The Samuel Adams Imperial Series made a big splash when it came out a few years ago, but since then, I haven’t heard much about it. They recently redesigned the packaging and my local go-to beer store finally started carrying the new stuff. Boston Beer Company makes four beers in the series, all of which will be reviewed on this site in time (they are sitting in the fridge). Of the four beers in the series, I thought that the Imperial White would be the most interesting, since it seems to me to be a total conflict of the style.
This beer comes in at a solid 10% ABV and pours much like olive oil; thick and smooth. It hits the glass a nice burnt orange color and has a fair about of haze to it. There is a generous white head that didn’t seem to be significantly cut down by the high alcohol. Some heat immediately comes to the nose followed by some slight caramel sweetness. I also noticed a good helping of oranges with a slight citrus note. Finally there was some coriander, but not as much as I was expecting from this one.
Citrus and orange dominate the front of the beer with the coriander bringing up the rear. The middle was a bit empty. There is plenty of heat all the way through the ale. While this one looked thick on the pour, it doesn’t sit as heavy in the mouth thanks to plenty of carbonation. The overall taste really wasn’t bad, but the unrelenting heat was just too much for me to enjoy this beer fully. I understand this is an imperial beer, but that doesn’t mean that alcohol should be a dominate flavor. If you haven’t tried this one yet and you want to try something different, you might want to look at this beer.