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Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner



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RATINGS: 990   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.73/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 264   ABV: 8.8%
2005 info:This lager is made with fresh Bavarian hops, straight off the vines from the 2005 harvest in Germany, and packs an 8.8 percent alcohol content that’s twice as strong as most popular beers.
Boston Beer Co. is brewing only 60,000 24-oz. bottles, which are due to begin arriving in stores in November.

2007 release info:
Yes, we’re a little obsessed with hops. Every autumn for over twenty years, Jim Koch has traveled to one of the oldest hop-growing regions in the world, the Hallertau region of Bavaria in Germany, to hand-select Noble Bavarian hops, including the Hallertau Mittelfrueh variety. This special variety is considered to be one of the best in the world, prized for its unique taste and aroma. Samuel Adams® Hallertau Imperial Pilsner is a celebration of these extraordinary hops. This beer is one of the hoppiest in the world, without being overly bitter. With the first sip, you will experience an explosion of some of the world’s finest hops. And we mean “explosion” in a good way. Brewed as a showcase for the hops, this bold brew highlights the spicy, citrus flavors and aromas of the Hallertau Mittelfrueh hops that are abundant in the recipe. The intense hops flavor is balanced with the slight sweetness from the malt. The brew remains pleasantly well-balanced from beginning to end, due to the quality of the hops, and continues to always be, well, "hoppy," providing hop lovers with an amazing beer drinking experience.
Available in 12oz. bottles.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
michael-pollack (4959) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 11, 2005
24oz. Bottle: Arom was hoppy and sweet with hints of resin, citrus, and pine. Smells like an Imperial IPA. Poured dark kakhi/yellow color. Appears viscous. Very hazy and opaque. Average light baige head. Medium whitish lacing. Tastes of hops, and some pepper. The flavor has a medium sweetness in the middle, but the beer and its finish are ultimitaly very bitter. Finish was dry as well. Full bodied. Thick texture. Lively carbination. Long, dry, bitter finish. Overall, I would never call this a lager nor pils. It’s really like an IIPA. Still, it was tasty. Not just no as refreshing as I had expected.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JCW (1278) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 11, 2005
UPDATED: JUN 25, 2007 This is the best of Sam Adams so far. Pours a hazy color in color, sort of looks like an IPA, smallish white head. Aroma is earthy, like fermenting autumn leaves. Most lagers brewed to have 8.+ ABV have a lot of sweetness left from the residual sugars. This one has some of that, but is drier than any big pilsner that I’ve had. It is pretty balanced. The finish has a linger tartness. I hope Sam Adams tries to create more beers that are as interesting as this one.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
biz82 (1328) - austin, Texas, USA - NOV 10, 2005
Hazy dull orange. Resinous hop aroma that reminds me of Stone IPA. Has some light caramel, citrus and cheese notes. Very sweet but balanced by a large hop presence and bitter finish. Makes me think of hop candy. Really seems like a big IPA more than any kind of lager. I was expecting it to be crisper. Still, a flavorful beer worth trying.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
mjg74 (2953) - La Mesa, California, USA - NOV 10, 2005
Pours a cloudy orange/red color. Aroma is somewhat sweet and hoppy. Smells more like an IPA than a pilsener. Lots of bitter elements in this beer. Some malt is present. Doesn’t really sem to have too many pilsner like qualities from what I can tell. Bitter finish. Some alcohol is present as well, just a little though. Tastes like a strong IPA to me. Not bad.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Cletus (6355) - Connecticut, USA - NOV 9, 2005
Pours copper with a nice, big, white, foamy, lasting head. Smells of citrus, pine, caramel, cane sugar. Taste is peppery and metallic with some over the top bitter hop elements. The alcohol and bitter hops overwhelm the malt leaving it behind. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and peppery. Finish is very heavy on the pepper and bitterness with some mild alcohol burn there. Maybe in a year I’ll revisit this one, but it is way too unbalanced fresh.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 8, 2005
24 oz bottle, from BevMo. Pours hazy, dark amber with a creamy beige head that diminishes mostly and leaves some lacing. Aroma is fully infused with the hallertau hops - very earthy and herby with citrus,spruce and hints of maple (?). The tast is bold, the imperial designation indeed well deserved with sweet and rich fruity malts evident, but dominated by the fresh hops which give the brew an earthy pine, lemon zest and spice flavor along with a notiicable alcohol bite and pepper finish. Full body and creamy carbonation. This is definitely unlike your typical pilsner. In fact given the malt and hop profile, if someone has sold this to me as an IPA or even a DIPA, I wouldn’t argue. Quite good, but don’t drink it out of a lager glass, go for a tulip to help appreciate the aromas.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
trokini (1025) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 7, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 11, 2007 Its been a long time since I’ve had a pilsner this good. Pours a light, hazy amber with a massive head. Can really smell the Bavarian hops with hay-like undertones. Taste is very clean up front, with the hops behing mellowed by the malt. The hops keep it bitter, but without turning into a weak IPA. A taste of bread is also there throughout, giving it a thick mouthfeel.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JPDIPSO (5519) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 6, 2005
Hazy amber color with a tall taupe head. Thin lace. Fresh hops aromas. Definitely smells like my Mt. Hood, just picked last week. LIght sugar cookie backdrop. Quite dry in the front. Surprisingly so. Mild citric component, not grapefruit, but lighter and slightly sweeter. Thick and chewy, with enough lift and zest to help from being cloying. Sweet lightly toasted malt flavors. mid to late in the sip. Hops come back in the linger and continue long after the last quaff. Biting and spicy sensation on the tongue. A nice effort overall. but I’m still perplexed by this imperial pilsner thing. Always thought a amped up pils or lager was a malt liquor. Alcohol is only noticed it sipped over the tongue and the nose is filled with spirits, and my ears feel warm. If you are a hophead you should enjoy this. Even I am enjoying sipping on this and watching the game. I think I will pick a few of these up to see if the hops subside and the malt comes out a touch more with a little age.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
1FastSTi (3360) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 6, 2005
Wow, lucky enough to get in one of the first 10 ratings... well, Sam Adams says it’s a Pilsner, so I used my Pilsner glass for this one. Really odd shaped bottle. It has a reverse cascading head (like Guinness) when I poured it into my glass. It has a thick, fully-lasting ULTRA dense white head. I haven’t seen head this solid. Beautiful lacing. The body is a hazy orangish-copper color. Slow, visible carbonation. The aroma is quite unique. Almost like zesty tomato sauce. Definitely spicy floral/herbal hops with some graham crackers. I say graham crackers because I got a little head up my nose on the smell test. It smelled pretty much like that. (In reality, the graham cracker doesn’t get out of suspension). The flavor is quite intense. Nice and spicy Hallertau Mittelfruh hops. Tasty toasted/roasted (non-chocolate/coffee) malts. Similar to a nice English toffee doused in melted butter. The palate is definitely bitter and resiny. The mouthfeel is very full-bodied, creamy, and has a carbonation kick. A touch too bitter or I’d give it a 5. There must be over 1000 calories in this brew it’s that thick. I like the beer and would buy it again.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
FoolishMortal (990) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 4, 2005
24oz. bottle. Slightly murky amber with orange highlights. Medium sized rocky white head. Spicy, floral hop aromatics with an earthen character. Intense spicy and acrid hop flavor with a complementary resinous component. Thick malty underpinnings, which are most evident in the residual sweetness of the finish which peers through the lasting resin bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium heavy, thick and mouthcoating.

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