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 yeagerbm
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
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 +13%
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 +13.5%
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 -8.7%
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 +16.1%
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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.


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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