Apr 3, 2009

Sam Adams Imperial Stout

Earlier this year Sam Adams’ new Imperial Series started hitting the shelves. I’ve been on the lookout for them ever since. Finally, a brief trip to a neighboring town allowed me the opportunity to snag a 4-pack of the series’ Imperial Stout.

The first thing you notice is the packaging for the brew. Sure it’s got good ole Sam on the label, but the overall feel is that of a higher-end beverage. The label is slick and modern, yet the description on the back tells of a beer style centuries old, leading you to believe there’s a little Russian Imperial Stout in the mix, as well. Let’s see how the Boston Beer Company blends old and new.

Beer Label: Sam Adams Imperial Stout


The Imperial Stout pours a near black with a dense, dark brown head that faded rather slowly. It’s definitely got one of the darker heads I’ve seen on a stout recently.


Rich, semi-sweet dark chocolates and roasted coffee dominate the nose while a light licorice (anise) scent stays in the background. At 9.2% ABV there’s really not much of an alcohol presence in the nose, but it’s still there, playing well with the rest of the aroma.


I served the brew at cellar temperature so it didn’t really need any time to warm up. As a result, the very first sip carries a wonderful blend of roasted coffee, dark chocolates and molasses. The anise is more apparent in the finish balancing nicely with the slight bitter dryness. The Imperial Stout is smooth and fairly full bodied, but certainly no the thickest stout out there. It’s got a bit of a viscous nature to it typical of the style. The alcohol definitely created a warming glow within but didn’t overwhelm the palette.


Boston Beer Company has a decent beer on their hands with the new Imperial Stout. It’s not my favorite stout, but will surely make an appearance in my fridge in the future. It’s an excellent example of the style and is thoroughly drinkable which should make it more accessible to those familiar with the Sam Adams brand but not aware of other types of beer available. I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the Imperial Series.

Rating: 3.5/5

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