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 sj660
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Brown-bronze, lighter than you might be used to in a doppelbock. Small thin head with immovable laces.

The aroma is malty, of dark bread and caramels, with a little bit of dark fruit. It is warm, thick, creamy, with a touch of resiny hop aftertaste lost ultimately to the alcohol, which is intense.

It's not Celebrator, but I'd probably take it over a Salvator. I'm a big doppelbock fan and this one is worth having.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from 9/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours dark orange amber with very light carbonation, very little head, but a hint of lacing. Aroma of mild caramel malt. Flavor is heavy sweet malt with caramel, with a malty, slightly hopped finish. Nice medium body. Somewhat boozy aftertaste. Seems like a well made beer, but not that complex.

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Photo of raszputini
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark hazelnut with a very thin (inch) cream colored head. The head dissipates very quickly with little if any lacing. This beer is a mouthful - very literally liquid bread, with some raisins, figs, possibly some cinnamon in that bread as well. The malts are right out front and big. Finishes pretty cleanly with a crisp light hop tone - probably Saaz. Like most reviewers on this site, I'm not much of a Sam Adams guy, but this looked too interesting to pass on, and I'm glad I didn't. This is a rock solid high gravity dopplebock.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Most noted is how much malt was used per bottle. Almost a loaf of breads worth? That's quite a bit!

A - A deep dark amber read hue, almost black with some pretty sweet dark tan head. Good carbonation for almost 10%

S - Smell is of deep raisin, plums, figs, and well... bread. Man it smells sweet and rich.

T - Damn this is the best Dopplebock I have had in a while. Perfect sipping beer with tons of dark fruit, sweet malts, caramel and toffee. As it warms I get an unexpected hoppy finish but it does stay very sweet and malt forward. Damn good.

M - Medium to thick boded and chewy.

Overall this is a great beer from Samuel Adams. Buy it now.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from CJ's NY for 1.99$

Appearance - Clear reddish brown colour with an average size fizzy/frothy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes.

Smell - Malts, raisins, caramel, hops, butterscotch, anise

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste raisins, malts, and some butterscotch/caramel. There are also some herbal notes and some anise mixed with some hops. It ends with a dark fruit and slightly bitter aftertaste.

Overall - Reminds me a bit of a barley wine taste wise. It's very well done and one of the best beers I've had from this brewer. I'd like to keep a few tucked away to see how the flavours develop over time.

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Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy reddish brown in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles on the surface along with a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of brown sugar and raisins in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and is malty with flavors of brown bread, caramel, molasses and raisins.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of alcohol warming in the finish.
O: This beer is like having liquid brown bread along with some additional flavors and is rather easy to drink considering its strength because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste. It is a good representation of the style.

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Sam Adams Imperial line served as my intro to craft beers, microbrews, and non-BMC beers. That said, the first three "cool" beers I had were Sam Adams' Imperial White, Imperial Stout, and Double Bock.

So now, three heavy beer-drinkin' years later, I am returning to them (and a new addition since then, a Wee Heavy!) to see how they stand up to all the amazing beers I have had since...

A: brown amber with two-finger tan head

S: toffee, caramel, malt, fig

T: chewy caramel malts, buttery

M: thick, full, heavy

O: the only other doppelbocks I've ever had, Samiclaus Bier and Kuhnhenn's Dark Heathen, were nothing like this. They were very thin on the palate and more silky sweet. This has a chunky malty weight to it. I'm not sure which is more appropos of the style, but the other two were much easier to drink. This was like drinking a protein shake. Not a horrible beer, but a bit much for my tastes.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sam Adams has a ton of different brews in their lineup, but I’ve never had anything from their Imperial Series. Double Bock is one of these big beers, and a bottle that I’ve been seeking for quite a while.

A: Reddish-mahogany body, letting clean ruby light through the body. A full two fingers of tan foam appear, nicely formed and thickly bubbled. Low retention and full pockets of oily lacing.

S: This is a rich, wonderful nose. Aromas of malt waft up first: grassy grain, plum, fig, cinnamon-oatmeal raisin, cherry, and smooth toffee. Bold umami. Toast and alcohol come out in a peppery, roasted manner, with scents of char, wooden bourbon barrel, rum, and mild coffee. It’s exactly what you want in a beer of this style.

T: This palate’s all malt, and full of flavor. Amber grain and dark grass, caramel, fig, molasses, and dates are full here, with the earthy husk flavors taking center stage. Very earthy, very husky in its profile. Honey and breads come forward in a triumphant chewiness and provide a reaching presence of graham cracker and buttered toast. Brandy and a bit of coke syrup pass over a leafy hop bitterness soon after. A boozy aftertaste accompanies this brew, with sweet oils and smoky caramel.

M: Boozy, big, and with a follow-through of warm sugariness. Near-perfect thickness for a doppelbock.

O: The saving grace of Sam Adams: their imperial series – this is an incredible doppelbock. Any American brewer that can do a traditional German lager with this amount of richness and complexity should be applauded. Well done, BBC!

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Photo of kawilliams81
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Alesmith Horny Devil bottle.

A- pours a dark ruby, near brown with a 2 finger tan head. Small traces of lacing remain.

S- sweet dark fruits, toffee, and toasted malts

T- sweet malts, dark fruits and candi sugar.

M- medium body and carbonation.

O- nice doppelbock. Nice mix of sweet and dry malts.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Dark reddish brown, medium tan head.

S: Aroma is wonderful - fruity but dark with roasty caramel notes. Can a smell be dark? This one is.

T: Malty taste up front. Then sweet but with a pronounced alcohol presence.

M: Somewhat on the heavier side with good carbonation.

O: A good beer, but not sure I'll be actively seeking out a second go-round.

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

Single 12oz bottle from Publix, poured into a 0.5L stein...

A: Copper with a reddish tint; one finger of light beige head; no lace.

S: Pretty rich, bread malts.

T: Caramel and toffee malts; some alcohol; somewhat dry / earthy hop finish.

M: Full; moderate carbonation; some heat from the alcohol.

O: An interesting doppelbock... not super sweet, but still tasty; nice hop bitterness was more than expected.

*from notes
** 1st brew tried from “Imperial Series”

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Photo of gkunkle
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a ruddy brown with decent amount of carbonation. The head is tan but not very tall, it recedes to a ring and a few small splotches. The smell is of maple and caramel with a touch of fruit, maybe like strawberry and orange. The taste follows the smell well, strong maple and caramel, very sweet and smooth, I detect a slight alcohol taste. Mouthfeel is thick-ish. Overall a decent beer, I quite like it as an American double bock.

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Photo of shand
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Pours a hazy red-amber color with a large, full head. The aroma is big on malts, with some fruits backing it up. The taste is very large and alcoholic, with fruits being the primary flavor. Honestly, it's a little too much for me and winds up tasting just a bit too "hot" in general. It doesn't taste bad on the way down, but it's really just too much fruitiness with too much alcohol. The mouthfeel is far too smooth to really be of note, and the drinkability is not very good. Overall, this is a beer that's just too big for it's own good. The fruit dominance just doesn't work with the huge alcoholic flavors that this beer presents. I'm usually a big Sam Adams fan, but this tastes a little too much like hot vomit for my tastes.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.05/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Copper pour gathers itself and sits a beautiful, clear ruby color. Thin eggshell colored head is quick to breakup and all foam dissipates by mid glass.

Smells like dark bread soaked in caramel drizzle with some alcholic sophistication. Tastes the same.

I've been hearing this is one of Sam's best for a long time...and it's not. Not even close.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.26/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a meager trace of a head which almost immediately vanished. The body looks like iced tea in masstone but held to the light it's more of an auburn. I expected quite a malty smell but to be honest it had very little until it had sat out for quite a long time, like a wine that had to open up. Taste has the malt but I've had maltier and more complex. It's also a little on the yeasty side.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep and slightly cloudy mahogany orange color. Lots of rising bubbles and a good three fingers of off white head with good retention. Moderate amount of lace on the glass.

Smell: Big aroma of bready and somewhat toasty caramel malts. Lots of dark fruits with hints of plums, raisins, and figs. Hints of brown sugar. Also some hints of apples and alcohol. The dark fruits really stand out. Kind of smells like a pie.

Taste: A very bready and moderately sweet fruity taste. Lightly roasted caramel malts up front with hints of toffee and apple. Big presence of dark fruits with notes of figs, plums, and raisins. Some brown sugar adds to the sweetness. A mild presence of earthy hops provide a little balancing bitterness. Very bready and fruity overall.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy, chewy, and somewhat sticky. Some alcohol heat is felt but things are still pretty smooth.

Overall: A pretty solid American take on a Doppelbock. Not as dark and roasty as one might expect but the fruit flavors here are good.

 1,148 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Double Bock has a medium, creamy, beige head and a dark, copper appearance with some lacing. The aroma is sweet, malty, and there is an overriding grain husk smell, not unlike what one finds with Earthquake High Gravity or Dog Bite High Gravity; probably not what Boston Brewing is shooting for. The flavor is malty, alcohilic, sweet, fruity, nutty, and syrupy. Mouthfeel is heavy and dense, and Samuel Adams Double Bock finishes rather harsh and not particularly drinkable. Overall, this is a very interesting, challenging, and tasty beer.


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Photo of soju6
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice mahogany color with a beige head that fades quickly to nominal lacing. Pleasant aroma of malt with caramel, nuts dark fruits and a hint of spice. Mild taste of caramel sweetness mixed in with dark fruit and a bit of nut. Very subtle bitterness and a dry finish. Medium body, smooth with a velvety texture. As it warms the aroma and flavor are enhanced. Has a nice warming feeling. Very enjoyable. A good sipper to enjoy on a winter evening

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

A - Lovely clear toasty brown in the light. Really nice textured head that makes a landscape a la Samuel Smith's beers, but dissipates down to nothing within a few minutes. Nice lacing.

S - Moderate wheat bran cereal

T - Pretty malty and bready. Somewhat mild flavor, but nice. Has a near-metallic tang that winds up as something slightly tart. There's some sweet but not too much, and it seems closer to molasses than caramel. The booze is hidden very well as you taste it but you get nice warm gentle booze fumes in the back of the throat afterwards.

M - Thick and smooth with a tiny bit of prickly carbonation on the tip of the tongue. A bit of film that sticks around on the tongue.

O - Pretty good and easy drinking. Not the best doppelbock I've had but holds its own in the style. I like the thick mouthfeel. I missed that recently in a Spaten Optimator. This is one of the best Sam Adams beers I've had, contrasted against a lot of safe, transitional beers they put out. Kinda pricey - not on an ABV per ounce basis, just on a per ounce basis. I'm not drinking to get drunk, so ABV is incidental and it's pricey when a fourpack costs the same as a sixpack would.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Red-copper with a thin white head. Head retention is fair.
S- Aroma is mild but pleasant. Toasted bread, caramel, less fruit than most doppels.
T- Nice well balanced doppel that has a whole lot of nice sweet flavor. There is a bit of fruityness with a figlike flavor. There is a bready, butterscotch, dark caramel flavors. Hits a lot of notes, but not as deep as some of the German classics.
M- Very good mouthfeel. Smooth, medium-full with medium-low but smooth carbonation.
O- This is a quite goood doppelbock. I like some of the German examples better but this is still good.

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep caramel amber with a thin layer of soft, off white head that has little retention. The nose has strong notes of baked apples and caramel with some alcohol esters. The flavor is simplistic; baked apples, mild sugar, faint bread. The mouthfeel is warm, smooth, and medium to full bodied with the right amount of carbonation.

This is a rather solid American version of the German classic. Sam Adams has done a superb job creating a balanced, smooth, easy drinking, high ABV beer.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz. bottle into a pint glass. Color was hazy caramel, almost like iced tea. About a finger of head. Very little lacing on the top. No film on the sides.

Smelled dark fruit, mostly plum and purple grapes. Also some caramel malts.

Tasted pretty similar to the nose. Dark fruits, grapes, plums and lots of malts.

Medium body. Creamy texture. Soft carbonation. Long, consistent finish.

I was expecting a bit more, but it was still a decent beer. It grew on my toward the end.

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Photo of Dave1999
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red colour with a white head.

Smells of rich malts.

Tastes strongly of malts and alcohol. Some liquorice and treacle as well.

Feels very smooth on the mouth. Thick and syrupy.

Overall a powerfull tasting beer, srong flavours and you can taste the alcohol in this.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Appears a dark mahogany color, no visible hazing, with a short-lived soda fizzle sand colored head that leaves minimal lacing behind. At the moment of popping the cap, there is a very strange initial burst of pineapple upside-down cake aroma that settles back down, eventually content to be in the background of the multi faceted malt aroma. (bready, yeast, caramel, toffee) Flavor is a sweet brown sugared and hearty raisin bread buffet with some small amounts of drying alcoholic heat in the finish, although not quite as boozey as, oh say, a barleywine would be, it still has some mild hotness to it. Texture is smooth and silky as it ought to be, but that hotness does distract ever so slightly. Very slightly under carbonated as well for my preferences, but only just barely so. For me, this beer was like a flawed or poorly cut gemstone, in that it was a thing of real beauty unfortunately marred by a couple of imperfections.

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

The body is a deeper hue of copper with a 1/2" of off white head. No lacing.

The smell is toasty as hell and for a second resembles sour dough pretzel. Herbal and caramel scents finish it.

A caramel and toffee sweetness is more prevalent in the flavor. Again, toasty malts dominate.

Mouthfeel is heavy with decent carbonation. There's a slight burn in the finish.

Decent for the style, I suppose, just not my cup of tea. I've definitely had better doppelbocks.

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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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