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

very good
1,110 Reviews
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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Reviews: 1,110 | Ratings: 1,927
Photo of UrbanCaveman
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, poured into a tulip at approximately 45 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a deep, rich, clear mahogany red-amber, and forms a massive, fluffy head of tawny beige foam. Lacing is present and impressive. The bottom of the glass lines with large bubbles, and sheets of tiny bubbles rise continuously.

Smell: Heavy caramel malt swirls out of the glass, thick with the scent of fresh bread as well. There's a toffee presence in the aroma, and something vaguely leathery.

Taste: As predicted from the smell, this is heavy on the caramel and toffee malt flavors, from the opening all the way through the finish. There's a breadiness in the background as well, alongside a rather sharp, metallic iron sort of taste. By the finish, that metallic note intensifies, turning dry and sharp, and there's an odd lingering intense bitter toffee aftertaste. Not much going on in the way of any fruits, though there is a vague sort of walnut tone that manifests through the middle.

Mouthfeel: Initially somewhat creamy and sticky, this breaks down at the end to leave a watery finish.

Overall: Not a bad go at a doppelbock from a US brewer! It stays solidly in the malt flavor wheelhouse, and comes decently close on mouthfeel. It's not my favorite doppelbock, nor even my favorite US attempt, but it's a solid beer.

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Photo of JohnnyI
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one has quite the shoes to fill, following a glass of the legendary Bavarian benchmark, Celebrator Dopplebock. Poured from the 22 oz. bomber into a nonic pint glass with perhaps a little too much oomph. After a brief cascade of foam over the side, it settles in to a towering, frothy cream-colored head. The interesting color of the brew only accentuates the appearance. Ruby red under the lamp, with amber highlights. A transparent mahogany in the shadows. In time the pronounced foam settles in to a patchy coating with consistent lacing all the way up to the rim. The aroma epitomizes that massive malt dopplebock bouquet. Bread dough with some faint molasses, soy sauce and fig-like esters. A touch of earthy minerals in the nose. The first sip brings a potent malt sweetness and a bit of a metallic twang. Boozy brown sugar flavors coat the tongue and finish with a slightly drying bitterness. A little toffee is present but this is not particularly complex. Not as earthy as I expected either. Mostly there's rock candy sweetness and enormous malt flavors. The mouthfeel is rich and hearty, a bit sticky. Full bodied. The carbonation is such that it helps provide a creamy texture. Given the high gravity of this one it's no surprise that a noticeable alcohol warmth is present in the chest. Maybe a tad cloying and a little stronger than I prefer for the style. Perhaps it's lacking some of the character of its Bavarian brethren, but it's a solid representation of the style. A worthy beer to pay tribute to it's predecessors and a solid nod to Sam for crafting another outstanding offering.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev +1.8%

On tap at Granite State on tap.
Deep brown with a smallish quickly dissipating off white head. Huge bready caramel raisin dried fruity maltiness with just a touch of alcohol and earthy hop to balance. Nice sipper that I need to spend a little more time getting to know.

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

Quite a good double bock.
Dark brown with a tan head
Smell has a lot booziness to it to go with a sweet malty smell.
No alcohol burn as expected from the smell just a whole lot of caramel sweetness.
Overall a very good double bock but a bit on the sweet side.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

the malt bomb you would expect in this style from this brewer, but a well done take on the style, bigger than most, authentically german, and memorably different at the same time. its so dense in grain, toffee and burning sugar in a fry pan. with a lager yeast that cant eat the sweet. there is a european nature to the malt, and a strong alcohol presence in there two. i like its weight, its great for the fall, but its a beer that i just cant drink real much of because of how big it is with all its sticky sweetness. seems to me like an awesome cooking beer, cheesy beer muffins, bread pudding, even a pot of chili would benefit from a brew like this. i appreciate it but i dont love it. cool that a brewery this big still does stuff like this though, this is definitely not rookie beer.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into pint glass

A- pours a deep murky brown color with some ruby hue on the edges, small creamy off-white colored head retains for a while, eventually settling to a film on top that stays for a while

S- big caramel malt aroma up front with notes of butter-toffee, fruit cake, raisins, figs, roasted nuts, caramelized brown sugar & candy corn. Classic malt bomb aroma expected of the style

T- the caramel notes continue through to the taste with massive sweetness of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, banana bread & molasses. Nutty & earthy notes kick in mid-palate along with dark fruity notes of fig, raisin & prune. Light herbal hop bitterness allows the malty sweetness to shine.

M- thick and creamy body with moderate carbonation leads to a smooth and chewy mouthfeel slightly warming silky finish

O- quite possibly my favorite SA beer, it's a massive malt bomb that shines with caramel and dark fruit notes. A fine example of the style

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a deep mahogany color with a rather large head of off white foam. The head has a decent level of retention, fading over time to leave a very nice level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is massive of a sweet caramel smell and is mixed with some lighter aromas of a more chocolate and bready smell. Along with these aromas comes some other sweeter smells of a dark fruit nature with some fig and raisin hitting the nose. A little bit of a molasses as well as some very light hop smells of an herbal nature and a little bit of a boozy rum smell come to the nose, overall producing a nice sweet and warming smell.

Taste – The taste begins big and malty with tons of caramel and some very bready and roasted malt flavors. As the taste advances the darker roasted malt flavors are intensified with a bit more roast and some darker fruits of raisin and fig joining the tongue. The darker fruits also add some more sweetness to the brew and with a molasses flavor that develops later in the taste, ends up sweetening the brews taste ever so slightly sweeter, even with a loss of some of the caramel sweetness. A tiny bit of a boozy rum comes to the tongue at the end, but this is rather light for a bock of 9.5 % abv, leaving a decently roasted, and dark fruity sweetened, malty flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is super thick and creamy with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. For the double bock style the feel is right on with it really nicely complimenting the malty and sweeter flavors of the brew and making for a nice slow sipper.

Overall – A big and robust, thick and fruity sweet double bock. If looking for something very sweet and malty then this is a good choice, with it delivering in both sweet and malty with a bit of alcohol and roast balancing it all out. Overall fairly tasty.

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Photo of Bear1964
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%

This is one outstanding beer, looks great and tastes even better! Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a standard Pint glass showed me a beautiful dark reddish brown pour with a 2 finger fluffy tan head which left nice lace as I sipped it down, the aroma is sweet and malty with hints of bread and brown sugar along with dark fruits. With the first taste I was happy I found another well made special beer by Samuel Adam's...they have many and I'm not a beer it's a winner. The medium mouthfeel sets up the malty sweet flow over the tongue, roasted malt and a rich bread round out the solid but fruity taste that hides the ABV well...and a hint of Carmel picks out at the end...a very solid Double Bock!

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance was dark brown with a egg shell white head. The smell was very sweet with a lot of malt characteristics and almost a vanilla or caramel. The taste was heavy and a little boozy. But after that I got a lot of semi sweet flavor. Dominated by malt and heavy flavors. The mouthfeel was thick but satisfying. Overall very nice but maybe not for everyday.

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Photo of jaredtp
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer was a good beer. I liked that it was a bock beer. I liked the malt body this beer, I liked that it was dark. I also liked the fruit taste that it has. I liked that it was sweet. I could taste the raisin fig that it has in its flavor. I would not mind having this beer again if I could find it somewhere where I live.

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Photo of IronLover
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep garnet in color with a slightly viscous appearance. Poured with a short light beige foam that quickly dissipated leaving random wisps. Sweet, dark candied fruit, and toasted caramel malt aromas with toffee, herbal hop and boozy notes. Full bodied with a thick oily feel with subdued, lightly crispy carbonation from the middle to the end. Big toasted and caramel malt flavors up front followed by ripe dark fruit and toffee. Crisp herbal hop flavors through the middle with expanding hop bitterness with boozy heat to the end. Started sweet and malty and finished crisp and hoppy. Finished with a light crispness with toasted malt, herbal hops and a sneaky booziness. 

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Photo of alphagnome
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Notes: Unable to determine exact year brewed as it's not stated on the bottle anywhere. However, the label is an older design and I've had the bottle in my cellar for at least a year. Served at 40 degrees in a tulip.

Deep mahogany body with a tint of red and surprisingly clear. Heavily carbonated. Thin, bone-white head starts off small and reduces to a small ring fairly quick. Minimal lacing but decent legging.

Dull. As the beverage warms, some dark fruit makes a debut over a subtle malt body. Light spice.

Thankfully more exciting than the nose leads you to believe. Gobs of biscuit and thick malt. Roast caramel and hints of toffee. Raisin and fig and all together incredibly sweet. Yeast. No real alcohol presence, with the exception of a slight burn on the finish. Aftertaste that of Molasses and caramel malt.

One of the heaviest beers I've had in recent memory - thick, lip-smacking body. Decent carbonation helps lighten the load a bit. Leaves a slight film in your mouth. Super sweet finish.

A solid beer from Boston Beer Co. Indulge in this one slowly as it is thick and I wouldn't be surprised if the ABV were to sneak up on some. Beware of cavities as this is one sweet beer but don't let that stop you from grabbing a bottle - it's worth it.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into a glass stein.

A - Pours a murky copper color with a foamy, three-finger, khaki-colored head. Nice retention. Spider web like lacing.

S - Big caramel aroma, with hints of prune and date as well.

T - Matches the nose, with candy sweet caramel malts forward. Esters of prune, baked apple, grape, and a good amount of fusel alcohol. Slightly spicy hop kick in the finish. Doesn't hide it's ABV particularly well. Very rich. Becomes quite cloying after a while.

M - EXTREMELY viscous and full-bodied, to the point of distraction. Somewhat creamy. Medium carbonation, but not enough to eliminate excessive syrupiness.

O - Some definite flaws here. Slightly too thick and too boozy to be considered a great brew, and not a match for most European versions. Not a repeat buy, as better Dopples are easily obtained almost anywhere.

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Photo of barczar
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown with caramel highlights and minimal cream head that dissipates to almost nothing.

Deep caramelization, melanoidins. Toasted, nutty malt.

Lots of kettle caramelization, slightly sweet melanoidin character. Enough toasted malt to counter the sweetness and nuttiness to finish things out. Slightly bitter finish. A touch of roast and dark cherries.

Body is fairly full with minimal carbonation and substantial alcohol warmth.

Nice melanoidin character, not cloyingly sweet, but a bit hot.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.74/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: a deep garnet red color. Great brightness and perfect clarity. One to two fingers of a tan head that fades fairly quickly and leaves a bit of a lacing.

Smell: super sweet caramels. Very bready. Dark fruits. Probably one of the strongest smelling beers I've opened recently. This one really bites at you with those super sweet malts and dark fruits. Alcohol is noticeable but not astringent or over powering.

Taste: starts off with bready malts. Quickly diverts to caramel, toffee and brown sugar. Dark fruits are more subtle but still big, prunes and dates. Some alcohol sneaks through especially as it warms. Alcohol is there but smooth.

Mouthfeel: big and heavy. Thick and creamy. A meal of a beer. Very warming as well

Overall: a big and wonderful beer. Very sweet but not overly. A great beer to introduce people to a style that's not so well done in the states. Big bold flavors make me want to go for Utopias. I imagine it being a bigger bolder but somewhat related to this one

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Photo of KYGunner
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost chocolatey in appearance this Doppelbock had a very rich look dark brown. The head was simple in its density and collared to a fine froth.

The aroma was full of chocolate and caramel malt with a bready fruit cake.

The flavors were well balanced between the sweet chocolate malt, sweeter caramel malt, prune, date and of dried fruit cake.

The feel is thick not necessarily creamy but the carbonation is subtle.

Samuel Adams has done this up right with rich and broad flavors.

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Photo of BoulderBarrovecchio
4.67/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Brown copper semi-translucent with a 1/2 inch that sticks, a lot of carbonation activity with lacing as you venture through the pint.

S: Bready and malty with slight caramel and fruit scent.

T: Bready, malty, and spicey (cloves?) with a yeast/malt on the back-end that lingers. The slightest of slight hops presence.

M: High carbonation that hits in the front and lingers throughout, full bodied and very creamy. A perfect mouthfeel, the best I've ever tasted.

O: Active appearance, bready and yeasty, perfect mouthfeel. I tend to favor domestic doppelbocks over bavarian because of the mouthfeel, and I think I have to rate Sam Adams over Troegenator. Simply awesome.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A ruby-amber color. Cloudy, with a frothy dark beige head. Decent retention. Spotty lacing.

Smells malty. A lot of sweet, bready dough and some sourness. A bit of alcohol too.

Tastes very malty. Dark bread, some sour apple or grape, toffee, and caramel. As sour as it is sweet. Both are pretty prominent.

Chewy body. A bit sticky/syrupy, but not unusual for the style.

In my experience, this one ages pretty well, but I think it would be better if the ABV were dialed back a bit.

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Photo of scotorum
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick.

a: Clear copper with an inch and a half thick offwhite head which receded slowly to heavy surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Aromatic caramel malt.

t: Hefty caramel malt with some hop bite for balance. High ABV is beautifully covered.

m: Full bodied and smooth,.

o: Outstanding for the style. A tasty malty treat with a lot of substance. Wish I'd bought more than a test bottle.

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

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 3/3/2013. Pours slightly hazy deep ruby red color with a 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, plum, pear, apple, biscuit, nuttiness, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, plum, pear, apple, biscuit, nuttiness, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, plum, pear, apple, biscuit, nuttiness, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance, complexity, and robustness of malt and yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/fruitiness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately creamy and slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a excellent doppelbock! All around great complexity, balance, and robustness of malt and yeast flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of rangerred
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a bomber into an imperial pint.

Pours a nearly opaque dark brown with a one finger light tan head. Just ok head retention fading to a light coating over the beer. Just a few splotches of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma has a big hit of raisin plums/prunes, and brown sugar. Some burnt sugar/ dark caramel along with a touch of grass from the hops. Just a tiny bit of metal that detracts a little but not bad altogether.

Huge hit of molassass and dark fruit in the flavor. The metal is, thankfully, not present here at all. Dark bread and fruitcaked along with a good shot of alcohol in the finish providing a pleasant warming at the back of the throat. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy up front but that fades rather quickly leaving just a moderate sweetness on the finish.

Overall, a nice stab at the style from Sam Adams. While this is not my favorite style overall, I do enjoy this beer and might even pick it up again sometime.

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Photo of vegassommelier
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A solid beer, but not my favorite doppelbock style of beer (that distinction belongs to Ayinger Celebrator!).
Malty flavors of dark oats, oatmeal, cinnamon, all spice, cocoa powder and stewed christmas plums.
$12 for a 4 pack brings this beer into a category that it is not yet ready to tackle with this offering.

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Photo of jadpsu
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 OZ.brown bottle, no drink before date noted - in fact it says; "enjoy this beer now or age it to develope rich and unique flavorings."
Pours a cloudy amber with red tones, with a tight, sticky head that has superior retention and some sticky side glass lace.
Alot of roasty maltiness jump out of the glass.
Raisens and some warm brown sugar and some up front malty sweetness.
Taste and mouthfeel: Very creamy and syrupy as well as warming from its high ABV. Definitely taste the alcohol.
A little too much raisens and or dried plums and brown sugar for my taste, but by its style this is an exceptional brew.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.08/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz standard pressure-cap bottle into a pint glass in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- One-finger light-brown head that rapidly erodes. Deep amber color with nice clarity. Interesting.

S- Spicy. Cinnamon, boozy. Some brown sugar.

T- Boozy, brown sugar and caramel malts.

M- Alcoholic thin and dry.

O- Kind of a sparse review, but there isn't much I could say about this beer. Average or below.

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Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep Mahogany with good clarity. About a finger of off white head. Dark ripe fruits on the nose. Toasted butter raisin bread. Warm hearty breads.

A little stabby with the sweetness on certain parts of the tongue but pretty smooth none the less. Tart dark fruits, grapes and raisins. Lots of hearty earthy baked breads. Medium bodied with flavors all over the place, a bit of carbonation to break things up. Finishes balanced and dry with a touch of hop and faint lingering sweetness to balance. Not a lot of noticable alcohol. A pretty good beer, gets messy at parts but finishes clean.

Not sure of the age on this.

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Samuel Adams Double Bock (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.93 out of 5 based on 1,927 ratings.
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