Samuel Adams Double Agent IPL | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Double Agent IPLSamuel Adams Double Agent IPL

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Ford on 12-28-2012

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Reviews: 312 | Ratings: 1,562
Photo of corby112
2.22/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear, pale golden orange color with light edges and a two finger frothy, pillowy white head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Good retention with splotches of soapy lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy aroma with a subtle grassy hop notes but the pine, citrus and tropical fruit notes promised on the label are nowhere to be found in the nose. Kind of bland with floral hops followed by bready yeast, caramel malt and toffee. Hopefully it tastes more like an Indian pale than it smells.

On the lighter end of medium bodied with a crisp hop bite which provides some dry bitterness that lingers over the lager yeast into a slightly dry finish. Some sticky pine needle and grassy hop notes but again, the citrus and tropical fruit notes are undetectable to my palate. Caramel malt backbone with hints of caramel, toffee, bread and biscuit. Really disappointing considering what I was expecting. The idea of a west coast style hoppy lager is intriguing but this was just a boring lager with a slightly aggressive, one dimensional hop profile.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.5/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with blue pressure cap and generally appealing label acquired as part of the Spring Thaw variety pack at a local Vons (Safeway for ye Northerners/Coloradans) and served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live within an hour of acquiring. 5% ABV confirmed. Expectations are above average given the current ratings.

Served chilled. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated. Enjoy before: June. Hopology collection.

A: Pours a two finger beige colour head - somewhat thin - with some slight cream, and of above average retention for the average ABV (~3-4 minutes). Little lacing as the head recedes. Body colour is a vibrant clear pale copper-gold. I really like the body colour, actually. No yeast particles. No bubble show. Translucent as can be. Looks par for the style; I'd say it's above average.

Sm: Shockingly hoppy for a pale lager; great nectary oily hops and floral character. Piney as well. Sticky and a bit fruity. Incredible for a macrobrewed pale lager; I'm damned impressed. Clean malts. It's a bit soapy though, which I despise. No yeast character. No alcohol is detectable. An above average strength aroma. Is the taste as good as the aroma?

T: Not really. Pale malts and soapy hops - bleh. Too long spent in primary. Bubblegum. Light hop oil. An artificial garbage finish of empty bland malts. Imbalanced and forgettable, but as a failed experiment it's interesting. I like that they were bold and went for it with the hops, but unfortunately it's not really working here. Too bitter for the style. Lacks any real complexity or subtlety; it's boring, bland, and simple.

Mf: Awfully thin on the finish. Sharp and overcarbonated. Way too heavy on the palate for a pale lager. Horrible palate presence. Still, it's nicely smooth and wet. A bit sugary. I'd stop short of refreshing, but it's not bad.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. A failed experiment from Sam Adams that I wouldn't get again. Still, some will really like this. I wouldn't recommend it to friends, but I've had far worse for the price.


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Photo of JayBarnes10
2.59/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

ALOT of head. this beer poured with more head than beer at first. I'm not a fan AT ALL of IPAs so I thought I'd try an IPL, since I'm a lager fan. the aging didn't help at all, lol, I still don't like IPAs. I'm not sure YET, as to what makes it have that "IPA" flavor, I think it's the hops, but whatever it is, I don't like the hops flavor.

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Photo of JG-90
2.64/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Bottle into glass

A - Clear copper in color, aggressive pour yeilded medium head with surprising retention. Forms just a touch of a rocky head as time passes. I am truly amazed by the lacing on this one, almost a solid wall down the glass.

S - Almost nothing here and what was there was dissapointing. Pale malt, soap, grass. Where are the hops and fruity smells?

T - Follows the nose's lacking performance. Grassy lager with pale malts and a hint of soapy-ness. Not offensive but not what was expected.

The neck of the bottle reads... "grapefruit, piney, & tropical fruit character... boldy hoppy and flavorful..." This is not the case. It is a drinkable and non-offensive beer, but there is nothing special about it.

M - Light-medium body, high carbonation. Crisp finish (a bit of lingering grass/soap)

O - Meh at best. I was excited to try this beer, and it did not fulfil my expectations. Does not have the bold and varied flavors promised, but it is at least a decent price, and fairly drinkable.

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Photo of adamette
2.71/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. bottle given to me by my mother in law’s brother in law. Thanks Floyd! “AUG 2103” checked off on the side of the label. We are only 7 days into August so that is good!

A 3 inch creamy head over a translucent light copper body. Good look and possibly better than I thought it might look. 4.0

S Floral hops in front, distant barley malt also in there. I sense a gentle sweetness as well. Mostly it is like a hop flower though. Ho-hum to me. 3.0

T Like a lager eclipsed by a lot of floral hops. The hops are up front and carry all of the way through to the after taste. I don’t mind hops but here they are used too much and it leaves an unbalanced beer taste in my opinion. 2.5

M edgy with the floral hops and somewhat full feel because of it. 3.5

D/O Drinkability is meh. Overall this is “as advertised:” on overly hopped Lager. I found myself wishing that it was a lager since I appreciate the taste of a standard lager over this rather gimicky beer. 2.0

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Photo of Minkybut
2.96/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this average beer IPA whatever!! into my tumbler at 45 degrees. To my delight it poured a monster creamy head that piled up over the rim of the glass. The 2nd Sam Adams of the night to do so! The beer was a goldy straw color. The smell was defiantly piney as suggested on the bottle. More like a spruce I would say. The head went away very fast as did my liking of the beer. Way too hoppy. I will not buy again.

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Photo of JLaw55
3/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of the Hop Tour 6 Pack

A clear orange color, with almost no head and little lacing on the edges.

Tastes of a crisp clean light lager, with the hops layered in over the top and finish. It's flavorful and interesting, but the hops start to quickly overtake the traditional lager flavors. The hops are a bit too assertive for what is usually a lighter flavor profile with a lager such as this.

The mouth feel is light to moderate, and pretty smooth. No sticky mouth feel after drinking, as you get sometimes with really hoppy beers. This is on the lighter end.

Overall, was enjoyable as part of the hop tour side by side tasting. Not going to knock your socks off, but enjoyable non the less. This was a nice study of different hop beers (hop tour 6 pack), but there are better options out there for an IPA.

Would Drink Again: Yes
Would Purchase Again: No

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Photo of Weston19
3.06/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured one of these into a Pilsner glass.

A: Copper color with about a finger head. After a while is shrunk to about half a head but either way it has good retention.

S: The smell of this is very pleasant, Grapefruit, hops, and malt.

T: Lots of citrus initially then some bitterness once it hits the back of the tongue. You can really taste the hops and it has the taste of grapefruit as well. I didn't really like the bitterness of it but that's just my personal preference.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth beer. You can easily drink a few of these without any problem.

Overall: It's not bad just not my kind of beer. I don't really like hoppy beers but my friend who loves IPA and similar beer absolutely loves this one. For my preference I didn't like it but for those of you that like these kinds of beer it seems to be pretty good. Loved the aroma though.

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Photo of MountainBeers
3.09/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought the "Double Agent IPL" as part of a Sam Adams "IPA Hopology" case that I bought at Costco...

Frankly, it's a thin beer that has just-average IPA flavors and it just doesn't get to join the "Awesome IPA" family...

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Photo of Ford
3.12/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a pint glass

Not sure how to classify this... seems it's a hybrid... or at least a heavily hopped lager.

You can instantly smell the hops... so you know there will be plenty of bitter finish and citrusy taste going on.

This one really tastes more on the IPA side.. I know they are labeling it as an India Pale Lager...

I'm not a huge IPA fan and not surprisingly I'm not a huge fan of this beer. What I do love most about IPA's is when they have a big grapefruit flavor... and I'm getting citrus here , but not necessarily grapefruit...

It isn't quite as bitter as most IPA's I've tried.

I'd like to see a big IPA fan who is also a lager fan review this... I'm just going by how it tastes to me... and it's just ok.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.17/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Sampled from a Stella Artois chalice. A nice frothy off white head is roused with the pour, nice lacing as it settles. Clear deep gold with small bubbles of carbonation rising. Intense hoppy nose...getting alot of Simcoe at first whiff. I'm gonna blaspheme here and admit I'm more of an "old school" hop guy...Simcoes and the newer varieties don't do it for me like Cascades, Saaz and Bullions do but anyways, quite a noseful here. The taste follows the aroma, lots of hops, some sweetness from the malt but the hop is the main attraction here. Finshes on a piney note backed with some sweetness and light tropical fruit. I don't care what Sam calls it, to me it has a hoppier Pale Ale written all over it. Nice as a one-off purchase but I won't be a repeat customer of this.

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Photo of BeerLovinWoman87
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. This beer is a dark amber color and produces a nice, long lasting head. The taste is very hoppy, in fact more hoppy than I like. I hate IPAs, but I'd thought aid give an IPL a try. I don't hate it as much as the IPAs, but I'll stick with the original Boston Lager next time.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- copper color, nice size head

Smell- pale malts, tiny bit of hops

Taste- light flavor of pale malt

Mouthfeel- light bodied

Drinkability- It was ok, not the best but still ok. It was very light. I don't usually like stuff this light. Good chance I won't be drinking it again but I don't really like stuff that light. Probably pretty good cold on a hot day though

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Photo of scvance
3.22/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear light golden color with a fairly thick white head. Good retention and lacing. Smell is pretty faint, not much to it. Very light hop notes, slight sulfur character. Taste is fairly bitter, with no truly discernible unique hop characteristics. Maybe a slight earthiness. Definitely got the flavor of a lager, the sulfur character carries to the taste. Medium carbonation and light body. Overall this beer is pretty disappointing, very bland with the character of a poorly executed standard lager. Definitely none of the "india pale" character you may be expecting. I will not be having this beer again.

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Photo of mnrider
3.24/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. brown bottle. "A hoppy smooth lager."

A: Pours clear golden yellow. Nice eggshell head. Plenty of carbonation. Good retention
and lacing.

S: Pine and more pine. Citric fruit, bottle says grapefruit. I guess so.

T/M: Sharp distinct pine. Bitter and then the lager flavors come in. Chewy smooth malts.
Back to some citrus. Medium bodied with a smooth feel. Bitter and really dry on the finish.

O: I wanted to like it and in some ways I do, however I am having a hard time with the
mixture of an IPA and Lager. It ends up being just average. Would have been better if they
just stuck to one style. Still drinkable but nothing I'd want again.


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Photo of KTCamm
3.29/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours very clear light copper, virtually no foam. Empty Smell, touch of pine., but minor at best. Taste opens hop, evolves into citrus, gets a touch sweet and then finishes quick. Little lemon touch at the end. If the goal was a hoppy lager, mission accomplished. Interesting but not extraordinary.

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Photo of Robb_in_Austin
3.29/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Aggressively poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A: poured a nice golden amber. Cream colored head that left a nice lace.

S: citrus hop aroma dominates, faint hint of malt. The aroma dies quickly for me.

T: hoppy bitterness with a bit of malty sweetness. Nice hop spice on the end. Don't notice the alcohol.

M: thin and dies quickly.

O: tasty and solid. I'd drink again. Not memorable but not bad either. I'd prefer more body.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

clear golden amber hue with a thin off white head. Interesting nose of biscuity and caramel malts along with flowery and fruity hops. Grainy, hay, citrus, and pine.

Definitely different. Has that dortmunder export like malt bill, full of flavor and grainy notes followed by and earthy and herbal bitterness. Strangely though on the finish bright citrus hops burst and linger in the mouth. Bitterness is moderate and nice with a faint sweetness lingering as well. Medium bodied with brisk carbonation. It's pretty good but the bright citric hop flavors tend to muddy up the clean grain bill. I dont think we'll be seeing too much more of this style cause of how contradictory the flavors but sam managed to make it work a little bit and managed to still make it a pretty clean beer.

Being that boston beer makes pretty safe beers, this is even a little bit of a stretch for them and doesn't work perfectly so I'd be surprised to see other breweries take it to the next level only to make a sloppier beer.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Best By: Nov

Pours a nice clean/clear golden amber color, nice carbonation, with a very nice one-finger creamy white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some hop notes, sweet. The taste is malty, slightly hoppy. Medium body with a dry/bitter finish. Overall a tasty brew, but would probably not buy again, we'll see.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.32/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Bright golden glass shows excellent clarity and holds a solid finger of bright white head that doesn't lace as much as I expected.

Smell: Heady hop nose, pine, citric, a leafy earthy note, just a hint of underlying malt.

Taste: Where I expected a full punch of alpha acids, I got a playful slap that left me a little underwhelmed. There is some bitterness, but it's not the citric juicy hop cone that I crave in IPAs. Some tea like flavor, a bit more of the leafy earthy hops that say German to me.

Mouthfeel: Prickly carbonation, medium light body, oily finish.

Overall: Meh. It's like a double Pils, maybe not even that, just a really hoppy Pils. A bit boring truth be told. Don't know what I was expecting from Sam Adams, this is like a restrained, focus group tested version of daring innovation.

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Photo of bum732
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

S: Soft orange, touch of pine, slight diacetyl, some malt sweetness, slight dankness

L: Crystal clear, burnt orange, creamy white head with decent retention and great lacing.

T: Bright citrus up front, orange with some mango. Super clean malt character, just lending a touch of sweetness. Medium resiny bitterness. Very clean maltiness with additional grapefruit resiny hops. Finishes clean with just a touch of tanginess.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Judging it as a hoppy pale ale. Solid, i could see this working in the future. Although, i don't really get the point of lagering a beer with so much fruity hoppiness.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Best by Aug 2014 at 45 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma of faint citrus
Head small (2 cm), white, creamy with small rocks, mostly diminishing into 3 mm layer
Lacing good – nearly complete rings
Body yellow with slight haze
Flavor starts as a typical lager, with the white grapefruit bitterness overriding the malt backbone. However, the hop presence is more marked than in the standard lager, ending in an astringent chalkiness.
Palate light to medium, watery, carbonation lively

A solid “meh”, not too exciting lager with a little more hops than most, but still not close to an IPA.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.34/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It’s a clear reddish brown lager with a significant foamy white head. The smell is of grapefruit, reminiscent of many California IPAs. The flavors are primarily of grapefruit and pine as advertised on the label with some definite bitterness, but less than most IPAs probably. The aftertaste is surprisingly bready and malty, not typical of an IPA. It is more crisp and lighter than a typical IPA, but in this case I don’t think that is a good thing. The flavors seem surprisingly muted and the hop character is nothing compared to what I’m used to with the SoCal IPAs. Not a bad beer for the price to sit and drink on a hot day, but nothing really special about it either. It is definitely inferior to many of the IPAs that I’m used to.

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Photo of teromous
3.36/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The body is a darker bronze color, with a fluffy white head. There is some lacing, but only here and there. The beer is very transparent, and there is mild to low visible carbonation.

S: There is a bit of pine, and a very catty smell to the beer. Pretty average.

T: The flavor follows the scent, with mostly a catty taste, a bit nutty and some bread crust. There is an even balance between the malt and hop flavors.

M: The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium, a bit chewy, and pretty easy to drink.

O: Overall I thought it was fairly average. It was decent tasting, but it's not anything I would actively seek out. The catty flavor and smell dominated, so I would only recommend it to people who enjoy that. It has an rustic edge that is similar to crusty breads. It would pair well with these breads, and something like goulash and potatoes.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, best by June 2013, served in a shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Clear bright golden yellow - ranging towards the amber shades of gold. Poured a dense 1/4" off-white head, which died down to a persistent 1/16" thick foam across the top some strands and islands of persistent lacing noted. Looks like a IPA, but clearer and brighter.

Smell: Pine, grapefruit citrus dominate. There is a hint of malt under it all trying to get out, but it can't. I get this barest hint of sweetness with a swirl, but then the hops come right back and cover it up.

Taste: Bitter with pine right up front...and then it transitions into a well hopped, but bitter finish lager. The malt is crisp...and not sweet enough to balance against the strong hops. You get a hint of sweetness in passing between the hoppy start and bitter finish of this beer. Hops at the end are bitter, with a combination of tea and pine again. A nice dose of hop flavor, but unbalanced and it's not working great for me.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated - close to fizzy but not quite. Lots of hop oils sticking to the teeth and they lingered quite a bit.

Overall / Drinkability: Well, it drinks exactly as the brewer meant it - a combination of a west coast IPA and a lager. I'll give it high marks for creativity and for meeting exactly what they described it to be...except for the smoothness of the lager. That's missing because I think the hop wallop you get with this beer you need the higher level of sweetness from an ale yeast + caramel malts to balance against the hop bitterness. The lager is under there, but it's not sweet enough and when that sweetness comes out between the hop start and finish, it's its artificial or saccharine. So interesting concept, but for me, it's not working. One is enough - and I had a hard time finishing this one. Nice looking beer though - that lacing you get with the hops is certainly pleasant to look at.

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Samuel Adams Double Agent IPL from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.82 out of 5 based on 1,562 ratings.
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