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

Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series)Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series)
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,928 |  Reviews: 1,110
Photo of NOOGIE
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The question is, are you man enough to consume a whole six pack of this beer in one sitting? If so, you will enjoy this beer and be messed up in a hurry. This beer should not be drunk on a full stomach, because you could have some real trouble, or even mixed with anything other than Sam Adams Double Bock, now I know why they only make it during the summer and fall months, to forget about the weather. This beer is very enjoyable, with one or two at a time, but if you ignore the 8.8 % alcohol content, you could be in for some real trouble, so enjoy at your own risk, but when you do, you will truly be enjoying a unique and tasty beer.

 639 characters

Photo of merlin48
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours a clear, ruby toned, copper body with a one inch beige head that has some orange accents. Head retention is decent and some spotty lace is left behind on the glass.
Aroma is quite malty. Toffee, caramel, brown sugar, figs, and raisins, with a vague hint of floral hops.
Mouthfeel is almost full bodied and has plenty of chewy malt. Low carbonation.
Taste is dominated by sweet malts. Caramel, brown sugar, and some molasses mostly. Dark fruit presence is mostly figs. Some mild notes of roasted grain, but very little bitterness. Hops aren't apparent, and the taste finishes cloying and a bit syrupy.
This is a decent doppelbock, but there are better American versions available. The malt sweetness is overdone in this bottle.

 739 characters

Photo of PatYoda
4.36/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance is spot-on - beautiful clear ruby with some nice long lasting cream colored head and lacing. Smell is a bit subdued at first but really opens up after some warming - Definitely some ripe fruit in there and spicy alcohol. Not much of a bready smell though. Smells very syrupy sweet as well. Taste is BIG! The first thing you notice is the incredibly chewy mouthfeel. Carbonation level is absolutely perfect and you can tell the malt is jam packed into this beer from how thick it is for a lager. The taste is dominated by the dark fruit, with the syrupy sweetness making a bit too much of an appearance. Bready flavor is there but could have been a bit more involved in my opinion. The alcohol and hops both add a distinctive spiciness which lingers on the palate LONG after you take a sip, keeping the syrupy flavor company. This is definitely a sipping beer, as the alcohol and sweetness overwhelm you if you drink it too fast. Extremely complex but still a bit too powerful for me at the moment. This was brewed this spring and was nearly undrinkable a couple months ago. Maybe it will be heavenly by fall. I'll definitely be rereviewing.

Edit: Ok I was definitely onto something - this beer ages like a fine wine. After 9 months or a year on it, the alcohol is barely detectable and the tastes are totally melded together. I've bumped up the taste from 4.0 to 4.5 and the drinkability from 2.5 to 4.0. Sublime.

 1,427 characters

Photo of AltBock
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle with Nov. notched
Appearance: Poured a dark-amber with an inch of tan-colored foam that left some lace behind.
Smell: It smelled like sweet caramel, molasses, and a lot of roasted malt.
Taste: It had a lot of roasted malt with just a little bit of caramel taste to it.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied with little carbonation to it. You can really feel that 8.8% alcohol content.
Drinkability: Due to the high alcohol content, it's good once in a while but not everyday. This is a solid american doppelbock. It's beer like this that makes me a Samuel Adams fan.

 569 characters

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

Poured at 50 degrees from a 12 bottle notched NOV. Poured into a pint glass, resulting in a three-finger head that prevented pourng that last ounce. Pours dark, clear, ruby-tinted cola. Head is generous light caramel, tightly bubbled, fading to a thin veil but leaving nice sticky lace to the very end.

Nose had roasted malt and grains, molasses. Tastes of sweet roasted malts, hints of caramel, black cherry,(raisin?), with a bit of metallic alcohol in the middle and on the finish initially. (not enough to make it offensive, however.) Mouthfeel is full, creamy, slight drying at the finish.

One to sit back and enjoy, not pour all night long

 650 characters

Photo of Shultzerdugen
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. brown bottle with Nov. notched.

Nice clear reddish amber with an off-white collar.

Tons of caramel malt in the nose. Alcohol shows itself as well.

Medium bodied beer, but the thing that got me was its lack of stickiness, which I expected from the smell and taste. Big toffee/caramel signature dopplebock German malt taste, with a healthy dose of alcohol bite in the back. Really dry finish for the style.

I missed the stickiness that I was looking for to match sweetness. Kind of thin, one dimensional: no "zing" for me.

 540 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I hate to do the old "this is not as good as it used to be" but having not had this in 4 years I have to chime in. Its not as big and bold and malty as it used to be. The huge caramel sweetness and malty backbone is gone.

That being said it has a lovely chestnut red color. No head to speak of.

Low aroma-nice carmel and treacle like smell to it. Very malty.

Malty flavor upfront. Some caramel like notes. Ok residual sweetness but the overall picture between the slight hop bitterness and malt could use some work. Somewhat astringent and medicinal.

Good body. Very well suited to the style. Holds up well.

A decent example for a US doppelbock but lacks the "umph" needed to put it over the edge. Overall a good Spring seasonal from SA.

 759 characters

Photo of mentor
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle purchased from John's Grocery (Iowa City) and has a freshness notch of July (consumed late-May 2005). Hard pour to get a thin red-tan head over a dark red (and crystal clear) liquid. Smells of caramel, like those caramel squares people give out for Halloween. Beneath is a gentle chocolate, some alcohol, and faint weedy smelling hop. Smells sweet and enticing. Tastes alcoholic over a sweet caramel with a nice chocolate character. It's got a creamy mouthfeel that, combined with the wet sweet, allows the chocolate to come across as rich. The alcohol, while noticable, isn't unbearingly strong. The carbonation is a bit more than I would like and I'm missing the 'bock' in this bock. Did they decoct mash this?...I'm guessing they just used a bunch of crystal malt to try to get the same effect. At first I was missing a munich character to the malt, but with searching I do detect it as a dry malt beneath the alcohol, sweet and carbonation. I can't place the hops, because the floral that rises in the throat battles with an alcohol sting. Altogether, pretty nice. The alcohol may settle with a bit of aging and I'm sure the malt would meld nicely, too. The head never quite settled to a ring around the liquid and there was some lacing on the inside of the glass. As the beer warmed, the malt smell dominated the alcohol (thankfully) and the caramel character rose more prominently in the taste. What a delighful mouthfeel. Thick and creamy, like an oatmeal stout, but a gentle alcohol burn keeps you on your toes. Oh, I'm liking this more and more (plus the alcohol is noticable inside my head now, too). Well done.

 1,634 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hyper clear mahogany with some copper tints. Small light tan head forms on the pour but really fades to a scattering in a few minutes.
Aroma of heavy, swet malts and caramel candy corn, molasses and a burnt brown sugar note.
Flavors of cough medicine, caramel malts and some wheat bread first on the palate. As it warms a bit a roasted nut and slightly peaty hit with some alcohol esters coming through. Alcoholic warming also bubbles up.
Mouthfeel chewy malt and sweetness for the most part with just a bit of roast and and little bit of bittering to cut it.
Drinkability is excellent. I for the most past avoid SA beers these days but this was a real treat and I wish they would go back to make some more experimental and unique beers instead of going down the path of SA light and things that every relatively big brewer does.
Thanks to PPoitras for the bottle.

 877 characters

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

Dense, thick, dark cream colored fades slowly to a thin film. Doughy, yeasty, chocolate malt aroma with and slight alcoholic whiff at the end. Transparent mahogany colored beer with a ruby hue, and a few large bubbles breaking loose from the bottom of the glass. Sweet malty flavor with a bit of caramel, rum, raisins and plums. The finish is mildly bitter and the alcohol warming. Mouthfeel is thick throughout. A solid one from Samuel Adams.

 443 characters

Photo of kbnooshay
2.96/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I can't reccomend this. It reminds me of Brooklyn's Monster barleywine, it is like drinking whiskey. The alcohol is out of controlll. There are some sips that are great, and others that are hell, hmm maybe it was my batch. Anyways it pours a beautiful red brown. THe mouthfeel is sticky with a somewhat carbonated feel to it. Not easy to drink yet sorta fun.

haha. I edited this review because the strength of a few of these really effected my english.

 453 characters

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

Poured into a flute, ruby brown with a sticky lacy head. Malty nose leads to a sweet carbonic taste. Finish was a touch metallic probably due to the alcohol. Mouthfeel was medium with carbonation providing most of the tactile sensation. Alcohol was certainly noticeable but not overpowering. Easy to drink, curious how this will age. Decent brew for a style that I'm never too excited about.

 391 characters

Photo of dauss
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear amber ruby color. A creamy off-white head rests on top. Lots of lacing and good retention.

Smell: Sweet malt aroma, with a roasty graininess. Alcohol smell is quite strong.

Taste: Rich and malty. Very sweet maltiness with a molassas flavor. Slight hop bitterness in the middle, and finishes out sweet, malty and smooth. Alcohol leaves the mouthfeel thin in the end.

Notes: Its very smooth. Alcohol isn't that strong in the taste. Deceivingly potent and tasty.

 486 characters

Photo of ahking
3.24/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pretty much a classic example of the doppelbock style. Pours a rich brown/mahogony color. Quite thick and heavy. Lots of malt flavor, hints of raisen, port, currant. Hops are minimal and not memorable in this brew. Not a beer you would dedicate the night to. Sample a bottle and put the rest away for another occasion.

 318 characters

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep cherrywood with a lacy tan head. Smells of fruity malt, caramel, plum and black currant.

Taste is again rich fruity malt. Plum and tart apple. Sweet caramel and vanilla. Alcohol very prevalent. Big flavors. Sticky mouth. A slow sippin' beer to be sure. Haven't had this beer in years and it is an old favorite. However, it's alot rougher around the edges than I remember. It can stand to go down for a few months at least.

 438 characters

Photo of jp32
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a nice mahogany color with dark-brownish notes. This is an exceptionally wonderful looking beer. There immediately is a very nice tan colored foamy head that lasts through the entire beer. The aroma is almost ferocious, there are so many different vapors leaping from the glass that I'm almost scared of it, yet at the same time I cant wait to try it.

The taste is quite sweet, very chocolatey with some hints of caramel. There are several different bold flavors noticed, almost as if they are battling each other for room in the glass. It has a heavy-bodied mouthfeel and is a little warmer going down than the average beer. Must be the high alcohol content, very nice. I think I'd rather just have one or 2 of these at a time and save the rest for another night. Its a great beer, but almost difficult to choke down after the first couple.

All in all, this was a great beer, and will definitly find its way to my fridge again very soon.

 958 characters

Photo of SilentSabre
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I'm a bit disappointed by this one. I've heard nothing but good things about it and have been dying to give it a go. Good thing a friend gave me one and I didn't waste money buying six of these bloody things. It poured a very dark red bronze colour with a light brown foamy head that dissolved in about 40 seconds or so. It looked okay. Nothing that I was just crazy about, but decent all the same. The smell was quite sweet, almost sickeningly so. Nice malt and tiny hidden spice notes, but over all it's very sweet smelling. The taste had a large amount of sweetness as well, but also had a bit of hops and quite a bit of malt. Not bad. Not fantastic, but not bad either. The mouthfeel had much more carbonation than I was expecting and 8.8%abv it was quite heavy indeed. This isn't an awful beer, but I really didn't care for it as much I thought I would. It's just not for me.

 880 characters

Photo of tgbljb
3.11/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance - poured a beautiful deep copper color with fait head

smell - deep smell with hints of alcohol

taste - dark flavor typical of this style of beer

mouthfeel - not overly enjoyable to me

drinkability - average at best, not my favorite style of beer, one was enough

 284 characters

Photo of danadeny
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper brown body, with a smooth slightly brown head. Smells malty. slight sweet, but overall faint. Tastes malty, sweet, a bit of alcohol in the middle. No major hop flavor, but awesome ballance so they must be there. On the sweeter side of dopplebocks. Mouthfeel is oily, slick, and slightly thick. Drinkability is good because of a great ballance.

 355 characters

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

This one pours a gorgeous deep red in color with an ample white head. Nose is quite strong, a bit citrusy, a strong malt profile in the nose is evident. Taste is quite malty, sour notes abound however with a slight hop profile emphasizing the point. The body is quite smooth and rich but the sourness overtakes all except the finish which is quite a mess of alcohol tones.

I can't say I particularly like this one, it's not very well done overall. I doubt I'll return to this one anytime soon.


 509 characters

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

Flows into my mug a deep brownish red, creating 2+ fingers of creamy head. Very clear appearance showcases a plethora of tiny CO2 bubbles rising to the surface. Smells like a modest helping of citrous hops fortified by lots of malt. There is also a yeasty breadlike character to the nose. An alcohol aroma is more easily detected as the beer warms. The taste is the bane of hop heads. Lots of malt, especially pale malts, with a slight toasted flavor. There is some spice and also some sweet caramel. A prevalent alcohol presence hampers the overall taste and drinkability. The slightest note of hops is present towards the end. The mouthfeel is pretty thin, adding to the warming effect of the alcohol. There is not much aftertaste, the flavor seems to abruptly surrender to the alcohol, leaving a winelike warm taste in your mouth.

Not a bad beer, but I was a little disappointed in this offering from Sam Adams. IMO, a little too rough around the edges.

 960 characters

Photo of mgdeth
3.06/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Rich copper color, head dissipates fairly quickly. Crytsal clear; appealing.

Smell - Malty aroma is present, but is considerably weaker than Salvator. A whiff of alcohol creeps into the smell as well.

Taste - Not quite as smooth as other doppelbocks I have tried. The flavor is malty sweet, but muted. There is also a roasted caramel flavor present and bready. It, however, is also relatively weak. To be fair, it appears that I purchased this beer after the freshness date marked on the bottle.

Mouthfeel - Poor. I tried this one in a blind taste test next to Salvator, and the Sam Adams is comparatively weak-bodied. Drink this after you have a golden ale, and all of a sudden it seems pretty imposing.

Drinkability - The taste is not too bad, but the beer has an aftertaste that I do not care for. The feel is a bit sticky.

Comments - It's surprising how poorly this beer stacks up against real German doppelbocks. With all due respect to other reviews of this beer, I am disappointed by this offering from what I otherwise consider to be a great brewery. Either that or don't drink this stuff wearing a blindfold while comparing it with Salvator. Once I ditch the blindfold, the characteristics of the beer improve slightly.

 1,256 characters

Photo of whartontallboy
3.08/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear red pour with mahogany hues, small tan head that dissipated pretty quickly. Smell is of malt, gingerbread, caramel, and vanilla. The taste is okay. Lots of malt and some sweet fruit flavors that hint at prune or fig, and you can taste a smoke flavor that becomes more pronounced as it warms. The finish leaves an aftertaste of alcohol and licorice which is rather pleasant. The alcohol character is a bit too strong, and maybe cellaring would temper it a bit. It just seems a little boozy right now, even for its relatively high ABV.

Overall: Eh. It's not a bad beer, but it's not great, either. There are many better doppelbocks out there, although maybe none better at this price. I was really excited to try this one, but it's a tad rough and fairly forgettable. Maybe I'll cellar one for a few months and see what comes out.

 838 characters

Photo of rajendra82
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Spotted for the first time in Georgia, this seasonal beer came in a 12 oz. brown bottle. When poured the look was a clear deep red-mahogany. A small fizzy head formed for a very short time before evaporating away. The smell was very malt dominated, and exhibited pronounced notes of orange peel, cherry, lemon, and vanilla. The taste was a bit too alcoholic with tempering attempts by cherry, almond, and toffee flavors. The mouthfeel was thick, rich, and maple syrup sticky. Aftertaste was peppery with a strong burn. I think that a bit of extended cellaring is warranted by the up front alcohol profile. More to follow in a couple of years.

Since the consensus seems to be that the Samuel Adams Double Bock is best after about 1 year of aging, I decided to crack open the last of my 2005 bottles and do a side by side comparison with the 2006. For fairness, I had them both at near cellar temperature, with identical size flute glasses. Here is what I found:

Appearance: The 2005 and 2006 both came out well carbonated and clear and looked almost identical at first. If not for having different brewery logos on the flutes, it would have been easy to get them mixed up. The 2005 version was a shade darker, but I am not sure that this was due aging or just a year to year variation. Then a curious thing happened, the head on the 2006 started going down, while the head on the 2005 kept getting bigger with a volcano cone formation crowning above the rim of the glass. Since the beer is not bottle conditioned, I am not sure what caused the extra foaminess in the last year’s version.

Aroma: The 2005 had a subdued nutty aroma with some notes of sherry, while the 2006 aroma was bright, spicy, and had somewhat of an orange peel oil quality to it. The alcohol was also more readily apparent in the younger beer via the nose.

Flavor: The older beer has a mellow flavor that was hard to put into words. I think there were notes of chocolate, toffee, wood, and black cherry in there, with a subtle hint of peppermint. The new beer was less complex, with peppery spiciness, and a little bit of sour cherry. Alcohol was well hidden and unobtrusive in the older beer, while it was readily apparent with gentle warmth in the newer beer.

Mouthfeel: The 2005 was silky soft and went down luxuriously. The 2006 was a bit more prickly and sticky. The aftertaste was almost absent during sips from the glass of the aged beer, with it seemed to linger far longer while drinking the younger pour.

Drinkability: Both were easy to down, but the younger beer felt a bit more exuberant. I think after a year in the warmish cellar, the older beer had about reached the peak of maturity. At 9 months of incubation in the cellar, one would get the best of both worlds IMHO.

 2,782 characters

Photo of sagito327
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

NOTE: this is my FIRST review, so please, take it with a grain of salt, as I am most certainly a novice.

The color is a cherry red. The head dissipated rather quickly, leaving a respectable amount of residue on the glass. I smell almost exclusively malt--though the properly trained nose may smell more. In terms of taste, malt dominates again. There is, however, a good sensation on the front (sweet) sensory neurons of the tongue. A bitter sensation accompanies this. Molasses and sweet rum. Not either thick nor carbonated, but a pleasant medium between the two. Somewhat of a kick after swallowed--this is good. The only REAL problem lies in its high ABV, which results in a decent buzz rather quickly. All in all, I'm proud to refer to this beer as my first reviewed.

 776 characters

Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 1,928 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.