Saturday, May 22, 2010

Samuel Adams Imperial White Ale

Samuel Adams Imperial White

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company 

(Samuel Adams)

Boston , Massachusetts

Witbier |  10.30% ABV


Commercial Description:
Sam Adams Imperial White pushes the boundaries of a witbier. While the brew delivers orange and coriander notes typical of a witbier, it has a bigger mouthfeel and body. It is truly a unique brew.

General Pricing:
12oz bottle, ~ $9.00 4 pack. ~$50.00 case

I’m not sure why I picked this up. I was just looking for something different and I remember someone recommending this to me a while ago. I may have even had it some time back but I did not take any notes on it. So of course that’s gone with the 70’s brain cells.

The beer pours a cloudy pail amber with orange hues and an off white head. This beer is also highly carbonated with lots of tiny bubbles rising up from then bottom of the glass. I am a little taken back on the color, this is pretty dark for a wit but then again it’s not suppose to be an ordinary witbier. 

This beer has an interesting nose. There are almost toasted malt aromas, along with wheat, some yeasty notes and an interesting sweetness. I assume the sweetness is mostly from the alcohol but it may also be some fruity esters.

Nice, Very Nice. There is a interesting warmth and earthiness to this beer. It has nice sweet wheat flavors, some fruity esters and a fairly dry finish. There is also a nice yeasty background to this, almost like a real Belgian wit. This is pretty darn good. Let me attempt a better play by play.

It starts out with an almost caramel malt sweetness up front, then a very interesting creaminess and effervescence in mid-sip. I know that is contradictory but it is really there. Well I guess you get the effervescence first and then toward the back-end it leaves a creamy mouthfeel just before you get to the top of the swallow. The back-end through the swallow is very pleasant. This is a big beer and you start to feel it in the swallow. There is that part of the back of your throat that clinches slightly and prevents it from going down easily. There is nothing unpleasant; it is just not an easy drinking beer. Toward the end of the swallow you start to get the most pleasant warming sensation. This warmth carries through to the finish which is fairly dry, mainly from the alcohol. You also really start to pick up nice fruit and citrus notes through the finish. The final aftertaste is also very pleasant with rich yeasty wheat flavors, some light hop dryness but not bitterness, and an almost exquisite creaminess throughout your mouth. It’s almost like a stout coating but its sweet, wheatie and citrusy.

All and all I’m pretty impressed with this beer. I have criticized Samuel Adams’ beers in the past but this Imperial White is on the money. Let’s see how it warms.

The modest head has diminished to a patchy island on top of the beer and a solid ring around the edge of the glass. The lacing is quite impressive.

I neglected to take a starting temperature but we are now at 66 degrees. Wow, still good maybe even a little better. It’s hard to tell but it seams as if it’s easier to swallow. Sorry, it’s not hard to tell, it is, easier to swallow. It’s hard to tell why. I’m not sure if I’m getting accustomed to the alcohol or if this is really getting smoother as it warms.

The carbonation is less as it sits so that would account for some of the smoother aspects. At any rate, it is good, really good. This is one of those beers that really seems to get better as it warms. I did not expect that from a wit. Usually a dark maltier beer will get better as it warms and opens up.

The flavors do not seem to be changing but is it much smoother.
I’ve let this sit for a while; we are now at 71 degrees so it’s time to really see what this white is made of.

Now I’m really impressed. This picked up no unpleasantness whatsoever. I expected something to materialize at this warm temperature but the only thing I got was a slightly higher detection of the alcohol.

I’m going to give this a B+.
As much as I expected it I did not find anything wrong with this beer. It just kept on impressing me as it warmed.

I was very apprehensive about this beer since I have been suckered into some of Samuel Adams beers before that talked a good game but feel short, Like Samuel Adams Coastal Wheat

This is an excellent Imperial White. Actually it may be the only Imperial White. What it may lack in Belgian complexity it makes up for in overall body and taste. This is a big beer and may be a little boozy for some but I highly recommend that you give this one a try. It is strong in alcohol but there is nothing unpleasant and there are no extreme flavors in this brew. Think of it as a Hoegaarden on steroids.

Okay Jim, you won me over on this one I just hope it’s not a setup for another sucker punch.

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