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 IchLiebeBier
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Amber; clear; small head, dissipates quickly, but good lacing

Aroma: Sweet, syrupy malt; dried fruit; bread; butterscotch

Taste: Creamy, sweet and syrupy; warming alcohol in the mid with dried fruit; finishes sweet and slightly bitter on the end

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of stella77artois
4.49/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

24 oz. bottle, served in pint glass.

A - A beauty! Features the darkness of bock, with more red than usual. Very nice looking. Good, thich head that stuck around for a while.

S - Very nice mix of hops, cocoa and a sugary aroma. Not a cheap sweetener, but a very pleasant sweet smell. Combined w/ cocoa to make a very light chocolate aroma.

T - Wonderful taste. All the aforementioned aromas without being too sweet. I find some bocks to be a bit on the sweet side. Not so in this case. Packs a punch at 9.5 ABV, so the booze is noticeable. But not in a bad way.

F - Very good, but this is the only area I'd approve. An almost perfect thickness for a bock/doppleback, and a very nice, sweetish aftertaste. I would just like a bit more carbonation, as I like the bubbly feeling.

O - A very good beer. Hadn't had this beer since I was probably 19-20, so I couldn't appreciate it as much as I do now. A delicious dopplebock w/ tremendous flavor, a good punch and wonderful aftertaste and drinkability.

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Photo of bmwats
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, into my footed Celebrator bock glass.

A: Dark ruby brown. Lots of effervescence collects on the sides of the glass. Pours about a half finger, bubbly brown-white head which dissipates quickly; but does leave a little remnant of itself on the surface. Slight sporadic lacing mostly quickly retreats back into the body of the brew.

S: Roasted malt, raisin bread, and molasses.

T: Sweet roasted almond malt, with a little molasses, licorice, and clove.

M: Hearty, thick, and syrupy. Bitter, rubbery finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Dark hue, slight head, slight lacing. Nose is roasted and sweet. Nutty and sweet, hearty roasted malt with a little spice and bitterness. Overall, this is a good quaff.

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

Pours a deep walnut color clear with a nice two finger tan head that falls pretty quick to a ring. Only sparse lace left behind nice color though.

Aroma is rich caramel malts mingled with some nice dark fruits raisins mostly some light hop notes mingled with earthy hints.

Taste is malty caramel with some nutty notes and dark fruits. Finish is some spicy alcohol notes hints of licorice and earthy notes. Flavor not really what I was expecting for a doppele but overall not bad little alcohol burn but it is 9.5% and its not distracting.

Mouthfeel is a big medium with pretty mellow carbonation levels.

Overall not to bad not great but pretty descent. Certainly worth a try.

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Photo of MickeyD
3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this from a 12oz bottle into a clean pilsner glass

Appearance: golden dark brown with a red hue, moderate carbonation with about 2 inches head that dissipated quickly, very light lacing.

Smell: Slightly sweet with no real hoppy bite, mostly a very clean smell.

Taste: The taste of hops comes through maybe a little more than I expected. Slight caramel notes.

Mouth feel: Moderate body and goes down very smooth. Could use just a bit more carbonation but seems typical for the style. The beer is leaving a floral sweetness on the lips.

Overall: I really like the beer however I think it is a bit hoppy compared to other bocks that I have had. However it is still a good bock with fairly good caramel malt flavor.

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Photo of beergoot
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Boozy caramel aromas rise from a dark red body. Good carbonation rises from the glass and forms a lasting one-finger thick head. Thick, sweet malty taste infused with prominent alcohol notes and a mellowing bitterness at the end. Medium bodied with a rich, smooth, somewhat syrupy feel.

I've always enjoyed this beer and think it does justice to the style. It's been consistent and tasty throughout the years and this sample was no exception. Besides all the boozy, caramel-like features, there is also an enjoyable roasted malt component. Very flavorful and robust; wonderfully balanced with a nuanced complexity. Meal-in-a-glass?! Yes, indeed!

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Photo of Doppel_Bach
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a fresh 4-pack recently. 9.5% ABV.

Appearance - "Deep red/mahogany" is what it says on the website, and that's about right. Not very dark compared to other beers in this style.

Smell - Lots of malt, and I always get a really sweet nose on this. Banana seems to come through. Definitely a pleasant smell.

Taste - Very intense. Different from the smell. Malt, dark fruit, and I do taste the alcohol a bit in this one. Not something I find all that pleasant. The alcohol coming through definitely adds a little too much bitterness for me, although not a hoppy kind. Very little hops, and I don't notice them until the beer goes down. One nice thing is the bready taste it leaves in my mouth for a good while afterwards.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation a bit too low. Not much to say other than that.

Overall - Compared to something like a Korbinian, the alcohol comes through too much, which hurts not only its drinkability but its taste as well. When Sam Adams used to have this as a Seasonal, it was my favorite beer. However, it's simply gone over the top as part of the Imperial line. We're talking a little over a half a percent of alcohol higher than it was before, but that's enough to be excessive. If you look at reviews for the old version, people invariably raved about it, and for good reason. This beer is made the same, but it doesn't get the rave reviews it did before...??? I definitely attribute it to the poor drinkability and alcohol presence in the taste.
I'd personally rather drink this very cold in a bigger bottle so I can do one and be done with it, and I understand it might be coming out that way. Oh, and a little age (up to 6-8 months) helps this one from past experience. Celebrator and Korbinian are still my favorite Doppelbocks.

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Photo of Dazfish
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance:- Dark Copper with ruby highlights; very clear. Large off-white head dissipated quickly.

Smell:- Malty with caramel and fruit hints. Alcohol and a subtle floral spicy hop.

Taste:- Malt dominates with very little hop bitterness. Lots of caramel, with dark sugar/molasses in the background. Notable Alcohol warmth. Hop flavor is mild.

Mouth:- Medium-full body with medium carbonation. Warm and smooth. Oily.

Overall:- A very malty, smooth beer. The colors and clarity of this beer are awesome; very pretty. Malt really dominates with very little hop bitterness. Good complexity. A tasty brew.

Initially I was not over the moon with this brew but as I slow sipped it it got better and better. While I wouldn’t seek this one out, I would buy it again. It obviously fits the style well, but lacks a bit of the bitterness that I like in other representations of this style.

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Photo of Huffs
3.57/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams glass, modest head developed with mild retention and little lacing. Appearance was a reddish / brown with a hazy hue. Aroma had hints of caramel and fruit. Taste was of caramel, toffee and fruit, with hints of chocolate. Mouthfeel was mild, slightly creamy. Aftertaste was dry with a boozy finish.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into pint glass at the Real Pickle in Shreveport, LA. Pours a syrup-like brown with no head. Big booze aromas, lots of sweet malt, almost scotch like. Huge booze malty scotch flavors...really hot, very sweet, and heavy. Its good but super hot. It has nice flavor, but to me its closer to a scotch ale. Id really be curious on how this mellows with age...and at the relatively low price per bottle, I may purchase one and do that...
Its good...not great.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Rusty red-brown with haze. Bright head keeps its own.

Toasted crackers, fig and prune, treacle syrup sweetness, and roast malts. Sweet, juicy nose.

Bready and sweet, with a spiky booze heat. Toffee, fig, raisin, alcohol, wheat bread, mild roast, caramel, spices, and NO hops detectable. A true malt explosion. Heady and decadent. Too fruity to call robust. I still have an amazing quantity of this beer left in my glass.

Drinks hot. Thick viscous body with light-medium carbonation. A bit difficult.

Nice, but crazy big for the style. To a novice, I'd think this is almost undrinkable.

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Photo of sprucetip
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lighter in color than expected. Amber/orange, modest off white head, decent retention and fairly thick lacing.

Booze, carmel sweetness, and dark fruit. The various elements work well together. Nice.

Caramel, a bit of booze, dark fruit, and a modest level of bitterness that distracts a bit from the complexity.

Low carbonation, medium body, very gentle warming, and some bitterness on the back end.

An interesting take on the style. Definitely lighter in color, though that matters little to me. More bitter than I expected too, and that also through it just a bit off balance. But still really good.

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

A friend who loves Double Bochs gave me this beer

beautiful brown

very sweet, malty, molasses aroma

very sweet, too sweet for my taste. Kind of simple: just a sweet malty, molasses flavor. Didn't note the hops. Lacks the complexity of other craft beers

like the mf. Nice effervesence

overall: just not my cup of tea. too sweet. Probably wouldn't try again. But if you like sweet beers, you might like this one.

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Photo of abeerwiseguy
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 22 oz bottle listed a 9.5% ABV. The bottle label stated “Ale” on the bottom. As this was the third brew I had “taste tested” during this session, I checked the 2012 Brewers Association Guidelines and confirmed I was not as yet suffering from the 9.5% ABV. Doppelbock is a lager. Guess Sam Adams has some work to do on getting their styles and / or labeling straight.

Poured into a room temp stein it was dark brown with two fingers of brownish head that did not stick around long and left little lacing.

Caramel and malts dominate the aromas.

The taste was very pleasant with a slight sweetness from the caramel and richness from the malt.

A very full bodied flavor profile was balanced with a smooth clean finish and carbonation. Mouthfeel was rich and viscous with warming from the alcohol.

Overall this an excellent example of the Doppelbock style. A lot of breweries are only producing Doppelbock’s as a seasonal or limited edition beer which is unfortunate. I have added this to my buy it when I see it list.

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Photo of Beer_Runner
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No bottling date on the label, but this beer has aged about one year.

A: An aggressive pour into a standard pint glass did not produce a head. The brew is a rich amber color with a reddish-brown hue. It is dark but still translucent.

S: The aroma is a smooth booziness combined with candied fruit, sweet malt, and some grain.

T: The taste is sweet fruit consisting of candied apple and some sweet cherry, along with sweet malt and some grain. All of the sweetness is balanced by bright hops flavor that is earthy and grassy.

M: The body is a medium weight and it is very smooth with a clean finish. There is also a good deal of carbonation.

O: Overall this is an enjoyable enough double bock. It has a pleasing balance of different types of malt sweetness and hops bitterness. But, it is really not anything outstanding. It is neither a great representation of the style or an interesting variation on the style. Still, it is an enjoyable beer. Also, this beer has aged about one year. By now the alcohol is well-hidden and the flavors have had time to blend together. A year ago the first bottle in this four-pack had a flame-throwing amount of alcohol heat that overwhelmed all of the other flavors except for the sharp hops bitterness. This beer becomes a much better drinking experience with aging, but, I am just not sure that it is worth the wait.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed 11/16/12

Appearance: Somewhere between dark amber and reddish copper - small, off-white head, fades quickly to a wispy cap, leaves some streaks of lacing

Smell: Deep, dark caramel and molasses - cooked grains, malt extract - some dark fruit skin and soy sauce - some solvent-like, obvious alcohol - some sweetness as well

Taste: Cooked, caramelized grains - lightly roasted nuts - caramel, malt extract, and bread crusts - dark fruit - some bitterness, sugary sweetness - strong alcohol flavor, and it's not a good one - malty, but not enough

Mouthfeel: Medium body, sticky, could actually use a little more carbonation

Overall: Not awful, but not great

This gets some bonus points for not being reminiscent of Samuel Adams Triple Bock (which still gives me nightmares). Otherwise, it's an average dopplebock. Lots of caramel, but too much booze. Pass.

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Photo of B33R501
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

damn good, maybe great lager. had this last friday, cant decide between this and last (wed) nite's troegenator on tap which was fantastic. and so is this. love the new label and 22 oz size (is this size new?) and correctly priced at $10.99 for 4 pak, $5.99 bomber Wegmans.
i got the bomber, as this is a beer i enjoy occasionally.

very pretty mahogany. super fresh big cherry apple aroma, couldnt stop enjoying the smell. caramel malts, very bread like, dark fruits, molasses. hops in there somewhere, pleasant. nice and thick, drinkable and the bomber was just the perfect amount. strong and satisfying.

every once in a while you gotta have this, troegenator, or a korbinian (which i havent seen around in a while). throw in Samichlaus at Christmas. going to lagertown.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear mahogany brew with a big frothy head and some delicate lacing. A nice look overall.

S - Sweet malt - smells like brown ale malt syrup. Faint dates.

T - Very malty, molasses, alcohol - that speaks, but doesn't shout, . Aftertaste is a slowly fading malt with on;y a touch of bitterness from a subtle - likely german - hop.

M - Smooth, thick, slick, refreshing. A little gummy in the aftertaste, but overall pleasant.

D - Not bad. More than one would be a chore, but it is a nice experience. I'd have again.

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

Popped the cap off and smelled the beer. Smells like chocolate, but with a hint of barn funk. Gosh I am hoping the barn funk doesn't continue to the taste. Poured into a pewter stein, took one sip. Wow! I can't believe a beer as complex as this comes from Sam Adams! I like several Sam Adams beers, but they usually are tasty/straight-forward and not complex. I taste at least 4 different levels to this beer. First off there is the sweet chocolatey malts, and man are they sweet. Next I hint just a tinge of dark fruit like the Rochefort Quadrupel I tried last week. Then more sweet malts, with less chocolate and more caramel. Finishes sweet as well. The mouthfeel is incredible. Not the thickest I have had, but excellent. Overall it is as close to chocolate milk as I can describe for a beer, without it being gross. Excellent. Only thing I would probably wish for is a little more of a head on the pour. One of my new favorites, although I must admit I am partial to the style.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a bottle I have been sitting for maybe 3 years now so we’ll see how it is with that in mind. It pours a murky brown color with just a slight beige head. As the bottle indicates this is very malty and gives off a sweet grain scent. The taste is kind of has a barrel aged, chocolate thing going on. Overall it is very sweet and drinkable. Definitely taste a little of the bitterness from the 9.5% ABV but it is very subtle. Very interesting, next time I would probably just drink this new instead of aging it by accident though.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the old style label, cannot find a bottle date.

A- Pours a deep amber to almost brown color. Fairly hazy, with a fair amount of small-sized sediment. Smaller 1 finger head that doesn't retain very long. Lacing is lacking.

S- Intense malts are prominent and dominant here. Dark fruit scents come out of the malts, as well as a healthy dose of caramel. Mixed in with the semisweet malts is a somewhat metallic/acidic scent, which is kind of funky.

T- Just like the scent to the tee. Starts with lots of heavy malts, most prominent of which is the caramel. Hints of dark fruit flavors that intermingle with definite bread-like flavors, similar to a Belgian quad. On the back end, that kind of metallic/acidic funky flavor makes a quick appearance. Ends with a slight bite of dark malts.

M- Not quite as thick as most doppels, but still fairly thick. Highly carbonated which cuts down on the creaminess. Alcohol is present and slightly warming, but by no means strong or overpowering. Not a sipper by any means, but also not one you'd drink quickly or a lot of.

Overall, a solid beer, and probably among my favorites of those from BBC. I'm not sure of this one's age, but I think it has reaped some benefit from being in the bottle for a bit.

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

A: Poured into a Sam Adams pint glass. Appears a dark brownish red with a huge off white head which quickly recedes into nothing. Leaves no lace. Can see how heavy the beer is as the viscous liquid swirls around the glass.

S: Smells sweet with some molasses, toast and a bit of fruity and roasty aromas. A hefty whiff of booze rounds things off.

T: Initial sweetness of caramel and brown sugar, with some raisin and black cherry like fruity flavors. Vanilla? A bit of cocoa and roasty character comes out as the beer warms. Spicy, warming alcohol sweeps away the sweetness and allows for a dry, bittersweet finish.

M: Hefty full body with a gentle, fine carbonation. Very well done.

O: Very good doppelbock. Reminds me alot of Troegenator actually.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a dark ruby color with a bit of clarity, but nothing too impressive. The head is a one finger cream color with acceptable retention.

S: Darker fruits, caramel, and a bit of chocolate. A *very* nice aroma, but a rather typical one.

T: Caramel to start, giving way to a midtaste full of toffee and chocolate, while the finish is fruity and lightly grassy. The aforementioned back end has a nice crispness to it for such a big beer. Quite enjoyable, but it could be even better with a little more in the way of malt complexity.

M: Creamy smooth and moderately thick, like any good doppelbock should be. The booze is faintly noticeable, but it never comes close to detracting from the experience. It's not the most drinkable brew, but it's a very pleasant sipper in general.

O: I feel like it could have a little bit more in the way of drinkability, but it still does a good job of ticking all the doppelbock requirements with aplomb. A damn good brew in general; one of SA's finest regular offerings.

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Photo of claspada
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark mahogany-hued color with a thin cap of white foam that recedes leaving minimal lacing.

Aromas begin with toasty bread and sweet caramel with a rich, vinous fruitiness and some emerging solventy alcohol notes.

The tastes begin quite sweet with very strong dark caramel maltiness with a distinct plum and golden raisin fruitiness throughout. As it warms you get some sweet doughiness and a tiny bit of spicy hops.

The mouthfeel is medium to medium-high in body with medium to medium-low carbonation. Luscious, syrupy finish with a slight bite from the warming alcohol.

Overall this is farily decently made, respectable doppelbock that can easily be found for a decent price. Can't hold a candle to many of the traditional German examples but it's passable compared to many poorly made, overly sweet American examples.

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Photo of mactrail
3.36/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big and rich brew. Coppery amber in the Affligem chalice. Nice foam and lacing along the glass. The usual attractive and well-made Sam Adams product. Scent of caramel and fruitcake.

Full of caramel and roasted malt. Quite sugary and rather hot with alcohol. Buttery with a little sharpness. Ends with a bitter twang. Quite fruity with figs, mixed fruit jelly, and a hint of candied orange peel. Less complex than you might like, though for a speedy hit to the brain and a rush of glucose, it can't be beat.

I like malty, sticky brews, but this one is a little too sweet and candy flavored. From the 12 oz bottle, a single from Best Damn (soon to be Krisp) in San Diego.

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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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