I will look forward to winter comming knowing that this beer will be out soon. Good job Sam's.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer was poured from the bottle into a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer was a deep ruby dark amber coloration. The head was about an inch thick and creamy off white coloration. The head was short lived. The lacing was sporadic on the glass.

Smell: Very little spicyness on a bed of malty molassas and caramel. Dam!

Taste: Brief flash of spicy goodness. This quickly gives way to a bed of malty sweetness. Dam this is just a sweet treat to drink.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer is full bodied. A very sweet to drink treat that does not sink into cloying. This is a highly drinkable beer. I wish Sam Adams would brew this one year round. How about placing this in the holiday pack inplace of the Cranberry Lambic?

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Photo of Ego
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

sometimes I over look the sammy stuff.. although having the regular sammy after a hard day of skiing up in the north is a treat, I was happy to find this one locally here and figured what the hell.. I wasn't in the mood for an ultra complex belgian or the like...

dark amber, moderately sticky lacing, tan to off white head. clean and clear, better than average but not by much.

tries to have that german metallic/mineraly smell DB.. but doesn't quite get there against other DB's I have enjoyed, caramel malts, a tinge of the alcohol, not great but very pleasant and inviting to my buds.. at a rising temp the nose becomes a little better (especially the caramel notes)

taste etc...
starts out a little thin but the carbonation kicks in to bring it up to snuff, still a little thinner than some of my fave DBs but not terrible, a bit sweeter than I like as well, it is missing the nice (mild) burnt or coffee aftertaste I like in other DBs, you are left with a bit too much sweetness, there is a quaint pleasant bitter touch that lingers, bonus. there is a definite warming sensation from this. like the nose this is better as it warms (I only had it at cellar temp fer crissake)... but still.. it doesn't eclipse other DB's I can get around here quite easily. I wonder if, like the boston lager, this is better closer to the source? I have to say that having a sam fresh up in mass is wayyy different than getting something off the shelf here...

glad I tried it.. not great, not terrible. but there are so many better DBs available here why would I bother with this again ?

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had never seen this before last week. I read the reviews and figured it was worth trying. Samuel Adams is one of those "in a pinch" beers that I will drink if I'm in a situation where I don't have a better choice, but none of their beers is anything special, IMO. This one, unfortunately, does not break that trend. The alcohol is too prominent, body too thin. The flavor isn't bad, and if the boozey taste doesn't bother you, it's not a bad beer (particularly if you don't have another double bock option). Fortunately for me, I have access to Celebrator, Bajuvator, Salvator, LaRossa, and Korbinian (which I had after the Samuel, and the Weihenstephan absolutely blew the Sam Adams away).

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Photo of Enola
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a very attractive mahogony color. It had creamy head. The smell is of spices and caramel. The taste is of toasted grains with a strong alcohol finish. The caramel taste lingers in the mouthfeeel. The mouthfeel is lowered a bit by the high alcohol taste but is not too overpowering. I could drink more of these. I just would not drink many in a row. Thi beer had a different label on it so I am assuming it was last years batch and thus aged. As an interesting note, on the bottle above the ABV listing it says this beer is a malt liquor.

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Photo of gotbeer
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is simply an incredible brew. Sam Adams has proven to me with many of it's seasonals like this one, and one offs like the Imperial Pils that they can make world class beers.

This brew has an almost spicy malt presence that is incredibly smooth. There is a little alcohol presence at the end, but it is still quite drinkable.

It's appearance is a deep copper brown with a decent head that fades somewhat quickly.

The smell is malty, sweet, and hints of bread.

An incredible double bock.

I wish SA made this beer year round. It is one of their very best.

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Photo of nickss
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber brown with a modest cap of very audible head, which rapidly disipates to a thin layer topping the beverage.

Smells of maple, lots of malt, and a touch of hops. Very rich smell, which lends itself quite well to the style.

Huge syrupy sweet malt flavor... too sweet for me.... extremely unbalanced, hops are barely perceptable.... lots of brown sugar flavour.

A bit too highly carbonated for my liking... I prefer my doppels to be smooth and subdued (regarding carbonation). However, the thickness in the mouth is about right.

Drinkable, but like I said, a bit too sweet for me. That being said, the abv is hidden very well, making this brew a trouble maker to be sure.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz notched best before October poured into a pilsener.

Burnished copper with a small head of light tan that leaves rings of lace.

The nose has a strong malt aroma with some raisins, walnuts, sweet caramel, and euro hops. It has an almost candy like aroma in the back, almost like there's a pinch of cinnamonor nutmeg thrown in.

The taste has, like the nose, a lot of sweet malt. Caramel and dark sugars tempered by bitter hops and a spicy finish. Delicious!

Thick, viscous mouthfeel. Not oily or annoying but BIG. Drinkable up to the point where the abv lets itself be known.

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Photo of bearrunner44
3.08/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Woody, burnt crimson color. Clear. Thick, off-white head; I touched it with the tip of my finger and a good amount of foam stuck to it.

Smell- Strong, floral alcohol scents in the nose. The malt profile is sweet and slightly nutty, but the alcohol dominates it. The overall smell is estery and slightly smoky.

Taste- Malty, but not overwhelmingly thick. The mouthfeel is slippery, but fairly substantial; the carbonation is fairly low and the body is moderately heavy. I like the malt profile. It has a mild, roasted character to it, almost toffee-like. The alcohol isn't concealed very well, though; the malt and the alcohol constantly fight for attention, and it doesn't make for a great overall taste.

Verdict- I'm glad Sam Adams can take a stab at a doppelbock, but I'm not a big fan of this. I wouldn't call it thin-bodied, but I don't think it has enough body to support its ABV. It might improve with cellaring, though.

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Photo of Higravity
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice deep copper brown with a thinish head that hangs around for a little while. Smells of alcohol right away and there are some caramel notes and sweetness that reminds me slightly of brandy, no hops to speak of so I won't. The taste starts out hard and sweet but finishes alcoholic and a touch of spicyness. This could eb a little tighter and with somemore depth to even it out but overall I am liking this. The body is decent and I would be against have a sixer in the fridge.

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Photo of evanackerman
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

well, another solid and tasty beer from BBC! This beer is as pretty as they come, deep ruby color with a thick tan head with good retention, aroma is mostly dried fruit malt witha hint of alcohol.

Taste is primarily malt dominated as most dopples are, this one has a nice toasty characteristic as well which helps to balance the sweetness of the malt, exceptional flavor profile! very nice.

Honestly this ranks as high as any other dopple i've tasted, i think this one and Capital's autumnal fire are my two favorites.

Excellent Beer!

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My second favorite Sama Adams. Favorite? Imperial Pilsner. Body is dark brown and clear, visible carbonation. Head is small, lacing full. Smell is malty and sweet, brown sugar. Taste is full and rich, the flavors are bolstered by the ABV, making this an even larger and more enjoyable beer. Hops are not very noticeable or necessary, the malt leads the way. Mouthfeel is full and slick, very good.

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Photo of rodrot
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a deep ruby, brown color with a very small head that didn't stick around. There was a slight aroma of malt and hops wafting from my glass. Taste was incredible, and I'm more of a hophead so that says quite a bit about this brew. This beer was very rich, with flavors of malt, caramel and a little bit of smoke. Hops were barely detectable. This beer is truly a meal in a glass and gives the German double bocks a run for their money. Purchased 2 years ago and has benefited from the aging.

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Photo of Hautacam
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Just had my first taste of the '06 batch last night, and it is a beautiful thing !
Great red, amber color....pour with a head that disappeared to a collar.
Smells great...caramel, malt, hint of alcohol.
Tastes fantastic....carmel, malty, sweet bitter at all..hops just not there.
Carbonation barely there at all.Mouth feel smooth and medium-to-heavy.
Drinkable...I had two...the alcohol does sneak up on you.
Think I'll get a case....or two....this has been a favorite of mine for years....I wish that they would make it year round.

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Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Whew, deceptively strong offering from Samuel Adams.

Kind of on the clearer side of reddish-brown. Smallish head. Tons of malty alcoholic sweetness in the nose.

Taste is nice and complex. The alcohol is pretty up-front and noticeable. Very sweet at first with a strong malty finish.

Strange that this beer is (relatively) light colored, and with a thinish mouthfeel. If you dont watch out, this one will bite you. 8.8% alcohol.

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Photo of nortmand
2.26/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Brownish amber with a 2 finger white head.

Smell is hay and a tad bit of roast.

Cloyingly sweet. Just pure malt sweetness, with a slightly bitter roast end.

I know it's supposed to be a doppelbock and really sweet and malty and all, but this takes it to another level. Other doppelbocks are sweet, but also incredibly drinkable. I just can't imagine drinking very much of this in a sitting.

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

Typical Sam's 12 oz brown long neck with an August 06 drink before date poured into a chalice.

The pour results in a failry resilient foamy head the has some staying power. The colors show a nice dark brown, with dark burgundy highlights. Nice lacy rings as I drink.

The nose is candy like - molasses and butterscotch. Very sweet with a background of alcohol. There is no hoppiness to the top at all.

This is a nice drinker. The high alcohol is clearly evident - but the mouth is nice and smooth. All of the maltyness comes out and your mouth is overwhelmed by it. The finish is heavy and the alcohol is definitely present. To my taste, any hop character is totally blown away by the sweetness.

Musings: This is one of my favorite Sam's. It's surely a winner with those who enjoy a knock your socks off throat warmer. However, I don't place it much higher than Spaten Optimator on the intensity scale.

For those who want a Zeus-like dopplebock - find the Celebrator. All of it's accolades are well deserved. The clean finish that this and most doubles lack, comes out in the Celebrator and it creates for one of the best brews in the world.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Creamy, light brown head that slowly settles to an intact sheet. Spotted and a bit of thin lacing. Clean amber/bronze in color with noticeable carbonation.

Moderately sweet molasses and toffee with hints of heavy cream. Vinous fruit: cherry, plum. Noticeable alcohol aroma.

Semi-sweet caramel, milk chocolate, and molasses. Rich and creamy malt character. Hints of vanilla. Underlying toasted grain that gives this Doppelbock a gritty and earthy character. Faint fruity esters: cherry and raisin, followed by a slightly bitter dark chocolate aftertaste.

Full bodied; creamy, smooth, and rich. Unobtrusive and mellow on the palate.

A decent version of the style; well rounded but bland in terms of flavor. Lacks the intense maltiness, fruity esters, and chocolate flavors indicative of the style.

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Photo of ColForbin
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sam Adams Double Bock is pours a clear deep red color with a thick head (if poured vigorously). Aroma is malty, floral with some strong caramel notes. Taste is full of caramel, malt and brown sugar with a slightly hot alcoholic finish. Just a meal of a beer. Not too full-bodied, and a surprisingly light finish. It is a little hot right now to score high for drinkability, but I hear that a year in the cellar clears that shortcoming right up. A great seasonal from Sam Adams, maybe their best.

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Photo of yeagerbm
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle around a year old.

Pour produces a thick tan head. The color bright dark ruby. The liquid is viscous and thick when swirling around the glass. The aroma is strong and rich with fruity tones. I could swear by the taste that this is made with massive quantities of munich malt but according to the website it is all two row and caramel. The flavor profile works for a double bock and is delicious.

The flavor is seriously malty with a hint of dark fruit and chocolate. The thick liquid coats your mouth with all the deep flavors. This is a slow drinking beer. I don't know that I could drink a bunch at one time but it is a double bock with twice the alcohol of "normal" beers so I'm not sure that the purpose with this one.

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Photo of markman
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Adams Double Bock (Winter 2005):

Deep crystal clear garnet pour…simply beautimus. Nice head that dissipates quickly. Big malty nose, and no signs of a hop. Taste follows suit; big and malty, without being cloying and the 8.8% ABV is well hidden. Caramel, hint of chocolaty smokiness, and still not a hop in sight. Very, very nice Doppel, especially so after sitting in the cellar for almost a year now…Salvator would be proud, if not jealous.


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Photo of GreenWBush
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

As the leaves change in Autumn and the bigger winter seasonals come around, it becomes necessary to some cellar cleaning. There are many mid-range beers that will be best serviced by being consumed before many of the larger winter beers need to take up residence.

So, peering into my cellar I realized that I had an ancient bottle of Sam Adams Double Bock, which has unilaterally been recognized as best when aged for half a year or so. This particular sample is from February of 2003. I was concerned that this would have suffered serious negative effects from aging, but boy was I wrong.

This pours out spectacularly a deep chocolate-tinged ruby with a fat, thick 1" head and wicked cling. Still looking great...

Potent aromas jump from the bottle with absolutely no evidence of the negative effects of aging. Molasses, dark chocolate, vanilla, prunes, candied pears, creamy alcohol, caramel, and MALT to the third power.

The silken potency continues in the flavor and mouthfeel. Slightly barleywine characteristics have appeared sans the American hop influence. Molasses, raisins, caramel, and candi-sugar encrusted malt are all over the place here. No off flavors - a huge meaty malt monster that warms the palate and body with every sip.

Who would have expected that an "everyday" SA product would age so spectacularly in less than ideal conditions. If you've got some of this laying around do not be afraid to age it for this long.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was pleasantly surprised with his beer. Big malts and big flavor. Reminded me of a chocolate egg cream on the Jersey shore, except better, it gave me a buzz!!!! In the midst of Hurricane Cindy this beer went well with the territory.

Well balanced alcohol and hops. Had many of the characteristics of a stout but not as thick. Seems like I’ve been drinking winter beers in the middle of the summer. Oh well.

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Photo of NClifestyle
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a wonderful beer from sam adams. not for the typical or even novice beer drinker. pours up a dark red ruby color, with a nice head of tan bubbles. head stays around for a while. smell is sweet malt, alcohol, and maybe some dark fruit. taste is almost all malt and some alcohol, although a tang of hops finds it's way in there near the back of the mouth. really an amazing tasting beer, but very strong. don't try to drink more than a couple of these. i had one last night (it's august in n.c.) and that was all i could do, had to go for an ipa after that. enjoy the brew. cheers...

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Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.93 out of 5 based on 1,928 ratings.
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