Friday, April 23, 2010

Samuel Adams Imperial White

Brewery: The Boston Beer Company
Location: Boston, MA
Style: Witbier
Brewery Website
Rating: B+

Up for tasting today the Samuel Adams Imperial White. The Imperial Series is Samuel Adams's line of big beers. The Imperial White is a Belgian White style ale brewed at a whopping 10.3% ABV. The Imperial White is amber-red in color with a haze that has chunky clumps of sediment floating in it. The beer has a short, off-white head. The nose has notes of buttered bread and orange.

The Sam Adams Imperial White has a bit of a tart twang to it, along with some sweetness. The malt has a wheaty quality to it. There are notes of orange and yeast on the palate, as well as a bit of butteriness. There is some alcohol to note, but the beer is not as strong as 10.3% alcohol would seem. The finish has a lambic-like tartness along with butter and wheaty malt notes. The Samuel Adams Imperial White is fairly heavy bodied with a rich, clinging, syrupy mouthfeel.

For the sake of fair disclosure, I must admit up front that I am generally not a big fan of the White Ale style. Having said that, this is a unique interpretation of the style that I rather enjoyed. While the more popular witbiers tend to be lighter-bodied, similar to a hefeweizen, the Sam Adams Imperial White is much richer and fuller-bodied. The fruit notes typical to the style are present here but sit nicely in balance. If you're a Blue Moon fan looking to branch out, the Samuel Adams Imperial White is well worth a taste.

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